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10.21.2009

Don't Worry. I'll Come Up With Something New To Complain About

I just returned from the Bay Area.

Okay, "just" is stretching it.

I returned from the Bay Area last Thursday. But, of course it took me two days to unpack, a day to catch up on my Tivo, a day to accept that the balloon boy was a fake, and then another day to roll my cats around on the floor like fur burritos.

I'm pretty sure that brings me to today. Maybe not. I may have blacked out for a time. I've been pounding Trader Joe's strawberry lemonade pretty hard.

Anyway, while I was in the Bay Area I got a little carried away with the spending. Whoa there! A bagel and a book? In the same week? Easy there, Rockefeller.

I returned home with an empty wallet and felt the stress of reality weighing down on me as soon as the plane hit the runway.

As you know all too well, Chris and I have been getting ourselves back on track financially. Having avoided a layoff and our stock portfolio holding strong at $50, we've been insanely attached to Dave Ramsey's budget site and living 100% on cash.

Which sucks. And I hate it.

We discovered though that if we pay cash for everything, we end up having more money to spend. And when the money runs out, we don't spend any more. I'm not sure how it works. I think it might be witchcraft. Anyway, the budget has been an insanely awesome tool. (But also very depressing because OMFG I know exactly what I'm going to spend on groceries in April 2010. And no girl should have to know that.)

Anywho. I had just flown in from San Francisco and Chris and Savannah were sick, so I headed to Target for cat food and Red Bull. I ended up grabbing a few other necessities and as I was walking through the parking lot back to my car, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach.

I had overspent by $40. This was going to be a problem. As I had so many times before I visualized our budget for the month. I mentally moved dollars around, delayed this expense, rearranged that payment. The ongoing creative process of my personal finances. My own Ponzi scheme.

I got in my car as my cell phone rang.

An hour later I was employed. With a job that I have been coveting at Blogher for, oh, ever. I'd like to think they couldn't wait to hire me. But they probably were just tired of all the heavy breathing hang ups over at corporate.

It was just what we needed. At just the right time. Relief. Gratitude.

I feel like my brain, my heart, can finally relax.

At every turn recently I've felt like Chris and I are healing a little bit more. And I could not be more grateful for this second chance to do the right thing with our money.

Or maybe not.

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In other news, a suspicious dark spot appeared on Chris' leg and...I'm not sure what to think about that. Stay tuned because I'm pretty sure I'm going to make you diagnose him for me.

10.07.2009

Back To Fool Night

I know, I know. I've disappeared on you. Off into the ether of YouTube and gossip. But, if you liked it, you shoulda put a ring on it.

I have no idea how that applies here. But, I've been wanting to say it for months. You know, to someone other than myself while I do lunges at the gym.

And I think by "ring", I probably mean "donut".

Speaking of the gym, I've discovered that I sort of love our lame little gym here at our clubhouse. Because no one is ever there. (Chris: Probably because they're working. You know, because we're in a recession.) ANYWAY, I can go during the week in the mornings and I have all the equipment to myself and I can sweat and make ugly faces and be free and if that means in a too-many-beans-for-dinner the night before way SO BE IT.

It's been sort of a love affair with moving my body lately. Honestly, that's why I haven't written here. Because writing requires sitting and I can feel my ass spreading into a throw pillow on the couch after awhile and once I'm done writing at Mamapop, I just can't stand to sit a moment longer.

So, I head to the gym with Jillian's Making The Cut, which is apparently the red-headed stepchild compared to The 30 Day Shred because no one ever talks about Making The Cut and when I tweet it or mention it on Facebook I get zero response. (Except for the same weirdo that asks me if I want to see him in a diaper. STILL NO.)

But, if you get a chance pick up Jillian's book. I'll be honest. I sort of hated Jillian. The yelling, the barking, the insults. And I admit I still am not a Jillian zealot, but her workouts? A-mazing. I've been working out for 10 years and have not seen the results I've seen in the last two weeks. Butt? Perky. Arms? Sculpty. Pants? Looser.

Weight?

Have not lost a pound. Not. One.

This makes me all kinds of upset because while my eating habits could be better, I feel like BACKWARDS CRAB WALKING should offset a bagel or Rosemary Olive Oil Triscuits (have you tried? Smear with some garlic herb Laughing Cow cheese and you'll collapse into a puddle of contentment on the kitchen floor. But, stick to one wedge. More than that and the cow stops laughing if you know what I mean.).

Anyway, I nearly vomited in a planter after my workout yesterday so something good should come from that, right?

Moving on. The real point of this post was to talk about Back To School night. I posted last week, but then took it down because I realized that reading about what actually happened would be a little more entertaining than what I thought may happen.

Due to a certain mean mom in the class, Back To School night last year was about as fun as using my head as a hammer, but this year it was all kinds of nifty. Because beforehand I got my Chardonnay on with a fellow mommy who, by the way, where the hell has she been for the last two years? Had I known there was a sane person in that damn school this whole drama may have been avoided entirely.

Also, do you want to know how I knew we were going to be good, good friends? When one morning I told her I was on my way to the gym and she sighed and replied "Yeah, I was thinking of going to the gym, but then I thought about going back to bed and it just sounds...better".

So, we decided that we would grab dinner together next door to the school We were seated right away and had an hour to spare, so we weren't worried about drinking too much or cutting it close to the start time.

Tragically, I'm me.

We enjoyed a single glass of wine. We nibbled at our salads. We were a little giggly. Our pizza was late. We started to get nervous. We inhaled a slice as we threw cash at the check and then we took off in a mad dash for the school.

As we raced across the parking lot, the campus was empty. We were late.

Both of our cell phones started ringing. Our husbands whispered angrily.

We arrived at our daughters' second grade classroom, breathless, likely smelling like wine. Sixty parents sat crammed into tiny desks. They were all facing us.

We walked in with our heads down. The teacher turned around.

"You're late".

Mean Mom smugly looked me up and down, a sweater tied over her shoulders, her hair in a bob.

And then I came up with something so perfect and brilliantly crafted it could only have come from a writer's brain.

"Yes we are."

I rushed to Savannah's desk where Chris sat glaring holding a paper owl.

"What the hell?" he whispered.

"How late are we?"

He snorted. "Very."

I looked over at my friend and we exchanged guilty glances.

The teacher continued.

"So, I had a very difficult problem for the class. I didn't mean for it to be. But, I realized that I presented it in a confusing way. So, the whole class got it wrong. Except for two students."

She quickly waved two papers in her hand without revealing their names.

And I could see written across the top in overly large letters that I will never criticize again, SAVANNAH.

I smiled broadly. Crazy drunk unemployed lady turns out genius child.

Chris looked at me. I applied lip gloss and whispered "And that's how it's done".

It was sort of imperfectly awesome.

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By the way, since a lot of you asked in comments on my last post, this is the book I was referring to: Girls Will Be Girls. It doesn't suggest wine before Back To School Night. That's all me!

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