Sunday, June 29, 2008

Women Are Disgusting

My husband took me to see Wall-E today. I'd like to mention that it's yet another in the long list of awesome Pixar movies. But that isn't really what i wanted to talk about.

As most people who are even casually acquainted with me know, i am cursed with a hamster's bladder. I usually wait until the previews start, and then i get up and hit the bathroom, making it back in time to catch the beginning of the movie. This usually allows me to sit through a whole 90ish minute movie without getting up to pee. Usually. It doesn't really help that Jim buys me the Bladder Buster sized soda, but i digress.

Anyhow, the previews came on and i got up to find the bathroom. I walked in and entered the first stall and was immediately glad i looked down before getting down to business, because someone had pissed all over the toilet seat. Annoyed, i moved to the next stall down. That one was in even worse shape than the first. . . complete with piss all over the seat and a dirty tampon applicator on the floor. In the third and fourth ones, someone's lunch had apparently rebelled against their bowels, though thankfully it didn't find its way onto the toilet seat. The fifth one was clean.

It's worth mentioning that all the stalls in the bathroom have those paper ass-barriers and paper bag-lined feminine hygiene receptacles hanging on the walls. It's also worth mentioning that this is a common occurrance.

So i have to ask: why are women so fucking disgusting?! Why do four out of six stalls have to be completely unusuable because these bitches can't see fit to use the sanitary tools available to them or flush the toilet (something i'm SURE these hypocritical supertwats yell at their hapless husbands and children about when at home)?

And how does a woman micturate on the toilet seat in the first place?! Is she standing up man-style? Or is she doing that hover-thing that our grandmothers taught us to do in public bathrooms? If she's going to do that, why can't she lift up the seat? Others would care so much less if she splashed on the porcelain than the seat itself. But what the hell is wrong with using the paper ass-guards? That's what they're there for! And has our regard for the next woman fallen so low that we can't be bothered to dispose of used sanitary items in the receptacle? Don't even get me started with the lazy bitches who neglect to flush after their public dump-taking. Yes, it's a natural function that can't always wait until we get home. Understood. But no one wants to KNOW you couldn't wait until you got home! With that much inattention to public cleanliness, i hope they at least remembered to wipe their own asses.

But the people i feel worst for are the theater employees. Some poor sap has to go in there and mop up urine and all other manner of nastiness behind these women who've regressed back to their two-year old bathroom habits. Probably for minimum wage. So if you're a conscientious user of public restrooms, kudos to you, and thank you for being a good example of a decent human being. If you're one of these oblivious or uncaring degenerates, clean up your act or strap on a diaper before leaving the house so others don't have to clean it up for you.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Hate Housework, or, How I Met George Carlin

It was sometime during our last stay in Germany on one of those summer days that my dad's long list of house chores was staring me down. We were glowering at each other resentfully, this list and i, and i was mentally trying to figure out how much of my share i could foist off on my sister without risking my hide or having to suck up too much. Mentally cursing my dad (whom i was secretly accusing of only having children for the singular purpose of having his house cleaned for the next 20 years), I trudged into the living room and began idling flipping through his record collection, probably trying to decide between Kansas and ELO. Gabby would probably show up and tell us her little brother is sleeping (i used to frequently wonder if that kid was in some kind of easily-disturbed coma as often as his bossy sister enjoyed showing up on our doorstep to hissp, "Ssssh! Dennis schlaft!" at us in hushed tones as though that sentence alone was enough to shatter his delicate slumber), but i didn't much care that day. The list was long, and the music would make it more bearable. Flipping casually through the records again, i knew i was procrastinating, and that i was definitely going to pick ELO even though it meant i'd have to listen to Mr. Blue, because then i'd get to listen to The Jungle an equal number of ti. . . Hey, what's this?

I couldn't remember ever having listened to this one before. It was just a guy sitting on a stool with two fingers up his nose. That looked promising! I perused the song titles, trying to figure out what kind of music it was. Sometimes you got hold of a record with an awesome cover, and then the music sucked. Like that Steely Dan record. Sweet cover art, and crappy music to my elevenish eyes and ears. Figuring even if i hated it, it was another few minutes i could put off cleaning, i put the record on.

And in that moment, a life-long fan was born. I'm gonna miss you, George.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Herbal Oatbran

Most people i know hear the word "oatbran" and already start throwing up in their brains a little bit. Images of those dry, nasty muffins (usually with raisins, wtf is up wit oatbran and raisins?) are conjured up and people automatically go into 'no thanks' mode.

A couple of weeks ago, my Weightwatchers leader challenged us all to go out and try something we've either never had before, or something we've always thought we hated. The point was to broaden your food horizons by trying something new, or seeing if your tastebuds have changed, and incorporating healthier foods we always said 'yuck' to before. I picked oatbran because i was looking for couscous (which always sounded nasty to me), and it was out of stock. Oatbran was sitting there next to the empty couscous place, TVP (textured vegetable protein) and steelcut oats on the natural foods aisle. In the end, oatbran won out because it was lower in points and much faster to cook. If this was going to be an experiment, i didn't want to waste a lot of time making it in case i hated it.

So i took it home, cooked it according to the directions, and tried it. It was a hot cereal with the consistency of a coarser version of Cream of Wheat with absolutely no flavour at all. I can deal with no flavour. 'No flavour' means it's just sitting there waiting to have some added! So of course, the first thing i did was add fruit. Not bad, but still something missing. I added a teaspoon of margarine and some splenda. It was better, but still kinda bland. I didn't scratch it from the list of possibilities, but i stopped thinking about it for the time being.

The next morning i got up and i was making myself a cup of tea when inspiration hit! And here's the recipe i came up with:

Herbal Oatbran

Place 1 1/4 c water in a small sauce pan along with 1-2 bags of your favourite herbal tea. Heat to boiling. Remove teabags and add 1/3 c oatbran. Boil to desired consistency and remove from heat. Add 1/2 c of your favourite fruit and splenda to taste.

Here are some tea/fruit combinations i've tried:

1 bag Bengal Spice tea (Celestial Seasonings) and one mashed up banana

2 bags decaf Vanilla Chai (Bigelow) and 1/2 c apple sauce

2 bags Country Peach Passion (CS) and one sliced peach or nectarine or mango

2 bags Very Cherry Berry (CS) and 1/2 c quartered and pitted cherries

2 bags Raspberry Zinger (CS) and 1/2 c strawberries

2 bags Mango Chamomile (Bigelow) and 1/2 a mango

2 bags Madagascar Vanilla Red (CS) and 5 dried figs, chopped up

1 bag Constant Comment (B) and 1 mashed banana or handful of raisins.

2 bags Mango Passionfruit (Stash) and 1/2 a mango or 1/2 cup diced peaches/nectarines/apricots.

2 bags Sweet Coconut Chai (CS) and a few slivered almonds with 5 dried figs or dates, chopped up.

The possibilities are absolutely endless! The tea adds no points, and the fruit adds 0-2, depending on the fruit you choose. Dare ya to try it ;)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sympathy or Solution?

I was sitting in the car with my friend (let's call her Cindy for blogging purposes. And while we're assigning pseudo identities, we'll call her boyfriend John) Cindy, and she was talking to me about the on-going problems with her boyfriend. He had just recently built a house and moved into it and gotten everything settled. Cindy is a family person and lives with her parents. John is not a family person, and built his house to get away from his parents.

John's got several problems of his own. He's been working the midnight shift a lot, and he can't sleep during the day, which makes him crabby as HELL. He lashes out at people for little or no reason, and makes people edgy when they're around. He doesn't get along with his family, so he wanted to get away from them. He doesn't understand people who WANT to be around their families. He's very friends-oriented, and wants to be around them all the time. This was never a problem as he was growing up, but as he reaches 30, his friends are getting married, having kids, and developing lives with their families. He feels he's losing touch with his friends, who don't always have time for single people who aren't family people, and that makes him even crabbier.

All these problems (and more, which i've omitted for brevity's sake) end up manifesting themselves as problems in his relationship with Cindy, and it's making her miserable. So as i was sitting in the car, listening to Cindy rant about how John's pissed off at her because she limits the time she spends at his house, i start to get a little emotional itch. I understand completely that she doesn't want to spend too much time at his house because he'll then develop (if he hasn't already) the expectation that she'll move in with him.

I could no longer contain the itch. "Did you tell him why you don't want to spend time there?" i asked. She gave me an odd look and said, "Kinda. I told him i'm not ready to move in with him, so he should know." She continued with the rant, expressing how needy and clingy he is. I then made another suggestion. And then another one. And then another one. She finally got frustrated with me, and said "You just don't understand." She's said this to me before, during other similar conversations about John.

Now, on one hand, i never know quite how seriously i need to take Cindy because she enjoys complaining. I won't go so far as to say she's one of those people that isn't happy unless she's got something to complain about, but every time i try to help, she clams up and changes the subject. Eventually she'll go back to complaining about John, or something else.

On the other hand, she isn't the first person to do this to me. Almost every friend i've ever had has done this to me. While it's tempting to throw my hands up in the air and think people'd rather be miserable in their problems than to solve them, i have to stop and look at the common denominator: It's me.

I've come to realize something about myself: I am not a sympathetic person. It isn't that i don't feel bad for a person's plight; quite the opposite: i feel so bad for a person's plight that i want to help them get through it so they can get on with the business of being happy. But what if what a person wants is just someone to sit and listen to them? Is there something wrong with listening and making clucking noises and little "That sucks", "Oh poor you!" exclamations? Probably not. But why can't i do it? I just can't help that my first instinct is to roll up my sleeves, get to the root of the problem and attack it like a weed that'll take over the lawn if left alone.

So i'll try it on the next time someone tells me a problem. I will make the effort to sit there and listen and be sympathetic and let them work out the problem for themselves unless specifically asked for advice. I don't know if it's something i'll be able to do, but i'll never know unless i try.