Incorrigible Cobwebs!

That fateful hour is upon us. In 24 hours we’ll be sitting on a gigantic plane waiting to begin our journey to Israel. Our bags will be packed, our house will be in pieces (because of the remodel), our puppy will be in the care of a licensed dog boarding facility, and our computers will lay dormant and abandoned.

We’re not bringing our computers with us to Israel so we’ll be effectively cut off from our comfortable digital world. I’m feeling the tiniest bit anxious as I consider my poor little blog sitting here, devoid of new content, gathering cobwebs without me.

While we’re off adventuring I’ll be armed with my camera and fine eye for the absurd. I’ll post a ton of pictures when I get back and be sure to share some of the more choice stories from our adventures. We’ll be swimming in the Dead Sea, strolling the ancient streets of Jerusalem, sailing the Sea of Galilee, and visiting so many places I can barely keep them straight in my head.

For now, though, there will be silence on this blog. Some of my posts will be published at Qvisory during the next few weeks and you can look to the left to see which ones are up. So, ta-ta for now, I’ll see you on the other side of Jerusalem!

Call Me Signora Cookie Monster

Alas, another short post. I just finished baking cookies and I’m going to have to finish before they cool off. The good news is that our bathroom is getting remodeled this weekend. The bad news is that we maybe without access to our shower for a couple days. The good news is that we leave for Israel next week. The bad news is that remodeling our house has become the equivalent of having a hole in the bottom of our checking account.

As you can see, the good things are holding hands with the bad things and together they’re twirling around to form the hoe down that is our life currently. As I’ve said many times, however, there’s nothing a good warm cookie won’t make seem better (at least for a little while). I’m going to go eat one. Well, if you smooshed all the cookies I plan to eat together they would be one cookie. Just one gigantic cookie.

Armchair Real Estate

This is going to be a short post because I’m writing it while cooking dinner. That’s one of the benefits of having my computer in the kitchen: I can cook and blog simultaneously.

There’s trouble afoot in the Merry Mitchell household, though. The great patriarch of this little family, Wes, is sick with the plague. He’s currently lying on the couch with a blanket over his face. I doubt he’ll even muster up the will to eat the chicken florentine I’m making for dinner. Truly, these are ponderous times.

Also ponderous is that I had an interesting run-in with a stranger at Starbucks today. It was crowded and seating was at a premium. When my drink was finished I spotted someone vacating a precious cushy armchair so I navigated my way through the crowd toward what I thought was success.

Alas, I was thwarted! Some unknown dude just gunned it through the doors and threw his newspaper on the seat before I could make contact. It was like touch-armchair (you know, like touch-football only with armchair real estate) and I totally lost.

We had that awkward moment where we made eye contact and shuffled around the topic of who had the rights to the chair. I knew when I was defeated, however, and conceded the comfy chair to him.

It ended up working out well after all because he came and found me when the next chair opened up. We sat and read next to each other in companionable silence until I left to meet a friend but we had a connection there for a minute.

Next time, though, I’m totally going to just chuck my book onto the armchair before he can even get through the door. It’s once bitten twice shy all over the place and I shall not lose the next round of touch-armchair. He’ll take two steps and BAM! It’ll be Jonathan Kellerman for the win. No way is his newspaper going to defeat my four hundred page novel. No sir.

The New Vigilantes Are the Ones With Water Bottles

I just came across an article that details a new law that will ban the city of Seattle from buying bottled water. This article views the measure as a positive first step toward world water bottle banishment.

Under this new law, the city of Seattle is no longer allowed to purchase bottled water. This means that when you go to official city functions (and I know you all do), you will not see bottled water there.

This forces me to wonder how the city plans to hydrate its guests. Will they provide paper cups and direct attendees to the sinks in the bathroom? How about handing out DIY urine-to-drinking-water converter kits? Perhaps they will start requiring that each person brings their own glass as well so as to cut down on paper cup waste.

I have to admit, the ramifications (in my mind) of this measure are pretty grim.

This leads me to wonder, though, that here in the most highly-taxed state in the nation, our biggest concern is water bottle usage? Give me a break! Why don’t we direct the mayor to more pressing matters (such as the exorbitant taxes we pay each year that eat up entirely too much of our paychecks or the deplorable state of our public teachers’ wages) and when those are fixed he’s free to pursue his other interests at his leisure.

This whole thing just reeks of Big Brother to me. First, they take away our water bottles. Next, we’re all required to carry our state-provided Nalgene bottles (with a fine, of course, if you’re caught without yours). The next thing you know, you’re sharing a prison cell with a rapist because you had the temerity to try to sneak a swig from a water bottle in a movie theatre and the nark in front of you blew the whistle.

Is it just me, here? Do you agree with banning water bottles? Am I just a big boob because I lack vision? Someone, please, I’m asking for opinions here!

Rock the Radvice

I have ticked off a lot of people in my life (Wes only gets counted once though by all rights he should at least get counted twice). I know it’s hard to imagine, what with my non-opinionated self and all, but it’s true.

I’ve cut people off while driving (sometimes when there’s no break in traffic you just kind of have to make one), I’ve splattered ketchup all over a stranger’s brand new white fur coat (not intentionally. The waiter brought over the ketchup bottle with the lid already twisted off and just sitting on top of the bottle. I shook it and ketchup went everywhere. Honestly, though. What kind of sadistic moron gives someone a deceptively closed ketchup bottle?! Maybe a secret PETA activist…?), and I’ve put my foot in my mouth so many times socially that certain friends are convinced that my lucky left foot just belongs there.

The one thing I’ve always tried to do, however, is keep my advice to myself. Why? Because no one likes unsolicited advice. If you have to preface your statement with, “Would you like my advice?” chances are good the other person doesn’t want what you’re offering.

I’ve been the recipient of a lot of advice during my many years of life and the best advice I’ve ever received by far has been the advice I’ve asked for. When someone presumes to just shove their advice into my hands like an heirloom fruitcake I would usually like nothing more than to club them over the head with it.

For example, take my weight. I’m in no danger of dying from starvation but I’m also perfectly capable of getting out of bed in the morning without assistance. You’ll never see me in a bikini but I’m also not wearing a muumuu either. I’m just comfortable in-between.

Whenever I talk to people about my shape, whether praising or lamenting, I invariably get some a-hole who says to me, “Have you tried giving up soda? I gave up soda and lost 50lbs. You should totally give up soda.” I’m serious, the next person who says this to me is getting unintentionally-on-purpose smacked with my purse.

These people are not dieticians. These people are not weight-loss coaches. They are people who possibly lost some weight (maybe with a tapeworm, maybe by exercising) who are now shoving their advice right in my face. They know nothing about my current eating or exercising habits and yet are presuming to tell me what’s good for me.

For another example, let’s journey to the grocery store together. I was buying my week’s worth of groceries and the grocery clerk asked me if I was married. I replied that I was and he proceeded to let me know that he felt it was wrong for couples to live together before marriage and that I shouldn’t do that (he apparently missed out on the whole “Yes, I’m married” part of that conversation).

Besides his flagrant disregard for my response, I wonder if it was really necessary to have this conversation at the checkout counter. Couldn’t he just scan my Frito’s and be done with it? Does he think I care what his views on co-habitation are? Goodness gracious, can you imagine having that guy as your father?! Every conversation would be like landing on the beaches of Normandy during WWII. You’d have to run like the dickens through each dialogue to avoid getting blasted by incendiary advice.

So, here’s what I’m proposing: Let’s do away with Badvice and institute Radvice. If you’re talking to someone and feel the badvice bubbling up like vomit, turn to the other side or run to the bathroom. Let’s trash all the badvice out there (meaning, all the advice that tends to center around what the other person is doing wrong) and rock the radvice (advice that is solicited and improves the other person’s life. Such as, how to quiet a fussy baby, where to go skin-diving, or when to plant flowers).

If you think you know what’s wrong with the other person’s life, hush. You probably don’t and if you keep talking you’ll likely end up on the long list of things that are currently driving that person bananas.