Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Good boy.

We recently had to put down one of the labradorks. He was a goofy brown 13 year old and this post is not about how sad it was and how much we miss him and how the 11 year old kid couldn't catch his breath in his sleep he cried so hard or how the 14 year old giant kid wept silently save for the big giant kid tears plopping on his geometry homework.  I'm not going to write that post, you are not going to cry. Go ahead and read it even if you're wearing regular mascara.

Although I totally wrote that post. Then I deleted it though because, ugh.

Anyway, this post is about how, in his final months on this planet said labradork lost control of a few key bodily functions, one of them the ability to keep all his parts tense as he stood up, slept or walk. At the same time, standing up, sleeping and walking also came with greater strain. These factors combined created what scientists call "poop balls." Okay, not scientists, just us.

Each time the poor old dude would struggle to get up, plop. Poop ball.

He'd chase bunnies in his sleep. Poop ball.

Grazing on the front lawn when someone lit a firecracker. Array of poop balls up the front steps.

We started calling him Poopball.

Admittedly, we let it go on too long, but it really wasn't that bad hopping around the house, using my iPhone as a flashlight to avoid kicking them on late night bathroom trips. It wasn't like it was big gross dog piles of poop. Just cute poop balls. More like rabbit pellets. Really big rabbit pellets. And the fact that it really embarrassed him sort of made it forgivable. He'd look behind him with his gray eyebrows raised and then look at me as if to say, "How in the hell did the bulldog do that back there?" And I would look at him and say, "I dunno, brownie. Bulldogs are sneaky." Because when you're 91 in dog years you deserve a little dignity I think.

We did, however, go through a lot of plastic bags picking them up. In fact, there were times when I would ask for double bags at the grocery store just so we'd have enough to keep the poop balls in check. One of the last times I was doing this, I got the evil eye from the lady behind me in line. She is typical for my grocery store in that she was wearing yoga clothes and $30k worth of jewelry, holding the keys to a European SUV and looking down a surgically-altered nose to shun my use of plastic bags.

I smiled sweetly at her and said, "Would you prefer I picked up dog shit with your Whole Foods bag?"

Apparently she did not prefer that.

In any case, RIP Sedgwick Fletcher's Honor. AKA: Sedgie. AKA: Browndog AKA: Poopball. You were a good dog. A very good brown dog.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Labor Day 2011

Since it's labor day weekend, I'm now going to treat you to a minute-by-minute rundown of the two times I was actually in labor.*

Go grab yourself a big frosty Bloody Mary and get comfortable kids, this is going to be goddam riveting.

Not really.  I'm going to go outside with a beer and a bulldog and pretend I have a union job.

Happy three days off in a row.


PS - Exactly why do people write about that for the whole internet?  Because, bluck.

Friday, September 2, 2011

I'm marrying a cage fighter. FOR THE CHILDREN.

I've got so much on my plate lately that I need to change to one of those melamine cafeteria trays to hold it all. I'm not complaining - just wondering if karma is kicking my ass for something terrible I did and don't remember, or if other people have been so damned good that karma is rewarding them by having me take over and give them all a little break?

Or, maybe this is like a final exam for karma. Or maybe karma's version of that last part of Indiana Jones when he has to go through all the caves and creepy shit and jump on the right stones past all the skeletons and the big rock is coming for him...the world is just seeing how quickly I can jump out of a mining car and into a pile of venomous snakes. To quote my 7-year-old self, "Neato."

Once when I was in about 9th grade, my maternal grandparents were moving from California back to Colorado. While they decided where in Colorado they'd live, they lived with us. I can't recall how long they were there, I just know it was longer than it should've been - but it taught 14 year old me a valuable lesson: My Parents Don't Suck As Bad As I Thought.

While I thought my grandparents were perfectly awesome and adored them, being underfoot was too close for comfort. My children are learning that lesson right now.  Be on the lookout for my Mother of the Year press release in your local paper any day now. And, I really must say? This mother-in-law living with me? Is the least of my admin.

In other news, my charming and handsome first born, formerly referred to as the Gigantic Middle Schooler is now a Gigantic High Schooler. And my younger son, whose name is Miles but we totally call him Pete, is now a Regular Sized Middle Schooler. Hard to fathom.

I leave you today with a conversation that Pete had with Big Dude just yesterday.

Pete: Man, it would be hard to be like Billy,* I mean, his parents are divorced and they each live with a new person.
Big Dude: Yep, that'd be tough.
Pete:  I mean, he doesn't even like his mom's boyfriend at all but the guy's always there in his house.
Big Dude:  That's too bad.
Pete: Seriously. If you and mom got divorced... the only way I could handle it is if you guys hooked up with Megan Fox and Chuck Liddel.  Hmmm. Actually, that'd be really cool.

Don't know Chuck Liddell? I didn't either. Apparently he's a scholar of some sort. And my children's future stepfather.

Pete wants this person to be his stepmother. Hmm. Getting easier to believe he is a middle schooler.
 *Of course his real name isn't Billy. Nobody's real name is Billy.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Honestly, I'm starting to like it warm.

Once upon a time, Big Dude and I remodeled our kitchen. Not remodeled in the sense of "change out the counter tops and buy new cabinet handles,"  but more like "rip out five layers of flooring, 90 years of wallpaper changes, gut the place down to the studs and try not to inhale too much plaster dust."

I was going to post pictures of the demolition and rebuilding, but then you know what would happen, right?  I'd spend two hours looking for pictures, then two hours cussing at the scanner, then decide to do it later, and POOF six months has passed and there's no blog post. So youse guys are just going to have to trust me on this without photographic evidence, kapeesh?

In any case, much as I do with all projects, I made a big ol' wish list of everything I'd want if I could have everything.  That wish list kitchen kicked ass. I miss it. But after whittling it down with budget considerations, I realized the fireman pole had to go, along with the built in espresso machine with wifi so I could email it to make me coffee.

One thing that I decided I could NOT live without, however? A beer fridge. Now, if you enjoy beer as much as I do and of course you don't, you'd understand. If you are a normal person, you call it a "beverage refrigerator."  I decided to justify it with the fact that it could hold pies at Thanksgiving. Obviously, then, it was FOR THE CHILDREN.  My passionate longing for said fridge was exacerbated by the fact that for four long months during the construction, we used an old dorm-sized beer fridge covered with stickers as our only fridge. It sat in the dining room and had to hold beer, food, milk, chicken nuggets, beer. Also beer. And I just wanted to reward myself with a little spreading-out when the project was done.

The little extra fridge just for mommy's beers then turned into a whole wonderful area for mommy. The end of the kitchen had held a tiny sunroom, we took down the walls and I imagined a space with a comfy chair, my own television, a beer fridge and a wine fridge, maybe a plant and some books... I would start dinner and then recline, ever so lady-like with a cocktail while my pots bubbled happily. I knew then, that this area was non-negotiable. Under cabinet bread warmers would be sacrificed, it must be included.

And so it came to be.

On the left, beer fridge. In the center, TV. On the right, wine fridge.  Across the way, girl-sized leather recliner. Ahh.

And it was very good.  I never actually sat in the chair and watched TV while pots bubbled, but a lot of other people did. And after some time, I totally forgot how expensive it is to order a custom-sized beverage refrigerator.

Hmm. Let's have a closer look. What's that next to the recycling bin? A BB gun? Huh. Figures. And what's that indentation on the beautiful fancy recycling bin? Looks to be about the width of a teenager's shoe. No one knows why.

Look! Up above! Mommy's half yard glass. It makes her so happy she almost can forget about the dent in the stainless steel recycling bin.
 So, it wasn't totally my space. That's cool. Other people live here, too. I can't just claim corners all for myself.  At least I still had my sweet little beer fridge, just for me, with a pretty cherry door. I heart you, little beer fridge.

What treats await? Cold frosty barley pops, praytell?
Afterall, Big Dude's beers were not invited to my civilized in-house beer fridge. They could stay out in the the fridge he'd brought home from work, 10 years ago. Icky.

No pretty stainless steel recycling bin for you, old dumb beer fridge. You can sit under the city-issued purple one, in between the Swiffer mop thing and the dog food. Here, have another ironic sticker.
 But all fairy tales must end, don't they?  Recently, I went to pretty little beer fridge and her stores were less than frosty. Nay, they were oddly lukewarm.

"Gol-darned kids!" I proclaimed. "Messing with my little turny dial! I need this bitch at a 7!"

But she was at 7.

So I turned her to 9.

She sighed and shuddered her last breath.

I wept.

My beautiful, lovely, wonderful, feminine, custom-made, suitable for indoors beer fridge had died.

I don't think I'm being overly dramatic when I say taking warm beers out of her was one of the saddest times of my life.

 Now, as I sit and wait for a repairperson to bring her back to life, which I'm sure will be a completely affordable experience since the warranty has expired and all her parts are custom... I lean on the hood of my car and enjoy a perfectly chilled beer. 

You don't always have to dance with the purtiest girl, I guess.
Okay, okay, I'll give you another sticker. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Turns out, I've always been sort of an a-hole.

Yeah, I know I've not been here very much, sorry 'bout that. Doesn't seem to have stopped the world from moving forward. Although...there have been some seriously weird weather patterns that can only probably be explained by the lack of me tapping on a keyboard.


I was digging through old papers recently looking for something important and instead found a folder from my first semester at college. I was not good looking enough to not get any classes I really wanted, so was stuck in anything that had an opening, including a German class that met at 8:00 AM. Every. Freaking. Day, and a 300 level course called "Science, Technology & Public Policy." It was taught by someone who was most surely a relative of James Earl Jones - either that or his voice coach - because they sounded exactly the same. He made a lot of big bold statements and afterwards would survey the class, looking us each in the eye and say,




The rest of the class usually had at least a question. The bolder ones had comments. A few would even sometimes come up with a concern. I generally was just trying not to be noticed. Which was difficult, because there were 9 people in that class. Eight of them were over 21 years old, wearing varying layers of tie-dyed global patterns or ironic t shirts with Army surplus cargo shorts, unshaven legs and faces and smelled of patchouli. One of them was 18, had braces, a Duran Duran asymmetrical haircut, excess eyeliner, Esprit overalls, multiple black rubber braceleets and smelled of Love's Babysoft.

In between lectures, Professor James Earl Jones' Brother would assign reading and expect a written evaluation, so in the folder I found several word processor'ed attempts at sounding intelligent, obviously with a great deal of assistance from a thesaurus. And then I found this one - handwritten in class as a quiz.

It would be incredibly difficult to call this book compelling, perhaps even scandalous to use the word "interesting" when describing it. In fact, it would be most appropriate to call Dorothy Nelkins'  Controversy "kindling" rather than "literature." There are many texts in this world that are difficult to trudge through. There are a great number of tomes which do not appeal to anyone. Perhaps Nelkin was raised in a lifeless, loveless library of such volumes, surrounded only by her captors and an occasional visit by a sadistic dentist. In any case, her book sucks. Questions? Comments? Concerns?

And the professor's comment below:

I like you. B+

It was the only class I attended regularly that year.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Reason #458 that my children are not homeschooled.

I'd be tired from training them to kickass in spelling bees and coming up with recipes for my baking blog, so I'd order pizza instead of making the asparagus and salmon I'd planned.

I'd worry that I was going to waste the asparagus and it would get all wilty (although I'd use a word other than wilty because I'd have a thesaurus on the kitchen counter) so I would stick the asparagus in some water overnight.

I'd get up in the morning to find crazy alien asparagus has decided to mutate and I'd change the lesson plan for the day to "Investigations into Creepy Asparagus that Obviously has Intentions to EAT US."

I think we're all better off with someone else handling their education.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Last week I finally admitted that my wee little firstborn who is 6 inches taller than me and many pounds heavier (thankfully) is growing up. So I took the huge step of removing all the picture books from his bookcase.

I could get all sappy right now and tell you that picking up each one of them and remembering his fat little hands with their indented knuckles holding them was one of the hardest things I've ever done...y'know, cleaning-wise.  We read to him every night. Farmer Duck. Cows Can't Fly. Slug. THE CLASSICS.  So moving them into a box was more than just admitting he is closer to adulthood than babyhood. It was saying goodbye to some of the most awesome rhymes ever.

To wit...

"A small girl yelled out, 'Mommy! What's that creeping on our food?' 
She didn't know that Slug was just a hungry little dude."

Beat that, Bob Frost.

And it was heavy. Like really heavy, man. They're books, people. Not like when mommies of today just download Bennett Cerf onto their iPads.

Is Bennett Cerf even available on iPads?  Because it should be! Seriously, if your child doesn't know what is big and red and eats rocks, you are not really a very good parent. Just saying.

Anyway, I spent a couple of days being all nostalgic. I'd go look at his new teen-agery version of a bookcase with it's clever novels and dark comic books and middle school yearbooks and wish that just for a minute, I could have that boy that's shorter than me back.

Then, I got in my car. That smelled like three day old milk left in a sippy cup.

Turns out teenager snowboard boot has exactly the same chemical makeup as curdled dairy product in plastic.

And I longed for short people no more.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Everything that's wrong in the world. A special LOVE edition of LGBG.

I have spent the last 48 hours desperately looking for a letter sent home by a teacher several years ago regarding Valentine's Day so that I could tell the internet about it... I've instead found my birth certificate, my sister's 10th grade report card and an overdue bill from the milk man so I will have to recreate it here for you from memory.

Disclaimer: The teacher was a  lovely woman in every way and a perfectly wonderful, engaging, charming educator.

Disclaimer disclaimer: But obviously had issues.

Disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer: Also, she looks exactly like a waitress at the pub around the corner so every time I go get a beer I remember this story.

It went something like this.

Dear Parents,

As Valentine's Day approaches, I would like you all to talk to your children about being especially careful of other's feelings.  Many children dream about Valentine's Day being a day to express their affection for someone special. Sadly though, other children use it as an opportunity for cruelty! They might purposely avoid giving a Valentine to someone...or even...send a Valentine with a negative message.

(Right about here is when I said, "Huh? Really? Freaking dreaming about it?" "opportunity for cruelty? OPPORTUNITY? For CRUELTY?" Also... do they even make valentines with negative messages? What are they? Scooby Doo looking at Shaggy and saying "Dude, you reek like bong water and van mattress, take a shower, a-hole." I almost crumpled the letter up right there, but I forged ahead. Because I am a good parent.)  

I speak from experience. I remember a particularly horrible Valentine's Day in my own elementary school years when one student had a "crush" on another and when her feelings were not returned by the object of her affection she was teased mercilessly and cried on the playground for an entire recess.

(Hmmm. You seem to remember this in great detail. Almost as if it had happened to someone rather close to you. So, what happened? You brought in homemade cookies and a dozen roses to the math teacher and he told you he was 30? And married? To a dude? Or was it that your evil twin who is now a cocktail waitress around the corner wrote you a mean valentine and read it in front of the class? Something along the lines of "Mommy says I'm the pretty one and you're going to end up alone?")

For that reason, please have your child bring enough valentines for the entire class, and do not put a "to" name on them OR a "from" name. This way, everyone will get equal attention from all members of the class and no feelings will be hurt.


Your Child's Miserably Lonely to this Day Teacher

And that right there is why the Japanese are getting ahead.

I don't actually know what that means.

But I do know that in 1977 I would've been particularly thankful to have a teacher like this, because instead of an anonymous Holly Hobbie or Mickey Mouse card, I got a creepy big lumpy envelope from a chubby freckled kid. Inside was the kind of card you'd buy your grandmother, all covered in plastic with a photograph of flowers and some gooey poem about love. On the interior, he'd taped an Avon necklace. My stomach hurt for three weeks and I almost quit school. But I didn't make him cry on the playground.

Because I believe in love.

Also recess.

I don't actually know what that means either.


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