Friday, May 27, 2011

The Green Mile. Otherwise known as the longest 1/4 mile hike that did not have the courtesy to have a cliff that I could jump from at the end.

So we're in Tennessee and thought, "Hey, while it's nice eating then napping then eating some more, why don't we actually go for a hike today?". The fact that I didn't get raptured right then and there so that I wouldn't have to experience today does not build a strong case for a higher power.
And you and you and you and....oh, not you
It had been raining all night and some of the morning but it looked like it's clearing up so we pile in the car to head to Conasauga Falls, which mom and dad have never hiked before. Shrimp's driving, dad's in the passenger seat, and me and mom are in the back seat with Echo. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of driving in the car with dad, let me see if I can capture the essence for you. The radio is never on, because he's basically his own talk show. Think you can pretend you're sleeping and he'll stop talking? Wrong. He'll just carry on both sides of the conversation- no need for input! Did you miss what's happening in the news for the last 5 years? Don't worry! He'll recapture every highlight- with commentary- in detail, even if you ask him to stop.

Punch me in the face- please!

For a 'real life' example, last year we were coming home from god knows where, same cast of characters except I'm driving with dad in the passenger seat. He's talking non-stop about Glenn Beck and what kind of a-hole statement he made recently and despite the fact that I'm begging him to stop, I think he thinks I'm joking so just keeps going on and on and on. Kind of like Glenn Beck, come to think of it. He'll be thrilled that they have something in common. Finally, I tell him to grab the wheel because I'm going to throw myself from the moving vehicle and will hopefully be crushed under wheel of an 18 wheeler so that I can have a reprieve from the blow by blow. At this point Shrimp pipes in and says that maybe Jesus will take the wheel. I said that even Jesus would rather be nailed to the cross rather than listen to this for two hours. Okay, so you get a sense of what we're dealing with? Good.

Maybe if Jesus had taken the wheel for that lady in the Keys instead of her ex she would have made it to her date on time.
Dad and Shrimp both have a lot in common; they both carry on dialogues completely independently, using improv voices when necessary, and they both have a serious case of the Grandma Complex, which causes them to sporadically chip in with whatever could possibly go wrong if we continue on this treacherous journey. The end result is that once we make the turn-off for the falls and begin the 3 mile car ride to the top of the mountain, so begins the speculation as to what is going to happen if we a) run off the road and plummet down the mountain or b) run out of gas, then plummet down the mountain. Dad works out what he's going to say to the redneck when we require assistance obtaining some 'fine petroleum products' and then works out what the redneck is going to say in return. You apparently cannot be too prepared. Oh, and in case we do plummet down the side of the mountain and are trapped for days in the car together (I will literally gnaw my own wrist), Shrimp already said she won't share her snacks since dad made fun of her for having so many so dad has come up with the contingency plan that he will eat his own foot. Riiiiiiight, because that's the 'beefy' part on dad's body.

I call dibs on the big toe!
We finally make it to the top of the mountain, park the car, and suit up. For dad, this means straw hat, camel pack, and walking stick. We begin what is supposed to be a 1/4 mile hike to the falls but I swear on everything that is holy, that walk was at least 10 miles. Dad and Shrimp are bringing up the rear so they are free to extrapolate on their hillbilly contingency plan, including just how they're going to cook dad's foot or if they are going to find this elusive redneck and ask them  if they could partake in some of his beef products (Excuse me kind sir, would you be so kind as to allow me to wrap my lips around your weiner? Hot dog, that is.) I'll let you have one guess as to who came up with that line. It was like an SNL skit but without Alec Baldwin. Or the funny parts.

Scweddy Wieners- a staple at every picnic

I can't wait to get this guy skinned and on my head!
Before long, dad's complaining about his Downhill Toe Syndrome and tells us every ten feet that he can't make it anymore so we should 'just leave him behind'. Okay. But apparently he realizes that if he's not there, then who's going to point out that it looks like it's going to rain and then tell us to 'watch it' constantly, because we are obviously hiking blindfold with a 3 year old. The few other times I tune in to the conversation behind me I hear snippets of 'drink out of the skull' or 'lizard skin hat' so I silently count the many, many ways I could dispose of both of their bodies where nobody would ever know and voila, the time flies by!

Eventually we make it to the falls and they are gorgeous. We play in the water for a while, the clouds part and it's an amazing, sunny day. Echo plays kerplunk but instead of throwing the rocks in the water, she throws them at us but follows it up with, "Don't worry, you're okay" so that we don't have to concern ourselves about the bruising. Finally, there's no way around it, we head back up the path and back to the car.

What's the worst that could happen?
The conversation continues in the same vain, although now they've determined that Dr. Scholl's will work as a foot tenderizer and Shrimp's patience is growing thin as Echo grabs every plant she walks past, even as she says, "I not touch it!". We're pretty sure her definition of touch is completely different than ours.

Like Dante travelling through the 7 circles of hell except not as pleasant, we finally emerge from the forest and into the parking lot. At this point, dad turns around and says, "That wasn't so bad!". I will shoot myself in the meal foot before that hike ever happens again. I don't even care if that's the path to getting raptured- keep a seat warm for me by the coals.

I'll take it if it means I can erase that hike from my memory like mind bleach.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

So just what DOES Bobby do while I'm away?

This was a question we found ourselves pondering on our way to the tea house this afternoon so we came up with what we think is a pretty close approximation of how Bobby amuses himself when I'm not there to adore 24/7.

In no particular order, here are the top 10 things we think Bobby partakes in when he thinks nobody is watching (it makes it more exciting for my web cam if it's Au Natural):

Top 10 Things Bobby does around the House when Anna is Out of Town

10. This almost goes without saying- making out with Applesauce
Those pointers have the come-hither eyes down pat
9.  Dancing around Risky Business style but instead of an oxford-style business shirt, he's using a fishing shirt
Just take those old records off the shelf...... what's the next line again?
8. Getting caught up with The Secret Life of an American Teenager. Will Amy and Ricky finally get married? It's a nail biter!

Um, who's my baby daddy again?
7. Staging his own cooking show using only the ingredients found in the pantry as outlined in the Lose Weight Quickly post. Just how do you get white chocolate and ravioli to go together? Check out the web cam at  soon to find out!

You can never be too careful when chopping the balls off- grasp both testicles firmly!
6. Straps some medium grit sandpaper to a lumpy pillow to simulate my legs and cuddles up to it in bed while watching The Secret Life of an American Teenager

Honey, did you shave? There's a noticable decrease in hair tonight.....
5. Searches EBay for hours on end to try to finish off his Precious Moments collection

That damn user Gr&ma4Jesus on Ebay might have gotten the rest, but this puppy is mine!
 4. Refills all the fat-free Miracle Whip jars with full fat Miracle Whip to make me think I'm going nuts
I don't think you're ready for this jelly
3. Trying out that new crimped hairstyle he saw on Project Runway a few weeks ago
First the hair, next the eye makeup!
2. Chasing skirts at the 40 and over nightclub New York NY on US 19

You gotta take it where you can get it sometimes
And the number one thing Bobby enjoys while Anna is out of town is..............

1. Making a guest performance at the midnight showing at the St. Pete showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show as Dr. Frank N Furter

Pulling. It. Off.

Paddle faster, I hear banjo music! Unless you're mom. In that case, drift into every outcropping in the river without helping yourself at all.

You ever hear of a tube tard? It's a person who is obviously too mentally challenged to operate an inner tube going downstream at a rate of 100 ft an hour. In other words, mom.

Today we decided to take a leisurely tube ride down the Ocoee River, and to spice things up a bit, we'd take a three year old with us! We had our worries about Echo; would she get bored on the tube and constantly try to wake us up while we're napping? Would she drink all the beer on the bus ride down to the park? The way she's been keg-standing that Juicy Juice gave us reason to ponder.

But it turns out Echo was just fine. We had a bigger problem on our hands. Or more specifically, a larger, whiter, and much older problem on our hands.

To be fair, mom has never been tubing in Tennessee before and we did not give her any lessons ahead of time. You know, the ones consisting of the following simulations on dry land:

1. Lay in tube
2. Allow current to push tube down river
3. Avoid debris or large outcroppings of rocks in river by remaining conscious and giving a crap
This isn't really us. We're too dumb to remember our camera.
So the fact that she couldn't master number 3 really isn't her fault. I mean, not everyone can float in a tube AND have arms and legs long enough to reach the water to paddle away from the river bank or clump of sticks or low hanging trees. As with the first hot yoga class, I find it best to describe the two hour descent of one mile of the Ocoee with a time line.

What'd you say???
 Minute 1: We all get our tubes in the water and plop into the doughnut holes to begin our fast-paced adventure. Shrimp and Echo have a tube with a covered bottom to make sure Echo doesn't slip into the water but the rest of us have a traditional open-hole tube, which means we all have some resistance (aka our asses) slowing us down. Right off the bat, mom careens to the right and gets stuck up on the bank. We yell at her to 'use her feet' but she just uses a bunch of jerky movements like she's having a seizure to pull away from the side of the river and get down the first 6 inch rapid. When she gets closer, we ask her why she didn't just use her feet and she goes, "I didn't even think of that". Apparently she's going deaf AND dumb in her old age.

This seems comfy!

Minute 30: We're all floating at various paces, about 50 yards apart down the river. Mom has managed to get stuck on no less than 5 rocky outcrops but shows the helplessness of a turtle on its back when it happens so somebody usually has to paddle over and pull her away from the rocks and shove her 10 feet down the river so it can happen again.

Minute 45: Mom manages to pick up the pace but when she floats past us, we notice that she has one leg out of her tube and one leg in the water. "I'm stuck!", she yells at us, as if we're gonna do anything more than laugh and point. I tell her to push up using her arms and pull her leg out of the water. She manages to push herself up but instead of pulling her stuck leg up, she somehow gets her leg that's out of the water INTO the water and now all we see coming out of her inner tube are her little hands holding onto the side and her wicked witch of the west voice calling out "I'm slipping!!!".

At this point we are all glad we are already in the water otherwise it would make peeing ourselves pretty embarrassing. Her little midget legs are kicking uselessly in the 3 foot deep water and she's convinced she's going to drown but somehow, god willing, she manages to find the strength to hold on long enough to get to 6 inches of water so that she can stand up and back up into her tube and resume her stranded tortoise position. We all breathe a sigh of relief.

Loooookin' good!

Minute 60: As the rest of the tube tards are trying to negotiate themselves around a pile of branches, I pull up on a sandbank and wait for the rest of them to catch up. Unfortunately, this is just enough time for our fans to catch up with us also. As dad floats downstream like an extra-large marshmallow, we hear something yelled at us from a pick-up that's driving down the road running parallel to the river. Although I can't quite make it out, I think it went something like this: "Hello there attractive lady- I appreciate the time you took to achieve those results! All those hot yoga classes and working out is really paying off in the glutius maximus! Large man in the tube with the big knockers, we are going to be waiting for you downstream!" If I had a nickel for every time this happened.... Okay, I'd have a nickel.

Minute 75: Echo yells out, "Someone help grammie!" as mom hits the left bank and gets stuck in some overhanging branches. She manages to use the branches to pull herself free and just in time too because our fans are back, this time yelling encouragements for us to do something with our tubes, not sure what, but I'm pretty sure they were inspired by dad's now wet t-shirt. It's hard being this good-looking but we did warn dad that if he wore that Speedo, he's gonna get some attention.

Me? Not blind. Next!
Minute 90: We round the last corner and can see the put-out for the tubing depot in site. Just then, our fans make one final pass, this time actually slowing down and pulling over on the side of the road so that they can yell "I'm getting excited, yes I am! I'm getting excited now!". I imagine they're yelling encouragement for us since we are so close to the finish line but unfortunately, it didn't help mom out much. In the 100 meter wide river, she manages to get stuck on the final tangle weed of bushes measuring about 2 feet across in 10 inches of water. Echo says, "We made it!" only to revise her statement 60 seconds later when her and Shrimp beach themselves on some rocks to "We didn't make it." Even at 3, that kids knows what's up. Luckily, we all manage to drag our glamorous selves up the bank and out of the river. Surprisingly, our adoring public is not there to greet us with pictures for us to autograph and chloroformed napkins for us to breath deeply into, but hey- there's always tomorrow. So we stagger across the street, change into our street clothes, and call it a day. Dad said he's going to practice tubing with mom on their creek so that she can avoid those embarrassing 'side trips' next time. What, and take away our biggest source of amusement? Hell no!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I believe that our, uh, education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over HERE in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh,......

I take it you didn't ace your MCATS
Yes, I totally copped that heading from the super-genius Ms. South Carolina (seriously, look at how much attention she got just from those infamous words) but they are appropriate because here in Coker Creek, Shrimp and I feel like we could pass as Ms. USA contenders since we have such unique features like shirts AND shoes and most of the time, teeth!

Mom and dad have had their house up here in Tennessee for a long time, so I'm used to the 'local talent', but during our yearly girls' trip, I think we definitely stand out more. I think it's kind of like how twins on their own aren't very impressive, but twins together are somewhat of a freak of nature.

I think around here, two women that pronounce their g's on words such as hunting, mudding, spitting, and working, and that also are visibly wearing bras is a phenomenon in and of itself. Get those two women together at, say, the Save-a-Lot, and you've got yourself a beauty pageant! Not to mention the fact that Shrimp always has her own set of twins on display and it's like people around here can't believe that there's that much boob real estate TOTALLY TATTOO FREE. They're mesmerized, like a snake charmer with a cobra. Oh wait, that's Sunday at the baptist church down the street. My bad.
I swear by this holy snake I did not sleep with my cousin!
Dang it, I meant my first cousin! Those other ones don't count!

Yesterday, Shrimp and I decided to run into 'town' with dad because he was going to drop the garbage off at the dump (it was my birthday after all) and we jumped on the opportunity to visit the hot spot of Tellico Plains. The conversation went something like this:

Dad: "Hey girls, who wants to ride in the back of the pick-up with pappy to hold down the bags of garbage on the way to the dump?"

Us, from the garbage cans we're using as swimming pools to cool down after a long morning of rat-skinning: "I do, pa, I do!" Then Shrimp uses my head as a step to scramble out of the swimming can to claim her place in the back of the truck so she doesn't have to work the pedals in the truck while dad steers and spits dip at the same time.

If you girls are good, you can pick out any stuffed animal you want from the dump!

We first hit the Save-a-Lot and CVS, where I find some teeth whitening strips and self-tanner on sale so I buy double because I want to look glamorous by the time I come home with white teeth and glowing skin. Shrimp said I'm going to look like a jack-o-lantern with orange skin and black teeth from the generic whitening kit. I think somebody's jealooooous......

Who says the dump can't be a shopping opportunity?

So we make our way to the dump, where we get a gander at the hottie who works the place (Hey baby, how big is the range on that cuff? Think we can make it to the used mattress I saw out back with only a few rats living in the springs?) and also the PYT who's dropping garbage off with his family who has- wait for it- his own bowie knife hanging off his size 20 pants! Calm yourself, ladies, he is still under age, even by Tennessee standards.

 But then on our way home, we convince dad to stop off at a big garage sale we say on the way in. Sure, we thought it was a little weird that there's a garage sale going on on a Monday, but maybe somehow there was just too much awesomeness to fit into the weekend. Makes total sense.

Maybe they meant Hugh Grant.....
We swing into the driveway, lured in by the electric bike in the front yard, and take in the vastness of riches. There are boxes of product that most likely was salvaged from Lake Pontchartrain by the looks of them, water damaged and rusted or molded. But if you could look past that 'superficial' stuff, you could stockpile for all your menstrual, pregnancy test, sunblock, or personal hygiene needs! What's that you say, you need a light to guide you as you administer to all these beauty products? No problem- the framed picture of Jesus just got a new light bulb! And who's telling us all this, you might ask? The grande dam of the yard sale herself. Like a fine french woman, she's ageless. Is she 19 or is she 49? You really can't tell from the tats that cover most of her overly-visible body - she was soaking up her daily 8 hours of UVB when we pulled up- or from the condition of her finely aged and smoked skin. I could tell dad got nervous in the face of such beauty by the way he holed up in the truck like a loony in a bunker. But once we pulled away (with our purchases, of course), Shrimp and I went from feeling like this:

to this:
I knew those fake tanners would make a difference.
 So ladies, if you need a pick me up and don't mind a little ogling by the locals, come on up to Tennessee for a week- and bring your good teeth!

Monday, May 23, 2011

How to lose a bunch of weight- and then gain it right back!

Everyone's a winner! Oh, except you.
Every month, Bobby and I set up a monthly budget to make sure we stay in the poor house and don't have even that repo'd from us. We use the Dave Ramsey system and took a 12 week class a few years ago and since then we go over our budget every month and try to operate on a cash-only system so that we don't overspend and go into our bingo, beer, & lottery funds. Them there's our retirement fund after all.

A few weeks ago, Bobby and I were going over our monthly budget and we got to the grocery category. We were going back and forth about how much to allot and he said the thing I swear he says about 3 times a day: "We have so much food in our pantry already that I bet we could live off it for a month without grocery shopping."

Not our pantry, but a close representation.
Really? A month? "Okay, two weeks." Hmmm. That kinda sounded like a throw down to me. And since I like a challenge- and hate grocery shopping even more- I decided to take him up on it.

The first week went fine- I was thawing stuff out of the freezer that wasn't labeled, eating can upon can of black beans (I won't be buying 10 cans of anything at Costco anymore), going through our carb shelf (I hate pasta but I was determined not to give in, dammit). It was all running smoothly. Then I ran out of creamer. Game off!

Turn around, we forgot the apples!

Okay, I had to re-assess my game plan. Realistically, I could eat all the big stuff out of the cupboards, but do I really want to go 2 weeks with no creamer or eggs or fresh fruits and veggies? A while back, my first husband had cancer and we spent days at a time at the hospital for his chemo treatments on and off for a year. My mom heard that I was living off primarily bagels and coffee and made Shrimp bring us fruit also because she didn't want us getting scurvy. Apparently we were doing chemo on the Nina, Pinta, or Santa Maria because I don't think scurvy has been around since pirates went out of fashion but ever since, I always worry that if I go too long without fresh fruit I might come down with a case of the scurve.

One bottle is never enough.

You can't be too careful, right? So I revised my rules and decided that I could go to the store to get perishables only. Game on!

Anorexia, here I come!
So I'm back to eating what we have. And I have to admit that the novelty wore off quickly. There was one day where it was 2 pm and I still hadn't eaten anything because every time I thought I was hungry, I'd think about eating what's in my fridge again (Bobby was out of town so I ended up eating the same thing for about 5 meals in a row) and I'd decide that maybe I wasn't really that hungry after all. The weight just dropped off! It was so hard not to just go to Taco Bell or grab a chicken biscuit at McDonald's but it paid off. I was going through my closet to see what still fit me in order to purge and voila- all my pants were loose again! Sure, that wasn't the goal, but it was a nice side affect.

Apparently the thought of eating even one more bite of that chicken in the fridge was enough to make my own fat purge itself. At the same time, my hot yoga classes were quickly expiring so I crammed in 3 in one week so I was feeling like a lean, mean, Polarican machine. But for every ying, there's a yang. My ying was losing the weight. My yang? My parents' house.

Shrimp, Echo, and myself had been planning a trip up to Tennessee to see my parents this month because my mom turned 150 this month (I think that's 60 in human years) and we wanted to show her how much we love her by dragging our pale, lifeless bodies up to her house and let her wait on us hand and foot for a week. And for anyone who's spent any time at the Grease-a-linski house, you know you don't escape without an overall girth increase of 10%, enhanced by all the sodium and topped off with 3 helpings of pork products a day.

Approximately one serving at the Polack Palace.

Dream big!
And since today is my birthday, I'm getting a special birthday meal that will kick-start the widening right off! I weighed myself when we got here yesterday (we had already eaten a big ham dinner as soon as we got here) and I'm starting at 126. I'm guesstimating that I'll end up at least 132 by the time I leave but I don't want to set my sights too low- I'm going for 135 this time!

Mom said that if I gain weight here I can't blame it all on her since I went to the store and came back with 2 bags of pork rinds and a bag of potato sticks but I say that I wouldn't be eating it if I weren't up here, would I? So boing-stick.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I think I need a laptop. Preferably one that costs about a dollar.

I'm in an ongoing battle and I'm losing. Here's the situation: my home computer sits on the same desk as my work computer. And for the past few weeks, as soon as I finish work, my body becomes severely allergic to my office chair. So I'm battling my desire to blog with my revulsion to my office post 5:01 pm and the office is winning. Ive even tried making it more appealing by cleaning it and everything. It was starting to look like a frat house during rush week, minus the college men ( not for a lack of trying).

So I've been debating what kind of laptop to get and I've finally decided but since I am the Cheapest Woman on Earth, I have a hard time buying a laptop just to blog. But I've finally had enough. Do you know where I'm typing this blog? In bed from my iPhone. FROM MY iPHONE. I'm just hoping nothing ends up on I can't even change this crappy font or add pictures but I just can't bring myself to go back into that office. So for now, I have my notebook and as soon as I teach myself to print again, I'll just write down my blog notes the old-fashioned way. So that's my battle with my office. It wins, I lose. I'm like France- I surrender! Now I'm gonna get myself a damn laptop.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Yes, we have no bananas. We have no bananas today.

I thought the header was a much better way of saying 'no postings this week'. I didn't forget about the blog or slack off or black out or anything (for a change); it's just a very busy week at work so I don't think I'm going to have time to post anything this week. But don't worry, everything is due on Monday so things will resume as normal next week. In the meantime, here's something funny passed on by Misha:

In her defense, who living in the Keys hasn't been driving over the 17 mile stretch on their way to the Hog for a hot hook-up and wanted to get in a little grooming while they're at it? And just one DUI? Amateur.