Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Green Pepper Coffee

So, the other day I went through the Dunkin' Donuts drive through and got myself a small coffee with cream and sugar. At least that's what I ordered. Since I hadn't had my coffee yet I wasn't entirely lucid so when she handed it to me and said what sounded like "Small punkin', cream and sugar." I took it as a compliment. I'm rarely mistaken for a 'small' person, but hey, she called me punkin' and I was in the car so maybe I looked particularly small and cute. I smiled and winked and went on my way.

It never occurred to me that there was any possibility in the whole wide crazy world that someone would want pumpkin flavored coffee! French vanilla? OK. Mocha? OK. Peppermint? Sure. Hazelnut? Cinnamon? Sure. Not my cup of tea coffee. I prefer plain. But I can understand.

But pumpkin? How about tomato? Or potato. Green pepper, anyone? Maybe onion? How about liver?

Now, I like pumpkin. I love pumpkin pie, and pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bars. I've been known to eat pumpkin pie flavored ice cream in my wild and crazy youth. Hell, I'd even make pumpkin pancakes if I thought the rest of the family wouldn't barf at the very prospect of it. But coffee?

In all fairness, it was OK. I didn't mind the flavor although it was unexpected. What I did mind was the 100 additional calories and 23 grams of added sugar. Holy great sugar overdose! I get plenty of sugar on a daily basis and don't need that much added to my coffee!

Tasty? Yes.
Worth the calories and sugar? No.


Monday, November 28, 2011

My eyes! Ouch! Owwww! My eyes!

I visited my mother the day. While there I had some cookies. Doesn't that sound boring? Everyday? Mundane, even?

You would think so. But you would be wrong.

It started out innocently enough. It was a 'single serving' pouch with 6 round sandwich cookies. I opened up the end, carefully reached in with my index finger and thumb, grasped the first two cookies and pulled. I was too lazy to actually split the wrapper down the back and they were lodged in there pretty good, so I pulled harder. I grabbed those cookies with every bit of strength in my finger and thumb. I will NOT be beaten by a mere cookie!

And of course, before I knew it, it was the sugar container all over again.

The cookies E X P L O D E D. Cookie crumbs went flying in every direction, across the table, up into the air, but mostly up into my face and hair. I immediately began shrieking, "My eyes! Ouch! Owwww! My eyes!" and proceeded to blink furiously and pull at my eye lashes in a futile attempt to dislodge the cookie crumbs from my eyes.

They finally dissolved and presumably floated around to my brain with the assortment of eyelashes, dust and gnats that get into eyes and eventually disappear. Everything was back to normal.

That was the least satisfying cookie I've ever had.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Four?!? Is That All?!?!

I'm still working on the chin-ups. I know - you don't care. But I do, so I'm going to tell you about it. I was so excited! The other day I did 4!

"Four?!?!" you say. "Is that all?"

Yes, four. But I am very proud of that four. And when I say four, I mean four at once - in a row. I usually do several sets of 2 or 3 and get up to about 8 reps altogether. But until now, my max in a single go has been 3. But for the first time I did four in a row.

I suspect that this would move along a little faster if I didn't take breaks from practicing them. But my arms were in rough shape for a couple of weeks from a Kenpo seminar so I couldn't flex my forearms - made it difficult to grab the pullup bar. But I'm back in action now and before you know it I'll be doing 5, or 10.

And yes, much like when I achieved one and then two and then three, I will most-likely update you on my progress as I get to five, and six (and you can see where this is going, can't you?) I can't ever always blog about exciting, interesting or weird things.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rolling for an Audience

So the other day Sweet Pea and I were rolling in bjj class. It was fun and challenging. A big part of the challenge was trying not to squish Sweet Pea, but there were some moments where she had me in side control where I had difficulty getting out. There was a lot of giggling, some struggling and much to Sweet Pea's amazement and amusement, an audience.

It was the end of class and the next class was coming in. I think we attracted attention with our giggling. We were also moving more than some of the other rollers. We would disengage and start again and there were a few moments where she was airborne.

After class she was practically glowing. She did well, had fun and best of all, had an audience. Right up her alley.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

no no no no no not that not that!

  From what I've seen online, and in the dojo, most people who are rolling in bjj are relatively silent. There is a lot of panting, a bit of grunting, some heavy breathing, loads of sweating. You know, the typical sounds for someone who is working real hard, using their muscles, etc. Pretty typical. But I am amazed and amused by the sounds the hubby and I make while rolling.

Here are some examples of things you may hear us utter - some are pretty standard terms, others, well, not so much. It's our own bjj lingo:

tap  :   verb
     1. My hands are trapped in some terribly unfortunate position and I can't get them free to tap
     2. You won - now back off

chest  :  noun
    1. You are crushing my chest and I can't breath. Let up a little.

oooof  :  onomatopoeia
     1. You have just crushed me and I don't have enough breath left to say 'chest'.

whOOoo  oooooo  :  onomatopoeia
      1. You have just twisted me into a pretzel and I have no hope of escape. This is often followed by 'tap'.

shit  :  expletive
      1. You have gotten me into a choke. Again.
      2. I am trapped and utterly helpless. Again.

no no no no no not that not that  :  revelation
      1. I am about to be twisted into a pretzel or some other unfortunate position like back control and will twist my own self into a pretzel to try to avoid it.

uberhootentrout  nonesense 
     1. the universal release word, similar to 'tap' in that it means 'let me go now!', but different in that no one can remember that word when it's needed most.

You should try bjj. It's fun. Really.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Up to the Windowsill For a Leisurely Meal

A couple of times a week I try to go into the basement to workout with my kettlebells. The cat often accompanies me. It's can be somewhat unsettling. Every time. And I mean Every Single Time that I lie on the floor, for sit-ups, or kettlebell stuff, or for any reason, she eyes me, then she stands and slowly stalks over to me. Regardless of what I'm doing, she rubs herself along the side of my head or face or shoulder.

But I know.

I know!

I can see it in her eyes. What she really wants to do is attack. Like a wild panther. Like a leopardess. She wants to go in for the kill and drag my lifeless carcass up into her windowsill for a leisurely meal.

I think I may close the door behind me, leaving the cat upstairs, when I work out from now on.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Now All She Needs is a Gazelle

   I don't think I have ever moved so much furniture in such a short amount of time.
I don't believe I had that much crap in my bedroom.
I don't believe I managed to stuff so much crap into the spare/computer room.
I didn't think it was possible to stack furniture so expertly.
I don't believe how bare and clean my bedroom is now.

What am I talking about? Well, I have a nice big bedroom with a high ceiling. It now contains a bed, a dresser and a set of shelves. Period. All jammed into the far end. The rest of it is just open space. A huge, empty, yawning space.

A savannah.

A wasteland.

A desert.

A dojo.

Yes. Our very own (small) dojo. Hubby can practice his Iaido, we can practice our katas, we can do our bjj rolling. It's tight - we crash into the walls sometimes, but if we're careful, oh so very careful, we can make use of this space.

We actually considered moving the bed into the closet to make a little bit more space, but that seemed a bit extreme. And by extreme, I mean, more extreme than the craziness we already just did.

But we can always move it back if we decide we made a bad decision or if we end up not using it. And in the process I managed to throw out a lot of old crap that we should have gotten rid of long ago. If nothing else it was good exercise.

And the cat loves the open space. Whenever she gets a chance she sneaks in (it's a forbidden room for kitties) and sprawls out in the middle of the open space, no doubt imagining herself a lion on the savannah. Now all she needs is a gazelle.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Doggie Drugs, Kittie Quaaludes and Rodent Roofies

We have a couple of guinea pigs. Skinny little Ellie and plump little Oreo. Sweet little things they are, especially Ellie. We've had Ellie for 5 years and she is really the nicest, cutest little rodent you'd ever want to meet. I noticed recently (well, Sweet Pea noticed - I really don't pay all that much attention to the pigs except when I feel like I'm being badgered into giving them yet another carrot just to shut up all the wheeking when I open the refrigerator) that one of her front teeth was very very overgrown. I've read that this sometime occurs with guinea pigs and it's a simple thing to clip their teeth.

You think you can see where this is going, can't you? You're wrong. There is no way in hell that I am going to try to clip guinea pig teeth. Nuh uh! No way. I'll clip the occasional claw, but they are on their own with their fangs.

Anyway, like I said, her tooth was overgrown. She is also the skinniest guinea pig in the world. She's really just fur, skin and bones. She wasn't always that way. I suspect part of the reason is that she has trouble eating with that tooth in the way. I must have been having a very sympathetic and guilt-ridden week because I kept thinking about her dying a slow, horrible death by starvation just because I wouldn't fork over $15 bucks to get her tooth clipped. And she's been such a good piggie. And she has at least 2-3 years left in her if we take care of her.

So, knowing it was crazy, I made an appointment for her. And of course, as is the way with car repairs, vet visits and trips to the grocery store, there is always more that needs doing/buying once you get there. Let me tell you, I felt like an utter fool sitting in the vets office with my box o' piggie. I mean, really. Bringing a guinea pig to the vet?! That's crazy!

So, the vet pokes her, prods her, squeezes her, feels her all over, amid a chorus of wheeks, squeaks, grunts and rumbles, then takes her off to try to get a look at her mouth.

I figured the stress of all the man-handling would probably do her in right there. I was hoping they wouldn't charge me if she died on the examining table. And honestly, not to be heartless, but it would have been somewhat of a relief not to have to walk through the waiting room again, mortified and embarrassed with my box o' pig.

But finally the vet was done and he brought her back out, happy and healthy if somewhat trembly. He sat down. He looked very serious. I expected a diagnosis of heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes. But he proceeded to tell us that she's very skinny. A very observant man right there.

Then he very seriously told us all sorts of ridiculous things about her teeth, and how they are all overgrown, and how with a little surgery they can fix it right up. And did we want to make an appointment to send her to Cornell for surgery?

I'll stop to give you a moment to catch your breath. I know it must be hard to read this through your laughter.

The hubby actually laughed in the vet's face. It would have been very comical if the vet hadn't looked so hurt. I just know he thought we were heartless fools. He kept avoiding the hubby's gaze after that. I managed to keep my laughter contained and just stared at him in disbelief, trying to look sympathetic and concerned. I mean, that poor man really looked like he thought getting guinea pig surgery was a good idea. I think he was high - strong doggie drugs, kittie qualudes or rodent roofies or something.

Needless to say, we passed on bringing her to Cornell for surgery and opted instead for a quick snip of the long tooth. We brought her back home, dumped her back in the cage with a pile of carrots and broke the news to her and Oreo that there would be no more vet visits. That they were entirely on their own. They should keep their own teeth ground down by chewing on the nice hay I provide.

They were very understanding.

You know, in some parts of the world the little rodents would be running around my feet all day and when it was time for dinner I'd pick one up, wring it's little neck, skin it and serve it for dinner. I might consider such a thing myself except Ellie is too darn skinny. Now, Oreo on the other hand is nice and plump.


Friday, November 11, 2011

This Dolphin Says WHUMP!

Snickers won a huge plush dolphin at the fair this year. It was one of those games where someone wins everytime and it was Snickers, Doodlebug, Sweet Pea and I playing. So the odds were pretty good that one of us would walk away with a prize. And sure enough - Snickers won! He chose a huge golden yellow dolphin that is about 3 feet long. He was ecstatic! It was stuffed with tiny little styrofoam balls so it was nice and light and made a soft shushing/hissing noise when you shifted it. He actually carried it around the fair all by himself for quite a while before I ended up with it.

But, as we discovered, that Styrofoam was dusty. Little clouds of Styrofoam dust ploofed out regularly. So much so that Snickers decided he wouldn't sleep with it for fear of suffocating on the dust in his sleep. So, it had a place of honor on top of his book shelves. But he really liked the thing and wanted to sleep with it so I told him I would replace its guts with some other stuffing that was less likely to kill him in his sleep.

He was a little worried but I reassured him - a single small incision and a little bit of time and Dolphin would be back up and swimming in no time.

So I set to work. I opened up the seam in Dolphin's tail and poured and squeezed and squished and dumped out about 17 cubic yards of Styrofoam balls. And of course, as is the way with tiny Styrofoam balls, and as is the way with me and my lack of aversion to making a mess, the operating room was covered in a half inch of Styrofoam balls that somehow missed the garbage bag. Now, we're not talking a nice even 1/2 inch layer across the floor. We're talking a layer on the floor, and on the chair, and on the table, and stuck to the front of the cabinet, and covering every inch of my legs from the knee down and static clinging from the tip of my little finger up to my armpits. Every nook and cranny within 3 yards of the surgery site had anywhere from a few little Styrofoam balls to a thick coating.

It was a mess!

It was disgusting!

It was glorious!

Like a warm snowstorm localized around me and the Dolphin. It was all I could do not to throw handfuls up in the air and twirl around, eyes closed and tongue out. But I had to draw the line somewhere.

So, after cleaning up the mess, vacuuming the floor, my pants, my shirt, the cabinets, the bookcase, the computer and the cat I then decided to shake out the Dolphin for good measure to make sure I got it all. Then, after once again  vacuuming the floor, my pants, my shirt, the cabinets, the bookcase, the computer and the cat I got out a bag of polyester fiber stuffing.

I stuffed and I stuffed and I stuffed. I stuffed approximately 20 pounds of stuffing into that thing.

Remember that nice shushing, hissing noise I mentioned? Yeah, that's gone. Gone into the huge garbage bag. Gone into the guts of the vaccuum cleaner. Now this Dolphin says WHUMP! It's quite an impressive sound!

I carefully sewed up the tail and Snickers was delighted with the change. If only he could lift the darn thing! But with perseverence he managed to wrangle it into his bed.

And while it's an improvement and he no longer fears suffocating on the Styrofoam dust in his sleep, he now has a new fear. He fears being crushed to death under the weight of the thing should it fall onto him in the middle of the night. Not to mention the forhead bruises and elbow contusions from accidentally bumping into the thing in the night.

I promised him I would perform a followup surgery - a liposuction - to remove some of the excess fat. Hopefully when all is said and done it will be 10 pounds lighter, soft and snuggly and no danger to anyone. Only time will tell.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sweating, Panting, Struggling, Shifting, Swearing, Pushing and a Tiny Bit of Actual BJJ

So, how is BJJ going, you ask? It's going very well, thank you very much. In case you don't know (and there's no reason you would, and even I didn't know until about a week ago), 'rolling' is what they call it when you grapple/wrestle/roll around with your partner and try to sweep them, or get them in an arm lock, or a leg lock or a submission while trying to avoid getting yourself caught in one of those situations.

As the hubby and I practice our moves and get slightly better at a few of them, a couple of our practice sessions have ended up with us rolling - much like when the gerbils got into a fight - teeth and nails and fur flying, rolling bodies with no obvious winner, lots of swearing (mostly from me), lots of sweating, panting, struggling, shifting and pushing and a tiny little bit of actual BJJ.

Every once in a while I find myself grabbing a leg the right way, or getting my arms just right, then drawing a complete blank on what comes next.

Here's some of last night's conversation (if 'conversation' is what you can call those grunting, panting phrases uttered between my curses):

Me: Oh, wait, wait, don't move. I know he told us how to get out of this one. I need to think.

Me, trapped under the full weight of the hubby with little ability to move at all, let alone breath: Oh crap! He never told us how to deal with this one. (I'm suspecting it's because I never should have let myself get in that situation in the first place.)

Hubby: Whoa! Watch that knee! (That knee was too close for comfort!)

But the good news is, when I'm rolling I do remember some of it and see glimmers of hope that I may get better at it. I also recognize when I've completely screwed up, often just before that final moment when I'm stuck. It makes me hopeful that one day I'll be able to do something about it before it's too late.

There's something to be said for actually getting something to work though. Every once in a while I end up doing something right and get the hubby in an arm lock, or almost manage to sweep him, or I end up on top. Whoo hoo! Ha! Gotcha! Then of course, the tables turn again. But every little victory is awesome!


Monday, November 7, 2011


  A haiku for today:

My three favorite words
I have no idea why
Uber, hoot and trout.

Why, you ask? I just said. I have no idea. I just like the sound of them. Hoot makes me think of fuzzy little owls - like burrowing owls.
Trout just has a certain ring to it - it rolls nicely off the tongue.
And uber - well, it's just an uber-awesome word.

We have a new word in our  house now:
Uberhootentrout: [oo-ber-hoo-ten-trowt]
1. the utter silliness of Mommy
2. a byproduct of the utter silliness of Mommy

As in: What is all that uberhootentrout out there?