Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dear Indiana Jones: You're not the Only One that Hates Snakes

Five days ago a neighbor on my street and who also happens to be a friend on Facebook, updated her status that her immediate next door neighbor had found a rattlesnake in their garage. E-freakin'-gads! It's not the first time we've had rattlesnakes on our street. In the last almost 14 years that we've lived here there are two neighbors whose dogs have been bitten, one neighbor who both surprised the snake lying beneath and himself when wheeling out his trash container, and my own husband who found one curled up behind the wheel of our car in our own driveway.

And those are just the occasions that I know about. I sat my children down the evening after reading the status update to remind them to keep an eye out when retrieving their bikes, skateboards, and toys from the stay out of the gated access to the hills behind our homes, and to just overall be mindful of their surroundings. And to run in the absolute opposite direction if they see anything resembling a snake and to let the first adult they see know.

Last night at dusk my daughter came tearing through the front door in borderline hysterics to let me know she just saw a snake. She was talking in that voice where you could tell she was doing everything in her power not to completely lose her shit. And where her eyes were as big as saucers because she didn't want to blink, lest the tears escape from her eyeballs.

I talked calmly to her to get her to, you know, relax a little bit and asked her to show me the snake. It was located across the street next door to the neighbor who'd updated her status only a few days prior, half on the front lawn and the face half on the sidewalk. My daughter had rode by it on her scooter. *shiver* The home belongs to a fortysomthing divorced dad who looks like he's in the kind of shape that he can take care of himself. And now that I've seen the snake, me, a responsible adult shut up you stop laughing I have to do something about it. I mean, have you any idea how many children live and play on our street? It's like an elementary school playground on that cul-de-sac.

I can't just leave it there and I'm not confident nor coordinated enough to trust myself to go toe to toe with a snake. I know myself and I would end up bitten and losing my foot from the ankle down. I figure, since the neighbor is a man - a man with ample tools in his garage - I will let him wrangle the rattlesnake. I knock on his door and he is so surprised to see me standing there.

See, I'm not super friendly with my neighbors. I mean, I wave hello and will have a brief chat if I'm outside, but I prefer to keep to myself. It is my belief that it can be all kinds of crappy to be too chummy with the neighbors. Your home is your place of peace, privacy, and a little anonymity. I don't need to be stuck next door to people knowing all my business. I have seen friends of mine live to regret the nightly beer or glass of wine in the garage or backyard with the people on their street. When those people are suddenly privy to much too personal family matters and, you know, everyone knows your business. No. Thank. You.

So I tell him "there's a rattlesnake in your yard". And plead with my eyes "kill it now please Jesus god". I have no problem with assigning gender roles between men and women. If women have to bear the pain of childbirth then the men can be in charge of killing the bugs and wrangling the wildlife. Only. Seems. Fair.

He grabbed the nearest shovel, took aim, and chopped its head off in one quick motion.

The End. of the snake

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Rose by any Other Name is...Something Completely Different

A friend of mine and I were discussing recently the names of our children and what their names would have been had they been the opposite sex and also, what would we name them if they were born today. The answer to the latter part of that discussion was: no, we wouldn't. [Note to Editor: edit before you post, Nimrod, because the latter part of that discussion should ask would they use the same names if their children were born today] Not that there's anything wrong with the names that were chosen and because the names are theirs they, of course, suit them. They're a part of who they are...what makes them, them.

But let's just play the game for funsies and stuff. For instance, had Boy-Child#1 been born a she, he would have been named Hailey. By the time Girl-Child came along "Hailey" didn't even make the list of possibilities. Not only had it become one of the more popular names by then but also we were already bored to death with it. There was much debate over boys names with Boy-Child#1. I wanted "Ethan". Mr. Farklepants did not. Let's just say we agreed on a name that was close enough to "Ethan" to please me and unique enough to satisfy Mr. Farklepants. If we could go back in time, or, if he were born today, we would most likely go with the name "Shane". It is/was a name that both Mr. Farklepants and I like(d) very much but we had that common dilemma that many new parents encounter: we had close friends who'd already used the name for their own child. And as life also often goes, we haven't socialized with those close friends IN YEARS. Lesson here? Go with your gut. Go with your choice. Make it yours...own it... because who cares?

When it comes to Boy-Child#2 it's not so much that I wouldn't choose the same name. Because I would. Except that I would switch his first and middle names if he were born today. It's that simple. First because I like the way it sounds, and second because his first name is very common. As evidenced by the fact that his elementary school is just dripping and absolutely lousy with boys by that name. To answer the opposite sex question: if Boy-Child#2 had been a "she", his name would have been "Claire". And again, by the time Girl-Child made her way down the vaginal canal her way into the world we once again found ourselves bored with the name and it also did not make the list of possibilities.

Girl-Child. Oh holy hell. The list of names, she was long. It included but was not limited too: Caroline, Madeline, Charlotte, Abigail, Samantha, Susan, and more. The first three on that list were my absolute first choices and all were quickly shot right down by Mr. Farklepants. I loved the name Charlotte because I wanted to call her "Charlie" which I just think is super cute. I also love the name "Scarlett" but let's just say that with the names of some other family members it would have been like a cast of Gone With The Wind characters in this house and that's just dumb. There were no boy name alternatives for Girl-Child because, unlike with the first two, we found out the sex during pregnancy. So since we knew she was a girl, that was that. If Girl-Child were born today I'd want to name her Vivienne. I love that name. I love it so much I kinda almost want to have another child just to use the name. Almost.

Maybe the next dog.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I've Lived with it for Years (And Other Things that You See that I Probably Stopped Seeing a Long Time Ago)

I admit it. I'm addicted to House Hunters. You know that show on HGTV where prospective home buyers look at three different houses and choose one by the end of the show? And during the course of their search they see all that stuff in your home that you have long since become accustomed to and no longer see? What this show has done, and much to my husband's chagrin, is highlight all the imperfections that have just become part of the house, for better or worse, over the almost 14 years we've owned this home. Let's list a few of the things that prospective buyers spy and see how far we get before I have a stroke:

  1. The carpet. We had new carpet installed throughout the least 10 years ago. Did I mention this carpet is a very pale shade of...white? Of course, it didn't appear SO white in the store where the swatch was laid out amongst all the other swatches of WHITE CARPET OH GOD ...We're idiots, that's a fact. This carpet has lived long passed its intended lifespan where lifespan includes 3 kids and 2 dogs, rain, mud, vomit AND WORSE, and dozens of visits from the carpet cleaners. It's time to take this carpet out to pasture and shoot it in the head.
  2. Kitchen cabinets. Our cabinets are a lovely 1997 honey oak. In other words, dated. So are the tile countertops and backsplash.
  3. The master bath shower. The door needs replacing because it doesn't really want to, you know, close. It takes a good amount of just the right slamming before it will and it's just a matter of time before the whole song and dance just breaks off in my hand. That would also be messy. And also see: emergency room visit.
  4. Our backyard. Oh it has grass. It has a patio. Well, and that's it. It needs a little, how do you say?...professional landscaping.
  5. The master bedroom. We never did anything to it besides paint it and stick some furniture in there. It SCREAMS boring. Or maybe it whispers it.
  6. The window coverings. We were a young couple with a new baby when we bought this house and had a very limited budget to cover the 19 or so windows in this house. Those limited budget window coverings hang to this day. And I hate them. So much.
We did, however, slowly replace all of our appliances with the stainless steel variety. Which I've learned from watching House Hunters is a very important aspect on the wishlist when one is purchasing a home. I'm amazed at how many people on this show poo-poo a house simply because they find the appliances lacking and lament about how much it will cost to replace them. Frankly, in my opinion, if you can't afford to buy kitchen appliances then perhaps you aren't really financially ready to, you know, BUY A HOUSE.

Monday, January 3, 2011

My New Years Eve Going to Hell Moment

...Otherwise known as "Too Long to Tweet but Really Kinda too Short for a Blog Post"

We spent New Years Eve with good friends, enjoying decent food and several rounds of overpriced drinks. At one point during the evening my girlfriend informs me that a former coworker from eons ago recently passed away. I was shocked, as anyone would be when presented with such horrible news, and considering the person was only in their 50's and way too young to be dying. When I asked if she knew what had claimed our acquaintance, she replied that she wasn't sure but that maybe it had something to do with the liver because of the "yellow eyes". And I am not even kidding when I tell you that the first thing that the evil bastard who lives in my head did was repeat the lines from A Christmas Story...when the adult voice-over Ralphie is describing Scut Farkus and cries "He had yellow eyes! So, help me, God! Yellow eyes".

It seemed an inappropriate time for laughter. And this is just one of the many reasons I will blow the gates to hell wide open upon arrival.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year...Now Let's See if We can Keep this Thing Regular

I'm not even going to apologize for not updating because, whatever. I've been busy. I'm just going to start off the new year with a good ol' WHAT THE HELL??? Because we've lived in this house since 1997 and the following has never ever happened in all that time...

When you live in a suburb of Los Angeles, snow is a rare sighting.