Tuesday, November 30, 2010

All Hail My Genius! or, It Must Be Idiot Night On Jeopardy!

After an afternoon that involved light-saber fighting, second grade math homework, and teaching my children to make waffles (it was breakfast-dinner night), my IQ was hovering around 65. Technically, I was functional. To my knowledge, I was not drooling upon myself or suddenly incapable of tying my shoes or doing the US Weekly crossword puzzle, but I was definitely a little dull around the edges (the martini during math likely didn't help). Once the kiddos were tucked into bed, I decided it would be in my best interest to sharpen my mental pencil with a little help from Alex Trebek. It was time for a little Jeopardy!

(Side note: Hey! The Grinch just came on-- the old school cartoon Grinch. That's awesome. I, too, have a heart that's two sizes too small. I also hate Whos and would rather have a dog than a reindeer. But I digress.)

I settled in to watch Jeopardy! in my pajamas (with a lovely glass of Merlot--the martini had worn off) and sized up my television opponents carefully-- an anemic-looking Emo chick named Allie (whose anecdote was a ridiculously pointless story about using a hair dryer in France), an old dude in a red shirt named Tom, and the champion, who was so unremarkable that I can't even remember his name, only that he had exceptionally large ears and he kept giving the camera what I like to refer to as "seductive eyebrows," which is kind of a sexy little eyebrow wiggle that can either look suggestive or like a nervous tic, depending on how it's executed. (Please note that his was more of the nervous tic variety.) I was feeling confident. Even with 14.5% alcohol content coursing through my veins, I could kick these losers' asses.

Then the question board was filled. The categories included "Name That Country," "G-roceries," and "Massachusetts Symbols." My first thought was, "Shit. I'm going to SUCK at this board. And when Emo Allie beats me at Jeopardy!, I'm going to be PISSED." (My second thought was, "Who comes UP with this BULLSHIT? These categories BLOW GOATS. ") All the questions appeared on the board, and the nerdfest began.

But hark! (I used "hark" specifically in honor of the season. Please recognize and appreciate this for a moment.) You won't believe what happened. I. Knew. Every. Freakin. Answer.

No joke. I fucking mopped the floor with those fools.

Now, I'm damn good at Jeopardy! (Most of the time.) (Side note: It's KILLING me to use all these fucking exclamation points, as I HATE exclamation points. I love capital letters, but that's irrelevant. However, I feel the need to represent Jeopardy! correctly, and in reality, it does indeed end with an exclamation point. I felt the need to point this out in case anybody thought I was being overly enthusiastic--which is not the Haley way--rather than grammatically correct.) However, I am not Rainman. I do not mutter every answer in its full and perfect form under my breath while counting cards and demanding to change the channel to The People's Court. Yet somehow this time the stars aligned and I became the JEOPARDY! MASTER. I was still in full glory when Double Jeopardy! began. I didn't end up with a perfect score at the end, but I still did pretty damn well. (I shall now neglect to discuss how Final Jeopardy! was a question in the category SPORTS, the answer was something about a Canadian hockey team, and I missed it, subsequently losing all of the theoretical thousands I had raked in during my Jeopardy! massacre because I theoretically BET IT ALL. You heard me, I DO NOT BACK DOWN. I BET IT ALL, BITCHES.)

All this begs the question: "Am I that brilliant, or was it Idiot Night on Jeopardy!?" (It also begs the questions: "Does Merlot make me smarter?" and "What, exactly, the hell was Alex thinking with that black suit and tie and green shirt tonight?")

The answer? That remains to be seen. But for a girl who has never been to Massachusetts, yet got every single Massachusetts Symbols question right, I'm feeling pretty damn intelligent this evening.

Yes, indeed.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Thanksgiving Blog

Now THAT'S a creative title. You can tell that I'm really working hard today, no? Poor blog--I've put about as much effort into it this year as I have my gardening (which is why I have a bunch of dead plants in my front yard--in Tennessee, where we have things like lynch mobs [this is a little shout out to Polk County, y'all], the HOA would have already shown up at my house and lynched me. Except that in Tennessee, we don't have HOA's, particularly in Polk County. And since we don't have lynch mobs in Virginia, it looks like me and my dead mums remain safe.)

But I digress.

A few years ago ("few" because I don't really have any idea if it's been seven or one) I started my annual Thanksgiving Blog, where I like to publicly give thanks for the little things in my life for which I am grateful. Not my family. Not my home. But the things that rarely get the recognition they deserve. While I admit that I'm not feeling particularly festive this year (yet again), I'm going to give it my Haley Best and share my thankfulness with the world anyway. So here we go.

HALEY'S 2010 THANKSGIVING BLOG LIST OF THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE FOR WHICH SHE IS THANKFUL, WHICH MEANS THAT HER YORKIE, MIMI, IS EXCLUDED--BEING VERY OVERSIZED--AS WELL AS MANY OTHER THINGS THAT ARE TECHNICALLY BIG (LIKE 1.5 LITER SIZE WINE BOTTLES). HALEY WOULD ALSO LIKE TO MENTION THAT SHE WILL NOT BE RECOGNIZING ANY ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE IN SAID LIST ONLY BECAUSE SHE IS BEING THANKFUL FOR THE LITTLE THINGS RIGHT NOW, AND FRANKLY, ANYTHING WITH ALCOHOL IS NOT CONSIDERED A LITTLE THING, BUT RATHER A GREAT BIG GIANT REASON WHY HER SANITY IS (MOSTLY) INTACT, AS B IS STILL GONE MOST OF THE TIME, THUS LEAVING HER ALONE AND AT THE MERCY OF THE MINIONS AND ALL THEIR LITTLE NEIGHBORHOOD MINION CRONIES

1. My crock pot~ Now that I am working so much, including two nights during the week when my children must still be fed but which I dislike leaving Blaker in a "what's for dinner lurch" (please reference the night he gave them scrambled eggs with peas for dinner, if you are questioning my feelings) the crock pot is my miracle tool. You can cook anything in that bitch, yo. Seriously. Throw in some meat, vegetables, water, bullion cubes, leftovers, whatever canned items are in the pantry and a little salt, turn it to low and wait 8 hours and BAM! You've got dinner. (Or turn it to high and wait 3, if you are impatient. Still, BAM! You've got dinner.) High five for you, crock pot. I do love you so.

2. Text messages~ I am not a big texter, in general. I think it's a great tool to have, and I like to occasionally let someone know I'm thinking of them or that I'm running late or that I wish they would drop dead and burn in hell via text, but it's pretty rare, in general. Part of my texting hesitation is probably due to the fact that I text so slowly an elephant could likely gestate its young before I can send out a quick message, but that's really not that important. It's not like I'm pressed for time, dude. Life is long. Anyway, what I like about texting is the same thing I like about a few other things (cleaning, ironing, shooting someone)-- instant gratification. You think of something or someone, you text, if they are well-mannered and in possession of their (charged and "on") phone, you hear right back. Quicker than email. Quicker than snail mail. A hell of a lot quicker than telepathy. You know they are alive. They know you need milk from the store. You know their kid wears a size 2T or that they will be 5 minutes late meeting you or that they think your kid might have just robbed a bank in New York while wearing a Darth Vader mask. Instant gratification.

3. Urban Cowboy, the movie~ So Kate Middleton and Prince William are getting married. The world is full of fairytale romances, happily ever afters, love and infatuation. But you know what the world is even MORE full of? Dysfunctional, screwed up, love/hate relationships between messed up people who need years of good therapy and a lot of mood-altering medications. Enter Bud and Sissy, the two main characters of the old 70's movie, Urban Cowboy. Every time I get depressed, all I have to do is pop in this classic gem and automatically I start feeling better. There's the iconic soundtrack ("Can I have this dance, for the rest of my life?), the fabulous one liners ("See ya, girls, I got me a cowboy!") and the overwhelming excitement over the wedding gift of a single-wide trailer. It always makes me want to put on my fringed boots and go ride a cowboy....oops, I mean, go ride a mechanical bull. Nothing can cheer a person up like watching Debra Winger get smacked around by John Travolta while they are both wearing ten gallon hats. Nothing, I say.

4. Lotion~ Ah, you think I'm going to whip out something dirty with this one, don't you? Well, my friends, sorry to disappoint. This one is all about my kids. You see, they get up in the middle of the night an average of six hundred times most nights. They have invisible bumps, scrapes, rashes, bug bites, itches, cuts, and various other alien ailments. There is no sending the little monsters back to bed. You can yell, you can throw things at them (not that I would know....), threaten them, and spank them. It doesn't matter, they still get up again five minutes later with some horribly incurable skin irritation that no one but them can see and that they did not have when they were tucked in twenty minutes ago. Enter: the lotion. Lotion works wonders. You tell them it's medicine and rub it on whatever body part is hurting. They think you've done something to help, you've pretended not to dismiss their complaint, everybody is happy. Vaseline works the same way. Hell, Belly can read now and the bottle clearly says "Lotion." She knows what lotion is, and IT STILL WORKS. Miracle stuff, that lotion.

5. Melatonin~ Many of you already know that I am an insomniac. I've taken sleeping pills, tried warm milk, done yoga-- nothing really helps much. I fall asleep rather easily most of the time, but I don't sleep well and I don't sleep long. Does Melatonin help this? Nope. However, Melatonin does something else that adds interest to my life: it gives me completely psychotic dreams. If you've ever tripped acid in the mountains with a hippie nudist colony, you know what I'm talking about. Sometimes they are bad, sometimes they are good, sometimes they are just crazy. Regardless, these dreams add spice to my life in a completely harmless way. My doctor seems baffled by this, but fully encouraging, therefore I continue to trip in my on little happy Melatonin stupor for a little while most nights. Hey, it's better then dreaming about being at work, or replaying events from the day. It's cheap, it's legal. I figure one day I'll get bored with it or it will quit working for me, but for now, all hail the Melatonin.

That's five. Only five. But at least it's a nice odd number.

Happy Thanksgiving.