Ice, Ice Baby

Ice, Ice Baby

Something hilarious happened to me on the way to work today.

I stopped at the gas station on the way to work & bought a HUGE cup of ice. I’m talking the 44-oz, “Big Gulp” cup, but just ice. You see, every morning, I fill a gallon-sized jug with ice, then pour 4 cups of strong-brewed tea over it. Some of the ice melts, diluting the tea, giving me iced tea to drink all day, but also leaving enough ice to crunch all day.

My name is Stacy and I’m a compulsive ice cruncher.

I also carry back and forth with me to work every day an insulated cup in which to pour the ice and tea all day long. But today, I forgot my cup. It wouldn’t be lady-like to drink out of a gallon-sized jug, but by the time I realized I hat forgotten my cup, I was too close to the office to turn around. So, I pulled into the gas station for a cup of “chewy ice” to start my day.

Rabbit Turd Ice

Rabbit Turd Ice — A Delicacy

If you are a fellow cruncher, then you already know. If you are not, then you may never know the joy of chomping on frozen water. You may not appreciate the differences — even subtle ones — in ice cubes from chewy ice, to home ice makers, to the bags of ice you purchase at the grocery store. You may never understand the Pavlovian response I have to to a big cup of ice — my mouth waters like yours might in response to a big juicy steak. I can’t explain my DNA.

Personally, I like the chewy ice (or as I call it, rabbit turd ice) the best, but my habit is to purchase a 22-lb bag of ice at the grocery store, knowing it will fill my jug three or 4 times, depending on how much “snacking” I do at night. Yes, I can crunch through 22 pounds of ice in three days.

The medical term for craving things with no nutritional value is pica.

And yes — I’ve heard all the possible explanations for this habit, from sexual frustration to anemia to OCD. Having been turned down several times when attempting to donate blood, mine is probably anemia, exasperated by OCD. Maybe an iron supplement could help me give up the habit if I wanted to stop…which I don’t. It’s my favorite thing to do that doesn’t cost too much and has zero calories.

However, my habit drives my husband absolutely crazy. Yes, my long-suffering husband’s biggest pet peeve is mouth noises, the most annoying of which is ice crunching. I really try not to crunch in his presence, but it’s hard. You’ve heard of Newton’s third law of motion, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction?” Well, it also applies in our marriage. As much as I love to crunch ice, David wants to smack me when I do!

Anyway…back to this morning. As I placed my cup on the counter and said, “Just this cup of ice, please,” the clerk asked if I wanted a soft drink, too. But I explained to him that I am a compulsive ice cruncher & the ice is all I wanted.

The woman at the register next to me overheard and felt compelled to chime in.

“Oh, my daughter is an ice cruncher! You realize that is just terrible for your teeth right?”

She went on to explain to me (as if I didn’t know) that many people find that habit very annoying, too.

That’s when I noticed…

She was buying a carton of Marlboro.

I Hate Grocery Shopping

I Hate Grocery Shopping

It is far and away my absolutely least favorite of household chores. I dread everything about grocery shopping.

Making My List

I hate planning meals a week out, never knowing how much time we’ll actually have when it comes time to prepare the planned meal. And will the pre-planned entree sound good at the time? Probably not if I have to cook it. I thumb through the sale flyers, looking for inspiration, but there is nothing even slightly inspiring about the prospect.


The Accidental Benefactor

The Accidental Benefactor

Sometimes, I’m astonished by my own absent-mindedness. Last night, after working out, we went to Walmart because we were out of ice cream. (Yeah, I know. Don’t start.)

Always the misanthropic introvert, I opted for self-checkout. As my husband prepared to swipe his debit card, I astutely remembered that we had just gotten a robo-call alerting us to the fact that our daughter’s lunch money account was perilously low. (See my rant about this practice.)  (more…)

I Fall Back Better Than I Spring Forward

I Fall Back Better Than I Spring Forward

Daylight Saving Time begins today. For much of the country, this is quite familiar with the practice of springing forward and falling back, but this is a relatively new tradition here in the Hoosier state. For generations, we in Indiana opted out of Daylight Saving. For half the year, we were in the same time zone as Ohio, our neighbors to the east. During the fall and winter months, we were the same time as Illinois to the west. Since we have extended family in both our neighboring states, it was confusing at times, but I have to admit, I kinda liked being in such a rebellious state.

Not Ready for Primetime

I grew up in Richmond, Indiana, right on the Indiana/Ohio border. My Puritan parents (not really — that’s just a nice way of saying they were super-strict) enforced an 8:00 p.m. bedtime when we were in elementary school. At some point, it was extended to 8:30, then 9:00, but for the most part, week night primetime TV wasn’t something we saw as kids. Except when Ohio sprang forward. You see, we watched Dayton, OH TV stations, so during Daylight Saving Time season, primetime started at 7:00 p.m. In the days before DVR (or even VCR’s), On-Demand programming, Hulu, or Netflix, Daylight Saving was the only way we ever saw The Cosby Show.

This may have also been the genesis of my love affair with the TV show Jeopardy. I learned at a young age that during Daylight Saving season, I could watch America’s favorite quiz show on a Dayton station at 6:30 p.m., then again on an Indianapolis station at 7:30 p.m. My parents, not hip to my caper, were amazed at my ability to run the categories.  In fact, I just had excellent recall — for an hour. I’m sure some of it stuck, though, as did the ability to cram for a test immediately before class and memorize what information I needed for the time I needed it.

If Ohio Jumped off a Cliff, Would You?

Well, in 2005, the Indiana General Assembly caved, and in and went the way of our neighbors. On April 2, 2006, for the first time, Hoosiers “sprang forward.” Personally, I didn’t have strong feelings either way — we each have the same 24 hours in a day as everyone else, no matter what time we decide it is. It made sense to me to eliminate the confusion in interstate commerce and television programming, and personally, I love having the remnants of daylight until 10:00 p.m.

On the other hand, just when I’m starting to enjoy a little sunlight on the drive to work, we spring forward into darkness again. The first time we had to “spring forward” in Indiana, I was careful to go through our house and change every clock before we went to bed that Saturday night. We had to be up early to teach Sunday School to the 2-year-olds at church the next morning. In all my resetting, however, I forgot to set the alarm and we woke up about 15 minutes before we had to be at church. Somehow, by the grace of God, we made it. Suffice it to say, however, very few families with 2-year-olds made it to the early service that morning.

When it comes down to it, we can manipulate the clock however we like, but none of us can add a single moment to our life. Perhaps we should focus more on making the most of every moment instead of bickering over time zones.

I Propose Weekend Saving Time

Imagine this — every Friday at 4:00 p.m., we spring forward one hour. Every Sunday evening at 10:00 p.m., we fall back. I think the world is ready. I know I am.