Friday, October 31, 2008

It's Probably My Most Random Post

So, my friend and neighbor Jason over at The Jason Show wrote a post listing his favorite words. Take a moment to go say hi. I'll wait.... All I could think about while I read his post was the spelling homework Boy-Child#2 sometimes brings home where he has to write a paragraph using at least ten of his spelling words for that week. Which is basically what I said in Jason's comments:

**"Flibbertigibbet" . (editor's note: that is my favorite word which I don't use often because I'm afraid it would become one of those things like when you listen to a song too many times and you're like if I hear Rehab from Amy Winehouse just one more time I'll cut someone...)

The whole time I was reading your list all I could think about was one of those class assignments where you have to write a paragraph using at least 10 of your spelling words. And I was all, "The cantankerous neanderthal removed a bunion from his uvula with a spork, but it turned out to be a persnickety goiter."

...or something.

I have issues.**

And then I followed up with:
**Because everyone knows that neanderthals didn't have uvulas.**

Then I thought to myself, what a dangerous off-handed remark! What if someone is writing their dissertation right now and is Googling information about this very thing and they find my quote and, godforbid! Cite it as a source and that person fails! Because what do I know about Neanderthals? Nothing, that's what. Except that it is considered an insult to call a man one in a heated argument or when trying to thwart his advances. In fact, I know more about uvulas, considering I have one, and I don't have a Neanderthal. I wasn't even positive about where he fell on the evolutionary chart and I totally had to look that up. Turns out I was way off in guessing his position; which is like at least two back from modern man. To throw me even farther (further? hhhhh...) off I read that human evolution "is better represented by a branching tree" and that Neanderthals are considered a "separate branch".

Then I was like, Neanderthal-uvula. Focus. I finally came across something that seemed promising [you know, about whether or not a Neanderthal had a uvula] but turned out it just mentioned an abstract about a paper from a doctor about the development of the human pharynx through evolution and how it disrupts sleep. And then I was all, I am not cracking open that medical journal.

Speaking of uvulas, did I ever tell you about the time that Mr. Farklepants pulled a splinter out of mine with some tweezers and a flashlight? And right now you're like, I don't think she knows what a uvula is and this whole post is not only embarrassing but TMI. But you would be wrong. We had ripped up some carpet in our old house to reveal the wood floors beneath and I must have inhaled microscopic wood. And I kept doing that horking thing like ggglllklack...ggglllkllack but that universal method for removing debris from your uvula wasn't cutting it. So Mr. Farkepants went in with the big guns.

That's love and trust right there people.

And no I wasn't on drugs when I wrote this post.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It Doesn't Hurt that He's Also Sexy

Never before had a politician, of all things, moved me to tears [not tears of hope anyway, tears of frustration and anger oh my yes] as Barack Obama [really Spell Check? You don't recognize this name by now? Get with the program homeslice] did with his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention:

But even though, when our eyes met through my television that night, generating stirrings of inspiration, I was doubtful about his eventual decision to run for president. It's not that I didn't have faith in him, no. It's that I didn't think it was his time. I was an Al Gore girl and I kept not so secretly hoping he'd toss his hat into the ring because I believed he would be the only one to defeat Hillary Clinton in the primaries and ultimately whomever the Republican candidate happened to be (at the time); and not that I had anything against Clinton either, I just didn't think she could clinch the win come November of '08.

Anyway, details... I didn't think Obama would have the support of the nation, collectively, to seal this deal. And I'm happy to admit when I'm wrong, because good lord:

And because holy moly:

And even in Europe because, oh meine Güte:

Five more days.

P.S. Haaaaave mercy!

**all pictures Google images

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Whose Kids are These and Why are They in My House?

Quite a few years ago a family moved to our street. Their children were similarly aged as our boys and thus began daily outside play time on the cul-de-sac. Eventually their time together moved to the indoors. I remember the first time they came to our house. When it came time to leave, one of the boys turned to his mother and asked, "What can I borrow?".

Huh, I thought. Hmmm.

"Well, I don't know. Why don't you ask", his mother replied. Then to me, "we borrow, if that's okay". Oh, well, nothing like putting me on the spot but hey! I was new to this kids coming over to play thing, so maybe this was considered normal. I mean, I don't remember borrowing anything when I was a kid except maybe some clothes from my best friend but I was a teenager at that point. Besides, what could be the harm in a little boy borrowing a toy?

Oh you sweet sweet stupid woman, Mrs. Farklepants.

Here's the harm: I mean, you're not quite so dumb to give the child your own child's coveted three inch plastic Cookie Monster, which of course being the temporary Woobie of sorts, is the toy that the child asked to borrow because well my child clung to it like dear life for the duration of their play time together so it must be something worth borrowing. No. So I chose a safe toy. One that never gets any attention. One that could be considered forgotten.

Have you any idea how valuable that toy becomes once it leaves the house for the negotiated twenty-four hour time frame? And it suddenly becomes valuable at, like say, 2am? And also that children that small have no idea what twenty-four hours, or a day, or tomorrow is? And now that you've let a neighbor child borrow some random toy YOU are not going to be getting any sleep that night?

After that adventure of parental trial and error; we instated a new rule around here: no borrowing. Borrowing is not the same as sharing. If you come over, my children will share their toys and you can play with them all the damn day but they're not leaving this house. Because that's what going over to play IS. You go over. You play with your friend's toys. You go home. The toys stay. The end.

It wasn't until later that I realized that they "borrow" because it was the only way she was able to get her children out of a friend's house without a complete meltdown. But I'm firmly in the camp of a good throwing your flailing, kicking, screaming child under your arm and leaving the house and letting them know under no uncertain terms that future playdates will be eliminated until one can learn to be a gracious guest. Because I kick it old school like that - now where'd I put that hickory switch?

All of the above was my long way of saying this short thing: When Girl-Child's friend came to play yesterday and expressed her desire to take Girl-Child's most prized possession home with her:

I gently let her know that she was welcome to play with it as long as she was visiting our home. She abruptly reminded me that it was nice to share. I was quick to tell her bite me if she wanted one for her own house she was going to have to ask her mother to add it to her Christmas wish list.

**3 photos by Dorothy Z.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's Like Those I Spy Books Only Someone has to Clean This Up. And Soon.

With our weekends occupied by birthday parties, soccer games, and birthday parties; and our weekdays runneth over with school and homework, and dinners and baths, and homework, and shuttling, and soccer practice, and some more shuttling and a guitar lesson and a drum lesson and some etcetera... well, this has allowed for some surfaces in the Farklepants household to become catch-alls. For instance, the dining room table caught my purse, a movie poster, two lunch boxes, three backpacks, some homework, an iPod shuffle, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, one dictionary, a half full bottle of water, and various school related memos. The horror.

The island in the kitchen picked up four textbooks, a deck of Spiderman multiplication flashcards, a breast cancer awareness pink wrist band, a deck of go fish cards, two packs of 3x5 index cards, some glittery Hannah Montana shit that was given to Girl-Child by a friend of mine who is currently on notice for said glittery shit and the added insult of Hannah Montana, some cash, some gift cards, birthday cards, The Princess Bride, Legos, two coupons for two weeks free karate lessons, a white board and dry erase markers, and one construction paper candy corn man with accordion appendages. Plus mail.

Not to mention this little project for the master bedroom closet:

Seventy-five Half for me and twenty-five half for Mr. Farklepants is exactly still not nearly enough hangars.

And let us not forget the various home improvement projects that remain neglected unfinished and/or totally unstarted. Which include but are not limited to:

  1. Broken fence. You know, the one the dog can get through.
  2. Dead patch of grass in front yard. You know, the one the homeowners association has sent that second notice about.
  3. Sliding glass door repair. You know, the one that requires the strength of an adult to open - except my mom - she's not strong enough.
  4. Bathroom floor replacement. You know, who's the dummy who thought wood was a good idea in a bathroom?
  5. The boys' bedroom. You know, five years, unfinished drywall
Here's what I have to say about that: Can anyone recommend an affordable licensed handyman where affordable means - will work for ham sandwiches and beer?

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Have Birthday Party Hangover

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that January is a very popular month for people to use intercourse as a means to keep warm. Or that New Year's Eve is one hell of a party. Details. October has been the busiest birthday month. Not just for our family either, although it does include three members of the Farklepants household and a couple of nieces; but the kids and their friends as well. It's been non-stop birthday party extravaganzas all month long. Every weekend has been occupied by them. People? You need to find a new hobby for January. What ever happened to knitting sweaters? Or looking at television.

But that's not at all what this post is about. That was just an observational aside.

Last week, a certain Boy-Child#1 rocked the house at the local music store's jam night; featured on the guitar and kicking ass with Metallica's No Remorse.

He looks to his instructor for cues:

My sister looks to his instructor for a marriage proposal and some children. You can't see her because she's drooling taking the pictures but just trust me.

Pardon me, Mr. Instructor: Look behind you. She's the one.

Note the solo. And intricate fingering...wait. Stop it.

This is not his guitar. He borrowed this from his father because he needed a guitar with extra frets and kdospjaf, or something. Forgive me, I don't speak musical instrument. My children possess all the musical talent in this family; I'm just their driver. With his second live performance behind him [his first being the pancake breakfast for the sixth graders last June], the only next logical step in creating a rock star was this:

When he asked Mr. Farklepants and I if we would allow him to pierce his ear we were like, yeah I guess. If you want to. Which was met with genuine shock from Boy-Child#1. "I thought you guys would say NO WAY"! And we were all, have you even met us? Can we get you a tattoo while we're at it?

**photos by Dorothy Z. & Mr. Farklepants once again engaged in the Nikon v. Canon wars because that is their thing.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

We Interrupt This Blog for an Important Announcement

We here at Vintage Thirty have been dropping the ball lately on our comment appreciation, replies to comments, and overall acknowledgment of our readers. And we are busy and a little bit lazy sorry for this. In an attempt to remedy our atrocious behavior, starting today, we will be highlighting a blog weekly. Look over there to your right. Scroll down a bit. Right there. We will be starting with what is in our blogroll but if you'd like to add your blog to the proverbial pot, please leave a comment and functioning linkability.

Because even though we haven't shown it lately, we love you.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Answer to Victoria's Secret: Vicki is Rich

Oh, hi! There's boobs on my blog.

With the economy in crisis mode and the Dow plummeting lower than, well, that bra up yonder; it's good to know that those with expendable income can purchase their unmentionables to the tune of FIVE MILLION dollars. Know this: If I owned a bra detailed with 3,900 precious gems, I would run all of my errands, shirtless.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Some People Need to Get it Together

Dear Girl-Child,

If you want to be Dora the Explorer for Halloween, be it. If you change your mind and want to be a black kitty again like you were last year and I go out and buy you new tights I'd appreciate it if you would have let me know before you pulled the tights out of the bag and inquired, "What's this?" that you now want to be a cheerleader. Because, POOF!! Now you're a cheerleader. The statute of limitations on changing your mind has run out. Halloween costume shopping season has officially ended. Where season equals me and that place where I bought it. I'm looking at you Party City - don't go anywhere because I'm not finished with you.


P.s. I'm really glad you changed your mind about the Dora costume because, what, you're a little girl and you were going to be, um, a little girl for Halloween?


Dear Boy-Child#2,

If you wanted to be a banana,

Be the damn banana! I'll even be the pineapple and your sister can be the strawberry and we can go as a pack of tropical flavored Lifesavers. Or a smoothie. But don't think you have to be all macho and go with the camouflaged ninja:

Which is arguably the worst costume ever because ninjas don't wear army green. And no you can't have a gun to go with it because, here's your martial arts lesson for the day: Ninjas don't use guns. They are skilled in the art of stealth. Besides, everyone knows that ninjas used firecrackers. Thanks so much for waiting until we got home and you tried the costume on then decided that you really wanted to be the banana after all. Mama wants to know this: what ever happened to boys being Dracula for Halloween? I hope you're happy that you're robbing me of the opportunity to paint your face and apply fangs to your uppers. What about my needs?

Love and guilt,


Dear Party City,

I don't have time to beat around the bush due to your lack of sufficient staff scheduling. It is no secret that Halloween is your busiest shopping season. Why, fortheloveofgod, is there only ONE, yes one, employee on hand to retrieve costumes from the stock room for a store FULL of customers? And why does that one person have to be seventeen and kind of assholey? But I sort of can't blame him for being assholey because I would be too if I were the ONLY person having to accommodate all of those people less than two weeks before Halloween. And I would be telling people left and also right that we're out of this size or that costume altogether if it would mean just one less person I'd have to deal with, "Yes I'm sure we don't have that size. Yes I checked. Your kid can be a ghost. Use a sheet. Now get out."

I know that other teenaged girl was scheduled to work that day, but according to her she "was on a break". I know this because when I asked if she was helping people, that was her answer. Except she said it in such a way that you'd think I'd just asked her to perform some duty that didn't involve either of us wearing any pants.

For future reference, just so ya know, Halloween = super busy.

Have a great day!

Your's Truly,
Tootsie Farklepants

P.s. Bite me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Subliminal, Who?

(Tootsie on the right and her friend who we'll call Dorkanna because that's what we call her to her face and in her Christmas cards. It's okay, don't worry, she likes it)

Mr. Farklepants and I started dating in 1994. Happy Birthday to me That year was going to be our first Thanksgiving together, the first year we'd celebrate Christmas together, and our birthdays...we would be celebrating a lot of firsts that year and I'll just leave you with that image. You're welcome.

Any-old-who...the company we worked for was kind of known for their holiday parties. Happy Birthday to meeee They were the stuff of legend. They were something you planned for months in advance. They were black tie. They were the kind of parties that had our clients throwing down clamoring for a coveted super secret invitation; so much so, that come October it was the clients that were kissing our ass and not visa versa. They were the cause of large groups of us being banned from several hotels in the greater Los Angeles area. And probably the cause of the company eventually going out of business. Too much money spent on elaborate parties. But I digress much. Happy Birthday dear, Tootsie Party on Wayne. Party on Garth.

Back to the picture. More specifically the dress. And if you're still laughing at the ivory colored pantyhose we're both wearing I just want to remind you that it was 1994 and still considered a fashion staple at black tie functions. But I understand and I will give you a minute to gather yourself. I'll wait. Ahem. The dress. In October of that year I was reading Vogue and came across an ad for I don't remember jewelry or something and the model was wearing that exact dress. I told my girlfriends and probably Mr. Farklepants that THAT was the dress I wanted for that year's holiday function. Of course, it wasn't an ad for the dress and I had no idea who the designer was or where it could be found; nor did I think that I'd have the salary to afford it even if I did make some magic happen. Eventually the dress was forgotten. Well, not really forgotten but put in its special place. A place called: unattainability.

When my birthday rolled around, Mr. Farklepants gave me a box. And in that box was that dress. Apparently he had torn the ad clean out of my magazine, squirreled it away to some secret hidey-hole and was all, "I will find this dress...oh yes...I will find it". And find it he did. He was on a mission from the fashion god - the make my new girlfriend happy god [totally one of my favorite gods which is quickly replaced by the less popular but more familiar: when is your birthday again? god, reserved for wives].

It still hangs in my closet today. It is one of my most memorable presents. Sometimes it really is the thought that counts. And when I say thought I mean: think about it and actually follow through with it. Happy Birthday tooooo meeeeeee

What's the most memorable gift that you received? You'll note that I didn't say today is my birthday it had to be a good one.

Okay. Who's still laughing at my pantyhose? Or is it my Rachel hair?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Opposites Attract Just Like Paula Abdul Said

In yesterday's comments, Mr. Farklepants said the following:

This is one area where TF and I are at odds. I hate lying to kids about Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny or any of the imaginary beings we lie to them about.
It's true. That is one area. Here is another: our respective personal preferences about where to live. See, we live in Stepford suburbia, not because we like cookie cutter homes, postage stamp sized yards, and more chain restaurants than we can shake a stick at -and who shakes sticks at restaurants anymore? Not us that's who -but because when it came time to buy a home we considered the children [well, really the CHILD because it was just the one at the time, but who were we kidding when all he had to do was look at me and I was all, I think I'm pregnant... what I'm saying is we knew there would be more] and who they would have to play with, which school district they would attend, and what house we could afford. Hence our move to somewhere that neither of us ever thought we'd live. We did what many people do when they're doing what they think is best for their family: we compromised.

In Mr. Farklepants' perfect world we would live here:

Rural with wide open spaces, acreage, and sagebrush, and don't forget isolation.

I like my wide open spaces with a great deal of skyscrapers:

When Mr. Farklepants talks about his neighbors, he's referring to the family that lives several miles away:

When I say neighbors, I mean the people who live directly on the other side of the shared wall:

Mr. Farklepants' idea of transportation includes tires designed for maximum traction. And necessary protective gear:

I like my transportation to include a driver that may or may not speak with an accent or bathe on a regular basis:

Mr. Farklepants' idea of nearby retail establishments:

My ideal shopping experience:

Believe me when I tell you this: If Mr. Farklepants' job didn't require him to live in close proximity to our current location...there would be a ruckus. A grand mal ruckus of epic proportions.

When the children are grown, moved out, and living their own lives; please check back for a post titled: A Tale of Two Houses. Or perhaps, Retirement: Six Months Here, Six Months There. Or maybe even, Wait a Minute, Didn't I Used to Have a Husband? Where Did He Go? Oh Look! Shoes!

**all photos Google Images

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Little More Grown Up Every Day

This is last year's Halloween picture. We have our black kitty, our escaped chain-gang convict, and our zombie doctor.

What wasn't known at the time this photo was taken was that it would be the last year that the zombie doctor would dress up in costume and join us for trick or treating. The zombie doctor had originally planned to dress up as The Joker from The Black Knight this Halloween, but when the zombie doctor found out that none of his peers had any intention of partaking in this childhood (emphasis on child) tradition; the zombie doctor informed me that he'd changed his mind.

And when the zombie doctor told me this, I had mixed emotions - shaken not stirred. Much the same way as when he admitted that...


He knew there was no such thing as Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny because, as he observed, "Why would a rabbit leave us candy and hide our eggs and what in the world do eggs have to do with Easter anyway"? Good point son, I wish I had answers for you. Now let me distract you with this Cadbury Egg - what were we talking about again? I'm in denial I forget. At the time I was a little excited that we were sharing this secret and that he was in on the game and that he knew that I knew that he knew that I'm the magic that happened in his childhood; and that now he got to be grown up and help perpetuate the mythical tradition for his younger siblings. It was gonna be fun! But another part of me was a lot sad. Sad that it was over in the blink of an eye.

Now he's leaving Halloween behind. His new assignment is to man the door and pass out candy to trick or treaters in my absence. Where absence equals chaperoning Boy-Child#2 and Girl-Child to every. house. in. the. neighborhood. After receiving his orders, there was a brief conversation:

Boy-Child#1: And when you guys get home I'll just take some of their candy.
Tootsie: No you won't.
Boy-Child#1: Why not?!
Tootsie: Because it's their candy. If you want candy you have to go trick or treating yourself.
Boy-Child#1: That's not fair.
Tootsie: It's your choice.

Is it just me or do you think he'll be raiding the bowl of candy the entire time I'm away from the house on Halloween night? Yeah. I thought so. Contrary to what he may think, I did not just fall off the truck yesterday. That was at least five days ago.

*photo by Dorothy Z.

P.s. After disqualifying Mr. Farklepants on the grounds that he's related to the powers that be here at Vintage Thirty and plus he hates Starbucks so why waste a gift card on him; the winner of the photo caption contest and ten dollar Starbucks gift card goes to Black Hockey Jesus! Because when I read his: "At a loss, McCain busts out the robot". I totally could hear Herbie Hancock's Rockit in my head. Well done Mr. Jesus.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Brief Post Where I Ask a Series of Burning Questions

Esquire claims this is one of the season's hottest toys:

Okay. I give. $24.99 to $39.99 for a.....pancreas? What the hell is that thing?

Here ya go kids... Merry Christmas?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tootsie Thinks BOSSY'S Ears are Burning

Surreal would be the word I would use to describe the feeling when you stumble across a surprising comment that is made about you. After receiving several visits from my virtual buddy Jeff's site yesterday, I dropped by his blog to give thanks for the linky love and read this comment:

My problem with Tootsie’s blog is that she tries too hard to be like the blogger, Bossy.

Shock and Whaaaa??!? Well, that's news to me. I had no idea I was trying, let alone trying hard, to do that. And being me and totally not one to obsess about a comment like that at all - really right? - I started reading many of my entries in an attempt to figure out why someone would think that I'm trying so hard to be like BOSSY. They probably didn't mean that we're both females, tall, and blonde.

So the dissection of my writing style began. And the comparing. BOSSY writes exclusively in the third person. So do other people I've done this...a handful of times. I once read that to generate interest in your blog you should include pictures. BOSSY's posts include pictures. So do other people. BOSSY often utilizes photoshop on many of her pictures. So do other Bloggesses. However, I use Picnik which I totally learned about from her because I can barely program the ringtone on my own cell phone let alone figure out how to use photoshop [in fact, I don't think I'm even spelling it right because spell check is not impressed].

BOSSY has flawless, dewy skin [and I mean that totally in a skin product crush kind of way]. My skin knows a blemish or two. But I don't think that's what the comment was about. BOSSY'S blog is super funny. Not many others compare. But I'm not about to start linking to all of the hilariously written blogs out there because I'd be here for days and then Mr. Farklepants would be all, "What happened to you? The kids have been surviving on water and condiments for like five days and I think the end might be near for a couple of them, oh and by the way, Darwin was right". I incorporate humor into my posts, even when they're about serious or boring matters, because I think the world sucks enough balls. Why be glum? Who wants to read that? I write to entertain because that's what I enjoy. I write for the reader. I write as a hobby and I do it my way.

I loves me some BOSSY but let's get something very straight: If there is something of BOSSY that I'd like a piece of it is her Chicago husband that she calls Andre, brought to her by Saturn. Because, yum.

Oh, and apparently I curse too much. BOSSY doesn't. But other Bloggesses, Divas, Canadians and a certain Queen of the Mommybloggers do too. So, ya know, fucken A.

P.S. Yes the title is intentionally BOSSYesque, okay? Okay.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Your Opinion Counts and Stuff

Tomorrow is, once again, that time to visit the hairdresser. Twelve years ago, just after Boy-Child#1 was born, I did that thing that many new mothers do...I got all of my hair cut off. I'm talking short. Like Ellen DeGeneres short. And with the seventy pounds of weight I gained during the pregnancy, coupled with the new hair, I looked like your stereotypical Walmart shopper. Poor Mr. Farklepants. I was so fetching prior. He probably wondered what the hell he'd gotten himself into. He didn't realize he'd end up married to a house with Trump hair.

The look was so bad, I scared myself. And from that point on my hair has been long. Various lengths of long, but long and/or long-ish. I vowed never again to wear my hair short.

(Tootsie and current hair above right with little sis, and no we're not wearing the same dress because that would be dumb.)

But lately, I find myself really drawn to Christina Applegate. I mean, who wouldn't? You too right? Cuz, she's like hot and stuff. I'm really diggin' her hair. Like, totally. Here's her look from the show Samantha Who?

I'm thinking about making a BIG change. Not at tomorrow's appointment. Oh no no. I need more time to crawl deep inside myself in a very introspective and nonsexual way and visit my place of tremendous courage [no, not that place but sometimes just as difficult to locate]. Or talk myself out of it. Or discuss this with my husband because he's the one who will have to live with my nervous breakdown if I regret the decision. And I kinda like having food and shelter; and love and support. And sex. Right now he's reading this and thinking, ohmyhell.

I'm asking you to cast your vote in the poll below. Please know that I've considered that my current hair allows me to throw it into a ponytail whenever it's being stupid. And that I can just wash and go, sporting a wavy look. I've also weighed the pros and cons associated with short hair.

Con: I'll have to style it everyday. With what looks to be a lot of time with a curling iron.
Pro: It's different.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Who Is More Presidential?

Ten dollar Starbucks gift card to the funniest caption for this photo!

I almost hate to muck this up with any commentary. I mean, seriously, it almost doesn't even need words.

The comment that makes me laugh the hardest is the winner because it's my blog and I say so.

**Edited to add: Yes it is a REAL photo from this photo stream on Yahoo In case there was any doubt.

I Need a Better Hidey-Hole

I'm finding myself being sort of thrust into this thing that I'm not at all comfortable with. My research indicates that this uncomfortable and somewhat exasperating thing, is girl related. My research this time is not limited to a Google search. It is my twelve years experience as a mother to children of both genders. The boys are the oldest and I somehow managed to fly below the radar for playdates. I can count on one hand the number of times, combined, that the boys had playdates arranged. But apparently if you are the mother of a daughter, and another mother who has a daughter who likes your daughter and wants to spend time with her outside of school; that other mother will hunt you down like a heat seeking missile with your name Betty Grabled all over it. I'm this close to hiring a secretary to field the calls.

And I feel like a complete asshole for feeling this way, but I just want everyone to leave me alone. I know they're just being nice, and they just want the girls to play. For many of these women, their kindergartener is their oldest and they think it's important that they get together. But, speaking as a seasoned veteran, it's not. It's not important that they get together. Because they just did at school, or at dance, or at soccer, or at a mutual friend's birthday party. They're together all the damn time.

I spend more social time with the mothers of my daughter's friends than I do with my own friends. And if I insisted on spending this much time with my own friends they would be like, "WTF is wrong with you Clingy McNeedypants? Get off me." Because my friends are very much like me. Introverted loners who occasionally enjoy the company of others. And those others have to be people we're very comfortable with and the last thing you'd find us doing is sitting around talking about our kids or oh lord other people's kids...shoot. me. now.

None of the mothers seemed to have noticed that I've yet to initiate an arranged date for our children. Strike that. They have. Because now that Girl-Child has been to their houses half a donzen or so times; now they're inviting themselves to my house. And I'm all, sure no problem so long as you don't mind that they play outside on the street unsupervised because that's how I roll. Kidding. They're supervised. Mostly.

I would say that perhaps, outside of school, their children have no one to play with at home. But I find that hard to believe because I think it's a rule in the homeowner's association manaul that you have at least two kids to live in my neighborhood. My children can't go outside without swinging a cat to find someone to play with [please note that Vintage Thirty does not promote the hurling of animals as a means to locate friends]. Kids are everywhere [and I say that in the most sinister voice I can muster].

And, ohmygawd, the Girl Scouts...the Brownies! It's like rush week at Alpha Phi. At least three mothers have inquired whether or not Girl-Child would like to join because the spots fill up fast and if they're full she can be put on a waiting list and Girl-Child is all, can I have milk with them please? Clearly, she doesn't know Brownies from shinola. So I'm all, sounds nice and all and thankyouverymuch, but I'd rather wait until she is at least interested in joining, you know, when she knows what it is because there's already soccer and dance, not to mention the boys lessons, and of course school, and I'd like to postpone my head exploding as long as possible - Why are you trying to make this happen? Do you have any idea the carnage and blood letting that would ensue during my attempt to sew a patch to a sash? And wait, doesn't she have to be six? Isn't this a little premature?

And don't think that I can show up late to school at the last possible minute to pick up Girl-Child and avoid their requests. These women are armed with the class roster and aren't afraid to use it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's October in California...

...Do you know where your raging brush fire is?

Yesterday morning I alternated between cleaning house, reading blogs, and watching predictable breaking news about a fire located on the other side of the mountain range that nestles up against my neighborhood. It was 2003 all over again.

In October of 2003
, a fire in the same location, took an exit stage east when the wind suddenly switched direction; resulting in voluntary quickly turned mandatory evacuations. At the time I was sitting on the freeway on my way to get my hair done. Priorities. [My children and dog were deposited safely at a relative's house, so stop looking at me like that] I'd barely made it past the exit to my own house before the wind brought fire and thick black smoke sweeping across the freeway. I was all, fuck this, and meandered my way through traffic, making a u-turn off the on-ramp mind you, with several other like-minded individuals in tow. They were like, this chick is not even kidding about saving her own ass - she is wise - posse out.

October of 2007 was more of the same. Except then I was situated in a doctor's office waiting room while my mother received x-rays for her broken hip and was alerted via the television that a fire now named after my neighborhood was melting patio furniture and licking the rear facing windows of several houses. That time I had to run home to retrieve Boy-Child#1 who was doing his homework. I had only been away from home for about forty-five minutes. The number of cars that were simultaneously exiting and entering the suburb was alarming.

So yesterday, here in 2008, I was a bit disturbed when I left my house to pick Girl-Child up from her kindergarten class and was met with (picture top left) at the end of my street [which was also the moment that I high-tailed it back to my house to grab my camera who's a good blogger?... coochie cooo]. When I turned the corner and rounded the bend, this image (picture top right) laughed in my face. The view from Girl-Child's elementary school (bottom left) was totally deja vu. And (bottom right) is from the grocery store parking lot because? Milk and dishwasher detergent. Again, priorities people.

P.s. New post up at Blissfully Domestic! One word: Clooney.

Monday, October 13, 2008

They Want to be Real Entries When They Grow Up

Do you ever have one of those days where you've got plenty on your mind but you could sum up the crux of your thoughts in a sentence or two? And a sentence or two does not a blog post make? Yeah. Hi. Me too. Welcome to my day. So i present to you: shit that's been on my mind.

1. I really like the t-shirts in the Victoria's Secret catalog but so many of them come with that built in shelf bra contraption. Let me tell you what that "bra" does to my rack; it creates this circus act, sideshow freak of a uni-boob which then causes me to have to reach between my cleavage in a covert manner and splay them. Rinse, lather, repeat. All the damn day.

2. Speaking of Victoria's Secret t-shirts; WTH, Vikki? $48 bucks for a t-shirt? It's cotton. Aaaand it's a t-shirt. It should be no more than like $15. Srsly.

3. My daughter asked me the other day, "Mommy, what's a boyfriend?". And also, on a separate day, "How do babies get in your tummy?", she's five. And connecting the dots. I see a chastity belt in someone's future.

4. Have you ever run out of your favorite wrinkle cream and were cursing yourself that evening when you remembered that you were too lazy to run out and pick some up earlier in the day? Where earlier in the day equals: at least four days ago but you somehow managed to scrape enough out with your fingernail to make it this far. Then you recall seeing a sample for Estee Lauder Perfectionist [CP+] Advanced with wrinkle lift restructuring peptides - now more collagen in just 2 hours! - lingering in your Allure magazine. So you excitedly tear it out because you think you're so smart [and also try not to gag on the scent of several perfumes that even on their own are kinda rank] and peel back the sample only to discover that it will cover exactly one square inch of your face? It is the freshest square inch of my face I've ever seen! Focus on the apple of my right cheek. Please ignore the rest of my face. Clearly I am.

5. You know how you can entertain a cat with a flashlight and it will dart about trying to catch it on the wall? Works with five year olds too, just so ya know.


Unrelated drivel to the previous unrelated drivel: Mr. Farklepants tried to teach basic arithmetic to Jeff Spicoli our stoner friend who, after some seriously fracked up calculations, determined that if the 700 billion dollars used in the bailout on Wall Street were divided up and distributed to every person in the world's population, they'd each get one hundred-eleven billion dollars. There was no reasoning with him that if you gave one hundred billion dollars to each person, you'd run out after seven people. Just before Mr. Farklepants suffered a stroke of epic proportions, he turned to Boy-Child#1 and stated matter of factly: This is why you should never do drugs, son.

People on 'ludes should not try to save the economy.

Friday, October 10, 2008

And His New Favorite Phrase is: That's Random

This week, a certain someone in the Farklepants house turned twelve. He blew out candles on a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake [delish, natch]. He opened his gift; one of only two items under one hundred dollars suggested on his birthday wish list [a list that should have bore the title: Dream On - Not a Song by Aerosmith]. He was told that if he wanted Rock Band or an iPhone he was going to have to save his own money and was once again reminded that his father is not made of it, even if his friends parents apparently are. And son, if you really would like to receive those frivolous and expensive items then Mommy will have to go back to work to support that; and do you really want that to happen? Do you want Mommy to leave? Happy birthday son, here's your gift of guilt. You're welcome. Plus his mom is secretly hoping that Rock Band never makes it into the house because she is sick to everlovingdeath of video game equipment taking over the family room and is running out of places to stash it. There are no longer hiding places for everything and everything in its hiding place [the Wii Fit balance board is already calling olly olly oxen free from under the coffee table, for reals]. What there is, is plenty of overflow. Because we haven't even begun to discuss wires. Dusty wires. And those with Y chromosomes lack the gene that perceives wires to be an irritating nuisance.

The rest of his gift is a day at Magic Mountain with his friends. Because the great thing about the gift of a trip is that you go to the amusement park; it does not come to your house. Where it would need to be found a shelf for keeping. And occasionally dusted.

Happy birthday, Boy-Child#1. You can stop aging now. Your continued growth makes it difficult for me to put you in my pocket and keep you safe forever. Thanks. Love, Mom.

*photo by Mr. Farklepants and his super bad-ass camera

Thursday, October 9, 2008

There's a Little Something Stuck in My Wedge Issue

*image courtesy of Cafe Press. B-cup bust not included.

Tootsie would like to know: what exactly is it that marriage needs protection from? Tootsie does not think that they are talking about divorce. She also doesn't think they mean that twenty-two year old intern with the great rack. Or that it needs protection from being taken for granted, or that it's become comfortable and boring, or rather predictable, or because it's suffering under the financial strain. Or that it needs to be protected from the kids that have sucked the entire romance right out of it. Or inlaws.

Their website announces that a recent poll shows traditional marriage is in the lead. Tootsie thinks that that is because traditional marriage has had a hell of a head start. They are also over-concerned about the vocabulary surrounding marriage and that words like "bride and groom" are returned to state marriage licenses because apparently anytime someone signs one of the gender neutral variety, a kitten dies. Tootsie doesn't think that they really care all that much about words.

They are worried that the value of marriage is being undermined. Tootsie thinks they should worry about their own individual marriages and leave everyone else the hell alone and not concern themselves so much with how others choose to live their lives. Tootsie isn't sure but she believes that everyone in her valley received their "Yes on 8" bumper stickers in the mail this week. She was made aware of this when she was confronted with several that cropped up overnight. She's worried that she's landed in a nest of supporters. Send help. Bat signal use is optional.

Come November in California, Tootsie will be voting NO on Yes on 8. Tootsie believes that the only thing that can undermine the value of a marriage are the two people in it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Without the Manolo Blahniks

(I could do a whole post about what life has been like these past few days without full computer capacity. But that would be boring. Many of you have been there done that. It has been a strange combination of maddening frustration and liberation. Oh sure, I could borrow Mr. Farklepants' laptop to check my emails and hit Twitter briefly, but he needs it to check his fantasy football stats for work because he's on two leagues very important. There's no way I'd have been able to steal it away with time consuming blog posts. We'd be like two smokers stranded on a deserted island and only one of us has the match and the last Marlboro Light. You might convince him to let you have a drag or two but he's gonna smoke the shit out of that bitch.)

**here is where I'd insert an image from Sex and the City but why jinx my luck? It's offical; I'm afraid of my computer and what it might do. So if you've been living under a rock and don't know what SATC is, Google that shit**

Friday night, three friends gathered together to watch Sex and the City, the movie. These three friends are not much unlike Charlotte, Samantha, Carrie, and Miranda. Except that there are only three to their four. And those friends are less slutty promiscuous, a bit less invasive of each other's lives, and don't have fictional incomes to support extravagant couture and lifestyles. But these three have been friends for nineteen years. They have been there with shoulders to cry on, all-nighters to sort out each other's problems, vacations and girl weekends, weddings and births, divorces, and celebrations. And even though they don't spend as much time together as the characters in the movie, it never seems as if time has passed when they eventually come together once more. Also, being in Los Angeles, the three friends do much less walking and a great deal of driving, because? You'd never make it to your destination walking in LA. One word: SPRAWL.

Two were born and raised in Los Angeles and the other a native New Yorker with the slightest hint of a Brooklyn accent. They met at work at a tender age; two of them teenagers and the other in her early twenties. The oldest of the three introduced to the younger friends the importance of a decent hair dresser, brow waxing, and imparted some wisdom about men. Real men, not those boys fresh out of high school. And in those early years she kept the younger girls in ample supply of Cosmopolitans Bahama Mamas. She was the shit.

They went out nearly every night after work together. There was that one time that they agreed to wait tables at the sports bar down the street that was hosting a rugby tournament because they were regulars friends of the owner; and they were all, why did we agree to this again? These dudes are whack! We have jobs, yo. Oh good look, the Miller girls are here. Oh joy. As they got older, the restaurants and hangouts improved immensely. Better food and prettier drinks.

And even as the years have gone by, and their lives took new and different directions; two marriages each for two of them and one never married and without children [kinda the Miranda of the group with less judgyness and bitchy...that Miranda, so hostile], they have always been a constant in each others lives. There have rarely been quarrels or hurt feelings, and if there were, it was quickly resolved and forgotten.

These three friends had heard the movie kind of blew. But they disagreed with the general consensus and thought is sort of rocked. But maybe that's because the three of them were together drinking goblets of wine just the way it's supposed to be.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Out of Order

Hello from Mr. Farklepants' laptop! My desktop died. It was sudden and unexpected. The Farklepants family requests that you respect their privacy during the grieving process.

Dramatic, much?

This does mean that I'll be forced to take a blog break until matters are remedied. But I will be back to posting once I'm up and running again. Which shouldn't be too long if Mr. Farklepants loves me at all and fixes it post haste!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Can Haz Smert?

Warning: This post may cause post traumatic stress disorder. Plus, prolific profanity to follow because, math.

Boy-Child#1 has his first junior high pre-algebra benchmarks today.

They're akin to mid-terms, if it were the middle of the term. Which it isn't. So: benchmarks. I had a difficult time getting the point across that this test would cover everything from all of the chapters they've learned so far when I told him, ad nauseum, that this test would cover everything from all of the chapters they've learned so far. Exactly. I tried another tactic.

You know all of that homework you've done since school started? It's going to be on this test.

And... you see this bloody bruise on my forehead? It's from all of the beating against that brick wall.

I figured I'd help him study, being his first midterm benchmark and all. And this way I could instill some rather bitchen study habits. Plus? I don't like to grab my own boobs toot my own horn but I did get an "A" in algebra eventually in high school and also in community college [which Mr. Farklepants condescends by referring to it as my "little college" and I'm all, at least I went. Oh SNAP!] so I was all, no need to hire a professional! I can do this! Tutor schmooter.

I try to reiterate whenever possible that textbooks are marvelous tools for learning. If you know how to use them. The study plan I designed for Boy-Child#1 included various exercises selected from the chapter review section at the end of each chapter, odd numbered problems only. Because the answers are in the back of the book. Which I could use to correct the problems and see which areas he needed additional instruction.

He took a gander at the volume of math problems I assigned and after fighting back the tears and probably the urge to put a voodoo hex on me; he set about adding and subtracting integers, evaluating expressions, multiplying and dividing integers, [now is probably a good time to climb inside a bottle of Xanax if you feel a tingly sensation the onset of a panic attack] familiarizing himself with distributive properties, remembering lowest common denominators, multiplying fractions, converting fractions into decimals and vice versa. Etcetera. I'm super math talky.

Then we came across a problem where a mixed number had to be subtracted from another mixed number but the fraction part was smaller than the fraction it was to be subtracted from... And who just left? Bueller? Anyone? ...And my help was needed. Except I couldn't remember how to do it. So I consulted the oh-so-handy textbook of wisdom to find this:

When you subtract mixed numbers , compare their fraction parts. If you are subtracting a larger fraction from a smaller fraction, rename the mixed number before you subtract.

Huh. This book fancies me omniscient. I appreciate that the book informs us that we NEED to do that. I don't want to split hairs but it might be helpful to tell us HOW to do that. And show us with a detailed example. Otherwise I'm just going to rename the mixed number Ricky.

Then I threw the textbook across the room with some fuck you on my lips. And looked my son in the eye and told him to pray that question does not appear on the test. Because when I tutor my children, I'm thorough like that.

*photo by Dorothy Z.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Not Your Sunday Morning Religious Stop Motion Animation

Ohhh Davey, we're discussing this sleeping apparatus:

When you watch cable television you are witness to local retailer's commercial spots. And then you're introduced to blog fodder such items as a ridiculously huge mattress with an equally insane price tag. This mattress, from Living Spaces, measures eight feet. EIGHT FEET! Which I guess would interest those whose children still share their bed with them, or if you're married to Shaquille O'Neal, are the Incredible Hulk, or are not even kidding about your personal sleeping space, or suffer from GIGANTANISM [that's right spell check, there is no alternative so sayeth I]. If you're a professional basketball player you probably wouldn't balk at the Goliath's $4490.00 price tag and the additional $500.00 if you'd appreciate a base to go with it; because if you're a professional basketball player you probably don't have to add a wing to your house to accommodate such a behemoth.

The real question here is: where does one find sheets for this bitch? Where is the tarp that David Copperfield covered the Statue of Liberty with when you need it?

p.s. If I haven't been by your blog lately I apologize. It isn't intentional I've just overextended [in a good way] myself volunteering in the classrooms. I lamented to Mr. Farklepants that it's like having a job but not getting paid. To which he replied, "that's pretty much the definition of volunteer". I'm kinda fond of him. It's a shame I'm going to have to destroy him.