Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lessons in Extreme Couponing Failure

Hey. Wanna know what this is?

This is a nice note left on my computer.
My work computer.

The one that's not my personal computer.

The one that I shouldn't be messing around on.

Want to know who it's from?

The guy in the IT Department.

Want to know what he's all done with?

Getting rid of the child porn viruses that I got from trying to find a freaking Skippy Peanut Butter coupon.

Let me explain:

No, I didn't google child porn. That's sick. Besides, if I'm going to look up porn it's going to be fat people porn because that way I can watch and feel good about my body. But like I said, I didn't google child porn.

I googled 'skippy peanut butter coupon'. Pretty dang clear if you ask me.

See, normally I don't bother with coupons but lately there's been all these extreme couponing shows on TV. You know, the ones where some lady gets $2,000 worth of groceries of $6.78. Not that I personally need 87 bottles of hot sauce and 32 years worth of Maalox, but I have to admit, I wouldn't mind saving a few dollars on my grocery bill. Besides, they make it look so easy.

So, I took some initiative and grabbed the store flyer from the grocery store I normally shop at. Then I circled only those items I normally buy. Which was about two. And then I said to myself, self. Look here. Skippy Peanut Butter is on sale for 99 cents. Not that you normally buy Skippy Peanut Butter because you're more of a Jif gal, but peanut butter is peanut butter and why not give it a shot. Hey! If you could find a manufacturer's coupon to use in conjunction with the in-store price you'd be just like those women on Extreme Couponing!

So the next morning I googled Skippy Peanut Butter.

At work.

And got the Skippy website.

But there were no coupons on there.

And I thought what up, Skippy? Why are you skimping on the goods?

And then I googled skippy peanut butter coupon.

And it brought up a bunch of websites so I clicked on the one that said because I was a mom and I wanted a coupon so I figured that was a pretty good match.

But then you need a flipping PhD and a super-secret decoder ring to figure out where the gosh durn Skippy Peanut Butter coupon was - which I had neither of - and I started clicking and searching and clicking some more and before you knew it my computer was seizing and alarms started going off and the lights in the office were flashing and a robot busted through the door yelling WARNING! WARNING!

And then I rebooted my computer and prayed.

And then I rebooted my computer again and prayed harder.

And then I had to suck it up and go tell my boss that I was messing around on the work computer and caught a virus trying to find a peanut butter coupon and she did not look very cheerful or happy.

And then it got really bad because when she stopped by to look at my computer it was doing this funky fake file scan thing and all these file names with the words child porn in it were flickering by in bright red letters and I yelled I swear I didn't google that! I just wanted a peanut butter coupon!

And then she said your peanut butter just cost us sixty dollars in consulting fees (meaning that now we had to pay the IT guy to come in and fix it) and I honestly felt like the crappiest person on the planet and also that I never wanted peanut butter again for the rest of my life.

And then I left with my tail between my legs and went to go pick up my kids from my mother who said (swear to God), "I was just listening to the radio and, you know all those couponing shows? Well, now all these people are interested in finding coupons on-line, but they said you shouldn't do that because there are all these viruses that can destroy your computer..." 

Ain't timing grand?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lesson for the day: It pays to take your car to a professional.

Here is a story about the time I had a flat tire.

Which was actually only two days ago.

I packed three kids in the car, got as far as the end of the block, and realized something wasn't right.

Which is to say my tire was flat and I probably shouldn't drive on it so instead I drove three miles per hour home and silently sobbed in my head because how was I going to function without a car? Then I called my mom, who stopped playing Scrabble with my elderly grandmother in order to come to our rescue and take the Bean to work. (Yes, she has work!)

And then I sent a picture text to Big V that read "Flat Tire Fail."

Being the Knight in Shining Armor that he is, he called and said something like I'm not going to be home for another hour or two and then I have to play softball and I need to get there early to practice batting so I'm not sure what you want me to do about it.

And I said in my most calmest voice ever oh, I don't need you to do anything about it. I was just letting you know. I'm going to take it to the car shop tomorrow.

And then he got all macho and was like I'll save you!

And I reminded him that he might possibly have limited skill in the area of flat tire expertise and then he was all I am a Man! I can do anything!

So I turned on Designed to Sell and started emotionally eating my way through a bag of Ruffles and a tub of French Onion Dip. Because how could I function without my car?

Big V came home about an hour later and asked me if I had a jack. And that's when I stared at him because hasn't he ever met me before? I know nothing of jacks. Or other car thingys.

Forty-five minutes later, just as I was licking the last of the dip out of the plastic container, he came back muttering under his breath and saying things like I'm going to be late for softball and why did you have to get a flat tire anyway? (Oh, it was on my list of things to do. Right in between washing your dirty underwear and giving painful birth to your son. I'm sorry, what was that you were saying?)

So he decides he's going to leave the car jacked up while he takes the tire over yonder to WalMart and F&F Tire, seemings how it's Sunday night and everything else is closed and did you hear me? He said he's going to leave the car jacked up... see, that's called Rising Action and is the part of the story that introduces the basic conflict and the various obstacles that interfere with the protagonist's ability to reach his goal.

A couple more hours later Big V calls. He is actually in another town because on his way to WalMart and F&;F Tire he called his dad. And his dad said I used to work at Herb's! I know how to fix a flat tire. Bring it on over!

And so he did.

Except by the time he got there his dad was responding to a fire call.

So Big V just sat at his house and waited for him.

But then it was taking too long and he didn't want to be late for the big game so he left.

And he was just calling to tell me he'd get the tire when he was done.

After his game.

And just as I'm reaching for a big piece of chocolate cream pie, my mom stops by on her way to drive my children to and fro and says, "Did you mean for your car to be up on the jack? Or just sitting on the driveway?"

And just in case you can't see that....

Here's a better view.

So, I posted a picture of it to Facebook because this cannot be good. And, you know what? A lot of people confirmed that.

So, I started eating more.

A lot more.

And I tried not to sob out loud. (It scares the children.)

And a couple more hours later Big V called because his game was over and he was going to head over to pick up my tire but I said actually, if you have a second, can you stop at home first?

And he said this cannot be good.

So he left to go get the tire.

And a better jack.

(Which is that thing that holds the car up in the air, making it possible to actually change the tire.)

And he was gone for a very, very long time.

And when he finally called me on his way home he was very stressed out. And was kind of jackasseryish. And was kind of ranting about how when he got there his dad still hadn't gotten to the tire because they were just finishing up on the fire call so he went down to the fire house and then another call came in and he had to go on it because he's actually a member of the fire department and can't exactly say no [he doesn't like fires; he's only on the fire department because it's a requirement for being on the rescue dive team. He prefers to swim under ice as opposed to entering burning buildings.] and it took forever and so then he just left and filled the tire up with air from the gas station and then sprayed Windex on it and couldn't find anything so it should be fine.

And I was like I'm actually not feeling comfortable with your fixing abilities and I'm scared my car will fall apart so I'm still going to bring it in to the car shop.

And then he got very upset because I wounded his pride so he made a nasty comment about how if I didn't care to waste my money getting screwed over then so be it because he knows it's fine. And I was all you didn't fix it; you just gave it a streak-free shine!

And then we stopped talking.

Because sometimes it's best if you just shut your dang piehole, you know?

And the next day I took my car to Korey's Auto Kare and had to explain how I think we broke my car by dumping it tireless on the concrete and could he please, pretty please make sure I wouldn't die if I drove it? I've taken my car to Korey before and knew I was leaving it in good hands... but I still had to get a ride to and from work and that meant I had to be alone in the truck with Big V which was so not where I wanted to be.

Then Korey called. And I felt a gazillion times better. Because on the way home I asked Big V what dollar amount he would feel screwed over by ... and then I told him how Korey replaced two bulbs that were out in my tail light (that Big V was going to do months ago because he said he would only take ten minutes) and also that Korey changed the oil in my car because it was due and also Korey took the tire off and checked to see if anything was cracked or broken, which he assured me it was not, and also how Korey patched the tire so it wouldn't leak.

And Big V said that if it was over $150 he would feel we got screwed over.

And that's when I said the bill came to forty-seven dollars.

And then there was silence.

And then Big V said well are you sure he checked everything? I mean, for that low of a price maybe he didn't check everything...

And I said he managed to pull the big screw out that made my tire go flat. Perhaps your Windex didn't get it shiny enough for you to see it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Given the right circumstances, I might just drop kick an old woman.

I had just sat down in my comfy chair with a large bowl of steaming chili (those of you who know me know I like to have my food extra-piping hot, at scalding level) when I spied movement from outside the window.

Mary. The dog walker. Was back.

Risking the flesh on my thighs, I quickly tossed my bowl on the end table, leaped across the living room furniture and frantically grabbed my camera.

What is with this woman's fascination with our yard? I get that it's the least manicured lot on the block but our house hardly looks vacant. Plus, I've told her before to keep off our yard. To her face. So she knows we live there. Unless she suffers from memory loss.

I ran to the front of the house and down the front steps, ignoring the fact it was noon and I was still sporting my baby blue pajama pants that had glow-in-the-dark kittens printed on them.

I don't know if you can tell how into our yard she actually is. I should really take a photo from the side. In this photo I'm at the front corner of the house waiting. Watching. Wondering when she'll notice me.

But she changed things up on me by starting to walk back down towards the road. So, I called her name.

Hey, Mary, I quipped, perhaps a tad louder and snarkier than a normal greeting.

And she turned. And said hi back. As if we were friends. Look she thinks we're friends.

No, really. The woman who walks her stinky dog in my yard day after day after day even though I've asked her three thousand times to stop, thinks we are friends.

But we're not, Mary. We are not friends.

Hey, Mary. Um. Why are you walking your dog in my yard?

"I'll bring him to the street."

Great. But that doesn't answer my question. Why are you walking your dog in my yard?

"I said I'll bring him to the street."

Right. But you still keep walking your dog in my yard. And I've asked you not to. Many times. To me, that's very disrespectful of you and I would just like to know why you keep doing it.

And, as God is my witness, the woman looked at me, shrugged her shoulders and said, "I don't know; habit?"

I couldn't quite remember what the punishment was for drop-kicking an old woman and booting her rickety dog out of my yard but I was pretty sure the fines and lawyers fees would seriously deplete my Fiji Vacation Fund, so instead I said well you're just going to have to find another habit. I've talked to the police and if they find you in my yard again they're giving you a ticket for trespassing. That's why I'm taking pictures. For proof.

And then I took one more for good measure. Because I'm mature like that.

Something tells me Mary doesn't think we're friends anymore.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Starbucks Tried To Buy Me Off After They Attempted To Kill Me

Last night I went to meet two of my friends at Starbucks. This was good news because my kids were driving me crazy and I didn't feel like cooking dinner. Except we weren't going to meet until 8 which meant I still had to do something for dinner so I went for the Fun Mom Option and bought McDonald's. Then I hightailed it out of there.

Only 1 of my friends could make it because the other one was busy doing something called moving into a new home while still trying to take care of three small children and let's be honest, that sort of behavior should just be outlawed.

Being the stellar friends we are, we decided we would get a treat for Friend #2 and deliver it to her and also check to see if she was still somewhat sane and functioning, because we are caring people like that. Actually, it was totally Friend #1's idea, I just nodded my head and agreed with her. Not because I didn't want to do it, it's just that my mind doesn't work that way... you know, the whole thinking of others thing...

I cheerily ordered my standard drink of choice (grande chai tea latte) and became quickly enchanted with the shelves of Starbucks glassware. Particularly, this little beauty:

I know! Cute, right?

Except what you don't see is the unshaven shards of glass located at the bottum of the freaking cup.

Don't worry... my thumb found them. Because I'm one of those people who have textile issues ... like I can't stand touching sand or gravel, and would just about claw your eyes out before being forced to touch either of those, but I could spend hours running my fingers along the smoothness of marble or glass or stainless steel  - well, as long as there weren't any finger prints on the stainless steel because that would send me over the edge... anyway, you get my point.

I saw pretty glass. I actually considered buying the pretty glass. I rubbed my fingers over the pretty glass. And then it attacked me.

Precision cut almost all the way through the meat of my thumb. And when I say almost all the way through I mean after I squeezed at it for a good fifteen seconds drops of blood appeared. Actual droplets of blood, people!

I started getting light headed and dizzy, but thankfully my good friend was with me.

"Oh  my god! Did you just get cut? You can totally sue."

I looked at my deformed thumb "I can't sue them..."

"No. You can. You should totally sue them."

So I took the cup and my bloody nub up to the girl at the counter. Holding my hand above my heart (to slow down the speed of blood flow), I politely spoke, "Excuse me, but do you happen to have a bandaid I can borrow? I was just cut by this very dangerous glass."

Obviously they've had trouble with violent glassware before because she was back in half a second with a tourniquet and a first aid kit. Oh, yeah, they were ready - very suspiciously ready, for an injury.

I tried my best to fashion a bandage around my injury... and then she leaned in real close... lowered her voice to almost a whisper and said "If you don't fill out an incident report, I can give you this entire Berry Berry Coffee Cake and a piece of Lemon Pound Cake for free."

Honestly, I didn't know if I heard her correctly. Was she attempting to buy me off with calorie rich pastries? I couldn't think. I was getting light headed and the room was starting to spin... and I found myself nodding my head totally out of confusion and shock. 

And just like that, off we went to deliver our bounty to Friend #2 - who, by the way, has the most FABULOUS HOUSE EVER and I might just go over and never leave. (People can still claim squatters rights, can't they? How long must I squat?)

But now I'm thinking I settled for too low a price. I mean, this could get infected. I could lose the use of my thumb. It was actually quite uncomfortable this morning when I tried to use my thumb to flip open the top of the shampoo bottle. What if I can no longer open bottles of shampoo? I'm thinking Starbucks could make this right with a set of 16oz Recycled Glass Tumblers and a $25 gift card. Just sayin'.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

How I barely escape committing a federal crime...

So, as you may or may not know I'm raising money for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life because it's important. Sometimes I think they should just make every single person in the US pay just 99 cents a year and then maybe we could do some serious business in regards to detecting and treating cancers. So if I was president that's what I'd do. But no one will let me be president because they're all you signed those confidentiality statements back in 1992 and that would create serious problems if any of that got out.

Anyway, my idea was to have people donate just 99 cents at this blog I set up and - HOLY BALLS! People are doing it!!

Even if you don't want to donate, that's cool. I just ask that you send the link on - maybe tweet it, or Facebook it or toss it from little pieces of paper dropped from airplanes. Just help get the word out.

Okay, maybe not the dropping paper thing. That's considered littering and if you read today's post you'll realize the FBI probably already has me under surveillance and is waiting to bust me for committing a federal crime. I'll give you a hint, it involves this:

I swear, I found it this way.
And if the FBI is actually watching me, then they should donate just 99 cents, too. Because there are a lot of people who work for the FBI and that would add up quick. And it would be a shame to say to the FBI, "See, the general public donated more than you!" Unless the people donating weren't really the general public at all, but actually undercover FBI agents, we just didn't know that because they pretend they're Xerox machine salesmen. That FBI can be so tricky.

On a separate note, here's my cute Cletus the Used to be Fetus.
Have YOU donated to help fight cancer?
Have you told your friends to donate?
just 99 cents...

Don't you just want to eat him? You can't though. Because that would be sick and wrong.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm going to take out a second mortgage to support our neighborhood bird seed habit.

I have a friend on Facebook who is always posting these pictures of beautiful flowers and her beautiful gardens and her posts make it seem so easy. (Yes, Stephanie, I'm talking about you.) When I look at her photos I think (1) I want that. And (2) I can do that!

Except me and flowers have an understanding: until such time as I can afford a competent landscaper I am not allowed to plant them, which only results in torturing them. And yet I desperately want my yard to be one of "those yards." The kind of yeard where people stop by and admire and say things like: I bet the people who live here are English. The English have always been known for their gardens. And their basement windows.

I figured I should start small. And seeds are small so that's as good a place as any to start. Just put them in the dirt, right? But then I remembered all the watering and that just scared me. Too much, too little, not the right time of the day - so much can go wrong....

And then I remembered that seeds can also be eaten... like, by birds... and BINGO! And we're starting on our yard! (I figure if any seeds make it into the ground to actual growth status I'll just call it my garden.)
I asked Big V to plant the bird feeder right in front of the patio doors so we could see if this worked. And also because I still kind of laugh every time a bird flies into a window. Unless it gets injured. Then it's just sad. And also, if it's a wild turkey trying to attack its reflection in my window then that would just scare me to death. There is nothing funny about a bird on a rampage. Trust me.

Then Dotter and I went to the store to pick up bird seed.

Did you know there are roughly 387 different kinds of bird seed? Me either.

So I just grabbed a bag.

And the nice lady at the checkout said it was $28.67.

And I wanted to toss it back and get the truck-stop/diner version but there were too many people behind me in line so I just sucked it up and took my overpriced bag of seed home with me.

And, at about 7:42pm on Sunday evening I filled up the cute hanging bird feeder.

And, at about 6:48am Monday morning it was completely empty.

So I filled it up again.

Only to have it completely emptied by the time I returned home from work at 6pm.

So, I filled the sucker up Monday night and, you guessed it - gone by morning.

Filled it up Tuesday morning .... empty Tuesday when I got home from work.

What the hell, birds? (Apparently only teenage birds dine at our feeder.)

Like a sucker I filled it one more time, also noting the nearly $30 bag of bird seed was just about empty.

And then I stood staring out the window waiting for the flock of birds or locusts or whatever was mowing through my seed.

And I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And then hopped into view a little bunny. He, or she, (I couldn't tell the difference from where I was standing) hopped right under the bird feeder and started nibbling happily on the grass.

V! I said. Look! We have a bunny!

"That's probably what ate all the bird seed."

What? A rabbit? Rabbits can't fly up there to eat the seed.

"Well... maybe he just stood at the bottom and shook it real hard..."

(1) I don't think so.
(2) I'm really hoping he was being more funny than serious.
(3) I can't actually tell the difference between a boy bunny and a girl bunny no matter how close I got.
(4) I don't ever want to be actually able to tell the difference between boy bunnies and girl bunnies.

That is all.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My head hurts, but I'm pretty sure it's worth it.

I'd tell you something funny but nothing really funny has been happening, unless you count the feeling I've had for the past four days of wanting to punch Big V in the throat. But that's like, less funny and more criminal, so nevermind.

Also, my head hurts because I think I've got this totally cool way to raise money for the American Cancer Society but it included creaing a PayPal Button and hello?! I just learned to text. So this whole world of buttons and java script and widgets is not making me want to write, but rather making me want to drink a LOT of wine. But I can't because my kid has a school fundraiser tonight and she goes to a private Christian school. I'm not sure how they feel about drunks showing up.

Here's a sample of the skeleton blog I've created for my fundraiser. But it gets better. Oh, yes. It gets better! But I'll get into that tomorrow. Unless I'm hungover. Then I'll be busy trying not to dry heave.

Oh -- the link:  Just 99 Cents
(And, yes, I know it's not funny. Because I was thinking, y'all.)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Palm to Head Parenting Moment #876

Sometimes the 9-year old can be, how shall we say? - incredibly literal.

A good example of this was the other day when I overheard her on the phone leaving a message for one of her friends:

"Hi. This is Dotter. I want to come over to your house so call me back."

I gasped in horror and said, "Honey! We don't just invite ourselves over to someone's house!"

To which she replied, "But I want to go over there." Because, duh, that's what she wanted to do.

So I said, "I get that... but you cannot just call people up and say 'I want to come over to your house' okay?"

The next day I overheard her calling again -- this time the mom answered:

"Hi. This is Dotter. I'm not allowed to say 'I want to come over to your house' but I want to play at your house, so can I?"

Friday, May 13, 2011

Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is?

Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is?
~Frank Scully

I grew up desperately wanting to be in theatre but I was always told that was stupid and only gays and lesbians were in theatre. For a while I believe my family seriously questioned my sexuality.

And although I loved the theatre with all my heart (there is nothing as magical as that moment in a cool, darkened theatre, united in silence, waiting in anticipation for the lights to go up) I was also logical enough to know I would never actually make any money in theatre. That’s why actors are all waiters and waitresses and the only experience I ever had with food was working at Subway for a year in high school, but we didn’t have to carry those huge, heavy trays with breakable plates on them. Although the worse thing I ever dropped was a slice of salami, I knew I probably wouldn’t be making any money waitressing either. (I have very weak upper arm strength.)

So, I figured if I could get a job teaching English then I could also teach theatre and coach forensics and get kids as excited as I was over the written and spoken word. Except I was told that teachers just sucked all the money from the hard working taxpayers and were lazy because they didn’t even work full time, what with summers off and all.

There came a point in my young adult life where I had to choose: Follow My Dreams? Or Attend Civil Thanksgiving Dinners with my family?

Now I find myself in my middle adult life pondering (seemingly along with many other middle adult person I know) whether or not I’m doing everything I can do. Should do. Ought to do. Am I fulfilling my purpose? And if I’m not, then what should I be doing? And what if it’s not as cool as I thought it would be? What if I want to do a certain thing but find out I really don’t like it? And what if I’m too old to learn something new?

Then it dawned on me: We all have the same life goal - to rescue Princess Toadstool.

I mean, isn’t that it? Rescue the princess and be the hero? Feel the clap of a proud hand on our backs and hear the congratulations and good jobs and I knew you could do its?

I’m not implying that your life mission is to actually conquer Super Mario Bros. (Well, except for some kids back in 1985.) I actually meant it as a metaphor.

See, when we sit down with the video game, controllers in hand, we know our goal: rescue the princess. To do this we know we have to travel through Mushroom Kingdom; a pleasant little kingdom with clear, blue skies and green grass and special coins and the occasional Super Mushroom.

But we are also aware this will be no easy-peasy walk in the park. There will be Goomba’s and Koopa Troopa’s intent on making our life a living hell and there will be times when, no matter how hard we try and how sincere our effort was, we will fall into a pit or simply run out of time.

Sometimes we clear the levels with a sense of ease and a feeling of I’m king of the world! Yet other times no matter what we do, we find ourselves trapped in the Minus World Glitch where we are forced to do the same level over... and over... and over...  and over... until we simply run out of lives. (Which is pretty much how every new mother feels around month 7 of staying at home. “All I do is change diapers and locate Sippy cups. Every. Single. Day. It never ends.”)

But, see, the point is that even though we know the challenges we will face in the game, we still try. And at the end, when we defeat Bowzer and finally rescue the princess we can say, “I hated that underground nonsense – hated it – but, look – I did what I came here to do. I rescued the princess.”

Even if you don’t ever rescue the princess (and I have never, ever rescued that blasted girl) – you tried. Maybe your kids watched you sucking playing and trying and enjoying yourself. I mean, really, what kind of role model says, “Oh, I’m probably not going to win so I’m not going to bother trying.”


Isn’t that what we are saying if we don’t go out on that limb and do what our heart is leading us to do in our real lives?

Because when you feel that gnawing at the back of your head whispering writer or school counselor or travel agent or volunteer or even divorced single mom… that’s your soul trying to get your body to go where it needs to go.  Everybody has their own personal Princess Toadstool they are trying to rescue: sail around the world, open your own bookstore, join the Peace Corps, learn to dance. You know what they are.

Either way, the questions insecurities still exist:

Am I too old?
What if it’s not what I thought it would be?
What if I don’t like it?
What if I make a mistake?

First off, if some 98 year old woman can graduate college, you are not too old, so let’s just take that one off the table.

And so what if it’s not what you thought it would be? What if you try and then decide you don’t like it? I don’t think you’d be making a mistake. You’d be growing. Evolving. Gaining new experiences. There is no mistake in that. Remember that. Commit that to memory. There is no mistake in growing.

Besides, nothing is wasted. Each level we get through makes us a little tougher, a little smarter and a little closer to rescuing the princess – and ourselves.

Oh, yes, I went out on a limb!

This past winter I was blessed to co-write a show with the
fabulous JaNelle Powers of Pelajia Productions.

Although the part I played was small...
it was, by far, the funniest one of the cast.
(Personal opinion only.) 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I have all of the eccentricities of a genius, just none of the talent.

Ever wanted to know how to waste an entire night of sleep?

First, when it's an obvious time to actually go to bed, say 10 o'clock pm, go through the entire house and start putting away anything that appears out of place. Put the shoes back nicely on the rug. Take the dirty glasses off the coffee table and put them in the kitchen sink. Decide now would be an appropriate time to scrub off the sticky residue from the side of the kitchen cabinet where twenty years ago one of those pale pink plastic pot holder hooks was once attached and how you've never bothered to try to remove it in the three years you've lived in this house but somehow you must remove it right now this very second.

Rush yourself to bed by eleven o'clock, because now it's getting late, and quickly recognize it is way too flipping hot in the bedroom but also notice how incredibly lazy you actually are so decide to just sweat it out.

Wiggle your feet and start getting fidgety because there is no way you can just fall asleep in a room that's so blasted hot, then try to take your mind off things by turning on the television and waste an hour of your life watching Real Housewives of Orange County.

Secretly admit you love the Real Housewives of Orange County and wish you knew what was going on because you haven't seen it in forever and what is this kiss with Fernanda they keep mentioning??

Watch another hour of TV because you suddenly find it of the utmost importance to find out if Bethenny sells her SkinnyGirl company.

Realize 45 minutes into the show that it's already quarter to one in the morning and hello?! Doesn't someone need to work in the morning?

Snap off TV.

Realize now you'll never know if Bethenny sold her company or not so make a mental note to google it tomorrow.

Get annoyed because your foot really itches and it's way too early for mosquitoes, isn't it? Pretty sure it was a spider that bit you. Probably running around the sheets right now looking for some other flesh to feast off of.

Try not to freak out because there are obviously a thousand spiders taking over your bed trying to suck your blood.

Do spiders suck blood?

Figure out a good game plan would be to touch feet with your sleeping buddy because that way the spiders can walk over from your feet to his feet and eat him.

Finally start drifting to sleep.

Wake up to your sleeping buddy pawing at you. (This is a polite way of saying it's 1:30 in the morning and he wants to "get busy.")

Respond with, "What are you doing?! Don't touch me!"

Have a twenty minute discussion about how it's your fault because you're sending mixed signals by touching his feet in the middle of the night.

Respond with, "So if someone brushes up against you, you automatically think they want to have sex with you?"

Realize that was mean and uncalled for but be way to stubborn to apologize.

Listen to the sounds of him snore.

As you lay wide awake.

Start to think your stomach hurts because it's getting bloated.

Or maybe you're constipated.

Or maybe you have gas.

Or maybe you're exhibiting signs of colon cancer.

Remember that the overall 5-year survival rate is about 64% and start panicking because you are way too young to die and also, even though you write about your children in such a way that might make people think you don't like your children, and also because sometimes you actually say out loud to people that your kids are driving you batty, you actually love your kids very much and don't want to miss out on anything in their lives and want to be there to see them graduate high school, and college, and get married and also go to the theatre and dinner together and then start gasping for air because you're pretty sure a panic attack is headed your way.

Wipe your tears and pray to God that He keeps your family healthy. Including you. Because you don't want to die. Ever. In fact, you want to live to be 103 and really don't care that everyone else thinks that's way too old. Imagine the party you'll get when you turn 100.

Look at the clock and realize it's now three in the morning and you're sweating to death.

Could be because of that window.

Open that sucker.

Start drifting to sleep.

Startle awake when your sleeping partner suddenly sits up in bed and yells, "I don't know what you'd do with 65 bottles of mustard!"

Watch him lay back down.

Start laughing so hard you cry because who does that?

Realize Sleep Talkin' Man does!

Think about how to make a successful blog from sleeping partner's middle of the night rants. But it has to be different than Sleep Talkin' Man because that's been done before.

Start drifting to sleep.

Decide you have to pee.

Choose to wait it out. It's almost morning.

Start drifting to sleep.

Realize you still have to pee. .


Get up and go to the bathroom.

Look in the mirror while washing your hands and wonder if you're going to be one of those old women with really, really, really wrinkly skin.

Decide to buy stronger moisturizer.

Go back to bed.

Listen to the clanging of the metal clip against the flagpole next door.


And over.

And over.

Think about how that would be a creepy scene in a movie. You know, a dark night, lit only by the dim light of the flagpole, a dead body at the base all contorted, silence except for the rhythmic clink. clink. clink. of the metal. And the camera slowly zooms out and upwards towards the still and blackened sky....

Think that's a right creepy image you just had.

Wonder if there's something psychologically wrong with you for thinking such a macabre thought.

Wonder if maybe it wasn't actually a macabre thought at all but rather a vision meant to stir you out of bed and check to see if there is a dead body laying at the base of the neighbor's flagpole so you can contact the police right away in order for them to get important evidence before the morning dew ruins it!

Decide there is no way in hell you are going to look out those curtains to see if there is a dead body in your neighbor's yard because what if the killers are still there and they see you in the window and decide to come kill you.

Lay there wondering if you are a morally deplorable human being for letting some poor woman die a slow and horrific death at the bottom of a flag pole.

Decide it's not worth getting murdered over.

Go to sleep.

Wake up to the alarm two short hours later.

Curse the dawn.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Because Sleeping Naked Isn't Nearly As Much Fun If Nobody Sees You.

From the 15-year old Bean last night:
"Mom, can you tell Big V that he shouldn't sleep naked anymore? Because the other night I was texting and my phone was running out of battery but I set the alarm so I could wake up at three in the morning because I like to get up and shower with enough time for my hair to dry so I can do it at six when I have to get ready for school and since I was going to take a shower anyway I thought I would just use your charger in your bedroom and just get my phone when I was done showering because I do that sometimes and then I opened the door and the light from the hallway showed me that Big V wasn't covered up with a sheet or blanket and I saw everything - and I mean ev-er-y-thing - and then I had to sneak in your room by walking with my back to the bed to get to your side where the phone charger was and that wasn't as easy as you would think but I couldn't just walk around like hey, I don't care that your junk is hanging out."

My immediate thoughts:
(1) Oh. Dear. God.

(2) Why don't you get your own phone charger since you're the one who lost yours in the first place and that way you don't have to use mine at strange hours of the night?

(3) What do you mean "because sometimes you do this?" You've actually walked around our bedroom at three in the morning before? Because I'm really not okay with that. Especially since I pretty much convinced myself that I would hear an intruder upon their initial breach across our property line and to know I've been sleeping through your nightly visits in my room is pretty creepy. I watch Criminal Minds, you know.

(4) Why the hell isn't Big V hearing you sneak around?! He had me convinced he would single-handedly take down any intruder that dare to enter our home uninvited. He should be drop kicking your ass before you step through the doorway.

(5) Have you ever considered taking a shower at a normal hour? Say, eight o'clock at night? And then your hair would have plenty of time to dry AND you wouldn't be exhibiting signs of a sociopath. Just something to consider.

(6) You saw his junk all splayed out? This is so embarrassing! And yet not as embarrassing as the time you walked in on us having relations because you heard sounds that made you think he was choking me and you were attempting to save my life.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Why Some Mothers Eat Their Young.

The Bean is my unbelievably gorgeous 15-year old daughter. The one who spends hours making sure every hair is in place, her outfit is the epitome of perfection, and her make-up looks flawless. She's my oldest. The one who championed me with the title 'Mother.'

During the week she wakes up before me and is out the door for school before my alarm even goes off. So I send her a text message. Every. Single. Morning.

Really? Seriously? THIS IS GROSS!!

Honestly, this is disgusting. Don't let it happen again.


Do you honestly think this is okay?
As God is my witness I am going to smack you into next week
if I see this one more time.


I know you're doing this on purpose.
And you know what?
I'm taking away your toothbrush.
And the toothpaste.
Let your teeth rot.
I could care less.

I don't want to go to prison for killing my daughter because
she couldn't figure out how to wipe the damn wad of toothpaste from the sink...
but I can get a VERY skilled attorney if I have to.

Amongst Eastern grey squirrels, stressed females may kill their young.
You are so damned lucky we're not squirrels!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

How people in the Witness Protection Program keep dentists I will never know.

I lied to my dentist.

I actually switched dentists so I could tell this lie.

And I'm not talking that standard I floss my teeth all the time lie y'all do when you know you haven't busted out the floss since 2007.

I'm talking about a really big lie.

A lie so big it's actually written in my chart.

I have sensitive teeth.

Except I really don't, see?

I mean, once in a while I do, especially when I don't floss for a day or eight months, or bite into something super cold and the pain shoots through the nerve so fast I think I'm about to pass out, so I've actually experienced a sensitive tooth but it might not actually be an on-going all the time kind of problem like perhaps I may have suggested to the dental professionals. And now it's written on my chart.

But I had to say it because get this - if you have non-sensitive teeth these crazy fools use some sort of water pick cleaning technique that pretty much amounts to torture and feels like they're rapidly pounding thumb tacks into your gums and that is just not a pleasant experience that I would choose to pay to sit through. But if you suffer from sensitive teeth they use that old fashioned rubber round thing with paste shoved in it that massages the teeth clean.

Massage? Or risk losing your upper lip to a water machete? I think the choice is obvious.

But now, just like with any lie, I have to be on my toes at all times to perpetuate that lie, and it keeps getting deeper and deeper and more entangled and more confusing.

They're always asking me things like "how do your teeth feel?" Fine. They feel like teeth. No problems here! "Oh? So you're no longer experiencing any pain due to sensitivity?" Oh, uh, that. Um. Well, that part just happens to be a seven out of ten. I think I'm just getting much better at tolerating the pain. I believe it's a mind over matter thing. 

Look, I admit I wasn't too thrilled with the sample sized Sensodyne toothpaste being shoved in my goodie-bag, especially since I'm a Crest Original kind of gal, but I figured it's what I deserved for telling the lie in the first place. And I accepted that. But being told I can't get my teeth whitened because it is absolutely not recommended for people with sensitive teeth and there is no way my dentist will perform such a procedure on my teeth? C'mon! I have a coupon!

I don't know what to do. There's no way I can go back to the water torture but the longer I stay with this dentist I'm that much closer to being found out and risk losing the rubbery tooth massager. I'm starting to sweat and panic just thinking about it. But I would love a lovely white smile. I guess it's just time to move on and find a new dentist.

I cannot begin to imagine how people in the Witness Protection Program do this every day.  So, if you just happen to be in the WPP and are a fan of my blog I would appreciate it very much if you left a comment with some sort of advice or tip on how to perpetuate a lie without being forced to change dentists. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Victoria Beckham Never Smiles and I Know Why

Sometimes, after a particularly long, hard day at work, I'll come home, walk into the house, and, upon entering, attempt to flee again. Because these people are so wanting of my attention.

The Bean will run up rambling about how even though her birthday is a couple months from now, she thought about it and what she wants to do is ask for money so she can summer out on the East Coast, like every other struggling middle class teenager. At the same time Dotter will be broadcasting the fact that we need to bring a salad to the banquet dinner tomorrow night, which leaves me wondering what we possibly do that requires attendance at a banquet dinner and a salad? Cletus will be screeching at the top of his lungs, "Mom-mEEE! Mom-mEEE! Moooo! Moooo! Twak-ta? Twak-ta?" while clawing at my legs and Big V will be creeping up from behind, wrapping his arms around me and pushing his man parts into my backside like I'm not going to notice and muttering something about how he did a job today and it involved tile. Just like every other job he does every other day that involves tile and I'm standing there seven seconds into my return home praying why can't they just let me put my purse down first? and please let there be a bottle of wine already chilling in the fridge.

Not that I don't love my family or the attention they shower on me but it's kind of a lot all at once, you know? I'm thinking maybe if they attacked me one at a time, with several seconds in between to catch my breath, I'd be able to handle it better.

That's why you won't catch me badmouthing Victoria Beckham for never smiling in photos. Because I understand. The poor woman has three kids - and another on the way, a husband, and all that paparazzi hounding her every second of the day. And I'm pretty sure that no matter how many times David offers to 'help get the kids ready' she's still stuck answering stupid questions like which shirt should I put him in? and where do we keep the hair gel?

I'm just waiting for the day she blows up and screams, "All of you - shut up! All I'm asking for is six bloody seconds of silence so I can collect my thoughts!"

It doesn't sound that bad in an accent. Really. It's kind of a cute breakdown when you read it Brit Style. That's why when I have my breakdown I'm totally going British all the way. Which I almost had to do last night when Big V offered to wash the dishes in order to help me out but instead spent two hours complaining about everything.


"Where's the soap?"

 Under the sink in the exact same spot it's been returned to for the past three years.

"Well, why to we keep it there? That's stupid. We should just keep it on the counter by the sink so we don't have to keep taking it in and out of the cupboard."


"What is this? Ketchup? Who didn't rinse their plate?"

That was your plate. From the corndog you had late last night.

"Well, I've seen other plates that aren't rinsed off. People need to start rinsing off their plates."


"Darnit! Where's that thing to wash the glasses?!"

You mean the baby bottle brush?

"I don't know what it's called... I use it to wash the glasses."

I threw it away last week because it was gross and falling apart.

"Well, I guess I can't wash these glasses then." [starts taking cups & glasses out of kitchen sink and tossing onto counter, dripping wet]

Hmmm, whatever did they do before the creation of the bottle brush? Surely they wouldn't have stuck the washrag into the glass itself to wash it.


And this was about where I lost it ... (in British Accent): Ah, yes, that was quite helpful to me indeed. What would I have done without all the bitching and moaning? Perhaps tomorrow night you bathe the baby, help Dotter with her math homework, cook dinner, drive the Bean to town because she forgot she needed poster board, put another load of laundry in the washing machine, comb the snarls out of Dotter's hair without smacking her when she starts screaming at the top of her lungs, make sure Cletus doesn't stick his tongue in the electrical outlet - again, run to the bank to get some cash to pay Lawnmower Timmy and I'll do the bloody dishes!

(Did you read it with an accent? If not, go back and read it again. I won't sound nearly as awful, I promise.)

All I'm saying is that if I had walked out the door and into the flashing lights of the paparazzi I wouldn't have been gleefully smiling either.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Observations at a Mall: Thoughts of a not-quite middle aged mother of three.

(1) Dressing rooms should be split between "Teens & Other Perky Bodies" and "Those Who Gave Birth Before You Damn Teeny Boppers Were Even Born."

(2) I am a pear. Regardless of what body shape I might have been two child-births ago, I am now, most definitely, a pear.

(3) Items at Barnes & Noble are one size fits all. Items at Victoria Secret are not.

(4) The soft pretzels with nacho cheese dip can make any shopping experience worthwhile.

(5) Because of this, I will, more than likely, always be a pear.

(6) I'm strangely okay with this because I like to read. A lot.

(7) I really like Barnes & Noble.

(8) I don't really need new clothes because I have sweatpants.

(9) So does Big V.

(10) I also really like soft pretzels with nacho cheese dip.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I need a new shovel. And help digging a grave.

Big V can be kind of, uh, spontaneous. Not so much in the look at these beautiful flowers I am giving you for no other reason than I just thought you would like them kind of way, but more in the I just gave away your bicycle to some strange man sifting through our garbage kind of way.

In his defense, my bike had a flat tire. (That was his defense. It is in no way, shape or form, supported by me.) Obviously, if the tire is flat the bike shall then be rendered unusable, right? And he had been in the process of cleaning out the garage, which was why there were cans of garbage at the end of the driveway beckoning the homeless to sift through and the creepy guy did take that stupid stainless steel kitchen sink that isn't worth a dime so he kind of deserved something good, right?

Which leads us to the fun little child cart that the bike used to pull. The cart that Cletus the Used to be Fetus LOVES to ride in. The cart that Big V was smart enough to save....
... yet not smart enough to remember to take the hardware off said bike he gave away that actually makes it possible to pull the damn cart.

And so Big V set out to do something about it... something about the fury in my eyes encouraged him to drive to 867 different stores hoping they sold just the one part he needed. Which they didn't.

He decided to fabricate something himself. Which worked fine down the three feet of driveway, but not so well when he placed Cletus inside the cart and set to pedaling on the street. Clunk! Down went the cart. Lucky for us no cars were on the street at the time and it didn't take long for Big V to swoop on back around and pull the child to safety.

With arms crossed and foot tapping I told V I wasn't exactly thrilled that he gave my bike away and I also didn't trust whatever sort of knotted rope contraption he was attempting to pull my son with and I strongly suggested he try to find something else to occupy his time.

A few minutes later I looked outside and saw he was hacking down the tree in our front yard with a hand saw.

Note the branch he hoped to leave by the curb for the city to pick up.

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