Apr 29, 2005

Cotton candy and all that good stuff

Is it Friday? It is?! Thank GOD. If I had to make it through another week, I'd throw myself off a bridge into a muddied creek swimming with parasites. Oh yes, it has been THAT kind of week. I'm just really, really glad that today is Friday.

But, since today IS Friday, that means we're going to the Astros game tonight. We're taking the chicks. BOTH of them. At the same time. To a baseball game. What are the chances that they'll sit through the game, acting as if they're well-behaved little angels, and garnering looks of admiration from fellow Astros fans? 0%. What are the chances that we'll be sitting right along the first-base line next to the dugout, where all the camera-crews are, so that area is always on television? 100%. Sweet God in heaven, anyone who watches ESPN is going to see me beating my children on live television. Shit.

Look for me: I'm the one with the stick-up hair that looks like fire, trying to restrain two gorgeous little girls that have terrorized the entire front section of Minute Maid Park. But look quick, I doubt we'll make it past the first inning...

Apr 27, 2005

Get the skinny on what's hot in Hollywood

For those of you that have a never-ending fascination with all that's glitz and glamour: Pink is the new blog

Beware, he's quite snarky.

Caramel or dead bodies?

Thu Apr 21, 6:33 AM ET

A woman looks at a titan arum lily at the Royal Botanical Garden's hothouse, in west London, on Thursday April 21, 2005. The lily (Amorphophallus titanium), of which there has only been six in the UK, originates from Sumatra, and stands at 2.11 meters high (6.9 ft), with its corm weighing 77Kg. The plant flowers for only two days before collapsing. The blood-red flower is renowned for its hideous smell, which is said to be a cross between burnt sugar and rotting flesh. (AP Photo / Chris Young, PA)
From Yahoo

If you really want to see the picture, click on the link (if it's still there). It's just a big flower. What caught me off-guard with this story/picture, was not the enormous flower, but that it smells like a "cross between burnt sugar and rotting flesh." Those really aren't two things that I ever would have lumped together.

Enter two police officers:
A:"Do you smell that? What is that?"
B:"No, I don't smell...WAIT! I do!"
A:"Is it, is it...waffles?"
B:"No, no, it's cotton candy..."
A:"Oh, damn. It's just some rotting flesh. Tricked again!"
B:"That rotting flesh is so crafty! It gets us every time!"
Exuent. Holding hands and chuckling together.

Apr 26, 2005

007

My brother bought Jenna a cute purse that has a little dog in it. Think "little rich girl," and you get the picture. It's a little chihuahua, and his big, beady eyes are just lifelike enough to make you think it's real. So, I asked her, "What's your dog's name? Puppy? Brownie? Tiny? Arfie?"

"No, mom. It's 'Pico.' 'Pico Rivera'."

She comes up with the strangest things.

And when introducing him to her other array of animals/toys, etc. he is always introduced as 'Pico. Pico Rivera.' Almost like he's some kind of playroom spy.

Pico likes his martinis shaken, not stirred.

Thoughts on the snack machine

I just spent 4 of my minutes, staring at a snack machine. I was heating up my "Healthy Choice" meal (by the way, they didn't send me another enchilada, but they DID send me a free-meal coupon), and what else can I do for 4 minutes, but stare at the snack machine. That damn snack machine. It's laced with so many delicacies, like the "Mrs. Freshley's Carrot Cake." According to the packaging, the carrot cake is one of many "fun bakery products(tm)." Sorry, but I'm not seeing the carrot cake as a "fun" bakery product. A "tasty" bakery product, yes, "fun," not so much. It was one of those big snacks, too. You know the ones, where you really feel like you're getting a deal. "Hell, yes! Now THAT'S worth my seventy-cents!" Alas, I didn't get the carrot cake, even though it promised me years of fun and a great marriage.

My eyes wandered to the 5th row, where I saw the "Double-Barrel Salami Sticks." Oh yes, DOUBLE barrel. That's a deal, too. Especially since these sticks have "NO MSG!" Yep, all caps, with the exclamation point. It's no good if you just SAY it, "No MSG." But, if you add the exclamation point, you're in a frickin double-barrel salami heaven, running back and forth to your coworkers' offices, yelling, "NO MSG! NO MSG IN MY DOUBLE-BARREL SALAMI! WOO!" and then you pretend that your double-barrel salami is a weapon and you fling that salami outta your pocket like Dirty Harry, all shoot-em-up like, right in your coworker's face. "Pow! Pow! Pow!" THEN, you blow on the ends of your salami and put 'em back in your pocket. Now, THAT'S worth of "NO MSG!"

I just have to add, that I went to the Mrs. Freshley's website, and they have another snack cake called the "German Chocolate Mound." Not "cake" or even "loaf," for God's sake. MOUND. "Yes, I'd like the 'German Chocolate Mound', please." That's just dirty. You know there's a 900-number somewhere with a woman who goes by that callname. "Thank you for calling 1-900-Sxy-Babe. Press 1 to have fun with 'Swedish Vanilla Cheeks,' press 2 to toy with 'German Chocolate Mound'..."

eta:
Here it is!
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Be sure to go to Mrs. Freshley's and taste her "German Chocolate Mound." It's fun from a bakery!

I scream, you scream, and then I scream some more

Yesterday, Scott took half a day of vacation, and I was off all day. We decided to take the girls to the Blue Bell* Ice Cream Factory. It was a rainy, cloudy, and generally, crappy day, so HEY! Let's take a road trip! It got us out of the house, and my God, as long as I didn't have to watch Monsters, Inc. for the bazillionth time, I didn't care where we went.

The trip there was okay. It's about 45 minutes to an hour to get there. Claire conked out during the first 15 minutes of the trip, and Jenna's a good trip-taker. She just sits in the back and points out the several thousand cows that roam the landscape. It's like a play-by-play of every rancher's property:

"And here's some brown cows! Hey brown cows, how're ya doin? Look at that one, that one's light brown, and it's eating. The dark brown one is pooping, and hey! There are some black and white cows. Those are milk cows. Everyone knows that those are milk cows. Look! That baby cow is eating boobies. Hey, that's my cow-milk, baby cow! And look over there! The cows are sleeping! Look at that. They're sleeping on the grass..."

I know what every cow from here to Brenham was doing yesterday, between 12 and 1.

The factory tour was decent. I don't know what I expected, but let me tell you, there were no oompa-loompas, no rivers of chocolate, and not one damn shred of tasty, lickable wallpaper. Claire licked a lot of the walls, testing it, and by the face she made, it was not yummy. There were, however, lots of pipes, lots of ice cream cartons, and lots of sullen people, wearing goofy blue and white striped hats over their hairnets. I got to thinking: it's a manufacturing line. Just because it's ice cream doesn't mean it's fun. You can be manufacturing an ice cream sandwich, or a toilet brush--it's all the same. I guess, unless you're feeling snackity. It wouldn't do you much good to snag a toilet brush off the line, but an ice cream sandwich? Yea, NOW we're talking.

We made it through the entire, 30-minute tour, with Jenna asking, "When do we get ice cream? When do we get ice cream? When do we get ice cream?" over and over and over until I'm sure that the old people behind us were plotting against her. It was over rather quickly, and we got our free scoop of ice cream. Jenna didn't start screaming that she couldn't have more until we were leaving. THAT, my friends, is a successful outing.

*If you live in the South, you know and love Blue Bell; if you live somewhere else, you've most likely never had Blue Bell ice cream, but believe me, when I say it is the best. Once you try it, you will never go back.

Conversations with Jenna

Jenna: Mom, if the dog's on fire, and the cat's on fire, and our house is on fire, we need to call the fireman.
Me: Uhm...yes.
Jenna: It's not good to have your dog and cat on fire. Fire's not safe.
Me: No, no it's not.
Jenna: Well, when our dog's on fire, I'll call the fireman, and he'll come and spray water on the fire and make it go away, okay?
Me: yea...sure.

~**~*~

Jenna: --sigh-- Those people need to learn how to drive.
Me: What people?
Jenna: "Those" people, you know.
Me: No, I don't know. What people?
Jenna: The ones that drive in front of you on the way home from work. They need to learn how to drive, or get outta the way!

Apr 24, 2005

Sunday night lights

It's Sunday night, it's 745pm, and I'm at the office. Why, you ask? For two reasons: 1. To get some work done that absolutely HAS to be done by tomorrow, and since I'm not going to be here tomorrow, well... 2. To take a break. 3. To chill out. Wait a minute, that's 3 reasons. So sue me.

I'm having a total "bi-polar" moment/day//week, and as fabulous as I have been at hiding it from everyone I know and love, I'm about to commence "Project Major Spin," so I thought it would be wise to escape for a bit.
To work.
At my office.

What's wrong with this picture?!

So anyways, here I sit, contemplating suicide by Purell Hand Sanitizer, which would be good, since it "Kills 99.9% of germs"; or by stabbing myself repeatedly with my medium, round-stic, grip Bic ballpoint (in green). My desk scissors are entirely too dull to get the job done, the stapler's just a dumb idea; and even if I kept my office door shut and colored my dry-erase board solid, I know I'd just end up skipping around the building in my panties with a crown of shredded documentation on my head, rather than dying from dry-erase-board-marker-fume-inhalation.

I'm laughing at myself. I'm not sure if it's because I think I'm funny, or if it's because I'm insane.

Apr 22, 2005

Mary's too busy

So, now Mary is appearing underneath a bridge. Just a couple months ago, she was all about the grilled cheese, now under a bridge? Oh, it's a fact, people. Just ask, Carmen Garcia, who said, "I see her. It's just faith. You have to believe, and you will see her" (ABCnews.com). That being said, I guess I could see a Godly image in anything--grilled cheese sandwiches included.

I'm Catholic. I believe that Mary is the Mother of God and all that other good Catholic yadda-yadda, but I also believe that Mary has better things to do with her time, then make appearances on grilled cheese and underpasses. She's the mother of Christ, for Pete's/God's/heaven's sake, she's probably busy 99% of the time. Do you think Jesus' mom EVER gets a break? NO! Because you know, she's like the coolest mom in the universe. I mean, cripes, her boy can make blind men see (Stevie Wonder's in for a real treat), and water into wine--she's uber-popular up there.

Jesus: "Mom, can you make me your special latkes this Friday?"
Mary: "Jesus, you always wait until the last minute to ask. Does it have to be THIS Friday?"
Jesus: "But, Mom! I've already invited the Apostles over!"
Mary: "Jesus Christ!"
Jesus: "Sweet Mary, Mother of God! Don't use my name in vain!"
Mary:--sigh-- "Well, then you're going to have to help me out, Son. I know you can work wonders with a fish and a loaf of bread, but you better be able to make a latke miracle, 'cuz I'm not spending all day in the kitchen!"

Like I said, she has better things to do than make an appearance on someone's sandwich or on an underpass.

It's "Friday Haiku" time!

Corner-office guy,
I find you so annoying.
You're a boob-looker.

Barbara (part II)

Barbara was the perfect college-car. Cheap on gas, cheap on maintenance, and just...well, cheap.

Since it was summer, and I was home, I was working at the local "Latest & Greatest Video." It was a horrible job--one which taught me that I hate serving the public and its people and I will never do anything like that again for as long as I live because I can't stand carrying on idle chit-chat with random people and telling them "Have a great day!" when I really don't mean it. Yet, I keep a public web log--go figure. So anyways, on the way to work one day, the subdivision cop pulls me over. I immediately fall into "stupid girl" mode, and begin batting my eyelashes and making pouty lips. I'm not sure how the hell that happens, but it's nearly instantaneous. I'll pass by someone ELSE getting pulled over and all of the sudden my lips are bee-stung, and my eyelashes are dancing the conga. Ridiculous. So, this cop pulls me over, and says, "Do you know your reverse lights are on?"
"Reverse lights? No, Officer [bat, bat, pout], I didn't." (Really, I didn't)
"Can I see your license and insurance, please?"
[pout, bite lip, look innocent] "Can you please write down exactly what the problem is, so my dad can fix it for me?" [bat, bat, sniff, pout]

So, the cop goes back to his car, and I'm thinking, "Good Lord. How much longer must I put on this charade?!" and I see him walking back.

"Here, I'm not giving you a ticket, just a warning. Tell your dad to fix the lights."
"Thank you, Officer!" [bat, bat, smile]

Jackleg. I hate using my gender as a key, but hey, whatever works. No ticket, no dinero. The reverse lights were the least of my problems with the shit-mobile. Enter Fall semester.

I'm on the way up to school, and the rear windshield wiper comes on. The day is clear as all get-out, and here I am, putzing down the freeway with my back wiper going on full speed. I ignored it for the first 30-minutes, but that sound--the eeee-uh! eee-uh! eee-uh!--of the dry wiper on the dry window was making my teeth grit. So I did what anyone in my position would have done. I pulled over to the shoulder, got outta my car, stomped to the back, and ripped the mother-fucker off. Of course, I had to fight with it a bit, because it's not going to just "pop off" easily. I was standing on the back bumper, windshield wiper in my grip, twisting and pulling and tugging at that piece of shit, all the while, yelling, "Die mother-fucker! DIE!" while logging-trucks honked their air-horns and blew past me. Oh yes, that windshield wiper died a terrible death: rotting and rusting in the grassy-area alongside 59N. The days weren't kind to Barbara.

Everytime it rained, she leaked from unidentifiable spots--right into the fuse box. Many-a-time i'd be driving home from work in the dead of night, and either (a) the windshield wipers would just come on, or (b) the headlights would go out. The headlights were always my favorite catastrophe. You see, the drive home was on a long, curvy drive with minimal lighting. As soon as my headlights went out, I couldn't see shit, so I'd start kicking the fuse box. I finally figured out, that if I gave it a good, swift kick on the right side, the headlights would come back on. Nice. It always scared the crap out of people, but it was fun.

I guess the biggest problem with Barb, was that she refused to go into reverse 95% of the time. It took a hell of a lotta cajoling to get that baby to go backwards. To save myself the time of screwing with the shift-stick for ten minutes, I'd just park out in the boondocks--you know, far out enough where no one in their right mind would park--just so I could drive straight outta there. Obviously, parellel parking never happened, and if I was put in the position where I may have had to, someone else drove. For instance:

"Hey, you wanna go to La Carreta for some margaritas?"
"Sure!"
"Can you drive?"
"What's the parking situation over there?"
"If the regular lot's full, it's along the street."
"Do you wanna take that chance? Or would you rather drive?"
"I'll be there in 5."

There were several times, however, that the parking lot which I had to use, was situated in such a way that I could not "drive through." In those cases, I parked as far out as possible, and would stick my foot out the door, and push the car backwards, "Flinstone Style." I just hoped that no one saw me because really, that shit's embarrassing. But not as embarrassing as having to park the car BEHIND the sorority house during rush because your car is such a POS. Good thing I paid $250 dollars a month to be part of that sorority! Thanks a lot for minding my feelings!! Bitches. Heartless bitches.

But you see, not everyone thought Barbara was a crapper. I had a special place in my heart for her. I used to buy her scented disks to put under her seats, that left her all nice and citrusy-smelling. Someone else loved her too, or loved the radio in her, I guess. I walked out to her one day, and the dashboard was practically lying on the front seats. Someone had tried to steal her radio, but the dumb bastards didn't realize that we had to use brute strength just to get the thing IN the wee little radio cut-out that Volkswagen allows. They weren't able to get the radio, but they did pull it out a bit. We just shoved it back in, then kept it there with 4 big-ass screws. They kinda looked like little decorative corners, but kinda not.

Anyways, Barbara was a good car, and we had a good relationship until I graduated and had to get a real job. Most places won't let you specify what kind of parking space your car requires, so I was basically shit out of luck. I got a job at the local preschool, teaching the pre-k class. The school was only 2 miles from my house--far enough that I was too lazy to ride my bike, but close enough that the car battery didn't have enough time to charge. So, I'd get to the school, hook up a charger to my car, hop the fence, and plug her in. The kids loved to run up to the window and wave to me: "Look! Teacher's plugging in her car!"

We're almost to the end, people, hang in there.

It finally came to the point, where I just couldn't bear plugging her in, kicking the fuse box, or Flinstoning my way out of parking spots. I had to get a new car. We looked her up on Kelly Blue Book. She was worth--are you ready? TWO-HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS. I didn't even know they listed crap on there. We plugged her in for a good week, shined up her poo-stain paint, and drilled a hole in the floorboard so the water could drain (from the leaks). Then, we drove her up to the dealership.

As they were out there "inspecting" her for trade-in value, we were praying. Hard. "Please, Lord, let it start. Let it go in reverse. Let the blinkers work. Let the lights work," etc. Well, God took pity on us and, on paper, the dealership had given us $2k for good 'ol Barbara. I signed the papers, then laughed in an evil fashion.

I drove home in my new car, picturing the GMC guys Flinstoning Barbara out of the parking spot.

Damn, I miss that car.

Request

If you are the praying type, or just the "I'll think pleasant thoughts" type, please keep my friend Jen in your thoughts/prayers. She has recently found out that she has several lumps in one of her breasts, and the doctor has given her the news that one of them appears to be malignant.

Thanks

Barbara (part I)

Guess what? It's STORYTIME! And, just because I love all of you, I'm going to share with you another car story. YES! Another one! And THIS car is even BETTER than the "Silver Bullet."

A Story About a Car Named 'Barbara' by stewbie

One day, many years ago, me and Scott and his dad were driving somewhere in a truck. I don't remember where we were going, or even whose truck it was, but since we're in Texas, I can pretty much guarantee you that we were in a truck. So, we're in this truck, and we come upon a grocery-store parking lot that people are using as a used-car saleslot. You know the kind. And just at that minute, the clouds parted, and a ray of sun shone down on a stray car--like God was just saying, "Buy that one." We got out of the truck and checked out the Holy ride.

It was a 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit LX diesel. The 'LX' is short for 'luxury,' baby. The way the sun sparkled off of it, made the baby-poop brown color light up like Vegas. It was like a big hunk of sparkly poo, right there in the parking lot. I knew she had to be mine. I walked around her slowly--checking her out like a pimp. Let's see: shit brown, rusty hood, detailing on one door and one rear panel, and velour seating. Oh yes. It was a fine piece of machinery. And, bonus! Sunroof! Perfect for those 110 degree Texas summers when I needed the additional burning capabilities of the sun added to my daily drives! All this for a mere $700!

Problem 1: I didn't have $700. Problem 2: The car wouldn't start. It didn't even sound like it WANTED to start. Scott's dad looked under the hood, and determined that (a) this car required a big mother-fuckin battery, much like the size of your standard 18-wheeler, and (b) that the timing belts were 'off'. His dad acted like it was the biggest piece of crap on the lot, and the guy selling it let us have it for $300. Boy, were we ever sly. A car that didn't run, and looked like hell for the low, low price of $300?! What a bargain! And so, the Volkswagen was dubbed, "Barbara," and she became mine.

Good morning to you!

My day got started with taking the kids to the sitter's while singing "Living la vida loca," Shrek 2 style (replace the lovely Ricky Martin with Puss in Boots and Donkey). So, I have a 3-year old yelling out, "Her lips are devil red, and her skin's the color mocha!" while a 1-year old claps her hands, kicks her feet, and every once in a while, yells, "LOCA!" at the top of her lungs, followed by hilarious laughing. At breaks in the music, I hear, "Dance! Dance!" chanted from the backseat, wherein, I take my cue to get jiggy with it. It's quite entertaining--especially for onlookers.

And think, I haven't even had my first cup of coffee.

Apr 21, 2005

This week

Ooooo...let's do a rundown of this week's after-work & weekend schedules.

First, Scott's:
Mon: home (has baby-duty since I take Jenna to gymnastics)
Tues: softball (leaves at 530, gets home at midnight)
Wed: straight from work to some kind of class. Doesn't get out until 9.
Thurs: helping my mom pack up her apt (reward points)
Fri: poker night
Sat: golf tournament
Sun: mow lawn for 2 hours

Now, mine:
Mon: take Jenna to gymnastics
Tues: watch kids while Scott plays softball
Wed: watch kids while Scott is in class
Thurs: watch kids while Scott helps mom
Fri: watch kids while Scott has fun with his buddies
Sat: watch kids while Scott plays golf
Sun: watch kids while Scott is out playing in the yard

I'm not saying anything...I'm just saying.

Just craptacular

Today's word of the day is CRAP. It is only 1030am, and I have already used it numerous times.

-What the crap?!
-Why are you people giving me so much crap?
-Oh, crap!
-What a crappy raise!
-No, really, this is a crappy company.
-You're lucky I don't quit this crap.
-CRAP. CRAP. CRAP. CRAP. CRAP.

and an extra crap, just because.

Apr 20, 2005

Explanation required

It's not often that you hear a 1.5-year old yelling, "Go COCKS!" or "I LOVE COCKS!"

Thank you, Daddy, for having such an aptly-named softball team.

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Apr 19, 2005

Not sure how to feel about this

I'm not too sure whether to let out a pitiful sigh, cry tears, or laugh my ass off. I'm just a conundrum of mixed emotions. Let me give you a briefing on "Matt, the Flatt Catt":

-Matt has no legs.
-Matt has little stumps where his legs should be; hence, his first given name was "Stumpy."
-Matt's temporary owner refers to him as a "mewtant."
-I need to type that again: MEWTANT. mewtant. mewtant.
-Matt's deformities extend to his tail, which he only has a quarter of.

View for yourself: Matt, the Flatt Catt


The text says that "Matt lives to be loved." I'd like to agree with that, but I can guarantee you that Scott will say Matt is meant to be shark bait.

Was Matt's mom a heroin addict? Was Matt born deformed because he was a crack baby? Were there just one too many catnip brownies ingested while he was in utero? We'll never know.

I think I would have named him Stubbs. I also like the fact that he squirms around the house like a seal. LIKE A SEAL. I'd give the little guy prosthetic limbs and hook him up with a speedy skateboard.

Ode to Matt

I am Matt.
Matt the Flatt Catt.
I have no legs.
What do you think of that?

I get stuck
if I lie on my back.
Because I am Matt.
Matt the Flatt Catt.

Hope there's not a "I'm-at-work-but-I'm-really-not-working Cam"

Anyone watch the "Pope Cam," or the "Vatican Cam," or the "Smoke Cam"? Or, perhaps, you were glued to the "Since-we-have-technology-we-can-put-a-'cam'-on-anything Cam"?

I have to admit, I was glued to the "Vatican Cam" and I was nervous as all get-out. Why? You ask. I have no idea. I was staring intently at the french doors on the Vatican, as if they would spring forth some kind of Divine image that only I, the internet "Vatican Cam" watcher, could see. Nothing on the french doors, but once the Pope-helpers swished down the velvety curtains, I swear I saw "Jesus Rocks!" in the ruby folds. Don't take my word for it though. I've also seen the Madonna in cream cheese on an english muffin. Actually, Scott had a happy face on a piece of toast once. It was like the universe was sending us a message: "I'm so happy you're watching your health and eating 100% whole wheat bread. Have a nice frickin' day!"

Regardless of what signs of Christ I may or may not have seen, I was nervous while awaiting the papal announcement. I felt like I was in 6th grade again, waiting to see if I was popular enough to be a cheerleader. Horrible, cramping knots in my stomach. The only difference was that I was waiting to hear who would be Jesus' right-hand-man in the Catholic church, rather than waiting to hear if that bitch, Robyn, who's mom had to be involved in everything, would make the cheer team.

I'm not disappointed in the choice of pope. Really, we know nothing about the man, except what's printed on his application for Pope. We basically see his curriculum vitae. I can only imagine the kinds of questions they ask on a pope interview:

1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how well would you say you know Jesus?
2. Do you care about everyone in the world? Seriously, do you?
3. What about that kid that flicked his booger on you in 4th grade? Do you care about him?

Even back when I was a wee little lass, I've wondered about the Pope. I used to think he was God. For real, I thought he was God. How could I not? In the Catholic church, the Pope was as close as you could get without being the big G-man Himself. He always looked so nice. I used to wish he was my grandpa--not that I didn't love the grandpas I already had, but talk about getting on the good side! One of my grandpas used to bring me Hershey bars, but if the Pope was my grandpa...whoa. That's like a ticket into heaven. Can you imagine the pressure on your family if you're related to the Pope?! Cripes. I feel bad when I say naughty things because my BROTHER goes to church. If someone I were related to was Pope, I'd just lock myself into a confessional and start a life-long string of "Hail Marys."

I used to want to be a nun. I had a great aunt who was a nun--Sister Alexis. When we visited her at the convent, she'd feed me stale windmill cookies. I loved the way the convent smelled--kinda like a nursing home, but minus the pee smell. It smelled like a big bunch of grandmas mixed in with Old English furniture polish. Anyways, every time we went to visit Sister, I'd come home thinking I was going to be a nun. I'd wear the arm-cover from the recliner as a veil, and conduct church from my mass book. Didn't bother me one bit that my veil was blue and green floral.

Well, I guess that's enough babbling. Guess I'll go find the "Pope-takes-his-first-crap-as-'Pontiff-of-all-that-is-Holy' Cam."

Apr 18, 2005

Did you get your tickets?

This weekend, I got to use a "man line." I've been working out since January. I know, not a long time, but when you haven't worked out for years before that, it's a big step. From all this working out, my arms are beginning to take shape. Nicely. I have guns, people.

This weekend, I stood in front of my mom and said,
"So, mom...have you bought your tickets?"
"Tickets to what?"
"The GUN SHOW!" I said, flexing my right arm.

Oh yea.

Sibling stories-- The Rope

It's a beautiful day outside. In HERE, it sucks, but out THERE, it's gorgeous. It's about 75, and slightly breezy. Reminds me of when I was a kid...

Down the street from us, was this house that stood on stilts. Thinking back, as a grown-up, I know that the house was on stilts because the jackasses built it in a flood zone. As a child, I thought the house was on stilts because the people were really, really cool. Funny how your perceptions change as you age...

Behind the stilt-house was a winding creek. It could flood pretty bad back there, so you could see where the ground had been eroded away from past floods/rushing water. There was a huge tree back there, and its roots were exposed and crawling down towards the wet ground. The tree had a rope tied to one of its branches. The rope was most likely used to swing out over the creek water and let go--plunging into the bacteria-infested, muddy creek. However, being a particularly dry summer, the creek had dwindled down to nothing more than a squirmy worm of run-off from the nearby road. Since the rope swing had no creek to actually swing into anymore, it swung off over a dry creekbed, rocks, and tree roots. A rotting rope, rocks, debris, and a dry creek bed...what more do kids need? It was like paradise.

If we weren't at Devil's Drop, we were at "The Rope." We would grab the knotted end, run, leap off the dropoff, and swing wildly over the rocky terrain--screaming our heads off and nearly killing ourselves with stupidity. Because that's what kids do. I had a best friend back then--her name was Brandee. Brandee was one of the "special friends" that we inducted into the Society of The Rope. Not everyone was invited, because, hell, we didn't want anyone else finding out about that place. But Brandee was invited. Of course, if she would have told anyone we would have killed her, but that's beside the point. The Rope kicked ass, and we knew it.

I'm trying hard to remember exactly what happened...but my memory is foggy. Either from how hard I hit my head, or from laughing my ass clear off. All I know, is that we decided that everybody should swing on the rope together. At the same time. Over the vast wasteland of dry creekbed.
Me, Shawn, Shannon, and Brandee all hung onto the rope. I was on first, then I think Shannon, then Brandee, then Shawn was hanging on to Brandee's feet. It was like a whitetrash Cirque du Soliel--a couple of kids on a rope, swinging over a creek. Yee haw. Everything was going great, then it happened. Brandee pee'd her pants. As the pee started running down Shawn's arms, the screams started, then the "shaking off" of the pee. Next thing you know, we're all falling down through the open air, onto the rocky ground below. Thank God we didn't break anything. We all had the wind knocked out of us, but were still laughing like fools. Young fools. Covered in pee.

edited to add: Thanks to Shannon, for straightening out my memory.

Poopity poopity

This weekend. OH. This. Weekend. For some reason, "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" comes to mind. I have no idea why. There was no wardrobe involved, nor were there lions or witches. What there WAS, however, was a whole helluva lot of diarreah. Copious amounts of diarreah. And it came from such a tiny, unassuming, little butt. Why hasn't someone invented a diaper that can withold the vigors of diarreah?

My weekend began on Thursday, around 2pm, with a call from the babysitter: "It's Claire, she has diarreah and a fever." OH JOY. I rush outta the office to go pick up my pooping baby from the sitter's. Of course, I have to pick up Jenna, too, because you can't pick up one without picking up the other. It just doesn't work that way. So I pick them up, and Claire is (1) so excited to see me (2) SO excited to see me that she craps in her pants--again. Jenna, meanwhile, is telling me all about her sister's "poo-stinky diarreah" and how it "got on her pants, mom, and it is really nasty." Thanks for the update, kid.

I get them all strapped into the mom-mobile, and take off. I have to stop at the "candy and medicine store" (Walgreens) to get some Motrin, because I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of mom, and I do not have that kind of stuff at home. And I have TWO...can you believe?? Anyways, we stop at the Walgreens to get Motrin. Of course, we come out with Motrin, a bag of Milky Ways, chocolate-covered raisins, Junior Mints (because who really needs fruits and vegetables when you have chocolate), and a box of tampons. Jenna is seemingly more excited with the prospects of a new "tampon book" than the candy, and Claire has a look of evil consternation on her face, which means something's brewing down below.

Seriously, I don't even know where I was going with this...

Conversations with Jenna

"Mommy, I knew you could do it!"
"Do what?"
"I don't know, but I'm so proud of you!"

Apr 14, 2005

Barton Springs

Last night we went to a restaurant for dinner. Speaking of which, I can never spell restaurant right. Is it restaurant, restaraunt, or restauraunt? I'm supposed to be smart, and I still can't spell it. Oh well, moving on. So, we go out to eat (how's that?), and on the way, we pass by this NEW restaru...place, that we've been waiting to open. So, we pull a u-ey under the bridge and backtrack to this new, cool place.

And lo, it WAS a cool place. It's called "Barton Springs" (yes, after the ones in Austin, for you TX people), and it has a silver-bullet camper in the front of it that they're going to use as a patio bar. Woo Hoo! They also had 50-gallon drums, painted bright colors, spread around the outside area as drink tables. (Really, this IS a place to take the kids, you'll see.) We get inside, and it's one of those places that is decorated with all the antiques. It is pretty cool. They have a bunch of Texas memoribilia, and my favorite, a duck wearing a sombrero. Does it get any more family-oriented than that? Seriously, if a duck is wearing a sombrero, the place is definitely for families.

We sat in a booth, and I actually let the girls TOUCH things, because it was a BRAND NEW BOOTH. Claire wanted to kiss the honeybear. Okay, no problem. It's brand new! Jenna had her hands under the table. No problem, it's brand new! I didn't check out the bathrooms though. Guess I should've done that.

The food was good, the margaritas were REALLY good, and it was reasonably priced. Besides, everyone was commenting on how beautiful the girls were. Of COURSE we'll go back!

I have no idea why I posted this.

What WAS funny about this whole night, was, as we were leaving, my chicks decided to get up on these boxes in front of the rest-ER-AUnt and bust a move. Jenna on one box, Clairey on another, shaking their booties. Everyone was looking and laughing because really, whats more adorable than two sisters, up on stages, shaking their booties? That SO doesn't sound right.

Thy will be done

On the way home from the sitter's yesterday, my chicks were rockin' out in the backseat--shades on, sunroof open--to "Dude Looks Like a Lady." The song ends, and Jenna says, "Man, I love Aerosmith. Do you love Aerosmith, mom?" I couldn't answer. I was choking back tears of pride and joy.

Apr 13, 2005

Confirmed!

Britney, is indeed, pregnant. This is the biggest "Please-think-I'm-a-grown-up" act that I have ever seen. Her little fans are going ballistic. There are pre-pubescent boys around the globe who brought marker to posterboard last night, proclaiming, "Britney is carrying my baby!" and "I'm Britney's baby-daddy!" Yee haw. At least, that's what her nasty husband would say.

Is he dirty, or is it just me? I'm not talking "I-just-worked-out, my-muscles-are-pumped, and-now-I'm-going-to-throw-you-down-and-give-it-to-you-like-the-little-bitch-that-you-are" dirty, but just dirty. Like he doesn't wash his hair, his feet stink, and he has scum on his teeth dirty. That is really disgusting. Especially, since I KNOW how babies are made. Seeing that I have two, I've "made babies" twice (I hear some people do it just for fun!) Hardee, har, har.

His dirtiness is rubbing off on Britney. Have you seen pics of her lately? She's total skank. She went from slightly-skank, to total-skank in a matter of minutes. It's crazy. It's the fastest case of skankitis I've ever seen in my life.

Wonder what they're going to call their baby? Let's assume, for a mere moment, that it's a boy. What names would they choose? Let's see...we know her dirty husband would want to name him Dale #3 Federline. That way, when they travel down South--where everybody has "Remember 3," "In Memory of #3," "#3," and "Forever #3" stickers on their pickup, Britney can say, "Lookee, Kev! Everybodee LUVS our little boy!" and he can grunt and pick the "Flaming Hot Cheetos" out of his teeth while he nods his approval.
Maybe they want to go with something a little more "hip" though. Something that shows what kind of people they are. Hmmmm...I suppose they could name him Trailer Trash, or Dirty Feet, or Cheeto Teeth. None of those really flow though.

"Hi, to all my fans! This is our newest addition, besides our little puppy Bit-Bit! His name is Cheeto! It's a boy, ya'll! A real baby! See? I AM a woman! Will ya'll stop makin' fun of me now?"

Missing: Chicken enchilada

Dear ConAgra Foods,

I eat Healthy Choice Meals every day. Well, almost every day. Okay, I eat them on the days that I feel like dieting. But anyways, I ate one today, because today, I am on the Healthy Choice Diet. Today, I ate the chicken enchilada. The box said, "We wrapped a spicy, low-fat mixture of diced chicken - both dark and white meat - red bell peppers, zucchini, and chilies inside two corn tortillas. The peppery sauce gets its creamy texture from nonfat cream cheese, and its Mexican-style flavor from green chilies, garlic, oregano and cumin." I have a few comments to offer:

Spicy? This was NOT spicy, my friend. "Spicy" burns your tongue, tantalizes your tastebuds, makes you say, "Damn! THIS is one spicy enchilada!" Your enchilada did none of that. I had to use so much salt, that it was no longer a "healthy choice" by the time I finished with it. Which leads me to my next question: Where in God's name are you able to find flavorless spices? Garlic, oregano, and cumin are the spices you list, but I'll be damned if I could taste even one of them. And honestly, I'm one of those people that looks at garlic, and you can smell it on me for a week. I actually didn't realize oregano was a Mexican spice either--I just thought it was what my parents smoked when I was a kid. Who knew? In all the many, many times I've been to Mexico, I have never seen anything flavored with oregano. Maybe what I thought was cilantro is really oregano.

Me: Hola, senor. Por favor, puedo tener una placa de cilantro para mis enchiladas?
Pablo: Cilantro?! CILANTRO?! No utilizamos cilantro en Mexico! Amamos a Italianos! Utilizamos el oregano! OREGANO!
Me: Perdon a me! Perdon a me! Por favor, no me golpee con sus maracas!

That might have happened on one of our trips, but it didn't. I'm also not saying that's good Spanish, because it's probably not. Back to the commentary.

I'm still trying to figure out where zucchinis fit in the whole "mexican" picture, but I'm really at a loss for that one. You also forgot to mention the black beans. Because there were black beans in there, too. Now that I type that, maybe I should have looked a little closer at these "black beans," to ensure their nutritional classification.

The most important point that I want to make, however, is that the box clearly states that it contains two enchiladas, yet I only received one. OH, that's right! I was STIFFED AN ENCHILADA! You enchilada-shorting bastards! I paid $2.18 for this choice of meal (that was, indeed, healthy), and it was missing a 'chilada! Do you understand? Comprehendas? UNO ENCHILADA. UNO, no dos. UNO. What I want to know, is who on your production line enjoyed MY enchilada? WHO on your production line ate my cardboard-tasting, Mexican-oregano flavored, mystery black-bean enchilada?! I'm just going to take a guess, but I'll bet it was Juan. That's right, good 'ole "Wandering Juan." You KNOW he's been wandering back and forth to different production lines, and your damn floor manager has done nothing to stop him! HE stole my healthy nourishment! I know he did! Isn't his cousin "Freeway Flamenco Freddy"?

In closing, I request that you ship me my missing enchilada. Although it had a few shortcomings, the low-fat sour-cream sauce really was a pleasing pick-me-up.

Ole,
Stephanie Townsend

Making your business public

I do not like public restrooms. I don't feel alone in this, because I know there are several other people who also do not like them. Public restrooms are often (1) filthy (2) smell like pee (3)smell like b.o. (4)and, just in case you forgot, FILTHY.

Honestly, I don't even like the bathrooms at work. Our work bathrooms are clean, and are always well-stocked with nice-smelling, liquid, hand-soap; an array of lotions and sprays; and the all-important potty-covers. I will NOT sit on a potty without a potty-cover. I would rather run the risk of peeing down my leg than sit on a public toilet. I wasn't so particular in college, especially after one of those nights when you're in the stall and you're TRYING to squat without touching the seat, and your hands are on the stall walls, and you're halfway laughing, and halfway chastising yourself, thinking, "I'm NEVER going to do this to myself again." Yeah, I wasn't so particular THOSE times. Half the time I'd THINK I was squatting, and then realize I wasn't. Anyways, back to the public potties...

So, I'm stuck at this intersection on the way to work, and there are construction workers everywhere. There are large trucks, orange cones, those stupid signs that say, "Give them a 'brake'." Whatever. Of course, there are also the requisite idiot drivers that don't know how to drive around construction. As soon as there's construction, those types of drivers show up. You know the ones--they see an orange cone and drive around it--right onto the CLOSED lane and then get pissed at you because you won't let them back in. Stupid asses. Hey, just ignore the neon-orange, 4-ft tall, diamond-shaped sign that says, "RIGHT LANE CLOSED AHEAD." I mean really--it COULD just be there for looks. And the little guy right there? The one with the hard hat and red, waving flag? Oh, he's just out here for the hell of it. Thought he'd spend the day waving a flag and dancing the flamenco on the freeway. That's him alright--"Freeway Flamenco Freddy." Sometimes, he wears a snazzy orange vest, too. I still didn't get to the potty part, did I...

Backtrack: intersection, construction, I'm waiting for the light to turn green... As I'm waiting for the longest-light-in-all-of-Texas to turn green, I glance to my right and not 6 feet away from me is a porta-potty. As soon as I saw it, the seafoam green door swings open, and out walks a construction worker. With a newspaper. Now, there really are only two conclusions to come to when witnessing such a thing: (1) He was taking his morning dump, (2) he just needed someplace private to read his morning paper. I'm going with number 1.

What amazes me about this whole scenario, is that I have a hard time going PEE at work. If there is anyone else in the bathroom, I do what I call the "pee-pee dance" (which also doubles as the "green light" dance). I sit on the potty (on the potty-cover, obviously) and do a little wave-type dance with my hands. It's stupid, but it takes my mind off of my fellow peeing commrades, so I can go. Then THIS guy, this construction guy, actually takes a POOP in a busy intersection. I've been in a porta-potty before, and those walls aren't thick, people. It's like you're doing your business out there in the open. But this guy, apparently, sat in the middle of a busy intersection, reading a paper, taking his morning poop--ignoring all of the traffic sounds. What concentration! Can they all do that? Construction workers, I mean? Poop anywhere? That's a talent.

"Hey Joe, where's the shitter?"
"It's down there on I-10 and the 610 loop--major intersection, watch out for people merging."
"Whatever. You got a paper?"

Apr 12, 2005

Close to a dozen

One of my readers has ten children. Maybe she's just kidding. Do you really have 10 kids? If so, WOW. I wish I could have 10 kids. I don't think my uterus could handle ten. Hell, I KNOW my mind couldn't handle ten. I have two and still don't know their names. A lot of people make fun of George Foreman and his troop of Georges, but seriously, the man was on to something. Kid jumping on the bed? No need to fumble through names, if you know one, you know them all. GEORGE! GET OFF THE DAMN BED! It kind of covers all your bases, too. If there's another kid jumping on a bed in another room, he gets off too. It's all good.

At my house, if all's quiet, I just yell, "NO!" at the top of my lungs. I'm not sure what's going on in the other room, but if it's quiet, they're doing something wrong. If I get, "But, MOM!" as an exasperated answer, then I KNOW something's up, and I run to the other side of the house, usually to find one of the kids playing with steak knives, or matches, or hell, even kerosene. Kidding, people. KIDDING. If it's quiet, they're doing something like seeing if the doll's eyes will fall out if you push on them hard enough, spraying Dora's hair with hairspray, or trying to wipe the cat's butt with wet-wipes.

I told Jenna last night, "Jenna, I love you so much that my heart just gets bigger and bigger every day," and she said back, "Mom, you must have a really big heart." I just can't imagine having ten. So, to my reader: Hat's off to you, woman! What a wonderful, big, loving heart you have!

Apr 11, 2005

Not your run-of-the-mill Republican

AP headline: Bolton vows to help strengthen U.N.

The first thing I thought of was Michael Bolton. I bet the U.N. would be better off with a little time, love, and tenderness.

The truth comes out

In one of our recent IM conversations, Scott mentioned to me that Claire wasn't paid for. That's right people--Claire is 19 months old and has NOT been paid for. Who has time to write a check for $250 to the HMO when you're squeezing out a kid? Not me. During labor, a burrito from Chipoltle was first and foremost on my mind, NOT paying the HMO.

Somehow, magically, we escaped the hospital with Claire in tow. Claire, dressed to the nines in her "coming home" outfit, and me, in shorts and a t-shirt, sourcream from my much-lusted-over Chipoltle burrito on my upper lip. It was all good.

In between the two kids under 2, the aubundance of poopy diapers, and my hormones, we got a bill from the hospital--which we lost. So, Claire is unpaid for. She's on loan. A renter.

I just hope she's rent-to-own. I'd like to keep her. Now that we've named her and all, we find ourselves pretty attached to her.

Home Owners Association

I always wonder who the idiots are who serve on our HOA board. Because, truly, they ARE idiots.

About a year after we moved in, we installed a storm-door on the front. It's really nice--you know, beveled glass, brass hardware, etc. Days after installing it, we get a letter from the HOA: "We noticed that you have made an improvement to your residence that requires HOA approval." Attached to the letter was a form wherein you had to list what you installed/built, and what you used to do it. I'm assuming they meant something to the effect of, "A 10x10 floating deck was installed. 2x5 treated lumber was used." Maybe? I'm not sure. They said be SPECIFIC--with all capped letters. I had a whole hellovalotta fun with THAT form.

What was installed: A really nice storm door. Not for actual storms, mind you, but that's just what it's called. It has a glass front--it would never survive a storm. The glass has beveled-edges on it, too. I told you it was nice. There's also some metal involved. Actually, it's probably aluminum. Let me go look at the box....Yep, it's aluminum. And the color of the aluminum is green. Forest green. The handle is brass and it's kinda curvy, with a little button at the top that you press with your thumb. THAT opens the door. The STORM door, not our front door. There's this black, squishy stuff that goes between the glass and the forest green aluminum. It's some kind of sealant. OH! There's a screen, too. It came with a screen. That's kind of a blackish-grey color, but it's hard to tell. It's made up of lots and lots of little tiny squares.

Item(s)/contents used for installation: A door. A storm door (read above for further explanation). What did we use...let's see...a hammer. We also used some screws. I think they were T-4 Torx screws, but I could be wrong. Screws are tricky little buggers. We also used a drill with a drill bit. There were lots of cuss-words thrown in there, because that storm door was a real bitch to get on. We used this pokey, metal thing to shove into the thingy that keeps the door open. We also used some W-D 40 to grease-up the squeaky parts. Then we used a broom to sweep up the stuff that came out of the hardi-plank when we drilled into it. A few beers were also used, to help run the installation more smoothly.

Jacklegs. They ask, I tell.

So, we got another letter from the HOA this Saturday. It said (and I quote): "We noticed that you have some wood stacked on your driveway. It looks like you might be planning to install an arbor. This must be approved by the HOA. Please fill out attached form."

I wish they wouldn't invite me to do things like that.

"You're wrong. I'm NOT installing an arbor. Strike one. Two more guesses, and you're out."

Hope they have fun with that one.

The best things in life

I check on the girls each night before I go to bed. I like to make sure they're comfortable in their little space of the world.

As I was drifting off to sleep, I put my hands to my face to brush my hair out of my eyes--my hands smelled of my children. I could smell Clairey's baby-soft cheeks, and Jenna's smile on my hands. I went to sleep happy, with my babies in my heart.

Jenna snuck into our bed sometime in the wee hours of the day. I woke up at 5am with her tousled hair in my face, and her arm wrapped around my neck. She is such a cuddler. I didn't have the heart to turn her out into her own bed. These days will pass too quickly, and I know I'll cherish these times--when she was small enough to sneak into our bed--for the rest of my life.

Conversations with Jenna

Walking out from the "pony store" on Friday evening:

"Hey, dad?"
"Yeah?"
"You got any cash?"

Like I've said before, she's 3 going on 16.

And the Lord said, I will spare the loving mother from the shrill screams of the fruit of her womb.

No shots. Hallelujah and amen! Of course, there was the requisite head-measuring, weighing, and stretch-out-the-19-month-old-on-a-flat-tape-measure-so-we-can-see-how-tall-she-is, but really, it wasn't all that bad. He checked her hips and knees, since Claire's pigeon-toed (her left foot turns in). It's wicked adorable, but you know, I don't want her to be 25 and pigeon-toed. Everything's fine. In fact, the doctor said "her folds" line up--meaning the creases that her fat rolls on her legs leave line up with each other. What the hell kind of medical procedure is that?

"Is her heart okay, doctor?"
"Why yes, the creases left in her thighs by the twinkie-deposits line up asymetrically, she'll live a long and happy life."

Last time I checked, the creases in my thighs didn't mean shit. Except for the fact that I'm not pigeon-toed, obviously.

In the true practice of making smaller-than-normal children, my nineteen-month old is 24 pounds and 31 inches tall. Which is nearly spot-on with her sister, who was 25 lbs and 32 inches tall at 19 months. If Claire's anything like Jenna, she should stop growing around the age of 2.5. Jenna's nearly three, and has been wearing size 24mths shorts forever now. In fact, yesterday, I dug out the box-o-clothes and unpacked all of Jenna's summer clothes from last year--they still fit her.

Apr 8, 2005

Oh. The. Pain.

I'm about to take Claire to her 18-month checkup. Actually, she'll be 19-months, but that's just "stewbie" style. Always a day late and a dollar short. Or in my case, a couple weeks late, and "where the hell did my change go?" It's all irrelevant.

I think she's getting shots today, which just horrifies me. Have you seen those needles? They're frickin 6 inches long, and the nurse always shoves it all the way in the baby's thigh. It's like she's testing for bone-density or something. I think the worst part of it all, however, is that silent millisecond, right before the kid screams, when she looks at you like, "Why the fuck are you letting them do this?!" THEN the screaming begins. When Claire gets her shots, they have to open the door to the room, because she screams so loud and so high-pitched, that if all that sound is contained in that small space, our eardrums will burst and our eyes will start bleeding.

Meanwhile, all the kids in the waiting room start screaming, too. It's like when you go to the zoo, and one monkey thinks he's a badass and starts screaming at people. Before you know it, ALL the monkeys are screaming, rattling the cage,and throwing their shit. Monkeys, kids, it's all the same.

After the pediatric gestapo administers Claire's shots, I'm going to take her back to work with me. There's some chili-cookoff-thing going on (only in TEXAS can you miss work for a chili-cookoff), and other edibles besides chili will be there. I figure I'll buy the kid a hotdog. I mean, what says "I love you and i'm sorry your thigh got punctured by the fucking space needle" more than meat of an unidentified origin? NOTHING.

Pic o' the day

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BONUS:
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Apr 7, 2005

Reality Bites

Yesterday, I had a realization. An epiphany, if you will. I can't really say it involved Divine intervention, but I DID nearly run my car off the road, so I'll stick with the term.

I am the person I swore I would never become.

I'm trying to think back to when this actually happened. WHEN, exactly, did the world suck away all my coolness and leave me only this skin suit emblazoned with a huge 'M' on the front for "Mommy"? When did I not only "hit" 30-something, but BECOME 30-something? I AM GETTING OLDER. Holy freakin' Mother of God and all that is good in this world.

I'm thinking I crashed somewhere around the time I sold my Jeep. I had been a "Jeep girl" for so many years, casually vaulting myself into the driver's seat, never caring about my hair because it was just pulled in a half-assed ponytail. Even after I had Jenna, we became Jeep girls together. One of my favorite pics of her, is one of her sitting in the backseat of the Jeep, shades on, and a do-rag on her head. Yes, sometime after I sold the Jeep, I lost any grain of coolness that I had squandered for the past couple of years.

I sold the kick-ass Jeep and bought a VW Jetta Wagon. A WAGON. It DOES have a turbo, but that just means I can get to the sitter's faster. The damn wagon is so matronly, that I feel like a total ass when listening to Aerosmith. Why? Because the wagon knows no music but "Pooh's Top 40." There's no hope of remaining cool when you have a booster and a babyseat in your backseat. And princess phones, Dora books, and beads on your floorboards. And plastic "seat protectors" on the backs of the front seats to protect the leather from milk/juice/regurgitated animal crackers. And a stroller in the back. It's just not going to happen, but I didn't realize that I had let the dream die until yesterday.

Yesterday: When it finally hit me--I'm driving a VW wagon, my hair is cut in an "easy" style (the short style that every mom gets when they finally decide to cut off their hair), and I have succumbed to the "baby-weight-blame-game." These extra pounds on my hips? It's the baby's fault!! The extra four inches around my waist? The baby! I actually heard myself say to another woman, in the gym, "Before I had kids, I had such a nice shape!"

That, my friends, is rock bottom.

Apr 6, 2005

Don't need a library card

My bathroom cabinet is a virtual public library! Who knew!

As I was pooping, Jenna was rifling through my bathroom cabinet. I can't remember where Claire was, but most likely, sitting on my lap. Because that's what I do--poop with young toddlers on my lap. I don't WIPE with her on my lap, don't worry. So, Jenna's going through my bathroom cabinet and pulling out things left and right, and finding shit that I totally forgot I had. Like my Burt's Bees Tomato Facial Soap and my Cold Wax Hair Removal System and my Raspberry Bath and Body works lotion that I loathe now, but liked back in 1998. She also found tampons, and to her excitement, it was the "variety pack." Not like you can get much variety in tampons, but you know, the wrappers are different colors, so she was stoked. When she asked me what they were for, I answered her as straight-forwardly as I could: "Those are for when mommy has a boo-boo. It's kind of like a 'mommy bandaid'." Whatever. It's the best thing I could think of while sitting on the pot. Jenna accepted that answer, and moved on. THEN she found the instruction manual. Thank GOD those pictures aren't clear to a three-year old. I tried to get her to throw the guide away, but she wouldn't. She LOVES it. She LOVES the "Tampon Book." She carries the booklet everywhere, sleeps with it, and keeps begging us to let her take it to the sitter's. Sorry, but I have to draw the line somewhere. I'd hate for it to be "circle time," and Jenna says, "Here! I brought my new book!"

In the meantime, I often hear, "Mommy! Clairey took away my Tampon Book!" I tried to sneak it out from under her pillow one night, but the next morning she had a fit, looking for baby Simba and her Tampon Book. The little shit dug it out of the trash. "Oh! My Tampon Book! Why was it in the garbage! I LOVE my Tampon Book!"

We were at the store, and I had to buy a box of tampons. Jenna exclaimed, "Mommy, does this one come with a book, too?" To her, tampon boxes are the Happy Meals of the hygiene aisle: they all come with a prize.

Sibling stories

Growing up, we had the most annoying neighbor that ever roamed the earth. He resembled Howdy Doody, called his freckles "angel kisses," and told my parents that my brother was smoking pot because he tripped over a stepping stone. Apparently, if you're a 9-year old klutz of a kid, you're also a pot-smoker. He also used to say "good deal!" all the time, as if he coined the phrase. "Hey, you're washing your car! Good deal!" "Look, you got new shoes! Good deal!" "I have a stick up my ass! Good deal!" Anyways, "annoying" doesn't even describe him. Me and the sibs just could NOT stand the guy. He was so bad, that my MOM knew we hated him, and she condoned it.

The three of us used all of our spare time plotting on ways to annoy/embarrass this guy. The thing about being young kids though, is that you're never quite as stealthy as you think you are. Case(s) in point:

1
One evening, before my parents were home from work, my brother and I were doing our chores. I was vacuuming the living room, which was upstairs. The living room had two large windows that looked out onto our driveway, and, if you looked to your left, you could see Mr. Angel-Kisses. It was prime target time. I put my hands through the blinds and rapped on our window. MAK looked up at the window. I rapped again. MAK looked again. We were dying laughing. WHY? Because we were stupid kids. Don't try to tell me you never did anything stupid like that. Anyways, I rapped again, but MAK didn't look. So, I used the heel of my hand, and rapped on the window. Hard. Hard enough, in fact, to put my little hand right through the glass pane of the window. He looked THAT time. In fact, he even ran over to the house for a closer look. And then decided that perhaps, since there was no parental guidance at our house, he should knock on the door and check on us. I answered the door with a towel wrapped around my hand, blood dripping off my wrist. You gotta know this guy knew what we were doing. But you know what I said? When he asked, "What happened?" I said, "I was vacuuming, tripped over the cord, and fell to the window." Not too bright, but not too shabby, either.

2
The three of us had a "secret" club. We used to meet daily during the summer in our "secret" hideout--apparently, living together in rooms which are right across the hall from each other didn't suffice, so we had to meet somewhere else. No one ever found our secret location. It was THAT secret, or perhaps, it was because it was up in the attic, and since we live in Texas, and the summer days are 100 degrees, which means the attic was about 125, no one else was stupid enough to go up there. But hey, you never know. So, every day we'd meet up there, at some predetermined time, and eat lunch. Usually chicken-noodle soup. Because eating HOT chicken-noodle soup while sitting in a 200 degree attic is the smart thing to do. We were such skinny kids, now I know why--we used to sweat it all out. Anyways, while we were up there, we'd walk across the rafters over to the roof vent, and peek on MAK. We'd also go over there to breathe, but that doesn't count in this story. We'd stand by the vent, and yell, "Hey, ASSHOLE!" at the top of our lungs. Of course, MAK would stop what he was doing and look around. As soon as he went back to whatever mundane task he was doing, we'd yell something else, "Hey, SHITHEAD!" MAK would stop, look around, and say, "Shawn? Shannon?" (I was never expected.) Of course, the 3 of us would be giggling like mad. MAK had to know it was us. Take 3 kids, and have them yell simultaneously--think he had a clue who it was?

3
During the summer before my 7th grade year, the neighbors hired me to watch their kids and clean their house. I accepted, thinking it would be a great way to earn some extra money. Now, my mom is a clean freak, so I was well-trained in the area of house-cleaning. OUR house was crappy, but CLEAN. Their house was not crappy, but was dirty. There's a difference. I spent so much time cleaning their house, that their kids did nothing but watch tv all day. Anyways, after MAK got home from work one day, I was about to leave, and he says, "Do you know how to make 'hospital corners'?"
"No."
"Come upstairs, and let me show you."

So, I got my first lesson on how to "properly resheet the bed," as he put it. Now that I read that, it sounds creepy. Anyways, I was royally pissed about the whole thing. The next day, when I was cleaning their room, I found a pair of his underwear lying on the top of their hamper. Get this: There was a huge poop-stain in them. HUGE. POOP STAIN. So, being the little evil bitch that I was, I picked them up with a hairbrush, and draped them over the footrail of the bed. Poop side up. Stealthy? NO. Funny? Oh Yes. He never confronted me about it. I mean, how could he?

That poor, poor man. I hope I never live next door to evil children.

One more thing: we stole one of my mom's maxi-pads, made it all bloody and gross with melted crayons and marker, then stuck it on his license plate.

We were SO inventive!

Apr 5, 2005

There's a first time for everything

Last night, for the first time ever, my babies were left with a babysitter. "Babysitter," as in, not my mother--who is over every weekend, because she just CANNOT stay away from the deliciousness of my kids. Of course, I was a nervous wreck--not that I didn't trust the sitter (she comes with HIGH recommendations), but because I was afraid for the sitter's life. I just knew that we'd come back to a scene from Gulliver's Travels--Miss KC being poor Gulliver, tied down to the ground, and my two girls as the Lilliputians--minus the political statements.

Since we went out with friends (read entry below), we left the kids at their house. Total= 4 kids. Two boys (3 and 5), and two girls (3 and 1.5). If that's not enough to drive someone to suicide, I don't know what is. The thing is, the boys are not "real" kids. They're some kind of genetic mutant children that GO TO BED AROUND 7 O'CLOCK. WITHOUT WHINING OR COMPLAINING. When they "stay up late," I've even heard them say, "Can I go to bed? I'm tired." Although their mother is my best friend, she refuses to let in on her secret. She just says, "They've always been like that...," and in my head, I'm thinking, "Ever since I started slipping Codeine in their milk." Seriously, there's just no explanation for that type of behavior. Regardless, even though their boys go to bed before my great-grandmother, the sitter still sucks $30-$40 bucks from their wallets each time she sits (from 6-10). I say "sucks," because if the kids are sleeping an hour after she gets there, she's not "earning" the money. It's totally like being a whore and getting paid for flossing your teeth--it just makes no sense.

Well, let me tell ya--Miss KC EARNED her money last night. When she asked, "What time do your girls go to bed?" I answered, "They don't." I saw raw fear in her eyes. I was kind enough to leave her a few random tips:

-If you see Claire about to scream, cover whichever one of your ears is closest to her. The scream is so high-pitched, your eardrum will burst and bleed.
-When you see Jenna running to the bathroom, please offer a "Make sure you wipe GOOD!"
-Claire usually goes to bed around 730, but because she's not at home, don't expect her to sleep until she passes out cold.
-Jenna won't go to sleep. She doesn't sleep at home, she doesn't sleep here. She's like some kind of super child who can function with only 5 hours of sleep.
-Put in a movie, and Jenna will watch it quietly. Just make sure YOU don't fall asleep, because SHE won't.

I think Miss KC took my tips quite well. As we pulled out of the driveway, I couldn't help but laugh in an evil fashion.

During dinner, Angel asked, "Do you want to call KC and check on the girls?" Scott answered, "NO. But then again, maybe we should call and check on KC?" hahahahaha. NO. I didn't want to give the girl an opportunity to tell us to come home.

We got back to the house at 1020-ish. We went in through the garage door. Monsters, Inc. was on the tv, Claire was passed on on KC, and Jenna was WIDE awake. KC looked like she'd had a run for the money.

I'd say since the sitter was still alive when we got there, that it was a good night. I'm not too nervous to leave them with a sitter anymore.

Not NYC

We went out last night with our friends. We went to "The Melting Pot"--anyone been there? It's a total 70s throwback, but with modern flair. A 21st century fondue restaurant. It's all fondue. Fondue for you, fondue for me, and hey, some fondue for the guy over at table 34. A few considerations before you go:

-It's overpriced. I mean, for God's sake, you cook your own food--what the hell are they charging you for?
-The stink. Oh man. It's worse than a Mexican restaurant.
-The waitress. I can't remember her name, but if she comes across like a used-car salesman, that's her. Just leave.
-You get tons of cheese fondue, but minimal chocolate fondue. What kind of anti-Christ establishment is this?

Let's just relive the nightmare, waitress experience: We're seated. The waitress walks by, tray in hand, and says, "I'll be right with you--let me drop this off to another table." Okay, no problem. 5 minutes later, she comes breezing by again, "I'll be right with you--let me go check this other table." Deja vu? Ten minutes later, she shows up and asks, "Have you all been here before?" to which we all staunchly reply, "YES," half because we're annoyed with her lack of service, and half because we're all dehydrated and starving. So she says, "Well, let me do a quick walkthrough of our menu." Huh? Didn't we say we'd been there before? And of course, the menu is one of those semi-complicated things that's going to require hours of explanation. Scott pitied her, so he "followed along." I sat there wondering if this was going to help my constipation, or just hinder what has already been hindered upon. The lady finally finishes reading the book of a menu, and takes our drink order, which she didn't write down. Which she promptly screwed up. Hell, I can remember the damn drink order: A Stoli martini, straight up, 2 olives; an apple martini; water; and Jack and Coke (I'm the water). She comes back with 2 unchilled martini glasses--one with 3 olives, and the other with a slice of apple. Then, she proceeds to pour the stoli martini over the apple. --sigh-- She goes back to the bar, then comes back with a chilled martini glass for the apple martini. She gets it right this time, woo hoo!

We wait for 10 more minutes. Oh, can she take our order? Damn skippy. 10 minutes later, she brings out the cheese to make the fondue. Do you fondue? I do? How 'bout you? Fondue? I do! It then occurs to me that being the "odd man out," in a group of four drinkers with meat pokers--that's the technical term for "fondue forks"--is not a good thing. So, I order an apple martini--it's the peer pressure, I always give in. It was pretty good, but oh-so-sweet, so I couldn't do more than one. My best friend, who I am now naming the "World's Greatest Lightweight," was three sheets to the wind, and is just the most charming drinker in the whole state of Texas, and maybe even Arkansas and Louisiana, too. She's a hoot when she's sober, but when she starts drinking, she turns into a giggly, ball of blonde ambition. She's hilarious. Everything all of a sudden has sexual conotations. I'm not sure how this came about, but there was talk of having three balls. And I'm not talking about meatballs. Well, I am, kind of. All this over the first fondue course. (By the way--the waitress fondued the cheese, then left. Never to be seen again--at least until the cheese was gone.) Did you know that the cheese-crust that's burned onto the bottom of the fondue pot is supposed to be eaten? WTF? It's a delicacy among fondue afficionados. First off, it's called "cheese skin"; secondly, that's frickin disgusting; and thirdly, what the hell makes you a "fondue afficionado"?? Well, check out this link, Fondues and Dont's, to find out.

Alas, no one at our table is an "afficionado," so there was no eating of the cheese skin. After the cheesiness was gone, we got our main course fondue pot, which was supposed to contain "coq du vin." I don't speak French, nor do I pretend to, but that means, "Rooster in wine." Not that I was EXPECTING a rooster in my fondue, but there wasn't one. That would have been interesting--the waitress takes the lid of the pot and (insert rooster sound here) out jumps a rooster! Nevermind. Back to the "coq du vin": So, we're all drooling like ravenous wolves, having been tempted by the cheese, so we're staring at the pot of roosterless-broth. AFter ten minutes of heating, the waitress comes back, looks at the pot, and says, "Wait...that's oil. Didn't you want 'coq du vin'?" Oh, for God's frickin sake! We're starving and thinking, "Sweet baby Jesus! Now we have to wait ten MORE minutes to eat?" But all was repaired when the waitress said, "Oh, don't worry, I'll just heat it up in the microwave." Microwave? So much for the frickin "fondue" experience. She heated up our rooster wine in the microwave, and slapped it on the table. Then we all got our raw meat and boiled it. I felt slightly transient, because really, who eats boiled meat?

We ate and ate and ate. We boiled all the meat, and then some. Then we ordered chocolate fondue. We got totally screwed on that one. Not EVEN enough chocolate for four people. But I digress. We walked out, overfull, and happy.

So I ask, "Do you fondue? I do!"

Apr 2, 2005

VODKA: The silent killer

Who knew that a couple of "Cape Cods," or...what the hell are they called..."slim russians?" NO...that's not right. Hang on...ah yes..."SeaBreezes" could knock the hell outta ya?

I have no idea what a "slim russian" is, but I'm going to invent a new drink now. If anyone has a good idea of what it can contain, let me know...I'm open to suggestions.

Apr 1, 2005

Friday morning haiku

Please don't wear capris,
pale owner of the cankles.
They look like tree trunks.

Skip this post if you (1) Don't want to read about my kids, or (2) Do not want your biological clock to start ticking

This morning, I wanted to eat my children. Usually, I can contain the craving, but today...today, they were especially edible. As I was wetting my hair in the sink (I have really short hair), I felt a little hand on my leg, and heard, "Momeee? Mommeee?" I lifted up my head, and over the counter, were two big, green eyes staring at me in the mirror. It was cutie-pie Clairey. I picked her up and she gave me a big hug and squeezed me tight around my neck. She was in a good mood this morning--all giggly and chatty. I love baby hands. I just LOVE them. I love how they're always warm, because they keep their hands in fists most of the time. I love to uncurl her fingers, and kiss her palms. They're so soft and sweet.

Jenna was in a good mood too, which is completely shocking. Scott carried her into Claire's room to get dressed, and she was all smiley and happy, too. Her belly's always nice and toasty, so I was eating-up her little tummy. She's so precious.