Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spooky Halloween Story

In the spirit of the spookiness of Halloween, I thought I'd share a macabre tale with my faithful readers.  This horrific tale comes from my own chronicles of terror. 

The date: A gorgeous summer night in the year 2001. 

The place: My safe and cozy bedroom in my house. 

I was sitting on my bed in my childhood bedroom on the second floor of our house, studying, with the window wide open to let the perfect summer breeze wash over me.  The crickets were chirping, no one in the house was trying to kill someone else in the house, and a fantastic sense of calm pervaded the house on Fraser street.  All was right with the world.

It was a rustle coming from the tree outside my window that shattered that peace. 

My entire life, I have been terrified of that tree outside my window.  I have always been CERTAIN that one day I would look out the window to find a robber, monster, or general bad guy in that tree about to burst through the screen to get me.  It began when my dad was walking me through the half-finished upstairs to choose my bedroom.  He let me pick first (ah, the perks of being the eldest child!), and once I had picked my room-to-be, he casually mentioned "And if there's ever a fire, you can just grab onto that tree outside your window and get to safety."  Logical, right?  In my anxiety-ridden brain, all I heard was "Oh, look.  There's a tree that you can climb down.  That means people can climb UP and get INSIDE your room.  At NIGHT.  When you are SLEEPING and VULNERABLE." 

So, that night when I heard the rustling, I didn't REALLY think there would be a robber or monster, but ... you never know.  Never could I have imagined what I was about to witness.

A possum. 

Yes, a possum, in my tree, about two inches from my face, looking me in the eye.  This is really the type of moment that is best understood when illustrated.

Allow me:

I fell off the bed in a panic, screaming bloody murder (a scream that my family can verify is truly terrible and eardrum-bursting) and shouting for my daddy.

I am not entirely proud of what I did next, but let's just say I shouted orders at my father and he followed them.  And then there was no more possum in my tree.  I struggle with the shame and guilt of this from time to time, being an animal lover and all.  But as soon as I let myself re-live the horror of being inches from a possum face with only a screen (that had already been slightly shredded by multiple cats trying to catch bugs through it) between us ... I did what I had to do.

I'll just leave you with this thought ... is this an animal you want to hug? 

That's what I thought.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Funny Stuff My Husband Says

SCENE:  Jeremy has returned from his night class and is trying to catch up on the Tigers game I DVRed (if they win, they win the pennant!).  I, however, am keeping up in real time on my laptop.  For an hour I do not admit to this and pretend I am playing FarmVille.

Veronica:  I have a confession to make.

Jeremy:  ... what?

V:  I am not playing FarmVille.

J:  What?  What are you doing?  Is it bad?

V:  I am at keeping up with the game in real time [Jeremy cuts me off]

J:  How COULD you?!?!!?!  There is a WINDOW in this room!!  What if I see the REFLECTION of your laptop and see the SCORE?!?!!?!!!!  Then this has all been for nothing!!

*                 *                 *                   *                    *                    * 

SCENE:  We are sitting on the couch.  I am sending someone a message on Facebook and notice it is Sweetest Day.

Veronica:  Hey ... when is Sweetest Day?

Jeremy:  ... Happy Sweetest Day ...

SCENE:  A few hours later, sitting at the kitchen table with his mother and laughing about how Sweetest Day was a big deal when we were first dating and now we miss it every year.

V:  Remember what a great Sweetest Day you gave me the first year we were dating?

J:  Ummm ... no?

V:  Are you serious?!?!  You got me a wonderful card, roses, a ton of candy, a cute little stuffed bear with angel wings [Jeremy interrupts]

J:  Oh yeah.  What happened to that bear?

V:  Irrelevant.  AND you took me to see Our Town, and then we went to dinner!!

J:  Holy SHIT!!  No wonder you married me!!

*               *                  *                   *                   *                     *

SCENE:  Exiting The Rocky Horror Show with my little sister and mother, after watching his little sister perform (while sitting with his parents, most of his siblings, my mother, and my little sister).

Jeremy: [Turns to my little sister, looking like a scandalized Puritan] So many curses ...

*              *                  *                   *                    *                    *

SCENE:  I am hurriedly gathering my purse and keys.

Veronica:  Okay, I am heading out to Target.

Jeremy:  What do we need at Target?

V:  I need to buy more bandaids for the toe that SOMEONE mutilated.

J:  Oh.  So you are just going to buy bandaids?


V:  Okay.  See you later.  [EXIT]

UPDATE:  Who knew it would become a series?  Click here for all volumes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Another Reason I Need An Ankle-biter (i.e., An Alarm Clock You Can't Turn Off)

I woke up this morning with my mouth open and drool pouring out. When I sleep REALLY hard, I drool like nobody's business.  So, it is always nice to wake up knowing you got some good, hard restful sleep.  The downside?  I NEVER get good sleep unless I am sleeping in.  My body just won't dip into that deep REM cycle in eight or fewer hours.  Never happens for me.  I have fitful, interrupted sleep about 99% of the time.

So, when I woke up this morning and had to wipe the drool from my chin (classy) I smiled, but then whipped my head around to look at the clock ... 8:30.  When I was supposed to be pulling out of the driveway so I could teach at 10.  Fan-bloody-tastic.

In addition to not being able to sleep well (or, most likely, because of it), I am (to say the least) not a morning person.  My mother can attest to this.  And my husband.  And anyone who has had the misfortune to cross my path when I have been awake for less than an hour.  I need time to stumble around and slowly get ready.  I need time to gulp down multiple cups of coffee and run up and down the stairs for the thirteen things I forgot but desperately need.  I need time to run back in the house after I have already locked the door and crated the dog to go back for the fourteenth thing I forgot.  Obviously, I do not have time for this when I wake up and have ONE MINUTE to leave the house.

My day just went downhill from there.  My classes were full of not-so-nice incidents (read: my Dean asked me if I wanted him to call Campus Safety), I had a dull, lingering headache, and I only got ONE cup of coffee.  To last me the entire day.

I came home, walked the dog, and stumbled to the couch.  I covered up with my favorite quilt and only got up to prepare Taco Tuesday.  Now I am back, and I intend to stay here until I crawl into bed.  Now I just need to figure out how to wake up on time tomorrow ...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Che? Un cane Italiano?

I think my dog is Italian.  Seriously. 

We were out for a walk today, and it was one of those unfortunate dog-filled kinds.  If you don't know, my dog is completely unaware that she is a dog.  She thinks she is a person, and she is a person who is afraid of dogs. 

In all seriousness, from what the humane society pieced together, she was abused by her owners and terrorized by their three other dogs.  So I guess she has an excuse.  But it is so sad to see all the other billions of dogs in our neighborhood playing with each other and having fun, and then seeing Cleo crying or barking when she sees another dog.

That tangent was actually related to the story.  Cleo is afraid of dogs, and freaks out when we see one.  I try to turn her around and talk to her about it.  Today, I was doing exactly that, but she wouldn't snap out of it.  So, I said to her "Che cosa?" ("What?") and she stopped crying, her fur un-poofed, and she went along her merry way.

Later, we passed by a house that is home to many dogs, meaning she loves to sniff where their yard meets the sidewalk.  She indulged in a nice long sniff-session, but I usually don't let her sniff people's yards very long because they might think I am about to let her poop or pee in their yards (which she never does).  Usually I say something like "Okay, let's move along," but today she kept sniffing.  So, I said, "Va Bene!" ("Okay!"), and off she trotted.

Finally, my last piece of evidence.  Every time we go on a walk, we head straight to the back yard when we get home.  But when we get to the fence, she usually gets so excited that she starts to pull on the leash.  We make her wait nicely and not pull while we take off the leash, and while we do that we tell her to wait.  Today, she did not want to wait because there was a squirrel languishing in the yard, and she wanted to chase it out.  So, when she ignored me in English, I said, "Basta!" ("Enough!"), and she sat patiently and waited for me to take off her leash.

Well ladies and gentlemen of the jury -- I believe this case is dismissed.  The cane is obviously Italiano.

I should have guessed it when she posed like this with her pig rolls:

Oh, my sweet little mobster!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Measured Thoughts on the Tigers' Loss: A Guest Post by My Husband

Jeremy had some wise words for me following the athletic tragedy that took place on Tuesday, October 6th ... truly a sad day in Tigers history.  So, I asked him to share his thoughts with my devoted fans. 

With no further ado, my brilliant and sports-obsessed husband, Jeremy:

I wouldn't necessarily say that I am sports obsessed; I like sports, and I feel like they like me back a little.  That's all. 

The Detroit Tigers have been a passion of mine for some 22 years now, and during this time I have seen a lot of things ... well, really not that many.  From the time I became seriously involved with the Tigers they have been mediocre, at best.  I wasn't fully baseball sentient when Detroit was good in the mid-80s, so up until that magical and ultimatley tragic 2006 season I had watched a lot (and I mean a lot) of crappy baseball. 

So, the Tigers' recent success sits very well with me.  I finally feel like I am being rewarded for all my time I put in watching them.  As some of you know, the baseball season lasts 162 wonderful games.  From April to October they play practically every night, and on probably 9 out of 10 nights I would park my ass in front of the TV to watch and hope, all to my wife's chagrin.

This season started out tremoundously.  The Tigers rode their strong pitching to first pace by May and looked, to the outside observer, poised to make a run at the playoffs.  What the trained eye saw was that this Tigers team was streaky.  Just like in undergarments, streakyness is a baseball season is usually bad.  The Tigers would win 5 in a row, then drop 4, then during their next 10 games would be 3 and 7.  What is worse was that they always seemd to be on a losing streak when they needed to win the most. 

I apologize for all that background on myself and this season, but it was necessary to fully appreicate the MONUMENTAL collaspe the Tigers had in September.  The Tigers were 7 games ahead of the Minnesota Twins on September 7th.  Then, a losing spell: with 4 games left in the season, the Tigers were 3 games ahead of the Twins.  All they had to do was win 2 games to clinch the division championship and secure a trip to the playoffs.  Well, as many of you probably know, they LOST 3 of those last 4 games in particularly sucky fashion.  After 162 games, they were tied with Minnesota.

We all know what happend after that ... I don't even like talking about it.  Anyway, here are the 2 most dissappointing things about the Tigers blowing their huge division lead:

1)  Given the long 162 game season, I feel like I have wasted my whole summer watching and hoping for something that never happened.  It isn't that I regret watching the games.  I watched them every night when they lost 109 games in 2004, but this feels different.  It is like each month that passed by I looked more and more towards the playoffs.  As a Tigers fan, and a baseball fan in general, watching the playoffs is the crowning acheivment of an entire season of devotion.  I got really used to watching other teams play in October.  But when my Tigers had a chance to get in, and then crapped out, it was like thinking about Christmas three hours every night for 6 straight months, then when December comes, you get a letter in the mail saying Santa killed all the reindeer and Christmas is cancelled.  That is seriously how I felt after that game.  Again, it is not like I regret watching all that baseball over the summer, but I just feel a little silly for spending that much time on something that never came to fruition.  

2) The thing I love about baseball is that the game's history is such a huge part of the present.  Fans love comparing eras of the game and arguing over which players were the best, blah, blah, blah.  While this might sometimes make me happy to be reminded constantly of Joe Dimaggio's 56 game hit streak, or that Ted Williams was the last hitter to hit over .400 in a season, announcers also remined you of the bad times; they say things like "(insert team here) is so bad they could match the record of the worst team in recent memory, the 2004 Detroit Tigers."  Only now, every time a team blows a seemingly insurmountable lead with a month to go in the season, I will be reminded of this tragedy.  Or every time a team even comes close to blowing a huge lead, the Tigers will come up.  Is it not enough that I suffered once?

With the baseball season over, I will now have to spend my time diving back into my real loves: scrimshaw and sketching various flora and fauna I came across in the three hours I spend sauntering (when I used to be watching the Tigers).

The Dog Looked Up At Me and Made a Really Cute Face While I Was Writing This

I'll be honest:  I haven't always had the best track record with cameras.  I used to ... how you say? ... lose and break them.  And not just the disposable or cheap ones.  Also the very nice, very expensive, gift kinds.  Oops.  There was a point in my adult life where my mother didn't trust me with a camera and told me I needed a trial run of on ONE YEAR with disposable cameras before she would buy me a camera for Christmas (yes, I said ADULT life).

Here's the irony:  I LOVE photographs.  My husband makes fun of me because I have more photo albums than most people have hairs on their heads (or backs or butts, whatever; I don't judge).  This is really how my abuse of cameras arises -- I absolutely ALWAYS carry my camera with me.  But I also carry a lot of other shiz around in my giant purses.  So there tends to be some bumping and scratching and whatnot.  On top of that, I am always diving for my camera to get a picture, or throwing myself on the ground to get a great angle of the child or pet doing something priceless, or hanging upside down from somewhere to get a picture of something I already have (more than) one picture of from a New and Different angle.  So my cameras earn their stripes.

But I have been good lately!  Oh-so-good!  I have practically been a Pilgrim!  I have been very gentle with my new and lovely pink camera from two Christmases ago.  But, alas, the other day I tried to turn it on and it didn't wake up.  I figured the battery needed to be charged, as I tend to let things get to almost dead (camera, phone, gas tank, etc.) and then frantically try to recharge them when the timing is least opportune (like racing to work on an empty gas tank so I have time to make copies before class starts and banking on that last gallon lasting a few more miles than usual if I set the cruise).

Anywho, I charged the battery.  But it STILL will not turn on.  And I am devastated.  Simply beside myself.  Let me tell you all of the wonderful memories I have missed out on in the last two-and-a-half weeks because of this camera crisis:

1.  I was unable to document the nasty turn that my big toe has taken.  You may or may not know that my HUSBAND, the man who supposedly loves me, DESTROYED my left big toe on the Fourth of July.  It involved a softball and showing off.  I couldn't take the pressure of all the dried blood trapped under the nail anymore, and I ripped the sucker off last week.  It turns out there was one tiny quarter-inch strip of nail on the right side that did NOT die, so that was still attached.  It was a long, painful process, but now I have the weirdness of the new nail growing up but the tiny strip of still-painted-pink live nail on the edge.  It is weird and gross, and I fully intended to take a picture and post it so people would feel bad for me, send me gifts, and berate my husband. 

2.  I got a NEW and HUGE office.  With a WINDOW, people!!!  And I now have one of those huge L-shaped desks (instead of a 2-foot by 4-foot desk with no drawers pressed up against three other desks in a 6-foot by 6-foot cell).  I have PLANTS, and a BOOKSELF and many many framed photographs on my desk and ART on the walls.  It is fantastic.  But could I take pictures to document this momentous occasion in my "career"?  Nooo.

3.  There have been 4,298 CUTE-CUTE-CUTE cat and dog moments (I kept an accurate running tally), and some of them were cat AND dog interaction moments.  Cuter than THIS:

And these moments can never be recreated.  Never.

So, what's the moral of this story?  Well, maybe when Jeremy finally gets around to reading this post on his wife's blog (which he is NOT a follower of and has never commented on), he will actually pick up my camera and LOOK at it to see if he can fix it.  Like he promised he would.  Multiple times.  Because he is oh-so-good at fixing things.  Love ya Jeremy!  And, of course, life is terrible without a camera.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ice Cream and Booze

Yum ...

What a day!  I know all the real moms out there will want to kick my ass when I say this, but I felt more like a working mom than I ever have before.

I got up early and did housework, rushed off to work, worked hard, skipped lunch, stayed late, ran between three different offices on campus to see about getting my last name ALL the way changed (I get all my mail delivered to Veronica Marcetti-Dimick now, but I am still Veronica Marcetti in the computer system, so my schedule and my students' schedules still say that.  My quest ended in the same office I was in long ago, filling out the same form I filled out to get my name HALF changed.  So ... we will see.), stopped at the bank to deposit a check, rushed home, cuddled the animals, tried to convince Cleo to pee (she is usually too excited to see us to pee, even though she clearly has to), packed Cleo in the car, and rushed her to the vet. 

The vet was quite an adventure, but thankfully it only took half an hour.  When we got home, she got a fantastic walk (what a perfect temperature for a dog walk!!  I wore a sweatshirt, and I didn't have to roll up the sleeves AND I wasn't ever too cold.  Perfect.), then I did some more cleaning, sat down to create a big powerpoint presentation for one of my classes tomorrow (feel free to sit in tomorrow if you want to journey from Old English all the way to Modern English!), and am now taking a break.  At least I don't have to make dinner for at least another hour, since Jeremy is at his night class.

Anyway, I'm getting to my point.  I swear.

It involves that rushed trip to the vet.  And the fact that I feel like a working mom, but I am NOT a working mom, and therefore have no medical reason to look like I have baby fat hanging on to me that never went away.

While I was at the vet in my comfy pants and hooded CMU sweatshirt, I remembered to ask how much Cleo weighed.  Whooo-EEE!  She has gained a few pounds, and for a dog, that is a big deal (for the sake of Cleo's privacy, I will not include the exact number here.)  When we pulled out of the parking lot and I started discussing her recent weight gain with Cleo, I told her how unfair it was that Jeremy and the cat (also a male.  Figures.) were LOSING weight and her and I were GAINING weight.  F that!!

Okay, there isn't actually any EVIDENCE that I have gained weight (I don't believe in scales, and if you don't believe in something, it doesn't exist), but my pants have definitely gotten a little tighter, and I can no longer blame the laundry.

At any rate, it ISN'T FAIR.  Men have to make one teeny tiny adjustment to their lives and they lose weight, while women can make all the sacrifices in the world and still gain weight.  Jeremy has been riding the exercise bike pretty much every day of the week, and he has gone down five notches in his belt.  FIVE notches!!  We started giving MoJo (the cat) like FOUR fewer pieces of dry food than usual and he has slimmed right down and is as frisky as a kitten again.  I eat VERY healthy and ride the bike just as much as Jeremy, and I look three months pregnant. 

So I decided to do an honest self-evaluation.  While I make a great deal of excellent healthy choices, I do have two things that I simply adore and have no intention of eliminating from my life, no matter what those so-called "nutritionists" say: ice cream and booze (look, I got to my point!!)

I don't overindulge in either of these things, but I enjoy them.  But so does Jeremy!!  And his diet is NOWHERE as healthy as mine.  So I refuse to give up my bowl of Cookies and Cream or my Gin and Tonic with lime, because if it is impossible to get back to my high school weight (or even within 40 pounds of it), then I need SOMETHING to make me happy!  Am I right?  Ladies, I need some comfort here so I know I am not alone!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Uterus is Empty. Thanks for Asking.

The last few days have been an avalanche of people reminding me that I don't have babies yet.  How helpful of all of them!   Because I had almost forgotten that I was still 27 and childless!!

My officemate asked me how I was doing today, and I said "meh."  She asked me what was wrong, and I said, "Oh, I am just really tired and blah.  I feel weird."  She immediately gasped and said "YOU'RE PREGNANT!!!"  I assured her I wasn't.  She was just being nice, because she knows I want a baby, but it was like she punched me in the stomach.

Facebook selected roughly 78,000 ads asking me if I was a mother or mother-to-be.  No, but thanks for asking.  No, I do not want to buy cloth diapers, adorable onesies, or receive coupons for organic baby food.  But again, thanks for asking.

I had the TV on in the background while I was grading papers and I happened to catch the episode of Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami (or whatever that show is called) where Kourtney Kardashian finds out she is pregnant and has to decide whether or not to keep the baby.  They showed the ultrasound.  I cried.

Someone was making fun of one of my friends on Facebook for eating his pasty with gravy AND ketchup and said he must be pregnant.  I seconded the notion.  So he replied by saying "speaking of babies, Veronica ..."

A friend of a friend recently found out she was pregnant and started a blog about her pregnancy.  I immediately chose a name for my future blog (but I obviously won't print it here, for fear that someone will steal it for their own fetus) and ALMOST actually registered for it.  For a baby that is NOT currently growing in my uterus.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Top 5 Reasons I Know I am Getting Old

It has recently come to my attention that I am, sadly, old beyond my years.  People who are older than me usually just laugh at me and tell me to wait a few more years.  However, I don't know many people my own age who can say the following five things.  Or, maybe there are plenty of you.  Let me know if I am not alone. :)

Well, on to the list, in Letterman style ...

Number 5:  Even though I often struggle with insomnia, I find myself falling asleep everywhere else at inopportune times.  Like on the couch while watching a show I have been dying to see all week.  Or during the last ten minutes of a movie that I have been thoroughly enjoying. 

Number 4:  I get mad at noisy children, tweens and teens.  I have even been known to utter the phrase "when I was a kid, we were only allowed to scream if we were dying."  Seriously.  I say this out loud.  And I have said it more than once.  Which leads me to ...

Number 3:  I start sentences with "when I was a kid."

Number 2:  Sometimes I make strange and labored old-people noises.  As if it is really such a task to get up off the floor or lift a heavy basket of laundry.  To be fair to myself, I only let them slip after long days when I am whipped.  But to be fair to others, I should admit that 27 is much too young to be straining to do things my body should easily be able to do.  If this is my level of functioning now, what will it be when I hit 40?  Lordy ...

And the Number 1 Reason that I am an old lady is ... I LOVE listening to NPR.  It is all I listen to when I drive now.  And I find myself nodding, tilting my head to the side, or making "hmmm" noises when I hear something thought-provoking.  I will even hear something and IMMEDIATELY need to call Jeremy to share, discuss, or debate (not that we often disagree on things political.  I LOVE that!). 

So, those of you who doubted me before reading?  I am sure you are now convinced.  It is a sad state to be in, but things could always be worse!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fearful Friday Edition: 3 Things that Terrify Me

Yes, I am actually going to publish a list of things that terrify me, complete with photographic evidence of their scariness. You might be wondering, dear readers, if this actually qualifies as an interesting blog post. My answer to you is: I am queen of this here blog, etc., etc. The end. Okay, on to number one ...

1. Snakes
Evil, awful, sneaky snakes. {source}

They slither and hiss and bite.

People might tell you that snakes are more afraid of you than you are of them ... this is bunk. A total fallacy. Snakes WANT to bite you, and they will, given the chance. And if you are bitten by a snake? My apologies, friend. Especially if it happens to be one of the super-bad-super-poisonous ones. Because if that happens and that crazy Snake Doctor from Animal Planet is not around ... sayonara my friend.

You want proof that a snake not only WILL bite you in the face, but WANTS to? Here you go:

This picture was on a website called "funnyhub." Seriously. Someone thinks THIS is funny. *shudder*

On the way to work yesterday, I was listening to an interview on NPR in which someone in Canada was lamenting the fact that people in his neighborhood were killing Black Rat snakes. He said they weren't poisonous, so people should live and let live. While I was hyperventilating a little at the thought of snakes, I was kind of agreeing with him. THEN he mentioned (in a very off-handed manner) that these beasts happen to be an average of SIX FEET LONG, are constrictors, and have been KILLING PEOPLE'S PETS AND LIVESTOCK. SIX FEET LONG?!?!!?!!?? I almost skidded off the road and died.

2. Centipedes

II think the key to the terror of the centipede is the fact that it looks so prehistoric. Plus, all the little legs. I bet they use all those little legs to scoot around super fast and scary-like. Oh yeah, and the feeler thingies. When they wiggle them at you ...

I am willing to admit that I have come across these horrifying beasts in my own home. No, I am not a negligent housekeeper.  Apparently my basement is just an ideal home for these creepers.

3. Spiders

Yeah, I know, very original. But seriously, look at this:
Terror on eight legs. This also happens to be a wolf spider, the very same assbutt jerk arachnid that I stepped on at the tender age of eight and my entire foot swelled up like a football for a week. My high arches disappeared and I was flat footed. It itched so badly I considered cutting off my foot.

Ever since then, it seems like they follow me. The other day, I had three run-ins in a half-hour time span. One greeted me in the shower, then when I closed the bedroom door after saying god-bye to Jeremy, one dangled down on a string and stopped a millimeter from my nose. And it STARED at me. So I ran. Then I got into my car, looked out the window to see if I could safely pull out of my driveway, and one was ON THE WINDOW, looking ready to pounce.

Clearly, they follow me, with the intention to BITE. Oh, and did I mention that that VERY day I had ALSO woken up with a spider bite on my arm? Evidence.

Face the facts people: spiders want you to die, and if you are not vigilant, one day they will win.

Well, while I have other fears, most of them do not have accompanying photographic evidence, so I will leave the list at three. Feel free to leave a comment to vent about your own paralyzing fears.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...