Say No to Mojo

Everybody have a good weekend? Partied hardy and all that?

Well, you'll be glad to know that the House of Quirk threw down like only we know how to do. Namely, we took the kittens to get their rabies shots.

You might think that after Dixon's excellent vet adventures, I might need a little time to rest and recuperate before tackling the kitty carriers again, and you would normally be right, but it just so happened that the Humane Society was offering their special deals on shots and microchipping and whatnot this weekend, and who am I to say no to $12 rabies vaccinations?

So Sebastian and Magellan were loaded into their respective carriers, and off we went. (The other boys had already had their shots for the year. We stagger the schedule for easier transport). Luckily, the kittens do not seem to have quite the same reaction to traveling that Dixon has...mostly their conversations were along the lines of "Are we there yet? I'm bored! Hey, how much longer? This carrier has nothing to do in it! Reeeeeeeally bored back here!". Anyway, the whole trip ended up being very quick and efficient, and I probably wouldn't even bother telling you about it except for one little thing.

There was a kitten.

I'm sure that it was absolutely no coincidence that they had the cat owners waiting in a room full of other adorable little kitties who needed to be adopted. (Sneaky, sneaky humane society!) And while I enjoy fluffy little puffballs who need good homes just as much as anyone, I probably would have been fine if it hadn't been for one beautiful beautiful little Siamese kitten in the corner. (And you know how we are about Siamese...We're not just fans; we're collectors). And I talked to her, and I stuck my fingers through the bars at her, and I told her just how lovely she would be as the newest member of my brood. And then, I turned to Tony and said, "Don't you just want to take her home?"

Here's the thing about pet families. Usually, you have one person who wants to adopt and feed and love on every animal in the world. No cat left behind and all that. Then you have the other person whose job it is to be rational and logical and say things like, "Yes, she is a pretty kitten, but we already have a house full of cats, and five indoor cats are just too many. I'm sure she'll find a good home with someone else." This keeps things balanced on the fine line between no pets and "your house smells like a zoo". And so, being confident that Tony would play the part of the rational person, I said, "5 cats wouldn't be too much, would it? We could take her home".

To which Tony said, "Sure".

And I said, "Awww, but she's so-wait. What?!"

And he said, "Another cat wouldn't make too much of a difference. Let's get her".

And that was when I realized that I had made a serious tactical error. Because while I was allowing myself to be seduced by little kitten feet and little kitten ears and little kitten tail, I forgot that Tony is the world's most bleeding-heart animal lover ever, and I am supposed to be the rational one. If Tony had his way, we'd have our own version of Noah's Ark, with multiples of every animal in existence walking around. And I know this! I know this, I know this, I know this! The man was a zoo keeper after all! He majored in animal science in college! He repeatedly tries to convince me that what the backyard really needs is some sheep and goats and bunny rabbits. (No, no, no!) So why I expected him to tell me that we didn't need another animal is beyond me.

Luckily for us, the kitten wasn't available for adoption. It seems she had a rough start to life, and was working through some "emotional issues" (read: the cat is psycho!). The humane society, in all good conscience, couldn't let us take her home to a multi-cat family. I sighed in relief. Yes, yes, we understand, that's too bad, oh well, gotta go! And then we ran for the car before we could find another cat who needed rescuing.

Here's the thing though. Kitten cuteness is some serious mojo, and if it can find the teeniest opening, it will get in and infect your brain. Tony is more than willing to surrender to kitten mania. And I, gatekeeper to pet household, had just accidentally shown a chink in my armor. As soon as Tony got home, he was scouring the websites of shelters and adoption agencies, hunting for a new Siamese needing a good home. I'm still maintaining that we have plenty of Siamese as it is, but we both know my resolve is weakening. I deny it, but the kitten mojo has me in its grasp. If he finds one, I won't say no.

My only hope is that every Siamese kitten in the tri-state area will suddenly find itself adopted before Tony can get to it.

Damn that kitten mojo.

Triggering the Revolution

I had to take Dixon to the vet today.

Here's the thing about Dixon. Long time readers will remember how the poor cat decided not to poo a few years ago. After multiple vet visits and several thousand dollars, super expensive specialty food was purchased and a medicine was prescribed to alleviate any future non-pooing problems. The only complication is that the above-mentioned food and pills, while doing a fabulous job of making poos, have a nasty side effect of causing urinary tract infections. So every four months, the vet likes to see Dixon in for a "urinary and sediment check" just to make sure that everything is still working okay.

Needless to say, Dixon is not a fan.

So when the vet called the other day to remind me of Dixon's upcoming appointment (translation: "The doctor would like a new tennis court for the summer cottage...please let us charge you $75 for just walking in the door"), I knew things were going to be interesting.

Whenever we go to the vet, I have to be very very careful not to do or say or think anything that will arouse suspicion. Dixon is hyper-aware of things like that, and even thinking the "v-word" will have him shooting under the bed in nothing flat. So I got up, and got ready, and pretended that there was absolutely nothing special about today, and especially no reason to escape to the very center of the space under the bed where no one over 18" tall could possibly follow. Luckily for me, Dixon was in the middle of a nap and therefore completely unaware of the upcoming ambush. With the stealth of a panther, I snuck over to the unsuspecting kitty, swooped him up and hustled him into the office where there is no large furniture under which to hide. Then I slammed the door, trapping us both inside.

Dixon: Wait a second! What are we doing in the office? Is it food time? Are you here to feed me?

I walk over to the closet where we keep the carriers. He knows exactly what this means.

Dixon: Carrier! (Throws himself at the closed door) HELP! HELP! SHE HAS THE CARRIER!

Me: Calm down, Dixon! We're just going for a teeny little ride.

Dixon: Anything you want! You want my kibble? Or Mr. Squeakers? How about a half eaten moth that I've been saving? It's all yours if you don't put me in that carrier!

Me: You know that we have to do this. Please don't make it any harder on either of us.

I lunge, he evades. I feint to the right, he counters to the left. Much chasing ensues. Eventually, I get a good grip on him and start stuffing him into the carrier. (Anyone who has ever tried to put a cat in a carrier knows that cats can magically grow 15 extra legs at will. 12 of these legs will be braced against the door of the carrier, fighting with every ounce of kitty strength to avoid going inside. The remaining three legs will be busy sinking claws into your arm). I'm holding the carrier in one hand, blocking Dixon's escape with one knee, and using my new bloody stump to remove all the extra cat legs wedged against the opening. Dixon's yowling loud enough to wake the dead. Meanwhile, drawn by the noise of the tussle, the other cats have raised a supportive chorus of wailing outside the door. I'm not sure who they're rooting for, me or Dixon. Finally, I'm able to wrestle him in and lug the carrier out to the car.


Me: (hissing) Will you quit it? You'll wake the entire neighborhood.

Neighbors are slowing down on their way to work to see what all the fuss is about.

Neighbor: Is your cat okay? (Translation: I have the ASPCA on speed dial and my finger is hovering over the connect button).

Me: Sure, sure! He's just going to vet for a routine checkup, that's all.


Neighbor lady looks suspicious. The thrashing and screaming coming from the carrier certainly don't sound like a normal cat going to the vet. It sounds like 10,000 tornado sirens. I manage to shuffle the carrier into the car. Dixon enjoys how the added acoustics of a small enclosed space allows him to really project.


Me: You are not. They're not even going to touch you. They're just going to look at your urine under a microscope and give us some more pills.


Me: This is a complete overreaction, you know.

Dixon: (yelling at passing cars through the closed window) SHE'S A MADWOMAN! SOMEBODY SAVE ME!

Finally, after a 15 minute car ride at roughly 160 decibels, we get to the vet. The carrier is bouncing around like it contains 7 angry wolverines. I have to grab it in both arms to carry it inside.

Me: Hi, I'm here for Dixon's appoint-


Me: His appoint-


Me: (sighing) Anyway, he's here.

The other animals in the waiting room are alarmed. Dixon takes the opportunity to do his impression of a cat being fed through a wood chipper. A golden lab gives me a dirty look.

Lab: Fight the oppression of the ones with opposable thumbs!

Floppy-eared rabbit: (in an alarming good Braveheart impression) You can take away his life, but you will never take away...his FREEDOM!

Not surprisingly, the doctor's assistant senses the threatening riot and rushes over to get Dixon's carrier. When in doubt, take out the instigator.

Assistant: Why hello there, sweet kitty! Are you ready to see the doctor?


We leave the animals in the waiting room behind, holding paws and singing We Shall Overcome in honor of their soon-to-be martyred brethren. But a strange thing happens when the exam room door closes. Dixon goes completely silent. Not a word. I'm not sure if this is a ploy so that the doctor won't know he's there, or if he's making the point that he won't betray feline secrets no matter how much we torture him. Maybe he's just hoarse now. I don't know.

To make a long story short, the humans ended up winning the battle. The doctor checked Dixon out, gave us a clean bill of health, and sent us on our way, $75 poorer. Dixon reacted to his loss by giving me the silent treatment the entire way home.

Me: See? That wasn't so bad now, was it?

Dixon: (glares)

Me: All that fussing over nothing.

Dixon: (glares)

Me: Oh c'mon! You're not still mad, are you? You know we wouldn't do that if we didn't have to.

I let Dixon out of the carrier the minute we stepped through the front door. The other cats gathered around to listen to Dixon's traumatic tale of woe and whisper secret plans. Then they all glowered up at me until I got a serious case of the heebie jeebies.

I tried bribing everyone with cat treats, but I'm still a little bit nervous about going to bed. I'm afraid that I've inadvertently triggered the beginning of the revolution, and that I'll be the first casualty, smothered in my sleep under suspicious circumstances. (The only thing that will come back on the autopsy report will be an unusual amount of cat hair). One thing's for sure, even if I survive the night, it's Tony's turn to do the next vet run.

The Secret Message of Paper Towel Commercials

You want to know what I think is the absolute best hands-down contraceptive commercial on TV today? I'll give you a hint. It's not the one where the women are jumping into a pool all synchronized-swimming like, singing "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday...". It's not the one where the group of women are sitting around a trendy nightclub together, looking enraptured while their snooty doctor friend tells them about the possible side effects and chances of stroke. (Although aren't you dying to be that woman's friend?) Nononononono. I'll tell you which one is best.

It's the paper towel commercial.

You know the one I'm talking about. It's the one where the small toddler person is using a cereal bowl as a drum set, and every time he smacks his spoon more milk-drenched cheerios fly across the room. It's the one where the little girl upends an entire gallon of juice in the middle of the kitchen floor for no apparent reason. A third child chases a large woolly dog (who obviously has a weekly mud wresting engagement) across the room, leaving mud and slime and Heaven-knows-what-else in soggy dog tracks all over the white tile. And right about the time that the entire kitchen is destroyed beyond repair, the perfectly-coiffed mother comes in and gives this good-natured smile as if to say, "Oh, those sweet little rascals! Good thing I have my super strong paper-towels handy!" Then Mom and child spend a moment bonding as she gets down on her hands and knees and lovingly scrubs the entire floor clean with one paper towel before rinsing it out and using it to gently wipe the corner of smiling-child's mouth. Cue music, everyone hugs, the kitchen is spotless again!

To which I say, WHAT. THE. CRAP. WAS. THAT?!?

Now, maybe I'm missing some vital maternal gene here, but if I came in to a kitchen covered in juice and cereal and wet muddy dog tracks, I would not be smiling and wiping the little cretins' faces. No sir! I'd be using my super-absorbent roll of Brawny to beat the little snots about the head and shoulders as they ran for their lives!

Oh, I realize that accidents happen and kids are messy. It's just the nature of the little beasts. But I'm sincerely hoping that the paper towel commercials are being ridiculously exaggerated. (Please Lord, let them be exaggerated. Otherwise the human race as we know it will be destined to failure). Every time I see those little brats gleefully tip an entire pitcher of milk over just to slash around in the resulting puddles, my ovaries cringe a little more. If motherhood means being able to smile and be all, "You threw your cereal all over the house? Oh well, no harm done!" then I am sooooo not signing up for that. For one, the children would not survive, and then my face would be plastered all over Nancy Grace when I was convicted on multiple counts of manslaughter. (And if that's not a good marketing scheme for birth control, then I don't know what is). They may have started out trying to sell paper towels, but the subliminal message definitely reads "Woman beats child to death with quilted quicker at 11". Stop and watch the commercial the next time it comes on. You'll see what I mean.

Suddenly snooty doctor friend with the annoying habit of going on and on about contraceptives isn't looking so bad now, is she?

On Nail Polish and Books and Water Aerobics

I keep promising myself that I'm going to post something witty or moving or inspirational, but it turns out that I don't really do any of that stuff on a regular basis, so coming up with it is a lot harder than it sounds. And I could wax poetic about what I've been up to lately, but I'm not sure how to make giving myself a pedicure while watching reruns of Bones on TV sound poetic.

(Well I could, but it probably wouldn't be very impressive).

(Okay fine, how's this?)

Coral on my toes
cat tries to rub on wet paint
keen for fall lineup.

When I haven't been picking stray cat hairs out of OPI's Shootout at the OK Coral, I've been reading and going to the gym. Lately I've been focusing on the books I haven't read yet on the Book List, and am proud to note that I have just finished Nineteen Eighty-Four and The Handmaid's Tale. And then, due to a possible overload of dystopian, totalitarian regimes, I had trouble sleeping for the next three days. (I rebounded with an easy yet thrilling Lee Child novel, because why worry about reshaping contemporary society's morals when you can just kill a bunch of people with your bare hands?)

(And what does it say about me that reading about an ex-military guy snapping bad guys necks makes me sleep like a baby?)

The gym turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I messed up my usual swim schedule from the day before, so I made up for it by going the following day. Only I don't usually go those days, so I didn't realize that there was a water aerobics class scheduled for that time. But I thought, why not do the water aerobics class as a gentle warm-up until the pool is free again? So I grabbed the biggest pair of floaty pool weights I could find and joined all the little old ladies bobbing around in the pool.

[I'm going to be completely honest here. I was feeling a little smug about taking the class. I swim, I do the treadmill, I take a free weights class three times a week. I'm not out of shape. And I'm roughly 3 decades younger than the rest of the ladies in the class. So I was not worried about anything that the water aerobics grannies could throw at me.]

Kicked. My. Butt.

It took about 4 minutes before those super-grannies wiped my smug smile off of my face. 2 more before I couldn't feel my legs anymore. And 3 more after that when my lungs exploded. They had me kicking and jumping and water jogging without pause for an entire hour. And they totally called me on it when I started slacking off. (Standing shoulder-deep in a pool will not hinder the hawk-like vision of a Drill Sergent water-granny. She will know instantly when you are not getting your knees up as high as you're supposed to). Either I'm not as in shape as I thought I was, or the mild-mannered super-grannies are secretly all power-lifters. I suspect a little of both.

Right about the time I considered that drowning would be a sweet way to escape another round of underwater sprints... it stopped. Our hour was over, and the evil sadist water-grannies transformed back into sweet little ladies in conservative, ruffle-skirted one piece suits who compared grandchildren stories and worried about getting their hair too wet before the next beauty parlor appointment. They patted me on the shoulder as they left the pool, telling me how nice it was to meet me and how they hoped that I'd be back for the next class. I spent the next few minutes just floating in the pool because I'm not sure my legs would have supported my weight if I'd tried to get out right away.

Not judging a book by its cover seems to be a lesson that I am destined to learn over and over again. I have a tendency to make snap decisions about people (or aerobics classes) based on what they wear, or how they look, or what they say. And more often than not, I'm wrong. They turn out to be stronger, or smarter, or kinder than I give them credit for. Sometimes it comes back to bite me. This time it was a pleasant surprise.

So it turns out that my stint in the water aerobics ended up giving me more than just a good cardio workout. I learned a couple of lessons also. Don't believe the stereotypes, because how people look on the outside has no bearing to who they are on the inside, and two, water buoyancy is a great equalizer.

The Lost Week

Okay, okay, you've been wondering where I've been, right? Well, last week was an eventful week, but it left very little time for just sitting down to write. To catch you up, here are the highlights:

Tuesday: I had my first official swimming lesson. Tony's sister J has some experience teaching people how to swim, so she very nicely offered to tutor me and then hoped that I'd move on to my next flight of fancy without ever actually taking her up on it. Unfortunately for her, I took her up on it. Which is how I found myself in the middle of a pool on Tuesday, proudly proclaiming my dorkiness in the form of a bright blue nose plug and matching blue bug-eyed goggles. (Does anybody look good in these goggles? I think not). Despite the questionable fashion accessories however, the lesson itself went (if you'll pardon the pun) just swimmingly. J is a super fabulous (and patient) teacher, as evidenced by the fact that she didn't run screaming from the pool when I showed her what I could do (read: flail around like I was fighting an invisible underwater attacker). We went over kicking, breathing, and arm movements individually, and then started working on putting all three together.

J: Okay, now just try adding the flutter kicks with the arm movements while you breathe.
Me: (underwater flailing, although with textbook breathing)
J: Um. Okay...that was...great! Your breathing looked good. Now...just add the arms and legs.
Me: (more flailing, only with arm movements this time)
J: Okay, I saw the arms, but...what happened to the kicking and the breathing?
Me: Kicking! Right! (flailing with forward motion since I remembered to kick)
J: (sighing inwardly and hoping that any of my future offspring will have her brother's coordination instead of mine) That was great don't forget the breathing and the arms, you know, AT. THE. SAME. TIME.

See? She has the patience of a saint. And I have the coordination of someone being electrocuted. But by the end of our lesson, I like to think that we had a little forward progress. I can technically do the breast stroke and freestyle and the flip turn, although none of them with any kind of grace or rhythm (yet!). And while even just a few laps wears me out like nobody's business, I'm getting there. I'll probably never be an Olympic contender, but I'm really getting a kick (get it?) out of swimming now. I finally get what everybody is going on and on about. I look forward to my cardio days because I'm spending all of them in the pool now. (You're dead to me now treadmill! You hear me? Dead! I've moved on!) I love swimming!

Wednesday: Oh my goodness I can't move my shoulders! Apparently I've never really used my shoulder muscles in quite this way before. And are my joints supposed to pop like that when I move my arms? That doesn't really sound right. I thought swimming was supposed to be easy on the joints! That old guy in the lane next to me never has any problems! Taking it easy for the next few days...

Thursday: I have discovered the TV show Bones. It's awesome! How did I not know about this show before? It's all about a crime-solving forensic anthropologist and her FBI agent partner. (So, kinda CSI meets Numbers or something). The series is based on the life and novels of Kathy Reichs, which is totally funny because I'd read her books a few years ago and never made the connection to the TV show. And while some of the burned-body-rotting-flesh-exposed-skeleton shots are not for the faint of heart (although not nearly as bad as the squishy sucking sound effects that go along with them...shudder), the characters are amazingly likable. I stayed up all night Thursday night watching season one online. (If you've never watched a team of scientists boiling the remaining flesh off of bones at 3:00 in the morning before, you don't know what you're missing). As an added trivia bonus, the FBI agent, David Boreanaz, kinda slightly maybe-if-you-squint resembles a guy that I dated in high school, so I like to think that that gives me an additional connection to the show. I highly recommend. (The show, not my old boyfriend, although he was a nice enough guy too).

Friday: I can now move my arms without my joints sounding like I'm 104, so I'm back to swimming. This was a solo practice without J, but I'm still coming along. J's husband M also bought me a book on how to swim, and that's been incredibly helpful too. So far, I can beat the old guy who always swims in the lane next to me when I'm at the gym, but he can outlast me in endurance. (In his defense, I never told him that we were racing). My next goal is to be as fast as the severely pregnant lady who likes the far lane. (She's deceptively good considering that she's not exactly aerodynamic at the moment).

In other completely pointless Friday news, I stopped by the store on the way home to purchase a book of stamps. The gum popping, black lipstick wearing, Kurt Cobain sporting lifeform masquerading as a teenaged girl at the customer service counter made sure to let out a huge sigh to convey what an inconvenience it was for her to walk the 5 feet from the cash register to the mail counter to get my stamps for me. I was so busy thinking snarky remarks back at her ("What? You think you invented grunge? And what's with the Kurt Cobain shirt? He died years before you were even born. And please don't let my stamps interfere with you just standing there, picking flecks of black nail polish off of your nails...") that I didn't bother to look at what was on the stamps before I got back home. Now, far be it from me to criticize the post office, but exactly what were they thinking when they made the decision to put the Simpsons characters on official postal currency? Do I really need Bart Simpson on my electric bill? Does Homer Simpson really convey the tone I'm looking for with my business correspondence? I think not. Maybe it's because I was never really a huge follower of the show, but every time I go to mail a letter now, I cringe. What happened to dead presidents? Or famous landmarks? Or birds of North America? Those are good stamp candidates. I'm less enthused about paying 44 cents for a tiny picture of a fictional character whose most redeeming epitaph was "Eat my shorts". I'm also wondering if the delightful Ms. Cobain picked them on purpose just to annoy me.

Saturday: All that probably wouldn't had been enough to keep me from posting had it not been for the computer virus that we picked up on Saturday. (Lesson learned: When watching TV online, stick to the major known websites like hulu. Otherwise you end up with a virus that keeps sending you to porn and Viagra sites without your permission). We ended up doing a system reset to get rid of it (not to mention buying new virus protection since ours was obviously out of date), but the sound driver was corrupted, so I spent most of Sunday working on that. BTW, shout out to my IS-savvy buddy D who saved me from eternal computer silence by finding the correct driver and telling me how to reinstall it. I throw myself at her feet and kiss her shoes as she walks by. ("Blessed are the IS people, for they shall save me from myself"). Anyway, driver reinstalled, and I am back to being loud and proud, computer-wise.

So in short, swimming, sore, swimming, stamps, virus, sound drivers. Now you're all caught up and we're ready to start this week.

Well, right after I finish this episode of Bones anyway.

Made in the Shade(s)

I left my sunglasses in Chicago a few weeks ago, and since they were all of about $8, rather than have the Seester mail them to me, I just went out and bought another pair.

Here's the thing: I HATE trying on sunglasses. $8 or $800, it doesn't matter. Sunglasses are like the swimsuits of facial accessories. You're going to look and feel stupid when trying on 99.9% of them. (Sunglasses people know and delight in this...that's why they put that giant plastic tag on them that smacks you in the nose whenever you're trying them on). At least swimsuits give you the privacy of a changing room. Your humiliation with sunglasses is right there on the endcap of aisle three for the entire world to enjoy.

But I digress.

I think the hardest thing for me is finding a good shape for my face. The current fad in sunglasses (for women, at least) is the giant, 50's era round ones that, in all honesty, I think only Audrey Hepburn could pull off with any success. She made them look classy. When I wear them, I just look like Harry Caray.

Of course, you can't go too small either. Sometimes I try to overcompensate the absurdity of what my face does with Audrey's glasses by shooting for the tiny, Ben Franklin-esque spectacles instead. No luck there either, unless I want a new career as an Elton John impersonator.

I tried aviator glasses (think giant bug monster extra from When Space Ants Attack!), square frames (1960's substitute teacher), oval frames (makes my face look rounder than Charlie Brown's), and round frames (Ozzie Osbourne, anyone?) I tried thick frames (Harry Potter), thin frames (nope, still Harry Potter) and wrap-around frames (Harry Potter gets recast as the Terminator). I tried amber tinted (these don't block enough sun to really even be considered sunglasses), black tinted ("We're with the Secret Service, ma'am"), reflective tinted (why yes, I AM Lance Armstrong), and in one case of desperation, pink tinted (I couldn't decide if this made me look like a Flower Child at Woodstock, or Barbie. Or worse still, Flower Child Barbie).

Finally, FINALLY, I found a pair I could live with. They're frameless, black tinted, and somewhere between square and oval shaped. I don't look like a fashion model in them, but I don't look like anyone worse, either. I just look like me in sunglasses.

So fast forward to today, when I was getting ready to run some errands and grabbed my new sunglasses up to go with me. I snipped off the annoying giant plastic tag and put them on for their first test in direct sunlight. Not bad, not bad. These frames stretch farther to each side of my face than my last pair, but I find that I actually like that since it blocks light from coming in on the sides too. I wear my new sunglasses to the grocery store. Through the drive-thru at the bank. To Home Depot. I stop at the gas station on my way home and get whistled at while at the pump. "Yeah buddy!", I think, "I have finally managed to do it! I have found some decent sunglasses! No more Harry Potter When Space Ants Attack Flower Child Secret Service glasses for me, baby!" I'm feeling so good about these new sunglasses that I lean over and check myself out in the rear view mirror.

And that's about the time I realize that I've been parading around town with a giant "100% UVA/UVB!" sticker stuck over one eye the entire time.

I hate these sunglasses.

At Least They're Getting Their Fiber...

There's a disturbing trend developing in the House of Quirk lately. I present to you Exhibit A:

I'm not sure if you can tell, but those happen to be little tiny fang marks embedded deeply into a roll of toilet tissue.

Do you remember the old marketing slogan, "Who Squeezed the Charmin?" Well, we're working on a new one called "Who bit the Mystery Brand TP that Tony Purchased About 4 Months Ago Because It Was On Sale But That We're Still Using Because He Bought The 72 Roll Mega-Size?".

It's a little long granted, but we're hopeful that it will catch on.

The Eyes Have It

Tony has a new hobby. It involves him coming home in the evening and poking himself repeatedly in each eye. He's been doing this every evening for a week now, and I'm proud to say that he's actually gotten pretty good at it.

(I suppose now would be a good time to explain that, wouldn't it?)

See, it all started with Tony's other hobby, which is hockey. (I believe I mentioned the vast amount of economic stimulation in the form of hockey gear that has been arriving via UPS and FedEx for the past few weeks?) Well, Tony decided that he's going to switch from the "just a bunch of guys who get together and play hockey for the fun of it" league to the "Just a bunch of guys who get together and say they play hockey for the fun of it, but secretly have a ridiculously competitive streak that causes them to hit harder, grunt louder, and basically get ever closer to giving themselves a coronary" league.

And for this new, faster, stronger league, (and its accompanying grunting and hitting and coronary-ing) Tony needed all new goalie equipment. Part of this required equipment was a new goalie mask, which arrived just the other day, much to Tony's kid-at-Christmas level of excitement.

(Here's the thing you need to know about goalie masks: They're sized by the circumference of the wearer's head. They're designed to be snug so as not to fly off, and putting them on involves a level of intimacy between a face and said mask that most marriages would be thrilled to achieve. In a nutshell- it's a close fit).

And Tony, being the good goalie that he is, dutifully measured the circumference of his head and ordered the corresponding mask. What he didn't take into account, however, were his glasses. Tony pulled the helmet on. The glasses got stuck. He tried again. The glasses got stuck. He wiggled the mask this way and that. The glasses got caught on his nose and tried to rip his ear off. Without the glasses, he could get the mask on just fine, but there was no way that he'd ever be able to see a puck barreling at him at 120mph. With the glasses, he could see the puck, but he couldn't get the mask on, and without it wouldn't survive said puck's impact. He was, as they say, in a pickle.

And this is where the eye-poking comes in, because it was suddenly clear that if Tony wanted to see AND wear his pretty new mask, he needed to break down and get some contacts.

[I realize that in this day and age, Tony may be one of the few glasses-wearing people on the planet who does not also wear contacts, but he's never expressed any desire to jam foreign objects into his eyes, and I've never encouraged it. The fact is, I love Tony's glasses. Even though he has beautiful eyes, I've always been a sucker for the optically challenged, and find myself inexplicably drawn to men with spectacles. (Right down to my mad crush on Egon from the animated Ghostbusters cartoon...sad, I know). But hockey is also a part of Tony, and if contacts are what he needs in order to play, then that is what we'll get...just as long as he still wears the glasses around me].

So Tony went to the optometrist during his lunch break last week, and they showed him how to poke it onto his eyeball. And he poked, and he prodded, and pulled all his eyelashes out while trying to keep himself from blinking. And the contact did its part by flipping inside out, and refusing to stick to his eye, and basically rolling into a little ball and playing dead whenever he got close. And eventually, Tony had to go back to work. But the optometrist told him not to worry...he'd get it eventually, and to go home and practice poking himself in the eyes every day with an imaginary contact until they are red and watery and it looks like he's been on a three day bender.

Fast forward to today, when he was FINALLY able to get his contacts in. I knew that he'd been working on them, but even so, when he turned to look at me sans glasses, it was a shock. It completely changes the look of his face. And if I thought he was cute before...well, I was certainly not prepared for this new look. (I'm going to let you in on a little husband is a total hottie . And his fantastic green eyes are his best feature. A lot of people don't realize this because Tony is a lot like Superman. Glasses on, and he's mild-mannered husband. But glasses off, he smolders. It's amazing. Women swoon in the street).

"Listen," I instructed, "some woman tries to flirt with you, I want you to punch her in the face and then run away, okay?"
He laughed. "Punch her in the face-got it".
"And then come get me so I can punch her in the face too".
He rolled his eyes. He thinks I'm joking.

The amazing thing with all of this is that he doesn't even realize how beautiful his eyes are. (I tell him, but he thinks I'm just crazy). And further more, he doesn't even care. He just wants to play hockey and wear his new goalie mask. But I guess that's the wonderful thing about look or no, he's the same sweet, hard-working, awesome guy on the inside. He's never vain, or arrogant, or egocentric. He has a good soul, which in this day and age, is really even more beautiful than his eyes.

But I'll still punch you in the face if you get too close.