My blog is two years old today + a month and change. I’m pretty awesome about keeping up with dates.

To celebrate my blogversary, I’m going to highlight some of my favorite posts. You know, the ones I actually am not embarrassed about? Or the ones I actually re-read from time to time. I’ll highlight these little ICYMIs interspersed between new content with a title letting you know it’s repurposed. Hmmm, repurposed doesn’t make it sound very good, does it. It sounds awfully close to regurgitated and I KNOW that’s not good because I’ve been looking at an awful lot of regurgitated material lately. What? Oh. My dog’s stomach has been having some disagreements with her consumed food. So, her stomach has rejected the contents most heinously, and my dog and I are left staring at each other dejectedly while I gather the items I need to rid the house of the mess. Anyway, these posts aren’t like these stomach contents at all. They are quite the opposite. They are the little gems of this website. Or “gems” if you will. I’m not creating art here. But they are the best of what’s here. At least in my view. So, my first highlight is this one. It’s about saliva. Cool, huh? Yeah, it’s a weird topic. But the post represents this site so well, how could I not let it be the first re-post?

Lubrication is my middle name

First published: April 8, 2014

Made you look, huh? When I say lubrication, I’m speaking specifically of saliva because I’m an overenthusiastic producer of said substance. For example, I recently went to the dentist to get a crown done. Small segue. Do you think the teeth who sport crowns are lording it over the other teeth? (Hee. “Lording it” scores me at least half a point, right?) Are they all, “I have a crown. I’m tooth royalty. You are merely a tooth. But I? I am so freaking special that I wear a crown atop my enamel.” Or do you think that’s what the tooth says while the other teeth roll their eyes and respond, “Dude, the reason you have a crown is because you have a crack or something and are therefore damaged goods. You needed a crown to do your work for you and also to protect you from the rot. Because you are a sucky, shitty excuse for a tooth. So, shut it.” Anyway, I digress. As usual.

So, my tongue did its seductive tongue dance thing that it always does at my dental visits, and this time got burned. Literally. Stupid tongue. Drills get hot, you fool. Just stay put in the back of the mouth and keep out of the way of the dental tools as they go about their business. As my dentist and the hygienist neared the end of the process, it was time to put that gel stuff in that makes the impression for the permanent crown. It takes 5+ minutes to set, so they tell you to hang around and do your thing. Well, I was quite dismayed to discover that my thing appeared to be the alarming overproduction of saliva. I had to get up and retire to the restroom, and I was elated to discover that the timing of my restroom break was fortuitous as my mouth began leaking saliva at the rate of a fully-engaged faucet. Obviously the novocaine made my lips a little less proficient in the art of keeping things inside my mouth, but even that fact can’t account for the sheer volume of what I was producing. It was an amazing sight to behold. I stood there in front of the mirror and just watched the never-ending stream of saliva gush rapidly into the sink while wondering how in the hell I was going to actually complete my bathroom business. I didn’t have a drip cup to use or a spittoon to place beside the toilet allowing me to pee (sorry for the overshare, but it got real really fast, people!), so I just advised my bladder to put on her big girl panties and wait for the gel to be removed from my mouth. I grabbed a huge wad of paper towels, positioned them under my mouth to stem the tide of saliva, and high-tailed it back to the examination room terrified that someone would see the river flowing from my mouth. (I know you think I’m exaggerating here. It’s understandable based on the name of my website, but let me assure you that I’m telling it to you straight. I’m obviously a freak of nature, and also would clearly win in any strange sort of saliva skirmish. I, therefore, challenge each and every one of you to a saliva duel. Location and time TBD.)

When I returned to the room, I wetly mentioned that I was producing a lot of saliva. The hygienist said, “That’s why I handed you the tissue.” People, the tissue that she handed me was drenched before I even got it up to my mouth. I think it took one look at the saliva waterfall and knew it was no match for that type of saturation and resigned on sight. I had dispatched with that piece of nastiness in the restroom while frantically grabbing one paper towel after another. So, I just smiled sheepishly at her while nodding, and continued to look away lest the horror that was my saliva situation make itself known. I mean, seriously, a tissue? What I needed was a bath towel. Or, even better, a pail.

It reminded me that I’m not exactly a stranger to saliva situations. When I was pregnant with my first child, I went through two weeks where the taste and texture of my saliva was unbearable to me, and I carried around a spit cup, or tiny spittoon, where I would “delicately” spit my saliva every time there was enough in my mouth to dispose of. So classy. I contemplated stashing a giant wad of Bubble Yum (don’t make me sad and tell me BY is no longer available in the gum aisle) in my cheek so I could tell people that I had taken up the chaw, but people aren’t so much with that practice when you are carting around a fetus as it’s not good for the baby. So I just tried to hide what I was doing and take extra trips to the room of rest so I could do my thing probably causing folks to suspect a drug addiction. I think the truth would have been harder to swallow. Again with a pun. I apologize. Anyway, I was incredibly annoyed, of course, but oddly amused to suffer one of the stranger pregnancy woes because that is how I roll. I’m nothing if not off, or odd, or strange. Pick your favorite synonym for weird. Since I’m already eccentric, I’ve got a terrific headstart on my old woman persona.

HIPAA, SCHMIPAA…. I can’t put you on my form because I don’t have your contact info.

I’d put you all on my HIPAA form, but you’ll soon see that won’t be necessary.

I’m the best patient in the world. (Dear sarcasm, thanks for being my friend. Love, Stephanie) Here’s why. When I go to the doctor and update my medical history, it is never complete, or even quite true, though I always think I’m giving it to her as accurately as possible. And even better (I mean worse), it’s so significantly altered from the previous versions, I’m sure the people in the office are scratching their heads while checking patient records and finally deciding to add pictures to their patient files to make sure they have the correct Stephanie the next time I come in.

Here’s how a typical medical history rundown goes for me.

Doctor: What medications are you using?

I list my migraine medications which change periodically because some stop working. I usually get one wrong. The doctor will stop me here for clarification. She will ask if I’m getting this rogue medication I’ve listed from another doctor. When I say no, she’ll decide that I’m just barely awake and silently unknot the mess of confusion I’ve created by the list I’ve given her.

Doctor: Have you had any operations?

Me: Um, I don’t really think so. Wait, what qualifies as an operation?

Doctor: Well, we have you listed here as having two c-sections. Those definitely qualify as operations. You know with the cutting and all, you stupid idiot. (OK, the doctor didn’t say that last sentence, but you know she was thinking it. I certainly was. And I added “you stupid idiot” to the end for her.)

Me: So, yeah, sure. Sounds like I’ve had some operations. You should probably keep that as is. I’ll try to think back if I’ve had others. Do wisdom teeth count?

The doctor at this point will begin to understand that she’s dealing with an utter fool and will be forced to conclude that a different interrogation technique is necessary. Anesthesia will be defined, (I’ll get huffy and say, “OF COURSE I KNOW WHAT ANESTHESIA IS!”) and we’ll get through that section of the history.

Then, it’s time to start talking about family history. This is definitely when my doctor should take a Xanax or Valium or something. (Are they the same thing? I can’t be bothered with Google at the moment as I’m busy typing this ridiculous mess.) I try to remember who in my family has had what, but it’s impossible. The doctor tries to have me at least define if something is on the maternal or paternal side, and I always give it a go. The sad part is that I start out sounding so confident in my answers, which is why the Xanax or Valium would be such sweet relief for the doctor when she finally realizes that she’s just writing down fiction by the time we are done.

Doctor: ……blah, blah, blah, heart disease, blah, blah, stroke, blah, blah, high blood pressure…..

Me: ……

Doctor: ……blah, blah, blah, cancer, blah, blah, blah,

(Yep, that’s what I’m hearing at this point. A lot of blah, blah, blah with a random disease registering now and then. I’m a lot like Ginger, the dog in Gary Larson’s cartoon, just waiting for my name to crop up which is when I’ll start the storytelling.)
Like I said, I don’t start out as Ginger, the dog. I give confident answers at the beginning of the family history part. And then I start to progressively put lots of ums and ahs in the spaces between her questions and my answers. At the end, I’m awkwardly making jokes because that’s what I do when I’m nervous, and I make lame but entirely earnest promises to do better next time.

My doctor doesn’t deserve to deal with my special brand of eccentricity, but I sure do appreciate that she does.

I wish I knew more about the year of Klorgbot.

The robots are going to take over the world. Well, the robots or the zombies. Today, I’m obsessing over the robot takeover. And you know the robot overlord will be PISSED at the underperforming spies that have been installed everywhere to learn all our secrets to make that takeover as easy and speedy as possible.

Oh sorry, I should probably back up and explain my hypothesis. Which is that all those faulty appliances and electronics we get stuck with? They are all robot spies. They’ve been sent here to spy on us and learn about our ways so that when we hit the year of Klorgbot, they can wipe us out and take over Earth. So, that dishwasher you have that stopped working right after year one? And now only offers the high-powered wash option, and you use it anyway because it seems wasteful to buy another one, even though it’s also damn wasteful to use that stupid high-powered wash option on dishes that have all been pre-rinsed for the love of Pete. So, you stop pre-rinsing because why the hell not. And your dishwasher responds by illustrating to you how very, very little it means by high-powered, and you throw up your hands, look at the stupid dishwasher, and shout, “WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH YOU, YOU PIECE OF TRASH!?!” And you walk away. Well, all I’m saying is that dishwasher is actually Wash n’ Listen v2.3.8, and it was supposed to work correctly for years (with all its options, I should add) so as not to arouse any suspicion as to its primary purpose in your household.

You don’t know this, but Wash n’ Listen v2.3.8 went through years of tweaks and testing so that it could hide all of its robot parts in the small spaces left after accounting for the dishwasher parts. Well, you can probably guess after looking at that version number. Robots are pretty uptight little devils, so you can imagine the kind of development and research that v2.3.8 reflects. Anyway, we own the Wash n’ Listen v.2.3.8, and I’m very careful about what I say around it. I don’t discuss anything too important around that nasty little guy. I don’t need that kind of information going back to the overlord. It can just find it out for itself through some other means. Wait……wait……just had a panicked moment. But, I’m much better. I remembered that it’s the aliens with the probey things. I’m breathing normally again.

Anyway, I just wanted to send this out there to all you faulty-appliance/electronics-havers to let you know to give those dudes the side-eye and be very careful what you say around them.

It looks like science is ignoring my repeated requests, so I guess I’ll have to do it my own damn self.

So, I was at the dentist the other day, and I realized that I’m going to have to go all scientisty (Yes, it IS a word. But just trust me on that. There’s no need to verify it.) and create a detachable tongue. I’ve been involved in a letter-writing campaign (not really: see website name) imploring scientists to devise a tongue upgrade that I could purchase because my dentist appointments are just becoming so increasingly uncomfortable that I feel certain they are furtively discussing ways to boot me from their practice every time I’m exiting the building.

Here’s what’s going down. Every time I go in for my teeth cleaning, it’s like my tongue is doing this seduction dance with my hygienist, and I’m mortified. It curls and caresses and cuddles the instruments (and if a finger gets close enough, that finger receives love, too) during the entirety of the cleaning. And if it’s not trying to get all flirty, at the very least, it’s trying to get all up in his business. He’ll be in one corner of my mouth cleaning away, and here comes my tongue all poking and prodding and pushing the tools to and fro. Despite my feverish attempts to control the damn thing. And I’m internally whispering furiously to the stupid appendage to STOP IT RIGHT NOW or no more sugary or salty substances EVER. Just bland rice from this point forward. Does it make a difference to my stupid tongue? Not one bit of difference. It keeps on keeping on, either playing Captain Seductive, or doing its best to remain between whatever torture device my hygienist is wielding and the tooth he is trying dutifully to clean.

But I have a solution. A terrific solution. A removable tongue! I just need to design the damn thing. Stupid scientists won’t give me the time of day. They are apparently busy doing other things more important. I can’t imagine what could be more important than a detachable tongue, but what do I know. Anyway, I’ve begun working on some solutions. Here’s what I’ve got so far.

Detachable Tongue Solutions for HM Dental Patients
Detachable Tongue Solutions for HM Dental Patients

You know, this could also be helpful in other situations as well. Let’s say that you are dealing with a person who really tries your patience and you’ve been pushed to the limit. You are getting ready to say something that you know you shouldn’t. Well, just quickly detach that tongue of yours and fling it to the side before you can say something you’ll regret, and you, dear friend, are saved an awkward apology later. You are very very welcome. Now, I’ll just need to determine how much to charge for this genius baby I’m inventing after I work through all the design issues. I’m going to be so rich!

I’d need a cool catchphrase. Something like, “Courageously Kicking Clutter to the Curb”. Yeah, that sucks. I’ll keep working on it.

I have this fantasy of being a superhero. THE SUPERHERO BANISHING THE WORLD OF CLUTTER. I’m in the gang with all the other superheroes. Because who else are you going to hang with. Everyone else is so pathetic, what with being ordinary and all. Anyway, we’d be meeting for strategy sessions all the time, and they’d be talking about their plans for evil-banishing and such, and I’d have to be all “working without a net” because I’d be the only one banishing the world of clutter. I’d be the exceptional superhero. I’d have no backup. Any one of them could call in with a sick day, and I’d be like, “Dude, I have the WORST case of pink eye ever, but I’ve gotta come in. That clutter’s not going to declutter itself. See you guys in a bit.” So, we’d all leave the Batcave. You know we’d be headquartered in the Batcave, right? I mean, you’ve seen that place. It’s sick. We’d hang out with that simp Batman just for his sweet digs. Anyway, we’d holler out an enthusiastic, “BREAK!” and go off on our separate missions. Everyone else to fight crime/evil/forces of darkness. And I’d go off to fight clutter. It’s a valid cause, not to be underestimated. Clutter is some serious shit, y’all. Like, let’s just say that your mother gave you a check for Christmas to cover some stuff that you bought all spontaneous-like for your kids and wanted to have your uncle give them for the holiday. And let’s just say you found that check TWO MONTHS LATER. Because of the evil of clutter. Do I need to say more?

And nobody takes clutter all that seriously. Well, except for me. Which is how that check happened to disappear into a drawer for later perusal with a stack of other offending items. I hear you. You’re saying that it’s my fault that the check was only found two months later because I threw it in that drawer. That my irrational fear of clutter caused the whole mess in the first place. At least that’s what I think you were saying. The dog was barking, and I had to let her outside. But maybe you have a point. I don’t know. All I know is this. I LOATHE CLUTTER. When my surroundings are messy, I get twitchy. Or more accurately, when surroundings under my control are messy, I get twitchy. When I’m in someone else’s house or office, and it looks like some natural disaster just took place, I’m pretty chill. Unless you are getting ready to ask me to locate something in there. Then, I’m probably prepping my look of incredulity for you. But if I’m in my home or work space and things are messy, I’m squirrelly. Which is why I’m supremely happy when the house is clean and clutter-free. I reach a state of zen where I smile benevolently at everyone, and people are free to mess me about in ways that I wouldn’t tolerate in a clutter zone. Lexi, would you care to poop on my foot, dear dog? Go right ahead, but be sure to clean it up afterwards because that’s clutter. Love you, pup. Anna and JT? Would you like to play on your electronics for hours on end while you rot your brain irrevocably? Please feel free to do so. I’m in my clutter-free space, and life is good.

Of course the truth of the matter is that the clutter-free space cannot be maintained with these people that I live with. And I don’t know if it’s purposeful. I haven’t seen any indications to make me suspect so, but if I step outside of the situation, I’d think it would be funny to see my reactions to the cluttering of my space just as I get everything in order. I’ll clean the house, and instruct everyone as to where items belong. This is always a repeat of previous instructions, so it’s not like people don’t know where to put things. Then, an hour will pass and I’ll come into a room and find some random item like a yearbook laying in the center of a table. Like a beacon. Perhaps to draw attention to this table as the upcoming center of clutter. I can hardly wait! I’m breathless with anticipation! And what’s worse? Sometimes the items my family members leave around are odd, rarely-used items that I swear they pull out purely to mess with my mind. Wonderful! Here is my pet rock circa 2004 that I found in a backpack in the garage. I’m going to pull this out and put it on that table where I placed that yearbook the other day. I’m on the fence about whether to keep this pet rock or not, so I’ll just put it on the table. I think the answer will come to me, or it will disappear. I’m ok with that, too. It’s kind of ugly. It really looks like it came from the street in front of our house. 

When I see these items, I stop and immediately freak out. I may pace while muttering unintelligibly to myself. But I’m always hilariously irate at the object, whatever it may be. You stupid, stupid pet rock. You are going into the trash right now. Good grief! Where in the world did he even find you? You are the ugliest piece of gravel I’ve ever even seen. Why can’t you at least have a sheen or a color of some sort to recommend you? You know he’s already forgotten you even exist, right? He put you down here and promptly forgot that he did so. Because you are stupid. And ugly. You are gravel. And you are now trash. Well, I’m obviously not going to put you in the trash because that’s stupid. You are gravel. I’m going to put you in the street. But cars are going to drive over you. How do you like that, huh?

Maybe my family members are slowly trying to desensitize me to clutter? If so, that’s sweet, I guess. If I try really hard to look on the bright side. But IT’S NOT WORKING, SO QUIT IT!!!

I think I’m sending mixed signals.

My hair says, “Let’s go to the beach, people! Let’s go right now! Drop everything you’re holding and let’s go, or you are a complete waste of my time!” The rest of my appearance says, “Let’s complete a logic puzzle right now! Or a book! Yes, a book! Come on! YAY! Wait, why are you giving me that face?”

I know I’ve talked about my hair before. You’re sick of it. I get it. But it’s been a bit of a problem area in my life at times. For example, in middle and high school, it was just a really large mass on my head occupying a small country’s share of real estate. It commanded so much of my attention that I was barely able to exist back then, let alone navigate the social and educational minefields that I was trying to meander through. By college, I was able to negotiate an uneasy truce with the mass on my head. We’ve had some good times and some bad times since then. There was a time where I thought it would be a good idea to get a perm (!!!) on the advice of a hairstylist who had surely been sent to me straight from Satan himself. I was able to hunker down and wait for the perm to grow out. I made it through ok, and my loved ones were ok as well. I’m reasonably certain that I didn’t harm any strangers in those long, long months waiting for that perm to grow out, but I really can’t say for certain. People have eyes, you know. I can say that no civil suits were brought against me for pain and suffering caused by the sight of my voluminous, frizzy hair explosion, so I consider that a personal victory. Recently, I’ve grown to actually like, if not love, my hair thanks to the curly hair-trained specialists at Bombshell who taught me some key styling steps as well as to NEVER BRUSH MY HAIR. You’re aghast. Or you’re not surprised. I don’t know. But with curly hair, brushes are to frizz as blogging is to oversharing. Wait, that’s not a good analogy. Let me try again. Brushes are to frizz as …. You know what, I’ll let it stand. I’m thinking back to some of my posts, and the analogy isn’t that far off.

I was meeting with my business partner a couple of days ago (I’m starting a business! YIPPEE!!), and she mentioned offhandedly that I was a preppy. And I immediately dropped my head in shame, as you should when accused of this, and conceded the truth in the statement. I’ve never veered from this awful state of dress. It’s saddening. I wish I’d gone through a fun goth stage to mix things up at least. Sure, with my crazy locks, a goth stage could not be sustained for long, but preppy is not a look that goes with my head suit either. When I first met one of my college roommates, I distinctly remember her slam on my ridiculous number of khakis. She called them tackies. I remember thinking to myself, “Good one, Lisa,” while struggling mightily to come up with some sort of retort. She wasn’t dressed much better — it wasn’t a great time for fashion — but the slam was legendary.  But I dress very conservatively. Like a banker. Or an accountant. Nothing against those professions, obviously. I’m married to a banker, and I think he’s all kinds of hot. But if you look at me while shielding your eyes to block out my hair, you might want to hand over your tax paperwork to me, so I could prepare your taxes. Let me caution you not to do that, however. You will not get a refund. You will probably owe the government thousands of dollars. However, I could compose a kick-ass letter to the government, which I could submit along with that hefty check you’re sending them (incorrectly, because I did your taxes wrong in the first place, but why do you want to focus on the negative, huh?) that would convince Uncle Sam to send that check right back to you along with a bunch of extra cash. OK, maybe not. But I could compose a kick-ass letter to the government that would make them chuckle. How about that? Does that help? Probably not. Anyway, it was probably inevitable that this stupid style of dress would stick forever because I was obsessed when I was an impressionable kid with this book.  I was too young to be the target audience, but I enjoyed reading it because it was funny and ridiculous. I already dressed similarly, so there was stupid validation within its plaid cover. Way to go, Birnbach. This is all on you.

The Official Preppy Handbook
The Official Preppy Handbook