Summer Lessons For An Absentee Blogger

Hey all!

Look, I know I’ve been away a long time, so I’m not just going to stroll in here all blase and pretend that nothing has happened and everything is fine between us. I don’t want to insult your intelligence. But summer was rough. The kids were on me like fleas every second for a snack or to validate their latest Lego creation. As soon as they heard the keyboard tapping they’d descend. The pressure was incredible.

It had been my plan to send the kids to camp so that I might have a minute or two of productivity, but Hubs and I had a minor bank account fiasco wherein all of our money mysteriously disappeared. We were both baffled as to how this would happen. Coincidentally this occurred right around the same time that Hubs’s jeep was miraculously cured of many of its major ailments. Weird.

At any rate, I had to sacrifice any dreams of childless alone time. These things happen, so I decided to abandon all productivity and commit myself to fully enjoying the summer with my children. After all, time is fleeting and they won’t be this small forever. Sometimes you just have to grit your teeth, hide the knives and treasure those little buggers.

You can't hear the kids complaining about the mind numbing amount of pictures Hubs takes but after this Hubs stopped talking to any of us.

Here we are treasuring each other on the highway. Note: Hubs stopped talking to all of us immediately after this picture was taken.

I learned some things in the process–about myself, about life. I’m a better person for it, albeit a better person who desperately needs a hair appointment. For instance:

  • It is physically impossible for me to treasure my children day after day, 24 hours a day without a steady flow of caffeine. Before the summer I had weaned myself off the stuff for health reasons but mid summer I had to weigh the importance of a steady heartbeat against the safety of my prodigies. Heartbeats are overrated.
  • Five year old boys are physically incapable of being quiet. There is a reason that there was never a book called The Diary of Arnie Frank. It would have lasted two pages and then Arnie would have forgotten about the Nazis and gone running down the hall singing at the top of his lungs while beating on a bucket. End of story. Girls know how to tiptoe and use their indoor voices. You could wrap a boy in foam and he would still find a way to shake the walls. It’s what they do.

Note: I sincerely apologize for using the Jewish holocaust with such flippancy. You’d think I was a twenty-something pop sensation.

"By 'mental exhaustion' you mean rehab, right?"

“At least I don’t Twerk.”

  • The more you do with your children, the more they want to do. I can’t emphasize this enough: the key to your child’s happiness is lowered expectations. Providing them with gifts and stimulating activities only gives them unrealistic expectations for the future. Have you ever seen videos of children in third world countries receiving shoes for the first time? They are incredibly happy. My daughter has multiple shoes that she won’t even wear because they aren’t meeting her aesthetic expectations. And for every visit to the trampoline park this summer, I had to listen to ninety additional minutes of “what are we doing that’s exciting today?” and “I want to do something fun,” spoken in a whine and repeated ad nauseam. You know what’s fun? Not working in a sweatshop fifteen hours a day. You’re welcome.
  • The housing market is so filled with foreign investors equipped with psychic premonition and large quantities of cash that a cop and a stay at home mom can’t afford to purchase any single family home this side of Detroit. It’s remarkable really and further proof that House Hunters is a complete sham. I mean come on, a graduate student and an entry-level marketing coordinator are able to buy a beautiful craftsman style home that isn’t tagged with gang graffiti? That’s a fairytale. You want the real story? Follow us as we look at condemned homes filled with garbage and frightened animals, priced just beyond our range.
  • Inability to purchase aside, there is nothing my kids love better (with the exception of an overcrowded theme park) than freely snooping through other people’s homes. Open houses became one of our favorite free activities this summer. If summer had gone on any longer we would probably resort to breaking and entering.
  • The only family vacation we can enjoy without having to sedate Hubs is camping. He is completely relaxed when separated from society and surrounded by dirt, trees and creatures that might carry the Bubonic plague. They are making the ground harder than they used to, which was tough on my delicate frame and after two days of roughing it, my all natural, aluminum free deodorant cashed it in and left me to scare off the bears with my b.o., but other than that, camping was awesome.

Anyway, it’s good to be back. I’ll try not to stay away as long next time.

This picture was taken right after Conor tried to slip under the bar and plummet to his death. Good times.

This picture was taken right after Conor tried to slip under the bar and plummet to his death. You can tell that I’m still mid heart attack.

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Underpriviledged Teenage Cougars Vying For A Place In Society

Once again the news has caught my attention, Reno news to be exact. Reno isn’t just Las Vegas’s ugly cousin. Many interesting things happen there. It’s a hub of excitement. And also a hub of martinis and video poker.

And juvenile delinquent mountain lions.

Evidently an underage mountain lion was caught trying to slip into the Harrah’s casino in downtown Reno before the breakfast rush last Friday morning. Scandalous. Especially since Harrah’s doesn’t have a breakfast buffet and Peg’s is really where you want to go for a quality breakfast. It’s a Reno institution. Duh. Somebody needs to tell that cougar about Yelp.

A cougar’s eye view of the downtown Peg’s. (image via Yelp & Zack M.)

Then again maybe the mountain lion went to Harrah’s for the Beer Pong Tournament and a show. Master hypnotist Tyzen was appearing in a “suggestive adult revue,” which is a subtle way of saying that he was surrounded by girls with naked ta-tas. That seems like the type of thing an underage mountain lion would appreciate. Naked ta-tas look just like a breakfast buffet.

This guy Tyzen wears as much eyeliner as Criss Angel, has a cool Justin Beiber comb-over and does improv comedy to loud rock music. He also makes people bark like a dog which has got to be pretty hilarious for a wild cat fresh from the Beer Pong Tournament.

Is he trying to grab my naked ta-tas? It worries me. Someone should tell him I’m married and my husband is armed. (image via Tyzen.com)

Alas, the approximately two-years old, 100 pound cat will never know Tyzen’s genius, because when it tried to walk into the casino it couldn’t negotiate the revolving door, which may be a sign that it was already drinking and would also explain why it didn’t understand the absence of a buffet.

Someone needs to track down who’s been serving underage mountain lions. That’s how Drew Barrymore got into trouble and aside from making Poison Ivy, she was relatively harmless. A mountain lion is not. Ask any chihuahua.

After failing to enter the revolving door, the cougar hid under an outdoor stage in a nearby plaza. I would guess that he was trying to drunk-dial an old girlfriend or eat Paris Hilton’s dog, Tinkerbell, which, though technically a mercy killing, is still disturbing.

“Help me. I taste like chicken and designer fabric.” (image via veanimals.com)

Authorities tranquilized the mountain lion and released it into the wild after tagging it for participation in a University of Nevada, Reno study. They didn’t mention the nature of the study. Maybe they’re checking on the effects of revolving doors on mountain lion self-esteem. Not that they need a whole study on that. The answer is obvious. Would you feel good about yourself if you couldn’t make it through a revolving door and then ended up passed out on the local news? Me neither.

Teenage mountain lions suffer from low self-esteem. (image via RPD)

Nevada Department of Wildlife Spokesman, Chris Healy, called the young male cat’s behavior “almost the equivalent of being a stupid teenager,” which I think is a little harsh. Let’s be honest here, if this cat were really a stupid teenager, he would have hot-wired a car and took it for a joy ride or peed off a tall building. At the very least he would have tried to play a game of craps with a fake ID and score free drinks from a roving cocktail waitress. Mr. Healy has evidently never seen a Hollywood teenager in action. When that cougar has a sex tape and has rolled its car on Mulholland Drive, give me a call.

Seriously though, this story brings up some pertinent issues, especially because this is an election year and the state of America’s youth is at the forefront of our candidates’ campaigns, right behind the economy and foreign policy and oil and religion and gay marriage and hurricanes and female reproductive organs…well it’s in there somewhere. Perhaps the importance is more implied than actually discussed.

Regardless, instead of pointing fingers and slinging insults we should be focused on creating constructive activities for these animals, so that they don’t waste their time hanging out in casinos. Or maybe we need more revolving doors in the wild. Or more job opportunities. Or better education. Or lower taxes for felines. Or smaller government for bigger cats…

I’m just brain storming here.

I certainly don’t claim to have all of the answers. But this mountain lion is an American and it deserves a future. An American future. For Americans. Who are cats.

(image via dreamstime)