• The best industrial pollution in the world comes from the chocolate factory. I drove downtown this morning and when I got out of my car up on level 7 of the parking garage, the air was deliciously redolent of the Blommer chocolate factory a mile away. It smells like brownies in the oven. Down at ground level, the chocolaty aroma was attenuated somewhat, and exhaust fumes battled their way to my olfactory receptors.
• I took Ben with me to the accountant in Old Town yesterday. One year, I called too late (it's that damned phone phobia that Bitch Ph.D. blogged about a couple months ago, that scores of us shared stories about) for an appointment pre-April 15, so Jim said I could come in after the 15th and he'd file for an extension. It was lovely to be gathering together my tax papers in May, and not thinking about it at all during everyone else's rush period. Next year, same thing; pulled out the Rolodex card in January, didn't call until late February when all the pre-April 15 appointments were booked. This year, same thing. It ended up costing me $5 in penalties and interest for our state income taxes, but we've got yet another refund of federal taxes. And! And! Not only did Ben behave beautifully at the accountant's office, but I also got the awesomest parking spot ever. A parking spot so choice, one would make sweet, sweet love to it if only such a thing were possible. A parking spot where the front of my car was visible from the accountant's window. I've been seeing the same accountant for about a decade, and never have I found parking within a city block.
• Ben dropped down a level in first-grade reading groups (I think there are upwards of six different reading groups in the first grade) this week, and WOW IS IT NICE to have a little less homework. Instead of fighting for several hours practically every day—first with me, then with Mr. Tangerine when he gets home from work—he's whizzing through his assignments. He brought home next week's reading, writing, and spelling homework, and did most of Monday's work this afternoon...without prompting. My sister had a similar experience with her son, whose seventh-grade math homework was making them both miserable until he dropped down to non-honors math, where he's now getting an A+. He's also got the time and energy to read for pleasure again. If you're ever agonizing over whether your kid would be well-served by changing to a less challenging curriculum, I do encourage you to give it a try if homework misery is vexing your family.
• I went back to Macy's for the post-alterations bridesmaid's dress (and parked in the aforementioned garage with the chocolate perfume). The left shoulder strap will be cinched up a skosh more, and I'll pick it up next week. Also hit up the Intimates department (am I the only one who thinks of Homer Simpson when I see that word? On a Simpsons episode years ago, Homer had written a to-do list or a note to self along the lines of GET INTAMIT WITH MARGE) for some long-overdue bra shopping. As a grad student in the Bitch Ph.D. School of Brassierology, I head straight for the Wacoal boutique in a department store. I know my boobs have shrunk a bit since I embarked on the health club jaunt (more on that below), so I figured I was between a C and D cup. While Marshall Field's always seemed nicer than the Macy's the store recently turned into (cheap-ass plastic bags instead of classy paper shopping bags? Quelle horreur!), I never had a helpful Field's bra lady. Macy's is no Nordstrom (where they insist on offering help up front), but after I'd tried on a batch of bras in assorted C/D sizes (smaller cup for the bigger of two band sizes I was trying on), a Macy's employee eyeballed me and assured me that I was between D and DD. Despite the exercise-induced shrinkage! Who knew? So I bought two new Wacoals, both in the smaller band size and one in each cup size, and thus can my boobs sing "Up Where We Belong."
• Yeah, so, the health club. I still rarely go in to work out unless I have an appointment with the trainer. I know I should. I know I'm wasting those dues payments by only going in for training appointments (which cost extra!). But I am in much better shape than I have ever been before. I have muscles (which I like to pronounces as "muskles"). I will voluntarily wear shorts this summer. I have more stamina, more exercise tolerance. The gut, though...ehhhh, the gut. That's a permanent blobberrific feature. As Mr. Tangerine pointed out, I have always had that, even back when I was a skinny 21-year-old. It's hereditary. I think it would shrink a wee bit if I did more cardio every week, but what are the odds of that happening? Frankly, I don't care anywhere near enough to motivate me to exercise a lot more, much less to ever consider lipo.
Ah, look at those transitions! From the parking garage, to parking with Ben, to Ben's school, back to shopping at the first parking garage, to shopping for bras for exercise-altered boobs, and then to the exercise itself. And for the piece de resistance (mentally add any diacritical marks needed), I can bring it full circle thus: Since I'm not too hung up on body image, there's nothing to stop me from having some chocolate...and that birthday cake isn't going to finish itself.