Saturday, October 30, 2010

Callin' Like a Collector

My name is not, nor has it ever been, Angelique. I do not know anyone named Angelique. So why debt collectors keep calling me asking for Angelique J, I'm not really sure. They, of course, do not believe me when I tell them I am not Angelique, nor do I know her. One even had the nerve to suggest that the J had something to do with "Jenny."

This has been going on for the past 2 years. They'll call me regularly until I'm tired of the calls and finally answer. This is how the conversation usually goes:


"I'm looking for Angelique."

I try to use my angriest tone, but I always feel bad because I know someone out there is just trying to make ends meet with this horrible job where they get yelled at all day, "Look, I am NOT Angelique. I do not know Angelique. I have owned this number for 2 years. I have told you SEVERAL TIMES to take me off your list."

"Ok ma'am. Have a nice day."

The calls stop for a few months, but they always start up again eventually. I tried letting JD answer the phone once, thinking that he would sound way more intimidating than I do, but the calls started up again a few months later.

I read somewhere that I should write an official letter telling them they've been calling the wrong person and send it via certified mail. That sounds like way too much work for debt that isn't mine. Isn't the beauty of cell phones that I can ignore calls from unknown callers? They never leave a voicemail anyway.

They started calling me again a few weeks ago. Since I haven't answered, they're getting desperate, and actually called me at 8:45 this morning. Really? Do you think calling someone before 9 on a Saturday is going to make them want to give you money? Probably not.

But then again, they seem to think I want to pay off someone else's debt... no thanks.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Getting Non-Political

Dear Political Candidates,

I don’t give a crap.  So please cancel your expensive ad campaigns and put that money towards something worthwhile.  We all know if you get elected you won’t get much done anyway.  You’ll waste your time arguing with your opposition, and since you all refuse to compromise, you’ll waste time talking instead of doing.

Why is it that you care so much about everyone else’s religion and sexual orientation?  In the grand scheme of things, why is it so important?  Why can’t you stand up, be the leaders you’re supposed to be, and say, “Those issues are personal and have nothing to do with the government, I’m going to focus on our most important issues- the war that’s been going on almost 10 years, our poor economy, our need for new, clean energy, and the fact that our people aren’t getting help from our government when they need it most.”

So get yourselves together because I’m sick of the finger pointing, I’m sick of the complaining, and I’m sick of nothing getting done (or at least, nothing significant).   Newsflash:  I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat.  You all suck.

You don’t deserve anyone’s vote.  You need to earn it, and you certainly haven’t earned mine.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Run, JD, Run!

With the likelihood that JD will be starting police academy this winter, he has decided it’s time to start running.  He’s definitely not out of shape, but he’s not in the habit of doing cardio, and definitely not conditioned for running anymore.  The problem is that JD isn’t self-motivated when it comes to working out, which leaves me to be the motivator.  I wouldn’t mind this if it involved a workout I actually enjoyed like yoga, spinning or the stair-stepper, but I absolutely hate running.  However, I also realize that JD won’t run unless I go with him, so for the next few months, I will be suffer with him and pretend to be excited about it.

Last night was Day #1.  We knew we should ease into it- if we pushed ourselves too hard the first day, we’d never do it again.  Our plan was to run to the end of the neighborhood and back, about a mile total (I can hear marathon runners gasping in disgust).  JD tried to cheat a little, and turned around 100 feet from the “official” end of the neighborhood.  I decided to try the harsh, Marine Corps approach.

“What are you doing?”

“It’s like 50 feet!  Relax!” he groaned.

“No!  You’re going to the end of the neighborhood!  I’m pushing you now because they won’t put up with your whining in the academy.”

Whoops, apparently the Marine Corps approach doesn’t work when it’s coming from your spouse.  He immediately got defensive (but he did go to the end of the neighborhood).

“I’m out of shape, okay?!  This isn’t easy for me anymore!”

We ran (trotted, really) in silence.  He stopped to pet a dog.  I didn’t say anything.

A few driveways before our cul-de-sac, I tried a different approach- the cheerleader approach (which I’m much better at anyway).

“Okay babe, we’re gonna run all the way to the driveway.  No stopping in the middle of the cul-de-sac.  You can do it.  It’s not much further!”

He sprinted that last little bit, all the way to the driveway.  I congratulated him and gave him a high-five.  Day one down, countless more to go…

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

That Doesn't Belong There

I have clutter anxiety.  This was clear from a young age when my younger sister and I had to share a room.  There was an imaginary line on the floor so I could have my own area that was always neat and tidy.  Even then, I couldn’t stand to look at her clutter and would usually shove her stuff under the bed or, in moments of desperation, ON the bed if I thought it would get her to clean it up.  It never worked, but I still tried sometimes.  (Sorry about that, loving sister.)
JD is very patient with my obsessiveness.  He’s not messy, but he’s not a neat freak either.  Then again, I have pretty high standards.
When he walks in the door after work, I’m excited to see him, but am easily distracted by his motorcycle boots on the laminate, threatening to scuff the floors.  Or the dirty lunch container he didn’t rinse out and left in the sink.  Or the mail he left unopened in a pile on the counter.  I’m kissing him hello, but my mind is screaming “Take off your boots!  Put your dish in the dishwasher!  Take care of your mail!”  (For this and many other reasons, I’m terrified to have kids.)  
Unfortunately, JD’s activities seem to involve clutter.  He’s always working on a bike, or cleaning a bike, or finding reasons to leave bike-related crap around the house.  We use our 3rd bedroom as “The Man Room,” because we don’t have a garage or a shed, but JD “doesn’t like going upstairs if he doesn’t have to,” which usually means he leaves his stuff downstairs.

Bike parts in the dining room.

 Bike parts on the kitchen table.

Bike taking up my entire front walkway.

Bikes in The Man Room

I realize my feelings about cleanliness are truly an obsession and there are more important things I could be worrying about, so I try to contain them.  Still, sometimes I can't help myself and one of my internal thoughts will burst out.  He'll be trying to tell me about his day and I'll blurt out "Are you really gonna to leave that dish there?"
JD may be exhausting, but I guess I'm pretty exhausting too :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Always a Surprise

JD and I have had a hectic summer.  We spent several weekends traveling visiting friends and family.  JD did a couple of motorcycle trips, and when we were at home, we were busy spending time with friends or doing projects around the house.  I can’t remember the last real date we’ve had, or the last time we spent an entire weekend relaxing.

This weekend we decided to put aside the projects and spend some quality time together.  Saturday was date night, which started out with dinner at an Italian restaurant.  We were originally planning to do a fun activity like mini-golf after dinner, but we're apparently getting old.  After staying out late Friday night, spending the evening doing something as exhausting as mini-golf was completely out of the question.  So, movie it was.  JD scrolled through the movie listings.  "Well, there's Red or Jackass 3D." No way I was spending $20 to watch the Jackass guys find not-so-new ways to hurt themselves.  And I wasn't in the mood for an action movie (no babe, not even if it has Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman in it).  "What about that new Katherine Heigl movie?  Life As We Know It or something like that?" I suggested.

I waited.  He didn't protest.  Didn't point out that our money was better spent on an action movie and we could rent the chick flick for a dollar when it comes out on DVD.  He said, "Okay.  If that's what you want to see."  I was shocked.  I won't say this is a first, but it's been a while since I've picked the movie. 

Sunday morning, all I wanted to do is sleep in, which usually means I get up at 8:30 when the dogs wake me up.  The dogs have learned that I'm the light sleeper in the family, and too many weekend mornings I wake up to a wet snout in the face.  Sunday, JD woke up with the dogs and took them out of the room.  I was able to sleep until JD walked in with warm eggs and buttery toast.

I know, it's like he did something wrong, right?  Like he's trying to make something up to me?  Totally not the case.  He's just wonderful :)

We spent the day lounging around the house and enjoying the beautiful weather by taking the dogs for a long walk.  It was one of those days- one of those weekends really, when you're able to fully recharge.  If only all weekends were just like it....

Friday, October 22, 2010

Miley Cyrus Pants

It’s true.  JD owns (and wears) a pair of leopard print skinny jeans from the Miley Cyrus collection at Wal-Mart.  Allow me to explain.

For those of you unfamiliar with the BMX style of clothing, they like to wear bright colors, tight jeans, and things that don’t really match.  As soon as JD got out of the Marine Corps, he immediately put away his polos and button ups in favor of gaudy t-shirts and bright colored jeans.

I have to admit, I believe that guys should leave skinny jeans to the ladies, but JD will be JD, and I’ll love him whether he’s wearing appropriately-fitting pants or not (although, after one particularly desperate search for a pair of green skinny jeans, I did have to break his heart and tell him that the one pair he found was definitely way too small to be suitable for public- I’ll spare you the details, but it was pretty bad).

Now to explain why he owns a pair of Miley Cyrus skinny jeans… During JD’s continuous search for interesting colors and patterns, he realized that it’s easier to find what he’s looking for (and cheaper) if he just buys girls’ jeans.  He gets made fun of, but he doesn’t care.  He’s just happy to have his red, purple, gray, black, and leopard print pants.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Day at "Work"

My senior manager flew in from Denver for the week.  For many, that would mean a huge headache.  Luckily, I have awesome managers :)

To give us a break and do some team-building (I mean, we have to make it work-related somehow, right?) we took a half day and went to the state fair.  I know, I know, I pretty much have the best job ever.  

We spent our afternoon enjoying the warm sun, riding bumper cars, and eating some delicious fried food.  Those of you who live in The South know that they will fry anything here.  Fried oreos were my treat of choice today, although I've been hearing about the infamous Krispy Kreme burger for weeks now.  No one in our group tried it, but it's basically what it sounds like- a cheeseburger with two Krispy Kreme donuts as the bun.  I'm not sure if I was more disturbed that someone came up with the idea for this 1000 calorie monster, or how long the line to try it was.

It shouldn't have surprised me that JD was amongst the group of people who wanted to give it a try.  "That sounds SO gross," I said when I first heard about it.  "No," he insisted, "it sounds delicious."  Much to his dismay, I didn't bring one home for him.  Maybe next time, JD....

Monday, October 18, 2010

Track Day

1am: Boyd barks at something.  I’m sure this means someone is in the house and is going to attack me.  I turn on the light and Harrier runs to the bedroom door to stand guard, then looks back at me reassuringly.  I realize I have to pee.  I hesitate.  Is it better for my attacker to think I’m asleep or awake?  Awake, definitely awake.  God, I hate being alone at night.  I tell myself that Harrier will kill anything or anyone who comes into our house, and manage to fall back asleep.

7:30am:  Arrive at work exhausted.  Actually pour myself a half cup of coffee (which is a big deal because I generally stay away from caffeine) to wake me up.

9am:  JD calls to say good morning with uncontrollable excitement in his voice.  He slept in his car, which means he didn’t sleep well, but adrenaline will get him through the day.  JD says the advanced riders are on the track, which means his first session should run from 9:40-10.

9:50am: Starting to get antsy but remind myself not to worry because his session won’t be over for another 10 minutes.

10:20:  Still haven’t heard from him and getting really nervous.  My call goes to voicemail.  I try to dismiss my panic with rational thoughts.  He probably got sidetracked working on the bike. He probably doesn’t even have his phone on him.

10:30am: He finally calls.  He chooses now to tell me that they were running behind and his session didn’t start until after 10.  He’s proud to announce he hit a new top speed of 140mph.  I manage to reply with a supportive, “Oh good,” but I know there’s a hint of sarcasm in my voice.

11:40am: I’m away from my desk, but return to a voicemail from JD.  “Hey babe, just wanted to let you know that I’m still alive.”  Phew. 

1:06pm: Lunch conversations distract me from worrying about JD.  Have a brief moment of panic when I get back to my desk and realize I don’t have any voicemails, but then I think that they’re probably having their lunch break too so I shouldn’t stress.

1:43pm: I send him a text and he calls me back.  “It’s a good day- only 2 wrecks in our group!  And I’m hitting some turns at 100 instead of 60 like last time.”  This was another “Oh good” moment.

2:50pm:  Still alive.  No injuries to himself or the bike.

3:36pm:  He’s starting to get tired and ended his last session a lap early.  I suggested he sit out a session so he can rest but he said track time is too expensive to waste (today’s sessions are actually free, but they’re usually expensive).

6:30pm: Home safe and sound.  I breathe a sigh of relief.  And the good news is that track season is over so I won't have to worry about this again till Spring :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Off to the Races

Well, JD is gone tonight and tomorrow for a track day in Virginia.  What does this mean?  It means Virginia International Raceway opened up the track to amateur riders/racers and JD found another potential way to injure himself.

I've never seen him get as excited as he does for track days- not even about dinosaur chicken nuggets.  He spent the past few weeks talking about it constantly, and this morning he woke up before his alarm went off at 5:25.  It didn't matter that he still had 12 hours of work ahead of him before he could leave, he was already wired. 

I've been told repeatedly by JD and other riders that riding on the track is actually safer than on the street.  I can see what they mean- no cars to run you over, there's soft spots to land if you go off the track, no potholes to worry about, and generally not much you can run into unless you hit another rider.  Still, as his wife, I can't help but worry.  What if he runs off the track?  One if he lays his bike down and another rider runs over him?  What if he crashes and does a lot of damage to the bike (Hey- it's a legitimate thing to worry about.  His bike isn't cheap and insurance doesn't cover track days).  

No doubt that much of tomorrow's work day will be spent contemplating these scenarios and waiting for phone calls/texts assuring me that he (and his bike) are in one piece.

But the good news is, if he does hurt himself again, I'll have more blog-worthy material :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

My Protector

A month ago we flew to Nebraska to visit my college roommate (miss you!) and JD’s two best friends from the Marine Corps.  We spent Saturday afternoon at a sports bar watching football.  If you’re from the Midwest, you understand that college football is a way of life, so any bar on a Saturday in the fall is bound to be over-crowded.  We were lucky to find 2 tables next to each other so we could all sit together.  JD and his friends sat at the table behind me.  After a while, a guy came over and proceeded to sit down next to me, uninvited.  We were pretty close to the TVs, and since it was overcrowded I figured he was just trying to claim a good spot.  He started chatting with me and it was soon evident that he was a little on the tipsy side.

“So what part of Ohio are you from?” he slurred.

“East of Columbus”

“Is Columbus in the west part of the state?”

“No, that’s Dayton.  Columbus is in the middle of the state.”

Long pause.

“So you live West of Columbus?”

“No.  East.”

“Like Pennsylvania?”

“Not that far east.  I did live IN OHIO.”

It was about this time I turned around to glance at JD.  By the way he was glaring down at this guy (literally down because he was sitting in a much taller chair), it was clear he was NOT amused.  His whole body had tensed up.  The thought never entered my mind that my geographically-challenged friend was trying to hit on me, but I was later told that he was doing the “lean-in,” a common pick-up move. 

“I’d appreciate it if you backed off,” JD interjected.  

A sober man might have taken one look at JD and decided it was definitely time to leave.  Not this guy.  He smiled, “No, it’s alright man, I’m cool.”  

“No, you’re not cool.  You need to back off,” JD said, waving a hand in between us, indicating there was an invisible line he wasn’t allowed to cross.

The man repeated, “I’m cool,” and turned back around to the TVs.  Although he didn’t leave right away, JD had clearly made an impact because the man didn’t try to talk to me anymore and he only stayed for a few more uncomfortable minutes before he finally left.  JD's friends were suppressing laughter, but he was livid. I have to admit, I thought his protective (jealous?) reaction was adorable.

Love you, babe. :)