Thursday, April 23, 2009

Deepish Thursday

Time for a little Deepish Spring Cleaning, so here are some things that may or may not be worth mentioning. But it’s my blog, so I will bore you if I want to:

Rob and I obsessively watched the first season of Damages over the course of 4 evenings. It is downright pathetic that when the final disc arrived from Netflix yesterday, I became giddy with anticipation and decided it was going to be a great night. Because of 2 hours and 14 minutes of television.

I found 2 paintings under our bed and brought them into work to hang on the wall. I have gotten many, many compliments on these and when I reported this to Rob, he said I had to bring them home because they are his. And they belong under the bed. Seriously.

In my Utah dispatches, I forgot to mention that anytime Rob was around the kids without me, Nick would say things like “Um….can you please go get your girlfriend?” Yes, that’s right. I was in demand, but also demoted.

Krista’s baby shower was on Saturday in New Jersey. I carpooled with some friends to meet at Becca’s house. Becca’s 2-year-old son was so upset that he didn’t get to come with us that he pressed himself up against the glass door and wailed as we got in the car. The thing is, he wasn’t wearing any pants, so when one of the girls pointed out that his little pee-pee was also pressed against the door, we all cracked up. There we were, 5 grown women, laughing and pointing at a disconsolate 2-year-old. I feel proud.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rob has an Altercation

The following story was reported by Rob on Sunday night:

He was riding his bike to the park earlier that day when a Mercedes pulling out of a parking spot--clear on the other side of the street--crossed several lanes and almost side-smushed (not Rob's word) him into a parked car. To get the driver's attention, Rob pounded on the window. As he continued up the street, the passenger of the Mercedes jumped out of the car and started running after him. Clue #1 that this guy was an idiot: who gets out of the car to chase someone?

"Did you just hit my f%$#ing car, man?!" The guy screamed at Rob.

[Let us pause briefly for Rob's description of the guy: "Total musclehead with shoulder length hair that he spent 30 minutes blowdrying"]

"Yeah, I did," Rob answered. "Your wife just came within an inch of breaking my leg." I didn't ask Rob how he had ascertained the relationship between the Musclehead and the woman driving, but whatever. We're going with it.

"Hey man, why you hitting my car?" Musclehead yelled.

"Are you chasing after me?" Rob asked.

"You hit my f%$#ing car!"

"Yeah, I hit your window. I didn't want her to hit me. That makes sense, doesn't it, dumbass?" Name-calling. This must have been fascinating for the people on the street.

"Why don't you watch where you're going, asshole?"

"Are you crazy?" Rob asked.

Musclehead continued spazzing, but he seemed to have a limited repertoire. "Why did you hit my car?" he yelled again.

Finally Rob just looked at him, asked "Are you on steroids?" and rode away.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Scandinavians Gone Scandalous

Yet again, the BBC comes through with an exceptional story of international intrigue and desire.

In Norway, a couple was pulled over after having sex while speeding down a highway at 20 mph over the posted limit.

Best line of the article: "After filming the exploit for evidence, [police] pulled them over at a rest area."

Oh really officers, is that what you were doing? Filming it for...evidence?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Skiing with Loved Ones: A Slippery Slope

I have now let several days go by with people thinking that I can ski, and that I had a completely successful trip to the mountains of Utah. Not true! I fooled you. But I think enough time has gone by that I can now tell the story of Day 2. Otherwise known as the story of The Blue Run that Wasn't. Or Swift and Simple Ways to Test Your Relationship.

On Day 2, I really did not want to ski alone and was very pleased when Rob, Spero, Bill, and Bill's friend Jim said that they would ski the blue runs with me. The easy blue runs. We had a nice time at first, the four of them speeding down the slopes, me teetering back and forth, bringing up the rear. We made our way further and further up and across the mountain, never doing the same run twice. One of the guys--I'm not even sure which one--had mapped out our path, and I was just following along.

Eventually, we exited a chair lift and had a decision to make. One trail was called Panorama, and it had an inviting, simple slope. The other was called McDonald's Meadow; it began with a precipice that you had to jump off of in order to ski the run.

The guys insisted I could handle McDonald. It was blue, after all. They flew off the ridge and down the slope. I stood at the edge and stared. Spero held up. "Enter from the side," he advised. "Don't go straight in."

Later, Bill told me that as soon as he got the feel of the run, he knew I wasn't going to like it. "It should have been at least a double blue or even a black," he said, earning my undying gratitude. But there we were, so I entered at an angle, like Spero had said, and tried to stay on my feet. I found myself on the steepest slope I had seen all day. "What is this?" I yelled several times to Rob, who had stopped flawlessly in the middle of the mountain. "Just go slowly, back and forth, use the whole width of the mountain," Spero said. Good advice, which I really tried to follow. But I immediately picked up speed, losing control, and tumbling down as one ski popped off and landed 15 feet up the mountain from me.

Spero and Rob watched as I inched up the hill, gracelessly, trying to grab the ski. Then I sat there for a while, thinking evil and misguided thoughts about Rob and how he had tricked me into this dangerous endeavor. There was no way I was going to be able to stand up and get my ski back on, let alone make it down the rest of this stupid slope without falling and ending up with a physical deformity. Spero took off, sensitive to the fact that I wanted to be alone with Rob so that I could express my actual thoughts about the experience.

I knew that it was inappropriate to be angry at Rob for the predicament I found myself in. After all, the geniuses at The Canyons had categorized this the same way as the other runs we had done that day. Yet I found myself directing much of my fear and frustration at him. Mostly, I sat there in a somewhat shocked silence, punctuated by flurries of I-Cant's (and, ok, some profanity.) But where was my can-do attitude from the day before? Where was my choo-choo train of confidence? Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?

Adult Ski Problem #1: Imagination. When you're a kid, your cushiony butt is already close to the ground; you don't have very far to fall. You are impervious to danger, and this knowledge resides somewhere deep in your baby fat. But grown-up novice skiers, they have a whole range of terrifying possible outcomes to summon up, all of which were leaving my traitor legs flat in the snow.

Rob tried to get me to stand up. Not happening. He tried to get me to put my ski on. I slid it at him petulantly. Bad idea, because I began sliding after it at top speed, screaming "Help me! HELP ME!" Not proud of that one.

I really was out of control, so when I got to where he was, Rob launched himself sideways and stopped my fall, smothering me. As happens when I am angry and embarrassed, I started to cry. We sat there for many, many minutes. My legs were rubbery and I simply could not stand up, so I gave one ski to Rob, grabbed the other, and scooted (in control, at least) down the mountain on my ass.

Right about then, Spero, Bill, and Jim showed up to see if they could help. They had skied down and all the way back around in the time that we were sitting in the snow, debating the merits of a continued relationship.

"Are you guys still married?" Jim asked, edging up to us.

Rob did not laugh.

"Oh, we're not laughing about this yet?" Jim asked.

I'm still waiting for Rob's answer on that one.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Think I Can

I'm in Utah, at the window of my hotel room, watching it snow. So this is what Spring skiing is all about. This, and the fact that yesterday it was 60 degrees and people were hanging out on the mountain in t-shirts and ski gear, eating puffy pieces of pizza and drinking beers with names like Cutthroat Ale and Polygamy Porter.

We're here with Rob's oldest and best friend Spero, his wife and three kids, and Penny and Bill, of DC cupcake fame. The kids have gone mental for skiing and there is no getting them off the mountain--even 4-year-old Nick, who won't actually take direction from his teacher and may have yelled at her one day, he reported with his dimples flashing. But now all he wants in the entire world is to advance to the chairlift, so he has promised to attempt good behavior.

Gus, the 7-year-old, is skiing black diamonds in parallel. Elena, the 6-year-old, was nervous at first, but is now streaming down the slopes with seeming ease.

Which brings us to me. This is the first ski vacation in 2 years where I haven't taken a lesson. I headed up to the bunny slope on the first day, and immediately began to hyperventilate on the chair lift. I employed some deep breathing techniques and tried not to look down. My first run can only be described as "pitiful." My legs were shaking; all prior instruction vanished in a wall of slippery snow. I talked myself down a nearly level pathway populated by cartoon character faces on trees. This was not tough skiing, people.

The nice thing is, after that first run, I did gain a bit of confidence. I went down the bunny slope a couple more times and then made my way over to the large mountain map to see what I could do next. An instructor approached and asked if he could help me out. I pointed to a few trails, dotted green lines that a newborn could scoot down. "I was thinking of doing these runs," I said, adding, "I'm not very good."

"May I make a suggestion?" he asked. "I would try these instead." He pointed to blue lines. "Just try them. And if you have any problems, just blame it on George." He gestured towards his name tag, which read "Steve."

For some odd reason, I decided to take this guy's advice and by the end of day one, I was actually skiing down blue runs without falling. I did still have to breathe deeply on the chairlift, though, and anyone who was anywhere near me on the mountain would have heard a very wordy personal pep talk happening at every turn.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

That's me in the corner

Today I had meetings in New Jersey, and when they were over at around 2pm, I decided it would be best to go home rather than back to the office. Thus I walked into the apartment this afternoon far, far earlier than I usually do, and interrupted Hazel the Cleaning Lady. Before she saw me, I backed out of the door and shut it softly. Then I stood in the hall.

I don't know what to do when Hazel is there. I don't want to get in her way; I don't even like to leave things for her to clean. This morning, in anticipation of her arrival, I emptied all the garbage, unloaded the dishwasher, started a load of laundry, and went around making sure everything was tidy. Then I wrote her a check and took off for work.

Still, I felt a little silly standing in the hallway with my bags. So I sat down against the wall. Finally, Josh came in with his dog-walker, and I was forced to confront the fact that I was hanging out in the hallway. I introduced myself to the dogwalker. "I don't normally hang out in the hallway," I said, getting off the floor.

"Sherri!" Hazel called when I walked in. She came over to hug me. I don't have the heart to correct her at this point, but I often wonder who she thinks the Sarah-person is who signs the checks.

I shuffled through the apartment awkwardly, promised her I would not get in the way, and promptly holed up at my new desk.