they pay to kiss your feet

since there's no one else around, we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know. then our skin gets thicker from living out in the snow.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

blood, sweat and tears (well, maybe no blood)

But there were blood blisters, yes, several.
I'm tracking the number of miles I run in 2006. Total for January - 74.05.

Monday, January 30, 2006

strong enough for a man, made for a jessi

you can play the slogan generator, too.

a ground hog i became

Yesterday, I ran the annual groundhog run. It takes place in one of those caves that house offices and storage space and sewage smells and stuffy air. It was a 10K, which is 6.4 miles for my non-running readers, and it was boring. Really boring. Like running for 52 minutes in a parking garage with no scenery, no fresh air and really, really bad body odor smells. Because putting 3,500 people in a cave in the morning, pre-shower, and then having them all run and run and run causes sweat and body odor, and I'm pretty sure people forgot to wear deodorant and to brush their teeth. During outdoor races, the fresh air takes care of most of the nastiness that accompanies long runs, but not in the caves. It was gross.

And the irony in all of this is that usually, when the Subtropolis cave people open its doors to thousands of runners in the middle of the winter, the chance to run like a groundhog is greeted with thanks because the 50ish degree temperatures the caves offer are supposed to be far better than the Kansas City mid-winter bone chilling colds. Only yesterday, the temperature outside pretty much matched the cave temperature and while I usually wait for Groundhog Day with much anticipation, hoping that spring is right around the corner, this year, we’ve hardly had winter. My daylilies are coming up and so are my daffodils and I have buds on my trees. It’s been spring-like since November and it’s a little scary if you ask me. I’m not sure why, but it’s scary nonetheless.

My friend Brad and I ran together until he beat me by 20 seconds in the end and as we emerged from the stinky cavern and the bright Sunday morning sun was just ahead of us, I turned to him and said, “I feel like a ground hog, but I bet I’ll see my shadow.”

I did see my shadow. Guess we’ll have six more weeks of “wintery weather.” Make sure your spring jackets and windbreakers are ready if you need them Kansas City!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

despite how this may appear, normally gus is naked.

We have never actually purchased an article of doggy clothing for Mr. Woof. Our friend and family, however, have. Here he is sporting his "Ruff Stuff" T-shirt. He hates it.

Friday, January 27, 2006

i think i just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

So I have this gag reflex problem. It’s a minor problem really. It only comes to the surface when I am in the presence of a horribly offensive smell or the sound of someone puking or something that looks gross like road kill or Gus’ vomit. I try to avoid these gag reflex triggers at all costs, but there are just some things I can’t avoid. Like just now, I was in the bathroom at work taking care of my business in a hurry because someone was REALLY taking care of their business in the stall a few doors down and it was loud and vile and squirty and it stunk — I mean horribly. It was awful. So awful that the offending party took care of two courtesy flushes while I was in there for less than two minutes. I washed my hands quickly, the whole time holding my breath, and exited the main part of the bathroom in what may have appeared as a dead sprint but I don’t think anyone noticed. And though I was mostly running while not breathing, some of the stench must have stayed in my nose because as soon as I entered the “lounge’ part of the bathroom, I started gagging uncontrollably and I’m sure the person in the stall heard me and probably thought I did it on purpose. But I didn’t. I can’t help it. And now, my eyes are all watery and my stomach hurts because these were deep, wretching gags. If it would have gone on for even a second longer, I probably would have thrown up. I’m not sure what I am going to do when I have kids of my own and I have to deal with their smelly things like dirty diapers and vomit.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Myspace equals my crack.

I am addicted to Myspace. And I am convinced that Tom, the Myspace creator, is a genious. His gem of an idea has helped me to reconnect with old college friends, old high school friends, old childhood friends and even my eighth grade boyfriend. I thought I was a bad google stalker. Myspace makes cyber stalking too easy. I can watch old friends from afar and they never know it. I can see current photos of old neighbors that I knew when I was 5. It's insane and wonderful all at the same time. And I am not the only one who things so. I promise.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

and then, we have days like my yesterday

My beautiful new Ms. E was backed into last night as I sat in her waiting to pull into a parking spot at the gym. The reason we even got Ms. E in the first place is because my trusty Civic was backed into, and while it was getting serviced, we started thinking about trading up. That happened Christmas Eve. This happened yesterday, and if you ask me, that’s too close in time for much comfort. After collecting the necessary insurance information from the offending party, I could have just gone home, skipped my workout and paced around like a crazy woman, but instead, I stayed, ran fast and furious, and then felt just fine at home until I got a knock on the door at 9 p.m.

I looked through the top door window and saw a woman and a man standing on my porch. They waved at me like they knew me and so, I waved back. Maybe I did know them, I thought. It was dark and the man was kind of standing in the shadow. I opened the wood door, but not the storm door because it was 9 p.m. for crying out loud and Gus was trying to bark them out of the yard. The woman began right away asking if I was the lady of the house, which made me slightly uncomfortable because I’ve never been called a “lady” before, but I let it slide and answered that yes, I was that lady indeed. She then began telling me about how the two of them were my neighbors and that they were walking around passing out fliers about her business. She reached out to hand me a carpet cleaning flier, which I took and then shut the storm door again. I could hear and see her just fine through the protective glass and something about them just didn’t sit right with me. And though I don’t need another excuse to have kept the door shut, I’ll give you one — by this time Gus was trying to make his way to the porch, too. If the door wasn’t shut, he would escape. I figured she’d just continue her speech and I could look on and nod a lot but instead, she looked at me after I shut the door and with the most disgusted tone I’d heard all day said, “Why don’t you just give me the flier back if you don’t have five seconds to listen to what I have to say.” Shocked, I retorted, “If I open the door, my dog will get out.” She then replied with her hand outstretched beckoning me to return her precious flier, “Yeah, I’m sure.” Okay, by this time, I was really, really angry. I handed her back her stupid flier, and she and her bodyguard in the shadows turned and left. I wanted to yell at her and say that maybe if they had come at a normal hour I would have had more time to listen or that doesn’t she know, as a woman, that it is not safe for a woman to open her door to strangers, especially two of them, during the day let alone at night. I mean, come on! Instead, I slammed the door and then shouted, “I can’t believe she had such nerve.” I was shaking, I mean literally shaking. I think it may also have been the UTI antibiotic that was helping the shaking right along, but she was certainly fueling the fire.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

mad about magazines

Today, while sitting in the waiting room of the doctor’s office before learning that the annoying little problem I’ve been having is only my third urinary tract infection of the year, I picked up a copy of Better Homes and Gardens to do some reading. Only, the pages felt more like tissue paper and less like the quality paper stock Meredith magazines generally print on. And then there was the issue of the wrinkling. The pages were wrinkled and old-looking, and the colors were fading and then I noticed that what I was holding in my hands in a waiting room in 2006 was the summer issue of Better Homes and gardens from 1998. I remember that summer well. It was my last summer before college. I was a lifeguard and a girlfriend and an antsy teenager counting down the days until the dorm opened and I could move to Columbia to start my college life. I don’t, however, remember that the trends were very shabby chic and very floral. I remembered that today, though, as I paged through the magazine. I went page by page and was thrilled with the shelf life that this single issue retained. I’m obsessed with all things magazine — the business, the writing, the design — I did major in it for crying out loud. And through my thick veil of obsession, I catch people second-guessing the medium that is a magazine. Saying that print journalism, that print media is going to phase out. That the Internet will replace it and that people won’t need the words typeset and meticulously designed on pages anymore. At least, not on pages that they can hold and take with them. But that’s the thing. Think about it. How easy is it to roll up a magazine or a newspaper and to stick it in your bag or briefcase. To take it on the plane or to bed for a quick read before curling up for the night. The fact is, you can take print journalism with you. And to me, it just seems way more personal. It’s like your favorite newspaper and cup of coffee make more sense when you’re laying on the couch on a Sunday with a bit of news print on your fingers and a warm coffee-filled belly.

So anyway, I am happy to say that the summer issue from 1998 of Better Homes and Gardens in a doctors office in Kansas reminded me why I love magazines and why I will fight to the death to keep them in print.

Monday, January 23, 2006

why there is nothing better than eating pulled pork in a gas station.

Oklahoma Joe's never lets me down. The pulled pork sandwich is insanely good, and the fries are, well, the only fries in the city that I will actually consume. It doesn't hurt that a massive bag of them costs under $2.00, can feed both me and Nick and is full to the brim of french fries that are actually cut from a real potato- yes, they even have little hints of potato skin still on them.

I do love me some OK Joe's, and I don't even mind going home smelling like a barbecue pit. Because as soon as that smell starts to fade, I know it's high time to go back.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

quote of the weekend (so far).

"I make things up all of the time that have been thought of already."

I might have said this. Yeah. Hanging my head right now.

Friday, January 20, 2006

looking forward to it

this is what my weekend is looking like

friday night
1. clean
2. eat barbecue
3. drink wine
4. sleep

1. run 6 miles in the freezing a.m.
2. clean
3. grocery shop
4. go to target
5. wash ms. E (the element)
6. go over ski-apparel inventory with friend
7. work on job stuff
8. make dinner
9. entertain dinner guest with nick
10. drink wine
11. sleep

1. church
2. run, run, run
3. clean
4. play with gus
5. call people
6. watch grey's anatomy
7. drink wine
8. sleep

hope your weekends are as action-packed as mine. see you back here monday.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

What we're made of.

I’m supposed to be writing right now, but just not here. I have a story to start and finish for work. But nothing in me wants to begin or end it. And so, I have been bitten by the procrastination bug. This is a strange feeling as I am a typical type A overachiever. But not today, I guess. I’d rather be just about anywhere. Outside. At home. At the mall. At the dentist even. I am tired and my muscles are sore and my back hurts and my coffee is half gone. I drank it too fast today. I want to take a walk or a run, I want to clean my house and cook a gourmet lunch to be followed by an ice cream dinner. I’d probably crush up reduced-fat Oreos to add to my ice cream. It would be even better if topped with whipped cream. Yes, I would probably top it with whipped cream and a cherry although I know how maraschino cherries are made now, and I’ve sworn them off. But maybe just this once, I could have one. Then, I’d sit on my purple couch with Gus in my lap and I’d watch television. Probably some Food Network followed by a little Fuse and then maybe some CNN or something. After a balanced meal of television viewing, I’d retreat to my bedroom where I would journal and write poetry, all while Gus slept peacefully on my lap. I’d write the best poem ever and it would move even me to tears and then, I would read it to Nick, who would cry also. He then would memorize it and repeat it to his friends and co-workers and then they would do the same until eventually, it got inside the head of someone at The New Yorker or Esquire or The Atlantic Monthly and they would want to contact me, the author, because someone with such a beautiful economy of words can’t be ignored. They would call a week later with a job offer and a relocation package to New York. Nick, Gussy and I would be swept off our feet by the offer, sell our cottage-like house, our cars and our sanity and move to the big apple where just going to the grocery store is kind of a big ordeal. We would forget what grass and trees look like and Gus would rarely have the chance to run free. He would become a condo dog, and we would become condo people. We would place our trash in a dumpster at the end of each day and we wouldn’t think twice about dropping $9 for a beer. We would walk or take a cab everywhere, even to dinner and we would swiftly become different. We would have different jobs and different scenery to look at. We’d have a different ceiling over our heads and a different comforter, we’d have a strange, new kitchen and a strange, new mortgage payment and we’d also have new friends and a new life. We’d be different people, all New Yorked out and such. And while it’s fun to dream about, I’m not sure I’d ever be able to leap the bounds in between the Midwest and Manhattan, to step over the cultural divide that makes living here and living there so intensely different. I might be able to forget about what actually makes a maraschino cherry long enough to ingest one, but I’m not sure I could forget my life here in order to just leave most of it behind. I’m a Midwest girl and, I fear, I will always be.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

and now, what is becoming my obligatory weekly gus photo posting

I like to call this photo "Gus' evil twin." But really, this is the face of Gus that makes me laugh. He pulls out the underbite whenever he feels it most useful - usually when I want to ignore him and work or something. He knows I'm a sucker for his charm and good looks. Can you blame me?

do you bleed black and gold?

i try not to. because usually, bleeding black and gold ends in a dry run of dissapointment. but not last night. last night, bleeding black and gold felt good.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

what if i could make you money?

sound too good to be true? maybe. but what if i could. really. what if i could plant the seed to help grow the tree on which money will live and then fall from?

what if i could bring you business using an economy of words mixed with some incredible design and a plan. i believe that i can.

are you interested? because you should be.

nothing like a bit of self promotion. but, i've got to eat, too. for all of you readers, whatever your profession, if you pay someone to write words for you, i'd love to be that person. i'd love to help make your business better and your life better. if you're interested in my editing, writing and proofreading skills, please contact me at the e-mail address provided on this site. or, you can just comment and leave your e-mail address for me.

let's make money grow on trees together.

Friday, January 13, 2006

why i will always go to osco

I grew up going to Osco for hair gel and shampoo and for baby oil and femine unmentionables. My parents were strange like that. I honestly never stepped foot into a Walmart until I was 12 and my neighbors took me. My mom had never been to one either. I came home from my several hour introduction to the low-priced, high-volume mega store and raved to my mom about how inexpensive shampoo was and about the absolute perfection of a place where one can buy a bra, a notebook, a roasted chicken and a best-selling novel.

My parents switched over. They saw all of the money they were saving, and Osco became a last minute stop, but not a destination. Walmart was our destination until Target came along, and that changed everything. Today, I prefer Target especially in my part of the city, because at the Walmart in my nieghborhoood, all of the best-sellers are in Spanish and I get the feeling that the merchandise is not targted to someone of my background. But sometimes, when I have only one item to purchase, or when I am at work and I want a break, I still go to Osco.

This afternoon, I walked to the Osco down the street from my buiilding and decided to purchase a soda, some gum and one of those caramel-covered, sour-apple suckers. I found what I needed and waited in line to pay. I was slightly annoyed there was no "self check-out" option, and I was even slightlier annoyed that it was taking so long to get through the line. But it was all worth it when it was my turn to pay and my cute, frumpy, old ladyish cashier greeted me. At that second, her co-worker asked her if she wanted anything to drink. She said, "no," but quickly changed her mind. "Yes, I would like something to drink. Bring me a root beer," she said. Then she looked at me, winked and said, "That way, it will feel like I'm drinking a beer."

I laughed outloud. And I totally understood where she was coming from. I was, after all, buying a sucker covered in cheap caramel so that I could feel like I was eating a caramel apple. What good are Fridays, anyway, if we don't splurge a little?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

and then she learned two valuable lessons

Lesson Number One : Never, and I repeat, NEVER wear a skirt to the chiropracter.

Lesson Number Two: Never, and I repeat, NEVER get on the same elevator with that man again unless you want a repeat of this scenerio:

Jessi is on the elevator. It is going down. It stops on the third floor and an oldish man gets on. He pushes floor number 5 and then notices the elevator is going down. "S**T," he says. "Sorry, we're going down," Jessi replies.

Once on floor number one, the doors open, and Jessi gets out. Whilst this is happening, oldish man proclaims, "It was worth it since I got to ride down with you." He says this in a nasty tone, too. One that no one should be able to get away with. One that no one should have to listen to. One that sent yucky chills down Jessi's spine.

Jessi grunts and walks off, quickly.

Hard to believe for me, even, but this story is true.

The first time I went skiing, I was in the French-speaking part of Canada surrounded by French-speaking ski instructors and chair lift operators and standing beside a mostly French-speaking pen pal who I hardly knew. I was in fifth grade and my glasses were fogging up and my legs were unsteady and I got down the bunny hill by rolling, not by skiing. I could hardly even manage the rope tow.

But despite my recklessness, the ski instructor decided it was time for my entire fifth grade class to brave the chairlift and the mountain.

First, you have to understand that I was entirely out of my comfort zone in every imaginable way. For starters, I was in Canada. My parents were still in Missouri. I dealt with horrible bouts of separation anxiety throughout my early, less formidable years and this stuff about being thousands of miles away wasn’t quite the ticket to pure mental stability.

Then there’s the fact that I hated my pen pal. And I mean HATED. My catholic, private grade school with a French name was sister schools to an institution of the same name in Quebec. We began writing our pen pals in third grade with the idea that in fifth grade we would meet. Each month, we’d anticipate the arrival of a bundle of new pen pal letters and, best of all, presents. Yes, presents. Only, I was the only kid who regularly received little more than a scribbled note and a yearbook photo. All of my friend and classmates got diaries and puffy stickers and trapper keepers from their pen pals. They also got photos of their pen pal’s summer homes and mountain homes and fast cars. I got the short end of the stick. I know now, of course, that gifts and riches weren’t what should have mattered, but I was 10, and when you’re 10, that stuff is what, unfortunately, makes the difference.

So, I’m standing there getting ready to get on the chair lift with my pen pal that I hate, a ski instructor that I can’t understand, and a pair of glasses that cover half my face and are all foggy and I was scared. For good reason. Getting off the chair lift wasn’t a matter of grace, it was a matter of survival. I just kind of fell out of the chair and rolled a little bit until the angry skiers behind me shoved me out of the way. I then attempted to ski down the mountain, only after 30 minutes of getting 30 feet and falling 30 times, I took my skis off and began the long trek of walking down the mountain. Needless to say, I was three hours late for lunch. And let me point out again that I was in fifth grade! Why was no one supervising me?

Later, I tried the chair lift again. Only this time, I noticed the sign that read “ICI,” which means “here” in French. Only, I was so discombobulated and delirious that I read it as “ICE” and even though there was none, I slipped, fell and stayed on the ground until the chair lift came right on by and hit me in the head. The French-speaking chair lift operator mumbled something to me in French and then stopped the entire system so that I could stand up, push my glasses back onto my nose and take my seat on what I had begun to think of as the ride to death.

For the sake of a good story, I wish the story got worse, but that’s about the worst of it. After my head-banging incident, the ski instructor realized I needed some more instructing. And after an hour and a half session, I was able to make it down the mountain. Despite my success, the chair lift guy remembered me (how could he forget???) and stopped the lift, again, so that I could get on without nearly losing my life.

By the end of the ski trip, I still hated my pen pal, but I loved to ski. In one month, I will brave the slopes again, for only the third time since that strange introduction to the sport. Only this time, I will be with my friends and my husband and very much in America.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

62 things about me.

1. I like to read, but I don’t always finish an entire book
2. I can wear my hair straight or curly, all by changing the attachment on my hair dryer.
3. I married my husband, Nick, three weeks after I graduated college.
4. Nick and I have a dog, Gus, who we thought was a pug, but now we know he is a petite branbacon.
5. I am one of the only people I know who doesn’t have a baby.
6. I’m obsessed with scarves as a seasonal accessory.
7. I am very particular about which bathroom stall I choose.
8, When I’m driving by myself, I turn the music up so loud, I can’t hear my cell phone ringing.
9. I began working out Jan 1, 2000. I haven’t stopped since.
10. I live in a smallish house with an ugly old-lady white awning over the stoop.
11. I obsessively clean every Friday night so that on Saturday, I can do whatever I want.
12. I am friends with my deli lady and my fish monger at the grocery store.
13. I dream of putting a bike attachment on my roof rack, but I fear it will cost more than the worth of my bike.
14. I hate saying goodbye to people.
15. When I miss someone, it’s hard to do anything other than miss them.
16. I once had a therapist tell me I had chronic depression and anxiety. I stopped seeing her, and I’m 100 percent better now.
17. I’ve attempted to write a book three separate times. One day, I plan to write, write, write until it’s finished.
18. I dream of publishing a memoir.
19. I lust after being published in The New Yorker.
20. My favorite part of my body is my right eye.
21. I hate my upper lip.
23. My mom always complains that her nose is too big. I got her nose.
24. When I was in high school, I weighed 88 pounds and was severely anorexic. I will never, ever revisit that place.
25. Although I eat meat, I am appalled by the treatment of animals and I secretly want to do a PETA protest. I would have to be clothed though.
26. I am a condiment fanatic. My favorite is horseradish.
27. I really, really like creamed herring.
28. I love to cook with garlic, but I hate the way my fingers smell afterward.
29. I am the oldest of three children. My sister and I didn’t get along until I was 22. She is now one of my best friends.
30. My brother lives in Denver where he works for Road to Jerusalem. People say we look alike. I miss him.
31. My parents got divorced this year after almost 30 years of marriage. I am now a statistic.
32. I am happiest at home with Gus on my lap, and Nick by my side.
33. My best friend knows all of my secrets, and I know hers.
34. If I find a song I really like, I play it over and over and over until it makes me sick.
35. I read ten blogs a day.
36. I used to wish I had blond hair.
37. I go to Legacy Christian Church and Nick and I lead a small group.
38. I have a purple couch. It was the first large piece of furniture we ever bought.
39. I drive a Honda Element and we call her “Elly.” I love her, but I miss my civic.
40. I get asked when I am going to be getting pregnant almost once a week. I’ve stopped answering.
41. I love to take walks.
42. I am training for a full marathon.
43. I used to hate to run.
44. My mom is adopted. She found her birth family eight years ago. They were looking for her, too.
45. I was raised Jewish.
46. Although I consider myself a semi health-freak, I love chocolate and fried food.
47. I would do almost anything for a freshly baked, crusty loaf of bread. Serve it up with some olive oil, and I might eat the entire loaf.
48. I get migraine headaches once a month.
49. I stop by Quick Trip every morning for a cup of coffee. I’m glad they’ve introduced the “Italian Blend” variety.
50. I chew Orbit Wintermint gum because I am afraid I have bad breath.
51. Sometimes I wonder if I am “the smelly kid.” I’ve asked my friends, and they’ve said no. But I’m not sure I believe them.
52. I wear Victoria’s Secret Pink perfume.
53. I have to put lotion on my hands before I go to bed.
54. If I have a bad dream, I wake up and turn on some lights — still.
55. I’ve had three jobs in four years. I’m always looking for something “better.”
56. I have one grey hair that I keep pulling out. It keeps growing back.
57. I’m 26.
58. When I was a senior in high school, I was fluent in French.
59. I dated my high school boyfriend for three and ½ years.
60. I don’t like to bite into an apple. I have to cut it into slices.
61. I am always afraid that people won't like me. I'm getting better at this though.
62. I scrunch my nose and my forehead up when I'm trying to make a point. I'm not sure it's that cute.

Get over your resolutions, I just want to use a freaking treadmill.

Okay, I know I should be encouraging the hoards of people who have flocked to the gym since January 1. I know I should praise them for their motivation and for their initiative and for the way that they care about their health and body and well-being. But instead, it’s really pissing me off because now, I can’t ever get access to a treadmill. I used to tell everyone about my gym, hoping secretly that no one would join, because it was wonderfully empty most of the time. There used to be enough elliptical machines, bikes and treadmills to go around. I never had to wait for a machine. I never had to stalk the runner who looked the most sweaty and exhausted. I never had to pace back and forth and from the water fountain to the cardio room wondering when in the heck it would be my turn to use a piece of equipment. And mostly, I never got annoyed at the “walkers” using the treadmills when there is a perfectly good walking track less than 20 feet away.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have used a treadmill for pure walking. But don’t think that I didn’t feel secretly guilty the entire time. Because, I did. I felt the burning stare from runners as I jauntily walked with vigor. But despite the guilt, I tried not to care, because there was an empty treadmill next to me and if someone really looked like they wanted to run, run, run, I may have even given up my treadmill for them — but only if they looked really desperate and has paced back and forth, stalking me for at least ten minutes.

I’m training for a full marathon and I’d like to run on a treadmill. An elliptical machine is a nice break, but it is not a replacement. I need to run. I need to get shin splints and to work through muscle cramps. I need to feel how exhausted my body gets after four miles and then the burst of energy I get at mile five that sustains me through the next three. So mostly, it’s-a-new-year, it’s-a-new-you resolution people, please, step aside.

Disclaimer: Everyone should have a chance to use the treadmill, and I should have to wait my turn just like all of the other people. But can’t a girl complain about it in a semi-satirical tone just once? I promise, now I’m done.

Monday, January 09, 2006

and now, frog face decides he really, really likes to play with his blue bone.

brownies and ice cream are healthy, right?

Wrong. We turned over a new leaf this weekend and are going to be eating a mostly healthy, vegetable and fruit-intense diet. At least for one month, which is the amount of time Nick agreed to. If he "sees results," he'll stick with it. If not, he said it's over. I typically am the healthier eater out of the two of us. He'll get fast food when it's convenient, I won't touch it. He'll eat dessert, I try to avoid it. He'll want to order an appetizer and an extra basket of chips and salsa or bread and olive oil, and I typically prefer to have no carb-loaded temptations on the table. Because if they are there, I will eat them in abundance. I am a sucker for freshly baked, crusty bread and olive oil dipping sauce.

I will be a sucker no longer! Saturday on my weekly grocery trip, I spent more time reading ingredients. I bought mostly organic. I tripled the fruit I normally buy, I doubled the vegetables. I didn't buy anything made with bleached flour or refined sugar. I bought soy crisps rather than rice cakes, whole-wheat tortillas rather than their white flour counterparts and natural peanut butter instead of the sugar-loaded Peter Pan crunchy variety that I so enjoy by the spoonful.

Yesterday, we did well at lunch. Nick had a natural peanut butter sandwich, and I had a whole-wheat tortilla with field greens, parmesan and turkey. We had a tangerine for a snack and drank lots of water. For dinner, I had some edamame, some fruit and some peanut butter. Nick had chicken fingers. They were cripsy and deep fried and they smelled like heaven, so I had one, too. And then for dessert (yes, dessert) we had brownies with ice cream on them. Healthy? Not so much. But we had friends over and dessert was the event and so, we had to provide them with some sugary, fatty goodness. And of course, we had to partake. I may have partook twice.

Here's to a day void of friend temptations. Yeah right.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Semi-matching pajama pants are HOT especially on New Year's Eve. We know how to party - there is no question about that!

And as the hottness continued into the early morning, we decided it would be an awesome idea to do the 'Baylor Bear' for this next shot. (Though it may appear this way, I am not grabbing her bossom, I am making a bear claw.) Did either of us go to Baylor? No. Do we know anyone who went to Baylor? Nope. Did it seem like a totally normal idea at the time? It sure did.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

getting rid of the butt juice

Nick made me do it. Gus has been licking his butt a lot lately, and he has this problem with his anal sacks. Yes, you heard that right, “anal sacks.” They are these little pockets on either side of his butt that fill with greenish brown smelly fluid. When this happens, the sacks inflate to the size of a small grape. Some dogs are able to easily “express” what we fondly like to call “butt juice.” This is not the case with Gus. He’ll lick, he’ll scratch and he’ll drag his butt across the floor and across you, which allows a little tiny squirt of the horribly offensive fluid to leave his swollen sack and to stick wherever it lands — Gus prefers the couch, the comforter and my sweater.

We used to have the vet take care of this for us. But now that Gus is a “big boy,” he doesn’t have to visit the vet as frequently for shots and weigh-ins and the like. So, the vet taught Nick how to help Gussy express his anal glands. After the lesson, the first thing we did was purchase a box of latex gloves. During the summer, we could take care of this outside. I’d hold Gus from the front, and Nick would be behind the dog, searching for the right place to push. The vet taught him to keep his face away, because this stuff can squirt a yard or so. But last night, Nick insisted that we take care of the butt juice in the house. And, although he had done it by himself about a month ago, he claimed he needed an assistant. So, I donned my own pair of latex gloves and poor Gussy was placed in the bathtub. He was scared and Nick wasn’t all that gentle, but sure enough those grape-like sacks were full to the brim. Soon enough, a trail of nastiness covered the bottom of the bathtub. Gus felt better, but I felt like I was going to vomit. I’ll be the first to admit that my gag reflex is out of control, and this was just about more than I could handle.

Moral of the story? Don’t take a bath in my bathtub until you are certain it has been thoroughly sterilized.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Who knew?

Nick and I watched March of the Penguins this weekend, and I was moved to tears. Penguins live a hard life. Who knew? Anyway, it is worth a watch.

Monday, January 02, 2006

being related

It's rare to get the three of us together - for a picture especially. Bet you can't guess who is the oldest.