Friday, August 31, 2012

My name is Sarah and it's been one day since I had pita chips.

I think I understand drug addiction now.  I mean, I always knew that it could really take hold of a person and they couldn't do much about it, but I also wondered why they would go out of their way to do something that made them sick, or gave them face scabs, or horrible rotten teeth.  Nothing could be worth that, could it?

I might not be into meth or heroin but I do have a substance abuse problem.  It's pita chips.  I love them, and I can't stop myself from eating them if they are around.  I eat them until I'm literally sick and if there are still some around, I will eat them till they are gone.  I know you're thinking, "Oh, you're just trying to be funny by comparing your love of pita chips to a meth head's love of meth, and they don't compare, you idiot."  I beg to differ.

This week when I went grocery shopping I saw that pita chips were on sale.  I already had to buy some chips for a party I went to so I just threw the giant economy bag of pita chips in there too, telling myself that I would bring them to the party, and wouldn't eat them all myself.  See right there?  I lied to myself and made a lame justification for the procuring of the addictive substance.

As soon as I got home from the store I opened the bag.  How could I justify that?!  Well, a girl has to eat lunch, doesn't she?  Sure she does.  I carefully took out a small bowl's worth, telling myself again that having a normal serving was fine.  No big deal.... Then I had another serving.  Then Kira saw the bag, even though I hid it in the back of the pantry closet and she said, "Oh pita chips! Can I have some?" and I said, "No! They are for the party!" knowing full well that I wasn't going to bring them to the party.  After my second bowl of chips, I stopped using the bowl and just ate out of the bag so I wouldn't realize how many I was eating.

The thing about pita chips is that they literally make me sick to my stomach.  I can't digest them properly and I get cramps and horrid gas.  Gas that is so constant and disgusting that I can't really go out in public.  For several days it was like my family was on an olfactory tour of the sulfur pits at Yellowstone Park, or a boiled egg plant, or a perm factory; and we were all getting a little sick of it.  It was a rough afternoon, evening and night.  The next morning I wasn't feeling any better, but I couldn't stop myself from eating pita chips for breakfast.  I didn't want to.  I felt guilty and stupid and really bad about it, but I did it anyway, knowing that it would compound the already terrible stomach cramps.  About mid morning I noticed that the bag was almost gone and I was relieved.  They would be gone by the end of the day.  I felt doubly horrible all day and night and the next morning again.  Today I'm finally feeling on the mend.  The gas is almost gone, the cramps are better and I don't feel so listless and weak.

I decided to clean the house up a bit and when I was vacuuming the floor under the counter where I sit and eat my breakfast, I noticed a few pita chips that had been sitting there for at least 36 hours.  I had to physically stop myself and tell myself out loud, "Do NOT even think about eating those," but then I did.  I ate stale pita chips off the floor after being sick from them for days.  That's called rock bottom, folks.  I don't know what it is about pita chips unless they are laced with some kind of delicious opiate or something, but I have a problem.  I have recognized it and now I know I have to practice constant vigilance to keep myself on the straight and narrow. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012


There was a brief period in my life when I was a sleepwalker.  It was when I was a waitress in college.  I would have vivid stress dreams of getting the food out to the right people and not dropping it, and that I couldn't find the waitress station.  In my dream I knew it was somewhere between our living room and our kitchen, but I couldn't find it.  Turns out I was wandering around my parent's house all night long.  I know it because at one point I had to get something out of the oven so I got a hot pad from the top drawer of my dresser and in the morning I found a pair of my clean underwear on the breadboard next to the oven in the kitchen.  I suspect that I've sleepwalked other times too, in fact, I suspect I was sleepwalking the other night.

We went to a barbeque at my friend Dana's house. She made me a cocktail called a "Southern Hospitality" (said in a thick southern drawl).  It's made with Southern Comfort, watermelon schnapps, and Red Bull.  It was so good.  It tasted like a Jolly Rancher.  So I had another one.  Mitch drove home.

While I was sleeping that night I had vivid dreams.  I dreamed that I was still at Dana's house and I was using her bathroom and I decided that my teeth really needed a good brushing so I took a toothbrush out of her toothbrush cup (which, coincidentally, was exactly like mine) and I started brushing my teeth.  It felt a little weird so I looked and it wasn't my orange toothbrush like I expected it to be, it was a black one.  Was I using Dana's toothbrush?  I bet she wouldn't like that.  Oh well, I thought, she will never have to know, and I kept brushing my teeth.  

Then I wandered into her kitchen which, again, was just like mine.  Same white tile floor.  I dreamed I was sitting on a stool in the middle of the floor and I suddenly really had to go to the bathroom.  I didn't want to pee in Dana's kitchen, but I couldn't seem to stop myself, so I peed and felt so much better but at the same time felt guilty for making such a big mess in her kitchen.  

Then I woke up in my bed in a panic because I know that having detailed dreams of peeing is never a good thing so I thrashed around in utter dread, thinking I wet my bed.  I didn't.  Thank goodness.  Mitch would NEVER let me live that down.  Then I thought maybe (oh sweet Jesus, please no) I got up and peed all over the kitchen.  But I wasn't wet.  So I went back to sleep.  Then I dreamed that there was a hidden room behind Dana's bathroom that looked just exactly like Sam's room.  In fact, Sam was sleeping in it.  Did Dana know about this?  Is Sam leading a double life?  In my dream I told myself to remember to tell her about the hidden room behind her bathroom, but I wasn't going to tell her Sam was living in it.  

In the morning I got up and discovered that nobody had urinated all over the kitchen.  I was totally ready to blame the dog if I found a big puddle of pee in there, but thankfully, there was none.  I did, however, have a suspiciously empty bladder, and surprisingly clean teeth. So, did I walk around my house all night dreaming I was still at Dana's party?  Was it the Southern Comfort, the watermelon schnapps, or the Red Bull that gave me such a weird night?  Nobody will ever know. 

Are you a sleepwalker? 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lethal Weapon II

Last night Mitch and I watched Lethal Weapon II.  You know what I figured out?  I figured out why the movies are called Lethal Weapon.  Mel Gibson IS the Lethal Weapon.  Is he crazy?  Or is he just crazy good?  We still don't know.

I think I saw Lethal Weapon II when it came out in the eighties because I remember the iconic "toilet scene."  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  This film starts with Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and Riggs (Mel Gibson) in a car chase in Murtaugh's wife's station wagon.  Murtaugh drives this big woody station wagon throughout the whole movie which makes me wonder why the L.A. police department would allow that.  It seems a little unprofessional to have a detective driving around in car chases in a grocery grabber, but hey, what do I know, I live in fly-over country.  And also, isn't Murtaugh's wife a little put-out that her husband is using her car every day?  How is she getting around?  Why doesn't Murtaugh use his own car for work?  Anyway, Riggs and Murtaugh and a bunch of other rag-tag, lovable detectives are chasing a guy who eventually crashes and a bunch of gold treasure comes out of his trunk.  That's not a euphemism either.  Literally, a bunch of gold coins spill from the trunk of the bad guy's car.

It turns out that the bad guy with the treasure is a South African diplomat and the South Africans are running some kind of illegal drug trade in L.A. and are getting paid in gold coins, apparently; and they are dodging law enforcement because of their diplomatic status.  Riggs is on to them and starts to sort of stalk the main South African bad guy because if Mel Gibson hates anything, it's racism and apartheid and those South Africans are all about apartheid.  He will not put up with that shit. Riggs meets a South African hottie that works at the embassy(?) and he starts up a relationship with her, if you can call practically kidnapping her and bringing her to his crappy trailer and having marathon sex a relationship.

While Mel is with this woman, the South Africans start assassinating all of the rag-tag police team that chased them down and discovered their plot.  A house where a poker game is being played is blown up with what looks like a million pounds of TNT.  That took care of five or six.  Another one was going to do a few laps in her pool before her shift and when she jumped on the diving board it blew up and flung her end over end across the whole neighborhood.  Didn't seem like a very practical way to kill someone because she might have been able to tuck and roll her way out of death, but apparently the South Africans have a flair for the dramatic and a lot of explosives laying around collecting dust.

Which brings me to the plot to kill Murtaugh.  Somehow, they got in to his house and wired his toilet so that after he had a good poop and stood up from the pot, it would explode.  They stupidly gave him a hint about what would happen by writing, "Boom, you're dead!" on the toilet paper.

I'm so glad they spelled "you're" right.

Why did they do that?!  Nobody will ever know.  Murtaugh tried calling Riggs all night to tell him he was stuck on his toilet, but Riggs was too busy to answer his phone.  When he finally went to check on Murtaugh he discovered him on his toilet and they had a good laugh.

"It really stinks in here."

They called the bomb squad and the plan was to freeze the bomb with nitrogen to give Murtaugh enough time to jump in to the bathtub to avoid the blast.  That's why we are paying big bucks for bomb squads, so they can buy you one second before the bomb goes off and tell you where to jump while it explodes.  If this is really the way bomb squads work, we need to rethink bomb squads.  Anyway, Murtaugh has been sitting on the pot all night and he can't feel his legs anymore so Riggs decides to stay and help him into the tub.  The bomb squad guy tries to talk Riggs out of it, but Riggs is not moving because he and Murtaugh are soul mates.  Before the big jump into the tub Murtaugh and Riggs tell each other they love each other in their manly way and then they make the big jump.  They survive.

Actually, I think I have my chronology messed up somewhere there.  It doesn't matter.  Oh, I also forgot to tell you that Riggs can get out of a standard straight jacket by dislocating his own shoulder and wriggling out.  Okay, now that you know that, I can tell you that the South Africans kidnap Riggs and tell him that they are the ones responsible for killing his wife in a "car accident" four years earlier.  Then they put Riggs in a makeshift straight jacket and throw him into the ocean.  He gets out, of course, because he can dislocate his own shoulder, but while he is down there he sees his new South African babe.  She got the whole straight jacket treatment as well.  Riggs loses his mind.  He is going to avenge  his wife and girlfriend by taking on the South Africans on his own.

He calls Murtaugh and tells him, and Murtaugh, of course, agrees to help him out. They go to a ship where the big wig South African bad guy is making some kind of shady deal and they get in a shootout. It's bad.  The bad guy shoots Riggs but before he does he holds out his ID badge and says "Diplomatic immunity! HA HA HA HA!"  Then Murtaugh shoots him because he doesn't give a crap about diplomatic immunity.  After he does he says, "It's just been revoked."  BADASS!  Then Murtaugh goes to Riggs and holds his head in his lap and gives him the will to live.  He keeps saying, "Do not die until I tell you to," which I thought was weird.  And then Riggs wakes up and says, "You're a beautiful man," and they both have a good laugh.  I didn't see what was so funny.  I thought it was weird.  What were they laughing at?

I thought the second Lethal Weapon was better than the first.  Mitch had some problems because the Murtaugh family house was having some construction done and the nail gun worked without being attached to a compressor.

Mitch thinks the compressor probably didn't have a very good agent and that was the point at which Mitch could no longer suspend his disbelief.  I give the movie an A- and the minus is only for the weirdness in the last scene.  Mitch gives it a C- "at best" he says.  I think if it wouldn't have been for the lack of compressor, Mitch would have given it a solid B.  SO much happens!  I didn't even cover half of it.  Riggs chases cars on foot again! Joe Pesci is in the movie!

Murtaugh kills some South Africans with the nail-gun-with-no-compressor and then says, "Nailed 'em!"  You should see it.  In fact, if you want my VHS copy, email me your address and I'll send it to you.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Movie Review: Lethal Weapon

Last year my sister Beth thought it would be hilarious to give my kids a box the size of a camper van full of her old VHS tapes.  She taped a note on it that said something like, "Have your mom sort through these first because some of them are rated R and are incredibly inappropriate for kids.  Enjoy!"  My kids were ecstatic.  I was not.  You know why?  Because I already got rid of my VHS tapes and it wasn't easy.  Now I had about a thousand more to deal with along with trying to explain to the kids why they couldn't watch Strip Tease and American History X.  And Beth saw to it that I had to deal with it because she presented it as a gift to the kids.  Nicely played, Beth. You go ahead and laugh for now.  I have a line on getting your girls a beard-of-bees starter kit for Christmas.

Four of the movies in the box were Lethal Weapon, Lethal Weapon II, Lethal Weapon III, and Lethal Weapon IX.  Beth is nothing if not thorough.  I don't know how she could bear to part with these gems.  She probably has them on Blu-Ray now though.  Every time there has been nothing good to watch on TV after the kids go to bed for the past 15 months or so, I say to Mitch, "Wanna watch Lethal Weapon?" and he always says, "No!"  But last night he was out in the garage so it was my chance to watch it.  And watch it I did.

In case you have forgotten, it starts out with a scantily clad, drugged out babe jumping do her death from a high rise building in L.A.  Danny Glover (Murtaugh) is assigned the case.  He is a family-man detective with the police department and it is his 50th birthday. He goes in to work and is assigned a new partner, Mel Gibson (Riggs).  Riggs is a loose cannon.  He recently lost his wife in a car accident and is being evaluated by the department shrink because he might be suicidal, but he might be faking it to get the many societal benefits a person gets when they are diagnosed with a mental illness.  We soon learn how crazy he is when he goes to the top of a building to talk a potential jumper down and instead of talking him down he handcuffs himself to the poor guy and then forces them both to jump.

If you didn't know what a great actor Mel Gibson is, you'd swear he was really crazy!

They jump into a big air bag and aren't hurt but at that point Murtaugh is worried that this new partner of his might not be just faking it, he might actually be crazy.  He brings Riggs to a private place and yells at him and demands to know if he really wants to die and he gives Riggs his gun and tells him if he really wants to die, to put the gun in his mouth and pull the trigger.  Riggs is just about to do it when Murtaugh pulls the gun away.  It is at this point in the movie when they, newly acquainted partners, forge a bond that usually takes years to forge.  They look deep into one another's eyes and their souls say to each other, "Hey, you're my brother, man.  I know you."  Then Murtaugh says, "I'm too old for this shit," for the first time.

"You complete me."

Soon they learn that the girl who jumped from the building was murdered, but it wasn't just a run-of-the-mill hooker murder, it goes deep.  Really deep.  All the way back to Vietnam and the heroin trade. And Gary Busey is in the movie too and he is at his absolute prime.  His name is Mr. Joshua.  He's nuts.  He gets burned with a lighter for the fun of it.  Murtaugh thinks he is way too old for that shit.

I don't really remember what happens after Murtaugh and Riggs forged their bond with the gun in the mouth scene because to tell you the truth I was emotionally exhausted from watching Mel Gibson's tour de force perfomance and the love not only between Murtaugh and Riggs, but I suspect between Danny Glover and Mel Gibson as well.  You can't fake that.  I know there was some shooting, a car chase where Mel Gibson was chasing cars on foot with a machine gun, and there was a helicopter/limo chase.  Oh, and Murtaugh's wife can't cook for shit.

The movie ended with a fist fight between Riggs and Mr. Joshua in Murtaugh's yard.  Riggs won, barely, and when the uniformed officers were cuffing Mr. Joshua after the fight he somehow got one of their guns and was going to shoot Riggs, who was having a good hug with Murtaugh and somehow, I think because of their highly tuned bond, they could feel what was coming so they both turned around and shot Mr. Joshua before he could squeeze the trigger.  Holy shit.  It was so close.  After that Riggs was a part of Murtaugh's family.  In the very last scene he comes over to the Murtaugh's house for Christmas dinner and he brings his dog, who gets in a fight with the Murtaugh cat and Danny Glover says, "I'm too old for this shit," but you know what?  I suspect he is exactly the right age for that shit.

I apparently wasn't the only one who could see the iron-clad bond of soul-melding brotherhood between Murtaugh and Riggs.  The movie producers saw it as well so they made three more movies.  Mitch and I can't wait to watch them.

Friday, August 24, 2012


I learned something very disturbing about my daughter last week when we were at my parent's house.  When we stay there, Kira and I share a room.  One night I went out and came home late.  She was still awake.   I said, "Why are you still up?" and she said, "Because I was just about to go on a night crawl."  I said, "What???"  And then she shut our room light off, dropped to her knees, opened the door and crawled out.  I thought she was just being creepy and was going to crawl into the bathroom in the dark and scare the crap out of me, but when I went in there to brush my teeth she wasn't there.  In the middle of my bathroom routine, she crawled in, shut the light off, and then crawled out.  When I got back to our room she was in there and I said, "What did you do?"  She said, "I told you. I went on a night crawl."  And then she went to sleep.

Here at home Kira has door beads that rattle whenever she goes in or out of her room.  Last night before bed she was tying them to the side and I asked her why she does that sometimes.  She said, "Because I'm going to get up at 3:30 and go on a night crawl and I don't want anyone to hear me." I said, "That's why you tie your beads back?  How long have you been night crawling?"  She said, "A long time."

Mitch got home late last night and I said, "Did you notice that Kira's beads are tied back?  She does that because she gets up in the middle of the night and crawls around the house in the dark. She calls it 'night crawling.' Apparently she does it on a pretty regular basis."  Mitch was totally creeped out.  When we went to bed he said, "Do you think we should shut and lock our door? I think we should.  Go lock it."  I said, "Why? It's not like she's going to kill us, she is just going to silently crawl up to the side of the bed in the dark in the middle of the night and stare at us for a while and then crawl away.  Where's the harm?" and Mitch shuddered.  I don't think he slept very well last night.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Todd Akin, Feminist

I couldn't avoid hearing about this because it was all over my Facebook feed.  This is what Congressman Todd Akin said about pregnancy resulting from rape:
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
And then a shitstorm of anger rained down on his head from both men and women.  I don't know much about Todd Akin, and why would I?  He is a representative in congress from Missouri. But what I can tell is that the people have him all wrong.  He is probably the most pro-woman representative in congress, and maybe the world.  I AM a woman and am almost through with my child-bearing years and I didn't even know that I could "shut the whole thing down" if I wanted.  I am embarrassed to say that I've wasted a lot of money, time and worry on stupid, stupid birth control.  So I looked into Todd Akin and he is a super feminist, a true believer in the abilities of women.  If only women believed in women like Todd Akin believes in women.

Other things Todd Akin thinks ordinary women could do if they had any confidence in their own abilities and really tried for once:

- make 80 cents for every dollar a man makes instead of just 77.

- bring home 60% more bacon

- fry up 100% of all bacon brought home

- wear higher heels

- math

- slide an entire banana down her throat while making bedroom eyes

- fly

- give birth to a litter of adorable puppies

- 80% more dishes

- lose ten pounds

- produce enough breast milk to feed the world

- poop inexpensive and non-polluting fossil fuels

- a pull-up

- parallel park

- win the heart of The Bachelor

What Todd Akin apparently doesn't think women can do:

- vote

Monday, August 20, 2012

You Never Stop Learning from your Dad

The other morning over breakfast my dad told me about something I never knew existed, and much like throughout my entire life, he has opened my eyes to new possibilities.  This is what he told me:
"Did you hear about the newest tattoo fad?  It's anal tattoos."  
Thanks Dad!  I did NOT hear about the latest tattoo fad, but now I can't stop thinking about it!  Oh, the possibilities... 


I was opening my mouth to ask my dad how he knew about this new fad when he said, "The worst part of it is asking your tattoo artist to do it for you."    

Um,... what Dad?  You've gotten so far with this that you've had to experience the awkwardness of actually asking someone to tattoo your anus?  So I skipped over the preliminary questions I had and asked, "Dad... Do you have an anal tattoo?"  And I don't know if he is serious or not because I NEVER WANT TO CHECK, but he says that he has one like this:

How sweet!/disgusting!/passive aggressive!  I always hoped my name was tattooed on my dad's heart, but I guess I can live with the thought that at least I'm tattooed somewhere.

So now I am having some ideas.  Nobody would ever see this tattoo except possibly your spouse, doctor or sodomist, so you are pretty much free to get whatever you want without worrying about public rejection.  You could get a simple greeting that would be a nice surprise come exam time and give you and your doctor something to talk about to fill the awkward silences:

Or you could embrace the hemorrhoids that you got while you were pregnant 15 years ago that will never go away:

Or you could get a stupid saying that only you think is funny:

I haven't decided what I'm going to get yet.  Maybe something classy like a topographic map of the Himalayas.  What kind of anal tattoo would you get, if you had to get an anal tattoo?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Last night Mitch and I were watching an episode of Dexter, the show about the lovable serial killer of serial killers, and we saw guy who was bludgeoned in the head with a hammer, then he was disemboweled, then his guts were replaced with a handful of live baby snakes and he was sewn back up, then his body was dumped in the ocean. Mitch said,
"That's how I want to go."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Happy Birthday to Amy!

Today is my sister Amy's birthday.  I wanted to write a special post today to honor her because she is about the best sister a girl can have.  She will be leaving in several weeks to go to Afghanistan for the navy (yes, the navy). Her job is to help people in a rural province learn about their government ("we have a government?") and to make them aware of money and programs they are entitled to.  If anyone can win over hearts and minds, Amy can.  

Even though she is one of the nicest people I know and it's her birthday doesn't change the fact that I am her big sister so I can't really help but post embarrassing pictures of her.  It's like it's my job.  

 Just because we were teenagers and we spent the summers on a houseboat at the lake didn't mean we didn't want to look nice.

This is Amy and Beth on their first day of school.

She's dainty, and if you don't agree, she will punch you in the face.

The costume designers of the ice show thought it was fun to put big hats on Amy's big head.  She played Mayor McCheese one year.  

Oops!  That's not Amy!  Here she is:

Honest mistake!

Happy Birthday, Amy!  I love you!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Why I'm a Neurotic Hypochondriac

I woke up this morning and checked my email to see I got an email from both of my parents:

The mailbot is from my Mom.  It was this:

She knows that I've been doing a lot of swimming this summer and just wants me to be informed that IT COULD KILL ME.  Notice her personal message, "Don't swim in any small lakes!  Pretty close to home."  Don't worry, Mom, I'm pretty sure my body is already crawling with all the deadly amoebas it can possibly host.  Hey, I bet one of those little amoebas is in my brain and that's why I'm so dumb lately!

This is my dad's email:
Hey Sarah;
Did you read the internet article about the woman in China that had a spider living in her ear canal for 5 days? She went to the doc because she had an itching on the right side of her head. Doc looked in her ear canal and saw a spider in there. A flush with saline solution got the spider out. What if she had left it in long enough for the spider to have babies? Dozens of little spiders crawling around inside your head? Wow! Something to think about as you drift off to sleep. You could tell Kira, "Oh mah god Bibsie! I think I may have a spahder in mah noggin! Whatever am I going to do abhout it??????? ...........

He doesn't know this, but I killed a little spider that had spun a web right by my night stand the other day.  She probably already laid her eggs in my head.  I have been trying to forget about that, telling myself not to be ridiculous and paranoid, but now that I know that it really happens to people, I'm not going to feel so stupid when I tape all my orifices closed before I go to bed.  (Sorry Mitch).  

Thanks Mom!  Thanks Dad!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

When does school start?

Summer is getting long.  I can tell because one of the things Kira and I have been doing to keep ourselves entertained is to talk (yell) to each other in an overdone British accent.

Kira:  Mumsie!

Me:  Yes Bibsie?

Kira: Whut aaa you making foa dinnaa?

Me:  Why, Bibsie, we aaa having rewsted chicken and mashed pohtahtoes.

Kira: Capital, Mumsie!  I can't wait!  You know how I love my pohtahtoes mashed!

Sam: (rocketing out of his room) Oh my god, why do you keep talking like that?!

Kira:  Oh, deaa bruthaa, you shouldn't talk to yoa mumsie that way!

Sam:  I'm sorry, but please, please please shut UP!

Kira:  Sam stop ova-reacting or you will end up pewping yoa pants!

Sam:  Mom, please, make her stop.

Me: Oh, my daaling boy, I don't do things foa people who tell me to shut up.

Kira:  Bewbs!

Sam:  I wasn't telling you to shut up, I was telling her to shut up!

Me:  Whateva foa?

Kira:  Bewbs!

Sam: ...Jesus.

It's fun, but even I have to admit that after a while it gets a little obnoxious.  Kira just walks around the house all day constantly monologuing what she is doing in her high pitched, incredibly loud accent.  I was about to tell her to stop it yesterday but then she got me laughing so hard I couldn't even talk.  She was making herself a drink of flavored water with this stuff Mitch bought the other day called Green Thunder.  Mitch always says it in rumbling voice much like a professional wrestler, like this:  GREEN THUNDER! so now everyone in the house says it like that.  This is what Kira said to make me laugh:

Kira:  Well, Mumsie, I am getting raathaa thirsty.  Whut shall I have to quench my thuuuust?  I didn't realize I was so paaached!  Have we any iced tea, Mumsie?  Oh I know, I'll have some GREEEEEN THUNDERRRRRR!....

And that is when my mind finally snapped and I've been laughing ever since.  When does school start?  Seriously, Sam wants to know.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Do you ever feel like you are a little dumber than you normally are?  Like sometimes for a few months you might be especially clever, but then that is balanced out by being a complete idiot for a couple months.  I'm somewhere in the middle of a truly idiotic phase which makes me wonder why, since I don't recall having any particularly smart phases.  Part of being an idiot is not realizing you are an idiot, but I finally came around to the idea when I realized that not a lot is going on in my head these days.  Usually I'm thinking about things I'm reading, or about things to write, or about things to do, but when I'm having my dumb days this is what is in my head, ".........huh?..............(crickets)................(tumbleweeds)....."

Also I've been playing a game called Quoridor with my family.  It is the only board game I can stand.  The object is to get your game piece across the board to the other player's home before he can get to your home.  To help, each player gets ten little wood fences that they can prop in the grooves in the board impeding their opponent's movement.  (Quoridor = Corridor?  Hallway?  get it?)   Usually if I can get someone to play with me I have a fair shot at winning, but not lately.  I think I've won three games of the last 300 I've made Sam, Kira, and Mitch play with me.  I thought I was forgetting about some key strategy so I had Mitch talk me through his thinking as he was putting up his fences and I still lost.  I'm obsessed with this now.  Why can't I win?  When will this bout of idiocy be over?  Kira is starting to take advantage of me, "Mom, I'll play Quoridor with you and if I win you have to do the dishes for me tonight, mkay?" I can't resist.

A few days ago Kira thought it would be hilarious to set up the Chess board and have me play Mitch.  He beat me in about four moves, but in my defense, I don't know how to play Chess.  The idiotic part is that I didn't admit to Mitch or to myself that I don't know how to play.  I thought I could fake my way to a win and was a little ticked at all his snotty Chess jargon:
Mitch: Check
Me:  What the fuck are you talking about?

I've been reading two books that I started before the idiocy began; Jane Eyre because it's my favorite, and a book called Pox Americana about the smallpox epidemic of 1775-1782.  I know that the cloak of dimness descended sometime after Jane realized she was in love with Mr. Rochester because I could not put the book down, but now, when she is in crisis after finding out about his hidden wife, I can't get through five pages without being amused by something utterly ridiculous.  Like when Mr. Rochester was comparing Jane with his wife and he said, "...look at the difference! Compare these clear eyes with the red balls yonder - this face with that mask..."  I had to stop reading because I wasn't comprehending anything and all that was going through my head was, ".... 'red balls yonder'...... lol."

As for the other book, Pox Americana, I started it and was fascinated because it combines two of my favorite subjects; the American Revolution and pestilence.  I've always loved pestilence.  But lately I've been reading about how smallpox traveled around throughout the entire continent with people and on blankets, and how horrific it was to be completely covered in a huge smallpox scab and I think, "...huh....boring."  That is sooooo unlike me!  I usually love to read about deadly epidemics.  When I was in my twenties my favorite book was a terrifying non-fiction book called The Coming Plague.  It still gives me shivers (of joy) to think about it.

I guess I have no choice but to ride this out and hope it ends.  The question is what to do to entertain myself while my IQ is below 80?   Maybe I'll read Fifty Shades of Grey.

Nah.  I'm not that desperate.  I'd rather just sit in a chair and stare and think of absolutely nothing. (raaaarrr!)

"... yeah, that's right."

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kira in the Car

I think someone should make hotdogs completely out of pig meat and then they could call them "Hog Dogs."  

Monday, August 6, 2012


I want to get a new job.  Not that substitute teaching, which means every day going in to a strange classroom cold, with a bunch of strange kids who are sometimes really mean to me, and getting paid a pittance with no benefits or retirement plan isn't a sweet job, but I guess I'm getting kind of sick of it.  I actually do like it most of the time, and I was hoping to use it as a way to get my foot in the door of a bunch of school districts who are not hiring, and are, in fact laying off more teachers every year.  It's time to give up the dream, I guess.  So I've been applying for new jobs.  I applied for a bunch at the University of Minnesota.  Everything from receptionist to adjunct professor in the philosophy department (whatever that is LOL!)  Just kidding.  I didn't apply to be a professor.  Turns out that despite earning a Bachelor's Degree, I'm not qualified to do much.  I really painted myself into a corner when I majored in English.  I'd like to go back and slap college me.

I've been a little anxious about the whole thing because I don't have an "interview outfit."  I wear basically the same thing every single day and it isn't interview-worthy.  So yesterday I went shopping.  Man, shopping sucks.  I looked at literally tons of clothes and hated 99.9999999% of them.  I wanted to get a blazer/jacket type thing, a blouse and maybe a skirt or a pair of dress pants.  That should be easy huh?  Pretty classic pieces, shouldn't be hard to find.  I found a jacket that I really like a lot.  It wasn't easy.  Then I had to get a shirt to go under it and a skirt.  Skirts, I found come in a few varieties:  Cindy-Lauper-from-the-eighties style, Mrs. Doubtfire style, Janice Joplin style, or the classic street-prostitute style.  None of which, I am exactly crazy about.   For one thing, I hate the idea of skirts because all it would take is one quick tug from anyone, and boom! I'd be half naked.  I'm not crazy about that.  I need it to be cute, long enough to not accidentally flash my nethers to the world, but not so long that I look shorter and dumpier than I actually am.

I was about to give up when I decided to go to Sears.  I HATE Sears so I wasn't expecting to find much.  I was flipping through the clearance rack and I saw a black skirt.  Okay, right color.  It was the right size.  Okay... So I tried it on.  It fit me like it was made for me and the best thing of all - it's not a skirt after all, it's a skort.  I have pants on in secret, but it looks like I'm wearing a skirt!  I love that.  AND it has four pockets!  I realize that I'm not making this skirt sound exactly stylish, but it's a black skirt (skort) that is not too short, not too long.  That's all I require.  The undershorts and pockets are just icing on the cake.  I don't need it to be haute couture.  I just need it to be a skirt, be black, and cover my butt when I go on a job interview.

I also looked around for a blouse.  I usually wear solid-colored ladies t-shirts.  I figured if push comes to shove, I could just wear one of those under my jacket, but I wanted something a little more fashionable.  Why are all ladies blouses these days made of gauze?  Seriously, there is nothing to them.  They are not made of textiles so much as they are made of spider webs.  Most of them are flimsy and transparent.  Who wants to wear that?  I tried on one and it was sort of fitted with strange gathers on the sides and in the front.  The seams on the side went in an arc toward the front which just made me look like a pregnant 41 year old, and right in the center, between boobs and belly button there was a stitch gathering all the front material together.  What?  Who made that and thought it was a good idea?  It's not like I'm picky, I just want to look somewhat nice and not be naked.  I require full-coverage, and the clean lines that a skort full of pockets can provide.

I'm just going to wear a neck brace and Hello Kitty bandaids on my nipples under my new blazer.  That's the direction women's fashion is going anyway with the bandage dresses and guaze blouses.  It's first aid couture.  The fashion industry thinks we want to convey this message to the world: "I'm sexy, I'm injured and I'm practically naked... uuuuuuhhhhhhh baby.... come and get me!" I might as well be on the cutting edge.  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Movie Review: Young Adult and Sarah's Key

I saw two movies this weekend, Young Adult and Sarah's Key.  They were both very good but kind of sad.

Charlize Theron is in Young Adult.  She is a fiction writer who writes a young adult series kind of like The Babysitters Club or something like that.  She thinks she's a really big deal because she moved from a small Minnesota lake town to Minneapolis.  She gets a birth announcement from her old high school boyfriend (he and his wife had a baby) and she is perturbed.  She goes back to her hometown to win him back because small town + marriage and family = boring.  She thinks of it as rescuing him.

Charlize Theron is so good in this movie.  She is gorgeous and funny, but you can tell her character is depressed.  She drinks a lot and she seems to be stuck at about 18 years old or something (The movie is called Young Adult, get it?).  In the movie we learn why and it's kind of sad.  It's a good movie.  I'd recommend it.

The other movie was Sarah's Key.

It's two stories that converge around an apartment in Paris.  The first story is about a family who live in the apartment in the 1940s.  They are Jewish and they are rounded up by French officials and brought to camps.  When the officials come, the mom is home alone with her two little kids.  The girl, Sarah, can tell how afraid her mother is of these officials, so she hides her brother in a concealed closet in the bedroom and locks it.  She keeps the key.  The mother and daughter are taken to a stadium with the father where they are kept for days.  Sarah is frantic because she made her little brother promise to stay in the closet until she came back.  She is desperate to get back to him.

The other story takes place in 2009.  An American ex-pat is about to move into the same apartment.  She is a journalist who is writing a story about the rounding up of the Jews in the 1940s.  She learns that her new apartment was once part of the Jewish section of town.  She is disturbed that her apartment may have been stolen from a Jewish family by her husband's family who have owned the apartment since the war.  She goes on a quest to find out what happened to the people who lived in it before her husband's family moved in.

Guess what?  This movie is sad.  In case you didn't know, WWII sucked.  Especially if you lived in Europe and especially if you were Jewish.  My father-in-law is reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich right now and the other day he told me, "Hitler was a jerk.  I mean, a REAL JERK."  And you know what?  It's true.  Hitler was a jerk.

Other than the movie being incredibly sad, it was very good.  If you don't mind getting depressed, I would recommend it.  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Kira in the Car

Kira:  Dad, do you think midgets get picked up a lot?

Mitch:  They don't really like to be called "midgets," Kira.

Kira:  I don't care what they like to be called, I just want to pick one up.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I come from a family of people with giant heads. We are like a family of Bratz dolls without the skinny, sexy little bodies.
From left to right:  My mom, me, Amy, Beth

Then I married a man with a giant head.  Naturally our children have giant heads as well.  They were doomed to it.  Thankfully both of them were born via C-section or my head wouldn't be my only freakishly oversized body part.  I remember when Sam was born and they told me his head was nearly 16 inches in circumference.  In my drug haze I couldn't quite grasp what they were saying.  When I was a teenager my grandma told me that when SHE was my age, she had an 18 inch waist.  My teeny little newborn baby couldn't possibly have a head nearly the size of my grandma's teenage waist, could he?

Thank you, Sam, for being breech.

I thought they must be talking in centimeters and wanted to snottily remind them that we live in AMERICA and we don't use the stupid metric system!  But no, they were talking about inches.

My kids were both in hockey when they were little.  Since they started when they were about four years old, we have had to buy them adult sized helmets.  When they got to be around nine or ten years old, they were wearing an adult extra large and there was nowhere else to turn unless we ordered specially-made freak sizes.  The kids would complain of headaches from the tightness of their helmets so Mitch solved the problem by shaving off, or cutting out the protective padding inside the helmets to give their heads more room.  Sam told me yesterday that he broke a helmet once.  I said I didn't remember him ever falling hard enough to break a helmet and he said, "I didn't fall.  My head broke out of it."

Now my sister Amy, who arguably has the biggest head of all of us, is getting ready to do a tour of duty in Afghanistan.  When she was in high school she was nick-named (by me) Big Head.  I actually remember chatting with one of the study hall monitors one time and he said, "Your sister has a really big head." and I thought he was talking about how cocky she is and I said, "Do you think so? I think she's pretty humble, being a freshman and all." and he said, "No, I mean her head is enormous." and he made a gesture with his hands around his head like it was the size of a beach ball. (It's not that big.)  I said, "Oh yeah, of course. Everybody knows that."

Yesterday she was issued all her war-time equipment.  (You can read all about it here)  She said that her helmet is GIGANTIC.  She says that she looks like Dark Helmet from Spaceballs.  She didn't post a picture but I am sure that is no exaggeration.

UPDATE:  My sister stupidly told people she has to work and live with about her older sister's blog.  Why not just say to them, "Hey, wanna pick on me for a while?  Need some material?  Go visit my sister's blog!  Here's the address."  Anyway, I can't help it if she makes it easy.  She posted a picture of herself in her new war helmet and she does look a little like Dark Helmet.  You can read about it HERE)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Story of the Gummy Bear

Last September, after getting to school at the crack of dawn, Kira and her friend Mallory decided to kill a little time by the vending machines before the bell rang.  Mallory got a package of gummy bears (breakfast!) and Kira surreptitiously stole one, bit off the head, licked its whole body and then threw it on the ceiling.  That's what kind of a girl my daughter is, stealing from her friends and defacing public property.  Anyway, that defiled gummy bear was stuck to the ceiling by the vending machines all year long.  The girls enjoyed looking up with astonishment through the months to see that the disgusting little thing was still up there, virtually unchanged.

On the last day of school, the girls were yet again killing time by the vending machines, eyes trained on the ceiling, reminiscing about the day Kira stole the gummy bear; amazed at how sticky a headless, wet gummy bear must really get, and applying what they learned that year in health and science classes to try to explain the utter lack of decay.  It looked like it did they day it was thrown up there!

Kira and Mallory in the panto-horse
That's when Mallory decided to make right the wrong committed against her those many months before, "That's it, I'm eating my gummy bear!" she cried!  "Give me a boost!"  The sixth graders gathered around and hoisted her up to the ceiling where she tugged against the asbestos tile to claim what was hers.  She got it down, and to the joy of all who watched, she finally (finally!) ate the gummy bear she was unjustly separated from a mere nine months before.   How was it?  "Crunchy!" she cried!