Wednesday, February 22, 2006

ADVENTUROUS (episode 2)

I am aware that my last post was not funny, as this blog is known for (at least to my sister). Therefore, I feel the need to redeem myself and wane sarcastic. So today, I will write another post about another one of my adventures.

It was June of 1994. I was 10, my sister was 13. My grandfather was completing the last stages of his campaign for re-election to Sheriff of his small southern Alabama county. It was a close race, and all month long Jennie and I, our Uncle, his girlfriend and her son, our parents and even their friends and their kids (they all loved my grandfather) had been canvassing the county trying to garner votes for my grandfather. My favorite activity was going house to house with my sister and my mom's best friend's stepkids (unless playing with the neighbor's three kittens counts as campaigning).

Anyway, in the last few weeks leading up to election day (which happened to be my birthday), my mom spent every spare minute with my grandparents, doing all she could to help out. My dad, the breadwinner of the family, had to leave town for a business trip. Having had just about all we could of the hot June sun, Jennie and I decided to skip town with Dad. We loaded up his Explorer and headed for Orlando. Dad was in sales, so there were stops to make all the way there and back. While Dad was in meetings, Jennie and I would wait patiently in the car, playing our Gameboys (probably Home Alone or Tetris or Barbie), reading magazines (classics such as American Girl, Nickelodeon, Disney Adventures, or Teen Bop) or sleeping. Needless to say, all of those hours in his car made for cramped quarters, which is something that we Jennie did not handle well. She got crabby. But I'll come back to that.

This trip holds three memories for me. First was waking up on June 17 and watching O.J. running away in the white Bronco. "Someone" had killed Ron and Nicole 5 days earlier. I didn't really know anything about O.J., but I did think he had a funny name.

Another fond memory was going to Universal Studios. That was to be our reward for good behavior on the trip. Bedecked in our Hypercolor outfits, we hit the theme park bright and early. This was my first encounter with the Jaws ride.
Now, in case you weren't aware, I might be the most easily scared person on the planet. I'd already seen the movie Jaws, and it scared me so bad that to this day I can't really enjoy myself in large bodies of water. The recent shark attacks on the Alabama coastline aren't really helping my cause, either.

Anyway, somehow Dad and Jennie got me to go on the ride and I think I cried the whole time. Of course when I visited the theme park 10 years later, I was laughing the whole time at how fake the sharks look. Fine, maybe not the WHOLE time, more like just when the sharks weren't around... But back then, I was convinced that Bruce had a personal vendetta against me.
I can still see that cursed fin approaching our boat at an inescapable speed... I can still hear our boat's CB radio broadcasting the cries of the unfortunate captain whose boat sank and assumingly served as a slide to ferry him straight into the fake shark's waiting mouth... I can still feel the shakes of the boathouse when he was "ramming" the door to break in... What is NOT scary about this ride?! I found all of those pictures on the internet, along with some very interesting "constructing of" photos which were very therapeutic for me. But of course, Jennie took pictures of each different shark (hungry Bruce, bloody and burnt Bruce, etc) to haunt me with back at home. It was as if she already knew that I was going to piss her off royally at the end of this trip.

Which brings me to my third memory. I already mentioned that Jennie gets crabby in small spaces, and when she gets crabby, so does everyone else around her. It was the final day of our trip and we had stopped at what I assume was the only Waffle House left in Florida we hadn't yet visited on our trip. We each placed our orders and waited until our waitress (who I like to imagine was named Crystal) brought the food. Dad and I dove right in. Jennie, however, picked up her best friend, Mr. Butter Knife, and began buttering each individual square of her waffle.

Now when we say someone was buttering something, we typically imagine a knife recklessly being smeared across the food's surface, spreading butter over whatever was in its path. But not my sister. On this particular day, she found it of utmost importance to make sure that each square on each wedge of her waffle received an equal amount of butter. I promise you that she spent at least ten minutes buttering it. She was holding each piece about 8 to 10 inches from her face, buttering/studying the meticulous intricacies that must lie within a waffle (I wouldn't know, I don't eat them). Once the waltz of the butter knife was complete, she laid her artwork on her plate for all to admire.

You learn something about someone after living with them for 10 years. One thing I had learned about my sister was occasionally, she smells her food before she eats it. And just then, as if on cue, she lifted one wedge of the waffle from her plate because obviously something that beautiful should be taken in with as more senses than just sight and taste.

Just as she was going for her first sniff, I spied my opportunity, quickly extended my hand across the table and smashed her waffle and all of its buttery glory
right onto her face.

She removed the wedge from her face, and upon seeing the triangle of butter that was covering her nose, mouth and chin, Dad and I lost it. He was laughing so hard that he couldn't even talk, much less try to discipline me. Jennie was so angry I'm surprised she didn't pick up Mr. Butter Knife for an encore performance aimed at my eye. I don't think she spoke to me for the rest of the trip, which I didn't really count as a loss.

Maybe I was jealous that my food didn't look as organized as hers did. Maybe I was mad because she beat my score on the Home Alone game. Maybe I was just fed up of her being crabby. I'm not really sure of the exact motive of my actions. What I am sure of, though, is that she has not been to a Waffle House with me since.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Since my last post, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by some of the people I love most dearly: best friends. They are the ones who know all about my life and current predicaments, the struggles and fears I'm trying to face, and who'll be there to celebrate when I escape the valley I feel like I'm trapped in. Over the weekend, I was blessed with the company of four such individuals.

Thursday night, I had dinner with my little breath of fresh air. We met up in Montgomery and dove right into Italian food and good conversation. One of the things I appreciate most about her is that just like Job's friends, she doesn't always try to offer advice or suggest how to make things better. She just listens and through her listening, comforts and encourages. (Side note: I think that's a big difference in guys and girls, actually, and why sometimes women and men say they can't understand each other. In the past, I've gone to boyfriends with a problem and the first thing they'll say is "Well, have you tried x? Think about doing y. What if z?" Thanks for the ideas, but let's be honest. All girls want to hear is "That sucks and I'm really sorry. I can't believe she did that to you. How unfair." Girls want sympathy, not solutions.) Anyway, we hit all the usual topics over dinner then wasted a little bit of time at the mall and Krispy Kreme before parting ways. There's something extremely comforting in knowing that however far apart you currently (or eventually will) live, there is a friend who will drive to meet you halfway just to catch up... A friend who makes you feel like a priority. If that's the only friend I ever have, then I have plenty.

Then, on Friday, another friend's wedding weekend kicked off. Of all of the special plans I have seen come to fruition in my life, nothing tops the story of how God led two of my closest friends to their husbands. It's funny: our senior year of high school, my five best friends and I were all in serious relationships. By the end of the year, all but two of us had broken the relationships off; my friend who got married yesterday and my friend who is getting married in May stayed in the relationships through some of college. In the case of those two girls, it was a rocky road that led to their breakups. Lots of fear and doubt since, after all, doesn't what we're used to and what we've already got make for the most comfortable, familiar path? However, once those relationships had ended and the girls did what they knew was right, as the hardest choices are usually the most rewarding choices, each one was led right to her husband. How cool is that? I am so proud to stand on stage beside each of my friends and celebrate their union to a man that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt is so perfect for each of them (because I've seen them with what's NOT perfect for them). It was an emotional wedding, and the little bride was the picture of beauty and innocence. At the reception, I even got to visit with my friend getting married in May (and dance with her fiance, haha). I am so lucky to be turning my best friends over to the greatest guys!

Then on Sunday, another friend who got married last summer was in town! She came over and we looked at her wedding album and spent a little time catching up. Since she lives out of town now, I hardly get to see her face-to-face, so it was a fun time. She and I were great friends in ninth grade, then great friends again when we pledged the same sorority, and then great friends again when we lived together senior year, and it was then that we found ourselves in very similar boats. I think it is so interesting how the Lord brings certain people in and out of our lives at different seasons and stages of life, so we can appreciate them but also because if you take the time to ask, they might be going through exactly what you are, and you can help each other.

Obviously, we can't choose our family, but we can choose our friends, and in that regard I consider myself so lucky. I look at my friendships like finely sifted flour. In the past year, a lot of my friendships have faded. At first that made me sad and I did my best to keep up with everyone that had graduated or gotten married or didn't live next door anymore, but then I remembered all of that about different friends for different seasons. Just like in an orchestra, you can't have all of the instruments playing the whole time. But the friendships I have been able to maintain, the ones that involve genuine two-sided efforts, are the most rewarding. The metaphorical sifting of the flour (moves, graduations) has weeded out some not-so deep friendships and has left me with a solid group of friends.

So therefore, even though I am discontent and confused and frustrated, I am assured. No matter how much deeper this valley will get, or how much else the Lord will shake up my plans for the next day or week or year of my life, or how much my familiar and comfortable world will be rocked, as long as I have my best friends, I will go on.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Just because I was bored.... AGAIN!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 10:30 am

2. Diamonds or pearls? To date, pearls... ignorance is bliss when it comes to jewelry.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Tristan and Isolde. It was a lot better than I thought it would be. I'm looking forward to hitting up the dollar theatre soon to see Rent (for the 3rd time) or one of Jennifer Aniston's past two movies.

4. What is your favorite TV show? duh, FRIENDS! Tying for second place are (in no particular order) Grey's Anatomy, American Idol, Family Feud, and the OC!

5. What do you usually have for breakfast? multi-grain bagel with cream cheese

6. What is your middle name? Kathleen

7. Favorite food? mashed potatoes!

8. What foods do you dislike? Anything found in the sea, most vegetables, MUSTARD

9. What is your favorite chip flavor? Baked Lays original... though the occasional barbecue is nice

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? What's a CD? I guess if you count what I'm listening to most on my iPod, recently I've been on a Madonna kick.

11. What kind of car do you drive? Explorer sport! It's hot.

12. Favorite sandwich? I can make a mean grilled cheese, but I really like chicken salad or turkey-bacon-cheese sandwiches, too.

13. What characteristic do you despise? Arrogance or stupidity

14. Favorite item or outfit? bluejeans

15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where? Italy! Bring on the carbs!

16. What color is your bathroom? A god-awful flower wallpaper that my mom picked out 15 years ago. Pretty much every color known to mankind could be found on the wall.

17. Favorite brand of clothing? GAP or Express or if I can afford it, BCBG.

18. Where would you retire to? Tennessee or wherever my husband wants to go. Somewhere close but not too close to our kids.

19. Favorite sport to watch? Football

20. Goal you have for yourself? Get a job that I love... get in shape enough to run a 5k... enjoy independence

21. Favorite flowers? Gerber daisies or tulips

22. Are you a morning person or a night person? Quite the night owl

23. What did you want to be when you were little? Teacher, secretary or country music star

24. How are you today? Happy! The next 72 hours will be fun fun fun!

25. What is a date on your calendar you are looking forward to? Today when I get to see my best friend, or tomorrow when another best friend and her husband come to town, or Saturday when another best friend gets married, or May 27 when ANOTHER best friend gets married!


Well another Valentine's Day has come and gone. Rather uneventfully, I might add, unless you count me finding the bargain of the day: Season 10 of FRIENDS for only $17.99 at Circuit City! Happy Valentine's Day, me. Anyway, sitting in the bathtub a little while ago (it's become my favorite pastime... not that it really ever wasn't), I started to reflect on the ghosts of Valentine pasts. And by ghosts, I mean the former flames... or tiny blips on the radar... who made the day worthwhile. Four boys, 6 Valentine's Days (two brave souls did double duty).

Looking back, all of my Valentine's memories seem terribly cheesy. But at the time, each respective suitor was nothing short of a modern-day Romeo.

1998: First there was JD (initials only, to protect the corny). He was my second boyfriend ever, and I was in ninth grade, he in tenth. To set the stage, we had been friends for a year and a half, and the previous fall I started dating and then was dumped by the guy who will resurface as Valentine #2. JD and I were certain that after a year and a half as being friends and me having been heartbroken by GL
the stars had actually shifted and aligned so that we could be Valentines. So plans were made to swap Valentine's Day gifts at the local Dairy Queen (he totally knew that ice cream is the way to my heart) before we went to a mutual friend's party. I had completely built up the day in my head. I was certain I would be the owner of some plush blanket or stuffed animal, or more ideally, the new wearer of some type of jewelry (hello? he lived in Greystone!) Imagine my surprise and well... disappointment... when I removed the tissue in the bag to reveal one entire bag of chocolate Hershey kisses (sans bag). To be fair, he made up what he was lacking in gift creativity in mushy words on the card, which, coincidentally (or as we determined, indicative that we were meant to be together forever), happened to be the exact same card I got for him. I don't remember what I got for him, I think it was a T-shirt. I guarantee you, though, that it required a lot more thought than a bag of Hershey kisses.

2000: The first Valentine's Day of the new millennium was shared with the aforementioned GL. This year I was a junior in high school, and despite what goofy cards I'd previously received from JD, I was CERTAIN that GL and I would be sharing every Valentine's Day yet to come. I had set the creativity bar somewhat high: I had placed a (free) Valentine's ad in a small newspaper in town, inviting him to the Valentine's Dance being held at school that weekend (it's not like he wasn't already planning to go with me) and spent well over 2 hours decorating his room at home, including candy, crepe paper, the standard mushy card and a thin car-shaped "book" my mom had purchased at the Parent/Teacher store and in which I wrote and illustrated a story to commemorate his Honda Accord that he'd recently replaced despite our shared attachment to it. GL was actually two years ahead of me in school, so he was taking classes at a college in town. When he got out of class, he snuck into my high school parking lot and decorated my car with some flowers and two packs of the "Romantic" version of those refrigerator word magnets you see in bookstores... or on cars? He also included his answer to my ad: a big, magnetic Y-E-S on my car door. Of course, before I could make it to the parking lot, the immature boys of the 11th and 10th grade spied the red magnets against the black paint of my car, and didn't hesitate to amuse themselves by forming the most naughty sentences they could with the magnets sprinkled on my car.

2001: Senior year! GL and I were still together, but hanging on by a thread. I can't even remember if we even swapped Valentines that year. If we did, it was by mail, since he was at an out of state college and when he came home for spring break/my school's Valentine's dance, I broke up with him.

2002: My freshman year of college. My parents came to take me to dinner, and then afterwards, a boy in my Biology class (KH) and I had decided to get together to watch some movies at his apartment (my pick: Father of the Bride; his pick: Tombstone). I think it was a
gargantuan mistake to plan Valentine's Day to be our first time to hang out outside of class. Some would call that setting the stakes a little high. We remained friends and that's as far as it went.

2003: The winner of the Valentine's Days Past. JM and I weren't officially dating, but he had asked me to be his Valentine (translation: go out with him that night). I agreed, but on a hitch. I had already promised my best friend at the time that I would spend Valentine's night with her--it was on a Friday that year, and who leaves your best friend, especially if you're both single, alone on Valentine's Day? I told him if he could find a date for her, we'd all go out. He couldn't find anyone that wanted to go with us (see the part about setting the stakes a little high in 2002), but bless his heart, he offered to take BOTH of us out just! Impressed with his kindness and flattered by his
determination, I (we?) agreed. He sent me the prettiest flowers that day: red gerber daisies and roses. He picked me up, then we picked her up, and we all went to Montgomery for pizza, Coldstone and a movie. He paid for both of our dinners, dessert and movie tickets. At the time, I thought he was just princely... or maybe it was the Coldstone talking. He was trying so hard... and it worked, I guess, since we dated for a year after that.

2004: JM and I were still together.
I can't remember anything much about the holiday. Maybe it was because my precious grandad died two weeks later and that kind of ruined the whole month. I know we went to eat in Atlanta and I think I gave him a DVD?

2006: In an odd turn of events, this year, both of my parents have Valentines (not each other) and my sister and I do not. However, it was still a pretty good day, thanks to
my mom's leftover Valentine's Day class party candy, a hot bath and some $4.54 merlot (sometimes the best Valentine's Day gifts are the ones you give to yourself).

My predictions/hopes for Valentine's Day 2007: My mom will be the next one in my family to get (re)married, the rest of my friends will be engaged, and I'll finally be able to afford wine that costs more than $4.54.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


So, I mentioned in my post on Thursday that Jennie and I were taking our five-going-on-six-years-old cousin, Anne Heaton, to go ice skating on Saturday. I think Jennie's obsession with Olympic Figure Skating (well, figure skating at any level, to be fair... she has been known to watch Skating With Celebrities) is what planted the original idea in her head. Mind you, we've both been skating before, but not since we were in elementary school, and who remembers much about anything from that era that doesn't involve Hello Kitty or New Kids on the Block? She wanted to see if its as easy as Michelle and Sasha make it look... and pick up a brochure about lessons. It's not like I had anything better to do with my Saturday, and I really wanted to be there in case she busted it on the ice, so I agreed.

We go and pick up Anne Heaton from her grandm
other and sing Disney songs the whole way to the skating rink. Jennie was worried about the crowds. My answer to her included something about it being too cold out, the Galleria (which we'd visited earlier in the day) looked to be where the crowds were today and besides, who goes ice skating on a random Saturday, especially when the Olympics are on?

Well, apparently, everyone and his/her brother goes ice skating on a random Saturday. The church bus in the parking lot should have been ou
r first clue. We walk in and are overwhelmed with the deafening noises and commotion you might expect from a mass of birthday-partying grade schoolers on a sugar high. We purchase the tickets and go stand in line to get our skates. At this point, Anne Heaton is clutching my hand for fear of being swept away in the throngs of skate-clad children. We get our skates and head for the absolute corner of the building so we can find a spot to sit down and lace up.

After all three of us are laced to the knees and
ready for the ice, Jennie collects our stuff, which is neatly piled on the bench, to go and find a locker. Have you ever been to a skating rink/entertainment venue/place where there are a lot of people and there's NOT tiny lockers? If your answer is no, then come to Birmingham, where apparently, ice skaters don't need lockers. That's right. There's 4,234 parents and children crammed into what most people would call a warehouse and there's nowhere to safely put your valuables behind lock and key so that a recent Pelham High School graduate wearing a Letterman's jacket, bleached hair and a bad attitude couldn't take off with your wallet/camera. (For the record, we did ask a little old lady who was sitting comfortably on a bench if she wouldn't mind keeping an eye on our stuff, but she told us she was in charge of 60 kids and besides having to keep an eye on the ice, would be getting up soon. I realized after we walked off that rather than say "Thanks, anyway", what I should have said was "So you're the one to blame for this place being filled to fire-code capacity?" and kicked her in the shin with my toe-pick.) After asking aforementioned PHS graduate/proud employee of the skating arena to verify that there were in fact no lockers, we ended up stashing our shoes on top of a vending machine, and I was content to just skate with my purse on my shoulder. Jennie was not a supporter of this plan, however, so she changed her shoes and went and put our purses in her car. By this time, Anne Heaton was tired of "practicing" on the rubber mats, so she and I bravely wade through the throng of pre-teens that have just been summoned to Party Room B and step onto the ice.

While holding Anne Heaton's hand and observing the general chaos that was speeding by me, I notice an interesting hierarchy of power on the ice. Apparently, the kids (or in a few sad cases, adults) who play on hockey teams or skate competitively--in other words, know what they're doing--like to don their game/competition gear and hit the ice on their off days to whiz by and silently taunt those of us who paid $8 to fall down. You would think they'd get their fill at practice. There was even one little girl who was actually wearing a black skirt, white tights and naturally, the perfect white ice skates that all o
f us asked Santa for at one point during our childhood. Not going to lie... I was a little jealous.

Anyway, Anne Heaton and I slowly make our way around the edge (literally) of the rink. The problem with the edge, however, is that it's the exact spot where the Pelham Middle Schoolers like to congregate on the weekends. Occasionally we skate around them into what a lifeguard would call "skate at your own risk" territory. Anne Heaton does surprisingly well away from the edge so we continue on as we are. As Jennie joins us from her trip to the car, and somewhere amid lap 2 or 3, I realize that Anne Heaton's success at this mission is largely in part due to me, since basically, I'm holding her up and she's just gliding along, moving her skates at will while her legs basically drag like noodles. Every once
and a while, she'll practically lay down like a sled and pull her weight up in her arms, which are attached to her hands, which are weighing my arm and right side down. Since this is both hard to do and hard to describe, I've included a picture:
Actually, this picture was right before her right foot went in between my skates and we both fell down. But the point is, you can see that none of her weight is being supported by anything below her armpits.

Eventually we get her straightened up and we all skate merrily around the rink, just like Jennie had imagined. Anne Heaton was the one to notice what resembles a weight-lifting belt suspended from the ceiling and attached to what looks like a trapeze but is on a zipline cable. Obviously, this is the mechanism they use to teach the little skaters (or Jennie, once she takes the lessons she's considering joining) how to jump. Of course. I've actually wondered in my lifetime how they teach people to jump. Ice is not something I'd prefer to fall upon (though Anne Heaton left me no choice), so I don't think my career as an ice skater would have lasted past the lesson in which we start learning to twist and jump and leap off of it. My sister and I muse outloud about the logistics of it all, commenting how hard it must be to do more than go in an oval like we are, and **gasp** actually remove your skates from the ice. Of course, it should be noted that during competitions, or better yet, when you're NOT at a public rink, the ice is frequently Zambonied, the only elementary school students on the ice are the ones picking up your flowers, and the skaters are equipped with much higher quality skates than we are (and by higher quality, I mean lighter, with better blades, and not rented).

Never one to be outdone, I shift Anne Heaton's clutch to my sister's hand, look both ways before crossing the ice (much like you do when crossing the street except that cars will stop, preteen skaters will not), and head to the middle of the ice which I now refer to as "the eye of the hurricane". I skate around for a second, and then, making sure I have both my sister's and cousin's attention, I complete my first jump.

Everyone has to start somewhere. For me, that starting block was essentially one small hop that removed my skates from the surface of the i
ce for no more than 1 second. After I successfully land and join Jennie and Anne Heaton for a hearty laugh about what I just did, I get a little braver and go back for another jump, this time to be captured forever with Jennie's camera, and graciously included for your amusement: (I know that LOOKS like fear in my eyes, but actually, it's concern for all the little kids that might be watching me and thinking of trying the same thing only to fail.)

Jennie, Anne Heaton and I have great appreciation for my humor and attempt a few more scaled-down versions of the stunts we see the professionals do, including a lift and a spiral (click here for more pictures). A hour and a half and couple of more laps around the ice later, we all realize simultaneously that our feet are hurting and we're hungry. We take our last lap and bid the ice farewell. I guess our trip was successful, because Anne Heaton told me that for her birthday next month, she is going to ask for ice skating lessons. Let's hope they teach her to jump a little bit better than I can.

Friday, February 10, 2006


So, I have decided that Madonna is great. Did you watch her open the Grammys? Phenomenal. Since Tuesday night, "Hung Up" has gone from being barely in rotation to halfway up my 25 Most Played songs in my iPod. I found on Yahoo Music where I can watch the opening number on video! I've already done it twice (I've almost got the dance steps memorized). The only downside to this is that in order to see Madonna... I have to watch the Gorillaz. In my declaration that Madonna is great, I have to also inform you that the Gorillaz kind of scare me.

I think my fright is two-dimentional. Number one, Trent said they looked like puppets on stage. I wasn't too terribly bothered by them as long as I thought that each "Gorilla" was digitally added to the footage we were seeing at home... after all, aren't they a "virtual" band? They don't exist! However, the fact that they might have actually had puppets on the Grammy stage, and they were able to move around so freely, is kind of alarming. Secondly, why are they so grotesque looking? Yahoo Music tried to make me watch their video, and out of curiosity, I watched a minute of it before I closed the window. Yellowing teeth, long cracked fingernails on disporportional apes? GROSS... and weird. Why is the drummer so big? Why does the "lead singer" have a torso the size of his head and legs as long as the drummer is wide? Why do gorillas even have torsos? Or play the guitar? It's a slap in the face to every struggling band out there, that a "virtual" band can get nominated for a Grammy. VIRTUAL, according to, means "existing in the mind, especially as a product of the imagination"! Someone's imaginary pet gorillas got nominated for a Grammy or two. What's next? Someone's imaginary friend will win an Oscar?

The whole thing just creeps me out. It's like how on FRIENDS, Chandler's greatest fear is "Lord of the Dance", because "His legs flail about as if independent from his body!" In the same vein, I'm scared of the Gorillaz. It's just not natural.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


If my current daily routine doesn't pick up soon, this is going to be the most boring blog in the world. Here's hoping.

You know the FRIENDS episode (doesn't every stage of life relate to a FRIENDS episode?) where Ross is unemployed on sabbatical?

Ross: I reorganized the fridge. See, bottom shelf? Meats and dairy. Middle shelf? Fruits and vegetables. And top shelf? Expired products.
Joey: Why are you doing this?
Ross: Because I am bored out of my mind. I've already been to the bank, post office, and the dry cleaners!
Joey: Dude, you just described seven days worth of stuff. You've got to spread it out a little, you know. Haven't you ever been unemployed?
Ross: Hey, I am not unemployed. I'm on sabbatical!

My thoughts exactly, Joey. No more than three errands a day. In a little while, I get to go to the library. It should be noted that my excitement for that errand is not directly related to the fact that I have nothing else to do today... I LOVE the public library. I will take my kids there at least once a week. Then I'm going to exercise and then go see my grandad. Tomorrow, I'm getting a haircut and practicing with a pianist for Jamie's wedding (see below). Then on Saturday, Jennie and I are going to take our 5-year-old cousin ice skating.

Next week should be far more exciting. Jamie's getting married! Not only does it mean I have just over a week to find a date to the wedding, it also means that there's just over a week left until another one of my friends is officially off the market. (Side story: my four best friends from high school and I went to dinner the Tuesday before Christmas. Shortly after sitting down at the table, it dawned on me that one was married, two were engaged, and the fourth, sitting across from me, was dating someone. Upon my questioning, she assured me that it would be a "good long while" before she, too, was engaged... I'll be attending her wedding in August.)

Last week was Jamie's lingerie shower. If you ever want to learn a lot about married life (or be really uncomfortable), go to a lingerie shower where you're one of three people at the party that is not married or engaged. Newlyweds have no shame when it comes to doling out advice to brides to be. For example: did you know that breast feeding burns 600 calories everytime you do it? Maybe that's why everyone is in such a hurry to get get married. Marriage means having babies, and should you feed them via breast, you'll lose weight. It's not a complicated math equation: marriage is the means to a (tiny rear) end. Breast feeding was only one of the topics we touched on. My future husband (not that he's reading this: he better be toiling away at a well-paying job in the southeast region which he earned, no doubt, with his remarkable Auburn education and dazzling good looks) should get excited, because in one evening I saved us at least a couple of hundred dollars in sex therapy. Now if I could just find free therapy for all of the problems I'm actually facing.

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