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Monday, August 29, 2011

OH, NO!!! Fat Woman Changed the Background AGAIN!!!

There.  That says everything.  End of story.  (Why does she keep typing?  I do not know.  I think she's incapable of writing something succinct.  See.  It just keeps going on and on and on.  Someone stop her.)

Random Stuff OR How I've Got Nothing OR Hurricane Schmurricane! We Don't Need No Stinking Hurricanes!

WARNING:  I have an urge to simply blather on about various and sundry subjects.  This could bode ill to those who like a straight-forward blog about one subject.  May also cause warts to appear on the webbing of your thumb and mad cow disease.  (Okay, maybe not the latter, except in my head.)

First off, I learned a new word from one person who reviewed one of my novels, Bubba and the Dead Woman.  Homophone.  (Homophone for those of you who can't read the rainbow colored letters.)  This means words that sound the same or possibly are spelled the same but mean different things. (Like a rose can be a flower or someone rose from the dead.)   Apparently this reviewer, of a review that I'm not supposed to read anymore, felt that I abused homophones in my novel.  My comment: The word 'homophone' sounds like a communication device that has decided that it doesn't like other communication devices that prefer the same sex.

So I suppose I should swear off reading reviews again.  I really should.  We'll see how that works out.

Onto the next subject.  Recently on Facebook several friends were discussing Duck Tape.  I do mean, Duck Tape, not Duct Tape.  (Brand name difference.)  So when I went into Target last week, I found this, and I mean the display of various tapes, not the kid.  I came to Target with the kid pre-attached to me:
Cressy showing her choice of which Duck Tape should
be used ideally.  (Paint splotches.)  I liked the
leopard skin one.  But hey, they had so many to choose from.
I applaud those who use Duck Tape in inventive ways but why do we need 40 different colors?  (There's probably more.  Target probably didn't buy all of them, just the ones they thought were funky enough for their particular market.)

So then I was compelled to Google funny uses for Duck Tape and discovered these.   (All pix from Uses for Duck Tape who apparently has lots of time and alcohol on their hands):
HIM, the man to whom I'm married,
will love this.  Now everyone can drink Foster's, including
people without thumbs.
And since I went looking, I found this one, which bears mentioning because, well, just look at the guy!  I'm not sure what was going on here, but it looks kinky in a manner that I've never thought about before.  (I swear.  If I write another Bayou Billy type book, this is going into that book.)  (This picture falls under the category that people will do stuff that writers can NEVER make up in a million years.):
I think there might have been padding going on here
and everyone is going to hear the screaming when the
tape eventually does get removed.
(I want to point out that I correctly used a homophone in
the above caption.  Here and hear.  Take that,
Random Reviewer!)
And I swear this will be the last one.  (At least the last Duck Tape related photograph.)  I'm having trouble visualizing what was going on with the group of people who did this.  More alcohol was probably involved.  They might have been using the stuff that comes from a still with the bad chemicals in it.
How did they hold him up long enough to get the Duck Tape to stick?
What if he has to go pee pee?  (I'm just saying.)
Abrupt Subject Change Alert!

I'm sorry to announce that the pumpkin with the weird butt has passed onto the place where all pumpkins go.  (From 'The Attack of the Giant Monster Pumpkins OR What to Do When Your Garden Doesn't Produce (Get It?)' from August 2011).  The poor pumpkin developed some kind of wasting disease and started to rot.  Then it had to go into intensive care.
I know this is truly horrifying but it had to be
seen.  The poor pumpkin.
This, of course, led me to think of famous last lines.  So here we go with that:
I bet some of you are Googling right now.
All righty then.  On to the next one:
Hah!  More Googling.  This is only for die hard Casablanca and
African Queen fans.
OH, NO!  This should be the time for a subject matter change, but I seem to be stuck.
These are the famous last words of many an inebriated redneck.
It doesn't really fit the empowered pumpkin with the weird butt
theme, but WTH?
Here's the subject change that should have come earlier but didn't.  I'm sitting in front of the laptop typing all this random crap because no one can go outside.  Hurricane Irene (Mean Irene or Goodnight Irene both pop into my head) is meandering up the coast.  She's pretty much hosed us on our beach vacation that was supposed to take place this week.

With that in mind, I came up with a conclusive poem.  It's called, 'The Lament of Irene.'  (I know.  I'm not a poet and I may never write another one.  Someone will probably legally restrain me from doing so, but go with the humor on this one.):

Oh, mean, mean Irene,
Our summer vacation is so lean.
We could have had such a fun beach scene.
Instead Chuck E. Cheese's is from which we're forced to glean.
We're forced into a mundane routine.
Oh, I pray this is the end of Irene.

I can hear the comments now.  (GROOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAN!!!!!)

And so this is the end of Fat Woman's blog.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

EARTHQUAKE!!!! OR EARTHQUAKE!!!! OR EARTHQUAKE!!!! OR I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet! OR How I Stole a Title From a Carole King Song From the 70s!

I was at the pool enjoying conversation with mommy friends.  The concrete beneath our feet began to shake.  Initially I thought it was a big truck nearby because we could hear the noise.  Then it dawned on me that, 'Hey, this is a very big truck.'  My mommy friend, Marla, said something like, "Is that...?" (I'm a little fuzzy on the conversation because I was freaking out.)  Then I said something like, "I don't know but I'm freaking out."  (And I was freaking out.)  Then I looked up and everyone in the pool area has pretty much the same kind of 'duh' expression on their faces.  (Everyone was pretty much freaking out.)  Then we broke into a flash mob music edition of 'Freak the Freak Out.'  (Okay, that was just me and not really, only in my head.  And only in my head, hours later.)
So, children, any questions about earthquakes?
There will be a quiz later.
Then I texted HIM, the man to whom I'm married, who was in the city.  Wowzers.  (Okay, my daughter forced me to watch the movie, Inspector Gadget, the other day.  I like Matthew Broderick, but come on.)  The cell towers were jammed and nobody was getting through.  Everyone had their cells out and were tapping away.  My other mommy friend, Tara, managed to get in a Facebook status.  Man, she's good and quick with her smart phone.  (Everyone was trying to text when they should have just gotten on Facebook and posted.)
This is an actual movie from the 70s.
It was a period of time where everyone was
obsessed with destruction and annihilation.
Kind of like the Obama administration.  (BURN!)
Irwin Allen didn't produce this one, but he should
have.  (As per a later Irwin Allen reference
in this blog.) (Now I feel compelled to explain
that Irwin Allen was a movie producer who
specialized in big 'DISASTER' movies
like The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon
Adventure.)
My daughter, Crescenia, was oblivious.  Hours later, she was like, "There was an earthquake?"  She tilted her head and said, "Really?"  (She's seven and the concept didn't do anything for her since she didn't directly experience it.  She was in the water at the pool and the biggest consequence to her was that the lifeguards freaked out and made everyone get out of the water.)  (Cressy didn't freak out.)

Later, I got a call from my sister who said our aunt was freaking out because the other aunt, who lives in Maryland, had fallen mid-earthquake and broken her ankle.  So later on Facebook, I asked my cousin, Karl, who is my Maryland Aunt's son, and who also lives in Maryland, "So your mom broke her ankle?"  Then he read it and called his mother.  Then she called me.  (That's what I get for listening to freaked out relatives.)

This is what I call a twisted grapevine.  It's like playing 'Telephone' and the message gets all garbled.  Then at the end, the last person says something like, "A purple nerd flew strategic jets into my underwear," and everyone laughs.  Except me.

Anyway, my warped brain concedes that we all need an earthquake readiness kit.

But then a hurricane is coming.  Apparently, Irene (that rotten, horrible bitch) is meandering up the coast and ruining the hell out of our impending beach vacation.  (The conversation between myself and the rental agent: "So, what's the news on the hurricane?"  Mary, the agent: "You know you don't have travel insurance."  Me:  "I know.  So what about-"  Mary: "And it's too late to get some now."  Me:  "I know that too.  If the house is still there are we allowed to-" Mary:  "Did you read your contract?"  And that was pretty much where my mind decided to give up the ghost.)  And we'll need to be prepared for that, too.

Let's see.  Earthquake.  Hurricane.  What's next?  Plague?  Pestilence?  Or as one of my old high school friends said, 'Weeping butt sores?'  You never know.  She could be right, you know.

My preparedness list:

-  2 bottles Whaler's Vanille Rum.  (Medicinal purposes only.  It's good for snakebites.  You ever hear what W.C. Fields said?  "Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore, always carry a small snake."  It's the same principle completely.)  Hell, make it five bottles.  There could be a lot of snakes.

-  Ingredients for the Ultimate Hangover Cure: 1 banana, 1 small can V-8, 6 large strawberries, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup milk (or powder), 1/4 teaspoon salt, a dash of nutmeg.  Mix thoroughly.  Use a blender with your generator's power.  Follow with 2 aspirins, 200 mg. of cysteine, 600 mg of vitamin c and 1 tablet of vitamin B-complex.  (This might be helpful if prepared in gallon form.  Don't worry about spoilage.  You'll use it quickly enough.)

-  A generator

-  A blender

-  The entire series of Sopranos DVDs

-  A DVD player

- One 16 oz jar of Boudreax's Butt-Paste (for those weeping butt sores.)

And I feel obligated to interject an earthquake joke.  What do you get from cows during an earthquake?  A milk shake.  (Haha.  No, don't leave rude comments.  I couldn't help myself.  It's the only earthquake related joke I know and I really couldn't help myself.)

So the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) sez we should go to FEMA's website for earthquake preparedness.  There I see that FEMA is now a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  (I think keeping our collective asses safe from earthquakes should be a part of Homeland Security.)  (What the heck does FEMA stand for?)  (It took me awhile but I drudged through their website and found it.  Federal Emergency Management Agency or, as people in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida call them, the asshats who didn't help out after Katrina.)

Anyhoo, before an earthquake, we should make sure all our 'i's are dotted and our 't's are crossed.  We should be Boy Scouts in every sense of the motto.  If a shelf hasn't been securely fixed to a wall, then by God, we have failed in our god-given FEMA right to be prepared.  Get that drill, soldier, and grab those screws and just attach everything that is not previously attached to every wall available.  No, I don't mean the dog or your husband, although they may need it.  Then we should check our home for hazards.

There shouldn't be any mirrors or pictures or anything else hanging above where people are sitting.  (Well, I'm hosed on that one.)  We should brace overhead electronics.  (Brace it with what?  I should attach pieces of 2X4's to my ceiling fans?  I would think that would fall under the things hanging above where people are sitting rule.)

We should repair defective electrical and gas attachments.  (If I knew the gas or electricity was broken I think I would have already fixed it.  "Gee honey, I smell gas."  "It's not me, I swear."  "No, silly, it smells like a natural gas leak."  "I have natural gas."  "I mean the kind for the oven and the water heater."  "Oh, that.  It's been leaking for months.  We're all sleeping better.  We should just ignore it."  "Oh, gleeful noises.")

We should repair deep cracks in the ceilings or the foundations.  (Doesn't this come after the earthquake?  I don't know about your house but apparently I'm crack free.  Hahaha.  That's funny.  Don't lie.  You laughed.)

We should identify safe places outside.  (This is easy.  A safe place from an earthquake is anyplace where they're not having one.)  And oh yes, FEMA calls earthquakes, EQ's.  So you're in the know.  When those FEMA officials start snapping out pertinent info about recent EQ's, you don't turn to the person next to you and say stupidly, "Dude, what's an EQ?"

Now for the during part.  What to do during an EQ!  (See, you, the really savvy one, you got the EQ part right away, didn't you?)

Most importantly.  Drop, cover, and hold on.  (I'm serious.  This is what FEMA says to do.)  It's like in the sixties when they were prepping school kids for the big Soviet nuke-a-thon coming our direction.  They had tens of thousand of school kids freaking out at the thought that the big bad Soviets would launch their nukes before we had a chance to launch our nukes at them and secure capitalism for the masses.  So back to the EQ.  Drop, cover, and hold on.  (Don't hide under the crappy card table.  It will not protect you.)

Don't use the elevators.  (If you've seen any Irwin Allen movie you'll know that you're instantly screwed if you get into an elevator.  It's like being the couple having sex in the opening twenty minutes of any horror movie.  You're gonna die.)

If you're outdoors, don't stand under the big, granite gargoyle on the side of the building.  Well, it might fall on your head.  (You're a dumbass if you stand under it during an EQ, so it would be a favor to the rest of us.)

If you're in a car and driving down the road.  You should stop.  Don't park under a bridge.  (See the gargoyle thing above.  Also see Darwin Awards.)

If you happen to be trapped under debris, don't light a match.  (I like this.  I don't carry matches but if I did, I don't think I would be thinking about lighting one while in the middle of an earthquake, crap, I mean EQ.  Why would you need to?  Would you be thinking, 'Gee, my legs are crushed, yet through all the tremendous shaking occurring I feel the need to have a minuscule light so that I may feel some hope.  Golly, I've got matches.'?)

Okay, enough of causticity.  (I used a made up word again.)  Hopefully everyone is safe and sound, except my aunt in Maryland, who may be the only person who was injured by the EQ.  Her ankle is severely sprained and yes, I got it from the horse's mouth.  (Not that my aunt is a horse.)

Next blog: How I Survived the Hurricane OR Making Hurricanes During a Hurricane OR The Hell With Coastal Advisories!
Note to self: Add ingredients listed here to
My Hurricane Preparedness List.

Monday, August 22, 2011

How HIM Ruined My Entire Weekend OR How HIM Should Not Be Allowed to Shop at Costco OR How HIM Might Be in the Doghouse

I was going to write about more pumpkin madness.  I even have a cool new pumpkin story with funky pumpkin illustrations.  The creative juices were flowing.

I did not get to write about pumpkins and their weirdly shaped posteriors that have emerged from my garden.

"NO!" You scream.  "How could this have happened?"  I will explain in an amusing and probably caustic manner.  (My MIL recently visited.  When I asked if she read my blog, she said, "I read the one about your neighbor.  It was caustic."  I wasn't sure if I should be a) alarmed, b) insulted, c) complimented, or d) concerned that she would disown me.  It turned out that she liked the caustic.  Well, my neighbors did piss me off.  Anyway, I like caustic and since I can't blog about my MIL, I have to go with HIM, he who made the grievous error of fucking around with my writing time.)

So once upon a time HIM went to Costco.  It was a seemingly benign day.  Low cloudiness.  Low humidity.  The radio was playing, 'Outside' by Staind.  Nearby fluffy sheep were being herded by Little Bo Peep.  (Wait.  The last part was just me.  That was probably a NyQuil induced dream.  Man, I have weird dreams.)

Here is what happened.  I swear.  HIM went by the computer section in Costco and all was lost forever.  (I could say an evil wizard cast a spell on HIM, but that isn't true.  He started making noises at the electronics section and well, you could say that people started to stare.  I just grabbed Cressy and walked away, pretending I didn't know him.  As I hurried off, the clerk said loudly, "Sir, drool is not good for electrical equipment!")
I swear this is what HIM looks like when faced with new and appealing
computer gadgetry or needing a caffeine fix.  Either one.
This is the route that I should have taken to get to the back of the store INSTEAD of going directly by the computer section.
The road that was NOT traveled.
But I was not wise and this is what actually happened.
It was a pretty short trip through Costco.  Or at least it was for
some of us.

Therefore, the new laptop was purchased.  Words were spoken.  They went something like, "I'll update your computer, transfer all the files, and copy over all the music and pictures and badabing, badaboom.  It'll be done in a few hours."  Wink.  Wink.  "Trust me, baby."

Day One: Once the computer was registered and all the bells and whistles had ceased their noise, the transfer of the files began.  The little window on the new computer said, "8 hours, 10 minutes remaining."  It also said, "You may not use this computer."  Also I could not use my old computer because it had the same message on it.  (If I touched either one, apparently sparks would shoot out of my butt and I would instantly combust into a pile of gelatinous goo, or something equally distasteful.)

I was computerless.  It felt like someone had chopped off one of my legs.  One day when the electricity goes out, I'm going to be completely screwed.  Also when we have the Apocalypse, I'm going to die from computer/android/whatsit withdrawal.

Thirty minutes later and the computer said still said, "8 hours, 10 minutes remaining."  I knew my life was over.

Eons later, or actually it was the next morning, it was done with that.  Then the loading of email configuration and software and transferal of licences began.  HIM took a break to take Cressy, our daughter, to Spy Kids 4, which apparently was the best movie ever, according to Cressy.  (It had smell-o-vision.  These little cards with numbers on them.  When the number popped up on the screen, you scratched and sniffed.  One of the numbers was vomit.  And people complain about my writing.  Hmm.  I wonder if I could incorporate scratch and sniff into my next Bubba book.  There could be eau de redneck and dogly sweat no. 5.  Hmm.  Hmmm?  Hmmmmmmm.)  So I basically had to lump it in a mass of discontented, frustration whilst HIM and Cressy gorged on popcorn and smelled strange stuff at the theater.

Day Two: More transgressions occurred against me in the form of preventing me from blogging.  Thoughts of pumpkin stories were quickly disappearing from my head.  Instead a new blog was forming itself in my mind.  It was a blog about people who can't say no to new computers and gadgets.  It was a blog about wasting my time.  It was going to be caustic.  (It was going to be a whole level of causticity.  Look I made up a new word.  It was going to be an erupting MOUNTAIN of caustic displeasure with the computer situation.)

Things didn't improve when I sat behind HIM, saying, "Now what's wrong?" when he grunted at the new laptop.  It didn't help that the laptop kept trying to turn itself off and load new software updates without being prompted.  Then it would stay that way for an hour while I made other noises.  (Sighing deeply, tapping my fingers on the table, wistfully saying, "I wish I could work on my blog.")
This is NOT a prescribed manner to ensure a long and happy
marriage.
Day Three: I woke up and discovered that the laptop was on my desk and benignly appeared to be approachable.  When I turned it on it said this:

Apparently, HIM had stayed up late and fixed 97.5% of the issues.  But I'm sure I'll find the others very quickly.

This morning HIM is texting me with smug, know-it-all messages indicating that he knows that he's managed to slip out of this particular noose with technical ease.  But then he hasn't read the blog, yet.

And thusly, the blogging has been good.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Attack of the GIANT Monster Pumpkins OR What to Do When Your Garden Doesn't Produce (Get it?)

Recently I ranted about pumpkins in my garden.  (See 'Various Sundry Stuff That I Feel Compelled...' of July 2011).  Long story short: Never allow your spouse and child to pick the seed packets for your undersized garden.
I should just post this in front of the garden for next spring.
Do I need to say this again?
Never, never do this.  It turns out badly.
This was one of the packets.  (There were at least ten.)  Although the pumpkin leaves attempted to take over the garden, the yard, and possibly the world, actual giant pumpkin production was limited to four.  (FOUR!)  Three of the big bad boys were targeted by insidious insects who believed that their need for pumpkin consumption was greater than our need for giant pumpkins to ooo-n-ahh over.  So we were left with this one:
I don't believe this pumpkin correlates well with the
pumpkin that is pictured on the seed packet.  (Upon close
inspection of the packet, it's my belief that that the child
in the picture is probably the shortest child alive and/or
something might have been photoshopped.  Just
my opinion.)  And in case anyone is being
silly, the pumpkin is the orange one in the above picture.
I've been studying the giant pumpkin seed packet and I think it's faulty advertising.  In fact, I think the advertising may be deliberately misleading.
This packet says it might grow pumpkins up to 400-500 pounds.  Hah!
I would have had to have a Miracle-Gro drip and a 24/7 guard out there
to protect from squirrels, slugs, things of unknown origin, and zombies.
(Zombies LOVE giant pumpkins.  Bet you didn't know that.)  ( I need
to go write a novella about zombies, right now.)  (I'm going to write
a zombie novella AND look up the word 'knowl' because it just
looks wrong.)
Oh, no!  I've broken out my bamboo pad!  This could be bad!
Oh, isn't it fun to cut and paste, even when you don't have
an X-acto knife?
Another tangent has just occurred.  Could be bad.
And I have burned Mellow, my sister's cat, again.  What does
this have to do with pumpkins?  Nothing, but it's funny.  Or at least
it is to me.
Here is another pumpkin that was grown in the patch.  It's an effed up pumpkin and it came from one of the non-giant pumpkin packages.  Apparently this pumpkin didn't know which way it's tail end was supposed to point so it curled up.  Doesn't this pumpkin kind of look like an alien?  (From Alien or Aliens?  Except orange?  Hmm.  Alien/pumpkin conspiracy.  Has that been done before?)
This looks really disgusting.
The cute part was that while I was
taking the picture Cressy stopped me
so she could give the pumpkin
bunny ears.  Haha.  Fooled the pumpkin.
It kind of looks like a peanut.  I think I was supposed to wait until it wasn't green anymore but insects were strolling by it and saying, "Hey, baby, you look good in orange," and "You aren't from around here, are you, honey?"

This train of thought makes me want to tell a pumpkin related story.  So here goes.  Once upon a time there was a sad and lonely pumpkin with a weird butt.
Oh, this is going to be bad.  Very, very bad.
So a fairy godmother came by and wanted to change the pumpkin into a neat-mosquito carriage for a girl who was going to be a princess for the evening.
But hold up.  The pumpkin didn't want to be anyone's bitch.
The pumpkin decided to get involved.  It became empowered and then got a makeover.  Later it came in third on Dancing With the Stars.  Then it wrote its memoirs.

The End.

See.  Even pumpkins with weird butts get a happily-ever-after.

That's my world.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Going to the County Fair During a Thunderstorm OR How Lightning Could Be Bad For Your Health While On a Ferris Wheel

Warning!!!!!  Could be more silliness involved.  I might be jumping from subject to subject in an undetectable manner.  Look, flying boogers!

"Why?  Why do I have to tilt my head?
Why are you bothering me?  I have to ride on
all the rides with Cressy while you just stand
around drinking lemonade.  *Whine.*"
We went to the county fair yesterday.  (You might have suspected from the pithy title.)  So naturally it rained cats and dogs.  (Wouldn't it be funny if it really rained cats and dogs?  Talk about social programs that would need to be created.)  See the rain on HIM's hat above.  That was after we took refuge in a tent and consumed of the lemonade and corn dogs.  (This is a reference to 'The Stupidest Man Ever' blog from February of 2011.  We eat of the pork.  We eat of the mystery meat in the corn dogs, too.  With big smiles on our faces, too.  Or at least everyone but Cressy.)
See.  Lemonade and corn dogs.  This is after
the rain and several hours so Cressy is
clearly pooped.  Just look at the way
she's eating the stupid corn dog.  It looks
like it has mange.  Haha.  It's a corn dog pun.
But after the consumption of fairground delicacies (Somehow we missed the cotton candy and deep fried Twinkies.  Gasp!) we were back to the enjoyment of the rides.
See.  HIM had a look on his face that said,
"Why did I agree to this?"  It also smacked
of Nancy Kerrigan, "WHHhh-yyyyy?"
(Okay, low blow to Nancy Kerrigan but I
couldn't resist.)
I had a moment of clarity here.  Here it is explained in visual effect:
Of course, I had to go back and point something out in this picture that the average viewer/blog reader might have missed.
I didn't go on the Ferris wheel with HIM and Cressy because my MIL was with us.  (But also because I negotiated who would get to go on all the rides with Cressy before we got to the fair.  Haha.  I'm smarter than HIM.)  So we stayed on the ground whilst HIM and Cressy got to see the storm up close and in a friendly fashion.  (Upon contemplation, this was probably a bad idea to allow my only child on a huge, honking piece of metal that extends several hundred feet in the air while there was a thunderstorm approaching.  And oh, yes, maybe my only husband, too.  Oh, HIM knows I love him.)  (Even Ben Franklin would be saying, "Hmm.  Key on a string to a kite versus being on a Ferris wheel that puts you as close to the action without actually being encased in a suit of armor?  Who's on the $100 bill, bee-yotch?")
Cressy and HIM on the purple Ferris Wheel.
It really was purple.
Hey, I was on the ground.  This was funny to me.
Do you think that the fair has insurance?  Hmm.
We did take refuge next to a concession stand, the employees of which glared at us for using their cover without purchasing the $6 lemonade or the $4 bag of premade, multicolored cotton candy.  (We ignored them.)  And in the long run, here's what everyone looked like, very soaking, sopping wet.  (It turns out that rides are almost as much fun with streaming rain coming down as without.  More screaming ensued.  I think it was the good kind of screaming versus the bad kind that says, 'EEEEKKKK!  THERE'S A SERIAL KILLER ABOUT TO KILL ME WITH A CHAINSAW!  EEEEKKKK!!!!!')
HIM is not really sweating like a pig.  This
is rain damage, plus he sat on a ride
while it was pouring so he got the infamous
wet butt stain that people could laugh at but
won't because they're all wet, too.  (Did I mention
that I asked HIM, my MIL, and Cressy if we
should bring an umbrella and was summarily shot
down, so I retaliated by grumbling
about umbrellas for the rest of the day?  I should
have mentioned it.)  Do I need to mention
the intelligent person in the picture with the blue
umbrella?
 And again I'm forced to add artistic license to the photographs because it needs to be more than self-explanatory.  (HIM just read this and said it should be sartistic - a combination of artistic and sarcastic.  Haha.  He should be a comedian, except not.)
Then the sun came out and everything started to get steamy.  Really steamy.  There was steam coming off the asphalt.  We went to check out the Home Arts exhibits and discovered that Cressy's snickerdoodles had gotten a participation ribbon and her collage had gotten another participation ribbon.  (A participation ribbon is the green ribbon that they give out when a child under the age of 8 didn't get first, second or third place.  Don't tell Cressy.)
Cressy slaved over these snickerdoodles
and they were woefully under appreciated
by the judges at the fair.  As a matter of fact, these
snickerdoodles were doodlicious.
Yes, I know I made up a word, but it was necessary.
Anyway, we don't need no stinking ribbons.
These were damn good cookies.
But here comes a cookie related tangent.
I mean, these snickerdoodles were so good, they could sing
from 'The Pirates of Penzance.'  I dare you to tell me that
these cookies weren't good enough for at least a third place.
(Artistic note: the hat was supposed to look like an old fashioned
generals hat with feathers but I think it looks like some Alpine
boy who's about to yodel for his sheep/cows/other animal that I
don't know about.)
And now I'm drawing cookie-related doodles.  (Get it?  Snickerdoodles?  Cookie doodles?  I amuse myself.  Sometimes only myself.  But still amusing.)

And Fat Woman has left the building. ( Zinged Elvis and Frankie
in the same caption.  Very sad.  My mother would have
slapped my hands.  She loved Elvis and Frankie.)
Anyway, we went to the fair.  We were rained upon.  Cressy walked away triumphantly with a pink dolphin.  Upon arriving at home everyone collapsed in a coma-like state that was similar to what zombies go through except without the consumption of brains.
She's still alive, I swear.  And the dolphin makes
squeaky noises when you squeeze one of it's
flippers.  I hate the stupid dolphin.
And thus concludes the epic journey to the county fair.  May it never happen again, until maybe next year.

Friday, August 12, 2011

On Losing a Parking Ticket at the Airport OR Don't Do It! Don't Do It! Don't Do It!

It went like this.  I was tasked to pick up the mother-in-law at the airport.  This was not a problem.  HIM was unexpectedly going out of town on business.  Despite my willingness to tease my MIL, I love her and my daughter, Cressy, was ready for, "GRANNY!!!!!"  And oh, yes, she was ready for, "GRANNY, NOW!!!!!!!"  Furthermore, at the airport, she was all, "WHERE IS GRANNY?  WHY ISN'T SHE HERE YET?  WHY HAVEN'T YOU PRODUCED GRANNY OUT OF YOUR BUTT?"  (Okay, the last part was me again, but this was definitely implied.)
And this was before she even saw Granny.
Incidentally, I had loads of editorial advice on this one.
"Mommy, you didn't draw the teeth."
"Mommy, you didn't draw the tongue."
"Mommy, look at me."  (She was demonstrating
the pose so I could capture the moment more
effectively.)
So Granny appeared.  All was well.  Hugs were exchanged.  Cressy was ecstatic.  "GRANNY IS HERE!  My heart has begun to beat again."  (Okay, me again, but implicit.)  We collected her luggage.  We went down the ramp.  I stopped at the machine to pay the parking ticket before we went out to the car.  I put my debit card away.  I put my receipt away.

Then my parking stub mysteriously vanished.  It fell into the black hole where odd socks, warranties, Blackberry's and good intentions go.  It was so gone that I think it packed a suitcase and got an airplane ticket.  It was gone-diddly-one.

Seriously, on the 100 feet from the machine that took my debit card to the Ford Exploder in the parking lot, the stupid, bleeping parking stub went AWOL.  I loaded up the car with grannies, kids, luggage and purse.  Then I started to dig.  I looked in my pants pockets.  I looked in my purse.  I looked in my pants pockets again.  Granny offered me money, but that was going to be a problem since I didn't have the parking ticket.  I looked in the purse again.  I started taking things out of the purse.  I looked in my wallet.  There was the debit card that I had just used.  There was the receipt that I had just gotten to pay the stupid $4 fee that Dulles charges to grace their doorstep.  (They work under the 'captive audience' stratagem.  If they have to go to the airport to pick up someone or drop off someone, they WILL be charged to park for more than two minutes.  The revenue.  Oy, the revenue.)
There was probably a lot more arm movement involved here.  Also
cursing under my breath.  Also, people will stop and stare if you
suddenly start flinging things out of your purse in the middle
of a parking lot, even at Dulles Airport.  Surprisingly.
I sighed loudly.  Then I began to search all over again.  Pants pockets, front and back.  I searched the purse again.  I looked in the car in case it had fallen out.  Then I looked in the back of the car where the purse had briefly rested while I loaded luggage.  At this point both Cressy and Granny are looking at me with a little bit of alarm.  ("Is Mommy's face supposed to turn that color?"  "I don't know.")  My MIL offered to help me look and we looked again.  Even Cressy helped.  "Is it here, Mommy?"  "Is it there, Mommy?"  "Mommy, did you put it in your shoe?"

Finally.  Finally.  Finally.  I found what I thought was the ticket in the side pocket of the purse.  Cheered, we climbed in, buckled up, and drove up to the exit gate where I would insert the ticket into the machine, and there we would be released from the enforced imprisonment of the airport parking lot.

I put the ticket in the machine.  The machine spit the ticket back out.  It said, 'Not registered.'  I put the ticket back in.  The machine spit the ticket back out.  It said, 'Not registered.'  I shoved the ticket back into the machine with several colorful, four-lettered descriptions of the machine's point of origins.  The machine spit the ticket back out, without colorful epithets.  It said, 'Not registered.'

I stared at the machine and thought about sledge hammers and other methods of subjugation.  Then I looked around and saw that the next booth over was manned by an actual person.  I backed up and got into that lane without killing us, the car, or any other cars.

Then I explained to the clerk what happened.  Here was the rub.  I hadn't really found the right ticket.  I had found some other ticket for something that looked similar.  The original parking stub was still AWOL.

But I did have...THE RECEIPT.

The receipt had the times on it that I had entered and exited.  It had the parking stub's number on it.  It had the receipt that I had paid for the time already on it.  As I explained to the clerk, her expression looked a little odd.  After she said sullenly, "I'll have to see your credit card," I realized that she was working as the credit/cash lane girl for a very good reason.  As long as people were handing her tickets, paying her with cash or a credit/debit card, she was in her element.  But I had driven up and done something wrongity-wrong.  I didn't have the ticket and I was asking for something difficult.  I think the poor clerk began to short circuit.  Very slowly, she ascertained that the debit card number matched the one on the receipt.  In fact, she used her index finger to point at each number.
You'd think I might be exaggerating here, but it ain't by much.
Then she got on the phone and started making very strange noises.  She said, "OH, NO!  OH, NO!"  Then she paused, listened and said, "OH, NO!  OH, NO!"  This went on for quite some time.  I realized belatedly that this was the only credit/cash booth in the exit lane at the airport parking lot at the time.  And there was a line building up behind us.  The guy in the SUV behind me was making faces that indicated that he was highly frustrated or constipated.  Possibly both.  Later, he began to bang his head against the steering wheel.

The girl in the booth kept crying, "OH, NO!  OH, NO!"

I looked at my MIL and said, "We're going to have to stay at the airport forever."

She said, "I'll make a run for it.  You stay and sacrifice yourself."  (No, I didn't say that and she didn't say it, but it was definitely implied.)

The girl in the booth said, "OH, NO!"  Then abruptly she cried, "OH, GOOD!"  If I hadn't been able to see her entire body, I would have thought something funny was going on in the booth.  (I wish I could do the audio on the, "OH, GOOD!" because it was that suggestive.)  She looked at me and then slowly began to click buttons on her keyboard.

Then she was distracted by another clerk who had stuck her head in to give her some official envelope and they discussed something official for a very long, official thirty seconds.  I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw that the man in the SUV behind me was tying a noose to his rear-view mirror.  (No, he wasn't but he was thinking about it.)
I don't really know what the man behind me in the SUV was thinking,
but it wasn't good for me.
I began to wonder if I could ram the gate without having the police department following me home.  Also ramming gates and being in a police chase is not the preferred method to pick up your MIL at the airport for a long, leisurely granny visit.  (Unless I really wanted a quiet stay in jail and possible post-incarceration interviews about the extended police chase.)

I thought the clerk was going to start crying, "OH, NO!" again when she suddenly opened the gate and handed me a receipt.  She looked at me as if shooing me along and said, "It's a copy of the receipt."  At the top it says, 'LOST TICKET.'  So what the eff was all the fuss about?

In conclusion, today when I took my MIL and daughter to the county fairground to enter some artwork and cookies, my MIL was watching me very carefully.  I had the receipt tickets in my hand for the cookies and the art work and I said, "What?"  My MIL said very cannily, "I'm watching what you do with the tickets this time."

Hahaha.  My MIL deserves the kudos.

And for the sake of argument, the parking stub remains missing in action.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Real Bubba 3 OR How I Let My Daughter Tell Bubba's Story OR This Isn't Really What I'm Going to Write But It's Still Damn Funny!

Spoiler alert: After writing this, it dawned on me that some of you might not have read both of my Bubba books.  *Gasp*  (Bubba and the Dead Woman and Bubba and the 12 Deadly Days of Christmas.  Shame on you.)  If you haven't read the second one, then the following blog contains a little spoiler about the plot in that.  Don't read this.  Go buy the second Bubba book, Bubba and the 12 Deadly Days of Christmas, and read it.  Then come back and read this blog.  There.  Long-winded, but jeez, it had to be said.  (And what the hell were you thinking not reading both Bubba books?)
Well, I think the title of the blog could be a little longer.  (Let me cogitate about that.  I might be able to add some more words.)  Hell, I might as well go for the Bulwer-Lytton award.  (It was a dark and stormy night when Bubba fell on his butt, chewing bubble gum, whilst singing, 'Over the rainbow,' in his best Judy Garland imitation, and said, "Oh, fiddlysticks, I've lost the rhythm.")  (For those of you who need to understand what the Bulwer-Lytton Contest is, go here.)
Bubba and the Missing Woman's
cover as envisioned by
Cressy.  Possibly this should be
called Bubba and the Terrible Tree.  Or
Bubba and the Shocking Shrub.
Maybe Bubba and the Sickening Sprout.
I wonder if she saw my earlier blog
about the tree monster movie.
Possibly I was too verbose.
Nawwwwwwww.  Not me..
Attention Bubba fans.  This isn't what is going to happen in the third Bubba novel.  This is what happens in my daughter's head.  I will explain.  At night when we tuck her in we ask her what she's going to dream about, and then she asks us what we're going to dream about.  (Lately, I've been dreaming about Bubba 3.  This is a common occurrence for me.  It'll be on my mind consistently until I've finished the 2nd draft.  Sometimes I get cool ideas from dreams, especially after I take cold medicine.  (Weird dreams.  I have a theory about cold medicine causing very strange dreams.  You ever notice that after ingesting a little NyQuil?  Hey, you know what I'm talking about.) .)  (Somewhere, some grammar Nazi is cursing me for putting parentheses within parentheses but I say oh, go for it.  It's my blog and I'll do what I wanna do. Me like bad grammar and shitty punctuation.,:;.  Hahahaha.  Also bad language.)

Back to my daughter.  One night I asked Cressy, my daughter, what she was going to dream about.  "Oh, a giant dragon who flies down and plays with me.  He's not a bad dragon.  He's a good dragon.  No, he's a she.  She's purple.  And she sparkles.  Also she likes ice cream.  And she eats the nasty boy who told me I couldn't dive off the diving board at the pool with my goggles on."  (We had an issue with someone at our pool.)  (In any case, it goes along this vein for quite some time.  Sometimes it becomes almost like a novel and I'm certain that this child was NOT exchanged for another child at the hospital nursery.  No changelings in my house, by God.)  "Hey, Mommy, are you asleep?  What are you going to dream about?"

So I tell her that I'm working out in my head what happens to Bubba, my character from my novels.  He's got a girlfriend and she's missing and he has to find her.  Like many plots, I have to create devices and think of situations that will be entertaining and mysterious.  Not that I used those exact words to Cressy.  She's seven, as I've said repeatedly.  Mysterious to her is yelling boo around the corner when she's already giggled loudly and given her position away.  Mysterious to her is disappearing her favorite toy after I say, "Look up in the sky!"  Mysterious to her is how shrinky-dinks get smaller in the oven when they're baked.  (Okay, okay, you get the picture.)

Cressy digests that information for about thirty seconds.  Then as I'm about to tell her to sleep good and leave the room, she nails me with, "You know what, Mommy?"  My response is usually, "No, honey, I don't know what."  But she doesn't always get that I'm making a joke.  In this occurrence, she said, before I could say anything, "I know what happens to Bubba."

And away we go.  (Remember, Cressy's perspective and her story.)
In Cressy's version, Willodean is apparently as dumb as a box
of hammers.  Where does she get this?  I do not know.
A giant tree has eaten Willodean.  That's why she's missing.  It's a very nasty tree.  It snuck up on her and snatched her up.  Then it swallowed her down and disappeared her.  So Bubba's looking everywhere for her.  OH, NO!

What will happen to Willodean?  Will the tree monster keep her inside it forever?  Will Bubba never know what happened to Willodean?  ("Mommy, I think her name should be Jennifer or Charlotte.  Those are prettier names than Willodean.")

So Bubba is hunting for Willodean.  And there's an evil scientist who wants to have Willodean for his...girlfriend.  So he made a tree monster.  (I think Cressy's telling too much back story here, but she's only 7 so we have to give her credit for creativity.)
You know, I had waaaaay too much editorial advice on this one.
HIM and Cressy were lurking behind my shoulder giving
sage recommendations and guidance.
"Go," the mad, evil, nutty-as-a-fruitcake, missing-a-beer-from-his-six-pack, silly scientist had said to his tree monster.  "Get the cute girl and eat her up, so that she will be my girlfriend."  (I wonder if Cressy thinks this is how all boys get girlfriends.  Mental note: mention how Daddy and Mommy...dated.)  Then the evil guy laughs an evil laugh in an evil manner.  (Can you tell that the writer in me is elaborating on Cressy's original story?  I can't help it.)
More commentary from the peanut gallery.  Cressy: "Mommy, why is that man
laughing so hard?"  Me: "Remember this is the story you told me?"  Cressy:
"Oh.  Well, I think that you should have another blog about an evil man
who laughs like this."  Then she demonstrates.  "Bwwwaahahahahaha."
And it's actually a really good evil laugh.  Good training.
Anyway, the evil tree goes to get Willodean.  ("Mommy, can we rename her?  I mean, like something really good?  Emerald?  Or Princess, maybe?"  These are the names of two of her favorite stuffed animals at the moment.  One is a humming bird and the other is a python.  Oh, my life.)
Hey Bubba and Willodean fans!  Don't worry!  This didn't really
hurt Willodean.  She was wearing her bullet proofed vest AND, more
importantly, Cressy said she wasn't hurt.  "Don't worry, Mommy,
Willodean wasn't really hurt by the tree monster."
 Bubba looked and looked and couldn't find poor Willodean.  The tree monster had her inside of it.  Very sad.

See.  Willodean all unharmed.  Just pissed off.  Who wouldn't want
to hang out inside of a tree monster?
And then what happened was that Willodean got very tired of being squished inside the tree monster.  She started yanking on the tree monster's roots and she tied them all into knots.  And the tree monster cried, "OH, NO!  Not my roots!"
I really like that Cressy has Willodean rescue herself.  In my version
she would have shot out its eyes and used the tree branches to roast marshmallows.
Tying the roots together made the tree monster weak and it fell over and let her go.  Bubba then found Willodean and they were happy.  (I love a happy ending.)

Cressy thinks that playing Legos together is the ultimate form of
friendship.  Should be an interesting discovery for future
boyfriends.  (Did anyone notice that Bubba and Willodean
are walking off into the sunset together?)
In conclusion:  This does not happen in Bubba and the Missing Woman.  Also, I'm not hinting, foreshadowing, or giving clues.  This happened in my daughter, Cressy's, mind.  Only.  I thought it was funny, as I usually do, and thought it needed to be remembered for posterity.  Or at least for my posterity.  However, if I can work the Lego's line into the real book, I will.  I love blogging.

And oh, yeah, I've been reminded to tell the readers that the evil scientist gave up his evil ways and found a girlfriend at the local Wal-Mart instead.  HEA and all that jazz.