Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm just going to go ahead and apologize now to his future college roommate.

I remember when my first son was a toddler - he was a thick, strong kid with a huge heart and infectious laugh, an incredible sense of humor and a sensitive side well beyond his years. None of our friends had kids yet, so he hung out with adults a lot, and was thus mature and well-liked by big people.

He was also very cute. And people would say, "Oh - don't you wish he could stay this age forever?"

And I would say, "Um, no."

You see, as delightful as he was, he had a terrible habit of shitting his pants. Well, until he was about three anyway.

The price you pay for all that adorableness is cleaning up the Adorable One's bodily fluids. Also solids. At any time of day or night. And I was pretty much willing to give that up.

In fact, I'd daydream about times when he would be my cool big kid with an awesome personality, capable of hopping in a shower and handling his own hygiene. In my dreams, I'd be reclined on some sort of cushy furniture, reading a magazine with a wistful look and a pitcher of mimosas. He'd appear before me all sweet smelling and clean, without any effort on my part. And I'd smile.

And I have that now.  Admittedly, I do not get sweet-smelling. I get an odd mixture of Crew mint conditioner and some type of Axe body spray. But it's not bad. And I don't really have any magazines or that pitcher of mimosas either. Also, there is a bulldog on the furniture right where I'd sit if I could. BUT, the boy IS responsible for his own hygiene. And he does appear to me each morning, shiny and clean. After tousling his minty conditioned locks and kissing his astringented mushy cheek, I get a warm feeling in my heart. This boy is good. I love this boy.

Then I walk into his bathroom. And I realize, there is still a price.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Flashback - Actually happening on a Friday which is somewhat amazing when you consider my track record.

This week's photographic gems come from a time in my life archaeologists will call the SSLJ Era. (Short Skirt Long Jacket.)  Actually, most of my life fits within that era, but whatever. It's my signature look.

Pay no nevermind to the strange forced smile here. I was probably trying not to kick this dog's ass. (You're probably asking yourself, "But where's the skirt?"  Look closely, now. Can you see it? There, under the long jacket?)


I was in advertising sales for a cable company. To answer your question, why yes, it totally sucked, was a DREAM JOB.  I lived with my pal who was in law school, her cat named 8-Ball, and the aforementioned nutjob pyschopathic killer beagle, Opie.

We rented a cute little brick house with a big crabapple tree and our days were filled with bliss. Actually, our days were pretty shitastic because she was in law school and I was trying to sell ads on cable TV which is almost nearly as exciting as trying to sell ads in the fricking phone book.  But our nights?
Actually pretty fun.

First of all, we not only had a papasan chair...we also had a papasan COUCH - which equals, if you're following along...an ENTIRE PAPASAN ENSEMBLE.  An entire room of furniture made overseas (fancy!) and imported...(like caviar!)for less than $300 retail. Not that we paid retail. Behold it, if you dare, in all of it's pinkness.

We also had a fireplace.  With a fire in it. Lucky ducks.

Here we are at our sweet pad entertaining friends... including a cute cowboy that will someday become Big Dude, and my ol' friend Harvard Barbie. Who I'm sure returned back to Harvard thoroughly impressed with a) our pink papasan couch - they don't have that kind of classy stuff back East..., b) my fancy choice of beverage - Keystone Light in a can, and c) the beagle hair on her ass from sitting on the pink papasan couch.


Here you'll see a depressed psychopathic beagle off his meds and pouting because humans are using his papsan furniture, so he's having to use a dog bed like a common-everyday-dog. Please note in background me in my other outfit of choice; Short Skirt Long Sweater. Perfect for Cowboy-Catchin', should you be interested.


Also please note the small black head under the beagle chin. See the little feline ears perfectly framing his jowls? That would be 8-Ball. They had somewhat of an unnatural relationship. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Like all things, except teenage vampire book series apparently, the time in the cute brick house came to an end. Our cool fireman landlord decided to sell the house. It probably took him longer than he expected to sell it, but that's only because some terrible vandals kept removing the "For Sale" sign out of the yard. It would mysteriously end up in all kinds of weird places...sometimes at far away cable companies for example.

Alas, it did eventually sell, but we figured if the sold sign wasn't there, they couldn't make us move. We congratulated the Realtor's diligence, perserverance and top-notch marketing skills by giving him a little promotion down at the local post office.


I circled "United" so you'd know it was the US Post Office, but really it just looks like an aircraft warehouse. But it's not. Really. It's the post office. Which is kind of federal property, which makes defacing it with a real estate sign a felony, probably. So pretend that you never saw this. Mkay?


Monday, October 26, 2009

Or maybe they make dog Ambien?

If you've been a parent for more than 15 minutes, someone has suggested to you that it is possible to sedate your offspring with Benadryl. Going on a long car ride? Benadryl! Cross-continental redeye flight to to see grandma? Benadryl! Mommy wants to watch The Office and drink whiskey make dinner without hearing any whining from your miniature cake-hole interruption? BENADRYL!

Sounds great, but the problem with it is that the entire thing is an evil plot invented and perpetuated by either pharmaceutical companies or communists. Or communist pharmacists. If it works for your kid, hooray for you, but I tried drugging each of my children at different times in their lives, and each time I got exactly the opposite reaction than I was going for. As the other 167 unfortunate passengers of a flight from Denver to Tampa in 1998 can attest, Benadryl in my kids is like methadone. Or crack cocaine. Or acid. I guess I'm not super knowledgeable on the effects of hard drugs, I'm sure I was supposed to study it at some point, but I think I watched Mork and Mindy instead. Anyway, it turns them into whatever drug it is that makes you a wild-eyed, spitting, jumping on your mom's lap, unable to sleep wolverine-monkey.

And, now, because I am nothing if not a bastion of information and this blog is pretty much a public service announcement, (you're welcome) I'm here to inform you that Benadryl in a bulldog has pretty muchly exactly the same effect as it had on my toddlers. It turns him into a drooling bag of crazy.

If you're a fan of bulldogs, and hello? Who ISN'T? You'll know that despite their tough appearances, they are actually delicate little flowers with all types of issues that you wouldn't put up with from any other less-cute animal. Chronic puking immediately after eating comes to mind. As does 40 decibel snoring, incessant shedding, tears that stain your furniture and only being able to give birth by c-section.  Also? Dry skin. Bulldogs have very dry, itchy skin and all kinds of things irritate it, like say, oh...air. And Taylor Swift songs. Or so I tell my children.

Anyway, I'm cruising through life feeding my bulldog extra greasy food and keeping him all humidified when suddenly he's covered, like totally COVERED in hives.  Everywhere, little jellybean sized bumps all over his cuteness. You could tell they itched like hell. He was rolling and crying and scratching and I just wanted to go to bed felt so badly for him. So, after a quick google-search for itchy bulldog cures, deciding against a calamine and baking soda dip, I went for the Benadryl. Without even thinking, without even remembering, without even considering that it wouldn't work. I imagined him taking the magical elixir of yum, slowly laying down, licking his paws for a few minutes and then passing out until morning.

Yeah. Nope. It's currently 3:48 AM, and I'm watching him jump from sofa to coffee table to ottoman to my lap to floor to door to the other sofa to OHMYGAWD this is exactly like the flight to Tampa only there's not a grumpy autoparts sales person sitting next to me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Flashback Friday wherein you should actually flash back TO Friday and pretend you were reading this post. Because today is Tuesday, dudes.

Due to renewing some old friendships on the ultimate timesuck Facebook, I've been thinking about college lately. It was a time to discover myself - to look introspectively and determine my strong suits, my potential, my skills. To put it simply - it's when I really learned to answer the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Within a few weeks of my freshman year, I knew definitively what I wanted to be.

A frat boy.

Who has a better life than a frat boy? I offer for your consideration: They get to hang out with other dudes. If they want the company of females, they post a flyer and boom - girls are there. But if they want to lock the door and watch sports, it's all good in the name of brotherhood. Speaking of their doors, they're usually attached to a pretty nice piece of architecture. Except for the Pi Kappa Alpha house on Colorado State University's campus (ie: "The White House" because really, it was a shack and all it had going for it was a new coat of paint) MOST fraternity houses are beautiful old homes. Sure, they smell on the inside, but the columns and sweeping porches and grand entrances totally make up for beer-soaked carpets behind those doors. Oh - and beer? There's always beer. I'm a fan of beer. Besides used kegs on those porches, there's often really comfortable furniture. And not patio furniture that just looks comfortable, either. Real, live, inside couches outside on the porch. That's not just a good idea, that's living, my friends.

Alas however, I couldn't figure out how to actually join a fraternity...so I just hung out on the fringes of them, wearing my converse lowtops, cargo shorts and aviator sunglasses, holding a red party cup and trying to blend in. One particular SAE intrigued me. Besides having really great bangs, he owned a Honda Interceptor - one of the best crotch rockets of the 80s. Did he keep it polished and shiny to impress everyone? Nope. It was covered with stickers and decals and a couple of dents in the gas tank. Because that's how he rolled, man. Everyone recognized this guy - most people hated him. I wanted to be him. Or at least get my hands on that bike.

Or one just like it. Only better.  Today, I present you with a delicious retro example of my extreme badassery, and the culmination of my frat boy ambitions.




Behold, a 1992 Little Girl Big Glasses - complete with windblown pageboy permed hair, mock turtleneck sleeveless striped tee, pleated shorts, leather Keds...and my rockin' pink and blue crotch rocket. At the time, I was working my first real job, making tens of dollars a month. I realized that after making the $155 payment on my Toyota Tercel and the $249 rent payment, there was money left over...and since food was optional, I had the perfect amount to finance a 1990 Honda VTR 250, the 'baby' Interceptor. I paid 11% interest on an RV loan to buy it and it was worth EVERY penny. Frat boys had nothin' on me. Except maybe better bangs.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I am pretty sure Aveda has a crush on me.


A million years ago, before Big Dude and Little Dudes and mortgages and bulldogs, I went to lunch a couple of times with a good-lookin' tall guy from work. Putting aside the facts that he lived with his mother and had a dead-end job (it was just my summer job, it was his fate career) he was a decent fella. He had a sweet car, was very polite, listened to good music, liked beer, smelled good. All positives to a 22-year-old me. Here's what was wrong with him: He gave me stuff all the time.

I know what you're thinking. "AHA! Proof! Women never like the nice guys! They want the bad boy!" Yeah, well, no, that's not it. This guy was the King of Creepy Gifts. For example, we went to lunch, the next day he bought me a hat.

A hat.  Because apparently all the flower stores were closed? Where do you even go to buy a hat? And what makes you think..."That temporary file girl at the office sure is cute. In fact, the only way she'd be cuter is with a black felt fedora! To the mall!"

We went to lunch again. I had boots on my desk.  Because? He wanted me to know that he knew my shoe size. Uh huh.

We went to lunch with a big group of people, he found a way to be smooshed into a back seat with me where he pointed out the church he'd like us to be married in. Yeah. He did.

Eventually, I lost my appetite and stopped going to lunch with him. I received a Victoria's Secret box. To entice me to go to Burger King, I guess?  I returned it, unopened, to his car, all the while holding my keys sticking out of my fist just in case he jumped out from under the car with a gift-wrapped toaster.

Fortunately, the summer ended and I got to move back to school 90 miles away. Unfortunately, he asked someone where I lived and they told him. (Thanks, HR Department!) When I rode up on my bike with a group of friends and saw him sitting on my porch he asked why I wasn't driving, and who were all these people?

I explained loudly that he gave me the creeps and I'd like him to leave and that my car wasn't running just then.

I then double locked my doors, asked him to be gone when I got back and rode off to find my biggest, largest, male-est friends.

When I got back, there was a tear-stained letter and a check for $1800. Because that's all he had, and he wanted me to buy a car with it. (And I'm totally not kidding, he either cried or spit all over it, because it was all warpy and wrinkly like it'd been wet.)

Why now, do I bring up this freak-tale while I live happily with dudes of all sizes, a mortgage and a bulldog? Because I was reminded of this gifty-stalky guy today. Much like innocently going to lunch with a cute guy, I innocently ordered Aveda product online. I got suckered in. It looked good, I like how it smells, I hate the damned mall. I figure, what's a non-committal online order gonna do?

And then Aveda began it's creepy genuflection. I ordered shampoo. Aveda offered a free sample of conditioner. I ordered conditioner, Aveda wanted me to try extra infused deep treatment FREE. I put in the special offer code for free shipping... suddenly there were three other free gifts in my basket.  By the time I was done, I had SEVEN free gifts, and when I checked my email and read the order confirmation, I had two more waiting for me.

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate all the cute little bottles and will more than likely use each and every one of them. But you might wanna try playing hard-to-get once in awhile, Aveda, or you might find yourself crying all alone on the steps of a hastily built condo someday wondering WHY oh WHY I don't love you back.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Flashback - Tandemonium.




Welcome to the first ever edition of LGBG's Friday Flashback! (applause) Which means two things. One...I stole the idea from my long-lost twin in Iowa that I've never met: Tracey, and two...I finally opened the scanner that I've owned for 10 months and have been using as a footrest under my desk.


Today's vintage circa 1967 Instamatic print features my daddy, an infant Little Girl Pre Glasses, (me) and the most bitchin' 1966 Rollfast Tandem bike EVER.


A few things to note:
• I can really rock a bonnet, no?
• Check out my dad's awesome Elvis hair and tortoise shell shades.
• And, see that basket? They used to put us kids in there. And ride around. Which was totally cool. Later, when my younger sister was born, she'd be up there in a baby seat, my parents would be on the bike seats, my older sister sat on the luggage rack, and I was somewhere... anyway, the whole fam damily could fit on this bike. It was like an eco-friendly open-air SUV before its time. Also it had a headlight. For night trips.

I have recently become obsessed with getting myself an exact replica of this bike. We live in a very bike-y neighborhood, all kinds of great places to go like taverns, parks, bars, taverns - all within biking distance on pretty tree-lined streets. And, didja know? The person on the back only has to pretend to pedal, so basically I could just ride around relaxing with a cool beverage and possibly even a book while Big Dude pedals me around and works out his thigh muscles. (Which are really fine the way the are but he seems to enjoy working out, so who am I to deny him?) A win-win, really.

So...I'm searching for a black and white 1966 Rollfast Tandem Bicycle which means, of course, they're rare. Apparently, they made a gazillion red ones, but not too many black ones.  I've found them on craigslist in other states, but no one will ship me a $200, 200 pound bike.

I also found this ridiculously cool painting of one.


Sweet, huh? The artist's name is Taliah Lempert and she paints all kinds of bikes...you can see them here. I emailed her while ago and asked her to buy her Rollfast and she said, "NOPE, it's too awesome!" Or something to that effect. So I just ordered a print of her painting instead which will no doubt be completely fantastic. But I still want the damned bike.

If any of you out there in webosphere have a dusty black Rollfast tandem bike in your garage/barn/grandma's basement/neighbor's toolshed, let me know...in the meantime, I'm trying to fit a 135 pound twelve year old on the handlebars of my mountain bike and it's just embarrassing.

UPDATE! I just got an email from Taliah (The bike artist. Try to keep up.) and she's going to paint a whole new version of the Rollfast Tandem in acrylics on paper, kind of like this painting and I'm so excited I could dance like Snoopy because honestly I was totally going to have to redecorate most of my house (or move to a loft) to match that red background. If you know someone who appreciates the bike form as art, please go to her website and get them some nifty notecards or a shirt or something. She's totally cool.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Many Open Letters Inspired by a Not-So-Quick Jaunt To the Giant 12-year-old's School.

#1: Dear friendly construction folks who bring their own flashy "move over two lanes" lights and park their earth-moving equipment across two lanes of traffic on a busy city thoroughfare at 7:30 AM with no advance warning,  Have you heard of Mike Mulligan? He parked his shit INSIDE the construction site, not across from a middle school on a busy city thoroughfare. Sure, he ended up having to leave it there after the building was done, but it turned out fine because as I recall, they gave him a rocking chair, a pipe and plenty of pie. Why did he get pie? Because he didn't piss off everyone parking his damned steam shovel in their way. Do you like pie? Sure, we all do. Here's some advice - WAIT UNTIL AFTER THE BELL RINGS AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL AND YOU WON'T HAVE NEARLY AS MANY MOMMIES FLIPPING YOU OFF, THEY MIGHT GIVE YOU PIE INSTEAD. Also, it'd be great if you actually involved the city, they might lend you some detour signs or something or advise you to park on, I dunno, the fricking side street?

#2: Dear River Rock Mica Green Toyota Prius Driver with Namaste Bumper Sticker, Your karma will NOT be improved by letting one mile of traffic merge in front of you. Those people are bad people. They are people that saw the "get the hell over two lanes" flashy lights and DID. NOT. GET. OVER. Instead, they zoomed ahead. They let you wait in line forever (and me, two cars behind you) and then they drove 52 miles per hour, slammed their brakes on at the last possible moment, smiled devilishly at you and you let them in. Their flippant little wave filled you with a feeling second only to freeing Tibet, but they started out three miles behind us, and now they're three miles ahead of us, and here we sit. YOU, Prius lady, have helped contribute to EVIL in this world, and for that, karma will NOT smile at you with an extra pinch of organic cinnamon in your sumatra blend soy latte. Oh no, you're looking at a split seam in your yoga pants at the very least, and very possibly a huge tax increase on xeriscaping and loose leaf tea. Not to mention what karma is going to think of you denying a child his education by promoting evil. I worry about you.

#3: Dear Cool Dudes in an Orange Geo with a huge Vans Decal, Hey, thanks for giving me a "teachable moment" this morning. There I was sitting in traffic, thinking that the boy and I would have nothing meaningful to talk about when you provided me the perfect opportunity for a Just Say No session.
The boy: Hey Mom, that's kinda gross, those guys in the Geo are sharing a cigarette.
Me: Hmm. Why they certainly are, son. Swine flu aside, pretty grody. OH, it seems to be a hand-rolled version. 
The boy: Wait. Is that pot?
Me: (rolling down window and taking a sniff of the chilly early morning autmn air) Well, yes, son. I believe it is a marijuana cigarette. Yes, indeedy.
The boy: Soooo, they're doing drugs, in their car, at 7:30 in the morning?
Me: Uh, huh.
The boy: 'Spose that's why they're 30 and still have a crappy car with a skateboard sticker on it?
Me: You're gonna be just fine, boy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ohemgee. I'm kind of a big deal on the Internet.

If you're like me, you probably forgot that I have a blog. This blog right here, in fact. You're likely blocking it from your memory because you cannot stand to read that story about how my dog died ONE MORE TIME. I know I can't. However, what you probably do NOT know is that while poor little LGBG has been lifeless (get it, lifeless? Because the dog DIED, right?) I have been flitting all about the worldwide web, spreading my own special brand of joy. JOY, people. Friggin look happy already!

First of all, I was the proud winner of some super sweet business cards on Catootes.  Of course, I have not designed them yet, but when I do, they will be SUPER SWEET. And, I shall pass them about whenever someone says "What's your blog? Why is it called that? Wha?"

Nextly, I was a little preoccupied with launching a little 112-page website for work. Not really a great excuse, but not really a bad one either, because holy crap - 112 pages. With 40 gazillion pictures. And a bunch of forms, and at least 19 people telling me immediate edits to make. If you see a typo on it, keep it to yourself, pretty please. When you're drinking later this evening, feel free to peruse it in all its loveliness and then send a comment form telling how fricking beautiful it is and how the marketing director must be A GENIUS. But, dudes, use your own words or something. Just make them be sort of synonymous with genius. K, thanks.

And lastly - and this is the part where my amazing level of fame-itude comes into play...I was the featured topic on a website about  FABULOUS THINGS.  Yeah, you heard me, every boy who ever broke up with me. I am fabulous. People who KNOW fab, they know me. And they think I'm fab. Also, I totally have shiny hair, as this post attests. I'm really going out on a limb sharing this link, since I like to just be the little cartoony avatar person over in the corner, and the HowFab post actually features real live unedited photos of moi, but I like living on the edge. Also, since Kara of HowFab lives in San Francisco, is hip and has unlimited fashionability, if she wants to steal photos off my Facebook page and put them on her website, who am I to keep her unique brand of Internet Gold to myself? Also, please go buy cards from her and she will send you a very nice moustache for FREE that you will find very handy in many situations.  Like, for example, your wedding photos.

That would be Ms. Fab herself, at her wedding, with her Fab British husband. Because all the very hip people marry foreigners. But not foreigners that speak a different language, because that'd be a pain in the ass.

I promise I will still write you little stories even though I'm totally famous with business cards now. Really I will, because deep down, I love you little people. You made me the Internet sensation I am today.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Loss and found.

One day, at around age 19, I realized that I had never seen any of my pets die. In fact, to my knowledge, not a single one of my pets ever HAD died. Save for one very flat kitty cat I discovered in the road with a very flat mouse in her mouth, every animal I'd ever owned had grown to a nice old age and then run away while I was at school. Meanwhile, my best friend had an actual graveyard in front of her barn filled with goldfish, hamsters, kitties and a couple of German Shephards. It never seemed at all peculiar to me until I was nearly all grown up and I said it out loud to someone who was all, "What? All your animals ran away? All of them? Dude, your parents made that up, man." And I was all, "No, seriously, they even put ads in the paper sometimes." And my friend was all, "Um. Yeah, kind of like you wrote a letter to Santa? And mailed it?" And I was all, "Nope. I was raised by realists, dude. Santa's fake, there's no tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny is made up. But it is totally true that all my dogs ran away." And my friend shook her head sadly and asked, "Ooooh. I understand so much more about you now."

After much contemplation, I realized that probably my 11-year-old tumor-ridden Basset Hound Towser probably did not, in fact, run away. But I appreciated the fact that I was always left with some amount of hope he and all the others would eventually return.

At age 24 or so, I was dating a cute cowboy guy who would one day become Big Dude and living with my arthritic dachsund-poodle mix and a Beagle puppy. The dachsund/poodle was 6 pounds of pure bad-ass, evidenced by the fact that even my cowboyfriend loved him. His name was Peppy, because I named him when I was in the 8th grade. That right there is the main reason why middle school girls should not be allowed to have babies even if they are biologically capable. It has nothing to do with the fact that they don't have the means or common sense to raise a child, it is purely because 13 year old girls would name babies something stupid and there would be a bunch of babies running around with ridiculously dumb names like Peppy or Sparrow or something and they would find a way to put smiley faces and hearts on birth certificates where the dots on the i's should be.

Anyway, Peppy eventually started showing his age, caused mostly in part by that damned beagle puppy pestering him, and the day came where I had to put him to sleep. Because I'd never really gone through losing a pet, the Cowboyfriend in Shining Armor left his job early to accompany me to the vet. Peppy had been there all day, struggling, his little bitty heart valves failing. I wanted to see him one more time before the fatal injection.

Big Brave Cowboyfriend and I walked in from a mid-August heat wave into the cool air of the animal hospital. We were standing in a big room with high ceilings that started swirling around me as the gravity of the situation hit me. A kind woman in sea green scrubs walked towards us and asked if she could help us. I couldn't speak. A lump rose in my throat. I looked to the Cowboyfriend. He looked at the ground. I grabbed his hand so he would speak for me. It was ice freakin' cold. He started to shudder, his shoulders raising up and down, and big ginormous cowboy tears began to plop on the grey tweed rug.

So. I guess I'd be handling the details. I summoned strength, stood up straight and told her we were there to euthanize Peppy, could we see him first? She led us back where I told him he was the coolest dog ever and he licked my hand with his teeny tongue. I tied a friendship bracelet I'd made around his neck (it was the 90s, after all) and removed his collar and put it on my wrist. I held his head while they put him down, his breathing slowed, the weight of his head became heavier. I scooped him up and carried him out in a light blue towel.

We walked out with our heads down, the heat of the day blasting us, radiating off the blacktop and drying the tears that streamed down our faces. I put the limp little body in the backseat. The Cowboyfriend/Big Dude-to be recovered somewhat and drove me and the little body of my friend 45 miles to the house where Peppy and I grew up. The Colorado clay was rock hard and it was at least 98 degrees as afternoon slipped into evening, but we took turns digging a hole in an iris garden. I highly recommend swinging a pickaxe and hard ground when you're upset. Sweating out the grief, I call it. We patted the ground, cried some more and said goodbye to a friend.

I learned a few things that day.
1. Pets do die and it sucks even more than wondering why they ran away.
2. Supporting someone doesn't necessarily mean you take over and fix everything. Sometimes it just means you cry with them.
3. Knights in shining armor sometimes wear cowboy hats.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Just make things easier on everyone and make all your passwords be "password."

Have you ever looked out of your window and seen someone sitting on the street in front of your house on their computer? If you have a unsecured wireless internet connection, that person is in a Toyota pickup, listening to Depeche Mode and frantically typing their ass off to meet a deadline, c'mon out and say HI! It's just me.

I am an stalker expert on unsecured wireless internet connections. I can sniff 'em out. This is because I spend most every evening of my life waiting for a child at a sports practice. I used to wait nicely in a folding chair, socialize with other parents, maybe even read a book. But one day I forgot the book and I sat in the chair thinking only "OH MY GAWD I AM SO BEHIND AT WORK I CANNOT BELIEVE I'M WASTING ALL THIS TIME JUST SITTING HERE ENJOYING MY CHILD'S FLEETING YOUTH." So the next night, instead of sharing cocktails with the other football mommies, I packed a laptop and a cooler for myself (much cheaper than sharing, btw) and cruised the streets around the park for my fix of sweet sweet internet.

For a price, I can tell you where to get the juice - but you've got to be discreet about it. One of my favorite high-speed highs figured out that there was a line of minivans outside his house and went all locked and shit on me. So, "LandsbergsLAN" - you asshole, don't be surprised if you find a couple of empty Bass bottles and some Toyota tiremarks on your lawn some Thursday evening.

Next to an unsecured wireless network, I love me some home set-up security. I don't even try to figure out the bullshit WEP key stuff that real networks have, however, my children play baseball at a park next to a little building full of offices and apartment buildings, and it's quite entertaining to try and guess those people's passwords. There's one guy who calls his modem "JUICYFRUIT" and I haven't broken his code yet, but I am having a very good time trying. Besides the obvious gum references, there's a lotta good material there. One night as I sat with my lap overheated from a tired MacBook, I was growing desperate. I hadn't been able to get any unsecured networks, there wasn't a Starbucks for blocks and my battery was low. I found a modem called "MICHELLE." I looked to the darkening sky for inspiration, looked down and tapped in MAY10.

And I was fricking in. That night I was as close to God's grace as I'll likely ever be.

Anyway - because of this shit and more - the high-speed wireless internet at our house is completely unsecure. C'mon by. I'm guessing you're not gonna hack into my computer and steal pictures of my bulldog. You just wanna check your damned email and that's cool with me. Enjoy the shade, surf some stuff. It's on me. Just paying it forward, y'know. You're welcome.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Forget about clean underwear, if you're in mangled in a horrible accident, your playlist is all that really matters.

Most people relate certain songs to certain points in their lives - high school dances or college parties or holidays or their parents. Much like my uncanny ability to remember exactly what I was wearing while getting hurt, I also remember every song that was playing while I was getting pulled over for speeding.

For your consideration:
March 1984 - Chambers & Colfax - 1974 Plymouth Duster - 45 in a 30. J. Giles Band: "Freeze Frame." (Was ditching school at the time, and had somehow, magically, actually asked my mom's permission to do so. Which was awesome because she said YES, which was a damned good thing because when you're under 18 you have to take your mom to court with you when you get a ticket and it woulda been awful hard to explain why I got a ticket 35 miles from English class. I digress.)
April 1985 - State Hwy 79 - my friend Karyn's '75 Le Mans. 98 in a 55. Prince: "Delirious."
June 1986 - State Hwy 36 - Again, the Duster. 7am. Howard Jones: "Like to Get to Know you Well"
July 1987 - Canyon Blvd., Boulder, CO. 1980 Mustang. 75 in a 30. Orchestral Maneuvers in Dark: "Locomotion."

And so on. This was only a sampling of my offenses, I was quite speedy as a youngster.

I think that patrol officers should be required to ask you what you were listening to and record it on the ticket so that later on in court, you can plead, "FUNKY" or "DANCEY" or whatever. "You know how fast you were going? What were you listening to, "Hot for Teacher" or something?" Because really? It is not MY fault that Prince was getting me all worked up like that. Duh. It is Prince's fault. And there's not a judge in the world that would try a person for speeding, with the windows down, on a boring highway...once they knew said person was bopping to "girlyougottatakemeforalittlerideupanddowninandoutaroundyolegsigetdelirious."

Along the same lines, if I'm ever in a fatal accident, I'd really like someone to carefully comb through the wreckage and figure out if I was listening to a CD or the radio. If the radio, please figure out what station and contact them for that day's playlist. Carefully coordinate with investigators and program directors to determine the exact time of the crash and discover the last song I ever listened to. I will do this should anyone I care about die in a car. Because I would HAVE to know. Were you careening out of control to Celine Dion? Because that would be totally uncool. Were you lulled to sleep by Sade and flew down the embankment totally at alto-induced peace? Or were you thumping your foot on the brake, jamming to the Phil Collins' drum solo in In the Air when you were rear-ended by a semi?

It is for this reason that whenever I drive treacherous roads (which is pretty muchly every Thursday of the winter) that I only listen to totally hip CDs. If I am to be found splattered across the highway and/or embankment, I want the people scraping up my innards to be impressed. "Wow. She was a shitty driver, but for a 42-year-old she was into some sweet tunes!" If, for some reason on Thursdays I'm feeling all high schooley and take along REO Speedwagon-Hi Infidelity, the Best of Rick Springfield and Pat Benetar's Crimes of Passion...well, you won't know it unless there's a hell of an impact because I totally sneakily put the disks in different cases. Or hide them when on the slippery-cliffy parts of the road.

The other reason I keep a good selection of cool music in the car is in case I'm at a stoplight and a limousine pulls up next to me. If I am not listening to cool music when there's a limousine next to me, and say, just for example, I'm listening to "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" on NPR or I don't know... "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler... Well, that's when my awesome acting and lip synching skills come into play. It's important to look like I'm singing something really current and with very few words. That way, if the limo contains say, Mick Jagger looking for a new background talent, or Steven Spielberg looking for the next middle-aged hot chick to play the wise-cracking mother of Shea Lebeuf, then I'm all ready for my closeup.

Did you know Edie Brickell was totally just a normal person who sang outloud in front of someone famous accidentally in a bar one night and NOW SHE'S MARRIED TO PAUL SIMON? I know, right? That's why you must always be prepared when a limo is next to you.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Elk and swine and bears, oh my.

I am home all alone with two children and three dogs and fourteen appointments and thirtyseven deadlines and school pictures and back to school night and 7 football practices this week because the Big Dude is away sneaking up on elk with his bow and arrow. You may recall last year when he did this and I totally figured out that he was in Vegas and not hunting AT ALL.

If you're thinking it is a bad idea for me to tell the whole internet that I'm home alone with no Big Dude to protect me, well then you're silly. Because he's bow hunting. Which means that I'm here, all alone, with a sh'load of hunting rifles. Probably not a good idea to drop by unexpectedly, if you catch my drift.

Also, if that's not scary enough for you, I have every single symptom of swine flu except for the mask thing that Michael Jackson's kids used to wear. I am certain I have swine flu not only because I have checked my symptoms online, but also because I emailed my doctor friend to see if she thought I had swine flu and she didn't email me back. Which means, she doesn't want to catch it. Obviously. I totally hope that the people I have fourteen appointments with don't mind, but I'm not going to wear the Michael Jackson kids' mask thing because I can only imagine how completely gross it would be after I sneeze in in about 42 times. Or once. Either way.

You should also know that I'm very possibly about to be widowed, because the Big Dude has seen more bears than elk and I'm pretty sure even though he's a very strong guy with really big fists and an incredible will to live, there's a good chance a hungry black bear might be a teensy bit stronger.

Oh - and an update from last year... If you've actually been in my garage and seen the big freezer full of elk meat, you are probably saying to yourself, "Geez, Pen. You're awfully harsh on the guy, making fun of his little Cupidy bow and telling him to take a frickin' rifle." To which I say, "See here, in this roast? The bullet hole?" Nuff said.

I realize this post is somewhat rambling. Blame the swine.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

If my cabinets are cluttered, it's probably Debbie Reynolds fault.

Growing up in Colorado, I was very aware of the story of Margaret Brown - a child of Irish immigrants who grew up very poor, promised herself she'd marry for money but then fell in love with and married a child of Irish immigrants who was also very poor. Of course the reason we know about them is that they didn't end up poor at all - because her husband discovered a gigantic seam of ore and the owners of the mine he worked at rewarded him with a bunch of money, stocks and a position on the board of the company.

If you're not from Colorado (or maybe if you are) you probably know her better by the nickname given to her by the folks who wrote a musical about her, Molly - as in The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Remember Debbie Reynolds jumping on the bed and screaming "And if that house is red and has a big brass bed...?" Of course, the real Molly Brown probably did not jump on her bed at all - most poor people who get money sort of appreciate the furniture - but she did do all kinds of amazing things including survive the sinking of the Titanic, fight for women's suffrage and show the old-school socialite Denver beeshes a thing or two about how real ladies should behave. The house she had in Denver is now a museum and is just a few blocks from mine, so I pass it all the time and think of her.

Mostly what I think about is that the very first time her husband brought home a pile of money, she freaked out. She didn't know where to keep it. She'd never had any and thought she should hide it. So she put it in the most secure place in their meager cabin, the place no one would ever look: The stove. You know where this is going, right? Her husband comes home from celebrating with the boys, decides to warm up the place, starts a fire and burns up their newly acquired fortune.

I think of this every time I pass her house. I think of this every time I take money from the ATM and stuff it recklessly in my pocket, I think of this when my children squirrel away money in weird places. And I think of Molly Brown when I order Chinese food. Because of this peculiar, historically-based obsession, I have this in my cupboard.

Because of Molly Brown, I find it impossible to throw away a fortune cookie. Because what if one of them says, "you will discover a seam of ore" or "hey dumbass - you left your wallet in the stove." I don't feel obligated at all to EAT them. Or even read them. But I keep them. Which comes in handy when there's nothing for school lunches or the trick-or-treat basket runs dry, but otherwise, even I gotta admit it's really, really weird.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sit on it.

This summer we spent days upon days on youth baseball fields, which means one thing: PortaPotties. Well, it means all kinds of things actually. Including feet sunburned with sandal patterns, raw tongues from sunflower seed overindulgence, children in doubleknit polyester...but also: PortaPotties.

PortaPotties that are not regularly maintained, emptied, cleaned out...whatever it is they do to above ground temporary toilet facilities sitting awkwardly and not quite level on old pallets in the middle of a ballpark. And, while I've learned to totally avoid hydration or elimination of such on these days, my friend Anne's little girls are not quite so finely in control of their bodily functions and are forced at least once per game to enter the fiberglass hulls of stench. Their little whimpers of "Momma? I gotta go..." usually come at a really convenient time of the game, like when their brother is up to bat or about to steal home. This is when I offer up a silent prayer thanking the powers that be for male children who can pee pretty much anywhere.

At one such game, Anne sent the older of the girls to the potty ahead of her so she could watch their boy's at-bat with the stern advice: LILY, DON'T TOUCH THE SEAT. Seconds later, she ran to catch up, opened the door and found her freckly-sweet curly haired angel proudly sitting on her hands so her bottom wouldn't be on that icky seat. Her blood-curdling scream nearly stopped the game.

I hearkened back to a Phillips 66 station in New Mexico, circa 1972, where my stunned and horrified mother saw exactly the same thing. We had always been warned to not let our bottoms TOUCH THE SEAT. Stand. Squat. Anything, but there were malicious diseases and terrible consequences to be had should any part of our little backsides came in contact with strange porcelain. Considering all these factors I did what any self respecting five year old would do to keep their bottoms off of something. Sat on my hands. And I'd been doing it for years before I was finally caught.

A question. What disease exactly enters from a non-porous surface through the back of the thigh? What germ is quick enough to stick to your leg and crawl its way up to your nether regions while you pee? We wear shorts on public buses. We wear shorts on amusement park rides. We wear shorts on grody ballpark bleachers and community park picnic tables and tree stumps. Why oh why oh why is it horrible to sit on a toilet seat?

I'll tell you why. Because of the Hover Generation. The very same people who holler at us not to touch the seat are the very reason we cannot. Because of their SHS Technique (Squat, Hover, Spray) we are all forced to do the same. Their paranoia caused by some middle school hygiene class from 1954 has made every public restroom and outhouse in the country disgusting. If men peed all over the seat women would throw fits, write books and call Dr. Phil. But they think nothing of hiking up their skirts around their midsections, blasting urine all over a public place, smoothing their skirts and smiling kindly at the next poor being waiting for the stall.

I would like to propose the following, slightly inspired by Fonzie.

Just sit on it.

Sit the hell down.

All of us.

Every woman out there. Save your thigh muscles for the gym. Relax. Put your bare ass on the seat and pee in the water, friends. It will be liberating. It will be tidy. It will put the creepy wax paper toilet seat cover people out of business. Which is probably an eco-friendly gesture. You'll save the planet and little girls all at the same time.

Friday, August 21, 2009

And we're back.

After what Blogher Ads purports to be years of inactivity (only three weeks, gah) the LGBG spaceship has finally landed back home. We've experienced a whirlwind trip to Kansas for a baseball tournament for nine-year-olds (and felt really sorry for ourselves until we played the team that drove there from frickin' Canada) we spent a relaxing week by a lake with only one trip to the emergency room, and Big Dude and I were treated to a quick getaway to the hotel where we spent our wedding night...all which means we spent more time in strange beds than our own in August. Which is pretty much like college, only with clean sheets. That's a joke, mom.

This week has been the mad rush for football gear that fits, buying sh'loads of school supplies that will be returned back home in May completely unused except for broken colored pencils, the where-the-hell-is-your-lunchboxing, oh shit you both need haircuts and what? Your shoes don't FIT? Then, mercifully, finally, and with great gusto: the first day of school. Ahhhh.

Seems like if I really was a nice person, a real blogger or someone who really was on top of things, I could've maybe gotten some guest posters to write clever quips about me or tell embarrassing stories of how my skirt got tucked in my pantyhose at Blogher '06, only I've never been to Blogher and I don't wear pantyhose. Or I would have left you all with something better than the turtlevator story to read for lo these past weeks, huh? Well, imagine your surprise, little miss smarty-reader-pants when I tell you that I've been contacted by a major online and television direct marketer who wants to produce and market the TURTLEVATOR (patent pending, registered trademark) as the next big thing since the Shamwow? Imagine my surprise as well. And PETAs. Okay, that didn't happen, but I bet you totally could sell at least of few of them if you put it on right in the middle of the Spongebob "Band Geeks" episode. However, I will say that the Turtlevator (pp & rt), while limited in its ability to provide comfort to aquatic reptiles, is simply dandy for sending up last minute drinks of water at bedtime, DS games, and rolls of toilet paper. And, I am currently working on a prototype with much larger mardi gras beads that will be able to handle laundry baskets full of clean towels.

And when Blogher Ads comes knockin, I'll tell them this ship has sailed, ladies. This ship has sailed.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Left to their own devices, they're somewhat resourceful.

If I have learned anything in the past twelve years, it is when someone shorter than I am says, "MOM? Do we have any string?" to simply ignore it.

Same goes for duct tape, gun powder or extension cords. This morning, the little dudes were in their rooms for an inordinate amount of time considering they're both scared of being more than four feet from one of us at any given time, so I was growing suspicious. I asked what was up, they claimed to be feeding pet turtles, so I tiptoed away before they remembered they might possibly need me for something.

Moments later, a breathless blonde child appeared behind me at my desk. "MOM? Do we have any string?"

Me: Nope.
Kid: Are you sure? Because we need some.
Me: Sorry, buddy, you used it all up when you whittled the bow that shoots chicken skewers, remember?
Kid: Hmm. How about in your sewing stuff? Do you have yarn or something?
Me: Feeling like knitting?
Kid: Ma-ohm! Just tell me!
Kid #2 from upstairs: MILES! HURRY UP!
Kid: Oh - Gotta go.

At this point, I could've stopped earning a living to go check on them, but since there were no smoke detectors or other immediate sounds of danger, I forgot about it.

Thirty minutes later, I hear giggling and follow it to find the very first TURTLEVATOR, created from paper clips, mardi gras beads and a pipe cleaner. No string required.

Meet Howie, Turtle Astronaut. Safely returned to terra firma and super grateful to have not been sent down the laundry chute.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Respondez sil vous plait. Just not respondez TOUT sil vous plait.

You know how when you try to delete something Windows pulls all this crap and says, "Really? You really wanna delete that? You sure?" And you're like, "Dude. I pushed delete for a reason."

I contend we need exactly the same function whenever some a-hole pushes REPLY ALL on a group email. For example, when a delightfully enthusiastic mommy tries to let the entire baseball league of 158 players know that her child can, indeed attend the end-of-season BBQ, this little program could pop up and say, "Really, Dumbass? Really? Do you think the other 157 families on this email give a mother-lovin piece of hell that your sweet little Kailey/Kiley/Keifer/Keenly/Whatever is going to attend?"

And then the delightfully enthusiastic mommy could stop to think. And she might think, "Yup. Everyone should know that." And she'll click "Yes."

And then the program could pop up another window that says, "ARE YOU SURE? Because you're totally going to look redorkulous and people will totally make fun of you, possibly on their blog that fives of people read?"

And then the delightfully enthusiastic mommy could say, "Why so many questions? OF COURSE! We're delightfully enthusiastic! People love that about us!"

And then the program could sigh really loudly and let the delightfully enthusiastic mommy type "BARRING INJURY OR BAD WEATHER...WE'LL BE THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!" in all caps. With fifteen exclamation points.

And then, sadly, a lone blogger will recreate the fifteen exclamation points. And the false enthusiasm. And pour herself another lemonade vodka. And she will sigh too.

PS - You should probably know that I did not really pay that much attention in French class, so there is a very likely chance that I did not say what I meant to in the title, but oh fricking well, it's a pretty good guess for someone who took French like 25 years ago, so deal with it. I'm German.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gas up the DeLorean Marty, it was our density.

You know how in Back to the Future Alex P. Keaton (yes, I know he’s Marty McFly then, but I will always think of him as Alex P. Keaton) has a picture of his present day family, and as he goes back in time and starts messing everything up his family starts disappearing because he is changing the past, thus effectively changing the future? Yeah. That part. Anyway, this weekend I was flipping through an old photo album of stuff from high school and college and saw a picture of me in 1989 with a friend that I did not meet until 2004. I’ll wait while you go back and read that again.

Done? Did you get goosebumps?

Seems I was at a party on February 10, 1989 with my room-mate, we’ll call her “Puddin,” when the party pic guy goes by . Puddin sees her old friend from the dorms, yells, “Shelby Shoeshine, get yo’ ass in this picture!” pulls her and her friend into the picture and there’s a photo of me, Puddin, Shelby Shoeshine and a random chick. A few weeks go by, and one of the fraternity guys that doesn’t even really hang out with us that much and when he does is pretty much an a-hole (Hi Rich!) says he paid for a picture of us all at their last meeting and gives it to us. Random to be sure.

Fast forward 15 years. It’s February 23, 2007. I’m a respectible-ish mommy who hardly ever goes to frat parties anymore. I have two little boys and the younger one goes to school with a nice little girl we’ll call “Bella” because, well, it’s her name. Bella and Miles become really great friends and Bella invites him to her birthday party. The day of the party, I wake up in horrible pain with a burst eardrum. There is goo leaking from my head. Through my ear. It hurts. A lot. The Big Dude is recovering from hernia surgery the day before and cannot stand up except to shuffle to find pain medication and the 11 year old is throwing up. INTO A DRAWER. Filled with Legos, Pokemon cards and now, PUKE. The child has never puked into anywhere reasonable to clean in his life and that day was no exception.

So I take Miles to school with a heat pack stuck to the side of my head to dull the pain of my ear and after medicating the Big Dude and administering a television remote and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition to him, drag the Drawer Puker-inner and myself to the doctor. We sat in the waiting room for approximately two minutes before the freaking SWAT team rushes in announces the building is under lockdown because…are you following along? Because there is a SNIPER IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Need more time to review that?


Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Yeah. A sniper. In a neighborhood that clever magazine writers like to call “tony.” Tony like the adjective, not the Italian guy. Anyway, we were LOCKED IN THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE FOR THREE HOURS WITH NO FOOD AND MY EAR IS KILLING ME AND
THERE ARE NO PAIN KILLERS STRONG ENOUGH AND THE KID WAS STILL PUKING AND WE CANNOT LEAVE BECAUSE WE MIGHT GET SHOT. And I type that in all caps because that is exactly how it felt, that day was in ALL CAPS. And a very bossy 4’10” nurse would not let me look out the window or even move because, well, there was a sniper in all caps out there somewhere. OH, and the battery on my phone died so I couldn’t call work, the husband, no one.

You are kind of wondering about the picture aren’t you? Or did you forget?


I eventually escaped the building (serpentine!) drove the car around, went back in for the puker, used myself as a human shield to get him out (serpentine!) picked up the prescriptions (finally) and made it back home…just in time to pick up the little kid from school where he reminded me that “Mom! Today is Bella’s birthday party!”

Oh yeah. The birthday party. That we haven’t purchased a present for because Mommy was bleeding from her eardrums and being held under lockdown by a SWAT team. That party. I grabbed the kid, swung into a Hallmark, handed him $40 and looked longingly at the unopened vicodin prescription. He returned with a gift bag of goodies and I drove him to the party. I considered kissing him goodbye at the curb but decided against it since I’d never really met Bella’s parents. I entered a peaceful room of three very lovely women chatting who introduced themselves and then made the very big mistake of asking me “How are you?”

And I made the even bigger mistake of truthfully telling them how I was. I told them every detail of my DAY IN ALL CAPS and then I told them that I was sure they all were very nice but I’d really like to leave now because there was a bottle of vicodin and a Jack and Pepsi waiting for me back at the house. And they all looked at each other knowingly, and then my child
sympathetically.

All I can say is that it’s a good thing that kid is cool, or they’d probably all have hidden from me for the next few years. More than they did.

Fast forward two more years to me entering a lingerie store where Bella’s mother got to second base with me in a dressing room, I MEAN - expertly fitted me for bras.

Fast forward to this post where I talk about her awesome store and proclaim her Lingerie Barbie even though she’s totally not because she’s a hot tomboy which means she’s actually Barbie’s little sister Skipper.

Fast forward to this week when I found a picture of her and me together in 1989. Twenty frigging years ago, can you believe that shit?

See? Just like Back to the Future. Only backwards. Or something. Everything is the same except for (and, dude - this is creepy) somehow the flux capacitor caused a wrinkle in the space-time continuum, Skipper’s beer has disappeared right out of her hand! Wha? (Or she's preparing for the future by guessing Shelby Shoeshine's cupsize. Not sure.)

-click to embiggen-


“Yes'm, old friends is always best,
‘less you can catch a new one that’s fit to make an old one out of.”

SARAH ORNE JEWETT
(1849-1909)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Imagine how long 100 posts would be if I double spaced them.

In the past couple of weeks, while I’ve busied myself with youth baseball, house guests, middle school football camp, general chauffering and oh yeah, WORK; a very important anniversary has come and gone. A year and several days ago, I got a wild hair, Googled “free blog hosting” and started typing. With this brilliant witticism I was officially a blogger.

I was not someone who really read blogs. For one thing, it’s a horrible sounding word and I wanted no part of it. Blog. Blogh. Bluh-og. Sounds like a belch after you throw up. But my friend Kara said, “sometimes things you say remind me of Dooce. Don’t you love Dooce?” And I said, “Doo-what HUH?”

For the record, I am not comparing myself to the 26th most influential woman in media, and neither was Kara. I think that it was more that I tend to curse when discussing my children or something. In any case, I sat down one afternoon to see what this Dooce person was all about and thought, “Hey, instead of driving my friends and my family away with my constant rambling – I could write something everyday on the Internet.”

Um yeah. Apparently, I so can NOT write everyday. Not even every week. But that is why fives of people read this and why Blogher emails me every ten days or so to pull their ads that they don’t pay me for anyway, right? If I wrote something pithy everyday then the entire economy would fall apart because everyone would be sitting on their computers laughing instead of working hard and paying their mortgages. Or something like that.

I wasn’t really sure what my blog was going to be in the beginning – a Little Girl with Big Glasses is just how I saw myself most of my life. I've always been more a spectator than a participant. I was a fly on the wall that could make people laugh when I told them how they appeared through my eyes. Or, I could really piss them off. Either way, I amused myself. Also, the name was available, and none of the other things I thought of were. At the time I wasn’t thinking at all of what search engines might think of the name and it never occurred to me at all that I might have a whole legion of visitors who stumble upon me while searching for “little girls” or “hot girls with glasses” and my personal favorite: “little girls with big asses.”. I have to admit, it’s really those folks I write for. As I sit down at my sleek MacBook Pro, I think to myself, “Now. If I was a lonely middle school custodian with repressed issues about my mother and I was in the mood for illegal pictures of underage girls and I found little essays by a plain-looking 42 year old woman INSTEAD, what would capture my attention and keep me reading?” And then I type what I was going to type anyway. Or more often, I just open an excel spreadsheet, and forget the whole thing.

The thing has kind of stayed relatively true to my original intent of observations, essays, rantings, et al. I follow very few, like NONE, of the suggestions for creating a successful blog. I hardly ever have interesting pictures, I don’t let the reader into my personal life all that much, hell - I have an avitar where my picture belongs, I use bad words and made up words. But I entertain myself, Spanxy, a couple of friends from high school and at least two people in Cheyenne, Wyoming, so I guess it’s all good. I probably should have started when my children were toddlers and still smelled so nice that you didn’t want to beat them for waking you up in the middle of the night. They said adorable little things and took nice long naps which would have made for a lot of good material. They were extremely photogenic so I could have had days where I just posted their edible cuteness when I was lacking for words. Alas, it wasn’t to be.

So here I sit, one year later after diving in, and I’m kinda proud that I’ve kept it up this long. I am flattered when someone I didn’t know reads LGBG tells me they do and that they like it. I love the feeling of clicking ‘PUBLISH’ and watching my rambling go live. I hate when two days go by, then five, then eight with no words. It feels like I’m letting myself down.

My friend KC asked me a couple days ago how many posts I’d written. I guessed, Oh, about a hundred? And he said, “Huh. You could’ve written a book by now.”

Hmm.

My high school English teacher once wrote on the side of a paper I’d turned in, “HA! You’re an amusing writer! You may be the next Erma Bombeck!” And then a nice big fat “D- Try to stay on topic. Antigone really shouldn’t be reviewed by Erma Bombeck.” (I took it as a compliment, but would’ve preferred she call me Dave Barry.) I wonder if Erma Bombeck would’ve been writing now if she’d have even bothered to try to write a book? Or would she be another Mommy Blogger, content to post here and there about beans in noses in between loads of laundry? I also wonder if a book of unrelated essays about shit that bothers me is worth the paper it’d be printed on and I realized, that eh, probably not. Also, screw you, English Teacher. I personally would be fascinated by what Erma thinks about Antigone and her beyotchy sister.

I’m considering trying harder, making something more permanent than this. When I read back to this and this and this I can remember what I was doing and thinking and listening to when I wrote it. Well, actually first I think, "Cripes, I am a genius!" THEN I think that other stuff. But I wonder if it lost forever? After Blogger moves it to page two, is it done? Is it even worth saving? What if aliens or pirates or ninjas attack the Internet and delete all my words? If a blogger deletes in the forest did she ever really blog?

So – here’s to a year ahead. I’m not sure what it will be. I'll probably just keep driving people to baseball and football and golf, doing the laundry, buying the groceries, oh yeah going to work, and sneaking in a post or two when I can.

We’ll see. Thanks to the fives of you who’ve been along for the ride. Except for the time that the Ace Young fans attacked me, I for one, have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

No longer content to blog about blogging, I am now posting about posters.

So I realize this happened awhile ago, so I’m coming to this party rather late – but Farrah and MJ dying on the same day was weird, huh? Two huge entertainment icons to be sure, but more importantly, two huge POSTER icons.

Remember posters? Not like reproductions or framed art prints. Posters. Like stupid cheap pictures you plastered on your walls to decorate along with fishnets with those glass balls and Greg Brady beads. Do kids even have posters now? My kids have framed stuff on their walls that I put there, because if I hadn’t put stuff there, there would be nothing there but flicked boogers and thrown shoe marks. Pottery Barn Teen and Restoration Hardware have pretty much ruined it for modern parents who can no longer just ignore children’s living spaces – we’re forced to make every room look like either Martha Stewart or Vern Yip just got done with them.

When I was in junior high and high school, EVERYONE had posters. Loads of ‘em. The more you had, the cooler you were. My friend Sheila had posters overlapping posters overlapping TigerBeat pages of Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevinson and (gag) Scot Baio. I never really understood the Scot Baio thing. He was like a shorter version of Henry Winkler, and seriously? Henry Winkler as a teenage dreamboat? Uh, not working for me.

My friends Dorothy and Tracy had the most anal-y hung posters you would ever see. Whereas I slapped tape across the corners, these guys carefully reinforced the corners with invisible tape, then, after double-checking with a level, measured with a micrometer to exactly insert a pushpin in the precise corner of the tape reinforcement. I skirted the leveling issue by placing all my posters at jaunty angles, as if to say, “Screw authority, man! I hang my posters all crookedy on purpose! Mob rules!”

My best pal Pam had the quintessential poster of the 70s: A kitty hanging helpless by its front legs from a tree branch, her fuzzy little pink belly exposed to the whole world for the whole world’s amusement. What better relaxing sentiment for sleeping quarters? A young animal, inches from death. CUTE! Of course reading the caption “Hang on – Friday’s coming’” only reinforced the outright damned adorability. Decades later, I’d learn that my husband had the exact same poster in his room as a child. Only Pam’s was the nice rolled version, probably from Spencer Gifts, whereas my husband’s was the Scholastic Book Club version, which meant it had fold lines. Okay for kitty posters, not so good for Lynda Carter, which is who my high school boyfriend had on his wall, all decked out in her bitchin’ Wonder Woman costume. He also had Farrah, because every male child born from 1965 to 1983 had Farrah.

My poster inventory, circa 1983, consisted of this gem… preppy Michael, pre-extreme-plastic surgery and wearing Mom-jeans...


Also, a Rocky Horror picture show poster with this image and the caption “Don’t dream it, be it.” I totally had no idea what they meant by that.


I was also the proud owner of a Walter Payton poster made specially for the Post Office to encourage 18 year old boys to register for the draft…I got it at, well, um…the Post Office. Oh hey - is it a federal offense to steal a poster from the Post Office? Because if it is, Pam did it.

Lastly, I had a Prince poster whereon he sprawled across a pile of purple satin sheets, his diminutive bare ass crawling towards the edge as if to say, “Hey! Buy this poster or I’ll stand up!” If I had a daughter who hung it in her room I’d probably accidentally use it as a drop cloth.

So my “artwork” was three black guys (one butt naked) and a transvestite movie. It is so hard to be a rebel in a small town. Without, actually, you know…being rebellious.

I always wanted the poster of the guy sitting in a chair being blown away by his own speakers but never got it. Now THAT is art, man. Seriously, even the lamp was at an angle. So how about you fives of people who read this? What adorned the walls of your teenaged lair? What did you want but never get? Yearning for a "If life hands you lemons..." or an autographed Joni loves Chachi? Still hanging on to a Nagel in your storage unit hopin’ they’ll become popular again? P.S. They won't.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summertime.

Apparently, I get one ounce of recognition and then never post again. I always knew that deep down, I was shallow. Heh.

The past few weeks have been filled with little league baseball games, rainouts, playdates, parties, golf tournaments, sleepovers, swim meets and more. I'd like to say it's been SO FUN but none of these activities actually involved me at any level other than chauffeur, so...not so much.

When the boys were very small, I used to expound the virtues of extra curricular activity. I'd say, "We must put them in many sports when they are young! This way, they will be good athletes! They will make their high school teams and I will know that after school they are at practice and not smoking behind a dumpster somewhere!"

At this point, I'm considering purchasing them some Marlboro Lights and dropping them off behind the 7-11. Because really? I know a lot of successful people who were total losers in high school. Okay, more like two people, but that's actually really good odds I'm thinking. Right?

I'm kind of one of them. I wasn't exactly a stoner in elementary school, but I was not in organized sports at age 9. I wasn't on tournament teams that practiced ohmygawd TWICE A DAY. Not because I couldn't make a team...there just wasn't any such damned thing then. In the bustling metropolis (not) where I grew up, summer time activities included:
1. swimming lessons in the morning, Tuesday-Friday mornings.
2. swimming at the pool in the afternoon, Tuesday - Sundays, 1pm to 6pm.
3. riding your bike in circles in between swimming lessons and 1pm.

Mondays sucked.

There was a summer reading program at the aqua metal barn we called a "library," but that was fairly lame since you had to read 8 books to earn one point, and all five points got you was a ticket to storytime, read by the bewigged librarian who didn't ever believe me that I read 8 books a day, oh and it was also closed on Mondays. You'd think in a town of 900 people, they could coordinate to have the stupid library open on the day the pool was closed, but whatever. Maybe the librarian was the pool cleaner.

Actually, there was one other option for little girls. Softball. But I wasn't on the softball team. I remember getting the flyer and running it home, completely psyched to get to play, to get a uniform, to be on a team. My parents didn't agree. For some reason, they didn't want me wearing a tshirt that one of the moms handpainted with the team name: Kuntry Kittens.

Boring summers led me to look forward to school starting - almost as much as I do now. Then it was to have something, ANYTHING, to do. Now, it's just so I can let my kids sleep in. I love seeing them succeed - I love seeing them grinning with big trophies and cute uniforms and All Star caps with their names embroidered on them. I love home runs and double plays and sliding in for the winning run. But just once, I'd like to hear them whine that they're bored. I'd like them stay out past dark finding worms or playing tag with the neighbor kids without worrying they have to be up early the next day. I'd like them to have time to get in trouble. I'd like to let them be kids.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'd like to thank the academy.

Holy catfish you guys. Look what I got yesterday.

This is the first time my writing has been recognized since that time Highlights Magazine printed my stirring poem "A Dandelion" back when I really truly was a little girl with big glasses. But I was published, baby. And every kid who went to the dentist in April 1973 knew about it.

This award, however, comes from the very talented and entertaining Heather over at Heatherty Featherty. Heather has not only said very nice things about me, I am pretty sure she actually believes them. I know, right? Heather has two cute little boys but in a crazy twist of fate, makes totally adorable girl clothes. And, she has perfect grammar. But probably the most amazing thing about her is that she is THE ONLY COOL HEATHER I've ever met. So I think that possibly her name is a big mistake or somehow she was switched at the hospital with an evil baby who is now wreaking havoc everywhere being named something perfectly innocent like "Susie" or "Nancy" or, I don't know, "Penny."

Just like Miss America, this award does not come without responsibility. I have been charged with granting it to others who strive daily to change the world for the better, one little blog post at a time. Therefore, I don my tiara and hereby sprinkle pixie dust and virtual awards on the following blogs that amuse me:

Funny in the 'Hood - Geezopizza, I am pretty sure Tracey and I were either separated at birth or lived parallel lives in the 80s. She is high-larious and has some wacky neighbors that make you want to drive to Iowa just so's you can slap 'em. Her "Friday Flashback" is always awesome, and I'm thinking of stealing the concept, so when you see me do it, pretend like I made it up, k?

Yellow Trash Diaries - This woman certainly doesn't need me to help boost her ratings. She's a funny writer and last week had a contest with Libby for followers, and is now the hottest thing on the Internet. Well, the hottest adopted Korean blogger who lives in the South anyway, and I think that is saying A LOT. She's honest and funny and funny and honest. I'm not quite through reading every word she's ever typed, but almost. I think if she lived next door, we'd have a bunch of fun ridiculing others together.

So - you guys, pass it on if you can. Thanks for entertaining me when I should be writing genius copy and reconciling advertising invoices. And thanks, Heather, for deep down being a Susie. I'll try not to get a big head. I wouldn't want to outgrow the tiara.

Dogs don't even LIKE mimosas.

So, apparently having a twelve-year-old is so traumatizing you can't write a blog post for at least two weeks. Or, maybe it was seeing this that sent me screaming into a closet scared of the planet Earth and all humanoid creatures who inhabit it:I know what you're thinking. "A cute widdle pink bike trailer?" Let me clarify. This is not a trailer for putting your darling daughters with Shirley Temple curls in and pulling them down a flower-lined pathway whilst they eat ice cream cones and think happy thoughts. I saw this trailer, being pulled by this bike...The woman driving said bike was wearing, of course, pink biking shorts, pink biking jersey and a pink helmet. Still not enough to cause the trauma I experienced. Stupid? Yes. Matchy? You bet. Ridicilous get-up for a woman pushing 60? Oh yeah. But the kicker, the thing that made me question EVERYTHING in life was what was in the trailer. Her grandchildren? Groceries? Nope. This. This was in her peptopink trailer:


On a leopard print doggie bed. With that exact skirty fruity haircut. Lest you think the poor little creature was disabled in someway, which crossed my mind after I shook off the creeps from seeing Grandma bend over in those shorts, he wasn't. He had a PINK leash which she attached on his PINK bandana and sashayed him down the sidewalk that she parked her 15-foot long contraption in the middle of.

Did I mention we were at a dog park? No? That is because we were NOT at a dog park. We were at a GOLF COURSE. Granted, it wasn't exactly the country club, just a city course, but really? You not only own all this crap to take your dog FOR A BIKE RIDE, you then take him to SUNDAY BRUNCH AT THE GOLF COURSE?

While Rizzo was certainly the most flamboyant, I will add that her and little Fluffy were not the first dogs to attend Sunday Brunch at the Golf Course...we had already been joined by a 150-pound drooling mastiff and a sprite Springer Spaniel who was so Well Behaved that his owner didn't even bother to leash him. At the golf course. At brunch. Good boy!

What. The. Hell. It's gone too far, people. Is it just laid-back Colorado where were take our dogs everywhere? You cannot walk through a Home Depot without having your crotch sniffed. The dudes have come home with dog poop on their shoes from inside the Bass Pro Shop. I've seen giggly twenty-somethings shopping for GROCERIES with a labrador puppy in their cart. And now we take them to brunch. At a golf course. In a pink fricking trailer, because everyone knows, dogs hate to walk. I totally blame PetSmart for giving people the idea that dogs should go shopping. Or maybe Paris Hilton. Yeah, let's blame Paris Hilton, too.

I understand that you love your pets, people. Stay home with them, then. Take them to a park or a lake. Take them on a hike in the mountains! They're just to the west a few minutes. Sure, not as many people will see all your Interesting Canine Gear and Matching Outfits, but I promise you'll have a nice time, and you can put pictures on your Facebook page so everyone will still know that YOU and YOU ALONE are clever enough to own a dog and put a bandana on it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Look what I made.

On June 3, 1997, I lay in a hospital bed slurping orange popsicles, talking to my buddy Scott and Big Dude, my husband of exactly ten months. I had been given several large doses of something or other that would insure that before the day ended, I would have a baby boy. He was induced because my sister had just given birth to a toddler a few months prior, and I had whined to my doctor to not let me gestate another minute lest the creature inside outgrow me.

He was born exactly on his due date. Little did I know, he would continue to be that predictable and reliable for the next twelve years.

As most mothers, I could write for hours about this child, and I have elsewhere. Today though, I will just say that for all the dumb mistakes I've made in life, and all the silly things I have done...you, Calvin, are the best thing I have ever created or influenced. I give Daddy most of the credit, but you deserve the highest praise for consistently being an outstanding individual. You are a poet, an artist, an athlete, a friend. You are kind, thoughtful, genuine, creative, honest and funny as hell. Your big round head contains only the purest of thought, your heart is that of a lion. Today, at twelve years old, you are one inch shorter than me, and two pounds lighter. Your huge shoes dwarf mine - which really bugs me, because I was hoping to buy you a bunch of really cool boots while we wore the same size and I didn't because we were only the same size for about fifteen minutes.

I love that you're still scared of the dark. I love that you have the vocabulary of a college English professor, but you can't spell "when." I love that the day before the first day of middle school you spent the day playing in a big box like my little boy. I love that you'll learn Rick Springfield songs on your guitar just for me. I love that you are shaped like my Daddy so I get to be reminded of him everyday. I love that you cream kids on the football field, and then reach over and pick them up and make sure they're okay. I love that you are loved by so many people and that your best friend is 67 years old. I love that you don't need braces.

You are the best person I've ever met, and I hope someday to be just like you.

Love, Mom.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Breaking and Entering, only no Entering.

Late Wednesday night, or rather, very early Thursday morning, I was awakened from much needed slumber by the crashing of glass downstairs. I ignored it and rolled over, always happy to reintroduce a cheek to a cool spot on the pillow. Seconds later, I was whacked in the arm by a 6’1” person who hissed sleepily, “What whazzat?”

However. I knew full-well what it was. A burglar had crashed through our patio door and was banging around in the kitchen looking for money, keys, laptops, crack. So I said, “I dunno” and went back to sleep. More rummaging around downstairs. More hissing from the Dude. “It sounded like breaking glass!” I replied calmly so as not to alert him, “Sounded more like plastic to me.” Because that’s better.

The large person I share a bed with harrumphed and went to the bathroom. I considered all possible scenarios, and then decided that it was probably the pony-sized hunting dog scavenging countertops for a bite of something – anything – to eat. When you are 110 pounds of sniffing machine, you must constantly be on the prowl for crumbs. Apparently. I heard lots of labradork clickity clicking steps on the hardwood below which only confirmed my suspicions.

While generally I am not above grabbing a 9-iron and investigating strange noises, this particular night I reasoned that it was the boy’s turn for the following reasons.
1. He was already up.
2. I had to get up at very early the next morning.
3. It was probably the dumb dog anyway.
4. I was extremely comfortable.
So when he exited the restroom I asked him in my very sleepiest voice ever if he’d please go see what it was his dog was up to. There was more harrumphing, but he hiked up his boxers and made the trek downstairs.

Four seconds after he left, I realized that was perhaps not a good idea for the following reasons.
1. What if it wasn’t the dog?
2. He’s not holding a bat or a phone or a golf club or anything
3. How can he fight off a bad guy without his glasses?
4. Geez, woman, have you ever SEEN a horror movie? NEVER split up! NEVER send one member of the party off to the jaws of the monster.

Obviously, then, there was someone evil in our house. I heard the dog walking because the dog was following him around begging, because really? Labradors are not exactly guard dogs. This is when I heard MORE breaking glass. More doggy toenail clicking. And then, a sound that honestly sent ice water through my warm, sleepy veins.

Shoe steps.

Followed by the back door opening and closing.

And more shoe steps.

And the husband didn’t come back. And then he didn’t come back some more.

So. This is how it all ends, huh? Me, trapped on the second story with the kids while our protector and provider lays dying on the kitchen floor. I bet he struggled. I bet he tried to kick their asses. But a chloroform soaked dishtowel and a broken beer bottle splitting your jugular will take down any man, no matter how strong or determined. I think he said he wanted to be cremated, not buried…I guess I should sprinkle his ashes in his favorite hunting places? Or maybe take them to Alaska. He always wanted to go there and we hadn’t done it. Oh the boys, how will they turn out without a father? I’m going to be a shitty single mom – I have no patience and I really enjoy the quiet created by video games. They'll probably grow their hair too long and date cheap women all because their father was violently murdered in their kitchen. And how will I ever sell this house? It'll be on the news, you know. And everyone will drive by slowly saying, "that's the house where..."

But I didn’t have time to grieve, I had to think of the children. There would be plenty of time for sorrow while I (stood in line at the bank with the life insurance check) saved their lives. I began formulating a plan to quietly get the children out of their bedroom windows and onto the garage roof. Then, I would shimmer down a gutter, break into a basement window, pry open the gunsafe, load a .12 gauge and come back up the kitchen steps and show these mo-fo’s who’s boss. Or I could call the police. Either one. Yeah, actually, I could call the police from the phone by the bed, that’d be good, too.

But you know what? No. Dammit, I wasn’t going to let some hoodlum all jacked up on herion or Ritalin or Miller Lite mess up MY kitchen. Broken glass AND blood? That’s bullshit, man. The cleaning lady won’t be here for two days. I decided to defend my man and my turf. This bastard was going down before he got a chance to find my secret stash of Mexican vanilla.

I donned my glasses and grabbed a miniature World Series commemorative bat from the kid's room. I was going to show that clown what “Rocktober” really meant. I tippy-toed downstairs only to find all the lights on and the Big Dude wearing boxers and Birkenstock clogs and wielding a broom. The kitchen floor shimmered with bits of broken glass. From a drinking glass. That had been on the counter until the pony-sized dog decided there was something behind it that he wanted. Namely, a bowl of bulldog nuggets that we have to keep on the counter overnight for the sole reason that if we don't, labradorks gobble it up.

I put down the bat, put on flip flops and spent the next hour with wet paper towels covering every inch of the kitchen floor.

It was three o’clock in the morning. Which, of course, meant that I had Crystal Gayle stuck in my head, because it is impossible to be awake at three o’clock in the morning and not think to yourself, “…and it looks like it’s gonna be another sleepless night…” and then I was wondering if Crystal Gayle was on her hands and knees on the kitchen floor cleaning up glass shards, would she pile her five feet of hair on the top of her head and would it be hard to balance up there, or would she just let it drag all over, effectively assisting in picking up the glass? And then I decided I should just STAY up because, now it was FOUR o’clock in the morning, and why not.

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