Prep Rally

I’m not sure how this happened, but I am hosting Thanksgiving dinner for my family, my in-laws, and hubs’ crazy cousin this year.

I’ve never hosted a dinner this large (10 adults + 2 pipsqueaks).  Sure, we’ve had parties where a crock pot full of pulled pork and some really low-rent margaritas have sufficed, but I had to unpack our wedding china in preparation for tomorrow.  Shit is about to get real.

I’m responsible for cooking many a casserole this year, which are great because they feed a lot of people, but which also make me nervous because the only thing I’ve ever been allowed to cook on Thanksgiving is Stove Top stuffing, because even if you forget butter, one of only TWO ingredients in the recipe, it still tastes completely normal.  Or so I hear.

I let hubs handle the alcohol situation by himself.  Big mistake.  Sunday alcohol sales just started this week in Georgia, so he headed to Total Wine and picked up some accoutrements to go with our after-dinner coffee.  Moral of the story: do not let hubs shop for alcohol alone.

In other news, has anybody else seen those Target commercials with the woman who is training for Black Friday and completely cracked out?!  I’m looking forward to Black Friday being over, if only so those commercials can stop airing incessantly.  They make my heart rate go up.

I have the house to myself this morning so I can cook, clean, and rock out to Christmas music as I mentally prepare for tomorrow’s festivities.  The goal: make sides that are edible, and do not burn the house down.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Things I Don’t Get About Yoga

Last night, I decided to take a little smidge of “me” time (because hubs has a cold and passed out on the couch while watching “How It’s Made: Dr. Pepper” at 8:30), and decided to do some yoga in our basement.  The only yoga video I own is this one, and while it doesn’t make me break a sweat, it does provide some good stretches, and the narrator’s voice is so, so soothing.  I have a thing for soothing voices.  Anytime I get a voicemail from someone at work with that buttery, sing-songy tone in their voice, I save it, so that I can go back and listen to something pleasant in case I need to pick up the phone and look busy at a moment’s notice.

That being said, there are some things about yoga that I just don’t get.

Downward facing dog is one of the most basic poses in yoga, and while it is common and looks simple, it hurts my wrists, people!  I thought yoga was supposed to help my body, not grind my joints together.  I’ve expressed this problem in a yoga class before, and the instructor told me to “take my weight off of my hands” while in this position.  Um…

The instructor in the video I did last night reminds you multiple times to “soften the belly”.  Is she assuming that I’m constantly flexing my rock-hard abs?  Because I can assure you, my belly is already softened.

One of the more impressive (looking) yoga poses I can pull off is the shoulderstand.  It requires no real skill but it looks fancy.  And it hurts my neck real bad.  When coming out of this pose, you’re instructed to lower yourself back to the ground “vertebrae by vertebrae”.  As if I have that much control over my body as it comes careening down from the sky.

Also, last night was the first time I’ve been told to get into “happy baby pose”, which, I’m sorry, but I thought this was yoga and not a lamaze class.  I have never felt more awkward, and more glad to not be in a room full of people who also looked like they were all giving birth at the same time.

I think my favorite pose of all would have to be the last one: final relaxation pose.

I like yoga, for the sake of getting a little bit of stretching and relaxation in, but overall, I prefer a workout that’s going to make me sweat and help me burn off that Little Debbie Christmas tree cake I shamefully ate after dinner.  I’ve taken yoga classes before that kicked my ass, but at home, I am okay with a little non-taxing yoga intermission every once in a while.  It makes me feel rich, snobby and cool, if only for a moment.

Go Away, Aaron Neville

I have a general rule of thumb when it comes to massive amounts of data, processing massive amounts of data, and massive amounts of cursing when my laptop freezes and I have to reboot, thus losing my massive amounts of data.

Fill my ears with music and try my best not to freak the cluck out.

There is nothing worse than deciding that you are probably fine without need to listen to music, and then realizing that your left your headphones at home, or that the last remaining earbud has short-circuited, or that IT has wizened up and blocked Pandora.

But not today, my friends!  Today I break the communist unspoken rule that Christmas music should only be enjoyed after Thanksgiving, and I will listen to it as I fight with Excel for the rest of the afternoon.  I.  Love.  Christmas.  Music.  And I know it’s taboo to blast it from the mountaintops before it’s socially appropriate, but it’s okay if I listen to it in the privacy of my cubicle on my one working earbud, right?  I thought so.

I won’t subject innocent bystanders to the tunes until Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas season is officially upon us.  Except for you, hubs.  Because your truck has XM and my car does not, and there are too many good holiday stations on XM radio NOT to listen to it as soon as it’s available.  Are you regretting not installing that XM unit that you bought for me 2 years ago?  ARE YOU?!?

Christmas music makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  It reminds me of my childhood, and of a time where the weight of the world (money, age, football season…) didn’t rest upon my shoulders.  It makes me happy.

UNLESS it’s an Aaron Neville Christmas song.  I can’t stand his voice.  The worst part about my hatred of Aaron Neville?  Somehow, one of his songs ended up on my iPod classic that has a shattered screen and only works when it’s plugged into my 5-year-old iHome, and occasionally, when I’m in a hurry and push “play” without making sure I’m in a playlist first, I hear the opening notes to his version of “The Christmas Song” because “Aaron” comes first in the alphabet.  Then I frantically change it to ANYTHING THAT WILL PLAY INSTEAD EVEN A MILEY CYRUS SONG SO HELP ME GOD.

Frank Sinatra, take me home.

Digging Out

Apologies for the radio silence over the past week.  I’m sure both of you (zing!) were wondering, why haven’t I seen a new post from Anne in a few days?

Truth be told, the last week has been nuts.

Work was busy like I’ve never experienced before, thanks to a little bit of this (we got Bobbed, a la Office Space):

And then in an epic battle of the Techs, Georgia Tech took a big hit in a loss against Virginia Tech on Thursday night, which I witnessed firsthand, in the cold, where even ski socks and parkas couldn’t keep me warm.  Stupid turkeys.

On Saturday, I had the honor of being one of my best friend’s bridesmaids in her wedding.  Hubs was a groomsman too, and we had a blast celebrating.  I don’t have pictures yet, but this is the dress that the bride wore, and it was a-MAHZ-ing.  But in white, because she’s not weird like Gwen Stefani.

To top things off, I moved into a new cube at work today.  And by new cube, I mean they relocated our whole team into an annex building, so now we feel like outcasts and we’re having a hard time finding our way around.  Also, someone in IT who is “testing the wireless signal” is actually watching American Psycho in one of our conference rooms.  I’m not even going to try to google image that movie.  This is how I choose to remember Christian Bale:

Laurie, forever.

Now You See Her, Now You Don’t

On Saturday night, hubs and I went out for drinks with one of my oldest friends, LJW III. Hubs sat at the bar watching the most boring football game of all time (haters gonna hate) while LJ and I had hours upon hours of beer and girl talk. The three of us made a quick stop at Steak & Shake before heading home for the night, and I woke up Sunday morning with a raging headache, but no regrets from the night before, which I considered a victory. Until now, 36 hours later, when I found this on my phone:

Yeah, that looks about right.

Where Are My Cajones?

If you had to rank my confrontation skills on a scale of 1-10, 1 being wetting my pants at the thought of being reprimanded, and 10 being a shitfaced cast member of Jersey Shore, I’d probably ring in at about 0.01.  It’s just one of those things that is not in my nature.  Even if I’m having a civilized conversation with someone where we are disagreeing, and I truly feel like I am right, my stomach will quiver and my voice will get shaky and I will question my entire existence on this Earth.  Both of my adult sisters have cajones of steel.  Where are my cajones?!?

Picture the scene: last night at 11:30 p.m., on the not-very-well-lit end of my street, walking Buster alone after a rain storm.  We’re moseying down the way, and I hear loud voice from the dark, un-lit driveway up ahead say, “Please don’t let your dog use the bathroom in my yard!”

For the record, Buster usually pees in our yard at the beginning of our walks.  The I take him down a couple of houses and back, so that he doesn’t think he can stay outside as long as he waits to pee at the end.  If he goes #2 in someone else’s hard, I always, always pick it up with a baggie.  Always.  Because I don’t want to be “that neighbor”.  I have to live with these people, after all.

I was so shocked to be called out so late at night by a person I couldn’t see and have never met, that all I managed to utter was a weak, “Okay…”  Then the man continued:

“It kills the grass!”

I responded with another pathetic, “Okay”, and then turned and walked back home as quickly as possible.  Upon walking back in the door, my first instinct was to cry, which was stupid, because I didn’t actually get yelled at.  But I felt very small.

After some Googling, I found that dog urine CAN kill grass, but usually only if the dog is large, an unspayed female, dehydrated, or if they pee in the same spot every time they go.  None of this applies to Buster.  But what am I supposed to do, take my findings to my neighbor and hand them over and be like, Silly neighbor man, you’re mistaken!  My dog is totes not killing your grass and maybe you should lighten up a little bit?  I get that he is protective of his grass.  I do.  But everyone in our neighborhood has a dog, even this guy.  How are we supposed to keep them from peeing on each others’ grass?  I am so nervous now.  I don’t know about your dog, but mine can be kind of an asshole, and he’s not going to listen to me if I tell him where to pee.

I am so scared.

Was my neighbor targeting me?  Was he waiting around to yell at other neighbors with dogs, too?  Do I need to teach Buster to pee in the toilet?  Do I need to fence in our front AND back yard and never take him on a walk again?  How many of hubs’s fingers should I break for not going on the walk with us, leaving me defenseless in the dark?  Does this happen in your neighborhood?  Am I just being naive?  Do I need to sell my house and buy a farm?  Do we need to switch to pee pads?  Am I going to be rejected from the HOA next year?  Please help calm my fears!  I can’t live like this.