Monday, March 29, 2010

Little Miss Less-Than-Perfect

All of a sudden, I have a random rattling sound coming from the right side of my office. What the hell?? It wasn't there on Friday…and now it is. I think it's something to do with the A/C. I'm thinking maybe it is freaking out because it's been as cold as northern Alaska since October and it's dying from over-exertion. Or maybe my office is rebelling and has declared itself to be on summer break--I have 15 minutes to evacuate or the whole flippin' thing is coming down on my head.

Sorry office…too much to do for a summer break now. You'll just have to keep rattling and make sure my room temperature is at a comfortable level. Deal with it.

I wanted to take today to personally let each and every one of you know that I am single-handedly responsible for the declining literacy rate in this country. Well, at least in one particular county in Texas…


Because I'm a bad mother and I don't read to my child for 20 minutes every night. Yes, I know it's important and yes, I know all of the reasons why.

But, it's such a pain in the ass to fit it in with everything else we have to do between the hours of 6 and 9-ish (which I know is a terribly late bedtime for a 5-year-old…if you'd care to come put my kid to bed every night, I'd almost consider paying you). I mean, I get home from work, the husband gets home from work, we have to cook dinner, eat dinner, straighten the house, clean the kitchen, clean the kid, feed the dogs, take our daily Candy Land beatings and *perhaps* take a moment to sit and relax before bed. All that done and BAM! It's 9:00. Generally, what happens is that within that moment of relaxation, I doze off. And then, when it's time to tuck the kid into bed, I'm so sleepy that I can barely mumble all the words to "Now I lay me down to sleep". (See Mom? I'm making her pray at night at least.) Sometimes, I'll admit I do a better job of watching the clock and manage to get her to bed by 8:45 so we can read a story before bedtime (these are the days when I feel like Super Mom).

Just because I don't read to her every night doesn't mean I don't *ever* read to her…I do. Just maybe on rainy Saturday afternoons or from the back of the box of mac n' cheese she's having for dinner. That totally counts, though, right? Sure it does.

One of the main reasons I have not spent hours and hours reading to her is that honestly? She doesn't enjoy it. She doesn't like sitting and listening to me read. She'd rather hold the book herself and make up a story by looking at the pictures…which, I have to admit, is much more entertaining. But a little scary because it shows that she already has control issues. Shocker, if you know me or my husband.

Here's one of her books as retold by her:

The book says: Hola! I'm Dora and this is my friend Boots the monkey. We're helping the red bird find his friends.
She says: Once upon a time, there was Dora and Boots. And Dora said, "We're looking for friends for the red bird."
The book says: Do you see any of the red bird's friends in the forest?
She says: There are the red bird's friends in the trees….where birds live.
The book says: We need to follow the red bird to help him find his friends. We have to go through the blue gate. If you say "abre" in Spanish, the gate will open. Can you say "abre"?
She says: We have to follow this red bird. Go through the blue gate. Say "open".
The book says: Oh no! We've lost the red bird! Can you look in backpack for something to help us see him?
She says: The red bird is hiding. Get the binoculars out of backpack to help find him.
The book says: We've found the red bird, but his friends are hungry. Do you see anything in backpack we could feed them?
She says: Feed the birds birdseed and they won't fly away.
The book says: Thanks for helping us find the red bird's friends! Adios!
She says: Thanks for helping! Bye! The end and they lived happily ever after. (because when you're five, EVERY book/story ends with "happily ever after")

See? Much better when it's told her way.  Just the facts ma'am. So maybe if she makes up the stories to the pictures, we'll have time to read a story every night? It won't take nearly as long as me reading what's *actually* in the book.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

St. Daiquiris--Patron of the drive thru daiquiri factory

I have mentioned before that I went to Catholic school for 13 years. I'm not sure that anyone, other than those of us who attended Catholic school for that long *actually* understands what that means. Well, here's your little journey into my world….

-We went to religion class every single day and chapel once a week. And we generally memorized the Ten Commandments once a year and prayed the rosary like, a lot. But we never had a nun for a religion teacher…isn't that odd? We did, however, have a nun for a principal in elementary school and while I never saw her hit anyone with a ruler, I did witness her crushing a few kids' self-esteems now and again. Her big punishment for kids like me who talked and laughed in class when we weren't supposed to was to make us write pages of multiplication tables. And let me tell you—I have that shit down. I can recite my multiplication tables like nobody's business (the Ten Commandments is a whole 'nother story). We used to just write pages of them in our spare time and that way we'd have them stocked up when we got in trouble (no…it wasn't "if", it was "when", trust me…it made sense to keep some on back-up).

-We wore school uniforms. And not cute, hot uniforms like Britney Spears in the "Kiss Me Baby One More Time" video….ugly, walking shorts and oxford cloth shirt uniforms. Our elementary uniforms were white shirts with a sailor collar and a plaid tie and navy shorts. Didja get that?? A FLIPPIN' SAILOR COLLAR!!! Who the hell's idea was that nonsense?!! AND we had the option of wearing culottes… they even make culottes anymore?!?! Probably not. It was just us stupid Catholic school kids wearing 'em, so who cares? We seriously wore uniforms until we graduated from high school. Yep…nothing says "All grown up and ready to move away to college" like plaid walking shorts and oxford cloth shirts! On the plus side, you never really had to decide what to wear in the mornings…

-Yes, everything you've ever heard about Catholic school kids being crazy is pretty much true. We got hammered at our 8th grade graduation party off the Old Charter somebody's dad kept in the liquor cabinet. And we refilled it with apple juice and never got caught. Hey—I said "crazy", not "stupid". To this day, I cannot smell Old Charter without being blasted back to junior high…good times. Again, we were in Louisiana, birthplace of that modern miracle known as the "drive-thru daiquiri factory". And everybody's older brother or sister or cousin or third cousin's best friend worked there, so we totally got the hook-up at the drive thru. Cruising the strip in town = pack of Marlboro Lights, family-sized frozen Tom Collins and "Gimme That Nut" jamming on the CD player.

So now I have a friend that's considering putting her oldest daughter (who's in high school) in a Catholic school. Her reasoning? She's struggling with peer pressure issues and she's afraid she's getting in with the wrong crowd.

Um….Catholic school may not be your best option, here….unless she really likes Old Charter? Or Tom Collins?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Last one to the car is a rotten egg!

So the kid has her first tee-ball game today. It reminded me of when I played tee-ball and was one of two girls on the team. The other girl hated me (the infamous Heather, who kicked my ass on the playground in 2nd grade) and quit halfway through the season (which I'm sure had nothing whatsoever to do with me being on her team). So then I ended up being the only girl on the team. Which honestly? Kinda made me feel awesome…like if Heather wanted another go, I'd have been all "Bring it bitch…you can't even hang on the tee-ball team." But she didn't, so I didn't.

So yeah, the kiddo already got her shiny new purple jersey and cap yesterday and had to A) wear it home from practice and B) sleep with it on her bed last night. And she told me yesterday that her favorite part of tee-ball is when they all put their hands into the circle and the coach says "1…2…3" and then they all yell "PANTHERS!" Future Olympic softball pitcher? I think yes. That kind of dedication to the game is not found every day, my friend.

Anyway, I'm glad she's digging the tee-ball…because soccer? Was not so much her scene.

And I realized that it's probably because we spent the first 4 years of her life telling her things like, "You need to share with your friends when you're playing with them" and "Don't take toys away from other people, it's not nice" or "Don't hit! Use your words like a big girl". And then we put her on the soccer field and we're all "Get the ball! Get the ball! GET THE BALL!!!!" or "Take that ball from her! Come on girl—use your elbows, she'll back up!!"

She's just not so much of an aggressive player….she's all "Hey dude, you want the ball, you go for it….that's all you". She's not very competitive yet. Although, she does hate to lose…for sure. Every night, she brings the smack-down on me in Candy Land and gets royally pissed if I *actually* happen to win (which seriously, has only happened like, never twice…Seriously? How is it possible to be bad at Candy Land?!?!).

I know the competitive streak will come eventually…she's got it from both sides. Being competitive is like being able to roll your tongue—if both your parents have that gene, you absolutely will, too. And my husband and I? Compete over EVERYTHING.

-First one to the car? Ha! I win!

-We're going to see the movie I wanted to see instead of the one you were thinking about seeing?? Sweet! I win!

-My directions were right and yours were wrong?? Sucks to be you! Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

-The gift I bought you is better than the gift you bought me?? Winner. Me.

It's more than a little ridiculous.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Open mouth, insert foot...or fist....or whatever happens to fit in there. Which in my case, is alot.

So we went to Louisiana for Spring Break this week.  Just got home was a fun, "working vacation", if such a thing exists and we did some work around my mom's house.  Okay, actually, Ronnie probably did most of the working, but I was quite the little helper...not really, he got annoyed more times than I can count.  Sidebar: I've never not had a Spring Break...isn't that weird? I had one all through school and college and since I work in a field with a Spring Break, I get one every year.  It's like being a perpetual college student, only with cleaner clothes and slightly more money.

Anyway...while we were there, we attended the funeral of my great-aunt.

She was a wonderfully kind lady and I have great memories of her.  She was ill for a really long time and I know that she is more at peace and happier and healthier than she has been in a while. 

And I swear I didn't mean any disrespect....really.

So here's the deal--we got into town on Saturday and had to attend the "viewing", which is like the "pre-funeral", right? That's where all the family and friends gather to "view" the person and whatnot. 

We enter the chapel and immediately the hugging and welcoming begins.  In the South, you cannot be truly "welcomed" anywhere until someone hugs you.  So we're hugging and welcoming and stuff and one of my family members says "Hey! I didn't know you guys were coming to town for the funeral...that's so sweet of you".  To which I promptly respond "Oh yeah, well Ronnie and I were coming in with the kids for Spring Break anyway, so it just kinda worked out".

Oh. My. God.

Did I really just say that?

It just "worked out" for her to pass on this week? Like, "Glad she could make it so convenient for US!" or "Good thing we were already planning to come in, because if she'd would have waited, I'm not sure we'd have made the drive back!".  Holy Lord.  Aunt P, can you ever forgive me??

I am an idiot.

And when I told my mom and sister about it, they were both like, "Well, at least it was a family member, because they totally expect things like that out of you".

Gee, thanks.

Now I feel so much better.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Remembrances of Europe...continued...

Okay, okay..."Anonymous" has asked for more Europe here's another funny one.  But seriously? This isn't a "travel blog" or whatever...chill with the pressure, mmmkay??

So after 6 days of the drunken debauchery that is San Sebastian, Spain, my friend and I decided we needed to move on in our trip.  Lots to see and all that.  So we find out the train schedule and get all packed and ready to go....and then end up staying out till 7:00 am, crashing and missing our train.

Day 7: more beach, more paella, more drinking, more bar-hopping.
Day 8: made resolution to make the damn train, drunk/hungover or not.

So we finally make it to the train to Florence, Italy.  Sidebar: We got a bit smarter after the Paris to Barcelona train debacle (apparently, in Europe "ticket" does not so much equal "seat"...let's just say that me and this French military dude got to know each other pretty well.  Hey...don't judge.  The French Alps are flippin' cold.) and actually reserved an entire cabin.  We knew we were going to be on the train for over 20 hours, so we stocked up on the necessary provisions.  Cookies? Check. Salty snacks? Check.  2 liters of water? Check.  Two bottles of red Spanish wine? Check and check.  Good to go.

So we board the train and begin heading east toward Italy......and we ride.....and we eat....and then we drink....and we go to sleep....and we wake up.  And a 28-hour train ride later? We're in Rome.

Not Florence....Rome.

But hey, it's Italy, right?

If you ever go to Italy, there are a few things you need to know:
  • First, don't follow shady Italian guys from the train station to their "hostel"'s really just their apartment and they're not nearly as cool as Australian dudes. 
  • Second, the sidewalks there are about 12 inches put your head down to watch for cracks and WALK....and no, you will never master this in 3-inch heels like Italian women, but it doesn't make you a bad person. 
  • Third, all the weight you lost backpacking around England, France and Spain will come back to you in spades if you eat Italian pasta and pizza with copious amounts of red wine every single night. 
  • Fourth, the rustling in the bushes is NOT the pigeons you see by the hundreds on the streets during the day.  No, my friends, that rustling is RATS....giant, disgusting, beady-eyed rats. *shudder*
  • And lastly, if you are looking at rooms in a hostel and the couple who owns it looks exactly like every mafia movie couple you've ever seen, meaning the dude is in the black silk slacks, white wife-beater, greased down hair and gaudy gold crucifix and the wife wears floral print dresses, has perfect hair and screams at him in Italian all the time??? Definitely take the room....hours of free entertainment.  And great coffee.

Monday, March 8, 2010

They really *do* smell funny

Headline today on "Oldest Person in the US Dies".

She was 114.

Holy shit dude....that's flippin' old.

And they had a picture of her, of course. creeped me out.

As much as I cannot wait to get old, old people scare the shit out of me.

I'm not kidding...they always have.  There was a point at which I told my mom that I couldn't go to the choir concert we were giving at the nursing home because the old people were scary.  And they smelled funny.  She told me I was being mean and to go say some Hail Marys for the old people because they're people, too.

I remember going to the nursing home anyway (my mom made me) and while we were singing, this old man just started screaming bloody murder for absolutely no reason.  I immediately looked at my mom all wide-eyed and was like "See?!?! Tell me that is not creepy as hell!".  But she just gave me "the look" and motioned for me to keep singing.  Whatever totally didn't get it.

This fear of old people was not confined to random screaming nursing home dudes, either.  I had a great-aunt who we used to visit every few weeks or so who eventually had to be put into an "assisted living" apartment...which is pretty much code for "nursing home with private rooms and kitchenettes".  Anyway, so we used to go see Aunt Dovie every once in a while, and she was pretty cool, I guess....slightly less creepy than the "screaming for no reason" guy at the nursing home when I was a kid. Sidebar: old people have the coolest names...have you ever met someone named "Dovie"?? They just don't name people like they used to.  And the best thing about Aunt Dovie's house was that she always had Lorna Doone cookies and she let me eat as many as I wanted. 

But Aunt Dovie is not the reason for my fear of old people...she was alright, you know? BUT...she took care of my she? Was scary as hell.  No lie.  She always sat in this back room of the house (that had to be like 180 degrees inside) in her rocking chair with her quilt over her lap.  She didn't really talk much, but when she did, she talked loudly.  AND she dipped....actually, I think she "chewed", tobacco....she spit it in this huge coffee can in the corner of the room.  And seriously? That lady could take out a flying mongoose at 400 yards with a wad of tobacco spit.  My mom used to always make me and my sister stand behind her rocking chair and take pictures....I fully admit that I had to hold my breath because of the combination old people and "chaw" smell.

And, of course, I passed along the fear of old people gene to the kid.  Sorry hon, nursing home field trips are just going to suck....but I had to go, so you have to go.  If some old man starts screaming for no reason, just keep singing.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I'm going to start selling my assertiveness program on infomercials

Lately, I've had a rash of "Ohmigod! I love your blog! I read every post and laugh my ass off!".  Which is totally awesome....but for some reason always followed by "You say everything that I am thinking, but not brave enough to actually speak out loud!".

Uh oh.

Here we go again.

This is a recurring theme in my life.  Really.  When I was growing up, my mom used to always tell me "Girl, your mouth is going to overload you some day!" or "Ohmigoodness! Your mouth!".  And I don't think she was remarking on the color of my lipstick, my giant fever blister or how straight my teeth were.  I think she was more concerned about what actually *came out of* my mouth.

Like one time, in highschool, I decided that I could no longer call my speech coach Mrs. So-and-So....I started calling her Debbie (which was her first name and not just some random name that I decided she should be called....but if I had to pick a different name for her, I always thought she kinda looked like a "Naomi").  Yes, it annoyed her.  But that just made it more fun.

And I am generally not scared to tell anyone what I really think about them.  Yes, of course, I *try* to be nice, but really? Is there a "nice" way to tell someone he's being a total douche and needs to get over himself?? Or that her favorite pair of khakis gives her a monster camel toe and everyone is totally distracted by it while she's trying to give a presentation??

Probably not.

I don't know...I guess I've always had like, some sort of philosophical issue with holding it all in.  It eats at you.  I'm convinced that's what causes stomach ulcers...and genital warts.  (Not really, I mean, I think doctors have pretty much figured out what causes genital warts and I'm pretty sure it's not not telling people how you really feel....but just to be on the safe side, I'm totally going to keep doing it).  Anyway, yeah so you just need to tell someone the fuck off every now and then and BAM! Stomach ulcers cured! I know, I's not always so "acceptable" in society to tell people off and you may get called names like "bitch" or "ball-buster"...meh....sticks and stones.  At least I don't have a stomach ulcer, asshole!

If you think you're too passive to tell someone off, I suggest starting with road rage.  That way, you're in your car and nobody's feelings can get hurt or whatever.  Seriously...try it.  Next time somebody cuts you off or slams on their brakes in front of you, just let 'er rip!

It's cleansing....and could keep you from getting genital warts (not really, but it can't hurt, right?).

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Clockwork Orange

You know what I absolutely love? (she asks without a hint of sarcasm)

When my husband asks me questions that he already has the answer to, but wants to hear my answer first so that his answer doesn't piss me off.

If you're married or dating or have EVER dated--you totally get what I'm talking about. 

Here's our conversation yesterday:

Him: Do we have plans this weekend?
Me: No, I don't think so, why?
Him: No reason...I was just asking.  I didn't think so.
Me: Really? No reason, huh? Okay....
Him: Well, it was just that I was thinking about going fishing.  Mike called and wants to go, but I was making sure we didn't have any plans first.
Me: Ah...and now we get to the real reason.  So basically, you knew that you wanted to go fishing and you knew that we didn't have any plans this weekend, so rather than man-up and say "Hey, I'm going fishing this weekend with Mike", you engage me in this lame-ass conversation that has now wasted 3 minutes of my life that I will never be able to get back AND has made me miss a crucial moment of flirtation between Agents David and DiNozzo on NCIS?? Really!?!??
Him: *pause* ummmm....I guess so.  So can I go fishing on Saturday with Mike or what?
Me: Dude.  I'm not your mother.  You're an you want to go fishing with Mike?
Him: Okay, fine.  I was just trying not to piss you off by saying I'd go fishing when we had other plans....jeeez.
Me: Whatever.....
Him: So, I'm going fishing on Saturday with Mike.
Me: I'll alert the media.

Communicating when you're married is like psychological warfare.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Single's Scene

So now I'm kind of stuck in this theme…

Thinking about my single friend dating reminded me of what it was like when I was "on the market", "in the scene" and "available".

Holy hell…it was FUN.

I swear I went to happy hour at a different place every day of the week. I was fun, I was flirty….shit--- I was skinny. And I just had a grand ol' time. I carried "going out clothes" in the backseat of my truck at all times because you just never knew when that invitation to dinner and drinks from the hottie down the hall might come! I had girl nights and girl weekends at least a few times a month…we danced our asses off! Or at least we danced off the 6 beers we had…which is probably why we were so skinny. Well, that and the pack of Marlboro Lights we usually smoked...but whatever. Basically, I had a blast being single.

Actually, I met my husband at a bar where we always used to go country dancing--during a girl's weekend.  Sidebar: He claims I laid a cheesy pickup line on him....whatever--why would I--Miss Hotness--need to lay a cheesy pickup line on anyone?!?! Seriously man, I am the pickup line layee, not layer.


When I met my husband, I was dating two other guys and was totally fine just doing my thing and being me. In fact, when we met, I was all "You're fun and you're cute and you can freakin' dance! But I'm not really looking for commitment right now.  OH! You should sooo come to karaoke with us tomorrow night." And he was all "Okay, awesome! By the way, as long as you sleep with me, I don't need commitment either".  No, he didn't really say that...I mean, he was actually cool. 
So....long story short....Ronnie showed up the next night for karaoke.

And so did the other two dudes I was dating.

Dammit, Jim!

Can we say "poor planning on my part"?


So I did what any good party girl would do….about 4 tequila shots with a couple of Bud Light chasers.

In the end, though, it all worked out….my husband and I ended up together and I dumped the other two losers.

You know, maybe being single wasn't all *that*great….just writing this drama has made me tired.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Some days, I'm glad I'm married....and then there are those "other" days....

So I have this single friend who is currently utlizing a couple of the dating sites on the web these days....I think she's been dating on match, chemistry and eharmony.  She has generally had fun, and I've enjoyed hearing about the people she's meeting...I kinda feel like I'm reliving my single-hood vicariously through her.

But *some* of these people?? Are totally fucking weird.

Just today, she emailed me and said that she had just gotten a "match" with a guy who lives in a totally different part of the state who, get this---races pigeons.


Why would that be something you'd put on a dating profile?? "Likes: long walks on the beach, getting caught in the rain and pigeon racing.  Looking for a woman to share my life and my bird fetish with."


(Of course, my view of this could be slanted because I am freaked out by birds.  DUDE.  They will peck your eyes out--I saw that movie.)

Then there was this other guy who was all "I'm happy to be the stay-at-home-dad while you go out and work".  Um, yeah, of course you would be still live with your mother for Chrissakes! Really?!!? Dudes who still live with their mothers should have to NOTE that shit somewhere on their profile....and when requesting matches, you should be able to un-include any man who still lives with his mother unless she's like, 100 years old and blind and in a wheelchair.  Because you know, then it kinda makes sense...and makes him a little bit of a nicer guy--although it's still totally fucking slightly creepy.

Then there was Dan...the French pilot guy.  I know! Totally sounds hot, right??!!? And he was....for the waitress.....on their first date.  Yes, he totally hit on the VERY young waitress while at dinner with my friend.  Um, yeah, Mr. I-have-a-puppy-in-my-van-would-you-like-to-come-see-it-little-girl French pilot dude *sounded* hot.  In reality, he was all "I know it may not seem like there's chemistry between us now, but there may be in time--be patient.  Meanwhile, I'm going to bang the waitress in the men's room, mmkay??".  Two words: Freak Show.

So I think she's going to stop the whole internet dating thing....and I'm not sure I can blame her for it.  Although I am STILL dying to know what pigeon racing is....