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."


*...an 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

Cate!
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.

video