Monday, July 31, 2006

The Boy Who Would Be King...if only his dad weren't such a dumbass.

In the interest of Following Up on a few things mentioned in recent posts:

Yes, the air conditioning is fixed. And I only had to call twice and email once. Funny thing, though, Elite apparently has no interest in communicating with me directly. I'll call, leave a message (and I KNOW they're sitting right there by the phone) and eventually I'll hear back from whatever random repairman they're sending out. I sent them this email, along with a read-receipt request:

I called and left a voicemail last night at 10pm and haven't heard back so I thought I'd just double-check to see if anyone got the message. Our neighborhood's been experiencing brown-outs periodically and yesterday we discovered that our air conditioner isn't working. It's just blowing hot air. Would it be possible to send someone out here today? I realize that the recent storms caused a whole lot of damage and I'm sure the repairmen have busy schedules. Even a ballpark ETA would be great, so we could plan for the weekend when it's supposed to get hotter.

The kids and I are going to be be heading out to someplace cool, but I'll have my cell phone with me and I'll check my email when I get back. Thanks.

See how nice I am? Not once did I berate or insult them.

I got the read-receipt, so I know they read it. Nobody from the office answered it. I guess they assume that if they send someone out, that's tantamount to actually communicating with me. Well, it's NOT. It's shitty customer service. Seriously, a little call to follow-up would take 15 seconds out of someone's day and if my opinion of them weren't already pretty much cemented in my mind after the last year, it might possibly make me hate them just a teeny bit less. So nice to know they care.

Oh, and THEN they send out this dude who was about 79 years old - when he called I totally thought I was on Crank Yankers or something - asking me for directions on how to get to my house from Road X. I said "Road X is west of us, so come east on Road Y, and we're about 3 houses from the intersection of Road Y and Road Z."

He calls me from Road Y and Road DLAKFVARNTHSGXDFTLKVGN.

"I thought you said to go west on Road Y!"

"No, I said Road X is west of us."

"Well, I'll be DADGUMMED if I ever come out here again! Maybe I'll be by later..."

"Ooooh, I sure hope so! Fingers crossed!"

Who the fuck says DADGUMMED???

So he shows up about 30 minutes later, and the first thing he says to me is,

"Y'know, you should probably tell people to go SOUTH on Road Y. That makes more sense."

Y'know, Pa Kettle, you should probably GET A FUCKING MAP. Just a thought.

I was totally expecting him to pull open the door on the air conditioning unit to reveal a baby pterodactyl sleeping, like something out of The Flintstones, and then he'd poke it with a stick to wake it up, problem solved. But he fixed the A/C, somehow. God be praised. It was a-hundred-and-fuckin-TWO degrees outside today. Gih.

Update #2. I WENT TO LYLE LOVETT. You kinda have to appreciate what a big deal this is to me. I've wanted to see Lyle in concert for years, and it was always too expensive or otherwise impossible to go. Two years ago he did a FREE concert downtown but because the boys were too little and R had to work, I had to miss it. I cried. So I read that he would be coming to Live On the Levee to play a free concert down at the Arch. I would have gone by myself if I had to. That afternoon, two forces of evil began to conspire against me.

Force of Evil #1 - The Weather. The St. Louis area has been totally pummeled by storms recently. And for a while, it looked pretty threatening. I was unfettered. Bring on the lightning, I'm hangin with Lyle.

Force of Evil #2 - R's work. At 2pm they tell him he has to stay and work 30 minutes of overtime, which means now he'll leave at 6:30 instead of 6. The concert starts at 7, a good 40 minutes away. Great.

Here's why I love R. He says to take the boys to The Play Place, bring Beeb, pick him up at work and the three of us will go. That's what we did. And Lyle even waited for us to get there before he started. Everybody else probably just thought he was running late, but I'm convinced he was waiting for us.

Great show. If you ever get the chance to see Lyle for free, GO. If you ever get the chance to see him in any venue, at any cost, GO. We had a blast.

Beeb fell asleep in the car on back to R's car (which we left at his work), so I told him to pick up the boys and Beeb and I went home. While I was putting on my twisted-strap jammies, I saw Pie walking down the hall, sobbing the really quiet, almost-silent sob with a big open mouth and huge tears in his eyes.

"Buddy, what's wrong??"

"Daddy said I can't be King when I grow up. Daddy said I could NEVER be a King!!!"

Remind me to have a little conversation with Daddy.

"Well, Ry, there aren't really kings anymore. Guess what, though! You could be President of the United States, if you wanted. Wouldn't that be cool?"

"But Mom, Presidents don't use swords and shields, and they don't wear crowns!"

Now think of every Valedictorian, Best Actor/Actress, or any acceptance speech from any award you can imagine. Do any of them say "I'd like to thank my dad, who told me I couldn't be king when I grew up." NO. They say sappy shit like "I'd like to thank my parents who always believed in me and always told me I could be anything I wanted to be!" Insert thunderous applause.

Way to go, R. You just bought us years of therapy.

You guys know I really love R, right?

BONUS!! DVD recommendation:

Kathy Griffin Allegedly. R said watching 2 hours of her stand-up is like being on a date with me. I'm pretty sure it was meant as a compliment.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Poll, Knitting News, and My Starbux Adventure


I assume that most people who read this blog are knitters, but I think I have a fair amount of non-knitting readers too. Today, I have a question for the non-knitters. Do my knitting-related posts cause your eyes to glaze over and your jaw to reflexively slack open? Hell, my knitting posts probably bore the knitters.

I want to see what draws the non-knitters to my bloggiepoo. Do you skim over the kntting stuff to the non-knitting stuff? What's your favorite non-knitting related recurring topic? OR is there something I haven't talked about that maybe I should? Are you a fan of the Aldi Files? Ryanisms? I'm just curious. What brings you back to Behold My Brilliance? Or did you land here by accident when you did a search for Yakov Smirnoff?

So chime in! Knitters, you can chime in too.
Like I could stop you.

Knitting news:

Knock a WIP off my list. Before you go thinkin I finished something - The Cascade Fixation Tank now resides in the Frog Pond. I have replaced it with the Moebius Capelet (minus the Squiggle), which is almost done. I'm beginning to see that Instant Gratification is a big thing for me. I also began and completed two of Poops' coffee cozies last week, which were well-received by the coffee drinkers in my life.

Tangent that leads to a funny story:

I will now admit publicly for the first time that I am absolutely petrified of ordering coffee in a coffee shop. Petrified. Terrified.

Coffeeshops scare the crap out of me. I'm so out of my element, I'm completely intimidated. I've never drank a cup of coffee in my life. Really, never. It's not even so much that I don't like the taste (how would I know?), I just try to stay away from as many potential addictions as possible. And my mom is as big a coffee addict as you'll ever find.

Since she knew I was going to be passing a Starbux on my way to pick Mom up, she asked me to bring her some coffee. If the fact that there's one on every streetcorner didn't already render it a safe bet that you'll pass one anytime you get into a car, I'd swear Starbux luvahs must have some sort of internal Starbux-seeking GPS system. I ignored my sweaty palms and the sound of my own heart pounding in terror, and I asked her what she wanted.

A Large Cup of House Blend.

Simple enough, no? I repeated it back to her no fewer than four times. I just wanted to make sure I got it right. Don't coffee people get really pissy when their coffee is wrong?

It seemed, to a coffee-ordering rookie, fairly straightforward. No triple double shot espresso moco-caramel latte, no foam, no half caf/half decaf, twist o' lemon, nothing fancy at all. I was confident that I could handle it.

Now, if only I could get through the door.

Would they shine a light in my face and make me show a Coffeedrinkers Membership Card (and if so, how quickly could I whip up a fake one)? Would they ask me for a password? Should I avoid eye contact?

Would alarms go off? INTRUDER! INTRUDER!

Can coffee-people spot non-coffee people? I'm sure I must exude coffee ignorance. I imagined that walking into a Starbux as a non-coffee person would be like Captain Kirk and Crew landing on a strange new planet. Should I immediately raise my arms over my head and assure them that I come in peace?

I walked in the door, and let me just say that if there had been a jukebox in the room, it would have gone rrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. I totally sensed that I was interrupting a secret club meeting where this small faction of Starbux devotees was plotting its next move toward Total Global Domination.

Yes, yes, we'll bulldoze the elementary school and the fire station and the homeless shelter and build a giant solid gold 24-hr Java Temple there! Brilliant! Yes, otherwise people would have to drive two-tenths of a mile to the next Starbux. Oh, the horror!
(sniff sniff) What the...? Who let the tea-drinking INFIDEL in here!! ABORT!! ABORT!!

I took a deep breath and cautiously tiptoed toward the counter, so as not to trip the High-Tech Mission Impossible Infra-Red Laser Beam Security System that, although invisible to the naked eye, was fully operational. I'm totally sure of it.

Problem #1. I'm reading the menu. There is no LARGE. There's Tall, Grande, and Venti or something like that. Huh??? Tall is the smallest? Grande is Medium? What the hell does Venti mean? Why do they gotta jack with me? Seriously. How hard is SMALL, MEDIUM, LARGE? How f*ckin pretentious. Whatever. I'm just gonna ask for the biggest and see what happens.

So I get up to the counter, feeling pretty good about my Plan B, and supercute blonde curly-haired hippie surfer pooka-shell necklace wearing coffee order-taker dude Josh says, "Yes ma'am, what can I get for you?"

Hey! I understood that! They speak English here!!! Wait a minute, what's my line? A loaf of bread, a container of milk, and a stickah buttah? No, that's not it...

"A Large House Blend." Yes! I did it!!

And then, Problem #2.

"I'm sorry, we don't have the House Blend today."

Oh SHIT. I didn't have a backup alternative.

Total panic. I felt the room spinning. I stood there with my mouth open long enough for Josh to realize I needed rescuing.

"We have the Verona today, is that all right?"

I must have nodded, but I seriously don't remember. It was like I was standing in the middle of an Impressionist painting where everything around me was all swirly and out-of-focus and blurry and I just wanted to get the hell out of there before I fainted from the pressure.

And then Problem #3, the question I didn't anticipate.

"Room for cream?"

I'd never heard that combination of words before. I asked him to repeat them so as to slyly buy myself time to process the question.

Room for cream? What is that about? Are you basically asking me if I want you to give me less coffee than I just paid you for? Do you want my permission to short-change me? No way, mister supercute blonde curly-haired hippie surfer pooka-shell necklace wearing coffee order-taker dude. I'm onto you.

"Um, no, thanks."

He handed me my full-to-the-top Venti Verona (NOT the Large House Blend I was supposed to get) and I left, pondering how I was going to break it to Mom that I, through no fault of my own, was unable to get what she'd asked me to get. Keep in mind, I'm dealing with a woman who hasn't had her caffeine yet. If I give her The Wrong Coffee, she may just throw the Scalding Hot Sacrilege at my head.

I reverently presented my mother with the fruit of my labor, the hard-earned cup of Starbux coffee, as though I were presenting Salome with the head of John the Baptist. I am compelled to confess to her, however, that it is NOT the coffee she sent me for. It's the head of some other saint. It's the best I could do.

"They didn't have the House Blend, so I got something that starts with V." I instinctively took a step backward, toward the door.

"Verona? Oh, okay, that's good. That's fine."

Thank GOD. Relief. Victory. Sigh.

"Oh, and didja leave room for cream?"

Friday, July 28, 2006

In case you missed it -

So I went a little nutso with the Nana and PopPop pics and now they don't show up right. Yeah, I know. Sorry about that. When I click the link to "Hanging with Nana and PopPop", I can see the whole post, even when I keep breaking up the posts, it doesn't seem to help.

These pics deserved a post of their own anyway.

Pie regaled us all with what he referred to as Hip-Hop Dancing.

Yeah, it was a good time.

Part 2 of Hangin' With Nana and Pop Pop.

July 24th is the birthday of Henry Shaw, who gave the city of St. Louis the lovely Botanical Garden. Admission to the garden is free on Mr. Shaw's birthday, so we went to check out the Dale Chiluly: Glass in the Garden exhibit, which was quite impressive.

And the next day we took Nana and PopPop to The Magic House, which is also free (noticing the recurring theme of my superduper cheapness?) on Tuesday nights during the summer.

A few years ago Beeb won a contest where kids submitted trivia facts to be displayed throughout the house. She was really proud when we found it!

The obligatory photo with the static electricity ball.

Here's my little mercenary.

Pie selling ice cream. He'd sell popsicles to penguins.

And here's what I want for my birthday. A RUN-DMC action figure! That's the coolest thing I've ever seen.

I am so proud my children know that the answer to the musical question "Whose House?" is, of course, "RUN'S HOUSE."

This was also my favorite line in the movie Dogma. Classic.

So that summarizes the past week. Here's what I'm dealing with currently.

- While I have electricity, my Air Conditioner is not working. It's blowing room-temperature air. It's about 86 degrees in the house right now. I put a call in to those geniuses at Elite 12 hours ago. It's gonna be 93 and megamuggy today. Still waiting to hear back. Assholes.

- My sister and her hubbypoo and their dog are planning a brief visit as they follow Widespread Panic to Memphis and St. Louis and Louisville (I think that's the itinerary). I'm not sure how I feel about this.

- I bought a really cute pair of jammies that I love, only last night I realized that one of the straps was sewn on wrong and is permanently twisted. I couldn't bring myself to return it. I'm calling it a design feature. And it wasn't even my design.

- Next week, the boys go to VBS and Beeb goes to Chess Camp. I'm imagining a classroom full of Malcolm and his Krelborne friends.

- My Reality Shows are getting good. I've missed Big Bro all this week, but Jase and Will are nominated and tonight is Eviction Night. At least we know one evildoer is leaving. The Fogals are off of Treasure Hunters, Praise The Lord!! And Rappin' Granny is through to the next round of America's Got A Bunch of Talented Freaks! I called in a vote or two for Bianca Ryan. She's cool.

- I'm trying to give up drinking soda. We're on day two and I haven't killed anyone yet, so it's going pretty well. Although if somebody doesn't get out here to fix the damn A/C pretty effin soon, I can't be held responsible for my actions.

- If anything gets in the way of my seeing Lyle Lovett tomorrow night at Live on the Levee, I'm gonna be pissed.

- I've been asked for an update on the Terry Bradshaw Dream Date mission. Well, Bob, I emailed most recently on July 7th, and this time I went directly to Terry's Ranch. Still haven't heard back. So far I've written Ellen three times, Fox Sports twice and Circle 12 Ranch once, but I'm not giving up. I'm thinking I may just have to take my dream straight to the top - Miss Oprah. I figured it was faster than praying, since I'm pretty sure God asks Oprah for book recommendations.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hangin' With Nana And PopPop

** I'm having trouble getting the pictures to show up right. The last 3 pictures are of Pie. ***

My mom and dad (aka Nana and PopPop) went home to Texas yesterday after visiting for a week, so having nothing to do today feels kinda weird. We did a lot of fun stuff with them. The night that they arrived was when that huge freakin storm hit the city and knocked out the power at half a million homes. But miraculously, not ours! We did have a wee bit of flooding in our basement, but since I'd been kickin ass on laundry, there was only a minimal amount of wet clothes on the floor. Hallelujah. It really was a scary storm. Made the national news; maybe you saw it.

We visited the Train Museum that Tito loves - in fact, my dad was actually involved in the dedication ceremony for the re-opening of the museum many years ago.
My dad's a train nut too, so he and Tito bonded. T later told me that PopPop is his best friend.

Mr. P. was a crabass. He did a lot of scowling.

Beeb particularly enjoyed the Creation Station, where she made a creepy new friend named Linda. I'm sure this lady meant to be sweet, but she just gave me the willies. At one point she told me, "Oh, your daughter Natalie is just so special! If I had a daughter like her, I would never, ever cry."


Ok, the "if" in that sentence implies that a) she doesn't have a daughter (or at least not one as cool as Beeb) and b) that she cries a lot. Neither of which is particulalrly surprising, but oh, that's just sooooo much more than I needed to know about Linda. Still, I do appreciate her candor. So I can poke fun at her on my blog.

Beeb loved the attention, despite the fact that it was coming from a troll. Note Linda's eerily adoring gaze. Creepy, no?

Saturday night we took the kids to the drive-in to see Monster House and Nacho Libre. Despite the sub-par peoplewatching, a good time was had by all.

Sunday was Beeb's party! We had perfect weather and a really nice group of girls.

Here's Beeb's cake.

The Reverend arrived in a fugly Hawaiian shirt, which amused me, but I was enormously (and ironically) disappointed at Mrs. Aldi's shocking display of uncharacteristically good fashion sense.

I tried reeeeeally hard to get a Baby Got Back pic for you all, but this was the best I could do. My apologies.

Pie regaled us all with what he referred to as Hip-Hop Dancing.

Yeah, it was a good time.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Have I been outed?

I fear that my days of blogging under a cloak of semi-anonymity are (ahem) BEHIND ME.

Both Mrs. Aldi and Aldigirl were wearing swimsuits other than the ones they wore the last time I wrote about them. What are the chances?? Hmmm??? At first, I was just bummed because I was looking forward to talking snarkily about them, but then I thought, oh shit - what if they read my little rant about inappropriate swimwear for 8 year old girls and my idea to knit a one-piece with short-row shaping in the back?

Maybe it's just an ooky coincidence. BUT, a while ago, I had some dude from Michigan who randomly came across my Tickle profile tell me that he knew someone from my hometown Who Looked A Lot Like Me and, through some investigation, we were able to determine that he was in fact referring to my SIL. Immediately my Seinfeldian "worlds colliding" phobia sent me into a panic. Imagine if I'd had nudie pics or something?? All I need is the thought of Reverend A looking at ... oh, I just can't even complete that sentence. Incidentally, I never talked to the guy again after that. It would have been like Bizarro World, and I ain't goin' there.

But that was long before I started blogging. So they'd have had to periodically check my Yahoo profile to see that I'd updated it with a link to Behold My Brilliance. And why would they do that? I'm sure they've at least seen my Tickle ID (cuz the dude emailed it to Mrs. Aldi to see if she knew me, thanks so much), which had a link to my Yahoo ID, which now has a link to here, but I can't imagine that they'd have re-visited any of my IDs for any reason since I entered Bloggerworld.

I think that when I was first debating the merits of starting a blog, it was for the purpose of periodically updating my family members and friends on the goings-on at Chez Karma so they could see pictures and read up on us at their convenience. But then I started getting cattier and rantier and darker than I expected to be, ya know? I guess I've always kinda figured that the possiblity existed that the Aldis might accidentally stumble onto my silly little blog. And I'm sure that, to them, the characters I describe would be immediately identifiable. I mean, how many Aunt Drama and Uncle Earhair pairings exist in the world?

Maybe I'm just paranoid.

I'm 99% confident there is absolutely no danger of them telling FIL what I have said here. I know they share the same sentiment, and, being familiar with FIL's behavior, nobody'd want to stir anything up. So that aspect of it is a non-issue. But what am I gonna do if I can't write freely about the Aldis? They provide some of my best material.

Feel free to offer suggestions. Topics, updates I haven't touched on in a while, unanswered questions... what should I talk about?

FYI, My next post will include Our Latest Trip to the DriveIn and Beeb's Birthday.

My parents go home tomorrow, and then I'll have more time to sit and update with pictures. But for now, I'll leave you with -

Still more searches that lead to my brilliant blog:

"Pay Me" Teavana.

Oprah's pronunciation of Kleenex.

Social Anxiety Disorder I'm a Dork.

courtesy of

Friday, July 21, 2006

My baby's a whore!!!

We have discovered that my little Pie will do darn near anything if you pay him enough.

In fact, he's been known to ask "how much will you pay me if I... (fill in whatever you want)" several times a day. Here's a conversation we've had more than once:

Hey Mom, want me to bring in the mail?
Well, sure, buddy, that'd be nice...
How much will you pay me?
Never mind.

I fast-forward in my head to Mr. Pie in a fraternity house surrounded by a bunch of drunk guys daring him to light a fart for five bucks. And Pie'll hold out for more money before he does it. Like that Ogre guy in Revenge of the Nerds. Only he'll be a Nerd so I guess that would make him more like Booger.

I'm conflicted. On the one hand, I applaud his outside-the-box entrepreneurial spirit, and yet, I'm a little bit nervous that this boy has no shame. No limits. No dignity.

Yesterday, R, my parents and I took the Apes to Cici's Pizza for lunch. Dad was thrilled that you can ask for any kind of pizza you want, so he asked them to make him an anchovy pizza. I think he thought they were going to tell him no, but sure enough, they whipped Dad up an anchovy pizza. Yick.

Dad's eaten anchovy pizza, whenever he could get one, all my life. I think they are icky, foul, smelly little slugs with whiskers and you couldn't pay me to touch one, let alone eat one.

So I told Ry I'd give him a dollar to take a bite of PopPop's pizza.

My dad upped the ante: "Ry, I'll give ya FIVE dollars if you take a bite!"

R laid out the stakes: "Hear that, Ry? You can have six bucks just for eating a bite of PopPop's pizza!"

And Ry said -

"I want seven."


I've never been so happy to have had a camera with me.

Initial Reaction

Still Chewing

Washing it Down

The Money Shot

Making Sure it's All There

Mama's so proud of her little ho!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I'm so FOC'ed Up.

I got a really good deal on some KnitPicks yarn I bought on eBay.

The phrase "hole in the head" immediately leaps to mind, but I got nine skeins of Andean Silk Twist AND nine skeins of Shine - total retail with shipping would have come to $52.02 - for $42.15 (including shipping), a savings of $10.05! Tell me that's not a steal!! I don't buy a whole lot of yarn on eBay because I prefer to support my LYS and all, but I do like helping a fellow knitter thin her stash.

I've got projects planned for all of it. The Silk Twist will be Clapotis, which I've been threatening to make for a while now. The Shine will be Picovoli, which I'd like to have done before it gets to be too cold to wear it.

I've also got a Cascade Fixation Tank I just started. And socks. One day, I shall make a sock. Maybe even two.

I've been thinking about taking on a lace project. Nothing fancy, maybe just Branching Out, to test the waters.

I just purchased the One-Skein Wonder pattern from Glampyre Knits. What am I thinking???

I've been making those dipshit FunFur Flip-Flops, which helps me use up my stash and keeps me from buying more yarn, at least for a little while. Then I'm going to try to sell them so I can use the money to buy... what???? MORE YARN. And maybe Knitting Over The Edge. That's the book I have my eye on now. I just ordered Big Girl Knits too.

Why, why do I do this??

I believe I might have Fear Of Completion Syndrome.

Oh, I finished the Twisted EviLucy bag, and before that, the little drawstring bag for the baby shower, so it could be said that I'm on a completion roll. But I have about ten WIP's laying around in various states of completion, in addition to the growing queue of projects in my head. And I'll most likely buy more yarn before I finish anything else. Not even "most likely", I KNOW I will.

Why don't I pick one of the UFO's up and finish it instead of starting something new? I don't know. Do other knitters experience this? Is it because something else always looks more fun than what I'm already doing? Cuz that's pretty much the case in every other aspect of my life too. Sigh.

Oh, and Beebie and my parents are arriving in like, 4 hours. I missed the Beeb. I gotta clean. Dang.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Moments ago, Tito walked into the room, tossed a clean diaper onto the floor, laid down beside it and said,

"Mommy, change my poop.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The $60 Alternative to Kitty Litter; The SkyView DriveIn; and Uncle Earhair - The Weekend's Events

Saturday night we dropped my leaking-upwards, stanky car off at Tom the Mechanic's humble abode, as he had offered to check it out for considerably less than the Shop he works in would charge. I said cool, since he was the one who would be doing the work on it anyway, and this way I'd pay less and he'd make more off of the job. Win/win.

From there, we took the boys to see the Double Feature of Pirates of the Carribean and Cars at the Skyview Drive-In in Belleville, Illinois. The Skyview is so cool. First of all, you can't beat the price. An adult ticket is $8, and each adult can bring 2 kids for free. So all five of us could see two movies for $16. And the BEST part is, you can bring in your own food. Including alcoholic beverages. This unique set-up lends itself to some of the best people-watching you're gonna find ANYWHERE, which, for me, takes the sting out of the fact that we have to drive 45 minutes to get there.

The boys really dug the vintage drive-in old-school playground. The playground is an especially fun place to people-watch. R and I like to play "Guess Which Kids Go With Which Parents". Hooda thunk the little boy with the white-blonde hair (shaved almost to the scalp except for a curly little white-blonde tail in the back) went with the guy in the Lords Of Acid T-shirt who looked like George Costanza with a combover?

We had a little over an hour to kill before the movie started, so we walked to the Schnuck's Grocery Store just down the street and spent $25 on candy. Including Werther's Chewy Caramels. Then we went back to the car and set up our spot, and who is sitting next to us but George Costanza Lords of Acid guy and his freaky tail kid and several other people who appear to be a family unit of some kind.

One of the women in the group smoked the entire time (and I'm not going to complain because we're outside, but it did start to bug me after a while) and the worst was that they turned their FM radio (that patrons have to bring in order to hear the sound from the movie) ALL THE WAY UP and it sounded like it was between two stations so it was really scratchy and hard to understand. I probably missed about half the lines. I was so pissed.

Here's a pic R snapped at the drive-in. At first glance, you might think it was a pic of me knitting at the Drive-In. It's really a pic of the creepy family next to us. Behind me is the freaky blonde kid, the Marlboro Woman (in white - and yes, that's a Fanny Pack) and the George Costanza Lords of Acid guy beside her, in black. And, if you look reeeeeeeeally close, right behind the kid's butt you can see the radio that all but wrecked my evening.

Right before the movie started, Tom called to tell me that he fixed the leak in the car. He took out the thingie and the housing for the thingie and flushed and cleaned some other doohickey and plugged the leak from the outside with spray silicon or something. I mean, he explained it all to me, but when he goes into Mechanic Mode, all I hear is blah blah blah blah transmission brake shoes blah blaaaaaaah leaking fluid blah really dangerous blahblahblahblabbity two hundred dollars blah.

Dude, I trust you. Just tell me it's fixed. I don't care if you plugged the leak with a frickin wad of bubble gum. Anyway, he said he'd just charge us $60 for the labor. I nearly wept with joy. You know you have a great rapport with your mechanic when you can write "sexual favors" in the memo section of the check you give him.

Pie fell asleep about 20 minutes into the movie. T fell asleep about an hour later. We left before the second movie started. I've seen Cars already, and I actually kinda hated it, with the exception of the mildly-amusing Tractor Tipping scene.

Sunday morning R mowed the grass and got really sick from the heat. R is really sensitive to the heat and the sun. It's the red hair and fair skin. He felt so nauseous and icky that he told me to call Aunt Drama to let her know that we probably wouldn't be out there for the cookout that day. She said I could come by myself with the boys, but I really didn't feel like going, plus I was nervous that she'd ask me if I'd mailed my scratch-off ticket chain letters, so I told her that I felt like I should be home in case R needs me. Apparently, I worried her enough that she talked to R's mom, who called our house a few minutes later. Here's the half of the conversation to which I was privy:

I'm ok... yeah, I mowed the backyard... well, I thought it was early enough that it wouldn't be that hot... about two hours ago and... well, I just didn't know when else I was gonna do it, it's only going to be hotter the rest of the week... yes, I'm drinking water but I'm just kinda nauseous and... no, I don't need an IV... no... I just need to rest... I'm fine, really... I don't think we have any Gatorade in the house... yes... uh-huh... I'll tell her... ok, bye.

About an hour and a half later, we left for Aunt Drama's. Wouldn't want Mom to worry.

The afternoon was fairly uneventful, despite the FIL's presence. Aldigirl's offensively ill-fitting bikini provided some amusing cattiness fodder for R and me.

Mrs. Aldi has backfat. She Dunlaps in the BACK. In her day, girlfriend had a great bod. She was a physical education major. But her best days, as well as everything she's eaten in the past two years, are (ahem) BEHIND HER.

Ok, yeah, I would probably look hideous in a bikini too but here's the difference - I'D NEVER WEAR ONE. Maybe I'll knit Aldigirl and her mom matching one-piece swimsuits for Christmas. This pattern (click here) has a disturbingly appropriate title. Oh, and I did manage to put her on the spot for an RSVP commitment to Beeb's party. They're coming. And I'm bringing the camera. Just for you.

The highlight of the day was when I was fixing myself a barbecued pork steak sandwich and I was trying to get some Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce out of an almost-empty bottle. Uncle Earhair saw me struggling, squeezing in vain, and said, "Here, gimme dat..."

He then proceeded to pop the plastic top (not the lid, the little thing that snaps on over the top of the squeezie-bottle to prevent you from pouring the whole bottle onto your sandwich at once) off the bottle with a knife, took the bottle to the sink, turned on the water, ran the bottle of barbecue sauce under the stream for a second or two, popped the lid back on, shook it up and handed it to me saying, "Here ya go, Sarah, try dat..."

At that point I didn't feel like I could really say "um, no thanks" so I put a little on my sammich - just enough to appear appreciative of Uncle Earhair's efforts - and left the kitchen, aghast.

Do NOT desecrate the barbecue sauce, Uncle Earhair.

Other random tidbits that have nothing to do with anything but I wanted to mention them anyway:

I'm currently knitting the Cascade Fixation Tank with's less-expensive version of Fixation. I don't do well with patterns that require a lot of counting and concentration since I'm always having to put the WIP down to unleash my wrath on one of the Apes and by the time I'm done layin' the smack down I've forgetten where I left off. So I know I've knitted when I should have purled multiple times and completely jacked up the uniformity of the stitches, but I figured that it wouldn't be visible when I have it on. Fixation is a nice, stretchy yarn, but I'm kinda skeptical that this thing is gonna fit me when it's done. Still, it will be my first finished wearable garment that isn't a scarf or a hat. And that's something.

This Weekend's Blockbuster Online Rentals were Hustle And Flow and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Both very good.

WHY didn't Kaysar put Will and Boogie up for eviction from the Big Brother house??? I LOVE Nakomis!

My new favorite tea is Rooibos Lemon Twist from Teavana. I spent about $50 at Teavana Friday night. Worth every penny.

I'm gonna miss Beebie tonight when I watch our two favorite shows - Hell's Kitchen and Treasure Hunters. Beeb likes it when I talk in a Chef Ramsay voice. YOU DONKEY!!

We also love America's Got Talent (although I think NBC's choices of Celebrity Judges are actually evidence to the contrary). I want that Harmonica Kid to win.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Still More Searches that lead to my blog.

JUST ADDED: Husband Sissifying. Huh??

Goody Bar Man. My apologies to anyone who was actually Looking For Mr. Goodbar.

Yakov Smirnoff. My apologies to anyone who was looking for Jackoff N. Smearitoff or something equally icky. I should also apologize to anyone who actually succeeded in their search for Yakov Smirnoff, since disappointment surely awaits them.

Mistress Spurs Stilettos. Boy, is that person going to be bummed out when they read about the latest lame-o thing I knitted.

Evil Sarah Identity From That one, I can actually understand.

Kitchener Baton Twirling. I'm assuming they're looking for a place where they can twirl batons in Kitchener. Best of luck with that.

Meshed Egg Sandwich. I hope it was Nicole Richie or some other skeletal celebrity searching for this recipe. Alas, I don't put a whole lot of recipes on here. Except for that Peanut Butter Cookie Dough (baking optional) one.

Elite Property Management Shit. An odd search, but... hee hee!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The next time I complain about the utter crappiness of my life...

Please, friends - slap me upside the head and remind me how much THIS chick's life sucks.

3-year old triplets AND newborn quadruplets.

Seven babies under age 4.

One bedroom apartment.

I will never kvetch again.

Oh, relax - y'all know I'll think of something to bitch about.

And now, here are some pics I owe you:

First, the package of Kickass Japanese Kitsch from Rachelle:

Look at all that cool stuff! Lemme just tell ya, you haven't lived until you've nibbled on a pretzel that tastes like peas. Would I kid you??

And I want to send a long overdue thank you to my One-Skein Secret Pal for this beautiful skein of ArtFibers Yarn:

The colors are phenomenally beautiful!! I have to find a pattern that does it justice. And yes, I am a total schmuck for not posting this before.

And yes, the rumors are true... LUCY LIVES!!

Here are some pics of The Evolution of Lucy.

Lucy, prefelted.

Here's the aftermath of my battle with Kitchener Stitch. My second attempt was much better than my first, as you can see.

I was so proud of myself. For about five seconds.

Here's when I realized my error. I twisted the strap before I sewed it on to the body of the bag. GAH!

Now there was NO WAY I was going to undo the Kitchener bidniss I'd just finished tying off, so I went ahead and felted it. Then I had this genius idea to cut the strap, untwist it, re-sew it back together and hand-felt it to look like the rest of the bag. It actually kinda worked.

So, with no further ado, heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Lucy!

I used Galway Heather wool and some of the gorgeous RAK yarn from Dkswife.

The purple was starting to remind me of Barney, and we can NOT have that, so I wanted to add some stripes and I couldn't decide which color I liked best so I added one of each and it looks like the flag of a European nation but I don't know which one.

I don't think I made the long strap long enough. I was getting bored with it, frankly, so I probably should have made it a lot longer. As it is, it's a little awkward wearing it on my shoulder.

I took it with me to the airport yesterday when I dropped Beebie off for her trip to Texas.

Can I just say that I hate how the place where you're supposed to meet your plane is called the Terminal? I mean, I get that it means "end", but when a doctor says that a patient is Terminal, it means that they're going to die. Do I need to be reminded of death right before my kid gets on a plane? Can we change Plane Terminal to Plane Takeoff/Landing Place? Thanks, I'd appreciate it.

And can I also just say to the Lambert Aiport Parking Garage Management Goons that if your little ticket-spitting machine issues me a ticket, I assume that means that there's a parking space for me? I don't think I should have to pay for the FORTY minutes I spent LOOKING FOR A SPACE that you assured me was there. Forty minutes, people - no exaggeration. I eventually had to stalk a family all the way back to their car. I felt like such an ass, but Beeb was crying in the back seat "Maybe God doesn't want me to go on my trip... maybe something bad is going to happen!" And I just couldn't take it.

She made it safely and has only called me six times since 5pm last night.
Update: SEVEN.

Finally, A Public Service Message about The Dangers of Overfelting.

Here's the hat I promised Pie.

I thought it would look cool felted. Obviously, it doesn't. Beeb said Pie looked like an Irish Peasant. I apologize to anyone who might be offended by that, especially any Irish Peasants who happen to read this blog.

I tried to stretch it out - even took it with me so I could keep stretching it when I took the Apes to see the cinematic masterpiece Cheaper By The Dozen 2 - but it just didn't work. So I told Pie it was his Popcorn Hat. I rationed out his portion of the $6 Giant Vat O' Popcorn we bought into it. He loved it, but he did mention that his popcorn tasted furry.

And, guess what, kids?? There's been an Update to the Fuggablog!!! The Fug's gone International! How Fuggin cool is that!!

Fuggin' Up The Southern Hemisphere!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Meme for you!

I got it from Zknitter's blog and I think things like these are fun -

(grandfather/grandmother on your father's side, your favorite sweet/lolly):

Phyllis Caramel (pronounced Car-melle)

(first initial of first name followed by "izzle", first two or three letters of your last name followed by "dizzle"):

Sizzle Kedizzle

(favourite color, favorite animal):

Magenta Penguin

(first 3 letters of your name- last 3 letters of mother's maiden name, first 3 letters of your pet's name repeated twice):

Kelach FidFid

("The", your favourite color, the automobile you drive):

The Yellow Protege

And I took the liberty of adding these:

(your pet's name and your father's middle name):

Bailey Charles

(your middle name and the name of the street that you live on):

Elizabeth St. Charles

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I just had to write this down:

Ry just called Beebie "Butt Woman".

I have no idea what the context was.

Chain Chain Chain... Chain of FOOLS.

Oh, I hate chain letters.

I hate them in all forms. I hate the email ones, like "forward this to 10 people and Bill Gates will send you $100" ones, and others of their ilk. My sister's MIL forwards me about 10 emails a week with pictures of kittens and babies with angel wings and other gag-worthy sappiness. Yeah, like God's just sitting back waiting to see if enough people forward this email before He decides to heal Aunt Fanny's Polyps.


I especially hate the snail mail ones that some dumbass sends to my kids, wanting them to mail a page of stickers to the person at the top of the list and add their name to the bottom of the list and make six copies of the letter to mail to six friends so they can all be in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Look, I'm a grown up. I can handle disappointment. I expect to be disappointed by other people. I assume that everyone else hates chain letters as much as I do.

But they make it sound foolproof and fun, so that my poor kid gets sucked in and "doesn't want to break the chain", so she'll do it and wonder why she doesn't get anything in return, after she did everything she was asked to do.

Well guess what? I'm breaking the chain, geniuses. I hope that by doing so, somebody else will learn the lesson not to participate in stupid chain letters, and hopefully someday chain letters will disappear from the planet entirely.

Today, I received an envelope addressed to me from, of all people, Aunt Drama. Remember what fun we had at her house last weekend, when she told me all that stuff about how great I was for R? I rode home on cloud nine after that.

Inside the envelope was a scratch-off lottery ticket, and this note:


Here's how to play:

Send an instant scratch off ticket to the person on Line #1 on the bottom of this letter. Move the person on Line #2 to Line 31. Add your name to the list on line #2. Only my name and your name should be on the letter.

Send a copy of the letter to 6 different people.

This is not a chain letter; it is just for fun. If you cannot do this in 6 days, then please sent the ticket (not scratched off) back to me. It would not be fair to the others who are playing if you kept it.

Let's spend a few dollars and see if we can make someone happy and rich at the same time. You should receive 36 tickets in the next two weeks. It will be fun to see all the different tickets you get!

Remember, you only have six days, so get busy!

Ok, first of all, how does this NOT meet Chain Letter criteria? Whatever.

Thanks, Aunt Drama, for thinking highly enough of me to invite me to take part in this charming little diversion. I can't wait to tell FIL she sent me this, just to further fuel the animosity between them. MU-HU-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!!!

Maybe I'll tell her I won $100,000, just to yank her Chain.

As for the next link in the chain of fools, this time of year always signals my annual rant about the basic courtesy of the RSVP. Beeb's birthday party is coming up. R's side of the family, particularly the Aldis, are NOTORIOUS for never ever RSVPing. It drives me CrAzY.

I understand that some people think they're supposed to call only if they're NOT coming. Others think they're supposed to call only if they ARE coming, so if they don't call, I shouldn't expect them to show up. So, because the possibility exists that the hostess might not share the same view on RSVP etiquette, the best thing to do is to call the hostess and just let them know either way. We invited eight girls, and so far we've only had one little girl RSVP that she's coming.

The Aldigirl's yearly presence at Beeb's birthday party (and the yearly suckiness of her gift) is pretty much a given. I once wrote a post that sheds light on the Aldis' gift-giving history back when I wrote about The Fine Art of Fookery, but it was before Behold My Brilliance had quite the following it does now. So in case you missed it, I'll go ahead and repost the story for you newbies.

This is an actual email I sent to my friend Renee back in 2002:

Well, I'm sure you remember Mr. and Mrs. Aldi who are notorious for giving us re-gifted, crappy, age-inappropriate and incorrectly sized gifts (remember my Winnie-The-Pooh sweatshirt from the Juniors department and the Bubble Train for ages 18 months+ for Beeb's 4th birthday?) that were purchased on clearance and put away for a gift-giving occasion that could be months away, rendering the shitty gift virtually unreturnable and worth about 33 cents in store credit if you can even determine which store it was purchased from? And forget a gift receipt since you'd only get what they paid for it back, which probably isn't much more anyway. We end up giving the gifts they give Beeb to Toys for Tots, which means I have to figure out a place to store it for 6 months.

And I'm sure you remember how we attempted to rise above this gift-giving inequity and continued to buy cool gifts for their daughter Aldigirl, such as a wooden dollhouse and a Rainbow Princess Barbie, which were met with Mrs. Aldi muttering "oh greeeeeeeeeeeeaaat, more little pieces for me to pick up..."

Well, we got wise to their scheme and decided to play it to our advantage. Now, we look for toys with lots of parts that are completely annoying on clearance and put them away to give to Aldigirl. It's like a sport, and R and I are great at it. In fact, it's brought us closer together as a couple. At one point we found the Baskin Robbins mini ice cream maker on clearance for $3.49 at Target, but then we found it at WalMart for 20 bucks, so we returned it to WalMart (hee hee) and made money on the deal.

Then we found Cootie Jitterbug - a battery-operated, noisy and annoying version of the original, and put it away for nearly a year until Aldigirl's birthday. Thank GOD they didn't have a party for her again this year. Every year they try to cram like 12 grownups and 7 kids in their house. No, Reverend Aldi had a conference in LA, so they actually purchased a plane ticket and took Aldigirl to Disneyland for her 4th birthday. Whatever.

Anyway, we presented Aldigirl with her gift at Easter (in a non-reusable slightly torn gift bag, as I had covered every detail) and to my delight, she shrieked "I ALREADY HAVE THIS GAME!!!" Gleefully I imagined the scenario that we had endured so many times before - standing in line at the return counter "um, yeah, I got this as a gift and I need to return it..." "yeah, RIGHT! we haven't had those on the shelves for 6 months! You can have a dollar in store credit, if ya want it..." "no, thanks..."

Well, apparently Mrs. Aldi knew exactly what it was worth since she probably bought it at the same time we did, and her reaction was " love that you can have one upstairs and one downstairs..." And the best part was that I was in the bathroom at the time, where I could hear everything and yet freely snicker without fear of an embarrassing social faux pas. I was so tickled by my triumphant victory, I don't even care if she's onto us, which I suspect she is.

Last year Aldigirl gave Beeb what appeared to be a surprisingly cool gift - a "Juice Box" MP3 player. It was cool, but we soon discovered that it was discontinued and finding new cartridges for it was going to be a major pain in the ass. Another clearance rack fiasco. Thanks, Aldis. At least they're consistent enough to be predictable.

The Aldis also conveniently decline any invitation that would interrupt Aldiboy's naptime.

I'm hoping it's at 3:00-ish. Fingers crossed.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Lest I Revel in my Stellar Ape Management Skillz...

Lemme just say that at the time I wrote the previous post, it had completely slipped my mind that we had agreed to attend an outdoor concert with the Inlaws. I'll just summarize the evening, cuz I don't even really want to talk about it at all.

The boys were running around the field where the concert was being held. They found a sandpit used for bonfires and thought that would be a perfect place to play. I was fine with it until they found sticks and began using them as Light Sabers.

"No sticks, guys!" I said.

"Why can't they have sticks, Sarah? What's wrong with sticks??" said FIL.

Does this man not remember having children at all?

"I'm concerned that they'll start hitting each other with them," I answered. "I've seen it happen too many times." DUH.

Moments later, Jam Mastah T came over to the blanket we were sitting on and sat down. The bottoms of his feet were filthy.

"Jeez, Sarah, don't you ever wash your kids??" YES. HE SAID THAT.

"Well, I usually just wait for it to rain, and then I tell the kids to go play outside with a bar of soap. So I guess the last time it rained was, what, Tuesday?"

YES. I SAID THAT. OUT LOUD. I'm actually rather surprised I didn't say Fuck Off instead, because that's certainly what I was thinking.

As I turned away from FIL, I turned to look at where the kids were playing, and just as I did, I saw Beeb push Pie from behind - with a flat hand in the center of his back (this was clearly no accident) - with enough force to knock him forward, face-down on the ground. He screamed. R got up to see if he was all right.

I don't think FIL saw what had happened, but here's what he said:

"Wow, Sarah... what are you going to do when Beeb's gone for a whole week?"

Ok. That's what he SAID. And I heard him. But what my brain actually processed was:

"Wow, Sarah... what are you going to do?"

I walked over and grabbed Beeb by the wrist and asked her why she pushed her brother. She denied it. I SAW YOU DO IT. She continued to deny it. Vehemently. Tearfully. Loudly.






Suddenly, her story changed from "I didn't do anything" to "All I did was move my elbow" and later to "I might have accidentally bumped him".

"Beeb, I SAW YOU PUSH HIM! Why are you trying to tell me you didn't do it??"

"Because I didn't push him!!! You never believe me!!!"

This was quickly becoming a very ugly scene.

And then, I whipped out my famous, soon-to-be-trademarked phrase,


Briefly, the scene got uglier as I angrily grabbed everything I could grab and gave R a look that he correctly interpreted as "Get the kids and let's get out of here NOW."

Beeb, still crying, went over to hug MIL, and FIL had the fucking bawlz to say:

"What, don't you like the concert?"

"Yes, I liked it very much. It's a shame we have to leave. Come on, kids..."

Kids are crying. I am seething. Ry's even trying to convince me that Beeb didn't push him, he just fell by accident. Nice try, ape. I SAW IT!

We get to the car, and I just started sobbing.

R gave me a hug and said, "Are you okay?"

I told him I knew I was over-reacting. I acknowledged that what I did was probably not the right thing to do, but I honestly didn't know what I was supposed to do. I heard what FIL said, I just felt like I was being called out. Beeb was lying to my face and although I knew she was lying, she still managed to make me feel shitty for not believing her. Maybe it was because I felt like everyone was staring at this scene trying to figure out what was going on and I was clearly coming across as Evil Mom who Doesn't Believe Her Adorable Child.

I recapped FIL's snarky remarks for R, in case somehow he'd missed them, and R said that, since I dish it right back, FIL obviously thinks that I can handle it. I can understand why he'd think that. I guess I'm supposed to take it as a compliment that he feels like he can make moronic comments that make me feel like shit, since I normally wait until I'm home before I cry about it. And then of course I internalize it for later use. It's the gift that keeps on giving. Lucky me.

What FIL apparently doesn't get is that my kids are my job. And when they act like idiots, I can't help feeling like it's because I'm not a good enough mom. I feel like that all the time, without anyone's help. And of course I know that they're going to act like idiots because they're normal kids, and of course I know that I do the best I can and that's all any of us can do. And I know that his parenting standards are ridiculous and impossible, so I shouldn't even try to meet them. But when I feel like you're making a comment about my kids, you're also saying something about ME.

If you have a job, and you work your ass off at it from the time you get up in the morning to the time you eventually fall asleep at night (not to mention being on call through the night), and somebody tells you that you suck at it, it's hard not to take it personally. It's not just your job, it's the focus of your life. It's like somebody telling you your life is worthless because no matter how hard you work at your job - never taking a sick day or a vacation day, never asking for a raise - you're not getting the end results you were hoping for. So you suck.

We'd fire you if we could, but since you volunteered for this gig, you get to stay. Sucks to be you.

That's how I feel. And I was just overwhelmed by it at that moment.

I really didn't want to leave. We drove a freakin hour to get there. I know the kids didn't want to leave, and the Inlaws didn't want us to leave. R said that as we were leaving, FIL told him that our leaving punishes everyone and that isn't really fair. Again, yeah, I agree it was a bad idea, but what was I supposed to do? Anything I would have done, FIL would have found fault with. I knew it, R knew it. It was a catch-22.

R was extremely sweet and supportive. I love him. He understands me, even when I don't make any sense.

After I calmed down, R took the boys back to the concert and tried to smooth things over with the Inlaws. I was too embarrassed to go back. I stayed in the car and talked to Beeb. I explained that I wasn't crying because I was mad at her, although I was mad at her. She continued to insist that she didn't push her brother. I gave her the opportunity to confess without punishment. She still denied it. Did I mention that I SAW her do it?? It totally reminded me of that Eddie Murphy bit with "Wuzzn't me..."

I'm gonna go to the grave saying I KNOW SHE PUSHED HIM. Yippee, I've figured out what I'm going to say to her on my deathbed! And I'm gonna say it just like Michael Corleone.
I know it was you, Beebie. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!!

Beeb and I did a little talking about FIL. I didn't give a whole lot of information because I don't want her to hate him, but I did want her to understand our strained relationship. I just kinda gave an overview of what it was like for R growing up in his family and never feeling like you were good enough for FIL, and how different it was from growing up in my family, where my parents were always encouraging and made you feel like you could do anything. I think I successfully illustrated what a difficult adjustment it's been for me to assimilate into a family so different from mine. She gets it.

We went back, enjoyed the rest of the Cornet Chop Suey concert, and at the end of the evening, I apologized for getting so upset. I'm proud of myself for doing that, and I felt much better after I did. I explained that I'd had a really hard week and that I always feel like I'm not a very good mom. R said that he and FIL had talked a little bit when I wasn't there, and that I had gotten a circuitous apology from FIL, which was nice, I guess.

Really, my actions weren't influenced so much by what he'd said that night as by the buildup of stress throughout the week intensified by the baseline drama I expect and set myself up for every time we go out there. I was more mad at Beeb for insisting I was mistaken, and I felt like I had to lay the smack down so that I could be the parent that FIL wants me to be.

Stupid, I know. I know.

For the record, I'm still pissed at Beeb for not just ADMITTING she pushed Pie. I don't want her to learn that if she just sticks to her story for long enough, eventually I'll let it go. No. You can't LIE to me. You can't. Seriously, nothing pisses me off more than someone lying to my face.

She leaves in two days.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Another Saturday with The Apes.

Yesterday, after I endured all the drama and the follow-up butt-smooch from the day before and actually managed to stick to my guns and prohibit them from leaving the house instead of giving in to their plaintive "but we proooooooomise we'll be good..."(and, in hindsight, why the hell did I do that when it punishes ME more than anyone?), I did take the Ape Squad to the Zoo.

You would not believe how quiet they were in the car on the way there. It was poetic.

Everyone stayed together. Nobody fought. Nobody got lost. We rode the train. We got lunch at the Cafe. The only problem was when I caught Tito playing in the sand in an ashtray. Yuck.

But that was it.

It's so worth spending a day as a miserable hardass if we can go out and behave like civilized human beings afterwards.

Today is Saturday. This morning we walked over to the haircut place near us and the kids got supercute haircuts. I always feel like the stylist thinks I didn't tip enough. I can't do the math in my head and I get frazzled.

Random real-time interjection: Oh my GAWD, T has the STANKiest dipe on record goin' on right now and of course he won't let me change it. Frankly, I don't know if I even could get close enough to him to change it without passing out. He walked in the room and I almost puked. It's... just so... I mean... words fail me.

Must go. My eyes are watering.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Knittyboard Spleenventing Update

I hope you all enjoyed the previous two posts.

And now, back to the stupid crap I normally talk about.

First off, here's my Knittyboard post from yesterday so that you non-Knittyboarders may familiarize yourselves with all the pertinent information:

We got up this morning and went to the Train Museum that Tito (my youngest son) loves. The part of the museum that's really the coolest part - the whole reason why we were going - was closed because there was a school group there.

No biggie, we have a membership, we can come back another day.

I asked the kids if they wanted to go to the Zoo instead. It was agreed that that was a suitable alternative.

Then I started to think out loud. (Remind me NEVER to do this again)

I said "oh wait, there's that one place where they make the wooden trains and they have train tables and stuff, that might be fun... oh wait, I don't know if they're open or not... never mind, let me run home and get my phone real quick, then we'll go to the zoo..."

I got back in the car and was heading toward the zoo, and I heard mumbling in the back seat.

"What's the problem?"



"I wanted to go to the other train place."

Who said it? Not my 3 year old son, the train freak. Not my 4 year old son, who likes trains too. My almost-nine-year-old daughter who has never ever shown an interest in anything train-related. I should also mention that she and I spent the entire morning together yesterday (just us girls), got makeovers and went to lunch, and she got to do pretty much whatever she wanted.

"Well, Beeb, I sure hope that going to the Zoo isn't too much of a disappointment for you..." (drip...drip...drip... hear that? it's sarcasm.)

"But I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally wanted to go there..."

I immediately pulled over and stopped on the side of the road and screamed "GUESS WHAT? WE'RE GOING HOME!!!"


I had already tried leaving the house with them earlier this morning. They were buckled in their seats and I was in the kitchen and COULD HEAR THEM FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE FIGHTING WITH EACH OTHER IN THE CAR, WITH THE CAR DOORS CLOSED AND THE DOOR LEADING FROM THE HOUSE TO THE GARAGE CLOSED. I can't imagine what the neighbors must have thought. I made them all get out of the car and wait an hour before we tried to go out again (to the place that was closed).

It seems obvious to me that we weren't meant to leave the house today. Which sucks, really. It's a beautiful day. I wish I could take the boys out and leave the Bitchlet home by herself, but she'd probably have CPS waiting for me when I got back.

I screamed at her all the way home about how sometimes you have to say (and this is paraphrased to the best of my recollection) "Hey, it's not my first choice but it beats sitting at home doing nothing. Do you think going to Club Libby Lu yesterday and getting my hair painted pink was for me? Don't you think I might like to see a movie that isn't animated every once in a while? So sometimes you suck it up and keep your trap shut and let everybody else have a good time."

She's cleaning her room right now. Little snot.

Also fuelling the emotional hurricane I'm experiencing is the fact that I haven't slept well in about a week. She should know better than to jack with me.

Well, after all that, I got a little ass-kissin from the Ape Squad. (I've just kinda started calling them The Ape Squad. I like it.)

Behold my daughter's quite impressive Junior Mind Fuck.
Kids can be so darn cute when they want you to take them to the pool.

Not bad. If I weren't so pissed off and able to see right through it, I'd be damn proud. She's clearly learned the art of the Guilt Trip from the best. Manipulation is a valuable skill. A helluva lot more valuable than freakin Baton Twirling.

And Now, Yet Another Lack Of Brilliance Moment

Remember that Grafting Nightmare I wasn't talking about? Well, today, when I picked up the EviLucy Bag to knit off some steam after the day's drama, I realized that my euphoria over completing a quasi-passable seaming of the purse's strap to its body was premature: I had somehow managed to twist the strap before grafting it and tying off the ends. Damn. The only mistake that won't felt out. And here I thought I had finally triumphed over The Kitchener.

Screw it.

My day will come, Kitchener Stitch! I will defeat you!!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Lord, the Shit Pot I Stirred Up Picking on Ann!

Ok, people.

I'm sorry I said Ann Coulter has half a brain cell. I'm sure she has more than that.

I admit my ignorance. I admit it all the time. Read more of my blog, you'll see. If you got here via a Blogger search for Ann Coulter, my blog's political insights will disappoint you. I have no insight of any kind. I don't claim to possess any.

I apologize to all the people who did a Blogger search for Ann Coulter and got to my ridiculously boring blog that's full of nothing but glowing examples of what an idiot I am. Some people think I'm funny. Clearly not everyone does. And that's okay.

But please read my ramblings within the context of the rest of my blog. I don't discuss politics here or anywhere else, if I can avoid it. I try to avoid controversy, as my life has enough drama in it already. I have kids. I knit. I clean up wet clothes in my leaky basement. I try to potty train my toddler. I'm a mom who knits, and I just happen to have a blog.

That's it.

Nobody would have cared if I said Nicole Richie needs to eat a fucking sandwich, but I say Ann Coulter needs a new dress and I'm suddenly saddening people with my political narrowmindedness.

Lighten up!

I just thought it was funny that she seems to wear the same dress everywhere. The brain cell remark was more in reference to her fashion sense than anything else. Too bad it wasn't Lindsay Lohan committing the same amusing fashion faux-pas. Would anyone have jumped to defend her intellectual aptitude? Yeah, right.

Seriously, the only reason why anybody's proverbial panties are currently in a wad over my picking on Ann has everything to do with WHY Ann is famous. And I don't care why she's famous, the reason I'm mocking her has absolutely nothing to do with that. It's the ubiquitous black tank dress. Really.

I would have mocked pretty much anyone who, while being interviewed on any television show, was shown a tape of themselves in a previous interview on the same show wearing the same outfit they were wearing in the current interview. I just thought it was funny.

Yeah, what she says probably is more important that what she wears. But not to me.

Click on NEXT BLOG now.

Cuz a political discussion forum, this blog ain't. Unless we're debating The Three-Needle Bindoff vs. The Kitchener Stitch. In which case, I say BRING IT!

Yer goin' dooooooooooooooooown, Kitchener Stitch!

I'm not a political person, but I'm pretty sure Ann Coulter owns only one dress.

And only half a brain cell.

Oops, was that out loud?

In this June 6th interview with Matt Lauer, NBC showed a clip of Ann's interview on The Today Show in October 2005, and she was wearing THE EXACT SAME DRESS that she had worn to the current interview, the one she's also wearing on the cover of her latest literary effort. Watch.

Now, before I saw this interview, I didn't think anything of Ann one way or the other. I didn't think about her at all. Now I just think she's a doofus.

I consider myself a political moderate. I don't care what Ann has to say, I honestly don't.

I just want her to get a new dress, for the love of Maude.

Yes, Ladies, whether you're signing your plagairised book, fighting liberalism, exposing slander, berating the 9/11 widows on the Today Show, or just relaxing with Al Sharpton, the Ann Coulter All-Occasion WonderDress is the perfect choice for today's busy pundit!

It's the ONLY dress you'll EVER NEED!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

ROAD TRIP!!! (Oh, and some other stuff, including the second-scariest moment of my life)

Oh, didn't I call it? The Karmas took a 4th-of-July Family Roadtrip. We left at 11am and didn't get home until after 9pm. We drove through three states! We estimate that we put about 800 miles on the car. But we'll get to that in a minute.

First, I want to say that I don't want to talk about My Cardinals. I'm just not going to talk about their recent suckiness at all. I'm just not. I absolutely refuse to discuss it.

And another thing I'm not talking about is my progress on the Lucy Bag. Suffice it to say that I'm not a Jedi Grafter yet. And things were going so well up until the point where I had to attach the strap using Kitchener Stitch. Ugh. I had to drag my pitiful three-needle-bindoff-attemptin' ass to my LYS for some Major Professional Intervention.

But I'm not going to talk about it.

Anyway, to get the full chronological effect of the holiday weekend's events, it would probably be best to start with Saturday. R worked, as he does every Saturday, so I got to stay home with The Apes. I had been charged with bringing Cookies out to the Fireworks Soiree at Chez Inlaw, so I whipped up 3 dozen super-easy Peanut Butter Cookies (1 cup Peanut Butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg - what's easier than that??) although the recipe after I doubled it should have yielded 4 dozen. Can I help that I love peanut butter cookie dough?

After R got home from work we embarked on the hour-long drive to Chez Inlaw. R's sister and her hubby and 2 sons were in town from Indiana. They're really cool. They're a 2-Lexus family, so we'll call them Mr. and Mrs. Lexus. I should point out that I'm not being derogatory - they're extremely successful and in no way flashy and in-your-face with it. She's a plastic surgeon who specializes in helping military burn victims. He's a corporate lawyer and an accountant. They're doin' ok. More power to 'em. Their sons each have laptops. Must be nice. I think I'll call the boys 1Gig and 2Gig, which is appropriate as the younger one actually has the better laptop.

Of course, in stark contrast, the Aldi family was also in attendance. Mrs. Aldi got me with her famous "Oh, Sarah, I have a new picture for you!" She gave me a picture of Aldiboy which, at first glance, was cute, but as you looked at it longer, you realize that Aldiboy is still growing into his features. He kinda resembles an Anime character.

I was also offered the opportunity to purchase the DVD of Aldigirl's recent dance recital performance for a mere $39.99. I was on the verge of blurting out that I would rather suck $39.99 worth of manure through a straw than watch that, but fortunately I was cut off by the sound of Aldigirl running shrieking through the house. I secretly love it when she acts like an ass. It makes my kids look like angels by comparison.

At dusk, MIL, FIL, the Aldis, the Lexi (plural of Lexus - get it?), and all five Karmas went to stake out a prime fireworks-viewing spot by the lake across the street from Chez Inlaw. The fireworks were actually quite spectacular. I thought the boys would freak out, but they didn't. No, friends, the real excitement came AFTER the fireworks were over.

I loaded up my arms with the blanket, diaper bag, knitting bag, and cooler we had brought. R asked me if he could carry anything for me, I said No, I'm fine. Just get the boys. We looked around and we saw Pie, but we didn't see Beebie or Tito. We figured Beeb must have run ahead with Aldigirl, but I still didn't see Tito. I asked R if he had him. Nope.

Someone from our group must have him, I thought. If he couldn't find me, he'd be screaming his head off. I mean, this is the kid whose incessant screaming once got us kicked out of mass. There are six other grownups in our group. He must be with someone he knows. Surely he'd be freaking out if he was suddenly all alone. He's fine.

It's just a short walk to the house, but in the dark, through a road crowded with people milling about, then through a field of tall grass to Chez Inlaw, it felt a lot farther. R went ahead of me to make sure T was back at the house, then I saw R sprint past me through the tall grass, almost knocking me over.


My heart stopped.

It didn't start again until we found him about a minute later, standing with a mother and her children by the side of the road. I was close to tears. He was cool as a cucumber. I thanked the nice lady for keeping him safe, and I felt like the shittiest parent ever for letting my kid get lost in a crowd in the dark at The Fireworks.

I still can't believe he didn't freak. The one time I was counting on him to make a whole lot of noise, he didn't make a sound. In retrospect, I guess I'm glad he didn't panic. We figure he must have started following someone and when realized it wasn't me, he just froze until someone found him. He was so quiet, I must have walked right past him. Thank God we were in a gated community in the middle of nowhere instead of downtown St. Louis or something.

For some reason, he told the woman that his name was Sammy. Maybe he didn't want to be found. Ya think?

Ok, so that was like the second scariest moment of my life. I'll tell you about the absolute scariest moment of my life some other time.

The next day was Sunday, and we were invited to R's Aunt Drama and Uncle Ear Hair's house to swim. Aunt Drama is MIL's younger sister. She and FIL have an interesting history that I don't even fully understand, but apparently the animosity between them goes back many years. I think Aunt Drama is a hoot, but there's a reason why I chose the name Aunt Drama for her, just as there's a reason why I chose Uncle Ear Hair for her hubbypoo. Aunt Drama and FIL both talk shit about each other to me when the other's not there. I LOVE it. Aunt Huggie (MIL's other sister) and Uncle Prickly came to Aunt Drama's too, as did my favorites of R's cousins.

Aunt Drama gave me some detail on what the rest of the family thought of me when they first met me. You kinda have to appreciate that R and I, personality-wise, are polar opposites. R's sister and brother both married other introverts and so they and their spawn are all kinda on the shy tip. Then there's me and my Ape Squad.

The general consensus among the family, according to Aunt Drama, was that upon meeting me, they believed that I "would either make {R} or break him". And Aunt Drama said they all agree that I have really brought R out of his shell, and I am "the best thing that ever happened to R". Awwwww. She also said they love me because I don't take any of FIL's crap. I was so flattered that I've somehow managed to give them that impression.

Everybody hates FIL and loves me, the kids were good, the food was good, there was plenty of beer. Sunday was a really good day.

Monday R's best friend Mr. K was in town from Boston. He's a Major in the US Air Force, and he's single, gals! But you might have to fight Beebie for him, as I believe she has a lil bitty crush on Mr. K. We went to the Science Center (where we saw this unfortunate pubescent boy who looked like Harry Potter in a white Polo shirt and Pie went completely apesh*t) and to Cici's Pizza for lunch (have I ever blogged about the Macaroni and Cheese Pizza? It's fuggin AWESOME). Then R and Mr. K went out for grown-up beverages and R didn't get home until 3am. Beeb stayed up with me and watched Napoleon Dynamite. Dang! I can't get enough of that movie.

Yesterday, kids, was the Road Trip. We went to lunch in Sikeston, MO, at Lambert's Cafe, home of Throwed Rolls. Throwed Rolls means exactly what it sounds like. They literally throw hot rolls at you while you're at your table. It was somethin' else. We'd never been there before, and it certainly isn't the little hole-in-the-wall place I'd envisioned. It was HUGE.

I had the Chicken N' Dumplings. R had the Beef Sandwich with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy. It always seems that I like what he orders more than I like what I ordered. Why is that?? I've even tried asking him what he was thinking of having, then ordering it and forcing him to order something else. Still doesn't work. Guess we'll just have to go back. It was definitely worth the 2.5 hour drive.

L is for Lambert's -

M was going to be for Monkey's Eyebrow, Kentucky, but we drove through the town twice looking for a City Limits sign (or something to serve as proof that we did, in fact, spend part of our Independence Day Celebration in the thriving community of Monkey's Eyebrow, Kentucky) and there was nothing in the entire town that said the words Monkey's Eyebrow on it. Nothing.

I couldn't believe it! No "Welcome to Monkey's Eyebrow", no Monkey's Eyebrow Liquors, nuthin. Such a disappointment. Maybe it's a Luckenbach situation, where the signs kept getting ripped off so they quit putting them up. How could there not be at least a sign explaining why some idiot named the town Monkey's Eyebrow? Why not Monkey's Butthole? I mean, as long as you're coming up with the dumbest name you can think of? Makes just as little sense.

We left Sikeston and crossed the Ohio River to Illinois and then Kentucky (Tito called it "Tucky"), searched in vain for Monkey's Eyebrow, and then crossed back into Illinois at Metropolis.

So M is for...

METROPOLIS, Illinois! Notice the top of Clark Kent's phone booth to the right of the tree in the top photo.

You have now officially seen the entire town. You're welcome.

Which brings us to today. R had to go back to work, the boys went to Mom's Day Out, so it was just Me And Beebie McGee from 9 to 2. We went to Chris' Needle Craft Supply where I was assisted on my Lucy Bag by one of the owners. She was great. I bought some yarn to make Pie a hat (I have no idea why the boys always want me to make them hats) and a DVD so I could try to learn Continental.

I'm someone who has a real issue with mental blockage once I've learned to do something a certain way. For example, I have a huge mental block that prohibits me from learning to drive a manual transmission. I know. I am a HUGE dork. I'd love to learn, I just can't make my feet do two different things. For this reason, I've not been able to figure out how to make things with yarn and only one needle (e.g. crochet).

Next, Beeb and I went to Club Libby Lu at The Galleria. What a cool place! Beebie got The Princess Makeover (complete with tiara) and I got The Rocker (complete with pink hair streaks). We decided we'd like to go there again sometime. Still in our makeover makeup and hair, we went to lunch at Carl's Drive In and then to Pennie's Place for more yarn before picking up the boys.

We stopped by home and I got a PACKAGE! FROM JAPAN!!!!!

Fellow Mizzou Alum and all-around ubergroovy chick Rachele sent me a righteous package of laugh-out-loud-until-you-taste-it Kooky Japanese stuff. Beeb LOVED the Hello Kitty Macaroni. I loved the goofy "We Love Doughnut" stationery. I'll put up a pic for you guys tomorrow, since it thoroughly enhanced an already stellar day.

Domo, Rachele!

(Did I get that right? I totally just sang Mr. Roboto in my head to remember the word for Thank You in Japanese.)