Friday, September 17, 2010

We Just Want to Make Sure You Are Not a Robot

In an earlier post, I explained how I am trying to "make money" with Swagbucks. I put "make money" in quotations (twice) because thus far the process is entirely hypothetical. Anyway, sometimes? When I actually win some Swagbucks? They make me type in one of those annoying CAPTCHA codes to add them to my account instead of just adding them automatically. And in the little pop-up box explaining this, it always says, "We just want to make sure that you are not a robot." I love this.

Apparently there's this thing people do called CAPTCHart where they take the randomly-generated pair of words they were made to type - you know, to prove they are not robots - and they make a comic to illustrate them. I love this, too.

Plus also, I have an idea for a comic of my own a la Allie Brosh, but since it would probably take me a year to figure out how to draw it well enough using MS Paint, you'll probably never see it.

So now you know.


Have you ever been driving your car and pulled into a parking space and stopped and then immediately the car in the space next to yours starts to reverse and you look over at it and for a crazy moment your brain tricks you into thinking that your car is the one that is actually moving so you press the brakes a little harder just to make sure that you are in fact stopped and not about to roll into the curb?



Thursday, September 9, 2010

Your Disappointment Is Misdirected. Also Baffling.


"Dear Librarian:

Book was mutilated. 10 or 11 pages are missing.

Very disappointed."

Very disappointed. Two words. Volumes of despair.

And then? We looked to see which pages were missing... and they were all there. Did they misunderstand the story and assume that part of it had to be gone? Did it end too abruptly? Or did they tape the note to the wrong book?


Post-It notes Proposal

I actually would have sworn to you that this commercial was advertising Post-It notes before I searched for it, however, everyone else who searches it on YouTube seems to think the same thing. Sorry, ad guys - that's kind of a FAIL.


"Look at you, you've gotten all dirty again! Oh, my cuttery!"


Sassy Gay Friend


Monday, September 6, 2010

If That's What You Mean

Some of my favorite blogs are such Internet juggernauts that they can frequently post which strange search terms are currently bringing traffic to their blog. I'm not an Internet juggernaut [pauses while some of my devoted readers faint from shock and then recover] but as a post idea, I love it!

So here are mine. I used a screenshot so y'all can't accuse me of making this up. However, it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out how to use Paint to get it to look like this and admittedly, it looks kind of crappy. Please don't be all judgy; the next time I do this (in five years when I have enough blog traffic that it will actually show some new search hits) it is going to look badass.

I am not kidding when I say this is the 17th version of this picture, y'all. Sigh.
I think my favorites are "annoying avon ladies," "if that's what you mean," and of course, "mom spanks daddy." Good to know that my blog is now on the perv radar. Pervs account for a ton of Internet traffic. Maybe I'll get to be a juggernaut after all.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Ears Are Still Ringing.

The Teenager Audio Test - Can you hear this sound?

Created by Oatmeal
I've never been so not excited to find out that I am still "young" and have successfully avoided damaging my ear drums with my loud rock-and-roller music. Yay.
If they played this hell-noise at my mall to get me to leave? I would be way pissed. If I ever went to the mall, that is. Currently I don't because the whole place manages to reek of men's cologne because of all the guys that go there to pick up girls. Hot girls. Not me, formerly-hot girl. What were we talking about?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I Wouldn't Have Taken That Bet

My sister likes to take Scarlett shopping. Often? Those shopping trips include Target. Oh, how I love Target. I could spend days in there, just looking at everything. I don't go there too often, since a "I'm-just-running-in-for-toothpaste" trip often turns into me taking about $100 worth of stuff up to the register and not really knowing how it happened. But this story isn't about me. It's about my sister.

So if you have been to a Target lately, you know that right by the door, after you walk past the pile of red shopping carts, is the Dollar Spot. Where there is a small section of trinkets that cost a dollar, or maybe two. They have all kinds of stuff there - things you would expect to be cheap, like stickers or thin coloring books, and other things that you might not have known existed otherwise, like tiny pots that allow you to grow your own windowsill plant or pocket-size For Dummies books on subjects such as "Baby and Toddler Meals," "Feng Shui," and "Conversational Spanish."

My sister was pushing the cart through the Dollar Spot when Scarlett spotted a Winnie the Pooh-something and, like a flash, she reached out and grabbed it. "I want this," she said.

"You don't need that," my sister said. "You don't even know what that is." My sister was feeling lucky. "If you can tell me what that is, you can have it."

Scarlett said, "It's a tambourine." The duh was implied.

We laughed and laughed when my sister called to tell me this story. I would never make that kind of bet with Scarlett. All she does all. Day. Long. Is ask me "Why?" and "What's that?"

Scarlett knows what everything is. Everything.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

You Probably Shouldn't Bother Reading This, Y'all

Right now I am sick and my nose is alternately stuffy and runny and all I really feel like doing is sitting around and whining every few seconds. Scarlett refused to let me lay down and take a nap because she wanted to go to the store and she kept insisting that we had to go right now and she was all, "I have my shoes on, Mom" and I was like, "Uuuuunnnh" because that's kind of like what my whining sounds like. Eventually I got tired of her badgering me and we went to the goddamn store even though I really could have laid down and slept straight through until morning.

Of course today was going to be the day that I really buckled down and got started on my YA novel instead of just endlessly planning it because you can't get a million-dollar advance from ten pages of character summaries and plot points, you actually have to have a manuscript which means I have to actually write something. But now I'm feeling like those people in the Claritin commercials before they take the Claritin and get magically un-fogged and my mouth is hanging open because that's the best way for me to breathe and really, mouth-breathers can't possibly write best-selling manuscripts.

I remember when I got braces the orthodontist was all flabbergasted because my teeth didn't touch together in the back of my mouth and they were like "How do you chew?" and I was thinking "With my mouth" but I would never have said that out loud because I don't say much of anything out loud but especially not something that might be construed as either stupid or rude (but especially stupid) because that's one of my biggest fears.

But I digress. They slapped some braces on me and one of the things they did was give me a palate spreader which was this weird little box on the roof of my mouth and every day I would put a long, thin "key" in it and "turn" it once so that the top of my mouth would grow to be the same width as the bottom of my mouth. And I was used to having a lot more room in my mouth because of the whole teeth-not-touching-in-the-back thing so for like a month after they put it in I would have these moments where I suddenly realized I had been walking around all day with my mouth hanging open like a total freak. As if seventh grade isn't hard enough on a painfully shy nerd-girl with glasses and braces.

So I was going somewhere with this post (at least I think I was) but now I've started thinking about mouth-breathing and chapped lips (because the two always go together, natch) and I can't really remember what the hell I was going to say because I'm pre-Claritin clear, which is to say way foggy, and I should really probably take another dose of DayQuil and crash so that I can get up and go to work tomorrow.

Okay, yeah, that's definitely what I'm going to do. This post is probably completely pointless and should not be read. But that's the sort of thing you should warn people about before they read it and I'm too lazy to go back and put a warning at the top. Plus I totally just tried to plug my laptop power cord into the network cable jack. I told y'all, I'm foggy.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Kitchen Sink, Vol. Ten

I don't have a theme this week. In fact, I forgot that a Sunday post was sorta required of me until about five minutes ago. And if my second job hadn't called and said they didn't have any work for me to do today, after all? I wouldn't have even been here to post. So there's that.

That's right, y'all, I'm working two jobs. One that I love, and one that I don't really love but gives me just enough extra money that I can stay at the one that I love. Being a grown-up is way lame. But I guess I don't have to tell you guys.

Here are all the ways that I am trying to make extra money and the various reasons that they are never going to work:

1. Swagbucks

If you sign up at Swagbucks and use their search engine instead of, you know, that other one? You earn Swagbucks. And when you get enough of them, you can go to the Swag Store and exchange them for things like gift cards, deposits to your PayPal account, and various other items.

Pro: I'm earning Swagbucks for searching for things like "giant Twister board."
Con: It's going to take me a loootta searches to earn me some PayPal money. Sigh.
Irony: I just earned 10 Swagbucks for searching "swagbucks."


If you can pass a short test to demonstrate your knowledge proficiency? You can tutor people online and make money at Really. That's it.

Pro: I am uber-proficient at English and Essay Writing, byotch.
Con: I'm being wait-listed because what really needs right now is Chemistry, Biology, and high-level maths tutors. Sigh.
Irony: My sister, who is a teacher? Paid more out of her check in taxes than I make at my job-that-I-love in a whole month. Probably if we let teachers keep their money? They would get off of and leave the money-making to me.

3. Kids Consignment Sale

If you have clothes and toys your kids have outgrown but are still in good condition, you can trot them on down to a consignment store and earn a little dough while you make extra room in your house.

Pro: What I just said. You earn money and get rid of your junk. Duh.
Con: Getting your things ready to sell? Is a lot of friggin' tedious work. Card stock to make tags, safety pins, wire hangers, tape, Ziploc bags... Jesus.
Irony: I'd rather let the junk sit there than do the work required to sell it. I don't think that's actual irony, but I have a thing going here, and I have to keep it up.

Sometimes, when I am reading Suze Orman's column in O magazine and people are complaining about how they're "drowning in debt" but then go on to say that they make over $6,000 a month? I start feeling a little stabby.

That is all.

Friday, August 27, 2010

You Can't Handle the Truth!

Baby Sosie is sick.

She has been fussy and snotty-nosed in the way that sick babies are. This morning she woke up about three hours earlier than normal because she just couldn't breathe, and she was all pathetic and snorty. So I had to break out the saline drops and the bulb sucker. It helped immensely, and Sosie went back into a peaceful, easy-breathing sleep. (And so did I. Score!)

Tonight? She again needed some bulb sucker assistance. So I took her back to our room and laid her on our bed. Babies are wiggly and roll-ey, so I had to hold her head still with my knees.

Scarlett, who stalks my every move, appeared in the room and noticed her sister's predicament. It is one Scarlett has suffered herself, many times over. Except now she's a big girl, and I don't have to hold her head with my knees.

"Baby sister!" Scarlett cried. "Just tell Mommy the truth!"

Wait... what?

I am gasping with laughter. Like I am an enforcer now? Saline and a bulb sucker are my instruments of parental torture? Like I am Sayid from LOST? Where does she get this stuff???

"What is baby sister supposed to tell me?" I am asking. "The truth about what?"

"Umm.... guess!"

"I can't guess," I say. "I don't know."


"Baby sister can't tell me," I try again. "She can't talk. I need you to tell me."

"Um, I don't know!"

Damn. The sister secrets are already too strong.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Blackmail, Yogi Bear-Style

Although I try to refrain from mentioning my job on this blog, sometimes? They force my hand. Especially when they decide to blackmail me for fun. No, seriously. I, along with my fellow coworkers, received the following email yesterday:

"Dear Staff:

The 2nd annual company picnic has been tentatively moved to Sunday, October 24, 2010 from 3:00 to 7:00. As you are aware ___ is the only location open on Sundays. In order for _____ to ask the board for permission to close ___ on a Sunday, which is the busiest day of the week, __ needs to have a guaranteed 50% staff participation attending the picnic.

If we don't receive a minimum of 50% participation from staff, the picnic will go on as planned while ___ remains open on October 24, 2010 and operated by staff who have chosen to work in lieu of attending the picnic. Basically, you have a choice; work at ___ as scheduled on 10/24 or close ___ with 50+% of staff attending and enjoying the picnic.

Select the "click here to vote" link at the top of this email and vote to "attend the picnic" or "work at ___" and SEND THE RESPONSE NOW option.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing your responses."

Can y'all imagine how fun this party is going to be? I won't know. Because I voted for the second option. I'm rebellious that way.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

And Then Blogger Said, "Who the hell are you again???"

So.... yeah. Haven't been here in a while. I logged in last night with the intention of posting, but then Blogger started mocking me. He was all, "Oh, I'll let you in, but you're not gonna post. I'll just keep looooaaading and looooaaading the page and let you watch the circle spin around and around, but I won't. Let. You. Post."

I imagine Blogger as a bitchy queen a la Mario Cantone. Actually, if Blogger was Mario Cantone there would have been a lot more swearing in that sentence. And probably some finger-wagging.

There are lots of little reasons why I haven't been posting. But what all those reasons boil down to? Is insecurity.

There are soooo many great blogs out there. Great writers. Many of them posting every single day. Some even multiple times a day. Bananas! It's very intimidating to read a constant stream of funny, witty, thought-provoking, poignant, soul-stirring stuff, and then think about your own blog and come up with a whole lotta blank page. Blank screen. Blank brain.

I don't want to just give up. I've done that way too many times before. So I'm going to take a deep breath, lower my expectations of my own brilliance (snort!) and try not to let it get to me.

But not before I change my blog slogan.

Momlarky: "Letting insecurity win since the 1980s." Bazinga!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Scarlett Words, or, The Swearing Loophole

Scarlett is fascinated by Mommy and Daddy's awesome grown-up right to swear. No matter how many times we explain to her that she will not be allowed to swear until she is a grown-up? She is always looking for a loophole.

In the car, as I am pulling into our parking space:

Scarlett: "Super WHY! said 'F' today. They said Daddy words."

Me: "Honey, lots of words have 'F' sounds without being Daddy words. You can say the letter 'F' or words with 'F' in them. You just can't say Daddy words."

Scarlett: "What are Daddy words?"

Me: "You know the difference between words that have the 'F' sound and Daddy words."

The conversation continues as we walk into the house and I fix Scarlett a sippy cup of juice and Sosie a bottle. Despite cranking the a/c on full blast, we are all damp and sweaty and in need of hydration.

Scarlett: "Can I have Scarlett words?"

Me, frowning: "What do you mean?"

Scarlett: "Words that only I can say."

Me: "I don't think you need your own words, honey."

Scarlett: "Why not?"

Me: "Because... you don't. You don't really get that mad."

Scarlett: "Yes I do." Really? She does. She gets very frustrated.

Me. Sigh: "Like what? What words would be Scarlett words?"

Scarlett, thoughtfully: "Can I say, 'Oh, cuttery'?"

Me: "Oh cuttery? That's what you want to say when you're mad?"

Scarlett nods enthusiastically. Oh my god this is priceless. I decide to get Michael in on this. "Do you hear what she's saying to me?"

Michael, Xboxily: "No, I can't hear her."

Me: "She's trying to negotiate Scarlett words with me. She wants her own swear words."

Michael: "Like what?"

Scarlett: "Oh, cuttery!"

Michael: "Hahahahahaha! You mean only Scarlett can say, 'Oh, cuttery'? Mommy and Daddy can't say that word?"

Scarlett, way proud: "Yes."

And so it is. Scarlett has her own swear word. Michael tested her on it several times. If she heard him utter the unspeakable oath? She came flying from wherever she was, "Daddy don't say that! Daddy you can't say that, Daddy!"

Scarlett has found the swearing loophole. It only took her three years to outsmart me. I am in big trouble.

Oh, cuttery, y'all.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Need To Get Out More.

My bestie and I have had vague plans to see Sex and the City 2 together since like, May. When it first hit theaters. We'd seen the first movie together, and we wanted to reprise our Girls' Night Out for the second film. Last night? We finally got around to it.

It was in the cheap seats, so I didn't much care about the bad reviews I had read. As far as I was concerned? Even if something went terribly wrong with the screen and they canceled the movie entirely and all we did was sit there in the theater for a little while? It would be the best. Night. Ever!

I love my girls. So much. And I'm only working part-time. And really, I do manage to find time to laze around doing nothing (I keep up this blog, don't I?) But lately? I have been "one of those" moms. The ones that want Just Five Minutes to Myself to Read or Eat or Go To The Bathroom or Even Just Complete A Thought Without Someone Interrupting or Whining or Needing Something or Thinking They Need Something Super-Important But Really It Could Have Waited Or They Could Have Managed It Themselves But They Asked Mom to Do It Because What Else Is Mom Doing Anyway? In other words, every mother that has ever lived.

So when I realized that I was actually going to get to go to the theater, straight after work, and have about three hours of time where nothing was expected of me? And I would get to drink Coke and eat popcorn? I was disproportionately exuberant. I cranked up the radio and danced in the car on the way there to music that would normally irritate me. When I got there, and I found my seat next to my bestie's mother, who was also joining us, and she asked me how I was? I said, "I could not be more excited than if we were going out dancing!"

And I really meant it. I was so desperate to get out of the house that I would actually have been excited to go out dancing. People? The idea of going out dancing generally gives me the kind of nerves that normal people get about speaking in front of large groups of people (which is something that literally terrifies me, since I am a little outside normal.) But I digress.

We did get to see the movie. And it was not as bad as I had been expecting, but nowhere near as good as it should have been. There were, however. moments. Like when Charlotte and Miranda are having a drink at the bar in their Abu Dahbi hotel suite while Carrie and Samantha are off in the company of men. And they are confessing their Mom Sins. Like, "All I ever wanted for years was to have children. And now I have two beautiful girls. And they are driving me crazy."

And then they lament that they feel this way even though they have nannies, and they toast to all the mothers who do it "without help." Why, thank you. But buying me a drink would have been even nicer.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Kitchen Sink, Vol. Nine: The Thievery Edition

In high school, my favorite teacher taught AP English. He was way smart and had a wickedly sarcastic sense of humor. He also taught an elective - Comparative Religions. For that class, he had enough copies of the Bible to pass out to everyone, about twenty-five students.

He told us that to obtain so many copies, he may or may not have suggested to a prior class of students that whenever they found themselves staying in a hotel - say, during Spring Break - they might help themselves to a Gideons Bible and pass it along. For the good of future students, of course. So whenever it was time to pass out some Bibles? We got to read inscriptions like, "Ruthlessly boosted from the Holiday Inn by Amber and Tasha on such-and-such a date..." Apparently, thinking up euphemisms for stealing is way fun. In honor of my former teacher? I'm bringing it back! Plus, I stole stuff from other people to make up my Kitchen Sink. Duh.

I mercilessly ganked this from The Bloggess. Enjoy. It's so poignant that it almost made me burst into tears. What? I am not crazy! (Okay, maybe I am.)

The Bloggess gave me a five-finger discount on this next one, too (Score!): I have got to start doing more when I'm slacking off.

The following scenario was Bogarted from a Windows Live Messenger conversation:

Me: I don't think I could move to Australia. I'm not too jazzed about those Huntsman spiders.

Her: Meh, they're not so bad. Actually, I just killed a ginormous one.

Me: See, you must not really want me to move there if you are saying these things to me. I had a big spider in the house the other day, but it was probably a midget spider compared to y'alls' spiders.

Her: You should have taken a picture of it and posted it on Facebook.

Me: Not. You would have giggled at my silly little "big" spider.

Her: Don't try to suck one up with the vacuum. It doesn't work.

Me: What, does it just flail around in there? Or does it try to crawl back out? Ewwww.

Her: It does both. It flails and tries to crawl back out.

Me: By the time I went to get the vacuum the thing would get away and then I would spend the rest of the night all crazed waiting for it to appear again.

Her: That's why you keep an eye on it while you back away slowly.

Me: Snort! "Look spider, I'm leaving. Nothing bad is going to happen."

Her: Hahaha!

Me: "It's allll goooood, spider. No one's going to hurt you."

Me: **crosses fingers behind back**

Her: Hahahaha!

Me: whack! whack! whack! whack! whack!

Aaaand scene. That is exactly how it would go if I were trying to best a spider, y'all. And yes, she really does spend most of our MSN conversations giggling at me. I am that funny.

And now, a word from our sponsor: If you comment here at Momlarky? I love you. Really. You complete me. And stuff. Kinda. But I need another favor. Those little "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" icons next to commenters' names? Use them (but pretty much only the thumbs-up ones. Unless someone's being really douchey.) If you thumbs-up people, their comments don't have to go to moderation. No comments going to moderation = everyone wins! Also, because I promised, vote for BINDY.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Scarlett of the Day

Scarlett is sick. Fever, cough, snotty nose - all the fun stuff. The snotty nose? Is killing me. The kid doesn't know how to blow her nose. Still. She can only suck all the snot in. She can't blow it out. I've tried explaining it to her a bajillion times, but she just doesn't get it. She'll blow her breath out through her mouth, but not. Her. Nose. Aaargh!

Me: "Please can I do your nose?"

"Doing your nose" is using that bulb sucker thing that every new parent is armed with before they even leave the hospital. It means I am going to have her lay flat, with her chin tilted up, put a few drops of saline down her nose, and then suck out as much snot as I can get. With the sucker thingie. At first? Scarlett hated this. She screamed and fought me. Then, inexplicably, one day she decided she was on board. She participated like a champ. Lately, though? She has gone back to hating it. Which is rather annoying, since she can't blow her freaking nose yet. Back to the story:

Scarlett: "No."

Me: "Please? It will make you feel so much better."

Scarlett: "NO!"

**A few hours later**

Me: "Come on, just let me do your nose."

Scarlett: "No!"

Me: "How about this? If you let me do your nose? I will let you have some more chocolate cookies."

Scarlett: "Perfect!"

Her mama didn't raise no fool.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dear Youthful Indiscretions: I Want My Money Back

Have you ever suddenly realized, with forceful clarity, exactly how much money you have wasted on something? Have you made the calculations in your head and then really, really wanted to slap yourself for being so retarded? I have.

It happened about 3 years and 9 months ago, when I was staring at the two lines on the pregnancy test on my bathroom counter. It is a strange feeling to be staring at two lines when for years all you have ever seen was one. In that moment, I was all at once shocked, dazed, excited, and certain.

Even though I had never been pregnant before? I had known I was pregnant before I took the test. I was certain of it. I knew it, even without any symptoms. I didn't quite let myself believe it until I saw the test, but when I did see it? I felt... consigned. I gave myself up to the fate I had seen looming before me for days, my destiny with motherhood.

And then? I thought about all those other tests I had taken. Before, when I was younger. And I laughed at how stupid I had been. It was so obvious to me now... of course I hadn't been pregnant those other times. How could I have thought that I was?

Pregnancy tests are not cheap, y'all. I couldn't believe I had wasted even one dollar on them before. Most of the time? I would take one because I thought I should probably have my ellipse, but it wasn't there yet, and why wasn't it there? Hadn't I already waited long enough? Shouldn't it be here? Why didn't I ever remember to keep track of it in my calendar or something? So I would take a test, just to see, and inevitably? My ellipse would show up the very next day.

Recently? I went through this same thing again. But this time I showed some restraint. Because I knew what it felt like to be pregnant. So, really, I was 99% sure that I was not. But still, my ellipse had not shown up. I waited an entire week. Nothing.

So I went and bought a test.

And sure enough? My ellipse showed up the next morning. Phew! Thank goodness I hadn't even bothered to open the test box! But then, y'all? I had a dilemma of a different kind.

I took the test back to the store for a refund. And I grabbed some lady products. And I went to pay for them with my pregnancy test-refund money. I stood there in line for a minute, clutching the boxes in my hands. No cart. No basket.

Then, I realized... I knew the people standing in front of me. Not well, really, but I knew that if they turned around? They would know that they knew me from somewhere. Somewhere that they would almost certainly see me again. A mom and her teenage son. I so did not want them to turn around and see what I was buying.

I quickly sidled over to the candy, clutching my lady products against the side of me that was facing away from them, and pretended to be very engrossed in choosing a candy and pondering the gossip mags in the event that those people I knew happened to look over and notice me. They were taking forever.

There was another store employee at a register by the candy section. The register was clearly closed, but she was there, doing something on the screen. She noticed me loitering and politely asked if I had a question. I explained, "I'm just pretending to look at this because I know those people in line and I don't want them to see what I'm buying."

She snorted. "Been there, done that," she said.

Finally, finally, those people left. And I bought my lady products with my pregnancy test-refund money (with the same cashier who had rung up my test the day before, mind you) and left.

Lesson learned: I am so never wasting money on pregnancy tests again. If I am pregnant? I will know. And if I am not pregnant? I will know that, too.

And also? I am so glad that that other cashier did not think I was a weirdo. Yay, embarrassing drugstore-purchase solidarity!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Be Careful Which Random Guy You Offer Water To...

About, say, six years ago? I was working at a little nightmare of a place called Ruby Tuesday. And one day, y'all? I was at the hostess stand, you know, hostessing and shit. I think I decided to help one of the servers clear off their empty tables. I took some dishes to the back, and when I came back to the hostess stand? There was this guy sitting at a table.

A cute guy. In a blue dress shirt and (probably?) khaki pants. He didn't have a menu or anything. I thought maybe he had walked in while I was gone and, seeing no hostess, decided to seat himself. So I grabbed a menu and went to greet him. And he was all, "Oh, no. I'm here for a job interview." Devastating smile.

Reeeaaaalllllly. "Would you like a glass of water while you wait?" I blurted. I felt retarded for offering him a menu when he didn't need one and it was the first thing I could think of to say. Sometimes we offered applicants a free drink. Awesome, right? He declined, but he flashed me another smile, and I went back to my stand.

I'm sure I kept a vague watch on him, in the periphery, while I pretended to work. He talked with one of the managers. Things seemed to go well. I watched Cute Guy get up and walk over toward the bar where -


Wait, what? That was my coworkers' daughter, and my coworker, and they seemed to know Cute Guy, and... oh. Uhn-unh.

Cute Guy? He was my coworkers' ex-husband. She had been telling us he was moving back to be closer to their daughter, among various other things about him, most of which were... unflattering in the way that stories about one's ex-husband generally are.

Well, there goes that, I thought. I had a few dating rules, and Cute Guy violated all of them. No friends (or acquaintances') exes. No divorced guys. No dads. No coworkers. It was just as well, really, since I was dating someone anyway. (Oh, did I not mention that? Bygones.)

Then the very next day? My coworker, she mentioned to me that her ex told her about me, and that I was "cute." Wait, what? "But I told him you had a boyfriend," she added.

Oh, right. Him. (Bygones.) "Thanks," I said.

So Cute Guy and I were just two more people in the myriad of crazies that served people food at RT. (Really, we were all the craziest bunch of people you could gather under one roof. All of us.) So for a year? I continued to notice that Cute Guy was cute, in an off-limits, never-going-to-happen-in-a-million-years kind of way.

Even though he continually told me how "hot" I was. "I'm chilly," Cute Guy would say. "I think I need to stand next to Megan." Snort. Even though the managers kept putting us together when they assigned sections. Even though other people started to notice that he was getting rather funny and charming. "What's with Cute Guy?" they would say (except no one called him Cute Guy and everyone actually referred to him by his last name.) "He's so funny now." Indeed.

Even though he stayed an hour after his shift was over just to help me clean my part of our section when my shift was finally over. Wait, what?

Even though other people observed this behavior and made comments like, "Megan, he is like, in love with you." Wait... what?

So, finally, one day, I asked Cute Guy to the movies. (Oh - I had broken up with the boyfriend by then. Bygones.) I tried to keep the whole thing mum just in case, you know, things went badly. Because he still completely broke all of my dating rules.

Things, however, did not go badly. And two years ago, y'all? We finally got married.

I blame water.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Kitchen Sink, Vol. Eight: The Bad Behavior Edition

Some of you may have noticed that I didn't post a "Kitchen Sink" last week. Would you believe that I was in another coma? These comas, they sure have a doozy of a relapse rate. Heh heh.... heh... aheh.... Okay, moving on now.

So, since I was bad last week, this week? Will be dedicated to bad behavior. From other people. Some of whom were dumb enough to also be caught on video camera. Score!

This first one is from an episode of TLC's Cake Boss, and it is by far one of the rudest things I have ever seen. Seriously. If I were this girl's mother? Not only would I immediately cut the funding for her wedding? She would be disowned.

I refuse to post this next one on my blog. Instead, I will link to the article which has the offending videos. Now, if I were this girl's mother? I think I would be calling Child Protective Services on myself. Because, seriously? An eleven-year-old girl is talking this way? Out loud? To other people? On the Internet, no less? Seriously??? Somebody needs to enable the Parental Controls and not just on the computer.

Apparently the pornographers have decided to spoof classic TV shows. I guess I'll leave it up to you guys to decide whether pornography counts as "bad" behavior.

So I picked up this biography from the library completely on a whim - the title caught my eye, then the cover, then the jacket summary. I took it home. And people? I cannot put it down. It is fascinatingly weird. And the photographs? Stunning.

Why does this qualify for the "bad behavior" edition? I'll tell you: because it is the biography of model/photographer/author Dare Wright, who published a series of childrens' books about a "lonely doll" and her teddy bear friends, and apparently, in every single book there is some reason that the lonely doll deserves a spanking. From the "daddy" teddy bear. Nice.

Some of the books have recently been reissued. If you did not read them as a child? You should so check them out. And the biography? Weirdly fascinating. Weirdly. Oh, and Madame Alexander once recreated the doll that "stars" in the books. Can you tell I'm a little obsessed? Sorry.

Have you ever become so invested in a television show that you catch yourself thinking of the characters as real people long after the show has ended? I do this. With Joey and Chandler from Friends. When I heard about Live Free or Die Hard, my first thought was, "Ohmigod! Joey and Chandler are going to be so excited!" I'm not even kidding, y'all. And just now, when I was rereading the paragraph I wrote that explains why I was including a biography in my "bad behavior" post and I noticed how long the sentence that starts with "I'll tell you" is? I thought about how Chandler would say, "Could that sentence be any more run-on?"

I think I might need to go to sleep. Could I be any more tired? Heh heh... heh... aheh... yeah.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Oh, Poop.

I had the Morning From Hell today. And it started out so well. That's always when your day can crash the hardest - when it starts out well. Really, where else is there for it to go but down?

I got up early (for once!), I had time to shower, eat a breakfast (!!!), style my hair, put on makeup, wash the bottles I had neglected last night. I ironed my work pants, which I almost never do. I even got bored enough to put on the shirt that I planned to wear. But I put on pj bottoms instead of my freshly pressed pants. After all, I'm not a madwoman. I know what can go wrong with work clothes if you have small children to deal with.

After all this? The girls were still sleeping. I was going to have to wake them up if we were going to leave the house on time. People? Waking up your children? It never bodes well. Never.

I got Sosie up, changed her, dressed her, fed her, burped her. I woke Scarlett up. She stumbled through going potty in her groggy, punch-drunk way. She needs time to fully wake up, much like myself. While I was supervising Scarlett's pottying? Sosie made a dirty diaper. For the past few days she has gotten into an annoying schedule of pooping right before we have to leave, which means I have to stop everything and change her, and leave later than I hoped to. Ugh.

I decided since no poop appeared to be spilling out of her diaper, she could wait until Scarlett was all finished and wiped and clean-hands...ded. After a few minutes, though, Sosie grew pretty heavy in my arms and she started to slide down. I had to pull her back up to a more comfortable grip. All that maneuvering was making me nervous for her diaper, most likely precariously full. I decided to go change her after all, and leave Scarlett to her own devices.

When I laid Sosie down to change her? There was big green smear of poop up the front of her onesie. So that meant... I looked down. Yep. An identical smear. On me. On the shirt I was planning to wear today. Sigh.

I strip her, change her. It requires a lot of baby wipes. Pretty soon after I start? I realize that I have to go to the bathroom now. Like, desperately have to. Now.

But I have way more Sosie-wiping to do. I can't leave her in a mess, or without a new diaper, or she'll pee all over the floor, or worse. But if I don't get to the bathroom in T-minus-five seconds? I might pee all over the floor. Or worse.

I manage to rush through getting her into a fresh diaper just fast enough that I make it to the bathroom. Then, Scarlett, sensing vulnerability the way only a toddler can, bursts into the bathroom to see what Mommy is up to. She is up in my face, asking me questions and trying to sneak a peek at my lady business to see what I'm doing on the potty. I have a rather hostile conversation with her about how people like privacy in the bathroom. Of course, she has no idea what privacy is. Because I have none. So I have to explain that to her, too. Sigh.

The rest of the morning? Occurs in a complete shambles. Once you've had a poop-smear situation? It is way hard to reclaim your day. Sigh.

Since we are talking about poop anyway? I have another story for you. All fresh!

The other night, Michael and I are sitting on the couches. I have Sosie, I think I have just fed her, and now she is happily sitting in my lap. Scarlett is off playing. A happy family tableau.

I notice Sosie is pooping. I am all smiles. Sometimes she worries me, makes me wonder if she might be constipated and cranky. When she poops? That means she will sleep great. All smiles.

All of a sudden? I notice that her diaper is not containing this awesome bowel effort. Not at all. There is baby poop making a trail from her diaper, down my pants, and onto the couch. Lovely.

I start laughing and going, "Uhhh... babe?" Michael notices what is happening. Michael cannot abide the thought of bodily fluids of any kind. He makes horrified, revolted faces and leaves the room. I'm all, "Hey! I need some help here!" I can't move for fear of spreading the stuff everywhere.

Michael's all, "I know!" and reappears to toss me a towel.

I have to clean it up, but the towel is not really... containing the mess. Then there's Michael, helpfully pointing out that the poop is the exact same color as my shirt. Suddenly he is obsessed with getting a picture of this weird natural phenomenon. He flashes away with the camera on his phone. I'm like, "You are not publishing those."

Finally I am able to get up and take Sosie to the bathroom, for a bath. While I am in there? I am burst in upon, with children hoping to sneak a peek at whether there is still poop all over both of us. I may or may not scream something about going to your room, minding your own business, and shutting the damn door.

Sheesh. When did pooping become such a spectator sport? And please, god... when will it end?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How to Treat Your Library Book

1. Go ahead and write in it.

Librarians love to see you take pride in your borrowed books by branding your name in them. Also, those witty little comments and drawings really improve the reading experience. And if you're using the book to study? All of that underlining and highlighting will be super helpful to whoever reads the book after you. They're bound to find the same passages useful, aren't they? Really, you're providing a service. Keep doing it.

2. Take it in the tub with you.

We all like to unwind after a long, hard day with a hot bath and a good book. Why worry about getting your library book sudsy? It's not like anybody's going to notice that all of the pages have dried looking like someone crumpled them up into a ball and then smoothed them out again all while they were still attached to the spine. Borrowed books get a lot of wear and tear, right? It's not like you can't still read it.

3. Give it to your dog as a chew toy.

Librarians get it; new chew toys are a hard-to-justify expense these days. Plus they're annoyingly squeaky. Never fear - your dog can have oodles of fun chewing the corners of a library book! And if anybody gets all huffy when you turn it in with tiny holes in all four corners? Just be like, "Duuuude. Only the cover is chewed. The cover's the least important part!" They'll be so impressed with your logic, they'll totally waive those pesky replacement fees. Probably.

4. Don't bother with a bookmark.

Who uses bookmarks anymore? Lame! It's so much easier to dog-ear/fold the entire right-hand flap/fold the whole page in half. Or you could just like, circle the page number in pen. Other people can use your stopping points as theirs, too. Plus also? You should definitely lick your finger every time you turn a page. Those little wrinkly perfect circles your slobbery digits leave behind? Just prove that it's worth it to finish the book. If one person bothered to read it all the way through, then everyone should, right?

5. Use them to store your loose photos, opened mail, receipts, and notes you and your friend passed back-and-forth during Social Studies.

Books are the perfect place to stash all those loose papers that you just don't know what to do with right at that moment. You probably won't completely forget that you put them there and then return all of those personal things to the library along with your book.

And the librarians probably won't find all of those things and then be privy to that photo someone took of you while you were dressed up like a chicken and getting bombed out of your mind (Please say that was Halloween. Even though no one else in the picture seems to be in costume. Please?) or that note you were writing with your friend where you talk about how Amber is such a slut because she hooked up with Casey at that party and someone should totally kick her ass.

And probably no one would think to take those amusing, forgotten things and post them up somewhere like, say, FOUND, for all to see. Probably they would just put them in Lost and Found box. You're totally golden! Phew.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Your Daily Dose of Scarlett

In the car, after picking up the girls from my sister's house.

Me, noting that Scarlett is still wearing the Little House on the Prairie-inspired dress that she begged me to wear this morning but that my sister declared was ugly: "Did Manda try to make you change your dress?"

Scarlett: "Change my dress?"

Me: "Yeah. Did she ask you to put on a different outfit?"

Scarlett: "No. I wouldn't want to change myself."

At home, Scarlett comes strolling into the living room with her little art desk stool, which I have previously confiscated because she won't stop standing on it to get to things that should be out of her reach.

Me: "Where did you get that?"

Scarlett freezes in that wide-eyed look that suggests she knows she is about to get in trouble and perhaps should have engaged in sneakier methods. "Um, I got it." Classic evasion.

Me: "Who told you you could get that? Did you ask Mommy if you could have it?"

Scarlett: "Um, I'm asking now?"

At home, Scarlett is mad because she has been told it's time to get ready for bed. She is all mean eyebrows and frowny. Michael is being silly with her, trying to get her in a better mood about getting ready for bed.

Michael: "Let's see your happy face! Happy face, Scarlett!"

Scarlett: "No!"

Michael: "Why are you so mad? Why are you making a mad face?"

Scarlett: Sigh. "Because I'm frustrated!"

Michael and Me: **snorting and giggling**

Scarlett gets up and stomps down the hallway toward the bathroom. "You guys are making me so frustrated!"

Michael and Me: **Snort. Giggle!**

Friday, July 23, 2010

AVON Ladies Are Full of Sorcery. Fact.

One of our customers is an Avon lady. She likes to bring us her catalogs and occasionally, a free sample. The other day? She brought us exactly that. Catalogs, and a free sample. Score!

I took the pile of goodies back to the workroom, where New Person (hereafter referred to as "NP") was working. I set the stuff on the counter and opened the free sample box to see what delights it had to offer. Two kinds of face creams! Yesssss! I dug out a tiny vacuum-sealed pouch of each to take home.

Before I could stash it all in my purse? I noticed a different customer needed assistance, and went out to, you know, work. When I came back? I didn't see the freebies on the counter anymore. I started looking around, all puzzled.

Suddenly NP, who was looking through one of the catalogs, asked me: "Do you know who the Avon lady is?"

Me: "Sure, it's ________."

NP: "Have you seen her?"

Me: "Uh... yes."

Other Coworker who had joined us in the workroom: "Oh, I knew her name but I don't know who she is."

Me: "She comes in all the time."

NP: "Do y'all know..." (drops her voice to a whisper) "...she's a witch?"

Me: "Snort."

NP, all wide-eyed: "I mean, that's what somebody else told me. That she practices witchcraft."

Me, with not much conviction: "Well, I don't know. Maybe she does."

Meanwhile, I am thinking how very unlikely this is. And also? I am wondering why there is such scandalized belief that a witch might be among us. Do people really believe in witches?

I am suddenly remembering how, around the fifth grade that (awesome!) movie The Craft came out, and a friend and I went to go see it and decided it would be funny to claim that we were witches, and how it seemed to be a big deal to the other kids in our school that we might be practicing sorcery on them, and that still to this day if one of those former classmates in particular sees me, he will whisper-scream "Wiiiiiiitch!" into my ear while no one else is paying attention.

Then I reconsider. How does the Avon lady always seem to know when I am wishing for a free sample? And an entire box of said free samples completely vanished when I left them alone for five seconds. Freaky.

The verdict? Avon ladies are full of sorcery. Fact.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I Write Like...

I write like
Cory Doctorow
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Hunh. I had never heard of this Cory Doctorow. But if I write like him? And he has, according to Amazon, many published novels? I am way encouraged. And also? He must be an awesome writer. Snort.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"I Enjoy 'Erotica' If That's What You Mean." UPDATED!

I have tried to write this post so many times. But it always came off weird and creepy. So I always ended up deleting it. But it always has that title. Because that is an awesome quote from one of the awesomest shows ever made.

If you know where it comes from, and you have not cheated with Google and your name is not Heather? You are so awesome. Well, Heather is awesome, too. But I know that she knows the answer. She is like that annoying kid in class, when the teacher asks a question, and she is waving her arm around wildly because she knows it. And everyone knows that she knows it, including the teacher. But the teacher is looking for someone else to contribute, and the waving goes on, ignored. (Heather? You are not annoying. That kid? Way annoying. Just to be clear.)

So why am I posting it this time? Why is it not sitting forlornly in the Recycle Bin, wishing bitterly that it was just as pretty as all my other posts? Because I thought of a new angle. An angle which I am hoping is much less weird and creepy.

I recently started another attempt at a novel. I never tell people what my stories are about while I'm writing them. When I have made this mistake in the past? It always came out sounding incredibly stupid. And then? Because I had told someone the story? That powerful urge to write the story, to get it out on paper and really make it come alive, just sort of fades away.

But I was daydreaming, as I always do, about completing this novel. And getting it published. And having people buy it. And having things like an author website, and signings, and Q & A's with my eager readers. People always want to know where you get your ideas. Especially where you got the idea for that particular book. Errr... next question, please?

I got the idea for my story from an erotic fiction book. Yep. My tame, young adult-oriented story. From erotica. Yep.

I don't usually read that genre of books. But lots of people do. I have worked with books before. And those books? They fly off the shelves. So a couple weeks ago, I saw one of these books on a shelf. I wondered what all the fuss was about, so I read the back cover. The summary sounded interesting enough. So I got it, took it home, and read it.

The story? Really pissed me off. Basically, it's about this guy and this girl. They are stepbrother and stepsister (their parents married when they were older, like teenagers, but they had known each other for a long time.) The guy and the girl were attracted to each other, but the guy was inappropriately older than the girl, so he went into the Navy to make sure he didn't do anything stupid. This is all backstory, by the way. When the book begins, the guy is finally coming home from the Navy, and he expects to finally "claim" his girl, who is no longer jailbait. Except that while he was gone, the girl was victimized by a crazy stalker dude, and is now terrified of men in general. Which really puts a kink in the guy's manly claiming plans.

So the guy decides that the way to cure her of her fear? Is to get her to have a foursome with him and his cousins. Snort. Are you kidding me?! Really? REALLY??? I'm not even sure why I finished reading it. Oh, wait. I know why. Because if you dangle the possibility of a "devil's foursome" involving blood-related cousins in front of me? I am so going to find out whether it happens.

So, back to my original problem. Since there is no possible way I can explain that book, or even mention that book, in any sort of combination with my book (if it ever gets published, or heck, completed)? I will have to lie. I will go with that whole spiel about how ideas come from everywhere and you can find inspirations wherever you look. Maybe that's why authors have come up with that stock response. So that their readers don't know that the first, small kernel of their story came from a book with a WARNING label on the back of it.

The book that I read is part of a series. And even though it really pissed me off, with its incredibly asinine plot? I had to really stop myself from reading the other books the next time I saw them. You know, just to see if they were all that terrible.

Does anyone else have these kinds of imaginary problems?

[Editor's Note: I have no idea whether "Devil's Foursome" is the correct term for an orgy involving one girl and three guys. I know a Devil's Threesome is two guys and one girl, so I thought it would follow that the addition of one more penis would still be devilish. But when I Googled all these terms, the Urban Dictionary contradicted me with a term that, when I Googled it, did not match their definition. Eventually I grew weary of Googling pornographic terms and left my post the way it was. Italic sighs.]

UPDATE: If y'all have not been reading the comments? You so should. My genius friend Amanda just schooled me on coining pornographic terms (but to be fair, she reads a lot more, uh, "erotica" than I do.) From here forth? A sex orgy involving three guys and one girl will be called a "Devil's Pitchfork." I'm sure I'll find a reason to use it. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Kitchen Sink, Vol. Seven: Excuses, Excuses

So... I haven't posted much this past week. I wish I had a really concrete reason. Something like, I was incapacitated due to a coma and the first thing I thought of when I woke up was that I had to get back here and publish a new post. That would be pretty hard to get upset with me about. I was in a coma. You can't argue with comas.

But that isn't really the reason I've been silent. It's a combination of lots of stupid, small things - crying babies, sassy toddlers, general ineptitude, poor time management... things like that.

So one of my coworkers was asking me the name of my blog yesterday. And I was all, "What? Why?" And she told me that another one of my coworkers had been raving about it and that she wanted to go check it out. First of all? That is way sweet. Second of all? Ack!

I love getting new readers. Love. But when they know me in some other capacity? It is way nerve-wracking. Suddenly I was wishing I had listened to Michael about the swearing. Oops.

So the Old Spice Guy? He is way popular. He's been taking questions on Twitter and answering them via short, personalized videos. Since y'all are more "with it" than I am (especially since the cool kids don't say "with it") you probably already know about all this. But it gives me an excuse to post up a video. Yessssss!

I'm not sure who Kevin Rose is, but "aplusk" is Twitter legend Ashton Kutcher. The bad news? Apparently, Old Spice Guy won't be answering any more questions. Bummer.

This morning? Scarlett asked me if she could have some "chocolate penises." I was like, "What?" And she repeated it. Penises. Hmmm. "Do you mean peanut butter cookies?" I asked. She nodded enthusiastically. See, I bought this box of assorted snack pack cookies. There are mini Oreos, mini Chips Ahoy, and mini Nutter Butters. Scarlett usually asked for chocolate cookies (hierarchy being Oreo, then Chips Ahoy) but sadly we had run out of chocolate, and only had Nutter Butter left. So she had started to ask me for chocolate cookies, then realized she needed to ask for peanut butter, and somehow that all added up to "chocolate penises." Freud? Your thoughts?

I sorta kinda promise to get back to my regular posting schedule, which involved making at least three posts a week on completely random days and then Sunday. You're welcome.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Memory Keeper's Daughters

I keep two journals. Neither one is for me.

They are for my daughters. In them, I talk about their milestones, their personalities, what they do that makes me laugh - all of those special things that a baby book can't capture (although we have those, too.) I have this idea of giving these journals to them when they've reached a certain age - what that age is, I still haven't decided - so that they can read not only what they were like when they were little, but also what I was like. The things I want them to know. Morbidly, if I were to pass away, it would be a way for them to remember me and hear my voice.

I was writing in those journals at least once a month. And then? I started this blog. And recently I began yet another attempt at a novel. I'm sure you can guess what I'm going to say next... Time is money, an illusion, the fire in which we burn. There is never enough of it and it can never be caught. Blah, blah, blah.

It's probably been two months since I wrote something in either one of those journals. Always, in the back of my mind, there is guilt. It seeps into the edges of everything, turning them sulfury yellow. Guilt burns.

A few days ago, Scarlett started singing. She had dragged out the microphones that we have that connect to the Xbox, and she was singing every song she knew. And when I looked at her I thought, I want to remember this forever. I didn't want to ruin it by trying to capture it on video. I wanted to burn it into a permanent spot in my brain, sear it there so well that I would see it when I closed my eyes, an afterimage of a moment that shone bright enough to hurt my eyes.

I memorized the way she looked: pajamas, shorts and a shirt, decorated with birds, stars, hearts. There was a blue and white-striped barrette in her hair, and she had plastic "jewel" rings on her fingers, and her tiny toenails were painted soft pink. She was like me at her age, but already bolder, singing out with no background tape, and so proud of herself.

Already I have lost so much of this memory. It's dull now; I had to think hard to remember the small details, like the barrette and the rings. I just remembered she had on a plastic necklace with pearls and a blue high heel (Cinderella's glass slipper) that had a little button and you would hear, "Hello! I'm Cinderella" whenever you pressed it. See? Little pieces are just slipping away.

I wonder how much I will remember of that moment in two weeks? A month? And I made a conscious effort to remember. By the time I get around to writing in those journals again, I will have forgotten whole months, I'm sure. When exactly did Sosie start smiling? When did she first sleep through the night? Those moments are blanks to me now; mysteries that can't be solved, only conjectured.

I know how fast this time goes. I want desperately to hold onto it. I'll need these memories when the girls are older, absorbed in friends and boys, no longer begging me to stay home from work because they don't want me to go but, more probably, hoping I would just go and get out of their faces, already. Sigh.

At least I will have something tangible, something to hold in my hands and read and remember. Those journals? They are for me. They're for them, of course - but they're also for me.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Kitchen Sink, Vol. Six

Right now? I am having lemonade and chocolate birthday cake. Mmm. The cake says, "Happy Birthday Boss!" Obviously, the cake is not for me. But it is the perfect cake for the hubs, whose childhood ambition was to be "the boss." Not a doctor, lawyer, veterinarian... just "the boss."

I spent the weekend with my mom and baby sister, who had driven all the way from Ohio to see my girls. I really wish we lived closer to my parents, but I so do not want to live in a state where they actually have winter. Here? It can snow one day, and be back up to seventy degrees three days later. Now that's what I call weather!

My new mix CD includes a couple of songs that made me feel uber-young again, and scarily, I remembered nearly every word of them. What else is stored in the nether regions of my brain? Heh. Nether regions. Heh, heh. I have read a funny mystery series set in England, and in these books? Whenever the main character goes into the back of her house to look for something, leaving another person in the front room? She is described as going into "the nether regions" of the house. It always makes me giggle and highly anticipate seeing just what she is going to come out of those nether regions with. A flashlight? A rain slicker? Matches?

On a similar note, my husband is cheering on the Netherlands in the World Cup. Why? Not because he really cares about soccer. But because it's the nether lands. This sort of thing really affirms my belief that I married my best friend. I am way lucky! Happy Birthday again, babe!

Now here are those two songs I was rocking out to on my way home. Please don't judge me. I was young. Ish.

Unfortunately (???) I couldn't post the "official video" because I couldn't find one with the "embed" code enabled. Sigh. (It's "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls, in case you don't know.)

"No Scrubs" by TLC. This song? Way fun to blast with your windows down when you are out cruising for guys. You know, if you're into that sort of thing.

Friday, July 9, 2010

"Los Liiiiiiinks!!!" or, Choosing a New Blog Theme

Since discovering my younger sister's blog, I have watched her change her blog theme about a bajillion times. (So like, five.) I decided I wanted to change my theme, too. This split-second decision? Resulted in hours of Internet surfing and tinkering for me. Hours.

I scanned lists of "the best" downloadable blog themes. I spent a lot of time going, "Ooooh, pretty!" If "pretty" had been my only criteria? I would have been done with the whole thing in five minutes. Sometimes being superficial is an asset, y'all.

1. Your Theme Should "Match" Your Blog Content

This is kind of a biggie. It's what caused me the most grief when deciding which theme I wanted. The themes with simple color blocking and lots of white space seemed best suited for business or news blogs. The ones with lots of color and edgy designs seemed like they were for fashion or music blogs. The ones with lots of pink and swirls and stars seemed too cutesy for a blog that includes swearing.

Which led me to the bigger question - what is my blog really about? It definitely isn't business-like or newsworthy. It isn't just about parenting. It isn't a humor blog despite my sporadic success at being humorous. What kind of blog is this? What am I doing? Why am I here?

Existential crises are not pretty at two in the morning.

2. Black Background and White Writing? No. Just, No.

Yes, those themes look cool. Way cool. But they can get really tedious to read. Eyestrain is a problem, y'all. I feel your hipster pain, though. I totally fell in love with this theme when I first saw it.

But unless you are an actual vampire? Blogging about how hard it is to find quality blood? No. Just, no.

3. Does It Have All of the Features You Need?

How I wish that Future Me had gone back in time to warn me about this. Sigh.

You don't want to download a theme, download an archiver, unzip your theme file, upload it to your site, and then find out that the theme doesn't have all the stuff you want. Sure you can add widgets and tweak the HTML, but unless you're programming-savvy? You'll be doing lots of Googling and lots of sighing. Or groaning. Or whining. Or growling. Or shaking your fist in the air and screaming, "Los liiiinks!" like that guy in the "Yo tengo Bing" commercials. Or all of the above.

In short, take some things into consideration before you go all willy-nilly changing your blog. Unless, you know, you're my sister. Ha!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I am pretty sure Sosie is teething.

How do I know, you ask? Because she keeps gnawing on my hands like a new puppy. Every time I am holding her, she chews and chews and chews on my hand - fingers, sidepalm, knuckles, whatever - and makes little dissatisfied growly noises when her gums aren't gnawing to her satisfaction and she has to readjust. After about five seconds of this my hand is dripping with slobber. Awesome.

We have teethers. But Sosie is so not interested. I don't think Scarlett ever was either. She would much rather chew her fists, her blankets, or Mommy's hands. I was holding Sosie the other night, giggling at her hand-gnawing growliness, when I said to Michael, "Hey. They should make a fake hand teether. So babies can gnaw on hands without it being your actual hand."

Michael gave me that smirk and nod, the one that is supposed to convey to me that I am an adorable genius while he is really thinking I am such a moron that I must be humored or I might fly into a rage. I am all pleased at my adorable geniosity. I think about my... Finger-Teether? Hand-Gnawer? GnawPalm? Whatever, that's what people hire marketing firms for.

I imagine little babies clutching their teethers happily. They will look like they have their very own Thing from The Addams Family. Goth parents will go wild. I'll win over the masses with a glowing review in Parents magazine.

Only one thing is left to do on my path to inventive greatness: Google it and make sure it doesn't already exist.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Why am I always the one who has to "pull ahead" and wait for my fries? I know all those people behind me ordered fries. Why do they get their fries on time? That is not how "first come, first served" works.

Why would I rather run the same dish through the dishwasher five times than put in the five seconds of actual work it would take for me to scrub off the dried-on food by hand?

Why when I decide to get up earlier to get things done without the kids do the kids magically wake up earlier too?

Why does having a new haircut and starting to wear makeup make me more self-conscious about my looks than when I didn't make any effort?

Why does my car break down/a huge bill comes up/all hell breaks loose right before tax time?

Monday, July 5, 2010


The downside of having a cute new haircut? Not knowing how to friggin' style it.

I come from the hair school of Fuck-I-Have-Five-Minutes-to-Shower-and-Get-Dressed-How-About-Braided-Pigtails. Sometimes I liked to mix it up with a bun. When I envisioned having short hair? I thought, Hey. It will be shorter. It won't take so long to dry. I will have plenty of time to blow-dry it and it will look awesome!

But somehow I always forget that the "awesome" I leave the salon with? I will not be able to recreate. I will manage something that looks more like "probably a monkey did not style my hair today."

I remember several years ago, the last time that I got a cute, shorter haircut. I went to work fresh from the salon. My coworkers were in awe. "Look at her! She looks like a rock star! Doesn't she look like a rock star?" I was all aw-shucks-shrugs, but secretly I was way self-congratulatory. I do look like a rock star, I thought. I will have rock star hair every day! I am so money!

The next day, when I went to work? There was silence. See, I had woken up with all the product in my hair making it stick up like Goku from Dragonball Z. I'd had no choice but to wash it. I thought I had approximated my salon look pretty well, but I was soon corrected. A girl we'll call Serena took one look at my hair and snorted. "Jesus. You'd think when they gave you a new haircut they would have shown you how to fucking style it."

I burned with shame. The fact that Serena herself had hair like a meth head who'd just been busted on COPS only made me feel slightly better. Sigh.

So this time? I went as long as possible without washing my hair, so that I could keep that just-styled flavah. Then came the moment of truth. I had to style it myself. Even though I did not have the round brush and the two extra hands I really needed? It seemed to turn out okay.

By the end of the day, though, my hair had started to puff up like a Q-tip. My "side bangs" were not staying to the side. After sleeping on it? I looked like a hot mess. But as so often happens to a mother of multiple young children? I did not have time to wash and re-style before I had to leave the house to run errands. I spent my entire trip to Walmart furiously brushing my bangs to the side, smoothing my hair, and trying to avoid eye contact with anyone. I probably looked like I had OCD. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

So today, I knew I had to try again. I broke out the smoothing cream, the heat styling serum, the hair spray, the hair dryer, and the flat iron. And I have to say? I totally redeemed myself. I guess that's what I needed five years ago - four more styling products.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Kitchen Sink, Vol. Five

After last week's Kitchen Sink? I told myself that I was going to start the next post and just keep adding to it as the week went on, whenever I thought of something funny, so that it wouldn't turn out all lame. Yeah. That didn't happen.

Things I Should Have Named My Blog But Wasn't Smart Enough to Come Up With:

1. Fuck yeah, motherhood!

2. Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?

3. MuffintopLess (Except that that would be a lie.)

StumbleUpon showed me Sketch Swap, where you draw a picture on the screen (just like MS Paint), and then you get a new picture drawn by someone else. My picture? Way lame. The picture I got? Awesome! (Sorry, Internet stranger. I draw like an elephant on crack... not very well.)

These new Geico commercials, where they compare the likelihood that their company can save you money to some other well-known certainty, are getting really clever. This one featuring Abraham Lincoln? So funny.

 I wish I had more, but as I said, I procrastinated yet again, and now I'm trying to hurry out the door to enjoy some Fourth of July fun with my friends. I'll miss y'all so much - but I hope you're having fun, too!

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Short Cuts

It's funny how much a woman's self-confidence is tied up in her hair. If you are having a good hair day? You feel awesome. Even just a t-shirt and jeans makes you feel sexy. You are gorgeois. If you are having a bad hair day? The cutest outfit in the world will not make you feel pretty. It's all about the hair.

I've even noticed a difference in how customers respond to me at work based on how I have styled my hair. Ponytail? Meh. All down, like a blanket around my face? Meh. Half-up, half-down? More smiles, more small talk, more sales. Braided pigtails? They love me. "You look so cute with your hair like that," they'll say. "I just love your hair!" Braided pigtails it is, then! Besides, it means I can roll out of bed at the very last minute.

When I was little? Mom kept my hair short. Chin-length (or shorter) with blunt bangs. Possibly the worst haircut someone with a square face could have. And she would curl my bangs for special occasions, and my forehead would always get burned. Every. Time. The day Mom got married, when I was fiveish? I had a curling Iiron barrel-shaped burn so bad that it scabbed over. Thank goodness my fluff of hairsprayed bangs covered it for the pictures! To this day, I cannot see a curling iron without getting a little nervous.

As a teen and now adult [Yeah, I think you better put that in quotes.] okay, "adult," I have kept my hair long, no bangs, with a few, sometimes disastrous exceptions. I get bored, I get the urge to get it cut, I pore over hairstyle magazines, looking for one shortish cut that will look perfect on me. I usually got it wrong. I would leave the hair salon with a smile plastered on my face so the stylist wouldn't feel bad. After all, they had given me what I asked for. But I would hate it and feel ugly until it started to grow out.

Summers in the South? Will make you yearn for short hair no matter how bad it looks on you. Around the end of May, I was dying to get my hair cut. I made the appointment. I perused magazines. Glamour came to me in the mail with an article titled, "The Haircut That Will Change Your Life." Yessss. It was like an omen.

I chose my haircut, but I was nervous. It was a bit shorter than I wanted to go. It had bangs. There were opportunities for disaster. But when I showed my hairdresser? She gasped. "Megan, I love that! It is so cute!" Sold.

And she was right. It is cute. I love it. My history with short cuts? Rewritten. And I am so saving that magazine picture.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

You Down With O.P.P.P.? (Other People's Pee-Pees)

Since Scarlett has shown so much interest in other people's pee-pees, I thought the time was right to give her her first lesson in Stranger Danger. The "No One But You and Mommy Are Allowed to Touch Your Pee-Pee" lesson.

She seemed to "get it" right away. When I question her, she proudly shouts out the answers.

Me: "What do you say if someone wants to touch your pee-pee?"

Scarlett: "Noooooooo!"

Me: "Right! And then what do you do?"

Scarlett: "I run and tell Mommy and Daddy."

Awesome! But I still wondered how much it was really sinking in. She just turned three. How much can she really understand? Would she really tell us if, God forbid, it happened? I worried. Until last night.

I was sitting on the living room floor, changing Sosie's diaper, and Scarlett was right next to me. She was talking, as she always is, and then she said, "Mommy, somebody touched my pee-pee."

I froze. "Who touched your pee-pee?" I held my breath. Was it really possible the worst had happened? Already?

"Um, baby sister."

Wait, what? Then I realized. Sosie had been windmilling her hands around, the way she always does, and her little baby hand must have brushed against Scarlett. "She didn't mean to, honey," I said, fighting back giggles. I looked up at Michael, that smirking, raised-eyebrow look we give each other when Scarlett has no idea how cute or funny something she's just said is.

"That's very good that you told us," Michael managed to say.

Oh. Right. Praise. "Yes, very good," I said. Inward giggles.

Recently, she has been asking to see Michael's pee-pee again. I finally did what I've been promising her, and got her a book that would show her the difference between boys and girls. I read it to her this afternoon, and it could not have been a bigger hit. She proudly pointed out the pee-pees and booties, and repeated new words, like "testicles." She wasn't too interested in the part about how babies are made, so we skipped over that part.

"Mommy, can you read my pee-pee story?"
"You have to read my pee-pee story!"
"Mommy, read me my pee-pee story!!!"

Apparently, I have to go now. Someone wants to learn about pee-pees.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Preview of My High School Reunion

Today at work, I thought I saw someone I knew. She was someone I had gone to school with almost my entire school career. I remember going over to her house a few days after school. She sat behind me in my homeroom class for an entire year.

At first, I wasn't 100% sure it was her. Her hair was different, and it's been almost ten years since we graduated high school. So I just stared at her a lot. I'm sure she thought I was a freak. I would smile if I saw her look back, hoping to see that she recognized me too, but that didn't happen. She just thought I was a freak who liked staring.

Why didn't I go introduce myself, you ask? Well, I would have. Except that neck rash that I got from wearing sunscreen to Scarlett's birthday party is still there. And I'm afraid to cover it up with makeup because it might make it worse. And it itches like crazy, so I'm pretty much either rubbing or scratching it all day long. (Now that I think about it? Some of the customers probably think I am a freak, too.) So I didn't want to walk up to her and remind her of who I am while I have pizza-face, a crazy neck rash that looks like a hickey, and a little extra pudge that makes people wonder when my baby is due when I actually gave birth to her three months ago.

I could just see this girl - well, woman now - talking to other people that we went to school with. "Remember that girl? You know, the one who never talked. The girl with glasses! Well, she's a total freak. She has this neck rash? And she stared at me, like, all day." This is not the impression I need to leave people with while our ten-year high school reunion is looming so close.

That is, if I even decide to attend. If they even remember to invite me. I am not the sort of person who leaves an impression. I can just see myself, hypothetically, wearing a name tag with my maiden name and senior yearbook picture (ohmigod!) and still having people say to me, "Oh. You went here?" Yes. Yes, I did. I was your lab partner.

One time? There was this other girl that I have known since elementary school? We were both at the same bar. And I called her name and said, "Hey." She said "Hey" back to me. And then she turned to her friend and said, "I have no idea who that is." But we had just seen each other at graduation that morning. Sigh.

I could always pretend to be someone else. Apparently, I have a doppelganger. I have heard about this girl for years. People have come up to me, calling me her name, and seem all confused when I don't know who they are. Her former teachers insist that I attended her high school, when I know that I didn't. When I worked at a restaurant, one of the customers asked if she could take a picture of me with her cell phone, because my resemblance to this girl was "uncanny." She probably has no idea I even exist.

When I conveniently dispose of the name tag that announces my invisible identity and instead, introduce myself as her? I imagine people will be all excited. "Oh my god," they will exclaim, "what are you doing here?" I will claim I am the guest of various people, and they won't even contradict me, they will be so pleased to have doppelganger claim them as a friend. I won't need a Romy and Michele I-invented-Post-Its lie. I will instantly be fabulous.

But first? I need to see a dermatologist. Fabulous doppelgangers do not get neck rashes.