Fathead’s Lice Removal System

Hello all! I hope your President’s Day weekend went well. We had some good times over here which is fairly remarkable considering that Friday we figured out that the neighborhood tree rats had invaded our heating ducts. Riley figured it out first because they were apparently nibbling on the vent in her room while she was trying to sleep so she was fairly freaked out about the whole thing.

I however handled it pretty darn well. I just barricaded the vents, turned off the heat and handed out parkas. It’s brisk in here. It feels like the home of a post menopausal woman, but at least we don’t live in North Dakota.

Riley is demonstrating a hypothermic coma in front of her blocked vent. I don't know where she gets her overdramatic nature.

Riley is demonstrating a hypothermic coma in front of her blocked vent. I don’t know where she gets her over-dramatic nature.

Take a moment to admire my pioneer spirit.

Thanks. Because last night at bedtime, after a full afternoon of Frisbee golf and beer, I received the news that we had been exposed to lice and the pioneer spirit left me. Nothing brings out my inner OCD like small insects in my home. Seriously, my kids apply for the Witness Protection Program every time we have an ant invasion.

However, Hubs and I came up with two separate systems for lice removal and I thought I’d take a moment to document them, so that if you have children or a fondness for Third World Country brothels (ahem, Senator Menendez), you would know what to do.

Fathead’s Lice Removal System

  • Freak the f*ck out! (This first step is important. Skipping this step will unravel the whole system.) Think about all of the things your vermin carrying children have touched. Become overwhelmed. Contemplate your life before children. Remember how happy and pest free you were. Obsessively scratch your head and cry a little.
  • Stick everyone in the shower. Stick your neighbors in the shower. Wash everyone with lice shampoo. Hand out tiny torturous combs to comb out the nits. Obsess over each piece of dandruff that the tiny comb rips from your children’s heads. Comb their hair every day for a week or until they are hairless.
  • Channel Tom Sizemore in Black Hawk Down and deliver inspirational battle speeches to your shell-shocked children while their scalps bleed. They will be especially puzzled when you tell them “everyone’s been shot!” but you will understand the reference and that’s what is important. Throw the towels down the back steps.
"In Mogadishu the lice carry RPGs and work for war lords."

“In Mogadishu the lice carry RPGs and work for war lords. Hair is for the weak!”

  • Strip the beds. Throw all bedding, stuffed animals, kids’ clothes and anything else that isn’t nailed down out the back door with the towels to be washed in hot water. Cover your naked, shivering children with a tarp.
  • Vacuum all of the carpet and upholstery in your home and car. Empty the contents of the vacuum in the outside trash bin. Dismantle your vacuum to wash all of the parts. When you’ve forgotten how to put your vacuum back together, throw it down the back steps. Tear out the carpet. Throw it down the back steps with the vacuum.
  • Change clothes after each task. Throw the clothes you were wearing down the back steps. When you’ve gone through all of your machine washable clothes, borrow your husband’s clothes. Throw those down the back steps. Finish your tasks naked.
  • Throw everything that can’t go in the washer in plastic garbage bags and seal. Leave in the airtight bags for a couple of weeks or until you and your children have forgotten what are in the bags. Throw the bags away.
  • Lose your keys. Have a tantrum about losing your keys. Tear your house apart. Realize that your keys are in the bottom of one of the airtight garbage bags. Abandon driving.
  • Eat a bucket of Red Vines.
  • Repeat this process in ten days.

Hubs’ Lice Removal System

  • Go to bed.
  • Avoid your wife for two to three days.

Note: this post was written in a sanitized area while wearing a winter jacket. I hope it has been helpful.

jacketatcomputer

 

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Photo Credits

Rocknrollghost.com

Fathead Flu Remedy

I write a humor blog over here at Fathead Follies. It’s not a health and wellness or a cooking site. However it’s flu season at the Fathead household and this past month has been particularly festive if you love misery. For some reason, this time around I’ve been the sickest of the bunch and the resulting delirium has spurred a temporary departure from my usual format. And apparently reality in general, which might explain why in the past week I’ve:

  • Earnestly planned a dinner party for myself, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Zooey Deschanel without a hint of irony.
  • Let Hubs cook a week’s worth of fiberless, vegetable-free meals for the kids without a thought about nutrition, constipation or the impressive stove splatters. Seriously our kitchen looks like a Jackson Pollock painting.
  • Gone through a giant bottle of NyQuil in a week…end. Don’t worry I staged an intervention for myself and I’m now NyQuil free, which is for the best. NyQuil isn’t organic. Nor does it contain any whole grains or fruit, despite the appetizing picture of cherries on the bottle. It should be avoided except in emergencies. Much like cheap chocolate.

By the way, it’s my contention that purgatory is gripping the sides of your commode while your four-year old stands in the bathroom doorway playing the theme song from Thomas the Tank Engine on loop like some sort of demented John Cusack in a preschool version of Say Anything.

John-Cusack-in-Say-Anythi-002

If only Peter Gabriel had written the Thomas theme song.

Anyway, I decided to make my own homeopathic cold remedy using only the healthiest ingredients. I call it…

A Mojito.

Here are my instructions:

Boil two cups of organic sugar and two cups of water from one of those crazy filtered water stores.

Sure you could use tap water but we Californians don’t feel comfortable unless we’ve paid a premium price for our water and dispensed it from a bottle. Also, I’m fairly sure the raccoons have been poisoning our water supply and the kids really enjoy riding the cart at the water store. If you’re going to spend the evening whacked out on my home remedy, the least you can do is bring them some joy with a water cart ride first.

Boil your premium filtered water and organic sugar for one minute. DO NOT walk away from the stove. Otherwise you’ll lie down, forget you’re boiling something and ruin another pan.

Remove from heat. Be careful not to spill it on yourself. Boiling sugar burns like molten lava and you don’t want to be spotted running out of your house screaming like Richard Pryor after a crack fire.

Richard_Pryor

Sugar and cocaine are remarkably similar at high temperatures.

Pour your simple syrup over the zest of two limes and 1/2 cup of mint leaves. Be sure to use organic limes and mint grown by vegans and sold in a local farmer’s market. You’ll feel better about yourself. Steep for 30 minutes. Strain your simple syrup and chill it in an energy star refrigerator.

Now eat the solids because not only does it taste like the best minty lime candy ever, you’ve just gotten a dose of fiber and prevented scurvy. And we all know that scurvy leads to a peg leg.

Now take some lime wedges and a half cup more mint and muddle them with feeling in the bottom of a pitcher. Add crushed ice, a half cup of lime juice, one cup of your lime/mint simple syrup and a half liter of rum. The rum doesn’t have to be organic because the distillation process kills pesticides…I’m pretty sure.

Note: feel free to use any color rum you like. I firmly believe that a rum should be judged by the content of its character.

Serve your remedy in a glass with more crushed ice, soda water (the extra expensive brand purchased at your local Whole Foods allegedly uses carbonation obtained from the intestinal gas of woodland fairies) and my secret ingredient: Antihistamine.

One glass of this and you’ll forget you’re feeling bad. As an added bonus, the antihistamine will prevent you from leaving a pool of snot on your floor when you face plant on the way to your bathroom.

I'm not sure which is more disturbing: that I had my 4 year old take this picture or that my linoleum looks that bad.

I’m not sure which is more disturbing: that I had my 4-year-old take this picture or that my linoleum looks that bad.

Author’s note: This was written two weeks ago. I’ve since come down with another flu virus. This cannot be attributed to the Mojitos, however, so drink up.

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Photo Credits:

The Guardian

Answers.com

Conor

Five Reasons To Have Children When You’re Young And Stupid

I was the accidental product of older parents. A bonus child, as it were. By the time I came a long Mom and Dad were as laid back about parenting as they apparently were about birth control.

It's called a condom, you silly beatniks.

It’s called a condom, you silly beatniks.

I probably would’ve taken this fact for granted but my sister, Lori (the closest in age to me with a nine year difference) told me often while making me touch the electric fence as penance.

Behold to the right, the tool of sibling torture: the electric fence!

Behold to the right, the tool of sibling torture: the electric fence.

This generously imparted knowledge left me with a Rainman-like reaction to electrical shock of any kind and the desire to wait until my thirties to have a child. I reasoned that as an older parent I would be able to avoid giving birth to a sociopathic child who enjoyed torturing younger kids and avoid stretch marks in my twenties.

Look, my Mom’s stomach was a road map of maternity and I wanted to spend my twenties in a bikini. Yes, I was shallow. Let’s not judge.

There I am living the dream--the extremely shallow dream.

There I am achieving my goal.

Well as luck would have it (and by “luck” I mean a rampant fear of commitment) I did wait until I was older to have children. Even older than my mom. I had to have special tests for elderly pregnant ladies and everything. Who says I can’t stick to a plan?

No seriously, who says that? It’s not nice to talk about other people behind their backs. I have feelings, you know.

Anyway, I’ve been very happy with my decision for the most part, but last night I was lying in bed after a particularly taxing bout of ineffective parenting and I started thinking about the down sides of my plan. Nothing is perfect. Not even Meryl Streep (but don’t say that out loud in Hollywood).

I'm an acting tour de force and a g.d. American icon, you sniveling fence toucher."

“I’m a g.d. American icon, you sniveling fence-toucher!”

  1. First of all, let’s address the stretch marks issue since it had such an impact on my decision. If you’re going to ask your skin to perform the greatest of all hat tricks and stretch over an additional human, you want to do it while you’re still producing some collagen and your skin has all of its elasticity.  Later on your skin is going to stretch out and then give up, much like my father in front of prime time television. And despite what I thought in my teens, you don’t stop caring about your looks and life in general when you hit 40.
  2. Also, grandparents are more valuable than gold. Aside from being the only people in the world who want to watch your kids without a salary attached, they will also keep your kids supplied in quality socks, underwear and the type of frilly dresses that you would never buy but little girls go ape-sh!t over. You want to get grandparents while they are still alive and young enough to care. Let’s face it, when you’ve gotten to the age where you’re deaf and in a diaper, you don’t get as excited about tiny sticky humans. My kids only have one set of grandparents left and we have a team of doctors forcing them to stay alive. It’s a lot of pressure.
  3. When you’re young you think you know everything. There’s a certain freedom in that. You don’t have to constantly second guess yourself. You are free to blissfully screw up your children with complete confidence. I agonize over screwing up every day, which ironically doesn’t make me screw up any less. It just takes the fun out of it and screwing up should be fun. Like a Van Wilder movie.
  4. Parenting is stressful and it’s hard on a marriage. If you get married and have children young you have the chance of getting through the challenging years and then rekindling your marriage while you and your spouse are still young enough to travel without breaking a hip. Or you can cash it in while you’re still young enough to take an attractive picture for a dating website.
  5. One word: resilience. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m more fragile than I was at 25 when I thought that knees magically went on working forever and at 2:00 a.m. I have a hard time caring about anything other than another four hours of uninterrupted rest. You have to have a fever, the likes of which could start a house fire and make you speak in tongues to rouse my empathy at that hour and even then you’re guaranteed terrible parenting the following day.

So there you have it. Now you can make an informed decision, justify/regret the decision you already made or just pour yourself a cocktail and ignore this post all together. Personally, I recommend the latter. I also recommend Tylenol PM, so that you don’t lie in bed crafting lists like this until all hours of the night. Trust me on this.

******

Photo Credits:

Midnightdirectives.wordpress

Santa is Loaded

I mean emotionally loaded.

I mean emotionally loaded.

Can I be frank? Christmas has a history of being an emotionally loaded holiday for me.

My mom lost her battle with cancer on December 21st, 1979. (To my knowledge the Mayans did not predict that event.) I was ten.

It immediately became clear after Mom’s death that she had been single-handedly holding the entire family together and making Christmas magical. Without Mom’s deft talent of redirection, I discovered that we were ill-suited to handle family togetherness and joy.

For one thing, my father hated the holiday. He was a social worker with Child Protective Services and, as any social worker or police officer can tell you, Christmas is a time for killing your loved ones. He spent the holiday marinated. Everyone else was just as miserable.

In front of our Charlie Brown Christmas tree Here I am in an ill-fitting thrift store dress, blissfully ignorant of the impending misery.

Here I am in front of our Charlie Brown Christmas tree in an ill-fitting thrift store dress, blissfully ignorant of the impending misery.

I tried my best to slip into Mom’s shoes and resurrect the Christmas spirit, but those shoes weren’t made for a ten-year old. I started finding ways to desert my family during the holiday. When I got older I would often spend Christmas alone watching depressing foreign films and thinking deep thoughts while wearing a beret.

Reality check: I’ve never worn a beret. They don’t fit my head. However when I picture that time period I see myself as a sad mime with a beret and white gloves, trapped in a box—not a real box that would spare the world the horror of a mime performance but a pretend box so that everyone could suffer through my melancholy along with me. Because I’m a giver.

Sad mime wants to give you a present. How sweet.

Sad mime wants to give you a present. How sweet.

Then I had kids and rediscovered the magic of the holiday. There is nothing more satisfying than hoodwinking a trusting child into believing in that magical bearded toy schlepper, Santa Claus. Against all odds Christmas came from dead last to miraculously take first place as my favorite holiday. Disney could make a movie about that sh!t…oh wait, they have.

But this was a weird Christmas. I’m 43, the age my mom was when she died and that fact took some of the sparkle out of the holiday. Perhaps due to this fact, my current family decided to do a serviceable impression of the dysfunctional family of my youth. They were probably trying to help me work through some stuff. It’s sweet really. Sweet like a bottle of Vics 44 with a rubbing alcohol chaser.

I love these people though they torture me so.

I love these people though they torture me so.

Picture Hubs watching a UFC match while we decorated the tree, complaining that we were blocking the fight, Riley ditching me at the city’s tree lighting ceremony to spend time with her friend’s family, Riley and Conor yelling at each other and slamming doors, Hubs complaining that I was trying to kill the whole family during a manic drive to look at Christmas lights (in his defense it did cross my mind). It was all so achingly nostalgic. And through it all I kept my teeth clamped together in a pained smile and trudged along, determined to make it a joyful holiday.

This child isn't related to me in any way but was kind enough to stand in for this photo depicting a joyous holiday occasion.

This child isn’t related to me in any way but was kind enough to stand in for this photo depicting a joyous holiday occasion.

And it was joyful at times. We had some good moments. Moments when I didn’t feel like Chevy Chase right after he received the certificate for the Jelly of the Month Club instead of his Christmas bonus in Christmas Vacation.

Sure most of my planned activities backfired, Hubs bought himself a midlife crisis motorcycle as if the audio book he received from me was insufficient and Riley lamented immediately that she didn’t get everything on her list which read like War and Peace (seriously, Santa would’ve had to rent a semi to deliver all of her requests). The important thing to remember is that we were all together, nobody got arrested or “voluntarily admitted” and we didn’t actually kill each other.

And one day all of the insanity will make for precious family memories. Like when I tried to explain to Riley why her friend wanted to hang out with her own family instead of us, even though Riley had no problem dropping us at a moment’s notice to spend time with them. I was trying to explain it in an upbeat I’m-too-cool-and-self-confident-to-mind kind of way with just a splash of guilt thrown in because I actually did mind when Riley responded in a stricken voice, “I didn’t realize that I didn’t like you” and then I nearly drove into oncoming traffic. We laughed about that later. Some of us more than others.

Don't patronize me.

Don’t patronize me.

See what I mean? Precious.

Anyway, I hope your holidays were also filled with precious memories or at least adequate Zoloft and I hope this new year is filled with more joy and less sensationalist tragedies.  May we all find a way to nourish our creativity and still get the laundry done.

Mazel tov!

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Photo Credits:

Dreamstime

Cheesecake Off Of Taylor Lautner’s Abs

True Confession:

I made a $12.50 contribution to the Twilight empire. I saw Breaking Dawn. In the theater. And now I’m outing myself.

Behold the shame

Behold: shame and an approaching weather system.

You might roll your eyes but sometimes a girl just wants to watch a Matrix-style fight scene with pretty people in paper snow, surrounded by CG werewolves. Much like a key lime cheesecake, it has no nutritional value, but is still delicious. Like Taylor Lautner’s abs. Or a key lime cheesecake eaten off Taylor Lautner’s abs.

Caution: those abs are wet. You will end up with soggy cheesecake.

Let’s not judge.

Frankly I found this movie thought-provoking. For instance, did you know that ancient vampires all learn perfect English? (Well you would if you’d stop wasting your time watching Oscar contenders.) Even the vampires deep in the Brazilian rain forest who still wear loin cloths take the time to enroll in their local ESL class, which is helpful when you have a giant vampire war. Let’s face it, delicate battle strategies can get lost in language barriers.

Imagine that you are lined up for battle with a bunch of other amber-eyed immortal hotties. Tension is mounting because a whole bunch of Italians are carrying a can of Sterno with your name on it. Italian vampires might behave like autistic drag queens but they’re vicious and connected.

Sheldon meets Liberace meets Vito Corleone.

You turn to the jungle vampire next to you and helpfully suggest, “Hey, fly through the air and rip the head off of that guy over there.”

Miss loin cloth, pointing in the opposite direction, says something ancient and rainforesty that you don’t understand because tribal-speak wasn’t even offered in your high school.

You roll your eyes. Where did they get this girl? Is she some sort of undocumented vampire who Matrix-jumped over the border? So you say (loudly and with extra enunciation),  “No. The. Guy. Over. There.”

Then she shakes her Amazonian flat-ironed hair with attitude and babbles something unintelligible with emphasis like she just insulted your mother, which is totally disrespectful because your mother died 200 years ago.

Meanwhile, the guy you were trying to get Miss Loin Cloth to kill flies through the air and rips your head off and now where are you? Stuck in eternal damnation, that’s where. And all because Miss Loin Cloth couldn’t even invest in a phrase book. I mean, do you have to do all of the work? You’ve been busy looking impossibly beautiful and drinking the blood of woodland animals with your equally beautiful immortal soul mate.

This Amazonian vampire is fresh from a stint on America’s Next Top Model and a Michael Jackson video.

Speaking of soul mates. I was watching the scene where KStew and RPat were lying in a field of flowers and KStew lifted the CG gauze that made up her mind shield so that RPat could watch a video montage of painful acting moments from the three previous Twilight films, which apparently demonstrated how KStew had loved RPat more than anyone had ever loved anyone else in the history of the world. RPat was enthralled and asked for another peak at her glorious awkwardness but KStew declined, saying, “We’ve got a really long time,” to which RPat replied, “Forever”  or “Eternity,” I forget which exactly because I was having not one but two epiphanies at the time and epiphanies screw with my short-term memory.

First of all, KStew’s video montage suggests that all of the painful acting moments in my past were actually signs of deep abiding love.  Will someone please alert my acting teachers? This is extremely encouraging news.  I think perhaps deep abiding love has caused all of my crappy writing as well.

And second, eternity is a long G.D. time. Holy prenups, Batman. Even ten years is a really long time when you don’t even take a nap to break up the monotony, but forever? Centuries of your soul mate not wiping the deer blood off of their expensive shoes before they track it through your magically clean, tastefully decorated home might have you eying your own can of Sterno. I think I’d have to have some sort of vampire open marriage because that’s just mind numbing craziness, but maybe matrimony is different when you sparkle. I wouldn’t know.

Alas, since this was the final installment of the Twilight extravaganza, I’m done with guilty pleasures for a while. Unless the latest James Bond film is still in theaters, because you know I love car chases and cool gadgets…and key lime cheesecake tastes just as delicious when eaten off of Daniel Craig’s abs.

Mmm, cheesecake.

Delicious. And this cheesecake is appropriately aged.

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Photo Credits

movies.about.com

Criterion.com

Wikia.com

HighlightHollywood.com

Jesus Wears Nike

Warning: This post contains confusing religious messages and delusions of grandeur.

I don’t want to make anyone feel inferior here, but sometimes God talks to me. I don’t actually hear his voice, which I imagine sounds just like James Earl Jones, but sometimes he sends me little messages, like a spiritual IM. I’ve noticed that I receive more messages after a Venti beverage, which may mean that these are just caffeinated delusions or maybe Starbucks is adding an extra squirt of Jesus in my cup. I’m not here to question. Sometimes those messages are clear, sometimes they’re confusing as hell and sometimes they freak me the f*ck out, but regardless,  I take them and shove them in my little bag of crazy to figure out later.

Take this morning, for instance, I decided to add to the world’s most pathetic Christmas display happening in our yard with a trip to the local hardware store, because nothing says “happy birthday, Jesus!” like an inflatable Santa and icicle lights.

I think Jesus kicked over our tinsel tree in disgust.

As I was driving, sipping on my Starbucks green tea, I heard Charlie Sheen’s response to the statement made by the kid from Two and a Half Men about the show being filth and forcing him to be an incredibly rich, conflicted 19-year-old telling bad jokes (I’m paraphrasing here, but you get the idea). Anyway, Charlie believes that the kid’s outburst is yet more proof that the show is cursed and he referenced the Heaven’s Gate cult (the cult where everybody committed suicide while wearing Nike tennis shoes) in his statement.

I love Charlie. He makes me feel so sane.

A tweaker, a Seventh Day Adventist and a closeted gay man walk into a bar…

Anyway, I get to the hardware store and on my way inside, this person emerges from a convertible Jaguar with a handicap placard, who was so disturbing that I violently averted my eyes and nearly veered right into the pole holding the handicap sign in front of the store.  In my defense, let me just say that I am absolutely unphased by most handicaps and disfigurements. Sadly, I’m not as adept at handling really bad plastic surgery. I’m not proud of my reaction. I tried to play off my tactlessness, hoping that the person would interpret my rudeness as confusion and joy at my hardware store arrival or a mini stroke.

I say “person” because at first I honestly wasn’t sure whether I was looking at a man or a woman or just a composite of a plastic surgeon’s patient files. Imagine if a wax statue of Donatella Versace melted into a wax statue of Mickey Rourke and then went hardware shopping. This person’s face was stretched and plumped and then generously spray tanned into a look I’ll call Timeless Alien. His (I checked for breasts, that’s how I know) hair was bleached white blonde on top and left dark on the bottom in a classic boy band style and he wore a red and black Nike warm up outfit as if he’d just emerged from rehearsals as Siegfried and Roy’s new stage partner. Given that this is LA, the land of celebrity, I did wonder if he actually was a celebrity like Siegfried or Roy or Melanie Griffith.

Anyway, he was very friendly, chatting up all of the women in the Christmas lights and ornaments aisle and I felt very badly about my reaction. Really I was so overcome with guilt that I could barely manage to grab the last inflatable Santa on sale. I did manage, but I want you to know that there was no joy in it.

Then it struck me. This was the second time that craziness and Nike had been combined in the past half hour. This was a message from God.

Messages are everywhere. Here we have a bedazzled @ss message.

But what was the message? Vanity is its own handicap? Appreciate what you have? Shop locally, age gracefully and watch out for chemical spills? Don’t smoke meth and then visit a plastic surgeon?

If I had another green tea, I’m sure that I would unravel this parable. Of course, I’d also stop blinking and then my heart would explode, so I’m going to hold off on enlightenment for now.

Instead, I thought I’d share the message with you on the off-chance that you were looking for a message from God and hadn’t had the time to make it to your local Starbucks or hardware store. Consider it an early Christmas gift. Ho ho ho.

Sorry I didn’t get you a card.

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nydailynews

antiquiet

A Tale Told By An Idiot, Full Of Sound And Fury, Signifying Nothing

I’ve been unmotivated lately to do anything but redecorate and eat comfort foods. No, I am not pregnant. You’d be able to hear Hubs’s shrieks as I beat him unmercifully with my pregnancy test if I were. The change of seasons does it to me. So Monday, my usual day to publish a blog post, I took the day off to sew pillows in honor of veterans, care for my ailing daughter and suffer through birthday cake/Halloween candy withdrawal (it looked like a scene from Trainspotting up in here.)

Dang, these guys miss chocolate almost as much as I do. This is a movie about sugar addiction, right?

I vowed to buckle down yesterday and write something of quality…and yet I didn’t. I just didn’t make time in my productive schedule. I did a great many things. I was very busy. Want to hear about it? No? Too bad, I’m going to tell you anyway. Here’s what I accomplished yesterday instead of writing:

  • Thought of three clever tweets.

  • Realized that I’d already tweeted one of my clever tweets the night before.

  • Checked WebMD for symptoms of early onset Alzheimer.

  • Watched my daughter stagger around dramatically, demonstrating how she was on her death bed and deserving of our sympathy.

    Yes, I am standing over her “death bed” to take a picture. I staged my own death scene when I was six so this is a very proud moment for me. I wish my mom had taken a picture but apparently she was busy cleaning up the “blood splatter”.

  • Enrolled her in acting classes.

  • Purchased one can of black beans and five packets of holiday foam shapes from the dollar bin at Target with an ancient gift card, because it was the day before pay day. In my family we traditionally ate beans and behaved in a destitute fashion the week before my father was paid. I still like to observe many of our poverty-born traditions, especially around the holidays.

  • Made an Advent calendar with purchased holiday foam shapes while watching episode after episode of various Disney Channel sitcoms. The Advent calendar is full of activities that my family can do together. I’m taking wagers as to how many activities we accomplish before Hubs is making irrational parental ultimatums, both kids are crying, and I abandon the whole idea.

    On the back of each shape is a precious family memory just waiting to be made. PRECIOUS! NOW STOP YELLING AT YOUR SISTER!

  • Checked repeatedly to see if my complexion had cleared after my one day off of candy and cake. Spoiler: It had not. Detox is a slow process.

  • Checked repeatedly on the remaining birthday cake to see if it was still there. It was.

  • Called Narconon and demanded to speak with Kirstie Ally.

    “Look honey, Narconon deals with cocaine and mother ships, not chocolate. Call me at my Jenny Craig number.”

     

  • Forgot my son at preschool until a teacher called me. By the time I arrived, he’d been made an employee and was working toward his pension. On the way to the car he asked me to forget him tomorrow too. Drove him home in a shroud of guilt.

  • Used the can of black beans purchased earlier to make a soup for my ailing daughter in near darkness (due to Hubs’s handiwork with our kitchen light fixture), while reminding myself that I do love my husband and should never ever ask him to perform household tasks that involve electrical wiring and/or breakable objects.

    Never ask a man who breaks down doors for a living to change a fluorescent light bulb. He punched it repeatedly but it still won’t work.

  • Made no less than four bonehead moves cooking said soup in near darkness, resulting in temporary blindness, a burn and a lot of extra mess.

  • Cleaned the kitchen, I think, hard to say in the dark.

  • Performed the bed time routine: reassemble beds, search for mysterious pee smell in bathroom, coerce, cajole, assist, read stories, kiss foreheads, drink beer.

Riveting, isn’t it? It all seemed way more interesting at the time than writing.

Photo Credits:

Wikipedia

IMDB

My iphone

To Overprotect and Serve

Cops can be a little overprotective of their loved ones. It’s not their fault really. They see all kinds of horrifying things and automatically overlay the faces of their loved ones on the faces of the victims. It’s human nature, like nose picking.

(Look, let’s not lie to each other and pretend that we don’t all occasionally mine the nasal cavity. I think we’re beyond that point in our relationship.)

Anyway, Hubs sees disturbing things. Then he thinks about my giant noggin and how much he wants to keep it safe. After all it holds the secrets to which medicines and snack foods each of our children gets. Then he comes home and puts unfair restrictions on me, like telling me that I can’t take the kids and drive around South Central Los Angeles so that I can accurately describe the smell of ghetto in my unpublished work of genius that will one day pay for the kids’ college. Now tell me, how will I ever finish my future best seller without an accurate description of the olfactory qualities of ghettotude? It’s almost like he doesn’t want the kids to go to college.

“It smells like drivebys and Colt 45, you patronizing bourgeois biznitch.” (image via JonathanRosenbaum)

Anyway, yesterday Hubs came home from a long day of collecting parole violators and saw me lying on the kitchen floor with our son’s train set and my smart phone, taking pictures from different angles in order to best capture the joy that the train set could bring to a child who had not suddenly decided to outgrow trains between putting said train set on his/her Christmas list and discovering it under the tree. This hypothetical child’s parents are probably combing Craig’s List in search of an affordable train set right this minute, because they can’t afford to purchase one from Toys”R”Us since they both lost their jobs at the coal mine. Are there coal mines in Southern California? Maybe they worked at the Cheesecake Factory. Either way, it’s heartbreaking.

I explained this to Hubs who promptly told me that he didn’t want me to use Craig’s List because serial killers and child predators cruise it to find unsuspecting housewives for their next victims. Hubs apparently didn’t fully grasp the selflessness of my intentions–that for a mere $20 (or best offer) I could bring joy to an underprivileged train lover and his/her economically burdened parents. Such selflessness transcends personal danger. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil…except boys named Damien who bear the mark of the beast, because I saw The Omen and there’s no way I’m selling a train set to a kid who is pure evil. That would be irresponsible.

“Mommy didn’t get me a train set so I threw her off the balcony.” (image via tvtropes.org)

I helpfully explained that I was avoiding the sociopaths on Craig’s List by omitting “sensual massage” from the product description of my ad. Hubs was not amused. I offered to include “toy comes from a non-smoking, gun-filled household.” Hubs didn’t find that comforting either.

I had no choice but to launch into the speech wherein I explain that I survived 30 years before meeting Hubs because I make extremely good decisions (except for occasionally in my teens and twenties, a fact that I don’t include in my speech because it doesn’t support my argument). I further explained that because I now tote around two dependents and am more burdened informed about the dangers lurking everywhere I am even more cautious and observant in my day to day dealings. Plus I just watched two Steven Seagal movies back to back that were filmed before Steven got fat and started exclusively wearing those Chinese jackets. I’m more in danger, statistically speaking, riding in the passenger seat of Hubs’s decrepit jeep while he practices his agro New England driving skills.

“Are you making fun of my size and fashion choices? I’m going to take off my beautiful jacket and kick your ass.” (image via wikipedia)

I deliver this speech periodically when Hubs starts to worry about the safety of my plans. It does nothing to waylay his concerns but I like to occasionally deliver the speech anyway because I enjoy hearing myself talk. I finally put Hubs at ease by promising not to let anyone come to the house without Hubs’s armed presence. Sometimes Hubs just wants he and his weapon to be included.

Honestly, it’s exhausting to be so well protected. It’s almost enough to make a girl want to shop the Walmart Black Friday super sale with an open fanny pack or go to a Burning Man festival in a Romney/Ryan t-shirt as a part of a midlife rebellion.

Just kidding. I mean it’s not like I have a death wish.

The Galloping Consumption

This is not a real post. Consider this an excused absence from my normal blog writing. i have what my father affectionately referred to as the Galloping Consumption, a term he applied to any respiratory illness that makes you doubt your will to live. Having spent six months in the hospital for tuberculosis, I consider him an expert in this area.

I’m in my second week of the Galloping Consumption. I haven’t been able to sleep, hold a conversation or even read a story to my children. Hubs is renting out my side of the bed and taking applications for a new wife and mother, should I finally blow a major blood vessel on my next coughing fit.  Meanwhile I entertain visions of myself in a cane-backed wheel chair with a lap blanket, being wheeled around by an attendant or lying supplicant on a velvet couch while Johnny Depp recreates Neverland in my sitting room. In my visions I cough with an English accent.

Now I wouldn’t publicly declare myself an optimist but I am prone to want to look at the bright side of a situation, so I can say that I’ve lost ten pounds, though most of it has been in muscle tone and breast tissue. I’m on the verge of obtaining the coveted lollipop figure that LA is known for. Rachel Zoe actually considered taking me as a client until she realized that there was movement in my forehead and declared me dead to her until I developed the good sense to paralyze my face with Botox.

However just between you and me, even a career as a geriatric super model isn’t enough to raise my spirits while I am coughing mercilessly through the night. I can be tough and resilient for short stretches but I grow impatient about hardship quickly and then I’m just irritable and nihilistic.

I’d be terrible at war. Sure I’d be focused and bad@ss for a couple of fire fights but then I’d grow weepy, start complaining about a lack of coffee breaks and finally I’d lie down in a fox hole and wait for enemy fire to claim me. They never would’ve made a mini series about my war-time heroics. So don’t hold out for Band of Brothers and One Sister. It ain’t coming.

Anyway, thank you for your patience. Normal posts will resume shortly.

A Plus Sized Uterus

I saw a new gynecologist this week. My last ob/gyn was fantastic, but not conveniently located and driving to her office felt like a cross-country trip. I found myself wanting to rent a motor home to drive to my appointments but motor homes are murder to drive through Hollywood and I was afraid that I’d run over homeless people. I’m against running over homeless people. Except for the one who threw up on my car at a stop light. He had it coming. Judging from the contents of his stomach at 9:00 am, the fact that he was wearing a parka in July and his crazy astronaut-style moonwalk, I was doing him a favor anyway.

Side note: I did not actually run over that homeless guy except in my mind and if you could see what else happens in my mind you would see that running over a homeless man is the least of my mental offenses.

“She is a complete nutbag and I know nutbags.” (image via dreamstime)

Anyway, my new ob/gyn is cool but I think we got off on the wrong foot. First of all, she asked me about any health concerns I might have and when I listed them she smiled and said, “welcome to your 40s.”

Evidently becoming 40 is the worst thing you can do for your health. Worse than eating bacon and cubes of butter for breakfast every day, which makes me feel a little foolish for eating oatmeal with chia seeds. But the fact that she was so cavalier about my geriatric health issues irked me. She didn’t even give me a card to soften the blow. Something like:

Welcome to your 40s. Sorry your body is turning on you, but at least you’re still alive.

I can’t really judge her about the card thing. I’m not really good about giving cards either and she’s a busy doctor. But an Amazon gift card would’ve been thoughtful. Just saying.

“My doctor threw me an enlarged prostate party!” (image via dreamstime)

Then she asked me about my job. I said I was a stay at home mom and a blogger. Again she smiled and asked what kind of blog.

“A humor blog,” I said.

“Good for you.” she replied.

Subtext: Another stay at home mom who writes a blog. Such a cliché. And a humor blog? That’s weird because she’s not that funny.

I might have been projecting there. It’s hard to have a dignified conversation with someone who has their head between your legs, which is why you never hear stimulating dialogue in porn. Still, I had to really fight the urge to add, and an astrophysicist just to make myself feel better. I did resist the urge, because it’s also not a good practice to lie to someone who has their head between your legs. Before and after they have their head between your legs is okay, but not during.

“A vagina never lies.” (image via dreamstime)

Just because I run over vomiting homeless people in my mind doesn’t mean that I don’t have moral standards.

Then the doctor mentioned that my uterus was large and I got all up in her grill.

Large? Large as in slightly chubby and cute like the babies it developed? Or large as in call Richard Simmons because this uterus is morbidly obese and house bound? Am I going to have to buy a second seat on an airplane for my uterus? Are people going to judge it for its size instead of getting to know its personality? Because my uterus is so much more than just a dress size. Why is it that having large breasts is a good thing but having a large uterus garners you criticism? I bet there are cultures where a large uterus is desirable. If Hollywood didn’t set up impossible standards by constantly showing anorexic uteri I bet we wouldn’t even be judging the size of my uterus. Why do we as a society castigate uteri for being different than the norm? My uterus is big and beautiful and I refuse to be ashamed of it!

I didn’t actually say those things but I thought them. Loudly. I was totally about to declare the inherent beauty of my large uterus out loud, but then she said, “You probably have fibroids.”

“Oh.”

So I put my underwear back on and took my large, fibrous, forty-something year old uterus home, fed it a cupcake and looked at the stuff on Amazon I’d buy if I had a gift card. Later on I dressed up as a super hero and went to a screening of The Avengers. I bet Scarlett Johansson has a big uterus.

“I do have a large uterus and men love it.” (image via dreamstime)