Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out with the bad, in the with the good

Daily Stats:
Words: Grease (it's the word, it's the word, it's the word)
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: peanut butter cookies
Reality TV: No time. New Year approaching.

was not great
it was not great
it was not horrid or evil or vile
nor morbid or dreadful or dripping with bile
it was simply not great
not stellar
not keen
better not be as mean

Okay, no more rhymes now, I mean it
(anybody want a peanut?)

No, seriously, I'm done. It's all my son's fault. He forces me to read The Cat in the Hat 4000 times a day. At times, I feel just like the fish in the pot. Do I like it? Oh, no I do not!


Anyway, I thought I'd share a few of my resolutions:

1. I will treadmill at least six days a week (notice how "treadmill" has ceased being a noun and has become a verb, as in "please don't put the cat on the belt, mommy is trying to treadmill")

2. I will avoid Law & Order marathons on TNT and will only allow myself to watch them if I'm doing something useful, like folding laundry (or if Jesse L. Martin is in the episode. C'mon, I'm not made of wood, people.)

3. I will not throw things at people for ordering triple vente decaf nonfat sugar free strawberry/kiwi/mint/cardamom mochas at Starbucks. I will accept that to acquire a taste for coffee is a sign of character, and a hell of a lot of people just don't have character.

4. I will, WILL, WILL, WILL finally learn to play something relevant on the guitar that is currently collecting dust in our spare room, because a) there's always time to become a rock star and b) it will get the boy interested in music

5. I will write. I will write and write and write and write, and I will love every minute of it. And when I don't love it, I will let myself hate it just for a minute, so I can love it again

6. I will learn to make paella, tempura udon, naan, a really good curry dish of some kind and creme brulee

7. I will stop wearing my drawstring fat pants in public (maybe...still on the fence about this one)

Care to share any of your resolutions?

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Daily Stats:
Words: hot diggity
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: leftover desserts from Xmas...mother-in-law's cherry pie that gave me heartburn but it was worth it
Reality TV: Top Chef reruns on Bravo

Well, we survived our first "ain't buying shit" Christmas, and I have to say it went over pretty well. Even with charred index finger and a seven hour power outage on Christmas Eve, we still managed to show up for the festivities with massive amounts of homemade yummies. Everyone went a bit mute when we handed them over. I'm not sure if this is because a) they're petrified of my cooking or b) they weren't expecting so much stuff. I'm hoping it was the latter, however, there was lemon pudding cake incident about four years ago that would certainly validate a fear of getting within three feet of anything I had hand in making.

And though we got some lovely gifts in return, this, by far, is the winner:

Oh, yes. A de-fat-ass-inator. From us, to us. Could we afford it? No! Were we being irresponsible? Yes. Will we be poor but svelte with rock hard butt cheeks? Yes! (Okay, actually, no, I won't, only because I'm of good German stock and I don't believe rock hard butt cheeks are in our DNA.) I tumbled right into my sordid affair with the Crosswalk 480, and already my calves feel like fiery wads of goo. She's a cruel mistress.

Was Santa good to you this year?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

...and I heard him exclaim he drove out of site. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good Clive.

(Adult content. No Veenie Babies allowed. Not suitable for children under 30! )

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas casualty

Daily Stats:

Words: ouch
Caffeine: ouch ouch
Evil Calories: ouch
Reality TV: son-of-an-ouch

Crafty? Yes. Graceful and coordinated? Hell no. Speaking in fragments because I burned the crap out of my index finger. Was making oatmeal and cardamom pancakes. Last minute addition to the list. Confused flesh with lumpy batter and sizzled tip of finger. Swore. A lot. Now we have a problem. French baguettes are sitting on their second rise, will soon need to be manhandled. Will have to use elbows or toes, I guess (now aren't you glad you're not on my xmas list?) May start drinking heavily to dull pain. Have doused finger in above pictured ointment (god i hate that word), but 'tis not helping. 'Tis pissing me off. 'Twas almost $10. 'Twill write letter to company once flesh on finger is no longer crispy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

She's crafty

Daily Stats:
Words: snow
Caffeine: morning cup+ midmorning cappuccino from girl at Macy's cafe who made really good foam
Evil Calories: currently obsessed with making the perfect carrot cake...still not there but am eating my way through
Reality TV: Top Chef reruns

Did I mention we're not doing any Christmas shopping this year? We're not skipping Christmas altogether, mind you. We still put up our sad little $20 fakey-fake tree from Target, still went to the mall this morning to walk around and see all the decoration, still plan on ordering our traditional Chinese take-out dinner on Christmas eve and watching TNT's marathon of A Christmas Story. But, no shopping. Everything we're giving this year is homemade. That is, if you live within a 30 mile radius. If you don't live within a 30 mile radius, you're getting a long distance high-five from us and that's about it. I don't mean to sound like a Scrooge, it's just that the industry that basically keeps my cute little homestead afloat is in Washington right now begging and pleading for money. I told them not to throw all their eggs in the SUV basket, but did they listen????? Noooooooo!!!!!

I could go on and on for days about this because I spent many years of my life producing commercials for one of "The Big Three". Asshats. That's all I'll say. Asshats who wouldn't know a good idea if it came up and started madly humping their leg. That's why they're broke, peeps. But I digress...

So, you may not know this, but I'm crafty and have mad skillz. When I say we're giving homemade presents, I don't mean cookies and "free hug" coupons. If you live within a 30 mile radius, and I give a crap about you, you will be getting the following:

homemade French baguette
roasted garlic butter
sweet potato biscuits
honey butter
homemade beef jerky
eggplant bolognese
pasta e fagioli
herb stuffing (made with homemade bread, cuz that's how I roll)
carrot cake cookies
English cream scones
three legged wheezing cat

Okay, I'm not really giving away that last one, but am tempted to since evil feline monster has chewed off bottom branches of aforementioned $20 fakey-fake Target Christmas tree. This is why we can't have nice things.

Anyone else boycotting the blue light specials at Kmart and giving homespun yummies instead?

Friday, December 19, 2008


Daily Stats:
Words: feelin' it
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: "trapped inside due to mother of all snow storms" breakfast - homemade hash browns, bacon, please...
Reality TV: DVR'd Celeb Rehab

First, thanks to all my peeps who talked me through my brain clog. Words are moving again, not quite tumbling, but coming in at moderate speed and I no longer feel like I want to close my head in the dryer door. And thanks to awesomely funny dude Bryan B. for spurring the "pom pom" controversy. I gotta go with Big Plain V on this one. As a former Pop Warner cheerleading captain, I can say for sure that it's pom poms. (Here's where you're supposed to be impressed. I won't mention the fact that anyone who tried out for Pop Warner cheerleading made the squad. They just grouped all the rejects together and assigned them to the reject football team. Guess which squad I was captain of? Yep. We were sad. We had three girls with asthma, a girl who was pushing 200 lbs and a girl who broke her foot at tryouts. Did you ever see Wedding Singer? Remember the rejects at table nine? That was us.)

Anyway, since it's Friday, here another video to make you snort!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Brain clog

Daily Stats:
Words: trying
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: more carrot cake
Reality TV: Top Chef NY

I really need my brain to cooperate with me right now. I'm trying to finish my WIP by the middle of January, but at this rate, it will simply sit in my "poo lives" folder getting crusty edges and collecting dust. I don't quite understand what my problem is. I have my entire book mapped out, I know exactly what is supposed to happen, yet, when I sit down to write it out, it feels like I'm trying to tap dance in in quick sand. Why is it that sometimes the words just tumble out and fall exactly into place, but other times I have to practically reach up my nose to dig them out?

I think I need to get that book that my sister is always talking about. The one where you write like mad in a journal every morning to unlock your inner genius. Of course, with my luck, I'd unlock her just as the boy started a defcon-5 toddler "sick of being cooped up inside" shit-fit, and I'd end up sitting at the play area at the mall writing on my arm. That's just what I need. Anther reason for the other moms to give me funny looks.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Daily Stats:
Words: many
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: carrot cake
Reality TV: trashy things on Vh1

About a week ago, I found a nail in some coffee beans I bought from one of our foofy local grocery stores (you know, the ones that try and push $5/lb bananas and gourmet, organic, free-range toilet paper). Of course, I didn't actually find it until it was jammed in between the burrs of my grinder. This is bad. You do NOT want to mess with my grinder. That is the wrong thing to try and break. I will kill you and eat your soul if you keep me from my coffee.

So, in order to keep me from going totally postal, hubby took the whole thing apart so we could get it out. Luckily, we managed to stop the grinder before the nail did any major damage (had it stripped the gears or chipped my burrs, you would have surly seen me on the news). Once I was able to speak in normal, non-howler monkey
tones, I returned the coffee and the nail to said grocery store. The manager just stared and me, looking like he was going to throw up and/or piddle himself. I was little irritated because he wouldn't say anything except, "oh, geez." Ummm...hello, you almost killed my grinder, I think you need to be the one carrying the conversation. So after a looooooooooooooooong uncomfortable pause, and several more "oh, geez"s, I suggested he give me a refund. He did...a whole seven dollars. I gotta say, if I were the manager of a store that just sold someone nail ridden coffee beans, I'd be falling all over myself to make it better. How 'bout a free pound of coffee? Nail free, I promise! Or how 'bout a nice bunch of flowers. Maybe some mangos?

Whatever. I'd love to stand here all day and watch you on the verge of tinkling, Mr. foofy grocery store manager, but I gotta go.

So, when I got home I decided to an email to the roaster. They're a small, local company, so I hoped it would find its way to a non-piddling manager who would freak out, send me a truckload of free coffee and even possibly do something bold like name me woman of the year for not suing them. But it's been a week and nothing. No response, no free coffee, no plaques with my lovely face etched in bronze. What has this world come to? What's happened to customer service? I realize a nail is better than a human finger or a dried wad of poo, but it's still bad!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Funny

Daily Stats:
Words: soon
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: sugar cookies
Reality TV: DVR'd Celeb Rehab

My hubby finds the best videos. He's Bonehead Racing over there on the right. Now, this may shock you, but racing is not exactly my thing. However, he built his little racer from scrap, so that's pretty impressive. If you visit his blog, you must leave a comment. It would totally freak him out.

So, when hubby's not obsessing about race cars or engines or stock bla-bla things or turbo injected fruppel-cupped bling-blongs (I have an attention deficit problem when it comes to racing), he's making me laugh in some way. This got me the other evening as I was trying to make dinner. If you've never seen David Blaine Street Magic, you might not find it all that funny. But the "David Blaine" guy in this made me spit my wine every time he looked at the camera.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Guest blogger Amy Ellis!

So, back in October, I held a (lame) "name that movie" contest, and the lovely and talented Amy Ellis was our illustrious winner. The prize, of course, was an opportunity to guest blog while I was busting ass on NaNo. Now, there was no question in my mind that winning this (lame) contest was the zenith of Ms. Ellis' existence, however, she has one of those nifty things called a job, and things went a bit headfirst into the shitter at said nifty job, forcing the poor girl to divide her time between comforting disgruntled employees and chain-swalling carbs and therapeutic bacon.

But, since I'm her sister, I get to do tacky things like bug her about guest blogging when she clearly has far too much on her plate already. She asked if she could do something else, like guest-handbag shopping or guest-wine tasting instead. I said no (mostly because she does that every day anyway). Finally, after one more attempt at dodging her "prize" by sending me seven pages of U2 lyrics instead of a guest post, she relented.

"The Guest Post to Get My Sister to Shut Her Yap, in the Form of a Letter to Santa"

by Amy Ellis

December 10, 2008

Kris “Santa Clause” Kringle
North Pole

Re: Vivi Alden

Dear Santa:

I know that it’s only socially acceptable for adorable little children to write precious, misspelled letters to you. But here’s the deal. The world is a pretty rough place right now, and, when you think about it, kids have it easy. Somebody else pays the bills, makes the food, cleans up the poo/projectile vomit, and has to love you even when you’re having a completely uncalled for and ridiculous meltdown.

So I think it’s only fair that you start accepting letters from bill-paying, cooking, poo/vomit-cleaning, loving-even-when-it’s-irritating adults.

And in order to sweeten the deal, I’m writing you on behalf of my sister. Before you look her up, I’m quite confident that she’s been good all year. (I really don’t think that making fun of a short Chippendales guy in Vegas counts as a bad deed. And before you say it, your sleigh has never been cut off by a Detroit hoopty, now has it?)

I respectfully request that you send my sister good hair days for Christmas, and make sure that the Feria does not turn her hair strange shades of green like happened to her in high school. Granted, her hair was much larger then. But so was mine. Combined, our hair could have taken over the planet. However, I know for a fact that girls in New Jersey had much bigger hair than we did.

Anyway, that’s not really the point, is it?

Second, I think she needs hand-crafted cappuccinos every day. No, I don’t know how you’re going to accomplish that, but you’re Santa. You can do anything. And please make sure they have good foam, and don’t – under ANY circumstances – put syrup or sprinkles in the cappuccino. Hasn’t she been traumatized enough by the questionable coffee-drinking habits of Michigan residents? Besides, think of all those mornings she spent getting up at 4 am to open the cart in the cold, dark, and rain in Seattle only to have to pretend to care about those goofballs who worked at KOMO 4 news.

Next, please give her Clive Owen for Christmas. Make sure he comes with a big blue bow to match his pretty eyes. Yes, I know, she’s a married woman, but all I need him to do for her is shovel snow, get things down from the tall shelves, and mix her afternoon cocktails. This would make up for the fact that she missed that party that Kiefer Sutherland attended a few years ago, and you know how many times we watched The Lost Boys when we had hair big enough to take over the planet.

Then, I need you send her an agent with a brain who will get her published. See, she writes really brilliant stuff I’d pay good money to read, and that’s saying a lot coming from me. If I’d buy it, that means all the other millions of women who buy the crap that’s already published would want to read it, too. I mean, really, Santa. NASCAR romance novels? What brand of crack are these publishers smoking?

And then, if it’s not too much trouble, please give her a Burberry coat. It would go well with Clive’s accent; plus, if you could slip around $10 million in the pockets, I think she’d be all set.

Thanks so much, Santa! And by the way, I had nothing to do with that little incident involving the screen door and the scissors when I was 10. Just so you know.

Amy Ellis

Amy Ellis is an English major, writer, semi-professional shoe shopper, Star Wars junkie, closet super-hero, and possibly the best sister in the history of time. She lives where it rains every 4.2 seconds, and though she is officially Bono's soul mate, she went outside the box and married a really cool viking. Someday, she will live in Paris, where she will eat pan au chocolat and shop Christain Louboutin on a daily basis. In the meantime, you can find her at

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A book is like an onion (actually, not really)

Daily Stats:
Words: 700
Caffeine: morning cup + midday cappuccino
Evil Calories: left-overs from boy's happy meal
Reality TV: probably something on Bravo

As I write, I find myself wanting to be understood. Wanting people to pick up what I'm putting down. Wanting people to catch what I'm throwing. But I walk a thin line between "subtle" and "overtly obvious". I like subtle. A little hint, hint, nudge, nudge is much better than several large whacks over the head, yes? But it dawned on me today how much we have to trust our reader. I'm just going to drop this little crumb here in chapter 10 and hope you pick it up, because if you don't you'll be really confused in the chapter 19. But that's what I love. That's what makes me read a book or see a movie over and over. Those teeny, tiny little microscopic details that you don't pick up the first time around, but often lend to the overall symbolism of the book.

Ugh, I just said symbolism. Am now having a flashback of my 12th grade English Lit class. My teacher....Ms. S - something, can't remember, she looked like a flagpole with limbs. She had alarmingly long fingers (and you know what they say about people with long fingers. Long gloves.) She would go on and on about symbolism, which I always thought was pretty cool, but my classmates, especially the stoner dudes who sat behind me, thought was lame. "Why can't we just read the books? Why do we have to talk about symbolism?" Then Ms. S would get all fidgety and twittery and look a little like her head was going to launch into orbit and the stoner dudes would "dude" each other ("dude, high five, dude, she's freakin' out, dude, look at her dude, she's gonna crap herself dude, awesome, dude.") Meanies. I felt so bad for her and she'd spend the rest of the class trying to actually explain to dumb-ass A, B and C behind me that symbolism was important. Ms. S...they just snorted some of that powder soap in the bathroom. They don't hear you right now.

Anyway, I digress...

My whole point is that it takes us definitely two, sometimes three and in many cases four or five drafts of our books to finally get all the little pieces exactly where they need to be. But it never occurred to me until now that it could take just as many readings to pick up all those little details we've so meticulously placed throughout the story. This makes me a little sad. I would never be so bold to think that anyone would read a book of mine over and over, so that means they'd miss some of the juiciest little morsels.

Guess I should just shut up and enjoy writing them...

Monday, December 8, 2008

bad hair day

Daily Stats:
Words: where's your hat?
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: chocolate chip cookie bars
Reality TV: bad things on Vh1 that I won't openly admit watching

Okay. The post-parental unit visit haze has lifted, and I remember where I was in my book. I was standing in the entry way of the apartment with Beatrice, trying not to offend her. Well, I wasn't , my MC was. I was huddling in the corner writing and cramming my face with cool ranch Doritos. By the way, you can't not offend Beatrice. She's just one of those people, but my poor MC is not aware of this yet. She thinks she's just caught Beatrice in an off mood. Silly MC.

Today, I will finally get on with the next chapter. I have vowed not to leave the house, not just for the sake of writing, but we're also having a very bad hair day. And when I saw "we", I mean my poor child. See, hubby and I decided that we weren't going to pay the stinking $15 to take him somewhere so he could scream his head off while some poor woman tries to maneuver scissors around his head. Instead, we pulled out the clippers and went to town. And now it looks like he got his head caught in the vacuum cleaner. It's all patchy and different lengths. It's not even messed up enough to be considered punk rock. It's just bad. And, due to the odd, hair clogged noise the clippers made, any mere suggestion at letting us try and fix it launches operation toddler shit-fit. He's now convinced the clippers are trying to eat his soul. So, until we can come up with a plan B, we're staying in.

Friday, December 5, 2008

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

Daily Stats:
Words: Once upon a time...
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: more sugar cookies
Reality TV: Celebrity Rehab w/ Dr. Drew

Hubby and I had a (rare) and wonderful chance to actually go out to a nice dinner the last night that my parental units were in town. I say rare because a) we usually eat at home and save our money for neat things like diapers or laundry detergent and b) if we do happen to splurge, it's at our favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint, and spazzy three year old is always with us. It was very nice to be able to have a conversation without having to be on "child possibly sticking fork in his own eye" patrol. And this was a good thing because we ended up talking about the worst ways we've ever been dumped, which requires full attention.

Now, let me preface by saying that I'm sure we've had this conversation before, seeing as it is more of a fourth or fifth date topic and we've been together for almost 9 years. But your brain melts and turns to lumpy pudding after you have children and you often don't remember anything that occurred PSC (pre-spazzy child).

Of course, my famous "worst dumping" incident was back when I was in my early 20's and my pseudo-sort-of-but-not-really boyfriend showed up at the coffee house I worked in and broke things off during my 15 minute break. It was horrible. I had to go back to work and make double tall nonfat mochas serve people croissants. I believe the world should stop for at least an hour after pseudo-sort-of-but-not-really boyfriend breaks up with you in the back hallway next to a case of soy milk, but that's just me. (oh, and just a side note...he worked near by and came in a few hours later to order a coffee and see how I was doing. Boys are so stupid.)

Hubby's story wasn't quite so dramatic. A girl he was dating in high school ended things by turning Goth and never speaking to him again ("wow, what did you do to that poor girl, honey?") Of course, his story was better when he was dumper instead of the dumpee, and admitted to dumping an old girlfriend during her birthday dinner (ouch!). I was just about to give him a decent tongue lashing on behalf of all women, when suddenly something surfaced from my lumpy pudding PSC brain that might trump my 15 minute break story.

I worked at a music company many many years ago, and I was asked out by one of the tech-heads who worked in our other building (we'll call him "Dill-hole"). Dill-hole and I went out a couple times, and though he was really nice, there just wasn't a lot of chemistry there. But, whatever, I was young and he was in a band and really when you're 20-something, what more do you look for in a guy? So we were in that "after date two with strong possibility of date three" phase when my friend Wendy found me at work on a Monday morning and told me she'd heard that Dill-hole had hooked up with another girl we worked with over the weekend. So, I put on my mature face and decided to pay him a visit. When I walked into his office, he said the following words to me:

"Hey, champ!"

I feigned being in a hurry and pretended I was actually there looking for "so-and-so" and busted ass out of there as soon and I could. I'm a smart girl. When a guy calls you "champ", it is over!

What's your best dumper/dumpee story?

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Daily Stats:
Words: maybe
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: crazy chocolate espresso mousse thingy that made me see through time
Reality TV: Top Chef

Parental units have departed. Have house all to myself again. No more funny sounds (unless they come from me). Now, if I could just remember what I was doing before they got here...

Oh, right. Trying to write a book. That's it.

As soon as I remember what it's about, I'll get back to work.

For now, I'll just listen to my new favorite song:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tales from the back seat

Daily Stats:
Words: two more days, two more days, two more days
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: sugar cookies the size of my head
Reality TV: Top Chef reruns

So, the road trip...

It wasn't bad. Really. Really. Okay, there a few moments when I looked around for the emergency exit. We were only five minutes from the house when I realized my mom had decided to douse herself the latest and greatest overly pungent Avon body lotion. I just sat sniffing my Burt's Bees chapstick for the first twenty miles, hoping that may deflect it, but by the time we hit the "Live Nude Girls" sign on I-94, I had one of those fabulous white hot poker through the eye headaches. No problem, I packed EVERYTHING in my tote bag - Advil, Aleve, Pepto Bismol, Sudafed, Valium, Premysn PMS, Vitamin C, Iron supplements. Then I realized my tote was buried in the back under 400 piles of far-too-much-crap-for-a-four-day-trip. I rested my head on the side of the boy's car seat and whimpered. He then looked at me and said, "don't cry, mommy, you're a big boy."

Right. I'm a big boy. I'll just get my computer, put on my headphones and watch my Law & Order DVD. Nope, sorry! Opening my computer has initiated the launch sequence on operation toddler shit fit. If I do not hand over the device and play his favorite Jorge the Hawk/Go,Diego Go DVD, he will scream like a rabid banshee for the remainder of the trip, turning aforementioned white hot poker through the eye headache into head simply exploding into tiny, gooey bits all over rental car. So, I forked over my computer and tried to get comfortable in the 4 centimeters of butt space I had crammed in between the door and the boy's super-mega-ultra-gargantuan car seat.

Husband was in the front seat with my dad, at one point I caught him trying to stick a pencil in his ear. Not sure what exciting sound/sounds my dad was making. I officially love the people at Toyota and shall send them cookie bars. With all the road noise in the RAV-4, I couldn't hear anything that was going on up there. Shockingly enough, I fell asleep. Woke up a few hours later to find husband driving and dad sitting in passengers seat. Not sure what happened. Assuming husband somehow bribed dad into letting him drive in order to get to my aunt's house faster so he could then find a nice doorway to bang his head against.

Oh, by the way, I have seen the seventh level of hell, and it is the I-294 freeway through the Chicago suburbs. And since hubby is now driving, dad is in charge of toll money. This is bad. My dad is the biggest spazzy, control freak ever in the history of time. Toll booths along the I-294 freeway are a bit willy nilly at best. This does not comply with federal standards of spazzy, control freakism. They sort of post how much the toll is, but it's on a little sign off to your right, and if you blink, you miss it. Of course, my dad misses it, and starts shitting himself as we get up to the little booth thingy. Yes, tearing ass through the poor little zip-loc bag of change and swearing at top volume is definitely called for. I kept saying, "I'm sure they'll tell you when you get up there. Calm thineself!" But no. For some reason my dad believes that if you do not have your money ready when you pull up to the booth, the seventh level of hell toll booth police come out and start flogging you with angry bunnies. And then my mom starts in, "It think it said sixty cents. Or fifty. No, look it's a dollar fifty! A DOLLAR FIFTY! That's ridi--oh, wait, that's for trucks. I bet it's seventy five, cars should be half of what trucks cost. Or maybe they just charge a dollar, that would be easier, then they don't have to make change. Oh, look, no parking, no standing, violators will be towed at owners expense, merge ahead, roadwork next four miles, give 'em a brake..."

Oy...we should really be able to remove our brains and soak them in warm, soapy water from time to time, don't you think?

Anyway, aside from those little low points, it wasn't a bad drive. Though, once we finally made it through the seventh level of hell, we realized we'd passed the very last "Oasis" (rest stops with gas stations, Starbucks, and every fast food joint you can dream up). We had to scour through no mans land between Chicago and Madison, WI for a place to eat, and finally found a Subway that was about the size of my left coat pocket. Eating Subway on a road trip is just wrong. Road trip = fast food and donut holes, not healthy turkey subs and Sunchips. Of course, we made up for it when we finally reached my aunt's house and consumed massive amounts of pizza and cheese curds.

So, that's the story. And now I have to simply survive two more days of my parents just sitting in my living room all day. I can do this. I can, I can, I can, I can...