Wednesday, October 31, 2007

That Tag Thing

My new friend, Keeley, asked me to do the "7 Things About Me" tag, and I'm starting to worry about how boring I'm becoming, because it took me over an hour to think up this list.

1. I had a dream last night that I was peeling potatoes, and when I woke up, my hands were cramped and sore. I sort of hoped that I'd been sleepwalking and had made myself some hash browns for breakfast. Alas, no.

2. I frequently dream about public bathrooms. I really hope I'm not sleepwalking when these occur.

3. I am finally pursuing a lifelong dream of learning Russian, thanks to Rosetta Stone.

4. I have this thing about pens. I bet I own at least 50, and half of them are in my purse, which explains why it weighs enough to qualify for bariatric surgery.

5. I am obsessive compulsive about weird things. Like today, I organized my stash of gift bags.

6. Yesterday I rented the PS2 game, "Ratatouille," for ME to play.

7. I don't know if I'd like to drive a Smart car, or just adopt one as a pet.

So now I'm supposed to tag 7 more people, and I'm going to choose a bunch of my buds here at blogger: Supernatural, Mostly Sunny, Sydney, Hope Grace, Tiffany, Karen, & Linda.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Deja vu all over again

I just spent a lovely week with my parents, who drove to Texas from their home 1500 miles away. My father is 75 and can hear about as well as an acorn squash - and that's only if he has both hearing aids in and turned on. My mother is 74 and memory-challenged. I don't know why some young people say they don't know how to talk to elderly people. I found it pretty easy. We just had the same conversation every day for seven days. My dad never heard more than one-third of it, and my mom never remembered it. I felt like I was in the retirement home version of "Groundhog Day."

On top of that, my mother arrived with a new cell phone and a new digital camera. For my technologically impaired parents, this combination of challenges was the equivalent of piloting the space shuttle to Mars while simultaneously performing open heart surgery on conjoined orphaned triplets. I wondered why my mother hadn't answered her phone in the three days they were on the road. It was because she didn't know how to turn it on. I don't know why they have a cell phone. Last month, they used it for a total of THIRTEEN minutes, and I don't even know how that happened. I mean, a blind llama could fall out of the sky, break through their roof, and use the phone to call 911 and a roofing contractor while my mom was still trying to figure out how to plug in the phone charger.

I'm short on time right now, but I have more to tell about their visit. Next entry I'll write about The Piano That Went on Vacation, and How Many Apple Pies Will a 25 Square Foot Freezer Hold?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What, no booger-producing baby dolls?

Well, it's mid-October, which is officially the start of the Christmas Catalog Onslought season. I've already received a Harry & David catalog. If those people were smart, they'd put scratch-n-sniff stickers on every page. Of course, I'd probably end up eating the catalog, and I don't know about you, but wood pulp always goes straight to my cankles.

Anyway. The next catalog I received was a toy catalog. My kids are pretty much past the toy age and are now in the outrageously-expensive-electronic-device age, but I paged through the catalog just to see what's available.

I have to say, when my children were small, they were given traditional, normal gifts. The girls got things like dolls, and the boys received Legos and sports equipment. Granted, the girls play-acted that the dolls were achieving world dominion, and the boys used the sports equipment to launch the little Lego men onto the roof of our neighbor's barn, but still. So I was a little shocked to see what's being marketed to parents today.

For starters, we have "UglyDolls." These toys frighten me because 1) they look like the characters in Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, and 2) they cost $25! I sure wouldn't spend that much money just to give my kid night frights. I can rent "Nightmare on Elm Street" from Blockbuster and get the same effect for a mere $5. And look at the names on these things: "Ugly Worm," and "Big Toe." Yeah, can't you hear your toddler whining, "Daddy, Stevie has an Ugly Worm, and I want an Ugly Worm, too!!" Daddy would probably go outside and bring in an grub worm, and then your kid would need therapy for the rest of his life. We don't really need an UglyDoll anyway. We have Dewey, who bears a remarkable resemblance to "Ox."
Moving from the disturbing to the downright disgusting...

Here we have "Gassy Gus." Who's running the toy companies these days, 12 year old boys? The goal of the game is to stuff Gus full of food without making him belch. I don't see how this game is going to work. My boys wouldn't want to win. For them, the goal of the game should be to get the loudest, longest belch possible out of Gus, and THEN, to mimic the sound themselves, as many times as possible until Mom starts searching the kitchen cupboards for the vodka.

Again, we don't really need Gassy Gus. We've got Rock'n'Roll Daddy, a fat guy who sits in his recliner every night and says, "Pull my finger."

If you're big on educational material for your child, especially books, you can now purchase Walter the Farting Dog. Lovely. And did I mention this book made the New York Times Bestseller list? I think I'll abandon my current book concept and write Petey the Pooping Pigeon, followed by Carla, the Hairball-Hacking Cat.
So here's my advice to those of you who will be shopping for young children this holiday season: Give something tasteful like paper towels or shoelaces.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Short term .... what was I saying?

You've probably heard the expression, "Insanity is contagious. You get it from your kids." Well, I'm beginning to wonder if short-term memory loss is catching, and if I got it from my daughter's dog. Every morning, our elderly, one-eyed, deaf, fat pug named Dewey (yeah, I know - we should have named him Lucky) seems to forget that he just inhaled his food, and sits patiently by his bowl, looking expectantly for breakfast. It's like doggie Alzheimer's or something. Which would be bad if a particular breed got it - Weimereiner's Alzheimer's.

Anyway. I realized last week that I had totally forgotten to announce this month's winner of the Grace and Peace Award!

I'm pleased to present Graced from My Back Porch. (Not MY back porch. HER back porch.) Alli, who nominated her, said, "I am thankful for the honesty she gives with a big dose of strong and sound Biblical challenges." As I read over her blog entries, I was impressed with the depth of her spiritual insight, yet she doesn't come across as holier-than-thou or in any way superior to her readers. In fact, in her acceptance of the award, Graced said, "It is only by God's amazing grace that I have any grace or peace at all. I would love to accept this award on His behalf." You've got to love someone that humble.

Congratulations, Graced!

As always, I will keep previously nominated blogs in the running for future months, but feel free to send me new names/blogs. Click on the icon on my sidebar to be taken to the post where I outlined the qualifications.

Scam alert!

If you have trouble reading the label on this product, it says, "Wave the Magic Piggy Wand once over the main dish and twice over the dessert and all the calories will QUICKLY DISAPPEAR. If this fails, simply wave it over the areas of your body that you wish were thin..."

Well, I'm here to tell you it doesn't work.

The only part of me that got thinner was the arm I used to wave the wand vigorously around my entire body. Boy, do I feel like an idiot. And not even a skinny idiot, at that.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Top 10 Ways to Spot a Hockey Mom

10. She owns a cat named Zamboni.

9. She knows where you can buy coffee at 4:30 a.m.

8. She thinks televised bowling would be a lot more interesting if checking was allowed.

7. She's found a way to work broken $200 hockey sticks into her home decor.

6. She's trying to figure out how to introduce her teen daughter to Sidney Crosby, the 19 year old NHL phenom.

5. She buys Car Jar air fresheners by the case.

4. In the back of her van, she carries a fleece blanket and a winter coat - in August.

3. She has the numbers of the dentist and orthodontist on speed dial.

2. Instead of putting her kids in time-out, she says she's sending them to the penalty box.

1. The bruise on her hand comes from banging on the glass along the boards.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

His campaign promise could be, "A flat-screen TV in every American home!"

As everyone knows, next year is an election year. We were wondering if Flat Stanley has given any consideration to running for President. He is obviously a man of the people. He has that rugged, handsome appearance required for the media. He is flexible on the issues and favors a flat tax like I do. Do you think Stanley will run in 2008? - Underdog


Thank you so much for this excellent query. It's always a pleasure to receive an email from a real person instead of yet another invitation to join a singles dating site which must be extremely desperate if they're recruiting married, near-elderly women with lip lines.

Anyway. Although Stanley has not said anything to me about campaigning (or about anything else, for that matter), I do believe he would be an excellent choice.
  1. Thus far, he has dealt very well with the press of being in the public eye.
  2. He would reduce taxes by making the federal government leaner.
  3. He would very much like to iron out the problems in the middle east, and smooth the way for bringing our troops home.
  4. I have found him to be very level-headed. Particularly while lying down.
  5. He would thin out spending on pork projects.
  6. Some critics say he is narrow-minded, but I think he has more than an inkling of what concerns the average American.
  7. Finally, he currently lives on a ranch in Texas, which has worked out well for several other presidents.

Here's Stanley with the ubiquitous prickly pear cactus:

And here he is with his exotic turkeys, which is great experience for working with French diplomats:
In conclusion, I believe that with some plain talk from his friends, Flat Stanley could be pressured into running. Please send all campaign donations to me.

Sincerely (and I mean that),


Thursday, October 4, 2007

As if I really cook.

If you've read this blog for very long, you know that it's safer to give an eight-year-old with ADHD a package of matches and let him run loose in a fireworks factory than it is to allow me just walk through a kitchen.

Be that as it may, lately I've been feeling very domestic. So rather than take a chance on actually cooking and possibly be accused of initiating chemical warfare, I've been making aprons. This, the Flirty Skirty Apron, is my latest.

I finally have something cute to wear when I serve up my signature meal - chocolate with a side of coffee.

Why buy museum passes when we can just open my closet door?

I guess my generation has officially made it to antique status.

I first realized this when I was setting up some audiovisual equipment at work, and one of the young men on the front row asked, "What is that?" After letting out a sigh that mimicked the sound of air brakes, I explained that it was a slide projector. "Wow!" he marveled. "I've never seen one of those!" I could have written that off as cultural ignorance - most of the population here in Dirtville still hasn't discovered those things called "books" - but then the next thing happened.

Yesterday, Sasquatch was cleaning out a closet and he came across a box marked Panasonic Turntable. When he asked me what it was, and I told him it was a record player, he gasped, "We have one of those?!" You'd have thought he'd just discovered that we own a bicuspid from a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Later, he came across the records and I thought I was going to have to get him an inhaler, which is saying something because he doesn't even have asthma.

Great. I know what's going to happen next. My kids are conniving and broke, which means they'll start charging their friends to come over and see their mom, CroMagnon Woman, and her cave of prehistoric wonders.

Monday, October 1, 2007

He's destined to hand out smiley face stickers, I just know it.

Over the course of our homeschooling years, we've covered a lot of world history. I've tried to teach my children to grasp the "big ideas" of each era: how religion shaped the culture; major military successes and failures; how the geography of an area impacted trade; the contributions of each culture to fine art; societal roles of women and children in ancient history. We made togas, built a model of the Rose Theater, practiced writing Mandarin characters with a brush and ink, studied cross-sections of castles, read biographies of Ghengis Khan, Gutenburg, and Ghandi.

So what does Sasquatch (age 12) actually remember from all of that?
1. The ancient Egyptians ate doormice.
2. Queen Elizabeth brushed her teeth with sugar.

GAH! Maybe I should just start teaching the boy the practical things he will need to know for his future career, like

The Care and Cleaning of Your Blue StuffMart Vest

Cart Wrangling 101

Clean Up on Aisle 4 - Tips for Mopping up Five Gallons of Kosher Dills

She Wants More Than Your 10 Items: Why You May NOT Date that Huzzy Who Works in the Quick-Check Lane.