Monday, February 28, 2011

Sometimes Once is, Indeed, Enough

I have done a variety of things in my life that I will likely never do again. Some good, some bad and some that should have been good but ended bad. I'm sure we all have our lists, so here's mine:

Animal Riding. Only been on a horse 3 times that I remember and the last time ended with me being at a doctor's office getting x-rays and later an MRI to learn I chipped away part of my ankle bone while gracefully somersaulting of his back. I don't think, at this point, I'd even be willing to ride a donkey in the Grand Canyon.

Deep Water. If the water goes above my chin, I am not getting in. I mostly blame this on the swimming lessons from childhood when - due to my girth - they thought I was older than I was and pushed me in the deep end, yelling SWIM at me. I remember going under.

Dating Addicts. Whether trying to fulfill that angel complex (you know, the "but, I can fix him/that/it/her") or for some other random reason, dating a drug addict is not a good idea. At some point, he'll steer you to a friend's house in your car where he subsequently does a deal and then doesn't understand why you don't want to be with him anymore.

Ramen for BLD. In college, my roommate Tara and I subsisted on Ramen Noodles for all three meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner. No really, I'm not just telling you another college horror story... we really did. A TREAT for acing a huge exam was McDonald's and Denny's was only afforded once per semester.

Transfer Universities. Speaking of college, one thing I'll never do again is transfer universities. I attended a total of 3 and each time you transfer they re-evaluate credits. This last round cost me dearly as I came in with close to 130 hours and they only accepted 40-something and put me back in Freshman level classes. Um, no thanks.

Running. Partly due to the incident between me and the horse, and partly due to finally realizing that I get absolutely no enjoyment from running. And, shoes are expensive.

Take the fall for a friend. Cover for friends all you want, but when it involves your parents, their parents and the police you just shouldn't do it. I did and I regret it to this day. And, I don't think I ever told anyone the real story about that summer in 8th grade when we sent a slew of delivered food to a certain person's doorstep. Am I sorry we did it? Yes. Am I sorry I covered for the brains of the operation so she could still go to choir camp? Absolutely.

RWD on Ice. Duh.

Cheap Hotels. Whether it's the gas scare in Ramada Inns back in the day, the sketchy joints near every airport or anything costing less than $75/night, I'm probably not staying at your hotel. I have heebie-jeebies when it comes to hotels anyway and for the longest time, would only sleep on top of the covers and not on their pillows. One too many Datelines? Probably so.

Baby Talk. Like I've said for 4 years, not having another baby. I didn't have a bad pregnancy, delivery was fine and Elliot is a dashing young boy out to steal the hearts of all the other boys and girls. I'm just not having another one.

Baby Talk, Part B. If the unlikely event of me sprouting a second child were to occur, I will not ever fly with a baby under the age of 12 months again. While I don't enjoy screamy babies on planes, I dislike the jerks that point out your screamy baby to you while trapped on a plane.

What are some things you'll never do again?

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Storm of the Century / The BreakUp of the Century

Dear Guy Who Advises Me on Weather,

It is with a heavy and cold heart that I must break off our weather advisory relationship. It's always been one-sided and maybe that was the fault from the beginning that, as of yesterday, turned into a giant chasm that can no longer be overlooked or simply stepped around.

You told me it would be 52 so I wore a short-sleeved polo shirt and a flimsy jacket to work.* I dressed our innocent child in a tee-shirt as well.

I sort of thought my walk to work was brisk and a co-worker immediately asked "Um, why are you wearing a jacket?!" when I came in to work. I scoffed back at her "UMM, cause it's going to be 52 today???" Duh.

She looked like a sad puppy and was forced to tell me that no, actually, it would be no where near 52 and that, in fact, we were due to get a snowstorm that afternoon.

Our high temperature was 31.

It snowed 4 inches between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m.

I traipsed 2 blocks to my car in a jacket and short sleeves with ankles soaking wet from a lack of boots. I cleaned off my car in a pair of ratty gloves from the floor of my car with chattering teeth and a cold nose for a solid 10 minutes before I could see well enough to drive home. And drive home I did - a long 45 minutes that normally only takes 20 - hoping to avoid any accidents or stalls because I was not properly dressed to be outside any amount of time.

Finally, I get home. Home to a closet full of coats, hats, gloves and scarves. And I praised dear lord baby jeebus that I was home in one piece and not frozen on a street in downtown Lincoln. And then I gave you dagger eyes until you apologized.

And then I moved on; I loaded a weather app on my phone.

I don't need your services any longer.

You can pull your shenanigans on the next girl, cause like my friend Carrie Underwear says, the next time that you lieabouttheweather you know it won't be on me.

I wish you the best in life,
Anna M. Seckman

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*In Nebraska, when it gets over 40 in February it's shorts and sandals time baby.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Do Not Pass Go; Go Directly To Dealership

Hold the phones people! I must drop everything and get my car into the dealership AS QUICKLY AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE.

Cancel lunch! Cancel the snowstorm! I gotta jet!

If I don't hurry and get my recall fixed, my accelerator pedal could ... accelerate!

I guess if I ever take my floor mat out and don't replace it properly, my gas pedal could get stuck under the mat and that could make my pedal accelerate! Nooo! I drive around daily with a preschooler in the back seat! THE HUMANITY!

Some big federal group just did a huge (and likely hugely expensive) 10 month investigation, and I read-ed it on the interweb tube so I know it's for reals, so I know it's as dangerous as they are telling me. This report has determined that my gas pedal can get stuck for three VERY scientific reasons: becoming trapped, age/wear and driver error.

Wait - what? It's caused by not putting your floor mat in right, your floor mat getting old or me just being a jackass? And this has prompted a 10 month study and recall? A. RECALL?

Okay, what now? It's only if my car has a kind of floor mat not standard to my vehicle but instead is a fancy schmancy all-weather one?

So, let me get this right. They want me to bring my car in so they can modify (read: cut with a razor blade) my mat so that this doesn't happen.

Um, I'll pass.
[Cue exit music: Aerosmith - 'Living on the Edge']

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Like and Dislike

Things I like:
1. Pinterest... I'm totally in love but bummed you have to register through twitter or fb only.
2. Wal-Mart at 8:20am on a Monday*
3. Feeling better about myself and life in general
4. Getting new sewing/quilting books and fabric in the mail
5. Losing weight and having incentives lined up
6. Reconnecting with friends
7. Planning future trips and mini-vacays with Fred
7a. And maybe seeing the Medwicks!
8. Brightly shining sun on an otherwise cold day
9. Elliot learning how to bowl
9a. Listening to Judy sing about Dinah in the kitchen
10. Ending a list on a nice even number like ten

Things I dislike:
1. Elliot after a weekend in Tecumseh
2. Finding out the new meds aren't covered by insurance
3. And that they'd be $647/month
4. Missing Y&R on my day off because I was at GrammaJudy Chinese
5. Cookie Buffets are not a part of the Weight Watchers plan
6. Not knowing if my hair girl Sommer had her baby since I quit fb
7. Deciding not to attend a friend's wedding this summer
7a. Telling him we're not coming
8. Seeing crocus pop up and knowing it's too early
9. Having to "discipline" Elliot in the bowling alley (See 9a.)
10. The scabby used-to-be-a-zit on my forehead

What are you liking and disliking today?
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*I use the word "like" very loosely here as I cannot stand that store. I suppose I just find it more tolerable when there are only 14 cars in the entire guest parking lot.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thomas Edison, Eat Your Heart Out

Some days it's more obvious than others that I scored a blazing 24 on the ACT. (Mind you, I took it with strep throat or surely it would've been a perfect 36. Surely.)

Today was one of those days.

In a stroke of brilliance, I solved one of the world's biggest conundrums: should the paper go over or under the roll? I say neither. I introduce to you the sideways paper holder.

Now, it might look like I just broke the holder and made the best of the situation, but I did not because anyone that knows me knows I'm verrrry busy and simply cannot be bothered to change the roll.

Needless to say, Fred is less than impressed with my invention.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Baby Steps

I've been clawing out for a while and have earned an impressive collection of dirt under my nails. EARNED.

First step was bottoming out on hating myself and finally admitting that I am gross. What I see when I look at myself is gross. I am not what I want to be or what I want to look like. I don't want to take a minute to catch my breath after climbing two flights. I want to chase my kid around without wondering if he's scared of my jiggling fat chasing him.

I am still wanting the old, soon-to-be-modernized, me.

I joined Weight Watchers 3 weeks ago. I'm down some pounds already and it is so empowering. To know I'm finally in a state that I want to do something about it and - the biggest part - it CAN be done. I have the extra struggle of not having a gall bladder to toss in the mix but so far it hasn't been holding me back very much.

Me and The Cult (the loving term for Weight Watchers) are going to be BFF's for a while. And by "a while" I mean until I'm done. Not quitting, but done; I will not quit until I am done.

The second thing I did was talk to my GP about the meds I was already on and how I wasn't so sure it was working. In talking with him we realized I was likely never on the best one(s) for me and he made a quick change. Although it's only been a week, I can't begin to tell you the difference.

I want to get out of bed!
I'm bored with sitting and watching tv!
I want to go on walks!
I laugh easily and, therefore, more often!

The best one? Instead of feeling like I don't deserve to have Fred and Elliot to thinking that maybe I'm SO AWESOME that they don't deserve me!

Boys? Consider yourselves warned.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentines + Non-Edible = FAIL

Valentine's Day has come and gone. Fred and I don't "do" Valentine's Day as we're both too pragmatic (and cheap) to spend a bunch of money on flowers, candy and eating out all for a holiday that doesn't hold much personal meaning to us as individuals or a couple.

That said, I remember Valentine's being one of the funnest holidays in elementary school - decorating a shoe box with tissue paper and construction paper and waiting patiently as friends filled each others boxes with little love notes. And candy.

Oh, the candy. It seemed like each Valentine had candy - and if it didn't? It was the most shunned and rejected one in your box.

Fast Forward to 2011 where we sent Elliot off to preschool with a batch of Valentines that had absolutely nothing edible attached. The kids these days... other than not staying off my lawn and listenin' to that loud rock and roll music... they're chock full of allergies, both real and potential and because of that, nothing edible can be inside the building.

What's the equivalent of Bah-humbug for Valentine's Day?

Elliot came home with a bag of JUNK on Monday. And while he loves it, it did make me a tiny bit reminiscent for "when I was younger" when times were certainly simpler. And sugary-er.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bless Me, Steve Jobs, For I Have Sinned

I do not have iLove. My heart does not pound for iPads, iPods, iPhones or any iApps or iGames.*

I also do not have Catholic Love. In fact, I never tire of giggling over the ridiculousness that was Catholic schools – the prayer memorization, saint trading cards, nuns in squeaky gray shoes and the belief on their part that young children actually understood what they were doing.

So when you add the two together and come up with a Confession App, all I can do is sit back and laugh. For a measly buck-ninety-nine you can now equip your device with the ability to confess outside that tiny, creepy, smelly box and inside your own living room.

Or a department store. Dear Jesus, I just bought a Prada bag with money meant to feed the mouths of babes. SHA-Zamm, confession over.

But wait – my years as a Catholic taught me that without absolution FROM THE PRIEST you are not actually absolved from your sins. And, the good old boys club (read: the Vatican) have been quick to remind all Catholics of this as well. While they do approve of it, they like to think of this app as more of a list-maker. You log in your sins then go sync it with the Priest.

Back to the box you go.

Then once you get there, you can correctly identify all of your sins: how you said his name in vain 23 times and not just the 15 you usually estimate, how you didn’t keep it holy last Sunday when you were yelling obscenities at the refs during the Super Bowl and how you nabbed your co-workers lunch from the office fridge.

I guess this way, they get to shame you twice.
Score One for the Catholic Church.

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*In related news, I may be getting something Android-based soon, so I fully expect to become Droid-obsessed and expect you to not tell me how similar all of the apps are. Thankyouverymuch.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Breaking Up Was Surprisingly Easy To Do

My sister quit facebook back in September and I remember thinking at the time that I should probably quit too as there's really nothing there that I need. (Or want.) But I've always been a bit behind the times so it should really come as no surprise that I'm just now quitting. I did, after all, finally get an ESPRIT bag in 9th grade when they were soooo 6th grade.

I pulled the plug on the ole' fb account earlier today.

I once had accumulated a giant pile of friends and even opened a page for my Something Sewn business. I had uploaded pictures of the quickly-growing Elliot and had been tagged in pictures of others. Heck, I even got in touch with long-lost friends in college through facebook.

But, it's done. facebook seems to have run its course for me.

I was logging in as a way to cure boredom. I was deleting and hiding people that only play games and subject me to their achievements, post daily about their kids' poop, share entirely too much information and/or post nothing but videos, daily horoscopes and workout updates.

Honestly, I have better things that I could (and some that I should) be doing instead of sitting slack-jawed at the computer, staring at names and faces and growing increasingly annoyed at the lack of actual information and updates. And not doing those things makes me annoyed.

So if the annoyed's cancel each other out I'm left with the root of the problem: facebook. And then I simply multiplied by how much I like facebook (read: 0) and away it went.

Friday, February 4, 2011

My January Reads = Your February Reads

Starting this year out with a bang: I finished 7 books this month!

Courtesy of me, here is your reading list for February. I even took the time to sort them in easy-to-understand categories. You're welcome.

You Must Read This
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Marching Bands are Just Homeless Orchestras by Tim Siedell

Read if You Have Some Spare Time
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
The Other Daughter by Lisa Gardner
Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Don't Bother Reading ... No, Seriously, DON'T.
The False Friend by Myla Goldbery

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I Just Went for a Spin - LITERALLY.

For the most part, I'm a fan of Winter. I like snow - playing in it, building men with it and even snow-blowing it off the driveway (thanks again, Mike and Kelly!). I like bundling up and wearing scarves and hats.

What I don't like is ice.
And trucks with real wheel drive. On ice.

I had Fred's truck this morning and was driving Elliot to school when before I know it, we're spinning. Instinctively, I pulled my foot up to hit neither gas or brake and just held on for the ride while yelling "ohshit" at an impressive rate of 3 times per second. We come to a stop with the back passenger side up a curb.

Me: Holy. Shit. Ooooooookay. Oh. My. Gawd.
Elliot: Momma! Why we spinnin'?
Me: (fortheloveofGawdElliotnotnow!) Um, we hit some ice. You okay?
Elliot: Uh-huh.
Me: Did that scare you? (causeholycrapitdidme)
Elliot: No. You just trickin'! You try to scare me!
Me: Okay, so I guess we need to see if we can get off this curb.

I pull off the curb and into the next street to a) assess the damage, b) calm the F down and c) answer Elliot's "why we spinnin" question that he has now asked 3 times.

No damage. Phew.
Called Fred and he's not mad. Phew.
Elliot's not even shaken. Phew.

Elliot: Mom? This is not the way to school.
Me: (omgstopit!letmethink) I know honey. Mommy needs a minute.
Elliot: It's not how we get to school.
Me: I. KNOW.

I get out again to make sure the tire isn't leaking and we head off to school - going the RIGHT way this time. I drop him off and make a beeline for Fred's work to trade vehicles.

I saw my car and my heart skipped a beat.
I park his big dumb truck and climb out.
I run toward my car with open arms.
I climb in and give my steering wheel a hug.

Me: I love you.

As I drove to work, I thought about a few things to be thankful for:
  1. Me and Elliot are just fine.
  2. Elliot really doesn't even know what just happened.
  3. I have a REAL CAR to drive that isn't a jackass on ice.
  4. It was past 8am so the 4-lane road was empty as we spun through 3 lanes.
  5. Lots of snow on the roadsides meaning no damage as we slid right up the curb.
  6. I didn't pee myself.
I'd say that for having to have an accident on the crappy roads, I did pretty well! Job well done, Anna. *pats self on back*