Archive for December, 2008

Published by PaintingChef on 26 Dec 2008

An all new and fresh circle of hell.

Hi. We’ve met, right? And we’ve all been made painfully aware of my… lack of enthusiasm for all thing nature and outdoors-related, yes? Good, we’re all up to speed. And I would venture to say that this is not something that is a “little known fact” about me. For god’s sake… I wear twirly dresses and three inch heels to the grocery store. I’m girly and frilly.

Now, for the past three years, my parents have planned a trip for our family for Christmas. They select a destination and make all the plans and we all go and have a magnificent time.

First? There was Chicago. Chicago was awesome. We packed a week’s worth of stuff into about three days. We were exhausted and scheduled to death but it was fantastic. We had a blast and we all came home and slept for a week.

Then came Napa. Hands down, no question, the most magnificent place I’ve ever been and the best vacation I have ever taken. It was an absolutely perfect four days and as soon as that lottery ticket pays off, I’m moving there permanently and I’ll see you jokers later.

Earlier this year we went to Mexico. It was perfect relaxation. We were waited on hand and foot in one of the most beautiful resorts I’ve ever seen. And other than the four hours a day I spent crying on the toilet cursing my bad fortune to have accidentally opened my mouth in the shower, I loved it.

Which brings me to the latest adventure. Three days rafting and camping in the Grand Canyon. Rafting. In the rapids. In a boat. A boat full of air. And camping. In a tent. On the ground. In nature. The kind of nature that is outdoors. With some hiking and a swim in 50 degree water thrown in there for shits and giggles. It’s the kind of trip where people go to the bathroom outside in a hole they dug in the ground. Oh… and did I mention the part where we get there by helicopter?

Here’s the deal. I get that you can’t please everyone. And I totally understand that I am the one person who instead of opening the cute little package with a kayaking man and the note telling us where we were headed and jumping up and down in excitement said to herself… “Oh look! An all-expenses paid trip to the seventh circle of hell… AWESOME.” This is a really great thing my parents do and I am very grateful for their thoughtfulness and the time, energy and money they put into these trips. There is no greater gift than just spending time together. But I assure you… I am not the person you want spending time with you during a three day rafting and camping nature extravaganza. And guess what? I’m okay with that. I don’t have any desire to learn to be a nature-person. I’m fine with being the kind of person who only sleeps in beds and uses the bathroom in a toilet and gets from point A to point B in a car. I LIKE that about me.

Then I thought maybe I was being punked. By my parents. But that didn’t seem to be the case. So maybe this was just a giant misunderstanding. Perhaps my parents truly don’t remember that one white-water rafting trip as I do. I remember crying the entire way down to what I knew would be my eventual death but managing to hide the tears behind all the water on my face as I pretended to be a “trooper” but really just wanted to kill someone with an oar. Specifically anyone who had convinced me that this was going to be fun.

Everyone else is totally stoked for this trip. And I don’t want to take that away from anyone by going with a second option trip of like… anywhere with indoor plumbing and beds. But we aren’t talking about something I’d just rather not do but I can probably suck it up and might even enjoy it. I would rather cut off my legs with a butter knife, fry them and eat them than subject myself to even five minutes of this three-day experience. I’m not a moron, I understand the concept of an “adventure vacation” just not as it relates to me…

So. I am now formulating my “Plan B.” I have ruled out faking my own death as that would be problematic selling on a long term basis and I’m not ready for that kind of commitment. That said, I have narrowed my escape from this trip to the following options:

1. Pregnancy. Yes, almost as big a commitment as faking my own death, I’ve thought of this. But I’m pretty sure I still want kids… and if they save me from three days of hell, won’t I love them even more?

2. Hypnotherapy. I am thinking that if I were to find someone to hypnotize me to think I was spending three days at a spa instead of careening down rapids in a death raft towards my sleeping on the ground destination then maybe I could survive it.

3. Kidnapping. Although I’m a little afraid this one would end up with some sort of incarceration and that may be the only thing I’d like LESS than the whole nature-rafting extravaganza. Plus I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t let me and Patrick room together in jail.

Sadly these are the only viable options I’ve come up with so far… any suggestions?

Published by PaintingChef on 18 Dec 2008

Dear Bob Barker-My dog hates you.

“Hey… what’s going on with Archie’s… boy area? Didn’t we just have that removed like… yesterday?”

“Um… yeah.”

“So I’m not like a testicle guru or anything, being that I’m not in possession of a pair but shouldn’t they be, you know, not there anymore? What’s with that big black swollen thing?”

“The vet said that his surgery was unusually traumatic because he had a lot of scar tissue on one of his balls and so this would probably happen. She said to use warm compresses and try and keep him from licking the… area.”

“Seriously? So I need to just hold him down and let me put a hot towel on his nonexistent balls while trying to keep his mouth away from them? Is it just me or does that sound vaguely like one of those truck-stop adjacent massage parlors?”

“Oh honey. If it were a roadside massage parlor, this story would have had a much happier ending for him.”

(For the record… he’s fine. I’ve panicked and called the vet more than once and things like “It looks like a giant rotten plum swinging around back there!” and “But I thought you just took it all out of there” may or may not have been said. Archie is running around with his big black empty ball sack like all is right with the world and my vet wants to enroll me in a sex ed 101 class. So I’d say we’re almost back to normal…)

Published by PaintingChef on 10 Dec 2008

Daddy’s Girl.

We’ve talked about my dad, yes? The man I totally adore who, I’m convinced, spawned children for the solitary purpose of having someone to mess with?

“Hey girls? Did you know that the double yellow lines there in the middle of the road are marking the bicycle lane?”

“Hey girlie… see that ladder on the back of that big, ugly conversion van? Well anytime you see that ladder, it means that those people have a swimming poll on top of their van.”

Yes? This is ringing a bell?


Well as he has known me for my whole life, my father is well aware of a few of my… quirks. (I like calling them quirks because it makes me feel like I need less therapy.) Horses? Scare the shit out of me. As do miniatures. I’m terrified of all of those stuffed animals that people who hunt hang on their walls. If I ever walk into your house and you have a deer head hanging on your wall… well… I’ll probably put on my big girl panties and keep it together but inside? I’ll be DYING.

I cannot even walk past a DVD or an image of any sort for any of those Child’s Play movies without losing a week of sleep. I think I may have been 10 or so when I first saw an advertisement for one of those movies and I went immediately to my room, took every doll I owned and zipped them all up into my three pink Barbie suitcases and shoved those suckers in the back corner of my closet. I wasn’t fucking around.

So naturally, when my father saw this, he could think of nobody better to give it to as an anniversary than his eldest daughter. Because scarring your 31 year old offspring-slash employee for life is AWESOME parenting.

I have named him Pancho the Voodoo Pygmy Jackass. Lilly think he wants to kill her. (I may or may not be responsible for that. Something about shaking him at her and making hissing noises as an introduction…) Archie just barks at him because Pancho doesn’t seem to want to play. Belle and Luna, after determining he wasn’t there to steal their food or mandatory human contact, are indifferent. And me? Well… let’s just say Patrick had to get out of bed and move Pancho to the guest room after he made the mistake of being in my line of sight when I got up to pee the other night. I haven’t seen him since but I’m pretty sure he has stolen my left flip flop and used some of my toothpaste.

Published by PaintingChef on 08 Dec 2008

Who said romance was dead?

As I’ve just learned from a very lame Google search, love poetry and quotes and the like are a big deal. People LOVE to write about love. They write about it in anything from iambic pentameter to 13 year old girl text message-speak. (Which probably has a name? But I don’t know it? And I’m cool with that?)

I could probably go on and on about all the great things you’ve given me and brought to my life. Maybe I should post some pictures of our life together. Hey! Maybe even some where I’m thin! Because if you are anything like my jeans, you’ve totally forgotten what that looks like.

Or I could talk about how we’ve been married for seven years. And that most people would have popped out a kid or two by now. But that you are totally understanding with the whole dead babies thing. You get that my lady bits are cold hearted snakes (look into their eyes… oh oh… they’ve been telling lies) and have no intention of growing and delivering a human anytime in the near future. And that I know how lucky I am that you are so understanding and tender about that.

But I think that what I really want to say, more than anything else… on this wonderful day where we celebrate seven years of marriage, is this…

Dude. You know that one time I threw frozen chicken at your head? That sucked and I’m totally sorry about it. So thanks for not killing me. Happy Anniversary baby. I love you. Thanks for making coffee on Saturday mornings and watching 90210 with me in bed. That’s my favorite part of the week. Um… did you know it comes on on Sunday mornings too?

Published by PaintingChef on 05 Dec 2008

The Christmas Spirit. And how fast it will wreck my house. If I only knew where it was packed.

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone on its merry way leaving me with nothing more than a slightly snugger waistband on my jeans and a few abandoned Tupperware containers of leftovers floating around in the fridge somewhere behind that pot of chicken chili I made Sunday when it was SO COLD outside, I have decided we can talk about Christmas.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to avoid all things Christmas-ey until after Thanksgiving when the rest of the world decides that Christmas officially starts the day after Valentine’s Day? I do not want your Christmas music, your trees or your wreaths until December the first. Once that day is upon us, go ahead and Santa everything up, I’m down with it. But if you try and jingle your bell at me before December… let’s just say we will have words and you will forever think that I am the bitch that killed Christmas.

Last year was kind of a chaotic Christmas and Patrick and I didn’t even put up a tree. There were no Christmas cookies, no stocking hung by the chimney, not even a wreath was to be found at my house. And yes, my mother wept. She was so afraid that my house must have been terribly, horribly depressing but guess what? Those things were all PACKED IN BOXES. Boxes that were going to be moved on January the fourth.

I thought it was awesome.

However this year, there will be a tree. And wreaths. And cookies. And stockings. And spiced cider and lights and poinsettias and greenery and bows and you will think that Christmas up and shat on my house. But there is one thing that I’m a little scared of… And I know, you wouldn’t think that four and a half pounds of fur would make you rethink your plans for a Christmas tree but then again… you’ve never met my bad kitty. You’ve only heard about her and her antics. You may even think I exaggerate her capacity for evil. You make me laugh…


I am taking bets on how long it will take this tiny, declawed cat to reach the top of my Christmas tree. You know… once I (read: Patrick) gets the tree up. And figures out where the movers put the Christmas ornaments and all those damn wreaths.