Archive for March, 2009

A Lame Photographic Montage Of The Weekend

March 31, 2009


Things I discovered:

  1. Sangria is not a popular gum flavor. Which might explain why it was on sale at Soviet Safeway.
  2. I hereby officially declare that I will put out for any date who takes me to Founding Fathers
  3. Modern dance is very, um… Well, let’s just say it’s not ballet.


Founding Fathers

Moi, Lulu and McFly smiling pretty at Founding Fathers.

Kennedy Center.

Go stand in the rain. I want a picture. You'll thank me when we're 80 and can remember this moment.


Things I discovered:

  1. Contrary to previous speculation, I am not the worst dancer in the Metro Area. It’s actually Brian.
  2. Cab Number One: 22 minutes spent listening to the dispatcher’s detailed explanation of why Cab 84 is “a retard.” As evidence, he cited 84’s inability to locate building entrances, lack of proper radio responses and apparent preference for Pakistani country music. 
  3. Cab Number Two: My second strangest cabbie experience. Ever. Included a drunk driver snacking on ho hos while making a three point turn into oncoming traffic. 
  4. Cab Number Three: If somebody with a nose bleed asks to share a cab to NoVA, don’t do it. Trust me. It won’t end well.
  5. I have developed a vodka immunity.
  6. Delirium fixes that problem.


Yes, I got her the card crown. And I am overly proud of myself.

Yes, I got McFly the card crown. And I am overly proud of myself.

I've succumbed. Footless tights are my new pants.

I've succumbed. Footless tights are my new pants.

The Great 2009 Grind Off.

The Great 2009 Grind Off. I lost.

Entertaining the Bathroom Line.

Entertaining the Bathroom Line.

I even have culinary disasters in restaurants.

I even have culinary disasters in restaurants.


Things I discovered:

  1. It’s not pronounced “Ray-booth.” 
  2. A text recap… Me to Stella: It has come out in our road trip conversation that McFly sees me as an old lady with a collection of lawn ornaments. I am sort of insulted. Stella’s reply to Me: Hahahahahhahhaha. I TOTALLY see it. Me back to Stella: Fuck you. But McFly says holler. 
  3. Rehobothers liberally interpret “ocean front views.” 
  4. Waves are aggressive. 
  5. McFly does not appreciate the genius of Bob Evans. My new goal in life is to rectify this.


Unintentional Detour Number One: the Pentagon. And seeing as we're still in NoVA, this does not bode well for the trip.

Unintentional Detour Number One: the Pentagon. And seeing as we're still in NoVA, this does not bode well for the trip.

Guess I'm screwed.

I'm screwed.

McFly: Which way do we go on US-9? Me: It doesn't say. McFly: Ummm. Right? Me: Commence Unintentional Detour Number Three.

McFly: Which way do we go on US-9? Me: It doesn't say. McFly: Ummm. How about right? Me: Commence Unintentional Detour Number Jillion.



X-rated sandcastles.

X-rated sandcastles.



Grrr! Arrrrgh!

Grrr! Arrrrgh!

Stupid wave.

Stupid wave.

I wanted to bury her. This is what compromise looks like.

I wanted to bury her. This is what compromise looks like.

My Thinking Face.

My Thinking Face.

I wanted to be the man, but I couldn't get his face to open. Thus, I express my feelings accordingly.

I wanted to be the man, but I couldn't get his face to open. Thus, I express my feelings accordingly.

I feel like I'm in an episode of Gilmore Girls.

I feel like I'm in an episode of Gilmore Girls.



I sometimes do strange things.

I sometimes do strange things.

McFly and Me.

McFly and Me.


Because Bloggers Are Apparently Super-Planners, Or, Announcing Katherineapalooza XXX Really Early

March 26, 2009

Dear Ladies And Gentlemen of Blogland:

It has recently come to my attention that some enterprising, over-achieving Blogger (you know who you are) has sent out an evite for a small picnic the day of May 16. It involves drinking in the afternoon and knowing the attendees, they will participate. Heavily.

In order to encourage them to pace themselves and to better preserve participation in Katherineapalooza XXX (otherwise know as My 30th Birthday Party, Bitches!), I am hereby putting out a Virtual Save The Freakin’ Date. Because apparently, this is necessary a month and a half in advance. Loves.

So, whatcha need to know:

Who: All the cool kids

What: Katherine in a personalized tee, doing her best White Girl Jive, most likely flashing her boobs for shots and other assorted debauchery. There will be pictures. And possibly video.

When: May 16th at Late O’Clock

Where: Wonderland Ballroom

Why: Because Katherine is turning XXX!

Hugs and Kisses,


TMI Thursday: The Toilet, The Tub And Bionic Kitty

March 26, 2009

Several weeks ago, I noticed my loo wouldn’t stop running. The thing was installed around the time Madonna danced in non-ironic jelly shoes and a tutu, so in toilet years, it’s older than Methuselah. As with all geriatric plumbing, there are sometimes problems. Most of my toilet’s can be remedied by jiggling the handle a few times. Occasionally, I have to play operation in the toilet tank or be liberal in the use of Drano. But it’s always something my non-handy self can conquer. So on that particular Sunday night, when the toilet kept running, I went through my usual diagnostic: wiggle handle, check toilet tank, kick base, call Dad.

Placing an SOS call to my father is my version of a do-it-yourself white flag. The frequency with which I call is the entire reason I plan to rent until I move into the Happy Trails Extended Care Home. But not everybody agrees with my pro-renting stance. Despite the bajillions of homeownership pitfalls I outlined and every “and then the entire place flooded” horror story I could think of, Little Sister recently bought a condo. Predictably, she too has become a believer in calling for Fatherly Reinforcements. A few weeks ago, when she was putting up a towel bar, Little Sister apparently logged six Dad Dials. Her particular situation was complicated by a lack of appropriate tools. Men magically acquire things like soldering irons and wrenches. Women, on the other hand, get shoes. If it can’t be fixed with a wedge heel and a butter knife, chances are, it’s not being repaired in an estrogen-heavy environment. True to form, Little Sister tried to knock a bolt loose with everything from a cutting board to sheer willpower but nothing worked. Eventually, after my father suggested she heat the darn thing up, Little Sister got her fireplace lighter and stood around warming the bolt ala MacGyver. It worked and I give her snaps for dedication, but that’s more effort than I ever want to put into anything home repair. If I can’t remedy a household problem via extensive googling, some cursing and/or ignoring the situation for a reasonable period of time, then I call Dad. If he can’t walk me through a fix in five minutes or less, I speed dial my landlord.

So, when I called Dad about my toilet mystery and he suggested the break was at the Toilet Tank Flap Thingie (you know, the jobbie that keeps the water in the tank and pulls up on that thin chain doohickey when you flush), I double checked. As it had when I poked around earlier, everything appeared fine with the Thingie. By this time, the toilet had been running for at least half an hour. It was close to overflowing and not wanting a Great Flood Of 2008 repeat, I decided to turn off the water and forgo my pre-bed pee. Instead, I composed a gem-of-an-email titled, “PLEASE FIX THE TOILET NOW, OR SO HELP ME GOD…” sent it off to Landlord, and went to sleep. In the morning, there was a response. Landlord had arranged for the Official Building Plumber to visit sometime between 8:15 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. I would have to be around to supervise the work but he promised I would have a functioning toilet by sunset.

I was thrilled to have an excuse for a Personal Day. It was gonna be me, my comfy PJs, and the torrid happenings of Season Three of The O.C. In preparation for some quality couch time, I grabbed the first of my four morning Diet Cokes. And that’s when I realized I hadn’t engaged in any bladder relieving activities since approximately 3:00 the day before. In that 17 hour period, I’d downed a margarita, at least four glasses of water, and assorted Diet beverages. I was amply hydrated. And now I had to use The Ladies’.


As I saw it, my options were:

  1. Tackling my bed head, switching out my bunny slippers for Hot Pink Crocs, going down four floors to the Chez Apartment Lobby and using the public restroom.
  2. Peeing off my balcony.
  3. Delaying as long as humanly possible in order to maximize the amount of excess fluid expelled from my bladder, and then going with Option A.
  4. Repurposing the kitty litter.
  5. Squatting over the edge of the bathtub.

After rejecting Options One through Four on grounds of “that would involve a bra, which is the antithesis of Lazy Couch Day,” or “Eww, gross,” I went with Option Five.

There are certain aerodynamical pee principles which the vaginaed set deal with. First, aim isn’t always guaranteed; if you hover, stray spray generally lands on the seat. Second, utilizing a cup in cases of dire emergency does not end well. And then there’s the Three Drinks Rule: always sit after three, or on your leg you will pee. Knowing these things, I’m not sure why I went with Option Five. It broke the First Law Of Girly Peeing and due to my beverage intake the day before, I needed to follow the Three Drinks Rule. But I managed to justify my decision on the grounds that Option Five was straightforward, simple, and the least time consuming choice. So, I made my way to the bathroom, dropped trow, and squatted over the edge of the tub.

I quickly realized my plan was logistically flawed. If I kept my feet on the bathroom floor and attempted to squat over the tub edge, it appeared I was too short to project my flow into the tub itself. Not wanting to inadvertently miss and spray my Ikea bathmat, I revamped the plan. For Attempt Take Two, I climbed into the bathtub itself, squatted facing the faucet, and intended to let loose with the bladder. But, just before bladder release, I realized there was a high probability of runoff touching my feet. So, I turned around. This way, I figured things would flow away from me, toward the drain. Hygiene would be maintained, my feet would remain pee-free, and all would be right in my germaphobe world. Except then I remembered my bathtub has a slow drain and water tends to collect where I was standing. In essence, if I squatted in the tub, I would be wadding in a pool of my own urine. That was a bit too Ick for my A-type Sensibilities, so I reevaluated.

For awhile, I contemplated going back to Option One. It was a solid alternative and putting on a bra was an eensy weensy sacrifice to make for a hygienic, accident-free peeing experience. But that part of me that’s stubborn to the Nth degree? That will bite my nose to spite my face? That’s essentially a sucker? Well, it prevailed.

So, I climbed onto the edge and assumed the Horny Baboon Stance: knees bent, butt thrust as far over the tub as it would go. My left hand was planted on the wall, counteracting my horrendous balance. In the other was a wad of toilet paper. Should my aerodynamic calculations be off and stray sprays occur, I was armed and ready to wipe them up. Being as prepared as I could possibly be, I let loose. Two blessed minutes later, Operation Makeshift Toilet was a success. My bladder was empty and I was about to climb off the tub edge. I let go of the wall, took one foot off the tub ledge and at that exact second, Bionic Kitty charged in. She is fascinated by all bathroom functions, especially the tub-centric variety. This was a previously unseen activity and she was determined to investigate.

There is only so much width on a tub ledge and my teetering Midwestern Sexy bum was taking up most of it. When 21 pounds of Bionicness jumped into the mix, something had to give. Predictably, it was me. Bionic Kitty landed on the tub edge and with a yelp, I plunged backwards, ankles over head, until I landed spread eagle in the slow-draining pee puddle. Because God is merciful, I managed not to break my neck or hurt myself badly enough that I had to lay in my own pee until the plumber arrived. But still, my tailbone was in agony. And then, because it wasn’t bad enough, Bionic Kitty joined me in the tub.

At first, she just sniffed and splashed at the urine. But something must have clicked in the Bionic Brain: the pee puddle was something to be consumed. Just like the poinsettia or the bouncy glitter ball or my fish or the millions of other things she’s ingested. Nothing is ever safe from the Jaws Of Death. I was disgusted but I let her slurp away. At least this culinary adventure wasn’t going to cost me elevenity kajillion dollars in vet bills. Worst case, if Bionic got sick, I figured I would lock her in the bathroom and deal with the oceans of kitty puke before the plumber arrived. In the meantime, my priorities were figuring out if my throbbing tailbone was broken, extracting myself from the wedged-into-the-tub-spread-eagle position and showering. So, it took me a moment to realize the vigorous slurping sounds had stopped. I tried to look around the Bionic Mass sitting on my stomach, but I couldn’t see from my crammed-in angle. I assumed there was no more urine for the cat to drink but really, her focus had simply shifted. Instead of drinking the pee pool, she began licking my exposed private parts.

And Sweet Mother Mary, I was in such shell shock, I just laid there for a minute. Suddenly it registered that my cat was molesting me; that I was the inadvertent victim of Bionic Bestiality. Horror filled me. Tailbone be damned. With newfound purpose, I un-stuck myself from the tub, and chased Bionic Kitty from the bathroom. My pajama pants were still around one ankle, my pee-drenched backside was still exposed and I had bed head. But whatever. My cat had violated me and I was going to make clear that my vajayjay was a No Fly Zone for cat tongue.

Twenty minutes later, I was still hunting Bionic Kitty. She’d retreated into the abyss under the bed and I was crouched down with my naked ass facing the door, my head shoved under the mattress screaming, “Bad Kitty! Bad bad bad Kitty.” That’s how the Official Building Plumber found me. Apparently, I was so engrossed in obtaining vengeance that I hadn’t heard the knocking and he’d let himself in. With as much dignity as I could muster, I stood up, covered my exposed bits and asked the plumber if he could come back in half an hour, when I was decent. Stammering, he agreed. As he turned around, I shouted that I had one more request: Could I please borrow his biggest, heftiest wrench, so I could bludgeon my cat to death? He didn’t come back to fix my toilet for two days.

The Courtesy Tampon Klepto

March 24, 2009

Many moons ago, the Place of Lawyerly Things’ Building Services decided to
go all Tree Hugger and overnight there appeared eco-toilet paper, green-friendly hand soap and courtesy tampons. But the feminine hygiene products weren’t really part of the save the planet initiative. Rather, there’d been repeated requests by a Lawyerly Colleague to have a stash of feminine products available in case of Girly Emergency. She argued that management already provided static cling guard, hairspray, a curling iron and floral-infused lotion in the loungey areas outside the restrooms; tampons were a natural addition to the amenities. After Lawyerly Colleague waged an email campaign as strategic and aggressive as the invasion of Normandy, building services relented and The Ladies got tampons.

The availability of free tampons hardly blipped my radar. Instead of the generic, one-size-fits-all versions that were now available in the bathroom, I continued to be a self-supplier, opting to take advantage of the flow-customization possibilities found within a Tampax variety pack. The Place of Lawyerly Things’ selection came from the Costco of the Building Management World and it struck me as ill-advised to stick a knock-off into my mee maw. After all, those applicators are rough cut. But apparently, Lawyerly Colleague loved the free tampons. In fact, she was such a proponent of the complimentary feminine hygiene products, she asked her admin to appropriate some. Lawyerly Colleague’s intention was have her admin grab a bunch, take them home and stock her bathroom via the freebies. The admin understandably declined to become a tampon klepto, so Lawyerly Colleague turned to her back-up secretary, Wonder Admin.

Lawyerly Colleague (thrusting a brown lunch bag towards Wonder Admin): You can see the Ladies’ Room from your desk. When the janitorial staff restocks the tampons, I want you to fill this up and bring it to me. I need it no later than the 13th.

Wonder Admin (flabbergasted): Uh?

And so Wonder Admin acquired a new job duty. Each month, Lawyerly Colleague would provide a discrete container and Wonder Admin would grudgingly stockpile. She pilfered such large quantities that Lawyerly Colleague began to prepare for a Tampon Apocalypse. Twelve cycles worth were stored in her desk; she put a reserve in her car; and her filing cabinet had such a large hoard that a first-time ovulater would be supplied until menopause. This continued until the fateful day Lawyerly Colleague handed Wonder Admin two sacks to fill. Instead of monitoring the comings and goings of the janitorial staff, Wonder Admin complained to the person she was actually assigned to support and therefore actually responsible to: me.

Wonder Admin (in her Martyr Voice): I refuse to do this anymore. It’s gotta qualify as theft and she can’t make me engage in misdemeanor behavior, right?

Me (having zero idea what she was talking about): Uh?

And that’s when the story came out: Lawyerly Colleague’s Kotex Campaign, her demand that Wonder Admin stock her with contraband tampons, and that Lawyerly Colleague’s tween daughter had recently become A Woman and now needed her own feminine hygiene pipeline. Instead of tampons, Wonder Admin had been told to pillage the courtesy sanitary napkins and that demand had pushed her over the line from Grudging Participant to Oh-Hell-No Righteousness.

Wonder Admin (on a tirade of indignation): I have an MBA. I am a professional. My job description should not include looting industrial strength pads from the Women’s Bathroom. And if it has to, I want a raise.

Doing my best to champion my All Important, Life Saving Admin while navigating the Etiquette Minefield arising from Lawyerly Colleague’s position in the Lawyerly Pecking Order, I went to talk to the Secretarial Supervisor.

Me (having just recapped The Story Of The Office Bathroom Thievery in my best Lawyerly Manner): And finally, there are two less obvious but still significant reasons why this can’t continue. First, Lawyerly Colleague makes enough money to bail out both Dakotas and tampons were not in the bonus structure last time I checked.

Secretarial Supervisor (trying to suppress a chuckle): And the second?

Me (all Angry Feminist): It is shameful that in this day and age, with all our dry weave and ultra-thin technology, a 12-year-old girl is being forced to wear a waddle-inducing pad because her mom is the Tampon Scrooge.

And Wonder Admin never had to steal a courtesy tampon again.

Tips And Advice For Stella, As She Leaves For Iceland

March 23, 2009



Re: Iceland: A Traveler’s Guide By Me

My Dearest Stella:

As your Beloved Friend and General Voice Of Reason, I thought it necessary to share some helpful suggestions before your impending trip to Nordica:

  • Do not walk/fall/trip/otherwise go off the edge of a glacier. It won’t end well.
  • I am under the impression that there are a lot of nude/topless hot springs in Iceland. While you know my policy about States Of Public Undress (i.e. DON’T DO IT), in the context of Naked Old People, I especially advocate avoidance. Nobody needs to see that. Plus, it’s a given that saggy boobs are in our future. Do you really want a preview?
  • You are going to a place that still doesn’t utilize last names. Should you and Mr. Oates have a falling out mid-trip and you decide to enact Relationship Insurance Policy Provision 26, Subsection B (you know, the one that allows you to have a spur-of-the-moment revenge date), please be wary of guys named Sven Son Of Sven (aka Sven Svenson). Especially if you meet two of them within a five mile radius. It could be a Junior/Senior situation and macking on a father-son-combo is just gross, even in a foreign country.
  • Is this the first time you’ll be in close enough quarters that you’ll be forced to shit/fart around Mr. Oates? If so, I recommend constipation. It’s a universal fact that smelly poop is a romance killer.
  • Iceland has no standing army, navy, etc. This bodes well should you or your traveling companion decide to stage an impromptu coup. All you’ll need are sporks and willpower.
  • As much as Mr. Oates is gonna to harass you about it, avoid eating the National Delicacy. Rotted shark meet has gotta be Iceland’s version of Montezuma’s Revenge.
  • Mr. Oates strikes me as the type who’d advocate naming his child after the place of conception. Little Reykjavík will totally get his butt kicked on the playground. To wit, use protection.
  • Speaking of sex, the Mile High Club is overrated. And possibly felonious now that you can’t congregate around airplane bathroom doors. Please note: I am too broke to bail you out at this time. Nor am I familiar with the intricacies of international money wire transfer things. You land in a Nordic Jail, you’re staying.
  • Iceland apparently has twice as many sheep as people. Learn the local word for “bestiality” and if anybody says it around you, run.
  • You’re traveling to a place that is so eco-friendly it probably doesn’t have TP but instead makes do with steam bedays and fresh snow. Plan accordingly.
  • Should you find yourself in an awkward situation with any locals and need a joke to ease the tension, I’ve got one… “What do Icelanders eat for breakfast?” (wait for it… wait for it… WAIT FOR IT!!) “Ice Krispies!” *Rim shot followed by a well-deserved groan*
  • Icelanders consume more Coke per capita than any other nation. Not really a helpful suggestion, but a nifty fact none the less.

Yours In Hair Braiding And Other Assorted Girlyness,


PS – I expect a souvenir. Nordic Vodka?

Can I Get Off Work To Watch This? Or, There’s Gonna Be A Fake Explosion That I Can See From My Apartment

March 23, 2009

A Lawyerly Colleague just forwarded the following press release:

For the filming of a TV pilot, there will be a simulated explosion on Wednesday, March 25, 2009, between 9:30 a.m. and noon near Key Bridge in the District. The explosion will produce a 20 to 30′ fireball that will last for approximately two minutes.

The explosion will take place on the Potomac River just north of the Key Bridge and Jack’s Boathouse (K/Water Street, NW under the Whitehurst Freeway). In the scene to be filmed, there will be six (6) sculling boats on the Potomac River and one of them blows up. CBS Paramount television is filming a pilot titled “Washington Field.” This is a new television series about the elite Washington field office of the FBI and a team of agents with exceptional and diverse skills who are called together for only the most critical cases.

The Department of Homeland Security and D.C. Police and Fire departments have been notified, along with the Washington Airports Authority. The Virginia State Patrol and Arlington Police Department will also be contacted.

My previously undiscovered Inner Pyro is ecstatic. I foresee a sick day mid-week.

Get Toasted: A BSG Drinking Game

March 20, 2009

As an FYI to the Seven Loyal Readers who aren’t full-fledged Geeks and thus unaware, tonight’s the Finale of Battlestar Galactica. Since I know you were wondering, they’ve found Earth but it was all nuked and depressing. Kara Thrace’s Special Destiny is still unclear. And the human population count has dwindled to numbers that make incest increasingly acceptable. As a Girl Geek, I, of course, plan to spend the night on the couch, wearing my BSG tee, and twittering spoilers to all my Tivo-using friends. Also, I’m Officially Predicting The Following:

  • Everybody returns to Kobil, thus starting the whole frakkin’ cycle over again.
  • Kara’s daddy is Daniel, the boxed and aloof 13th Cylon.
  • Kara and Lee finally do the Horizontal Tango in a moment of post-saving-humanity bliss, despite Kara being a semi-Cylon.
  • Anders never gets out of the Goo Bath.
  • Adama dies in a moment of suicidal heroic splendor, but only after Roslin finally succumbs to The Slowest Killing Breast Cancer In The Galaxy and goes to the Big Gods In The Sky.

And because I like to commemorate Television Events by posting a drinking game, I’ve developed a sure-fire way to become blotto before Starbuck saves the entire frakking universe during the second hour. So, BSGers, write your will on 8-sided paper, make peace with the Gods, and settle in for liver doom.


  • Adama takes off or puts on his glasses dramatically
  • Adama uses his Glare of Death; bonus drink if Cottle deflects it with his own Scowl of Intense Disapproval
  • Adama does something “captainy,” like crushing walnuts in his hand or building a model ship
  • Adama has a Moment with Starbuck
  • Adama has a Moment with Lee
  • Boomer tries to prove she’s really nice and not evil
  • Boomer is angry/unhappy/depressed/suicidal
  • Gaius is talking to Ghost Six
  • Roslin makes a heartfelt and inspiring impromptu speech to the Fleet
  • Starbuck and Lee Adama stare at each other for non-work-related reasons
  • Thigh yells, “Gods Damnit!”


  • Somebody says a multi-word curse using Frak (e.g. mother frakker)
  • Anytime there’s an 8-sided paper item
  • Somebody is airlocked; extra sip if Roslin commands it
  • They spin up the FTL only to have it initially fail, then miraculously work at the Very Last Possible Second
  • Lady McTigh ever sleeps with her husband again
  • Six isn’t showing cleavage
  • Starbuck demonstrates a previously unknown but still nifty talent/ability/skill
  • Starbuck hops into bed on a barely-considered whim
  • Tori tries to get her own way


  • Adama cries; chug if it’s over Roslin’s deathbed
  • Anders wakes up
  • Lee stops being a self-righteous douche
  • Starbuck does her open-mouthed hyena laugh
  • Starbuck is happy
  • There’s a scene on a Fleet ship besides the Galactica


  • They unveil Daniel or any other extra Cylon models
  • Galactica collapses
  • Humanity does not survive
  • The entire series leaps ahead a year
  • Baltar is revealed as the traitor who betrayed the Colonies and actually can’t weasel out of it
  • Dualla resurrects
  • Ghost Six’s existence is confirmed and revealed


  • Anyone says any variant of “frak” besides the multi-word curse: just kind of wave at the screen
  • Lee in a towel: Thank the Gods and then drink until your pulse returns to normal
  • Anytime Grace Parker appears: shout which character you think she is (Eight, Sharon, Athena, Boomer or Other) and if you’re correct, hand your beer to someone who got it wrong

Fire! Or, So Long Security Deposit

March 20, 2009

I can’t cook. And by that, I mean my recent chicken making venture turned out like this:

The aftermath of poultry

The aftermath of poultry

But it’s not like I haven’t attempted to learn. I paid attention in Home Ec. And more recently, I suffered through two Cooking For Singles classes. As I was doggedly signing up for a third, the instructor not-so-subtly suggested my time and energies might be better spent elsewhere. She made it sound like everybody in the class was a budding Betty Crocker while I was more General Kitchen Disaster. Still, I wrote it off. After all, not everybody can aspire to Martha Stewartdom; somebody has to be Imelda Marcos.

I also religiously watch the Food Network, hoping that with enough visual, I might pick up a few tips. But so far, Cooking Osmosis has not occurred. For Christmas, my mom gave me the Southern Living Cookbook, which is apparently the mother equivalent of Cooking For Dummies. I went through it and marked all the recipes that had five steps or less, yet I’ve not been able to make anything that’s not burnt, congealed, or otherwise become inedible. And every person I’ve dated for any length of time has tried (and failed) to teach me culinary basics. Each of them has viewed it as A Challenge. Despite everything, to this day, my culinary repertoire is limited to ordering takeout and Kraft Mac and Cheese with a side of PB and Marshmallow Fluff.

Restaurant Refugee recently claimed that “anybody can cook” and diagnosed my lack of Kitchen Abilities as “too much heat.” He theorized that if I kept my stove’s burner set at medium or below, I’d achieve cooking success. I replied his method only worked for The Patient, and Myers Briggs repeatedly indicated I was not part of that group. As further evidence that my problems extended beyond overly aggressive burner use, I mentioned that I had yet to successfully toast a Hot Pocket. Still, I figured people pay Restaurant Refugee semi-obscene amounts of money to cook fancy 80-course meals involving things like glaze and sauté and flamingo meat; there might be a wee bit of validity to his theory.

Last night I was feeling adventurous, and quasi-domestically-inclined, so I decided to see if Restaurant Refugee had properly diagnosed me, if my cooking improved over reduced heat. But I needed to keep it simple; there had to be something dumbed down enough that even I could cook with minimal char. Requiring inspiration, I googled “easiest recipe in the world.” The Geniuses Of The Webbernets directed me to Easy Recipe World: Because Anyone Can Cook. While I felt that statement was a tad optimistic, I was willing to give Easy Recipes and Restaurant Refugee the benefit of the doubt. I played around the website for about half an hour, but quickly realized that “easy” is relative. Vegetable Schezwan Spaghetti might be straightforward to the Alton Browns of the world, but it was beyond my 101 Skill Level. In desperation, I decided to skip a recipe and just attempt popcorn. With only two ingredients, one pot, and no stirring, I figured I couldn’t screw it up.

Confidentially, I poured the oil, fired up the stove, and put in a test kernel. After it popped, I poured in a few more and waited. And waited. And waited. The low heat thing took For. Ev. Ah. But I had faith in The Wisdom Of Restaurant Refugee. I kept telling myself that his whole damn career was food-centric, that he couldn’t be wrong, and that keeping the stove burner below A Million Degrees was the only way I would be able to take Papa John’s off speed dial. After two centuries hours minutes, the popcorn began to do its thing. I’d seen my father, the reincarnation of Orville Redenbacher, do this a thousand times. In perfect mimicry, I shook around the pot and kept the lid slightly askew. Except my father never had ninety gajillion pieces begin to fly out of the crack between the lid and the pot. And even if it did, it never landed on the electric burner. Nor did an errant kernel mysteriously and inexplicably catch fire.



While my first instinct was to saw eff it and just let the damn kitchen burn, I was pretty sure that would qualify as arson. So, I grabbed a dish towel and attempted to beat out the flaming kernel. Except that little sucker wouldn’t go out. I hit it harder, but all that did was set the towel on fire. Since I am not inclined to hold onto anything flaming, I began Girly Panic Yelping, turned around and dumped the rapidly burning fabric into the sick. Seems some dirty dish, covered in combustion-prone Chinese takeout leftovers, was in the sink. Two seconds after the cloth made contact, flames were shooting a foot into the air, my smoke alarm was blaring at obscene decibels, and Bionic Kitty was confirming her demonic heritage by dancing manically on the counter. Plus, the lone firey kernel on the stove was still blazing. Having recently couch-orgasmed over Dennis “I Make Firepants Look Fine” Leary, I knew fire-extinguishing protocol; I grabbed the sink sprayer, yanked the hose as far as it would go and aimed. Within minutes, I had the sink fire out. Still in full-spray mode, I swiveled and doused the stove. Then, just because I was feeling particularly malicious and angry with the Universe, I took at pot shot at Bionic Kitty.

It seems Restaurant Refugee is wrong. Too much heat is not my problem. And contrary to declarations on the Interwebs, not everybody can cook. But some people? They order Chinese real good.

Why I Should Have Taken Out The Trash

March 17, 2009

Thursday night, while I was frantically packing for my 59-hour jaunt back to O-H-I-O, I realized I should take out my trash. The can was overflowing and thanks to my latest attempts at becoming Julia Child, it was filled with an entire pot roast I somehow managed to scorch beyond edibleness, assorted vegetables that I had purchased during a health kick and Chinese leftovers that had become fuzzy in the month spent sitting in the fridge. By packing time, my Simple Human was already a tad fragrant and I knew come Monday return it be full-blown biohazard. But despite my best intentions, I never made it to the building’s trash chute.

When I walked into my apartment last night, I expected it to smell one step above Wet Dog Butt. Instead of over-poweringly toxic, I got Fresh Mountain Morning with a hint of Need To Change The Litter Box. Surprisingly, nothing was emanating from the garbage can. With a shrug, I went about unpacking, pacifying the cats after my extended absence and sorting the mail. And then, lulled into a false sense of odor-related security, I opened the trash can to throw out 28 pieces of junk mail.

Sweet Virgin Mary, Joseph and the donkey they rode in on. It smelled like pig farts to the infinite power. Never in my near-30-years have I smelled anything more foul, more rank, or more eye-wateringly noxious. And I’ve been to Mount Rumpke. I swear that I saw lethal green fumes roll off the top. In an effort to preserve my sense of smell, I slammed down the trash can lid, staggered over to my balcony, threw open the doors and inhaled deep breathes of refreshing NoVA air. Ten minutes later, my lungs had recovered and my nose was once again functional. But that damn trash was still in the kitchen. Thus began Operation Take It Out Without Dying.

My first strategic maneuver was to call Wendy’s Boy. Generally, when there’s something I don’t want to do, I either pawn it off on an unsuspecting victim or revert to gender-specific stereotypes. This was one of those instances. I figured smelly trash was a Man’s Job and I had access to a Man, so why not utilize his services? Except Wendy’s Boy was MIA. With no other option except let the trash continue to putrefy, I decided to take the trash out myself. But first, I had to find some suitable nose protection.

Since I suck at holding my breath, a gas mask was not readily available and I doubted a hefty sniff of my Glade Plug-In would override the smell the entire 100 yards to the trash chute, I decided to go with the block-the-nose-and-breathe-through-the-mouth option. Ideally, I would have used a swimmer’s nose clip or a clothespin, but instead, I had to settle for jamming Lite Flow Tampons up my nostrils. And just to make sure no contaminated air snuck by my first line of defense, I took my North Face headband doohickey and put it around my nose. With proper odor-blocking precautions in place, I headed to the kitchen.

It took a solid 20 minutes and five Fresh Air Breaks to remove the bag from the can and complete a double bag. The trash had liquefied, it kept oozing out the bottom and I quickly discovered fighting my gag reflex with Tampons shoved up my nose was not an easy task. Eventually, I made it out of Chez Apartment and began the seemingly epic walk to the trash chute. About halfway there, two unsuspecting residents rounded the hallway bend. Even yards away, whiffs of toxic air reached them. Stopping in the hall, they took in my vaguely-green complexion and the smell-barrier I’d constructed around my face. I could see them calculating the odds of smell survival and deliberating what to do. Wisely, they headed back to the safety of the elevators and away from sure Death By Fumes.

Finally, finally I reached the trash chute. I opened it, tossed in the Bag of Funk and listened as it hit the dumpster four floors below. With a sigh, I took out my nose Tampons. And then, reflexively, I inhaled through my nose. The residual odor was nauseatingly horrific. Sort of like mildewed baby diarrhea mixed with eau de Homeless Man. And it was all too much for my delicate-flower stomach. Praying I didn’t catch too many fumes, pass out and fall head first down the garbage chute, I opened the chute door, put my head in and puked.

I haven’t been able to smell anything for nearly 18 hours.

My Reintroduction To The Treadmill, Or Wendy’s Boy: One, Me: Nada

March 12, 2009

This is how it came to pass…

Wendy’s Boy (blathering on about inconsequential matters): Blah blah blah, I like to run, blahdiddty blah blah…

Me (watching Season Three of The O.C., so clearly focused on when they are going to blow Marissa up rather than the telephonic conversation): Uh huh.

Wendy’s Boy (suspiciously perky): Blaaaaahhhhh bladumdeedum blah blah. What time should I pick you up for our Workout Date? Blahblah…


Last night, all annoyingly punctual, Wendy’s Boy arrived at Chez Apartment clad in the snazziest wick-away pants Under Armour manufactures. I was a tad less enthusiastic about the date and still in my Lawyerly Clothes. My brand-new-purchased-in-a-panic-over-lunch workout apparel was heavy on the spandex and frankly, I wasn’t too eager to sausage my Midwestern Sexy bedonadonk into anything black and stretchy.

Wendy’s Boy (totally unaware that his workout pants accentuated the positive, so to speak): I guess you were late getting home from The Place Of Lawyerly Things?

Me (wondering if I could force feed Bionic Kitty my sneakers in the next five minutes): It’s more that I want to give you some disclaimers before I suit up. But first, what’s on the Gym Agenda?

Wendy’s Boy (getting comfortable on the couch): I thought we could do a brisk treadmill run for about an hour, hour and a half. And maybe follow it with some light weights. And for a cool down, I brought my Metal Man Abs DVD.

Me (pretty sure ten minutes of running would necessitate an ER visit to jump start my heart): To be clear, I’ve not been in an athletic facility since 2000. Early ’00. Possibly 1999. Which would mean I’ve not actually exercised this century. You’re going to have to scale back your expectations. Dramatically.

Wendy’s Boy (all smirks and smiles): I was kidding. We’ll easy you back in. Your email outlining the Non-Negotiable Terms And Conditions (Which Must Be Properly Acknowledged And Notarized Proceeding Our Workout Date) did repeatedly mention this was your reintroduction to All Things Gym. By the way, I brought this…

Me (looking at a printout of my email, gussied up with a proper notarial statement and seal): Are you serious?

Wendy’s Boy (trying to suppress the gloat but not really succeeding): I figured if I went to the trouble of finding a notary, you’d feel guilty enough to actually work out. This is my trump card. Now go put on your exercise clothes.

Me (mumbling as I headed to the bedroom to rescue my running shoes from Bionic Kitty): You know me waaaaaaaay too well for the third date.

Wendy’s Boy (shouting after me): I can’t wait to see your ass in lycra!