Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Decadent Birthday Celebration

When sirens whooped in the wee morning hours about a year ago, I thought I was dreaming. When I drove by the burnt out Ihop two blocks from my house, I realized my dream was a nightmare. Though we rarely went--okay, we went once--Eddie and I loved that Ihop. When I drove by the other day and saw it was finally open again, I decided that the perfect plan to celebrate Eddie's birthday was to dine in style. At Ihop.

That particular Ihop is the busiest restaurant in all the land. We got there right before the long line developed. I was surprised to see that the menu now has several healthy choices in addition to their 7 for 7 deal--7 entrees that cost 7 dollars each. Of course, I got neither the healthy choice nor the 7 dollar deal. If I go to Ihop, I'm gonna eat.

My version of splurgin is two harvest grain and nut blueberry pancakes and scrambled egg substitute. I drank water. I tasted a drop of strawberry syrup--way too sweet!--and a drop of the butter pecan--nothing special. I finished with a drop of traditional maple syrup. Ah, that's the stuff.

Eddie's idea of an Ihop meal is three pancakes and three scrambled eggs with a side of fries and a coke. Then he was a little down because he'd forgotten to order a side of toast. Really.

Still, neither of us go really all out and order those meals that Ihop calls entrees but are really desserts like the coffee cake cheese stuffed strudel thingies.

Stuffed beyond stuffed, like to the point where sitting down made me feel like throwing up because of all the pressure on my overly full stomach, like to the point where standing up make me feel like throwing up because I was moving. Basically, no activity was going to be painless. I had already planned a date for the movies, so I would have to deal with the throwy-uppy feeling from sitting down, which was better than the throwy-uppy feeling from standing.

We arrived at the theatre, which was a confusing theatre since the last time I was there, I got the tickets inside, but now that the weather had become cold, we had to stand outside to get the tickets from an outdoor box office. That makes sense. Eddie got a kick out of the signage.

After getting the tickets in the freezing cold and checking our gats at the door, we stopped inside so I could take off my gloves and figure out which theatre we had to go to. The box office cashier had ripped the tickets already. What's with that? That happens often, no ticket ripper inside but the box office all-in-one instead. I miss the ticket ripper.

As I figured out where to go, Eddie pondered the decision to get his usual Coke and peanut M&Ms, sans the usual popcorn. I looked at him with my You've got to be kidding face combined with an I'm going to throw up all over you face. He was like, What? I'm not full anymore. We'd been done with the meal for no less than an hour, and he was ready to eat again. I was still ready to vomit. He decided to forgo the snacks after seeing my face, possibly believing that I really wouldn't be able to look at food without getting sick. Plus, he was looking forward to my baking him a chocolate cake later on--this was his idea and I'd never said I'd do it, but he was hellbent on it happening.

So we settled in to watch Contraband with two people all the way in the front. Of course, right before it started, two more people sat in the row behind us. This elderly man was a commenter. He had something to say about most of what was going on during the movie. It was a fast-paced action flick, so his comments were always several steps behind. He also offered some bodily noises to the soundtrack, making for a variety of fun.

I did not bake a cake for Eddie's birthday. Instead, I baked brownies. He helped. I bought a mix. I cracked some eggs. I threw in some water and oil. I put it all into a pan and put it in the oven. I had no idea if it was done when the oven dingged. I slipped a knife in and it came out with brownie on it, so I put it back in the oven. The same thing happened when it dingged again. Eddie told me that it didn't matter. The brownies were done.

Okay then. We let them cool. Then? We had brownies for dinner. But only after I sang the birthday song and he blew out his candle.

They tasted pretty good. With his mouth full of moist brownie, he commented that he'd never seen me eat so much in one day before. With my mouth full of moist brownie, I replied, If I survive the night, I'm not eating for a week.

Happy Birthday, honey!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Gal's Got It

"It" in this case can have several meanings.

I may have gotten hit on today. I'm not quite sure.

I was walking out of the G building on campus after having completed my contractual obligation to advise students on what courses they should, should not, can, and cannot take for Spring 2012, which begins on Monday, which means not many choices are available at this point, which means the entire process that included an hour-long orientation was daunting and exhausting. I was walking from a completely different building that connects to G, so by the time I walked out of G, I was

  • panting

  • bundled up in my big red coat

  • wearing sunglasses that cover most of my face

  • bogged down with

  • my insulated lunch bag that contained an empty Trader Joe's Mocha Yogurt container, a spoon, an empty container that had held carrots, my empty blender bottle that had contained water, and my empty travel mug that had contained green tea, and

  • an inter-office envelope containing advisement paraphrenalia and my pencil case.

  • Bundled and bogged down, I was simply a breathless mess.

    As I came down the G stairs, I caught a glimpse of someone walking by, looking up at me. The glimpse lasted half a second because of a large wall that blocks the stairs. You know when you sit in those concert seats with partial view? It was like that.

    When I got to the bottom of the stairs, the guy was passing me by. He stopped and asked, Excuse me, do you know what time it is?

    Because of my expertise in being single stemming from all those years when I was so, I know that this is a pick up line. Because I am an avid movie-watcher, I know that this is super secret agent spy code, but no one swarmed and no one attacked and no one got arrested, so this scenario is way off-base. I also know, as a member of a functional society, that is is also a question people ask when they, say, need to know the time.

    Now, I don't wear a watch. Even if I did, I wouldn't have been able to look because of all my stuff. Seriously, for a small person, I carry a whole lot. Anyway, I couldn't look at my cell either, which is what I rely on for the time along with the kindness of strangers, as this young man was doing in this case. I did, however, know I was supposed to leave advisement at 12:45. So I looked at the sky and said, Somewhere around 12:45 I'm pretty sure.

    I headed on my way as he nodded thanks, so I was not looking at him when I heard him respond to the time. Because I have a serious hearing problem, I can't be too sure of what I heard, but I'm pretty sure he said, yeah, good lookin.

    That's totally hitting on me, right?

    That did not register until I was halfway across the street. I did not turn around. I wasn't sure how to respond to that at all. I also wasn't sure how it was a proper response to my giving him the time.

    Which brings me to other things he may have actually said:

    (1) Thank you. -- this does not sound anything like "yeah, good lookin" but it's a much more sensible response.

    (2) It's all good. -- I don't think people say this any more, and I don't think it really applies in this kind of conversation. It would apply if, say, I had run into him and knocked his books on the floor and apologized and he could say, "It's all good," in response. Here, I gave him the time. I didn't harm him.

    (3) Good luck. -- I don't know why he would wish me good luck in this situation. He has no idea why I might need luck. I was walking across campus, so maybe he was wishing me well in my travel, but probably not.

    So I'm thinking he really said yeah, good lookin. Which means that even sweaty, messy, and wrapped up in a bubble coat, this gal's got the mojo.

    Therefore, the "It" here may refer to the ego I have, thinking I was hit on when I wasn't.

    The "It" may refer to the obvious sex appeal I have despite my big red coat.

    Me in my big red coat.

    Most likely, however, the "It" refers to the obsessive nature of my interactions with the world. Most people would not be analyzing a simple interaction with a stranger that happened during the day. This gal is not most people.

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    The Competitive Streak

    The Golden Globes is a fun awards show because S throws a Golden Globes party and we get to bet nickels on the categories and that makes one more winner in addition to all the people who win at the actual awards. That also makes a whole lot more losers, myself included.

    I came close to winning. Eddie, who does not watch television and does not go to the movies, was in the lead for the longest time.

    S had printed out ballots from a newspaper that offered insight into who might take away the prize. I ignored these ideas. Eddie, having no basis for choosing winners at all, went with what he called The Professionals.

    After everyone lost the first category except for me, he cursed the professionals.

    After he won five categories in a row, he praised the professionals.

    A little later on, the debate about Moneyball arose yet again, R and S's friend D suggesting that it's a movie about promise and change and progress, and Eddie pointing out, They made a movie about a guy who didn't win.

    A litter later than that, the plain truth about Bridesmaids come out again--Eddie and I didn't like it. S and R did.

    At the final category, L, last year's champ, was tied with five of us and Eddie was also tied as we'd caught up, damn those professionals. Who wins best picture? Not War Horse. Though, R's friend's cousin praised my selection process--I chose the movie that I would least want to see as the winner. The Descendents won and so did L, extending her reign. It was a nailbiter. She was relieved.

    She won a citrus-colored fringed plastic boa made from a citrus-colored fringed plastic thingie that came in a citrus party pack S had purchased last year to celebrate her birthday that was hurricaned out. When she opened the kit, she found the fringe thing that she had thought was for hanging around a door but turned out to be about twenty feet long so we'd wrapped it around her coffee table and then over some bookshelves and also along a window sill and then had some leftover for a boa for her friend's daughter and a boa for the champ.

    Here's how S greeted us at the door: You guys are always the first ones to the party. Help! This thing is not fitting.

    We were actually not on time to the party, but we still managed to be first. That worked out so Eddie could watch the entire second half of the Giant game on television with R instead of listening to it in the car. And I got to help decorate, which is something I enjoy, especially when it involves pretty fringy things. And that makes up for being a two time Golden Globe loser.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    New Diseases, New Addictions

    I have spent the better part of 2012 sick. What I thought was a bout of winter allergies has turned into a very gross icky illness that is lingering way longer than appropriate. So in this time, I have attempted to be productive in exploring new things from the comforts of my germ-couch.

    1. Goodreads. I spent a day on Goodreads, adding in my reading history, from most recent to the past. I am sure I have missed a few hundred books, but I got up to 500-something, which is pretty good for Day One. That night, I dreamed about Goodreads, books that I added, books that I needed to add, books that didn't exist but were on the site.

    2. Dance Moms. I cannot stand Toddlers and Tiaras because I equate it to child abuse, so I do not know how I fell upon Dance Moms. The adults are neglectful and abusive, but it's about DANCE! so that of course makes it all okay. Lucky for me, I caught the Season 1 marathon, which went on until 4 AM. I didn't make it all the way to then, but I did watch most of it. I got sleepy.

    3. NyQuil. I don't think I've taken NyQuil in years. I think I remember why, but my memory is kind of fuzzy and I've climbed out of bed after 8 and then after 9, which is unheard of. What was I talking about? Hmmm, sleeeeepppyyyyy. Ooh, NyQuil inventors, I heart you.

    4. The Likeness by Tana French. This book is over 400 pages. A book like that would normally take me a few weeks to read, even during intersession. I read it in two days, once I was awake enough to see straight.

    Today, I am feeling a bit better, but I'm dragging. I washed my sheets, not because I had a sudden burst of feeling better, but because I woke up sneezing and the sneezes were directed mostly at my pillow and the area under my pillow. I have not become obsessed with doing the laundry, however, which would have been more productive than any of my other obsessions. Working out has become a foreign language that I hope to relearn soon just to feel like I'm alive. I'd also like to get through a few more Netflix while I'm stuck in the house, but they don't arrive as often as I'd like; I did get to watch Center Stage: Turn It Up last night, which was all kinds of amazing. Ooh, project! I'm gonna go look up all the actors on IMDB to see what else they were in and why they looked so familiar.

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    The Dancing Began After Midnight

    Before midnight, there was a lot of talking and some game playing. There were shots of wine and then shots of rum. That's when I bowed out of the Blackjack game. Eddie's friend had made me my first drink that almost made me pass out. I'd made another of sangria and 7-Up which was more sweet than alcoholic. Everyone was all dressy dressy and it was a great New Year's party. With about thirty people in the house, at mightnight, we sounded like 30000. Then came the dancing, but that did not last very long. The buzz began to fade and the need for sleep came, so Eddie and I headed home to start the new year together.

    Without the glasses on, I looked wrecked.

    But I wasn't the only one.