Sunday, November 09, 2008

I thank you, and my liver thanks you

Last night we hired a sitter. This is a crazy concept in our household, because we are incredibly cheap people who believe money should be spent wisely on things like booze and plastic surgery, not frittered away on babysitters. Luckily for us, Brian's parents live nearby and cheerfully watch our children free of charge almost any time we need them to, and as far as we know they don't even molest or abuse them--not that those would be deal breakers at the low price of "free."

But last night they were off watching some boring football game in Austin, and because there is no bartender in my house to make martinis for me, we were forced to actually open our wallets and hire a sitter so that we could go to a bar. Actually, we wanted to attend a surprise 30th birthday party for a friend of ours at a bar in downtown Fort Worth, which meant we couldn't use our standard Plan B.

Plan A, of course, is using the free babysitting services of Brian's parents. Plan B is hiring a random, reasonably-responsible 16-year old to come to our house after the kids have gone to bed at 8, and get paid to watch TV and see that the house doesn't burn down until we get home--which means, of course, that we can't go out til 8ish--usually not a problem. Plan C, used last night for the first time, involves a little more thinking, since it requires finding someone to come to the house when the kids are still awake so that we can get to our destination at a certain time.

Jake, the 3-year-old, is an agreeable and easy child who would be fine with literally anyone coming over to play with him for an hour and then put him to bed. 16-month-old Chase, on the other hand, is the wild card in any situation. She sometimes likes a person upon meeting them for the first time, hovering at knee-level and grinning maniacally at them until they pick her up. Other times she will lay eyes on a new person and run immediately to throw her arms around my legs, casting furtive glances over her shoulder every few seconds to make sure they're not pulling a baby-chopping axe out of their back pocket and leaping at her. Other times she likes a person well enough while I'm in the room, but as soon as I step out she begins screeching like a badger caught in a trap, stopping only upon my return. I'm not sure what makes her so different from the agreeable Jake, but I can only assume my husband's DNA is somehow to blame.

We picked someone Chase knows and loves, the chick who runs the kid's club at my gym. Chase spends a couple of hours a day with her three times a week when I teach there, so she's totally used to her, and we love her as well. She showed up at 7, as requested, and allowed Jake to drag her from room to room for thirty minutes as he performed the very important task of showing her every single thing in our house. "This is the wivving room!" "This is the dime-ing room!" "This is Cow!" "We have three TVs [pronounced "tee-dees"]--one in the bedwoom, one in the wivving room, one in the pway room!" The kind of stuff that little kids find fascinating, and that make most adults want to wrench little kids' necks. Chase followed behind happily.

We left with only about half an hour or so til bedtime, went to our soiree, drank and ate and socialized with grownups, which is not something we're used to--but it was nice. Not once did any of them demand that we do a "puzzo" with them, or burst into frustrated tears at their inability to put on a discarded pair of our shoes, nor did any of them try to put their hands in the toilet or eat something found in the trash. So it was an unusual but enjoyable evening.
We got home at around 10:30 to find Chase still awake; in a good enough mood, but exhausted. The sitter had tried several times to put her to bed after reading a book in the rocking chair, but Chase stood in her crib and wailed hysterically each time til the sitter was forced to finally give up and just let her stay awake. Naturally, when I took her into her room and sat with her in the rocking chair for a minute, then put her into her crib, she rolled peacefully over onto her belly, hiked her diapered butt into the air and went to sleep willingly. Why couldn't she have done that for the sitter? My guess is she was trying to appear so completely unable to function without my presence that I would be touched by her sweet neediness and vow to give in to her every whim from now until the end of my life. However, the child overestimates me. In truth, my reaction will be the opposite: I've got to get rid of this kid now before her neediness further cuts into my drinking time.
Who wants her? Leave your name here, and I will consider all applicants before finally sending her to whichever one of you is closest, to cut down on shipping costs. Hurry, because there's a party I want to go to next Saturday.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

You guys have inspired me to write.

I know you guys are probably all wrapped up in the election results tonight, but I'm here to talk about something way more important: My personal mission to do away with the infernal NaBloPoMo.

NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) is always hyped as a creative writing tool, but there is nothing less creative than the stuff you guys crap out when forcing yourself to blog every day for a month. The reason you (and I, for that matter) don't blog on a given day is that there's nothing interesting to say that day. Now imagine a million uninspired people forcing themselves to blog every day for a month, starting nearly every post with a zinger like, "Well, it's day __ of NaBloPoMo, and I have nothing interesting to say, but..." followed by 9 paragraphs describing something as mind-numbing as a phone call from grandma, a critique of a coworker's shoes, or a debate about whether to switch cell phone providers. The most bizarre part is how, at the end of the month, your last post always describes how proud you are of the fact that you were "successful" at NaBloPoMo. That tells me that you are misinterpreting the word "successful" to mean "able to consistently achieve mediocrity through the written word."
Do us all a favor and vow NOT to participate in NaBloPoMo this year. If you're already committed to it, then at least remove the word "NaBloPoMo" from every post, because that's like announcing, "This is going to suck" in big letters across the top of the post. Allow us the temporary illusion that you blogged today because you were inspired, and not because there's a national bore-a-thon going on and you're determined not to be left out.
Thank you.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I don't work at Hooters.

We've taught my son many things in his three and a half years of life. It was a common enough progression: First, we taught him the names of objects (door, apple, hat). Later, we taught him numbers, letters, colors. Then we taught him the 50 states, and other such things. Now, though, we're sort of stuck in limbo as we halt the teaching process and struggle with trying to unteach him something he mistakenly picked up from his well-meaning father: We're trying, with sporadic success, to teach him that his mommy doesn't work at Hooters.

There's nothing wrong with Hooters, I suppose, other than the crappy food. But since I don't work there, I don't need him telling his teacher and classmates at the Mother's Day Out he attends two days a week that I work at Hooters. I don't want him tell his grandma and great-grandma that. I don't want him telling anyone that. Not because I'm anti-Hooters. But because I DON'T WORK AT HOOTERS.

It started like this: We live near a Hooters. My husband, like most men, gets all slack-jawed and inexplicably happy at the mere sight of the sign as we pass it on the highway, so he cheerfully threw it into the rotation of objects to point at and identify for Jake as we drove to and fro. "Look, Jake, there's a water tower! There's a gas station! There's Hooters!" He was rewarded with Jake then subsequently naming these items on his own thereafter. "Look, Dada! Dere's a wata towa! Dere's a gah tation! Dere's Hoodahs!" Brian was so cheered by the sound of the word "Hoodas" coming from his son's mouth that his excited response to Jake's observations telegraphed to my son that this was indeed something noteworthy.

So far so good, and pretty cute. But then.

Apparently one day as Jake and Brian were in the car by themselves, Brian took the extra step of informing Jake that "Hooters is where the pretty girls work." He only said it one time, apparently, but Jake remembers every single thing you tell him except how to put his underwear on correctly.

Backing up a bit, I'll tell you one more thing about Jake. He tells me I'm "pitty" about ten times a day. He got this from Brian, too. Brian often tells me I'm pretty, and Jake started copying him maybe a year ago. Never mind that Jake also thinks that ugly tramp Dora The Explorer is pretty; I take my compliments where I get them, and I appreciate them no matter how limited the judgement of the giver may be. So I always say, "Thank you, that's such a nice thing to say."

Recently Jake's standard, "Mama, you're pitty," has morphed into, "Mama, you're pitty, you work at Hoodas." I tell him, "No, I don't work at Hooters. I teach at the gym." He knows I work at the gym because he goes there with me 5 days a week, but still he refuses to accept what I'm saying. "No, you're pitty, and the pitty girls work at Hoodas." Not wishing to disparage the fine, upstanding ladies of Hooters, but also not wishing to be lumped in among them, I struggle to find a diplomatic way to correct him. "No, honey, skanks work at Hooters," was not the way to go. Instead, I tell him that not all pretty girls work at Hooters--but he holds his ground. He has even gone so far to tell me that his grandma is pretty, and that she works at Hooters. Again, not something I want him spreading around the playground. It's a rumor that's not good for me and his grandma, and it could throw Hooters into financial ruin.

I was having no luck retraining his brain myself, so I earnestly requested Brian's help. "You better convince that kid that I don't work at Hooters, or I'm going to tell him Daddy supports his meth habit by blowing guys at the bus station." So Brian began putting his best effort into changing Jake's mind.

After a couple of days of "Mommy doesn't work at Hooters" speeches, Jake changed his tune. Now he tells me, quite frequently, "Mama, you're pitty. I know you don't work at Hoodas." He will say it that way maybe 3 times in a row, with the 4th one sounding like this: "Mama, you're pitty. I know you don't work at Hoodas. But you DO work at Hoodas!" Gak. Like all men, Jake is obsessed with Hooters.

The moral of the story, which I hope Brian has learned by now, is not to tell a 3-year old anything at all. Communicating with them by facial expression and football flags should be sufficient, and much safer. Which is why I plan to never let Jake know that on the weekends I work as a stripper at Big Bob's House of Poon.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


AT LAST!! After enduring three years of countless taunts from you nitwits for innocently snapping a photo or two of my son doing embarrassing and/or socially unacceptable things, finally I can get a little reprieve. Turns out I'm not the only one who wants to capture every joyful moment of motherhood on film to share with family, friends, and total strangers on the web.

Shaken Mama is a lady after my own tiny, cold heart. Unlike some of you humorless jerkoffs, she seems to instinctively "get" that, while motherhood is fraught with more penalties and thankless chores than such a noble endeavor should be, a smart parent knows how to find joy in the daily grind--that it's so very, very important to stop and appreciate the journey itself, rather than just trudging grumpily along to the bigger goal, which is, of course, to raise the child to adulthood.

Sometimes "finding joy in the daily grind" translates into "take poop photos and post on the 'net."

Monday, August 11, 2008

All the news you need

I have many wise and enlightening things to say today. Here they are, in order of thickness:

1) I'm hungry. Dieting would be fine if not for the irritating lack of food.

2) The city is resurfacing the streets throughout my neighborhood, which blows for a variety of reasons. If it's not the water getting shut off because some big yellow monster vehicle digs for gold in the wrong place, it's a sprinkler head getting broken when another big yellow monster vehicle drives into part of our yard. If it's not that, it's my car getting trapped in the garage while the street in the cul de sac turns into what looks like a huge platter of that sweet potato mush I keep seeing on my inlaws' table every Thanksgiving, or my car not being allowed back in the garage because they're making another batch of mush. Good thing I have a naturally sweet and patient disposition, or this, combined with the whole starvation thing, could make me cranky.

3) I may be hungry and my house may be surrounded by city workers who look like they just got released from prison, but at least I'm fashionably attired. Common Wombat, normally good for almost nothing at all, sent me a birthday gift which has what every birthday gift anyone ever receives should have on it: My face. Disregard the string you see hanging off the arm; Common Wombat has a strict policy of only supporting clothing companies who profit from the tears and sweat of enslaved 9-year old factory workers in Malaysia. It's lovely, isn't it? He drew the picture himself--proof of his schoolboy-like love for and adoration of me. I wasn't sure what that tiny word at the bottom meant, but he assures me it's just a fancy way to say "wonderful." At any rate, I like the shirt...although I'm a little creeped out by my suspicion that at this very moment, Wombat is wearing a shirt exactly like it.

4) While we're on the subject of Wombat and his addiction to stalking me, I should mention that Twitter is the high-tech equivalent of bathroom wall graffiti. Only, since you can access it from your phone, incredibly bored people like Wombat are scrawling all over the virtual Texaco men's room about 60 times a day. I think a lot of people use it to make witty comments or day-to-day observations. Wombat, on the other hand, just uses it as another of the 10 or 15 ways he has found to stalk me. I've said it before, but it bears repeating: If I ever go missing, please take a shovel and do a little investigative digging at any piles of freshly-turned earth you might see near the McDonald's by Wombat's house. I think he's crazy enough to kill and bury me, but I'm certain he's too lazy to go far from his favorite restaurant and all-day hangout to hide my remains.

That's all I have today. I'm off to my kitchen to stare angrily at my refrigerator.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Finally, the internet isn't so high-brow and sanitized anymore

For some reason that mystifies even the greatest intellectual minds, I have mentioned Common Wombat here on my blog somewhere around 24,765 times. Why? Why, when there are so many more noteworthy people, places and events in the world at any minute, do I waste even a second of my time on this bozo? The answer is simple: He tickles me. It's a vice I'm not proud of, and yet there it is. I hope it doesn't lower your opinion of me. I will attempt to explain it to you thusly: Sometimes even deeply wise and profound people like to snicker at what we intellectual types like to call "retard humor." I bet if he were alive today, even Albert Einstein would have to admit that South Park is kinda funny. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Common Wom-boob is anywhere near as clever as the writers of South Park--he's not. But I have two kids and two jobs and two intravenous drug habits; I don't have time to watch a lot of TV. Common Wombat's blog was a way for me to get a quick fix of retard humor without having to take the time to sit on the couch for a whole TV program.

Then the lazy bastard quit blogging. Not formally--he made no grand announcement. Rather, his blog sat and rotted away as the months and years went by, with no one but me checking back from time to time to see if he'd puked up a few new wisecracks yet.

Why, then, did I continue to link to him, post after post here on Karlababble, when I knew those links were only sending my readers to a black hole in the web? Because, goddammit, there is no one on earth more suited to be the punchline to my jokes than Wombat. In this one area of life, he excels! When I set up a small penis joke, no name fits so perfectly as the punchline as his. Try it! Say something like, "Blah blah blah de blah blah small penis? Blah de blah blah de blah Common Wombat!" See? He's perfect!

And he's versatile. Tired of penis jokes? Okay, I'll switch to herpes stricken, homeless crackhead jokes. Again, he's perfect! Porn-addicted, sexually ambiguous welfare recipient jokes? He's perfect! Serial-killer-living-with-his-mom jokes? PERFECT! Believe me, I've tried others. When it became evident that Wombat's blog was as dead as Don Henley's career, I tried using a variety of seemingly equally repulsive characters as punchlines for my jokes. I tried tfg, Mighty Dyckerson, Anonymous Coworker, and a couple of others. Yeah, sure, they were passable. But still, they lacked something. They weren't quite vile and grotesque enough. I needed Wombat.

So I begged him to return to blogging. I threatened. I pleaded. I talked you guys into pleading. All of it fell on deaf ears. Not that he didn't want to blog, I don't think. I think it's just that he's so slovenly, so lazy, so utterly inert, that he wasn't able to physically move his fingers across the keyboard.

But suddenly, things have changed. That lazy, shiftless cretin has recently announced a return to blogging! Don't get your hopes up--I have no doubts that this is only temporary, and as soon as the sugar rush from his Twinkie binge ends, he will go back to nodding off in front of reruns of I Love Lucy. But for now, you may check him out--not at his former blog, but at his new place, which is fresh and clean and as-yet unlittered with the feces and empty Malted Milk Ball boxes which will appear soon enough. Far more importantly, you will find my jokes pack a far greater punch with him reinstated as my comic foible.

That's the up side to his return to blogging. The down side is that I now have 24,765 links in my past blog posts that officially go nowhere. That prick did it to me again.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

It's time to take out the make room for more trash

When I first started blogging in 2005, it was easy to get on my blogroll. All you had to do was ask, and you were in. Was the potential blogroll candidate funny? Didn't matter. Was the potential candidate friendly? Didn't matter. Interesting? Thought-provoking? In line with my political and moral views? Definitely not tied in any way to child porn or human trafficking? Didn't matter. If you asked, you were in. Heck, lots of times you didn't even have to ask--if I happened to notice you had put me on your blogroll, I'd put you on mine. I was easy; I'm ashamed to admit it. Eventually I had to put the brakes on the reckeless and wonton blogroll-padding because there were too many blogs linking to me for me to welcome them all onto my blogroll.

As time went by, I began reading more blogs and I found lots that were interesting, funny, thought-provoking and definitely not tied in any way to child porn or human trafficking, and I would have liked to add them to my blogroll...if not for the fact that it had long since become cumbersome and unweildy, fat with links to blogs I didn't even read or particularly wish to endorse. Not wanting to offend anyone by abruptly booting them off the list, I opted for the coward's solution: To wait for some them to die. I'd check the links every few months or so and be overjoyed upon discovering one that had become defunct or hadn't been updated since 1975. Then I was able to kick that link off the list and make room for someone new.

Clearly, the whole "system" was a piss-poor one. Not only is it sloppy, but it doesn't reflect my distinct personality, which is all about rejecting people, not accepting them. So it's time to start over. I'd like to make my blogroll a place filled with bloggers who fit at least one of the following criteria:

1) have a writing style that I admire and enjoy,
2) have stuck with me for a long time, continuing to read and comment here over the years,
3) lather me up frequently in my comments section with such complimentary phrases as "You are so hilarious!" "This post cracked me up!" and "I have depraved sexual fantasies about you night and day," and/or
4) can bribe me with cash, expensive liquor, or free weekly housecleaning.

So I am taking submissions now for those who want to be on my blogroll. Tell me how you fit the above criteria and provide a short paragraph stating why you feel you deserve one of these coveted spots. For extra bonus points, pick out a blog currently on my blogroll and tell me why you feel that blog should be dropped immediately, and the owner dismembered, diced into tiny pieces and fed to his/her own family members.

Vicious slander and profanity is, obviously, allowed.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The epic battle of Good vs. Evil continues on

Once again, my innocent attempts at creating wholesome friendships bites me in the ass.

I am like anyone else--I seek out friendship and good company, yearning to surround myself with people who will nurture and respect a healthy, reciprocal relationship in which we support and encourage one another. I am a simple person with simple needs. And yet, I repeatedly find myself falling in with the dregs of society.

It all started with this stupid blog. If I've learned anything about blogging, it's that blogs are a magnet for creeps. Not enough creeps in your life? Start blogging! They'll flock to you in droves, creeps crawling out of the digital woodwork to infect your life and crap all over everything beautiful and peaceful in your world.

(If you read often, you're wise to my...ahem...literary style, and you know that a paragraph like that last one is always a segue to a story involving Common Wombat. So let's get on with it, then.)

Wombat is someone I met through this blog. Heedlessly ignoring all the warnings in the media about meeting and befriending people on the internet, I welcomed this stranger into my life a couple of years ago. Since then, he has rained destruction and mayhem on my life, but my stubborn faith in the basic goodness of humanity has prevented me from casting him aside. I have continued to try to reach out to this mongrel and show him some human kindness that I think must have been lacking in his life for so long, making him into the savage he is.

It was in the spirit of friendship that I sent my supposed friend Wombat the following picture message from my cell phone one day as I was sitting at a stoplight:
It was just my friendly way of saying, "I'm thinking about you, friend." Tragically, it was met with a return text message from him that spewed some foul and decidedly UNfriendly words which I am too much of a lady to reprint here. I was shocked and wounded, naturally. How could a person be so cruel? But the attack didn't end there, oh no. Later he went so far as to email me this painfully unfriendly image along with the snippy title, "Twins?"Then, while I was still reeling from this betrayal, I got another email--this time from one of Wombat's vile henchmen. His surly little friend Paul joined in on the hurtful assault and sent me these humorless and hostile images:
Titled: Koko Dono

Titled: National Karlagraphic

Titled: Lee Harvey Karlswald

Titled: Moore Karla

This kind of unprovoked viciousness is not something I can easily understand. I know that ugly and terrible things happen every day in this world--it's just hard to understand when they happen to good people.

I'm sure the villainous Wombat and his malevolent friend Paul are sitting in their dungeon in Baltimore, cackling away at my pain. I can't begin to understand how they can derive joy from the suffering of others, but maybe that's a mystery I'll never be able to unravel. I'll just have to continue on with my simple life--doing charity work for the sick, helping the elderly cross the street, cooking food for the hungry, etc.--while the evildoers in the world continue on with the work of Satan. I refuse to let these attacks turn me into a bitter, fearful person. I still believe that goodness will triumph after all.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A little something I'd like to get off my chest

I'm sorry I've taken so long to write a new post, but it's actually your fault. Recently I shared with you my inability to find a decent workout bra. It was a great dilemma for me, and the source of much sadness in my life. In the comments section of that post, a few of you took the opportunity to simply make a few crude boobie jokes, but the more genuine and compassionate among you offered your help, giving me recommendations on workout bras you'd tried yourself or had heard of from other people. To you good folks, I extend my most heartfelt thanks, for it's people like you who make the world, and my cleavage, a better place.

How does this explain my tardiness in writing a new blog post? Well, thanks to your advice, I did indeed find a great workout bra--comfortable, attractive and supportive all at once. So thrilled am I with this product that I have spent all my time exercising instead of doing other things (like blogging, working, cleaning the house or caring for my children). Here's a picture of me using this recent purchase: As you can probably see from the serene expression on my face, my new workout bra provides such comfort and stability that I hardly feel like I'm working out. It makes my C cup look like a DD cup, and it even gives the appearance of a heart-shaped tanning mark on my suddenly flat abs.

In summary, I thank you for your help. It gives me comfort to know that I can turn to you for advice when I am lost or confused. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to hit the treadmill.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Count your blessings.

You think your life is tough? Ha. MY life is tough. So tough that a lily-livered sissy like you wouldn't last a minute in my world. Here are some examples of the kind of soul-crushing hardship I go through every day:

1.) I have recently gotten hooked on some excellent lipstick. This stuff is awesome--it wears really well, it comes in a whole host of beautiful colors, and there's a pretty shine to the finish. That's the good news. The bad news? It's from Avon. Now, normally I keep a respectable distance away from Avon products, but I take my makeup recommendations from Paula Begoun, who does nothing but try on makeup for a living and report whether it's good or not. Before I discovered Paula, I used to spend 3/4 of my annual income trying out beauty products that I ultimately discovered to be mediocre or crappy. Now I skip all the random speculation and just buy what she gives high ratings to. I was baffled when she said Avon Glazewear Lipstick was fabulous, but I'd trust this woman with my life, my life savings, and the secret of who my childrens' real fathers are. So I bought some from an Avon rep who happened to wander into my workplace...and now I've got a monkey on my back. I need more of this stuff--lots more--but the chick who sold it to me initially no longer sells Avon, and every single other person I've ever know to sell Avon looks like something that just shuffled off the set of a zombie movie. They frighten me. Often, they drive 30-year-old cars covered in bumper stickers, and wear the same shirt all week long. And yet, now I must find a way to stifle my fear and strike up a relationship with one of these people. This must be what it's like when a cheerleader gets hooked on crack and finds herself going to the worst part of town to score, willing to risk life and dignity to get her fix.

2.) I need a new workout bra, and all the workout bras I find in the stores seem to suck. They either provide no support whatsoever, or they're thickly padded for some weird reason. If you're a 34C and have any good workout bras, do me a favor and just send me yours.

3.) Common Wombat was schedule to make a trip here this month and stay at my house, but he cancelled it. That's not the bad news--that's excellent news. The bad part is that, in panicked preparation for his visit, I ripped up all the carpet in my home so that after he left it would be easier to clean up the urine. Now I'm staring at bare concrete, and all for no good reason. It's hard to know how to feel about this cancelled visit, since, on the one hand, my kids are definitely safer this way. But on the other hand, it just seems like I went to a lot of trouble for nothing. I was even planning on using the ripped-out carpet to roll his dead body up into for a hasty disposal at the local landfill at the end of his stay, but now I'll have to find another use for it.

Yes, my life is full of challenges these days, but never fear, I'll get through them. With your support, and convenience of the liquor store near my house, I will manage somehow, some way. If you see me out there one of the days, wandering the streets bra-less and sporting some very nice lipstick, struggling to drag a huge roll of carpet along behind me, please stop and offer me a ride.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Redemption may be just a click away.

You're going to hell, it's almost certain.

I know my readership, and I can say without hesitation that you're a pretty depraved bunch. Luckily, the world has a fair amount of do-gooder types who are even now out there struggling to find new, innovative ways to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, heal the sick and educate the underprivileged. You? You're probably on Day 24 of an internet porn masturbation marathon. If you've ever helped anyone, it was by leaving the room so the stench could dissipate. You make me sick.

And yet...there may still be hope for you.

My friend and coworker, Gena, is trying to raise funds for the March of Dimes. Now, before you get all indignant and shout, "Hold it right there--I don't want anything to do with one of those insipid do-gooders who spend all their time helping others. I can't identify with that kind of person at all," let me assure you: Gena is just as depraved as you are. Well, maybe not THAT depraved, but close. She's a friend of mine, and I promise you, any friend of mine is steeped in depravity. Just because she's taken a few moments away from abusing her liver to participate in a little fundraising doesn't mean she's gone all Angelina Jolie on us. So calm down.

The March of Dimes is an organization that raises a lot of money to help save premature babies. How does this affect you, sitting there in your squalid abode, surrounded by 138 cats in varying stages of disease, and several hundred empty Twinkies containers? Well, think about it: Since my own son Jake was born 6 weeks premature and spent 2 weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit, it stands to reason that it's the March of Dimes who brought you such fascinating, intellectually stimulating reading as this post from November, 2005. That's right, you can thank the good folks at The March of Dimes for Jake, the inspiration for so many of the top-quality blog posts you've read here at (If you're scratching your head and asking yourself, "If the kid is so bloody inspirational, why does Karla only post about once per millennium these days?"--good question. Unfortunately, Jake no longer resides with us. Frankly, I'm not sure where he is. In the spirit of good parenthood, we decided to take him to the zoo one day, but things went haywire when we indulged in three too many bottles of Wild Turkey before heading out that morning. Long story short, when we returned from the zoo that evening, we were unloading the car, and eventually realized Jake wasn't in there. Before you self-righteously label me a bad mom, let me just inform you that I made not one but two calls to the zoo's Lost and Found department, where I was told they did a thorough search of the cardboard box under the counter and found several umbrellas, a couple of pairs of sunglasses and a set of car keys, but no 3-year-old boys. Can't say I didn't try.)

At any rate, The March of Dimes is good, good stuff. They do more good in 15 minutes than you'll do your whole life. I suggest that, in a small attempt to stave off the fires of hell, you go henceforth to Gena's March for Babies page and make a donation--however small--to this worthy cause. Not sure how much to donate? I recommend you calculate how much your meth addiction costs you per month, and donate 7% of that total. If each one of you did that, there'd be enough money to save approximately 14 zillion premature babies, cure AIDS, herpes and bacterial meningitis, and pay back the national deficit. Twice.

So, please--reach deep into your pockets. Oh, God, wait...stop that. That's disgusting. Seriously, stop that. I'm going to vomit. Christ, why do I try to humanize you degenerates?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Parties and poop don't mix.

For most of my life, I have been the kind of girl who loves a good party. If you're like some of my readers, you may think "party" means two or three pimply-faced social outcasts sipping root beer while watching Interview With A Vampire and eating mom's fresh-baked cookies, but hopefully not all of you are as socially awkward and universally disliked as that. Among my friends, parties used to involve lots of cheap (or possibly stolen) alcohol, mean-spirited laughter and the occasional harmless felony. Ah, the good old days. My liver and I sometimes sit and reminisce about those times, before a coughing fit causes me to pass out in a pool of bloody phlegm.

It's strange how things change. The most recent party I attended was just a week or so ago, and it was a Potty Party. Easy there, hippie, I didn't say "Pot Party," I said "Potty Party." And no, I'm not part of some underworld creep club that hosts golden showers in dingy tavern basements. It was my last-ditch effort at potty-training my son, Jake.

I don't know much about parenting--any of the Child Protective Service workers who have visited my house will vouch for that. But I really didn't think potty training would be a big deal. I assumed all children eventually reach an age where a few well-placed bribes are enough to entice them to pee in the appropriate location, and an exuberant display of praise and a few rewards would be enough to encourage them to keep it up. I even assumed that all children eventually reach an age where they dislike the feeling of a wet diaper or underwear enough that it creates a deterrent. Either I was naively wrong, or Jake is just especially lazy and slovenly.

I first tried to potty train him when he was two years old. Right from the start, he would cheerfully pee on command, and had no complaints about sitting on the potty reading books as long or as often as I asked. He was highly motivated by the stickers I gave him as a reward, and was proud of his successes. But he was still likely to pee himself at any time, even shortly after going on the potty. I offered bribes and praised him enthusiastically when it was warranted--but still, he'd pee in his Pull-Ups. So I tried putting him in underwear, making a big deal out of the fact that he was wearing "big boy" underwear and being sure to supply him with the ones he'd most be interested in--Spongebob, Thomas the Train, etc. Alas, he would still pee himself and blithely continue playing in his urine-soaked Elmo undies. Then I tried letting him run around naked--and the limitless fountain of toddler pee continued on unabated. I'd find him playing with Leggos as he sat in a spongy puddle on the carpet in his room. The little grimy little rat didn't even have the good sense to scoot over to a dry spot.

Why couldn't it be as easy to potty train a child as it is to housebreak a puppy? Wasn't my kid smarter than a Cocker Spaniel? Discouraged, I eventually decided to put the whole thing on hold--not even mention potty training again for several months, and then try again.

Fast-forward a couple of weeks ago; with Jake about to turn 3, it suddenly felt like I had let too much time go by. Not only is three a bit old for a kid to be running around in diapers, but in addition, Jake looks older than he is. He regularly gets mistaken for a 5-year old, which makes it even more embarrassing when we're at the grocery store and he sternly orders me to change his diaper. So I bought a book called Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day. One day! This seemed too good to be true.

And it was. While the "just one day" concept conveys a sense of simplicity and ease, the whole ordeal was a big pain in the ass. Turns out I had to throw an elaborate party for the urine-soaked little ingrate, and spent nearly as much time purchasing the supplies and putting the whole affair together as I spent raising him to potty-training age. On top of that, I had to do a long list of things so silly and ridiculous that I began to wonder if I was part of an elaborate Punk'd-style prank, and I began looking around for hidden cameras.

The party was to involve only two people--just me and Jake. My six-month old daughter and husband were banished from the house that day, as the book instructed. The first half of party day was to revolve around Jake and I potty-training a stuffed animal together; the second half of the day was to be all about me potty training Jake. The stuffed animal I chose was a bear, which we named Fred. Fred had, as the book dictated, about 9 pee accidents during the course of the morning, and 3 poop accidents. Upon "discovery" of each accident, I had to exclaim, "Oh no! Fred had an accident!" and the three of had to hustle to the bathroom to clean him up, make him sit on the potty, and then scold him gently, "No more peeing/pooping in our underwear." When did my life take a turn for the ridiculous? Yet I was determined to do exactly what the book instructed, in the hopes that one day of full-throttle ridiculousness might pay off in potty-training success, and I could get on with my life. Hence, the stuffed bear did a lot of peeing and pooping.

How can a stuffed bear pee and poop, you ask? How, indeed.

I had outfitted the bear in makeshift underwear I had fashioned myself from some Mickey Mouse fabric I bought at a fabric store. (I never thought I'd catch myself saying a sentence like that.) Making him pee himself was no problem--I just dipped his butt in some water when Jake wasn't looking. Making him poop was trickier--I had to scoop some baby food prunes into his undies. Wouldn't baby food prunes stick to his fur, you ask? Yes, if not for the fact that I had wrapped his furry booty in Saran Wrap before putting his underwear on him. When the bear was sitting on the potty chair in the bathroom, I was able to make him pee by using a discreetly hidden medicine syringe of lemonade, which I shot into the potty chair the bear was sitting on, while Jake was looking the other way. Similarly, I made the bear poop by scooping some baby food prunes into the potty chair beneath the bear while Jake was distracted. Then I'd "discover" the pee or poop in the potty and cheer excitedly at the bear's success. I'm fairly certain Jake was silently mocking me all morning, indulgently humoring me in the same way he probably will 40 or 50 years from now when he visits me in the nursing home and I hysterically insist that the nurses are cannibals who are planning to skin me and eat me. But because he's a good kid, he went along with the charade and pretended that the stupid bear was crapping himself. As the morning went along, the bear gradually got the hang of things, and was able to stay dry for longer periods of time, for which we celebrated and rewarded the bear with a treat from the snack tray I had made up...which Jake then ate, because, you know. Stuffed bears can't eat Cheetohs or M&M's.

During the first part of the day, Jake wore diapers like usual, and no mention was made of him using the potty--just the bear. At lunchtime it was agreed that the bear had graduated from diapers and was now officially a "big boy." Then Jake went down for his nap, and I beat my head against a wall for two hours in an effort to knock all traces of the morning's stupidity out of it.

When Jake awoke from his nap, I shifted into second gear. I informed him that he was no longer going to wear diapers, and I presented him with a big bag of underwear with various cartoon characters on them. He chose Thomas The Train first, and soberly informed me, before I had a chance to mention it myself, that he didn't want to "pee on Thomas." Good deal. This was going to be easy.

The book had instructed me to offer him lots and lots to drink--every 5 to 10 minutes. It also said something along the lines of, "Don't even think you can get away with offering milk and the usual boring drinks," but suggested instead offering fun and interesting drinks to encourage more drinking, since you want the kid to pee a lot. Jake never gets Juice Boxes, so I had bought some of those. He downed three of them in no time flat, plus two sippy cups of 2/3 juice, 1/3 water, as opposed to his usual ho-hum mix of 1/3 juice, 2/3 water.

What I wish the book had mentioned, or that I'd been smart enough to realize, is that LARGE QUANTITIES OF JUICE CAN GIVE A TODDLER DIARRHEA. Hindsight is 20/20, and I saw far too much of the kid's hindquarters that day. It took a lot of expectant waiting for the juice to run through his system, but when it finally hit the bladder, it was a pee fiesta. Pee here, pee there, none of it in the potty. I put him on the potty every 10 minutes as the book instructed, which sometimes netted us a little pee, sometimes not, but didn't seem to have any effect on reducing the amount of pee that soaked into my carpets and pooled on my tile floors. When the Party Diarrhea finally hit, the real fun began. Instead of his usual 2 bowel movements a day, he had about 6, none of which bore any resemblance to a solid matter. I spent a good portion of the last part of the day swabbing poop off my tile, my carpet, my child, my feet, my furniture, etc. I did not have the experience of seeing any of it actually in the toilet. A note about bathroom grout: If you are thinking of installing tile on your bathroom floor, and you plan to have children someday, consider the color of your grout. Scrub all you wish; turns out poop doesn't come out of grout all that easily.

By the end of the day, I had grimly decided the whole Potty Party was a huge failure, and that motherhood was clearly not for me. I had started a neat, organized pocket list of places I could abandon my children without being seen. Too tired from poop-swabbing to carry out the child abandonment plan that night, I decided to get some rest and start fresh the next day, so that I might be mentally sharp enough to stay one step ahead of the law after making the drop.

Strangely, the next day things just started to click. Jake, now diarrhea-free and not bursting at the seams with 47 liters of juice, started going to the potty on his own and reveling in his success. Skeptically, I tucked my Child Abandonment Checklist into a dresser drawer, ready to put the plan on hold and see how far Jake was willing to take this whole potty thing.

And he's been doing great ever since. He may never know how close he came to being left near the door to the Greyhound Bus Station men's room. Aside from one unfortunate incident in which he technically pooped on the potty, but accidentally delivered the payload onto the rim of the seat rather than in the bowl, and I didn't notice until I caught him trying to scoop it into the proper location with his hand, things have gone swimmingly.

Now I'm ready for a real party. I need to throw back some grain alcohol like Jake threw back those juice boxes, after which I plan to wake up face-down on the bathroom floor on my poop-colored grout. Anyone else in?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Karla eats a little crow, and chases it with a swig of Pickle Juice Sport.

I imagine that, for the average person, it can be a bit uncomfortable to have to admit when you're wrong. But for someone like me, who is recognized worldwide for being right nearly every second of every day since birth, it's incredibly difficult and humbling to have to admit a mistake. An average citizen like you probably can't imagine.

And yet, here I am, sheepishly confessing my one mistake in my entire lifetime.

Recently I made some very harsh statements about a certain sports drink. I made these statements without actually trying said sports drink, so certain was I that it couldn't possibly taste good. The bottle sat in my refrigerator, untouched for months even before I wrote that blog post, and each time I opened my refrigerator to get something, I smirked at the ridiculousness of a pickle juice-flavored sports drink. It's true; I mocked that bottle several times a day.

I never really intended to ever try the drink, but instead to merely keep it around for the express purpose of snickering at it each time I saw it. Then, last week, after several weeks without a trip to the grocery store, I eventually opened my refrigerator to find there was nothing left in it except that lonely, proud little bottle. So, much in the same way Dyckerson made both of his sexual conquests by finally settling for the lone, passed out female left in the bar at closing time, I decided to try the one item left in my otherwise bare refrigerator.

So I took a sip. At first I thought, "Hmm. That's interesting. Not as bad as I thought." I re-capped it and put it back. A few minutes later, I was back for another sip. Several minutes later, I was back again. Then again. (Replace "sip" with "snort" and this could be the same story I told at my first NA meeting a few years ago.)

To make a long story short, I am now a fan of this fine product. I found that the drink's greatest strength lies not in its thirst-quenching quality or even in its pickle-y taste, but in its ability to mask an odor. To explain: For about a month now, I've been taking an herbal supplement called Sleep N' Restore, in the hopes that it will improve my ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. I suffer from a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of a past incident in which a creepy, unwelcome pervert forced himself into my home even as my family and I slept. Consequently, I sleep lightly and fearfully, and am trying this supplement out in the hopes that I can avoid having to resort to real, doctor-prescribed sleeping pills--which you and I both know I would undoubtedly abuse, eventually winding up like Courtney Love without the flesh-eating yeast infections.

Have you ever tried an herbal supplement? If so, you know that most of them smell and taste like an unchanged kitty litter box. Why is this? I think herbal supplement makers secretly laugh at us, first because we actually buy this crap that doesn't fulfill any of the claims on its packaging and advertisements, and second because we do it no matter how hard they work to make each pill smell and taste worse than the next. There have been several different supplements that I've taken in the past and had to eventually stop taking because, over time, I got to the point where I'd inadvertently start to wretch as soon as I opened my cabinet and caught sight of the bottle.

This particular product, Sleep N' Restore, has managed to pack an unprecedented amount of stink into a relatively small pill. When you first pop the foil on one of these pills, the yellowy haze of the stench envelopes you, and you become immediately disoriented, wondering how a decomposing camel could possibly have wound up strapped to your back. You want to swallow the pill as quickly as possible just to get it over with, but it takes enormous dedication to go through with something so undesirable. (Insert your own sex-with-Dyckerson joke here.) I have discovered that Pickle Juice Sport, with its own very strong smell and taste, quickly overpowers the smell and taste of this horrible, horrible little pill, replacing the objectionable rotting carcass odor with the lovely scent of pickles. Why didn't I think of this before? I've been drinking pickle juice for years, and choking down supplements that smell like diseased feet, and never thought to mix the two.

I should know better than to rush to judgement about a product. I have to remind myself that my criticisms are taken so seriously by the masses that a single negative comment from me can cripple a new product and bring a company to its knees. I can only hope it's not too late for me to now heartily endorse this fine beverage, and hopefully bring Pickle Juice Sport's parent company back from the brink of bankruptcy. So I offer my humble apology to Pickle Juice Sport, and likewise to Jason Whitten, the face of Pickle Juice Sport, who I hastily labeled a shithead. You, sir, are no shithead.

In a final irony, I tried to restock my supply of this fabulous product yesterday by stopping at the same 7-11 where I had purchased the original bottle, only to find they apparently no longer carry it. Clearly, the CEO of 7-11 is a fan of and took my negative review to heart. So I am pleading with you now, Mr. CEO, please fill your coolers once again with Pickle Juice Sport, so will I can once again, without retching, be able to swallow any yucky-smelling supplement/food/narcotic/insert-your-oral-sex-joke-here.

Thank you.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Partially nude and totally hot--it's why the terrorists hate us.

I understand a lot about people. For instance, I know that 90% of you keep dragging yourselves out of bed each day, day after day, for one reason and one reason only--the desperate hope that, before the day ends, you'll come into come in contact, in some way, with boobs (for the other 10% of us, just replace that last "bs" with "ze).

I know what makes you tick.

Which is why I'm pleased to provide you with a link, and an errand, that I feel confident will make your drab, sad life a little brighter.

My friend Kendra is super hot. Big deal, you may be saying--lots of girls are hot. But Kendra has a special, extra quality that not all hot girls have--she's willing to get on stage and shake it. She performs in burlesque shows...which is just plain hot, not matter how you slice it. Well, it's hot if you happen to look like Kendra. If you look like you, don't even consider it.

She has entered something called the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Burlesque Competition, in which only the six entrants who get the most online votes will get the chance to actually compete. Thank God for me, then! Because, thanks to, I have access to thousands and thousands (okay, pairs and pair) of stalkers, creeps and unemployed weirdos who, while they may lack the refinement and class to appreciate Kendra's amazing talent in burlesque dancing, will nonetheless do absolutely anything asked of them in the name of partial nudity.

So please, go one and all to this site and vote for Kendra. She's the 10th one down on the left, Dizzy Von Damn. It's one vote per IP address, so if you have more than one computer, or can break into more than one house with a computer, feel free to vote as many times as you're able. You can also check her out on Myspace.

Then you can get back to carving up squirrels and arranging the body parts into your ex-girlfriend's name on the lawn. I don't want to take up your whole day.