Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Little Piece of Quiet

So I’m watching Oprah a few weeks ago, and even though I lost some of my respect for Oprah because of James Frey and Jenny McCarthy, Goldie Hawn was on and I luurrrrrrvve her, and she’s talking about happiness. What makes people happy, how you can achieve it.


So Goldie says that the one thing that is guaranteed to contribute to happiness and well being is being alone and quiet, even if it’s only for ten minutes a day.

Like every other woman in America who was watching this, I was thinking, “Yeah, RIGHT. When the hell am I supposed to get ten minutes ALONE and QUIET? I can’t even go in the bathroom without the dog following me in there.”

Then she explained what she does, which is go in her bathroom, lock the door, put the seat down and sit and breathe for 10-20 minutes.

GOLDIE HAWN has to go hide in the bathroom in her own house, just to get a piece of quiet. GOLDIE HAWN who could afford to have a special wing built onto her house, for the sole purpose of getting a piece of quiet, has to sit on the closed toilet in order to do so.

This problem has clearly reached a crisis point for American women.

One of the biggest adjustments to my new married life is that while I feel like I can’t get away from people and things that constantly need me, The Husband is making up for lost time for all the years he lived alone. It’s not that I don’t want him or anyone else around. I just don’t want them around ALL. THE. TIME.

I got so totally fed up the other day at work, dealing with the idiocity caused by the boss’ brother, that I had to get out of the office for a while. It was too cold to take a walk, so I went in the bathroom and played Angry Birds for a while. Not more than two minutes later, I started getting anxious texts from Kathy with a K: “Where are you? R U OK?”

So it’s not just at home where it’s impossible to be alone.

Years ago, there was a short-lived cartoon series based on the Baby Blues comic strip. One episode had the mom, Wanda, open her own business. A NAP STORE. How awesome would this be in real life? Just a space filled with giant drawers with beds in them. No sex allowed, just napping. As cheap as I am, I would pay good money to have two hours of uninterrupted sleep in a quiet place.

So if anyone out there is looking for a start-up business idea, let me know. We could make money and contribute to the well-being of women all over America.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Czarina Obviousa at the Gym

An Open Letter to the Girl in the Pink Top on the Treadmill Next to Me at the Gym:

Hi girl-in-the-pink-top-on-the-treadmill-next-to-me-at-the-gym,

We all have a little rebel in us, but when ALL of the cardio apparatus are in use, and I mean ALL the treadmills, ellipticals, stairclimbers, etc., and there are other members of the gym milling around, waiting for an opening, it's really NOT cool to exceed the 30 minute time limit imposed on said apparatus.

Even if you have zero body fat and the waist the size of a gnat's.

I am certain that you exceeded the 30 minute because I was one of the other members who was waiting for an opening while you were already on the treadmill. When the treadmill next to you opened, I hopped on, started the timer and began my workout. After my allotted 30 minutes, I got off, wiped it down (as is courteous) and walked an additional 5 laps around the gym.

You were still on the same treadmill when I left the gym. And during my workout, I did notice you punching the buttons on the control panel. A lot.

If it had been less that 5 minutes, or if the gym hadn't been so crowded, I would not have had an issue with this. I myself did 45 minutes one time, but that was on Easter Sunday, when there were literally SIX people in the gym. But I did feel guilty about it, and told the attendant, who just laughed at me and said, "Really, today it's okay."

I appreciate the fact that you are dedicated to your workout, which is obvious because you have zero body fat and a waist the size of a gnat's but that does not entitle you to special privileges. Especially at the expense of others who may have had to carve time out of their day and brave the elements to go to the gym. And given the evidence that you have zero body fat and a waist the size of a gnat's, carving time out of your day to go to the gym is not a problem, because it it obvious you have nothing else to do with your time but go to the gym.

I saw you at the gym yesterday, and had my eye on you. I couldn't tell if you were using the special entitlement card, but you're on my radar now, so watch out.

Next time, I'll be a tattletale and let the attendant know. Or better still, knock you and your zero body fat and waist the size of a gnat's into the window.

Just so I can watch you slide down the glass like Rick Moranis did in Ghostbusters.

Exercise makes Czarina Obviousa cranky.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Adventures of Czarina Obviousia

“I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows.” - President Obama

The above is from the President’s recent State of the Union Address, or as I like to call it after witnessing John Boehner’s man-tan, “Oompa-Loompas Gone Wild.” Seriously, I couldn't take my eyes off him. Very distracting.

There was a recent election in Fremont, Nebraska that just has put my panties in a wad. The good folks of this hamlet have voted to ban hiring or renting of property to illegal immigrants.

My good friend Irony, pokes its head in here, because Fremont, Nebraska is the home of two meat packing plants, staffed mostly by immigrants, illegal or not. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most of America’s food supply is processed by immigrants, illegal or not.

I tried looking up the exact figures on how many undocumented workers there are in America and the needle just flew off my ADD chart. There are so many different sources, and because they are undocumented, the figures cannot be accurate. The closest I could find from the 2009 US Census is probably about 13 million. I tried to find the amount spent by the US on these undocumented immigrants for welfare services and my eyeballs started spinning in my head, because again, too many conflicting sources. Even the government can’t figure it out. A 2007 report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office examined 29 reports on state and local costs published over 15 years in an attempt to answer this question. CBO concluded that most of the estimates determined that illegal immigrants impose a net cost to state and local governments but "that impact is most likely modest." CBO said "no agreement exists as to the size of, or even the best way of measuring, that cost on a national level."

Agricultural workers are exempt from receiving overtime and minimum wage. That’s right. The guy with the family working in the field is not even making $7.25 an hour. Or getting overtime.

People complain all the time about the high price of food, but what would prices be like if labor weren’t so cheap?

The thing is, and I know I’m stereotyping, but if you were deemed “legal” to work and live in America, wouldn’t you choose collecting welfare over picking strawberries? I know I would. Collect a check AND get benefits such as health care? Sign me up.

I wonder if the good people of Fremont and others like them have made that connection.

Wonder if they’ll figure it out when ground beef is $10 a pound? Or will they blame it on the “illegals” who are draining the welfare system?

Wonder if anyone has shown them what corporate welfare costs this country?

I'd rather have cheap asparagus than bail out Goldman Sachs.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Snow, snow, snow, blah, blah, blah.

Yeah, we get it. We've had a lot of snow. Most of the country has had a lot of snow.

However, no one I personally know of has lost power, or has been stranded on the road or stuck in their house for more than a day and a half. We all had plenty of groceries because we had two day's worth of warnings. Everyone had pretty much laid in supplies and was under cover when the blizzard started. I heard folks in Austin were on rolling blackouts to accommodate the surge in usage, but no one was really without power for a dangerous or extended period of time. A couple of people did have pipes burst, but they had bottled water on hand and when the temperature is way below zero for several days, there is really nothing you can do about it.

I couldn't get out of my driveway or street and had to miss two days of work. This is not the end of the world, believe me. Schools have been out for three days. The kids don't mind.

The Big One's fifteenth birthday fell on the second snow day. She was born on a snow day, and I think we've had one every birthday since. One year, we'd lost power for a few days. We had a special breakfast and cake and ice cream, and it was pretty much like every other birthday.

So for everyone out there who keeps whining about being stuck in their house for two days, I have this advice:

Shut the fuck up already.

Seriously, did you miss a dialysis or chemo appointment while you stayed in your warm house watching DVDs and eating? No, I don't think so.

Were you homeless and under a bridge? Nope.

Were you so snowed in that if there were a life-threatening situation, an ambulance couldn't have gotten to your house? I live on a pretty steep hill that didn't get plowed until Day Two and I still think an ambulance could have made it if absolutely necessary.

Did your employer threaten to fire you if you didn't show up? No, because they couldn't open their front door, much less get to the office.

Although as a sidebar, The Little One's Girl Scout leader's daughter did have to have an emergency appendectomy, so she gets a pass. In addition, she handled it in true Girl-Scout-leader-single-mother-of-four fashion and apologized to ME for not returning my email immediately regarding cookie money. Really, it's okay. The cookies can wait.

I think the only real concern I had was for my parents. My mom called and said they may not be able to get out for 5-6 days. She may end up killing my father by then.

Two days off in your house is a GIFT people. I know you all had access to your computers, because I kept reading posts on FaceBook that were whine after whine about how you couldn't get out your front door because of the snow and how the kids are going stir crazy.

Um, no they're not. They most likely have access to televisions, DVDs, computer games, iPods and maybe something that I like to call "books." They're fine. They don't really need constant stimulation and it's really okay for them to veg in front of the TV for a few days. Everyone else is also missing school, so no one's getting behind.

I personally sat on the fat couch and played Angry Birds, caught up on FarmVille and knitted house slippers to my heart's content. Watched "Easy A" on The Big One's recommendation, and was going to watch "The Social Network" but had to go to back to work. I had grand aspirations of cleaning out my closets, but the couch won. The Husband cooked and The Little One let the dog in and out. Good neighbor Charlie snowblowed our driveway. I've had worse vacations.

Please don't let me be the only one who saw this snowstorm as a gift, and not the end of the world. We all really have so much and I'm sure we all have everything we really need. I know I do. Maybe next snow day, instead of posting to FaceBook about how bored we are, we should post our blessings.