Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Aside from Home it's Where I Spend the Most Time

I try really hard to be an organized shopper when venturing out to the grocery store. I go through cabinets, pantries, and refrigerators looking to see what needs replacing. I'll check the drinks in the garage because I think we're personally supplying every child on this street with Gatorade - it's the Thirst Quencher (for a while it was 2 six packs for five dollars so I didn't care. Now it's not and I'm starting to care). Then after I'm finished taking inventory, I add my dinner necessities to the list. And it never stinkin' fails! I will forget something! Even though I've graduated to actually checking the weight of the cereal box in the pantry rather than just noting its presence; when will I LEARN that a single gallon of milk in the fridge is insufficient? So I'm always making these frequent stops for random items. Last week it was a Toys R Us gift card, mayonnaise, and AAA batteries. Last night I picked up coffee filters and tampons. I was convinced that if I had asked for matches I would have been added to the terrorist watch list. And when you stop to purchase two items at 8:30pm, one of them being a feminine hygiene product, you're pretty much announcing to everyone in line including the dude with a single 40 ouncer of Miller High Life that "yes I'm menstruating and my needs have become immediate" but at least I'm not an alcoholic. God help me.

On a rare positive note: I attended the parents meeting at the junior high school last night, and can I tell ya something? Kinda wanna go back to jr. high. I know. Weird. I want to follow the dress code, work on the yearbook, eat a chalupa, and pass a note in class that says "Do you like me? Circle yes or no".

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Before You Know it I Won't be Able to Tell if it's My Husband or My Son on the Other End of the Phone

Yeah. Okay. So, like, tonight I'm going to a parent's meeting at the junior high school to gather information because Boy-Child#1 will be attending in the fall. My baby. My first born. Junior high school. And yesterday he viewed that dreaded giggle inducing "health film" with his fellow male sixth graders to learn about how to properly wash your face to prevent pimples, where hair will grow, why they sweat, and erections 101 new and improved with semen! His verdict? Verbatim quote: "Um, ew..giggle". It's not that he didn't already know. We had that special talk about babies and where they come from quite some time ago, however, I didn't provide visual aid. I let the school provide the porn. Because, really it's just enough to tell your child that this goes there and that alone is enough to trigger them to picture their parents having sex. And so the scarring begins. No one needs a picture when your imagination just betrayed you. And I just know it's only a matter of time before I'm buying him condoms because he's too embarrassed and I'm cool like that. I'm all about keeping my child from contracting a scorching case of herpes from some tramp that puts out because she thinks that's her ticket to popularity. And her thong will probably be sticking out of the back of her jeans and she'll speak with a lisp because of her pierced tongue. Who's overreacting? And I'm already prematurely dreading cleaning out random pubic hairs from his shower drain and from under the toilet seat. And...excuse me...

**We interrupt this thought to bring you the following news: Tootsie Farklepants has mentally checked out. Due to the fact that she is currently in the corner, rocking in the fetal position... oh, wait... uh-huh... and we're just informed that her pupils are non responsive, fixed and dilated; we regret that this will conclude today's entry. We apologize for the abrupt and incomplete ending but are told that any mother will understand.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Gearing Up for Mother's Day: Let's Talk About Vaginal Deliveries

With Mother's Day bearing down (totally corny pun intended) on us and I say "bearing down" because it's just another holiday to stress me out. I would like to go on record and say that I'm not a fan of these types of designated holidays. And "Mother's Day" indicates it is for mothers, of which I am one. But so is my mom and my mother in law, AND my step mother in law. That means I have to figure out something to make their day special too. Figuring out = stress me out. Like the one time? I sent my MIL a lovely bouquet of roses through And because she lives in an area that is difficult to deliver too, they just, um, didn't? Nor did they have the decency to alert me. Imagine my embarrassment when I called her that day only to have her wonder what were these so-called-flowers that I supposedly sent her. Which, of course, then makes me look like a first class schmuck when I say "I sent you flowers you didn't get them? I promise I did!". and I had words. Some of them four letter. I let them know in no uncertain terms that it took years to cultivate my relationship with her and they had managed to reduce it to a shell of its former self because it must somehow have pained them too much to fire off an email or a phone call to say "yeah, sorry, we don't go there. Choose alternate gift". Anyway...

I'm a mom too. Times three. How they came into the world a.k.a. "Just the Facts":

Boy-Child#1 ~ Born 8 days past his due date. I gained 70 pounds too much Taco Bell and pie. My cervix, let me show it to you: Routine pelvic exam indicates that I'm walking around my daily life at 4cm dilated but she [doctor] could stretch it to 5cm, which she did along with separating the membranes a fun party game that involves her arm up my hoo-ha to her elbow and some vigorous gentle turning of her wrist. This procedure produces heavy cramping. Sent to hospital toot sweet. Start induction. Six hours later? Cervical status: still 5cm dilated. Screw that. Requests epidural. Grateful for the relief it provides but totally wigged out by the process in which it was received. Vows to never again let a needle enter spine so long as I can help it, amen. Tenth hour, pushing commences. Two hours and an episiotomy (spell check is not a fan of "episiotomy", neither am I spell check) later, first born son emerges via vacuum extraction. Weighing in at 9lbs 7oz and 23 inches long. Size of a three month old. I blame the Taco Bell and pie. Have to make a pit stop on way home from hospital to purchase larger diapers.

Boy-Child#2 ~ Born one week early. Due date was too close to Christmas day. Begged Requested to induce labor as far away from that date as possible because how much does it suck to have your birthday on Christmas. Labor progressed quickly and uneventfully. And, more importantly, relatively painless. At the sixth hour of labor I entered the transition phase, and when I say transition, I mean I was certain that I was holding a baby between my knees. Oh the sensations you feel when you forgo the epidural! Instructed not to push. Doctor on her way. Told to blow. Do what I'm told Wheeewww...wheewww...whooooo...whhhoooo... and then SCREW THOSE BITCHES! Wheewww...wheewww...whoooooo...whhhoooo..hmmmmm...hmmmm...MMMMM. "You're pushing!" MMMMNO I'M NOTMMM! "Yes you are!" I CAN'T HELP IT! HMMMMM...HMMMMMM... what were they gonna do? Stop me? Doctor arrives. Ten minutes and one episiotomy later, second born son shoots out weighing in at 7bls 13oz and 19 inches long. Small fry in relation to big brother. Had jaundice. They threatened me with putting him under the billy-lights. He never actually needed it. I dub them overly cautious. My weight gain the second time around? Thirty eight pounds. Go me!

Girl-Child ~ Born eight days early because I could. Five hours and a few I Love Lucy episodes later, I did some more of that Whheewww...whooooo....whooooooo...hmmmmm... MMMMMMMM...not pushing that I did before. Doctor arrives, twenty minutes and NO episiotomy later, our daughter was born weighing in at 7lbs 15oz and 20 inches long. After the cord was cut from around her neck and everyone let go of that breath they'd been holding. My weight gain: fifty pounds, the hell?

It's been nearly five years since I last gave birth and you'll be happy to learn that my vagina has long since made a recovery. But I still deserve a day at the spa because I'm a mom and I can. I make my own appointments. I just don't go ON Mother's Day because who wants to wedge themselves into a crowded sauna full of naked women? Oh.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

What You Said

Because sometimes the comments are better than the post itself. Some highlights from this past week:

In reply to It's Got the HOA up in the Proverbial Arms:

Eat Play Love said: "Can we get the memo to the Prince that he can land his helicopter in my garden whenever he wishes."

In reply to Kinda Looking Forward to Menopause...

Laughingatchaos said: "After the last four hours of WTabsoluteF, I think I could out-roar Marge. I can't take it anymore, and it's just a damned good thing the boys stayed in bed this evening or my head may have blown clean off. And, for an amazing change of pace, neither they nor my husband were the reason for this anger. Mark the date."

And Stu, who I don't give nearly enough credit too because his comments are laugh out loud funny: "Snorting Ajax huh? You know that is a gateway drug to the harder stuff. Soon you'll be shooting up Downy and stuffing your bra with dryer sheets."

In reply to: Friday's Advice Column

Mommytime quipped: "I think your hair and my hair have been sneaking out at night and partying too hard, and THAT's why they look all tired and worn out. Because my hair looks just like your right now. I'm betting total BFFs with the Bartles and James Strawberry Wine Coolers..." [Editor's note: And probably smoking some Cloves].

In reply to:

Calicobebop wants to know: "And toys in the bank? What kind of utopia do you live in?"

Where I live was designed for families. I think it might be a requirement that one actually BE a parent to even live here. And just about every establishment is kid friendly which is awesome for daily life but murder when trying to find a nice quiet place to spend a few moments with adults only.

While I was busy writing this entry, the following took place in Girl-Child's room:


Saturday, April 26, 2008

This Will Have to Do

Starry Night Storytime. Girl-Child with her classmates acting out The Enormous Potato. Note that I obviously skimmed the invite and didn't catch the part about wearing pajamas. Note improper placement of Girl-Child's hands. Note that THAT is all I have to say because it is hotter than the center of hell today.


Words Uttered:

Boy-Child#2 and Girl-Child playing kickball in the back yard. Ball one and ball two are now in the neighbors yard. Boy-Child#2 asks what to do...

Me: Go next door and ask them to give you your balls back.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tootsie Talks ~ Some People Listen

Tootsie's weekly advice column. She's no expert, although she's not really sure what constitutes "expert". If it involves school, she attended the school of Very Strong Opinions. Questions are welcomed. Answers may borderline ridiculous.

Sometimes I need to listen to my inner voice. I'm told it's wisdom. It could also be common sense. In this case, however, it's vanity and advice to myself. And vanity is cranky.

Dear Tootsie,

So, it's like this: It was foolish of you to make promises that you shouldn't be required to keep. Your hairdresser? The one on maternity leave? The one you vowed you'd wait for? Yes, her. Did she give you any indication as to when she may return? You know, a solid, in stone, written in blood pinkie swear FIRM date? You do realize that she's got that sweet angelic infant nestled at her bosom as I write this and there is a very good chance she may NEVER come back. For what? YOUR hair? Who the hell do you think YOU are, anyway? It's been six weeks since her daughter's birth. It's been since mid-February that your hair received any professional attention, and it totally shows, I might add. It's been four weeks since the incident involving a box containing some hair color. We won't speak of it. Except to say that the hue has evolved into a ghastly shade of BRASSY. With roots. And highlight bleed through. It's not good. So stop wallowing in your guilt about contacting your girlfriend for the phone number to her hairdresser. What else were you to do? Wait infinity? Because I don't think you realize just how long that is. Think immeasurability times pi, squared. Not even close. It's okay that you made an appointment with someone else. You're allowed to do that. Your friend even told you to tell New Hairdresser that you are a friend of hers and New Hairdresser will hook you up. And I think it was outstanding that you figured you'd be more well received if you told her you were Friend's lovahhhh. It shows you have a sense of humor and she might like that in a client. Don't take it personally that they couldn't fit you in until Friday, May 2nd. Friend may not be as well connected as she seems to believe. And New Hairdresser is unaware of the dire situation that has become your hair. I'm sorry I just laughed, I didn't mean too but it's so funny. Have you seen it? She doesn't know that it is a color that cannot be found in nature. She's completely ignorant of the fact that if you inhale deeply enough, your bangs will go right up your nose. She may even shriek when she witnesses the grays sprouting around your hairline like, well, like an old lady there I said it. And I'm not even sorry.

You've got important things coming up in the next few weeks. Family coming into town, meetings about the upcoming 6th grade graduation, and have you forgotten high tea at the Bel Air Hotel for so-n-so's birthday? My GAWD woman you will not be allowed in looking like THAT! They have very fancy standards, you know. Are you kidding me? Did you really think you could pull that off? You need to quit fearing change, Tootsie. Change can be good. Embrace it, and it's... and GODDAMMIT STOP CRYING you big baby! Aherm...

Yours Very Truly,
Tootsie's Inner Voice That Belongs to Vanity and is Fed Up

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Then it Dropped and Gave Me Twenty

Yesterday was another day volunteering in Boy-Child#2's second grade class. Being the day before Open House I anticipated a heavy work load. Mrs. Second Grade did not disappoint. I had to trot myself over to the work room, located adjacent to the teacher's lounge, in the main building and manufacture 150 circles of red, yellow, and orange construction paper using the capital letter "O" on the die cast mechanism. She only needed the center of the "O" and not the "O" itself. I know, I know. You're wondering how I was able to manage this and me without my advanced degree. Remarkable. A couple of things that took place while I was busy being Queen of the "O" (that's right):

  1. Eavesdropped on yard duty politics. Apparently there is a pecking order (who knew?) and someone was on a power trip wearing her rude hat. Simmer down now, lady. It's yard duty.
  2. Another parent, also on construction paper detail, asked about Boy-Child#1's sixth grade teacher, "who does he have?", "do you like her?". I went on to gush about her because she's all that. A minute later, Mrs. Sixth Grade poked her head into the room and said, "I thought I heard my name!". I didn't even have to run down a mental check list to make sure I hadn't said anything that would require a giant glass of water to wash down my foot because I genuinely ADORE her and couldn't possibly have said anything bad. Had this been last year and the 5th grade teacher this would have gone in a completely different direction.
Then it was off to lunch in the cafeteria with Boy-Child#2. Since I was joining him for lunch I purchased trays for the two of us, instead of his traditional packed lunch. Apperently the students have to give the cashier their "number" in order to buy lunch. Since my son always brings his lunch he had no clue what his "number" was. She had to look it up on her computer and seemed rather put off by it. She also seemed to have trouble understanding that I was buying lunch for the both of us. Ah well. Boy-Child#2 enjoyed a microwaved hamburger (in a plastic bag?) and I worried down a cold slice of pepperoni pizza. And tater tots. With copious amounts of ketchup.

Something I discovered while sharing a table with several 8 year old boys: They talk more than girls. In rapid succession. At the same time. They're all trying to get their word in edge wise before someone else speaks but it is a futile attempt. No one hears anything the other is saying. Very amusing. And they move around. A lot. It was like trying to eat lunch on Amtrak. Very bouncy. I don't know how they ever meet up on the playground to play whatever game has been decided.

My water bottle was one of those new eco-friendly designs and I discovered a flaw. Because they use 30% less plastic (kudos!) it creates a design flaw (minor). The narrow part of the bottle is located too far south which causes bending because the top area is too heavy. So my bottle was very katywompus. Which the boys found hilarious. "Look at my bottle", I said. "LOOK AT IT!". So of course I gave my bottle a voice and entertained the troops: "What is your major malfunction, Private!", "I'm leaning, Sir!", "Why are you leaning, Private!", "I have a design flaw, Sir!". I know that two years from now this would humiliate my son to no end. But yesterday I was a rock star.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Heightened "Scents" of Nostalgia

There are certain scents that take me back to a time and place. It's so powerful and evokes very specific memories.

Infant cereal: Whenever I smell this I can recall my baby brother sitting in his highchair in our kitchen. It's as if I'm right there while my mother spoon feeds him and gets his Playtex bottle ready for an after feeding snack. Baby brother is now 34 and 6'3" tall. And takes his Corona in a Playtex bottle. Not really.

Old paper: You might think "library" but no. My mother worked in a pharmacy pretty much my whole life up until adolescence. She was a single mom and would utilize daycare sparingly. Sometimes my brother and I would spend summers or school vacations hanging out in the stock room of the pharmacy. We'd bring activities to keep us occupied but mostly we played office. Adding machines were a big thing. When I got a little older I would do some data entry on a dinosaur they called a computer. By eleven years old I was queen of the ten key. Today's youth and their texting capabilities had nothing on my right hand. On special days, I got to answer the phone. I also did quite a bit of filing. Looking back I think they may have been violating several child labor laws. Does paying me in Big Hunk candy bars and strawberry Pop Rocks count?

Vanilla candles: No matter where I am when I encounter this scent, I'm immediately flooded with memories of spending time at my Cousin K's house, as a child in the 1970's. She's really my mother's cousin and has always been more of an "aunt" to me, but I've always called her "Cousin K" [there's more to her name than "K" but, you know, anonymity being what it is]. There are the copper bracelets she wore, the white four poster bed that I eventually inherited, the little Russian wooden dolls that opened to reveal a smaller doll and so on until the tiniest carved version emerged, the step down den, the fruit trees in the backyard, and the crazy jigsaw coffee table that I could crawl around in like a maze. You know how you can look back on your childhood and there was that ONE adult that stood above the rest? Yeah, it was like that. And, K, if you're reading this please will your copper bracelets to me. If they're still around. I promise to cherish them.

Beef stew: This would be my grandparent's house. We went there every Sunday for dinner while I grew up and on our birthdays we were allowed to request the menu. Both my mother and I would ask for beef stew and dumplings. And a 6 layer lemon and coconut cake because, COCONUT! My grandma made a mean beef stew. It was NEVER bland. You could smell it pulling into the driveway. It, by all counts, rocked hard. Other scents of Grandma's house: Prell shampoo, Lysterine, and tonic. As in vodka and tonic. Grandma was my kind of gal. Both have long since passed away and I still dream when I sleep, about being at their house.

Sarma: Reminds me of living at home. What is Sarma, you ask? It's a tasty little treat you may know as "stuffed cabbage". Whenever my step grandparents from Belgrade were visiting (and those people don't even kid around with vacation. They're all about the two months) we were treated to Sarma. The cabbage needed to um, pickle sour spoil age in a bucket that was kept in the garage. In the summer. In southern California. Did I mention it was in the garage? Not pleasant. However, it did make the yummiest dinner ever which would usually be followed by Palacinke which is basically a crepe. Sometimes there would be a torte or biadera (I don't even know how to spell it) which can be compared to our version of fudge, only with more nuts and less sweet. They were an animated bunch. Very boisterous. Lots of singing and guitar playing. And even though I could manage to understand and speak few words, we managed to communicate. They're both passed on now and I miss them.

I have no living grandparents. How much do you want to hug me right now? And what about you? What scents generate memories for you?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's Got the HOA Up in the Proverbial Arms

Reading news articles is sometimes like catching glimpses of your own memoirs. Take for instance, Prince William and his recent experience in his helicopter:

Prince William landed a Royal Air Force helicopter in the garden of his girlfriend Kate Middleton's family home but the Defence Ministry defended his actions, saying he achieved essential training objectives.

Aviation analyst and RAF-trained pilot Jon Lake told the weekly paper the April 3 flight was "ridiculous and inappropriate," but the ministry said the two-hour training mission was fully authorized as part of William's four-month RAF attachment.

Ahhh amore. See, when Mr. Farklepants lands his helicopter in my garden, our homeowners association complains that it's "ridiculous and inappropriate" as well. Please feel free to search dirty parts of your mind for double entendres [that is SO a word spell check!], metaphors, and Dr. Freud.

The Power of Blogging Suggestion

Girl-Child and I ran some random errands yesterday, one being a trip to the bank. I needed to make a deposit, old school style. For some reason she loves the bank. She likes to run inside and claim one of the chairs in the smallish waiting area. Some kids want ponies; give her a chair at the bank go figure. Although, I'm sure if there were a pony inside the bank, she'd want that. Anyway, she got comfy in her seat while I tried to remember our account number filled out a deposit slip [who does that anymore?!]. I told her to stay right there because I didn't want her getting up and running back and forth from the chair to me (it's as if I've experienced that before or something) and she gave me the quiet signal; finger to lips (i.e. "use your library voice, Mom"). When finished with that tiresome item on the list of things one does at a bank, she and I took our place in line; right behind Random Man Who Resembles Elliot Gould.

RMWREG: I've never seen a child so happy to be at the bank!
Me: I know. I don't get it either. It's her thing.
RMWREG: I'm surprised she didn't head straight for the toy area.
Me: Did you just say that out loud? STFU Elliot Gould! I don't think she knows about it. I never showed her.

(editor's note: yes there is a child's corner with toys in our bank)

At this point, Girl-Child wanted to be picked up, because she wanted a BIG hug. So I obliged.

Girl-Child: I love you. *kiss kiss on my face*
Me: I love you too!
Girl-Child: You're my best mommy.
Me: You're my best girl!

There was more kissing and hugging and it was all very gooey sweet. I did not train her to do this. OBVIOUSLY she's very advanced for a four year old and read yesterday's blog post.

RMWREG: I have a 13 year old.
Me: Oh?
RMWREG: Cherish this. Remember it.
Me: Oh, I will.
RMWREG: Before they tell you they hate you.
Girl-Child: I want down.
Me: Well, I do have an eleven year old. So what you're saying is I've got two more years?
Me: Maybe not.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Kinda Looking Forward to Menopause and Rejecting Hormone Therapy. Family Beware.

I was watching The Simpsons with the family the other night. It was the episode in which Marge is pushed to her limits as a mother and wife by feeling under appreciated and the things she does taken for granted. The final straw was when Maggie spilled her bottle of milk all over the inside of the car and Marge snaps; bringing the car to a complete stop on the bridge and turning off the engine. When a bus driver approaches her car window, she growls at him; spittle flying. And I thought, "This is based on a true story. Mine". Because that is how I sometimes feel. I keep this house and family functioning like a well oiled machine. Trying to stay two steps ahead, making sure there isn't a break down in the system, is a lot of work. I know I'm preaching to the choir but there are kids to be fed and bathed. Clothes to be washed or replaced. Keeping tabs on toilet paper restocking, pantry preparedness, food preparation, food cooking, cleaner upper after meals, lunch packing, shampoo supply, school supplies, dry cleaning coordination, birthday parties, birthday gifts, kisser of boo-boos, keeping with the kids schedules, safety monitor and referee, coordinating drop off and pick up, clean sports uniforms, beds to be made, floors to be washed, toilets to be scrubbed, eradicating ring around the tub, dog hair removal, small toy corralling, finder of lost things, social calender keeper, master of the itinerary, suitcase packing, suitcase supply gatherer, haircut appointment maker (hell, ALL appointments), immunization shot tab keeper, thwarter of trash raiding dog, miscellaneous pet needs, copious document filler outer-er, vomit handler... And that is the incomplete list. And if I don't keep up with it, things come unraveled. Running out of toilet paper when one is mid-wipe will ruin your day. Finding you don't have all the ingredients to prepare the dinner you've already started to cook will make for an interesting menu. Dog eats your underpants.And so forth. The catastrophes are endless.

I try not to complain about it because this is the life I've chosen, It IS fulfilling, and my husband provides a comfortable life for us (which I should probably thank him for more often *literally people* get your minds out of the gutter and if he's reading this: THANKS HONEY!). Every once in a while it would be nice to hear "thank you" without any "buts" attached (i.e. "thanks for packing a lovely lunch, Mom, but I don't really like the way the honey soaks into the PB and honey sandwich by lunchtime what are the other options for someone like me who won't eat anything else?" OR "I couldn't check out a new book in the school library because you didn't put the old book in my backpack, MOM"). I'd like to think that my services and actions are appreciated rather than simply expected. Marge from The Simpsons ended up taking a spa weekend away, while the family attempted to soldier on without her. Every time I contemplate taking a weekend away just for myself, I start to tally all of the extra work I'll have to do upon my return and resolve that it just may not be worth it. While searching Youtube for a clip of the aforementioned Simpsons episode, I came across this and I was all, Dude that's it! (it's 3 minutes long but worth it):

And I'm not even kidding, while I was composing this entry yesterday afternoon, Boy-Child#1 appeared in the office. I asked him if he needed the computer and he said, "no, just wondering when you're going to make lunch". And at that precise moment, my daughter announced that her ass needed wiping because it "was a messy one". Then I snorted a can of Ajax. Verdict: bleachy.

*And a shout out to moms and/or dads who do all of the above and hold down a job too*

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Weekends are Made for Peace, Link, and Love

Apparently it's awards season here in the blogosphere! Stephanie from over at Bad Mom sent this award, that I've been coveting, my way because who doesn't appreciate a lady who can rivet a piece of wartime transportation and look like she's ready for a USO tour? Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy anyone?

Thanks Stephanie! Now I'm going to pass this on to some lovely ladies that could use a little girl power this week. Go take a peek at their blogs to read some brutal honesty! OHMommy shows us the not often seen side of her over at Classy Chaos. Katydidnot IS going to be alright. And work is taking its toll on Stay at Home Mom Going Quickly Insane. Go show them some love and girl power!

The The Madame Queen, A Mom Two Boys, and JCK from Motherscribe had me jumping around the internets collecting this award...

And I hope that they know that the feeling is mutual. Kumbaya y'all. Kumbaya. Once again I am passing this on to anyone who comes to visit Vintage Thirty because you all make my day! Take one!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Tootsie Talks ~ Some People Listen

Tootsie's weekly advice column. She's no expert, although she's not really sure what constitutes "expert". If it involves school, she attended the school of Very Strong Opinions. Questions are welcomed. Answers may borderline ridiculous.

Q: Holly from Anglophilefootballfanatic kicks it up a notch this week with three THREE questions: 1. How many licks does it take to get to the center of the tootsie roll lollipop? 2. You hear about getting 3 staples in your wardrobe each season. What 3 do you suggest for this season? 3. And, what would you recommend taking on a trip to Disney that doesn't scream "I'm a Mom?"

A: Holly? Didn't that fricken owl answer your first question when you were like 5 years old? It's not Wuuhuuun. Nor Twoo-whooo. It's Thhhuuhreee! Three. And how pompous was that owl anyway? Looking down his beak at that kid. What a dick. On to question #2; when you say "season" I'm assuming spring? Because it was like 90 degrees at my house yesterday which just screams "SUMMER!!". My recommendations are 1) 3/4 sleeve cardigan, and don't tell your husband, but go with cashmere. Because? YUMMY! 2) These pants are in my closet and look amazing on, in a very Katie Holmes kind of way. She may have questionable taste in men but when it comes to fashion she's at the top of her game. Pair it with a simple white tank top and a bright chunky necklace! Which brings us to 3) Shoes. Think wedge. The answer to your third question is so obvious: Johnny Depp.

And now for everyone's favorite brand of advice: UNSOLICITED

In a recent article, obstetrician Michel Odent (you'll note that I don't refer to him as "Dr. Michel Odent" because no where in the article is he referenced as such. It's a British paper and I have no idea about its legitimacy or if it's their version of The Enquirer) describes "why he believes that when a woman goes into labour, her partner should stay well away". And his opinion is this:
"That there is little good to come for either sex from having a man at the birth of a child. For her, his presence is a hindrance, and a significant factor in why labours are longer, more painful and more likely to result in intervention than ever. As for the effect on a man - well, was I surprised to hear a friend of mine state that watching his wife giving birth had started a chain of events that led to the couple's divorce? Or another lady describing how the day after her husband had watched her deliver their child, he had fled to his hometown of Rome, and never returned again? For many men, the emotional fallout of watching their partner have their baby can never be overcome."

Uh-huh. I see. The poor tender dears. Childbirth is messy and not nearly as sexy as conception. I understand. What's that? Oh you were going to tell us how you came to this scientific conclusion? Go ooonnnnn...
"When I was first involved in obstetrics in the Fifties, it was unheard of for a man to be present as their child was born."

Oh! I get it! You're old-school. Emphasis on the old. I'm sure you're also aware that in the fifties it was common practice to knock a woman out cold and hand her an infant when she came too. Oh, I'm sorry. You weren't finished:
"Childbirth was predominately a woman's business - usually carried out at home - and while a man may be in the vicinity at the time of labour, he would usually be found in the kitchen, boiling copious amounts of water, and therefore would miss the actual event."

You may have skipped a chapter or two in all of your fancy book learnin', but childbirth is STILL predominately a woman's business. And in the past he was more likely to be found smoking cigarettes and tossing back some bourbon. Keep going:
"However, by 1970, a handful of women started to ask for their husbands to be present at the birth, a shift that began to occur in many Western countries at about the same time."

GASP! Those crafty, globally organized bitches!
"There are a variety of reasons for this, including the fact that birth was being increasingly concentrated in hospitals rather than at home, and the rise of the smaller nuclear family meant women increasingly turned to their husbands for support in all areas of their life, rather than relying on their mothers or aunts."

My own mother does not have the capacity to withstand witnessing her own child in moderate to severe discomfort. However, I could rely on my mother in law to keep me updated on the strength of my contractions according to the monitor and that there weren't enough chairs in the delivery room to her liking. My husband was the calm in the brewing storm. So what is your professional opinion about the husband being present for the delivery and its effect on the laboring mother?
"First, a labouring woman needs to be protected against any stimulation of the thinking part of her brain - the neocortex - for labour to proceed with any degree of ease. This part of the brain needs to take a back seat and allow the primal "unthinking" part of the brain connected to basic vital functions to take over. A woman in labour needs to be in a private world where she doesn't have to think or talk. Yet, motivated by a desire to "share the experience", the man asks questions and offers words of reassurance and advice. In doing so, he denies his partner the quiet mind that she needs. The second reason is that the father's release of the stress hormone adrenaline as he watches his partner labour causes her anxiety, and prevents her from relaxing. No matter how much he tries to smile and appear relaxed, he cannot help but feel anxious. And the release of adrenaline is contagious.

It has been proven that it is physically impossible to be in a complete state of relaxation if there is an individual standing next to you who is tense and full of adrenaline. The effect of this is that, with a man present, a woman cannot be as relaxed as she needs to be during labour, and hence the process becomes longer and more difficult."

So your professional opinion is that in order for a laboring woman to "be in that part of her brain where she doesn't need to think or talk", is to stick her in a room full of women (i.e. mothers/aunts)? This is your solution? Have you actually met the chatty female species? This doesn't explain how it is any different with a man than it does with "mothers and aunts" in the room, now does it? Rhetorical, sir. Because distraction is distraction is distraction. And what say you about the stubborn placenta?
"Physically, in order to deliver the placenta with ease, her levels of oxytocin - the hormone of love - need to peak. This happens if she has a moment in which she can forget everything about the world, save for her baby, and if she has time in which she can look into the baby's eyes, make contact with its skin and take in its smell without any distractions. Often, as soon as a baby is born, men cannot help but say something or try to touch the baby. Their interference at this key moment is more often than not the main cause for a difficult delivery of the placenta, too."

Your professional opinion is, that with my husband in the room, I don't love my newborn child enough? Let me say this to you, Michel Odent: You may have been "involved in childbirth for 50 years", and "been in charge of 15,000 births", but you sir, have never actually given birth. You can never know the immediate unconditional love that is born right along with that child and might I add, without actually having YET seen the child. You will never feel that mother to child emotion. You will never completely understand it. Which is obvious by your opinions. Because that is all it is; your opinion. Not a scientific study but your own observations as an obstetrician about a couple of guys who fled at the sight of a human being emerging from a vagina and women whose labor took a little too long for your taste.

So here is my advice to you, Michel Odent: RETIRE!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I Don't Think I Said "Comment" Nearly Enough

Let's discuss comments for a moment. And I'm going to say "comments" about six hundred times in this entry. I love receiving comments. I read every comment. I love opening my email and seeing comments waiting to be read! And up until a few weeks ago I was able to manage addressing each one with my own comments in the comments section. Now, comment production on Vintage Thirty has increased by leaps and bounds, of which I am awfully grateful! But it has made it difficult, time wise, for individual acknowledgment AND also be able to visit the author's blog as well. So, if I haven't addressed your comment in the comments section it doesn't mean I haven't read your comment. It means I've visited your blog and most likely left a comment there. And if I didn't, it just means that I meant to get back to visiting your blog when I had ample time to read, and then forgot. Which may have happened once or twice but not much more. So in honor of COMMENT APPRECIATION, every weekend I will pick comments from the previous week that either had questions that needed follow up, were poignant, or caused me to piss myself laughing. Because some of them do that. The comments.

So leave a comment! In the comment section! Comment?

"Learn Yoga" was Just One of the Suggestions

It's turn off the tv week at the boys school. And, excuse me, but who the hell is the school to tell me to turn off my tv? Who are they to determine that television viewing isn't considered quality family time? Mr. Farklepants and the boys watch sports together and discuss strategies, rules, and fantasy league scores stats. And gives him an opportunity to discuss erectile dysfunction and the reason for Cialis; scarring my children for life now that they're aware of what that knowing look the middle aged couple with his malfunctioning penis in the commercial exchange means when those unexpected guests show up at their house. They know that it means "sweet Jesus don't do anything that will trigger this unless you want to meet me in the bathroom in five minutes otherwise I'll end up with a boner lasting longer than four hours and how awkward would it be to call an ambulance and explain that to our guests?".

I watch very little television. The Office is the only weekly show that I tune in to see, regularly. I watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune almost nightly but I do watch it with the kids and we play together as a family. Even if my two youngest shout out answers like "Who is George Washington" for every category related to presidents. And vice presidents. It at least gives us a platform for discussing such facty truths like "George Washington was never a vice president". See? Our children is learning. The school also included a handy list of alternate activities (I will spare you all 30 suggestions and my commentary is in red):

  1. Tell your child about the day they were born ( yes, and I'll include how I took a crap on the delivery table and also the intimate details of an episiotomy we'll call this birth control)
  2. Have a family car wash (I haven't washed my own car in over a decade why start now? Unless I could just get the kids to do it, but then that would trigger my OCD and I'd be all "you're doing it wrong!" and I'd have to finish it myself. And pissed be about it. How fun is that!)
  3. Go to the museum (on a school night? Maybe if you cancel homework)
  4. Go roller blading or ice skating (and the school district can pay my hospital bill)
  5. Play hide and seek outdoors (and the school district can pay my bail when I'm arrested for hiding in the neighbors hedges)
  6. Fly a kite (provide wind)
  7. Plan a slumber party (provide Prozac)
  8. Etcetera...
So, thank you school district, for taking an interest in bringing my family closer together. As a unit [because I really just wanted to say "unit", yeah, hi, I'm 12]. I assure you that with the homework, softball practices, softball games, guitar lessons, dance lessons, flash cards, dinner, and baths, we have precious little time for television watching and ample opportunity for togetherness.

It should really be "turn off your blog week". Mom.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

In Which She did Absolutely Nothing Whatsoever Except Maybe Some of That

When I lovingly packed Mr. Farklepants' suitcase yesterday morning and sent him off with a resentful kiss to Las Vegas for an overnight business trip (use your own air quotes, I'll not provide them for you); I did so, while plotting my agenda for my evening alone after the kids go to bed. A classic movie, perhaps with tap dancing and crooning was a possible activity. Maybe twice. Ice cream for dinner. Skip the leg shaving. Not on the list was wine because I don't drink when I'm home alone with the kids. Knowing my luck that would be the precise moment that they would need rushing to the hospital and one of my kidneys. "We can't use this ma'am". "Why? What's wrong with my kidney?". "It's drunk". So I settled for the thought of brewing a pot of coffee and it was at that time, 8:30pm, that I realized we were out of milk. And how fun is it to trot out the gang to the grocery store at that hour? Not as fun as Vegas, I wager. But does have its own version of sensory overload. You may argue that I could have waited until daylight but then you don't have to meet the business end of my morning attitude that hasn't seen a cup of coffee. With milk and sugar. So anyway. Big plans. And then I spent the better part of the 4 hours online. Contributing to my Computer Vision Syndrome. Also a contributing factor? Researching Computer Vision Syndrome by using a computer. Not exactly what the doctor ordered but let me be the bearer of what he does suggest:

"We should be blinking somewhere between 10 to 20 times a minute," said Dr. Yee.

People should also try warm compresses daily to help unblock oil glands in the eyelids and use artificial tears every 30 minutes.

"That seems frequent, but again if you're staring and not blinking, the tears that you naturally make don't spread across and there's going to be dry spots on your cornea," explains Dr. Yee.

Dr. Yee has also designed special and unique glasses that help protect against detrimental agents. For the low low price of $225. Which look suspiciously like goggles:

That you can pick up for about nine dollars. You're welcome. Now I'm off to adopt some children from a country thats name is pronounced: COUNTRY WHOSE NAME I CANNOT PRONOUNCE. Before the entire next generation, in every corner of the world, are named Jolie-Pitt. Then? I hear the Pontiff is stateside. He may want to kiss my ring.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I Upped my Mom Status to Rad

Where does a mother of two boys, aged eight and eleven, take her sons for entertainment? Chuck E. Cheese? No. Book reading at a library? Nope. Theme park? Negatory. Baseball game? Not even close. Speed metal gig in a seedy joint in a questionable part of town? Certainly! And stop looking at me like that. I feel it's important to introduce my children to such lyrics as "AAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRHEEHHHHEEGGGG" and "LLOOOOOGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH" and "AAAAAAOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGG" and maybe "kfliiggfflip" even when they're all strung together like that because of the iconic representations that hold particular conventional meanings. Also? It has a funky beat that you can really ska out too. Even though my boys were decked out in their long black shorts, Vans, and SRH t-shirts (that would be Support Radical Habits because I totally do) I did manage to keep them out of the mosh pit. And by keep out I mean making them stand with their mommy. Should it concern me that Boy-Child#2 liked the fact that he could scream during the show and no one could hear him? More importantly, who will sponsor my sign language courses now that I'm completely deaf? You? How 'bout you? Will I have anyone to blame but myself when they one day come home with tribal tattoos, stakes through their ears and OHMYGOD, CD's of this? Who am I kidding. Kids don't buy CDs anymore! They download to their iPods, duh mom! Gaaawwhhhd.

When their set was done, my boys high fived the band members and I hugged a very sweaty drummer*. And the audience was all, "Dude. Who's the mom?". Then we left before the next band came on. Because, did I mention I'm deaf? What?

*My best friend's son and very talented drummer. I've been his pseudo-auntie for 16 years. Gotta support the team even though I was all "you call this music"?


My horoscope for today:

Libra ~ Listen to that nagging voice in your head, now -- it's actually the voice of wisdom.

Huh. And all this time I thought it was my mother. And who do all of the other nagging voices belong too?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Lookin' Good Mistahhh Kot-tair...

Spring break is over! Can I get a WOOT WOOT! Now we can get back to our regularly scheduled program. I've been appropriately tagged by Jenn at Juggling Life with the following school related meme with a note from Epstein's mother:

Five Classes That Should Have Been Taught in School

  1. Introduction to What it's Really Like to Have a Child - session includes such topics as: a) You will have a child that acts just like that, b) Welcome to life without sleep, c) How to effectively use a pacifier to muffle screaming, d) Time-outs: The Colossal Joke, e) Blow-out diapers (aka poop soup OR how did shit get on my baby's neck?)
  2. A Wedding is not a Marriage 101 - session includes lectures from couples married ten or more years and currently withholding sex from one another because the sound of the other's voice is unacceptable. Also scheduled to appear: couples in their 17th honeymoon faze (sign up quick for this lecture because it is extremely brief! There is also a chance that it will be canceled. Choose alternate elective as a back up.)
  3. A Wedding is not a Marriage Advanced Honors - An excellent class for necessary reinforcement of concepts. It all bears repeating.
  4. Meet Your Future Self - Travel in time to find out that high school is not the beginning and end of your life, there really will be sun damage, smoking will have an effect, Metallica will still rule, and STD's aren't even kidding.
  5. Packages and Toy Retrieval - This is a shop class that will teach you how to effectively remove toys from packages without breaking a nail. Or a screwdriver. Or one of the tires on your car.
Tag! You're it:

Hope for the Hopeless
The Madame Queen
The Rocking Pony

Saturday, April 12, 2008

She's Totally My Daughter

Boy-Child#2 and Girl-Child were upstairs playing some make believe game that involved a party on a boat, some people, and a backpack. Oh, and a baby. I don't know what the hell is going on but according to Girl-Child:

"That was NOT AWESOME! The people were NOT on the boat! NOT AWESOME!!"

I would just be guessing here but I'm gonna wager that it was also NOT MOST EXCELLENT! And probably TOTALLY BLEW!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Post Where I Die From Link Fatigue

Welcome to award central! The very sweet Melissa at Hope for the Hopeless and the oh-so-very classy OHMommy at Classy Chaos are both keen to my love of very shiny things and bestowed this lovely Tiara Wearing Blogger Award upon me! Thank you, ladies!!! And I will wear it proudly while blogging in my pajamas!

I now pass this on to some lovely bloggers:

Burgh Baby's Mom
Mrs. G
Juggling Life
The Madame Queen for when her crown is being polished (like jewelry not like the sausage)

The beautiful and talented (and lover of cowboys) Jennifer H from Thursday Drive thinks my blog is Excellent and sent this award my way (even though this blog is really more of the NC-17 rated variety). Thanks, Jennifer!!

I'd love to throw it right back at her because she's pretty excellent herself, but those ain'ts the rules. So this award goes out to these excellent bloggers:

A Mom Two Boys
June Cleaver Nirvana
Minnesota Matron
The Mom Bomb

Enjoy y'all!!!

Tootsie Talks ~ Some People Listen

Tootsie's weekly advice column. She's no expert, although she's not really sure what constitutes "expert". If it involves school, she attended the school of Very Strong Opinions. Questions are welcomed. Answers may borderline ridiculous.

Vintage Thirty would like to apologize for the tardiness of today's edition. The editor fell asleep on her new couch last night, woke, wiped the drool from her chin, went to bed and then overslept. Tootsie has been put on notice but hasn't made it to the "dead to us" list. Yet. She has indicated that she's sorry but we're not so sure if we believe her.

Q: Joeprah asks the "Oh Lawdy it's a Man" question of the day: "Any advice for the men out there struggling with fashion?"

A: Yes! Ask women. Or? Watch Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Because, seriously? I'm a little bit in love with Carson myself. I totally want to be his BFF, go shopping, and hell, let him make me over! Also? Be more specific. "Struggling with fashion" is a very broad statement. And here's an example of something I witnessed the other day and should be made public so that it can be addressed: the only thing worse than a woman wearing "mom jeans"? Is a man. In mom jeans. With his shirt tucked in. And a belt. The sight rendered my corneas almost entirely useless. Also to be avoided: Parachute pants ala MC Hammer.

Q: Angie at KEEP BELIEVING would like to know: "I have box-shaped feet. They are a size 5 or 5-1/2 wide with high arches. I hate paying a ton for shoes, but have so few options for cute shoes. I am trying to change from frump-mom-in-sweats look to slightly-stylish-yet-not-overdone-and-comfortable-but-still-drives-a-mini-van look. Besides too many hyphens in my make-over attempt, shoes are a HUGE obstacles. Any suggestions."

A: First of all, admitting that there is a problem is a step in the right direction. So kudos to your hyphenated make over! Secondly, do you live in OZ? Fraggle Rock? Size five to five and a half? The hell? Are you that traveling gnome? What are you, twelve? Does it make me feel better that my shoe size is twice that of yours? No. No it doesn't. Buy some cute shoes in "wide" and consult some Dr. Scholls inserts so you can be gellin'. They're gellerific!

Q: Laughingatchaos and The Stay at Home Mom Going Quickly Insane each have skin care questions: "any other skin care recommendations? Please oh please?" and "what type of eye cream do you use/recommend?"

A: I can't even make jokes about skin care. Recommendations: wash your face every night even if you aren't wearing makeup. Moisturize! Moisture is your friend. Get intimate with it. Stick your tongue in its ear. Use sunscreen and don't forget your chest and hands! The poor neglected things. Eye cream? Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-Lift anti-wrinkle firming eye cream. I've used some that tend to pull the skin too tight and, in my opinion, end up making the skin in that area more susceptible to creasing. I use this in the morning before applying my makeup and also at night. Although, after meeting BOSSY, I'm curious what she keeps in her medicine cabinet.

Q: Jess at Zoe asks the serious questions via email : "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? My second question is: What exactly is this "chucking" of wood that seems to be going on? Is he throwing the wood, or is "chuck" a cleverly disguised description of something dirty that the woodchuck is doing to the wood. Why does the woodchuck chuck wood? What does he do with it after he chucks it? What IS a woodchuck exactly? I have a feeling it's a fancy term for beaver but I'm just not sure and the questions are keeping me awake at night."

A: The answer to your first question is as much as he damn well pleases. 2) The "chucking" is just a variant of "Charlesing". 3) He would never throw his wood. Fondle, yes. Throw, no. 4) Because he can. 5) You don't want to know but it involves a gym sock that's kept under his bed. 6) It's a groundhog. Also known as a "whistlepig" or a "land beaver" who I'm guessing prefers to be a dry beaver rather than the wet variety. I wonder if Massengill has a product for that?

Q: Colleen at Wine Please asks OCD laundry Tootsie: "do you have any good tips on how to do laundry more efficiently?"

A: Doing laundry can be like picking up dog poop. If you do a little bit every day it doesn't get out of hand. I actually like doing laundry because there is something seriously wrong with me.

Q: Holly from Anglophilefootballfanatic asks on behalf of Mr. AFF's head: "men hair styles? Why does my spouse think Pat Riley hair is stylish? For 13 years I've been trying to "do something" with his hair. Any suggestions? "

A: I'm a big advocate of people wearing their hair the way they feel comfortable. However, if you substitute the name "Pat Riley" with "Donald Trump" then an intervention is in order. Consult friends and family. And perhaps clergy. And Jose Eber.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

No Pressure. Just Like Getting Ready for a Blind Date with Fifteenish People

Did you feel a breeze yesterday coming from the west? It was SoCal doing the wave for BOSSY. I toyed with the idea of enlisting the USC marching band to spell out her name in big letters on the field of the Colosseum while playing Fleetwood Mac's Tusk, but I don't have any connections and I'm more of a UCLA gal, anyway. So, just like many cities in recent weeks, a bunch of Los Angeles bloggers got together for a very BOSSY welcome. BUT! Important decisions needed to be made first. Like: flat iron or curling iron? Dark rinse or stone wash jeans? I guess it really depends on the assless chaps. Boots, heels, or flats? Colorful or neutral shirt? Sweater or coat? Real bling or fashion jewelry? Which of the 40 purses will be the lucky accessory who's a lucky accessory coochie coo? I don't want to look like I'm trying too hard. I prefer to look like I walked into my closet and magic just happened. "Oh this? You like it really? No, I don't know. Just threw it together". Lies v. white lies let's not split hairs.

(She is i am bossy)

We met at a restaurant. I removed my camera from my bag and what evening isn't complete without me also flinging my feminine hygiene products on the floor? We plied BOSSY with more guacamole because this is California and that is what we do. Put avocados on stuff. There was red wine, jack and coke, and a two or several three margaritas. Some water and who ordered the iced tea? There was discussion of blogs and who writes what, and why, and how it all started, and how unappealing the word "blog" itself is. We talked about our kids, our families, John Cusack, and stuff like OMG you're in a band? I'd love to tell you more about what was discussed but OHMYGOODNESS I can't stop thinking about BOSSY'S skin! It's flawless. And dewy. And I spent a good portion of the evening trying to figure out if she has pores or not. When we moved from outside to inside our chairs were side by side and I was all, "here let me sit next to you so that I can stare at you some more and no this won't bother you at all and don't be alarmed if I dig deeper because I brought gloves". I'd also love to show you more of the pictures I took but these were the only ones that either weren't blurry beyond recognition, or that someone BOSSY wasn't blinking. And all that were taken with the flash lean very heavily towards suck.

(Above pictured left to right: Leahpeah, BOSSY, and her lovely host The Jason Show)

(Above is yours truly with the lovable JCK!)

And just so you're not left with wondering what the final outcome was...
  • Flat iron
  • Something in between stone wash and dark, whatever, they were Levi's
  • Boots
  • Colorful shirt
  • Sweater? Coat? Neither
  • Jewelry? Both
  • Purse? Same ol' black leather bag because it was all "Dude. I'm with you everyday. You're gonna ditch me now? How you gonna play a pocketbook?"
  • Assless chaps were 86'd

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Controversial Underpants

When I composed my previous entry, I never considered that it might strike controversy (minor as it is, roll with it for the sake of this post) between those who wash brand spanking new underwear and those who don't, prior to their use. I'm such a lover of the way newly purchased clothes fit and feel that first time they're worn; before the evils of soap, water, dryer, air dry, and dry cleaners alter the fabric, no matter how minor the alteration. It also got me to thinking about all the things that strangers, and their questionable hands have touched. Handled things that have come into contact with my body in some way.

Like, for instance, the fast food cashier who handles my money then proceeds to pack up my food to go. And when I say "to go", I mean in my mouth. Money that could have seen the inside of an exotic dancer's thong or used as a vehicle to get some blow into someone's nose.

Or the clerk at the cosmetics counter who gives you a makeover. Without a sink in sight.

Or the salon basin where your hair is being washed. Right after Sweaty McNeck-Hair man.

And all of the restaurants utensils and plates we're trusting weren't sneezed or coughed on (or at least hands that were not touching them that have been sneezed or coughed on OR WORSE) somewhere between the industrial strength dishwasher and our table.

It never crossed my mind that a sealed package of panties would put my vagina in peril. Like say, the mechanical bull at The Saddle Ranch on Sunset Blvd. But that's a whole 'nother story.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Skills Include Gift Wrapping and Shipping Packages

Somewhere in the Hanes factory there is a person or person(s) whose job involves scotch tape and underpants. Let's take a look at the probable procedure meeting that must have taken place:

VP#1: We've received complaints via email that our underwear are trying to escape from their packaging.
VP#2: That is a problem. No doubt.
VP#1: I'm open to any suggestions to ratify said problem.
VP#2: I don't have any. I'm just here for the bonuses and golf trips to the Bahamas.
VP#1: I understand. You may be excused.
VP#2: Thank you, sir. I do have the company jet idling.
Inspector#5: I have an idea.
VP#1: The committe will now hear ideas from Inspector #5.
Inspector#5: Thank you, sir. Well, we could start with selling the underwear in quantaties of ten per package...
VP#1: I'm picturing it. Keep going.
Inspector#5: And we could roll each one up placing them side by side so that the consumer can see each pair.
VP#1: This is gold. But what about their ability to escape? What is your solution?
Inspector#5: We could scotch tape each pair individually so that there is no chance of them making a break for it!
VP#1: GOOD! I like your enthusiasm #5!! Let's get a team on this, post haste. Get a memo out.

Executive Secretary: But won't taping them make it time consuming, not to mention frustrating for the busy parents? I mean, how long do you think it will be before a mother commits suicide over wrestling tape off of her children's newly purchased underwear? Aren't they already bogged down with opening DVD and CD packages? Those things are impossible.

VP#1: I can't even look at you. You're fired.


Or something like that. Because I spent a solid twenty minutes pulling tape off of my daughter's underpants just to put them in the drawer. And the tape kept splitting and shredding and I'd try to get it off my fingernail and then it'd get stuck on my finger until I finally burst into tears and jumped out the window.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Fistacuffs and Ding-Dong Ditch

That's just in the last 5 minutes, my friends. I have mentioned it's spring break here and we've entered our second week. Which means that things are getting bloody around here. And that's not just the self inflicted scalping I just gave myself because why pull your hair out a little everyday when you can just be done with it.

Not more than 5 minutes ago there was whining, bickering, and "StoooooooOOOOOP!!!" coming from downstairs. Which meant one or the other of my two sons was doing something absolutely crazy-making to the other. Like breathing. Or living. So I navigate myself half way down the stairs because I've found that I can solve a problem so quickly that I don't actually need to enter the room. Evidence usually presents itself and I'm currently kicking myself for not becoming a prosecutor.

Boy-Child#2: He's bugging me!
Boy-Child#1: I'm not even doing anything...GAHHHHHWD.
Boy-Child#2: He's squishing me!
Boy-Child#1: I didn't even touch him.
Me: (to Boy-Child#1) What is that blue paper sticking out of your pocket?
Boy-Child#1: This? I dunno. Nothing.
Me: Give it to me.
Boy-Child#1: Okay. I was trying to hug him so that I could stick this to his back.

It reads: "I'm a butthead"

Me: Nice. Go to your room. Liar.

Just then the doorbell rings. I open it to find no one there. Either God is testing me to see if I can actually keep my shit together, with a "Haha! Psych! Just checking" or there are some really unique and creative children on our street. I mean, NO ONE has ever done THAT before. Brats. Excuse me while I go find a sharp object to impale myself.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Ward and June Farklepants

A rare event happened here at Vintage Thirty this weekend. Mr. Farklepants finally took an interest in my hobby read my blog. He even left a comment regarding his Senseo that he is currently licking. And because I know that comments from previous posts sometimes go unread, I thought I'd shine a spotlight on it. And pick it apart, of course.

Mr. Farklepants defends his purchase:

"Just to clear something up. I got that damn thing for free.... well kinda... I filled out some survey on the Senseo website and at the end I got a "congratulations!" page informing me that I had qualified for a "free" Senseo. When I went to claim my "free" Senseo I was prompted for my credit card information because while the coffee maker was free, the shipping was not. So I paid $15. Still, not bad."

Adheres to the proverb: All is well that ends well
"I answered all the survey questions in such a way that it would seem I would be influential in getting others to buy one. I lied of course but this blog entry now makes up for it."

Throws me under a bus and confesses that our marital roles are akin to June and Ward Cleaver.
"What my lovely wife is not telling you all is that I do not know how to make my own coffee. I do not know where the filters are, I do not know how much coffee to put in the filter after I find them. I do not know how much water to put in the water thingy (you fill it to like 8 cups, and only 2 come back out. obviously there is some evaporation going on or something but where, i don't know). On top of that I do not even know how much sugar and milk to put in the cup since tootsie does it. (You should have seen the look on the face of our office assistant at work when I told her that one). So next time Tootsie is away and I have to fend for myself I will at least be able to make my own coffee. It still won't have just the right amount of sugar and cream but at least I'll have coffee."

The above is all entirely true. We have very pre-feminist traditional roles in our marriage. He brings home the bacon and I grill fry it up in a pan. We have 3 children so I spent a good portion of our married years barefoot and pregnant. He takes out the trash and tackles home improvement projects and sometimes finishes them. I do everything else. And what Mr. Farklepants did not tell you is that the office assistant he refers to in his comment, is a female. And she wants a wife just like me.

Then he goes on to dissuade any of my readers from ever wanting to come to my house for a cup of Senseo coffee:
"And for the record, I did use my penis."

So, if I promise to make it, then you're at least safe from that.

And last but not least, validation:
"Did you notice I used the Senseo this morning since you were AWOL?"

We've come full circle here, folks. Mr. Farklepants was able to brew his own coffee when his wife drank too much at a friends house the night before and had to sleep in her clothes in their guest bedroom and forgot her favorite hoop earrings on the night stand chose not to drink and drive.

Awwww Shucks.

Karen at The Rocking Pony made my day by giving me this award:

It came at exactly a time that I kinda needed to hear that. I thank you, Karen, more than you probably know.

I'm supposed to pass this on to others but I don't know how to narrow it down to just a few. Every one of you that stops by here, lurker or participant, makes my day. Well, except for that one anonymous troll in the comments of the previous entry. Mean people don't make my day. The rest of you, please take this if you choose. Because your visits and comments show that you're at least interested in what I write. And that makes my day. Thank you!!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Tootsie Talks ~ Some People Listen

Tootsie's weekly advice column. She's no expert, although she's not really sure what constitutes "expert". If it involves school, she attended the school of Very Strong Opinions. Questions are welcomed. Answers may borderline ridiculous.

Today's slogan is: "Gonna Be a While? Grab a Tootsie" preferably by the nipples.

Q: Dorothy seeks advice from her older sister, Tootsie, and would like to know: "The answer to this might be obvious and I might be stupid but is it okay to wear skinny jeans with a pair of wedges? Like this kind of wedge".

A: First of all, Stupid, those shoes are HAUTE! Secondly, I submit to you dear readers the person asking such a question:
(click to enhance and behold gorgeous)

You are young, hip and with it. I get much of my own style tips from observing you and making some age appropriate adjustments to accommodate a thirtysomething year old's wardrobe. I think it's quite obvious to anyone that A) you should be a contestant on the next installment of America's Next Top Model, and B) you could wear military issued combat boots with a dickie, layered with a poncho and pair it with your gym shorts and a top agent from Elite Modeling Agency would feature you on the cover of French Vogue. In that exact outfit. Inspiring millions of copycats. So, the answer is: yes, you can wear those wedges with skinny jeans and I would pair it with a billowy baby doll top to balance it out. A fitted shirt with that combination would be too, um, much. But maybe that's just the big sister in me. I, however, have to reserve my wedge wearing for skirts and wide leg pants. Because I need some balancing out but for whole other reasons. Now let's discuss chastity belts and the evils of pre-marital sex.

Q: Calicobebop is having difficulties with her face and wants to know: "Here's my question: I'm in my "early" 30's and I don't intend to age gracefully but I'm not ready for surgery. Yet. I've been able to tackle the crow's feet with moisturizers but the laugh lines are resistant. Any advice? Much obliged. Thanks a million!"

A: I'm being completely serious when I advise you to get to the nearest Target or drug store and purchase some L'Oreal Wrinkle De-Crease (night) cream. After countless attempts with a trabillion different lotions, I swear by this stuff. I would swear on my mother's grave except that she is still alive. Although she has a myriad of health issues and is a self-described basket case. So I swear on my mother's basket that this actually produces results (and my first attempt at typing "results" was "resluts" which is something else entirely and you don't even want to know). Use it as the last step in your nightly face cleansing routine. Apply it firmly with the heels of your hands and to tackle those laugh lines; use them as a starting point and rub towards your ears and up. Do this until it is evenly distributed and absorbed. Even use a smidgen before applying your makeup in the morning but not a lot or things can get a little "oil slick" looking. I also use it on my forehead, around my eyes, and my neck. Use a little on your elbows too. You will thank me when you're in your late thirties for that last part. And if you run out replace it as soon as possible. Because if you don't, after a few days you'll exclaim "HOLY CRAP!" when you look in the mirror at the obvious deep creases around your mouth. This was the moment I truly realized that the stuff worked and it wasn't even kidding around.

Q: HRH from June Cleaver Nirvana has heard of my world renowned psychic abilities: "Do you know where I lost my favorite ring?"

A: I want to tell you it is either where you last left it or it is with all of those missing socks. But I'm going to tell you a little story about my friend and her missing ring. Years ago I was at a girlfriends apartment in the vanity area of her bathroom, getting ready for a girls night out; and she was beside herself over her missing ring. I told her the story about my mother's friend who had once lost her favorite ring only to find it weeks later in the grooves of the automatic sliding doors at the mall. My girlfriend then slid open her closet doors to discover her own ring in the grooves of the track of her own closet. I'm pretty sure she was convinced, for quite some time, that I was Samantha Stevens from Bewitched. So, check all known sliding doors and get back to me.

Q: Holly from Anglophile Football Fantatic writes in via email to know: "I am in need of some new jeans. I have a very large butt and a pear shaped body. What kind of jeans work best for my figure."

A: I have seen pictures of you on your blog and I am skeptical about this so-called "very large butt and pear shaped body". I think you're being overly critical but I will indulge you. And I can sum up the answer to your question in two words: Boot Cut (or is it one word? Or a hyphenated word? Ah hell). In all of my years of people watching and fashion magazine reading, this seems to be the one cut that is universally flattering. Anyone who isn't shaped like a twelve year old boy should stay away from skinny or tapered leg jeans. And please don't confuse the boot cut (bootcut? possible. boot-cut? maybe. Google says? All three) for a flared leg jean. Because if you're pear shaped (if you say so) flared will make your bottom half look like a triangle and your top look like an upside down one trying to balance point to tip in the middle. Which makes you look like a walking geometry problem and causing fellow members of society to try to recall the formula for the Pythagorean Theorem. And math makes people cranky. And you might punch someone in the face if they touch your ass with their protractor. Which, you should.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Senseo. I'll Give You a Hint: It's not a Ninja

Mr. Farklepants was raving about the best darned cup of coffee he's ever tasted when he arrived home from work one day last week. I was skeptical and, knowing him as well as I do, believed that it was the novelty of the single serving feature of the contraption rather than the beverage itself that had him so enamored. He then proceeded to pitch the coffee maker to me, and I in my usual way, begged off any more gadgets that will clutter up my valuable counter space. It's what I do. This is our thing. Imagine my complete expectation surprise when this arrived via courier:

The Senseo. Or, as Mr. Farklepants described it, "It's Senseosional". Yes, he did. And us without our house orchestra to provide the rimshot. But I am the Ed McMahon to his Johnny Carson (and sometimes vice versa) the following real life commentary took place:

Me: I can't believe you're brewing a cup of coffee all by yourself.
Him: I don't know what's weirder. Me doing it or you taking pictures of it. To blog about it.
Me: That's a lot of machine for just one cup of coffee.
Him: That's what she said.
Me: Who gets the first cup?
Him: You. Here, it's extra frothy.
Me: (requisite questions) Did you spit in this?
Him: Not this time.
Me: Was your penis instrumental in the creation of the frothiness?
Him: (seemingly unfazed) Not this time. (my comments no longer hold any shock value where he's concerned)

We enjoy our individually brewed coffees. And resume conversation:

Me: So, where are we going to store this thing?
Him: You're never going to use it are you?
Me: I don't even know how.
Him: I just demonstrated it for you. Twice.
Me: Oh. I wasn't paying attention.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

She had to Google the Proper Spelling of "Truancy"

Main Entry:
1tru·ant Listen to the pronunciation of 1truant
Middle English, vagabond, idler, from Anglo-French, of Celtic origin; akin to Old Irish trógán wretch, trúag wretched
14th century
: one who shirks duty; especially : one who stays out of school without permission


To Whom it may Concern,

Please excuse Tootsie from abandoning her blog Tuesday, April 1st. She was absent due to the initial onset of cabin fever induced by Spring Break which began this week; causing her children to incite riots amongst each other, senseless bickering, and extreme boredom. As a veteran, she immediately recognized these symptoms. Monday afternoon, she felt it was in the best interest of her family's lives if she threw her children in the car, tossed some miscellaneous overnight gear willy-nilly into the back, and brought the motley crew and their chaos two hours north to her sister in law's house. Sister in law provides much needed comic relief for Tootsie. Plus wine. And empathy. Within 30 minutes of the Farklepants intrusion upon the extended family, this disruption occurred:

And Tootsie was instructed to please stop trying to tidy up. It was a futile act; which somewhere in the recesses of her mind [perhaps trapped in the Corpus Callosum or clinging to some basal ganglia ], Tootsie knew. So she begrudgingly obliged.

The spontaneous trip allowed Girl-Child and her 3 year old cousin to get their fix of one another. They are kindred spirits. BFF's. And are often jonesing for each other which is signaled by incessant whining from both parties. Sister in law and family live just far away enough that visiting if often postponed unnecessarily. Because, although it is far; it's not that far. This trip also gave Tootsie a chance to snuggle with her youngest niece, who was only 5 weeks old the last time she saw her. Now? She is 5 months and very munchable. Expect to see her featured in snappy packaging on your local toy store shelves this Christmas as the latest edition Cabbage Patch Doll. Because? Have you ever seen a baby that looked more like a Cabbage Patch Doll than this?...

I think not. It also gave Boy-Child#1 and his uncle the opportunity to converse via guitar riffs, although, with less Deliverance-ness; and Boy-Child#2 to demonstrate that he possesses the exact amount of energy as a shitzu puppy. He was not about to be one upped by that fluffy squeak toy.

So, please excuse Tootsie's neglect. She'd like to say with all sincerity that it won't happen again, but she won't because she would be lying. In fact, she reserves the right for future episodes in the next two weeks.

Yours Truly,
Tootsie's Blog Conscience