Tag Archives: couch

Ask Abby Anything, Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 in the “Ask Abby Anything” series that makes me feel selfish but that I’m writing because I am a WARRIOR who will do anything to make you people happy. Plus, it’s a holiday week when nobody’s on the Internet so I’m less insecure about such a self-involved post.

So without further ado—nobody likes too much ado—here is Part 2.


“How is it you’re single?  I don’t swing that way, but I do like your warped and twisted sense of humor.”

Yes, I take “warped and twisted sense of humor” as a compliment, which might be why I’m single. Or I’m single because I don’t date. I think that’s kind of how things work. There’s a long history of things that have lead up to this decision, but it boils down to the fact that I’m totally okay on my own.

I wouldn’t completely dismiss the possibility of dating a bit. However, I don’t put much effort into it, so unless this suitor comes to my door selling avocados, I’m pretty much destined for spinsterhood.


“How did you decide on your comfy couch?”

As you probably know, my couch gets me. We spend our weekends and weeknights together. There’s nothing I look forward to more than hanging out with some snacks and reading, writing or watching TV (see “Why are you single?” above.)

When I bought my house I found this one at the second store I went to. It matched my new paint, the ends reclined with foot things that came out and the price was right.  My thinking was that if it was what I liked, there was no point in searching for something better—even though now it’s covered in a blanket to protect it from hairballs.


“Do you have a favorite hummus recipe that you use?”

Yes, it’s really super easy. I get in my car and go to the store, locate the Wild Garden hummus and bring it home to live in my fridge until I stuff it in my face. It’s organic and has only a few ingredients but a bite that I really enjoy (warning though—the jalapeno flavor is WAY spicy.) I thin it a little with water and use it as a dressing for salads a lot.


“C
an you ride a unicycle?”

I’ve never actually tried a unicycle, but I rode into both my mom’s rosebushes and a fire hydrant when learning to ride a 2-wheeler and my coordination hasn’t greatly improved from that point, so I’m going to assume that I can’t. (Although maybe I should try—blog fodder!)

But I can still do the splits all three ways and carry 8 bottles of beer at one time (skills mastered while working as a cocktail waitress—don’t ask.) I have talent.


“People keep telling me that when I stop looking for a partner, that is when I will find him. Is this true? If it is true, how does one stop looking?”

I’m no expert (see above) but I never understood people obsessed with finding a husband. Live your own life, create your own happiness and your energy will draw in people who are meant to be in your life.

I might liken it to trying to remember the name of something you forgot. The harder you try and think of it, the slimmer the chance of it popping into your brain. Then one minute you’re in the shower and “BAM!” it comes to you. (Not that a husband is going to appear for you in the shower, but you get my point. I hope. If a husband DOES all the sudden appear for you in the shower, don’t drop the soap. Unless you’re into that kind of thing.)


“Worst job you’ve had?”

I’ve had some crappy jobs, but I would say it was working at a video store in high school. The video cases themselves were always dirty and gross, as were some of the people that came in there for porn. My supervisor was a 40-year-old guy who still lived at home and giggled when saying “Adult Video.”

We were required to wear a white dress shirt, black pants and a necktie. Yes, a tie. Not only was the tie not fashionable for a female, it also wasn’t practical when I had to clean the popcorn maker—scraping out the burned-on artificial butter and caramel syrup while practically hanging myself with the tie.

Eventually smelling like burned popcorn every day and being told I had to work every holiday and holiday eve, I started to want to purposely hang myself with the tie and quit. 


“Where can I buy your books?”

OK. No one asked that, but you can get read about them here and we can wrap up this ridiculously long post. Now I’m going to ask the five people on the Internet this week to entertain me: 

 Worst job you’ve had?

Be Kind, Rewind

I actually rented a movie a couple weeks ago. This is news because I have the attention span of a manic gnat with ADD and prefer just to watch TV shows that max out at an hour.

And going to a movie? It’s been years.

I judge a movie by whether it’s better than spending two hours watching a squirrel perform Cirque du Soleil moves on the feeder, a ballgame or a “Chopped” marathon on Food Network, and you have to admit that’s pretty hard to beat.

Plus, it doesn’t cost $10 or force you to deal with strangers loudly slurping their pop.

At any rate, because I’m old I can also say that I remember VHS tapes—those things that came before DVDs. When I was younger, my favorites to watch were classics like all the Rocky movies (I still know every word,) Troop Beverly Hills, Camp Cucamonga and Mariah Carey Live.

They were often for research purposes, as I would give elaborate concerts on the front lawn before organizing cut-throat games of the home-version “Double Dare” game show complete with plastic helmets with sticks to throw wet sponge hoops at.

I was a recreational pioneer, people.  

The first time I watched a DVD I remember being amazed that I didn’t have to “be kind and rewind.” Brilliant!

But I soon learned that while DVDs are convenient, there are certain things about them I detest. For one, they don’t always let you fast forward through the FBI warnings anymore, and second, they can skip.

There’s nothing worse than getting into a movie and having the damn thing just stop and the timer vacillate between two numbers before skipping 20 minutes ahead and ruining the flow of the show.

You can bet that after staring at the frozen screen, trying to “scan” back and forth and yelling a stream of words that would earn an “R” rating, I march back to the video store and get a credit on my account (for the $1 movie I rented for five days a year after it was popular.)

Wait.

There is something worse—if it’s an exercise DVD and Jillian Michaels suddenly sounds like she developed a stutter and you end up doing squat jumps for 3 minutes straight before realizing the DVD is just skipping.

Anyway, all of this is to say that I watched a couple movies that didn’t stink and avoided throwing my remote at the DVD player while cursing modern technology.

leyland

And considering baseball season is here, I’m good until October.

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What are the movies you always watched as a kid? I have a bunch, but I’ve already shared too much.

Be Mine

I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention Valentine’s Day—that holiday in between Christmas and Mother’s Day that card and flower companies use to guilt people into spending more money in an effort to show that they care.

I know. I’m a hopeless romantic.

But to be honest, even though I’m single and not willing to mingle, I really don’t mind Valentine’s Day. I like the decorations, the fact that I have a reason to bake and the image of a meddlesome cherub flying around armed with a weapon.

So to celebrate the holiday this year, I’ve decided to forgo sending myself a heartfelt card and instead explore a few viable Valentine options. (Food and drink suitors were excluded, as those are obviously tops on my list.)

My Shovel

We have been spending a great deal of intimate time together these past couple of months. It hasn’t been easy, but I have to admit that the shovel’s icy demeanor is oddly compatible to my own. Together we have made the neighbors jealous with our quick and thorough removal of things in our way—mostly large amounts of snow—which left me feeling slightly superior and a little bit cold.

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Okay. Mostly cold.

And while I get the feeling that as soon as things heat up it’ll be gone, I’m okay with the seasonal nature of our relationship. I like my space…and being warm.

My Couch

If by “afternoon delight” you mean coming home after work, watching “Ellen,” plodding away on the computer and then eating, we have a serious thing going and have for some time.

Our love is nothing new — my couch gets me, it really gets me. While it took me a long to let myself literally settle down and relax, I now find comfort—and often a stray piece of broccoli — in the confines of the cushions.

Scentsy

We were introduced this past Christmas by my mom, and given my love for smelly things and not being left in the dark, this combination nightlight/air freshener is basically all that is proper and good in this world. Never fussy, never needy, a simple flip of the switch radiates both light and light scents. I have to admit that I’m smitten.


Uncle June

This cranky bastard is still hanging around, and while he’s a good backup plan and travel companion, the drunk dials at 2am have seriously got to stop.

june2wine

However, I just can’t deny that creepy little face and the fact that he speaks not a word.

This Blog

We fall in and out of love, usually on a day-to-day basis. At times I feel like I don’t know what I would do without it, while other times I feel like it’s that pain-in-the-ass friend you have to constantly reassure isn’t a huge loser who nobody loves (and that no, their ass doesn’t look big in those pants.)

Our relationship has spanned years of good times and bad and evolved into something I never thought it would—a book, priceless connections, a reason to overshare and broadcast insecure rambles to strangers on the Internet.

But I suppose that’s just how love is—a wonderfully messy mix of delight, frustration and Internet stalking.

I know. I’m a hopeless romantic.

*This post was not sponsored by Scentsy. However, Uncle June slipped me $20 to mention him.

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Who is your Valentine this year?

Couchgating 101

Unless you’re new here, you know that I love sports. If you’re new here, you should know that I love sports.

I watch them on TV. I listen to sports talk radio 95 percent of the time. If someone approaches me for an intelligent discussion about baseball or anything/anyone on ESPN, it’s like flipping a switch. You instantly have my attention.

Sports get me. I get sports.

But I have to confess that as much as I love watching and talking about the games, I don’t always enjoy watching the games at the games. Overpriced parking, $5 bottles of water and expensive tickets just to sit in a cramped seat next to a drunken fool who spends the whole game screaming obscenities through a bullhorn? No thanks. 

I know, I know. Nothing can replace the atmosphere of attending an event live and I do enjoy going once in awhile, but with few extreme exceptions, the only thing I’m parking is my ass on the couch.

couch3

My couch gets me. I get my couch.

So what do you get when you combine sports and the couch? Couchgating*, the underrated yet superior alternative to traditional tailgating and game viewing. Unlike the rigid rules associated with attending an event—parking passes, assigned seats, having to wear pants—couchgating is much more relaxed, greatly improving the game day experience.

If you want to wear your favorite jersey, paint your face and ring a cowbell—looking at you mom—you can do so without judgment or death threats (depending on your neighbors, of course.)

And if you’re going more casual, you can even wear a cat hair-covered robe and judge every missed call like a much poorer, sports obsessed Judge Judy without anyone giving you “the look.”

“The look” can also be seen—and appropriately given—when stuck behind people on the concourse walking ridiculously slow who won’t let you pass as you try and make your way up to the concession stand.

Once there, said people will scour the limited menu as if deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics, delaying your ability to secure an overpriced water bottle that will send you to the germ-infested toilet or claustrophobia-inducing Petri dish known as a Porto-Potty multiple times.

At home, there are no concession concessions (see what I did there?) needed, and the option to use a working toilet instead of climbing through rows of disgruntled fans to secure a spot in a 20 minute line to evacuate your bladder of the $5 water pretty much seals the deal for me. (In case you’re new here and haven’t left yet, I have a bladder the size of a Cheerio.)

I also overshare.

Anyway, the only “obstructed view seats” at home are when the cat does her rendition of “Riverdance”  in front of the TV to get my attention/catnip, the Wave can be done on your schedule without the pressure of waiting for your turn to stand and if the game sucks, you can just change the channel.

So while I admit that going to games can be fun, at the end of the game day for me, you know where I’ll probably be.

Couchgating gets me. I get couchgating.

*Note: In warmer weather, couchgating is replaced with deckgating, which is similar in structure but necessitates a lawn chair on the deck and a radio.

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Free For All

I’m pretty careful with my money.

While I’m not quite as bad as my grandma, who if you will remember kept large Ziploc bags in the freezer full of ketchup and mustard packets from various fast food establishments that always gave out “free condiments,” I do rinse out Ziplocs on occasion and budget my money appropriately.

Some people buy Prada, I buy produce.

And although I like getting a break on things when I can, people today seem obsessed with getting free stuff. I’ve seen people practically trample each other for a free unknown sample at the grocery store, a pen at an expo or a three-hour old hot dog shot out of a weenie gun at a hockey game.

They don’t know why they want it, but it’s free!

While I used to be one who got excited for free things regardless of whether or not I had any use for them, I really couldn’t care less at this point. If it’s a great deal, of course I’ll run over the elderly and small children to get it. But if it’s something I can simply buy for myself if I really want it, I figure I don’t need more junk.

Which brings me to this couch in my neighbor’s driveway.*

freecouch

Now if you’re someone who picks up used furniture that has been sitting outside in February for three days in the driveway of a complete stranger, I apologize in advance, but what the hell is wrong with you?

Let’s pretend you’re not picking it up to donate to a good cause somewhere because that makes me sound like a witch, and instead work under the assumption that you want a couch for the rec room and thought this would work out.

After all, it’s winter and garage sales are scarce. Plus, it’s free!

Yes, it is free, and it’s probably harboring the bodily fluids of various people and animals, along with the Ebola virus and several species of undiscovered flesh eating bacteria.

None of that is confirmed of course, but it’s a rather safe assumption.

Kitchen tables and chair, entertainment centers—basically anything that isn’t covered in fabric that can absorb the aforementioned disgustingness is safe and I can kind of understand the appeal of it’s freeness.

But a rogue couch on the side of the road? Unless you’re planning on stripping it down to the foundation and reupholstering the dang thing, that’s like picking up a hitchhiker 20 miles out from a prison.

Just like eating a three hour old hot dog shot out of a weenie gun, that’s not the best idea, my friend.

I understand that I’m a bit biased seeing as how I love my couch more than a normal person should,  but I would rather sit on a cold cement floor every day for the rest of my life than expose any part of my flesh to a used couch picked up on the side of the road.

Call me a snob, but just don’t make me sit on that couch.

*Right as I was taking this picture, the neighbor pulled into his driveway. So if anyone asks, I sent you a picture of this couch to see if you were interested in taking it home. But if you really are interested in taking it home, remind me never to visit your house…or at least sit on your furniture. 

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Couch Contemplations

This is my couch.

couch

I tried to water that fake tree once. Go me!

There are times I’m convinced we’re dating, as we spend our weekends and weeknights together. There’s nothing I look forward to more than hanging out with some snacks and reading, writing or watching TV—just me and my couch.

I’m not telling you this so that you realize how pathetically happy I am dating my couch and consequently feel better about yourself—although that most certainly will happen as well—but because buying that couch three years ago kind of  “represents” something today.

Let me explain.

When I bought my house and had to buy a couch. Everyone told me to take my time, hit at least half a dozen stores to compare price and styles and then spend 1,000 hours online trying to find a better option and a better deal (only slightly exaggerating.)

I saw this couch at the second store. It matched my new paint, the ends reclined with foot things that came out and the price was about what I expected. I bought it with no second thought. My thinking was that if it was what I liked, there was no point in searching for something better. It was good enough.

In other words, I didn’t want any more options.

While I like options and the choice to choose, most of the time I’m okay sticking with things I know I like—with satisfied—something I think is overlooked (and even looked down upon) in today’s society.  If you’re not constantly striving for the “new and improved” or the next greatest thing, you’re told that you’ll be left behind.

But with so many options for what to read, what to write, what to eat, what to wear, what to buy, it seems that no matter what decision you make, there will be a million reasons to doubt it and a million reasons to justify it.

paintsamples

Do we really need 457 different shades of blue, Home Depot?

Even if you’re happy with your decision, the introduction of more options often invites doubt and insecurity that while what you have might be okay,  it’s not as exciting as something else.  Pretty soon you adapt to that initial excitement and it just becomes expected, meaning you’re always looking for something else.

If that’s the case, when can you enjoy the things you have?

For me, worrying about whether something better is out there—because there is always something better out there— and second-guessing my decisions takes away any pleasure I get from what I already have.

So despite the incredulous look from the salespeople, I was okay with buying a new phone that only lets me talk and text. 

Despite everyone telling me that along with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, I need to be on StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Google +, Foursquare, Digg and still find time to write every day—you have to write every day, right?— while reading a bunch of other blogs in a Google Reader or an RSS feed (or whatever other technical thing I don’t know what I’m talking about,) I’m okay with sticking to a couple options.

The issue is that even trivial decisions become important if we believe these decisions reveal something significant about ourselves, if we think we’ll be judged by what we decide—even if it’s just judging ourselves, as is often the case with me.

The truth is, we probably will be. But if I compare my decisions with the results of others, I’m less likely to be satisfied with what I have, which was what I wanted at the time.

This doesn’t mean I don’t have goals or that I’m shut off from “new and improved” versions of things—especially versions of myself. But sometimes seeking out more options simply means more stress and less satisfaction, more energy spent on complicating things that could be energy spent on something else.

So I keep an open mind about options, but that means my mind is also open to the possibility that what I already have might just be good enough.

And instead of worrying about the next great thing to come along, I simply enjoy the things that I presently have—usually on my couch.

couch2

We’re very happy together.