Friday, April 29, 2011

Even Dr. Seuss Would Find This Disturbing

The next time I am having a crisis of confidence in my ability to dress myself for a formal occasion, I am going to reflect on this...

...and I will automatically feel better about my ability to accessorize.

Also, I had no idea Prince William was related to the Whoos down in Whoville which goes to show; you really do learn something new every day.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Twilight, Schmilight

For my money, you can't find hotter vampires than those on The Vampire Diaries. You know, in case you needed my opinion about hot vampires.

You know you did.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Panic at the Disco

Last week, while waiting in the car for the Man-Cub to finish baseball practice, I happened to glance in the rear-view mirror in such a way that a portion of my mouth that I don’t generally see when looking in the mirror in the morning was quite visible and; I was shocked to see what looked like a hole at my gum line. A gaping hole.

Of course I panicked. My tooth was about to fall out of my head, after all.

Once the panic subsided, and in a rare moment of clarity, it occurred to me to call my dentist to schedule an appointment. Clearly, I needed to be fitted for dentures since that was the most likely scenario given that my teeth were obviously rotting in my skull despite rigorous and religious brushing, flossing and rinsing and twice-yearly professional cleanings (Why, yes, my brain does automatically go to Worst Case Scenario; it’s my default setting).

My regular dentist has recently sold his practice to a nice young doctor who was happy to see me in a mere seven days. Seven days on a beach in Barbados is heaven; seven days spent anticipating the complete destruction of one’s teeth, not so much.

And, anticipate the worst; I did, especially after consulting Dr. Google who assured me that what I was experiencing was probably the recession of my gum line which could only be treated with a gum graft; that sounded like fun.

Happily, halfway through the Easter weekend, it finally occurred to me that, um, maybe, possibly, I had, at one time, had a small cavity in the tooth in question and that, maybe, possibly, the filling had fallen out, leaving a small hole. I couldn’t be sure because I haven’t actually had a cavity in years and years and, I’m not really all that good about remembering which teeth were filled. I know; my own body awareness astounds me, too.

So, today I finally got in to see New Dentist who happily agreed that what I had was not a receding gum line but a lost filling. He further went on to say that the new filling could be done without numbing the area (thank goodness) and that the filling would match the tooth rather than being silver.

At that point, I was pretty much in love with New Dentist but then, then he went on to compliment me effusively for my healthy gums, obvious attention to hygiene and on the spectacular brightness of my teeth in general. In fact, he worried that he might have a hard time matching the filling to the tooth based on my pearly whiteness.

He may have been flirting.

Or, you know, humoring a new patient.

Either way, New Dentist is waaayyy smarter than Dr. Google, whose expertise I will no longer take for granted (gum graft? Whatever).

Oh, and my smile is 100% less Backwoods Hillbilly now that the hole is gone. That fact alone makes up for the massive amount of embarrassment I felt about failing to recall that I once had a filling there to begin with.

Although, MENSA may still want to take a closer look at my application.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Game Called On Account of Rain?

I wish. Try, game called on account of snow. Damnit, Mother Nature, why ya gotta be so fickle?

So, the game scheduled for this evening will have to be rescheduled, prolonging the season by at least another week. This is not so bad, in and of itself but; by the middle of July, we are all a bit weary of America's favorite pastime and no amount of Cracker Jacks can change that fact.

Oh well; at least I have the Dream Team Moms to consume a suitably solacing amount of wine commiserate with.

Speaking of the DTM's; we are in the process of assigning team duties for the season and, can I just say; it's really nice to have moms who volunteer to keep the scorebook without being asked. And, to work the concession stand. And, to handle payroll for the umpires. And, to unwrap pieces of salt water taffy for me to eat when my hands are busy clutching closed the blanket that I am forced to wear to a baseball game that takes place in freaking April.

Which brings me back to my original topic. Damn you, Mother Nature.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Thank Ya, Easter Bunny!

And, you know, thank you, Jesus.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

We Made It to Mayberry and I’m 99% Positive That the Spider Didn’t Come With Us

So, yeah, it’s been a few days and there has been no sign of Jason. Jason, of course, being the spider with murderous intent from the past few posts and; Jason is what I am calling the spider since Jason is the hardest villain to kill, as evidenced by Friday the 13th, parts one through three million or, whatever they are up to now.

On the way to Mayberry, I filled Hugh and the kids in on my spider encounters and they were far less impressed with the tenacity of the spider than I was. In fact, they appear to be completely unconcerned about the possibility of Jason lurking somewhere on the car, poised to attack us as we exit the car at some unknown time in the future. They may have laughed uproariously at my declarations of imminent danger of spider-attack via spider-web bungee-jumping, even.

Yes; their support of my fears is truly heartwarming, and, that's all I'm going to say about that.

Oh, except the Man-Cub did suggest that I should have possibly “Left the stake in” which is an obscure vampire reference that both cracked me up and made me proud to be the kid’s mother.

Anyhoodle, we are safely ensconced in the home of my childhood and preparations for the bunny’s visit are well underway.

More tomorrow assuming, of course, that I am able to pull myself away from the chocolate.

Yeah, no promises.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Even a Bad Horror Movie Deserves a Sequel

I put at least fifty miles on my Tahoe yesterday; I drove to work, to the post office, and to the bank. I drove the Man-Cub into town for tutoring and, while he was practicing his sentence diagramming; I drove to Starbucks, to the Hellmouth and to a local department store to pick up a few things at Sephora (scored a great deal on Nars the Multiple in Copacabana, su-weet!). I picked the Cub up and drove him to baseball practice and I drove home. That’s…a lot of driving. At speeds sometimes slightly above legal limits and yet… I gathered my belongings from the passenger seat prior to making my exit from the car, I glanced up at the windshield and, I shit you not…

                                                    He's baaaaack!

By all rights, that fuzzy bastard should have been flung to his death, run over by a semi tractor and had his carcass picked over by scavengers, yet, there he was, staring at me with malevolent intent, just like a homicidal maniac that has been stabbed, shot seven times, ran over with a car and burned by a flamethrower yet; just keeps coming back to inspire more terror in his victims.

As an aside, there will be an extra pair of underwear in this week’s wash. And, I am considering the purchase of an actual flame-thrower, not just for spider-killing duties but because I think it would be fun to have at parties. A flamethrower would make toasting marshmallow a breeze.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

This is Why Your Mother Always Told You Never to Pick Up Hitchhikers

After dropping the kids off at school this morning and, yes; we are still driving them the two blocks to school. However, in my defense, The Teenager did the actual driving which counts toward the hours that she has to put in for her Driver’s Ed class so the trip wasn’t merely for the comfort of the children; it was educational.

Anyhoooo…after changing seats with The Teenager and waving both children a hearty goodbye, I prepared to pull out into traffic. Upon looking to the right to check for oncoming cars, I was greeted with an eyeful of this

                                      Actual size. Swear to God.

First thought: That giant-ass spider is hitching a ride on the outside of my car.

Second thought: Waiiiiittt a minute…that spider is hitching a ride in my car. Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod!

To my credit, I only peed a little.

Then, I slammed the car into park, picked up a magazine and began a five-minute exercise in ridding the car of its’ hairy trespasser; window down, just a titch, scoot spider with magazine, pee a little more, jump in my seat when the spider scurries to the opposite side of the window, put the window up a titch, rinse, repeat.

In the end, I managed to get the little bastard out of the car and I closed the window tightly, put the car in gear, waved apologetically at the seven cars stacked up behind me (yes! I became THAT parent!) and high-tailed it for home.

Halfway to the house I glanced to my right and spied this

Still clinging to the window, albeit on the outside,and staring at me with murderous intent. I could not have been more startled had he been waving a knife and wearing a hockey mask. Ok, maybe a little more.

Of course, by the time I got the car parked in the garage, gathered up the courage to get out of the car and grabbed the magazine to defend myself from the inevitable attack that would happen the second I exited the car; the bastard was nowhere to be seen, just like every horror-movie murderous hitchhiker ever represented on the big screen.

I am not kidding when I say that it is to my credit that I only peed my pants a little.

Also, always check the backseat before getting into your car; that's just solid advice right there.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Just When You Think It's Safe to Go Back Into the Drop-Off Lane

This morning, the kids and I sat in a line at the High School/Middle School drop-off lane that rivaled anything I ever faced at the elementary school. The family in the pick-up truck causing the traffic jam was completely oblivious to the seven cars behind them, taking their own sweet time to gather their children’s belongings and-I believe-to clean a ton of small objects from the floorboard of the passenger seat.

I say “I think” because, the teenage daughter was clearly stooping over the floorboard, making sweeping and picking motions with her hands and the time involved in the activity would indicate that she was removing a metric ton of objects and that they were obviously very small objects because, although I was only two cars behind the truck; I could not clearly see what the objects were. Although, now that I think about it, the fuckers could have just been messing with us for sport which; makes me even more angry than I was while sitting, trapped, in my car.

I am, like, Hulk-angry. Thanks, drop-off-line-blocking-assholes! Thanks for making me flashback to that one time when a woman spent five minutes blocking the drop-off line at the elementary school while she braided her daughter’s hair. Thanks! You made me grumpy, damnit!

Or, it could just be that, as the end of Lent draws near; I am experiencing Chocolate Rage, rage that would be triggered by something even less annoying than a drop-off-line blocker, like, I don't know, one's husband breathing loudly through his nose. Which, is just a random example, I mean, obviously.

Oh well, it's nothing that munching the ears off a Godiva bunny couldn’t cure. As an aside, did you know that you can pick up a two-pound Godiva chocolate bunny at Target? For just $9.99, even. Not that I have personal experience with such a purchase but, if I were going to buy a chocolate bunny, thus ruining the almost eight weeks of healthy eating that I have done, it damn straight would be Godiva and $9.99 would be a helluva deal.

On a slightly related topic, it occurs to me that this post begs not one but two questions; one, why must there always be an asshole in the drop-off line and, two, why am I driving my children to school when we live less than two blocks away and neither child is incapable of walking?


Monday, April 18, 2011

A Busy Weekend Makes for a Shorter Weekend. Damnit

With my trusty side-kick by my side, I accomplished a great deal this weekend. Indeed, while Hugh was off playing weekend-warrior and The Teenager was toiling away on a three-page report documenting the genesis of the sun; the Man-Cub and I managed to:

-Rake the leaves and debris from the vegetable garden.

-Haul the debris away for composting at a later date.

-Make a trip into town to purchase an additional wicker rocker and two side tables for the front porch.

-Ride our bikes to the park. Once there, the Cub spent an hour fishing while I ran the hiking trails. As an aside, the basket on Lulu is perfect for carting worms for fishing. I did not particularly want to know this interesting bit of trivia but now I do.

-Grocery shopping, laundry, house-cleaning (ok, that was mostly me; my trusty side-kick was busy playing with water balloons on the trampoline, practicing his pitching and playing with the dog. It’s all good, although; I doubt Batman washes Robin’s dirty underwear).

-Clean out and organize the pantry closet in the mudroom or, as I like to call it, the place where everything goes to die. Seriously, it’s like the Elephant Graveyard of old shoes, used athletic equipment, household do-dads and objects for which I am certain there was once a, purpose but that now, I can’t remember for the life of me what that purpose was. This chore is about as much fun as one might expect, especially the part where the Cub cries out “I remember this! I love these shoes! Hey, this still works! I bet I can find the (insert whatever here) that this goes to!” for every object unearthed from the depths of the closet.

-Gather enough crap to fully stock our upcoming yard sale.

-Die a little at the thought of having yet another yard sale (kill me. Kill me, now).

It was a busy weekend but I’m glad we got so much done. Now, I can travel to Mayberry for Easter this weekend without thinking about all the things that I need to get done at home. The Man-Cub is excited about going to Mayberry because of the ample length of sidewalk in front of my parent’s house (skate-boarding! Roller-blading!) and The Teenager is looking forward to the ham and scalloped potatoes that my mom always cooks.

Personally, I am looking forward to the end of Lent, not because I want to dive right back into the junk-food habit but because I like having the option to dive right back into the junk-food habit. Not that I’m going to; I’m just sayin’.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Hugh has been asked to participate in the shooting of a pilot for a show about commandos and guerilla warfare. I think; I wasn’t really paying attention when he described the show to me, I actually zoned out completely once he started talking about assault rifles and heavy artillery.

The jist of it is this; Hugh’s friend, who happens to be the inventor and manufacturer of some high-end army-issue weaponry, asked him to be in the show, which he is hoping will get picked up by The Discovery Chanel or The He-Man Network or some such thing (see above: not paying attention).

Hugh is two parts excited and four parts terrified of taking on the “role”, even though it is a reality-type situation in which he won’t have to memorize dialogue or plot-line or anything like that; he’ll just have to jump out of helicopters, shoot at targets, throw grenades into bunkers and that kind of thing. Indeed, the "role" is made for him and I have no doubt he will do just fine.

I have, however, taken to mimicking a director’s clapboard by clapping my hands together while shouting “CUT!” whenever I feel like changing the topic of our conversation. Then, I yell “MAKEUP!”, and slap him on the face as though I am holding a powder puff. It never gets old.

For me, anyway; I imagine he was over it around the first time that I did it but he has to deal with it because that is the price one pays for fame.

Aaaand, scene.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

And a Choir of Angels Sang

A generic version of my beloved Imitrex migraine medication recently became available and, today, I paid $15 for my prescription instead of $100+. That makes the specter of a looming migraine seem just the slightest bit more bearable. Not that I’m hoping for a migraine, obviously, but; the frugal old woman residing in my brain is most pleased.

Speaking of frugal old women; we have a customer who comes into the hardware store almost every day which, sounds really awesome, right? I mean, customer loyalty! Shopping the Little Guy instead of the Big Box! Yeah! Um, yeah, not so much. Yes, she always purchases some item but, without fail, she returns the next day to ask for a refund. Without. Fail.

So much so that I’m thinking of instituting a policy with her name on it; the Shirley Policy against Cash Refunds.

And, yes, I realize that she is probably lonely and comes to the store more for the conversation than for the dry goods but, frankly, we would still talk to her if she didn’t buy a thing, then; we would totally cut out the paperwork involved in refunding her cash and everyone would be happy.

Not as happy as I am about the reduced price of my wonder drugs but, happy nonetheless.

And, the angels would bust out in a happy dance as well as singing.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

We’re Getting the Band Back Together

The Man-Cub starts baseball practice this evening. This makes me happy on numerous levels, for one thing; I enjoy watching him play. For another, I have sorely missed the Dream Team Moms, which is what I have taken to calling the group of mothers who generously give of their time and their offspring to make baseball season relaxing and enjoyable as opposed to say; the moms from last season, otherwise known as The Season of Suck.

Hugh is back as Co-Coach this year, assisting his good buddy, Super Coach, whom the boys love and who gets the job DONE. The Cub is looking forward to playing for Super Coach again this year, probably because, not once in all the years that we have known Super Coach have we ever witnessed him say an ugly word to a kid, engage in unsportsmanlike conduct of any type, raise his voice at an umpire or any of the numerous aggravating things that The Dud from last year did on a regular basis.

Also, Super Coach actually coaches, the boys, unlike The Dud, who spent warm-up time in the bleachers, spitting sunflower seeds and chatting up the crowd about rodeo. Yep, at a baseball game. Oh, and we never practiced. Seriously, after the first game of the season, the boys never took the practice field again. It was shocking when they actually managed to improve toward the end of the season, improvement that in no way reflected on the coaching they had received.

So, yes; we are all looking forward to this evening and to a pleasant and enjoyable season. In fact, I need to lay in supplies for the numerous practices, scrimmages, games and get-togethers that we have planned, think; sunflower seeds, wine coolers, pretzels and, the economy sized bag of salt water taffy because these are the things that The Dream Team Moms like to indulge in while cheering our boys from the stands.

I love baseball.

And, you know, The Dream Team Moms rock.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Back to the Grind

Another day, another sack lunch; only six more weeks until summer break! And, yes, we did just have spring break last week, what is your point?

Speaking of spring break, The Teenager finally made it home from DC Saturday night, following some unexpected time spent in the Denver airport when delay after delay forced the group’s plane to take off five hours later than expected.

While I, having done more traveling than my daughter, was not at all surprised by that turn of events, The Teenager was fit to be tied; she called me several times to moan about the injustice visited upon her by high winds, plane malfunctions and cloud cover while I gently instructed her to look at it all as a learning experience; travel by flight is never as convenient as one hopes and learning to grapple with delays in as graceful a manner as possible will serve her well in the future.

The Teenager took that bit of sage advice and ran with it; spending the remainder of the layover cruising DIA chatting up random strangers and somehow convincing flight attendants to ride the escalator up and down, up and down while singing hip-hop tunes and high-fiving each other; her photo album of the DC trip will be a priceless memento, if for the photos of United Airlines employees getting their groove on, alone. And, the distraction proved sucessful; in what seemed like no time at all, the group was ready to board the flight home.

Naturally, the turbulence encountered by the small plane on the forty-five minute flight caused The Teenager to become nauseous, thus cementing her hatred of this particular mode of transportation but, the photo album doesn’t capture that particular aspect of the trip so, all in all, it was a good time.

While his sister was touring our nation’s capitol, the Man-Cub spent his vacation hanging out with Darren, snake-wrangling at Jana’s, fishing and entertaining me with his unique perspective on life. You know; the usual.

And, as I said, only six more weeks of school left before summer break. It really can’t come soon enough; I am so very ready to get the vegetable garden planted, to break the porch in and to lie in the sun on the boat.

Or, at the very least, I’m looking forward to not having to get up every morning to decide what the hell to pack in the Man-Cub’s lunchbox. Hell, I might banish peanut butter and jelly from my kitchen for the entire summer just to avoid the flashbacks.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

I Am the Queen of Passive Aggressiva. Where is My Crown?

The Teenager made it to DC without incident, save for the confiscation of her toothpaste at the small airport in Neighboring City. Her toothpaste! After we spent several minutes of our day searching for 3 ounce bottles for her shampoo and conditioner because we had heard horror stories about 5 ounce bottles being rejected during inspections, she has her toothpaste confiscated. All I can say is; a TSA agent working at Neighboring City Airport now has minty fresh breath. His colleagues must be so relieved.

Because, when she gets back home, The Teenager would also like to have minty fresh breath, I picked up a new tube for her at The Hellmouth yesterday. I also picked up either a nasty cold or allergies; I’m not sure which, whichever one you pick up in the toothpaste isle of The Hellmouth, obviously because, this morning; I woke up with a sore throat, runny/stuffy nose and mild headache. This makes me about as happy as you might imagine. Also, when I called The Hellmouth to ask about their policy on returning cold germs and/or allergies, they were less than helpful; I count this as yet another strike against The Hellmouth.

And, while I’m in Full Complaint Mode, I will mention that I went to two separate Starbucks stores yesterday and the baristas in both locations managed to royally screw up my order for a Venti skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte. The barista in the first store made my drink with whole milk and three pumps of full-sugar cinnamon syrup and then tried to pass the drink off as “skinny”, never mind that I was standing right there watching her. I took pity on that particular girl because it was obvious that she was new to the Starbucks world and was already flustered and anxious. The barista at the second store ( where I went after pouring out the first drink without complaining because I was trying to be nice. And, because I avoid confrontation at all costs) made my Venti drink in a Grande cup and applied a nice thick coating of whip, making the drink less than “skinny”. That time I did complain and a new drink was created so; I did eventually get my caffeine fix but, holy Hannah, baristas! Let’s try to get this stuff right the first time.

                                                  Elixir of the GODS

Ohhhh…it suddenly occurs to me that I might have picked up my cold/allergy misery at Starbucks, probably from the barista to whom I did complain about my screwed up order.

See? It just doesn’t pay to complain. On the bright side, I think I would recognize that barista so, when I return to the store later this week, I will be sure to tip her a dollar.

A dollar I have coughed on, breathe upon and generally coated with my germs.

Because my mother taught me to share.

Ok, not really but, duh; see above title of this post.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

She’s Leaving on a Jet Plane

I just put my baby on an airplane. She’s going to fly clear across the country without me or her father and, frankly, I find that just a wee bit terrifying. Granted, she’s in good hands-her teacher and the adult chaperones who are accompanying her are all as responsible, as respectable and, in the case of Kaz’s mom; as protective as I would be, myself-yet, I will worry about her safety and well being until the moment she is safely back under my roof.

As mothers do.

Because the group was scheduled to fly out so early this morning (6:00 flight, 4:30 airport arrival) and, because the airport is 45 miles away in Neighboring City; I, The Teenager, Kaz, her mom and one of the other teens going on the trip made the drive yesterday, did some shopping, ate dinner and then hunkered down in an airport hotel for the night.

Despite the brilliance of that plan, we got about as much sleep as we would have had we simply stayed home and gotten up at 3:00 to make the drive and; we have the man staying in the adjacent room to thank for that.

Note to self: Next Hotel stay preceding an early morning flight=ear plug purchase.

Second Note to Self: Baby girl will be just fine.

And, now, I need to take a little nap before I officially begin my day.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Spring Break Should Be Mandatory for Adults

The Teenager slept in until 1:00, today. The Man-Cub spent the entire day working on an elaborate mousetrap/marble maze/chain-reaction thingamajig while watching The Disney Chanel and snacking on anything that was available. And, what did I do all day? I worked, of course.

I call Not fair!

I would be totally bitter, but; I had a really fun weekend to balance out the unfairness of it all. The drive to the town hosting The Teenager’s volleyball tournament was pleasant (in sharp contrast to the drive back from the tournament but, I’ll get to that later) and we arrived at Jules’ house in time for dinner and to visit for a while before starting a marathon round of games. The games were spread out among the various gyms in the area, allowing me to spend some time on the college campus for the first time in many years.

I also got to drive around town, revisiting the places that the Girls and I used to hang out which always brings back fond memories and puts me in a good mood. Unfortunately, it can also make me a bit melancholy for the town, making leaving it again hard to do, until I do it, of course and then; I am fine.

And, speaking of leaving it, while the girls did fairly well at the tournament (placing third in their division), it was not a moment too soon when they lost their last game on Sunday, freeing us to make the drive home. The weather had taken a turn for the nasty, and, I do mean nasty, making the above-mentioned drive suck donkey balls. Thankfully, Hugh drove and I was able to hide my face in my sweatshirt and feign sleep rather than stomping on the imaginary passenger-side brakes while clutching my pearls and, obviously, we made it home just fine.

This brings us back to today and to the inherent laziness of my offspring. As I write, the Cub is still toiling away at his latest architectural invention while The Teenager harasses him about whether or not he is going to miss her while she is in Washington DC for the remainder of the week. And, in case I failed to mention it; The Teenager is leaving for DC with a group of students from her school, tomorrow. The group will spend the next four days touring our nation’s capitol, participating in the wreath-laying ceremony at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery, and driving the parent chaperones absolutely batty with their antics.

I opted not to chaperone this trip, which, now that I think about it, could almost be considered taking a Spring Break. Ok, not really but, I am trying to defeat the bitterness until such a time as the world agrees with my assessment of a mandatory Spring Break for all adults.

Hey, maybe that should replace World Peace as my platform for reform. Yeah, I’ll get right on that.