Sex and the City

Actually?  There wasn’t any sex.  But ha ha ha…made ya look!  Made ya look!  Stole your mother’s pocketbook.  Also?  You should be ashamed of yourself, you dirty bird, lookin’ for some sex.

But what we really did have was the city.  New York City.  Which is where I went this week-end for a reunion with 20 other sorority sisters from college.

And we spent the whole time talking.  Well…and drinking; But just a teeeensy bit of that.  Because, really, we only drank occasionally and in moderate amounts in college, so why start gettin’ jiggy with it now?!  (If you have something negative to say about any recent lying trends you may have noticed, you can just ZIP IT!  Because 1. whatever happens in NYC stays in NYC and 2. my parents are reading this blog.)

There was some sightseeing too.  Ok, a bit of shopping as well.  Also a nice group dinner.  And dancing on the rooftop at 1 a.m.   But there was no sitting.  Because as we learned, if you don’t buy bottle service, you don’t get to sit on any of the comfy couches scattered throughout the entire City of New York.  And since I wore strappy heels in red patent leather, my feet were KILLING me by the time the whole thing was over.

But catching up on the last two decades is hard work.  And someone had to do it.  If feet were sacrificed in the process, then so be it.

So what did I discover about this group of reunion-ees?  I learned that…We’re all good sisters… Each one the other’s friend.. And we’ll be good sisters ’til all the world shall end… And while we’re together, we’ll give a rousing CHEER… Al-pha Xi Del-ta!  Good sisters are so dear!  CHUG!!!

(But just a little chugging.  We didn’t do that much chugging in college, so why start now?!)

Oh.  You mean what else did I learn in ADDITION to that Good Sisters bit?  Well…some of us are married, some single.  Some of us took the Career Chick path.  Some went the Stay at Home Mom route.  Some do the Working Mother thang.  Some have no kids, one kid, two kid, red kid, blue kid.  SIX kids is cray-cray but there’s always one who goes THERE with THAT.

We traveled from states mostly located around New York, but also from Colorado, California and Florida.  We even had an international business woman jet-set in from COSTA RICA!

There has been cancer, divorce, sadness and sorrow.  But so far, we’re all alive and kickin’.  None of this group has joined Chapter Eternal.  So that’s something to be grateful for.

Yet despite our divergent paths in life, we’re still as young and fun as we always were.  I don’t know why any of us were worried we wouldn’t recognize the others.  We all still look EXACTLY the same!   NOTHING has changed.  In fact, we ALL agreed this was the case.  It’s all still the “Same as it ever was…Same as it ever was…time isn’t holding us, time isn’t after us, time isn’t holding us, time doesn’t hold you back, time isn’t holding us…“*

Can I get an ‘Amen!’ to THAT, Sister?!?

*For those who have just joined us, I play this fun game wherein an 80’s song will pop into my head, and I’ll mention it – along with the lyrics and the name of the artist and song.  80’s songs pop into my head so frequently, for any and every reason, that scientists have even developed a theory about it.  It’s called the “80’s song for every moment in life” theory.  And guess what?  It turns out that there’s even an 80’s song for sorority reunions!  Who knew?!  In this case it’s “Once in a Lifetime” released in 1980 by the Talking Heads on their Remain in the Light album.  See?  It’s fun, right?  Remember how I said it was fun, ’cause it’s fun.  And I’M fun.  AND young.  Well…at least I LOOK young; I have 20 witnesses who say the same.

Why I outta send you to the moon!

I go to Nordstrom’s…ohhhhhh…about once every 12 years.

To me, it’s like walking on the moon.  It’s so quiet and dead in there, your voice echoes (HELLO!…hello…hello…).  There’s never anyone around (ANYONE?  anyone…anyone  CAN ANYONE HEAR ME?  hear me…hear me).  You have to get specially suited up to go there only to find they have about three of everything – all in toothpick sizes.  It’s cold as Hell and the prices are out of this world!

In fact, I usually just walk THROUGH Nordstrom’s to get to the rest of the mall.

But today?  Today is gonna be different.  I’m gonna pop some tags…Only got twenty dollars in my pocket…I – I – I’m hunting, looking for a come-up…This is ******* awesome.  (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Thrift Shop – original release date: October 9, 2012.)

Why no, it’s not an 80’s song.  But it’s still playing in my head.  ‘Cause this is how I feel: like the home boy who has to shop for threads at the thrift store and spend twenty-bucks max.  ‘Cept instead of twenty-bucks, I actually have a $50 gift card that I got for my birthday back in MAY and it’s taken me this long to work up my courage to use it.  It may as well be $20 ’cause there’s not gonna be ANYTHING at Nordstrom’s I can buy for $50, much less $20.  But I’m gonna give it the ole’ college try.

Speaking of college!  I’m going to a sorority reunion in New York City this week-end and I thought THIS would be the perfect reason/time/opportunity to use my gift card to get something fun and cosmopolitan.  Hello (hello…hello) big city!  Here I come (come…come).

But as I’m parking my car, a woman comes out of Nordstrom’s full-out sobbing.  Heavens to Betsy!  What is going on??  In that store?!?

Before I can ask her if she’s ok (Was it a bad sale?  Only size 00 left??  What IS the problem?!?) she gets in her Lexus and drives off.  Guess she didn’t want to confide to the Home Mom in the 11-year-old Honda minivan with hail damage all over the hood.  Whatev’s b*tch!

Now I’m copping a ‘tude.  I’m all belligerent as I pull down the visor of my space helmet.  Gettin’ ready to breathe the rarefied atmosphere inside the store.  I hope I don’t come out sobbing!

There’s a pianist playing on the floor above me.  I can see the mall and freedom off in the distance; I so, so, so wanna go there.  But I’m here for the duration.  It’s just that I come here so infrequently I don’t know where the New York City college sorority reunion clothes are located.  So I make a quick pass through the ENTIRE store…going all the way up to the 3rd floor on the escalator (CRAP!  Only kids clothes and yoga stuff up here!) so I hook a U-y and head back down to the 2nd floor where I believe I have spotted some tags I could possibly pop with my gift card.

At this point, Mary Beth breezes up and asks if I’m shopping for anything special now that I got all the kids off to school in one piece.

I’m vaguely insulted by this line of questioning.  ‘Cause I’m not REALLY a Home Mom.  Am I? am I…am I…  Well not permanently.  Right? right…right…  And I’ve got WAY more important stuff to do then just come shopping at Nordstrom’s for some “me time” after the kids are off to school.  Yes, important things like finish my crochet project and clean the toilets.  Oh!  And write a blog about high-powered marketing execs turned unemployed bloggers slash Home Moms…home moms…home moms…

But what I actually say is, “Why yes. Yes, Mary Beth.  I AM shopping for something special.  You see, I’m going to a sorority reunion in New York City…”  I don’t get any further than that because Mary Beth has clapped her hands in front of her and actually SQUEALED!

Good Lord, Mary Beth.  Maybe YOU need to get out more.

And as she chattering on about how excited she is for me (uh, have we met before, Mary Beth?) she’s grabbing clothes left and right.  I catch a glimpse of …gulp…a $178 price tag on a blouse that looks JUST LIKE the blouse at Kohl’s for $14.99 BEFORE the 30% off coupon!  So I’m actually RELIEVED when I spot the $99 price tag on a different blouse.  (Ok, that wouldn’t be so bad.  That would be like spending $50 of my OWN money.  Which I could do.  Right?…right…right…)

I’m in the dressing room and removing my hermetically sealed lunar boots when I hear another customer ask Mary Beth about picking up her specially tailored pants.  (Where did all of these people come from all of a sudden?!)    And while Mary Beth breezes off to the backroom, I quickly try on about half of the clothes then put them all on the hook and slip out the door to the sales rack I spotted.  And there it is!  The sweater of all time…and space!  It’s PERFECT for walking around NYC in the Fall.  AND?  It’s on sale for $39!!!!  THIS. IS. MY. SWEATER. DESTINY!!!


Mary Beth and I are reunited at the cash register where she drips ice while asking me if this is all I’m getting.  Yes, Mary Beth.  This is my sweater destiny.  So I think we can call it a day.  And when I hand over my …gaaack!…gift card, she practically throws up on my hand.

As she rings me up (“You have $7 LEFT on your gift card”  jagged icicles splinter off the roof onto my unsuspecting head), she asks me where I’m staying in New York.  I don’t dare reply, “Uh…the Hampton Inn in Queens with the free breakfast for the first night.”  Instead I say all breezy and careless, “Oh, the Gansevoort Hotel in the old meatpacking district.  It’s a big Kardashian hangout now.”  And just like that, I’m back in Mary Beth’s good graces.

Yippeee – Mission Accomplished! As I’m BOUNDING out the door (I might actually weigh LESS here!!) I’m thinking to myself that that was actually kinda fun.  Thank you, Nordstrom’s!

But now?  Now what am I EVER going to buy with SEVEN dollars at Nordstrom’s?!?

I don’t know.  But I’ll figure that out in another…12 years…years…years…

Testing, testing, 1-2-3, testing (Part 2)

Remember that part in yesterday’s blog about pre-employment tests?  And remember how I said there were TWO tests – but then only told you about ONE of them?  Well today, Boys & Girls, we’ll discuss Test Number 2.  Officially it was called a “Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test” but I fondly refer to it as “OMG!  Why do I suck so much at math?!?”

It starts off with all sorts of dire warnings: You will have 15 minutes to complete this test.  There are 50 questions.  IT IS UNLIKELY YOU’LL FINISH BEFORE TIME EXPIRES.  But do your best.

Naaaaawwwww, that warning doesn’t raise my stress level one bit now, does it? 

At this point, I can feel my heart beating in my throat and my stomach has gotten queasy.  I am clearly going to bite dust here.  And I know it.  But being the brave soul I am, I click “Next” anyway.

No calculators are allowed.  Please use only pen and scratch paper.  THE QUESTIONS WILL BECOME MORE DIFFICULT AS YOU GO ON. 

Will you frickin’ stop already?!?  Your instructions SUCK!  AND ARE NOT HELPFUL!!!! 

Now I’ve gone into full-blown heart palpitations.  And I’m chumming in my mouth.

But I click another “Next” and am transported back in time to highschool where I am once again taking the SAT test.  There is no other way to describe the crap I am being subjected to, other than to say it feels eerily similar to taking the SAT.  And just like the SAT, I’m spending the first 10 minutes of the test trying to figure out what the grading scale is, “Should I just guess?  Am I PENALIZED for guessing??  Do I get some points for at least ANSWERING the question even if it’s the WRONG answer?!?”

By the time I come out of that nosedive, we’ve gotten some “pattern” questions out-of-the-way.  First there’s the “letter pattern” questions: badg, dbdf, fcde…what comes next in this pattern?  Hmmm…wait!  Wait.  a, B, c, D, e, F…I might be on to something!  The answer is 2. hddd .  Woo-hoo! 

Then there are the “shape pattern” questions:  Which one is not like the other?  Which one just doesn’t belong?  Which one is not like the other?  Can you figure it out before I finish this Sesame Street song?!?  The pattern they display on the screen is a triangle, a circle, a square.  As answer choices, they offer: a rhombus, a parallelogram with a triangle for-a-head, a rectangle, and a circle.  THE CIRCLE!  CHOOSE THE CIRCLE!!   

And while I’m riding my I-can-pick-out-the-pattern-anywhere-anytime high, I get slammed upside the head with this doozie: A plane loaded with cargo travels 2000 miles at an average speed of 400 miles per hour.  On the return trip on the same route it travels at an average speed of 480 miles per hour.  How much quicker was the return trip?


Aaaack, what happened to the time?!?   Ok.  Ok.  You move the invisible decimal over one in the 400 miles per hour and that gives you 40.  That tells you that 40 is 10% of 400.  If you double that, you get 80.  So 80 is 20% of 400.  They added 80 to 400 to come up with 480.  So look for the answer that has something to do with 20% quicker.  Let’s see, what are the options…

1)      10 minutes
2)      32 minutes
3)      50 minutes
4)      70 minutes
5)      90 minutes

What?!?  These answers are all in MINUTES.  I was hoping for a percentage!!  But I can do this.  Let’s see – you start with 60 minutes in an hour and move the invisible decimal over one.  That gives you 6 minutes or 10% of 60 minutes, but we’re looking for 20% of 60 minutes so you double the 6 and come up with 12 minutes.  But there is NO flippin’ 12 minutes for an answer!  And I’ve completely left out that part about traveling 2000 miles.  But I can’t even figure OUT how to incorporate that.  I SUCK AT MATH!!!!!  Ok, well.  Let’s just go with 2) 32 minutes, because that’s the only one with a “2” in it.


Choose the word that is most nearly OPPOSITE to the word in capital letters: OSTENTATIOUS.
1)      Omnipotent
2)      Refined
3)      Modest
4)      Undignified
5)      Gorgeous

3) Modest???  Or Refined???  Is ostentatious ‘loud and obnoxious’ or just ‘overly gaudy’?!?  CRAP!!!  Now my bad math skills are infecting my good English skills.  Just choose something!  Ok, modest. 


1)      GUN is to ABDUCT
3)      CAGE is to FEED
4)      DOOR is to CLOSE
5)      FIELD is to WANDER

4) DOOR is to CLOSE???  But a partition separates, a door closes, a refrigerator cools.  Crap!  CRAP!!!  No.  4.  Stick with 4.


After selecting 180 of its employees to form a new division, a company discovers that engineers outnumber analysts by a 3:1 ratio in the division.  Only analysts and engineers work in the new division.  How many more analysts must the company add to the division if it wants to have a 1:1 ratio of engineers to analysts at the new division?
1)      45
2)      60
3)      75
4)      90
5)      135

Screw the engineers AND the analysts.  SCREW ‘EM!  But if they want a 1:1 ratio, then there needs to be 180 of each, right?  Which means they already have 180 and they need to add 180 MORE.  How is this helping me?   3 goes into 180, 60 times.  So right now there are only 60 analysts.  They want 180 analysts.  So they need to hire 120 more analysts.  WHY IS THERE NO ‘120 ANALYSTS’ ANSWER?!??  Maybe some will get fired while we’re figuring this out so we should round-up to 135.


Kelly, Lisa, Mark and Ned are friends.  One is a painter, another a doctor, another a lawyer, and another a salesperson.  Each has a hobby: their hobbies are tennis, jogging, poker, and gardening.

  • Lisa is the lawyer.
  • Mark is the doctor and his hobby is jogging.
  • The painter’s hobby is jogging.
  • Kelly’s hobby is tennis.

Even if we did not know that Kelly’s hobby is tennis, which of the following statements could we deduce to be true?
A-Kelly is either the painter or the salesperson
B-Nancy’s hobby is gardening
C-Mark’s hobby is either poker or tennis

1)      1 only
2)      2 only
3)      3 only
4)      1 and 2
5)      1 and 3


Your test has concluded.  We will contact you shortly if you are a candidate for employment.

Testing, testing, 1-2-3, testing

Let’s review:

No, I don’t have a job yet.  But thanks for bringing it up!  [stink eye, stink eye]  And?  And now prospective employers are making me take personality tests before they’ll even talk to me.  Should I be worried about that?!  Uhm – I don’t THINK so.  But we’ll let you be the judge.

Here’s how my last round of testing went…

I receive a friendly little email from the recruiter indicating it’s their company’s standard practice to see how insane and/or stupid candidates are before they’ll even talk to them.  Which means that this will actually be TWO tests – one for insanity and one for stupidity.

The first test?  Some sort of “mental health” test which quickly becomes a road to Hell that messes with my mind and tricks me into revealing how completely off-my-rocker I really am.  But they’re kind enough to give me a list of possible answers to all the questions up front.  These I furiously write down in case they don’t provide the answers anywhere else in the test and this is in fact PART of the test to test my preparedness to TAKE the test.  (1.Always true, 2.Mostly true, 3.Sometimes true/sometimes false, 4.Mostly false, 5.Always false.)  But this test isn’t timed (phew!), so I can take the SLOW ROAD to Hell if I want.

The questions go something like this:

  • I am afraid of failing. [Well…sometimes I DO fail, but I’m not necessarily AFRAID of failing.  So it’s “Mostly true”]
  • I get depressed. [How is this ANY business of yours?!?  But ok, we’ll go with “Mostly false”]
  • I do not hurt people I love. [And here’s where the “double negative” component of the answers pops my head right off.  I pause EXTRA long to try to puzzle this out.  Is it “Mostly false”??!  Because I DON’T hurt the people I love.  Well, usually not on purpose.  But wait!  It should actually be “Mostly true” ’cause sometimes I DO hurt the people I love…but not on purpose.  Well, mostly.]
  • I am emotionally stable.  [THIS IS ALWAYS TRUE.  ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS!!!  I AM COMPLETELY STABLE!!!!!!  Why do you ask?]
  • I have friends of the opposite sex. [Did I accidentally stumble onto a dating service questionnaire?!?]
  • I seldom feel blue.  [I’m on to you.  You already asked me if I get depressed.  Now you’re just calling it “blue.”  Either way it’s none of your business but I think the answer is “Mostly true”]
  • I often feel blue.  [WTF?  Seriously?!?  ‘Seldom’ has now moved to ‘OFTEN’??  Is there going to be a diagnosis at the end of this??  This is WAY too personal for an employment test.  Next you’ll be calling my GYN to chat about my PAP smear results!!!] 

And now?  Now I have a song playing in my head which lasts for the rest of the day…

They’re coming to take me away, Ha-ha.  They’re coming to take me away, Ho-ho Hee-hee-haa-haa.  To the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time.  And I’ll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats.  And they’re coming to take me away, ha-ha!*

* “They’re Coming to Take Me Away” by Dr. Demento from his LP record released in 1985.  Boo-YAH!  And it turns out “An 80’s song for every moment in life” CAN be found in Pre-employment Mental Health Tests.  Howz about you take THAT to the funny farm, and put it in your white coat pipe and smoke it, why dontcha?!!!

No More Cookies For You!

My best friend in grade school, Kathy Sokop, and I created this funny shtick we called “No More Cookies For You!”  We would mostly trot it out on the playground, but really – being apropos absolutely nothing – it could be used anytime, anywhere, for any reason.

Basically the “No More Cookies For You!” routine consisted of one of us coming up behind the other, grabbing that person around the upper arm, and goose-stepping them somewhere, all the while proclaiming in a severe English nanny voice, “You’re in big trouble now, Missy!  No more cookies for YOU!!!”

See??  Totally funny, right?!  It makes you want to fall all over yourself laughing until you get a demerit, doesn’t it?!??

So naturally, I’ve passed this juvenile antic on to my kids.  And sometimes when we’re walking into a store, or returning to the car, I’ll just spontaneously grab them by the arm and march them off (turns out it’s even FUNNIER if the other person is much shorter than you and you can really hike ’em up and make their one leg dangle) all the while proclaiming, “No more cookies for you!!!”

“Why this big trip down memory lane?” you might ask.

Well…Sonny just lost a tooth.  He has braces and said tooth was still attached to its bracket.  Which caused the tooth to endlessly spin around on its wire and get caught in his other teeth every time he bit down.

Being the super fun and creative mom I am, I cut the wire with a pair of toenail clippers.  [Don’t worry.  Sissy reminded me to sanitize them first.  “Gloood illldeal slllweetie,” I said as I licked them clean!  Kidding.  Kidding.  Of course I didn’t LICK them.  That’s unsanitary.  I spit on them instead.]

But once I clipped the tooth out, the remaining wire was very poke-y and took on more of an inner-lip-shredding function rather than a teeth-straightening function.  Which necessitated an early morning, impromptu orthodontist visit.  So early in fact, that everyone in the orthodontist office was just grunting at each other and no one appreciated my joke about being “ready for my orthodontist certificate, Doc!  Just give me a pair of toenail clippers and let me at ’em!” Hardy har har har har!  

After the new (professional) wire install, Sonny helped himself to THREE freshly baked chocolate chip cookies on the way out of the office.  [Hey!  It’s not a DENTIST office.  It’s an ORTHODONTIST office.  Where they just straighten the teeth.  They don’t care if there are holes in ’em!]  And we were off – trying to make it to school before the first bell!

On the car trip there, every time I looked in the rearview mirror, Sonny had chocolate smeared in some additional place.  [Did I mention the fresh-baked nature of the cookies?  And that they were CHOCOLATE CHIP??  And that as a result they were especially GOOEY?!?]

Me: “Buddy, you have chocolate all over the heel of your right hand.  Please wipe it off.”

wipe, wipe, wipe.  munch, munch, munch.

Me: “What?!  Buddy!  Now you have chocolate all over your KNUCKLES!”

wipe, wipe, wipe, munch, munch, munch

Me:  “AAAAAAaaaacckkkkk!  Now there’s a big glob of chocolate all over your seatbelt shoulder strap.  Wipe it off RIGHT NOW otherwise it’ll get all over your uniform shirt!!”

wipe, munch, wipe, munch, wipe, munch

Me:  “Good Lord, Boy!  There is chocolate all over your NECK.  It looks like a messy chocolate vampire had atchya.  CLEAN. IT. UP!”


At this point we’re pulling in to the parking lot of school.  So yes, literally, the whole ride entailed: 1) him eating chocolate chip cookies and 2) wiping up after the chocolate chip cookies.

And as we’re walking towards school, I notice that Sonny has chocolate SMEEEEARED all over the BACK OF HIS PANTS!!!  (Reminiscent of a scene from Diary of a Wimpy Kid, no?)  The cookie crumbs must have fallen down through his legs and gotten smooshed all over the back of his pants.  But no one’s gonna know THAT.  They’re just gonna think he had a case of explosive diarrhea all over his uniform pants!!!  Acccckkkk!!!!!

So as we’re waiting for the office lady to buzz us in, I’m swiping at his behind with my hand.  To the casual observer, it must have looked like we were engaging in a before-school, ritualistic spanking ceremony.  ‘Cept the ceremony didn’t make his pants much better, and my hand was DEFINITELY worse for wear.

As we’re marching into school, I’m giving him strict instructions to go to the bathroom and clean his pants off as best as he can and then GET TO MATH CLASS!!!

Oh!  And Sonny??  NO. MORE. COOKIES. FOR. YOU!!!

Happy Hump Day!

Yesterday was Hump Day.  Which means the week peaked.  We’re up and OVER the hump, and we’re on the downslope now; There’s nothing left to do but coast on into the week-end.

And coast I will…

Because my hump day was a DOOZIE!

First stop on Happy Hump Day?  Get the kids to school, get gas in the car’s beyond-empty gas tank, get to my annual GYNECOLOGIST appointment.  (Doesn’t that word just OOZE horrible-ness?  And doesn’t the word OOZE just ooze horrible-ness??)

The whole gee-why-en visit could be its own stand-alone blog post.  But I’ll just suffice to say that – for some strange reason – I had the song lyrics from “One Night in Bangkok” running through my head the whole time.  I get my kicks ABOVE the waistline, Sunshine!*  Oh…and also, Doc?  No TALKING!!!  Do not CHAT with me while you’re doing THAT!!!!  And if you EVER offer me COFFEE while you’re doing THAT, down THERE?!?  I’m gonna gather up my backless gown and crinkly paper apron and head-for-the-hills!!

Next stop on Happy Hump Day?  Lunch Lady Duty!  Where everyone assured me that “Cheeseburger and Chips” was one of the easiest lunches to serve.  But no “cheeseburger” or “chips” for me.  I got stuck offering canned-peaches-in-heavy-syrup out of what looked like a dirty crayon bin.  I started to take personally ALL the faces the kids were making when I would give them a scoop.  Like I was single-handedly bringing down the cheeseburger-and-chips party.  But maybe it wasn’t the peaches?  Maybe I should have used my OTHER arm to serve them with?  You know, the arm that DIDN’T have the cottonball-squished-down-by-a-piece-of-medical tape covering up the morning’s blood-draw site.  Maybe THAT’S what all the faces were about??  Either way, by the end of my tour of duty, my feet were hurting like sumbitches.  Which is what I get for standing for hours, sloppin’ peaches in my super-cute-but-excruciatingly-uncomfortable shoes.  In my own defense, all I can say is, “Hey!  You GOTTA dress to impress the gee-why-en who will never, EVER see your shoes because she’s so busy seeing the BOTTOM of your BARE FEET.  And speaking of BOTTOMS, that reminds me…DO NOT CHAT WITH ME WHILE YOUR DOING THAT!  DOWN THERE!!!”

After I wolf down a free-but-ice-cold cheeseburger, I head to my school fundraising meeting.  Which lasts until school gets out.  At which point I get a call from a neighbor that Gramma was going to pick up her kids but Gramma locked her keys in the car.  Would I take her kids AND Gramma home with me so Gramma could get her spare keys??

Sure!  What else am I doing?  And after giving strict instructions to all double-buckled kids-in-the-back-seat to “Duck!” if the cops come, we finally make it home.  Sissy quickly changes for her softball game, Sonny takes the lonely dog for a walk and we’re back in the car – with Gramma AND her spare keys AND the lonely dog – heading back to school so Gramma can get her car, Sissy can get to her softball game and the dog can be a freak in FRONT of other people (instead of in the privacy of our laundry room).

Second-to-last stop on Happy Hump Day?  Fast food dinner.  Because after the softball game is over at 7:30 p.m., who wants to cook dinner?  Not me, that’s for damn sure!  And you know who ELSE doesn’t want to cook dinner after a long day?!?  My GEE-WHY-EN!  You know how I know this??  Because she’s sitting RIGHT THERE!  RIGHT INSIDE THE DOOR OF CHIPOTLE’S!!  EATING DINNER WITH HER DAUGHTER as I walk in!!!  What are the chances of THAT?!??!  But instead of a big reunion scene, we just nod discreetly to each other.  Because really?  Who wants to draw attention to the fact that both of us were involved in giving-and-receiving hoo-haw checks today?!  Not me.  That’s for DAMN sure!

Last and FINAL stop on Happy Hump Day?  I’m in bed.  Falling asleep.  When I realize that my nose zit is back.  On the right outer nostril rim.  But inside.  But not ALL the way inside.  In other words, I can’t gitatit from OUTSIDE my nose.  And I can’t gitatit from INSIDE my nose.   It’s inside the outside of my nose.  Ouch.  Yep, still hurts.  Ouch, yep.  Ouch!  Yep, still hurts.  Ouch, yep.

Annnnd??  We’re on the downslope.  Nothin’ but smooth sailin’ from here-on-in.  Just coastin’ on in to the week-end at this point.  Just coaszzzzztin’.  Coaszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzztin’.  Coaszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……….


*Lyrics from “One Night in Bangkok,” originally sung by the British actor and pop-dance singer Murray Head on the 1984 album from the musical Chess.  The song was composed by former ABBA members Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus and lyrics were written by Tim Rice.  Come on, People!  Even if you aren’t going the play the “80’s song for every moment in life” game with me, you HAVE to give me props for this one!!!  Everything about it SCREAMS 80’s!

The Dirty Puppy Whodunnit

(Subtitled: YOU RAT BASTARD DOG!!!!!)

It’s been raining for forty days and forty nights here in CO.  (No one gave ME the high-sign to build an ark.  If they had, it would have been built last year and I would be putting the finishing touches on the ark cozy I’m crocheting for the occasion.  Oh, and?  AND I WOULD BE INSIDE THE ARK RIGHT NOW!  WITH A NICE, DRY, CLEAN DOG!!!)

Instead, I’m trying to find the dirty puppy who somehow snuck into the house after playing in the side-yard mudpile.  Did I mention we’ve recently had forty-days-and-forty-nights-of rain?!?

Hmmm…I thought I heard him come in.  But then I didn’t hear him.  And that sound of silence (Hello, Darkness my old friend.  I’ve come to talk with you again...) was my first clue that I was in serious, SERIOUS trouble.

But where to begin? (perhaps the dirty paw prints on the kitchen floor hold a clue)




Is the puppy here? (dirty paw prints on the fireplace and swipe marks on the carpet are my next clue)




How about here? (dried mud spatter-pattern on the coffee table – clearly he paused here long enough to shake mud off his fur)







Maybe…HERE?!? (note weird chameleon effect of once-cream-now-brown dog on brown couch. Perhaps this is why I didn’t immediately spot him. That and he’s lying there vewy, vewy qwietwy.  Hey there, Chameleon.  Lyin’ there, in the sun.  All things to everyone.  RUN!  RUN AWAY!!!).  YOU RAT-BASTARD DOG!!!  GET OFF THE COUCH!!!!!!!!!!!

And ‘lest you think the dark fur is because he’s simply…just wet.  Let me dissuade you of that notion.  Because here he is in a before-and-after-picture: wet and dirty vs. wet and CLEAN!!!  In both instances he’s a TOTAL JERK!!!

P.S.  Why no, I don’t have a job yet!  But thanks for asking.  [stink eye, stink eye]  But if I ever DO get a job?  Remind me that I never, EVER want the “crime scene cleaner”  job.  I would imagine the blood spatter on the walls, floor, carpet, furniture etc is as much of a sumbitch to clean up as the aftermath of…duh, duh, duhn…The Dirty Puppy Whodunnit!

Of Ikea and Amusment Park Rides

In addition to sounding like an overly aggressive karate-chop noise, Ikea ranks in my personal “Top 3 Stores I Love AND Hate.”  [Kohl’s, don’t get all cocky.  I got my eye on you too.  But for different reasons.]

Before I go into the whole Ikea thing though, I wanted to ask if anyone else remembers going to the amusement park and riding on that “Antique Car” ride when they were younger?  Remember the first time you did it all-by-yourself?  You’re waiting in line, almost giddy with excitement.  You can’t believe the “people in charge” are going to let you DRIVE!  All-by-YOURSELF!!  You don’t even have a LICENSE!  And they’re gonna let you DRIVE!  All-by-YOURSELF!!!!

Then you get on, wrap yourself with that smelly strap.  YOU’RE OFF!!!  And?!?!  wah-wah-wah (insert game show “I’ve been let down by my own stupidity” noise here).

There’s a TRACK!  Why did you never notice that blasted TRACK before?!?  You’re not really steering; You’re just following the TRACK!  In fact, you can take your hands off the wheel altogether and casually place them behind your head, kick your feet up on the dashboard and you’ll STILL make it back to the start.  And you thought YOU were going to be in charge.

Well….Ikea is like that.  You think, “This is gonna be GREAT!  This is gonna be so much FUN!!”  But as you begin to bump down the road, you realize “steering wheel” is a misnomer because there’s no steering involved.  On your part, at least.  You’ll go where THEY tell you to go.

You see, Ikea makes you go ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE STORE in order to get out the other end.  Even if you just run in for something that can be found at the entrance of the store…you still have to go ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE STORE to get out alive.

Trust me.  I know.

Sissy and I were just there this past week-end.  We ran in before church to “quickly” look at Ikea’s selection of stoppered bottles.  (It’s a Christmas project.  Don’t ask.)  The glassware department is right beside the weird Euro cafeteria where the meatballs are selling like hotcakes even though it’s only 10 in the morning.  I know exactly how we came in.  I can re-trace the path in my head.  The plan is that once we get down the stairs, we can just…walk back up and out.  Right??

But like some sort of haunted house, while we were downstairs for 5 minutes, all the doors have shifted.  The pictures have grown taller and creepier.  An evil laugh booms over the loudspeaker MWA HA ha ha haaaaaa.  And even though we walk back upstairs, there’s no way to get out the way we came in.  (“Last thing I remember, I was runnin’ for the door.  I had to find that passage back to the place I was before.  “Relax,” said the night man, “we are programmed to receive.  You can check out anytime.  But you can NEVER LEAVE!!!!”)

We spy an elevator marked “Exit, this way.”

Hey Willy Wonka!  What happens if we get in this elevator? 

So we try it.  There’s a hope in my mind that the elevator will either 1) blast out of the top of the shaft and we’ll soar through the air until we can get our bearings – or 2) will shoot sideways and we’ll wind up back in the parking garage where our ride is waiting [hey! it’s Ikea.  It could happen through the use of rickety Scandinavian technology.]

And?  The elevator takes us to the bottom of the stairs again.

Whaaaaaa?!?  How the EFF do you get out of here?!?!?

Since I’ve heard about a store “shortcut” that only the most seasoned Ikea-goers know about, I start keeping my eagle eye out for top-secret shortcut signs.  As I’m doing that, Sissy begins to tell me about her dream from the previous night.  She’s on a merry-go-round with a bunch of babies.  The merry-go-round starts going faster and faster.  The babies fly off one-by-one.  She tries to grab them as they sail past, but she’s ineffective.  She can’t let go, otherwise she’ll go flying off too.  Eventually she’s the only one left.  She’s holding on for dear life with both hands while her legs flap out behind her like pants-on-a-clothesline-in-the-wind.

Hmmm…  Sissy?  Why does what we’re doing HERE at IKEA remind you of your dream?!? 

Merry-go-round?  Haunted House?!  Antique Cars??  Either way – stop the Ikea ride.  I wanna get OFF!!!

The Scan Scam

Duh duh da-da-da-da DUH DUH duh da da da duh duh duh DUH da da da duddleuddleuddleDUH!  (Get it?  It was the Can-Can music.  ‘Cause Scan Scam sounds like Can-Can.  That took too much ‘splainin’ time.  If you can’t spot right away that I’m witty and clever, then I can’t help you.  Please forward this blog on to someone who Can.  Can.   Hee hee hee)

So…yesterday, I’m sitting there blogging.  And this weird warning pops up on my computer screen.  It’s all in red with X’s everywhere and it says, “POTENTIAL THREAT DETAILS!”


What should I do?!?

So being the computer guru I am, I take a computer picture of it (Shift-Print Screen) then put it into an email (Control-V) and send it to my husband who’s on a business trip.

His plane just landed and he texts me back immediately with, “Run another Essentials scan to confirm virus.”

To which I reply, “That warning just popped up, I wasn’t doing anything.  So how do I run the Essentials whatsy whozit?”

Him: “Microsoft Essentials can be found under Programs.  Run a quick scan and then a full scan.”

Hmmm…ok.  Is there a button for that?!  Beebeebeeebee.  (That’s me making that dumb-dumb sound while running my finger rapidly up-and-down over my lips.)

Eventually I figure it out (hint: type “Microsoft Essentials” into the “Search Programs and Files” box with the little magnifying glass next to it) and run the Quick Scan.

Nothin’.  But I can hear – very faintly – some carpenter ants inside the computer munching on all of the important words stored in there.

I run the Full Scan.


I am now out an hour-and-a-half of my day.

And that is what I am calling the Scan Scam.  What was that all about anyway?!  Just remindin’ me I have them-there Microsoft products on my laptop?!?  What a waste of time!!!  I am very busy.  I have LOTS to do.

And now?  Now it’s time to dance!  Duh duh da-da-da-da DUH DUH duh da da da duh duh duh DUH da da da duddleuddleuddleDUH!

I volunteer! I volunteer as Tribute!*

The kids’ school has this hare-brained scheme wherein the administration sends every important flyer/notice/announcement home with the youngest space cadet in the family.

So, in our case – for the entire school year – the responsibility of receiving communication from Space Command rests squarely on Sonny’s shoulders.

Uh…Houston.  We have a problem.

Why not give every important paper and deadline notice to the OLDER child?  You know…the one who LIVES for and BY the rules?  And feels a sense of responsibility about EVERYTHING??  Yeah.  That one.  Why not THAT one??

But nooooo.  OHHH Noooooooo!

Instead, they give all of the most important communication to Sonny.  YEAHHHHHH – that’s a GREAT idea [she says while dripping sarcasm all over the carpet].   Sonny is more monkey than boy on any given day, and he’d rather be strengthening his opposable thumbs through the use of Legos than doing ANYTHING that requires him to…uh…be responsible.

So when he handed me the school’s Volunteer Book over the week-end, I was a bit suspect, but dutifully filled it out anyway.

Now, you may ask yourself, “What is the Volunteer Book?”  You may ask yourself, “How do I work this?”  You may ask yourself, “Where is that large automobile?”  You may tell yourself, “This is not my beautiful house.”  You may tell yourself, “This is not my beautiful wife!”  (Talking Heads: “Once in a Lifetime” live version released as a single in 1984.  I added that lyric about the Volunteer Book…but I still think I’m the BEST at this “80’s song for every moment in life” game we play constantly.  The rest of you don’t seem to be participating much.)

The Volunteer Book is where all of the volunteer opportunities to participate in the school’s version of the Hunger Games are listed.  You must then decide how you want to die.  (Working Book Fair, for example.  Or Field Day perhaps??  There are even some die-from-home opportunities like cutting out box tops!)  Once you’ve made your decision, you complete twenty different forms, cut off the bottom of each, bundle them all together and turn them in the school office.

[Speaking of death…I want someone to shoot me with a bow-and-arrow RIGHT NOW!!!  Because the process of volunteering is just about as excruciating as the volunteering itself.  Come on!  Why are they sending home a bound REAM of paper-that-needs-to-be-completed-and-cut-out when we have this nifty little invention called COMPUTERS!?!??  Why are they even still MAKING that mini-scissor-cutting-through-the-dotted-line symbol?!?  SHOOT ME ALREADY!!!)

While I’m putting all these little slips of paper in an envelope ready for Sonny to bring back to school this morning, I’m reading the notice on the first page of the Volunteer Book.



But I just GOT the &^%$#!*&^%$#! Volunteer Book!!!!  That boy-monkey just handed it to me TWO DAYS AGO and I remember thinking how human-like his paw looked as he did it!!!

See?!?  SEE???  I told you this was a bad plan!  I TOLD YOU THIS WAS A BAAAAAAD PLAAAAN!!!

Once I discovered the deadline, I naturally had to spend the next 10 minutes lecturing Sonny on bringing his A game each-and-every-day.  Especially when it comes to important information pertaining to school.  Step it up.  Grow your sense of responsibility.  Blahblahblah.  Blah blah blah BLAH blah.  [You get the point.  I basically said the same thing about fifty different ways.  In a loud, screech-y voice which makes the whole lecture particularly pleasant to listen to, I’m sure.]

Then after the kids left for school, I immediately emailed the woman in charge of the Volunteer Book to throw my son under the bus while apologizing for getting my slips in late.

She emailed right back to say the Volunteer Book had been delayed.  It actually just came home late last week.



tee hee hee.

Well…What I said still stands.  Sonny DOES need to bring his A Game.  We’ll just repurpose this morning’s “chat” into a General Life Lessons for Monday discussion and call it good.

I may be a bad mother, but at least I didn’t miss any volunteer opportunities.  ‘Cause I may as well spend my day dying at school since I don’t have a JOB or anything!   But thanks for bringing it up.  [stink eye, stink eye]


*For those who pretended they were once again thirteen and read the Hunger Games Trilogy when it came out, the “I volunteer!  I volunteer as Tribute!” quote is fairly obvious.  For those who have NO idea what I’m talking about, I can’t help you because I’m now on a train to the capital where I will fight to the death.  Good bye.