...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, January 28, 2009

'get the boys together get a ball get a run(s)'

My youngest son is playing first grade basketball on a YMCA league. Have you ever watched 6 and 7 year old kids play basketball? There's a lot of standing around and whistle confusion going on while those 40 minutes tick off the scoreboard. Actually, you know what? Let's just call it a clock, because really, no one is really scoring much at these things.

Seriously, next to puppies laying on their backs atop clouds so tiny babies with halos can scratch their furry bellies, little semi-coordinated kids playing basketball is probably THE most adorable thing on the planet.

(but just slightly ahead of
meerkats. because meerkats? ADORABLE!) (actually, look at that link, and when you see that ragtag group of meerkats, what you're also seeing is a rather accurate depiction of how my son's basketball team looks when they take the court - there's always a bunch of gawking around and often there are too many players out)(also, I have polled the boys on his team, and the majority of them know how to spell meerkat, a little something I can't say for the bulk of the Internets).

Anyway, the photo up there is part of a story my son wrote about his new experience. After you've marveled at my youngest child's excellent penmanship (which in
no way can be confused with my oldest child's), you might notice the game really went to pot. In fact, let's just say things got kind of bound up under the net, and then the other team had a couple of runs of really good luck and began to regularly dump the ball in the hoop. It was quite a streak! By the third quarter, things were starting to look really crappy, and by the end of the second half, the whole game was in the toilet. Ah, the agony of defeces!

(Seth says "You're welcome, bitches!")(I, on the other hand, would never call any of you bitches, and you'll be happy to know Seth is grounded)


Sunday, January 25, 2009

...and then a totally crappy day became sort of awesome

Over the tumbling clatter of ice cubes falling into my refillable 44oz plastic cup, I heard the young convenience store clerk throw a question out into the air.

"Can I help you with anything?" she asked.

"Please don't be talking to me," I thought, my back turned to the clerk and my cup now poised under the spigot that would dispense my desired Diet Mountain Dew. "I'm having a really crappy day, and surely it would appear obvious that I'm able to meet my own needs."

To punctuate just how terribly my day had been going, tears welled up in my eyes (Seriously?) (Yes. Things feel just that blech right now). "Awesome. This is absolutely awesome," I thought as I blinked, blinked, blinked to keep the tears from dripping into my Dew.

Then I heard her again. "Can I help you with anything?"

Stabbing a straw into my cup and curving my lips into a fake smile, I whipped around to face her, ready to respond. Except she wasn't speaking to me. Up on her tiptoes to peer over the display rack of Hostess snacks and packages of sunflower seeds and peanuts ("Two for $1! Maybe a cherry pie would make me feel better...") I quickly discovered she was addressing a man at the back of the store man. A man I'd quickly glanced at a minute earlier when I'd charged into the place before rushing past him for my pop. For just a split second, I'll confess that I replayed the clerk's queries, the man's somewhat shady appearance, and his silence, then considered dropping my cup and dashing out of the store, afraid maybe he had a gun tucked into the pocket of his tan hunting coat. "Talk about a bad day turning colossally crappy," I thought.

Just then, the man responded. "Yeah, you gots any rubbers here," he yelled up from his perch in front of the beer cooler to the clerk at the front of the store. In case you're wondering, yes, he did, in fact, ask for them just like like that. Loudly, and with the 's' on got.

Suddenly, it was like the roof lifted off the top of the convenience store and sunshine poured down upon me! What was that I was just saying about having a really bad day?! With this magical moment came a few thoughts that raced through my head as I stood there, now resting against the beverage counter, sipping my drink, taking in the show that was playing out before me. They included the following:
  • There are people who still refer to condoms as rubbers?? Gee, Kenickie, I'm glad you're being safe so you don't get Rizzo knocked up when yous guys is at the drive-in tonight.
  • It was 2:30 p.m., on Sunday afternoon. Had he been in the early stages of something magical when his partner stopped him, asked if he had protection, then sent him shuffling off to acquire the goods that would allow him to 'acquire the goods'?
  • Who actually buys condoms at a convenience store? The mark up on those anti-baby babies has to be extreme! I considered telling him there's a Walgreen's just one mile down the road, but short of having The Actual Sex with this man, I already felt too involved. Besides, he probably is one of those who willingly pays $5 for a gallon of milk when he comes to fill up his truck, too, so who am I to stop him from single-handedly (though if he was doing that, I question the need for condoms) helping our economy?
  • How old do you think the packages of condoms are at convenience stores? Candy bars are full of preservatives that should easily ensure a lengthy shelf life, but I've bought some Snickers bars at this place that have tasted older than I am (whatever that might taste like). However, I'm still pretty sure they refresh the food stock far more regularly than they do the condom display. I considered telling the man I have seven Trojan Mint Sensation condoms that expired in October 2006 in my nightstand drawer (don't ask)(also, they're so old I don't even think Trojan markets that kind any longer)(also? not so mint sensationy) that were his for the taking, and my house is right up the street, but again, this would mean too much involvement. Also, I didn't want him thinking I was a lady lookin' for the Sunday afternoon lovin' (p.s. my mood is so not conducive for such a thing right now...).

With all these thoughts twisting around in my mind (twisted for my pleasure, you might say...), I heard the clerk quietly respond. "Um, there's a few back here on the wall behind the counter. You can just step back there and grab whatever you want."

The Great White Rubber Hunter sauntered past me, still sipping on my drink, then past the clerk. In front of the small peg board display of trusted Trojan varieties, he paused for just a second before grabbing two boxes (three-pack varieties - apparently Kenickie had big doin's planned)("Of course I'm not bitter? Why would you think such a thing?!" said the woman with seven old condoms in her nightstand) and then tossed them on the counter before the clerk, who proceeded to quietly ring him up, accepted the tremendous amount of cash he paid for his new (maybe) rubbers, and wished him a good day.

As he walked away, I stepped up to the counter, smiled warmly and genuinely at the clerk, and said, "Just the refill, please. That'll be all today." She looked rather relieved, thanked me for my purchase, and wished me a good day.

I did rather doubt the remainder of my day would be as swell as Trojan Man's was, but I did wish I could have thanked him for brightening up a bit of it. He was already gone by the time I stepped back outside (busy, busy...or perhaps busy, busy, busy...they were three-packs, after all).

So I did the next best thing I could think of. I raised my 44oz refillable plastic Kum & Go cup to the sky and toasted him. It seemed poetic, and rather magically appropriate.

(Then I got in the minivan, turned to my right, and high-fived Seth, my inner 14 year old boy, who was all, "Heh! KUM and GO!! Kinda like that other dude did!!")


Tuesday, January 20, 2009


On Tuesday, I gorged the DVR with news coverage of the inauguration of President Obama (say that again with me, won't you?) so the boys and I could watch it together that evening. I kind of figured they'd toss a fit when they didn't get to watch Hannah Montana, but to my delight, they were quite interested in the day's events.

When I was talking to my oldest son about what transpired today, I asked him what his thoughts were while he watched the swearing in ceremony with his sixth grade classmates. His response made it clear that, in his own way, he gets the magnitude of the day, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't feel the way a lot of adults feel - that regardless of where we sit politically, today was a historic day (and Wednesday's a bigger one for the new President, who would probably be all, "Oh, hey, sorry your little three-hour bookstore shift can be a drag some days. I'll see if I can do something about that, but first I have to work on fixing our economy. Oh, yeah, and the war thing. Big doins' ahead. You know what? I haven't even slept yet, so yeah, feelin' good you got a job now?"

Then I think he might smile at me and shake my hand, maybe reach in for a hug. Obama seems like a huggable dude.

For my sons and their classmates, the significance of who we democratically elected as our 44th President is no big deal. His race is no big deal because they've never really experienced a time when race was. For my oldest son, the most impressive thing about Inauguration Day was the massive sea of people, of all types and from all places, who gathered for hours to watch this brief moment in our nation's history, and how kind people were to their neighbors.

"All those people?" he said. "That was cool.*"


I could say a lot of words. I already have. There has already been countless, and far better, words shared today. I'll definitely go with 'cool.' He meant the scene, but it's fitting for the entire day. I'm delighted I got to share a part of it with my sons - the one who dreams of being a professional basketball player and the other who could easily be an award-winning actor.

Or President.

* He went on to say it was cool that the throng of people (Popular Science's satellite views of the National Mall. Click the link. Zoom in on the photos. They're crazy cool!) in attendance today stretched from the Capitol Building steps "all the way to the big, tall pointy thing out there." I immediately logged onto his school's grading pages and breathed a sigh of relief to see he's getting an A in social studies, and surely he knows that big, tall pointy thing is the Washington Monument. If he does become President one day, I shudder to think that, when I visit him, he'll suggest I kill time between his meetings by going to look at that "big, giant old dude sitting in the Lazy-Boy."

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

dirty deeds done dirt cheap

Due to previously scheduled in-service days combining forces with extreme weather conditions, my kids were in school a grand total of two and a half days last week.

Two and a half days! If I had access to a time machine and was able to travel back to a blustery winter day in January 1977, I assure you I'd have been watching the snow fall and whip around madly outside the windows of Mrs. Lappe's fifth grade classroom, listening as she gave my class a lesson on the metric system, and we would have used that lesson to convert the waist-high depth of the snow we were then made to walk home in later that day when school dismissed - at its regular time! - to the closest millimeter, which would have been reported back to Mrs. Lappe the next day when we started classes again - at their regular time!

If you take the number of days my children have attended school since returning there following winter break two weeks ago, I'm pretty sure you'd end up with a negative number. Then you would have to listen to me gripe for a little bit about how the school board's proposal to make EVERY Wednesday an early-out day next school year - as opposed to the every other Wednesday routine we have now - is wacky, and really, that has nothing to do with where this post is going so I apologize.

Being away from school friends for so many days means the phone at my house has rung virtually nonstop since Monday, when the first early-dismissal day kicked in. I'd no sooner shrugged off my coat after picking up my oldest son and The Annoying Girl, who I'd seconds ago dropped at her doorstep, was calling to see if my son could go swimming with her at the YMCA. This was the first of what amounted to approximately 73 1/2 phone calls from her over five days. The half-call is the result of me getting to the phone faster and her hanging up, scared, when I perhaps asked her to chill the hell out already.

Between busy signals, my son's neighbor friend would call, asking if he could come over and play. Wait! Did you read that as "seeing if my son could go over to R's house to play?" Yeah. I did, too. However, let me clear it up for you. When R would call, his intent was to see if he could come hang out here.

Every day.

For hours.

I'm talking HOURS!

By Friday, my house was a defeated shell of chaos, filled with the remnants of evil three boys (and one husband because, yep, he was around most of this week, too)(and so was I, but I assure you, my disdain for a messy environment makes it difficult for me to even trash my own reputation) could create. As soon as we finished breakfast, I informed the boys we were going to work as a team to clean house and do the laundry, because doing meant we'd get done faster and could then do something fun together.

Cheers of delight (mine - seriously, I am just a nicer, calmer person in a cleaner environment) were soon interrupted by the ringing telephone and my son's friend, R, beginning his pitch.

9 a.m. - "I can't play right now. We're going to pick up the house, so probably in a little bit," my son answered.

9:15 a.m. - "ItalicWe haven't started cleaning yet. My mom's gotta take a shower and do a couple things and then we're going to get started."

9:30 a.m. - "Let me ask her" - me, shaking my head no to whatever the inquiry is - "She says not yet. No. Soon. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I know. OK. Later."

10 a.m. (thanks for the break) - "Not yet. How about I call you?"

10:01 a.m. - "Yes. I'll call you on your cell."

Thirty minutes later, I'm in my bathroom, drying my hair, when I hear my son approaching, saying "I don't know. I'll ask her again," and I whip around, muttering "What NOW?!"

"R wants to know if he can come over now and help you clean the house," he replied, a look of twisted confusion on his face, as though this was the most bizarre request he's ever heard. Admittedly, my face twisted in much the same way, and my brain exploded in peals of "What the WHAT?!" and thoughts of, "Bring me this boy, for I shall adopt him and call him mine!"

Seriously, my own kids aren't as ingenious as to have thought to start cleaning the house without me to lord over them with my dual-action scrubbers, and now I had a child who I hadn't a legal claim to volunteering to come dust my floorboards? I was nearly drunk with delight, my mind reeling at how he must miss such menial tasks since his own family has a weekly housekeeper (and no offense to the housekeeping employees and/or employers of the world, for if I had the disposable income to choose between someone to clean the toilets and an endless supply of ice cream, my ass would be smaller and my house cleaner thanks to the hard work of another).

"Go unlock the front door. Tell him to come right in. There's Pledge and a dust cloth under bathroom sink. Chop, chop!" I told my son, visions of sitting on my duff and catching up on Rock of Love Bus With Bret Michaels (oh, yes...yes, I do) while my little team of minions shined my world already spinning in my head.

Then it hit me. I couldn't do this. I couldn't make someone else's child do this work, especially when I didn't even have a way to compensate him. Plus, this is the same neighbor kid who has seen me naked (sadly, more than once), so honestly, I can't really put him through the torture of cleaning my house when I've already (purely accidentally!) tortured the poor kid enough already.So I told my son to have him come over, and I let them all scurry downstairs to play for the remainder of the day (I'm not kidding about that, and finally, around 6:30 p.m., confused from the lingering scent of Comet, I thought perhaps I actually had adopted this boy). However, don't doubt for a second, as I tried feverishly to yank the seat off the toilet in the boys' upstairs bathroom (NASA should really look into dried urine as a bonding agent), that I didn't consider yanking my pseudo son, who has clogged that toilet up but good on more than one occasion, up there to do the cleaning deed for me.

However, about that time, my Tool Man arrived home, and though I'll likely never be able to swing a weekly cleaning service, I've got him, and I'm training him well. He especially likes it when I bring out the white gloves.

I've also encouraged my sons, when and if they ever return to school, to start making a lot more very helpful friends. I may not have labored to deliver these new kids I hope to soon have calling my house, but I am willing to make them labor for me. That
garage of mine isn't going to clean itself.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

a random collection of items with a propensity to suck

  • Vampires (natch!)
  • Me using the word natch
  • Knowing I'll undoubtedly be at the movie theater this weekend to see Paul Blart: Mall Cop instead of something smart and redeeming, such as Slumdog Millionaire.
  • Anything released by Madonna since the Immaculate Collection
  • Nuclear war
  • Mispronouncing noo-klee-er
  • My minivan window not going back up (55 mps x -7 = frickin' freezing)
  • anything including the words "...and starring Dane Cook"
  • The constant and apparently never-ending pain in my back that's now brought in my right knee as an ally in fear and intimidation
  • The potential (inevitable?) rise of robots
  • Ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife

(Wait! That's really just ironic, isn't it? I mean, can it be considered sucky, too?)

  • Finding a spot in the insane parent pick-up lines when my son's school dismisses early due to weather (please, God, don't make this happen today...)
  • Splattering half a pot of pasta sauce down the front of my shirt while making dinner
  • Taking my shirt off to finish cooking dinner, part of which includes draining boiled water
  • The hot water burn on my stomach (which is absolutely in cahoots with my other pains)
  • This post
  • Your additions to it in comments (because that's the point, yo!)


Sunday, January 11, 2009

if he brings home a whiny teenage girl and tells me he's in love, i'll know for sure he's accepted the curse

Friday night I was enjoying dinner with my boys when I glanced over at my oldest son and saw a tiny drop of blood venture down his neck. "That? Oh, some seventh grade kid did that to me in the the hallway at school today," he said in response to my semi-alarmed inquiry. "He had his hand out and he scratched my neck when he went past me during classes. It was an accident. He apologized to me and stuff."

It sounded plausible, and yet there are couple flaws in my son's story. First, there's a nearly identical mark on the other side of his neck, meaning the seventh grader must have double-backed and totally Wolverined my son on the other side. The second flaw rests in the fact that my son is a sixth grader and there are separate wings of the middle school for the sixth and seventh grade classes. Did this seventh grader time travel after his math class, wake up dazed and confused having landed in the six grade hallway and, in his confusion, freak out on my kid in a desperate bid to return to his normal? I don't know. Neither does my son, who rolled his eyes at me when I asked him if that last theory was possible (someone better start paying more attention in science class, methinks...).

Here's what I do know. If you kind of squint and then cock your head to the right a bit, that thing on my kid's neck kind of looks like it could be a vampire bite, and so help me, if my kid "changes" and starts acting all vampire-like, I'm going to be hella irritated! Who the hell wants an 11-year-old immortal living in their house forever?! Anytime under the age of 16 is not a good time to be given the vampire curse, in my opinion. The kid will forever need me or his Dad to shuttle him around because he'll never be able to get a driver's license, so there's that issue. Also, he'll live forever and yet not be able to get a job because who's going to hire an 11-year-old boy, even if the kid is all, "Dude, seriously, I'm 742 years old. I think I can figure out how to run the drive-through here at the old McDonald's, OK?", thus he'll live here forever, and I love him and all, but come on!

Also, the kid has developed a quasi-serious case of the back talks and I for one don't want to live out the rest of my life hearing "No!" every time I tell him it's time for bed, or ask him to stop draining the blood from our guests because it's rude.

I've kept an eye on him all weekend. This morning when we were at church, he didn't screech and act all weird when we entered, so I took that as a good sign; however, during worship, I wrapped my arms around him and noticed the little dude's flat stomach is as hard as a rock, which, according to these teenage vampire books I've been hearing so much about these days, is a sign I may have a bloodsucker on my hands!

Come to think of it, he had me wrap my arms around him because he told me HE WAS COLD, which is another big, big problem for The Vamps. I've been looking for other tell-tale signs of his potential transformation, but we've seriously been lacking in the sun around here for the last few days, which means I can't tell if he glitters and glows like a million shards of glass covered in silver glitter and lit ablaze like a burning flame when the light reflects off his marble skin that's as pale as alabaster or a bone china bowl of French vanilla ice cream.

But take another look up there at him (if you can, look past the fact that the kid is a hairy little beast)(crap - what if, instead of a vampire, the kid is a damn werewolf!?!)(oh, wait...werewolves are part of those teen vampire stories, too)(double crap). That little monkey is pale, so going on that whole powdery white skin description of vampires is going to be tough. Hell, you've seen me up there in the corner. If anyone is a potential vampire in this family, I think you're looking at it in that tiny photo (hahaha...my Tool Man just said I'm totally a vampire because I suck. Hahaha. I don't suck! I'm totally cool! Hahahaha, Tool Man...WAIT A MINUTE...).

We may be safe, though, when it all comes down to it. This kid of mine? He's always up at the crack of dawn. First glimmer of sun in his window raises him from the dead of sleep, not the dead of dead. While that's apparently acceptable if you're going to be some emo Shakespeare-quoting vampire, it's kind of a big faux paus if you're going to be a bad ass vampire, and the way he's fine-tuning the talking back, I think it's safe to assume we'd be dealing with a bad ass vampire.

The disturbing part of all this isn't that I milked an entire blog post out of my kid's scratches and possibly made up excuse for them (honestly, I think they came at the hands - aka incisors - of the annoying girl who calls our house constantly and walks to school with my son. The one who wants to marry him now, so what if we're only 11, that 'Y' under the possible bite marks is from when I started carving the word 'yes' into your skin...), or that the boy has a neck so tiny he'll never be able to support the kind of hair one apparently needs to be a brooding adolescent vampire. The real problem lies in the fact that I'm a raging zombie lover (I've been known to say on more than one occasion that "Vampires drool! Zombies Rule!"), so if I were going to have a fictional character of lore as my offspring, I'm kinda thinking I'd feel gyped if it turned out I'd have a blood sucker rather than a brain muncher. I guess my only other option is hope my first grader crosses paths with a rowdy third grader who decides he wants to crunch into his cranium.

So you know I've made no secret of my dislike of Twilight and the heavy-handed, screaming for good editorial roll in the sheets writing style it has (typing that made me laugh with irony because, wow, take a look at the post up there....). I hate that book so hard! However, I like all of you who come here (oh, I even love some of you)(you know who you are) and tell me that you enjoyed Twilight and it's three follow-up novels, so, in light of that, and because I sell juvenile and young adult novels for a quasi-living, I figured I'd swallow my disdain, go against my adamant "I'll never read another Stephenie Meyer book as long as I live" creed, and give New Moon, the second book in this series a shot. After giving up nearly 16 hours of my life listening to it on CD (trust me, reading it would have taken me far, far longer because I'd have bitched far, far more with each page I turned), I can now say (again) that I'll never read (nor listen to) another Stephenie Meyer book as long as I live. It would probably be impossible to do so, I think, because I rolled my eyes so much while listening to how every conversation between the characters was said with a hiss (and that's the least of my complaints) that I'm still trying to get them back into their proper position! This little experiment just goes to show we all have different tastes, and I, for one, will never like the taste of blood as sucked up and presented by angsty teenage vampires. I hope we can still be friends. Like Jacob and Bella, but without the constant talking about my weird growth spurts and amber skin, OK?


Friday, January 09, 2009

a tiny tits list

By no means as big as the original tits list, which, upon quick review, still holds up, I submit the following item that has been making me happy this week. I should preface this submission with the confession that very little has been making me happy this week, and I am, in fact, thinking a selective serotonin reuptake inhibator (at the very least, a tweak thereof) may be in my future, thus removing me (hopefully) from the 'shitty' to the 'titty' column.

Additionally, let me say that I'm super aware how lame I am, and that fact has probably fed this tits list submission, which is now taking much longer to get to than I intended, so, without further ado, and without any additional commas (except this one --->), I give you the following:

It takes me exactly 12 minutes to get from my house to the bookstore. This song is 4 minutes, 18 seconds long. I listened to it three times en route to work yesterday, because, despite what Jacke Blades and the rest of those Night Ranger boys say, I think they really do want to play with me.

(it's true!)

Actually, I listened to it seven times, but three of those times, I hit 'replay' on my iPod so I could beat on the mini's steering wheel in a perfect replication of how I would play that drum part, which I like to imagine is super easy, but then, when I'm in a mood that doesn't necessarily require SSRIs, I happily think I'm a rock star and that that is easy, so what do I know, you know?

(p.s. This is the kind of scintillating goodness that keeps me awake at four in the morning)


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

sledge, sledge, sledgehammer. wait! why do you have a sledgehammer out?!

As you might imagine, being married to a man who works for a Major Tool Company brings with it a tremendous number of perks. First, in the event I'm ever in the middle of a task that requires the use of a tool, all I need to do is journey out to my garage, and I have a home improvement store at my fingertips! Here, let me show you:

Of course, when I say "at my fingertips," I actually mean I must forage through the sea of boxes that show up at your house daily, push aside the various other garbage that, huh, I thought I'd thrown away already so isn't it interesting that it's here again, and then call my Tool Man and ask him where the desired tool actually is.

p.s. - This is half of our two-vehicle garage. Specifically, this is the half where the sensible Hyundai I've been driving since last spring to save on gas money should be parked. A few months ago, Tool Man cleaned this part of the garage out and I'm not kidding you, watching him do that was, for me, like watching porn. I am not kidding! I am way anal about cleanliness and organization (not so much with my porn viewing, though, if you get what I'm saying, and if you do, then ha ha ha ha, yeah, that was hilarious...but I'm sorry I went there, too), so trust me when I tell you THIS IS KILLING ME RIGHT NOW. Also, don't even get me started on what he has all over a huge chunk of our kitchen counters. The part that daily makes me threaten divorce, and Tool Man to roll his eyes and be all, "Well...put up or shut up," but because he also gets a company truck that I view as another perk to our marriage aside from the aforementioned gas money saving techniques, I stay with him. And also because he has a goatee, which I realize are like a dime a dozen these days, but it makes me smile how his goatee is sort of reddish but he has black hair and it looks like it's on fire when he's telling me to put up.

OK. Anyway...back up to that 'desired tool' part up there (and I had to scroll back up to that and seeing the garage again made me gag). A second perk of being married to a Major Tool Company representative is the sexy, sexy way we incorporate his work life into our sex life. Seriously, if you ask me to hammer you, I will totally drill you. The dude may belong to the wacker club, but every once in awhile, it takes two people to get the job done and I'm willing to earn my raise at performance review time.

However, seriously, when Tool Man poked his head inside the house Saturday and yelled something at me about running to town to get some rope caulk, I'll admit that I heard him wrong and, fearing his return, I called him and was all, "Um, listen. I love you and there's a lot of things I've done for you, but I'm not really comfortable with whatever it is you're planning, and I wish you would have talked to me about this before you just assumed this would be OK. Besides, we don't have anyone to watch the kids..."

"Caulk, honey. I'm going to buy caulk." he interrupted with a laugh (and perhaps a bit dejectedly).

Those are some pretty good perks, huh? But, to quote The Facts Of Life theme song, you take the good, you take the bad, and the bad part of things is this: Tool Man is cluelessly horrific when it comes to home repair matters. Ironic, isn't it?!

Here's how I imagine his job interview for his present (and, fingers crossed, long-term) position went:

Major Tool Company Hotshot - "Do you know anything about tools?"
Pre-Tool Man Tool Man - "Yes, sir, I do know things about tools."
MTCH - "Are you able to demonstrate the uses of our company's tools to consumers?"
PTMTM - "Yes, sir. Having worked a great deal with tools (We all lie in job interviews. You know it. I know it.), I'm positive that I am able to demonstrate the uses of your company's tools to consumers, thus helping to raise the company's bottom line margin and contributing to market growth."
MTCH - "You're hired!"
PTMTM - "Thank you, sir. I look forward to this challenging opportunity!"
Wife of New Hired Tool Man - "Hooray!" (which was said before I knew our garage and, subsequently, our shed would look like a big-box home improvement store. After a hurricane and a tornado)

That rope caulk he went the store to buy last weekend? It was to prevent air flow from pouring in through our upstairs windows on these freezing days. Another reason I shuddered when he used the word caulk with me is because I have nightmares (while laying awake at night in our now semi-less freezing bedroom) about the mangled caulk job he has done in our two upstairs bathrooms. Honestly, and yes, I'm ashamed to admit this, sometimes when I'm using my bathroom, I zone in on the bottom of the wall near my shower at the twisted, fingerprint-embedded slash of dried, dirty caulk running along the floorboard and I freak out (see garage issues). Doing so takes my mind off of the drip I hear coming from the boys' bathroom on the other side of the wall. The drip, drip, annoying drip from the toilet he attempted to fix. And the oddly textured chunk of wall up there where he previously attempted to fill in a crack. Also, does that towel rod look like it's hung crooked to you?

That madness drives me downstairs to my laundry room in which last weekend, Tool Man re-installed a set of cabinets that had been badly bowing by bolting a huge, poorly stained ledge of wood to the wall to serve as a shelf for the cabinets. A huge, poorly stained ledge of wood he believes no one can see under the cabinets but trust me, it can be seen. Oh, it can be seen, and, funny story, you'd think it would distract me from the big hole he gauged in the wall while positioning the cabinet, a hole I dread him repairing and painting over, but no, it does not. In fact, all I can see is HUGE, POORLY STAINED LEDGE OF WOOD!! and BIG HOLE!!

(btw, yes, I thanked him for reinstalling the cabinet, but sigh...)

Tool Man's long range plans for this year include tearing up the floor covering in our kitchen and installing new. The thought makes me weep, for as much as I want hard wood (let me say this before any of you get the chance - "That's what she said!"), I can't allow him to desecrate our home further. Because I think there's caulk involved in that kind of project, too, right? Seriously, all the caulk talk that's been going on in my house of late is scaring me (and sort of frustrating my Tool Man). The moral of this story is just because you can sell a hammer, it doesn't mean you should swing it.


Sunday, January 04, 2009

joe jonas, if you're reading this, i still totally pink puffy heart love you, too, ok?

So we're nearly five days into the new year and I'm just now getting to sit down and write a new post. If I had any great ideas to write about, I assure you that THAT post would have been totally super awesome, and you all would have moved heaven and earth to figure out where I live so you could travel here, en masse, and be waiting for me when I return home Tuesday from my taxing three-hour shift at the bookstore to raise me upon your shoulders and carry me through the cul-de-sac, cheering my greatness and perhaps weeping at the power of my beauty and/or words (neither of which, I should warn you, are in huge supply right now).

Then, after you've put me down and a few of you have enveloped me in hugs that perhaps went on a wee bit longer than they should have, I'll invite you in, ask you to disregard the mess (have I mentioned a thousand times that my Tool Man and our little nut and bolt have been home, together, for nearly two weeks? Yeah. We have. Be ever so careful stepping over the carcasses...), and ask if you want some monkey bread (now with 100 percent less monkey!). It is, to quote my oldest son, frickin' awesome. I wouldn't know. One of my spur of the moment resolutions for 2009 is to lay off the monkey bread unless I want a gorilla ass.

(I don't)

Look at that. Two paragraphs about nothing! On with the show!

I hope you all had a lovely New Year's celebration. I'm still slowly working my way through blog posts to catch up with the lot of you. At around 11:30 p.m., on New Year's Eve, as Tool Man and I yawned, sprawled out on the couch, and watched the end of The Dark Knight, I was struck by the similarities between my New Year's Eve observances at the ages of 41 and 14. Both involved lounging in a dark room with my best friend, watching movies, drinking pop, and eating popcorn. The only thing different now is my BFF has a penis (a nice bonus), and we didn't cry together when the ball dropped at midnight about how neither of us has a really cool boyfriend. Tool Man absolutely doesn't dig it when I weep about this fact.

So...speaking of being 14 years old, come here and let me whisper a secret to you:


OMG!! On Friday, I gathered the boys (and my BFF, who, because he has a 40 year old penis didn't love it as much) and we finally got to go see High School Musical 3 (or HSM3, as the cool kids call it), and I am not kidding you one bit when I tell you there were points in the action where I got weepy! At first I thought it was because I was suffering from PMS, yet again, but then I did a quick calculation and decided nope, it wasn't PMS. It was genuine concern that Troy and his fellow East High Wildcats were going to lose their championship game! It flared up again when Troy didn't know if he could talk to his Dad about how he was torn between playing basketball or going to Julliard (yeah, it could happen) after graduation (but not before he and his classmates staged a super cool senior year musical that apparently was written by one girl in the class whose name I never caught because hi, more Zac Efron, please)(p.s. He's 21, so that makes him two years older than Joe Jonas, my other bushy headed, bushier browed cougar nugget. Not that that matters since age, as I told my 11 year old son when he made fun of me last night about my crushes, is just a number)(though I'm not sure how state or federal authorities would respond to that).

By the middle of the movie, I was kicking Vanessa Hudgens to the curb and picturing myself going to prom with Zac, which I suppose was the same fantasy the gaggle of 9 year old girls seated near me were also having, but screw them! I'm bigger, faster, and clearly older than all of them, therefore, I could totally take them, and while they all boo hoo'd their fate on their MySpace pages, I would shout my victory from my crisper, less annoying Facebook page.

Yesterday, while all the boys were gone, I watched the first two HSM movies, and even though my pain-riddled back (which I'm sure doesn't still hurt because I'm old) prevented me from dancing through the house, I also listened to all three soundtracks, loudly, and then added them to my iPod. They're all there. Right next to the Jonas Brothers' cds. When I was done, I did something I've never done before (but I'm sure 14 year olds do all the time). I text messaged Disney for a free HSM3 ringtone for my cell phone. Once I figured out what the hell I was doing. This fancy technology is confusing to my 41 year old brain! Now nothing makes my 11 and 6 year old boys (or my 40 year old husband, for that matter) happier to be around me than to have my cell phone ring and the opening verse of Now or Never fills the air, if by happier I meant super embarrassed and perhaps mildly annoyed.

Me? I'm thrilled. Hell, I'm even saving up my allowance money so I can buy the DVD when it comes out (on February 17, fyi, in case you want to get me a belated Valentine's Day gift or something). And long story short, Zac, if you're out there and you've got nothing better to do and you're Googling yourself and find this post among the 13,500,000 hits that come up when someone enters your name into the search engine, give me a call. Right now I can hardly breath!

And I have some monkey bread for you.