Tuesday, September 30, 2008

And when did we stop calling them "thongs?"

When we remodeled our kitchen several years ago, we wondered if it was overkill to have a big double sided sink as well as a smaller prep sink just feet away. A few folks even advised against it, saying the counter space was more important than having yet another sink in a not-so-huge kitchen.

Obviously, they don’t have to hide their tasty flip flops from bulldogs.

I guess their feet just aren't as scrumpdillyicious as mine.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A thought.

I bet the saying "A picture is worth a thousand words" is just part of an elaborate PR campaign by an illiterate caricature artist.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Peaches & Herb. Only, there's no Herb.

Autumn in Colorado is about the most fantastic thing you could imagine. Perfectly warm days with no bugs, cool nights with great sleeping weather, pretty gold leaves falling on still-green grass. Nirvana. But to just make it even greater, there are peaches. The western slope of Colorado yields some of the juiciest, yummiest big wonderful fruit you could imagine. Denverites and front range dwellers place their orders in August and get back big boxes of fuzzy yumminess in mid-September. It's a ritual.

Now. Let's pretend you are a smooshy-faced, round-eyed dog. Let's say a nice lady brought a big bag of fuzzy round things up to your house. What would you do?

You would go nutty because there's 1/2 a crate of tennis balls sitting on the table, oh my god, tennis balls, right there, there they are, tennis balls, do you see them, give me one, tasty lovely tennis balls yum yum yum! That's what you'd do.

Only it's just a bag of peaches. A bag of peaches that an 8 year old moves off of the counter because he needs the space for something else, and very wonderfully, a gigantic, perfect peach rolls across the floor. No one is looking.

Pretend you are a smooshy-faced, round-eyed dog. What would you do?

I'll tell you. You would skulk across the floor very carefully, and smoosh your smooshy face against the tennis ball looking object and ever so slightly wrap your raw-steak-like lips around it and sneak into another room, carefully...quietly...can you even believe you just scored the biggest tennis ball ever created, and man, aren't those labradors gonna be jealous? That's what you'd do.

Then, after biting into said tennis ball and discovering its peachy goodness, you'd practically die and go to heaven. You'd tenderly devour the most delicious tennis ball on the planet, its juice staining your big lips as well as the tops of your stumpy wide feet where you held your bounty, until there was nothing left but a little stone, a hard pit. No fun, and not bouncy, nothing left to chew on, so you'd just quietly spit it on the couch so that feeder-lady would clean it up.

A postscript from the smooshy faced one:
Oh delightful juicy peachy tennis ball. You surprised me. I expected the dependable rubbery friend I've come to know, but you were something different, weren't you? Will you surprise me again later and cause me to soil rugs and keep feeder-lady up scrubbing bulldog processed peach goo? Will my sensitive belly reject you at 2am? Actually, no. For we are soul-mates. We are round and we are lovely and we are ever so fuzzy. I sit, at the edge of the counter, using every bit of my bulldog determination to will one of your soft, friendly co-horts to escape the fruit bowl and lavish itself against my furry lips. I can smell the sunsets of a thousand summer nights wafting from high above my reach. I smack the ever present slobber that just thinking of you creates, and swallow hard. Come to me, peachy ball, come to me now.

I'll wait for you always.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Camouflage and Neon Lights.

Every fall, the guy I live with, aka: Big Dude Little Glasses, takes off for a week of what he calls “Elk Hunting.” He leaves with a bunch of food, camoflauge fleece pants and a bow. As in bow-and-arrow. Like Cupid. This is what he says he is going to aim at the elk when he comes across it. Most folks we know in our completely white collar neighborhood are very relieved to know he only takes skinny little arrows to kill a 1000 pound animal, because it “gives the elk a fair chance,” but after several years and many thousands of dollars, it is obviously not fair at all. THE ELK HAVE A DISTINCT ADVANTAGE. I have taken to whispering in his ear while he sleeps, “You will know untold husbandly pleasures if you will just once, for the love of all that’s holy, use a frickin’ rifle.”

I say this because not one time has my sweet betrothed returned with a dead elk. Not even a little piece of a dead elk. Not even an elk steak purchased from a meat market, unwrapped and stuck in dirt to trick me. I would very much like 1000 pounds of high mountain grass-fed organic meat in the freezer after the investment that we’ve made. It would be like if you went to Hawaii five times and didn’t take any pictures, pick up any shells, get a lei, or pay $9 for a Big Mac. Why the hell go?

I admit that a week in a cabin with beer and three men sounds mighty appealing – but could we pretty please have an elk? I’ve been patient, but after many years of this, evidence seems to be building that he’s not even going hunting at all.

I suspect he’s actually just going on a week-long bender to Vegas with his buddies.

Consider the facts:
1. Well this one’s a biggie…there’s no elk. Not even a picture of an elk. There are good stories about elk, but he could have easily gotten those by watching the hunting channel. IN VEGAS.

2. He leaves clean shaven and showered and he comes home with six days of beard, a duffle of dirty underwear and smelling of elk cow urine. An obvious cover up so the scent of smoky casinos and hookers doesn’t linger on his camo. Have you ever been on a return flight from Vegas? Everyone on there looks tired, needs a shave and smells like piss.

3. He mails $500 to his friend in early summer and gives him another $500 when he leaves. Why? So there’s no receipt to the Bellagio IN VEGAS, I’m guessing. The first payment is a hotel deposit, the second an installment for blackjack. His single friend handles it so none of the wives figure it out. It’s the same concept as strip clubs who have their visa receipts say “Glory Be To Him Christian Bookstore” instead of “Dirty Merle’s Nekkid Cheerleaders.”

4. He leaves with a bunch of canned goods and groceries…and returns with…almost all of them. He claims it’s because all of the guys brought too much…I contend he’s too full of $2.99 all-you-can-eat prime rib buffet to eat canned stew and granola bars.

It’s all just so…well, obvious.

Pookie – if you want to continue the charade, I’ll play along. You work hard and you certainly deserve a week off now and then to wear fleece pants and drink beer with the fellas. Go ahead, call it “elk hunting.” I’m all for it. If you could just do me the favor of showering at the airport it’d be super. Oh, and you should know…I’m considering joining a “book club.”

Flip-flops must be completely out of the question.

If you think about it, elephants have REALLY small feet. Relative to their leg size, that is.

I bet it’s a bitch to keep their socks on.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It would more kind to call them "special."

Listen, I make fun of my kids as much as the next person...neither of them is going to get a spelling scholarship, if you know what I’m saying. But putting a sign out on the street telling the world they’re slow? That's just plain mean. Thanks for the warning, though - I'll be sure not to yell algebra problems out the window as I pass your house.

Say, here’s a thought: maybe if you didn’t dress them in those creepy “See Dick” outfits they’d be a little more with it. Perhaps it's the lederhosen holding them back.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

M-I-C...See ya real soon...NOT.

My friend Scotty emailed to see how the mouse hunting was going.

As much as I hate to admit it, the mice won a round. ONE round.

My delightfully and tastefully adorned trap, previously mentioned on this here blog, did no good, because these are the teeniest little rodents you've ever seen. Apparently they can climb on top of a trap, eat until they're ready to burst and then waddle away unharmed, stopping only to poop in my kitchen. While I'm not the kind of person who jumps on a chair and screams when they see a mouse, I'm also not the kind to think gerbils are house pets and prairie dogs should be relocated. They're all basically rats, and I see no reason for them anywhere near me. (If you have a reason that they somehow help the eco-system in some manner other than that they provide a home for fleas, please feel free to let me in on it.)

So...I stopped using traps. I went for the slightly less humane, slow, hideous death of a glue trap. And not an ordinary glue trap, either. I purchased a metric ton of extra sticky peanut butter scented glue traps and put greasy bulldog nuggets in the center of each one.

Did they work? Mwah ha ha. Did they EVER. My children now call me Mouse Vader. Mice all over the block are madly running their little miniature mimeograph machines to print itty-bitty posters warning of my singular evil.

Does it bother me to hear their tiny screams in the night as they struggle for their lives, each movement only further insuring their doom? Eh, not really. Not nearly as much as it bothers me to see mouse poop in my house, anyway. Scream away, Mickey. See you in hell.

(Oh, and Scotty - for your benefit - the picture is my two-day tally posted on the refrigerator, to frighten and intimidate potential newcomers.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Here's the apple, right under the tree.

The ginormous middle schooler is doing homework. The assignment is a cute little “get to know you” self-assessment sheet with questions about what you’re good at, what you want to work on academically, etc.:

Kid: What’s something I don’t understand?

Me: Phonetics.

Kid: What’s phonetics?

Me: Dude, see what I mean?

Kid: Seriously, mom, What don’t I understand?

Me: Ummm. Spelling? In English.

Kid: I understand spelling, I just don’t care about spelling.

Me: AH-HA! Then you don’t UNDERSTAND the IMPORTANCE of spelling. Hiii-yah! You may be as tall as me, but I can still beat you mentally!

Kid: Rolls eyes, completely unimpressed with my awesome cerebral-judo skills, and writes: “I don’t understand…how people can watch NASCAR all day.”

Which was almost as amusing as his response to “I think yesterday was...” His answer was the poetic and philosophical: "Wednesday."

I love that boy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Entreprenuerial Spirits.

Currently working on my business plan for an in-home liquor delivery service. So far, even after aggressive capital infusion, the 24-month revenue projections show huge losses due to abuses in the owner/employee discount program. My recommendation: Greenlight the bastard.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Ides of September.

I know a lot of people (and one extremely intelligent smooshy faced bulldog) with birthdays in September. My cool pal Benny, who I first met when he was playing Little League, and who now is all grown up with a job and tattoos; my older sister Genny, who somehow survived not only being a teen in the '70s, but also being the practice kid for my parents; my friend Bernie the Attorney, whom I respect deeply for choosing a profession that rhymes with his name. There’s loads of ‘em. Apparently, December/January is a good time for snugglin’ in and baby-makin.’

Out of all those friends and doggies, though, I have been obsessed for weeks with the birthday that falls today, the 15th. It is the day my sweet friends Dorothy and Tracy were born. Identical twins, brunette and beautiful, with wide smiles and good hearts. While most of the people I know are sarcastic, jaded, caustic and inherently rotten (but loads of fun), Dorothy and Tracy are genuinely kind, thoughtful, graceful people, who, coincidentally, are also loads of fun. I met them in middle school and have adored them ever since, but not nearly as much as they adored each other.

Today though, Dorothy celebrates their birthday alone. Tracy died June 1st from complications of leukemia. They didn’t even know she was sick until a few days before she was gone. There was no time for those of us far away to see her or talk to her. A care package I sent with cozy jammies arrived on the day of her funeral.

I’ve been anxious and nervous about today ever since. I've felt like a parent trying to keep danger and sadness away from a child. But, for the life of me, I could not figure out a way to keep September 15th from coming to Dorothy. I brightly told her to “celebrate for both of you!” and “Tracy wouldn’t want you to be sad!” Both are true, but both sound so empty, so very, very stupid. Fortunately, Tracy was the kind of person who not only sent cards and letters and gifts to her sister all the time, they all had heartfelt special notes, little drawings, lovely words in her tiny, perfect handwriting. So, Dorothy knows she was loved. And I think she knows that Tracy left this world feeling very loved. That must be of the smallest comfort, I hope, when she looks in the mirror everyday and sees her lost other half.

I know there’s nothing I can say to change how Dorothy feels today. But – I can tell the other six or so of you who read this to squeeze your parents tighter and smooch your husband harder and call your friends more often even when there’s nothing to say. Smile at the mailman and kiss your dog on the lips. Send cozy jammies to someone healthy. Wear cozy jammies, and eat birthday cake for Tracy. It's all just too uncertain to live any other way. Happy Birthday, Dorothy & Tracy. I love you both.

Football Mom.

Realized over the weekend that in the last six years I’ve spent more money on folding camping chairs than I have on real furniture. And why the hell don't they sell them with two cup holders anymore? I have a frappacino AND a phone, thank you.

Friday, September 12, 2008

High Maintenance.

This will come as a huge surprise to those-of-you-who-know-me: I’ve never been someone really dedicated to fashion or beauty. (“Damn good thing, since you’re not really good at either of those things,” those-of-you-who-know-me are saying right now.)

Whatever, smart asses. I just mean that I tend to take the tomboy approach to things. Makeup routine: Mascara. Chapstick. Done. Facial cleansing routine: Water. Towel. Done. Clothes shopping: Run through Sports Authority. Grab pants. Done. If Safeway sold pants, I'd have a couple pairs.

I choose clothes and shoes based solely on their comfort factor. Although I do prefer that the colors are in the khaki family if possible. I have gone out on a limb recently and gotten some black things for formal occasions when khaki just won’t do. I tell you all of this so that when I say I was reading a magazine article on beauty secrets and regrets you will realize that I must’ve been extremely bored in line at the grocery store, DMV or in the waiting area at the emergency room. (There’s a blog topic for another day…should there really be places to WAIT at a center for EMERGENCIES?) You can tell I was not getting my hair cut, because I only read People and US when I get my hair cut. It’s important to get updates every six weeks or so on how many illegitimate children Angelina Jolie has currently, and how big Mary Kate’s giant purse is…has to be big enough to keep Ashley in, I think.

So, there I was, Somewhere Boring, reading this article on the things women regret not doing in their youth that would’ve practically guaranteed their future beauty. Because that's possible. It was really complex things like, “I regret not wearing sunscreen as a teenager because now I’m 70 and have wrinkles” or “I regret getting that Dorothy Hamill haircut when what I really wanted was the Princess Di haircut with Nadia Comaneci bangs” and “I regret purchasing a condominium instead of really good moisturizer, nobody marries women with their own condominium.” Which got me to thinking, “Hmmm. Why the hell can’t boring places at least get The New Yorker? It’s weekly, so there’d be plenty for everyone, they have cartoons…”

Much, much later, I wondered how I would answer the question of my biggest beauty faux pas. And, here for your reading pleasure are my answers. The personal, innermost beauty-related regrets of ME. But don’t read them now. Print them. Save them in your handbag until you’re waiting for your automobile emissions test/prescription/parent-teacher conference, and are looking for something really compelling to read in your samsonite molded plastic seat.

I REGRET:

1. Using baby oil as sunscreen from 1979 to 1990. But only because I ruined several pairs of shorts with my greasy ass. Otherwise, it was a pretty good idea and very effective. I was always very tan and youthful looking. (Especially in 1979.) I think my lemon juice highlights accentuated my golden brown shoulders in such a manner that most folks did not notice my greasy shorts anyway.

2. Drinking 9 beers the night before a job interview(s). I got the job(s), but I always look a little rough on my ID badges.

3. But here’s the one that would really make a difference: I regret not marrying a plastic surgeon, or the brother of a plastic surgeon or the son of a plastic surgeon. Pretty much anyone with a family discount for plastic surgery woulda been good. I think that’s what would ultimately make the biggest difference in my overall appearance today. Well, besides diet and exercise. And moisturizer. Blah, blah, blah, whatever.

POST SCRIPT - several days later - it occurs to me that I may be inferring that I'd rather not be married to Big Dude Little Glasses, and that was not my point at all. I love him dearly, it's just that he would have to pay retail for any surgical improvements. Also, the big galoot seems to love me the way I am, so I'm probably sticking around for another 5 decades or so.

"I base most of my fashion taste on what doesn't itch." - Gilda Radner

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Unsubscribe.

J. Crew just sent me an email with the subject line: “A new cardi for your collection!” I think Mr. or Ms. Crew...or shall I call you the more folksy and abbreviated “J?”...is maybe going a teensy bit out on a limb with that one.

a) J is assuming my skin doesn’t crawl when people unnecessarily shorten words to be cute. Wrongo, J. (Case in point, the rafting guide this summer who said the rapids were “gnar” and then felt the blunt end of my paddle knock across her REI bandana-ed head.)

b) J is assuming I know ‘cardi’ is short (and CUTE!) for “cardigan” and not, say “cardiac arrest” or “cardinal sin” or “cardio workout.”

c) J is assuming I not only wear, but actually COLLECT frumpy sweaters with buttons on the front to be ironic. Ummmm. No. No, I do not. Past age 26, a grandpa sweater on a female is no longer clever and hot in that naughty librarian kind of clever and hot. It's just weird. And I don't have enough closet space for non-wearable collections.

It’s bittersweet, but I think just maybe I’ve passed the target demographic for J. Crew.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Note to the merchandising folks at 7-Eleven Corp.

My life would be so much easier if 7-Eleven sold ground beef.

And if they really want to earn the loyalty of this customer - they would add a whiskey button on the soda fountain. That's the type of "convenience" I'm looking for in my neighborhood "convenience store."

Might wanna pull a focus group together on that.

Monday, September 8, 2008

You gotta play to win.

Pretty much every time I buy lotto tickets I just go with the “quick pick” option because I don’t want the people at the grocery store to think I’m some kind of strange freak who is so into the lottery that I actually think I’m going to win, so I superstitiously choose lucky or important numbers. Because that would be weird if I was like that. It would be wrong. So I’m not like that at all. Ever. Unless of course I’m in a different neighborhood where I’m unlikely to be recognized by staff or patrons – in which case, I am all over it.

Unfortunately, you only get six numbers, and I’m constantly thinking of seven numbers that are super good. I’m mean, really great, excellent numbers, all with fantastic purpose, and then the person working the machine has to hand it back with a “HULLO - you have too many numbers” and I have to sit and decide which number is less meaningful than the other six. My birthdate? Uh, no. The age of my firstborn? 'Fraid not. The address of our first house? That's not right. Not eleven. That’s the best number ever. Gotta keep eleven... As you can imagine, it’s painful, really. For everyone involved.

Nobody wins with a ticket purchased from their home grocery store anyway. The big “We Sold the Winner” signs are only at places that sell nothing but wiper blades and grain alcohol. (There’s also usually tumbleweeds blowing by and harmonica music being played by a husky man in overalls sitting on a barrel should you be looking for them.) That’s why I stop at strange out-of-the-way gas stations even if I don’t need gas. Here's a little secret for you. The stranger the place, the better the odds of winning. You’re not ever going to hear, “And the 8 million dollar jackpot went to a 41-year-old mother of two who buys ten tickets each week with her two hundred dollars of groceries packed neatly in reusable bags at the Cherry Creek Safeway!” It’s more “Ninety-two-years-young Delores had never gambled, save for Wednesday night bingo down at the First Baptist Church, but something made her pull into the Gas-n-Getum in Hotchkiss last week where she spent $1 that’ll change her life forever.” Yeah? I bet Delores picked the annuity payout, dumb bitch.

Anyway, even though I tell my children I buy lottery tickets “to support our state parks and to help build wheelchair accessible trails so that the beauty of our state may be enjoyed by everyone, even the handicapable,” it’s really because I WANT TO WIN A LOT OF MONEY. I know that I probably won’t. But wouldn’t it be really cool if I did? That’s the best part of buying them, the dreaming part. The fantasizing that it might be me holding the ginormous cardboard check. I save up the little slips of paper with my numbers for several weeks, and then check them all at once… so far, nothin’ – but the anticipation is juicy and sweet. The weeks I don’t buy them, yeesh, it hurts to see the numbers then. They are invariably numbers I would’ve chosen. I am so not kidding. As the tuxedoed dude with the long Match Game ‘74 skinny microphone reads the little balls after the news, they sound so familiar. And I’m all, “Ohmygawd! Two! Our first house started with a two! I was totally going to pick two! Oh, fourteen! For the love of all that’s holy, that is my son’s birthday, and I ALWAYS pick fourteen! Damnity damn damn! Don’t do it, DO NOT BE 20… Can you even believe this shit? Of course it’s twenty. I used to be twenty! Who the hell didn’t let me buy tickets this week? That damned Safeway customer service desk is too crowded with friggin' old people!” And so on.

It’s a vicious and terrible addiction, but not one I’m likely to give up soon. I’d love to call in rich to work, but in the meantime, odds are good that I need to pay attention to some looming deadlines. Besides, eventually I’ll be an old woman with only a dollar to spend, cruising in my Crown Vic looking for petrol, and then check it out, hombre. You will be looking at a winner.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What are you talking about under there?

My friend and neighbor – who for purposes of anonymity we’ll call…hmmm….how ‘bout we call her “Nicole,” well, Nicole says that, properly fitted, babydoll tops are cute on anyone. And if they’re not, it’s easily solved by a product called SPANX. The official Spanx website says they're “shapewear,” but what they are is a modern day spandex version of the corset and girdle. And chasity belt, because they’re very hard to remove after drinking.

I’ve only ever owned one pair of Spanx, and then just for a few days. I got them on the recommendation of not only Nicole, but also a bearded drag queen that I met at a 50s themed birthday party. He and a lot of his friends were having a super good time being over 6 feet tall, 200 pounds and pretending they were Marilyn Monroe. I figured that was a pretty good reference really, so I paid more than I did for my first car for some “power panties” and wore them under filmy black pants to the Country Music Television Awards in Nashville last April. Yes. My life is THAT interesting. I go to awards shows with celebrities all the time. Not really, I just sort of ended up with free tickets, and figured it was one of those life-list things I should cross off, even if it was never technically on the list of things to cross off. On a side note, it was a pretty fun time, Big Dude Little Glasses went along and it was like a 24 hour date on a school night. In Nashville. With our close friends Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman. Anyway, the trip was rather whirlwindy, and I accidentally forgot my Spanx in at the hotel in Nashville. I have not yet written the smash country hit “I left my Spanx in Nashville Now My Pants Don’t Fit No More” but I plan to very soon.

Back to the babydoll, Nicole and I discussed at depth whether wearing tight undergarments to essentially stop the muffin top under babydoll tops was ironic or just sadist, as well the overall efficiency of Body Shaping. We determined that if they ever made a full-body Spanx catsuit, we’d both save up for them...I suggested that I would pay extra for a flesh colored one with nipples and abs airbrushed on it and it would be good if it was quick drying so that I could shower in it as well. (Who the hell designs a bathroom with a huge mirror across from a glass-doored shower anyway?) Nicole decided it might be too hot to wear it all the time…but then acquiesced that if it had pit zips it would be completely tolerable, and less expensive than a tummy tuck.

I'm going to forgive the babydoll because I trust Nicole’s undergarment advice even more than that from the drag queen. She comes from good people. Her mom (shout out to my homegirl Anita in KC) told me she didn’t need to be professionally fitted for a bra because she already knew her size. 34 Long. I almost didn’t type that because I really was hoping to save it and use it as my own one day.

If you were wondering what women with cocktails on stoops talk about, now you know.

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