The Projects

Hi Hubby,

Hope your four-day business trip to Chicago is going well?  Seems like there was something I had wanted to talk to you about before you left; But I can’t think what it was now.  Oh well.  So I guess I better get back to my big stair project. 

And yes, the kids ARE helping.  They seem downright happy to help if you ask me – and not just because I threatened to never feed them again if they didn’t.  Summer reading assignments pale in comparison to the fun that this project is. 

And we’re all wearing safety glasses too.  That was a big brainstorm I had after Sissy was standing 7 steps above my head and got poked by something INSIDE her gloves.  (They were my leather gardening gloves because I thought it would be important to protect her hands from all those annoying “tack strips” all over the place.)  So when she turned the glove over to see what was inside, about 5 pounds of woodchips poured out onto my head.  Just that one woodchip got in my eye – and it wasn’t really even directly related to what we were doing – but it gave me that great safety glasses idea nonetheless.  ‘Cept I couldn’t find any safety glasses, so we’re doing more of a “sunglass” thing and less of a “safetyglass” thing.  Sonny is wearing a pair of his old wraparound Spiderman shades and Sissy has an old time-y pair of black sunglasses with purple tinted lenses (remember those?) and I’m wearing my old sports sunglasses.  So if you happened to peek into the open front door, it might look like the three blind mice are ripping carpet off the stairs. 

Why is the front door open so that all the neighbors (and everyone who has to take that main road detour through our neighborhood) can see the craziness within, you ask?  Because the front porch is where we’re housing the garbage cans, which is where we’re putting all of the nail-filled, extremely poke-y, stank ho carpet we’re ripping off the stairs prior to us sanding then painting said stairs.  Duh!  But we covered up the front door with a baby gate so the dog – and others who might be tempted to escape – can’t.  It’s almost like a living “diorama.”  A diorama of people whose futures are so bright they gotta wear shades.  While they do hard labor.

But the BEST part of all of this?  Is that we found out where that dog pee smell (that permeates the entire house despite repeated professional carpet cleanings) is coming from.  I can’t even IMAGINE what kind of personal challenge the dog took on with that.  But it seems like he got just about every stair with his…er…challenge.  What a weirdo.

Anyway, hope you’re having fun.  And no, don’t worry.  We’ll save most of this project for you to finish when you get home.  Because we’re nice like that. 

Love & kisses, Me and your merry band of child laborers

P.S. Do we have a crowbar?  I thought we did, but I can’t find it.  We have GOT to get that garage organized.  We should plan to get to that when we’re done with the stairs. 

Worry Wart

I don’t know why I’m thinking of this could it have anything to do with a certain someone’s BIRTHDAY being last week?  but for the last few days I’ve been remembering how – when I brought my daughter home from the hospital – I became a complete mess of worries.  (And yes, that’s PLURAL.  That’s the plural for wackadoodle all the live long day.)

I worried about EVERYTHING.  I worried that I might trip coming out of her nursery and accidentally send her sailing over the railing of the upstairs walkway to the family floor below.

I worried that she might die in the night and so I would sneak into her room half a dozen times and bump the crib just to see her rustle around.

And then I heard the story of that mother who, during some sort of postpartum psychosis, CUT HER INFANT DAUGHTERS ARMS OFF WITH A KNIFE!!!!

I called my husband crying over that and couldn’t shake the horribleness of it loose for days and days.  And it’s right about that time I began to worry about strangers.  My biggest “stranger” fear was that someone would sneak into the house at night and take my daughter from her room and do her wrong.  (My daughter’s room was the first one at the top of the stairs, making her easy pickins’ for someone who wanted a massive, zitty infant with cradle cap and was willing to get past all the locked doors in the house AND the 110 pound dog AND up a flight of stairs to the bedroom at the top all just to SNATCH her in the middle of the night.  Did I mention that part about wackadoodle all the live long day?!?  Yeah.  I’m pretty sure I mentioned that already.  ‘Cept make it wackadoodle all the live long NIGHT too.)

After this oh-so-fun-fear had been top-of-mind for a week or so, I woke up suddenly in the middle of the night.  For no apparent reason.  I’m lying in bed listening to the house sounds.  Wondering why I had woken up.

And then I hear it.  There’s a woman in my daughter’s room talking to her! 


I don’t remember if I even woke my husband to explain what was going on.  I just remember thinking that my biggest fear had come to pass…but that I had to put a stop to it.

So I go bustin’ into the baby’s room!  No weapons, no nuthin’.  Just my Mother’s Courage and my leaky breasts. 

My newborn daughter jerks awake and starts crying.  And I realize that the woman’s voice I heard in my room is actually coming through the baby monitor.  The woman five houses up the street also had a newborn and for some reason the monitor signals got crossed.  She had been talking quietly to HER baby.  In MY baby’s room.

HAHAHAHahahahahahaha!!!  Isn’t that FUNNY?!? 


No cause for alarm folks.  Carry on.

And I don’t know why I’m telling you this.  Other than to prove that I’m a good mother.

Thanks for stopping by to get that clarified.  Now – like I said – carry on.

Birthday Baby

It’s my daughter’s TWELFTH birthday today.  And in a way, it’s my birthday too.  Not that it’s about ME, of course.  But twelve years ago today, I became a mother.  Whose heart began living outside her body.

While I recall that wacky breathing stuff from Lamaze class – hee, hee, hoo, hoo – I’m pretty sure they NEVER covered the ins-and-outs of the heart-now-outside-your-body business.  And yes, yes, I gave birth to a HEART!  I’m in the Guinness Book of World Records.  Look me up.  And if you did look me up, then you’ll realize that I was being figurative about the heart, Stupey Cupid.

July 23, 2002 was ALSO the birth of my cosmic do-over.  This time around, I still have the freckles and brown hair, but I’m much more sporty and good at math!  [She said in a funny and not-at-all-creepy-nor-obsessively-focused-on-perfection sort of way.]

And for our matching mother-and-daughter birthdays, as a special treat, Sissy and I went to get our nails done together this morning. 

When we walked in to the salon, I explained to the nailtichian about the birthday thing. (My daughter’s birthday, not mine; I’m not THAT much of a wackadoodle.  Jeez o’Pete!  Give me some credit.  And for the purposes of this blog, my daughter’s codename is Sissy.)  And the nailtichian immediately went into raptures.  “Oh, Baby!  Baby birthday!!  Baby, you want pretty flowers on toes, on fingers for birthday?”

Slowly nodding her head, Sissy gave her a look that said, “If by ‘Baby’ you mean me, the newly minted twelve-year-old, then yes, bring on the flowers!”

So she went her way to get flowers and be called ‘Baby’ for the next hour, and I went my way to get pale pink shellac on my fingernails.  All the while, the male nail dude who drew my lot chatted to me about HIS kids.  His oldest is 24 and has his own life, but nail dad misses him so much.  His 22-year-old just graduated from college.  And the younger two are in school in Tan Asia and even though they’re a lot of work, he is enjoying it because they grow up so quickly.

Hmmm…I barely know where Wyoming is.  I’m pretty sure I’ve got NO idea where Tan Asia is!  And I gotta get me a job as a nail technician because apparently you can put 4 kids through school on that salary!  AND you become a philosopher.  And if you listen long enough to the philosopher’s “getting a driver’s license” stories, you eventually clue in to the fact that the younger two are in school AND teenagers.  Oy.  Tan Asia?  God bless.

But I got his point loud-and-clear.  What seems like a twelve-year-old now, will quickly go to Tan Asia, then graduate from college and eventually move out on their own.  And you will miss them so, so much.  So enjoy it now.  For all it’s worth.  And don’t sweat the small stuff.  Except for the math.  We’re really gonna NAIL that this time around. 

So – with that in mind, I wanted to thank you, My Darling Little Girl, for these past twelve years.  They’ve been the BEST!  You are the BEST.  Happy Birthday…Baby!

Wackjob, Party of One

Oh, silly me!  You know what I forgot to do when I was talking about the 10-and-under tennis matches my son plays in?!  I completely forgot to mention how WACK the moms-of-the-opposing-team can get.

So to correct that error, I’m gonna tell you ALLllllll about it now.

And just so we’re clear, I’m not talking about ALL the mothers.  Because, for the most part, the mothers are very nice and make polite small-talk for the hour our kids play tennis against eachother.

But today?  Today an opponent’s mother brought her Crazytown A-Game.

And even though I know her real name, to protect the guilty I’ll fondly refer to her as Crazy McGee. 

The singles match starts between Cray-Cray’s daughter and my son.  Cray-Cray’s daughter serves and my son calls her serve out.

Cray-Cray (who had JUST screeched up to the court) says in a loud voice to herself, “That was in!” and then louder across the court, “That was in!

Her daughter darts an anxious look over our way but plays on while C-C turns to me and says, “Is that your son?  You should teach him not to CHEAT!” (I’m pretty sure spit flew out of her mouth on the CHEAT! part.)

Ok, B*^#H.  Them’s fightin’ words. But instead of saying what I really wanted to say, I access my inner reserve of calm, cool and collected and say, “That’s language is unnecessary.  I didn’t see where the ball landed so I’ll just have to trust my son’s calls.”  Crick, crick, crick.  <– That’s the sound of me ratcheting her up because then I say, “And there’s no coaching from the sidelines so you’ll have to be quiet.”

All the while I’m thinking: you just got here and you didn’t even see the warm up which consisted of your daughter missing every one of her serves.  Also?  You were behind a chin-level bush, under a shady tree, on the complete OPPOSITE and CATTY-CORNERED side of the court from where the ball landed.  My son was watching the ball land.  And therefore had his back turned to us, standing between us and the ball that was landing.  So unless you’re using the power of your mind to see THROUGH humans, you could not POSSIBLY have seen where that ball landed.  My suggestion at this point would be to climb back onto your big ol’ That’s the Truth…Ptttthhhhttt! Ruth Buzzi rocking chair and stay there.  ‘Cause next time you come down off that rocker?  I’m gonna go medieval on you’re a$$.

But nopey, nopers.  C-C didn’t clue in and continues to grumble and rabble rouse, especially after my son asks her daughter if she’s “sure” that HIS ball was out. 

I take the opportunity to state that any worthwhile tennis player crick, crick, crick  who has an ounce of tennis etiquette knows that it’s appropriate to say, in a nice tone-of-voice, “Are you sure?” if the opponent called your ball ‘out’ when you think your ball might actually have been ‘in.’

Tennis etiquette, schmennis etiquette.  C-C flips her lid again, spouting nonsense about how my son is so rude to ask questions like that.  Who does he think he is questioning her L’il Angel?!?

Ok, so none of this is real, right?  These kids are not playing with real balls, real rackets or even real lines.  I’m pretty darn sure that none of what happens here today will go in their college transcripts.  [Well, other than that part where C-C’s daughter’s transcript will say in red, bold letters that her mom is a FULL-ON WACKADOODLE.]  So even though none of this really matters, all I can think is, “Oh no you di-int.  Now it’s on like Donkey Kong!” 

So to prove my point, I seek clarification from C-C’s daughter’s tennis coach about whether or not it’s “polite tennis” to simply confirm that the shot was out.  He verifies that it is, that it ABSOLUTELY is ok to ask what my son asked.

At the tennis coach’s response, C-C says, “I’ve never seen that man before in my life.  I don’t believe what he’s saying.  I’ve never seen him before in my life.  He’s not OUR coach.”

Ok.  But just so you know, that guy I was talking to?  Just now??  He was here starting the match and going over the rules.  After that he started conducting drills for the older kids on the court behind us.  I’m pretty sure someone doing all that would be a…ohhh, what’s the word I’m looking for…COACH??  And when he was doing all that coaching stuff, I saw him.  So I’m sorry that YOU didn’t see him.  But then again, you must not be able to see many people from OUTERSPACE!  Where you apparently LIVE!!  Which means that you must have missed that part where we moms-on-earth got together and agreed to act normally during a 10-and-under tennis match.  We were probably covering that right about the time you were orbiting past the dark side of the moon and maintaining radio silence – so yeah, you musta missed that discussion.  But now I’ve taken it as my personal mission to clue you in to everything you musta missed.  So hang on to yer hat, here goes…

But before I can go all ‘shock and awe’ on her, she tells ME that I just have to be quiet, “Be quiet already!” 

Whaaaaa?!  Whaaaa the fuhhhhh???

So I say, “Oh.  Ok.  So glad you asked nicely.  Will do.  But everyone here knows that I’m not the one being antagonistic.”  Crick, crick, crick.

Then?  She snaps.  She takes affront to the word ‘antagonistic’ and says, “I don’t know what that word means.  I don’t even know what that word means.  I’ve never heard that word before IN MY LIFE!”

At which point she stomps off.  Just grabs her bag and walks away while her daughter on the court watches her go. 

Gee.  Seems like lots of stuff is happening in your life that you don’t know about.  Which means you have to repeat it twice?  Repeat it twice?  First you’ve never seen your daughter’s tennis coach.  Now you’ve never heard a word that I’m sure has been used DAILY to describe you.  In fact, I’m 100% sure people say that word to you – and about you – all.  the.  time.  Take me for example: I’ve spent fifteen minutes with you so far and I said it to you at least once.  Out loud.

After C-C has stomped off, the club’s head tennis pro comes over and profusely apologizes.  Huh.  Seems like this must happen…a LOT.

Soon enough, though, C-C’s back.  Yay!  Turns out the creepy stalker view of the court she excused herself to (also known as “standing outside the courts, looking in through a rip in the windscreen”) didn’t afford her an adequate view of her daughter’s Olympic tennis team try-outs.  So she’s back.  And better than ever.

You have GOT to settle down, Sparky.  Despite what the voices in your head tell you, C-C, these kids are NOT going to the Olympics next year.  Not even in TWO years.  But hang in there because I can see that it’s clearly your entire retirement plan to have your daughter get a scholarship to Wimbledon.  And we’re in luck!  Because by then, her 10-and-under tennis team results will have been expunged from her permanent record and we can all act like this was just a dream.  Lucky us.  Lucky, lucky, lucky.

The kids-on-the-court switch sides.  C-C opens the gate and starts walking towards her daughter.  I say, “I’m going to have to ask that you not coach your child while she’s on the court.”  Crick, crick, crick.

C-C tries it again, this time during a set break.  I politely remind her that the children only have a 90 second changeover break during a game and 120 seconds between sets.  And they’ve already run over due to her illegally coaching her daughter on the court.  Surprise, surprise she’s never heard of the time limits.  Crick, crick, crick.

The Wackjob, Party of One Extravaganza went on and on.  In fact?  It may still be going on.  But Sonny lost the match and we left.  So I don’t really know if it is or not.  Don’t really know if it is or not.

P.S.  Mrs. McGee?  Cray-Cray??  By the way, just wanted to let you know that your L’il Angel foot-faulted on EVERY ONE of her serves.  How ‘bout THAT?   You ever heard of THAT??  Ever heard of THAT??  Your head tennis pro saw it.  The coach saw it.  I saw it.  My son, her opponent, saw it.  And as such, he coulda dinged her for points every time she did it…because she shouldn’t have been doin’ it!  My son coulda won the match in about twenty minutes if someone had said something.  But instead, no one said a peep.  [See note above about NO COACHING FROM THE SIDELINES, YOU WINGNUT!]  We just watched my son play tennis like a gentleman and give your daughter a few friendly warnings instead of pulling points.  It may not get him a college scholarship, I may not retire on his fame and glory, but he will have a reputation for playing nice, polite tennis.  And maybe he’ll become a better person in the process.  Crick, crick, crick.

Sucktown, U.S.A.

My car has this nifty feature that I wanted to tell you about.

To activate it, first you must go shopping at Walmart for a few groceries.  And then, since you’re quickly running out of time before you need to pick the kids up at tennis practice, cave and buy all of the icecream-the-kids-have-been-begging-for-all-summer long.  Think to yourself: won’t I win allllllll of the nice mom points when I come skidding up to the tennis court in my twelve-year-old Honda Odyssey minivan, loaded down with frosty treats?!?

Next, place your temperature-sensitive purchases into the passenger side of your car because that’s the side in the shade and the temperature is 90 degrees.  Oh, and don’t forget to place your purse, your phone and your keys into the front seat while you’re at it.  We’ll call that the “secret sauce” of nifty feature activation.

It’s right about the time you’re playing Good Citizen and walking your cart to the cart corral that the nifty feature ACTIVATES! 

Lock.  Lock, lock, lock.  LOCK!!!

There.  All of the doors of the car are now locked.  It’s a “timeout” lock.  If the car has been unlocked – but the driver’s side hasn’t been accessed after a certain period of time – the car locks itself up again.


Welllllllcome to Sucktown, U.S.A. 

Population?  One.  Me.

What.  The.  HellamIsupposedtodonow?!??  I could call someone if my PHONE WASN’T LOCKED IN THE CAR!  I could unlock the car to get my phone IF MY KEYS WEREN’T LOCKED IN THE CAR!  I could ignore the whole mess and go shopping some more IF MY PURSE WASN’T LOCKED IN THE CAR!!!!


So I hot foot it back into Walmart and up to the Customer Service Counter.  I did originally consider begging a cellphone off of someone in the parking lot.  But that seemed weird.  I seemed weird.  Also, there’s always the possibility of getting cold sores with that approach.

Once I was at the counter, I had to explain what happened.  And ask if I could use their phone to call my husband.  But first, could I use their internet and a computer because I’m a total a$$ and have NO IDEA what my husband’s cell or work number is since it’s programmed into my phone…but I could look up his work website and get the phone number that way.  I’m smart like that.  And no, no kids or pets in the hot, locked car.  Just a bunch of melty ice-cream.  But thanks for asking. 

Problem Numero Uno with that approach was that they didn’t have a public computer or internet access available.  Problem Number Dos was that the public access phone was already being used by a customer who was trying to get someone on the horn who habla’d Español.  It seemed like it was gonna take a while. 

So the lovely, lovely customer service rep I had been speaking with let me borrow her personal cell phone to do my research and make my call.


And when I finally got Hubby on the line, I started to explain the whole mess and realized that the ice-cream was melting even faster as I did that.  So I closed with speedtalking, “I’m at the Walmart by home.The kids need to be picked up from tennis.The ice-cream is melting.I’m locked out of the car.JUST COME GET ME COME GET ME NOW!!!!”

I thanked the lovely Walmart Customer service rep again as I handed back her phone.  Then I walked out of the store and realized I hadn’t given Hubby a triangulation point. 


Knowing hoping Hubby is as clever as I am and would know to check outside the front entrance of the store for me, I settled down on a pallet of Miracle Gro potting soil to wait.

While I won’t go into further detail here, lemme just say that there is some crazy s**t that goes down in a Walmart parking lot.

Also?  I gotta get a job at Walmart because the 20-items-or-less cashier I always see there in the morning drove away from her shift in a LEXUS!  WTF??? 

By the time Hubby FINALLY pulled up (he said ten minutes on the phone; it was actually TWENTY! not clever enough, I’m afraid) I had convinced myself that people thought I was the saddest, most cut-rate ho EVER; Havin’ to hook her wares from “home base” on a pallet of potting soil.

So when I saw his car come ‘round the corner, I hiked up my shorts, crooked my leg and got into character.  The whole scene actually gave off more of a “gotta hinkle off to the bathroom now” rather than an “I’m lookin’ for my next John” vibe.  But now’s not the time to critique my acting ability. 

I said nothing, just hopped in as he slowed down.  I pointed at a lane in the parking lot and he drove me to my car and unlocked it using his set of keys.  Then drove away shouting, “Fuggedaboutit!  Don’t even mention it.  YOU’RE WELCOME!”

Isn’t he funny?!  He’s sooooooo funny!

But you know what’s NOT funny?  Sucktown, U.S.A. 

It SUCKS!  Don’t go there.  So beware of nifty locking features on your car.  BEWARE!

Friday Night Flight

This past Friday night found me sitting on the couch looking at my iPhone.  Hubby was on my right watching the baseball game through his eyelids.  And Sonny was on my left reading a book about the history of the Cyclops.  (Sissy?  She was up in her room singing the entire soundtrack to Frozen.)

Why yes, this IS my Friday night.  Wellllllllllcome!

When ‘Ding!’  An email about the week-end’s Big Lots “Friends and Family” sale came through.

Sonny casually looked over at my phone and homed in on the section of the electronic flyer that said, “22-28% off Zero Gravity Chairs.”

“Oh my GOSH, Mom!  Click that to see how much they are!”

I could already tell that Sonny was calculating how much money he had in his wallet and if the zero gravity chairs are cheap enough at the sale price, then perhaps he could buy two.  One for himself and one for his sister.  Afterall, it’s no fun to ride around the neighborhood on your zero gravity chair by yourself.

Yep.  My life on a Friday night.  Where I can predict the thoughts of a 10-year-old-boy.  Wellllllllllcome!

So I clicked through and it took us to a display of patio chairs.  Loungers to be exact.  Some with canopies.  Some without.

“Wow.  That’s really crappy.  Those are totally terrible zero gravity chairs,” he said manfully after his dreams of flying-through-the-neighborhood were dashed.

Hubby (who I THOUGHT was sleeping, but who actually must have been eagerly anticipating the cost outcome of the zero gravity chair research) piped in with, “That IS a terrible name.  Truth in advertising and all that.  You’re just never going to be able to live up to a name like that.  So why name it that?”

Good point.  And someone seems a little angrier than the situation calls for.  Welllllllcome!

So in summation, Zero Gravity Chair is a terrible, terrible name.  It means there will be no flight for us at a discounted rate. 

But you know what a GREAT name is?  A name that PERFECTLY describes my Friday nights??

Coulditbe Goin’ Out Drinkin’ Mom?!? 


I’m a Stay At Home Mom.  A mom.  Who stays at home.  Wellllllllcome!

What Skinny People Eat

I saw this intriguingly titled article recently and assumed it would provide me with all the skinny secrets of the world.  Then, eventually I would become skinny too!  Right?!

But guess what?  BULLS**T!  [Insert coughing noise that sounds suspiciously like BULLS**T! here.]

Because artichokes?  Really?!?

Preparing artichokes is like preparing tree bark for consumption.  It’s so tedious and time-consuming and the return is minimal.  And that’s why people don’t eat tree bark.  Nor should they eat artichokes.  Scraping a quarter-inch of “good stuff” off with your bottom teeth?  See coughing noises above.  Plus, by the time you’ve gnawed your way through the nonsense, night has fallen and you just wanna go sleepies. 

The list has started out poorly and number one on said list leaves you thinking that skinny a$$holes only eat mind-numbing, nap-producing crap, right?

But no!

Because number two on the list is “Plain ‘Ol Water.” 

Which assures you that not only are skinny people skinny, they are also moronic.  Because – news flash, slow boats – you don’t EAT water!  And if the secret to skinny success is nummy, num, num waawaa for snackypoo, then I suggest you keep your “Feelin’ Fancy” fruit-infused water (AND your $25 Fruit Infusion Pitcher) and shove it in your piehole.  Give me some PIE for my piehole at snackypoo time and we’ll call it even.

Next up?  Chocolate.  Anyone who has eaten melted, re-congealed Rolos off the wrapper knows this is not an adequate foodgroup.  Skinny people are liars now too.

Fourth on the list is almond butter.  Hmmmm.  Maybe.  But then the article shows a teensy bit smeared on that annoying brown bread.  That kinda bread leaves me feeling like I just worked my way through a sack o’ oats.  Hate it.  Movin’ on…

Fifth is cottage cheese.  Oy.  It only tastes good if you add canned-pineapple-in-heavy-syrup to it.  Which I think defeats the whole purpose and that could be why the pineapple trick isn’t mentioned once in the article.  So…no go.

Avocados.  NOW we’re cooking with oil!  Which isn’t recommended by skinny people.  They recommend the non-fat cooking spray.  But oddly enough, nowhere does it mention that you should mash up the avocados and consume them with half a bag of tortilla chips.  Either it’s an error of omission.  Or the skinny people are now sending me subliminal signals of the “fly, be free!” variety.  I sense the skinny people want others to be happy, so I’m going with the signals theory. 

Raspberries.  Uhhhhhh…ok.  If we HAVE to.  But those seed things jack up my back teeth.  Which might be part of the plan.  To make the eating process so painful that you stop eating?  Fool’s errand, my skinny friend.  I tend to eat THROUGH the pain.

Number eight is eggs.  Snooze.  And for anyone who ever did Atkins, snooze AND barf!  Can I get an Amen on that?!  Because about a week into Adkins (and, funny enough, for the rest of your life), the smell of eggs makes you wanna gag.  Plus?  While on Adkins, you’d KILL for an apple.

But you know what you’d NEVER kill for?  Spinach, number nine.  Because why you would aspire to be a one-good-eye sailor who smokes and has oversized forearms is beyond me.  Popeye much?  Guh-guh-guh-guh-guh.

TEN?  Pickles.  If served atop a bacon cheeseburger, yes.  By themselves?  A plate full of pickles?!?  Completely wack.  This proves the “These People are Insane” theory and I suspect they may have a sodium overdose issue.

Ok.  Well – that was an interesting list. 

It only took me four snickerdoodles to get through, and I’ve come to the conclusion that skinny people can keep their skinny.  Clearly their parties are boring. 

At my parties, our lime-infused “water” tastes suspiciously like margaritas.  And we serve our avocados guacamole-style.  With…gasp!…chips. 

Signals received.

I may not be skinny.  But I am FUN!

Go, You Chicken Fat, GO!

Did I ever mention I have two older sisters?

When we were growing up, Most Honorable First Older Sister had her own-room-with-a-double-bed while I had to share my bedroom-with-twin-beds with Second Older Sister.  Naw!  Not still bitter about that or anything.  Why?  What gives you THAT impression??

And to make matters worse, Most Honorable First would sometimes take advantage of her “own bedroom” status by putting a table across the threshold and holding a candy sale.  No one was allowed in the bedroom, you could only transact from the door.  And the candy consisted of all her old and broken Christmas candy (and maybe some Halloween leftovers too).  The sale was usually held in July and I believe I may have been her best customer.  Cut me some slack – I was five!  But at least I paid for my candy.  Second Older used to just steal it from under Most Honorable First’s mattress.  Oopsie!  Did I let the cat out of the bag on that one?!?

But on the bright side, the bedroom I shared with Second Older contained the record player.  This resulted in our room being Dance Party Central.

Technically, I suppose, one could have attached the blue, fabric-covered top onto the base of the record player using the buckle-y things on the side and ported it to another room by aid of the handle on the top.  But one did not do that and instead it just stayed in my shared (I SAID IT’S NOT AN ISSUE ANYMORE, WHY WON’T YOU LET IT GO ALREADY?!) bedroom with that fat, black cylinder attached to the middle part so it was perpetually ready for any ol’ 45 record that might come along.

Which  they did.  Frequently.  We had plenty of little, long-playing records in Dance Party Central.  One of which my grandmother had given us entitled, “Chicken Fat.”

My sisters and I would play it and goose step around the room, fast-like.  And then lie down and do some air bicycles.  I couldn’t say for sure that those motions went with the lyrics since I never did listen too closely (well, other than for the “Go, you Chicken Fat, GO!” part which we would all belt out mid-exercise).  Mostly, I spent my time during that song picturing the weird globs of yellow stuff that you would find floating at the top of the Chicken and Stars soup can when you first open it…wondering WHY my grandmother had given us the record…determined to find out when the next candy sale was gonna be.

While this stroll down memory lane has been super fun and all (and not bitter in any way), where I’m going with all of this is that I just saw that Apple iPhone 5s commercial today.  Have you seen it??  THEY PLAY THE “CHICKEN FAT” SONG!!!

But it has NOTHING to do with grandmothers, bedroom candy sales, dance party central or Chicken and Stars soup.


Order ON the court!

I just saw my first 10-and-under tennis match today.  Or as I call it: Monkeys with Rackets.

Or as I call it ten minutes in: Everybody line up so I can start clockin’ heads, ‘cause I can’t stand this.  Or you.

Because the kick in the pants in all this is that you can watch from the sidelines.  But you can’t coach.  In other words, you can see everything in the world going wrong, but you can’t say boo about it.

What you WANNA say?  Hey!  Head’s up, Schmuck!  Here’s another orange dotted ball fer ya because the two you already have seem to be in the wrong pocket and you can’t access them without taking up a full thirty minutes of the excruciating one hour we have together.  And your partner isn’t any help because they’re peeking through the fence at the field behind the courts while they could be handing you one or two of the twenty balls THEY have shoved in THEIR shorts.  So I’m happy to sit here in the ninety degree heat at 8:30 in the ante meridian just to feed you the balls so we can all walk away with our sanity intact.

What you ACTUALLY say??  Yoo-hoo.  Hi, Server!  Would you like another ball?

While the monkeys may have perfected the use of their opposable thumbs – despite the tennis coach’s best efforts, they haven’t perfected much else.  As a result, the whole match is complete chaos.  Tennis court-sized chaos.  Chaos that is worse than any cubscout meeting or wrestling match I’ve ever been to.  There’s so much milling around and facing the wrong direction and calling balls out that are actually in (and vice versa) that you become worried the screaming in your head might soon be heard by those on the court.

When you can’t take it anymore, to balance out the mental screaming with the no-coaching rule, you settle on a series of “gentle reminders.”  Hey, Folks.  One idea here would be to talk among yourselves and review the 10-and-under court lines with eachother.

Another gentle reminder might go something like this, “Yep.  Sure is hot!  Why don’t you get a drink as you’re switching sides.  Speaking of which, should you actually be switching sides?  Because what’s the score?  Do we switch sides on odd or even scores?  And since we’re talking sides now, which side of the court do you start serving from?  Did it seem like some of you were serving from the incorrect side?  Why don’t you all just plan to keep eachother on track with that.  Now, who wants a drink?  This nice lady wants a drink!!  You better BELIEVE she wants a drink.  Believe.  It.

Eventually the match dies its painful, monkey-pox death.  And as you’re walking off the courts, you keep up your stream of gentle reminders, “Do you have your water bottle?  How ‘bout your RACKET?!  ‘Cause what were you just here doing?!?  What were you doing it with??  That thing you were just doing it with would be pretty important to take.  Right?  And how ‘bout your heads??  Everyone got their heads on?  Yeah?  Locked down tight?!?  YEAH???”

It goes without saying that the whole thing is eerily similar to conducting a work meeting with people over whom you have no direct supervisory authority.  Yep.  Very, very similar.  INCLUDING that drinking part.  Believe.  It.