Category Archives: Ingenius ideas

Did I mention I’m a life coach?

This is me coming out to you, Internet.  Over the past year I’ve been cooking up my next move because even though I finally got a job with an awesome company (for now), I still cannot depend on corporate America to satisfy my emotional, spiritual and intellectual needs, even if it does take pretty good care of my financial ones.  Also, my brand of Awesomeness cannot be safely contained within the confines of any public company. It’s kind of like trying to fit Pamela Anderson’s boobs in my little training bra.  It is extremely unsafe and ill-advised.

So, in addition to my corporate sales responsibilities, mothering three children and a dog, being my husband’s dream come true, and writing random blog posts wherever I’m allowed,  I am now also a practicing life coach.  I even have clients to prove it.  They call me and we talk and hopefully when they get off the phone they feel better and they become insanely productive, joyful and successful.  Usually because they had the Awesome to begin with, and then they somehow forgot it or lost it and then I reminded them and helped them pull that shit out! Well, and then they got off their ass and did something about it. Unlike writing this blog, I get paid for this, people.  Pretty sweet, right?

So if you regularly read (Love) Notes,  you might be wondering how a person like me winds up as somebody’s life coach.  Well, because none of them are aware of this blog.  That is probably the first and most important reason that I have clients, so don’t tell them or I am ruined.  They might actually read this or this and beg PayPal to get their money back.  Secondly, people who are Awesome like other people who aren’t afraid to tell them something straight up.  I’m good at that. Like the way I tell Oprah on this blog just what I think in a way her sycophant producers aren’t capable of because they are under O’s magical Harpo spell. I’m not like that at all.  See, I was born with a condition where I can’t not tell somebody what I really think, and that happens to be extremely helpful in life coaching, and not as much in corporate America which I have learned the hard way, over and over and over.   Finally, inspiration fuels my life. My clients inspire me. Sometimes even more than Oprah and Take 5 bars and those little blue papers you put on your face to get the oil off, which is kind of huge.

But I have chosen my clients wisely.  I don’t have time to help the masses, so they have to be special. Here is the criteria:  they know they have the Awesome in them.  They know the life they are living is not honoring their Awesome.  They need someone to help them tell their current life to fuck off and to start a new life of delirious joyfulness.   And they would like me to be that helper because sometimes being able to drop F-bombs about what is holding you back feels great.  These people? Are going to make a big difference in this world and I get a front row seat, which is amazing.

So I know what you’re thinking: “What gives anybody the right to call themselves a life coach – especially you, Love?” Well, the answer is that anybody has the right at any given moment right now since the practice is not actually regulated in any of the 50 states, so if you feel like a life coach and you have the wherewithall to print up some business cards that say so – viola! – you’re a life coach.  And a lot of people do that.  But not me. I’m a little more legit than that because I also built a very shitty website and I have a special email address with my own company name on the end of it, so I can command much higher prices.  Okay, and yes, I did actually get trained by Oprah’s life coach (I KNOW, RIGHT?!)  but the point is that you don’t have to.  Which is why you should be very careful when you hire a life coach.  It could be Lindsay Lohan working under a pseudonym. Or an anonymous blogger who has had very strange and wonderful things happen to her that she likes to swear about.

Speaking of LiLo, the other thing people usually go off on about life coaches is about how every life coach they’ve ever met is the most fucked up person they know, like they are some big joke.  Like if Kim Kardashian all of a sudden announced that she was a life coach. Actually, that would make for some great television… but  I don’t understand this mentality.  We elect people to Congress all the time who are more fucked up than anybody we know.  So why do people discriminate against life coaches?  If you’re one of these people, go call up whoever is ‘representing you’ in Congress and once they get done uploading pictures of themselves naked to a porn site, they may give you a call back.  What they are charged with is kind of a big deal, so get mad at them for not being perfect.  Leave your judgement of your local neighborhood “life coach” at the door.  Sure, some of them are really fucked up, but there is a market for that! Some people will feel better if they can feel superior to their life coach. They’ll finish every sessions saying,  “Hell! If this crazy bitch who kisses her dogs full on the mouth with her delinquent kids and her drug addiction can be a coach, maybe I should too!” and that is inspiration right there. A win-win if you ask me.

So anyway, now you’re in on my Second Act.  I’m still getting a corporate paycheck, but my practice is going to grow and soon Oprah will be calling me up to have my own show on OWN and dole out advice with Suze, Mehmet, Phil, Nate and the sex doctor lady.  Actually, I don’t want my own show, so I’ll have to turn her down, but I hope that later she’ll describe it as one of her most profound a-ha  moments.  All I want is to be known as the coach behind some of the most incredible transformations the world has ever seen and who also writes F-bomb laced self-important stories about herself on this website. Okay and I also want Oprah to validate me by offering me a show I need to turn down because like she always says, “What I know for sure is that all people want is VAL-EH-DAY-SHUN”.  And also I would like Tina Fey to subscribe to this blog and not because she is making fun of it. So I mean, that’s all.

Dream big, I say! (That’s what I tell my clients.)

My day will come. I can feel it. (That’s what I tell myself.)

Happy Thanksgiving, bitches! (That’s what I tell my best friends. You’re welcome.)

Shit my psychic says

First of all, I would just like to say that psychics???   Are the shiznit.

I’m not that concerned with whether they actually have a sixth sense and can talk to dead people or tell my future, as long as they put on a good show.  For $100 I want to walk out of the psychic’s den convinced that she knows more about my life than I do. It saves me A TON of time from having to figure out my own shit and it is even more entertaining than a Kardashian wedding.

When I was a freshman in college they used have this ‘psychic fair’ once a month at the run down Holiday Inn in my hometown, which is likely ground zero for the modern-day bed bug infestations. I can’t tell you how many times I drove by the little yellow plastic sign that read simply “PSYCHIC FAIR” that they would plant in the front of the hotel and wonder how insane it was that I had never gone in, given my inexplicable, irrational and as yet untested love for psychics,  but one spring break when I was home instead of in Cancun with all the normal college sluts kids whose parents didn’t mind bankrolling the drunken unprotected 3-ways their daughters were initiating (but I’m SO not bitter), I went for it.  Armed with the $20 I earned for the day at my minimum wage job channeling Al Bundy and selling $250 pairs of hiking boots, I was determined to see what my future had in store since obviously it wasn’t Mexican tequila shots and drunken unprotected 3-way sex.  Maybe a psychic could confirm the spiritual connection  that my soul shares with Oprah’s.

So I go for it. I follow what seemed to be 600 little signs with arrows throughout the whole fucking building and wind up in a small, dingy room where there were like six self proclaimed psychics just sitting at these conference room tables just waiting for bitter coeds whose parents weren’t paying for them to be in Mexico for spring break like everybody else’s parents were.   I’m not going to lie – I was pretty disappointed that none of them had big swami hats, playing flutes to snakes coming out of baskets, but it was a fucking Holiday Inn in suburban Chicago – not 7-11. These psychics actually looked more like the people my parents played bridge with than the freaks I was expecting. A little anti-climactic to say the least.

So I sit down with this lady who reads tarot cards. And she had me shuffle the deck and blow on it and probably she took some blood or something, but it was a long time ago, so I’m a little foggy on that. Anyway, she puts all the cards out and tells me that I’m going to marry a man from Boston who is very tall, has black wire rim glasses and eyes bluer than mine.  In other words, not Brad Pitt.  And not my boyfriend that I was madly in love with who was not tall, not from Boston, wore contacts and had brown eyes.  I felt bad for him. Apparently neither he nor Brad was going to get to marry me.  It had never occurred to me that this may not have been all he ever dreamed of.

She said some other shit too and I’m sure I took notes afterward, but I somehow cannot find this info in my journal.  But I remember the part about my future husband, because it was very jarring for my 19-year-old self to fathom that I wasn’t going to marry my 19-year-old boyfriend.  It would be safe to say I was more naive than Dakota Fanning at that time, who was about 10 months old.  Yeah. I know. I’m not sure I’ve ever dated anybody for longer than 4 hours before I began to think about our future marriage. I had no concept of what ‘casual dating’ was and still can’t wrap my head around one night stands. This might have been avoided had I gone to Mexico that Spring Break and had a 3-way. But I didn’t, as we’ve gone over in agonizing detail.

But the point is that 7 years later I married BD, who is from Boston, is tall, wears black glasses and has blue eyes (but not bluer than mine, for the psychic record). Yep. She pretty much nailed it. And it was written in the stars because my angel knew him right when she saw him, so she was totally for realz.  Who knew there was a real gem at the Holiday Inn’s psychic fair every month?  It’s just a fucking shame it took 7 years for her prophecy to play out.  Oh, and by the way, in case you are still feeling bad for the guy that didn’t get to marry me, he was a full-on douche bag that cheated on me, but the psychic neglected to let me in on these pearls of wisdom, which would have saved me an awkward trip or two to my OB-GYN, so the lesson here is that psychics are good for some shit, but really fucking bad at other important shit, like helping you avoid AIDS.

Okay, so fast forward to a month ago.  I’m talking to a friend who casually mentions that she once went to a ‘medium-clairvoyant’ lady  years ago who can talk to dead people and apparently relayed some messages to her from her deceased grandma and she was completely creeped out, but convinced this woman was the real deal.  Suffice to say, I almost had to break up with my friend for not having shared this a million years before she did, because obviously I needed to meet this psychic as bad as Charlie Sheen needs to beat his wives.

So it took a fucking month to get on this lady’s schedule and you can only go if another client refers you and you have to do an orientation beforehand via phone because she wants to explain how she does what she does and the nuance of how dead people prefer to communicate.  If you don’t do orientation, you’re not allowed to have your reading. You’re fired. I know, right? I’m convinced it’s easier to steal plutonium from Russia than it is to get a half hour session with this baller.  And BTW,  the fee is no longer the $20 of yesteryear.  It’s $120.  But the good news is that I’m a lot richer now than I was then, and plus, it’s not about the. bla bling bla bling, it’s not about the. cha ching cha ching, What it’s really about is making the world dance and forgetting about the price tag.  I think Oprah said that? Or was it Ghandi?  I don’t know, whoever it was, it is really fucking genius.

So anyway, I started this story with the intention of revealing to the 12 of you who read this blog what the future holds for Love and what the dead people wanted me to know, but as you all know I have the unfortunate affliction of being unable to self edit, so my deep tangential thoughts have once again taken up an entire entry.

Do not fret. I shall return with the details of my psychic reading and together we can find out if they come true.

God, it feels good to write my stories again.

I Dreamed A Dream: Shark Week Edition

There are three things in this world I love more than my children.  Oprah and red wine are the obvious first two.  The third is the Great White shark.  I’m not sure whether it’s because they sometimes eat humans by accident or that they can’t be kept in captivity or that they’ve been around since the dinosaurs, but any of those things  is reason enough.   I have honestly lived with my obsession for as long as I can remember, so naturally I underwent past life regression hypnosis to uncover that I was indeed a Great White shark in a past life, but it turns out that I was just a soldier that got himself eviscerated in medieval times.  Not exactly what one hopes for when they explore these types of things. But I did learn something albeit centuries too late: when you’re at battle axe camp you need to pay attention.

So I went to another source to figure out what it all means and explored animal totems.  I don’t know what the point of a totem is besides having a reason to tattoo yourself to seem super spiritual and weird. So I am considering it.  But what I’m trying to say is that it must mean something that me and Jaws are closer than Oprah and my arch-nemesis Gayle, so I looked up what it means to have the shark as a totem and it’s really as complicated and spiritual as you might imagine, but I’ll do my best to net it out in lay terms: having a shark as my totem means that I’m just about as awesome as awesome gets.  And that works for me.

So you might imagine my pure, fucking glee when Shark Week comes around every August. I’m convinced it’s the only reason why August exists anymore.  Shark Week. I mean, just typing the words send shivers up my spine.  There has never been a week of programming more beautiful than Discovery’s thoughtful and poignant programming during Shark Week, including such classics as “Air Jaws” and “When Fish Attack III”, “The Summer of the Shark” and “Top Five Eaten Alive” between commercials that are about conserving the shark population.  Yeah, I don’t really get it either, but I can’t look away. My Tivo smokes that week with all the action it gets for Shark Week.

And why?  Fun fact: Great White sharks can not be held in captivity. Nowhere in this world will you find a Great White in an aquarium or in a Disney World resort lagoon.  Not even Donald Trump has been able to capture a Great White, mount a laser beam on its head, and have them swim around the grounds of his magnificent estate waiting for the next Celebrity Apprentice to get fired.   So the only way I can appropriately feed my Great White obsession is to see Shark Night 3D on September 2 go see one in real life.

This is why the number one thing on my list of shit to do before I die of the inoperable brain tumor I’m sure is growing deep in my brain as we speak is to get my ass in one of those shark cages and act as bait so I can pet a Great White shark.

My goal however,  is fraught with a few challenges.  Like:  I hate being in the water unless I am in a shower.  I hate being in boats in the ocean that are not larger the island of Oahu unless Andy Samberg and T-Pain are involved.   Scuba diving seems impossible not only because it requires being submerged in water, but because my asthma is so bad that my lung capacity rivals that of a dying hamster who has tuberculosis and a collapsed lung.  Being caged is another problem for me.  Not a fan of confinement, much like my buddy, the Great White. (Or any gorilla I have ever seen at a zoo. You know they’d rip your head off if they ever got the chance. Those mother fuckers are angry. Right? I know.)

But, back to shit I hate: getting in one of those wetsuit things would only exacerbate the concavity of my little peanut boobs (which, by the way, have somehow found away to sink even further into my chest since the Great-guilty-3rd-child-breastfeeding-experiment-of-2010. Not recommended.) I also could do without sea sickness, chum and sailors.

Yeah. So, I might have some obstacles to overcome before seeing my shark in real life.  But I’m telling you, if I can get over them, seeing that huge, 20 foot long fucking fish swim by me a few times and then have it attack my cage try to eat me in two bites with that ginormous mouth full of hundreds of teeth? OMG. OMG! OMG! OMG!

Let’s all take a minute to honor the orgasm I just had.

Okay, we’re good.

Ultimately, I will be afraid to go in that cage because there is a good chance I will die.  But not because of the shark.  Because of the panic attack I’ll have as soon as I am submerged 2-3 feet under water. It wouldn’t be the first time.  Ask my 4-year-old to tell you about what happened at the neighborhood pool last week. I almost died. It was totally serious. I mean, they just let kids jump in the damn pool whenever and wherever the hell they want and the splash travels like 5 feet.  You’d freak out too if the splash got your face and hair wet. It’s fucking traumatic.

Anyway, I think it is time I get around to the point of my story.  Next fall, BD and I celebrate our 10th anniversary (assuming he doesn’t star in a Lifetime movie with LeAnn Rimes before then) and I turn 36 and we are taking a diving trip off Guadalupe Island in Mexico to see the most exquisite animal on this planet so I can die without regret and earn the right to a cool shark tattoo that is totally spiritual and meaningful.  I mean, I haven’t actually told him this yet, but saying it so matter of factly makes me feel like it’s totally going to happen. And you give power to what you focus on, so I’m going to forget about my aversion to boats, water, Scuba, cages, chum, sailors  and I’m going to focus on the orgasm I just had two paragraphs ago imagining being attacked by a Great White shark.

Love is on the way, Jaws.  Wait for me…

The time I took a fun-filled cruise to Haiti

Okay so this particular event has not occurred yet.

But it’s about to. Next week.

I know.

I KNOW.

I KNOW.

I swear to you this is true because I wouldn’t even make up something this perverse if it wasn’t. We’re going on a cruise to Jamaica and Haiti next week.  Haiti. Yeah, let it sink in —  Haiti.

But in my defense, I thought we were going to a luxurious “private island”, which is what they call it in the itinerary.  So the cruise line was trying to trick me and they totally did and then I bought the tickets and then my husband decided get all Christopher Columbus and wanted to know exactly where the “private island” was that we are sailing to. Yeah.  It’s Haiti.

But just so we’re all clear and I’m not throwing the esteemed cruise line under the bus, it isn’t the part of Haiti that is totally devastated.  It’s another part. The part where you’re apparently not supposed to think about death and destruction and destitution.  It’s the part where you can order lots of mai-tais and take pictures with parrots on your shoulder and have TONS o’ fun and fantasize about building a cute little compound right on the beach one day. And recommend it to all your family members. And the Internet.

Right.

Oh, I have so many jokes about how ridiculous this is, but I also have a heart and if I told them all I would feel bad about myself as a human being, perhaps even more than I do now for paying to go to Haiti next week on my one single romantic vacation with my man that we take away from our children every year.  And probably the last one we’ll ever taken given that three kids may get us officially kicked out of the grandparents babysitting club.

But anyway,  I wonder what excursions we’ll have to choose from? — STOP, Love. You promised.

Okay,  I said I wasn’t going to tell jokes. So I’m not. But you’re allowed to. But I mean, really?

Okay, so I’ll be gone for a while.  But I’ll write again when I get back from fucking Haiti.

Have a banner week!

Taking what they’re giving ’cause I’m working for a living

Holy shit you guys.  Not only does my job require getting my ass up an hour earlier, catching a train and walking to an office every morning where I sit in a cube that has my name on it – it also requires….work.  The last five days were like five years.  Office time is like dog years when stuff is actually expected of you and people want you to produce things in a time period that is actually challenging. No wonder Oprah has those bags under her eyes.

My new boss is a great guy, but he appears to have certain expectations of me that I feel obliged to live up to – at least at my first week on the job.  He wants me to help him change the world (well, the world as it applies to my new little company) and I’m kind of like, “Yeah! Awesome! Let’s do it!” when I’m really thinking, “What the fuck am I doing here? Why.the.hell. am I in a suit?”.  On the other hand, I have been very vocal about all things that I don’t like and he tends to agree with me so I think that is why he thinks of me as his brother in arms.  Did I tell you this guy used to be a Green Beret? Yeah, I never thought me and a Green Beret could be friends, but he is teaching me his battle techniques and together we’re raising a shit storm.

There are two other people who have been with the company a couple of years that share my same job, except they just made this new role up, so my boss wants me to “show” them what needs to be done, because he thinks they are too comfortable and questions their fitness for the role.  His take on this is not making me the popular new girl on the scene.  Quite the opposite, I think they want to kick me in the face.  And I get it. They’re all, “WTF? She is here 2 days and she is getting all the attention? (cough simultaneous with a “bullshit” under their breaths.”  I have been nothing but really cool but apparently my Awesomenesss is very intimidating and really hard to play down sometimes.

So basically I haven’t been able to talk to anybody around the water cooler yet, which is probably good because I was too exhausted to watch American Idol or Project Runway.  And I invited myself out to lunch with my 2 new friends that like me so much and are in an office gang clique I’m not privy to yet, which was kind of awkward. So right now I’m kind of a loner.  I think maybe even the administrative assistant who runs the whole office even hates me. But maybe that will make me more mysterious and powerful.  Or maybe a loser. I’m not sure how it will all play out. My only friend appears to be my new boss, but he doesn’t work in my office, so our friendly phone chats are all I have at this point.  Well, and BD. Now we only work a few blocks from one another, so he takes me out to lunch so I’m not left alone at McDonalds wailing and gnashing my teeth over my #2 Value Meal.

So, all in all – the new job = AWESOME. I can’t think of a thing I would change.  So give me a month or two before I’m feeling all the warm vibes I get from retelling ridiculous stories.  I know I still owe you the story about the time the Seal look-alike (but even scarier) held me hostage in a cab.  Hopefully the people at work will stop hating me and realizing that the mountains of joy I can bring through telling them all of the crazy shit that happens to me.  Or maybe they’ll just become the crazy shit that happens to me, and then you guys will win by hearing what happens next.

But stay tuned because I have some stuff that needs to be revealed that kind of breaks the balance of the universe. I just need the time to do it justice.

Love conquers all – hopefully even in an office

Well, first I would like to congratulate myself on escaping the fires of hell my big huge corporate entity job so that I could take a job with a little, itty-bitty, tiny company that hopefully doesn’t go bankrupt. Today was my last day at the former and Monday is the first day at the latter. And much to my surprise and horror, I’m a little freaked out by the big change and I’ll tell you why:

MY NEW JOB REQUIRES ME TO WORK IN AN….AN…..OFFICE.  WITH PEOPLE.  There. I said it.  I have never done that before except when I used to work as a temp in college, but I always knew I would be free of those whack jobs in a few weeks and I didn’t want to starve so I did it.  Oh, the stories I shall tell you about some of my temp jobs!! Not to worry – definitely on my to do list.  But I digress.

I’ve never actually worked in an office before. I always had jobs where everything is really flexible and I can work from home, or from some temporary cube, or I’m on the road, or with clients and nobody bugs me or cares where I am.  And I like that. Total freedom to wear my pajamas to work most days, or watch Oprah when it originally airs. The little girl in me that used to always inform people that they aren’t the boss of me has grown up and she feels exactly the same way.

But this new job…I mean, they told me it was flexible when I told them that I’m afraid of offices, but I feel like the culture is that they expect you to actually go there. Like, everyday.  So in some ways I’m super-curious because I’m not one to shy away from situations that will give me priceless fodder for my best-selling memoir I haven’t written yet, and I’m totally gearing up for water cooler banter/debates by Tivo-ing American Idol and Project Runway, but on the other hand…I mean, will it be like “The Office”? Will I get a desk next to some clown like Creed, or Angela or Kevin? Please, please, please, dear mother of GOD, put me next to Dwight and Jim Halpert.  Or Oscar.  Or even Toby. Toby’s good.

So this makes me think about which Office character I’m most like. Because I guess my new office mates are also wondering what the new chick is going to be like and whether I’m a loud food chewer, or if I don’t wash my hands after I go to the bathroom, or if I’m on the phone all day trying to order a huge new projector thing for my mega-church,  or if my husband works for Vance Refrigeration. I actually am none of those things.  Well, BD might accuse me of chewing too loud, but I’ve convinced myself that that’s more about his hang ups and less about my chewing volume. I’m not really like anybody on “The Office”, because my Awesomeness is hard to capture in just one character, but if you twist my arm I think…and I’m not proud of this, but I’m probably maybe closest to that goofy new receptionist chick.  She kind of looks normal and nice, but she is definitely a little freaky, and weird and clueless a lot. Which I think pretty much sums me up perfectly.  Except that I would never fall for the Nard-dogg. Just saying.  So I guess I’ll be her if a board game comes out.

But so anyway…how does one conduct oneself in the office? I don’t know why I’m asking the Internet since if you read my blog you clearly aren’t at work — or are you? Do they let you do that?! I’m assuming I can’t really blog at work anymore. Or read your delicious blog.  Or check Facebook at 34 second intervals. Or burp loudly after an especially satisfying gulp of Diet Coke. I suppose pouring myself a tall glass of Shiraz at 4 or doing 3.5 loads of laundry is out of the question.  And random lunches with random people at random times — not so much.  How do people do it? I mean, how much of a waste of time is it to be in an office all day? What if I have nothing to do? I think the cubes are situated in such a way that everybody can pretty much see what you’re doing because there aren’t really high cube walls or much privacy, so I think I have to have Excel open all the time to look like I’m officially working.

Also, I have to start traveling again. They told me I didn’t have to go very often when I told them I don’t like traveling, but I might go so insane in the office that I become a road warrior and turn out like that lady in “Up In The Air” who is inexplicably still hot with the worst 70s hairdo ever AND breaks George Clooney’s heart, which, I mean, come on – I would never do. So I have issues. At least at my totally unsatisfying, frustrating, uninspiring current job I just quit didn’t make me do things like go to an office and have a desk all day. I got to go to Cubs games and out to lunches and lots of 3 o’clock happy hours. But my company was an asshole.  Like, if the company could be a person, it would be the biggest ass you’ve ever met.  Which is weird, because the individuals that work there aren’t assholes, but it’s one of those Gestalt things where the sum was more than the parts and somehow the sum of decent, smart people equaled Really Huge Global Douchebag Corporation.

So why did I take this new gig? Well, probably the same reason I voted for Barack. And, no,  not because Oprah said. I would have voted for any damn Democrat, because I was really voting for not George Bush.  And this new gig is like that – it is not old gig.  Once in a while (every three years to be exact), you have to do something completely different.  And I’ve been at this one 3 years, so I had to go.  Plus at this new place, the people seem cool and the company does appear to be laid back, and they seem to actually get the concept that their employees are human beings with feelings and families, but in a work all the time sort of way, since it is small and everybody needs to pull their weight to make it awesome. Which is fine because I work a lot. I do. I just do it when I feel like it. When the mood strikes. And I’m afraid that at 8:30 in the morning, the mood is not normally striking. No. That is about the time when I go to the gym the 7 times I did in 2009.

Anyway, now I’m rambling. I hope that New Job is 100x sweeter than Old Job. It may turn out to be A Job. But no doubt I’ll have a whole host of new and interesting stories to tell you…I just hope I get a chance to write them down. I may have to change my blog name to “Very Important Site for People Who Are Successful and Productive” so when I’m writing in it and someone comes by my desk they’ll see that in really big letters and be satisfied that I am indeed working very hard and I might just be the best new hire they’ve made since the Kelly Kapoor-ish chick from two months ago.

Wish me luck. And I apologize in advance if the posts are coming a little slower in the next couple of months. Demonstrating my Awesomeness will likely take a lot out of me.  It’s not easy to do The Worm on hardwood floors.

Tater tots nearly killed my family – don’t let them kill yours

Seriously – my husband, my children, my dog and I narrowly escaped death two days ago, and all because I was trying to cook up some nutrient-rich vegetables, namely tater tots,  for my children. But actually that is only the middle part of the story, so let me try to rehash what happened with my remaining brain cells which have not been altered forever by this unfortunate mishap.

Okay, so we’re planning to paint the kitchen this weekend, and by “we”, I mean BD.  BD is very methodical person, so he has been readying the kitchen walls by fixing any holes and spackling and sanding and cleaning and other stuff to get ready for the big painting day. But BD is incapable of doing anything without first removing all items from a room before he begins his work.  He and I could not be more different on this point. I say, leave everything as it is and throw a tarp over it and do whatever you have to do.  He says, take out EVERYTHING in the damn kitchen, including shelves, rugs, the 800 random papers magneted to the refrigerator, and anything necessary to cook anything.  He gets his way since he is doing all the work.  We’ve been married long enough that I no longer ridicule his methods, because at the end of the day everything gets done just so and he does a good job. Oh, and because it gets me nowhere.

While it’s a pain in the ass to have all the kitchen clutter now cluttering the dining room,  I was secretly overjoyed he didn’t remove the microwave. Seriously, it made my day. I’m not sure why that appliance was spared, but THANK GOD. But now he’ll probably read this and be like, “Why didn’t I remove the microwave?! Perhaps I should”. And then I’m S.O.L. But actually I’m pretty confident I’m safe because he has a reason for everything so I’m sure that he weighed the pros and cons carefully and there must be some reason it remains. Maybe because 50% of his diet consists of Hot Pockets and he might starve to death without the microwave.  I digress.

Okay, so my kitchen has been all fucked up for the week, which I’m actually pretty okay with because then I have so many more excuses to just order in.  I loathe cooking, so it’s working out really well for me.  But Wednesday I felt guilty because I hadn’t made anything in a while, so I wanted to do something really fancy.  So out came the frozen chicken nuggets and nutritious tater tots.  The nuggets are supposed to be cooked at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  The tater tots, on the other hand, require a temperature of 450 and must cook for 16-18 minutes.  I’m not trying to brag or anything, but it takes a very experienced cook to bake both of these foodstuffs on the same cookie sheet in a single oven at the same time and have them turn out awesome, like I can.  So it was a really fancy dinner, like I said.

Okay, so I decide to preheat the oven to 425, the average of the nuggets and tater tot recommended heating temperatures.  Oh SNAP! See, how that just happened? Now I’m giving you all of my closely guarded culinary secrets. And this isn’t even a foodie blog, but look at all the super tips you can learn!  But seriously, this isn’t for the novice. It may take you a few tries to get it just right. Just be careful.  Because you might wind up killing your whole family, as I almost did.

So when I turned on the oven it wasn’t but 20 seconds or so when I smelled something a little funny. I couldn’t really figure out what it was, but I know that BD put a new drywall patch in behind the stove, so I thought maybe it was kind of heating up for the first time and giving off an odor.  Instead of checking out my hypothesis, I just shrugged my shoulders and took my place on the couch to watch the Polar Express with my kids for the 573rd time since December 15.  Looking back on this, I don’t think just shrugging my shoulders was the appropriate response.  However, I cannot change the past, so…my bad.

Okay, so then about 10 minutes go by and my dog starts running around in circles and kind of being annoying and just as I begin to chastise her for this weird behavior, two alarms go off.  One is the oven alerting me that the oven is preheated.  The other is the carbon monoxide/fire detector.  My first thought is:  “We have a fire detector in the kitchen? That’s awesome. How safe are we? I must give BD a fist bang for his thoroughness”. Yes, though all objects used to cook or serve food with were missing from the kitchen, he did not remove the fire detector.

I quickly snapped out of the blissful mood caused by this discovery because the fire detector going off isn’t usually a sign of good things.  I run into the kitchen and there is a weird fog in there and it smells pretty gnarly.  I hadn’t even put the damn food in yet, so what could be causing this craziness?  I throw open the oven and – Holy. Shit.

You know those plastic tub things with a matching pitcher to put beverages in that they give you at the hospital? I don’t know if we’re the only ones who took ours home after each of the boys was born, but they make really good vomit bins (I’m pretty sure that is their sole purpose in the hospital?) or soaking tubs for other stuff. Well, one we use for the first purpose, the other one we use for pre-soaking our dishes.  Apparently it must have been in BD’s way, because he decided a good place to put it would be the oven.  Not the dining room with the rest of the shit. In the oven, on the top rack.

And now. Now it was melting all over the racks and dripping plastic into the bottom of the oven.  “HOLY SHIT!” I screamed, not only for the sight in the oven, but from the toxic cloud that came out of it when I opened the door.  BD ran in at that moment and he too exclaimed “HOLY SHIT” (though it would have been more original of him to drop an F-bomb. Just saying.) and it quickly became clear his mission was to save our oven from being ruined with melted yellow plastic all over the bottom.

Okay, so to recap, I try to make tater tots but in the process I cook a 13″ by 9″ by 5″ plastic bin at 425 degrees instead. And then my kitchen kind of resembled what I can only guess Chernobyl looked like minutes before it spewed radioactive waste all over Russia. The smell!! Oh my God. My eyes were watering and my throat became raspy.  Luckily, even a fire alarm and two swearing parents did not seem like a good enough reason for my sons to avert their eyes from The Polar Express and they didn’t come running in to inhale the nastiness that used to be the oxygen in my home.

BD immediately got down on his hands and knees and started scraping the oven while the plastic was still hot.  I stood there swearing and repeating several times that I didn’t think this was good. Nope. Not good at all.  I managed to open all the doors and windows to let the snow and 23 degree air in to ventilate the house.  Then I did the most important thing of all – I Googled “burned plastic fumes danger” to see if I might get a hit or two.  I read the first few things that came up and everyone was pretty much in agreement that either cyanide or deadly dioxins or carbon monoxide was being released into the air and that me and my family were about to die.  If not immediately from asphyxiation, then later from cancer.

Fuck. So then I told BD that we had to evacuate the kids and the dog and ourselves. “You go! I’ll stay! Save yourself. Get the kids!” He yelled, valiantly.  He’d be damned if he’s going to leave and let that plastic harden on the bottom of the oven.  “No seriously, YOU are getting cancer right now!  You may already have it. The Internet said.” That didn’t move him. “You are about to die of carbon monoxide poisoning! By the time you feel it, it will be too late. We’re all going to die if we don’t leave soon!” That is about the time when he decided to finally abandon the oven, but it was more because he had already pretty much cleaned the whole thing up — it just happened to coincide with my promise that we were all about to die.  After we pried the children away from the TV and quickly put on their boots, coats, mittens and hats (so like, 20 minutes later) and were sheparding them out of the house, I had a great idea for dinner.

Oooh! It’s free pie Wednesday at Baker’s Square! “Honey, can you go back in there and get our gift certificate? We should just bring the kids there for dinner and by the time we come home, maybe the carcinogens will have left our home and traveled into the atmosphere and then we won’t have to worry about them any more!”  He went back in the cancer fog and got it. And we went to Baker’s Square and got our free pie. And thankfully, nobody died. But we probably will all have cancer in a few weeks. I’ll let you know, but I am being responsible and taking out more life insurance on BD stat.

When we got home, it still smelled terrible, but the chemical smoke/fog was no longer there. I think most of the dangerous chemicals probably just adhered to most of the surfaces in the kitchen and were no longer in the air anymore, so I figured we were safe.  Except there on the counter were the lonely, forgotten tater tots. On the cookie sheet, looking forlorn, just waiting to be cooked.  And I thought to myself: “I could save these, right? Just put them back in the bag and freeze them up? I’d hate to waste nutritious vegetables…”, but then I remembered they almost just killed my whole family.  And there were more in the freezer. So I threw them away. But not without some regret.