Saturday, March 19, 2011

Nothing Says "I Love You" More Than A Good Old-Fashioned Esophagus Burning.

We went out to dinner as a family the other night because sometimes the public needs to be shaken up a bit, you know?

Anyway. You know that lull of time between appetizers and actually receiving the food you really came to eat where most families talk about their day and chit chat about current events which we don't actually do because we live in Wisconsin and current events in Wisconsin completely sucks right now and you never know who is going to go all Facebook Wall Rage Ranting on you for stating your own opinion or when you'll come across some guy you've never met before who says things like "hopefully that [working two full time jobs] prevents you from getting pregnant when we cut birth control options from our insurance plans!" and I'm all like there's birth control? Because I've already been knocked up - three times!


You get my point. People are getting mean in this neck of the woods. Actually they've been mean for awhile now, but I don't want to dis all of Wisconsin because there's some pretty cool people here. Except for my neighbor Mary, and the guy who says I shouldn't get pregnant and a couple thousand others.

My point is we had nothing to talk about at the dinner table.

And the Bean was all um, I need money and I told her to get a job but she wasn't having it so instead she took Big V up on his offer to eat a jalepeno pepper for a dollar. Here's how that went:


She totally knew I was going to blog about this so she really should have held out for more cash. There is so much I need to teach her.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Your Dog Crapping 8 Inches From The Side Of My House Is Not Okay. Really.

Remember my dear, sweet neighbor, Mary? Mary with the dog? Which is apparently old and blind and can't see where it's going but somehow manages to find itself two feet from our dining room window taking a doggie dump in our lawn even though Mary is standing right there holding on to the leash?

Hey, Mary. Um... I see that your dog is taking a dump. In our yard. Again. Next to the window well that's adjacent to the foundation of our house.

[yelling in crabby old lady form] He's BLIND!

Uh... okay. But. Um. Well, you're holding on to the leash. In your hand. And it kind of seems like you walk him right up our driveway and into our yard to do his business. Because I've watched you do it. A lot. Which, is, uh, kind of annoying.

[yelling in crabby old lady form] He's OLD!

Uh... okay. But. Um.... well, we really don't like all the dog crap in the front yard. It's kind of gross. And, well, it's kind of creepy to look out the window and see your head hovering six inches away from the window pane.

[muttering under her breath while pulling the old, blind dog with her] .... mutter, mutter, mutter....



Mary's Route.
 
I get that we once had a crazy, satanic dog that I was terrified would one day rip the face off an innocent bystander since she was content in ripping our house and all our belongings to shreds, but we got rid of that dog. My biggest frustration with our ex-dog was that she was a huge inconsideration to all the drivers who had to stop their cars before they ran her over in the street. I'd yell over and over: our dog should not negatively affect anybody else. Ever! And the dog is gone.

Which means now I get to be one of those people. Yep. The neighbor who hates strange dogs taking craps in her yard and really hates the inconsiderate owners who lead them there. Because Mary really has to take a bit of a hike to get right next to our house and so I think she does it on purpose.

In the off chance you think I'm over-reacting, and it's not really that big of a deal, here's some background information,  and here's a picture of Mary I took from the inside of my house:


Note how I could reach out and kiss her. Or punch her. Either or.

See, I wouldn't even mind so much if she brought her dog up to do its business between the road way and the tree (which is about the half way point of our yard). I don't like the kids playing on that side of the tree anyway because it's just too close to the road and I'd much rather them fall in the window wells than get hit by a car. Just my parental choice. That being said, while my kids are risking their lives near the window wells, I'd also really prefer them not actually step in dog shit just in case I have to rush them to the hospital with a broken ankle. I don't want to have to smell the dog crap smeared on the bottom of their shoes during the entire drive, know what I mean?

I'll admit our house is not the best looking on the block. It needs a lot of fixing up - and we'll get there, I promise (here's a hint: the exterior will be last) but in the meantime, could I at least ask that someone who has a dog not walk up and allow said dog to empty its bowels sixteen inches from the side of my house? Take the two foot strip from the curbing into our yard. Really. Go ahead and crap in the yard - just not right next to the house where the kids play.

Now, Mary knows better. I know she knows better because when she sees my car in the driveway she walks on the roadway and the dog dumps about a foot or two into our lawn. In the part the children are not allowed to play in. And I'm happy.

Yet, when she thinks I'm not home, she's way up next to the house again. I like to surprise her by knocking on the window and doing the what the hell is wrong with you, lady look, and watch as her eyes get huge and she starts pulling and tugging and dragging the dog off our lawn.

Anyway. A fun game which has developed from this annoyance is something we call Spotting Mary. This is where people I know are driving by and catch the inconsiderate woman and her dog in our yard and report back to me: hey, I saw that crazy lady and her dog in your yard today. What is up with her?! Or Dude! That crazy woman had her dog in your yard today. She was actually leaning against the side of your house while she waited on the dog! Or Man, the woman has balls! She was sitting on your steps while the dog took a shit in your lawn.

Today's winner is my sister who sent me this picture message along with a text explaining how she was driving by and saw the lady right up next to the dining room window and thought I am SO going to win today! So she quickly turned the car around, pulled over, grabbed her phone and snapped the photo. Unfortunately, by then the woman and the dog were leaving the lawn. Still, I believe my sister is the winner for the day.

Any suggestions on what to do about this?
Or is it really not that big of a deal and I should just let it go knowing the dog will die sooner or later?

(Oh. She also never picks up the dog crap. Ever. She doesn't even do the whole fake carry a plastic bag and act like you're bending down to pick it up but really leave it there thing. I mean, maybe if she tried.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Don't I Deserve an Alicia, Too?

Hey, V, if I die you can have Alicia, okay?

What?

If I die, you can have Alicia. She'd make an excellent mother to the children. She's sweet and compassionate and she'd read to them and take them on fun outings and also pack a homemade, organic lunch for them to bring to school. She'd be their number one cheerleader and talk to them and make them feel good about themselves and also she'd do whatever she could to keep my spirit alive and say things like, "your mother would be so proud of you" as she's brushing their hair or putting on their shoes. She's a way better mother than I will ever be, so you can have her if I die.

Oh. Okay.

[turns to exit room]

Wait! Where are you going?

To watch the sports update on TV.

But what about me?

What about you?

I just gave you Alicia - what about me?

I don't think you'll mind; you'll be dead. Besides, you gave her to me, why would you care?

No. I mean, who do I get if you die?

What?

Who do I get if you die?

Uhmm... I don't know.... how about Chris?

Chris?! No way. I can't have Chris!

Why not? He likes kids.

Because Chris is happily married and they're expecting their third child. You can't break up a marriage!

I thought this was a hypothetical...

Well, you can't hypothetically break up a marriage. Now I'm going to feel all uncomfortable when I see them because I'll be afraid they can sense your evil plan. You have to pick someone else.

*SIGH*  Fine. Bob.

Bob?!

Yes. Bob.

Scrap Metal Bob?

What's wrong with Bob?

He drives around picking in people's garbage in the hopes of finding metal.

So? He's a business man.

He lives with his mother.

So? He's a family man.

Let me get this straight. You feel that when you die I should take on more responsibility by taking care of Scrap Metal Bob? And his mother? 'Hop in the truck, kids! It's garbage day!' No. No way.

*SIGH* *SIGH* Fine. You can have Cameron.

Cameron's gay.

So? You have plenty of gay friends; you're in theatre.

Yes, and I love them all. I also happen to know enough about them to understand that if you told Cameron he was stuck with me and my vagina for the rest of his life, he'd consider that cruel and unusual punishment.

Fine. Then you be gay.

You can't just make me gay. Besides, it doesn't work that way. A gay guy doesn't want to be with a gay girl, they want to be with another gay guy. Preferably one that has a keen sense of interior design.... like Nate Berkus.

Fine. You can have Nate Berkus... whoever the hell he is.

I can't have Nate! He's gay! Why don't you understand this? I gave you Alicia - who is beyond awesome, by the way - and I'm thinking I'm totally getting shafted if you ever die.

Look. I'm sorry, I just can't handle going to my grave knowing you would be with another man. You'll just have to be strong enough to raise the children yourself and keep my loving memory alive. Can I go watch the sports update now?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Johnny Marzetti takes the cake!

Impressing Big V with a decent dinner is pretty easy. He grew up on take out and fast food and is visibly impressed every time I actually produce something edible straight from the oven.

This weekend I told Big V I was going to make a pasta dish called Johnny Marzetti from a recipe I received from a co-worker and that it was kind of like a goulash. He shrugged his shoulders and went about his day.

When it was ready he happily consumed plate full after plate full, making me promise to serve it again. "I didn't know goulash could taste this good!" He gushed. "My mom used to make goulash - but she just made it with noodles and ketchup!"

Trust me when I say this is way better than noodles and ketchup.

Johnny Marzetti
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 large onions, sliced
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pound ground beef
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. In a large skillet melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Add onions, mushrooms, celery, green pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring, until begetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add beef and cook until it loses its pink color. Stir in tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Stir in cooked macaroni, then cheese. Spoon into 13x9-inch baking dish. Bake uncovered 30 minutes.

Serve with a nice Caesar salad and some garlic bread!
I don't have a picture of the finished product; however,
I do have a photo of the glorious vegetables "in process."

FYI: Johnny Marzetti originated in the twenties at the Marzetti Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. The dish was named after the owner's brother. And, actually, it's way less of a goulash and more of a baked pasta dish. Just saying.