...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.

Monday, June 29, 2009

vacation all i ever wanted it, vacation had to stay at home

Usually at this point in the summer, you're forced to read posts about my exciting journeys to the depths of Missouri, and by 'forced' I mean 'entranced,' because, as you can tell by my previous post, I'm filled with wonderful tales of whimsy, delight, and now obvious desperation, that you WANT to read things here. To FORCE you to read about my exotic travels to the Show Me (A Good Time, Dammit) state would mean linking them all here, and to be honest, I'm just too lazy. If you are one who hasn't read any of what I will one day publish as Misery (not to be confused by the book of the same name by one-time horror master Stephen King), just type Missouri into that little 'search this blog' box.

By the way, no offense Missouri. As I've said before, you are home to many of my friends, my alma mater, and the burial place of my virginity. You and I are solid, my friendly neighbor to the south.

Seriously, after all that chit chat up there, I should have just linked all the previous posts...

Anyway, this year, when the topic of driving hours and hours with my Mom and sons to my sister's home near St. Louis came up, I put my foot down and said, "Meh." In case you didn't pause to search out my tales of travel woe (and I know you people, so don't lie to me and say you did), my sister's idea of a great Chamber of Commerce trip to St. Louis means visiting Target multiple times a day. Every day. It used to mean 'that was so much fun I wanna ride it again and again!' adventures to Wal Mart, but since her town got a spankin' new Super Target (moment of reverence for the Great Red Bullseye), our adventures happen sooner, with just a stroll down the street.

In case you're wondering if there's anything special at a St. Louis-area Super Target that can not be found at any Iowa-based Target, super or not, the answer is no. Well, except for that one time I found those Hershey's 100 Calorie Snack Packs with the little Reece's Pieces in them, and my Mom was all, "Do you really think you need that candy?" and I was all, "IT'S TECHNICALLY NOT CANDY!! IT'S A 100 CALORIE SNACK PACK!! GET OFF MY BACK, WOMAN!!!" right there in the snack food aisle. Then I might have cried and ate all six bags that came in the box, thus defeating the point of 100 Calorie Snack Packs in less than five minutes and not, as you might imagine, showing my Mom who is the boss of me now. What. Ever.

Anyway, back to the point I was trying to make when I said "Meh." After I said that, I added, "If going there means doing nothing but going to Target every day, I think I'll just stay home and save that extra penny in sales tax I'd spend there (because you know as well as I it's impossible to leave a Target empty handed) and apply it to our family vacation fund."

So that's what Tool Man and I are presently doing. We figure we have enough saved up now to walk across our yard. Based on the number of rabbits presently feasting in the area, we'll tell the boys it's a safari, and if we're lucky, a feral cat will wander over from the new development area down the street. I guess this is what people mean when they say they are taking a staycation. I'm renaming it a "This Is What It's Like To Be Brokecation." Look kids! There's the neighbor's dog barking at the fence! It's just like going to the zoo, only all the animals are actually awake! Yippee!

Actually, my Tool Man and I are so rarely in the same place at the same time with these kids we made when we were in the same places at the same time that we're having a difficult time coming up with ideas of things to do as a family. Yesterday, he suggested we drive several hours from here and explore some type of caves, and I stared at him blankly, then asked if there would be bugs there, or perhaps Lost Boys, which, that part I'd be OK with, but not the bugs, so basically, he fell under the immediate impression that didn't excite me, and then I saw him scratch "go swimming at your aunt and uncle's pond" from the list, which shouldn't have been there in the first place because when I married him, I told him I don't put this body into anything where other things live. It's like he doesn't even know me, but that's a blog post for another day and this one is getting out of hand already.

This planning something fun for us all to do is like work, which it shouldn't be because work is work and our work doesn't net us enough for anything but a brokecation. Later today, I may break out the photos of the times Tool Man and I enjoyed trips to Disney, both Land AND World, and guilt the children when they ask where the photos with them in the Mickey Mouse ears are and I respond with, "This was before you came along! Back when Mom and Dad were carefree and financially solvent." Or I'll take them mini golfing. Either way, the point I'm trying to make here is I'm taking a little family break this week and I'm going to try to not be around these crazy Internets much. Maybe I'll get inspired and try to dig up some old posts that were hardly read. Or maybe I'll still be mini golfing. And if a few weeks go by and you've still not seen me around, please, I beg you, contact my local authorities and ask them to search every Iowa cave masquerading as a tourist destination, because there's a pretty good chance Tool Man's going to lure me to one anyway and he may try to hide my body there. That life insurance policy we took out on my last July will likely fund a pretty fantastic family vacation.

p.s. - Missouri, in case you're reading, fear not. I already feel guilty, so look for me around Labor Day.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

could you describe the ruckus, sir?*

Why my sons are not destined to ever have careers in law enforcement, spy rings, or as leaders of any sort of heist activity (which sucks because I enjoy saying the word heist):

If, for whatever reason, one leaves the room they were just jointly in, within seconds, the other will come out of the trance of play and inevitably ask me, "Hey! Where's INSERT ONE OF THE BOYS' NAME HERE!?"

Contrary to what you might believe, our house is not a mansion, and inevitably, the other boy (aka - The Missing) is often no further than the next room, typically within plain sight. More often than not, they are also causing some sort of commotion in the form of gas emission or tripping, thus leaving behind a trail of clues so vast their disappearance can hardly be described as a cold case. Yet I hear "Hey! Where's THAT OTHER KID WHO LIVES HERE?!" 5 trillion times a day AND I AM NOT EXAGGERATING!!

Occasionally, my oldest, in an attempt to either move up the law enforcement ranks or prepare for a future on the game show circuit, will respond to his own query with, "Let me guess. He's in the bathroom!"

Did the sound of bathroom activities going on less than 20 feet from where you're sitting tip you off, Colonel Mustard? Or was it when Professor Plum panicked and yelled out, "It was me in the bathroom with the two-ply! And by the way, I'm done and I wiped a little!"

(OMG...as I'm writing this, my sons literally just passed by each other like phantoms, my youngest coming down the stairs and my oldest having just walked by the stairs to the front door, easily spottable to the other, and yet my youngest just bounded into the family room where I'm sitting and said, "I'm guessing That Big One You Loved First is in the basement?" And so another day of CSI: The Suburbs begins. But OMG!)(to the kid's credit, the basement door IS ajar, so I suppose I can understand why he's pencil that down in his flowchart of clues).

Why my sons are actually quite well suited for a career in law enforcement, spy rings, but still not as leaders of any sort of heist activity because I just realized that pulling off a heist is akin to committing a crime and that's not what I wanted for them when I held them in my arms as tiny babies and dreamed big things for them one day:

I just realized that, despite my random snarky responses and "Are you serious? Are you kidding me with this?" queries when they ask where the other has vanished to, I INSTANTLY cave and point out where the culprit has skulked off to even when sometimes pointing that out means doing nothing more than responding, "He's sitting right beside you!"

Do you see it? They are fantastic investigators! They get potential witnesses such as myself to cave instantly! I don't even make them work for it! Why,I'd have been kicked out of the Scooby Gang instantly because I'd have thwarted the whole fantastic musical number/chase scene with those intrepid teenage investigators and pesky villains like the Creeper and 10,000 Volt Ghost. I should have realized this already, of course, based on the number of times they've come barreling from miles away into the house screaming "We want ice cream, too!" when they've heard me quietly crack the freezer open for the carton of tin roof sundae I thought I'd hidden from them. I'd have enjoyed a delicious bowl of fudge revel and crunchy peanuts if it weren't for those damn pesky kids!

Huh. I guess the point of this post is a far cry more pointless than it originally was going to be, so good job, me! At any rate, I get to use a fantastic quote from The Breakfast Club (which, if you Google to see if you have it correctly, as I did even though I don't know why because I quote from that movie on the daily, so forgive me, Judd Nelson, for dishonoring you so, you'll be humored to know that Backpacking Dad comes up as the second entry in the search but now your goal is to unseat him there. Or perhaps that's just me. What would I be doing if I weren't out making myself a better citizen?

* My thanks to Backpacking Dad for pointing out my original use of The Breakfast Club quote was slightly wrong. Alas, this allowed him to retain his number two Google position and I came in as a neo maxi zoom dweebie in the fifth spot. The world is an imperfect place...

(of course, this is only if you Google 'can you describe the ruckus, sir?' thus, I'm declaring this a draw because I cannot compete with a man with a Leonardo DiCaprio goatee)(even though I have a crazy awesome rack)


Sunday, June 21, 2009

tom petty gets 75% of the credit for this father's day

So I've got a confession to make. I planned to let Father's Day cruise right on by around here. Because - and here's where I break some of your hearts - I can be a real bitch. I dwelled on letting it go unrecognized for days (weeks...it was totally weeks) with the sense of "Ha! I'll just show you!" swirling around in my brain, letting it bump into all the other stuff that's up there, primarily "Hmmm...I wonder if we have any ice cream left" and "Why are we watching this, why are we watching this, why are we watching this....I wonder if we have any ice cream left."

"Why you gotta be such a little bitch?" you're probably wondering, and if so, I'd like us both to take a step back now and rethink this label now that I've slapped it on myself. Because listen, I'm not perfect, but I'm certainly not a bitch, either. At least not a total one. However, I do have a tendency to be a wee bit petty. Eh, who am I kidding? I can sometimes be so petty that if I bumped into Tom Petty, he'd be all, "Listen, when I sang 'I won't back down,' I was talking about me, not you, lady. Take a deep breath and let it go already!" and depending on my mood, I'd probably be all, "Damn the torpedoes! It's Tom Petty!" or "Eh, screw you, Tom Petty. Don't come around here no more!"

So why was I so petty? My family totally blew off Mother's Day. COMPLETELY!! Maybe to some of you, that's not a big deal. It's just a day. Every day is Mother's Day, yada, yada, yada. Well...no. Not in my mind. Especially not in my mind that was also littered with thoughts about how they'd also blew off my birthday last fall. I KNOW! Believe me, there was no Samantha Baker and Jake Ryan meet cute atop the table at the end of either of those days. At the end of which I mentioned the lack of a spoken greeting or even a greeting card hurt my feelings.

Though I think the exact words I said were "This sucks so, so much..." And then I thought of exacting my petty revenge. Ignore it all? Feasible. Oh, but what about going passive aggressive? Totally over the top? Is it too late to hire skywriters? What kind of permits do I need to get lined up for a big top circus in the backyard? Buy him new underwear?

So yes, while I laid in bed until after 10 a.m., on Father's Day (oh, yes, I totally slept in!)(only because my Tool Man has been working the last several Sundays, including Father's Day, because triple overtime is a lusty, insatiable mistress, my friends), I twirled the ends of my sinister fake villain mustache, tapped my fingertips together in evil pondering, and perhaps cackled maniacally while thinking how I was going to play the day super cool.

Then I rolled over, closed my eyes, and prepared to dream a little bit more. Except it felt like I wasn't alone...and when I opened my eyes, I saw Tom Petty standing there next to my bed, and forget Bigfoot, people, because Tom Petty next to your bed is creepy. Then he spoke.

"Good love is hard to find...good love is hard to find..." he said.

"What's your point, Tom Petty?" I asked.

"You got lucky, babe..." he said.

"Listen, before you go any further, I found him!" I countered.

But by then, Tom's point was made loud and clear. So while rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I asked if he wouldn't mind sticking around to bust out with Here Comes My Girl for Tool Man when he got home as a special dedication, but when I opened my eyes, Tom Petty was gone and there stood my little boy, smiling and armed with a few key brownie making ingredients.

I (free fell...heh...) out of bed, got pretty for the day (and the dad around here), and over the next few hours, the boys and I baked brownies, planned a meal fit for a king, decked the couch out for a king's nap, and wrapped the gifts we'd purchased earlier in the week for my Tool Man. Their dad.

Because yes, Tom Petty or not, I'd totally caved earlier in the week on the whole passive aggressive approach to Father's Day. And not just because there weren't any greeting cards trumpeting "Now you know how it feels..." I did it because Tool Man is a damn awesome dad. That or he's a shark and the boys are tiny pilot fish who swarm around him. Or he's the sun his sons orbit around. Either way, it's not necessarily about me, it's about him. And I love that shiny shark, dammit.

But I did get him new underwear. Because what I've been folding every week is holier than the pope. And now that I've shared that with the world, I think I at least deserve a gift certificate for a couple cheap manicures next Mother's Day.

...and somewhere, Tom Petty's muttering "Yer so bad..."


Thursday, June 18, 2009

slip slidin' away...

You know how some things sound better in your head than they actually turn out to be? Things like Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, letting your mom give you a perm AND talk you into some highlights at the same time (not just a bad idea, but a horrific one)(I have photos but showing you would be an equally bad idea), chicken nuggets, Shia LaBeouf, or thinking you have this really great idea for a series of books about a mopey teenage vampire and the whiny girl who falls in love with him now with more werewolves!

We all have them, these ideas that sound totally awesome as they bloom in our brain like a virus. Mine struck yesterday afternoon when the boys came charging into the house, stripping off clothes and clamoring for swim trunks. It was the first truly hot day we've had and the words "Slip" and "Slide" were being belted out at the top of their lungs as I slathered them with sunscreen.

A few minutes later, the harbinger of all summer fun was up and operational in our backyard. Oh, we have a very cool Slip and Slide, my friends. A tunnel at the end for them to pass through squirts water in a refreshing spinning arc, and my kids' peals of delight as they splashed down at the end was music to my ears. So it's surprising I was able to hear my youngest son when he came up to me, his drenched little bones bouncing beside me, and suggested that I take a turn on the Slip and Slide.

Oh, yes. Yes, he did. And because I've always been a sucker for cute boys (another thing I've found sounds better than it actually is, btw) I smiled down at him and, rather than point out the corner of the box that says this bastion of summertime fun is not intended for anyone close to my age, I fervently agreed. Because I am young and heart.

I am also, apparently, an idiot.

While informing the boys to stand down, I backed up in the yard, eyed my opponent (which, it should be noted, is barely taller than I am) and, like Evil Knievel preparing to jump Snake River Canyon on a rocket-powered motorcycle (note to all you younger readers - this happened in The Olden Days), I powered up my mental engines and prepared to marvel my cheering kids with my prowess and spirit of adventure.

We interrupt this blog post for those of you out there to tap me on the shoulder and say, "Hey, what about that time you fell down your living room stairs and totally f'd yourself up?" and while I totally appreciate your compassion, I'm all, "What? I can't hear you. Are you saying something about how clumsy I am? Because I'm listening to these other folks over here telling me about my horrific back and how it planned to kick my ass and still, months later, reminds me who's boss."

You can see where this is going, right? Like Evil, I took off at a pretty good clip and it wasn't until I was about to toe the edge of the slippery, so very slippery Slip and Slide that my mind jumped in and screamed something about how this probably wasn't the best idea I'd ever had before getting incredibly mouthy by saying, "Though it doesn't by any means trump that whole perm and highlighting debacle of 1988, my friend, and oh, by the way, did you ever think that a product called "Slip and Slide" with the first word being "slip" which is generally considered to be a bad thing, as in 'Whoopsie! I just slipped!' wouldn't be as much fun for someone who takes up more gravitational pull in the universe than, say, your average small child for whom said product was intended?"

"Screw you, Mind!!" I yelled as I dove down and made contact - sweet, slippery contact - with the plastic deathbed that is the Slip and Slide. Oh, it was, indeed, fun. It was also refreshing and induced peals of laughter in my boys. In fact, they were laughing so loud they failed to hear me as I quietly began requesting their assistance in getting up from my death bed. So I had to keep asking. And asking. And asking. And finally yelling.

In the spirit of adventure, I totally wrecked my already fragile and bitchy right knee, and today I am writing to you while balancing my laptop on my left leg and with my right leg propped up higher than the rest of my body. It's a look that is, and I quote my Tool Man, sexy, and I would have totally kicked him in the ass for saying that, but as you can imagine, that's pretty much impossible at the moment.

It's gearing up to be another scorching day today, and the boys are already clamoring to have the Slip and Slide set back up for an afternoon of fun, but like Evil Knievel passing the baton of silly stunts off to his son, I'm leaving this day to my boys.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

he'll always be my beast of burden

From time to time, you may have noticed I mention having a rather strong aversion to Bigfoot. Hell, rather and strong don't even play nicely enough with each other to adequately describe my aversion to this alleged (hog wash!) creature. My fear of what I believe (BELIEVE! ) to be the cruelest (though perhaps most boring) of woodland creatures has been splattered all over my own blog, as well as across the Internet.

I place the blame for my Bigfoot phobia at the feet of Leonard Nimoy and a quasi-creepy little show he hosted titled In Search Of. I had no business watching that show when I was a child. Hell, I should have been outside playing and frolicking with my peers, but no. I was planted in front of the TV, waiting for the theme music to send chills down my spine after Mr. Nimoy would tease me with the potentially frightening subject we'd be tackling, absorbing it all in great big scoops of amazement because I believed every word the experts spilled. Why wouldn't I? Even if they weren't spouting off facts and artifacts, they'd often be wearing big, black nerd frame eyeglasses, so by virtue of that alone, I KNEW they were smarter than me and had to be telling the truth. Why I have no fear of vampires or aliens is beyond me, but the episode devoted to Bigfoot scared the bejesus out of my impressionable nine year old mind, and from that moment on, I have devoted a portion of my nightly routine to peeking out of my bedroom window blinds to assure myself no large, pungent, follically superior beast stood in wait for me.

Think I'm kidding? That street lamp pictured up there? That street lamp stands at the far corner of my backyard, and that street lamp and I are well acquainted. It is my beacon of safety in a confusing world AND I HAVE SEEN THINGS STANDING UNDER IT THAT HAVE SENT CHILLS DOWN MY SPINE!!!

(things that later turned out to be frolicking bunnies, but that is not the point!)

Of course, if you take a gander at that above photo, you could put together a pretty solid case debunking my Bigfoot fears. Let me point out a couple obvious ones:

  • A general lack of dense foliage. I live in the suburbs. That small stand of trees in the horizon? While perhaps a feasible home for Mr. B. Foot, Esq., it would hardly fill the void of the densely wooded regions of the Pacific Northwest where he tends to make his home. Because trees get cut down around here faster than the homes that go up in their place, and Bigfoot has been described as a rather slow, lumbering creature, I think even if he left his forest dwellings of Oregon or northern California in 1977, he'd still not be anywhere near me by now. And not just because he may have reached the Nebraska border, gotten hella bored, and turned around.
  • Oh, except GAH! Apparently there were numerous Bigfoot encounters near where I grew up and presently live in the late 70s!
  • Over the course of history, Bigfoot has most often preferred to make his presence known to men. I could say a lot about that right here, but I think I'll just leave that one alone.
  • Bigfoot apparently has a rather distinct odor, and while I often smell odd things around my home, I also live with three others who are of the male persuasion and that in itself guarantees I'll be walking into some vapor clouds of their doing (although they will also attempt to blame said odors on each other or other things...like Bigfoot...because they like to keep me freaked out).
  • His name is Bigfoot. Bigfoot. Say it a few times. Not exactly scary, is it? Ooooh! What are you going to do to me, Bigfoot? Kick me in the groin with your giant feet? Shove a giant toe in my nostrils to cut off my airflow? Yeah. Not particularly scary.
Hmmm...I guess I only have a few points. Not much of a case, really. Feel free to add your own, I suppose. Start with this little tidbit I found the other day while straightening up at the bookstore:

From the book Bigfoot: I Not Dead by Graham Roumieu. A humorous little tome meant to give us a chuckle or a frightening manifesto directed right at me. Oh, I think the above pages really, really speak volumes, my friends... Dear Lady? Might as well be Dear INSERT MY NAME HERE!

I thought I was going to have my Bigfoot issues laid to rest last summer when a rag tag team of intrepid explorers claimed to have captured a dead Bigfoot. Oh, I remember fondly my glee the morning I fired up my laptop and the Yahoo news site trumpeted the amazing find. I may have even cried and whispered "Free at last, Bigfoot. Free at last from the stranglehold you have placed upon my life!" Maybe. My intrepid friend, weird girl, staged a most excellent moment in investigative journalism to attend the press conference said explorers held to present their DNA evidence. As we all know (at least those of us among the we who care about these things AND I DO!), that evidence was later debunked (SHOCKING!), and so my fears? They remain. Deep within me. Like Bigfoot deep within his foresty lair.

And so we come to the end of this post, which ultimately was about nothing because I haven't posted anything for nearly a week and figured it was about time. You could, I suppose, say this was a post about Jack Squat.

I, however, like to think it was a post about Sas (wait for it...) quatch!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

toot, toot, hey, beep, beep

So last night I was enjoying yet another slow night at the bookstore - where for the duration of summer break, I get to be out mingling among the grown ups on the sales floor and not penned in the children's department, so can I get an amen? - when I decided to head to the break room to enjoy a few minutes with my delicious Diet Mountain Dew and the latest copy of People. Because I enjoy perusing the fine literature which surrounds me.

Anyway, I'm walking, walking, walking with my head down and my swingy name tag, the one that, when I'm wearing it, prompts people to ask, "Hey, do you work here?", when a coworker came peeling around the corner from the cafe and says she'd love to join me on my break, which was weird because I don't recall asking, "Hey, would you love to join me on my break? And do you think I use the words 'hey' and 'anyway' too much when I write? What about 'so'?"

So my coworker falls in line in front of me and we continue our toe-gazing march toward the break room when she suddenly comes to a screeching halt in front of me to bend down and pick up a book that had fallen off the children's octagon. Because I was admiring my super sexy black Reeboks instead of keeping an eye on the horizon, her sudden halt nearly caused me to leapfrog her. In fact, as I bounced off her rump, I was sure casual passersby would recoil in fear, slap their hands over their children's eyes, and tsk, tsk us, thinking they'd stumbled upon some bizarro bibliophile porn,

Anyway, it was while my coworker was in the deepest throws of her downward spiral, just as I stumbled back a step after bouncing off her ass, that she expelled a giant fart balloon. The kind that I normally only hear within the confines of my own home because hi, I live with penis-bearing creatures who rate their expulsions, thank you, and I know when I've been rendered speechless, and this one? This one, from this demure older woman, killed me and then I rose from the dead like the zombies I love and, like I zombie, I couldn't speak. I could only make random grunts. I also couldn't move away from her very fast. Damn zombies!

So my coworker, propelled by the hydraulic release of air from her ass, rose up, looked over her shoulder at me, and, with delight...let me repeat that: WITH DELIGHT!!...says, "Heh! Oh, yeah! I gotta go take care of business soon!"

And that? That pretty much summed up my day yesterday. Crappy and close to exploding.

My friends, sometimes you're the farter and sometimes you're the one who gets farted upon. Sometimes you'll end up taking your People magazine outside instead to read by the dying light, and sometimes you'll be stuck humming the hit(s) of Bachman Turner Overdrive the rest of the night (and if you hear a whistle up above - or directly in front of you - and people pushing, people shoving, I suggest you back the hell up post haste) while shelving self-help books, wondering when someone is going to write one for you.

Mark my words.

Just try not to mark your underwear.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

'without the help of a margarita or ectasy'

As I write this, the sun's setting on the first real day of summer vacation, and as you can see, I toasted this period - also known as The First Day Of The Summer Vacation Where I Don't Tell The Boys No! - with a spectacular glass of wine from a bottle I picked up when the boys and I ran to the grocery store this afternoon. I'll note here that, when I said we were going to the store, the boys responded with a chorus of negativity, but oh, if mama don't play that way, neither do mama's boys, thank you very much.

Anyway, I think it's a rule if you are a mom and you blog, you're supposed to drink wine from time to time and I'm nothing if not a stickler for rules. I'm also quite the wine aficionado, which if you saw me swirling the inky depths of this red poured from the five dollar bottle from within which it aged, you'd definitely agree. Oh, yes, I quite think this wine bypassed the pesky barreling stage. Suffice to say, if I indulge in another glass (oh...hahahaha...IF!), I'll be a buck and a quarter away from leaning over, touching your thigh, and going on about how much I love you. I mean really, really love you. I put the cheap in frugal dating, my friends.

So you're probably wondering how this whole putting the kibosh on saying no business went today. It went excellent! The only time I so much as eeked out a sound that could've been confused with the word no was when, at 7:30 a.m., I was opening the front door to let the cool summer air in (wanna play in the sunshine? too damn bad because it's June in the Midwest and we barely broke 60 degrees today!) and there, his tan little face pressed up to the screen, was the neighbor kid. His grin and my scream was a damn near perfect re-enactment of Jack Nicholson's and Shelley Duvall's
"Here's Johnny!" from The Shining. I then screamed some more as a means of suggesting there's no real reason to be anywhere near my house before 8 a.m., and more preferably 9 a.m., and yes, these ARE pajamas I'm wearing because some of us aren't vampires who rise with the sun, now why don't you scoot on home and come back later. Or call the house in 5 minutes because that's what he did. This? This is what I dread about summer vacation.

Other than that, there was a chorus of positivity flying through the air here today. Do you want to throw the football with me, Mom? You bet! Can we make Kool Aid, Mom? Totally! Want to shoot hoops with me later? You better believe it! Can I eat lunch at Ryan's, Mom? Why not?! Is it OK if we just have peanut butter sandwiches for supper tonight, Mom? Sure! I don't think I've ever gone more than 12 hours being this upbeat and positive! Do you want to draw with sidewalk chalk? Yes, yes, a million times yes!

So we did:

You're probably thinking, "Wow! That's a really impressive snail your young son drew, Fadkog!" but I must tell you, as it was told to me when I exclaimed at the beauty of this work, that this isn't, in fact, a snail, but an earthworm whose lower half has been smooched while making an ill-timed slither through a rock quarry (not pictured - the trailing entrails stretched out the length of the driveway) while coming home from a party for his friends (thus the wacky party favor antenna atop it's earthwormey head. The kid's got an eye, I'll tell ya. It's not all pens and penis arms for this talented master!

Anyway, in the unlikely event you've not figured this out yet, I don't really have a point to this post. I just wanted to drink wine and say stuff, so here's some stuff I've got bouncing around in my head:
  • Why didn't anyone warn me I was going to be doing the silent ugly cry withing the first 15 minutes of UP?
  • Furthermore, why didn't anyone tell me I'd weep tears of boredom while watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? By the time it was over, I felt 70 years older. If there was a lesson to that film, I missed it between all my whining. Real shame I didn't have actual wine at the time.
  • As you can imagine, I'm a real joy to be married to.
  • Not only am I a joy, but I'm not a heartless person, either. However, I cannot I stop laughing every time I watch Bret Michaels getting clotheslined at Sunday night's Tony Awards. Maybe now he'll consider the bandanna and cowboy hat atop the finest hair extensions Europe has to offer a wee bit of overkill if it impedes his vision. The man don't need nothin' but a good time and perhaps some extra-strength Tylenol. And apparently a few stitches:

  • I woke up last week to find a bunch of ducks mingling with the usual assortment of rabbits and songbirds that have taken up residence in our backyard. There's not a body of water anywhere near my neighborhood, but the ducks hung out for quite awhile. It felt very much like I'd been transported into a Disney movie (minus the ugly crying), so I spent the rest of my morning on the lookout for a tribe of tiny whistling men or bitchy women wanting to curse me.
  • I emptied backpacks last week when school ended. Each boy came home with more unused school supplies than I remember sending with them last fall. Glue sticks, unsharpened pencils, perfect markers. Elementary school desks are like weird Thunderdomes. One pair of kid-safe scissors go in, two pair come out. I think we're good through college. So why the hell am I buying $5 bottles of wine?
  • I read in the news last week that Nelson Mandela will be celebrating his 91st birthday soon with a special concert where one of the headline performers will be...Jesse McCartney? (don't know who Jesse McCartney is? Check that link for a Jesse hit featuring Ludacris out! Or not. I mean, really...Luda?). I usually have a lot of words. I don't have many more than 'really?' for that one.
  • The other night, my youngest son and I were hanging out in the kitchen and picking up after dinner when he paused briefly to bestow upon me the highest compliment he could for the meal I'd prepared for him - a burp. "Oh, that one? That one was one creamy burp!" he said with delight. Pretty impressive since we'd had barbecued hamburgers and homemade oven fries for dinner. Equally as impressive was how his belch made me blanch. Of course, I don't know why'd I'd expect anything less from a kid who can feel the stench of his shoes.

Oh, this post is long and boring. So very so. You know what's not boring? Cheap wine. And my love for you. Not necessarily in that order. Now, how about you go fetch me a refill, we love each other for awhile longer, and we agree not to be all freaky about it in the morning, OK?


Thursday, June 04, 2009

if you like it then you better watch it six or seven more times. now put your hands up. seriously. where are your hands? oh oh oh oh oh oh!

When it comes right down to it, the list of things I hate in this world - a list, it should be noted, which shouldn't to be confused with a tits list - is really quite small. The following represents a sampling of what the list contains:
  • Social injustice
  • Sweating
  • The crisis in Darfur
  • People who constantly inject the question "You know what I mean?" into their conversations (sidebar: this doesn't include The Great Neil Diamond, who has a song titled If You Know What I Mean that includes that query several times throughout its few minutes of magic, and I think I've made it abundantly clear Mr. Diamond gets a big old pass with me)(sidebar part deux: I couldn't think of the title of this particular song, so I googled 'if you know what I mean+Neil Diamond lyric' and got Duh! and If You Know What I Mean and You call yourself a Neil Diamond fan? among my results)

Also on the list of things I hate is Beyonce. I imagine many of you nodded in agreement as you read my list, but then you got to Beyonce and became incredulous, wondering "Wha?! What's Beyonce ever done to you, Fadkog?" Well, the answer is plenty, but I've narrowed it down to one thing in particular - Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) (though, truth be told, as much as I hate that song, I positively loath If I Were A Boy, but for this post, we're talking Single Ladies). I really despise that song, and grew quite weary of the various copy cat videos that have been released. That is until I turned on my laptop Wednesday afternoon and saw this:

What? You were expecting the literal version of Total Eclipse Of The Heart? Pish posh, my friends! So played out! But this? This moment of semi-stale pop culture tweaking? THIS is divine! Seriously, I don't know what that clip is all about (and I don't want to tell you how many of the million-plus views are mine) What I want to do is thank those of you who alerted me to it! Even though I'd already watched it numerous times after noticing it was the number one trending topic on Twitter Wednesday, I watched it again (times five)(don't even ask me my favorite part for I love it all)(particularly the 3:20 mark) for each alert I got from you!

For you. I did it for all of you who take such good care of me.

And for these:

Can't tell what I'm referring to? Well, go ahead. Click the photo.


Make it bigger.

(somewhere, Simon LeBon is bitching because I never talked like this about him when I was 16)

OK, if you don't want to click it or fear a coworker passing by your desk and seeing you with a giant leotard-clad Joe Jonas on your computer screen, let me just fill you in. Take a gander at those thighs! I believe the medical definition of that condition is called "Oh my" and "GOD!"

(also, I think the fact I used the word gander up there is proof I'm too old to be enjoying multiple viewings - and that's the ONLY thing that's being enjoyed in multiples, btw - of a 19 year old, completely legal man...in a leotard...but hold on...give me a second...)(also? so very not too old)

In case you can't read my serial killer/10+ years as a newspaper reporter computerized handwriting up there, I've named Joe's right thigh God and his left one Thunder. The space between the two, that perfectly harmless void, I've dubbed O'. Because I had to.


Before I cap off this post (it should be noted that, in my head, it was WAY shorter), I must add that, as most of you already know, Twilight and all things Twilight-related are on my list of things I hate. In fact, it tops my list. I mean, I hate to sweat, but more than weird vegetarian vampires and zombie girls? Hardly! The trailer for the second movie, New Moon, was released this week and some of you have shared your love for it, which I then playfully ragged about all over your comments (and honestly, step back and look at it..can you blame me?!). So, to all you PMSy vampire and yawn-inducing wolf lovers out there, we're even.

You know what I mean?


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

there's 76 days of summer vacation...

So the last day of school is Thursday. Actually, Thursday is the last day my kids will be attending parties while at school this week. They got their report cards last week, and this week has been nothing but make up time for the days we missed during winter. I don't seem to remember the kids having several snow days, but I guess what they say is true. You DO block out the bad stuff!

I'm pretty excited about this summer break. Between the bullying issue, a few middle school stressors (fist to sky, middle school! fist! to! sky!), and everything in between, we need a break around here. That's why I've declared this as "The Summer Vacation Where I Don't Tell The Boys No!"

(fireworks, explosions, crashing cymbols, parading animals, sky divers, hooray!)

Yeah. I see this declaration of mine lasting until about June 7th, so when you see a scrawled plea for help here, trust I'm not kidding, and when you're all, "Ha ha ha! Told you so!" I'll just nod my head in agreement. It'll be easy to do considering my body will be rocking back and forth as I'm huddled in the fetal position in a corner anyway (I think that's called centrifugal force. I should ask my middle school student son, but I fear what he's already forgotten this year)(and I could absolutely be wrong for my ability to retain information isn't what it used to be as evidenced by the fact I have to Google the recipe for hard boiled eggs every spring).

Care to know why I think my plan my plan to have "The Summer Vacation Where I Don't Tell The Boys No!" will likely backfire backfire before I ever really get it fired up? Take a gander down there at that Mug O' Awesome (which is what I wanted to name him, but my Tool Man said nope):

I KNOW, RIGHT?! Can you not feel the ability to bend things with your mind or simply melt from the sheer adorableness of that face as it washes over you?! Well, try living with that every day, people! It isn't easy! And the missing tooth!? Gah!!

So Captain I Only Play Evil When Woken Up Too Early up there comes to me the other night with a piece of paper and a pencil, plants his hands upon his hips, and asks, "Mom, fury is spelled F-U-R-Y, right?"

Please say you said furry, please say you said furry, please say you said furry...

But no. He definitely WAS making sure he was spelling fury correctly for what is apparently going to be either his memoirs or his manifesto, I'm not sure yet (and which makes me feel a wee bit 'well, that's just great!' as the mom who just got done reading Columbine)(which, seriously, READ THAT BOOK!).

So it's good to know all the spelling tests we practiced for each week during this first grade year have really paid off. Scripps National Spelling Bee, with your adorable finger pencil using, pleated khakis wearing, peach fuzzed lipped pubescent contestants, here we come!

But first, I get two more days to practice saying yes all the time (and as I think about it, I think that means ALL the boys in my house will have a happy summer). Take another look at that face up there. It probably shouldn't be too hard.


Monday, June 01, 2009

tits list 2: bigger, badder and bouncier!

Sunday morning I woke up, opened up the house, and plopped on the couch to bask in the adoration of my loving family. Alas, they were all outside and I was left alone to ponder my breakfast all alone. In case you're wondering, I went with the generic strawberry toaster pastry (seriously, what is with the skimpy frosting on these things?! back in my day, kids, Pop Tarts were frosted tips to toes, and we enjoyed them after rounding up the chickens, churning our butter, and helping Ma birth a the spring calves).

Anyway, while I was sitting on the couch enjoying my breakfast (also? I wasn't really enjoying it, for I prefer the brown sugar cinnamon toaster pastries that SOMEONE had finished off, but I'm not naming names, Tool Man), I picked up the scent of something truly delicious filling the house. Instantly, I realized I was picking up the succulent bouquet of bacon wafting through the windows! "Is this heaven?" I wondered. Not likely, I quickly deduced, for I (once again) had gotten up too late for church (sorry, G), and I'm pretty sure I wasn't going to be rewarded for that with the fantastic smell of fried pork filling my nostrils. "Then I must be dreaming," I decided. Alas, neither Zac Efron or Joe Jonas paraded through the living room as confirmation of that.

Then I decided that if I had the ability to write a Tits List, I would absolutely place "the succulent scent of bacon" on said list (along with Zac and Joe)(not necessarily wearing bacon)(but I'd not be adverse to such thing). Then I thought "You know what? You need to combine your love of bacon and other random things and update your Tits List right this second!" However, I didn't do it right that very second for I had to finish my breakfast, then finish a book, then I watched an episode of Food Network Challenge (ice cream challenge!), then I took a little nap, and started a new book.

Anyway, long story short, I didn't get to my updated Tits List until this morning, and I'm going to share it with you here (editorial note: Before any of you delightfully new readers - hi! - start thinking I'm a freak - kind of am! - and to serve as a reminder to those of you who may have forgotten, my list of things I think are the tits have nothing to do with breasts at all, though you can pretty much assume they are also on these lists, and is more a run down of things I think are cool and/or totally awesome at this given moment. I just re-read my previous list from last August (and the January addendum, which many of you reminded me wasn't technically a list since it only included one item, but perhaps you've picked up on the fact that I'm a wee bit wordy...), and found that many of those items I still consider quite awesome. Here's their new friends:

Still More Things I Think Are The Tits
  • Q-tips (hello, eargasms!)
  • Russell Brand
  • frozen Snickers
  • Turbo Jam
  • non-habit forming sleep aids
  • sleeping with the windows open (thanks to non-habit forming sleep aids)
  • Rimmel Lasting Finish Intense Wear lipstick in Temptation (a perfect reddish-brown)
  • the way my youngest son adopts a British accent while talking to me
  • one (or two) perfect glasses of cheap red wine while on the deck while lightening bugs pass
  • your comments (seriously! I totally mean it!)(sorry I've sucked at responding of late!)
  • ponytails
  • driving with the mini's window's down and singing along loudly when She's So High and/or Drops of Jupiter come on the iPod. Ah, the classics...
  • Seth Green
  • A tub of Cool Whip and a spoon and no one around to watch
  • Ace of Cakes (and my desire to be Mary Alice)(and be around cake all day)
  • crossword puzzles
  • the two mourning doves that sit outside my kitchen window every morning
  • Reece's peanut butter Whoppers
  • The Deadliest Catch (and by that I mostly mean Edgar Hansen)
  • 44 ounce refills of Diet Mountain Dew from Kum & Go
  • matinees with my Tool Man
  • Grease 2

Now it's your turn! Please share with me some of the things you think are the tits at the moment, and then let us enjoy a heaping plate of bacon together (maybe while you sing me the chorus of the new song from the Jonas Brothers...but no pressure...we can start with the bacon...)!