Friday, February 11, 2011

American Patriotism Fail.

We were all huddled around the television, anxiously waiting for the start of the Super Bowl.

Actress/singer Lea Michele from the television show Glee came on to sing America the Beautiful. After which, singer Christina Aguilar appeared to sing the national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner - a totally different sounding song than the first one, I might add.

Halfway through the national anthem my beautiful, perfectly coiffed, 15-year old daughter turned to me and asked, "Why are they singing the same song again? Is it like an American Idol contest?"

Obviously something is lacking in her American History education. It's a shame kids these days don't get the proper schooling.

At least that's what I was thinking right up to the point Big V chimed in with, "Wait. So we have two national anthems?" It's a shame those who were kids twenty years ago didn't get the proper schooling....

In an attempt to teach the Bean something (anything) about our national anthem I thought perhaps we could talk out the lyrics. In all my years of living I never once thought of "ramparts" as Ram parts - the sex organs of a male pig.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Intervention: Drain Style

Great things come from writing a blog. For instance, people read it and comment and that makes me feel really good because everyone knows I thrive on attention making an impact on someone's life. Also, sometimes people will read my blog and organize an intervention. Which is exactly what happened when my cousin, David, read my blog. First he laughed and then he cried out in fear for me.

Funny blog. I laughed. But I'm also worried about you.... especially after reading that you and Big V installed your own washer and dryer.

What do you mean? Didn't you read? We got it done!

Uh... does your washer actually drain onto the basement floor?

Uh, no. It technically drains into this really old, iron laundry tub thing. And then that fills up and overflows because it doesn't drain.

And then the water drains on the floor....

Well, technically it's just sort of flowing over onto the floor. Can we say flowing? Because flowing sounds so much prettier than draining. It's kind of like a water feature. In my basement.

That can be dangerous.

No. No, it's not dangerous at all. It's just water. I mean, sure, that one time the Bean was carrying a load of - well, actually she was holding Cletus, but that's beside the point - and sure she slipped in the water, but Cletus was fine!

What happened to the Bean?

Well, she may have cracked her jaw on the concrete floor and it may have bruised up pretty bad... but she had a lot of make-up to cover it up so no one really noticed.

This is a problem. People are getting injured. It's not safe anymore. I worry about you.

You shouldn't. Really. I have everything under control.

I'm here to offer you the gift of help. I can come and properly fix the plumbing. Will you please accept this gift?


I talked to Big V and he agreed with David. "It's time," he said. "You can't do this on your own." So I agreed to accept the help David was offering because nothing says I love you like an Intervention.

Cousin David stopped over to assess the situation and see what he was up against. I opened the basement door to which he exclaimed, "Dear god! What is that stench?" and I showed him the ancient un-draining laundry tub with the stagnant, rotting water filled to its brim. "Oh, yeah. You've got problems."

I half expected him to sprint up the stairs and give up, but luckily for me (as well as for everyone in my house with a sense of smell), he stayed and removed some pipes and unclogged some pipes and drained the sink and cleaned out the sink and oh, man! that is one disgusting job!

He came back a couple nights later and with the help of Big V and a 30-pack of Milwaukee's Best (a beer that just happens to have earned a D- grade from beeradvocate.com, but I digress) I now have an actual, real, working, draining system that does not put a single drop of water on the floor! Not to mention the cumbersome laundry sink is ancient history which added a LOT of space.

I wasn't there when they were working but caught bits and pieces of their work day: It involved both of them consuming about 13 cans of beer each as well as some sort of power actuated gun nailer (and they both liked the smell of the gun powder). It did not involve telling the girls they could not flush the toilet when the water had been turned off. It did involve the Bean peeing inside said do-not-flush toilet which she subsequently flushed, causing the contents to travel down the big pipe and flowed out the opening onto David's hand. Kind of like a water feature.

After David left for the night I caught Big V staring at himself in the bathroom mirror, flexing his arm muscles.

I never realized how big my muscles look in this shirt. They look huge. I'm going to wear this shirt more often. I mean, look at them - they look huge!

I can't be certain, but I'm pretty sure that was the beer talking.

A big THANK YOU to my cousin David who felt compelled to offer help after reading about our plight on my blog. I cannot begin to explain how awesome it is to have a dry basement floor. Also, sorry about the whole my daughter peed on your hand thing.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Move over, bed hog.

Big V's most prized possession is his California King Bed. Except it's not a California King, it's just a regular king, and no amount of fitted sheets can convince him otherwise. In typical male fashion (yes, I just said that) he wholeheartedly believes 'bigger is better' - never mind the fact when you squeeze that big of a bed in our smaller sized bedroom we end up totally rocking the Fat Man in a Little Coat Decor, which happens not to allow for end tables.

Some people would believe a king bed would make us happy, but it doesn't. There's actually too much room:
I wouldn't mind so much... I remember having to share a bed with my sister when we were little, but Big V doesn't get the whole "making sparks with the socks on our feet" thing that makes sharing a bed fun. He keeps thinking it's code for something else. It's not. I tried to teach him: hold the sheets and run, kind of like the sheets are the pavement - and soon you'll see sparks. But he sucks at making sparks. Well, those kind of sparks. Instead he tries something like this:

And I get all what the hell, buddy? We've got 76" here and a baby who wakes up forty-seven times a night. I want to sleep. As in close my eyes and slumber. Let's try it, shall we?

Some nights, after being shoved halfway off the bed, I actually walk over and enter the unused portion. But he's like a dog sniffing out bacon and within minutes he'll turn over and start moving towards me. (Note to self: quit wearing bacon perfume to bed.) Eventually I get tossed off that side, too.

Then there are the nights of the snoring. Which has been happening quite a lot lately. I usually just poke him.

What?!

You were snoring.

Well you have to turn it out more.

Turn what out more?

My clothes.

He's like Sleep Talkin' Man but without the accent. Or the humor.

Anyway, I'm thinking I need some sleep before I drift off in the office bathroom and can't be found for an hour or two because I really have issues with that floor. And I'm thinking my boss will really have issues with that nap. Perhaps I should trade out the king with a twin; same amount of sleeping space but at least the room will look bigger! (Look at me; it's like I'm trying to be positive.)

Still no sleep... but check out the new end tables.


Monday, February 7, 2011

How Stebnitz Builders Saved My Relationship: Bearfoot!

The last time Big V and I went out alone (meaning without kids) was on the car ride to the hospital to give birth to Cletus the Used to Be Fetus. Cletus is now 16 months old. I think. (Give me a break; he's the third child - half of you can't remember your third child's name much less how old they are.) Suffice it to say, we've earned a date night. Except we're old and tired and boring (that's what happens after three kids and 30) and the only thing we could come up with is attempting to stay awake long enough to watch the 10:00pm news.

God sensed we were quickly morphing into Edith and Archie Bunker so he sent Stebnitz Builders to save our relationship.

Stebnitz Builders is a local construction company that specializes in building/transforming your home into your every desire and prides themselves in what they call "The Art of Perfect Listening," which is what Big V could totally benefit from because I've lost count of how many times I've asked him how do you not remember being a part of that conversation? It was just the two of us! But I digress.

Also locally operated is the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater which is home to the fantastic, fabulous, oh-what-I-wouldn't-give-to-perform-on-that-stage Irvin L. Young Auditorium. It truly is a fabulous theatre - the seats are comfy and the aisles are wide enough to actually walk through, and the acoustics are to die for! There is always a fantastic range of world-class arts and entertainment opportunities: musicals, comedies, dramas, ballets, modern dance, orchestras, bands --- anything you want to see you will find at the Young Auditorium.

And guess what happens when two great local companies come together? It's like when peanut butter and chocolate come together... you know it's going to result in yummy goodness and that's what happened: Big V and I got to go on a date!

Stebnitz Builders teamed up with the Young Auditorium and gave away free tickets to see an awesome bluegrass band called Bearfoot and guess who got the tickets??!!



Obviously, we're entirely comfortable in front of the camera.
  
After seeing this band I want to:

(1) Have a baby and name her Nora Jane because how can you not fall in love with a gorgeous, flirty voice dressed in a super cute black dress and heels, jamming out on a guitar? I want my future made-up baby to grow up and be just. like. her.

(2) Put Jason Norris on my dashboard and have his old-timey-soul-trapped-in-a-young-man's-body accompany my every life move with his mandolin. Also, I want Big V to take up mandolin lessons just in case Jason Norris isn't available to sit on my dash serenading me.

(3) I want to press my man's pants and send him off to work and then fire up the chainsaw. Trust me, you will, too.

(4) Learn to yodel in three part harmony because everyone knows the only thing better than one yodeler is three.

(5) Receive an autographed floppy disk from everyone in the band (because that idea is brilliant!)

Also, I want to infuse some enthusiasm into Angela Oudean because, although she is clearly a brilliant fiddle player and has a gorgeous voice, (both of which I could kill for; not that I would) that poor girl just looked bored to tears. I've never actually played the fiddle so perhaps it's just physically impossible to look like you're having fun while you're playing it or maybe she just lost her pet hamster or something.

Anyway, Nora Jane Struthers seems to be nothing but enthusiasm and I found myself incapable of taking my eyes off her. Or her shoes. Plus her guitar was very shiny and kept reflecting the spotlights so you couldn't help but be drawn back to her again and again while getting momentarily blinded. It was like a bluegrassy rave complete with strobe light action except no one was pouring their beer on my feet and bumping into me.

Overall, the band was fantastic and I highly recommend them to everyone. Listening to their songs was like spending the evening opening Christmas presents - each song appreciated and loved for the uniqueness it provided as a gift to the recipient. You know it's a great band when you can't pinpoint your favorite song. And they truly were all my favorite songs.

After the performance the band sprinted out to the lobby to sign autographs. And by sprinted, I mean they had to have physically ran because somehow they were sitting in place smiling before the first person left the theatre. I've seen lots of these signing meet & greets in my time and rarely does every member of the band look genuinely excited to sit and make small talk to strangers while signing their name a thousand times; but these people did. Even Angela. And then I felt really bad for thinking she was boring on stage. Maybe she just liked the up close and personal stuff better. It was like they had planned a party and invited all their friends. Like me! For a split second I thought I had a real chance at becoming BFF's with Nora Jane, but Big V suggested maybe I should leave out the whole part about wanting to name my children after her since that could be perceived as "creepy and kinda stalkerish." Side note: she has a blog called Nora Jane's Closet that is filled with some fantastic vintage clothing posts. She has a blog... I have a blog.... See? BFF material right there, people. Truth be told, Big V has more of a crush on Nora Jane than I do, which is why he feels threatened by our potential BFF relationship.



Not too tired to meet the masses!
 
I really wanted their new CD but since we're under 50 years old we don't carry cash on us. We honestly don't know how to function in society without one of those machines that swipes our card so I had to settle with an autographed playbill. Eh, it works. As long as I keep it in mint condition I'll be able to sell it on eBay in a couple of years when this band gets really hot as I honestly suspect they will. Plus, I can order their CD online.


Bearfoot. Not barefoot. There's a play on words here, people.


Then, as if we hadn't experienced enough greatness to our evening, the Young Auditorium announces they're having a free pizza party! Wha-?! First, free tickets, now free food? It was like we won the lottery. Pizza and brownies. Washed down with a cool glass of lemonade. Heaven.



Free food makes Big V very happy!
 

You know, bluegrass really isn't my first choice of music so I didn't know how I'd receive the show. I know I have a great appreciation and love for all kinds of music so I was pretty confident I'd enjoy the show... I just didn't realize how much I would actually want more of the music the band performed. Big V loved it, too. Our feet were tapping to every song and we exchanged firtatious glances during When You're Away (which reminds me, I'm totally going to need a new apron and a pair of overalls). We were like giddy teenagers walking hand-in-hand to the car, laughing about how the songs made us feel and how Big V is going to see about learning how to play the bass and join a bluegrass band. It was a fantastic evening that reminded us how music can make you feel so alive.

A big, huge, sincere THANK YOU, to Stebnitz Builders and Young Auditorium for giving these two tired kids a night to remember. I hope to see your continued community teamwork in the future; the awakened souls will be worth it, I promise. And thank you, to Bearfoot for your talent and your entertainment. We really needed it.

I also think I really need a bathroom remodel.... I wonder when Stebnitz Builders is going to give away one of those?