Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"To Do" or "To Don't"

List making is a medley of procrastinating and high-efficiency.  I have ongoing categorical lists on my iPhone. I use the kids' binder paper for the temporary lists.  Then I have the lists in my head. They are shorter and have things like "eat" and "keegal" on them.

As important as the Holiday "To Do" list is, perhaps a "To Don't"  list is even better because it is a preventative against all that ruins your holiday season.

To Don't

  • Talk to people about their conspiracy theories
  • Cancel any personal appointments for the sake of the family (i.e., hair, exercise, girls night)
  • Start a candied yam fire in the oven. Again
  • Expect to receive great presents that reflect the inner you 
  • Take a break from your anxiety or depression medications to "see how it goes"
  • Try on a swimsuit
  • Break the Santa News to your kids
  • Tell your husband that you don't even want a present this year because you already have everything. Family. And that's what really matters most
  • Quit Weight Watchers because they changed their point system and it's too hard now
  • Invite tons of people over for a Holiday Extravaganza while you have PMS
  • Plan a sober caroling party
  • Make brownies for other people
  • Buy interior paint with naive optimism
 I think I've covered it all. I guess I can check that off my list.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Catering and Party Throwing for Poor People

For my surprise birthday party, I bought myself Amy Sedaris' Simple Times, Crafting for Poor People. It was an incredibly thoughtful present from me.

Her newest book is crammed with good ideas for us all. Here are some of my favorites:

Dropout Crab Claw Roach Clip, in the Nature's Way chapter
Rusty Nail Wind Chime, in the Bipolar Disorder section of the Handicraftable chapter
Glitter Halo, in the Crafting for Jesus chapter

I've been inspired to create a new sideline for myself:  Introducing ...

Catering and Party Throwing for Poor People

Here's a sample menu from the Trailer Park Memorial Service that I'm planning for Ain't Diane this December:

Ketchup Packet Tomato Soup

Backyard Greens Salad

Vegan Swiss Meatballs
(Wonderbread balls in vegetarian gravy)

Top Ramen Explosion
(Special blend of Pork, Chicken, and Shrimp flavor packets)

Dessert is up in the air.  That's not a creation name, I'm telling you that I haven't been inspired yet.  I'll have something to you soon. 

Until then, please note that I have joined Amazon Associates.  This is a special tool that is now included on Bloggerqueen so that I can become rich (and famous).  If you decide to buy any products from Amazon. Enter from here and I make a LITTLE cash.  Don't worry, I'll keep reminding you, as I have many suggestions to make you a little more wicked and a lot more sarcastic!

Friday, November 19, 2010

How to Throw A Party For Yourself

Giving someone a giftcard is like saying "Here. Buy your own fucking present." This year, I'm going a step further and I'm throwing my own fucking party too.

Every Friday night I get together with the Country Club Girls. We bring appetizers, desserts, drinks, laughter, concern, consoling, and all other things womanly. My husband calls it "Melanie's Birthday" each week. But his Friday we will be celebrating someone else's birthday, mine!

I'm turning 46 next week and I need a little party and some presents but I hate to be a burden to my friends during such dire times. That's the kind of thoughtfulness we're talking about here folks.

In order to appease my need for presents and be humble and unselfish, I have purchased the presents for myself, and a little chocolate cake filled with coconut, and the card. This is an anti-obligatory party. The best kind.

Last year they passed around a sad little birthday card and signed with the usual "Happy Birthday!!!" People: Extra exclamation marks are lazy and pointless!!! Perhaps they were shouting their standard birthday wish. The signatures were messy and unreadable. I rejected this pathetic attempt and passed around the card again and this time I told them what to say:

Lynn - Tell me that I'm a good person
Catherine - Tell me that you respect my mind
Robin - Tell me I'm your best friend ever
Cathy - Tell me how funny I am

and so on. Needless to say, it was the best birthday card I have ever received.

This year I've purchased a fitting birthday card and filled it out for them. All they have to do is sign their names on the wish they'd like to give me. Here are their choices:

Congratulations on finishing the Triathlon - You Go T.W.A.T.
I wish I was more like you
Are you getting skinnier and smarter?
Clear your calendar - I'm taking you out to lunch!
During my quiet moments, I sometimes think of your smile
It's too bad we're not lesbians, because I would totally be into you

I have also purchased three presents for them to give me. One is very thoughtful, one is predictable, and one is cheap and insulting. I am having them wrapped professionally by my nine-year old.

Happy Birthday To Me!

[In a non-passive/aggressive kind of way. To which no guilt should be sustained by the readers' forgetfulness of this event this year, or hence-forward.]

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hot Weather Dinner - Salad Bar Tonight?

Too hot to cook. Almost too hot to eat. But since I'm the cook/nutritionist for my family, I'm not going to just throw in the towel. I'm planning on a salad bar tonight. I'll prep the ingredients and they can throw it all together. However, we always include The Big Three (Carbohydrate, Protein, Earth)

Tonight I'll be making BLT SALAD

Romaine Lettuce
Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes
Thick Cut Bacon, all torn-up
Sourdough Croutons
Dressing: Newmans Light Balsamic Vinaigrette

Here are some items you have laying around the kitchen. Pull some out and have a Salad Bar Night!

Leftover Cold Pasta
Crunchy Chow Mien Noodles
Cooked Quinoa
Crumbled Tortilla Chips
Corn (the grain most likely to be mistaken for a vegetable)

Canned Kidney Beans
Hard Boiled Egg (see my video!)
Garbanzo Beans
Black Beans
Cheese (grated, so we don't go crazy)
Sunflower Seeds
Tofu (Extra Firm, diced)
Edamame (cooked and shelled)
Frozen Peas
White Chunk Tuna (canned, drained)

Lettuce (Exception: Iceberg has no nutritional value)
Baby Spinach Leaves
Sliced red peppers
mandarin orange slices

After dinner, head out to frozen yogurt, then they can really build a delicious creation!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Get Ready for the Next Potato Famine

"Saints be gloried, we haven't had such as a wee crumb in a month, Sharon. Tis a blessed ting that the good Lord provided us with your fat wings to sustain us through this wretched Potato Famine".

I'm a perfect amalgamation of German and Irish that equates into an amazing ability to store fat. I'm a little French too but I didn't get any of that lovely olive skin, delicate features, nor the tousled hair. Just some b.o.

It doesn't matter how much I exercise and diet I will always have some tummy fat and, of course, my lovable fat wings. The Italians have the ass fat and, as much as they'd like to complain about it, it's way better than tummy fat. Nobody's writing rap about lovin' the big bellies.

Getting in shape for the next triathlon requires me to exert myself. I must run, ride, and swim. And I do. I have been changing my eating patterns thanks to Weight Watchers - I love it - but I started to gain weight. I had lost over 17 pounds since October and then it started to come back again, like an ex-boyfriend that just won't go away, no matter how many times you don't return his calls because he has the sex appeal of your Uncle George who doesn't clip his toenails and when he walks on the wood floor it sounds like castanets.

I complained to Thomas, he's my pit crew for the upcoming triathlon, and he asked me if I've been tired lately. "Oh my God, how did you know?" I had been sleeping 9-11 hours a night and practically falling asleep in the afternoon. Then he said something that made me happy and afraid all at once: "You are [suffering*] from overtraining. You need to increase your calories and decrease your exercise."

This assignment is not as easy as it sounds. After all the hard work I've done, it's a big risk to start eating more and decrease exercise. It's downright counter-intuitive. But I had tried everything else and I just kept gaining weight, feeling sleepy, and wanting to give up the whole Weight Watchers thing. Fuck it.

I read this article and decided to give it a try. Since then, I lost 1.2 pounds the first week and 1.6 the second week. The weight is still coming off, I feel great, look pretty good, and have a ton of energy for exercising. Now, if I could just do something about my cheap Irish skin.

* I think he should have said "suffering" so I added it here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Marathon 5k ... is that an oxymoron?

I ran in the Windsor Green Half Marathon last weekend but I didn't qualify for the hat or shirt because I didn't register for the race until the day before. It's important to have a hat or shirt because when you wear it you feel better than other people. Which you are, because you were in a marathon. So what if you only ran the 5K (3.1 miles for all the Americans unable to grasp metrics). It sounds like a really big deal anyway, doesn't it? Try it out:

"Ya, I ran the 5K this weekend. What did you do? What's that? Oh, you went to the Outlet Mall? Well good for you."
See, doesn't that sound superior?

On the up-side of registering late, I got a reduced entrance fee of only $35 plus a pancake breakfast served by the Windsor Fire Department. Naturally it was important for the Fire Department to pose in a picture with me. They are trying to improve their public image. After much begging, I acquiesced. "Just one picture, fella."

I was running with my friend Kelly who pushed her infant in a stroller while her kindergartner held on to a strap attached to the handle. "Walkers on the right!" I'd yell at the crowd of wanderers spread out like lost cats on the course. The ones that heard me moved over and looked at me with a sort of terror and some said "Oh, thank you. I'm sorry." I have quite an air of authority, but that all comes from being tall and bossy.

About halfway through the 5k, Kelly's son was running serpentine and I had my head turned for just a second when whafamm! I tripped up the little guy and he went down like a flying squirrel on a low branch, all spread out and trying to grasp at nothing. Schlice! went his little kindergarten knees on the concrete. So I quickly picked him up by the armpits and screamed "You almost made me fall!" No, just kidding. We scooped him up and, to his credit, he didn't even cry. I almost did though. We kept cheering him on and telling him how awesome he was. "Next year I'm running the 10k!" he proclaimed.

Meanwhile, we passed an angry mom and her son. She was whining in her best awful mom voice "Come on! I Want to Finish This Race!" and I thought she was the worst motivational speaker ever.

When you run to the finish line, no matter what, you feel like a winner because, if for no other reason, you finished something today. I can't say the same for the breakfast. I couldn't finish it because Kelly's husband Roy held up the sausage and said "You could run the whole course and burn off this one sausage." True. I ate the eggs.

Thanks in part to Thomas and his Body Mechanical know-how I finished 10th in my age group! Outstanding result considering I spent a good amount of time tripping little children, handling traffic control issues, and contemplating the vast superiority of Kelly's mothering skills compared to the rest of these chicks.

I took some pictures for Blogger Queen that I thought you'd enjoy. This one is my favorite. Here's an innocent woman trying to get off the grass and I'm such a big asshole that I thought it would be a pretty funny picture. I'm the shadow standing there unapologetically.

The Best Part of the Race: Kelly picked a hat up off the ground and said "looks like someone lost their hat." I grabbed it and happily put it on my head. "This one fits just right" said Goldilocks. I only felt a tiny drip of guilt. It wasn't until I wrote this post and looked at this poor lady's picture that I realized exactly where that hat came from. See it? It's laying there on the ground, right next to the shadow of my head. It seems that the destiny of this hat was to be on my head. If she ever sees this post, I'm in trouble.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Run in the Rain

I'm getting ready for a little ol' 5k this weekend. I got my Body Mechanic tune-up and I'm looking forward to possible rain because I envision lots of people running through the streets with their hands over their hair like little pink carports. But not me, sister, I'm tough! I just have to make sure I'm wearing my waterproof mascara.

I assume there will be some cream puffs with umbrellas too. I hate umbrellas for a couple of reasons:

First, and I know this is horrid of me, but I would never have agreed to marry Kent if he even owned an umbrella, much less carried an umbrella. Might as well have shapely curved eyebrows and carry a man purse with a dangly keyring attached.

I'm now thinking about my metro-man friends who do carry an umbrella, have shaped eyebrows, and might have something in their closet they call their attache' or travel bag (but really it is a purse). I feel bad now for making disparaging remarks in the previous paragraph.

The second reason I hate umbrellas is that I'm tall. It's always short people that have the umbrellas. In a crowd of people on the street, they twirl those pokey spikes around like buzz saws cutting through hair, shopping bags, and eyeballs. They have no concept of life above the umbrella. It's like they have their own little rain forest world of 5'4" and under. Everything above the forest canopy is theoretical and invisible. Someday I'm going carry around a cigar and burn drip holes in the tops of umbrellas.

Still, I don't know what to wear to the 5k. I wish had a Bead-Dazzler.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Roasted Scrotum

"Roasted Scrotum? I have a roasted scrotum" I asked as I lifted my head up from the soft, warm table to read what was written about me on the grease board. "No, it says Rotated Sacrum" corrected Thomas, my Body Mechanic.

Competing in the Super Jane Triathlon with the T.W.A.T.s in 2008 was the first publicly competitive activity I ever participated in, except for walking through nightclubs in my 20s. I was really good at that and let me tell you, it wasn't easy in those shoes.

After the triathlon, all us T.W.A.T.s were on fire and ready to sign-up for the next one. But right after the triathlon my back seized up on me. I couldn't run or sit without severe pain. I hate being broken. I feel like I have all this strength and energy in my brain, but my body just slows me down like a shopping cart with a rusted wheel.

After my last triathlon, I had to sit on the floor to put on my pants for over a year because I couldn't lift my right leg. My back was in distress and it simply would not fire to lift my leg. I had to hoist it around with my hands like a dead dog strapped to my waist. Thankfully, I could at least tell people it was a triathlon injury instead of something lame like a pedicure mishap or a Wii accident.

I gave up real workouts for a while, telling myself "Well, that's it for me. No more triathlons, or running, or weight lifting. I'll just find exercises that are more conducive to my advanced age of mid-forties."

I started researching dance classes, dog walking, swimming. Meanwhile I gained 15 pounds and started smuggling my food babies in maternity pants.

I tried to fix my back problem:

1. Ibuprofen .... until my stomach hurt

2. Chiropractic .... felt great for the time being, but had to keep coming back week after week, month after month, check after check.

3. Physical Therapy .... made my back worse because stretching is the last thing I should have been doing!

4. Denial .... I just pretended that it wasn't happening and kept working out anyway. Same results as (3).

Finally I took my back to the shop: My Body Mechanic. I suppose if I had to describe Thomas' services to a stranger, I'd say something like "It's like a sports massage with all your clothes on, but instead of feeling good on the table and leaving with your original injuries, you'll leave without the problem you came in with. He's amazing." But that's the dumbest explanation ever. He has all sorts of credentials and you can read them for yourself.

So amazing is Thomas, that I've decided to compete in another Triathlon in October. I have confidence that:

A) I will prevent a debilitating injury, months and months of treatments, and medical bills.

B) I will beat my prior times, even though I'm now 45.

C) I will get more women involved in Triathlons.

My friend Kelly and I decided to do the Tri-Girl-Tri in October. I'm just excited about having new blog material. There's the locker room etiquette, outdoor drills, and of course we still need to come up with a new team name. Kelly and I have some ideas: The Moaning V's, Beadazzled Bitches, and more. We can't be the T.I.T.s because Team In Training already swiped that one. Any ideas?

Oh, and my rotated sacrum (aka roasted scrotum)? He fixed it. In one visit. Back pain is gone. I'm afraid my knees are jacked too. So he gave me some things to do about that with a giant roller. And I run like a dorky girl, but that's another post.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Speaking of Paris Hilton and Zombies

We walked into the lobby of the Hilton Garden Hotel in Roseville, California. There was a pleasant color scheme of vanilla and sage. I said to my daughter, Giselle, "Do you know who owns this hotel?" She looked up at me with her round blue eyes and her loopy reddish curls and waited for another boring grown-up answer that might include historical legend or a lesson in gumption and know-how. "Paris Hilton's parents." I told her. She looked shocked, but I don't know why because she doesn't even know anything about Paris Hilton except that her parents own a hotel. It must be amazing for her to think of parents owning a hotel, since all we own is one house and some cars.

When I was about her age (nine) I found out how much my mom made. In 1973, she made $1,400 per month as a social worker. I was thrilled to find out we were rich. My heart was skipping around with me as I dreamt of the endless possibilities that $1,400 would bring to us each month. But wait, if we were rich, shouldn't we be living a little better? Like more toys and trips to Disneyland every weekend? My excitement quickly turned to great disappointment in my mother. She was a squanderer. Here she was making all that money and we didn't even own a candy store. Surely that's what we should have done with the money. Buy a candy store. Instead she was wasting all my money on a private school for me, trips to Europe, and bills. What an idiot.

We do a lot of traveling with our kids but it's usually sports related. This weekend it was a swim meet for Giselle. We arrived Saturday night and went to dinner with the other families, returning to our rooms about 9:00. Giselle laid down in her fluffy comfy bed with her stuffed rabbit, Sally, and fell asleep pretty quickly. I read my book for about an hour and then the noise started. It's okay, I accept it and deserve it. It is my karma. I prepare as much as possible by bringing the sound machine, Benedryl, and a special pillow. I don't drink any caffeine that day, and I sleep alone. I always ask the desk clerk to give us a quiet room on the top floor. But here's what happens ... every time:

There is a group of zombies who travel around the country. They always check into their rooms late because zombies are mostly active in the evenings. I can hear them getting out of the elevators and dragging themselves down the hallway, step - drag, step - drag, step drag and banging their luggage full of extremities and sweetbreads against the walls as they search for their room. Their rooms are always next to mine.

I'll hear a loud moan as their room door slams shut and they start unpacking all of their luggage right away. I can here the drawers open and then SLAM shut. Then they go into the bathroom to unpack their beauty products and Sonicare but most of it drops onto the tile floor. This takes them about an hour because zombies don't have the dexterity of the living. Sometimes they're missing digits so that makes it even harder to get a grasp onto the hardware.

Zombies love television shows. In fact, television is attributed with the creation of many zombies. But since they're essentially dead, their hearing is shit, so they have to have the volume up abnormally high. It's not really their fault, they need to stay somewhere while they're traveling across the country, right? What I really hate about zombies is that they're such fakers. That moaning goes on for hours and hours and I can't help but mumble to myself "Just fake your climax and get it over with, already!"

I have it coming. It's my karma.

Back in my 20's, we would rent hotel rooms in swanky hotels and drink and party all night long. Screaming, throwing things, flooding toilets, loud music, naught movies, and maniacal laughing. I had no concept of anyone existing outside of myself. I don't remember the front desk ever calling us up. Nobody ever knocked on the walls and told us to shut up. It all just added up in a giant karma account, just waiting for me to grow up and have children.

On Sunday, after a solid three hours of sleep, I stood in the freezing cold rain for 8 hours and cheered on my daughter's team while I drank coffee from the concession stand and wiped my nose on my scarf. Today I have a fever and a stuffy nose. My extremities are still cold and stiff. I may be turning into a zombie. I wonder what's on tv?

Photo credit Zombieme, and check out Zombie Squad

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cute Dog, Bad Dog

"My dog is just like my child." Ridiculous. No it is not.  How's the doggy college fund coming along?  Do you worry about your *prepubescent dog being molested, suffering a lifetime of therapist bills and bad relationsips?   Is Paris Hilton's Chihuahua's eating disorder casting unrealist body images for your doggy? When your dog dies, are you going to get another dog  or will you roam the streets in a medicine stained house dress, surgery slippers and a shopping cart? To wit, I have never tied a bandana around my kids' necks and took them on a hike with a clear sandwich bag full of their own poop.  Well, hardly ever.

Although I had two previous practice dogs and swore I'd never get another one, I am now the owner and master of a Toy Poodle which I named Honey Child.  I had a shocking revelation when I returned from my mall massage to retreive my puppy from the groomer and she was wearing this little sweater with a cupcake on the back.  "Is this me?" I looked in the rearview mirror.  Faced with my own reflection, I assumed it was.

This puppy is seriously messing with my self-image.  Aren't I the bad ass girl from the worst town in California?  Aren't I the brave tough firefighter? I have pulled myself up by my bootstraps so hard that my fingers bled.  Now I have a poodle and this might change me forever. What if I start wearing pastel sweatshirts with paw prints drawn out with puffy paint?  What if I start sending out Christmas cards with her picture on them? Or even just start sending out Christmas cards?

The very worst part about my Honey Child is that she makes me look approachable.  It's like I'm carrying one of the Jonas Brothers in my jacket when I hear the highest pitched screaming of little girls with their eyes wild, hands and fingers spread out like eagle claws as they race to us "Can I hold the puppy! Puppy! Puppy!"  I could handle it if there were just kids, but it's grown-ups too and I don't really like grown-ups so much.

I've been thinking about some proactive steps I can take to free myself of obligatory conversations:

1.  Prepare laminated cards with the following pertinent information:
Name: Honey Child
Born: 9/26/09
Sex: Girl
No, I'm not walking her too fast.
From a breeder
Yes, I love her.
No, I do not care about your dog stories.

2. Get a little tiny t-shirt for her with this printed on the back:
"Do not touch me, I have contageous puppy warts"

3. Wear Men in Black sunglasses, earphones, and walk with my head down muttering deterent statements:
    a)  Oh my, look at those pixies with the machine guns! Why do they keep following me?!
    b)  Can I talk to you about Jesus?
    c)  Excuse me, do you have change for the meter?

As I type this blog, she's curled up in my lap.  She is so warm and lovable that I've let my right foot fall asleep so that I won't disturb her perfect puppy nap, complete with occasional hind leg twitches.  Around my feet are every single one of her toys which she has brought to me.  That's all she has to give is just a bunch of cheap toys from the pet store.  They are made in China with a high probability of lead contamination.  But she shares them with me.   There is one more difference between babies and puppies: Babies are easier to nurse.

*Blogspot has taken away the spell check icon.  If there are any spelling errors, please send them to ...  or offer your assistance in locating said missing icon via the comments section.  Thanks

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Longest Movie

It was about 11pm and I was driving home from the movies with my 12-year old daughter. I passed by an average woman in an average coat holding a sign on the street corner. It was white poster board with big black letters that read "Ojo Neven" or something like that. The area was dark and empty of people, she was completely out of place.

Had I been able to understand her sign, I probably would have known about the sobriety checkpoint up ahead, I would have made a quick turn down another street and avoided the confrontation altogether. But her sign was not aimed at English speaking drivers (or sober ones either).

I was abruptly channeled by orange cones into an electric parade of lights, police officers, and Paddy wagons. I should have rolled down my windows ahead of time to let the smell of urine out. It wasn't mine or my daughter's. It belonged to someone else. A person I will never know.

Katia and I had gone to see Avatar that night because her little sister was at a sleepover, my husband was at work, and we were girls on the town! By the time we got into the theatre, the seats were completely full except for two handicap seats which sat by themselves on the bottom level of the stadium seating. As I took my seat, I felt two things: 1) Fear that someone in a wheelchair would come along and reprimand me for being insensitive, consequently remove me from the movie; and 2) I felt wetness on the seat.

I rubbed my hand on the fabric of the seat and it didn't feel damp nor did the back of my jeans. I knew I wasn't imagining moisture, but I made a conscious decision to ignore it because my only other choice would be to take my daughter, leave the theatre, and drive all the way back home. So I sat there. In my little puddle of denial. "Maybe it's Coke?"

About 30 minutes into Avatar, I pulled my leg up to cross it over the other, that's when I felt that breezy cool feeling on the bottom of my thigh. The feeling of dampness I couldn't ignore anymore. The curiosity was too persistent, I had to know for sure. "I'll be right back. I think I sat in something" I said in a hushed movie whisper. As I walked down the hallway with the Vegas style carpeting toward the bathroom, my pants hung from the back of my butt like an old stiff towel. Once I arrived in the stall, I dropped my jeans and sniffed my pants.

Piss confirmation. It was strong and icky and stuck in my nose hairs even after I'd pulled away. I was horrified at the thought of whose it could be. Was it a little child that was forced by his selfish parents to watch an R-rated movie and it scared the piss out of him? Or maybe it was a guy who couldn't hoist himself back into his wheelchair in time to make it to the toilet. Maybe it was a disgruntled employee ... with Hepatitis Type Q!

I grabbed a hard black plastic booster chair on the way back in to solve my problem. I put the booster upon the icky seat and told Katia to sit there. Then I took her seat. She looked confused, so I told her there was pee on the seat. It was like saying "Here, taste this. It tastes like shit!" She wrangled her legs up on the booster so the backs of her knees wouldn't touch any part of the edge of the seat. She looked so pathetic and I knew I was being selfish, but if I sat in the booster, I would have been six feet tall. I tried to watch the movie, but I noticed that Katia looked beyond just uncomfortable, she looked sick. Her head was resting in her hand, her legs were curled up tight next to her chest, and she had a slack expression on her face.

I reached for my iPhone to make sure my other daughter hadn't called while it was on silent, but it wasn't in my sweater pocket or anywhere. Frantically I looked in my purse and in all my pockets. I stuck my head down between my legs to look under the seat, but it was blindingly black. I got down on my knees and tried to feel around under the seat without actually feeling the floor. God help me, I probably exposed myself to Uber Germs down there. I couldn't find it. "I think I left my phone in the bathroom!" I yelled/whispered. Katia looked semi-conscious.

I speed walked down the hallway again with my nasty pee pee pants and burst into the ladies room. With a fucking crazy look on my face and the smell of hot urine wafting around me, I pushed in each and every stall door and tried to find my iPhone. I felt like someone had found it, stolen it, and was currently flipping through the pictures of MY family, and deleting my entire calendar for fun. I felt a little dead inside.

I speed walked up to the lobby and found a worker. She was an employee of about 20 years of age. Her white button up blouse looked like it had been washed in hot water and shrunk to squeeze around her bosom. Never being introduced to an iron or been tucked in. Her hair hung flat and brown around her roundish face and when I asked her if anyone had turned in an iPhone, she looked amused at the suggestion.

I told her it might have been left in one of the stalls, but I had already looked. "Could you help me look under the movie seats?" I pleaded. She kindly started looking for a flashlight. Now wouldn't you think they'd have a flashlight handy? Remember the olden days when all the ushers had flashlights? Not anymore, apparently. I watched her rummage around the back room, the counter area, and finally in one of the offices, she found a super flashlight. It was the kind that your husband would buy at Costco. I gasped at the thought of her (or me) turning on that floodlight inside the movie theatre during Avatar. Luckily, when she tried to turn it on, it was out of batteries. Thank you God! Then she found a little mag light and we started down the hallway.

"This has been a horrible night; first I pee all over my pants because the seat we're in has pee in it. I think my daughter's getting sick. Then I loose my iPhone ..." I started to tear up "Do you know how many pictures I have in that? And the calendar? My husband's going to kill me!" I said. "You're having a really bad night aren't you?" Said the sweet girl. "Yes. I am."

Boy was Katia surprised when I showed up with a lady and a flashlight and we dropped to our knees and started peering under her seat. Quickly the girl pulled her arm out and, in her hand, was my iPhone. I couldn't help it, I hugged her around her neck with my eyes closed. It wasn't one of those acquaintance hugs, either. It was a long-lost sister kind of hug. "Oh thank you, thank you" I whispered in her ear. She looked proud of herself for saving my life, and offered to bring us a plastic bag to sit on.

A few minutes later, she returned with a big white plastic trash bag. She shook it out flat and then laid it on the seat. I moved over to sit on the plastic but Katia refused to sit back down. Instead, she stood in the entrance way, right next to the security guard who had decided he wanted to watch Avatar, too.

At this point, I imagine the scenario from the other patrons' perspective: She gets up and runs out a couple of times for long periods of time. When she returns, she makes her grown daughter sit in a booster chair. She sticks her head between her legs and then leaves again and returns with an employee and a flashlight and start looking under the seats for something. She attacks the usher around her neck. She sits on white plastic. Then her daughter is being detained with a security guard in the hallway.

After two and a half hours, Avatar finally ended and I grabbed Katia by the hand and ran like hell before anyone could look at us. I had to lay down a car blanket on my seat for the ride home. It was cold and rainy, Katia was obviously very ill, and I had the heater on. It smelled like hot old piss. Someone elses piss. The car filled up with the foul sweet aroma as I drove a little fast toward home.

"Had anything to drink tonight?" the officer asks, as the stench bursts out of the window I roll down.