Category Archives: Incidents

“The Meatloaf!”

About 10 days ago, after staring blankly into our bare freezer until I felt a hint of frostbite, I finally grabbed a pound of ground beef to thaw. I never have any idea what I’m going to do with raw meat once it’s thawed, I just feel like taking meat out of the freezer and putting it on the counter gets me some sort of Wife Points. Once it was mostly thawed, it went back in the refrigerator. Again, this shows at least a shred of preparation and forethought. Even if my entire preparation plan consists of “Thaw meat.”

Clayton came home a little early, then proceeded to fall asleep on the couch. Don’t worry, I’m not about to nitpick about naps. This pot’s just a little too black for all that kettle name-calling. But I did sneak out to go to the gym while he was snoozing. At the gym, I remembered we only ever make two meals involving a pound of ground beef, and we had none of the ingredients for tacos. Meatloaf it was.

To my surprise, or because I had already affixed a “Cook Me!” post-it note to the ground beef—I can’t really remember the details from that long ago—my husband was already working away at that meatloaf when I got home. This allows me the opportunity to still earn a few WP’s without actually cooking by saying, “Hey, I was going to do that!” And then quickly getting out of earshot in case the husband wants to let me follow through on that.

I showered and fixed us two massive salads. The meatloaf was already cooked when we sat down to eat our salads but, seriously, they were like entrée-sized portions, so Clayton put it back in the oven so it wouldn’t get cold. And then the enchanting world of fall television premiers locked us in. Clayton scoffs at oven timers, trusting his laser sharp memory and keen relationship with red meat to sense when food is ready.

So this happened.

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Let’s rewind back to the previous night. The husband wanted to run, and I suggested he try a long run because, now that I can say it, he had decided to run the half marathon. By “long,” I meant 6-8 miles. He doesn’t really ever run unless I con him into it, and then he tops out at about three miles. A bit of the ADD in him. He wanders back in, about a half hour after I’d expected him, and starts to stretch.

“So, how did it go?” I ask, curious as to why he’s not really talking about his big deal run.

“It went good.” Conspicuous pause. “I did 10 miles.”

Of course he did. Of course he runs a handful of times in the past two weeks, heads out one random Tuesday evening and busts out 10 miles. Congratu-freaking-lations. It’s not like other people around here have to train for five months to do something like that. Totally rad for you, dude. Totally. F’ing. Rad.

After this little incident, I’m not going to say I gloated over the meatloaf charring. But I’m not going to say I didn’t gloat, either.

A girl needs to have the upper hand once in awhile. And sweet and sour chicken made for an absolutely delicious upper hand.

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Lucky. Or not.

Clayton and I awarded ourselves for our racing triumph with tickets to Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat for Sunday night. And we were not being ironic. (Are you watching Up All Night? We’re fans.) Yes, we are total suckers for acoustic pop with catchy melodies. Deal with it.

After Colbie serenaded me out of my bad mood, John Rambo Jason Mraz took the stage sporting a very intriguing hairstyle. (source)

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But we quickly forgot about that and sank into his sweet, sweet voice. It was a great show and made even better because I didn’t have to hide out in the bathroom from the thunderstorm we were expecting. Mama doesn’t do lightning, and the concert was at the open nTelos Wireless Pavilion.

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Concert pictures are a lot like pictures of wedding ceremonies. You always fall into the peer pressure of taking a hundred shots because everyone else is, and then you get home and you’re all, “what am I ever going to do with these?” Start a blog. Problem solved.

I even held out for the first few songs with Mrazzle Dazzle (do you think that will catch on?) until Clayton looked down at me in disdain and said with such contempt, “You’re not going to take any pictures? Did you leave your heart and soul at that half marathon finish line?” I’m paraphrasing. But he talked me into taking seven stupid blurry photos. And now I have 0.0009 bytes (or whatever) of memory on my computer that I can’t use for Bryson pictures.

JMraz was super at getting the crowd into the show with sing-alongs like “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” which you know was on my “Now and Then” soundtrack. It made for a fun atmosphere, but our poor sore legs were very displeased with having to sit, stand, sit, stand, etc. for three hours. It was like a Catholic church service but with less oppressive tension and more overpriced booze. Then Colbie came back out for a duet in shorty shorts and every thought except how I could surgically remove her legs and transplant them to my body went out of my head.  

We really needed this pick-me-up after a tough day on a couple of bar stools. The Dolphins didn’t come through despite the fail-proof introduction of Clayton’s lucky charm.

September 20111Yes, that pocket watch on a chain was sitting out in public. In front of me. And my husband insisted I participate in the call-and-response “What time is it"?” situation every time he opened it.

He runs 13 miles with me. I humiliate myself publicly for him. Maybe it’s not the most normal equation, but it works for us.  

I didn’t die, and other recent victories.

It’s been a little crazynuts around here lately. We spent the weekend in Atlanta, which meant I spent last week reorganizing my suitcase to fit the vat of valium required to get my butt on an airplane. It had been nearly two years since I’d flown, and let’s just say I don’t handle it well. The time in between flying only served to make my horrid visions more vivid and help me cross the line from nervous passenger to restrained psycho kicking and screaming as her husband forces her into her seat.

But I gotta say, a little prescribed relaxing magic eased the worst of things, and we had a safe, uneventful trip. And, just maybe, when I had absorbed the full dose of my happy meds, I said aloud that the view really was beautiful.

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Redheads in the Fam. Who knew?!

We made the trek because one of Clayton’s cousins was getting married. Clayton’s family is weird and can’t name every fourth cousin they have and don’t spend half of their vacation walking through cemeteries telling stories of great great grandfathers in front of their graves. (Seriously, don’t ever take a trip to Tennessee with my family.) So that meant we got to see people he hadn’t seen in years and even meet a few cousins for the first time. When one of his cutesy cousins photo bombed a picture of my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, I was in love and was certain that I’d stumbled into the right second family. And when us Noa’s were taking a little too long prepping for our glamour shots, we got this treat.

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Even my non-blood relatives are adorbs. And the Noa’s made a fine showing, if I do say so myself. The five of us held it down for the other nine that didn’t make it. Yes…nine, including other siblings, wives, fiancés and babies. People seriously have to choose an event venue based on whether or not the Noa’s will be attending.  

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Sports Bra to Sports Bar

Saturday was our only full day in Atlanta, and do you know how we kicked it off? No, you don’t, but I’m going to brag about it because it actually happened: my husband and I ran. Together. Without one single threat of separation or a custody battle over Bryson. ‘Twas spectacular. And that little speed demon pushed me to run the fastest 3 miles I’ve ever done. Made it a little more difficult to pull off those four-inch heels later, but so, so worth it.

After we cleaned up, it was time to spend another of many fall weekends hunkered down at a sports bar for three hours. Hallelujah for the arrival of Sam Adams’ Octoberfest. Running faster equates to triple the calories burned, right? Which equates to negating three hours of downing pints, right? I thought so.

My boy wouldn’t be my boy without a diehard love of random teams throughout the U.S., so we were there to watch the Auburn game. Apparently, Hotlanta is somewhat of an Auburn haven, so the bar had a raffle to win tickets to a game. Welp, guess who won? Matt Hall!!! Who has absolutely no relation to the Noa’s whatsoever. But guess who dipped out early and was not present to claim his prize? Matt Hall!!! So then guess whose name they called.

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Mama Noa herself. Who proceeded to excitedly call family and tell them she won tickets to see “The Auburns.” It couldn’t have been cuter.

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Clayton wasn’t exactly supportive. Enraged with envy would be more accurate.

But Auburn won in last-second, breath-holding fashion, I actually showered and dressed in adult clothes in my size, and he got to witness my stellar dance moves, all on the same day. So boyfriend needs to deal.

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Weekenders

We were sick and tired of Yuengling, so Saturday Clayton and I joined a few friends for a “tour” of the Williamsburg AleWerks Brewery. If I were telling you about this in person, I would be using highly exaggerated air quotes around the word tour.

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Now, I should give AleWerks its fair shake. We were about seven minutes late because the brewery is in the middle of an industrial park with poor signage, so it’s entirely possible we missed the interesting, engaging, air-conditioned portion of the tour during that time. As it worked out, we caught the other portion, the segment where an aging brewmaster stood in front a sweating group of beer-seekers, explaining in awfully detailed descriptions the name, manufacturer, price and function of every piece of machinery in their small warehouse. I popped out of my disinterest coma every now and then to offer a courtesy chuckle for his corny jokes about people who drink a lot of beer. Not so original for a brewery tour, I’m guessing.

But then we got to drink beer for free. (We may or may not have also missed the portion of the tour where you paid for it. Woopsies.)

I will give props to Sir Brewmaster for this round. I was mildly entertained by the histories and facts of the different brews, and he even told such a fascinating story I was motivated to try a Belgian White Ale for the second time in my life. And, for the second time in my life, I almost vom’d on a complete stranger just to get that horrid, rank taste out of my mouth. Blech. The Belgians should stick to…wait, what else do the Belgians make?

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Anyway, we more than made up for shirking our tour fee by walking out of there with over $50 in merchandise. Because what my wardrobe was really lacking was another t-shirt. In another impossible-to-match color. Clayton’s fantasies: fulfilled. My work wardrobe: enhanced.

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Sorry…if I don’t ask permission, faces don’t show up on the bloggity blog. Only handfuls of booze.

We made out pretty well and opted to purchase a beer that we didn’t actually taste. Adventurous, party of four. Yeah, don’t ever do that. I can choke it down until we’re finished with it, but I will consider it a sacrifice. The brewmaster hailed this beer as an award-winning, life-changing experience that will alter you at the core. Now I think they must have needed the space for a fall seasonal brew that was being delivered the next day. We are a propagandist’s dream.  

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Labor Day with a Spouse is Still Work

Since we were not good at brewery touring, on Labor Day Clayton tried his hand at something he thought he might be better at.

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I knew better than to ruin my holiday cursing at a tiny, disobedient, vindictive ball, so I did a 100% free ride-along. Not to undercut my sweet husband’s effort, but there were only a few things we seemed to succeed at that day.

Finally sporting some FSU gear (what what!)

Making a spectacle of ourselves as I pranced around the green when a foursome allowed him to “play through,” which meant he had to putt in front of all of them as they stood there watching. I thought it would be fun to skip his putter out to him and pull out the flag from the hole. Apparently, the only way that’s helpful is if you hold onto it, like a placeholder for the golfer to aim at, not fling it aside onto the rough or make up a dance routine with it as your husband is trying to concentrate on putting in front of an audience. Lesson learned.

Getting caught in a hail storm on the 8th hole. Some of us saw the storm approaching. Some of us wanted to take the advice of the dudes flooring it to get back to the clubhouse, who shouted on their way by, “We’re not sticking around for that!” Some of us were screaming from the driver’s seat of the two-speed golf cart that we needed to go now. But of course, some of us wanted to take a few more practice swings and one more terrible drive because they paid $21 to do so. Which meant all of us were hit head-on with pelting hail, drenching rain and opposing winds far, far away from the clubhouse. But none of us are bitter about it because it resulted in a winningly innovative combination of fro-yo toppings that night.

I also like to leave my left blinker on for the duration of my drive.

I guess it’s downhill from here. Since turning 27, I’ve noticed that things have been changing up in here.

Last night I didn’t seem to care if it was rude to be sitting at a coffee shop during open mic night with our backs to the performers. Clayton and I just really needed to communicate to these emo adolescents that we will not be contributing to that highly conspicuous tip jar. Don’t get me wrong, the Noa’s are nothing if not supportive of the struggling artist; in fact, one of us is one. But we’re not supporting a 15-year old singing dangerously off-key to his front row sitting, awkwardly crying girlfriend. Stay in school, buddy.

I think Aroma’s must mass produce these crooners behind the espresso machines. On our way to our car, at least four other acoustic guitar-toting, long bang-flipping, insanely skinny jean-wearing musicians were practicing their depressing wailings along the sidewalk.

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If I had a nickel for every voice that cracked in the middle of an emotional bridge, I could possibly afford that hurricane survival kit the news keeps suggesting. Suckers. We’re from Florida. We ride out Cat 4’s in our sleep, beyotches.

Also troubling to my notions of being in the prime of my youth was this discovery upon my return from Florida:

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Um, really? Not only are those three family-sized boxes of raisin bran, those are the only boxes of cereal we own at this time. My husband checked the pantry, saw we had just one measly box of RB left, went to the store and decided what this family really needed was a trio of the same fiber-rich cereal. Apparently, we are 27 going on 89. If you know me at all, you know my diet consists of coffee, trail mix, more coffee and cereal. This is a shopping failure of catastrophic proportions because I refuse to dodge paranoid Virginians in a desperate search for AAA batteries and bottled water just to right this wrong with some Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch. Just saying the Cap’n’s name makes me weepy. I really, really miss him, guys.

I wanted to feel like my sprightly, chipper self again, so Bryson and I took a trip to the park. And then we caught The Black Lung trying to walk through the smoke blowing through town, compliments of the Dismal Swamp Fire. Basically, it’s a lovely time to be in Virginia.

We stayed long enough to break a few rules.

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And to make a few suggestions to the higher-ups.

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And to be all manner of adorable.

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Call me crotchety, but that’s the only ambitious, hormonal teenager I’m willing to support financially at the moment.

Irene, et al.

The weather is crazytown over here this week. When we left for Florida, the temperature was consistently in the upper 90s in Virginia. I returned to a yummy, crisp morning in the 70s and a high of 82 on Tuesday.

And then there was an earthquake. Odd for Virginia. Bryson and I managed to hold down the fort unscathed. The apartment did rattle, but I thought an overweight upstairs neighbor was possibly rearranging some furniture. Nope, earthquake. Scratch that one off the bucket list.

After our little babyquake, the weather was still rockin’ compared to the inferno I left in Florida. I decided to make a date with this pretty lady, a birthday treat from my husband who obviously perused the wish list. Good boy.

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Don’t worry, that’s when I got home, not when I left. What’s throwing you off is that my wrist is not saturated with sweat. Who knew I’m not a disgusting manbeast sweater when the humidity drops below 95%?! Also aiding in the lack of exertion-related sweat? Walking the last half mile because I haven’t even pretended to exercise in six days.

This run was toooough. Usually my legs protest for the first half mile or so. Tonight, they whined and moaned every single step during their reintroduction to running. They weren’t having it.

But I had to get this trot in before that finicky Irene comes to town. (Source)

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Just to recap, that’s a wacky change in temperature, an earthquake and a hurricane in one week. I’m officially in the market for an underground apocalypse shelter.

For Tree

It’s Saturday morning. 5:41 a.m. I have about an hour until my alarm goes off suggesting a morning run and about an hour and three seconds until I toss it out the window. Clayton and I (and Bryson) are awoken by the sound of the entire house shaking, like someone with an otherworldly wing span grabbed the four corners and went to town for a few seconds.

In the same breath, Clayton darts up, says, “sounded like thunder,” and falls right back to sleep. Bryson and I are still double checking that we didn’t wet our beds and looking around furiously to make sure we haven’t been swept up in a Kansas-style twister and hurled into a world of dancing little people. Neither seemed to be the case, but I thought maybe I should check things out because the friendly giants usually shake us awake on Thursdays, not Saturdays.

I ever-so-courageously took 20 minutes to peek around the corner of the bedroom doorway into the hallway. Clear. The rest of the house, all doors and windows, were clear, too. Then I looked in the backyard. And our weekend plans changed a bit.

Meet Tree!

Tree was so tired of standing still for years and years and years. He got so bored in the neighbor’s yard never getting played with or talked to, and he saw all this fun we were having in our backyard, with grilling chicken, working out (yeah, I do in the backyard, move on), roughhousing with a big adorable dog. It all looked SO EXCITING to Tree. And standing there holding onto all that rain was so, so heavy on his limbs. So he decided to make a move. A big time, game changing move for his life.

And Tree up and moved to our yard. Loudly. Awkwardly. Without asking. And really, really inconveniently.

I wasn’t exactly sure what the next step was in this situation. We are new to being attacked by nature. I woke Clayton up, but I didn’t want to completely freak his freak. I kept my Dog Whisperer calm-assertive engery in check and simply said, “Clayton. There’s a tree on the roof.”

We are renting this house, and because nothing of ours was damaged, we didn’t feel the need to deal with the tiny problem of a tree protruding through the roof until closer to 9 a.m. It’s the weekend, hello. I’m guessing the realtor/property manager is glad we felt that way.

Kickball playoffs were also Saturday, and we really couldn’t be bothered with this mess while trying to focus on taking home the gold. “No, realtor, we cannot stick around for five hours and make sure raccoons don’t start renting out rooms in the attic or setting up a secret neighborhood gambling ring. WE HAVE KICKBALL PLAYOFFS.”

The realtor, who manages our house as more of a favor to a family friend than an actual job, has never been much for going above and beyond the call of duty. We’re still waiting on a response about the water heater that a professional said could “go at any minute.” In February. He called Clayton after we had secured a victory in our first playoff game and said the tree service could not come until the next day, and he would try to get the roofers to patch the roof early next week. In the meantime? Call him if it starts to rain, and he’ll head over with a tarp.

Really? We need to alert him if it rains? Doesn’t THE RAIN alert you when it rains? How about we get plain out of control and just put the tarp on now? I know, I know, it’s so much more fun to scale a ladder in a torrential downpour and try to secure a slippery tarp to a failing roof in the middle of a thunderstorm while avoiding the massive tree-shaped hole, but I’m just spitballing here.

Obviously, we were quite concerned about the salvaging of our rental house. I mean, we could have gone straight to the cookout celebrating our mediocre kickball performance, but we didn’t. We went home for a half hour first to move our television away from the potential drip zone. Clayton couldn’t spend one second longer away from the Action Area, and before I put my purse down, I see his hot pink kickball shirt darting up the ladder onto the roof. The unavoidable, masculine drive to “check things out,” I suppose.

He actually had an impressive moment of inspiration and used an extra* shower curtain liner and the heavy duty stapler we got at JoAnn Fabrics (don’t ask) to create a makeshift cover that the idiot raccoons would hopefully not be able to figure out. Pick another attic, a-holes.  

And then we left for the rest of the night, repeating the mantra “It ain’t our house.” Is that mean? Whatevs, I had some cornhole redemption to take care of (which I did NOT) and Doritos to consume (which I very much DID).

This morning the tree service showed up bright and early and got to work. I pretended to sleep for two more hours, but it’s difficult with size 10 work boots stomping around the roof and chainsaws buzzing away.

This was not the future Tree had imagined, I’m afraid.

*Edit: My mistake. We are now missing a shower curtain liner in our bathroom. 

Nick Lachey is an Ungrateful Prima Donna

Ok, maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. But, just like his career and marriage, Nick Lachey did freeze my computer. And after all these years of being Team Nick, envisioning myself as the Doritos girl in that video and not mocking the full on winter white ribbed turtleneck. The nerve.

Per usual, cleaning out the office became 7 hours of sitting Indian style on the floor looking through photo albums, reading through diaries from the most dramatic four years of high school EVER (at least to the author, who shall remain nameless) and dusting off now-obsolete electronics, e.g. the compact disc. I was so excited to slip Nicky L. and all 98 of his degrees into the ol’ laptop and begin my morning sobbing through the sweet melodies of “Because of You.” But itunes is a music snob, and it refused to play anything beyond the first eight seconds.

But it’s ok because check out the other gems I found:

R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” single, so appropriately timed with crazy NBA Finals plus a creepsy sex scandal

The Armageddon soundtrack, which was actually a present for my 13thbirthday. I think it was the second CD I ever owned (the first being Boyz II Men’s “II” album, of course) and I felt way cooler than I should have, especially considering that was the pre-braces era. Yowza.

I’m getting organized for something I’m not really supposed to be talking about, but I couldn’t resist after being serenaded by the heavy chops of Steven Tyler.

To make sure I stop talking about what I’m not supposed to be talking about, how about I talk about some other stuff I didn’t really want to talk about.

The running situation. Believe it or not, this Saturday marked exactly two months since I started running consistently. I know this for a fact because, sometimes, that one ounce of Type-A-ness pokes its little head out in the form of painfully formatted Excel spreadsheets*. And the first entry in my fancy schmancy Run Tracker (that apparently exists in all kinds of awesomeness FOR FREE on the world wide web) was April 4. To honor the occasion–not really, I only just now discovered the coincidence—I ran an 8k last Saturday, June 4.

Not that it totally devalued and overshadowed my eight weeks of intense, injury-riddled, mentally draining training or anything, but one week before the race, my husband also decided to show up and run it. Way faster than me. No worries, though, because I didn’t collapse, I finished faster than my “If I do not finish before this time, I will rip my DriFit tank into shreds, flick off the photographers and push over the porta-potties with rage-filled Domino precision” time, AND we got two free beers just for showing up. Bam.

(I’ve learned that reflective clothing helps discourage the golf cart bringing up the tail end of the race from repeatedly running into my heels. I’m assuming it’s an accident, not a hint, race crew.)

I have no clever way to wrap up a post about a vat of nothing, but let’s take it out on a high note.

 *Other instances include refolding the towels after Clayton has attempted to, reloading the dishwasher after Clayton has attempted to and organizing my bookshelf by color of book. I am of the strong opinion that my seven months working at Bed Bath & Beyond reduce the Nagging Wife Factor implied by these behaviors.

Untold Stories

I only agreed because I didn’t think we’d be allowed to proceed. But oh, did that desk clerk at Sandy Bottom Nature Park throw me for a loop with her “sure you can take pets on the boats!” I faked a pleasant reaction and paid the woman.

My husband likes to think that we can read each other’s minds. I mean, I’m pretty dead-on when I do it, but him? Lacking. So, while I was in charge of compiling research and data, delivering payment, plotting the course and acquiring the key, two life jackets and two paddles, Clayton was in charge of watching our dog. Not moving, just watching. I came through splendidly with my portion and teetered my way down the sidewalk to our former picnic table with paddles smacking and life jackets dragging along the ground, nearly toppling over with every step. And my husband was missing.

After two different strangers mockingly noted and gestured that “the canoes are that way,” I was ready to file for divorce and fight for sole custody of B-dizzle. But then the boys appeared, looking all too “this is going to be awesome!” to my “what the hell, Clayton?”

We arrive at the canoes to find The World’s Largest Great Dane, who was just itchin’ to meet our family of three. Looked like he was going to get his wish when we saw he was being detained by an 80-pound owner who was almost hurled backwards over the bench when the great dane raised his eyebrows. We were not as obliged. Dude was skurry looking. (I know, I’m a hypocrite.)

The kind dane owner must have sympathized with our darting eyes, furiously trying to recalculate our path to the canoes, and pulled the 489-pound pup further down the trail. We could exhale. For about a half a second.

The canoes were ginormous and, as Clayton and I long ago retired our Strong Man hopes, getting that boat into the water was going to require all hands on deck. Not three hands on deck while one hand wrestled a stubborn, sand-sniffing Bryson. Thankfully, the easiest part of the whole ordeal turned out to be tying Bryson to the canoe rack and letting him entertain himself while we finagled the canoe up, over and down onto the ground. Thank you, two years working as a personal trainer. (And thank you husband/orthopedic PA who will soon be treating my torn rotator cuff.)

Bryson had sufficiently covered every hair on his body with muddy sand in the two minutes it took for us to move the canoe. I guess he’s good at some things.

About a million “Come on’s,” “Up, up, up’s,” and “Good boy’s!” later, Bryson goofily half stepped/half-tripped INTO THE CANOE. Terrified. Antsy. Distraught. But all four legs were touching the boat bottom. From that point on, my entire mission in life was to keep Bryson IN THE BOAT. Using a stealthy combination of power-locked thighs around B’s torso, a death grip on his collar and a seriously stern Mother of All Punishment (MoAP) voice, I got him to obey me about 40% of the time.

Clayton gave us a push and then hopped in to fulfill his role of all-time-rower. Don’t feel bad. 1) He liked outrageously dramatizing the effort to make his biceps pop and 2) you try being all-time-disciplinarian to a mischievous 109-pound, curious canine canoe virgin. Thought so.

The first few minutes dawdling away from the shore were the most precarious of the day. Bryson was throwing around his boat-shifting weight from lying down to sitting to standing to streeeeetching out along the entire length of the boat. Every movement tilted the canoe in a time-freezing, this is it, iceberg ahead! dangerously off-center way. I was positive I was swimming home.

It was so entertaining, in fact, a darling spectator was not shy about gaping at our efforts from the moment we put the boat in the water. Last I checked, I hadn’t signed a reality show deal with Bravo, so dude needed to either lend a hand or move it on down the road. Instead, when we had floated a bit out of eyesight, Creepsy McGee stands up, moves to a better vantage point and stares at us. I suppose, like me, he saw the future You-Tube video in the making.

There was a brief span when Bryson calmed down enough for us to actually enjoy the ride. And that’s when Clayton took a detour from the shimmering, inviting lake and headed under a bridge into the sewage inlet. It took a good stern MoAP “suggestion” to get that boat turned back around and my dry heaving under control.

When B-dog had accepted his motionless, prostrate fate of not being able to see or sniff anything but the sides of the canoe, I think he really developed a passion for boating. Or just didn’t throw up on my Rainbows. Same diff. And then we snapped these little mementos, one of which was posted on Facebook for the distinct purpose of making my dog appear adorable and not life-endangering.

Should Have Gone with the Hyphen

Clayton warned me. He made sure that I understood taking on the Noa name was basically painting a giant bulls-eye on your forehead. That ends up being crooked and totally not the colors you requested. I thought the Noas were exaggerating about their trouble with companies and customer service departments. Two years in, I completely get it.

Yes, everyone has issues with installing this, setting that up, having this delivered. But with the Noa surname, it is EVERY installation, EVERY set-up, and EVERY delivery. Nothing goes smoothly. Ever. I understand that I am a middle class American about to whine about a deluxe cable package being installed in my three-bedroom home. You’re just going to have to get over that part.

The volcano of broken promises and miscommunication erupted this past week in our dealings with DirecTV. This won’t come as a surprise to them because they should have received my three-page letter by now. Seriously. I won’t bore you with every single one of their failings; just know that this is the cliff note version of their incompetence.

Clayton scheduled installation for this past Saturday between 8AM and 12PM. Confirmed it twice with two separate people. Saturday came but no one from DirecTV did. So we called. No record of installation scheduled for Saturday. Our set-up was “in the system” for September 27. Um, no thank you. Supervisor, please. After a long-winded discussion, the supervisor promised us someone would come install our DirecTV that Monday. Monday morning, Clayton received a recorded message saying there was a shortage of equipment and we would need to reschedule our appointment. After calling and being on the phone for nearly two hours, they gave us another installation appointment for September 22, 11 days later than our original date. I was already hours late to work (to a job that does not give me paid time off) because I’d been waiting for the tech and dealing with customer service. When Clayton got home that night, he called a different number that took him to what we think may be a corporate office. He spoke with a fellow who said some reassuring things about asking the contracted tech company to make our installation a priority. He also promised to call Clayton back within 48 hours, which he did not. Clayton called that number again last night since he didn’t hear from Mr. Promise Maker. The rep confirmed the latest appointment time that I’d been told: September 22.

Cut to this morning at 7:30AM. My phone rings. I don’t answer it because I’m half human, half giant bad mood swing when I get woken up. The message was from a lovely DirecTV technician who was on his way to our house. Today, September 17. Ok, DirecTV, your battle plan of enrage, confuse, and surprise is kind of working. Because Clayton and I still have no idea how there is, at this moment, a guy in a DirecTV shirt waltzing around our roof and drilling holes in our walls. But we ain’t asking no more questions. The optimist in me really wants to believe that DirecTV actually made a move to fix their mistakes. The other part of me is pretty sure that, when this guy leaves, we aren’t going to have DirecTV and my pearls are going to be missing. Stay tuned…