Thursday, December 17, 2009

Yes, I know I hate the what??

When I was a kid, our school district was broken down into small neighborhood elementary schools. I went to one in my neighborhood that had kindergarten through 3rd grade. It was a great way to go to school as a child – we all walked together in big groups, sometimes we walked home for lunch (how on earth did we have the time for that?) often bringing friend along.

It was a brand new school building. Actually, my kindergarten year it was still the “old” school – the building where many of our parents went to high school – big and ornate, with stairs that ran all along the hallways so the rooms were elevated. That summer they built the new sleek, modern school, with new desks and fold-up cafeteria tables, so it could more easily convert to a gymnasium.

I was happy there – we had recess and long lunches and art classes more than just once a week. And the teachers were great. There was my kindergarten teacher, who was also the principal. She was a kind older lady, who still understood young children. Even the next year – when my friend Tammy and I got caught carving Gina and Tammy love Donny Osmond in a door with a pop-top (remember those?) – and we ended up in her office, she knew that we really didn’t get it and treated us gently, just wanting us to understand why it was wrong, instead of worrying about punishment.

There was my beloved first grade teacher, who rarely had to raise her voice at anyone – she was so sweet, you just wanted to please her. I remember the last day of school, when I forgot to bring her gift and I cried and cried, so my mom took me to her house that afternoon to drop it off. She invited us I and gave us tea and cookies. If I hadn’t already loved her unconditionally, I would have then.

There was my second grade teacher, who…will, OK, my second grade teacher was kind of a douche – I still remember my friend Marsha and I getting in trouble for something we didn’t do and she simply wouldn’t listen.

But my third grade teacher? Oh my god did she ever make up for any ill will I picked up the year before. I credit her for my love of books. She read to us every day – long chapter books that left you crazy with anticipation for the next day’s installment. And if she saw that you took to reading, she did everything she could to encourage you – like she did for me. She took us on imaginary trips to far off places – we’d get out airline wings on and fly. Then we’d listen to the music and eat the foods and learn so much more than if we had just learned it from a lesson plan.

Plus, we had a great support staff at the school – the gentle nurse, who was forever getting my long eyelashes out of my eyes, the office ladies who knew you by name, and the librarian who made sure we had the greatest books available to us.

But the first person I think of when I think about that school is our custodian, Gus. Gus was the friendliest, sweetest, most caring person. He was always smiling, and always had time for you. When a kid had a problem, or was feeling down about something, they’d go to Gus before they’d go to anyone else. He was as likely as the nurse to put a band-aid on, and quicker than a teacher to break up any hallway squabbles. He knew everyone’s name and their parents’ names and their grandparents’ names too.

His “office” was the supply closet. Any time the classroom needed something, we kids would climb all over each other to raise our hand the highest - everyone wanted to be picked to be the one to go visit Gus. Because you knew that you would be getting more than some colored paper or crayons – you’d get a cheery hello, a compliment on what you were wearing or your latest artwork hanging in the hall. You’d have a real conversation with a grown-up who treated you like you mattered – like you had something important to say. And sometimes, you’d even get a candy to take home and eat later. Gus was everyone’s best friend.

It was a few years before we all found out that Gus was famous. We already adored him as much as humanly possible, but knowing this thrilled us. Our Gus was an even bigger hero in our eyes.

His name was Gus Br1ckner, and he was a swimmer. Not just any swimmer, though – he was best known for long, LONG distance swimming and very cold water swims. He was the original Human Polar Bear. He started the tradition of jumping into the city’s icy rivers on New Year’s Day in 1949 (though he didn’t limit his own activities to just one day a year). He would bring old filmstrips in for us to watch of him swimming in the icy rivers and rolling around in the snow. He held Guinness World Records for cold swims (6 minutes 22 seconds in -18 degree water) and total lifetime distance swim (38,512 miles – the last of these miles were recorded at age 75). He attempted to swim the English Channel 2 times – each time making it mere yards from shore (after swimming 34 miles and 15 hours) before having health issues that required he be pulled out. He wanted to try again in 1960, but it was called off by the authorities because of the conditions.

When I joined the swim team in high school, I was a diver, but being in a small district meant a small team and my coach didn’t like to see empty lanes. So I sometimes was called on to swim backstroke or in the freestyle relay. I took to the backstroke pretty well, but freestyle – Oh My God, I thought I would die. And while I was barely struggling along hating every minute of it (while Gus’ son was serving as an official) I would think of Gus – and how he swam way longer when he was way older. When we’d have to show up for practice at 5:30 in the morning in the freezing Pennsylvania winter, I’d think of Gus rolling around in the snow in those old movies. And I’d make it. He never knew how he inspired me.

When I heard he died back in the winter of 1991, I cried for the sweet, caring, kind man I used to know – even though I hadn’t seen him in many, many years. And I thought that someday I’d like to be a Polar Bear just like Gus was. Last year, I was a relatively new reader of Uncle Crappy’s blog, and when I saw his post on his New Year’s Day plunge, of course, I thought of Gus. I found myself wishing I had known Uncle Crappy better or sooner, because maybe I could have gone (actually, I wished I had known him sooner because he’s awesome). Well, kids – I know him longer and better this time around. And I have met some of the others planning to go. So by god, I’m doing it. On New Year’s Day, I am jumping in the icy cold Mon. And just before you hear my girly scream upon hitting the cold water, you’ll most likely hear me yell, “This is for you, Gus!”

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I am the BOSS! And don't you forget it!

The girl came home from school yesterday with some interesting artwork. These are keepers. Click to see them in their full glory.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The one where I just fucking deal

So I decided to delete the last post. I'm not comfortable being that much of a whiny baby, especially when I know how blessed I am. Plus - I'm not wild about saying anything even remotely negative about Awesome Company, because a) "dooced" and b) they truly are awesome. I am so lucky to have a job that I love, doing work that I feel is meaningful. I work with a group of brilliant, hilarious people. I work for a group of brilliant, hilarious, generous people, and I don't want it to seem like this one struggle that I am having reflects on the company or my experience with them as a whole, because it certainly does not. Regardless of what happens, I will manage to work things out. Thanks for the support and advice, though - I do appreciate it.

Anyway, since I want to wipe the negativity off my front page but I don't have anything else written yet, I am going to re-run something fun - last year's take on Christmas music:

Things I've learned from listening to the All Christmas Music All the Time channel:

- When it comes to the standards, the originals are almost always the best. No on can rock around the Christmas Tree like Brenda Lee, Gene Autry is the only one I want to hear sing Rudolph, and no matter what an asshole he purportedly was, Bing Crosby simply IS White Christmas.

-Pretty much all Christmas music gets me weepy, but Old Toy Trains really does it. Because it makes me think about when the boy was little and he's not anymore, and...waaaaaahhh.

- Occasionally, though, the remakes are better. Willie Nelson made Pretty Paper.

- There are so many, many ways to fuck up Silent Night.

- To wit: Christine Aguilera has a set of pipes, but someone needs to explain to her that "peace" does not have 17 syllables.

- I don't like my Christmas songs to be fucked with very much. Jazz them up, rock them out, whatever, but don't fuck with the basic song in ways that make them un-sing-along-able. And Christmas songs are made for singing along.

- Medleys suck. While we're on the topic of singing along, it sucks when you're just about to rock out the second verse of O Come All Ye Faithful, and suddenly you're in the Little Town of Bethlehem and thinking, "Did I just black out?"

- Hard Candy Christmas is seriously underrated.

- So is Fum, Fum Fum.

- With a few exceptions, the awesomeness of the 80s did not carry over into Christmas Music.

- Even at Christmas, the entire concept of John Tesh makes me want to vomit.

- Suzy snowflake is what second graders sing in music class. It does not belong on the radio. Ever.

- Merry Christmas from the Family sounds more like my family every year.

- No matter how much eggnog* I drink, I still think Bruce Springsteen sucks. Santa Claus is coming to town sounds like something your chain-smoking drunk uncle forgot the words to. (*OK, rum and coke. But in a festive holiday glass.)

- Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy makes me nervous when the girl is listening. Because I'm crazy and I don't have enough ridiculous shit to worry about.

- Synthesizers + Christmas music = Baby Jesus Crying

- Please - no more barking damned dogs (though when I was a kid, they had a version of it with laughing and it was infectious).

- Vince Guaraldi? Genius. So pretty and nostalgic.

- And on the Peanuts topic, Snoopy's Christmas is pretty cool, too.

- And of course all the Grinch music. I mean, anytime one can work "three decker toadstool and sauerkraut sandwich with arsenic sauce" into a song - I'm in.

- You can't go wrong with Dominick the Donkey.

- Embarrassingly enough, I'm still a sucker for the chipmunks.

- Madonna is no Eartha Kitt. Neither are the rest of the skanks who have tried, and failed, to do Santa Baby justice.

- Who the fuck wants a hippopotamus for Christmas? What, are they on crack? Hippos kill motherfuckers! You do not want a hippo!

- Angels among us isn't really a Christmas song, but I love it anyway.

- I really HATE the songs about poor little street urchins who are starving and Jesus disguised as a homeless person and God help me, if I hear Christmas shoes one more time, I'm going to hunt down the person who wrote it and run them down with my sleigh. Then beat them with those fucking shoes. Just in case they meet Jesus tonight.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I was at my mom’s house this weekend and she had my very favorite ornament hanging on her tree - it is a stuffed, cartoon-ish reindeer in scarf and hat and gloves, holding a Christmas sign. It warmed the cockles of my heart to see those four letters: “NEOL”

Neol, indeed - it’s the season to disguise Christmas (and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa) as some sort of general winter holiday, which never fails to piss me off. Personally, I don’t care if you believe in God or Jesus - whatever. If you want to celebrate a completely pagan-ized version of Christmas, that’s fine, too. I really, truly don’t care - you have a right to do as you please. While I do believe that you can’t have Christmas without Christ, I will support and defend your right to do/celebrate/believe what you want. Because as long as I can do what I want, too, we’re fine. And what I want to do is feel the true spirit of the season (though I will readily admit to getting caught up in the commercialized trappings of the season). And if that involves wearing my “Jesus is the Reason” pin and putting a nativity on my desk, etc, that’s what I’ll damned well do.

I get so sick of this group or that group getting upset and pissed off over Christmas decorations. OK, at city hall, I can see the point - separation of church and state and all. Of course, I am a card-carrying liberal and still have no problem with holiday decorations at school or city hall. I don’t care if they are Christian, Jewish, whatever. It’s a special time of year. As long as you cover them all - whatever. I don’t necessarily want to see a crucifix all year, but a damned Christmas tree or a menorah isn’t hurting me or anybody else. But I can accept that with all the things I believe in regarding church/state separation, come things like this. I can suck it up. I have my own tree at home to enjoy.

But I really don’t get when people get shit for having decorations for their own holiday on their own private property. I know people who don’t think anyone should have anything outside where others might see it and get offended. Please. If seeing a damned Santa offends you, you’re in big trouble, pal. Because life in general? Full of the offensive. Get over it. And to bitch about a church having a nativity (which, yes, I have heard)? Are you an idiot? Seriously? Do you know of this thing called a church? Geez. I’m “offended” by all the hanging-out ass I have to look at driving through campus. I’m “offended” by the Asshole Traffic Brigade. I’m “offended” by Jon Gosselin. And yet I have to face all that shit daily. Who can I sue?

There is a local family that is pretty well-off that over the past 20 years or so, have been very prominent in leading the marches and suits and fights to stop having Christmas decorations in the city buildings. OK, whatever - to each his own. The city offered to put up menorahs, etc, to appease all groups, but this family was having no parts of it. The Christmas stuff offended their non-Christian beliefs. Again - whatever. But there’s one part of the story you don’t know. This family also owns a chain of stores that sell outdoor summary stuff in the warm months, but come fall? A giant Santa shows up on the roof of the businesses. And they sell Christmas trees and ornaments and outdoor decorations and garland and wrapping and all the detritus of the holiday. Big, fat hypocrites, much?

The security guard in the building where I work used to decorate his desk with a tree and a Santa Claus. He isn’t allowed to anymore because someone complained. Not because it was a religious freedoms type thing. But because Santa was white. Yes, because he did not have a multi-ethnic, trans-gendered, handicapped, deaf, blind, brain-damaged, immigrant, female Santa, he offended someone and had to take it down. How fucked up is this? The man is bringing you free gifts, people!! Do you really care what color he is? He could have two heads, purple skin, antennae and a big, green ass but if he comes bearing an ipod, then COME ON IN, FAT MAN!!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Veteran's Day (I know, I'm way late here)

So I’m a little late with this, but I have to tell you about my experience at our local Veteran’s Day ceremonies. I say ceremonies because our town is made of several small communities and five of them have memorials, so every year on Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day, a group of folks, including veterans from the American Legion, VFW, Biker Vets (I don’t know what they’re called but that’s what they are), Rifle Squad (or whatever they’re called – I suck at this), ladies Auxiliary groups, and boy and girl scouts make rounds to each of the memorials for a ceremony. Since the boy is a scout, we always go.

Four of the memorials are smaller, and the ceremonies go pretty quickly, but the “main” one in town is generally a little larger. Usually I enjoy the ceremonies – the laying of the flags, reading of the names, and the 21-gun salute are touching. Taps makes me cry every time. But it can be a little boring after you hear the same prayers, the same speech, the same poem at each and every ceremony. But you suck it up and pay your respects. This year, however, it was a little irritating.

The lady who read the poem started off by giving a little speech about honoring veterans. It was mostly nice until she started bitching – I mean raised voice bitching – about the low turnout. She went on and on about how years ago more people turned out and now it’s sickening that people don’t. I have a couple of problems with this. First off – years ago, it was a big deal – I mean – there were bigger ceremonies – they were publicized. Now, unless you’re in the groups that are a part of it, you don’t even know about them. And if you don’t know, you can’t come. Two – with Veteran’s Day especially – people work. I am lucky enough to be off that day, but I know plenty of people who couldn’t come if they wanted to because they are working. And finally – hello? Preaching to the choir! We’re here. Don’t bitch and yell at us about apathy because each and every one of us dragged our asses (and often our kids’ asses) out of bed at the buttcrack of dawn, got dressed and ready, and stood outside in the cold listening to the same speeches over and over again. Don’t bitch at us! Write a letter to the editor or something, but please – shut up.

But the thing that really pissed me off this year was the main speaker at the “big” ceremony. We got done with the 3rd one and it was early, so I figured we had plenty of time to attend the 4th one (the “big” one) and still make our plans for the day. It was only about 10:00 when we headed out on the less than 5 minute drive to the next memorial. It got started about 10:30, and went through the same speeches, prayers and poem, and then they had a speaker. And I wanted to punch him in the face.

He started off talking about honoring veterans. It was nice. And then…oh, and then he got political and religious. He started going on and on about what a terrible country we have become and how all the veterans who gave their lives were rolling over in their graves over what was going on in this country. That they would be so disappointed in our leaders, and so on and so on and holy fucking shit, he is still going on. Rush Limbaugh couldn’t have done a better job at being an asshole.

I was absolutely offended. And not because his politics clearly differed greatly from mine – I would have been pissed if he agreed with everything I believe, too. I was pissed because this was supposed to be about honoring veterans. This was not mean to be a political rally. And it’s offensive that you should assume that everyone in the audience agrees with your views. It’s a slap in the face to the men and women who have served and/or given their lives for this country to use their day to do this. I have known a lot of veterans in my lifetime, and at least half of them would have vehemently disagreed with his political views. And it is incredibly ignorant to claim that they are or would be disappointed in this country currently. I’m getting awfully sick of the assumption that Conservative=Patriotic and Liberal=Country-hating, veteran-mocker.

His speech went on and one and on. At this point, it was at least 30 minutes – 25 of which had nothing to do with Veteran’s Day and everything to do with watching Fox news too fucking much. And just as we thought it was going to end ( he kept saying, “in conclusion” and then going on and on some more), he decided to shift from what a commie pinko country we have become and focus on what godless heathens we are. He talked and yelled and railed on about the loss of God in public schools, the lack of mandatory prayer, the abandonment of Jesus.

Again, this was a huge slap in the face to the many, many men and women who have fought sacrificed for our freedom – for his freedom who are and were Jews and Muslims and Buddhists and atheists. Does their sacrifice mean less because they didn’t die praying to the same god? Or any god?

I walked way at this point. I know it wasn’t the most respectful thing to do, but I couldn’t take any more. I was so offended I was actually in tears. I was just waiting for the god hates fags chorus to kick in and I didn’t want to be there to hear it. By the time he was done, he had spent 45 or 50 minutes raining his fire and brimstone down on us and maybe five to ten minutes had anything to do with the actual purpose of the day.

When he finally did finish spewing his nonsense, both he and the man who took the podium after him offered information on his youth group, inviting people to join. Yeah, I’ll get right on that, hater.

So, a little late – I want to say that I have a huge amount of respect and awe for the people who have served this country. I am not nearly as brave. I am not nearly as noble. They may not all be perfect, but they are willing to defend me and this country and for that, I honor them. They make little money. They don’t get nearly enough respect. They spend time away from their families and homes. They lose hope and limbs and precious, precious time. And for those who gave their lives – there is nothing I could do that could equal that sacrifice. Even when I don’t support the war, I always, ALWAYS, support the soldiers. I don’t care who they pray to, or if they pray at all. I don’t care who they voted for. And I hope that next time, the town finds a speaker who doesn’t care either.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


My mom is like a superhero. Only instead of strength or speed or ability to fly, she has other powers. Like the ability to insult me without speaking a word. Or her super X-Ray vision that helps her to spot a single errant sesame seed, tipping her off to the recent presence of fast food. But one of my favorite of her powers is her ability to make everything and anything sound like an accusation.

I take the kids to her house every morning when I leave for work (or lately, the girl, since the boy has jazz band practice in the wee hours). I have been doing this for years. For 11 years, I’ve been dropping them off at the same time, every day, close to 5 days a week. Eleven years. Same 15-minute range of time. And yet Every! Single! Day! she ends up calling the house just when things are at their most hectic – I’m carrying bags to the car, trying to get The Girl’s shoes on, locating backpacks, signing papers, yelling out instructions to mr b and The Boy, packing snacks, and trying to get out the door. And just as I am in full stress mode, hands full, holding a kid…the fucking phone starts ringing!
“Aren’t you bringing the kids down?”

Yes mother yes I am. The same as I did yesterday and the day before, and Friday and the entire week before that, and the past ELEVEN FUCKING YEARS!!!!!! I AM COMING!!!

Sweet Chocolate Jesus, why does she have to call every single day?? She knows I am coming. And she says it in an accusing voice, as if I am late or somehow failing. All it serves to do if add more stress to my morning.

She doesn’t limit the use of her super powers to the morning only, though. She’s got another delightful use for it that I hatefully mockingly affectionately call, “Where were you?”

"Where were you?" is one that goes WAY back. See, my mom is very suspicious and defensive by nature. And that combination makes for some awfully fun phone conversations. It started when I was in college and she would call me when I wasn’t in my room. I’d call her back later and get “Where were you?” It didn’t matter what day or time it was - I could have been in class, at dinner, up the hall in a friend’s room – whatever. But if I wasn’t there to answer her call, she took it personally. If the call had come during the day, I said I was in class (because even if I were in the dining hall, I wasn’t going to tell her that, since that would open up the door for her to sing her favorite song, “You Know, You Should Really Try To Get Out And Exercise And The Weathers Getting Warmer So It’s Easier And You Want To Wear Cute Summer Clothes Don’t You And Really, I Am Not Doing This Because Of Your Weight I Just Really Want You To Be Healthy So Why Don’t You Go Walking And You Should Eat More Vegetables And I Only Want What’s Best For You.” God, I hate that song. If the call came during the evening (or early morning) hours – it was a whole new ballgame. And since “drinking,” “getting high,””skipping class” and “fucking” were not acceptable answers I generally when with, “At the library, Mom!” Needless to say, she was quite confused when my grades came in looking very un-library-like.

This continued on all through getting my shit together and graduating and getting on with my life, and then the defensive side joined in with the suspicious. Once I met mr b, I immediately got close to his family and started spending time with them. For one thing, they lived close by – it was easy and convenient to get together with them. For another, I liked them. So she’d call and I wouldn’t be home. Later I’d tell her I had been at SIL’s house, and I’d get, “Oh. You always have time for them.” Isn’t she sweet?

Truly, it wouldn’t matter if I had been with her the last 364 days, because that one day with “them” would piss her off regardless.

Over the years, I dealt with it in various way, including making excuses for why I was there, lying and saying I was elsewhere, and eventually, saying fuck it and not giving a shit what she said or thought. Eventually she learned to (mostly) accept it and truthfully, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass either way.

But she can’t quite let go of the “Where were you?” game. She like the Bret Favre of “Where were you?” And the prevalence of cell phones makes it even easier to spread her particular brand of joy. Because if she doesn’t reach me on the home phone, she will call my cell. This happened last night:

Her: I called you at home, but no one answered!

Me: That’s because we aren’t home.

Her: Where are you?

Me: Sigh.

(Oh – and also she can’t hear, so these conversations usually devolve into, “We’re at scouts.” “Where?” “Scouts.” “Stouts?” “No, SCOUTS!” “What? You’re out?” “Jesus CHRIST woman – we’re at SCOUTS! SCOUTS!!!!”)

It’s hard to convey it in writing – in writing it sounds like she is simply asking where I am, which is no big deal. But it’s the tone that makes it so special. The accusing, suspicious, put-upon tone. Like I am somehow failing her by not being home. As if I am out for the specific purpose of not being there when the queen beckons. God, it tires me out.

The irony of it is that my mom is the least homebody-ish person in all the land. From the time I was pretty young, she was always on the go. I would try to call her from school to let her know I had to stay for practice or see if I could go somewhere with friends and she wouldn’t be home. And in the pre-cell phone days, this was pretty damned inconvenient. Eventually I got tired of missing out on stuff and learned to go over her head call my gram – HER mother (who was and is a total badass) and she would give me the OK and then defend me if and when my mom tried to give me any shit about it.

I don’t want to make her sound neglectful, because she wasn’t – she was around when I needed her – she cooked and cleaned and came to all my activities and events without being overbearing (in that aspect of my life anyway), but she had her own life and she lived it. I spent a lot of time alone, but never minded it – I liked it. Except for when I needed to reach her and couldn’t. So it KILLS ME when she gets all indignant because she called me and I wasn’t home.

She can’t even help herself, though. It’s her superpower, after all.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, November 12, 2009


They say when you dress, you should put on all the accessories you plan on wearing and then remove one piece for the perfect look.

The Girl does not subscribe to that theory...


Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tweedle Drunk

I’m a bit crabby today. The past few days have been those kind of high stress parenting days. The ones where the kids drive you absolutely nuts with their fighting and bitching and nonsense and bullshit. And if your kids don’t fight and bitch and aren’t full of all kinds of nonsense and bullshit, I don’t want to hear about it. I won’t believe you anyway. Besides - your kids are probably cute, right? Well, we all think our kids are cute, me included. And when they are babies, we look at them and think, Man, I’m so happy I have a cute kid. But I have learned something - don’t be happy you have a cute kid. Because the cuteness of the child is directly proportional to the evil. That’s why god made them cute - so you LET THEM LIVE when they are puling all the fighting and bitching and nonsense and bullshit.

I've been home with a semi-sick child the past two days and it’s been delightful. Really. She’s at that point of being just sick enough to have to stay home from school, but not sick enough that she doesn’t want to whine at me all day, tear up my house, make demands and boss. And then the boy comes home and she pokes him and then he pokes her and then I want to poke the both of them.


Some of the stress is internal – it comes from the whole working from home guilt. I am lucky enough to be able to work from home when necessary, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel like a heel when I have to. Part of that is me, but part comes from the childless contingent. We have all seen the fallout of the working vs stay at home mommy wars, but I am telling you – the parents vs childless in the workplace wars are just as brutal.

I work with a few people who get an attitude about people who take off/work from home/whatever because of their kids. Meanwhile, I have a ton of days to take if I need them. I get my work done from home. I never do anything that isn’t approved by the higher ups. And yet, there’s still that…I don’t know…air of disapproval. One person in particular has actually said things to me about other parents. Of course this person isn’t talking about me though. I’m not like them. Fuck that. I am like them. I’m a parent who has a career. someone who has to make difficult choices about work and family. Insult them and you are insulting me, no matter what you might say. FUCK THAT.


I was talking to some coworkers about people sending their kids to school sick. While I understand the outrage over it, I can also sympathize with the parents. I am lucky enough to have vacation time. I am lucky enough to be able to work from home. But there are a lot of parents out there (especially in these times) who don’t have any options – who won’t get paid or will lose their jobs if they don’t show up. I don’t want a sick kid going into school, but I can’t crucify the parents, either. I’m sure some of them are just assholes (@RockingPony gave a good example of this today on twitter), but I know some are between a big fucking rock and a very hard place and I sympathize with them. Hell – even though I do have options, I am feeling the pressure after 2 days of working from home. I have the familiar dilemma of whether she’s well enough to go to school or if I am taking advantage of my lenient workplace if I stay home with her another day. It sucks.


And speaking of the childless, I had a friend tell me today about a coworker who is one of those know-it-all types about kids. I hate those. Apparently this woman is one of the “My child will never” types. Fine, let her enjoy her little “MY child will never. . .” fantasy. Because those of us in the know are well aware that that one goes right out the window along at least once or twice. Like “MY child won’t be eating McDonald’s (Yes. Yes she will. Because there will come a time when you just don’t care what they eat as long as there’s something in their mouth and you can’t hear the screaming)”, “MY child isn’t going to watching TV (When the choice is TV or killing them because they won’t leave you alone for ONE FUCKING SECOND, much less long enough t have sex ever again? TV it is)”, “MY child will eat whatever I put in front of her (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!)”, “I’LL never use a video as a babysitter (you will if you ever want to take a shit in piece again)” and “MY child will never sleep in my bed (Go to sleep. Go To Sleep. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CHILD, IF I DON’T SLEEP SOON I’M GOING TO DIE. FINE, COME IN HERE AND JUST SHUT UP AND GO TO SLEEP!)”


The past week hasn’t been entirely bad, though. We marched in the Halloween parade:

em marching

em marching 2

We went trick or treating with the little bride:

trick or treat

em school4

We celebrated the girl’s sixth birthday several times, including one magnificent cake thanks to my SIL Weenie:


And we went to the Annual Scabs the Clown Drunken Halloween Extravaganza (wearing our fed-up response to the skanky costume trend):


Just call us Tweedle Drunk and Tweedle Drunker



Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Halloween Tip

It's fine if you are handing out treats - really, it is. There are valid reasons not to. It can be a pain. It's tiring. It costs a lot of money these days (especially in this neighborhood that gets several hundred kids every year). So I won't judge you if you aren't participating.

HOWEVER....If you aren't handing out candy on Trick or Treat night, hanging around outside in your yard raking leaves? Just makes you seem like kind of a douchebag.

Just a tip.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday Thirteen: The Girl edition

In honor of today being The Girl’s sixth birthday, my Thursday Thirteen will be about her today.

Thirteen of The Girl’s Greatest Hits:

1: October 2009:

(OK, I just posted this the other day, but it’s funny) - My aunt and cousin were in from Virginia recently and my other aunt decided to have an early birthday cake for the girl and another cousin while they were here. Among other presents, the girl got a gift card and some cash. While my boy and the little birthday boy were playing with one of his new toys – something loud and annoying – they decided to focus their annoying on the girl. She started to get mad and came into the kitchen and said, “Mom, Brother is being mean. I don’t have to share my gift card and money with him, do I?” I told her that they were hers and she most certainly didn’t have to share them. This made her happy and she marched back into the bedroom to inform him that he gets nothing. Of course, they boy didn’t care and continued to annoy her until a few minutes later when she came back into the kitchen with an evil gleam in her eye and in the sweetest voice asked me, “Mom, when we go shopping with my gift card and money, can brother come?” Sure, baby. “Good. I want him to come and watch while I spend it and HE GETS NOTHING!!!” Ahh....Grasshopper, I have taught you well.

2. October 2009:

"Hey Mom, you know what's weird? We had two Gavins in Pre-school, and we have two Noahs in Kindergarten. We'll probably have two Franks in 1st grade."

3. September 2009:

My aunt just asked the girl what she is learning in school and she replied, "The nature of buttocks."

4. July 2009:

The Girl: "Mom, I'm going to the school dance (whispered: we're pretending, OK?), so do you think I should go in a taxi or a limbo?"

5. June 2009:

Me: That’s a pain in the ass.

The Girl: You shouldn’t say that.

Random relative: Yeah, you should say pain in the butt.

The Girl: No – you should have said that balls thing.

Me: That’s a pain in the balls?

The Girl: Yeah, but that other word…Ssss…Scr….Scr…

Me: Scrotum?

The Girl: Yeah! You should have said, ‘That’s a pain in the scrotum!’

Random relative: Oh my God.

6. June 2009:

The Girl: There’s something I want to say.

Me: What?

The Girl: I can’t say it.

Me: What??

The Girl: Can I just say it once?

Me What??

The Girl: Asshat! Asshat, Asshat, Asshat!

Me: Are you done?

The Girl. Yeah.

7. June 2009:

The Girl: Those old men were looking at me! (talking about 2 old men sitting on a porch as we drove by)

Me: Oh yeah?

The Girl: Yep. And I heard one of them say…um…‘That little girl looks so cute.’

The Boy: What?

The Girl. OK, I totally made that up. But they were looking at me.

8. March 2008:

Me: “Bean – why is the dog barking? Can you look and see if someone is coming”
The Girl: (To me)“OK, Mom”…(to the dog) “Stop barking! There’s no one coming, you jackass

9. February 2008:

Last night, the girl handed me a piece of paper and a pencil, said, “Write a letter for me”, and dictated - word for word - the following:

Dear Troy,
I love you. I’m going to kiss you. I love you.

10. May 2007:

A conversation in the grocery store:

The boy: "Mom, where's the turkey you got?"
Me: *ignoring boy while I speak to the deli worker*
The boy: "Mom! Did you get turkey? Where is the turkey?"
The girl: Hey! I know where the turkey is!!
The boy: "Where?"
The girl: "In your ass!"

11. Feb 2007:

Girl: I spelled you with my stickers.
Boy: That doesn't spell my name. (said while implementing "the silent 'duh'") That spells HSKTJB!
Girl: I spelled you! It spells Stupid!
Boy: Moooommmm!

12. Feb 2007:

Boy: You stink.
Girl: You stink.
Boy: You smell like poop.
Girl: You're made of poop!
Boy: You're made of farts!
Girl: You're made of farts! And boogers!
Girl: Aaaaaannnnnd, you're made of girls!

13. July 2006:

*various crunching, crinkling, banging sounds from kitchen*

Me: “Beansie! (girl nickname) Get out of the kitchen!”

The Girl: “I’m not in the kitchen”

*bang crinkle crunch pop.*

Me: “What are you doing?”

The Girl: “Nothing.”

* pop crinkle bang crunch.*

Me: “Beans, Are you in the kitchen?”

The Girl: “No!”

*crinkle crinkle bang crunch*

Me: “Brother!”

Brother: “ ”

Me: “Brother - what are you doing?”

Brother: “ ”

*crunch bang crunch crinkle*

Me: “Beans - you’re in that kitchen, aren’t you?”

The Girl: “NO!”

Me: “Brother, are you in the kitchen?”


13. November 2005:

The girl has a new catchphrase: “Oh my dammit!” (with the emphasis on the dammit part). I have never heard anyone say that before, so I don’t know where she got it. Either she heard it elsewhere or she’s as adept as her mother in the Creating New Ways to Curse department. Whatever, it’s now her favorite expression of emotion. Sometimes she uses it in context, like, “Oh my dammit, I dropped my pocable! (popsicle)” or “Oh my dammit, the dog ate my chicken finger!” And sometimes it’s just a general exclamation like, “Oh my dammit, Dora’s coming on! ” Now given my love of profanity, all I can say is that it must be genetic. And of course, if it is genetic then I had to get it from somewhere too and am thus innocent. I think I’ll blame my mother.

13: November 2005

She’s also getting smart in the Get Your Brother in Trouble department. When we were getting ready on Sunday, she was in the boy’s way and he gave her a gentle push out of his way. She started to fake cry and when I asked what was wrong, she told me “He called me Butthole”. I said, “He did?”, and she said, “Yeah. And he went chhrrcchhh (this “crunching” sort of sound effect was accompanied by a bizarre neck/shoulder cringe/shrug) on my ear!” Now, I was right there when it all went down and I can attest to the fact that there was no butthole-calling or ear-chhrrcchhh-ing.

We’ll just go ahead and pretend that I didn’t have three 13s, OK?

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Plagiarised AGAIN!

Once again, some fucking thief on myspace has stolen one of my posts.

Here is my post, from June 30th

Here is hers, from July 7th

Do me a favor - if you have a myspace profile, send this person a message and tell them what you think about plagiarism.


Stumble Upon Toolbar

Random Tuesday

This a crazy busy week. We have parades, and a birthday and trick or treat and parties and I can’t think straight. So it’s all random nonsense today


I’m in computer hell. Remember when I came home from vacation in August to a completely infected laptop? Well, I still haven’t gotten that fixed. Mainly because mr b is laid off and we can’t afford it, but also because I have my work laptop that I take home every night, so I haven’t been without a computer. Until yesterday, when I went home, turned it on and…nothing. I NEED A NERF COMPUTER!


The girl and the boy will both be in the Halloween parade on Wednesday. The boy with the marching band and the girl with her baton group. The marching band dress up in costume for the parade and the boy will be dressing as a hippie. I should probably be embarrassed to tell you that his costume consists of my clothes. As in, actual clothes that I actually wear. From one of my tie-dye shirts and my hand-painted Grateful Dead jean jacket to my fringe-y, suede footwear. I’m a fashion icon. Hey – at least the little round orange-lens Lennon glasses are only replicas of ones I used to wear. Baby steps, people.


The girl’s baton group will be wearing sweatsuits, since it’s too cold for their normal marching uniforms. A couple of weeks ago, they passed around a paper to take orders. A blank piece of paper, where they asked what size you needed. So, I put down a 5 pants and a 6 top. Well, apparently, they ordered them and discovered that the sizes were a little different, so instead of letting us know and decide what size we wanted, they made the choice for us. So the girl had a 6-8 top and a 2-4 pants. Awesome. I don’t understand why in the blue fuck they didn’t check out the company’s sizing chart first, and then have us choose from those, instead of just passing around a blank paper and saying, write down the size. Admittedly, a 6-8 would be too big in the pants (the shirt is fine), but I could have altered them. Instead, the 2-4 are short. Luckily, they have a giant rise and while they won't be floods, they’ll hang down like harem pants. Hammer Time! Plus – the 2-4s didn’t come in red, so the few girls who ended up with that size will be in white instead of red. Why, oh why are people SO FUCKING STUPID?


My aunt and cousin were in from Virginia recently and my other aunt decided to have an early birthday cake for the girl and another cousin while they were here. Among other presents, the girl got a gift card and some cash. While my boy and the little birthday boy were playing with one of his new toys – something loud and annoying – they decided to focus their annoying on the girl. She started to get mad and came into the kitchen and said, “Mom, Brother is being mean. I don’t have to share my gift card and money with him, do I?” I told her that they were hers and she most certainly didn’t have to share them. This made her happy and she marched back into the bedroom to inform him that he gets nothing. Of course, they boy didn’t care and continued to annoy her until a few minutes later when she came back into the kitchen with an evil gleam in her eye and in the sweetest voice asked me, “Mom, when we go shopping with my gift card and money, can brother come?” Sure, baby. “Good. I want him to come and watch while I spend it and HE GETS NOTHING!!!” Ahh....Grasshopper, I have taught you well.


Finally, in camera news – I tried another lens on my camera and it worked, so it looks like the camera body is fine and I just need to replace the lens. Thank God! Also? Excuse to upgrade my lens! Yay!

When I was growing up, my dad always had good cameras and he taught me to use them young. As soon as I could hold a camera, I had one of my own, but I had access to my dad’s Nikon, telephoto lenses, external flashes, tripods, etc, whenever I wanted. I learned about f-stops and light meters before I learned my multiplication tables. So I wanted to do the same with my own kids.

Both of them have their own cameras, but I let them use mine whenever they want (in my presence, of course). The boy has a whole shelf of ribbons and trophies from photography contests, and has even won at the regional level. So, naturally, now that the girl is old enough, she wants to participate, too. I have been taking her out and letting her photograph whatever she wants. People often see her using that big camera and chuckle, thinking she’s just playing. Or they express disbelief that I am letting her. I have had people ask me why I let her use my good camera like that.

Well, here’s why:











Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I swear, this isn’t a post about being sick…

Because, oh GOD, do I hate blog posts about being sick. But I gotta say – I’ve been sick. The kind of sick where you have to stop and rest walking from the living room to the kitchen (in a relatively small house). And if there is no furniture en route – like when heading down the hall to the bathroom – you just lay down on the floor and moan. I’m talking crying sick. Yes – I actually cried yesterday because I felt so bad. Don’t worry – no H1N1 or anything like that going on – just the worst cold in the history of colds.

And now I’m done talking about being sick. I only mentioned it because I wanted to use my illness and subsequent medications for the HUGE brain fart I had today. For the past several days of being sick, I kept thinking that I really needed to feel better by today because we had my little cousin’s birthday party at the zoo, plus we were going to be meeting friends afterwards. So I have spent the past week shoving zinc up my nose (zycam, anyone?) and drinking tea and taking approximately 67 different cold remedies to try to get well by today. And although yesterday I felt like I was actually going to die any minute I woke up this morning feeling pretty good. Well, not good exactly, but not sick. More like “leftover” sick. Like when you get run over y a bus and the next day you feel “leftover” injured. Like that.

But I was upright, not completely coughing up a lung, and I didn’t have to stop and rest on a 20-foot walk, so I figured I was good enough to go. So I got out of bed at 7:30 am, showered and got ready. Then I took any cold medicine that wouldn’t make me drive off a bridge, woke up the kids, got them fed and ready and we took off on the hour-long drive. We got to the zoo, parked, walked, and fought 200 rude Amish people to get up the stairs to the gates (not that Amish people are generally rude - just this group).

I told the girl at the gate that we were there for a birthday party and she looked at me like I was speaking in tongues and said. “Do you have tickets?” “No – we just got an invitation that said to tell them at the gate.” “But you still need to pay admission.” “ – it’s included in the birthday party.” “I don’t think so.” “Yes. We don’t have to pay. It’s part of the party.” “Hold on.”

And I waited. And waited. And waited, while she talked to the other twit in the box. And just as I was thinking about what a complete idiot this chick was, she came back and said, “You’re right – you don’t need a ticket.” But before I got to bask I the glory of my RIGHTNESS, she said, “But…um…that party is tomorrow.


I blame the meds.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fro Party

I met mr b at work. I was 21, finishing school, and needed something part-time to make ends meet. I saw an ad that a local restaurant was hiring and the next day I was officially a waitress. My first day of work, I learned that the staff generally hung out in the bar after work and had a few drinks (Or more. It turned out to be the shittiest and yet most fun place to work). I wasn’t planning on staying, since I didn’t really know anyone yet, but one of the waitresses, Kay, called me over. She was about 20 years older than me, and very sweet. I figured what the hell and decided to stay for a drink (or more). We did the same thing the next night. And the next. And we became friends really quickly.

We talked about a lot of stuff – her kids, my school, her day job, my love life. Or lack thereof, I should say. I was feeling pretty jaded about guys at the time. Between the longish-term asshole who broke up with me when he was turning 21 so he could go out and fuck around, the too sweet, bad sex rebound guy, the jackass who just disappeared, and the ten-thousand idiots I was meeting in bars every week, I was ready to swear off men forever. I said as much to Kay and she said five words that changed the course of my life. She said, “You would love my brother.”

It turned out that he worked there part time, too, but he was on vacation. She spent the next week telling me all about him – how great he was – smart, good-looking, about how we had similar interests and tastes. I fell for him a little without even meeting him. In the meantime, she was calling him every night and telling him all about me.

I was anxious about his impending first day back on the job – excited, but nervous. And then, the night before he was due to come back, she said, “Oh, I finally remembered to bring you a picture!”

And then…

Oh GOD, and then she handed me a photo of him from 1978!

And even though I could clearly tell that it was an outdated photo, it wasn’t enough for me not to feel the horror at what I was seeing. Weird, tight pants. Giant lapels on the shirt. Huge afro. Tinted aviator glasses. PORN-STACHE!!!

I gave her something very similar to “Present Face” and said, “Uh…um…so...uh…WOW! He’s um…really cute!”

And then I thought about quitting immediately.

But I needed the job, so that was out. And eventually I decided that since I was pretty much striking out in the love department, that even with his stache/fro ensemble, he couldn’t be any worse than the flaming dickheads I’d been meeting and I figured I’d give him a chance. Obviously, he turned out not to be the freak that I was expecting and the rest is history.

The story is pretty famous among our family and friends and the photo is notorious. So for his 50th birthday party, I got a photo album that holds one photo per page and has a space for an inscription. And I found a giant, light brown afro. And I made porn-staches out of felt (buying them would have cost a fortune). And I took a photo of every single guest wearing them, and had them sign the book.

It was a blast.


The kids:


My 90 year old grandma:

My 8 month old cousin:

My insane friend in what is my favorite (though censored) photo:

Some of the many, many more:
















Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fuck-Me Cheese

On Sunday, the girl had a birthday party for a friend. Thank goodness it was a late afternoon party, since we had mr b’s 50th birthday party the night before and there was some serious ass-dragging going on. But we somehow managed to get ourselves to the party on time, and I managed to stay upright, and not punch anyone the entire time. What’s that? It doesn’t seem like an accomplishment to not punch anyone at a child’s birthday party? Well, I forgot to tell you the party was at Check E Cheese.

Ahhhh, now you understand, don’t you? Hungover at Fuck Me Cheese: not so fun.

The party was for a friend from day care. She is the daughter of an old friend’s sister. I’ve talked about my friend Tammy before – she died in 1992 of a brain tumor. I usually re-post my story of her every year on her birthday and this year, I was in the middle of my own crazy and I missed it – I thought about it a few days before and then forgot. I was on my way to the party when I remembered. I felt bad, though I guess it’s more about not thinking about her that day than an actual blog entry. It happens, though – she’s been gone almost as long as she was alive. It’s hard to imagine what she’d be like today. I’d like to think we’d still be friends, that we’d have kids who played together.

I got to the party and saw her sister, and then her mother, and then another sister and a cousin and it hit me. They all look so much alike. I can look at them and imagine what Tammy would look like today. I had to fight back tears. It’s a weird thing to feel grief for someone and then think, damn, I can’t let myself show it, because who am I to grieve - my grief can’t compare to theirs. But it’s still there. It’s still mine.


OK, on to other things – like the assholes at Fuck Me Cheese. Good lord. I understand that your kids drive you crazy. I understand that you need a break. Believe me – I UNDERSTAND! However, just because the insane mousehouse has the hand-stamping kidnapping prevention does NOT mean that your child should just run around completely unattended. There was one little girl who latched onto the girl in the games area. She only had a couple of tokens left to the girl’s full cup. When she ran out, the girl was giving her some (because she is a rocking, make-your-mom-proud, OMG-my-kid-is-awesome sharer), but this kid wouldn’t quit. She wanted tokens, tickets, whatever. She wanted to play this game, not that game. When the girl had finally had enough and wouldn’t give her more tokens, she looked me square in the face and demanded more. “I need more tokens!” I told her she needed to go ask her mom or dad. She said, “They don’t have any” Well, I’m sorry then kid. Where the fuck were her parents? This went on for over an hour and I never once saw an adult anywhere near this kid. Not once.


And let’s talk about the hand stamp system. When the girl and I left, you couldn’t even read the hand stamps anymore, after washing our hands a bunch of times. And yet, they let us out. There was no way they could tell for sure that the girl belonged with me. So Mr and/or Mrs. I Need A Break From My Kid need to step up their give-a-shit a little.

And she was the only one. During my two and a half hours there, I had to help a kid get strapped into a ride, help a toddler off of another ride, get an employee to fix a game for another kid, stop not one, not two, but THREE insane children from throwing skee balls instead of rolling them. Also - seriously – skee-ball for toddlers? Worst idea ever. I watched multiple children almost get their skulls cracked open by the flying spheres of death.


Sadly, Fuck Me Cheese wasn’t the worst experience of my weekend. No, that would be reserved for the girl jumping on me and knocking my camera to the cement floor. The lens popped off and won’t stay on properly. Awesome. I’m heartbroken over it. I love that camera. I mean LOVE it. It’s not the best camera, but it’s the best one I can afford, and I saved and bargain shopped for a long time before I got it. And I’m not sure I can afford to have it fixed – or if it’s even possible. I know I can’t afford a new one. But damn it, I need to do something, because it’s my one “thing.” I don’t like fancy jewelry. I don’t buy designer purses or shoes. I don’t spend money on clothes. I’m not a gadget lover. I get my books free from the library. I don’t care about new, fancy cars. But I ADORE my camera.


I can’t wait to get some photos up from the party (pre-camera/heart break). I didn’t take any candid or party photos, but I did take ones of every guest wearing a special Make Fun of Mr B Getup. It was awesome. More on that later.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, October 5, 2009


I need a weekend to recover from my weekend. Not that it was particularly wild and crazy, unless you count shopping, cleaning and organizing as wild and crazy, that is.

Mr b was away this weekend – our awesome nephew Pap took him to Charlotte to see Widespread Panic and The Allman Brothers as a 50th birthday gift. He had a great time and quite enjoyed rubbing it in and sending me photos of Widespread Panic. It’s just not right. I drowned my sorrows in pomegranate mojitos. In his defense, he did come home with shirts for me and the kids, so I think I’ll keep him.

Friday, I dragged Hedge along on a shopping trip, since I had a giant list of things I needed to buy for the upcoming party. Not that hedge was super-excited about going to Hell-Mart or anything. I tricked her into going with the promise of a birthday dinner and gift. So we failed miserably at the shopping and ended up stuffing ourselves with food, mojitos and balls (!?!?) at Tusca. Because she is turning FORTY. FORTY FORTY FORTY! HEDGE IS FORTY! Ahem. Anyway, I wanted to get her something special for her big day, and I thought long and hard before I came up with the perfect, tear-jerking, sentimental gift. About 30 years ago, we started calling each other Hedgehog and Rooster. So I designed a t-shirt for her with this on it:

It brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it? of course I got one for myself, too, because who wouldn't want that?

Saturday, I went back out to finish the shopping, then came home for another mojito party. Rapunzel and Scabs came over to help me get some stuff done, which really meant “to help drink a half gallon of rum.” We did a fine job, if I do say so myself. Luckily, Scabs and I weren’t too hungover on Sunday to get as shitload of organizing and decorating done. The walls in the addition have been bare for over a year now, since I suck at decorating, so I put Scabs to work and she hung stuff and made it look way better than anything I would have done. The room looks a lot less empty and crappy now. She also kicked my ass into getting rid of a ton of stuff, which I needed.

I still have a ton of things to do and get, but I am a hell of a lot closer than I was last week. So, yay!

Oh, also – on Friday night, Hedge and I were getting off the expressway and I accidentally went through the e-z pass lane (even though I knew mr b had taken the ez-pass and I had cash in hand), and as I was sitting there like a jackass, trying to put money in while it kept spotting it back out, I noticed that a) it was the ez-pass lane, and b) the light was green. So I went through and hoped that I wouldn’t end up getting ticket. Anyway, this morning, I went through the pay lane, (since mr b didn’t give back the ez-pass) and before I even got to the pay basket, the light turned green and the bar went up. So clearly? I HAVE THE MAGIC! I called mr b to tell him:


Him: I know, I know, I still have the ez-pass

Me: No - it happened again! It turned green and I didn’t even pay! I HAVE THE MAGIC!

Him: OK…so…is that all you called me for?

Me: Duh. You’d call me if you discovered you had the magic, wouldn’t you?

Him: Yeah, I guess so. So…congratulations? I gotta go.

Me: Fine. You’re just mad because you don’t have the magic.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen things that are irritating me today (I know – it’s shocking that I’m bitching about things, right?)

1. The fact that as I was going out the door this morning, mr b informed that our nephew Pap was staying with us tonight, because they are leaving on a weekend trip tomorrow morning. Don’t get me wrong – he’s always welcome, but it would have been nice to know in advance, so I could clean up the house (my cleaning gets done on the weekend, so by Thursday, it’s pretty bad), get the extra bedding washed, etc. And don’t defend mr b by saying that men just don’t care about the place being clean. I said something about the house not being clean, and he gave me the blank stare. And then I said that if he wanted the house to be clean before Pap got there, then he damned well better get home early and clean it because I don’t have time. And then he said, “Maybe I’ll just have him meet me in the morning.” Uh-huh.

2. Related to the above – he never tells me stuff – he always springs this kind of shit on me and then when I call him on it, he says, “I thought you knew! Jeez!!” How in the name of Damn –I-need-a-drink am I supposed to know this stuff - osmosis? He knows he didn’t tell me, but he still likes to pull out the “I thought you knew” defense, in case I am suddenly rendered stupid and I will respond with “Oh, that’s right – it’s all my fault!

3. My mother. Have you ever known someone who didn’t care? I mean, just didn’t care what you were saying, at all, ever? Who just looked through you if you were talking about something other than whatever it is she gives a shit about? That is my mother. She doesn’t even bother to try to hide her apathy, dislike, hatred, disapproval, disappointment, disgust, animosity, or misguided sense of superiority or entitlement. Ever. She’s a bitch. I love her basically because she’s my mom. But I rarely like her and even more rarely respect her.

4. American Girl dolls and their latest creation – the homeless doll. Which will make the already grossly wealthy company even richer while it sells the doll they claim teaches “valuable lessons about life.” What lessons, exactly? You mean the ones about how the wealthy, privileged kids can spend almost $100 on a fucking doll, and feel good about their little pet social misfit while the rich get richer and the actual homeless see no benefit, and go on only dreaming about having $95 to spend on silly things like food and shelter. That lesson? I’m sure it’s doing wonders for little girls all around – the homeless girls can feel better about living in abject poverty because there’s a doll that they’ll never be able to afford out there that’s just like them. And the little rich girls can feel better knowing that they’ll never have to dirty themselves by volunteering at a soup kitchen or shelter – they can just buy a homeless doll to show how much they care.

5. Whoopi Goldberg. I like Whoopi – I always did. I like that she speaks her mind and takes no bullshit. But “it wasn’t rape rape?” Seriously? Then what exactly IS rape rape? Because I always placed “giving a child alcohol and drugging them, and then forcing them into vaginal and anal intercourse” firmly into the rape rape category. So why don’t you clear that up for me, Whoopi.

6. And while we are on the topic – Woody Allen supporting Roman Polanksi is not a huge surprise, what with his own pedophilic tendencies.

7. Also – to the reporter who compared Mel Gibson’s controversy to Roman Polanski’s: “sugar tits” ≠ child rape.

8. Way to not offer vaginal or vagina for a clear typo fix, Word. Would you prefer I use pee-pee? Would that make you more comfortable?

9. The Peace, Love and Donuts guy Hate, Bigotry, and Donuts jackass. After reading this blog post, I can say with absolute certainty that I will never, ever set foot in that place. I mean, hypocrite, much? Also – I hope one day he sees the delicious irony of calling people “dilusional” [sic] and “uneducated” in the same breath. Who is delusional now, asshat? **

10. Mr b will be out of town this weekend and I am happy that he is getting this little getaway. OK, fine – I’m jealous. He’ll be rocking out with the Allman Brothers and I’ll be chauffeuring kids, cleaning, shopping, doing party prep, and stressing over the unfinished projects in the house.

11. Our office mail carrier, who suddenly deigns himself too important/busy/whatever to actually deliver the mail to each office –instead dumping it all on the elderly front desk guy.

12. Headache!

13. Sarah Palin and her new, stupid bestselling-even-though-it’s-not-even-out-yet book? Because Going Rogue? Really?

14. (I don’t care – I’m a rule breaker) Dear Word – you know “Palin” but not “vagina”? WTF?

**UPDATE: the donut douchbag deleted his blog. I guess he couldn't take the heat, and didn't have the guts to either stand up for his opinion or admit he was a douchebag. Since you can't go read it for yourself, it was a hateful, bigoted rant that took aim at the president's race, homosexuality, and just about anything else you can imagine.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Old Men and Red Pants and Pink What?

Boy, I suck at the blogging lately. And as usual, I will make my “busy, oh so busy” defense. But I really am.

I am in the process of trying to get the house and yard ready for a birthday party for mr b, which is easier said than done, given that a) we’re busy – duh, b) we live like big fat pigs and there is a TON of cleaning or organizing to do, and c) mr b is the king of 80% done projects, so there are a lot of unfinished projects around the house. So it’s been a delightful time for one and all in our household.

Notice how I didn’t mention mr b’s age. See, I was all ready to tell you but lately, I have been reading the blogs of some of my friends and they are also having birthday celebrations for people at or around mr b’s age. And those people are THEIR FATHERS!!!! OK, fine! He’s 50! And even though he robbed the cradle with me, I am close enough behind to feel it breathing on me. So if your mom or dad or grandma is 50, don’t tell me. Let me remain blissfully deluded that I am the same age as all of you and not enough older that I was in college when you were all watching Sesame Street. Kthx!!


I think I mentioned that the girl joined baton. She loves it, and I am glad. I joined when I was about her age, too (and actually – Lord – stayed with it through two years of college - Titan Twirler - woo!). Anyhoo, when the girls march in parades, there are “marching moms” that walk along the parade route with them. Not so much my bag – I’m content to sit on the curb and cheer and take photos, but I am willing if they need me. Or at least I was until this Friday’s homecoming parade (the new girls didn’t march), when I discovered that the “marching moms” have uniforms. Oh yes. They have nice little white golf-style shorts with the team logo on it. Not so bad, right? Until you look down and see that they also wear red pants. No – they aren’t even pants. They’re slacks. RED SLACKS. Which appeared to have an elastic waist. DANGER DANGER DANGER!!!!!

I’m sorry, but there is no way that this ass is going onto those pants. No, never, NOOOOOO. The woman who runs it is the same that was running it back in 1974 when I first joined and her style hasn’t changed since. I take that back – she updated her style when she was the high school majorette sponsor and she discovered headbands. Sequined headbands. Worn not like a cute hairband, but like a dorky sweatband. Sometimes with poufy things on them. She still loves those – they are part of the uniforms, from the little ones up to the high school. Of course, now that I think about it, I’d rather wear a sequined headband than red slacks, but the likelihood of me wearing either is somewhere between “Um…no” and “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…no.”


Finally, I need to share with you what I saw today. Prepare yourself because it’s a horrible crime against humanity. Are you ready?

Are you sure? Because it’s bad!

OK, then…

I KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Ahhh…vacation. Even though it was short, it was awesome. Because it was relaxing and beautiful and best of all…free (mostly). Winning stuff is awesome, ya’ll!

Even though I stayed up watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia getting stuff packed, I still managed to get up at 3:00 AM to get to the airport in time. We got in early, and the flight was uneventful - though I could have done without the 5 hours (OK, minutes, but it felt like hours.) of spiraling around the airport before we landed.

We were at the report before 10:00 am, and had the whole day ahead of us, which was why I didn’t mind getting up so damned early. Here’s a news flash: It’s HOT in Arizona. We were ready to head to the pool, but we needed to eat first. We didn’t want breakfast (something about 100 degrees that makes eggs blech), so we had to wait until they started serving lunch. The pool café was the earliest - at 11:00 – so we headed there. And since it was 2:00 our time and we were on vacation, we decided to have a drink, too. Which pretty much set the tone for the while weekend.

The resort was beautiful. I would go there again in a minute. The food and drinks were delicious, though expensive. When we checked in, the people sponsoring the contest gave us gift bags, drink coupons and $200 in cash to cover some expenses, which was awesome.

After lunch, we headed to the pool, which was amazing. “Pool” didn’t do it justice – it was a whole bunch of smaller, sort-of connecting pools that formed a giant water playground. The way it was set up was nice because you never felt crowded. There were waterfalls everywhere, misters, bars, strolling waiters, comfy lounge chairs, beautiful landscaping and flowers, private cabanas, a sand beach and sand-bottomed pool area, and a kickass 3-story spiral waterslide, which shot you out like a cannon.

After lounging (and drinking) all day, we headed back to the room to get ready. I – of course – was ready way before mr b, so I headed to the open-air lobby to watch the Native American dancing and have a drink (OK, actually, several delicious pomegranate mojitos). After that, we headed to a group dinner for the contest winners. It was outside, on the edge of the water, surrounded by palm trees and mountains. And the food was fantastic. I was expecting mediocre banquet food, but I was pleasantly surprised with fresh, delicious southwestern cuisine, including a spicy fruit salad that I could have eaten 6 pounds of.

Also – the sweet, hilarious southern lady sitting at our table came back from the buffet with a steak covered in cumin sauce and said, “I thought this was gravy, but after I put it on, I saw the sign and it said it's cummin' sauce. I don't know if I like cummin’ sauce on my meat. Hot damn – it’s good!

Of course, after dinner we headed back to the bar area – the lobby was all open to the outdoors, so you could sit on the huge terrace outside (they had a bunch of little seating areas with comfy couches and chairs) and still get table service, and enjoy the live entertainment they had every night. This night, it was a contemporary Latin band – they played some original stuff, plus some Santana, Los Lobos, etc. They were great.

We slept in a little on Saturday, had a delicious breakfast in the room, and then headed back down to the pool. It was even hotter than the day before – at one point, I heard 103, and later I heard 105. And I know – dry heat and all – it’s true – it’s much more bearable than humid heat, but still - 105! Being in the pool, it was very comfortable, but out of the pool, you just baked.

Mr b ended up getting a bad headache, so he headed back to the room, and I stayed in the pool area, floating on a raft, drinking rum punch and eyeing the beautiful, distinguished, downright chocolicious man alone the hot tub. If it hadn’t been 7000 degrees, I might have joined him.

That evening, we got a car into Old Town Scottsdale and did a little shopping and sightseeing. Then we headed to dinner at a place that had great food and a shmillion beer choices. Yay beer! After we went back to the resort, we sat on the terrace again and listened to the traditional Spanish band and watched the Flamenco dancers. And tried more delicious drinks. Mr b liked the prickly pear margarita a lot, and I teased him relentlessly since it was pink and girly. But it was delicious. I stuck to the rum drinks, though, since college pretty much ruined me on tequila.

The next morning, I got up before sunrise, so I could take some photos. Mr b, needless to say, stayed in bed. After he got up, we had a nice, leisurely breakfast, checked out, and headed out to the airport. We stopped to do a little shopping, and got the kids some more souvenirs, then hit the bar to watch as much of the game as we could before our flight.

When we got to the gate, I saw some people were whispering and throwing uncomfortable glances in the direction of the two Middle Eastern guys waiting for the flight, but honestly - I was more worried about being locked up in an airless tube for 4 hours with The Sneezer. Plus one of them was pretty hot. Not that has anything to do with anything. Just saying. Hot.

The flight was pretty good, but again with the spiraling (this time on takeoff) and lots of turbulence. The plane was full of Steelers fans, so the captain was giving us updates, the last of which resulted in a planeful of unhappy campers. On the bright side, we did have Aunt Bunny sitting in front of us. She was hilarious. As she was getting up from her seat, she was moaning and groaning and giving a running commentary: “Oh, I’m getting up now. Ohhh. Here I go. Ooooo. My leg. I’m almost up now. Wooo. Damn. I got one leg. I need my other leg. It’s numb. Oooooweeee. Oh Lordy! My leg ain’t movin’. I gotta grab onto this. I’m getting there. Oh no, I’m not. I’m goin’ back down. Lord Jesus. Ok, I’m trying again. Oooooo. I’m up now.” She was awesome.

The only bad thing was last night when mr b called and said there was an almost $700 charge from the resort on our debit card. The room was paid for by the contest sponsor, and we paid our incidentals when we checked out, so we weren’t sure what it was. I called an found out that it was a “hold” charge. I understand why they have those, but I don’t understand why mine is almost $700. They told us at check-in that it would be $200, so where did the additional $500 come in? The woman on the phone told me that when you have incidentals, the hold charge would go up. Well, our incidentals came to $300 (paid for in cash), so why the hell was the hold charge for approximately $400 more than that? I’m pissed. They told me it would revert by Wednesday or Thursday, which is unacceptable. Also? We can fly a man to the moon, but we can’t figure out how to drop a hold charge as soon as the bill is paid? I call bullshit. Big, stinky, steaming, funky, fucking bullshit. Fuckers.

And finally - yes - we went there. And moments afterward the Gods of Good taste punished me with cactus retribution:

Stumble Upon Toolbar