Friday, March 30, 2007

Shatterproof

The other day I was reading...

No really, I was!

I'm sorry, I had to interject with that. I'll get to the topic...ahem.

The other day I was reading about a person who admitted to currently enjoying the music of the BeeGees. The beat is addictive in any era. Barry Gibb, HAWT.

I can understand. This admission reminded me of the coolest lunch box I ever took to school. It was a hand me down from my older sister.



Isn't that the most awesomenest thing? Carrying this lunchbox in my grubby schoolaged fists sent waves of disco fever up my arms, across my shoulders, flooding polyester satin coolness to my first grade brain.

The titles of the BeeGees greatest hits were listed on either side of this lunchbox. My friends and I disrupted the peaceful quiet of an elementary school cafeteria, almost daily, with our laughter over a song entitled "Fanny". Heh, fanny means butt.

The next year the BeeGees lunchbox was replaced with:



I was disappointed when my Mom brought this atrocity home to me. The opposite side had a picture of "Animal" on it. Sigh, it was a boy's lunchbox. I wanted the one she'd brought home for my little sister:



I can't recall exactly why I didn't think this thing wasn't equally atrocious. My little sister was game and so we traded. I remember I was trying to make the most popular girl in the second grade jealous, because she also had a crush on the second grade boy that I had a crush on. If, in second grade, I knew the word "bitch", I probably would have told her she was one just for the sake of female competition.

See my Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox bitch? Yeah...That's how much more awesome I am compared to you. He'll like me more now! He'll let me play with his Princess Leia action figure instead of shoving Boba Fett at me. Neeener, neener!

If Strawberry Shortcake was ever a polite example to little girls, I didn't catch a whiff of it.

Eventually all three lunchboxes were snatched up at a yard sale for chickenscratch. Now the BeeGees box is worth $35, the Muppets worth $12 and the Strawberry Shortcake runs a cool $20.

See how much yours was worth.

The next year I retired my lunchbox in favor of hot lunch, which I ate with chopsticks everyday. See, bitch? Still cool...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

How to keep kiddies entertained whilst on family vacation

I was asked by Kathie what it took to have a family vacation go smoothly.

Here is when I point and laugh at Kathie...wooo, aren't you funny! Don't you know there is no such thing?

I'm kidding. Our family does have smoother than average vacations. One of the reasons is because my children are acclimated to spending long periods of time in the family truckster. This is just the nature of the middle of nowhere place that I live. We regularly drive long distances to go to a Walmart.

My kids sleep in the car. I'd offer the option of DVD watching in the car to my readers, but many of us know that sometimes that is an excellent way to encourage vomiting in the backseat. (Speaking of, always keep one receptacle for each kid in the car for vomiting purposes.)

Have some other tips and junk:

1. Don't rush.
There is really no need to pack in the activities. Honest, the kids won't notice if you visit one roadside two ton ball of twine and skip the thirty mile long chain of paperclips. A casual pace to vacation lessens stress and overstimulation, so with smaller children, a goal of one destination is fine. If the kids don't give a crap about a giant ball of twine and would rather throw rocks at carp fish in a nearby irrigation canal, that's fine too. They'll remember they had fun and that's what matters.

If you have to pay for an extra day or two of vacation, so you don't have to rush, it's so worth it.

2. Keep meals on time with familiar menus.
The reason that you had to stop for two hours at an odorous pit toilet rest stop, competing for the last square of TP, was because you have been feeding the kiddos too much rich food and snacks. Stop that. Adults like fine dining on vacation. Kids want crap food. Don't give in to either too much. Drink a lot of water. Pack a cooler with normal home food.

If the kids are hungry, don't put off the meal. Get the little gits fed. Otherwise you are just asking for that tantrum in the middle of Bubba's Paintball Museum and Giftshop. Bubba don't cotton to babbies that ain't got no manners. He will shoot your kid.

While waiting for food we all know that it's important to keep kids busy or else their screaming bloody hell will annoy other patrons. These people stiff their waitresses tips on the way out to key your family truckster. Our family eschews the crayons and kiddie menus in favor of playing "I Spy". What restaurant doesn't have their walls covered in all manner of dizzying crap these days? The rules are that you keep an indoor voice and that you have to stay sitting on your butt. I spy, with my little eye, something obnoxiously orange. Is it that lady's dyed hair in the next booth? Yes, your turn!

...and don't leave a horrendous kid mess on your table and floor for the waitstaff to clean up. It's just rude.

3. Wait until the last day to buy cheap souvenirs.
The blissful part of going to one destination is that you can tell the kids that they can look all the while you are there because they can choose something on the last day, before you go home. This creates parental leverage. The kids might find themselves very much wanting the snowglobe with a replica of the giant ball of twine in it and so act like little angels most everywhere you go. This also stems a constant stream of the gimmes. Too many gimmes during the vacation and their last day selection very well may be a shopping bag full of free souvenir air.

4. Adjoining motel rooms.
I am not going to explain this because this post should be rated PG-13 at most....mmmmkay? Just know that when Mom and Dad get a chance to "vacation" too, everyone is happier and more relaxed.

5. Benedryl.
'Nuff said.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I'd like to lodge a complaint...

Did anyone catch Oprah yesterday?

(Well, let her go already! Har dee har har...)

A guest of her program especially impressed me. She interviewed Pastor Will Bowen about his crusade to nip complaining and gossip in the bud. It all started as an exercise to remove this behavior within his congregation and has grown worldwide.

In a Sunday morning sermon, Will told his congregation he wanted to make the world a complaint-free place. To prove he was serious, Will passed out purple bracelets to each church member and offered them a challenge."If you catch yourself complaining, you take [the bracelet] and you move it to the other wrist," Will says. "The idea is to ultimately keep it [on the same wrist] for 21 days." Will chose this length of time, he says, because scientists believe it takes that long to form a new habit.


What a beautiful concept.

It certainly inspires a challenge. Will any of my co-bloggers, readers and other hangers on join me? You can request a bracelet HERE, completely free. I suggest, in the vein of gratitude, that if you do request a bracelet you make a small cash donation for a worthwhile cause.

Of course, you don't have to request a bracelet. You can just steal the concept. I doubt Pastor Bowen will complain about that.

This will kill off those damned FOAD blog posts...

(Change wrist...sigh...)

Monday, March 26, 2007

My stash is bigger than your stash

Howdy readers and other hangers on. I'm back from vacation...

If you would like to see some of what I saw, and my family saw, and a tour bus full of Germans saw, head on over to my husband's blog and take a scroll. He took them there photos himself.

While on vacation, I managed to hit a lucrative sale at one of my favorite fabric stores. Their clearance racks were marked 50% off the clearance price, and then further marked 20% off that at the register. Their clearance selection wasn't craptacular either. I was in the midst of racks and racks of pristine pressed and starched love and joy. Sigh, fabulous.

I picked up enough fabric to make up five more costumes. I spent $56 and saved $147. Be still oh my little frugal heart.

On my way to the register I was approached by an average looking woman. She pointed to the bolt of wide striped peach jacquard in my cart and said, "I've had my eye on that." with the expectation that I was going to hand it right over to her. When I picked up this bolt, I saw no body parts on it whatsoever, much less this woman being close enough from several racks away to lift her leg and mark this fabric as her territory.

I looked at her a moment and replied, "Well, it's in my cart!"

Was I going to give up this gem, marked down more than 50% to $2 a yard from the $6 a yard clearance price (regular $12 a yard) and then 20% more off that at the register? Hell no! I was going to buy fourteen yards of it and make a Marie Antoinette out of it...sheesh, couldn't she tell?

When I told the cashier to cut fourteen yards of it, my co-patron with the roving eyeball gasped. Yes, I was going to buy a lot of it so she couldn't have any of it. Mine mine mine mine and mine.

I left maybe ten yards on the bolt, which she snatched up, almost literally crawling over the cutting table to get to it. Afterall, she had her eye on that.

Hers hers hers hers and hers.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Holiday Road

Push the pause button on this blog, dear readers and other hangers on. It's officially spring break and so the my absent minded family will be going on vacation. I'll be gone for an entire week.

In the meanwhile, if there are any subjects you would like me to touch upon when I return, let me know. I'm more than willing to attempt confusing you all with my thoughts on any subject.

Except Anna Nicole. I don't wanna yak about her.

Or Angelina Jolie...or Mia Farrow.

Or Gary Burghoff...

Any Gong Show reject in general...

Latex S&M porn is off the list too...


Anything other than that. Have a good week!

Friday, March 16, 2007

And then we'll take it higher...

After letting your cat in from outdoors and before you pick up said cat and rub your face in it's fur, a person should check to make sure that cat has not been rolling around in the dirt.

Now you don't have to ask me how I got bits of dry weeds in my eyebrows.

***

It's only been three months since Christmas. Have you lazy parents forgotten that all the toys you got the kiddies need their batteries replaced?

No, you haven't forgotten. You've left the dead batteries in the toys on purpose. I don't blame you.

However, if you suddenly feel the urge to replace the six AA batteries that TMX Elmo requires, a person couldn't go wrong in making the cost of that easier on themselves by utilizing March's Bestest Housewifely Doodad! I thrust the honor upon:



Rechargeable batteries.

It goes without saying that rechargeable batteries are great for Mom's toys as well, ahem. It just never a bad idea to have fresh batteries around during an emergency and rechargeables provide that in spades. Spades, YES YES YES, SPADES!!<

Rechargeable batteries average about a dollar more per package than the kind you use once and then throw at your dirty cat. The companion battery chargers range anywhere from 7 to 100 bucks, depending on the kind of batteries that need charging and the load. My own charger will zap life into both AA and AAA batteries and cost around $12.

You can buy rechargeable batteries and chargers at any department type store, usually by the digital cameras since those babies suck up the juice. You cannot find them stocked by the playing cards despite my outburst earlier.

Thank you rechargeable batteries. I like you, I really like you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sell me a bridge.

I am a great big humongous weakling.

I'm not talking about my muscles. I fully admit to being a wimp in the physical sense. I'm talking about my will, my reserve, my integrity!

Forgive me, for I have been watching American Idol when once I said I held disdain for the program past watching the audition episodes. I have been watching, I have been critiquing, I have been noticing Simon Cowell's pecs. I like Chris Sligh, oh lord help me!

I have so sinned...

I still hold disdain for portions of the program. The bulk of it is directed at one particular sponsor of the show...

Why does Dreyer's think we care if they've got five new American Idol themed ice cream flavors? Can someone tell me what ice cream and talent shows have in common? Why wouldn't I buy this unless is was deeply discounted and I had a coupon?

It used to be that you'd see cartoon characters on products. Everyone knows that Flintstone's Pebbles cereal is for the kids. Same with Smurf's cereal, Mr. T cereal, Urkel-O's, and crispy Pokemon oat bits. It was a natural leap. Kid food with kid themes. Buy a lot of it.

Are adults so commercially inundated that the same marketing strategy applies?

Ask Ben and Jerry. If Amercian Idol ice cream doesn't grab you, get yourself some Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream and have a politically witty day. Karl Rove eats it by the gallon. Research you know.

There are other products I'd like to see marketed. Tie ins are just that awesome.

Ghost Whisperer scented bathroom air fresheners.
CSI flavored gelatin with bonus gelatin molds.
Grey's Anatomy flavored water soluable personal lubricants.
The Office nearly lint free coffee filters.
Heroes brand double dose fiber supplements with calcium.
The View brand tampons, with or without applicators.

Don't you want to get your wallet out? I know I do.

I have to get out my wallet. I'm a will-less weakling.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

In a jam

Strawberries anyone?












My local grocery store got in a shipment of these mutant strawberries. They are HUGE. I've been repeatedly risking growing a third arm out of my forehead by sneaking back to the store to buy yet another quart. They are delicious.

Monday, March 12, 2007

It's just extra protein...

I was reminded of a story from my high school days this morning.

It's best you not ask me what reminded me of this story. As you read you'll probably realize that you don't want to know. Let that be a warning to you squeemish types, especially you male squeemish types, as this story has a lot to do with male organs. Non-human male organs, but male nonetheless, in squeem inducing positions.

Remember, I done warned you...

I believe I've written before that I was a very active member of The Future Farmers of America. Here, have a photo of yours truly in my blue corduroy jacket.



As a member in good standing, I was required to learn about all methods of agribusiness. This included the proper care and feeding of many different types of livestock. I learned about pigs. I learned about cows. I learned about goats. I learned about sheep...

For various reasons, it's important that many male livestock species have their balls...their testes...their gonads...their cajones...seperated from the rest of their bodies. Unless these males show that they have superior DNA to pass on, they all become eunuchs. On this particular occasion, for this FFA lesson, we were being shown how to castrate lambs.

There are many ways to perform this procedure. You can rubber band them, and eventually they fall off. You can crush them, and eventually they fall off. The impatient can use a sharp instrument, no waiting for them to fall off, instant gratification.

Or, if you are an animal science teacher with a sense of humor, you can show your students how to remove a lambs testicles using your teeth.

Do you remember that warning? Yeah, I meant that...you can still turn back!

We were told that using one's teeth was one of the more quick and clean methods available to a person needing to castrate only a few sheep. You open up the sac with a knife but use the old chompers to bite through the seminal tubing. This both crushes the tubes, inhibiting dangerous bleeding, and severes the offending testicles.

Many of us students watched our teacher do this with interest. It was interesting not because we wanted to learn how to castrate sheep, but because our teacher actully put his mouth on a lamb's crotch. A few students turned an olive shade of green, which I believe was what truly motivated my teacher in giving that particular lesson. It sure puts a teenager off sex.

...and then a few students simply didn't pay attention at all, which was par for the course for them. Hell, my teacher could be doing what people think farmers really do with sheep that class period and these students wouldn't have noticed.

That's why none of us told one spacey young man that the teacher had thrown a freshly removed spare testicle at him and it had landed inside the collar of his coat.

Heh.

I don't know if this young man ever discovered the testicle. It was an unspoken rule that we classmates didn't mention it to him directly. The testicle jokes flew around that classroom with such wit and subtlety, all the rest of that semester, that if he had been paying attention he might have said something.

I truly did enjoy my time in FFA and with that teacher. They don't make them like that guy anymore.

You can ask what they moral of this story is. It could be that you should pay attention to what's going on around you or you may end up with a gonad where you don't want one. Or it could be that high school is a cruel cruel joke.

If you've got a better moral...by all means...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

300th post

...and if you've read every one I salute you. You've supported me in my effort to put off doing the laundry.

In celebration I've updated my 100 Things About Me post. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Perchance to dream.



Last night I had one of those dreams where you are naked in a public place.

The dream was set at my high school reunion. My husband was there. My first high school boyfriend was there (even though he graduated a year earlier.) The man I lost my virginity to was there (even though he didn't even attend my highschool.) ...and then all of my graduating class were there. ALL of them, the classmates that liked me, and hated me, and admired me, and those that thought me beneath consideration.

I'm not embarrassed in this dream even though I'm the only one naked. I'm lounging about, warm and free and confident, thankfully weighing more than I did in highschool. I'm participating, conversing, smiling.

Everyone at the reunion gets a good gawk. I'm oblivious to it. This is me. This is my body made up of mostly legs. This is my pear shape. These are my annoying hairs that are becoming more prominent as I age. This is my cellulite. This is my loose belly skin from one too many pregnancies. These are my tiny lopsided breasts. Here are my knobby knees and my pokey shoulder blades. Here is that mole on my back that gets irritated under my bra strap.

I don't know why the reunion was the dream setting. I did attend my last high school reunion. I had a great time. I wore a little black dress that covered up my loose belly skin and evened out my figure from breasts to hips. I wore pantyhose. I hate pantyhose. I wore borrowed shoes. I felt good.

Near the end of my dream another reunion attendee hands me a white sheet. I wrap it around my equally white skinned body with such flourish and artistic arrangement that my efforts are ooohed and ahhed at.

It was a lovely dream to wake up from.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Made of plastic, it's fantastic!

I've been saved from my toddler's morning clinginess by a "Blues Room" marathon on Nick Jr. It's been airing since 8 A. M. This show is nauseating and he loves it. Nobody says you have to give birth to children with sophisticated tastes.

The glass half full portion of this morning is that I haven't yet been elbowed in the boob because my toddler assumes I'm a jungle gym. He's laying on the floor in a hypnotic "doodle doodle doodle" daze.

The glass half empty is that the last two and a half hours have been a barrage of commercials for equally nauseating children's toys. I've risen above the constant high pitched babble of the commercials by dashing the innocence of toys with a little dirty mindedness. Some examples:

In the many incarnations of Barbie, this commercial boasts that Barbie has sprouted rainbow wings and has become a fairy. Barbie lives in Fairytopia! Aww...much too easy for the average dirty mind! Mattel knows this. This is why Barbie not only has morphed into a fairy, but Fairy Barbie now sings karaoke. That's right folks, it's Fairy-aoke. Barbie is a vinyl drag queen that never has to tuck it in.

We can't leave Barbie well enough alone with the wings, oh no, Barbie also has to sprout a fish tail and visit a little suburb of Fairytopia aptly named Mermaidia. Old Barb goes from flitting about to being a real wet end with a fishy aroma.

As if our fruity fairy fishy Barbie weren't enough, she's added on to her menagerie with a dog companion doll that really poops! Barbie no longer needs that butchy Midge best friend doll hanging about, oh no...all Barbie needs is a hot labrador retriever with a big grin and some lever action. Good doggy!

Barbie hasn't entirely monopolized the fashion doll market. Our fashion doll skank entry, the Bratz doll, has upped their image a bit by introducing Dr. Skankalotta Goodall...bratz of the jungle...the Bratz Adventure Girlz! She comes with a canteen, but lord knows whats in it and what she'll do...all alone...in the jungle...all alone...allllonnnneeee.

For the boys (because this is the only commercial directed toward little boys in this particular break), the pocket rocket! Ooops, no, the rocket fishing rod! Apparently, after pumping this fishing rod, it bursts forth rocket style and deposits a bobber in your favorite fishing hole, almost where you aimed it. Hidden deep inside the bobber is the lure, which is released upon hitting the water only seconds after pumping. That's ok dude, the rod comes with a free extra bobber, try again!

...and finally, Dora the Explorer extends an offer of "Let's play with our ponies!" with Dora's Pony Play Pack. Oh Dora...Don't you know what's under a pony's tail?

Tomorrow the kid watches soaps.

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