Friday, June 22, 2007

What My Grandma Always Told Me

My paternal grandmother, who passed away nine years ago as a result of a sudden stroke, was a health nut. She and my grandfather, I believe, lived a longer and healthier lifestyle because of their diet and exercise regime. Grandma loved Prevention magazine, and was always following up with us, copying articles and sending them in greeting cards. One particular article she mailed to me while I was in college stuck in my mind and has definitely affected the way I consume beverages.

Apparently, as early as the late 80s, there had been discovered a link between phosphoric acid and poor calcium absorption. This was of particular interest to my grandmother, because her daughter, my Aunt, was a big Diet Coke drinker. Granny was always on Auntie to stop consuming the stuff, at least, in such large quantities. Here is a nice article from Harvard on the subject.

And now, almost two decades later, I'm walking through the grocery store and see a little blurb on the side of a Diet Coke twelve-pack about how Diet Coke is a good source of hydration. They've even got an entire website dedicated to their products and how wonderfully hydrating all of them are. Yet I'm still scratching my head about the Diet Coke, because isn't caffeine a diuretic?

So I decided to do a little research on that. According to the nutrition advisor at

Caffeine also has a diuretic effect—that is, it enhances urine formation, often causing a need to urinate within an hour after consumption. Yet two studies with subjects who took caffeine before they exercised (1,2) showed no detrimental effects on hydration during exercise. Thus it appears that caffeine does not increase urine production during exercise. The extra adrenaline your body secretes during exercise may block caffeine's effect on the kidneys (3). However, responses to caffeine vary, so you should base your preexercise consumption on how caffeine affects your body.

After exercise, caffeine is a poor choice for fluid replacement. The safest bet is to tank up on noncaffeineated beverages just after activity, and then later, if you so desire, enjoy your favorite caffeinated beverage in moderation.

So, if Diet Coke might be okay while you're working out, but is overall a shitty choice for overall hydration afterwards, is it really fair or accurate for the Coca-Cola Company to be pushing the hydration thing on all of their beverages? I think not.

And it would piss my Grandma right off, may she rest in peace, that they're trying to make it appear as a healthful choice, in general. Assholes.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What good is a police report & Satanic Brain Crack

That's what I'm asking myself.

My car got run over almost a month ago, and I finally decided to return the call made by the other driver's insurance company, the illustrious State Farm. Seems the tune Mr. Ford Truck was singing to me, and to the cop (as in, The Accident Was My Fault) is not the tune he's singing to his adjustor. Apparently, I am now the one to blame. He claims he had a green arrow to turn left when he did, meaning that I had a red light. Which is interesting, because, though I won't know this for certain until I camp out in the Denny's parking lot for a few minutes tomorrow, the left turn lane is also the STRAIGHT lane at that intersection. Rational minds would assume that a lane that moves both forward and left during a green light would be just that -- GREEN -- with no arrow. The right lane is right turn only. Rational minds would also assume that once the police file the report with their findings -- in this case, a big old "Failure to Yield" (but without a citation, go figure) -- there would be no arguing with it.

Thankfully, my awesome insurance provider has deemed me worthy enough to reimburse my $500 deductible, and are going to go after State Farm through their own channels. It would have really sucked it I'd had to go up against them with a lawyer.

You can betchyoass I will be recording the light changes at that blasted intersection and forwarding the video to my insurance company to use during their arbitration. I might even post the results here, if I can figure out how. I am getting really tired of watching all my friends post videos and thinking, "man, I should try that" -- GET THEE BEHIND ME, BRAIN CRACK!

It's Five O'Clock Somewhere

I don't really like that song, but it's been kicking around in my head for a good 10 hours or so, ever since I willfully chose to drink two large cans of Guinness Stout at 3pm this afternoon, and then took a long nap nestled next to my child in a sweaty bed because our air conditioner is (again) on the fritz. My house looks like a family of traveling gypsies came through it. Only the traveling gyspies are my family, consisting of just me, my husband, and my two year old child. And we are as stationary as...well, a rock, right now.

Oh yeah, and my dogs are shitheads. They decided to unlock their cage during the night (okay, so it was me that just didn't latch it, but it's my story, it's my blog, I'm stickin' to it) and eat a poopy diaper that I had forgotten to put in the Diaper Genie that afternoon. Whoopsie.

So the house is a borderline health hazard, and I'm drinking in the middle of the afternoon and basically passing out with my kid. Can Child Protective Services be far behind? I mean, at high noon today, I was bawling my eyes out at the outer edge of the parking lot of the grocery chain down the street from my house. And I mean, bawling. Great, heaving, hitching sobs of pity me. My nose was running. I wiped my face with Taco Bell napkins (which suck for that, by the way -- Mc Donald's napkins are way better, but I don't eat McDonald's much anymore), and then hung out my door and splashed myself with lukewarm bottled water that I'd left in the car overnight. And drove home. Played with my daughter until naptime, sucked back the beer, and took a little neeper.

I woke up feeling pretty damn good. And I keep reminding myself that tomorrow is a new day; that Scarlett O'Hara might've been on to something.

Have I mentioned I'm premenstrual?!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sag thou pantaloons elsewhere, young stallion

According to this story, there will soon be a new law on the books mandating a $500 fine and up to six months in jail if you wear droopy drawers in public.

Now, I am just as annoyed with the trend as many others are, but come on. I mean, yes, I knew I was getting old several years ago when I watched a boy cross the street in front of me pulling down, hiking up, pulling down, adjusting the level of saggage to the appropriate position much the same way a woman might pull and tug on a skirt she's not so comfortable wearing. I thought simultaneously, "He looks like a dork..." and "Oh my Gosh, get a belt!" -- each thought riddled with disdain and amusement.

And now, it just gives me something with which to find a much needed quiet, private chuckle.

I certainly hope this law doesn't permeate the rest of the country, because, and perhaps I'm reading too much into it, but still, it smacks of profiling. You know what I'm talking about.

Furthermore, if there will be a law about this, then there needs to be a tandem law, that prohibits young ladies wearing short skirts and thongs at the same time. I would rather look at some idiot's ass crack than see bare sixteen year old butt cheeks walking by on a windy day. And the same could be said for thongs and hiphugger jeans. I saw waaaaaay more than I wanted to the other day, while I was at Chuck E. Cheese with my two year old, for cryin' out loud. A large part of me, of course, wanted to say to the young mother, "Work it girl" because she had three kids with her. 'Nough said.

Ultimately, this makes me laugh out loud madly, because no matter what the decade -- or the century -- there is always going to be something those crazy youngsters will be doing that will induce the ire of the next generation enough to make a friggin' law about it. Or doesn't anyone remember when skirts had to cover the ankle and it was considered unseemly for a man to wear his hat indoors?!

Where is Chaucer when you need him....

Monday, June 11, 2007

Cracked Rye

Why is Sean Patrick Flanery not wildly famous?

He is so incredibly talented, and woefully underused (looking at that word as I type it, I think to myself, "unda-roosed." That sounds like something small kids playing at being gangsta in their skivvies would say.) that he could be Nathan Fillion's brother from another mother. Now, in actuality, Flanery has been in way more stuff than Fillion, but there is a 6 year age diff between them (and day-um, I can't even believe Flanery's 41!). Thing is, neither one has been in anything that has rocketed into banality. Yet. Is that what makes them so good? They're like college rock in the 80s and 90s; once The Cure hit the radio with Friday, I'm in Love, it was all over.

Honestly, why are these two guys not in more stuff now? Is it really because someone as bland and one-dimensional and white bread as Tom Cruise captures the female imagination far more aptly?

I like my bread really hearty. Crunchy. Complex.

There is no justice.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Shot in the Dark

I accidentally stumbled upon Adrian Grenier's (Entourage)"new" (filmed in '99, released to little acclaim in '02 and re-released this year Hollywood-style as a result of his breakout role in the popular aforementioned HBO series) documentary Shot in the Dark this past weekend on the pay cable station. I have been a fan of Grenier ever since the crappy but cute movie Drive Me Crazy. Those eyes, that hair...he'd have kicked the shit out of Sanjaya, let me tell you. But thank God he just plays drums.

Normally I wouldn't watch this type of thing; it's just not in my line of interest. But I had an interesting year; my husband recently found out he has an illegitimate 17-year-old daughter, whose paternity is slightly in question, but I've seen pictures. There is likely no denying who her father is. Anyway, I've been having a hard time dealing with the phone calls and messages and emails; they never stop, it seems like, and I am not sure why, but I'm irritated and annoyed with it all. Even angry, sometimes. Despite the fact that I remember keenly what it was like to be seventeen, my sensitivity level is subzero. I find myself thinking, with shame, that I don't want this girl in my life. I've already opened myself up to the children from my husband's first marriage, and been heartbroken and betrayed by that whole mess (which I won't go into here, it would take too damn long and reopen wounds that still aren't healed, and frankly, I'm enough of a wreck right now, I don't need to go there). Now I'm facing the prospect of a raw teenager back in my life, and I don't like it one fucking bit.

But that was before I saw this film. I don't know why, but watching Grenier's almost casual approach to this topic, the reunion, made it an easier pill for me to swallow. And then once I was hooked, the real guts of the movie invaded my space and it was too late to turn it off.

I pretty much feel like an asshole, now, but at least I won't be an asshole, when the time comes.

If you like slow-moving but genuine documentaries, this one is for you. And interestingly enough, it's gotten me excited about the new season of Entourage, which I have yet to watch.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Circle Game

And the seasons, they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time

We can't return, we can only look behind from where we came
And go round and round and round in the circle game.

As a first time mother, I had a difficult lesson of letting go. Loosening the grip I have on my 32 month old daughter, Cadence. It seems like only yesterday, she was this baby:

And now, she is this strong-willed, independent creature with opinions and a personality all her own. She insists already on picking out her own clothes, her shoes, she expresses strong like and dislike of books, food, locations, and experiences. She would just as soon go dashing away from me, and since she was an infant, she never cried when I left her with other people, or even when I left the room. She was always perfectly content to be away from me. My sister, who breast-fed her own son until he was almost three, explains her viewpoint on this: a child who is being nursed at regular intervals is guaranteed regular intimacy with their mother, and so they are often more secure and quite happy to be handed off during non-nursing moments, at increasingly larger and longer intervals.

So I've felt lucky that I didn't have a clingy child that was constantly pulling at my apron strings.

Today, my parents are taking my daughter and nephew to the zoo. I know she'll have a fantastic time, and be doted upon and taken care of in a way that she doesn't always get at home, because I simply cannot give her my undivided attention 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at least, not anymore. Life requires my focus to be elsewhere sometimes! But now I'm staring at my apron strings,

(And i'll be perfect in my own way
When you cry i'll be there
I'll sing to you and comb your hair
All your troubles i will share

For apron strings
Can be used for other things
Than what they're meant for
And you'd be happy wrapped in my
Apron strings)

and wondering how the hell I'm going to cope with her being gone for so long, and even more, realizing that she's not just down the street at her grandmother's, she's 60 miles away in Cleveland at the Metro Zoo.

I called my sister as soon as she left, and burst into tears. I should be happy -- ecstatic! This has the potential for a day of debauchery. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll. And all I want to do is curl up on the couch with her PJs and watch SpongeBob on Nickolodeon.

I am so pathetic.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Don't Believe The Hype

I imagine Henry Ford watching lovingly, and with pride, as the first Edsel rolled slowly off the assembly line.

Sometimes, I think I was as starry-eyed, hopeful, and ultimately full of shit the day I got married.

For the third time. The "charm" of thrice has quite worn off, leaving me with the sinking feeling that there is no magic bullet to marital success. It's just the same old bullshit, different man, different day.

One of my favorite songs by Rickie Lee Jones chronicles the ills of a faltering relationship in terms of a vehicular demise:

There was this block-busted blonde,
and he loved her Free parts and labor,
but she broke down and died
She threw all the rods that he gave her

Oh, but this one ain't fuel-injected,
her plug is disconnected,
She gets scared, and she stalls....
but she just needs a man, that's all

It's her last chance, check under the hood
It's her last chance, she ain't idlin' so good
It's her last chance, turn her over -- and go

Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco...

My father's been in mad, mad love with the Chevy Corvette long before I was ever even a twinkle in his eye. That kind of brand loyalty escapes me. I struggle daily to maintain a balance, and most days, I heave a great big sigh of defeat, lay my head down on the pillow, and just pray that the next day I still have the emotional stamina to roll up my sleeves and get dirty again.

I can't help but think of that Sandra Bullock movie, 28 Days. And I am still trying to lift up that damn horse's hoof, too stubborn to ask for help. All the faith in the world, and yet here I stand, stubborn as a mule.

But I swear to God, if I see another glass of milk curdling over on his side of the bed, I'm going to go stark-raving apeshit. Like, crazy Indian jumping out of the window of the Cuckoo's nest crazy.

Goodnight, Irene.

Self-Destruct Sequence Activated

Caught the husband smoking today.


If anger were a color, and it consumed the soul, mine would be black.