Saturday, July 31, 2010

Only At Stampede

Can you see a fish being chased down the street…

And a parade comprised of tractors, politicians, bible-thumpers, low-riders and rodeo princesses existing in perfect harmony….

Listen to friends of over twenty years, cackling over past misdeeds…

Gather the children of those friends for a group photo…

Must you referee fights between your children for elbowing each other out of the way in pursuit of the candy thrown from various floats…

Can you catch up with a friend whom you don't see nearly enough, finding yourselves still capable of finishing each other's sentences...

Can cousins who barely know each other bond over carnival rides that make them all want to puke...

Can you watch your father being recognized for doing community service not resulting from a crime....

Can you be completely exhausted and yet looking forward to doing it all again the next day...

Friday, July 30, 2010

You Know You’re Getting Old When…

At last night’s Clay Walker concert, during a particularly exciting crescendo in the music, poppers with colorful streamers were released into the night air. The colorful streamers caught on the breeze like slow motion fireworks, fanning out over the crowd and drifting slowly to the outstretched arms of the fans and all I could think was; well, I sure hope they have someone to clean up that mess.

At the dance later in the evening I managed to stay on my feet until midnight then, my arches started aching so bad I could hardly hobble around in the really cute, if not painfully uncomfortable, heels that I was wearing and I had to call it a night.

This morning, I slept until almost nine o’clock and didn’t even manage a shower before the parade.

This evening, Hugh, The Teenagers, the Man-Cub and I attended a BBQ at Phoebe’s house along with another of my college roommates and her kids and, despite being in the company of two of the women I love most in this world; I was home and ready for bed by 11:00.

Tomorrow, we have a full day planned; parade, rodeo, carnival and, yes, another dance. If I manage to make it past midnight without turning into a geriatric pumpkin, it will be a freaking miracle.

Old age, it ain't just for senior citizens anymore.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wagons Ho

The kids and I leave for Mayberry today to attend the annual Stampede Rodeo and Party Palooza. Hugh will join us tomorrow and, in a rare occurrence; he will be joined by his parents, his brother and his brother’s family.

I’ve been looking forward to this particular Stampede for months because it is the closest that The Girls and I will have to a Girls Weekend this year and I really miss my friends.

Also, after twenty years of dedicated service, this may be my Dad’s last year on the Stampede Committee. He's being recognized at the rodeo on Sunday for his efforts and I wouldn’t have wanted to miss that ceremony for the world.

Plus, Jules is coming in from Texas and Stampede is about the only time of year that I get to see her anymore, and, well, see above: missing my friends.

Barbie and my nephew are also going to be at my parent’s house so, it is shaping up to be quite The Gathering with good friends, good food, family, more kids than you can shake a stick at and, of course, the liquor flowing freely which reminds me; I must remember to charge my camera battery as I wouldn’t want to miss a single opportunity for blackmail pictures, um, I mean, pictures depicting the love, affection and reverence that we all hold for Stampede.

Yeah, that’s what I meant.

Anyway, my bags are packed, The Teenager’s bags are packed, her friend, who is joining us for the trip and who just happens to share her first name, thus forcing me to refer to the two of them as The Brookes for purposes of convenience, has, according to her Facebook page, been packed and ready to join us since Monday... of last week and I just watched the Man-Cub throw the obligatory three pairs of clean underwear into a plastic grocery bag thus accomplishing his “packing” so, we are good to go.

Don’t worry, as usual I have already packed a suitcase for him so he won’t go naked nor will he be forced to attend the carnival in nothing but clean tightie whities although that would make for a most excellent blackmail picture in about six years or so.

Which reminds me, must charge the camera battery and attend to the million and ten other last-minute details that accompany a trip to Mayberry.

Wagons ho, y’all.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


pl. anx•i•e•ties
1. a. A state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future uncertainties.
b. A cause of anxiety.
2. Psychiatry A state of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the anticipation of a realistic or fantasized threatening event or situation, often impairing physical and psychological functioning.
3. Eager, often agitated desire.

A rash of anxiety has hit my home in recent weeks, kind of like the rash of burglaries that hit Neighboring City a while back but with less loss of personal property and more loss of sleep.

The Teenager is anxious about starting High School. She’s anxious about getting enrolled in Driver’s Ed classes so that she can get her driver’s license by the time she turns sixteen (‘scuse me for a moment, I just threw up in my mouth a little and I need to rinse). She’s nervous about not being able to find her classes and about fitting in with the older crowd and she’s more than a little freaked out about the schoolwork involved in maintaining her status on the Honor Roll.

More than anything, though, she’s been most anxious about whether or not she will make the volleyball team and; discovering that we will be in Florida during team try-outs just about sent her over the edge of Anxiety Hill, where she teetered precariously just inches away from plummeting to her grisly social death.

Happily, we feel we may have averted her swan-dive into social oblivion; last night Hugh spoke with the assistant volleyball coach who assured him that The Teenager has a very good chance of not only making the Freshman team but of being made a Starter. Granted, she still has to call the Head Coach to explain her absence from try-outs, her willingness to participate and her efforts to stay in shape and in practice so far this summer (Gold Cup team and camp at the college in Neighboring City weighing heavily on her side) but; the assistant coach was very encouraging and The Teenager seems much relieved today.

Hopefully, with the volleyball anxiety out of the way, she can start to chip away at the rest of her anxieties and will be less stressed by the time we fly to Orlando as I doubt that Mickey would appreciate a sullen, anxiety-ridden teenager in his Kingdom.

Although, I hear there are some great drugs for that kind of thing, too.

Not for The Teenager, mind you but, for her mother who happens to have a few anxieties of her own, not the very least of which is the fact that we will miss school registration during our trip to Florida as well as volleyball try-outs and, while it is apparently easy to call a coach for permission to miss try-outs, it isn’t so easy to get a hold of an actual human being in the school administration offices during summer break to arrange a similar deal.

I have a plan, however; I’m going to stalk the school superintendent at next weekend’s Sweet Corn Festival and, if need be, I’m going to drag him down to the school then and there to complete whatever paperwork I have to do in order to officially register my children for High School and Middle School.

Damnit, just threw up in my mouth again.

1. A feeling of sickness in the stomach characterized by an urge to vomit.
2. Strong aversion; disgust.

And, I’m out.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

If it’s Possible to Have a Love Affair with a Vacuum Cleaner, Then I am Having One

Wait, that’s not right; having an actual affair with a vacuum cleaner would be too twisted for color TV. Although, if you are having an affair with your vacuum cleaner that’s just lovely; I won’t judge you coughfreakcough.

So, while I have not had sexual relations with that vacuum cleaner (Shout out, former President Clinton!), I may be having an emotional affair, yes, that sounds so much better.

And, who wouldn’t have fallen in love with a piece of electronic gadgetry that actually managed to suck up the million and ten furball dustbunnies that were, up until this weekend, residing in every nook and cranny of my home? I mean, come on, my floors are the cleanest I’ve ever seen them and, judging by the copious amount of crap that collected in the canister (I’m bagless, baby!) while I was vacuuming the couches, alone; my new vacuum came along not a moment too soon.

And, ohmygawd, I just realized that I have now written an entire entry about how much I love a piece of equipment designed to clean my home.

People, I have completely lost my edge. I mean, what’s next? Photo essays about how much I love my cats?

Well, if you insist.

Ha! Just kidding. While I do have a healthy affection for my cats, this old gal ain’t dead yet and, who knows; next week I could purchase an entirely new electronic gadget about which to wax poetic.

Or, I could, you know, get a life.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Things I Discovered at the Policeman’s Ball

Hooker heels worn without stockings will eventually rub blisters on your ankles and heels but; they will look fabulous while doing it.

Porch Night has become legendary, several people I had never met before had heard about it and thought that it sounded lovely; they were likewise lovely people and, now that we have met, they are all invited to the next Porch Night.

My husband loves the thrill of a live auction; he bid on a few different items but fought hard to win a guided wine tour for twenty. That’s right, twenty. As in twenty people who will all board a bus to tour four local wineries while eating cheese and chocolates and, obviously, drinking wine. He won it as a gift for me and I’m so grateful. Now, I just have to make nineteen friends with whom to share my bounty.

People who I used to work with in my capacity of Executive Director of our local tourism organization still miss me and wish that I hadn’t left the position. On the other hand, they are really pleased to see me happy and doing so well. I miss a lot of those people and it was nice to see them.

Our community supports its policeman, their families and the police department; that is a rare and wonderful thing to see.

Also, the people in our community clean up really well and, despite having to go dress shopping; so do Hugh and I.

In short, the ball was lovely, the money it raised was for an extremely good cause and, I really hope they hold it again next year because we had a wonderful time and, you know, I now have a dress. And, hooker heels.

In other weekend news, I cleaned house. All weekend long. Today, I am so stiff and sore, one would think that I had run a marathon but, no; I just de-filthified my home. It’s a sad, sad day when one has to admit that the two are even in the same category of exertion.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Today's Friday Flashback Postponed Due to PTSD

Yesterday was a busy day; I had a lot on my mind. The Man-Cub's cast was scheduled to come off, I had bookwork, banking, and grocery shopping to do as well as cleaning my house, plus; The Teenager and her friends needed a ride to the Rec Center for a pick-up basketball game.

As often sometimes happens when I get super-busy, I got a bit distracted and, well, I somehow managed to throw away a check for almost $400, a fact that I failed to realize until I was doing the store's daily deposit for the bank today.

Of course, yesterday's trash had already been taken to the outside cans but, I couldn't exactly chalk it up to giant whoopsie without even trying to find the check, I mean, I could but, that just wouldn't be right, all of which; is how I came to find myself hanging upside down in a fetid dumpster before lunchtime.

And, when I say hanging upside down, I mean, hanging upside down. From my waist. With my entire upper body including my head, in the dumpster like some crack-addict looking for a fix and, ok, I don't actually know any crack addicts so maybe they don't go looking for a fix in dumpsters but you get what I'm saying.

It was not my proudest moment.

Not to mention that my efforts were to no avail since there was no way in hell that a civilized banking institution would have touched that check with a ten-foot pole considering where it had been.

So, yes. I ended up calling the customer who had written the check, explaining the situation as honestly as possible, read: in embarrassing detail and begging for a replacement check. For the record, the customer thought the whole situation was hysterically funny and I may or may not have made her day with my description of the search.

Still not my proudest moment.

Tonight, I am going to wash the stench of the dumpster off my body, dress up in a fancy dress and attend the Policeman's Ball, all the while praying that I don't begin to suffer flashbacks from the experience like a Vietnam war veteran.

And, yes, comparing a dive in a dumpster to service in a war is probably extreme but I suffered, people! I really did.

Dumpster diver by day, socialite by night; crazy all the time.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What Evil Lurks Beneath

The Man-Cub’s cast came off today and, to say that the stench that rolled out from under it was putrid would be a vast understatement. Putrid to the nth degree might come close to describing the smell. Putrid infinity pretty much nails it.

Once the doctor and I got past the smell, the doctor commented on the skin on the Cub’s arm, specifically; he declared it to be not nearly as funky as he had expected and, yes, in this case, funky is a medical term.

He was right, of course, the skin was a shade paler than the opposite arm but not nearly as chalky-white as one might expect nor did it have any nasty peeling or scaling so; good for the Cub, I guess.

With the cast off, the doctor was able to take x-rays and was pleased to note that the fracture had healed quite well. There is a bony protrusion on the Cub’s arm that will be visible until his arm grows and the new bone structure has a chance to stretch out. Prior to today, I didn’t give much thought to how bones grow nor to the possibility of them stretching but, there ya go.

The x-ray (I totally just spelled that ex-ray which is really a very different thing, what, I have no idea, but; definitely different) also showed what the doctor termed a dinner fork deformity which was totally expected and has to do with the way that the body of a child produces bone on top of a fracture; it will eventually straighten up as the arm grows and the bone stretches and it's nothing at all to worry about. In the meantime, the Cub can use his crooked arm as his claim to fame or, as The Teenager said, he can use it as a great opening line when chatting up the "ladies".

So, the Cub is officially cast-free and has the doctor’s seal of approval to return to acting like a boy. Not that he ever stopped acting like a boy but, you get the point.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

And Thus Begins the Monsoon Season

A storm rolled into town last night; an electrical storm complete with a fantastic lightning show, ominous rolls of thunder and a drenching rain that the neighborhood children, and my own children, found too entertaining to resist.

The Man-Cub, The Teenager and Kaz, who was spending the night with us; danced in the rain on the driveway, further drenched one another in a water-balloon fight and engaged in a Silly String fight for good measure, all the while the sky overhead boomed with thunder and lit up like the Fourth of July.

I watched their antics from the comfort of the porch where I was able to stay quite dry with the exception of an occasional light misting from the rain, which rode in on the breeze when caught at just the right angle. The mist served to keep me cool and, along with the light spray; the breeze carried the smell of the rain, the scent of newly cut grass and the spicy aroma of the oriental daylilies that I recently planted in the flowerbeds. It was a lovely evening.

Today is also quite overcast, the clouds heavy with the promise of more rain. My garden will appreciate the moisture and I have no doubt that the children will utilize the storm to its' utmost advantage again today. It is, is short, one of my favorite times of the year.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Every Hardware Store Needs a Good Mouser

Last Friday, two young girls came into the hardware with a basket of kittens. They were on a mission to give the kittens away and had strict orders not to return home until their basket was empty. Because I clearly have the word sucker tattooed on my forehead in neon blue indelible ink, I was a perfect target for the girls and, because they made a phone call to their mother while in the store, wherein they were told that, any kittens brought home with them would be chopped up and fed to the fishes; I was no doubt the easiest mark they had ever met.

Well played, girls well played.

So, yeah, please meet Otis, the Hardware Store Cat.

And, yes, that is his majesty's royal title.

In my defense, I have wanted a good mouser for the store since the time that a mouse, gasping its’ final breaths after chowing down on the De-Con buffet, paused in its imminent demise long enough to sit at my feet and stare me down like, why woman? Whyyyyy???

I would much rather have a cat that chases the mice away than to face the accusatory stare of another dying rodent. Plus, Otis is freaking adorable and, he already loves the store, the people who work there, the customers, my children and, of course, me.

Once again, well played, girls; well played.

In non-sucker kitty adopting news, on Saturday, I took the kids to Neighboring City for a school clothes shopping excursion but, not before taking great delight in torturing my daughter at a carwash that her school club was doing as a fundraiser for their upcoming trip to Washington D.C. and, while I am on that topic, if she can wash a car as well as she washed the ones at the carwash, why can she not manage to clean the shower in her bathroom with the same precision and conscientiousness?

Please do discuss.

 Anyway, we managed to knock quite a few items off our back-to-school shopping list and I now feel somewhat comfortable with the idea of going on vacation and not returning until the day before school starts. Notice I said somewhat comfortable.

Oooh, something else of note; as The Teenager and I were perusing the Victoria's Secret for bras that didn't feature enough padding to add four extra cup sizes to her girlish bosom, we watched a man hold up a pair of panties from every drawer in the store. He examined each pair rather thoroughly, held each pair up to his nose and sniffed it before placing it back in the drawer. The Teenager and I locked eyes across the store and I'm pretty sure we were both thinking the same thing which was; what the fuck? Although, The Teenager was probably thinking what the heck because, I'm not raising a potty-mouth here but, seriously? What the fuck?

So, yes, after returning home and generously dousing our mind's eyes with Clorox, The Teenager went about putting away her new clothes and I cleaned out my closet and drawers, replanted some flowers that have died courtesy of our recent heat wave, trained squash plants over the fence in the garden and made dinner before dropping the Man-Cub off at a sleepover. Then, Hugh, The Teenager and I went to the movie theater to watch Grown Ups which is quite a funny movie, six enthusiastic thumbs up.

And, that was pretty much it for my weekend so, I leave you with this;

A picture of Otis, the Hardware
 Store Cat, because I am sweet like that. And, I have about eight million of them, already.

Also, I am a total sucker for girls bearing baskets of kittens but please, let's just keep that between ourselves.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Flashback: The Hair Edition

While this is certainly the worst haircut I have ever received from a “professional”, I can’t honestly say that it is the biggest blunder that I have ever made regarding my tresses. For one thing, I used to play around with the color of my hair, and; not always with the most successful of results:

Exhibit A: Red

Yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking, either, except, I saw a really cute hairstyle in a magazine and the model’s hair was the most gorgeous shade of red and, yeah, in hindsight, that didn’t work out so well on a natural brunette.

Of course, that didn’t stop me from trying again a number of years later.

So, Lesson learned? Not so much; color continued to be an ongoing challenge for me as evidenced by:

Exhibit B: Blond

I know, I know, it was ridiculous. In my defense, the Man-Cub was blond and blue-eyed until he was over a year old and, well, I kind of got tired of people asking me if he was the mailman’s. We didn’t even have a mailman.

So, in an effort to undo the damage of the blond years, I tried various shades of brunette, ranging from black that rivaled the hair of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

to a shade I like to refer to as Mousy.

And, since Mousy was not my favorite color, I returned to the dark side...

...which didn't please me, either so, I took it down a notch by

Did you just smack yourself in the forehead? I know I did.

So, yeah, while I can cry into my Fruit Loops all day long over the extremely bad cut that I am sporting right now; in ten years, it too, could be fodder for a totally embarrassing hairstyle pictorial on my blog. Or, on the space-age version of my blog, anyway. And, by that time, my damn hair might have actually grown out.

Now, where are my Fruit Loops?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Paging Edward Scissorhands

Yesterday I went to a new salon to have my hair cut by a stylist who came highly recommended by one of my friends.

Today, I am wishing that I could travel back in time and cancel that appointment. Or, travel back in time and bitchslap that woman in the face, because; my hair is ruined. Like, seriously.

I suppose I should have been concerned when the woman took less than two seconds to study the picture of the style that I wanted before informing me that it was a long shag with beveled sides, blah, blah, blah, I don’t need to see the picture, I am a professional, blah, blah, blah.

When she then proceeded to bash every other salon in our “Podunk” town (seriously, she called it Podunk which, coming from a woman who purportedly grew up in Scottsdale, studied with Frederic Fekkai, graduated from the Redken School of Color and worked for a fashion house in Europe as its’ primary hair stylist, should have sounded more factual and less ear-stabbingly obnoxious yet, totally did not), and to diss the capabilities of several stylists who I have heard are quite good; I should have run but, by that time, she was already cutting and razoring and texturizing and generally terrorizing my hair and it was kind of too late to run.

Although, in hindsight, running at that point would at least have left me with enough hair to pull up into a ponytail. On one side, anyway and, as usual, I digress.

As it stands, I now have a hair “style” that features choppy blocks of uneven layers, reminiscent of a haircut one might see on a three year old who got a hold of her mom’s scissors and decided to play Beauty Parlor. Or, a six year old boy who went to bed with gum in his mouth and had to face the consequences the next morning.

The “style “will take at least six months to grow out and, once it does, I fully intend to track down my old stylist in her new town, where I will beg and plead for her to fix me and then I am never cutting my hair again; I am just going to let it grow, Crystal Gayle style and I will use it as a coat to keep me warm in the winter.

In the meantime, I am pulling what little hair I have back in a clip and plotting ways to make that scissor-happy harpy at the salon rue the day that she scalped me. I may never follow through on those plans but, it gives me something to do other than staring into a mirror wanting to cry.

I am so much fun to be around.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Things I Forgot to Mention

While driving to work last Friday, I spied an antique treadle sewing machine at a yard sale. For the last two or three years I have gone out of my way to avoid yard sales in our area as they were generally stocked with over-priced garbage and manned by rednecks who took great exception to the fact that I didn’t find their rusty, well-used spit cans to be treasurers on par with relics from the tomb of King Tut, you know; like they did. So; to see something that actually made me want to pull over, park and to walk among the unwashed masses was quite a surprise. The fact that the sewing machine was an antique treadle, in fairly good shape with all the original drawer pulls, the original cable and cable brake, the original pedal, etc. was doubly surprising. The $25 price tag was less surprising and more orgasm-inducing as far as I was concerned.

And, ok, I didn’t actually orgasm right there,because that would be embarrassing.

I did squeal a bit but, I did a fairly decent job of passing it off as a rather high-pitched sneeze lest the woman selling the machine realize she was about to hand over a bona-fide antique for less than the price of a couple of cartons of cheap cigarettes (which, if her tuberculosis-like coughing was any indication, was precisely what she would be spending the money on).

The sewing machine is currently parked in the foyer waiting for me to find the perfect place to display it which is no easy feat since I can’t really move it from place to place to check for the best fit; the thing weighs like a ton.

And, just to prove that you can find anything on the internet; I Googled Singer sewing machines and found a website that lists the year of manufacture based on the serial number, thus proving my machine to have been manufactured in 1884. That’s like, 126 years ago which means I paid less than 20 cents per year of age of the sewing machine.

And to think that Mrs. VanBibber, my fifth grade math teacher, said math wasn’t my strong point; take that, Van Bibbs!

On a somewhat related topic, I went to book club last night and, in a rare turn of events, we actually discussed the book. Granted, we did it while drinking a pitcher of truly excellent Sangria but,still; that's math and reading within days of each other, progress, my friends, progress.

Monday, July 12, 2010

This Weekend Brought to You in Bullet Points

-My nephew, aka, the Rebel without a Pause, his girlfriend and a friend of his girlfriend spent the weekend with us. They were in town for a rodeo and needed a place to crash, lucky for them; I apparently have a very crashable home.

-My kids spent the majority of their weekend at a local Christian music festival held in the park several blocks from our home. Hugh was working the security detail there so, I felt safe in letting them run free.

-While the children were running free and the Rebel without a Pause and his harem were throwing ropes at livestock, I relaxed on the front porch with a glass of chardonnay. I could hear the music from the festival fairly well, the weather was warm and balmy and my new Kindle is actually quite easy to read by candlelight (note to Erika: the new Kindle arrived overnight and, so far, works like a dream. I might have just been unlucky, I’m sure your Kindle won’t up and shit the bed at the eight-month mark but, if it does; Amazon customer service rocks).

-I cooked more food this weekend than I have cooked all the rest of the summer; Lasagna, shredded chicken and black bean burritos, pasta fra diavlo, and cucumber salad which, technically, isn’t cooking but I sure as shit didn’t hear Hugh complaining.

-I went to the dairy for milk and ended up with a couple of quarts of cream and a couple of quarts of half and half as well which, logically, led to the making of homemade ice cream; mint chocolate chip to be exact. While the ice cream was churning, the kids and I sat on the front porch and ate our weight in locally grown cherries, which have been few and far between this summer thanks to that crap-ass weather we had this spring. Anyway, we finally managed to find some and pit-spitting for distance commenced, immediately (I won, as always).

-I harvested the first green beans from my garden as well as a half-pint of strawberries which the Man-Cub proceeded to polish off before he even got to the house to wash them. If he should suddenly be stricken down by some strange garden-borne illness, I won’t be surprised.

-Hugh and I finished off the weekend with a marathon session of trash TV; Big Brother, True Blood and a new show called The Glades which we both deemed “meh”. Well, Hugh deemed it “meh”, I deemed it “too boring to stay awake through” so, yeah, “meh”.

-Thus endeth our weekend.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

If You Grow It, They Will Eat It

Unless, of course, you are talking about the Man-Cub in which case, he will turn his nose up at it and snort in disgust.

That’s ok; it just means more fresh produce for me, starting with beets, mmmm….beets.

And, it’s a good thing I enjoy them because this is only a small fraction of what my garden is currently producing.

The radishes, green beans, spinach, lettuce, arugula, basil, rosemary, cilantro, oregano, thyme, and peas have also provided a bountiful harvest and, if my tomatoes ever ripen, we’ll have enough for Caprese salads, salsa and spaghetti sauce, plus; The Teenager will be able to eat BLT’s to her heart’s content.

And, before too long, I should be harvesting four different types of squash, carrots, bell peppers and jalapenos plus strawberries and sunflower seeds, assuming the birds don't beat me to them, that is.

All of which is to say; I have been a successful gardener this year.

And my compost isn’t looking too shabby, either.

My grandmother would be so proud, especially if she could see me in my rainboots, large floppy sunbonnet and workman’s gloves; the apple, it seems, doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Hmm, apples, now there’s something I haven’t tried to grow…

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Team Edward or Team Jacob?

Last night Jana and I took the girls out for dinner and the early showing of Eclipse. As expected, the theater was filled to bursting with teenage girls, desperate cougars and gay men plus one or two token straight boys who were trying valiantly to impress their girlfriends.

The movie itself followed the book pretty closely and was entertaining- not award-winning cinema by any means but-entertaining.

Of course the inevitable question arose; were we Team Edward or Team Jacob? And, while Kaley and The Teenager both proudly declared themselves Team Jacob; Jana and I were torn between Team Bella Needs Some Self-Esteem, Team Edward Needs a Suntan and Team Jacob is a Psycho Stalker. For the record, I’m leaning toward Team Jacob is a Psycho Stalker simply because his insistence on pursuing Bella gives me the creeps like, really.

While we were under the thrall of the vampires, Hugh, Chris and the boys were at the neighboring theater watching The Karate Kid who, Hugh assured me, was no Ralph Macchio. This leads me to the conclusion that remakes of lame 80’s movies can only end in even lamer versions of themselves.

This goes double for movies based on lame 80’s television shows (Smurfs? I’m looking at you).

And you know; I've changed my mind, I’m now firmly on Team Movie Studios Need to Buy a Clue.

And, I bet I’m not alone.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

In Which My Kindle Shits the Bed

Yesterday my Kindle ceased to function, for no apparent reason. And, by ceased to function, I mean; the screen went black and gray and wavy and nothing I did to restore it worked. When I Googled the problem I discovered that the screen failure was not at all uncommon so I called Amazon and, after unsuccessfully attempting to restore the screen using the techniques described by the technician; was promised a prompt replacement of the unit.
I’m pleased with Amazon’s customer service but a little bummed that a piece of-not inexpensive- electronic technology only lasted eight months before shitting the bed. Hopefully the next one will work out better.

If not, I might be forced to go back to reading actual paper books and like, turning pages and shit.


Monday, July 05, 2010

Boat Dock 2, Chelle 0

Hugh, the kids and I spent our entire 4th of July weekend on the lake. Despite his arm being in a cast, the Man-Cub managed to swim, fish and to ride the tube without any trouble whatsoever while I, without any injury of which to speak, managed to fall on my ass yet again.

The boat dock, it is my nemesis. On the bright side, this latest spill was a lot less spectacular than the last and, I have no new bruises to show for it.

When I wasn’t making a spectacle of myself by falling down like a drunk (full disclosure: not drunk. Sadly, totally capable of falling on my ass while stone-cold sober), I was making a spectacle of myself by squealing like a three-year old while driving the boat. In my defense, the State park we were visiting features a much smaller lake than I am used to plus more boaters per nautical mile of said smaller lake and a greater number of boaters who in no way, shape or form appear to understand the rules of the water nor to possess any form of boating etiquette. You would have squealed like a three-year old when a large boatful of drunken Independence Day revelers veered into your lane of traffic, too. Or, maybe you wouldn’t and that, my friend, would make you a braver soul than I.


Screaming aside, I did manage to pilot the boat well enough to drag Hugh and The teenager around the lake approximately a billion times, and while I tried with all my boat-driving skills; I managed to knock them off the tube only a handful of times. One time, however, the result of sending The Teenager skipping across the surface of the lake was a de-pantsing of her bikini bottoms, leaving a full Teenaged moon glowing up at us from the surface of the water. Unfortunately, it didn’t embarrass The teenager nearly enough to suit me and, I’m not ashamed to admit; I tried in vain to repeat the trick for the remainder of our time on the lake.

Mother of the Year, you heard it here first.

The parts of our holiday weekend not spent on the water were spent grilling steaks, BBQing chicken and cooking the two fish that Hugh caught (on one hook! At the same time! Have you ever heard of such a fantastic feat?! Chelle, get the camera! Quick!!). We also watched Hugh set off the $300 worth of fireworks that he bought at the local fireworks stand and, no, that is not an exaggeration, three hundred dollars. American. I swear, some days I have to close my eyes and chant reassuring words about how much I love him to myself over and over and over again.

On the other hand, he did spent a similar amount on season tickets to the local community theater just because I felt the need to introduce a little culture into our lives so, yeah; I guess I can overlook his need to pay gobs of money on stuff to blow up once a year.

Isn’t that big of me?

I’ll be adding the trophy for Wife of the year to my mantle any day now.

When the last of the exploding fountains had spewed it’s final spark, the exhaustion of a busy weekend caught up with us and we all fell asleep in the living room while watching The Crazies.

I can think of worse ways to celebrate our independence.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Friday Flashback: Casting Call

The Man-Cub got his permanent cast yesterday although, permanent is a misnomer considering the fact that he only has to wear the thing for three weeks. Three weeks. The last two times he broke his arm he was in a cast for a full six weeks (five if you count the year that Hugh cut the thing off early so the Cub could ride a freaking roller coaster with him); three weeks seems a tad bit short to me but, despite my diploma from The Google School of Medicine, I’m no doctor. So, yeah, three weeks it will be which; means the Cub will be free and clear for both Disney and Stampede. Hugh’s roller coaster-riding buddy will be completely at his disposal.

Also, since the cast is 100% waterproof, the Cub has been cleared to swim this weekend at the lake. This delighted him in ways I cannot express. Also, the color of the cast made him especially happy.

Fluorescent green. Or, is neon green? I’m not sure.

You may recall that the last cast was also green, although less eye-searingly so.

The cast before that was purple. And, tiny.

Not tiny? The Man-Cub’s head at age three. Seriously, he could have been the original model for the Bobble-Head. Happily, he has grown into that Charlie Brown head-which he inherited from his maternal grandfather-quite well and, as his grandfather would tell you; all brain, it’s all brain.

Let’s hope he uses all that gray matter to keep himself from getting broken again anytime, soon, shall we? Because I think they are running out of cool color options for casts.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

If You’re Going to Cheat on Your Wack-Ass Diet, Do It on Porch Night

Last night we hosted the first official Porch Night of the season and, when it was over, we couldn’t imagine why we had waited so long, other than the usual things that get in the way including crappy weather, busy schedules, illnesses and accidents. You, know, life.

Anyway, we finally did it and it was wonderful.

The weather cooperated, we had a full house, er, porch and, the food? Oh my gawd, the food was amazing and, I’m not just saying that because I have been strictly observing Jana’s Diet From Hell, including the ban on wine.

Last night, I indulged in a little bit of everything, including the wine and I don’t regret it in the least. I also don’t regret inviting the Bunco Ladies, with whom we had so much fun and, not just because one of them brought along her new baby who is, without a doubt, the cutest baby in the history of Porch Night. She is also the only baby in the history of Porch Night but that doesn’t detract from her adorableness in the least. I’m sure you will agree.

While the adults and, I use that term loosely…

…were enjoying wine and good conversation (including a spirited debate on the hotness of Harrison Ford which I still don’t get so, you can guess which side of the debate I came down on), the children rode bikes up and down the hill in front of our house, skateboarded on the driveway and jumped on the trampoline. Except for the Man-Cub who is, of course, still broken.

Not to worry, he and Darren made their own mischief, as usual.

Hugh and the other husbands in attendance manned the grill in the backyard and discussed manly topics over beer. I would elaborate but, I have no interest in manly topics unless they involve me somehow getting the landscaping done in the front yard and; I’m pretty sure that topic wasn’t on the agenda.

By the end of the evening we were all slightly buzzed, completely stuffed and quite relaxed which, is the Trifecta of a perfect Porch Night.

We also agreed that we wouldn’t wait so long for the next one which means, another opportunity to cheat on my wack-ass diet which is cause for celebration in and of itself.