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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween OR I May Snark About Halloween OR My Favorite Holiday-Long May it Reign?

So it dawned on me that I didn't do a special Halloween edition.  Here ya go, something to scare you:

Yes, I know she's deceased.  Despite the fact that
one has to admire the woman for putting up
with the whole Jim Bakker/Jessica Hahn thing
and carrying on like a good little evangelistic trooper,
that make-up will live in infamy.
INFAMY!
Also it is scary.
Okay, I've had my little joke.  Wait, one more:

Look Cameron Diaz without makeup.  Girls
can't win, can they?
All right.  Back to Halloween. 

I'm doing a celebrity theme here.  Since I was just
talking about Justin Bieber dolls, I thought it
was way cool that there's a Justin Bieber zombie.
See the worm coming out of his eye?
Genius.
Anyhoo.  Halloween.  Any holiday that requires folks to pass out free candy to people who ring the bell is good.  (Things I hate: You, the person who leaves their porch light on during Halloween evening and deliberately does not answer the bell.  Turn your frickin' light off you anti-Halloween scrooge.  Kids think you're serious.  And buy more candy next year, loser.)

Where was I?  Oh, yes.  Halloween.

I never owned a cat that would have allowed me
to do this to them.  I would have bloody stumps
and I would have spent Halloween in the
emergency rooms with all of the drunks dressed
as ghosts.
Back to Halloween.  Here is what I'd like to do to a pumpkin because it's kew-ell.  Also it's scary.  And how in hell did they do the tongue?

How long did it take to carve the little pumpkin?
And what is the tongue because it looks like
an orange sock or something.
And how could I discuss Halloween without a nod to John Carpenter?

Pretty sure this isn't Jamie Leigh Curtis,
but I liked the photo.
I remember seeing Halloween way back then and we were all looking over our shoulders for Michael Myers.  (Oh, just Google it for those of you born after 1975.)


Oh, NO!  I'm on a weird tangent.  Could be ugly.  Wait, I'll take care of it, right now.

She had to put tape on top.  Duct tape and a lot of it, too.
I'm having a problem imagining the woman who says, "I'll
just make my boobies Garfield's eyeballs."  I mean,
seriously.  Either she's got a fabulous sense of
humor or her boyfriend giggled for three days straight.
Someone likes cats.  I can tell.  What kind of costume party was that?  Bet you forgot about Michael Myers.  He's baaaaaccccckkkkk.  (Wait, that's Jack Nicholson.  My bad.)

Okay, this was lame.
If I mention Michael Myers then I've got to wander over to Elm Street, am I right?


Oh, Freddy, you're so droll.  Can I milk this one anymore?  Let me think about it.

Why am I picking on the Steelers?  I do not know.  If this really
ticks you off, just imagine I wrote in there, Cowboys or Buccaneers or
something equally abhorrent to you.
Anyway, Happy Halloween.  May you get Snickers and Kit-Kats instead of gumballs and pencils in your little buckets.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Talking Smack About Barbie Dolls OR Wasting Time at Target Or How About Some Halloween Weirdness

I'm just going to admit it for those Barbie-o-philes out there who can't stand the criticism.  I'm going to say some bad things about Barbie.  Probably Mattel, too.  Oh, the hell with it.  I hate freakin' Barbie.  She's a skinny, big-bosomed silly invention of a demented housewife from the fifties and watching my daughter play with them is akin to fingernails scratching down a very large chalkboard.
You can't say that this isn't freaky looking.
Seriously.  She's got poodle hair on top.
There's no one out there who can say they're not
freaked out by poodle hair on top.
And sheesh, look at her flat top head.  Her parents
must have rested her on her head while she
was growing up.
But I let Cressy go to town.  Why?  I think she already knows that her waist will never be 12 inches around, except maybe when she was six months old.  She also knows that Ken and Barbie get divorced after ten years because Barbie caught him in bed with Bruce the massage therapist.  (Bet you didn't know they made that doll.)  And she knows that Barbie can't possibly be all the things those boxes say she is.  (Cressy: "Look Mommy, she's an artist, a veterinarian, a baby caregiver, and a chef.  Isn't she cool?"  Me, subdued undertone: "I'm an artist, a writer, and I've got two college degrees.  Plus I can juggle."  Hey, I'm all over this competition.)

Allow me to reveal what brought this Barbie-hate-a-thon about.  Yesterday I went shopping again.  Dragged to Target (see Walmart can relax for a change) I got what I needed and then Cressy announced her intention to peruse the toy aisles.  We headed for her favorite aisle, which is presently the Barbie Doll aisle.  While she was oohing and ahhing over Barbie in all her various incarnations, I was stuck holding the hand basket, which was getting heavier by the minute.

With nothing better to do, I looked at Barbies, too.  So here's what I saw:
This is Barbie the Baby Caregiver.
Then there was this one:
And this is Barbie the Baby Sitter.
I'd like to point out that except for the names, Baby Caregiver and Baby Sitter, the two items are almost identical.  The other significant difference is the skin color.  If I were really pissy, I would say that only Caucasians get to be caregivers while darker toned skinned Barbies get to be lowly Baby Sitters.  I suppose it's really a matter of whether one believes that caregiver is a more socially conscious name than baby sitter.  Personally I think it sends a shitty message.  Fortunately for me, Cressy wasn't really interested in this one.  (Or else I would have barfed there in the aisle at Target and the clerks tend to get ticked off when that happens.)

But wait, there were more exciting dolls to look upon.  Cressy now knows who Justin Bieber is and she was looking at his doll, too.
And hey, one of these actually sings.  So you can
be tortured on multiple levels.  (I'd have been
impressed if they had used real fake hair instead
of a plastic hard hat hair.)
Then there was this one that Cressy said was interesting.  The pirate guy's got a little fuzzy head (It is!  It looks like Velcro) and looks like he'd be right at home being a hair dresser, but maybe I'm being a bigot.
See, I'm not just ragging on Mattel.
And what kind of message is it that they put
the pirate right next to the horse riding girl?
Maybe they're trying to do a Johnny Depp kind of thing here but I got to say they're not pulling it off.  This is really supposed to be a boy.  I think this company took the cheap way out and just put a boy head on the girl body.  On second thought, I think they just changed the hair on a girl doll's head, too.

So at this time I walked by this and it scared the crap out of me:
They should call this My Little Creepy Pony.
You don't think it's creepy.  I didn't push any of its damned buttons.  I just set off some kind of motion detector and it said something really loudly, causing me to nearly lose control of my bodily functions.  This is what it said.  Really, it did say this:
And it had a creepy, little, Hannibal Lecter voice, too.
As I walked through the Barbie Doll (and closely affiliated knock-off) aisle, it's little beady eyes followed me.
Well, it might not have really said it, but it was implied.
Well, it is close to Halloween, you know.
Chucky worked better than Jason because Chucky was a doll, too.
Do you remember that they actually sold Chucky dolls?  And people
say I'm demented.  I didn't buy a Chucky doll.  But I would have
bought the Bride of Chucky doll.
Anyway, so my advice is not to buy any haunted dolls right before Halloween and stay out of the Barbie aisle.  Just saying.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2011

On Shopping at Walmart OR OH, Hell YES, I WILL RANT! OR Not Again With the Ranting

Today's shopping extravaganza/trip-o-horror started with parking at Walmart.  Allow me to state that if you cannot find a parking place within sight of the building, then you should probably just turn around and go home because shopping is going to automatically suck.  I will repeat this.  If you CANNOT park within a hundred yards of Walmart LEAVE IMMEDIATELY because you are DOOMED! DOOMED!  DOOMED!
I did not leave immediately, thereby invoking an ancient curse laid upon me by grumpy gypsies.

I went inside and shopped.  Half of the time I was behind a woman in a motorized wheelchair/cart and her son hauling another cart while they sprawled over every section of the canned/nonperishable aisles that I wanted to go.  If I wanted Pop Tarts, they spread over the aisle like two forms of giant gelatinous goo-people and their conversation went thusly:

The son, who was obviously related to people who played extras in the movie, Deliverance.  (I'm not making this up.  He had a wife beater shirt on, a ratty beard that went down to his moobies, and a tattoo on his arm that said, "The South lives forever.")  (Moobies, for those of you who don't know are man boobies and yes this man's were bigger than mine.)  "Ma, you want strawberry or cinnamon roll Pop Tarts?"
Her: "Cinnamon roll gives me the fartsies."
Him: "How about hot fudge sundae?"
Her: "Oh, I don't know.  Let me look at that box.  Wait, I have to find my reading glasses.  Where are my dagnamed reading glasses?  I had them in my pocket.  Are they in my purse?  Where's my purse?"
Him: "Your glasses are on your head, Ma."
Her: "Oh."
See.  Giant forms of walking/riding in her case Jell-O people.

After some time of experiencing the thrill that is Walmart shopping, I told Cressy that I was prepared to rip off some one's arm and beat them to death with it.  Cressy was mildly alarmed.  "Mommy," she said, "you wouldn't really rip some one's arm off, would you?"  "Not yours, darling," I said.  "But you'll have to bail Mommy out of the jail with your allowance."  (I don't think this went over well with her.)  (Cressy's allowance = purchasing of the toy-ity goodness from Walmart's abundant toy section.  Cressy's allowance  saving Mommy's bacon from tall, muscular women named George at lockup.)

And that was pretty much the whole shopping experience.  The store was crowded.  I was impatient.  People kept getting in my way.  Cressy decided that speaking to Mommy while Mommy was in a volatile mood was optional.  (Good call on her part.)  (Of course, it didn't stop her from getting ANOTHER flipping Barbie doll with her allowance.)  ("Oh, to hell with bailing Mommy out.  I have a NEW Barbie!")

Then came waiting in the line to the cash registers.

HIM, the man to whom I've been married for 28 years, could tell you that this is very likely at the top of my list of things that are guaranteed to tick me off.  Standing in a line that doesn't seem to move, especially at a place like Walmart that has a trillion employees who could easily OPEN A FEW MORE lines, is terribly irritating to me.  This would irritate an inanimate rock.

I have often told HIM that I have a special magic power.  (It has nothing to do with waiting in lines, unfortunately.)  My special magic power is being invisible to police while speeding down the road in my car.  I haven't gotten a moving violation for longer than I've been married.  In fact, I've blown by cops doing somewhat over the speed limit and they have mystically declined to chase me down and cite me.  I do not know why.  (I am not related to any law enforcement official in a highly placed position.  In fact, I don't have any of those law enforcement booster stickers in the back window.  Not one.)  (What does this have to do with waiting in check-out lines at Walmart?  I'm getting to the point.)

However, in exchange for the ability to avoid moving violations I, instead, am blasted with the curse of bad lines.  Yes, apparently I'm horribly, viciously, awfully cursed.  This means whatever line I step into automatically slows to an imperceptible crawl because of various reasons that just seem to 'happen.'  (Hey, MAC, I used those little doohickeys again!  But I swear I won't in a manuscript.  Haha.  I didn't even think about it.)  (Mac is one of my writing buddies who pesters me on a weekly basis about those ' things.  ' is what they are and see I don't even know what to call them.  Single quotation marks?  Whateveh.)  (Sometimes it's painfully obvious that I'm not an English major.  'I' am 'not' good 'writor.')

Basically what happens is I get into a line and the line stops moving.  For example, the party in front of me wants to cash a third party check from Bolivia that's been signed over to his brother-in-law.  The person in front of me has a book of coupons and they're using ALL three thousand of them at the same time.  The customer at the clerk suddenly forgets that she had to go get something on THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORE and this is after everything else has been rang up.  A meteor falls on the cash register.  Stuff like that.

There can be twenty lines open and I will somehow pick the one that is the absolute worst one to be in.  And if I change lines, the first line clears up and the line I'm in slows down.

Yes, that's my curse.

Today didn't seem to be an exception.

I have contemplated at length which person was stupider-the clerk or the customer in front of me.  (You see, while I was waiting at length I had a long, long, long time to ponder upon the subject.)  The clerk would have lost a foot race to a Giant African Land Snail.  The customer in front of me had a towering pile of items in her grocery cart as if taking two carts would have been a sin.  She also wanted to ring up three things separately.  I don't mean that it was two sales in whole.  She wanted to ring up most of her groceries, then a garbage can separately, then some clothes separately, and then she wanted to argue about a special coupon she forgot to use in the first round of ringing up.  Then she wanted to argue with the clerk that she wanted to get change in a specific amount of bills.  The clerk did not have the bills the woman wanted and was not happy about going to fetch them for her.
The clerk was NOT singing a song, but maybe she should have been.
Or maybe I should have been.  Probably me.
Oh yes, this is really a photograph of a Giant
African Land Snail.  Reminds me of my first boss.
Whilst all the melodrama ensued I watched the next line over move rapidly along.  Soon people who came into the store after I had gotten into the line were checking out before I did.

I began to bang my head against the cart.  (People stare when you do this.  They also take pictures with their phones.)  I would have moved to another lane but I had already unloaded 90% of the cart into this one.  (And besides I know how my curse works, so it's pointless.)  THEN a Walmart employee opened the lane next to me and I said, "Oh, now you open a lane."

Finally, the clerk in my line began to check out my items.  Excruciatingly, agonizingly slowly as if she was stuck to bubble gum combined with molasses.

I believe the clerk was beginning to realize that I was getting annoyed and she...began...to...slow...down...more.  And...more.
I know, I misspelled measly.  Critics.
Then she tried to murder a loaf of bread by smashing it to death with a quart of juice.  I protested.  "You just smashed the bread."

Can you believe she said, "I did not."?  (She did.  I swear to all the gods of Walmart, those three words crossed her little petulant mouth.)
It's my concerted and often repeated opinion that individuals who are
not people persons NEED a cubicle in which they can
be chained.
I stared at her.  She stared at me.  I said, "When you put the juice on top of the bread it smooshed it."  (Possibly I thought that explaining why the juice, which weighs 5 lbs and is like a rock, would diminish the fluffiness of the bread, which was whole wheat and like a pillow in consistency, would allow the clerk some illumination into why I might be protesting.  But I was wrong.)

"It does not," she insisted.

The lady behind me apparently had witnessed the entire sordid event backed me up.  (I should have bought her a cup of coffee from Starbucks.)  "It does so smoosh the bread!"

The clerk steadfastly ignored both of us, put her head down, and continued to ring me up.

Then I lost my temper.  After some time Cressy said, "Mommy, you said a potty word."
I believe that Cressy has heard every potty word ever invented
and then some coming from my mouth.  For those of you who have read
The Life and Death of Bayou Billy (plugging my own book)
you'll know what I'm talking about.
To be precise I said a whole lot more than one.  I said to Cressy, "Don't say those words.  They're bad."

Cressy said, "I guess you shouldn't have said them, Mommy."

"I'm not buying the bread," I told the clerk.

"You should relax, Mommy," Cressy informed me.  She was already holding her Walmart booty protectively to her body and was happy.

Anyway, I didn't buy the bread.  And now the manager and I are on a first name basis.  Isn't shopping fun?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Randomness Abounding! Help, I May Ramble! Or, OH NO! More On Writing!

Recently I read a review, of the reviews I'm not supposed to read anymore, about Bubba and the Dead Woman.  The person did not like Bubba because he felt that it did not live up to the standards of The Life and Death of Bayou Billy.  The reason I'm bringing this up because typically it's the other way around.  I get, "Dear C.L., Bubba rocks.  Bayou Billy is obscene.  If you were a really good writer, rainbows would shoot out of your butt."  (Okay, people don't really write this to me but they do complain about the foul language in Bayou Billy.)  Anyway, I was surprised because someone had read Bayou Billy first and was genuinely disappointed that I didn't replicate it in Bubba.  This is funny.  (Trust me.  It is funny.)  (Even HIM thought it was funny, but only after HIM said, "You're not supposed to read the reviews anymore, you know."  Then I whined, "But I like reading the good ones."  Then HIM said, "But you don't know if they're good until after you read them and then you're pissed."  "Help, I'm addicted to reviews," I whined some more.)

Did I mention the review from the woman who downloaded Bubba and loved it so much that she tried Billy?  Then she wrote a review that said I was horrendous.  (Her word.)  Then she said that she deleted all my other stuff unread.  Unread.  Jeez, that'll teach me.  Since she only downloaded the free ones, I'm not necessarily offended.  (I thought the guy who said I was writing worthless drivel said it much better.  Horrendous means I'm a monster.  Worthless drivel means it's well, worthless drivel.  Succinct.)
Nothing says excitement like a photograph of a tombstone.
Yee haw.
I took this photograph in Manassas' Civil War cemetery.  Pretty
good photo.  I wanted to put a Model-T behind it, but the cemetery
has rules about driving vehicles on their graves.  WTH?
(And if you haven't read Bayou Billy you won't get why
I want to put a Model-T behind a tombstone.)
So a special message to the man who liked The Life and Death of Bayou Billy.  Hey, Richard S. Philbrick!  Try Missile Rats.  You might like it because it's got the same sense of humor as Bayou Billy.  And it's only 99 cents.  Anybody out there know RICHARD S. PHILBRICK?  Go tell him I'm the reason his ears are burning.  I'm not making the name up.  He didn't like Bubba but he liked Bayou Billy and he made the mistake of putting his name on the review.
Recently someone wrote to ask why my covers are so boring.
Well, blah.  I did this one myself.  I drew the guy on
the missile and the little 'To Russia with XOXO.'
I thought it wasn't bad.  Obviously it's not Frank
Frazetta or the Hildebrandt brothers, but hey.
Maybe if I drew boobies on the missile it would
get more sales.
(For some reason I feel like yelling, "PHILBRICK!" like Marty Feldman did with Frau Blucher in Young Frankenstein.  You gotta be a Mel Brooks fan to get it.)  (I'm not saying Richard S. is like Frau Blucher but the name is definitely on my list of ones I want to put in a Bubba book.)  (Richard, I'm just messing with you.  Thank you for liking Bayou Billy.  Most people think it's too naughty and I enjoy hearing from those who liked it.)
"Blucher!"  Neigh-Neigh-Neigh!
I love Young Frankenstein.
Anyway, my cold is hanging on like a leech and HIM is prepping for a trip to Germany where he will supposedly work during Oktoberfest.  (Like that wasn't intentionally planned.)  I went and got euros for him and they look like Monopoly money.  (Seriously, they couldn't make money that looked like it was serious.  Seriously.)

Really, it looks like Monopoly money.
(I went to look at our Monopoly game but
we have the Star Wars one and the money
doesn't look like the traditional Monopoly money
so I was much bummed.)
Do not pass go.  Do not collect $200.
Collect 200 euros and then throw them
away because their economy is going
into the potty faster than ours.
I love freedom of speech.
Really, do those look real?  Cressy wanted to play with them and I was almost like, "Yeah, but don't draw on them."  Then I realized they were still real money and I couldn't let her play with them.

Funny side note.  The bank was counting these out to me and the teller had a problem because she couldn't understand why I'd paid $304 for €210.  She counted the euros out twice and said, "But it's supposed to be $304."  Then I said, "Well, it is, in euros."  "But it's supposed to come to $304," she said.  I'm not sure what was throwing her but I was in a benevolent mood and not terribly impatient so I said, "€210 euros equals $304."  (Silently, I added, 'dumbass.')  (Incidentally € is the money sign for euros.  Like $ is for dollars.)

The teller had to go get another teller to tell her (no pun intended there) that $304 was what I paid for in exchange for €210.  The second teller had to speak very slowly and use small words because the first teller was starting to make monkey sounds.

And the first teller STILL didn't get it.  I ended up taking a $1 out of my purse and saying, "If I give you this one dollar bill, you'll give me €.75 in euro money.  So I gave you $304 out of my money and this €210 is what you give me."

She said, "But you didn't pay me $304."

My patience pretty much flew out of the window like cockroaches seeing the exterminator drive up to the house.  "When I ordered the currency online through the bank, the $304 was subtracted from my account," I said gritting my teeth.  The paperwork that the first teller had just looked at, said exactly that and was still sitting on the counter in front of her not a foot away from her face.  The second teller already knew this but let me have the rein because she somehow sensed that I had gone past the point of Do-I-Have-To-Still-Be-Polite?

Clarity ensued.  HIM better bring me back something pretty from Germany.  That's all I got to say.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Cold of Doom OR Other Random Stuff That May or May Not Be Funny

This last week I got a cold.  Nasty, yucky cold.  Lots of sinus pressure.  I thought my head might explode.  And over the counter medications don't really work for colds.  Neither do prescription ones, but the doctors give you the kind where you pretty much sleep through the cold and wake up when it's all over.  I didn't, however, go to the doctor.  (I don't enjoy doctor's visits.  I have blogged on this matter before.  I probably will repeat myself.) (Oh, the hell with it.  I hate doctors.  They get stuck on the weight issue for every single frigging thing I ever go to them about.  I'm not going there for a stupid cold unless something awful happens that involves arterial spray and/or a bone sticking out of the fleshy parts of my body.)
Seriously, this is a picture of a cold virus.  I hate it.  It sucks.
Kind of like doctors and politicians.  Burn!
I dragged myself to Wally World for supplies.  There I haunted the cold medication section.  I got daytime caps for sinus/colds.  I got nighttime caps for sinus/colds.  (I didn't buy the sinus/cold tabs for early morning.  I have to draw the line someplace.)  I got saline solution mixes for my neti pot.  (Neti pot is something you put water and saline solution and flush out your sinus's.  It's loads of fun especially when it accidentally drains down your throat and you gag but it does seem to shorten the lifespan of the demonic cold.)

I went out of the cold section and got cans of chicken noodle soup.  (Come on, didn't your mom force chicken soup on you when you had a cold as a kid?  Or maybe tomato soup with goldfish in it?  (Bonus points for sinking goldfish.)  You remember you swore you wouldn't do that as a parent, but you do it anyway.)

Then I rounded up with the cold remedy trifecta with a visit to the Kleenex department.  (Who knew that they have ten different types of Kleenex's?  With lotion.  Without lotion.  With cotton puffiness.  Without cotton puffiness.  Gold plated?  Bamboo recycled hankies?  Seriously?)

I like this cold virus better because it looks all red and evil.  Also it's floating
in the air and ready to kick unsuspecting people's immune systems.
It's a bad boy virus and not afraid to let you know.
Then I visited the DVD section for support.  Also because I'm going to go on a tangent that's indirectly related to Walmart.  Last week, Cressy, our daughter who is 7 and realizing that she has more power than she previously thought, was being instructed to go to bed on a weeknight.  She came to me and said, "Mommy, you're lucky you get to stay up."  I said, "Well, you need a good night's sleep for school tomorrow."  (Standard Mommy line, feel free to use it.  I think I stole it from someone.)  "But you get to stay up," she whined.  I folded like a cheap suit at a laundromat.  I said, "You can stay up on Friday night as long as you want."  She didn't seem particularly mollified, so I threw in a bonus, "And you can watch a scary movie."  (It's October and WTH?  I was already weak with insidious cold germs so I was overwhelmed by her big blue eyes blinking pleadingly at me.)  She smiled and said, "Goody."
I really wanted to get The Creature From the Black
Lagoon for Cressy to watch but I couldn't
find it at Walmart.  I don't remember
the creature actually carrying the hot babe in the
white swimsuit in the movie.  Come on, what's
he really going to do with her?  Wait for her to
drop her eggs in a rocky crevice
and then fertilize them?
(Something icky just popped into
my head.)
Discussing with Woody what scary movie she would watch was interesting.  Having already blogged about my elementary aged experiences with scary movies shown to me by my parents, I knew that it had to be fairly mundane.  (I.e., no blood, guts, decapitations, chainsaws, intestines tied into knots by crafty serial killers.)  I decided to check out Wally World for their Halloween selection and see if I could come up with a contender.  (I told you I was getting to the connection.)  Since I was sick and needed cold remedies in urgent amounts I combined the trip.
Well, you had to know that I was going to add alternative dialogue that
should have been in the movie but got deleted because of
narrow-minded censors.
At the DVD section at Walmart, they had such stellar 'R' rated examples of Scream, Hellraiser, and Spongebob: Halloween (which isn't really 'R' rated, but it ought to be).  And they had...Frankenstein.  I'm talking about the Boris Karloff one.  We had a winner!

Going through the line at the front was fun.  The clerk looked at my cold stuff and the DVD and backed away from me.  She also reached for her GermX.  Maybe I had the plague.  Fortunately for her I didn't sneeze in her direction, but I was tempted to fake it.  (Colds make me cranky.)
Hey, he was just a slimy fish guy with a need for a little
friendly companionship in his big, black lagoon.  It could
happen.
At home, I told Cressy I had a scary movie.  I said, "It's Frankenstein."  She was all like, "Who's that?"  I said, "He's a scientist who makes a monster out of dead human body parts."  She was like, "Gross.  Can I have popcorn with it?"

On Friday night I was sitting there all stuffed up with a dry mouth from the cold medicine, wondering if I had to rewrite everything I've written that week.  (Writing while on cold medicine doesn't necessarily produce anything worth reading or even selling.  It's probably interesting but I don't think the Bubba fans want to hear about cold-medication-inspired delusions of Bubba flying through the air in an antique, iridescent Chevy truck.  Just saying.)  Cressy invited the kid from next door to participate in their Friday night scare fest.
And now I'm just getting weird.
The movie started.  The kids gave it a college try but I guess since the blood and guts wasn't flying everywhere, they gave up about thirty minutes later.  They crawled up and down the hallway playing cats and dogs because monsters constructed from stolen, deceased corpses wasn't as fascinating as I thought.

I should have gotten The Green Slime.
You can't say that wasn't cool and all sixties-y.  See I have Pinpointed How I Became Warped or It Was All My Father's Fault.  Then read It Was Really Mom's Fault Or How I Stand Corrected (Or How I Sit In Front of the Computer Corrected).

Anyway, the kid announced ten minutes past her usual bedtime that she was tired and was ready to go to bed.  Ten minutes.  Wow.  The next day she explained to me that Frankenstein was lame because it was in black and white.  Obviously a color movie would have not been lame.  WTFWIT?

But the cold's getting better.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Back to Something Funny OR Let's Go SHOPPING at Ikea OR Can I Make This Title Longer or Sillier?

Warning:  I will bounce randomly from subject to subject, probably because I'm mildly bored with anything serious.  Brains will probably be impacted.  Protection may be required to read this blog.  People without a sense of humor should just stop reading here.

Recently we went shopping at Ikea and Pain in the Ass Man returned for a guest spot in the trip.  (Pain in the Ass Man RISES AGAIN!)  Pain in the Ass Man is HIM, the man to whom I'm married.  Well, Pain in the Ass is HIM's alter ego.  He has super powers, such as how to annoy me in three words or less.  Occasionally he can annoy me simply by looking at me.
I like the twinkle on his teeth.
Pain in the Ass Man may be a pain in the ass but
he knows about dental hygiene.
We went to Ikea to waste time, browse through Swedish imports, drool over Swedish meatballs in their cafeteria, and buy me a new office chair.  (Note to Fat Woman's writing fans and especially Bubba fans, Fat Woman's back hurts in the old chair.  If my back hurts I cannot write funny Bubba dialogue and witty pseudo literature to entertain you.  The chair was ten years old and tired of me, too.  Now it's been relegated to the garage where it will sub for outdoor chairs.  We also had an interesting race with it on the slight slope of the driveway.  Bet you didn't know that that law of physics was applicable to old office chairs and sloping driveways.  Didn't I just tell you I was going to meander?)
This doesn't have anything to do with Pain in the Ass Man but
everything to do with stopping off at Ikea's cafeteria for a cheap and yummilicious
lunch after heavy duty shopping with your significant pain in the ass partner.
So back to Pain in the Ass Man and Ikea.  If you haven't shopped at Ikea, it's like this.  You find a chair.  (Or whatever you're shopping for in the way of furniture.)  You like the chair.  You decide to buy the chair.  The tag on the chair tells where to get the box that contains the chair you will buy and then take home and assemble at your leisure.  Ikea is also insidious by having a 'path' that it leads you through all aspects of the store on two floors on 100,000 square feet of consumer heaven before delivering you to the warehouse where you pick up your furniture.  Then you go to the registers and, let me just add snidely, that that is where they have another mini-restaurant that specializes in cinnamon buns.  (I think they've got a machine that sprays cinnamon bun smell all over this area so you will automatically drool over the cash register and/or clerk before rushing over to buy one of the spicy confections.)  Ikea knows how to market.

Again back to the return of Pain in the Ass Man.  As you enter the warehouse you need to get a flat cart if you're going to get a bigger piece of furniture.  You'll need it to load and then carry your booty off to the registers where you can trade your first born child or use your MasterCard, whichever.

I said to Pain in the Ass Man, "Let's get a flat cart."  (My reasoning was thusly: desk chair DOES NOT come pre-assembled, but in a large box that will have to be transported, somehow, to the front area for purchasing and then out to your car for loading.  I did not want to have to somehow obtain a team of huskies and ride that sucker to the front, so the flat cart was ideal.)

However, Pain in the Ass Man had already gotten a regular shopping cart and deposited our only child in it because she said, "I'm tired, Daddy."  (100,000 feet of shopping extravaganza wears out a seven-year-old fast.  And let us not forget that Ikea has established little yellow play areas about every 200 feet for children to further entice their parents into the whole trapped-in-the-super-store experience.  Possibly I should say that Cressy will never let us forget each and every single one of these playtime mini-areas.  God forbid we should skip one because she wasn't paying attention, because she will make us go back.  She has a little mental map of all of these areas permanently etched in her brain.  Ikea = smart, devious cookies.) 
This is our daughter in a exhausted, hungry, demonic moment.
"You talking to me?  I don't think you're talking to me.  You're
talking to some other tired seven-year-old in a shopping
cart, aren't ya?  Yeah, say hello to my little friend."
HIM said defiantly, "No, it will fit in this cart."  He might have puffed out his chest and put his hands akimbo at that point but I'm not really saying that.

I looked at the cart.  It already had a 50 pound child in it and a couple of items from the cooking ware section of the store.  "But, the chair won't fit."

Pain in the Ass Man said, "It will."  He had a mulish expression on his face that said I wasn't going to win but he didn't anticipate that I was looking forward to the chair box not fitting in the cart so I could say, "I told you so."  (I can plan ahead.)

So I shrugged and trudged over to the aisle where the chair was located in its handy-dandy box, ready to do damage to the unsuspecting consumer who doesn't bend his/her knees when lifting.  (Ikea should have a chiropractor on site; they missed that op.)  We looked at the box.  Then we looked at the cart where Cressy was sitting with her hands locked onto the plush beagle she'd managed to finagle out of the children's section of Ikea.  We looked at the box again.  Then at our child.  Our child looked at us both as if we were insane before we could even dare to suggest that she get out of the open part of the shopping cart so we could put the box into it instead.  "Surely, you jest," her little blue eyes glittered at us.  "One of you puts one hand on me and you're going to lose it.  Or I'll cry.  Whatever is worse."

Consequently, Pain in the Ass Man attempted to stuff the over-sized box on the bottom shelf of the shopping cart.  The box wasn't narrow enough to go all the way back.  But that didn't stop Pain in the Ass Man from shoving at it anyway.  After all, his new motto had become, 'If I push it hard enough it will go in there.  We didn't really need those other parts that were compacted and fell off.'
It occurs to me that this can be misconstrued.
The box did not fit.  I finally said, "There's a support beam on the side of the cart that's blocking the box from going further."  (I don't think I was that polite but it's my blog, so it's going to be my version.  If HIM wants to have input, let HIM start his own blog.)

Pain in the Ass Man grunted at me.

Instead of going back to get a flat cart, we tottered with the child in the inside part of the cart and the box leaning out of the bottom part.  (Leaning waaaaaay out.)  If I had let go of the cart the entire thing would have tipped over to the front and the HazMat Team would have to be called.  Or maybe the SWAT Team.  Maybe a divorce lawyer.  (I get confused.)

Well, you don't have to imagine what happened because I will draw a picture.  I leaned to the back and pushed the cart to the front because somehow Pain in the Ass Man had managed to evade that detail.  (It's possible he was trying to get far enough away from me so that he wouldn't be able to hear, 'I told you so.'  I believe HIM might be underestimating my need to communicate the message to HIM, because I would have yelled it across the store if necessary.)
Does anyone notice who's NOT in this picture?  Hmm.
Leaning further and further back I narrowly avoided a few other carts and gingerly directed it to the cash registers.  (Another note here.  Apparently Swedish shopping carts are not like supermarket shopping carts.  These bastards are like four-wheel drives.  If you go to turn one way, all the wheels turn that way and the whole thing floats to one side.  God help you if you're going fast because there's a lot of glassware and glass products on the bottom level of Ikea.  Just saying, I think Ikea did it on purpose.)

We did the self-check out line, which is always fun because the hand scanner is usually broken.  This means you have to lean down and read the number on the bar code and then laboriously go to the machine and enter it with fat little fingertips.  (Chances of making mistakes are high in this scenario.)  Then after making several mistakes and starting over, it finally rang up.

By the time we were ready to leave I was a little steamed.  HIM wanted to plow ahead and damn every other shopper in our vicinity.  HIM especially wanted me to get ahead of a shopping cart with a little old lady who was doing a shuffle-shuffle-step guaranteed to irk his sensibilities.  Since I was driving the cart, and still leaning backwards to balance the blankity-blank thing, I declined to throw myself, and the cart with our child still in it, in front of the old lady.  It may be just me, but I'm not speed-four-wheeling through Ikea with an unbalanced shopping cart just because we can't possibly allow a little old lady who can't see above the handle bars in front of us.  ("Jesus, sweetie, she's in front of us.")

Then I received the death glare from Pain in the Ass Man.  (This is the part where one of HIM's special powers kicks in.)

I began to grumble. (One of Fat Woman's special super powers is the ability to bitch at a sub-tonal level.) (This ticks off Pain in the Ass Man because he can't hear what I'm saying but HIM knows I'm complaining about HIM.)  There was a massive injection of deja vu at that point because it dawned on me that the last time we went to Ikea, the exact same thing happened at the very same part of the store.  (Not the chair buying or the lack of a flat cart, but the fact that I didn't cut off someone with a wandering cart, singing, 'Oh, Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.')  (He drives like this but I recently just started closing my eyes while he's behind the wheel.)

The event of the battle of supremacy was escalated when HIM allowed twenty other people, with carts, onto the elevator with us, in an elevator meant for maybe three people with carts.  I fought back by allowing the other 19 people, with carts, to get off before us.

When I pointed out how similar this was to the last visit at Ikea, HIM and I had a good laugh.  (Which is why we're still married after almost three decades.)

Anyway, next time the lesson is to get a flat cart, and let HIM drive it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Liebster Award OR How I Was Nominated For a Cool Blog Award by a Fan! OR How I Can Just Go On and On In this Title!

What does this have to do with the Liebster Award?
Why, nothing, but isn't my daughter adorable?
This is her dance recital costume.  They tapped
to Chatnooga Choo Choo.  It was appallingly sweet.
The Liebster Award - Thanks to Jerrilyn Atherton, who is wickedly cool down in Texas and has a funny blog.  (Peanut Butter Fudge recipe this week and it rocks.)  Thanks, Jerrilyn.  (She's a blast on Facebook and always entertaining.)

What does it mean?  Liebster in German is beloved or favorite.  This award is a kind of spread the blog love award by shooting it over to other blogs that bear mentioning.  The blogs nominated must have under 200 followers and must have a linkback to the blogger who nominated you.  It's kind of like a chain letter award for bloggers.
Again, nothing to do with the award, but
it is about the love.  Who couldn't love
a little pookie face with red demon eyes?
Rules to follow:

1.  Linkback to the blogger who gave you the big nod.  See Jerrilyn Atherton above and don't forget about that Peanut Butter Fudge because it's SINFUL!

2.  Post your own five picks of bloggers who rock your world.

3.  Post the award on your sites, website, Facebook, blog, etc.

4.  Celebrate!  I've got the Vanille Rum out.  I'm thinking maybe Jell-O Shooters or maybe just a hearty whoo-hoo!

So here's my picks and this was hard:

1.  R. Mac Wheeler - The guy is interested in writing.  He reads tons AND he's about to indie publish a fantasy series.  Yeah, Mac.

2.  Teri Ann Stanley at Temporary Sanity.  Teri Ann is a writer/mommy and this touches me on a good level.  She always has interesting perspectives on things.

3.  Dawn Alexander at Chasing Someday.  Dawn is a yet to be published author and school teacher in her daytime persona.  She's fun and I look forward to reading her novels one of these days.

4.  Dixie Dreams at My Crazy Journey.  This is a fun lady who lives in Alaska and talks about all kinds of neat stuff.

5. IMGirl - She's fun, she's crazy and she's funky.  Yes, she's an artist and her website is all that.
Help me!  I can't stop adding photos of
my child in tap costume.  (At least I'm
not addicted to that show, 'Dance Mom.'  Some
of those women are craz-ee.)
All deserving bloggers.  Check 'em out.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lessons Learned From Being Married 28 Years OR What? It Can't Be That Long! OR Oh Eff, Do I Have to Buy Another Anniversary Gift?

Recently I read a story about a woman who has recently celebrated her 18th year of marriage with her husband.  So, happily, she shared her 'success' hints with the rest of us.  This, of course, spurred me into coming up with what I've learned in 28 years of marriage.  (Hang on, this ride is about to start.  Keep your hands inside the interior and remember, I do it because I think it's funny.  Also I've never actually tortured HIM, the man to whom I've been married for almost 28 years.  You can ask HIM.)  (HIM just responded to the latter statement: "You did torture me.  There was the time you went through a vegetarian stage and made cheese onion soup that was completely disgusting.  That was torture."  My response: "Nobody made you eat it.")

Lesson #1: Never get married after knowing each other precisely five weeks after meeting each other scrubbing hallways while enlisted in the US Army and you're only 19 and 20 years old respectively.  (It doesn't happen much, but when it does, don't do it.)  (Hey, it worked for us, but I should have bought a lottery ticket that day, too.  Oh, wait.  They didn't have the lotto in Texas then.  Damn.)
As a writer I often say that you can't make up the stuff that
happens in real life.  You can't.
Lesson #2: Don't argue about small stuff. No one really should care if the toothpaste tube is squeezed in the middle. Here's what we did. We got a toothpaste dispenser that wasn't squeezable. That worked until we decided we should each have our own toothpaste tubes and the other one could just go to hell.  Amazingly this technique worked well with many things in our marriage.  Go figure.

Lesson #3: Talk about money and kids and stuff before saying, "I do."  We sort of lucked out in that we agreed on some stuff but HIM initially had the idea that I would spend all of my income on rent, groceries, and cars, whilst HIM would spend his on beer.  Hahaha.  No.  That was our first argument in a grocery store.  Great fun.  ("I don't like Hamburger Helper!"  "Well, I do and you're a total jerkface."  "I still don't like it."  "Great.  You cook."  "I'm going back to the barracks."  "Great, jerkface.")  (Good times.)

Lesson #4: Always warn your significant other about your relatives especially since your significant other hasn't met your relatives before the wedding.  (I had to endure many snide remarks about being pregnant as a reason for our hasty marriage.  (Pregnant was the nice way to say it when in actuality 'knocked up' was the least objectionable way that it was phrased.)  I certainly proved them wrong since we didn't have a child until 20 YEARS later.  There.  Showed them.)  Although you're married to the person, his or her family comes pre-attached in cement.  Really.

Lesson #4 rephrased: Meet your in-laws before it's too late.  Dumbass.

Lesson #5: Don't fart in bed and then pull the covers over your spouse's head.  I'm not saying this happened.  I'm saying don't do it.
Oh, you've done it.  Don't lie.
Lesson #6: Your spouse is not going to look like Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie after twenty or so years.  Brangelina has surgeons, trainers, dietitians, people who slap their hands, publicists and someone with a voodoo doll.  If you saw them in person you would understand that Hollywood glamour is really Hollywood glamour.  Don't be fooled.  Life is real.

Lesson #7: Oh, go ahead and fart in bed and then pull the covers over your spouse's head.  It might be funny.

Lesson #8: Don't have your first child at 40.  (We didn't have a choice and I wouldn't change it for anything, but OMG, I'm pretty sure it would have been different at 30.)  But if you can don't have your first one at 18 either.  Sure when you're 38, it's all good, but what do you do in the meantime?  30's just right.  You get to have fun, then have children and have some different kind of fun, and then work your way into grandparenthood.  (Where am I going with this?  I don't know.  I lost my train of thought.)

Lesson #9: Eat broccoli and popcorn and then go fart in bed.  After 28 years of marriage, it's definitely funny.  Gross, but funny.

Lesson #10: Tell that person you appreciate them.  (I know, it's mushy.)

Hey, you, HIM, the man to whom I've been married for 28 years, you're still a hunka-hunka-burning love.
I love my autosketch program.