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June 2005

Sing, sing a song

So I have eighty frillion things to do today, but not before I treat the Internet to a sampling of the music I'll be listening to on the airplane tonight when I can't fall asleep. Unless I bring a flask of vodka and some Benadryl on board. What do you guys think? But first! The music!

Because my deboanir, dashing and absolutely darling husband gave me this for our anniversary.

(And he loaded up dozens of old pictures for a slideshow and set it to Sting's version of 'My One And Only Love', the song we danced to at our wedding.  I KNOW. Someone bawled all over her new iPod. Someone was very very ashamed that she purchased this for her husband.)


I am on a country kick lately. In the past few days I have downloaded:

  • 'Pickin Wildflowers' by Keith Anderson. I love this song. I love the parts where he growls. I love how he says the word 'covert'. This song is why all men should wear cowboy hats.
  • 'A Real Fine Place To Start' by Sara Evans. This is her new song and the video may border on the ridiculous (by the end of the video, she might as well just not be WEARING a shirt), but it's a fast-moving happy song without a lot of twang meaning I'm allowed to listen to it while Phillip is driving. I also bought 'Perfect' and 'Suds In The Bucket' which are both, ah, kinda twangy, but upbeat and loud and I apologize in advance to anyone sitting next to me tonight who's annoyed by my chair dancing.
  • 'Time' by The Greencards, kind of a mellower grown up version of Nickel Creek. If you love that place where bluegrass and Celtic music and folk and country meet up and spawn lots of little baby bands, try them out. (If my brother is reading this, he is now getting out the phone book to investigate some institutions. I remember both of us wailing along to Queen once in his pickup truck, but from there we part ways.)
  • 'Incomplete' by the Backstreet Boys. I am not ashamed.

But I've got some good stuff on my new iPod. (And some bad stuff. A-ha's 'Take On Me' club remix anyone?) The entire Indigo Girls discography, for one. (And the entire Sting discography. Apparently we have to share iTunes.) The same old same old, like John Mayer's Room For Squares, some U2, some Coldplay, the Britney compilation I bought in China, some Cake, some Jack Johnson. But I've also got a few treasures: Bell Biv Devoe's 'Poison' (you know you had the same tape when you were in sixth grade) and 'Business Time' by Flight of the Conchords. That's right. It's Wednesday. You all know what Wednesday is.

Sorry for the lame-o post. The eighty frillion things await. I'll have a laptop on my trip, natch, and my father-in-law's teeny tiny super cute camera so there will be DIGITAL PROOF of the bachelorette debauchery. I hope to update before Saturday, but if not you'll just have to wait until next week when I'm hanging out with the cutest little boys in Ohio.

Happy vacation to me! 

The Anniversary Waltz

I had to be talked into this whole getting married thing. That sounds awful, doesn't it? It's NOT that I didn't want to get married. No, I definitely assumed that one day I would marry Phillip and it would be a joyous and momentous event, but I had not yet attained grown up status and only grown ups should get married. The way I saw it, at one year out of college, we should go do something cool with our lives (teach English in China!) and then morph into responsible adults afterwards (get married, get real jobs, learn how to make meatloaf.) Phillip was down for the teaching-English-far-away idea, but he thought we should get married first. "It will just be EASIER," he kept saying. "When we're in China, it will just be EASIER to not have to drop you off at home every night and then go to my own apartment." And after we had a big argument about this in the middle of dark and rainy Ravenna park, I finally decided he was right. Reluctantly. It totally screwed with The Plan. This was raising The Plan high above my head and shaking it until it was a well-blended Plan in a very delicate thin-stemmed martini glass.

A few months after we first started dating, Phillip picked me up at the airport on New Year's Eve. I'd just arrived back in the States after winter break in Italy and I probably slept all the way to his parents' house where he was throwing a New Year's party. I crawled upstairs and fell asleep. Sometime during the party I wandered downstairs and outside. I stood in the driveway looking at the Christmas lights all over the house and all over the other houses in the neighborhood. Phillip snuck up behind me and whispered, "Someday we'll have Christmas lights on our house."

He's ALWAYS known that we'd get married and that ALWAYS freaked me out. We both agreed that dating sucked and we only wanted to do it once, but aren't guys supposed to have commitment problems and be completely frightened to have you meet their parents, let alone dream about your future together? He didn't say things like that very often, but when he did, it was always a big jolt for me. A someday-you-ARE-going-to-be-married-to-him jolt. Not that I didn't ever think those things myself, but I would have died a thousand deaths before I said them OUT LOUD. Are you KIDDING?

I've had some friends going through their own should-I-get-married processes and they've asked me "how I knew". But I am so the wrong person to ask about that. I don't believe in 'soul mates' and "you know when you know" is a stupid answer that tries to romanticize most people's truth: that you choose the person you're with. My first memory of Phillip is him standing in the middle of the McMahon dining hall playing saxaphone with the first incarnation of his band. And I thought to myself, "Hmmm. I do like boys who know an instrument." Every day after that I got to know him a little bit more, someone who was so much more than a saxaphone scholarship, someone who was so much like me and so annoyingly different from me. There's probably a guy out there who reads poetry journals and wants to live in a highrise downtown and is a cable news addict. And I'm sure there's a girl out there who loves jazz and can drive stick and doesn't have sleeping problems. It's entirely possible we'd get along much better with these people than we do each other- but we decided those people didn't matter. I think that's how you know.

He's the only person who ever disrupted The Plan- and the plan doesn't really exist anymore. Once you add another person to your life, it's hard to stick to the timeline you've plotted for yourself. I knew this when we were dating, but there's nothing like being married to show you how self-centered you are. When I take time to think about it, I'm amazed at how confident and right Phillip was about being married. I think that whatever else we do in our lives, we won't make a better decision. I probably don't say it out loud enough.

Ho hum Monday la la la

Sorry there hasn't been anything interesting up here in a while. Pictures of adorable nephews captivate for only so long, right? We're only days away from our East Coast trip (and, praise all that is holy, the purple dress fits!) My folks come back to the mother country this weekend and my second wedding anniversary is tomorrow. Tomorrow's post shall be ultra-saccharine and wet-kiss-slurpy.

(Tomorrow is also my sister's twenty-first birthday. Yes we got married on her birthday, yes that completely smacks of Sixteen Candles and yes, I get the Worst Sister Ever award. Unfortunately for her, Katie kicked off year 19 at an hour-long wedding Mass at which she was forced to wear the same dress as two other girls and super uncomfortable shoes. She then had to swelter through the 90 degree reception and still look cute in the pictures. The bride neglected to give her a happy birthday toast and I think she probably had to stay with my parents that night. But seriously, Katie, it's not like you could have been out ordering sugar-rimmed cosmos- that's for tomorrow. Of course, I will be too busy celebrating my anniversary to buy you a birthday drink. Bummer!)

Items of Note

  • My fingernails are long. The last time they were this long was, oh, almost exactly two years ago. Funny how knowing you have to wear a fancy dress makes you stop biting your nails and start plucking your eyebrows. Sort of. The first thing is really really hard to stop doing and the second thing hurts. A lot.
  • There were 9 people in my living room last night glued to the fourth episode of Lost. This was in a vain attempt by myself and Katharine Hepburn to hook the Original Thursday Night TV Gang on Lost, thereby moving TV Night from Sundays (Desperate Housewives- meh) to Wednesdays (Lostzilla! Awesome!) Some of us, however, go to things like bible studies on Wednesday nights and you people are ruining the plan.
  • This furniture store? Is super cool. And also has a barely-dressed mannequin standing guard out front waving balloons. Phillip would not let me buy the cherry-red sectional sofa with the zebra-stripe pillows.
  • All attempts to purchase a storage trunk/bench for the entry way were thwarted by 1. the people on craigslist who sold their bench a half hour before we called saying we could come pick it up and 2. the woman at Don Willis furniture who HOVERED and GOD I HATE HOVERING. If there is any way to persuade me to NOT buy something from your store, it is HOVERING. Yeesh. We are so going to buy the trunk from Don Willis though, because they have all KINDS of neat stuff and you stain it yourself and then you feel all artsy crafty AND like you've saved money. Except probably not with the saving money thing. Really, though, unless we buy this from Pottery Barn, the bench choices are few and far between. Unless someone wants to send us $500. Anyone? Anyone?
  • A just-embarrassing-enough bridal shower gift was found amongst the hordes of 18-year-olds at Victoria's Secret sale. Also, I once again had to teach a Victoria's Secret salesgirl the meaning of the word "No". No, for all of you who need a primer, does not mean that you remind me that I can get coupons in the mail or monthly discounts or a free red polyester negligee on my birthday. It means "No" and also "please quit asking me stupid questions." The "May I have your phone number, area code first?" is a bonus round in which the salesgirl is treated to the Miss Manners-approved Withering Stare, the Hollow Smile and a kind but pert, "You must be kidding me."  (Special shout out to the Lieutenant's wife, former Victoria peon and wielder of the scary measuring tape and also the mother of the Freakin Adorable Baby. We love you anyway.)
  • The horrible reddish plants in my front yard (they have ANTLERS) were almost all ripped out and replaced by flowering plants that are pretty and colorful and completely antler-less. I still have a few left over (what were the landscapers thinking?) but those will soon be bulldozed to make way for big puffy hydrangeas or climbing clematis vines or even a boring required-by-your-Washington-state-residency rhododendron. Anything but the horrid antler plants.
  • Airport and hotel logistics were feverishly discussed by myself and Fellow Bridesmaid, interspersed with bouts of "I am so glad you're in the wedding too!", "No, I'M glad YOU'RE in the wedding!", "No, seriously, you don't underSTAND how glad-", "But I'm so glad YOU are going to be there too-". Yeah.  By this time we are BFF.

Green Lake was not walked around, chocolate was eaten, the laundry I started on Saturday is still in the washer, and people (maybe just me) were completely freaked out by the Newsweek special edition on the crapload of ways your body can disintegrate while you are still in it. Not a bad weekend, but the rotten weather is making me wistful for the warm weather in the east. Except I just checked and they are having a heatwave with a side of thunderstorms. Never mind.

These babies are the cutest.

A week from right now I will be just about landing in Atlanta where I will wait two hours before boarding another plane to Hartford, Connecticut. Yes, we are taking a redeye to the East Coast- a redeye with a layover. Yes, we are crazy. See, this is my first time bridesmaiding and I want to show up in a timely manner, ready to attack the multitude of issues that arise the day or two before the wedding. I prided myself on not being like Fellow Bridesmaid who will waltz into Hartford around 4 pm, right in time for the bridal shower. Ho ho, I smiled, so satisfied with myself. Will be the Best Bridesmaid Ever.

I am now kicking myself for not following Fellow Bridesmaid's much wiser plan. First of all, I don't get there that early. Second of all, I won't be able to avoid the multitude of issues that arise before the wedding. Third of all, I am taking a REDEYE which means RED EYES. And a groggy brain and an extreme distinterest in doing anything after we land except going to sleep. Bridal showers are usually about as fun as a 10-hour New Yankee Worshop marathon- think about how fun it will be after FLYING ALL NIGHT.

After the wedding we're heading out to that bursting metropolis, that cosmopolitan hub where bright lights and excitement converge- Cincinnati, Ohio. I have two disgustingly adorable nephews out in the Midwest and we are going to spend the whole week eating Cheerios and running around the backyard in our underpants and dancing in the living room to 872 Wiggles videos.

Oh, you thought I only had one disgustingly cute nephew?


Oh no no no. This one is also mine.


So is this one.


And I have to wait a WHOLE WEEK. Grr.

In the meantime, let's all write some encouraging words to the Lieutenant about getting himself and his wife and the baby (okay, we'd also be happy with just the baby) to Seattle this summer. He says he's got training coming up and can't make definite plans, but we all know that's the silliest excuse EVER and does the United States Air Force really want to go up against a group of people (with the same impatient and short-tempered genetic makeup) who have not yet seen The New Baby? The Lieutenant also informs me that everyone wants to him to plan around their summer plans, but let the Internet lay the smackdown on that one because we all know he should only be choosing his vacation time around my summer plans. That's right. Making everyone do what you want is one of the few perks of Biggest Sisterhood. Besides. Last night when I called, the baby was fussy and I KNOW it's because he heard Aunt Maggie on the phone. When Aunt Maggie is around he's NEVER put down!

It's like the weather knows I can't go home yet

I've written the same post a dozen times today and it always comes out overly angsty and wistful, even for me. It's about work and careers and how everyone I know seems like they're in some kind of What Will We Be When We Grow Up holding tank, waiting for a magic net to scoop us out. Did I mention we are in our mid-twenties? An age where, in the Days of Yore, people were leathery and callused and tilled the land with their fourteen children? Nowadays, in the era of "taking time off to backpack through Europe" and American Pop Song 101 are we not all spoiled angsty wistful weenies?

Okay not everyone. Props to my brand new pharmacist friends who now have spanking new Real Jobs and paychecks to boot. Yay for Sean who must make me a pretty pink masthead so that one day, when he is the most famous graphic designer in the world, I can say "HE designed MY masthead." Happy snaps for Katharine Hepburn who's going to get smarter in her PhD. program and for my sister Becca, though how she thinks she's going to keep up her shoe habit on a teacher's pittance is beyond me. Hmm. It appears some of you have, like, actual careers.

But it's that time of year when people graduate and move and even though it's the middle of the year it's really the end of the year and everyone's evaluating Where They Are.

For the most part, I love Where I Am. (Metaphorically speaking. Right now where I am, there is thunder and lightning and I am wearing a skirt and flip flops.) Yes. Where I am? No complaints. (Except for the horrendous grammar.) But I've read this about a dozen times now and maybe that's excessive, I don't know, but it's so inspiring. I don't know if Steve Jobs is someone I want to emulate what with the dropping out and the getting fired, but reading this makes you want to throw down your mouse, leap on top of your office-issue desk and proclaim "I WAS MADE TO SEW CLOTHES FOR ALBANIAN ORPHANS!" (or, you know, whatever floats your boat), then boldly slam the door behind you, head held high because you are Pursuing Your Dream.

This is my problem: 1. Determine my Dream. 2. Do it.

Quite possibly my problem is 3. Stop being such a wuss about pursuing my dream because I'm too afraid I won't be able to pull it off. Better to not try than fail! (Also, stop being the person who writes angsty wistful posts about Lack of Purpose and Acceptance of Mediocrity on her website which only invites forceful emailed rebuttals from one's father who believes nearly all experience is good experience. Actually, often when I'm in need of encouragement, I think of what my dad said when I told him about being anxious, having actually been diagnosed with nervous wreckitude. Which was: "Well, creative people all need a neurosis, right?" Something to that effect. There's profundity somewhere in there. Maybe even a compliment.)

Anyway. If you would like to join my support group, shoot me an email. Right now we're examining whether or not you can work only on alternate Saturdays and still pay your mortgage.

In honor of the person who made high school a bit less atrocious

My high school friend E got himself married over Memorial Day. I really wanted to attend- the wedding was in LA and I was going to go to Disneyland, get a tan, read junk novels on the beach, and gorge myself on the mountains of Filipino food that I hoped would be served at the wedding. Chicken adobo, YUM. But then I, um, bought a house and there is also the East Coast wedding to which I must wear the shiny purple dress and, um, no money tree growing in my front yard. WHERE IS MY MONEY TREE?

So anyway. E is pretty much the only high school friend I still talk to. The last time I spoke to him he was reading me the riot act for buying a house instead of plane tickets to LA over Memorial Day. And the time before that was probably at my wedding, I think, which he attended as he reminded me several times during our most recent conversation. But we send emails and we do have a vague idea of what's going on in each other's lives. He is in the Air Force, I am wasting away in quasi-corporate culture. He has a baby, I have a house. The end.

I became E's friend in high school because he was V's friend and V was my friend. They made me an honorable Filipino and I was invited to all the karaoke parties. But later on we were friends because we were both kind of geeky and got good grades and were "solid" members of the sports teams instead of the stars. Teachers liked us (we made sure of that). We were the quintessential Good Kids and both awarded completely irrelevant outstanding student certificates when we graduated, which we didn't find particularly meaningful except for how it pissed off the kids who thought they should have been honored instead. We never really liked those kids. We had our own sets of friends, but no one terribly close and now I wonder if we were just snobbishly tolerating the rest of our class until graduation. E's family was also Catholic and he had a few of his own run-ins with the Crazy Church People. We were two of the four calculus students our senior year and the two altar servers the year my brothers were confirmed. Inertia? Perhaps.

At lunch we sometimes went to get pizza at the BX (Base Exchange, the store that sold clothes and stereos and dishes, for those of you unfamiliar with acronym-happy military culture) and E, who was almost never without a girlfriend, would talk about getting married one day and the kind of girl he'd pick. He had some stringent requirements. "She can't be taller than five foot four!" he declared one day. "She'll have to know how to cook! She'll have to to rub my feet when I get home!" I could never figure out if he was saying those things just to annoy me or whether he really believed them. I think it was a little of both. He rather enjoyed irritating me- he had a perfect sense of direction, he said, because he had iron in his nose. "Obey the nose!" he'd say, tapping it and smirking at me. (He had a horrible sense of direction, natch.) And once when we were flying to Sigonella for a basketball tournament, he told me (who has a Xanax prescription for flying purposes) a fun story about how the wings were coming off a plane in the Philippines and the pilot had to go out and duct tape them back on.  He just sat there chortling to himself while I gripped the armrests and did yoga breaths. I remember one of my teachers asking why E and I weren't boyfriend and girlfriend, because, well, we hung out so much. I awkwardly laughed it off, privately thinking to myself, "she MUST be kidding. PERISH THE THOUGHT!"

I spent an exceptionally miserable freshman year Spring Break in his Berkeley dorm, miserable because he was depressed and mopey and had no girlfriend. And years later, when he was transferred to Fairchild AFB in Spokane, we stayed up all night in his apartment talking about my impending wedding, the new war in Iraq, how he wanted to be a teacher some day and whether or not he should marry his college girlfriend. He'd met my Chinese-American boyfriend and we talked about how we didn't think about race much in high school and how much we thought about it now.

I should have gone to the wedding because then I could have seen it happen. Not that it's unbelievable (ha! if only E knew I have a website!) but because it would have been pretty awesome to see the 15-year-old hopelessly awkward and romantic kid get done up in a tux and watch him watch the bride walk down the aisle. And at the reception I could have told her stories about the guy who bought me earmuffs for Christmas, who rode around town on a little yellow moped, who had better handwriting than any girl I knew, whose hair once reached Kid 'n Play proportions and who leaves messages on my answering machine for "Magadocious". He's a pretty nifty guy. She's a lucky girl.

It's my website and I'll cry if I want to

Good morning, Internet. Today I am CRAN. KY. The weather is gray, I forgot my lunch AGAIN, and it's only TUESDAY. Wah.

I also had a bad dream. Oh wait, here's some good news. I can't remember the last time I took a handful of Benadryl to help me go to sleep. HALLELUJAH. I have now jinxed my new sleep status by advertising it on the internet, but I'm not afraid because I? can't remember the last time I needed chemical sleeping assistance! So anyway, I am remembering my dreams now. My old bad dreams used to involve family tragedies (kidnappings!) or war (I'm a photojournalist and I'm in the line of fire!) or natural disasters (my apartment is swallowed up in an earthquake!) or freak accidents (I once dreamed I was on the Lost island being chased by Lostzilla. Honest. But it was also kind of a good dream because I was being chased with Matthew Fox.)

So this dream? Not that bad. But still. Bad enough so that when I woke up, I was noticeably relieved. It went like this:

I am at work. On a Saturday morning. (I KNOW. This is ALREADY insane.) Also, I am working quite dilligently and being very responsible about some of my accounts. (I have "accounts" in the loosest sense of the word. But yes, they are there. And the money that is exchanged? Yes, I am in charge of that, even though I earned a 140 on the math section of the SAT and successfully avoided all college courses involving numbers and their associated symbols.) Anyway, I have an invoice that needs to be investigated and I can't remember how to do something in Peachtree (PEACHTREE, you guys. They let me go into PEACHTREE here.) So what do I do? I call up my coworker, She Who Is In Charge Of Money. I call her at home. And, because I am the DUMBEST dilligent professional in the world, I say, "Hi Coworker!" very very brightly and annoyingly and immediately launch into my long complicated story about stupid Peachtree. And my coworker, the person who takes the least amount of crap in my office, waits for me to finish and then says ONE thing. In the iciest voice possible she says, "Maggie. DO YOU MIND?" Eeeeeeeeek!!!

(I know, I know, it's not the WORST thing she could say or even the thing that makes the most SENSE, but this is what she said in MY dream and this is MY website.)

Anyway, Internet, perhaps you don't know this about me, but unless your name is Phillip, I steer clear of conflict. Maybe my dream conversation doesn't count, since I wasn't trying to invite conflict, but it was the same kind of "Oh crap someone's MAD AT ME!" feeling that I absolutely hate. I don't like people being mad at me. I strive for universal admiration. Some people call this "sucking up" but I like to call it "making friends". But my coworker? Her give-a-damn is ALWAYS busted. What was I THINKING calling this woman up early on a Saturday morning to ask her a question about WORK? The next time I saw her she would probably SHOOT ME.

So I wake up this morning rather dismayed at the fact that I have to go to work and face my rightfully pissy coworker, until I remember that it was all a DREAM and I have nothing to worry about. Yes, this qualifies as a bad dream in Mighty Maggie Land. Shut up.

However, the fact that my contact is scratching my left eye is not a dream. Nor is the crap weather or the calendar hissing "Tuuuuesday!"

I do have one thing to look forward to, that being the haircut I finally scheduled for this evening. It's one thing to not care about the stringy as you go about your own life, but fairly soon I will be showing up in someone's wedding photos and I don't want the stringy to crash the shiny purple wedding. Add "the last time I had my hair professionally cut" to the list of things I can't remember. I had my cousin, the Hair Priestess, give me a trim in my grandma's laundry room on Thanksgiving, but I've been avoiding it ever since. I am a veritable horror of split ends. So tonight I am paying someone to wash it and cut it and make it pretty and they BETTER make me feel PAMPERED. Ugh. Hair was a lot easier when it was 2 inches long and cut for free by your trained professional hair cutter friend.

In other news, Michael Jackson is cleared! Snore. I wonder if it's possible to die of talk radio. Just the sound of Alan Prell's voice inspires thoughts of wrist-slitting and hunger strikes.   

Much ado about books and backslashes. Topped with sour cream. Mmm!

Do you know that book? Bread and Jam for Frances? I love that book.

Other books verily adored by yours truly when she was fresh and impressionable include anything about Nate the Great (with his dog Sludge and weird friend Rosamund), anything about Amelia Bedelia, some Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and whatever was on Reading Rainbow that week. When I got older I had a 10-year-old trifecta going with Anastasia Krupnik, Encyclopedia Brown and the Great Brain. (Does anyone else feel that everything they know about Utah and the modern toilet comes directly from the Great Brain series?) I had about seventy zillion yellow hard back Nancy Drew books in my room, plus my mom's old Trixie Beldens and my aunt's Happy Hollisters. (In Portland last year I went to Powell's and bought their only copy of the first Happy Hollister book, with plain red falling-apart binding. A PRIZE.) My dad tried to get me into Madeleine L'Engle (to the point where I was informed that I was NAMED AFTER Meg and didn't that make me want to read the book?) but Madeleine L'Engle's spacy stories didn't take. Tesser-what? (Especially since I've also been told I was named after Margaret Thatcher. I mean, pick a story, Dad.) He sicced the Lloyd Alexander books on me and I reluctantly admit that those weren't bad, but I didn't like The Dark Is Rising either so he kind of gave up. (Recently he recommended Hoot, which was ok for me and most likely adored nationwide by 11-year-old boys, and scored big points with The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt and A Corner of the Universe which is aMAZing.) We did agree, I recall, on the magnificence of Zilpha Keatley Snyder. And I think I'm rewriting an old post at this point... Did you read any of these books? Are we all worshipping at the altar of Snyder?

So anyway. The whole reason I am writing today, actually, is so I can go into the HTML code when I'm done and see what it looks like. Before Typepad got all gussied up with WYSIWYG, you could see the tags inserted automatically and everything. But now I have no idea what HTML even looks like let alone what the tags are for and where they go. I just peeked at my source code and Freaked. Out. because WOW that is a lot of brackets and blackslashes.

Because, you see, my big project for the summer (as of this morning, when I decided) is to learn myself some HTML and figure out how to build my own site. Or at least go into the Typepad code and edit it without losing my archives to a cyberspace black hole. I'm also becoming marginally interested in web publishing as, you know, a possible type of employment, and I figure learning some actual skills may come in handy. Of course, my innate laziness threatens to derail the entire idea and posting my Big Project on my website is a surefire sign I'll be humiliated in three months when the only code I know is <title>I Spent My Summer Eating Bon Bons And Reading My Horoscope</title>. But for now I'm pretty optimistic. Keep hope alive!

Here's another way to ruin your Low Carb Diet: Drink wine. Even though the news this morning had a feature on drinking wine and dieting and how it shouldn't make a difference, but the people they tested were on a 1500 calorie diet. And I'm not much of an expert on these things, but I'm pretty sure Low Carb does not equal Low Calorie. In fact, the only thing I'm enjoying about this Low Carb thing is that I don't feel bad putting a small mountain of sour cream on my tortilla-less fajita. YUM.

Okay, here I go boldly into the HTML side of my editor. Whee!

Bread and jam for Maggie

Three things you should not do while attempting to succeed on a Low Carb Diet:

1. Bake oatmeal raisin cookies for the priest's 25th ordination anniversary reception.

2. Bake, from scratch, a chocolate cake and frost it with the most perfect chocolate frosting ever just because you have friends coming for dinner and you want to show off.

3. Bake these things on the same day.

Oh Internet. If you have not eaten bread or pasta or cookies or rice or any other of Nature's heavenly goodies in FIVE DAYS, do not bake these things. For you will only fail and fail miserably. That bridesmaid skirt you altered your own damn self? The one you "altered" "just a smidge" "too small"? KEEP THAT FIRST AND FOREMOST IN YOUR MIND!

And then, if you do bake these things, you will have to take the rest of the cake to work where it will sit on the food table mere steps from your desk and mock you all day while you nibble on your chunks of cucumber and fish around in your desk drawer for that last macadamia nut. Don't say I didn't warn you.

It has now been a little over a week since I've had Nature's perfect breakfast:  toast with butter and Grandma's jam. Phillip's new boss took him to breakfast yesterday and when he came home I asked him what he ordered. "Eggs," he said. As if this was all he ate. AS IF.

"What else?" I demanded.

"Sausage. Mmm, sausage."


"I might," he conceded, "have had a few potatoes."

"AND?" I needed to know. Did he have toast? Was there toast involved? Did precious white flour cross his lips?

"I might," he continued rather guiltily, "have also had one slice of toast."

The resulting shriek was heard in all four townhouse units.

"But there were FOUR slices on my plate. And I only ate ONE!"

"But you ate toast!" I whined. And stared miserably at the freezer where my one lone loaf of bread is living until after this stupid wedding. Yeah RIGHT like I'm going to keep up this low carb thing forEVER. My friend Fellow Bridesmaid does this all the time. As she has bridesmaided enough to be a Professional, she starts up the Low Carb Lifestyle a month or so before the big day, drops 15 pounds, looks gorgeous and svelte, and goes back to a happy toast-filled world without gaining back her weight. Well, maybe she gains back a little because by this time she'd be dieting down to 4 pounds, but YOU CANNOT TELL so it DOESN'T MATTER. (Fellow Bridesmaid is also, like, size -47 so yes, we can all just automatically hate her.) This low carb thing, however, does not appear to be working for me. Perhaps it's because I decided to screw the whole "no fruit for two weeks" instrument of torture. Because, hello, how can fruit be bad for you? But then I was at Larry's Market yesterday, the kind of store that has evil nutrition books in its produce department, and I saw that pears have, like, 30 grams of carbs. That one pear I had for breakfast the other day totally screwed me over. That's probably what the snots on the low carb websites are talking about when they tell you to Read The Book and Follow The Plan and Don't Post Stupid Questions On Their Message Boards.

So! No WONDER it's not working, eh? I cut out the fruit, then. Except for that one afternoon of glorious batter-licking, I am carb free. How consistent do you need to be? Does the batter-licking completely negate the many toast-less mornings? How many of those 1 carb Hershey bars can I eat before my stomach rejects a diet of sugar alcohols and other assorted chemicals?

In other news, the blinds came. They fit, they are a decent color and my husband looks kinda cute when he's using a drill. If I'd rounded DOWN, they would be TOO SMALL and attention, village that is looking everywhere for its idiot, I know where she can be found, for she is misinforming the blinds-buying public (and horrifying them with her exceptionally rotten manners) at the Northgate J. C. Penney's.

At home with the crazies

K dropped by yesterday to give me back my cocktail shaker. Except she didn't have it. She was TERRIBLY apologetic about something and it took a while for me to figure out that she had dropped the top of the shaker down the disposal. "I bought you a new one!" she exclaimed and I thought: I have a new shaker, I gave her the old shaker, I don't need another one and K GETS ANYTHING SHE WANTS ANYWAY. But K scurried back to her house (that's the second time I've used the word 'scurry' for her...) and came back seconds later with the teeny tiny shaker she bought to replace mine. "But it's TOO SMALL!" she wailed. I told her not to worry, that I didn't need the old shaker anyway, it was no big deal! She said, "Let me get the shaker!" and ran back home and ran back over with my old shaker. Which had 2 little scratches on the cap. That's it. Can I say it again? K? TOTALLY the kind of chick you want living on the other side of your townhouse. THANK YOU GOD.

Phillip ordered the garbage cans and they arrived yesterday. We have a gigantic (my coworker would say "gi-huge-ic") yard waste can, no recycle can, and a tiny garbage can because that was the size they recommended for people without families. Right. Phillip's going to have to do something about that.

There are all sorts of things we're learning as we scratch the floor and mark up the walls and order gas instead of electric dryers. (The new dryer is supposed to be delivered today which means, FINALLY, we get to wash our clothes, something we haven't done for about 10 months because hey! We're MOVING!) We put up vinyl blinds in one of the upstairs bedrooms, but not both because the screws they include with the blinds are tiny pieces of pseudo-metal crap, and we only had enough screws for one window in the toolbox. Attempting to wash a big metal grill pan in your new stainless steel sink is going to scratch up the sink surface. Cooking bacon on your stove before the stone people come to install your backsplash means grease spots all over your nice taupe walls. Putting ANYTHING on your black granite countertops means you will see a ring or a smudge and any and all attempts to clean up the ring or smudge means MORE smudges and you are facing a lifetime battle against the shiny black reflective countertop and, I will tell you now, you are going to LOSE. Also? The first time you scratch your beautiful hardwood floor? Your heart breaks into a million teeny tiny stained and waxed pieces.

But shoot. How are you NOT supposed to do these things. It's called LIVING. By virtue of WALKING UP THE STAIRS, I have already imperfected my house. I think, perhaps, I need to suck it up and stop thinking about Resale Value (which, to be honest, is pretty forefront in your mind when you are buying a snazzy new house in a hot real estate market that you aren't planning to keep for more than a few years...)


Not that I don't absolutely adore my new house. It's pretty. Have I told you how pretty it is? SUPER PRETTY. The kitchen is big enough to camp in and do s'mores over the gas stove flames (and I totally lit a paper towel on fire the other day. I so should not be allowed to own a house.) I have a bathroom that's attached to my bedroom and how cool is that? And Phillip finally hooked up the TV in our room because opening the blinds and checking the weather outside is just not good enough when you're trying to decide what to wear. Plus? It smells like new house. Best smell ever.

So anyway, happy Friday everyone!