Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's Like That Dream Where You're Back in High School, Naked, and Can't Remember Your Locker Combination

Yesterday I was pouring over and filling out the literature that was sent home this summer for Boy-Child#1's junior high school registration that is coming up next week. Yesterday was not a good day for me, emotionally, to be taking on such an endeavor. I was all PMS-y. But, as any PMSing woman knows, you can't talk yourself out of these things when you're in that state. At least not without a heavy dose of Prozac. So when I started having a mild panic attack, I kept telling myself that I was fretting over nothing, dammit! I was irrationally worried about Boy-Child#1 not being able to figure out his locker combination in gym class and picturing the rest of the guys standing around like, "Dude, what's wrong with you?". And then I'd tell myself, uh, yeah, everyone has been able to figure that out. But still my heart was beating a wee too fast and my breath was coming a little too quick. Then I got to the class schedule. What monster organized this:

REGULAR BLOCK SCHEDULE - ROTATING PERIODS

  • Monday, 8/18 Per. 3, 5, 1
  • Tuesday, 8/19 Per. 4, 6, 2
  • Wednesday, 8/20 Per. 5, 1, 3
  • Thursday, 8/21 Per. 6, 2, 4
  • Friday, 8/22 Per. 1, 3, 5
WTF, school district? Then I passed out. I don't know about you but when I attended junior high, we went to each class, each day. Periods 1-6. At the same hour every-freaken-day. But this? This takes a day planner, an atlas, and a Texas Instruments calculator to figure out where you need to be, at which hour, on any given day. This makes those nightmares I have where I'm back in school, but somehow my current age, with a project due, that's incomplete, in a class I can't find, with my notes in a locker whose combination I've long forgotten along with my pants, seem like a sweet dream. It's like someone had that dream and said, "I'll show those little punks. My subconscious messed with the wrong school administrator!" And you know it's a kattywompus schedule when during the orientation you're assured that "the kids pick up on it really quickly; it's the parents who have difficulty with it". You think? Except that at the orientation they didn't actually SHOW us the schedule. Which was probably intentional because they'd have a multi-purpose room full of dead parents. Or parents suddenly stricken with fear induced comas stuck in a perpetual nightmare with this schedule to contend with.

And to think I was worried about a lil' 'ol gym locker combination. Godspeed, Boy-Child#1. May the force be with you.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Post Where I Compare Perimenopause to Beowulf

Alternate Title: This Post Brought to You by a Random Bout of Insomnia

Dear Mother Nature,

May we have a word? I'm a little mad with you. You and I met when I was, oh, about nine years old or so when you gave me these little things called "buds"; you know, the beginnings of boobehs. "Buds", cute name for such torturous little balls of pain. Avoiding things like wind or letting the shower hit you clear in the chest was a fun time. Then you threw some awkward pubic and armpit hair on me. About that; I know you work painstakingly hard on pulling the universe together in perfect harmony, but unwanted body hair is kind of a holdover from our prehistoric selves that was once useful for warmth and keeping random cooties and debris from wandering into our nether regions. For quite some time now we've had the luxury of things like underwear, pants, and sweaters. You know, clothes. And central heat. And penicillin. So now all that it does is create a very lucrative business empire called: hair removal. But I digress.

Then when I was eleven you returned and granted me the gift of menstruation. And we had a deal. I even eventually dropped three more human beings onto the planet for you (just to sweeten the pot); through my vagina...and by the way, could you work on making that opening just a liiiiitle bit bigger? Anyway, the deal...It was to be a cycle. Every twenty-eight days, to be precise. For an undetermined, but finite, time. And now? Now I feel like Beowulf. I don't know if you have a DVD player or video on demand where you are, but it goes a little something like this:

There's this king and his kingdom is cursed and vulnerable to attack by a beast that lives in the nearby mountains. And that one fateful night comes and many in the kingdom are slaughtered in a terribly ghoulish fashion. So the king summons the bravest dude in all the land, Beowulf, to come and kick some major ass. And that he does. He kills the beast dead. Beowulf does not disappoint. Then the king, who is sans a male heir, proclaims Beowulf as the heir to the thrown. They celebrate by drinking wine out of the Golden-French-Horny-Thingy-Goblet then the king throws himself off the nearest tower.

It turns out that the mother of the now dead beast is really pissed off that her son is dead. And she shows up later that night while everyone is sleeping and kills just about all the dudes. So Beowulf, armed with his Golden-French-Horny-Thingy-Goblet and what's left of his men, sets out to slay the monster-mama. Once in the cave inside the mountain the monster-mama finally shows herself and she's Ange-fucken-lina Jolie! Nude. Of course. And she's all, "Is that Golden-French-Horny-Thingy-Goblet a gift for me"? And Beowulf is all, "Uh, yeah, I guess" aawwwkward. Then she tells him that she's pretty darn upset that her son is dead but as long as she has the Golden-French-Horny-Thingy-Goblet in her possession, then his kingdom is safe. And then she's all, "Hey, Beowulf, eyes up here".

And does Beowulf slay her? No. Why? Because she's Ange-fucken-lina Jolie. And when the monster is Angelina Jolie you don't kill it. You have sex with it. And impregnate it with your child. But you don't know that last part even though you kind of suspect it.

Then one day one of your soldiers is all, "Hey, Beowulf, lookie what I found over yonder"! That's right. The Golden-French-Horny-Thingy-Goblet. Which means that it's no longer in Angelina Jolie's possession. Which means your kingdom is about to get messed up. Hardcore.

So really, Angelina Jolie Mother Nature. Was it really necessary to give me back my Golden-French-Horny-Thingy-Goblet this early in the game? For the last several months my kingdom has been under attack menstrual cycle has become what we call FUBAR. There is no "cycle" to speak of. It shows up when it damn well pleases. Especially on holidays. But now? Twice a month? Really? I only get a two week reprieve? I cry foul, Mother Nature. And it explains why I couldn't stop talking about those chocolate covered marshmallows I devoured Saturday night. They weren't just great; they were premenstrual syndrome terrific!

And enough with the random facial hair already! Are you aware that every mirror in my house is completely and utterly useless? Why? Because they only show me the way I like to see me. Now the mirror that resides on the backside of the sun visor in my car? Priceless. That thing is the speaker of truth. Do you know how humiliating it is to be seen plucking stray hairs out of your chin while waiting in the after school pick up line? Do you even care?

Signed,

A Disgruntled Female Human Being

P.S. You suck.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It Would Have Been in my Best Interest to Clean my Stove First

**DISCLAIMER: The following is not a paid endorsement of any product or products and it would also behoove you to ignore the grout that needs obvious bleaching and also the filthy stove top that gave this post its "B" rating. Plus, sources say you cannot contract Hepatitis in any letter of the alphabet form from reading a blog post** Ahem...

Friends? Are you a lazy sonofabitch like me? Are you tired of making breakfast in the morning and finding yourself saying things like, "Now I have to put this wooden spoon in the dishwasher" or "Measuring cups baffle me" or "I'd make a big pancake breakfast on a regular basis if it weren't for this mixing bowl that needs washing afterward"? Well, you're in luck! Because now there is this! [Ignore the bowl of eggs for the scrambled egg side dish...a bowl that will need washing because we aren't talking about that. We're ignoring it... moving on....] This is Bisquick Shake 'n Pour! Pancakes in a jug! It is a godsend for the anti-stirrer. You just add a cup and a half of water and shake for 30 seconds. This can also count as your cardio for the day because about 15 seconds in your arm will fatigue and you'll have to switch hands. The instructions also indicate that you should tap the sides for maximum mixing. Note: Do this. Also? Loosen the top afterwards to avoid an explosion. It's chemistry 101, people.


Now that you've finished shaking, simply pour the desired amount. Preferably into a heavy duty non-stick pan like this dilly from Pampered Chef. Now, I've already mentioned that I don't do home parties, but if you're in need of a Pampered Chef item you can either wait until someone throws one [a party that is] or you can visit their website and avoid it [again with the party] altogether. Or? You can do like me and drop hints to your sister in law (who threw one) that you would really like an addition to the set your mother in law already purchased for you and then let your sister in law give it to you for Christmas! Everybody is happy.

When your pancake looks like this (below) it is time to flip the bitch.

I'd say that's about perfect. Please note the cleanliness of the non-stick pan. No butters, sprays, or oils were used in the creation of these pancakes.

Bisquick Shake 'n Pour claims that it will yield 12-15 pancakes. Or in my case: Ten. And now they have butter on them. Because pancakes without butter is like cake without frosting. Wrong.

When your family has had their fill Bisquick Shake 'n Pour pancakes make excellent Scooby Snacks.

She agrees.

I apologize for the blurriness of the last two photos but if you witnessed me trying to aim and shoot with the camera while handing her a pancake without her also eating my hand, you'd understand.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I Make These Mistakes so You Can Learn from Me

I was getting ready to go out and run some fabulous errands on Saturday and I thought to myself, Self? I'm going to treat you to a shampoo and blow dry while you're out because you fancy yourself a special pampered princess. And I was all, you know what Self? You're right, I do. And I think you're all kinds of rad for coming up with that idea; remind me to make out with you later. And my Self was all, thank you, I blush. So, before I left the house I told Mr. Farklepants, "Hey, if it's not too crowded I'm going to swing by Supercuts for a wash and blow while I'm out". And he was all, "Okay.....Did you say something?".

I know, right? Supercuts? Yeah, well I gave that a second thought as well. I thought to myself, Self? Are you REALLY going to willingly walk into a Supercuts and let them touch your hair? I tried to tell myself, Self? It's just shampoo and a hair dryer, what's the harm? And my Self was all, the harm is it's Supercuts and you could walk out of there with a pageboy and a perm. In other words; I chickened out. Not feeling like driving the whole ten miles to my hairdresser [who's not even there on Saturday anyway] I searched for and found an acceptable looking salon.

It looked a wee busy so I didn't expect my "walk-in" self to fit into their schedule. I explained what I wanted and assured them if it wasn't possible then it. was. no. biggie. Honest. I was surprised when they took me right in and sent me over to, who can only be described as, The Sourpuss. She asked my name and apparently I tried to tell her telepathically because she didn't hear me and followed up with a graceful, WHAT?!? And I was all, "It's Tootsie, ohmygod I'm so sorry. I didn't realize we were using our outside voices today". I suddenly felt a little nervous kind of like how a small child feels in the company of an intimidating adult.

Once in the sink she did a pretty good job washing my hair [in silence] until she got to the conditioner. I've got a LOT of hair. It's long and it's super thick. It's wavy and each individual strand is a fat bastard. And if you've got my hair IN YOUR HANDS this becomes a very obvious fact. Needless to say my hair requires more than the recommended dime size amount of conditioner. Also uneccessary was the amount of water used to rinse. When she sat me upright she announced, "Your hair really rats up". Uh-huh. Well, not usually, I thought. She then spent seven hours combing out my hair with a steel pick.

Then there was the sectioning off, the blowing out with a metal brush that was eating the back of my neck, and not an ounce of hair product in sight. Then she finally made it to the top section and asked which way I parted my hair. An hour later it was over. I knew this because she removed the cape that was draped around me, which I assume indicated that she was finished. Because? Let's recap, shall we? The following are the only words that came out of her mouth the entire time I was there:

  • What's your name?
  • WHAT?!?
  • Your hair really rats up
  • Which way do you part your hair?
I left with my hair brittle and dry as a bone. For someone who just had her hair blown out with a big round brush my hair was flyaway and flat. And my bangs were doing the stupidest thing ever in their whole life. I arrived home $35 poorer than when I left and almost in tears. To which Mr. Farklepants wondered, "What did you expect from Supercuts?" and I was all, "I didn't even GO to Supercuts".....Wwwaaaaaaaaahhhhh. And then he left me alone for some time after that; realizing it was in the family's best interest.

My life is so hard, right? Don't you wish you had my problems?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saturday Presents The Meme With No Name

Amy Amy Bo Bamey from Life Of A Nguyener (Win-ner) tagged me with the following meme. It doesn't appear to have an official title so I dub thee "The Meme With No Name"! Catchy, no? Qui. Feel free to use it when I tag you. And don't you go hiding now either 'cause, I'll find ya. I'm like a ninja.

What is your favorite quotable line from a Movie?

  • This changes frequently because it depends on the situation and I'm a fickle bitch. Pretty much anything from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, like this: "I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries."
Who is the most famous person you have spoken to?
  • This is kind of an unfair question because I've worked in the movie business and have met several. But I don't get many opportunities to brag so... I exchanged hellos with George Clooney (he's a winker, by the way). And Al Pacino. I had a conversation with Steven Soderbergh and Mike Nichols (just not at the same time). And have met Tom Hanks twice. I shall stop there. Someday I'll write a more detailed post about that. Maybe.

How many bags/boxes of Potato Chips are consumed at your place in a month?
  • We are a family of five with a Doritos habit. 'Nuff said.

Who is your all time favorite Cartoon Character?
  • All time? Bugs Bunny. Especially on Ether and in drag. Awesome.

What foreign food Dish do you prepare from scratch and Serve?
  • Spaghetti counts, right? I make a kick-ass authentic Sicilian gravy. The pasta itself is store bought because, really?

What is your favorite section of the Supermarket?
  • The deli because the shits already made.

What was your high school teams mascot and what were the school's colors?
  • Our colors were black, red, and white. Our mascot didn't even make sense. We were the "Dons" [Spanish, not the Godfather]. I'm still not sure what that was all about.
The rules:

1. Answer the above questions in a blog posting.
2. Identify the people who you are going to tag, and
3. Acknowledge who tagged you.

I'm going to tag some people that are new or newish to me and hopefully don't have a thing against memes with no names:

Eve Grey at Shut My Mouth
Auds at Barking Mad
Swirl Girl
Ms. Sullivan





Friday, July 25, 2008

The Post Where I Get All Philosophical on Your Ass and a Bit Lengthy

Yesterday I listened to an acquaintance who needed to talk. Her husband's career sends him out of town often and there she is at home with her five year old daughter and three year old twins. Her oldest daughter has become difficult lately and she's feeling that she's exhausted all her options and is throwing her hands in the air. While she's speaking, her twins are shrieking and running wild; and either laughing at or ignoring her warnings completely. The last of which she turned to me and her eyes were brimming with tears. She was done. DONE! It's a face any mother would recognize.

I felt for her. I really, really did. And if I were a better person I would have offered to take her kids for the afternoon and let her regroup. Get a cup of coffee. Go home and take a nap. Get a moment to eat some lunch and read a magazine, undisturbed. But I didn't. Because I'm not. All I was prepared to offer was a trite promise that kindergarten and preschool start in a short three weeks and "this too shall pass".

"This too shall pass" has gotten me through some really shitty days. Kid related or otherwise. But it isn't an easy thing to grasp. It takes time and experience to learn that whatever you're experiencing right at that moment, even if it lasts for days, weeks, months, or years, eventually will pass (one caveat being the loss of a child because I can't imagine that ever passing). Or at the very least you will learn to cope with. And someday you'll look back on whatever it was that vexed you and pat yourself on the back for getting through because of or in spite of it; with a little more wisdom and knowledge... both invaluable tools for life.

I could have offered to help her out for the day but that would have done nothing for the rest of the tomorrows that follow. It's something that I can TELL her but that she's going to have to figure out on her own [like telling a teen girl that they should try to wait for the right guy and that there's more to babies than cute GAP clothes] It's almost considered blasphemy to think or say that there are parts of motherhood that suck out loud and hardcore; and one of them being that sometimes you have to suffer through days with your kids. And tolerate them. Those days make you feel like shit.

[Brief aside: Through my years of experience and observation, I'm convinced that the main reason kids can turn into hell on wheels in a hot second is because parents provide all of their entertainment for them... playdates, activities, lessons, camps, classes, outings... and then once at home and left to their own devices they simply don't know how to entertain themselves. They're all, "WTF, Mom? Now what? Entertain me! That's not good enough, the king is not amused. I shall now draw on the wall with this crayon and then fling myself to the floor and wail!" ...I mean, have you ever watched an infant? I mean, reallllly paid close attention? They will play with their foot for like half an hour. They recognize a good time. Then once that child learns to walk, BAM! Let the over scheduling of activities begin. End aside.]

This was the second time this week that I spit out "this too shall pass" in conversation. The first was with Mr. Farklepants [on an issue unrelated to the above]:

Me: There's just not enough sticktoitiveness anymore.

Mr.F: Yeah.

Me: Not enough just suffering through.

Mr.F: ...? I agree.

Me: This too shall pass -that's my motto.

Mr.F: I share your motto.

Me: We're like THIS.

Mr.F: Mmmhmm.

Me: We're like right HERE.

Mr.F: Yes.

Me: I'm like the ying to your yang.

Mr.F: ......

Me: The Simon to your Garfunkel.

Mr.F: .........

Me: Like th...

Mr.F: Actually, we're more like ying and ying.

Me: I don't even know what that means.

Mr.F: .....

Me: Oh! Cuz we're like the same.

Mr.F: Yeah!

Me: Yeah...we're like THIS.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

When Good Toiletries Go Bad

Tootsie: There YOU are!!

Caress: What?! Wha...


Tootsie: Stop it! Don't even try.

Caress: Do you have a problem, lady?

Tootsie: Did you think I wouldn't notice? And what are you doing over here anyway? How'd you get out of the shower?

Caress: ...draws circles on the counter with her toe...


Tootsie: You completely changed your scent! You didn't even tell me! This is worse than that crap they massage your legs and feet with at the nail salon.

Caress: Is that bad?

Tootsie: You tell me! I got out of the shower and thought, "What's that smell? Is that flowers? Fruit? Both? GAWD that's HORRIBLE!"

Caress: I didn't think you'd notice.

Tootsie: Not notice?! I smell like I was attacked by Bath and Body! How can I NOT smell it? It's completely invaded my nasal cavities.

Caress: ...sniffle...

Tootsie: Oh stop it. I'm not buying your act. I have to get back in the shower, and I can't even believe I'm about to say this...to disinfect myself with that bar of Dial soap!

Caress: AAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaa!! The horror.

Tootsie: That's right. And it's all your fault. I'll be dried out and itchy but at least I'll smell like SOAP! BITCH!

Caress: Well, you don't have to resort to name calling.

Tootsie: I'm breaking up with you. Get out. I can't look at you. Sneaky Sneakerstein... AND YOU!!


Secret: What? What the hell did I do? I'm new and just here for the body odor protection services.


Tootsie: I know and I think there's been a mistake.

Secret: How's that?

Tootsie: See, the last time I bought you was in bulk at Costco like a year and a half ago. There were about ten of you.

Secret: Aaaannnd?

Tootsie: Your packaging was different. And it's become very obvious that there is a difference between "Powder" and "Powder Fresh". I like "Powder". You're too floral.

Secret: What's with you and the flowers? You should have been more diligent in your selection before running me across your armpits. Sister.

Tootsie: Indeed. And I'm afraid between you and that lying douche up there that if I add a squirt of perfume to the mix, the chemical makeup will cause me to spontaneously combust. I fear for my safety.

Secret: Overpowering, huh?

Tootsie: You're not kidding. I don't like my scent to announce that I'm about to walk into a room. The combination of you guys is the equivalent to a cowbell.

Secret: Ya know, you're really picky.

Tootsie: Yeah, it's totally not you. It's me. Well, except for her. She's just a liar.

I'm terrified to think of what may have become of my tampons.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

All That and a Jar of Salsa

In the Farklepants household, at any given time, you will find the above combination of snacks. That is Herdez salsa, and in my opinion, the best store bought salsa on the market. Why, yes, I have tried them all, smart-ass. And my summation: Pace is for people who don't know what salsa is supposed to actually taste like. And it's certainly not supposed to taste like hot ketchup (catsup? whatever, tomato/tomahto).

That little 'bag of chips that could' [because that bag is empty, y'all and look how its able to stand on its own!] are plain corn Doritos and there used to be a time when they were not found in southern California super markets. They were in places like Texas and Hawaii. So whenever someone we knew were going to either of those places we'd beg ask them to please ship us a few half-dozen or so bags. Mr. Farklepants introduced me to the chips early in our courting phase. And when I say introduced I mean "schooled" me:

Mr.F: I could go for some plain Doritos.
Me: You mean the nacho cheese? I'll go get some.
Mr.F: No. Plain.
Me: Nacho cheese?
Mr.F: No. Plain. The ORIGINAL Doritos flavor.
Me: Isn't that nacho cheese?

And then he proposed. The end.

In other hair related events: You'll be relieved to learn that the following has been remedied. And that would be the dark line that was dominating the real estate along my left hand side part representing six weeks of growth.


It wasn't without a little pain, however. I love my new hairdresser. She's local, fast, and cheap; and still manages to be awesome and gives good hair wash. I do lurves me a good hair washing. Yesterday was my third time in her chair and I'm getting to know her a little better with each visit. What I'm learning is that she's very outspoken. Yesterday she decided to talk politics and started the conversation by blurting out: I hope Obama isn't the next president. I don't trust him. There's something about him I don't like.

Then she went on to tell me how much she likes McCain and I refrained from snatching the shears from her hands and stabbing her informing her that I'm a bleeding heart liberal and McCain makes me want to hurl flaming kittens* at him; and focused all of my attention on the OK! magazine I was reading that featured celebrities without their makeup and making me feel a little better about my naked face after witnessing Julia Roberts, Katherine Heigl, and Eva Longoria sans professional assistance. And some deep-breathing exercises and taking an impromptu anger management course.

I'm just grateful that it wasn't my gyencologist during a routine pap-smear. I fear I would have clenched up during that episode, forever trapping the speculum in my vagina. So...you know, at least it wasn't that.

*That would be kittens on fire. Not the flamboyant ones.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Nine Common Annoying Conversation Habits (AKA My List of Crap that Bugs Me and Two of Which I'm Guilty)

There is a morning news show that airs here in Los Angeles that features three hosts; a man and two women. The man is fine, I have no complaints about him. He's a'ight *knuckle knocks* The women, however, drive me insane. The weather girl(?) I guess, since she's usually found flipping through a tabloid or filing her nails, drinking coffee, and occasionally gets up to let you know that it's hot in southern California and it probably won't rain. She's also crass and obnoxious. But then I'm crass and obnoxious here on my own blog so look who's throwing stones at glass houses. Hypocrite, who? She often talks about subjects that are best left for the bar or locker room and not the morning hour during breakfast. [What is it with morning shows anyway? The radio is the same way. If you want to put your kids on the fast track to adult conversation, just tune in while driving them to school in the morning but be ready to answer, "Mommy, what's a booty call?"]

The other woman is the "celebrity news" host, which basically means she reads us the morning tabloid headlines. I don't know if it's because this is Los Angeles but her segments dominate the three hour show. Then they'll have whats-his-nuts from TMZ on to confirm if she's read them correctly or not. But this woman thinks she is very funny. She has this terribly annoying habit of fake laughing at her own jokes all the way through her face time. She thinks she is a riot. And now it drives poor Mr. Farklepants crazy since I brought it to his attention.

All of the above is my talented way of making a short story long [I'm gifted like that. Note to self: call MENSA]: The following are nine annoying habits people use in conversation.

  1. The One-Upper: this is the person that, while you're telling them your own story, will check out halfway through your first sentence to prepare themselves to one-up you the second you finish. They are not listening to what you are saying. As soon as you stop talking they will tell you how something the same or similar happened to them and how it was so much worse or absolutely better. And aren't you glad you're not/ don't you wish you were them? Your conversation has become a competition to them and they are going to win. The only way to end a conversation with The One-Upper is to say, "yep, you're right".
  2. The Space Invader: this person isn't familiar with the universal law of personal space. They're convinced that the only way you'll listen too or understand them is if they speak directly within an inch of your face. All hints of backing up are a sign to The Space Invader to move in closer. The way to navigate a conversation with this person is to have your back to the door. If you're up against a wall you are fooked.
  3. The Lip Reader: this doesn't take much explaination. This person watches your lips while you speak. It's irritating and also inspires me to roll my tongue up like a taco just to see their reaction.
  4. The Looker-Upper: ohmygod I'm so guilty of this. And it's an annoying habit that I'm aware of and trying to overcome. I This person will keep my their face forward while talking but my their eyes will look up as if there is a teleprompter just above my their eyebrows that is feeding them my their lines.
  5. The No-Eye-Contacter: Um, yeah, I do this too. This person will not look you directly in the eyes while speaking but rather will focus on something just to the side of your face or fidget with an imaginary thread on their lap. I think I started doing this when I realized that trying to look at both of the eyes at the same time on the person you're talking too is almost impossible and then I do that whole shifting back and forth... look at their left, look at their right, look at their... hey look! A tree let me look at that. Also? Please sit down for this and prepare to be shocked out of your days of the week underpants: I'm shy. Hand to God I'm shy in real life. Especially if I don't know you very well. And in that case, really, I'm lucky if I speak at all.
  6. The For-Effecter: this is the person who adds a little something (like a little nervous laugh) to the end of every sentence, question, phrase, or statement that they utter. For illustration: I went to the Mexican restaurant yesterday. Huh-huh. I ordered a chicken flauta with beans and rice. Huh-huh. It was the lunch special. Huh-huh. Only five bucks. Huh-huh. So I got two. Huh-huh.
  7. The Throat Clearer: Similar to The For-Effecter, except that they clear their throat at the end of every sentence, question, phrase, or statement that they utter. No illustration needed. Speaks for itself. Ahem.
  8. The Sentence Finisher: you totally know this person. The person who tries to predict the ending and finish your sentence for you. It's their way of saying, "I totally know what you're saying because look, I said it". It's their attempt to empathize and/or sympathize with you. Or just be an asshole. No one appreciates The Sentence Finisher. The only thing worse than a Sentence Finisher is...
  9. The Repeater: this person repeats the last few words that you just spoke in, I guess, an attempt to show that they heard what you were saying. And once you realize it's happening it is crazy making business. In fact, you'll avoid speaking to this person at all.
Yes, there are only nine. Because I couldn't think of ten. Although, I have no doubt that you creative readers will come up with fifty a few more. That's right. I just triple dog dared you.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Now She's All Ready to go Catch Some Germs from School



Poor, poor, Girl-Child. She had her five year well-child check up on Friday and they went and done stabbed her up good. Real good. Five times to be exact. One prick for each year of her itty-bitty life. Oh, and she got to pee in a cup. And I got to hold the cup. Good times. Have you any idea how difficult it is to coax some urine out of a child at 8:45 in the morning when she's just relieved herself of her morning inventory just thirty minutes prior? No? It goes like this: Please? Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease pee in the cup. Try again. Keep trying. Push a little. Please? I can't move my hand I have to hold the cup. No, I can't move the cup because you have to go pee IN it. Keep trying. They only need a little. Then she finally goes just a little and your chasing her stream around because of course it's going on your hand and not in the cup. And who just left and threw up?

But at least she's mostly safe from dying of any of those childhood diseases that used to rob parents of their children in the not too distant past. Or even things like chicken pox that was all the rage for us Gen-Xers. Which I had when I was THIRTEEN. So not a good time. Dudes? I was messed up. I lived in an apartment building and was pretty much the resident babysitter. And around that time there was an outbreak of chicken pox that swept through our complex. And there I was elbow deep in these germy little darlings. Then BAM! I woke up one morning looking like someone who was set on fire and forgot to drop and roll. I'm not kidding when I say I was covered from head to toe in a blistery mess. And it was EVERYWHERE. Let me just say this, my eyelids were not the worst location. The poor mons pubis and labia majora. The dears. Is that sound I heard a collective grand exit of all male readers?

Meanwhile back at the Girl-Child: She left the doctor's office covered in Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck band-aids because her generation knows exactly who those characters are. Rabbits and a ducky. "We'll have a Looney Tunes tutorial later, now hold still Girl-Child while Mommy takes pictures during your PTSD".



Her little finger throbbed from the pricking. Or as she said, it was going "boop-bop, boop-bop". And this bothered her. Someday when she requests to have her ears pierced I'm going to tell her that they will be going BOOP-BOP BOOP-BOP in all CAPS.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My Son Wanted Me to get the One With the Clock. Should Have Listened.

How did I manage to buy the only coffee maker without an automatic shut-off? Now I have to be diligent. The one who leaves her house wondering if she remembered to unplug her curling iron or shut off her flat iron.

Me: Does this thing not shut off by itself?
Mr.F: Let me see the manual..... Nope. You screwed up.
Me: You think I'll forget, don't you.
Mr.F: It's only a matter of time.
Me: Now you're just waiting for me to do it.
Mr.F: Oh, you will. And you'll have a burnt coffee pot.
Me: Oh, now it's on.

Everything is a competition.

Game. Set. Match.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

BlogHerNot 2008: Your Blog Your Way


SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

9:00-9:02AM (or right now)
VINTAGE THIRTY KEYNOTE
Tootsie Farklepants

Welcome! I'd like to start off by stressing that BlogHerNot 2008 is not a slam or slight in any way at the BlogHer 2008 conference. There's just a whole bunch of us bloggers that couldn't make it to San Francisco, for whatever reason which may be, but not limited to, one of the following: lack of funds, logistics, no babysitter, previous commitments, nothing to wear, too pregnant, giving birth, just gave birth, fear of flying, fear of driving, fear of hitchhiking, fear of large groups, fear of alcohol, couldn't justify the expense, can't walk that far, didn't meet their goal weight... like I said, whatever the reason, wish we were there but aren't. Please visit Mommypie for a complete list of scheduled sessions for the day. Please stay close by. We'll regroup soon for the next event after a brief intermission involving food of some sort.

9:03-10:00AM (or right now)
SNACK
Where: Tootsie Farklepants' kitchen
Menu: Coffee and I think there's some powdered donuts left in that bag over there. Also, there's cereal but maybe not enough milk.

10:01-10:05AM (or whatever time it is right now)
LECTURE WITH TOOTSIE FARKLEPANTS
Topic: Your Blog Your Way

I apologize for the underwear and tank top combo, but it is come as you are; so I hope everyone is okay with that. Also? I haven't brushed my teeth and yes that is a rubber band, a clip, and a head band keeping all of the hair off of my shoulder/face/neck area because I was just all, "GAH! Get it off me!". Lecture? Who said anything about a lecture? I'm ill prepared. Instead let's just tackle some FAQ's (or, frequently asked questions -not really asked by anyone at all at least not of me):

1) I've started a blog now what do I write about?

  • Whatever interests you and whatever you like writing about. My first blog was about politics and it became too specific and limited and I got bored. With Vintage Thirty I write about anything.
2) Are there topics to avoid?
  • That depends. Some topics are controversial. If you're seeking melees and brouhahas in your comments section then by all means, be controversial. I try to keep my blog humorous and light.
3) How do you get people to read your blog?
  • People won't read you unless they know about you. Read other blogs. Leave comments that attract people to click on your profile. Having an interesting user name helps. Seriously, I had no idea how many people would visit my blog because of my name. That was a total fluke.
4) How do you get people to keep coming back?
  • I have no fracking idea. I admit I write FOR the reader, but I've given up trying to figure out what it will be that interests them. I'll spend hours, sometimes days, editing a particular entry only to have it met with "eh". Then I'll throw out something on the fly, completely random, and it will be one of my heaviest visitor days. Seriously, I can't figure you people out.
  • If visitor stats are important to you, and I'm not gonna lie I enjoy it a great deal, you have to post something everyday. There have only been a handful of days that I didn't submit fresh content, but on those days my visitor stats dropped dramatically. So write everyday! At the very least, throw up a picture with a witty caption if time or writer's block is an issue.
5) Memes and blog bling awards: Yay or nay?
  • Let's face it, there are millions of blogs out there and we can't know them all. Memes and bloggy awards are a great way to introduce your readers to some other blogs they may not be aware of. We could all use the linky love. So I do them. And getting tagged with a meme could come in handy for you on one of those days when the creativity is not flowing and you need to post something.
6) How do I find the time to write and mess around with my blog template when I've got all these kids?
  • Spend the time they're at school wisely. For summer and other vacation days:
  • Blog while they sleep
  • Blog while they eat
  • Get them set up in an independent activity like television watching
  • Video games also work
  • Throw various snacks at them
  • Ignore the fighting
  • Answer "yes" to any request that you didn't actually hear but you know that they asked you something you just weren't paying attention
  • Get up to wipe their butt but only after they've hollered at you for five minutes. Make them pull up their own pants.
  • Diapers are super absorbent. Test that shit.
  • If they get hungry enough they'll figure out how to make a sandwich -you'll note I didn't say "healthy" sandwich
  • Infant? It's never too early to teach them how to hold their own bottle
  • Breastfeeding? Slap that baby in a sling and type (i.e. multi-task)
7) And what about spending time with my spouse?
  • That's what bedtime is for. Make it up to them then. More than once a night if necessary. If you've been married for more than three years it is not necessary; once is enough.
8) When someone leaves a comment how do you acknowledge it?
  • When I've got a little spare time I will go through the comments and visit the blogs and try to leave a comment. Sometimes I'll address a comment or two in my own comment section. And sometimes I'll answer someone in an email. It really depends on what I'm doing at the exact moment I'm reading the comments and how much time I have. A lot of the people who leave comments are the authors of blogs I already visit regularly.
  • Recently I've started posting comment highlights a couple of times a month. I had a couple of readers say in emails that there is no way I am able to read all the comments I get. KNOW THIS: Not only do I read them, but when I edit my entry for the comment appreciation segment, I read them all two or three times.
In conclusion, it's your blog. Handle it any which way you please. Write for your own reasons and just be you and somewhere someone out there will identify with you and your blog. I'd like to thank BlogHerNot 2008 for the opportunity to speak. Thank you all so much for coming. You know what was the awesomest part about this? I ate a snack pack of Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, drank a diet Pepsi and burped repeatedly throughout this whole thing and no one knew. Well, except now you do. Please don't forget to check the schedule for the rest of the day's events. See you at the parties later. I'll be the drunk, loud, and inappropriate person over there.

The Entry I Should Have Posted Yesterday. My Bad

Yesterday was Girl-Child's fifth birthday. Which we celebrated on Sunday. And I'm writing about today. Since I'm strapped for time getting my presentation ready for BlogHerNot 2008 I will share her special day in pictures:

Seriously, this cake was the bomb, y'all. Custard and strawberries in the center ohmygod.

I totally planned for her outfit to coordinate with Chuck E. Not really. ...the odds.

That strapping, long-haired young man beside her is Boy-Child#1's eleven year old, life long best friend. He's also the coolest kid on his street. He plays ice hockey. And he is Girl-Child's future husband and my future son in law. Don't even try to come between her and her man. She's been in love with him since she was like TWO. She is all about the older guys. And he doesn't treat her like a pain in the ass [which he might in about five years if this infatuation persists].

The friends! And some siblings.

We interrupt this birthday party to show you my niece this cute baby!

Best friends. Soul sisters. Cousins.

Chuck E. Cheese get's all Dr. Dre up in here:


And just throw your hands in the air
And wave 'em like you just don't care
And if you got on clean, underwear
Somebody say, "Ohh yeah!"
"Ohh yeah!"

Back home with the loot and booty [note to self: good name for pub if I ever open a pub]. And who left the baby on the floor?



**some photos by Dorothy Z. and some by Mr. Farklepants. It was a battle between the Nikon D40 and the Cannon EOS 20D. As always, there was some bloodshed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

And Then I Smashed it with a Sledgehammer from Aisle Five

On Tuesday morning I prepped my coffee maker to deliver the bitter liquid that facilitates my perky morning demeanor. Without it, I'm a complete bitch. I can provide reliable references upon request. Imagine my surprise when I turned it on only to discover ten minutes later it was sitting there doing absolutely nothing and just being stupid. Thank GOD we have the Senseo as a back up. Right, Honey? Ahem. So, later that morning I made the trip to Walmart to purchase a new one. I know I know Walmart. But seriously, with gas at just under five dollars a gallon and Target and Best Buy clear across town, I went the quick and easy route. Never fear. I got my comeuppance for visiting the evil empire; it's called the self-checkout lane.

But it's not just a self-checkout lane. It is how Walmart gets its jollies. By watching mothers of three play chicken with this steely beast contraption before it freezes up and calls for help. It is an illusion of convenience. When all the other lanes runneth over, it is an oasis of "Hey you! Yeah you lady! You look smart. Try me!" And you fall for it. And other people follow you thinking, "If she can do it, so can we!". So you pile your coffee maker, three new lunch boxes, and two boxes of Capri Sun onto the conveyor belt. None of which fit into the plastic shopping bags at the end of the process. And you're unaware of just how important...nay vital, this last step is.

You're thinking how you don't need any of those bags anyway and how they're cluttering up landfills and clinging for dear sweet life to bushes along highways nationwide, and how you're doing the world a favor by skipping this step. I scan my first item. BEEP. Accepted. I place it in my shopping cart. WRONG! FAIL! The contraption asks, "Skip bagging process?" and I press the screen. I scan the next item. And the next. All met with the same sequence of events. Until finally the machine has a grand mal seizure, pouts, holds its breath and turns blue, flashing the menacing message: PLEASE WAIT FOR ASSISTANCE TO OVERRIDE SKIP BAGGING! And I start praying: "Please Jesus God just let me get the hell out of here and I'll feed a homeless person on the way home if I happen upon one so help me amen".

The people behind me start shifting their weight while standing there. I can HEAR their eyes rolling and I'm afraid to turn around. But I do. And I tell the lady behind me, "I'm waiting for assistance"; pointing at the screen like a dumbass ... and there is something behind the impatient look in her eyes. It's FEAR. She knows she's next and she's just caught a glimpse of her immediate future. And I want to warn her, "Run! It's too late for me. Save yourself! Think of your children! Why don't you love your children? THE CHILDREN!"

An employee appears, presses some code on the screen, and I'm once again left to my own devices. With three items left. My heart is racing, my arms are shaking, and beads of sweat spring forth on my forehead along my hairline. My daughter reaches for a plastic bag. "DON'T TOUCH IT!" I shout at her. "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD YOU'LL MAKE IT ANGRY!" This sends her into a dither because why's mommy so mad?

Then I was done. All I had to do was pay. One final step. So I press "debit card" on the screen and swipe MY CREDIT CARD! Then crap fell out of my ass. The sonofabitch machine pauses. Paaaauuuussse? Pause. I start to cry a little. Then it was all "Haha! GOTCHA! Have a wonderful day and please visit our pharmacy on your way out your Xanax is waiting". Then I burst into flames.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Lucite Heels were Suspiciously Absent

A few years ago, while sitting in a nail salon gettin' my pedicure on, I noticed that there were quite a few young girls in attendance with their mothers. When I say young, I mean like five. Getting manis and pedis. It became one of those things that once you notice it, it screams at you every time you see it thereafter. And it was screaming, "Hey Tootsie! Pay attention. Possible business opportunity". So I tossed the idea around in my head about becoming a small business owner that offered turning our local daughters into even more spoiled and pampered princesses because obviously there is a market for that sort of thing around these parts. Then Mr. Farklepants and I had a brief, albeit profound complete with foresight, conversation about how the economy was on the cusp of taking a giant shit and people were going to think twice about that kind of financial waste. The kind where you spend a small fortune to throw paint and cosmetics on your wee child. Or spend five dollars on a cup of coffee. That kind of crisis. So let's not use our house as collateral just yet. And with that, small business idea forgotten.

Someone else took that idea and ran. In several directions. A salon, spa services, and parties for your daughter and her friends. They will leave resembling a 22 year old college student who's dancing her way through paying for her higher education. Like med school. Wearing toe rings, hair extensions, and enough glitter to decorate a disco. Or several hundred macaroni picture frames. Industrial strength glitter designed by NASA that is tough enough to withstand the heat of reentry. In fact, the space shuttle is covered in glitter. Wiki that shit.



Stripper starter kit at an additional cost. Since I adhere to a strict "no glitter" law in my house, this Paris Hilton in a box handy little carrying case and all of its contents accidentally fell into the trash can when I slam dunked it knocked it off the counter.

**note: My daughter did not attend the hoochie mama salon. The bag was given to her by someone who did. I smiled and said "thank you" then got home and said "heeellll no". And also have just broken my own blog rule about blogging about people I know in real life where this admission could hurt that person's feelings. If they read my blog. Which I'm pretty sure they don't.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Toys R Us: To the Desk of the Person in Charge of Stuff

To Whom It May Concern,

I'm going to skip the niceties and get right to the point. I'd like to bring to your attention some concerns that plagued me while shopping in your establishment this past Saturday afternoon. In fact, I'm going to be so bold as to speak for EVERYONE. Would it be too much to ask that your employees restock the shelves during, what might be considered the off hours, like say anytime other than a busy Saturday afternoon? Trying to navigate the maze of crates, pallets, ladders, and overloaded shopping carts while managing to get a glimpse of an item I might be the least bit interested in buying (you know, SPENDING MONEY ON) will deter a customer from bothering to get a closer look.

Out of curiosity, are teenagers that are disinterested in anything having whatsoever to do with customer service the only people applying for jobs in your stores or is it simply a requirement? What is the interview process? Is there a test that somehow gauges this sort of attribute?

I noticed that you have approximately twenty checkout lanes. Did you conduct market research that measured positive for keeping only ONE of them open on the busiest day of the week? Was there a control group for the study? My follow up question: Did the control group commit suicide? And also: Where are the bodies? Are they still in a line somewhere?

If you don't accept expired coupons would you please train your employees to have the stones to tell the belligerent male customer that? Is it necessary to go through the whole song and dance of calling the manager to the cash register to have a second conversation about it, then have them succumb to the intimidation and try to force the register to accept it, when we all know that it won't? Please keep in mind that there are about fifteen people in the only line open while this takes place. Would "tough shit dude" be too harsh? How about a firm "I'm sorry, it's expired"?

Finally, I don't want to pay extra for the DVD warranty. I don't want any protection plan for this or for that. I don't want to open up a credit card to save fifteen percent. I did find everything I needed [I mean, I think I did. There were a couple of aisles that were totally inaccessible]. No, I don't need a gift receipt and NO you can't have my phone number. There were so many questions I started to search my purse for a scan-tron and a number two pencil and felt compelled to ask if this test would count as part of my grade.

Sincerely,

Tootsie Farklepants

p.s. Enclosed, please find a SASE for a response to the above questions.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I'm Just Here for the Comments

Mrs. G: You watched the Exorcist when you were eleven? Holy hell, I can't even think about that movie and I was an adult when I saw it. I think this explains a lot of your problems.

Angie: Your post titles slay me because they are TOTALLY not where I think you will be going. Although, I should by now - realize that you are going someplace other than where I think you are going, that is.

moving on...

Is it wrong that I gave my 5 year old a cheap deodorant I had bought for my husband that he never uses because my 5 year old was all, "cool, can I try that?" everytime I used mine and I didn't want him smelling like chai breeze or whatever I smell like that day? So, he is TOTALLY covered on the smelly, sweaty pits thing already. My first awkward encounter will probably come in the form of wet sheets in about 7 or 8 years.


Undomestic Diva: Oh yes, we used Baby Love too. And since it wasn't much of a deoderant, really we just masked the scent of b.o. with a really strong (and boy did it sting on freshly shaven armpits!) baby powder smell.

Kinda the way a public bathroom masks the smell of explosive diarrhea with worse smelling "neutralizing" spray. It's so strong that you feel like you're going to walk out of there smelling like shit & roses.



Mommytime: That is seriously the most insane thing I have ever seen. And I've seen a four year old BLAST A BEAR!

ekbetsy: I didn't hear the "Mommy!" cries, but I liked the rebuke over the loudspeaker. "Hold your wrists please. Yes, YOU, Tootsie Farklepants!"

Jason: Getting married IS the edge of a cliff, I tell ya.

Tootsie, forgive me, but I'm shocked that you were pregnant before you got married.

I wonder what baby Jesus had to say about THAT!


Queen Goob: HOLY SHIT YOU MARRIED MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY!!! Look people, she married Matthew McConaughey. Do tell, is he a good kisser or does he just play one the screen?

Happy Anniversary and I hope you guys had a FABulous weekend!

p.s. what year did you burn that hat?


Greta: Must be amended to include prohibition on ass cleavage. Otherwise, "true dat" {knucke knocks}

Colleen: Tootsie and the Founding Fathers and Nostradamus are like THIS.

HRH: You are my yoda. To work in BOTH betwixt and yaabut in the same post.

*standing back studying you intently*

Is it creeping you out yet?


hulagirlatheart: The day I helped in the church nursery, peeked into a diaper to check it and ran my hand into the poop from hell I knew I was absolutely positively done having babies. I passed my husband the peas.

Greta: Aw sweetie. You're gettin' me all nostalgic for the transvaginal wand.

Her Bad Mother: Not hamsters, heh. But does that mean it's wrong for me to really, really wish that I could keep them on a wheel?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

She's Done a Great Deal of Linking but I Think the Finger can be Saved

Holly at June Cleaver Nirvana gave my blog this super sexy award. I think it's sexy because you have to roll your "R's" to say it. Plus? The statue is wearing evening gloves and what appears to be Oscar de la Renta; that's just classy. According to the note below it is a special honor to receive this and you know what? I feel special. Thank you, Holly!!



It is the Arte y Pico award, originated by Arte y Pico and passed along to bloggers who inspire others with their creativity and their talents, also for contributing to the blogging world in whatever medium. When you receive this award it is considered a "special honor." Once you have received this award, you are to pass it on to 5 others


JCK at Motherscribe
San Diego MamaSan Diego Mama
Cheri at Blog This Mom
Jennifer at Thursday Drive
Angie at All Adither

And a big ALL CAPS THANK YOU to Madge [not Madonna] from It's a Mad Madge World for this lovely award!



I'm supposed to pass this on to ten bloggers who make my day. In no particular order and certainly not ALL of the blogs that I'd love to list, but there's only so much linking I'm up to doing...they are:

Burgh Baby's Mom
A Mom 2 Boys
Wine Please
Derfwad Manor
Juggling Life
Bad Mom
Suburbancorrespondent
The Mom Bomb
Never a Dull Moment
The Madame Queen

I also want to take a moment and just say thank you to everyone who visits! Come back tomorrow for comment highlights from the past couple of weeks.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I Barely Have the Patience for My Own

Warning: This post may or may not be ALL OVER THE PLACE.

Next Wednesday is Girl-Child's fifth birthday. I think we can all agree that Wednesday is a shitty day to host a party so we did the should we do it the weekend before or after? hokey pokey. Well, I did. Mr. Farklepants pretty much just goes with the flow when it comes to my controlling supreme social scheduling PIZAZZ! Anyoldhow, we're doing it this Sunday. If there's one thing I've learned in my eleven years of planning birthday parties for my children; the key goal is this: it's all about my convenience. Because as long as there are some of their friends around and something to do, it's a hit. In those early days I was a little overzealous in what I was trying to achieve [why, perfection of course] and had to be talked down from the rooftop but not until after I'd handed over the sniper rifle. Not really but if you were in my imagination it was totally real.

Some facts: 1) Girl-Child's birthday is in July, the hottest month of the year in Southern California just behind August. 2) Too hot for outdoor activities like a bounce house which will entertain for five minutes before all invited preschoolers are indoors searching for air conditioning. In my house. 3) I'm not really a fan of other people's children unless it's in small doses. 4) I'm cheap. 5) I am not a believer of grand to-dos for children's parties. 6) I live in an area where I'm in the minority on #5.

There are a plethora of establishments within a stones throw from our house that are willing to host the biggest baddest ass party ever for your child for the small sum of college tuition. Give or take a buck or two. Well, the only time my children will ever set foot in one of those places is if they are invited to someone else's birthday party. True story from last year:

Boy-Child#1: I want to have my party at Scooter's Jungle.
Me: Really? Or would you rather have an xBox 360 and a trip to Magic Mountain and maybe several bars of gold? Because that's about how much it will cost so that you and your friends can enjoy indoor inflatable slides, bouncies, and a zip line for two hours. Food is not included.
Boy-Child#1: Nevermind.

See? I'm not unreasonable. We did go to Magic Mountain [which cost less than the $150 NON-REFUNDABLE deposit at Scooter's Jungle], he took a friend, and got an xBox 360 AND we STILL spent less.

Last year we hosted Girl-Child's fourth birthday at Chuck E. Cheese's and this year is a repeat. I know many parents are anti-CEC but that rat knows how to entertain a kid. They can be loud. They are given their own tokens to play games. They may run amok. They get pizza. They get cake. They get a goodie bag. They go home. No mess for me. It's $12.99 a head for the kids ONLY. Parents can order a couple of pizzas for any other adults that wish to hang around. And beer. Right. On. And the trick for keeping it at a reasonable price for your wallet? ONLY INVITE YOUR CHILD'S FRIENDS. That is my motto. I do not need to invite Girl-Child's ENTIRE preschool class just because that's what everyone else does. Do you know how many birthday parties my kids have gone too where they asked on the ride over, "so, whose party is it again"?

So, at $12.99 a head, you'll excuse me if I'm a little put off by the phone calls I received in the last two days asking if it would be alright if the siblings of a couple of the invited guests come along. Again, I'm not unreasonable. I understand if you're not comfortable leaving your four or five year old in the company of what amounts to strangers in a public place. I totally get that. What I don't understand is the "if it's not okay then I can arrange a play date or leave the kids at home with their dad". Then do that then. I think it's excellent for children to learn at an early age that they aren't always going to get to do what they want to do. Learn that sometimes you're not invited. Or that this time it's a party for your big/little brother/sister to attend and that's just too bad. It's called life.

Of course I'm going to say YES. Because I have manners. And because my grandmother would come back from the grave and slap me across the face if I replied otherwise. And as it turns out there are two invited children that are unable to attend so I have extra spots. It's just the principle of the thing. The sense of entitlement is astounding.

Overreact, who?

Rant over.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Post Where I Let You Get a Little Intimate With My Ovaries

In the comments of my previous post a couple of readers suggested that I may be pregnant. Well, I'm here to lay those concerns to rest with an emphatic heeeeeellll noooooo. My reproductive plumbing has been capped off. The moment Mr. Farklepants and I learned that my last pregnancy sported a female fetus, and with two boys containing our DNA already running amok in our home, we knew we were done making anymore people even though it is something we do really well.

Quick aside: When I told my mother that I was going for permanent birth control, she...cried. She did her best to talk me out of it using the following arguments: "What if something happens to one of your kids and you want another one?". My rebuttal: "They're not hamsters, Mom, and cannot be replaced". Her follow up: "What if something happens between you and Mr. Farklepants and you meet another man who wants to have children with you?". My rebuttal: "Your faith in my marriage aside, I think if that were to happen, the new pretend husband would be well aware of this before any marriage took place and at my age statistics indicate that he'd already have children of his own AND I DON'T WANT ANY MORE KIDS, capice?" Ahem...

I also would like to go on record as saying that getting your tubes tied? Ain't no big thang. I wanted to have it done right there in the hospital after Girl-Child was born but since it was a Catholic hospital, they do not perform that particular service. [No, we aren't Catholic but ohmygawsh what a fabulous hospital hence our choice to birth all three babies in its glorious labor and delivery suites and there's something about a nun coming by your room to visit you and your new baby that makes you feel like a special snowflake -thank you George Carlin RIP] So three months after her birth, a couple of consultations later and armed with my referral from my doctor, I entered an unassuming red brick building, that on the second Thursday of every month performed tubal ligations [the rest of the days it was simply a women's clinic and on other Thursdays performed other procedures that I'm not fully prepared to debate right now but suffice it to say explains the commonplace architecture as not to draw attention to itself].

It was a veritable we don't want no more babies fortheloveofgod make it stop party up in there. A waiting room full of women, from all walks of life, were called in one by one to disrobe, remove any and all jewelry (I'm looking at you stubborn toe ring), and slip into a fashionable paper ensemble that included a robe, slippers, and a cap. Awesome. We then took our seats in a holding area. We looked like a room full of surgeons at the ready to streak through the operating room as soon as we heard our cue. We were all a bit nervous. Some more than others. It could have been the impending procedure or just simply that it was the first time some of these women had been sitting around naked in front of total strangers with nothing but a thin sheet of paper for cover. Like the spa only with surgical knives, general anesthesia, and resuscitation equipment. Yeah, just like that.

When I finally entered the operating room I was met with what appeared to be a medieval instrument of torture. Alas, it was the table. To be honest, I wasn't quite prepared for the acrobatic position I was going to be put in to make this thing happen -I totally would have stretched first so I wouldn't pull a hammy. I will say that they strap you to it. It tilts back. You're just splayed there. It's kind of an unattractive position but rest assured that you won't care because you'll quickly be completely unconscious. They've got procedures to perform people! No time to make you feel like the queen of England. Leave your demure self at home.

It's laparoscopic surgery. Two eighth of an inch incisions, one above and one below your navel. A little of this, some cauterizing of those, and BADDA BING BADDA BAM! Free to engage in recreational sex at whim. A little mild cramping follows for a day or so but at least I didn't have to sit around with a bag of peas on my crotch or have to have my nuts filleted because just thinking about that makes me wince and I'm not even a dude.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Did I Really Just Consume 640 Calories in Five Minutes?

I have to admit this. I can deny it no longer. I've become addicted to ice cream. Which is weird because I'm usually not so much for the cold, tasty treat. I mean, I've enjoyed it, but if asked previously I would have said that it ranks way below pie, cake, OHMYGAWD donuts, and brownies BROWNIES! But you know you've developed a problem when you're throwing your kids in the car at 3pm, and not at their request mind you, because you have to have two scoops of Baskin Robbins Peanut Butter Chocolate RIGHT NOW or else! Or else? Or else you will die. And you've already justified that because you ate a light lunch and vowed to skip dinner then it's perfectly fine to indulge to your heart's content.


Or maybe some pistachio because they didn't have peanut butter chocolate

And then your sister in law introduces you to Ben and Jerry's Crème brûlée whose ribbon of flavor contains the fine crunchy candy shell and you're all ohmahgah and kiss her full on the mouth. You never knew Crème brûlée like this before. Or love.

Then there are these sneaky bastards. Sixty pieces? Pfft. Do you know how easy it is to consume those in a day? A couple of handfuls here and there and before you know it your kids are all, "Didn't we buy some Dibs today?" and you're all, "I'm sorry, I didn't hear you over this brain freeze".

A word of advice: Do not buy Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream (swoon) when you're at the store and hungry. Because the first thing you'll do when you get home is eat half of the container before hiding it placing it lovingly in the freezer. Granted their containers are small but the entire thing still counts as four servings. Or, breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner. What?

But this. This is the one that has my heart. And my thighs and probably my cholesterol level. And making my scale nervous. This is the holy mother effing queen of all ice cream right here. Chocolate ice cream with ribbons of peanut butter and crack. See how she's all proud of herself? She's like the siren call that caused ships to crash into rocks. Only this time the next splintering sound you'll hear will be my jeans exploding.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Open Your Textbooks to the Chapter on Middle Child

Boy-Child#2 is our kid in the middle. Nestled comfortably betwixt (yes! an opportunity to use that word!) Boy-Child#1 and Girl-Child with just over 3+ years on either side of him. If you open your child development textbooks and search for "middle child", his photo will appear just under the heading with the caption "Yeah, this is the kid we were telling you about". And it will be this picture:


He wears this face a lot and usually there are very loud sounds escaping that megaphone open mouth. He is an attention seeker. Let me correct myself. He is an attention must-haver-right-nower. No matter what activity he is involved in he is informing you and the world about it at MAXIMUM VOLUME. He suffers from Look at Me Syndrome. We've also discovered that at times it isn't so much that he's informing us, it's more that he's convincing himself that he enjoys whatever it is he's doing. Some for instances:

Roller coasters: "THIS IS AWESOME!" (ignore thoroughly terrified expression).

Trip to the ocean: "I'M SWIMMING!" (well, he's not drowning)

While he's quick to take credit for his success, as he should, he's just as quick to blame someone or something else when failure occurs. For illustrative purposes:

1. His shirt getting wet when slipping off a rock into the river is the rock's fault. Not that HE slipped off it. No. Just that the rock existed in the first place.

2. Not scoring high enough on Wii Fit. The couch was in his way and it needs to be moved. Not that he was anywhere near the couch.

3. Losing to his big brother on Mario Kart. His big brother was doing that thing called "breathing". Oh, I'm sorry, I stand corrected. Big brother was "talking" which was an absolute distraction from his game controller capabilities.

4. Striking out in his softball game. The pitcher didn't pitch the ball correctly. Do not try to reason with him that if that were the case then he should not have swung at such a poorly executed pitch. He's quick to inform you that he could have done a better job. In fact, he should be pitching to himself.

5. Getting tagged out at first base. Stupid dirt. It was all there and slowing him down. There was that one pebble that held him back otherwise he would have been safe.

6. Not getting the picture he is drawing to come to fruition on the page precisely as he'd envisioned. If he had just used that OTHER pencil then it would certainly have been the most perfect Spongebob ever drawn.

7. He would have been done with his homework if I hadn't asked him how it was coming along. I mean, he was ALMOST DONE, but you know, I distracted him.

8. Losing at the card game "Spoons" because the cushion was not attached properly to his chair. Somehow this prevented him from grabbing the last spoon in the game. Fricken chair.

Needless to say we've had several discussions about what it means to be an individual without having to be the center of attention and also how we have to accept responsibility for our choices and also how sometimes shit just happens -then of course the fine art of explaining the delicate difference of shit just happening [lightning/fire] and making shit happen [match/fire]. For example: Boy-Child#1 is teasing Boy-Child#2 and in frustration, hits Boy-Child#1. His defense is that Boy-Child#1 MADE him do it [with the teasing] because if there'd been no teasing he wouldn't have hit his older brother. We then had to have a talk about making choices and he - ignoring all other options - chose to hit his older brother. Now I know I didn't need to elaborate on that last bit for you but I appreciate you bearing with me so that I could just ...BLAAAGH! Get it out there, as it were. Because after that last talk with him, his retort? "Yabbut he was teasing me! He made me do it"!

Oh, don't mind me. I'll just be over here banging my head against this here wall.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Little Known Facts About Independence Day (Like How to Spell Independence)

This past Friday we celebrated, collectively as a nation, our country's independence. At one point or another in all of our lives as American citizens, we've been introduced to the Declaration of Independence and more than likely were given memorizing the preamble as a school assignment. The Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, was really just a "Dear John" letter, written in fancy old school English, letting Britain know that we wanted to break up with them. Not so much in an "it's not you it's me" way as it was "irreconcilable differences". It really all came down to how we were all, "your taxes blow, we don't have appropriate representation in parliament, so bite me". Because of improper early preservation techniques, there is an often overlooked faded subtext on the original copy. Here is what you've been missing:

Proper Celebratory Methods for all Future Independence Day Commemorations ... So Sayeth Yea Founding Fathers

  1. A body of water shall be involved in some capacity, whether it be pool, ocean, river, lake, or slip n' slide.
  2. The outside temperature must be one hundred degrees or more.
  3. Those who've chosen the "river" or "lake" option shall encounter hoards of people who've neither bathed nor located a hair brush for several days in a row.
  4. Fireworks are mandatory. Preferably a legal display put on by a local company with permission to do so. Idiots Everyone else will ignore the several posted warnings that the conditions for fire in the local parks and mountains are EXTREME. Those people are all, feh.
  5. Barbecued tri-tip is the preferred meat. Hamburgers and hot dogs are an acceptable substitute.
  6. Bathing suits are NOT optional when near the aforementioned body of water if small children are present. Also unacceptable is the offensive anterior boob cleavage. For those not in the know or who weren't near the company of lake or river dwellers, that would be the cleavage sneaking out of the bottom of your bikini top. It would behoove these offenders to occasionally set down the bottle of Miller Genuine Draft and do a wardrobe check.
  7. Make at LEAST a three day weekend out of the celebration no matter which day of the week the holiday is being observed.
  8. Purchasing a new mattress or vehicle from a kick-ass 4th of July sale? Optional.
  9. And finally, when seeking accommodations, be steadfast in your search for one that boasts a properly functioning clothes dryer. Settling for one that seems to reach "still mostly damp" as its highest setting when you're trying to tidy up before leaving after a long weekend, will make you a tad cranky and everyone around you shall suffer.
I know what you're thinking. You were not aware of this astounding bit of historical trivia! It may not have been written exactly as above. Like the Constitution that followed it, the faded and little known subtext in the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence was intentionally written in ambiguous language so that it would accommodate societies in the future. My list is an example of a loosely translated historical document.

**No Declaration of Independence was actually used in the creation of this post