Wednesday, December 16, 2009

LAX is not Even Kidding About Being There Two Hours Before Your Flight

The airport. I almost always try to fly out of Burbank airport whenever possible [side note: I know it's Bob Hope Airport, or "Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport" but no one ever EVER calls it that...just "Burbank", because? It's in Burbank]. I do this because it is small, and quaint, and you kind of don't mind being there. I mean, there's only one baggage claim! You can't get lost. You don't get tired walking from your car to the building. Or from the ticket counter to your gate. You get what I'm saying. But! Airfare being what it is (or was), my recent trip to visit family back east meant if I could afford to fly, I was flying out of LAX. And I hate just about everything there is to hate about LAX.

Exhibit A) American Airlines is located in the international terminal and I couldn't believe my luck when I found a parking spot at the mouth of the bridge that would take me exactly where I needed to be! Except that it wasn't until I reached the other side that I learned the ticket counters and baggage check were DOWNSTAIRS. The only elevator in sight was equipped with a keyhole and not a single button. There were escalators! Except I had to go down a mid sized flight of stairs to reach them. With my very heavy and equally awkward suitcase.

Exhibit B) At the ticket counter there is First Class check in, Priority, some special "I paid too much for my ticket" club, and self-check. The self-checkers make up about 90% of the travelers and not all of them can operate a credit card swipey machine at the grocery store let alone a "print your own ticket" kiosk. So this involves a lot of patience and waiting, and wanting to rip their itinerary out of their hands and JUST DO IT FOR THEM FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET ME OUT OF HERE AND TO THE SECURITY CHECK POINT.

Exhibit C) It is the international terminal so I understand that in many cases there is going to be a language barrier. But I imagine that a line looks like a line in just about every country and if you see one that you are pretty sure you need to be in? You go to the end. Not wander to the front and try to be next....I'm looking at you little old Asian woman. And if you weren't about one hundred and twelve years old and look as if you might turn into dust right on the spot from the wind streaming from my lungs as I spoke to you, I might have said something. And because I'd been standing in line for a half an hour and only moved fifteen feet, I was cranky and anxious with nothing but time to think of reasons why you don't recognize a line when you see it and I decided that you use your age an frailty to your advantage and you're just a manipulative old lady. And I don't want to think like that...SEE WHAT LAX DOES TO PEOPLE?

Exhibit D) Finding your gate. Mine was gate 47A. I follow the sign for gates 40 through 49. And I'm walking....Gate 40. And walking...Gate 41...42...43. And walking...Gate 44...45. And walking...Gate 46...and then? Gate 49. W. T. F? Which stopped me dead in my tracks. How could I have fucked this up? Oh. I didn't. There was 47A, tucked away in the far right of the cul de sac at the end of the terminal...like an afterthought.

Exhibit E) People who insist on standing in line to board the plane even if their group number hasn't been called. They stand at the ready. In the line. Except they don't move. Waiting for their number to be announced. And it's a full flight.

Exhibit F) There is always that one person on the plane...or in my case: that one couple. Their seats were not together and none of y'all will mind IF WE JUST SHOUT TO EACH OTHER DO YOU? UNTIL ONE OF Y'ALL CAN'T STAND IT AND GIVE US SOME SEATS TOGETHER? Obnoxious and obvious and the wife even louder than her thundering yeehaw husband. He was enormous and she was a twig. A twig with a beak like nose and exactly zero lips. And dressed in red jeans and a turtle neck, long sleeve t-shirt covered in a pattern of little reindeer. And I would bet my very last dollar that an identical outfit exists in the girls department in a size 6x.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Drinking Game: When You Hear the Word "Vagina" Take a Shot. P.s. You Will be Drunk by the End of this Post

So, I'm getting Girl-Child out of the bath tonight and she asks, how do babies get out of the mommy? It's not the first time she's asked this question but my pat answer of "they come out of the mommy's tummy" was no longer a sufficient explanation. Because she was all, yeah I know THAT but HOWWW? Well, feck. I mean, she's six, so do I struggle with trying to figure out something age appropriate? Or do I just get fer realz on her ass? Frankly, I've just gone through hosting a Thanksgiving dinner-slash-day to fourteen people, not in bed until midnight-ish, up at 4am and at the mall by 5am, movie at the El Capitan in Hollywood at 7pm - followed by a next day dinner and 7pm movie chaser; not to mention the grocery shopping because the leftovers WILL eventually run out, and that mountain of laundry tackled. In other words: my ability to formulate a creative answer was clouded by my extreme exhaustion. I blurt out:

Babies come out of the mommy's vagina.

She seems generally unfazed...and now I know why: What's a vagina? ...she asks.

Oh my god, you guys. I have totally failed this girl. I mean, I know I've done my most bestiest bestest to shield her from all things inappropriate and keep her innocent as long as possible - which is like fighting a losing battle because you can't even watch an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond without the subject of sex coming up and Girl-Child is all, what's sex? And I'm like fuuuuuck you Everybody Loves Raymond, I mean, WTH? Work with me Ray Romano! - but, but, but, my poor daughter doesn't even know what a vagina is or that she has come equipped with one and that some day a baby may come out of it! Mom=fail.

So I do what any mother in my situation would do when her naked daughter fresh out of the bathtub asks what a vagina is. I point at it. [Right?] This seemed to cause some confusion on her part. Because, HOW does it come out of THAT? There's a hole there, I tell her. Still confusing because HOW BIG IS THAT HOLE, which is exactly what she asked.

"It stretches", I say. "So the baby can fit through."

She wonders if that hurts.

Oh God.

The conversation is beginning to spiral out of control and into a territory that I do not believe she is ready to receive. I mean, let's recap: Not even knowing that she has a vagina - to - what, exactly? Giving her THE TALK? That just seems like a lot of information to throw at her all at once, ya know?

So, I lie to her and tell her it only hurts a little bit. Because, what am I supposed to say? That it hurts so bad that at some point during labor you kind of just wish for sweet death? And that some women take that opportunity to tell their husbands exactly what they think of them? [An aside: Not me. I didn't mind that my husband was watching the ...hmmm... Hawks? Steelers? Raiders? Whatever they were wearing black on Monday night football while I was busy with the miracle of life]...I mean, do I even GO into the whole episiotomy thing? No, of course not.

But, "it hurts a little bit" was all she needed to hear. Mommy I don't think I'm gonna get married, she decides. And I ask her why. Because when you get married you have babies and I don't want it to hurt.

Now if she can just hold onto that until she's at least twenty five.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Warning: Does not Work Well With Small Children

This morning, a matter got my dander up. I know I'm a bitcher and moaner from way back. It doesn't take much to get me going. It is what I do. [Ohmygod you should hear me in the car. Everyone in the world is a bad driver except for me. And I will tell you exactly what you're doing wrong from the comfort, safety, and where you can't hear me inside my car.] But when it involves my children -well then- GET OUT OF MY WAY.

My daughter approached me while I was packing up lunches into backpacks. "I want to buy my lunch today", she says. Which is fine, of course, and I say so. But she's anxiously tapping her fingers on one hand against the fingers on the other. And she looks concerned. So I ask her what ever is the matter, dear daughter.

"I forgot my number", she states in a tone as if she'd just told me that she lost a family heirloom that I'd cautioned her not to touch.

You see, I make my kids' lunches everyday, and every once in a while they like to buy cafeteria food. The system at the school is such that each child is assigned a number (almost like a barcode, that is given to them by the cashier, no less) for buying lunch. They get in line, give the cashier their money, state their number, the cashier punches it into a computer and they're free to buy one main entree and various sides and a drink for $2.75.

Apparently this number is very VERY important.

"If you forgot it just tell the lady", I tell her.

Girl-Child looks nervous. Her eyes get a little well-y-uppy. And I get very suspicious. What is vexing my child so? [and why am I speaking as if it is 1865?]

"She told me that if I forgot my number again I would have to go to the end of the line and be the last one to buy lunch".

WTF? I'm sorry. She told you WHAT? Mind you that this is a child who has MAYBE bought her lunch FOUR TIMES EVER IN HER LIFE. And another "mind you"? It took everything I had in me to not drive helter skelter up to the school and have words with said woman.

How hard is this job? Seriously? You sit at a register in an elementary school and collect money from children. That's it. I get that it's boring, and monotonous, and repetitious. But to tell a little six year old girl, who doesn't buy her lunch often enough to have her stupid fucking number memorized, that she will have to wait until ALL THE OTHER CHILDREN buy their lunch before she can. To THREATEN MY CHILD? Because, why? Why? I don't understand how you could be having such a bad day doing this job that you have to intimidate a little girl.

There are many things my child will have to worry about in her adolescent years; like fitting in with her peers, and temptations, and bullies, and cliques, and studying hard enough for and doing well on a test, and if that boy likes her or like-likes her and does she like-like him back, and how I don't know what I'm talking about when I tell her that none of it matters, all of the angsty angst, because after you graduate high school you're likely to never see any of those people ever again and they won't be the most important people in your lives, and how she'll tell me that it's different for her and how I just don't understand because my life is not her life and how she won't listen when I tell her that it's ALL THE SAME SHIT that has been happening for generations but with new improved technology - because that's what kids and teens do. They believe the world revolves around them and that what is happening to them is unique and has never happened before, and...

She shouldn't be standing here in the kitchen freaking out over forgetting the godforsaken magical lunch-buying number. This is not something that should be causing my child any stress whatsoever.

I may just have to join my daughter for lunch.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Obligatory Post-Halloween Mash Up

(Is it just me or does the above pumpkin look a little like a worried and fatigued Charlie Brown?)

(The pumpkins prepare for their night of housing candles and fire. They're not happy)

(Sassy ladybug complete with black tights and leotard to get rid of that hoochie mama look)

(Thirteen year olds wear a tiny Elvis on their head)

(Zombie skeleton...pretty much speaks for itself)


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Maybe He's Still Searching for a Heart of Gold. And He's Gettin' Old.

For as long as I can remember my mother has wanted to see Neil Young in concert. Not Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Just Young. There was always one issue or another why that didn't happen. In 2008, Neil Young set off on his tour. Finally! And better yet, he'd be playing in Los Angeles within a week of my mother's birthday! My sisters and I smelled a birthday present made of WIN! I wrote a check and my sister took care of everything.

Then, a day or so before the concert - it happened. In a panicked phone call, my sister explained that she recieved an email informing her that her credit card would be refunded for the tickets. That's it. No explanation. Why the refund? Did she mess up the transaction somehow? WTF, Ticketmaster? Why? Don't you know it's our mother's birthday? Do you KNOW how long she's waited for this? What was the deal? Also - why do you hate my mom?

"Give me five minutes", I told her. Insert Google frenzy here.

And there it was. Oh. No. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) union, Local 33, planned to picket Neil Young's show at the Forum.

And Neil? Canceled.

I can appreciate your principles Mr. Young - but - way to harsh my mom's mellow, man. But since you said that you'd reschedule, then we'll see you at the show. Oh, except you never did, so, ya know - kiss my ass, Neil Young.

My mother was looking forward to the possibility of seeing the upcoming Michael Jackson concert. Then. Well. You know...

In 1984, my mother's co-worker had extra tickets to the Michael Jackson Victory Tour at Dodger's Stadium. Best. Concert. Ever. Taking her to see This Is It is the closest to getting Michael Jackson concert tickets for her birthday that I can do. And judging from the movie we saw last night - that concert would have been AM-AZ-ZA-ZING!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Meanwhile Back at the Cake

I'm one of those moms that doesn't let her kids do many things that will get them messy. Because I'm one of those moms that doesn't want to clean it up. If it's sticky or dirty or muddy or soaking wet then it's probably not gonna happen kids, sorry. I loathe hose play, ice cream cones, puddles, muddy mud with mud, and whomever it is that invented cotton candy. Inside the house food and drink are not allowed outside the kitchen. Period. If we're taking a trip to the snow I spend a half an hour prior placing several towels lovingly ALL OVER the inside to prevent disaster; and still wet snow boots are prohibited from entering the vehicle - which means we must all take turns hovering our legs out the car door whilst removing the aforementioned offensive boot. Sometimes the socks too.

Ice cream cones GAH! But because I'm not a complete wretched hag, I allow the occasional cone.


(photographic evidence of my bending of the rules)

There are hard and fast guidelines, however. The ice cream must be vanilla in flavor or some other similar non-staining color. Chocolate is right out! And it has to be eaten immediately in the shop. Cones are not "to go". I prefer the kids eat a scoop in a cup with a spoon OR BETTER? A shake. Oh those glorious shakes with their magnificent containment - the lid that fits beautifully on top - and oh the straw!

So today when I entered our local Baskin Robbins and told the young woman behind the counter that I needed to order a cake for Boy-Child#1's birthday that is coming up this week; we both looked in the direction of The Book. The several inches thick book archiving cake after cake, theme upon theme, decisions decisions decisions - that crazy making how do I ever choose just one -book. And parked in a chair just in front of it like it were a library was a nine-ish year old, pushing 120 pounds or more, fist full of giant waffle cone double scooped ice cream kid thumbing through - browsing, if you will. The chocolate dripping down his arm, all over his shirt, lap, and face AND BOOK WITH EACH TURN OF THE PAGE.

I shuddered a bit.

The shudder did not go undetected by the young woman behind the counter.

She took one look at me and made the correct assumption that I was not the kind of woman that was going to want to FOLLOW THAT PERFORMANCE. She probably wished at that moment that there was a second book. Or gloves.

STICKY! GAH! GAHHHH!!

The young woman behind the counter and I both look to the adults associated with the child like, hellllooooo we're standing here discussing cake ordering and how a cake needs choosing and, like, how we'll just wait a sec while junior over here finishes because hey maybe he's got a birthday coming up and he's picking the winner but oh wait it's obvious now the book is just entertainment to pass the time COULD YOU PLEASE ASK YOUR CHILD TO BACK AWAY FROM THE BOOK FOR LIKE FOUR MINUTES?!

Of course not.

Young woman behind the counter would probably like to simply grab the book and hand it to me except for the fact that it's SCREWED into the stand that holds it on account of all the cake ordering book theft and all. Or something.

So she asks him to please, ya know, git. But real nice-like. Cuz she's not me.

And the parents? *crickets*

Friday, September 25, 2009

Remember My Name?



One of my earliest memories is of me, at four years old, putting on a dance show in the kitchen of the little home I lived in with my parents just before their divorce. I would finish one "routine", change my dress, and transition into the next one. My paternal grandmother once reprimanded my preschool aged self for getting jiggy with it in the aisle at church. But there was singing and music and when that happened, I would dance. Didn't matter where I was or who was there. WWJD? He would bust a move, yo.

In May of 1980 I saw a movie that changed my eight year old life. Fame. I watched in wonder and marveled at those dancers. Envied the voices of the singers. I shook with excitement. I quite literally danced in my seat. It's okay, it was a drive-in [gawd I miss drive-ins!]. That's what I wanted to do! I wanted to act. I wanted to sing. Play the cello? Eh, not so much. But more than anything I wanted to dance! I wanted to go to THAT school! I wanted to wake up everyday and live, eat, and breath DANCE! Soon after the movie's release my mother brought home a book of ballet positions from the second hand store. I practiced them endlessly in the bedroom I shared with my brother. I forced my limbs into submission until I could do a perfect split. You could often find me doing cartwheels in the courtyard of our apartment complex and leaping of the steps in a grand jeté. And trying to teach myself how to spot so that I wouldn't get the dizzy spins.

But if I really wanted to do this. If I REALLY wanted to BE a dancer. I was going to need lessons.

Growing up we didn't have a lot of money. Make that, no money. My mother was single and raising us on her own from the time I started kindergarten. She worked long hours for not very much money and struggled just to put food in our mouths, clothes on our backs, and a roof over our head. We often had to scrape together our last dimes just to walk down to the corner market to buy milk. We had to walk because there was only enough gas in the car to get us to school and her to work before the next paycheck. She drove the same Ford Pinto [that's right, the barbecue that seats four car] until she remarried in 1986. She often owed our babysitters money and, subsequently, we spent many summers in the stock room of the small local pharmacy where she was employed; until I was old enough to stay home without supervision and in charge of my younger brother. In hind sight probably not the wisest scenario but she was left with little to no options. She was a survivor. She did what she had to do. WE did what we had to do.

And that meant there was no money for dance lessons. I know it killed her that she couldn't provide that; couldn't afford to foster my dreams. I know this because whenever she COULD manage it, she would sign me up for lessons at the small dance studio up the street. But few and far between intermittent instruction does not a dancer make. And as the other girls my age progressed, it became obvious, that even though I loved it with all my heart, we were throwing good money after bad. I was jealous of those other girls. I wondered if I wanted it more than them but simply couldn't have it.

It didn't keep me from performing. I was in every school play. I sang in chorus through my freshman year [ninth grade, y'all, not college] and duuuuudes, I cannot sing - I mean, for reals. But I wore those robes, and climbed up on those risers making sure my knees didn't lock, and gave it my all for every school function. Even taking the show on the road performing for retirement homes. I recruited other children in our apartment complex and put on plays, making props out of anything we could find in our collective bedrooms, for anyone willing to watch.

I sometimes wonder if circumstances had been different, if lessons could have been easily afforded, if I still would have had the love, the drive, the determination, the PASSION to MAKE IT. Or would I have taken it for granted only to eventually lose interest? I'll never know for sure since circumstances are what they were.

But, Readers? Whenever I HEAR the theme song, or see a trailer, for the re-make of the move, Fame? I get all verklempt. My insides quiver. My eyes well up. I get all tense and jerky. My heart RACES. And, Readers? I don't think my drive and determination would have petered out one tiny bit.

This weekend I will take my own children to see the movie. And I hope? Wonder? If it will inspire them to tap into their creative being and want to give it ALL THEY'VE GOT!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Argument Reason #43 in Favor of Hiring a Housekeeper

Now that Girl-Child is in first grade and no longer done with class by noon, I've got about six hours five days a week to get those household chores that I've put off, for quite literally YEARS, done. No more excuses [like, I'd love to get started on that but I have to shower by 11am, so no time] to avoid collecting the hair away from my face in a messy ponytail-headband combo, rolling up the sleeves and tackling some filthy, dirty shit. The cleanliness of my home is an optical illusion. The surface areas are dusted, swept, vacuumed, washed. Bathrooms are usually sanitary... but for all that is holy and for your own piece of mind DO NOT LOOK behind the entertainment unit, or up at my ceiling fans, or too closely at the window blinds, or under the fridge. And sometimes the brownies contain a hint of the baked chicken from three days ago the night before. And unless you've taken a moment to visit your special place of courage DO NOT LOOK UNDER MY STOVE. The kitchen is tiled and I swear to GAWD there is a layer of carpet under there and it's probably violating some kind of fire code.

Then there is the grout on the tiled kitchen counter tops.

And because this task is the most visible and IN MY FACE and ON MY MIND every time I'm in there; I chose this as job numero uno. I hosed them down with a heavy dose of Dawn Power Dissolver cuz it works like a champ on the stovetop. And I let it sit. Permeate. Penetrate. Do what it does. I know, I know. Right now some of you are all, BLEACH beesh! I considered it and was immediately met with visions of an unfortunate over-inhalation of fumes followed by passing out and subsequent smacking of the back of the head on the island behind me and ending with a cracking of the skull when my head bounced off the ceramic tile floor. Then I was like, who will pick the kids up from school? What with my being dead and all. And my husband would be all, huh, maybe I should have let her hire that cleaning service afterall because I don't even know the kids classroom numbers or their teachers names and then he'd have to remarry too soon to someone he probably didn't even love but just needed to pick up my slack.

But maybe I should have risked it. It took two hours to scrub and make mostly clean about twelve square feet of surface area. And about halfway into it I was like:

I HAVE GOT TO BE DOING THIS WRONG!

Giving myself pep talks to JUST GET IT DONE all the while sweat is dripping from my brow and down my nose. My arm is fatigued and just can't go on. And you would think that with all that work those counter tops would sparkle like the goddam Hope Diamond! But NO! There are spots that I CANNOT get clean!

I give up. I suck at labor intensive housework. The fire hazard beneath the stove is just going to have to live on. No seriously, there probably is shit living under there. At the moment I DO NOT CARE.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Boring the World with My Boring Boredomness

A few months ago I finally got with the program and purchased several reusable grocery bags to take to the market and use in lieu of the plastic variety that are clogging up landfills and clinging for dear life along the highways. Half the time I remember to bring them INTO the store with me. The other half of the time I remember mid-checkout. At least they're in the car! Except for those times I clear out the rear of the vehicle to make room for beach going items or putting the back seats down to accommodate extra bodies. Then they sit on a shelf in my garage [the bags, not the bodies].

Mr. Farklepants commended me on my new found environmentally friendly habits until one day, while helping unload the groceries, he noticed that most of the items were in the reusable bags, however, there were also a few plastic bags in use.

Mr. F: You finally buy reusable bags but you didn't get enough.

Tootsie: Yes I did.

Mr. F: Then why are these plastic ones here?

Tootsie: Because I didn't remember to give them to the box-boy until he'd already started bagging the groceries.

Mr F: ......

Tootsie: See, I didn't want to have him transfer the stuff since it was already bagged.

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

Tootsie: Because I didn't want to hold up the line by being THAT PERSON.

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

Tootsie: Are you even listening to me?

Mr. F: Oh. Wait....what?

Tootsie: I know it's not very interesting but I'm a full time housewife and mother and these are the stories I have to tell. ...This is THE MOST EXCITING THING that's happened to me today.... AND STOP SMILING AT ME LIKE THAT.

Vintage Thirty would like to ask you...do you know how many times Tootsie has told this story? Oh gah someone stop her. And also, is "box-boy" still politically correct, Vintage Thirty forgets.

Friday, September 4, 2009

It's Not Like I'm Telling People We KNOW


We always knew that Boy-Child#2 was smart. He was born with the gift of abstract thought which is something that is usually learned over time; one reason why critical thinking courses are usually saved for the college years. He's a problem-solver, which clashes severely with his alter ego: the troublemaker. He made first place in his category in the school science fair with his project...in kindergarten. The pictures he draws look as if they could be created by someone with years of experience. He also has this way of speaking that forces those on the receiving end to ask questions. Like, he figured out how to ENGAGE someone in conversation, totally. Early on. I just happened to volunteer in the classroom this past school year when his class was given a math packet, several pages thick, in preparation for state testing and he completed it that first morning - then spent the next two days reading a book while the rest of his peers soldiered on. And I was like, huh, musta got that from his dad cuz me and math? Not so much...we are not close friends.

When he brought home a form, in Spring of 2009, that asked for permission to participate in the OLSAT test for entrance into the GATE program [and I'm just gonna say it, the Gifted and Talented Education program]; I figured it was a flyer that everyone brought home. Turned out that his teacher had recommended him for the program bless her heart. Then I had to Google GATE to find out what it's all about - and to be quite honest, I'm still not sure something about extra classes before school and groupings and cluster groupings and planned and organized as integrated differentiated learning experiences within the regular school day and may be augmented or supplemented with other differentiated activities related to the core curriculum and so on and STUFF.

I will be one of those parents at the meeting later this month going, that's right my kid is smarter than me and I don't even know what is going on and GEE I hope I understand what they are saying here tonight.

And because everyone just LOVES hearing about how someone's child is gifted, Mr. Farklepants and I agreed that we should just keep it between us. I mean, it's not like we HAVE to tell anyone [says she with the blog]. And if that kid wants to go to Harvard or MIT, he better get a job, like, right now. Cuz we just put a mouth full of braces on Boy-Child#1 and we're tapped out.

Friday, August 21, 2009

College Fund? You're Wearing it

"If someone can't afford to put braces on their kids teeth then they shouldn't be having kids". That was part of a conversation between two teenagers in an English writing course I took at the local college eight-ish years ago. At the time I was in my late twenties [perhaps, thirty], a mother of two, and the oldest person in the class. The student body consisted mostly of those fresh out of high school, many of whom where there at their parent's insistence and dime. And a handful of those were the irresponsible type that wanted to borrow your notes from the previous class because they, once again, skipped out during the break, because they were the type that were used to charming their way into getting what they need. And I was the type that had no qualms about teaching them a lesson in consequences for irresponsible behavior and was like, um no.

I remember the conversation because we were sitting around reading each other's writing assignments. The assignment was to write three descriptive paragraphs about your favorite restaurant. As I sat there and read about Chi-Chi's Pizza, The Olive Garden, and Cousin's Burgers; I wondered if my summarization of Mon Grenier in Encino would invite the children to introduce a whole new world to their taste buds. Even though I detailed how the waiter in this French restaurant would wheel an apron wearing dressmaker's dummy to your table and read the menu aloud in English thick with French and you're all SALMON! I'll have the salmon! Because it's the ONLY THING THAT CAME OUT OF HIS MOUTH THAT YOU UNDERSTOOD. Although, you did understand crispy salad but you weren't sure why it was crispy and you weren't feeling risky. And you may not have understood but you soon realized that the chocolate covered strawberries injected with liquor were going to knock. you. out.

But I écartez-vous ... "If someone can't afford to put braces on their kids teeth then they shouldn't be having kids" - she stated smugly and matter of fact. I don't know (nor did I then) what kind of pampered priveledged bubble this young lady sprang from, but a mouth full of perfect teeth isn't a basic need. Oh, it's nice, sure. But not part of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Getting FOOD past those teeth, yes. Getting food past STRAIGHT teeth? No. Many new parents are busy providing immediate needs, and if they're fortunate, planning for college and maybe a car. It's really a crap shoot if braces are going to be necessary at all...not everyone's teeth are jacked. And many new parents also dream of the day that they will own furniture that hasn't been vomited on, peed on, or worse. And by worse I mean, a blow out diaper full of poop soup that shoots straight up the baby's back and out his or her collar. You're welcome.

All of this to tell you that Boy-Child#1 is now sporting braces. And little Miss High and Mighty would be happy to know that I met her threshold for decent parenting.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Someone Needs to Pay Attention to What She's Doing

School starts here mid week. I did all of our back to school shopping in ONE day a couple of weeks ago to avoid the rush since we live in a valley where it is apparently the law that in order to own a home you must have at least two children. Where every elementary school is at MAX CAPACITY and where max capacity equals ONE THOUSAND kids. And, in our experience, if you want A) clothes that still work for heat and not fall because hello, still summer in Southern California and B) a decent lunch box and backpack combo to avoid moderate to severe mocking, you'd better jump on things toot sweet. And jump I did. We hit the local Target and got. it. all. I'm talkin' everything from pencils, erasers, folders to several outfits each. The only thing that wasn't purchased on that particular trip were Levi's skinny jeans for Boy-Child#1 which we snatched up later that day at Tilly's. And shoes followed last week.

Since elementary school starts on Wednesday, today I was going through all of the paraphernalia - loading backpacks, sharpening pencils, writing the kids names on their lunch boxes. I'm not a fan of trying clothes on the kids in the store because OHMYGAWD it takes so long. And I'm not ashamed to admit that patience is not my strong suit. But I did have the foresight to at least have them try them on when we got home to make sure everything was good to go. And it was. Is.

But somewhere along the way I severely fecked up the underwear selection. I mean, oh hell, how dumb do you have to be to muck this up? I bought bikini underpants for Girl-Child instead of briefs. This does not work. Not only does Girl-Child have a prominent bootay but she's six. And, in my humble opinion, six year old girls need as much coverage as possible. Swings and slides in skirts and dresses reveal much. Let's cover that shit up. So, there's that. Then! I bought, what I thought, were two packages of boxer briefs for Boy-Child#1. What I actually purchased were ONE pack of boxer briefs and ONE pack of briefs - aka "tightie whities". I don't know if you've ever been an eighth grade boy, but tightie whities [even though they're black and grey in color] will buy you several atomic wedgies in the gym locker room and a raging case of insult hurls at oneself from one's peers. Stinking, pimply faced, in the throes of hormone induced crackly-voiced puberty - peers - that can brand you with a much unwanted nickname for the remainer of your school years.

It would appear that one got so distracted by selecting the right size that she outright ignored the description. And that person, who was so smug about her organizational and planning skills, was at JC Penny today. Two days before school starts. Buying underpants.

Monday, July 27, 2009

No One Wants to be Seen Getting the Saliva Sucked out of their Mouth

Imagine, if you will, a pediatric dentist office. If you pictured a waiting room with Disney type posters on the wall, collector memorabilia in the form of life sized Pirates of the Caribbean and Nightmare Before Christmas characters and a replica of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion encased in plexiglass, you're on the right track. If you have visions of 1980's video game consoles that include but are not limited to Donkey Kong and Space Invaders, you'd be correct. The office, quite frankly, rocks your socks. Once you've left the waiting room and entered the relaxed, friendly environment of the patient's area, you've entered one open room with a sea of dental chairs each equipped with their own television where your child can view a kid appropriate movie while one of the many dental technicians takes a crack at cleaning your kid's teeth; reminding them of the value of a good daily flossing. And leave you feeling a little guilty that the only flossing they get comes in six month intervals. Ahem.

The room. One open room. Not private areas or stalls. Wide open. Chair after chair after chair. Doesn't seem all bad that you don't have a room to yourself because, hey, you're a kid and kids aren't all hung up on things like privacy when it comes to their mouth. Except that a pediatric dentist office see's patients up to sixteen years of age. And the eleven to sixteen age range might have an opinion about how they're seen by their peers.

For instance, like today, when my twelve year old son leaves the xray room only to encounter one of his schoolmates. Not just any schoolmate, but a peer of the opposite sex. And there she is laid flat with her head in the lap of a technician and a mouth full of dentist. I mean, if you were her would you not just die?! Would you not just want the ground to open up and swallow you, the dentist, the chair, and while we're at it -hell, the tv because you're certainly going to need some entertainment on your current trip to utter humiliation?

Wouldn't it be similar to -and ladies, we've all had days like this- when you make that fateful decision to swing by the market on your way home from the gym. Only to run into your ex-boyfriend from 1992 and there you are sans makeup bearing ass crack and anterior boob sweat with the scent of a fresh workout seeping from your pores and wearing your yoga pants that shrunk two inches in the length and your Frankie Says Relax tshirt? And a box of super absorbent tampons and two packages of double stuffed Oreo's on the conveyor belt?

p.s. The boyfriend from 1992 is interchangeable with that bitch from high school who made your life a living hell. Or the prom queen.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dear GAP Kids....Call Me

Last Saturday's big princess and pirate birthday bash for Girl-Child's 6th!



Or, a United Colors of Benetton ad.


*photo by Dorothy Z.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Open Letter to Retailers

Dear Retail Establishments,

Back to school shopping is upon us and I've made some observations about the clothes you sell for small children. First of all, this is southern California in a district where school will commence mid August. Helpful tip: more summer clothes and less SWEATERS and long sleeved shirts. These will not be worn on someone's person until November. And speaking of pants, which we weren't, but they fall in the category of fall clothing - what's the deal with the double buttons and ohmyhell attached belts? You do realize that these sizes also include those for the four to six year age range. Have you met a child that age, in the midst of a pee pee dance, that can wrestle themselves out of multiple buttons, a zipper, and a belt - at least in time to prevent utter humiliation resulting [I swear to GAWD I cannot type "result" without typing "reslut" first] in a necessary trip for the parent to the school armed with a fresh set of clothes when he or she gets that call from the school nurse that they have so-n-so in the office and (s)he's had an accident?

No? Well, please consider your target market. While we're on the subject of buttons [and we totally are this time] make the hole bigger. If me and my big meaty paws have to struggle getting the button through the hole then you can bet your sweet bippy that a child's fingers do not have the muscle for such a feat.

Skirts. Make them LONGER. These are girls. Children. Not hooers. And if you're going to insist on that length; make them skorts. If I have to pair every skirt with leggings, you're just adding an unnecessary cost to my back to school shopping bill. Plus, it's hot. Leggings in the summer are sweaty.

Also, less glitter on shit.

That's all for now.

Begrudgingly yours,
Tootsie

p.s. Target, wth? It's July in southern California so why are your bathing suits shoved in a clearance area and severely lacking in any variety? Someone should take note that people in this area purchase bathing suits year round, but most especially, during SUMMER!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's Her Sweet Six...And Her First Set of Wheels



Today is Girl Child's sixth birthday. Unfriggenbelievable. It seems like yesterday I was giving birth and subsequently scheduling that tubal ligation. She was born on a Wednesday at 12:55pm. She weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces and was 20 and one half inches long. Her hair was brown and soppy. Her eyes were newborn blue. The day started with a heart rate monitor strapped to my belly and an IV stuck in an arm vein. Her birth was induced. Her original due date was July 24th, but by July 14th-ish during a routine check up [the kind of check up where the doctor shoves his arm elbow deep into your hoo-haw in what is laughably called: checking your progression] the doctor determined that the cervix was 2-ish centimeters dilated and if we wanted to get this party started [a DJ with his own mix table and kickass tunes optional], the 16th was doable for him. And I was all, snaps for the doctor!

As I labored on July 16th, and enjoyed episodes of I Love Lucy already in progress, the nurse would appear occasionally to verify that I was, in fact, declining the epidural and all its numby goodness. And also to remark, you're at 5 centimeters why are you smiling? To say that the labor and delivery for Girl Child was a piece of cake is an understatement. At least until I reached 7 centimeters. Then the nurse was all, it's too late for the epidural but howz 'bout I hook you up with some Fentanyl in your IV? And I was all: Pusher, pleaze. She was like: it's a short lived drug but it'll take the edge off. And I was all, did I stutter? Hook. Me. Up.

My cervix dilated from 7 to 10 centimeters in a hot second and when it felt like a melon had dropped between my knees, previous experience told me that I could reach down and touch the top of the baby's head if that was something I wanted to do. I sent Mr. Farklepants to fetch the necessary staff. Once everyone was situated in the room and wearing the appropriate gear and I was like, can we do this because I don't think I can hold this back any longer...ten minutes later and sans an episiotomy [for the men who aren't familiar, Google that. It's fun. I may or may not be lying], Girl Child's head emerged. I was told to pant. I obliged. There was some silent commotion going on "down there" and it wasn't until Girl Child was safely delivered and heaving a healthy cry that I was informed that the umbilical cord was twisted around her neck. Which would explain the stream of (blood? fluid?) sticky goo that nailed the nurse square in the chest when the cord was cut and I was all, did I get ya? That's right. Even with a human head hanging out of my vagina I'm making with the funny.

Happy 6th Birthday Girl Child!


*photos by Mr. Farklepants of Girl Child and her very first bike!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

At Least They Built a Tram to Get You There

I love the lackadaisical days of summer. I'm not one to put my kids into summer camps or sign them up for activities that require keeping a schedule. We're a fly by the seat of our pants summertime family. We kick it at the beach, lounge by my parents the pool, see a movie, hit an amusement park, and even get some exercise cultured at the museum.

Have you ever been to the Getty? It is an enormous structure situated at the top of the mountain off the 405 freeway and overlooks the all of Los Angeles and on a clear day the ocean is visible. When the conceptual designs were drawn and mock ups made; I envision it being something like the Kohler commercial. Where that uber dirty stinking rich couple walks into a design firm and the wife whips out a bathroom sink faucet from her designer bag - the kind that only she and Oprah can obtain - and says to the architect, "design our house around this". And the architect puts his palms together and rests his chin in a thoughtful pose atop his fingertips and is like, it will be minimalist and fierce because I'm so fabulous. He didn't have to say it out loud - I read it in his eyes.

Only in the case of the Getty, the chairman in charge of building stuff whipped out a flight of stairs and said, give the people something to climb, pull a hamstring, and that puts them closer to God.

Just getting started

It was either go down these stairs or walk my kids past a wall of full frontal nudity photos and I wasn't in the mood to explain excessive bush growth to my 5 year old, you understand.

Weren't we already here? I think we're going in circles.


Not to feel left out -even the garden features boast steps.

We pause on this bench to rest and strike a pose.

And hydrate and giggle.


*photos by Dorothy Z.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Doesn't it Seem Like Just a Year Ago We Celebrated Our Anniversary? ...Oh, Right.

Tomorrow Mr. Farklepants and I will celebrate thirteen years of marriage!

Vintage Thirty will pause for condolences kudos.

I know it's been, um, weeks since I updated my blog. And for that, I am truly sorry. I blame it on Twitter and Facebook status updates sucking up my writing mojo. Since I've neglected it this long it seems only fitting that I regurgitate a past post. An oldie but a goodie. Please to enjoy my writingzzz:

********************************************

"The only time I would ever tell a woman that I love her is when I plan to marry her"~ Mr. Farklepants circa 1994


On June 29th, 1996 a young Mr. Farklepants and his very pregnant girlfriend, Tootsie, had already been in Hawaii one week where they shared a rented estate paid for by very generous employers with their best friends two other couples. And on June 29th, just after brunch where Tootsie ate the entire buffet because she couldn't drink or smoke, enjoy the jacuzzi or do anything fun or reckless because of her delicate condition -and by the way gained twelve of her seventy pregnancy pounds on this trip alone and right now you're like, ONLY twelve?- ahem, after brunch young Mr. Farklepants declared to their friends that he would like to spend the day with just Tootsie taking a scenic drive around the big island of Hawaii.

So off they went in the little rental car that was straining heavily on the passenger side under Tootsie's considerable girth. Young Mr. Farklepants wasn't even kidding when he said drive AROUND the big island of Hawaii. Because they did exactly that. The entire perimeter. They stopped numerous times to get out and see the beauty to behold, but young Mr. Farklepants would quickly shove Tootsie back to the car and drive to the next place. When they finally made it to the deserted Kilauea visitors center, it started to rain. They parked and young Mr. Farklepants asked Tootsie to remain seated and dry while he determined if the view was worth getting wet for. He took the video camera that they had borrowed from their friends with him in the rain and all Tootsie could think was, "That is going to get all wet and then we'll have to buy them a new camera", because she is what we like to refer too as a worrywart. When young Mr. Farklepants returned he was very animated and excited and told Tootsie to go with him right now! And all Tootsie noticed was that he wasn't holding the borrowed video camera and was mentally chastising young Mr. Farklepants for leaving it unattended on a trail. See? Worrywart.

Young Mr. Farklepants guides his pregnant girlfriend to the rail that lines [what? Sorry. Was rail mentioned? Because there was no rail. Just certain death if you lost your balance] the rim of part of Kilauea. They both ooh and ahh. There is rain. There are NO OTHER tourists or anyone for that matter on the trail. They are completely alone. Tootsie turns to tell young Mr. Farklepants how she's concerned about the lack of a rail awe inspiring the view is and he impulsively takes her hands. "There is something I should have told you a long time ago" he says. Instantly Tootsie thinks oh my god he has children that he's never told me about and he's going to tell me right here. Worrywart.

But he didn't. Young Mr. Farklepants then dropped to one knee and said, "I love you" and then he proposed marriage to Tootsie who then cried like a big baby replied with an enthusiastic YES! As it turned out, young Mr. Farklepants had hidden the video camera so that he could record this event on tape (yes tape, 1996) but it didn't work. They finished their day driving the remainder of the perimeter of the island until they made it back to their rented estate. Tootsie had wanted to stop and call their friends to let them know they were going to be terribly late but young Mr. Farklepants insisted that it wasn't necessary. It turned out that everyone, their mother, and the kitchen sink were in on the days events. One of the friends had gone with him to buy the engagement and wedding rings. Rings which young Mr. Farklepants brought with him (in the body of a flashlight, no less) on their vacation.

At sunset on July 3rd, 1996, young Mr. Farklepants and his fiancee, Tootsie, eloped and were pronounced Mr. and Mrs. Farklepants by a very old local reverend who spoke with a thick local accent and who Tootsie wanted to put in her pocket and take home with her.

It wasn't until yesterday while composing this entry years later, when Tootsie was a little older and [she thinks] a little wiser that she realized the symbolism of Mr. Farklepants proposing marriage to her at the edge of a cliff. A cliff that overlooked a volcanic crater that was at that very moment creating new pieces of the Earth. There they were at the edge, a proposal and a promise, to start a new life together. Although, it is possible that Mr. Farklepants may have already mentioned the symbolism in some way to her and she just forgot. Because she does that.

I love you Schmoopy! Here's to the days I want to wring your neck, the days I can't keep my hands off of you, and all those in between...Happy 12th Anniversary!

*******************************************************

Replace the 12th anniversary with 13th and the story remains the same. Happy 4th of July!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Because Everyone Loves Hearing About Other People's Dreams

So the other night I have this dream. Scratch that. I have this nightmare. One in which I am pregnant and about a month shy of delivery. To a son. Do you have any idea how difficult it was to agree on a name for our last son? Honest to God, in an entire book dedicated to baby names we could agree on ONE. There weren't even any remote possibilities. Thank Haysus our last pregnancy was a girl because had it not been, that child would go around nameless for the rest of his life. Then, of course, we had to come up with a middle name and that didn't happen until 24 hours AFTER I'd given birth and the lady from the administration office came in the room and was all, so are you going to finish filling out this birth certificate or what? And I was all, or what - come back tomorrow don't mess with me the Vicodin is wearing off. As if the nine months leading up to the event just wasn't enough time and some kind of special magic was going to happen in a day.

Meanwhile back at the REM sleep... Pregnant. With a son. And pissed off. Even in sleep I was able to agrue points and deconstruct the situation. Didn't I have a tubal ligation? Didn't I have that tubal ligation so that I wouldn't find myself surprised by a pregnancy so close to forty years of age? Do you even realize how old I'll be at this child's high school graduation? His friends would be all, oh it's so nice that your grandmother could make it, and he'd be all, that's my mom speak into her good ear and also sometimes she forgets where she is - if she pulls down her pants and pees in a flower pot ignore this. I mean, isn't this why I didn't just get my tubes TIED or clamped, I got them CAUTERIZED! I was not even kidding around about this. I was as serious as a heart attack.

It was one of those dreams that was so real and vivid. The kind where emotions run high. And when I woke up, I gave Mr. Farklepants a vacectomy. With my eyebrow tweezers and stitched him up with Glide dental floss.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Badassery


*what you can't see is that Boy-Child#2 is directly on the other side of the child in this picture. And the object of the tiger's voracious appetite affection.

Do you ever have one of those moments where you're like, ohmygod this is like the coolest thing I've ever seen! And, hey! Look at the size of that animals paws, they're like, bigger than my son's head! Conflicted with...

...wait...

Perhaps I ought to get my children the hell out of here! And - just how strong IS that safety glass? And - who could I save first? And - how fast can a tiger eat my head? And - sandals aren't the best running away from ferocious animal shoes.

No one? Just me?

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Rest of Her Ear Lay Somwhere in the Dog's Lower Intestine

The puppy is a chewer.

Let the record show that Vintage Thirty states the obvious.

Fortunately, so long as we're diligent in keeping an eye on her, we can thwart any potential chewing casualties and, also fortunately, she is easily distracted by her own plush, squeaky toys. And my kitchen rug - which is now hers. Whatever, I don't care - she can have it. The few incidences where we let our guard down, weren't on our toes, had our backs turned; the AC adapter cord for the Nintendo DS was severed, one Nerf gun bullet became smithereens, one adult male dress sock lost a heel, and one flip-flop strap was mutilated and the footwear rendered useless.

Not too terrible considering a friend of mine lost one WHOLE HALF of her COUCH to an unsupervised pup. And my sister in law - several hundred dollars worth of shoes.

Enter Wednesday. And Skunky:


Skunky is Girl-Child's most beloved toy. It is from the Littlest Pet Shop collection and Girl-Child is a collector of teeny tiny toys. I retrieved Skunky from Phoebe's mouth - now with Kung Fu grip action! - Wednesday night. It began with a cute woodgie woodgie, what do you have in your mouth? And ended with SCREAMING!!! and a morphine drip when I realized what I'd pulled out.



I was then faced with a dilemma. A) Do I dispose of the evidence and feign ignorance of its whereabouts? Only to be met with the trauma of a lost Skunky? B) Do I present Skunky, in her mutilated state, to Girl-Child - do it quick like ripping off a band-aid and endure the massive FREAKOUT!!! that would surely present itself and also the possible new found hatred of the puppy? Or C) do I leave it, inconspicuously, among her other smallish belongings to be discovered at a later date? Brave Mom goes with C.

Enter Thursday. And Girl-Child's discovery of Skunky - now with holes and half of an ear!!! A very distraught young lady made her way down the stairs from her room - now with more sobbing!!! She was met with my, it's okay Honey I can Crazy Glue Skunky good as new.

Hello, have you met my irrational fear of Crazy Glue? Where "irrational fear" equals - that time I glued four fingers from my right hand together that had to be separated by a can of acetone from the garage by a laughing, mocking husband? Shut up, Mr. Farklepants. Just stop it.

Vintage Thirty is happy to report that Girl-Child is mostly pleased with the magical healing powers of the glue. And, according to Girl-Child, henceforth known as - Wild Glue.

**Vintage Thirty wishes someone had had the foresight to take before-repair pictures of Skunky considering a certain someone has a blog and said certain someone should have know better.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

In This Hand I Hold a Grenade

Remember when I told you that our local McDonalds was being remodeled? And what they mean by remodel is - tear that sucker down to the ground with a bulldozer.



I'm happy to report that they lived up to their claim that they would re-open in spring of 2009.


Ever since my children caught wind of the grand opening; they've wanted to check out the indoor play area possibilities eat there. While you may be surprised to learn that I'm not a fan of A) most fast food, and B) eating inside said establishments, you should be happy to know that I sometimes oblige my children. So I promised that after Boy-Child#2's softball game we would go to the new McDonalds for dinner - because we're fancy like that.

The new McDonalds also boasts a new staff. I mean, like brand new. Like, are still learning the register, new. Which equals - slow service. Which puts a fast food establishment at a disadvantage. And where fast food becomes - how hard is it to put together a Big Mac meal and two happy meals? Apparently, pretty damn hard. Inside I was all, wth people? On the outside I was all, hey no problem take your time. I didn't bother ordering anything for myself because about the only thing I like from McDonalds is their fries. And years of experience has taught me something: when there is playground equipment within view children will not finish their fries and leaves plenty for mom to help herself. This theory, once again, proved true.

While the new play area was somewhat disappointing, with lackluster slides, and resembled a mesh three story building that had been stripped bare and lacked much of anything to do; this didn't stop the kids from enjoying it. Another thing that experience has taught me is that it does not matter how boring a play area is or how long you stay; when it is time to go, it is too soon. Girl-Child burst into tears upon my request to get her shoes. An event that was met with my immediate anger. Which led me to inform her that if she was going to cry then it would be a very long time before she was allowed to come back. Which? Didn't seem to faze her. Which? Pissed me off. Which? Led me to tell her that she'd just sealed the deal.

I'm not a fan of spoiled children and I wasn't about to have my own child act a fool. I don't know what her deal was but she clearly had done lost her mind. This behavior was not beneficial to my mood. Especially since I still had to order a meal to go for Mr. Farklepants - And don't make me revisit the new employee issue.

Once back home, and with my dander up about all of the above, I share the events of the evening with Mr. Farklepants. To which he replied, so have you started your period yet or what?

Then I pulled the pin.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

ACME Kite Kit Not Included

Sunday evening Mr. Farklepants pipes up out of nowhere and asks, "So, do you wanna go for a walk"? And I was all, who are you and what have you done with my husband and p.s. do you do dishes? My shock is in reference to the fact that Mr. Farklepants rarely parts with his laptop. It's how he spends his downtime and I'm not complaining now - he could prefer to spend it elsewhere like golf, sporting events, poker, bars, or anything else that get's him away from the house. At least he's home. For those who prefer visual aides - Mr. Farklepants seen here with three laptops and a Starbucks Grande full of temporary energy... with whip:



So I was all, shhhhhuuuurrre, yeah! I suggest bringing Phoebe along [because, although she knows where her leash is located and knows that in order for that leash to be attached to her collar she needs to sit; walking on her leash is a whole other matter. There's much dragging of and giving in and carrying of the puppy. It's a work in progress - you understand]. And then I add: since we're just going around the neighborhood? Indeed, stated as a questionable fact.

Mr. Farklepants says, no I was thinking of going to Towsley Canyon. This would make it necessary for me to change out of my skirt and flip flops.

Mr. Farklepants and I differ in our definition of walk. If I have to strap on some shoes with traction then walk equals hike. Tomato/Toe-mah-toe? More like, Tomato/Willdabeast.

"Then we should leave Phoebe at home", I say. I didn't want to get a mile into treacherous terrain and have her lay down like, that's all the walking I'm about to do - carry me?


(Forgive me while I use the term "treacherous terrain" loosely. Exaggerate, who?)

The other reason for insisting that Phoebe stay home is that the vet specifically instructed that, since she isn't finished with her vaccinations, she should avoid any areas where other dogs congregate and, more importantly, coyotes roam. Parasite infested coyotes.

At the tail end of our hike, Mr. Farklepants goes into stealth mode and signals to me, "There's something in the grass". He takes aim with his camera and shoots:


Later seen failing at firing a bow and arrow with ACME dynamite strapped to it then painting a realistic tunnel onto the rock face only to be hit by the train that emerged. He was remarkably unscathed.

**photos of trail and coyote by Mr. Farklepants and his super badass camera

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Now a Word from Their Sponsors

We watch a moderate amount of sports in the Farklepants house; namely Tom Brady football, Luke Walton basketball, baseball ? and Tiger Woods golf. And advertisers know their target audience; those who want to get laid and the obstacles that surround them. The winner of the middle aged to older men who suffer from either erectile dysfunction or manhood size impairment demographic goes to the golf camp. It would appear that televised golf is merely a vehicle for ED prescription drugs that you should ask your doctor about, and male enhancement which, if you suffer consult your local herbal nutritional supplement supplier and put a creepy smile on your wife's face.

Advertisers who purchase airtime during basketball broadcasts veer towards those with no problem whatsoever with getting the deed done and have no problem with the operation of their downtown business thankyouverymuch and, in fact, are riddled with sexually transmitted disease - I'm lookin' at you genital herpes. You know the one where the wife is all I banged so many dudes I have herpes, and the husband is all my wife is a big ol' slut and I don't! And the wife is like, I take once daily Valtrex to decrease the chance of infecting my partner. And the husband goes ppffff I still use a condom I'll just smile adoringly at you and your cute herpes.

Then they all frolic in the ocean or give each other that knowing look when their college bound kids make a surprise visit home and secretly curse them for their shitty timing. The part we don't see is where the dad takes the kid aside and is like, dude, next time call. Seriously. I was about to tap that.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Power of Suggestion


I'm not going to claim to have the smartest puppy ever but, HELLA SMART! I expected to have never ending tales to weave when we welcomed Phoebe Farklepants into the family, cuz, puppies are messy. But so far the only chewing casualties have been one flip flop and a Nerf gun bullet. I've found that as long as I keep an eye on her she isn't given much chance to get into trouble. It's the luxury I have being home full time.

She loves to go for a ride in the car. When our previous dog, Baby, was a puppy I worked full time up until Boy-Child#1 was born. So I didn't have heck of a lot of time to spend with her during the day. Hence her lack of car rides. Then when Boy-Child#1 came along, then Boy-Child#2 and being straddled with a toddler and an infant and trying to wrangle the infant seat into the stroller and simultaneously keep the toddler from darting into parking lots and traffic or wandering aimlessly; I didn't have the patience or appropriate amount of appendages to corral the dog too. By the time Girl-Child came along, Baby was eight and passed her formative puppy years. And by this time, she hated car rides and leaving the house in general. Any trip we took her on was riddled with chronic heavy panting, visible shaking, and tucked tail for the entire amount of time we were away from home. To say she hated it is an understatement.

This time is different. Learn from our past, I always say. Phoebe joins me when it is time to pick the boys up from school, softball practices and games. She's learned that if she wants to go bye-bye she needs her leash. She's learned that that leash is located on the dining room table. She knows what "bye-bye" means and also knows that if she wants that leash attached to her collar, she has to sit. So she sits.

She also has learned to scratch at the back door when she needs to relive herself. Mostly. I was all set to tell you that, while she's had some setbacks in peeing on the floor, it has been since Wednesday April 18th since she last crapped on the carpet. An event that included Mr. Farklepants jumping up and grabbing her mid-evacuation in order to usher her outside; an event that activated the launch sequence and Phoebe became one who flung pooh. Which came dangerously close to my beloved couch. Which caused hyperventalating and myocardial infarction.

I was all set to tell you that. But while mentally composing this blog post, Phoebe squatted and lost half a pound on my living room carpet. Fortunately it was a firm one.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

When the Picture is Worth More than Bloggy Words


The title of this book? Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank

Frankly? I can't top that.

*photo by Dorothy Z. taken at the Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Va

Monday, April 13, 2009

If I'd Stayed an Extra Week I Might Have Come Home to Hardwood Floors Too

The kids and I spent the week leading up to and including Easter, in Virginia visiting the most awesomest brother ever to have lived in the history of siblings. This left Mr. Farklepants to his own devices - where own devices equals spoiling Tootsie like the pretty pampered princess that she is. When many women describe romance they use words like: flowers, candlelit dinners, strolls on the beach at sunset, jewelry, and spooning. Meh, say I. One word that sums up the true meaning of romance for me is: consideration. So when Mr. Farklepants, in my absence, took it upon himself to replace the tires, windshield (that met the business end of a sandstorm on the drive home from out of town one sunny afternoon and was left with a severe pocking), floor mats, complete detailing inside and out, and any scuffs, dings, and scratches magically removed from my car; well, is it any wonder why I had the sudden urge to throw caution to the wind and want to strip nekkid and roll around on him right there in the Bob Hope airport parking lot? You understand what I'm saying. My car was all: sheeeeen sparkle sparkle!

But wait. There's more. David Copperfield Mr. Farklepants had another trick to pull out of his magic hat. He reached in elbow deep and pulled out one of these:



As many of you may remember, our dog and loving family member for thirteen years, Baby passed away on January 19th. It was many weeks before we were even able to discuss the possibility of adopting another and we finally decided that we would resume the conversation after our vacation, because there was no sense in bringing home a new puppy only to leave her for a week. Did you catch that? Resume conversation. Converse. Talk. Discuss. So imagine our surprise upon returning home to find that little ball of fluff, tumble, and cute sitting in the middle of the living room floor!

It turns out that Mr. Farklepants' coworker knows a guy, who knows this guy, who has an ex-wife, who has this daughter, whose daughter has this grandmother who has this dog that had a litter of black lab puppies. And this daughter of this grandmother happened to be passing through our neighborhood while we were out of town and brought the two remaining puppies with her. And Mr. Farklepants swooped up that bundle of perfection to surprise his family.

Vintage Thirty will pause for this moment of awwwwwwwwwwwe...

Now, put five people together in a room to name one puppy and oh. mah. gah. I'll spare the tales of bloodshed and woe.

You've been introduced to Phoebe Farklepants. AKA, blogfodder for years to come.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Before I Go...

Tootsie and family are leaving to visit family for the week. Speaking of family, my lovely sister in law sent me the following video from Today's Big Thing. It's funny, yo.



Have a great spring break!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hey Son, Van Halen Called. Want to Know When You Can Tour.

Hi. I became a stage mother. To a rock star. Please to enjoy my bursting pride:

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Drink Two of These and Call Me in the Morning

Boy-Child#2 begins softball season next week and Tootsie will pretend that it hasn't been two weeks since she last updated her blog the family makes a night of what will be known as Tootsie's Preparedness Awareness Program. First stop, a new restaurant in town. The Farklepants' are very excited about this new discovery because A) it isn't a chain restaurant, and B) they take reservations. Unfortunately? Everyone else in town is also very excited about this. This is the Farklepants' second visit to Sabor, and still smarting from their original visit they made without a reservation and the days long wait for a table, Tootsie called ahead to reserve a dining time of......9pm. Because it was either that or 4:30pm and at 4:30pm, Tootsie is still full from lunch.

Tootsie doesn't waste precious time getting down to business with her prescription comically huge margarita.

Which generates a heightened warm and fuzzy feeling for a certain Mr. Farklepants. She is keen on him. And asks you to ignore his mouth full of chips face.

Tootsie reiterates "comically huge".

Three baskets of chips later.... they bring a fourth - and the Farklepants aren't ones to kick it out of bed.

Dinner that's not only mouth watering delicious; it's also fancy. Tootsie's sister had the Enchiladas de Mariscos that were stuffed with crab, shrimp, and little slices of heaven.

Tootsie had the Chile Relleno stuffed with tender chicken breast. Also known as Mmm-mmm served up with a side of GOOD GOD! And Tootsie is happy to report that since she's not accustomed to eating a large meal past 7pm; the heartburn she endured was pleasurable.


**all photos by Dorothy Z.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Open Letter to Very Important People, Part Deux

Please to enjoy part one here.

Dear Honda Driver,

I realize that navigating one's way through the mammoth area reserved for parking, adjacent to a strip mall that boasts heavily trafficked stores, including but not limited to, Walmart, Old Navy, and a defunct Circuit City can be a might tricky. Those lanes reserved for actual driving? Ignore those. And while we're on the subject; stop signs are for punks. Please continue to drive through vacant parking spaces and pop out of no fecking where. I like this. It's fun. Makes driving kind of like a game of hide 'n seek. Also? My heart was due for an overdose of adrenaline. It's been too long since my hair stood on end. I now understand the Honda slogan, "the fit is go". The car fits in between parked cars and it goes. And those that follow the rules of the road be damned.

Signed,

The Lady in the Lexus with the Very Surprised Look on Her Face who Screamed Oh Shit

*******************************************

Dear Hundred Plus Junior High School Parents,

Believe me when I say that I know what a pain in the ass it is that whoever the city planner was that decided to place the junior high, high school, and one elementary school across the street from each other with one way in and out, and simultaneous dismissal times, with a combined enrollment of approximately FOUR THOUSAND; thought this was a good idea. I get it. They were stoned. It's a colossal joke. It's crowded. And makes things very trafficky and people very impatient-y. Please continue to park curbside on this heavily congested street while you wait for your child to walk down the hill to your car, partially blocking traffic in one of the three lanes offered. Oh, and those "no stopping at anytime" signs? Merely a suggestion, I'm sure.

Sincerely,

The Lady who got Hung Out to Dry when the Light Turned Red while Waiting for you to Finish Your Illegal Parallel Parking Job and who Wouldn't have Risked it if She'd Known you were Going to Throw that Bitch in Reverse

************************************

Dear Straight Up Bitch,

I was absolutely aware that I had a green arrow to turn left. Funny thing I learned in driving school way back in, ooohhhh, high school - when the driver of a vehicle has the right of way they still have to yield to traffic and/or any obstacles. For instance, like what just happened, when the light turned green and the cars in front of me turned into the circular drive in front of the junior high? Yeah, well, the reason I didn't go? Even though I had a green light? Was because there were at least two cars that were still backed up in the intersection and I had NO WHERE TO GO. Here's a little driver's ed tip for you: you aren't supposed to block the intersection. So, thanks for the honk. Always appreciated. But more especially thank you so much for driving around and pulling in front of me. I have to say I got a more than a little pleasure watching you sit there in the middle of the intersection completely hindering the flow of traffic. I laughed a little when you banged on your steering wheel.

Your Truly,

Smiley

p.s. Your car is ugly.

*******************************************

Dear Chatty Cathy,

A lot of people make the choice to not watch the news. I understand. It's been mostly reduced to sensationalism. But there was a law passed last year that makes it illegal to use your hand held cell phone and/or device here in California. But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you didn't know. Or maybe it was an emergency and you just HAD to use it. Judging by your obvious laughter at whatever was said; it was a very funny emergency.

Best Wishes,

Where's a Cop When You Need One

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Can You Press the Rewind Me Some of That Button? On Your Remote?

If you're a parent to a small child you're most likely subjected to the occasional Noggin viewing. One show that Girl-Child is partial to is the Upside Down Show. I'm rather fond of it as well. Not for the educational value. Or the songs. Or the interactive quality which permeates today's preschool television programming. No. It is because of David and Shane...oh Shane:


Which? Truth be told? I find...oh let's see... how do you say? Sexy. They make suffering through Yo Gabba Gabba and Wow Wow Wubbzy tolerable.

And here they are again - in an instant replay.



I know. There's something wrong with me You agree.

*photo Google Images / video YouTube