Monday, May 31, 2010

Grandpa Maurice

 Happy Memorial Day everyone!  Memorial Day is a day that you are supposed to remember the troops (right? or is it just anyone?)  Well, I'm going to remember my Grandpa Maurice today on my blog.  He was a veteran so technically I'm doing this Memorial Day thing right, but I don't remember him because he was in WWII, I remember him because he was my grandpa.

He was a good grandpa.  He loved to tease us mercilessly.  He told us when we came to visit that we were going to have to sleep outside under the bushes.  So then we'd pinch his huge grandpa-forearms with our little fingers and he'd pretend that it really hurt and then we'd laugh and laugh. (maybe it did hurt and we were just really mean)  For some reason when I was very young I called him Badja instead of Grandpa.  I don't know why. 

He was a funny guy.  He had a very dry sense of humor and he was very low-key.  Whenever anyone was watching TV or a movie and said, "Who is that actor?  I forgot his name," Grandpa would say, "That's Chester Brown."  (there is no Chester Brown)

My aunt asked him to record his stories for her onto a tape recorder and he did.  Funny stories.  I'll just share one.  My grandparents lived in Cannon Falls, Minnesota.  In 1954 Haile Selassie, the emperor of Ethiopia was in Minnesota to visit the Mayo clinic.  It was announced in the Cannon Falls Beacon that on a certain day, Selassie would be going through town, so if you wanted to see Haile Selassie, a world leader, be out on the street and you could wave to him when he went by.  1954 was also the year that Cannon Falls was going to celebrate their centennial so a lot of them men in town were growing beards for a beard contest (because nothing says Happy Hundredth Birthday like a bunch of beards!)  On the day of the visit one of Grandpa's friends, Marv, put on a bathrobe and a shriner's fez and rode through town in the back of a convertible.  Everyone was out on the streets and they saw Marv in the convertible with his fez and his robe and his beard and everyone just assumed that was Haile Selassie so they waved and then went back to what they were doing.  Later the real Haile Selassie came through town and nobody was there to wave.  Who knew that a beard could convincingly turn a Swede into an Ethiopian emperor?  Never underestimate the power of the beard.

 The real Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia.  Not Grandpa's friend Marv.

I'll end with this: my aunt asked him about speaking Swedish.  His parents were from Sweden and when he was growing up, my grandpa spoke Swedish and English.  He remembered and old Swedish song and the translation is this:

My father has two pigs.
Two pigs my father has.
And if he doesn't have two pigs,
Then he's not my father.

A sausage has two ends.
Two ends a sausage has.
If it doesn't have two ends,
Then it's not a sausage. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kira calls my bluff

Sam:  Hey look!  I finally got that bug out that was stuck in the computer.  (actual insect)

Me:  Really?  Let me see!  Yuck!

Kira:  Let me see!  Let me see!

Me:  Hey Kira, I'll give you a dollar if you eat it.

Kira:  OKAY!  Sam give it to me!

Me:  NO!  I was just kidding!  I'm not giving you a dollar for eating a bug.  Gross!

Kira:  I'll eat it for fifty cents!

Me:  NO!

Kira:  How about a quarter?  Sam bring it to me!


Kira:  How about this:  If you give me a dollar, I WON'T eat it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thanks for the idea, Kady

Kady wrote a post today about all the books she's been reading on her trip and I thought that a book review was a fine idea!

I finally finished reading Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris.  It's the first book in a series of at least ten books that I won't be reading unless someone puts me in a jail cell with nothing but those books.  The reason that I even finished it was because the TV series True Blood was in my Netflix queue (isn't that a stupid way to spell a word?  Queue?  Looks like it should sound like Kwayay)  Anyway... what was I saying?  Oh yeah, True Blood in my Netflix.  I'm into the TV show now because it's pretty good (and because I'll watch anything and like it).  A bit porny, but good!  The characters are written much better in the show than in the book.  They are funnier and more believable (shut up) in the TV show.  The characters in the book are pretty flat.  Anna Paquin as Sookie in the show is fantastic!  (I almost wrote Anna Quindlen and then I laughed at myself.)

 Anna Quindlen, not Sookie Stackhouse

Sookie and Vampire Bill.      
Sure, it's about vampires and stuff, but there's a lot more to the show than there is to the book.  I can't say I didn't enjoy the book because after I stopped expecting anything good at all to come of it, I was pleasantly surprised sometimes.  Not often.  Most of the time I would read something a character said and think, Huh? that makes no sense... and then forget it and go on.  I do not recommend the book, but if you don't mind lots of swearing and soft-core porn, then True Blood is for you!  (The character of Lafayette is the best.)

Now I'm reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson.  It's the third book in the Millenium trilogy and these are the BEST BOOKS!  Larsson was (he's dead now) Swedish so all the books take place in Sweden and were originally written in Swedish.  The translations are wonderful and the books are super.  The "girl" is Lisbeth Salander.  She's an odd person.  She works for a security firm as a researcher.  Her coworkers think she is retarded, but she's not.  She's super smart and resourceful.  She was declared legally incompetent because of something that happened in her past (which you'll find out about, eventually!) so she has a guardian.  He's a good guy but he has a stroke so she gets assigned a new guardian.  He's not a nice guy.  He's a super duper bad guy and he's mixed up in all kinds of trouble.  This is just one plot out of many and I'm not telling you anything else, except that they are fascinating books, and I heard on NPR the other day that they are supposedly "hard to read," but not for me, so I think I must be reading at about a 45 year-old level.  YAHOO!

One more plug:  The TV show Glee.  I have liked it from day one, but last night's episode was so good that I have gone from being a simple fan to a super GLEEK!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Poles! Poles! POLES!

Last summer my clothesline broke.  It was a Canadian clothesline (does anyone know what that means that isn't from International Falls?) and the sun rotted the line so it broke.  I lamented the loss of my clothesline so my sweet, industrious husband made me a new one that I really love.  Here it is:

It has four lines, it's easy to reach and it holds WAY more than the old Canadian clothesline.  I love it.  And, like everything Mitch makes, it's STURDY.  Sure, it's a yellow pole, but that's okay.  I can live with that because it is such a nice clothesline.  He even put caps on the ends of the tubes to keep spiders out. 

After this Mitch began to think of himself as something of a polesmith. (I just made that word up, nice!) He likes the Topsy Turvy upside down tomato plant bags, so he made this pole to hold them:

Yes, it's yellow again.  What?  Why?  I don't know.  The top of the pole spins and at the end of each arm is a circle that holds a potted plant.  He welded it all himself.  It's strange, but it's pretty handy.

Mitch liked his "hanging gardens" so much last year that he had me buy him four more Topsy Turvy bags because he said, "I have a plan..."  I was thinking maybe it would be a nice gazebo with the plants hanging off the eaves, or he has been talking about making an arbor, so I thought maybe he would work the planters in there or something.  Nope.

It's another pole.  This pole not only has upside-down tomato planters on it, it also has two strawberry bags, and two hot pepper bags.  Yes, that's right, it has eight arms.  And a flag on the top.  And it's yellow.  The cinder block is out there because he has to stand on it to reach his bags.  He put them up so high because he's pretty confident that his plants will be super productive and they will grow really long and he wanted to give them lots of room.

In the category of eight-armed yellow yard poles, it's top notch, but let's be honest, that's a weird category to begin with.  The man has become obsessed with yard poles.  The other day when we were sitting on the deck looking out over the yard and all the poles, he said, "Do you think if we ever have to sell the house, these garden poles will be a good selling point?"  I don't know about that. 

I was walking around the yard today and came across this leaning against the garage:

More poles!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Questions I still have about LOST:

1.  Who the hell is Jason? Who was the first Jason?  How did Lock turn into Jason if he was Lock?  Why did Jack become Jason?  Why did Hurley become Jason?  What happened to Hurley and Ben?  (Whoa whoa, that's 6 questions in one.  Not exactly following the rules.  But all Jason-related, so I'll let it go.)

2.  Why was Desmond pressing the button? 

5.  What about the polar bears?....WHAT ABOUT THE POLAR BEARS?

6.  Why is the time/space continuum controlled by a donkey wheel in a basement freezer?

7.  If they are all dead anyway, what was that stupid thing Desmond uncorked and Jack recorked, and why bother?

8.  Was Lock right the whole time?  Or was Jack right the whole time?

9.  Where the hell was that dog for three years?

10.  What about Michael and Walt?

11.  Why does the after-life suck so bad?

12.  Why didn't the smoke monster just float off the island if he wanted off so bad?  He's SMOKE.

13.  Mr. Echo was my favorite.  What happened to him?  Why wasn't he in the shitty afterlife?

14.  Why were those cages that Kate and Sawyer got locked in on the island anyway?

15.  If I kept watching Lost instead of giving it up for Glee in the middle of the last season, would it make any more sense?

15.  If I knew how lame it ended, (THEY'RE ALL DEAD) would I have started watching in the first place?  I think I learned as a college freshman that it is a cop out to kill off all your characters, or to say, "And it was all a dream...!"  Lame - o.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Summer vacation hasn't even started yet and the kids are already starting to act all bored.  Today I told the kids that they are in charge of the daily cleaning-up-of-the-house chores.  This usually takes me an hour or so and consists of cleaning up my room, making my bed, starting the laundry, picking up and wiping up the bathroom, emptying the dishwasher and cleaning up the kitchen, and then picking up the rest of the house. 

I told Sam he was in charge of the kitchen and living room, and Kira was in charge of the back of the house.  All she had to do was wipe up the bathroom and clean up her room and bring dirty clothes downstairs.  She HATES any kind of chore so she was immediately resentful of having to do anything, but she did it anyway, all red-faced and in a huff.  She wiped up the bathroom and as soon as she was finished Sam went in there.  She saw that and busted in on him.  Here's their conversation:

Kira - WHAT do you think you're doing?
Sam: - Um... using the bathroom?  What does it look like?  Get out of here!
Kira - Seriously?  I just cleaned it!  SERIOUSLY?  Now you're going to mess it up!
Sam - Kira, no I'm not!  I have to go to the bathroom, get out of here!
Kira - (slamming the door to the bathroom) SERIOUSLY?  It better not be a mess when you're done!
Me - Congratulations, Kira, now you're also in charge of the basement.
Kira - SERIOUSLY!!!!!????

I can't tell you the joy I felt at that moment.  This person who is a living tornado of messiness, who leaves a trail of junk and mess and garbage everywhere she goes, was mad that someone would use the bathroom after she wiped up the vanity.  MOOHOOHOOHOOHAHAHAHA!  HOW DOES IT FEEL, BABY! 

In my defense, I never tell anyone they can't use the bathroom after I clean it (except Mitch, but that's just for spite). 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's going to be a sting-y summer

 Kira got in a fight with a bee again today.  She was outside with a handful of rocks, running and looking behind her, and she'd stop every few steps and do some evasive moves and then throw a rock.  I asked her what the heck she was doing and she said, "I'm throwing rocks at a bee."  She said the bee was chasing her.

A few days ago I saw her twirling on the front lawn while holding a bucket.  I asked her what she was doing and she said, "I can't talk right now.  I have a bee in this bucket and if I stop he'll get out and sting me!"  She kept spinning.

Yesterday I saw her with a butterfly net catching bees that were innocently collecting nectar off of clovers.  When asked why she would do such stupid thing, she said, "Because they make me mad."

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kira in the Car Part IX

"Mom, how many bars of soap do you think it would take to wash a python?"

Colorblindness and teeny birds

I think I might be colorblind.  Last time I dyed my hair I meant to dye it sort of a medium brownish and it was BLACK.  Today I got deck paint with the intention of painting my entire deck (this could take years) so the house doesn't look quite so, oh I don't know, abandoned.  I wanted something that looked cedar colored.   I painted the first portion and it is ORANGE! In my defense the hair dye was labeled "medium brown" and the deck paint was called "cedar," so even if I am colorblind, the labels are all wrong because I am not the only one who saw black hair and an orange deck.  The orange deck looks miles better than the unpainted portion of the deck even though it's orange, so that tells you how bad the deck was/is.  I'm too lazy to go up and take a picture so you'll just have to imagine it.

Don't freak out when you hear that buzzing, I'm not a bug! 
I'm a teeny adorable BIRD!

I have all the bird feeders going now too and the hummingbirds are back!  Yay!  They're my favorite.  They flew all the way from Panama in the last few weeks.  PANAMA!   Don't you feel lazy now?  I do!  I've never flown to Panama with my own teeny tiny wings, YET.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Teenage Style

English is not Sam's best subject.  He was on the edge of being in trouble for his grade the last grading period, but he managed to pull himself out of the depths the last few weeks.  This grading period I'm keeping on top of him and insisting on seeing everything before it's turned in.  Last week he had a paper due.  The assignment sheet literally spelled out what the teacher wanted to see with every sentence.  I'm not even kidding.  It was supposed to be a one page paper with four paragraphs and the instructions were one page long (typed) with four paragraphs.  What would be so hard about acing that paper?  All you have to do is go step by step and follow her directions.

Sam showed me his paper.  More accurately, Sam showed me his half-a-paper.  He read about the first two instructions for every paragraph and did a half ass job of following those instructions, and then called it good.  There were misspellings, grammar and punctuation mistakes, incomplete sentences etc. etc.  I told him he'd have to re-do it.  He got in a huff and said,

"You and Mrs. L. just don't like my style of writing."

Can you believe it?  He is 13 and has apparently found his writing style and it is, as I understand from Sam, purposely hard to read and seemingly sloppy and half-assed.  It's not that he's not trying, half-assed is a style.

After I stopped laughing, I told him to re-do it and told him specifically what needed to be changed.  He argued.  I got frustrated and said, "Why are you arguing with me?  I have a blog!"  Just kidding, I really didn't say that,  I said, "Why are you arguing with me? I'm an English teacher!" and he continued to argue why spelling "couple"   c u p p l e    is part of his style.  I told him, "Fine.  Do it yourself.  I hope you don't fail because your grades will determine how much fun you have this summer."  So he stormed off and put probably three-quarters of his ass into the assignment.  I don't know.  I wouldn't look at it again. 

Since then I've been watching him and this is a style that dictates more than just his writing.  He is a very helpful boy but I gotta say, this style of his is driving me a little nuts.

This is how you do things Teenage Style:

 Pulling weeds - Rip off the big leaves so it looks weeded, but don't pull any little weeds or any roots.

Cleaning - Pretend dust doesn't exist.  Only the middles of rooms need to be vacuumed. 

Laundry - Wash everything together and don't check any pockets.  So what if a tube of chapstick went through the dryer?  Those oily spots on everything are cool.

Picking up dog poop- Pick up half the dog poop and throw it in the bushes next to the house.

Mowing the lawn - Don't overlap at all so when you "finish" there are three inch wide grass mohawks all over the yard.

Looking for anything you can't find - Look for two seconds without moving anything or thinking about the logical place it would be, and then snottily ask your mom where she put it as if she's hiding things from you to drive you nuts.

On the bright side, teenage style is better than preteen style which as I gather from watching Kira is "leave a trail of destruction where ever you go."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sometimes the truth hurts

Kira wanted to take a long hot bath this evening and she asked me why the tub was so full of hair.  What could I possibly have said to make her make this face? 

Is it:

A.  "Dad must have shaved in the shower."

B.  "My legs were really hairy so I took care of business." 

C.  "Dad notice my neck was hairy so he shaved it when we were taking a shower together this morning." 

She's having a hard time looking me in the eye.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm gonna be a Pilot!

Minnesota legislators are soon going to vote on a bill that would allow people with a four year degree, but no teacher training, become teachers!  You could spend four years in college, get a degree in underwater basket weaving and then get out and teach school! All you will have to do is take a 200 hour crash course in teaching.  (I was a real sucker for taking over four years to learn to be a teacher.  It apparently only takes five weeks.)

The second having to have a license or any kind of specific training to practice a profession is moot, I think I will try out all kinds of things, why not! I have a four-year degree!  I can do anything!

The first thing I'm going to do is become a nurse.  RNs  have four-year degrees, I have a four-year degree, therefore, according to the Minnesota legislature, I could probably do a decent job of being a nurse.  I want some scrubs.  I'm kind of squeamish though so as soon as bodily fluids come into play, I'm outta there.  Kind of like when I joined track in high school to get the cool sweatsuit, but then learned I was expected to run. Every day.  Yeah, right.

Then I think I'll be an electrician.  I use electricity literally all the time.  I'm an electricity expert; flip switch up: on.  Flip switch down: off.   I'm trained (enough)!  I have a bachelor's degree in education.  I'm educated.  If I'm educated, I can do anything, right?  All that's been in my way are these pesky licenses!

Need anything rewired?

Oh, you know what I'd really like to do?  Fly commercial airliners!  I'm sure that YEAR LONG course I suffered through, Methods and Materials of Teaching Secondary English will really help out with takeoff and landing. Once I get my job being a pilot, flying will be much more pleasant.  Trips go by so much faster when I'm the driver.  I have lots of experience driving a car, and a little bit driving a boat, and I actually took over the yolk (that's what they call it) in a small plane and controlled it myself once for about five minutes (actual flying experience).  I'm totally qualified.

Then I think I'll become an architect for a while.  I live in a building, I go in buildings all the time, I've built Sims houses.  I could do it.  I'm qualified because I have a bachelor's degree, and more importantly, I BELIEVE I could be an architect although I have a degree in English Education; just like some Minnesota legislators believe that anyone with a four-year degree can walk into a classroom and teach 30 kids.  Easy.

If this bill passes and you can do ANYTHING with your four-year degree, what do you want to do?

Monday, May 10, 2010


I made myself a turkey for Mother's Day because if I didn't Mitch would have brought home KFC because he says, "The ladies love the bucket," but this lady thinks the bucket is pretty gross.  So I made a turkey that I got before Thanksgiving last year in case we didn't get invited anywhere.  That sucker took a week to thaw.  It was frozen SOLID for days.  I finally had to take it out of the fridge and let it thaw on the counter, which according to "experts" is a no-no, but come on, thaw already!

I'm a pretty good turkey maker, and this bird was beautiful.  Golden brown, crispy skin, delicious.  However, if it could have talked, this is what it would have said:
But of course it couldn't talk because it was beheaded, then frozen for 7 months, then dessicated in my oven.  It was surely dead.  It can only be eaten now on sandwiches with globs of mayonnaise to rehydrate it enough so that a person can safely eat it without having all their bodily fluids absorbed.  Still, it was better than the bucket. 

Remember when I said I was a pretty good turkey maker?  It's true, but one time I had a big family dinner and made a turkey.  It was beautiful and delicious and after the meal my dad said, "That was a really good turkey.  You did a nice job on that one!" and I was just making conversation and replied, "I know, it was pretty good, and I'm glad because boy, did it stink when I took it out of the package."

I actually saw my dad turn green.  He was a little peeved that I shared that with him.  I still think, what's the big deal?  It's a dead bird, of course it's going to stink.  You have to expect that.  If that grosses you out it's time to think about becoming a vegetarian because if you saw a movie of the life and times of that delicious turkey you would not be hungry for anything for a long long time.  However, even taking for granted that dead birds are going to stink, that particular dead bird REALLY stunk.  It was especially delicious when it was cooked though, so I think turkeys must be like cheese, the stinkier, the better. 

What did you do for Mother's day?  Other than making and eating turkey I sat in the sun and read a book and didn't do much else.  It was a pretty good day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day, Mother

Happy Mother's Day!  Today is the day to tell your mother's how special she is and why. This year I am going to do that using an acrostic poem.  Enjoy, Mom!

M is for the many Medical students Dad said could watch my birth after you already spent thirty hours in labor.

O is for that One time that I was choking on a hard candy in the locker room before skating practice and you gave me the Heimlich maneuver.  Thanks for that. 

T is for the Time that Amy and I told you to put your hands on the counter and stick one leg up behind you and we'd show you a good Trick.  We lifted your legs up until they touched the ceiling and held you there and laughed and laughed and you kept saying, "Put me down!  My arms are going to give out!" We made you promise that we wouldn't get in trouble or we wouldn't let you down.  And then you kept your word and we really weren't in trouble (although, it would have totally been worth it.)  I can't believe you fell for that more than once.

H is for the Hip 1970s one-piece pant-suits you dressed me in for the first day of school every single year of elementary school.  I thought the pant-suits were cool until I had to go to the bathroom and had to get naked in the stall to take a simple pee. Not cool, Mom.

E is for the Elephants you let me visit that were with the circus that was taking place a block from our house.  I loved those elephants so much and I never told you this but the caretaker, who I'm pretty sure was mentally handicapped, secretly let me come in their enclosure and feed them and pet them if I let him wear my photogray glasses.  He took off with my glasses and I had some alone time with the elephants.  Best deal I ever made.  It was AWESOME!

R is for the Rum you drank with Kelly that one Fourth of July that caused you to get a little tipsy and wild and you got our dog Gizmo on a drunken whim.  She was the best dog ever and if you were sober, you probably would have passed by the mangy puppies that were in a free box at the street dance without a second thought.  Yay, Rum!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!  I love you and hope you have a great day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Isn't it May?

It's goddamn snowing.  I'm not too happy about it.  The kids and I came home from school and we are hunkering down in the basement watching re-runs of Quantum Leap, trying to stave off depression and homicidal tendencies.  

It cures what ails ya

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Law and Order

You know how the show Law and Order always starts with someone finding a body and saying, "Oh my God!  A Body!"?  The show has been on for about 50 years now and has had a kabillion episodes and so the oh-my-god-a-body moment has to get more and more original. Mitch and I love to see how they are going to contrive to have yet another New Yorker find a body lying around.  I think I might start a blog where people can write just the beginnings of Law and Order and then we'll see who can come up with the most original way for a New Yorker to find a body.  Here's mine for today:

(In Central Park on a nice summery day, unpacking party supplies for a family picnic.)

Paula - Do you have the tablecloth? I want everything to be perfect.

John - Yes, it's right here.

Paula - Did you hear from your mom? Are your parents going to be here?

John - Yes, oh, and I forgot to tell you, your sister called. Your mom told her about today and invited her. I think she's coming.

Paula - Oh GREAT! I told my mom not to tell her!

John - I don't see what the big deal is.

Paula - I love her but, come on. I'd like to share at least one piece of big news without her wrecking it.

John - You didn't even tell her about the baby, how would she ruin it. She'll be just as surprised as everyone else.

Paula - Of course I didn't tell her I'm pregnant. She'd have to find some way to top it. Don't underestimate Janet.

John - Don't worry about it, nothing could top the news that they are going to be grandparents!

Paula - John! She announced her engagement at our wedding! She told my parents she had rabies the day I got into Columbia. I'd just like her to not steal my thunder this once.

John - Okay, I think that's everything. Oh look, here comes your parents!

(Enter Paula's parents)

Paula's Mom - John, Paula! How nice! How are you? What a good idea for a day like this! I can't remember the last time we were on a picnic!

Paula - Thanks Mom, thanks for coming! Hi Dad.

Paula's Mom - I hope you don't mind, but I told Janet and she's coming too. She's been kind of down lately, you know because of Antonio being deported.

Paula - Yeah, John told me. That's fine.

(Enter John's parents.)

John's Mom - John! I'm so glad we found this place! Kind of out of the way, huh?

John - Hi Mom, Dad!  What do you mean, it's Central Park?

John's Dad - She just means it's a nice spot, so private!

(Enter Janet being pulled by an enormous great dane on a leash.)

Paula's Mom - Look here's Janet! Oh my! Janet, where did you get that dog?

(Everyone gathers around the dog and Janet. Paula gives John a knowing look.)

Janet - I'm dog-sitting for my neighbor. She had to go to the hospital.

Paula's Mom - Jenny? Oh my goodness! What's wrong with her?

Janet - She was bleeding out of her eyes.

Paula's Mom - Oh Dear! I hope she'll be okay! What on earth could that be? Do you think it's contagious! Maybe you should get checked out! Don, let's take her to the hospital. Paula, can you and John watch the dog?

Janet - I'm fine, Mom, don't worry about me. I might have the dog for a while, he's a handful, but he's a lot of fun. His name is Ballbreaker, can you believe it?. Hi Paula! How are you? Mom told me about the picnic. I hope you don't mind my crashing!

Paula - No, don't be silly, it's fine.

Paula's Dad - Ballbreaker! (laughing) What kind of a name is that?

Janet - I honestly don't know what Jenny was thinking, because he's so sweet.

Paula - Anyway, thank you all for coming! Shall we sit down? John and I have some news, and I can't wait to tell you!

Janet - Oh, just a minute, the dog hasn't gone to the bathroom for a while and I don't want him to do it around us and ruin our picnic, so let me give him a chance to go first okay? I'll be right back. I have some news too! I won the lottery! BRB!

(Janet leaves. Ooohs and aaahs and murmuring from all the parents.)

Paula - (quietly to John) See, I TOLD you! Quick, let's tell them before she gets back. (To Everyone) Okay everyone, why don't you let John and I get you a drink here, and then we'll tell you our news!

Paula's Mom - Oh my! What could it be? What an exciting day! I hope Janet is okay.

John's Mom - It is pretty secluded here, I hope she doesn't get lost.

Paula - She'll be FINE. Okay, John? Shall we tell them?

John - Paula is dying to tell you, so go ahead, Honey.

Paula - Well, after a long time of trying, John and I are going to be -

(In the distance Janet can be heard yelling.)

Janet - Ballbreaker! Ballbreaker, come back! What are you doing? Ballbreaker! Come! AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!

(Everyone gets up and runs toward the scream. Janet runs back into the scene.)


(Everyone runs to make sure Janet is okay. Scene cuts to the bloody head being licked by the dog.)

Paula - You've got to be fucking kidding me.

(chaos, screaming, running around)

Paula's Dad - OHHH GROSS! I found a hand!


Okay, now it's your turn, go to and write your own.  Send yours to me and I promise I'll put them on the new blog:!  Leave your name and website!  See you there!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Devastating Blow

I know I promised to be a ray of sunshine, but I have some terrible news.  After carefully selecting special seeds, buying little tiny greenhouses, planting my special seeds in my tiny greenhouses, and tending to my sweet little seedlings for over a month, most of my crops were destroyed yesterday.  It was partially a stupid move on my part, and partially a powerful act of nature.  It's a chance you take when you live off the land, I guess.  Here's what happened. 

Yesterday was a nice, summer-like day so I decided to plant my garden. I planted cucumbers:

 Get used to this picture

Cukes in the back, peas under the fence, carrots in the front.

 I'm not very optimistic about the pumpkins


 Stock photo

and I planned on waiting a few weeks to plant my pepper and tomato seedlings.  I had them in a big tray and every morning, when the weather warmed up, I would put them outside on the deck and then in the evening I would bring them in to keep warm.  I took better care of those seedlings than I do my children (until yesterday). 

The seedling tray was outside soaking up the rays of the beautiful day.  I forgot they were out there and we went to Mat's house for dinner.  About a half hour after we left we got a downpour.  No biggy!  Rain is good for plants right?  Sure, but when they are sitting right below the eave of the house and in a deep plastic tray, it's not so good.  I came home and looked at them and some were just washed away, some were soaked and limp, some were okay, but super pissed.

Ohhh,.... the devastation!

  "We hate you."

I'm going to let them recover for a few days and see if any can be saved.  They will never forgive me for this.  I'll get bad vegetables, I just know it.  The worst part is that Mitch rubbed it in this morning. ("Rubbing it in" is about the worst thing you can do in this family, just ask Kira.) He plants his crops in Topsy Turvy tomato planters and I told him he could use some of my seedlings.  He scoffed.  Whatev.  Well, this morning, knowing about the Devastating Blow, he said to me, "I think I'll plant my crops today, where are those seedlings you planted?"  WHAT?  Look who else doesn't care:

not so devastated

Monday, May 3, 2010


Wow, I just re-read a few of my recent posts and all I have to say is RAAARRRR! (cat sound).  I'm so sorry, my internet friends, for being such a humongous bitch.  I'm also sorry for being so snide to Krista Tippet.  Keep doing what you're doing, Krista.  I don't like it, but who cares!  I can just SHUT IT.

And Charlaine Harris, I'm sorry for ripping your terrible book to shreds, especially since I'm only half done with it.  And I read it while I was tired and in pain and Mitch was snoring in my ear.  Not the best environment for reading your very successful, award-winning first novel.  I am just jealous of your ambition and recognition.  I still don't like it very much, but that's no reason to be a snot.  Sorry.

I promise to be a ray of sunshine from now on, internet.  You can count on me.

BTW, the cartoon is by Natalie Dee.  I found her a few days ago and I love her stuff.  I'll probably be using it a lot.  Thanks, Natalie!

Sookie Stackhouse Sucks Sourballs

I am soooo cranky today because I didn't get one second of sleep last night because this is what is happening to me right now:

The devil is having another disco party in my throat.  Jerk.

I laid awake all night enduring the devil-throat party, and was bored out of my skull so I read my book, Dead until Dark by Charlaine Harris. It's a vampire novel that is supposed to be good; comparable to the Twilight series, which I liked, so I got it.

It stinks.

I recently finished Bram Stoker's Dracula, which was very good; SUPER creepy and scary.  I thought Dead Until Dark would be a good read, but it is just bad.  The writing is shallow and unimaginative, the main character is kind of a dud, and the plot is ridiculous.  A brief example; one of the female vampires wears a pink spandex outfit with a men's white shirt over it.  Please, I think we all know that if vampires are anything, they're fashionable, and no self-respecting vampire (and they are all self-respecting) would be caught dead in spandex.  (get it, caught "dead"?)

Here's a brief summary:  Sookie Stackhouse (oh how very original and alliterative!) is the main character.  She is a young, super hot virgin living with her grandmother in Louisiana.  She can read minds but doesn't like to because she can hear things she doesn't really want to hear, so she concentrates hard and she can block out other people's thoughts.  She works in a bar as a waitress and one night a cute vampire comes in and gets accosted by a couple meth-head vampire suckers (vampire blood has medicinal properties for humans in this book, so is very valuable) and Sookie saves his life. (Uh, hello, does "undead" mean nothing?)  She and the vampire, Bill, become fast friends and hijinx ensues.  Yes, I said his name is Bill.  Bill the Vampire.  Sookie and Bill.  Bill and Sookie.  (what?)

I'm only about half way through the book right now and I think maybe I shouldn't have started it right after reading Dracula.  Vampire fiction is stupid to begin with, but once you give yourself over to it, the stories are kind of interesting.  Except this one.  I find myself hoping Sookie and Bill ...... actually I don't hope anything for them.  I don't care about them at all.  I've heard that there are graphic sex scenes in this book, but so far I've only come across one laughable human-on-vampire handjob that was totally awkward and unnecessary.  Nobody thinks a handjob is sexy.  Nobody.  In fact, sex scenes are hard to write and even harder to read.  There's only so many euphemisms for body parts out there, and I'm kind of looking forward to/dreading finding out what Ms. Harris calls things.  I'm sure there is a lot of heaving and throbbing, but is it a throbbing Member? Mast? Manhood? Stiffy? Harpoon? Wiener?  I'm laughing already - Vampire wiener.  I might have to write some purple vampire prose of my own.... hmmmm....

I'm going to try to finish this book because I bought it (dang!) so I kind of have to finish it now.  Hopefully it will get better.  But I doubt it.  If it does, I will write a retraction to this review. 

The HBO series True Blood is based on the Sookie Stackhouse series (there are eight books) and is supposed to be very good.  Is that actually true?  Have any of you seen it?  It's in my Netflix queue. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The down-side of being an NPR nerd

I'm listening to Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippet on NPR right now.  I HATE this show mostly because of the host.  She is soooooo self-important, and pseudo-intellectual and smug.  Here she is:

Don't you hate her now too?  In this picture she's "listening."  Barf. 

Today on the show, she is interviewing Desmond Tutu and she's trying to be her regular earnest, irritating self, and he's having none of it.  He will not take her seriously and keeps making jokes and then laughing his head off for awkward amounts of time.  It's the kind of laugh where you lean back and roar at the ceiling.  I can tell because it sounds like he gets pretty far away from the microphone.  Either that or he's running around the studio laughing maniacally, which would explain Krista Tippet's nervous laughter. 

Anyway, I am loving it.  He's not being mean or anything, he's just having a good time and old no-sense-of-humor, I'm-so-important Ms. Tippet has been caught off guard.  Ha ha. 

My little teeny beeny-hat is off to you too, Bishop Tutu.

Now I'd like him to go on Marketplace Money and put Tess Vigeland in a headlock.