...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

all is quiet on new year's day? where. I want to go there.

Guess what. It's the end of 2008, and after a year of wordy word wordiness (tm), I've got nothing profound to share with you this New Year's Eve, which is fitting, really, because you're right. I've not really had much of anything profound to say to you all year (except maybe to you, Numby, to whom I say BOOBS! However, don't panic. I'm sure 2009 will bring more of the same).

What? You think I can't hear you muttering to your partner there in the back? I heard you. I'm a mom. It's a standard super power that comes with the territory. My kids still don't believe that's the case, even though earlier this year, I damn near had my oldest son convinced I was Wonder Woman. For real. Had I been able to pull off the invisible plane flight thing, I'd have been golden.

Speaking of my kids...OMG!! Remember when you were a kid and two weeks off for Christmas break was like the most amazing thing you ever could imagine outside of the eternity that was summer vacation? Well..haha...then you become a grown up and you decide to have kids and then those kids get two weeks off for Christmas break, and seriously!! I'm writing to you now from the grave because they have killed me!! You know I mean it because I just twice now used multiple exclamation points, and if there's one thing I like to keep to a minimum, it's punctuation. The only things I like in multiples are orgasms, scoops of ice cream, and episodes of my favorite show. Punctuation should be dished out in single servings. Especially periods, which I'm sorry, I realize I wrote about those a lot in 2008, and, sigh, guess what? I'm capping out the year with one because when the big ball drops at midnight, why would I want to be having sex, anyway? How boring! How predictable! YAWN!

(besides, that yawning business? Yeah, Tool Man will have been yawning so much prior to the New Year's countdown that he'll be asleep by 10:30 p.m., anyway)

But back to my kids and punctuation...

These kids have brought out the ZOMG!!! in me this week. Perhaps it's because their break started two and a half days earlier than planned due to the weather. Plus, get this - they go back to school on Monday, but then they have an early out on Wednesday. Because why not?

Oh, also? Around 11:45 p.m., last Sunday night, my Tool Man told me he wasn't working this week, either. So we've all been together. Happily. Loudly. Since last Wednesday. Toss my sister, her husband and their two daughters, shake it up with my Mom's neurosis, and my Dad's flitting in and out, and what a delightful cocktail you have.

Seriously - does anyone have a cocktail? Because I could really use one (and by one, I mean more than one. Because I should have also said I like my drinks in multiples of two, also. In fact, I'd willingly ingest enough at this moment for all of you to speak in hushed tones and worried voices, then gather together and stage an intervention for me in 2009).

I have no real resolutions for 2009. In the past, most of my resolutions were to, and I quote from the FADKOG Diaries dated 1983-1993, "find a kick ass boyfriend," but since marrying Tool Man in 1994, he tends to frown when I put that one at the top of my list. I assure him it's not like I've ever kept any of the resolutions I've ever made (except for him, of course, and yet, after this much time together under one roof this week, he's probably wishing he'd have bailed on me back in 1993 like all those other boys who didn't turn out to be quite so kick ass).

Since I have no real resolutions, I'll give you my fake ones:

  • Be super wordy while maintaining a fine balance of saying nothing at all
  • use the word boob and/or boobs as often as possible
  • retain some kick ass-ability
  • try yoga

I think I'm good for about three of those, since it's hard to quit doing what you do all the damn time, anyway. I'll end this here, then, since I apparently have to go blow the dust off my yoga DVDs and work on my downward facing dogs. I also have to go steel myself for some more family together time because I'll be spending my New Year's Eve at my niece's sixth birthday party. That's how the rock stars roll, yo.

Look at that. I told you I had nothing to say, and yet I filled this with a ton of nothing AND injected yet another video from my love. I'd say it's been a banner year.

Happy New Year's to all of you.



Monday, December 29, 2008

so much for that whole god rest ye merry gentlemen business

So when last we met, Christmas was on the horizon. I hope you all had a wonderful time with your families. Ours was as lovely as five hours of solid sleep (seriously, my kids were up and chatting excitedly outside our bedroom door at 4 a.m.!!!) and family dysfunction allows, and gave me time to learn a lot of things about myself and my loved ones (and some I don't love nearly as much as others) that I'm now going to share with you. Consider this my 'really crappy, purchased at the last minute, sorry, but I didn't get a receipt so you can't return this' gift to you!
  • Christmas is the only time I believe I can sing, and, sadly, I rock the carols like I'm Celine Dion.
  • As a result, I owe apologies to my church family, who, in the spirit of the season, didn't shoot glaring eyes at me while I musically caressed O Holy Night during Christmas Eve services.
  • I should also apologize for the way I laughed during O Come All Ye Faithful. I swear I was laughing at my youngest son, who was totally Pavarottiing the moment, and not because I have a filthy mind.
  • Nearly seven years in, none of my inlaws know how to spell my youngest son's very uncomplicated name. Three sets of aunts and uncles + six gifts = six different spellings. Every year.
  • This shouldn't surprise me considering I've been saying "That's not my name" to one of my brother-in-laws, who has called me everything but my very uncomplicated given name for the past 15 years.
  • Ham retains it's top seat as my least favorite pork product.
  • Based on the tasteless excuse for deviled eggs my sister-in-law brought to Christmas dinner, my Mom's deviled eggs are, truly, the tits.
  • It's possible to be in a 7x7 room with 30 adults and 5 kids and not cry and/or kill anyone. But, oh, how you'll want to.
  • An empty 24 oz diet Pepsi bottle is not an effective seat saving device when 30 adults and 5 kids are fighting for the ample space 1 loveseat and 1 sofa provides.
  • When you're asked to bring a potato creation to Christmas dinner, never assume, despite repeated assurances, that your starchy side dish will be the only potato option available.
  • When you walk into your inlaw's house bearing two giant pans of homemade au gratin potatoes and find yourself in the midst of a gravy crisis going on over a massive pot of mashed potatoes AND spy a huge bowl of marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, be sure to wish everyone a merry Christmas BEFORE muttering "What the hell?! I thought I was the only one bringing potatoes to this nightmare!!"
  • I wish there was a way to get my kids to act like Dickens orphans all year and not just last week, which was filled with lots of "Might we have some lunch now, Mum?" and "Would you mind terribly if I borrowed your red marker, sir?"
  • A fake Wii appeases the kids much more cheaply than a real one. Also, fake Wii boxing wears me the hell out, and I need to lay off the deviled eggs, be they shitty or titty.
  • When your father-in-law passes out in the kitchen (while en route to getting more of your au gratins, thank you very much) apparently it's no big thing, so enjoy that ham, yo.
  • Being an adult at Christmas time and not getting any gifts kind of sucks.
  • Unless you get a tube of strawberry lip gloss. Then it truly sucks.
  • The impact of the recession was fully evident in that single tube of lip gloss, too. Last year, I got two tubes.
  • I never thought it would happen, but I actually missed not having my mother-in-law's traditional birthday cake for Jesus - which looks exactly like the birthday cakes she makes for all family birthdays, except minus the magazine cutouts of Spiderman or Batman she puts on them for the boys (but OMG, that would be awesome!).
  • When you or someone in your family greets you with "Merry fucking Christmas," it's pretty much time to put a cap on the festivities.
  • That sentiment explains why we spent only 1 hour at my Mom's house.
  • Norad's official Santa tracker on Google Earth was a spectacular tool to help me keep my kids in line Christmas Eve. I wish they'd keep Santa on screen all year, tucked at the North Pole, and every once in awhile, he'd point to the satellite and shake his finger so I could convince my boys he is, indeed, watching all year long.
  • The blatant lack of fudge this year was a huge disappointment.
  • It's awesome when five-year-old's get guitars for Christmas presents, she said sarcastically.
  • The annual debate over who gets to open their gifts first - oldest to youngest or youngest to oldest - never gets old.
  • My teeth hurt from gritting them as that debate raged on. However, I have soft, shiny lips!
  • My Mom doesn't trust the disordered eating she helped create in me so much that she's willing to bake 24 dozen chocolate chip cookies - 3 at a time - in a toaster oven rather than bring all the dough to my house so I could bake them for her after her own oven broke.
  • Give a kid one Lego and you end up stepping on it and bitching. Give a kid 2,300 Legos and assume you'll have a couple days of peace. Two hours later and two huge Lego projects later, realize you have a kid who is apparently a Lego savant.
  • It really is time my Mom got rid of the three holiday sweatshirts she's worn each Christmas season for the past 20 years.
  • Bono, my beloved pretend husband, has indeed become my crush with eyeliner, and I await the time we can share a Wet & Wild eye pencil.

Oh, how I love the holidays! Next up is the big non-event that is New Year's Eve. I've not yet made any concrete resolutions yet, but I'm tossing a couple around in my head (many of them involve monkeys, zombies, and zombie monkeys). If we happen to bump into each other between now and December 31st, I promise not to greet you with an expletive like my Mom would!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

would you like a gift receipt?

I'd planned to write some moving Christmas post today, the likes of which would have provoked the Three Wise Men to screech to a halt and call for a do-over on their journey to see the Christ child, and one of them would have been all, "Oh, we are SO saving this post for last when we present the Christ child with our gifts!" and the other two would have nodded in rapt agreement. "Seriously!" another would say, looking down at their bearings of gold, frankincense and myrrh. "I can't believe we thought this would have been cool enough! I mean, what the hell?! I thought we were supposed to be wise men, not lame men!" and the third would have kicked the sand and been all, "This post absolutely makes up for the fact we didn't pick up that Wii when we were at the market place last week. I feel a lot better going into this now."

Yeah. It was going to be that kind of post. The kind that would have had you reaching through the Internets to high five me in a way I expect my oldest son will Thursday morning when he rips open the gift Santa brought him and finds that damn WWE Raw Arena (with two free wrestling figures!!) that he's only been begging for forever. The one I kept saying Santa wouldn't bring him because when Santa was here last Christmas, he tripped over all the wrestling stuff the boy already has and didn't think he needed yet another stage set, but then Santa realized that was pretty much the only thing the kid wanted, and then went about tearing the workshops apart trying to find one, getting a wee bit frantic, and had a fleeting moment where he checked with Mrs. Claus about perhaps getting the child his long dreamed of Wii to make up for it because yeah, it was that hard to find.

(I feel like I just drank a gallon of spiked eggnog writing that paragraph. I'm a bit confused...)

Anyway, my inspiring post is kind of like the Easy Bake Oven I asked for every Christmas when I was growing up: non-existent. If you like, you can blame my mother, who would annually dash my holiday hopes of culinary greatness with sentiments like, "Do you really think you need access to frosting all the time?" and "Girls with hips like yours shouldn't be eating cake anytime they feel like it. Merry Christmas! Here's a pair of brown corduroy pants!"

(give me a moment...)

The reality is I suspect many of you are already gone, traveling to spend time with your family or enjoying holiday traditions with your children. I'll be spending today with my boys, making holiday cookies (so take that, Mom!) and making reindeer food to sprinkle on the snow Wednesday night when we return home form church services, and later tonight, I'll be working my final pre-Christmas retail shift which, if it's anything like last night's shift, will probably compel me to take to my bed for the bulk of Christmas Eve so my children don't have to witness me as I go through the DTs, sweating and muttering "Do you need a gift receipt tonight?" Seriously, last night I had a stare-down contest with a woman who held up the line at the register I was operating as she attempted to get me to cave to a discount for a book that had a tiny fold in the lower back corner of the cover. "I can't believe a business of your caliber would allow a product like this out on your floor!" she raged as I squinted to see the problem. "That's nothing," I replied. "You should really see the condition of some of the books we find in the men's restroom. Talk about your caliber of business!"

(Oh, you're right. I didn't say that! I did, however, absolutely think it as I apologized for the inconvenience and assured her management wouldn't allow me to discount a product with such a minor flaw. I am not, however, kidding about the things we've found in the men's restroom, though.)

So, to draw this long post about nothing to a close, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy your holidays. I also leave you with a new Christmas song (a cover version, actually) by my pretend husband (who, um, has perhaps taken to wearing eye liner, though I can't be certain...) and his band. I hope you all find something under your tree that makes you happy, but if it has a tiny fold in the lower back cover, I'm sorry. I hope the gift giver has a gift receipt for you!

Labels: ,

Friday, December 19, 2008

i saw mommy eating santa claus

As I've mentioned before, there are only two questions that cause me to either break out in hives or pretend I'm dead, and they are: "Mom, will you play a game with us?" and "Mom, can we make a craft?"
Hold on. Just typing those queries has made me feel itchy, and trying to scratch with the rigor mortise already setting in is a wee bit tough.
So my kids got out of school early Wednesday and Thursday. Yesterday, after plying them with snacks and showing them the array of happy pills that were going to bring the woman they know and love back to them, we all just sort of stared at each other with an impending sense of "So now what?" that really doesn't bode well for the two solid weeks we're now embarking upon with with their winter break now starting (I pray none of us resorts to cannibalism). After several minutes of uncomfortable silence, my youngest son unleashed the evil.
"Mom! I have a great idea! Let's make a craft!"
What you see up there is the result of that query, and absolute proof that the graham cracker houses were one gigantic fluke. I absolutely wasn't lying to you when I told you I am not a crafty person. I do not enjoy them one bit. As evidenced above, I do not keep craft supplies in the house (honestly, the red construction paper was a huge shock). In fact, I believe glitter courses through Satan's veins, and his horns are crafted from papier mache.
Do not let the shining blue eyes and crimson smiles of those two handcrafted Santas fool you. Those are perhaps the saddest craft projects ever made, and I say that with the authority granted me as the woman who has Styrofoam balls, massacred with chunks of peeling glitter paint, hanging on her Christmas tree at this very moment.
What's that? You want the pattern? Seriously? OK....
  • 1 apple per child (personally, I like to play against the grain and would have used an orange, but we've eaten them all to ward off the scurvy)
  • Glue
  • 2 marshmallows
  • 4 cotton balls
  • 3 raisins
  • 4 toothpicks
  • 1 small sheet red construction paper
  • red and blue markers

To make: Shake your head and ask your child, "Are you sure you want to make this? Can we just go watch TV instead? I promise not to gripe during as many episodes of Hannah Montana as you want to watch!" then sigh audibly and often when they insist that yes, they want to make this craft.

Position your apple on a sturdy table or counter. Breaking two of your toothpicks into pieces, insert them through the raisins and poke them vertically into the skin of the apple. Times are tough, so ask your kids if they feel the least bit guilty about wasting food products for craft projects, then mention how they must break the toothpick into pieces because toothpicks, like apples, cost money, dammit.

Use one whole toothpick to impale a whole marshmallow to the top of the apple. This will be Santa's head. Quote lines from The Evil Dead while doing so. Some good examples include: "You bastards! Why are you torturing me like this? Why?" and "Shut up, Linda!"

Fold a small square of red construction paper into a cone. Take one cotton ball and break it apart to make the white 'fur' around the edge and top of Santa's cap. Secure with glue, then balance it precariously atop the marshmallow face which, while the cap is drying, can be decorated with markers to make a face of your choice. From experience, children appreciate if your Santa is a happy Santa.

Stretch out remaining cotton ball to fashion Santa's beard, and glue it to the lower half of the marshmallow face. Then, once again bringing up the topic of recession, take scissors and the remaining marshmallow and cut it into two pieces. With the remaining toothpicks, gouge them into the sides of the apple so they appear to be arms. Or muff-covered arms. Or robot wheels. Quote from Army of Darkness. Example: "It may be bad...but I feel good." or "Groovy."

There you go! One apple Santa! Shake your head in sadness, then glance over and see the delight in your child's eyes. Encourage them not to eat the apples due to the pesky matter of toothpicks holding this craft precariously together, then laugh with irony if your child, like mine, is missing his two front teeth, making the eating of apples (if he actually ate them, that is) difficult, then brace yourself for said child to sing, repeatedly, "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth."
Finally, depending upon when you completed this craft, walk around your house, sniffing the air, and asking everyone "Do you smell that?" What is that smell?" Please note that Apple Claus doesn't necessarily hold up well depending upon where you live and what temperature you keep your furnace set at.
The boys are now off school (thanks to a snow day today) for their holiday break. I predict we'll be making snowmen this afternoon. Out of ice cubes. Because that's exactly how crafty I am. If you need the pattern for that, just let me know.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

...and now, back to our story

This post comes to you from under my last glimmer of hope (because I didn't wake up to the news that scientists had perfected surgical back replacement techniques, despite my hours of prayer) and the rubble of sweet exhaustion (what with the lengthy praying and all). I was finally able to get in to see a doctor this morning about my back, and the pills up there - a cocktail of Darvocet (for the pain, gah! the pain!), Relafen (for swelling...with a potential side effect of bleeding and stroke, yippee!), and Robaxin (for relaxing muscles tighter than my Mom's pursed lips when she's trying not to make disapproving remarks about me) - are now coursing through my system, and already I feel woozy and would cluck like a chicken if you told me to.
(p.s. - While my meds are perhaps not as intense as some have enjoyed recently, I'm happy to note that acquiring them didn't involve the cutting into of any body parts, even though I am not completely convinced there's not a giant, teeth-gnashing tumor festering in my lumbar region, ready to burst out like William Wallace, screaming for freedom. I'm also pleased that acquiring them didn't involve complicated shaving rituals because honestly, in my present state, I can't even begin to bend in ways necessary for such tactics.)
Anyway, I saw the doctor today, and I felt a little weenie upon entering the building because, boo hoo, my back hurts, but apparently the world is filled with really sick, really contagious people, so now, of course, I should prepare to actually get sick because wow, the waiting room was littered with all manner of those people, coughing and snuffling and filling the air with their evil. I very nearly took one of the surgical masks the staff provides patients, the ones they keep in a cookie jar at reception marked with the label "If you have a cough, kindly wear a mask for the benefit of our other patients" and yet NO ONE EVER DOES! Why? Because you're afraid of scaring off people? Have we learned nothing from I Am Legend (other than yawn...) or 28 Days Later? I for one do not look forward to a future where bad CGI mutants roam the cities, and if you'd just dip into the cookie jar, you'd do us all a favor.
Thankfully, I was called back to an exam room quickly, and didn't even have to wait more than 20 minutes for the doctor to come see me (have I ever told you about the time I waited, naked and covered only by a paper sheet, for nearly two hours to see my doctor once?!). The examination itself was pretty cut and dry. Are you constipated? No. (I can tell you people about my vibrator purchasing habits - too many times to link them all here - but just typing that last sentence made me want to apologize to all of you). Are you bleeding when you pee? No. (again, I feel like saying I'm sorry). Are you having your period right now? For a change, no. (sigh...). Then he had me stand up, turn around, and position myself in front of him. Let's just say that I've only stood in front of three men and bent over, and the last one I married, but today I added a fourth to the list.
Grabbing hold of the exam table in front of me for leverage (again, something I've only done with three other men...), I kept waiting for the Braveheart tumor to burst through my skin and eat the good doctor alive as all his poking and prodding (three men...) tempted fate. Instead I listened to him hem and haw and ask if it hurt here? How about there? Way up here? What about now? My tears, gently dropping and flowering out upon the tissue paper-covered exam table, served as my answer.
"Could be kidney stones," he said. "You're going to need to pee for me."
Thank goodness for the three gallons of water I'd consumed between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. That helped. You know what didn't help? The lab tech opening up the pee cubby while I was attempting to provide my sample! She totally scared the crap out of me (not really)(I mean not figuratively. She did scare me, though) and suddenly I felt like I was under a lot of pressure to deliver, and that pressure caused me to spill the bulk of my sample (thankfully in the toilet bowl)(again, I'm feeling the need for apologies...). No worries though. I was on F thanks to all the water I'd poured down my gullet.
The diagnosis? No kidney stones. Also? A commendation on being an excellent pee'er (peeer?). That alone was worth the doctor's visit. Oh, who am I kidding? No it wasn't. The drugs were worth the doctor's visit, and yeah! He delivered.
So anyway...I'm sorry if this post makes no sense. I'm sorry for all the parenthetical remarks. I'm not sorry for all the times I've written about vibrators. I took my first round of pills an hour ago and the sweet light of relief is shining on my horizon as I type, so I'm going to go attempt to lay down and relax for the first time in five days. Do with me what you will at this point. I'll be back - hopefully with a healthier back of my own - later.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

baby got back (and it hurts like a bitch. plus it's my actual back, not my ass. sorry for any confusion)

I spent the bulk of this past weekend laying flat on my back in bed with my legs thrust in the air because I:

  • tripped over a pile of dirty laundry at the foot of the bed and took a tumble onto the mattress
  • saw the face of Jesus in the popcorn ceiling and spent the next 48 hours repenting for my sins
  • thought it would be fun to recreate honeymoon sex
  • developed back spasms Friday night and fell instantly incapacitated

If you guessed the last one, you win! I'd like to say I was stricken with the spaz after a week that included:

  • ninja fighting
  • 'rasslin' gator
  • recreating honeymoon sex
  • busting intricate yoga moves

However, none of that would be true. Especially that one about recreating honeymoon sex, because I, for one, didn't spend that week completely flat on my back! Oh no, not this girl! When part of your honeymoon is spent in the Sherwood Forest Room of the now-defunct FantaSuite Hotel in Muscatine, Iowa (en route to the Wisconsin Dells, my friends, because my new husband was all about treating me like a princess!)(p.s. did you know there's not much to do in the Wisconsin Dells in the middle of October?), you damn well spend some time upright so you can take in the lush fake foliage around you. Multi-task, if you will.

(As someone who knows, I highly suggest you keep your eyes open to both stare lovingly into the eyes of your beloved, and prevent slamming your forehead into the 'tree limbs' your bed rests within as you go about your honeymoon business because it will be fun to see your loved one laugh at you when you realize that concrete tree limb is right there just as you are just about 'right there.')

(Additionally, I am making a plea to each and every one of you to consider spending the night with me in a FantaSuites hotel because OMG, I want to stay in this room! (GRR! The link is supposed to take you to the Happy Days Cafe room. Go. Do. It helps the pun I'm about to drop...) Actually, I'd willingly pay cash money to spend the night in any of them - seriously, go kill an hour taking the panoramic of any of those for they are The Awesome - but I truly want to stay in the one I showed you because I would annoy the hell out of you by constantly asking, "Are you trying to slip me your big bologna or is this a sandwich bed I'm laying on?")

(Oh, and for calling your bologna big? You're welcome)

Anyway, where the hell was I? Oh, yes. My bad back. You know when people say, "I've got your back!" and you totally think "Well, that's a nice sentiment, but when am I really going to need your back?" Well, the answer is when you have back spasms! I'd take somebody's back in a heartbeat! I have no idea what evil lurks within it, I just know it crashed into me Friday night when I got up from the kitchen table after supper, and encased me in a death grip. I have given birth to two children who's rip-roaring, no time for drugs deliveries into this world didn't cause nearly as much pain and physical discomfort as these back spasms have. Tool Man, being the honeymoon planning love of my life, walked past me at one point as I was holding onto the kitchen counter for dear life and crying, oh, the crying, and said, "I guess this means you're not going to the grocery store, huh?" and then I was miraculously cured thanks to the roundhouse kick to the nads I gave him.

Except I wasn't, and he wasn't a total heartless beast, either, because he doped me up on the ibuprofen and heated up a gel pack and placed me gingerly in bed, where he lifted up my legs to prop upon stacked pillows and helped me remove my clothing, and TOTALLY GOT IT when, through tears and white-knuckled death grips upon the headboard, I screeched, "Does this remind you of anything?" and he replied, "Yeah. Our honeymoon."

(only on our honeymoon, the roles were reversed...)

That right there is why I've been married to this man for 14 years, my friends. Not just because he took me to the House On The Rock (aka - "That place where I'd go crazy because seriously! The stuff! All the stuff! And the dusting! The dusting that would need to be constantly done!") three days after making me his wife.

Tool Man even tried to get me a prescription for something to knock me out, but he called my doctor's office 20 minutes before they were closing Friday night and, even with me wailing like a cat in heat in the background, they insisted there was no way they'd prescribe narcotics unless first seeing me in the office, and Tool Man was all, "Don't you hear that? You're going to make me put up with that ALL WEEKEND?!" God bless that man.

I've not been out of bed much in the past 72 hours. When I have ventured out, it's been physically taxing. Three basketball games Saturday and a potluck tonight has me defeated. It's taken me three hours to peck this post out because I'm presently propped in bed and trying to balance my laptop upon my legs which are, again, thrust up in the air. What's that? Will I marry you? Yes. A thousand times, yes!

In my convalescence, I have finished two books, started another (none of which were in the Twilight family, because, well, as you might recall from just a moment ago,the doctor refused to prescribe me any drugs), and made the decision that I'm going to start using the phrase "cheeky bastards" as often as possible in daily conversation. When not using that, I believe I'll try to toss in the phrase "Avenge me, boy! AAAAVENGGGE MEEEEEE!" whenever possible.

Example: "Avenge me, boys, you cheeky bastards!"

FYI? This is all brought to you by the power of 800 mg of ibuprofen. Can you imagine what it would be like if the crying had worked and I'd gotten a prescription for a muscle relaxer? I'll tell you what it would have been like. It would have been like honeymoon sex - awesome, slightly uncomfortable, exhausting, and perhaps requiring stitches.

Now, how about giving me some sugar, you cheeky bastards!

Labels: , ,

Thursday, December 11, 2008

gym class zero

That up there? That's a study guide my oldest son, a sixth grader, brought home this week for a test he has tomorrow.

In P.E.!

Before I let loose with a mild rant, I'm going to ask that you try to do something that I often find difficult, and that is to please look past my son's horrific handwriting and ragingly poor spelling, which, oh my God, hold me closer, tiny editor, makes me a wee bit crazy. Seriously, the use of 'b' when he clearly means 'd' is something we've been addressing since he was in utero! If I had a blue editor's marker, I would slash through this thing like I was in a back alley knife fight.

(deep breath...)

OK. Onto the ranting!

First, who in the hell has tests in P.E.? Do any of your kids take tests during gym class? Did any of you? This is foreign to me! Back in my day, there were no tests in gym! When I was in middle school, (every!!) gym class was spent playing volleyball. We'd often use giant stones we unearthed after killing a mastodon, who's fur we'd then spin into a net for our games. Oh, sure, we may have discussed rules and how to keep score, but games were often played like we were warriors pitted against the other in Thunderdome. I assure you that today, I would have no clue what the rules of volleyball are. It doesn't matter now, and it didn't matter then, because the gym teacher had his favorite students who were always on the winning team, and the losers, which often included the girls with the biggest boobs, ran laps in defeat.

Let's just say I ran my ever-lovin', big old sports bra stuffed ass off, and that if I so much as hear the word volley today, I start to panic and - just like I did back then - look around for the nearest public restroom to hide out in.

You don't even want to know what I do when I hear the word ball.

Oh, but it's a brave new world, and today there are standards and benchmarks that must be met in schools. One way my school district is working to meet them is with a goals-based curriculum, which includes testing and homework assignments in P.E. Gone are the days when a person with a chronic need to hide out in the bathroom during gym (ahem) could just bring a note signed (but quite likely forged) by her parent when they missed gym. No. When my son missed one session because he was away from school, he had to write a one-page paper on a sports activity of his choosing. With notations! You damn well know that neither of his gym teachers read that paper (although, based on the child's penmanship and spelling, I suppose that was to the mercy of the instructors).

By some weird fluke that apparently took place while the cells were dividing, my son, the product of two athletically inept individuals, was born with scary incredible athletic powers, and it is those powers that have saved his butt a couple of times during previous P.E. tests. He may not remember to brush his teeth every morning, but he can see a play in his head like nobody's business, and then chart it out on a test. That's a real plus when you consider the second part of my rant, which is the fill-in-the-blank massacre that have been the study guides.

Take a look at this study guide, which is on the rules and regulations of table tennis. Studying off of this is a nightmare. Every few words, a sentence is marred by a pothole that must be filled in with a term, which makes quizzing my son an exercise (is there a restroom nearby?) in frustration. Earlier tonight, I wished him luck as I read the following: "In doubles, the BLANK becomes the next BLANK and the BLANK of the BLANK server becomes the BLANK."


I shouldn't complain. The study guide for the test following the flag football unit looked like it had been through a gun battle, it was so riddled with blanks. When your statements read: "Conditions BLANK under a player's control keep them from making a serve or return." and the BLANK is filled in with "not," perhaps it's time to consider something a little different, like a jaunty true or false motif, or the always successful multiple choice option. Something a little easier (and more effective than fill-in-the-blank) for parents to quiz their little athletes so they don't spend so much time bitching and referring to their child's P.E. teacher as evil spawn and/or things far worse.

I'm not admitting I did that, I'm just saying there's a pretty good chance I did.

Perhaps my complaints are rooted in some post traumatic stress issues I have related to my former P.E. days. At least that's what I blame on my inability to run in a circle or rectangle to this day. I'm just glad it's not me taking a test tomorrow, because even after reviewing this study guide for the past four nights, I still don't have the first clue about the rules of table tennis.

I'm drawing a gigantic blank.

P.S. In the four months my son has been in school, he's only remembered to bring his gym clothes home once to be washed, thus, not only does my son spell for shit, he just might smell like it, too.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

file under A for 'awesome, these things are not'

See that? That can't be good, right? I don't know why I'm asking you. I mean, I showed this photo to my Tool Man Monday night when he got home from work and I asked him, "This can't be good, right?" and he made this little tsk sound with his tongue, and then he said, "Oh, that can't be good," so I think we've ascertained that this cannot, in fact, be good. We've all heard of the blue screen of death. Hell, I've sent people condolence cards when they've mentioned their computers came down with it, so I figured I was totally living on borrowed time when this, in all it's various shades of blue and green stripes, popped up on my laptop screen Monday morning.

My first thought, of course, was (say it with me!) "This can't be good." Then I thought, "Crap! Now how am I going to discreetly watch episodes of True Blood in a manner that may or may not be responsible for this screen now adorning my laptop?"

(sidebar: Is it just me or did they switch the actress who plays Tara after the first episode, because I swear they did and it's bugging the hell out of me, and I asked Tool Man what he thought, but Tool Man? He doesn't put that much thought into a TV program unless there are Cyclons involved, and then it's like we reverse roles and I just can't be made to frackin' care)

(also, where might one such as myself acquire a gentlemanly Southern vampire to call on me?)

This malfunction occurred while I was noshing on some delicious peanut butter toast before work and watching a Kids In The Hall clip over at Backpacking Dad's blog. Right in the middle of the funny - Poof! I was all, "Well, that's a fine how do you do! First I do not get a free hot blogger calendar featuring some blogger whom I have made no secret I find to be awesome, but now this?!"

Then I took another bite of toast (while it was still warm and melty, something I bet hot bloggers, awesome or not, do not eat in order to maintain The Hotness), took out my camera (first thought - "This is lots and lots of pointless blog fodder!" followed by "I should probably show this to Tool Man."). Then I thought about calling Dell, from whom I purchased my laptop last year, but I bought it through their business arm to get a fantastic deal, and my made-up business' name is Happy Time Fun Ranch, and seriously, every time I say that or I get mail from Dell addressed to me in care of Happy Time Fun Ranch, I have to sit on the curb by the mailbox and giggle for a bit.

Because I lead a truly sad and boring life...

Long story short, tonight I'm writing this scintillating nugget of my life on the above pictured, apparently not doomed laptop, and after a bit of deduction on my part and those of my employees at Happy Time Fun Ranch, I believe the culprit of the 70s-era wallpaper death screen was the half glass of Diet Pepsi I spilled on the counter that seeped under my laptop Saturday while watching Gremlins on AMC.

An event also involving Backpacking Dad!!

Coincidence? I cannot say with any certainty. All I know is if my laptop now multiplies (kudos, sir...), we'll get a hell of a lot more work done around here at Happy Time Fun Ranch, and also, I should probably not watch Gremlins 2 - The New Batch when it airs this weekend.


Had enough of me yet? No? OK, well let me regale you with this one:

See that? That can't be good, right? I don't know why I am asking you, because I can assure you that is, indeed, not good! I pulled that GIGANTIC HAIR out of my mouth, dislodging the remainder of it from my NOT DELICIOUS McDonald's cheeseburger tonight at supper. Let me just say two things before saying a whole bunch more: (a) my hair is amazing (ahem...), and (b) it doesn't look a thing like the follicle that garnished my half-eaten sandwich!!

I can't get hot french fries, but I can, apparently, get a fur burger.

(Oh, I'm sorry that I used that phrase. Honestly. But I am totally keeping it in there because I said it to my Tool Man after I tossed the rest of my meal out and he continued to eat the remainder of his apparently hairless cheeseburger in front of me!! Even while I was all, "I'm so hungry! I'll never eat at McDonald's again. Except I do like that Southwest grilled chicken salad, so dammit...")

Ali? Any chance you could take this up with the fine folks at McDonald's and see what they have to say for themselves? I'd consider retribution in the form of unlimited McFlurries.


OK, I must say, I've reached the point where I'm boring myself, and that can't be good, right? So I'll apologize. I should be in bed anyway, because tomorrow, I have to be out of the house by 9 a.m., to go work a four hour volunteer shift at the Scholastic Books warehouse sale that I committed to doing when my friend suggested we do it together, except, ha ha, tonight my friend bailed on me!

Also, did you catch that?

I'm going to go work at a book sale.

On my only day off from my regular job.

My regular job as a bookseller at a Major Bookseller.

Where I normally only work three hours a shift.

Yeah. I'm volunteering even more time on my day off to do for free what I normally get paid to do for less

Because I'm good, alright?

Labels: ,

Monday, December 08, 2008

'you can't escape the hours, you lose track of the days'

The following is a small sampling of the things I was able to accomplish during the time my children spent contemplating their dinner tonight, and by contemplating, I mean staring at their plates, which held what the most delicious pork chop, garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans, none of which was meant to kill them, for I've assured them for years that if my intent was to do them harm, it wouldn't be through a serving of poisoned pork or laced lasagna because, seriously, I don't want to take the risk that I'd get their plate by mistake because me? I like food. Anyway...:

  • Read War and Peace, wrote an annotated critique, then thought 'Why not?' and read it again.
  • Watched paint dry.
  • Hatched from an egg, developed into a larvae, spun a cocoon, then emerged a beautiful butterfly. Butterflies, of course, can only drink and not eat, therefore the fact that I was full from having eaten my delicious pork chop, garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans weighed my down and prevented my desired escape from the dinnertime madness.
  • Enjoyed a canoe excursion upon the Nile River (and back!).
  • Wrote, recorded, and produced a new album. Be sure to ask for it in stores now! It's called Chinese Democracy.
  • Gestated an elephant.
  • Staged a production of Rent in the family room so I could shine through a performance of Seasons of Love.
  • Settled in under a shady tree, fell asleep, and woke up 20 years later as a long-bearded old man.
  • Reached part seven of Pink Floyd's Shine On You Crazy Diamond before Tool Man yelled "The end! Please, I'm begging you! The end!" and so, thinking he was making a request, I started singing the Doors' The End and was halfway through the 10-minute spectacle when he just shook his head and walked away.

After 45 minutes of picking through the pauper's rations on their plates (seriously, my youngest chewed on a quarter inch piece of green bean FOR 20 MINUTES!!!), I'd had about all I could endure, and dismissed them from the table. But not without performing a Floyd encore when I absolutely tossed out the line "If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding!" However, ha ha, joke was on them because here was no pudding, and so what if there was? They weren't going to get any after taking so damn long to eat their dinner! More for me and Tool Man! Woo hoo!

Unless the menu for the evening includes peanut butter sandwiches, pepper-jack cheese (the greatest of all the cheeses), fruit snacks (but only certain brands because OMG...), and juice boxes, this scenario plays out every night in my house. It's killing my already tenuous interest in cooking. Every night my boys, lured by the magical scents wafting through the air from the kitchen, scurry in to see what delights I'm stirring upon the stove, and every night, they moan and groan and feign illness upon getting my response. Every night, you can hear the minutes ticking away on the clock louder than that of fork tines hitting plates. Every meal is a marathon, every dinner a debate. The night before last, as my youngest again waged battle between a kernel of corn and his gag reflexes in his throaty Thunderdome, I morphed into my mother - who once put cloves in a stew and left me to sit in front of a bowl of clove-laden stew all night, which, wow, is more extreme than I've ever been with my kids, plus you know what recipe doesn't need cloves? Freakin' stew - and told him if he dare threw up what little he had already eaten, I'd get him a spoon and he'd be enjoying sloppy seconds as he scooped his grilled chicken up off the counter.

Of course, saying that made me gag, but happily, I had a 40-minute digestion lead on the boy, so I felt confidant I'd not be seeing my dinner again.

My boys are the only children I've ever met who don't like pasta, potatoes, and most breads. It's almost unfathomable that I - who has never met a baked potato I didn't like - would have children who would thumb their nose at a hash brown or perhaps an Au gratin, but oh my, do they ever. My hips were made for child bearing based almost solely on the fact that my love of carbs contributed to their sturdiness.

Tomorrow night's menu calls for a rather delicious (and, for all you weight watchers out there, lowfat!) taco casserole and already the bargaining has begun, and the debate over how many bites constitutes their meal started before I'd finished washing tonight's meal dishes. If you'd like to come over for dinner, you're more than welcome. There will be plenty of casserole to go around, and I've already warned my youngest against a replay of the corn gagging scene, so you'll be spared that spoon threat.

Also, if you're game, we can stage a version of Phantom of the Opera (on Broadway 20-plus years and counting!) while they boys pick the black beans out of their sliver of supper. If you're good, you can totally have their pudding.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

stop me if you've heard this one*

*except you might want to rethink putting the kibosh on this post just yet because your other option was reading a tale that involves farts and/or the act of farting, which, I should warn you, is coming**

Last night, my Tool Man and I were enjoying a little quiet time doing what we do best, which is watching television. I was pretty excited to see that HBO (which we're getting free for three months since we switched to satellite, so yeah! Except they're apparently running all the same movies they used to when I was 16 and my parents had pay cable, so I'm looking forward to watching Footloose in a couple weeks then going to the mall with my BFF) was running the first season of True Blood last night, and a lot of you have told me there are some kick ass vampires on that show, so I was was all, "Hey! Record that!" except Tool Man ignored me and started watching a TV program that is being cancelled and he made me miss the first episode of True Blood, which I now may or may not have to watch nefariously.

(hold on...let me reread that first paragraph to see if I'm as confused as this sounds in my head. OK, no. I'm good)

Anyway, after Tool Man got done watching his doomed television program, he was flipping channels and, glory be to the Lord Almighty, he came across Legend (already in progress), and this time, when I yelled stop, Tool Man dropped the remote so we could watch Tom Cruise and his elven friends battle Darkness' evil plan to snuff out daylight by killing unicorns. It doesn't make sense, but honestly, I haven't really ever watched this movie once (of many, many times) in the last 23 years since it was released and completely followed it. I just like unicorns, sprites and princesses, of which this film has plenty.

I won't spoil the ending (let's just say it's hokey), but the final scene involves two glorious unicorns frolicking in the sun as flower petals and wispy leaves swirl around them (whoops...) and Tom Cruise and Princess Sloane from Ferris Bueller's Day Off are kissing and waving at their sprightly allies, and the whole time I'm waiting for that great Bryan Ferry song to kick in. Oh, you know what. Here, I'll just show you:

(Spoiler alert!) As the sun glimmered upon the horns of the majestic unicorns, I leaned over to my Tool Man, slapped him on the thigh, and said, "Look! It's a metaphor for Tom Cruise's and Princess Sloane's love! I learned that in film study in college, even though I fell asleep during Citizen Kane and had to watch it again to understand. It proves they were meant to be!"

Tool Man leaned over, slugged me on the arm, and said, "No. It just means unicorns are always horny."

And I sat there for about two seconds before I "got it," and then I laughed (just a little bit)(and I may have Twittered it, but remember what I asked you guys. This is fresh material!), and then I got a bit worried.

"Hold up. When you say unicorns are always horny, is that a metaphor for us having sex now?" I said, but Tool Man has a cold and the meds he's taking make him feel a little bit like the Devil (check out those abs!) and sound like Honeythorn Gump from Legend (um, listen to the above clip), so he assured me that no, he was not looking for sex, so I was kind of relieved. Then he went to bed and I scanned the movie listings for different metaphors and the first episode of True Blood.

The End.

**because I keep telling you that I'm really a 14-year-old boy, and really, if a post about farts doesn't prove it, I'm not sure what else I have to do.***

***except maybe talk about boobs more often, which, I'm sorry, I've been lax about, and I'll see what I can do about rectifying that.

Labels: ,

Monday, December 01, 2008

(you drive me) crazy

So on Thursday, I had this totally awesome idea for a blog post, and I walked around my house most of Friday mapping it out in my head (because hell no, I didn't go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, nor did I have to work my retail job, thanks to a little something I like to call "Don't Look The Manager Directly In The Eye When Asking For Time Off")(p.s. - if anyone asks, I was at my sister's in Missouri for the holiday, and seriously, have you tried her turkey because it is divine!).

Why not dive on the computer and just write on Friday? Good question. Logical. Straight-forward. I like that about you people. You don't mince words (or insert an insane number of parenthetical remarks as you stall through a blog post about nothing)(sorry about that...thanks for reading...love you...). Anyway, good question. My best answer is I don't remember much about Friday. I'd put my kids to bed Thursday night with the promise that I loved them and the threat that if they woke up at the beastly hour my Tool Man had set the alarm for, there would be a price to pay, so when they woke up at 6 a.m., Friday, and commenced bickering at 6:03 a.m., because THE TOUCHING!! DEAR GOD, THE TOUCHING!!, my brain cells poured out of my ears like a wound, and while I don't think my kids are to blame for the unexplained scratches all over my right hand, I do believe one day they will remember this past weekend as the time I went Crazy Britney and they found me huddled in a corner of our garage, crying, for real, because seriously, THE TOUCHING!! and because I may or may not have ignored their father when he called back after I may or may not have hung up the phone on him earlier and, yes, definitely, flung it across the room when he said he wasn't coming home until late Saturday and I had to have him repeat that last part because I couldn't hear so well because the boys were running through the house singing "Fat Bottomed Girls" and I was telling them to please be quiet and if they were singing that about me, AGAIN, they better rethink their performance.

YEAH! It's the holidays!

So that explains why you get this type of post today and not the clever, hilarious post that crossed my mind Thursday while I was basking in the warmth of Thanksgiving love extended by members of my immediate family and approximately 23 strangers and two dogs. I'm still riding a bit of the crazy train today, and yesterday, I think half the members of my church thought I was having a serious 'come to Jesus' moment, because I pretty much cried through half the service for no reason other than, wow, that drummer was really into worship, and good Lord, if Tool Man looks at me like that again, I will have no defense because this place is filled with witnesses...

So I figure I'll tell you how my deviled eggs turned out -


Want to know why? I emailed my Mom Wednesday morning to let her know I was in charge of bringing deviled eggs, and she immediately replied back that she had the best recipe for this tasty treat, and "Oh, you know what, why don't you just boil the eggs and bring them over and I'll make them Thursday morning before we go to your aunt's" (which, it should be noted, is not in Missouri, nor is my aunt actually code for "my sister's"). See what I did? I completely allowed her to step in without asking her to step in! Genius! Of course, this means I still have never made deviled eggs, but I figure there's always Christmas.

It also means I was also worried for nothing, because my Mom didn't even go on about how wolves must have raised me and not taught me a thing, so that was nice of her. However, as I departed her house Wednesday night after leaving my perfectly boiled eggs (ask me for my recipe - I seriously had to Google how to boil them!), she did say something to me that made me shake my head and mutter, "...and that's the reason why I was in therapy for two years," because wow, my Mom is awesome!

And so are her deviled eggs.

This post is boring. Being as how I'm still riding the fringes of Crazy Britney, here's where I'd either hit you with something or profess my love, but instead, I need to do a drunken dance up to the shower and get ready for work. I can't wait to burst into tears when some poor woman asks me for a picture book. Good times...

So how was your weekend, or, you know, whatever else you want to tell me?