Monday, December 24, 2007

Bow in our presence

Here at the M&M homestead, nestled behind a fortress of snow, we eagerly await the annual Christmas card from a family we, for the purposes of this post, will call the Joneses. Each year I worry we will not receive said card, because for a few years now we have failed to send out our own, and I know there's some sort of etiquette equation that dictates how long you'll blindly receive cards without reciprocating. I fear that this year we've reached that juncture.

Why, you ask, am I so interested in this particular card? Because, I answer, of the pure joy we feel reading it. I'm scrappy and usually find it in the piles of mail first, earning the privilege of reading it aloud. I tried to hunt up last year's for an example, but no luck. Put simply, every single word of it attempts to put you and your pitiful life to shame, what with all their saving of the Whales, playing of the Fiddles and climbing of the Mountains. The nerve to put out this massive long letter detailing so many ridiculous exploits is incredible! And I love every second of it!

We haven't been sure over the years what our answer to all this should be; we've made several attempts, but nothing strikes quite the right note. Below, is my most recent try. It's not ready for release, but we're getting close.

Dear Family and Friends,

We can't believe another year has passed! What with the war in Iraq and Jamie Lynn's pregnancy, we feel very thankful for the lives we lead; the health, peace, intelligence, beauty, great genes (and jeans!) and prosperity we enjoy everyday. If we haven't seen you lately - and I'm so sorry if we haven't! - here's a quick rundown of what we've been up to in '07.

Trevor, in his third year of collegiate studies at a liberal and woodsy university, constantly and successfully strums a wooden instrument with strings, wears glasses that make him look thoughtful, and hopes one day to be in the Olympics without practicing. He also likes to bake casseroles!

Judith, a Speech Language Pathologist, makes a mean cup of black tea, washes her hair with biodegradable soap in the river, and will beat you at Jeopardy. She also has remarkably good skin! Especially for one who's spent so much time in her garden!

Amy, residing in the hilly and expensive city of San Francisco, continues her work in Advertising. She spends her days signing digital estimates, using a Blackberry to Google chat with her boyfriend, and drinking Organic coffee while looking important. She's also able to put on her pants two legs at a time!

We hope that all is well with you and yours. And that you can bear to live in a world filled with such Excellence!

Peace on Earth!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The M-M's

Thursday, December 20, 2007

But it's cold out here

I came home the other day to find a leak in the ceiling. My favorite piece of furniture in the joint was covered in water and my Christmas lights were taking a bath. Safe! It'd been raining hard all day, so it wasn't too surprising. Until I employed my brain and realized we don't live on the top floor. Apparently, our neighbors upstairs let their bath overflow or their meth lab run amuck or something. I sopped up the mess, put out a bucket and went about my snack eating and television watching.

Clay wrote the Landlord, setting up subtle distance from my claim by explaining he was in Austin. Which basically implied: I know, old man. And you should see how she wraps a present. The Landlord was all "How can that be?" which didn't shock me because I'm pretty sure the man hates me and all my nonsense.

Perhaps rightfully so. Before I snagged this job, I had a whole glorious month to myself where I watched hours of Frasier (oh, the good old days before I'd seen them all!), took little trips to eat oatmeal down the street and even went for runs. One day, frustrated by the janitor-like bulk of my keys, I left them outside under some phone books. And yes, of course, I came back 30 minutes later to find all the books and my keys gone. Turns out the maintenance man was holding them hostage, and eventually gave them back - but not before the Landlord told Clay I was "really stupid". We've had a rocky relationship since.

Today he's visiting our place to check out the leak. Which I'm sure will somehow end up being my fault. Like, I ate my grapefruit too loudly and so the people upstairs couldn't hear the water running out of the sink and thus the yellowed ceiling and lowered property value and destitution. He will kick us out and we'll have to live on the streets in a cardboard box, huddling for warmth and taking up smoking to curb our appetites. Happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

If I could teleport it would be very helpful

I have a sick need to inform others when I bring my own lunch from home, especially when it includes things like fruit and vegetables and whole grains instead of processed meats and caramel. Like, I deserve a pat on the back or maybe some kind of reward. Like, processed meats and caramel. So, the first purpose of this post is accomplished. I ate a grapefruit today and I brought it from home and yes, you too can achieve such greatness.

The second purpose is to explain to people not in client services, that bringing lunch from home simultaneously serves an evil god because it means I won't see the outside of this building for many hours. And then I develop a mild case of agoraphobia and even though I'm dreaming of my couch and Niles Crane, I can't leave my desk because the thought of Chinatown and public transportation seems more insurmountable than K2.

The third purpose of this post is to say 3 people in my 4 person team are sick and I think I'm about to be taken down. And making sense is not high on my priority list right now.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Taste the rainbow

The eggnog latte at S'bucks is kind of yummy, but it's also a disconcerting drinking experience because every sip tastes different. Spices! No, eggs! Now it's fake rum! Back to eggs! And now black coffee! Chili peppers?

I drink it, though, because I can't do the cold stuff (didn't everyone get the memo that icy drinks shouldn't be spicy/creamy?) and I've always felt left out of all this talk of nog, whatever that may be.

Friday, December 07, 2007

And then she rolled her eyes again

If you want me to like something, somewhere, somebody, it's really in your best interest not to oversell its awesomeness. I certainly appreciate an endorsement from a trusted source, but if you shove a cup of Kool-Aid in my face and make me drink it, I'll spit it back in your eyes, kick you in the nuts, and hit the road.

In summary, I'm happy to have today to myself.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


For as long as I can remember, I've had this thing that happens in the morning when I'm halfway between asleep and awake. My eyes are closed and there's a page of a book in front of me and I'm reading it, but I'm making up the words to what I'm reading as I go along. Sort of consciously, but mostly unconsciously. And it's strangely very relaxing, this mixing of the reading with sleeping.

This morning I read about Sylvester Stallone and the steroids he took to bulk up for Rocky Balboa and how he openly admitted it, but claimed it was okay because his wife told him to and it was for a role. And I think he was giving me this interview over oatmeal. I don't remember how I got in touch with him, but when I remember the number you'll be the first to know.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Is this appropriate?

I'm sitting here watching an episode of A&E's Intervention - a pretty hardcore one about anorexia - when a commercial spoofing a family intervention for a grandpa with bad cable service comes on. Now that's class, people.

Maybe the reason I had no bum

Pretty apropos of nothing, I was thinking today about high school babysitting and the strange dance with food we all danced while doing it.

At the beginning of your night, the Mrs. or (the horror) the Mr. would give you a little tour of their kitchen, saying "Help yourself to anything you can find! I'm so sorry - there's nothing to eat!" Which was either glaringly apparent or a blatant lie. She would laugh a little and perform the cursory opening of the cabinets and fridge, without revealing anything; you nodded and smiled anyways.

But you could already tell by that time where your night was going. Houses with the heat on and activated cable harbored goods like Doritos and Dove Bars, while the cold houses ("we have solar panels!") with "lots of movies, but no TV!" tended towards tofu, stale rice crackers and flat seltzer. You'd wave off the invite - "Oh, I already ate. But thanks, thanks" - knowing soon as they left, you'd grab anything remotely edible.

Why the eating had to be so secretive is still a mystery. One night I had just poured a big bowl of Froot Loops. As I dug in, I saw the flash of headlights and the sound of tires on gravel. I spit my mouthful into the trash, quickly pouring the rest down the sink. Total panic. I ran to the couch, put up my feet, "oh I've been here for hours", and flipped my Seventeen. I do believe I looked genuinely surprised when they opened the door.