Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bathroom luxury is stupid

Mark: Man, this toilet paper is awesome!

Me: You like it? I don’t like it.

Mark: Really? It’s way better than that recycled stuff we were using before.

Me: This new toilet paper is too… nice.

Mark: And that’s a problem because…

Me: Because you shouldn’t think “Wow, this is really nice stuff” while you’re wiping. You should think “Man, this stuff sucks. I can’t wait to flush it down the toilet”.

Mark: You are so weird.

But seriously. Why would you want to like your toilet paper when it’s just going to down the toilet? Why get attached? I mean, first you’re admiring its awesomeness and then you’re doing the most degrading thing you can do to any object. It’s just wrong on so many levels.

*I will be starting a toilet paper company soon where our tagline will be, “So terrible I can’t wait to flush!”  Be on the lookout, Alice.

Take Care

A few years ago my mom gave me a birthday card, and in it she wrote:

“I am thankful God trusted me to take care of you…”

On the front end it seems like a simple thought, but what if that was true?  What if the people that were put in our lives, the families we were born into, the friends we’ve made, the lovers we’ve committed to, were put there because God trusted us to take care of them?

For you to understand what this means in my world you have to understand that I believe God loves us.  Like crazy loves us.  I believe that we are each an individual and precious masterpiece in his eyes.

And God trusts me with his beloved creations???

I’m not going to lie.  My immediate reaction to being trusted by God to take care of people he loves is, “Take it back! Take it back! TAKE IT BACK!”

I’ve never been the biggest fan of responsibility.

Unfortunately, the other thing I believe about God is that he equips us to do his will, and I believe his will is to love others.  So as much as I don’t always believe in my ability to love others, I do believe in God’s ability to do so.

This may seem random, but some days this idea that God trusts us to take care of each other is the only way my world makes sense.

Because as harsh as this may sound, there are times when loving Mark is hard.  There are times when the only needs I want to care about are my own. 

And then I remember that Mark truly is a gift who is in my life because God trusts that I can take care of him.

Wow.

There are days when I’m watching couples treat each other like crap and I wonder, “Why on earth am I trying to help people love each other better?  Everyone is so screwed up!  What’s the point in trying?”

And then I remember that the God I know wants something better for them, he wants them to take care of each other.  And there are times he’s going to use me to show them that.

Amazing.

The days when my brain can understand this are the days that the world makes sense to me.

Who are you taking care of?

Those who are without friends, God puts in families…
Psalms 68:6

Asking for what you want: Haircuts

“Marie, you tend to be a bit passive. Whereas Mark has a much more dominant personality. In your relationship, and I’m sure that you’ve noticed this, you hold back from letting Mark know what you want or need. And at times Mark’s natural dominance allows you to believe that his needs or wants are more important than yours.” – Our premarital counselor

No crap, Sherlock.

I’m passive. Mark’s, honestly, not even that dominant. It’s just that, next to me, wet dish rags appear ferocious.

No where is my passivity seen more clearly seen that when I’m sitting in a salon waiting for a haircut. (Well, there and when I’m attacked by stray dogs.)

It never fails. I spend hours looking for the haircut of my dreams.

anne_hathaway

I print the picture, and carry it around in my purse for a week wondering if I’m really up for such a drastic change. Because when you have hair this long…

mypicture

…it takes lots of courage to just hack it off.  (And that’s my snuggie… it’s awesome)

Once I am finally sitting in the seat de haircut, I am ready for a new ‘do.

“What are we doing today?” the stylist will ask, and do you know what I will say? Do you know what I will say as I stuff the picture to the bottom of my purse?

I will say, “Oh, I don’t really know… just whatever you think will look good. Maybe just a trim… I don’t think I could pull of a short ‘do.”

Really? You don’t think you could pull off a short ‘do? You have spent every evening pulling your hair into odd ponytails in order to get an idea of what a short cut would look like. You have drooled over all things short-haired: dogs, cats, and Anne Hathaway. You’ve talked about how this short hair will help you become more assertive, sophisticated, adult.

You were ready, and you blew it because you’re a wimp. W-I-M-P.

But do you know that this was not the case yesterday? Yesterday, I went to a lovely stylist, Tara at Eyecandy, and got the cut of my dreams…

mypicture-1
It’s short.  Promise.

Do you know how I managed this? I told her what I wanted.

I said what I wanted (“Um, here is the picture. I want it short. And I promise I’ll straighten it every single day. Please give me short hair!”), and she did her job. A-freakin’-mazing.

Ask and you shall receive, indeed!

What does your God look like?

My dad and I started to get into a discussion about homosexuality.  Generally, this is not a good idea because I am a “crazy liberal” (according to him) and he is a “cold hearted conservative” (according to me).  This is especially not good when we’re trying to have a nice lunch together. 

He started to say something about wanting to get out of America before God got all wrathy on us like he did with Sodom.

“Um, I don’t believe God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexuality…” I stated.  Well, I kind of stated.  I more whispered it.  He’s a big dude.

“What?!?”

“I read a book one time… it said that it was destroyed because of inhospitable, they weren’t very nice to people who needed help.  Which may still be a reason to get out of dodge…”

“God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of men wanting to have sex with angels, Marie.  It’s in the Bible.

See.  Whenever he comes at me with that italicized “you should be smarter than this” tone, I turn into The Freaking Incredible Hulk filled with all kinds of rage.  It’s like a button.  And he went there.  And he pushed it.

“It’s also in the Bible that there are other reasons for God’s anger towards those cities.  And I will find it.  And prove it to you!”

My dad then left to go prove me wrong.  And I continued eating lunch.  We never continued the conversation, because I’m sure that in his research he realized I was right.  I didn’t have to point out that God was going to destroy them before the gay sex with angels, and that most references to Sodom and Gomorrah throughout the Bible refer to their inability to be hospitable.  Matthew 10:14-15, Ezekiel 16:48-50.

(Clarification, I’m FAR from a Bible scholar, and fully realize that I could be very wrong, but this does make more sense to me than a God who destroys people because of homosexuality.  However, the part about God destroying things period is still having to settle into my head)

I wonder when we’re going to quit focusing on the God that we create, and that says what we want Him to say.  During all of this gay marriage talk, and how much God hates it I can’t help but think that it wasn’t that long ago that mixed marriages were considered the same type of abomination in God’s eyes.  And all of that anger and hatred was supported “by the Bible”.  And now you’d be hard pressed to find a Christian leader anywhere say that it was against God’s will to marry outside of your race. 

I guess I wonder where Christian’s humility is.  What happened to atleast considering the possibility that we hold beliefs that may be… wrong.  Not because we serve a God who is ever wrong, but that we are people and we make mistakes.  And we cannot ever comprehend God, no matter how fully we believe, trust and have faith. 

I wonder how we can acknowledge how big, great and wonderous God is, and at the same time believe we honestly have everything figured out. How did our beliefs become, not strong, but rigid?  How are we so sure that we are so right about everything?  Especially when we’ve been so wrong so many times before.

When did we become so proud?

Screwy

The other day I was at Target and thought,

We need to get organized.  And a bulletin board in the kitchen is the answer to all my problems.

So I bought the bulletin board/white erase board.  And I’m paying attention to marketing a lot more these days and noticed it was made by the “Board Dudes”.  The packaging had a note from The Board Dudes hoping that I enjoy my new board.  I honestly appreciated their kind words.  I’m such a sucker.

I got home and was very eager to get my bulletin board up and running.

Let’s see… I just need to screw these little things in, nail these to the wall, and hang it up.  I guess the only question is horizontal or vertical, huh?  This is going to be cake.

Famous last words.

I sat for a good hour trying to screw these tiny little screws into this very hard wood.  It didn’t work.  This board was crap.

And I wanted to let the retarded Board Dudes know about it.

But ya know what?!?  The Board Dudes have up and left.  No website.  No email.  No telephone.

So I’m high and dry with an unscrewable board and a note “hoping you enjoy your board” from the Lame-o Board Dorks.

I let Mark know,

I’m taking the board back.  I can’t get the screws in.

And he said,

Don’t take them back.  I’ll take care of it

And I said,

No, I don’t think you know how hard it is to screw in.  It’s kinda like impossible.

And he was all,

Marie, I’ve got it.  Don’t take it back yet.

And I ended with,

So are you saying you can screw anything?

And then I blogged it.

You’re welcome.

Spider Veins

Dude from work:  What happened to you?  Walk through a barbed wire fence?
Me:  No, I got attacked by a pitbull.
Dude:  Seriously?
Me:  Yup (and I’m smiling all smugly because I am so badbutt).
Dude:  Oh (and he says this seriously!!) I thought maybe you got one of those “vein surgeries”.

Vein surgery?  You thought I got, no, needed the vein surgery??

Oh. my. goodness.

I am twenty-flippin-five years old!  25 year olds don’t get spider vein surgery!

I’m not saying I don’t have them, or don’t need the surgery, I’m just saying that I’m not legally allowed to start complaining about varicose veins for a minimum of 30 years, much less start having surgery to help me! 

The worst was he kept repeating it!

Different Dude from work:  What happened to you?
Me:  Pitbull.
Original Dude from work:  Yeah. I thought it was vein surgery.

SHUT UP!

Dog Attack

Saturday night Mark and I laid around watching the Olympics complaining about how fat we were getting.  After an hour or so of pity party chit chat and a DQ run (I wonder where all this fat is coming from? Hmm..) I suggested a competition of sorts…

“I could so lose twenty pounds faster than you,” I teased.

“Seriously?  You wanna compete?  With me?”

“Yeah, I will so take you!”

We rolled off the couch and made our way to our scale and determined our start weight and decided what our personal goals were. 

The McKinney-Oates Weight Loss Challenge had officially begun!

Sunday morning Mark’s already up to sneaky tricks…

“Sweetie, what do you think about chocolate gravy this morning?”

Chocolate gravy?  I love his chocolate gravy.  But I’m not an idiot…

“I’m not an idiot.  I know what you’re trying to do.  And I will eat your chocolate gravy, but I’m going to go for a walk first.”

I could tell by the look on Mark’s face his plan had been foiled.  That’s right, homedog, I’m serious when it comes to competition.

I head outside to start walking and get to our neighbor’s driveway.

Two dogs come up to me and start sniffing at me.  They aren’t necessarily scary, and actually seem friendly, but for whatever reason I’m scared.

Then up trots a stocky black pitbull.  I am not kidding when I say he immediately starts to attack me.  There was no growling or barking, no signs of aggression at all.  Just biting. 

I don’t know why, but something was telling me to ‘just let him bite you’.  Don’t yank.  Don’t fight.  Let him bite you.

As soon as he let go I started walking backwards away from the pack.  They are still surrounding me, and I turn around to run and the pitbull starts biting again at my other leg. 

By now I’m back in our front yard and I’m screaming for Mark to come help me, and he comes running out.  I’ve never been so happy to see him, even though at that point I’m not sure what he can do to help.  He came out yelling for them to get away and they immediately fled. 

He is my hero in so many ways it isn’t even funny.

After filing all the reports that we needed to with the police and animal services we spent the rest of the afternoon in the emergency room. 

Every nurse, doctor or police officer we saw yesterday commented that it was a miracle that I got out with 3 puncture wounds.  Each one said that pitbulls normally clamp down on you and don’t let go.  I can’t help but think it was God telling me to ‘just let him bite’.  One officer said that was the ideal way to handle a dog attack is to let him bite you because he will eventually let you go.

10 shots and lots of bandages later Mark and I were safely back at home. 

I’m not going to lie.  I have had a couple of mini freak outs about all the ‘what ifs?’

What if Mark wasn’t home when it happened?
What if I was farther away from home?
What if the dogs had knocked me down and completely mauled me? (that’s what the one officer said they were probably trying to do)
What if I had pulled away?
What if I see that stupid dog again?

Anyways, it’s over, and I’m doing good.  To be honest, I think Mark was a more upset emotionally by the whole thing.  But we’re good, and God really did protect me and that leaves me both thankful and, to be honest, scared at how real God is. 

And for a bright side to this story, do you realize how cool I am now that I’ve been attacked by a pitbull?  I feel like I should get a leather jacket or something.  I’m kind of awesome.

Rage Against the Magazine

I read a most interesting observation the other day.

As males go through puberty they begin to look more like the idealized image of a man.  They become stronger, more muscular, voices get deeper.

As females go through puberty they begin to look less like the idealized image of a woman.  Where the girl is beginning to develop hips and stomach “pooches” and breasts, the image we strive for looks more like the little boy men get to leave behind (with boobs).

I have always felt uncomfortable with our society’s images of womanhood, but it wasn’t until I read this little observation that I got angry.

I am angry about the assault on womanhood.  How we are being set up to hate ourselves, starve ourselves, and kill ourselves to be something that doesn’t exist and never will exist.

I am angry that I want to see my hip bones when I stand.  Want to see my hip bones.  It is disgusting that I would want visible hip bones, easily a sign of possible starvation on a body like mine.

I am angry that I would ever disrespect my “pooch” and call it bloatedness, that I would ever wish it away.  This “disgusting” pooch?  This pooch is where I might carry my child one day.  This pooch is the sign that I am a woman, a woman whose body was designed to carry life in it, to be feminine, to be different from men.

I am angry that activities that should encourage me to be healthy and active are, instead, framed as ways to “lose” parts of myself.  Lose my belly fat.  Lose my thunder thighs.  Lose the junk in the proverbial trunk.  Where are the activities that let me healthily keep all of me?

I am angry enough to eat cheesecake for breakfast… and not. feel. bad.

You made your bed, now please shut up and go to sleep.

For the past three Sundays this conversation has played out in the inner sanctum of the Cereal Factory…

Mark:  Man, I wish there was a football game on today…
Marie:  That would be awesome.
Mark:  Seriously.  It’d be great to just zone out to the game, ya know?
Marie:  Sure do.  I love football.
Mark:  Yeah. Me too.

Unfortunately, we have about a month until our addiction is fed, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some serious football drama going down.  And I love football drama (when it is football drama, not arrest drama or dog fighting drama)…

From what I understand Brett Favre was arguably the best quarterback to play the game.  More than that, he was “old school”.  He loyally played for one of the most football crazy teams in the league, the Green Bay Packers.  His passion and endurance made it obvious to most anyone that this man loved the game.

And we loved him because he loved the game.  I’ve never been a big Packers fan, but I respected what Favre meant to the game.  Money and fame didn’t drive him, love for football did and it really warmed my heart to see that.

In March he made the decision to retire.  Green Bay wasn’t excited about this.  He had just had his best season ever, they wanted very much for him to stay.  But Favre insisted it was time to go, he couldn’t give enough anymore.  Fair enough.  We applauded and watched a true legend bow out.  There were rumors that it was a crybaby move on Favre’s part because the Packers didn’t make a move to get Randy Moss, but few could believe someone as honorable as Favre would do such a thing.

Then in May “the itch” came back, and Favre wanted to return.  The Packers’ management began shifting draft decisions and starting positions to accomodate this wish.  Aaron Rodgers, the backup quarterback who has been waiting in Favre’s shadow for years would have to wait once again. 

Then Favre changed his mind.  Days before the draft he called the Packers to say he would not be returning, sorry.  Management once again made changes to who and what they would now need from the draft, and Rodgers was once again deemed the Packers’ new starting qb.

Where are we at now?  Favre wants to come back.  He wants to be released from his obligation to the Packers.  I get the impression that he really wants to return to Green Bay, just not as the backup to Rodgers which is the option the Packers’ management has given him.  He wants to be released and considers it unfair that Green Bay won’t obey his wishes.

Personally, the whole thing infuriates me.  I understand that Favre gave a lot to the Packers, and maybe they “owe” him, maybe they don’t (personally, I think when you are making millions of dollars a year you’ve been more than reimbursed for your services, but that’s just my opinion), but there are rules and agreements that he entered.  That he should be responsible enough to uphold. 

It infuriates me even more because this isn’t a mentality that exists only in pampered, egotistical celebrity crybabies.  It is everywhere!  Everyday people want to argue that their actions shouldn’t have consequences.  We want to make any decision without realizing that, yes, there will be repurcussions for our actions. Shocking, I know.

And now?  We’re supposed to feel sorry for Brett because?? Because he didn’t get his way.  Because his decision to retire has consequences.  Because he still has legally binding obligations to this organization that he doesn’t want to fulfill because “it’s not fair”. Please, please, please give me a break.

Seriously, when did we become a society that completely forgot about the concepts of cause and effect???