Category Archives: Stratford

Hooker School

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Every day on my way home from work, I pass The Hooker School in New Haven, Connecticut.  I’m not kidding.  That’s its name.  The Hooker School.  Now, that name is funny for obvious and juvenile reasons, and since we all know that I am obviously juvenile, I laugh every time I drive by.

Can you imagine going to a school named The Hooker School?  That’s on your resume, man.  The Hooker School.  Try explaining that in a job interview.  My favorite part though are the bumper stickers:

Hooker Honor Roll Student

Hookers Homework Star

And my personal favorite:  “Proud Hooker Mom

I mean, really.  Who wouldn’t laugh at that?

This past summer, the school decided to renovate the entire building and rumor had it they would be re-naming the school.  I waited with baited breath.  How do you rename a school called The Hooker School?

I drove by today and they had a sign up announcing the new name of the school:

The New Hooker School.

Well played, City of New Haven.  Well played.

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Ho, Ho, Humph

Christmas has officially arrived at Marriage Confessions.  Can you see it snowing on my blog?  I thought it was appropriate to make it snow online since it was snowing here most of today.  Gosh, I love this time of year.  Like, yesterday morning when I woke Chris up at 7:3o in the morning to hang Christmas lights outside and he told me he’d rather pull every single hair out on his head one at a time than hang Christmas lights in the cold.  Or, today when we were putting up our Christmas tree and I had Christmas music playing loudly and yet I could still hear Chris cussing in the corner as he tried to strategically place the branches on our fake tree.  Or, tonight when I was wrapping Christmas presents and Molly kept stealing every single bow that I taped to the presents and so I had holes in the center of all the wrapping paper.

Yeah, I love the holidays.  

But once I saw the finished product, I remembered why I love Christmas.  Yesterday we spent all day putting up the lights outside because we knew it was supposed to snow today.  This was the first time we’ve ever had lights on the outside of our house.  We have been thinking about it for weeks actually.  What kind of theme did we want?  Would be go color or white lights?  Here is what we came up with.  I am really happy with it.  I think it makes our house look cozy.

This morning we woke up to snow covering our neighborhood.  It was so beautiful!  Looks so different than New Haven did when it was covered in snow.  New Haven was all cement and buildings, but our neighborhood is all trees and yards, so the snow really sticks good.  The dogs loved it, too.  Except for Lucy.  She’s so low to the ground that she doesn’t like the snow touching her belly.  She’s fat, in case you didn’t know.  

 

Trees in our backyard

Trees in our backyard

DON'T EAT THE YELLOW SNOW!

DON'T EAT THE YELLOW SNOW!

Molly and Chris

Molly and Chris

Our Pretty House

Our Pretty House

After we played in the snow all morning, we went in to decorate the inside of the house.  We spent the day untangling lights and talking about our favorite Christmas gifts from when we were kids.  Chris’ was a bowling game he got when he was little.  Mine was a picnic table set with red leather seats.  We were livin’ large, let me tell you.  Chris also introduced me to the best Christmas album ever – the Carpenters.  It was amazing!  All my favorite Christmas songs – even the Nutcracker (which I danced in the living room for Chris).  It was a pretty good way to spend the day and ring in the holidays.

 

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

My favorite nativity

My favorite nativity

(A side note about this nativity:  Every year I say that I am going to buy pieces of this nativity set after the holidays and every year I never do it.  It has been my favorite nativity for years.  I think its so simple and beautiful.  And this year, Chris gave me the entire set for my birthday last week!!  Isn’t that a thoughtful gift?!?!)

 

Santa's Doorway

Santa's Doorway

Mom's Ceramic Christmas Tree

Mom's Ceramic Christmas Tree

(If you grew up in the South, then you had at least one of these ceramic Christmas trees in your house somewhere.  I felt like a true grown up when I got mine.  My mom made it for me herself two years ago.  And I haven’t lost ONE LIGHT BULB YET!!)

So, that’s how we rang in the holidays at our house this weekend.  And I’m glad we finished when we did cause I could see the glimmer in Chris’ eye and he was about to flip his lid over the tangle lights and garland.  

And we all know if you lose your cool over Christmas decorations, Santa docks your Christmas presents by 10%.

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The Grass is Always Greener

Since we have moved into our new house, Chris has become obsessed with our yard.  He spends hours out there playing in dirt, digging holes, spraying water on things.  And the front yard is looking really great.  The grass is luscious.  The shrubs are trimmed.  And the whole look is topped off with my brand new autumn wreath I hung on the front door.  I’m pretty certain Martha Stewart drives by my house on a daily basis to get ideas.

And then there is the backyard.  The backyard is a little…well…it needs some help.  Through no fault of Chris’ the yard is just shot to hell.  I blame the dogs.  They romp, they root around, they lay in the flower beds, they dig holes, they poop, they pee, they chew on the bushes, they dig up flowers.  And it all shows in the backyard.  Add to this that the entire backyard is covered in trees, so no sunlight gets back there, and its not pretty.  There are patches of hopefulness, but its just not the thick, green look in our front yard.  And it kills Chris.  Kills him.  Every night he wanders out to the back deck and surveys the backyard, scheming up new ways to make it better.  And every night he comes inside cussing all of God’s green earth.  Frankly, its starting to get old.

But a few weeks ago, the next door neighbor’s yard died unexpectedly.  All together.  One night we went to bed and they had lush, green grass and the next morning we wake up to their barren waste land of brown grass.  Chris was ecstatic.  He was so excited that finally someone else’s yard looked as bad as his backyard.  Two or three days go by and Chris was like a different person.  He wasn’t pacing on the back deck mumbling about fertilizers.  He didn’t cry anymore when he drove by someone’s beautiful yard.  He just seemed more relaxed.

And then two days later, we woke up and the neighbor’s yard was bright green and healthy.  It was like a landscaping miracle.  Overnight they grew a golf course in their front AND backyard.  I’m serious.  It came in so fast I thought it had to be fake.  But it wasn’t, as proven by Neighbor Jeff mowing his lawn the very next afternoon.  Cause that’s how fast it grew.  It was like a mythical beast.

I put Chris on a suicide watch.  I thought he would either hurt himself or Neighbor Jeff, so I confined him to the house.  But that hasn’t stopped him from staring out the window at the grass next door.  Occasionally he sighs a low, mournful sigh, but mostly he is just quiet.  Quietly seething inside.  And I feel bad for him.  And his crummy backyard.  I also feel bad for Neighbor Jeff, who is blissfully unaware that deep inside the house next door, his neighbor is scheming about ways to kill his greener grass.

Yard envy.  Killing suburbia one dying yard at a time.

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Gym Rat

I have done the unthinkable, the unimaginable, the unexplainable. I have joined a gym.  That’s right.  I’m paying money to sweat.  I am trying to think of something funny or clever to say about it, but I am at a complete loss for words.  Horror has taken over my body and I have no words.

But I had to do it.  I’m tired of not fitting in my clothes and not wanting to buy any new clothes because “I might lose this weight.”  Well, I’m not losin’ it by eating Fritos and watching Michael Phelps’ ears so this was really my only other option.  Besides, I hear if you, like, run marathons and stuff you can eat whatever you want to eat.  And since I’m a huge fan of eating whatever I want to eat, I must sweat.  And I must pay to sweat.  I must sweat expensively.

About a year ago, I tried to join a gym.  This particular gym, who will remain nameless because I am about to bash the crap out of it…(cough)…LA Fitness…(cough)…was horrible.  I walked in the door already 90% sure I would join.  I mean, why else would you go into a gym if you weren’t interested in a membership?  But these people acted like they had found me in a McDonald’s lobby, eating Big Macs by the handful.  Like they needed to save me.  Or convert me.  They took me on the tour of the gym (which, to be honest, I could care less about.  Just give me a treadmill and a few yoga classes, and lets call it a day).  Then they introduced me around to a bunch of people I could also care less about.  Then they brought me into this tiny little room, and the guy starts pegging me with questions –  Whats is my current workout schedule like?  (Do you think I’d be in here if I already had a current workout schedule?) What is my eating regiment like?  How much energy do I have in the day?  Do I work out in groups or by myself?  What body part am I the most unhappy with?  How much weight did I want to lose exactly?  It was like he felt the need to shame me into a membership.  I already know I suck, health-itarily speaking, but I’m here so just take my money and give me one of those swipy cards and I’ll be on my way.

So we go through this whole song and dance thing where he asks me questions and I pretend to be more fit than I am, and finally it gets down to what I came for – the price.  I wasn’t keen on the idea of a gym anyways, and after the price he gave me I would rather pay money to have people inject fat directly into my fifth chin.  So I kind of make this little face like, “That’s not really the price I had in mind…”

And that’s when he makes the mistake of all mistakes.

“Is that too much money?”  he asks.  “I get it, I get it.  You’re young, probably don’t make much money to do anything really important, not stable yet.  I’ll see if I can find something cheaper for you.”

Now, at this particular point in my life, I am working full time at a good paying job to support BOTH myself AND my husband while we are in graduate school.  The absolute wrong thing to tell me at this point is that I’m young, don’t make much money, and am cheap.  Suddenly, every annoyance I’ve had with this guy for the last hour comes rising out of me.  The pointless gym tour, the introductions that don’t matter, the belittling about my healthy lifestyle – it comes pouring out of me and I can’t stop it.

I stand up in his tiny office, sending my chair flying.

“I’m sorry, what did you just say to me?”  I ask.

“Well, I just meant most young people we see in here…”

“Let me tell you something, honey,” I say.  “MOST young people you see in here are not supporting TWO tuition bills every month on ONE salary.  MOST young people you see in here are not working full time during the day and going to school at night.  But I am.  How about you?  You’re young.  Are you working on a degree and working full time right now?  Are you putting two people through school on your one paycheck at the age of 24?  No, I didn’t think so.  So let’s not take this to the level of how much money I make or what I choose to do with my money, because I’ll tell you one thing I am NOT going to do with my money and that is give it to this gym.  Now, where is your manager?”

I proceeded to cause a scene like I’ve never caused before…and I’ve caused some scenes in my life.  And when I left there, I was so angry I wrote a letter to the corporate office.  And then I wrote a letter to my newspaper and the local television station, asking for someone to please investigate the age discrimination that was taking place at this gym.  I’m telling you, I went crazy.  But I felt so wronged.  First, you’re going to waste my time, then lay on guilt about my eating habits, then you are going to charge me a ridiculous amount of money, and on top of all of that you are going to accuse me of being young and cheap?  I’ve got two words for you – (explicative explicative).

Needless to say, a few months later when my blind rage subsided a bit I was a bit gun-shy around gyms.  So you know if I decided it was time to face that situation again, I must be desperate.  When I went into the gym closest to my house – a Bally’s – and the first thing the membership guy said was, “Let me take you on a tour of our gym,” I may or may not have broken out in hives.  But I went through it and it wasn’t so bad.  He wasn’t pushy, he wasn’t intimidating, he didn’t ask personal questions, and he listened when I said, “I’m really just here for your treadmills and yoga…”  So I joined.  I wrote my big, fat, ridiculous check, and he handed me my shiny new swipy card, and I was on my way.  Now, wasn’t that easy?

Yesterday I went to the gym for the first time.  I got right on my little treadmill, turned up my music, and started running.  Incredibly, I ran for 2 miles straight right off the bat.  I wasn’t even winded.  But I decided it was a fluke and that I better ease up so that I could get out of bed in the morning.  And I was noticing my ankle was hurting a little.  And so were my calves.  And my neck.  And my back.  And my pinkie finger.

That night as we watched TV on the couch, I asked Chris to rub my calve because it was hurting.  He started rubbing it and then said, “Your leg is swollen.”  Sure enough, my ankle looked like it had an innertube around it.  I put some ice on it, but it is still swollen this morning.  And I can’t get out of bed.

“This is so exciting!” I said to Chris.  “Its my first sports related injury!”

“I think that’s a little extreme,” he said.  “Its probably just that the force of your body weight on your ankle was too much weight at one time.”

And that’s when I stabbed him in the other eye with the tweezers.

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Suburban Wildlife: Da Funk of Da Skunk

Last night Chris and I went out to dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant.  On our way home, he reminded me that it was trash night and asked if I would help him drag all of our party trash from this weekend to the curb when we got home.  Knowing there was a good chance that he would forget that he asked me before we got home, I said sure.

We pull into our driveway and before I know it, he has pulled the shed door open and is cashing in on my earlier promise to help take out the trash.  Oh, poop.  But as I’m walking into the shed, he grabs my arm and tells me to wait a minute.  There in the middle of our 500 bags of party trash is a skunk.  A giant, black, wild, beast of a skunk with fangs dripping venom. (Editor’s Note:  He was actually the size of a small cat.  There were no fangs.)

Chris started shaking beer bottles at it (which is more effective than it sounds like it should be) and I immediately started screaming for my dogs, who were nosing around the backyard completely oblivious to their suburban wildlife friend.  But as soon as my voice registered that frantic screech, Lucy knew something was up.  Molly came doping along into the house without a care in the world, but not Lucy.  She started sniffing around and it wasn’t long until she picked up da funk of da skunk and started pacing the perimeter of the shed like the blood thirty, 18-pound chihuahua that she is.

And I panicked.  The skunk would attack her, giving her rabies, and she’d turn on the family, foaming at the mouth…  My mind can really wander sometimes.  So I started screeching even louder, “TREAT, LUCY!  COME GET A TREAT!”  This caught her attention for about 2 seconds, which was long enough for her to look up and realized that I didn’t have anything in my hands.  I could see her thinking, “There’s an unknown wild smelly thing in my backyard kingdom that must be killed.  And my mom’s a liar.  Perfect.”  And then she went right back to stalking the skunk.

At this point, Chris had ventured somewhat into the shed and was trying to…actually, I don’t know what he was trying to do.  But he kept whispering, “Be quiet or it’ll spray me!!”

Feeling like Chris was in control of his situation, I ran inside to find something to temp my hunting lap dog.  I grabbed a peanut butter cookie and took off.  This time when I called her name and showed her the treat, she came running so fast her tiny 2 inch legs were a blur.  For a split second I thought maybe she had a future as an agility dog and maybe I should enroll her in classes, but then my mind snapped back to the issue at hand.  Peanut butter cookie.  Focus, Katie.

With Lucy and Molly safely inside, I turned my attention to Chris.  He needed a flashlight, he said.  Now, for those of you who have not moved in the recent past, let me tell you about the items in your house that seem to disappear when you move.  Suddenly every can opener, remote control, cell phone charger, and flashlight are no where to be seen.  The frustrating thing is that you KNOW you have seen them somewhere, you just can’t remember where they were.  By the time I gave up my search for the missing flashlight, Chris said he didn’t need it any more.  The skunk was gone.  Drama over.

Oh, good.  So I cuddled up in my chair with my new book.  That is, until Chris came in and reminded me that I still needed to help him take out the trash.  Oh, poop.  I thought I was off the hook with all that skunk drama.  But I guess in suburbia it takes more than a little wildlife to curb a domestic goddess…

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