Sometimes Being a Cob-Rolling Gluttonous Pig is the Best Way to Say I Love You

After the holidays most of us are familiar with the post-celebratory letdown.  The saying goodbye to the  getting together, the laughing, the gaming, the feasting.  The saying hello to the unpacking, the de-tagging, the washing-drying-folding-and-putting-awaying.  The uncomfortable realization that our pants are now one size too tight (or in my case, TWO sizes too tight, since I went into December already a size overboard).

Most people are ready to buckle down, clean up the house and along with it, their diet.  Most people are ready to unfreeze the gym membership, and otherwise pull themselves together.

Not us.  Not this year.

Instead, we’re veering in the opposite direction.  We’re taking a sharp left from the territory of overindulgence to the province of gluttony.  After this trip, I’m confident I will not be able to sausage-stuff myself into my jeans at all.  My thighs may soon each possess a gravitational pull that rivals a small planet.

So, what are we doing?  We’re going to begin taste-testing the 10 best pizzas in Michigan, hitting up three of them in three days, on the first leg of our pizza tour.

pizzapassport

We planned this tour last year based on MLive’s 2013 Top 10 Pizzas’s in Michigan.  Unfortunately, due to health issues I was dealing with  (extreme fatigue, blood sugar issues associated with PCOS), almost exactly one year ago I ended up drastically cutting out wheat from my diet.

In the past year I’ve eaten exactly zero pretzels, cookies, breads or cakes. I’ve eaten pizza three times and have had probably literally a handful of bites of other wheat-flour laden foods.  (I have had a few beers, I will admit – but overall I’m mostly a wine gal these days).  While I haven’t lost any weight, I have noticed a significant improvement in energy and decrease in blood pressure.

When I told my sister, who happens to be a nutritionist, about our 3-day pizza bingeing plan she told me,

“You’re going to feel like shit for, like, a month”.

“Yep,” I nodded, confirming I understood exactly what I was getting myself into.

I am prepared.  Sometimes married couples need to get away and have some fun  – energy levels, thigh circumferences and blood sugar levels be damned.

So we begin.  Let’s go have some married fun, damn it.  We can detox later.

12/28:

“What music do you want to fall asleep to?”

My husband drives, I sleep.

“The White Buffalo”. Our current favorite band. And we were off.

Zzzzzz.

Michigan is in the midst of an ice storm, which we knew was coming, so we picked a location we could get to just before the ice hit.  Our timing was true, about 5 minutes from the hotel the sleet started.  We made a quick trip to Meijer before checking in to get supplies since we knew the only time we would be leaving the hotel was when we braved the storm for the sake of pizza.

supplies

 

ciffee

The coffee pot is for my house, but it was such a good deal, I couldn’t pass it up.  Since I’m a suburban-mom-of-two, I was pretty stoked about this exciting start to our trip. Coffee! Coffee!

We checked into the hotel and hit the pool.  I ran laps through the water, while Mr. Grouch swam his.

“Are you just going to run the whole time?”

“Are you just going to swim?”

Mr. Grouch and I discussed how much it would cost to put in addition and an indoor pool in our house because we like to talk in depth about scenarios that have no chance of actually happening.

A mom and two kids, a boy probably around eight and the girl around six, walked into the pool area.  My eyes were drawn immediately to the six year old.  Her eyes were very wide-set.  Her teeth were widely spaced apart. Her ankles were hyper-mobile and her feet splayed slightly outward.

I smiled at her.

“Hi”.

She waved, took off her cover up and put on her goggles.  She stepped to the edge of the pool.

“Jump out!” her mom reminded her.

The girl looked at me and asked, “Ready?” as she gave me the thumbs up signal.

“Ready!” I yelled, giving her a thumbs up in return.

Her brother dove for coins in the deep end while I ran and she swam and we kept going through our thumbs up routine every time she decided it was time to make a leap into the warm water.

“Brianne!” her brother called out, smiling as he showed her that he had captured all of the coins.

Brianne.

I thought of how Brianne looked happy, looked proud of herself for jumping in the pool and doing twists in the water.  I thought of how she confidently asked me, “Ready?”  I hoped that we as society don’t beat those traits out of her.

Because at some point, if it hasn’t started happening already, Brianne will be segregated from the group.  She’ll be separated from her peers and instead of thumbs up and “Ready!” responses from strangers, she’ll likely experience looks of derision.  Looks of pity.  Or worse, people will just look away.

It’s not right.

Brianne deserves to be a part of the group.  She deserves to be confident, happy, proud of who she is.  And we deserve to be graced with the gifts she brings.  Not just as a six year old.  But also as a teen.  As an adult.  The only way this can happen is if people choose to include. Include. Include. Include. Include.  How many of us include people with disabilities in our lives?  Not enough.  I know, it’s hard, because how does that begin?  We need to do a better job connecting those with disabilities with the communities they live in.

Whoa.  The pool wasn’t even that deep.  Time for some wine before dinner.

————————————

Our first stop on our tour was Fricano’s Pizza Tavern in Grand Haven.

fricanos.jpg

Fricano’s claims to be the oldest pizzeria in Michigan.  Fricano’s is housed in an old home that had been converted into a restaurant and tavern.  It’s the kind of place that has only one menu item, a thin crust 12 inch pizza, that can be topped with up to 6 toppings. It’s the kind of place that only takes cash or check.  It’s the kind of place where the waitresses are women in their fifties and sixties, wearing white sweater sets and sitting at a table in front of the ovens drinking tea in between serving customers. It’s the kind of place that has many regulars, like the 5 year old who sat at the bar with his dad, and before anyone said anything, the bartender apologized to the kid for being out of apple juice.  It’s the kind of place with an unpretentious entrance that looks like this:

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and side-orders that hang from the walls in columns like this:

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The original flair is that Fricano’s cuts all of their pizzas with large scissors instead of pizza cutters. We watched the cook snip, snip, snip, before handing the pie off to our waitress.

We ordered the “Everything But” – all the toppings they offer minus anchovies.  The locals call this the E.B.A.  Even though we were in the middle of a sleet storm, the restaurant continued to fill up while we were there and many stacks of to-go orders were carried out the door.  One guy left with a tall stack that totaled 118.78.

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The pizza was delicious.  The flavor of the sauce and the cheese was phenomenal (the ingredients are a highly-guarded secret), the toppings were fresh.  We scarfed that bad boy down pretty quickly.

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Staring at the empty pan, Mr. Grouch said, “You should time-stamped those photos.  I think it’s only been about 6 minutes”.

“That was delicious”.

“Should we order another one?”

“…”

The waitress walked over, “Can I get you anything else?”

“Yes. Another pizza.  This time well-done”.

As we were waiting we both acknowledged that the half of the pizza we ate had left us pretty satisfied, without feeling overly full.  We were still very excited about the second pizza.

This is why we aren’t skinny.

Note the nice black edges.  The extra-crispy was extra-tasty.

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Fricano’s Verdict:  What they lack in apostrophe, they make up for in flavor.

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This luscious evening ended with a full belly and a book – I read 46% of a book that’s been waiting for me in my Kindle for months. Left Neglected. A friend of mine said the main character reminded her of me, but so far all I’ve gathered that means is that I’m a workaholic who doesn’t spend enough time with her kids or husband whose brain doesn’t work correctly. Hm. It’s a good read though, hoping to finish before going home.

12/29:  

When we planned this trip we assumed we’d be eating leftover pizza for breakfast. However we neglected to consider how truly gluttonous we are that we might not actually have leftovers.  So this morning we had to go get MORE food.  We have a favorite breakfast joint in Grand Haven called Morning Star Cafe. This place is amazing.  They’re known for their delicious cinnamon rolls (which we can vouch from previous experience ARE delish) but we opted out of that this year since we’ve got pizza on the agenda for later.  What you see below is what the not-so-skinny-but-happily-married-couple considers to be a light breakfast:

breakfast

Two of the best things this place offers is 1) a full carafe of coffee at the table when you order a cup of joe. They also ask if you’d like a to go coffee when you leave.

coffee

And 2) the best damn hot sauce I’ve tasted.  The food was fantastic without it, but this sauce really put it over the edge. I’m already on the hunt to purchase a case or so of this stuff.  My husband buys his favorite hot sauce in half gallon jugs which I’ve made fun of, until now, since I’m going to start doing the same. We’ll need to clear out some space in order to devote an entire section of the pantry to hot sauce.

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After breakfast I read more of my book (I’m reading a book!  This is vacation indeed!) – and am glad to discover that this workaholic woman is turning into a grateful, open-minded spirit who basically says, “Screw Normal”.

Cheers to that.

clink

After breakfast we went back to the hotel for more vacation time.  Which pretty much looked like this:

image

image

And consisted of conversation like this:

“Why isn’t Hellen a word?”

“Because Helen is a name?”

“It’s not a name.  It’s a group of people”.

“Oh. Isn’t Hellenic is the word you’re thinking of”.

“No. It’s like American”.

“Yeah…you’d say I’m an American.  So you’re Hellenic”.

“Except I’m not A Hellenic.  I’m A Hellen”.

“I think nowadays you just say you’re Greek”.

“That’s stupid”.

A couple minutes later, “Why isn’t Elven a word?”

“Because elves aren’t real?”

“I’m pretty sure if I put elf, it would take it.  Or unicorn.  Unicorns aren’t real, and I can still play that’.

“That’s true”.

“Thank you!”

“This game is racist”.

“Against Hellenics and Elves?”

Hellens and Elves”.

“Elven should be a word.  I’m pretty sure they use it in Lord of the Rings about a million times”.

After deep conversations like these we hit the pool for a bit before heading to our next pizza joint, Bernie O’s.  Bernie O’s kind of looks like a dump from the outside (which is usually my sort of place) and it looks kind of like a freshly painted neat-ish dump on the inside.  The atmosphere doesn’t have a whole lot of character.  You order at the counter and sit down.  It’s the kind of place that has this vibe:

bernieo

So, a touch like a hospital cafeteria vibe.  And then they were a little showy-offey about winning awards the last couple of years, unlike Fricano’s, who let the pizza speak for itself.

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However, the food was nothing at all like hospital food.  We ordered their signature pizza, The Twist, which has apparently launched them into semi-pizza fame of late.  It’s an odd combination of toppings – chicken, bacon, jalapenos, banana peppers, pineapple and ranch dressing.

We took a bite and looked at each other’s reaction.

“Huh,” I said, with a small smile.  I am usually not a fan of pineapple on pizza, but the combination of ingredients surprised me by being much tastier than I anticipated.

“Huh”.

“…huh,” he grinned back.

“Huh,” I stared at the pizza as I chewed.

“It’s good.  Weird, but good”.

“I think that’s the best way to describe this.  Oddly good”.

The couple of pieces were great, but the overall tone of the pizza was a little sweeter than I go for.  However, this place had one huge saving grace – and that is their pizza crust.  Their pizza crust was by far one of the best crusts we’ve ever eaten, it had the perfect crunch to it.

Bernie O’s verdict:  If you love pineapple, this is absolutely the pizza for you.  If not, still go to Bernie O’s for the crust, but get your favorite toppings.  And maybe take it to go.

————————————————————–

On the way back to the hotel, Mr. Grouch says, “Only took an hour, start to finish”.

“That’s because we eat like pigs,” I reminded him.  “We’re a good match,” I added.

“We complement each other.  My awesomeness cancels out your annoyingness,” he chuckled.

“Oh my God,” I rolled my eyes.

“I keep losing weight and you keep gaining weight,” he adds, touching on a sore spot at the moment.

“That’s true”.

“Pretty soon we’re going to be able to share jeans”.

“Oh, shut up!” I admonish him, before reconsidering, “Well, actually, my parents can share jeans,” proving my point about us being as good a match as they are.

“I think we pretty much feel the opposite about everything”.

“We do.  Except the important things.  Like pizza tours”.

 

12/30:  

For our final day of this leg of the pizza tour we woke up and hit the pool one last time before checking out of the hotel.

“Coffee,” I said, as we hopped in the car.

“I know!  We talked about this four times yesterday, about getting coffee on the way”.

I just looked at him.

This is one of those you-have-to-be-married-to-get-this type of conversation.  When something benign like the word “coffee” drives the other person nuts.  After a while, the couples that make it figure out not to take that kind of overreaction personally.

I know we probably did talk about it four times, because my mother and my grandmother do the same thing, so it’s basically in my DNA to repeat the same exact information multiple times, which I completely understand IS annoying.  So I ignore the mini-rant and then he ignores my mini-rant later about how getting road rage is so ridiculous.

“Jesus Christ.  Is he really not going to let me in?  What a dick. I’m going to let in this red truck in too, just to piss him off”.

“Seriously?  How can you get worked up about driving?”

“I don’t get worked up about driving.  I get worked up when people are assholes”.

“People will always be assholes.  It doesn’t do you any good to get all pissed off, just plan on them being assholes and be okay with it”.

“Ah, the red truck turned the other way.  He got lucky”.

This is what a successful marriage looks like folks, getting pissy about coffee and driving and just moving on and leaving the piss behind.

We continued our drive and headed to Harmony Brewing Company for a late beer-and-pizza brunch.

The brewing co. was a small place, pretty cozy and cute.  Our waitress was a lovely little delight who chatted with us about the mlive pizza ranking process (apparently the guys tried pepperoni pizzas at each place they visited, to compare apples to apples, so to speak, along with whatever specialty pizza the staff recommended), and the movie Amelie (she thought I looked like her, and told me I missed out on “a gem of a movie” since I hadn’t seen it).  We talked about dyeing our hair to hide our grays (she was the same age as me) and how we were both Hop Heads, (people who love the hoppiest of beers.  She recommended their Crossroads IPA, and it was fabulous.  It was strong and hoppy, but had a much smoother finish and none of the bitter aftertaste compared to most of the hoppy beers I’ve tried.

harmony

We got The Crispy Pig and a Margherita pizza

harmony2.jpg

Both were delicious, we both loved the sauce and the toppings.  The meat on the Crispy Pig was spectacular, particularly the prosciutto.  Mr. Grouch really liked the crust, but I didn’t think it was really anything special, it was a thin-crust, not super crunchy, and pretty floury tasting.

We listened to more White Buffalo on the way home and the vacation was over.  Immediately the girls were in our arms (Uppie!), demanding bananas and cups of water and wiping dripping noses on our shirts.  It’s a good thing they are so darn cute and their heads inexplicably smell like cinnamon.  Sniiiiiiiiiiiif. Ahhhhhh.

I managed to unpack the new coffee maker and make a fresh pot of coffee all with one hand, because my arms were full of cute (and highly needy) baby and Pegasus (or Peg-sis).

hugs

Cheers to gluttonous vacations with fantastic husbands.

A few days away is long enough.  After that we start missing the demands for attention and the weight in our arms and the cinnamon-smelling heads.

Cheers to being home.

cheers

 

 

 

 

The 5 Worst Things You Can Say To A Blogger

So, I’m no blogging genius.  When I first started blogging I had zero idea of the etiquette, cultish followings, or blogging cliques that existed.  I pretty much started this as a procrastination tool.  I’m still half-assed and hardly an expert; I have been dragging my feet even getting my self-hosted site up and running (does that even make sense?) because I have almost zero clue where to start (but dammit, I will learn, eventually.  I will).  But even with all that, I am starting to get some idea of what the blogging world is all about.

There are some phrases non-bloggers may or may not realize are not a good idea to say to someone who blogs:

1.  I read your blog. With no follow-up.  Oh. Thank you? You read it. But you didn’t say what it was exactly that you read. Or if you liked it. Or hated it. Or if it made sense.  Or if you connected with it at all.  Are you trying to tell me you are doing me a favor by reading it? Was it a chore? Did the post pique your interest and then disappoint?  Know that most bloggers are incredibly insecure, and also inept when it comes to verbal communication, so if you said this to us, we probably just nodded and ran away, thinking that whatever it was that you read was ridiculous, boring, and/or full of grammatical errors and typos.

2.  How’s your blog? Um. I don’t know. How IS it?  That isn’t really something a blogger can answer for you.  We like what we write…that’s why we write it.  But how do you measure how a blog is doing?  Are you asking if we still enjoy doing it?  Or how many people read it?  Or if we’ve made millions in advertising revenue?  No matter what the question, it’s clear that you aren’t interested enough to have any input about how the blog “is”.  At least that’s what our insecure brain is telling us you think.

3.  Does anyone read your blog?  Um, come on.  ANYONE?  You know at least my mom reads it.  And sometimes she forces her friends to.  So, um YEAH.  THEY DO. Humph.

4.  Are you still doing your blog?  Seriously?  If you really care, you’d just click the website and find out.  And if you don’t care, that’s fine, really.  We know that what we write might not be your style, or might not be interesting to you and that’s okay. But, your question belies your feigned interest.  Please don’t pretend like you care all of a sudden just because I ran into you at Starbucks.

5.  Nothing. This means you either didn’t read it or you read it and didn’t like it.  Did I mention that bloggers tend to be sensitive and unsure?  We are emotional scardey-cats. Hiss!  We can tell how many people read our posts, but we can’t tell who, unless you comment. However we do realize that it just isn’t everyone’s “thing” to comment on blog posts (we’re guilty of this too, sometimes you’re just too busy or don’t feel like you have anything of value to say) so this form of communication is much preferred to 1, 2, 3 or 4. It’s the lesser of all the evils.  Meow.

The 5 Worst Things You Can Say To A Blogger

The 5 Worst Things You Can Say To A Blogger

Nine Ways I’m Going To Be Annoying When I’m Old (Which Also Happen To Be Why I’m Annoying Now)

1. I’m going to misplace everything.  I already do this, so it’ll just be magnified twelvethousandfold.  I misplace my phone about 5 times a day.  I put papers on my desk and can’t find them for 40 minutes.  And they’re right there, on my desk.  It’s exhausting.  My grandmother recently drove an hour and a half away to get her hair done at a salon by her old house, and while she was there she went to lunch.  She somehow managed to lose her car key between parking, walking into the restaurant, eating and leaving.  She thought it must be buried under the umbrellas, shopping bags, papers, and multiple packages of cookies she has strewn around her car, so she made my mom call a locksmith (who totally swindled her and made her pay 175.00 in cash).  After all that, the key wasn’t even in her car.  My mom had to make the 4 hour trip to bring her a spare.  This is the kind of shit you’ll be dealing with in the future, Baby Grouch.

2. I’m not going to be able to hear anything.  I already can’t hear.  I once went in to have my hearing tested because I realized I was making my students repeat themselves and kept telling them they needed to just TALK LOUDER.  It turns out my eardrums work just fine, but I’m allergic to my cat.  So allergic, in fact, that my Eustachian tubes are perpetually stuck together.  Allergen earmuffs, if you will.  What? Did you ask me why I didn’t get rid of my cat? I think we’ll both be better off if I pretend I didn’t hear you say that.

3.  I’m going to poke my loved ones in the eyeballs with my whiskers.  Seriously, I’m the hairiest beast.  You  might think I’m exaggerating, but have you seen my 7th grade picture?  I can only hope that they won’t get so long that I poke myself in my own orbs.  Which brings me to number 4.

4.   I’m going to be blind.  This is going to be a horrible condition in itself, but will be doubly horrible when considering the implications when combined with number 3.  How will I see the hairs that need to be plucked?  I’m already very much near-sighted.  Combine this with impending farsightedness and that means I’ll be nosighted.  Blindness is scary. Almost as scary as not seeing my own hirsuteness is not being able to see if bears are surrounding my tent when I go camping.  Even if I don’t actually go camping, the thought of potentially being in the woods and not being able to spot a bear before it sneaks up on me and swipes my guts out with his claws, gives me anxiety.  My impending nosightedness is not going to improve my neuroses.

5.  I’m going to walk into a room and ask, “What did I come in here for?”  This will happen in every room I enter. Probably even the bathroom.  I will go into a room to complete task A and not be able to remember what task A was until I walk out of the room to do task B.  At this point, I will complete task A, and then completely forget what the hell task B was.  And the cycle continues.  And, I will probably end up peeing myself.

6.   I’m going to list every item I have in the fridge and pantry when guests come for a visit. My grandmother does this and it is annoying as fuck.  Seriously, stop telling me about the 6 different types of mustard that you have in the fridge.   Mustard is delicious, yes, but also so not important. In fact, it is so unimportant that I will choke on a dry pretzel before encouraging you by responding to your nonsensical mustard-speak.  The incessant babble about mustard is making me hate my used-to-be-favorite condiment.  I caught myself Granny Listing the other day to my sister’s fiance.  I basically forced leftover pumpkin pie into his hand and was wasting time chatting about condiments, for crissakes.  We hardly get to talk and I wasted time on CONDIMENTS.  I’m pissing myself off thinking about it right now.  I caught myself after I had offered up half my fridge and then promptly rescinded all of my offers and wouldn’t let him try my strawberry ghostpepper jam (which is REALLY, REALLY good).

7.  I’m going to get annoyed with technology.  I like to think I’m okay with technology now.  I’m one of the ones in our department where I work who is considered somewhat technology savvy.  But, if I’m trying to do something and I don’t know how, I really just want someone to do it for me.  I usually need it done NOW and don’t have time for bullshit – like LEARNING.  I get annoyed when I can’t do something, but I get even more annoyed when someone points out the obvious, like the fact that I should take the time to figure it out.  I still haven’t used Tweet Grid.  Or Prezi.  Or Camtasia.  Let’s face it, I’m not so hot at Instagram.  I think there are a million apps that people use all the time I haven’t even heard of yet.

8.  I’m not going to be able to sleep.  Hopefully I can still blog about it and find others who can relate and help me vent or find the humor in the situation.  Then it’ll just annoy those who hate hearing about my stupid blog.

9.  I’m going to gross you out with my cough. It’s already harsh and recurrent.  I drink water – I cough.  I talk – I cough.  I breathe – I cough.  I sleep – I wake myself up with my cough.  I choke on my own saliva – I cough and cough and cough and tears stream down my face and I cannot get one word out and I cough some more.  Baby Grouch was doing this weird fake-coughing for awhile and I couldn’t figure out why.  As I was changing her one day and turned my head to cough, it dawned on me.  She was COPYING me.  At 6 months old Baby Grouch was already a saucy little Coughy Cat.  So gross.  My grandmother gets a cough every time she eats.  One bite and it’s all cough cough cough cough… and she gets an amazed look on her face and says, “Oh! I’ve got a tickle in my throat!” She always acts surprised, like the same thing didn’t happen at breakfast and lunch and dinner for the past 20 years.

How are YOU going to annoy your friends and family when you get older?

Call Me a Fanfaron This Week

Ok, I’m going to be a little boasty, braggy, hippity hoppity.  I can’t help it, I just might explode – this week has been sort of amazing.  I have had a lot of horribly dark weeks, and this one is shiny and bright and remarkably different than those.

FRIDAY: I am starting a support program for students on the Autism Spectrum at the high school I work in – we will be piloting it, starting in September.  A local news channel  interviewed me last week, along with a parent and student in the program, and ran a segment about the program on the 5 o’clock news.  Bonus: My excessive facial hair was not overly noticable, even with the high def cameras.

SATURDAY:   A record number of views today on my Accidental Marathoner post made my day!  I also got a piece of “fan mail” in the form of a message on my fb page from someone who had enjoyed the post.  The message said this:

Congratulations on your achievement! Besides it being your own personal achievement, you’ve inspired countless others you’ll never know. This is … a great thing in light of ALL the events of the past week. 4 of my children will run in the Illinois Marathon this coming Saturday (the first for all of them!). I shared your Accidental Marathoner blog with them….truly inspiring, very much the truth, they agreed. I just wanted you to know that what you write makes a difference.

Um, can you say BEST EMAIL EVER?!

SUNDAY:  I ran my first marathon.  Despite not running for two years before having my baby, and running the race 7 months post-baby (the point being: I did not feel NEARLY as strong as I think I should feel before running a marathon), I decided to just go for it. I had a great experience, and my time beautifully corresponded with the whole reason I ran the marathon in the first place.

MONDAY: Our news story aired a second time, on the local news channel’s morning program.  I could also walk down the stairs pretty comfortably – something I was not anticipating after the 26.37 miler the day before.

TUESDAY:  Baby Grouch got her 2nd tooth.  I know I had nothing to do with this, but I sort of feel like I do because I MADE HER (Double bonus:  I MADE A BABY –  still pretty excited about that).

WEDNESDAY:  I thought Saturday went well, but today I was completely overwhelemed with the number of views, replies and comments on my post in honor of Infertility Awareness Week.  This far surpassed my previous record on Saturday of most views on a post.  I had a lot of people share the Top 10 list, and there were so many women who said that this hit the nail on the head, that it said what they felt, but were often too afraid to say.  It is sort of amazing when you realize you aren’t alone, and there are so many others who understand you.

THURSDAY:  I dropped the cap to my water bottle, but then immediately caught it ON MY SHIN before it hit the floor and I lifted my leg up to return said cap to my hand.  Clumsy and yet SO coordinated at the same time.

And ALSO, I got my first piece of hate mail!  It was very exciting and occurred in the form of another blogger posting about how my Infertility Awareness Post pissed her off. HAH!  She didn’t actually point out much that she didn’t like about it, other than a) my agressive tone (absolutely guilty as charged, that was the idea) and b) when I said infertiles didn’t want to hear pregnant people complaining about their whaleish pregnant bodies.  Her huffiness made more sense when I noticed she had JUST written a post about how horribly whaleish she’s feeling because she’s got a big pregnant body (I’m paraphrasing here).  I get it.  Other side of the coin and all that.  I’m not offended that she got offended.  Plus, the fact that she hated it helped me raise awareness even more, so I thank her for helping me accomplish my goal.

Perhaps I was linked into her post an effort to draw more readers to her blog.  If that’s the case, I guess the joke’s on her, because I’m really a half-assed blogger and I don’t have that many readers! She must think I care deeply about my readership numbers since she felt the need to point out to me that she wouldn’t have bothered complaining about my post publically if she had noticed ahead of time that I wasn’t a “big time blogger”.

FRIDAY:  A few months ago I entered my infertility story (the nice one, not the bitchy one) into a writing contest.  And guess what? I won a $400 prize package –  money towards a vacation destination and also money towards future services at the fertility center that hosted the contest.  Maybe enjoying a free weekend away will make my husband less annoyed that my face is constantly shoved into my computer keyboard.

I also utilized the word “fanfaron” which came in my word-a-day email this week.  I never remember to practice those words.

Ok, I’m done.  I’ll be humble again, now that I got that out.

For all you jealous types, don’t worry, I’m sure next week I’ll get rear ended, drop my cell phone in the toilet and my cat will pee all over the living room carpet.  Because, that’s how life works.

Lucky 7’s

Laura, at Catharsis, is amazing.  Hopefully by now, you already know this.  She compiles so many awards, and throws me a bone now and then.  I roll over.  Shake hands.  Beg her to scratch me behind the ears (or under my shoulder blades…ahhh).

When I originally saw this award, I thought it was the “777” award, which I especially enjoyed, since that was the date in which I married my lovely husband (7-7-07!).  Apparently many people booked this date years in advance, but some ill-fated couple must have cancelled, because it just happened to be one of the few dates open during the summer we were looking to book- so I snatched it up.  Not because it is good luck, mind you (we don’t need luck, we were made for each other), but rather because it is EASY TO REMEMBER. I’m the asshole in the relationship that would forget the date of our anniversary.  This one is fool-proof!  Hooray.

And then I realized it was 7 X 7, which isn’t QUITE as cool.  And it sort of involves MATH, which we all know kind of sucks.  But, let’s not complain about the awards we’re given, right?  I seem to have a habit doing that…tsk, tsk, for shame.

Per award contract, here are 7 pieces of info about my blog, and 7 other lovely blogs you should be reading:

First, here are the 7 bits of info about my blog:

  1. Most beautiful post – My first attempt, ever, at a poem.  It was cathartic. It also won me a Editor’s Choice Award from LoveLinks @ FreeFringes.com A Bit of Gray Peeking Out
  2. Most popular post – (I think people just like to poke fun at my 7th grade picture): An Unsexy Sleeper
  3. Most controversial post – This caused a bit of controversy between my husband and I, when he kept getting texts from his friends and he repeatedly asked me, “WHAT ARE YOU WRITING ABOUT ME?!”:  A Special Fart, One I View Lovingly
  4. Most helpful post – Let’s be honest, I’m not really looking to help anyone, other than myself – and I need a LOT of help.  But, I suppose if you needed help understanding what Restless Leg Syndrome is all about, this would help you:  Itchy…twitchy…bitchy
  5. Most surprisingly successful post (perhaps because I divulge information about a bunch of crappy ex-boyfriends?):  Izzint Bloggeen Grate?
  6. Most underrated post – one of my personal faves –  Sleeping On Your Deathbed, Or, Yes Those Are My Great Grandfather’s Teeth In A Jar, On My Shelf
  7. Most pride-worthy post: About one of my dear friends: My Heather The Sleepwalker Series: (Intro, and Brief History, and more to come!).
And now, 7 seriously fantastic blogs that are worth a look:
Free Fringes (Unique and inspiring, connects to many other great bloggers)
Reading (andchickens) (Hilarious, Hilarious, Hilarious)
Mama Wants This (Beautiful and Inspiring)
Just Jennifer (A bit of quirk)
Parenting, Illustrated With Crappy Pictures (Awesome, hilarious, relatable – not just for parents)
The Momalog (Witty and relevant – also not just for parents)
 ENJOY!

Izzint Bloggeen Grate?

Oooh, hooray.  Kreative Blogger Award.  Thank you, screwed up creative kreativ brain for giving me all of these effed up dreams to blog about.

Laura, at Catharsis, gave me this award (she is just SHOWERING me with love these days, people.  I’m starting to get worried that she’s buttering me up, so she can ask me for a big favor one of these days soon…like disposing of random human pinky toes, or holding on to a sealed box that occasionally moves, and emits muffled sounds, and I’ll be obliged to say yes).

But, I wouldn’t just say yes solely because of the awards she bestows.  Her blog is witty, relevant and even though it is a “mom blog”, it isn’t one of those that makes you want to stab a fork through your epidermis, and all the way through the muscle, until it pierces you in the uterus, ensuring that it will never be possible for you to turn into that kind of person.  Nope.  She just seems like a regular person who also happens to have children.  I like that, because it gives me hope that someday that will be possible for me, as well.  Also, because when I talk to her, or read her posts, I don’t have to suppress the urge to punch her in the teeth.  Note:  If you are wondering whether or not you may be one of those parents that make others willing to knock out their own choppers, check out the blog, Shut The Fuck Up Parents. It’s hilarious, and it doesn’t knock parents or parenthood, only pokes fun at the overly obnoxious and self-absorbed parental behaviors.

The rules of the award are this: I must reveal seven things about myself and pass it along to ten other deserving bloggers.  Sidebar:  This blogging requires a lot more revealing than I anticipated.  I’m starting to question why I let most of my family members know that I have started one.

1.  I loathe when words aren’t spelled correctly.  Yes, I do it sometimes, but it drives me insane.  SPELL CORRECTLY.  USE SPELL CHECK.  I know that if I spelled something wrong, it’s because I didn’t edit well enough.  “Kreativ”  absolutely sort of makes me itch bugs me even though it is in the form of an award.  For shame.

2.  I once broke up with a guy, mostly because when we went on a 9 mile hike, he couldn’t keep up (don’t girls usually pack too heavy?) and couldn’t see the paint marks on the trees, and I refused to slow down.  I didn’t want to get eaten by a bear.   I need my man to be afraid of getting chewed on by bears as much as I am stronger than that.

3.  One of my ex-boyfriend’s got deported.  After he cheated on me.  More info goes here but family reads this (see above).  Imagine the worst things you can.  He later tried to friend me on Facebook.  Really?  What is wrong with people?  (In case you are worried, don’t be, my husband is not at all a douche, like 2 or 3.)

4.   I once went to my doctor thinking maybe I had ear wax build up (a coworker once told me she couldn’t hear out of one ear, went to the doctor and just had to get her earwax cleaned out, and could hear perfectly, so it made sense to me).  But, I had none, and then went in for a hearing test. Turns out I am just so allergic to my cat that it affects my hearing.  I also cough and itch at my eyeballs.  But, I just take asthma meds, inhalers, prescription eye drops, and tell people to SPEAK UP, because I love my cat too much to get rid of him (NEVER!).  Even though he pees on my carpet sometimes.

5.  When I was younger, there was a neighbor dog, that wandered all over the place, that I was terrified of.  I used to walk around with a baseball bat in my arms, in case it attacked me.  I still kind of hate dogs.

6.  Rocky and Bullwinkle is the best cartoon, ever. 

7.  I have a new job idea.  I’m going to pitch it soon.  Wish me luck.  Also, wish me luck in having a job I can stay in, for more than 3 years. I refuse to do something I don’t love.  I’m not sure if I’m being too picky, but…why stick around in one spot if you aren’t sure?   Would I change my tune if I made 6 figures?  Who knows?  I have a large resume.

Enough about me, here are some other fantastic bloggers (in no particular order) that you should absolutely check out!

Yea.  Good Times.

Handflapping

Mouthy Barber Mom:  My Encounters With Stupidity

The Bright Yellow Balloon

Bellace85

Awkward Engineer

I’m Not Really A Barista

When Did I Become A Knitter

Adamotomy

Cannibalistic Nerd

Happy reading!

Proof That Not Only My Mother Reads My Blog. And, This Other Person LIKES It.

Oh, lucky me!  Laura, at Catharsis, has chosen to honor me with The Versatile Blogger Award.  Don’t tell my grandma, she’ll get the story confused and start telling everyone she knows that I won a Pulitzer.

Rules for accepting the award include showcasing the award on my blog (see above), linking back to the person who awarded me with the award (click!  Laura’s blog is great) and revealing 5 things about myself to y’all, that you might not know.  So here it goes:

1.  My belly button is an outie.  Which is fine.  We don’t all need identical belly buttons, do we?  Apparently, my pediatrician felt we all should.  He thought it would be a genius idea to try shoving a cotton all against it and taping it, in a vain attempt to make it an innie.   They tried this until I was over a year old before giving up on that idea.  Really?

2. I have very sensitive teeth.  I buy prescription toothpaste from the dentist.

3.  I illegally got a tattoo when I was in high school, at age 17.  It isn’t really much to look at, but it means something to me, so I like it, a lot.  When my dad found out a) He was beyond pissed, b) He poked the tattooed area with a straight pin and asked me if that was what it felt like when I got it.

4. Last winter I got 6 sinus infections.  That is one record I am not trying to beat this year.

5. When I was 2 or 3, I was in a “Mid-Michigan” Commercial. They didn’t actually get consent from my parents and my babysitter noticed I was on T.V. I think my parents could have gotten a lot of money out of this situation, but all we got was a VHS copy of the commercial.

Naturally, I have to pass this along to 5 of my favorite bloggers, which you should absolutely check out!  And, when you do, be sure to leave a comment, to let them know you stopped by.  Wordpress also has a “like” feature.  Handy for when the cat’s got your tongue.

1.  Reading (and Chickens):  Seriously, go check her out.  Go now.  Her little eclectic blurbs are witty and entertaining.  And, even though “reading” is in her blog name, she actually uses drawings to accompany her text.  To illustrate her points, so to speak.

2. Rosie Says:  This is a phenomenal chick.  Her blog examines gender equity, media portrayal of.gender roles and all things equality.  Hopefully she doesn’t take offense to me calling her, “chick”.  Good stuff.

3.  The Greenery:  A Garden Blog with ADHD.  I may have a black thumb, but I can still appreciate the gardening tips, beautiful photos of plants and posts about writing, traveling, history, and Otis the cat.  Versatile, indeed.

4.  Seeking Sanity, Somewhat:   A woman’s blog about her life, and her search for sanity.  Categories include alcohol, anxiety, yoga and “death fucking sucks ass”.  Can you say relatable?

5. CraftWhack:  A creative genius with a wicked sense of humor.

Happy Reading!