November 26, 2008

The Spin Cycle: I'm Thankful You Even Tolerate Me

Next week I plan on listing a few things that our family is thankful for. Everyone was doing it this week and I just want to be a little different. But as luck would have it, the lovely, and hopefully very forgiving, Jen over at Sprite’s Keeper has selected “Thankful” as our Spin Cycle topic. It made me realize that I don’t thank the hostess enough for all the hard work and dedication she puts into the Spin Cycle. She’s never fails to visit every person that participates and diligently links them up to her site every week.

I credit Jen for introducing me to so many wonderful bloggers through her site, not only because of the Spin Cycle, but because she has the best bunch of commenters around. I visited for several weeks before I even dared to attempt to comment. When I did, she quickly shot me back an email telling me that while she appreciated me visiting her, she felt that the internet already had too many Jens. I assume she was joking. I hope she was joking. It’s going to be pretty awkward when she clicks over here to see that I’m bearing my soul about her when, in reality, she’s been trying to shake me all along. Oh, honey, you should know by now that once the Steenky Bee attaches herself to a host, it’s virtually impossible to extricate her.

I must also tell you, here and now, that I have a favorite post of Jen’s. This post actually made me pull my car to the side of the road and just laugh out loud. Yeah, it was that good. (Please ignore that I was driving and surfing the web at the same time. I had a weak moment.) When you click over to read this post, you will see the irony of me in the car multitasking. (Not Alanis Morrisette irony that really isn’t ironic after all, but real, honest to goodness irony.)

I contacted Jen a little while ago and outright begged her to let me do a post in her honor. I held up two forms of ID to the phone receiver and explained several times who I was, before she eventually relented. Well, to say that she “relented” may be a bit of a stretch. I think her last words to me were, “Yeah, fine whatever. Just don’t call me collect anymore. Who is this again?”

Before we said our goodbyes (Jen’s being colorful enough to make even me blush) I told her that to show my thanks to her, I wanted to make her a custom Steenky Bee T-shirt just for her. She gave me two options for a design, her mailing address as well as her social security number. (Jen is awesome and all, but she’s even more gullible.)

Here’s my first attempt at Jen’s shirt. When I asked her what she wanted on it, I wrote down her first response. Don't you think it's a little too wordy?

Here’s Jen’s second suggestion. I like this one a little better.

Thanks again, Jen, for hosting the Spin Cycle. I promise I’ll always try to make you proud. And as we discussed earlier, at your request, I promise I’ll never “honor” you again on my site.

November 25, 2008

Say A Little Prayer Before You Read This And Hope That You're Not On My List

About a month ago, McAllen tagged me in a meme where the taggee is supposed to spin a story and work the names of five other bloggers into the post while linking back to her tagger. Now, if you want to see how this is really done, I implore you to visit McAllen’s site Ah, These Are The Days of Our Lives to read her hilarious recount of a night gone wrong. Very wrong.

But if you’d rather see me cop out and offer you a feeble response to her brilliant post, then stay here. Instead of weaving some elaborate story, I’m just going to throw out some linky-love at random. If my love doesn't fall on you this time, please come back, I promise I'll have better aim next time. (You know, Jeremy said those exact words to me on our fourth date. Ah, memories.)

These are in no particular order:
1. Goodfather, who I consider a friend and a human being, recently constructed a voodoo wall for me on his site. He claims it was a shrine, but I must beg to differ. This "shrine" was complete with mirrors and candles and bits of my wiry hair. Two days later, my blow dryer caught on fire while I was drying it. My hair? Singed. My pride? Gone. My suspicion? Heightened. (For all you doubters out there, yes, my hair did get singed, as for my pride, I don't have any, so I guess we'll just call it a draw.)

But the reason I’m tagging Goodfather in this meme is for this photo he posted last week. He claims it’s his blogging costume.I laughed out loud when I saw this because my son, a precocious little three-year old, has the EXACT SAME outfit. See?

2. Stiletto Mom, I so calling you out. For as long as we’ve known each other we’ve not tagged each other in a meme. Perhaps this was an oversight on my part or maybe it was by design, but you’re not getting out of this one, sister. My son, sweet and innocent as he is, asks almost weekly for me to find “that one website with the lady legs on it”.

Yes, it seems that my son likes to look at Stiletto Mom’s gams. She has great legs, I'll give her that, but how she uses them makes for a much better story. (You should all know that the link I just gave you will take you to a story that is legendary around these parts. It has been howled over by my RL friends and I think about it whenever I find myself in an elevator.)

3. Colepack is just plain cool. I found her months ago and, bless her heart, she still comes by to read me even after I made a complete a** out of myself on her site. You see, a while back she put up a post about how a bunch of "avian wackos" had invaded her favorite coffee spot. They let birds in cafes where she lives? I thought Utah had lax health code enforcement. Colepack was nice and let me go on for weeks about how birds hate me and that I’ve been pooped on and buzzed by many, many winged creatures. Eventually, I came to realize that these " avian wackos" in the cafes were actually "snow birds" or old people. Yes, I'm really that dim and Colepack is really that forgiving.

4. My fourth victim is Tina over at The Bigger They Get. Yesterday, I'm pretty sure she called me a stripper on her blog. Also, she mentioned my name and Dooce's name in the same sentence. I was thrilled that it didn't also have the words "she sucks" or "definitely not anything like" sandwiched in there as well.

5. No list (good or bad) would be complete without Captain Dumbass. He's wiley, he's tall, he's running out of stuff to blog about thanks to this NAMBLORAMALAMA thing he's signed up for. Also, let it be known that my dancing face is nothing compared to this spectacle.

Okay folks, that's it. My victims were chosen completely at random. But you know what? I loved throwing these links out there so much that I'm going to do it again next week. But instead of just springing it on the next group of folks, I'm giving you all a few clues as to who can expect Steenky Bee to tag them next...

1. This blog is named after a breakfast food.
2. This blogger loves dogs and frequently shops at Target.
3. She actually admits the lack of truth on her site in the title of her blog.
4. This blogger is currently pregnant. Yes, I have no mercy for the pregnant when it comes to tagging. (And no, it's not Dooce.)
5. The title of this blog rhymes with "Pout".

November 24, 2008

Fattie: Week 6 Money Can't Buy Skinny, But Sometimes It Can Buy The Truth

Here's my HASAY update for Week 6 of our HASAY Challenge. It's got it all; mystery, drama, workout equipment. What more could you ask for?

Sunday afternoon, Jeremy hollered from the basement that he would like to see everyone downstairs immediately for a family meeting. Now, in our home, Steenky family meetings are only called on two occasions; 1) One of us is in trouble (it's usually a toss up between me and Henry), or 2) We need to decide what toppings to order on our pizza. Since we had just eaten pizza the night before, I knew it certainly wasn’t about my choice of pepperoni or olives.

I looked at Henry, he was panicked. Nothing makes him more nervous than one of our family meetings. You see, Jeremy’s a master at interrogation. He knows just what buttons to push and knows each of our weaknesses. As a matter of fact, a few weeks ago Henry ratted me out in exchange for a handful of Tootsie Rolls. My crime? Leaving the back door unlocked. However, as long as we’re being honest, let me confess that only days before that, I pinned the mysterious stain on the hallway rug on Henry in order to secure myself a new pair of Steve Madden shoes.

Was it Henry that actually caused the stain or was it Reese? We might never know. But one thing I do know for sure, those Maddens get me dozens of compliments every time I wear them. They were so worth it.

Being the protective mom that I am, I kissed Henry on the head and then urged to him to save himself. "Run! You don’t need to be a part of this,” I pleaded with him desperately.

Henners did as I instructed and bolted up the stairs in the direction of his room. I knew it was better this way. Henry would be safe from Jeremy's intense interrogation. Also, I’m pretty sure I saw Jeremy sifting through the candy jar just before he called our meeting. I’m no dummy. He was planning to use our son’s sweet tooth against me. NOT THIS TIME.

That left just me and Reese to fend for ourselves under Jeremy’s scrutiny. Although Reese is only 13 months old, I feel like I could trust her. I know she’d never turn on me in a stressful situation like her brother would. Well, not only that, but being as young as she is, she doesn’t have a strong enough vocabulary to tattle. Barring the unforeseen circumstance with a “kiki” (kitty) or “brah” (Henry), I figured on this event, I was home free.

Reese and I sauntered downstairs to the basement to face Jeremy and his emergency Steenky family meeting. We were greeted with Jeremy’s angry face.

You should know he doesn’t just throw that face out there unless he’s really upset about something. I knew he was all sorts of riled up.

Jeremy then asked each of us if there was anything that Reese or I had done recently that either of us weren’t exactly proud of. So guilt was his game now, huh? He should know better than that. How does he not know after all these years that I have a weak moral code? I mean, he was right there when I bought those Steve Maddens on his credit card. That was a moment I was definitely proud of.

Just like we had rehearsed several times before, Reese and I gave Jeremy our innocent face. See how we remain loyal to each other even under the intense pressure of Jeremy's angry face?

When he wasn't getting the answers he was looking for, Jeremy decided to shift tactics. (How was he not picking up on my subtle hints?)

Jeremy: Jen, honey, you are looking so good lately. How much weight do you think you’ve lost on that HASAY thing you’re involved in?

I suddenly felt myself blush. I HAD lost weight. I was flattered that my husband had noticed.

Me: Well, I think I may have lost six, maybe seven pounds tops. *hair tossing* Really? You think I look good?
Jeremy: Oh, most definitely!
Me: *more hair tossing* Stop. *giggling* Don’t stop.
Jeremy: Tell me, what have you been doing to lose the weight, Sweetheart?
Me: *grinning* Um, just some free weights with a little light cardio mixed in. Mostly I just run on the treadmill.
Jeremy: *walking over to the treadmill* This treadmill?
Me: *huge gulp* Um, yeah, I guess.

The big gulp, that I’m sure could be heard across the room, was because I knew the jig was up. Within an instant, Jeremy pulled back the drapes, revealing a huge hole near the base of the wall. He pointed directly at it as he asked me several times if I knew anything about the hole in the wall. He noted that the hole was the same height as the track on the treadmill and conveniently about the same diameter as my foot.

Again, I tried to blame the hole on our infant daughter, but she gave Jeremy one of her arresting smiles.

Oh, you may have won this round, little girl, but I have plenty of dirt on you for the future. Just wait until your daddy finds the pile of Cheerios you dumped out on his side of the bed. You’ll get yours Reesie, you’ll get yours.

It seems Jeremy had used flattery to get me this time and I never saw it coming. After much coaxing and the promise that he would buy me something pretty if I confessed my crime, I gave in. I recounted the entire sordid event; my faulty footing, my embarrassing fall, my liberal use of houseplants to cover the unsightly hole until I could make it to Target to purchase floor length drapes to cover up my mistake.

Jeremy then walked over to me and gave me a big hug. “Thanks for telling me the truth,” he said as kissed my head. He then went on to explain that I should consider those new drapes as my “something pretty” this time around.

I smiled and nodded, knowing he was right. I then casually mentioned that he looked tired and should go upstairs and lie down in bed and take a little nap. Reluctantly, he agreed. Before he went upstairs he called back over his shoulder, “You did the right thing, Honey.”

Oh, I know I did the right thing. In a few minutes, Jeremy would “accidentally” come across the mound of breakfast cereal in our bed. All I had to do was act just as confused as Jeremy would undoubtedly be and sit through another family meeting. Of course, I’d eventually implicate Reese but not before I earned those yummy silver hoop earrings that I’ve been eyeing.

Not sure what HASAY is? Click here.
Want to see my other HASAY updates? Click here.

November 21, 2008

The Spin Cycle: Manipulation with Potty Training

The wonderful and very comely Jen over at Sprite's Keeper saved my life this week. She let me off the hook so I didn't have to write something new for a post. Like many of us this week, I've been feeling a little creatively challenged. If you read my time travel debacle post from Monday, you'll see that old Steenky Bee has resorted to blogging about outdated hairdos. No one should have to read, or see that. Not never ever.

The post I've selected is one that appeared on my site last spring and the only people reading this blog were relatives who took pity on me. These relatives no longer read me, but their pity for me has increased tenfold.

So anyway, this post is all about how I celebrated my eighth wedding anniversary...WITH ANOTHER MAN. That's right, for one night, Steenky whooped it up with a younger man. A much younger man.

Sometimes your husband goes out of town to meet with fancy doctors in a Colorado resort town about a new project and he leaves you and the kids to fend for yourselves. Sometimes he calls you and tells you that he misses you and he wishes that he didn't have to be in "meetings" all day long. But if you listen close enough, ever so faintly in the background, you can hear the soft humming of a motorized golf cart and cool ice tea being served in this "critical meeting".

Sometimes on the first night alone with the children everything runs so smoothly that you sit and think to yourself that you are awesome. In fact, you are so confident about your awesomeness that the next day at work you brag to anyone who will listen to about what a master you are at bedtime rituals with the kids. You see, that night you recorded a stellar time of 7:00 pm bed time. Let me repeat that. Two kids, both in bed before 7:00 pm. That is huge, folks and undeniable evidence of superior parenting skills.

Or so I thought.

Turns out, it is against all known laws of nature to have two smooth bed times in a row. This brings me to the events that transpired at my home the evening of April 15th 2008, (my wedding anniversary) between 6:23 pm and 11:01 pm.

6:23 pm: Reese rubs her eyes and lets out an adorable little sigh. This is her signal that she is tired. I dress her in her pajamas, rock her sweetly and lay her down for the evening.

6:42 pm - 7:19 pm: Henry and I play Spiderman vs. Doc Ock. He is Spiderman, and I am Doc Ock. We battle and wrestle for world domination. I think I have beat him a few times, but ultimately, Spidey always wins. This imaginary play would be eerie foreshadowing of the evening that Henry and I will share together.

7:20 pm: Henry has a potty break.

7:21 pm: I praise Henry for aforementioned successful potty break.

7:23 pm: I begin coaxing Henry into his pajamas. He sternly announces that he will be sleeping in his sweatshirt tonight. I concede. It seems silly to argue with him at this point. Everything is going so well.

7:40 pm: A demand is put forth for me to fetch Henry his chocolate milk. He needed it. He absolutely needed it, he tells me.

7:48 pm: I some how trick Henry into his bed. We rattle off a few knock-knock jokes together and say out loud to each other how awesome we think we are. I notice his eyes close shortly after.

8:02 pm: I creep out of Henners' room.

8:11 pm: Here's where it all goes south. Less than 10 minutes after I sneak from his bedroom, this walks into our room.

Henry claims he has to potty. So we walk, hand in hand, to the potty. Then we wait. Nothing happens. I suspect this was all ruse to get out of bed. I tuck him back in his bed.

8:31 pm: Henry yells to me from his room that he has to try to potty once more. We try one more time. (Notice the look of concentration on his face during this attempt.)

Only the itty-bittiest stream. Nice try little-man. Henners then tells me that he did a good job on the potty and that he needs a treat. Here's the convincing face he gives me.

He's hard to resist, but I do anyway. I tell him that he did a great job, but it's too late for a treat. Unsatisfied, he gives me an even bigger smile.

This time, I fall for it. He gets his small treat and then shuffles off to bed. It is now 8:54 pm.

9:01 pm: Henry goes in for the kill. He grabs my hand and pats it gently. He asks me in the most polite way possible if he can call Grandpa Brent on the phone because he loves him and because he has a beard. Aw. How can I pass this up?

9:03 pm: Henry makes the phone call to grandpa. I am waiting for my son to profess his love to his grandfather just like he said he would. One minute later Henry makes a critical mistake.

9:04 pm: Henry immediately tells Grandpa Brent that he isn't tired and that he called to tell him he's not going to bed. At age three, and not having a firm grasp exactly how sound travels, Henry unwittingly reveales his evil little plan of pre-meditated procrastination.

9:07 pm: After the brief phone call that my parents think is hilarious (I actaully hear them laughing as my son hangs up the phone), Henry announces that he would like to call Grandma Granny. I check the clock. It's late but she may still be awake. I consent. At this point, I am worn down. I think if I can befriend the little guy and win his trust, I can trick him into his bed once more.

9:08 pm: We dial Grandma Granny. The line is busy.

9:09 pm: I make a mental note to find out why Grandma Granny is on the phone at such a late hour. How did a 78-year old woman get a busier social life than me?

9:14 pm: I somehow convince Henry to get back into his bed.

9:26 pm: Henry opens his door and announces to me from across the hall that he would like a drink of water. I ask him if he really needs it. He says, "I really, REALLY need it."

9:38 pm: Henry asks for a refill.

9:47 pm: After drinking his two cups of water in the slowest possible way, Henry spies his favorite cookies. He asks me for a "cookie brown". We go back and forth here for a good two minutes about the cookie browns. I think I have him beat when I say, "You can't have cookie browns right before bed." Henry quickly, and thoughtfully counters back, "But I not go to bed." Check mate.

Henry's stall tactics are proving wildly successful. He's put off his bedtime by almost two hours. He's doddled, pottied and used his good looks to win me over so far.

10:01 pm: Henry finds a pen with multiple colored inks. He insists on drawing. I oblige. This will give buy me some time to get a plan thought up.

10:15 pm: Henry is now growing groggy and disoriented. He is searching for another reason stay awake. He begins asking for Dad. I tell him Dad will be home soon. I can see he's starting to crack.

10:16 pm: I suggest to Henry that he should take a bath. He loves the idea. In his mind, things are going according to his plan. Little does he know that I have just turned the tables on him. Big time.

10:23 pm: Henry is now in a warm bath. His muscles are now relaxing. He's starting to get that tired, dazed look on his face.

10:31 pm: Henry tells me that he's sleepy now. I tell him that he can't go to bed yet. We have so much to do before Dad gets home. He gives me a dirty look. I am definitely smelling a momentum shift here.

10:42 pm: I dry the Manster off and get him tucked in our bed all nice and comfy. He reclines thinking he's drifting off to sleep. His eyes are definitely glazed over now and he's talking gibberish about going to sleep in his own bed.

10:58 pm: Henry finally drifts off to sleep. This is the latest he's been up with me when he hasn't been sick. A new record, little man. Well played. World dominance.

11:00: I hear the front door open, footsteps up the stairs, then down the hallway. Look who shows up in the bedroom.

11:01 pm: Henry takes one look at Dad, let's out a huge sigh and says, "Where have YOU been?" Henry then pats the bed and tells Jeremy to "Get in bed now. Mom and me are so tired now."

And that's pretty much how I spent my anniversary night. Two men in my bed. Rawr.

Not in on The Spin? Join now! Sprite's Keeper is nice. I promise she won't bite.

November 20, 2008

Be Careful What You Ask For, or at the Very Least, Be Very Specific

Have you heard? My dear, multi-talented friend, Clark Kent has gone missing. It's true. He's asked me to fill in for a day while he's laying low. He's been slipping his readers clues every day as to his whereabouts. I hope he resurfaces soon.

When my super hero friend asked me to guest post, he left me a lot of leeway and basically just told me to go crazy. LET MY GUEST POST AT HIS SITE BE A LESSON TO ALL OF YOU OUT THERE. Steenky Bee is like a child, she needs very rigid guidelines and detailed instructions when given an assignment.

Click on over to Clark Kent's Lunchbox to see what happens when I'm asked to guest post, but I never actually get around to writing my post. Instead, I just asked the host a bunch of inappropriate questions.

Side Note: I've said this before, but wouldn't Clark Kent's Lunchbox be, like, the best band name EVER?

November 17, 2008

Fattie: Week 5 (Good Goals / Bad Hair Judgement)

When it comes to my HASAY update this week, I've got nothing, absolutely nothing. And I'm not one to make excuses for veering off course either. I know I've got no one else to blame but myself. But if I were to make excuses, here’s what that list might look like:

1. My recent flu totally killed me and my will to eat sensibly.
2. I became really hungry and decided a cheeseburger would be delicious. (It totally was.)
3. I thought about exercising, but then decided it would be more satisfying to crash on the couch and watch a little television.
4. I avoided any direct contact with my treadmill. (Out of site=out of mind.)
5. I couldn’t find my running shoes. Well, to be honest, I kicked them under the bed on purpose. (See excuse #4.)

What I lacked in actual physical activity, I totally made up for in goal-setting and motivation. Let me break it down for you.

Sunday afternoon, Jeremy and I watched The Terminator (1984) on cable. I hadn’t seen the whole thing from start to finish in years and had forgotten what an awesome film it was. After the movie was over, Jeremy and I felt a little sad and empty inside. We filled that void by renting Terminator 2: Judgement Day and eating a bunch of nachos.

During the sequel something amazing happened. First, I used an entire package of shredded cheese for the nachos as opposed to the usual half a bag. It made all the difference in the world. Those nachos were delicious. Second, I was reminded how cut and toned Linda Hamilton was for her role as Sarah Connor. Remember her doing all those pull-ups in the mental hospital? I totally want her shoulder and upper body definition.

Jeremy and I debated what it would take for me to get arms of steel in under twelve weeks. I maintained that increased reps with free weights would do the trick. Jeremy insisted that I would have to be the mother of a rebel leader fighting futuristic cyborgs in order to get that in shape. I told him to “Get real”. Jeremy then looked at me very intently and whispered, “Time travel is real, Jen. Oh, it’s very real.”

I found it a little odd that my husband had such strong feelings about time travel in The Terminator series because just a few days earlier when we watched The Lake House, he rolled his eyes so often that I was sure he was suffering from a mild seizure. He complained that the premise of a two-year time gap between strangers who trade letters back and forth through a magic mailbox was totally unbelievable.

Sure, two people finding each other through threads of time and the U.S. Postal Service is completely preposterous. But a world where a futuristic soldier (Kyle Reese) is sent forty years into the past by his leader (John Connor), who is really his son, to protect his mother (Sarah Connor) could ACTUALLY HAPPEN. Also, there's a terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who has been sent back in time to find and kill Ms. Conner so that she doesn't has the chance to meet the time-traveling soldier and the father of her unborn son. Huh?

Jeremy and I then wondered what we would do if given the opportunity to visit ourselves in 1984? What would we warn ourselves about at the tender age of thirteen? Jeremy claims he would definitely tell his young self to keep his Transformer action figures in their original packaging and to invest every bit of his allowance in Google stock options.

I, on the other hand, didn't feel it necessary to secure my financial future because I knew one day I would marry a handsome architect who found wealth from his pristine toy collection and sound investment strategies. Instead, I felt it far more important to travel back to the fall of '84 and steal my family's powder blue station wagon so that my parents would be unable to drive me to the salon where I would cut my hair into a pseudo mullet. This mullet, which I sported through most of my junior high years, would take over 18 months to grow out and more than a lifetime to forget.

To put Jeremy's time travel theory to the test, I'm posting my seventh grade picture below. If I've successfully thwarted the hair cut from hell, then I should be sporting a stylish chin-length bob in that photo. If for some reason I've failed in my mission, you'll be be staring at a young girl who made the ill-advised decision to chop most of her hair into a bowl of bangs. It's also safe to assume that either way, the junior high Jen has not yet to discovered how much better her eyebrows would look after a good tweezing. That little revelation didn't hit me until high school. Wish me luck, people.

HASAY Summary:
1. I now have a goal to get ridiculous arms.
2. I'm thinking that time travel may be counted as my cardio workout.
3. Mullets are never a good idea.

UPDATE: My mom reminded me that during my junior high years, our car's tires were mysteriously flattened repeatedly in the span of about four months. My parents never did catch the culprit whom we all assumed was just the boy next door. But after this weekend's revelations about the properties of time travel, it is entirely possible that my future self may have tried, on several occasions, to travel back to 1984 and prevent myself from succumbing to the seduction of the seventh-grade mullet.

I have foreign friends, well, at least I think I do

Well hello there! I'm not here today. I've moved, but only temporarily. Today I'm filling in for one of the best girl's around, Kat over at 3 Bedroom Bungalow. She used to be my good friend in Missouri, but now she's my good friend in England. That's right, I've got foreign friends, people.

Kat, is mother to two adorable children and wife to one military man who up and transferred his family across the pond. A while back she asked me if I wouldn't mind helping her out during her move. I thought she needed my help packing so I hopped on the first flight and showed up at her house with a bunch of empty boxes and packing tape. Although she was grateful that I was eager to pitch in and help, I learned shortly after my arrival that all she really needed me to do was guest post for a day on her site.

Well, Kat and I had ourselves a good laugh about the whole thing until I asked her to reimburse my airfare back home. Ever since then she's avoided any sort of contact initiated on my part. Every email I've sent, every late-night and early morning phone call I've made, even the balloon bouquets have been ignored.

After our little "falling out" I'm beginning to worry that she may not using my guest post after all. Do me a favor, click over to her site and see if I'm there. I can only hope the basket of mini muffins I sent COD to her last week did the trick and won back her friendship.

November 13, 2008

The Spin Cycle: Frankie says, 'Relax'. Jen doesn't know Frankie but wishes he would always wear clean undershorts.

Whoa! Sprite’s Keeper’s Spin Cycle came upon me quickly this week. Normally I do a little séance and eat a bunch of gummy worms to prepare for each week’s topic, but this week I had absolutely no time to run out and restock on incense. Instead, I hovered near a Pumpkin Spice scented candle and ate left over Smarties from Halloween. So please, be understanding as you read my spin on relaxing. The Smarties gave me a headache, but they allowed me to stretch the relativity of recent conversations with my husband and relaxing until it was wafer thin.

Here goes....
The other day at work there was a loud fist pounding fit from across the office. “Damn it, Jen. Not again!" I heard Jeremy shout. Within moments he was over at my desk (Did I tell you that we work together? It was a steamy office affair, but that’s a post for another day.)

He stood there, glaring at me, demanding to know why I’m trying to give him a bad rap on Steenky Bee.

Jeremy: Did you type over and over, ‘When Jeremy came out of the closet,’ when I specifically asked you not to?
Me: No, I did not type 'When Jeremy came out of the closet’ over and over. Why would you think I would type ‘When Jeremy came out of the closet’? What’s so funny about ‘When Jeremy came out of the closet’?
Jeremy: Yes you did. I just read it on your blog.
Me: Um, Lover? That was over two weeks ago. You are so behind. Don’t you read it every day?
Jeremy: *Shrugging*
Me: Don’t be upset, I far worse things about you last week.

Jeremy then pulled me into the copy room and we had ourselves a long talk about boundaries and Lemon Snapple. I listened to Jeremy as he explained the importance of boundaries on this here blog. He listened to me as I raved about how I prefer regular Lemon Snapple to that of Diet Lemon Snapple. (My husband is sooooo patient with me.)

Honestly, I am so lucky that Jeremy is contractually obligated to love me. I tell him every day how much I love him. In turn, he tells me, “Babe, you’re the best thing that’s happened to me in, like, ten years.”

When I press him as to why the ten year time frame he always replies, “Well, a lot of really cool stuff happened to me before I met you.”

Do you see why I love him so much? Not only is he super funny, super handsome, but he has helped me unwind and relax a little bit in my life. He’s the ultimate mellow fellow and doesn’t let too much rile him. Truth be told, Jeremy wasn’t even upset about the post where I wrote about him coming out of the closet. He just needed an excuse to come over to the marketing department because that’s where the office keeps a secret stash of candy. Although he did have to endure my rambling testimony about Lemon Snapple, he scored a handful of bite-size Snickers bars that he claims "were so worth it".

As I mentioned just now, Jeremy has taught me to relax and just sort of take life as it comes. I am forever grateful for this. Before I met him, my hair was actually a lot nappier due to all the unnecessary stress I put myself through. However, there is still one area in our relationship where I refuse to "give in and just relax already". In our nine years together, we just can’t seem to reach a compromise about the issue of optional underwear.

Please allow me to explain: I have a strict stance of wearing underwear at all times. It’s courteous. It’s sensible. It’s hygienic. However, there are times, when Jeremy tends to be a bit lax in the skivvy department. For example, the other day as he was getting dressed for work I noticed that he wasn’t wearing any underwear. When he put his jeans on, it became clear that he was actually skipping the the application of undershorts portion of his routine. He saw me staring and came over to give me a hug.

Me: Whoa, whoa! Not so fast, fella. (One arm thrust forward)
Jeremy: What?
Me: Um, what’s with going free and easy over there? (One finger now pointing...down there)
Jeremy: I don’t have any clean shorts so I’m going commando today. Is there something wrong with that?
Me: Um, let me think…YESSSS! You know my underwear rule.
Jeremy: *smiling* Relax.
Me: I just prefer two layers of cotton, you know, between….me and….your guys.
Jeremy: Well it looks like I’m the only one willing to compromise.
Me: ?????
Jeremy: You prefer TWO layers between us. I prefer ZERO. These jeans? They count as ONE layer. Relax, I’m compromising.

After that, Jeremy did two things: First, he gave me a long, and slightly inappropriate hug, then he gave me a wedgie. Ah, true love.

November 12, 2008

Fattie: Week 4 (Jen's Mean Lean Green Shake)

We’re in the middle of week 4 of the HASAY Challenge over here at Steenky Bee. Can you believe it’s been almost a month already? Well, I, for one, can not, mostly because I’ve only been following the rules for about eight days total. And I must say, by selectively participating in this challenge has made it much more bearable than if I would have actually stuck to it every day. I mean, can you imagine four whole weeks of sensible eating and exercise? Sure my guilt level is at an all time high, but man, I have been eating some good food lately.

Actually, I’ve been doing the steps and working quite hard at this thing, but just like religion, money and Fight Club, I don’t talk about it. It’s just poor taste. Also, I like to make Casey think I'm a slacker. At the big reveal at the end, I'll be all, "Ha, suckas! I'm skinny!"

We're having a reveal aren't we? I only signed up because I was promised a big reveal finale and a trip to Florida. I don't really care about my health at all. I just want to meet Casey in person and then ride Space Mountain with her at Disney World.

And speaking of poor taste, have I got a killer health shake for you all to try! (BTW: How did you all like that segway? I worked on it for days. I’m actually quite proud of it. However, in retrospect, I can see that I mentioned the word "taste" over two paragraphs ago. Perhaps my segway wasn't too clever after all. Maybe I'm light headed from my recent bought of fever and all the deep-knee lunges I've been doing. (Not at the same time, of course. Now that would be in poor taste.)

Okay, so back to the health shake....if you’re like me, and pray that you’re not, you have a difficult time getting your daily serving of vegetables. Also, if you’re like me, you prefer to call vegetables, "veggies". This shake will help you take care of some of your veggie requirements for the day. I drink one every morning before I leave the house. I am addicted to it. This shake fills you up and is rich in fiber and nutrients. Pinkie swear, it is.

4 ice cubes
4 oz of water
1 apple (including skin, no core or seeds)
¾ banana or 1 small banana
5 fresh mint leaves
5 large kale leaves (omit the stalks, just tear the leaves away)
1 large handful of fresh spinach

Blend apple (cut into chunks with skin still on), water and mint leaves in blender. Add banana and ice cubes next. Last, kale leaves (torn from stalks) a little bit at a time. Finally, throw in large handful of spinach leaves.

1. I guess I should have warned you ahead of time, but this shake is sort of chewy (add more banana if the consistency freaks you out and if you are a giant wuss and can’t chew a shake.)
2. Also, the kale and spinach leaves are extremely tough on the blades of the blender. You can invest in a heavy duty blender that runs upwards of $300 or you could go through four blenders priced at $60 a piece like I have. Who said I’m not money savvy?
3. Check your teeth in a mirror or at least have a very non-judgmental friend near by who will check them for any stray green residue left behind. I’m not saying this happened to me, but someone I know was very embarrassed at a morning marketing meeting when her boss pointed out that she had something green in her teeth at 9:00 am even though she checked the mirror beforehand.
4. This shake is not for the easily disrupted digestive track either. The whole purpose of the Mean Lean Green is to aid in digestion.

So, in summation, if you are afraid of chewy, green shakes, don’t have a reasonably decent blender, are self-conscious about your grooming habits and are prone to the runs...then perhaps this shake IS NOT for you.

All you others, DRINK UP!

Not sure what HASAY is? Click here.

My other Fattie updates can be found here:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

November 10, 2008


I looked over at Jeremy last night and asked him to gently smother me with my pillow after I finally fell asleep. I told him that I would probably fight him, it's human nature, but in the end, it would be better if he put me out of my misery. You see, since Saturday, I've been suffering from the flu.

Chills? I've got 'em. Fever? Yep. Night sweats? Oh, yeah. Night terrors, screaming and kicking in my sleep? Well, actually, that's Jeremy, but that's also for another post.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning and still was alive. Oh, I don't doubt that at some point Jeremy will eventually try to "off" me sometime in the night, because, believe me, I totally deserve it. So, for now, I'm grateful that my dear husband spared my life. I'm also so happy that before he left for work he picked up some pudding packs to help soothe my raw throat. I should have checked to make sure he didn't poison them somehow though. No matter, they were delicious.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and continue to have a wonderful week. I'll be back when I've got my strength back and I'm off the cough syrup. Trust me, you don't want me stopping by your sites when I'm under the influence of NyQuil. Last time I did that I professed my love for Corey Haim. Corey Haim! The more messed up of The Two Coreys. What's wrong with me? More importantly, what's right with Corey Haim?

November 6, 2008

The Spin Cycle: Rock the Vote...Just Don't Talk About the Vote

The multi-talented Sprite's Keeper, has asked us to write about VOTING for this week's Spin Cycle. I was, and still am, extremely nervous about this subject. I typically don't like to be too outspoken on political issues here on this blog. We all have our own opinions and I'm going to spare you the pain of listening to mine. It is my hope for all of you, that this is the very last political post you'll read for four years. Anywhere.

But, first I would like to acknowledge how much it warms my heart (small and black as it may be) that people across our country took such an interest in the political process this election. Whomever you are, I applaud you for just showing up and voting no matter who you voted for.

I'd also like you to know that I had an entirely different third paragraph planned here, but last night, a post by Stiletto Mom, whom I count as a dear friend (in real-life, not just in blog-world) touched me deeply. She put together a very daring and thoughtful post for us all to read. She reminded me that we all have our own views and our own perspectives about this past election. We all had one vote. Your vote counted just as much as mine. And for that, I am grateful.

Now, before you go off thinking that Steenky Bee has gone all serious on you folks, let me point out that the "Blog-World" reference I made earlier sounds like a horrible blogging conference that I NEVER plan on attending. It just reeks of useless vendor booths and free t-shirts doesn't it?

I would be remiss if I didn't admit to you that Stiletto Mom was not the first person to touch me late Wednesday night. No, there was the ill-advised groping that Jeremy gave me just after 6:00 pm. Now, normally, I would have not brushed him off so quickly, but just minutes before he made his move, I was downstairs in the laundry room tending to some of his dirty clothes. I had just started a load of his whites when I looked up and hanging on the wall, written on a blackboard, was a list of politically-charged words that I was no longer allowed to speak in our home.

Now can you blame a girl for denying her husband to cop a feel?

Next, I did what any loving wife would do in this situation. I threw a red sock into his load of whites, erased his "rules" for me and listed a few topics that I thought should be off-limits as well.

In our house there is no red, there is no blue. In our house, there are only shades of "pink" that mysteriously surfaced last night. See you at Blog-World 2009!

November 4, 2008

Crime Spree on Speed Dial UPDATED

Mother of Steenky Bee phone me at lunch laughing hysterically. She asked me over and over to tell her this wasn't true. I told her that, yes, this tale is true. She then called me several times to ask me how to print out this sheet. I warned her that if she showed my dad that I would tattle on her. Guess where she was this morning around 9:00 am? Would you believe, the mall? True story.

Also, as a follow up, Krisann and I did get our phone back. As a matter of fact, she mailed it to me in 1995 as a Christmas gift. In 1996, she phoned me and told me to turn on my television to channel 4 local news. Last word on Benji? He is parking cars in Vegas.

Good morning (of afternoon). Let me give a shout out to one of my best girls: Heather over at Riding the Short Bus is celebrating her birthday today. Please give her much love!!! Happy Birthday, Heather! Mwah!

Miss Grace's Disgrace tagged me in a meme last week where I am supposed to list a few unspectacular things about myself. But, I'm not going to play by the rules. I'm taking this meme law and breaking it wide open, you hear? This won't be the first time I've broken the law either. Instead of seven random things, I'm telling you one whopper of a secret about my first and only brush with the law.

Now, before I continue, I must preface that my parents have no idea that any of this ever went down. I’ve managed to keep this ordeal a secret from them for over 16 years. I've never kept any secrets from them, save this doozy. Many other people know about my sordid past; my in-laws, my friends, even my bosses know. But my parents have no idea that their daughter may not be so squeaky clean after all.

Let me also point out that my mom checks my blog and then prints out pages for my dad to read. To make sure she doesn’t rat me out to him, I’m going to spill a little secret of hers too. (Aren’t I the nicest daughter, like ever?) Mom has been sneaking off several times a month to do some heavy retail therapy while dad thinks she's at work. So there you go mom, all those times you’ve called me while you’re running around in that mall, little did you know that I was saving this information to use as leverage. You taught me well.

So, rewind with me, if you will, to 1992. It was my junior year at college. It was the year that I had the best bunch of roommates. One of them, Brandi, had been carrying on a friends-with-benefits relationship with Benji, a star linebacker on our football team. Benji would call our apartment at all hours of the night looking for his hook up with Brandi. If me or my other roommate, Krisann, picked up the phone he would simply hang up. We knew it was Benji, even though we didn’t have caller i.d. Had caller idea even been invented yet? I'm not sure. As a matter of fact, I think cell phones were a luxury back then too. They were those large brick looking contraptions that weighed a good 7 lbs. As starving students, the only phone we had in the entire apartment was a flaming red, rotary dial phone that we dubbed “the presidential” phone.

Anyway, Benji phoned our apartment frequently in 1991-1992. Whenever he called and hung up, Krisann and I would just dial him right back and hang up on him. It became sort of a little joke between all of us. We passed those prank calls back and forth so often that we could dial his number on that rotary phone in the dark.

Like all things that spoil so very easily, Brandi and Benji’s relationship ended on a sour note. I guess the deductible on the old “benefits package” was tapped out. However, even after their split, for some reason, the phone hang ups were traded back and forth between apartments.

It’s important to tell you that I went to university in a smaller town near the Utah/Nevada boarder. A great deal of our athletes came from high schools in Las Vegas. Now, I’m sure you don’t have to imagine too hard to know that Utah is a predominantly white state, especially Southern Utah. The influx of most of the athletes from Las Vegas were African American, Benji being one of those.The police department in this small college town was highly suspicious of the Nevada athletes. I’d heard rumors that they tracked and even followed some of them, but at the time blew it off as heresay.

It was at the end of spring semester when the frequency of Benji’s calls increased. One particular Friday night he drunk dialed Brandi several times. The calls were out of control. I mean, can't two college girls stay home to watch a Christian Slater movie fest in peace? (Heathers was like the best movie ever!) The next time Benji called we tricked him and told him that Brandi wanted to meet him under a freeway overpass just ten miles outside of town and she was already there waiting for him. When we hung up and Krisann and I did a little jig in honor of what we thought was our complete coolness. In our minds, we had reached the epitome of awesomeness. The fact that we were home bound and dateless on a Friday night never even occurred to us.

The next Monday at school, rumors were flying that Benji had been arrested over the weekend for marijuana possession with intent to distribute. I wasn’t surprised. I was suprised, however, when two uniformed police officers entered my Russian History class and pulled me out for questioning in connection with Benji’s arrest. It seemed that once Benji got himself thrown in jail, they presented him with stacks of phone transcripts detailing all the calls that he had made over the past twelve months. The Feds were particularly interested in all the calls to our apartment. Benji lawyered up pretty fast and insisted that somehow Krisann and I set him up for his bust.

I was escorted to a cop car and hauled off to the police station in front of everyone. There were no handcuffs, but there was a plexi-glass window and my Miranda Rights. I was terrified. Was I arrested? Was I going to do hard time? Who would I use my one phone call to contact? Was I going to have to wear an orange jump suit? The officers could tell I was visibly upset. Why wouldn't I be? Orange was the most diffiult color to accessorize.

Krisann was already at the station when I arrived. She was sitting on a bench bawling uncontrollably. I nudged her and asked her, “Whacha in for?” We made a pact right there in the waiting room, that I would be her “bitch” in prison and if one of us broke out first, they would come back for the other one.

I was nervous when it became my turn for questioning. I mean, if there was one of those one-way mirror thingys in the interrogation room, should I wave and acknowledge someone was behind it? I was sort of hoping that at some point during my interview that one of the officers would slam his fist down on the table and shout, “Are we going to have to do this the hard way? I need answers now!” just like they did in the movies.

But that never happend. My iterrogation with the arresting officer was pretty anticlimactic. In fact, I've had visits with a loan officer that were more dramatic. I was seated in a fairly comfy chair, given all the lemonade I could drink and even got in on a Subway sandwich order that was going around. I'm not kidding. The police in that town were downright folksy with me and Krisann. Little did we know at the time, all that hospitality was part of the whole good cop/bad cop routine. I was just beginning to settle in, when the Federal Officer showed up. When I saw him I immediately stood up and shouted, “I’ve got a wire on me, you should be warned!” That’s when they turned the heat up on old Jenbo.

The agent strutted over and sat on the desk in front of me. He held our red rotary dial phone in his lap. “I have over 300 phone calls follwed up by instant hang ups between you, your roommate and Benji over the past nine months. We’ve gathered up your class schedules and work timecards. I have personally been tracking your whereabouts for over six weeks,” the FBI agent declaired. “Are the hang ups some sort of code for drug related activity? Are you helping Benji sell drugs to students? What’s wrong with your hair, is it always that nappy?”

I was fine with the line of questioning until the agent brought my hair into the mix. That comment was a little personal and definitely below the belt. Also, a few things were weighing heavy on my mind. How did this agent get our rotary phone? Why did he have our phone? And why was there mayo on my Subway Club when I specifically told the officer, "hold the mayo." I thought, given the circumstances, I would let that one slide.

The FBI agent announced that he had been following Krisann, Brandi and me for weeks. They had our phone lines tapped and had been listening in on every conversation for over three months. They sat outside my work and sometimes came in to scope out what I was doing there. They had even followed us from class to class just because of a few little phone calls. Well, alright, a few hundred phone calls.

After about two hours, the agent could see that Krisann and I were clueless. I imagine he felt a little sorry for us since, as part of our alibys, we admitted that we each spent an unhealthy amount of time watching Heathers over and over. I wouldn't be surprised if his official report mentioned that we were just two dumb twenty-somethings with an unhealthy obsession with Christian Slater.

The agent found Krisann and I innocent of any Federal charges, however, we were charged, at the insistance of Benji by the local law enforcement for phone abuse. Yes, phone abuse, a Class B Misdemeanor. We were booked, fingerprinted, photographed and then released. Krisann looked at me and shrugged, “Well, at least we got a free sandwich out of the deal, huh?”

Krisann and I pled guilty two weeks later in court. The judge, along with everyone else in court, snickered at us when she sentenced us to 100 hours of community service. She even made the comment that she didn’t think in all her years on the bench she had even heard of phone abuse. When we reported to a nursing home to fufill our service hours, we were told that due to our charges, we would not be allowed to answer any phones, or even be in any rooms alone with a phone. The director couldn’t even get that last part out without breaking down and laughing at us.

So Krisann and I spent that summer at the nursing home, playing checkers with and taking the elderly on walks. We fixed their hair, painted their nails and even ran a few errands for them. However, if any of them needed help making a phone call, we had to call the director to come down and actually dial the phone for us. Yeah, for reals.

So, good people, I guess you can consider old Steenky a hardened criminal. If you didn't get enough of this brush with the law, then contact me and I'll tell you about the time my boyfriend used my car (without my knowledge) to steal beer. Better yet, why don't you give me your phone number and I'll call you. Over and over.

November 3, 2008

Fattie: Week 3

Today kicks off the third week of the HASAY Challenge. Casey, the HASAY founder and President, asked me to post my progress over at her site today. She told me that she was highly suspicious that I had not been sticking to my exercise regimen so she refused to let me email my write-up to her. Instead, she forced to to jog across this great country of ours and hand deliver my post. So I pulled a Forrest Gump and jogged my butt to Florida. I then sat on her couch and ate a bunch of chocolates in front of her. (I wonder if she forced Mrs. Bear to do the same thing last week?)

Click on over to Casey's joint at Half as Good as You to see my progress for the week.

Not sure what HASAY is? Click here.

My other HASAY Challenge updates can be found here:
Fattie: Week 1
Fattie: Week 2