27 April 2009

Svengali Jessica

Have you ever had that friend who just had to say the word and you thought, “GREAT idea!?” Well, that friend is Jessica. Or, since I know a few Jessica’s in my life, as she is called at home, “Jessica
Who-is-about-to-graduate-from-UCO-with-a-Master’s-in-Psychology”. It’s a long last name. I think it’s German.

Anyway, I talked her into a 5K and she has repaid the favour by talking me into a triathlon. Now, far be it from me to besmirch the character of such a fine individual, but I just gotta say that I hope she is aware of her powers over me and that she doesn’t try to talk me into bank robbery or trying to start up a home meth lab.

Or smoking crack. I have an inhaler now, and I have a feeling that using an inhaler while toking on a crack pipe probably isn’t considered cool amongst the drug crowd.

But, I could be wrong.

I’m still trying to figure out how to swim 400 meters in Lake Arcadia without being seen in a swimming suit, but I haven’t come to any brilliant conclusions on that one. While the thought of my nearly naked body being seen by all and sundry troubles me, I also don’t relish the idea of swimming in a sweat suit, so we shall see if modesty and shame outweigh my need for streamlined swimming.

25 April 2009

the Mouse and the Burrito

I babysat for Janice, a co-worker of my mother while I was a teenager and too young to procure the required work permit that would have allowed me to secure a real job.

Instead I watched her children.

I was warned that Janice had, and I do quote for your edification, “not the cleanest house in the world”.
In the world of understatements there are your tiny hyperbole and your whoppers. This was in the category of unmitigated ‘whopper’. As I entered the house my equilibrium was immediately called into question as not only was the floor sloping at dangerously funhouse angles, but every open area (and I use the word “open” loosely in this context) was crammed full of crap. Not just crap, but also junk and ‘stuff’ as well.

As she let me in Janice stated, rather apologetically, ‘sorry about the mess’. As I spent the two hours in Janice’s filthy home with her equally filthy children I made a mental not to never require the use of a bathroom while there. As was my habit in those days I would stop by 7-11 on my way to Janice’s house, fresh from my volunteer job of teaching little kids to swim at the Y (which, of course, left me freshly chlorinated and, I hoped, immune to any ick present in the home), pick up a beef and bean burrito, put it in my backpack and cook it upon my arrival at The Home That Had Not Seen Soap. I liked to think that the act of cooking it at her house would heat up and kill any bacteria that had attached themselves to the burrito wrapper upon entering the home.

One could hope.

So, on that particular day, the day that could also arguably be called Cyndi’s Last Day in Janice’s Employ, I entered the home, burrito in hand, and heated it in the microwave oven. I sat on the couch, the only place left in the entire residence upon which one could rest buttocks, (safely or otherwise) and attempted to take a bite. As soon as the first bite was fully inside the confines of my mouth, I saw it.

Because it was looking at me.


On the floor, not even two feet in front of me was either a large mouse or a small rat who had, it seems, met with an untimely demise. Not only was said rodent crushed at or about the area just above his or her torso and just below what would have been the location of an Adam’s apple had the victim been a human male, but the ocular areas were protruding. Yeah, his or her eyes were bugging out in a perpetual look of surprise. I mused as to whether the rodent had been startled to death by the state of ruin in the home or if something heavy had fallen upon it. My shriek brought the filthy children running from their respective polluted rooms. Upon their arrival they said,”oh yeah, the mouse is dead. We are waiting for the cat to take it out.”

Waiting for the cat, indeed.

I looked around for something with which to remove the body, but could find no container suitable for the transportation of a dead rodent. And, honestly, I thought that if the cat was too lazy to pick it up, perhaps so was I. I would like to report to you that I didn’t leave those poor children with a dead rodent on their living room floor and that I am the sort of person who goes above and beyond both the call of duty, but also any moral or ethical obligations.

I would like to.

However, any potential guilt was assuaged by the knowledge that I was leaving the children in the incapable hands of their father, a person with conceivably more upper body strength with which to transport animals, dead or alive and with even MORE obligation, moral, ethical and legal than myself. That is what I told myself. Now that it has been 23 years since this incident I can’t help but wonder if that rodent has been worn into the carpet like indoor roadkill.

Upon the arrival of Janice I informed her that, sadly, this would be my last day. I barely made it out of the house without gagging. I hopped on my bike and pedaled just as fast as my puny little 15-year-old legs could carry me. My decision that my gastronomical health trumped my desire for spending money was one I have never regretted.

15 April 2009

Man of my dreams

You know how some people just hope and pray to someday meet that special guy who will take one look at them and say, “Baby, when I look at you, I see the future”? Well, I have found that guy.

Unfortunately, he is my dentist. And what he sees when he looks in my mouth is his future.
His future car,
his future boat,
his future beach house. It seems that when I hit that magic age of 34 years, 5 months, 4 days, 11 hours and 14 minutes my teeth decided to all turn into Chiclets and start giving me trouble.

It all started with a pistachio. I decided a few years ago that my new year’s resolution was to try new things.

Aren’t those just some famous last words that usually end up in a last minute trip to Mexico in the trunk of someone’s car and a desperate attempt at rounding up bail money from across the border?

But, maybe your Senior Year was different.

That fateful time, a few years ago I decided that I would try all sorts of new things: rock climbing, bellydancing, running even if no one was chasing me and…… eating pistachios. I read a book when I was a kid about this girl who loved pistachios so I thought, now that it has been over twenty years since I read that book, it’s my turn, too!

They should come with a warning label.

I had no idea you had to take them out of the shell first.
I tried to eat it, but it was too hard and when I tried to bite down on it, it hurt my tooth. I bravely tried to throw it out the sunroof, but it came back in, landing in my hair.

Must be divine providence. Tried to throw it out again. Again it returned to me. Must be meant to be. Tried to eat it again. That was the fateful move, I believe. There was my dental downfall.

CRACK goes the tooth. Cha-ching goes the dentist.

So, here we are, three crowns and two root canals later.

Do you see where being adventurous gets you?

I had an appt with "Dr. Joe" yesterday to get fitted for a new crown, being royalty and all. I told him that next time we get together I am just going to take an order of nitrous, hold the pain. When you suck in enough of that stuff you believe that you can do anything, like text message while lying flat on your back and stoned. All I remember was some poorly spelled text message and the fact that my cell phone fell on my face. More than once.

A friend commented that she was surprised that they "let" me text message while on nitrous. I don't think that there are any laws about drunk dialing, or, in this case, nitrous texting.

I was still on cloud nine from my near-victory the night before in a Jerkey Belching Contest. Thank you, Friend Jason for feeding me weird jerky. Despite my near-Olympic worthy flossing skills I was still picking kangaroo out of my teeth the next morning.

10 April 2009

Another Diet, another day

On the John Tesh show last night he spotlighted a new diet book. I hear those word and think, "here we go again!"

More diet advice from someone who thinks she has The Answer.

This new author tells us that all we have to do is approach our food intake like a bank account. If you have a carb rich breakfast of, say, pancakes and syrup, don't have pasta for lunch and dinner. Focus on getting protein, etc. in to balance it all out.

Well, isn't that just logical? Additionally, she says that you should eat food as close to it's beginnings as possible. In other words, apples are better than apple juice and apple juice is better than apple drink, which is "apple-like" in name only. She says that "you are what you eat".

In other words, Be The Broccoli.

Again, all logic and rational thinking here. I'm not disputing that. What seems apparent, though is that this author lacks any of the, shall we say FOOD ISSUES that Yours Truly carts around in her soul on a daily basis.

Obviously this woman eats only to stop hunger.
Obviously she has never bitten her own finger because it looked like food.
Never looked at her own husband like he was a porkchop.
Never wondered, while someone was talking to her about some "major life crisis" how long it would take to heat up the oven for pizza rolls.
Never inhaled a bag of Dale and Thomas Kettle Korn so fast that she scarcely tasted it.

And it is completely obvious to me that this woman has never, not once in her life, been so desperate for a snack that she ate cherry flavoured Chapstick in the hopes that it would taste just like Twizzlers. (it does not, for your information.)

09 April 2009

Open Letter to the Weird Guy Who Knocked on My Door Today:

Dear Weird Guy,
Word on the street is that the reason you were walking up and down my block today knocking on every single door is that you were casing the houses for future activity. Let me put you on notice right now. We are not in need of any thievery today. Probably not tomorrow, either.

If, however, in that brief moment betwixt when I lost my mind enough to open my door to you in the first place and the nanosecond later,..... you happened to peer into my home, I hope that you had Spring Cleaning on your mind and not larceny in your heart. If you know of any home organization tips or gardening help you could throw my way, I would be most obliged.

However, if you were fiendishly devising ways of stealing our stuff, you should know the following:

1) The piano is really heavy and needs to be tuned and, it should be noted, does not fit into a Honda Civic. Ask me how I know this.

2) We don't own a stereo any longer. Well, that's not true. We still do have an 80's era boombox, but the CD player is broken, so if you steal it you may need to have that repaired.

3) Our can opener doesn't work either, but we hold onto it anyway because we keep thinking that the next time we pull it out of the cabinet it WILL work and our faith in the Appliance Repair Fairy will have been restored. The manual can opener we use is really hard on the hands so if you have any "pre-arthritic changes" going on in YOUR phalanges you may just wanna pass on the can opener.

4) I don't know what that funk is in the microwave. I have been told that you can boil lemon juice in there, but, as you can smell, it hasn't helped. The whiff reminds me of Dead Hamster, but I can't be too sure. And, if you are just gonna steal it anyway I may not bother. The Brillo pads are under the sink. As you can tell from the state of the microwave, they havn't been used much.

5) If you take the dog you may wish to know that she is struggling with some incontinence issues and has to take the brown pills twice a day; they are in the front closet. Oh, and she pees in the car, but only if she gets startled, or loses her balance, or if someone from a neighboring vehicle looks at her cross-eyed. Oh, and she drags her butt on the carpet, so if you are gonna take the dog, you may as well pick up the carpet cleaner we have in the garage. Don't forget to put water in the tank or you will ruin the motor.

I think that's about it. Next time you visit our neighborhood please remember to call first so we can put out the good stuff.


06 April 2009

She Gets an A for Effort

About two months ago I asked Co-Worker Jessica if she wanted to do the Couch to 5K with me. She enthusiastically agreed to it. Shortly after the start of training our entire household came down with some horrible stomach virus, which I promptly used as an excuse to never train at all. Jessica sent me encouraging emails about how much she was "just loving this" while I was busy puking up a pancreas.

So, race day approached and, initially I told Jessica I just wasn't going to do the 5K. The race we were training for was the Red Bud Classic. Now, I ran the Red Bud about six years ago, also with no training base (I'm seeing a pattern here) and finished in at an embarrassing 46 minutes. I will tell you now that the ONLY reason I finished that one at all was because I don't know the Oklahoma City area that well, and particularly not the neighborhood in which the race is held and I had no idea how to get home. I knew that the only way I would ever see my loved ones again was to make it to the finish line and take the shuttle back to my car.

Yesterday morning as I lay in bed attempting to WILL myself to get up my frantic mind came up with all kinds of reasons not to go:

1) I am tired because I didn’t get nearly enough sleep last night. I would have to go to work straight from the race and I would get there tired, worn out, exhausted.

2) I didn’t train, even though I promised Jessica I would.

3) It is really windy and cold outside.

4) I just plain don’t feel like it.

All of these were good reasons, all of them valid, but in a desperate attempt to be a better person than I currently am……I went. I had reasons to go, sure, but I could only think of one at the moment: I really didn’t want to be the sort of person who asks someone to accompany her on an adventure and then ditches the adventurous friend at the last minute. When the only exercise you get is jumping to conclusions, it may be a good idea to postpone the 5K, but nooooo. I had made a promise and I was about to keep it.

First of all I learned that when those healthy types talk about carbo loading they probably don’t mean “eat an entire package of chocolate mousse flavoured Peeps just moments before running”. They stuck in my gut, but the aftertaste was worth it.

It was so windy that at times I felt like I was standing still when I was actually, theoretically, anyway, going forward. I kept looking down at my feet and it appeared that they were moving, but I felt no forward motion because the wind was pushing me back.

They give you this goodie bag when you register, but you really only need a few items from it:

Bib number

Safety pins with which to pin on your bib number

Timing chip


Everything else is swag and most if it is rubbish. I saved the mint and threw everything else away as, ‘HELLO! I’m about to run, walk, meander or otherwise saunter for 5 kilometers, or 3.2 miles, I am not a pack mule, some of this has GOT TO GO!’

With nowhere else to put my t-shirt I had the brilliant idea of shoving it down the front of my pants. Yeah, why not shove a mass of material into the part of my body that already has too much bulk?!

As usual, a brilliant idea.

So, there I am, closing in on the finish line, just one more stinkin’ kilometer to go when I strike up a conversation with these two kindly (I thought!) older ladies. They talked about their kids, I talked about mine, then the one closest to me says, “and I see you’re workin’ on another one right now!” glancing at my gut.


I said, “no, I just couldn’t think of anywhere else to put the t-shirt they gave me!” Then she says, “Oh, I was about to give you credit for something you didn’t deserve credit for!”

Okay, despite the fact that you ended that insult with a preposition....

Well, nothing makes a fat girl run like a put-down, so I took that as my cue to pick up the pace. After all, the finish line was looming and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna WALK over the finish line!

Here is a list of some of the people who passed me during the race:

1) Small children
2) Little old ladies with perfectly coiffed hair and handbags
3) All of the wheelchair race participants
4) The guy with 1 ½ legs and the cool prosthetic
5) Visually impaired runners with service dogs

I finished in an unimpressive and snail-worthy 55 minutes. I glanced behind me just as I crossed the finish line and saw Molasses closing in.

02 April 2009

Things I Have Learned this Week

1) When discussing sippy cup logistics with friend’s daughter while exiting friend’s driveway, absence of attention can lead to an unsightly union of Honda and brick. Ultimately, hilarity will NOT ensue.

2) While bathing a wiggly 2 year old remember to put your brand new cell phone (that you were too cheap to buy insurance for!) in a clean, safe, DRY place. The right side of your jacket pocket is NOT a safe place. As it turns out nice warm Mr. Bubble bubble baths are not recommended for the Samsung T-819.

3) When doing laundry, it is always important to check pockets. (I hear the “I told you so” coming from my mother already!) Brown crayon, which his shockingly similar to fecal matter and not nearly similar enough to chocolate chips, smears inside a dryer like snot on a doorknob, but adheres with the tenacity of Teflon on steel.

4) When sitting down to write a blog post in which you complain about the crayon inside your dryer, check the chair first. Playdough is not a recommended accessory for pajama pants.

5) When a friend recommends that the crayon can be removed with a credit card, she does not mean to replace the dryer, but to scrape out the crayon streaks.

I assure you that this is not an exhaustive list, though living it has been.

01 April 2009

Built Like a Brick FriendsHouse

Today I accidentally became a homewrecker when I crashed into my friend's decorative brick wall thing at the end of her driveway. I was attempting not to hit the part on the LEFT of the driveway and ended up hitting the chunk on the RIGHT.

There I was, innocently conversing with her daughter about how we leave sippy cups in our wake wherever we go when BAM!! the unthinkable occurs.

I feel awful. I jumped out of the car and assessed the damage and knew that it was too late to play dumb about the whole situation. I told her what happened. I started out with, "First of all, you should know that I am VERY, VERY sorry and will fix it, pay to have it fixed, whatever it takes!" She was very kind.

She called later to tell me that she had made the call to her husband to let him know. I don't know her husband that well and fear that they may take our dog Trixie as collateral until the wall is fixed.

What do you do to make this sort of thing up to a friend? Rake their yard? Clean their gutters? Pumice their feet? Bathe their dog? (and their dog has more hair than three Rastafarian llamas.) Ooh, maybe I could give their dog some dreadlocks? Make them some black bean soup?

I was so distraught over how I am going to make restitution (besides fixing the wall) that I accidentally dropped my cell phone in the bathtub while bathing Claire tonight. So, if you are in my phonebook and received calls from me, but heard nothing.....sorry. My numbers are all messed up in my phone and I am drying it out. (which is why I can't call you to tell you why I'm not calling you!)

Tomorrow HAS to be better, right?


The irony here is that just the night before all of this happened, said friend had asked me, "Do you ever blog about me?" I told her, "Not unless you do something stupid!"

Well, Ann, I took care of the stupid for you!