Friday, July 29, 2011

Trip, Trip, Tripping Down to the Beach OR On Entertaining Your Only Child on Your Mini-Vacation OR Entertaining Yourself on Your Mini-Vacation - Part I

We went to the beach.  HIM had business.  (HIM gets to go very interesting places like Hawaii and Italy and Monterrey, CA, so I suppose I should be suspicious.  But that takes too much effort.)  We tagged along.  On the three hour trip to the beach locale, all went well until the last hour, whereupon Cressy, our 7 year old daughter began to tell knock-knock jokes.  Then some more knock-knock jokes.  Then some more knock-knock jokes.  (I can clearly remember the first time Cressy told a joke.  She came home from pre-school and she was so excited.  "Mom," she said animatedly.  "I heard a joke today."  I was like, "Okay."  She was all atwitter.  (That's a fancy word for ants in her pants.)  She couldn't wait to tell the joke.  It was going to be the best joke in the solar system, no the universe.  She was going to tell me the funniest joke ever.  She looked at me seriously, trying to keep her face straight, and she said, "Why...did the chicken cross the road?"  I believe I had to bite my lip in response.  "Why," I said neutrally, "did the chicken cross the road?"  And then Cressy blasted out the answer, as if the reason was the most important thing she had ever said, "TOGETTOTHEOTHERSIDE!!"  Then she cracked up, and laughed until she turned blue.  Mothers will understand that we have two responses.  We can laugh uproariously and pretend that this is the funniest thing ever spoken.  Or we can say politely, "Haha, I've heard it before."  But I didn't want to ruin her joke, so I laughed.  I wish I'd gotten the joke on digital so I could show it to her first prom date.)
But back to the trip, Cressy would say, "Knock-knock."  I would say, "Who's there?  Please let it be peace and quiet."  Cressy would say, "Huh?  No, it's a watermelon, Mommy.  What joke were you thinking of, dumbass?"  (No, wait, that last part was just me.)  I think my brain shut down about thirty miles from our destination.  It seems to be a blur.  Either that or I was able to spike my iced tea with something alcoholic.

ANYWAY!  We arrived and immediately sucked up the fancy, schmancy hotel room.  (They had a robe in the closet with a monogram.  The robe had the monogram, not the closet.  But maybe the closet should have had a monogram.)  Cressy looked in every drawer and fingered all the towels and said, "Look, Mommy, little soaps."  Apparently, she did not know that soap came in miniature form.  We admired the view of the port from the 17th floor window.  I admired the view from about five feet away from the window as I seem to be somewhat bothered by looking straight down out of a tall, tall, tall, tall window.  (The glass does not seem strong enough to hold back a Fat Woman, if you ask me and let's just say, I'm going to err on the side of the safety of the Fat Woman.)

So we threw HIM out the door at his place of business and went to the beach.  We had a beach blanket, a beach umbrella, sun block, and all the accouterments.  We were ready for sun and surf.

I made the mistake of using the GPS again.  (You would think that based on the last time I used it I would have known better.)  It was supposed to be about 28 miles to the beach.  It got to be about 40 miles before I said, "This is getting ridiculous."  I saw some water on the GPS and headed off the beaten track to find it.  Hallelujah.  We found the ocean.  It was bigger than a breadbox and wet.  I.e., it had to be the ocean.  Also there were signs that said, 'Ocean this way.'  I took them at their word.  Fortunately we found a park that was right on the beach.  And since it was a Wednesday morning, it was pretty empty.  Yea!

After toting everything out to the beach, we set up.  (It wasn't exactly an equatable arrangement.  I think one of us might have been carrying more than the other.)
I looked at my cell phone map and discovered that we had managed to get to the ocean, but it was about thirty miles away from where we were supposed to be going.  (Damn, #$%^@!! GPS.)  But hey, it might get us back to the hotel.  In any case, we enjoyed the beach and I only got mildly fried...on my forehead.  Hey, I put the super duper sunblock on, but it was less than effective when I was sweating from carrying everything.
Our little angel.  Does she look like she
toted 50 pounds of beach crap from
the car?  No, she does not.  I'm getting
a burro for the beach next time.
There was sand castle making, body surfing, sea gull chasing, and much sand-in-the-pants-having-despite-the-fact-that-my-butt-never-actually-made-contact-with-the-beach.  Oh, the memories.  After dragging everything back to the car we went to get lunch, shower all the sand off, and pick up HIM from work.  Magically, the GPS worked on the reverse trip.  (Especially when I didn't make assumptions about it's directions.)
HIM and Cressy enjoying the pool.  I was
recuperating from too much sand and surf.

Cressy, apparently not having enough of water, wanted to go to the hotel pool.  (Can you believe this is an indoor pool on the third floor of the hotel.  I'm never staying in the second floor of this place.)

They also have a hot tub, which I'm now going to talk about.  (I guess it's not really a hot tub, but more like a spa/jacuzzi thing.)  Why?  Because HIM and Cressy were going back and forth from the pool to the hot tub.  (The hot tub was hot and also it had bubbles.  Nuff said.)  And HIM discovered a $20 bill inside the hot tub.  Here's a picture of the hot tub/spa/whatever you want to call it.

The site of the $20 discovery.
Personally, when HIM related the story about the discovery of the $20 bill, I went kind of like, "Eww," because I can't imagine why a $20 bill would be floating around
a hot tub, with a solitary exception that makes me want to go wash my hands with antibacterial soap.  Then it made me want to demand that HIM and Cressy go wash their entire bodies off with
antibacterial soap and possibly bleach too.  This is a nice hotel but come on.  How many reasons are there to have a $20 dollar bill in the hotel's spa/jacuzzi thing?  I mean, eww to the triple 'E,' uwww.

(Just for emphasis.)

Well, hey, let's examine the possibilities.  A man was in the jacuzzi minding his own business when suddenly nuns from Central America came by collecting for dyslectic lepers with lazy eyes.  So he whipped out...his wallet.  Right.  Wallet.  Then he gave the nun some cash and one twenty accidentally dropped into the jacuzzi.

There ya go.  A perfectly respectable explanation that doesn't involve anything dirty.
The twenty.  It looks well used,
doesn't it?

Okay.  Another one.  Someone was innocently while enjoying the luxurious comfort of bubbles from the hotel's jacuzzi.  The person suddenly filled an inside straight, king high, and the pot was up to $250 and thirty-three cents.  He leaped up in ecstatic joy and bills and coins went flying everywhere.  Everyone valiantly collected his winnings but one $20 got caught in the whirlpool's suction and stayed there until HIM came along and found it.  (Hmm.  I wonder what other things the hotel's pool cleaning staff finds in the jacuzzi.  Cure to cancer, map coordinates to the nearest inhabited planet out of our solar system, a rare twenty dollar, Confederate gold piece.  The possibilities are endless.)

Okay, I've got to give it another shot.  There was a lovely young couple innocently minding their puritanical business whilst bathing in the jacuzzi.  (They had very prudish bathing attire on and might have been quoting from the bible at the time.)  Suddenly, ninja vampire zombies popped into the room.  They said, "We want your wife for lurid reasons!"  The man said, "Never!"  He leaped from the jacuzzi and turned on the bubbles to high.  The ninja vampire zombies screamed, "NOT the bubbles!  Anything but the bubbles!"  The man laughed cynically and said, "We'll take your money, too."  The ninja vampire zombies threw their money at the couple and fled in terror.  And one of the twenties got left behind.  (Perfectly innocently but very cheesy and silly.)
See how this hotel decorated their hallways?
Strange things HAVE to happen in
any hotel that uses these kinds of rugs
in their hallways.
And this is where I have gone from merely plainly silly to controversially silly.  So tune in at the same Bat time on the same Bat Channel for PART II - How Fat Woman Conquered the Ninja Vampire Zombies and Became Their Queen.  Or maybe something like that.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Rats! No, Really, RATS! OR How I Will Always Hold it Against Our Pest Control Guy!

One day I looked out into our backyard and there in the bird feeder was a little rodent.  It wasn't a big rodent, but it didn't exactly look like a mouse.  So I took a picture of it.  I emailed it to my relatives and my husband and then got this response from my brother-in-law: "You've got a rat feeder, not a bird feeder."  (Right hand to God, I had never seen a rat before that moment.)
This isn't the actual picture of the rat in the bird feeder.
You can tell because that's actually the ground and
not a bird feeder.  Also, upon reflection, it looks like
it's tail is bigger than I recall the rat's being.  But
this is for reference.  Plus later I might add captions for
hilarity's sake.
Our neighbor, the police officer, related this rat-related story: "I knocked over the pile of wood that was at the back fence since before I moved in and a shitload of rats exploded out and went in all directions."  Apparently, some of the directions that the rats took were in our house's direction.  It was a directional decision of immense import.

Therefore I called our pest control guy.  His name was Brent.  Brent said, "Don't worry.  Rats will never go into a house where there are cats."  We had two cats at the time.  Our two dumbass Siamese cats who would have looked at a rat and said, "How do you use a can opener on it?" or possibly, "Does it taste like tuna?"  But back to Brent's statement of immortal proportion.  This bears repeating.  This is very important to me because I remembered it verbatim:
"Don't worry.  Rats will never go into a house where there are cats."
This is not true.  Brent was wrong.  Not only was he wrong.  But he was horribly, awfully, craptacularly wrong.  Rats WILL go into a house where there are cats.  They WILL laugh their little ratty asses off at the cats.  They WILL laugh their little ratty asses off at you, too, for listening to the pest control guy's asinine words.

So the rats came into our attic, via a path that I do not know about.  We would be sitting around and hear a little clangity clang clang and I would look up.  Then I would look around and the two dumbass cats would be sitting on the floor nearby, looking up at the ceiling.  (Their conversation: Booboo: "What the hell was that?"  Buggy: "I don't know but it's in the ceiling."  Booboo: "Should we do anything about it?"  Buggy: "Is it something we can eat?"  Booboo: "I don't want to miss my nap."  Buggy: "The hell with it, let's both go take a nap.")  That particular house didn't have much of an attic but it was enough of an attic for the wayward rats.  There was a ventilation system in the attic made out of aluminum and the rats used the duct work it like their own personal superhighway.  Whoo-hoo.

Accordingly, I called Brent again, who reneged on his previous statement.  I believe he pretended that he had never said it.  (Although he had, in fact, said it, and said it in such a manner, that I will remember it in perpetuity.  I'm repeating it because I want to make certain that no one who reads this blog ever forgets it.  "Rats will never go into a house where there are cats."  As a matter of fact, when I called Brent on the aforementioned statement, his response was, "Well, they didn't go into your house, they went into your attic."  In Brent's world, apparently an individuals attic is NOT part of your house.  Silly me.  It also made me want to respond thusly, "Well, do you know how many pest control services there are in the greater metropolitan area who do know that rats WILL go into a house with cats in it?" but I restrained myself.)

Another conversation ensued.  There was something in the attic.  I did not see it but it clattered about on the aluminum ducts like reindeer on the roof at Christmas.  (I think they were having a party up there and I wasn't invited.  The little pipsqueaks.)  Brent said, "It's probably not rats.  It's probably squirrels."  (You see, if it was squirrels and not rats, then he would be right.  And I would be wrong.)  His solution: he clambered into the minuscule attic access door and spread fox urine around the attic.  He said, "This will scare the squirrels away because they don't like foxes."  Or apparently fox pee.  (I know the next time I have a conversation with a squirrel I will be sure and ask it how it feels about fox pee.  Just for future clarification, you understand.)

I should have said something then, but I went with it.  (I should have asked how rats feel about fox pee, but I didn't think of it...then.)

A few weeks went by.  There was regular continuance of clangity clang clang down the aluminum superhighway.  There was clunkity clunk clunk down the vent.  There was scratch, scratch, scratch.  There was no obvious effect of the fox's urine on the johnny-come-lately occupants of our attic.  The cats were all like, "Yo, distributor of food, there's something in the attic."  I was like, "Yes, I know."

Then I started having dreams about rats chewing their way through the ceiling above my bed and kamikazing me in the middle of the night.  (This is sort of like the bug on the ceiling blog but bigger and rattier.  I might have seen something on the History Channel about the black plague.)  So I called our handy dandy pest control guy again.

We had another conversation.  It was illuminating.  Brent said he could put poison in the attic and it would kill the rats, but...but...but...decomposing rat bodies in the middle of summer have a certain eau de stinky.  (Fox pee smell = okay but musky.  Rotting rodent corpses = yucky.)

But Brent had another solution.  He would put a trap in the attic.  It was a sticky trap on a board.  The animals would stick to the board and be trapped.  He could capture them and then humanely dispose of them later.  (I totally respect rats' rights to life, but I would respect them more if they chose not to live in my attic.)  He put the board just beside the attic access and went on his merry, no-flipping-rats-where-a-cats-live-delusional way.

Incidentally, that was the night that HIM was away on business.  I set the security alarm and went to bed.  (This was pre-Cressy.)  About midnight, the alarm went off.  Sirens blared.  Lights blinked.  Every neighbor on the cul-de-saq came out to see who was being murdered.  Although I didn't pee in my nighties, I did hear a massive thumping and caterwauling from the front of the house.  The phone rang.  It was the security company.  They said, "We show that your front door alarm has been tripped.  Are you all right?"  I said, "I'm all right, but I hear noises."  They said, "We've called the police."  I said, "Great.  They can deal with the noises."  I bravely cowered in the bedroom, waiting for rescue.  It's my personal belief that my stalwart pets had fled to outer Mongolia for the duration of the event.

Fearlessly, I peeked around the hallway door and saw that the front door was not only NOT broken in, but it was closed and locked.  The sirens continued to blare.  I told the security company, "The front door is not broken in.  In fact, it's still locked and closed."  They said, "But your alarm shows that the front door has been breached."  I walked closer holding the portable phone like a club.  There was still a massive thumping and screeching sound.  But the front door was well and firmly closed, locked, and secured.  The sound wasn't coming from the front door but from the closet next to the front door.  And it wasn't inside the closet, it was inside the attic access door in the ceiling inside the closet.

You see, it was the RATS WHO WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO COME INSIDE A HOUSE WITH CATS ALREADY IN IT!  (I think you might have suspected already.)

A rat had found the sticky board, become trapped on it, and was battling valiantly to free itself.  (YES, it was a rat.  Not a @#$%!! squirrel.  Bleep, bleeping, bleepity pest control guy.)  Consequently, it had banged the board around so much that it had disconnected the alarm wires to the front door, causing, voila, the alarm to go off.

After turning the alarm off, giving the security company the password, and apologizing profusely to all of the neighbors, including the police officer from next door with the original wood pile rat-a-ganza, I was able to return to the scene of the crime.

The cats cautiously stuck their heads out of the bedroom door.  (Their conversation: Booboo: "Is it safe?"  Buggy: "I'm not going out there.  She's got a butcher knife."  Booboo: "I think I'll throw up on the floor right here."  Buggy: "Great.  I'm going to shred her favorite sweater."  Booboo: "Let's roll.  Ralph!")
And I have slammed my sister's cat, Mellow, once again.
Boo-yah!  Skidoosh!
The rat, who had struggled so gallantly and courageously, had escaped his tacky snare of doom.  I'm pretty sure he was really, really, really pissed off.

Friday, July 22, 2011

When I Die...OR Let's Have a PARTY!

I'm not sure why I was thinking about it.  Well, heck, death happens.  I hope not for awhile.  (HIM, the man to whom I'm married, doesn't like me to bring it up.  But, hon, let's face the facts, folks do die.)  Poopoo happens.  We pay taxes.  Death happens.  How can I not compare the twain?  (Do I need to look up the word, 'twain'?  But I'm not going to do it.)

So my sister wants the Viking funeral pyre on the longboat.  (She doesn't know it, but she's going to get it, if I have anything to do with it.  I may have to spend the rest of the funeral in jail, but I'm going to launch that boat with her on it and it's going to be weenie roasting time.)  (You do realize that I'm speaking of the point in time AFTER she dies, and hopefully a long, long time from now of natural causes or possibly in an exciting manner that will have her hailed in the annals of time as the woman who did...that, that thing that everyone will remember FOREVER.  Either way.)
Fat Woman at a Viking Funeral.  It's possible
that I should be throwing the torch from
OUTSIDE of the boat.  Oh, but hey, I might as well
have the Viking Funeral AND the death defying stunt
at the same time.  It'll be fun.  I think my health
insurance covers third degree burns.
Of course, thinking about Viking funerals made me google it.  And OMG, there seems to be a significant number of people who are engrossed in the idea.  Apparently, most states don't think fondly of having a Viking funeral in their arenas.  The squawk is that Minnesota will allow it but I'm thinking that's not really an official statement of fact.  It's my opinion that the land of 10,000 lakes doesn't really want 10,000 burning corpses floating atop 10,000 flaming viking longboats in their 10,000 lakes.  (Minnesota: the Land of Cremating Corpses in Viking Longboats.  If you've got to go, go big!  This is a little long for their license plate motto, but I say WTH?)  (And here I am, picking on poor Minnesota.  It's just something I read on the Internet and I'm finding a hard time documenting it.  Furthermore, I'm loathe to call up the government in Minnesota and ask them.  "Excuse me, but I'm an obscure writer who wants to know if you allow Viking funerals in your state?  Hey, why did they hang up?"  I'd end up with a visit from my local law enforcement official about my funky-ass phone calls to Minnesota.  Jesse Ventura, call me!  I have to know if Minnesota is pro or con on Viking funerals.)

However, I did find this link: Crestone End of Life Project.  I quote, "Crestone End of Life Project operates one of the only legal, open-air cremation sites in the state of Colorado."  There ya go.  It's not a Viking longboat, but it's open air.  And it looks like Stonehenge.  (Except for the white plastic chair on the side and I'm pretty sure I would be wearing a particulate safety mask with ventilator.  "Gee, I liked George a lot, but I don't want pieces of flaming, cremated George in my lungs."  But that's just me.)

These people don't seem to be crying and wailing much.
Is it just me or maybe they didn't really like
the person who's getting the torch treatment?  Possibly
they're unhappy that the cremation didn't
come with pre-sharpened sticks and marshmallows.
You see, even in this economy, someone had a light bulb appear above their head, and said brightly, "Folks want their corpses burned up.  We should start a business.  What state is loose enough with regulations to let us rip?"  (Hey, Minnesota missed the boat!  Bad pun!  Bad pun!  Bad pun!  This is what my family calls a groaner, and that's not in a good way.)

And look, even long-in-the-tooth actors want the Viking funeral.  Jeff Conaway, who costarred in Grease, way back when, did a little time on Taxi, and then meandered through godawful 'b' movies and half-rated television series until he died earlier this year.  Well, very recently and very creepily he had an interview and said he wanted a Viking funeral.  Jeff Conaway on the Viking Funeral.  This is really weird because he died shortly after that.  (Complications of pneumonia and stuff.  Not because he incinerated himself in a wooden vessel whilst floating on a local body of water.  Hey, who wants to start an urban legend?  Like Mikie from the television commercial eating Pop Rocks and drinking cola at the same time?  Or like Walt Disney being cryogenetically frozen?  I remember my 7th grade teacher was adamant about Walt.  And she had a college degree, allegedly.)  Reputedly Jeff was cremated but in a non-Viking funeral manner.  Too bad.  If a Hollywood star can't get it, then who can?

When I die...I want a party.

No, a party!

No, A PARTY!!!!

I want a wake, except I'm not, nor have I ever been, Irish.  I want people to come and get a shot of an alcoholic drink they've never had before.  I want people to try exotic drinks.  I want everyone to play a song with kazoos.  I want everyone to sing and dance and get rowdy.  I want the police to be called at least three times.  I want to reserve a cab driver for the night to drive people to their homes and hotels because they can't even find their keys much less drive anywhere.  I want exotic food served.  And possibly Chippendale's dancers to perform.  (Hmm.  I can see that I'm going to have to put a little money aside for this event.  Possibly I can use Cressy's college fund.  Nahhh.)

Let's be clear here.  1).  I shall be cremated.  No embalming.  No fancy casket.  Get the cheap one.  Then burn me up.  Don't burn up the good jewelry.  I want to wear full make-up.  I want purple sparkly nail polish on my toes.  I want platinum hair and all poofy.  I want a little beauty mark like Madonna has.  Make the mortician put a smile on my face even if he has to use toothpicks, super glue, and titanium staples.  Hell, put a bottle of Amaretto in there for the heck of it.  Then go ahead and cremate me.

2).  The cremains (I didn't make up that word.  It means cremated remains.  I think I heard it on Six Feet Under.) shall be interred in a large jar.  (Not a glass one.)  Oh, what the snoogybot, I included some examples:
I'm thinking the one that needs the least amount of maintenance.
I mean I want my cremains to look good, but I don't want a lot
of fuss.  Hey, I might know.
3.)  Party guests have to affect a new, silly name for the duration of the evening.  I have examples.  (Your gangsta name: Combine your favorite ice cream flavor with your favorite cookie.  I'm Minty Chocolate Chip Brownie Deluxe.  Word.  Your soap opera name: Combine your middle name with the city you were born in.  That would be Lee Baltimore.  Sounds completely soapy.  Your superhero name.  Combine "The" with your second favorite color and your favorite drink.  And OMG, it's The Purple Singapore Sling.  That's just wrongity wrong.  (I'm going to have to remember that one.)  Or finally, there's  your prostitute name.  Combine the name of your first pet with the name of the first street you remember living on.  Not a number.  That would be Popi Date.  Hahaha.  It's so twisted.)

4.)  Party guests must wear a pirate ensemble.  Also acceptable, viking ensembles, vampire ensembles, and steampunk ensembles.  No Richard Nixons or fluffy animals allowed unless it is clearly represented as a zombie Tricky Dick or a zombie animal.  All zombies welcome.
Well, they won't have Nixon to kick to speak.
5.)  Weird drinks will be served.  All guests are required to imbibe one drink that they have never drank before.  Gorilla snot is made from Baileys and cream sherry.  It's completely grossbuckets.  A TKO is tequila, Kahlua, and ouzo, which pretty much makes my stomach turn over right here and now.  A Freddy Fudpucker is tequila, orange juice and Galliano.  Goosebumps is vodka, blueberry schnapps, and peach schnapps.  I'm getting a hangover writing about this.  Plus I found some funky beers:
Fire in the Hole Chili Beer.  Gahh!
Does this taste better with pizza?
6.)  No crying will be allowed.  Just happy thoughts.  I'm generally a pretty happy person and I'd be much happier knowing that people would toast my memory and then giggle about that weird thing I did in the 80s.  (I always meant to take that VW Jetta hubcap back.  Sorry to the VW Jetta owner in Frankfurt, Germany!  We had way too much to drink and strange thoughts went through our brains.)

7.)  The police shall be called no less than three times by neighbors living three blocks away.  Otherwise, they would have been invited.  Then the police shall be invited to the party.  This shall be followed by the inviting of the fire department, the VFW, and the entire cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, if they're still alive and able to party.

8.) At the break of dawn, multicolored kazoos will be issued to the guests and AC/DC's 'Back in Black' shall be kazooed with gusto and flair.  (I really like AC/DC.  It's better than taps and who wants to hear 'Wind Beneath My Wings'...again?)

9.)  All those who are still conscious can be escorted home via taxi.  Everyone else will be recorded via Android and their drunken, unconscious, probably-posed-in-a-silly-fashion pictures posted on my website for posterity.

That's a party

In conclusion.  I want to die and then have a party.  Maybe I should have a party and then die.  That would work too. (Cressy may attend as a zombie but she can't drink unless she's twenty-one years old and every man there previously agrees not to hit on her.  I can be a mother from beyond the grave, or in my case, beyond the mantle.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hmm. What the Bleep Shall I Write About Today? OR On Taking My Only Child Shopping

Oh, the topics.  Oh, the things that have happened that I feel compelled to discuss.  Oh, the fact that I feel compelled to use the word 'compelled' over and over and over again.  Compelllllllllllllllled.

Usually what I want to write about is what happened recently.  So recently someone (my daughter, Cressy, age 7) wanted to spend her allowance at...(dah-dah-dahhhhhhh) Build-A-Bear.  For those of you without children, this is a place where a child picks out a plush animal skin (plush animal = not real) and then proceeds to stuff it, and then dress in it in appropriate accouterments.  Then one hands over their entire savings to the clerk in exchange for the privilege of taking one of these genuine Taiwanese beauties home.  (Bet most of you don't know what movie I stole that from.  HIM doesn't count.)  (Hahaha.  HIM couldn't remember what movie it came from.  I love being a movie buff.)

And furthermore, for those of you without children, one can have parties here.  One can have funness and delight overwhelming here.  It spooges with the essence of funnocity.  (I may be making up words galore here.  Me and George W. Bush.  We're simpactico.  He liked to presideniate.  I like to wordiate.  Yeah.)  One prances into Build-A-Bear and begins giggling immediately.  (It's their atmosphere, I believe, or possibly a strange gas that they pump into the air there.  Not really their gas.  That might have been the broccoli I ate earlier.)

So Build-A-Bear before I veer drastically off course again.  Cressy picked out a ice cream themed bear.  (Big surprise.)  If you're a really savvy parent you can get the child to buy a cheaper bear and then skip the whole ensemble thing to save on money.  But most parents won't walk out of Build-A-Bear without paying a minimum of $45 on up.  (I'm just saying, if you haven't been there before, you're going to spend a little money.  I know.)
Wow. Fat Woman slammed Build-A-Bear. Does this mean I
will never shop there again? No, it doesn't mean that. For
we have purchased one of their bears and there is an unspoken
agreement that I will purchases compliments and stuff
from them until I die or until the bear mysteriously
vanishes in a tragic exploding peanut butter jar
accident. (It happens.)

Okay, the ice cream bear cost $22.  Okay then.  Then she wanted sound effects to go into the paw.  This is a little dohickey that costs $5.  It says things like, "I luv you," and "You're my best friend," and "Can you spend more money on me?" (Okay, it doesn't say the last thing, but it should have.)  A clerk approached with happiness and effervescence overflowing (I don't mean this is a good thing but the clerks are learning about Asskissing 101 in a way that probably will behoove them later in life.  They could be President.)

The bear becomes stuffed through a fun looking machine that spews stuffing around inside it and is visible through a glass window.  There's a nozzle attachment on this machine that would make a proctologist nervous.  Before the bear is stitched up, the clerk has my daughter put in a little heart.  But not before a little ritual about bringing the heart to life is performed.  It involved rubbing the heart and dancing around and the sacrifice of a chicken who frankly appeared as if she wanted to be laying eggs somewhere instead.  (Okay, exaggerating again, but it sure seemed like it at the time.)  And ta-dah, the bear had been constructed.
The ideal toy for your 7 year old child.

Here's where the clerks earned her brownie points.  (Not from me, that was sure.)  "Be sure and 'wash' off the bear in the back," she said and pointed to the 'Fluffing' area.  One must go to the fluffing area by passing through the accessory area.  The accessories are located at eye level to my daughter, who is eying them with no little regard.  Rather, she's checking out the ensembles with the eye of a woman who has just been given the golden key to the city.  She has hit the mother-lode.  There is more bling, glamer, and 'it' stuff there than on the Las Vegas strip at sunset.

"Look, Mommy, Hello Kitty shirts," Cressy announced.  Certainly, there they are, all in convenient bear size for the plush thing you've just committed yourself to buying.  Hello Kitty tank tops.  Hello Kitty sequined dresses.  Hello Kitty slutty leather skirts.  And let us not forget the Hello Kitty line of shoes.  There are peep toes, closed toes, stilettos, and twinkly ones.  (Hello Kitty dresses much better than I do.  But then I don't have to cut off one of my toes to fit into the shoes that look good, either.)
The bear doesn't really say this, but it's implied.
"Look, Mommy, wedding dresses," Cressy cooed.  Yessirreebob, there are wedding dresses for the bears.  There are little tuxedos for the boy bears with teensy weensy bow ties.  You can have a Build-A-Bear wedding if you're so inclined and have the black American Express Card.  In fact, if I Google it, I bet I'll find that somewhere, someone has gotten married at Build-A-Bear with a stupid bear as the maid of honor and another bear as the best man.  (Hold on, I'll be right back.  Oh, my goodness gracious, I found the cutest Build-A-Bear wedding ever.  The bears got married as officiated by two girls who obviously get into their toys.  This is so cute that you may need insulin afterwards.  Don't say I didn't warn ya!)

"Look, Mommy, military bears," Cressy shouts.  Her Daddy and Mommy were in the military so this calls to Cressy's roots.  As a matter of fact, she's got a long line of military on Mommy's side of the family but I'm digressing.  There are Army outfits, Marine outfits, Navy, Coast Guard, and indeterminable outfits.  They have camouflage outfits.  They have matching boots.  They've got backpacks and other things I don't even know the name of.  (They didn't have little Build-A-Bear weaponry, but I guess they must have thought that was going too far.  M-16s dripping with bling = tacky.)
I swear I heard the bear say this, or maybe that was just me
thinking it.  Maybe.
"Look, Mommy, lots of other bear clothes," Cressy bellows, in case I'm not paying attention.  Well, yes, I'm paying attention and apparently, I'm paying for a helluva lot more than attention if I'm not careful.  And yes, you can even buy panties for your bear, unless you have an odd compulsion to have your bear go commando.
It's possible that I'm going overboard with this, but I don't
really care.

So quickly, I point her toward the area where we input all our details into a computer so Cressy's bear can have a 'birth certificate.'  Also we can enter all of our information onto the computer so they can sell our information to ANYONE with a checkbook and also send us stuff about Build-A-Bear until the throbbing vein in my forehead explodes.  (And hey, do I need to mention that we haven't even made it to the register area yet?)

You cannot say you didn't laugh at this.  This was funny.

Anyway, Cressy got the bear.  I think I have a few pennies left in the jar in my closet.  Oh, well.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Enter the Chicken Woman OR Sometimes When I Shop I Run Intro Strange People OR OMG Calm Down, I Won't Freak Out If You Don't Know the Answer

Warning: No Chicken Women, cats, chickens, X-Acto knife blades, or illustrators were harmed in the making of this blog, but their ears might be burning.

Recently I went to Lowe's to find X-Acto knife blades.  If you do not know what a X-Acto knife is, do NOT fret.  I shall explain.  (Because it might be funny and I love to amuse myself.  Also because it might be really funny.)  These are little knives with handles about the size of pencils (the handles are the size of pencils, not the knives.)  They are used for arts and crafty stuff.  Once upon a time when Fat Woman was in the US Army (I was) and I was an illustrator (They did have those - 81E was the MOS, and that's Military Operating Speciality or something close to those initials.) (OKAY, I've been corrected.  MOS stands for Military Occupational Speciality.  Sheesh.  It's been decades since I was in the Army; I'm entitled to be forgetful.)
We had to do bomb checking and trimming rose bushes
because we were pretty much the bottom of the heap
and the job was considered so not-important that
we were kind of surplus. It was okay. I got pretty
good at trimming rose bushes. Too bad, I never
learned what a bomb was supposed to look like.
But if I had my X-Acto knife, I could have
cut & pasted the holy living hell out of it.
So I was like, a glorified graphic artist, except we did a lot of cutting and pasting.  There was no graphics program on a computer.  There wasn't anything computerized.  There was something called a Compugraphic 7500 (5500?  6500?  2 1/2?  Seriously, what kind of herbal remedy is it that helps with memory?  What was I saying?)  This machine made letters on paper.  You had to change the type faces by physically changing the typeface within the machine itself.  And, what I remember the most, you had to cut and paste a BUNCH!  (I'm getting to the point.  Stick with me.  Look, puns.  Point.  Stick.)  Well, the X-Acto knife was an illustrator's best buddy.  (Ask any 81 Echo from the seventies and eighties.  Well, find one first.  Then ask them.)  I might even have slept with mine.  (Might have slept with the X-Acto knife, NOT all the 81 Echoes.  Potty brain.)

We kept X-Acto knives by the dozens.  I believe we even hoarded the little bastards from each other.  Here's a picture:
Jeez, this is fuzzy.

Here's another picture that you don't have to cross your eyes at and then fill in the blanks (That's kind of like voting.):
There ya go.  Fond memories.  I could use that sucker
just like the guy at Benihana's.  (I sliced the crap out
of my hand once when I slipped, but it was only once.  See, I learned
from my mistake.)
You may be asking yourself, 'Why is Fat Woman showing me pictures of knives?'  I'm getting to it.  I've got an art project going on and I needed a sharp blade to do some precision slicing.  (It's a collage.  Lots of fun with Mod Podge and clippings galore.  Hey, I've got a 7 year old, it's summer time, and we can do collages or we can watch Spongebob until our brains internally combust in a way that involves brains leaking messily out of the ears.  What would you do?  And yes, only I get to wield the X-Acto knife blade with handle.)

Anyway, I went to Lowes to find more X-Acto knife blades.  I figure Lowe's has got stuff like that.  It's also got other stuff I needed at the time, so I combined a trip.  Plus Cressy likes to climb on the riding lawn mowers.  (She has a secret dream of riding one of those bad boys up and down the aisles and making people jump into the bags of grass fertilizers to avoid being mowed down like vacuous animals on an isolated road while she laughs like a deranged maniac.  Yee-haw!  Wait, maybe that's me.)

So I went to the proper locale in the store to find the smaller hand tools and I looked about.  Cressy was helpful.  Her: "Does it look like that?" Me: "No."  Her: "Does it have a green package?" Me: "No."  Her: "Does it light up and twirl?" Me: "No."  Her: "Is it bigger than a bread box?"  Me: "No, if you're quiet for the next five minutes, I'll take you to Dairy Queen for ice cream."  Her, innocently: "I didn't say anything, Mommy."

I couldn't find it.  There were box cutters.  Lots of box cutters.  In every size, shape, and variety.  (Clearly, they didn't get the 9/11 memo.)  There was refills for box cutters.  Lots and lots of refills for box cutters.  So I looked in the other aisles and I couldn't find them.  There was a convenient Lowe's clerk standing on one side restocking a shelf.  I asked her.

This was my mistake.  Somewhere an alarm should have gone off.  MISTAKE!  MISTAKE!  MISTAKE!  You know, kind of like Robbie the Robot flailing about and yelling, "Danger, Will Robinson!"
She was a fifty something old woman in the standard Lowe's smock, restocking a shelf, and studiously avoiding eye contact with anyone.  I should have read between the lines.  I did not.  Instead, I asked, "Do you happen to know where you keep X-Acto knife blades?"  I wasn't rude.  I wasn't demanding.  I was matter-of-fact.  She had the smock on.  It had the logo on it.  She had a name tag that I didn't read.  She worked there.  It was an undeniable fact.  Technically speaking, there was nothing wrong with asking her for a little help.

However, she looked at me and made fluttering motions with her hands.  Then she made a squawking noise that sounded like a chicken who has just been poked in the ass with something sharp.  (I won't explain how I know that particular noise but it has to do with growing up in rural Oregon and not having much to do in the summer.  See, collages = good.  Kids running around chasing chickens = bad.)
It was like Siamese twins separated at birth.  Really.

I swear to Colonel Sanders that she made a squawking sound.  May he come back from the grave and ban me from KFC forever if I'm lying.  (I really, really, really like KFC, so this would be a bad thing for me.  As God is my witness, I shall never be banned from a KFC.  Or as Will Rogers would have said, if he had been a middle aged, sarcastic Fat Woman, "I never met a KFC I didn't like.")
What does this have to do with Chicken Woman?  Not a lot, but
since I was thinking about it, I feel compelled to say
that Will Rogers NEVER met my neighbor.  I like
this joke because first, you have to know who
Will Rogers was ( a famous humorist/entertainer from
the early 20th century) and second, you have to
know that he's infamous for saying the above statement.
Also I'm pretty sure he didn't meet Charles Manson,
Sarah Palin, and Kenneth Lay.  But I'm digressing rapidly.
Then Chicken Woman began to bounce up and down in position.  Her head began to jerk out and back in.  Those hands kept twitching spasmodically.  Finally, she gathered herself and said, "What's a X-Acto knife blade?"

"It's just a little blade that you use-" and before I could finish Chicken Woman hopped down the aisle and pointed out the blades that one would use for a saw.  (Like the kind of saws used on a tree or in a horror movie.  Either one.  I'm pretty sure that Chicken Woman never saw that movie.  She would have plotzed.)

"That's not what I mean," I said slowly, starting to comprehend that Chicken Woman wasn't all there.  She took me to the location where they keep the axe blades.  She was following a trend here.  If there was a blade, possibly what I wanted was located near it.  If she showed me all of the blades, then possibly I would leave her alone.
Will Rogers never met MELLOW!
Okay, veering off the subject, but if I left Mellow out
she might get her feelings hurt.  (Mellow is my sister's cat and
the object of recent taunting.  I might be beating a dead horse.
But WTH?)
"It's a little knife that has a blade on the end of it," I said.  She squawked and fluttered over to the section where they keep the band saw blades.

"The handle is about the shape of a pencil," I added and she fluttered and pecked her way back to the box cutters.  (If only I'd had seeds and corn to throw to her.)

"It's not really there," I said.  "Do you know if you have..."  I trailed off because I think she realized that she wasn't going to be able to answer my question and her body began to shudder nervously.  Her hands palpitated up and down.  She said, "I don't know if I...maybe if I can...possibly it's in..." and I persued her quivering shape up and down the rows in the tool section.  At one point in time she looked at me as though I was about to explode.

I was being very polite.  I don't normally get rude with people who are genuinely trying to help.  But Chicken Woman got more and more flustered.  She didn't know what I wanted and she didn't know how to help me and she didn't have a check sheet of what to do if this was ever the case.  She stared at me, made little cluck-cluck-cluck noises and convulsively trembled.  I swear I glanced over my shoulder because I thought I would see someone standing there with a large sign that was directed at her, 'If you don't answer this customer's question correctly, you will be blown up by a bomb!'  But there was only Cressy there, thinking about Dairy Queen and ice cream.  (I don't think my 7 year old daughter could be mistaken for an explosive device.  Maybe when she's thirteen.)
Consider this as the background of the entire Chicken Woman event.
And would you believe this only made it worse.  At this point in time, I was just going to let it go because clearly I was upsetting this woman.  I really didn't want to upset her.  She didn't have the answer and I figured out that she didn't have the answer.  It wasn't a big deal.  I was going to say something like, "Well, I guess you don't have it.  I'll just go to Michael's or A.C. Moore's for it," but Chicken Woman squawked again and yelled spastically, "IT'S IN THE PAINT SECTION!"  Then she sprinted/hopped for that section not bothering to see if I was following her.

Well, I felt kind of bad for her, so I went along.  After all, she was giving it the old college try, or at least, some kind of try.  Cressy didn't care one way or the other.  Her little brain was dancing with thoughts of ice cream.  Voila, in the paint section there were NOT X-Acto knife blades.  There were these little mini-box cutter type knives.  (Apparently, they had fled from the larger box cutter society in the tool section to form their own society in the paint section.)

As trembling, shaking, knee-knocking Chicken Women was absconding back into the familiar territory of tool world, I said, "Do you know where a large metal ruler can be found?" before I could help myself.  I got that there, but only after a great deal of confusion about what 'a large metal ruler' really meant.  But I never got the stupid X-Acto knife blades.  I went home and used a box cutter.  Thffppt.

In conclusion, I don't have to make stuff up for blogs.  Nope. Nee nop ba nopity nopus.  No.  Why?  Because Chicken Woman is alive and well and working at Lowe's.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Seriously OR An Explanation for Bubba Fans OR Here Fat Woman Goes Again

Yes, I know.  I've told you all I write novels, too.  (Hey, not only am I a funny blogger, but I write books, too!  Are there no ends to my multitalentedness?  I think I made up a word.)  I write a lot.  What's really popular right now is the Bubba books.

Bubba and the Dead Woman and Bubba and the 12 Deadly Days of Christmas.  It's about a good old boy in Texas who happens into murder mysteries.  (Oh, my goodness, does that really happen?)  Most folks love Bubba.  They write me emails.  They say all kinds of nice things.  They ask me when the next one is coming out.  (November/December, depending on the whimsical fates and how fast I can type and proofread.  Yes, to some of you who believe I CANNOT proofread.  I do.  Apparently, I can't make all of you happy.)

And no, I'm not ranting about poor reviews this time.  (Surprise, since HIM, the man to whom I'm married, gets to hear this all the time.  HIM is probably sighing with utter relief at this very moment.)  No, it's another 'complaint' I get frequently.  Most folks are reading one of my books and then they go and get another one of my books and they're dismayed that they're NOT EXACTLY the same style.  Even worse, it may not even be the same genre.  Bubba and the Dead Woman and Bubba and the 12 Deadly Days of Christmas ARE the same style and genre.  The problem arises when one of the readers reads, say, Bubba, and then reads The Flight of the Scarlet Tanager or Shadow People which are action/adventure/whoa-hold-onto-your-seat novels.  Scarlet Tanager is suspense, pure and simple.  Shadow People is paranormal suspense.  No Basset hounds named Precious in either one of them.

For the most part, I like all of my novels.  I wouldn't have epubbed (made up another word) them if I didn't.  I have a few in my computer that I'm not sure if I'll ever publish.  (I'd have to rewrite them and then sprinkle pixie dust on them and think happy thoughts.  Wait, that's Peter Pan.  I'd have to do something to them, because they're...baaaaaad.)  But there is one that I'm holding onto because it's a Civil War mystery.  It's a good book but since it's a historical mystery and supposed to be number one of five, I'm disinclined to make it public right now.  (I love Geoffrey Rush from Pirates of the Caribbean.)  I'm also disinclined, you see, to write the four sequels that it desperately needs right away, and piss lots of readers off because the four don't automatically follow along.  I just re-read the book myself and it's damn good but since I'm committed to Bubba right now, I can't submerge myself into Civil War history and pretty much make myself into a Civil War Zombie.  Really, I would be thinking like a Confederate soldier for the next six months and it kind of melts my brain into mush.  (Screaming "Run!  It's the Yankees!  Dixie forever!" while I'm in the grocery line wouldn't go over well, even living in Manassas.)

Let me put it another way.  If I wrote Civil War mysteries, then I couldn't write Bubba mysteries.  Or the steampunk suspense fantasy one that I really, really, really, really want to write.  (So that one will wait a little bit.)  And I couldn't write the third Bubba book, which is boiling about in my brain RIGHT NOW.  (I hear the gasps of horrified dismay.  So relax.  I AM writing Bubba the third and I AM doing it right now.)

BUT, but, but here's the thing that I wanted to explain to people who wonder/complain/marvel at the way I can alter my style from book to book.  It's hard to describe but I finally thought of a way to do it.  I'm going to use a metaphor!  It's chintzy but it makes the point.

Writing a novel is like painting a picture.

It needs to be big and bold and in red and centered.  Maybe underlined and italicized too.  Maybe it should go on a coaster on Chili's.  It should be in a fortune cookie at a Chinese food restaurant.  Well, maybe not.

Writing a novel is like painting a picture.

(I'm also an artist and I've got lots of neat stuff in my house.)  You see, none of the pictures that I paint will ever be the same as another one, no matter how hard I try to make the same.  A few savvy people have noticed that the two Bubba books are even a little different.  (I wrote the first one in 1999 and the second one in 2010, so that's a big difference.)  For one thing, I headhopped like crazy in the first book.  (Incidentally, the very first person to complain about vainglorious headhopping in Bubba just posted a review on either bn or amazon as I was writing this today.  See, someone was paying attention.)  I stuck to Bubba's perspective in the second book, with a few jaunts into Miz Demetrice's and Precious's heads.  Honestly it made for a better book.  (AND BY GOD, I CUT WAY DOWN ON THE COMMAS!)  (I mean, I stopped to ask myself every time I hit the comma key, 'Do I really need that comma?  Is that comma truly necessary?  Would that sentence work without a comma?'  And Jeez, who needs that kind of pressure?)

Yes, I know this has NOTHING to do with this blog, but
I haven't harassed my sister's cat, Mellow, in two blogs, so
it needed to be done.  And yes, I know, I already used
this one maybe twice.  I'm lazy.  What can I say?

I get an idea for a book.  Sometimes I remember how it came about.  Sometimes I don't.  It kind of settles in my brain and ferments.  While I'm writing, I often will go to bed at night, dreaming about what's happening in my book.  Sometimes I'll have vivid dreams about what will happen next in the book.  I suppose it's a way of allowing my mind to brainstorm.  Anything goes, and often does, when I'm contemplating plots.  I usually have a rough outline but it never gets followed explicitly.  Things happen and then the novel magically elongates.  Mostly it elongates so much that I have to go back and cut stuff out because I made it too bleeping long.  Stephen King had a neat phrase for this.  He called it literary elphantitus.  (And heyheyhey, Steve, if you're reading this blog, let me know, because I would just die if you read my blog.)  I've never had the problem of my works being too short.  (The novellas don't count because they were supposed to be short.)

So the point of the story for those people who complain about my genre shifting and style bouncing and whatever else you'd like to call it, writing is like painting a picture.  I'm going to make sure that at the end it's pretty and cool and great to look at, but it isn't ever going to be exactly like the other picture that you really, really, really, really, really, really liked.  As a matter of fact, it might be better.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

LOOK, I Made the Background a NEW Color! Or How Cressy Wandered into the Room Whilst I Was Looking at Assorted Backgrounds

This is a very short blog.  The title pretty much says everything.  Let's see if I can refrain from expounding in a lengthy fashion.  (Short pause for effect.)  Well, hell, I guess I can.  Look at the pinkity, pink, pinkaroo pinkiness.  I'm stuck with this until she forgets that she told me to choose this color scheme.  It looks like Pepto Bismo threw up on my blog.  Haha.  I'm so funny.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

On Having a Daughter OR Don't Stare Luridly at My Child OR I Might Be Oversensitive On This Issue

So anyone who knows me or reads my blog knows I have a 7 year old daughter.  Her name is Cressy and she's a lot of fun.  See the picture below for uncontroversial proof.  This would go down in a trial, see.

Could be a vampire.  Could be a walrus.
Could be playing with her food
at Micky D's.
Sometimes she's a big pain in the patootie (and I'm an angel, hahaha) but mostly she's not.  Her biggest issues now are how fast is the beach vacation coming and whether or not she can get other kids to play with her.  As a matter of fact, she goes right up to strange kids that she's only seen for two seconds and jumps right in.  (She's got a little kid radar.  A kidar.  She really does.  She can locate any kid of the correct age within a one mile circumference.  Or maybe she's like a shark and smells blood from two miles away.  Either one.)  ("Will you play with me?"  "I don't know you."  "It's okay, we'll get to know each other while we play.")  So this works for her about fifty or sixty percent of the time.  Impressively, she doesn't give up easily.  That's called fortitude.  I think that's a good trait.

I'm trying to picture this working for an adult and all I can think of is the guy who wanted to go eat chicken wings with me.  (See 'The Strange Attack of the Fifty Foot Tall Mr. Chickenwings OR How I Was Hit On While in Walmart' from February 2011.)  So was that the way he learned to socialize?  If you throw out enough lines, something will bite?  (Uh-oh, for some reason I'm resorting to fishing/fish analogies.  Must be because there was just a fishing contest at our club.  There's a big carp in the pond that everyone wants to catch and his name is Big Bubba.  (Incidentally, that's a coinkydink.  I named my character, Bubba, YEARS AND YEARS ago.)  I'm rooting for the carp.  I wanted him to leap out of the pond, jam a hook through the kids' lips and say, "See how you like that, mutha!")

Anyway, the problem with that line is that while it's cute coming from a 7 year old, it's desperate coming from a forty-something year old man at Walmart.  Or any other Mart for that matter.  ("Hey, you want to play with me?  I've got chicken wings."  Seriously, go read the blog mentioned above.  It's still funny.  Somewhere there's a very lonely man with a clam shell full of chicken wings looking for the perfect Fat Woman to hook up with.)  (See, hook?  I didn't mean to make a fishing pun, but I did.)
Okay, back to the point of the blog before I get seriously distracted.  (Look, a plane, a flying tomato, a way of turning steam into natural energy to save the masses from annihilation.  See, my mind just wanders aimlessly.)
What does this have to do with the point of the blog?
I do not know, but it's funny, so just go with it.
Ah, yes.  The last two weeks of school and my daughter got off the bus one day.  She said, "A boy wants to give me a diamond."  One might imagine the reactions that I have to such a statement.  (And God forbid, I should tell HIM, the man to whom I've been married and the father of the 7 year old, because he will mention shovels, shallow graves, and whupass all in the same sentence.)  But back to my reaction: 1) I want to climb on the bus, grab the boy by his shirt and tell him that my daughter is off limits.  2) I want to say, "Does it come with a diamond grading certification?" 3) I want to ask my daughter, "Did he ask you to do something for the diamond?" 4) I want to follow the bus to the boy's house and sneak over later to break both of his little playah kneecaps.  5) I want to call in my last favor from Don Georgio so this kid and his entire family, who are undoubtedly culpable, will go sleep with the fishes.  (Dang.  Another fish reference.  Something's wrong with me today.)

But what I really said was, "Sometimes boys say things they don't mean."

Cressy's response, "Oh, he's giving me a diamond.  He said so."

My reaction to that, "I just don't want you to be disappointed in case he doesn't do what he says.  Sometimes people lie."  (I didn't say, "Sometimes boys lie," but I could have.  I restrained myself.  Really I did.)

Cressy was adamant, and she doesn't even know the meaning of that word.  "He'll give it to me."

So the next day when she got off the bus, she said, "The boy didn't give me a diamond.  You were right, Mommy."  And although she was miffed with the boy for not living up to his declaration, she was not entirely upset.

Me: "I'm sorry, baby.  Sometimes it's just the way people are."

But two days later, she skipped off the bus and triumphantly presented me with a small, iridescent, plastic bead.  "That boy gave me a diamond, after all, Mommy."  There was a smug note of victory in her voice.  ("Yeah, Mommy, a boy gave me a diamond.  What did you get?  Huh, Mommy?")

Of course, I was tempted to say that the small, iridescent, plastic bead wasn't really a diamond, but I didn't.  She had her moment of conquest over the male species and who was I to take it away from her?  Besides I was more concerned about other things.  "This boy who gave you a diamond didn't want you to do anything for him, did he?"

Cressy, putting her small, iridescent, plastic bead to the sunlight so that she could better observe the shine and sparkle of it: "No."

Me: "Like, he didn't want you to kiss him?"  (I mean, how much can happen in a school bus?  Maybe I shouldn't ask that.  I'm not cut out for some of this mommy stuff.  She's not even a freaking teenager yet.  I'm starting to see the appeal of chastity belts.)

Cressy, turning the small, iridescent, plastic bead left and right in the light: "Yucky, Mommy.  I would never kiss a boy."  (Well, that's telling me.  I wonder if I can get that in writing.  Maybe notarized officially and all that.  At least until she's...oh...thirty-five.)

Me: "So is this boy in your class?"

Cressy: "No, he's an older boy."

Me (WARNING!  WARNING!  WARNING!  Ah-oog-AHH! (That's the submarine sound that they make when they're getting blitzed by the Germans or Japanese in WWII) Mommy is having a...moment.): "How much older?"

Cressy, who was in first grade at the time of the alleged 'diamond' incident: "Oh, he's a fourth grader."

Me, quickly doing the math in my head.  ('Hmm.  She's seven.  So that makes him ten. I need to rethink my stance on asking for that final favor from Don Georgio, because this little older SOB is slobbering over my daughter.')  Finally, I said: "Okay, it's probably better if you don't take things from strangers."

Cressy, snatching her small, iridescent, plastic bead out of the light, and clutching it tightly in her hand, as if I was about to take it away from her: "Okay."  But she wasn't happy with me.

But heyheyhey, I had officially set the precedent and that had been years before.  When Cressy was a cute little baby and an adorable little toddler, people would fall over backwards to give her things.  ("OH, how precious.  Have a balloon."  "OH MY GOSH, she's a little button.  Have a little toy."  "OH, isn't she absolutely cutsy-wootsy-mootsy.  Here's a little lollipop for her."  And yes, someone actually once said the phrase, 'cutsy-wootsy-mootsy' in reference to my daughter.  I don't have to make that up.)  So if it was okay then, what's wrong with it now?

Cressy looked at me expectantly, protecting her small, iridescent plastic bead in her hand as if I was a ravaging Mongol Horde charging over the steppes intent on pillaging and other stuff.  I said lamely, "It's just that sometimes people expect things back when they give stuff.  And you don't have to do anything for anyone." (Except Mommy and Daddy and the IRS and maybe Santa Claus, but not the smelly Santa from the mall, only the real one, and where the hell am I going with this?  I do not know.)

Okay, that wasn't lame, it was well and truly, HORRIBLY LAME!!!!!

I never saw that one coming.  When I first discovered I was going to have a daughter and started blaring the news loudly, no one ever told me, "OMG, wait until strange boys start 'giving' her things.  You're gonna be sooorrrrrrreeeeeee."

So when we got home, Cressy made the small, iridescent, plastic bead into a necklace and wore it for approximately 24 hours.  Then it disappeared into a drawer and she hasn't brought it up since.  Go figure.

And I think I have a strange compulsion to go eat at Long John Silver's.  Something fishy, I expect.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Various, Sundry Stuff That I Feel COMPELLED to Discuss OR WTH, Let It Rip and Not In a Bad Way (HIM Said, 'Pull My Finger!')

Warning: This is a truly silly blog.  My mind just went wherever the hell it wanted to go.  So if you don't have a sense of humor, you shouldn't read this.  Stop before it's too late.  Whoops.  Now you've done it.

Have a great Independence Day!  I'm pretty sure there were fat women in the Revolutionary War.  They were cooking.  Or doing something equally interesting.  Spying maybe.  Definitely nagging.  ("I want tea.  And independence.  Those English guys who live in our house are really annoying me.  Do something.")
I'm not being disrespectful.  It's just that I'm CERTAIN
there was an unappreciated Fat Woman somewhere
in the Revolutionary War and I feel compelled to
make note of it.
That being said, it's a great day to just write about whatever topic floats through my mind.  I'm exercising the rights that a bunch of really great people fought and died over.  And besides, sometimes I just let things rip, because it's fun and because you never know what might pop out.  (That's how I come up with some my best novels.)

For those of you who don't keep up with my blog, (go and read some of it,it's
terribly funny, you might shoot peas out of your nose) this is another
dig at my sister's cat.  Her name (the cat) is Mellow and I'm pretty
sure she's all about Independence Day.  Especially for the
liberation of tuna fish cans.
So those of you who are still with me, get ready for an immediate change in the direction of my thinking.  Here goes.  Recently I ranted about my least favored neighbor and forgot to do an illustration of this person.  There it is, in full Fat Woman Melodrama.  (Of course, when someone else does it, it's pronounced Dram-a.  Long a.  Get it right.  If I do it, it's drama, short a.  If this person does it, it's Dram-a.  Long a.  Big difference.  Plus it's my blog and I can say what I want to as long as I don't defame anyone.)  (Celebrities and politicians do not count.  Godzilla sucks toes.  The Vice President thinks about gay men in bathrooms.  I'm pretty sure.  I'd like to see him prove that he doesn't think about it, and if he wasn't thinking about it, he is now, especially after he read this.  Sorry Joe, it had to be said.  Incidentally, does that mean that  he's a bad VP?  No, but it does mean that I'm completely messed up sometimes.  Okay, the VP really DOES NOT think about gay men in bathrooms.  Maybe he thinks about polka dotted underwear.)  Anyway back to my artistic vision.

I love Autodesk Sketchbook.
So where is my mind leading me?  (I warned you.  Silliness involved.  It's not too late for those of you without any sense of humor to click on the big red X in the upper right hand corner.)  You were warned.  (You have to hear the audio voice of doom in your head.  Yooooouuuu....weeeeeeerrreeee.....waaaaaaarrrrnnneddddd....)

Thought shift coming!  Here it comes.  My garden has turned into a pumpkin patch.  There's a lesson in there.

These are growing in my garden.  And well, it's taken over the garden.  It's
about to hit the neighbor's fence.  Then the world.  But hey, on the
bright side, we'll have lots of pumpkin pie.
The garden was 10X10 feet around.  I allowed HIM and Cressy to pick the seeds.  They came back with like, twenty packages and looked at me funny because I wasn't inclined to plant ALL of the packets in the same 10X10 feet patch of prepared earth.

There were peppers in there somewhere.  Also basil and green onions.  They might be still there, but I'm not going in.  God knows what's under the ginormous leaves.  Could be cannibals.  Could be unicorns.  Could be cannibal unicorns.  (Maybe they taste like chicken.)
And you thought they lived on pixie dust and rainbows.
So I stopped blogging to go to the store to get marinade for the steaks for grilling.  (Who does Independence Day without grilling?  Heathens.  God knows I can't blog without firing up the grill and throwing on some massively proportioned cuts of Angus beef.)  And I couldn't NOT go through the chips and snacks aisle.  (They were calling to me.  "Fat Woman," the chips called.  "Fat Woman!  Come and buy us!  We want to come home with you!  We need you, Fat Woman!")  (I should be banned from there.  Seriously, they should have a sign of me at the end that prohibits me from being within fifty feet of the chips.  They're like kryptonite to me.)  So whilst I was pondering the advantages of plain old chips versus Sour Cream and Onion chips, I found this:
Are you kidding me?  This sounds
gross.  Yucky poo gross.  Gag me
with an old eighties move.
But then I looked further and here this was:
If you want steak flavor, why not, oh, say,
EAT a freaking steak.  Not steak flavored
potato chips.
Incidentally, people look at you very strangely when you take pictures of food with your Droid.

But then I saw this.  This was the one that made my normally chip-eating-like-a-fool stomach say, "WTF, over?":

This is what I call grossinating.  It's so gross but
you can't look away because it's
also fascinating.  I swear I didn't buy
this.  Who thinks of these things?
So let's just say that Independence Day rocks.  I'm glad for all my constitutionally guaranteed rights that enable me to let my odd, little mind wander wherever it likes to gambol.  I sincerely hope that you all feel the same.  I'll end with a quote that particularly moved me:
There, I guess King George will be able to read that.
                                                  -   John Hancock
On signing the American Declaration of Independence.

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