follow me on Twitter

    Wednesday, November 28, 2007

    Neck Nipple?

    I have a mole on the back of my neck. It's one that, frankly, I am glad is mostly out of sight, as it is rather pronounced. Samantha was standing behind me just now, "doing my hair", and she suddenly stopped and touched my neck rather apprehensively.

    "Hey, Mom - why do you have a nipple on your neck?"

    I'm calling a dermatologist today. Why the hell wouldn't anyone else ever tell me it looked like a nipple? Thanks a lot, people.

    Can't Stop Giggling

    My dad and I didn't talk for nine years. It's a long story, some of you know it, some don't. Maybe someday I'll tell it here...but probably not. If you really wanna know, call me sometime when you've got a hour or three to kill. Anyway, so we've been talking for about a year now.

    He must be making up for lost time, ha ha. Yesterday he bought me my Christmas present early. I am typing to you on it right now, and not believing my eyes, I might add. I got a SUPER HP bundle, and I am LOVING it so far. SO fast compared to my old PC! I am VERY lucky and feeling VERY spoiled today. You could serve a turkey on this monitor, it's so big it's silly. And the processor runs circles around my old one. After a couple of calls to Cox's AWESOME customer service, my modem and internet connection are running perfectly and at lightning speed! Vista's not so bad, except for the fact that it asks me if I want I'm SURE I want to do EVERY thing I do. Makes me know how Greg must feel every time he makes a decision. I'm like his own personal Vista. Poor guy...

    Anywhoo, I wish for each of you a PC like this one for Christmas (ok, or if you're Deb, you already just got a new fun toy, but everyone else probably needs one...)...I'm off to get the kids ready for our weekly playdate at the M House...

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007


    I'm full of it today. Thankfulness, I mean, and you can keep your smart ass comments about what else I'm full of to yourself, thankyouverymuch. It's the holidays, dammit, so be nice.

    Anyway, it's almost Thanksgiving and I find myself ruminating about how truly lucky/blessed/spoiled/overindulged I am.

    Why, you ask? What makes my life - which happens amidst Walmart decor, dog hair, 4 years of old bills and credit card statements that will never get shredded, fat which simply refuses to come off of my ass or any other area, and a carb addiction which I battle daily in place of any real addictions - so blessed? So special? So worth living that the thought of being in any one else's shoes makes me weepy? I'll tell you.

    1. I have GREAT friends. You know who you are. You know why you mean so much, and why you have proven theories WRONG that I held true about female-female friendships for most of my early adulthood. I cherish each and every one of you, and I thank the heavens I found you.

    2. I am raising my beautiful, sweet, funny, smart, adorable, good-hearted children (along with my husband, of course). First-hand, without exception, I am their primary caretaker, the center of their world, and I miss nothing in their lives. This was my absolute greatest fear about being a parent: that I would miss out on milestones and have to ask daycare workers to lie to me (even lies of omission are lies) about first teeth, first steps, first words. I have been spared that. I decide what they watch, what they eat, when they sleep, who they play with, what they wear, what they learn, and the control freak in me finds that very, very gratifying. The challenges that are so much a part of being a SAHM are real, ever-present and consistently overwhelming, but they are such a small price to pay for the honor, the privilege, of knowing that I haven't missed a thing. Not everyone is that lucky, and I know that, and I don't take it for granted. Not that there aren't days I'd like to stick my head in the freezer for about a week, but that's another story...

    3. My husband kicks ass. You've heard me tell of his great-husband-ness many times, and it's all true. He is "Father of the Year" and "Super-Hubby" rolled into one. His absolute WORST character flaws are that he exaggerates an awful lot, and he is too tender-hearted when he should be tougher on people (usually me, honestly). That's it. Those are the really crappy things about Greg. Yeah. I'm way lucky. I have said it for years, and it's still true: Greg IS the best man I know. He's VERY supportive of my role as SAHM, helps in any way he can, busts his ASS at his job whether he feels like it or not, gives me whatever support/encouragement I need in ALL areas of my life, and does just about every other thing I can think of that you'd want a husband to do. Seriously. The guy even does his own laundry when he needs it done. He has NEVER, in almost ten years, said "Hey, can you wash my _______?" My husband kicks ass.

    4. Despite the numerous "issues" in my family, I am close with nearly every member of it. My sisters and I, and both of my parents, all have a relationship that I value in one way or another. Mom is one of my best friends, we each enjoy the other's company so very much, and I cherish her more with each passing year of my life. My sisters, who are really nothing like me in most ways, each give me unique perspectives that are valuable to me in my life, and I am grateful that they are my sisters. And even when we disagree, we can let that just be its own entity and move past it as people who love each other. Even Dad and I are rebuilding bridges, and in his own way, he continues to show me that he does, in fact, love me.

    5. I have a sweet treadmill. And whenever possible, I actually USE it. I'm hoping that will start paying off someday.

    6. My dogs are nice dogs. They are good family dogs, with kind hearts, and I will miss them someday when they are gone, despite the fact that they are a royal pain in my ass. I trust them with my kids, they always let me know when someone comes to the door (or the neighbor's door) and they would protect me with their lives if anyone ever tried to hurt me. I think. Either that or they'd show the guy where I was sleeping, and point out the safe on the way by. It's hard to tell with dogs.

    7. My in-laws are super nice people. They truly are, and I enjoy them more and more the longer I am part of the family. They have been supportive in every way they can in our lives, they adore our kids, and they make us welcome in their home any time we want to come and invade for several days. Overall, in the grand scheme of things, I got pretty lucky in the in-laws department - and I didn't always used to think that. I'm sure they didn't either!

    8. My washing machine and dryer are approximately 20 years old, and they still work pretty darn well. Ya gotta be grateful for THAT, right? Not that I wouldn't also be grateful for a new set, don't misunderstand - but meanwhile, I'm glad these are holding out. The washer washes, and the dryer dries. Can't ask for more than that!

    9. We have enough money to pay our bills, eat as we please, and enjoy fun family times every month. I never have to tell my kids there is no food in the house. I never have to pay a bill late. We're not investing in major stocks or paying off tons of debt by the thousand every year, but compared to the state of lacking and want/need that some people live in every day of their lives, we are spoiled. We just bought new coats and snow boots for the kids tonight, and bought them new outfits for tomorrow, and I thought of the kids in the world who don't have anyone who even gives a shit enough to make sure they HAVE those things. How can any of us complain about ANYTHING when there are kids in the world with those types of heartache?

    10. I have a brain and hands and feet and organs that all (mostly) work. I can get out of bed in the morning. I can feed myself, clothe myself, write to you, walk on my treadmill, listen to my dogs bark, and hug my family.

    Those are luxuries to so many people, and I get to do all of them every day. Most of us do. Most of us wouldn't know a hard-knock life if it jumped up and bit us in our asses. We spend our days bitching and whining about things that make people with REAL problems roll their eyes. We have food in our bellies, generally more than we need. We have clothes on our back that some would kill for, and some do. We have all that we need to survive, and we have people who love us and care about what happens to us. THESE are the treasures in life, folks. The houses and cars and things are so irrelevant in the big picture. Even in writing this, I am more aware of the need for gratitude in my life.

    True gratitude can change us, I really believe that. Gratitude for the blessings in our life can give us more joy and peace than any material possessions, promotions or kudos/acknowledgement/praise from the Pope, the president or the press ever could. Looking in the mirror every day, even if we don't feel like it in that moment, and saying "HOW did I get so lucky?" might just be the cure for what ails us a great deal of the time.

    Life is full of problems. And challenges. And trials. And thank GOD we get to wake up every day to work through them - in our comfortable homes in our store-bought clothes that fit, while we eat our fresh delicious food (or our Burger King, if we choose) and look at our beautiful families with our eyes that see. We are TRULY, truly blessed - all of us.

    Thanks so much for the time you take to read. It means more to me than you know. Pass this on if you wish, and remind someone else to be grateful on this Thanksgiving Day. May God send you a Thanksgiving that inspires MUCH gratitude!

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    Tuesday's Thoughts OR Two Days Till Turkey

    Not that the turkey is what I'm all worked up about.

    Let's face it, turkey is good and all, but if it was just turkey, people wouldn't gather in droves at family's homes who they mostly can't stand. No one likes turkey on its own THAT much. It's all the nutritionally void stuff that goes WITH turkey...stuffing, mashed potatoes/gravy, cranberry-shaped-like-a-can (my personal favorite), relish trays with olives, pickles, veggies (only acceptable because they are the vehicle for dip), with said dip, and the pies. And cakes. And bars. Greg's family puts out a helluva spread, no matter who's hosting, and it is just one big carb fest. A big YUMMY carb fest, but a carb-fest nonetheless. So thought #1 is about trying to maintain my weight this week UNTIL Thursday, which will undoubtedly be a South Beach nightmare.

    Thought #2 centers around this stupid "infant cold medicine recall" nonsense. Went to Baker's last night, and as we are battling yet another cold with the kids, and the pheylephrine that the dr. gave me for them is about as useful as nothing, I was hoping for something familiar and recently-unavailable. Well what should I see on the shelf, but the card for Sudafed's Children's pseuodephedrine. Hallelujah! I couldn't get it up to the pharmacy counter, driver's license in-hand, fast enough! Fortunately, my ped. had already given me dosage for my kids of the stuff before the infant drops were recalled. Jackson is already fine with a 2-year old dose b/c of his size, and Samantha takes the same. But as I got home and read it and compared it to my almost-empty bottle of the infant drops of the same drug, an interesting set of facts emerged. The drops they pulled? EXACT same medicine, in the EXACT same dosage. It's just a different amount of liquid they suspend the drug in. Less for babies, more for bigger kids who can swallow more. Two droppers of the infant drops has the exact same level of pseudoephedrine as one teaspoon of the children's formula. And they BOTH say the SAME thing for children under two: ask a doctor. So the drugs they kept say, do and have the same characteristics as the drugs they pulled, all because people are too stupid to read labels, write down doses, and pay attention to what they are putting in their kids' bodies. And yet the anti-drug freaks..uh, I mean folks, are now placated because the "dangerous" drugs are off the market. Hilarious. Whatever. I'm not tellin' them any different.

    I asked the pharmacist if they would be pulling this stuff too, and she said "I don't think so, it was just the drops they were worried about, and it was just because people kept overdosing their kids." She here inserted her own eye roll, which I wholeheartedly returned. The nurse in my ped's office told me basically the same thing three weeks ago, when I said I was surprised to hear that "they" claimed it didn't work: "Oh, it works, it's not that it doesn't work - it's just that people kept overdosing their kids on it." How many more arguments do I need for the case in favor of "license to breed" legislation?

    I just know I'm glad to have pseudoephedrine back because it is the ONLY thing that helps my kids feel better when they are truly congested. Anyone who wants to do a case study on my kids, feel free. Or you can just trust me - it works.

    Thought #3 - we are selling the Jeep. It just sits 29/30 days of the month, and there's no reason to keep it. Anyone interested? It's a great Jeep, and we'd LOVE for you to have it. Several people are coming to look this week, so if you want it, get in fast! That snow is COMING! Get into a 4WD with remote start and laugh at all the suckers stuck in their cold little sedans! Ok, or just come buy my Jeep, no laughing required.

    More thoughts to come...

    Saturday, November 17, 2007

    I'm Not Much Of A Drinker

    It's true, anyone who hangs out with me can attest that my limited experiences with mass amounts of alcohol are practically non-existent. I'm not even what really qualifies as a "social drinker", as of late primarily because in one way or another I've been drinking for two for most of the last four years. So that has pretty much left alcohol off my drink menu.

    But Jackson is down to just nursing at bedtime, and is (knock, knock, knock on wood) sleeping through the night now, so after he's in bed, my evenings are mine to do with what I please.

    Tonight I please to drink me some White Zin mixed with Sierra Mist and ice, thankyouverymuch. I intend to reach Buzz Level One, at least, before I go and assault my husband, who knows nothing of my plan. I should clarify. I do not need alcohol to want to assault my husband. The two events just happen to coincide tonight because, well, quite's a fucking miracle that one of us did not strangle a child today. He's not a drinker either but he's already had a Mojito. We need to blow off some steam.

    Samantha got up late because we got her to bed late. She got up OK, I guess, not too grumpy or bossy or pushy or snotty. That would come later, trust me. Then her father came home from work at noon, and her brain fell out. She did not find it again today. I am hoping it makes its way back in before morning because I am almost certain none of us can survive another day like today.

    We went to the mall for my hair appointment. Greg walks the kids around in the double stroller while I get my only pampering for the month, and usually it goes swimmingly. Today she whined. And whined. And kicked her brother in the back, and pulled his hair. And mouthed off. And talked back. And threw a screaming fit in Sears, I'm told, bellowing "I WANT MY MOMMY!!" over and over and over, while her father looked for a snowblower to crawl under. He was already exhausted by the time I left Regis. "Bye, Jocelyn!" she smiled sweetly, waving and batting her evil-disguised-as-cute eyes at my stylist, certain no one would buy Daddy's story. Nauseating. Greg was at his wits' end already, poor guy. There's a reason I'm home with them all day and not him. He is an incredible father, a truly connected, involved parent, but if he had to handle them 24/7, he WOULD run away and never come back, I'm telling you.

    We were so disappointed at Samantha's behavior, and the mall was SO crowded, that instead of having lunch there, we opted to hit Sonic on the way home (yes, I know, not exactly Beach food, but it was an off-day). This was another fit for the throwing, as she had wanted to eat THERE, and so she went ahead and threw the fit. We ignored, went to the van, loaded up. She putzed around, dawdled, didn't get in her seat until she was threatened within an inch of her life, then pouted that the wrong person was buckling her in, as though anyone really gave a rip who she wanted buckling her in. She then kicked my seat until I explained how hard it would be for her to walk without FEET. She stopped.

    I needed to make a quick stop for wipes, and Samantha announced that SHE wanted her DADDY to go in and get them, NOT her MOMMY. I once again ignored, told her I would be right back, and went about my task. She seemed better when I came back to the van.

    At Sonic, she would scarcely even answer my questions about what she'd like to eat, until I was ready to order. The instant Greg pushed the button...


    "Thanks for choosing Sonic, I'll be with you in one moment." Fine.

    "Samantha, WHAT do you need? I am trying to order food."

    She mumbled something about her imaginary friend, or some other such nonsense. Yeah. Ok. We get our food and proceed home, while she and Jackson WHINE all 12 blocks about wanting their slush right NOOOOOOOW. Jackson's sounded like this:


    Samantha's was more advanced:

    "Mom, can I have my cheh-wee" (cherry) "slush now? ... Mom - CAN I HAVE MY CHEH-WEE SLUSH NOW? ... MOM! MOM!"

    Know that I had already explained patiently TWICE that they would get their slush when we got home, but that we were not drinking cherry slush in the van. This is not new info. This is not unusual.

    The rest of the day came to pass in much the same fashion. Samantha acting like a pubescent teenager, disagreeing with EVERYTHING we said, antagonizing her brother at every turn, mouthing off with 9 of 10 sentences that exited her mouth, and acting GENUINELY surprised when she was disciplined for doing things she's been asked not to do more times than there are months in her life up til now. Her father and I trying to encourage, diffuse and support one another as we traded off between two kids who were unable to be satisfied or pleased in any way. It was just one of those days. Jackson was the better of the two by far (he is DEFINITELY my favorite today), but he was a handful in his own way, battling another cold, this one with a nasty cough and a sore throat. Joy.

    So now, they are both in bed sleeping (they wore themselves out trying to make their parents commit suicide), it is quiet in here, and dammit, I am having a drink. Not even sure why, one drink and I'll have a headache and get sleepy, and about that time one of the kids will get up.

    Wait, it's Saturday night...Greg doesn't have to work tomorrow. I think HE can get up if one of them wakes up.

    Where's that bottle of wine?

    Thursday, November 15, 2007

    State of the House Address...

    ...for you, dear readers.

    All is well this Thursday morning. I'm not feeling bad now, I am certain it was a cyst. We had Pumpkin Pie Blizzards last night at the mall. NAUGHTY...but yummo. What else? My older sister is in town for a class, my younger sister is turning 26 today, the trash guys took the broken toilet this morning, and my laundry is (drumroll, please) CAUGHT UP. My laundry room is EMPTY. Naked. Bare. Clear. Allow me to elaborate (because I KNOW you've been dying to know about my laundry).

    Looks pretty weird in there, quite frankly. Usually there's at least some blankets waiting to be washed, but when I sorted/organized/complied the laundry loads Friday night, I did blankets, towels and linens first instead of last. A brilliant idea, if I say so myself. I know I'll wash the clothes, but the blankets always get left for last and then I run out of steam and leave them for next time. So they got bumped up the chart this time. Result? - naked laundry room.

    I should clarify the OTHER brilliant part of my plan, which I save for times like these when laundry was in DIRE need of a jump-start, and when a $40 trip to the laundromat looks imminent. That other part is this -make laundry a centerpiece. Into the hampers, up the steps, and dumped RIGHT in the middle of the livingroom, all of it. Scour every room, find every sock, shirt and washcloth. Every single one, and into a giant pile in the livingroom it goes. Did it require me to take laundry AWAY from the laundry room, still dirty? Absolutely. Is it more work? You betcha. But you know what else it does? It makes it almost impossible to ignore or forget about. It's tough to leave laundry lay when you know anyone who comes over at any given moment would see the big nasty piles of dirty drawers and t-shirts, laying there like Barbie-sized Rocky Mountains. And no fair sorting it and then taking it back down all at once, no sir. That's how it got piled up in the first place, it's easy to ignore down there.

    I will not share how many loads we did over the weekend and into this week - my shame just won't let me. Suffice it to say that the laundry around here was OUT OF CONTROL, and just blankets and linens took all of one day. Fine, I'm a slacker, whatever. Sue me. Somebody get that maid-iternship program going and then I won't have these problems, will I? But anyway, for now it's all caught up, and I need to focus now on maintaining, keeping caught up so we won't have this issue again.

    Ok, was that enough about laundry to suit you? Yeah, me, too. More later, gotta go get the boy down for his nap.

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    Still Here

    Since I know you've been waiting with baited breath...

    Well, I made it through the night, thanks to ibuprofen, a great hubby who got me up to the tub and made me soak, and a heating pad.

    I'm almost certain it's an ovarian cyst. I can still feel it in there this morning, but it's not as bad. Let's just pray it subsides (and doesn't rupture) soon, because my sister is coming today and I don't want to be a big sicky while she's here, you know?

    I should call my OB/GYN, but if it IS a cyst, she'll just want to do surgery to drain it and/or take my only remaining ovary (having already lost the left one to this), and I'm just not up for that. I'd prefer the current state of pain, honestly. There's no danger in having the cyst - it just sucks.

    How can a body part, one that malfunctions SO much, have been SO efficient at doing its job? Two tries = two babies. Oh, and cysts that kick my ass. VERY productive. Nice.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    Stay Tuned for...

    ...possible rupturing organs.

    Been battling some abdominal pain off and on for a few days, and tonight it's gotten significantly worse. All on the right side now, so I'm guessing (TMI coming up) either I've started ovulating again and it's a big ole cyst (the kind that cost me my left ovary) that will eventually rupture and put me on the floor (it's worse then childbirth, I swear to god), or it's my appendix, or some other fun organ. I'm multi-tasking right now...blogging, while trying to ignore the overwhelming nausea and urge to vomit, whilst trying to also talk myself out of going to the ER.

    So keep it here this case, no news will probably NOT be good news...

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    It's Four Steps Around new treadmill. Four steps from the time my left foot hits the seam of the tread until it comes back around again. Four steps when I'm walking, not jogging. I'll let you know if I ever get up to jogging. I am not betting on it.

    Anyway, let me back up. We finally got one! I've been scouring Craigslist for MONTHS, and had a couple of dead ends, and then I saw the post Friday afternoon. "Barely used, had it three months, like new - $75."


    The girl was not kidding, it is barely used. She said she wanted (and had purchased) an exercise bike ... she said she'd decided she wanted to "be lazy and sit down" while she exercises. Whatever. These people already had three nine-foot Christmas trees up and decorated in their livingroom, so I don't pretend I understand thier rationale about everything, but needless to say, I didn't give a rip about that.

    So we load it up, get it home. Greg and I wrestle it through the not-quite-wide-enough-but-yo-can-bet-your-ass-we're-not-carrying-it-up-and-down-three-flights-of-stairs door, and get it set up in our room (facing the TV, of course - the TV is an integral part of my exercise game plan). It's still all nice and "purdy"-looking (please ignore the small paint scratch where we coaxed it thru the aforementioned door), no wear on the hand rails, no scuff marks on the tread yet, even! Lots of bells and whistles I don't pretend to know how to use yet, but I have been using it - for three days in a row now! Probably an exercise RECORD for me! Certainly not running any marathons yet, and certainly not going the 30 to 40 minutes at a time that I should be, but I am on it, and if you know me, you know that is a HUGE step for me. Exercising at ALL is "WORK" in my book, but I am enjoying being able to do it in my home, barefooted if I choose, at my convenience, with no one watching the chubby chick struggle through my workout. I think I may be one of those people who a treadmill really works for. Time will tell!

    If not, then I paid $75 for a clothes hanger. But that, my friends, is exactly why I don't pay retail for stuff like this. If I use it, I got a GREAT deal - and if I don't, then I'm not out hundreds of dollars for something I have practically give away on Craigslist. Just ask Christmas Tree Lady. She paid more than twice what she got from me for it, and used it 4 times!

    Sportscraft won't let me copy the picture (they act like it's THEIR picture or something), and I haven't taken any myself of the real thing. SO click on the link below and then you can see my new toy:

    Fun, huh? So cross your fingers that I stick with it, and come on over for a walk sometime. Course, we can't go together, but I'll watch you walk, and then you can watch me walk. Or vice versa. Or whatever. We'll work it out.

    New Feature, Just For YOU!

    Hey! Check out the top right...yeah, over there! Now you can sign up to receive updates so you'll KNOW when I post a new article! Isn't that swell? As you would expect, your email is NOT going to be used for anything other than the auto-feed that will send you an update on my blog. Hell, I'm not even sure I know how to GET to the thing that shows me what your email address is, anyway! So no worries, just sign up over there and then we'll be cyber-bonded because I'll be writing for you, and you'll know because you'll get an email from Feedblitz telling you that I did just that! Kinda gives me a warm fuzzy inside...

    Sunday, November 11, 2007

    Scary Spamming Scamming

    BACKGROUND Part 1: I use my "primary" email address on eBay, always have. We have another email address, completely different domain, that I use mostly for registering online, etc. so the spam and ads don't come into my everyday address.

    BACKGROUND Part 2: Greg has been bidding on a certain type of cell phone on eBay for WEEKS, and has bid on several from the same seller, having won one a couple weeks ago, and another this weekend. But he bid on several between the first and second, all from the same seller, who we have had regular contact with. But we've always corresponded through our primary email as that is, again, the only one we use on eBay.

    So today, in our JUNK email Inbox, we get this:

    Dear "xxxxxxx",

    You expressed interest on this item. I'm the seller of this item on which you've recently bid on through the eBay system ( Item # xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ) and I've contacted you because I need to know if you are still interested to buy ... Email me as soon as possible with your answer because I must to know if is necesarly to find another buyer or if you can buy the item(i need to know your final price)...If you accept this offer the eBay policy automatically proclaims you winner. The transaction will go strictly according to eBay's RULES and POLICY and will be supervised by eBay Trust & Safety Department. If you are interested just reply to this message. I am waiting a fast response! Thankyou!

    Now. We know it's fraudulent, no question. Primarily b/c we KNOW the email address of the real seller. The strange, and scary part, is this: We DID bid on the auction number he cited in his email. We DID. But, and this is the crux of the issue, WE DO NOT USE THAT EMAIL ADDRESS ON EBAY! So how did he know to contact us at THAT email address about an item we DID bid on, but under a DIFFERENT email address? Scary stuff. My only guess is that the email addresses have the same thing before the @, so I guess if he sent it to all the domains with that user name, it may have gotten to us - but geez, what are the chances?

    So, after I reported him to eBay, AND to the real seller, I sent him back this:

    Actually, you are NOT the seller of this item. We have worked with the seller of this item before, and it is not YOU. He has our REAL email address, not this one for SPAM. This email address is not even registered on ebay for our ID, so you must have just sent this to every "xxxxxxx" you could find. We have reported you to EBAY as a SCAMMER, you pile of crap. We are also informing the REAL seller of this item that you are posing as him. Get a life.

    Assholes. His email username is a banned ID on ebay, so I'm guessing that was the same guy.

    Happy Sunday, anyway...

    Saturday, November 10, 2007

    A Correction from Yours Truly

    I was reading over my recent posts, and at the end of my "Welcome Missives From Suburbia Readers" post, I said at the end that I was ready to go post something fun after having talked about Deb's blog.

    It occurs to me as I go back and read this - that probably sounded like I didn't think pimping Deb's blog was fun. Oy, that is SO not what I meant! And people used to PAY me to write? Great googly-moogly.

    I HEART Deb, AND I heart pimping Deb's blog, and did not mean to imply that doing so was less-than-fun. Sometimes I just write out of my ass and don't edit enough. What a dip! Anyway...

    Friday, November 9, 2007

    Aimee Asks A M*A*S*H-tastic Question

    Which is another good reason we are such good friends - the girl can follow directions. If you haven't yet, dear reader, follow her fabulous lead and ask me somethin', huh? Anyway, Aimee's question:

    I've known you for, well, pretty much forever and I've always wanted to know. What's up with the MASH thing? I have some favorite shows, don't get me wrong, but you have a commitment to MASH. So there's my question!

    Told'ja the girl was funny!

    But there's nothing funny about M*A*S*H. Wait, no, there is TONS funny about M*A*S*H. There's nothing funny about my LOVE for M*A*S*H.

    It's a serious family love, and we are so, so devoted. No doubt about that. It is, in my expert opinion, the finest television show ever made. I submit to you as evidence the fact that my mother, sister, husband and I all quote it from memory, for now going on twenty years, and we all still laugh our butts off every time. My husband, nearly ten years in, who used to roll his eyes, now quotes it more than I do. Try that with some here-today-gone-tomorrow lame sitcom of today. I think not, my friend.

    SO. My life-long love affair with the fine folks of the 4077th. Hmmm, let's think back.

    Mom always liked M*A*S*H when I was growing up, so I knew it well from childhood. When I was about high school age, she got an offer in the mail from Columbia House: three episodes of the show per month, on VHS, for $24.95 each. There are eleven seasons of M*A*S*H, so go ahead and do the math on that. It's 251 episodes in all, although Columbia House only released 207 episodes. And she bought 'em all, baby. Every one. She still has them to this day, and watches them regularly. They have their own media rack in her bedroom.

    Of course, now you can buy every show ever made on DVD, and for MUCH cheaper than the investment Mom made. So M*A*S*H came to DVD, a whole season at a time, and this time in broadcast order! And yes, I have them, of course. I just need to get the final episode DVD...I saw that in the store the other day and seriously tried to figure out what there was on the grocery list we could go without so I could put THAT in the budget for the week. Ok, not really, but I was close.

    Anyway, what is my deal with M*A*S*H? That's the basic question. It is, as I said, the funniest show ever. And it must be true or I wouldn't still be laughing at the same jokes after 20 years. And yet it also has some really poignant, touching, deep moments that are anything BUT funny. The episode about nightmares ("Dreams") scared the hell out of me for years, it still creeps me out to this day. There are quotes from that movie that will be with me my whole life. Hawkeye's priceless rants, calculated ramblings peppered with alliteration, rhyme, and words that flowed like honey. Alan Alda created a character that was so unique, so real, so vividly raw that I think, no matter what else I see him in for the rest of his life, I will always see Benjamin Franklin Pierce. And each character is like that in their own way. Margaret, Frank, Charles, Radar, Henry, Col. Potter, Father Mulcahy, Klinger - each of them did their part to make the show more funny than it ever would or could have been without any of them.

    I cried when Larry Linville died - I called Mom in tears and said "Frank Burns died!" Then we cried a little bit together. I am not even kidding you.

    Some of my favorite quotes, just for kicks...

    "Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice." ~ Sidney Freedman in "O.R." (He also says this in the last episode, which just makes you smile when you hear it again.)

    "I will not carry a gun, Frank. When I got thrown into this war I had a clear understanding with the Pentagon: no guns. I'll carry your books, I'll carry a torch, I'll carry a tune, I'll carry on, carry over, carry forward, Cary Grant, cash and carry, carry me back to Old Virginia, I'll even 'hari-kari' if you show me how, but I will not carry a gun!" ~ Hawkeye in "Officer of the Day"

    "I'd like a dry martini, Mr. Quoc, a very dry martini. A very dry, arrid, barren, desiccated, veritable dustbowel of a martini. I want a martini that could be declared a disaster area. Mix me just such a martini." ~ Hawkeye in "There Is Nothing Like a Nurse"

    "Sir, I thought it over and I was lying before when I said the baby wasn't mine. It's hers, mine, and ours...No, you guys wouldn't know me when I was in town. I mean..uh..I remember that night 'cause I took a shower. I was wearing my paratrooper scarf with nothing on underneath. I had maybe two beers and I was looking for trouble. I wanted to get a tattoo, but the guy had printed 'mother' so much that he'd run out of ink. So I was taking the jeep back home and I saw her hitching a ride by the side of the road and I stopped. And..uh..I'd rather not say anything more in front of the baby." ~ Radar in "The Chosen People"

    There are just too many to list. I could go on all night. And now I'll have to go watch an episode or two before I go to bed. I think some oldies, maybe Season Two - some good old Frank-and-Margaret-meeting-behind-the-delousing-tent stuff. Hawkeye chasing the nurse-du-joir whilst downing "gin" with Trap. Klinger in his latest attire from Wang's of Seoul. Good times.

    There is a website for people like me, made by people (or a person, rather) like me. Want to know ANYTHING about the show? It's on there. It was created and is maintained by a man named David Long, who I can only imagine is at LEAST twice as cool as me, when you consider the incredible, comprehensive, encompassing site he's created, all for M*A*S*H-heads of the world. You should check it out: It is the shit, seriously. It's where I copied the quotes above from, and where I refer to when I can't remember something about the show.

    I'm not even sure what else to say about it. Don't get me wrong, I could go on for a week about the show; just sitting here I've thought of about 10 episodes I want to go back and watch again and laughed out loud as I thought it. Right now I'm listening to a sound clip from the site, one of Henry's lectures - the one on sex ed and birth control. Totally hilarious. But you either watch M*A*S*H or you don't. If you don't, well, that's OK. To each his own...but you're missing out. And if you've been living under a rock for the last thirty years and have never seen it, come over sometime - I'll pop in a DVD for you and you'll see what I mean. I'd bet money on it.

    Good question, Mrs. B! Thanks! Now I'm going to put in M*A*S*H while I go to sleep. Anyone but "Dreams". Like I said, still creeps me out. Hawkeye's arms coming off is just too much for late at night...

    I Only Hang Out With Funny People...Here's Proof

    One of my long-time and dear friends, Aimee (AKA Mrs. B) is a funny, funny girl. She seriously needs a blog. To prove this point, I am sharing a post from her myspace page; a personal blog reproduced with her permission, for your laughing pleasure. I give you, "Aimee Made A Funny":

    So in the spirit of being a newlywed, I thought I would spice things up a bit by purchasing some Dallas Cowboys bikini underwear.
    So they arrived and as I modeled them for my new husband who is totally a die hard Dallas Cowboys fan, he says "I love them, you should wear them everyday."
    To which I replied...
    "But then they would be the Cleveland Browns."
    Thank you....I'm here all week.

    When you stop laughing, leave a comment and tell me how funny she is, because I know she'll check in to see if I'm right about it being freaking hilarious, and grounds for her needing a blog of her own. And I'm usually right, let's face it.

    Wednesday, November 7, 2007

    How Come?

    How come there are no internship programs for kids who are aspiring to be housekeepers? Maids? Window washers? Young minds just itching to get their feet (and hands) wet in the custodial arts, who would love to come and clean a girl's house for free, just for the experience?

    Because I could give some kids some DAMN good experience here at the house of much dirt, endless dog hair and countless smudged-up, fingerprinted shiny things. I think it's a GREAT idea and I think someone should get ahold of Merry Maids or some shit, and tell them they need an internship program, and they can start RIIIIIIIIGHT here in my neck of the woods. I would even grade the kid and send a report back. Hell, I'd post it on here and sing the kid's praises. If s/he's got a blog, I'll pimp it!

    In the mean time, until my brilliant plan comes to be, I am stuck doing my own crappity-smacking housework. But not today, because it's "Wednesday Playdate at the M Family House" day! Whew! I had nothing else planned but housework today, and if Momma M hadn't called we'd be stuck here at home where I'd be forced to do just that! Close call! Maybe tomorrow, right?

    Tuesday, November 6, 2007

    Random Reflections Readers...Come On In!

    Another of my good friends, Catie, gave me a very sweet post on her BLOG today, and so if you're popping in because of that, I say "HEY!" to you! If you're a reader of Catie's blog, you obviously have great taste anyway, so I'll do my level best to keep your interest sparked. Just bookmark me, and stop back once in a while, and leave me a comment, ask a question, whatever!

    And to my current faithful readers, if you didn't check out Catie's blog the last time I pimped her, do it now!

    Welcome Missives From Suburbia Readers!

    Hey! Deb gave me SUCH a great kudo on her site (isn't she the best?), and if that's why you're stopping by, it's GREAT to have you! Look around, read a bit, ask any questions you have, and don't forget to bookmark me and stop back again! Oh, and tell your friends! I KNOW you want to tell everyone how witty/smart/clever I am, right? Seriously. Pass it on already, huh?

    That goes for the rest of you, too! Have you shared me with anyone? Dontcha wanna? Huh? And have you popped over to Deb's blog, too? She's a blogging maniac, you gotta check her out!

    Ok, blog pimping for the day complete. Time to write something fun. Back soon!

    Monday, November 5, 2007

    Holiday-In-Review: Halloween Candy 2007

    Hand decorated ghost cookies...4 different kinds of FULL-sized candy bars, several of each...11 Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Cups...10 Mini Hershey Bars...6 Mini Kit Kats...4 regular M&Ms...4 peanutM&Ms...Smarties...Tootsie Rolls...suckers galore...bubble gum...and that's just a sampling! The list goes on and on! These kids raked it in! It's nuts, I'm tellin' ya! Check out what's left - FIVE days after Halloween!

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Needless to say, much of this will end up in the garbage, after a few days of letting the kids pick some sweet morsels each day (and Mom and Dad are partaking today before going back to the Beach tomorrow).

    NOW...most who participate in opening their doors to kids on this last day of October each year are generous, sweet folks who truly enjoy getting great treats to give to kids. But there are, as always, a few people whose choices are mind-boggling...

    Maybe some people genuinely have unique taste. Maybe some people can only afford the cheap candy. Maybe some people have an inordinately busy life and forgot what day it was, so they were forced to improvise. But folks, I speak the truth when I tell you that there are some major candy faux pauxs going on in my hometown, and I suspect it's more than just here - I'm betting it's nationwide. I shall elaborate for you.


    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    The strawberry candy. Forgive me, but...what the hell is this piece of crap? It's like a strawberry-ish flavored cough drop. Hard as a rock, no fun shape, no Halloween theme, no anything that makes it remotely appealing unless you have a sore throat and no teeth to break off. Clearly someone either had this leftover, or just doesn't like kids.


    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    The LEMON Tootsie Roll. Huh what? Not to be confused with the Brach's Toffee Rolls, sold at Christmas time, which are yummy. This is a Tootsie Roll, which is supposed to be, and I think you'll agree with me here, CHOCOLATE. Lemon? Lemon, really? And apparently Tootsie has done an entire line of these fruit-flavored variations on the original. I do NOT, however, encourage supporting their decisions. In short, Tootsie Roll Industries needs to quit jackin' with the Tootsie Roll. SO many other better Halloween candies out there.


    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Graveyard Gummy Candy. This item definitely has the theme going on, and props for that. But shouldn't gummy candy be at least kind of appealing looking, at least in color? I appreciate the effort to create an authentic bone-colored candy, and damn if they didn't do just that, but it makes it less-than-appealing to think about eating it, even for most kids. But I will say that the purchaser of this was definitely looking with eyes aimed at creating a holiday-related candy experience, so good for them. Just pick something that anyone would actually want to EAT next time. Otherwise maybe go with the skeleton erasers, which look as cool, but no one has to try to work up the courage to eat them.


    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    The Not-Even-Halloween-Candy-Candy. Shame, shame, shame. This Truffle is Green and Red, showing no signs of being anything other than last year's Christmas candy. The wrapper was even worn on the corners, like one that's been sitting in an old stocking somewhere. This is both nasty and rude, and I'd rather you just shut off your porch light than to try and pass off 10 month old candy to me...uh...I mean, my kids.

    Overall, the booty received last Wednesday was more than adequate, with peanut-butter-chocolate-nougat-caramel-fudgy-sugary goodness aplenty. And no, those who offered less-than-appealing treats did not commit a mortal sin or stick needles in Snickers bars, so I am over it now. But if, by some chance, you are one of the offenders, please, PLEASE...get some better candy, or spend the night out next year!

    I was going to break down more than the candy aspect of Halloween, but when you have two kids and a sweet tooth, what else to Halloween is there? Happy snacking!