Friday, June 30, 2006

I was only Mostly in a Funk.

There's a Big Difference between Mostly in a Funk
and All in a Funk.

A quiz I found on my beloved Domestic Overlord's bloggiepoo yielded the following result:

Miracle Max

Which Princess Bride Character are You?
this quiz was made by mysti

Have Fun Storming The Castle!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I'm in a mini-funk.

I wouldn't call it a Full-on Funk. Just a mini-funk. A funk-let.

I don't know what's wrong with me.

The kids and I have been having a ton of fun together this summer. We've gone to the Train Museum, Grant's Farm, movies, the pool, various parks, parades, McDonald's, all kinds of places. And really, for the most part, they've all gotten along better than I would have expected. Even in church.

I've always had what I consider to be a healthy irreverence for All Things Churchy. I think it stems from my upbringing, when I felt that people made All Things Churchy into a much bigger deal than they were to me, since church was always just part of my life. I guess I didn't take it as seriously as other people did. I don't think it's a bad thing, really. I don't think God wants us to get our knickers in a twist over who brings what to the PotLuck and where we're supposed to park when we pick our kids up from Summer PSR.

There's so much pettiness over the dumbest stuff, it takes the focus away from the important stuff. And that bugs me. So I do silly things sometimes at church-related functions. Nothing majorly disruptive or destructive, just silly.

For example, whereas many mothers of small boys dressed their sons in dress shirts and ties for the Church Directory Family Photo, I dressed mine in Matching Hawaiian Shirts. I thought it was kinda hilarious.

When we went to church last week, this is what Funkmasta T wore:

Here's what Mr. P wore today:

And yes, that's Tommy beside him, in a Hawaiian shirt.

Upon further reflection, I think I might have an idea of what's bothering me.

- We're going to Chez Inlaw on Saturday. I usually start stressing out about going there 24-48 hours before. The Aldis will be there. Oh, by the way, Aldigirl was not in the parade last weekend, but I did get a pic of her Baton-Twirling Troupe so that you could get a sense of the level of Dipshittiness I'm dealing with.

- The Baby Shower I went to last weekend reminded me that my little Beeb's birthday's coming up. I can't believe it was 9 years ago that R's mom, aunts and cousins threw a baby shower for me, after they'd known me all of about three months(For as much as I complain about FIL, there are enough totally cool members of my extended family, they almost manage to balance it out). Do other parents feel about 200 years old whenever their oldest has a birthday?

Here's a pic of that little drawstring bag I made for the New Baby, while I'm thinkin about it:

Beebie's been on my mind a lot recently for several reasons. In two weeks, she's flying solo to see Nana and PopPop for a week, then they're flying back with her and spending a week with us. She's going to have a blast with them. She and my dad are good friends, and I love to see her talking to him on the phone for an hour at a time. Beeb's looking forward to it, but I'm going to miss her. She and I have been getting along really well. She suddenly seems so much more mature to me.

- Beeb's birthday coincides with a very sad anniversary. Her friend Jack passed away a year ago on July 9th, right before her birthday. It's made me think about all the things Beeb's done in the last year, things Jack never got to do. It breaks my heart. I wonder if I'll ever be able to celebrate her birthday without thinking of him and wondering what he'd be doing if he were still with us.

- I'm feeling pudgy. My skinny clothes aren't working for me. It's weird, I've been exercising more than usual since summer started. We walk and swim almost every day. I should be losing weight, but I'm not. Of course, I'm drinking beer and eating ice cream almost every day too. So I'm starting a new diet plan. Well, really, it's more of a grocery shopping plan than a diet plan (at least, that's how I've chosen to look at it). I'm not buying any more beer or ice cream. We'll see if it makes a difference. And if it doesn't, I'll go on a beer and ice cream binge and the world can kiss my fat Irish ass.

- This house is a mess. It rained last night and I'm afraid to look in the basement to see if the laundry pile is soaked yet again.

- I was so looking forward to the upcoming snarkiness on The View when Rosie joined Star "Black Tori Spelling" Jones-Reynolds and The Other Brainless Bitches At The Table. I don't watch the show, but I would have tuned in for a Rosie/Star catfight. I'm hoping Rosie will highlight the fact that Joy Behar's really not even remotely funny.

Yeah, that's pretty much why I'm in a funk.

I am knitting The Lucy Bag pattern by Two Old Bags, so that's helping. And R's off 3 days in a row next week. Perhaps a road trip?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Stuff That Just Shouldn't Exist.

Sweaters with sewn-in shoulder pads.

One-Lane Bridges.

Size 0 jeans.

Green Ketchup.



The Double Gulp(tm). Who needs this much fluid in their body?

The phrase "Hot enough for ya?"

Menstrual Cramps.

Monday, June 26, 2006

This, friends, is my 150th Post of Brilliance.

Let's honor past Moments of Brilliance with a moment of silence (shhh... ok, let's move on) followed by a display of Someone Else's Brilliance!

THIS is my gift package from Cheepy Sheepy!

LOOK at all of this stuff!! Lemme see if I can remember all that was in there.

- Five skeins of Luxury Cotton which will most certainly be made into something fabulous.

- A KICKASS clipboard (YAY!!) that you can even open up and put patterns inside, complete with full-color printouts of several righteous Knitty patterns and an article about Knitting in Jail. Oh, that was so cool. I love the thought of hardened criminals with sharp sticks knitting themselves FunFur nooses.

- A Custom CD with music relating to the Knitty Patterns contained therein. The best was La Vie En Rose as Clapotis. Brilliant.

- WEEKLY WORLD NEWS. Hilarious in its own right, but made even more so with the witty commentary Cheepy Sheepy added for my amusement.

- Row Counters and a Yarn Cutter Pendant

- Nail Polish and Lip Gloss for Beebie

- Glow in the Dark Necklaces

- Three Lobster Candles

- This Grow-A-Sheep thing that looks fun

- A Feminine Hygiene Emergency Kit (and what perfect timing - I'll leave it at that)

- Candy Necklaces

- Water Balloons

- Shout Wipes

- Lovely Artwork

- Games and Cards for Summer Roadtrips

I'm sure I left something out as I was trying to recall all of it. Seriously, it was a major haul. And it was awesome. I'm still giddy. That Sheepy is a total BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD ASS!

Friday, June 23, 2006

A Slip Of the Nads

Just to give you some reference, here is the hereditary monobrow I was cursed with:

And here's my regular arch.

Ok, I didn't mess them up that bad, but I about shat when I looked at the little cloth strip and saw more eyebrow on it than I ever have before.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Serious Lack Of Brilliance

Just for you, Aspiring Crazy Cat Lady, I am submitting evidence of my latest Serious Lack Of Brilliance moment (I think that from now own, I'm just going to call them SLOB's).

But first, look at my profile pic in the sidebar. See the sexy, come-hither look in my eyes? See the subtly seductive arch of my perfectly waxed brows? I wax them myself. Normally, I do salon-quality work. Today, however, I didn't.

I present the victim:

The Accomplice:

Strawberry Nads.

Yup. I zapped off the whole outer quadrant of my left eyebrow. My finger indicates where my brow used to end. It used to extend beautifully just past the outer corner of my almond eyes.

Not no moe.

And then, like a dork, I tried to make the other side look the same. I got the other side to look almost the same, so I'm hoping it looks like I did it on purpose.

So that's the dumbest thing I've done recently. And I get to wear my SLOB on my face for the next several weeks.

Today's Top Stories

- They FINALLY got around to removing the stump from the backyard after the storm we had back in April. Interesting how they only do the work I've been asking them to do after they've received that month's rent check. Like they fully expect me to stiff them, as I should. Jaggoffs.

- Beeb found a Tampon (unused) in her jewelry box. I have NO idea how it got there. And so I got to explain to Beeb, in a toned-down-for-an-8-year-old level of detail, what Tampons are for. That was fun.

- R, Beeb and I had lunch at Pizzeria UNO yesterday. How did I not know how great that place is??? We had the Pizza Skins and the Chicago Classic. OH. MAH. GAWD. Absolutely fantastic. I almost don't want to eat the leftovers we brought home because they make the refrigerator smell so yummy.

- I can't decide if I want to continue working on Clapotis or not. I have about eight or ten UFO's going that I really should complete before I start something else.

- R took the Kittylittermobile to my mechanic friend Tom to have a look at what is making the floor wet. Apparently there was a clogged drain somewhere.

Here's why I love Tom: Tom lets us bring our cars to his house and he checks them out and determines if the work that needs to be done can be accomplished by R less expensively than if we were to bring it into the shop where Tom works. Plus, he uses the same class of White Trash utensils that I would use to alleviate the problem. As I used kitty litter to soak up the wet floor, Tom used a wire hanger to unclog the drain. I guess we'll soon find out if it worked.

I'm off to buy an eyebrow pencil. Or else a pair of those Funny Nose-Moustache-Eyebrow glasses.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Who's Yer Daddy??

Father's Day means another Sunday afternoon at Chez Inlaw. Hanging out with FIL for an extended period of time makes me so aware of what a kickass dad I have.

FIL talks for hours about himself, his projects, his social calendar, and his opinions on anything and everything. The only time you're allowed to talk is when FIL asks you if you're paying attention. My dad loves to ask people questions and have them talk about themselves because he actually wants to know more about them.

FIL has made me cry countless times. My dad is one of the best people to talk to when you're sad. As a minister, he's often had to counsel people who've just lost a loved one, or people who are going through a hard time. He's incredible in those situations. I wish I was more like that. I always try to make people laugh, which is sometimes completely inappropriate.

R's friends were (and still are) scared of his dad. My friends think my dad's a hoot. My dad does goofy things like walking out into the living room in a turtleneck, boxers, and black socks when I have my friends over; and tucking his sweatshirts into his jeans (which are adorned with a huge brass belt buckle bearing his first name), and it used to embarrass the crap outta me when I was at the age when you're embarrassed by your parents no matter what they do. Now it's funny.

FIL makes people feel like crap all the time. He tells you everything you do wrong, and you everything you should have done instead. He makes me feel like the crappiest parent alive. My dad is a great encourager. He tells me what a great job I'm doing raising his awesome grandkids.

My parents adore R. I think between me and Mrs. Aldi (his other DIL), I'm slightly favored by FIL, but that doesn't mean a whole lot. I think he appreciates that I'm more of a hardass with my kids. Mrs. Aldi dresses Aldigirl in animal prints and Daisy Dukes. FIL also appreciates that despite the fact that I have three children, I actually find the time to bake whatever food item I'm asked to take out there. The Aldi's stop by the Shop N Save bakery.

Bottom line, I work my ass off to earn FIL's approval. It's taken me nine years, but I no longer sense that he thinks R made a huge mistake by marrying me. I have never for a second of my life doubted that my dad adores me, my sister and my mom unconditionally. He would do anything for us. He's so cool.
Belt buckle and all.

Dear Dad,

Thanks for making us park about fifty blocks from Busch Stadium whenever we went to a Cardinals game. The experience of going to a game as a family was so cool, as soon as we got to our Upper Upper Deck Seats, it didn't even matter how far we walked to get there. I will never pay $25 for a parking spot. EVER. And I won't feel bad for making my kids walk either. They'll get over it, and when they're older, they'll appreciate my frugality.

*** Funny story I absolutely have to insert here ***

Once Busch Stadium and the Local Oldies Station sponsored "50's Night at the Ballpark", and if you came to the ticket window dressed in a 50's costume, you'd get a few dollars off the price of your tickets. My sister and I rolled up our jeans, put our hair in ponytails with scarves, and put on untucked oversized white oxford-type shirts of Dad's.

I forget what we did to Mom, but we dressed Dad up as a 50's Nerd. Seriously. Slicked hair, pens in the pocket, tape around the glasses. George McFly. It was genius.

I wondered if, seeing as how we were dressed like mental patients, perhaps he'd spare us from walking the usual fifty blocks, past the homeless people living under the Poplar Street Bridge, through some kinda scary parts of the city to get there. But he didn't. We hoofed it. All of us.

We were literally the only people we saw in the ENTIRE stadium wearing costumes.

The lesson? Sometimes it really is worth it to sacrifice a teeny bit of pride to save enough money for your family to do something cool together. Plus, you'll have a great funny story to tell.

*** end of funny story ***

And thanks, Dad, for the time you gave the African seminary students ski masks for Christmas. I love that, in the days before Political Correctness, it never occured to you that giving two black men ski masks as a gift might not be such a good idea. You just remembered that they'd said they weren't used to the cold and you, as a good friend, wanted them to be warm in the brutal St. Louis winter. They loved them. Somewhere, in a box in the closet, there is a photograph of Adolphus and Silvanus grinning with joy through their brand-new ski masks.

Thanks for being a minister, so that I could see that ministers are human and imperfect. I met a lot of interesting people because of the work that you did. Thank you (and mom) for making a minister's salary go far enough that I never felt poor (until you tried to make us drink powdered milk). Thank you for showing us that while there may be many people who have more than we do, there are even more people who have less.

And thanks for all the "World's Largest Ball Of Twine" stops we made on our summer vacations in the metallic green Plymouth Brougham with vinyl seats and no air conditioning. I love knowing that I've been to places most people have never heard of.

I'm only cool because you are.

I coulda done without the hereditary monobrow, however.
l; )

Saturday, June 17, 2006

J is for ...

Jorge! The Jorge Quatro-hombre Grill!
Ok, I cheated, but I just wanted to show you guys a picture of my new favorite thing.

This is the third George Foreman Grill I've purchased and this one is by far my favorite. We used it last night to cook eight Nathan's Hot Dogs (another one of my favorite things, btw) simultaneously. I can cook eight burgers or six chicken breasts on it. It's huge. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. AND, my friends, the best part about it is that the grill plates are removable for super-easy cleanup! This feature is fantastic. The Official Name of this latest and greatest Foreman Grill is THE NEXT GRILLERATION. It does not have a picture of Captain Picard on it, but it should.

(And here's the part where, if this were the Oprah show, she'd say AND EVERYONE IN THE STUDIO AUDIENCE WILL RECEIVE ONE!! whereupon legions of suburban housewives would squeal with giddy glee. But this ain't the Oprah Show, folks. Sorry.)

And K is for... Kitty Litter.

Here's what was on the floor in the back seat of my car until it turned funkalicious. And whatever's making the floor wet is definitely coming from under the car, making the car smell like Fumunda Cheese. Good thing I don't drive carpool.

I was once told by a guy working at a full-service car wash that the interior of my car was the dirtiest car he'd ever seen. Actually, I was kinda joking coyly with him at first, like "You can tell me if my car is the dirtiest car you've ever seen", but I really didn't expect him to agree that it was. And he was clearly not kidding. Oh well.

What he did not realize, however, is that the filthy interior of my car serves multiple purposes. First, it's a very effective anti-theft device. My car has never been stolen. Second, if we were ever stuck in a snowdrift, we'd be able to live on the french fries under the seat until the rescue party came to save us. So don't mock my methods, Car Wash Guy.

Next topic: WHY I'M AWESOME.

I found this lovely robe at a church sale last week and knew Beebie would like it. I really kinda hate animal prints, especially in unnatural colors, but Beeb really dug it. I paid a whopping fifty cents for it, so the fact that it was missing the belt was really not a big deal. I got home and found in my stash a beautiful purple fluffy fleece single skein that I'd bought just because I loved the color and the feel of it. I cast on six stitches and just started knitting. It came out beautifully, wouldn't you say?
I was so proud of myself. I TOTALLY ROCK.

Learning to knit has made me so creative and resourceful. Did you know that Batgirl was originally drawn with knitting needles in her Bat-Utility Belt but it was decided that such an image perpetuated sexist stereotypes? Ok, I made that up, but can you imagine if MacGuyver knew how to knit, the contraptions he'd be able to create? Seriously, it would double his inventory of High Tech Gadgetry Made From Everyday Objects. He could probably knit a zip-line rope from his own hair. Knitting is definitely a useful problem-solving skill.

Maybe I'll knit a Resume Cozy for my next job interview.

And as soon as Blogger stops being a moody bitch, I'll post a pic of the drawstring bag with the wonky stripage.

Amended: I'm a Word Geek.

This morning on The Chris Matthews Show, Kelly O'Donnell used the word "blithefully", and I gasped in horror. There is no word "blithefully". The correct word is "blithely". Blithe is not a noun. Wonder and Beauty are nouns, and as such they can easily become adjectives such as Wonderful and Beautiful. Blithe is an adjective. Adjectives such as Blithe, and the two we just created, Wonderful and Beautiful, can easily become adverbs like Blithely, Wonderfully, and Beautifully.

Just so ya know.

EDIT: Blythe is the Old English spelling. Maybe. Or maybe I'm an enormous dork, but I still say Kelly O'Donnell is a bigger dork.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

What the hell kind of blog is this anyway?

I have a ton of shizzle to talk about. So much, in fact, it surprised me that so much of my life is amusing enough to tell other people about it. Since I started this bloggiepoo, I make mental notes about the stuff that happens as I go through my comically monotonous daily routine so I can write about it later. Today my brain reached maximum capacity, and I need to write it all down so as to make room for more stuff to happen.

As I tried to organize my thoughts into some sort of logically-flowing monologue, I got to thinkin'. How does any of this stuff fit together? What does it all have in common? I asked myself. The answer? Nothing. None of it's really even remotely profound.

So what the hell kind of blog do I have goin' here? Is it a knitting blog? Sometimes. Is it a Mommy blog? Sometimes. But I write about other stuff too. Stuff I like, stuff I hate, people I hate, stupid things I do, even stupider things that other people do, movie reviews, and just general kvetching. And, don't forget, a World Cup Primer and an advanced tutorial on What To Do If Your Fish Starts Swimming Upside Down. I strive to inform as well as entertain. Value Added for your hard-earned dollar.

It's all here at Behold My Brilliance, folks. I like to think there's a little sumthin for everybody. It's hard to classify, and I kinda like it that way.

Knitting Part:

Alert the media. I FINISHED SOMETHING. I made the little drawstring bag on the cover of Last Minute Knitted Gifts, only I used a cotton varigated yarn cuz I liked the pastels and I was going to put baby stuff in it (soap, nail clippers, hairbrush, etc.)and take it to a baby shower. But the varigated stuff came out kinda weird. The top part had more stitches in each round than the bottom did, so the color changes came out in stripes on the bottom but not on the top. Looks kinda goofy. I'll take a picture if I remember.

What I Learned: Varigated doesn't work for everything. AND I mastered the 3-needle bind-off. Go, ME!

I also took a moment to think about how many UFO's I have laying around. I'll see if I can't gather them up for a picture too.

Other knitting news, I found a froggable vest at a church sale and spent several hours yesterday destroying it. It was knit with two strands of yarn held together, which was a complete pain, and if someone had told me how much work that would be I wouldn't have started it. Is it me or does it seem like my own work falls apart with a lot less effort? Still, I wound up with two big ol' balls of a pretty cotton/linen blend and it looks nice. I don't think that the amount of yarn originally used to make this vest in a size extra small is going to be enough to make an extra large one to fit me, but I'll think of something to make with it.

What I learned: Take BEFORE pictures. Frogging someone else's work is sadistically therapeutic.

Mommyblog Part:

After I dropped Beeb off at her camp this morning, I took the boys to the movie theater, thinking a movie would be a supercool surprise. At the end of the school year, I bought discounted tickets so that all summer long you can see already-on-DVD kids movies on the big screen. You get to go to six movies for $9. Now, we could rent all six of the movies for less than I spent on the tickets, but I thought the kids would like the experience of going to the movie theater, having popcorn and soda, sitting in the big seats, and watching a movie on a screen the size of our garage door.

I was so, so wrong.

Today's movie was Wallace and Gromit and "The Curse of the Were-Rabbit". A great movie, by the way.

Ryan kept saying, in a rather loud whisper,

"Mommy, we've already SEEN this movie! We HAVE this movie at HOME!!!!"

Tito chimed in, even less subtly, "YEAH, we HAVE this one, Mommy!!"

So I told them, "Yes, I know, but you get to go to the movie theater, have popcorn and soda, sit in the big seats, and watch a movie on a screen the size of our garage door. Isn't this fun??"

To which Ryan replied,

"But why would we want to come to a movie that we've already SEEN? That doesn't even make any SENSE, Mom!"

This is the same child who once watched Return of the Jedi three times in the same day.

"But guys, there's popcorn!"

"We wanna go home."

So we left. Effin ingrates.

Good Stuff I bought recently:

The George Foreman Grill - the biggest one
Kerasal Foot Scrub
Monistat Soothing Gel
The Skip Dr. Disc Repair Kit

I will discuss these in more detail in a later post, but go ahead and buy them now with my blessing.

Other Stuff That's Coming Up In My Life:

Father's Day. As bad as Mother's Day but with the added dimension that I have to go kiss FIL's ass for several hours.

Our Hometown Parade. Always good entertainment. Aldigirl appears yearly with her Baton Twirling Class, prancing down the street in a frilly leotard, carrying a baton in her left hand and posing her right hand in a military salute. I'll try to snap a pic.

Summer PSR. I will surely be discussing the woman I like to call the PSR Czar, and the debut of her new "assigned parking spot" system. Should be good.

And Some Happy News that you'll all be glad to hear:

Maddie got the card and emailed me a very nice thank you. I'm glad I sent it. I seriously almost plucked it out of the mailbox before it went out, but I knew I would have felt horrible if I didn't send it. I really wasn't mad at her, I don't hate her at all, I was just kinda mad at her for being mad at me, does that make any sense? I was more sad than mad, but it makes me mad when people make me sad.

Ok, that sounded like Dr. Seuss meets Dr. Phil.

So now that I've covered most of my regular topics, today, kids, I thought I'd discuss a few potential new features that you, the fans, have suggested.

Crock Pot Recipes.

I don't even have any Crock Pot recipes. I didn't even know there were recipes. The whole beauty of the Crock Pot is that you can throw a whole bunch of shit in it and wait for it to cook itself into something.

Political Discussion.

It's not that I don't have an opinion on certain subjects; I have lots of opinions. I just hate talking about politics because I don't like to argue and I know I'm not going to change anybody's mind and nobody's going to change mine. Why get into it? I have no party loyalty. I voted for George Bush in 2002, and for Al Gore in 1998.

I do feel strongly that we should do away with both term limits and straight-ticket voting. If someone's doing a good job, they should be allowed to continue. Don't like the guy? Don't vote for him.

And as for straight-ticket voting, I just dislike the idea of punching the card once to say "Yep, every member of this party is automatically the best candidate for the job. I don't need to know anything else about them, that's good enough for me." That's just stupid. Do the research. Form an opinion. Some of the people in your favored party are probably assholes. I'm not saying you shouldn't vote all one way or all another way if you wanted to, my point is that you're gonna vote, you should be expected to make the effort of reading through the entire ballot.

See? Political discussion just feels weird in here, doesn't it? I'm pretty sure that's the last you'll see of that.

Money-Saving Coupons. Look, don't I do enough for you by telling you about stuff that's worth the money and stuff that's not?

Maps to the Stars' Homes. I actually do know where Bob Costas lives. And I can show you were Nelly went to high school. That's about the best I can do.

More Parenting Advice.

Most days, I feel like my life is a big fat example of what NOT to do, but occasionally I get something right or at least it's funny enough that I can overlook whatever parenting errors I may have made. For example, yesterday Tito came in to the 'puter room with the little potty seat (a small, padded seat with handles that sits on top of the potty so he doesn't fall in) around his neck. I had no idea how or why he put his head through the hole, but he did. He walked in with a (forgive me) shit-eating grin and he looked so hilarious I was turning to reach for my camera when suddenly he started screaming.

He was trying to pull it off of his head, and it was stuck.

Moment of conflict. Do I help the poor child pull the toilet seat off his head or do I snap a quick picture first?

I figured if I didn't get the thing off his head, CPS would take plenty of pictures when I took him to the Emergency Room with a toilet seat around his neck. I didn't think I'd be able to get him in the car with it on, either. I visualized him sitting between his brother and sister in the back of our Mazda and the three of them wailing the whole way to the hospital. Beeb would be upset that Tito's toilet seat is touching her hair and God Forbid if we should see anyone we knew in the waiting room because having a little brother with a toilet seat on his head is socially devastating to an eight-year-old girl. Pie'd be more concerned that the toilet seat was encroaching into his space. Did I really want to deal with any of that?

Looking back, in the amount of time I spent debating this ridiculous quandary in my head, I could have taken a picture. But I didn't. Instead, I buttered his forehead and slid the thing off, fully expecting to look up and see Jerry Springer presenting me with the Award for White Trash Custodial DNA Test-Verified Parent of the Year.

My advice, stop worrying about them growing up with various issues caused by your own parenting ineptitude. It's a given that my kids will be in therapy, I've decided not to beat myself up about it, and rather make it my goal to show them that nobody has a perfect life. I just want to be sure that they're comfortable discussing their issues. I think I'm off to a pretty good start. And just think, they'll have plenty to talk to their respective therapists about.

More stories about Kitty Litter.

We have kitty litter in our car. Not in a container, mind you, poured out on the floor. Why? We don't have a cat. No, we have some sort of mysterious leak that has plagued us for the last year or so. I'll get in the car and the area under the passenger seat is always wet, for no reason. Nothing's spilled, it's just wet. And not just a little wet. Once I set a full roll of paper towels under the seat and pulled it out a few hours later, completely saturated and dripping. My completely uneducated guess is that somehow it's seeping in from under the car. I have no idea what's causing this, but in the blazing heat of a St. Louis summer, the car smells like Satan's buttcrack.

So R and I had this genius idea to pour some kitty litter down under the seat, the logic being that it would help with the smell and the wetness. And it did, for a while.

I kinda wish I'd run that idea by those of you who have cats first.

I didn't really realize that wet kitty litter turns to MUD. And not just mud, but icky, grainy mud that doesn't wipe off. Most inconvenient.

We haven't heard much about your insomnia recently. Are you sleeping better?

It's 3:43 AM now. No, I'm not sleeping better. Thanks for asking.

So what the hell kind of blog is this? IT'S A KICKASS BLOG, BEEYOTCH!

Monday, June 12, 2006

World Cup 101 - Embrace your inner hooligan!

Today, The US World Cup Soccer Team plays The Czech Republic.

(UPDATE: USA lost to Czech Republic 3 - 0.)

Prior to the last World Cup four years ago, I emailed Bob, a friend of mine who I used to work with and one of the absolute funniest people I've ever met, to explain exactly what the deal is with World Cup Soccer.

I want to enjoy World Cup Soccer. I really do. Perhaps it's my inner hooligan wanting to breathe free. Embrace your inner hooligan! That should be a bumper sticker, dontcha think?

I'm intrigued by how the rest of the world is so much more into it than Americans are. Do we not understand it? Do we not care? I kinda think that it's the same reason why we haven't fully converted to the Metric System that the rest of the world uses. We're lazy. We want the rest of the world to adapt to us so we won't have to change. We're busy sitting shirtless on aluminum bleachers in 100 degree heat watching cars drive around in circles 500 times. (That's no slam on NASCAR - for the record, I'd love for someone to explain the appeal of NASCAR to me too.)

*** Disclaimer: Not all Americans are this way, of course. The fact that you're reading this blog by your own free will (I'm assuming) and not just following the results of your search for Trashcan Jenga Strategy (or, more commonly and for reasons I fail to comprehend, self suck porn) is testament to the fact that you, dear reader, are of Above Average Intelligence. At least you are in my opinion. Congratulations. ***

Think I'm wrong? Watch The Amazing Race sometime and watch how the Geniuses representing our fine country expect the people they encounter in the middle of the farthest corner of the freakin desert to speak English. And my favorite scenario is when the innocent local person clearly doesn't understand whatever the Americans are trying to say, the Americans will say THE EXACT SAME WORDS ONLY LOUDER, their assumption, of course, being that perhaps OomFooFoo didn't hear us clearly the first time. No wonder the rest of the world hates us.

But anyway, here's what my friend Bob said about World Cup Soccer. I can't find the original questions that I asked because Hotmail deletes them after 30 days, but I think there's enough information there to get an idea of what I was trying to find out.

Dear Sarah,

You ask too many questions. But I have to congratulate you -- many Americans are not open-minded enough to appreciate the game of soccer (unless it's played by their own 6-year-old.)

Well, here goes. I'll give it a try.

1) It is a simple game, but once you begin to understand it, the most fascinating in its subtleties.

2) The amount of stoppage time, or extra time, is based on how many stoppages in play there have been. Typically, the referee adds roughly one minute for each injury and 30 seconds for each goal. But that's entirely at his discretion. I've seen as many as 7 minutes, as few as zero. The usual is about 3 minutes.

3) There's a fourth official that holds up an electronic board with the amount of stoppage time -- but only at the end of the full 90 minutes. The referee is the official timekeeper though, so the way the sideline official knows is by a hand signal from the referee just prior to the end.

4) There's a stadium clock that shows the amount of time played, but it's not the official time. Only the referee knows the official time, and the rest of us have to guess just exactly when the game will end. Will our team have enough time for one final attack? We can only hope.

5) World Cup pairings are decided about six months ahead of the tournament, at a drawing that follows the qualifying rounds. About 200 countries try to qualify, and it takes about two years to reach the final 32. Many of the best games are actually played in the qualifying rounds.

6) The top teams are seeded 1-8, then placed in the eight separate groups (kinda like NCAA basketball). Then the next eight are seeded, and allotted to those same eight groups. Finally, all the rest are drawn and placed in their groups as unseeded teams. The seedings are based on a team's record in qualifying, and also how well they've done in past World Cups.

7) Games always last 90 minutes, or two TV hours. You can set your clock on it. That's one reason I like soccer. Football games last 3 1/2 hours, baseball 3, playoff hockey and basketball at least 3 hours. But with soccer, you can watch a game and still have a big chunk of the day to do other things. The only time a soccer game might last longer (since ties are allowed) is in a tournament when one team must be eliminated. Then they add 30 minutes of overtime, then penalty kicks if necessary.

8) Most players do play the whole game, as only three substitutions are allowed. If you've used up your substitutions and lose a player to injury, you must play a man short.

9) David Beckham is indeed married to the beautiful Victoria Adams, aka Posh Spice, at (I think).

10) FIFA actually allows the size of the field to vary a bit, from 110-120 yards in length to 70-80 yards in width. (I think that's to allow for the older stadiums around the world.) New fields are about 115 x 75, but Soccer Park in Fenton is only about 105 x 65, if that, so games feel very cramped there.

11) You may find Senegal not on a map, but shock of shocks, in the second round of the World Cup playing Sweden.

So, there ya go, kids. All clear now?

Everybody watch the US team today - I don't have cable and won't be able to see it.

C'mon, now, lemme hear it!

U - S - A!
U - S - A!
U - S - A!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Have you been paying attention in class?

How well do you know me?

The Penny Karma Quiz

Remember My Friend Maddie?

Click on the Link in the Cliff's Notes of Brilliance section of the Sidebar if you don't. I'll wait.

Can't find it? Click here.

Back? Ok. Maddie's birthday is next week. I can't decide whether or not to send a card. I'm thinking a call might not be a good idea. I just really don't know what I'd say. I'm afraid I'd be unable to restrain myself and blurt out something like -

"Oh hi, I just called to say Happy Birthday, you childish, petty,
passive-agressive, spineless bitch."

With a card, I can at least figure out what I want to say first, plus, she wouldn't be able to interrupt or rebutt me. The proverbial ball would be in her court, which it is at this point anyway, I guess.

And if I do send a card, how do I fight the urge to be catty in it? I thought maybe I'd say -

"Happy Birthday - of course I'm assuming you're still alive."

or perhaps -

"You're another year older, now will you grow the fuck up already?"

or maybe just sign my name and nothing else.

I also thought about sending some sort of scathingly snarky gift, like a gift certificate to Weight Watchers. I can't help it. When I feel I've been wronged, my claws come out. The primal urge to speak poniards and leave mankind twitching in the frothy wake of my bitchery just comes naturally. It's a reflex.

And, when selecting the card, do I go for something funny? Something over-the-top cheesy about friends? Do I even say anything to the effect of -

"Hey, just thought I should apologize...AGAIN...for whatever you won't tell me I did, six months ago."

or I guess I could just say Happy Birthday. What to do?

I kinda think I've apologized more than enough since she wouldn't even tell me exactly what the hell I'm apologizing for, but maybe one more bite of crow wouldn't kill me. I'm still bitter about the way she handled the whole thing. How can she be pissed about the fact that I didn't figure out by her too-subtle clues that anything was wrong? I'm not even sure she still lives at her last known address. I could probably send it to her parents' house; their address wouldn't be hard to find.

I'm all about the moral high road.
But only when it's convenient for me.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

How do you know if you're Bipolar?

Seriously, I wonder sometimes.

This afternoon I was relishing the fact that, now that it's summer, I really have no specific time that I need to be anywhere. The kids and I can hang out in our jammies all day if we want. They've actually been reasonably good for me recently. I even said out loud to R, "I think I've got a pretty good handle on this summer thing. I thought it was going to suck having all of them, all day every day, but I've really got it under control. The key is to have both a Plan B and a Plan C at all times. Stay two steps ahead." I felt like I could write a parenting book.

In the last two hours, however, I have invented a new word. The word is CANCHOOSHADDAPFURTHURDYFREEKINDZECKENZ, and it has been flying out of my mouth at an alarming rate. I am completely zapped of energy, patience, creativity and confidence. I want to go to bed and let the three of them duke out whatever petty squabble erupts when one of them looks at the other funny. I can feel the increasing heat of the flames dancing behind my orbital bones and hear my skull cracking. I wonder if I could burn stuff with my mind, like Drew Barrymore in Firestarter. Let's see... focusing on pile of dirty dishes... nope.

Meanwhile, I've been thoroughly enjoying this week, as the kiddos have been attending Vacation Bible School from 9-noon each day. R was off yesterday and today to enjoy it with me. It is also Church Rummage Sale Season, my favorite time of year. Major scores last weekend. No knitting-related material, but there are fun things that aren't necessarily knitting-related, aren't there?

Well, maybe a couple.

Monday, June 05, 2006

My kids ask weird questions.

Pie: Mom, are you wearing (something I can't quite hear) today?

Me: What?

Pie: Are you wearing (something I can almost hear that sounds kinda like boots) today?

Am I wearing boots today? No...

Pie: No, not boots, BOOBS!

Me: Am I wearing Boobs today? Well, yeah. I can't really take them off.

Pie: Oh.

---- thirty seconds later -------

Beebie: Mom, is there such a thing as Lesbians?

Me: (chuckling as I imagine that up to now she must have thought that Lesbians were like Martians or something that you either believe in or you don't)

Yeah, Lesbians are real. Why?

Beebie: What's a Lesbian?

Me: Well, remember when we talked about how Gay means that a man loves another man? Lesbian is when a woman loves another woman.

Beebie: That's weird.

Me: (Not wanting to reinforce that homosexuality is weird since I have many Gay friends and, for all I know, one or more of my kids could be Gay)

Hey, ya can't help who ya love.

Have I mentioned that I took Beeb to the Indigo Girls concert with me?

Friday, June 02, 2006

When it rains, it floods.

My basement, that is.

Today's been like running in a wheel - scoop up a load of sopping wet laundry from the basement floor, toss it in the washer (performing a thorough check for renegade crayons which have been infiltrating my washloads recently, but that's a rant for another day), go upstairs and wash a sinkload of dishes in order to make room in the sink for the next pile of dirty dishes awaiting me on the kitchen table, separate feuding siblings, move laundry to dryer, ponder whether the cost of a cleaning lady would outweigh the price of my sanity, scoop up another load, take dry clothes upstairs to sort and distribute to rightful owners, separate feuding siblings, dry the dishes in the rack on the clean side, wash some more dishes, move more dirty dishes to sink, make lunch for feuding siblings, put on a Little Einsteins DVD, grit teeth and mutter unintelligably about the brazen ungratefulness of my unappreciative children, repeat.


I'm not feeling too particularly eloquent today.