Monday, December 27, 2010

Last Christmas, I made you a pie

In case you missed the memo, I'm kind of into baking. As in, I dream about opening a bakery one day -- I may even have a name for my bakery picked out. (The first three letters of my last name are PIE, after all)

Problem is, once you start getting into baking, you become accustomed to your own tools. Because I don't settle for mediocre baked goods -- I use a digital scale to measure flour, people. And right now, I don't have access to my kitchen (it's still in a trailer in the driveway). This is all to say that to me, the idea of making pie crust without a rolling pin, pastry blender, food processor, or digital scale is ... well ... it's just not happening.

So for Christmas I ... I ... this is hard to admit.

I used store-bought crust.

Which I then filled with delicious Martha Stewart chocolate pecan filling. And when I had to use 4 oz of chocolate chips from my 12 oz bag, I made do.


The pie, by the way, was pretty good. But the crust about made me gag. Cardboard. I've heard that Whole Foods makes a good pie crust, but there ain't no Whole Foods out here. I have my choice between a crappy Food Lion and Wal-Mart. And, I hate to admit this, but I prefer the Wal-Mart. (I can't believe I'm already a Wal-Mart shopper. The south really does change you.)

Otherwise, my dinner was splendid. And while I know this will pain certain of my family members, I have to admit this: I've never really loooved mashed potatoes. They're, you know, fine. I guess. Just a vehicle for getting gravy into my gullet, really. But mashed SWEET potatoes? With hot milk and butter and salt and pepper and a few tablespoons of brown sugar and absolutely no effing marshmallows? Creamy, fluffy, delicious. I'm never going back.





And another thing. Please don't even try telling me that my dog isn't basically the prettiest dog ever. (And lately, shockingly, she's been a downright good girl. Probably because we keep shipping her off to live with strangers and then not returning for a week. I'm guessing she's afraid that next time, we won't come back to get her, which I suppose is a reasonable fear.)


Poor Kaya. She's the sweet one, but just not as photogenic. Always in the shadow of little sister. In other news, Roomie and I have decided that Atta Boy food is totally sexist. So we're going to make our own dog food, called Atta bitch.

In other random Christmas news, how rad are those vintage Season's Greetings glasses? I kind of love them. (Note, too, the hand-hewn, salvaged cypress bar top. Ahem.)



And guess who woke up to a actual show falling out of the sky and sticking to the ground the day after Christmas?


Of course, it was a mess of slush by noon. Whatever. I'm hoping for more snow, but mostly because folks here are so terrified of snow they're apt to shut down roads and businesses, so I could actually get a snow day. It'd be a nice change from Bend, where they run school buses across sheets of ice in blizzards, and where I worked for the newspaper. The actual apocalypse wouldn't get me out of work. In fact, the apocalypse would sell some damn papers. They'd probably call us all in on our days off to cover that shit.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reasons for not blogging

Here's me: I get up before dawn every day (on a rare occasion even early enough to go to the gym) and then leave the house while the rest of the household members are just waking. Then I drive 1 hour and 15 minutes to work. Then, they still expect me to work all day (seriously!). After all that, I have to drive back home. Guess how long that takes? Yeah. A long freaking time. Next up: Cooking dinner. (Please don't make me explain why I cook dinner for Roomie despite my horrific days. Trust me, he's more than earning his keep). Then there's eating. Then dishes. After all that, I'm ready for bed. Except I'm poor right now, so I've been doing some freelance writing to make extra cash. So before I go to bed, I work on that.

I know. Woe is me. I'm the big dummy who decided to move across the country, thus deliberately making my life harder. Boo and a bigole hoo.

However. I have upsides to report. Writing freelance trivia stories is the SHIT, compared with writing for a newspaper. I mean, it's trivia. Definition: trivial. So it doesn't have to be timely. No one has ever asked me for a nut graf. And attribution?  Not really a huge whoop. It's HEAVEN compared with newspaper writing.

Also, my mom and dad sent me a box the size of a medium-sized dog. The box was stuffed with gifts and hand made cookies, candies and dessert breads. The box gushed love. The stuff was practically seeping out of the seams. I didn't know you could mail love like that. I thought it was restricted, like mailing paint thinner.

Oh, also. I had a birthday. I'm 30. I went to Charleston. In Charleston, I did some fun stuff, like saw sea turtles. Right up close and personal in little tanks at the sea turtle hospital at the Charleston aquarium. We were instructed not to put our hands on the edges of the tanks, lest they snap off our fingers. They were hungry.

Hewo wittle turtle! OK, I kid. This sucker was like 250 pounds.

This was the scotch sampler at this sweet cigar bar upstairs from a tobacco shop in Charleston. I like scotch. Scotch, scotch, scotch.

I also like a crab shack that has buckets set into the table for your crab shells. It's just damn convenient. (And yes, his sweater says "COMPASSION" because he's the BEST kind of hippie. The kind who's nice and likes animals, but still eats them, and who also smells good.)


And another thing that's maybe small but perhaps also worth mentioning. Things? For me? Since moving? Pretty hard. But the guy I moved here for with? Totally, 100%, worth it. Seriously. Want to know how strong your relationship is? Try living together with your partner in his parent's living room for awhile.

Actually, you know what? Don't do that. It's terrible.

In other news, here is a weird thing about the south: Girls here are really into monograming everything. I'd been told this more than once before I figured something out. I'd seen cars all over the place with these stickers across the back windows. The stickers were usually pink, curling cursive letters. Three letters. I kept thinking they must be letters signifying high schools or sororities. But that's because I'm stupid. You've figured it out, haven't you? Yes. Girls here monogram their CARS. With big stickers in ugly, overly-feminine fonts.

And no, I didn't get one for my birthday.

Oh, one more thing about southern girls: If they don't like you, they can be MEAN. And, well, if you're doubting my sincerity, let's say I'm a pretty keen judge of mean, having practiced the art misself. I'll say this: I'd think long and hard before starting any sort of shit with these southern girls. That is, if you're given the chance to avoid it. I'm not entirely convinced it's possible.

Related note: I have a new favorite new phrase, one I'd love to try out in a sentence: "Now, I don't mean to be ugly, but ..." and then say something suuuper mean/insulting/likely to start a fist- and/or knife-fight.

So that's it for now.

God bless America.

Wait, no! Sorry! I mean, Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dear South Carolinians,

I think I hate you. Well, not all of you. I just think I hate it when you drive. Because when you drive, you are so dumb. For real.

You know what most Oregonians hear when someone in the next lane turns on a turn signal?

"Hey man, can you let me over?"

And most Oregonians then say, "Sure buddy. Come on."

Then they take their foot off the gas.

Then the person with the turn signal on gets over. Sometimes they give a little wave.

Seriously. Most of the time, this is the way it works. You hear that South Carolina? I'm not making this up. We have something called a "courtesy wave" out west. Check it out.

Here's what it seems South Carolinians (or is this all east coasters?) hear when they see a turn signal:

"Hey. I'm about to get over. You don't want that. HIT THE GAS! NOW! FAST! BEFORE I CAN GET OVER!"

No, seriously, assholes. You were fine going 55. Why the eff do you need to go 75 in the right lane now that I have my turn signal on? Should I stop using turn signals? Why are you doing this to me? Why are you all such jerks?

Also, stop honking all the time. Y'all honk more than I do, and I'm a jerk by Oregon standards. For instance, you, lady in front of Ruby Tuesday last week: We are all going to get salad bar. I was waiting for a pedestrian to cross. I had my signal on. Do you know what that meant in that situation? It meant, "Hey, man. I'm about to park. Gimme a second, OK buddy?" It did not mean "Hey! I'm in your way! I intend to remain in your way unless you HONK AT ME ANGRILY!"

And by the way, I think it's funny when people out here act incredulous when I tell them that I moved HERE from the west coast? Like the west coast is some unattainable land of milk and honey. And I get it. Yes, the west coast is rad and very far away from here. But do you know part of the reason the west coast is rad? ... Yes, the mountains, sure. OK, yes, the rugged pacific Northwest. And I guess the relative lack of humidity is amazing. Oh, and all the liberals.

But you know what I'm starting to think really makes all the difference in the quality of life?

Well, truth be told, it's our vegetables. Collard greens are gross. And what you people do to lima beans should be illegal. I mean, I don't know how you eat that stuff. Seriously, I'm guessing people out here just don't eat a lot of real vegetables. I mean, are y'all kind of stopped up all the time? Is that why you're such grumps on the road?

But other than that: The courtesy wave is what makes my home so very, very special. Try it. If someone in traffic does something nice to you, give 'em a little wave. Of course, first, you'll have to get someone to LET YOU THE FUCK OVER.

So, good luck with that, I guess.

Love,

Me

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Road part 2

So I drafted this post ages ago, and while I'm now way past all that, I've realized I'm incapable of moving forward until I publish it. It has no bearing on where I am now. Not physically, not emotionally.

Le sigh.

...

So here are some photos.




















Eastern Oregon: Sorta bleakly pretty.


















See? Still pretty.



















Idaho maybe?

















And Salt Lake? Pretty. My friend has a mountain growing up out of her back yard (basically).


















But Nebraska and Wyoming? So boring.

Though Wyoming made for some OK boring desolation photos.

















And the country basically stayed boring until I got to North Carolina, where there were some trees that were sort of pretty.

















Although they were probably prettier about two weeks ago.

Yeah. So. I meant to take photos of the people I visited on my way out, but totally forgot.

Thing is, I have my moments, but I still don't really feel "here" yet. Maybe it's because I'm basically homeless?

Yeah. It's probably that. Apparently homelessness doesn't agree with me.

Let's leave it there.

Stay tuned. I'll try to get (at least mildly) funny again at some point in the future.

If you want a good moving story (That is, it's a good story about moving. Not a "good, moving story," which would be a story that's emotional. I point out the distinction in case you have a hard time with punctuation.), a funny one, you should go read this one. While I was moving away from Bend with two dogs, Allie from Hyperbole and a Half was moving there. Hilarity ensued.














Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I drove and I drove and I drove and then I was in South Carolina.

The Trip, Part 1


Bend, Oregon, to Salt Lake City, Utah, to North Platte, Nebraska, to Fairview Heights, Illinois, to Beckley, West Virginia, to Florence, South Carolina.


Scene:
The front yard of an old white house with a green door in Bend, Oregon. It's dark, and a silver Honda Civic parked askance in the driveway is equipped with racks and a black Yakima rocket box. It's stuffed to the window sills. Stuffed with bedding -- both human and dog -- with books, with clothes, with shoes, with snacks, a coolers, a laptop, and more. A man with a beard and a puffy jacket stands peering into the window of the car. Next to him stands a blond in a puffy jacket with a beanie pulled down to hear ears.

"What's that box for?"

"I'm taking two of our plants. The rest will stay here, but I can't let these two go."

"So two plants will ride in the back seat with the two dogs?"

"Yeah."

"Two of each?"

"Huh. I guess so."

"Cool, so you're like the ark."




Scene: A truck stop in Wyoming. A silver Civic is parked out front, and two figety dogs hang their heads out the window, panting as passers by. A blond inside the truck stop walks past the diner, past the videos for sale, and pulls seven large bottles of Snapple Diet Peach Iced Tea out of the cooler, stacking them up in her arms. As she walks by the barber shop, she stares inside. After she buys her tea, she pulls out her phone.

Text Message

To: Dad

So, when you were a trucker, did you ever get your hair cut at a truck stop? Because I swear I just saw a lady from town getting her hair did here. Getting the little blue puffball on her head trimmed. Is it really cheap or something?




Scene: Silver Honda Civic passes a sign on the interstate. Through her big, black sunglasses, the blond reads aloud the sign to the dogs passed out across their beds in the back seat.

"Continental Divide, elevation ... what did that say?"

The dogs don't move or open their eyes.

"Over seven thousand feet? Is that what it said? We're that high?"

Silence.

"What the fuck is the Continental Divide, anyway?"



Scene: Silver Civic drives on an interstate in the dark, past the illuminated St. Louis Arch. She has a phone pressed to her ear and she seems amped, like maybe she's had too much caffeine.

"
OK, so take 64? OK. That sounds good. Well, I'm just going to get to the other side of the city and then find a place to stay. I should hang up now, actually, I don't want to miss my exit. OK, love you, bye."

She tosses her phone onto the pile on the passenger seat, which includes pillows, empty water bottles and empty Diet Snapple Peach Iced Tea bottles, a purse, an over-sized, magazine-style map with the cover falling off, an empty plastic tub of macadamia nuts, several apple cores, a spill-proof mug and a tangle of wires running from her dash to the various small electronic devices piled in and among the junk.

She drives east, past the heart of the city, and sees a sign that reads "Lodging Next Exit."

When the exit comes, she turns on her blinker and takes the ramp. The lodging sign at the top of the ramp points left, she turns left. Crossing the bridge that passes over the interstate, she looks to the right, and sees a brightly-lit sign for "Larry Flynt's Hustler Club." She looks left. On the other side of the road, she sees "Miss Kitty's Showbar" written in hot pink neon.

The brake lights of the silver Civic don't illuminate as it flips a hasty U-turn.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Advice

Some of the advice I've been given on moving from Oregon to the deep south, in no particular order:



"You may have to buy some pointy shoes."
(If you don't get this, it may be because you don't know a lot of Oregonians. We like comfort. Picture a lot of clogs, or, as my friend from the south calls them, 'birth control shoes.')




"Myrtle Beach, huh? So, what kind of car do you drive?"
"A Honda Civic."
"Oh, no, that won't do. What you need to do is go out and buy a Ford. Or a Chevy."
"Either one?"
"Yeah, so long as you get a sticker for the back with Calvin pissing on the other one."



"Enjoy your last election in a blue state, lady."




"So, I'm not really into church, but you can go ahead and assume that everyone you meet out here is way down with Jesus."









Tuesday, October 26, 2010

GOING

So I've been. I went there. Here's the quick-n-dirty for those too impatient to wait for the ending: I got a job. I loved Roomie's family.

So, yes, in a way, the ending is written. But there's so much more. Like the rash. The rash! Yes, I got a rash.

As I returned from my job interview, a four-hour affair in which I was assured that the department I will work for is fun, funky, teasing and *diverse, I decided to take a nap. Roomie's mom was very understanding about my sleep deprivation and exhaustion, and was more than happy to wait out my short nap before she took me to the beach again (she lives four blocks from the beach. Swoon). So I took a short one, and woke refreshed.

After the nap, I stood with her in the kitchen, chatting, and absent-mindedly rubbed my right shoulder. And I realized something was off. Raised skin. I looked down. It looked like hives on my shoulder.

We inspected. It looked like maybe some heat rash. Now, I've been in much more extreme heat than this for longer periods, much hotter sun, but I was on vacation. Vacation does not entail polyester suits. So to me, this seemed like a reasonable reaction. (I have serious white people skin. My people are from the North.) So I went ahead and went out to dinner with Roomie's dad and stepmom and step brother (yes, they're adorable). On the way back to Roomom's, where I was staying, I noticed that The Rash had spread a bit. We hit the market for some Benadryl.

The next morning, I had an angry rash all over. My arms. My neck. My back. My face. And I had to get on an airplane soon. For 12 hours.

I called my mom. I may have cried. (I shouldn't tell you, but I once had scabies. It sucked. I was afraid I'd given it to grandma, whom we stopped by to meet after dinner [painfully adorable] and I was freaked out.)

Anyway, I could go on and on about the rash, but I finally saw a dermatologist: It's not contagious. Some sort of allergic reaction to something. The south? I hope not. Atlantic Ocean crab? Maybe. (FUCK)

But here's the short of the long (the long of the short, etc.): I got the job. Nailed it. I start Nov. 8. That means I have a very short time to wrap up my life, my job, my home, and go there.

So now that I've been there, what did I think?

The family is every bit as wonderful as I assumed they'd be. Roomie explained them all as I expected. They're charming, they're loving, they're wonderful. I don't think they paused long enough to wonder about me to think that I could be anything other than what they expected: I am the girl that their darling boy loves. So of course I'm great. And they are the people who raised my darling boy. There. Perfect. Done.

The place though? Well ... I don't know. It was a reality check. I think the job will be good. I'm not looking forward to my commute (Potentially more than an hour. One way. Every day), and the land? I was told that I would drive through some beautiful country on the way to the jobsite. I didn't see it. It looked like Mexico's countryside, which, in my view, is not so pretty.

I think there's a good chance I'll feel like a stranger in a strange land. But I'm trying to remember that I didn't like Bend at first, and now it's home. This browny sagey landscape is now so lovely, so deeply dry and crusty and dusty-lovely to me, I have to think that maybe I'll find a way to love this new home. Maybe I'll find friends like I have here -- OK, well. Maybe that's not so likely. I've had some ridiculous luck here.

So, here I go. I'm leaving in 7 days. I have to pack my home and my life and figure out how to make my dogs happy and how to make my new family get the smelly, difficult pack who will show up on their doorstep (in about 10 days) and quite suddenly be a part of their family. I have to say goodbye to my mom and my dad and my niece and nephew and my sister and so many friends, and I have to arrive ready to be a part of something new. I have to do this before Roomie arrives to support me.

But here I go. I'm packing now. We're going. We'll be there soon.

Love is effing crazy, you guys.



*By diverse, I mean there was a vegetarian and a British guy. I'll take it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The coast is clear

OK guys. Sorry about that. Those of you who missed it, here's the scoop on my absence: I'm interviewing for a job with a company that's fairly conservative. Like, it's safe to say that I won't be playfully calling anyone "bitches" while at work, at least until they really get to know me. Well, maybe not ever.

Which is fine. I'm all for new experiences, that's what this move is about.

But they wanted to see some of my blogging experience, and I was like, uhhh .... yeah ... OK, wait a second ....

then I exported this blog to another place with a nicer title, and deleted a bunch of posts, and edited swear words out of others ....

then I was like, "Yeah, you can totally see my personal blog, but it's just silly personal stuff. I'm not sure it's even relevant," and since I had so many other awesome writing samples (when I'm not blogging or on twitter or le Bookface, I actually tend to keep my verbal shit together, believe it or not), they didn't even bother to look at the shadow blog I spent hours culling.

Anyway. I'm getting encouragement to keep up the shadow blog, so I'm posting this one in both places, RBR and MOU until I decide what to do. That's sure to encourage loyal readership, right? Right?

Hmm. Probably not. Meh.

Anyway, I have tickets now. I am going to fly out to meet the prospective job peeps on Sunday. My flight leaves at 6:25 am. Which means I'm flying 12 hours, in three planes, across country the day after a two-day going away party. Sounds fun.

Also, I need a suit and I need to get my hair done. And work extra in preparation for taking two days off next week while I charm the pants off of some business folk as well as Roomie's mom, dad, grandma, step-mom, aunts, uncles, cousins, step-brother, step-sister and five-step-nieces and nephews.

Holy shit. That's like 15 interviews in two days.

So, you know. See you later. I'll try to update from the road.

Monday, August 30, 2010

More on feeding a southern boy

This week, I was shopping the Safeway discount meat bin (If you don't know what this is, you should. Look for it. At Safeway -- Vons in some parts of the country, I guess -- they have these bins in the meat department where they toss soon to be expired meat. It's usually 30-50% off. Oh hells yes. I eat expired bologna.), and I saw a small container with two veal cube steaks. I've had bad luck cooking veal, but I decided to try it again.

When Roomie came home, he saw what I was cooking and told me he'd never eaten veal.

"That's 'cause you're a good person," I said.

He agreed.

I had on hand some breadsticks I'd made (they were supposed to be baguettes). They were no good for regular eatin, but they were perfectly cracker-ey for homemade bread crumbs. I had fresh mozzarella, a hunk of parm, eggs, pasta, and best yet I had everything I would need to make this Smitten Kitchen tomato sauce that I absolutely adore. (A note for my super foodie readers: The veal parm recipe also calls for fresh parsley and fresh basil, and while I had the parsley, I had no basil. I did have fresh tarragon on hand, and the tarragon substituted for the basil in a wholly surprising and totally transcendent way)

As we sat down for dinner, I realized Roomie didn't have a knife to cut the meat. Fortunately, his fork was more than sufficient to cut the veal into bite-sized pieces. After the first bite, he looked at me, wide-eyed. Seriously, if cows had blue eyes .... I almost started to think I should feel guilty for cooking some poor, tortured creature and making this sweet, animal-loving, doe-eyed hippie enjoy his (or her -- do they make veal out of young heifers?) dead body. I offered all I could come up with as a remittance, an apology for making Roommie realize how tasty animals can be when they're disallowed from ever feeling fresh air, from ever running, from ever getting the opportunity to be what they were born to be.

"I'm sorry I made that baby cow taste so delicious."

I think that's good enough.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Two vignettes

1.
Last night, I glanced at my phone and noticed a missed call from my Bestie. We've been trying to chat for a few days, but keep missing each other.

(It should be noted here that both Bestie and her mother, Itinerant Woman, are notorious Anglophiles -- especially on such an occasion that the Anglo is a goodlooking man. Bestie also so happens to have a mini wiener dog named Ralph.)

I had a dinner guest over, so I couldn't call back. I sent her a text (which was all true, by the way):

"Hi boo. I'd call you back but Roomie and I have an Englishman over for dinner. His name is Ralph. I'm sure you understand."

Her reply:

"Of course. Carry on."


2.
A friend of mine recently called me "demanding."

"You know I mean that with love, right?," she asked.

"I also demand love, so yes," I replied.

But when I got home, I told Roommie about it.

"Did I tell you Jules called me demanding? Do you think I'm demanding?"

He looked at me with some surprise.

"Of course. You didn't know that about yourself?"









Monday, August 16, 2010

It was a lot like a first date. I even shaved my legs.

One of the funny things about my moving plan is this: I agreed to move to Roomie's ancestral home without having met, or even spoken to, any of his family.

Not-a-one. Not even on the phone.

And I'll be inheriting a brood. There's dad, there's mom, there's stepmom, there are uncles and aunts, a few cousins and there's a 93-year-old matriarch. All within probably a 50-mile radius.

I'm excited about it, for the most part. So far, they've been terribly sweet. This is good for me, because in the past (long past) I had a boyfriend whose mom thought I was stealing away her baby. It was a nightmare. That's not the case here. They all seem to be (judging by Roomie's reports) genuinely delighted he's found a lady he likes enough to bring home, a lady who likes him enough she's agreed to cross the continent. Whenever he talks to his family back home, they always end the call with messages for me. "Tell Ells we said hi and can't wait to meet her!" Cute shit like that.

But I'm also kind of nervous. What if they don't like me? What if the tattoos are too much? What if they don't think I'm pretty enough for him? What if they judge me for being a wino? What if they hate my A-hole dog? I realize these are mostly asinine, insecure thoughts (with the exception of the dog concern. It's totally reasonable to think that she might cause problems), but I cain't hepp it. Fears are fears, you can try to reason with them, but sometimes it's hard to make them go away.

So when Roomie announced that one of his uncles was coming through town with his wife (not the uncle who works with my new friend. A different uncle.), I was both excited and nervous. I started getting ready hours before our date at a local brewpub. I tried on multiple outfits, checking with my girlfriend, Q.

"Is this cute?" I asked, spinning in front of her in a blue cotton summer dress.

"Yeah, it's cute," Q said.

"Is it too much? I think it's too much."

"It's not too much, it's cute."

It was like a first date.

See, Roomie and I never had a first date. In case y'all hadn't heard, I didn't know Roomie before me became my roommate. It wasn't until months later, after I shed a boyfriend (OK, he dumped me. But I think we all know that was HIS loss), after Roomie and I were totally comfortable living in a one-bathroom house together (if you catch my drift), that things got interesting. So I never had that "oh-my-god-is-this-the-right-outfit?-Do-I-look-too-fat-or-too-skanky?" thing with him.

But the universe won't let me get away with missing out on that stage. I'm going to have plenty of time to cash that anxiety in by meeting Roomie's mother as I pull up into her driveway ready to move in (Fortunately, Roomie and I have a very good feeling about getting along swimmingly with her. Seriously. And I don't get good feelings about anyone.). With my dog.

As we walked into the pub, Uncle was sitting at the table. I spotted Roomie's sparkly blue eyes across the room. As we walked up, he was sort of stuck in the corner, so I reached over and shook his hand. As we chose seats, Auntie returned from the bathroom. She gave Roomie a big hug and then turned to me.

"Hi, good to meet you," I said, putting out my hand.

She looked at my hand.

"Honey, if you're moving to South Carolina, you're going to have to get over shaking hands," she said as she folded me into a big hug.

Seems like a good sign to me.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bear with me, there's BOOZE at the end.

Oh, wow. Has it really been that long since I posted? What a jerk! And it’s not like I have nothing to write about. Hooboy and howdy do I.

Like the story about my first friend in Myrtle Beach.

Yeah, that’s right. I haven’t even been to the state and I have a friend.

How, you ask?

Well, it started a few years back. Four? Three? Not sure, but it was long enough ago that people I knew were blogging on LiveJournal. One day, I was bored, poking around on LJ when I ran across a woman whose userpic was a still from one of the best films of all time, Grey Gardens. And I’m not talking about the Drew Barrymore version (which, incidentally, I heartily endorse), I’m talking O.G. Grey Gardens.

“Here’s a blogger I could read,” I thought.

So I did. For years. Her name is Katie, and she now has several active blogs, none of which is on LiveJournal. She’s my first internet friend.

So when Katie joined Twitter, I was all over it. The thing is, Twitter sounds lame, but I actually think it’s fun. Really. It’s much less high-school-reunion-ey than Facebook, and if you avoid all the d-bags, you actually end up finding funny people and ridiculous links like this one that I'm pretty sure I'm a horrible person for enjoying.

One of the followers I gained through Katie was JEKinard. Now, when I get a follower, I don’t always follow back. But JEK had some good Tweets, and she seemed more human than Spam-bot (always a big consideration on Twitter). So I followed her back. Over the last few months, she’s someone I’ve seen floating around on the internet. All I knew is that she was a budding attorney who lived in the south.

So when I announced that I was moving to Myrtle Beach, S.C., imagine my delight when JEK replied, “I work in Myrtle Beach and live just south of it. We can be pals. You won't get a twang and I'll help you find the culture.”

Naturally, I found her on Facebook and added her.

When she accepted my friend request (I realize that this story with all it’s Twitter and Facebook references is sort of boring up to this point, but if you're still reading, here’s where it gets crazy), and when she added me back, I decided to look at her info. She read good books, listened to good music, and liked good movies. Check, check and check.

Then I saw her employer.

Roomie and Roomie PC

What? No. Way. I sent her a note.

Subject: WAIT

Body: “Where do you work? Roomie and Roomie? For Bob Roomie??”

Her reply:

Yes... I do. Should I be weirded out?”

Sputter.

I just can't believe what a small world it is! My boyfriend is Hottie Roomie, Bob is his uncle. We've actually been trying to get a hold of Bob …”

“Dude!! I've met Hottie's dad a couple times! …”

And on and on it goes. She knows of Roomie, knows his family. Knows his cousins, for shit's sake. And now JEK and I are friends and we will soon hang out because whaddya know, WE BOTH LIKE COCKTAILS (even though I’m totally the needy new friend who is constantly like, “What’s it like there? Are the bugs terrible? Will my hair be frizzy? Are you smart? Can we hang out?” She’s either patient or she’s faking it because she knows I’ll blog about it. Either way, I’ll take it because, according to Facebook, she wears cute outfits and quotes Margaret Atwood).

But seriously, y’all. The universe is tiny. Some random girl on Twitter who was cool enough to not get unfollowed (which I do with extreme prejudice ((I actually don’t know what ‘with extreme prejudice’ means, I just thought it sounded tough))) not only lives where I’m moving and is into a lot of the same stuff I like — including sharing a blogger friend whom neither of us has met — but she knows Roomie’s family. I haven’t met his family.

All’s I’m saying is, the internet is RAD, people.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I’m moving to South Carolina, y’all

I was born in Oregon. I was raised in Oregon. I went to college in Oregon. I know how to properly pronounce Oregon (it does not rhyme with lawn), Chemeketa, Aloha (not the Hawaiian way), Coos and Willamette. I know that in Portland, the street Couch rhymes with pooch. I've got Palaniuk, Groening and Van Sant pride, as well as Tonya Harding shame. I cringe when someone throws something recyclable in the garbage. I wear glasses and have fair skin and I know people who throw secret, underground restaurant parties. I love pinot noir (when I can afford it). I’ve always lived in places within a few hours’ drive from mountains–and I’m talking about real mountains. Big ones. Crusty, white volcanoes

And by the end of the year, I’m moving to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It’s a small town, not even 35,000 permanent residents, but it sees nearly 15 million tourists every year. Some are golfers, some are partiers. I’ve never been there. I don’t have a job there, and I don’t know anyone who lives there (yet).

As I was leaving work today, a co-worker stopped me.

“Is it true you’re leaving?”

“Oh, yeah. You heard.”

“Tell me it’s not for a man.”

“It’s for a man.”

She shook her head. “Don't do it.”

“You think so?”

“Yeah, it never works out. You’ll be back.”

Well, I don’t know that I agree on the “never works out” thing. I’m sure, once in awhile, it does work out. But I’ll admit it; there’s a good chance she’s right. If you define “working out” as “staying together until one of us dies,” then sure. If those are your standards, there’s a solid chance we’re not going to be checking off the box marked “WIN!”

But I’m not looking at it that way. I’m looking at it this way: Many of the most interesting people I know, at some point, took up and left. They went far. They did something scary. It didn’t always pay off immediately, but they sure as shit learned heaps.

I’m about to do something scary. A move like this is something I chastised a friend about when she did a very similar thing (different Carolina), and guess what? It didn’t work out. He broke up with her a few months later. And she’d been with her honey for several years. Me and Roommie? Just one year under our belts. But guess what else? My friend who ran away with her man? She loves where she ended up. She’s happy with her new friends, her new job, and her new life.

(And of course I could subject you people to my justifications, relationship-wise. I could list the amazing qualities of this person, the kindest person I’ve ever known, and the amazing qualities of this relationship, the healthiest relationship I’ve ever known, but who wants to hear all that nonsense?)

So now, this blog, which was once going to be about running, is going to be about running away with someone.

Rather than letting myself be sad about all the things I’ll miss, (there’s plenty of time for that) I’m excited. It’s going to be crazy. It’s going to be super hot and humid so I’ll probably have to wear my hair curly all the time. There’s a chance, if I get a job first, that I’m going to have to drive across the country, just me and my dog. I haven’t even met Roommie’s family, and I’ll probably have to live with them for awhile. I mean, I’ll be the tattooed girl from Oregon, instead of just, “Oh, she looks like she’s from Portland.”

Am I going to have to start referring to The War of Northern Aggression? I don’t know! Will I be shocked by the new and interesting ways foods can be deep-fried? I hope so! Will it be 70 degrees on Christmas? Good chance! Am I going to be unable to find work and eventually go bankrupt? Maybe!

Things I’m excited for: Watching the sun rise over the ocean. Land so flat your gas mileage is great and biking everywhere on a single speed Schwinn (mine is purple) is totally possible. Living near a bathwater-warm ocean. Changing the industry I work in. The super-long growing season. Joining Roommie’s 92-year-old grandmother’s book club. Low cost of living. Fireflies. Visiting Katie Ett in New York (I’m not kidding, lady).

This morning, I was at my dentist’s office, and I told them I needed to schedule some work I’d been putting off. I told them we still had some time, as we’re planning to be in South Carolina by Christmas. The dental assistant, a woman who’s sucked saliva out of the corners of my mouth with a tube twice a year for the last five years, got wistful.

“I used to live out there,” she said. She lived two hours away, near Fort Sumter.

“You’ll have a twang after a couple of years. Just you wait. I worked at it and hid mine after I left because I got made fun of, but you’ll get one.”

She’s now probably in her early 60s. While she polished my teeth she told me a story about skipping school with her friends and heading over to Myrtle Beach when she was a sophomore in high school.

“The first time I streaked was in Myrtle Beach. My boyfriend was so mad, when he saw me going down the main drag, naked, on some guy’s shoulders,” she said.

“I told him, ‘You drink all day and then take acid and see what you do.’”

Sunday, July 4, 2010

News. Big. Huge.



So, I don't want to get all Dooce on my three readers, but there's a big announcement in the works here at RBR. Huge. Giant. Life-altering.

But not yet.

So. There's that.

And really, I could write up a post right now updating y'all about the fecking heel that won't heal and blah blah blah but instead instead I'll brag about my awesome day yesterday: Elk Lake, mountain views, shining sun, cute baby and 14 week old puppy. I stuffed my face all day with roasted turkey sammiches and fresh cherries and blueberries (plus maybe a few potato chips) and also way too much beer and, to top it off, a couple of super-strong Abbie-ritas at the lodge. Oy. Oh, and I also did some stand up paddleboarding AND didn't fall into the frigid lake. I'd call that a successful holiday.



The puppy's name is George. He was very sleepy after playing all day.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Not dead!

Hey y'all! I'm not dead! And I didn't murder anyone.

That last part is very, very important.

There's no possible way to tell all of the awesomely blog-worthy stories from the past week I spent at home. Plus, I've been told that I'm not allowed to tell at least some of the stories (especially the story about how I woke up in a hotel room one morning and looked over and there was a naked man in the next bed. Deffo not supposed to tell that story).

So, here's a list of memorable items, some awesome and others decidedly un-awesome:

  • My sister (32) and I (29) stayed up past 5 a.m. two nights in a row. My sister and I realized without a doubt that we are too old to stay up until 5 a.m. one time, let alone two nights in a row. The day after the double-header was like walking around with a mixture of hot sauce and cement in my veins. Slow and painful. (How's that for a simile, suckas?!)

  • One morning, I found myself walking in downtown Portland in last night's little black dress, practically bare-footed in my black tights,with my boots in one hand and a borrowed black purse in the other. No one would return my calls, so after leaving the most pathetic message ever on Roommie's phone (Wah wah wah I miss you wah wah these people are crazy wah wah wah I just walked by a used condom wah wah wah I think I'm still drunk), I decided to go for some breakfast, hoping that while I ate someone would call me back and come pick me up. The first restaurant I encountered was called "Pho and Toast." I tell ya, a steaming bowl of noodles is the BEST hangover cure ever invented. Well, maybe the second best. They didn't sell bloody Marys. However, they did sell diet cokes, and then they tried to charge me for a refill. You betcherass I marched up to the counter in my little black dress, smeared mascara and frizzball hair and complained until I got that $1.45 taken off my bill.

  • I was confronted at my high school reunion by my first boyfriend -- a guy who really does not strike me as a blog reader -- for writing about him on DatingIsWeird.com. He quoted the post almost word for word. I was flabbergasted, because really, it had never occurred to me that he'd ever read it. But also, I was kind of delighted. He read DatingIsWeird! He's one of the smartest people I know! And, if you go read the post I linked to above, you might get why this is just so perfect: In his rebuttal to what I'd written in the post, he quoted Corinthians. Also, he's now dating the girl to whom I wept (in the high school girl's room, of course) when he dumped me. A girl I later made out with. Ah, beautiful world! How small you are!

  • My sister and I made it SIX DAYS without fighting. Then we screamed at each other in front of the kids and stormed out of the room in separate directions. But we made up after that. And seriously. Six days is pretty effing good.

  • Two days before my sister's wedding, took the kids for hair cuts. Imagine the embarrassment when one hairdresser approached grandma and said she couldn't cut the hair because of the schoolhouse scourge: Head lice. Then imagine the best auntie ever (that would be me, in case you're confused) hunched with her sister over a giant head of hair, painstakingly combing through the strands to remove all the lil bugs. I think that's when the pain in my neck (I'm speaking literally here) started.

  • While I was in town, I signed up for a trial of Bikram yoga. I learned quickly that Bikram yoga doesn't suck, the BEND Bikram studio does. The instructors at my local studio are vibey as all getout. They talk shit to you, loudly, if you drink water before they want you to or if you modify a pose. In the studio in Portland (link here if you are interested, there's one in Beaverton and one in S.E. Portland. I really recommend them), the instructors were kind, encouraging, and understanding. Before my first class, they told me to listen to my body and be my own yoga teacher. They didn't wear little headphones, either. Oh, and one of them was super hot. However, be warned that if you go to Bikram yoga super hung over, you very well may pass out. And if you have arthritis and still go all out on the back bends, you might not be able to turn your head to the right the next day.

  • The night before the wedding, Roommie arrived in town. But he didn't find the place I was staying at until 1 a.m. You see where this is going? It was an early afternoon wedding. I had to get up at 5:30 a.m. day of. That's right, I did the Maid of Honor duty (if you've done it, you know how rough it can be. If you've done it twice ((ahem)) my hat is off to you. At the rehearsal, my mom referred to me as The Wedding Nazi. I'm thinking about becoming a professional MOH. But I will charge exorbitant fees.) on four hours' sleep.

Oh, and the wedding? It was lovely. But with no wedding coordinator, you can bet your busciuts I ran my ass off all day long. Fetch grandma for pictures. Go get the wedding certificate. Go cut the cake. Where are the flowers? Can you find the photographer? Come kiss the baby! You have to dance to this song with your boyfriend! Where's my toothbrush? We're out of food?

My sister owes me. Huge. It's a good thing I love that beyotch more than my luggage (points if you can name that movie).

Now, here's something I'm ashamed to admit to y'all. I got caught, in a photo, in my MOH dress and crocks. It's on Bookface. I don't even feel like I should explain how or why this happened. I think I should just say my fifty hail Mary Janes and be on my way.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Final countdown

So this blog was supposed to be about my transition back into running. Specifically, I was thinking I'd have my stupid plantar fasciitis all cleared up and I'd get to running in time to do another half marathon, as I did last year about this time.

But no. Instead, it's been a place to document my failures. Failure to heal, failure to trim up before my sister's wedding -- now one week away, and with no improvements in ye olde waistline -- oh and my high school reunion's also this week. My 11 year. Yeah, I know. I went to an odd high school.

I'm close to considering the surgical option, though I hear that even that has risks, including flattening the arch in your foot, which can be an even worse fate than what I'm dealing with now.

Fuck. Yeah.

But I was thinking recently, as an ad for American Apparel came up on my computer, about skinny people. They're responsible for a lot of stupid trends. I wonder, if I became one of those skinny people, if I'd suddenly get cool and trendy and start wearing leggings. Or, worse yet, if I'd see these and think, "Oh, those are really cute formal shorts."



















OK. I know that's ridiculous. I mean, I don't like imagining the kind of brain trauma that would lead me to such insanity.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Butter

A little unsolicited advice for y'all: If you have ambitions of weight loss, don't date a southern boy.

Sunday was Roomie's birthday, and I think I went through a pound of butter cooking him his favorite things. And a quart of heavy cream, several cups of sugar, a half pound of bacon and about a third of a bottle of maple syrup.

The details? Pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Lunch didn't matter, because I finished making him two crack pies (Most of the butter went into the crack pie. It's a dairy-and-caramelized-sugary-goo pie in an oatmeal-cookie-crumbled-with-butter crust), and he decided because it was his birthday he could cut into a pie before we went to the movie and ate a tub of popcorn and just call that lunch. Dinner was Emeril's shrimp (with cream and peppers, garlic and cajun seasoning. Now, I think Emeril's kind of twatty, but if he knows how to make anything, it's southern-style shrimp) and Charleston-style grits (the grits contained two cups of milk, a cup of heavy cream and a stick of butter. it's really the only way to eat grits), which apparently in the south they serve with corn bread. After the cornbread came out of the oven, we frosted it with butter and honey until it weighed about a half pound per cube. I would've taken photos of some of this deliciously fattening food, but we were kind of busy stuffing it in our faces. (Exaggeration. He was stuffing. I was actually pretty restrained. One pancake. Half slice of crack pie. OK, I did hit the bacon pretty hard, but c'mon. Gimme a break.)

Since then, I've not let a carb pass my lips, and barely any dairy. It's been mostly egg whites salad and lean meats. A few nuts and avocado. I've walked the damn butte every morning and done pilates in the evenings. Too little too late? (Sleeveless maid of honor dress in little more than 2 weeks. gulp. thank fat jesus for spanx) Probably.

Oh, and in totally unrelated news, I went to see a new chiropractor, and hours after the appointment with the new guy, my old chiro called me to schedule my next appointment. It's like he knew I was cheating. But the new guy! He adjusts my whole spine! He doesn't try to rip me off by selling me $600 orthotics!

He also makes me take my shoes off in his office and frowns upon my prescription medication use, but, you know. Win some, lose some.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Confessions

I didn't work out this week, as I was too busy coughing up bits of green goo and taking the kind of sick day that you pay for later by working 2 of the 3 days other people labeled a "holiday weekend," but I did manage to write something. Not for this blog, but for an old pal, the newly remodeled DatingIsWeird.com.

In it, I confess that I committed the only unforgivable crime. I dated a cop.

Don't worry, I've already washed my own mouth out with soap.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Marian's back!

I had to call a library yesterday, and I swear-to-god the lady I spoke with was Marian the Librarian. The voice was identical. Now, I totally get that the original Marian wasn't actually a librarian, but in fact a crazy yoga teacher with a giant camel toe, but the voice! The "hehe"! It was creepy. I had flashbacks.

In other news, I walked the butte yesterday morning with two friends. Bootie was so fast she jogged laps around the top while waiting for me and Jules to catch up. Asshole. I'm blaming my slowness on the fact that we were walking with wee Gertie, the world's cutest golden retriever puppy. Seriously. Why did I not get a golden retreiver? Why did I have to get a "smart" dog? Dumb dogs are awesome. They obey. Did you know that? Also, Gertie gets tired. Toward the end of the walk Jules jogged a little bit, and poor lil Gertie (I'll find a pic, promise) was dragging on the end of her leash. Do you know what I have to do to tire out Margaux? If you do, please, please tell me.

Anywho, I felt as we walked that I was being punished for the (!) cigarettes I'd smoked over the weekend. But by the time I went to bed last night, I was coughing up green things, and my throat was on fire and it sort of felt like there were vice grips on my sinuses.

I think it's the exercise that did me in.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wagon: The thing that I get off and on depending on my mood.

Yesterday was day one of not being a lazy-ass whiner chubby-bunny face-stuffer.

Really. After more than a week of sleeping 10-12 hours a night, and evenings spent in the company of my couch and a bowl of spaghetti (Really, at one point a friend stopped by, and I was watching Sex and the City in the dark, eating a bowl of spaghetti, in a filthy house. He asked, "Where's Roomie?" I told him, monotone, "He's out of town." My friend looked around the room and said, "So, are you just pissing and shitting yourself where you sit, too?" "Uh huh. I'll clean it up before he gets back.") I've decided it's time.

Yesterday, I did my first pilates class in ages, and discovered my that one of my instructors' sister is a poet. Now, when I heard that, I thought, "Oh, poet. Uh huh. Sure. I'm sure she's a real good poet." But it turns out she recently won a prize I was familiar with, and was recently published in Poetry, the journal I have a collection of going back to 2007. She's a real muthafuckin poet, y'all. Not sure why that matters, except to think that there are real poets out there who are related to real people I know somehow lets a tiny light into the black-ass darkness that's descended over my head, Eeyore-style. (Poetess also apparently went to college with a close friend of mine, who doesn't know the pilates instructor. It's all very strange in my world. Everyone knows everyone. Especially ex-boyfriends.)

Then this morning a good friend came and met me and Margaux to walk That Damn Butte, as I decided to name it. "Somehow, today, they made the road to the top extra long and extra steep," I thought all the way up, as my friend's ass disappeared ahead of me as the road curved around the butte. I think it may have had something do do with a) Only getting about 5 hours of sleep last night b) Did I mention all that couch time? All that delicious, wonderful, yummy nummy snoozy couch time? God, I could go lay down right now ... and c) All those cigarettes I've been smoking.

Gasp! Cigarettes! The horror!

You're telling me. I am starting to get wrinkles, people. And even though I quit smoking for almost five months recently, my stupid face decided to start the shadow of one of those heinous smoker lines around my mouth. The thing is, I have a real purdy mouth. Or at least I used to! Wah!

Anyway. One self-improvement project at a time.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Everything sucks

I thought about not writing about this here, because it's just so depressing. But I have to. (How's that for a winning lede?)

Wednesday morning last week, I went to wake the dogs up and let them out, and right away knew something was wrong. Rio (of turd fairy fame) had moved a few steps from the bed the three dogs share, and was lying on the floor on his side, whimpering quietly. His front legs were quivering. When I moved to the door and called the dogs, as I do every morning, he pushed up on his front legs into a sit and looked at me.

"Rio, come on buddy," I said. He tried to push forward, but that was it. His eyes were wide. He tried to shove forward, but his bum stayed put.

Now, I've lived with Rio for a year. Roomie's had him for six. He's a little bit of a drama queen. A hurty paw, a tiny sliver in the pad, could leave him three-legged. A subtle breeze could elicit a squealing plead for mercy.

But this was no drama queen moment. He was paralyzed from mid-waist down.

Over the next couple of days, the vet tried a few of the less expensive diagnostic and treatment options. But the prognosis wasn't good. There was little hope for recovery. He was going to be paralyzed. He was going to be incontinent. And his personality wasn't going to change; he would still be an anxious little guy. The kind of dog who, at the slightest bit of stress, would lick his paws raw.

And now, as he pissed all over the pee-pee pads we'd tucked underneath him, shitting medication and stress-induced diarrhea all over himself and his bedding, it bothered him. He fretted. He tried reaching his back side, tried licking himself clean. He buried his head in his paws when we were cleaning him.

You see where this is going. We decided to put him down. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever been a part of -- and I won't even begin to imagine or explain what it was like for Roomie.

Now for the part where I piss off the cat people: Dogs are a bigger deal than cats. Sure, cats are companions, and they're sweet, and they can be affectionate, and I can really see why some people are "cat people." I mean, dogs are a pain in the ass. Hooboy don't I know it. Dogs smell. Dogs can be a liability. They make it hard to go away, even for a weekend. They kill people sometimes. But cats aren't dogs. Dogs have soul -- and I don't mean they have something crafted by god that other animals don't have, I'm staying away from the whole god argument. I mean they have the kind of soul James Brown talks about. Dogs totally look at you and see you, all Avatar-style, whereas cats look at you and you might as well be a lamp. Perhaps your cat looks at you and sees a lamp that gives good belly rubs or a lamp that puts food in his bowl, but you're still a fucking lamp.

The last morning we had Rio, we took him to McDonalds and bought him an egg McMuffin. We took him to the park and pet his velvet toffee ears. And we stayed with him until the end. If you've never put an animal down, you can probably imagine what it's like, and how much it sucks. I thought I could imagine how awful it would be before I had to go through it on Friday. But here's the thing: It's so much worse.

The day we put him down, I went to the going-away party of one of my best friends, who's moving to Utah (Utah, for chrissakes). The next morning, my Roomie left for most of the next month for work. Oh and the gee dee tire store called and won't put my summer tires on because they're bald and 'we have a nice tire we can put you in for $6,000 and why don't you also bend over for us lady.'

I think I'm going to write a country song. I'll start with something about how I haven't been sleeping right. How at first, I can't get to sleep, then, in the morning, I want to stay in bed all day. I'll also write about filling up two bowls with breakfast instead of three, and about Margaux pacing the back yard with too much energy, looking for someone who wants to play.

And now, with apologies, here are some pictures of Rio. He was even cuter in person.















Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Miracles

When I visited Ssadie in Idaho last summer, I was a runner. She was not. She'd go to the gym with me and hike with me, but the few times I tried to get her to run with me, it just wasn't happening.

But since I've been down with this (motherfuckinggoddamnitshit) heel injury, she's picked up her running shoes. Oh, and roller skates, too, since she's now a derby queen.

This weekend, she ran her first race, a 12K. She love it, of course, and came back with this little story:

About .5 mile from the finish I heard a man clapping and hooting (like a gazillion other spectators). "You're all amazing, keep going!" he cheered, "Almost there, it's a blessed miracle you're running today!"

I turned my face to send him a weary smile, and I saw him; an old man, perched awkwardly on a stool. He was an amputee.

It's hard to run and cry at the same time. fyi.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Toldyaso!

I tried to take pics from the top of the butte this morning, it was so clear and lovely and the mountains were spread out against the blue sky like meringue, but my camera sucks and you couldn't even see the gee dee mountains in the pics. WTF?

So, here's how I shall entertain today: Serial's back, bitches!

Check it out at Datingisweird.com.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Shit

Best part of today's outing? When Margaux rolled in human shit.

Wait, did I say "best"? I meant worst. Yup, that was the worst. I couldn't even bring myself to look when Roomie took her over to the pile to be sure she knew what she was in trouble for. But I'm also a lil pathetic; her terrified yelps when he dunked her in the creek to clean her off still sort of broke my heart.

Another awesome thing about when your dog's wearing human shit? Being paranoid that she's going to brush up against you for the rest of the day. Because she has shit on her. Human shit.

And why do dogs like to roll in shit, anyway? Google tells me it may be to mask her smell so she can hunt more effectively, but, hello Margaux: Humans are the most dangerous animal on earth. Masking your pathetic little 45 pound dog smell with the smell of shit from some redneck who doesn't know not to leave his turds and toilet paper in the woods isn't going to help you catch a squirrel. It's going to make the squirrel think that a) you may be a human, so you may have a gun and b) you've been drinking Budweiser, so you're probably in a foul mood.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Okaaaaaaay

It's Tuesday, and my big plan for the week is already blown. The big plan wherein I wake up early every other day and walk as fast as I can up the hill behind my house. Except, you know, the hill behind my house is Pilot Butte.





(I like the nasty industrial stuff in the foreground from this pic. This town was suuuper classy in 1984.)







I know it's only 500 feet up, but -- wait, yup. 500 feet is a lot. Or it feels like a lot in a 20-minute fast walk. Especially at 6 a.m.


Anyhoo, here's how I've been entertaining myself this week:

Blogsite soundtracks via Frequency (Click the button! You know you want to!):






Imiagining the awesomeness of living in New York and thus being able to participate in Karaoke Chatroulette, a combo of everyone's favorite things, jerking off and karaoke, over at Unapologetically Mundane.




Watching Date Night with the Roomie, and beginning to plot our next Halloween costumes: Sex Robots. Also, in case you were wondering:





(Yes, please.)












Oh! And if you miss the dirty dating blathering of everyone's favorite nearly-defunct blogsite, DatingIsWeird.com, know this: Good things are on the way. New guest editors, a new look, hell, maybe even a post or two.




And lastly, if you, too, are depressed by craptastic weather (it's snaining here today), and you don't already know who The Snuggler is, go check it out. I'd embed the video, but everything I try keeps on not working, and it's really pissing me off. So now I have to go watch it on a different page, because the weather and Adult Swim are out to get me.

Also, if it happens to be nice and spring fresh where you are, please shutupaboutit already.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Schadenfreude

If I was feeling whiny about my stupid heel injury, I got a dose yesterday of how much worse it could be.

A girlfriend of mine came over to show off her favorite new toy:



(That is not my friend. She is actually quite attractive, has a very full head of hair and doesn't live stepford village.)









She has the knee scooter (name brand: Kneal. You know, get on your knee while you heal? Get it?) because she just had surgery to fix a broken metatarsal in her foot. She broke the foot by dropping an anvil on it. Yeah. An anvil.




(don't worry, she's aware of the hilarity of the situation)











You know who else gets anvils dropped on him?








This guy.








But honestly, watching her scoot merrily on the hardwood floors of my living room the other night I was impressed. "Check out the action on this thing!" she said, flipping a gear and letting the back end of the scooter spin. "The brakes are better than my bike. And it has a basket!" she said, loading up the salad dressings from the fridge to carry into the dining room. In her eyes, the scooter was a modern marvel in comparison to the bane of crutches.

And this is someone who has a lot of reason to complain. She recently got accepted into nursing school and was just embarking upon a hectic six weeks in which she'd try to power through 10 weeks of classes (while also packing up her belongings) in order to hop states in time for the beginning of her first term -- for which she hopes to begin in a walking cast and cane. And these are not easy classes, the kind I favored in college. (Sociology, anyone?) There's, like, sciencey stuff. Chemicals? Anatomestry? Something like that. She told me, but I wasn't listening because I was too busy bitching about how hard my life is with my sore heel, my tight hamstring and my annoying little dog.

I think I need to take a lesson from this one.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Heeling

Lordy it's been a shitter of a week. Especially considering that I'm about to work my 12th day in a row, so that shitter week? Extra long.

Tuesday morning, a friend and I decided to try doing a wee jog/walk together. We decided to meet at 6 a.m., which she was nervous about. She asked me to text her at 5:30.

"Good morning! I'm about to go watch the beautiful sunrise!"

A couple of minutes later, as I was putting the I'm a Mean Mommy Pinchey Collar on Margaux, I got a text reply.

"Dude. You are not allowed to be perky."

Fair.

But we did it, and the sun rose by the river as we trotted and chatted and our dogs sniffed beside us. It felt wonderful, but within two hours my heel, the one with the dreaded plantar fasciitis, was hurting badly enough I knew it was too much, too soon. Eff.

But my gym membership is about up, and I'm too broke to buy a new one. I have only one option.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

As long as I don't have to be the pole

Some co-workers and I talked awhile ago about doing the Pole, Pedal Paddle this year. It's an annual event that I avoided even spectating the first four years I lived in this town. Last year, though, I ran support for my pal SGL, who did the whole thing by HERSELF.

In case you don't know how crazy that is, let me outline the event:

First, you go to Mount Bachelor and ride a chairlift up to the top, put your skis or board in place then walk down hill 200 feet. Why do you walk downhill 200 feet? Why, so you can run uphill in ski boots, of course! It's even more fun than running in soft sand.

Then you ski down to where a friend (like me!) is waiting to exchange your board for your cross country skis. After a quick change, you slog through five miles of melty mashed potatoes and gravy spring snow until you meet up again with your pal to trade skis for bike.

Next, you bike 22 miles. Now, in fairness, most of the bike is downhill, since you're coming into town from a mountain, but those uphill stretches are a real bitch.

Still standing? Good, it's time to run five miles through town. The nice part is that we have a friend who lives on the route, and she sits in a lawn chair with a cooler of beer and a fifth of Jack Daniels for anyone who's gotten parched.

The boat portion involves paddling "upstream from a put-in point for 1/2 mile on the Deschutes River" then "back downstream for 3/4 mile, then back upstream for 1/4 mile." Yeah, up, down, up.

Oh, and then you have to run again. This time, it's even supposed to be a "sprint."

So, SGL may be a little crazy. I definitely can't do the whole thing. In addition to my serious lack of physical fitness, I also can't downhill ski. But I can ride a bike (though I don't think I can use my single speed '68 Sears Spider for this race. A damn shame, because my sparkly purple banana seat would probably really help my performance), and maybe by the end of May, I can run five miles? I mean, I still can't run, the heel's still effed, but maybe by then I'll be in ship shape again?

The real question though is costumes. Some teams dress up in leis, or with bridal veils. I saw a pretty sick cops and jailbirds team last year (the cops had thick handlebar moustaches and wore hotpants, natch). What should we out of shape cubicle jockeys do?




Google, from whence I stole this picture, seems to think this woman's name is Karen.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Signs from god that I should not get up at 5:30 a.m. to work out

I actually dragged my ass out of bed this morning to go to the gym, thanks, in part, to a phone call from the S-Sadie. As back-up, I also had my own alarm and Roommie's alarm set to go off. I warmed up my car (it's STILL snowing here) got dressed, grabbed my iPod and an Aleve and went to the kitchen to grab some water. Right in front of the sink, I took a step and my gym shoe went flying out in front of me and I nearly fell against the counter and broke my neck (Saying I nearly "broke my neck" and admitting that I start out the day with Aleve makes me feel super old. Maybe I should change that to "I nearly broke my hip," because old people are all about breaking their hips). I caught myself and looked down to see what I'd slipped on. It was a giant dog turd.

Oh, and best part? We're out of paper towels.

Thing is, Roommie and I both walked through the kitchen on the way to bed last night. No turd. The dogs came with us and lay (Lie? Laid? Unno.) down on their own beds. I went to brush my teeth and shut the door after me. In the morning, all three dogs were on their beds.

Turd fairy?

Eventually we pieced it together. I got up to pee at about 2:30, at which point Rio must have scurried out, quickly shat on the kitchen floor, then scurried back into the bedroom, unheard. He was the only dog who woke up in a different spot than he started. And he totally looked guilty this morning.

Like this:



I've decided to rename him Turd Fairy.

Also, between this morning's workout, yesterday's power yoga class (Which was pretty damn hard, by the way. I know yoga, even power yoga, doesn't probably sound hard, but side plank is basically an ancient Sanskrit torture pose. Wait, Sanskrit's a language, not a culture, right? I dunno. Point is, side plank sucks.) and Sunday's cross country ski, I'm real real sore today. And for no good reason, most of the pain's located in my left buttcheek. I have no idea why, but if anyone would like to offer free ass-massage services, let me know.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The first 10

The first time I ran 10 miles, I cried.

I'd started running after I left a 5-year relationship. I was living with a good friend temporarily, and she ran, had in fact started running to treat her depression. So we'd get up in the mornings and go for runs, and spend the whole time talking and processing and working through all of the psychological garbage I'd collected over five years with a guy who I loved desperately despite the fact that he was a major alcoholic with a moderate cocaine and prescription drug problem who was sometimes verbally abusive. Oh, and he never wanted to have sex. Wondering why I left?

After awhile, another runner friend suggested I do a half marathon, 13.1 miles. I decided to go for it. I printed a training schedule off the internet and got to work. By this point, I had gotten into another relationship and fallen in love again. He was tall and skinny and funny, a former bike messenger and road bike racer. Sometimes he'd drink a Pabst before we ran, but then we'd head out together, and he was a slow loper of a runner, so I could keep up with him. We'd take my little dog out and run by the river and talk. He called me Sporty Spice.

But then he dumped me.

So I started running alone. Just me and my little dog. And it was good for her, and I felt good, and lost a little weight and even more inches despite my regular diet of carbs, cake, cheese and beer. I'd do several short runs a week then one increasingly long run on the weekend. I'd tried to get to 10 miles a couple of times, but kept getting held back by screwups. My hamstring would bother me, or I'd uknowingly pick a route with bodacious hills that I simply could not run up. I knew all I had to do in my training was get over that damn ten mile mark. As someone told me, "If you can run 10 miles, you can run 13."

As I was coming to the end of the trail, my breath started catching in my throat. At first, I thought something was wrong with me, that my lungs were seizing. Then I realized it was just the pride catching in my lungs. I didn't know until my eyes started to sting how glad I was that there wasn't a man with me. The rest of the day my body buzzed warmly, and I couldn't stop grinning. And I finished the half marathon. I ran the whole way -- I mean, other than when I was drinking gatorade or peeing. I understand that people pee and shit themselves in marathons in order to get good time, but that ain't me.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cake

Yeah, real sorry about the lack of posts. Thing is, my life has been more like "Eat Bitches Eat" than "Run Bitches Run" the last week or so while my best friend visited. Four days, two layers of chocolate cake, one wheel of brie, approximately fourteen bottles of wine and two packs of cigarettes (cough) later, and I'm feeling exceptionally happy and bloated.

But I did get a call this morning from a doc who's going to shoot cortizone into my bum hamstring. It hurts right where it connects with my pelvis, which means in my a. And my doctor's mildly attractive. So that should be nice and awkward.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Not working

So, S.Sadie has decided Roller Derby is cooler than waking up at 5:30 a.m. to call me and wake me up and force me to go to the gym.

Asshole.

If I look fat in any of the pictures from the wedding I'm in this summer, I'm blaming her, her whole team, and Drew Barrymore.

But, still. Now I get to say my bestie is a kickass hotass radhot roller derby mama, and there's something to be said for that.

So, a little help? The best thing about roller derby bitches is their names. What should she be? And you should know (though you don't have to use these facts in the name, they may spark your lil imagination): She is, in fact, a mama. She is also a hot bitch. She also has long red hair and pretty nice T and A. Idears?

In case you're wondering, it's gonna be just like this, but with more fishnet:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Because I know the internets were dying to know

My alarm went of at 5:30 a.m. today. I turned it off and rolled over. Two seconds later, my phone rang.

"What."
"Wake up, hey come on wake up," she was singing.
"OK."
"Go, git!"
"I hate you."
"I hate you, too."
"OK, bye."
"Bye."

Then I got my ass out of bed and went to the gym. Because my best friend is rad, and because if someone is willing to wake up at 5:30 and dial your number to try to make you do something that's going to make you feel better, you should probably do it. Also, my best friend is kind of a bitch and wouldn't let me live it down if I lied to her.

Also, I only have like one pair of pants that fits anymore. (As my 15 year old niece would say, FML.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Oh how I love B Cup Bitches

What did bloggers do to entertain themselves before Google Analytics?

Search terms that have brought people to Run Bitches Run:

1. b cup bitches
2. bouncing boobs
3. bra bitches
4. panty crease workout

I'm pretty sure these people were disappointed with what they found here.

So, to make someone feel a little better, I'm going to post a highly disturbing video I found thanks to Kama Mama.



Seriously. If that guy was my personal trainer, I'd ask for a refund.

Mornings

Nearly every day, my alarm clock goes off at 5:30 a.m., and I promptly turn it off, then roll back into the warm body next to me. It happens if I stay up too late watching Chuck on Hulu (I have the hots for Chuck, big time, but I HATE his new hairdo. It's so Magnum P.I.) drinking wine until I spill on my shirt, pass out on the couch, and then stagger to the bedroom somewhere around three. But it also happens if I tuck myself in at 9:30, read a book (I started The Unbearable Lightness of Being, though I really feel like I should be reading the books I borrowed from my boss. I mean, if I read them fast she'll think I'm smarter, right?) then fall asleep at 10:10.

Talking to SSadie about it, she vowed to call me early mornings to help rouse me from bed.

But on day one, after a date with my boss (opera concert we both wanted to go to), I came home to three drunk boys on the couch, so of course I pounded several 22s of beer with them, then slept through my wake-up call the next morning.

We're trying again tomorrow morning.

Also: A big hurrah to an old friend who ran her first 15k run this weekend. That's more than 9 miles, if you're counting.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Color me embarrassed

What's worse than farting audibly in pilates class? Farting audibly when you're getting a private pilates session. There's just no chance of pretending it was the guy next to you.

Based on a true story




Tonight at a birthday dinner for my Tiny Running Pal, she confessed she's trying to turn another girlfriend to the dark side.

"So, I went for a walk with Ms. P the other day," TRP said, eying Ms. P across the table. "I've decided she needs to start running."

I took a bite of falafel (This is an important detail. The falafel was good.)

"Why?" I asked.

"Good question," TRP said, while Ms. P shook her head.

It all came down to a matter of pants size.

"Oh, if that's your concern, then do it," I said. "Sorry, I'm on her side. Run."

"OK," Ms. P admitted. "I'll admit, I'm intrigued by the idea."

"How long have you tried running before, did you get up to two to three times a week for a couple of months?" I asked.

She shook her head. No, she'd only lasted a couple of weeks.

"Then you don't know," I said. "Look, if I can run, and get to the point I enjoy it, you can run."

I spared her the details, about how profoundly lazy I was as a kid. How I'd fall asleep in my dinner. How I'd been on a swim team at one point, and though I'd shown some proclivity, I simply hadn't a competitive bone in my body. I'd finish a race, and my dad would be standing there, shaking his head.

"You were in first until the last few yards. You were winning," he said.

I'd shrug. Third was good, too. What was the big deal? Also, was snack time coming? And were we going to make it home in time for "Charles In Charge"?

In the car on the way home from dinner, Ms. P admitted it may be time. She may be willing to hit the trail. But, she was clear on one point: Bitching and moaning is something she enjoys. She simply refuses to give it up. And although I'm lazy, I'm not much of a complainer. Still, I'm fine with the potential bitching. I want to join TRP and Ms. P on the trail.

I've decided the physical therapists have three weeks to get my heel in shape, or I'm searching out an injection. I need to join them. I can't let Ms. P and TRP run without me.