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12:57 PM - Monday, 7/19/10
In order to better serve YOU, dear reader,
my blog has moved to a new host!


Old entries will be viewable here until October 2010.
After that? If you wanna read it? You'll have to buy it.
In book form.
Details will be posted on my new site.

Thanks for following me.
Sorry about the tailwind.

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10:02 PM - Sunday, 7/18/10
Heidi's baby is a big bundle of squishy love and I cannot stop myself from smothering him with kisses every time I see him.  Today, though, my snuggle session was cut short by Avery's jealousy. Now, this kid is three years old and he's never shown me any emotion stronger than ambivalence in the past. I haven't spent as much time with him as I have with Carrie's other boys and consequently he doesn't know me as well -  and he's always been OK with that.

But as soon as he spotted me blowing raspberries on Harry's belly and his chubby little face, Avery decided he needed to step in. He pronounced that he wanted to snuggle with Tricia and from that moment on he clung to me like a koala bear. I'm shameless, so I'll take my loving wherever I can get it. I was fine trading Harry for Avery because really, a cuddle is a cuddle.

As the afternoon progressed, my ego inflated wildly. I had adorable boys fighting over me and clearly I let it go to my head. No worries, though - if you ever...ever...start to think too highly of yourself, have no doubt that a three-year-old can take you to your knees in a mere moment.

Avery was nestled up with me on the couch when he flung his head back and stared into my eyes. All of a sudden a look of utter devastation distorted his face and I asked him what was wrong.

"I'm wiwwy, wiwwy sad, Tricia..." he announced dramatically.

"Oh no!" I exclaimed. "Why are you really, really sad, Avery?"

He looked at me solemnly. "Because you aren't pretty."

I laughed until my eyes welled up with tears, which was convenient since tears of hilarity can helpfully mask the tears of a broken heart.
mood: crushedcrushed
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Book Club  
8:31 PM - Wednesday, 7/14/10
I typically read two or three books each week. This is because I have no life, and also because I retain information like a sieve retains water, so I often reread books three or four times. If you're looking for a little summer reading, feel free to peruse my book list. These are some titles that have been particularly inspiring to me:

Pretty Little Mistakes
A grown-up version of the old Choose Your Own Adventure stories, this book reads for a handful of pages before asking you to make a choice, which in turn dictates the path the story will take. This has inspired me to believe that no matter how badly I fuck up my life, I can always turn back to the beginning and try again. Dangerous? Perhaps. But oh so delicious a thought.

Ultramarathon Man
Dean Karnazes is a machine. The man runs marathons in the Badwater desert and is the only man to have run a marathon at the south pole. He once ran 226 straight miles to raise money for a dying child. He inspires me to realize that the human body is capable of insanely phenomenal things, and that I should be more active myself. Typically when reading this, I'm inspired to make the extra trip down the stairs to get more chips.

The Secret
This little bon-bon has inspired me to know, to believe that only good things will come my way. That I can manifest my own perfect destiny simply by believing it already is. So if you wonder why I'm not at work, it's because I've strongly envisioned my retirement. And the reason I've been blacklisted from all the bookstores and art supply stores in the metro area? Well, they don't realize yet how rich I am, and keep insisting that envisioning that I've paid isn't actually a satisfactory method of payment.

Eat Pray Love
Many will argue that this book is nothing more than the ramblings of a selfish, narcissistic woman with mental health issues. I adore this book for that precise reason. It gives me hope that someday I, too, can be paid to write selfish, narcissistic ramblings about my own mental health while traveling the world eating pasta and taking lovers.

Though Dry is my favorite, I'll lap up anything Augusten Burroughs is writing with a spoon and ask for seconds. Any man who can take such a train wreck of a life and turn it into a comic masterpiece is clearly my soul mate. I'd marry him tomorrow if he wasn't a recovering alcoholic who prefers to cock-knock.

Candy Girl
The book itself, about her time stripping in seedy Minneapolis clubs, is so-so. I found it entertaining if only for the 'local' spin and a few choice nuggets of information I really didn't need to know about what Minnesota men will do (any of you who've read it know exactly which man I'm thinking of). What really inspires me, though, is that Diablo Cody used her raunchy blog as a springboard to getting a book published which in turn generated enough publicity that her screenplays are selling like candy-coated gold-plated crack. This woman makes me believe it's possible and I love her for that. Although her tattoos really aren't as dope as she'd have you believe.
mood: peacefulpeaceful
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Big Dreams  
7:03 PM - Tuesday, 7/13/10
As I was trying fruitlessly to scrub the perpetual mold from the cracks in our nasty mismatched tile bathroom, I got to thinking about my dream house. It's interesting to see what your mind comes up with when you're dreaming big. I don't need a compound like the Beckhams or Oprah, and I sure as shit don't need a helipad. But when I win the Powerball or become a bestselling writer (as both seem equally likely), here's what my house will be like:

My bathroom will have a tub large enough for two. Not that I plan to share it, because I won't. But it would be nice to have a bathtub deep enough that the water can crest my islands in the stream, as Dolly sang.

My kitchen will be the Byerly's salad bar. With extra olives. Because who wouldn't eat healthy meals every day if the selection is laid out in front of you like manna from heaven in sweet little chrome compartments?

I don't really care how big my bedroom is but by George the AC will reach it in the summer and the heat will stream through the vents in the winter.

My dream garage will have padded edges and walls. Not for mandatory time-outs but so that when I hit the rear view mirror each time I back out the cushions will absorb the bulk of the impact.

There will be a small pool in the back yard, shielded by a privacy fence so the neighbors aren't required to bask in the glory that is me in a bathing suit. The pool boy will be a smoking hot legally blind Latino who speaks no English beyond 'another mojito, yes?' Why legally blind, you wonder? Because part of his job requirement will be to rub me down with sunscreen - and like it.

There will be an art studio with a concrete floor that has a drain so I can be just as messy as I'd like to be, and somewhere in the house will be a little nook filled with squashy pillows and all of my books.

And also, the locks will lock and doors will open and close securely - as will the windows, which will have screens.

That's it. That's as big as my dream gets. When compared to the lifestyles of the celebs, it seems darn near reasonable. So why, when scrubbing the mildew from my crumbling shower or lounging on my moldy carpeted patio (yes, carpeted*) does it feel so far away?

*For the record, this is a rental - if it were my place, the fermenting patio carpet would be gone. But I see no need to invest money and elbow grease so that my landlord can make more money when she eventually sells this dump.
mood: hopefulhopeful
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Monday Marvels  
5:50 PM - Monday, 7/12/10
The Top Ten Reasons to Marvel over Monday, July 12th

10. I'm thankful I didn't get shredded to a bloody pulp taking Morgan for a car ride without her kitty kennel. This is an inadvisable idea for children to try at home - especially if your cat has claws. But the mission was (mostly) successful.
Rollin...in her 5.0 with the window cracked so her fur could blow...

9. I'm excited that the Hopkins Raspberry Festival Street Dances are this weekend. I get fewer odd looks for dancing in the street when there's a festival promoting this kind of behavior.

8. I'm grateful that I bought an awesome 'picnic' backpack several years ago for romantic picnics. Since I don't go on romantic picnics, I'll get to use it on Thursday while having a platonic picnic with Allison. Then again, if we bring enough wine, it could get romantic.

7. I'm thankful that after subsisting on ramen and macaroni for a week, nobody has regarded my water-retentive food belly and asked me when I'm due. And no, I'm not finding out the sex. I like to be surprised by my food babies.

6. I'm grateful for the cheap buzz* I got while spray-painting a picture frame this evening. In these tough economic times, I figure it saved me a few bucks in cocktails.

5. I'm excited for the BBQ at Carrie's house this weekend. I haven't been able to squish or kiss Dirty Harry in quite some time. Heidi mentioned something about social services, she's always so damned protective of that baby. 

4. I'm thankful for the fortune in my cookie, which reads: an unexpected windfall will be yours. I choose to believe this means I will be coming into a large sum of money, not that I'll end up downwind of Neil when he farts.

3. I'm pleased to learn that with the help of a techie friend, I'll soon be transferring my blog to a site that promotes reader feedback. If you have to suffer through my posts, you should at least be able to heckle them conveniently.

2. I'm grateful that after 18 months of negotiation, it appears that the association will be replacing our front door this week. With its battered crowbar dents making the lock essentially useless, this will be helpful in warding off any potential cat burglars. Though really, they can have the cats.

And the number one reason to marvel over Monday, July 12th?

1. I'm very, very thankful for the falling dew point. Today is the first day in weeks that my boobs aren't sweaty. You're welcome for sharing.

*See 'my mood' below
mood: highhigh
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Important Bulletin  
9:05 AM - Monday, 7/12/10

A note to both of my fans:

I am such a rock star that I was unable to update my blog over the weekend, due to a frenzied schedule of sleeping, napping and eating macaroni and cheese.

Stay tuned for detailed updates this evening.

mood: working
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6:24 PM - Wednesday, 7/7/10

Why is it that when something tragic happens, people speak freely of prayer? Maybe the world would be a little bit nicer place to be if we all remembered to say prayers of thanks for the people in our lives while we have them.

In the past week a friend's mother was diagnosed with stage III lung cancer, a family friend suffered a stroke and is currently in the ICU and an old classmate of mine drowned.

I'm not hopping on a religious soapbox here - I don't care who (or what) you pray to, and you don't even have to call it a 'prayer' if that word chafes a bit, but take a moment every day to recognize the good in your life.

You're broke? Watching the sun set is free - and it's pretty darn amazing.

Spouse driving you nuts? Imagine if they died today. Those socks on the floor might not seem like such a big deal.

Sick to your stomach? Be thankful it's just from too many cocktails or some bad chicken, and it'll go away in a day or two - the people dealing with chemo would trade places with you in a heartbeat.

Frustrated with work? Be grateful that you have a job.

Lonely? I bet there's someone in your life who'd like to give you a hug right now.

Don't wait for something terrible to happen to let people know how you feel about them. You might regret arguments and fights, but you'll never regret telling someone what they mean to you - and you might not always have another chance tomorrow.
mood: melancholymelancholy
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Post-Traumatic Cabin Disorder  
5:59 PM - Tuesday, 7/6/10

My weekend was spectacular. Really, didn't that picture of the sun setting over the lake say it all? Any high, though, comes with the inevitable crash back to reality.

I have bug bites everywhere. Seriously, those skeeters were spelunking in places lovers haven't even been.

My alarm went off disturbingly early this morning and it sounded nothing like a loon. There was nobody making me breakfast and a bloody mary, and if I would have brought a roadie to work my boss might have rerouted me to rehab.

At the office I was expected to read RFPs and manufacturing quotes. After four days of getting all my hard news from the Who-Wore-It-Best photos in US Weekly, this was a foul change.

Lunch was Easy Mac at my desk instead of cucumber salad on the boat, and the trade-off in bathroom facilities was marginal at best. At work I have to navigate a steep cement staircase without tripping in order to make it to the bathroom. In Hayward, you can just pee in the lake.

My cell phone has service again which means it rings and I have to answer it, which often leads to my having to do something.

On the upside, I undoubtedly smell better today than I did yesterday. Eau de bug spray, lake water and sweat gets a bit old (at least for those sitting near me), but I was really digging the flip-flops and sweats. My boss is so fussy about us wearing jammies to work.

As with all highs, of course, the crash just leaves me fiending for the next fix.

mood: sadsad
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Monday Marvels  
7:16 PM - Monday, 7/5/10
The Top Ten Reasons to Marvel over Monday, July 5th

10. I am thankful I have friends in high places. By high, I mean Northern Wisconsin. And they have a cabin. By cabin, I mean a McMansion on the water. And they invited me to spend the weekend with them. By invited, I mean they allowed me to crash there and they were totally gracious about my invasion of their family weekend.

Heather's fam - and me, the tag-a-long

9. I'm grateful for pontoon boats - and the off-duty policemen who drive them for us!!

Miserable day on the lake, as you can see....no fun at all...

8. I'm thankful for Wisconsin drink prices. Where in the world can you drink all day and a tab for two is $29? Hayward, Wisconsin. Go there immediately - and have a pudding shot at Woodhaven.

7. I'm grateful for down-to-earth folks around whom you can be yourself - blinding white body on the boat and all. (The swimsuit pictorial is under lock and key - if it got out, I fear Playboy would be beating down my door and I really don't have time for the paparazzi right now.)

6. I'm thankful that the Golden Rule gave us shelter from the rain, but it's a bummer that the cocktails were so terrible and we had no fun while we were there.
Just add vodka and shake...
5. I'm grateful that these guys showed up at the bar. They really made us look much more sober and dignified, because we have most of our teeth and we didn't have testicles made of new potatoes and pantyhose dangling out of our shorts.
You MIGHT be in Wisconsin IF....

4. I'm thankful for Prilosec and Tums - you guys worked some serious OT this weekend - I appreciate you taking one for the team.

3. I'm grateful for Carla's cucumber pasta salad and her chocolate peanut butter bars. My pants aren't all that grateful, as they can't contain my ass much longer - but tomorrow is another day and luckily Carla isn't my usual chef.

2. I'm really, really, REALLY thankful that Heather and Erin didn't tell me about the snake until later, or I would have peed my pants a little. And then cried. And then probably peed a little more.

And the number one reason to marvel over Monday, July 5th?

1. No cheeky commentary this time. I'm just truly grateful I could be there...

mood: contentcontent
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7:01 PM - Thursday, 7/1/10

A word about boundaries. Neil's cats? Have none.

I knew when Neil moved in that the cats were part of the deal. What I didn't realize is that they'd think they own the place and are renting to me. They do as they please, when they please...and for any of you who want to tell me you've trained YOUR cat to behave, I call bullshit.

Morgan is the naughtier of the two. Or, in PC terms, the more curious. Here's a day in her life:

 I'm merely furniture
She sits where she wants, and to hell with your face if it's in the way.

My makeup consultant
She helps me put on my makeup in the morning. I used to do this in my undies,
but there's something creepy about a cat snuggled into your half-naked lap,
so she trained me to start wearing pants while I get ready.
My editor - she's kind of a bitch
Morgan edits my blog and she's quick to tell me when she thinks an entry sucks.
She's also quick to stand up and block the screen entirely
when she's decided I'm done writing for the day.
Make yourself comfortable, don't mind me
Yesterday I bent down to straighten the rug and she hopped up on my back
and curled up to go to sleep. I was able to waddle across the room, grab my camera and waddle back
to the bathroom mirror to snap the pic, but then of course she stood up.
She wouldn't want you to see hard evidence of just how selfish she is when she's ready to get comfy.

*     *     *     *     * 

Bailey is the cuddlier (lazier) of the two, but we're going to have to establish a personal bubble.
Because she? Gets in mine.

Here's an average day in her life:

This is the most action I ever get in that bed
This is a PG preview of just how close Bailey likes to get.

Her favorite place to sleep is under the covers....and up my shirt.
Snuggled into my bare armpit. Jealous?
I can't lie, I don't discourage this behavior in January.
(Hey, it gets cold in my room...)
But in July I'd prefer to have nothing beneath my shirt other than a cool breeze.

Don't worry, I'll spare you the pictures. Actually, I don't have pictures.
That would be weird.

But last night Bailey took things to a whole new level and I woke up feeling violated.
I stirred in my sleep because I felt something tickly.
Opened an eye. Opened the other.
Bailey was cheek to cheek with me and her face was pressed tightly against mine.
Apparently I sleep with my mouth open...and it makes a great whisker warmer.


Listerine, please?

mood: annoyedannoyed
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