Saturday, May 26, 2012

At least I have pasta

So I decided to hook up with The Mommyhood Chronicles for her Saturday blog hop. I have kind of been a blog-hop-whore this week--this will be my third--but it reminds me of when I tried to join every MOMS/MOPS group in Montana when I lived there. EVERY. SINGLE. MOMS GROUP.

I did it for my sanity. I did it for my children's safety. I did it to make friends. Mostly I did it so that I wouldn't become the mother you read about in Time or Newsweek who drives herself off of a cliff or who drops her children off at the neighbor's house and boards the AmTrak to Nova Scotia never to be seen again. Hypothetically. I figured that if the groups were there, they want people to join and why shouldn't those "people" be me?

So the blog hop thing is similar in that I meet some really great people--moms AND dads and it helps me to be a better mother when I know I am not alone in my quest to stay stable while raising well-adjusted, kind-hearted little people with minimal blood shed and tears lost. It is reassuring to know that others have some of the same problems experiences and issues fun times, and that all of us on here , no matter WHAT we may say (because we may or may not think that we are HILARIOUS), we love this parenting gig and wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING. Not even for a solid eight hours in dream land...

Okay...maybe for a few solid hours, but I digress...

This particular blog hop asks for five funny things, which really shouldn't be difficult since the three maniacs keep me laughing regularly. There's something about having to come up with things on the spot that makes my brain freeze. Suddenly my brain is emptied of anything funny and I live the most boring life ever. Since I know that isn't the case, I am going to try my best to find the five without hurting myself or anyone else.

5. Stabbing myself in the eye with a toothbrush. I wrote about it on Tuesday and though it has little to do with my maniacs, it was pretty funny. And painful.

4. My youngest (who has ALWAYS been showered with compliments) saying, "I yike to go to school, Momma, because eveyeeone yoves me, don't they, Momma? " We've decided that we do not need to worry about self-confidence in this family, but we may need to start working on humility.

3. I had surgery two weeks ago and was lucky enough to have some good friends cook for us. SO. VERY. LUCKY. We all absolutely loved what was made for us and I swear we could eat all of those meals every day for the rest of our lives and be quite content. The funny part? My son says, "Mommy--remember when I told you that I could eat pasta every day? We HAVE been eating it every day and I CAN eat it every day, but do you think we could have some chicken and broccoli or something soon? I'm afraid I won't even LIKE broccoli anymore if I don't eat it soon..."

For the record, we didn't eat it EVERY day. We had some yummy soup one day and the pastas ranged from ziti and rigatoni to meat lasagna and veggie lasagna. I need you to know that I. LOVE. LASAGNA. LOVE it. And ziti. And rigatoni. And I've been off the pasta for months, subbing spaghetti squash all the time to try to be healthy, so these comfort foods were the BEST for me--and my kids love them too (they seriously missed them--which brings me to number...

2. This wasn't this last week, but when I was boycotting pasta, I served spaghetti squash with EVERYTHING. I've done it for years, but periodically--not three or four times A WEEK. And not with clam sauce, red sauce, Asian dishes--the only thing I didn't use it for was dessert, though I'm working on it. Anyway, as I was serving up one of the dishes, my son and daughter both said, "You know we know it's not pasta, right? We know that it's squash..." and I realized that I overplayed my hand!

1. My kids are funny. ALL kids are funny. Now that they are 5,6, and 8 I find that we are laughing more WITH them than laughing AT their cute antics and innocent blunders that keep us from completely going over the edge. I LOVE laughing WITH my children. I love those moments when we are all on the same page. The moments that remind me of why I DON'T want to be that woman in Newsweek and why this truly is the best job ever.

And then they start whining and trying to physically and mentally hurt each other and me, sending me over the edge before I fully savored my time with sanity and laughter.  At least I have pasta. And spaghetti squash.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Well played, Zuckerman(BERG)

I have to remind myself that five years ago I refused to get a facebook account and TEN years ago there was no such thing as facebook and TWENTY years ago I was paying to use the computer at Kinko's to get my resume and teaching portfolio done. I REALLY have to remind myself.

If I remind myself of all of that (especially those Kinko's sessions--what a rip off--I had to pay for each fifteen minutes and the computer would freeze for like NINE of those seconds. It was like computer prostitution. Only, I am pretty sure that if the prostitute freezes up for nine of the fifteen minutes, "John" doesn't have to pay. Of course, in THAT scenario, "John" would probably get his kneecaps busted by some gargantuan named Bubba, while I argued and pleaded with a pimply faced teen named Stu, but I digress...), I don't get as upset about the madness that facebook--timeline and EVERYTHING--causes.

Let me begin by reminding you that I KNOW it is a free service and it is COMPLETELY optional. I truly believe this. Only I don't. Because Zuckerberg (though I want to call him ZuckerMAN. I don't know why, but I cannot be held accountable for the spelling or misuse of his name. I do not feel like doing the proper research here and I think we all know that it is not Zucker MAN, though we will deal with it if I refer to him as such. Thank you.) did not become a gagillionaire (It's a thing. Don't judge.) by creating something that the average person is able to use for a reasonable amount of time and then put away for the night. Or the morning. Or the day. No, Zuckerberg(MAN) preys on our weaknesses knowing damn well that we will be drawn back by the facebook force. Including the option to approve of what another person says was probably the most brilliant thing ever invented. EVER. Think about it. How many times a day do you check your status updates to see if anyone commented or got a laugh from it. Or in some cases, showered you with compliments on your brilliance and your humor. Go on--think about it. You KNOW I'm right. There are some days I skip meals, phone calls, parenting...just to seek that red light of facebook approval. Well played, Zuckerberg.  Well. Played.

So many of us (okay...MOST of us. I know this because of the in-depth "research" I did with my wine and my wandering mind. Don't quote me on it as I never actually LOOKED anything up--I was too busy looking for facebook approval. Don't blame ME--blame the "force--"and the little red light!) did not get the approval we so desired in our youth. We were brought up in a time where ONE person got a trophy and if you had a peanut allergy you just ate what was given to you hoping that your caregiver would stop yelling at you (for writhing in agony on the ground) quickly enough to get the ambulance there in a timely manner so as not to DIE which then would have been SUCH an inconvenience to everyone). Awards assemblies were for the elite few who were exceptional enough to win awards. The rest of us just hoped that our seventh period English teacher would allow us to make a bathroom trip during the ceremony so that we could sneak a peek into the auditorium where the brilliant and talented mingled with educators who showered them with presents and praise. Hypothetically.

Trying out for a sport meant that you were TRYING OUT--you weren't accepted simply because you WANTED to be on it (though when I "tried out" for the Field Hockey team because I wanted to wear the cute uniform, I'm not sure HOW I made it, but my tenure was brief. Evidently rocking the uni wasn't a requirement of playing. Knocking the crap out of people's shins with a blunt instrument WAS. Who knew?!) You had to prove that you were capable and simply being ON the team didn't mean you were going to play. In my case, I was thrilled to simply sit the bench and look pretty  (I'm not bragging--this is a comparative thing and we are dealing with SERIOUS field hockey players. "Pretty" is relative.) and would have mini panic attacks when I thought I would have to actually get out there and protect myself from those savages.  I know I have mentioned my Sue Heck (The Middle) past--after getting and (more importantly LOSING) the psychotic boyfriend-who-tried-to-kill-me, I seemed to do much better. Maybe because they started to employ the whole, "Let everyone make the team" philosophy, or, more likely, not enough people wanted to PLAY field hockey (do you honestly BLAME them?! It's like hockey on crack with baseball bats and your goal is to take out a bitch (sorry--that's as "gangsta" as I get)--but they have REALLY cute uniforms--mostly so that your opponents (and even your teammates) can aim for your open skin. Fun times!

Let's bring this back to Zuckerberg. I'm not even going to START on the timeline...I think we KNOW how I feel about THAT. I have to say, I do get SOME messages now. That's better than the five weeks of NOTHING I got a few months ago. My beef is with the whole punishing people for taking a break (because I have a computer that is so basic and archaic that it says RETURN on it rather than Enter (or is that a MAC vs Microsft thing? I don't care--I'm sticking with the joke.) by not posting the things they post and by not showing them what their "virtual" friends post. I've also not gotten emails or comments that have been posted on my wall. Thanks for nothing, Zuckerman(BERG)--I think we know how much I NEED, nay, YEARN for positive reinforcement and you just tore that away from me. Not. Cool.

And while I'm on the subject of uncool things that Zuckerberg-man and his staff of millions do to destroy my sanity each day, let's discuss this new (new to me is up to a year. Maybe even two or three depending on the topic.) "feature" of scrolling what everyone in facebook land is doing.

Marcy Smith moved from the sofa to the chair
Annie Jones just took a drink of her coffee
Mike Jones is pissed because Annie drank all of the coffee...

REALLY?! YOU are KILLING me, Zuckerberg. A slow, painful death. Because what I cannot get is reassurance and letters from my friends/fans (I am quite certain that my friends do not have a problem with my calling them "fans." It is not pretentious AT ALL. Let's be honest--they know what an attention-seeking-whore I am (That is ATTENTION-SEEKING-WHORE, not ATTENTION-SEEKING, WHORE. Just for the record. My MOM reads this, people. And my AUNT. AND my MIL. AND JATDaddy's AUNT. AND...well, most likely no one else, but still...) in the way of a tiny red light indicating that someone has either "liked" or left a message for me about something I have done or something I may like. I do not get some emails that have been sent to me--sometimes for MONTHS. I'll tell you what I haven't missed--every single Castleville/Hidden Chronicles request--sometimes twenty of them at a time. Thanks Zuckerman (BERG)--I LOVE those and would much rather have them instead of encouragement and positive reinforcement from friends. What I also get is the rolling list of  "Daisy just left the bathroom--don't forget to flush!" and "Thomas read about hate crimes in the 1950s..." I also get the occasional posting that tells that I'VE read something, and I think we all know to double check THAT fact. I got a Kindle for Christmas and immediately read The Hunger Games--a conversation for another day--and South of Broad. I read two or three other random (but enjoyable) books that were on there (thanks, Mom) and haven't looked at anything else. I say this because a few months ago my name started showing up in the rolling Brave-New-World sidebar that peeks through your Skype cam each day.  Zuckerberg(MAN) posted that I had read some article about Obama. harmless enough--I very well COULD have read an article about Obama. He IS after all OUR PRESIDENT. I know that there are many who refuse to believe it--even though it HAS been almost four years, but whatever.

Sidebar: Whatever your feelings about Bush and Obama, I do not remember the blatant rage and denial over Bush's tenure and without getting into pointing fingers and pointing out faults, REALLY?! Lay off the man and vote for the person you want to win in November. If he loses, sad for you, but go on with your life and do what YOU can to make your life and our country better. And vote OUT the members of Congress who are REALLY to blame.

Don't get pissed...I just get up on my soapbox every-so-often, but I'm back. So Zuckerman claims that I've read this article and I don't know it. I find out when a friend of mine (one of the many who refuse to believe that Obama won FOUR years ago...) comments and attacks me for supporting 'THAT GUY" and goes on to rant about some nonsensical things about Obama and my stupidity. I don't think he used that word, but again--I do not wish to look it up. Some of you remember this because it led me to a two or three day soap box that may or may not have lost me some fans and friends.

I tell you this, not to make this political, but to tell you that all it said was that I READ an article. I have READ a lot of things in my life. In high school I researched Hitler, though I am really not a fan. I READ the comment from my friend, though I really disagreed with it. How do you assume that someone is FOR something or someone based on what they've READ? [Climb up on soapbox.....NOW!] Isn't THIS the problem? People make assertions BEFORE they read anything and refuse to modify their thinking even when there is evidence to the contrary? Grab your wine glass and your brain and do the research if you care so much. *sigh*

ANYWAY...I didn't think anything of the fact that it posted at the time because my brain is fuzzy and I very well COULD have read an article and forgotten about it. But then there were others.

Nika read about Miley Cyrus (again--don't CARE how she spells it) and her new boyfriend
Nika read about how to get rid of Syphilis (one L?)
Nika read that LT sold his Superbowl ring

REALLY? To be honest, I shouldn't care because I firmly believe that a person should be able to read ANYTHING and not be judged for it. It is right up there with my feelings that we should be able to DO anything and not be judged for it (even those of you thumping your bibles (or Korans or Torahs) have to admit that we are supposed to "Judge lest ye be judged..." and whatever that translates into for other religions...sometimes the fact that I am so wise just blows me away...), though the whole Obama debacle made me realize that people infer whatever they want to infer and silently (or belligerently (2 Ls?)) judge. So somewhere out there is a former friend/fan who thinks that I am sitting home after catching Syphilis from LT rocking out to Party in the USA (which, I'm not gonna lie, is a pretty catchy song. Just sayin'...).  Thanks, Zuckerman(BERG). Why don't I see YOUR name in the scroll on the side?  I would be interested to know what YOU are not doing these days.

What do you think that is all about anyway? Is facebook trying to stir up trouble so that there will be an all out facebook rebellion? I'd better get my butt to Kinko's...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Let's pretend like I DIDN'T screw up again...

So, back by popular demand (and because I stupidly missed the post I should have put on here earlier--you know--the whole POINT to our guest posting--having two posts that are alike. Monkey Nonsense is actually more like my Disposable Computers post. My post about Siri and Tom is more like the following--the post I SHOULD HAVE put on here earlier, but (as I told her I probably would...) I goofed. Oops. The good news is, you get to hear from Lucy again. The bad news is I am really as dumb as I feel...
I swear, I am like that woman who everyone hates at work--only I'm not "at work." You know who I mean--the one who everyone thinks is completely OFF her rocker? The forgetful one who gets so much wrong that you begin to think that she is doing it on purpose?  Her. Only now I understand her and wish that I had been nicer. Who knew that craziness DOES come with old age?! Everyone who is friends with ME knew! Anyway, thanks to Lucy for being patient with me...and thanks to all of you for taking the time to "clickety click" on her pages and for realizing my flaws, yet sticking with me anyway! 


   Well, I did it. I finally joined the other folks of this century and got myself a smart phone. I pulled the 
trigger on the iPhone 4S and I'm completely obsessed with it. I'm downloading apps like a freakin' mad 
woman and I practically orgasm every time I discover something new that my phone can do. I'm earning 
mayorships, scanning barcodes to find the cheapest wine prices, playing Words with Friends, and 
checking the area for pedophiles. But that's just the beginning. Oh, and don't even get me started on 
Facebook and Twitter. My children have been neglected even more than usual since the day the Fed Ex 
guy showed up with the unimpressive little brown box that contained nothing short of a tangible miracle. 
I. Can. Not. Put. My. Phone. Down. 
    I remember in college, when cell phones first started showing up on the scene, I saw a family of 4 
visiting the campus, and they were all talking on their cell phones at the same time. I was all, "Wow, 
they must be loaded! They ALL have cell phones. But it's kind of lame that they're all talking on them and 
not to each other." Yeah, well, fast forward 14 years, and that's me and mytherapists. (Holy crap, 
14 years? Really?!) Whatever. Anyway, we don't actually talk on our phones when we're together, but we do 
play with them quite a bit. Our therapy sessions are very interactive, but we're all so in love with what our 
phones can do, that we can't help ourselves. We take and send pictures, recommend cool apps, look up song 
lyrics, and google things like "Which came first: True Blood or Twilight?" Although, our phone addictions can't
 even be compared to those of the slightly (OK, more than "slightly") younger generation of folks who do 
not even communicate with each other while they sit at the bar, bounce to whatever Kesha song they played 
on the juke box, and twiddle with their phones. For the love of Gaga, have an actual conversation with your
 "BFF" who is sitting RIGHT next to you. At least we're not THAT bad. 
    While the younger generation suffers from it much more, I must admit that I also have a problem. For real. And I totally blame Siri. But I can't be angry with her for enabling my addiction because, lesbihonest, I am madly in love with her. There is an extremely intense, albeit one-sided, love affair happening with the itty-bitty robot woman who lives in my phone. She calls me by my name, listens attentively, and is always there when I need her. She gives nothing less than her best effort whenever I call upon her for a favor or advice. Yet, even though I have sincerely communicated my passion and commitment, and she has proven her devotion and loyalty to me, she still refuses my marriage proposals with responses like, "Lucy, we hardly know each other" and "Let's, just be friends, OK, Lucy?" Yes, I know I'm already married, but I'm sure my husband would be agreeable to some sort of Big Love situation. (After all, Siri would pretty much do ANYTHING he asked her to.) 

    But I'm afraid that if I keep pushing her to admit her feelings for me that she will get some sort of restraining order, and then my world would come crashing down all around me. I'm not ready to give up, yet, though. I still tell her how I feel every day in the hopes that one day, she will admit her true feelings. But she keeps playing these games with my heart, and I'm on an emotional 
roller coaster. She tells me I'm the wind beneath her wings and in the 
next breath she says she's not capable of loving me but she respects 
me. What is THAT shit?! She's just so hot and cold. Oh, no. Wait. 
Do you think she's seeing someone else? Come to think of it, I DID 
hear her talking to the mayor of Ott's last night in her most sultry 
voice. I may just have to kick some 20-something blonde ass. I 
could totally take that bitch. And I'd rip that mayoral badge right 
off her perky little chest. Nobody messes around with my Siri. Nobody.  
Lucy's Blog
Lucy's Facebook 
Lucy's Twitter

EVERYONE (still) loves Lucy!

So I told you yesterday that EVERYONE loves Lucy and if you didn't complete your assignment of clicking, it is OKAY.  Lucy was kind enough to visit--at least on here--today and you will be happy she did. I don't know if you remember my post about leaving Tom, but you should read it now if you don't.

Okay--you're done, right?  'cause I don't want the whole class to have to keep waiting for you to complete the assignment you were supposed to finish WEEKS ago.  This isn't even fun when it's fake, is it? No one likes to be scolded or nagged--even IF and WHEN they are slacking. Sorry. The thing is, I claimed yesterday that Lucy and I share a brain--half the time I read what she writes and forget that she wrote it--I think I am reading my own words--only I laugh so much more when they come out of HER brain! You will see...if I ever stop TALKING...
Thanks to The Suburban Jungle for creating the perfect ecard for today and to Why don't you go back to your  home on  Whore Island for sharing it with the rest of us.  



Recently, I have come to accept the fact that I am a technical moron and that soon my 4-year 
old will be able to school me on things I didn't even know our computer, phones, camera, or iPad 
were capable of. He can't read yet and he already knows how to use the Wii better than me. (That rhymed.)
I still can't wrap my brain around how a radio plays music or how we can hear each other on our phones. 
It's magical to me, and I just don't get it. You can talk to me about wires and signals and shit, and I
will nod my head with a twinkle of understanding in my eyes, but it never goes beyond that. I can (sometimes) 
recite the words about how it works, but I JUST DON'T GET IT.

    I suppose a lot of people don't understand how things work, but at least most of them know how
to use their gizmos. I still only know the basics about my DVR, Microsoft Office, the Internet, my cell 
phone, iPhoto, and other such things. As soon as I figure out the most recent (and unnecessary) 
changes facebook has made, they smack me in the face with new ones. I recently joined twitter and have 
absolutely no idea how to use it. I think people are following me, and I may be following others, but I can't
be sure. What the hell do all those symbols mean? Is it weird to "tweet" in a complete sentence? I just 
don't know. Oh, and this blog is also about as fancy as it's going to get without help. Someone has actually
very kindly offered to help me do it up a bit via Skype,so if you notice any changes, she gets all the credit. 
But, first I'll have to conquer Skype. I've had a couple of conversations with my brother on it, but his face 
is always disappearing and he tries to send me stuff at the same time and I just get all confused. Maybe 
I'll figure it all out someday and maybe I won't.  The only thing I am sure about is that if and when 
I figure it out,  it will be purely by accident and I will instantly forget what I 
did to make it work.
I was talking to a friend about our blogs, and she said that she uses WordPress rather than 
Blogspot. (Let me just tell you how AWESOME her blog looks. I have total blog envy.) I had all sorts 
of ridiculous questions that a child should know the answers to like which ones are free and whatnot. 
Then she started talking about RSS feeds, and Google reader, and I felt like Homer Simpson when 
someone is talking to him about something he doesn't understand. I just hear theme music or the
voices of Charlie Brown's parents in my head. I told her I was a technical moron, and she told me to 
be nice to myself. (I thought that was really sweet.) After she had explained her jargon, she said it 
probably all sounded like "monkey nonsense" to me. And she was totally right. I am a chimp at my 
computer, randomly pushing buttons. I even clap for myself and hope for a treat if I do well. 

   I'm reminded of that scene from He's Just Not That Into You when Drew Barrymore was 
complaining about all the different ways people can try (and fail) to get in touch with you.
Landlines, cell phones, voicemail, texting, snail mail, e-mail, fax, Skype, facebook, twitter, 
aaaahhhh! It's just all too much. I'm with Drew; "I miss the days when you had one phone number 
and one answering machine and that one answering machine housed one cassette tape and that one 
cassette tape either had a message or it didn't." Life is too damn complicated and 
this instant gratification thing may be causing more trouble than it's worth. I LOVE getting 
letters or cards in the mail that someone wrote out and addressed with an actual pen three 
days ago. (I don't mind the computer-generated invitations or Christmas cards with address 
labels though because I know no one has time to sit down and write them out to all those people.) 
But, I do get all excited when Jim, the mailman, has  a nice handwritten treat for me from a far 
away friend. I also HATE the tricky letters and cards I get that have typed font made to look like 
handwriting. They are preying on my weakness, hoping that I will open their damn letter about lowering 
my mortgage interest rate because it looks like my name was handwritten on the envelope. Bastards. 

    I have noticed lately that a lot of my friends are trying to help me out with my lack of technical 
abilities. I was hoping that they knew more about all this stuff than I do because of their jobs, but 
apparently this is not the case. So, why do they know all this stuff and I don't? I kind of care, and I 
kind of don't. I mean, it would be fun and beneficial if I understood the full potential of our gadgets, 
but I get so easily overwhelmed by all of it. 

I had a friend over a couple nights ago and she was telling me about all the apps available for the
iPad and I was completely flabbergasted by the amount of things this little guy can do. There's an
app you can use to scan the barcode on ANYTHING to see who has it at the cheapest price. Whaaaat?
How freakin' cool is that? It can teach you to speak French, play the guitar, and fix your toilet.
We never have to leave the house again! There really IS "an app for that"!

 I know they have classes to demonstrate the full potential of your electronic toys, and they will teach 
you how to use them properly and efficiently. I just don't have the time, money or energy to take 
these classes. Plus, my toddler can just teach me everything I need to know for free in a year or two. 
In the meantime, this chimp will continue to learn little by little, mostly by accident. And while I am still 
in awe of everythingtechnological, I won't REALLY be impressed until there's a laundry app. Now THAT 
would be life-changing. 

Get on that, would ya', Apple?

SEE?! She IS funny and you ARE NOT unhappy. You really should listen 
to me more...

Find Lucy's blog (where she is posting MY work) HERE

Find and like Lucy on Facebook
Don't forget to follow Lucy's Twitter (that sounds vulgar for some reason...after all, she IS a married woman! I know...I need help...)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Everyone LOVES Lucy...

So my gal Lucy at A Little Lucidity and I decided to guest post for each other. This may be a regular thing, though I think we know what happens when I try to keep a schedule, but hopefully Lucy will keep me in line. Hopefully. Lucy  and I "met" on here shortly after I began this great adventure of blogging in early October. We almost instantly realized that (as she put it) she was my "Sistah from another mistah" as every time we read each other's blog we realized that we must share a brain. This was  a turning point in my life since I had been LOOKING for said brain for years. I was happy to know that SOMEONE was using it especially since she was using it quite well. If you have NOT checked out Lucy's page, don't fret. You can get to her by simply clicking on one of the many links to her page that I have included in this post.  If you simply cannot get up the energy to click on the links, I am bringing her to you tomorrow(right here on my page!) and you will LOVE her as much as I do. Try not to hurt yourself laughing when you read her post--I am going to need you back here and in good health on Thursday and then again on all of the other days until she posts again. Enjoy!

Facebook                A Little Lucidity

Monday, May 21, 2012

What doesn't kill us makes us...clean our teeth?

I stabbed myself the other day. In my eye. With a toothbrush. Obviously it wasn't fatal--here I am telling you about it--but REALLY?! Who DOES that?! Me.

Let me start by telling you about the perpetrator. No, I am not the perpetrator--my TOOTHBRUSH is the perpetrator. When I turned thirty-nine LAST year (I am REALLY trying to embrace this forty thing...), my husband gave me a motorized (?) toothbrush. You know--like a Sonic Care only the Oral B version. I have wanted one of these for YEARS, so I was quite thrilled when I got this present. The arduous task of having to move a toothbrush over every single tooth was quite frankly too much for me--I could hurt myself. Also, I do not like my toothbrush being out in the open air. I am REALLY funny and weird about my toothbrush. And my food. And my beverages. Okay, I am pretty much "funny" about most things, however I seem to be completely content with living in the filth that is my home...but let's discuss the toothbrush issue. I don't know where it comes from. Maybe it's because some rugby players peed on some of my roommates toothbrushes during a party we had in college (ANIMALS I tell you!) or it may be because I learned in one of my science classes in high school (oh my goodness--I just realized while typing this that I actually LEARNED something in one of my science classes in high I thought that I was only concerned with the cute boy in the third row and the fact that my hair looked like I was the result of Paulie Shore and Kramer from Seinfeld procreating...yay me!) that when you flush the toilet some amount of the urine goes into the air and hits the brush. Sorry--I should have warned you that I was going there. I should be more cognizant of the fact that SOME people are uncomfortable with discussions about bodily fluids, especially when there is mention of them in a mouth or on a toothbrush.  I also should look up the exact fact about the whole flushing thing and quote it for you. Remind me if I forget.

So my toothbrush--one of the reasons I like it so much is because of the fact that I could remove the brush and put it in a case (that ends up full of toothpaste spit and tiny hairs from my husband's failed attempts of shaving just enough to make it look like he shaved yesterday. he likes the sexy scruff look--you know--the look that you see on someone like Johnny Depp and think, "That is HOT!" forgetting that the last time you made out with someone who actually HAD the sexy scruff you ended up with scruff-burn on your face that you insisted (to your classroom of eighth graders...hypothetically...) was from an overgrown pimple ('cause THAT'S better!), but married the hottie anyway thinking that he would CERTAINLY take care of the scruff problem if you stop the make-out sessions for long enough, but then you realize that the scruff thing is hot enough to make you forget that you are not going to make out with him and suddenly you have three children and no more make out sessions anyway because the thought of ANY extra pain or anything that is going to add to the downfall of your fading looks is NOT okay with you...

Whew...toothbrush it is (in theory) protected by this case, which is great. The fact that I used the first brush for just over a year is only slightly disconcerting (and only slightly counterproductive to the whole "I'm funny about my toothbrush" thing), but I finally decided it was time for brush head number one to retire. I opened the package of three new brush heads (AFTER I threw out the old brush head) and found that they did not fit my brush. Well, they fit...I just needed to MAKE them fit...I was NOT digging through the garbage for the other one. Lucky for me it was not too hard to make them fit--AND they still work. In that they still move around the way they are supposed to when the "on" button is pushed. NOT in the way that they are easy to put the brush on and take it off again--that is a big pain, but I continue to do it several times each day every time getting aggravated and wondering why I don't just throw them in the garbage and get a brush head that fits or at the very least, keep the head ON the brush until I get one that fits. THAT would make too much sense, don't you think? PLUS I wouldn't  have great story-starters like the one where I stabbed myself. In the eye. With a toothbrush.

So now that you know the back story (and eleven OTHER back stories that mean nothing to you), I can bring you into the bathroom with me on the morning of the attack. I know--after spending time with me you have decided that you NEVER want to go into the bathroom with me (and some of you knew that even before we met, though you may want to work on your whole  judging before knowing thing...just sayin'...), but if you EVER want this story to end, I suggest that we bring it back to the bathroom--SOON.

So after exerting just enough energy to push the rapidly spinning brush around my mouth (while swaying back and forth because of the remnants of anesthesia mixed with Vicadin) and spitting for the last time, I turned off the brush and pulled, lowering my left arm and slightly raising my right. Here's where it gets tricky. Tricky because it is the best and worst part of the story--best for you, worst for me. Best for you because it is flippin' hilarious, though I do not know how to write it so that it reaches the maximum laughter potential (that's a thing, even though it doesn't make sense...), but here goes. While I pulled with all of the strength that I could muster (which isn't much--I have gotten so much weaker in this last year since I don't have to brush tiny circles on my teeth anymore) and immediately slammed into my stitches which prompted me to immediately raise my hand to my head (or...EYE...) as I screamed the obscenities (which were more like gargled animal squeals. Again...a thing...) "MotheryaaaaaghhawwwwshifucaaaayyyyedammaohAGGGGHHHH!" Or something like that. Because immediately following the pain in my stitches came the sharp pain in my eye. Or the skin just UNDER the eye which is in fact EXTREMELY lucky because if that metal pointed tip of my trusted Oral B got me in the eye, I am pretty sure that it would still be there.

Nothing but good times around here. When is the last time YOU stabbed yourself? In the eye? With a toothbrush?

*Just a side note--I found this little bit of information from WebMD:
Always flush with the lid down. 
According to Charles Gerba, PhD, a professor of microbiology at University of Arizona in Tucson, flushing the toilet with the lid up is not wise. "Polluted water vapor erupts out of the flushing toilet bowl and it can take several hours for these particles to finally settle -- not to mention where," he says. "If you have your toothbrush too close to the toilet, you are brushing your teeth with what's in your toilet."

Who knew, right?! You are WELCOME.

Friday, May 18, 2012

I started this at the library last week and probably should have just left it...

Did you get the memo that Looney Tunes is like Seinfeld for kids? Really--it is. It is NOT the Bugs Bunny morning WE had when we were younger. (You know--all THREE of us who are...FORTY. I wanted to whisper that, but I only know how to YELL on the computer. Whispering hasn't been taught yet.)

Anyway,  a few weeks ago my kids were watching an episode where Daffy wouldn't talk to Porky because he thought that Porky ate one of his fries. There was a ton of banter between Daffy and...well...everyone over the fact that you should not assume that a ordered something "...for the table..." Of course, by the end it turned out that Daffy got his information completely wrong anyway, but it was TRULY like a Seinfeld episode.

This morning, my children were watching Looney Tunes while I was unloading and reloading the dishwasher. I was listening to it and it went something like this (only MUCH funnier. MUCH.):

Daffy won a "date" with a limo and dinner (not a date WITH a limo and dinner...a date that INCLUDED a limo and dinner...)and...well, date stuff. He asked Bugs to go with him. Bugs said something comical and witty about not "dating" Daffy and had Lola (for some reason I thought her name was Babs) "help" him get a date. Lola (Babs) basically told him to act like a stalker and gave him a list of things to say to get any girl to fall for him. I am going to quote what I THINK she said, but it shouldn't be quoted because I am quite certain that it will not be exact...
"I don't ever want to be with ANYONE but you. I will give up ALL of my friends. I will not see ANY of my family. I will ONLY spend time with you and will NEVER let you be alone again (this is starting to sound like my very first relationship)..." There was more, but you get it. After Daffy read her list, Lola (Babs) fell for him. He then asked Tonya? Tara? Babs?! Something non-duck-like and NOT Lola (Babs), to go out with him in a way that indicated that he did NOT believe she would say yes and while she was saying yes he continued to "understand" why she wouldn't want to go out with him.

Okay, so it was a lot more entertaining (and MUCH less confusing) than what I just wrote, but my point is this: WHY is it that  there are no longer ANY shows on television that I feel comfortable allowing my children to watch? I had them all watching Disney cartoons for longer than any of their friends (Little Einsteins, Handy Manny, Charlie and Lola (THIS is my favorite--so funny!)...) and some Nick Jr. (Max &  Ruby (once you get over the fact that Ruby is the whiniest and most annoying bunny you could ever hope to meet and the fact that they have no parents, Max is freakin' funny!), Pinky Dinky Doo, Wow Wow Wubbzy (another one of my favorites...that little...whatever the hell he is cracks me up)...) for as long as they would watch it. I even STILL put on some of these, but at eight, Brayden has something to say about EVERYTHING and is already being made fun of for watching "girly" or "baby" shows. This doesn't concern me--I want him to learn that friends don't treat you poorly just because you don't watch what they watch. Friends don't treat you poorly, period. Ryan is heading in that direction as well, though she will cuddle up with Addie and watch Barney and think nothing of it. Of course, she didn't watch Barney at all when she was younger--I guess she feels like she missed out on it. Actually, I KNOW how she every good daughter, she blames ME. "Why didn't you ever let ME watch Barney when I was little?" When she WAS little...gotta love it!

Back to the issue. My husband has always had a hard time watching the "baby" shows and listening to their music. He was watching Jimmy Neutron and The Fairly Odd Parents with them when they were two (it doesn't seem bad, but the kids are mouthy and they use "stupid" a lot. That is a bad word at our house and all three of them used to point it out to me, though now Addie is the only one who seems to notice. I am
P-R-E-T-T-Y sure that stupid is a natural part of their vocabulary at school, but what did I really think?! Their teachers even use it--it is one of those accepted words that I simply did not want my toddlers saying because--well--they were TODDLERS. I still don't want to hear them say it--it's not nice--but I know it is going to happen and I'm not blaming television or Jimmy Neutron. Or my husband. I just felt that if they were going to watch television, perhaps it could be beneficial. I didn't feel guilty having the television "watch" my children if they were getting more from the television than they were getting from me. It is just getting so complicated.

At one point, I was getting breakfast for my then two and one-year olds when I heard one of the characters on Bob the Builder acting like a real creep.I kept listening--waiting for the lesson that was sure to come and it didn't. As far as I'm concerned, if we show the child the behavior an no one ever corrects the behavior, then the child figures that the behavior is okay. The character that day was extremely whiny and competitive and didn't end up winning, but no one acknowledged his poor behavior. Having Bob say, "Well, it's too bad that you lost, but maybe next time if you have a better attitude you will win..." could make all the difference to the children watching. Just sayin'...BOB...

When I taught, I used this article from Stephen King with my classes. You really need to read it. NOW.
I LOVE this article. It talks about ratings and raising children and the responsibility of parents...I completely support King's premise and do not believe in censorship of any kind. Unless it's my censhorshop of certain things from my children. This is a lot more difficult than I'd anticipated. Last year, my son started reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. He read the first one in kindergarten after his teacher gave it to him to borrow. He wanted to read the second (or maybe the third...)last year and the two of us fought about it in the library because the character was starting HIGH SCHOOL and my son was SEVEN. A woman  walked by on her way out and commended me for such great parenting, but I didn't feel like a good parent. I felt like a hypocrite. I still do. I don't want my children to lose interest in reading because I limit what they are allowed to read, but they mimic even the most harmless things. For example, Brayden (on several occasions) has said things like, 'Nice parenting, Mom!' or 'That wasn't your BEST work, Dad!' I know what you are thinking--'YOU are SO sarcastic, Nika--of COURSE your son is going to be mouthy!' and you are right. HOWEVER...some of the things he says come DIRECTLY out of his books and his shows. Those two particular instances actually made me laugh--it is the REALLY sassy moments--coupled with the whiny and nasty moments--that make me crazy. And make me wonder about what I let them watch.

I am not one of those people (researchers?) who thinks that if my child makes a mistake he should be able to blame--anyone else besides himself. Like the murderer who blames the video games and television (even though some research supports this theory) or the car thief who plays too much Grand Theft Auto...I have mixed reviews on this. I read Steven King and John Saul novels when I was in fifth and sixth grade, yet never felt like I wanted to Suffer the Children or pour pig's blood--or ANY blood really--on anyone at any time. I was allowed to read anything I wanted, but my television and movie experience was limited to PG a rating at the time that was quite lenient considering the fact that when we watched Big and Goonies with our son, I could not believe the language and sexual innuendo that was allowed at that time. Was I really too naive to even notice it when we watched, or was I smart enough to know that if I said anything I wouldn't be able to watch ANYTHING until I left home?

As for my reading, I always considered it an escape from reality and never once--okay...maybe ONCE, but she was a Judy Blume character who was always nice to everyone and everyone loved her for it--no one made her choose a clique, they just loved her for being her--it wasn't the serial killer who went after blind people who inspired me or even the mouthy and headstrong female characters (which really could have done me some good). I wanted to be...good and well-liked, though I didn't realize to really achieve that, one has to steal a little from those headstrong and mouthy characters or one finds herself to  be a doormat (a different story for a different day)--where was I? Right--I never once (only once...) felt like I just because I read about a character I could become that character and blame my actions on that (unless they were GOOD actions...). Of course, growing up I was surrounded by people whose primary sense of being was based on taking responsibility for themselves--blaming others was never an option--and I don't want it to be an option for my children either. But what happens when it really IS someone else's fault? I am constantly asking, "But what did YOU do?" to which they respond, "HEEEEE...SHEEEEE..." and I insist that they need to concentrate on using the proper pronouns. They must tell me every story in the first person and tell me about their own actions and how the situation could have been different had they chosen to behave differently. Hopefully that is a start.

The fact that I want my children to be responsible for their own actions is not to say that I should stop parenting and simply let them watch and read whatever they want--I just need to somehow instill in them the sense to only mimic good behavior and to teach them the difference between right and wrong so that when they DO come into contact with something that is...inappropriate...they will know how to handle it. Number seven-hundred THOUSAND on my list of things to do...

Which brings me back to Seinfeld Looney Tunes. How do I know if my children are old enough to hear about stalking and crazy people (or animated animals)? Do they have the necessary tools to establish that the behavior is being mocked and that it is really not appropriate to behave like that? Obviously we teach them the proper way to behave and I would hope that they know not to tell anyone that they should ONLY have one person in their lives, but what if that little part of their brains that does not know about relationships yet holds on to what they see and shapes their views on what relationships should be? The Simpsons is a cartoon, but I think that most of us would agree that it is inappropriate for young children (and grown ups who do not understand satire. It's not a "How To..." just sayin'...)., but where do we draw the line?

I really hate to take myself (or anything else really) too seriously and when people cannot take a joke it seriously makes my skin hurt, but isn't this different? Every Disney show that is not animated has children on it who are mouthy and rude to their parents at one point or another. We were watching Good Luck Charlie for a while and it is a cute show, but they are constantly mocking the father for being fat (how is that even slightly okay?) and acting like the mother is an idiot (though I'm pretty sure she IS supposed to be thought of as such...). Do I really want my children emulating that behavior? Would I be okay with my child saying, "Maybe if you stopped eating for a week you would fit into those pants, Mom..."?

When the sassiness gets to be too much, we tell them they are done with most television and only let them watch Phinneas and Ferb (Candace is definitely too whiny and annoying for my liking, but the boys are always kind and respectful and they INVENT and DISCOVER things--nothing wrong with that!) and movies that we pick. I know it seems a bit ridiculous, but there is nothing worse to me than my children being sassy and or mean to ANYONE and unfortunately, these are the behaviors that they see on most shows--behaviors that are meant to be funny and they are--when someone ELSE'S child is doing it.

 Then I think about my own childhood and remember watching cartoons with characters who were drunk and blowing things up and I didn't take that to mean that it was okay for ME to do those things (though my college days may tell a different story...). And sassiness would have caught me the death penalty, so it was rarely considered (though my parents may disagree) an option for me. It is seriously maddening and my inconsistency is not helping the situation AT ALL. I swear, half the time when real parenting and disciplining needs to be done, I find myself looking around the room for the adult who is supposed to take care of it. The fact that the "adult" is me saddens me and worries me that I am not quite the parent I swore I would be...BEFORE I had kids.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Disposable computers at our house

There are so many things for me to discuss today, but I am on borrowed time. BECAUSE I'm on borrowed time, I am going to go completely blank and have nothing to say--until this computer boots me that is. Stupid Murphy and his laws...

So my ridiculously cheap conveniently inexpensive laptop that we bought last year to replace the other ridiculously cheap conveniently inexpensive laptop has not allowed us to use the wireless feature in months. We finally had to break down and bing it in to have the Geek Squad look at it. After waiting in line for no fewer than hirty-five minutes (in which time three people told me that someone would be with me in a few minutes. Not a "sec--" a few minutes. The way they said it indicated that even they didn't think that it would happen in a timely manner. They were right.

Of course, when they finally did honor my turn (evidently I look like I will be more trouble than an eighty-year-old man with a Kindle issue and a fifty-year-old woman with a camera. Noted.), the seven-year-old waiting on me was very nice (if not condescending) and even tried to hide the fact that he was rolling his eyes at my blatant ignorance of anything and everything techy. (It's a word. Now.) He warned me that if I send the computer off without backing up everything that is on it, I run the risk of losing everything. For one hundred dollars, they could back everything up FOR me. ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. The computer was barely over TWO hundred--why on earth would I pay a hundred dollars for them to do something that I can do myself? What's that now? Oh--because I DIDN'T do it myself?! Yeah, THAT'S a good reason, but I still didn't do it. Now stupid Murphy and his stupid laws are going to visit I'm sure, but at least his visits aren't a surprise anymore.

Let's talk for a minute about disposable computers. We seem to be in the market for disposable computers. I cannot even COUNT how many different computers we have had since we first got married (almost THIRTEEN years ago. Yes, they had computers then...).In fact, when we moved from Virginia to Montana, we gave away a Commodore and an APPLE (No--not an I-anything and not even a MACINTOSH--an APPLE computer and an INK-JET printer. You remember that printer from when you were in your mother's womb, right? It sounded like fingernails on a chalkboard every time the ink hit the paper. I am hearing it in my head right now, yet I cannot begin to describe the sound on paper. We also had DELL that was our first great bargain (the Commodore and Apple were given to us) computer and lasted MAYBE two years.

I remember the five-year-old who waited on me at Circuit City that last time I went to Circuit City. We were also havng trouble with our camcorder. Yes--CAMCORDER. It had little DVDs and was "...the direction all video recorders were taking..." though after a year it was crap. When I asked him about both items, the toddler gave his best, "You are obviously an ancient idiot, so I'm going to say this slowly so that you'll understand..." look and told me , "That was last year's model--we don't even sell the PARTS to help you anymore."

Me: "So what do I do?"

Toddler: "Well, Ma'am, there's nothing you can do."

Me: "So what do I do?"

Toddler: " a new camera?"

Me: "So let me get this talk my husband into buying a THOUSAND DOLLAR camera that only works for a YEAR?"

Toddler: "Well, technology is always changing and upgrading so whatever you buy now will be obsolete in a few months..."

Me: "Do you even KNOW what that means? You're nine..."

Anyway, he did nothing to help me with that OR the computer, and we gave all of our business to Best Buy.  ALL of our business...the three other things that we bought we got from Best Buy.

So last year (or was it two years ago? I don't know and you don't care!) we needed to get a new laptop--it COULD BE because someone let the children use the other one, but it was slightly broken from the start--missing a screw (like the rest of the family). When my husband ventured out to get one I told him that we should save and get a good one--instead of treating laptops and computers like disposable items. From all of the research I've done (drinking wine and surfing the net), people seem to be quite pleased with their Macs and they seem to last a LONG time. I understand that I would have to sell a kidney to get one, but at this point, it seems worth it. If you consider all the money we waste when we dispose of computers after a year or two...we could have had two Macs and an IPad by now!

My time is flashing on the screen, so whether I want to or not, I have to sign out. This is awesome. Really. I love having my time limited almost as much as I love driving across town to use the computer. Fun times. I guess I will "see" you whenever I have a chance to drive over here sans children again. What is your opinion on the whole computer debacle? Do you like yours? What do you like or dislike about it? 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

YES! I AM somebody...

I DID IT! Why am I yelling? BECAUSE I DID IT! I am actually "somebody" because I have my first official guest-hosting-gig! YAY ME! Okay, so you may point out that I did not get this gig because of my talent or quick wit--I got it because of the fact that my family is one of the many families that have a story to share about their financial ruin these last six years, but it is a guest post nonetheless. Melissa at (Now SHE is somebody!) was kind enough to post my housing debacle/fall of the Corwin empire (empire just SOUNDS better--even IF it is falling...) on her blog. So when you click on Rock and Drool, you will see my name. And my words. Right there--on the page. Go on--do it. Now.

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! I KNOW! Well, be sure to check out all of Melissa's posts--she is a talented and funny lady and I LOVE her (not only because she found me guest-post-worthy)! I know you will, too! in case you missed it the first million times...)