Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Live Blogging From The Guest Bed

I just sat down on the bed, next to my half-asleep husband. He smiled and opened his arms to hug me....until he noticed the laptop in my hands.

"Baby, stop. You want to nap with me."

"I know, I do. But I need to write a blog post."

"No! Just put the laptop down, Helena."

"Dude, I haven't blogged since before Christmas....No, since before we left for Christmas!"

"Good. Come live in the real world. Where there is sleep. And napping."

"Kurt, I just need to...ooomph!"

He hooked me with one arm, and pulled me backwards towards the pillows. I reached frantically for the laptop.

"No. Come nap."

He dragged me away, but as I tumbled backwards, I managed to keep a hold on the keyboard.


"The laptop is not invited! This is not a threesome!"

"I need to blog Kurt! Don't make me choose!"

...and that's where we are right now. We are all tangled up on the bed, and I am typing with two fingers.



Saturday, December 25, 2010

May Your Days Be Merry And Bright...

And may all your Christmases be white.

Merry Christmas you guys!

(No, that isn't a picture of Kurt.)

I got this in a text message, and spit out my milk in surprise. Consider it my gift to you.

So.....what did you get me?


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How To Get Some Action In 2011.

Hi guys! I decided to take a break from my non-stop partying and say Hello.

(kidding, I've been studying for, and taking The Final Fom Hell. That's right- that class wasn't completely over. I just didn't want to bog you guys down with the details; It would have just been more of the same, you know?)

Today I have arranged for a fantastic new friend of mine to stop by and say hi. I met her a few weeks ago, through 20-something bloggers, and I liked her immediately. Not only is she a terrific writer and storyteller, but she is also a crazy cat lady. Already. And they aren't even hers.

Plus, she is clever. And I love clever people. I think I'm hoping that if I hang out with enough of them, maybe some of it will rub off on me...?

But without further ado, here is Guinever, who writes This Is Not My Day Job.

Much thanks to Helena for letting me come over from This Is Not My Day Job to talk about action in 2011!

It’s the time of year to talk New Years’ resolutions. But I like the idea of talking about actions better. I’ve resolved many times to give up soda, but I still drank a Coke today. “Actions” seems not only less passive, but also like a bright shiny new thing. Five-hour-long meetings that ended with a vending machine raid do not yet tarnish the word “Actions”.

These are the actions I’m planning to take in 2011:

1. I’ll take at least three writing classes and join a writer’s group. I have a dream, you see, of being a published novelist. Putting the words on the page isn’t a problem.

I’m compulsive in my desire to write, and anyway, if I stop writing my husband asks if maybe I’d like to help him do the dishes.

What can be a problem is writing something for everyone else. Every story begins as something that I want to write for me. When I show it to someone else, the questions begin to pop up.

“But what do the squirrels symbolize?” “Do you really think you need to
use the word defenestration in a children’s story?” “I have a hard time buying this, could you illuminate a little more why your main character is afraid of escalators?”

People, escalators are scary. They can eat your toes.

When other people read my work, sometimes I feel like a misunderstood teenager. Did you even read it? I clearly explain about the squirrels!

Writing is easy, translating one’s thoughts isn’t, always. But you can’t explain to the reader (unless you corner your husband while he is doing the dishes), and the reader is never wrong. Unlike your parents.

So not just writing, but learning to write better, is the endless task of the writer.

2. I’ll foster more cats. I volunteer for the SPCA as a foster parent, which means that I take in new cats with random bad habits, like scratching my week-old Crate and Barrel sofa, and then teach them other bad habits, like how tasty Popeye’s fried chicken is.

Also, it means that occasionally I get to the gym, open my bag, and discover that someone is terribly, terribly confused about where the litter box is, to the detriment of my spin class.

Honestly, the worst part is falling in love with a furry little face and then saying goodbye, when someone else loves that face and takes them home. But this is the little thing I do to make the world a better place.

I get road-ragey, I eat meat, I watch reality shows – in many ways, I am Part of the Problem. But at least I help save a few kitties, one at a time.
Even if it hurts.

Even if I have to slipcover my scratched-up $2000 sofa.

3. I’m not going to say that I’m going to lose ten pounds. Let’s just say this: I’ll train for another marathon (I’ve done the 26.2 routine twice now, but each time, it’s just as staggering and ridiculous a proposition).

I’ll save the soda for really desperate situations
– say, meetings over three hours and the Harry Potter movies (Seriously, why did I go watch a movie in the theaters that doesn’t have an ending?).

And I will try to throw some weights around in the gym at least twice a week. I will also try not to be freaked out by the fact that the weights room seems to be populated by the Jersey Shore cast.

So those are my actions – three concrete things I can do to make myself, and my world, a little bit better.

What actions are you taking in 2011?

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I did it! 111 pages later, and I am really done. It was...intense. And, again, completely my fault. But hey, it's finished, and I had better get an A.

...Oops. I mean, I would love to get an A (or else).

Let the Christmas Season Re-Commence!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Note to Self: Don't ever do this again. Ever.

I am going crazy.

It could have to do with my lack of sleep. Or maybe my aching fingertips. Or the fact that I have done nothing but stare at a computer screen for the past week.

...Ok, that is a slight exaggeration. But I feel like that's all I've done.

In case you are wondering why I haven't been around (either on my blog, or in real life), I am going to paste an email I sent to a friend at 5 in the morning.

And you can just apply it to every situation where I didn't show up, or in some way let you down.

Hi Jamie,

I haven't gone to bed yet. I've been writing papers like crazy, trying to finish that independent study class I've been procrastinating. I have to have everything turned in by tomorrow night, and I honestly had no idea how crazy it would be.

I knew about the 33 page paper. I didn't realize that there were 6 other projects due for each of the 11 lessons. All together I need to write approximately 111 (that's not a typo) pages. I've done about 40.

Its intense.

I wanted to explain all of this because, well, I am overwhelmed and it helps to talk about it. I realize that this is entirely my fault, but that realization just doesn't bring much comfort.

Also, I wanted you to know that when I stand you up tomorrow, I really do have a legitimate reason. A crazy, stupid, completely my fault, legitimate reason.

If there was any way for me to make fudge and hang out and still pass my class, you know I would be all over that. But between right now and midnight tomorrow, I see nothing but a keyboard in my future.

I'm sorry.

I would draw a stick figure, or find an image of someone buried in a pile of textbooks, but I honestly have no time.

If you want to draw one for me, though, I'll happily paste it in.

Wish me luck you guys.


If you are looking for something more entertaining to read, just scroll down to the bottom of this page, and check out the 453 labels I've got hanging out down there. You are guaranteed to find something interesting (or at least embarrassing).


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A (slightly sponsored) post about Christmas Cards.

How do you feel about Christmas cards?

I love receiving them. The generic ones people buy in bulk, the handmade ones that take so much time and care, the simple ones you print out yourself. They all get a special place on my fridge. And then come January they are tucked away in a box labeled "Proof that people care."

No matter how generic the card, I know the sender cared enough to write my name and use a stamp. And really, that says a lot.

Christmas cards take time. Picking them out, signing your name (and possibly adding a personal message), stuffing and stamping, the trips to the post office (or, you know, the end of the driveway). And chances are, you're sending out more than a couple.

All of this in between the baking, and decorating, and shopping, and crafting, and other less-seasonal but still necessary tasks of life. Christmas is incredibly busy, even without sending cards.

I am much too lazy to do that.

In fact, my Christmas Greetings are usually limited to a mass-text saying "Happy Holidays! Don't drink and drive!"

I've been satisfied with that in the past, but now that I'm married, I can't help thinking about it.

Maybe I should send out cards.

There are a bunch of ideas online, but the ones that really draw my attention are the photo cards.

I loved sending out my wedding invitations in 2009, and seeing my face plastered on the fridges of my friends and relatives (even if they did hastily stick them on there because they knew I was coming, and would probably ask).

I love the idea of sending an image along with the greeting. I think it helps people remember who you are faster.

(What? You've been there. After the third card signed "Shaniqua and Fernando" it's easy to lose track.)

And so after a month of debating, I've decided to try it. I'm taking the plunge, and ordering the cards.

It will be incredibly last minute, and some people probably won't get theirs in time for Christmas. But hey, that's pretty true-to-character, and I don't think anyone who knows me would expect anything less (or, well, more).

What? It's progress.

After much research, I think I am going to go with Shutterfly. I've used other companies in the past, and they worked fine. But I'm looking for something more.

Also? They kind of asked me to. It's a promotional thing.

(And those cards are going to be free.)

(What, I had to disclose it.)

I tweeted about it a way back in November, and it was open to any and all bloggers. I'm thinking that's a sign of a good company.

Even knowing I could get this deal, I hesitated. For a month. I love free things, but I still wasn't sure it would be worth the effort.

Remember that whole "I'm incredibly lazy" thing?

And so after wrestling with this for weeks, I decided to do it. On the last possible day. If I waited until tomorrow, it would be too late.

What can I say? I like living on the edge.

I have no experience using Shutterfly, but if I like their quality, and their service, I will definitely consider them for my future Christmas card needs. And maybe my Photo Calendar needs. And my Photo Book needs. And heck, maybe even my invitation needs!

(I have a lot of needs).

So how about you? Did you participate in the Shutterfly blog giveaway?

And what are your feelings about Christmas cards?


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oh hey, remember that time when I was MOLESTED BY A CENTIPEDE??

About 15 minutes ago, I was lying in bed, reading a book. The story had just taken an unexpected turn, and I was flying through the pages so fast, my fingers could barely keep up.

Suddenly, I felt a tickle on my chest. I glanced down, and saw a centipede crawling down my cleavage.


Screaming, I reached my finger down, and flicked it out onto the bed.

And then I just kept screaming.

We have a centipede problem. We kill 2-4 per week. They aren't very big, and they mostly hang out on our ceilings.

As far as pests go, they aren't so bad. They have no interest in food, and they kill other pests. Spiders, ants- we never have to worry about those.

But have you ever watched a centipede move? The slithery sway of its body as its dozens of legs take it across a room is almost hypnotizing.

It's disturbing.

....And their new interest in female anatomy.

Ugh, I'm still shaking.

When I say "we" kill them, I mostly mean Kurt. The juicy little mark it leaves on the wall when you catch them, IF you catch them, is too much for me. And when you miss the first time, they take off so fast you're lucky to get a second shot.

Yeah. I let Kurt take on that manly role.

So tonight when I looked down and saw one crawling down between my boobs, my screams brought the manly 'Pede Hunter running. He scooped it off the bed between his tissue-covered fingers, and as I gasped out an explanation, "It.was.on.my.cleavage!!" He calmly squeezed the life out of it.

Then he hugged me tightly and said "Well, I can't blame it."

My hero.

After smacking his shoulder, I asked for a lighter so I could burn my cleavage off. It seemed like the best option.

I can still feel it crawling on me.

...I don't think I will ever sleep in my bed again.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I *need* a camera in my bedroom. For posterity.

Kurt talks in his sleep. If I catch him at the right moment, we can have whole conversations.

It's awesome.

The other night, Kurt really needed to study. But it was 2:30 am, and he could barely keep his eyes open.

"Helena, do you mind waking me up in an hour? I know you aren't going to sleep yet."

...Yeah. That's what happens when I'm unemployed.

"Sure thing. How badly do you need to wake up?"

"Pretty badly. I have to study."

At 3:30, I went in and tried to fulfill my end of the deal. But he wouldn't wake up. He has been averaging 4 hours a night, and I guess it had caught up to him.

I shook him, and tried to roll him over, but it didn't work very well. He just got all whiny and angsty, and didn't really make sense.

"Kurt, I need you to wake up. This was your idea!"


"Baby, you aren't 3. You need to use your words."

"Give me back my penis!!"


"You stole it! Give it baaaaaack!" He was very distressed.

I was doubled over with laughter.

"It's still there, Kurt, I promise!"

"Noooo, you took it! You're soooo meeeeeaan!!!"

I could barely gasp the words out.

"Kurt, I didn't take your penis!"

He scrunched his nose up, and frowned in my general direction. I could tell he didn't believe me.

My stomach ached from laughing so hard.

After a few more minutes of reassuring him that his penis was still there, I told him that I was going to turn on the shower.

He mostly ignored this, muttering about how he had married a thief.

Until he heard the water running.

"Nooooo, turn it ooooffff!"

"Kurt, you need to wake up!"

"No, I need sleeeep."

"Well, I need you to wake up enough to make a conscious decision about this. If you get out of the shower, and still decide to sleep, I will leave you alone."

"Why are you so aaaawful?? I can't haaaandle it!"

"Kurt, just sit up."

"You are a baaad personnnn!"

"I know, I am, but you need to wake up!"


"I don't know if that's really you talking!!"

"It is! It's really me, NOT MY CERVIX!!"

...his cervix??

And then I died laughing.

In the end I decided to let the poor guy sleep. His penis (and his cervix) deserved some rest.

If only I had a bedroom camera.

This one would have gone viral.


I'm linking this one up to the Friday Funny Link Up with The Mayor of Crazy Town.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's like an English fox hunt. Only, with children.

Christmas trees are pretty important to my family. I remember going to the Christmas Tree farm year after year, all bundled up in our snow gear. We would spend hours looking for that perfect tree.

Well, my Mom would spend hours looking, while the rest of us ran around playing our traditional game of "Hunt Chantel Down And Push Her In The Snow."

It was similar to an English fox hunt, only it ended with Chantel in tears, and the rest of us in time-out for a week.

(I asked Chantel if she had anything to add to this memory, but all she did was glare and turn off her webcam.)

If we ever came across a particularly amazing tree, we would run up and suggest it to my mom. But she never chose any of the ones we found.

(They always look smaller before you bring them home)

Once my Mom decided, all bets were off. She had the final say.

But we didn't mind. That wasn't really why we came to the farm. Now, where did Chantel go...?

One year, we were chasing Chantel through the Christmas tree field, and suddenly she disappeared. What the heck...?

We stopped, and looked around in confusion. We had been right behind her. Where did she go??

After a few seconds, we heard a little voice call "Hey guys? I'm in the hole."

She had fallen into this giant pit, camouflaged by all the snow.

We were laughing so hard, we could barely pull her out. It was the funniest thing that had ever happened- at least, the funniest thing at the Christmas tree farm!

Even now, We still laugh about that one.

I've tried to get Chantel to recreate it, but she refuses to go with me to a Christmas tree farm. Or even a snowy field.

Weird, huh?


I'm linking this to Chantel's carnival, Small Treasures Tuesday (which is open all week long). Because memories like these are a treasure.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Now *this* is an awesome tradition.

Hi guys. I'm participating in Top Two Tuesday with the Undomestic Momma.

Today's prompt? Top Two Favorite Ornaments. Perfect.

First, let me show you our tree.

Nice, huh? And it looks much prettier in person.

(I'm kind of proud of it)

Ornament 1

On my parent's first Christmas, my Dad took about a foot off the trunk of the tree, and carved a Nativity into it as a present for my Mother (I wish I had a picture to show you).

And then when my brother Jimmy was born? My Dad took a couple of inches off the trunk, and made an ornament out of Jimmy's first Christmas tree.

A tradition was born.

My Dad made my ornament back in December of 1985. I have always loved holding it, and finding that perfect spot on my family's overcrowded tree.

And now that I'm all grown up, with a tree of my own, it's like having a little piece of home, or a snippet of my childhood hanging from those plastic branches.

Ornament 2

My Dad surprised us last Christmas, and bought us tickets out to Utah, to celebrate with my family. We went over New Years, and had a wonderful belated Christmas with my brothers and sisters. Sitting around their real-life tree, I was delighted to open this present from my Dad.

Of all the ornaments on our tree, these two mean the most to me.

I don't always notice them, but when I do, they make me smile.

Do you have any ornaments like this?


I am also linking this to a few other Christmas parties I've found. Here are their buttons, if you want to check them out.

Life in the PittsShow Me Your Tree

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Talk about a crazy week.

(I apologize. I scheduled this to go up this morning, but something must have gone wrong. I only just noticed.)

Welcome to this week's edition of:

This week on Reasons To Lose

 I'm starting to see results! YES!

This week on the Internet

Page 12 is all me! (Yup, that's right. I'm practically famous)

The 5 Best Things about Blogging as Yourself.

Self Esteem Saturday: Hiding My Face (This was incredibly hard for me to write)

This week's Things I Wish I Could Plagiarize

AWESOME voiceover.

Where do you put the banana peel??

World Domination, if it's not too much trouble.

Monster in the closet.

They give such practical advice.

How about you guys? Did you write (or read) anything awesome this week? Leave the URL in the comment, and don't be surprised when I stalk your blog.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Live blogging in my skivvies.

Ok guys, here it is. Day 3 of being unemployed, and guess who slept in, didn't shower, and isn't wearing any clothes right now?

Probably Robert Pattison.

But also me!

I'm kind of excited, and also kind of ashamed. So if you're thinking about stopping by, call first.

No, don't call the health department! Call me, so I don't answer the door naked.

(unless you're into that)

I don't exactly have a lot of things on my to-do list today. I just finished it. Here, I'll show you:

(I'm mostly excited about #4. Which may or may not involve N*SYNC.)

Being laid off is awesome.

(Someone hire me?)


Thursday, December 2, 2010

When life gives you lemons...

Punch it in the face. WTF, life? Lemons???

Thank you for your support. I didn't answer all the comments yesterday, because I was a little overwhelmed with the entire situation. Just know that I appreciate your concern, your advice, and your offers to take matters into your own hands.

You know, hypothetically.

It looks like I have been laid off indefinitely. My boss is also not getting paid, because without that grant, there is no money. And it's just a 2 person show around here.

He assured me that I will get my check before he gets his, but we don't know when that will be.

It's been a stressful 24 hours.

I'm looking into unemployment right now. Plus, with my pole dancing skills to fall back on, I know we won't starve.

But things are going to be tight for a while.

My biggest hope is that the government will get its head out of its butt and give us that money that they promised in writing. If that happens, I will have my job back, and work here for the rest of my life (approximately).

(sadly, we aren't sure that it will ever come)

My second biggest hope is that I will inherit a fortune from an unknown relative who secretly reads my blog.

(It's kind of a long shot)

And I don't even want to think about job hunting.

But for now, I have some extra time on my hands. And I have a few project ideas floating around, which I never had time for when I had a full time job.

Good combination? Why yes, I think so.

See? Silver lining.

Lemon-scented silver lining.

I need a hug.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What would you do if you lost your job right before Christmas? You know, hypothetically.

Let's pretend that you work for a struggling little Non Profit company. You get to be office manager.

Now let's pretend that a government grant for a lot of money, one you were depending on, doesn't come in. Even though it was promised. In writing.

And then let's say the Director comes up to you, and says "We couldn't meet payroll this month. And it's not looking good for the rest of the year. You aren't being fired. Let's call it a...furlough."

Right before Christmas.

And so that month you just worked? You did that for free.

And they only told you today.

What would you do?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Self realization can be a (bad name for a lady dog).

I'm hosting book club tonight.

I would be excited, but I'm too busy drooling on my keyboard. I've been averaging 4 hours of sleep per night, and I can barely see straight.

Why, you ask?

Because I'm an idiot.

And because I work 40 hours every week.

But mostly because I started watching the show Hoarders. And I recognized myself.

"Kurt, I have bad news."

He glanced up from his textbook, and his gaze was arrested by my horrified expression. "Babe, what's wrong? Are you ok?"

I shook my head.

"What is it??"

I swallowed. "I'm a hoarder."

I don't have 41 dead cats living in my garage, and I don't think throwing away my dog's fur will speed up her death (mostly because, you know, I don't have a dog).

But I am a hoarder.

I'm not hoarding things right now (except craft supplies). But I am a hoarder the same way a man who hasn't had a drink in 5 years is still an alcoholic.

I look at their homes, and I see how it started. Maybe they never really unpacked, and the mess just grew. Maybe they started shopping, and simply had no place to put everything. But they kept on shopping. Because they know what it's like to be poor, and they know, they know that if they don't buy it now, they might not have the money to buy it later. And what if they need it one day?

Most of them have been extremely poor. I have been extremely poor.

It was like looking into my own head. It was like looking into my possible future. And it scared the shit out of me.

You might think I'm being dramatic, and you're probably right. I am sleep deprived, after all.

But that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

According to the show, hoarding is a mental disorder that effects approximately 3 million people. 3 million!

I have no plans to hoard rotting food, or keep my used toilet paper (and I'm only on episode 4!!). But I could. If I'm not careful, I could.

Not now, of course. Now I'm young, and (relatively) sane. I can throw stuff out with ease. I don't get attached to worthless things.

So maybe I'm a "Pre-Hoarder"?

Hang on, let me look it up...Ok. According to Wikipedia, I'm hovering somewhere between a a level 1 and a level 2 hoarder. For now.

My problem is a motivational one. I let things build up again and again until the task of cleaning and organizing is so huge, and it would take so long, and I'd rather just ignore it and do something, anything else.

I might never become a level 5 hoarder. But the pattern is set, and the tendency is there. If I'm not careful, I might end up with a VW bus full of junk in my backyard. Which I'll live in, because I won't be able to fit into my house once the tunnels I've dug under my piles of junk have collapsed.

(This happens sometimes)

We all have our challenges, right? Mine just happen to be slapping me in the face right now.

And so for the past few days, I've been cleaning. And organizing. And decorating. And buying organizational stuff (and possibly more decorations).

Since I'm at work all day, my crazy organization parties can't start until I get home. Then they go all night. If only I could take a mental health day, and just focus on this. That would be so appropriate, don't you think?

Again, let me explain one thing. This fear and determination is not because I am hoarding right now. It's because I know that if I'm not careful, I will be hoarding one day.

And I just can't let that happen.

So once The Great Clean of 2010 is over, I have a plan.

"Stay on top of this."

Ok, so it's not much of a plan.

But it's a start.


Monday, November 29, 2010

If you loved me, you'd change my diaper.

"How was nursery today?"

"Ugh. I can still smell them."


"That room always smells like pee by the end of church. It's because most of the kids are in diapers, you know?"

"If I had a diaper, I'd pee in it."

I stared at him.

"Just a heads up."

"You're planning on wearing a diaper?"

"You know, someday. And I'll probably smell like pee all the time. Because, why not?"

"Ummm, I hope you don't expect me to change your diaper. Because that is never going to happen."

"What? But you're my wife. It's your job!"

"It is not my job to wipe your butt, Kurt, and it never will be. We will be paying someone else to do that."

"My love tank is empty right now."

...and I didn't even care.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Where exactly is the line between "enthusiastic decorator" and "obsessed hoarder?"

Guess what I've been doing for the past ten hours?

....I might have a problem.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

My husband left me for that whore textbook. Again.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted to share this post with you guys, as a break from all of the nice, thoughtful, I'm-thankful-for posts that are suffocating the internet with gratitude and happiness. Don't get me wrong, I like those posts. But sometimes its nice to take a break, and contemplate murder.

It's kind of choppy, and the transitions suck, mostly because I copied it strait out of my journal and haven't had a minute to edit it. Between visiting relatives, and an exciting razor-blade-in-tire incident, things have been a little hectic around here.

It all started with a Facebook update...

I know what you're thinking. She's just a distraction. It's not like he is going to keep her forever. He married me, and shouldn't that count for something?

It's just....I know they are sleeping together. I've seen it. I've come home from a night out with the wives, only to find Kurt drooling on his textbook, his head resting between her ample pages, the smell of sparkling cider lingering in the air.

No one should have to walk in on that.

And now I don't know what to do.


One of my friends recommended getting him alone for a few days. She pointed out that the holidays are coming up, and that might be the perfect time to win him back.

Thanksgiving with his family, Christmas with mine.

Plus, I have my Turkey lingerie, and that Mrs. Clause garter belt on my side. There's no way he could resist that, right?


"Good news babe! I scheduled my boards for January 22. I'll have to bring my textbooks with us, and study a lot during the holidays. Especially Christmas. But I knew you'd understand."


Oh, I understand all right.

That malicious, scheming little tramp...

Well, I have a little holiday surprise in store for her.

"Are you thankful NOW???"

"How about some holiday cheer, textbook???"

...If only I could get away with it.

But even if I could hide the evidence, the motive is a little too obvious. There's no way they wouldn't catch me.

Maybe I should talk to him about it?


"Hey dude, I miss you."

"Yeah, I know."

"...and the other night, when you came home late? I saw that ink smudge on your collar."

"That? That was nothing. A campus newspaper must have brushed up against me on the bus."

"Look, it's ok. I get it. You're young, and you spend long hours at the lab. There are a lot of attractive books around, and you see them day after day. But, I just have to know that I can trust you."

He got kind of defensive, and walked out of the room.

I felt defeated. What now? Should I pretend like my feelings didn't matter, and just wait it out, hoping that he'll come back to me? Or should I just give up, and go stay with my sister?

If only there was a third option...

...Wait a minute. Maybe there is.

You know, the computer has been looking kind of tempting lately. Maybe I should give Kurt a taste of his own medicine...


A few hours later, Kurt found me in front of the monitor.

"Excuse me, can I have a minute alone with my wife?"

I smiled slightly at his possessive tone.

"Sure" I answered, winking at the keyboard.

A few minutes before, I had felt a little uncomfortable with my plan. It's been so long since I've really looked at anybody besides Kurt, and I wasn't sure if the game had changed.

I approached the monitor, and sat down in the office chair as seductively as possible. I had been rehearsing a few lines in my head, and I wanted to see if they would work.

"My name's Vista. Can I crash at your place tonight?"

"Need me to unzip your files?"

"You got me stuck on Caps Lock, if you know what I mean."

He was totally impressed. But not really interested. Turns out he and the keyboard are in a homo-technical relationship.

But they were totally supportive, and wanted to help out. So when Kurt walked up, and saw the screen winking at me, I think it got to him.

"Yeah. My wife and I need to have a little talk."

As Kurt dragged me away, I heard the keyboard whisper "you go girlfriend!"

Kurt pulled me into the other room, and sat me down. He rubbed his neck uncomfortably, and stared at the floor.

I relished his discomfort.

After giving himself a silent pep talk, he took a big breath, and looked me straight in the eye.

"I'm sorry I'm still in school."

...Wow. I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't that. It's like he saw through all the other problems, and went straight to the heart of the matter.

"Well, I wasn't going to say anything. But if you could hurry up and fail out, I'd really appreciate it."

"Ok. I can do that" He said, looking deep into my eyes. "For us."


So now we will see. I want to trust him. I want to believe that this can work.

But what if it doesn't? What if he forgets himself in the heat of the moment, and fills in that scantron? What if he passes??

I don't know if I can handle 3 more years of this. If it's not this textbook, it will be another one. And I've seen the way he looks at his drilling equipment.

I don't think I can compete with that.

...What am I supposed to do?


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Current stress level: half way between an ulcer and a heart attack.

Holy hell you guys. I am just glad this day is over.

Bring on the holiday.


Monday, November 22, 2010

I Could Have Died. Or Worse- Someone Could Have Seen Me!

Here is one of this week's prompts, from Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop:

"Forget Thanksgiving, write about that time you fell down."

I'm on it.

A little while ago, I decided to wear heels to work (I wanted to impress all of the ladies in the lunch room with my sexy strut).

This was a few weeks after my leg collapsed for no reason. But I was feeling pretty confident, since I hadn't experienced any reoccurring paralysis.

Also, I was wearing a new shirt.

I owned that office.

At the end of the day, I stood up and stretched. Time to go home. I gathered together my belongings (which always end up strewn across my desk, no matter how hard I try to contain them), and headed out the door.

I thought about taking the elevator, but decided against it. Why not use the stairs? I could get in my exercise for the day, and practice my seductive walk. BONUS.

....It was a bad choice.

I took one dainty little step, and my leg collapsed.

I rolled down an entire flight of linoleum stairs.

I could have died.

Or worse- Someone could have seen me!

My body came to rest against the dirty stairwell wall. I lay there for a second, wondering how the hell I had survived.

Then gingerly, I sat up and began to assess the damage. Nothing hurt very much, and there were no open wounds. I hadn't hit my head, and nothing seemed broken.

...Except my pride.

My new shirt was dirty, and sticking slightly to the gray patch of who-knows-what that was smeared along the wall.

Perfect. Just perfect.

I stared at my foot for a second, waiting for an explanation.

It wasn't asleep. There was no numbness, and that pins and needles feeling was jarringly absent.

Shaken, I stood up, and looked around. The downside to not having an audience is that no one is there to pick you up.

After a minute, I braced myself, and put my foot on the ground.


I added more weight, daring it to collapse. But it felt just as strong as ever.

Of course it was.

Sighing, I began to gather the contents of my purse.

I haven't worn heels since.


I would like to thank The Empress, for introducing me to Mama Kat. Without her, this story would never have been told.

(at least, not today)


Friday, November 19, 2010

What NOT to do at a slumber party.

When I was 5, I had a friend named Maggie. And Maggie had an older brother, who I was going to marry one day.

(this is me, circa 1989)

Maggie's brother was named Brian, and he had blond hair. That's pretty much all I remember about him. Well, I also remember the way my heart would start pounding when I heard his name. And that he was really tall (for a 7 year old).

But that's it.

One day I went over to Maggie's house for a sleepover birthday party. I dressed up in my cutest outfit (which probably wasn't very cute, since this was 1990) and I let my mom brush my hair for the occasion.

I just knew that if I looked my best, there was no way Brian could resist me.


I walked through Maggie's front door, and stared. This was her house?

I didn't know the word Mansion, but I did know that this house was much bigger than any I had ever been inside.

While this impressed me, and kind of made me nervous, it didn't make me want Brian any more than I already did (I have learned a lot since then).

"Helena! Welcome. Maggie and the other girls are in the gym."

Maggie's mom gestured to a glass wall behind her. And behind that glass? Was a giant room full of gymnastic equipment. In their house.

Now, I was little, so the room probably wasn't quite as big as I remember it. But still- who has gymnastic equipment in their house??

I looked around shyly, but I didn't see Brian anywhere. This was kind of a relief, because my plans were limited to "He will see me, I will look cute, and then we will be in love," and I was starting to worry that it wouldn't be that easy.

I dropped my sleeping bag and backpack by the others, and ran to the balance beam. I had taken gymnastics the summer before, and I was anxious to show off my cartwheel-on-the-beam skills.

Maybe that would impress him?

A few hours later (Or maybe it was minutes? Time passes slower when you are a kid), we gathered around the table to sing happy birthday to Maggie. I knew that her brother would be there for this part, because that's how things worked.

Sure enough, he came walking in with his dad and another boy from school. I watched him smile at his mom, and say something funny to his friend.

Someone handed me my plate, and I started eating the cake without really tasting it. I couldn't stop staring.

(This should tell you just how devoted I was. Sugar was such a rare treat, it would normally have consumed my entire attention)

This was it. This was the moment I had been waiting for. Any second now he was going to look over and see me, and then he would be my boyfriend.

What will we tell Maggie? I wondered. I hope she won't get mad.

I smiled extra hard at her, because we were about to become family, and I wanted her to know that I was happy about that.

We will probably have 90 kids, I thought. And all of them will be girls. I wonder how old you have to be to get married?

I was so busy planning our reception, it took me a minute to realize that Brian was walking out the door.

"Have fun spending the night at Jamie's house!" His mom called after him.


He was leaving???


But, we hadn't even fallen in love yet!

We never even made eye contact (despite my constant staring).  

It wasn't fair!!!

I was crushed. I wanted to cry, but at the same time I didn't want the other girls to think I was a baby. And the last thing I wanted was to have to explain why I was sad.

The rest of the evening passed in a blur. I probably had fun, but I don't remember any of that. I just remember laying down in my sleeping bag that night, on their thick white carpet, and thinking that life was awful.


A few hours later, I felt something warm on my lower back. That was nice. I drifted back off...

...and then I noticed that that warm spot was getting cold, and kind of sticky.

Wait a second...

Oh no, was that pee??! 

I sat up in a hurry, and felt around beneath me. Sure enough, I had wet the floor.

I didn't know what to do! Should I wake up Maggie, or go get her mother?? I just wanted to go home.

Heartbroken, I started crying. Not only had my future boyfriend forgotten to fall in love with me, but now I was going to be made fun of at school for the rest of infinity. Maybe infinity times infinity.

My little chest heaved with sobs as I climbed out of my sleeping bag.

I looked around for my backpack, which had tomorrow's clothes inside. My face was still dripping with tears as I took off my pajamas, and pulled up my jeans. At least I was dry.

I looked around the room, trying to decide what to do. I knew I should probably wake up Maggie's mother, but I was too embarrassed. If only I could pretend like nothing happened.

...Wait a minute. Why not? No one knew that I wet the floor, and if I could remove the evidence...


The next morning, when Maggie's mom walked in to wake us up, she found all the girls still inside their sleeping bags.

All except one.

I was already dressed, with my sleeping bag all rolled up. I had fallen asleep leaning against it.

"Wow, you're all ready. Good for you."

She didn't even notice the yellow spot on her expensive white carpet.

I had pulled it off! I couldn't believe it.

This was the best party ever.


As soon as I got home, I ran to my sister Amber.

"You'll never guess what happened! They have a trampoline and a balance beam and all kinds of gymnastic stuff RIGHT IN THEIR HOUSE, even some uneven bars and I did a cartwheel and Brian was going to fall in love with me, but he left with a friend, and I'm not even his girlfriend but I still love him and OH MY GOSH I wet the bed, except it was the floor, and I hid it and no one knows and there's a yellow spot but i didn't get caught and it was the BEST PARTY EVER!"

Her reaction was kind of anticlimactic.

I never did end up marrying Brian, mostly because we moved away a few months later, and he hadn't seen my cartwheel yet. I think things would have ended differently if he had.

I still think about that house sometimes.

Who has gymnastic equipment in their living room?


Thursday, November 18, 2010

My showers are pretty exciting.

I have this entire medley memorized:


I also have this song memorized:

And this one:

I'm not sure which one I'm more proud of.

....Or which one I sing more often in the shower.

Kurt sure is one lucky guy.

Other close contenders for my #1 shower song?

My showers are pretty exciting.


What are your favorite songs to rock out to while shampooing your hair?


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Party like crazy! (It's good for your blog)

There are so many ways to find readers for your blog. Twitter, networks, comments, guest posting. These things work.

But my favorite? Link Parties.

(No, I'm not talking about Blog Parties Like This One)

Sometimes when I am facing writers block, I will turn to Thursday Thunks, or Top Two Tuesday for ideas.

Parties like these don't just give you a topic to write on. They also give you a chance to expose your blog to a whole new audience.

And who doesn't like exposing themselves?

When I link up to this kind of party (a blog one, not a flasher one), I try to visit each and every person there, and leave a meaningful comment.

(Emphasis on the meaningful part)

At the end of that comment, I'll add "I found you through ___________."

The return visits are awesome, and I always see a huge traffic spike when I do this.

A few weeks ago I tried a Wordless Wednesday post. And I got 200 extra visitors that day who clicked through to my blog (I track my traffic sources through Google Analytics).


Parties are where it's at, y'all.

There are also some blog carnivals that don't require you to write on a specific topic. Some ask for a funny post. Or maybe for your best post of the week.

Others have a theme, but it's general enough that you can just add what you already wrote that day.

Here, let me show you what I mean. Take my sister's Small Treasures Tuesday party (which is open all week).

Some people are inspired to write a post about something they treasure.

Others (like me) will link up whatever they wrote that day, and in the linky they will write titles like "naked old ladies are a treasure" "being married to me is a treasure" and "reaching that level of awkwardness is a treasure."

Sweet, huh?

Again, you will receive more visits if you visit the other participants, and leave them thoughtful comments.

It's all about the social interaction.

(Yes, this is a plug for my sister's party. Go link your posts up)

So that's my secret.


What are your favorite ways to draw in new readers?

And are there any other parties that you guys like?

I'm always looking for new parties.

(I should probably specify, I'm not looking for Craft parties. Not that yours isn't awesome. But since this is not a craft blog (it's in the header), maybe only link up ones that would apply?)


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Making your little sisters doubt their parents love? Priceless.

People have been asking me this question a lot lately.

(and by "people" I mean Tara and Lori)

How do you pronounce Helena?

So I thought to myself, "Heck, why not write a post about it?"

(yeah, I'm kind of running short on ideas this week.)

(...and I'm copying some of this straight from my FAQ page. Because I'm lazy like that.)

Here is the official answer:


There is actually an accent over the second "e" to make it say "A".

No, I'm not making that up! It's on my birth certificate. My mom was really feeling her french heritage that year.

Here, I'll put it in: Heléna. That's my real name.

Which? Awesome way to make your kids hate each other. My sisters were jealous of my accent, and I probably didn't help when I told them that it was because "mom and dad just love me more.'

Yup. I was such a nice kid. Right Amber? Chantel?


You can't still be mad.



I'm linking this to my sister's party, Small Treasures Tuesday. Because having me for an older sister is a treasure.


Monday, November 15, 2010

This is why we will always be poor.

The other day, I was staring at the foam in confusion.

"Weren't we going to get a new couch?"

He looked up from his textbook in surprise.

"Well, we haven't saved up enough in our apartment fund."

"What? But I haven't bought anything apartment-related in forever!"

He half smiled. "Well, whenever you go over your spending money, the extra money has to come from somewhere."


"Yeah. Where did you think it was coming from?"

"I don't know. I guess I just thought there was a 'Helena's overspending again' fund."

He just smiled, and went back to his homework.

And I went back to my online shopping.


Sunday, November 14, 2010


Welcome to this week's edition of

This week on Reasons To Lose

I dominated the Shred.

This week on the Internet

Um...not much.

This week's Things I Wish I Could Plagiarize

Forget Bed Bugs - Ever Heard of Bed Worms??

Well. This certainly does get the point across.

Breaking me

Taming Temper Tantrums through Arson.

There are basically two kinds of human beings.

Did you write an awesome post this week? Add the URL to your comment, and I'll come check it out!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

No really, I'm generally pleasant in person.

In case you were worried, I feel so much better today.

I feel like by Monday, I will be ready to handle 40 more hours of squeaky chairs and obnoxious old men with my usual grace and aplomb.

No really, I'm generally pleasant in person.

(please ignore my sisters snorts of disbelief)

In case you were worried that I secretly hate Veterans, let me assure you that that simply is not the case. I love crotchity old men (and women), and usually I am understanding, and secretly amused by their rudeness.

But sometimes, a combination of I'm-having-a-shitty-day and personal insults on their part make me want to smack them so hard, their dentures fly out.

But even then, you would never know it by my voice. My eyes probably give me away, but as we are only connected by a phone line, my death glare doesn't have much effect.

And in case you need further proof, I'll have you know that RED is my new favorite movie. I want to be that badass when I grow up.

Man, my language has gone downhill. Sorry to all my mormon friends (I'll try to do better).

On the bright side, Kurt was very understanding, and didn't even pick a single fight when I got home. Which is so very different than what I am used to (or maybe I'm the one who picks the fights? I can never keep these things straight).

If he had been a jerk, last night could have ended so differently. Who knows what would have happened.

Driving home, I felt like a pent up ball of rage just waiting to burst and consume the awful drivers around me. And, in case you are new here, even on my calmest days I tend to have a slight problem with road rage (I would like to blame genetics for this one).

But you will be EVEN PROUDER to know that I didn't explode. Not even once. I didn't cuss at my windshield, drive aggressively, or even casually flip someone off.

My secret? I called my Mother In Law while I was driving (it's ok, traffic was moving so slow, I would have had to try to get into an accident), and we had an awesome conversation. We laughed and joked and made plans for Thanksgiving.

(my sister's are probably staring slack-jawed at their monitors right now)

Relations with my in-laws have been a little strained over the past year, mostly because I am an awful person (although those who know the whole story might argue that it's as much their fault as mine).

...And that's really as much detail as I can go into without them killing me. So feel free to speculate, but don't expect me to confirm what actually went down.

However, I think things are looking up on that front.

I think maybe I'm growing up?

My secret for this miracle is actually pretty simple. I decided to accept that we are connected for life (and hopefully beyond), and I have two choices: I can either nurse grudges and add to the strain, or I can forgive, forget, and try to establish a relationship with them.

The latter option seems like it would lead to the most happiness, both for me, for them, and especially for Kurt.

I know not everyone has in-law problems as small as mine, and some things are pretty much impossible to get past. I am not telling you guys this to preach to you, or to suggest that your situation will be as easy, or even possible, to fix (not that this is exactly easy, but it is possible).

I am just telling you my experiences (which are really the only things I am qualified to talk about).

I know it won't be as simple as it sounds (or maybe it will?), but I'm hoping that I can become a good daughter-in-law to Kurt's parents. Maybe even friends with them?

But hey, at the very least I know that can turn to his mom when I am ready to throttle the next person who looks at me funny, and she will diffuse the situation with her curious nature and Finnish accent.

Anyway, I just thought I would check in, and let you know that things are looking up from yesterday. I'm not in jail, and there are no warrants out for my arrest. Also, Kurt barely has any super-glue to wash off.

(I take my brownies very seriously)

**Hey guys, Erin needs some help with her In-Laws. You can read her story below, in the comments section. Please join the conversation, and add your insights and advice!**


Friday, November 12, 2010

I could snap at any moment.

  • Old Geezer: "The flag needs to be lit at night!"
  • Me: "The flag code actually says that there needs to be 'sufficient lighting', however it does not specify what that means."
  • Old Geezer: "Yes it does, stupid." No really, he just called me stupid. "I read it before you were born."
  • Me: "Well, either they changed it, or you are senile (I'm thinking the latter)."
Ok. so I didn't actually say the senile part. But I wanted to. I really, really wanted to.
    ....I'm having a rough day.


    You know what? I'm going to link this up to Flip Off Fridays with Momma Kiss. Because I would love nothing more right now than to shove my middle finger up that old man's nose.

    Also, F Bomb Friday, with MiMi. It's a good fit.

    I need a vacation. Bad.

    If my boss doesn't stop rocking his squeaky desk chair, I cannot be held responsible for my actions.


    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Live blogging from my armpit.

    Kurt was lying next to me on the bed. I was busy typing super-important stuff on the laptop (What? Twitter is important. Kind of).

    Kurt hadn't showered in a few days, and I wasn't letting him under the covers until he got that under control.

    I sat through a few minutes of "why is your love so conditional?" and "I would love you even if you never showered!" (a safe claim on his part. I am very attached to my showers.)

    In defiance, he curled up next to me, and slowly worked his way into a clingy cuddle.

    Then he fell asleep.

    So I turned on Pandora.

    He put a pillow over his face.

    ...which I leaned on.

    He decided suffocating wasn't as comfortable as putting his face in my armpit. You know, to block out the light.

    I thought that was punishment enough.

    20 minutes (and 2 facebook updates) later, he snored so loud, he startled himself awake.

    Sleepily, he turned his face to the light, and gasped in pain.

    "Why is it so bright out here???"

    "It's darker in my armpit" I offered.

    "Yeah," he muttered sleepily. "I think your armpit wins this battle."

    Then he stuck his face back in. And fell asleep again.

    And that's where we are right now. He is right there, snoring away in my armpit.

    Maybe I should break out the cheese whiz...


    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    My wild and crazy teenage years

    When I was in highschool, I didn't really have a curfew. Mostly, my parents just trusted me not to do anything too stupid.

    ...And they knew that if I did, I would end up telling them anyway. My mom and I were pretty tight.

    So yup, no curfew. But I told my friends I had one. It was my excuse to get out of things, because this: 
    Just isn't as socially acceptable as this:

    I was pretty shy, but I managed to find an awesome group of outgoing friend to hang out with.

    And when that awesome group of friends had crazy plans? I would run it by my mom before I went.

    "Hey mom? My friends are going skinny dipping this weekend at the cabin. Just girls, and Jessica's mom will be there. It's kind of her idea. What do you think?"

    "Go for it."

    That weekend 6 of us stood staring at Lake Michigan in the moonlight.

    "Ok girls, start stripping."

    Jessica's mom was really young when she had her, and she was more like an older sister.

    "But, what about that bar?"

    The beach was right next to a bar and grill, and we were worried that someone would come outside and see us.

    "It's ok. I'll watch your clothes."

    So we shrugged our shoulders, and shucked off our clothing. I remember running to the water, screaming "Don't look at me!" at the top of my lungs.

    Skinny dipping was awesome. And cold. Mostly cold. But when you are 15, you're willing to overlook the small things (like hypothermia) for the sake of the adventure.

    A few minutes later Kelly asked "Hey wait, where did Jess's mom go?"

    We all turned towards the beach. The empty beach.

    "Oh shit!"

    We struggled to the shore, cursing under our breath. When we got there, we found a single towel, and a note.

    And that is how I ended up wrapped in a towel with 6 other girls, butt naked, sneaking past a bar in the middle of the night.

    It was terrifying.

    We couldn't stop giggling.

    And Jessica's mom? She was laughing so hard, she couldn't drive home.


    Do you guys have any stories like this?


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