Monday, November 2, 2009

Its not what you think.

For those of you who have children, and perhaps a few of you who do not, it is a thing of ceaseless wonder the random tidbits that fall out of their mouths. Programs like “Kids Say the Darndest Things” have capitalized on kids’ fumbling in the adult world of the spoken word. One of my favorite parts of parenting is observing this phenomenon. For example, my youngest son is convinced that a hooker is the device on the back of a tow truck (I’m never telling him otherwise, oh there isn’t a wreck we pass by that doesn’t elicit a chuckle or two from the front seat). As my oldest son has progressed from adorable toddler to adorable child, these choice little nuggets of confusion have come few and far between. As his naivety has dwindled he has begun to doubt my ultimate wisdom on all things true. In fact, he has even gone so far as to question my math skills (which are above par for the average elementary student, I would bet money on it).So, imagine my surprise when, during a routine ball toss in the front yard, the boy turns to me and asks if I know what a muff is. The conversation proceeded as follows:
Me: I certainly do! A better question is how you know.
Boy: I saw it on tv.
Me: [silently wondering how boy deciphered parental locks on tv] Oh yeah?
Boy: Football
Me: [silently figuring out why men are so obsessed with football] So, what is a muff?
Boy: It is when a punt is never in possession by its receiver (he then acts out scenario).
Me: [silently thanking parental control gods of Comcast (who are still greedy, unforgiven asses)]
I pondered this conversation for a few days then turned to my husband and asked him if he knew what a muff was. He gave me the I-thought-you-knew-me look until I rehashed the little instruction I had received. Unable to believe this neat little factoid, he googled (I would never google the word muff, really, honest to Comcast). He then explained the difference between a muff (hehe) and a fumble. This difference is predicated on the rules governing the retrieval of the ball after it has been muffed or fumbled. I then, with the seriousness that the situation called for, asked my husband if the player who retrieves the muff from the field could, by virtue of definition, be called a muff diver. I amused the hell out of myself, I really did. Football is now my favorite sport, tight-ends, endzones, wide receivers, muffs, sounds like a movie on Cinemax.
Meanwhile, back in Gotham: Last night was grocery night, oh the laughs, the tears. Anyhow, as husband was squirreling food away in the fridge, he came across a tray of uncooked meat well passed its prime. He tossed the nastiness in to the garbage while I made mental note to remove it to bin. Alas, I forgot. This morning I happened upon my beastly German Shepherd dog munching away on a slab of rancid meat. I verbally reprimanded the nasty bastard, snatched meat away (with a paper towel mind you), and placed back in bin (oh you silly woman). I then proceed upstairs. Came down over-burdened with 200 lbs of dirty laundry to see dog gazing remorsefully at me over EMPTY meat tray. Thirty minutes later I am sponging rancid meat vomit off of the carpet while opportunistic Chihuahua
competes with me for dibs, getting a lick in here and there. As if that weren’t enough drama for a Monday, I undertook the task of cleaning out from under my bed. I know you are all thinking “you shamless slob of a woman, what are you twelve, still shoving things under your bed”? Well, just to let you know the only things I nudge under the bed are the occasional random shoe or slipper. What I have is a ferret.
This sneaky little devil has chosen the underside of my bed as its hording grounds. I found the following things:
7 bottles of water in various stages of empty
5 water bottle caps
5 tubes of martian matter
7 tubes of acrylic paint
1 bottle of spray Formula 409 (jeepers, this bottle is actually bigger than the ferret)
1 bottle of hand lotion
1 bottle of rash cream
1 tube anti-itch cream
1 container of holiday cookie sprinkles
1 bottle of after bath body spray
2 dryer sheets
1 G.I. Joes
3 Hotweel cars
1 tennis ball
I love my pets.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pajama Sexism

This morning I was picking stuff up off the floor, and as is my custom, I attempted to shove some of the loose toy parts into my pockets. Well, as you all must know by now, I have no job so I am free to roam in my pajama pants until the mood strikes me to get dressed (usually before noon). So, I stand there, my hand twisting a around like a puppy rooting for a teat, until I remember that ladies' pajamas pants do not come with pockets. Why is this? I have seen what men have (for pajamas, haha), and they freaking have pockets! Do women not need pockets? This pocket sexism exists for ladies' slacks as well. There are no pockets. Suit jackets for women often do have pockets, but they are tiny affairs which I always end up over-stuffing, so that it looks like I have a thyroid disorder. I know exactly on what assumption that this pocket exclusion is based on. Garment makers depend upon the notion that women carry handbags. I carry no such bag. I have a bag, but I don't want to feel like some Mt. Everest sherpa with some bag tethered to my neck and shoulder all day. God forbid I set the thing down, because as sure as I am sitting here, I will forget the bag and some homeless woman will be applying for a car loan with my social security number (good luck to her, by the way my credit sucks!). What is really frustrating for me is when I go to buy a pair of jeans (which is all that us unemployed people really need to wear), I try them on, fit is good, price is good, they get bought then lo and behold I wear them that first day and discover that they have "decorative" pockets. What the bloody hell! Decorative pockets? Sequins are decorative (which I abhor), pockets are functional, as in I need them to stuff my crap into. It is either that or the pockets, while not sewn together, are so small that I could barely fit a marble in them, less alone a set of keys, some money (really very little of that), a cell phone, and an army guy or two. Again the presumption of the handbag. I can understand this really, but how does this fixation on the handbag carry over to pajamas? Are there seriously women toting around Gucci bags in their lounge wear? Do they sleep with the bag (guess that depends on what's in it -eh)? If I could sew I would just buy some cloth and affix some cargo pockets on my sleeping pants.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Where to go from here?

The plague has arrived. My oldest boy was sent home Friday with a fever, (it lasted the entire weekend), and today my four year-old spiked at 103.8. At this point I called the insurance sponsored Nursewise to request sound advice. As I am answering questions regarding his last urination, how well he ate lunch, and his energy level, I realized what a privilege it has been to be a stay-at-home mom. I was able to answer those questions like I wrote em myself. As James’s school career looms on the horizon, I have been forced to contemplate workforce reentry. How will I be able to translate a useless liberal arts degree and five years of parenting into viable career skills, and what sort of profession would be best suited to my experience and knowledge? Well, my friends, I have found the answer! Herewith you shall find my letter of introduction/resume to the United Nations Security Counsel.

Jennifer Wilson
Smalltown, IN. USA
BA, Purdue University

I am writing to express my interest in your position as a security advisor. I feel that my skills as a stay-at-home mom would be an asset to your organization. My interest in international affairs is paralleled only by my desire for world peace despite the belligerent nature of man. Listed below you will find my applicable qualifications for the placement in question.

During the last five years, I have routinely been called upon to settle the disputes of two opposing parties. I have impartially divided hot wheel cars, cookies, and computer sessions. These decisions were often made under extreme duress and resulted in the salvation of both parties’ stature and world view.

Supply Manager
Keeping in mind that many conflicts are a result of the gross economic disparity between the haves and have-nots, I feel it is imperative that I mention my experience as a product facilitator. I have been able to supply my household with its necessary goods through a combination of savvy coupon clipping and observation of sales trends.

Disarmament Specialist
I have routinely been called into disputes regarding potentially lethal weaponry. I have always managed to procure a resolution with a minimal amount of blood shed. It is a matter of personal pride that I have managed to persuade all antagonists to surrender their weapons with a minimal amount of sanctions.

Sanctions Monitor
Your organization is world-renown for its ability to detect a nation’s maturity, and thereby use that perceived maturity to issue permissions regarding funds and accessibility to technology. I too, am a firm believer in such restrictions. I have routinely defended my standpoint to decidedly hostile insurgents. I am adept at setting and maintaining boundaries for my charges, while insuring, through careful scrutiny and diligence, that said parties adhere to said restrictions. This includes, but is not limited to: street crossing privileges, internet browsing clearance, traveling permissions, and financial support.

I appreciation your consideration of my application, and I hope to hear from you at your earliest convenience.


Jennifer Wilson

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cryogenics and Over-achievers

So, some day last week I was watching the early morning shows when my coffee-enriched brain took notice of a bizarre “news” feature. Apparently, a former Alcor employee has written some sordid expose on the vagrancies of cryogenic preservation. I tell you my interest was mightily piqued when he began to explain how they removed a bumble bee tuna can from a baseball legend’s head (tuna can was the uh..high-tech head stabilizer, they tend to wobble a bit without the whole neck/torso set-up to bolster them up). Some years back I worked for a trailer manufacturer. Whenever we encountered a discrepancy between blue print specs and actual dimensions, we took a giant orange rubber mallet, and beat whatever it was till it fit. Well, those dastardly technicians at Alcor (supposedly), taking a page from that book, took a wrench to poor man’s head in order to beat off (hee hee) a tuna can that was scientifically frozen to said head (hey they only missed once, and I’m sure future scientists can spackle out the divot). Of course the outrage!!! Whatever, the man was dead. This does beg the question a bit though. This Ted Williams fella elected to have the whole kit frozen (lord knows why they separated it), but there are others who chose only to have their heads “preserved”. Why just the head, an astute observer might ask. The answer is frighteningly simple: its CHEAPER. I guess if you are looking to save a buck… Okay, I will journey to fantasy land for a bit and presuppose that there will be some miracle of science in the year 3010 that will not only allow for the healing of whatever nastiness killed your ass in the first place, but will also manage to fix the untold damaged of being flushed with anti-freeze and frozen to -320 or however low. So then, its 3010, you awake to a bustling metropolis, ahhh…… but you are a head. With what shall you walk to Starbucks with??? I can only assume that this sordid business of finding a donor body will be outsourced. Can’t you just imagine: hundreds of elderly male WASPy heads wobbling about on the bodies of South East Asian preteens??

In other news, I recently attended my oldest son’s Egyptian project presentation. He is in an amalgamated “gifted class” with fourth and fifth graders (me thinks the fifth graders are getting the short end of the stick here, but hey who am I to judge, eh?). I thought we were running smooth with our painted, carved, fancy-schmancy hieroglyphics tablet, sphinx nose, home-crafted Egyptian garb, and poster board, but ohhh no, twas not the case. There was a boy who had on display a WORKING Egyptian loom. Now bear in mind he is a member of a devout religious sect that eschews nasty time suckers like t.v., music, and the internet, but still a loom?! We have parent-teacher conferences looming on the horizon and I am looking forward to bringing home the class pet over fall break. What’s one more pooping creature?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Why I need a blow-gun, and other news

Today ended in typical Monday fashion, with me trudging maggot-covered trash from bin to curb. For those of you unfamiliar with my past rubbish debacles, I have a garbage can whose lid mysteriously disappeared several months ago. Since then I have had some troubles. Firstly, the absence of lid is practically an invitation to flies to deposit their disgusting offspring near what is apparently a tasty meal of leftovers, and assorted other nastiness. Secondly, I have also had to contend with pesky passers-by tossing their gas station debris loosely in MY garbage pail. One might say “Gee Jennifer, what’s the big deal about a few extra slurpy cups”? Well, I will tell you what the big deal is all about. As my small town lives in an era where mechanized trash pick-up remains a misty dream in the far off future, we are restricted to only placing bins on curbs that have less than a 40 gallon capacity (for those of you on the metric system, sorry, my lousy degree is in Liberal Arts, so you’ll have to do your own conversion here). Unfortunately, hubby and I had missed that handy piece of fine print when we purchased our 50 gallon container. That being said, we must individually place bags at curb (if trash output exceeds two bags, we must pay for additional tickets which must be then affixed to any extraneous trash bags). It is very irritating when, safely garbed in rubber gloves; I must collect other’s soggy, larvae-covered junk and properly place it in bags. This leads us to my third garbage problem. Lately, a pack of ravenous somethings has been mucking about in my bin. For those of you who have yet develop a murderous rage for unseen assailants, let me tell you how it feels. Oh… how ever lovely is it to pick up (again with the gloves) what you believe to be a firm and solid bag of refuse only to have the bottom of it erupt all over your freshly washed, indoor/outdoor, hard-to-find, butchy ladies’ slippers (why they were recently washed is a another story all-together)! Me thinks I would like an aboriginal blow-gun equipped with deadly poison tipped darts. That-a-way, I can stake-out the bin after a particularly odorous batch of trash has been put out. For those of you who would pity any poor, cute, and neigh, cuddly creature, driven by hunger to invade my garbage,… balls to that! I would shoot my poisonous dart in to the furry bottom of any kitty, possum, raccoon, or random homeless man who would dare make an appearance. Anyone know where I might get a gun like that?
In other news, we got carpet. YES, fuzzy, cushy, just plain awesome carpet! You see, due to some poor animal control on the part of previous tenants, we were left with stripped hardwood that some poor idiot though might fare well with a coat of cream-colored paint. The brilliance of this plan faded mere days after our move-in. Our downstairs is rather large (upstairs fared better and was allowed to have replacement carpet instead of paint from the get-go) and with two dogs, a long-necked furry creature, two children, and plenty of visitors, the shiny veneer of this paint job was quickly tarnished. Additionally, anyone who has ever tried to sweep dog fur off of painted hardwood can tell you its sorta like a three-legged dog trying to catch a squirrel. So today, as the three of us are sitting on the stairs watching the carpet men perform their wondrous magic, eyes tearing up with sheer joy (carpet men must have wondered if we were refugees from a fundamentalist cult, never allowed the pleasure of plush flooring), it occurred to me that I will need to have my German shepherd de-clawed. Again, any suggestions as to where one might get this sort of procedure would be kindly appreciated. The carpet men were also amused by my recent attempt at bathroom décor. I’ll be sure to let you know how that goes

I designed and posted this picture behind my toilet in an effort to direct the peeing efforts of both literate, and illiterate males.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

This weekend began with mischief and mayhem. First of all, my four year-old regressed to age two and proceeded to wreak havoc while I was performing my ritual animal husbandry tasks. He began by experimenting with the little sprayer hose that lives in the kitchen sink. I come down stairs to find him sopping up 25 gallons of water with every dishcloth and hand towel in the house (he had removed table cloth and was prepared to put it to work as well). James Michael Leo Wilson (that is what I call him when he is naughty) then reorganized the bathroom cabinets (whilst I was bathing ferret) so that all items were readily accessible from the floor! He then surreptitiously removed every furniture cushion and arranged them in a pile in the living room, while I was trying to start demon spawn mower (I use all of my weekly curse words in this exercise). I believe this was done in order to reenact some absurd wrestling maneuver. This brings me to day two.
Saturday: Hubby suggested we all, the five of us (three children, two adults, absurdly outnumbered we are), take a little trip to the Brookston (small Indiana town) Popcorn and Apple Festival. Ahh…The sights. You have your typical yard sale fare, craft booths, and lo and behold “Professional” wrestling. You see, we are walking down various side-streets in this quaint little town when we come upon…yes…a Wrestling Ring, set up right smack dab in the middle of the block! The children begged us to stay for the show, and the loving, acquiescent parents that we are, we agreed. Now I don’t know about ya’ll, but when I think wrestling, I think muscle-bound men writhing around in tight pants. Not so abhorrent, in theory, that is if said theory is applied correctly. Well, let me tell you there were plenty of tight pants, but not a muscle in sight! Oh, believe you me I took pictures. There was one fella who had the supple breasts of a young adult film star (course the rest of him was not so enviable).

One other “professional” wrestler had obviously forgotten that when one is a man, and if that one man wears tights, that man should also take care to wear proper undergarments. What I saw wasn’t impressive, and I have done grave stone rubbings that were, uhh…less revealing. I should mention that the high point of this family field trip was that yours truly was privileged enough to see an actual elf! Oh yes! I was crowd watching, as is my want, when I noticed a peculiarly dressed elderly man beginning his approach. I looked a bit closer, and noticed that he had elf ears! Not believing my eyes, the blackberry camera and I approached for a closer inspection. The ears were typically pointed and very large. I could detect no obvious seem where they might be attached, and as said elf was nearly one-hundred, I doubted a malicious hoax. The picture is posted. You be the judge.

Later that evening hubby and I are reclining on the sofa, when it occurs to us that we have no suitable snack food. Now as we live in the land that the twenty-four hour shop-center forgot (I haven’t forgotten that Comcast also disbelieves in the existence of Delphi), this is quite a revelation at ten o’clock at night. We strategize for a bit and admit that we are willing to pay an excessive amount of money for gas station priced munchies. The debate then ensues regarding which of us is more suitable to approach middle-aged gas station attendant in pajamas. Guess who lost? So, I am at nearest gas station (so close I am on foot, in slippers, mind you), and discover that they do not carry salsa (communist bastards!). I then make the decision to cross highway (why did the pajama clad woman cross the road? To get to the higher end gas station of course) and procure salsa from other gas station just minutes from closing time. All of this public humiliation for fountain pops, salsa, and almond snickers. Was it worth it? Yes, yum.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Exercise is for masochistic zealots!

Recently, due to an improvement in the weather, I have taken to walking Samson (10 month old German Shepherd) with more regularity. This has led me to develop an unhealthy interest in my fitness level. The last two days I have decided to up the ante a bit by mixing in a little jogging with the walking. Yesterday, I challenged myself to jogging half of the distance that we typically walk. Samson, spurred by an increase in my normal speed also decided to brake into a brisk trot, which for me is a full-on run. After several minutes (I know, I know only minutes!), I felt close to death. My heart was drumming in my chest, and I was having an increasingly difficult time breathing. Luckily for me, dogs have a keen sense of hearing and Samson was able to detect the barely audible popping sound the human heart makes just before it explodes (I imagine it’s akin to the sound of a chipmunk passing gas). He immediately slowed his pace with out any spoken command, handy for me since I was not, at that point, capable of coherent speech. The dog then turned to face me with a look on his face that can only be described as a mixture of pity and amusement (I have been on the receiving end of this look often enough that I recognize it when I see it, even from a dog). It was at this point I discovered the sweat absorption limit of the eye brows. They had had their fill and began to empty directly into my apoplectic eyes. So, we stumbled home, I partially blind and with what felt like my spleen impaled on that extra rib women have. Upon our arrival, hubby took in my hitching breath and flushed face and asked: “What, did you run or something?” I answered in the affirmative, and to show how truly out of character a run is for yours truly, he promptly asked: “Was someone chasing you?”
Five things I never thought I would ever say:
1. Is that poo?
2. Just spit it into my hand!
3. Let me smell your head.
4. Bend over farther.
5. I need more exercise.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Why I hate Comcast Cable.

For those of you whose lives are interesting enough not to have kept abreast of my doggy trials, we recently lost our prized cable box remote. We arrived home from a baseball game a few weeks ago to discover only one recognizable fragment remaining of our precious device (batteries were never recovered). The next afternoon I promptly called Comcast to arrange a replacement. Since we live in the bustling metropolis of Delphi, I was informed that I had two options: I could travel to Peru, Monticello, or Logansport to pick up a new remote, or I could have one sent to me. Since I am unfamiliar with any of the aforementioned towns, I elected the latter option. Well, about ten days passed, and still no remote had arrived. I stationed myself on porch and prepared to make second call to Comcast (I would much rather be subjected to water-boarding). At this point I was pleasantly reassured that due to the mailing difficulties, my order may have been delayed, and I should be expecting remote to arrive any day. One more week passes…I have grown weary of squatting in front of box (I know I am sounding horribly bourgeois here given that people in Haiti subsist on tinned peaches for weeks at a time, but hey if GM can complain….). I phone Comcast again yesterday, much less I accommodating at this point, I informed the rep that unless the package had been sent from Turkmenistan, it should have arrived long ago. I’ll give her some credit; she chuckled (probably thinking I was talking about Alabama). She checked on my order and informed me that only half of the order had been completed and remote had never left the Middle East at all. Argggghhh! I was then placed on hold, ostensibly so she could complete said order. After twenty or so minutes (her nails had dried sufficiently enough to handle phone), she came back on the line to inform me that my area was not eligible for shipping service. What the hell? Is Delphi the land the cable gods forgot? No internet, no DVR, no phone service, no general office, etc. I then, in my most pleading voice, asked the woman if there was any way I might pick up a remote from the Lafayette office since it is nearest to my residence. She replied, with a tone of disdain I am sure she normally reserves for kiddy porn solicitors, that this was impossible as the Lafayette office was not in my “group”. I hung up at this point, no point risking criminal charges. I felt helpless and violated. So if anyone has an extra remote or is willing to engage in acts of corporate sabotage, please feel free to contact me.
All that remains of the Comcast remote...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Adventures in Redneck Karaoke

Yes, I am married to a redneck. At the time of our nuptials I was under the thrall of the unknown. Having had a chaotic childhood, the lure of the farm boy proved to be overwhelming. I innocently agreed to life-until-death, never knowing that one day I would enter a bar that would cause the author of Deliverance to cringe. This bar happens to be the local hangout of my husband's family and extended redneck network, positioned mere miles from his boyhood home (in which my sister-in-law currently resides). I enter the bar with my husband. Now, I am not a delusional woman, and I know my limitations, both physical and mental. I consider myself to be fairly self-aware, so I am astounded to discover that I am the hottest thing to ever make an appearance at said establishment. Two feet from the door, I am accosted by an over-weight bearded man in t-shirt with the sleeves stylishly hacked off, who speaks a dialect of hickish drunkenness so bedeviled that I must look to the barkeep for translation. Loosely translated he said "wat choo hangin out wif him for?". I nearly replied that I appreciated my husband's liberal use of deodorant, and thanks for asking. fat boy. As it was, I minded my manners like the souless woman I have become, and forced a smile that would dazzle William Shatner. this only seemed to encourage the poor slob, so I meekly followed my husband to the rear of the bar. This bar is about the size of my downstairs, so I wasn't exactly able to make a qualified escape. Immediately upon entering the rear (I just love typing that, I am so junior high), I am grabbed at the waist by local cowboy (sister-in-law's father-in-law, hey its a small damn bar). He drags me out to two-step to the strained sounds of a bra-less woman in her sixties crooning to an aged country song entirely unrecognizable to my rock-loving ears. I can't two step to save my life, which he knows, but persists in order to be close to my breasts (its that kinda world ladies, men don't hug for nothin). Its all Karaoke, all night. This happens to be one of the few nights we are able to find a sitter, so I am not about to waste it by remaining sober. After several beers, I am encouraged to sing. I flip through a song book that covers every tune I haven't cared to listen to when I come upon "Lola" by the Kinks. Surely this must be an anomaly, me thinks to myself. This has to be the most racist, sexist, homophobic crowd in the Midwest (I know, you are thinking "gee, I thought you were a liberal feminist, why don't you stand up for your beliefs?" I will reply by saying that I would rather not be clubbed about the head with a sawed-off saddle horn, thank you very much!) and I am most certain that not a word of that song had been heard by any of the bar-goers, or else they never would have included it. I debated a long while before deciding to sing that song of transvestite love before a crowd of ten rednecks. Thankfully, I don't think they understood a word.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Murder, maggots, and teeth

To be honest with the two of you who read my blog, I am guilty of watching true-crime television. Oh yes, I am sure you are gasping for air at the shock. Normally, I am horrified at what I call inter-spousal murder. This is when one spouse murders the other for whatever reason (under-cooked chicken, a penchant for animal porn, etc.). Today is not one of those days. Currently, I am feeling extremely empathetic, and am considering approaching my veterinarian for a large dose of horse tranquilizer. This man is driving me insane.
In other news, I successfully moved trash from bin to curve this evening. I wore my pooh cleaning gloves and managed to escape personal confrontation with maggots. By the way, what lonesome idiot sees another's trash bin and thinks to dump his or her garbage in it? I need video surveillance.
Took my oldest son to his third dentist appointment this month. It seems that these sick "professionals" get some sort of kick by referring us around town. Everybody takes a peek inside and passes him a long like a damn hot potato. I am thinking the money spent for these multiple x-rays could have paid for half a breast implant (not that I'm in the market). I figure I will make the best of the expense and use them as our family's Christmas card photo.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rash, burn, and under the bus

Summer has had several effects in our household. The first symptom of Indiana heat appeared when I noticed that my four year-old could not keep his hands out of his pants. The poor boy would just dig away at his little butt. Now, as any good parent must do, I went in for a closer inspection. Apparently, the wee guy suffers from some sort of prickly heat-type phenomenon in the area of his backside. Of course we purchase the cream necessary for keeping said condition at bay. My son, oh lord! After a week of applications of the cream Aaron and I are sitting on the porch, when James steps out, and announces in his loudest voice: “MOM! I need some butt cream”. I swear. Last night we were walking with our neighbors, and James proceeded to tell Michelle that he needs butt cream if the “middle part” (this is what he calls his butt crack) itches, and it’s his mom’s business. I never knew I was such the entrepreneur. Keeping this in mind, last Monday our family went for a swim at my in-laws. I thought I would spit in the face of skin cancer and get my self a nice tan. I tanned, and then reddened. A few days ago, I began to molt. I was standing in my bedroom, picking at my flaying flesh like an obsessive-compulsive leper, when James walks in. The poor boy is aghast. He recovered with the adroitness of an ER intern, and promptly told me that I needed some butt cream.
In the scientific world, there is a well-known phrase that every action spawns a reaction. In parenting terms this would be referred to as action leads to consequence and fall-out. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the McDonald’s Happy Meal as much as any parent. But, unfortunately these blessed free-time-in-a-box gifts are often accompanied by a non-degradable plastic piece of nastiness. Recently this has taken the form of various Ice Age characters. James (he of the butt cream) had acquired a talking Manny figurine. This sucker will make a noise if you sneeze in its vicinity. It is so insidiously annoying that the dog wouldn’t even eat it (ohh and yes, I gave him ample opportunity) Yesterday, I took advantage of the nice weather (kids, James included, were out playing), and wedged Manny in the trash can while no one was looking. Hours later, we return from grocery shopping, and hubby proceeds to take out the trash. He gets about half-way to the door when Manny spouts off one of his three platitudes. I couldn’t see what happened from there, but I could hear it. James, face crumpled and lips trembling asks Aaron: “Are you throwing my toy away?” My husband turns to our child and says: “Nope, mommy is”. That my friends, is how it feels under the bus.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tender bits of woman-flesh

Our story begins with a young woman (by young I mean youthful in the grand historical mural of life. Technically, our heroine is thirty, which by hippie standards, makes her trustworthiness dubious at best). She is lulled by clearance prices and purchases a swimsuit much skimpier than her current suit. She begins the weekend by parading her newly exposed flesh by the pool. This leads to difficulties as she soon realizes that areas hither-to unexposed to the sun, are soon becoming charred remnants of their once pallid selves (she writes this whilst subtly rocking from cheek to cheek so as to minimalize the pressure on her burnt butt-flesh). The irony in this story lies in its simplicity. In her quest for a tan, she is affirming certain cultural ideals of beauty. As a feminist she should feel deeply ashamed (good thing she is getting punishment by wearing those wired bras that rub against burnt areas, much more effective than flagellation). As she progresses from milk, to wheat, to brown, she should keep in mind those girls who are forced to stay indoors lest they darken their skin. I have spoken with her in depth on the subject but she remains undeterred in her quest for skin cancer.
So now that the moral of our story has concluded (string bikinis lead to nasty burns on lady parts, plus one must shave more). I will move on.
What defines the social etiquette that serves the text messaging world? There comes a time in every text message's life, when all the fun is played out, and all one is left with is a semblance of decent human interaction. How does one text: "you are boring the hell out of me with your paltry jargon. I just want to read the Ursula Hegi book I have checked out from the glorious library, please save your boring nonsensical drivel for someone who has a tumor of the brain"? I have read enough lols, lmao, oics, to make my literature loving heart want to shrivel. Perhaps I have come into the texting scene to late in life to pick up on the subtle nuances of it's military-like anacronyms and hodge-podge groupings of grammar signs :(. I was specifically distressed when I received a text from a neighbor child, aged thirteen (regarding a community play) that read: "are u cuming". You see, in the land of morefutility cum, cuming (and any other obscure conjugations) refer to uh...sexual release. I was astounded by this young girls audacity! Not really, but I did get a good laugh. It makes me feel satisfyingly old to vent these frustrations.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Spiders and Slugs, Oh My!

I am the big spider killer. Yes, yes, keep the applause to a minimum. The children and husband are quite capable of killing your garden variety daddy long leg, or even some of those small-but-evil looking buggers the size of a pen head, but if a spider has visible leg hair, it immediately falls within my domain. I take a sound shoe (a flip-flop will just piss it off) and whack them. Today, I cleaned the basement, and the outdoor stairwell that leads to it. At some point I realized that I was seriously outnumbered. They seemed to recall my last de-webbing and scurried up my legs, dropped from ceiling into my hair, and repelled from walls in order to whisk into my face. I am not a skittish woman and do not screech at the sight of small woodland creatures, toads, insects, etc., but the thought of something living trapped in my hair has a tendency to make me beat myself about the head until I feel certain that I have killed whatever lurks within.

Now when I say I am not squeamish, I realize that there are those out there who would be happy to point out my slug phobia. This fear I feel is a warranted one. In fact, anything that has neither bone structure, nor exoskeleton is unearthly and yucky. Some will say:” Oh a slug, you silly girl. They are neither threatening, nor quick moving”. I will retort with a brief tale of how a slug nearly bit my ass.

Once upon a time (nearly 7 years ago), there was a woman who lived in half a house. Her half of the house also included half a basement, where she was required to do her wash. Now this woman worked many long hours building shoddy trailers, and was very weary. And yet she plugged on and did her laundry every Friday. One particular Friday, her father had come to visit. She continued her routine and went about trucking laundry in to dark, moist basement. As she neared the washer, she noticed what appeared to be a piece of rubber. After turning on the light, the woman began to scream. Her father rushed down the stairs only to discover his fearless daughter cowering in the wake of a mere slug. Wiping his eyes, he carefully wrapped slug in toilet paper and prepared to send him to a watery grave. His daughter, being very worn and dirty after working ten hours at trailer factory, was concerned. She asks “Couldn’t he swim his way out”. Father, sending her a condescending glance, replies “He has nothing to swim with”. Undaunted, the woman presses her point “but he has those antennae thingys, couldn’t he propel himself with those?” He assures her that this is not the case. About 40 minutes later she undresses, and prepares to shower. She sits down to pee (yes some of us don’t pee in the shower!) and notices what appears to be a poop smear along the rim of the toilet. The woman has a two year-old (i.e. this would not be unprecedented), so she bends over for a closer look (yes she is flexible, but not circus flexible, and no she can't do that though she has never tried). Alas! It is her nemesis, the slug! Her butt, with wisdom beyond it’s years, propels itself off of the toilet and into the wall. Screaming like a woman with no pride, she wraps herself in shower curtain and calls for her father. The man is sobbing is he laughing so hard. All she could think to say was “I told you he could swim!!!”

Sunday, August 9, 2009

On Camping

My family has recently acquired something new in the realm of camping equipment. That being said, I think now is a fine time to review our family's first big camping trip.
Day One:
It all began with a hurried rush to Walmart. Sleeping bags were selected, chairs were bought, air mattress purchase unwisely vetoed by yours truly. Then home to mobilize three children ages: 4, 9, and 11, two dogs (one big, one small), one man, and one obsessive-compulsive packer. Lucky me, I am set to travel with the two boys and the dogs. Large dog is left out of his kennel as I naively told hubby that he would be fine. Little did I know, said hubby would be taking the route that god forgot in order to reach the destined campsite. It was so rural that they blocked off a portion of the road for twenty minutes so that the cows could come home. I kid you not. There are pictures. This road is bumpy and winding. These conditions are exacerbated by my husband's desire to travel at what feels like an unreasonable speed for the mini-van (he leads in unburdened manly truck of course). Next thing I know, I have an 80+ pound dog vomiting repeatedly onto the van’s carpeting. I phone Aaron, screeching like a shrew, and order him to pull over. I place dog in kennel where he proceeds to continue vomiting. Who packs cleaning supplies on a camping trip? I had to scrub that stuff up with shampoo and water (I threw that wash cloth in the fire after). The evening went well until it dawned on me that camping in a former quarry leads to a rocky bed…In addition, there were several drunken rednecks who insisted on whooping it up anytime Sally Jane flashed her blessed breasts. At least we assumed that is what they were doing.

Day Two:
We had some fun hiking while scratching our mosquito bites. Went to Wal-Mart and bought an air mattress. Two hours after lying down on over-priced rubber mattress, it began to deflate. The rocks presented themselves anew with a fury. Woke up about seven to the sound of large dog lapping up something in the kennel. We assumed rain. Twas not the case. Apparently, I had not given him enough potty time the night before, and he had relieved himself and was trying to clean up the evidence. Breakfast, then packing, then home, then unpacking.
Finally we left for Lafayette to perform our weekly grocery shopping. Exhausted, and hungry on the way home, we stopped at Arby’s to eat. Later that night, as I was preparing my coffee for the next morning, I noticed something was missing. We had been so tired that we neglected to carry in any of our groceries.
I am looking forward to the next trip, along with a hefty dose of xanex and off!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Social networking, dexterity, and porch-sitting!

Over the course of the last year, primarily due to boredom and lack of adult conversation, I have begun to dabble in the art of social networking. I thought perhaps it my be nice to reconnect with old college chums, long-distance relatives, and the like. For this platform I chose the ubiquitous Facebook. So far I have enjoyed but, it never ceases to amaze me the number of friends people seem to have on this site. I have seen a few that have several hundred. How in the hell? Kevin Bacon doesn’t even have such extensive connections! I couldn’t manage to remember the names of that many people on a consistent basis, less alone take the time to remark on the cuteness their children, or take note of their Jungle Wolf Personality test results. I am thinking that people with more than 100 friends aren’t monitoring a lot of personal details. Perhaps I am eating sour grapes here (never have been the popular type), but really I think my poor blackberry would crash under the weight of all those status updates!
Also, I have recently been made aware of the “sexting” phenomena, via several ominous news broadcasts ("Do you know what your children are doing with their Iphone" type stuff). I have texted some, but I find it difficult to imagine the tiny keyboarding skills that would be necessary to achieve any sort of resolution. Not to mention those who don’t have a qwerty keyboard. With those sorts of targeted speeds, one should devote their talent to the war effort. Snipers be damned!
The dog hasn’t eaten any substantial piece of property in a while, but he still sends longing glances in the direction of my footwear. Keeping this in mind, I generally hide my own shoes. At times this becomes irritating. I have to search for different shoes if I haven’t worn them for a bit. Occasionally I shove them under the couch, so I often have to take a peak down there. The dog takes this opportunity to paw my skull. Apparently, he thinks I have notions regarding his hidden rawhide. Two days ago, I couldn’t find one flip-flop. Apparently the dog had retrieved one from beneath my bed, not to eat it, but to merely to relocate it under the love seat. It took me two freaking days to find that shoe. Speaking of the dog, I wonder if anyone else out there has an unfixed (presumably still broken) large breed dog. Now Samson is a large nine month old puppy who obviously enjoys sitting on the porch. It’s gotten so bad at times that we are forced to put the poor dog inside, lest he shame some of our less gifted neighbors.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Impending Dementia

Today I was bathing the dogs, and kept forgetting things here and there. As I was running up and down the stairs my step-daughter Nika gave me a funny look. I turned to her and was prepared to say that I was getting my exercise for the day, when I forgot the word for exercise. What the heck is that about? If I have any fear at all, it is that I will lose my mental faculties. Now if I have a choice, come old age, I would elect to lose my physical abilities as opposed to my mental ones. It’s not like I don’t appreciate the old bod (it has a few applications that I have come to appreciate over the years), but my mind is my most trusted friend. It keeps me amused, and plots out the meal plan. As my own mortality has presented itself within recent years (I will blame the children for this), I have tried to act in such a way as to preserve myself for the greatest number of years. I get semi-regular exercise, cut back on the soda, etc. Mentally I feel I should be given a free pass. I read more than anyone I have met, do the Sunday crossword, and love brainteasers. What more could the old brain ask for? I think that if my mind does start to go, I want it to go in entirety. I don’t want any of those brief moments of lucidity where I realize that I have forgotten how to chew, and have believed my son to be a tax collector for six months.
Perhaps I should blame my recent forgetfulness on my tendency to daydream. I have always been a thinker. I think everyone remembers the early days in a romantic relationship where one or the other glowingly looks up and says “what are you thinking?” Let me tell you those times were short lived for me. The first time that you spout off that you are contemplating the NGO response to child exploitation in Southeast Asia, you are put on that don’t ask don’t tell list. I should take the man approach and say “nothing”. Is it truly possible to think of nothing? I think when I’m sleeping. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to be a tad senile, perhaps then I would get a decent night’s rest.
Is there anyone else who feels that electronic animals are the way to go? My youngest son James has his heart set on a little kitten from grandma’s farm. It should be said that I already care for five animals. I have made it known that there be will no new animals until one of the current ones dies (birds count as one). He is heartbroken. Now I would be amenable to a kitty if I were to be guaranteed that it would neither poop nor pee. Hence the electronic pet, or a big roll of duct tape and some hot glue. Any suggestions?

Monday, August 3, 2009

On life in the Midwest.

This evening I am folding laundry like a good little woman, when I get a text message from my neighbor Crystal which reads "Hey drunk grandpa just ran into ur house with his moped". I think I misread the email, because at first, I was merely amused. You have to understand that the neighbors directly across from me resemble something like the Waltons Meets Jerry Springer (I always hear the banjo music from Deliverance every time I look that way, "you sure do have a purty mouth". After giving it some thought, and receiving a phone call and a visit, I went out to inspect the damage. He had ran up into our mini-side yard, hit our house while missing the gas meter by about 2 feet. I was incensed. My four-year old routinely takes that route when going out to his sandbox. I could have strangled the drunk old coot (a phrase I seldom have opportunity to employ).

Went camping last weekend, went well until it began to rain. New/old pop-up had apparently lost its weather proofing directly above the area that I intended to sleep. I knew when I got in (Aaron took the inner side of the "bed") that something was amiss. Aaron assured me that it was merely dampness from the humidity. I didn't buy it, but bedded down anyway. I suppose I shouldn't complain, after all, it was only at my head and feet that the water truly gathered. As I lay there, having visited the in-laws glorious pull-behind, I realized that I had to pee. All day I went a grand total of 3 times. I went just before bed, but lying there listening to the steady drizzle seemed to inspire my bladder to grander heights. In a normal camping situation, I would have decamped for the tree line, handy roll of t.p. deftly tucked under arm. This campground, featuring electric outlets and gravel drive, has no such tree line. As sure as I am sitting here, if I would have tried to cop a squat behind the camper, there would have been some idiot with an iphone at hand, and my rear-end would have been gracing You Tube by morning. I resigned myself to trucking down the lane swathed in a Colts throw. At least I had the latrine to myself (pretty sweet considering stalls were only equipped with curtains as opposed to costly doors). I figure the next time we camp, its should be in Texas. I hear they could really use the rain.

Finally, a word to the socially inept. I, like most fifteen year olds, appreciate the novelty of text messaging. It is a nifty method of spouting off drivel whilst doing something more important. Unfortunately, text messaging is not the appropriate medium for certain types of information sharing. One should never text certain things simply because there is no intonation or other nonverbal cues that might allow one's reader to gauge mood or intent. I have discovered this first hand (certain things just aren't funny when typed). Also, there should be a list of inappropriate text subject matter. For instance: "Hey ur mom is dead", "we should see other ppl", "we need to talk about some things". That kind of stuff is best left for a more direct form of communication. Though I do suppose if one is particularly cowardly, a text message provides an easy out.

Happy dreaming (if anyone has a sominex to spare, text it to me)