Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Excuse Me While I Slip a Sudden Intuitive Realization into Your Tuesday Morning

I was recently posed the question from a mother of a toddler:

How do you make yourself more interesting to your spouse when all that goes on in your day is kid related? I feel like I have nothing to talk about.

At the time it was asked, my Johnny-on-the-spot answer was something along the lines of there will be moments in your marriage when you feel you have nothing of interest to say and other times when neither of you shuts up. And unfortunately we've been conditioned to believe that meals shared in silence either signifies problems, or worse(?), that you're comfortable with each other because "comfort" has been given a bad rap. And heaven forbid we be comfortable with our spouse and who we are because "comfort" equals "boredom" and boredom breeds problems, real or imagined. And then we waste precious stress trying to become interesting. And ohmygod I could really go on for like three days about just being who you are and quit trying so damn hard.

Then I had an epiphany of sorts. If you're a married couple with children that IS a huge part of your life and who you are and it SHOULD be interesting to the person who helped create these people [however, this does not apply to other adults, like say, at a cocktail party with your spouses coworkers, where discussing the significance of the consistency and hue of poop might be met with...well, not the kind of interest you seek]. That equally important person in those children's lives should embrace the news of the events of the day that surround their child(ren). Ear infections, first words, finger foods, immunizations, and six wipe alarm blow-out diapers may not be SEXY or INTELLECTUAL, but they should damn well be interested in it. And if they're not then they should probably pull themselves aside and have a nice long chat about why that is.

Children are only children for such a short period of time before they're off creating lives of their own that may or may not involve you. And before you know it you're closing the chapter in your life entitled Parent to a Small Child. It should be a chapter that is relished, gobbled up, and hard to put down because it's the shortest chapter in the big book of life; and not treated as a void that needs to be filled until it passes.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Then and Now Tutorial Courtesy of Google Images

Then (can you say orange?):

Now (can you say cha-ching?!):

Then (French-cut and pantyhose?):

Now (viva la comfort):





Then (condom failure):

Now (condom failure):
Brought to you by the extravagant cost of hair maintenance, the too often occurrence of work-out clothes as a fashion staple, the straight hair revolution, battling chin acne in my thirties, and stepping on an empty box of PlanB in the parking lot of the grocery store [Teenager? Or mother of four that was all, oh heeellll no? Discuss].

Friday, September 26, 2008

What Color are My Eyes?

Last week when I went in for my physical I took the time to fill out my owner's manual all the paper work detailing my health history, that of my family, and I think maybe my neighbor, and possibly my babysitter from when I was like five; and I'm not sure but I think when all was said and done, after dotting the I's and crossing the T's I might have bought a house. Or a car. Or adopted an infant. Then once inside the exam room I was asked the same exact questions by the doctor who entered the information into the computer as I answered. I was all, I have these papers. And she was like, yeah yeah yeah shut up. If they're not going to bother to look at the paperwork you've filled out why do they insist that it be done at all? I don't know about you but I'd rather skim through an outdated gossip magazine than be given busy work for the waiting room. Whatevs.

Blood was drawn from one arm while the other was accosted by a tetanus shot which immediately rendered my left arm useless with all the hurty. We discussed my concerns about unpredictable menstrual cycles and what the hell is up with my hormones but I don't want to over-share here. At some point there was a breast exam, which is just not my kind of party, and was followed with, "have you ever had a mammogram"? And I was all lalalalalalaIcanthearyoulalalala no. Apparently I've reached that age coupled with family history and Mars being in retrograde - an appointment was scheduled and for the week leading up to it I was in moderate freak-out mode.

I'd heard tales of the discomfort, the support groups who accompany each other to these things, the awfulness of it all, my own mother with her Godspeed my friend, and ohdearlord the squishing. The compressing. The pancaking of the girls. Mah BOOHBS. The literature I was given warned of possible bruising, pain that may or may not be soothed by over the counter pain relievers and please contact your primary physician for the street hardcore shit, and um...ew...potential nipple discharge? And I'm all what fucking Conan the Barbarian designed this instrument of torture?

Then I had it done. Could it have been any less of a big deal? No. No, it really couldn't. If you've never had this done and were worried about what it feels like, grab your wrist with your hand and give it a good squeeze. Eight times. All done.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Tell a friend. And tell them the damn truth.

In other news not related to my rack:

I read a book.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Those With Delicate Constitutions Should Drive With Their Eyes Closed

This photo was taken by Mr. Farklepants yesterday morning on his way to work. Which apparently was no easy feat at 90 miles per hour a great rate of speed in his natural gas Honda while trying to train and focus his Blackberry on the tail of this woman's car. Yes, that's right you heard me. Woman. A woman is driving around with this on her car.

I'll never look at a Porche the same way again. And I'd really hate to be engaged in a word association game and have someone say "Porche" and then watch in horror the word that escapes these lips.

What's the most interesting vanity plate you've read? And/or what does yours (assuming you have one) say about you?

**We here at Vintage Thirty would like to extend our thanks to Mr. Farklepants for risking his life and the lives of others to provide blog fodder. We think he's kinda rad.**

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hopefully Curiosity Does Not Kill a Blogger

*Let's try this again with a poll that actually gives you options. Please excuse my publishing faux pas*

I've been pretty good about keeping politics off this blog, for the most part. And I don't plan to start but you never know. I'm nothing if not inconsistent and random. But I am curious to know a little about the demographic that visits here. That means YOU! Please partake in this very scientific poll, where scientific means not at all. Your vote is anonymous even to me. Unless of course you have something you need to get off your chest in the comments section, but that's up to you. Rock Click the Vote!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The More Than Adequate Bowl's Fifteen Minutes

In response to yesterday's post, O'Neil left the following comment:

"Wait, what about that awesome green bowl? What do I need to do to win IT? I got a thing for green in my kitchen ;) lol!"

Well, let me tell you about my little green bowl. I bought it just after Christmas last year at Cost Plus World Market -and if you don't have one of these near you that is a crime and you should draw up a petition, hit the pavement, and contact your state and city officials to get a team on this toot sweet because this is the greatest store ever and if you were wondering what to get me for my birthday that's coming up in the next couple of weeks, gift cards are welcome. I'm kidding. My birthday is twenty-nine days away- ahem. The bowl. I spied it sitting precariously on the clearance rack, our eyes met, and I knew she had to be mine. She was originally $19.99 with a red 40% off ticket slapped on her backside -the saucy tart. This put her at twelve dollars. But wait! She was sitting on the 75% off shelf! [I did the math in my head and was all, so are they going to pay me to take this? Answer: Repeat basic math you insufferable dolt] ...Which took an additional $9 off of that sale price. She was mine for the low low price of $3, that's right. [Or as my mother in law would say, what a coup! That's for you Mr. Farklepants because I've now saved you the trouble of typing those exact words in the comment section. You're welcome]

Warning: the bowl is made of wood and only good for dry items like dinner rolls or fake food or contest giveaways. In other words, it is not water tight which I found out while demonstrating a more v less experiment for Boy-Child#2 and poured three cups of water into it. Which promptly leaked all over the kitchen counter - who knew?

If you like green you will probably also be interested in my massive water wine goblets [also from Cost Plus World Market but not for three dollars]:

They were a Christmas gift from Mr. Farklepants. And also my parents. Because it was one of those random occurrences where everyone got me the same gift where random equals every damn holiday [the rest of the family is also not immune to multiple duplicate gifts and you'd think by now we'd remember to hang on to receipts -not bloody likely]

Now I've got my eye on this beauty:

However, I doubt I'll walk away with her for three dollars. And she's much too pretty to sit on or rest your stinkin' feet. Because if there's one more thing my family has been begging for it's another piece of furniture they're not allowed to touch. I've heard whispers of a mutiny being staged.

*bowl and goblet photos by Dorothy Z. Stool photo Cost Plus website

Monday, September 22, 2008

Big Phat Weiners!

I made you wait a whole weekend but the time is here. Our winners for the giveaway! I hope the suspense didn't keep you from important tasks like spending quality family time together, tackling that pile of laundry, or doing something about that stubborn hard water stain that has taken up residence in your toilet--or is that just me? Not to tarnish my reputation as an extremely lazy person, I once again typed, in lieu of handwriting, each individual entrants name into Word and printed out the substantial listssss.

Then I had to do some physical labor and take scissor to paper and cut them into equal parts. And oh the folding! And the tossing into the more than adequate bowl that pulled a Brett Favre and was all, retire who?

Then I had to pull Mr. Farklepants away from his important duties that included applying WD40 on the hinges of the kitchen cabinets and also testing the spaghetti sauce simmering for dinner. I should let you know up front that there are two winners and no one won the gift of scorn [i.e. winning both gift cards]...Without further ado, the winner of the $25 Shell Gas Card is:

Congratulations Kathy in Alabama! I'm happy to give you gas.

The winner of the $25 Starbucks gift card is:

And a hearty congratulations to you, Collette! Your name is very French, no? Enjoy your coffee! Or should I say...appréciez votre café...oui?

Please email your contact information to me ladies at tootsiefarklepants(at)yahoo.com and I will promptly send you your winnings!

Thank you everyone for participating! It could be another year before the next giveaway because, I'm tired y'all.

P.S. It wasn't until composing this post that I realized a glaring typo in the rules of the contest which stated that I would be announcing the winners on Monday, September 21st. Which doesn't exist [at least not this year]. I meant Monday. Monday the 22nd. That Monday. I'm dumb.

Friday, September 19, 2008

He Could Find the Whole Meaning of Life in Her Sad Eyes

I finally got around to watching Waitress this past weekend. I don't know if it was the storyline or the PMS but I can attest to its tissue-worthiness. It's a good flick to curl up with on those "I just wanna be a chick" days when you want to get in touch with your whole gamut of emotions but don't want to go all Terms of Endearment or Steel Magnolias where you're left in a sobbing pile of feminine fetal position. You know, when you want your guts tweaked not wrenched.

Plus there's this:

Helllooooo Jason Bateman Nathan Fillion who plays Doctor Feel Good Pomatter. A gynecologist who makes me want to say, doctor it hurts when I do this do you have some kind of salve you could rub on me. I may just have to force myself to start watching Desperate Housewives or reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I had no idea just what I was missing! His large head and face will make a nice addition to my list.

You know THE LIST. And you have one.

P.S. Today is the last chance to enter the giveaway!

*Totally hot picture from Google Images

Thursday, September 18, 2008

And Doesn't Give You Nicole Kidman Forehead

While getting my hair done last week I couldn't help but notice how beautiful my hairdresser's skin is. She quite literally glows and seems to have zero pores. Not that this is a total anomaly but she's in her forties and looks to be about thirty-two maybe.

I've been using Clinique foundation for most of my adult life and I have recently noticed that either they've changed the formula of their CityBase foundation or my own chemical makeup is making its transition to middle age. What was once a perfect product for my skin is now too thick, too dry, too cakey and too noticeable. I'm aware of its presence and I hate that. And Mr. Farklepants is aware of it too. On the rare day that I skip the primping process and let my hair air dry and leave my face au natural he'll say, "Did you do something different today"? And I'm all, I didn't do anything period. And he's like, "Why DO you wear makeup anyway? You look better without it" and then I tear off my velour track pants and roll around on him [kind of the glue in our marriage].

Ahem. So not really being one to embrace change, I've put off trying to find a suitable substitute for the Clinique. But if my hairdresser can look that amazing then I wanted to know her secret and since she's a pro she might know some tricks of the trade. Her secret? Oil of Olay somethingorother tinted something whatsawhosit. I don't know. I didn't write it down. Then I found myself in Walmart the makeup aisle with unlimited options before me and terribly confused. And I settled for this:

Cue the Hallelujah Chorus. It is Revlon's Age Defying Makeup and it is not even joking. It contains Botafirm™, which contrary to what you may think, does not keep your yacht from sagging [although, maybe it does since I've yet to test that theory by rubbing it on a sea worthy vessel]. I'll tell you what it IS though: it's magic. It's a new friggen face in a bottle is what it is. It goes on light and smooth. It's not greasy nor does it become so hours later. It's not too thick but also not too sheer. It smooths out lines instead of sinking into them. And the fantastic part is [as if that all wasn't enough] that it's virtually undetectable. And half the price of the Clinique.

The fountain of youth comes in a 1.25 ounce bottle for $11.69!

*Warning: For external use only. Do not use on infants.*

P.S. Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Vintage Thirty Gives You Gas

Today is a birthday of sorts. One year ago, on this day, Vintage Thirty was born. And oh how she's grown! And been Stumbled and Kirtsy-ed! The response to my blog over the past year is utterly and overwhelmingly flattering. Many topics have been discussed here and we've bonded over: Tampons, Beowulf, Self-Check Out Lanes, and one of the most popular posts which garnered the most comments because you guys are not even kidding about - After Game Snacks. You know, serious issues - where serious means: not at all.

[Brief digression: Regarding the after game snacks. Last Saturday was my turn on the soccer snack roster and I provided raisin snack packs and orange juice boxes. One mother returned to me and handed over the THREE boxes of raisins (you know for the player and his two siblings) stating "here, my children won't eat these" with what can only be described as contempt. What have you got against the raisin? They're just grapes and sunshine! Natures candy! Did I mention sunshine?]

You all. Are. Fabulous. Words cannot express how grateful I am that approximately eleventy-quadruple-hundred of you visit daily; whatever your reason for doing so, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude. And what better way to do that than with buying your affection presents! And not just something you'll stick on a shelf and say "oh, that's nice". This is gas people! Liquid gold! And hopefully there is a Shell gas station near you so that you can use this $25 gift card!

The rules are the same as my one and only other giveaway.

  1. Leave a comment. Anything you want to say tell me I'm pretty by Friday, September 19th at 11:59pm
  2. You can leave as many comments telling me I'm pretty as you want but your name will only count once.
  3. I will write each name on a slip of paper.
  4. I will put those names into the more than adequate bowl.
  5. Mr. Farklepants will draw the name and that person will win!
  6. I will announce the winner on Monday, September 21st.
  7. That person will email me with their contact information and I will send them the gift card.
  8. The winner will fill up a quarter of their tank with the super fantastic gas card.

If you do nothing but comment act now you could win a fabulous $25 Starbucks gift card! In fact, if your name is drawn for the gas card, your name will go back in the more than adequate bowl for the chance to win both! And won't people be mad at you if you win the entire giveaway! [Rhetorical, hence the exclamation point instead of the question mark] So please enter for the possibility to win gas, coffee, and possible scorn! I mean, who wouldn't want that?

Thank you!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Think We Can All Breath a Sigh of Relief That I Didn't Need the Sewing Machine

It was decided that the children's names were to be put on their soccer jerseys. I'm going to spare you the rant because, seriously, I'm sick of me. Anyway, when the boys play softball, the coach takes it upon himself and by that first game the players have their shirts with their names on them. At least that's been the case. Strike that. I'm lying right to you. There was one exception the year that I was team mom and I had the names put on the shirts [Helpful hint: don't trust the spelling of the children's names on the coach's roster and make sure to verify with the parents first because you might end up with an extremely displeased mother on your hands and find yourself intimidated by her calling every establishment in the yellow pages until you find the one clear across town that can remove the letters and fix it without damaging the shirt. Because of course the place that originally put the names on aren't in the business of removing them. Reason #1 that I will never be a team mom again].

Instead of pooling together the six dollars per player to have this professionally done; I can only surmise that someone wanted to see the look on my face when I heard the words "iron" and "on". Two little known facts about me: 1) I'm one of those people who would rather pay someone to do something for me, especially because: 2) Iron, who?

I am not one of those crafty mothers. If a button comes off your shirt I can probably get it back on but I make no guarantee that it will stay for any length of time; like through the end of the day. Or that it will actually line up with the button hole. Details. So not only did I have to A) locate my iron which I'm sure I hadn't seen since the day we moved in here eleven years ago, but B) I had to follow craft directions, get the letters in a straight line, and most importantly C) not melt the shirt.

After dusting the iron [I'm not even kidding please click to enlarge]

I arranged the letters on Girl-Child's soccer jersey and managed to get the job done. So what if there is a slight angle. I never promised it would be done right. I would show you the finished product but I do attempt anonymity when it comes to my children so you're going to have to trust me on this one. And now I know which player is my child because before this I totally couldn't figure it out. Oh, okay, number six IS my daughter. I wasn't sure.

P.S. New post up at Blissful Buzz, check it out! [Note: the last word of my article was "vagina". I'm going to give my poor editor a heart attack with my scandalousness]

Monday, September 15, 2008

This is Why They Don't Put Me in Charge: I'm Such a Downer

School has been in session for just over a month now and fall is rapidly approaching which can only mean one thing: FUND-RAISING SEASON! And it's on like Donkey Kong. It all started innocently enough with the PTA and PAC membership drives before school commenced. But that's to be expected. The photo above is an actual photo [no stunt papers or manila folders were used in the creation of this post] of fund-raising paraphernalia ONLY [as in: separate from all the other school related memos and such] that is taking over my kitchen table. Our fund-raising schedule, let me show you it:

  1. Camp Read-Aloud: For $5 a head you can get a hot dog and a drink then travel from tent to tent one fine evening on the elementary school campus and have stories read to you. Would your family also like to host a tent?
  2. Magazine Drive: This organization descends upon the junior high with promises of such prizes as a chance to spin the money wheel, a limo ride to some Disney something-or-other, a trip in the mobile video game trailer, or an iPhone! They DO inform the children that they're going to have to sell about eleven-seventy magazine subscriptions to even qualify for the grand prizes but what they fail to instill is that there are parents out there like Mr. Farklepants and I who won't take this thing to work or every Tom, Dick, and Harry and solicit every random person we've ever met. So the prize the child is most likely to win is a blinking plastic ring or a key chain that farts.
  3. Fall Carnival: This elementary school event is threefold. And possibly four and fivefold as well. First there is the carnival itself which is $7 dollars per person to attend. This price includes access to unlimited games, inflatable thingamajiggies, a DJ for your listening pleasure [often with inappropriate music, wtf Drop it Like it's Hot?], however...
  4. It does not include the catered bbq. That's an additional $7.50 per person.
  5. In addition there are the raffle tickets that are to be sold prior to the carnival to enter the drawing to win things like big screen televisions or a cruise to Mexico. Raffle tickets? $5 a pop [better than last year's $10]. Five dollars is kind of a lot for a slim chance to win a kick ass cruise, dontchya think? The raffle tickets also put you in the drawing for the other fund-raising item...
  6. A themed basket. Each room is tasked with creating a gift basket filled with items donated by the parents. Often it becomes only a few of many families that end up making a contribution and the room mom is left to either make do or contribute the remaining items herself. Sucks to be you, Room Mom!
  7. The themed basket is then up for silent auction during the fall carnival. I mean, those that aren't designated for the drawing.
  8. You mean you need cakes donated for the cake walk too? Is store bought okay, because seriously, have you tried my cake?
You can't solicit your neighbors because they're all, "um, our kids go to the same school and we've got our own shit to hock which is the very same shit so get off my front porch". And after you've exhausted all your friends, family, and co-workers with the magazine drive they're not likely to want to participate any further. And you don't have the nerve to ask unless you're insane.

It's all become so complicated. I needed an advanced degree just to fill out my magazine subscription order. Even our grocery store receipts cannot escape. Someone will be out front to collect them at drop off. To hell with school spirit...Can't we just write one big check to cover it all and be done with it? Can we please stop dangling cheap plastic farting carrots and trying to turn our children into little Glengarry Glen Rosses?

So I'm bitching about all of this [as is my way] to my esthetician while she waxed my brows Sunday morning and she's all, "Give me a break! I've got back to back appointments to remove hair from unspeakable places ON THE SABBATH so please spare me! My relationship with the Lord is in jeopardy"... maybe she didn't really say that but there was a look. I can't help how I interpret these things.

Man, I wish they were selling chocolate bars though. Because I'm totally PMSing which is going to make that well woman check up tomorrow quite the adventure.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

All In Good Fun

Trying to kill half an hours worth of time while Boy-Child#1 and Boy-Child#2 were busy with their guitar and drum lessons, respectively, the Girl-Child and I played this little game. And for whatever reason she thought it was the funniest thing since anything with physical comedy in it [and that she genuinely appreciates physical comedy warms the cockles of my cold dead heart].

The game went something like this:

Girl-Child: You have teeth in your mouth.
Tootsie: You have a duck in your mouth!


Girl-Child: You have a frog in your mouth!
Tootsie: You have a sock full of pennies in your mouth!

LOLZ good one mom.

I'm a riot!

Girl-Child: You have a Legos in your mouth!
Tootsie: You have an elbow in your mouth!


(maybe you had to be there to appreciate the peals of full belly laughter)

20 minutes later...

Girl-Child: You have an armpit in your mouth!
Tootsie: Ooohh good one. You have a foot in your mouth!
Girl-Child: You have a MAN in your mouth!!!
Tootsie: ......

Game over.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

If There is One More Meeting About It I Might Get Snarky. In Public.

I've got to get this off my chest. It's something that has been bugging me since my first experience with it, and frankly, I think it should be stopped. As a matter of fact, I don't know when it started because I'll tell you this: It didn't exist when my little brother played in the Little League. That's right; I'm talking about after game snacks. Back in my day if you worked up an appetite in an hour's worth of running, tagging, sliding, catching, and maybe four up at bats [if you didn't strike out] and a whole bunch of bench sitting; then you hit the nearest concession stand post-game or ate when you got home. Or, for those with money to burn, there was a restaurant with your name on it somewhere en route to your house. We were poor so eating out was a huge treat. And rare.

This whole snack obsession has gotten out of hand. There's a whole schedule and each family has their designated day. And ohmygod if you're going to miss a day could you please set it up with another family and possibly trade days because holyshit we can't have a game unless treats will be served afterwards and dearlord when one family is saddled with the snack and another with the drinks and then that one family is going to make the game but heavenstobetsy the other will be out of town that day WHAT WILL THE CHILDREN DRINK THE POOR DEHYDRATED DEARS THAT HAVE BEEN GUZZLING BOTTLES OF WATER THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE GAME what of the children?

Then one family wants to be the Joneses that everyone is trying to keep up with and bring fresh from the bakery donuts. So that other mom brings homemade cupcakes with the team logo on them the next week because who the hell do the Joneses think they are anyway...and...wtf? Who brought fruit snacks? how embarrassing....losers.

What's that you say? Some parents are concerned about sugary snacks?

I'm sorry, did you say something else there? Little Jake is allergic to soy? Jill is allergic to tree nuts?

Did you really just suggest fruit as an alternative? You want me to slice up a melon and hand this out?

No, no. I'm aware that I should also consider that siblings will be at the game and that if it wouldn't be too much trouble to please have enough on hand.

Problem? Me? I'm sorry, it's just that well, not that I want to be the voice of reason or anything but have you BEEN in the produce section lately? Did it even occur to you just how much twelve or more apples would cost? Why don't I just buy them all a Lexus and be done with it?

You mean eliminating the snack altogether isn't an option? Wow, do I ever feel foolish. I apologize for my moment of clarity.

And then there's the team mom** who's been tasked with setting up the schedule and bless her heart for volunteering because she's trying to please all of the people all of the time and only pleasing some of the people some of the time....because there's always that one. That one mom who didn't bother to volunteer to BE the team mom but she's perfectly happy to tell you how you should do it and consequently how you're doing it wrong. And follows up every criticism with a "it's just a suggestion" and a sticky smile. And you try to smile back but it conveys your message perfectly. Which is: Please die it's just a suggestion.

I feel the same way about after game snacks as I do about every team and every child getting a trophy. It's ridiculous. Trophy? Earn it. It builds character.

Seriously, I just want to watch my daughter enjoy playing soccer. If all your kid wants is a trophy and a pack of Ho-Hos then make that happen. Leave the rest of us alone.

Remind me sometime to tell you how I feel about birthday party goodie bags.

**contrary to what may have been conveyed here; I am NOT the team mom. I did that once and let me say this: it will be a cold day in hell where I'm impaled on a satanic icicle before I ever accept that challenge again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Someone Stop Her From Making Horrible Puns

It was your average idyllic weekday morning. The fog haze cloud cover sun was just becoming full; throwing itself across the yard and warming the stucco of our neighborhood. Birds began their songs and the sounds of dry dog food hitting the dish were interrupted by a curious noise. Hmm, I say to myself; If I didn't know better I'd say my bush was humming [put that in your euphemism and smoke the shit out of it]. Whatever could that be? I wondered.

Was it coming from the avocado branch tree? and when we say tree we use the term loosley. Like, totally.

Five years and still no guacamole. Clearly this is not a fruit bearing stick.

How about the potted flowers that are still sitting in the vinca major left over from that wedding reception we held in our backyard nine years ago?

Maybe those bags of sand for that brief moment of sandbox building ambition?

[Fun little known physics fact: When twenty pound bags of play sand are left outdoors and exposed to things like moisture, dew, sprinklers, rain, and other things that fall under otherwise known as the elements? They become boulders.]

Could it be the dog's hidey hole?

[Little known home improvement fact: If you leave a piece of plywood leaning against your house for half a decade quite some time, the dog will build a fort out of it. All. By. Herself.]

Have you met the weeds plants that sprang forth from out of fricken nowhere and also managed to space themselves perfectly apart? Our yard does its own landscaping because it was all, "That chick that lives here? And us? Never gonna happen. Commence with the planting of yourselves".

Let's look a little closer at that do it itself garden:

ACK!!! BEES!!! Like, a million of them!

So many that I lost count and started naming them. We've got a swarm not to be confused with a "B" movie from the '70's. This swarm is not starring Richard Widmark. I'm not so much for the flying stinging insects. In fact, I have an irrational fear of them. Just another example of how I risked my delicate psyche to provide blog fodder. You're welcome.

Your Attention is Being Redirected

My new entry is up yesterday today at Blissful Buzz! Please to enjoy while I procrastinate put the finishing touches on today's post [Translation: The sun needs to be up so that I can take pictures outdoors. Cameras are funny about light that way].

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I've Been a Bit Busy. Introducing...The Drive By Post

Dear Calvin Klein,

The first time you used models that appeared prepubescent and their gender indistinguishable, it was edgy. It was hip. Now it's just tired. The fact that you still use this tactic in your ad campaigns can mean only one of two things: you're very loyal to your ad agency and aren't packing the testicular magnitude to demand their direction lead to an idea anywhere near the realm of fresh, OR? You're a little obsessed [have you met Captain Obvious Pun? She's sitting right here] with it, whatever about it "it" is.

Please stop with this and make with the post haste:

While you're at it, bring this back:

Thanks! You're a peach. A fierce peach.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Things That Fall Under the Not Bloody Likely Category: Bending it Like Beckham

I've been a mother for coming up on twelve years now. When my marriage was in its infancy and Mr. Farklepants and I awaited our woops! first born; we traded in my sporty little coupe for a mini-van [of which I was simultaneously impressed and repulsed by its practicality and convenience] Repulsion finally prevailed, coincidentally when the three year lease was up, and the mini-van was traded in for a giant SUV [back when it was still an acceptable mode of transportation] which was eventually replaced with a more modest sized SUV. Somehow along the way, two more children appeared. Probably a result of all that sex... I hear that's the usual way.

Anyway...with kids there have been t-ball and softball games, ballet and tap classes and recitals. There are guitar lessons and also the drums. And with the boys having never shown an interest; I'd managed to escape the label: Soccer Mom.

And then Girl-Child happened:

Saturday was the first game of the season! It was kind of a disaster. Not in an act of God fire and brimstone, flooding and locusts kind of way; but in a lacking in any kind of technique or strategy. And possibly the only time disaster can be described as: awww...cute. The players were a roving mass of yellow and green with flailing limbs situated with shin guards and stylish cleats. Kind of like a giant ball of co-ed yarn with appendages. And ponytails and buzz-cuts.

Here is where I pray: Please Jesus God little girl don't kick my daughter in the face. Ohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease...aaannnd...please dear Lord, no. Wow nice calves dads...wait, what were we doing? Oh right, praying. Amen.

The temperature outside was such that you would swear you were sitting on planet Mercury. If Mercury had suburbs, tract housing, plastic surgery chain restaurants and a Borders. And a community park perched on a parcel of land with panoramic views of sun bursts the valley below. The opposing team clearly has a better education in weather preparedness than our own. [Please note that weather preparedness can be purchased at Costco in the form of a pop-up tent. Make that two pop-up tents.] My inadequate beach umbrella was no match for the morning sun and what little shade it provided was mine all mine, mine, mine, mine and if I sat just so and curled my feet up under my chair I could avoid catching on fire. I don't think they've yet invented sunscreen that can withstand the heat of reentry.

With five minutes left in the game, Girl-Child volunteered herself for a spot under my umbrella on the bench, because she was, and I quote: "getting to sweaty". She is her mother's daughter.

And by 9pm that evening, she was running a fever of 101.5 which could be one of two things: heat stroke or kindergarten. Both valid suspects but I'm leaning heavily towards kindergarten.

**all photos brought to you by Mr. Farklepants' new girlfriend the Canon 40D. She's a total whore but I kind of like her.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Official Sunday Business

This past week the bloggy love floweth over. The Girl Next Door has presented my little corner of the internet with the I Love Your Blog award!

Thank you so much, Girl Next Door! In the spirit of the sisterhood of the traveling blog awards, I wish to pass this along to the following blogs that I read daily. In fact, I'm sure you've heard of them:

1) Mrs. G. of Derfwad Manor (seriously, go read this post here [if you haven't already] and you'll see why Mrs. G. is one of my daily reads)
2) Mr. Lady, the hilarious blog mistress of Whiskey in My Sippy Cup
3) Jenny, The Bloggess (Two words: Transvestite army)

I've received the following awards from some lovely ladies! Although, I've accepted these awards in the past, I wanted to publicly acknowledge those that presented them to me and thank them. And if I could, grope them inappropriately. Because I'm touchy feely like that.

Patty from In Search of Fun Patty sent this Kick-ass Blogger award my way! Thank you Patty!!

AGSoccerMom of Ramblings of a Soccer Mom passed this Brillante award along:

And finally, one of my oldest (as in length of time) bloggy friends the Stay at Home Mom Going Quickly Insane handed me the Arte y Pico, which truly humbles me.

While you're at it, check out Stay At Home Mom Going Quickly Insane's Little Miss Blackwell blog!

Thank you so much ladies!!! Have a great rest of the weekend!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Oh Look! It's Another Poll!...and Possibly a Divorce (not really)

So, who takes care of automobile maintenance in your house? For the most part, I take care of my own car. I don't like to but I do. And the reason I don't like it isn't because I'm afraid to talk to mechanics like a certain someone in this house believes [oh, and remind me to tell you about the time that the certain someone told my DAD exactly that. My dad who is a bit of a...how do I put this delicately...chauvinist and how I've spent my life cultivating the idea that I'm an independent woman with a good head on her shoulders and how that certain someone now validated that women are the inferior sex with that one sentence, from her husband. A man. Bygones], no. It's because I know I'll do it wrong.

EXHIBIT A: (from the way back machine) Take my car to Jiffy Lube for an average oil change. A new serpantine belt is recommended presenting its frayed self as proof. I approve the additional work. I get in trouble when I get home.

EXHIBIT B: (from the way back machine) Take my car to Jiffy Lube for an average oil change. They recommend a new air filter and present its nasty self as proof. I decline because of all the smarting from the last time I foolishly approved. Once home, am told that I should have had them replace it.

W. T. F. ?

Imagine my apprehension when I recently took the car in for it's 40,000 mile service. Really it was the 30,000 mile service since I delayed it that long. The fretting and subsequent ulcer and erectile dysfunction cannot be accurately described. Imagine a burny, acidy refluxy sensation coupled with stabbing headache and irritable bowel syndrome. Not. Even. Close. In addition to the service, the dealership was also instructed to inspect my brake pads and rotors because FOR THE PAST YEAR they have been doing this kind of stuttering wonky wah-wah-wah thing upon stopping. Something I haven't exactly been keeping to myself, either. But that's neither here nor is it even right over there.

You know where this is going, right? Things were not good in the land of brake pads and rotors. I approved the additional work....without...wait for it...checking with a certain someone.

[On the plus side they did manage to fix the lock on the glove box (free of charge! how generous) that's been jammed shut for two years which means I can finally get that dammitifIhearthisonemoretime Black Eyed Peas CD out of the deck]

I'm officially absolving myself of any responsibility for car maintenance. I've taken my name off the roster. [Car Maintenance Roster: Tootsie Farklepants, see?] Choose your battles in marriage, people. This one can go suck an egg.

Which leads me to the poll, why? Because they're fun!

If you don't hear from me, I've been thrown out of the house for bringing this up in public. Wi-fi might be sketchy at my new digs... the freeway off ramp.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Nonsense

If you ever have the opportunity to come and visit me you'll never have to snoop around in my medicine cabinets or under my bathroom sink because I'm nothing if not an open book. These boxes are just two of the various feminine hygiene products I have stashed in several locations throughout the bathrooms of our home. The product on the left is what I like to call an inadvertent purchase. Meaning: all I read was Playtex super regular 36 unscented...grabbed it and ran.

Turns out, the box on the left contain some kind of athletic tampons designed for Olympic gymnasts the active woman. But not just any old active woman; the box clearly states they are for active lifestyles. Where active probably means tennis jogging swimming and some other kind of cardio that involves sweating [let the record show that we at Vintage Thirty frown upon sweating]. The box on the right are your ordinary Gentle Glides for the sedentary. I imagine that semi-active women, for instance, those who mop floors dust lampshades vacuum and run errands fall somewhere in between. [Note to Playtex: We'd like to see a prototype for the Average Housewife and Mother]

FYI: Inserting a sporty tampon does not inspire you to suddenly want to run a marathon. This is not the magic pill you seek for motivation and inspiration, kids. [Because when one thinks "magic" one does not envision a suppository. And who just pictured pulling a rabbit out of a...hat?]

Here is where I destroy two perfectly good tampons for my your entertainment. These will now have to go in the trash. And right now you're saying to yourself, "Tootsie? Don't you realize that there are women in third world countries that don't even HAVE tampons?" Trust me, this was a dilemma with which I grappled.

Let's compare their differences. New improved Sporty tampon on the left boasts a fuller bottom and more grippable applicator for the active vagina. It also contains tampon technology that includes an anti-leak back up layer [think: Jennifer Hudson's "Effie White" to Beyonce's "Deena Jones" in Dreamgirls...or something]. Gentle Glide on the right provides: "incredible comfort with a unique two-layer, cross pad design that opens equally all around" for all of that sitting and laying down and the eventual making of the beds.

I should mention that the Gentle Glide on the right is a Super-Plus and not from either of the boxes pictured above. It is from a box that is now empty and disposed of. Which begs the real question here: why do I have so many damn tampons? It's like I'm planning for some vaginal Armageddon and expecting NO survivors. You think I'm kidding? We haven't even discussed the panty liners and feminine napkins in my possession. Take comfort in knowing that if you're ever a guest in my home and your special friend pays a visit you will not have to resort to wadding up toilet paper and placing it strategically in your underpants. And risk that sucker working its way down the leg of your trousers.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Not Often Seen Midday Post

My first post is up at Blissful Buzz! Check it out! They are still experiencing some technical difficulties with the new site, so please bear with them.

I said please.

Later Taters.

It has Open Can of Worms Potential

If you knew me in my life outside this blog you would quickly learn that I am not one to tolerate drama. I do that by not getting involved in it in any way shape or form if it can be at all helped. If I know you (general real life you) to be a proverbial pot-stirrer; I will avoid you. I like my life comfortable, boring, and predictable. All grossly underrated attributes in my humble opinion.

Against my better judgment, and putting my comfort threshold at risk, I'm going to address a comment from yesterday's post. In yesterday's post I used the following scenario for my argument:

I once casually followed a woman around Target. Why? Because I wanted to see if she would really follow through with counting to ten and then getting in the car. Her son was busy in the back of the shopping cart throwing the grand mal tizzy to end all tizzies; hurling objects to and fro [also interchangeable with hither and yon]; basically acting like your average terrible two. Except he was about five. It was around the time that she had threated to "count to ten and then they were going to get in the car and I mean it!" for about the fourth time [at least that I heard] when I grew curious if she did, in fact, mean it. After she'd made the threat several times over, and by then had counted to infinity times pi squared; I finally grew bored with the scenario and, frankly, had run out of shopping to do.

I left. They did not. For all I know she's still there. Counting and threatening. And bobbing and weaving.

And it would seem that I ruffled a feather or two. The following comment from christina shaver prompted thought that just wouldn't leave my head until I wrote it down.
"Please stop judging other parents.

It could have been me at Target. And if it were and I knew you'd written this about me, I'd have a field day.

You would never know by looking at him, but I have a kid with special needs, and while it is no excuse for his behavior, it is still the reality that I need to deal with. Typical parenting does NOT work with kids who have special needs.

It could be entirely possible that this particular mom was just buying time and trying to keep a lid on things while she finished up some shopping. Taking it to the next level could very well have caused an explosion that would be way more unacceptable in public than what you witnessed. And maybe it was her decision that she needed to get these items more than she needed to deal with a blowout.

When you raise a kid with special needs, you're constantly having to choose between two lousy situations. That's something that I don't think most parents of "typical" kids understand."

First of all, we all judge other parents to some degree whether we say so out loud or not. There's nothing wrong with making judgments since it's how we determine our choices. If I were to send one of my kids to another's house for a play date, you'd better believe I judge that parent and their abilities before I send my child over to their care for the afternoon...

[and in some cases I've chosen to stay myself and supervise, like that one time? When I was friendly with another mom in Boy-Child#1's kindergarten class? And we would occasionally get together after school? But her son was kind of an ass to Boy-Child#1? And then he hit Boy-Child#1 in the face which shocked Boy-Child#1 because he was all, the hell? And said friendly mother handled the situation by assuring her son that instead of the TEN toys from Toys R Us he was promised, he was only going to get SIX. Yeah. Okay. buh-bye, then].

True story.

Secondly, my argument and point in yesterday's post was about parents who don't set boundaries [or the boundaries are inconsistent] and deliver hollow threats that have no real consequences; which can lead to negative behavior in the child. Let us say for a moment that the woman in the example illustrated above is a mother to a special needs child . Here is where I'll utilize the bullet points:
  • If your child's misbehavior is caused by his special needs then you wouldn't be issuing the threat of counting to 10 and going to the car because you would already know that it would be ineffective.
  • If you're issuing the aforementioned threat without intending to follow through and with the knowledge that it is ineffective, you are doing that child a disservice.
  • If you're "just buying time and trying to keep a lid on things while finishing up shopping" and doing it by issuing hollow threats, you're still being inconsistent and doing your child a disservice. And if buying time means allowing him to hurl objects that don't belong to you but rather the store, is also unacceptable.
  • If a parent isn't "willing to take it to the next level that may cause an explosion that would be more unacceptable that what was witnessed" is no excuse to say they are going to do something with the intent of doing nothing.
As you can see, I don't see much of a difference in raising a child with special needs and a "typical" child. The fundamentals are the same: setting boundaries that are appropriate for the child and adhering to them.

P.s. I also disagree that when you raise a child with special needs that you are constantly having to choose between two lousy situations. There are several women who are mother's to special needs children who read this blog (and I their's) and they have the most beautiful things to say about raising their children. While they may admit to challenges and frustrations I've yet to see any of them use any form of the word "lousy" when detailing parenting their children.

P.p.s. While I appreciate your apology you sent via email, it isn't necessary and you certainly don't owe me one. You're entitled to your opinion. Don't apologize for it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Post Where I Admit I've Really Got Nothing to Complain About

Occasionally I'll tune in to a show like Super Nanny. You know the one where a fuller version of Mary Poppins shows up in a black cab straight outta London to a home where the children run roughshod over their parents. She delivers instructions in a British accent and there is much less singing involved. Or magic. Or jaunty chimney sweeps. Honestly? The children and I watch it together because even my own kids cannot believe how horribly some of these children misbehave. "Misbehave" is cute. They're more like incorrigible and wild. And the parents? Have reached their wits end. Usually evidenced by the tufts of hair they've pulled out of their heads. And friends? I don't feel the least bit sorry for them [the parents]. Because they've created the chaos they are dealing with.

They didn't do enough setting of the boundaries. Or enough putting of the foot down. Or of the following through. What they have done is a disservice to their children.

Let me throw a for instance right smack into the middle of your Tuesday morning [you're welcome]: I once casually followed a woman around Target. Why? Because I wanted to see if she would really follow through with counting to ten and then getting in the car. Her son was busy in the back of the shopping cart throwing the grand mal tizzy to end all tizzies; hurling objects to and fro [also interchangeable with hither and yon]; basically acting like your average terrible two. Except he was about five. It was around the time that she had threated to "count to ten and then they were going to get in the car and I mean it!" for about the fourth time [at least that I heard] when I grew curious if she did, in fact, mean it. After she'd made the threat several times over, and by then had counted to infinity times pi squared; I finally grew bored with the scenario and, frankly, had run out of shopping to do.

I left. They did not. For all I know she's still there. Counting and threatening. And bobbing and weaving.

If she had executed the threat as issued THE FIRST TIME she would probably find her future shopping trips immensely more enjoyable. And less bang your head against a wall worthy.

I'm a follow through-er. In the past I have more than once done the following:

  • Abandoned a cart full of groceries in the market
  • Had our meals wrapped up to go mid-meal
  • Stepped out of an assembly or school play
  • Left a carnival dragging a toddler and disappointing the rest of the family in attendance
  • Left a movie theater
  • Sent one or more of my children to their room FOR THE ENTIRE DAY
My children:
  • Go to bed on time without fuss and without utilizing stall tactics
  • Take their baths and/or showers when instructed to do so
  • Wake up in the morning when told albeit with some grumbling but they're awake and out of bed
  • Wear what I tell them to wear [Except for Boy-Child#1 who's eleven but I do buy his clothes so his choices are the options I've given him]
  • Eat their breakfast [I like to get their day started with a sugar rush; Trix and donuts anyone? Plus eggs. For protein, you know] and are ready for school on time
  • Do not watch tv, play video games, or use the computer in the morning before school
  • Do not play video games on school nights
  • Are not allowed to play outside until their homework is finished and checked
Work in progress:
  • Food. Variety. Getting them to expand their meal horizon. All three are picky eaters. But so is their father [I'm looking at you Mr. Farklepants] so basically I'm fooked.
  • Sibling rivalry. The fighting. Oy vey, the fighting. Fortheloveofgod
If the Super Nanny can swoop in with a few valid suggestions and everyone lives happily ever after then it goes to show: Do what you say and say what you mean.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Swag Did Not Include Beer Cozy

Mr. Farklepants went out and got himself the Canon D40 which can only mean one thing:

I've inherited the D20. The pictures around here might not improve but they'll be captured with a camera that is superior to my current Pentax Optio 550. My "new" camera has so many features on it I'm pretty sure it will make me breakfast in the morning [I'm thinking: Belgian waffles]. Also, I'm gonna need a bigger purse. There's only one thing that would have made this better: If Mr. Farklepants needed a new laptop.


At the last minute on Saturday, Mr. Farklepants scored three tickets for Sunday's NASCAR race and took the boys. They were no ordinary tickets. They were kind of like backstage all access passes which included a luxury box and groupies, headsets to listen to the cockpit in your car of choice and playing Rock Band while you watched the race. Also there was NASCAR swag:

Most interesting fashion related question ever:

Mr. Farklepants: Am I dressed alright for NASCAR?

Well, Honey, you're a little pressed for time to grow out a mullet and get a tattoo but I could cut your Levis off just above the knee. Also, are you opposed to painting your face? Shirts are optional.