Archive | March, 2011

Freshly Pressed, Paralyzing Surprise, and Powdered Sugar

5 Mar


Here’s how my day went yesterday. I woke up, took a family friend to the airport, and ruthlessly ignored an angry-as-a-bear coffee craving. I took grandma and her candy-apple red walker to Target to buy off-black stockings. It was very important that they were off-black and not midnight, jet, or ebony–I don’t know why, but I generally make it a rule not to question the whims of a 92 year old woman with a candy-apple red walker. By Order of Grandma, I had to get down on my hands and knees and weed through the depths of stockings–not the most graceful moment of my life.(Picture a racoon, who appreciates a bargain, foraging in Target’s hosiery department.)  This was followed by lunch at La Boulange where they messed up our orders and I had to work up the nerve to tell them so. (I hate doing that!) Grandma bought me an almond croissant (aren’t grandmas great?) and I tucked it away to eat later. 

You still with me? I’m going somewhere with this, I swear.

I brought grandma home and did a few chores for her–changed a light bulb, got a teapot off the top shelf, dusted the windowsill. When I got home, I decided it was croissant time. This was an epic, magical, croissant–I’m talking the kind of pastry that almost inspires a religious experience. I idly logged into my email while I was eating and when gmail informed me that I had more than 150 messages I was so shocked that I actually put down the divine danish. There were WordPress emails as far as the eye could see! At first I thought it was a mistake. I’ve been having a problem with traffic scams (fake-out hits that indicate bogus readership) so I thought this was more of the same. I retrieved my croissant and clicked on one of the comments. Amidst some lovely praise was “Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!”  

I inhaled my croissant’s powdered sugar and choked.

This was no delicate little cough at a cotillion. I wheezed so hard that the dogs scattered (so much for loyalty–not a Lassie among them). I choked so violently that the table and my computer with its game-changing email rattled. I tried to breathe in sugar-free air, but somehow ended up hacking more. (Is it possible to die from powdered sugar inhalation? Someone should study this.) Disbelieving, I quickly clicked over to the WordPress homepage (oh me of little faith!) and there it was, my 5 Stages of Cleaning.

I was speechless. I sat there, covered in powdered sugar, speechless.

Eventually I called my grandma. First, it took several minutes to explain what a blog is (and that it’s not pronounced ba-log). Then, when I told her the name of the featured post, she wouldn’t stop laughing. “CLEANING? Bahahahahah! You wrote about cleaning? That must have been a short article! Bahahaha! Just imagine–you, cleaning!” Okay, not exactly the trumpets-blaring, my-granddaughter-is-so-witty reaction I was going for.

It doesn’t matter though, because even Grandma’s bout of hysterics (honestly, I was worried about her heart she was laughing so hard) didn’t pop my bubble. I’m still on a Freshly Pressed high (not unlike a powdered sugar high) because the readership has been undeniable and the comments have been incredible. I know this is a roller coaster ride (that’s how it was described by one of my favorite bloggers, Girl on the Contrary) but at the moment I’m definitely going up up up. I just want to let all of you know that I really appreciate all the subscriptions, likes, and comments. Besides finding the funny in life, my day-to-day goal is to write things that inspire oh-me-too! moments. In the end, I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised that the 5 Stages of Cleaning hit a chord with so many people–shared misery will do that. For all you cleaning sympathizers, I invite you to check out this book. What a philosophy!

Okay, if this were the Oscars the get-off-the-stage music would be playing really loudly right now. Ijustwanttothankmymotherandmygrandmaforbelievinginmeandlaughingatmeand

P.S I am slowly reading all the comments and trying to respond to a lot of them. In the meantime, because I value you so much as a reader, you (yes, YOU) should treat yourself to an almond croissant. Just don’t inhale.

Dear Other Drivers: You Suck

3 Mar

Dear Other Drivers,

As I was driving to work in the rain today, it came to my attention that you all suck. You alternated between speeding in the torrential downpour and slamming on the brakes for no apparent reason. I suspect that the speeding is due to you ignoring the rain and trying to get to your destination as fast as possible. Are you really that eager to get to work? Here’s a thought–if you had left home a little bit earlier, you wouldn’t have to zip around like your fender is on fire. (Which it very well could be, if you’re the drivers from Hell that I believe you are.) I suspect that the sudden stops are because you were occupied with something else you shouldn’t have been doing. Lady Talking on Cell Phone and Guy Combing His Hair–I’m looking at you. Oh, and Mom With Two Kids in The Backseat? I’m concerned about the lessons your little ones are learning. Monkey see, monkey do, and all that.

Learning experiences are good, and I have a little bit of teacher in me, so allow me to impart some knowledge on you. The turn signal is not only used for turning, but also to indicate when you are changing lanes. It’s a handy thing, the turn signal. It gives the other drivers (with whom you’re sharing the road) a heads up that you will be zooming into their lane. Without it, you and your car appear to rudely cut in front of the other good souls on the road. I promise you that those you cut off will curse you and curse at you 99.9% of the time. I, for example, become very creative when I am mad at other drivers. “I hope you’re impotent!” is my favorite thing to throw their way. Or, “I hope there’s no parking where you’re going!” Sometimes I swear in Italian or make crazy, elephant-like noises. Or I steal from the wordbank of a friend of mine and stick to the satisfying, but less salty, “Swine!” 

You should also know that in California when you need to turn on your windshield wipers, you’re legally required to also turn on your headlights. It’s not an urban legend. If you don’t believe me, it’s in the California Driver’s Handbook. And you know what? It just makes sense–especially for you swine who don’t signal. Maybe your lights will help alert other drivers and save you from baldness and stepping in gum in your good shoes. (I forgot–those are some more of my curses.)

Yes, I know it’s been raining very hard–but c’mon! The rest of the country already makes fun of us for our pampered weather (nevermind that Northern California can actually get quite cold). If you can’t drive safely and responsibly in the rain then what would you have done if it had actually snowed last week? Picture it: a scene of utter chaos where ignorant drivers bring about the death of Justin Bieber, the rise of mutant Republican zombies, and the detachment of California from the rest of the country. Yep, it could happen….and all because of YOU, bad drivers.

You have now been educated, informed, and ranted at. I now feel that I have helped the needy. Now you can help the less fortunate (i.e. anyone who drives near you) by shaping up and driving like a person with a brain.

Respectfully yours,

The Girl in the White Honda That You Almost Hit

The 5 Stages of Cleaning

2 Mar

  1. Optimism
    This isn’t that bad. I can totally do this. I’ll put some peppy music on, pull my hair back, push up my sleeves. I’ll bet I can get this done in 2 hours, tops. I am good!
  2. Devastation
    MY. GOD. There’s no end to the mess! Who am I kidding? I can’t do this I can’t do this I can’t do this. Where did it all come from? Where do I put it? Why do I have one red shoelace? Why am I keeping every birthday card I’ve ever gotten? Ewww–why is there so much dust under the bed? This is horrible. HORRIBLE! The end is not near! What do I do? What is to become of me? Panic! PANIC!
  3. Avoidance
    Okay, breathe. I’ll just take a little break. I need to detox. I’m hungry–I should eat lunch. I’ll be more motivated to clean once I’m fed. Maybe I’ll turn the tv on while I’m eating. I don’t want to eat alone, it will be a nice little bit of company. Oh, and the dogs probably need walked. I’ll just eat a little something, watch a little something, and walk the dogs. All necessary.
  4. Guilt
    Oh no–it HASN’T been 2 hours, has it? What am I doing? I should have been cleaning this whole time! I’m so bad! I can’t stick to anything! I said I would be done by now–I’ve wasted time! I can’t do anything else now–this is hanging over my head. Bad Bad Bad!
  5. Resourcefulness
    I’ll just jam things under the bed. Yeah…nobody’s going to look under the bed. And the closet! I’ll put everything in the closet and close the door! Piles! I’ll make piles! They look neater than everything just spread out everywhere….maybe it will look like my piles are part of a system. What are cupboards and drawers and closets for, if not to hide all this crap?