...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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

this post brought to you with limited commercial interruption

So it's Tuesday evening as I write this and we're on day...hmm, let me check...I have no idea...of my Tool Man being gone to the nether regions of the Midwest to do the mysterious tool-related tasks he does, and forgive me for saying this because I know some of you out there who do this whole 'life' thing longer and harder (I totally just tried not to laugh there, but yeah, I'm 14, so I laughed)(also? that's what she said!)(p.s. I also used the phrase 'nether regions' up there and now I am chuckling because of that) without the routine assistance of a partner, and seriously, hats off to you. Hats off followed by long, cascading amber waves of porn hair (if I can ever get my ass into the school of beauty to clean up the crime scene that has become my roots, that is), because me? I'm tired. Or "tarred," as I imagine Oprah saying it, and believe me, if I'm imagining how Oprah sounds when she puts on that overkilled Southern accent, I'm damn tarred.

If you're the least bit curious to know why, let me tell you. Remember when my carbon monoxide detector went off in the middle of the night when Tool Man was gone? (longest link ever designed to entice you to read that great post)? Yeah, well, naturally, three smoke detectors decided this was a good week to die. On different nights. Oh, and to keep beeping even after I thought I'd determined which ones were nearing the end of their mortal coil and/or I'd tossed out into the garage in a show I'd have called "Who's The Boss?" if there hadn't already been a show called that. So that was fun around 12:30 a.m. Also at 2 a.m. Oh, and at 4:45 a.m.

Also as fun was my hard day at work today. While you mutter, "We know, we know. You work four hours a day, blah, blah, blah..." let me stage a portion of my experience in the following one-act play:

Customer: "Can you help me find a book. I don't know the title or who wrote it, but it's about a baby bear and his parents and it's nighttime and they're tired, but they can't seem to really settle on anything."

Jessica/Audrey/Rebeca (I loved those names as a kid, so I'm still trying to decide which to use for my present-day alter ego): "Would there perhaps be a little girl in the story? Maybe with, oh, I don't know, golden hair?"

Customer: "Noooooo... The book was about this big (holds hands into a square the size of a Suzy Q)(she caught me as I was heading to break, where I didn't actually have a SusyQ, but for artistic purposes, I'm using it). My Grandma used to have it, and she read it to me all the time, but she doesn't recall what it is now."

JAR, responding in the fashion booksellers do when they want customers to mosey along: "Well....hmmm."

Customer: "All I remember is it's about a baby bear and his family and they're tired and they can't really seem to settle on anything."

JAR, pulling out a few bear-related board books while nodding at the repeated description: "I'm pretty sure none of these are it, because what you're describing sounds like it was written a long time ago (and is a classic fairy tale titled 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears,' but whatever)."

Customer: "Yeah. No. It's none of these. Can you search your computer for it?"

JAR, tapping the her lithe fingers fluidly across the computer keyboard: "Sure! Oh! Look here!"

Customer, hopes up: "Did you find it???"

JAR: "Sadly, no. However, I discovered that if you type in the word 'bear and/or bears' and do a search of all children's books with said animal, you come up with nearly 8,000 titles!!"

Customer: "...."

JAR: "Is there anything else I can help you find today?"

--- and scene --

Oh, but the day gets better, my friends! I know it hardly seems feasible, but try this on for size. My youngest son, proving he's indeed his father's son, came home from school and, like he does every weekday, raced directly into the bathroom, where he proceeded to carry out his business and call his broker. Today's dash enhanced by him yelling, "I just farted, but don't worry because I'm pretty sure there's no diarrhea!"

Awesome. God? Thank you. You have blessed me beyond words.

Except ha! Psych! I have more words! Read on!

For the past several nights, my youngest son, whose been working on his stand-up act, has been trying out new material on me. It's been quite the laugh riot around the house, but do you want to know what's even more fun than answering "What kind of date do ghouls go out with?"?* It's my oldest kid pulling some sweet magic tricks on me tonight with the lame ass magic kit I thought I'd successfully throw out this week. Instead of watching that disappear in the trash, I was subject to countless attempts to find the hidden nut and "Watch me make a knot in this rope without using my hands!" In the immortal words of the Steve Miller Band, Abra-abra-cadabra, I want to reach out and grab ya's magic trick kit, saw it in three pieces, and make it disappear for good, tiny Criss Angel!

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, and even tweeted as much, the lovely Velma reminded me that oh, yes, it could, indeed, get worse by tweeting back to say a kid with a Guinness Book of World Records could be the third thing on this trifecta of , and guess who broke out in a damn cold sweat? This girl! Why? My youngest had media at school today and I kid you not, he came home with the freakin' Guinness Book of World Records, and regaled me over dinner with trivia tidbits (OK, seriously, Lee Redmond, we get it. You've had the longest fingernails for years now. You've got a lock on it. Slice them off already!). I don't know about you, but I love talking about millipedes while we're eating spaghetti. Hilarious!

Oh, yeah, Velma also mentioned whistling kids is another oh-so-awesome kid moment, and damn if my kids didn't come running to the table whistling! I'm sure they won't do that tomorrow night, though, when the menu calls for chicken stroganoff, so I've got that to look forward to.

Speaking of looking forward to, I'm now going to cap this post o' nothing off and go dig into that hunk of fantastic you see down there. You want magic? Watch me make that Reece's peanut butter egg disappear. If you made it this far, know that I'd share this with you, but you better bite quick because I could make your fingers disappear, too, if you're not careful.

P.S. Apparently I'm a giant and didn't realize it until I pulled this delicious treat out of it's packaging to indulge. That, or WTH, Hershey?! Please, refrain from making this bite (or two bites if I wish to appear dainty) any smaller, kapeesh?

* Anybody they can dig up.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

a post about the hairs on tool man's chinny, chin, chin

I've made little secret of the fact that I'm a big fan of goatees. There's something about that tuft of chin-hugging hair that makes me a happy, happy girl. Men, by their very nature, are a handsome lot, but when you slap a wee bit of hair around their grin, the hotness factor - at least in my Book O'Hotness Factors - rises.

Interestingly enough, I'm not as enamored of actual goats. For reasons I dare not even dwell upon, every goat I've ever encountered has hopped up on me in some kind of twisted mating dance that makes me shudder to think about. Seriously. OK, I guess I'm going to dwell upon it here for just a second - I once attempted to interview a goat farmer for a newspaper article (just the type of gripping news that made me an award-winning journalist), and after an hour spent failing in my ability to take any notes because the goats were forever humping my calves, I had to beg her to see the madness of the situation and ask if we could go inside her home, where, swear to God, the goats peered in the windows at me with their mysterious eyes. It was creepy, and, best of all, I reeked of goat when I finally left. Will you ever see me in a petting zoo? No. No, you will not.

(of course, sometimes goatees can also stink, too, which is a sad fact I'm well aware, thanks to the the fromage-tinged funk my Tool Man sports after enjoying any meal where cheese is involved)

My Tool Man's had a goatee for quite some time (he also had a kid-toucher mustache when we first met and our second date was contingent upon that hairy caterpillar crawling away)(ah, a few paragraphs in and I'm really painting a fabulous picture of my love, but wait, it'll get better). A few weeks ago, I noticed he hadn't shaved around his normally well-kept goatee, but I chalked it up it to being the weekend and him not wanting to take the three minutes he typically spends on daily grooming. By the middle of the week, I stopped him in the kitchen, waved my finger around his face, and inquired as to what was going on there between his nose and neck. "Oh, my....you're growing a beard, aren't you?" I asked, to which Tool Man responded affirmatively by smiling through the sharp follicular daggers poking from his pores.

OK, here's some examples of those who rock a full-blown beard:

  • Any of you reading this who have beards
  • Any of you with beloveds bearing beards
  • Santa Claus
  • Jesus
  • Gandalf and his alter-ego Professor Dumbledore
  • Sasquatches
  • Hagrid
  • Jim Morrison
  • Uncle Jesse from the Dukes of Hazzard
  • Bret McKenzie
  • The Wild Thing from Where The Wild Things Are
  • Chuck Norris
  • The Burger King king
  • Anyone who has ever denounced the government, taken up refuge in a remote shack, and/or penned a manifesto
  • Yosemite Sam
  • The Beatles circa Abbey Road and/or Let It Be
There are, of course, many more who can sport the full face of fur well, but I think the above list gives a fair representation. I know you're probably asking yourself why I didn't include two-thirds of ZZ Top on my list, and I think the answer is obvious. Sharp dressed men? No. Those aren't beards so much as they are distractions, and I fear, if left to his own devices (which apparently no longer include his beard trimmer), Tool Man could be heading for distraction territory.

OK, honestly, he may already be setting up camp in distraction territory and renaming it Beardsville, because I, for one, am quite distracted by this new accessory he's sporting. Why? Well, for one, his hair is dark, bordering on black. I call it brack, for it dances a fine line between brown and black. However, his beard has grown in quite red. Some would say it's rust belt (and some who would say that better get that reference and dig it like I do). It's difficult to look at him and not find your eyes locked simply on the face pelt he's sporting. "My eyes are up here," he'll tell me when he's been speaking for awhile and I've not responded because I'm so mesmerized by the leprechaun hair he's growing.

If Tool Man weren't so camera shy, I'd share a photo of him and his furry face friend here with the rest of you. Alas, I can't do that, so I've included an artist's rendering of his beard so you can see what I'm dealing with. This was drawn hastily (and shortly after Tool Man had a hair cut), and I'll admit, I am no one's idea of an artist. My red marker started to go dry halfway through my process, which is a shame, because the beard is QUITE red. I should also note that my Tool Man isn't quite as cherubic as this drawing would lead you to believe, nor does he look like a vintage Fisher Price little person. Nor Keanu Reeves.

In case I've not made my case here clear, I'm not a fan of the full-blown beard ON MY TOOL MAN. If you have one, trust me, I'm good with it. However, on Tool Man, it's become the topic the majority of our conversations, most of which include random queries as to it's itch factor, length of stay versus length of growth, and it's impact in the romance department. Even the kids, without any prodding from me, have gotten in on the campaign to curb the beard.

"So, how long do you think you're going to have that thing?" our oldest asked the other night while we were enjoying dinner as a family.

"Who knows," Tool Man responded. "Maybe for awhile."

"But it's nearly summer!" our youngest chimed in. "Your face will get hot. No one wants a hot face!"

(amen, little man...amen...)

"Maybe I'll become a trend setter!" Tool Man replied.

"Like that time you bought a silver minivan and then noticed everyone on the road was also driving silver minivans and you proudly declared it was because we'd opted for that over the red one?" I asked.

"Maybe," Tool Man said.

"You have a bit of noodle trapped in your facial flytrap there by your lower lip," I sighed.

Short of shaving him in his sleep, I think we're forced to look at his beard for awhile longer, and you can imagine that during every minute of that awhile longer that ticks by, I'm cursing Tool Man's light sleeping habits (although the plus side in that? no Rumpelstiltskin beard!). I'm also using that time to be very cognizant of any stray chin hairs that pop out on me (sigh...), because paybacks can be a hairy bitch, and if Tool Man ever learns what a blog is, he'll bust me for busting on him.

Seriously, though, if he goes to kiss you after having eaten pizza at any point in the day, ask him to go wash his face first. You'll thank me. Then you'll join my army of razor sharp allies working to clip this beard in the bud.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

pucker up, buttercup

The key to successful bubble blowing, according to this gorgeous kid up there, is to whistle while you're blowing. He may be onto something. I can't whistle, and my bubbles were airborne thanks purely to the wind at my back when I'd raise my wand - which was pink, because the boys were adamant they'd blow bubbles with me, but they wouldn't do so from pink plastic wands, thank you very much - to my lips.
I love the concentration my oldest son gave to this activity, as you can see from his furrowed brow. Of course, a look below shows that closed eyes may be the best way to face things in life when your bubble bursts.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

tonight's episode - 'the case of the filched fire wood!'

When my Tool Man and I moved into our present house, we were most excited at the prospect of having a fireplace in our living room. We both imagined winter nights with a roaring fire crackling in our cozy abode, the heat emanating into the room a metaphor for our burning love. The first time we left the house following a visit with the former owners, we were barely out of the driveway when we turned to each other and both exclaimed, "FIREPLACE!!"

"You know what that means, don't you?" Tool Man asked.

"Hell, yes! We can make s'mores any damn time we want!" I cheered.

"Oh, well, not quite what I was thinking," Tool Man responded, wiggling his eyebrows. "I was thinking more along the lines of sex in front of the fireplace. Romance. You know. All that." (sidebar - ah, the good old days...)

"Are you sure this isn't just your way of avoiding marshmallows?" I said.
"I mean, I don't like them, either, but we're talking s'mores, honey..."

Long story short, we soon took possession of the house and have enjoyed our fireplace several times when winter has whipped across the tundra. Has there been sex in front of the fireplace in that time? Yes, although, to be honest, the fireplace wasn't in use at those times (hold on a moment, let me ask Tool Man something - "Is it because I'm all the molten hot love you need?" "What? Did you say something? I'm playing a game here!")(sidebar - ah, the good old days...). Have there been delectable s'mores made in our living room? I regret to tell you the answer to that is also no, and also, did you know you could whip those delicious bad boys up in a microwave in under 20 seconds? The more you know (the bigger your ass can possibly get)...

Thanks to the miracle of blankets working in tandem with my super hot hotness (aided by delicious s'mores...mmmm...s'mores!), we really haven't used the fireplace we were so excited about in quite awhile. However, we have kept a large supply of firewood stacked out on a corner of our lot should the desire strike.

Until today, that is!

(cue the
Scooby Doo theme song!)

This morning, I was standing on our deck, taking in the glory of the straw-colored grass and the tattered plastic bags being held tight in the branches of our bare trees, surveying all the eye could see, when I noticed something considerably wrong in our yard. Despite it's considerableness, it still took me a moment to realize what wasn't right. Finally, it hit me that our gigantic pile of wood was gone. Not only that, but the villain or villains had also absconded with two large wood pallets the firewood rested on, and removed a half-buried piece of rebar (which, interesting sidenote, I've been asking Tool Man to remove from around the firewood pile as well as the four trees growing in our backyard for years, only to have him tell me it was virtually impossible because the ground - or Earth, as he likes to call it - was too tough)

I present to you People's Exhibit A (where once firewood stood) and People's Exhibit B (a close-up look at how easily rebar can apparently be removed):

Shocking, isn't it? In fact, some might even say ZOINKS!

I immediately made like Shaggy and Scooby, my feet spiraling in one spot for several seconds before propelling myself inside to tell Tool Man and the rest of the gang we needed to hop into the Mystery Machine and head straight for the Haunted Mansion to solve this one (fingers crossed it was the work of a bunch of knuckle-heads wearing masks!).

Tool Man, in his best Freddy fashion, straightened his ascot and went next door to see if the neighbors had heard or seen anything suspicious while I, doing my best aloof Daphne (I really do not care one bit for these particular neighbors), waited in the yard for him to come back with our first clue.

"They said a woman came knocking on their sliding glass door a few days ago, asking them if that was their firewood out back," Tool Man quickly reported. "Also, they said the woman scared them to death!"

"Was it because she was wearing a mask and told them they must leave this haunted place immediately?!" I asked (fingers crossed)(these people really need to move, pronto), thinking we were going to solve this case quicker than anticipated, upholding the grand tradition of allowing some sad sack to curse us for not allowing them to get away with their plan.

"No," Tool Man sighed. "It's because she came through their backyard to knock at the back of the house."

Care to see my neighbor's backyard?

It's funny they answered their sliding glass door, because we're well aware of the fact they've never answered their front door to the city compliance officer who routinely comes around to inform them their broken fence and fence panels laying everywhere is a violation of city code. The second photo? Oh, that's a view of their fence (built RIGHT ON TOP of the property line) from my yard. Wavy, baby! I swear, one day, I'm going to put a mask on and set that thing ablaze (and now let's forget we ever had this conversation...). Anyway, the fence serves as a pretty clear indictator that our wood pile, at about 5 feet from the fence, is not likely the neighbor's possession.

We then stood around looking at the crime scene for several minutes, but spied no clues. After several hours cruising around in the Mystery Machine, listening to Velma as she tried to harsh our buzz with her logic, and consuming copious amounts of Scooby Snacks, we decided we'd call the police and at least report a theft and/or vandalism. Here's a funny thing, though. Crime apparently takes the weekends off here in the suburbs. Lawman, lawman, lawman, where are you? No one answers the phone at our police station after 5 p.m., on Fridays. Had the 49 Miner been privy to such information in episode 4 of the first season of Scooby Doo, I've no doubt he'd have outsmarted Scooby and the gang, thus saving the world from later special episodes involving the Harlem Globetrotters and the Addams Family (and, blech, Scrappy Doo).

The irony in this? This unsolved mystery involving hot firewood now gets filed away as a cold case.

rut row...


Thursday, March 19, 2009

from awesome to awkward - a beginner's guide

So, when you hear the word 'awesome,' what do you think of?

Me? You think of me? You're entirely too nice to me sometimes, Internet!

I'll tell you what I think of. I think of zombies (and you...definitely you). Zombies are awesome. I know what you're thinking. "Aren't you the girl who has problems with Bigfoot?" The answer is yes. So much so that I felt it would be gratuitous to insert the NINE posts I've written outlining said Bigfoot phobia. However, I love zombies like I love cake, meaning I drool over all things zombie-related. They're like giant, helpless babies.

I've also written of zombies SIXTEEN times, but I won't link those, either, because really, are you going to flit off and read 25 other rambly posts of mine? That's what I thought.

In addition to zombies, I also think Dairy Queen Blizzards are awesome. Last night, I got a hankerin' for a delicious Reece's peanut butter cup Blizzard, so I raced over the the DQ (five minutes before close!) and ordered a treat for me and my Tool Man. That in itself is awesome. Even more awesome? Having a coworker from the bookstore who ALSO MANAGES MY LOCAL DQ! "These two are on me, insert real name here!" she said. "Really? Are you sure?" I asked. Then I thanked her and sped away before she could change her mind. Nearly 1o bucks (that price, btw? not awesome) in free Blizzard? Why, yes, Dave Ramsey, I knew you'd approve!

So those are the things on my awesome list.

Want to know what I find not all that awesome?

Making small talk with a former paramour for more than an hour while our kids run around the playground.

Let me set the scene -

Last night, the boys and I figured we'd delay dinner and use the last hour of springtime sunlight to go shoot baskets at the elementary school playground. It was a delight to chase my boys around the pebble covered cement court, and to amaze my oldest basketball-loving son with my keen ability to still be able to sink a ball from outside the key. When he told me that was where I was shooting from, I just nodded my head and acted cool. I have no idea all this basketball talk.

Anyway, about 20 minutes into our games, a car came barreling around the corner, parked near our court, and out lumbered a father and his young son, who was cupping his own basketball. From the discreet vantage point behind my giant sunglasses, I thought the father looked a bit familiar, my head spinning with thoughts that "Hmmm...I think I know that flat butt and the way he seems to be pushing his glasses back up the bridge of his nose with his thumb."

And then I muttered "Crap..."

I did, indeed, know that flat butt and the thumb-attacks-glasses maneuver because I'd dated this man who still employed both traits 15 years ago. The fact that he looks EXACTLY the same (whereas I look more stunning and polished)(and oh, hahahaha...yeah, right...) as he did when we dated for a year was also a big giveaway.

Then we made eye contact (though I kept my giant sunglasses on as hope he'd not immediately recognize me, a plan I destroyed a bit later, which you'll see if you keep reading) and I'm pretty sure he muttered "Crap..." also. Though it was hard to tell for sure. He never was a great conversationalist.

So, I thought I'd come here today and offer you all tips on how to avoid this type of not awesome situation should you ever find yourself in it. You may want to take notes. Here we go:
  • If you wish to try and get through this experience anonymously and pretend you and the person you used to get naked with years ago actually do not know each other, do not saddle your firstborn child with your maiden name. Additionally, do not habitually yell or call for said firstborn child saddled with your maiden name while the person you used to get naked with, the one you don't want realizing who you are, is standing less than 30 feet away. Trust me. It's a dead giveaway.
  • Wave and/or nod your head politely when said former flame has his suspicions confirmed for him because you've now said your maiden name 14 or 538 times.
  • Grit your teeth in the form of a smile and mutter hushed warnings to your kids when your former flame's kid suggest he and your two sons play a game of pick-up ball together. Sigh and throw your arms up in the air in exasperation if your kids do not listen to you and take off running to play with said kid. Pretend you're swatting away at bugs when former flame spies you throwing your arms in the air (and perhaps kicking at rocks).
  • Have a short-list of conversation topics you can pull from when you find yourself standing next to your former boyfriend or girlfriend. Do not choose from the following suggestions:

"Remember that time when I was over at your apartment and we watched 'Ghost' and you leaned over and whispered you wanted to recreate the 'Unchained Melody' scene where Demi and Patrick are at the potter's wheel, but with your penis, and I laughed?"

"What about the time when we were driving home from a dinner date and you asked me what the worst thing I'd ever done was, and I looked at your sweet, innocent, snow-white face and told you I once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die, and I thought I was so clever, but you kind of looked shocked, then said, 'Huh. Well, the worst thing I've ever done was cheat on a math test in sixth grade.' Yeah. That was good times."

"Wait! I've got another one! Remember that time when you told me I had beautiful eyes and pulled me in really close and I hardly knew you and I was, I'll admit it, kind of scared, so I just rolled said beautiful eyes at you?"

  • If you give said former paramour an opportunity to speak - and you likely will, because all the talking you've been doing up to this point has meant you've been breathing a lot and breathing a lot means you've had to press your stomach out rather than suck it in (it's been 15 years. A lot changes in 15 years...which you'll soon notice...) in hopes that your former amour will have spent all the time you were babbling thinking how mad he is that he could have had you and not the sad existence his life has turned into - don't be surprised (or indignant) if he says the following:

"You know what was a good time? That time I called you while you were on vacation and we talked for quite a bit, and then you told me you'd met someone else and thought perhaps that you and I should break up. I think your exact words were, 'You're a really nice guy, and you're so sweet. I'm sure there's a girl out there who would really enjoy spending time with you. I'm just not sure I'm that girl, and I don't want to keep you from her.'"

(sidebar - this is totally true. I am not particularly proud, but seriously, this dude was soft white Wonderbread boring, and I'd met my not-yet-a Tool Man Tool Man and thought he hung the moon, even though he was sporting a pedophile mustache, the memory of which just made me cringe...)
  • Catch your breath. Yeah. You'll have to stick that stomach out again a bit, but get your breath, suck it back in, and then, blow a giant thought balloon atop your head where you see the two of you standing against the brick school wall, much as you're doing that very moment in real life, and have your thought version of yourself get all sassy, rolling her arms down the length of her body and saying, "Mmmmmhhhmmmm....all this coulda been yours, baby!"
  • Don't appear flustered when, after you pop said thought balloon atop your head, you remember you didn't put any make-up on today and your roots? Your roots are so dark scientists want to study them in hopes of proving their hypothesis that your head is where the space-time continuum originates.
  • Stand around in a silence that grows increasingly uncomfortable. Break up the quiet by sporadically alerting your kids they have 10 more minutes to play or inquiring about the nice weather.
  • Finally, and quite literally in this case, take your ball and go home.

Yeah. Good times. Good, good times.

When I'd gotten the boys loaded into the mini, I turned around to them and asked if they'd seen the man I was talking to, the father of the boy they'd been playing basketball with. "Years ago, before I met your Dad, I dated him," I said. "Can you believe that!?" My oldest son, who thinks the whole idea dating is gross, just chuckled. My youngest piped up and said he was glad I didn't marry him, "because I like our Dad."

Me, too, I assured him. He's pretty awesome.

Not as awesome as zombies, though...

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

shall we play a game? version 2.0

Remember last summer when I when I put up this post asking you all to figure out what it was my Tool Man and I were talking about, and was all "Oh, ha ha ha! Hilarious. They'll never figure this out!" and then 30 minutes after I hit 'publish post' one of you did, leaving me sitting dumbfounded in the spot I'd not yet moved from, muttering "Well, hmmm. That was fun while it lasted."?

Well it's time to play again!

A few nights ago, Tool Man and I were enjoying some time together when he asked me the following question:

"It's pretty thick, isn't it? It feels like you're sucking holes in it!"

(sidebar - It should be noted that I was not, in fact, sucking holes in it because I have the particular job he was speaking of down to a science)(also? practice makes perfect!)(though no one ever says there's such a thing as a bad one of these)

Now it's your turn to do some work, if you choose. Fill up the comments with love. And guesses, too, since that's really what this is all about.


Monday, March 16, 2009

so the chinese say good things come in pairs...

Hall & Oates

peanut butter & jelly

Wayne & Garth

War & Peace

He-Man & Skeletor

thunder & lightening

Thelma & Louise

The Thompson Twins (though technically a threesome, still fantastic)(hold me now)(please?)

Superman & Lois Lane


Romeo & Juliet

hugs & kisses

Regis & Kelly

Phineas & Ferb

nuts & bolts

bacon & eggs

These are all fantastic things to go well together.

Want to know what doesn't go well together?

PMS & the first day of spring break!

Please pray for me.

Oh, that's selfish, isn't it? Are you calling me selfish? I'm not selfish! I feel so fat...I'm fat, aren't I? I'm not crying! I said I'M NOT CRYING! Hold on...I need some chocolate...hold up, did you just mutter something about me being fat again? I SAID I'M NOT CRYING!!!

OK, please pray for my children. Then stop by the gift shop on your way out for the souvenir photo and T-shirt should the three of us get through this week unscathed.

Trust me, I'll be crying far more than them.


Friday, March 13, 2009

you know how rock radio stations have silly names for the days of the week? well, I dub this 'thuck you, thursday!'

So a couple weeks ago I was suffering from an acute case of the zombie virus. Perhaps you remember me writing ("I think she means 'whining,' you say. Ha ha! Good one, you!) about it. Oh, it looks like I wrote about it a few times. Nothing like beating a dying zombie corpse, eh? Anyway, I've really only been over the virus for about...wait a minute...let me check my watch...I'd say close to 45 minutes, but guess what, party people?

Yep. My Tool Man came home from another Mysterious Midwest Tool Job last night and was all, "Wah, wah, wah! I'm sick AGAIN," and if you're keeping score at home, you'd note that this is the THIRD time Tool Man has been sick in the last two months. Also, it's amazing that you'd know that because Tool Man is not jotting down his deepest and darkest on a blog of his own, and when I crack my knuckles and pound out these masterpieces, I like to make it All About Me, so I may have only wrote of his maladies one time when I mentioned my raging jealousy that he actually got real medicine when he visited the doctor, whereas I got nothing (and in return may have left a small damp spot on the tissue covering the exam table because, once again, let me shame myself by mentioning my cough-induced incontinence)(seriously, the only shame I have left at this point comes when I dance around the house to The Motels song of the same name).

So tonight, while Tool Man's nose dripped iridescent bubbles of snot and he moped about (seriously, people, be glad Tool Man doesn't have a blog because if you thought I was a weenie when I was ill, you've not yet worshiped at the feet of the master), and I settled into the indented couch space that sighs happily upon my return, we ate frozen pizza and caught up on the last two episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (I have no idea why still, either). About 20 minutes into the action (and I use that term loosely, because this show? YAWN!) Tool Man paused the action to remark about how confusing it must be to be John Connor (we often talk of fictional characters as though they are real), what with all this need to keep straight what's going on with Future John versus Present-Day John, and, once I told him to shush because Brian Austin Greene was actually in the particular episode, I then went to kiss him (Tool Man, not Brian Austin Green, but fingers crossed for one day...)(and I didn't kiss him because gah! THE SNOT!) because FINALLY Tool Man understands what it's like to be me while we're watching this or any other science fiction program where time travel is involved, wherein "me" means "confused."

Except for when I'm watching LOST, though, because I've been watching that show since Day One and Tool Man started watching it for the first time during the middle of last season, and he claims to "get it" and know just what's going on when the lights flash and someone's nose starts to bleed, whereas I pretty much know I do not "get it," but I absolutely refuse to admit that to him because I'm irritated. At Tool Man, not LOST. I can never be irritated at anything that gives me this (aye, ya be a fine one, Desmond).

Back to the couch....

After I asked Tool Man to stop with his mumbo jumbo scary future talk, he passed me a box of delicious jaw breakers to share (feel free to inject something about how perhaps our highly processed diet of late is contributing to the illness going around the place)(then kindly leave m blog, Mom). I popped about five of the tiny orbs in my mouth at once, and Tool Man immediately warned me to be careful. "I know they're not as big as they used to be, but you have to know what you're doing," he said. I rolled my eyes and, though it was difficult based on the two very huge openings (that's what she said!) he gave me to take this conversation into, and opted to keep quiet.

That is until he added, "GobStobbers can be dangerous."

"Honey," I smiled, "I've stobbed a few gobs in my day. I know what I'm doing."

I also didn't tell them they're actually called GobStoppers, because I've learned from experience that when you're dealing with a man who says he's eating a sammich at the libarry, it's just best to pick your battles.

Ah, contented sigh.... What a night!

"Um, but where's the part where you have dubbed today 'Thuck you, Thursday!'"?" you're asking.

Thanks for reminding me.

Thursday was supposed to be a fantastic day, and yet it was a few GobStoppers short of being excellent. Here's why:
  • Remember last Thursday when my Dad had surgery? Well, we learned this Thursday morning that Tool Man's Dad was in the hospital and had experienced what was later determined to have been a series of small strokes. He's home now after a day spent getting additional tests indicated nothing further...except for another damn lesson in Things About The World That Are Crappy.
  • I totally George Jetsoned my way to work today, as I do each and every Thursday - completely on autopilot, but minus the assistance of robots, because, as I mentioned earlier, I'm still watching Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and I have reason to believe we shouldn't really trust those made of metal - and when I get there to discover they don't want me there. Oh, no they don't. They want me there Friday! I DO NOT WANT TO BE THERE FRIDAY for I am spoiled. But guess who stayed and worked their four-hour shift today anyway? And guess who made (sit down for this!) $40 today because she's so dedicated and was already wearing her sensible work slacks anyway? And guess who has to go to work on Friday?
  • And while you're at it, guess who got called "he" and "him" for an hour by a really grabby toddler while SHE was scanning and shelving books? Here's a clue! If she could have, she'd have responded by saying, "Listen, little bub, I got $40 of new bra on that proves I'm not playing the Crying Game, kapeesh?" (that $40 of new bra was why she went ahead and worked her unscheduled shift because sometimes you have to sacrifice).

There's probably more about Thuck you, Thursday! that irritated me, but I just climbed into bed with a totally hot chick (like I'd share Tool Man's germs...he's snoring downstairs on the couch) and I need to cap off this day.

Besides, it's Friday now.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

the shortest post i've ever given you. in bed!

Me: "Heh, heh, heh... Look, honey! My fortune says 'Our first and last love is self-love.' Heh, heh, heh."
Tool Man: "True dat!"
Me: "Heh, heh, heh, this is so hilari...WAIT! Did you just say 'True dat'?"
Tool Man: "Fo sho!"
Me: "Oh, you're so going to be self-loving yourself for awhile for that."
Tool Man: "I think you mean, 'Fo dat!'"
Me: "Watch me eat this egg roll now and weep for what you'll be missing..."
p.s. - Can I just say that I LOVE how the fortune builds suspense with the ellipses?! Like it knows, it just KNOWS, that the recipient is going to go for the clear and present double entendre. Seth, my inner-14 year old boy (perhaps you've heard me talk about him, yeah?) totally choked on the half of my fortune cookie I shared with him when we saw this, and before he could even say it, I was all, "I KNOW!! This is fantastic, isn't it?!"


Sunday, March 08, 2009

behind the bushes 'til i'm screamin' for more

Oh, sexy Internets! I wish I had witty and wonderful things to share with you, but this weekend? This weekend has sucked the life blood out of me in a way I imagine Edward eventually gets around to doing to Bella in those Twilight books that, mark my words like the mark of the beast, I remain steadfast in my refusal to read any more of. In a way, it's fitting I only read through book number two (bear with me, Twilight lovahs, for I'm going for a bad joke in three, two, one...) because they were crappy!

(rim shot!)
(p.s. - Internets? be careful searching the Internets for 'rim shots.' seriously. you'll thank me.)

As I was saying before I decided to toss out some new material I've been working on (which KILLED in the Midwest, btw!), this weekend has sucked the life blood out of me, which is really amazing when you consider the only time I ever really got off the couch and left the place was to spend the bulk of Saturday crammed into elementary school gymnasiums to watch my sons play basketball. Do you want to know how many times a person can sit around and watch the same episodes of Ace of Cakes on the Food Network? Suffice to say it's A LOT! When everyone else in my life one days leaves me, I know that the fine hooligans at Charm City Cakes will be loyal because I've watched them make a giant hamburger cake 29 times in the last two weeks.

As I still need to say, here's how I see my life lately: my couch (or bed or mini or hospital or bookstore or school gymnasium) is essentially Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs and me? I'm a young Dr. Erica Hahn down in the pit, rubbing lotion on my skin (which reminds me, I need to add lotion to my Target list...) and blubbering on about how I want my mommy. When I'm stuck in a pit in the basement of some dude who wants to make a pretty suit out of me (or on your couch or bed or mini or hospital or bookstore or school gymnasium), not much is going on in my life. At least not until Jodie Foster busts in without backup and gets my sorry ass ("Oh, oh wait. Was she a great big fat person?") dragged out of there, and until I get dragged out of there, I've only got a couple options - try to get that damn poodle Precious to grab the bone so I can yank her down into the pit (or couch or bed or mini or hospital or bookstore or school gymnasium) with me and work out a plan to play on Buffalo Bill's emotions, or give you a big old post about nothing.

Look what you get!

Are you confused now? I'm am. I should have stuck with the Twilight material.

This post is really going downhill. I should get back to the gist of where I wanted it to go when I teased you with the title of it - talking dirty! I want to talk about....


Remember a couple of months ago when I told you about the delicious irony that is my Tool Man and his sad way with home improvement projects, specifically where caulk is involved? I know very few (aka - none) of you were clamoring for proof of just how unwieldly my guy is with his tool(s) (probably because - high fives! - many of you were joining me by giggling at the word caulk), but this afternoon, after briefly escaping the pit, I was driving up my street and was about halfway here when I noticed something odd on my front steps. "What's that?!" I asked Bono, who was singing to me in the mini. "What is that white stuff all over the front of my house? And why can I see it so glaringly from more than 200 feet away?! Bono, WHY??"

Bono didn't answer because he has a new album to promote (not to be biased, but my pretend husband and his friends cranked out a good one), so when I got inside, I stepped out the front door and discovered my Tool Man had been playing with (his) caulk again (blame Seth, my inner 14 year old boy for that previous parenthetical insert...)!

PEOPLE!! What my Tool Man did is a travesty! Want to see?

Brace yourselves! In fact, find someone nearby to hold -

Oh, that's not so bad, you say? You've seen worse, you say? When have you been in my bathroom, and seen the caulk massacre Tool Man did up there a few years ago, I ask? The one he promised to fix when I started hyperventilating when I say it, but now, whoops! Too late!
I know, I know. It's caulk. It's outdoors. It's not a perfect science. Bear in mind that I noticed this from more than 200 feet away! Through the barrier of a small shrubbery (notice how it all ties into the title of this post now? clever, I know!
)! While Bono was singing sweet nothings to me!

OK, well then, if that didn't terrify you, how about this? Try not to scream -

Through the barrier of a small shrubbery, you ask? Yes, which perhaps explains the tiny twig that appears to have been forever fossilized to the side of my house now. I'm not suggesting you click on either of these photos to enlarge them so you can properly CSI them, but if you do, I hope you've not eaten recently. I don't even know what's going on around here. All I know my Tool Man did this secretly so as not to give me the opportunity to talk him out of it, and that this further digs into my scary perfectionist tendencies and twists the knife. This doesn't appear to be the type of thing you just paint over and make pretty come spring, does it? Not that I'd trust my Tool Man with a paint brush at this rate, based on this.

Now, Bono, perhaps...

Where am I going with all this? Nowhere. In fact, if you read this far, forgive me for just Buffalo Bill'ing you ("That still doesn't make any sense to me..." you mutter)("Me, either," I say). I thank you for sticking it out. And since we're talking about sticking it out and caulk and taking human skin and making suits out of it (wha?!), let me leave you with one final thing -

My sons were so excited to get these two balls to balance that they wanted me to take a picture to freeze this fabulous moment in time. Their faces flush with the glow of accomplishment, I didn't feel it fair to point out that the bucket and conveniently placed plastic wall behind it made calling this 'balanced' a bit of a stretch. So BALLS! YEAH!!

P.S. Pathology came back late Friday afternoon on the lump surgeons removed from my Dad last Thursday. Not cancerous! Raise your hands in the air like you don't care!

P.S.S. My thanks to all of you who commented on the previous posts about my Dad. In light of this post, I extend my most sincere thanks (or apologies) to those who remarked how delighted and thankful they were that I am (was...)(hmmm...) a writer!


Friday, March 06, 2009

olive juice, my lovelies. olive juice...

Have I ever told you that my Dad was one of the first people to ever encourage me to write? Yep. While talking to him on the phone during what I then considered to be another traumatic day of my freshman year of college (Oh, to have such trauma now! I WISH my only problems were having a weird roommate!)(Wait...ha ha, universe. Now you've apparently given me three!), I slid down the wall in a dramatic, tear-filled moment, landed in a lump (Freshman Fifteen, y'all!)(Um, probably a month after school started) on the tile floor, and lamented to him that I just didn't know what I wanted to do with my life.

After tossing out a few ideas, Dad, being a good Dad, said I seemed to have a flair for the dramatic. "I can't act!" I yelled into the phone. And perhaps tossed the back of my hand, quite diva-like, to my forehead, then turned for my best angle when a girl who lived down the hall from me walked by.

"You could try writing," he interrupted. "Your English teachers always liked the things you wrote."

I sighed again, just as dramatically as an Oscar-winning actress, and wondered how I could make a career writing papers about my thoughts on Romeo and Juliet, but, when we hung up, I gave it some serious thought. Aside from my high school English teachers, my Dad - up until that phone conversation - had been the only other person who had ever read the things I'd write. Later that week, I switched my major from education (where I no doubt would be reading papers about Romeo and Juliet written by my inspired high school students) and tackled journalism. Four years later, I was writing for a weekly newspaper, where several hundred people joined my Dad in reading the words I cranked out.

After my Dad had his stroke, he could no longer read the newspaper I had eventually become the editor of. A few years after that, I quit writing completely. Even more years after that, I kind of thought I missed writing and starting doing this. My Dad has never read my blog, but yesterday, many hours after his lengthy surgery, I sat by his bed in the ICU and told him that many people had read something I wrote about the day we'd just had, and that they were sending out positive thoughts his way.

First I had to explain what a blog was, then I had to assure him that all of you were very nice and not trying to take advantage of me, and finally I had to ask him not to tell my Mom I have a a blog.

In between all that, my Dad - exhausted, coursing with morphine, and stitched from the top of his left ear to the bottom of his chin - whispered a request that I thank all of you. I assured him I was absolutely going to do that.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Oh, and thank you! All of you who read, all of you who shared a kind thought, just all of you, thank you!

Surgery took a couple hours longer than expected, but his surgeon was happy to find the mass growing in my dad's neck hadn't spread. We'll hopefully know if we're dealing with anything beyond yesterday's task sometime next week, and after a night in ICU, Dad will be checked again later this afternoon to see how his healing is going. The doctor hinted yesterday that, if things looked good, he could actually go home today, but healing is a delicate work in progress, so we'll see.

We're very optimistic that this is one of those all is well that ends well situations, and say what you may, I, for one, believe that you really can feel the support of people who have offered up a prayer or positive thought for you. It helped tremendously yesterday, especially as my Mom and I putzed around the hospital, wondering why things were taking so long. If you have a few more prayers or positive thoughts to share from time to time, I'd appreciate if you'd toss them up for me. Remember how I said in my last post that we have a running checklist of things we keep after my Dad about? Well, yesterday, as nurses prepped him for surgery, they asked me to come look at a large lesion on Dad's back, and suggested I ask the surgeon to remove it while he was under because it really (really) didn't look good. In his own way, my Dad pointed to his ankle and said, "You think that one's bad, you should see this one down here." I rolled my eyes at him, pulled out a notebook, jotted down the word dermatologist, and asked him what he thought I was going to do about him.

Long story short (did someone say I used to be an editor?!), when I finished that long-ago phone call with my Dad, we closed things by saying what we'd habitually said to the other for years. "Olive juice," I said. "Olive juice, too," he replied. When I left him last night, we said the same thing.

And I olive juice all of you, too.


With my Dad's blessing, I am going out this evening with a friend for Mexican food (which I do not like, unless it's nachos, and then I wonder if that's just stretching the definition of Mexican food a wee bit), margaritas (which I've never had), and a movie (which she's going to regret when I suggest seeing the Jonas Brothers 3D). It's been that kind of week.

Tequila, everyone. Tequila.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

the post where I declare being a grown up sucks

About ten years ago, my Dad walked into my house, found me in my kitchen, and handed me an envelope with my name printed on the front. Placing it on the counter, he nodded his head at it, indicating I should open it. Inside, I found two sheets of paper with the words 'living will' and 'durable power of attorney' printed across the top.

That was all I saw. I quickly folded the papers back into thirds and returned them to their confines inside the envelope. Then I looked at him and said no.

No, thank you, but I do not want this job.

No. I'm standing here in my kitchen in a stupor because I can't decide what to make for dinner. Therefore, I do not want be the one responsible for the decisions that will impact you, a man who a brief decade earlier, had been responsible for me.


My Dad picked up the envelope, pulled the papers back out, and pushed them toward me. We stared at each other for a bit until I broke the gaze and glanced at them again. This time I saw more words I didn't like, mostly because they were strikingly similar to my thoughts. I did not want this job because this job was rife with things my Dad did not want to have done to him.

Several years prior to this particular afternoon, my Dad
had suffered a massive stroke that changed everything about his life. Everything. That's a pretty damn tough concept to deal with when you're 49 years old at the time your life takes an unwelcomed 180 degree spin and lands in a completely different square than where thought you'd be. It's equally tough when you're 23 years old, and the man who lifted your spirits and talked you down from bad relationships can't do that any more. In pretty much every way, our roles in the other's life reversed after the stroke. Welcome to Adulthood! And you thought scraping up enough rent money every month was a bitch!

Over the last sixteen years, we've helped my Dad deal with a variety of medical issues. There have been therapies and appointments, meetings and discussions. Depression and anger. Lots and lots of anger (mostly his, though I'd be lying if I said I'd not had my share). I watch my Dad walk across a room now and I see a man who seems ages older than he actually is, and I turn to whomever I'm with and ask them if they think his gait is slower.
Does it seem like his leg muscles are tightening? He's not even trying to talk much these days, is he? Oh, and he's smoking again, isn't he? Yeah, because that's good when you've had a stroke and so much of your health is already compromised.

We have a list of things we check through. The last time the list landed on a growth on the left side of my Dad's face that has grown dramatically larger since it raised family attention over the holidays. Tomorrow morning, surgeons will do a tremendous amount of cutting carefully around his carotid artery to remove what we hope is a removable (and please, God, fingers crossed, amen and all that) benign growth from his lower jawline. Doctors have told him if he doesn't have this surgery, whatever is growing in his neck will continue to do so, and will eventually damage his facial structure and destroy his ability to eat and swallow, thus opening up a variety of other medical needs.

My Dad believes that tomorrow, he's going to die.

Whenever we've sat in surgical consultations, the only thing he's heard is "There's a chance that, while under anesthesia, you could suffer a stroke." If he has a stroke that impacts his already greatly impacted life, he wants to be allowed to die. It's that thought that provoked him to call me one day a couple weeks ago and remind me of the living will.

"Not going to be an issue, Dad," I said, attempting to change the subject, trying to get him to relax or stop crying. While he's seeing the things he'll miss, I'm attempting to remind him of what he'll be in the middle of when he's home and recovering. Such a life role reversal.

I don't think it will be issue. I really don't. Even though there's also a voice in my head reminding me that my Dad is already not the healthiest man in the world, and the surgery is going to be far more invasive than originally thought. Even though he's so stressed out that if he doesn't calm down, I wonder we're even going to get him into the surgical floor.

My Dad needs to do his job. The surgeons need to do their job. I don't want to have to do mine.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

in my mind, this was a shorter post; however, it's sweet, so stick with it.

So lately I've been thinking if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done, there'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin. What's amazing about that thought is when I think it, the voice in my head sounds exactly like that of the amazing Annie Lennox as she's singing the Eurythmic's hit, Missionary Man.

(sidebar - Is there any other woman as impressively piped as Annie Lennox? Seriously. I mean, how can you argue with this? When I come back, if I come back, I want to come back as Annie Lennox. The number of times I've staged performances of Little Bird and Walking On Broken Glass - Dr. Gregory House, M.D., and sexy time John Malkovich, y'all! - in my living room surely qualifies me)

Anyway, in an amazing twist to this story, I do not, in fact, have a dollar bill for all the things I've done, but if I did, I would probably pay my Mom what I owe her, and perhaps Walgreens for all the Cover Girl foundation I lifted from their stores during my misbegotten youth. Typically, when I'm done doing all that needs done, what I have to show for it barely comes up to my ankles. In an attempt to at least hit my navel, my Tool Man and I are currently participating in financial guru Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. So far, the only peace we've found is the time when Tool Man, having just completed our initial household budget, wiped the tears from his eyes, turned to me, and said, "Do you want the piece of bad news first or the piece of good news?" Without going into too much detail, suffice to say, both pieces weren't that great. Dave's told us that sometimes when money's tight and life is stressful, we're going to want to do things we shouldn't rather than go home and make ourselves another peanut butter sandwich and yell, "Come and get it!" to our kids when it's time for dinner.

That day came last week. After a few days of super crunchy - generic! - spread on discounted bread store slices, I'd had my fill. Because Tool Man on day two of several away for work (getting reimbursed for his fancy restaurant meals, I might add, although not bitterly, even though that is sometimes my style), the hour was late, and the kids, though not clamoring to eat, didn't try talking me down from the ledge when I hastily suggested we stop at McDonald's before making a run to Walgreens (where I didn't shoplift anything! huzzah!)(p.s. - I've not shoplifted in more than 20 years, nor do I feel the itch to do so)(I'll also assume there's a statute of limitations on this matter, should lawyers be reading this)(please say yes).

En route, I bargained (because it's all about the money) with the boys, asking my Chicken McNugget-loving youngest if he would do me a solid and opt for the hamburger Happy Meal this go-round so I could then turn around and use the few cents I'd save on a Southwest salad with grilled chicken (the cost - robbery, the taste - delicious). Our neighborhood McDonald's is one that recently joined the coffeehouse ranks by adding a McCafe to the proceedings. While the boys, freed from the confines of peanut butter tongues stuck to the roofs of their mouths, lobbed questions at me like brightly colored beach balls floating over my head at a rock concert (just what would the ramifications to the planet if dinosaurs were reanimated, people?), and I attempted to determine which part of the iceberg lettuce-laden portion of my salad constituted the menu's promise of mixed greens, I thought, "You know what? Tonight, and tonight only, I'm going to splurge and get a coffee drink." This disappointed the boys greatly, who thought perhaps sundaes would be the splurge item of choice. Sorry, suckas!

The menu board for the coffee selections featured pretty pictures of things that never seem to match up with what you buy, and left me a bit confused (it was late, remember? also, iceberg lettuce has zero nutritional value, so brain function was being zapped with each bite), so I asked the young man behind the counter if my desired iced mocha was a blended drink.

"What?" he asked.

"The iced mocha. Is it blended?" I responded.

"What?" he responded back.

"The ice mocha. Is it blended? In a blender?" I said, enhancing my query.

"What?" he responded back.

"Seriously?" I said.

"Huh?" he added.

We looked at each other. I may have raised an eyebrow.

"Lady, all the coffee drinks come out of a machine." he finally said.

"Now we're getting somewhere!" I said. "Is one of those machines a blender?"

"What?" he said.

"Please just give me a large iced mocha from a machine," I sighed.

Back at the table, I knew as soon as I took the first sip of my large iced mocha (FYI - not blended), somewhere, Dave Ramsey was surely shaking his head and saying he told me so. The machine where all of the McCafe drinks come from must not have the freshest of contents at 7:15 p.m., on Tuesday evenings, because my drink was bitter, forcing me to raise one fist to the sky and mutter something about vengeance for my lost money while my other fist wrapped around my fork and stabbed into my (admittedly) delicious Southwest salad with grilled chicken.

The boys continued with their questions (p.s. - it was decided the world would be in far more danger from the reanimation of dinosaurs than that of saber tooth tigers, btw), my youngest caught my eye as I griped my way through my coffee drink.

"What is that?" he asked.

"Look at the menu board right here beside us and tell me if you can guess which drink I bought," I said.

"It's not a hot chocolate, and it's not a late," he said.

"Nor is it a latte," I replied.

"I think you got an iced mooo cha," he said. Like a cow. Like a cow with a rap record. "What in the world is an iced moo cha?"

"An iced moo cha is not a blended drink, muchacho," I smiled.

Then this glorious Chicken McNugget-loving, hamburger Happy Meal eating instead boy of mine got up in the McDonald's and started dancing. Like an Egyptian. And while I don't have a mountain of money piled up to my chin, in that moment, while I smiled at him and kept quiet about the fact that he was dancing to Billy Joel's Moving Out (you should never argue with a crazy mind, mind, mind, mind, mind, mind...), I felt incredibly rich.