Thursday, August 7, 2008

Champion of Diapers?

When we were expecting our little "pork chop" aka Celie, we were so fortunate to be the recipients of several baby showers. Four to be exact. We were completely overwhelmed (in the good way) with the amount of gifts given. One of these gifts was the Diaper Champ.

You know what I'm talking about.

It's the garbage can-esque repository for soiled diapers. There is another version. It's called the Diaper Genie. The Champ is very basic. It doesn't require special bags, batteries, a college degree or anything like that. You simply take a plastic bag from Target, your local grocer, etc. and you put it in the hole and close the lid and wha-la! Diaper in a bag for you. Apparently the Genie requires very special bags that almost turn the diapers into a sausage. Then before you know it, you have this insanely long "tube" of dirty diapers. It's almost like an insect.

We were heavily discouraged by several new parents to stay away from the Genie and only go with the Champ. I personally didn't understand why we had to have one. I sorta get it now. Here's the thing that I'm bitter about and no one told me. THE SMELL.

Now, let's face it, I know what poop smells like. It's not gardenias. And I also know that a baby's poop is not going to be pleasant. Specifically our baby's because I know who her mother is (if you know what I'm sayin'.) Anyway, I knew that it wasn't going to smell "nice". It's dirty diapers for crying out loud. But no one prepared me for the putrid stench that could seep out from that thing. I feel like we're almost being punished by the Champ.

Do I leave diapers in there for a few days? Sure. Isn't that what it's for? But Lord have mercy. It's come to the point where when you flip the little conveyor over that you have to hold your breath. Who knew t-t could smell so badly. At this point, I'd rather sit in baby poop than smell the t-t.

I took the Champ out on the back porch this morning to let it air out. I also decided to spray it with Clorox Kitchen Cleanup (with Lemon!!) so now it smells like a bleachy lemon that's been covered in t-t. YUM. I don't know....I'm temped to go without. Do we really need it? Can't we just use the kitchen garbage? I mean, it gets taken out about every two days anyway.

I can no longer deal with the Champ. If the smell isn't gone by the time we get home, it's over. I'm breaking up with Champ. We'll have to find a different solution. Celie's going to have to get potty trained quickly....this diaper business is for the birds..........or maggots.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Don't Be A Hater

I want to first thank my dear friend Alyson for being the only commenter on my blog for quite some time - thanks! (hey, how do you like being mentioned in both my and Sarah's blog?)

My struggle = using the word "hate"

So, back in the day, the word hate was almost like using the f-word. It was very taboo and we (civilized America) were trying to "overcome the oppression" of the word hate. Here's the thing, I like using it. I use it almost as a joke as if I can "hate" something as trivial as curry or how the Olive Garden always smells like old dish water. I mean, I say I hate something, but am I going to react on this hate? No. Am I going to commit a hate-crime? No. It's a funny word to me. I can tell that when I say it, it still sets people off and they look at me funny. Whatever. I feel the same way about the word "shut-up". I hate that phrase - lol.

Here's where all this is coming from......our house sits in the same direction of our lot. Our lot is long and narrow and so is our house. It fits nicely on the lot. Do I wish the lot was smaller? Yes. Do I wish it was a typical lot where the house faced the road? Probably. It doesn't make me crazy though, so I can deal with it just fine. Here's the kicker, we have a VERY long driveway to our house. It's so long, in fact, that we can't afford to pave it. It would be like a $15,000 project if we cemented it. Asphalt is another option but is still going to be very expensive. I digress.

If you've read Sarah's blog at all, you know about our issue with the potholes in the driveway caused by our irresponsible neighbors. Some people try to avoid these holes whereby driving on our lawn. It makes me crazy. The most notorious offender? The postal carrier!!!! This amazon of a woman deliberately drives on our grass. She has a chip on her shoulder the size of the mole on her upper lip. I don't know why she has such a vendetta against us. She is blatantly disrespectful to our property and makes no bones about it. Now, my lawn is not impeccable, but the large majority of the area that you see when you come to visit my home looks very nice. I always know that she's been to deliver a package to the house because I can see her tire tracks through the lawn. We've called the Post Office to ask her not to drive on the lawn, but this has caused her to do it even more. I'm sorta at the point that if I saw her do it, I would grab the closest steel rod and beat the living daylights out of her 1997 Nissian Altima - burgundy of course.

So, the other day we came home to find both sets of tire tracks going straight through the lawn. I was furious! I came inside and was telling my mom about it (she was keeping Celie so it was Monday). I'm actually getting angry just thinking about it. So I say out loud...."I hate that stupid woman!" Referring to her disrespect of my property. My mom looked at me in disgust and, as usual, tells me that I won't go to Heaven if I have hate in my heart. I laughed at her because I really don't have hate in my heart. When I think of the kind of person who has hate in their heart I think of Osama Bin Laden or that Heinz-Kerry woman or that real estate lady in NYC who left all that money to her cat or something. I mean, I don't want to kill this woman. Well..................

So today, I come home. We're changing Celie from a disgusting poopy diaper. Our phone rings and it's my mom. She begins reading me every single scripture in the Bible that talks about hate. Apparently she even called Sarah today and asked her if I still had hate in my heart. My loving wife apparently told her that I always do, it just rotates from person to person depending on the day. Finding all this out later, further explained why my mom ended our conversation with this phrase: "So you better ask the Lord to forgive you of having hate in your heart for the mail lady, OR WHOEVER ELSE YOU HATE DEPENDING ON WHAT DAY IT IS."

I don't want anything bad to happen to the mail lady except for maybe a new job where she doesn't have to interact with humans. I mean, I'd like to beat her up or at least destroy her car, but no "real" harm to her.

So the word "hate". What does it mean to you? Is it just an exaggerated version of dislike that you use to comically express a true disgust for something or does it conjure up a dark and horrible meaning for you that only the vilest of offenders could define? Either way, it's not a big deal to me.....I will probably continue to use it, mostly though to see how many "sermons" my mom will give me. I'll clearly have to stop using it once Celie is repeating what we say.

Monday, August 4, 2008


The Port St. Joe lunch scene is funny. Please allow me to give you a breakdown of the restaurants we have and the people who frequent them. As a note, these are not in order of preference.

1) Sisters Restaurant - a local cafe that serves one hot meal and a salad/sandwich menu. Good food, even better sweet tea. Free dessert with any purchase. Clients range from the social "elite" as they like to think of themselves, to the working-class roofers.

2) Peppers - the quintessential Mexican restaurant. Standard Mexican menu and quite good. Quick and easy lunch for business people if you don't mind smelling like an armpit all day. Clients are mostly 8-5 workers: city, county government, teachers, etc.

3) Provisions - a local grill/bistro/cafe with an upscale special of the day. Very impressive salads and sandwiches. Clients are mainly the "I don't get dirty at my job" people. Bankers, Insurance, Tennis moms, etc.

4) Sunset Coastal Grill - the only "finer" dining in the city. A beautiful location, building and view. Nice menu and very broad. Seafood, sandwiches, salads, platters, etc. Clients are mostly older. Not too many working business people as it takes up the full lunch hour to the minute. Some menu items are really really great, while others are a bit lacking.

5) Dockside Cafe - the restaurant at our local marina. It's basically outdoor dining - well sorta. The menu is limited. Things are served in baskets or plastic picnic plates. It's a great place if you've just come off the boat and are a drinker as it has a very extensive bar. Very pricey for what you get.

6) Great Wall - the local Chinese buffet - enough said. Clients are people who like buffets.

7) Fast Food - including Subway, McDonalds, Burger King.

I may be missing a few, but this just about sums it up. So, every place I have listed is typical restaurant. Either seat your self or someone will do it for you. Sarah and I really like to go to Sisters. A great family owns it. It's really good food. It's clean and friendly. Here's where I get confused......

Some people that go to Sisters "help themselves" to whatever they want. We'll call them the "helpers". They make their own drinks, get their own refills, get their own desserts, etc. Sarah and I don't do this. The owners and workers do not see these "helpers" as an annoyance. It almost seems like it is welcomed. I don't know if your supposed to just act on this entitlement yourself or are you supposed to be given the go-ahead. Sometimes I feel awkward thinking that the owners think that I'm demanding to be waited on. I'm not. I'd be perfectly happy getting everything myself.

So I got even more confused today and almost embarrassed because while Sarah and I were waiting for someone to get our drinks, this guy walks up to the drink station and says, "which one of these is sweet and unsweet?" He was clearly asking about tea. The owner pointed out which one was which to him and then he said it......"my mama didn't raise me to be waited on."

I felt like he was looking at me saying it. Kinda like..."Get off your butt and fix your own drink." I mean, I don't want to act like I own the place. I don't see a ton of people being "helpers", in fact, it's only a small group who do. we're waiting for someone to bring us dessert, one of the wait staff comes over and say, "did she get your dessert order?" I said, "yes". Then she says, "you know, if you need something you can just get it yourself or yell at us and we'll get it".


Have they been talking about us because they think that we think we need to be waited on hand and foot? Was one of the owners like..."can someone go tell those two pretentious 20-somethings that they're mama don't work here and if they need something they can go get it?" I mama doesn't work there, but the only restaurant I've ever felt that entitled to do that in is the one we used to own. Sigh.

So now, I'm more confused than ever. If I start becoming a "helper" are people going to say, "why are they helping themselves?" The place is much too busy at lunch to ask for direction on the level you must reach before you acquire "help yourself status". I don't know what to do. We eat there about once to twice a week. What do I do?

I'm certainly not above doing it. I mean, I'll help myself. It'll actually save me $3.00 on a tip, right?

What would you do?