Thursday, April 22, 2010

Vacation to an exotic location

Hey! Guess what!! I am getting to visit another blog and post a little sumpin' sumpin' there! Today I am over at Not To Brag, an incredible blog by my friend MEP. Megan and I grew up together and spent our days in the same Catholic schools from second through twelfth grades. Same art classes in gradeschool shown on PBS and same Homecomings and Proms. Same lovely uniforms and Science Fairs. I have recently reconnected with her through Facebook, that wonderful of all wonderful "Hey how ya doin'" spots. She is a mother with two boys and a brand-new baby girl and a wonderful voice in the dark. Her blog is funny and honest and just plain entertainment in a world of "should have's" and "ought to's". And she has been a wonderful source of support and information as I have begun my journey sharing my words with the world. Go check out my little addition to her world and while you are there stick around and read a while. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Be back soon!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Conclusion: Spain hates little kids

I stumble into the living room this morning and the Monkeys are all in various stages of lounging- each with a different arrangement of pillows and blankets and breakfast items- giggling hysterically.

"Mommy, Mommy! Watch this!"

I stare at the TV through blurry pre-coffee eyes and mumble something vaguely like "Oh, that's great" and attempt to shuffle away to make myself a pot o' the juice.

"MOMMY! Watch until I say stop!!!"

Ugh. Fine. I stand and watch, barely registering what I am seeing (pre-coffee me is grouchy and unable to process things). This is what I see on the screen

It appears to be some conglomeration of stuffed animals in a car. Doing stuff. Now imagine this scene with a live cricket hopping around. No, I am not making this up. The above creatures and one of these

Now, I hate bugs and everyone knows this. I figure this is why the Monkeys are beginning to giggle even more. It is disgusting. And seriously, if this was in my car (nevermind the stuffed animals that apparently can come to life and kill me in my sleep- if they can figure out the child safety locks) I would never go in it again.

"Keep watching," I am warned and the giggling is becoming louder and louder.....

A panda bear with a muzzle appears on the screen. What??!! A stuffed panda I get, but a muzzle? I have never once felt the need to muzzle a stuffed animal. There has never been a point where I looked at a cuddly stuffed creature and thought "Ya know- this bear is getting a little too mouthy. That's it, mister! One more backtalk and I will muzzle your ass!" And who MAKES stuffed animal muzzles? Is there a huge market for this sort of thing? Is there an epidemic of out-of-control-yappy-rabid toys that I am unaware of? Do I need to go get some of the seemingly vacant-eyed animals in my house in check? Or is the Disney channel getting into some sort of subliminal fetish thing? (Which I would be more concerned about if the panda was wearing a ball-gag, but still...)

More and more giggling. And then, out of nowhere, crawling over the seat of the vehicle right toward S&M Panda and Blue Ball Dude and Jumping Cricket is this

Oh my effing god.

I simultaneously jump, scream, and throw up a little. My heart is racing. I am awake! Fight or Flight has fully kicked in. (flight all the way, baby) My Windex is powerless against such a creature. And the Monkeys have erupted into full-fledged laughter. Why? Why is this? Do they not know that this creature has this face?

And it will think nothing of sucking your brains from your head or at the very least getting really close to your face and giving you a heart attack. (I can no longer look at this picture. His spider eyes are stealing my soul as we speak.)

This is a kids show? Whatever happened to Scrooge McDuck or HeMan or Jem? This little nugget of a show is called The Secret Life of Suckers and I Googled it and discovered it was created by some Spanish production company. All I have to say is this: "Parar y desistir!!!" and "Sus dibujos de animados me da pesadillos!!"

Friday, April 16, 2010

A tale of a shoe and a "bee"

I just chased a bird out of my house. Like, JUST did it. There was a bird. In my house.

I opened the patio door to check on the Monkeys (who were drawing faces on rocks and setting them up "to take pictures of the rock family"......???) and a bird flew right over my head and into the dining room. My confused brain could not make sense of it at first. And then the Monkeys started yelling "A bee flew into the house! A bee flew into the house!"

Holy eff. That was a huge bee. I don't think I have enough Windex to drown such a big bee, I am thinking. Windex is my weapon of choice to kill all unwanted living creatures that wander their way into my home. Its pretty good on spiders, but I am pretty sure I will have to rethink my weapon if say, a rabid dog or a thief finds their way in.

Thief: I am here to steal your worthless belongings.
Me: You shan't take my 8 year old TV!! Watch yourself! I am armed and will make you delightfully streak-free!
Thief: Your cleaning products have no effect on me. Now hand over your semi-working printer and your Julia Roberts DVD collection.

I determine that it is a bird (thank god not the most genetically mutated bee on the planet) that has buzzed  my head and landed on the ceiling fan. I must remove him from the house. I do not need another pet. And the bird poo. Oh dear god. If it becomes cement on my car's windshield I can only imagine what it will do to my couch. So my brain immediately thinks of my secondary weapon of choice for unwanted living creatures- a shoe.  I have many to choose from- and I take a moment to ponder the options. One of the kids' flip flops? Hmm... good because it is pretty disposable if something terrible happens and bird entrails accidentally appear, but they are small and will require a proximity to the bird I am not prepared for. My high-heeled black boot? Nah. I really like those shoes. My pink and white Easy-Tone exercise-y shoes? Perfect! I grab one (is it weird that I took a moment to consider left or right?) and head back to the dining room to do battle. He is sitting on the fan sizing me up. I think he knows he can take me.

My brilliant move? I use the toe of the shoe to spin the fan. Bad. Idea. He takes off in a chirping fury and flies frantically around the living room. My next brilliant move is to stand on the couch and wave the shoe around above my head with the hope of....knocking him out of the air maybe? (Then what?!) Perhaps to be DIRECTLY in the line of fire of his pecky little beak? My thinking is not clear. All I know is that I need to remove this feathered poop machine from my house.

Apparently, the work-out shoe frightens the thing (I know, buddy, they frighten me too). Or maybe the sight of a crazy woman doing some sort of spaz dance on the furniture scared him straight, because he headed straight for the open patio door. You could almost see his little bird brain thinking She aint got no rhythm. I refuse to be taken down by an Arthur Murray reject.

He heads for the door with me in hot pursuit. Kids are yelling directions (unhelpful ones like "Kill it!" and "Get me a feather!" and "Go get a birdcage!"). He makes two attempts to make it through the wide open door (really?) and finally flies free straight to the back fence where he sits and glares at my house.

Damn. He is totally gonna come back in the night and do a fly-by pooping of my windows.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bathtub hijinks and senseless beverage death

Scene yesterday morning:

I am in my jammies enjoying a cup of coffee and watching the younger Monkeys color at the table. It is relatively calm with only a few random arguments over the whereabouts of certain crayons or who has had a longer turn with the one remaining colored pencil. Ahhh.... vague peace. And then there is a knock on the door. Craaaaaap.......

The guy is here to fix the tub. I totally forgot he was coming. After a brief back-and-forth conversation in my head about possibly maybe just ignoring the door I come to the conclusion that I live in a townhouse and this is the maintenance staff. If I don't open the door they are going to come in anyway. Craaaaaap......

So I answer the door. Jammies and bedhead, coffee in hand. And there is Tub Guy who immediately starts laughing. Okay, I will give him that I am standing there in plaid flannel boxers and my ancient BGSU sweatshirt. And did I mention the full-on bedhead? I don't get movie bedhead where there is possibly a strand or two perfectly mussed. I get crazy person bedhead where it looks like I have actually electrocuted myself and/or may be starting a crop of dreads or maybe a wild mouse habitat. So while I will give him all of this, it still is a blow to my fragile morning ego. I make him stand there in the doorway while I run upstairs to gather the damp towels and stray underwear discarded before the family's morning showers (well, from everyone except me- double crap) and kick the pile of undone laundry out of the way and close the bedroom door (because it looks like the rest of the house threw up its junk in that room).

I listen to him work for a while fixing the hole (yes, hole) that had appeared where the silver overflow thingy had been. I was unaware that a bathtub could get a hole in it. And even less aware that it could be fixed. He calls in reinforcements and two other maintenance guys show up-  Jovial Guy and The IT Kid. Seriously. I wonder if it is Bring Your Computer Dork Teenager To Work Day. He has those black-frame rectangle glasses and a goatee and carries the clipboard. Go figure. I hear the word "hacksaw" being casually thrown about. I am nervous. I wonder if they are possibly turning my tub into a wonderful watery sculpture- and if IT Kid had to get a permission slip from his mom to use such a dangerous tool.

They wrap things up and I am given this warning from Tub Guy: "Don't get this wet. AT ALL. I will be back in the morning to finish." (As he shows me a hole in the tub that looks suspiciously the same, only with some gray putty stuff around the edges. Hacksaw?) No shower for me. This is tragic. Showers and coffee are survival tools for me. And I am being told there is no wonderfully heated water or jasmine scented shampoo in my future today. I am gonna have to make it with one out of two survival requirements today. Craaaaap.....

Which brings us to the scene this morning:

Nine in the morning. I have gotten a HUGE cup of coffee while out taking my oldest to school (seeing as I was all out of coffee in the house). I am standing in my bathroom, vaguely dressed and sporting the towel turban, frantically wiping the water-splatter evidence of my illicit shower off the tiles with a Spiderman beach towel when the following things happen simultaneously:

1. There is a knock on the door from Tub Guy. Damn. He is going to send me to Plumber Jail for unauthorized bathing.

2. The four-year-old yells "Oh no!" and I walk into the kitchen and see this scene

The untimely demise of coffee in its prime.

Damn. One out of two again.

*Note: Four-year-old coffee bandit was unharmed in coffee disaster. My coffee-addicted soul, however..... scarred. Also, Tub Guy reduced my Plumber Jail sentence to time served in light of the agony of the above tragedy and the hard labor required to remove 22 ounces of sugared beverage from a kitchen floor.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Buried (in plain sight) treasure

When I was at my parents' over Easter I found a bunch of old pictures (and by "found" I mean "pulled out the box that was sitting right in front of my face.") Soooo many treasures to behold in that box of old photos. It was a virtual cornucopia of awkwardness and odd faces caught at inopportune moments. It was beautiful. And then I came across this picture:

I know, right?!

Look at that face!

Check out those clothes! (okay, was the early 80's...)

I'm all elbows and knees and giant mouth! (Anybody have any doubts anymore about the whole fist-in-the-mouth thing? Makes sense now, right?)

And the hair?! Was the mushroom haircut ever a good look? (Sorry, mom.) Who takes their kid to get their hair cut and says to the stylist "Make it look like she is wearing a hair shower-cap" ????

Jump-roping was my favorite activity at that time. (I was seven) That Cinderella dressed in yella had so many doctors taking care of her snake bite, it was ridiculous. And later I would expand my jump-roping repertoire to include Double Dutch. And even went so far as to enter into a Double Dutch competition with my Girl Scout troop. We spent hours and hours practicing technique and making up a "routine"......and never went to the competition. I don't know why. Perhaps a camp out with the requisite jungle breakfast (Does anyone remember those? Little boxes of cereal and bananas that were hung from trees and we had to forage for in the early morning dew-covered woods. Why this was considered fun, I will never be able to explain.) caught our collective ADD attentions. Perhaps we simply realized that a routine that consisted only of the ability to jump into the ropes and jump back out without becoming hopelessly entangled would never really win any awards....

But I love the joy this picture captures. And I like to think that I finally grew into those poky elbows. And maybe next time I go visit my pit crew I will ask Molly for a little shower-cap 'do...... for nostalgia's sake.

And there were so many more treasures found... I will be sharing them from time to time....

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Brain purge

Seeing as I haven't posted here in the last week with Spring Break and everything I think I am going to take this moment to purge my brain of some random thoughts- which is really how my brain works- not in a neat and tidy linear operation.....

Last week was Spring Break. I have mixed feelings about this as a holiday of sorts. When I was in high school I sooo wanted to take a fantastic trip to an exotic location such as Myrtle Beach. I wanted to spend the week crammed into a hotel room with 19 other people and lounge on the beach and come back with a story of some cool dude I met from some other exotic location- like possibly Kentucky. Or Michigan. But alas, my parents didn't believe in Spring Break. As in "we don't believe in Santa Claus or Spring Break." These days I do get to travel some over this "holiday"- and by "travel" I mean "go to Fairfield, Ohio." The upside (?) to this is that I do get to share a room with many other people and there is always a hullabaloo going on. The downside (?) is that the shared room and hullabaloo are all attributed to my Monkeys.

I have not been able to go see my beauty pit crew in a while and the other day in a furious attempt to groom myself, I overplucked my eyebrows. Damn. It was one of those back-and-forth attempts to even things up that was my total downfall. All I really wanted to do was rid myself of the terrible stray hairs that make my eyebrows look like they actually connect to my eyelashes. Now I think my only option is to shave them off and draw on new ones. I like this option actually, because it will give me the opportunity to do the one-eyebrow-raised look that I can't do in real life (and am totally jealous of when other people do it).

I hate capri pants. I only mention this because over the holiday I went to one of those family functions where capris not only seem appropriate, but mandatory. I realize there are people in this world that actually shop for these almost-pants, like them, and even wear them willingly. But not me. I don't know- maybe it is the babydoll-dress-and-Doc-Marten-wearing twenty year old in me or maybe it is the fact that I am 5'3" and they make me look like I am wearing my little brother's pants, but I have never been able to get on board with this particular item of clothing. (It should be noted that the writer of this post is, at this very moment, wearing cutoff jean shorts and an older-than-dirt Cleveland Indians t-shirt and possibly should not be making any statements regarding fashion.)

I love strawberries. I love them so much I can eat my weight in them. I also know how to make them into a delicious shot-delivering vehicle.

And..... that's enough for now.... except to direct your attention above to the picture....nice, huh? (that's right, I'm totally being all show-off-y about it, seeing as I NEVER actually look like that in real life.)