Monday, December 30, 2013

Hey Pharon!

Well hello there, friends! How was your Christmas? Mine was wonderful. Relaxing, fun, family-filled, blah blah blah. It was great. Now, of course there were blog-worthy things that probably happened, but I had a week off of work, so blogging was the furthest thing from my mind. Oh and also, my computer wouldn't turn on and I was too lazy to figure out why. (Turns out, my laptop -- which needs to be plugged in to work -- was unplugged, but the plug was under the couch. I was way too busy laying on said couch to look around and figure that out.)

But, new year, new Pharon! I have made several resolutions that include losing the 100 pounds I've gained since locking down a husband, learning how to not burn eggs and saving money for a new computer by stealing from Geo's wallet. And yes, blogging more is also on that list.

Now, as anxious as I am to start doing unpleasant adult-like things, I feel like I've got some loose ends to tie up. As we all know, 2013 was a big year for Little Miss Wonderful (ME!) and there were lots of things that happened. I got married, challenged social and gender misconceptions, bought a leather skirt, moved and stared fear in the face because of a scary neighbor.

I've gotten a lot of questions in real life that I feel like I've failed to address and over-discuss on my blog. And before the end of the year, I feel like just dumping it all on you so I can start blogging next year and not have to stop to explain why I have dreamed up an imaginary friend named Lucy Treadwell.

1) Hey Pharon, how's Rochester?: Well, Rochester is okay. I miss meeting friends out for a trip to the mall or the gym or the bar with less than a 2-week advance notice, but it's growing on me. Geo has been awesome and we laugh all the time and he makes me do fun stuff. I love my house a LOT because it's big and there are no mice and we have a garage and not once has anything prompted me to build a home-made security gate. So it's bittersweet. And until the ice/winter came, I could go home whenever I wanted, but now? Not so much. So...I'm adjusting.

2) Hey Pharon, how's that video game you were obsessed with going?: Yes, I played WAY TOO MUCH Grand Theft Auto V for quite a long stretch there. But I stopped. Not because I wanted to, but because Geo moved the Xbox down to the man cave and that room bums me out. So, I haven't played it in months.

3) Hey Pharon, what's the best part about being married?: So far, it's been pretty awesome to spend time with my favorite person in the world every single day. It's taken some getting-used-to, but I really like having Geo around to help me with stuff and lean on. Also, I have gone for like 5 days without showering more than once and there's not a damn thing he can do about it. He HAS to love me. It's the LAW.

4) Hey Pharon, are you still going to the gym?: The short answer here is technically. I miss my old gym A LOT and don't like all the spandex-y women at my new gym, so I have largely been avoiding it. But I'm going. Well, I've GONE. And I will be going more in 2014, I promise. I have to. I'm in two weddings in the first half of 2014 and don't want anyone to mistake me for being pregnant and then judging me when I get drunk and lift my bridesmaid dress over my head on the dancefloor.

5) Hey Pharon, how come you haven't written a blog in so long?: I know, I know. It's been bad for awhile now. I just kind of do the same thing EVERY NIGHT so rather than bore people with another story about how much I love TV, I keep my computer under the couch. But, as I have done about 5 or 6 times in the past year, I promise I'm working on it and will try to be better at enriching your lives with loveliness and hilarity and a willing butt-of-a-joke.

6) Hey Pharon, do you miss your friends at home?: Of course I do, dum dums. I miss seeing my friends faces whenever I want and chatting with them about this and that. I even missed them so much one night that I dreamed up this fun chick named Lucy Treadwell. She's pretty cool. Yeah, she's a little too chatty and BOY can she put away a bottle of wine, but she's a great imaginary friend.

Okay, so are we good here? Did I answer your burning questions you've had lately? I hope so because now I can go into 2014 with all my cards on the table and everyone in the loop. But if I've missed anything, slap your need-to-know question in the Comments and I'll do my best to answer them. And while we're talking about the Comments section, why don't you go ahead and type in YOUR New Year's resolutions so I know what I'm up against this year....

Thursday, December 19, 2013

That is SICK!

It started a couple days ago. Geo's allergies were more annoying obvious than usual. He sounded like Barry White swallowed a frog and he didn't even try and get me to go rock climbing or to the gym or to The Hobbit movie or anything. Something was up. Geo was actually sick.

Then yesterday after work, he declared that he was going to bed at 5 p.m. and I said "Well do you want dinner?" And he was like "I'm not that hungry. Maybe just an entire pizza." Boys. So I made him dinner, brought it up to him in bed and it was like walking into a pre-teen emo cliche. The lights were off, the Miami Heat game flickered softly on the TV and Geo was tucked under the covers with his black hoodie pulled over his eyes. "I can't even look at the light. Can I have a Coke?"

Well, I'm an awesome wife, so I said "Yup, got one right here, buddy."

This morning he didn't go to work, meaning he was REALLY feeling bad. When he got out of bed, he came downstairs to where I was working and announced that he couldn't even drink coffee...that's how bad he felt. And he proceeded to go down to his man cave to lay in the comforting embrace of a dark, windowless room, video games and Netflix. I started to worry about him around lunchtime. I went down and saw him on the couch with his black hoodie covering his face.

"Do you want some NyQuil or something? Or are you hungry? Do you want some dry toast and tea?" That's ALWAYS what I want when I'm sick.

"No, thanks."

"Geo, I will get you whatever you want. What do you feel like? Coffee? 7-Up?"

"Um, maybe just a large double-cheeseburger meal from McDonald's? With a Coke? And maybe an extra double cheeseburger?"

Is that all?

I went and got him the type and amount of food that usually MAKES me sick.

(I also picked myself up a Happy Meal as a reward for being such a great caretaker. Side note: this came with my Happy Meal:
I took that picture and texted it to Geo downstairs to cheer him up. He texted back "best pic ever." So yeah, it was worth it.)

Anyway, around dinner, I asked the patient what he felt like eating. "I'm not really hungry. Can you just get me a twice-baked lasagna from Fazoli's and a Coke?"

No problem.

Okay, so the point is that even when they're sick, boys get to eat whatever they want. It's unfair. Girls (or at least the ones I know) are all dainty when we're sick. We need tea and dry toast, and maybe some know, when we're feeling up to it. But not men. No. they need MORE junk. Then again, I'm usually only sick for a day or two, whereas Geo will still be talking about his watery eyes on New Year's Eve. I guess it's a trade off. Whatever. I'd take the McDonald's ANY DAY.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy holidays from the Pharon Squares!

Ah...'tis the season to start getting loads of adorable Christmas (sorry, HOLIDAY) cards in the mail. I love getting these cards. I do. Everyone looks so bright and...merry. I love getting them and taping them up to a wall and thinking "Hmm. My friends and family sure clean up nice. Not a hint of crazy in any of their pics!"

Okay, so while I do love getting these cards, I also think it's a titch weird. The only people who send these cards have something to showcase in their pics. Their kids. Their wedding. Their pets (shudder). What, do you guys think you're better than me? Prettier than me? More interesting than me?

(Disclaimer: I couldn't send out wedding pics for a Christmas card because we already used a pic for thank you cards. Also, we haven't sent out all our thank you cards yet.)

Fine. You probably are more interesting and prettier than me. You probably have some adorable picture of some wrinkly baby or a pudgy dog...or a wrinkly dog and a pudgy baby...and it's probably so cute that I'll tape it on my wall for a couple weeks and walk past it thinking things like "What a super awesome family. I should probably change out of these socks I've been wearing for 3 days."

I've always loved my family's Christmas cards. We've got a huge family now, so it's like hilarious to send out a picture of 412 people to others being like "Here's our family this year. Yup, there's a few more people in there, but even WE can't keep track of everyone's names."

But as a kid, it was usually just me and my brothers and sisters and I still love those pictures. They are proof that my parents had gotten the five of us kids to stand in clean clothes long enough to actually document the event. My dad would snap pics while my mom would wrangle the five hooligans. We'd punch each other, step on each others toes and call each other "putz" while my parents silently wondered how easy it would be to run away from us and head for Aruba. But every year, the glossy picture would be sent out with holiday well wishes, and we'd look like an adorable, well-mannered bunch of kids. I don't know how my parents did it, but they always made us look good and worthy of being taped onto the wall.

I asked Geo if he wanted to take a Christmas card picture this year and he gave me a resounding No. He was like "People know what we look like." And he's right. But I don't want to rob you fine people of getting a little glimpse into what my wonderful life has been like lately. So I DID make a Christmas card this year documenting me at my finest, and it would be a crime not to share this with you all. Feel free to print it out and tape it up wherever you'd like. Happy holidays, nerds!

Monday, December 16, 2013


OMG. Christmas shopping. Anyone else get titch stressed out with this? I LOVE Christmas. AND I love shopping. Every other year, it's been a total joy to spend a couple nights out at the malls and stores finding something good for everyone on my list. I liked picking things up, holding them, pretending to give them to the recipient and feigning humbleness when they say "OMG, Pharon. This present has changed my life." It was the best.

But now, all my shopping is done online. The mall by me has 5 stores, and 4 of them are for underwear or bath products for preteens. Disturbing. So I took to the interwebs this year. Listen, I know how to find the perfect pair of brown riding boots in an eternal sea of websites. I don't know how to find "great gift ideas for your sister Padrin." It's too hard. 

Here are the worst things about online shopping:

* Shipping: Screw you, every site ever. You're literally making me PAY for not doing my shopping two weeks ago? That's just mean.

* Deliveries: Dudes, I just got married this summer. I'm accustomed to getting packages delivered to my door that are FOR ME. Instead, the UPS man drops off things just about every day that I eagerly open only to be reminded that it's not for ME. Ugh. Grinchy.

* Bad photography: The worst thing anyone can do online is put a picture of their product that does not accurately reflect the product itself. Whether I'm buying a phone case or a Swedish wife, I want to know I'm looking at exactly the same thing I'm ordering. I have gotten at least 2 things delivered to me that I've been like "Whoa. No. This's not right." They end up being too small, too large, poor quality, or not even remotely as skilled at being a robot maid as shown in an ad.

* Returns: Unless you're Zappos, your return policies and procedures are THE WORST. That is all.

* Requirement of phone numbers: Why, random stranger online, do you need my phone number? YOU DON'T. Back in the first days of the Internet, I threw out my parent's home phone number like it was bread crumbs for hungry birds. I'd just toss it around without any care of what would happen with those bread crumbs. But now, I'm a much smarter bird lady. I HATE giving out my phone number and hate it even MORE when the automated website calls me out for typing in a fake number. You are not better than a drunk guy at the bar. You do not get to complain about a fake number until AFTER I've made my getaway, Internet.

* The wait: When I do a lot of shopping, I like to prance around with zillions of colorful bags like Cher in Clueless. It makes me feel rich and important. But when you shop online, you just feel broke and empty because you spend and spend with absolutely nothing to show for it at the end of the day. You just have to sit and wait for your purchases to just drip into your life piece by piece. In brown cardboard and bubble wrap. As if!

So, while I love to shop for myself online when I have no deadline to meet, it is simply not acceptable for holiday shopping. And when you can't hold something and see it in person, it becomes a very disjointed experience. But, you know, I guess it's better than the alternative: teen underwear and bath products for everyone!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Book your tickets today!

Today was a pretty great day in Minneapolis. I had a big, fun work outing at the zoo AND it was my dad's birthday and my family all got together for an impromptu party! Fun, right?!

Too bad I missed all of it because of the @#$*% weather that made the 100-mile drive seem like a trip to the moon: Overly complicated and needlessly dangerous. I woke up this morning at the crack of 5:30 a.m. to head in to the cities only to learn that the ice, snow, wind and cold had already decided I wouldn't be going anywhere. What a bunch of bitches.

I was stranded.
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Dig in to the local fare, delivered right to your door at your request! In just 1 1/2 hours, the delivery person will show up at your door after trying to navigate the pathetically-plowed streets with a steamy, lukewarm box of pizza that was made in a restaurant just 1 mile away.

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Call your travel agent today!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Feelin' like split

It's taken a few days for me to process the recent development in my adulthood. I had to split holidays for the first time ever for Thanksgiving, and I wasn't too sure how I felt about it. And then Geo and I decorated our Christmas tree together and it got a bit clearer for me.

The thing is, I don't have my childhood ornaments with me. I like keeping them where they grew up...on my parent's tree. They nestle in there with the billions of other ornaments for my sisters and brothers and they just look...right, you know? But Geo's mom sent some of his childhood ornaments back here and now we have a tree full of dozens of horse ornaments (he gets one for every Christmas). It was weird.

But then I got to pump tinsel and gold ribbon and lights all over the tree like it was Lady Gaga in a Mardi Gras parade. Geo didn't love it, but I LOVED it. (I even broke my mom's cardinal tinsel rule of only putting three or four strands on a branch...I straight up DROWNED our tree in tinsel by the handful. REBELLION!) But when all was said and done, his ornaments and my tacky drag-queen taste went perfectly together.

So yeah, the tree decorating experience made it a little easier to cope with having to spend Thanksgiving Day away from my family. We went and spent it with Geo's parents, siblings and his sister-in-law's family instead. I love them all, but I couldn't help but wonder what it was like back at base. Like, is my grandma making her gravy yet? Has anyone told my mom to stop freaking out about seating yet? Did the kids at the kids table take loads of my beloved stuffing and then not eat it? Has my brother taken a nap on the floor in the middle of the main room already? Could all of this still happen without me there?

Now, this is not to say I didn't have fun. Thanksgiving with Geo's family was wonderful and relaxing, and because it would have been rude for me to saunter into the guest room and take a quick 2-hour nap like I might have at home, I didn't miss a thing. It was lovely. Different, but lovely.

But I couldn't help but think about how this would all play out in the future. I don't want to split holidays. I want to spend each and every one with MY family because MY family has the best holidays ever. There are traditions to observe, people, and no one else does those traditions the same as MY family. So, I don't want it to change.

Okay, so it was rough for me this year. Geo and I have always gone our separate ways on holidays. He goes and does his relaxing thing with his family and I submerse myself in joyful and unrelenting noise and chaos at mine. It's always worked just fine.

Ugh, and then it started to make sense. I say "Ugh" because it was such a cheesy and cliche realization. We put our respective crap on one tree for the first time, and it all came together. It didn't look like his tree or my tree, it looked like our tree. And it wasn't half-bad. It was the start of our own traditions, and it was a horribly mature and wonderful thing to realize.

So splitting Thanksgiving was much better than I thought. I can see how this will work in the future.

Except on Christmas. I may have changed my last name, but I will NEVER give up Christmas with my family. NEVER. (You hear that, Geo?)