28 July 2006

We're goin' in!!

This weekend my husband and I are starting work on a project that I have been wanting to do for three years. We are going to rip out the entire bathroom and start over.
Our bathroom is small and disgusting. It is going to stay small, but hopefully will not stay disgusting. The people we bought the house from, I believe, covered up a mold problem in the shower by putting vinyl sheeting over the walls and using new caulk. About a month after we moved in, I began noticing the mold behind the caulk. By this time, this many years later, despite my best efforts, the mold is taking over. Also, the bathtub, though it is large, is extremely uncomfortable (it has a straight back). And the vanity and mirror are that gross oak that was popular a few years back. And the floors have problems. Etc, etc.
We found a clawfoot tub on cleanup week a few years ago (I know, you are thinking "ew, gross," but, hey, it was a clawfoot tub, and it was really cool).
So, for the past three months the clawfoot tub has been living with the Sandblasting Guy who for some reason was hording it and not working on it.
Last week Billy gave him an ultimatum, and voila!, the tub was sandblasted. Then, Billy spent a few too many hours in the garage with copper spray paint shining the thing up.
I know--I am like a bird--I have an obsession with shiny things.
In the meantime, I have ordered new fixtures, including a really cool sink, and also chosen and bought and carted around and moved around tile to be put in the walls and the floor.
So, basically, we are going to be learning a lot of new skills on this project. Number one: how to demo a really old tub, 2) How to put in hardibacker board, 3) how to tile, 4) how to plumb, 5) how to tile around plumbing, 6) how not to get divorced over projects.
I also have to finish the skylight painting/sanding/sealing and cleaning up of the upstairs so that we can temporarily move our daily life up there since our bedroom and bathroom will be out of commission for awihle. To that end, I had mixed and matched paint to patch the spots where the guys cut into the drywall. And I did a good job matching it, I have to say. Well, this morning I went up there to try to find some Quizno's coupons underneath my dropcloths, and in the process I spilled the entire can of paint on myself (on my work clothes) and also on the floor. Luckily, the paint had separated, and it was mostly dirty water, but still, is this anyway to start a morning???!!! So, I washed off the pants in the sink and wore them to work wet. That was less traumatizing to me than picking out another outfit (something I hate--picking out clothes to wear--nothing ever fits or suits my mood).
On Saturday we will get to take a break from our toil in order to celebrate our friend Chris' 30th birthday. There will be brauts, drinks, pie, and other good things. I am looking forward to it.
Last night was a beautiful evening. I decided to take the dogs for a walk just before sunset. We walked down to a baseball complex near our house and then down by the river. And it was the complete picture of American romanticism--all these baseball players playing on a hot, summer night, the sounds of the ball getting whacked by the bat, a huge flag fluttering in the crystal clear, blue, sky, parents watching their kids, people walking their dogs....it was just so perfect I had to stop for a few minutes to just take it in. The only thing missing was ice cream and apple pie. I love summers. I love the things that comprise an "American summer." Homemade ice cream. Home made lemonade on the porch. Long evenings spent outside swinging on the porch swing. Fresh tomatoes from the garden. The smell of your mom canning pickles. The way the light shines on everything to give it a magical quality. The heat. The humidity. Summer dresses. Sandals. Swimming. Outdoor festivals. Harvest. The sound and the smell of your neighbor mowing his lawn. Campfires. Smores. The sense of satisfaction a person gets from growing and eating something themselves. Grilling hamburgers or brats or steaks or potatoes or anything you can think of on the grill. BBQ's. Yard parties. Pool parties.
I love it all. I love the summer. Thank God for the summer.

27 July 2006


I have a genetic defect. The defect is that I cannot remember when I put something in the microwave. I will ineviatably forget it probably 70% of the time. Last night I was making supper and purreeing herbs and playing with the cat and cleaning the house all at the same time. During all of this chaos I decided to throw a small plate of my few, precious, green beans into the microwave quickly so that I could eat them with my supper.
Well, I forgot them. It is not my fault. It is a genetic defect. My mother specifically bought a new microwave with an alarm on it for when you forget things for this very reason.
Well, this morning, I woke up, and I found the beans on the counter. And I found the beans had written me a letter which you can see in the picture.

"Dear Sponsor, Hello, my name is beans. Until recently I was living in a garden. Now I am moving constantly. Today someone left me in the microwave. That's ok, it was warm in there for awhile. Well, take care. Sincerely, Beans"

After reading the letter from the beans, I felt really badly for the beans that I had neglected them. So, I returned the letter to the beans saying that I was sorry for the fact that they had been forgotten in the microwave; however, that they would be put in the compost and then reincarnated next season into some other vegetable for us all to enjoy.

24 July 2006

Drought insurance: put a hole in your roof

Today two very exciting things happened, and I can't help but think they are somehow related. #1--The skylight guy finally came to install the skylights. This is after literally calling 16 different places only to have them laugh at me suggesting that they might install skylights, and having one place back out on us completely, and then finding this skylight guy only to have him procrastinate. Well, he didn't procrastinate all that long, but it seemed agonizing after the entire ordeal.
#2--For the first time this summer, it rained today.
So, it took me to put two holes in my roof and having workmen precariously perched on a potentially slimy, wet roof to "trick" the cosmos into sending rain.
I was thinking of how this principle might be adapted to work for farmers. Maybe you should remove the headers from your combines. Maybe you should poke holes in all of the tires on your trucks. Anything that would put you in the absolute WORST position to get ready for a good harvest. Then, and only then, will it rain.
So it seems sometimes.
This weekend, Billy and I made the most of the gorgeous, short-lived, summer weather. Friday night we had drinks at the SkyPrairie at the HoDo. If you don't know what it is, it is an amazing roof-top garden bar overlooking downtown, and it is filled with all sorts of indigenous prairie grasses and flowers. It is awesome. This we did on the way walking to Matt and Dana's where we were served a glorious supper and good conversation. On Saturday, husband and I explored what might possibly be a common interest/hobby/something to do together: garage sales. We found a complete handyman's encyclopedia from 1980 for $1.00. It has such entries as "how to install wood panelling" and also "how to rescue an injured person from the water" and also some actually useful entries. I also found some strange 1960's lamps that I then adulterated to suit my purposes to make a nice, noctural reading area on my porch. Saturday night we met Becky and Jason for drinks and dessert at Nichole's. And this is where we had the priveledge of watching a man running, weaving in and out of traffic, smiling like a lunatic, in nothing at all but his swim trunks. After about a half hour of this, he became tired and decided to sit down on the train tracks to rest. I guess I never realized what a great place to people watch Nichole's really is. Sunday we went to church and then came home. I spent most of the morning and afternoon in near 100 degree heat in my swimming suit, weeding the garden, with the sprinkler running on me. I was dirty, hot, and in the sun, and in my garden, and truly, truly happy the entire time. I did some pureeing and freezing into ice cube trays some of the herbs for future winter use (great idea, by the way). Then we spent the afternoon on the porch drinking Mojitos and reading the Pattern Language Book #2 (thank you, Matt Evans), brain storming, and laughing hysterically about all of the strange entries we were finding in the handyman's encyclopedia. Dana stopped by for awhile to make cupcakes, and we got to eat some of the remains thereof. Last night I went to dance, and then Billy and I watched About Schmidt (this is how behind in our moving watching we are) which I really enjoyed. I thought there were a lot of things to be learned in that film--like how to live your life in such a way as to actually count for something--to actually make a difference in lives instead of meandering your way through your daily, mundane, meaningless schedule. I liked it.
Time to go home and see the new, beautiful holes in my roof.

18 July 2006

Quizno's 911

Oh Quizno's, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...I love thee for your delicious and nutrious toasted tuna sandwiches with swiss cheese. I love thee for being three businesses down from my work. And I love thee, O Quizno's, for saving me from Patra.
I just had a run in with a dangerous food. Dangerous not because it is good, but dangerous because it is truly violating. Now, I consider myself extremely open-minded when it comes to food. But today, today I met my match.
Patra is an Indian food. Now, I LOVE Indian food. I love it so much that I went against my principles and recently purchased pre-packaged Indian meals at the health food store, all of which were quite glorious and free of chemicals. All glorious, until today.
Patra is some kind of leaf (I want to say chacia or achaia but that's not right either) filled with graham flour and a million different kind of spices.
When I saw this in the store, I thought, "Oh, kind of like dolmades." Dolmades are stuffed grape leaves ala Greek style. They are awesome.
People. I am warning you. This is no joke. Patra is probably the grossest thing you could eat next to pickled pigs feet. It came out of the package in one giant, dense, chunk. It stayed that way even after microwaving and attempted stirring. It looked like a glop of leaves and flour completely covered in bird seed. And the bird seed was anise and fennel seeds (my two most un-favorite spices).
Now, I gave the ol' Patra the ol' college try. I ate two bites. I tried, tried, tried to savor them. After the second bite I could feel the bile coming up my throat (no joke). It was so violating, I had to call Sara over to inspect the damn thing. She poked at it with the fork like it was an alien.
People, I would rather have eaten an alien than this stuff.
It was all I could do to get it to the garbage. The smell is still permeating my cube. The taste was in my mouth.
There was only one thing to do: call in the Quizno's. Which I did in short order. Thank God for Quizno's. Thank God I can get a regular tuna fish sandwich without added birdseed for under five dollars. I believe it will be the only thing strong enough to cut the horrible taste of the Patra from my pallate.
Patra is evil. Stay away from it. Do not risk your good health over this "new experience."
I would take pictures, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if I look at this stuff in the garbage, I will surely throw up.

17 July 2006

Feeling Empowered and Confident [strangely, about knitting]

Well, I am starting on the pie shawl with the rainbow mohair. After the clap, I am feeling strangely confident in my knitting abilities. And, I actually read the pattern and could understand it. And I understood the abbreviations, gal darn it!
This is odd for me.
I am not usually like this.
I think I am ready to tackle short rows and more abbreviations. Especially if I get to use this decadent and glorious yarn.
We had a good weekend filled with driving. For two weekends in a row, we have driven home to our hometown. This makes 20 hours of highway time in two weekends. I used the time by finishing the book I've beeen reading, "Lake Woebegon Days" by Garrison Keillor. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever lived in a small town. It is HILARIOUS commentary on the town, its inhabitants, its history, its quirks. I could really identify with it, and it was also appropriate reading for going home for these two weekends.
My husband got baptized this weekend. It was in the town swimming pool. It was over 100 degrees and sunshiny, so you couldn't have asked for a better day for a baptism. My husband's parents actually attended the event, so that was a victory in and of itself as they are not exactly the church-going types. Billy seemed really happy about doing this and making this step in his life, and I was happy for him. Plus, it meant we could all go swimming afterward, and that was the only thing that could have really been called for for the fifth day in a row of 103 degree weather and high winds.
But, I do love the heat. I love the humidity even more.
My dad and brother are harvesting already which is WAY too early. But it is nice that they are one of the first farmers in the field (for one of the first times ever), and their crop is turning out better than expected so far. We went and rode around in the combines for awhile on Saturday and got to see the sun set over the most beautiful barley field I have ever seen. I will ask my brother to send pictures of this field and others just so you can see how amazing the color of the plants was and how amazing the sun filters thought the onds--it looks like tiny spikes of gold--about 20 of them on each plant. It's neat.
I also got to practice wedding music with Margaret (aka the woman who taught me most things i know about music) who is going through the very real pain of doing wedding music for my grandmother's wedding. At least I am not alone. And we got to swap stories of how much we've been hounded already about the music. Margaret must be pushing 80 by now, and she said she has never in her life practiced wedding music this far in advance of the event, ever. But she added that the price was worth it if it meant we could tell my grandma that the music is "done."
I agree, wholeheartedly.
And we even played some music together that we knew we weren't going to be doing for the wedding--just purely for fun. So, that was great. She played violin and I accompanied her. That's very fun, accompanying for a violin. I can't say I've ever done that, but it was very enjoyable. Very different but very much the same as accompanying for a singer.
It is so dry out west that the animals, especially the birds, especially the young pheasants, are dying left and right. There just isn't any water for them to drink. So, all weekend the dogs "rewarded" us by bringing dead birds up to the yard and the porch and other such places where people live and where dead birds shouldn't.
Billy and I agreed last night that "treats" are just far too available when we go home and also far too difficult to resist, so we need to have a nice long cleanse and then a nice long respite from any further sugary things for a while. Sugar has a way of making me feel shorter, crabbier, and fatter.
This week will hopefully be a week of finishing up odds and ends around the house so that next week (i know, i've been saying this for a month, but that's how long it takes to get words to become a reality) we can really actually start the bathroom demo. There is a man that actually agreed to come install our skylights this week, so that is totally and completely exciting, and I am almost peeing my pants in anticipation of actually having the luxury of someone doing this for us, and then just coming home and "boom" there's the skylights.
This week the discussion group is getting together. We are discussing feminism. I think it is going to be a good topic for discussion and will probably lead to some good anecdotes as well. Those are always good to keep things lively and light hearted.
Other than that, I plan to just soak up as much heat as possible outside and hopefully store it in my body to be used at a later time (i.e. winter...January...blizzards)

13 July 2006

My brother, Joel [yes]

So, I have this friend named Joel. He is married to my very good friend, Melinda, and I hung out with the two of them all the time in college. I was always the third wheel, but it was never awkward, and I don't think either of them cared at all. Like, we can talk about labium and fart in front of each other and yell at each other, etc. Because of this, Joel and I developed very much a brotherly-sisterly kind of relationship whereas we can argue like cats and dogs and pretty much say anything to each other we want.
Example of our most recent conversation (this conversation had a very philosophical tone):
Joe: Your butt isn't THAT big. I mean, it isn't as big as you say it is.
Me: Ok??...
Joe: I mean, it's big, right, but in a nice way. Like, it is in proportion to the rest of you.
Me: You mean all of me is huge.
Joe: No, no, you're not huge and neither is your butt. It is more like your butt size is in proportion to the size of your mouth.
Me: Ok, so do you mean that the actual physical opening in my face is huge, or do you mean that I am loud and talk a lot? Because I don't really talk a lot, but I do laugh loudly.
Joe: Well, I think what I mean is that your butt size is proportionate to the essence of your mouth--the aura of it.
Me: I think I can go with you on that one.
Me: Is it a bedonkadonk butt? [I have recently learned the definition of bedonkadonk, and I wanted to test out my knowledge of urban slang on my urban friend.]
Joe: It is a bedonkadonk butt, but not too badly.

Joe and Melinda are the kind of people that you can spend an entire evening with doing nothing at all other than watching clips on tourettesguy.com and laughing hysterically even though you all know it is TOTALLY inappropriate to do so. They are the kind of people whereby you feel ok dressing up like cowboys and cowgirls and terrorizing neighborhood cows and horses and chickens and cats and dogs. They are the kind of people where even if they are having an all out screaming match with each other about something, you can sit in the room and page through a magazine during the fight and not feel at all awkward. And you can even interject your own thoughts and opinions into the fight or maybe try to referee the fight. And no one cares. They are the kind of people that will listen to you talk about your ex-boyfriend for hours daily and still put up with it. They are the kind of people that will call and leave long and entirely inappropriate, and I might add, disgusting messages on your voicemail.

I have more Joe stories than I know what to do with. He will probably kill me for putting this out there, but he did just tell me that I can tease him about anything (just like he does to me) and he won't ever get mad. At least he won't ever physically hit me or anything.

Story about Joe:
When Joe was little he had his own room. And in the room next to his bed was the window. And on the window there were heavy drapes. So, while Joe was either falling asleep or waking up, he would pick his nose, and then he would wipe his boogers in this one "zone" behind one of the drapes. I would imagine that this started in his early toddler years and continued on through high school.
Well, some time in college, right when Melinda and Joe were getting or married, or newly married, I can't remember exactly, somehow the time came for Joe to clean out his room. And I guess his mother went in the room and pulled back the drapes far enough and then saw "the zone" of dried boogers. We are talking probably a decade and a half of dried boogers on the wall. Just imagine it. And imagine what your mom would do to you if she found that. And imagine what your wife would say. I am sure you can imagine it, and I am sure that the mother's reactions and Melinda's reaction were entirely along those lines.
Who does this type of thing?
The answer: Joel Larson.
Joe has considered me his sister, I think, since shortly after we met. Joe never had a sister. He was adopted and he had an adopted brother, but no blood sister. He has sisters-in-law, but you have to TRY to get along with your sisters-in-law; you don't HAVE to try to get along with your own sister. And that is exactly his attitude (and mine I might add) about our relationship.
So, do you want to know what Joe has been doing? He has been calling the Cass County courthouse and asking them "what is the process whereby I can legally become brother and sister with someone?"
And then the next time he and Melinda are in town, he wants he and I to go up to the courthouse to try to apply for a "brother and sister license" in the same way that you'd apply for a marriage license.
I think his main aim is to try to confound the simple country folk who, in his mind, are represenative of the entire population of the state, including those that work in government and profressional jobs.
Also, he wants to do it because he thinks it would be hilarious. So do I. And I think we should videotape it.
At any rate, if you can divorce your parents, why couldn't you legally "decide" to be brother or sister with someone? I mean, think about it?!

11 July 2006

Uterus as a ticking time bomb

All of my friends want babies. I can't relate to this at all. At all. I never have. I probably never will. And don't lecture me about it--it just infuriates me more and causes me to be ever-more vigilant with my efforts against the body.
Meaning (and to quote the best piece of advice I ever received, thank you Andrea Dodge), "The body WANTS to get pregnant."
Meaning, that your body will tell you insane things, like, "I need a baby right now." Even if there is no explainable reason other than pure hormones and maternal instinct for this. It will tell you it is the right time, you will find the money, and other such nonsense. Because, my friends, the uterus' job is to continue on the species. And the uterus drives the mind more than we'd like to admit.
Now, for myself, these insane thoughts do not turn toward babies. Instead, my uterus is a ticking time bomb reminding me that I am 27 and have only 3 years (the uterus' time frame, mind you) to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. Reason? You just CAN'T be 30 still having a job purely to pay the bills, still not doing anything important with your life, still not using any of your natural, God-given talents, still sitting in a cube making files in a really, truly, overall meaningless job (except for the money). I just can't be 30 and doing something that is purely function and no soul. In fact, I don't know if I can be 28 and doing that. And I just can't not know what to do with myself anymore.
My friend, Melinda, understands this. I called her last night. I found her in a panic.
"Erin, what am I doing at the bank? I mean, how did we end up here???"
[Melinda got me my first job at another Guys in Ties.]
"Well, Melinda, we got jobs there because it was the only place we could afford to work that would allow us to eat and pay our student loans at the same time, or so it seemed when you were 22 and had no one to tell you what was reasonable financially."
"I KNOW!!! And here I am a marketing director! And I trained in psychology. I want to be a marriage and family therapist [Heather--you are not alone in the licensing problems!!!]."
Me: "Yeah, I know. You and I are the same--we will probably be moderately successful at whatever we set our minds to if for no other reason that just pure survival."
Mel: "I feel that the next step is to move up in the company, and if I do that, I will have reached the point of no return where it will hurt to much to quit or go to another career financially--it will feel like too much of a sacrifice."
Me: "I feel like I have to go through my day pretending to be passionate about my job in a world of people who are seemingly truly passionate about what we do. But I'm not."
Mel: [screeming, squeeling, agreeing] "Yes! That is what I feel my entire day is about."
Me: "Melinda--WHAT are we DOING in this situation??!!!"
And then on and on about how expensive voice lessons are, how difficult licensing reqs are for therapists, how we both would have to move to get our masters, how we don't even know if we want masters in our fields or if we should do something entirely different, but then, that would take money, too, and we don't have that luxury, and OH MY GOD!!! We are wasting our lives.
At least I am not the only one whose uterus is making her realize time.
I think that people with kids more readily realize the passage of time. Every day you have a little human being growing up before your very eyes to remind you of your own mortality and age.
I've got....well, I've got nothing. Which is great. But I also then have no visual reminder of time passing. Next year is my 10-year high school reunion. And I literally don't feel a day past 18--at least not professionally. Well, mostly professionally.
My grandma says that age is a state of mind. And I completely agree. But profession--now, profession is not so much a state of mind. Career is not a state of mind. I can't just pretend anymore that I don't spend 8 hours a day making files in a cubicle. And I can't just "believe" that I am doing something and automatically be doing it.
I have thusly decided to start taking voice lessons again. And a woman who I believe will be very competent has agreed to take me on as a student. Not that I can see how I will afford this mind you, but just that I have to lay some questions to rest about this musical part of my life before I can move on with any other options career-wise.
From there, there are a lot of other things I could do--probably 8-10 different things I'd be happy doing. But I don't know if I can face more school, more separation from my husband, more debt, more stress.
This is the conclusion I reached last night: I am not ready to decide because I haven't begun to feel the pain enough yet.
Meaning, I know this about myself--when it is time to decide something, it always becomes crystal clear to me at just that moment. That moment where I knew, for instance, that the second the phone rang for this job, I'd be throwing my already-written letter of resignation in my boss' face and walking out the door with my stuff in a cardboard box.
I am waiting for one of those types of realization moments--not just about my JOB, but about my life path--about my career--about how to spend the next 80 years on this earth. And until it comes...until it comes I am learning the art of perserverance. I am learning how to budget my money. I am learning how to better communicate with my husband. And I am sure it is all for a reason.
But there has to be a point somewhere down the road where your life stops being a preparation and starts becoming SOMETHING.
At least for me it does.

10 July 2006

Clap for the Clap

I did it. I finished the clap. Thank you to Dana for supplying the most beautiful yarn ever, and thank you to knitty for having the pattern that the yarn wanted to be. I had to rip it out almost completely three times, had several tearful afternoons trying to figure it out, but it was all worth it. I am absolutely in love with how this turned out, and I think that it shows off the yarn beautifully as well.
Moral of the story: sometimes it really does pay to start over. And I hate this lesson. But you can see the fruits of it right here, folks. My very own social disease.
Also, for all of you knitters out there, I highly recommend steam blocking. I used an iron. It was slicker than snot, took about five minutes total (including drying time), and made the clap so much wider, I was amazed. I learned a lot of new stitches and techniques on this pattern. It is a good intermediate pattern in that regards--it definately takes you out of your comfort zone of knit and purl in different combinations, but it is not as difficult as lace knitting would be (in my uninformed opinion about such matters). If you want to make this pattern, it is on knitty.com under the archives for patterns, and officially is called Clapotis.

05 July 2006


I am trying to think of how the emotion "annoyed" would be expressed in color. Maybe a really disgusting 70's style pea green. Or 70's orange--like the tupperware orange color...Or maybe baby-poop brown. Or maybe the color of the slime on the inside of our pond.
Whatever it is: color me annoyed.
I don't know if it is just the day or the week or the time of month or the fact that everything is in transition again for me. Or maybe it is the fact that we never seem to be able to get ahead financially--despite our best efforts. Or maybe it is the fact that I feel like a fat blob today. Or maybe the fact that this morning some old people stood right outside my cube wall and guffawed about my last name for about a half hour like I am some kind of animal in a zoo. Or maybe it is peoples' general attitudes, especially at work, that they can pawn anything off on me that they don't like to do. I hate that. I am not a push over. Maybe it is the fact that no matter what, I don't seem to be able to keep myself from spilling on and staining all of my clothes and that I have to walk around in clothes with spills and stains all the time. Maybe it is the fact that I'd much rather be outside knitting than in here typing on this computer. Maybe it is the fact that I need a change more than my next breath. Perhaps it is the fact that the sandblasting guy has had our tub for our reno for two months, and keeps telling us every week that "I'll get to it this week, I promise." Maybe it is the fact that I've had roughly about 5 hours of sleep every night for the past month--and I need at least eight. Perhaps it is the fact that yesterday, after a month of working on it, I had to rip out my entire knitting project and start from scratch. And that to do the project correctly, I needed the help of the internets. But our internets were not working, so I had a tearful afternoon of trying to figure it out on my own, which I should have known, was pointless. Perhaps it is the fact that despite the fact that we spend way more money on groceries than most people, there is never anything to eat in our house, and I ask you, why is this???!!!! Maybe it is the fact that that psychotic bastard, Kim Jong Il, has his nukes pointed straight at this country as well as a few others. What a ridiculous excuse for a human being. Why can't anyone do anything about him??? Why aren't people in his country uprising against him???!!!
As you can see, I am in a mood. Some days are just like this. And I am naturally irritable anyway.
The silver lining: tonight I get to go to Dana's to celebrate her birthday and eat a vanilla bean cake from glorious Nichole's Fine Pastries.
At least there is some justice in the world.
Just so you know, I am not completely being a victim about everything today, because I hate victim mentality even more than almost everything described above, so today I actually emailed a woman asking her if I can be her voice student.
So there. I did something about myself and my situation. It is a step.
I will tell you about the Second Rice Indicent. First Rice Incident--explosive dog rice diarrhea (see previous post). Second Rice Incident. I have a rice buddy. For those of you who don't know, a rice buddy is a piece of material filled with rice that you can either warm or cool via the microwave or the freezer, and then put on your bad spots--you know--that crook in your neck or your back or whatever. I had a rice buddy. The rice buddy was under the bathroom sink. The bathroom sink has been unknowingly dripping spitted-out toothpaste and other nasty bathroom sink liquids for some time now. I discovered the rice buddy in a state of unnaturalness during the most recent purging. I decided (and why I thought this would work, I will never know) that I didn't want to throw it away (I hate being wasteful), but that I would instead wash the rice buddy.
Well, washing is one thing. All of the nastiness came off of the rice buddy. In fact, it washed so nicely that I totally forgot the rice buddy was even in the laundry.
I threw the laundry in the dryer.
Several hours later I came down the basement steps to discover that my dryer had exploded open and rice was spilling out of the dryer onto the floor. Think of discovering a hidden cache of gold in a pirates den that is so plentiful it is everywhere and spilling out into all available space. Except that this is pieces of rice that have swollen in the wash and then swollen some more while they cooked in the dryer to the point that the dryer itself has burst open with the contents therein. And also imagine that this rice is sticking to and inside of every fold of every other type of fabric in the dryer (think of those pantyhose now, people--really, really professional, let me tell you). And imagine the lint trap is overflowing with rice giblets. And imagine the rice all over your newly-cleaned basement floor in your newly created basement sanctuary. Imagine picking each piece of rice out of every pocket in your husband's shorts that actually have (no exageration here) 27 pockets (one of those cargo-style numbers). Imagine finding rice in your underwear for several weeks. Finding rice spilling out of your pants as you walk. Feel uncomfortable in your clothing, and finding the reason to be a piece of rice sticking to the inside of the clothes.
It was a mess.
Bottom line, I was an idiot for trying to dry the rice buddy, and it perished anyway.
RIP Rice Buddy 2003-2006.
You were a nice rice buddy. You massaged my neck when my husband wouldn't [almost all the time].
You smelled nicely of lavendar and other exotic, calming spices.
You were a nice chocolate-brown color.
Dammit anyway.