Friday, December 23, 2011

Love it! Want it! Need it!

The other night some friends and I went to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I've read the book and knew we were in for some dark and heavy stuff. The movie was well done and fairly true to the book though I think I would have been lost in places if I had not read the book. Lucky for you, I'm not confused enough to think I'm a movie reviewer and that's not what this post is about. 

This post is about the most fabulous t-shirt I've ever seen worn by Lisbeth Salander in the movie that said:

I couldn't find an image of her in it from the movie, but I did find it for sale on the interweb and you can buy it here.

If you haven't read the book or seen the movie then you don't know that this girl has had a very rough go in life and this is the perfect shirt for her. Just perfect! My first reaction when I saw her in it was to laugh. It was a rare moment of levity in this heavy story. 

My second reaction was to turn to my friend and say, "Is it too late for me to put that on my Xmas list?!!" 

I heart this shirt! It speaks to me. 

Why am I coveting this? 

I have had some bummer things happen in my life, but nothing approaching the Lisbeth character's woes. So it's not that. 

It's not appropriate to cruise around town in. Not exactly the right thing for school pick up. I can't even wear it around my house as my children can read. It's not like they've never heard that word come flying out of my mouth, but this would be a bit in their face. So it's not that.

I do really love the word fuck. It's all purpose. I can use it as any part of speech. It can be used for good or evil. So I guess that's part of it. 

But also, even though that's not what's in my head most of the time, there are definitely times it's flashing in there fast and furious. Wouldn't it be nice when faced with a person of an assholish nature to just point at your awesome t-shirt and smile? Yep, that's it. 

I think what I'm going to do is order several of the shirts in an extra small and modify them into tank tops which I can then wear as undershirts. That way on any given day I'll be ready to strip down, point, and smile.

peace & love :-)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

No Holiday Card For You!

3 years ago I stopped sending Christmas cards. We were in the midst of upheaval and transition and sacrifices had to be made. Those cards were the first thing to take a hit. BIG time and money saver. I originally thought that it would be a 1 year card hiatus, but I have not be inspired to go back to my old ways. I post a picture and a message on facebook where I am connected to most of the people I would send cards to and my mom puts my whole family on her card so all the relatives can see just how adorable my kids are. All bases covered.

This year though after my mom put together her card, I almost wanted to send one of my own. She has a card with a group picture that includes my family of 4, my siblings and my parents. She lists our names and a very brief description, i.e. Scott (CEO), brother #2 (substitute teacher), etc. It's a lovely card. 

Some of us thought she should use some other descriptions. Brother #2 requested to be listed as "nomad" which is as true as the substitute teacher thing and Scott had a different suggestion which means basically the same as CEO, but much funnier. 

Mom wasn't having any of our tomfoolery and sent out her appropriate, normal version of the card. Thus, leaving me with the urge to do an alternate one. As I didn't really want to go through the hassle and expense of doing an actual card, I'm doing it here:

Lil Tirade (Bon Bon Eater)
Scott (HMFIC)
The Girl (Professional Eye Roller)
 The Boy (Furniture Stuntman)
 Sugar (most ironically named cat ever- she will cut a bitch!)
Barley (his New Year's resolution is to become fatter than Garfield)
(professional attention seeker [family dog. not pictured as she's on vacation at my parents again])

Merry Festivus!

peace & love :-)

p.s. Thanks to my family for donning disguises and posing in front of the tree at 6:30 yesterday morning, after I came bounding down the stairs shouting, "I have a really funny idea!" I may also have said something like, "I'm turning 40 in a couple days. Humor me!" 

The girl did point out the irony of posing for a picture for a blog she's not allowed to read. Maybe I'll let her read this post. It's pretty tame. Well, except for her father being the HMFIC. Never mind.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's the most wonderful time of the year?

18 days until Christmas. 

It's crunch time people. 

The convergence of holidays and birthdays makes the end of October through mid January the busiest chunk of the year at my house, but like lots of folks Thanksgiving thru Xmas is a marathon that feels like a sprint. We have the usual stuff plus my birthday (7 more days in my 30s) and the boy's birthday plus 3 extended family birthdays.

I've started shopping, we have the tree and the tree is decorated as is the interior of the house.

So all I have left to do in the next 17 days is: 

Finish shopping, start wrapping, finish wrapping, deliver gift tree gifts, get pap smear and mammogram, bake cupcakes for the boy's birthday at school, hang the outside lights, get the girl to volleyball, attend school holiday dine out, get the girl to baton, get the girl to a lacrosse clinic, bake a rum cake, go to holiday party, get the boy to basketball, drive around pointing and ohhing at other people's lights, find someone to switch classroom workdays for the boy's classroom so I can go on the girl's field trip, go on field trip, attend the girl's band concert, get hair cut and colored, have birthday dinner with friends, celebrate festivus (When is festivus again? I don't want to miss the airing of grievances. I wonder where I put that pole?), attend neighborhood Santa Parade, help the girl finish her sewing projects for her friend gift exchange, send books with the kids for their holiday book exchanges, turn 40, go to the City for my birthday, shop with Mom & sister & the girl for said birthday, have birthday dinner with Dad, more baton, more basketball, celebrate the boy's birthday, go to cookie party, bake more cupcakes for the boy's birthday party, have seven 5/6 y/o boys over for the boy's pirate birthday party, bake 2 more rum cakes, pack car, go to parents house on Xmas eve, and stay up after kids to fill stockings and put out Santa gifts. 

All that while still doing the 2 part time jobs, the laundry, the cleaning, the lunch making and on and on.

Your list is probably similar.

We're nuts, right?

Every fucking year I am in this predicament. A bunch of wonderful individual events slammed together in a few short weeks.

But, what's a super mom to do? Cancel Xmas? Hell no! This super mom is going to bitch a bit on her blog, pour some wine and soldier on. I'm the mom and that's my job. 

A few years ago we went to the Caribbean for Xmas which was fanfuckingtastic and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Seriously. Are you reading this Scott? Make the reservations! But, it didn't get me out of getting a tree, decorating the house and shopping for Xmas gifts that could be easily schlepped in a suitcase. We didn't leave until the 21st so perhaps that was the flaw in the plan. Maybe if we leave earlier we could skip the normal holiday trappings. So, the day after Thanksgiving thru New Years next year in the Caribbean it is! Solid plan! I'm all in. Scott? 

Happy Fucking Holidays! xoxo

peace & love :-)!

p.s. As I was editing this:

Scott: I have to figure out if I'm getting gifts for anyone in the office.

Me: Don't add it to my list!

Scott: Okay.

Me: Go ahead and do it if you want, but leave me the fuck out of it. Remember last year, when I made all those mini rum cakes at the last minute after running all over town searching for the pans? That nearly drove me over the edge!

Scott: But now we have the pans (giant idiot grin).


Friday, December 2, 2011

Dearest Sleep Fairy....

Dearest Sleep Fairy (or do you prefer Goddess of Sleep?),

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You are the best! I had no idea you were listening last night when Scott and I were bitching about our sleep issues. You are a really careful listener, aren't you? When I told Scott that I would gladly wake up at 5 a.m., if I could just get through the 3 a.m. & 4 a.m. hours sans tossing and turning and crazy list making and worry, I did mean it. So again, I thank you for making my sleep dreams come true. I slept like a rock through the wee hours of the morning and my eyes popped open at exactly 5:00 a.m. today. Very impressive. 

At the risk of sounding like an ingrate, I would like to amend my 'dream of sleep statement' to say, "I would gladly wake up at 6 a.m., 7 a.m. on the weekends, if I could just get through the early morning hours in a deep unfettered sleep." I fear it's too much to ask and that I'm being greedy, but I cannot stop myself from submitting the request. 

If you can see it in your heart to do this for me, I won't bother you anymore. You can even stop dropping by my house and checking in. I'll be set, the kids have years of magical kid sleep left and Scott's on his own here. He's an adult, he'll have to figure out how to communicate with you directly. This is about me. 

Plus, I might still be holding a tiny grudge from when the kids were babies and waking up multiple times during the night to nurse. The man would sleep through all the various baby disruptions (that were for the most part going on in his bed as we co-slept with each baby) and then ask me in the morning "how was your night?" landing me somewhere between extreme bitterness and murderous rage depending on the day.

I sincerely hope that my longing for sweet heavy slumber hasn't resulted in your annoyance, umbrage, ire or any other type of displeasure. If the 6 a.m., 7  a.m. on weekends, thing is too much, I'll happily stick with the 5 a.m. wake-up. Just please, please, please don't send me back to see 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. I've tried breaking up with 4 a.m. myself and that jackass refuses to take a hint.

Finally, if you see fit to grant my humble request, I'll have your back. Anytime. Anywhere. Just tell me what you need and it's done. As long as it's not illegal. I'm sure I wouldn't sleep well in prison and then all of it would have been for naught. 


Monday, November 28, 2011

I broke the computer again... maybe.

I have a variety of issues with my MacBook that I could regale you with, but the most pressing issue and the one you will undoubtably be most riveted by, is that it is currently having to restore itself from a time machine back-up. The back-up is from this morning so theoretically all my precious pictures and documents will reappear as they were, but I am suspicious of this as computers (even Apple ones) can be assholes.

Here's the deal: I just want my MacBook software to be upgraded so it can commune with the iCloud. I don't even know what the benefit of the upgrade is other than the iCloud thing. I want this because Apple told me I do with their super cool ads showing how one can buy a song on iTunes on one's iPhone and said song magically appears from the ether on one's iPad AND on their Mac. No cords involved. Magic!

The iPhone and the iPad are already performing this magic act on command for my amusement as well as obviously increasing productivity and efficiency in all aspects of my life. I just want the MacBook to fall in line and dance when I say dance. Simple.

Apparently I'm 2 upgrades behind. My friendly applista told me that I needed to buy 2 sets of software to do the 2 upgrades- no skipping ahead. That sounded stupid and expensive to me. This guy I know that gets paid to be an IT guy told me I could possibly skip ahead to the 2nd upgrade without doing the first. Much better answer! I was able to obtain some discs and a stick thing to do the upgrades.

Of course I tried skipping ahead. Duh! Why do 2 things when there's a chance you only have to do 1? It turns out I now have to do a minimum of 3 steps, but there I go skipping ahead again.

Sooo, I diligently backed up the computer and then proceeded to plug the stick thing in the USB port and hold down C during the restart, because that's what the directions said to do and waited to be dazzled by the magic. That's not, however, exactly what transpired.

As it turns out, the skipping ahead appears to have been the incorrect approach. Not only did I get a message saying the software couldn't be loaded, but apparently it wiped my stuff out as it directed me to choose my back up source to restore the hard drive. I did and in just 7 hours I'll know if it worked. Sheisse.

peace & love ;-).

Friday, November 18, 2011

All Aboard...

I have a confession. I'm the teeny tiniest bit OCD about my house. It's not that my house is spotless all the time, but I really do enjoy a picked up non-cluttered living space. I have 2 kids, a husband, pets and a life so the house isn't always picked up, but most people who come to my house don't believe that. It's true that 99% of the time if you come to my house it's totally picked up. But here's the thing, 99% of the time I KNOW YOUR COMING and I've just spent the last 5-10 minutes as a whirling dervish cleaning up the house. It makes me tachycardic and fidgety to let someone in the door when there are shoes, blankets and pillows strewn about the floor and there are dishes on the counter. 

Leaving the house for a vacation ramps up my issues. I cannot bear the thought of coming home to a cluttered or dirty house. Not only do I need the house picked up, but I need it cleaned toilets and all. The instant clutter created by returning home from vacation and having the entire contents of the car deposited in the hallway is bad enough, but adding a floor that needs vacuuming or a toilet that needs scrubbing to the homecoming will drive me right over the edge.

I have several friends that share my need to come home to a clean house after vacation. So whether or not most people would consider this normal at least I'm not alone. 

However, the second and possibly nowhere in the neighborhood of normal part of me not wanting to embark on a vacation with a dirty house is... what if due to a horrible accident, I die on vacation and then whoever has to deal with my house after I'm dead walks in on a dirty mess? After one of my friends told me she literally vacuums her way out of the house when leaving for vacation, I felt safe enough to share this with her and she looked at me like I just went off the rails of Ozzy's Crazy Train. Feel free to twirl your finger around by your ear and point at your screen.

I'm completely aware that this is not a rational line of thinking. If I'm dead and Scott and the kids are not, then I'm pretty sure he's not going to notice if the house needs cleaning. He doesn't notice now so why would that change? Plus, obviously, he would be too bereft to care. Ditto with my parents. I don't really know who I think is going to come into my house and start trashing a dead woman for her housekeeping skills or lack thereof. It is incredibly rude to speak ill of the dead after all. Not to mention in this scenario I'm dead and I would not even be capable of caring what people thought about me. I don't much care what people think now, except that I don't want you to think my house is dirty. Which leads us back to square one. 

I know. I know. Cuckcoo! 

While I'd love to take a good hard look at my neurosis with you here, we are leaving tomorrow for a week and I've got some cleaning to do.

Peace & Love :-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

iExcess? nah... iBliss

WARNING: If you aren't an iPhone/iPad user some of this may be Greek to you. It's not as though it's a geek out, because I think true Apple geeks know the technical names for stuff, but nonetheless it is a lot of iStuff rambling.

Last week Scott and I both got the newest iPhone, the 4s. We were going to order them for Christmas, but were more than willing to use the wacky behavior of my 3G as an excuse for Christmas to come early. Scott allegedly actually thought he was reserving one just for me, but then the reservation confirmation looked like there might possibly be 2 under my name at the Apple store so he took time from his busy schedule to show up at the Apple store the next day just in case we had 2 waiting and lo and behold.... 2 pearly white 4s iPhones awaited us. It would have been madness for him to let this fortuitous opportunity pass him by. A slap in the face to karma really, so he went ahead and got one too. 

As predicted, I love love love my 4s. 3G who? The 4s has many a cool feature like Siri, video, a flash, a pull down summary thingy screen, subtle alerts across the top, wallpaper on the home screen, the ability to have multiple apps running at one time, etc., but the bestest thing is how fast it is compared to the 3G. I don't know how much cooler it is than the 3Gs or the 4 cuz I never had those, but it kicks the ass of the 3G. 

Scott was initially smitten, but his 4s has done some weird stuff with his car blue tooth and with group iMessaging and he began to feel a little grumbly towards it. 

I don't know if iMessaging is new with the ios 5 upgrade or if it was previously on the 4 or what, but we didn't know what the hell it was. Apparently it's text messaging between iPhone users that doesn't count against your number of texts, which is actually very helpful to someone still on the 200 texts for $5 plan like us, but it's in the regular texting spot. The phone just knows if the device you're texting to is iMessage capable which totally weirds me out. 

Anyway... when Scott texted me it came through as an iMessage, but said it was from me not him. Zoinks! I didn't know one could text themselves. That's totally going to be my new go to line when I'm pissed, "Go text yourself!". Then he texts a friend that apparently also has iMessaging who says the text looks like it's coming from my email and when he texts back it goes to both Scott and my phones. WTF man? So it seems you can do group iMessaging which is fine, but Scott's phone somehow had my info in it. Maybe it has to do with the iCloud except we did set up different iCloud accounts. 





Despite a few hiccups, I think Scott, who not only had just the 3G, but was so many updates behind that he couldn't text pictures or organize apps into groups (I wonder how he even got through the day?) is pretty pleased with his upgrade.

Our 5 y/o is thrilled because he now has my old 3G to use as an iTouch. He doesn't even care that the volume button is long gone and you have to stick your nail in there to adjust it or that the screen shut off button works on it's own terms or that the apps run kinda slow. He only cares that he has his own iThing as his sister has had an iTouch for 2 years and sometimes she would let him touch it, but only briefly and in a super controlling way. He now has his apps organized to his satisfaction and has his own music. He is working on a hip hop routine to the theme from Ghostbusters (legendary hip hop tune that it is) and knows how to make the song loop over and over and over and over again which is hell awesome. 

Our family of 4 now has a MacBook, an iPad2, 2 iPhone 4s', 1 iTouch, 1 3G masquerading as an iTouch and 1 unused/being saved as a back up 3G.  I think it's safe to say we are an Apple family. We drank the Kool-Aid. Excessive you say? Nah, we could actually use a second iPad2 and Scott also thinks we need Apple TV... whatever that is.

Peace & Love :-)

Monday, November 7, 2011

My iPhone __________ (fill in the blank)

a) is punking me.

b) has dementia.

c) is an asshole.

d) a & c

e) all of the above.

The answer is either b or d. I'm leaning towards d.

I have an iPhone 3G. Not a 3Gs. Just the 3G. It is 3 years old and has been used and abused. I really should be grateful for it's faithful service lo these many months, but it's really starting to piss me off.

Scott & I have been discussing giving each other the 4s for Xmas. I think my 3G knows it's time is limited and is not going quietly. For months the battery situation has been ridiculous and the opening of the scrabble app is as slow as my tween in the shower. Annoying, but I've been dealing. 

Recently the screen shut off button thing works only when it fucking feels like it, aka intermittently. I prefer to leave the auto screen shut off set to 'never' so that my screen doesn't go dark while I'm teaching xbike. If one forgets/can't get the stupid button to work and the screen stays lit, the already problematic battery life is shortened. So now to preserve the battery I turned on the auto shut off and I have to go in and change the settings before I teach. It's only a matter of time until I forget and my screen goes dark a minute into class. Man am I gonna be peeved.

Yesterday, my iPhone did not reset itself when the time changed. It's managed to reset itself every other time change over the last 3 years, but not this one. Scott's 3G did it. The iPad did it. The MacBook did it. Not my 3G. I had to go into settings and shut off the 'set time automatically' option and choose my time zone. Then when I attempted to shut down the phone to try and reset it, it would not shut down. 

Today I noticed that everything in my iCal on the iPhone was an hour off. EVERYTHING. The iCal on the MacBook is correct (as is the time). I tried syncing the iPhone and MacBook, but the iPhone calendar was still wrong and the MacBook still right. I went into settings thinking I would wipe out the iPhone calendar and re-sync and found that the calendar time zone was set to Denver. Denver? I do not nor have I ever lived in Denver and neither has my iPhone. When I choose the correct time zone, the calendar was fixed. Viola.

It's not an exaggeration to say that I love my iPhone. Not in the way I love Scott and the kids, but almost. Almost. However, the time for saying goodbye is near. I, no doubt, will be dazzled by my new 4s and easily transfer my love for the 3G to the 4s. The feelings may be even more intense, but I will never forget you 3G. You were my first iPhone. You never forget your first...

Peace & Love :-)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Conversations with Scott: "You're Screwed"

Last night after dinner I asked my kids if I could have a piece of their Halloween haul. I only asked because they were home and could see me. I had been pilfering their candy all day while they were at school. After I was unsuccessful in totally avoiding the candy, I gave in to it completely as goes my relationship with sweets. All or nothing baby.

The kids left the room and Scott and I were rooting through their buckets to see what pieces we wanted:

Me: (whispering) "You won't find any peanut butter cups cuz I already inhaled those". 

Scott: hysterical laughing

Me: "What?"

Scott: "You can be so disciplined. You just had your chicken burger without bread at dinner, but put you within a 1/4 mile of a candy bar and you're screwed!"

Me: "Tru dat."

The man speaks the truth. Hello, my name is Lil Tirade, and I'm addicted to sugar. I do not have a true grasp on the terms "just one cookie", "a small slice of cake", "a piece of candy" or "I'll just have a couple bites of yours." I can utter the words and know when it's appropriate to say them, but they don't actually make sense to me. No bites is way easier than one bite. 

Yesterday was a sugar day. Today, so far, is not. One day at a time.

Peace & Love :-)

Friday, October 28, 2011

You Look Tired

It's time to face facts. I need eye cream. Specifically the get rid of dark circles and reduce puffiness kind. Consider the evidence:
  • In the only recent pictures I like of myself I'm wearing sunglasses.
  • I never actually got sick that time I was so happy to blame my dark circles on illness.
  • I've started using concealer under my eyes before going to the gym to teach whether the class is at 6 a.m. or 6 p.m.
  • I've started using concealer under my eyes after evening showers even if I'll be home and only be up for short time before going to bed.
  • There's been a recent run on the "you look tired" comments in my direction. I am tired a lot of the time, but not more so than I've generally been for the last 11 years.
  • I've been scaring the hell out of myself in the mirror with alarming frequency. 
I finally broke the cycle of denial and googled "dark circles under eyes" and wowwie wow wow there is a veritable cornucopia of information. The bad news is my dark circles and puffiness seem likely related to age and loss of collagen or something like that. The good news is that there's no shortage of products for me to throw my $ at and hope they help. There's a lot of really expensive products available and a lot of testimonials to go with them. I will shell out more than seems reasonable for something that works, but am not sure how to determine what will work for me without actually trying the creams. Catch 22, no? 

I clicked some links. I read some reviews. I searched through my drawers and came up with a few tiny sample size eye creams which I promptly slathered under my eyes. Then I went to Target and got Olay Definity Eye Illuminator. It was $23 for .5 FL OZ which is pretty cheap for an eye cream with good reviews as far as I can tell. I'll let you know what I think of it. Unfortunately, I believe it is supposed to take a couple weeks of use before seeing results. You'll be shocked to know, patience is not my strong suit. 

If I don't see results, I will have Scott research what I should use. While he doesn't know bupkis about beauty products, he can research the hell out of anything. He will check endless websites, reviews and message boards. It's a fact that I'll look at a couple of choices (or only one if it's truly fabulous and I know I need it) and make a decision. Scott will look at every choice imaginable, weigh all the options, discuss all the options with whomever will feign interest and then finally make a choice. Eye cream research might not be as exciting as TV, phone, car or vacation research, but I'm sure he'd do it if I asked. Cause he loves me and I did just write that post about how awesome he is and he wouldn't want to sully his image on my blog. 

Peace & Love :-)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crazy in Love

I have a friend that is downright giddy these days. She does have a new friend that is obviously contributing to her good mood, but more importantly she has remembered how to love herself. (A friend. Really. This is not a veiled reference to myself. No worries Scott. I mean of course I'm still giddy over Scott, but this is not about me.)

Somewhere along the way her self worth took a back seat to the rest of her life. It was hard to watch. Harder, I'm sure, to live. We have known each other for many years, but I feel as though I've just met the real her. It seems as though she has discovered or perhaps rediscovered her authentic self. Oprah would be so proud!

Cheers to you, Giddy Spa Girl. It's fabulous to meet you!

Peace & Love :-)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Scott Is An Awesome Scott

This morning as he's getting ready for work:

Scott: "Is there a pile of clean underwear hiding somewhere?"

Me: (Seriously contemplating if there could possibly be a pile of his clean underwear somewhere as on occasion clean clothes live in baskets in the laundry room for days on end.) "I don't think so. I remember feeling so proud that I finally got all the clean clothes put away yesterday." 

Scott: "This is my last pair."

Me: "Well I guess I'll either do laundry today or buy you some new ones."

Scott: "Fair enough."

How awesome is that? Seriously! It didn't even seem like he was trying to stifle the urge to say "What is it you do all day while I'm at work and the kids are at school?" He has never once said anything of the sort. 

While at times over the years, I've felt frustrated that he doesn't lavish compliments on me, I will say his easy going personality and ability to go with the flow and not sweat the small stuff is really really fantastic. I've given him ample opportunities to demonstrate frustration and overreact, but I can't remember him taking one. Not that we've never fought, just not about me being a bone head.

Like the time I dropped the lap top and he didn't say out loud what an idiot I was. He laughed, got me us an iPad, and got the laptop fixed.

Then there was the time I booked our vacation for the wrong week and he laughed and poured me another glass of wine. 

Additionally there was the time 13 years ago when I knocked the side mirror off the car as I backed out of my own garage. He laughed then too. Although, I believe he called me a dumb ass while he was laughing. That was less awesome. I think replacing the dumb ass comment with the glass of wine was a move in the right direction.

Also, there was the time when our youngest was 3 months old and we were flying to Mexico on a 6 a.m. flight. We had been dropped off at the airport and I only brought a photocopy of the baby's birth certificate (this was before a passport was required to go to Mexico) instead of a certified copy. I distinctly remember choosing to bring the photocopy so that there was no danger of losing the certified copy. Very flawed logic. A mother with a 3 month old probably shouldn't be allowed to make important decisions like that. They weren't going to let us on the plane. Meanwhile our then 5 y/o started puking. I was ready to lose my shit and Scott calmly worked with the airline people to call a notary to rush to the airport to notarize the photocopied birth certificate and we made the flight. I don't think either of us was laughing until the next day over margaritas, but he never so much as gave me a dirty look about my potentially disastrous blunder.

I'm not really a big hot mess, I just play one here on the blog for your amusement. I'm actually rather competent. Too competent in fact. I really need to stop it. It leads to people asking me to do stuff and high expectations. 

Peace & Love :-)

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Dog Is An Awesome Dog

The other day I mentioned here that my dog, Z, eats cat shit. True story. My mother who, as I eluded to here (see #20) and here (see Turkey section), LOVES LOVES LOVES my dog texted me the following in response:

Mom: "I believe ur last tirade crossed the line of respect regarding Z and ur characterization of her habits (not wine choices) was distasteful"

Me: "I'm pretty sure it's not defamation of character if it's true, but I'll check with my attorney. It does sound a little like you're building a custody case so I probably should contact said attorney in any case."

Mom: "All in jest re: Z"

I totally scared her into backing off with that attorney talk. She doesn't want to lose access to the dog or probably the kids, but the while the kids have school and sports and can't hang out for weeks on end, Z is generally available for extended stays with my parents. We had dogs growing up and while they were cared for, they were not doted on. Z, however, is doted on as is her cousin G (my sister's dog). 

While it's true that Z does eat some gross stuff including cat shit and sometimes has room clearing gas, (those 2 things seem related, no?), and she is kinda a spaz on the leash, and she has chronic ear issues (not her fault) we really did luck out with her. I'm okay with dogs, but am not "a dog person". I DID NOT want a puppy. We were able to get Z from a friend of a friend when she was 4, because Z's previous owners were sadly court ordered to get rid of their dogs. Something about a dug under fence and a neighbor's dead fainting goat. I was never 100% clear on the story, but it doesn't matter. Their loss was our (and I'm including my parents and my siblings here) gain. Z is a fantastic dog. Let me count the ways:

1. She could not be sweeter with the kids.

2. She has a bladder and bowels of steel. She has never, ever had any kind of potty accident. She can be inside for 15+ hours at a time no problem.

3. She is super easy to train. I trained her to chase turkeys out of the yard and come straight back. 

4. She will accompany you wherever you'd like to go. The mailbox? The park? A ride in the car around the block? From the family room to the kitchen? Yes, please!

5. She doesn't run off. In a few isolated incidents she has been inadvertently left out and as soon as we realize it, whether it is in 5 minutes or 5 hours, we find her sitting on the front porch.

6. She will chase the ball as many times as the kids will throw it. She may be exhausted and trying to lay on the ball and hide it, but if one of the kids unearths it and throws it, she will go get it. 

7. She will run right into a creek, river or lake no matter what the temperature, but she steers clear of our pool which means no dog hair to clean out of the pool and also less wet dog smell. Awesome.

40 degree water. No problemo. 
8. She stays downstairs at night even though we are upstairs. Given an invitation she would gladly come up the stairs and get in our bed, but we don't invite her and she doesn't try to come up. 

9. She an excellent broom/mop. We don't give her people food, but she's really good at finding and taking care of spills, dribbles, and piles of crumbs. She often lays under the kids stools while they eat just waiting for the inevitable. She did a fantastic job on the wine spill in the garage. According to my mother, Z even likes coffee. Only when a few drop are accidentally splashed on the floor of course. No one would actually ever pour any extra on the floor for the dog on purpose. Allegedly. 

10. She is beautiful. She should be in commercials. It's true. I'm not just saying that because she is my dog. Just ask my mother.

She could so star in those baked bean ads.

Peace & Love :-)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fuck it.

I took the "Not for the easily offended" line off my blog's description, because as it turns out I don't actually care if people are offended by what I write. You'll find me insolent or not and you'll keep reading or not. 

If you keep reading, then I hope you're are smiling, chuckling or full on snort laughing. Although I want you to be doing it, I cannot bring myself to type the accepted abbreviation for "laughing out loud", because I hate those 3 little letters strung together. I don't know why. It seems unreasonable I know, but to me it's like nails on a chalkboard. Also "laughing my fucking ass off" or even worse "rolling on the floor laughing my fucking ass off" in their abbreviated forms. Just type ":-D" or "ha" or "funny" or take the time to tap out "that's fucking funny" or something. Anything but ROTFLMFAO. 

I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, my lack of concern regarding my obnoxious, distasteful, abhorrent musings. 

When a new reader happens along, it will not take very long for them to figure out that I think the word fuck is an adverb, a noun, a verb and an interjection. And also that sometimes, possibly, maybe, perhaps, on occasion, I cross a line or two. The sky will not fall. The Rapture will not come. They might even laugh. Because sometimes offensive things are really fucking funny. Plus, as it turns out, in the wide world of blogging, I'm pretty tame.

Peace & Love :-)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Don't Cry For Me Argentina...

RIP $3.99 La Finca 2010 Malbec from Argentina
The above is what happens when your 5 y/o is trying to be helpful by bringing in the groceries for you and he jumps down from the back of the SUV with the grocery bag in hand and there is wine at the bottom. He wasn't hurt, but he started freaking out because wine was leaking all over the garage floor and he thought he might be in trouble. Lucky for him his mother was willing to make this a calm teaching moment for how to make a different choice when unloading groceries.

We've not tried this wine before and perhaps we've been saved from a terrible fate. It was all of $3.99, the cheaper end of our usual $3.99-$5.99 Trader Joe's wine purchases. I am a bit sad as the $3.99 Sangiovese we've been enjoying lately from Trader Joe's is AWOL and I was hopeful this could be my new lovely, inexpensive wine find. I'll pick up another bottle next time I'm there and we'll give it a try. The dog seemed to enjoy licking it off the garage floor, but she also digs through the litter box and eats cat shit so that isn't actually an indication of if the wine is any good. 

Peace & Love :-)

Monday, October 17, 2011


When I haven't posted in a few days or a week or 8 days (but who's counting?) I feel like a slacker. The lack of posting might be because I'm busy or tired or nothing blog worthy is swirling in my head. I find I don't have much success staring at the blank screen and waiting for inspiration to strike. I do better when I let an idea start brewing in my head as I go about my life and wait till I have a beginning or at least some points I want to work in.

Despite that I already know staring at the blank screen is a waste of my time, I was thinking the other day that perhaps I should be more disciplined. Maybe I should set a writing schedule? Maybe I should set a word minimum per day whether or not I post it? Then I remembered I'm not actually a professional writer and a schedule would be stupid. I'm not working on a book. I've never been a journalist. I have produced some extremely well written reports, letters and emails in my time though. Also texts, I have written some really good texts. 

I would gladly babble on a deadline for pay so if anyone from the or or reads this and wants to talk just leave a comment and I'll get back to you. I'm not even sure if those websites have to pay for content or if bloggers desperate to get their stuff read gladly provide it for free. Admittedly I would probably do the same for the fame and the glory. 

I would also be available for TV writing. I suspect it helps if you know someone and there's probably a bit of due paying to be done, but it would be pretty fucking awesome to be a writer on Modern Family (hi Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd - one never knows who has a google alert on their name) or on 30 Rock (hi Tina Fey) or even a lesser funny show. Some shows seem like they really could use my help. Psst... Suburgatory (hi Emily Kapnek) I'm talking to you. So many cool actors from some of my favorite HBO and Showtime shows and so much potential for hilarity, but you are falling short. I keep watching and waiting for you to find your groove, but I can't take much more. I did like that you had Billy from Six Feet Under in mom jeans in that one episode and also having Cheryl from Curb Your Enthusiasm in partial dreads while playing tennis without any set up or explanation was kind of fun and quirky, although an actual funny thing tied to it might have made it better. (It's possible I feel asleep for a minute and there was a dread lock explanation/set up, but I actually think there wasn't.)

If I got discovered and offered a real writing gig (not going to happen), I might have to give my real name. I don't do that here because of my children's stalker. True and totally fucked up story. I have never blogged about it, because I just don't think I could make it funny. Honestly, I've never even given it a go, because if I go down that road I get nauseous. Obviously, most of you know who I am as I shameless link all my posts on Facebook, but I do try to keep myself and the kids as ungooglable as possible. See, this is why I don't bring it up. Total mood killer.

I just remembered that I do write a blog for Scott's company. I do this pro bono AKA for free, but I do have the title of Social Media Director and my company emails are automatically signed that way so that's something. The "job" is low key and rarely is there a writing deadline. I did get a really nice spa gift certificate from the owner of the company and that's paymentish so I guess I am a professional writer after all. Still not setting a schedule. By the by, when I explained to my 10 year old daughter what working pro bono meant she deadpanned "Are you sure you're not an intern?" Touche.

Peace & Love :-)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Once upon a time in a pretty typical suburban neighborhood lived a family of four. There was the King, the Queen, the Princess and the Prince. For the most part they were a happy family. The Princess and the Prince were quite capable of peaceful interaction, but seemed to find great delight in pushing each others buttons, despite their 5 year age difference, in a valiant effort to finally push the Queen over the edge once and for all. 

One lovely Fall weekend the Princess and the Prince each received invitations to slumber away from home with respective friends. Initially the invitations were for the same evening leaving the King and Queen with a potential childless night. The Queen briefly thought of hosting an adults only soirée at the castle, but then remembered she is rather inept at staying up past 10 p.m. and undoubtedly her friends would want to engage in revelry late into the night. 

As it would happen one of the invitations got modified and the King and Queen ended up having the Prince away on Friday night and the Princess away on Saturday night. This gave a rare opportunity for each child to spend their own time with both parents and it was lovely. On Friday night the Princess and her parents went to Sushi which the Prince is not fond of. Dinner was easy. There were no insults, accusations or fighting. On Saturday afternoon the Prince and his parents walked to get frozen yogurt and then to the park to play. They ordered pizza delivered to the castle for dinner. Again, an easy meal sans bickering. 

It is now Sunday afternoon on the very same fine Fall weekend. The weather is nearly perfect. The King is off mountain bike riding. The Princess has returned home reuniting with the Prince whom she has seen only in passing since Friday afternoon. The Prince and Princess apparently need to make up for lost time as they cannot find a kind word for each other nor can they decide in this castle of many halls to find different rooms to be in. The Queen has conversed, yelled, threatened and punished and is now considering a bottle of wine for herself and a battle to the death for the Prince and Princess.

The End.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Good News, Bad News

Yesterday afternoon I was sooo tired. I had been up since 4:30 a.m. and taught cycling at 6 a.m. which usually has me dragging in the afternoon, but I was more tired than usual. At 1 p.m. I had a grande cappuccino and at 3:15 p.m. I lay down on the couch and took a nap. Well, as much of a nap as one can have with a 5 year old pirate and 10 year old gymnast in the same room. I went to bed early last night and was asleep by 8:30 p.m., slept okay and was up around 6 a.m. per usual and was still dragging. The bags under my eyes this morning were hideous and I made a mental note to Google "best raccoon eye make-up for almost 40 year olds". Having a day to get to, I slapped on some make-up, guzzled extra coffee and went forth, all the while wondering... is this it? Have I hit the wall? Are exhaustion and dark circles the new norm? 

Perhaps a little dramatic for less than 24 hours of exhaustion, but with just a little over 2 months to go until I turn 40, I am sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop. I feel like turning 40 is no big deal. Most of the time I look and feel pretty good. 40 is the new 30 or 20 or 28 1/2 or whatever. I vacillate between congratulating myself on such a healthy attitude and worrying that I am completely delusional. What if I have bamboozled myself into thinking I'm in a good place and then some silly little thing sends me over the edge? A few weeks ago I got a hair cut and I kinda wanted to get my long hair cut to my shoulders, but then I thought... what if I don't like it and I have to turn 40 not liking my hair? So, I just got a trim. I'm feeling like the case for delusional is mounting...

Anyhow, a couple of hours ago I noticed a dull ache in my throat and that funny pre-congestion feeling in my head and the lights went on. I'm getting a cold! Yay! Well, yay and yuck all at the same time. I don't have time to be sick (AGAIN!). There's no room on the calendar for it, but at least there's a chance that in a few days I'll go back to being merely sort of tired all the time instead of truly exhausted and I'll be able to ease up on the concealer just a bit.

Peace & Love ;-)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Move Over Sliced Bread

Introducing my new most favoritist thing:

TA DA.... Lysol Disinfecting Wipes!

Short Version: 

Bought a 4 pack at Costco as part of the pantry moth cleaning frenzy. Thought I might send a couple tubs to my daughter's classroom. Have become obsessed with their simple fabulousness. All 4 giant Costco tubs are staying here. When  gone, they will be replaced. These things rock. I heart them. The end.

The wipes among the new pantry containers. These are my 2 main lines of defense in the moth wars.

Long Version (because I cannot stop myself): 

I'm no stranger to various presoaked wipes. I have 2 kids and have used plenty of baby wipes. The youngest has been out of diapers for 3 years and I still have baby wipes around as they are genius in so many ways. I mop my floor with Swiffer Wet Pads. Again genius. We have flushable wipes by every toilet for that super fresh feeling. Anything that enables independent pottying = genius!

Cleaning wipes aren't brand new and while I've purchased them before, I've felt a little guilty and wasteful and lazy. How hard is it to get a rag and spray some 409 on it? I used to be really good about using cleaning rags. Well, I used to be really good about having a stack of cleaning rags for my cleaning lady to use. She would come use them and leave them in a big pile on my washer. I could get it together to wash them and have them ready for her when she came back two weeks later. I have not had the pleasure of professional cleaning services for at least 7 years now. I'm sad just thinking about it. I still use cleaning rags some, but have drifted over to paper towels which really doesn't seem less wasteful than cleaning wipes.

What prompted me to buy the Lysol wipes was the moth thing. When I was at Costco buying air tight containers for the pantry I saw the 4 pack of tubs of the Lysol wipes and threw it in the basket knowing I had to go home and wipe down every nook and cranny of the pantry with no patience left to spray and wipe. Initially, I thought I over-bought and would send a couple tubs to my daughter's classroom as she reported her teacher likes the kids to use them on their desks, but after using the wipes for a few days I have rethunk that idea. Nope. No way. I'm using these suckers. They are the greatest. So simple, yet so wonderful. They make the wiping down of the kitchen and the bathroom so fantastically easy. Just pop open the lid and pull yourself out a wipe. No smelling the sponge first to see if it's moldy. No 2 step process of paper towel and squirt bottle. Just pull a wipe out and wipe away. I haven't looked into, but I bet Windex or someone else makes a wipe for cleaning windows. The very idea of window wipes makes me giddy. I will be checking into that situation ASAP!

Peace & Love :-)

Monday, September 26, 2011

I Call Bullshit!

I think most people most of the time can relate to that feeling of 'it's always something'. We have progressed from 'it's always something' to 'when it rains it pours' and I am calling bullshit! 

I am the first one to admit that my current problems are small in the grand scheme of things. We are happy, have a home, an income, good kids, blah, blah, blah, but that doesn't make all the day to day bullshit any less bullshitty. This morning when the boy child started puking all I could think was "are you fucking kidding me?" Obviously, it's very sad to have a puking child at any juncture, but I was selfishly focusing on how it was just one more thing in the recent quagmire of bullshit. 

Let me back up and 'splain a bit.

Around here it's been one ridiculous thing after another. We are still dealing with the raccoon and the moths. Although we were assured by several sources that if we cut off the raccoon's food supply for several days it would wander elsewhere, it showed up in our garage last night after not having access for an entire week. Either it really likes us or it was smart enough to realize that eventually we'd forget to shut the cat door overnight. The moth saga continues (get the latest body count here) and my pantry OCD is soaring to new heights.  

In addition to all the animal fun, Scott and the girl child have poison oak. Scott got it 2 weeks ago while cutting back a jungle area in our yard. He'd never had it before and initially thought the scratches on his arm were just scratches from a branch. He kept getting new spots and got itchier and itchier and uncomfortabler and uncomfortabler until he finally went to the doctor last week. Our daughter's case isn't nearly as bad as Scott's, but she and Scott now have an assortment of pills and washes and creams. I don't have it, but I start to itch all over when they are comparing spots and rubbing various concoctions about their bodies. Our son does not seem to have poison oak, but he did have some unexplained red bumps on his torso for a couple days. They are getting better, however, this morning he puked and he has a low grade fever. I think the puking and fever are unrelated to his fading spots, but can't guarantee it. Unlikely his pediatrician could confirm or deny it at this juncture so I'm not even asking.

My parents are supposed to visit this weekend. After hearing the updates on all our sagas including the newest addition of a puking child, my Mom seemed slightly less sure about coming here. She was being all humorous about it, but I think there might be some actual concern over purposefully placing herself under the black cloud hovering over my house. Go figure.

Peace & Love :-)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nightmare on Aisle 3

I went to Trader Joe's today for the first time since the Indian Meal Moth War began (if you missed my last post, but would like to get up to speed on the moths read it about it here). Well, I tried to go yesterday. I carefully coordinated my workout time with a trip to TJ's anticipating just enough time to execute both stops and get to school pick up on time. What I didn't do was check to make sure my wallet was in my purse. Luckily I noticed this while in the TJ's parking lot and not at the check out with a full cart. Having no interest in schlepping the children back to TJs with me and figuring if no one drank milk with dinner there would be enough for this morning's cereal I waited until today to go back. 

Turns out I am completely traumatized by the moths. Everywhere I turned there were seemingly innocuous dried goods and all I could see was larvae lunch. I love Trader Joe's and I in no way mean to suggest that their inventory is full of Indian Meal Moths in various stages of their life cycle. In fact, although I cannot be sure, I think that the original eggs/larvae/pupae/whatever came in on the raisins that I got at a different market. The thing is that right now, if a food does not go in the refrigerator or the freezer, it freaks me out. 

While I have developed OCD in the areas of cleaning, tossing, repacking, and inspecting the pantry and surrounding areas we are still seeing a few moths. From my obsessive internet reading it seems it takes a little while to completely break the life cycle and eradicate the fuckers. The few moths we are seeing have hatched from pupae we didn't find during the scrub down. Our 'attract the males' pheromone trap is trapping moths and we have smashed others. Hopefully we are managing to execute the assholes before they mate and eggs are lain. If eggs are lain, then hopefully hatching larvae starve as we have done our damnedest to cut off their food supply. Then, there is the possibility that food that looks clean and we have sealed really has eggs in it and will one day be crawling with larvae. In that case, at least it will be confined to that container that can then be tossed. There sure are a lot of hopefullys in this situation! (I've put a new tab on the blog entitled Body Count. Check there often if you are interested in how the moth war is going as I'm going to try (but probably fail) to not post only about the insects in my pantry.)

I now really really want to have less things in the pantry and not more. I don't even want new bottled or canned food. I'm going pantry minimalist. 

The dried fruit and nut aisle was particularly anxiety provoking today as the two things that were literally crawling with larvae were a bag of fruit and nut mix and those mini boxes of raisins. I almost stopped to explain to a woman putting dried fruit in her basket how important inspecting and sealing that package is, but I don't think I could have done it in a non-crazy, non-ranting sort of way.

While I can go a long way towards feeding the family on fresh refrigerated and frozen food, we do like cereal, crackers, pretzels etc. around here. I did buy cereal and crackers today, but only 1 box of each because that's the amount of sealed container space I had available. Usually I would buy several varieties of cereal and maybe 2 kinds of crackers or some chips or something. NOT TODAY. Even if we manage to actually eradicate this ourselves and don't have to get the house tented (see the comments on the moth post for a truly horrifying tale), I can't imagine buying dried goods in bulk ever again. I do not even care that it will be more expensive and result in more frequent trips to the market. Maybe I will buy a refrigerator especially for the cereal and it's cohorts...

Peace & Love :-)