Thursday, July 31, 2008

A little Wednesday night entertainment

Last night, driving home from work, I saw firetrucks pull into our neighborhood before me. Something about the sight of firetrucks always makes a knot in my stomach, and especially when they're headed to where I reside. I turned down a different street instead of following them, but when I made the turn to drive to my house at the end of a cul-de-sac, I saw the firetrucks had beaten me and were blocking the whole street. I pulled into a neighbor's empty driveway and phoned the husband to tell him I couldn't get home.

I sat and watched the action. Firemen milled around in their gear, unhurried, and the knot loosened a little. And in reality, it must've been a false alarm, because not soon after I decided to leave my parked car and walk home past the rumbling firetrucks and firemen giving me quizzical looks, they hopped in the trucks and left.

But I did notice while sitting in that driveway, ten or so houses from mine, that my neighbors are weird. A woman nearby had walked out of her house to chat with a fireman. She had a guitar from what appeared to be Guitar Hero strapped to her chest. I guess she didn't have time to be interrupted in the middle of rocking out.

A man in a Jeep Liberty who lives near the front of the neighborhood, several streets away, circled the block several times. Like, Guitar Hero lady couldn't be interrupted, but Jeep Liberty man had all the time in the world to drive around aimlessly, nosing around at midnight.

And then later, after the trucks had left and all was quiet, and I walked back down to retrieve my car and park it in our driveway, there was a golf cart bumping down our street, followed shortly by the Jeep Liberty guy again. A GOLF CART. What better way to find out what's going on in the world than a leisurely ride in a golf cart around the 'hood?

I'm thinking next time there's a disturbance, cop cars, or lawd forbid a fire on our street, I'm setting up a wienie cart and selling refreshments. Hell, depending on the viewpoint, I might even rent out lawn chairs. I COULD BE RICH.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A phone call

What've you been up to?

Oh, I'm trying to clean the house.

I thought you cleaned the house yesterday.


But it was clean when I came home!

Oh, hell, man! It was straightened up! I meant scrub toilets, hose down a shower, mop...that kind of thing.

Gah! You should just speak English!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A lesson in navigating a drive-through

In most drive-throughs, you drive up to a speaker where some underpaid peon wearing a crappy headset takes your order. Did you know that you can't drive up to one at a 90 degree angle? You can't pull up into a drive-through and have your windshield face the speaker. It doesn't trip the sensor if you do. I KNOW! SENSOR! Like, the sensor that "dings!" in our headset, letting us know there's a slack-jawed cretin who'd like to order a mocha choco latte ya ya. Contrary to popular belief, there isn't a small, green elf who sits on the outside menu, waiting for a car to pull up to the general vicinity of the speaker, and then runs inside to let us know someone else can't figure out how to trip a drive-through sensor.

Okay. So if you don't trip the sensor, we don't know you're there, waiting, for like, ohmigawd, ten minutes. What do you think your next plan of action should be? ABSOLUTELY you should pull up to the window and honk. But I'm going to tell you right now, that because it's THREE MINUTES UNTIL CLOSE, all the little peons inside the store are busting ass trying to get everything clean and ready for open the next morning, so it's possible, slightly possible, that someone is not standing directly in front of the window waiting for your honk. I know. It's sheer craziness. And since in this cleaning/readying process it may be noisy in the store, with vacuuming, mopping, and the screaming that takes place because WOOT! we only have three minutes!, we may not hear your honk either.

But then you should definitely come into the store. Yes. Even though you have your pj's on. Even though you only have six teeth to your name. Definitely come in, now two minutes until close, and order five drinks. And make sure to bitch wildly about the fact that you were waiting! for ten minutes! (Seriously? I'd have waited four minutes, tops.) and you honked! but no one came! honked and WAVED!

We'll still make your drinks, smiling through gritted teeth. But listen. You're not getting free drinks, even though I'm well aware that you were hinting at that. You'll get an apology and a quick lesson in navigation like, "Maybe you didn't trip the sensor. That happens sometimes." And I am SO blogging about your dumb, toothless, pj-wearing ass so that others can learn from your stupidity mistake.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Who has a case of the Mondays?

1. I have lots of little things to blog about, but nothing major. So I'm doing a list again, which annoys me because my last post was a list. But dammit, nothing's happened that deserves a big, long post.

2. See? I just used #1 to explain this whole post. And look what I'm using #2 for!

3. I'm immensely tired of my job. Like, SO TIRED. I want to just walk in, do my job, and then leave. But there always has to be drama. And I think I may be rolling my eyes too much, because I was asked the other day if I was okay. "You know, I know you're really sarcastic, I know, but everything okay with you?" SIGH. Here's a newsflash: I'm not always ecstatic about work. I know, right? Sometimes, like I said before, I just want to go in and WORK. Not build relationships, not pay anybody any mind, just work. It's a foreign concept to these people.

4. Also TIRED of my stupid house. I feel like I'm in a damn hamster wheel, spinning and spinning and never getting anywhere. Why bother picking anything up and cleaning anything? It'll be just like it was in ten minutes.

5. TIRED of not having extra money. So the hamster wheel kind of fits in with working too.

6. To date, this may be the lamest post I've ever done. I'm still hitting "publish" because I have nothing better.

7. It is quite possible I have PMS. Because a) I hate everyone right now, b) I feel like simultaneously screaming in rage and crying, and c) I NEED A CANDY BAR, STAT.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Listy McListerson

1. Our new pillow-top, smooshy, comfy mattress was delivered yesterday. It's a lot taller than our old set, which will take some getting used to. Because lord help anyone who falls out of it.

2. You know what pisses me off? When you set out to bake a batch of cookies only to find that you have about a cup of flour and your damn recipe calls for 1 1/3 cups. NO BLACK AND WHITE COOKIES FOR YOU.

3. Also annoying, the fact that Smella loudly protests every day about taking a nap and then promptly falls asleep within five minutes. If it weren't so wildly inappropriate, I'd love to go in and wake her up just to tell her See? You were tired. I was right. AGAIN.

4. Big D goes back to school in nineteen days. You know what that means? One less scream-inducing kid during the day and SCHOOL SUPPLIES. If you see a woman in Target drooling over the notebooks and markers, it's probably me. Come say hi.

5. School starting also means book rental. From what I've gathered, book rental is an uncommon occurrence in the US. Apparently other states take these things called taxes and they cover your children's book/desk/paperclip usage at school. Huh. Neato. I much prefer shelling out $100. I'm sure that means Indiana kids' books are way better quality.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Because I like tormenting myself at least once a week, I finally decided to have Boober's hair cut. It was time, the husband liked to remind me, because people were asking, "Oh. Um, sooo cute. Is that a boy or a girl?" Never mind the head to toe blue and various manly vehicular appliques that Boober's clothing is adorned with, his hair was past his ears. What the hell gender is that there kid?

But I acquiesced. And the only reason I did is because Boobers was sporting one hell of a mullet. To no fault of anyone, his hair had failed to grow a lot on top, but it was ALL party in the back. A slightly curly, stringy party. I don't mind longer hair on boys, but there will be no mullets in this house.

So without further ado, the before. Before pictures are easy because Boobers is always running away from the camera.

And the afters. Look at those damn eyelashes. Jealous?

On a related note, I now have three envelopes of varying shades of baby hair. Um, EW. And the only reason I have these envelopes is because the hair people MAKE me. Don't even think you're trying to walk out of a barber shop/salon without them. Look. I love my babies. I love every single hair on their little heads. But I don't feel it necessary to hang on to those dead, wispy strands. In fact, it makes me slightly gaggy. But I'll keep them, because that's JUST WHAT YOU DO apparently.

Up next, I'll show you how to incorporate your baby's dried umbilical cord stump in a lovely scrap booking layout.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


This morning, while I fixed Boober's breakfast and the older two sat and ate:

Boobers: Mmmm! Numnumnum!

Smella to Big D: I think he wants a bite.

Big D: Well, I'm not giving him a bite!

Smella: Well, I'm not giving him a bite either!

Boobers: Numnumnum! *whine*

Smella: I fink he's hungry.

Big D: You should give him a bite.

Smella: NO! You give him a bite!


At the Little Rock Zoo, standing in front of the grizzly bear exhibit, watching a huge bear sniffing the air for baby snacks.

Me: Look, Smella! See the bear? Isn't that cool?

Smella: Uh huh. Can I wide him?


Upon entering Smella's bedroom in the morning, wearing a pair of plaid pj pants I dug out of hiding in my dresser.

Me: Hi, baby!

Smella: Mommy! Are those new pants? Those pants are BEAUTIFUL, mommy! I love them! Did you buy them at the store? They are so pretty! Are they blue? I love blue!

Me: Uhhh...thank you?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

There have to be rules

Things I try not to eat in public:

Spaghetti. I still haven't mastered the art of slurping/biting noodles so that they don't spray myself and nearby diners.

Ribs. You just can't use a damn fork.

Ice cream cones. Really. Drippy obtuseness. And I inevitably get a cone that leaks.

Chicken wings. Once again, no fork. Red, sticky sauce all over fingers and mouth. And cheeks. Sometimes in hair. Never a wet wipe to be found.

Things I will eat in public, onlookers be damned:

Huge corned beef with mustard on rye sandwiches from this restaurant.

Anything from a fair or festival, including but not limited to: smoked turkey legs, elephant ears, funnel cakes. (The Indiana State Fair starts in three weeks. Woot!)

Anything from this restaurant. Including tiny bundles of fried squid legs, crusty bread dipped into warm, gooey goat cheese, and multiple types of meatballs. Mmmm, meatballs.

Stolen bites from the husband's plate of seared beef tongue from this restaurant. Followed up with beet ice cream.

I may have food issues. Okay, I definitely have multiple food issues. I could probably devote a whole blog to them. SO?

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go grab a snack now.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The one where I toot my own horn. Get it? Toot!

While visiting the husband's parents, they gave him his snare drum from high school to take home. We are now the proud owners of one roughed-up, loud snare drum. The kids adore it. I have no earthly idea where I'll keep it. Thanks, in-laws!

But it did manage to make me wistful about my junior high band career. I was actually pretty good, a first-chair player. I loved playing, and the only reason I stopped is because once in high school, they forced you to be in marching band. I didn't want to march, I wanted to play music, which marching band is so NOT about, and especially for clarinets, my instrument.

So I quit. It hurt me at the time, and it still bugs me. Apparently my love for the instrument didn't outweigh the hours of outdoor practice during Indiana summer. Or the fact that I'd have to wear a huge woolen purple costume while I marched and tried to play memorized music. I quit band cold turkey, much to the dismay of my band teacher.

I toyed with my clarinet a few times after that, playing what I could remember for the husband when we got together. Mostly it sat by its lonesome in a closet, forgotten about.

Until that Christmas I lived with the husband in Arkansas. We were scrimping and saving enough money to be able to drive home and spend the holiday with my family. Being broke and in desperate need of gas money, I rifled through the closet and found my clarinet. I think the husband tried to talk me out of it, and I had a few moments of doubt, but I hawked it. My beloved clarinet my parents made payments on. (Don't bring this up with my mom. She still threatens to smack me for doing it.)

Would you like to know how much I hawked it for? C'mon. Guess.

Fifty dollars.


I regretted it immediately. As we walked out of the damn door of the music shop, I regretted it. And it still makes me sick to my stomach to think about it. I don't know what the hell I was thinking. Okay, I do, and at the time nothing meant more than going home to be with my family for Christmas, but damn.

I've been scanning craigslist and eBay lately, thinking maybe I'll buy another one. It won't be the same one, and it probably won't even be as good a quality as my first, but at least I'll have a clarinet in my possession. I'm hoping the fingerings and music-reading comes back to me.

And if all else fails, I have three kids. There's a good chance one of them will be a clarinet-playing band geek, right? If it happens, and they quit band, guess who's keeping a hold of their instrument?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Back to the grindstone

I spent yesterday cleaning my car, vacuuming up remnants of mulch we had left while hauling some home a couple of months ago. I even scrubbed all the bug guts off the grill and gave it a waxing.

I grocery shopped.

I actually cooked dinner.

The kids are back to tormenting each other to see who screams the loudest. (Smella always wins.)

I did piles and piles of laundry. (Did you know it breeds and multiplies like rabbits when you leave the house?)

I head back to work tonight, while the husband headed off this morning.

Someone needs to clean a toilet around here.

I miss vacation.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Listy McListerson (Vacation Edition)

1. Always call and check ahead at your hotel. They may only have shower stalls instead of bathtubs, and so you may have to a) shower with a slippery, screamy one-year-old or b) bathe a slippery, screamy one-year-old in the tiny sink. Neither is very fun.

2. It is motherfucking HOT as a motherfucker in Arkansas. I lost five pounds by sweating profusely.

3. At a gas station in Marion, Arkansas, there were a half-dozen redneck men, gassing up their huge trucks for a huntin' or fishin' trip. They were smoking. As they pumped gas. It was some awe-inspiring brilliance.

4. Despite all the warnings that it would be a suck-ass experience, Little Rock Zoo was pretty damn neat. And we were there early enough that we didn't melt as we walked around, and all the animals were out to greet us. Also? Camel rides.

5. Even after eleven or so years, Blackwood's Gyros and Grill is still delicious. The husband recommends The Blackwood, while I'll go ahead and vouch for anything that isn't nailed down. Yum.

6. We got to hang out with my 15-year-old niece and 11-year-old nephew. They're really tall now and make me feel really old.

7. The in-laws managed to not make us too crazy. They were actually very hospitable and friendly, and I wasn't called any names. The mother-in-law also loaded us up with bags and bags of cack. Like toothbrushes from dentist visits, an animated Santa, and bibles. We never visit them and leave with fewer than four bibles. Is she trying to tell me something?

8. Speaking of the godless heathen that I am, would you like to see the biggest, holiest cross this side of the Mississippi?

It makes you feel like screaming amen. Or snickering wildly. Whatever. And huh, there's a freaking website about it.

9. All in all, we had fun. The kids got to see gorillas and where the husband grew up. I got to feel completely out of place with my very northern accent. The husband got to visit with his parents, siblings, and friends he hasn't seen in a few years. The kids mostly behaved, but I don't plan on driving more than 20 minutes with them any time soon. And ohmigawd, people, I MISSED MY BED.

10. One last one. Perhaps the most unfortunate place on Earth to live.

(Many apologies to the fine folks of Cooter, Missouri. I'm sure I'll be able to pass by one day without guffawing immaturely.)

Friday, July 04, 2008

And we're off

I hope to make it back in one, sane piece to regale everyone with tales of the in-laws. Because hoo-boy, there are always good tales after a visit with them. Yup.

Happy 4th and all that jazz too.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

First hair cut

After two years, ten months of growing, I took Smella to have her hair cut. It took a long time for her to have any hair; she was still almost bald at her first birthday. But now, it seems she has an inordinate amount of curly, baby-fine hair, wispy and soft. And constantly in her eyes. When asked, "Who has crazy hair?" she would sigh and say, "I do."

So it was time. She was so excited. And aside from the fact that she spoke not one word the whole entire time, she had fun. I could tell. The stylist gushed over her white blond curls, saying over and over how beautiful it was. Smella wouldn't respond, but I could see her eyes twinkle with happiness.

When all was said and done, she looked so much older. She no longer had the long, uneven tendrils of baby hair, but an actual cut. Where she had lopped off a section in the front a few months ago, there were perfectly neat bangs. She grinned and reached her arms for me to help her down off her boostered chair.

In that moment, I saw my baby girl's future in those big blue eyes. Her Kindergarten school picture. Her first grade school picture without those little baby teeth she's sporting now. Her first boyfriend. Her first dance. Broken heart. Wedding. Baby. I sucked back tears and lowered her to the floor.

As I paid for her cut, I watched her out of the corner of my eye as she twirled and danced on the smooth hardwood floor, innocently and unabashedly. She took my hand, and as soon as we stepped out of the door, she broke her shy silence and chattered constantly the whole way home.

I'm really hoping she doesn't need her hair trimmed any time soon. I'm not sure my heart can take it.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Ready, set, shop!

I loaded the kids up and headed to Target this afternoon. I needed a few last-minute things for AR. And new shoes for Big D. And a new shirt for myself. And they make travel-size packages of Clorox wipes! I can clean a whole hotel room with a Clorox wipe! Oooh, and three new board books for Boobers for the car ride!

So I can't leave a Target for less than $50. I'VE TRIED.

What's really impressive is that I took all three kids with me shopping, something I try never, never to do. But I'm an expert Targeter (I've been training for years) and can manage to rack up $50 in under ten minutes. I could kick ASS at one of those five-minute shopping sprees.

Because my children? Not so much into shopping. Okay, Boobers doesn't mind, but give him a few months, and he'll be just as irritating. Unfortunately, Big D is too long-legged to shove into a cart, so he bounces and runs around like he's JUST smoked crack in the backseat of the car. Smella rides in the basket, continuously whining that's she's thirsty. Or she wants that hat. Or ohmigawd, I know you just didn't put something in this shopping cart where I'm trying to lay back and get my whine on.

Boobers sits quietly in the front of the cart. He occasionally points at something that catches his eye and grunts. I try to interact with him, but between reigning in Big D and loudly whispering to Smella to SHUT IT, I tend to forget about him. He's fine with that, because it gives him ample opportunity to suck on the disease-infested cart handle, his favorite shopping past time. And when he's gotten his fill of Target germs and virus, he likes to dig through my purse, eating stray morsels he finds and dialing Cambodia on my cell phone.

A shopping excursion usually ends with a couple of kids crying, a white-knuckled drive home with lots of deep breathing, and nap time as soon as we hit the front door.

But in theory, taking the kids with me saves money. Do you know what kind of damage I could do by myself in an hour? Whoo. I think I just heard the husband pass out.

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