Friday, March 30, 2007

Proof that there's someone out there for everyone.

How did I miss this guy on WPN Wednesdays? Perhaps he didn't go the online personals route for fear that I might make fun of him publicly, but wouldn't you think he'd be used to that by now?


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Just Bummed.

It's the first moment I've had to myself in over a week. And I'm sad. I miss the Apes. I couldn't wait to get away from them, and now I miss them. I have nothing to do, nowhere to go, and no motivation to do any of the around-the-house stuff I know I should do. I feel like crying.

I need a pedicure. And a manicure. And a haircut. And a root touch-up. I need to find a gift for a birthday party Pie's going to on Saturday. I actually do NEED to go shopping. And I just don't feel like it. I could update my bank balance. I should. I know it's not negative, so now would probably be a great time to dive right into it and get it straightened out knowing I'm not going to be too unpleasantly surprised. But I just don't feel like it. I just don't.

I could knit something but I've already got too many UFO's that I don't feel like finishing and I don't want to start anything new, as it will certainly wind up in the UFO Universe before long.

I hate when I get like this. There's no specific reason why, I'm just bummed out. I don't want it to be summer already. I'm not prepared. I haven't shaved my legs yet. I mean, really, what's the point? Six months later, ya just gotta shave 'em again. Why bother?

I kinda feel like noshing on something but I don't want to eat when I'm bored, lonely or sad, and if I start I don't think I'll be able to stop. I don't want to turn to retail therapy because I don't want to spend any money. I spent too much yesterday. And I suddenly realized that for less money than I spent on haircuts for the three kids (which I will NEVER do again), I had summer wardrobe updates for each of them, plus a dress and a pair of pants for myself. Unbelievable.

I don't think it's the housing thing that's got me down, although it might be. It's no secret that I hate the agency who rents this house to us. But, as we've been shopping around, we've seen that what we pay to live in this area - with no homeowner's insurance, no association fees, no property taxes, and no maintenance expenses - is a pretty decent deal. So maybe we'll stay. Again. Sigh. I actually feel more in control of it now, though. Like we're staying by choice. Kinda.

But you know what always makes me feel better?



"Mama Said Knock You Out"


C'mon man

[News Report]

And with the local DBT news, LL Cool J with a triumphant comeback
but tonite...


Don't call it a comeback
I been here for years
Rockin my peers and puttin suckas in fear
Makin the tears rain down like a MON-soon
Listen to the bass go BOOM
Explosion, overpowerin
Over the competition, I'm towerin
Wreckin shop, when I drop these lyrics that'll make you call the cops
Don't you dare stare, you betta move
Don't ever compare
Me to the rest that'll all get sliced and diced
Competition's payin the price


I'm gonna knock you out (HUUUH!!!)
Mama said knock you out (HUUUH!!!)

Don't u call this a regular jam
I'm gonna rock this land
I'm gonna take this itty bitty world by storm
And I'm just gettin warm
Just like Muhummad Ali they called him Cassius
Watch me bash this beat like a skull
Cuz u know I had beef wit
Why do u riff with me, the maniac psycho
And when I pull out my jammy get ready cuz it might go
BLAAAAW, how ya like me now?
The river will not allow
U to get with, Mr. Smith, dont riff
Listen to my gear shift
I'm blastin, outlastin
Kinda like Shaft, so u could say I'm shaftin
Old English filled my mind
And I came up with a funky rhyme



Shadow boxin when I heard you on the radio (HUUUH!!!)
I just don't know
What made you forget that I was raw?
But now I got a new tour
I'm goin insane, startin the hurricane, releasin pain
Lettin you know that you can't gain, I maintain
Unless ya say my name
Rippin, killin
Diggin and drillin a hole
Pass the Ol' Gold


Shotgun blasts are heard
When I rip and kill, at WILL
The man of the hour, tower of power, I'll devour
I'm gonna tie you up and let you understand
that I'm not your average man
when I got a jammy in my hand
DAAAAAM!!!!! Oooooohh!!
Listen to the way I slaaaaay, your crew
Damage (UHH) damage (UHH) damage (UHH) damage
Destruction, terror, and mayhem
Pass me a sissy so suckas I'll slay him
Farmers (What!!!) Farmers (What!!!)
I'm ready (we're ready!!!)
I think I'm gonna bomb a town (get down!!)
Don't u neva, eva, pull my lever
Cuz I explode
And my nine is easy to load
I gotta thank God
Cuz he gave me the strength to rock
HARD!! knock you out, mama said knock you out


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Other Updates

Update #1

Get this -

The boys go back to school this morning and so last night I quizzed Pie about what he did over Spring Break. Read the previous post to familiarize yourself with the convenient summary of what we actually did over Spring Break.

Me: Hey, Pie, what are you going to tell your teachers and your friends you did on your vacation?

Pie: I'm gonna tell them I sat around on my ARSE.

He didn't say "ass", he said "arse". Arse is way funnier.
I nearly shite myself. I guess I should be glad he didn't think to tell his class that his parents took him to the Liquor Store.

Update #2

Check Out My Brackets!

Really, apart from Texas totally screwing me, I didn't do too bad. I want a cut of whatever you won in your office pool.

Update #3

And I didn't mention it before because I wasn't sure I was going to succeed, but I have, thus far, managed to give up buying yarn for Lent. I did purchase two magazines and two sets of needles so as to use up some of the yarn that I already have in my stash, however. And I still haven't finished either of the projects from the two classes I took.

The sweater shell - oh, man. It came out HUGE. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big girl, but I'm swimmin' in this thing. And my seaming skills completely suck. And the sock, while it sucks less, still sucks. I do feel more confident that I could complete the sock than the shell, but there was an error in the pattern and if I really was going to complete both socks I'd prefer to frog the one I've already started and start over so it's right.

So I spent $35 on each class plus about $60 in yarn. $130 on two items currently sitting unfinished in my kickass Lexie Barnes Bag. Knitting sure is an expensive hobby.

Update #4

R is almost done wtih his Advanced Technical Training program! He's only got three classes left. This will mean that he can apply for a tech job with a better salary and hopefully better hours, and he won't have to be on the phones with cranky customers all day. Be nice to the people you talk to in Customer Service, please - you just might be talking to my husband. Those people go home to their own drama at the end of the day too.

Last week R learned that his department was merging with another department, so, for an instant, it looked as though he might be off on Saturdays. It's still possible, we won't know for a while, but the good news is that his new hours won't conflict with his completing his program. He was really worried about that.

Update #5

I was just kidding about voting for Sanjaya 90,000 times. IT'S NOT MY FAULT he's still around! What the EFF was up with that mohawk? Yick! Y'know who I love? BLAKE. And Melinda. And Gina impressed me last night too. Phil Stacey's eyebrows creep me out.

I also love Dancing with the Stars. Why does that show suck me in every single time? I keep telling myself that I'm not going to commit myself to one more show, but Apolo Anton Ohno... I just... he's hot. Laila Ali is an excellent dancer and she's got a incredible bod. Maybe I could be a boxer. Or maybe I could eat Cadbury Mini Eggs until I gain enough weight to qualify for gastric bypass surgery.

Update #6

Am I an alcoholic? I don't ever get drunk, but I do like to have one beer with my dinner most nights. Rarely will I have two beers in an evening. We bought a case of Bud Select at Sam's and I drank 90% of it myself. And when I realized it was gone, I made a special trip to go out to buy more.

Again, I must emphasize that it's one beer maybe 4 times a week, and maybe one of those four times I'll have two, spaced out over five hours. I never, ever get drunk. Still, I'm extremely concerned about this due to a genetic predisposition. I've never thought of myself as much of a drinker but I actually really like the taste of beer. It's funny - I've always thought of myself as Marge Simpson, but now I'm leaning towards Homer.

Update #7

This morning, I had to sign a permission slip so Beebie could watch a video about PUBERTY. Ugh. I'm sure many uncomfortable conversations are just around the corner.
Stay tuned.

Update #8

I spent $60 at Goodwill yesterday. I got a LOT, including some shorts, which the boys both desperately needed (this is when I love having them close together - I can buy something knowing that will probably fit one or the other of them), Beebie some shirts which she semi-desperately needed, and myself an Easter dress. I even found one with a delicately plunging neckline just in case we run into R's boob-staring cousin after I've toyed with the priests.

Bad Penny! Tee hee!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Spring Break Wrap-Up


So I've been on Spring Break. Miss me, didja?

Last weekend was St. Pat's. Now, we're not really Irish, but I did marry a man with red hair, freckles and an Irish last name, so we like to pretend. A week earlier they had handed out Kids Eat Free On St. Pat's coupons from Hometown Buffet at Pie's school, so for the entire week he told everyone he knew that we were going to Hometown Buffet for St. Patrick's Day.

We were thinking about going to the parade downtown, but it was snowing (btw, exactly one week later it was 80 degrees outside), so I said forget it, we'll go to freakin' Hometown Buffet for dinner, R can get corned beef and cabbage and red potatoes and I won't have to cook and the Apes'll be happy.

If you ever want to feel like you're really skinny and gorgeous, hang out at Hometown Buffet. The peoplewatching is phenomenal.
The food, however, tastes like sweat.

Oh, by the way, here's how Pie and Beebie looked:

Tito wanted no part of the haircolor.

Anyway, afterwards R and I thought it would be fun to pick up some Guinness and Smithwicks on the way home, and, as Irish luck would have it, there was a liquor store right across the street from Hometown Buffet. So we all went in.


And thus, a new Karma family tradition was born.
Tune in next year!

And I thought this was eerily appropriate on St. Patrick's Day -

Remember how we've been looking for a house? Sunday afternoon we went to an Open House hosted by Connie, the most obnoxious realtor ever. We walked through the house and absolutely loved it. Four bedrooms, three and a half baths, huge closets, fenced backyard, finished basement, two car oversized garage, cul-de-sac, everything we've been looking for.

We knew it would be a stretch for us financially, but the logic was that we'd apply for special financing based on our current income, and then hopefully within a month or two we'd both have better paying jobs and then we'd be able to manage it. It was a gamble, but a calculated one.

Monday the realtor from the house we liked called our realtor (who was not with us when we went to the Open House) to let her know that she "expected an offer" to come in that afternoon. So Monday evening we had an emergency meeting with our realtor so that we could put an offer in on this house. We made an offer for $5000 less than the asking price. Our realtor, who is awesome, wrote it into our contract that the offer was contingent upon a second walk-through, which we scheduled for Thursday morning. And R invited his parents to attend. Foreshadowing...

Tuesday I spent $70 on haircuts for the Apes, then we cleaned in anticipation of my parents' arrival on Wednesday.

Wednesday my parents were supposed to arrive in the afternoon, and this kids were getting impatient, so we went to the library. Tito was in the backseat giddily informing all of us that he could see the library from his carseat. Repeatedly. Loudly. Like this -

"Look, guys! Look! I see it! There's the Library! Right there! Lookit! There it is!!!"

Then, just to mess with him, as we pulled into the library parking lot, R said,

"Tito! Tito! Where are we?? I'm lost! I don't know where we are!! Where are we??"

And what did Tito say?

"We're at the library, you DUMBASS!!"

I admit, Tito's familiarity with the word Dumbass is entirely my fault. Calm down, I don't call the kids Dumbasses (tempting as it might be at times), but I have been known to occasionally refer to some other random person - such as the Dumbasses who don't know how a 4-way stop sign works, for example - as a Dumbass in front of them. Plus, I've been known to watch That 70's Show from time to time. Anyway, yes, I'm sorry, but damn, it was funny.

Thursday we went to look at the house with my parents and R's. I had tried to talk R into going without me because I really kinda had no desire to put myself in a situation where we knew FIL was going to be critical. We were even inviting him to be critical. But I have to say, kids, in the interest of full disclosure and as testament that God does in fact answer prayer, FIL was pleasant and I was actually glad he was there. He found a LOT wrong with the house (including a rusted-out furnace) that we hadn't seen on our initial visit, despite the seller's agent's assurance that the house was a bargain, and thank God we were able to rescind our offer.

I had really been losing sleep over it, honestly, afraid that they would accept our offer and we'd get stuck with a $1500 a month house payment when we're barely scraping by paying $975 in rent and then something awful would happen - like R somehow not being able to get a better job now that he's almost done with the class he's been taking for the last two years, or that I wouldn't get the job I applied for, or one of the cars would break down or one of the kids would need emergency surgery or something. I hate to be negative, but I'm using our family's history of unforeseen disasters to predict the future.

Oh, but there was a somewhat amusing moment when our realtor was walking through the house with me, R and FIL. FIL pointed out a crack in a wall or something (I forget exactly what), and our realtor (let's call her Taylor, just to simplify things), as is her job to do, mentioned that in a house of that age it really wasn't atypical and we shouldn't be that concerned about it.

She apparently insulted FIL's expertise, because he came back with,

"I really DO understand. Okay? I understand. In fact, for what it's worth, I AM a licensed professional engineer, okay?" in his quiet, yet scathing tone.

And here's why I love Taylor. She could have read it like I did, as "Don't fuck with me, bitch, I'm smarter than you", but instead she said, "Well, great! Glad to have you on board!"

So we almost bought a house, but we didn't, and I'm okay with it. I'm relieved.

Then after that my parents and R and the Apes and I drove almost three hours to Lambert's. It was so awesome. Chicken Fried Steak, Barbecued Pork, Pot Roast... and throwed rolls. What's better? Nuthin. I even got covered in sorghum.

Friday I had my second interview at Vandelay Industries downtown, so I figured R and my parents could take the kids to the City Museum just down the street and I could meet them afterwards. I felt great about the interview. Here's one of the highlights. I'm paraphrasing, of course -

So, tell us a little about yourself, Penny!

Well, for the last six years I've been a stay-at-home mom, but I'd always planned to go back to work when my youngest started Kindergarten. So this opportunity has come up a year earlier than I'd expected to go back to work, but I decided that I'd rather pursue it now rather than wait until it was the ideal time and hope that there was a good job available, cuz I'd really prefer not to go back to retail... I mean, there's nothing wrong with retail, but I'm 36 years old and I'm kinda too old to be folding jeans for a living... I did my time at The Gap ten years ago... I mean, if there's a Jean-Folding Emergency, I'm your man. Just a little sumthin' extra I'm bringin' to the table...

I assure you, if I hadn't gotten the inside information that what was keeping me in the running for this job was not so much my work experience but rather my youthful exuberance, I probably wouldn't have said all that, but I opted to just go ballz out and be my lil ol' effervescent self. And I think it went well. The interviewers laughed at my jokes this time. When I arrived, the girl I'd be working with actually told me that this interview would be informal and that they just wanted some more people in the office to meet me. I took it as a good sign.

Anyway, after the interview I was to walk to The City Museum to meet R, my parents, and the Apes. On the map, it doesn't look it was that far from where my interview was. In reality, it's about fifteen city blocks. Not a big deal, I've walked farther than that, I wasn't worried about it. But then it started to rain. No problem, I had an umbrella.

Cut to a shot of me walking down the street in the rain with a broken umbrella. In heels. For fifteen blocks. The good news? I was wearing my Power Panties.

And I should also mention two things here.

The first being, on the advice of The Incomparable Domestic Overlord, I hauled my fat ass to Torrid and invested in not one, but two pairs of Wonder Woman panties.

And the second? I will now reveal my Power Anthem, which I crank up in the car whenever I'm on my way to some event where I have to kick ass, such as a job interview. Kinda like how Ally McBeal had "Tell Him" as her theme song, remember? Anyway, here's a hint:

Don't ever compare me to the rest that'll all get sliced and diced, competition's payin' the price...

I KNOW my girl Carmen knows it.

Yes, I played Mama Said Knock You Out! over and over on the way to my first interview. I couldn't play it on the way to the second because I was in a minivan with my entire family and my dad was driving, so I sang it to myself in my head instead. Don't call it a comeback, I been here for years, rockin' my peers, puttin' suckahs in fear, makin' the tears rain down like a monsoon, listen to the bass go BOOM, explosion overpowerin' over the competition I'm towerin'...
Ah, yes, Cool James, the Ladies Love ya.

Sad thing, though, if I do get this job, I won't write about it much here because my former boyfriend Rick's wife works there and they read this blog and I just would never want to look like an ungrateful ass after Mrs. Rick was the one who told me about the job in the first place. Don't fret, though, kids - I haven't had a job prior to now and I've always found plenty of amusing shit to write about, right?

Of course, I cringed a bit when I saw THIS article in the news.

But I digress. Saturday we walked across the Mississippi River via the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge. It started to get a little warm, so my dad, who has no sense of propriety whatsoever (which, in fairness, isn't always a bad thing) took off his t-shirt so as to remove the undershirt beneath it, rendering him shirtless for about thirty seconds until he put his San Antonio Spurs T-shirt back on.

Pie observed my dad during that aforementioned thirty-second period, and yelled to everyone on the bridge,

What the HECK??!??

I have
NO idea why SOME people have to take their SHIRTS off in the MIDDLE of PUBLIC!!!! That's just CRAZY talk!

Here's a pic of Pie claiming victory as the first one to the Illinois Side.

Tito was first back to the Missouri Side. And no, the shirtless dude in the background is NOT my dad. I guess shirts are optional on the Old Chain Of Rocks Bridge. Duly noted.

Then we went to my parents' hotel so the Apes could swim in the pool. We saw an ugly, buck-toothed, hugely pregnant woman wearing a Got Milk? t-shirt and I just about threw up.

Sunday we ran into the Aldis plus Mrs. Aldi's parents at brunch. And I was able to confirm that Aldigirl had herself some bacon.

Two weeks till Easter Brunch, Loves. You'll be impressed that I had the foresight to schedule a trip to Therapenny (my therapist, whose name is actually Penny) the Monday morning after.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I'm throwing a steak to a pack of hungry jackals. Enjoy.

After a week or so goes by between posts I feel like I have to write something meaty and substantial for you to gnaw on until next time. So here y'all go:

Today after R and I picked up the boys at school, I asked about their days and which of their friends they played with. Tito listed the names of several of the boys in his class, and I asked him, just out of curiosity, if he ever played with any of the girls.

He said he didn't like playing with the girls because they don't like to play cars and trucks like he does. But, according to Tito, there is one little girl named Madison in his class who always wants to play with him, so based (I assume) on her unrequited devotion, Tito reluctantly concluded that Madison was his girlfriend.

Then Pie said, "So, Tito... is Madison your... Luuuhhhve Puppet?"

Love Puppet. The child said LOVE PUPPET.

Pie is five years old. I assure you, he didn't hear it from me.

Not only is the word choice hilarious enough, but he also said it in a voice that made me wonder if it might have been what Barry White's voice sounded like when he was five years old. I nearly soiled myself laughing.

And one of my favorite things about my little boys is when they collaborate to figure out a way that they can play together and both play whatever character they want to be. For example, Harry Potter often visits the Island of Sodor. Today they told me they were playing The Puppies of Narnia.

And, while I was in another room, I overheard someone saying "Wellllcome to zee island, mon!" in a comically exaggerated stereotypical Jamaican voice. I thought it was the TV, but upon further investigation, I discovered that it was Pie. I have no idea what the context was, but I think I'm going to have to dig up some Bob Marley and Barry White CD's.

Moving on, I shall now list (in no particular order) some people who totally effin' rock. And this is by no means an all-inclusive list - meaning, that just because you don't see your name on this list, please don't take that to mean that you don't totally effin' rock. If you're cool enough to read this blog, well then, you clearly have excellent taste and clearly (by my standards, anyway) that makes you pretty damn cool yourself. So don't sweat it.

#1 Dan Zanes. The guy on Playhouse Disney. I have invested in three of his CD's - Catch That Train, Night Time and House Party - and I LOVE them. They're eclectic and multi-cultural and fun and I never get sick of them. The kiddos like them too, but I'd listen to them even if they didn't. Highly recommended. My favorite song is his duet of Waltzing Matilda with Debbie Harry of Blondie. See? That's the kind of stuff I love.

#2 Dylan. The kid from Dylan's Couch. He's my new favorite internet diversion, other than Knitty, of course. I found his work by accident on YouTube recently. If I'd had YouTube as a creative outlet when I was twelve years old, the world might be a vastly different place. Check him out. He's hilarious. Hilarious. Hilarious.

#3 Poops. I'm pretty sure Poops can knit anything. She's my knitting hero. I asked her for something very specific that would require some research and creativity on her part, and she rocked it. I'm not gonna tell you what it is until after Saturday, when I will take some Action Shots of me putting her creation to good use. There's a clue in there somewhere.

#4 Entrelac. She makes these non-dangly stich markers that the Knittyboard has been raving about, so these were the prizes awarded to the three Playahz who won the Oscar Party contest. Here's where you can score some for yourself or, if you're not a knitter, for The Knitter in Your Life. Trust me, if you're not a knitter, you can't fully appreciate how important it is to have good stich markers.

#5 Beebie. I am so proud of her. First quarter, she had nine assignments turned in late. Second quarter, she had ten. That's not the part I'm proud of. They just finished third quarter, and she had NO late assignments! I don't know how she turned it around, but she sure did, without bribes or threats of punishment. I'm hopeful that she's seeing hard work as its own reward as well as the connection between completing the homework assignments and performing well on the tests. I'm going to have to reward her somehow. I was thinking of letting her pierce her ears.

So, let me update you on some other stuff. Remember the job I interviewed for? I still haven't heard back, but I'm not giving up hope until I get a rejection letter. I've done a whole lot of research to see how much full-time child care will cost, and I think I can still come out ahead if I can get the salary I want. Plus, the child care costs would be less after next year anyway when Tito goes to kindergarten. Worthy of note - the boys have been behaving especially well, now that I'm thinking of not being home with them during the day. Figures.

Oh, and I should tell you something else I remembered about the interview. I was in a room with two women and one man who looked a lot like Matthew Broderick. They were looking over my stellar resume and one of the women asked me what I did at one of my former employers, a company with the word Pearson in it. Matthew Broderick Guy looked at my resume again and said "What?? Oh (chuckle), I thought you said something about PIERCING..."

For a brief instant, I entertained the thought of revealing some horribly inappropriate personal information about myself. And you KNOW what I'm talkin' about. But instead I said something like, "Well, if I could stick people with a needle without throwing up, I probably would have been a nurse."

So I'm waiting to hear back about this job. Meanwhile, the House Hunt is in full swing. R and I have looked at a whole bunch of houses within the school district that we're living in now, so that Beeb can continue in its Gifted Program and I can continue to make the parents of blood-related Non-Gifted children feel inferior. It's such fun.

While we were out looking at houses yesterday, we looked at one that was currently under contract and the woman who lived there was home when we got there. Right after she introduced herself as Cindy, she said I looked familiar to her. I realized that she used to cut my hair. Remember what a hard time I have finding people to cut it and actually stay at their place of employment for a while? Well, she doesn't cut hair anymore. She's an ER nurse now.

Anyway, years ago, when I had just turned 21, I was working in a library, which was one of my favorite jobs I've ever had. One day when I was working, a charming young man came up to the desk to check something out, we started chatting and hit it off right away, and he asked me out.

Hours before he was supposed to pick me up, I asked my sister - WHO IS NOT A TRAINED PROFESSIONAL - to trim my bangs. She did. And she actually did an acceptable job.

And then she decided that I needed layers.

Put your index and middle finger next to each other, then place them perpendicular to the top of your head. THAT's how short my top layer was.

I looked like a fucking Q-tip. It was HORRIBLE.

I was this close to calling the guy and coming up with some bogus excuse why I couldn't go out that night other, but I was afraid he wouldn't ask me out again and it could take months for this disasterous coiffure to grow out.

So the guy came to pick me up. And rather than pretending that I was totally into my ridiculous 'do, I immediately broke down and confessed that I had allowed my genius sister to have her way with my hair. He could have been a real dick and said something like "Oh, um... I just remembered I left the stove on..." and bolted, but, to his credit, he said, "It doesn't look bad, it looks sophisticated!" Cuz he was THAT kind of a good guy.

Wasn't that sweet? He and I hung out for a while, but it was really more of a fun friends thing than a Love Connection, and then I moved away for three years and moved back and married R, but I never forgot that he'd been nice enough to spare my feelings when it really mattered.

And I recently saw a picture of him on another local knitter's blog and while I didn't tell her that exact story (because I'd forgotten about it until now), I did confirm to her that her boyfriend T is a class act.

But here's the kicker - the woman in the house that we were looking at was the very one who fixed my hair after my sister destroyed it. That's what made me think of it.

Small world, no? That's St. Louis for ya.

In knitting news, I'm still working on the tank I made in the last class I took. I WILL figure out the neckline! SO HELP ME GOD! And, I'm also putzing with My Very First Sock! I've had to start over on it probably fifty times but I am determined to get it.

My parents are coming up next week while R and the apes are home for Spring Break.

The Easter Brunch plans will be with the Inlaws, Lexi, and Aldis at The Club, in a private room. Last year Aldigirl ate an entire plate of bacon.

And it's March Madness, baybeeee!!! Here is my bracket:

As a Big 12 alum, I had to go with at least one Big 12 team in the finals, and as a Missouri alum, it can NOT be Kansas.

Use it in your office pool if you want. I make no guarantees.

And finally, kids, I'll reward anyone who's read this far with a few Semi-Scandalous Confessions:

#1: We ordered 8 boxes (that's $24 worth) of Girl scout cookies from Aldigirl. We picked them up last Saturday. There is one full box left. I kinda hate how the timing of Swimsuit Season coincides with both Girl Scout Cookie Season and Cadbury MiniEgg Season. It's a heinous conspiracy, I swear.

#2: It has been brought to my attention that I use my boobs when knitting with DPN's (non-knitter translation - Double Point Needles). I usually knit in a reclining position on my bed - not really laying down, not really sitting up. Apparently I poke the DPN into the right boob to move the right needle up through the stitch I'm working, and I use the left boob to steady the left needle when I move the stitches up. That would explain all the tiny little bruises under my bra.

#3: I've been shopping at Aldi almost exclusively for the last month or two. Not because the Aldis talked me into it, but because Anti-Stella did. I should have put Anti-Stella on the list of people who rock, but I'm sure I've mentioned it before.

#4: Oh, by the way, I've still got an assload of Simple Green.

#5: I voted for SANJAYA ninety thousand times. And I'm gonna do it again.

Tout le monde t'adore, Molly Bier!

Remember the Molly Bier story? Check this out. I got this email today:

Cher, Partenaire

J'ai le vif et réel plaisir de porter à votre connaissance une opportunité d'affaire qui vient de s'offrir à moi et pour laquelle je recherche très activement un partenaire.

En effet, au cours d'un voyage d'affaires que j'ai effectué à Kinshassa en République Démocratique du Congo (Ex-ZaÏre), j'ai fait la connaissance du Colonel KWAKOLA M'Bongola, Haut Responsable de l'armée de ce pays, Contrôleur Financier à l'Economie d'Etat.

Depuis, j'ai gardé le contact avec ce dernier et c'est à juste titre qu'il fait recours à moi aujourd'hui pour l'aider à réaliser une opération d'expédition de fonds.
La fragilisation accélérée du système bancaire doublée de la dégradation de la situation socio-politique de ce pays et la position proche du milieu prèsidentiel du Colonel l'oblige à quitter le territoire du Congo démocratique pour l'étranger (Cotonou) avec une fortune évaluée en USD soit 18 Millions.

Cette démarche du Colonel s'explique par diverses raisons.
Qu'il vous plaise cher Partenaire, de comprendre que je vous sollicite pour que l'opération d'expédition desdits fonds se fasse depuis Cotonou au profit de votre compte bancaire et par tranches successives.

Je vous saurai infiniment grès de me faire connaître votre avis sur la question et de pouvoir vous rencontrer à Cotonou en République du Bénin à une date de votre convenance afin qu'ensemble nous puissions étudier les différents contours de ladite transaction et ce dans ses moindres détails.

Dans l'attente de vos nouvelles, je vous prie cher partenaire, de croire en l'assurance de mes sentiments respectueux.

NB: Si intèrèssé merci de bien vouloir me répondre par mon mail direct

Now, I know enough French to have a pretty good idea of what this is about, but just to be sure, I ran it through the AltaVista BabelFish translator. And THIS is what I got. I thought it was kinda funny.

Expensive, Partenaire I have the sharp one and real pleasure of bringing to your attention a business appropriateness which has been just offered to me and for which I seek a partner very actively. Indeed, during a business trip which I carried out in Kinshassa in Democratic Republic of Congo (Ex-Zaire), I made the knowledge of Colonel KWAKOLA Me Bongola, High Responsible for the army for this country, Financial Contrôleur with the Saving in State.

Since, I kept the contact with the latter and it is rightly that it makes recourse to me to help it today to carry out an operation of forwarding of funds. The accelerated embrittlement of the banking structure doubled of the degradation of the situation socio-policy of this country and the position close to the prèsidentiel medium of the Colonel oblige it to leave the territory of democratic Congo for the foreigner (Cotonou) with a fortune evaluated in USD is 18 Million.

This step of the Colonel is explained by various reasons. That it you like dear Partenaire, to understand that I solicit you so that the operation of forwarding of the aforesaid funds is done since Cotonou with the profit of your bank account and by successive sections.

I you will be able infinitely sandstone to make known myself your opinion on the question and to be able to meet you in Cotonou in Republic of Benign on a date of your suitability so that together we can study various contours of the aforementioned transaction and this in his least details. In waiting of your news, I request dear partner from you, to believe in the insurance of my respectful feelings.

NB: If intèrèssé thanks for agreeing to answer me by my direct mall

How do they keep finding me?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Because I'm too lazy to do a real post. . .

I'll steal one from an equally lazy person who I love. Hey ZMK, did you see that one chick burp the words Pussycat Dolls? Classic.

Your Celebrity Boob Twin:

Anna Nicole Smith

My boobs used to do all of Anna Nicole's Boobs' stunts.

Oh, and by the way, nobody guessed my correct bra size. You guys sure are a dumb buncha boobs! I'm a 40DD!

I think Kay (Cheesy Knit Wit) was the closest. You win the CD of songs from the wedding where Aunt Drama and I discovered that we wore the same bra size! Congratulations!!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Frustration, Thy Name is FIL.

As you probably know, I have a great relationship with my parents. While my mom wasn't thrilled that I'd applied for a job while I have only one year left with the boys before they go to school full-time, she knew that it was a job I was really interested in, and that I'm really not actively pursuing any other opportunities at this time. She also knows that if this job doesn't pan out for me, I'll go right on living my life.

They've also been enormously helpful as we've been trying to clean up our financial situation over the last several years. When Beebie was three, R got laid off from his job and then I got laid off from my job four months later (both due to the Dot Com implosion). We lived on unemployment, WIC, public assistance, food pantries, and my parents' generousity. They helped pay our rent, COBRA and paid for various other things, including a car since between us we did not have reliable transportation. And they encouraged us, never making us feel that we were at fault for the situation we were in.

R didn't let on to his parents that we were in as bad a situation as we were. I think eventually he told them that were weren't working, but I'm never privy to their conversations. And they would never have known that my parents were helping us at all except that we showed up at the Aldis' house for something in the new car and they asked us about it. R reluctantly stammered that it was a gift from my parents. Shortly thereafter, his parents gave us a check for $500. Not to be outdone or anything.

A few weeks later was Easter. Beeb was still potty training and sometime before we all sat down to eat a fancy expensive brunch, she had a lil bitty poopy accident in her pants. I had forgotten to bring a change of panties for her since I really didn't think she'd need it, but I spent about 30 minutes in the restaurant bathroom trying to wash her panties out in the sink and dry them with the dryer on the wall. It was horrible.

When I got back to the table, I decided that I had earned myself a Mimosa for all my trouble, so, in accordance with the "go ahead and order your drinks" directive given by MIL. I talked R into ordering one with me. When FIL got the bill, he demanded to know who had ordered a $4 Mimosa. I confessed that R and I did.


Very, VERY loudly. Totally making a scene.

R apologized and offered to pay him back.


My brother in law Mr. Lexus offered to pay it.


This went on for hours after we left the restaurant, and he even brought it up the next time R spoke to him a week later. I'm not kidding.

So how could we make this right? We couldn't. We had to sit and listen and take his wrath until he felt like we'd suffered enough, and there was no telling how long that might be.

It was without question one of the absolute worst moments of my entire life. No question. Frankly, I'm still not over it. Especially because every Easter since, I have been reminded in front of the entire family NOT to order an alcoholic beverage with brunch, like I need reminding.

Cut to last night, when R made his weekly phone call home to tell them the filtered version of what we've done for the previous week. Everything he tells them passes through a filter based on What We Think FIL Will Freak Out About. This filter, I should mention, is not 100% foolproof. Sometimes FIL freaks out about shit we wouldn't expect him to.

We expected him to ask us, once again, if we'd had a chance to look at all of the home loan information he "happened upon" a few weeks ago and forwarded to us. In fact, he told R "Oh, Sarah can take care of it." which R then passed on to me with the spin of it being a compliment to my ability to handle financial matters. Riiiiight. I'm starting to see that R also uses a filter to decide how he's going to relay to me the various things that his dad has said.

R told FIL that it had been a particularly busy week for me and I'd not had a chance to sit down with all the info FIL wanted us to read over. I'd had a job interview Wednesday and had to take Pie to his urologist immediately afterwards which took the entire day, and then Friday I had to work in the library. And I have the boys home with me all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays which makes doing anything productive close to impossible.

According to R, FIL is concerned that I am "focusing too much on one thing", meaning that I am foolish to look for a job as it would make more sense for us to buy a house and THEN allow me to look for a job. R explained that I'm not "looking for a job" per se, but this particular opportunity came up and it was something that I was really interested in, so I went ahead and applied. Well, FIL thinks that this is a huge mistake, especially since the various home loan programs he told us about have an income cap which would be in jeopardy if I happened to get this job.

This REALLY pissed me off. Really a lot. Suddenly I saw FIL's earlier "compliment" as a completely disrespectful comment on how I can take care of this home loan bullshit because I have nothing better to do and I obviously sit around the house eating bonbons all day. And I can't really vent to R about it because I hate that he's in the middle of FIL and me as it is.

R keeps trying to assure me that FIL means well, and I guess I know that he does, but I can't seem to get past the fact that we didn't ASK for his help. And if he was making a suggestion, let it be that, and if we choose not to take it, then back the fuck off and shut up about it. But he NEVER does. It's never a suggestion, it's a thinly-veiled edict.

And why is he persecuting me for going after a job that might possibly offer me the sense of personal fulfillment that I'm NOT getting from being a stay-at-home mom. And part of the reason why I'm not getting it is because I feel like a complete failure as a parent. Why? Because that is how he makes me feel ALL THE TIME.

I have spent the last ten years of my life trying to earn his respect. And I've exhausted myself both physically and emotionally doing so. I honestly don't believe that having his respect would even really make me happy, so I don't know why I try so hard, but I guess I just assume that that's the reason why our relationship is so hurtful to me and so, conversely, if he did respect me maybe it would be better. In my heart I know that it's impossible to please him. He finds fault with everyone, even those that he is supposed to love most.

He criticizes his highly-favored daughter, a very successful surgeon who has Valedictorian of her high school class, and even his own wife's cooking after she's been slaving in the kitchen all day - the pie's crust isn't flaky enough or the meat is dry or whatever. MIL's dealt with it for so long, she criticizes herself unfairly before he can do it. I remember that clearly from the first time I met his parents - I complimented her on the dinner and she commented that it should have been better. FIL wholeheartedly agreed. I remember being kinda shocked by that. My dad would NEVER do that to my mom, and R would NEVER do it to me.

I do try to convince myself that he means well and that his way of showing love is by telling you how you can achieve excellence because he assumes that's what we all want. But the reality of it is that to him, excellence means pefection, and he's telling you every single thing that you've done wrong in a completely unloving manner. It's extremely hurtful. I see the damage it's done to R after an entire lifetime of it, and I'm feeling how it's crushed so much of my spirit and confidence after a relatively short time. I was a much stronger person before I began reporting to FIL. I never needed meds before I married into his kingdom.

The thing that pisses me off the most is that every single time we try to do something THAT IS NONE OF HIS FUCKING BUSINESS, we have to make extra special sure that he doesn't find out about it or else we'll get a fucking earful. And any joy we may have felt in attempting to do something on our own is quickly annihilated.

When Beeb was about a year old, we actually signed a contract on a house that was in an area of town that FIL didn't approve of (despite the fact that R had grown up there). At the time, we'd only been married a little while and I didn't understand why R didn't want to tell FIL. Wouldn't he be happy for us? Then WHY did R allow me to go ahead and be happy and excited about it when he knew FIL was going to undermine it? And FIL did - we got out of the contract to stay in FIL's good graces. And look at all the good it did.

I've talked at length about FIL to my therapist Penny, and she actually suggested that the next time he hurts my feelings, I should very cautiously let him know. What harm could it do? Maybe I'll try it. But nobody ever really knows exactly what harm crossing FIL can do because nobody's ever done it.

If he dropped straight dead tomorrow, I wouldn't shed one single tear. No one would. What a tragic legacy to leave behind.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Humiliation, Thy Name is TITO.

Ok, remember how yesterday I mentioned that little Tito got us kicked out of church once? I'm thinking about changing Tito's name.


I also mentioned yesterday that I had to attend some PSR church thing, lest I face eternal damnation. And I always take the Apes with me in hopes of nonverbally making the point that they really should offer child care for kids younger than kindergarten age so that the people who are old enough to understand the message can hear it without being distracted.

Beeb was with a group of other 3rd through 5th graders in the church's school library listening to a presentation on St. Vincent De Paul and I was trying to hang back near the doorway in case I needed to make a quick getaway with an Ape. I kept trying to get them to sit quietly and behave themselves - since we were, of course, not only in a library but a library full of church people - and they were actually doing reasonably well apart from the occasional audible sighing yawn.

Until I looked over at Tito and saw him sitting on the floor with his hand down his pants.

I tried to quietly remove it, hoping to attract as little attention as possible, and with his free hand he - get this - SWATTED my hand away. Wuuuuh BAP!! Scared me.

Tito, stop that! I could see the chances of my not creating drama dwindling away before my eyes. And then...


Great. Perfect.

After the church thing I had to drop Beebie off at a friend's birthday party. In the past, my catty bitch husband R (who would totally be my best girlfriend were it not for his penis) and I have invented nicknames for some of the kids at Beeb's school. I know it's childish. Really, I do. But sometimes the kids are just fuckin asking for it.

For example, there was a Justin Bumm in her kindergarten class who was always picking on her, and I got in the habit of calling him Justin Bumblebutt. I'll have to tell you the Justin Bumblebutt story sometime. Remind me.

Beeb's party today was for a girl R and I call Creepy Rita. She's not as creepy as she used to be, but she's definitely a little strange and the name has stuck. It's fun to say, isn't it? Creeeeeeepy Reeeeeta. I'm always afraid I'm going to accidentally call her Creepy Rita to her face.

Anyway, while Beeb was at Creepy Rita's party, the boys and I went to the library. Tito got on one of the computers and spent the time he could have spent selecting a book or video playing Dragon Tales ABC's. This was just fine with him until it was time to go.

Me: C'mon, T, we have to go get Beebie at her party...

Resident Evil: But I didn't get to check anything out!

Me: I know, honey, you played on the 'puters and we don't have time now.



Maybe I'll just rip my own ears off and swallow them. Then at least I won't hear him embarrassing the crap outta me.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

I'm alive, I promise.

So I needed to go shopping for a new outfit (for an occasion that I'll tell you about in a second).

And, as you all know, I am rarely seen in public without at least one Ape with me.

There was no way I could go shopping without the boys today. I couldn't avoid it. And they HATE shopping for Mommy Clothes.
I can't blame them, I hate it too.

They were trying to be good, but they were tired and cranky and sick of being cramped in the fitting room with me trying to concentrate on the mirror and not paying attention to them. And after trying on everything in the store, I was losing my patience with them, with the clothes, and with my own pasty dimpled ass.

The Apes were driving me crazy - crawling around on the floor and under the walls into other stalls (fortunately, there wasn't anyone else in there), and just constantly bickering and basically being heinous. I kept telling them, about every 30 seconds, to sit down and be quiet so I could hurry and be done and we could leave.

The next part is classic. I went out and perused the store one final time to see if there was anything left on the racks that I'd missed on the first four trips around the store. This time, miraculously, everything I tried on, according to the boys, was "perfect" and looked "beeyooteeful" on me and "THAT's the one you should get, Mommy! You look so pretty!!"

At first I thought, oh, they're being sweet... And then I realized that those conniving little stinkers had figured out that if they tell me something looks great on me, then maybe I'll buy it and we can get the hell out of there.

It sucks that I've become so cynical.

So I went to my first job interview in six years. And I'm a little rusty, I think. Let me give you an exerpt that kinda summarizes the whole experience:

Interviewers introduce themselves.

How are you this morning, Penny?

Well, actually, my heart's still pounding a little - I've never driven downtown by myself before, but I made it and found a parking place with time to spare! Fortunately, I resisted the urge to stand in the middle of the street, spin around and throw my beret up in the air a la Mary Tyler Moore! (nervous giggle)

Crickets chirp.


So I have no idea how I did. It kinda depends on whether or not they're actually seeking to hire a blithering idiot. And as much as I would love to get this job, I figure if it didn't work out, worst case scenario - I'd go right back to hanging out in my damn jammies until noon every day. I'll be fine.

In other news, I finally got rid of the double stroller I used daily for almost four years, and it made me a little sad. That double stroller was like an appendage. I took it everywhere. Even to church, so I could stand out as the poor mother that has to bring her babies with her. I hoped for years that they would offer child care at the Required PSR Family Events presided over by the biggest most self-righteous pole-up-her-ass Church Nazi I've ever encountered. And I grew up a minister's daughter, so I've met some close contenders in my lifetime.

Here's an example - we were at one of these required events many years ago, the topic of which was The Importance of Worshipping As a Family. Six-month-old Tito started crying and screaming hysterically and this woman came up behind R (who was holding Tito), grabbed him by the shoulder and quietly hissed at him GET OUT, and literally escorted R and screaming Tito out of the sanctuary. So much for worshipping as a family. I couldn't help but focus on the irony in that.

I mean, yeah, I get that he was disturbing the other people, but A) there was a baptism going on in the back of the church and R didn't want to disturb them either, B) it was raining so he couldn't really take Tito outside, C) would it kill you people to either offer child care or lighten up on that whole No Birth Control policy? and D) I didn't even want to be there in the first place anyway.

Seriously, this woman has caused me to momentarily contemplate divorcing my beloved husband (through no fault of his own, I assure you) just to foverer sever my ties to her and all that she represents so that my family and I can quit jumping through all her stupid hoops in hopes of thereby obtaining salvation.

I hate getting into religious rants, I really do, but I truly, honestly, cannot stand this woman and how she has caused me to bitterly resent the church (not The Church itself, but this particular church). I'm pretty sure God's not going to ask her to check her ever-present clipboard to see if I attended Breakfast with Mary back in 1999. Oh, you didn't? Sorry... give our best to Satan! Buh-Bye now!

Why do I bring this up? I have to go to church today for yet another of this dipshit things that just irritate and piss me off and, for my family, serve the exact opposite of their intended purpose. I'm assuming, of course, that they're supposed to make us WANT to attend church more often than we do. Well, sorry, they actually make me want to spike the Communion Wine with a Stool Softener.

And on a completely unrelated note, this year, oddly, we weren't invited to Aldiboy's birthday party. I don't know for sure that they had a party, but I don't know why they wouldn't have. Maybe they finally got the clue that the house is too crowded to accomodate every blood relative, and we really won't be offended if they didn't invite us, but my blog readers might be disappointed. Maybe they are reading this. Maybe I don't care. I probably should, but right now I just don't.

Unrelated Note #2 - Thursday night I took the kids to see the stage show of Edward Scissorhands at The Fox Theatre. Beebie won tickets off of Radio Disney. The whole thing was weird. The boys fell asleep.

Unrelated Note #3 - I totally hit the jackpot at Kohl's yesterday. In fact, I went to three different stores and cleaned them out of every article of Thomas Train clothing in size 5. If you have a Kohl's near you, check it out. There's stuff for 80% off. I got Tito a darling Thomas Train bathrobe for six bucks.

And, Unrelated Note #4 - Believe it or not, my knitting was featured on local television, thanks to local celebrity adorable hottie Glenn Zimmerman! He even called me a Genius Knitter. (Go ahead and laugh. I did.)

I am SO sending that little tidbit into my high school's alumnae newsletter.