Tiger update

Posted in Food for thought with tags , , , , , , on April 2, 2012 by cwgala

GRIN #433

Man, I’m getting bad about posting. I apologize for that. I have a whole list of GRINS I want to blog about, but paying work is keeping me busy–a very good thing, indeed.

We’ve also been traveling quite a bit lately and those trips have reminded how annoying feeding the “Tiger” can be.

The Tiger is my husband, who, because of hypoglycemia and a freakish love for intense exercise, has to eat about every 90 minutes to two hours. Normally, the Tiger is at work and he deals with this by purchasing and consuming whole chickens in one sitting. No one believes me when I talk about how much he eats until they see it in person.

Back in January, in Florida, each morning I’d just make as many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as I could and stuff them in the backpack. It worked at Legoland, but at Seaworld, the staff searched the pack at the gate and threw them away.

It was only 10:15, and the Tiger was already looking weak. This is always how it begins. Then he starts moaning and groaning and sweating. Unsympathetically, I usually say something like, “Oh, for God’s sake! We just ate!” We ended up buying the Tiger an all-you-can-eat pass the two days we were there. He wore that thing out; I think the food staff actually shuddered when they saw him coming.

I find myself daydreaming sometimes about donating poundage to the Tiger. Like instead of a kidney or something. And some magazine would do a write-up about what a generous, loving wife I am.

On that note, wouldn’t that be fantastic if we could donate pounds to those in need? Can you imagine the charitable women all over the U.S. elbowing each other out of the way and screaming at one another? I was here first! What a great reality show that would be, with instantaneous “before” and “after” pictures.

But I digress, in other Tiger news:

  • A neighbor donated a 20-lb bag of Basmati rice that her husband wasn’t crazy about, and the Tiger is steadily working his way through it. I make him a cup and he pours in a can of black beans, cheese, grocery store chicken and hot sauce. That’s one feeding, usually at 9:30 a.m. Yeah, I said “a.m.” The bag looks like something the United Nations would have on hand for foreign aid, but whatever.
  • The Tiger is now highly suspicious of eating at “Tapas” restaurants, which he learned about in Florida. “Tapas” is Spanish for “small plates” where people pass the plates and share the dishes.  At my suggestion, we went to a Tapas place while on vacation. “Why are you ordering so many things?” the Tiger asked. “Because we’re supposed to share,” I explained. Then the food came. “Share what?” the Tiger asked. “There’s not enough here for even one person!”
  • Sweet Tomatoes, a local chain with a huge salad bar and a selection of soups, breads and pastas, has been blacklisted. “I don’t get this place. Where’s the meat?” the Tiger asked, sounding like the little old lady in the hit Wendy’s commercial from the 80s. I reminded him, “You don’t have to eat meat at every meal.” Of course, that fell on deaf ears; the Tiger thinks vegetarians become vegetarians simply to be annoying. That’s probably politically incorrect, but there it is.  
  • I discovered the Tiger’s vast collection of hot sauce could be keeping him thin; I read somewhere that people who consume a lot of hot sauce burn fat faster. I’m tempted to dump the Tiger’s collection, but then hed have nothing to mask the taste of my cooking. In a cost vs. benefits analysis, I decided that would just create more problems than it solves.

Anyway, that’s all for now. I’m down to a half-roll of toilet paper and still have to grab something for dinner.

I’ll just get a grocery store chicken. Or three.


Opinions confirmed

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , , , , , on March 10, 2012 by cwgala

GRIN #432

Take a look at this.

Lord in heaven. “What IS that?” you ask. It’s meatloaf. And, as I’ve always known, it does in fact suck. Fortunately, I didn’t actually make this. That would have run counter to my raw meat aversion. Instead, I purchased it–for the hub–from a place I quite like. And to see if I was missing anything. I am not. The flavoring was good and it smelled great. Here’s the problem. It looks–and tastes–like cat food. There’s just no way around it.

The texture is the problem. And with exhibit A, above, the problem is compounded. This is actually a stuffed meatloaf–a freaky ill-begotten spawn of my other ack-attack food, turducken. Why would you take good ham, good cheese and pollute it inside a loaf of meat? I’m still a little nauseous thinking about this.

Here it is on a plate: even less appetizing if that’s possible.

SECOND CONFIRMED OPINION: Baseballs/softballs hurt like hell when you catch them.

I learned this a long time ago. I’m not exactly a girly girl (okay, really, I am) but I do have an aversion to pain, in addition to raw meat. In sixth grade, I played one season of softball (ironically for The Cary News) and as a result of my ball-avoidance problem, the coach put me where the ball never goes (it’s either right or left field, I can never remember).

Anyway, it was a good bet. The ball only came to me once that season. Everyone was cheering for me to catch it, but I just stepped out of the way and let it drop to the ground. But instead of hitting the ground, it hit my thigh, and I cried like a baby. Not my finest moment.

ANYWAY, Tyler has baseball tryouts tomorrow and since the time hasn’t changed yet it would be dark before Jerry got home to throw him a few practice pitches. So I filled in. It was just as I remembered. You put a little heat behind that ball, even from an eight-year-old, and damn it hurts!

Me: Just roll it to me. Quit throwing it!

Tyler: Mom, just catch it!

Me: No!! It hurts!

Tyler: Quit jumping out of the way! You’re not even trying!

Me (jumping out of the way).

Tyler: Really, Mom?!!

Yes, really. It hurts. I am scared of catching baseballs and softballs even with a glove on. And, if I’m honest, I’m scared even when they’re just flying around. Frankly, volleyballs are no picnic either.

Anyway, I threw him the ball back and it clipped his right hand really hard and he started crying.

“I told you it hurt!” I said. “That’s why I get out of the way!”

And why I am not a good fill-in. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

I’m so old I need help understanding…

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2012 by cwgala

GRIN #431

The Whole-Pants-Worn-Under-Your-Butt-Cheeks phenomenon: Hasn’t this been going on for YEARS now? When is it going to end? The other day at the mall, I saw a GIRL with her pants half off. Every time I see this, I just want to yell: “Hey, your ass is showing, you dumbass!” Crack ain’t cool, fool.

A thirty-dollar-gummy-bear: This thing is the size of a Smithfield ham. And the salesman told me he sells them all the time. Again, why? Aside from that, how would you even eat it? I eat it with a knife and fork. I roll it in a slice of pork. It’s a Dr. Suess side dish.  

Ear gauges: These are dime-sized circles young people, mostly guys, wear in their ears. I’m not sure why. Because it’s cool, I guess. Kinda like the pants-around-the-knees thing. But in 10 years, or maybe even 5, they’re going to have ear flaps. I’m not a doctor, but I’m guessing ear lobes are a lot like breasts. And once they get stretched out. Well. You know. It’s not going to be pretty, boys. You’re going to want ear implants. And I’m pretty sure insurance won’t cover it.

My new excuse for rest

Posted in The story behind the story with tags , , , , , on January 27, 2012 by cwgala

GRIN #430

So I’m doing some work for a client that requires me to learn about the latest forensic technology. Cool, no?

In an effort to better understand some of the equipment, I went on a tour today. To demonstrate the equipment, my fingerprints were taken.

And. They. Suck.

“What are you, a bricklayer?” the technician asked. “These are horrible!”

She might as well have announced I had bad breath.

“What? Why?”

I mean, my prints weren’t matching up with any criminal activity, so good points for that, right? How else could a fingerprint be “bad?”

But I learned something new. Good prints are those with well-defined ridges and minimal scarring and scratches. Bad prints, like mine, are those where the ridges are worn down, so the print is less discernible.

Still, the pads of my fingers couldn’t be THAT bad. “How bad are they?” I asked. “What grade would you give them?”

“Probably about a D-minus.”

A D-minus!! So in addition to wrinkles and flabby knees and all the vanity crap I worry about, I also have horrendous finger pads. What next?

Well. CLEARLY, I’ve been working too hard. That’s what I was told. No worries. The prescription is plenty of rest, my friend. No more scrubbing down the counters and washing pots and pans. Those harsh chemicals I use to clean the shower? No more. Yard work? Fuhgeddaboutit. And cooking. That has to have something to do with my D-minus, although I haven’t quite put my finger on it. (Pun intended).

So, that’s it. I’m off duty.

It will be hard, but I’m nothing if not a beacon of self-improvement.

Thoughts for 2012

Posted in The story behind the story with tags , , , on January 12, 2012 by cwgala

GRIN #429

This ran yesterday in The Cary News. I’ve had a lot of comments on it so I thought I’d display it here too! Thanks for reading:)

Thoughts for the New Year

I turned forty at the end of October, and that milestone combined with the New Year has made me engage in a bit of reflective thinking. Of course, sometimes my reflective thinking results in something profound, but more often than not it simply reveals a truism that folks have been telling me for years but that I, too, finally accept.

Below, a few truisms, at least from my perspective, for 2012:

  • Sometimes good enough is good enough. This applies to dinner, getting the spots out of carpeting, helping with homework, cleaning the shower, getting dressed and any other activity that leaves you feeling you’ll never get it quite right. You won’t, so move on.
  • You are sometimes going to lie to your children. Duh, right? You’d be surprised at how many people are on the bandwagon of not lying to children. Without lying, there’d be no Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny, and your kids would know what you really did as a teenager.
  • If you need caulk and are out of caulk: Use Gingerbread House frosting. This, after spending the morning with a putty knife trying to break free long streaks of frosting from the kitchen floor.
  • Things that are highly overrated: Gingerbread houses, the SAT, corn mazes, ironing, Black Friday and trying to lose that last ten pounds. Regarding the latter, I want to be healthy, but I want to enjoy life too. So if we go out for pizza, I’m not eating a salad.
  • Two things I’m finally smart enough not to do again: Golf and fishing. I’m sorry; this hurts some people, I know. But in the past 20 years those two activities have made me cry, and I wish to high heaven someone had given me fair warning. If you find you must participate in one or both of these activities, just know it’s a whole-day affair and, oh yeah, bring sunscreen and a cooler stuffed with adult beverages. If you only have time to grab one thing, make it the cooler.
  • Parenting well is hard. But not parenting well is even harder in the long run.
  • Learn to say “So what?” To all those “theys” you think are judging you. We think about what people think about us a lot more than they actually do, if that makes sense. Just tell your neurotic self, “So what?” and keep on trucking. Most of us do the best we can.
  • When you get stuff, you just want more stuff. And then your stuff suffocates you. We don’t need more stuff. Go for experiences.

Finally, I just want to enjoy 2012 as much as I can. It’s not a lofty resolution, but it’s a pretty tall order for a worrywart like me. I’m starting to learn I have a lot less control over most events than I initially thought. It’s a paradox that surrendering worry and control is the easiest thing in one way because you don’t have to do anything, but the hardest because you have to give something up—the illusion of being in control. I’m not there yet, but I’m working on it.

For now, I just want to enjoy the ride.

I’ll have what THOSE writers are having

Posted in So true with tags , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2012 by cwgala

GRIN #428

Have you ever bought a deal from Living Social, Groupon or Twongo?

Of course you have! Those deals are everywhere. I’m addicted to them, although my secret fear is they’re all going to go out of business (because, really, how does anyone make any money?) and I’ll be left with a vouchers for steak knives, teeth whitening and carpet cleaning.

Anyway, the writers of these deals have their hands full trying to entice customers with a snappy sales pitch that jumps right off the page.

Most of the time they succeed.

But sometimes they get a little punchy. If you have to write too many things, too fast and everything is expected to be clever and fabulous, you’re eventually going to start sounding like you’ve fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole or found some really good drugs.

Keep an eye out and you’ll see what I mean. I have fun trying to guess what they’re selling before reading more.

A few examples, coincidentally, or not, all from Groupon:

  • Neglected cars try to escape their owners by parking in tow zones or running away from their garages to join the demolition derby. Keep custody of your car with today’s Groupon to Neo Automotive. Uhhh, obedience lessons for your vehicle? 
  • America has always been the most extreme country, from the Boston Tea Punchings to having the first man swear on the moon. We hold this shredding guitar solo to be self-evident with today’s deal to the.…. No idea on this one.  Any guesses?
  • Last one: Unlike serpents, humans can’t subsist solely on their own tails. Consume endless dinners with today’s Groupon: for $10, you get buffet-style cuisine for two people during lunch or dinner at Golden Corral. Okay. I gave that one away, but I can’t get over the visual of humans subsisting on their own tails. Probably not quite the branding Golden Corral had in mind: “Come on in to the food trough, folks, and eat your ass off.”

A tradition I can’t figure out why I haven’t quit yet

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , on December 23, 2011 by cwgala

GRIN #427

The bleepin’ Gingerbread House. Looking good here.








Five minutes later. I want my money back.

What’s behind YOUR couch?

Posted in Seriously? with tags , , , , , , , on December 8, 2011 by cwgala

GRIN # 426

Now you would think I’m gonna be talking about loose coins, popsicle sticks and pet hair, right?

I wish. That crap I could at least clean out and throw away.

I have a gym behind my couch which gets pulled out nearly every morning as someone does a bunch of exercising and stretching at crack-o-dawn.

I might add that we’ve dedicated a separate room in the house for these follies—it even features a monstrous Bow-Flex—but for some reason the mini-gym stays behind the couch.

It actually stays in the middle of the floor most days unless I have time to shove it back behind the couch. When I don’t and a neighbor stops by, it’s always a little awkward.

“What IS all that?”

I get it because, frankly, a few parts of the mini-gym look like implements of torture.

I mean, there’s a rope. Which I tie around Sister’s neck to take her out when I can’t find the leash.

Then, there’s a stick-like apparatus with blue handles that looks like a bludgeoning tool.

I can’t forget the muscle-roller-outer (I don’t know the real name) that looks like a battering ram.

And the push-up paddles look like the defibrillator paddles used to restart a heart.

You might notice the baseballs, too. Technically, those are for working out a knot in your muscle. You actually position yourself on the floor and roll around on the ball. They could also conceivably be thrown in a heated argument.

Last but not least is the balance board. It’s homemade, a  heavy hexagonal-shaped piece of solid wood with sand-papery no-slip strips on it. It goes on a plastic cushion-like thing and you balance on it.

Tyler tried it once and fell and the non-slip treads made his side bleed. I don’t know what water boarding is exactly, but this board would be a good candidate.

Anyway, take a look at where all this crap fits. In my living room.

Kinda makes me feel like hurling a baseball.

What’s behind YOUR couch?

Ear capades and yet another difference between men and women

Posted in Uncategorized on November 21, 2011 by cwgala

GRIN # 425

Jerry’s ear looks like its been mangled by Mike Tyson.

On Saturday, he and two buddies went mountain biking, and Jerry slammed into a tree, cutting his ear and whacking his collarbone, all of which he relayed to me on the phone on the way to tailgate with the same guys for the NC State game.

“Does it hurt?” I asked.

“It hurts like hell!”

“Welllll, maybe you should get it checked out. Maybe you need stitches,” I said.

It was stupid to even suggest stitches. My husband NEVER gets stitches. Hand caught in a motor? It’ll be fine. Chainsaw mishap? Brush it off.

Unless he’s in an OR and the surgeon puts them in–kind of a one-stop shopping thing–he just doesn’t do stitches. Stitches, apparently, are for wusses and babies and people who enjoy biding their time in waiting rooms.

So the next morning he’s telling me something and I really looked at him (it’s amazing how infrequently we do that) and all I could see was the bloody stump of his earlobe.

“Your ear!! My God!”

“What? I told you.”

“You’re missing, like, 25 percent of it! It looks…awful!”

“If you think that’s bad, look at my collarbone,” he said, pulling up his shirt. The area was bruised and there was an odd lump on one side. “There’s probably a break, but not a major one. I can still move my arm. I hit pretty hard. I think I blacked out for a minute.”

“WHAT?? Are you serious? What if you have a concussion?”

“What would they do, put a cast on my head?”

And, this, my friends, is where you can see the major difference between men and women. Or, more specifically, between my husband and myself.

If it had been me and my girlfriends, we’d have detoured to a freakin’ emergency room. Or at least an Urgent Care! One of us would have the task of comforting, the other would be in charge of making calls, the last person would take on logistics–food, water, directions, insurance cards etc.

Actually, let’s back that up. We wouldn’t be in the woods in the first place. On bikes.

Belks, maybe.

But I’ve never had a shopping injury this bad.

What do you do when you’re bored?

Posted in On the Road with tags , , , , , on November 10, 2011 by cwgala

GRIN # 424

Bring joy to the world with a Sharpie. Or practice for a spelling test.



Gather acorns from the yard, toss them in the fan blower under the hood of the car and see if husband can figure out what that rattle is. Mwahahahaha!









Make alien hat from magnets, Kinex and a tin lid–for a very patient dog.