Thursday, June 21, 2007

Cabin Fever

We're going to build a new cabin! So far it looks like this....Can't you just see it? Stay tuned.

UPDATE, 06/23/07: When we went to the mountains and actually walked around this big hole, we realized that the location was not going to work. The edge of the cabin would be about 10 feet from the road. Uhhhh, no. This realization was accompanied by a seriously sick feeling in the stomach, caused by thinking about the money spent to dig this hole, and the trees that are now gone. Big trees. Old trees.

We picked a new spot, and now The spouse is going to get his garage. yippee.

Valium, Please

The spouse had back surgery this week. As far as being a patient goes, he is NOT patient.

Here is a prime example of how the spouse appreciates limitations being placed on his activity level. We get home from the hospital and pull into the garage. I am in the yard talking to my sister on the cell. Hear a noise behind me. The spouse is taking off down the driveway in the golf cart, still in his hospital gown and booties. OK, fine, he was in regular clothes, but is that as good a visual? No, it isn't.

Did he not get the part about no driving for two weeks? There was not a footnote that said, "Except golf carts." You've had surgery on your spine, dear. That might affect your ability to sit upright comfortably. Or to apply the brake. Both of which are important in operating a motor vehicle, I believe. Yes, a golf cart is considered a motor vehicle.

I finally get him inside and head to the pharmacy to pick up sixty percocet and sixty valium. Are you kidding me? SIXTY of EACH? (I think the valium is for me, actually.) As I walk out the door, the spouse asks me to stop at the grocery and get some beer. Sure, when I go to pick up your percocet and valium I will stop at the grocery and get you some BEER. Mixing heavy narcotics and alcohol is highly recommended within five hours of surgery. By the way, where is the life insurance policy?

One of us may die soon. Place your bets. And please pass the valium.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Turbo Puberty

The spouse had to go to a meeting today that happened to be in the town where my alma mater is located, so Rob and I rode along. Figured I'd start indoctrinating him early. Will you just LOOK what happened when we visited the student store?* Day-um, boy, I'm looking forward to you going to college, but could you ease off on the facial hair?

On the way to pick up the spouse, Rob made up this complicated story that he was sure would convince his dad that this was his real moustache. (clears throat, stares incredulously from under eyebrows and prepares to tell the story...)

We were walking on campus and there were these mad scientists students who had invented a moustache gun. This is, after all, a research university so of course there are people working on weapons of mass hirsute-osity. These brilliant students were looking for people upon which to test their invention. Carefully designed clinical trials can be so tedious, dontchaknow. Much better to hang around outside the library and approach children.

Rob naturally wished to participate in this test, because what eight year old wouldn't? His mother, who is not at all protective of her youngest, instantly agreed. Wholehearted approval. YES! And so the students shot Rob with the moustache gun. Instant facial hair! Not only that, but as a bonus, every moustache included a wire in each side so it can be contorted into various nose and chin tickling shapes. Now Rob can try out for a barbershop quartet! Get a job on a remake of the Magnum P.I. series for Nickelodeon! Make info-mercials for hair growth simulators! This one encounter has changed his life and led to a whole new career!

This was the story he told his dad. Minus the barbershop quartet and Magnum P.I. stuff. He's too young to know what either of those are. The story would be totally believable but for ONE tiny detail. Anyone? Anyone? Yeah, the kid is blond. His moustache should sooooo be red.

*WHY does the student store stock fake moustaches? And the googly eyes on springs. We got those too. Together they make for a fabulous look. I'm sure the frat boys buy this stuff.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

You Suck (A book review...really!)

OK, I know this is going to some as a MAJOR SHOCK, but I love to read. I remember learning to read in Mrs. Robinson's first grade class. (Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson...) It was nearly a religious conversion. As a kid, I would read anything. At breakfast I read the cereal box. At school I hid library books behind my textbooks, which caused embarrassment more than once (screw you, fifth grade teacher whose name I have blotted from my memory). In the car, I read a book, then barfed in the floorboard, then read some more. Rinse and repeat. I spent more time reading than old people spend talking about their bowel movements.

On a Saturday I was allowed to ride my bike about three miles each way to the public library, where I would spend many happy hours, breaking for lunch at the McDonald's next door. Did I mention three miles on busy two-lane roads with no bike lanes? And crossing a six-lane road? When I was about ten? Anyway, let's not get started on criticisms of my upbringing, because behind that door there be dragons. And this isn't about dragons, it is about vampires.

When summer rolls around I can only read light stuff. Chick lit, mostly. Recently I picked up a book just for the title: You Suck. I don't really do sci fi, but I used to read a lot of horror. Then I grew up, had two kids and two husbands (one at a time, thank you very much), and realized the real world is scary enough. Even so, the cover and the title tickled me, and I checked it out. I didn't realize until later that You Suck is the sequel to Bloodsucking Fiends, but no worries, it reads fine by itself.

Can I just say PEE IN MY PANTS funny? I was reading this while waiting for my son Mac at the orthodontist's office and people were staring at me because I was laughing so hard. One of those staring was a student at my school. She probably thinks I drink during the day. And I do: iced tea.

What made this book so funny for me were the bits "written" by the vampires' 16yo minion, a goth girl named Abby Normal. I know this kid. She goes to my high school. A half-dozen of her. Not all are goth, but the attitude? Spot-on.

So next time you're at the public library, give it a try. If you like it, send me a dollar. Just kidding. Kind of. If you don't like it, suck! HA! Just kidding again. Kinda. Christopher Moore has a bunch of other books and I'm in the process of reading them all. So far they are fun, but none have made me laugh like You Suck did.

Yoga Cat

Is he kidding? What pose is this? Pussycat Pretzel? Shorthair Sun Salute? Do his vertebrae have a 360 degree swivel? And why is he doing this on my treadmill?


You think you've had a bad day? Look at my dog's butt. That's it there, shaved and sporting more stitches than I care to count. (OK, after I typed that I had to stop and count. Looks like 17 stitches, but each one consists of four punctures in an X shape. So is each one actually two stitches?) This sweet dog had a ginormous growth on his back at the base of his tail. We had taken to calling him The Camel. The growth was removed yesterday.

Tyke's nails were trimmed while he was unconscious, since he isn't fond of the procedure. Would this not be a great add-on for human surgeries? You have some medical problem that is worrisome. You go under the knife and wake up with a painful incision BUT you've had a nice pedicure and your feet look great. It might take your mind off the catheter. I should shop this idea around.

See on the very edge of that picture? That is my other dog, Pepper, sniffing Tyke's butt. Because everyone needs that kind of attention after surgery.

For the very curious, Tyke is a Boykin spaniel, which is the state dog of South Carolina.

Makes Me Laugh

My sister refers to an Aerobed as a "crack sack." She said sleeping on one gives her bad dreams.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tramps and Pimps in Training

Seen at the local fast food joint... (that I won't name here since they probably have bots searching the Internet for idiots like me who use the corporate name in vain because I hate this place and only go there to let the kids run wild in the air-conditioned play area after paying the admission price of a kid's meal)

...a family of two adults and four children. First of all, neither of the "adults" looks old enough to have four children. Unless they started their reproductive lives during middle school. Actually... (tapping finger against chin and looking upwards, deep in thought) hmmmm...this may be the case.

Dad sports at least six tattoos that I can see. I have nothing against tattoos. Been thinking about getting one myself since I turned 40. A turtle, I think, right here (taps front of right hip). That way I can hide it if I want. Or I can flash cute guys in the juice aisle at Kroger.

Dad is whip thin in that chic, meth addict way. Closely shaved head, goatee, several earrings in each ear. T-shirt with the sleeves cut out to display those wiry arms and tasty pit hair dontchaknow. Denim shorts. Wallet on a chain. Couldn't he have used some of that tattoo money on clothes? Or a rehab program?

As soon as Mom covers the table with fat and grease healthy foods for their clan, she slumps into a chair and doesn't move anything except her arm and her mouth. I have to give dad props for being interactive with the kids in the play area.

There is a girl child who looks to be maybe 2. She has curly brown hair and big eyes. Her natural beauty is enhanced by fake tattoos wrapping around both ankles. Whaaa? My children have had temp tattoos: a pirate or heart on the bicep, a spider on the cheek at Halloween. Wash off after a couple of days since they become flaky quickly, right? This little girl's tattoos were so realistic that I openly stared for a long time before deciding that they had to be fake. Because who would tattoo a toddler?

I don't know, maybe the same people who pierced the ears of her two brothers? Of the three boy children, one is a cousin (I know this because eavesdropping is a hobby of mine). The other two are boys aged around nine and five. Both sport earrings. Nice, tasteful, giant fake CZ studs. I'm bedazzled.

OK, I am very much a live-and-let-live kind of person. I try not to be judgmental and all that. But sometimes I just want to grab parents and ask, "WHAT do you want for your children? Life in a trailer park? A career making minimum wage? Bad teeth? An '82 Trans Am with cracked vinyl seats?"

Friday, June 08, 2007

Channeling Alice Cooper

Everybody, sing along with me...

(makes rock 'n roll hand sign)

...schooooool's out for summer...

Rob started his vacation by hurling a quart of chunky barf into the bathroom sink at 4:00am. Guess I should be glad it wasn't on the floor so that when I run in to see if he's OK, I step in it. Yep, that has happened. He made it to the toilet for the second geyser at 8:30am.

He still managed to spend a good part of the day swimming and hanging out with his buddy in the treehouse. We like to share our viruses.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Truth or Dare

This is about that great high school tradition, the yearbook. Or the annual. Whatever. Anybody know where yours are? All of mine are in a box in the attic. After I received my senior yearbook I collected autographs as if it was a judgment on my popularity. What a coup it was to get the cutest guy in my class to sign. Despite the fact that the alopecia fairy visited him sometime between then and now, I think most women in the 35 and up range would still find him hot.

So now the kids at my school are experiencing this sacred rite of passage. They have received their yearbooks and some have asked me to sign them. Do I DARE tell the TRUTH? Let's see...

Student 1, what I write:

Dear Nice Girl,

It has been so nice getting to know you these past three years. Your great sense of style and gentle nature are endearing. As you move forward, beyond high school, you will achieve great things. Keep reading!

Librarian to the Stars

Student 1, what I want to write:

Dear Emo Limp Dishrag,

For three years I've watched you slither around like an earthworm, as if the world is just too much for you. Good god, child, can you not get your medications balanced so that you can actually attend an entire week of school? Have you noticed that your classmates are all high on energy drinks? Try one. It might boost your energy level, which is about equal to the sofa cushions you lie on every time you're in the library.

And as for the very strange outfits you wear, I applaud you. You can carry it off right now, but when you're my age everyone will cross the street to avoid you and that rusty shopping cart full of castoffs you call a closet. Get your shit together now. I have one word for you: Garanimals.

The Queen of Helpful Advice

Student 2, what I write:

Dear Pretty Girl,

I have enjoyed having you visit the library every day. Your determination and independent spirit will serve you well as you move beyond high school and take on the "real" world. I wish you all the best.

Nice Librarian

Student 2, what I want to write:

Dear Conceited, Don't-Talk-To-Me Girl,

I can't believe you're letting me write in here in PEN. So often our encounters have been negative. I have to tell you to stop eating, to get off e-mail, and to put on a jacket since you're violating the dress code as usual. And when I remind you again of the very few, very basic rules in the library, you pull that angry princess bitch face on me, huffing like you're having an asthma attack. Let me tell you what the future holds for you, my dear.

Keep eating all that junk food. When you hit 30 and your metabolism starts slowing down, you're going to puff up like a toad frog. And have bad teeth. Yep, I hate the fact that you subsist on chips and soda and are still like a size two with no hips at all. Get back to me after you've birthed a couple of ten pound babies. I earned these hips.

Those guys you're e-mailing are probably retired fartheads sitting in their single-wides in Florida, yanking their crank while they look at those pictures you are posting. But you are smart and you'd be able to tell if they weren't the hot guys you think they are. I'll see you on the evening news.

The dress code? Yeah, it's the same one for grades K through 12. You're a senior but you haven't realized yet that shirts with spaghetti straps and a plunging neckline are verbotten? OK, fine, you win this round. Go ahead and display those grapefruits while they are still round and wedged up under your chin. In no time at all you'll be sporting a couple of overly ripe bananas, tucking them into the top of your size 16 underpants every morning when you get dressed and waddle to the bathroom to brush your one tooth.

Love Always,
The Mean One

By the way, a yearbook now costs $60 or more. Oy!

Disclaimer: Just in case by some miracle a student or students wander onto this blog (as IF - since I'm ancient and clueless and couldn't have a blog, right?) I want to say that neither of these "students" is a specific individual, but represents a composite of the traits several students. Because I'm really not quite that mean, and I do in fact genuinely like most of the kids at my school. The vast majority are, if not respectful and nice, at least capable of holding their teen disdain and superiority in check.

Or maaaaaybe each is one of these entries is really a student. Me to know and you to find out! Pffffttt!!!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Just to Prove I Know of What I Speak

Regarding the previous post, if you think I'm just guessing about what 'nads look like, then you are wrong. I had this dog named Goober. As a puppy, he looked for all the world like a possum. A cute possum, of course. I found him beside a neighbor's mailbox when he was maybe 8 or 9 weeks old and he followed me home. The fact that I stopped every three feet, calling, "Come on, puppy. Come on." had nothing to do with it, I'm sure.

I did not realize I had brought destructo-dog into my home. That pup would chew up anything. He chewed the arms of the sofa, the coffee table legs, and half a rocker off a chair I got from my grandma. Which means I am truly off my rocker. (groan - bad pun). For some reason, Goober was particularly attracted to the heels of shoes...countless pairs of shoes. He sealed his fate when he destroyed my favorite lizard and patent leather pumps (this was 1991, the shoes were cool then, I swear!).

Thinking this puppy was just a bit to enthusiastic, I dragged Goober to the vet to have his love lumps removed. Being the curious type (remember that A in biology?) I told the vet I wanted to see Goober's goobers after they were removed. When I picked him up, the vet had the nuggets (How many different words will she use in one post to describe manparts? Stay tuned.) in a jar of formalin. She was very considerate and took time to explain to me what each bit was and how it worked. Yummy. I took the jar of cocktail onions home.

And then what? What do you do with pickled dog oysters? Thinking I might have a daughter some day, I kept them. How great would that be? My daughter starts dating and a real winner shows up to take her to the Sonic for a #1 meal with tater tots and a lime slush. Mom puts the jar on the coffee table. Without any explanation, the boy knows exactly what he is looking at. He feels an involuntary clenching in his boxers. Mom says, "About the last boy who dated my daughter..."

Alas I had no daughter. Somewhere in a move, the Goober seed pods went in the trash. But Goober himself lives on. He is deaf, nearly blind, and can hardly walk. He just stumbles around in his quiet, dark world, looking for his walnuts. Or some shoes.

(I lost custody of Goober in a divorce, hence the use of the past tense early in the story.)

Friday, June 01, 2007

A Pain in the Neck


See the back of Rob's throat? You don't? Really? Well neither do I. That's because his tonsils are bigger than his 'nads. They are HUGE. Poor kid. I had my tonsils ripped from my throat when I was five. Ah, yes, I remember it well. My mother told me that after the surgery I could have all the ice cream I wanted. What nobody told me is that I WOULDN'T WANT ANY. Because it hurt too bad to swallow. Trickery! Treachery!

And then...and THEN, I told the nurse in the recovery room that I had to tinkle. She brought me a bedpan. Welllll OK-alrighty then. I don't think so. Even at age five I wasn't big on public urination. I crawled from my deathbed and started walking the halls, looking for a bathroom. What did I find? A men's room. Apparently my shyness did not extend to cross-gender issues.

So, back to the boy with golf balls in his mouth. I thought that he might be able to keep them since he hadn't experienced the constant problems I did. But at his last check-up the doctor was all, "Holy crap on a stick! This boy has 'NADS at the back of his throat! It is double-nad disease! I've only read about cases like this!" Then she asked if he snored (yes, bad), said he also has a deviated septum, and wrote out a referral for an ENT. That stands for Extra Nasty Tonsils. Or maybe Each Nostril is Tiny.

Since I have not yet taken him to the ENT, the gods frowned upon my parental slackitudeness and now Rob has strep throat. At least he handles it well. He still played baseball tonight. I didn't tell the five coaches or any of the players that he hasn't yet started taking antibiotics. Ooops.

When I get strep I feel like I have the King Mack Daddy of all hangovers, which causes me to roll up into a ball and cry for days. My kid? He went to the game. They lost, but he played hard. Because he's Super 'Nad Neck.

Footnote: The silver line on Rob's teeth is his new retainer. Which cost an extra $150 after he lost the first one. At least they got the color right this time: green with glitter. Fancy.

An Ode to Silence

Exams have begun! Exams have begun!

(the librarian spins in circles of joy, shelving books in a counter-clockwise direction)

Yeah, the students aren't too happy about it. Poor kids (snark). But me? The QUIET. Lovely, lovely quiet.

Perhaps you went to your high school library once or twice? Yes? And there was a mean librarian there who insisted on all kinds of restrictive rules, right? There was in mine. His name was Mr. Litchfield and he had really looooong eyebrows. That he brushed straight up. And they met his hairline. No, I am not kidding. It made him look like a werewolf. A werewolf who had been cursed for all eternity to guard books, scare teenagers, and refuse to be helpful at all costs.

Not so here. We are all OPEN, man. My library (oh, let me be all PC - my media center) is a social center before school, during lunch and after school. Which is nice, because we enjoy getting to know the kids, and for the most part they are great. But they are also like a litter of golden retrievers: all bouncy and stumbly and barking.

Now they are trapped in the sticky web of EXAM WEEK and we have have quiet. *sigh*
Thank you LOLDOGS on for the above image, which belongs to rockcreek.