Friday, October 31, 2008

Pickle Tree Moments

For those of you unfamiliar with the phrase "Pickle Tree Moment," you may want to peruse the site history here.

Just in the past few days, two more phrases have made it into Pickle Tree Moment history, so I figured I would share.

PTM #1:

Background: For a while, in lieu of breakfast, I was drinking a Carnation Instant Breakfast each morning. Of course, my husband scoffed at me. Then, as per usual, he realized I was a genius and he too began drinking an Instant Breakfast each morning before work. Now he's addicted. He can't function without his Carnation in the morning.

Last Saturday, Tim woke to find the refrigerator devoid of milk. Tragedy. He tried to convince me to go across the street and get him some milk. No go. We were headed to the beach anyway, so I told him we could stop on the way.

We left the house, Tim with a Carnation packet secure among the beach gear, and I poked fun at him for being so addicted to the breakfast he used to scoff at.

"Whatever. I need my milk in the morning. I'm like a baby cow."

To which I stared at him thoughtfully, and asked, "Do cows drink milk?"

He waited to see if I was serious, and then started laughing. "What, you think its some sort of cannibalism for cows to drink milk?"

"Well, yeah." I responded.

PTM #2

Tim knows I have been really stressed out at work lately; so stressed out I am on the verge of killing people. A few days ago he called me at work to check in on me, make sure I wasn't going crazy. I told him...

"I'm fine. I'm a duck."

"You're a duck?" he asked.

"Yeah. I'm a duck. It all rolls off my back."

Pause. Snicker. "It rolls off you like water off of a duck's back," he corrected.

"Whatever. I'm a duck."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Traditional Traditions

I had a conversation not too long ago pertaining to the quality of my marriage, which greatly angered and agitated me.

Before I enlighten you on the details of said conversation, I'd like to give you a little of my personal back story:

1. I am not June effing Cleaver. Never have been, never will be.
2. Six years ago I decided that love was more important than money.
3. Peter Pan complexes tend to turn me on.

Now, many of you may be familiar with the back story on my marriage. Just in case you're not, here are some of the pertinents:

1. My husband is my best friend; there is not a single soul on earth I would rather spend time with than Tim.
2. I am my husband's best friend; there is not a single soul on earth Tim would rather spend time with than me.
3. My husband is a laid-back, slightly immature and irresponsible fun-lover. I am an OCD neurotic, slightly more mature and responsible, worry wart. We balance each other quite well.

Here are the reasons that, according to aforementioned conversation, my marriage is doomed:

1. Tim and I do not eat dinner together. Could also be stated as: I do not cook for my loving husband, but make him fend for himself and selfishly feed myself when I arrive home from work two hours later than he does.
2. I make more money than Tim does; I have more ambition to increase my salary than Tim does.
3. Tim is never going to grow up. I am always going to be the more responsible one, will get tired of being the only adult, and will therefore find myself attracted to "adult" men other than my husband.

Here are my angry and agitated responses to these reasons why my marriage is doomed:

1. I refer to item 1 from my personal back story: "I am not June effing Cleaver. Never have been, never will be."

To my mother's (and many of my married female friends) chagrin, I don't do his laundry either. Why? Because I have no desire to take over the job of being his mother - I want to be his wife.

Luckily, Tim feels the same way. He would rather do his own laundry. He likes getting to eat whatever he wants for dinner. When I did make the short-lived attempt to cook dinner, more often than not he had to choke down something he didn't really want to be eating, because, I'll be honest, I'm not really into the whole cooking thing. I could be great at it if I put the appropriate time and effort into it, I really need to say it again? Not June Cleaver.

The same women who are chagrined by my lack of laundry duty will also ask, "But don't you worry that he's not eating right?" I refer back to the "not his mother" statement. And really, the whole dinner thing is about making time for each other, being together, talking, participating in one another's lives, right? Tim and I do more of that than most people, let alone any married couple I know, due to the fact that we are each other's best friend.

So there.

If we have children, I will force them to sit down at a designated time and choke down my half-hearted cooking. Until then: every one for themselves! (Damn those cats for not having opposable thumbs.)

2. I refer to item 2 from my personal back story: "Six years ago I decided that love was more important than money."

It's pretty simple: I've been with guys who make oodles of money - enough to support my shopping habit as well as all their mistresses shopping habits. I was miserable.

Tim makes me happy.

Ergo, me making more money = not a big effing deal.

I suppose I can also refer back to "Not June effing Cleaver." My husband is secure enough in his manhood to also be comfortable with the fact that I am the bread-winner, and I have no desire to be lazy while he makes all the money.

So it works for us.

3. I refer to item 3 from my personal back story: "Peter Pan complexes tend to turn me on."

My husband is hot. My husband is going to keep my young.

End of story.

So I'd like to give a big "Har dee har har har" to the originator (remainig nameless) of the stupid comments.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Weird Fact Wednesday...The Return

Been a few weeks, huh? I apologize to my 3 fans for leaving you high and dry, lacking weirdness in your life.


Since it is so close to Halloween, I figured I would choose a weird fact in the spooky vein.

I have an unnatural fear of anything supernatural. Seriously. Unnatural. Things that should not be scary scare the bejeezus out of me.

For example, raise your hand if you think any of the below are bone chillingly terrifying:

  • The Sixth Sense
  • Haunted Houses and Hayrides geared toward toddlers and adolescents
  • The dark
  • Showering alone
  • The phrase "Bloody Mary"
  • Ouija boards
  • Basements
  • Attics
  • The phrase "Blair-Witching it in the corner."
My hand was raised the entire time.

I blame my siblings, I'll have you know. It's only fair - they blame me for a whole lot of crap that was not necessarily my fault, a.k.a. being born.

Paul told me the spirit of an Indian (Native American) lived in the basement and to watch out for flying arrows as I walked down the stairs. He also told me the monsters in the basement were particularly fond of the taste of little girl. I learned to sprint the stairs three at a time if I ever needed to be in the basement.

Adam was convinced that he had a Shroud of Turin-esque Jesus imprint on his bedroom wall and adored Alice Cooper. Can we all say creepy?

Jennifer let me watch Psycho when I was nine, then proceeded to feign ignorance two weeks later on Halloween when my mother threw me in the shower after a particularly egg and shaving cream filled night and I screamed bloody murder when the pink color I had sprayed in my hair ran blood red in the shower. Hello?

Also, I grew up 45 minutes from Sleepy Hollow. Seriously.

Is it any wonder that I'm a big 'fraidy cat?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sweater Week!

I was going to write a post entitled "Dig A Deep Hole and Hide" since that is how I have been feeling lately, but I woke up this morning to...

Sweater Week!

I love sweater week. Who can be unhappy during sweater week?

Oh, you are not familiar with sweater week? Allow me to explain.

The people of South Florida love to be asked the question, "But don't you miss having four seasons?" Because we do have four seasons: Warm, Hot, Unbearable, and, you guessed it, Sweater Week. (Of course, dependent upon the South Floridian you talk to, our four seasons can also be considered Football, Baseball, Hockey and Basketball.)

Usually for a week in the Fall, and a week in the Winter, South Florida experiences temperatures that dip below the standard 75-85 degree range.

And trust me, below 75 for South Floridians is COLD.

So, if you originate from the cold North Country (as my husband and I do) you can be easily amused the first time this phenomenon is witnessed: Sweaters, sweatshirts, fleece, scarves, coats, hats, etc. being broken out in 50-60 weather.

At first you scoff: Ha! They think this is cold? They should try surviving a power outage in Buffalo - no heat for four days!

Then, the longer you spend in Florida, you discover the rumors are true. Your blood thins. 50 degrees to a Floridian is equivalent to -10 degrees to an Upstate New Yorker.

Hence, Sweater Week. The week that all my New York winter clothes are saved for. Yes, they take up an entire section of my closet, fighting with the capri pants, sleeveless tops and sundresses for space, only to be worn 2 weeks out of the year, but it is so worth it.

Why? There are things I miss about living in the Mid-Atlantic and New England states.


Sometimes I miss the way the first day of Autumn, and the first day of Winter, smell. Sometimes I miss snow. Sometimes I miss fireplaces. I definitely miss adorable winter clothes. Sometimes I miss a random excuse to cuddle. Sometimes I miss having to warm up instead of cool down.

If I didn't have Sweater Week, I might miss these things enough to consider moving back to the Great White North. That would be insanity. Sweater Week provides most of the above.

The snow? All I have to do is visit my parents or my in-laws in the dead of winter, and be reminded of how effing cold it has to be to snow. After 2 days I'm cured.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Reality continues to get in the way of my life

Here's my horoscope for today:

You may rebel against authority today because you just don't want to follow instructions. You think you know a better way to do things and all you want is acknowledgment and respect. This can be your chance to show others how clever you can be, so don't let anyone talk you out of your intended plan. Decide what you want and then go for it

Oh, yeah.

Lately I've been feeling like I don't have any time for me.

Well, that's not entirely true. I have been working an awful lot of late hours, and quite a bit at home and on the weekends, but I still have time for me. I simply choose to spend that "me" time in ways that involve other people. Instead of writing and blogging - the things I desperately want to be doing - I am filling my free time in ways that are equally, if not more, important than writing and blogging.

Hanging out with my husband. (Which he may even say I don't do enough of.)
Spending quality time with the furry (and scaly) kids.
Talking to my Lizzie.
Playing Wedding Coordinator for Aubs.
Hanging with my new bud Tina. (I have a new chick friend, and I am loving it since it is such a rare phenomenon for me.)
Hey, Trace, I'd love to include you in this list, but my husband insists I leave you alone until you come to me. (Smile.)

With all of the above, fitting in time to write becomes exceedingly hard.

There are going to be the die-hard writers who tell me that if I were truly driven to write, I wouldn't be able to not make the time. I'd put other things aside. I wouldn't rest until the words were on the page.

That's BS.

First of all, I live in a world where the economy sucks, so I have to bust my ass to do a good job so that I can keep my job.

Second of all, without all the "other" things mentioned above, I would have no reason to write, and nothing to write about.

Third of all, reality. Hello. I can't block out a half hour and walk away with something brilliant. And I'm not effing Hemingway. I can't be drunk all the time and hang out with a million cats and do nothing but write. As appealing as that sounds.


I get in what I can, and hopefully I'll be able to get in more and more as time goes on.

Unless anyone else has any brilliant ideas?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Seriously Slacking Skimboarder

...Reality continues to get in the way of my life.

All of a sudden, I am in important person at my job. I'm starting to gain some respect. Others are tarting to rely on me. Which is good...and bad. These things are making me take my job more seriously, which means I am working later, working at home, working weekends.

Leaving very little time for the things I want to be doing...
Among others.

So today I made time for one of the things I wanted to be doing...skimboarding.

The beginning of my skimboarding career was not all that great.
I fell.
A lot.
I couldn't stand up on the board.
At all.
No balance. Natural klutz. Accident waiting to happen.

I watched as Tim mastered it...
with some help from his skateboarding and snowboarding background.
I seriously injured myself.
I got discouraged.
I don't like to not be good at anything,
but it seemed skimboarding might not be for me.

So I almost gave up,
but decided to give it one last shot today.
It was a gorgeous day...
one of those days that make people jealous that I live in Florida...
so if I fell, repeatedly, and I gave up, at least I could lounge on the beach in the beautiful sunlight while Tim got his fill of waves.

And then, at the beach, something happened.
Tim made a suggestion...
and I listened.
It's hard for me to listen, because, as I said, I don't like not being good at things, and it makes me less good at something if I need help.

But, I was getting desperate.
I wanted this to be as fun for me as it was for Tim.
I wanted to stop falling.

So I let him coach me.

He knelt in the sand and surf
with the patience of a saint,
and held the board between us,
pushing it slightly to get it going,
and then coaching and correcting my stance, my balance, my stride, my style.
I wanted to resent it, but when I caught the first piece of surf, hydroplaned off it, and skimmed the length of the beach, catching a tiny wave at the end, I was exhilarated and grateful.

So he patiently coached me some more, until I finally got the hang of it.
So today, I skimmed more than I fell, and I was even on my way to catching waves.

Don't get me wrong...
I fell.
Hard enough that I have sand rash on my ass and the back of my thighs.
But it was worth it.
Because for the 3 times I fell today..
yeah, just three...
I caught perfect momentum about 30 times, and boy did I have fun.

It was a good day.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Weird Fact Wednesday

OCD vs. Advil PM

I've been having some sleeping issues lately. This has never happened to me. Once upon I time, I could sleep anywhere, anytime. I slept through a heavy metal concert once. In the past, I could probably sleep on rocks. I love to sleep.

I would go to bed, put my head on the pillow, and...OUT. No thinking. No tossing and turning. Nothing. Out like a light, just like that.

No more.

Now, my busy life, and the OCD, is winning.

I lay down, and even if I am absolutely exhausted, I think about work. What I didn't get done that day, what I need to get done the next day, what needs to get done by certain deadlines.

Then I think about my writing. Ideas, first lines, scenes, characters; all swarm through my hand and demand to be written. That has gotten so bad that I have actually left my comfy bed after getting in it to power up the laptop and get a few sentences out.

That never happens. I don't leave my bed for anything. Once, I used my cell phone to call the house phone to ask Tim to bring me a drink. Yes, I am that lazy, and love my bed that much.

If I can quell the noise of the creatives, I move on to thinking about Liz, Tracy, Aubree, my parents, my family, and the few other friends that I manage to keep. What do I think? I don't know...I just think.

I haven't mentioned Tim, or the pets, in any of the above, because they are constantly on my mind; a normal piece of the daily puzzle, my first priorities, and my first and last thoughts of each day.

Last night I was truly exhausted after an especially long day at work, and still, when I went to bed, my mind swam. So, I decided to take some Advil PM. Drastic times call for drastic measures.

Here's the weird part...

The OCD won out over the Advil PM. It did nothing.

Why is this weird? Because DayQuil, as well as all other "Non-Drowsy" medication, knocks me flat on my ass.

There may not be a drug strong enough to get past my crazy brain.


Monday, October 6, 2008


What's up with the fancy new white background, you ask?

I received a few complaints about the blog being hard to read, because the text overlaps the left side image.

At first, I was all, "Boy, do I feel stupid. I managed a graphic design team for 2 years. Go me."

Then, I realized the more important part...

OMG! People are reading my blog!

I am humbled.

I hope changing the background has made for easier reading, since that is ultimately my goal!!

BTW...about the slacking, and the pitifully small amount of posts per week? I'm working on it. Can't blame a girl for trying to climb the corporate ladder, can you?

P.S. I am attending a charity luncheon with the Florida Panthers tomorrow, courtesy of my corporate ladder. I have yet to decide if I am going to be "that girl" and bring my camera. I'll be sure to post pics if I do.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Resignation Letter

Dear Adult World:

It is with reluctance that I’m submitting this letter.

Although my time as an adult has been, on the whole, satisfying and productive, for quite a while now I have become less and less satisfied with adulthood.

It was wonderful for a little while: being in a bar without a faked or stolen ID; sleeping as long as I damn well pleased on Saturday mornings; never making my bed; no one telling me what I couldn't do; decorating my apartment to my liking; owning exotic pets; eating dinner while watching TV.

However, I find that I was not adequately prepared for the stress that accompanied the freedom, the obligations that go hand in hand with the privilege. I find myself calling to mind the words of the Uncle of a great superhero: "With great power, comes great responsibility."

It would appear that I do not have the adequate skills necessary to handle the power of adulthood.

With the current state of the economy, my lack of a six-figure salary, and my selfish desire for free time and leisure, it increasingly difficult for me to feel that I’m contributing sufficiently.

Therefore, it is with regret that I ask you to accept this as my resignation from adulthood effective immediately.

If you would be so kind as to forward any and all correspondence to "3rd Cardboard Box From The Curb, Somewhere in Coconut Creek, Florida" as I will most likely need it for kindling, food, flooring, or paper airplanes.


Nanci Block

Weird Fact Wednesday

Happy October!!

First Weird Fact Wednesday of the 10th Month:

I have a bizarre habit of looking at the clock at the same time every day. I'm sure this happens more than once, but there is a specific time that I notice every day, because it is my birthday: 5:21

Weekdays, at work, I am generally in the office until 5:30. Toward the end of the day, I get the sense that time is winding down on whatever project I am working on. (unless I want to be in the office all night, which I don't. I have the blessing and the curse of being able to work from home, so like I said, I am generally out of the office at 5:30 SHARP unless something important needs my attention.) I check the time in order to pace myself. It always seems to be 5:21.

Weekday mornings, my alarm doesn't go off until 6:10, but I often wake up for a moment, and stare at the clock at 5:21. Even on weekends. (Here's a bonus weird fact: My alarm clock has a mind of its effing own, I swear. No matter what time I set it for, it goes off at 7:01AM. This is fine during the week, since I completely turn it off well before 7:01AM. However, on the weekends, if I set my alarm for after 7:01AM it still goes off at 7:01AM. It's the creepiest thing. I hit the snooze once, and it relaxes, and doesn't sound again until its scheduled time. Sure, I could buy a new alarm clock, but who likes change?)

Anyway, I don't think the 5:21 thing (or the 7:01 thing, for that matter) is coincidence.

I'm not sure what else it could be, but I think the Universe might be trying to tell me something.