Saturday, July 28, 2012

Azia's Fluff

Azia, who recently gave birth to a beautiful little baby boy (Congratulations, Azia and family), tagged me in THIS post on her blog and now I am instructed to answer the questions she answered from yet a different blog.  I don't know who made up these questions but I suspect it is someone teetering on the edge of a drug addiction, or playing with the idea of getting into the drug business.  Here goes!

How tall are you barefoot?
I'm 5'10 in my bare feet.  .... No wait, that's my ideal height for my weight.  Sometimes I forget.  I'm actually only 5'5.  Shit.

Have you ever smoked heroin?
I have never smoked anything, and even if I did, I don't know if I would do heroin.  I have seen people on TV (Albert from Little House on the Prairie) throw up from taking or withdrawing from hard drugs.  I would rather make out with my brother than throw up.  Sure, I don't even have a brother so that's kind of an empty threat, but still; if I had a brother, I bet I would not like the idea of making out with him.

Do you own a gun?
No.  (... see what I mean about the author of the questions dabbling in some drug business?  I think they are maybe just trying to recruit some "business associates" if you know what I mean.  I watch Breaking Bad, I know how these things work.)

Huh?  Is that a question?  Have I gone to rehab?  No.  And I wouldn't want to either because I hear it sucks.

Do you get nervous before things?
I get anxious when I anticipate events or activities.  That's why it was so hard to become a sub.  Still to this day, if I schedule a job weeks ahead of time I find myself dreading it, even if it's something I want to do.  If I schedule it the night before, I don't worry so much.  Don't have time.

What do you think of your friends?
I hate them.  Just kidding.  How do you think I'm going to answer that question?  If they are my friends, I think they are friendly and worth the time and effort of cultivating a relationship.  I love my friends.

What's your favorite Christmas song?
By far it is "Baby it's Cold Outside."  I like the duet part of it and I really love that it's not so much about Christmas as it is about date rape.  Nothing says "Happy Birthday, Jesus!" like date rape!

What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
I sometimes like coffee, but I really like lemon lift or orange flavored tea.

Do you do push-ups?
Sometimes.  The girl version.  I'm pretty good.

Have you ever done Ecstasy?

Are you a vegetarian?
No.  I don't eat a ton of meat but I like it.  I had a frenemy once who went on a great rant one time when she popped in and I was making dinner (some sort of meat) and she said how she is a vegetarian because it is healthier and because she can't bring herself to eat anything "with a face."  A few months later she bought a livingroom set made of leather.  I would love to see what those cows looked like, you know without faces and all.  Or maybe she had no qualms about lounging on the dead, processed skin of things with faces.

Do you like painkillers?
I LOVE painkillers.  Who doesn't?  Who likes pain?  I carry ibuprofen with me everywhere.  Did you mean prescription painkillers?  Love those too.  Painkillers are a miracle.

What is your secret weapon to lure the opposite sex?
You mean Mitch?  Because he's the only one that's been interested in over a decade.  We sing "Baby It's Cold Outside" together and then there is no stopping him.

What time did you wake up today?

Current worry?
Money, health, kids, rotten teeth... the usual.

Current hate?
Chest colds, rhubarb and hemorrhoids, and diarrhea.  (The first one because I have it now, and the second, third, and fourth because they are really hard to spell.  And they are also unpleasant.)

Do you own slippers?
Fuck yeah!

Do you burn or tan?

What songs do you sing in the shower?
"Baby it's Cold Outside"

How many TVs do you  have in your house?

Do you wish on stars?  
Sometimes, but I have been known to mistakenly wish on the odd planet or plane or lamp post (my eyesight is BAD).  I don't know what becomes of those wishes.  I saw a UFO once but I didn't wish on it.  It was at about sunset time and I was driving.  It was flying above K-Mart.  Nobody believes me.

What song was played at your wedding?
No songs.  It was a courtroom quickie. (That's what she said.)

What song do you want played at your funeral?
Ballroom Blitz

Do you love someone?

I think I am supposed to tag someone else to answer these questions now so if you are reading this, you are tagged.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Magic Mike

A few of the bookclub ladies and I got together last night to see the critically acclaimed, sure-to-be-a-classic movie, Magic Mike.  

Not to sound like a snob, but the movie wasn't very good.  Surprised?  I was too because although I was expecting a plotless excuse to show a male review nationwide on the big screen, it was worse than I thought.  The movie attempted a plot which was so bad it made me wish it was only a male review show.

Mike (the guy in the center) is a gifted stripper with big dreams of making crappy furniture out of garbage he finds on the beach.  He works odd jobs during the day, one of which is as a roofer where he meets "The Kid," a nineteen year old hunky loser who lives with his sister.  I know he lives with his sister because he tells Mike he is living with his sister and also because all the dialogue throughout the entire movie between "The Kid" and the sister goes like this:

The Kid: Hey Sis, thanks for letting me bunk on your couch.
Sister: No problem, Brother, that's what sisters are for.
The Kid: Remember when we were kids and had the same parents?
Sister: Yeah, the same mom and the same dad... good times.
The Kid:  Sis, can you spot me 20 bucks?  I got fired from my job for stealing a pop.
Sister: Oh, baby brother, what am I going to do with you?
The Kid: Well, whatever you do, don't forget I'm your brother! Ok, Sis?

Get it?  They are brother and sister, dummy.  Mike gets The Kid into the lucrative business of male stripping which The Kid LOVES.  I mean, who wouldn't?  You know who doesn't?  Mike.  He's been doing it for six years and he's sick of it.  When is he going to admit that his life is going nowhere, and he's NOT the crappy furniture maker he wants to be, and he is just an aging (and gifted) male stripper, shaking it for ones every night of the week?

The Kid gets into drugs and his sister gets mad at Mike about it because Mike said he was going to take The Kid under his stripper wing and take care of him but he didn't. (shocker)  The big dramatic moment of the movie is when the sister goes to Mike's house looking for her brother who didn't come home.  Mike says he is upstairs with a girl and the sister goes up and finds her brother passed out on the floor and there is a pot-bellied pig eating his puke.  Gross!  She rails against Mike for not keeping his promise and calls him a loser which really hits Mike right in his heart (of gold) and makes him come to terms with the path his life is on.  I'm not going to tell you the rest of the plot in case you haven't seen it and want to see it (don't bother), but I'm sure you can guess what happens.

Matthew McConaughey is in the movie.  He is the owner of the male dance club.  He does an outstanding impression of Matthew McConaughey throughout the whole movie (he says, "Alright, alright, alright!" about 50 times), and he does not wear a shirt in even one scene.  I don't think he ever wears a shirt in real life either.

Matthew McConaughey as Uncle Sam.
Remember when he was in Amistad?
I saw my Mother-In-Law yesterday and told her I was going out with my ladies to the movies.  She asked what movie and I told her and she said, ".....Oh..... Well.... Matthew McConaughey is in that.  He's a good family man."  I said, "Yeah, that's why we're going."

My favorite line from the movie is where Mike and The Kid are sitting on the beach talking about the stripper life and how much they have to look forward to and The Kid says, "I'm having a ball...  I'm having. A fucking. Ball."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Beach Day

Kira and I had what she has dubbed the "best day of the summer" today.  It has been so blazingly hot lately that we decided to see if Lake Superior is swimmable.  Usually it is so cold that you can't even stand to wade up to your ankles, but sometimes, for some reason, it feels relatively warm and it is super fun to swim in it.  Today was a warm-water day.  It was glorious.  It was really windy so there was surf.  I didn't take my camera along but I looked for some comparable pictures online of the kind of surf we were in today.  

It wasn't this big.  This isn't even Lake Superior.  I'm pretty sure it's the ocean.
That's a big wave.  I would never go in that.  

This actually is Duluth, and it is not far from where we were swimming, but the waves weren't this big either.  

This is more like what we were dealing with.  
The bottom picture is the same Park Point beach we were at today, but there were lots of people there, and I want to say that the waves were even a little bigger.  They were big enough to be exhilarating, with a few waves big enough so smack you hard on the back of the head and rip your feet out from under you, but not big enough to be terrifying.  My life-long recurring nightmare is to be swimming and suddenly be faced with a wave like the one in the top picture, but also one of my favorite activities is swimming in surf.  I can see how surfers get addicted to waiting for the next great wave.

When I was a kid and we lived in Australia, we decided to go to the beach one day because it was punishingly hot.  We lived about an hour or so from the coast so we got in the van, complete with barf-bucket/sand castle bucket for me/my sister Beth, and headed to the beach.  We drove around and saw beaches so packed with people there wasn't even room to put your towel down.  We kept driving.  Finally we came across a beautiful beach with white sand and big surf and it was practically empty.  We stopped and spent the day swimming and playing in the sand.  Later we learned that that beach is notorious for it's deadly riptides and sharks.  Oh well.  It wasn't crowded and we survivied.  Win win.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Internet Predator, Shminternet Shmedator

When I started this blog my main reason was to write down the funny stories about my kids and husband.  People told me not to use our real names lest an internet predator come after us.  Mitch insisted he didn't want anything written about him on the blog and I was never ever to post any pictures of him!  It's been four years and  I've gotten exactly two nasty (hilarious) comments and I've made a bunch of friends.  Blogging has been pretty sweet.  Kira even has fans.  She says she hates when I write about her, but whenever she says anything that makes me laugh she says, "Don't write that on your blog!" but then later she asks.  "Did you put that on your blog???  Did I get any comments???"

Recently her biggest admirer, Jane, sent her a special present.  It was addressed to her and there was an envelope in the package that said, "TOP SECRET."  Mitch said, "Oh great, people from the internet are sending our daughter secret packages." Jane assured me that there were no razors or cocaine in the envelope so I let Kira have it.  (If it had razors and cocaine in it, I would have kept it for myself.  I'm extremely hairy and disappointingly sober these days.)  In it there was a plastic cockroach much like this:

but not exactly like this.  The one Jane sent is much more elegant, but I can't get a picture of it because Kira is sleeping with it and I would rather touch a real cockroach than wake her up to ask her where her fake roach is.

Anyway, there was a note with the roach that said:
Enclosed is my friend, Steve the Cockroach.  You can name him whatever you want.  
I have had SO much fun hiding Steve around the house and scaring people.  He is great in the silverware drawer, a drawer in the bathroom...... in the butter.....
The best, is where you're out to eat.  I put him between a friend's toast one time at breakfast and when she picked up the toast she screamed her head off.  Then the waitress came running over and she screamed.  I laughed so hard I fell off my chair.  
Steve is also fun to hide on your plate, under your salad or vegetables, then call your Mom over and ask what it is.......
I'm sure you'll think of many ways to scare everybody!  Enjoy!!! And take good care of my buddy Steve!

It's amazing how someone who has only read stories about her on the internet can know her so incredibly well.  Kira and Jane are kindred spirits.  She could not have gotten a more perfect present.  Thankfully I was there when she opened it so I was spared having the life scared out of me by a strategically-placed Steve, but my sister was not so lucky.  Kira's latest thing is to hold a closed fist out and say, "Here," to any willing dupe.  When I was still falling for this ploy, I was handed a Daddy-Long-Legs, some seeds, a rock, and an enormous slug that I still can't believe she touched.

Beth came over to my parents house one day and Kira saw a golden opportunity.  She put Steve in her hand and casually said, "Here, Beth." Beth said she had a funny feeling but ignored it and held her hand out to receive what Kira had to offer.  When she saw the roach she screamed louder than the all the Mandrake babies in Harry Potter put together.  It was deafening.  Kira was laughing so hard no sound was coming out of her mouth, her nostrils were flaring and her face was bright red.  She couldn't breathe.  It was the best prank ever.  We all (except Beth) enjoyed it. Thanks, Jane!

So, in my experience putting all kinds of information about your kids on the internet has been a good thing (unless you're Beth) and I would recommend it to anyone.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I wish I was a camel

Okay everyone.  I think I'm back for good now.  I have been gone on and off for about three weeks at Rainy Lake having fun swimming and kayaking and eating whatever the hell struck my fancy, but now I'm home for at least a few weeks, so hopefully I can get back to regular life for a while which includes blogging and not eating 10,000 calories a day. (Highlight of the trip: kayaking to an island and exploring and swimming around. Lowlight:  I accidentally ate a spiderweb.)

I can't think of anything to tell you about right off the top of my head now because I'm so unbelievably HOT.  I think I might right now, at this very moment be suffering from brain damage because my gray matter is literally being cooked.  I read recently that camels are adapted to the desert in a bunch of clever ways, one of which is that their body absorbs heat and stores it and it doesn't go to their brain because there is some kind of barrier and insulation that keeps their brain nice and cool no matter how how hot their bodies get.  I wish I had that because I'm so hot I can barely think, yet my saddlebags, which hold a large portion of my cellulite, are cool.  Why can't my fat absorb the heat and leave my vital organs out of it?  I have never in my life wished so bad that I was a camel.

Last fall Mitch and I thought we were sooooooooo smaaaaarrrt because we got new super duper insulation blown into the walls of our house.  God, we were so smug about that; bragging about it, saying obnoxious things to people like, "Oh, you don't have blown-in insulation???  Weeee do.  You need to get it.  Seriously, you really need to get it."   Now it is 9:30 at night, and it is 75 degrees outside but it is still 85 in the house!  And now I know that you are thinking, "Oh, you don't have air conditioning???  Weeee do.  You need to get it.  Seriously, you really need to get it."  Well, we don't have it because normally Duluth has only about five or six days that are unbearably hot.  This year it's been much hotter which I usually like, but not when my brain gets hot.  I may go swimming in Lake Superior tomorrow.  If I live until then.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Good morning!

I'm sitting here at the McDonalds in International Falls writing this on my iPad. It is 6:17 AM. Why??? you ask? Because I didn't sleep last night between being farted upon by my lovely daughter who was sharing my bed, and the eighteen kabillion mosquitos in our camper. That high pitched whine is enough to drive a girl crazy. When I didn't hear it in my ear, I was waiting for it, anticipating it, dreading it. It sucked. So now I am in town having a bucket of coffee and listening to the early morning McDonald's regulars jabbering. One of whom is my old elementary school principal, Mr. Arveson. I loved him when I was a little kid. He has an accent that sounds vaguely like Lawrence Welk, in fact he looks a lot like Lawrence Welk. He's old now and he looks so cute sitting on the new mod-squad, "this is a coffee shop not a crappy fast-food joint!" stool. His black, velcro tenners don't even touch the ground.

What am I going to do today, you ask? I don't know. Probably have diarrhea from the shocking amount of coffee I've managed to suck down in the last 15 minutes, listen to Kira's grievances, scour the camper for the goddamn hole where the mosquitos are getting in, read, kayak (preferably after the diarrhea), swim, sweat. The usual. What are you going to do?

Thursday, July 12, 2012


The other day out on the lake Sam and I saw a boat full of teenage girls in bikinis driving by.  Sam's head followed them as long as we could see them and I thought to myself, oh, my baby is growing up into a man, but then he said, "Did you see that motor?  I think it was a Johnson 215 horse!  Nice!"  I said, "Ha ha, Sam, good one!" and he said, "What?" and I said, "Seriously?" and he said, "What???"

Which I suppose is totally normal considering that when Mitch was a kid and was obsessed (like all kids were) with The Dukes of Hazzard, he couldn't understand why, after Daisy smashed her fast car and got a lame Jeep, she was still on the show.  What a waste of screen time that would be better spent with the General Lee jumping over yet another bridgeless ravine! (Hazzard County was a dump sadly in need of better infrastructure.)

And the other day we discovered that both of our parents had this album:

And we both vividly remember the cover.  I remember it because I thought, OMG, I think that lady is NAKED under there!  That's kind of risque!  And Mitch remembers because he wondered if she got to eat all the whip cream after the photo shoot.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Cold

I'm getting a cold.  I haven't had a cold for about a year and I forgot how unbearable I can be when I have the slightest discomfort.  I think I get colds worse than anyone in the world.  I really really hate slight discomfort.  This morning I let Sam drive me around and I was complaining because my sinuses hurt and my throat hurts and wa wa wa wa wa wa! And Sam said that one day he was feeling bad about himself because of some lame reason and then he saw a girl at school who is confined to a wheelchair and can hardly move at all and she was singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and that put it all in perspective for him and he saw how lucky he is.  I pointed out to him that 1) that girl probably didn't have a sore throat like I have because if she did, she would not have been singing anything, 2) When someone melodramatically complains that their sinuses feel like someone ruthlessly went at them with a melon baller, they don't want a life-lesson on optimism from their 15 year old boy because that just makes everyone look stupid, and 3) if he ever wants to drive the goddamn car again he will start feeling sorry for me RIGHT NOW.  Somebody needs to teach that boy some empathy, and I think it is probably up to me since I am his mother, but I can't today because I don't feeeeeeeeel gooooooood!

I have been gone again, up at Rainy Lake with the kids.  I only came back for a few days to mow the lawn and go to book club tomorrow night.  Kira caught a turtle under water yesterday.  It was innocently swimming around, being the aquatic animal that it is, and she swam up to it and grabbed it.  It was super mad.  I've never seen a turtle so mad.  Last year she caught a duck by swimming up to it under water and grabbing its feet.  Needless to say the duck wasn't particularly happy about it either.  I've never seen a person so at home in the water, and so unafraid of grabbing wild animals in their natural habitat.  

Sam is becoming one with a 1958 Johnson outboard motor.  I say that because he can sense what the motor needs and what it likes and does not like.  I shifted myself in the boat the other day and for a split second the boat went slightly faster even though the motor was going full speed.  I said, "Hey!  I can make us go faster!" and I threw myself around a little and Sam said, "STOP IT! That's bad for the prop!" which I found slightly insulting.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Spider Island

Are you afraid of spiders?  If you said no, I can predict that you are sitting somewhere in a civilized, not-all-that-natural environment right now and there is virtually no danger of a spider the size of your hand running across your lap.  And you're a liar.  Spiders are scary.  And creepy.  And fast.  Yuck.

(Thank you to someone on Flickr for the photo of the gross spider.)

Amy has the most adorable little cabin on a perfect spot on a perfect lake.  For three months out of the year it is paradise.  Except for all the spiders.  Whenever I go out there I try to convince myself that:
A) they don't want to attack me, and if I leave them alone, they will leave me alone,
B) They are good because they eat bugs that bite me,
C) They are fascinating creatures, what with the spinning of webs and all.

It never works.  For one thing, they are EVERYWHERE.  Sure, they don't want to attack me, but say you are walking to the outhouse a little way into the woods; unless you make a conscious effort to blur your eyes, look only where you are going, and don't look at the buildings that have spider-web thatched roofs, you WILL see a frighteningly fast, DISGUSTING spider scurrying out of your way.

My dad said he saw a spider out back behind the shed that was as big as a small woman's hand and it was moving slowly because it was carrying an egg sac the size of a marble.  Just writing that sentence makes me want to throw up.  When my dad told that to my mom and me we both almost gagged.  I don't know what's worse: a spider that moves faster than lightning, or a spider that is slow because it is carrying a web-backpack full of millions more spiders.  When my dad saw our reaction he said, "They are good!  They eat bugs!" and my mom said what women have been saying for generations, "I'd rather have the other bugs."

Spiders are kind of interesting.  On TV.  Or on the opposite side of a pane of glass.  And only then when you chant, "She's just like Charlotte! She's just like Charlotte! She's just like Charlotte!" to yourself in a frantic cadence while doing Lamaze breathing.

I watched some fat-bodied non-giant spiders outside the sauna spinning webs.  It wasn't the worst thing in the world.  But if they were on the inside of the sauna, instead of the outside, I would have freaked out and smooshed them.  And then I'd be totally grossed out by how much their disgusting fat bodies squished.

Kira has always liked to tell me I'm a sissy when it comes to the spiders.  She acts all tough and even goes so far as to hold and play with Daddy Long Legs.  Gross.  Well, not this past week.  Amy and I were at the fire pit, and Kira came down from changing out of her swimming suit and she was frantically trying not to be frantic.  She was laughing a forced laugh that would have been screaming if she wasn't so stubborn and determined.  She had the curled up body of a spider on her towel and she said, "I caught this spider crawling ACROSS MY FACE!"  The spider was huge.  She said she noticed it and then did the international bug dance which flung him off of her, and then saw the spider trying to crawl away across my bed so she smashed it with my book.  I am so happy she had the wherewithal to smash it after she brushed it off her face.  It saved me from a sleepless night of wondering when the spider was going to crawl up my body and lay eggs in my mouth.  When all spread out with the legs and huge body, that spider was probably the size of the top of a coffee cup.  Kira was freaked out.  Amy and I (who are both terrified of spiders so our reassurance doesn't count for much) tried to tell her to forget about it.  Amy said, "Kira, in a ten foot square space anywhere on this island there are probably a thousand spiders.  They won't hurt you."  to which Kira replied with, "Yes, but they are not ON MY FACE!"  to which Amy and I said, "Touche," and we all sat there and shuddered for about an hour.   

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I've been gone

The kids and I took a little mini-vacation up to Rainy Lake for the last several days.  Kira and I stayed with Amy at her cabin, and Sam stayed in town with my parents so he could drive them around wherever their little hearts desired.  I have lots to catch up on around here so this isn't really a real post.  A real one will follow soon.

I learned something about myself while I was gone.  I have absolutely no self-discipline when I am away from home.  I ate food that I would NEVER eat at home (re: Top the Tater and chips were at the base of my vacation food pyramid.) and I didn't really wash (I was swimming. Who needs soap when you have lake water?) and I wasn't even really good about brushing my teeth. (Can't worry about tooth decay and spiders at the same time.) More to come...