...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.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

further proof that feeds my theory that one day, this song will likely be our national anthem

My kids aren't that interested in popular music, which is a bit of a shame, really, for their refusal to rebel against authority by storming up to their bedrooms, slamming the doors and cranking the volume on their non-existent stereos up to 11 denies me one of life's most time-honored traditions of sighing loudly and lamenting about kids today and their pesky rock and roll.

Oh, sure, my oldest son is vaguely aware of Top 40 pop acts because girls in middle school are apparently gaga for Lady Gaga (sorry...I had to go with that)(and seriously, I can't blame them because, though I'm no middle school girl, damn if I can't stop listening to Bad Romance), and my youngest might not turn the channel if Miley Cyrus is wailing about enjoying American social gatherings or some such thing, but for the most part, they couldn't care less what's on the radio.

So it was a surprise to me tonight when my youngest raced into the kitchen, stood directly behind me as I was at the stove prepping dinner, and announced his intent to perform a musical number for my enjoyment. Before I could turn around, he launched into the most spot-on and amazing rendition of Beyonce's Single Ladies I'd ever heard, and I'm not just saying that because he's my kid and well, wow, can my kid smack his own butt and do that whole 'Look at me! I'm a horse jockey!' dance move!

I also don't know why in the world I'm surprised he'd know that song because that song will never, ever go away, and I firmly believe that one day, we all will be forced to either dance to it or sing it for our very salvation. What I AM surprised by is that when I turned around to commend his performance, I noticed he was waving five one dollar bills in the air as he spun and sang, and I wasn't sure if I should be thrilled that he seems to be really latching onto the concept of money he's currently learning in second grade - one dollar bills are singles, after all - or concerned about how he one day plans to make his money. I've always said this kid was born to be on the stage. I've just always been hopeful there wouldn't be a pole of any kind in the middle of it.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

hooray, hooray! it's my birthday today!

Well, it's my birthday today for about three more hours. Depending on when you read this, it could just be plain old Wednesday. Understandable. It sometimes takes me a few days to get to your blogs, too.

Also, no offense to anyone who has a birthday on Wednesday. Happy birthday to you!

I spent my birthday as I do each November 15th - snorting cocaine from the small of a male model's back and sipping Cristal from the sexy pair of Crocs I bought online a few weeks ago. I can afford the good stuff because I used a coupon code for 10 percent off the sale price of those sexy and sensible shoes and huzzah! No sales tax OR shipping fee! That's just how I roll. Isn't that what the kids say these days? I have no idea because I turned 42 today, and apparently I'm not a kid anymore. Thanks, crazy old lady knee for reminding me of that every morning as I try to get out of bed! Kudos to you!

(and to sweet Ali Martell for calling me both hot AND 25 - though not in that order - on Facebook today. Oh, I remember 25. It was back when I thought 42 seemed like a lifetime away!)

There was also cake to be had today! Hooray! Cake is so much better than cocaine and Cristal, neither of which I've actually had. That previous paragraph is what's called 'a creative license' or some such thing. I'm writing this strung out on a big old hunk of that triple chocolate creation up there, which my Mom graciously volunteered to make by saying, "If I made you, the least I can do is make you a birthday cake." It made a lot of sense once I got past that whole ooky thought of my parents once having sex, which, yes, is still quite ooky even though I am now 42.

It also makes sense because my husband wasn't around much this weekend to toss a few eggs in a bowl to do me the honor. Good times.

Where was I? Oh, so seriously, I'm a little shaky on the cake thing. And on the fact that my boys referred to it as a butt cake. Because it's a bundt cake. Get it? Yeah. Classy. They also wanted to put 42 candles in it and burn our house down, but I begged them not to, even though I'd have appreciated the warmth that sugary inferno would have put off. It's chilly in here. Or maybe I'm just going through menopause and my hormones are all out of whack. That might explain the brief crying jag I had in the shower this morning, but nope, I'm pretty sure all this is still open for business. What's that got to do with lighting my cake up Bon Jovi-style (in a blaze of glory...get it? hilarious!)? Nothing. I just didn't want it to join the Great Wall of China as the only man-made (or in this case, mom-made) object visible from space.

So how did I spend my birthday? Brace yourself for the excitement I'm about to throw down on you! Ready? OK. I caught up on episodes of Cougar Town on hulu. Because given my age and my fondness for young male celebrities, it seemed appropriate. After about three episodes, I began to think the man who does the pre-show advertising voice-overs was imagining me naked because he seems very, very smarmy. Go! Check out a couple shows and then come back and tell me I'm not imagining things!


See what I mean?! But do you want to know what's worse? When he told me "The following is brought to you with limited commercial interruption by Tide (implied Rawr!!)" I was all, "So...how you doin'?" to my laptop. Yeah. Would a woman going through menopause be trying to hit on a faceless man inside her computer? I didn't think so. Instead, I saved my sexy come on for my Health Choice Cafe Steamer (poor name, poorer taste) that I warmed up for lunch. No, my basil chicken didn't speak to me first. I didn't give it the chance. I dove right in as soon as I pulled it out of the microwave and saw the two measly bites of pale chicken nestled next to a lone broccoli floret and a sad slice of red pepper and cried "Oh, yeah, Healthy Choice, you just try to tempt me with your massive zucchini chunks and intoxicating half-frozen glaze of indistinguishable flavor!"

Yeah, I think someone needs to stay home a bit more and bake me some cake, if he knows what's good for him...

But since he doesn't read my blog, I'll just have to tell him. Anyway...

Oh, I also bought a Food Saver vacuum packaging system online today after talking to my sister on the phone about how we don't have any money. I know. Talk about impulse! She told me she'd bought one a few weeks ago, and because I've always wanted what she has (mostly that just entails her naturally curly hair and the extra six inches of height she has on me, but still), I whipped out my handy dandy golden ticket - a Kohls 30 percent off coupon - and got a steal on it (not really). Then I called her back and told her how much less I paid for the same thing and she responded by yelling "You suck!!" and I said "First, that's no way to speak to your elders and second, I think you mean this awesome food vacuum that I'll probably only use to reseal our bags of generic corn chips sucks because that's what it's made to do and if you ask some people here if I am made to do the same way, they would say no, I am not, but that person didn't bake me a birthday cake today, so there."

Or something like that. I'm just excited to get it so I can freeze the half a butt cake we have left and spend days preserving 5-pound bags of chicken breasts.

Because I figure if mine are getting older, at least the ones we eat don't have to.


Friday, November 13, 2009

i'm all over your internet today!

Guess what I get to go do today?

Give up? I get to renew my driver's license! Hooray! I had six years to achieve my goals so that when I reached November 2009, I'd be the person I lied and said I was when I last visited the DMV. Six years! Apparently I'm not one to jump on a goal. Oh, how I look forward to the uproarious laughter of the clerk when I try to slip the weight thing in when they ask about changes.

As soon as I post this, I'm going to jump through the shower, curl up my hair, slap some make-up on and work out a few modeling poses in the mirror. Basically, I'm going to be doing what I do every morning. Except this time, I'm going to get all this (picture my hands running up and down myself like a game show hostess displaying the curves on a Ford F-250) captured for the ages in a washed out tiny license photo. Stand back, modeling agents. I have toilets to scrub and school fundraiser items to pick up! There's two boys who need shuttled around town for basketball games all day Saturday! I can can't be jetting off to exotic locales for magazine covers and ritzy parties!

While I'm suffering the indignities of the DMV, I thought why not share some insight into who I am with all of you! To do this, I emailed my friend DC Urban Dad and said "Listen, I think you should come up with five questions and have me answer them and then post them on your blog and people will read my answers and they will either fall in love with me or perhaps shake their heads and say things like 'tsk, tsk...poor disillusioned girl...'" and he totally fell for it!

Except in reality, he kindly emailed me, asked if I'd answer a few questions (which, thankfully, didn't involve him having to read me my Miranda rights), and I gladly complied. A day later. Because I had to shower, curl my hair and put make-up on so I looked nice while doing it. I'd love if you visited DC Urban Dad's blog and leave us a comment!

When you're done there, why don't you hop on over to Polite Fictions and read the various ways all the contributing writers are wrapping up our first story. We're in the director's cut chapter of our tale and each of us are crafting an ending to the story. Mine is up today. Be kind. Enjoy a donut.

Finally, there's that post down there (look down...I'm used to it) that I wrote yesterday. Adorable things courtesy of my adorable boys. Has anyone gotten on that time-freezing machine yet? I would like to buy one.

So I think that's about it. I must now go spend some time crafting the perfect liar's face so I don't cave when giving my info the DMV. It looks a little like Blue Steel, which is also the look I want in mhy license photo. Something that screams sexy AND law abiding! Perfect!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

they might have also thanked 16 vestal virgins, too

"We had an assembly for the veterinarians today," shared my oldest son during dinner Wednesday night.

"Oh, yeah?" I responded. "Just for veterinarians?"


"Was it career day today at school?"

"What? No. They were there to talk about their time in the military and serving our country."

"I think you mean veterans, honey."

"That would make more sense."

Later that same evening...

"Today in school, we wrote letters to the vegans," shared my youngest son while he and I ran an errand.

"The vegans?" I asked. "Really?"

"Yeah. We thanked them for all the things they've done for us and for protecting our freedoms."

"While I respect their decisions, what freedoms, exactly, have vegans protected us from?"

"Fighting in wars and stuff,"

"I think you mean veterans, honey."


"Yeah...Where were you during dinner?"


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

in honor of maddie

I don't think there are too many people reading this who didn't have their heart broken on April 7th of this year. That's the day we learned that Madeline Alice Spohr, whom we all knew as Maddie from The Spohrs Are Multiplying, was suddenly taken from her parents, Heather and Mike, when a respiratory infection coupled with a collapsed lung was more than her 17-month-old body could fight. Thousands of people across the country mourned with Heather and Mike, and thousands came to their support by donating to the March of Dimes in Maddie's memory.

Since then, the Spohrs, along with family and friends, have created
Friends of Maddie , a fund dedicated to supporting families of critically ill or prematurely-born infants during their stay in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with supplies, help finding temporary lodging (because the NICU isn't always within commuting distance of home) and by creating a network of support. Friends of Maddie uses your donation to put together support packs for families who find themselves overwhelmed with the care of an at-risk newborn. The packs include items such as reusable water bottles, snack bars, tissues, mints, and most importantly, a tri-fold binder with a note pad and accordion file to keep track of paperwork. "We're hopeful it will make it at a little easier for parents to keep track of everything," Heather says."You get SO many papers, business cards, etc., every day, and it's hard to keep track of everything."

She should know, she lived the experience. Maddie's sixty-eight-day stay in the NICU
is chronicled on Heather's blog and her husband Mike's blog as well. Readers across the country followed every setback and every victory. What message would she like to pass on to parents in the same situation? "Patience. Take things a day at a time and live in the moment. Don't look down the road or things will get REALLY scary and overwhelming," shared Heather. The reaction to the packs has been terrific, according to Heather. "We've been getting a FANTASTIC response from everyone! We weren't expecting such a big response so we are really behind in getting back to everyone, but it's a good problem to have!" By now, you are all wondering how you can help, right? I knew it. You people rock. Your options:
  • Donate! I know, the economy is bad right now, but every little bit helps!
  • Let your local NICU know about Friends of Maddie.
  • Do you work for a company that might bring a valuable service to NICU parents? Contact Friends of Maddie.
  • Just spread the word! Write a blog post! Send out a tweet! You all know how this works!
Mike and Heather's loss is unimaginable. In spite of their grief, they have found a way to pay forward all the love poured out from thousands of hearts across the Internet. Tell your friends about Friends of Maddie!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

my best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw him pass out...

My husband's been sick for three weeks. I'll pause to allow for the requisite sympathetic reactions this news typically provokes. The ooohing. The awwwing. The hushed - because of his constant headache - whispers that he get better soon. Hell, I hope he gets better soon, but as it is, it's been three weeks.

I feel like yelling that. Hold on.


Good God.

Three weeks ago, he returned from a long weekend away with the boys. As soon as he entered the house, I knew something was wrong because he bypassed my loving arms, which were open to engulf him in an embrace meant to say "Hello! Welcome home! I'm glad you returned to me! As you can see, despite my irrational fears, I didn't die nor was I killed while you were gone for four days and three nights, and though I'm holding the tiniest nugget of a grudge regarding the complete ramshackle mess you left the house in for me to clean while you were away, I love you. Kiss me. Please. Before I mention all the laundry you stuck me with, too, thanks."

Odd, I know. Hell, you probably want to make out with me right now knowing that's how I greet loved ones when they enter my home. Understandable. Truth be told, I secretly want to make out with many of you, too. I also usually have fresh baked cookies somewhere in the house at all times ("...it's been in my pocket; they're real warm and soft."), so think about that, too, when you're imagining us fondly. I realize it's an uncomfortable feeling, but just relax. It's OK.

Anyway, my dear husband chose not to make out with me that night. Instead, he put his hand in front of my face and scurried upstairs, almost as if he were Will Smith rushing to his basement laboratory to hide from The Infected (duh duh duh DUH!!) except the irony here is he's infected one. Thankfully not with something that transformed him into a big-headed CGI mutant starring in one of the worst movies ever that I can't NOT watch when it's on FX, which is all the damn time, though, truth be told, it felt a little touch and go there for several days.

As if the sniffling, coughing, aching head, fever, you're making it hard for ME to sleep symptoms weren't enough to make it clear my husband was sick, his lack of work ethic really drove the point home. For as long as I've known him, my husband has bravely gone forth to sell power tools (or whatever else his previous jobs have required) even if he was in a full body cast or had accidentally removed a limb in a tragic caulking accident. He's the Black Knight of our family. No mere flesh wound is going to keep my man away from an honest day's work! 'Tis noble, really, for you might know me as a wee bit of a whiner. I hope you know me as such because when I went into the blog and searched 'sick' to provide you a few hilarious links to my past feverish foibles, far too many entries popped up, and while I'm sure not all of them were directly about my maladies, it was enough to be mildly embarrassing. Suffice to say, I can be whiny.

The first week, I watched my husband return home at various points in the day and huddle on the couch enshrouded in his coat, a hat, and a blanket around his shaking shoulders. "Where are you off to today?" I'd ask. "To any early grave," he'd reply. When he wasn't trying to dislodge his lungs through a series of volcanic coughs, I often confused him for someone who'd stopped to rest on the couch while trekking across the barren lands in search of hope in a post-apocalyptic world, and week two was looming ahead of us. After days of no relief and entirely too much togetherness that was beginning to border on a possible manslaughter conviction, I suggested he visit the doctor. That's really what helped convince me the man's sick. If there's one thing he hates more than missing work, it's going to the doctor and paying a pesky co-pay, but I returned one afternoon to find a note stuck to the counter with the words Walk-in Clinic scrawled on it, the final 'c' ending in a tiny ink trail to the bottom corner of the note, as if the effort of holding a pen was too much for the man.

By now you're probably asking "Hey, is there a point to this endless tale of misery? Because I gotta be honest, while I'm sorry your husband's sick, I'm a little sick, too. Yeah. I'm a little damn sick of reading all this! Can we speed things up maybe?"

Yes there's a point to all this! Just chill out, Dr. Feelgood! Sheesh!

When my husband finally returned home from the medical clinic, he burst feebly through the door, sat down on the couch, and patted the cushion next to him as a signal I should join him. "It must be bad news," I thought.

"It's bad news,"
he mumbled.

("I'm a genius!" I thought)

"Just tell me," I said. "I can take it."

"I've got pneumonia," he sighed, collapsing weakly into the cushions. "Can you believe that bad news?"

I appropriately expressed my concern. Fetched a blanket, offered to take his prescriptions to the pharmacy to be filled, stirred a pot of homemade chicken soup. All the good wifely things I'll admit I'd given up on around the 8th day. I rubbed his feet as we sat quietly together and processed his diagnosis. In sickness and in health? Oh, I'm with you, my love!

"There is some good news, though!" he said, and though I thought he might be delirious with fever, for when would there ever be good news again, I took a bite of one of those fresh baked cookies I keep around the house and asked what it could possibly be.

"I've lost 10 pounds in five days!" he cheered.

And then I killed him.

The end.

OK, not really. But let's just say that after he gave me that little glimmer of sunshine, I gave him a heaping helping of my medicine. With my mighty fists.

OK, also not really.

But the FDA really should get on approving the healthy dose of eye-rolling I gave him as my sympathy flew out the window. Perhaps in a convenient time-release capsule. Or a patch that could be worn on the body and releases a steady dose of common sense. My husband could wear his over his mouth.

To prevent the spread of germs, of course.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

sure, i took photos, but only so my kids could avenge me

You know how I'm always "Mark my words - I will die by the meaty paws of a Bigfoot!"?

Yeah, well, I take it all back. I take it all back and issue the following apology to Sasquatches:
I am sorry. You will not be responsible for my untimely demise. Forgive me for disparaging you through the years. You are cute, cuddly, and sweet, and my fear of you was misplaced. Please, come inside. Let me make you a nice bowl of soup and we'll watch Animal Planet together. Here, let me work the remo
te for you. I realize it can be difficult to push those tiny buttons with your large, not lethal hands. I love you, Sassy! That's right. I'm going to call you Sassy now. Kisses, Sassy!

Maybe you're asking Why the change of heart, Irrational Girl? Because this beast is currently laying in wait on my front steps and, as you can tell by it's wild eyes, it fully intends to massacre me!



This thing popped up and was all "You use Evian skin cream, and sometimes you wear L'Air du Temps, but not today," when I stepped out of the house to take my youngest son to the bus this morning. Did I scream?


Yes, I did, and rather than sliding over the hood of his car to save me, the neighbor guy, as usual, just smiled and waved goodbye to me as he prepared to head to work. It was fitting he waved goodbye, of course, because this things is out there, and it wants me.

While walking back home, I honestly plotted ways to get back in my house that would let me avoid this beast, but the garage door was shut and the windows were all locked, and because we all know how Tool Man approaches home repair projects (don't make me say caulk again), I frown on damaging the dwelling. This meant I had to walk near this monster again, and I know. I know you're all probably saying "Big deal. It's just a bug. Buck up, little camper," but let me give you another perspective:

"You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well scrubbed, hustling rube with a little taste."

What's the big deal, you ask? Well, let me point out that my camera was rendered incapable of fully capturing this thing's 59-foot wingspan (Twig span?). Oh, you think I'm kidding, but I assure you, I am not one for hyperbole! Sure, you THINK it won't harm me, but let me point out that a praying mantis can capture a hummingbird! Granted, I'm no hummingbird (and I can't carry a tune in a bucket)(ba da bum!), but please, if they are training on hummingbirds, it's just a matter of time before they work up to humans. Look! It can IMPALE a hummingbird's chest! There's nothing nice about the word impale. Praying mantis? Oh, no, my friends. This spawn of Satan should be called what it is - a PREYING mantis.

I have no way of ending this post. I just pray it's not The End of my posts. Rest assured I'll not be fooled by someone ringing my doorbell or tapping the glass today.

Pray for me. This thing absolutely isn't.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

in which I pore my heart out. (you'll get it if you read it all)

Dear Universe,

The year was 1967. A young Iowa farm girl and a young Iowa town boy had married and made a home for themselves in a tropical land where palm trees and pineapple grow. "Ah...Hawaii!" friends of the young Iowa farm girl would say wistfully on the rare opportunities she had to speak with them. "Bah! Hawaii!" she would reply before launching into tales she speaks of yet today of snakes slithering up the pipes and pushing the toilet seat up to greet the human inhabitants and of creepy creatures "larger than cows!" crawling across the walls of their tiny home.

Oh, but it was their tiny home, and at the time, it was filled with love. So much love, in fact, that the young Iowa farm girl and the young Iowa town boy welcomed a baby into their hearts as November reached it's mid-point peak. "Just one child!" the young Iowa farm girl screamed between her upright knees as she peered down the delivery table toward the naval base doctor who, through diced English and a cigarette clamped between his teeth - though not necessarily in that order - insisted the young Iowa farm girl would be delivering twins.

Twin boys.

Between contractions and clashes, the child - unaccompanied - was born.

That child? A girl.

"Huh?" puffed the perplexed doctor from his vantage point through the young Iowa farm girl's upright knees at the end of the delivery table.

"Aha!" pointed the young Iowa farm girl who had just become a mother of one from between her upright knees - again - to the perplexed doctor.

That girl? Me.

Since that triumphant arrival, Universe, we've had some good times together, you and me. Two years spent pampered - literally - in paradise kept me away from the Snakes In The Toilet until the day the young Iowa farm girl and the young Iowa town boy packed me along on their homecoming journey to the heartland, and it was there with patience, love, guidance, and understanding the girl - me - grew up.

Oh, sure, Universe, we've had some tough times, starting with that interloper who invaded the home of the young Iowa farm girl, the young Iowa town boy, and their perfect paradise-born, Iowa raised princess when the princess was almost 3. They called her "Your sister!" and I greeted the sibling's arrival in a fashion typically reserved for - and thankfully outgrown of - the most distasteful of things - by vomiting repeatedly off the back steps. Eventually, we grew to love one another, the sister and I, but I must thank you, Universe, with gifting me with cheetah-like reflexes which came in handy when, as adults who, as they say, "Should know better," the sister chucked a steak knife at me from across the kitchen for reasons neither of us can recall now.

(Universe? I ABSOLUTELY can recall, but seeing as how you gave her the Hidden Dragon and me the Crouching Tiger, I figure it is best not to stir the pot, and I thank you for backing me up on that for the last 20 years)

There were boys who did not love us like we loved them, Universe, and jobs we wanted that did not work out. That's OK. I believe that is what's commonly referred to as Life Lessons, right Universe? Consider me magna cum laude, Universe! We've had our ups and our downs. We have had our dark days and our seemingly endless nights. There have been trials and there have been tribulations. Oh, yes, we have had our bumps in the road, haven't we, Universe?

Speaking of bumps, Universe, my friend, I have but one question for you. Did you happen to catch the part at the start of this letter to you where I mentioned the year - 1967? That means in just two weeks, I'll turn 42 years old, buddy. Yeah. Forty-two. I know! So my question is this -


I'm not talking any standard issue pimple, either, Universe. No. These are some grade-A, hardcore beauties. Why, I quite imagine there are adrenaline-fueled adventurers out there this very minute scrapping plans to mount the Himalayas and instead are redirecting their Sherpas to prepare to ascend these pustules.

These eruptions are so inflamed that I think eruptions may very well be the best word for them for they, indeed, may be storing lava under there. They are so red that clowns first approach me in anger, assuming I have stolen their trademark red noses and attempted to adhere them to my tiny chin, but they are quickly turned away, embarrassed by their mistake, when they notice the tiny old men guiding mountain climbers up the Zitterhorn.

What's that? You want more, Universe? Get comfortable, because I've got a million of 'em!

(actually, chillax, it's just three)

These things are so huge and red NASA attempted to land an un-manned exploratory rover on my face until I swatted it away like some kind of King Kong!

They're so red and engorged my face looks like that of the Lord of Darkness from the most magnificent movie about unicorns and, well, I really don't know what else, of all time, Legend. "Was it not your sin that trapped the oil in your glands and killed the unicorn?" Ah, yes. Aside from Legend nerds, I may be the only person on earth who has mentioned this movie in two separate posts, Universe. You're welcome.

Finally, these zits are as angry, engorged and inflamed as the father character from the beginning of Twisted Sister's iconic video for We're Not Gonna Take It. "Who are you? Where do you come from? Was it because I ate too many fun size Butterfingers last week?"

(yeah, OK, that one was a little lame, I'll admit, Universe)

Anyway, I guess what I want to say is well damn done, Universe! Thank you for turning my chin into Kuato from Total Recall. I can think of absolutely nothing more sexy, or fair, as I approach my 42nd year.

Actually, I can. Chin hair. Ah, it's just a matter of time before you turn me into an elderly man, isn't it, Universe? Kudos.

p.s. - While I've got you here, Universe, can you tell me why it is I like this song? Because I do not wish to like this song, but every time it comes on the radio, my fingers are rendered incapable of doing anything other than turning the volume up. Yes, I do not want to like this song, but forces far greater than my own are making me, primarily by pinning me to the ground and tickling me until I beg for mercy. Or until someone experiences an unfortunate kick in the gonads.

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