This Is Not a Love Story

 
Tonight...erm, the way things have been going...I better just say sometime this week...THE STORY CONTINUES!

I know, I know...it's been a couple months...life got hectic. Don't worry loves, you'll hear all about it soon. :)

Love,
The Gerbil
 
 
Lots of people say the way to a loved one's heart is through their stomach. Even Glamour (yes, I'm that girly!) published an article touting the recipe for Engagement Chicken--which is basically a roasted chicken served with roasted veggies, and not difficult to prepare at all, but that's beside the point.

The GF and I are big eaters. We love food--scratch that...we love GOOD food. I noticed in the first few months of our relationship that nearly every time we went out to Expensive Italian Restaurant (even though it's not near good enough for the price tag), she ordered chicken marsala. It's one of her favorite dishes, but I'd never had it because I'm allergic to mushrooms (I know, sad, right?) and nearly every restaurant makes the sauce with mushrooms in it.

So...for one of our "month-iversaries" I looked up several recipes, adapted it to fit our tastes (and my allergies) and made it for us. IT. IS. AMAZING. Swear I'm not just saying that because I made it. Even The Ginger from work likes it, and he and his wife love good food as much as The GF and I do.

Before I share this recipe, I must warn you--I don't measure unless I'm baking, so all of this is approximated. My cardinal kitchen rule is to underseason, taste, and season again if needed. (So go easy on the salt, por favor!) Without further ado, here's the recipe (feel free to kill it with deadly fungi if you must, just don't offer me any!):

Chicken Marsala

You'll need:
1. A large, fairly deep skillet (I recommend hijacking your mother-in-law's huge cast iron skillet. It works quite well.)

2. At least one boneless, skinless chicken breast per person (or more if you intend to take leftovers to *your* friendly office ginger...)

3. A bottle of SWEET Marsala wine. (Most liquor stores sell it. Sometimes you can find the small bottles for a few dollars...I've taken to buying a larger, more expensive bottle--but I generally cook for several people and use half a bottle at a time...so, do what you gotta do.)

4. Italian seasoned bread crumbs. (Seriously. Makes life so much easier.)

5. Garlic (lots), yellow onion (diced), chicken stock (stock! I said stock! NOT BROTH, for Bob's sake!), and an egg. Oh...and a little flour and cornmeal, salt, pepper, butter, and olive oil.

Now, personally, I prefer to marinate my chicken breasts in Italian dressing for a couple hours before breading, but you do whatever makes you feel happy. I won't judge you.

The breading process for this is pretty simple. Beat an egg (or two if you're making more than 3-4 chicken breasts) and add a little water. Dip each chicken breast in the egg, then in a half and half mixture of flour and cornmeal (seasoned with salt and pepper). Dip each piece back into the egg, then into the bread crumbs.

From there the chicken wants to go into a piping hot (preferably cast iron) skillet with enough butter and olive oil to clog an artery (or enough to cover the bottom of the pan, whichever) until browned on both sides.

I never worry too much about checking for doneness, as the chicken breasts are pretty thin, and I keep them in a baking dish (covered with foil) in the oven on about 200-250 until the sauce is done and this always turns out perfectly. (I'd also recommend the use of tongs for all this, as the breading has a tendency to slide off if you're not careful.)

Once the chicken is safely stowed away in the oven, toss in garlic (I use about 2-3 cloves), a little more butter, and then the wine. I use about half the bottle--I'm guessing that's about 3 cups, give or take. (It's wine we're talking about here, though, so I'd give if I were you.) At this point I scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan (with my trusty wooden spatula) and then add about 1 1/2 (half the amount of wine I put in, see) cups of chicken stock (STOCK!) and let it come to a boil.

Word of caution here for the gas-stove users among the readers: Wine is flammable. Either turn the flame COMPLETELY OFF, remove the pan from the stove, or prepare for the possibility that you'll be drawing on your eyebrows for a bit.

After the sauce comes to a boil (and it usually does this for a few minutes before I notice, especially if I've started making some time-suck side dish, like polenta) I just turn it down and let it simmer away until everything else is ready. Just before I'm going to serve, the sauce goes on the chicken. [Also after the sauce comes to a boil: the house is filled with a heavenly scent that draws people and kitties alike to the kitchen, just in case I might not look at the stove long enough for samples to be stolen from the pan.]

A nice Italian-style salad (The GF and I recommend Caesar), toasted bread, risotto or polenta, or maybe garlic smashed potatoes...and you're golden.
 
 
It all started with a look, a smile...she captivated me. (And that's not easy to do, lemme tell ya.)

And then...then I decided it was time to take it to another level. So I wrote and then posted this where she'd find it. (It was one of those rare days and WHOLE NIGHTS we spent apart.)

I'd Be Lying
(The Gerbil, 2009)

I'd be lying if I said this was easy--
changes rarely are.
I'd be lying if I tried pretend I'm not
sitting here with my heart on my sleeve
too afraid of bruising it further
to extend my arm and take your hand.
I'd be lying if I said I could promise
that we'd never disagree, never fight,
or hurt each other's feelings over
something, nothing, or everything.

I don't make promises I can't keep--
I've had enough broken promises
to last a dozen lifetimes.
I don't plant seeds I'm not
willing to cultivate--nor
do I bring fish home
that I don't intend to clean
(assuming I caught any
to begin with, of course).
I don't expect you to change
a thing about yourself--I'm
intrigued with you as you are.

I'd be lying if I said this was easy--
opening one's heart rarely is.
I'd be lying if I said it was easy
to leave you lying, asleep, after
being right next to you all night,
to walk out your door and go
on about my life as if I don't
miss you the second we're apart.
I'd be lying if I said I couldn't
live without you. I've done that--
I'd rather I didn't have to continue.

I'd be lying if I claimed I haven't
been struggling for the right
combination of words and phrases
to make my feelings known.
I don't want you to think
that I'm just one more person
who doesn't care enough to
fight for you--because
I do, and I would.

All I'm asking for
is a chance to prove it.

A few days later, we met up at her house to hang out, watch movies and whatnot. We started out watching one of our favorite Disney movies--Hercules. And yes, we sang along. It's a must. We're dorky like that.

After the movie ended, it got dark--like super-can't-see-your-hand-a-half-inch-from-your-face dark. It was a little cold too (did I mention it was dark?) and we were cuddled up on the couch. You know what happened next. If you don't...gar. Get cable.

Anyway, we were kissing and *stuff*...and The GF leans over and whispers in my ear, "You still want that chance?"

At this point, I'm breathless--from kissing, you know--and it was all I could do to half-choke out a "yes." And here we are.

**************************
Next post will be a surprise. And it might take a while, since we're in the process of moving. Later, ya'll!
 
 
Not a day goes by where someone somewhere tries to do something sweet for their significant other and it blows up in their face. For some reason, this ALWAYS happens to me. Allow me to set the scene for you.

Its December, cold, icy, and The Gerbil and I are staying in a small house she was currently renting. A horrible ice storm blew in and rendered us victims of home bound, going nowhere, chronic boredom so warm cuddles and a nap was completely called for. In the middle of our deep sleep a loud crash on the roof wakes me up. I jump up out of bed with the quickness (The Gerbil still passed out) and come to the realization that a frozen tree branch has fallen upon the house and killed the power. I alert The Gerbil.

Luckily, The Gerbil already payed the deposit on the new apartment we were about to move into. With this in mind, we grabbed the necessities (food, alcohol & soda, microwave, pillows, and blankets) and migrate to the apartment. We spent our first few nights sleeping on the floor in the living room of the new apartment, waiting for creation to thaw so we could properly move in. Now, I told you this little story so you would understand the super sweet thing I tried to do that blew up in my face.

The weekend following this catastrophe, that is the icy hell, I had to work back in my hometown 30-45 minutes north of where we live. Since I had to work all weekend, the plan was for me to stay all weekend in my hometown since another snow storm was on it's way. The snow started falling Friday morning and I had to be at work Friday night at 6. At my house I had a full size air mattress that I thought would be useful to The Gerbil while I was away for the weekend. Oh the simple yet complex ideas I come up with.

For some unknown reason, my "inner genius" told me I can make it to my hometown, get the air mattress, bring it back, set it up, and get back to my hometown in time to go to work. This would not have been a problem if it wasn't snowing outside. I make it to my home, get the air mattress, and am halfway back at this time. I'm talking to my mama on the phone and telling her what I'm doing. I inform her I want to keep her on the phone in case something bad happens and I've been on the phone the entire time I've been on the road. I'm about 15 minutes or so from the apartment and my mama has to go. I tell her I'll be alright and we hang up. (click......errrrrttttt.......sssskkkkkkssssss.......whooosh..........crash!!!)

Thaaaat's riiight. The second we hang up, I'm in a ditch. Not just a ditch, a median.  No getting out of here without a chain or some kind of leverage. I can hear the sound of the explosion of my fantastic idea blowing up in my face. I call my mama back, tell her I'm in a median, and she laughs. I'm a little ticked....and she laughs. Not cool. I told her I will 411 a wrecker and call her back later when I get out of the median.

I'm standing outside of my car when, one by one, people start stopping to check on me. One guy in a truck stops and asks me if I have a rope. Immediately my mind yells, "No you dipdot! I drive a car! You have a truck! You should be the one with a rope!" But my mouth says, "No sir, guess I'm out of luck." He apologizes (I guess for being useless) and drives the hell away. I finally get a hold of a wrecker and all is well.

Still standing outside my car (because I'm stupid) I call my mama and inform her I have a wrecker on the way. While on the phone with my mama, another truck stops. This is a red, one ton, dodge duly with a cowboy driving. I'm thinking I'm saved, that would be a no. He slows down as he pulls to the side of the road, rolls his window down as he approaches, is moving at a glacier pace creep when he sees me on my phone, and without stopping he says, "Oh! You have a cell phone. You're OK." And he drives the hell away. Mind says, "What the hell! Yes sir! Just because I have a cell phone my car will now magically lift out of the median, set itself down on the road, and I can be on my merry way!" People piss me off.

Even a cop stopped to check on me. When I told him I have a wrecker on the way he says, "Alright, let me get your tag number so I know not to come back and check on you." Ummm, OK?

This one was touching though. A woman in a tiny old car stopped and asked me if I needed anything. I should have told her to go back to town and get me some Taco Bell since her car had no problem driving about. I told her I was alright and that I had a wrecker on the way. She asked me if I was thirsty and said she had water. Peeerrrrfeeeect. I had been chain smoking for about 2 hours waiting on the wrecker so my mouth was drier than a nun's crotch. My eyebrows raise to show my excitement about the water and I tell her water would be luxurious right now. I figured she'd hand me a bottle of Sam's brand. No. She hands me a gallon of distilled water from Wal-Mart. Omg yes! I thank her, get in my car with the heater, smoke and drink my water from the gallon as I await the arrival of the wrecker.

I have to say the funniest part of this whole thing was when The Gerbil called me on her break and had no idea that any of this was going on. I get back to the apartment, set up the bed, called in for the whole weekend, and waited for her to get off work. She comes home, I tell her the whole story, and we spent the whole weekend eating microwave pizzas, drinking Smirnoff, and sleeping on a comfy air mattress THAT HAS A WHOLE IN IT! WTF?!? Oh, and, keeping each other "warm."

It was all worth it though cause it worked out for the better in the end. ;)

 
 
 
Our entire relationship has been this way. I think it has something to do with both of us being "people-pleasers." Anyway, that's not the point.

Before we were "official," The GF and I spent about a week together. We were both in college, but it was the end of the Spring semester, so we had all of Thanksgiving break to...erm...hang out.

First she invited me over to her house for dinner with some of her friends. She made one of her specialties (yes, she has those), and her friends were great. I will admit I probably came on a little strong...but what can I say? There's just something about a woman in the kitchen...entertaining...and...yeah.

Now, don't get me wrong...I'm not one of those 50s-era-mindset folks that thinks her woman oughta be in the kitchen--how could I be? I'm a woman too. There is, however, something sexy about a woman who is just as comfortable in the kitchen whipping up a hearty meal as under the hood of her car.

I can't say I didn't make my feelings on the subject plain that night either--even her friend (who hung around after most everyone else had left) commented that she hadn't seen The GF kiss anyone the way we kissed that night in a long time, if ever. I remember that night quite clearly--I kissed her in the kitchen, the dining room...and in the living room when nobody else was there to watch. PDA isn't something I'm normally a big fan of, but in HER case, I make exceptions. I just can't resist.

Anyway, the next night she and her friend had planned on going to a bar about an hour away to meet up with some out-of-town friends. We had a blast. I was the DD, of course, since I've never really been much of a drinker. So...after I drove the girls back to The GF's house, I stayed the night. Again. (Imagine me waggling my eyebrows here. What can I say? The girl's irresistible!)

The next day was the day before Thanksgiving. I'd planned on going home when we got up and around because The GF had to go to work that night. Notice I said I planned to go home. PLANNED. Yeah, that didn't go so well. See, I didn't know yet that The GF had The Face in her arsenal. (If you've seen the trailer for Tangled, that new Disney flick that hasn't come out yet..you'll know what I mean here...hehe.) It's one part smoldering sexiness and two parts adorable (a la Puss from Shrek, but in human form). The Face is a lethal weapon. Seriously.

She used it on me. It was horrible and I loved it. All it took was The Face plus a half-whispered question. (Do you really have to go?)

I didn't.

So...I stayed. Now, at this point I should let you guys know that The GF's house is...nice. It's a large three-bedroom in Dinkytown, USA. Most of the time she kept it pretty clean...but at this point it was starting to get kind of messy. We'd been hanging out for 2.5 days...and she didn't clean while I was there...probably because she assumed (correctly) that even though we were (at the time) pretty much just really (really, really) good friends, I'd start cleaning with her if she started.

Well...she had to go to work at Dinkytown Indian Casino, remember? Her only instruction on leaving me in her house (I live 45 minutes or so south of Dinkytown...so...it was pointless to go home and come back six hours later.) was not to clean.

Her exact words were: "You are not allowed to clean my house. I'll do it. I swear."

So I didn't clean the house. Really. I promised...and I don't break promises. *ahem*

I did, however, do ALL of the mountain of laundry that had piled up...between midterms and working 40+ hours a week. All of it. I'm talking like five solid hours of laundry.

But I didn't clean the house. See, laundry isn't cleaning house. It's cleaning clothes. heh.

Everyone knows if you do laundry, you gotta fold it and put it away right? I had no idea where things went. None whatsoever. So I guessed. I put everything away where I figured it'd go. (Normally I'd look for similar things and put like with like...but as I mentioned, most of the laundry was in the hamper. Or around it. Yep.)

I also made the bed. I slept in it too, yanno...so, I fixed it. I probably did some other stuff that may or may not be classified as house cleaning, but not much. I tried really hard to keep that promise.

I distracted myself with The GF's collection of lesbian movies and musicals. Best way to do laundry...singing along with Rent or Chicago at the top of one's lungs.

Good thing nobody else was in the house. heh.

The best part of the night, of course, was when she came back from work. She called me on her breaks (Which was cute as hell...and is still cute since she still does it. Unless she's working day shift and I'm at work too.).

She didn't suspect a thing. Even when she came home, I don't think she realized I'd done much...other than the fact that the bed was made and whatever clothes that were in the floor were picked up. *ahem*

After we talked for a few minutes, she decided she'd go shower and change. (This is the good part. Are you ready? I'm ready. Let's do this.)

I sincerely wish I had this part on video. I'd love to show ya'll the face she made when she said she was going to the back to shower and I said, okay, check that top drawer.

She opened the drawer while eying me suspiciously. To her amazement, the top drawer on her dresser was *gasp* full of her beloved boxer-briefs (yeah, she's *that* butch) and such. And then she uttered what would soon become my favorite thing-the-GF-says: "Whaaaaaaaaaaat?"

She opened the next drawer. Full of clothes. Next one? You got it, all folded, by color (yeah, I'm *that* OCD).

I even hung up her treasured Amy Lee shirt.

After the inital "Whaaaaaaat?" she was pretty much speechless...until she decided she *had* to call her mom and tell her how awesome I am. [Insert over-confident hair-flip here.]

***************
Up next: A story from The GF's point of view...yep, she's taking over! (Er, I'm graciously allowing her to post. We'll see how it goes. heh.)

And if she's lucky (wink, wink) there will be another proposal story up soon as well.

And PS--If you're fans, like Sasha and Natalie (*waves hello*), you can sign up for email notifications over there ---->  or use the RSS widget. Whatever floats your boat.
 
 
The Girlfriend and I were dumbfounded in the beginning of our relationship as to why it was so easy for us--we just "clicked." Not quite a year later, we've just about got it figured out.

See, both of us are the type of person who wants the other to be happy. We've actually had "arguments" that stemmed from the fact that though each of us wanted different things, we were both nearly adamant that we actually do what the other wanted--to make each other happy. It's kind of ridiculous, in a hopelessly romantic, goofy sort of way.

Most of the time, our compromises are a result of us just being ourselves...but that's also when we have our best "moments"...go figure.

Case in point--our First Valentine's Day. I don't usually make a big deal out of Valentine's Day, mainly because most of the time I wasn't with a partner who wanted to make a big fuss over this particular holiday. I knew in advance though, that The GF DOES make a big, HUGE, enormous deal out of it. (Hearing her describe it at first, I was horrified...I imagined some sort of red, pink, and glitter gay love pride parade [not that pride parades are a bad thing...just not really MY thing] but I later figured out that wasn't the deal at all. And heaved a huge sigh of relief.)

Valentine's Day ended up being on a day that The GF was working a long shift...she'd either be asleep or gone all day, and well into the night. The day before, though, we were both going to be home pretty much all day...and part of her gift came in the mail that morning--it all worked out perfectly.

As a math major, The GF has a wee little obsession with puzzles: Sudoku, those little wire puzzles, etc. She also has a love of interesting things made of wood, as her father was a fantastic carpenter. In trying to find meaningful gifts for her, I tried to meld these two interests. I think I succeeded.
Picture
Instead of "wrapping" her gift, I found this thing. The folks over at ThinkGeek do puzzles up right--this magical box is not all that difficult to get into, but it does take a working brain to maneuver. The best part? The present inside the puzzle box was another puzzle. Normally, we're hard-pressed to find any sort of puzzle that evades The GF's super-awesome puzzle-solving powers...but this one (also from ThinkGeek) kept her going for weeks (WEEKS!). It's been months and she's still working on being able to instantly disassemble and reassemble the thing.

I made her special meals, gave her back rubs, and...well, there was sex. That's kind of a given with the whole love-holiday she-bang, isn't it? (Ha, a pun.)

And then I had to wait. Have I mentioned that I HATE waiting? I think I have. 
Picture
The following week (yes, WEEK!) I began receiving things at work. Friday brought a beautiful bouquet of roses and white lilies (Watch Imagine Me & You if you don't know what lilies mean...) to my office door--and ladies from all over the office were stopping in to smell the roses, literally. Everyone was curious why the new girl (at this point I'd worked in this office just a couple weeks) was getting flowers the week AFTER the flowers-and-candy holiday of the year.

They would have really thought I was something if they knew about the bubble bath...complete with a rose petal trail from the front door to the tub...petals in the tub...and wine and candle light...(and frozen pizzas for dinner, thanks to my lovely sous chef.)

They all had their panties in a twist about it for a couple days, and then....the next gift arrived. This is what happened.

A large box arrived at the front desk with my name on it. The receptionist called back to my office to let me know, but I wasn't at my desk. (I was busy...whaaaaaaat?) So then she called a couple others in my department to get someone to let me know I had a rather large package awaiting my signature up front.

About an hour later the message was finally relayed. I moseyed up to the reception area (that's how we roll) to see what all the fuss was about. The receptionist, by this time, reaaaaaaaaaaally wanted to know what was in that box, probably because she noticed the return address: Hershey, Pennsylvania. Because she's waited so patiently, I went ahead and opened the box at her desk, hoping it wasn't anything too embarrassing...you know, like a giant set of chocolate knockers or something equally lewd. Much to my surprise, it was FIVE POUND CHOCOLATE BAR. Hell, it was a newborn in a shiny silver wrapper--minus the viscera, of course. The receptionist insisted I take photos of it, with it...and probably would have asked for a piece to munch on had I been able to figure out how to get into it at that moment.

I happen to work in a department that is NOT, I repeat NOT afraid of food.

They were very nearly afraid of this thing. (That's it in the photo there above.) The neat thing about it, other than the fact that it was a ohmygawdhugeeffinghunkofchocolate...was that it came in a mini styrofoam cooler with its own wee ice packs. I suppose that was to keep it from melting...but it was February. Granted, the folks at Hershey know more about chocolate than I do.

We ate on that thing for a couple months. I even shared it with friends. (One of my BFFs received her initial, H, in chocolate...it was great.)

*****************************************************

And that's how you compromise on holiday plans. Nobody's plans were ruined by another's surprise. We both completely loved our "special time." I've always believed that relationships should be give and take--in equal measures as much as possible.

And that's Compromise 101.1. The next installment will be up soon: You tell me I don't have to, and I do it anyway. (Yeah, it happens a lot around here.)

 
 
Today is the Big One's birthday. He's seven.

And I feel old.

He was perturbed this morning because, though today is his birthday, his party isn't until tomorrow. I suppose it's difficult for a seven year old to understand that people work, some are travelling to his party, etc., and so it's easier to have the party on Saturday than try to get everyone together Friday night.

So we compromised. I called the local radio station and had his grandparents turn the station on so he could hear. The radio DJ wished the kid a happy birthday and played a tune by his favorite country artist--Johnny Cash.

His reaction?

"It was great! It was just like a birthday party, but on the radio!"

Five seconds later: "Mom, can I have a new guitar?"

Sigh.
 
 
I like my car. I like the Girlfriend's car.

Er...I did, until this week. See...they both decided to EFFING DIE. Well, not completely dead, but dead enough to leave the GF and I with two options: stay home or take the Nike Express. (Well, for her. For me it's more like...the Madden Express, but still.)

Oh, alright...it's not all that bad. The GF's 'rentals bailed us out big time by lending us The Dad's truck 'til our stuff gets fixed. Only bad thing there is the truck has no air conditioning and it's OHMYGAWDSOHOTWEMIGHTDIE.

It's summertime in the South, ya'll, and it's a gazillion degrees in the shade.

Normally, I wouldn't be freaking out. Between the two of us, our friends, my ex...we can fix pretty much anything. What bothers me is that BOTH cars died while I was driving. And left me stranded. Inside a week.

C'mon, really? SERIOUSLY?

Anyway, my car needs a fuel pump--and it'll get it. Her car...her car was a MAJOR PAIN IN THE BUTT. I knew the serpentine belt needed to be replaced. She knew it. Did we replace it? No. Well, it's been replaced NOW, but that's not the point. When the car died on me, in the middle of no-freaking-where, I figured, hey...I call the GF, she brings the belt...no big thing. Not bloody likely.

The belt DID break. Bad thing is, it took the crank pulley with it. (FYI, these things I speak of are the "turny things"  and the corresponding belt that make required engine paraphernalia function...the water pump, the AIR CONDITIONER, the power steering, etc.)

It didn't just pop off while I was at a stop sign...or somewhere I could easily pull off the road. Nope. It died in the middle of a turn lane on a semi-busy highway. And it couldn't just die. That would be too easy. I seriously thought it exploded or something. There was smoke. The engine began over-heating. The steering was out. It was horrible. (But I lived, thanks for asking.)

PS. The GF's car is fixed--after many issues finding and installing the offending parts (and buying the wrong stupid belt, thanks, O'Reilly's!). My fuel pump is sitting on the coffee table, awaiting installation. Or the heat to go away long enough for a person to be outside for an hour without dying. :)
 
 
I wonder if heterosexual couples who a) cannot have children, b) do not want children, c) have chosen, for whatever reason, to adopt children would agree that the "central purpose of marriage in virtually all societies at all times" has been to "channel potentially procreative relationships...into stable unions."

I'm willing to bet they might say one or two things about that. Yanno, regardless of the stance a person takes on gay marriage, there is something seriously lacking in the mores of a society that can see fit to define something sacred and PERSONAL like marriage and equate or somehow justify it by sex and/or procreation.

Yeah, I'm not buying it...not at all.

The Gerbil, over and OUT. ;)


 
 
fingertips dipped
in invisible ink
trace swirled patterns
of chemical connections;
lips, tongues, teeth
press images onto cave walls
incorporating newly emblazoned
symbols with those previously
painted--overlapping, partially
obscuring, pointing out imperfections.
words wound around air,
left to hang
between faces pressed
like favorite flowers
in a freshly penned book
for safe-keeping--
wet ink stamps unspoken poetry
on exposed cheeks
as the covers come together.

The Gerbil 2010
 
    And now...the REST of the story...

    If you're new, please start here.  (And then read THIS.)

    TiNaLS Crew:

    The Gerbil: That's me.

    The Girlfriend: Umm, my girlfriend/fiancée.

    The Big One:
    My 7 year old son

    The Short One:
    My 5 year old son

    Pringle:
    My kitten

    Frito:
    The Girlfriend's cat

    Anyone else will be nicknamed appropriately as needed.

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