Monday, June 29, 2009

Lucky 13

Thirteen years ago today, I married my best friend.

Thirteen years later, he's still my best friend, and the love of my life.

Happy Anniversary, honey! I love you!

P.S. Neither of us wears wedding rings (we have them; we're just not into wearing rings). Some people think it's weird. We don't care.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cat Lady

Twelve years ago, Iwanski and I decided to get a cat.

I was soooo excited. Growing up, I had never had a pet (many of my family members suffer from pet allergies), and besides our cute little hamster Cozmo who died at the tragically young age of two, I had never had my very own pet. Especially never one that could really bond with its human owner, like a cat or a dog.

So we adopted Autumn Raccoon (AKA Raccooney) from our local Humane Society. And a few months later, we adopted Hattie (AKA Fattie Boombaladdie).

I loved having cats, and I was not shy about telling people about it. I shared stories of the Battle to Keep Cats out of the Bedroom (which of course, we lost), and of the cats’ adorable responsiveness to the words “hungry” and “eat.”

Somehow, I think I inadvertently became known as “the cat lady” of the family.

And along with the title came a slew of cat-related gifts. Cat t-shirts, cat books, cat figurines—you name it, and I probably have it.

Of course, I’m always very grateful for the thoughtfulness of the lovely family members that purchase these items for me.

But I must admit, I am quite surprised that my “cat lady” reputation has followed me for a whole twelve years.

I certainly haven’t really done anything in the past several years to promote it.

Until now.

This weekend, I actually attended—are you ready for this?—a Cat Circus.

That’s right, I—along with my good friends Jonathan and Diane—attended a performance of “The Circus Cats of Chicago.” I had read about these supposedly well-trained cats a few months earlier, and I have to admit, the idea of somebody actually being able to train cats was intriguing to me. I just had to see it.

So I purchased the tickets, and off to the show we went.

And indeed, it was pretty amazing. At one point, the trainer lady (who said that she wasn’t married, and that she probably would stay single for the rest of her life) had about 10 cats out on the stage, all poised upon their individual stools, sitting and waiting for her next direction. They just sat there! That in itself was amazing.

But there were other astonishing tricks to behold—like the kitten who balanced on top of a ball as it rolled down the stage—or the “Rock Cats”—a band of musical cats playing the guitar, drums, and piano. Don’t believe me? It is, incredibly, true. Check out a video of it here, on Jonathan’s blog.

And what was even more interesting was that this wasn’t just a cat show—no, in fact, Miss Trainer Lady also had trained rats, a woodchuck who could raise a flag on command, a kinkajou (a creepy-looking monkey that is not actually a monkey) that she swung back and forth by its tail, and one very intelligent chicken. (Who knew you could train a chicken??)

My favorite part of the show was when Miss Trainer Lady announced “We will now have a bowling contest between a cat and a chicken.”

I laughed my ass off. Now that’s something I never thought I’d hear! (And by the way, the chicken won.)

It was quite an entertaining show, and we all enjoyed ourselves very much.

So now I’ve seen a cat circus. I’m sure this will do wonders for my “cat lady” reputation.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


He inspired me. He made me dance, he made me smile, and he made me cry.

RIP, Michael. The world is a better place because of all the wonderful music you brought to us.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Which, Which of These Things?

Which of these things does not belong here?

--Watched two movies this weekend; "The Deer Hunter" and "Sleeper." Both very good movies, in completely different ways.

--Went for a three-hour walk through Chicago riverfront neighborhoods.

--Sat and listened to the symphony in Millenium Park.

--Admired the unique Chicago view from atop the new bridge to the Art Institute.

--Had a root canal.

--Went for a two-hour walk along Chicago's beautiful lakefront, stopping to enjoy the summertime beach atmosphere.

--Laughed my ass off at a DVD of Ricky Gervais (creator of the British "The Office") doing stand-up.

If you guessed "had a root canal," ding ding ding ding! You are correct. This was the one not-so-fun part of this past week.

However, it wasn't all that bad. The worst part was actually just sitting there with my mouth hanging open, waiting for the dentist to finish drilling at my tooth. Amazingly, I had no pain at all--even after the anesthesia wore off.

So even that wasn't so bad.

Ahh, life is good, and the living is easy for Miss Healthypants...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This Blog Has Teeth

Guess what happens when you get a root canal with a temporary filling, and you don't go back to the dentist for three more years?

You have to have another root canal!

That's right, folks, Miss Healthypants did a really stupid thing and put off a visit to the tooth doctor for three years--and now, she will suffer the consequences.

And the worst part is, I don't even really mind going to the dentist that much--at least, not once I'm there. With modern pain-killing substances, I hardly ever feel pain while seated in the dentist's chair.

No, the part I hate about going there is actually just taking the time off to go there.

I mean, if I'm going to take some sick time or vacation time from work, I want to enjoy my time off--I want to wallow in my sickness while Iwanski brings me chicken soup, or wallow in my own filth while I sit in my pajamas all day and not take a shower.

Sitting in a dentist's chair just isn't quite as fun.

But here's the real kicker--if I had just forced myself to go to the tooth doctor one time three years ago, I would have avoided another three hours that I will now have to waste with my mouth hung open while Mr. Dentist Dude scrapes around at my teeth.

I could just kick myself! A whole three hours—oh, what I could do with three whole hours of free time... I could take a long walk in the park...I could watch an Academy-Award winning movie...I could spend three hours at the zoo staring at the kookaburra, waiting for it to laugh...

Oh, who am I kidding—I would probably just sit around in my own filth, watching old Mr. Belvedere re-runs.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wine and Pie

Today, we are heading to my mother-in-law’s house in the suburbs to celebrate my and my brother-in-law’s birthdays. Yes, my birthday is apparently still going on. I gotta say, I really don’t mind!

Anyway, on Friday night, my mother-in law called me.

“I have a quick question for you, “ she said. “What do you want to drink on Sunday?”

“Ummm…” I thought, “Do you mean like, alcoholic drink, or like, soda?”

“Alcoholic,” she said. “I’m in the liquor store right now.”

I laughed. Apparently she had decided that I was going to have some liquor on Sunday. “Okay…I guess, maybe some white wine—maybe some Chardonnay?”

“Chardonnay?” she repeated, “Okay, I’ll get you some Chardonnay…see you on Sunday!”

I hung up the phone and laughed some more.

Apparently I’m going to have some wine today.

Then my sister-in-law called to ask me what kind of cake I wanted.

“Umm, whatever, it doesn’t matter—I’m not really a cake person anyway,” I said.

“Oh, you like pie, right?” she asked.

“Yeah, I like pie,” I replied.

“Do you like fruit pie or chocolate pie?” she asked.

“Fruit pie,” I said.

“Okay, I’ll make a fruit pie,” she said.

So today, I shall have wine and pie.

I love my in-laws.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Miss Grocerypants

Well, I could tell you what I’ve been very busy with this week, but it mostly involves work, so screw that.

Instead, I’ll tell you about just one of the highlights of my week.

On Monday, I finally went to the new grocery store a couple of blocks from where I work. I can just hear you saying “This is a highlight of her week?” Yes, indeed it was. Because the Gemini in me LOVES anything new or different, and believe it or not, I especially love new and different grocery stores.

It’s true. I find grocery stores interesting. I especially like to check out foods that I would probably never buy, but I wonder what they’re like. Like cheese that sells for $15 a pound, or wine from the Tokaj region of Slovakia.

So yeah, I pretty much like to look at cheese and wine.

And whenever I visit a city in a different state (or country), I always try to visit a local grocery store. I think it tells you a lot about what the local culture is like. I’ve been to grocery stores in Carlsbad, California; Big Rapids, Michigan; and Dublin, Ireland. And FYI—they do not have Ranch dressing in Ireland! The horror! I could never live there.

Anyway, back to the new and exciting grocery store. When I walked into the store on Monday night, I was amazed that it was so BIG. The grocery store we usually go to—which is four or five blocks from our apartment—is absolutely tiny compared to this new store.

I called Iwanski excitedly. “Honey, you HAVE to see this store! It’s huge—they even have an olive bar with like 30 different kinds of olives!” (Even though I think olives are the most vile, disgusting food ever, I was still thrilled that they actually had an olive bar.)

Iwanski was less enthusiastic about it. “That’s great, honey,” he said, placating me.

“Wow, their deli is huge!” I exclaimed. “And everyone is so friendly here! Since I’ve been here, like three different people have asked me if they can help me.”

“That’s nice,” mumbled Iwanski. Clearly, he wasn’t getting how thrilling this was.

“I’ll call you back in a little while,” I said. “I have to call Jonathan!”

Jonathan is my good friend who lives a block away from Iwanski and me, and he and I go grocery shopping together often. Somehow, I knew he’d understand my excitement.

He SO understood. I told him about how big the store was and about the olive bar, and he was excited, too. We decided to go to the new store together on Wednesday night.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t feeling well on Wednesday night, so our shopping trip had to be postponed.

I hope we can go there together really soon. I have a hankering for some wine and cheese.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Last night, I got into a cleaning mood—or what Iwanski calls a “cleaning frenzy.” That really is a more accurate description, since I am pretty much like the Tasmanian Devil when I get in one of those moods.

And it usually hits me out of nowhere. On a Friday night, I’m just sitting around watching t.v., when suddenly I think, “This place is a mess!”

I hop up and immediately start to pick up things and race to put them away, like the President is coming over in only ten minutes, and I have to make the place look spotless for him.

It reminds me of when I was a kid, and my parents told my sister Sheri and me to clean up our toy room in the basement. We hated cleaning (what kid likes to clean??), so we would make it a game, a race to see how quickly we could get it all picked up. We would say “On your mark, get set, go!” and then we would immediately begin singing the “circus tune” and start running around, picking up toys and stuffing them as fast as we could into the toy box.

You know the song I’m talking about, right? It’s the one they play at the circus, the one that goes “da da dadada da da daa da da da…” Okay, I just found out that it’s called “Entrance of the Gladiators”—who knew? And here it is, since you probably still have no idea what song I’m talking about.

So anyway, that’s how I learned to clean, and that’s pretty much how I still do it, to this day. I put on some “peppy” music (Iwanski hates it when I call music “peppy,” so I like to call it that) and start running around the room like a mad woman.

The problem with this method of cleaning is that I tend to randomly place objects in odd places, like putting a cereal box on the bottom shelf of the end table, or putting a bottle of mosquito repellant on the bookshelf. I guess it kind-of defeats the purpose of cleaning, but the place still looks cleaner, somehow.

The bad part is after I’m done cleaning, and we can’t find something. Correction: the bad part is after I’m done cleaning, and Iwanski can’t find something. Then he gets irritated, and I get irritated right back at him because you know, it’s never my fault.

So last night, when I started going on a cleaning frenzy, Iwanski shouted from the other room,

“Hey, what are you doing?”

“I’m cleaning,” I yelled, stuffing a page of his writing between a couple of books on the bookshelf.

“Well, don’t just start putting stuff in weird places. Keep your wits about you!” he yelled back.

I started laughing...and then I quickly pulled the page of his writing from between the two books and placed it carefully on a shelf on the computer desk...right next to the salt shaker, dental floss, and 1970 Rocky Colavito baseball card.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Not My Definition of Easy

OK, so it’s now Tuesday, and I did a workout on Saturday on my new Wii EA Active Sports game.

So why am I STILL sore??

Well, apparently I’m not as healthypants as I thought I was!

I really like my new Wii exercise game—especially the sports moves (like in-line skating, volleyball and basketball moves, etc.)—but the workouts in this game seem to me to be about fifty times harder than the Wii Fit.

Case in point: I did the first 20-minute “easy” workout on the game. Easy, they call it? To me, any workout that combines running, squats, and lunges (among other exercises) is not an easy workout! Of course, it probably didn’t help that I did like 75 lunges before I finally figured out how to do them correctly to register as “completed.” Hmm, that could be why I’m so sore…

And then there was the six-mile walk that Iwanski and I did on Sunday. That probably didn’t help, either.

I wasn’t sure if I’d even be able to get out of bed yesterday morning.

But I did, and today I even managed to do an hour of yoga. Yay me!

Maybe tomorrow night I’ll try the Wii EA Sports Active again.

But this time, I think I’ll design my own “easy” workout. You know, one that doesn’t leave me so sore that to go to the bathroom, I have to hover over the toilet seat and then basically fall back onto it.

I’m not so much a fan of that.