Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Meet the Corporate Fleet.

This week marks Vacation Bible Camp for my two eldest children. I am frantically trying to organize and pack for a weeks' family vacation, so VBS gives me a morning of respite to Get Shit Accomplished.

Mostly Cajun writes up a weekly post on the ridiculous names that some people curse their children with. In that vein, I tell you this...

I was distressed to meet the young ladies in SnarkGirl's class. A majority of them were named for luxury vehicles.  A Mercedes, a Beemer(!), a brace of girls named Lexus (what is the plural of "Lexus?" Lexii?), a Denali and a Tahoe.  ( actually asked the moms of Denali and Tahoe if they were named after geographic locations or SUVs. It was a 50/50 split.)

We also had a few children named after vacation resorts: a Hampton, a Seychelle and a Maldive.

What the fucking fuck? What screams "Materialistic Yuppie Assmunch" louder than naming your kids for status symbols?

Sunday, June 27, 2010


The Gregarious Loner tagged me with a "List Ten Things You're Grateful For" meme. Here goes:
  1. A husband that I adore, and who truly is my soulmate.
  2. Three wonderful, healthy children.
  3. A job that I truly love -- even the parts that I bitch about.
  4. My own good health.
  5. A home to call my own.
  6. A full tummy for me and mine, every night.
  7. A fabulous extended family -- even when they drive me fracking nuts, they are always there.
  8. Good friends to share the great stuff and the not-so-great-stuff with.
  9. Wild and weird pets, without whom the world would be boring.
  10. A country that allows me to speak my mind, vote for the person I wish and worship as I see fit.
Do your own list, and link back!

    Vice President Antoinette tells us what he really thinks of us proles.

    Not to belabor an already tired meme, but...if this had been the Bush/Cheney admin, people on the Left would have been screaming for the guillotine right about now.

    The worst part is: Biden calls the guys a "smart ass" in the man's own store, while Sheriff Joe's vacuous face is smeared with the free ice cream the man gave him.

    I feel bad for the shop owner. I'll just bet the media and the screaming hordes will be lining up to give him the same treatment that they graced "Joe the Plumber" with when he dared ask pointed tax-related questions of Dear Leader's Administration. I'll just bet the IRS will be happy to audit his books for him, as well.

    Friday, June 25, 2010

    Linky goodness.

    MacBourne preaches it.

    I am getting down in the "Amen" corner.

    Worth a read, and more than a passing thought.

    Hell's Own Timetable.

    • 7 AM: Wake up when a toddler does a diving headbutt into my solar plexus from the headboard. Gasp for a few minutes; reflect on sacred duty of parenthood.
    • 7:15 AM: Toss a bucket of Cheerios to three feral children and leave the kitchen. Realize that I have to enter the kitchen to make coffee. Fuck.
    • 7:45 AM: Clothing rodeo! Chase three nekkid children around upper stories of house, catch them and stuff them in to appropriate undergarments. Repeat until everyone has shorts, shirts and shoes on. (repeat Xs 2 for toddler.)
    • 8:15 AM: Herd children outside. Deploy bubbles, chalk and sandbox toys. Admonish everyone to share; remind children that the Marquess of Queensberry rules will be observed at all times.
    • 8:20 AM: Retreat to picnic table with stack of 20 papers, three red pens, vat of coffee and "medicinal" flask. 
    • 8:30 AM: Look up from second paper when shrieking commences. Sort quarrel; threaten children with time-out.
    • 8:45 AM: Finish third paper; confiscate half-eaten chalk. Threaten children with grounding.
    • 9:05 AM: Discover children playing "Mud Monsters vs. Girly-girl."  Realize that only the whites of OctoBoy and Ginger Beastie's eyes are visible because they are caked in mud. Calm eldest daughter; hose off children and threaten them with beatings.
    • 9:30 AM: Finish fourth, fifth and sixth papers. Realize that it is too quiet; go looking for children. They are behind the shed, making "mud" with a bag of quick-set cement. Scrape off toddler; scrape up semi-hardened cement. Threaten children with forced passage to Nepal via air freight.
    • 10:00 AM: Give in to frustration and despair. Consider running off to Borneo.  
    • 10:05 AM: coffee refill; finish papers.
    • 12:15 PM: Lunch for ravenous hordes. Ham and mayo on white; peanut butter and nutella; roast beef, cheese, mustard and pickle. Chips, fruit and milk deployed. Squabbling commences.
    • 12:20 PM: First sandwich quarter thrown in the Great Lunch Debacle of June 2010. Chaos and shouting ensues. Monkey butts are routed with application of wooden spoon.
    • 12:30 PM: Cabinets scraped, children chastised further, dishwasher loaded.
    • 12:40: PM: Penitential snorking, recriminations. Pleas for mercy heard.
    • 12:45 PM: Strategic retreat to living room. Restorative "Muppet Show" viewings prescribed.
     Relative peace restored in household.

    For now.

    Thursday, June 24, 2010

    A rough night.

    I was exhausted last night, and collapsed in to bed with every intent of crashing hard, and snoring so loud that my surname should have been Stihl. This was not meant to be, because all three of the kids had a seriously weird night.

    Last night, OctoBoy went sleepwalking and ended up sleeping on the stairs. I carried him back to bed and tucked him in at least twice. Ordinarily, he is the type to crash hard, and not even roll over during the night. Last night he was treading water in heavy seas.

    Wee ginger beastie has been seeing "GHOSTS!" in her room, and having long conversations with them. I mean, sit up in bed, gesturing and "give-and-take" dialogue. (This pegs my weird-shit-o-meter, especially as the Husband is out of town.)

    Finally, at 2:45 this morning, SnarkGirl wanders in and wakes me up to tell me she is dressed and ready for breakfast. (She was, too.)

    What the Hell? Is the moon in some odd phase, tweaking their little brains?

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    To Washington, DC -- a trio of poems.

    The Golf Links (Sarah N. Cleghorne)

    The golf links lie so near the mill
    That almost every day
    The laboring children can look out
    And see the men at play.

    A Politician (e.e. Cummings)

    a politician is an arse upon 
    which everyone has sat except a man.

    Of Treason (Sir John Harrington) 

    Treason doth never prosper, what's the reason?
    For if it prosper, none dare call it Treason. 

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    A baited field...

    In a previous post, someone suggested that we get a dog to guard hearth and home -- and laundry. well, we have one -- a big, fuck-off, 90-pound female German Shepherd (named Hildegard) who loves her three puppies and herds them whenever possible.

    Normally I can't have the dog and the laundry out at the same time, as she sees anything on the line as a fabulous opportunity to practice her running jump-and-grab maneuver. I got tired of explaining the random tooth holes in various items of clothing. 

    In this case, I decided I'd rather sacrifice a few t-shirts. The cops I gave police reports to indicated that leaving the dog out was optimal, and if someone happened to get eaten while trespassing, that was the bitee's problem; they'd look the other way.

    I bought a large, meaty bone from the butcher -- the better to keep Hildy quiet, under her favorite bush and gnawing contentedly -- and hung out a full load of wash this morning.

    I'm practically giddy, waiting for the barking to start. I hope she bites someone right in the 'tocks.

    Why I need a rocket launcher, part 3,765

    I dropped two of the three Fidgety Midgeties off at day camp and ran to the local purveyor of predator food -- the dog and cats needed noms, lest they start eating children. As I was pulling in to the parking lot, I witenssed an act of unparalelled idiocy.

    A woman in a huge-assed Escalade was backing out of her spot, and paused, mid-back-up, to answer her phone...and then sat there.

    Just. Sat.

    Babbling away in her cell phone, half-in and half-out of the parking spot. Merrily blocking the entire aisle while traffic piled up on either side.

    Finally, one of the men sitting in a Ford F250 got out of his truck and knocked on her window. I was close enough to hear their eccvhange:

    "Lady. Hang up yer fuckin' phone and move your fat ass. Yer blockin' traffic. Ain't nothin' yer sayin' can't wait."

    "Sir, it's not safe to talk on the phone while driving. I am being a Safe Driver!"

    "I don't care what the fuck you think you are, you're an asshole and you're in the way. Pull in to your spot and talk, or back all the way the fuck out and be on your way."

    "I don't appreciate your tone or your profanity!"

    "You're gonna appreciate it when I ram your gawdamn SUV outta my way, you dumb cunt! Move tha piece of shit!"

    Then, while she splittered and "Well, I never!"-ed, he grabbed her phone and hung it up for her.

    I backed out of the aisle and found another spot to park ,and went in for dog and cat food, When I came out there were three police cruisers and several people making statements. When I was approached, I gave a brief one: "Dude. She was blocking traffic, ignoring people honking and generally acting like a spoiled bitch; that guy deserves a medal " -- and went on my way.

    She had started shrieking at the officers when I left.

    Saturday, June 19, 2010

    Grossed out.

    So, we were hit by the panty thief again yesterday morning. Again -- all of my panties and SnarkGirl's panties disappeared.

    Seriously creeped out.

    ANother police report filed; the cop said they'd up the number of patrols in the area.

    On top of that, Husband announces that he's got to go to Dallas for a large chunk of next week.

    Guess I'm cleaning guns this afternoon!

    On a side note, how innocent is my eldest? She says:

    "Maybe we should not call the police on the poor woman. I mean, if she can't afford to buy underwear and has to steal them, she's got enough problems, right? I mean, who else would steal underwear? Why would a boy steal girl britches?"

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    A good start to the day.

    Back in December, SnarkGirl's best friend Elsie had surgery for scoliosis and Arnold-Chiari Malformation (Type II). It was a rough time for all involved; Elsie spent several weeks in CHoP, her family was a wreck, and SnarkGirl shuttled back and forth for several distressing visits.

    (There's nothing like a walk through the ICU of a children's hospital to make you appreciate your own children's good health.)

    When Elsie was discharged, she was in a back brace, with orders to only remove it to bathe. This was rough on her, as she could not run, jump or play as she was accustomed to, and she looked a bit awkward. While her classmates were generally good about it (with a few notable exceptions), it made an already bad situation that much harder.

    The phone rang at 8 this morning -- it was Elsie, calling from CHoP on her mom's cellphone. I could hear the shriek from the living room, and I was at the breakfast table:

    "The doctor said I can take my brace off for up to 18 whole hours a day!"

    Needless to say, the atmosphere is celebratory.

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Your daily depression...

    I went to graduate school in Florida, and spent a glorious year (pre-marriage and actual responsibility) living on the beach in Pensacola. The shack I rented probably should have been condemned -- it was a shit hole par excellence -- but it was worth it to be able to wake up, cross a street and be on a white-as-sugar sand beach with turquoise clear, bath-warm water. Skin cancer be damned; I lived on that beach for a year, sun up to sun down and loved every minute of it.

    The damage being done to those beaches right now breaks my fucking heart, to the point I can't even speak of it.

    A self-made object of internet derision.

    Via BluntObject, we learn of a new variety of Genus Douchebaggus Administratus -- meet Principal Lori Carpenter ( her fiefdom encompasses Lake Trail Secondary School on Vancouver Island), who upon being criticized for poor fiscal choices by a student, proceded to have her staff cut each and every picture and reference to the student out of the school's yearbook.

    Yes, Seriously. She -- ostensibly a well-educated, mature adult -- reacted with all the class and savoir-faire of a pre-teen Mean Girl riding her very first rag, adhesive-side up.

    By drawing attention to one single line in a yearbook that would be read through -- maybe -- by the seniors of the class once or twice, and then left on a shelf to collect dust for the next thirty years, she blew the entire situation completely out of proportion (see: "Streisand Effect") , and painted a day-glo target on her ass.

    I hereby nominate Principal Lori Carpenter, of Lake Trail Secondary School on Vancouver Island, for induction in to the Order of the Chocolate Starfish, for acts of assmillinery over and above those of the standard-grade asshole.

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    THUNDERDOME, bitches!

    Less than a week out from school's end, and all three of my children have gone feral. Without the strict schedule that the academic year provides, they've fallen back on squabbling, noise and violence to re-establish the sibling pecking order.

    The wee ginger beastie is used to having mommy, pets and the living room to herself. Once SnarkGirl and OctoBoy are on their respective buses, it's all about her toys and her rules. The sudden influx of siblings and disruption of her life has resulted in the manifestation of Toddlesaurus Rex. Likewise, SnarkGirl is feeling her oats as Eldest Spawn, and is doing her best to wear her Bossy Britches 24/7. OctoBoy, having none of this from either of his sisters, has started resorting to strategic emissions of gas (from both ends) to sow discord.

    Close your eyes. Imagine the noise produced by a trio of rabid badgers, hopped up on Jolt cola and chocolate frosted sugar bombs could produce if they were dumped into a 50-gallon metal barrel with five pounds of ball bearings and and given small arms.


    Throw in there the frantic rush to prep for a week's vacation -- starting on 7/3 -- and you have baited the field for a visit from the DRAMA LLAMA.


    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    Perusing in the potty

    Lissa tagged me with a bathroom meme -- what reading material do you have in your loo?

    Well, here's my (admittedly eclectic) list:

    "Uncle John's Bathroom Reader"
    "Without Remorse," Tom Clancy
    "The Dead," Mark Rogers (zombie novel with a Catholic twist...)
    "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" (I think that's Snark Girl's)
    A Junie B. Jones book (belonging to OctoBoy)

    So, tell me -- what do YOU read on the hopper? If you've looked at this, consider yourself tagged. Put up your own post (and link it in the comments), or answer in the comments.

    Sunday, June 13, 2010

    Please, for the love of GOD: wear shoes.

    No matter how much glitter or how many faux gems you affiix, they're still  fucking flip-flops. Best at the beach, not so much during Mass.

    The "slap-slap" noise they make as they flap against your meaty, callus-ridden, cracked heels is obnoxious.  Plus, flapping them against your heels to make the noise deliberately when you're bored is douchebaggery.

    I can see your yellowed, raggedy, jagged, dirt-encrusted toe claws protruding over the leading edges of the flip-flops. You could have planted bulbs in the detritus around your big toenails.

    The corns on your feet are the size of Mount Rainier, only somewhat less photogenic.

    Your feet overflowed the bottom sole of the flip-flops; I've never seen foot-based muffin-top before.

    Finally: yes, everyone including the Priest noticed you picking at said calluses, corns and orc-claws during the homily. This is why no one would shake your hand during the Sign of Peace.

    On the upside, I am now so grossed out that sticking to my diet today will be a damn breeze.


    Things that make life better.

    Happy Sunday -- for our household, it's the first weekend of summer vacation.

    In celebration, I give you:

    The Benny Hill-ifier!

    Because everything is better with "Benny Hill" music playing in the background.

    Friday, June 11, 2010

    Someone is stealing squirrel covers.

    I love hanging my laundry out. It saves electricity, it helps keep the house cooler in the summer and line-dried laundry smells fresh. Plus, there is nothing like slipping between crisp, sun-dried cotton sheets (the occasional bug notwithstanding). I had the husband install a six-liner two weeks after we moved in, and April to October, it sees weekly use.

    I learned the art of hanging laundry properly from my grandmother. She was very particular -- six pins for sheets, four for towels, three for shirts -- which should always be hung from the bottom hem to avoid "Frankenstein shoulders." Placement of laundry on the line was also a consideration. in her own words:
    "Never do a load of personals until you've first washed a load of sheets, towels or tablecloths! You need appropriate screening material!" (Throw a Mrs. Doubtfire-esque Scots brogue on that, and you'll have it about right.)

    In her opinion, it was rude to hang your underwear out where your neighbors could see (and comment on) the state of the family's drawers. Thus, sheets or other large items went on the outside lines, and britches went on the inside lines, well-hidden. She'd have no more let the world see her underalls than she would have slapped the local Priest.

    I tend to hang out my laundry in her proscribed method without even thinking about it, it's so ingrained. No one wants or needs to see my lucky rocketship underpants, or Husband's plaid boxers, or OctoBoy's superhero boxers, or SnarkGirl's Hello Kitty britches. I followed her sage advice as I hung out a couple of loads this morning, before running errands.

    Except, as I was collecting laundry, I noticed that there were about a third fewer pairs to take in than I had hung out. All the missing pants were mine and SnarkGirl's The pins were still there, but the panties were gone. I foolishly checked the grass to see if they'd fallen or been blown across the yard. Nope -- but part of the vine on the back fence behind the shed was broken and crushed down.

    Creeped the fuck out, I collected what was left and called the local constabulary to report the theft. They showed up, looked at the area, and mentioned that a couple of other houses had been hit in the last few weeks.

    I'd be lying if I said that the thought of some perv doing whatever pervs do with stolen panties didn't turn my stomach -- particularly when you consider that  a good portion of those stolen step-ins were clearly little-girl undies with cartoon characters on them. Frankly, made me want to double-check the locks on the doors and windows, clean my guns,  take SnarkGirl out for some "Mommy and Me" range time and sign us both up for an extra couple of Krav Maga classes.

    Yo, Strings -- and anyone else -- any other advice? Offers to break knees are appreciated and will be seriously entertained!

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    Last day of kindergarten...

    ..and thank God for that!

    Last week, OctoBoy was supposed to write up a small paragraph (with parental help) about his favorite kindergarten memory and draw a picture to go with it. "Be creative! The more original, the better!" was what Mrs. Chip told them,  That was the sum total of the directions on the assignment sheet.

    As he is a fan of explosions, dinosaurs and mortal peril, OctoBoy constructed an action-laden and elaborate tale of a pterodactyl carrying off a school bus loaded with is classmates and teacher, with the latter being rescued by OctoBoy and his gang of four friends. (They have several clubs they've created over the year -- the SuperHero Club is the latest in a string of Spy Guys, Escape Plan, Girl Hater and Peanut Butter clubs.)

    The drawing was top-notch, as well; an action shot of the pterodactyl flying off with the bus clutched in its claws while the five boys blasted it with surface-to-air missiles.

    He was excited to take it in, and he was very proud of his work. I was, too -- it was the most enthusiasm I'd seen for a writing assignment all year.

    He came home and silently handed me the draft, which had a big red "NO" scrawled across it. The accompanying note informed me that this was not a creative writing assignment, and that OctoBoy was to confine himself to reality. The assignment would have to be re-done using one of the memories she helpfully listed: holiday parties, Catholic schools week, the zoo field trip or her in-class birthday party(!).

    Needless to say, the second draft was much less enthusiastically approached. We wrote two sentences about the zoo, and he drew a tiger. (Though it was NOT munching on Mrs. Chips' skull, as I would have had it.) THIS draft was acceptable for the end-of-year scrapbook. In looking it over, all 25 kids had boring, lifeless memories that matched each other. Not a single spark of fun or creativity among them.

    The note Mrs. Chips sent home and the original draft came in with me this morning when I went to meet with Sister Linebacker for the last time over Mrs. Chips' nonsense. I expressed my concerns calmly and (surprisingly) without raising my voice or using profanity: kindergarten is no place to be quashing the enthusiasm and creativity of children, and perhaps Mrs. Chips would be happier teaching a higher grade -- or not teaching at all. Certainly, after a year of complaining and bullyragging OctoBoy, she is not welcome to speak to him again. I reminded Sister of how many meetings over her conduct we've had, how many notes I['ve sent in, and how many times I've felt the need to call Mrs. Chips's issues to her attention.

    Sister agreed; Mrs. Chips has already resigned her position due to "incompatibility issues." Apparently, I am not the only parent who's been in over the course of the year. A WIN for OctoBoy!!

    By the way: Sister loved the pterodactyl tale and the picture. she made a copy for her office wall, and I got to keep the original in my Box of Kid Things I'll Save Forever.

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    One convenient package (so to speak)!

    Let's face it: people either have their hands on ther phones or in inappropriate places, all day long. Why not combine the world's two favorite things to fondle?

    Besides, if you have an iPhone (like JayG and Dino), you probably need to show the world that you have Serious Balls.

    Phone balls!

    A chunk of the proceeds go to help fund testicular cancer research! You're balls-out in public, for a good cause!

    This discovery certainly makes my Christmas and Hannukah shopping so much easier...

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Removing hair from overly sensitive areas.

    God bless the forward-thinking entrepreneurs who will show up in a van, fabulously equipped with restraining devices and specialized equipment, and shave your kitty right in your own driveway.**

    Get your mind out of the gutter, perverts. It's a mobile pet groomer.

    Bitezilla is a long-haired black cat, and thus, suffers from heat exhaustion in the summers. For the last week, it's been humid and in the nineties. Poor little bastard has been panting; his normally pink nose has been brick red, and he's been an even more miserable bastard than usual. I'd shave him myself, but the sight of blood -- particularly my own -- makes me nauseous. Bitey is a great deal like a four-footed Cuisinart when he gets cranked up, and I'm happy to pay professionals to risk life and limb. 

    I called and made an appointment, and the gentleman showed up this afternoon at the appointed time. I scooped up His Vileness from his napping position and delivered him into the hands of Torquemada -- or so you would have thought, from the howls of indignation. Thirty minutes later, he was delivered back with a lion cut, and all sorts of tail-lashingly pissed off. I paid the groomer and then as an afterthought, threw him a tenner as a tip. He beat a hasty retreat.

    Back skin all a'twitch, Bitezilla haughtily removed to the living room, where the Wee Ginger Beastie was napping under cubboo. He assumed his customary position next to her, glaring at me through slitted green eyes.  She, of course, was quite shocked when she woke up to see Bitey -- who had been fully furred and sleeping next to her when she went to sleep  -- in such a state.  "That kitty's nekkid as nekkid can be! Him's all jiggly now!"

    It's quite true. All that fur hides a multitude of bulbous fleshy bulges and saggy pouches. If he's not swanning about like a tarty little minx, his skin puddles in a most unflattering way.

    He suffered through her petting him all over his jowly belly, and then disappeared upstairs to plot his revenge. I'm girding my ankles with Kevlar tonight.

    **Calling your husband at work and matter-of-factly announcing that you're having your p*ssy shaved right then and there will result in hilarity. Trust me on this.

    Mazel tov!

    Helen Thomas, veteran reporter and full-time partisan harridan, is retiring from Hearst Publications --  effective immediately.

    I guess the Jews won't need to get their papers in order to "get the hell out of Palestine and go back to Germany and Poland," after all.

    Her retirement comes after she issues a a non-apology apology on her own website and after her agents dropped her like a hot matzoh.

    Even the White House Correspondent's Association -- that bog of FAIL and eternal stench -- disavowed her comments. (Warning: clicking on that link may cause projectile vomiting.)

    See ya' Helen. Hope that doorknob doesn't catch your ass on the way out.

    Saturday, June 5, 2010

    "Character-building exercises."

    So, I taught my summer session Saturday section (oooh, alliteration!) this morning, and came home to find  my husband driving my children like slaves. There were sticks to be gathered from the yard, preparatory to mowing. There were gutters to be swamped, There were weeds to be pulled in flower beds and from between slate patio chunks. All the various detritus had to be trucked over to the compost heap. Laundry had to be hung out and taken in and folded. The patio tables and chairs needed to be washed down.

    I enthusiastically joined in,  of course (both in the chores and the slave-driving.)

    After three hours of this, OctoBoy was heard to exclaim that his "character pocket was full, and if he didn't get a rest, it was going to 'splode!"

    The result is a yard that looks pretty darn good tonight. The table was re-assembled. The Weber was fired up and Bubba burgers soon followed, along wirth lots  and lots of sangria.

    Life is good tonight!

    Friday, June 4, 2010


    Bob S. and his wife could use some support.

    Could y'all have a word with whatever Deity you hold to?

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    In to the breach!

    Summer I started yesterday. All I can say is, "Oy vey."

    Summer classes are perceived as being a wee bit easier. However, you're working on a compressed (seven-week) schedule, and the traditional amount of material still has to be covered. It can make for a hellacious schedule.

    Add in a handful of students who have issues ranging from childcare -- "I don't have a sitter -- can I bring my three-year-old?" -- to "I planned three vacations and will miss four out of our seven classes; I can pass, right?" and I clearly need to lay in more headache powders.

    Also, looking out over a sea of vacant faces, I have two students who, I am fairly certain, are either drinking during class, or arrived drunk.