Wednesday, April 27, 2011

So totally not safe for work. Or my dad.

Last week, I got an email, as I sometimes do, from a reader who wanted my address so she could send me something. But I was particularly excited because this email was from Peggi, and Peggi...gets me. So I knew that whatever Peggi had put in that package, I would love it and I would be compelled to show it to you as soon as possible.

Peggi sent me an ironing board cover. But not just any ironing board cover. No, she sent me a man-slathered, beefcake-encrusted ironing board cover. Meet Mark B.:

According to the packaging, there are two man-options: Marky Mark and a dark-haired specimen known as Richard Kane. So of course all I could think about was why old Marcus Aurelius here only wanted his last initial, whereas Dick was perfectly happy to use his full name. Does Mark feel all cheap and dirty because he allowed his body to be exploited on a piece of ironing board porn, whereas Mr. Kane is hoping someone will Google him and he'll either get work or get lucky? Would Mr. B-Natural be mortified if he were, say, picking up his dry cleaning and someone started squealing, "Oh my god, you're on my ironing board cover!" Cuz Dickie would be all like, "That's right, baby. And have you seen my new line of Tip-n-Strip pens?"

I'm sure Mark is a lovely man in person, but ironing board cover fabric may not be his most flattering medium:

He looks a little wall-eyed, and reminds me a lot of my high school gym teacher, Ms. Wallace. I also think he kinda looks like Owen Wilson if he was retaining a LOT of water or was having some sort of allergic reaction to shellfish or something. Nice pecs, though!

Mark has been provided with a handy towel or drape or something, that has obviously been added later. I wonder why?

Probably someone got all offended and didn't want to see any nasty man bits on their ironing board cover and flooded the ironing board cover manufacturing concern with phone calls demanding that the scary, scary weenies get covered up or no one in the Prudes With 'Tudes Quilt Guild would ever buy one of their covers ever ever again. Honestly, people need to lighten the fuck up. A little junk on an ironing board cover never hurt anyone. Oh, well.

But hey - it turns out it's a MAGIC towel! And when you apply a hot iron...


Clearly, our little Marconi is a European dude, since his piggy still has its blanket (DO NOT LOOK IF HUMAN MALE GENITALIA GIVES YOU ICKY FEELINGS):

Awww. I think it looks a little shy. When I told David what Peggi had sent, his immediate question was whether or not the B-man was at full wood or just partway or not at all. I don't think Magic Marker found being laid out and photographed for the prurient delight of middle aged women very arousing. I think he may have gone home after the photo shoot and questioned his life choices. Which of course just makes me that much more fond of him. So, Mark, if you're out there - you have nothing to be ashamed of. You're beautiful, baby. But that Richard is a man-slut and everybody knows it.

Peggi says that if you want one of your own (and you know you do) you can get them from Susan Zerbe of SueBee's Designs. To make arrangements you can email her at srzerbe (at) earthlink (dot) net if you want to buy one. 

And if you do, and you get Richard, I want photos.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lust made me fat.

I have nothing quilty to write about today. I can't even pretend that I do by offering up some new fabric or gadget I've purchased. I'm still binding the baby quilt, a task that has taken me longer than normal because I have been plagued by headaches for the past couple of weeks, and stitching is one of the activities that exacerbates it, along with sitting, standing, breathing, and thinking about food.

I have been meticulously accounting for every calorie that enters my body. I have not been exercising though, since I have had Harper home with me all week and she refuses to go to the child care at the gym and there is no one I can park her with for that hour. And the first person that gives me some sort of helpful advice about taking walks or doing jumping jacks while I fold laundry is hereby banned from this blog forever. I like the gym. I am happy there. I can park my Kindle and read while I sweat and no one asks me eight million questions about poopy underpants and I don't have to try to ignore the horrible dialogue coming from Nickelodeon shows.

David, on the other hand, has a gym where he works and, since he works for the government, the gym only costs like ten bucks a month and all he has to do is get up early enough to get there with enough time to work out and shower before his first meeting. When he first joined last year, he was pretty good about going for a while, but he would always come home and say things like, "I'm up to seven minutes!" Total. I don't think he ever got beyond 15. He seemed to think that once you started to flag you should stop. He also frequently wondered why he wasn't losing weight. He would wonder this as he polished off his second dinner. Seriously. The man would eat an entire pizza and then make a sandwich. I would of course very solemnly remind him that he would have to cut calories if he wanted to lose weight, and then I would refill my beer hat with Dr. Pepper.

Naturally, David is now pushing himself to do the full 30 minutes and is only eating one of each meal, and mostly vegetables. He has lost four pounds. I have lost one. This gives me a number of reasons to want to "accidentally" knee him in the nuts. Besides, he ought to let me win because it's his fault I'm fat. Before I met him, I had a personal menu of about three things, all beige, and I hardly ever ate those. Then he came along and his second favorite thing to do with me was to drag me to various exotic restaurants all over Annapolis and D.C. I finally found a guy who couldn't get enough of me and if he wanted me to stuff myself with rogan josh and pad thai before we knocked boots all night, I figured that was the least I could do.

See? It's all his fault.

But that's okay. If he wins—and it's pretty clear he will, at least this first round—I will happily give him his prize, because even if he did make me fat, he's wonderful and I adore him.

Tune in again tomorrow, because I just got a package (so to speak) from a reader and it is so awesome that I have to give it its own post with pictures. But FYI, it will be NSFW.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bet me

On Saturday, a good friend of mine came over for a visit along with her husband and daughter. Her daughter is about a year younger than my Devon and the two girls are best buddies. It's so important at that age for a child to have a playmate with whom she can freely talk about poop and underpants. My friend, whom I have known for about ten or eleven years now, is a cop (as is her husband) and her station has been having a weight loss competition since the beginning of the year. I knew she was participating because she would always try to estimate the calories of whatever we were eating when we were together, but I had no idea how devoted she had been to her program until I saw her on Saturday. She was wearing this red hoodie that fit all snug and she looked about half the size I'm used to seeing and I went, "Damn, woman, you all skinny," and she said, "Yeah, bitch - 40 pounds since January." I had to be revived with chocolate and Dr. Pepper.

Forty pounds. FORTY. That's a Harper, basically. She shed herself of enough body weight to equal a small seven-year-old. Now I've seen my friend get motivated to lose weight before, and when she puts her mind to it she does it, but I suspect part of her motivation is her husband, who is one of those beanpole ectomorphs who should be banned from existence until they learn to overeat properly like the rest of us. He is also one of those people who has no compunction about expressing his opinion that perhaps his wife doesn't need to eat that second helping of scalloped potatoes and will do things like buy her a swim club membership as a surprise. My husband is one of those people who says things like, "Baby, if you want me to get in the car and go drive through the pouring rain to get you a crumb-topped blueberry muffin that is bigger than my own head, I will, because I love you and I want to do something that will make you happy. Also, I need some sausage." I married the world's most wonderful enabler.

But I was wondering later about the competition at her job and whether that was a bigger (or equal) motivating factor for her, and it occurred to me that perhaps a little competition was exactly what David and I needed to get us in gear to lose the weight we keep saying we're going to lose. So I proposed that we have a contest, to run every three weeks. Whoever loses five pounds first within three weeks gets a prize, to be provided by the loser. David suggested, and I agreed, that if I win, he will take the children on a weekend day, giving me an extra day to myself. He might take them somewhere for the day, or I might take off for the day, but he will be in charge of the kids for 6-8 hours. This will mean a lot more to me soon as school is out in just over a month.

I am not going to tell you what David chose as his prize. I will only say that he is feeling VERY motivated and has been getting a faraway, dreamy look on his face every five minutes. I conveniently failed to mention that he can have that particular prize anytime by just asking, but he never asks, so now it's a commodity to be withheld unless he wins. Contests are fun!

In quilting news, I appealed to the hive mind a week or so ago on Facebook and asked for help with a pattern for a quick baby quilt using a selection of ft quarters and yardage I had in my stash. Ginny of Ginny's Quilts stepped up to the plate and wrote out instructions for the star quilt that's shown on her blog banner in a 45x45 size. I whipped it up over the weekend:

Then I spent the next week trying to quilt it. Leah will be having fits about all the texture I could have added to those big blocks, but I needed simple and quick and acceptable to give away. So I did "straight line" quilting, which I put in quotation marks, because there was nothing straight about any of the lines. It looks like I stuck the quilt under the needle, closed my eyes and raised up my arms, and just let her rip.  Then as I was working, I realized—far, far too late—that my backing was seriously crooked:

I meant to do that. Babies need stimulation and perfectly straight lines are far too stultifying for young minds. This kid will be a fuckin' genius, no doubt.

Devon is currently playing downstairs with her above-mentioned friend and I am listening to them over the baby monitor as I work. I just heard Miss Poopy tell Miss Underpants that she wants to go outside and play poopy on the underpants and then come back in and have some poopy underpants. I'm waiting for one of them to drop or spill something and go, "Oh, poopy underpants!"

As for me, I have had no Dr. Pepper today. NONE. Instead I had coffee, like a grown-up, middle-aged woman is supposed to, with fat-free half & half and two carefully measured teaspoons of sugar. I weighed my goddamn cereal and weighed the cheese I ate at 10 for a snack. I have been drinking sparkling water all day and peeing every six minutes. After Devon's friend goes home, I will find a way to do some sort of undignified exercise in the privacy of my home while the children comment on my lack of form and stamina. Then I will collapse on the floor and clutch my aching, empty belly while I imagine the light that will surely go out in my sweetie's eyes when he realizes I have won and he will not be receiving his anticipated prize.

Oh, hell. Maybe I'll have a cookie.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Harumph, indeed

Of course I was kidding. I never expected anybody to fall for that, since I figured it was kind of lame and obvious, and I just hadn't had a brilliant inspiration for anything better. But what I REALLY didn't expect was how many people would go, "Oh you had me up until the 'pre-law' part." You people all think I'm some kind of wacky cut-up or something, but I'm actually a stone cold bitch. I'd make a kick-ass lawyer and I'm tempted to go out and get my JD and pass the damn bar and sue all of you just to prove my point. And I'm going to get right on that, just as soon as I finish this beer.

I'm working on something to make up for giving half of you heart attacks, but it may take some time as I have two articles to write as well. And I have nothing quilty to show you, as the only creative thing I did this weekend was make dreamcatchers with my daughters. And when I say "with" I mean I made them sit and listen to mommy curse under (and over) her breath since the damn project was naturally too hard for them to do themselves. "If we are going to make dubious Native American-themed crafts, you are going to sit there and you are going to LIKE IT."

I was informed that they did indeed catch the bad dreams, as advertised. Which made at least one short person very well-rested and happy the next day.

I wonder if I would look like that too if I ever got a full night's sleep. I might even be tempted to put on the skirt.

Back to the salt mines. I have quilt-related humor to produce. And how many other people can say that, I wonder?

Friday, April 1, 2011


I have been doing a lot of thinking and soul-searching over the last few days - the last few weeks, really - and it became clear to me as I attempted to write my next humor column for Quilter's Home.  See, there was a time when writing things that I found funny and things that made other people laugh was a pleasure, because it was kind of a subversive act for me. It was talking all the expectations of who and what I was supposed to be, was expected to be, and well, basically laughing in the face of all that. I was never going to be a lawyer or the editor of the New York Times Book Review. I was probably never going to write a serious novel. So, writing humor was a way of accepting myself, or so I saw it at the time.

But now that humor writing has become a chore, one with deadlines and expectations, I can see it for what it really is: a waste of time and an excuse for not trying harder to realize my potential. I'm afraid my heart simply isn't in this anymore, and I am discontinuing this blog as of today.

I will, however, be keeping another blog, in which I will chronicle my future studies in pre-law. I hope that you will all come visit me over there from time to time, as I am sure I will come to miss you all very much. In fact, I've already started and you can read the first post here.