Playing Favorites

Sonny asked me the other day which child was my favorite…him or Sissy.  

Now – if you’re a mother – you’ll recall that when you took your motherhood oath, you swore that you would never HAVE a favorite child.  And if by chance you forgot that oath, and actually DID have a favorite child?  Then there was that secondary oath about never admitting which child IS your favorite.  To anyone.  Including yourself.

Of course you remember that oath.  It was after you did that secret handshake?  In the backroom??  You got a pin.  There was a color guard?  Still not ringing a bell?!?  You can’t tell me that none of this is sounding familiar.  And why are you looking at me like that?

Wait.  Was I not supposed to say anything about the oath??  Was this our own little big secret?!? 

Oopsie.  Sorry, Gals.  Tee hee hee.  [Insert nervous laughter here, and also…blink, blink…blink, blink…look at my cute, innocent face.  Is it defraying your anger yet?  ‘Cause this approach always works when your kids do it, right?]  

But really, who hasn’t tried to squeeze that info out of their own mother?  In fact, I remember how we (and when I say “we” I mean mostly me.  I pretty much KNEW I was NOT the favorite child.  I know.  Weird.) would put forth improbable scenarios to see how Mom would answer and then we (mostly me) would know; Finally KNOW who her favorite child was.  (Again, not me, but info still worth having in my back pocket for future sessions with the therapist.) 

“Mom, what if the house was on fire and you could only save one of us…which one would you save?”  But hah-HAH!  Mom, remembering the oath in the backroom with the secret handshake, the pin, and the color guard, would say, “I would save you ALL or die trying!” 

Hmmm…really, Mom?!   I have my suspicions.  Just ‘fess UP already. 

Still, when Sonny asked me the question of who my favorite child was, I was a bit taken aback.  I don’t recall my kids ever asking me THAT particular question.  And as far as I could tell, it was completely unprovoked (THAT day at least).

But being the mother of a former boy scout, I was prepared!  My response?  “Actually…I don’t like either one of you very much.”

Phew!  Oath preserved (to be tested another day, I’m sure).  

Make Mine a Double!

A MIXED Double, that is.

Hubby and I have joined the mixed doubles tennis team at the local country club. 

And just to clarify, Hubby is waaaaaay better at tennis than I am.  Surprise, surprise.  Because really, who isn’t?  But in my defense, he’s got some physical advantages that help.  First off, he’s 6 feet 4 inches tall and has the wingspan of a pterodactyl.  AND he’s a former collegiate baseball pitcher*.  This means he can hit the ball HARD!  I’m glad he’s on my side.  Also, he played tennis in highschool.  And when I say “he played tennis in highschool” I mean that he would hit the ball around at the local park with some highschool buddies during their summer break.  From highschool.  But that’s all the pro heard when she first met him – that he “played tennis in highschool,” and now he’s ranked a level higher than I am.  What?  What the WHAT??!  

But before we joined the mixed doubles tennis team, being the Tennis Dope I am, I had to seek clarification from the tennis pro, “Uh…when it says MIXED, that means it’s different skill levels, right?  ‘Cause we are.  We have.  Different skill levels, that is.  So this might be for us.”

To her credit, the pro replied with a very calm, “No….‘mixed’ refers to genders.  Whenever you see ‘mixed’ in tennis, that means it’s going to be different GENDERS.”  But I could tell it was said in the same artificially composed tone of voice a kindergarten teacher uses right before she starts smacking heads.  This is why I could never be a kindergarten teacher – or a tennis pro.  Too much head-smacking.  Which would hurt my arm.  Which already hurts from tennis. 

Anywho, this week-end, to really kick our Mixed Doubles Tennis Effort off in style, we played in a Mixed Doubles Mixer.  (Come on!  The name alone implies there was gonna be tons of alcoholic bevvies.  But, nope.  Nuthin’ doin’.  Turns out the only drink being offered was SoBe water in cough syrup flavor.)  But pay that no never mind.  What I really wanted to say is that Hubby and I ended up winning.  YAY!!!  But it was mostly due to Hubby starring in the role of Gorilla At The Net.  He can knock those teeny tiny planes outta the sky like nobody’s business.  And from where I was standing (waaaaay in the back…almost completely OFF the court…kinda like I wasn’t even playing at all…and was just WATCHING everyone play), I could see his shadow stretching up, up, up and over the net and creeping across half the opposing side.  Boom!  BOOM!  BOOM!!  (That was the sound of him walking onto the court like King Kong.  Me funny.)

Admittedly, there were only two other couples playing.  And there may have been a few rounds of Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine standings.  Also?  The husband of the first couple served his ball right into his wife’s back at the beginning of the match which…uhhh…totally pissed her off and disrupted their loving married couple vibe for a bit.  (There may have also been swear words.  But we’ll keep that private.  What I will tell you, though, is that the other wives present used it as a teaching moment for their respective spouses.  The teaching moment started with: So help me, if you EVER do that to ME…) 

It also bears mentioning that the woman on the second doubles team is recovering from a broken heel bone and plantar fascia tear.  But screw that!  That’s not my problem.  I don’t care HOW banged up ya are.  I’m here to win!  Do you have a pro?!  ‘Cause I do.  And she says I’m here to win.  Which means you could bring on the whole cast of that “Spirit of ‘76” painting – including the dude with the bloody head bandage – and I’m gonna do my best to take ’em down.  I’m in it to win it!  As long as I’ve got my trusty pterodactyl ape-man by my side.  Well, that…and some well-timed Rock, Paper, Scissors.  


*One time I went with Hubby-Then-Boyfriend to a Zephyrs game.  Remember the Denver Zephyrs?  They were Colorado’s baseball team before the Rockies were a speck on the horizon.  I’m FULL of fun facts, aren’t I?  Funny AND Full o’ Fun Facts?!  Whatagal!  At the game they had this caged-in area where you could measure your pitching speed.  (You see the similarities now, right.  CAGES??  Need I mention more?)  So HTB climbed in while scratching under both arms simultaneously (ooh-ooh!  aah-aah!) and pitched a few balls, the fastest of which was 93 MPH.  A star-struck boy standing outside the cage and holding out bananas looked at HTB in awe and said, “Wow, Mister.  You should play for the Zephyrs!”  In summation, I am glad Hubby is on my side.  Because I wouldn’t wanna face THAT across the net.  He’s got the power!  And you know what THAT means, don’t you?  It means…I’VE GOT THE POWER!  [“I’ve Got the Power” by Snap!, released in January 1990 – which is close enough to the 80’s so as to actually BE the 80’s.  NOWWWW who’s got the power in this little game we’re playing entitled “80’s song for every moment in life?!”  Yep.  I thought so.]

Job Interview Tips n’ Tricks

Before you even consider going on a job interview, get a suit.  This is absolutely necessary.  I’ve been on interviews where they say, “DON’T wear a suit!” to let you know how casual and cutting-edge their organization is.  But if you’re reading this, then you’re never gonna get that kind of job.  Instead, there will come a time when you MUST wear a suit.  So, make sure you have one – preferably black, purchased at Kohl’s with your 30% off coupon.  And since the suit will be just over the fifty-buck mark, you’ll get $10 back in Kohl’s Cash thankyouverymuch.  Admittedly, the black of the pants doesn’t…quite…match the black of the blazer.  But that’s fine.  We’re not doing the matchy-matchy thing anymore.  That was so 80’s.  Also, the slightly mis-matched suit makes you look like you need a job.  Perfect!  Because you’re going on an interview.  For a job.

Prior to the interview, ensure that you’ve looked up your interviewers on LinkedIn and have researched the company and the role blah, blah, BLAH!

What is key here is to research which unique item you’ll be wearing WITH your mis-matched black suit.  Since you’re going for “memorable in the minds of your interviewers” some people prefer to wear a distinctive pin.  Or a colorful scarf.  I personally prefer to just be getting over a cold and therefore have a red, crusty patch of flaky skin right below my nose.  It’s distinctive and makes people wonder what you’ve been doing with your free time.  If the interview timing is off, and you’ve fully recovered from your cold, then one or two huge stress zits will do.  It’s all the better if you can ensure that your stress zit either a) sits to the side of your nose and is so huge that it slightly squeezes one eye shut or b) sits on the very tip of your nose so as to slightly skew your entire schnoz to the right.  Again, we’re going for “memorable” so if you can touch the zit DURING the interview just to see if it still hurts…ow! still hurts….ow! yep, still hurts…then do so.    

If you can’t work up a zit in or around your nose – then in a pinch – a slew of chin zits will do.  But in the case of chin zits, make sure to spackle the hell out of the entire chin so that it looks like you’re wearing a prosthesis of some sort.  And since I’m not trying to offend those with prosthetic chins, I’ll instead describe the look you’re going for as some sort of transgender effort to cover up your 5 o’clock shadow.  

And since I’m not trying to offend transgender folks either, we’ll now move along to the actual interview itself.  Make sure you start off the interview with a joke or two.  Recently I found myself facing a set of back-to-back interview panels scheduled with six men.  Naw, not intimidating to ME at all.  But to defray any nerves THEY might have felt about the situation, before we got started I said to those gathered, “You’re not gonna make me run through any football drills are you?”  Judging by how hard one fella laughed at that comment, I’m pretty sure they were originally considering it. 

No matter.  Talk about yourself in a bragg-y sort of way.  But not too bragg-y, mind you.  It’s a fine line.  Know it.  Walk it! 

Also?  Ask insightful questions about corporate culture and how success would be defined for the position currently under consideration.  Throw in some comments about “value-add” and “strengths.”   And whatever you do, be sure to turn that dreaded question around.  Which question?  Why that question where they ask, “describe a project that didn’t go so well for you.”  Yep.  That question can always be turned around so that you SHINE; turn that frown upside down every chance you get.  

And there you are!  You have just weathered another successful interview! 

When you get back to our car, look in the rearview mirror and note the dried eye booger that must have been there the ENTIRE time. 

Oh, I almost forgot!  Thank you notes.  Don’t bother to send ’em.  You didn’t get the job anyway.  See “dried eye booger” above.

Olympic Closing Ceremony

These truths do I hold to be self-evident:

  1. I don’t cry “cute.”
  2. I’m a sucker for a floral pattern.
  3. And I love me some Olympic Closing Ceremonies.  Correction:  I love the IDEA of the Olympic Closing Ceremonies – with the athletes parading in wearing their hard-won medals while the world looks on, proud and briefly united-as-one while we applaud their efforts.

But what ACTUALLY ends up happening?  Could be described as a total Wack Fest.  This in turn makes me completely annoyed that I spent time watching such ridiculousness.

In case you missed it, here’s a brief overview of last night’s Olympic Closing Ceremony:

There was a mime in a boat on some sort of journey.  In the sky.  The journey TO where or FROM where is unclear.  ‘Cause he’s a mime.  And didn’t say a word.  Shhhhh….

The mime was accompanied on his journey by ghosts hanging from the rafters of the arena, while below this nonsense, people dressed in glittery garbage bags portrayed the raging sea.  Until they formed themselves into the Olympic rings.  Zoom in to the little underdeveloped ring.  Remember that from the OPENING ceremony?  That little snowflake that didn’t change into a ring at the right time?  Well they were recreating the moment.  Ha ha ha!  Those Russians sure do have a sense of humor; Poking fun at their lighting failures.  Didn’t we all have a great laugh about that?  It’s like our own private, worldwide Olympic joke.  Zoom in to Putin’s face.  He WANTED to smile, but his face just doesn’t work that way.  Also?  It’s too bad all those people in that cluster-bomb ring were dead by morning.  [Kidding.  Totally kidding.]

I won’t even mention the upside-down-Chagall Town that came out after the mime-in-the-boat disappeared.  Nope, not gonna do it.  WAY WACK!  But what I WILL mention is that the Korean-skater-turned-Russian-skater who was chosen to raise the Russian flag during the ceremony didn’t know any of the words to the Russian National Anthem and so just stood there stone-faced while the youth of that country, accompanied by the elite athletes of that country, sang.  And sang.  And sang.  How long IS their anthem, anyway?  While the Korean-turned-Russian dude just tried to avoid catching Putin’s eye.  Awkies!  [I hope he doesn’t die either for not showing the proper respect to Mother Russia.  Again, kidding.]

Now let’s turn our sites to the Parade of Nations.  The chicks who escorted the athletes in to the arena looked like they were wearing white trench coats and had gotten their wrought iron head-gear at the Hobby Lobby 50% off wrought iron head-gear sale.  And while their outfits were horrible, I think we can all agree that the U.S. outfits were a gazillion times worse.  It looked like they were wearing once-white, droopy-in-all-the-wrong places long underwear down below.  Up top they had on some pea coat sweater scenario that made these elite athletes look like they had all gained fifty pounds since we just saw them on the giant slalom.  In a nutshell, most of the athletes got the memo it was dress-down Sunday and showed up wearing jeans and a team jacket.  The U.S. athletes?  Didn’t get said memo and ended up wearing some seriously unflattering crap.   Lauren!  Mr. Ralph Lauren!  Please pick up the white courtesy phone.  There’s an urgent message for you.   

17 days.  2,800 medals.  And now?  Now it’s time to dance!  And the whole thing slides quickly off the mountainside and becomes a bad dance party shot from a bunch of terrible camera angles.  There was some mayoral, exchange-of-Olympic-power formalities buried in there somewhere.  And another Russian History-told-through-dance sequence.  SUPER WACK!  But when the HUGE animatronic mascots begin to glide around the floor???

PEACE OUT!  And note to self for NEXT time: You don’t actually LIKE Olympic Closing Ceremonies. 

P.S.  If they find my body floating in the river once this insightful blog on the Closing Ceremony for the Sochi Winter Olympics has been published, Putin’s yer man.  [Kidding.  Still kidding.  Hopefully.]


Hey!  Speaking of zombies….you know who has a love/hate relationship with them?!?  My son.  He hates them.  Hates everything about them.  But is also secretly titillated by them.  And for their part, they love to POP! into his head at the most inopportune times.  POP! 

The other day he was relating to me a dream he had.  In the dream we were at the airport.  Trying to create a trap for the zombies.  Side note: I don’t think the zombies are going to fly into Denver to take over.  This approach would draw too much negative attention.  Instead, I think they’d probably just shamble over the mountains from California, because – as we all know – California is the epicenter of zombies.  But I didn’t mention this to Sonny because it was his dream.  Oh!  And also?  Zombies don’t exist.

We had to blow them all up at the airport before they made their way out of the terminal.  So we were creating a trap for the blowing up portion of the dream.  Sissy is cheerfully shouting off-screen, “Hang on!  It’s gonna work!  Just hang on!!” while first one zombie, then another, got ahold of Sonny’s feet and were gnawing big, bloody holes in them.  Nummy, num, num.  So now Sonny is screaming that he REALLY NEEDS HELP, which prompts Sissy to haul him up to the top of a super-tall car that I’m driving.  Phew!  Glad I brought my super-tall car to the airport to pick everyone up!  Eventually we’re successful blah, blah, blah.  It just descends into impressions of good vs. bad as dreams do.

The point here is that this kid is really scared about zombies.  He’s even turning run-of-the-mill growing pains into bloody zombie bites in his dreams.  It’s at this point we always cheerfully remind him that zombies are nothing to worry about.  The trick is to run faster than the person you’re with when the zombies come.  Because they always CATCH! the slowest person*.  Ha ha ha.  Aren’t we funny parents?!  Then we advise him not to look behind him but to come closer to us.  Whereupon we pull him into a hug while pretending we’re fending off zombies from behind him.  Ha ha ha.  Still funny!

So.  Where’s all this leading?  We left him home by himself post-zombie-dream while Hubby and I went to Sissy’s back-to-back basketball games.  Sonny insisted he was old enough to do this and that he wouldn’t cook anything and wouldn’t play with fire (his eyes lit up at the mention of playing with fire, like he didn’t know that was an option but was glad we brought it up).

But almost as soon as we get to the first game, Sonny starts calling Hubby’s phone because he heard something in the garage.  “Really, Sonny.  I’m sure there’s nothing in the garage.  The dog will scratch on the door if there are zombies in the garage.  What’s the dog doing now?  Really?!?  Scratching on the door??  That’s weird.  But why would the zombies come NOW?  Do you think they were watching the house?  And waiting until we left you…ALONE?!?”

By now the kid is sh**ing his pants and we’re clearly the funniest parents in the world, so Hubby assures Sonny that no, no, there aren’t any zombies.  And they aren’t in our garage.  The dog probably just smells a chicken carcass we threw out the other day and that’s why he’s scratching at the door.  But to be on the safe side, lock all the doors and close the blinds.  And?  STILL funny. 

Shortly after, I follow up with a text to make sure Sonny is ok, “R U ok??  R the garage zombies in the house yet??  Ha ha.” 

See?  Funny, right?!?  What’s not to love…hate…love about zombies?!?  They’re sooooo funny.  UntiltheyCATCHya!  Run!  RUN!!!

*This methodology of “running faster than the person you’re with” also holds true when faced with a rabid groundhog.  Right Li’l Sis?  Part B of these instructions might read: Avoid throwing dirt clods at insentient creatures.  They are already really, really angry and dirt thrown at high-velocities towards them just brings the anger out.  Run!!  RUN!!! 

Ice Dancing

In order to have any sort of logical conversation about Ice Dancing, it’s important to get the “Twizzle” definition out of the way…

“Twizzle” is a rum-based drink they hand you as you’re boarding the booze cruise on the fake pirate ship in the Bahamas during Spring Break.  What it has to do with Ice Dancing, I can’t say.  Maybe it makes the skaters loose-limbed enough to do all those one-footed twirls?  They all do lots of those twirls, just exactly the same, so this is quite likely the explanation. 

If it were me?  All that twirling would make the rum twizzles suddenly…reappear!  Ta-da!  Rough seas ahead, matey!  But these are professional skaters.  Dancers.  Skaters.  So they’re used to all the twirling, post-rum drinks. 

So now that we have that out of the way, let’s discuss Ice Dancing, shall we?  Have I ever SEEN Ice Dancing before?  It seems like I have.  But then, when the announcers mention that this couple or that couple were the silver medalists from the last Olympics – and they don’t look familiar to me at ALL – I think maybe I haven’t ever seen Ice Dancing afterall.

But now I’m on it.  And I’ve got Meryl and Charlie locked in my brain.  Congrats on the gold medal, by the way.  Did the Canadian couple jump you in the parking lot on the way out?  ‘Cause they looked like they wanted to.  But maybe they’re saving that for when y’ins get home?  That way they can include your/their coach-with-the-bangs in the takedown.  So I’ll totally remember them for NEXT Olympics.  And in case YOU can’t picture them, Meryl is the one who looks the most like the Disney Princess Jasmine of any living human on earth.  And Charlie looks like the actor Jeff Daniels in that movie “Dumb & Dumber.”  It’s the hair.

But you know who I’ll REALLY remember for next time when it comes to Ice Dancing?  That brother and sister team – Alex and Maia Sibutanis.   First off, they come in handy when I’m threatening my kids about their behavior towards each other, “If you can’t get along, I’m gonna make you go into ICE DANCING like the Sibutanis.  And then you’ll have to be together ALL THE TIME.  ON THE ICE.  DANCING!”  

But in addition to being used as an example of brotherly/sisterly love, they  danced…skated…danced…their last dance…skate…dance…to a Michael Jackson compilation.  Come on!  That was so frickin’ awesome!!! 

The rest of the competitors talked to my older sisters about what music they should use in their programs (I’m 100% sure I heard the Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet as well as “To Dream the Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha – two of my sisters’ piano sheet-music faves from back in the day).  And when they weren’t talking to my sisters, they were talking to my high school choir director, Mr. Beavers.  Because there was LOTS of 42nd Street (on the avenue I’m takin’ ya to…Forty.  Second.  Street!) and even a “Bei mir bist du schon” by the Andrew Sisters.  (Bei mir bist du schon?  Please let me explain.  Bei mir bist du schon means that you’re….GRAND!  Ok…stopping now.  But first?  I could say “bella, bella” even say “wunderbar!”  Each language only helps me tell you how GRAND you are!  Ok.  Totally stopping.)

But the Sibutanis talked to ME about their music, and thus I recommended some 80’s tunes.  ‘Cause you know how I love me some 80’s tunes.  I also suggested more “Thriller Hands” for their program.  (“Thriller Hands” are when you bring your claw-like hands up on one side of your face and quickly move them to the other side of your face.  Like you’re a zombie.  In an 80’s music video on MTV.  That you and your older sisters waited up until midnight to watch the world premiere of…in 1983 boo-yah!)   But they didn’t take me up on THAT suggestion even though you have to admit that “Thriller Hands” woulda been fun.

But now?  I am ON it when it comes to Ice Dancing.  I will totally remember Meryl and Charlie.  And that angry Canadian couple.  And those Russian Black Swans.  And for sure-sies the Sibutanis for next time.  Yep.  On IT!  All OVER it!  Just like white on ICE.  Hee-hee-hee.


Whoopsie!  Tee-hee-hee…did I say DRUNKO?!  Because I actually meant BUNCO.  Which is a new dice game I learned this week.  But it could totally be called Drunko.  Because there’s a lot of drinking.  A lot.  Of drinking.

This Maiden Bunco Voyage o’mine occurred at the local country club.  Where I was the only woman in my 40’s.  There was one woman in her 50’s and the rest of them were 65 or older if they were a day.  And these gals are CUT THROAT when it comes to Bunco.   Because money is involved.   And drinking.   But I already mentioned the drinking.

What I may not have mentioned yet was that – in honor of the Olympics – the country club was handing out free Moscow Mule drinks to the Bunco players.  Uh-huh.  So now you can see where this is all headed, right?  But before we get there, here’s what I have to say about Moscow Mules:

They’re fun…until they kick your teeth in. 

And then?   Then you wonder where your teeth went.

In the meantime, does anyone else think Moscow Mules taste like Christmas potpourri mixed with gingerale?  But they do come in these nifty little copper cups with handles.  (And no, to the lady in the corner who was starting a copper cup collection: you don’t get to KEEP the copper cups.  You have to return them at the end of the night.  But nice try.) 

The old-timey copper cup has the added benefit of making you feel like a Miner Forty Niner.  All you’d need in order to complete the mental Miner picture is a tin plate of beans warmed up over the fire.

So there you are.   Drinking Moscow Mules and rolling dice with a bunch of 65-year-old miners who are wearing the most beautiful diamond rings you’ve ever seen in your life.  I mean these monsters are FLASHING in the lights as their owners are rolling, rolling, rolling dice for dollars. 

You’re maybe following the rules.  Maybe not.  But you have a partner.  Who’s keeping you on track.    Unless YOU were supposed to be the partner keeping track of the track?  Uh-oh. 

A bell rings at the head table and you begin.  First there’s a 1’s round.  Then a 2’s round.  And so forth.  During the 1’s round, the 1’s count as 1.  Unless you roll three of them all-at-once.  In which case that’s “Bunco” and it’s worth twenty-one points.  When that round is over, you move on to the 2’s round.  During the 2’s round, every time you roll a 2, they count as 1.  Oh crap!  Is it just me, or is the math getting harder?  Another Moscow Mule, please!  And when you roll three 1’s like last round, it’s actually no longer Bunco, but something called Funco.  Normally a Funco would count as 5 points but because Head Granny said that 1’s were something called “Wipeout” you now LOSE all your points AND your partner’s points.  Wait!  Whaaaat?!  WTF??  Another Moscow Mule NOW!  I thought this was gonna be a GAME!  What’s up with all this MATH?!??  And my partner SUCKS!  Unless I’M the sucky partner?!??

You work your way up through the 3’s, 4’s and 5’s to the 6’s and then you start all over again with 1’s.  It’s getting louder and rowdier.  Everyone’s face is beet red.  And they’re morse-coding the light reflected from their rings right into your eyes.  Women are stumbling over to the snack table piled high with peanuts and sugar cookies.  There’s laughter, math and a bell ringing off in the distance – or in your head. 

And then?  And THEN??  You get your teeth kicked in. 

But it’s ok.  Because everyone else has just had their teeth kicked in too.  So now the room completely resembles the annual meeting of the Toothless Miner Forty Niners club.  Everyone has an old-timey copper cup in one hand.  Our noses are touching our chins, our faded red flannel shirts need a good wash, and just about everyone there could use a new pair of suspenders.  We’re all huddled over a pile of teeth in the center of the table.  Trying to sort out whose teeth are whose.  And no one’s making any headway. 

I look BAD without any teeth; I never did find them.  But I struck gold – and won twenty-five bucks.   Gee-gee-gee-gee [insert toothless laughter here]

And that’s how you drink Moscow Mules. 

Wait!  Were we talking about something else?  Why do I feel like we were talking about something else?!   Oh.  That’s right.  It’s Valentine’s Day…that must have been what we were just talking about.  Happy Valentine’s Day!   Hash anyone sheen my teeshth??


***Disclaimer – I have the utmost respect for athletes, particularly Olympic athletes.  So if you’re in the Olympics, you rock.  No if, ands, or buts about it.  I have never been, nor will ever be, in the Olympics.  (Unless they create a Crochet category, which I highly doubt they will.  And for the record – no, I did NOT crochet those sweaters the U.S. Team wore which made them all look like they were going to a bad sweater party.  Because I don’t cry cute and I don’t crochet tacky.)  So, Olympic Athletes In Any Sport…go on wit’ yer bad selves!  The world recognizes your incredible God-given talent, not to mention your dedication to your sport-of-choice.  No matter what your sport, you do not deserve mockery.  And this blog is by no means mockery.  It’s just an insightful deconstruction of a totally inscrutable sport.  I should know.  I watched it for an hour yesterday.  And so ends the disclaimer.***

Is it just me or does it seem like all the curlers you know originally wanted to be something else?  Their parents committed them to the Ministry of Sports for the lifelong junior figure skating track, for example.  Until there was an injury.  At which point they became a curler.

But once you’ve made the big decision to become a curler, you have to get an outfit.  What to wear, what to wear?   Find a bowling shirt.  And maybe a matching jacket to go over top.  ‘Cause it gets cold where you’re going.

What will be harder about the outfit is finding the shoes.  You’ll need a pair of shoes, of course, but only one shoe in the pair should be a Heelys.  (Heelys are those shoes with a little roller skate that POPS! out when you call to it with your mind.  But maybe in the case of curling, it’s actually a teeny tiny ice skate rather than a wheel?  This is unknown.)  You need to look like you’re gliiiiiding down the ice with your big rock-with-a-handle while maintaining some semblance of control.  TWO shoes-with-hidden-skates might make you look totally cartoon-y as your feet skitter every which way before you bite dust…er…ice.  So that’s why just ONE shoe-with-hidden-skates is recommended.  Nordstrom’s sells all sorts of mismatched shoes.  So they might be a good bet.  Check there first. 

Then, you learn the international language of curling and use it only when channeling your inner Cinderella’s Stepmother:  SWEEP!  HARD!!  SWEEP HARD, B**CHES!!!  Kidding.  Totally kidding about the b**ches part.  Hubby & I spent an hour watching women’s curling and we never heard anyone yell THAT.  But that would have been fun.  Right, B**ches?!

Be sure to wear your exhausting nights of hard partying and strategy discussion on your face like a university student with a too-full course load, or a mother-of-newborn-twins. 

No less important is learning the scoring system.  Because what seems like a move that would earn points in the rest of the sports kingdom does not earn points in curling.  What’s particularly useful in this instance is to understand the physics of rowdy home crowds and how their shouting and body heat (I shudder to think of it) can possibly melt the ice of your shuffleboard.  Be prepared for contingencies of this nature.

Also?  Look askance at every joke about “getting stoned” or “written in stone.”  Heh-heh-heh.  But consider buying a bumper sticker that says, “Curl up and die.”  Copyright NSAHM 2014 (if that hasn’t been copyrighted before, of course.)

As a next-to-last step, get sponsors.  My suggestion would be Swiffer Sweepers and Heelys.  And possibly Nordstrom’s.

Final stop?  Sochi!



You talkin’ tuh me?  You talkin’ tuh ME?!?

‘Cause if the Sochi Winter Olympics had really been “mine,” then the Team Figure Skating competition woulda gone waaaaaay different.

Ida had all the teams board the ice at the same time and just Triple-Lutz away until the last three people were standing.  Gold, Silver, Bronze.  Done.

Barring that, I was kinda hoping it would take on more of an “All Skate” format from the roller skating parties of yore.

Picture it:  “Tainted Love” is blaring from the loudspeakers.  The disco ball is rotating full-speed and you’re in your best designer jeans (or those borrowed from your older sister).  And you’ve got the look.  You’ve got the look I want to know better.  You’ve got the look that’s altogether.  Working.  Playing.  Day or night.  Jordache has the look that’s right.  The Jordache Look*!  The whole gang is whirling past, counterclockwise.  People break off from the pack in onesies and twosies to do some serious damage center rink by showcasing their mad skating skillzzz.  Crouch low (as low as designer jeans will allow), then stretch your left leg straight while supporting it with both hands…GOLD!

Instead?  They just used the Team Figure Skating Competition as an excuse to award the Russians more gold medals.  Annoying.  And totally not my idea.    

MY idea for the Russian figure skating team?  Was to make Evgeni Plushenko get a new haircut BEFORE he got any more golds.  Because, Evgeni?  We’re not doing that with our hair anymore.  That zipper cut with the droopy feathers on either side that you smooth back with a HUGE comb (it’s green and says “Sitt’n Pretty” on the handle…what??  Too much detail?!) which you keep in the back pocket of your Jordache Jeans?  Nope.  We’re not doin’ that.  So stop.  It detracts from all the medals around your neck. 

But I’m not so far gone in my altered the-Olympics-aren’t-really-mine-even-though-they-say-they-are state of mind that I can’t recognize a few good ideas when I see them.  ‘Cause I can. 

Of which ideas do I speak?  How’s THAT for proper English?  Boo-yah!  Gold me up for THAT why dontcha?! 

The idea the set designers had to put all those teams in glass fronted cubby-holes.  I have to admit that I did like that part.  But can you imagine the SMELL in there?!?  Not only was the iceskating-mimes-in-a-box concept super fun, no one even tried to escape from their box as mimes are wont to do.  Also?  Despite the smelly cubbies being only two inches away from each other, there were no International Incidents. 

So kudos, Comrades, on those good ideas.


*”Tainted Love” was originally recorded by Gloria Jones but made famous after being covered by Soft Cell in 1981.  So there’s that.  But did you notice how I slipped in that part about the lyrics from the 80’s Jordache COMMERCIAL?!?  There’s no end to the fun we’re having with this, is there?  Because now we’ve bumped it up a notch by adding COMMERCIALS to the “80’s song for every moment in life” game which we’re playing.  Fun funsters from fun land in the fun house! 

Fur Trapper Friday!

Yay!  It’s Fur Trapper Friday!!  Whoop, whoop! 

Oh??  You don’t know anything about this?!?  It always comes on the Friday AFTER Ground Hog day.  Well…here in Colorado at least. 

I grew up in New Jersey, so while I can tell you that Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr dueled to the death in Weehawken, I can’t really tell you too much about Colorado’s great tradition of fur trapping and trading.  Other than what I learned as a New Jersey youth while watching that sweeping miniseries in the late 70’s about fur trapping and trading – entitled Centennial, based on the book of the same name by James Michener. 

This is what I learned:  Stephanie Zimbalist dies in a tent after being bitten by a rattlesnake.

Ta-da!!!  That’s it.  That’s all I know about fur trapping and trading.

Ok, that’s a lie.  I also know that Stephanie Zimbalist went on to star in Remington Steele opposite Pierce Brosnan in the early 80’s, so we don’t need to worry too much about that tent scene.  80’s girl dun good, reeeeeeal good ifyouknowwhadimean.  nudge, nudge, wink, wink

And?  Still lying.  I also know that the miniseries was amazingly confusing and had waaaay too many characters (kinda like Game of Thrones but Fur Trapper version), some bad French accents and a good part of it was set in Colorado.  So that’s gotta tell us something about how important fur trapping and trading is to Colorado. 

In fact, the youth of Colorado are schooled in the importance of this early industry and spend a whole trimester studying fur trapping and trading.  Who knew?  Not me.  But in honor of Fur Trapper Friday, let’s see if YOU are smarter than a 4th grader in this particular subject…

Directions: Match each vocabulary word with the correct definition.  There will be two definitions that do not have a match.  Put those letters on line #14 & #15, then write the correct vocabulary words on the lines next to them.

____1. Bent’s Fort                          A. helped build Fort Vasquez

____2. Fort Vasquez                      B. the skin or pelt of an animal

____3. William Bent                       C. fur trapper, army scout, and guide for Fremont

____4. Andrew Sublette                D. French word meaning “hiding place”

____5. Castoreum                          E. mountain man who lived with the Crow Indians

____6. Lancaster Lupton              F. some believe this man blew up his own fort

____7. Cache                                  G called the “Crossroads of the Southwest”

____8. Rendezvous                        H. another name for Fort Uncompahgre

____9. Jim Beckwourth                 I. Fort St. Vrain was first called this

____10. Kit Carson                          J. built in 1835 on the South Platte River

____11. Fort Lookout                    K. nickname for Fort Davy Crockett

____12. Fort Misery                       L. liquid that comes from the beaver and is used for bait

____13. Fort Robidoux                  M. name of the second fort built by William Bent

____14. ……………………..                 N. French word that means “place of meeting”

____15. ……………………..                 O. traded with the Indians for nine years and then began to plant crops

Answer Key: 1 G, 2 J, 3 F, 4 H, 5 L, 6 O, 7 D, 8 N, 9 E, 10 L, 11 I, 12 K, 13 H, 14 B undressed skin of an animal with fur still attached (nummy num num), 15 M Fort Wise

Thank you for playing.  Happy Fur Trapper Friday.  Ok, I lied about that too.  There’s no Fur Trapper Friday. 

PS – I don’t know if any of the answers are actually correct.  I assume they are since my 4th grader got 100% on this very same test with these very same answers.  But who knows?   Not me.  Have I mentioned I’m from New Jersey…where we WEAR furs, we don’t catch ‘em.