Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I had the worst nightmare last night.  Worst, worst. And that's saying something since I have very vivid dreams.  Probably the result of having two X-chromosomes and an open mind. 

I dreamed that Jeff met a girl named Jocelyn and they decided to move away together.  He thought the best way to tell me was to take me on a road trip to a car show and tell me on the way there.  We were driving through an old civil-war-era city in which all the buildings were red brick and I jumped out of the car to hide from him so he couldn't finish telling me.  He started driving around a roundabout that went around a park looking for me and I was hiding behind giant Oak trees and brick columns so he couldn't find me.  Eventually he drove away.  When I got home, I didn't want to tell my parents that Jeff left me so I hid it from them and they never found out.  Then my alarm went off. 

You know how you have a dream and when you first wake up you aren't sure if it's real or not?  That was how I felt today.   I was happy my parents weren't dead but I lost my man in exchange.  Crap! 

You guys have probably figured out by now that I'm pretty devoted to my Jeff.  I'm aware that nobody is less deserving of a happy marriage than I am, but screw it.  I won him fair & square and I'm keeping him.  And I'll cut a bitch who tries to steal him away.  OK....not really.  I don't do that anymore.  Because I'm a lady.  And I have people to do those things for me now.

So Jeff got home from work this morning at 7:15 and I told him about my dream while he was brushing his teeth before he went to bed.  Our best conversations occur when he can't speak.  I told him how I was still shaken up by the dream because it seemed so real.

His response?  "Was she hot?"

Whatever. I'm over it. I heard Rico Suave on the radio in the car this morning, so I'm pretty sure everything will be OK.  Gerardo, baby!  Plus, my hair is super straight and I really like my work outfit.  Classic, but stylish.  Kind of like Heavy Audrey Hepburn.  Just go with it, people.  It's a good look for me.  I think that's what I'll name my style from now on:  Fat Audrey Hepburn.  I'm getting a trademark on that, so don't even think about stealing it.

In other marriage news, last weekend I made the mistake of asking Jeff what my Dad said when Jeff asked him if he could marry me:
Jeff: Seriously?
LAB:  Yep.  I want to know what he said.
Jeff:  No, that's what he said: Seriously?

And you people wonder what's wrong with me.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Stay of Execution

For those of you who are interested, I just got a last minute reprieve from the potential demise of my marriage.  Wow...somebody's got a case of the big words today. 

Jeff is still scheduled to change work hours in the near future.  Just not next week.  And by "change work hours", I mean start a schedule that puts him at home with me every night and every weekend.  Indefinitely.  This could be a problem.  Luckily, the guy they hired to replace him in his current position didn't work out, which leaves Jeff right where he is for at least another month.

Being hardly ever together has worked surprisingly well for us. There's a reason I refer to him as my "fictional husband Jeff".  That's also the reason why people assume my brother, with whom I spend a lot of time, is my husband.  Gross.  No offense, Scott.   

I've had many, many glorious years of eating puffed Cheetos and a piece of cheese for dinner while Jeff works nights.  The cheese is for protein to make it a balanced meal.  I'm healthy like that.  Did I mention the copious amounts of wine? I have a feeling that Jeff is not going to consider this an appropriate meal.  And those weekends when he works?  PJ's all day, baby!  Sometimes I don't even wash my face until he calls me to say that he's on his way home.  Good times.

Jeff's about to realize what a lazy shit bag I can be, and he's going to trade me in like an '86 Saturn.  For someone new, with firmer suspension and a tighter turning radius.  *ahem*

We worked the same schedule when we were first married, but I'm fairly certain that he overlooked my shortcomings because we were young & in love.  We're still in love, I just don't have that "new wife smell" anymore. Now I smell more like day-old wine and mediocrity.

The only bright spot in this potential catastrophe is that with Jeff home on weekends to take care of the dogs, I can get on the road for a Magical Mystery Tour of Girlfriends.  And Guyfriends.  I don't discriminate.  All my highly functioning alcoholic friends are equal to me. 

Plus, we just built that Mack-Daddy garage so Jeff has a place to escape the chaos.  Where he can bang his head against the wall in frustration privately.   And I can cook.  Really well.  My Chicken Pot Pie will make you wanna slap your Grandma. 

I figure I'll just feed him and stay out of his line of sight for the first few weeks.  For a break-in period, if you will.  Besides, he can't divorce me.  I'm not through ruining his life!  He still thinks I'm kidding when I tell him this.  Poor guy.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Now I'll Never Know!

Here's a snippet of an actual conversation I recently had with a friend (who will remain nameless unless she wants to out herself, which I doubt after she reads the post): 

Nameless Friend: What do you hate more than anything?
LAB: Digital watches.
NF:   No, what do you *really* hate more than anything.
LAB: I guess the only thing I hate more than digital watches is the Oxford comma.
NF:   No.
LAB:  Stop saying no.  You asked me what I hate the most and I told you.  You don't get to tell me I'm wrong.
NF:    No what do you really, really, really hate most of all.
LAB:  Seriously?  OK, I guess it's men who wear sleeveless shirts on airplanes and then sit next to you and rub their underarm hair all over your shoulder.
NF:   Gross.  And nope.
LAB:  You're obviously trying to tell me a story about something I hate.  Can you just get on with it?
NF:   No.  You're ruining it.
LAB:  How am I ruining it?  You're asking.  I'm answering.  We're conversing.  Tell the damn story.
NF:   Forget it.
LAB:  Are we even speaking the same language? Is this what people feel like when they're talking to me?  I don't like this feeling.  Is that what I hate most of all?
NF:   No.  God.  Never mind.
LAB:  But what do I hate most of all? 
NF:    Not telling.
LAB:  Shit.

Friday, June 14, 2013

On the Pontoon...

Remember when I posted that I was feeling too domesticated lately?  Well, problem solved.

I've started this post about 100 times, but I haven't been able to adequately describe my recent girl's weekend on Lake Lanier without incriminating anyone.  Or multiple anyonesEspecially me.

I can say, however, that when I woke up on Sunday morning my phone contained new contacts including: "Rod, Lord of the Dance", "Tommy Limo" and "Tim McGraw".  Apparently I made new friends.  So there's that.

When you take 5 women in their 40's and combine them with multiple bottles of champagne before 8 a.m., a house boat, a hot tub, The Fly Betty Band, swimsuits, open bar, sundresses, a purse full of stolen dog biscuits, twerking, a smoking hot handy man, Bond No. 9 perfume, a chauffeur, country music, 2 marinas, crashing a random party, and a French kissing Cockatoo (which, by the way, is not the same as a Cockatiel - see, I even learned something!), you have the perfect storm for stories you can never repeat.  And that's just what I can recall.  I'm pretty sure I spent part of Saturday night in an alcohol-induced coma.

Yes, I have pictures.  That I don't remember taking.  No, I won't share them.  Unless you were there, because those pics are seriously hilarious - OMG that bird!

We never really mastered the whole "beer before liquor, never sicker", "stick with wine and you'll be fine", "liquor before beer, you're in the clear" rules so we just drank it all.  Sometimes mixed together.  I stand by my belief that women with children can party harder than Axl Rose.  But not John Daly - that guy's a beast!  Those mothers make me look like an amateur.  And my analogies make me feel old. 

I especially liked how I woke up on Sunday morning with 9 full bottles of water on the nightstand next to me.  Guess I thought I'd be thirsty.

I'm not sure how, but with a little help from Diet Coke, bacon, yoga pants and Zofran, we all lived to tell the tale.  Or at least what we remember of it.

I love this Summer already, and it's only June!!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Jeff and I had to take my car to the shop today for some scheduled maintenance, which meant I had to drive an alternate vehicle to work.  Cue shower scene music from Psycho.

For those of you keeping score at home, our fleet now includes the following:
My newly acquired (gently used) BMW
Jeff's Honda
Our 1997 Nissan Pathfinder with 250K miles on it
Jeff's 70's era Ford Bronco and Ford F-100
A Ford truck frame
7 Ford truck tailgates
And a partridge in a pear tree

Now is probably a good time to note that none of the aforementioned vehicles are currently parked in the garage we built last year.  And they look so nice parked in the back yard.

Generally, when my car is unavailable I drive the Pathfinder.  Jeff tends to be "particular" about his car and it's not worth the hassle to drive it.  And by "particular" I mean bat-shit crazy anal.  I had to drive his previous car to work a couple of years ago and when I needed to pick up some sand for an office event,  I was so terrified that I'd get a single grain of sand in his spotless trunk that I put the bag of sand in a giant garbage bag...then in a copy paper box...then in a larger box with the lid closed.   Better safe than divorced.  Those of you who have met Jeff are likely unsurprised by this.
Jeff needed the Pathfinder today (probably to buy more car crap), which meant I was going to have to drive one of his babies.  Shit.  He told me to take his Honda, but he clearly wasn't happy about it.

When I headed out the door to work, I told him good bye and he bid me farewell with these loving words: "Stay off the curbs, if you know what's good for you".  Because nothing says "have a nice day" like an order followed by an implied threat. 

Twelve years of marriage and the magic is still alive people.

...and they lived Happily Ever After.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Overmedicators Anonymous

OK, people.  I know you've read this story before, but in anticipation of Jeff's minor surgical procedure next week I give you a retelling of the epic saga of "Husband on Drugs".  And don't worry - I'll have pen and paper in hand in the recovery room next week.  I can't freaking wait!!!

Here ya go:

I know I'm going to get in Big Trouble for posting this, but it's totally worth it.

Jeff recently had to be sedated for a very minor outpatient medical procedure. We knew from his previous sports injury that anesthesia makes him sick. Really, really sick. So we told the nurses his history and they said they'd tell the anesthesiologist to take extra care with the anesthesia.

So off he went to surgery and I waited in the waiting room. When the surgery was finished, they called me into the recovery room to get him ready to go home. Apparently they were a little too generous with the "feel good juice" when they sedated him. He was flying high. Practically levitating over the bed. I had a notepad with me in case I needed to write down anything the doctor or nurses said after the procedure. Below is an honest-to-God, word-for-word exchange that took place between us in the recovery room.

Jeff: (groggy) We were playing Harrisburg or New York or some team from Out West.
LAB: (assuming he's talking about when he played basketball) How did you do?
Jeff: I don’t know, I was looking for the coach.

10 minutes of silence, and then this:

Jeff: …want a chicken biscuit.
LAB: Doctor says no chicken biscuits.
Jeff: 2 chicken biscuits.
LAB: No biscuits.
Jeff: Just go to Chick-fil-a and steal the recipe. Then we can make them at home all we want.

My pencil is poised now, because this is getting good.

Jeff: My son's birthday is the 27th.
LAB: Of December.
Jeff: His birthday is the 27th.
LAB: Yep.
Jeff: His birthday is the 27th.
LAB: Ummm. Yes, it is.
Jeff: His birthday is the 26th. Noooooooooo. His birthday is the 27th. Today is the 19th and the 16th.

Glad we cleared that up. 10 more minutes of silence. I'm figuring the show is over, when he starts up with this one:

Jeff: What are you doing here? I’m in surgery.
LAB: Surgery’s all over.
Jeff: You’re not supposed to be here.
LAB: Surgery’s all over.
Jeff: They haven’t started yet.
LAB: Surgery’s all over.
Jeff: Ohhhhh. Thanks for coming.
Jeff: (grabbing his crotch) Where’s my phone? I just put it down.

I'm laughing so hard I can't imagine how it's not waking him up completely. The nurse comes in to check on him:

Nurse: (to Jeff) Can I remove your IV?
Jeff: My wife has it.
Nurse: No, I need to remove your IV.
Jeff: I showed it to you when I got here.
Nurse: It will just take a second.
Jeff: I don’t have it.
LAB: (to nurse) He thinks you want to check his ID.

Then we have this intelligent exchange in front of the nurse:

Jeff: Can we stop for a chicken biscuit?
LAB: Doctor says no fast food until dinner time.
Jeff: What if I tell them to take their time bringing it to me?

His reasoning skills are actually pretty solid for being on drugs.

Nurse: (to me) Can you wake him up?
LAB: You wake him up, he doesn't like it.
Jeff: (saying the words out loud) Sleep, sleep, sleep.
Nurse: We should probably wake him up.
LAB: He’s not going to wake up.
Jeff: (still saying the words) Sleep, sleep, sleep....First go to sleep, then wake up.
Nurse: Well, just keep trying.

Forty-five minutes later he's slightly more alert. By this time, I can tell the hospital staff is anxious for us to get going. Several people have been in & out of recovery in the time we've been there. But it's not my fault they got him all hopped up on drugs like a crack whore.

Nurse: (to me) Why don't you try to walk him around a little.
LAB: Are you serious? He's 210 pounds of solid muscle and he's still basically asleep.
Nurse: Well, he needs to move around (walks away).
LAB: Super.

So I lugged him up and we did an unsteady lap around the recovery room. The whole time I was thinking that we're lucky to be in the hospital in case he falls on me.

We finished the lap.....and they had removed the damn bed from the room. Bastards tricked us! First they over medicated my man and now we were being evicted. So I dropped him into a chair (literally) and I started putting his shoes on. I noticed his head was lolling from side to side. I'm super pissed, but I just wanted to get out of there. I got him ready and finally a giant orderly showed up with a wheelchair. Thanks, Shamu, where were you for the walking around part? Shamu helped me load him into the car.

He was still passed out on the 30-minute drive home. While I was driving, I was thinking they kicked him out of the hospital because they realized they gave him an overdose of narcotics and they don't want to deal with it. I kept looking over at him in the car but he seemed to be perfectly content. No drool, no shallow breathing, his coloring looks good. I figured he might be OK, but I decided to take him to a different hospital if I saw any symptoms. The previous hospital wasn't getting another shot at him.

We finally got home and I spent 15 minutes getting him from the car to the house. How can someone so fit be so heavy? Note to self: drive SUV instead of tiny convertible for next hospital adventure. I tossed him on the couch, covered him up and checked to make sure he was breathing. I still wasn't sure about the whole OD angle yet (those nurses looked kind of shady to me). He seemed well enough, so after about 30 minutes I figured he was down for the count and I headed to the office for a few hours.

A few hours later he called me at work. He's perfectly alert, like nothing ever happened. He can't figure out why I'm laughing.

And I realized I'm gonna get mileage out of this story for years.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Perfect storm of drinking

I didn't intend for last weekend to be a drunk fest.  I really didn't!  But Jeff was out of town (ingredient #1 for perfect storm of drinking) and I had a couple of early-in-the-day liquid lunches arranged (ingredient #2 for perfect storm of drinking), so last weekend was basically Booze-Mageddon.  With extra lime.

I literally had 2 non-alcoholic drinks over the entire weekend.  A Diet Coke when I woke up Saturday morning and a Diet Coke when I woke up Sunday morning.  Every drop that I drank for the remainder of both days contained alcohol.  "Paging LAB, your ride to Passages is now available".

I had to set my alarm both days to get up and meet people to drink.  Kind of like the Spring Game of drinking, as a tune-up for football season.

I should point out that at no time over the weekend was I drunk.  I've been drunk once this year (thanks to my brother and free rounds of drinks from the manager at Dos Copas) and once in 2012 (thanks to former high school classmates).  Other than that?  I've really enjoyed my adult beverages, but I'm not particularly concerned about it.  May be it's denial.  Jeff promises to let me know when he's concerned.

Anyway, I thought I'd share some very intelligent conversations from while I was with my enabler brother on Saturday:

LAB:  "Stop referring to me as 'bitch'"
Scott:  "It's OK.  It's a term, not a phrase."
LAB:  ??????

Scott:  "It's getting cold out here. Let's go inside and drink and watch Archer."
LAB:  "And you wonder why you're still single."

Scott:  "Is that the same shirt you wore last weekend?"
LAB:  "Yep. Apparently I have a drinking jersey."

Scott: "I see you failed to score us a hot waitress.  Again."

Sunday with my pal Molly featured free drinks (thanks Gabriel the bartender!) and some of the worst jokes ever told.  Here's a sample:

Bartender:  So this mushroom walks into a bar, and the bartender says "Sorry, man, you can't come in".  The mushroom replies "Why not?  I'm a fungi.".

Get it? guy?  Oh, never mind.

Molly:  What's the last thing that goes through a bug's mind before he hits the windshield of a car?   His ass.

Bah dum dum.

LAB:  So this string walks into a bar and the bartender says "Sorry, man, we don't serve your kind here."  So the string goes outside, jumps up and down and twists himself around.  Then he goes back into the bar.  The bartender says "Aren't you that string that was just in here?"  The string replies "Nope.  I'm a frayed knot."

Oh, come on people.  A frayed knot...Afraid not?  I'm hearing crickets around here.

Before we left the bar (and after multiple rounds of drinks), I had to break out the big guns.

LAB:  What's the plural of y'all???  ALL Y'ALL!!!

And that, my friends, is the point at which the bartender realized his error in giving us free drinks.  Well that and when Molly ordered "A martini so dirty that it's a whore".

Good times.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The One Where Jeff Accuses Me of Shooting My Brother

First, a Marley update.  Surgery went well.  She's fine...and we're hoping to stop crying over the $1,500 vet bill very soon.  I still can't explain how she broke her ear by falling *up* the stairs.

In other news, I had one of the most bizarre Friday nights in recent memory last weekend.  And I found out what Jeff really thinks of me.

My brother Scott stopped by to check on Marley early Friday evening, and when I walked him to his car as he was leaving there was a really loud *BANG* from a car driving down our street.  A Mercedes had blown a tire directly in front of our house.  In true Scott fashion, he acted like cars blowing tires in the street happen every day and he got in his car and left.  Nothing flusters that man.  Jeff came outside to investigate the noise.

Jeff:   Did you just shoot Scott?
LAB:  You hear a loud noise and your first thought is that I killed my brother in our driveway?
Jeff:   Just answer the question.
LAB:  Seriously, what the hell?  He's my brother.
Jeff:    OK, may be you wouldn't shoot Scott.  But don't act like you shooting someone is outside the realm of possibilities.
LAB:  *sigh*  No, I didn't shoot Scott.  Or anyone else.  Yet.  The Mercedes in the street blew a tire.
Jeff:   Cool!  Think he needs help?
LAB: I have no idea.  Why don't you strap on your cape and your tool belt and go find out.

Jeff helped Mercedes dude change his tire and came back inside.

LAB:  What took so long?
Jeff:   I had to wait for him to quit peeing.
LAB:  WHAT!?!?  He was peeing in the neighbor's yard? 
Jeff:   Nope - in the street.
LAB: That doesn't make it any better.  He was really peeing in the street?  In broad daylight?
Jeff:   Yep.
LAB:  Was he drunk?
Jeff:   Probably.  I should have sent you out there.  You speak his language.
LAB:  I question the wisdom of calling the woman who prepares your food a murderous drunk.
Jeff :   I'll take my chances.  I figure if you were gonna kill me I'd be dead by now.
LAB:  True. What did he say when you caught him peeing?
Jeff:   He said "Sorry.  I didn't know anyone was behind me."
LAB:  That's it?  Not "Sorry I'm peeing in your street?"
Jeff:   Nope.  I don't think he was sorry for that.  When a man's gotta go, a man's gotta go.
LAB:  Nice. What did he say after you helped him?
Jeff:   He looked at my jack and tire iron, said "I've gotta get me some of those!", jumped in his car and took off.
LAB:  Wow.  That's a lot better than a plain old "thank you". 
Jeff:  I thought so too.

In summary: My dog is single-handedly wiping out our savings, my street is a urinal and my husband thinks I'm a drunk who is likely to shoot someone in the near future.

That sounds about right.

Monday, March 11, 2013

LAB's Dubious Distinction (AKA: Turkey is a Vegetable)

Jeff's been asking me for months to attend meetings with his car club.  And by "car club" I mean a group of men between 60-90 years old who meet at the Golden Corral one Thursday a month to talk about Fords for two hours. I've been successfully resisting attending these meetings for as long as he's been inviting me. For obvious reasons. 
Last weekend, however, Jeff asked me to attend a car show / chili cook off with the club at a local state park.  It sounded the least horrifying of the recent invitations and I figured I'd give it a try.  It was his birthday weekend and the weather was supposed to be spectacular, so I really didn't have anything to lose.  It certainly beat staying home and cleaning the house.

I decided I'd even enter a pot of chili in the cook off, since the invitation mentioned that there were 5 awards and I really liked my odds of winning.  Surely there wouldn't be too many entries!

I should note that I'm not a fan of chili, and Jeff really hates it, so my entire chili-making experience can be summed up by the 2 times I made turkey chili using an online recipe on weekends when Jeff was out of town.  Both times turned out OK.  Not spectacular, but I'll try any recipe a couple of times just to see how it turns out.  I figured I'd use the same recipe for my entry in the cook off.  What did I have to lose?

Event day came, and before we left the house we decided to give the chili a quick taste to see if it needed anything.

Jeff:  It tastes like nothing.  Oh, wait.  HOLY SHIT THAT'S HOT!
LAB: Good hot or bad hot?
Jeff:  How can it taste like nothing and then burn my mouth?
LAB: Good burn or bad burn?
Jeff:   Seriously? I'd be very interested to hear what you think constitutes a good burn.
LAB:  I had to put in a lot of chili powder or else it would just be turkey soup.
Jeff:  We're gonna be late.  Just put in another can of tomato soup.  And some corn. And some water.  And whatever else you can think of and let's get on the road.

This is what it looked like at the end of the day. I'm assuming no one wants the recipe.

I added a few more ingredients and we headed out.  I was a little concerned that it looked like someone had already eaten it once, but it was too late to back down.

We arrived at the event and I noticed four other crock pots of chili on the counter.  W00T!  Here comes lucky #5 people.  Now give me my trophy, bitches!

As the day progressed, more chilis showed up.  There were 6...then 7...then 8...and finally 9 chilis entered.  CRAP!  The other chilis all appeared to be beef-based, so at least mine was different.   Then I noticed that the other crock pots looked like a tour through the history of slow cookers.  I swear some of them must invented by Ben Franklin shortly after his lightning experiment.  I had the sinking feeling that some of the entrants had been making chili for longer than I'd been alive.  My odds of scoring a trophy were rapidly declining.

We did our part and ate some of my shitty chili. After covering it in cheese and a massive amount of sour cream and pretending like we weren't gagging.  Chili duty handled, Jeff and I headed out to enjoy the car show.  Here's a sample of the notable entries:

That's not a Ford.

Also not a Ford.  And seriously???

There were some awesome old Ford cars & trucks there and the club members, while considerably older than us, were really fun.  Sorry, no pics of the cool cars.  I only photograph the ridiculous.  As the day progressed, I became more & more depressed that my shitty chili was going to be a loser.  I seriously thought that there would be so few entries that I'd have to win something.  And I freaking hate losing.  Jeff tried to cheer me up by promising to buy me a Blizzard at Dairy Queen on the way home.  What am I, 6 years old?  I don't handle disappointment well and it certainly didn't help that Jeff was astonished that I had ever considered that I might get a trophy.

I kept a running text commentary of the event with my brother Scott all day, and eventually he decided it was too ridiculous to he showed up.  I'm pretty sure he was looking forward to the sterling opportunity of watching me fail.  Plus, he wanted to score some free lunch.  Just not my chili.

Things started to wrap up and we headed into the picnic shelter for the awards.  Hottest chili (not me), 3rd place (not me), 2nd place (not me), 1st place (obviously not me) and then there was one trophy left.  Jeff and Scott were laughing their asses off at me at this point because I was genuinely sad that I got nada.  And the crock pot was going to be a bitch to clean.

The judge announced the final award - Best Vegetarian Chili.  Shit.  Clearly not me, and I would have made a damn veggie chili had I known it was a category.  Those odds would ROCK!  Then the judge said something unexpected: "Since there were no vegetarian entries, I picked the chili that was the closest to vegetarian.  The award goes to....LEIGH ANNE."  I raised my arms in victory and jumped up to get my award, but not before I heard the following things from Jeff & Scott:

"Shit.  They'll be no living with her now."
"That did not just happen."
"This was way more fun when she was depressed."

BOOM, people:
Screw you guys, turkey is a vegetable.

I'm only going to say this once: I don't give a damn if I won on a technicality, the only thing that matters is that I won.  Do you have a chili cook off trophy?  Because I do.  Nobody is going to diminish my victory (by lack of qualified entrants).  W00TY W00T W00T W00T!!  I'm a winner! The ridiculous aspect of this non-victory is what makes it the most LAB-like win in the history of LAB victories.   I may have Forrest Gumped my way into victory, but it's a victory nonetheless.

Trophy in hand and victory grin firmly in place, we headed to our cars.  People were stopping me to say congratulations. Some of them almost seemed sincere. Scott was shouting "STOP ENABLING HER" at them.  Apparently he was a little too invested in my history of loser-dom to fully appreciate the thrill of my victory.  We decided that a victory tour of Dairy Queen was in order.

Parking Lot Victory Dance.
Nothing says VICTORY like hoisting your trophy in front of the Dairy Queen restrooms.
Victory Blizzard!

Jeff couldn't look at me without laughing for the rest of the day.  When we got home, he said "At least I'll never get bored being married to you."  I still didn't feel like he truly appreciated my accomplishment, so I waited until he went to bed to do to this:

It may not be the Stanley Cup, but it works if you use a straw

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Need a ride, Lady? (AKA: The Dumbest Thing I've Ever Done)

Some of my fellow bloggers have been featuring stories about the dumbest thing they've ever done. Annabelle accepted a pill and a party invitation from a virtual stranger.  Pickleope assisted the getaway of a possible mental patient.

Like most people, I've done a lot of truly dumb things in my life.  Things that have cost me friends and boyfriends.  Things that have put a serious strain on my ties to my family.  But none of those things are my biggest, dumbest, most shameful accomplishment.

This is:

Many years ago when Jeff and I were newly engaged, he traveled to Kansas City for work fairly frequently.  This was during the early days of our relationship, when everything was shiny and new and spending time together was one of the four basic needs.  You know: food, water, shelter and getting your freak on.  The need for warmth doesn't occur until later in a marriage.

One of his trips required a weekend stay over, and we decided I'd head up to Kansas City for a visit.  So far, so good.

Just before my planned travel, the weather in Kansas City took a nasty turn and an ice storm blew through.  The whole city was frozen.  It was so bad that the power went out in Jeff's hotel and he had to move across town.  Naturally, we didn't think this was any reason for me to cancel my trip.  We were young and in love.  What could possibly go wrong?

We arranged for me to fly in on a Saturday morning, take the hotel shuttle from the airport to his hotel and then check into his room and wait for him to get off work and meet me there.   Pretty simple plan.

As my flight approached the KC airport, I looked out the window and noticed that there wasn't much action occurring on the ground.  The airport looked deserted and the surrounding parking lots were empty and frozen over, but I didn't think much about it.  The flight landed without incident and when I got off the plane I noticed that the terminal was deserted.  I figured may be the ice storm kept people home.  I headed out to meet the shuttle, which the hotel said came every 15 minutes.

As I exited the airport I was hit by a blast of arctic air as I slipped and slid my way across the ice to the shuttle stop.  Thank God I'd only have to wait 15 minutes for a shuttle! Famous last words.

So I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  No shuttle.

I went inside and used the courtesy phone that connected to the hotel.  They said there was only one shuttle running due to the weather, but it was on the way.

So I went back outside.  And I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  No shuttle.

About this time, a beat up old green van pulled up in front of me and slowed down.  The big, hairy, nasty driver stared at me a minute and then accelerated and drove off.  My first thought was "Helloooooo, child molester!  Move along.  I'm too old for you."

Still no shuttle.  I went back inside, found the courtesy phone for a cab company and called a cab.  The dispatcher said they'd send someone in about 15 minutes.  I was starting to think that the KC airport had some kind of bizarre geography that placed it 15 minutes away from all forms of transportation.

I went back outside and noticed that the hotel shuttle had just passed the stop and was driving away.  Crap.  I jumped up down, waiving my hands to try to get the driver's attention to come back for me, but no luck.

Meanwhile, around came Chester Molester in his green perv van for another look at me before he drove off.  Awesome.

I was getting irritated and more than a little spooked, but I couldn't call Jeff because he was teaching a class and I knew his phone was off.

I walked over to the cab stand and waited. And waited.  And waited.  No cab.

At this point, I had been back and forth between the airport transportation lobby and the arctic tundra of the shuttle stop/cab stand for almost 2 hours.  My feet were freezing, my head was killing me, there was no one in sight and I was pretty sure I was stuck in some kind of existential hell.

Then Chester Molester drove by for round three.  And he stopped in front of me.  He rolled down the window and said "Ma'am, if you're waiting for a cab you might be here awhile.  The streets are so bad that most drivers stayed home today.  Can I take you somewhere?"

That's right:  Chester Molester wanted me to get in his green perv van for a ride.  My brain was screaming "Don't even think about it LAB.  You'll be turned into a skin suit for sure!"  My feet, on the other hand, were so cold that they were no longer speaking to me.

I noticed that there was a meter on the dash of the van, which for some stupid reason made me think may be Mr. Molester was OK. Obviously my brain was frozen.

And here it comes, people....the dumbest thing I've ever done:  I. Got. In. The. Van. May be being turned into a skin suit won't be so bad!

Turns out Mr. Molester had a gypsy cab business, and he figured he'd make some easy cash by working the airport after the ice storm while the regular cabs stayed off the roads.  All I could think about the entire time I was in the van was Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs: "It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again".

I was terrified the entire drive.  I didn't know the city so I had no idea if we were headed in the right direction, and nobody knew where I was. When I make a bad decision, I go all in. As the the drive continued, I started envisioning the headstone on my grave "Here Lies LAB.  And this is why you don't take rides from strangers."  Eventually I looked out the window and saw the Marriott in the distance.  I was gonna live!!! 

I was positively giddy when we arrived at the hotel.  I channeled my inner Blanche DuBois and turned to the driver and said  "Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."  Chester Molester looked at me like I was insane.  He may have been right, but it was still better than being a skin suit.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How To Make A Dog Burrito

Step 1: Arrange Appealing blanket
Step 2: Insert Dalmatian

Step 3: Wrap her up!

Step 4: Wait for Burrowing
Step 5: Lights out!

Bonus Step: Endure Stink Eye from Jealous Great Dane.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hit me, Chevy, One More Time

I don't think any of you guys would be surprised to hear that I want a new(er) car, especially if you're Facebook friends with me, considering how much time I spend whining about cars on my timeline.  The problem is that I don't *need* a new car.  At all.  Not even a little.

I'm still driving my trusty 2000 Toyota convertible, and the damn thing won't die. 

Jeff and I agreed years ago that we would buy cars when only we need them (and when we can pay cash, if possible).  Since that time, Jeff has had 2 new(er) cars (both purchases were need-based and paid for in cash) but I'm still chugging away in my old Toyota.  This will not stand, people.  In fact, if you include the old trucks he's restoring, Jeff has bought 6 (SIX!!!) cars since I've had my Toyota. *Somebody* needs to learn how to say "no" to her husband.

The problem is that there's absolutely nothing wrong with my car.  It's mechanically sound, the body is pristine, and when you step on the gas it takes off like a rocket.  Even the mileage is relatively low. Crap.

My car may be "fine", but there are a world of sexy new convertibles out there that make my car look like a turd.  And I want one of those sexy new cars.  Badly.

Last Sunday I thought I was finally going to score a new car the hard way: by Totaling the Toyota (ahhh...alliteration).  It doesn't take too much damage to total out a 13-year-old car, and I thought Sunday was my day. W00T!!!  I've never been so excited about the prospect of being hit by a moron.

I was driving to the mall, and when I came over a hill a fire truck was pulling onto the road and traffic had stopped.  While I was waiting for the road to clear, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw an old beige Chevy Caprice hauling butt over the hill in my lane.  There's no way he would be able to stop in time.  A collision was imminent.

I'm not going to lie, people.  I was thrilled to see him.  All I could think was "Bring the pain, Chevy, and score me a new car!"  Who's the moron now?

The only barrier between me & the Chevy was a little old lady in a Lincoln behind me.  She was getting hit for sure, and I was confident there was no way she'd be able to keep from rolling right into me.

I relaxed my shoulders, took a big breath, exhaled and put my head on the headrest. Standard car wreck prep.  Then I waited.

I heard the squeal of tires and watched in the mirror as the Chevy nailed the car behind me.  And then.....nothing.  Grandma in the Lincoln kept her foot on the brake, and instead of ramming into me, the back of her car lifted off the ground and then came back down on the Chevy's hood.  Dammit, Grandma - hook a sister up!  Car parts flew all around my car, but nothing hit me.  Nothing whatsoever.  Double crap.
I jumped out to make sure everyone was OK (they were), and then went about my business.  In my old-ass car.

I know what you guys are thinking: "Jesus, LAB, what kind of dumb ass gets excited about getting in a car wreck?"

Well, *raises hand*,  this girl does.  I never claimed to be smart.  But I'm an excellent driver!  Unfortunately.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Don't make me spray you!

Pretty sure I've mentioned by now that the Freaks Come Out at Night when I'm alone in the office.  On my regular day alone in the office (a day which I'm not going to announce here because I don't trust some of you folks not to drive out here and screw with me), I normally stick a gun in my purse, even though we're technically closed on that day and the door stays locked.

Anyway, the last time I was alone in the office a crazy teenager who stank of alcohol pounded on the door until I opened it (my mistake), then tried to push past me into the building and when I blocked the door with my body, he asked if I had "any candy he could have."  Sorry kid, only Jeff gets my candy these days.  When I finally pushed him out and locked the door, he paced the front porch for 15 minutes  until he finally left.  Nice.

So I've been a bit on edge about being here alone.  Especially on days like today, when my coworker has a sick child and I'm alone all day unexpectedly.  We're open today, so I don't have the option of keeping the door locked.

This morning I went into the ladies' room, and while I was in there I heard someone enter the men's room.  So I came out and waited behind the front desk (to keep the desk between me & my unexpected guest) to see who it was.  And....nothing.  The men's room door was closed and nobody came out.  Ever.  Now I was completely skeeved out, even thought it could have just been the FedEx guy or a legitimate customer.

I went back to my office and grabbed a panic button and a bottle of mace from my desk.  Although I'm not quite sure what good the stupid panic buttons do around here.  They don't prevent anything from happening, they just call the alarm company in God knows where USA and have them notify the police to come find my dead body.  So my hopes were really hung on the mace at this point.

Armed with my mace,  I made a quick pass through the back offices and then headed to the men's room.  I knocked lightly on the door, no response, then harder, no response, then I tried the handle. The door opened and the men's room was empty.  PHEW!  Another crisis resolved.  I really need to quit watching scary movies at night.

I headed back to my desk, mace in hand, to resume working.  That's when I looked down in my hand, and noticed that instead of mace I had grabbed a travel size can of Static Guard.  I was protecting my life with damn fresh scent static eliminator.

Only one of these things can save your life.

Guess I need to rethink my threatening speech:  "STOP!  Or I'll smooth your flyaway hair!" That should keep the bad guys at bay.  I feel safer already.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A dip in the dating pool

It's been a long time since I dated.  Really long.  Like 16 years.  So when my brother re-entered the dating pool recently, I learned the most amazing things.  Here's a sample:

If a girl tells you she "used to be a stripper", it means she was stripping last night.  And possibly this morning.

Based on an informal survey of my brothers' (male) friends, the appropriate age for a man's second wife is half his age, plus 7 years (e.g. a 40 year old man's 2nd wife should be 27).  Although I question the methodology used to come up with this equation.  And the intent.
No matter how many times you demand that your brother turn gay because you've always wanted a gay brother, he won't do it.  Even though our mother always said "If you don't try something new, how do you know you won't like it?".

When meeting your brother's date for the first time, if she says "My ex's sister was the biggest psycho I've ever met", the appropriate response is not "Challenge accepted."

If you try to pimp out your brother to all the hot chicks in a bar, he'll start introducing you to people as his "agent".

Bonus dating advice:  Here's a little nugget that our sister shared with her college-aged son: "Always go for the girl in the white shorts". You know why.

You're welcome, people.  You may now return to your regularly scheduled Monday activities.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I'd like to buy a vowel

I was throwing away our Christmas cards this week, and I noticed that on fully half of them the sender had spelled my name wrong.  Including two from members of my extended family.  Really, people?  You've known me my entire life and you still can't put an "e" on the end of Anne?  Somebody needs to buy a vowel! 

It reminded me of my Name Game post from a couple of years ago.  Apologies for the recycling, but the post pissed off so many of my friends, I just can't resist reposting it.

If you read this, and it hurts your widdle feewings..It's because you just realized that you CORNHOLED YOUR OWN KIDS FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES (shouty capitals intended) thinking you were being cute when you named them.  I guarantee it's not cute to them. Trust me on this one.

Without further comment, I give you a repost of "The Name Game":

This entry is dedicated to my good friends Lelok and Chappell, both of whom share my pain.

It kills me how people with easy names (like Jennifer or Steve or any name for which the spelling is common) give their kids unusual names or names with crazy spelling or refer to their kids by their middle name.  You people have no idea of what it's like to go through life correcting people or spelling your name all the time.  It *sucks*.  A lot.  Not that I'm bitter.

You may think it's a minor inconvenience to have to spell your name for someone.  But imagine doing it time after time after time for 40+ years (and counting).  Over and over and over.  It's a pain in the ass, and my name isn't even that hard!  I don't know how people with really unusual names make it through the day.  I wonder if there are any statistics on the depression rate of people with screwy names vs. the general population.  Somebody call the Freakonomics guys!

Which leads me to my theory of how hard-to-spell or unusual names always skip a generation.  If I had a child (not likely, but I'm writing theoretically) I would never give him or her a name that isn't easily understood and spelled.  I'd give them names like Peter and Jane.  Or may be even Pete and Jan.  Nobody could screw those up!  Although being named Peter probably comes with it's own set of problems.  You can't give your kids many guarantees in life, but I could damn sure guarantee that nobody would screw up their names.  Ever.

Here's an example from my own experience.  My parents were Mary Lee and John.  Pretty easy, right?  Bet they never had to spell their names for anyone!  But instead of spelling my name Lee Ann (or the "easy way" as I like to call it), they spelled it Leigh Anne.  Thanks, Mom and Dad.  I know it was the '60's, but damn!

Not only do I always have to spell my name for people, but if someone sees the spelling of my name before they hear it pronounced they assume my name is Leah.  Especially if they're not from the South.  I still don't know what that's about.

And don't get me started on that damn "e" on the end of Anne.  That one letter is the bane of my existence.  That "e" is the reason I dropped my entire middle name for 10 years of my life (until I decided I really needed it for the sake of the extra syllable).  I'm just not a Leigh.  May be I could have been a Lee, but I'll never know.  Just call me LAB.

But as sure as I'd name my kids Pete and Jane, they'd probably name the next generation Schawnne and Ginefar.  Because they'll have no idea what they're doing to their kids.  They'll think they're being cute and clever, but all they're really doing is condemning their kids to a future of wasted time correcting people when they get the spelling wrong.  Schawnne and Ginefar, however, will name their kids Skip and Tina.  And the pattern would continue generation after generation. Ad nauseam.

You may think I'm making a big deal out of nothing (and if that's what you think I can guarantee that you have an easy name), but giving your child an unusual name has been proven to make them statistically less likely to be selected for a job interview based on their resume as compared to the resumes of more traditionally named candidates with similar education and experience (refer to the first Freakonomics book for the methodology used).  So nice job giving your kids a leg down, parents.  And sending your daughters one step closer to the pole.

I'm not the only one who feels this way.  There's even a Facebook group called "People Who Always Have to Spell Their Names for Other People".  I'm pleased to say that I have one of the easiest names in the group, which makes me thankful for my very ordinary last name.
And to those of you who have difficult names and who also gave your children difficult names I say this:  What the hell is wrong with you?  Douchebags.

I'm not saying we should go so far as to follow the Icelandic method of a government approved list of names, or that names should be selected from the rack of readily available coffee mugs found at any airport gift store, but seriously people.  Think about what your doing.  Use your head.  It's that round thing two feet above your ass.

These days, when someone asks me how to spell my name I just say "however it's easiest".  I gave up years ago.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

To all my girlfriends (single and otherwise)

Ladies, ladies, ladies.  I don't know how many times I have to tell you this, but here it is again:

If you have a problem with a man...and you attempt to solve that problem with the assistance of another end up with two problems.

So ends the lesson. You're welcome.

Speaking of bad decisions, I've been feeling the urge to do something stupid and reckless lately.  I don't have anything specific in mind (yet), but I'm feeling awfully domesticated these days.  And frankly, it sucks.

How domesticated, you ask?  The wildest thing I've done lately is apply a generous amount of curly hair product to my hair and then straighten it.  Somebody stop me!  Last night I turned on the TV instead of reading and Jeff said "Holy crap!  You're watching TV!  You're a wild woman."

I can't even remember the last time I was kicked out of a bar.  Oh, wait.  Yes I can.  But that was years ago.  And It's been months since Jeff and I have had to drive around on a Sunday morning looking for my abandoned car at a local watering hole (the best decision I ever made was to buy a house close enough to bars that I can walk home).

I'm feeling an awful lot like a grown up these days.  This, my friends, will not stand.

I may have to get a girl gang together and stir up some trouble.  Who's in?

Friday, January 4, 2013

LAB vs. Jeff's Psychotic Break

I try not to post things that make Jeff look like anything less than the Superhero he is, although clearly I fail at this effort regularly.  I wasn't even going to share this story, but Jeff assumed I already had and since he already gave me hell for it I'm pretty sure it's fair game now.  So here it is.

Last week Jeff was working nights, which means he's less Superhero and more Grumpy Bastard.  But I deal with it, because when you don't get married until you're 32 years old you tend to overlook the small stuff.  It also meant that he slept all day on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and then left for work as soon as he woke up, which isn't exactly my idea of a fun, old-fashioned Holiday but at least he gets a paycheck. 

When he finishes with a week of working nights, he usually elects to stay up all day following his last night of work to get back to a normal sleep schedule as quickly as possible.  This means that a few times a month he's awake for 36 hours straight.  His behavior at the end of this 36-hour period can be unpredictable (at best).

We were finally at the tail-end of last week's Grumpy Bastard 36-hour streak and he took a shower and got ready for bed.  I was sitting in the den watching TV, assuming he was asleep, when he shot through the room wearing sweats and a jacket.  Here's what transpired:

LAB:  I thought you were in bed?
Jeff:    I was, but the squirrels screwing in the gutters woke me up.
LAB*blink* *blink*
Jeff:    I could hear them.  Screwing in the gutters.
LAB:  Squirrels?
Jeff:    Screwing in the gutters.
LAB:  How do you know they're screwing?
LAB*blink* *blink* *then thinking about moans of squirrel ecstasy*
Jeff:    I'm going out there to pull off the gutter guards.
LAB:  In the dark?  In the rain?
Jeff:    Yep.  Then they'll leave.
LAB:  Are you messing with me?
Jeff:    Squirrels.  Screwing.  Gutters.

At this point I had two choices:  Tell him he was having a psychotic break and try to convince him to go back to bed, or let him go outside, get on a ladder in the rain, at 9 p.m., after no sleep for 36 hours and pull the gutter guards off the gutters.

I selected Option 2.  Because at the time it was Jeff vs. the imaginary screwing squirrels, but if I had tried to intervene it would have been Jeff vs. the screwing squirrels and meThis is how you stay married, people.

He really did go outside and pull off the gutter guards.  And I really did let him.  Apologies to any squirrels who may have actually been screwing at the time.  Guess they'll have to find another spot for their rodent relations.  Apparently our gutters are off limits.