Friday, March 31, 2006

You've got to admit, they DO look suspiciously alike.

The old guy in the Six Flags commercials looks like a feisty, fun-loving fellow, prone to busting out in a joyful jig at the drop of a hat, but watch out, pal. He could whack you just as easy as he could ask you to dance.
The guy is truly manic depressive. One minute he's doing cartwheels to a zippy tune in front of a roller coaster, the next minute he's shooting Tony Soprano in the belly. I can't explain why he's so moody one day and so ecstatic the next, but I know this: The guy really enjoys himself at amusement parks. That's where he should stay. If you ever run into this guy while you're enjoying a day at Six Flags, be respectful. Don't try to cut in line in front of him for the Superman Tower of Power ride. He's just there to blow off some steam, but he won't hesitate to blow your head off, just to prove a point.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Finally, a film for the whole family.

My buddy Psquared is a genius. Not only is he just an all-around genius (and, allegedly, a guy who looks smashing in Superman Underoos), but apparently a genius filmmaker as well. I was so inspired by his inspirational filmmaking that I decided to take up the craft myself.

I know what you're thinking: "Slow down there, cowgirl! You can't just decide one day to be a filmmaker, and then bam! You're a filmmaker. These things take time, which you're short on, and talent, which you lack completely."

Well, I've proven you wrong once again. About 10 minutes ago I decided to take up filmmaking, and about 1 minute ago I finished my first film. I'm a prodigy, you might say.

Because this is an independent film, and therefore very artsy and deep, I'll give you a little background so you can appreciate the more obscure references.

My friend Common Wombat has a rather unique and cool job. He spends the last part of each year merrily prancing all across the countryside turning dull, drab shopping malls into fun, fantastical Christmas wonderlands. He has a hand, or sometimes two or three hands, in designing, building, and setting up those mall Christmas displays that bring joy and wonder to the hearts of children everywhere. You could say he's a bit like Santa Claus, if Santa had a major gastrointestinal problem that caused sinus-killing flatulence. Why does he do it? Not for the money, friends. He does it for the satisfaction of knowing he's helping to bring the true meaning of Christmas to little Johnny and little Suzy. He's a role model for us all.

Every December, scores of busy, distracted parents charge into the mall dragging their flustered children behind them, intent on hastily charging up their Visas and Mastercards grudgingly and thoughtlessly, just to cross off a few names from their Christmas lists. There's no thought or feeling associated with this commercialized spending spree, just a calculated need to snatch up something, anything, to wrap and give to Grandma and Uncle Bob to fulfill the annual obligation of Christmastime. These parents are stopped dead in their tracks when they're surprised to find not just the sterile, uninviting storefronts they expected to see, but a wintertime fairy tale come true--Wombat's handiwork--Christmas trees, presents, snow, reindeer, beautiful decorations and candy canes and a hundred magical things that make parents and chilren alike remember and rejoice in the spirit of the holiday season. Suddenly, these shoppers are humbled, transformed. Faith and goodwill is restored, all thanks to Common Wombat. The world deserves to hear his inspirational story.

Which is why I chose him as the subject of my first feature film. Films have been made about all the great leaders and prophets and heroes of the world--Ghandi, JFK, Joan of Arc, E.T., you name it. Why not Wombat? I got tired of sitting around waiting for someone else to come along and tell this beautiful tale. At a certain point, I realized it was time for me to become part of the solution.

To that end, I proudly present you with my first film, A XXXmas Love Story. I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Hit me with your best shot.

Have you ever met one of those people who has a tendency to speak too bluntly? You know what I'm talking about, one of those people who could use a polite word in a given situation, but instead choose to use an inflammatory and needlessly derogatory one. Someone who, for instance:

People always claim they want to be dealt with honestly, but that's actually the direct opposite of what they want. What they really want is to be lied to in the most flattering way possible. If a friend says, "I want you to promise to be totally, 100% honest with me: Do you think I'm (insert defamatory adjective here)?" The right answer is never, ever, EVER "Well, yes, maybe just a little." An answer like that will unleash a chain of events which will end with you laying bloody and disemboweled with a garden utensil protruding from one of your nostrils. The only acceptable answer in such a situation is, "Oh, for God's sake, where do you come up with this stuff? Don't be ridiculous! You're not the slightest bit (insert defamatory adjective here)...unless, of course, you want to be (insert defamatory adjective here). In which case, you totally are! And I find it incredibly refreshing!"

I have a tendency to be too blunt with people. When I'm yammering thoughtlessly away on a given topic, I just come right out with the strongest word possible, rather than taking a second to think of a more diplomatic word. People who love me must have grown to love me in spite of this trait. Other people probably find me to be a total jackass with a tiny, dried-up heart the size of a thumbtack. You know who you are.

But I'm no sissy--I can dish it out, and I can take it. I don't get many opportunities to prove this, because people tend to avoid taking shots at me, possibly out of fear. But I want to prove it to you now. So go ahead, say that awful thing you're thinking about me. I can take it. No matter how blunt you are, how undiplomatic, how rude and out-of-line, I will take it in stride. I will not look up your ISP address, track you down and set your house ablaze while you sleep inside. Seriously.

Do you think I'm as dumb as a bag of hammers? Ugly as a sumo wrestler in a Girl Scout uniform? Think I have a beak like a toucan and an ass like an old man in an adult diaper? Think I'm so fat that when I wear a red dress, people yell "Hey, Koolaid!"? Think I have the morals of a sorority girl and the personality of half a can of Spam? Well, this is your chance to get it off your chest.

So come on, hit me with your best shot.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Don't judge me. There's a reason I'm this way.

You guys are a vicious, catty bunch; I realize that. Passing judgement, criticizing at every opportunity. I know you think I'm evil, wrong, a bad parent and a bad person, maybe even a criminal and a lunatic. But I swear, it's not all my fault. If you could see the hell I deal with every day, the sheer insanity I put up with in this house, you'd have a lot more sympathy for my flaws.

Case in point:

This is a photograph of what my husband considers a properly cooked bowl of oatmeal.
No, your eyes aren't deceiving you--it does indeed have the consistency of puke soup. He puts a couple of scoops of perfectly good oatmeal into a bowl, drowns it in a pony keg of milk, and microwaves it for a split second and voila! A bowl of slop that looks like something you'd expect to eat in a POW camp.

This is the kind of absurdity I deal with every day. Was he raised by a roving band of gypsies who subsisted on gruel and bread crusts? Does he think this is normal, acceptable behavior? Or is he really trying to drive me mad? I suspect it's the latter. I think he has devised an elaborate scheme to repeatedly commit small acts of absurdity in the hopes that over time he will be able to drive me to complete hystseria.

The man can't be reasoned with. I've tried to explain to him that this is what properly cooked oatmeal should look like: It should be one solid mass that you have to break into chunks with a knife. It should be so thick and gummy that your jaw aches from chewing it. It should be cooked to a point of dryness normally seen only in attic insulation. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down without the slightest resulting movement from the oatmeal itself. Washing the bowl afterward should require the use of a jackhammer and a bottle of adhesive remover. But he just stands there as I explain this, blinking his eyes at me in silence, as if I'm the crazy one. Then he slinks off to slurp up his curds and whey, either unaware or unconcerned that all across America, nursing homes are packed to the rafters with the toothless elderly who are eating the exact same meal.

Why is he doing this to me? I have a theory that he plans to drive me to the point of dementia, then have me committed to a lockdown mental institution so he can have complete control of the TV at all times. But I am not to be underestimated. I will devise my own plan to drive him crazy first, whereupon I will have him committed, and I will have free reign to leave all the kitchen drawers and cabinets open, and leave the toilet paper roll off the holder.

The challenge, of course, will be how to drive him batty. It won't be easy, because by nature I am an incredibly reasonable, agreeable person, loved and admired by all. A pillar of society. Therefore, it will be difficult for me to consciously attempt to behave in ways that a person might find objectionable or unreasonable. It comes so easy for Brian, but it will be a real challenge for me. But you'll see; I'll rise to the occasion.

Friday, March 17, 2006

There's a Perfectly Reasonable Explanation For This, Part 1

When you see a child so determined to get in the dryer, it makes you wonder. What could be going on here? I can guess some of your catty little answers now:

1) That photo I took when he was 4 months old wasn't a depiction of a one-time event. I put him in there on a regular basis, often to muffle the sound of his crying, or to suppress the smell of his dirty diaper.

2) He's trying to escape his mommy, who may or may not dangerously unstable. The dryer doesn't seem like an ideal place to hang out, but it does seem safer than being with Mommy Dearest.

3) He's looking for more (or perhaps cleaner?) panties.

4) Just to amuse myself, I wait til he's good and hungry, then put his food in the dryer, just to watch him struggle to retrieve it.

5) He's forced to do his own laundry, since his mother is passed out on the front lawn with an empty bottle of Jaegermeister in her hand.

Got any ideas, smartypants? Can you think of a better explanation for why my 1-year old was caught trying to launch himself into my clothes dryer? Go ahead, let's hear it. I'll submit your answers to Jake and ask him which one was the correct one. The winner gets a sneaky 1-year old child with a dryer fetish.

Here's Jake, wishing you good luck.

(Extra points to those of you who have noticed the recurring theme in which I invent "contests" which are really just thinly-veiled attempts to pawn my child off on someone.)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Are thong panties included in the food pyramid?

I have this weird and funky little dresser that I bought years ago from a catalogue. I wanted it because it had drawers which swung out to the side, rather than coming straight at you like most drawers, which I thought was cool and unusual. I might have been drunk at the time. I think the catalogue billed it as a lingerie dresser, but I imagine the only people who have enough lingerie to fill an entire dresser are hookers, strippers, Vegas showgirls and Mariah Carey (who seems to be a combination of the all three). Since I'm not any of those (anymore), I figured I'd use the dresser for socks and underwear. Actually, most people don't have enough socks and underwear to fill an entire dresser, either, so I wasn't sure exactly what I'd use it for, but I felt I had to have it. It cost a few hundred bucks, and I later discovered it was kind of a waste of money.

For one thing, the funky side-swinging square drawers are only hinged by one corner, which is part of the supposed coolness, but it also means there's really nothing to keep them in place when they're pushed in (in the "closed" position), so they're likely to swing back out at will if your floor isn't perfectly level...which mine isn't, since I live in a treehouse built by gnomes. Owing to my redneck roots, I attempted to solve the problem by attaching little velcro squares to the backs of the drawers so they'd stay closed. As you can imagine, this was a silly idea. You can see the black velcro when the drawers are open, which looks pretty ghetto. Not a huge deal since the drawers are mostly closed, not open, but there's also the problem that if you put anything silky in the drawers, it's likely to get snagged on the velcro, which sort of ruins it. And the truth is, really, it's way easier to toss all your undies into one big, normal dresser drawer instead of having to divide your collection among several smaller drawers. At any rate, I've kept this goofy little dresser for years out of sheer stubbornness. I figured I just had to have it, I ordered it, I paid for it, and damnit, I'm using it. Kinda like I'm punishing myself for my bad impulse purchase.

This stubbornness was all well and good before Jake came along. Now that I have a 1-year-old, I've discovered what millions of mommies before me have known for years: Toddlers derive unparalleled joy from emptying out drawers. Brian has put cabinet and drawer locks on the cabinets and drawers throughout our house which contain things that might potentially maim or impale Jake, but we've left open a few of the ones that contain harmless items, so he can get his jollies by tossing the contents out onto the floor for us to pick up several hundred times a day. He has three drawers in the kitchen he has access to (filled mostly with tupperware, measuring spoons, etc.), one in each bathroom (filled mostly with towels, brushes, etc.), and all of the ones in his bedroom (filled mostly with clothes and blankets). The ones in our bedroom that contain our clothes are a non-issue, since they are heavy dresser drawers which are impossible for him to open at this age. That is, except for my Cambodian sweatshop-produced lingerie dresser.

The contents of my so-called lingerie dresser have always been as such: The drawers on the left side contain socks and the drawers on the right contain panties. Colored socks are in the top few left-hand drawers, and white socks are in bottom few. Regular panties are in the top few right-hand drawers, and thong panties are in the bottom few. Jake can't reach the top drawers, but he's at the perfect height for the bottom ones.

There's no good explanation for why we have a random, ugly, kitchen-type chair sitting in our bedroom, but we do, and it so happens that it kind of blocks Jake from getting into my sock drawers on the left side of the dresser. But the thong panties in the bottom right side of the dresser are at his mercy. At any given moment, I am likely to stumble upon an array of scattered thong panties littering my bedroom floor, like breadcrumb-type trail left by a kidnapped stripper hoping to be rescued. But since everything that Jake tosses onto the floor is first shoved in his mouth, that means he snacks on my thongs for a bit before discarding them. He's the little perv in mid-panty raid:

Judging by the look of joy on his face, I have to assume these things are pretty tasty. Well, and judging by the rave reviews of truckers all over the U.S. as well. But how do they fit into Jake's diet?

His pediatrician spouted a lot of babble about how he's supposed to get so many servings of veggies, milk, candy, and processed spreadable cheese each day. I don't recall exactly what he said, but I think he said a "serving" should be about the size of his head, and he should get 19 servings a day of Hormel products, 4 servings a day of Hershey's products, and 8 servings a day of microwavable items. He didn't mention thongs. How do I factor this into his diet? Can I microwave them and put them into the last category? Someone please advise me; I know a child's diet is a very important thing, and I take my responsibilities seriously.

In the meantime, I have a free lingerie dresser for anyone who wants to come pick it up. I'll even throw in a few pairs of saliva-coated thong panties.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Dear Jackass, Volume 8

Dear caller who identifies yourself by saying, "Hi, it's me!"

You self-important prick. I only get a call from you once in a blue moon, and you have such a massive ego that you assume I'll immediately recognize your voice? Are you really so egotistical that you believe I have you in the forefront of my mind at all times, and that your voice is tattooed on my brain? Or do you simply think I'm such a loser that you're the only friend I have, and that any time the phone rings I assume (nay, I pray!) it must be you? I have two shocking revelations for you:

1) You are not on my mind all day every day. In fact, you're barely on my mind when I'm actually in the room with you. You can't see it, but when I'm talk to you on the phone, I have to periodically punch myself in the face to keep from nodding off in the middle of your boring stories. Sometimes I have to put the phone down while you're in mid-blather so I can run to the bathroom, put my head in the toilet and flush to revive myself. Disgusting, yes, but still better than listening to you drone on about how your coworkers are mean to you or your boyfriend doesn't like to cuddle.

2) I have a whole life that does not, in fact, revolve around you. I have other, better, friends, and many things to occupy my time and energy. When the phone rings, I do not assume it's you. In fact, every time you do that ridiculously pompous, "Hi, it's me!" thing, I spend a confusing several minutes trying to figure out who the fuck "me" is, and the eventual realization that it's you brings me no specific joy. What that basically means is that you're not even a fraction as unique or special as you think you are, and moreover, you're embarrassing yourself by assuming everyone you know spends their days staring at their telephones praying you'll call. Get over yourself, asswipe.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

CAUGHT in the ACT!

You guys probably think I make up a lot of the stuff I write here. I'm not sure if you think that because you're just a suspicious lot, jaded and bitter from being ripped off by drug dealer after drug dealer through the years, or if it's because you have such a low opinion of me that you think I need to make up wild, fantastical tales just to get attention, but I can assure you, everything I write here (with the exception of about 98% of it) is totally true.

Case in point. Not long ago I wrote about how my devil child is fascinated by the drain in the bathtub, and refuses to believe that it's not a portal to another world filled with toys, kitties, TV remotes, bite-size chunks of cheese and other things he loves more than he loves his mommy, which is why he makes it his mission to attempt to slither out of his baby tub and inspect it at every opportunity. When I wrote that post, I included a photo of Jake in said baby tub, but did not have a photo of him actually in the act of slithering. Now I have it: Photographic proof that at least a portion of what I write here is not total B.S:

Notice the crafty look in his scheming eyes as he makes his move. The kid's a loose cannon. So now you see my dilemma. Allowing a soapy infant to scrabble out of his tub at will is a bad idea for several reasons:

1) He could bonk his noggin on the porcelain of the tub, resulting in a cranial fracture, or possibly a huge red bump like the ones I've seen in Bugs Bunny cartoons.

2) Not having fully mastered the art of slithering, he could slip and wind up face down in the water of his baby tub, causing him to drown, or worse, cutting his bath short before I get a chance to finish chipping the grime off of him.

3) He could discover that the drain really is a portal to another, better world filled with toys, kitties, TV remotes and bite-sized chunks of cheese, but that, unfortunately, he is too fat to fit through the portal. He'd get stuck halfway in the drain, with his soapy derriere sticking up and his chubby legs waving frantically. That would render my tub pretty much useless, since that would stop up the drain. At the very least, it'd cost me a house call from a plumber. And half an infant.

So I can't just have the kid running amok in the tub. I need another, better method of de-stinkifying the little bugger. I've been brainstorming a few ideas, which I will share with you now:

1) I could put in him in the backyard and spray him with a garden hose. The upside: No mess to clean up afterward. The downside: His ear-splitting screams might arouse the suspicion of my neighbors, netting me yet another visit from Child Protective Services.

2) I could spray him down with Formula 409 and wipe him with a kitchen sponge. The upside: Formula 409 cleans even the toughest stains. The downside: Central nervous system damage, possibly resulting in hair loss and reduced motor skills.

3) I could put him in a little red wagon and send him through the drive-thru car wash at the corner Exxon station. The upside: Cleaned and dried in under 3 minutes. The downside: I'd probably be the one who has to pull the red wagon through, which would mean we'd both be getting a bath. And since I vowed never to wash my hoo-ha again after sleeping with Steven Tyler backstage at an Aerosmith concert in 1997, I can't allow that to happen.

So those are my options, and none of them are total winners. If you have any better ideas, please share them. In the meantime, I will just stop bathing him altogether. The upside: One less chore for me to do! The downside: He'll eventually smell like a dumpster full of severed gopher feet. So any advice you have will be appreciated.