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)