Thursday, December 30, 2010

Yearly Recap: 2010.

I'm usually not all quizzy and resolutiony but I am a gigantic stalker fan of Linda at All & Sundry and have enjoyed reading these posts of hers, so I'm fully ripping off the concept. Although to be fair, I'm not really ripping it off since it was her idea for me to do this - she practically begged me to. Or not.

If you care to do it as well, leave me a link in the comments so I can go read yours. If you don't blog, send me an email.

A sidebar - go read Linda's stuff. All her stuff. She writes in a lot of places and she's the kind of writer I imagine that I would be if only I was talented and good with words. And stuff.

Here goes.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
I got on an airplane and flew three states away to see my child compete in a sporting event. And to think I used to bitch about driving across town.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I like to keep my resolutions completely immeasurable so that I can't judge myself. One year it was "Become more gracious." Last year it was "Stop interrupting people even if what I have to say is really funny." I think I did okay.  For 2011?  Maybe something about making sure that people I love know I do. Either that, or I may try switching to light beer. "A moment on the lips..." and all that.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

OMG, YES. My wonderful newest sister in law had Alexander in October. And it's practically like he's MINE, because a) it was completely my idea that she date my husband's brother, and b) the baby looks exactly like my husband. Which is nice for him since our children do not.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

I, very gratefully, did not attend any memorial services or funerals in 2010. Although, my husband lost a favorite uncle, my son's friend lost his dad. There was sadness to be sure, but less than years past.

5. What countries did you visit?
Well, dammit, none except this one I live in.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
A winning lottery ticket worth more than $5.  Focus.  A full night's sleep. Time on the front porch with a book, a bulldog, a beer.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
There isn't a single day that stands out. Although this is the year my cute little boy became taller than I am, the year I stopped caring if the house was perfect all of the time, the year I got brave enough to wear accessories and skinny jeans.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

 Hmmmm. I maybe need to work on achieving things.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I registered for school and didn't do anything about it. Nothing. I guess you can't fail what you don't even attempt, right? Right? Mr. Freud, are you even listening?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Well, I drilled a wood screw through my thumb. I smashed my face into a VCR at mach-3 and broke my nose. I fell down the stairs a couple of times. Just the normal shit.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I sent my husband to motorcycle racing school, helping to fulfill a lifelong dream of his and pretty much insuring that at some point he's going to buy a racing bike and we'll need a bigger garage.  Also, after years of driving his hand-me-down but very cute little pickup, I picked out and purchased a car that I am totally and completely in love with and will be driving when I am a grandmother. Which hopefully is many many years from now.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage. Bulldog nuggets. Youth sports registrations.

13. What did you get really excited about?
Excited in a good way or bad? Because I spent the greater part of the year being pissed off at something I had no control over. As far as a positive type of excited - It was exciting to see older son be passionate and successful in rowing.  It was great seeing his fire ignited by something that I love. Live vicariously much? Be quiet.

14. What song will always remind you of 2010?
There's a bunch, but probably Not Afraid by Eminem. For many reasons, not the least of which being my 10 year old sings it while he does his math homework. The non-explicit version, should you be assessing my parenting skills.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Happier.
– thinner or fatter? Thinner, but it was water weight. Or something.
– richer or poorer? About the same. Which is certainly nothing to bitch about.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Read. Written. Travelled. Painted the dining room. Danced with my cowboy.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Harboring ill will towards persons with poor design skills.

18. What was your favorite TV program?
I don't watch enough TV. Really. I rarely hold the remote, and when I do there's nothing on anyway. I'm pretty sure I'm missing out on a whole bunch of amazing programming if I could only spend more time on it.  Reruns of The Office amuse me, however, and are fortunately on at any given time of the day.

19. What were your favorite books of the year?
Oh golly. Let's see. Shop Class as Soulcraft. The Art of Racing in the Rain. Girl with a Pearl Earring. In 50 Years We'll All Be Chicks. The Beauty of Different.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

I renewed an old affair with Social Distortion and played around on the side with Weezer, Fountains of Wayne, Cake and my old favorite Merle Haggard.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
So, "films." I'm not good at "films." I don't even see regular old movies all that much. If I get out of the house, I like live music or a football game on a big screen where someone else has to fetch the nachos. Lame, I know.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Well, according to GoogleCalendar, I went to work, then skipped out at 11 for a private Pilates session, then meandered down the street to have lunch with my oldest friend Harvard Barbie. And by oldest, I mean I've known her longer than everyone else, not that she's the oldest person I know. (See? If I was a better writer I wouldn't have had to do that whole explaining thing right there. I would've said, "best friend from childhood" or "homey" or something.) After that, I had a meeting with Lingerie Barbie and then came home to my darling family and no doubt drove someone to baseball practice.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
My first response is immediately "money" because then I would have about 50 hours more a week to do whatever I wanted. But I'd probably just end up doing laundry or something boring, so it's best that I'm otherwise occupied during the day. I think satisfaction comes from not wanting for things (pretty sure I got that from Mick Jagger) but I really don't desire anything other than time with my nice husband, cool kids and good friends. I should have used all my vacation time, though.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Boots. And anything that goes with boots. Summer was hard on me, obviously.

26. What kept you sane?
It sort of sounds ridiculous, but Facebook. It's a lifeline to people who remember me differently than who I am today. I know people who avoid those reminders, but I like having contact with people that represent different little slices of my history. I talk to a 29 year old History professor whose diapers I changed when I was in High School. I talk to a college room mate. I talk to my dad's cousins and my son's friends. It's interesting.

26. Share a valuable lesson you learned in 2010.
No one is worried about what I think of them. They're just not. It's a waste of time worrying about what they think of me.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fast and thorough and sharp as a tack.

While some people take inspiration from poetry or speeches, operas or beautiful landscapes, biblical passages or literature, I make all of the important decisions necessary to run my entire life on the principles set forth in the Cake song, Short Skirt Long Jacket.

It's a good strategy.

Can't decide what to wear? Got that one covered. Just add shoes that cut.

What type of vehicle should I get? One with a cupholder armrest that gets me there.

How should I get ahead at work? Tour the facilities and pick up slack.

How many hours sleep should I get?  Get up early. Stay up late.

See? It can be life altering if only you open your mind to its wisdom.

Because I wasn't intelligent enough to write this blog anonymously, I am often muzzled in what I can share here. And I realize you probably don't really want to come here to hear me whine anyway.

So, suffice it to say, there are several - nay - three - highly annoying situations in my life that are causing Little Girl to fill Big Glasses with whiskey and Pepsi.  However, I'm working on immediate solutions... because why?

My fingernails shine like justice and I'm using a machete to cut through red tape.

And when that's all done - I'll be back with some funny stories about weird people I grew up with. Because I'm not anonymous so they shouldn't be either.

Monday, December 13, 2010

This may be hard to swallow.

If you've been a reader of this drivel for any length of time, you know that I really really really like Thanksgiving, and over the years have become quite adept at cooking loads of yummy food for copious amounts of people. Let's just say it requires spreadsheets.

This Thanksgiving, I broke my #1 rule about Thanksgiving and invited family members. Specifically, my in-laws. And that set off a horrible chain of events that included:

1) the turkey, while beautiful and lovely on the outside, was completely raw and disgusting on the inside,

2) I totally forgot to get out the cranberry relish from the refrigerator,

3) Ditto on the pheasant and wild rice,

4) Spanxy at some point french-kissed my ear in front of her mother-in-law,

5) I completely and thoroughly lost my voice, and eventually wound up with a 10 day virus that nearly killed me.

So, not only was I completely a) hungry, but also b) embarrassed and c) dead.

The best thing about nearly dying when there's a lot of company around is that you can pretty much curl up in a chair under a blanket and no one notices. But days later, they all left so I went to the doctor and told them that I was close to death and I could not swallow because my throat felt like I'd swallowed razors and also I was dying and also I think maybe Spanxy gave me Ear Mono that scientifically transferred to my throat, most likely traveling on a sea of mimosas.

They looked at me real sympathetically and gave me a bottle of pills. A bottle of gigantic freaking pills that I couldn't swallow if I didn't have Ear-transferred Mono. Why are these things even made? Lest you think I evidence.

Here is the horrible stupid pink pill with a cough drop for comparison. Not a good enough example? Here:

Horrible stupid pink pill with a dime. The dime would be easier to swallow because it's flat.

For my readers South of the Border. I'll admit, horrible stupid pink pill might be easier to swallow than 2 Pesos. 

HOWEVER. It would be easier to swallow a Lego sword than the horrible stupid pink pill. 

And, possibly, it would be easier to swallow a .38 round than the horrible stupid pink pill. Actually, that might be a tie. I'd sort of be scared to swallow a .38 round, so it might not go down easily. 

Most interesting, perhaps, is that all the items I used for comparison were in the pencil drawer of my kitchen. Not sure what that says about me, exactly. Huh.

Anyway - besides they horrible stupid pink pill, they also gave me some meth, so that was kind of cool. I didn't figure insurance would cover that kind of thing.

I'm all better now. Obviously.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tales from the Laundry Room - Part I.

The youngest child, known as Pete although that is totally not his name, was helping me with laundry by checking all the pockets of the mountain of jeans that lay before us. Because really? No one wants to be known as the Person Who Has Laundered Four Mobile Phones.

As I took shirt after shirt after god-foresaken shirt out of the dryer and folded them into beautiful rectangular perfection of which a Gap Second Key Holder would be proud, we chatted. He dropped change and guitar picks onto the counter, tossed jeans into the washer, and then, reaching into Big Dude's Wranglers, pulled out a handful of goodies, stared at them and exclaimed in awe,

"Oh my gosh. When I grow up I want to be just like Dad. He is prepared for EVERYTHING."

Ah, yes. Prepared indeed.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I bet Oedipus' mom didn't have this kind of trouble.

The gigantic middle schooler took a few days off of school recently to elk hunting with Big Dude. Generally, we only let him ditch school to snowboard or go to the orthodontist, so it was a pretty big treat. Now for you naysayers who think that I am somehow shirking my parental responsibilities by letting the child avoid education, I offer this argument... If he gets an elk, that is 100 trips to the grocery store for hamburger I do not have to make. So who cares if he can't spell?

Of course, they did not get an elk. But he did end up with a big pile of homework. So I let him ditch another day of school to catch up.

I'm kidding. Relax. It was only a half day.

So he's rushing through a bunch of homework and realizes that the class heard a few lectures he didn't hear and he's got a scads of questions to answer about things he's never heard of, and so he hollers for me to provide him with a laptop so that he can Wikipedia all the info he's behind on.

GMS:  MAWM! Can I Wikipedia Antigone? (which he pronounces Aunty-Gone.)

ME: Do you mean Antigone? As in Sophocles' Antigone? Oh my gosh, giant child, that is one of my favorite stories of all times! The three tragedies...seriously - I LOVED them!

GMS: I just have to answer some questions, can I please just Wikipedia it for the plot and characters?

ME: No no no no! It is a short story! We will read it now together and I will share my love of it with you! You will understand this classic and we will bond! Later, when I am an old woman, you will put an afghan on my lap and recount to me how great this day was and read it back to me.

GMS: Please mom, please oh please don't read it to me please...

ME: One minute! It is on my bookcase! I have such love for this book that I have kept it in my bookcase since 1983 when I first discovered how wonderful it was!

I ran upstairs and ran right to it, the familiar bright green cover beckoning to me. Only this time, dear Sophocles, I'm not just going to dust you as I have for the past nearly 30 my friend, you will be read once again by a young mind!

I flew into the kitchen, ready to share the past with the future. Ready to open the eyes and mind of my offspring. Ready to love the story again just as I had as an 11th grader lo those many years ago.

And then, I opened the cover and found this note from 1983 me.

Should you not be able to read teenage-girl handwriting, it says:

A note to future students who attempt to read this book. DON'T. The Cliff's Note sare only $2.95. And well worth it.  Just a little advice! Sincerely, Me.

And then I brought him the laptop and told him to only go to Wikipedia because if he went to Facebook, I'd totally figure it out.

Monday, October 25, 2010

So, if you're a PETA member or otherwise like small cute furry things you should probably move along. I think there's a baby photo blog next if you just push that little "next blog" button up there.

Furry little jackass.
It's autumn in Colorado which means several things,
1) dark beer
2) peaches
3) youth/college football
4) sweaters make it possible to gain 10 pounds eating cheese
5) all the little freaking furry rodentia that spend their summers frolicking in the sunshine try to suddenly converge on my house.

I have mentioned my overall general un-love for the creatures. In this post, and then again in this one, I chronicle my efforts to rid the world of their creepy little poky noses and weird feet. Their whiskers? Pretty cute, admittedly. But not cute enough to lessen my urge to smash them flat with an Acme safe.

This weekend, as I yelled at children about laundry and drank whiskey to ease the pain of the drudgery that is my life sat peacefully in a reading chair with an afghan and green tea, the gigantic middle schooler ran into the house, "MAWM! Where's the bb guns?"

This is aligned closely with other questions I dread, such as "MAWM - we got any glue?" And "MAWM - which is it I'm not supposed to date, debate team girls or cheerleaders?"

I steeled myself. "Ummm. Why, pray tell?"

Sidebar: I try to use phrases like "pray tell" in everyday conversation with my children. It not only helps keep outdated language alive, but it also makes them look nerdy to both debate team girls and cheerleaders.

The 165 pound cherub retorted, "There's baby mice all over the patio!"

To which I replied, "The bb guns are in the camper, son. Getcher pellet gun."

And then, because we are all about safety over here, I added..."but wear eye protection!"

Spoiler Alert:  the mouse in this neighborhood are safe. Apparently, while my children can hit flying clay targets at 30 yards, little furry things 5 feet away pose too much of a challenge.

However, if those little bastards with cute whiskers cross the threshold of my house, it's bets-off, Mickey. I'm bringing out the big guns.

I'm borrowing a cat.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dude. I'm sick of him taxing my gig.

So, starting today, no more Bulldog Haiku on LGBG.

He's got his own blog, like any self-respecting flat-faced pooch would.

Check it.

If he gets more followers than me, I told him he could sleep on my bed.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Strange bedfellow.

In my home, there is a 50 pound ball of ferocious cute called a bulldog. I don't recall if I've mentioned him here today, but it's true.

If you've ever met a a bulldog, you know that besides being ferociously cute, they snore. And not like a little cute wheezy heavy breathing thing that makes you put down the paper and say, "Why look darling! I bet he's dreaming of chasing rabbits! Now bring me my pipe, won't you?"

When a bulldog snores, you say, "Holy shit! Is someone demolishing the house next door? Is there an earthquake? Get under something, there's an earthquake! Oh sweet mother of God, an EARTHQUAKE!"

Yeah, it's loud.

For this reason, the 50 pounds of loudness sleeps in a kennel on a separate level of the house from everyone else, and even still, the vibrations are disturbing. Also, he sheds and smears eye boogers on duvet covers. And, he is a total bed hog. His 50 pounds spread out sideways is more like an obnoxious, smelly, dripping, snorey hobo on your bed. To further complicate matters, we have a queen size bed. And Big Dude already takes up more than his allotted 75% of it.

It is safe to say I stop thinking he's all that cute at bedtime. The bulldog, not Big Dude. Ahem.

So, every night before I go to bed, I fill a glass with ice and then say, "Box" to the bulldog, which, in bulldog means, "Yo dude, get in your box."  He hops off the couch and happily takes refuge in his kennel. Probably because it's a an extra-large kennel intended for a pony-sized labradork, so he's got enough room in there for a pool table. Also? Down pillows. Anyway - because bulldogs do not like being told what to do, now when I get ice he goes to the box. Pavlov would be proud. I go lock the kennel and life - and sleep - is good.

But here's what would make Pavlov sort of freak out.

For the last three nights, in the middle of the night, I am startled by a 50-pound of dripping snorebag jumping on to the bed. Always, I am too deep into a dream about  Lenny Kravitz playing the trumpet topless restful slumber to kick him off and take him to the box downstairs.  What's different? He's been pretending to be in deep REM sleep when I go get the ice. His juicy steak lips are spread out across Big Dude's lap and his eyes closed tightly.  I say "Aw, lookit how cute him is wid his widdle wips all sweepy." Actually, I don't. I have never babytalked in my life. It gave me hives just now typing that.

Anyway - I decide to leave him be for awhile, and Big Dude swears he'll "box him."

BUT! Here's the tricky bulldog part: As soon as I am out of Big Dude's sight, the bulldog tippity toes into the box and jumps in hard enough to make the door slam. So Big Dude thinks I PUT HIM IN THERE. When the world is quiet, he escapes and makes his way up to my chocolate brown bedding to shed, drip and SNORE - leaving me to sleep fitfully, dreaming of earthquakes while clinging to the edge of the mattress on the 2 inches left for me.

And that, Officer, is why I'm driving erratically.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Q&A for some of the residents in my home.

Q:  Where is the laundry chute located?
A:  In the upstairs hallway, directly behind the pile of your dirty clothes.

Q:  You want a bowl of cereal, but when you look in the cabinet, there are no clean bowls. What do you do?
A:  Eat directly from the box. Preferably in the living room. Laying on your back while watching MTV2.

Q: Two cute girls from school are standing on the front porch. They want to jump on the trampoline with you, but you've not picked up the dog poop in the backyard for two days. What do you do?
A: Who cares? You're watching MTV2 and eating cereal.

Q:  You're returning to the living room after fetching another box of cereal. How can you determine exactly where you were laying before?
A:  By the outline of your body made of cereal crumbs and the empty box.

Q: Where is your underwear drawer located?
A: Look in your room for a large piece of wooden furniture under a pile of electronics, empty cereal boxes and remote-controlled vehicles. Lift the stack of folded underwear and you'll find a pair of pajama pants. Lift the legs of the pajama pants and you'll see the top drawer.  You'll know it is the right one if it is completely empty.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bulldog Haiku - Teenagers.

Sometimes it's better
To hold them down and feign sleep
They grow up too fast.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Is this heaven? No. It's Iowa.

If you read the post I wrote yesterday - I hope you remember it well, because I've taken it down. Although LGBG is often silly rants about things, I don't want it to be about people. Not cool. So, it was a limited edition collector's item post and it's no longer available. Maybe you can find it on eBay or something.

What I should've been ranting writing about was last weekend! Because it was nearly almostly as fun as I thought it was going to be. Most of the parts anyway.

It began at midnight Thursday.

I drove across town and put the gigantic middle schooler on a bus.

Please note dashboard clock. Midnight thirty. Yawn. I am such a good parent

Buh-bye gigantic middle schooler! Hope that's really your rowing coach and not that creepy guy from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang who tricks kids with candy but they're really getting into a jail cell! On wheels! I hated that guy.

Then I came home and slept for a few minutes then got up and said goodbye to the future politician kid.

I didn't say "stick-em up" so not all together sure why he's doing that. It's a little Nixon-esque. Hmmm.
Then, I got on an airplane.

And I didn't get off that bitch until it landed in Iowa, baby. Then I found a shuttle where a guy who was going to his 55th class reunion completely ignored me because I'm a girl and totally monopolized the conversation of everyone in the van. So when we got off and he looked down his nose at me I made sure that I tipped the driver way more than he did right in front of him. So there, old dude.

And then I checked into a historic hotel in downtown Des Moines called the Savery. Have I told you I really like historic hotels? I do. Most of them aren't that nice room-wise, but the lobbies, lawdy. I highly recommend old hotel lobbies.

Then. I waited. And waited. And waited. Because my kid was still on the bus. And my sista-from-anotha-mista who is my best friend I've never actually met? Was working. Bored. Bored. Bored. Damn, I thought. Iowa sucks.

Then she finally texted me and I felt better. It went something like this:

Tracey: I could sure use a beer right now.
Penne: There's no minibar in my room. I should've had drinks on the plane.

Long wait. I'm bored again. Stupid Iowa. But I find a good movie on TV with that kid in it who used to be on Third Rock from the Sun but in this movie he's all grown up and he's an architect only he writes greeting cards for a living and  I start thinking...hmmm, it's kind of weird that I'm going out for dinner with someone I've never ever met ever, I think I should order room service and finish this very awesome movie with the Third Rock from the Sun kid in it. Only all grown up.

But then I get this text:
Tracey: We're five minutes away! Will pick you up in a white Explorer.
Penne: This feels like eHarmony a little bit.
Tracey: Nope.!
Penne: I just flashed a white Explorer. Totally wasn't you.

And then she pulled up and I actually met a real life person, not just a blog. She was funny and awesome and if she lived on my block she and Spanxy and I would be a FORCE, I tell you. All through dinner one of us would say "You should know this about me..." and then the other one would say, "OMG, me TOO" and we laughed so much our cheeks hurt. And then we said goodbye, but hopefully not forever. I love Iowa.

Me and the Sista. Lookit how awesomely our hair matches. Separated at birth, I tell you.

I shall report on the kid's regatta at another point - but you should know that Iowa in the morning is pretty lovely.

Photo courtesy of the gigantic middle schooler. I was totally asleep for this part.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Color my world.

Do you guys know what Pantone is? Being in a designer-y, advertising-y, creative-y type marketing sort of career, I live by it - it's basically a universally accepted ink color that printers use. In the old days of graphic design, like before computers, I got my first Pantone Matching System color books, and they still sit on my desk.

Way back then, they were called PMS colors...for Pantone Matching System - because the other PMS hadn't been invented yet either. Nowadays, even brides use it so that their napkins match their shoes that match their flowers that match their hair ties that match their fiances boxers.

I love Pantone because it helps my little world make sense. My bulldog is Pantone 465C. The chocolate labradork is 469C. That's why they look so nice laying next to each other on my living rug, which is shades of both those tones as well as a graduated DM292-5.

My subconcious need to identify every color I see by PMS number is second only to my font neurosis, whereby I cannot read any text on any sign, book, magazine or T shirt without first identifying the font it's printed in. Now you know why I'm always late.

And, you can see why I am now obsessed with visiting this hotel. And living there. Forever. It makes my head not hurt.

The Pantone Hotel in Brussels.
Yes, it will be a long commute, but can you just picture a 465C bulldog on that bed?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gently down the stream.

The giant linebacker kid is taking a year off from football and has joined the crew. As in rowing. I was going to say "crew team" but that's kind of repetitive. Like a neighborhood I once lived in called "Table Mesa" which is not only dumb, but stupid.

See how I did that? Try to keep up.

Four nights a week, I drive the hulking man-child to a reservoir 30 minutes from our house and he runs and jumps rope and works hard to glide across the water and make it look effortless. I think it's really the most beautiful thing in the word to see 8 people moving in synchronization on a skinny boat (or 4, or 2) and I'm proud he's taken it up. I've done it purely amateur-ly for several years - and only in a single scull because I am very muchly not a team player.  I'm glad that he's got the mental and physical fortitude to try something unknown - and I must admit that it doesn't suck to live vicariously through your children - something I haven't really experienced while watching him cream the living hell out of offensive linemen.

To make things even more bettererer than just watching the kid, he's competing this weekend 18 hours from our house at the Head of the Des Moines.

Which means, I not only get to see my boy living out my dream...

 Me on a big ol' trainer boat a long time ago. It's very difficult to take pictures of yourself sculling.

I get to see my high school partner in crime from high school who lives nearby...

 Partner in crime, circa 1990. As if you couldn't tell by the perms.

And I get to meet my sista-from-anotha-mista, Tracey, who I've never seen in person but I am pretty we were separated at birth, who...can you even believe it...lives right smack in Des Moines.

 She looks sorta fun, huh? I'm taking sturdy drinking shoes.

It is so freaking fate, destiny, coincidence and good luck that I cannot fathom it. We're going to Oktoberfest together. In Iowa. Talk about living out dreams.

This is obviously Karma's way of apologizing for smashing the hell out of my face last month.

Apology accepted, Karma.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wherein I get a Brazilian. And provide photographic evidence.

Earlier this year, I spent an unholy sum of money for eyelash extensions. Not one single person noticed. I determined that either:

a) no one really looks at me,
b) they looked so ridiculous everyone I knew was embarrassed for me and didn't mention it, or
c) I have such incredible boobs that everyone I know, including neighbors and children couldn't look past them to see my luxurious puppydog/Brooke Shields lashes.

Pretty sure it's A.

So that's why when I considered getting a "Brazilian," I really had to think twice about it. I mean, is it really worth the time and money, and ahem, pain...if no one even really knows about it?

So - I figure - yeah, sure it is. You bet. Dealing with all that curly hair is a daily chore that I just don't have time for. And, if I put it out on the interwebs - people HAVE to notice.

So, without any further ado, the before and after pictures.

It's blurry. I know. Hoping you'll be too distracted by the sequined bulldog to notice. It's smooth enough, but it took 20 minutes, a gallon of product, a hairdryer and a round brush to get it like this.

Sort of the same. A little less fluffy, but it only took, like, 3 minutes to dry it straight. Paired with a chartreuse naughty librarian cardigan to distract from the breastillary-region.

So I'm all cool and low maintenance with my Brazilian Blowout now.  You knew that's what I meant, right?

People better notice.

PS - you can totally tell my nose is broken, too, but it's okay if you don't point that out. 

PPS - I should've cleaned the iPhone lens for that first picture.
PPPS - I should've worn makeup in that second one. 

PPPPS - Or eyelash extensions.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Where to begin?

I should start by saying that I've spent a goodly amount of time considering changing the name of my blog to "Adventures in the ER" or "Super Fun Times Bleeding in Public"...but I know how mommy blogs  are kind of popular, and referencing drinking whilst mommying is also maybe it should just be "Mommy's Bleeding - Get her a Cocktail!" Oh ha ha, that'd be rich.

Turns out, I'm just sorta clumsy. Or I go too fast. Or the bulldog wants me dead. One of those things. Or all of those things put together.

I won't go into terrible bloody detail, because if you know me in real life, I've already bored you with the slow-mo reenactment of tidily drilling straight through my thumb with a wood screw and the resulting fleshy hamburger that exited my body through the new hole as the drill bit reversed and returned. I've already relived in exacting detail stepping onto a dog toy, accelerating due to a combination of freshly polished hardwood floors and completely treadless Birkenstocks and slamming forward at Mach-3 stopping only when my already substantial nose broke my fall into the large DVD player I was carrying.

If you know me, I've described to you the five stitches it took on the outside of my nose, the crimson and violet bags drooping underneath my eyes for the week following, the vertical fracture of my proboscis that still throbs daily, the clouds in my brain as the concussion cleared. I've demonstrated the lack of feeling in my thumb by poking at it in front of you. I've shown you the bills from the ER.

What I have not done is post pictures of my temporary disfigurement like I did with my children. Ethical? Perhaps not, but it is afterall, my blog.

I will tell you, however, that after receiving three shots in my face to numb my nose enough for stitches, I will never, ever, even consider Botox.

And, I will tell you that none of it compares to the pain I experienced when my hard drive crashed and the online back-up system I've trusted for years didn't really do everything I thought it was doing.

In short, it's kind of been a mess over here in Little Girl Land.

But the stitches are out, the bruises are gone. I sort of remember most of everything, and I have a big fat shiny new hard drive with almost everything I want on it. Somewhere. And I have a new external harddrive that holds a terabyte of information and is so beautiful I want to have children with it.

Thanks for waiting on me.

PS to Cupcake Murphy: I think "Haiku Laureate" is the nicest thing anyone's ever said regarding the badass bulldog. Thanks for giving me the oomph to dive in again.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bulldog Haiku - An unrecognized threat.

When people are gone
Pillows escape and fly off
Good thing I was here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Rage against the machine.

Before I became the wisened, mature, matronly type of gal I am now, I had the particularly satisfying habit of - as an ex-boyfriend called it -"beating the hell out of inanimate objects."

This habit consisted of, well...mainly beating the hell out of inanimate objects. For the most part.

In my defense, they totally deserved it. I was only giving them what they so richly had coming. But he found it disturbing nonetheless, so I tried to cut back and would only kick my car or smack the side of the television or throw myself violently into a stuck door when he wasn't around.

The relationship ended anyway, but those of you who know me in real life know that my sophisticated and genteel manner remained. And it's probably a good thing, too, as occasional slip-ups (one memorable incident where I ever so gently applied a BFH* to the icemaker, par example', have proven to scare both young children, innocent spouses and domesticated animals. (Although the icemaker has not given me a lick of trouble since.)

I write here today only to seek your support to keep me from smashing the living hell out of my dryer, whom I previously loved With. All. My. Heart. It is beautiful and shapely and has logo badges so exquisitely reminiscent of a vintage automobile that I matched my laundry room tile to them.

After twelve years of faithful service, it has suddenly decided that all my clothes are better suited for a four-year-old than me. "Ahhh," you say, "Little Girl, use your Big Glasses and see the light! You should not dry your apparel! Rather, you should take all damned day to spread it jauntily around your home! It should lay or lie or whatever perfectly flat and air dry! Afterall, that's how the pioneers did it, and you never saw Laura Ingalls Wilder bitching that her tank top was the width of a iPhone!"

That'd be great, dear helpful reader, but here's the thing. The freakin' washer is in on it. My lovely, reliable, kind and wonderful front load dream washer with matching vintage automobile logo on the front is either in cahoots with the 2000 degree as only setting dryer or it's being seriously peer pressured to ruin me. It spends the entire wash cycle carefully taking my shrinkable tops, my air-dry-only shorts and my "fine washables" and hiding them - sneaking them into other clothes where they cannot be found until after the dryer has done her evil deed and I am left to open the door to the steaming horror of an organic cotton sweater now just an organic cotton ball.

So I'm just saying, I'm probably going off the wagon. If you hear crashing, pounding, perhaps blow-torching...that's me. This bitch ain't goin' down without a fight. You hear me, inanimate object?

*BFH - Big effin hammer, for those of you not violently inclined.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Guest Post - Another Little Girl, Even Bigger Glasses

Today's installment of I'm On Vacation and You're Not features another of my favorite people I found floating around the ol' dubyadubyadubya, Heatherty Featherty. She is a super smart super talented super busy mommy of two little boys. She has a full time job that makes her travel all over the place, a husband who surprises her with old car parts and a puppy who is to being potty trained. and for fun? She sews. Like really well. Not like how I hem up a sheet and call it a "duvet cover" and act like I'm all talented. She actually uses patterns and fancy fabric that isn't sheets and makes wearable, cute clothing. Weird, huh?  Her stories are funny and real and I'm pretty sure if we lived in the same neighborhood we'd have a bunch of fun.

I asked Heather to give me her memories of being a Little Girl with Big Glasses...because I just had a feeling...

Penne is the greatest. There, I got that out of the way. I think that's a prerequisite to writing a guest post, right? Thank God this time the praise wasn't hard to do or totally lame like "Oh, I'm sure if I knew Penne in person she would...ummm...smell super great and have the right toenail polish on."
Back to how she's awesome? Yeah, she's also on vacation. So she asked if I would be so kind as to fill the silence here on Big Glasses with a little story about how super cool I was when I was a little girl with big glasses. Because weren't we all, at one point in time? Don't pretend you were born with your flashy Lasic surgery. I hope she doesn't go gambling on one of those Indian reservations and blow her life savings. My therapist charges $200 an hour and after effectively suppressing these memories, thanks to Penne they've all come flooding back. It could literally take me months of changing diapers and folding laundry to forget about them again.
Oh, well. Here we go.
Yes, I had the big glasses. The oddly shaped, pearlescent specs with the bendy arms that had little bits of golden flecks in the resin. God, they rocked when I picked them out. It's only in hindsight that I look at the pictures and think "huh?"
And I certainly had the accompanying accoutrement of the time - the permanent wave, the Flock of Seagulls left-to-right bi-level wedge haircut, the jeans rolled super tight at the ankles and preferably Guess by Georges Marciano with the appropriate triangle-shaped tag on the bum, the slouchy sweater with a turtleneck underneath. But that was in eighth grade. The peak of being cool, because the next year you're knocked back to being a total loser freshman again.
As I was doing my little walky walky down memory lane, I started back in Ye Olden Days of Olde, back when Heather was a young'n. When my mom still made a lot of my clothes. And then, dammit, I was suddenly flooded with memories of sixth grade. Of a certain boy in my class who shall remain nameless but I can tell you his initials were FRANK, who wrote me the kindest note one day, sort of a public service announcement where he gently informed me that all the boys in class hated me and also they hated my plaid pants, the ones my mom had made for me.
Stupid Frank! He ruined it for me, wearing those killer red plaid pants my mom had made out of Pendleton wool. I so loved those pants. She'd lined them with swishy red lining that made swishy lining noises when I walked and made me feel like an important secretary or librarian. Oh, I suppose in fairness he was possibly right about them, but why do kids have to be so mean?
So I quickly pushed past sixth grade memories and landed in seventh. Ahhh, sweet seventh grade. I weighed somewhere around a hundred pounds, maybe 110, and hit five foot nine inches tall that year. Good times. 
You know what girls love? They love to be way taller than all the rest of the kids. And freakishly thin, that's a great combination. I have an abundance of faded stretch marks on my upper thighs that I'd love to say came from the two stints I spent as a gestating mom to two gigantic male babies, but alas - it wouldn't be true. The only stretch marks I have on this here goddess-like figure of mine came when I was in seventh grade and I grew so fast in one year it literally split my skin. 
I can hear the doubt in your minds. Well, behold the photographic evidence, complete with big glasses.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Guest Post - My Sista from Anotha Mista

In today's edition of "I'm On Vacation And You're Not," my homegirl Tracey from Funny In the 'Hood has been gracious enough to guest post. I started reading Tracey more than a year ago, and every time she posts, I not only laugh my arse off, I also usually say, "OMG, me TOO!" and then she reads this here blog and says "OMG, me TOO!"  So now we're Facebook friends who "like" everything each other says and then our friends in real life are all, "Who is that person?" and we're all "My totally best friend ever that I never met."

Tracey has slowed down her blogging as of late because she's writing a real life BOOK. On paper. Which I cannot wait to read. But here, for your amusement today, is a recent post that was not only funny but also quoted by Time Magazine. Time FREAKING Magazine, people. So, she's like totally famous. Sort of.


The other night I was lying in bed trying to find something to watch on TV and despite Dave's claim that switching from cable to satellite would give us loads of additional channels, my only choices seemed to be either Khloe and Kourtney take Miami or Keeping up with the Kardashians.

Personally, I think the Kardashian family jumped the shark a long time ago and I'm not sure why they're still all over the TV but whatever, I was certain I could find something better to watch on one of the other 70 million channels Dave said we now had.

And then I stumbled upon TLC's I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant. I was so amazed that such a possibility even existed I forgot all about how tired I was and proceeded to stare at the screen transfixed. One by one, women started explaining how they didn't know they were pregnant and they really just thought they were constipated and needed to take a poop and while I watched the show I could only think of one thing:
You have got to be freaking kidding. 

As any woman who has ever given birth will tell you, not knowing you are pregnant, during the approximately 40 weeks you are growing a human being means that not only are you unobservant, you might be slightly out of touch with your own body.

I knew I was pregnant even before I peed on the little stick. My boobs were so sensitive just the wind blowing on them was agony. I felt certain that people at work could see them throbbing and would think something was terribly wrong with me. They got bigger immediately and Dave was all, "Wow! Your boobs are getting really big!" and I'd be thinking "Enjoy 'em now loverboy because in a few months you're going to be all, "Wow, your butt is getting really big too."

To be fair, I have two really good friends who did not know right away that they were pregnant with their second children because they had needed fertility treatments in order to conceive their first babies and neither of them expected to be able to conceive on their own. They were both pleasantly surprised when they discovered they were going to be blessed with another child. Yet neither of my friends actually went into labor, delivered a baby, and told everybody later, "You know, I didn't expect there to be a baby, I just felt like I had to poop."

And that's why I'm starting to believe that maybe TLC has gone a bit "Jerry Springer" on me because they know shit like this (heh, heh, I said shit. I made a pun) is going to grab my attention and generate higher ratings and a whole bunch of talk 'round the old water cooler. I mean, who confuses labor with a #2? And then admits it! On TV!
If the women on I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant had never been in labor before it's understandable they might not know what it feels like but it's also like they're a little sketchy on the mechanics of poopin' too.

And I may not be as familiar with labor pains as professional baby mama Michelle Duggar, but I've done it twice and both times my main concern was figuring out how Freddy Krueger had gotten inside my uterus because it felt like he was trying to stab his way out with those finger knives every two minutes or so. Never once did I think, "Hey, maybe I just need to take a poop." Yes, your stomach can feel kind of upset during labor and there's the all too real fear of actually crapping on the delivery table but I can still tell the two bodily functions apart.

"Oh hi. You're a baby, not a #2!"

I know I kind of look like shit here. It's 2:17 AM and I just shot a 9 lb. 6 oz. baby out my hoo-ha without the benefit of any drugs whatsoever.

Can you imagine sitting down on the toilet and thinking something is going to come out of somewhere only to discover that something totally different came out a completely different orifice? That's what happened to one of the women on I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant. She thought she had to go to the bathroom so she sat on the toilet, grabbed the counter and the towel bar because it hurt so bad and her baby plopped out of her into the toilet water and when she tried to get up, she was slammed back down onto the toilet seat because she was still attached to the baby by the umbilical cord! And while she was in the bathroom all confused and laboring and delivering and stuff her baby daddy was sitting out on the couch with the popcorn bowl yelling helpful things like, "Hey, are you almost done in there?"

I mean, did it not occur to her to yell, "Put down the popcorn bowl you dumbass because something that is NOT a turd just came out and oh my God tell the paramedics they better haul ass!"

That's what I would have done.

On the show's website I found the following: "We are looking for new stories for new episodes of I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant." Or, as they probably like to call it, "more unaware women who had babies and not number two's and aren't afraid to have it re-enacted on national television."

Oh, and there was a woman on the show one night who didn't know she was pregnant TWICE.

Probably you can tell I watch this show a lot. I've seen all the episodes. Some of them more than once.
So, I'm guessing TLC pays these women to go on the show? There's got to be some incentive for admitting you didn't know what the hell was going on. But in that case, maybe the women are actually pretty shrewd. Maybe they don't care if everyone laughs at how clueless they are.

Perhaps they're even laughing all the way to the bank.
Good for them. Maybe they'll start a college fund for their little miracles.

P.S. Guess what other TLC show I'm obsessed with? My Monkey Baby. Oh my God, how I love this show.
P.P.S. And now I totally want a monkey baby.
P.P.P.S And I want to go to Baby Gap and buy cute little clothes for my monkey baby.
P.P.P.P.S. And I want my monkey baby to sleep with Dave and me in our bed.
P.P.P.P.P.S Dave just saw this and said my monkey baby cannot sleep with us.
P.P.P.P.P.P.S I know Dave will change his mind when I bring my monkey baby home so I'm not worried.
P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S  And then we'll be as happy as these two!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Guest Post - Mr. Morning Sunshine Himself

In today's edition of I'm On Vacation And You're Not, you'll be hearing from Denver radio personality and my pal, Mike Casey. Mike is the early morning/drive time host guy at 99.5 The Mountain and a not-half-bad writer. I would have said he was a completely good writer, but you'll notice in his post that he felt obligated to mention that I am older than he is, so eye for an eye and all that. His blog entertains me on a regular basis, and very often chronicles the adventures and wackiness of my younger son, who hangs out with Mike's kids. 

The best part of getting him to guest post was that he's inherently lazy (or really super tired from getting up at 3 AM five days a week maybe) so he's always trying to get ME to write stuff for HIM. But who got who to write for them first? Huh? Who is more clever? Huh? (Mike - it's Me. I'm more clever.)

A Sidenote: I've always wanted to be a DJ. When I was growing up, I memorized song titles and artists and even used to play a game with my younger sister called "Who sings this?" wherein I would give her five seconds to tell me the band currently playing or I'd punch her. Turns out, however, you can't have the voice of an 8 year old boy with a wicked sinus infection and introduce Depeche Mode records. Dangit.


An offer to guest post from my pal “Little Girl Big Glasses”?  Wow.  What an honor! The pressure has been durn-near all-consuming.  I haven’t slept a wink since I got the invite.

Okay, maybe I slept a wink.  But no more than that.

Hmmm.  How best to properly use this hallowed venue to communicate some nugget of wisdom that I have gleened over lo these many years?  (Fewer “many years” than “Little Girl Big Glasses”, it should be noted.)

Here goes.
Anne and some of her friends put together a monthly book club a few years ago, and last night, the gals decided they’d invite their spouses along so we could get an up close and personal look at this women’s book club phenomenon.

Here are a few quick observations on that subject:
1.     From what I can tell, the key to the success of your book club does not depend on which friends you ask to participate or which books you decide to read but rather on the quantity and quality of the wine you provide when it’s your turn to host.  I don’t claim to understand women’s book clubs but if you switch the wine out for beer, this is an idea I can get behind.

2.     I love Sports Illustrated as much as the next guy, but do not try to convince your wife’s book club that it should be a considered “a book”.  They will mock you for this and then you won’t get any h'ors d'oeuvres.

3.     Guys: Don’t think for a second that actually READING the book is a required part of book club participation.  I suspect that the real point is for your wife to stick you with the kids for the night while she tosses back some vino with her friends.  Once you understand that everything gets easier.
4.     For a woman’s book club, when it comes to choosing a book, you can either consult the New York Times best seller list, or just pick the latest offering from Oprah’s Book Club.  At least this way you know you’ll get a good cry and a “spiritual cleansing” out of whatever you read.  Apparently, this is desirable.  Guys, on the other hand, would prefer to avoid crying all together.  ESPECIALLY in a group setting.  Unless of course their team loses the big game.

5.     Book clubs hosted by women seem to revolve around an excellent selection of wines and h’ors d’ouevres and bonding over the shared emotional experience that comes from the power of the written word. If guys hosted book clubs, they would revolve around a lukewarm keg of beer, a stale bag of chips, red plastic cups, and a two dollar cover charge.  We may be the simpler of the two sexes, but you gotta admit, we’re incredibly efficient.

6.     I think women’s book clubs intentionally choose books that revolve around at least one of the following three subjects:  romance, intimacy, or chocolate.  I think they pick books like this so they don’t have to worry about the men in their lives taking their books into the john with them.

7.     If you are a guy and you get invited to a meeting of a women’s book club, do not stand up and say “Hey, anyone mind if I put on ESPN?  I gotta check the stats on my fantasy football team.”  Women, especially those who read books, will not see the humor in this.

8.     Here’s a rule of thumb for guys everywhere: if your wife or girl friend invites you to a meeting of her book club, whenever you feel the urge to talk about sports, talk about your kids.  Whenever you feel the urge to talk about politics, talk about your kids. Whenever you feel the urge to talk about the stock market, talk about your kids.  If you don’t have kids, talk about someone else’s kids.  If you don’t know anyone with kids, just sit down, shut up, and don’t say anything the entire night.  This is your only hope for survival.  Trust me on this.

9.     Given that men do most of their reading in the bathroom, I figure the only way you could make a men’s book club work would be to rent about ten porta potties, set them up in the backyard, and assign each guy a throne to work from.  Sure, it’d make the discussion part a little more difficult but most guys have already made up their minds about a book within the first 3 pages anyway.  So what’s there to discuss?

10And finally, when it comes to book clubs always remember, as Groucho Marx once said, “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend.  Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lenny Kravitz and me hanging out in 1992. And by "Lenny Kravitz" I totally mean "Merle Haggard."

I'm pretty sure Lenny wanted to hang out with me that night in Branson, Missouri, but he was sort of busy being married to Denise Huxtable just then and she was all, shall we say, "possessive," so he sadly, very sadly, had to stay home and work on their marital dreadlocks or whatever.

Fortunately, Merle had the good sense to recognize the absolute artistry of a good spiral perm with mall bangs and the fashion know-how it requires to pull off a v-neck floral tee.

I think he looks super psyched.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

And for a few brief moments, they forgot all about their mandatory summer reading list.

The little dudes had friends over for the afternoon this week and it was too hot to go swimming. Not too hot to swim, to hot to GO swimming. Apparently, the heat radiating off the two tree-lined blocks between our house and the pool was just too much to endure.

So they plopped themselves down in front of MTV. Which I totally don't allow, because if MTV wasn't invented when I had long boring summers, then there's no way I'll let my children enjoy it. I also make them walk uphill to school. Both ways. In patent leather maryjanes.

So they asked to Slip-n-Slide. Which Big Dude promptly shut down. It smashes the grass, doncha know. (Big Dude hails from a long line of Nebraska fluffygrass farmers. We have very fluffygrass.)

So they did the obvious thing that any child would immediately think of. They coated the trampoline in dishsoap and put the sprinkler under it. Instant waterpark, baby.

However, they learned that the sprinkler dissipates the dishsoap too quickly. Not their words. I put those words in there so that it would seem like I somehow turned their fun into a science lesson. Which I totally did not.  I wouldn't dare impart knowledge to them over the summer.

They solved their dilemma after much hypothesizing and experimentation. Okay, sorry. That's not true either. What happened was one flopping sopping giant middle schooler slipped (and slid!) through the house and retrieved the Mr. Bubble, while another disconnected the sprinkler, attached the sprayer, and bungee-corded the hose to the side of the trampoline.

It's like they're engineers. Water engineers. Forget it. I give up. They're just normal kids. Sigh.

Normal kids who dive like freakin' Superman!

 Nicely taking turns. Because we raised 'em right. Although this particular child isn't mine. So really, HIS parents raised him right.

Sideways turns. Technically more difficult, but you'll get a higher score from the Czech judge.

It's important to make sweet surfing faces whilst doing this.    Somewhere, someone is humming the theme to Hawaii 5-O right now. Oh, it's me. Whenever I hear the Theme to Hawaii 5-O, I always immediately think of Kojak. Because I wasn't allowed to watch either show. I was like 4 at the time. I then immediately think of Mannix, which I claimed to be my favorite show from age 3 to 9, even though every episode I'd ever watched was through the crack of my bedroom door. It came on at 9 o'clock, and that was bedtime in those parts.
Thumbs up for Mommy! (That's probably not what he was thinking at all. In reality he was thinking, "Mom, please do not put this on Facebook and tag me. I'm not wearing a shirt and all the little middle school girls will see it.") Don't worry, dude. It's not on Facebook. Not on Facebook at all.
Raised by children o' the 80s, my offspring are adept at the Robot and many other superfly dances.
Even in mid-air. I bet Bell Biv DeVoe is in his head right now. No, wait, that's me again.

Dude's got hops.

15 Style Points.

They're completely itchy and I'm out of all liquid soap products, but there were no lawsuits, so I called it a good day. Hooray for summer.


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