February is Kicking My Ass

It’s been a rough month.  You’ve probably noticed that my blogging frequency has waned as of late.  Or maybe you haven’t.  If not . . . Hello!  Remember me?  How’s the fam?  Say hi to your mom and them for me, ok?

Anyway, like I said, this month has not been the best, and it’s more than just the winter doldrums.  Although, as winter doldrums go, these have been extra doldrumy.  As I’m sure you are aware, either intimately or peripherally, it has been one hell of a freezing winter in the ole US of A.  While I am not normally a fan of cold, this winter has brought my cold aversion to a whole new level of hatred.  And, even though I’m not one to usually post pictures of temperature screenshots, I did capture a few noteworthy moments in temperature history as of late, and will share them with you here.  Oh no, don’t thank me.  You are most welcome!

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These were a few mornings that were stupid cold.  I know some Midwesterners were routinely seeing below freezing temps and might scoff at this, but I do not live anywhere near the great white North!  This is very unusual, especially for so many days in a row.  And then there was this:

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That one pained me.  Ocean City, MD is my happy summer place.  Our family’s destination every year to enjoy a week of warmth and relaxation.  The fact that it was snow covered and below zero on this fateful morning made me so very sad.

And then there was the frozen stuff falling from the sky because of the stupid coldness.  We got some snow here and there early in the year, but not too much.  I mean, enough that my kids were constantly off and have used more than their allotment of snow days already, but not enough to really cause too much trouble.  Until the ice storm hit.  There is no messing with ice.  I actually had to call in to work and miss court because I couldn’t get out of my driveway or my neighborhood that was coated with about an inch of ice.  I don’t miss court.  But I had no choice.  We were frozen solid.  Here are some lovely pics of the ice outside of my house . . .

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But that wasn’t the worst of it.  It was the fact that everything was covered with a layer of ice . . . including the power lines.  Yep, we lost power right about the time I was calling in to work to let them know I was stuck in my house.  And now with no electricity.  Luckily, it came back on about 4 hours later, so I was able to take a shower and make dinner for the kids.  UNluckily, we lost it again later that evening as I was putting my kids to bed.  Oh, and did I mention that my husband was out of town for the entire week during which all of this excitement was occurring?  Yeah.  As is the norm.  He was out of town for the double blizzard three years ago, for the hurricane last year, and now the ice storm.  It has gotten to the point where if he is planning a long trip, I make sure we have extra batteries and that the generator is filled with gas.

Luckily, my brother in law is super rad and came over to make sure we were all ok, filled up the generator again and even brought some extra lights.  These were my favorite:

candles

Nothing like some battery operated candles to make you feel like you are living in the 18th Century.  I was expecting a visit from 3 ghosts at some point that night.  Sadly, I had no visitors.   I also had no shower the next morning when I had to actually go to work.  Sponge bath, for the win!  Thankfully, by the time I got home from work, our power was restored.  We were lucky.  There were some homes without power for many days.  Still, you don’t realize how much you enjoy electricity until you lose it for a day and a half.

Remember how I said that the few snow storms we got early in the year weren’t much?  Yeah, that all changed the week after the ice storm.  We got walloped!  It was a double, so the first wave gave us about 16″ and snow days for everyone, including me!

snowdoor snowbuilding

So, we built snowmen and played in the snow.  Luckily, a very kind neighbor came along and plowed our driveway, but I still had to shovel the front walk you see up there.  It was hard work, but felt good to get some exercise after being stuck in the house for a while.  Unfortunately, the snow wasn’t done with us and by that evening, all of my work was completely covered over with another 6″ of snow!

snowingporch

That WAS a cleared walkway a few hours before!

It wasn't done yet, but this is how high it got before I went to bed that night.

It wasn’t done yet, but this is how high it got before I went to bed that night.

Then came Valentine’s Day.  Oh VD, how I loathe thee!  My husband assured me that there were 3 deliveries set to arrive that day, although because of the weather, only 1 of those did.  So, I got my chocolate covered strawberries and mini cheesecakes (yum!), but the other 2 packages didn’t arrive until the next Tuesday!  However, I did receive these gems, so it wasn’t all bad:

vdayprez

My husband knows me so well.  I love the poster.  It is now hanging in my office.  It is much needed, believe me.  The pink softness on the right are a great pair of comfy pants that are like being ass hugged by a soft, warm blanket.  And the candle smells lovely.  It was really the perfect thing for that day.  Not too crazy or extreme, but just enough for me to know he cares.  I did eventually receive the craziness the next week, of course.  Because, he’s him and cannot be stopped.

vdayzebra vdayzebrastanding

Life sized zebra?  Check.  Huge ass roses?  Also check.  If you have been reading for a while, you might remember that he got me a HUGE stuffed bear last Valentine’s day.  If he keeps this up, I’m gonna need a bigger house just for my furry VD friends.

Around this time, I also got sick and had to miss even more time from work.  And then, when I finally made it back to work, I get a text from my husband . . . his grandfather passed away.  Not entirely unexpected, as he was 96 years old and as of late, his health was failing, but still very sad, as he was the sweetest old guy you would ever meet, always smiling and full of joy.  And, although my father in law seems to be handling it ok for the moment, with his health issues we are worried about how this will affect his current struggle through treatment.

So, after this hellish month, I am just holding my breath for no more tragedies, storms or other horrible incidents in the next week.  I just need to survive one more week, get through my impending birthday, and then finally escape from this all encompassing bitter cold and unending shroud of white and go here:

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I can’t fucking wait!  Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that our flight isn’t cancelled or some other such nonsense.  Wish me luck!  I think I’m going to need it.

How has your February been?  Are you just trying to get out alive like me, or have you had an exciting and/or magical month?

Thrust your Hips and Squeeze your Knees Together

Olympic-Rings

I love the Olympics.  Summer and Winter.  Every 2 years, I watch hours and hours of sports during a two week period.  Sports that on a regular basis I don’t have a lot of interest in, but cannot get enough of when they are all crammed together and feature multinational competitors.  There are exceptions, obviously.  I will never have any interest in hockey or long distance running/skiing/skating.  But other things that I would never think to watch at any other time; ice skating, ski jumping, swimming, gymnastics . . . I am zealously invested in during Olympic season.

The interesting thing about watching sports that I do not usually follow is listening to the “expert” commentators.  Each sport seems to have its own language and/or terminology, that most people would not be familiar with if they were not fans or participants of that specific sport.  And sometimes, listening to the commentators talk about specific sports is like listening to a foreign language, even though they are technically speaking English.

Take mogul skiing for example.  I was watching this Olympic event the other night, rooting on the favorite and prior gold medal winner, American Anna Kearney, during her final run.  Sadly, she didn’t accomplish a repeat gold medal win, and had to settle for bronze when she made one little mistake.  That’s really all it takes in these types of highly skilled competitions.

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Yet, however disappointing it was to see her heartbroken at coming in third, and her failure to grab another gold medal, there was a silver lining.  Two, actually.  For her, it was the fact that she still gets to bring home an Olympic medal for her country, obviously.  But for me, it was hearing the commentators talk about her run.  Because immediately after her bronze medal run, the commentators went through it again in slow motion and gave a full description of her different moves . . . with the most delightful, unintentionally sexual descriptions of any Olympic event that I think I’ve ever heard.

Here are some of the things that they actually said while describing her run over the mogul hills:

She gets bucked around a little bit but squeezes it back together.

There’s that action, getting her tips on the ground.

Nice tight knees together.

Then thrusting her hips forward . . . pulling her heels back underneath her.  And the effect is a nice steady upper body, quiet head, quiet hands, as she swings her pole tips out.

Is that not the most wonderful description of a sporting event that you’ve ever heard?  I know it was good for me.  In fact, I’m not sure if I should be yelling “U.S.A!  U.S.A!  U.S.A!” or if I should go smoke a cigarette.  I guess I can do both.  I just love sports.

What is your favorite saucy sports terminology?

Two Wild and Crazy Guys!

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That’s me there on the right. My chest hair is coming in nicely, don’t you think?

“Hey, do you want to go to a movie tonight?” I said early Saturday morning to my husband, as we were about to leave for my son’s flag football game.  “We don’t have anything planned for later this evening and haven’t gone out in forever.  Maybe we can even stop at the casino afterwards for a bit.”

“Sure, why not?” he responded.

So, I set up childcare for that evening (easy when you have a live in au pair who apparently feels guilty that she gets to sleep all day while my kids are at school, and offers to watch them on the weekend all the time, only to be finally taken up on that offer this night), and looked for movies that were playing.

After the game, while sitting at lunch with the kids at Panera, the hubs and I reviewed the movie options and settled on American Hustle, since it had received good reviews and been nominated for a bunch of awards.  It had been so long since we had seen a movie that didn’t have animated characters singing about letting things go, that we were really looking forward to a nice adult film.  Not like that!  Head out of the gutter, stay with me here folks . . .

Later that evening, once all of the errands were run, and the kids’ hairs were properly shorn, and a few more Christmas boxes were relocated from the living room floor to the storage room (don’t judge), we set off for our big night out!  I had earlier asked the hubs if he wanted to do dinner as well, but he declined.  I didn’t challenge it because we were both dieting and had been eating like crap lately.  Instead, we just got some bottles of water and a big bag of popcorn at the movie theater.  The movie, as is the norm it seems, started after 25 minutes of previews, none of them particularly noteworthy.  But then, once the movie finally started, we settled in for some fine quality entertainment.

Eight hours later, it seemed, I looked at my watch and realized we were only an hour and a half in.  Fifteen minutes later I looked again, thinking that it must be morning by now at least.  I leaned over to the hubs and asked, “is this the longest movie ever made, or is it just me?”  “It’s not just you,” he responded.  “Plus, I really have to pee!”

What seemed like a week and a half later, the movie ended and we walked out of the theater having aged a few years and gained a couple hundred extra grey hairs.  Rather than go to the casino, as we had planned, we were ready to go home and go to bed, even though it was only ten o’clock at night.  As we left the building and walked to the car, the hubs asked me if I liked the movie.

“NO!  I did not!  Damn it.”  He just laughed.  I don’t think either of us really had to ask that question of the other.

Rather than limping home disappointed, we decided to rally and go over to the local casino.  We didn’t have a lot of cash, but the last couple times we had visited this very same venue, we had walked away with more than we brought, so we were hoping our luck would be the same.

It was not.  Every machine we played sucked down our money like a greedy toddler being handed cotton candy.  Slurp, munch, giggle.  It was brutal. We jumped around, trying to find something that would at the very least let us play a little, but luck was definitely not in our favor that evening.  So, we decided to quit while we were ahead.  And by ahead, I mean behind and broke.

As we were leaving, we realized that we were both very hungry.  Splitting a bag of popcorn 3 hours earlier apparently didn’t sustain us for the night.  Rather than wait until we got home, we decided to drive around to see if anything was open so we could grab some food.  Nothing was.  Except, that is, a 24 hour Safeway.  Figuring they would have some pre-made sandwiches that we could quickly grab, we decided to give it a shot.

And they did have lots of pre-made sandwiches for us to choice from, so that was good.  The hubs grabbed a buffalo chicken wrap and I got a turkey and cheese sandwich on a roll.  When we got in the car and unwrapped our finds, I realized that mine had one tiny piece of turkey and a slice of american cheese within the large roll, and the hubs realized that his was pretty much inedible.  He took about 3 bites before he put it down and started making blech hrrrk blech noises, indicating that is really tasted horrible, while I actually ate most of my bread sandwich.  It was a pretty pathetic end to an otherwise disappointing night.

So, as you can see, we party like rock stars.  Anyone want to do a double date next week?