Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas... and yes, he was back in at 6:20, and I expect him there again in five minutes.

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring... oh, wait...


*Knock Knock*
"Go back to bed," I say, groggily.
"But I threw up."
"Oh, no."

Poor Ethan. What a way to start Christmas. Poor me. Is there any possible way to get puke out of a mattress? Especially at three in the morning?

I set him up in a little nest right outside the bathroom door. He refuses the light being turned off, though. He's up again at 4:20. And by "again", I don't mean to imply that he sleeps in the intervening time...


There is whispered conversation. Connor greets Ethan.
"I'm throwing up."
"On Christmas?!"
Because he has a choice in the matter? He didn't take into account the scheduling conflict?

Emily and Connor wait while Ethan throws up again at 5:20. There's nothing for it. We give up on the notion of sleep and go down to rip open some presents.

We've finally given in and given Connor his cell phone. I decided to put it in his stocking, since it's normally the last thing they tear into, yet it's the first thing he does. I hurriedly grab the video camera to catch his reaction. He's shocked into silence for a solid three seconds. A record. I look down. The friggin' camera is paused.

Moving on, I pull a large present out from under the tree to give to Ethan. Apparently this is the keystone gift. The tree decides it would prefer a horizontal life. It dumps water everywhere, breaks a tree-side's worth of ornaments, and irreparably damages the tree stand.

I think it's time to break out the espresso flavored vodka for my coffee.

I hope this morning is going better for everyone else.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

To whoever arrived at my blog by googling: why is it not safe to eat dead crap?...

...please seek the help you so desperately need.

Unless you meant dead crab. In which case- the help you need might be a stomach pumping. Also the ability to watch your typos.

Also, who the hell googles in complete sentences? Stop doing that. Key words, asshole, key words.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dear UPS Truck Drivers,

Please stop smoking in the goddamn trucks. That's all I'm asking. I'm tired of the receiving room at work smelling like someone set a pack of cigarettes on fire in the middle of the floor of the room for hours after you leave. I'm tired of my purchases showing up to my house stinking so awful. Seriously, Sam accused me of smoking because I had a delivery sitting on the chair next to me. If books can smell that horrid, I can't imagine what any clothing orders are going to stink like. Just stop it. There's no reason for it. Step out of the truck, asshole. No one else gets to smoke on the job, so get over it.

Loves and smoker's coughs,

P.S. I don't want to hear any shit about how they don't smoke in the truck or that they're not allowed to smoke in the truck. Because that's bullshit. They do it. No rule is a rule if it's not enforced.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sam says it doesn't count anyway because Washington DC isn't even a state.

So, today, my friend told me it was time for me to write a new post because my lame ass can't seem to post on a regular basis because of the news that Washington DC is legalizing gay marriage.

Which kinda pissed me off. Not at her- she makes a valid point. It's just a damn shame that we have to applaud SIMPLY DOING THE RIGHT THING.

God damn, people.

Fine. Bravo, DC! You did the right thing.

But here's the thing. When you are potty-training your kid, every time they use the toilet properly, you applaud and dance and give out M&M's (holy hell, I just gave a parenting tip). This doesn't last forever, obviously. There is no jar of M&M's in our bathroom- thank gods we are past that. I mean, do you applaud your spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend when they don't wet their pants? (If you do, there is the possibility that you need to take a step back from the situation and take another look.) No. And the reason for that is? That is just the way it should be. One more time. That is just the way it should be.

I think the problem is perspective. Equal rights for all seems like a damn near unachievable goal- some gold standard. So sad. In fact, we should be viewing equal rights as mediocrity.

So, hurrah, DC. You have reached the level of mediocrity. You are no longer wearing diapers. You get to go pick out some underoos with Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts. Oh, and New Hampshire, once they get their collective ass in gear.

That is, assuming the US Congress doesn't fuck it all up. Which they will.

To the rest of the states in our fair marriage union: Get the fuck out of the pampers. Mediocrity. Can you see it? There, way up high over your head?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Two Conversations with Ethan

Ethan's terribly shy. He says he doesn't have any friends, but the confusing part of this is that whenever we run into a classmate of his, without fail, that classmate greets him with enthusiasm and calls him "my friend, Ethan". My only conclusion? Little man just doesn't know what constitutes a "friend". He says that, most of the time on the playground, he just walks around alone. I was discussing this with him, encouraging to ask one of the few kids he talks to to play- just say "wanna play?" This led to a conversation about this friend and about how the girls always chase him on the playground, and Ethan doesn't want to play with those girls because they chase him, too.

Me: They chase you because they like you.
He: No, they hate me.
Me: No one hates you! Girls chase you because they like you!
He: What if they growl at you? Like a pug.
Me: ...They're flirting.
He: Oh.

The other night (how's that for a segue?) Emily and Ethan (and I, by extension) were going to a school activity- making ornaments. This was the first night of Hanukkah, which was excellent planning on the PTA's part, giving the poor 97% non-Jewish minority of kids something to do for the evening. For some reason, while I was getting ready to leave (read: turning off my laptop), this was Ethan standing at the door, making it sound like he was threatening to run away from home:

I'm leaving. I'm leaving! I'm leaving now! I'm leaving NOW! Mom, will you drive me? I don't know where to go.

Okay, so it wasn't exactly a conversation. It is, however, life with Ethan.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Eff You, New York

Hey, New York, go join Maine in the corner. Assholes. Ever take a history class? Hell, most of you should remember when our federal government had to make certain states allow interracial marriage. How embarrassing! Imagine being a politician in a state that did something as awful as to not allow two people of different races to marry! Well, you fucktards, that's how history will remember you, too. Have the decency to be ashamed of your actions.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I admit that the song is catchy. At least, it's better than a lot of the other crap they play- also ad nauseum.

Scarlett Johansson was on Ellen today- singing. I didn't realize she was a singer. Sam's response was something along the lines of a muttered, "She fancies herself a singer like all the rest of the actresses, huh."

But apparently I did know she was singer because once she started the song I realized that it was, indeed, from a CD that my store plays ad nauseum (this is latin for "until I (yes, me, specifically) vomit"- appropriate because that's what I want to do the third time this song comes on in a single shift).

During the follow-up interview, Johansson's partner in the duet album gave his reasons as to why he chose her to work with. This is when Connor piped up with, "It's just because she's hot!"

So later this evening, I was telling Sam about the fact that I knew the song, and I finished up with:

Me: Oh, and Connor thinks she's hot.
Connor: Am I not allowed my opinion?
Me: 'Course you are. I just find it funny that you find a woman older than your mother "hot".*
Sam: #snort#
Connor: Age is just a number, Mom.

*Okay, yes, now I realize that she is, in fact, five years younger than me. I think this undeniably qualifies as beside the point. Also, it ruins the story. And she looks older than me. Or at least more used. Whatever. Just shut up.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Damn Dryer Was Giving Us Trouble Again

For some reason, the lint trap isn't very good at the "trapping" bit of the equation. This means that every once in a while, I boost Sam into the attic and he has to hot-foot it over to the vent, reach up into the roof-line, and pull a small quilt out of the little bird-blocker screen. The first time we did this, Sam discovered that the geniuses that had installed the vent hoses in the attic for the dryer and the two upstairs bathroom exhaust fans decided to be generous with said hosing, allowing them to coil on the "floor" of the attic. This led to those loops being full of water. And by full, I mean a gallon of water each. Yeah, not exactly useful in the "exhaust" department.

Anyway, we did the attic gig a few days ago, but the dryer has been more picky than usual, deciding periodically that, no, it was not ready to start at the moment, so bugger off and maybe it'll give it a shot later. So we figured that maybe it was time to take the thing apart and give it that cleaning that you're supposed to... every year? I dunno. We've done it once, ever, and the thing is eleven years old. And the only reason we did it that once was because the belt had to be replaced. It's one thing to never clean something you have to crack open, it's another thing to have to crack it open, look at the mess, and still decide to not clean it. So we pulled off the back, pulled out the start of the exhaust line, cleaned all that mess and scored thirty cents. Not bad!

Finally we pulled off the front to reveal approximately four thousand legos, a couple buttons, an enormous quilt, a poor poor motor with fur like a bear, and! Drum roll please! Another $7.59 in change!

Well worth the effort. Oh, and we got the dryer running again. But, hey, almost eight bucks! It was like Christmas.

Monday, November 9, 2009

An Open Letter to Hershey's (Obviously They Didn't Pay Me to Write This Detritus)

Dear Hershey's,

I, for one, have never seen much point to chocolate flavored candy. If I want chocolate, just give me the effing chocolate, okay? But you chose to contaminiate riddle sprinkle my endearingly discounted bag of post-Halloween candy with the Hershey's Chocolate Pops (Naturally & Artificially Flavored Lollipop!).

Moments ago, I thought, "What the hell. I can't always be so closed-minded. How bad can they be?" How bad, indeed. I will tell you, since you obviously did not know before you put that nasty in my precious bag of joy. They can be that bad. I'm not saying "skunk-and-brussels-sprouts" bad. (Google just informed me of the "s" on the end of "brussels". The hell?) But just about as nasty as any candy- common to the United States, though, because, damn, rest-of-the-world (and Hershey's, apparently), don't you know candy is supposed to be yum?- can be and still be called "candy".

And, for swearz, I gave it an honest try. I even cracked that sucker open with a spoon, just to be sure you hadn't hidden some wonderful yum inside. You had not.

For shame,

P.S. Hey, Hershey's? Go get in line- behind Maine- on over at Cate's for a Punch in the Face Award. Happy nose bleed.

The Work of the Devil.
And Not the Fun Kind.

Friday, November 6, 2009

No, seriously. I do not care about your opinion.

So! Recently, we've had a bout of H1N1 up in this hizouse. Or not. Who knows. What I do know was Emily got a big-ass but short-lived fever, a little bit of tired, and a slightly longer lasting cough. No belly pains, no lethargy, no dehydration. Several days later, Ethan followed suit. There and gone. From what I can tell, this either was or was not piggy-flu. So I am going with it was, and the rest of us developed the proper anti-bodies from the exposure. So, yay! All immune! Or not. Because it doesn't matter anyway. There is no vaccine to be had in our area, and even if it were, I'm not entirely sure I'd be willing to take it out of the noses hands of people who are at significantly greater risk than we. Also? I'm not looking for opinions here, so you just go ahead and marinate yours in your delightful noggin.

So what the hell is my point, you ask? Just this:

During Ethan's aforementioned illness, he was belly-down on the floor, playing a board game with Connor.

Sam: He's not getting this whole "sick in bed" thing.
Me: Yeah. We're gonna have to teach him, I guess.
Sam: We could cut off his legs. That'll keep him in bed.
Ethan: No, that'd keep me right here.

Because that's just how this family rolls.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wow, Maine.

Good job on the trashing of civil liberties and stomping on basic human rights. It's amazing that any seemingly intelligent east coast state could look at California and go, "Hey, now there's an idea! Let's follow those morons!" Way to stick it to the minority. You suck.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

But she had the mask off her mouth and around her chin, so I'm back to "crazy bitch".

A customer came in today wearing a surgical mask. I have to admit, my first reaction was, "Boy, she is one crazy bitch." So then I kinda beat myself up for being a judgmental asshole. "Let's give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she is sick and doesn't want to infect us." And that thought led to, "Fuck. What a selfish bitch! Why would she even come into public if beyotch is contagious?" (Yes, I swear this much, even in my own head.) And then I thought about my friend in high school whose father was battling cancer and could not go out in public without a mask for fear of the tiniest contamination from a simple cold, and people treated him like some sort of leper. And then I felt like shit again.

This is my constant internal monologue.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

She's a fortune teller this year. Gee, thanks, magic 8-ball!

Emily had a Halloween party at school- at night, sans parents, a first. When I went in to pick her up, I walked in just ahead of a teen girl and her (I assume) boyfriend. Just as I was about to greet Emily, said teenage girl shouted, "Emily!" Instead of responding, Emily just glared at her. Obviously not giving a damn that Emily did not reply, she walked away, saying to her boyfriend, "That's the girl who always..." I didn't catch the rest. (Thank god?)

So I get Emily into the car and start quizzing her:

Me: Who was that teenager?
Emily: Brooke.
Me: And what did you always do?
Emily: Chased her.
Me: What? Why? And why didn't you say hello?
Emily: Because she's evil.

Yeah. So that ended that part of the conversation. I asked her what she did at the party. She ate and danced and did nothing. And then:

Emily: Oh, and limo.
Me, struggling to figure out what the hell that could possibly relate to- after all "Follow the Leader" is now called "Train". And no, I didn't yell at her to call it the right damn name or nothing at all. No, I didn't. You can't prove it: Limo? What is that?
Emily: Oh. Uhm, limBO.

And that ended the entire conversation because I couldn't take anymore.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A banana was not one of the things to go into the lunchbox.

This morning, Connor was putting his lunch... bits? containers? food stuffs?... into his lunchbox. "And to think," he said, "that I only have this *indicates lunchbox* because of cheating."

I gave him a glare. "At bible camp." Yes, bible camp. I know. Long, boring story, don't ask.

"Yeah," he said, then he smirked. "I'm going to hell." And off he flounced.

I? Stood there with my mouth hanging open. There's not much of a response for that- mostly because I'm sure he got the attitude (and, yes, okay, the phrase, too) from me.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Six Word Saturday


44 hours with no schedule! Woo!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Oh, wait. Here's my wine!

So, my kid. The oldest one. He turned twelve recently. Twelve. What the hell? I'm not sure how all that happened, but it did. My friend, Cassie, passed along birthday greetings:

Flutterby: your kid!
had a birthday
happy birthday to your kid!
me: didn't we already talk about his birthday?
Flutterby: we talked about that he was going to have one!
and then i forgot
me: oh
Flutterby: and i don't wanna lose my place as favorite online flutterby/cassie
me: happy it's-been-12-years-and-you-still-haven't-lost-the-weight to me!
Flutterby: woohoo!

It's been a very long and a very short dozen years. I was reminded of just how long the journey has been when a customer came in today, close to tears. It seems that she had just had to ditch the grocery store because her two year old terror angel had refused to sit in the cart. She was, at that moment, still in desperate need of food because the cupboards were bare- all young-mother-hubbard-esque. And also he refused to get dressed for twenty minutes this morning- what she was waiting on him for, I don't know.

Poor woman was at the end of her rope. I did not ask where the kid was, at this point, or why he couldn't be wherever the hell he was now while she ran to the grocery store. I also did not point out that the terrible-twos are far outawfuled by the terrible-threes. (No one ever mentions this to first-time parents of two year olds because we're all afraid they might decide to just cut their losses now.)

Talking the woman off the edge made me grateful to be past those early stages, but it also reminded me... oh shit, y'all, I'm about to have a teenage boy. I am so screwed- where's my wine?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I Told You So From the Beginning

At soccer today, one of the opposing team kicked the ball right into the crowd, hitting the mother of a teammate of Connor's.
This teammate, in turn, yelled, "Hey! You nailed my mom!"
At which point my mind went in the completely wrong direction.
And this is why- soccer mom I am not.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Six Word Saturday


Icky day. We'll go ice skating!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


This post is dedicated to The Bloggess- who is insane, but only in a way that makes me worry for her, not for me or my children. If you've never read her stuff, you must, if for no other reason than that this post will make no sense to you. She makes up words, fights with her husband, and very occasionally offends a major religion in her blog, and I swear I am talking about someone other than me.

Anyway, her bit that actually applies to this post is here, and it's from a while ago, but, damn y'all, I can't plan life. It just happens this way.

My kick-ass niece Bailey, who just turned 12- happy birthday, Bailey!- inherited from her mother the ability to rock a crane machine. I think she's kinda addicted to them (she got a mini one for her birthday, and that's the one thing she shared with me when I called her), but that's okay- we're talking quarters here, not dime bags of illicit drugs.

When we were last visiting her house, she told us how she had scored a Wolverine toy (boys hate it when you call their play-things "dolls", even if it is a friggin' doll), but not just one Wolverine. Girl had managed to get three of those suckers all at once! I told you, she can rock a crane machine. This is how Ethan ended up with two of his very own- those and a Batman. Kick-ass and generous, she is.

So we're cruising the parking lot of the soccer fields (yes, I'm there all the effing time- I am aware of this, shut up) and the kids are playing/bickering in the backseat and repeatedly I hear references to "wolverines" (Ethan's choice for entertainment during Connor's game that night) and The Bloggess just suddenly pops into my head and I let out a cry of "Wolverines!!" and all three of my kids, with no pause, simultaneously respond "Wolverines!!" and that is why I not only have a kick-ass niece, but three kick-ass kids, as well.

Worth His Weight in Gold Salt

Last night I made a shepherd's pie / chicken pot pie... thingy. It was a shepherd's pie except made with chicken. It was chicken pot pie except with mash instead of a crust. Whatever, it turned out pretty okay. It got no complaints- which count for nothing anyway, but it's still nice not to have to listen to whineys.

Sam got home while we were at soccer, but had eaten by the time we got home. When I asked him what he thought of it, he said, "Once I had added enough salt, it was pretty good!" Now, this is kinda a big deal for me because, while I'm a pretty decent cook- I can follow a recipe or wing it, I'm not afraid of experimenting- casseroles are not my strong suit. I generally don't like them very much- it's the abundance of sauce/gravy, which is generally over-flavored, over-slimyed, and over-salted. Did I mention over-slimyed? That texture is just wrong. So when he complimented it, I was pretty damn excited.

Me: Really?
He: Yeah, once I added enough salt. I also added more pepper.
Ignoring the repeated salt comment, Me: I had some trouble with the pepper grinder, I figured I probably needed to add more. And I didn't want to go overboard with the spices since it was my first try. I did saute shallots and garlic in it, though.
He: Oh, I couldn't really taste them. But once I added enough salt, it was fine.
Me: Well, you know, I figured you can always add salt, but you can't take it away, and I wasn't sure how it would be once it came out of the oven. I can add more stuff next time I try it, maybe some herbs, and I can do more garlic. I did add cheese on top, did you notice?
He: Yeah, it needed more cheese, but I think everything needs more cheese. Eh, once I added enough salt, it was really good!
Me: Maybe you can't taste anything else because you always use too much salt, asshole!

And this is where I show how mature I am because that last line I only said in my head. I am so proud of me. Except now he's going to read this and know, but that's alright. I kept it to myself this long.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Scared and Pissed at the Same Time: A Normal Set of Emotions for a Mother

Connor beats me home on school days. Usually. With no warning, however, he did not today.

Me: Hi, my son Connor is in seventh grade there. He didn't come home and I'm just wondering if there's an after-school activity he might be attending?
School Secretary: Connor... hmm, actually, yeah. Dark hair, it's longish kinda...
Me: Shaggy, yes, that's him.
SS: Yeah, I was up there earlier, and I think he's staying after school for the book group.
Me: Ah, okay. Thanks so much, I'll beat him when he gets home.
SS: Alrighty, have a good day.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Cate Cate-bo-bate, banana-fana fo-fate, fee-fi-mo-mate, CATE!

The laundry mountain must be conquered...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Six Word Saturday


Soccer starts tomorrow. Gee, what fun.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Nature + Carelessness = Multiple Life Lessons

This is called foreshadowing:

Emily: Mommy, can I put my new water bottle in the freezer?
Mommy: It's not a very good idea. If the water freezes, it'll break the bottle. I guess if you only leave it in there a few minutes it will be fine, but you can't forget about it.

In fairness, she remembered it the first time she attempted this. The second? Notsomuch.

Emily, running in with tears in her eyes: Oh, no! I forgot about my water bottle! Mommy!

Mommy: Okay, well, this here is a double life lesson. First, you didn't take care of your stuff. You weren't paying attention and you weren't careful. Also, you didn't listen to me. This is the end result. Second, this is representative of all that is wonderful and life-giving about water on our planet!
Daddy, taking bottle: It tried not to break. Look, even the bottom bowed out. This is really cool!
Emily, perking up for the first time: Really?
Mommy: Oh, yeah. Why'd it split?
Emily: *sigh* Because the water expanded.
Mommy: Yep. Why do the rocks in our yard crush up every winter?
Emily: I dunno.
Daddy: Same reason.
Emily: *confused look*
Mommy: The water gets into those tiny little cracks and expands when it freezes and the rock breaks up and gives moss and grasses a place to grow and over time you get life and life and more life! That's why water is so great and part of the reason it's life-giving.
Emily: Cool.
Mommy: Also, that's why you don't have a water bottle anymore.
Daddy: But it's really neat to look at now.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Update (for Andy*) I have a lot of sympathy for the crazies. And I say "crazies" in only the most respectful way. The psychos kinda scare me, though.

So, hi. I'm Sarah. I haven't been around in a while, I know. Eeeehhhneeewaayyyy... I had a couple of interesting conversations at work. This is pretty much all you're getting out of me.

Customer: Hello.
Me: Hi. Can I help you with anything?
C: No. How are you?
Me: I'm fine, thanks for asking. How are you?
C: I'm fine.
Me: That's great.
C: Did you go to college?
Me: I did indeed.
C: Oh. I did, too. I graduated from Yale in 1963.
Me: Wow. That's very impressive.
C: Thank you.

And he walked away. That's it. In its entirety. That was last night. The night before? This:

Me: How can I help you?
Different Customer: *blah blah pertinent to my job questions followed by:* You look very intelligent. Did you go to college?
Me: I sure did. (What? They both asked if I went to college, not graduated.)
DC: You look like you did. I bet it was an ivy league school.
Me: Nope, not a chance.
DC: Oh, but I bet you could have. So gorgeous and you don't look a day over nineteen. (Because if you didn't know he was crazy before this, you do now.)
Me: Thank you?
DC: Okay, thanks for your help.
Me: Have a good evening.
DC:Do you go to church?
Me: I do not.
DC: Do you believe in God?
Me: Yep.
DC: Do you read the bible?
Me: I have. (No, really. I have.)
DC: Do you believe in Jesus?
Me: Sure, there's a lot of evidence to support his having existed. (Honestly, it didn't really matter what I said; he was only listening to him anyway.)
DC: Do you believe in our Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins so that you might live in heaven?
Me: Yes, absolutely.
DC: Do you repent for your sins and ask for forgiveness in confession?
Me: Okay, then. You have a good evening.

Update: *Because that crazy beyotch went and shut down her comments and I'm far too lazy to go emailing people... Andy! I'm totally with you. I've been talking to a friend online for well over two years (friggin' 696 conversations in gmail alone), and I'd probably crawl into a corner and rock back and forth and mutter to myself if she ever visited my area. Take comfort, Andy, in that I am (potentially) as effed up as you. Oh, and you're not one of the crazies. It's just coincidence that this is the "crazy" post. Really. No, really.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Check Cate!

Nothing on the schedule today. Yay!

Monday, August 31, 2009

UPDATED (already): I finally post a picture of one of my kids...

...and this is what you get.

Connor apparently "dropped" a stick on Ethan's face? The question mark- and also my confused nose wrinkling- is because, yeah, I don't get it, either.

Well, anyway, here's the result:

Yep, it starts just under his eye. And, yes, I did make him hold still while I went searching for the camera. One day, when he's scarred, this is the image he can use to burn some shame into Connor. Or, I don't know, give him credit. Scars are "manly" and men are strange creatures.

UPDATE: Here it is, less than two hours later:

Sunday, August 30, 2009

You Can All Just Leave Your Keys Right Here in This Bottomless Pit

I know that anyone who reads my blog is too smart for this information. Perhaps, though, you could just send a link to the people in your life to whom you know this advice pertains.

And, for those of you who arrived at this post through a link in a friendly email or perhaps after following a url from a crumbled piece of paper shoved hurriedly into your hand by a well intentioned if not all too subtle relative... they didn't mean you needed to read this... yeah. They meant they were sure you knew someone who knew someone who should read this for their own good... right. Uh huh... maybe you could just take a quick skim-zy over it anyway?

So, let's say your driving along a highway. For simplicity, there are, on this highway, two lanes of traffic headed in the same direction, this is the direction you're headed, too! There are many, many signs along the road. They say something along the lines of "55 (or 65/75/80) STATE SPEED LIMIT". For starters, let me interpret "STATE SPEED LIMIT" for you. This means "I will make that little arm on my speedometer hit said number". I know it seems like what that sign is saying is "limit means no more than, so just make sure you do 55 or less", but that's not what it means. The "or less" must go. Holy hell, just hit the speed limit. If you can do fifty, you can do fifty-five. Why? Because I goddamned said so.

(For those of you who are now yelling at the screen, "Fifty-five? What do you mean fifty-five?! They should be doing over that!", okay, I get what you're saying. Shut up now. You're scaring your family with your incoherent screaming. A? I'm not advising anything illegal (regardless of what I do in my own life) because the hell if I'm gonna get sued because some moron can't identify a state trooper when they see one. And B. Isn't it enough that I'm just getting these assholes up to the limit? Plus, I'm about to give the more important advice, so settle down.)

Okay, class. Eyes over here. Back to the highway. You are now traveling at the speed limit. Of the two lanes, which one are you traveling in? The left lane? Wrong, Johnny, sit the hell back down. The right lane is for normal driving. The left lane is for PASSING. What's passing? That's what the rest of us are currently doing to you. Or would be, if some other idiot- and I'm not naming names, *cough*JOHNNY*cough*- wasn't in the left lane keeping pace with the right lane. Let me explain further. Have you ever wondered why there are so many other assholes out on the road? Why they all seem to come flying up from behind you, ride your ass for a minute, then veer out from behind you, into the right lane, get ahead of you, only to veer back into the left lane? That's because they aren't the assholes in this scenario. They're hoping you will suddenly come to your senses, then, within a minute, they've learned their lesson, and have to get around you by passing on the right. Get the eff out of the left lane! Are you passing someone? No. This is a highway, not a free-for-all. Move. Over. Now. The interesting thing about this part is this is not just common sense. It is not just basic decency. It is not just a regular courtesy, some made-up rule that the rest of us abide by because some how we are in sync with each other. In a ton of states, it's an actual law. And it's not even one of those pesky ones they never tell you about. The have signs. They post those signs- at regular intervals, even. Sometimes that sign seems to be more apparent than the speed limit signs I kindly pointed out earlier.

So let's say, now, class, that you are driving the speed limit, you are in the right lane. You are approaching a car in the lane ahead of you. They have not listened thus far in the lecture, and are traveling at a less than reasonable speed. What to do? Change lanes? Okay, that's right- and you'll move back to the right lane after you've passed the other car? Good, good. Now how are you going to change lanes? (You know what, Johnny? Don't even bother giving me whatever stupid answer was going to come tumbling from your pie hole. Just go stand in the corner.) The correct answer is, "I will not only signal my lane change and check my blind spot, I will make sure I'm not about to cut off a car that is already passing in the left lane, especially if that person has chosen to do so at a higher rate of speed than I." You can signal using these lights on the outside of your car that are wired to that little stick thingy that sits behind the steering wheel. They let the other drivers around you have the slightest bit of warning before you pull some jack-assed maneuver. Your blind spot is this little space just back and to the side of your car that you cannot see using your rear view mirror- you do use your mirrors, right?- so you must actually turn your head in order to see this area. I know, I know, actually using muscles within your body to do anything besides flip someone off seems like a lot more effort than it's worth. Give it a shot, though. It might save you something in insurance premiums.

Okay, that's it for today. Next time, we will discuss how allowing someone to merge in ahead of you in traffic does not make you less of a man, why it's impolite to keep your brights on when you're behind someone, what to do on the highway when there are three lanes of traffic (god help us all), and why you do not always have to lead the pack. 'Til then, turn in your licenses and stay the hell off the road. Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

If I Offended You with the Jesus Face in the Pepper, Don't Read This One.

While cleaning off the black hole downstairs desk, I had to sort through the kids' school papers from the last two years (shut up). In doing so, I came across another gem from Emily from first grade. You don't read First Grader, you say? No problem, I'll translate.

My Gerbil Gerby
by Emily
My Gerbil Gerby begs a lot.
He makes tunnels a lot, too.

Sometimes he drinks and
eats a lot, too.
But I like him.
He is good to me.

Uhm... I mean... at least i think I got that last bit of translation right. Maybe he really is God to her. (Er, was. Germy Gerby has gone- to heaven, bitches!- now.) She did capitalize the "Hem", after all.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Like My Coffee Like I Like My...

Let me preface this by saying that Sam neither drinks coffee nor grew up with anyone who did.

Yesterday morning, Sam decided to make me coffee. This was the third time he attempted it. Through trial and error, watching me, listening to me describe the process, he pretty much had it figured out. Still... something was wrong.

Me: You didn't do it right.
He: Yes I did!
Me: Thank you, it's really nice of you. But you didn't do it right!
He: You know, I'm tired of this! I did it exactly the right way! I put the water halfway between min and six on the "water" side! I put four scoops into the filter, I hit the "on" and "1-4 cups" buttons! I did it exactly how you told me to!
Me: Okay, I hear you. But it's not right! It's too dark and there's not enough! If you had put in that amount of water, it would be filled to here. I've done this a million times and it doesn't look like this when I'm done.
He: I did it the right way! The only thing I didn't do was change the filter. Do you do that everyday?

At that point, my eyes got wide, I put my hand over my mouth, and I'm sure my face paled. This was my fault. Out of sheer laziness (time honored tradition of mine, well documented in this blog), I never replace the filter in the coffee maker until the next morning when I'm making the next pot. But, really, I think of "replace dirty wet paper filter full of yesterday's coffee grounds" as an instruction the same as "close fridge door when finished putting milk in". A necessary, but completely obvious, step. I pulled myself together.

Me: Um, yeah. I change out the filter everyday.
He: Oh, okay. I didn't know that. That explains why it looks different.
Me: Thank god I just made coffee yesterday and not three days ago.
He: I think I would have noticed mold in there.
Me: Yeah, I'm not really sure you would.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Six Word Saturday

See Cate run.

Due to circumstances beyond our control...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

This is Another Post About Accents

Every year, the local kids' soccer association hires a couple of soccer "professionals"- the quotes are because, honestly, I don't know what makes them professionals or if they really are or what professional what they are- to come in for several days and give all the kids some really good coaching before the season begins.

The really nice part about it? They're always young British men. Yay for accents! Yay for soccer bodies! Okay, football bodies, since I assume they were developed in England. Interestingly- but not surprisingly- one of them told me that coaching American fifteen year olds was the equivalent of coaching 8 year olds in England. This was one of the coaches from last year- a beautiful man, oh so lovely- fun to listen to and to look at!

This year, the guy is not so beautiful. Okay, if I'm being honest mean fair, I wouldn't even notice him in a crowd. But he has the accent, and damned if he doesn't also have the soccer calves. (Football calves?) And as a supportive mom, it's my duty to sit through practices- until the Brits leave, anyway.

Yay for soccer!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hey, yankees? Y'all have annoying accents, too.

I spent a good chunk of my childhood in the south. As a navy brat, moving around a lot has given me an odd accent. Now, by "odd", I don't mean you hear me and think "this bitch is nuts!"... okay, you might think that, but not because of my accent. It's simply of indeterminate origins. That being said, my father retired and we moved up north and I was teased from moment one for my southern accent. So I fixed it. I scraped every bit of south out of my voice- all except "y'all". There is no good northern substitution.

The second exception to my "no twang" rule is when I get really angry. When I have lost all semblance of a temper- really, really pissed, which seems to happen less and less as I mellow with age (yes, this is me mellow)- Ah will poke mah fingah in youah chest as I screahm in youah face. (And, honestly, my accent is not nearly as genteel as I just represented.) This results in Sam grasping his sides and rolling on the floor with laughter. This leads to him grasping his sides and rolling on the floor with pain from my kicks to his ribs.

Exception number three! When I listen to a southerner, whoops! The accent pops right back out if I'm not paying enough attention. It's not heavy, but it is sometimes noticeable. This is seen as patronizing, unfortunately, when I am speaking to someone who doesn't know me. (There is the occasional customer who maybe gets a little insulted.) Two of my sisters have maintained a slight drawl, and when I talk to either of them, Sam instantly knows. "You just get off the phone with Christine? Your southern is showing."

This all leads to the reason Connor is now grounded for the rest of his existence. I was watching Ruby today. "Come on, Connor!" I whined. "If we just pick things up instead of leaving them lying around, this clean house would be easy to maintain!" Maintain, however, came out mahyntahyn. Little brat jumped on that quick.

"Mahhyyntahhyyn? Mahhhyyyntahhhhyyyn? Right, Mom, let's mahhhhyyyyntahhhhyyyyn the house."

"Run. Before I kill you. Quick like a bunny! Go hide!"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Also, it's not safe to climb the basement stairs slowly in the dark. You have to run. Or the ghosts will get you. Not that our house was built on...*

So, let me preface this by saying that I cannot sleep at night with my feet uncovered because gremlins will grab my ankles. That's right- gremlins. Not that I believe in them, but it's still true.

Last night: I am awoken by something slithering up my nightstand. Here, right at moment one, is where Sam's and my accounts differ. I say, upon seeing something move in the dark, I yell, "Oh, shit!" and launch myself over Sam to his side of the bed with him yelling and acting like somehow I'm overreacting. He's saying, "Just turn on my light, okay?" and I'm saying, "Are you kidding?! I'm not reaching over the side of the bed! Your side isn't any safer than my side! Do it your damn self!" Sam says I am fast asleep, sit bolt upright in bed, then proceed to crawl down to the end of the bed, around his feet, up his other side, then curl up in the fetal position, refusing to tell him what was wrong nor responding in any manner whatsoever.

Who are you going to believe?

I finally gather up my courage and take control of the situation and turn on his light because jeez, what a wuss, he couldn't even turn on his own light? There, blowing back and forth in the breeze from the ceiling fan, is one page from the magazine sitting on my nightstand. I plop a novel onto it to hold it still, triumphant.

"Ooh, honey. Your puzzle book is going to get you."

"Whatever. Something was gonna eat my face and you did nothing about it."

"Your... magazine? Was going to eat your face?"

"You didn't know."

* ancient cemetery or anything. It was farmland. So maybe it's cow-ghosts. Whatever. Is being trampled by ghost-bovine-hooves any better? No. Not that I believe in them, but it's still true.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Oh my god in heaven, before the man loses his everloving marbles...

Remember? Back a loooong time ago? When I said my husband used the term "meditatiate"?

For clarity to all two dozen people who read said post, he did not make up the term "meditatiate". The woman who was babbling on television had used some form of the word meditate so many times that she fell over her own stupid tongue and used the term, herself. He's losing his mind thinking all my millions of readers thinks he, like I, make up words. He takes no issue, however, with how the rest of the post portrayed him.

M'k, honey? I luvesy-wuvesy-dovesy your crazy ass.

Would Calling it "The Face of Jesus" be a Little Much?

It's a friggin' miracle- of Buddy Jesus proportions, anyway. I cut into a green pepper that I grew all by my onesies in my own backyard garden. Lo and behold:

It even has eyebrows!

Be happy.

And listen, no one come and tell me that this means the pepper was contaminated with typhoid or something. We already ate the pepper, so I'd rather just not know.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I think I could avoid a ton of conversations with him if I just put "No, it does not involve naked women," on a recording for him to play for himself.

On television was a show about a couple who wanted a feng-shui-ed-out garden. The nutter expert who was advising them in the process kept going on and on and on for effing ever 'til I reached through the tv and punched her in the throat about meditate this and meditation that and meditating for you and me!

Sam walked into the room. "Meditatiate!" he announced- the expert was just shy of making up words, herself. "I'm good with meditatiation! As long as it involves naked women."

"Nope, sorry," I told him. "It could not involve naked women because you could not concentrate enough to meditatiate."

"In that case, I'm not a fan." And he left.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Confused? See Cate.

See my last Six Word Saturday!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

*My friend Cassie thinks it has something to do with the amount of swearing in-front-of/at my mother that I do. The crap here is me censored, people.

This is my blog. Welcome! It's not terribly popular, which is fine because then I'd feel some obligation to write something of quality and also on a regular basis. And, honestly, maybe I do have time for that, but I'm far too lazy. It would definitely cut into my lazy time.

That does not mean I don't pay attention to what's going on with it, though. I see how many times it was visited in a day, I see what people are reading, I see where they're reading it from (both physically and how they found me). Mo Diva- obsessed with food, this girl, but totally dedicated to thoroughness on said subject- sends a lot of traffic (the good kind) my way. Also, I pay attention to who is following me- I do check your sites, just in case you don't use the stalker software I do. (By the way, Andy? For clarity, your "hoo haw" and my "hoo haw"? We're totally referring to different things (assuming I ever mention my hoo haw). Let's not get these things confused, okay?)

I'm related to close to half of my over a dozen followers, so it doesn't take a whole lot of "paying attention", but I noticed a while ago a new picture appeared, but the number hadn't changed. Eh. People change their image. No big deal.

I looked closer today. Y'all? My mother unfollowed me. This? Will be a rift bigger than that between Candi and Tori Spelling! How dare you unfollow me! (Shut up, Cassie, it's not a "technical issue".) I'm not sure what I did*, lady, but you are never seeing my children again! Also? I'm taking all my sisters with me! (They're totally going to take my side on this completely rational issue.) You will be stuck with just Dad to talk to! How do you like that, huh?

Ahem. Sorry about that... to Dad! You can come, too, except you never read this blog (which is a good thing because he might make me take down the bat video) so you won't know about this trouble... Wait... You never read this blog! You get to stay with Mom! Is a little loyalty too much to ask from family? (Don't answer that, Cate.)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Check out my gorgeous weather, bitches!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I am, in Fact, Typing This From the Roof

A few weeks ago, Sam and I noticed some damage to the ground all around the downspout of the front gutter. It goes directly into a drainage pipe that runs underground for... well, for the sake of brevity, let's just say forever and all distance. Point being, if it's clogged up under there, and the water is backing up and damaging the ground like that, our front yard is screwed. And so are we. Because we'll be digging up the entire distance from our house to the road. Or maybe we'd have to shove some kind of scope or rooter or something down there. Except that it's sealed up, downspout to drainage pipe, where they meet. So we'd have to ruin that, first. Or something. I have no idea. It just all seemed like it was going to be horrible.

But then came the good-news-bad-news situation. During the next heavy rain, we looked outside and discovered that the water wasn't backing up. It wasn't going through the downspout at all. It was pouring like mad over the edge of the gutter. So, yay! No damage to the underground drain! But, crap. It's blocked up at the roof. So we've got to go on the roof. Which we've never done. In the almost four years we've lived here. Because we have no way of getting up there.

Have I mentioned the bit where Sam's afraid of heights, and I'm terrified of falling?

We purchased an extension ladder for this express purpose, and this is where we discovered the downfall of living on a double-directionally-sloping lot. It was near impossible to get the ladder positioned with any stability to reach the proper spot of the gutter on the back side of the house (we did, though, and Sam discovered all was clear upon mounting the ladder- woohoo!), and was quite literally impossible to do so in front of the house.

Flash to the argument scene. Sam throws the ladder up, gives it a shake. I yell and show it lean precariously to one side with a single foot placed on the bottom rung. Sam shoves a rock under one leg of the ladder. I yell some more. Sam repositions repeatedly. I yell again. Sam gives it a shake, gets both feet on the bottom rung, I threaten to not hold the ladder in any way because I am not participating in this sham of safety and there's no way he's not going to fall anyway so I might as well not be under him when he does.

Anyway, we figured out that there's no way in hell to get to the bad-pain-in-the-ass-trouble-making-gonna-have-to-kick-it-repeatedly-if-only-I-can-get-to-it part of the gutter without actually climbing on the roof, so we might as well go to the flattest part of the ground and climb from there. This was okay because, in an interesting bit of team work, Sam was willing to work from the ladder but not climb on the actual roof, whereas I could not work from the ladder but could happily walk all over the roof like a mountain goat on acid.

Envisioning the absolute nastiness of a clog that a full waterfall from the gutter would entail, I demanded a glove and something pointy, which, to Sam's mortification, I promptly shoved into the waistband of my pants. I could see him imagining me gutting myself on it. Then he'd be a widower with three children. It was his turn to yell. But, really? There was going to be yucky stuff. And possibly bugs. The pointy thing was going up the ladder with me, one way or another.

I climbed the ladder, staring straight ahead. I got to the roof line, staring straight ahead. I contemplated how I was going to hoist my ass over the top of the ladder and onto the roof. It took a bit, but I managed to get on the roof. Oh! And safety stuff. I was totally safe about it all. Harnesses and ropes and... stuff... Don't yell at me, Mom and Dad.

I climbed over the peak of the roof, down the other side, got close to the edge, peered into the gutter. Nothing. Not a single leaf. The entire length was spotless. Huh. I moved right to the corner of the roof. The hell? There, settled right into the mouth of the downspout, perfectly wedged in, was a tennis ball. ("Oh," said Connor, later. "I wondered why that never came back down.") It was damn good on my part that I didn't leave my pointy thing behind because I needed it to lever the ball out. Then, because I'm me, I threw the ball at Sam.

After one or two more bits of maintenance things on the roof, I sat down, top of the ladder before me. Crap. After the trouble getting from ladder to roof, I had no idea how I was going to get roof to ladder.

"Coming?" Sam asked.

"Don't rush me!"

Saturday, August 1, 2009

You Can Kiss My Ass, PETA.

As my sister's facebook status says, it just wouldn't be a trip to our parents' house without a bat "situation". Now, I am great in all sorts of crises. Except bats. No bats. No effing bats. So I scream like a twelve year old girl at a Jonas Brothers concert, demanding to be let out of whatever godforsaken room the nasty plague carrying rat with wings- and fangs- has ventured into. And by "demanding" I mean knocking over my poor mother and trampling her as I flee- every bitch for herself. And by "ventured" I mean swooped in and angled straight for me. And did I mention the screaming? I cannot even control the screaming. Hell no. Bats? Hell no.

Don't believe me? As proof I offer the following video. My sister is the one behind the camera. The red fringe is the blanket she kept resolutely over her head for several minutes after the bat had finally departed. My father is the brave one in boxers who I dragged out of sleep with my screeched, "If I have to suffer through this, he does, too!" I? Am the one you can barely hear yelling from behind the closed door of another room. Please excuse the language (and screaming)- but there was an effing bat in the house.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The elephant in the room is that the crap-gangville-strip is the famous Route 66. They should be embarrassed.

One evening of our trip, we go to a fantastic mexican restaurant. They make a margarita to end all margaritas. Normally I'm a frozen margarita girl because it needs to be frozen to cover up the nasty syrupy mess that most places serve. This one is excellent on the rocks, no salt necessary.

At one point, a woman comes over and says "Quieres mas? You have limonda o agua?" Now, as I have neither lemonade nor water, I pay no attention. (Or maybe it's because I'm nose-deep in my big-ass margarita glass.) Until I notice there's been no response.

"Uh, Alex," I say. "Do you want more lemonade?" "Oh. Sure." He passes his glass over, and I look curiously at Sam. "Why are we not responding to the waitress?" "Well I know I didn't get what she was asking." Huh. Over the years, I've tried to maintain some semblance of the remedial Spanish I took in high school. Paid off, I guess, as I barely notice the Spanish-English merging that she uses as she comes and goes from our table. I'm sure she's dumbing it down (Enlish-ing it up?) some, but I'm still understanding her perfectly. I'm proud of (read: full of) myself for my bad-ass bilingual-ness. Even from the bottom of my second delicious big-ass margarita.

And then we end up at Wendy's a few nights later. "Welcome-to-Wendy's-I'll-take-your-order-whenever-you're-ready-unless-of-course-you're-a-dumbass-gringo-in-which-case-you're-not-understanding-a-word-of-this-and-I-will-treat-you-like-crap," comes through the speaker. In Spanish. I assume. Because I? Don't speak a single word of Spanish. Apparently.

"Uhm... hi?... Can I... get two orders of nuggets?... And..." "Anything else?" she says. I'm sorry? Since when does "and" mean "I'm not in the middle of a sentence"? I know I'm slow here, but I'm thinking of how effed-up "nuggets de pollo" would sound. Eventually I finish and she gives us our total- I think?- and, we assume, asks us to pull up. Except I can't understand a word she says in English, either. I'm so flustered that I screw up the order and have to ask her to add on some junior bacon cheeseburgers at the window.

Now this is a personal insult. Right? It must be because the holy-bitch grows fangs. Sam hands over what I believe is way too much money, but it must not have been because we only get a dollar and change back. Huh. But then frostys come through the window (wee!), and then she yells at us. Something about nuggets de pollo? She shuts the window and Sam stares at me. "Pull up?" I say. It's really an odd sensation, the combination of fear, confusion, and growing pissed-off-ness. The woman is being heinous, but she's holding my nuggets de pollo hostage, y'all.

Eventually she comes out and- I am not kidding- throws the bags of food through the car window before dashing back into the restaurant. Thank god we got our frostys before we pulled up. And pissed-off wins the emotion battle that has been roiling within me. Heinous-holy-bitch is lucky because Sam is the one in the driver's seat and pulls away before I can go jump the woman.

It's not until we're almost back to the hotel eight miles on the other side of the crap-gangville-strip that we had to traverse (at ten-thirty at night) to get there (because of the lying-liar signs at the exit that said Wendy's was right here) that I found the receipt stapled to the bag. She had short-changed us by ten bucks. If I didn't live two thousand miles away? She and I would have words. Of course, we wouldn't be able to understand each other...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Look! A tufted titmouse on the bird feeder! (Yes, this is just that interesting.)

So. It was a long-ass trip. And I only posted once during it. And not at all since. I know. I'm not back in any kind of routine yet, and on top of that I won't be for a while to come. But I'm gonna try a little harder. Possibly.

The trip was great, but not exactly humorous. There's plenty of great pictures! To me. Everyone's seen other people's pictures of the Grand Canyon, so mine are probably just special to me... At some point maybe I'll share the bit where I refused to share my booze with Sam's aunt. Or another time when I didn't climb through the Wendy's drive-thru window and bitch-slap the woman inside. I'm particularly proud of that one.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

And It's So Late Because Iowa Lies About Their Free Wi-Fi at Rest Stops

We're currently on the road, traveling across the country. As I'm writing this- writing, mind you, not uploading- we are in Iowa. Which, by the way, the conversation I just had with Sam went: "The hell, where are we? Illinois?" "Iowa! What the hell? Oh no, are you writing a blog entry?"

An hour ago, I was going to say that the most exciting thing that had happened so far in this trip was getting a suite at the motel, enabling us to actually shut a door between us and the kids. Now? Emily has conveniently topped that excitement with one of her own making.

We just stopped at the "Mississippi Valley Welcome Center". It had a view- ish- of Ol' Miss, a little shop full of that random crap you see in touristy places, a playground (thank you hay-zeus), and plenty of picnic tables.

We had our lunch and the kids went exploring down a path in the woods. Grampa carefully put the fear of poison ivy into their heads, and I followed up with a "Stay ON the path!", which was well bordered with (their) knee high undergrowth. It wasn't long before Emily was screaming. Now, I don't mean that arguing-screaming or attention-screaming. Fear-and-pain-screaming.

We tore down the path to find that they had strayed away from the path onto a fallen tree. Okay, but when I say fallen tree, I mean the top was touching the ground and the other end was still connected to the stump four feet off the ground, which is precisely where Emily had fallen off of it. And. Ready? Into three foot high nettles. That surrounded the entire tree. For yards and yards in every direction.

Luckily, Grampa was not dressed like me in a short dress and flip flops and could wade in and retrieve the now screaming-crying-snotting poor little girl. Turns out she is as allergic to nettles as I am. Blistery looking hives were appearing all over her.

I ran ahead to the parking lot and grabbed my first-aid kit, as did Grandma.

Grampa and I slathered her with every non-sting non-itch wash, cream, and roll-on that we could find. As prepared as I thought my first-aid kit was (it sure cost a helluva lot to build), I didn't have a single antihistamine, child or adult, but Grandma and Grampa went and bought some.

An hour later, she is nearly hive free. Emily asked why she had gotten covered on both arms and both legs but none had gotten on her face. She was as surprised as the rest of us. The girl has had two emergency room visits for facial injuries, not to mention she had killed a baby tooth and permanently marred an adult tooth years before it ever erupted. "Because, for once," I said to her, patting her back, "you actually protected your face."

Monday, June 22, 2009

Taking My Home to Work

I was at work the other night and called Sam to see how the evening was going. Homework was done, yay. The kids had eaten, a plus. And then...

Sam: The neighbor's dog caught and killed a groundhog.
Me: Oh, no.
Sam: Yeah. It was a baby.
Me: Ick. What did she do with it?
Sam: Well, she was going through our property on her way home, I guess. But then the kids ran out to see and scared her and she dropped it on our driveway.
Me: Vomit. So? What did you do? It better not still be there.
Sam: No. I threw it at the dog.
Me: The hell?
Sam: Well, I wanted her to take it with her.
Me: You just winged it at her? And how did that work for you?
Sam: It's at least in their woods now, instead of our driveway.

Sometimes the "don't call home on your break" option is the best option.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Jubilation!... Right?

Emily was in desperate want of a CD player, and I promised that the next time we went somewhere that sold them, I'd get her one. Steel trap, her mind is when it comes to promises. She had one within two days.

Grasping it to her chest like gold, she and I caught up with the boys at a music/movie store.

Sam, looking suspiciously at the obvious money expenditure: What's that?
Emily: Mommy bought me a CD player!
Sarah: Traitor.
Sam: What for? Does she even have any CD's?
Sarah: She has some audio books.
Sam: Well get her some Simon and Garfunkel so I don't have to play it in the car for her anymore.

I found her a greatest hits set, used, for twenty bucks. She proceeded to learn every song.

Fast forward to a few days ago in the car. Emily is singing random non-word nonsense.

Sarah: If you're going to sing, make it something real.
Emily, singing: Cecelia! You're breaking my heart! / You're shaking my confidence daily! / Oh Cecelia! I'm down on my knees! / I'm begging you please, to come home!

As she continues singing, Sam suddenly grips my thigh. In my mind, I begin to fast-forward through the lyrics. Unfortunately, Emily beats me to the problematic bit.

Emily, singing: Making love in the afternoon with Cecelia / Up in my bedroom! Making love! / I got up to wash my face / When I come back to bed / Someone's taken my place!
Emily: That's not in this song!
Sarah: Well, sing this other one instead.

Yes, I am aware of how much trouble I'm in for in the future.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Whose turn to clean the house?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Because, shockingly, bird feeders quickly become squirrel feeders.

Sam whipping open the back door, mostly not clothed: Yeah! You better run you stupid squirrel!

Me: Get your boxer clad ass back in the house!

Sam: I have to give :insert neighbor lady's name here: something to drool over.

Ethan: Who's :insert neighbor lady's name here:?

Me: Nice. Idiot.

Sam: That's what I call the squirrel in our backyard.

Ethan: Oh.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Everyone Needs Their Mommy

As we left a plant nursery yesterday, I was boasting about how awesome I was for having only spent four dollars on two plants- this is as opposed to the just slightly over a hundred the last time. Sam didn't realize that he was supposed to be impressed- this only encourages me to spend money, I gotta say.

To shorten up the progression of the conversation, it turned from the money to specific plants to bees being attracted to certain plants to me being allergic to bees to Ethan not being allergic. This is a good thing because the kid seems to get stung more often than average. Connor, apparently completely oblivious to this fact, said something about him never getting stung.

I decided to take the moment and turn it into a learning experience because I'm such an outstanding mom. I needed to compliment Ethan while at the same time not embarrassing him by giving Connor something to make fun of Ethan for and take a dig at no one specific yet everyone at the same time- frankly, every member of this household can be such a drama queen. "He's been stung plenty," I said. "He just handles it like a man."

"Yeah," said Ethan. "I just run and tell Mom."

Friday, June 5, 2009

I've Suffered a Loss

My friend disappeared today. I know I'll never see or hear from him again. His twin might come around, but I'll know the difference. I knew I only had thirty days with him before a higher power wiped him from my life forever. I miscounted. I thought I still had through the end of today. Alas, it was not to be. Rest in pieces, dear friend.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I am SO not officially old.

We are spending a little less time in front of the television. We are getting up earlier. We are becoming more mature! (We bought a bird feeder.)

We are participating in a family activity. We aren't spending money. We are becoming better people! (We bought a bird feeder.)

It feels like a confession. But listen, you jerks, I am not old. It's fun. Okay, maybe not fun. But soothing. Did you know there are more than five different kinds of birds? There's way more than that. Like eight (no). Everyone has their own check-list and we sit at the windows for hours on end, looking at books full of birds, like scared witnesses flipping through mug-shot albums trying to identify a thief.

It sounds boring, but we've really been enjoying it, and the kids don't object and they're not staring at any kind of screen (other than the one that keeps the bugs out), which is not something that is easy to claim these days. It also gives them an excuse to chase squirrels.

And, just to prove how not mature I am, doubters, it throws me every time one of my kids yells out "a tufted titmouse!".

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Because god forbid we don't try to put our mother over the edge with our constant fighting.

Ethan: Yeah, well you can't do that, Connor. (Because god forbid something comes to pass without our making a comment.)

Connor: Ethan! MYOB! (Because god forbid we speak nicely.)

Ethan: What does that mean?

Me: Mind your own business.

Ethan: But I wanna to know!

Car: Beeeeeeeeeep! (Because I just face-planted into the horn.)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Cate. Check her out.

Grr! Money situations! Puking feels better!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Six Word Saturday


They did great, brand new season!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Apparently this is often his chosen answer, and it never gets marked wrong?

For once, Connor forgot to throw away shared with me some of his work from school.A 95 isn't a bad score, especially if you consider the gross negligence that is his handwriting and organization. I guess it's all correct since nothing is marked wrong.

Wait just one bloody minute.
The hell? I'm pretty sure, since this is not the Bible, that there is at least one wrong answer.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Okay, technically it was only 1:56 am.

Emily got invited to her first sleepover. The party was Friday. Now, while she has no problem asking for help from me or Sam or any of the assorted grandparents, she hates inconveniencing other people. She'll just suffer in near silence, having her feelings and soul crushed. (She puts up with heinous behavior from other little girls- name calling, yelling, that general make-you-feel-bad-to-make-me-feel-better crap that girls do from the age of six until... how old are some of the bitches I deal with again?) For that specific reason, I kinda drilled it into her to go and talk to the mom if there was a problem and that she could call me whenever she needed, even if it was two in the morning.

I dropped her off and gave the mother of the birthday girl my home and cell numbers, for that just-in-case. Also? I wanted to puke. Hand to God, I'm not a clingy mom. There are times when the kids are visiting with their grandparents that it doesn't even occur to me to call them for a couple of days. But I just had images of Emily dealing with some of those satan-girls (for the record, not the birthday girl. Emily loves the birthday girl and several of the others. It's simply that there's only about seven girls in her whole class so they are constantly grouped together, plus there's an odd number of them, plus, for real, some of those girls are nasty.) and them being cruel and then cruel and then cruel some more.

To make it worse, I blame myself for her being this way because what are you supposed to teach your children? We are nice to everyone. We don't call names. If someone is being mean, ignore them. If there is a real problem, tell an adult, and they'll take care of it. Which is all complete BS. It's not how we handled bullies when we were kids and it's not how kids successfully handle bullies now. Words hurt, people can be jerks.

I don't want to turn her into a bitch. I don't want her to get in trouble for lashing out when someone is mean. At the same time, if I were her, I'd want to grind my fist into someone's face if they talked to me the way I've heard girls talk to each other. There's this fine line between standing up for one's self and becoming vicious. If it's hard for me to see, how can I expect an eight-year-old to walk it?

So I stop myself from giving her a list of names she can use when another girl is being mean. I stop myself from calling other little girls names that I want to call them. I stop myself from teaching her to lift her tiny little middle finger. I tell her that girls will be nasty her whole life (because it is true). I tell her that true friends don't make you feel bad (because it is true). I tell her that she doesn't have to be friends with someone who is mean, just to be friends with someone (because it is true). I tell her that putting up with someone being mean just encourages them to treat you like crap more- because, and this is the part I hate most, it is true. Yeah, honey, that lesson that I taught you at three? The bit where I said "be nice to everyone, even if they're not to you, because maybe they'll learn to be nice back"? Totally a lie. When your teacher tells you you're supposed to help others be good, encourage them to be quiet when they're supposed to be quiet, encourage them to put their stuff away at the right time because "we're all responsible for each other"- when your teacher tells you that, she's lying. You're not the police force of your class. She is. "Helping" others like that, it's not going to help you. You can't make other people be good enough for the whole class to get an ice cream treat. So long as you are good in class, baby, I'll give you that ice cream. You don't have to worry about being in charge of other kids. (And, folks, this is just the tip of the iceberg in what I see as problems with her teacher. But that's another rant.)

But, right, back to the party. I should never have said the "even at two in the morning" thing. I made my own bed with that one. That's when I was stumbling around, trying to find clothes to go pick up my baby that hadn't yet slept. To my odd relief, it wasn't because people had been mean (they had, but she was a trooper). Sleeping birthday girl had rolled over and was in Emily's space. And the television was on. She simply could not sleep in those conditions. (And she was scared and the only one awake and not in her own house.) Isn't that how most first sleepovers end?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Even the WHITE HOUSE Has a Flicker Account

It's true. All the photos are from Pete Souza, the official photographer. But really, I'm the one sharing with you, so it should be me you thank, not him. (All photos used with permission? I dunno, it says I can, so I do.)

First, some things I like (but maybe aren't so funny):

Barack Obama is left handed.This only pleases a lefty, I know, but, honest to God, it delights me.

Here is the Royal First Couple sitting on the floor at their daughter's basketball game.Who knows, maybe they asked for chairs and were denied them. (Sure.) Regardless, they copped a squat right there on the edge of the court.

Notice how he's different from everyone else in this photo?Not only is he sharing an umbrella when everyone else is not, he's the one holding it. How many times have you seen shots where the "important" person is being followed by someone who is holding the umbrella for them, while the holder himself is getting soaked?

All that being said, he is still a typical man.

"What are you looking at? Get your ass over here and take this shovel, you jerk."

Then there are some that are a little confusing. Yes, we're in a poor economy. Yes, we all need to tighten the belt. But aren't we taking it a little far? How does this look to those other snooty countries?

"We don't spring anymore for decorators to hang paintings, movers for the furniture, or upgrades to electronics. Kiss your dreams of a flat screen and an ipod good-bye, Mr. President. And you might want to find yourself a hammer."

So, here, there were a lot of comments about how mentally stressed and exhausted the president was, sitting in a budget meeting.

"Mentally exhausted? I'm just bored as hell."

Finally, just to entertain myself...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Poetry in Unexpected Places

I'm not sure what other people do, but every once in a while I check my spam folder just to make sure it didn't catch something I cherish (hear me scoff). Let me tell you how much the Toyota Lottery loves me! So much.

This time no TL lovin'. This time- well, telling you who it was from won't clarify anything because, honestly, that ain't English. (The subject was not exactly proper English, either, but was strangely endearing- "can we work togather???????????") However, gmail is so kind in its first line previewing. I was blessed with this:

"Hello Dear I am pleased to solicit your sin"

It's like music in 12 pt font.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Cate explains it all.
Arising, I feel antsy and exhausted.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hey! (Again)

Washington! Nevada! Utah! Montana! Wyoming! New Mexico! North Dakota! South Dakota! Oklahoma! Iowa! Arkansas! Louisiana! Mississippi! New Hampshire! Maine!

It's like you want me to fail. Stand up and be counted, people! (i.e., Visit my blog. You'll only be smarter after enjoying my brain explosions, I assure you.) Let me think of a good reason And I have a good reason for each of you...

Washington, Seattle's a trendsetter, and here you are, missing this opportunity.

Nevada! I've seen CSI! I know everyone is busy murdering or being murdered, but consider this an escape from your sad reality into my sad reality.

My husband has family in Utah. So we're related! Ish.

Montana, you should visit my blog because I feel really sorry for you on account of that Hannah chick stealing your name.

Hey, Wyoming, on your website (did you know you had one?) it says, "Get a feel for Wyoming." They're serious about this, people. It's in italics. Let me stand up and say, I think it's only fair that, if you get a feel, you should give a feel. Share and share alike, folks.

New Mexico, you kick Old Mexico's ass. Truly.

North Dakota, you rock because you are so above South Dakota.

South Dakota, you rock because you don't have to be near Canada the way North Dakota does.

OOOOOOOO-klahoma where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain! Okay, I'm sure that's what everyone says, but I mean it!

Iowa totally kicked my state's ass in the race to legalize gay marriage. Seriously, who saw that coming?

My grandparents were from Arkansas. So we're related! Ish.

Louisiana, like Italy, you are shaped like a boot (and not like a floppy winter sock- I swear I never said that). That is culture.

Oh, em-eye-crooked-letter-crooked-letter-eye-crooked-letter-crooked-letter-eye-hump-back-hump-back-eye. Need I say more?

Isn't it enough, New Hampshire, that I noticed you on the map?

My sister has family in Maine! So we're related! Ish!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Irish Suck

As we continue our landscape improving- we built our house a few years ago and therefore started with virgin land- the deer are being right bastards. Because I'm me, I took hours on my computer laying out the positioning for several evergreens (did someone says pine trees?) along one edge of our land. And the deer came along and chose four of the more delicate plants and ate them dead. This was after they stripped three brand new cherry trees to nothing. NOTHING. Now I've never been one for hunting- shut up, it's my blog, I don't care if you like hunting, take your whining elsewhere. That being said, I want these deer dead. Hang their corpses from the surrounding trees to warn the others! You eat what I have loved and cared for and spent money on, next time I poison it.


So anyway, four dead evergreens to be replaced. At the local nursery, we came across these gorgeous- and not so expensive considering they're over six feet tall- Irish Junipers (soft pine trees). Oh, damn, almost all of them were marked sold! Only three left! Quick, take the tags and get the dude to mark these two sold for us!

We scrambled and got the two we wanted. As it's against either of our natures to ask for help, we pulled the car around to load them ourselves. And discovered that our lovely soft Junipers... hurt like hell. Hurt. Bad. Ohmygodthepain. It was bad enough that they were super heavy and not in pots, instead wrapped in burlap and rope. But these oh-so-pretty top heavy plants were so stingy-scratchy that I was in pain on my forearms for hours. To add injury to injury, Sam and I both managed to smack each other in the face with these Satan-trees when we were planting them.

On the positive side- because I'm a silver-lining kinda girl- I dare those friggin' deer to try to eat these.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I Also Don't Bother Explaining Wreaths

Emily was helping unload the dishwasher. As she went to put away the bulb portion of a turkey baster, "What's this thing?"

Ever tried to explain half a turkey baster? Not worth it. I would have had to search for the other portion, which I probably already destroyed if history rings true. No idea why, they simply don't last in this house. So I went with the normal mom answer. "Don't worry about it."

And Emily went with the normal Emily... "It looks like it could suck your eye!" She then proceeded to squeeze it, press it against her eye, and release. Floop! "OW!"

Yeah. That's about right. For crying in the night. At least she still has her eye.

Friday, April 17, 2009

My sinuses can go straight to hell.

I'm sick. Again. I've narrowed down the cause to one of two things. Either Cate got me sick- the more likely scenario, or all the dust we've created through some minor demo and construction in our house has clogged me up, encouraging a sinus infection. I'm pretty sure it's Cate, though.

I had a bad time at work last night because I felt slightly drunk from the pressure in my head/sinus/ears. A little foggy, a little dizzy. On the positive side, I didn't deal with any crap customers (that I can remember?).

The problem is, I'm finally feeling motivated to get my house really clean, what with some free time due to one of my jobs being over for the season, and with new, fresh construction making me feel inspired. But feeling hellish means that progress going down the drain.

So what to do? Answer: live vicariously through friend Cassie who is not feeling hellish and is also feeling inspired to do some home improvements. Cassie's husband is not happy with my meddling, I think. I encourage Cassie's home-remodeling bug. He needs only hear Cassie say, "Sarah and I have been discussing the kitchen," and the poor man knows his work load is about to explode. I'm pretty sure he hates me dead. Possibly, there is something off in Cassie's and my friendship...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Riddle From Ethan

1. I hop arond on Ester.

2. I am not a reptil.

3. I eat Yumey carets.

What am I?

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Not a Six Word Saturday- also, Holy Crap, Y'all, I'm Back!

However, this post is inspired by Cate, nonetheless.

We built our house several years ago. It, therefore, did not have any landscaping. This leads to a lot more discussion for us about trees than I imagine the average couple has. Of this, much discussion falls to evergreens. For the most part, I don't like them- some, yes, I do like, and I even see how they are the best choice in certain situations. But, honestly, frickin' evergreens are frickin' everywhere. Sam can identify a hundred different trees, half of which are evergreens. (And Sam's world depends on things having the correct labels- things need to be the "right" way.) Partly because I can't be bothered, partly to annoy Sam, I refer to them all as "pines". So, yes, even when I know better, every evergreen is called a pine. And he wants to kill me when I say it. And that's completely the point.

I worked a lot of hours this week, about double my normal schedule. I had almost no free time- hadn't even turned my computer on. Finally getting a night off, Sam and I ended up at the mall on Friday. As we're walking through, Sam made some comment about the "Things Remembered" kiosk. Which I did not understand. So he talked a bit more. And I did not understand. He finally got exasperated, "Haven't you read Cate's blog?" To which I replied, "Are you effing kidding me? When?!?! When could I have done that?!?" He finally explained that bit, then went on to demand that I get on and comment on the fact that Cate said bugs slithered. Bugs don't slither, you see. They have legs. They can't slither. Legs! When I pointed out the he, himself, could have commented to that affect, he said he had indeed done so.

Me: And? What did she say?
Sam, annoyed: She said something about "in her world" they do.
Me: So? Then what am I supposed to do?
Sam: So you need to tell her!
Me: Tell her what? It's her world, her blog.
Sam: But that's not right! Bugs don't slither!
Me: Look, honey! Pine trees!
Sam: Son of a bitch!
Me: You know I have to blog about this now, right?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Remember those bookshelves? I'm touch-up painting...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I've Escaped My Fate, Yet Again!

Alternate title: Jesus Loves Me, This I Know, for my Children Don't Curse Like Pirates

Ethan comes down the stairs while getting ready for school, half dressed.

Ethan: Mommy? Emily said a bad word.

Balancing my desire to not have them tattle-tale and my need to handle the children, Me: Okay. What word did she say?

After a pause, Ethan: The S-H word. The one you told Connor he couldn't say.

In my head, Me: Oh dammit. Dammit, dammit, dammit.

Suddenly, Ding! Outloud, Me: Shutup?

Ethan: Yeah! To me!

Me: Oh, I'm sorry. She shouldn't have said that.

Walking away, Ethan: Yeah.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ethan Had to Bring Home a Note

April 1, 2009
Dear mom and dad,

I am sorry. I cald out. I was not following
directions. I was being rude.
I got detention. I climbd up the slide
I was throwing toys. I copyd a kid.
I got a card in my pocket. Love Ethan......

But it didn't end there. Side two: