Category Archives: Freddie

Less Big/Less Ugly


Bask in the glory of my craptastic knitting! I’m a spaz knitter who doesn’t like to follow directions all the time. Occasionally, I create something wearable! And my model is pretty cute, too.

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Filed under Freddie, Knitting

Fun-ish things (I like lists)

1. I have given away both copies of the book I promised to the Tomato Nation Comment Army. Thanks for the interest and good luck to all! Once the NCDS is over, we’ll get started in earnest, yes?

2. I have been trying to ignore it, but apparently I need to re-organize my cupboards a little better. This morning, a bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce fell out of the cabinet and splashed me in the face. Not an awesome way to start the day.

3. I made a big batch of waffles this morning. Ever since I discovered Jillian’s intense and burning love for all things leavened, I have been making waffles about every 5 days. I figure I have saved approximately $527.32 just this year alone by making them from scratch (ridiculously easy) instead of buying Eggo. The child can put away two of them each morning, no problem. She’s a machine.

4. While Freddie and I both have our own iPods, we share the iTunes. Therefore, EVERYTHING that is on the iTunes ends up on my iPod (18GB) because there is no way in hell I’m manually managing 5,000 songs. During the day, I like to put it on shuffle and let it go but today I found I may have to re-think that. Collective Soul came on. I mean, Collective Soul? On MY iPod? Ew. I do believe this is grounds for divorce.

5. I have a fairly eclectic musical palate. I’ll listen to most things, but there are a few things that make me want to stick rusty scissors in my ears. The Eagles come to mind. Collective Soul is another one – they were EVERYWHERE in the mid-to-late 90’s and I’m sick of them (still) on top of the fact that THEY SUCK. Freddie already had that CD in his music collection when we got together because I for sure didn’t authorize that purchase. Thank God he dislikes country as much as I do or I really would have to call my lawyer. If I had a lawyer, that is.

6. I… like the smell of Murphy’s Oil Soap. I didn’t used to – when we moved out of our last apartment and into our first house, I scrubbed the shit out of the hardwood floors in the apartment using the MOS. And for some reason, the smell of it was unpleasant to me, but in hindsight that might have had more to do with the fact that the whole apartment was kind of stanky when we got there. It smelled like the dumpster behind a Chinese restaurant – like old sesame oil. Hrm. Perhaps that’s why sesame oil still makes me heave a bit when I cook with it. Interesting. Anyway, I finally got fed up with the grody milk driblets all over my TV stand and coffee table (thanks, toddler!) so I busted out the Murphy’s and went to town. Much better.

7. Technology, which is sometimes the bane of my existence, is actually doing nice things for me these days. Via Facebook and MySpace, people are falling back into my life after long absences and I couldn’t be happier. As I reconnect with these people, I feel like the pieces of me that are connected with them are joining back up with the whole of me. It’s a nice feeling, even if talking about it makes me seem a little less than sane.

8. My little brother is coming to be our houseguest for a few weeks. This means I have had to shovel out the 3rd bedroom and make it habitable for him. I also needed to buy curtains, since the previous owners left little valances across each window which is fine when nobody is living in there, but now that there’s a tenant, he might want some privacy. So I went to Target this morning and picked up some curtains. For ONE window, despite the fact that there are two perfectly useful windows in that room, both of which need curtains. Because I am… how you say… RETARDED. Therefore, once The Jillian wakes up from her nap (blessed, blessed naptime, how I love you so), we are headed out to Target AGAIN. Because I’m a dumbass.

9. I wonder what kind of proof-of-address the library needs in order to issue me a card. We moved here last October and I only just recently got around to getting on the DMV website to change my address on my license. You can do it online and they send you a sticker to put on your license and thus saves you the immense hassle and ass-pain of actually GOING to the DMV. Yay, right? WRONG! While I might sit in the DMV with a speed-freak toddler for a few hours, at least I would HAVE MY STICKER. Because I did it online? Three to four weeks. Yes, WEEKS. For fuck’s sake.

10. But I need to go to the library. Small and dismal our town library may be, at least it has books. And I have read all of my books. ALL OF THEM. Even the shitty ones that I got for free at some of my various and sundry book-related jobby jobs. Most of the books I have read twice. Or three times. Or, in a few cases (Gone With The Wind), upwards of 150 times. I need some new books. That I do not have to pay for.

11. No, that’s not a typo. I have read Gone With The Wind more than 150 times. I got a paperback copy of it for Christmas (or my birthday, I forget which) waaaaaaay back in 1983. I was eight, and [duh] reading at a much more advanced level than most people are at that age. Books written for my age group: a) bored me to death; b) had stupid, condescending plotlines; and c) took me roughly 15 minutes to read. Since I wasn’t athletic (that’s putting it extremely diplomatically), I read. A lot. So the parents, pissed off at having to drag my nerdy ass to the library every two days, bought me Gone With The Wind in hopes that it would shut me up for a good long time. It took two weeks for me to read it that first time, and once I got to the end I promptly started it again. It’s my favorite book.

12. I don’t hate the movie, exactly, but it has so little to do with the book that it bums me out to watch it, even though I think I could rock a hoop skirt.

13. In knitting news, I am about done with my Big Ugly Sweater. I ran into a bit of a problem in that the sleeves are a bit longer than the body pieces will allow so I sort of have to do a little bit of hillbilly engineering to get them to look presentable. This problem will be fixed next time because I will knit the sleeves first and then make the body pieces fit. If there is a next one. I initially knit this in the ugly color scheme as a test run before I knit one for Freddie. The ugly color scheme doesn’t bother me at all but it will blind most people (wait for the photos).

…and there you have it – today’s brain mush!

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Filed under Books, Freddie, Friends, House, Jillian, Knitting, Me Me Me, Stuff


Today is my 8th anniversary of being married to What’s-His-Name. If I had the opportunity to do it again, I would still marry him but it would be a much different affair than our actual wedding. Anyone who is even remotely familiar with the circumstances under which we got married would understand completely.

Despite the best efforts of a select few, we are still together, still happy, and getting better every day. The insane amount of bullshit that we have had to wade through has cemented our relationship in a way that will be difficult to break. And I feel good about that.

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Filed under Freddie, Me Me Me

Olympic Fever

Below is a list of things that have been said quite a bit around the house this past week.

“Shut up, my boyfriend Michael Phelps is on.”
“But you said he was ugly.”
“Yes, but the lower those swim trunks go and the more gold he’s got, the better he looks.”

“Could you swim more and get a body like that?”
“I’d have to quit my job and swim all the time.”
“Then you’d have to get a job.”
“Oh. Never mind, then.”

“Oh, look! The stadium!”
“I hear they call it the Bird’s Nest.”
“Yes, and did you know it’s become a symbol of national pride?”
“For the Chinese? Really? Hm. You’d think they would have mentioned it.”
“More than six million times, anyway.”

“Shut up, my other boyfriend Aaron Piersol is on.”

“Those beach volleyball uniforms aren’t revealing enough.”

“The swimmers are wearing far too much fabric. Bring back the teeny Speedo, I say!”

“Shut up, Mark Spitz.”

“She’s gonna crash.”
“No, she’ll be… ooops. You were right.”

“That looked painful.”

“How come the men’s floor exercise doesn’t have music?”
“Maybe they figured gymnastics is gay enough?”

“Trampoline? Seriously?”

“Ooh, badminton!”
“I could totally do that.”
“No way.”
“Why not? How hard is that?”

“Shut up, my boyfriend Michael Phelps is on again.”

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Filed under Freddie, Me Me Me, TV

My butler is a bit confused.

housecleaning.JPGI asked him to clean the house. So he’s cleaning… the outside.

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Filed under Freddie, House

My green thumbs

I have big plans for my yard. Last week, I planted a bunch of wildflower seeds in the front, and when I checked them yesterday, some had sprouted!

Yesterday was a very busy day – we got up, fed The Jillian, and made coffee while we decided which lawnmower to buy. I was minding my own business with my coffee when The Jillian came up with a tennis ball in her hand.

“Ball!” she said.
“That’s right, that’s a ball.” I always try to reinforce what she’s saying. Except for those times when she says “Shit!” This happens more often than it should, really, but I’m hoping that by not making a big deal out of it, she will never figure out that SHIT is fun to say!

So, like I said, I’m minding my own business with my coffee and then it happens. The chubby hand curved around the fuzzy chartreuse orb moves with steady purpose toward the end table. Before I can even react, PLOP! Tennis ball in the coffee.


I survived. We went to the big hardware store and bought a lawn mower, a weed wacker, and some gardening stuff. Freddie surprised us all by getting the lawn mower assembled without me having to go out and read the instructions to him all sarcastically. He mowed the front yard while I dealt with a nutso baby person who wasn’t interested in lunch and preferred a nap instead.

I am never one to argue with unexpected naptime, so I dumped her in the crib and headed outside to start my tomato seeds and think really hard about what else should go in the open space of my front garden.

Plus, I mowed the back yard. Keep in mind that it hadn’t been mowed since last… November? Maybe? So the grass was a leeeeeetle big higher than it otherwise might have been. Plus, the landscapers put down some topsoil/fertilizer/grass seed mixture on the [many] bare patches out there so it was sort of like mowing the surface of the moon.

Because Freddie is an odd human being, we have a lawn mower with a bag attachment. Because the grass was SO high, I had to stop and empty the bag SEVEN TIMES. How irritating this is, I cannot tell you. I would just be getting into a mowing groove when I’d have to stop and take off the bag, get grass all over myself, and start again.

Good times.

Eventually, the entire backyard was mowed (mown? Did I just make that up?), the grass was bagged, and then Freddie went to work with the weed wacker. As much as I love power tools and construction equipment and stuff that makes REALLY LOUD NOISE, I have a phobia of the weed wacker – I’m pretty sure it wants to chop my feet off.

Once the greenery was taken care of, we pushed some sand around on the patio and Freddie hung the birdhouse that my dad made for me. On Wednesday, the patio furniture is being delivered and we’ll be able to actually spend time outside in our yard without rolling our eyes and heaving great big sighs over the pitiful state of the grass.

It’s a good thing, too – we’re poor again and cannot afford to go out so we’d better enjoy our Very Expensive Yard to the utmost!!

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Filed under Freddie, House, Jillian

Some random junk

Lost starts up again tonight! As much as I would love to think that I am above TV-watching, I have to admit that I am not. I even watch American Idol. But Lost is the one thing that I will kill people for interrupting, so let’s not call my house while it’s on, ‘kay?

I am angry at chocolate. I need to figure out what the hell is wrong with the chocolate sponge cake I want to make into a jelly roll and why it’s too dry and WON’T ROLL. It breaks. I can’t figure out why. Working on it, though.

My child is currently on a serious waffle kick. She will eat waffles for every meal of every day if I will let her. I’m thinking about getting a waffle iron so I can at least put fruits and vegetables into the batter. However, I know that as soon as I buy or otherwise acquire a waffle iron, she won’t eat waffles anymore. SHE IS NUTS.

My father is currently not speaking to my mother. Apparently, he got pissy about something and decided to sleep in his recliner. This was two weeks ago. He’s still there, according to the email that I got yesterday. Even for our family’s standards, this is taking it a bit far, I think. I’m going to have to call him and ask him what’s up so he can launch into a litany of petty complaints about my mom. Then I’ll have to tell him that he’s acting like a dick and should really stop.

I love the fact that I can talk to my parents this way.

What else… what else…

Freddie starts his new job at his old company on Monday. He felt like he had gone as far as he could go with his current job, and as he started looking for something new, he contacted his former boss for advice and was offered a job pretty much instantly. Sweet. I think it will be a good opportunity for him, even with his trepidation about going back to his old company. We’re going to spend the weekend going through his wardrobe and shopping for clothes to add to it. He’s been able to wear jeans for the last two years, so his suit & tie collection suffered immensely.

I have to paint my living room. It’s really starting to wear on me. Unfortunately, the previous owners did the worst painting job I have ever seen and now I have to paint the damn ceiling, too. The ceiling would need to be painted ANYWAY, but I might have been able to get away with not doing it just now if they hadn’t gotten shit-brown paint roller marks all over it. Fuckers. I hate them.

I keep going back and forth about painting the trim or not. It’s white, and needs to be painted anyway since when it was installed, they didn’t fill in the nail holes and there are hundreds of wee little black specks everywhere. Of all the crazy crap in this house, that pisses me off the most. So it does need to be painted, but I don’t know if I want to paint it white or if I want to do something a little more dramatic. Decisions, decisions.

I suppose the trim color can be decided once I decide what color to paint the walls. I can’t seem to make a decision about this and it’s driving me nuts.

In other Jillian news, she is finally starting to grow some hair. You can’t see the outline of her skull anymore, so that’s a nice change. People have stopped asking me what my son’s name is. Of course, it helps that her winter coat looks like we killed a gay Muppet to make it, but even in the summer when she’s dressed in pink and frills and stuff, people ask me what “his” name is. Teehee.

Whew. I need a nap. I’m battling the beginnings of a cold and I really really don’t want it to escalate because instead of being inches from death for a few days with a quick recovery, I tend to be utterly miserable for months. Between Alka-Seltzer Plus (cherry flavor) and yoga, I feel pretty good today. I have hope.

Speaking of hope, didja see the trade the Mets did? DIDJA?

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Filed under Baseball, Food, Freddie, House, Jillian, Me Me Me, Stuff, TV

Best compliment ever

The other night, Freddie and I were watching TV in bed and somehow the subject of body odor came up. He looked at me and said, “you never have B.O.”

I said, “Really? Even when I don’t shower for four days? Or when I only put deodorant on one armpit because I forget to do the other one?”


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Filed under Freddie, Me Me Me

Lucky seven

Yesterday was our 7th wedding anniversary. We got married in 2000 specifically so that in later years, when Freddie asks me “how long have we been married?” I can kick him in the nuts.

Friends of ours (who just got engaged over the weekend!!!) came over to watch TV while Jillian slept upstairs and Freddie and I went to dinner. I ate far too much, but it was nice to get out and have dinner out after 5 PM! If we go out with The Jillian, we go early to avoid any meltdowns.

Seven years is a long time for a marriage these days. Indeed, the friends who got married the week before us have been divorced for quite some time, and the friends who got married a couple of weeks after we did are currently hammering out their divorce settlement.

It can’t be easy, being married to me. Maybe I can arrange for Freddie to get the Congressional Medal of Honor as a testament to his insane bravery in taking me on.

Because, you see, I managed to win the Husband Lottery. Granted, it has taken a few years of training to get him to the level he’s at today, but I hear people bitch and moan about their spouses all the time and I thank my lucky stars that mine gives me relatively little to complain about. Oh, we have our differences and our spats, but on balance, we have pretty smooth sailing.


Filed under Freddie, Me Me Me

Race weekend

Yesterday was the inaugural Black Bear Half-Iron Triathlon in the lovely Beltzville State Park which is situated in the Poconos. For you city people, that means it is roughly 90 miles from EVERYTHING.

We packed up the truck and the kid Saturday morning and headed west. The drive there took a bit longer than we had anticipated because Google Maps gave us crappy directions. I thought that was strictly a Mapquest thing, but no – Google Maps omitted the very important part where we were supposed to get on the PA Turnpike. Since we are modern people, we do not have road maps or anything in the car with us these days. We went about 20 miles past the Turnpike before we thought “hmm. I think we’re missing something.”

We found the park with no trouble after that, and Freddie got all checked in and stuff. The pre-race meeting happened and just in time, too. The super-hot, humid day was rapidly turning into a thunderstorm. We headed out of the park just as the rain hit.

Since Freddie would rather chew off his own head than let me drive, I am the principal navigator in our house. He has a degree in Geography and insists he’s good with directions, but he is also A Man, which means actually getting the directions is sort of the problem. He loves to print out maps and stuff, but his innate sense of direction is sometimes a little… off.

I, on the other hand, have a fairly good sense of direction even if I have an aversion to printing out sixteen maps and fourteen sets of directions. This is why, when we left the park to go find our hotel, we drove 20 miles in the wrong direction. I cannot read. Where the directions say “Turn RIGHT” I say “Turn LEFT!” And, of course, I am never, ever wrong, so I should never, ever be questioned. We turned left. As we drove and the road we were looking to turn on never materialized, I thought I would consult the directions again just to make sure.


We turned around.

Eventually, we found our hotel. We checked in and decided to go to the Damon’s that was right there for dinner. Jillian loves restaurants because there are so many people to smile at and look at! So many people to be impressed with her roaring! She roared and smiled and stared at the giant-screen TVs while we ate. At one point, she reached over to my plate with her impossibly long arms (sorry, kid) and grabbed my steak knife. I never knew my reflexes were so fast!

After dinner, I bathed the baby and wiped peas off of me. Jillian went down fighting into the pack & play and I went out in search of a supermarket so we didn’t have to try to find bagels in the Ass End of Pennsylvania at 5 AM the next morning.

Our very very VERY long day started at 4AM with an exceptionally chirpy wake-up call. I hate wake-up calls. Too damn cheerful. Once that phone rang, Jillian was awake which means I had to be as well.

We packed the truck up once again and headed down the mountain to the park. While Freddie was unloading his bike and stuff, I loaded up the stroller with The Jillian and enough gear to open a preschool for the day. I tend to overpack when travelling with the baby and let’s just be glad I did because we had a very long day.

By 6:30, Freddie was all settled and ready to go. We wandered down to the beach and chatted with other athletes and their families. Everyone checks out everyone else’s strollers in a situation like this and we were one of about six Ironman strollers that I saw. That stroller is the reason why we had Jillian in the first place, after all!

Our friend Ginny showed up to hang out with us and to cheer Freddie on. We cheered as he took off on the swim and when he came out of the water, then we went to find a shady spot to park ourselves for the day.

Good thing Ginny was there because if she hadn’t been, I don’t know how I would ever have been able to go to the bathroom. I supposed I could have loaded up the stroller and parked it outside while I went pee as fast as possible, but that would have been a pain in my ass. So it was nice to be able to leave Jillian where she was while I navigated the restrooms in the park.

We saw lots of other babies and lots of dogs, including one huge bulldog who came over, plopped himself down on the blanket next to Jillian and proceeded to lick all of her toys. Most of the other babies we saw were acting all normal – sleeping and everything. Not MY baby, oh no. If there are things to look at and shout at, well, that’s Jillian’s purpose in life. Naptime came and went and came and went and she was still going strong. Eventually, The Whining started, so I knew she was really, really tired. She never whines! She only shouts REALLY LOUD. I put her up on my shoulder and she fell asleep almost instantly. I carefully dumped her into the stroller and she slept for about a half-hour.

She’d been up for about seven hours at this point, which might be a new record for all of us.

We were trying to gauge how long this thing was going to take, but since this race was completely new, nobody had any kind of average time. We knew that the bike course was kind of crazy with the hills, so I figured about five to five-and-a-half hours and then we’d see Freddie. The first guy came in at 4:32, then the second guy five minutes later. The third guy finished about a half-hour after that, so those first two finishers are obviously robots.

5 hours came and went. 5:30 hours came and went. We were around 6 hours and counting when people really started coming through the finish line in significant numbers. Around 6 and a half hours, I saw Freddie come around the bend. I scooped Jillian up and handed her over so he could cross the finish line with her.

She was completely unamused by this turn of events and I kind of don’t blame her. After a 1.2 mile swim, 56 miles of bike, and 13.1 miles running, her Daddy wasn’t exactly smelling fresh and clean. He got across the finish line and handed her back to me.

With the most impeccable timing EVER, the rain started right as Freddie finished the race. We loaded up the stroller with the toys and blankets and water bottles and other junk and headed to the car. Freddie rolled up with his bike and stuff which we manhandled into the back of the truck along with the baby.

I drove a tired and sunburnt baby, a tired and exhausted Daddy and myself home. We had a pretty good day. Jillian was just the most fantastic baby ever. As long as she has something to chew on and people to shout at, she’s the happiest baby in town. I hope she can stand it for Lake Placid next month because that’s a FULL Ironman and will take about 11 hours. Yikes.

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Filed under Freddie, Jillian, Me Me Me, Triathlon