it’s posts like this that give bloggers a bad name

Even though my blog is composed nearly exclusively of self indulgent blither, I manage to sleep at night by hoping that somewhere in all my musings is a nugget of truth and hope for someone out there.

Wait, no I don’t. Nevermind.

At any rate, today’s post is nothing but nonsense. I’ve got two completely unrelated things that I’d like to talk about and since it’s Friday and it’s my blog, I’m just gonna talk about them. (Plus the last week has been confirmation that no one really care what I talk about. Six survey responses? Really? You know I can tell when people have been here. Two hundred people enjoyed the fruits of my….er….labor and only six people answered the survey question? Dis. a. point. ing. (And not a single question for next week’s Ask Caroline. That was short lived.)

Cheese: The American Conspiracy

Adults: Know Your Percentile

I have a problem with cheese, specifically American cheeses. Not specifically”American cheese”, which isn’t even a cheese, but the cheeses that we, as Americans, eat recreationally. I’m not speaking of those divine puff pastry clad Brie wheels, or a sprinkling of Feta, or even my most despised goat, but cheese. White cheeses, shredded “mozzarella”, and all the other cheeses that we’ve concocted for consumption around here. I think we’re being fooled. It doesn’t taste like anything, except the other things it’s hanging out with. Essentially it’s high calorie glue. Yet time and time again I feel that I need cheese. Without cheese nothing will taste right. Pizza will be nothing but toppings and crust. Burritos will be pointless, quesadillas obsolete. I need cheese. But then I eat cheese and I can’t help thinking that I didn’t taste the cheese. I didn’t really even notice the cheese at all. I consumed an additional 150 calories without even noticing. Not worth it, my friends, not worth it.

Take Velveeta for instance. Why do we eat it? You wave a square of V in front of anyone’s face and they assume you’re challenging them to a Double Dog Dare. It’s like eating Spam. (Imagine a Spam and Velveeta skewer. I just did. Almost yiffed on my keyboard.) No one in their right mind eats Velveeta unless it’s gluing something together. Like Rotel. Don’t you think that we could create a calorie free, tasteless glue that would do the job without killing us and blocking our small intestine? I think so. It’s no wonder no one with a palate eats Velveeta shells and cheese unless it’s with a lot of salt and pepper. It’s flour and glue! It’s the cooked version of those picture frames you made in preschool.

I know that I’m stirring the proverbial pot, but let’s think for a second. My “famous” Super Bowl queso dip is divine. It’s got Velveeta, sausage, onions, garlic, sour cream, black beans… it’ll kill you soon as look at you but it’s delicious. But the truth is that a pile of sausage, onions, garlic, sour cream, and black beans would actually be freaking delicious, it just wouldn’t stay on a chip. (Plus the chip would have to be make of reinforced steel.) And it’d be impossible to keep warm. Add some V glue, though, and you’ve got a party favorite. No one is walking around talking about how delicious my Velveeta is. (Almost every time I’ve gone to type Velveeta I’ve type Vulva or Vagina. Gross. And Freudian.)

I recently stopped ordering Cheese in my burrito at Boloco. They’re using MontJack or something useless like that. After I got over the emotionally hardship, I realized it didn’t make a damn bit of difference. Didn’t even notice it. And I think I’m thinner already.

That’s all I have to say about cheese.

Moving on.

You know how new parents are all into their baby’s percentiles? At the very least it’s totally obnoxious, but always entertaining. I’m pretty sure it’s the poo-flinging quiet kids who synthesize oxygen and save the world. So, yay for your percentile kid, too bad it doesn’t mean shit.

But I do think we need a percentile chart for adults. Only for weight/height though. The silver lining to this obesity epidemic is it’s ability to make marginally thin people seem anorexic. I feel certain that if I were having a fat day and I could look at a chart that told me that even at my heftiest I was in the 99th percentile of weight I’d feel pretty rosy.

I can’t be sure, but when I was thinking about it the other day I figured out that if we did that chart it’s likely that I’d be in the same percentile as models and hosts of shows on E!. What’s even better is how upsetting it would be for them. Here they are depriving themselves every human delight to stay svelt and they aren’t even a PERCENTAGE POINT better than little ol’ me. Because in the grand scheme of life, those 6 lbs don’t make a damn bit of difference.

I mean, hopefully it would be insightful and inspirational and help solve the obesity crisis, but even if it didn’t it’d still be fun.

ask caroline!

In an effort to get some regular content going on the blog, as well as entice readers (that’d be you) to play along, I’m going to make Wednesdays “Ask Caroline” day. You may email your questions to me at linabeau@gmail.com and I will pick a few to answer on the blog every Wednesday. Won’t that be fun?

Now, you should know this is not a completely random idea. Yesterday I received the following text from a friend in need:

You’re the only person I can ask. Is it okay to shave your pubes in the showers at the gym?

I felt so honored, so lucky that I could help someone with my vast knowledge of the universe. And then I realized I could help tens of dozens of people right here on the blog. So here it is, I’m ready, willing and able to help you. Whatever you’re wondering, whatever is bothering you, just ask me and I will answer your question–anonymously– right here. On Ask Caroline Wednesday!

Drumroll please! Our first Ask Caroline Wednesday advice:

Dear Confused Pubes,

It’s an interesting question that you ask, one that I myself have pondered. Gym Etiquette has always been a questionable subject, especially because there are so many factors. While I’d like to think that etiquette represents the breeding of the person regardless of situation, that simply isn’t true. Take myself for instance. I was raised well. Two parents who were almost married the whole time, upper middle class, private school. Everything was set in motion for me to become the wife of a lawyer with 2.3 children and a Range Rover. And look at me now. Tattoos, swears like a sailor, and writes for a living.

So first I must ask myself a few basic questions. What kind of gym are we talking about? The YMCA? The Boston Sports Club? Equinox? Also, are there shower curtains? (God I hope so.) Are the showers communal? (God I hope not.) Are you bringing your own razor? Are you maintaining your grooming or initiating?

The way I see it is that if there is a curtain and you wash away the evidence thoroughly, you are totally in line. I can only imagine that there are women doing much worse things behind those curtains than a little Southern Shave. What’s more important is that you not hop out of the shower and walk over to the body cream and lather your newly minted parts in front of everyone. Let’s show a little decorum.

The type of gym will dictate the behaviors though, or at least how covert you need to be in execution. I imagine at the Gold’s Gym ladies are shaving their parts at the sink so everyone can see their piercings. I’m sure at the YMCA you’d find a mother in the shower using one of her four children as a foot prop while the other holds the soap up. (All while she nurses the youngest.)

Use your best judgment, but so long as you’re being discrete and ladylike, I’d say it’s well within your rights to trim the hedges at the gym.

While we’re on the topic, though, there are a few things that we should cover about gym etiquette:

1. It’s never okay to use the complementary Qtips for belly button cleaning. I know it’s tempting, I’m even on team needs to do it, but it’s not okay.

2. There is never an occasion where it is too much of a hassle to put on panties before blow drying your hair. Never. For the love of the innocent put on some britches before you bend over.

3. The hair dryer is meant for top of head hair only. Get it near the Southern Shore and you are asking to be ostracized.

4. The steam room should be treated like a civilized ladies lounge. If you would spread your bits about while having tea with friends, then you may do it in the steam room.

I hope this helps you with your quandary. It’s tough to navigate what’s okay and what’s not, especially when everyone around you is pressuring you walk around topless, stick Qtips in your navel and blow your lady parts dry. Resist, Confused Pubes, and you’ll be high society at the gym.

Email your questions to linabeau@gmail.com.

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half truth of a whole life

I’m just sharing this because it makes me giggle.

I’ve had this here blog since October of 2006, I believe. Since that time, almost every single day one of the search terms is “half truth of a whole life” with the IP address always being similar, if not the same.

Now, bless you, whomever you are, but you should know that if you just remove the spaces and add a .com to the end you could save a whale or something with all the saved search-induced global warming stuff.

(Or you could subscribe to the blog, but I don’t want to be pushy.)

Other search terms for today included (I’ve linked to the posts that I either know they were led to or I think they may have been led to):

the days before google

bitches don’t know shit about my aids (<– a gem from 2007)

amanda carsey

littlefuck (this one was tough. you search this on my blog and nearly every post is returned…)

muthers a cock

isagenix and gas

dear, hubs, i’m so very sorry.

You can blame E. Until his most recent visit I was happy in our relationship. Sure, I get annoyed when you don’t read my mind and bring me ice cream with my Neosporin from the CVS, but those are things that we can work through. What we can’t work through is me falling in love with another man. It was E who introduced us. He carelessly brought him to my attention. There, on the TV, just fighting crime and breaking hearts like it was nothing.

Hubs, I’m leaving you for Timothy Olyphant.

I know what you’re thinking, this isn’t love, it’s only lust. I’ll get over it and we’ll be back to normal.

That’s not true, hubs. It’s simply not true. I checked IMDB. Timmy is a full six feet tall. Six feet! He isn’t one of those little tiny creepy Hollywood men. You fall in love and next thing you know he is popping up out of a little suitcase that his 5’4 body folded up into with no problem. This isn’t like the James McEvoy thing from ’09. I’m not going to have my bags packed when you reveal that he’s actually a 5’8 Scotsman with midget hands and an ugly wife. This is closer to the Hugh Jackman thing of… well…. always. I could wear heels. I could wear platforms!

Timmy even graduated from college. Wait, more than that, he SWAM in college. He is a D1 athlete for God’s sake. Just imagine that crime fighting, tough guy body rippling beneath the water… omg omg omg omg.

A quick skim of his IMDB lineup sealed the deal. Any man who plays characters named Raylan, Seth, and Wes is the man for me. I bet he drives an SUV. Or a truck. No Prius for Timmy and me. Oh! I bet we’ll ride off together on his hog.

I’m sorry that you had to find out this way. You know I think you’re a dear, really, I do. And really you look quite a bit like Mr. Olyphant. Your rugged (kind of) beard and swagger. (So what if it’s actually a limp from a dip shit doctor putting your cast on wrong?) You’re well over six feet. You may not drive a truck but you’re hell on a Singer and even better with a Dremel. And one day we could ride off into the sunset on a Vespa or something, I’m sure.

Ooh. Now I’m torn.

*******

Get hot and bothered by the opening credits to Justified. Tuesday nights at 10EST on FX.

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so today’s been awesome

I’m ill. Hacking cough, tissues stuffed up my nose, chapstick smeared on my nose because that’s what’s chapped, not my stinkin’ lips. Add to that that I can’t taste a goddamned thing but I still insist on eating high calorie foods for fun and you’ve got yourself a winning day.

Oh, plus I managed to piss my mom off so she’s not even feeling sorry for me. Super. Just super.

On days like this, when the self pity is really thick, I get really anxious. The week is now blown because I didn’t get my Monday AM workout in, the one that sets the tone for the whole week, I’ve slept all day which means I definitely won’t be tired tonight, which means I won’t sleep, which means I’ll have a hard time getting up tomorrow, which means tomorrow is ruined, which instantly means the rest of my life is going to be ruined and I’ll never grow up to be the girl I’ve always wanted. Hmpfh.

And then there is Facebook. I should just burn my computer. Nothing takes self pity to the depths that Facebook can. I’m lying on my couch watching the most depressing Robin Wright Penn movie ever, looking at photos of friends I haven’t managed to keep up with, people who don’t like me, and some I’m pretty sure want me dead.

I’m in a good place, as you can tell.

All of that was simply to set up my announcement that there won’t be a blog post coming today. I’m cranktastic to say the least, annoyed at the reason my mother is mad, sick as a squirrel, annoyed that I’m annoyed about the reason my mother is mad at me, and stuff full on food I couldn’t taste.

But don’t worry. I wont take it completely out on you. I’m going to post some photos of the infamous dress. The photos aren’t great, but you get the idea…

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are you there, project runway? it’s me, caroline.

Tim Gunn embroidery
Image by Totally Severe via Flickr

So I’m a little strapped for cash. Big surprise. Yes, I know, I make fine money. Yes, I know, I have a lovely apartment. Yes, I know, I eat out too much. But what you don’t know is that the hubs spreadsheet is an evil little bastard. He it gives me a meager stipend with which to live on. I am forced to rely on the generosity of others to see me through month to month. My own mother doesn’t support me. Come to think of it, my own father doesn’t either. They just let me live this way. Like a beggar.

Actually I just can’t stop doing things like spending Saturday afternoons with Yoga Marc to the tune of $100. Or going out to dinner. Or making friends with people who have waaaaay more cash than I do. I don’t know who the hell I think I am. Wait, yes I do. My name is fun loving girl just trying to navigate and gravitate. Jesus. Leave me alone. It costs money to look like this. Or does it?

Due to my impoverished state, or because I have a hole in my head, I decided that I would save money (or just not spend money I didn’t have) by not buying a dress for a gala I’m going to tomorrow night. Sitting in my swiveling chair at work it all seemed so simple: I would obviously just make something.

Now you’re thinking oh! caroline! what a great idea! how clever of you.

Wrong.

What you should be thinking is caroline?! what the fuck is wrong with you? do you even know how to sew? or read a pattern?

You know what the answers to those questions are?

I don’t know. No, I don’t. Negative ghost writer.

For some reason my ego didn’t seem to think that mattered. Buy some fabric. Pin it together. Make clothes. Illegals from coast to coast are doing this for fifteen cents a day. I can make a dress in four days. No problem.

(I am being real with you, reader, when I tell you that it never, ever, not even one teensy time, occurred to me that this was not possible. Like a stupid gnat or something I just buzzed into that fabric store like I was picking out fruit for a salad.)

For starters, Rookie here thought she needed nine yards of fabric to get this done. Nine. I think I could reupholster my sectional with all the fabric I bought. Additionally, I did not buy a pattern. I had a plan. In my vast and capable brain. M.o.r.o.n.

Not knowing how I was going to keep the whole thing together, I bought ribbon, snaps, and hooks. No zippers. Too complicated. And some black thread. Didn’t figure you’d see the stitches and those you did I planned on passing off as “contrast stitches.”

When I got home I drew a picture to try to collect my thoughts. It was terrible. Rather than take this as a clue that I wasn’t going to be a successful designer and seamstress, I thought about how silly it was that I went to art school and still can’t draw a decent picture. (Now you’re wondering how I’m going to express my vision in fabric if I can’t express it with a number two. This is what us literary types like to call “tragic irony”. You the audience have way more foresight into my future than I, the subject, do. You know doubt know that this is going to go south. I still do not.)

You know what’s absolutely clutch when it comes to dressmaking? A bust form. Without it you are standing your hallway staring at yourself in a full length mirror taping fabric to your naked body. Then come the pins. Oh the pins. You know what isn’t awesome? Trying to accurately pin a dress to your body without giving yourself a little gratis acupuncture. Note to self: bust form.

Another nicety would have been a pattern. Or maybe some patience. Either would have come in handy. Without them, I was frustrated within twenty minutes. No wonder those Project Runway kids are such whiny bitches. Twenty minutes of taping, losing track of what was the front and what was the back, and asking Stuart to get off my creation and I was about to homicide/suicide. Stuart in the toilet, me in the oven. Like Sylvia.

The bobbin ran out shortly before that happened. The hubs is the only one who knows how to replace it (he is also the only person who knows how to make the stitcher thing move backwards) so I was done for the night.

On Day Two I decided I was approaching it all wrong. I needed to be more conceptual. Less perfection, more whim. AKA less time, more finishing. That was a super awesome theory. Except I still didn’t really have a goddamned clue what I was doing. And I was starting to lose some serious blood from the pin holes. I managed to eek out a skirt that was an accomplishment except that it made me look like an Oompa Loompa. Even the hubs couldn’t veil his surprise. I think he said something like oh! well would you look at that!

Asshole.

At work today I devised a plan. Too late to buy anything, plus I couldnt afford to buy anything. I needed to salvage my vision. I swung by the fabric store for some extra supplies and began the tedious and mind numbing task of hand sewing hook and eyes to the outfit. (You may have noticed that dress magically became skirt. Dresses involved a skill set I do not possess.) Then for good measure I just began stitching randomly. Like a crazy person.

And then, exactly like a crazy person, I stopped. As though a divine muse, the keeper of dreamers, seamers, and makeshift bust forms, told me I was done. The masterpiece was complete.

Unfortunately the divine muse is obviously blind. And now I’m going to debut my creation in front of hundreds of Boston’s People. (Capital P.)

I’ll keep you posted. Pinky swear.

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a lesson in humility

The half marathon is 17 days away and the sum total of my efforts has been to think about running. I’ve been jaunting occasionally— 3-4 mile jogs, pacing at about a nine minute mile. Hardcore, I know.

A healthy level of hubris has allowed me to pretty solidly believe that I don’t need to train. Worst case scenario I jalk (jogging walking, made popular by exaggerated arm swingers in culdesacs around the world). I walked the Avon, I can pretend run a half marathon, right?

Wrong.

Because deep down I don’t want to fail, I decided that today was the day. I was going to get on the treadmill and I was going to run for at least 1.5 hours. No excuses. If I did it successfully, it would be a free pass to sit on my laurels until May 22nd. If I failed, I was going to have to dig out my training scheduling and try to cram it all into the next 17 days. I got on there, pushed the appropriate buttons and began reading the captions on the newscast above me. I actually felt pretty good. Thanks to an impromptu yoga private yesterday, the hips were feeling good. Since I’m a legit yogger I didn’t have headphones, so I was able to make I’m-a-regular conversation with trainers and other regulars. Easy breezy.

Approximately 16 minutes into my Im-a-badass jog I felt my stomach drop. Sans headphones I was able to hear the corresponding gurgling.

omg omg omg.

At 22 minutes I contemplated playing roulette. It could, after all, just be, well, err…gas.

Stupid plan. I checked the timer. I was nearly 28 minutes as I frantically hit the emergency stop button and jumped off the moving treadmill to waddle-scamper to the on-floor bathroom. (The one that everyone knows is for people in my situation.)

(Time passes.)

Back on the treadmill. Obviously didn’t get my bid-ness taken care of in less than 60 seconds, which is all the time you get before the treadmill resets, so it was start over time. It doesn’t matter, but it does mess with your mind, starting from zero again. So there I go again. Jog. Jog. Jog.

Gurgle.

I had championed through an additional 16 minutes, hit the big red button and scampered–again– past the handful of THE SAME PEOPLE who were all stretching on the floor outside the bathroom.

(Time passes.)

Woo! Feeling better. I get back on the ‘mill, start again. After twenty or so minutes I started to relax. Obviously whatever it was had passed. Paralyzing grumbles: 2. Caroline: 1.

Oops. Too soon.

I glance quickly: 28 minutes. Button. Jumping. Waddling. Ahh.

Only this time there was a door malfunction and a trainer had the privilege of ogling my lady parts. Fortunately the three trips across the gym had broken me. I had half a mind to just invite him in for a closer look. But I didn’t.

Treadmill. Me. Last time. Keeping up with the math is making my head hurt and I’m starting to feel weak. The numbers are blurring together. Was it 12? 16? Two in the twenties? One? Huh? I don’t know. I decide I’m doing thirty more minutes without getting off. No matter what.

I made it to 27.

Waddle.

that one night on the pole

I have always wanted to be a stripper for one night. I’m quite certain it would be loads of fun and paying off my credit card is well worth one night of tempting the gross and nasties with my lady parts. I am serious that if the hubs weren’t such a joy sucker, ie if I were still single and carefree, I would 100% fulfill my lifelong dream of swinging round the merry pole and shimmying my badonkadonk down an STD laden stage. I’d have this amazing arsenal of stories and blog fodder. There’d be characters better than anything I could possibly make up, plus I’d be able to add it to my resume as one of my work experiences.

And you better believe I’d do the naughty teacher bit.

go ahead and check that off the list

Of the many important things that the hubs and I discuss, death is not one of them. I once tried to mention that I wanted to be cremated and he did the adult equivalent of stick his fingers in his ears, shake his head violently, and go nahnahnahnahnahaaanahhhanahh.

Meanwhile, I’m just trying to explain to him that I don’t want to talk about my death, I just need him to know that if it happens, don’t put me in the ground. (Unless it’s in a wicker casket. I have this weird thing about getting hot or claustrophobic in my casket. Intellectually I understand THAT I WILL BE DEAD, but it’s too much for my pea brain to think through without falling into that black hole that forces me to hold a mirror under the hub’s nose until I “accidentally” wake him up so we can chit chat til I feel better and he is too awake to fall back asleep.)

So, anyway, if I get hit by a bus and the hubs is too grief stricken to think straight, let it be known that I do not want to be put in the ground.

Unlike other, more zen people I know. I am not okay with dying. Not even a little bit. You always hear these stories about people who look upon the weeping faces of their friends and family and let them know that it’s okay. They are ready to go. They’ve lived a good life, or been blessed, or come to terms with their cancer– whatever. It’s their time. That will not be me. I will be slumped over in a puddle of self pity, begging doctors and nurses to help me, while being very clear with everyone present that I think the whole thing is fucked up and unfair. It will take thousands of hours of therapy for everyone to get over how disturbing the whole thing was to witness. When people speak of me in hushed tones there will be no “she was ready to move on” only pursed lips, head nodding, and darting eyes.

That being said, about twenty minutes ago I realized that certain things in life can make death a little easier to swallow. Like finding a blog plug titled “the blog that inspired me to blog” that links to my blog. That’s right, friends, I have officially become an inspiration to writers around the globe. While this may not make me less despondent and inconsolable on my deathbed, as least I’ll die knowing a legion of adoring fans will hold a candle light vigil with posters and printed pages. The headline of the Globe will read “The Half Truth of a Whole Life Cut Short.”

I think maybe I’ll begin thinking of other things that will make death seem less terrifying. Like dying of eating too many eggplant sandwiches. Or finally having a washer and dryer in my apartment.