Zestfully Clean!

Schools almost out for summer – and everyone’s already rockin’ their summer pedicure.  Right?

For my pedi-for-this-purpose, I chose a color called “Nice Stems.”  Interesting name, but more importantly, it’s that pale aqua color that’s so hot right now.  In fact, I chose it for that reason: because hot ladies (Hey, Lady!) should have hot toes.  Right now.  And also because the color seemed fresh, crisp, SUMMERY.

Well…look what I noticed in the shower this morning.

I now call my pedicure color “Zest Soap” and I spend all day long feeling extraordinarily…clean…in the feet region.

Bring on Summer!

There’s a Fungus Amongus

When you hug your son, and he smells like the dog after it’s just expressed its own anal glands, you know something’s up.

And when the son in question says that he has that SAME smell “stuck in his nose” and it won’t go away?  That’s clue #2.

Finally, when the principal of the son’s school approaches you at a parent brunch you’re hosting to tell you that your son had to leave a school function to go to the nurse’s office because there was pus flowing outta his ear, that should be third time’s a charm, my friends.  And you should clue the frick in, already.

Because everything I’ve mentioned is a SIGN that your son is literally sick in the head – specifically in the ear-ish region.  And that you’ve done absolutely NOTHING about it but sit around wondering what that smell was.

The phone call that starts with, “Hey, Doc!  Remember that ear culture we took….ohhhh…5 weeks ago?  We should probably check it again for signs of dirty fish tank disease, because I think Sea Monkeys are now living in Sonny’s ear and pooping everywhere,” really gets the ball rolling.

And?  Turns out there’s a fungus amongus.  Which one has a fungus? 

Sonny, of course.  In his ear.  And no wonder why he’s been wheezing and coughing all spring.  He’s allergic to his own self.  His fungus has gone systemic and is floating around his body. 

A quick trip to the doctor’s office in which we got to the bottom heh, heh, heh of the mysterious smell also allowed Sonny to get all of the “vanilla pudding” scooped out of his ear while I watched on the Jumbotron.  That was the second most fun moment of the whole thing.  Otherwise it’s just been a smelly, painful, expensive mess.  The first most fun moment was when I asked Hubby to hop up in the chair and get HIS ears scooped out after Sonny was all done.  Because for some reason Hubby can’t hear me when I ask him to do stuff around the house.  The doctor said that there wasn’t gonna be anything IN Hubby’s ears; He just can’t hear me because it’s “a gender thing.”  Mystery solved there as well.  Awwww – wasn’t that fun?!?  So fun.   

So I’m keeping the doctor’s office visit – and that “high” I got when ALL the mysteries were solved – in mind as I run around town looking for jock itch cream (but in liquid form which is completely impossible to find) because I’ll have to start squirting it into my son’s ear for the next 10 days.  And the folks at the pharmacy must think Sonny’s got a…er…bizarre manparts infection to beat the band, what with the 7-day diflucan prescription he’s got comin’ his way.

Not really sure why I’m telling you any of this.  Other than to further underscore the point I’ve been making all along.  Which is that little boys aren’t really human.  They are mostly monkeys.  Who leave you wondering what exactly they’ve been putting in their ears to give themselves a fungus infection in there.  My vote is for all the goofing around with the baseball cup and answering it like a telephone (Yeah, he’s right here.  It’s for you!) that may have gotten fungus in places where fungus shouldn’t be.   But who really knows with monkeys.  

And before we leave here today, I wanted to mention that I’m a helper (and a do-er, but that’s another blog).  And because I’m a helper, I’m gonna help you here with a word to the wise: If your son’s ear smells like a$$, totally check into it…‘kay?   

Bizarre with a capital B

I’m not 100% sure why bizarre stuff happens to me.  But it does. 

Take, for example, this morning.  I was halfway through my Saturday 10k on the treadmill in the basement.  Sonny comes to the top of the stairs wrapped in a blanket with his p.j. pants sticking out from underneath, “Mom, Mom!  Someone’s at the door.”

I too would be embarrassed to open the door wrapped in a blanket, so I trudge upstairs to relieve Sonny of door duty.  I swing wide the door and I SWEAR to you, Mr. Clean is standing on my front porch holding a clipboard.

On closer inspection, the guy is just as bald AS, but slightly smaller THAN, Mr. Clean (and I’m pretty sure I could take him in a hipcheck contest).  He’s not wearing the signature earring (left is right, right is wrong) and he’s not dressed in the slenderizing, color-blocked white.

Ok, pretty darn close, but not Mr. Clean after all.  He confirms it by saying in a Russian accent, “Hello.  I am Marco.  I here from Lifetime Fitness.”

I say, “Uh…Hi, Marco.”  I’m clearly puzzled and am almost convincing myself that Lifetime Fitness is now making random house calls to see if citizens are working out the way they should be.

He states again, “I here!” and spreads one hand wide like a magician would.

Me: “Yes, you are.  Can I help you?”

However, Mr. Clean Marco is stunned into silence as he takes in the fact that I am CLEARLY a sweaty mess and smell like Stank Ho Day Three.  Seriously stunned.  All he can do is point from my once-white-now-dingy-gray headband worn John McEnroe style, past the sweat-bib-staining-my-shirt-almost-to-my-bellybutton, all the way down to my loosely tied running shoes.

That’s fine.  Look your fill.  All that and a bag of chips, right, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch?  Besides, this moment which has been brought to you by the Sound Of Silence has afforded me the opportunity to glance down at his clipboard and see that my next-door neighbor’s information is written on it.

I reply to his non-verbal cues by saying, “Yes, Marco.  I’m already working out and I don’t need your help.  They need you more next door.”  And I point to his clipboard.

He turns it up, glances at it, then exclaims, “Sorry, sorry!  Me so sorry.”

Yeah, yeah.  You soooo sorry, Marco.  Either way, head out.  It’s not even 10 a.m. and I’m already over it. 

Because once again, this has been bee-zarrr with…how do you say?…a Cabeedull Bee.

Beware of Zombies

Yesterday I was running on the treadmill, reading my bookclub book AND watching the Today Show.  Multitask much?  Hey!  You’re talkin’ to the same chick who went to grad school full-time AND worked full-time.  Or who worked full-time AND chaired the annual school fundraiser THREE YEARS IN A ROW.  So don’t mess with me.  I’ll TELL you I’ll cut you in the parking lot…then I’ll CUT YOU in the parking lot.

While I was running/reading/watching the Today Show, there was a segment warning all of America that they should NOT be putting various bumper stickers on their car. 

For example, those stick figure family decals?  They let criminals know that sharp, thin people live at your house.  And that one of those people might do baseball and the other ballet.  Which means that they might follow you to ballet practice and steal your pink toe-shoes. 

Or those “My student soars at Eaglecrest Middle School” bumper stickers let criminals know where your kid goes to school and when you might be dropping him off.

So they can race over to the school and watch you drop your kid off.  Then steal his lunch.

Yes…it’s all very frightening.  But what the Today Show DIDN’T mention, was the zombies.  In my opinion, not mentioning the zombie activity engendered by these bumper stickers was a real mis-step on their part.  Because it leaves the entire population unaware of all of the negative zombie ramifications.

Can you see this back window decal which I took a picture of during my own investigative reporting stint when I was reporting on bad reporting?  It says, “Zombies Ate My Stick Figure Family – insert bloody zombie hands here – Yours Is Next.”

See?  Zombies are the real problem here.  Why doesn’t anyone ever mention the zombies??

The Chick-fil-A Princess Bride

Have you eaten at Chick-fil-A lately?  Because when you do, it’s kinda like starring as the Princess in your very own Princess Bride movie.  This, I highly recommend.

‘Cept instead of Cary Elwes as Westley-the-Stable-Boy character in said movie, it’s mostly older women and teenage girls.  And instead of SAYING, “As you wish” like Cary Westley would, the Chick-fil-A folks say “My pleasure,” when you ask them to roll themselves down the hill.

Hey!  You!  Just frickin’ GO with it!  Why do you always have to break out the Negative Nancy talk about it actually NOT being the same thing.  Because if you can’t get on board with the whole love-in-the-form-of-servitude-is-very-very-similar-to-love-in-the-form-of-nuggets-with-a-side-of-ranch-delivered-directly-to-your-table-complete-with-an-offer-of-a-napkin-a-drink-refill-and-a-mint-for-later, then you should buy a piece of pie from Chick-fil-A (they sell pie, did you know that?) and shove it!  In the hole where pie goes.

Side note to this tirade: When my daughter was little she had twin plastic-headed-soft-bodied dolls.  These dolls were Creep Factor Five Thousand dolls with their painted on forehead curl and weird bonnet all tucked up and around their staring eyes.  But the worst part was that their faces would collect an odd amount of unexplained schmutz.  They were named Fancy and Nancy.  And if WE were dolls, I’d be Fancy.  YOU’RE Nancy.  And Nancy?  You have some pie on your face.  Musta missed that HOLE when you were shovin’ stuff in it. 

In summation: Cary Elwes as a stable boy, ready to carry out your commands?  Nummy, num, num!  Almost as good as a fried chicken sammich, no? 

But settle down.  Cary’s not the fella for me.  Because I could hip check him into a wall.  That’s my test.  If  I could hip check you into a wall, then you’re not the fella for me.  I have my own fella.  And I’ve tried and tried to hipcheck him into the wall; nuthin’ doin’.  It must be wuv, twew wuv.

Hi, Honey! 

Dirt Cheap

Remember in the 80’s when Oprah Winfrey achieved fame and glory?!  Why did she EVER think shoulder pads were slenderizing?  That is a total mystery to me.  Because they WEREN’T!  Ever.  Slenderizing that is – whether you were slender or not.

And I can talk this way about Oprah and her shoulder pads (and her slenderizing) because she and I have a unique relationship.  In fact, I have a special nickname for her: Oh-ps (like Ops, as in Special Ops, but instead of a short ‘O’ it’s a LONG ‘O.’  Special Oh-ps.)  And she calls me nothing at all.  Because she has no idea who I am.

Even so, I remember something she said back when she was first achieving BigDipperillionaire status, “Do what you love and the money will follow.”

Sound advice even if the fashion choices were a bit…er…questionable.

Flash forward to present day.  There’s this thing I “do” now called being a stay at home mom.  I love it and all….but it involves an inordinate amount of housework for some reason. 

So when I first started the job, a dear friend gave me some sound advice about the housework.  And no, it was a DIFFERENT friend, not Oh-ps.  Because Oh-ps doesn’t clean her own house.  And we stopped being that great a’ friends once she started complaining about how her ironed bedsheets lose their “crispness” after being on the bed two days, so she has her housekeeper change them that frequently.  Yeah.  We stopped being good pal-sies right about then.  The advice I received was [in the form of a question for Mr. Trebek’s benefit] why clean the entire house all at once when you can clean it a lil’ bit at a time? 

Why, indeed?? 

So I’ve taken this advice to heart, which means that my house is never entirely clean.  All at one time.  It’s only clean in some constantly moving quadrant area.  Like the upstairs.  As of today. 

I cleaned the upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms today.  And look what I found on my daughter’s bureau!

And there we have it.  Do what you love, and the money will follow. 

Afterall, Oh-ps never did say what KIND of money would follow.  Just that THE MONEY would follow.  It was my dumba$$ fault for assuming it would be BigDipperillionaire money.  Because at the end of the day, no matter who changes your sheets or how frequently they do so, two crumpled ones and three pennies is still…technically…money.    

And now?  For some strange reason I feel an 80’s song comin’ on!  Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap.
Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap.  Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap.  Dirty deeds and they’re done dirt cheap.  Dirty deeds and they’re done DIRT CHEAP!

*Yes, that WAS “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” from the AC/DC album of the same name released in the United States on March 27, 1981.  This game called “an 80’s song for every moment in life” that we play is so much fun.  I did it.  And I love it.  I’ll expect THE EVERLOVIN’ MONEY for it shortly. 

Mother’s Day 2014

The Fourth Grade Mother’s Day Program was this past Thursday.  The kids recited original poems-about-their-mothers (my favorite was the one entitled, “My Mother is Like a Horse.”  Yeah.  And I betcha Mom’s gonna feed you HAY-with-spit-in-it for dinner tonight to thank you for calling her a horse in front of all the other mothers.)

But before we could get to our one-cookie-and-glass-of-lemonade allotment …when my son delivered my “refreshment,” my drink was half drunk.  I’m hoping HE was to blame for the missing lemonade, and not the teacher, or someone ELSE’S son!  Either way it couldn’t have been any of the other mothers because they were too busy gabbing to each other and ignoring the one dad in the crowd whose wife had to work, while Horse Mom stood in the corner with a feedbag on her head…  the kids read and sang a rousing version of “Love You Forever” based on a book by Robert Munsch. 

When the “show host” announced this portion of the program, a murmur went through the crowd.  I’ve never read this book but apparently it takes place in Creep Town, U.S.A. where it’s standard practice for a mother to crawl across the floor of her son’s bedroom, to gather his sleeping form into her arms, then rock him and tell him she loves him.  That’s ok when the boy is two.  But when he’s a married man and Mom has to drive across town and climb into his bedroom window to do this rocking biz while her son is sleeping next to his wife in their bed?!?  I think we can all agree on the Creep Town, U.S.A. thing.

So all the other mothers are whispering furiously to each other.  And the kids on stage are narrating the son’s life: when he’s two, a teen-ager, a young adult etc.  After each lifestage, the kids sing (in a charming, upbeat-yet-dirge-like way) the refrain the mother uses every time she does her creepy creeping, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, As long as I’m living, My baby you’ll be.”

Some of the other mothers have started to cry.  Which I CANNOT get behind, because I’m stunned by the overt Creep Factor Five Thousand.

Then it’s my son’s turn.  He’s narrating how the mother couldn’t finish her final song to her son because she was too old and sick.  So the son instead goes to his mother and takes her in his arms and rocks her back and forth, back and forth and sings, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, As long as I’m living, My MOMMY you’ll be.”  

And?  WATERWORKS.  Beaucoup, beaucoup de waterworks.  (That’s French for alotta tears.  Why haven’t I been hired yet?!?) 

And then?  Then the “boy” goes home and picks up his sleeping, infant daughter out of her crib and sings the original version of the song to her.  Waaaaaa!  WAAAAAAAAAA!!!!  <–that was me doing that, not the sleeping, infant daughter.

But enough about me.  On this Mother’s Day I’d like to say a big thank you to my mommy.  For not being as creepy as the mommy in that story.  (At least, not that I know of.  I’ll have to double-check with Hubby to see if he’s spotted you in our bedroom rocking me.)  And while we’re not to the rocking portion of your story yet, you can count on me when it comes!  (Also?  I meant what I said about the diaper thing and how it applies to those I birthed and to those who birthed me.  So we’re in for some laughs there.)

But until then, Mom, I just wanted you to know – I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, As long as I’m living, My MOMMY you’ll be. 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Shirts vs. Skins

In the scheme of things, the dermatologist appointment should be one of the easier doctor visits, right?  You don’t have to wear make-up (in fact it’s encouraged that you don’t) and there’s no particular gussying up of yer lady parts required. 

See?  It’s easy from top to bottom!  heh, heh, heh

Admittedly there might be a “matching bra and panties” (or at least a “wear clean underwear”) component to the visit, especially if you’re going to see Dr. Skin for a quick game of “I spy with my little eye.”   

In Colorado, that game is called an Annual Skin Check.  And trust me when I say that during this visit, Dr. Skin will spy with his little eye whether or not you brought your A-Game Underwear.   

But it’s only after Dr. Skin’s militant, Germanic office manager has handed me two separate cover-ups – both the consistency of cheap paper napkins – that I know this is gonna go down harder than I originally thought.  Game on.  

After Achtung Baby leaves, I try to remember what she said about my new paper doll outfit.  Leave my underwear and bra on, with the paper top open backwards??  And I briefly make myself giggle with the visual of me forgetting the instructions and wearing NO bra OR underwear.  Surprise, Doc!  Wucka, wucka!!! 

But S^^T!  During the giggling portion of the event, “someone” accidentally ripped the piece-of-cheap-crap top as they were open-in-backing it.  And now this is serious business.  There are five extra inches of skin exposed at the neckline and the fault line is inching further south every time I move.

But more importantly, what about the paper skirt?!?  Nothing was said about THAT!!!  How is this measly thing supposed to cover my ass-ets??  WTF?!??  Do only skinny people come to the dermatologist’s office???

Exactly HOW should I be wearing this charming paper skirt?!  Would “open in front” be too forward?  As in, “I’m mostly nekkid under here, Doc.  Peek-a-boo!”  But would “open in back” be too hard for the doctor to get to and therefore result in an embarrassing “Please lift your butt cheek so I can unwrap you” approach?

So at first I put my paper skirt around my waist like you would a towel-after-swimming.  But when I sit down, it doesn’t actually overlap…or even CLOSE…in the front like a REAL towel would.  Instead it gapes a good two inches from stem-to-stern.  So I quickly switch to more of an “artful drape” with the paper spread over my lap and tucked under my legs.  During this process I succeeded in poking five thumb-sized holes in the #^*$ing thing.  And the rip in my top is now SEVEN inches long. 

It’s at this point that the doctor knocks on the door and breezes in.  [I love “the knock,” don’t you?  Like I would ever say, “Not now!” Or, “I’m busy, go away!” when we BOTH know I’ve been doing nothing ELSE for the last fifteen minutes but sitting there, sweating his arrival.  And speaking of SWEATING, my new outfit is now “sticking” in certain places.  Super cute.  Yes, yes!  Please come in and witness the glory.]

So Dr. Skin comes in with a propane torch under his arm and acts like he’s going to demonstrate his crème brûlée recipe.  Which he does…ON MY FACE!  There are some spots that require flames and brown, bubbling flesh – two corresponding ones on either temple.  After the crème brûlée demonstration, these accidental temple twins leave me looking like I’m a calf with new horn buds, or an escapee from shock-therapy-gone-bad.  How darling!

And the whole thing leaves me feeling like I’ve been stabbed in the head and left to die.  But while I’m breathing through the pain, Doc makes himself comfortable on his low, low stool, gazes up at me, and proceeds to give a dissertation on “recommended skin care products” all the while writing lists on the back of prescription pads.

And me?   I’m not even listening because I have a blazing headache and am engaged in a bizarre, crinkly Fan Dance.  The front tear on my backwards weskit has become a full split-down-the-middle.  So now my paper top is in two separate pieces – a left one and a right one.  Which I constantly have to pull together, then up, then down, then back together again, right hand to heart…holding, holding…so that I don’t accidentally display too many naughty bits.  Uh-huh.  Uh-huh, Doc.  Uh-huh.  And my left hand?  Same scenario down below because the holes in my paper skirt have joined forces.  Now it’s MOSTLY holes and my pride is in tatters, just like the skirt. 

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Beat it already, Doc!  I gotta get DRESSED!  Into REAL clothes that don’t disintegrate.  But wowzers – that game was loads of fun.  Count on me for another round next year.

Take me out to the softball game!

Oh, goodygoodygoody!  It’s softball season time again!!


I can’t get enough of dramatic enactments performed by 6th grade girls, so that’s where my daughter’s softball team comes in; It’s the perfect forum in which to get my fill.  Yay, softball!!  Also?  There’s mucho, mucho accidental hi-jinx, so there’s that as well.  Good times all the way around.

But first?  A word to the wise: eye black runs.  So if you think you’re intimidating your opponent by wearing eyeblack, then don’t start crying halfway through the game, because then you just look like a sweaty clown wearing really bad mascara.

And I KNOW that they’re only 11-and-12-year-olds trying to find themselves, but most of these lil’ cuties (did you know that they have a pony-tail “channel” built inside the hot pink batting helmets?  Love it!) could win BIG awards if they ever went into acting.

Consider this one-girl-play performed at the last softball tournament I witnessed.  A girl on the opposing team was bustin’ to first base, when the ball that she JUST BATTED hit her in the leg.  Or it could have been an accidental underthrow from the catcher.  Who’s to say, really?  Because that’s the nature of The Three Stooges, Softball Version.  The girl goes DOWN like she just stepped on a landmine.  Then she starts marine crawling to first base, all the while dragging her lifeless legs behind her.  I’m comin’, Sarge.  I’m gonna make it! 

Uh.  Ok.  But you’re still out.  Because while you were doing Full Metal Jacket Saves Private Ryan, the first baseman who happens to be my daughter, picked up the ball and tagged you, then tagged the base, then walked back and tagged you again for good measure.  So thanks for playing.

And let’s not forget the part of the softball shenanigans where one of the other mothers on the softball team confided to me years ago – when that Showtime series, Weeds, was still airing – that she thought I looked just like the lead actress.  (The lead actress is Mary-Louise Parker.  And yes, I look JUST like her…if you live in BIZARRO WORLD!!) 

Anyway, in the show, Ms. Parker is a pot dealer.  [This is more of a viable career opportunity than one might think, especially here in Colorado.  But I’m not one.  And that’s really where my resemblance to Mary-Louise ends – she’s got a high-paying job any way you slice it, I don’t.  THANKS FOR BRINGING IT UP!  Stink eye, stink eye.] 

But naturally, every time I see this other mother, I have to offer to sell her pot.  Then we laugh uproariously while the other mothers look at us aghast.  But also like they might want to buy some.  Right now.  Before the next game starts.  Now!  IT’S STARTING!!!  SELL. ME. THE POT…NOW!!!!! 

Awwww, softball!  What’s not to love?!?

Pot (of coffee, that is)

Hey.  You think you’re the only whiz-bang who’s reloading the mini coffee pot in your hotel room using the cup YOU JUST DRANK OUT OF?!?

‘Cause you’re not. 

But enough about YOU.  Back to me.

My coffee pot broke.  Not just broke, but plumed acrid, black smoke and snap, crackle, popped to death.  It was a whole “throw it out the back door using oven mitts” sort of thing.

This has left me trying to survive my mornings with a mini coffee pot that I got from a hotel room somewhere and which apparently serves coffee to a grand total of one leprechaun.  Which means that I have to make three consecutive pots-o’-leprechaun-coffee to equal one new stay at home mom sized java injection.

It’s annoying.  Totally annoying.  And I haven’t had enough caffeine yet this morning so don’t PISS ME OFF OR YOU’LL BE SORRY!!  I WILL FREAKIN’ CUT YOU. 

Because I just want massive quantities of coffee…VATS of coffee…GET INTO MY BELLY, COFFEE!!  And I don’t want to be constantly fiddling with a teeeeny tiiiiiny coffeepot that makes me feel like I have a serious case of ham-hands.

So what do to, what to do??  I had my first coffee pot for TWENTY YEARS!  This second pot didn’t even last 18 months.  SONOFAB**CH!!  When I called the manufacturer with the “twenty years vs. less-than-18-months” storyline?  Lucky day!  The 18-month-old coffee pot is still under warranty.  So they’re sending me another one.  The exact same make and model.  FREE!

Remember that part about “house almost caught on fire?!”  Yeah, remember that??  Yes – more of that, please.  But this time for FREE!