Friday, September 30, 2011

30 Million Day Blog Challenge #2 And Flashback Friday #3: Look, I'm Multi-Tasking!

Today's 30 Million Day Challenge is: The meaning behind your blog.

I covered this back in July, so this post also counts as a Flashback Friday post. Two for the price of one!  And the price is $0.00!  Ummm.....awesome?

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Originally posted Tuesday, July 26, 2011: 

This Is What I Get For Trying To Be Clever

Why did you name your blog what you did? 

Every now and then the question gets thrown around internetland. After all, names are important; they turn the vague to the specific, and give life to an otherwise unknown entity.

Also, names can be really funny. Or really stupid. Or really beautiful. Sometimes all at once. Take my inability to pronounce certain words correctly, for example:

A Curious Individual: You blog?! What’s it called?!

Me: Begging The Answer.

A Curious Individual: Bagging the answer?

Me: No, Begging The Answer.

A Curious Individual: Bagging the answer?

Me: No, begging. Like, "This begs the question...." But begging the answer.

A Curious Individual: *blink* *blink* Bags?

Me: Ummm...yeah.

A Curious Individual: Oh. I get it.

Me: This is what I get for trying to be clever.

So naming a blog may not be my strong suit.  But if you want me to name a child or name a cat, let me know.  I have tons of good ideas.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tweets From A Bygone Era

I'm not a big player in the Twitterverse. I try not to spend more than 10-15 minutes a day on Twitter.  For me it's just too much of a distraction, cutting into valuable writing time and, more importantly, family time.

Still, I like to think I tweet a few worthwhile things in those sparse 15 minutes. So here is a list of some of my better tweets from the summer months of June-August:

Went out with the girls. Too much wine. Am now watching Clarissa Explains It All and eating Doritos. Aug. 27th.

This tweet was celebrating a really fun, and too infrequent, girl’s night out.  And the Doritos part? It’s like college all over again, but with less watermelon Pucker. Do they even make that anymore?

Apparently my 2-y-o woke up at 5:00 in the morning so she could play with her singing tea set. She may not live to see lunchtime. Aug. 19th.

Toddler lived.  Good thing she’s cute.

I've been too serious on my blog lately. I should post a fart or something, to make up for this. Aug. 3rd.

My blog is mostly humor, but sometimes I lose the funny in my life.  When this happens I either write a serious post, or (more likely) no posts at all. Also, this uber-scientific quiz said I write like James Joyce when I write a humorous post, but I write like Dan Brown when I write a serious post.  Humor is clearly my strong suit.

I woke up at 6:00 am in hopes of having 15-30 minutes of "me time" before the kids got up. They were up at 6:03. DAMMIT!!! Jul. 29th.

I now have to wake up at 5:00 am to get that 15-30 minutes of “me time.”  It’s worth it.

I just made homemade strawberry jam. Or possibly homemade botox. Time will tell. Jul. 9th.

My jam failed, but it made for an awesome blog post, and no one died of botulism.  So the $50 spent on canning equipment, sugar and strawberries was totally worth it.

For the number of times I type "Arrrgghhh" on my blog & twitter, people are going to think I'm some sort of pirate. Jul. 5th.

UPDATE: Am not a pirate. Yet.

My parents raised me to with proper respect for Jefferson Starship - this time with less chicken satay Jun. 8th.

I accidentally posted a link to a chicken satay recipe instead of my blog and had to correct it.  My blog is not a food blog, unless you count all the times I had a baking fail.

I just saw some one driving an emerald-green mini-cooper with the license plate "1IRISH". I can only assume it was a leprechaun. Jun. 7th. 

I have since found no pots of gold anywhere.  Greedy leprechauns.

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Thanks to Stasha and Bits of Bee for the fun writing prompt!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I'm Writing This Post For Extra-Credit

Note: Thank you all for your support after my last post.  I'm working through what I have to work through.  I have a good support system in place, including all of my blogging friends.  Thank you, again, for caring :)

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I was dubbed a “brain” almost instantly in school, a namesake that never left me, even when I struggled in certain subjects.

Calculus?  You can stay, but I’m leaving. 

I entered kindergarten already knowing how to read, so my teachers set me up as a “helper” to buddy up with kids who weren’t reading yet to help them.

I spent months in seventh grade carrying around a tattered copy of “Gone With The Wind,” my new favorite book. It was this ancient blue hardbound copy that my grandmother once owned, and I was asked by more than one fellow pupil if that was a Bible I was carrying around.

Not Jesus.  

I always missed a couple weeks of school each year to attend dance conferences and competitions.  During these absences I insisted on doing extra credit-work, even when the teacher required no extra-credit work whatsoever.

Oh, how I loved extra-credit work.  It was like insurance, should a disastrous “B” come my way.


So now that Preschooler is finally living up to her namesake, and entering preschool, I have a hard time holding back.  I want to be room mom, on the PTA, and a field trip volunteer, even though it isn’t feasible for me to be all those things, seeing as I have Toddler at home to contend with.
But that doesn’t stop me from believing I could, nay, should be all these things.  

I just have to keep reminding myself that there is no winner of preschool.  It’s meant to be fun, and I’m not going to suck that fun out of it just because I’m fighting off my own impossible determination to be perfect.

I always thought school was fun.  I hope she does too.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dear Internets, I Has A Sad

Hello internet land.

I has a sad, and when I feel like this it makes it next to impossible to write.  I can't be a smart-ass when all I feel is wretched.

I don't really want to get into why I feel so wretched right now.  Suffice it to say it's a combination of life events and my own inclination to fall into depression when things in my life get rocky.

So forgive me if I'm a little silent on this blog for a while.  I promise as things get better with me, I'll be more active.  In the meantime, I might post a few gems from my archives.  Maybe I'll even work through my sadness on this blog.

But for me, just admitting that I'm anything other than ok, is a huge step forward.

Monday, September 19, 2011

This Is An Ex-Parrot! UPDATED

Growing up we always had pets.  We never had more than one pet at a time, but over the years we slowly churned through a litany of domestic animals, including fish, rabbits, parakeets, dogs, and several turtles.

I don’t remember the first dog or the fish.  We had to give the dog away when I was an infant; it was tired of playing second-fiddle to the new baby and soon grew moody and vengeful.  After that there were some fish, but they had the lasting power of an ice-cream cone on a windy day.  It was probably for the best seeing as I don’t have a good history with fish anyways

No, the first pet I remember having was a rabbit.  He was a brown bunny named Harvey. Or was it Ardie? Or maybe Arby?


I liked the bunny quite a bit.  He lived in a pen in the garage, and his greatest talent seemed to be pooping. Unfortunately, we soon learned that I was allergic to rabbits, including Arby.  So one day I went (sneezing) into my garage, but my bunny was nowhere to be found.  My parents explained that Arby was making me sick, so Dad found a nice meadow in the woods for him to live in with the other rabbits.

Later I found out dad just drove down the road, and deposited Arby on the side of the road.

Dear Dad, 
I do not think you thought your cunning plan all the way through.

To appease my broken heart, my parents went out and bought my sister and I a couple of parakeets.  They bought the child, who was already allergic to rabbits, a bird.  With feathers.

Dear Mom, 
I do not think you thought your cunning plan all the way through.

The parakeets were named J.J. and Crackers, and I hated them.

Well, hate is a strong word.  But I didn’t like them.  They didn’t do much but make a lot of noise, and bite my fingers when I tried to touch them.  And their poop was downright boring compared to rabbit poop.

So one fateful day, my sister and I came home from school, only to find J.J. snuffed it while we were gone.  My sister’s heart-broken sobs radiated throughout the house, and I?  Well, I didn’t care.  I’m pretty sure I went on to eat a bowl of Cookie Crisp and play with my Rainbow Brite doll.

A week or so later, Crackers left us as well.  And again, I didn’t care.  I didn’t care for them when they were alive, and I wasn’t sad when they died.  Which makes me wonder, what happened to me so early on in my existence to render my heart so calloused? 

Oh yes, I probably subconsciously remembered an otherwise gentle cocker spaniel that transformed into Cujo in my presence, and my rabbit was released into the wild pitted against a Volvo. 

That wasn’t traumatizing at all.

UPDATE: I have been informed by those with better memories that the rabbit's name was ARTIE.  Oops.  Who wants curly fries?!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

30 Million Day Blog Challenge #1: Hello, Picture, Random Facts

Recently, Marianna at Snappy Surprise took up the 30 day blog challenge. Looks like fun!  I'm joining in too, but, I'll probably only post one challenge a week.  So it'll be more like a 30 million day blog challenge.  Or 30 week.  Whatever.

Day 01 - Introduction, a recent photo, and 15 interesting facts about yourself.

Introduction: I once went to law school - it was Step 4 in my plan to become Master of the Universe. Then life happened. Now I stay at home with my two children. I blog about my inept parenting skills, embarrassing childhood, and bipolar depression.  I also give the occasional unsolicited, unwarranted,  and probably unfavorable product review. Rest assured, there is some one out there dorkier than you. It's me. FYI, if you want to read the same thing twice, check out my psychoanalysis tab.

A recent photo:

15 facts about me:

  1. I do not like being photographed. I prefer to be behind the camera or in another room, especially if that room has snacks in it.
  2. If I don't have my calendar on me, I have no idea what I'm doing.  It has replaced my brain.
  3. Before having kids I was all, "I'll never feed my kids processed food."  Now I give them Cocoa Puffs for breakfast.
  4. I sort of enjoy the songs they sing on "The Fresh Beat Band."
  5. I stepped on a "My Little Pony" Happy Meal toy this morning, and swore.
  6. I harbor a secret desire to be a librarian.
  7. I love my mood stabilizers, and am happy to be on them the rest of my life if it stops me from spiraling down into the deepest depression.
  8. I want to own a horse.  In other news, I'm secretly an 11-year-old girl.
  9. I used to teach ballet, and miss it terribly.
  10. I love Flogging Molly.
  11. I love Monty Python.
  12. I'm not afraid of heights, but I'm afraid of dangling.
  13. My toddler decided 10:00 pm is a perfectly cromulent bedtime, and it's making me insane more insane. 
  14. I wake up at 5:00 in the morning, to secure at least a half-hour of alone/coffee time before the kids are up.
  15. I'm not a huge fan of oatmeal, but I eat it anyways. 

So there you have it. Take a look at what's in store for the future.  It's like being psychic or something!

Day 02- The meaning behind your blog.
Day 03- A picture of something you cannot live without.
Day 04- A habit that you wish you didn’t have.
Day 05- List 15 songs that represent your life’s soundtrack.
Day 06- A picture of somewhere you’ve been to.
Day 07- A hobby you have.
Day 08- A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you.
Day 09- Short term goals for this month and why.
Day 10- Something/someone you’re proud of.
Day 11- A story about a past relationship.
Day 12- A picture of something you dislike.
Day 13- Share a secret.
Day 14- Write a letter telling someone something you could never tell them.
Day 15- A picture of something you ate and 10 confessions.
Day 16- Put your iPod on shuffle & share the first 10 songs that play.
Day 17- Something you could live without.
Day 18- Someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why.
Day 19- Plans/dreams/goals you have.
Day 20- Nicknames you have & how or why you have them.
Day 21- If you had 3 wishes, what would they be.
Day 22- Share a picture from your day.
Day 23- What makes you different from everyone else.
Day 24- What is something you crave.
Day 25- What I would find in your bag.
Day 26- Places you want to visit before you die.
Day 27- Why are you doing this 30 day challenge?
Day 28- A picture of you last year and now, how have you changed since then?
Day 29- In this past month, what have you learned.
Day 30- A picture of you today & 20 goals you want to accomplish.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Some Moms Go To The Gym For Exercise. I Go To Story Time. Same Thing, Really.

Yesterday I took Toddler to her first “story time” at our local library.  I left sweaty and exhausted, OF COURSE I DID.  Doesn’t everyone?   

It’s like, the easiest activity ever!” I’ve been told by other moms.  So story time should’ve been a treat, but it wasn’t. As a toddler, Preschooler had sensory issues that made even a quiet group of children overwhelming.  I tried two story times, and each time she’d be an inconsolable mess ten minutes into the activity.  

Despite that experience, I went to story time with Toddler in high hopes.  Toddler didn’t have such sensory issues, and she loved looking at books and playing games like “Where Is Thumbkin” at home. So off we trekked to the library.

We entered the big story time room with about fifteen other mothers and children.  A semi-circle of carpet squares were set up, one for each child. I claimed a teal blue square smack in the middle, and set up camp.  Then I attempted to have Toddler sit on my lap.  This was a mistake.

She howled.  She did not want to sit still.  She would not, could not on my lap.  She would not, could not on the square.  She would not, could not anywhere.

Story time began with a softly sung song that presented the opportunity for each mother and child to introduce themselves.  Toddler sobbed and flailed louder than ever.  I got sympathetic looks from the other mothers, but my kid was still the only one entering full tantrum mode.  And once she’s in tantrum mode there’s no big red emergency button to press for her to stop.  Like the Energizer Bunny, I have to leave the premises (or go up to her bedroom at home) while she slowly winds herself down.

I was almost set to leave when I decided that maybe I’ll just let her walk around.  But the minute she starts destroying something, we’re out of here.

Letting her walk helped a bit.  She wandered around the extremities of the room.  She crawled under a table.  She walked around the semi-circle of kids, stopping at each kid “duck, duck, goose” style, thankfully without the requisite pat on the head. By the way, for any readers in MInnesota it’s “duck, duck, goose,” not “duck, duck, gray duck.” Get with the picture.  

Despite this, I had to chase after her every minute or two to prevent her sticking her fingers into electrical sockets, tearing books off the bookshelves, or crawling in the librarian’s lap to snatch the book out of her hands.  I was starting to sweat from the sheer exertion of distracting her.

After the story, there were some songs and gross motor activities ala “Head, shoulders, knees and toes.”  Toddler would slow down every minute or two to reach for the sky and do a little dance. Despite this, I still had to chase her arounds the room to prevent her from causing any further damage to herself and others.

Finally, the librarian brought out two big bins of books and foam letters for the kids to play with.  The other kids naturally started flinging foam letters and books out of the bins, and my kid?  My kid starts picking up the books and letters, and putting them back into the bin.  

She might not be able to sit still for hell or high water, but she is a pretty good picker-upper.  I lucked out in that department.  

So we’ll try story time again next week, but this time I’m wearing jogging shoes and extra deodorant. 

It’s for the best.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Promise This Post Is Not About Hobos*

Preschooler has been a bit obsessed with change lately.  Change, that is, for her piggy bank.

“Mommy, I found a coin! Can I put it in my piggy bank?” she asks.  

I’m a bit surprised she realizes coins mean anything at all.  Husband and I pay with cash once in a blue moon.  I’m not even sure that she’s seen us make an entire purchase, from start to finish, with cash only.

Her entire knowledge of currency, and the economy in general, is based on the fact that Dora and her ilk sometimes collect “coins” to purchase things like ice cream cones.

She’s pretty happy just to let the change accumulate in her piggy bank, as am I.  I’m glad she’s content enough at this small age to not really understand money, nor to feel like she needs it in her life.  All too soon she’ll reach an age where she starts haggling over allowance, to squander it foolishly or save it fiendishly.  

Even I still keep a change jar, squirreling away the (admittedly few) pennies and dimes that come my way.  So in honor of this, and Monday Listicles, here is a list of what I’d change had I enough change to do so:

1) My carpet would be spotlessly clean, because my personal pot-bellied pig would eat up the food scraps that would otherwise be ground into my already trashed carpet. His name would be Sir Geoffrey, The Clean. 

2) I’d buy more books.  Mine are lonely.

3) I’d hire a maid to clean just my bathrooms.  It would be a challenge to them; something to beef up their resume.  I’d be doing them a favor.

4) There would be world peace.  I think I’m obligated to say this.

5) I’d enlist the services of a personal trainer.  I’d actually love this.  The best motivation for me to get my butt to the gym is by feeling like I’d be disappointing someone by not attending.  Disappointing myself doesn’t cut it, mostly because I also love sitting on my butt and eating cookies. Speaking of which, I successfully made chocolate chip cookies yesterday. BEHOLD, MY COOKIE-MAKING PROWESS!!

6) I’d own own elephant. Or a pony.  Same thing, if you think about it.

But that’s it.  I don’t want this wish list to get too extravagant. I refuse to dream the impossible dream.

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Thank you, Stasha, for the wonderful writing prompt.  Go here now and read more awesome posts about change.  GO! DO IT NOW!!!

*For an awesome post that IS about hobos, check out this gem by Snappy Surprise. It's extra cheesy.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hair Scare

I’m usually at the forefront of style trends, but not when it comes to hair. It started sometime around 6th or 7th grade, when I joined the spiral-perm and claw-bangs society.  Unfortunately I sported that look LONG into the mid 1990’s, even though every one else moved onto grunge years ago. I opted out of the grunge look.  I’m a rebel like that.  A preppy, preppy rebel.

I only get my hair cut and colored two or three times a year, mostly because I’m cheap and lazy.  So once my hair started sporting a couple inches of my real hair color, I trekked off to the salon.  God forbid I start going for the “natural” look.

Even though I have a salon that I love, a friend recommended one that was slightly less expensive and within walking distance from my house, so I thought I'd try it out. As I sat in the chair the stylist, we’ll call her Brunhilda, tightened the cape around me like a hangman with a noose. 

“Can you loosen that a notch, please?” I gagged.  “It’s a little tight.”

“Harrumph.” She loosened the cape.  I should’ve taken this as a sign.

Nevertheless, we soldiered on.  I try to explain to her what I want.  A picture or something might have helped, but I didn’t have any.  I could tell I wasn’t getting my point across, and I couldn’t understand what she was suggesting.

We were both getting frustrated, so I asked, “Do you have one of those color hair swatch books? It might help.  I feel like I’m not getting my point across the right way.”

“Oh, we have them,” she snapped, “but I won’t use them.”

Sign number two.

Eventually, she started putting the highlighting foils into my hair with such force that I nearly yelped.  By this point I wanted to leave, but with the foils in my hair, there was no going back.

The foils were done, and my headache was complete. Thirty minutes later, we were ready to take the foils out and wash my hair.  But the Brunhilda’s wrath was not over.

She lead me to the sink to wash my hair, but she didn’t put a towel under the divot in the sink to cushion my neck.  She was so vigorous with the water, that I needed to mop off my face with my hand, but not with a towel.  This woman was anti-towel. 

Now, all you have to do is look at my hair, and it starts to tangle. So since she didn’t put any sort of smoothing or detangling product in my hair after washing it, she hacked away at my hair with a comb. To be honest, I”m not sure she even used conditioner. My headache grew worse.  

She begins the cut, and even though I just wanted a trim and a few soft layers, she took several inches off and gave me such rough, choppy looking layers, I look like I got a really bad “Rachel” haircut, fifteen years too late.

Finally my “transformation” was complete.  I was now strawberry blonde, with some odd looking layers.  I’m naturally brunette.  I started to weep, but blamed it on allergies to avoid making a scene. I saved my tears for my husband’s shoulders. I went up front, and stupidly paid for this atrocity, but at least I didn’t leave a tip. I wasn’t going to give her an award for manhandling me.  

Husband was so understanding, he even suggested I go back to the salon to get it fixed.  I know I should’ve gone back to the same salon, to have my hair redone by a different stylist, but I couldn’t bear to set foot in that dungeon once more.  I went back to my old salon, and asked for an all-over dye, so I could start with a clean slate. I didn’t even care about the cut by this point.  This new stylist was not only sympathetic, but the first thing she did was pull out one of those damn hair swatch booklets so we could agree on a color.  WHO KNEW?

After finishing the requested color, she washed my hair and began to dry it.  When it was nearly complete, she looks at me quizzically.

“Did you get a haircut too?  I’m noticing some disconnect in these layers. I know you just wanted a color, but  do you mind if I go in and even them out?”


I paid for the second cut and color and left, this time with my head held high.

I did phone the first salon to register my complaints. 

Me: “Hi, ummmm, I was just in earlier today to see Brunhilda, and I want to complain about the way I was treated. Can I speak to whoever is in charge”

Girl who answered the phone:  *Blink, blink.*  “Errrrrrrrrr.....ok.....I’ll get the manager.”

Me: “Thanks.”

Cue wretched hold music.

Raspy voice: “Hi, this is Sue, the owner.  How can I help you?”

Me: “Hi, ummmm, I was just in earlier today to see Brunhilda, and I want to complain about the way I was treated.”

Sue, harshly: “Oh, yeah? What went wrong?"

Me: “Well, I sorta feel like I was manhandled.  She was so heavy handed, I left with a headache, which is the opposite of what I should feel after a morning at the salon.  And the cut and color were nothing like what I asked for.  I went back to my old salon to get it fixed.”

Sue, already exasperated: “You should’ve come back here to get it fixed by some one else.  I can’t do any sort of refund now.”

Me: “I know.  You have a business to run.  I just wanted to complain.”

Sue: “Well, I’ll talk to Brunhilda about this, but no refund.”

Me: “Ummm....thanks?”

Sue:  *Click.*

Dial tone: “BEEEEEEEP.”

I have a feeling that if she mentions anything to Brunhilda at all, the only thing they’d agree on would be that it was all my fault for not explaining what I wanted.  Because as I found out from my friend who suggested this salon in the first place, Brunhilda was one of the co-owners of the salon. OF COURSE SHE WAS.

This is what I get for trying new things.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Flashback Friday #2: Now With More Commas!

This week's Flashback Friday reveals the bane of my writing existence, a secret shame I cannot overcome...

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Originally posted Friday, September 17, 2010.

My, Secret, Shame

I can’t use commas without consulting my trusty copy of Strunk & White.




Why is this shameful? I majored in English. My mother was an English teacher. In fact, I’m pretty sure she can read my thoughts as I write this and is dying a little inside.

Hi, Mom!

Unfortunately, I do not know where my copy of Strunk & White is. In a box? On the moon? In an alternate universe where I’m a highly lucrative and successful writer? Who knows.

What I do know is that this means that every blog post I’ve written so far has been peppered with punctuation, the rules of which are of my own making and recollection. Because apparently googling “how to use commas” is not part of my internet skills set.

And one of these days, some one will point out my copious and ridiculous use of commas. And then I’ll die of shame.

The end.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

There's Nothing Ironic About Mud

Over the long weekend, I trekked to with  to rural Minnesota, along with Husband, Preschooler, and Toddler, to attend an old friend’s wedding.  The wedding ceremony and reception were both held outside, so in the invitation we were directed to wear “field appropriate” shoes.  And  by “field appropriate,” they meant hiking boots.  And by hiking boots, they meant galoshes.

These will go perfect with my little black dress.

We should’ve known things might go asunder from the get-go.  Weddings with two kids 3-and-under are iffy undertakings at best.  But, off we went.  A couple hours into the trip, we notice the flat tire signal in the van lit up.  Strangely, we felt safe to ignore it.  The sensors in the van are kind of touchy, and often light up for no apparent reason.  Except this time there was a good reason, as we found out when we got a flat tire a half-hour later.  WHO KNEW?

We attempted to replace the flat with the spare tire.  But our spare is kept underneath the body of the van, and is next to impossible to access.  I know this because this is my fourth flat tire in just as many years. Did I mention how much I love this van? Truly a diamond in the rough.

We were forced to call a tow-truck.  When the tow truck arrived, we realized we had no one to call to pick us up and drive us to the tire store.  So we all climbed Clampett-style into the tow-truck, with the kids on our laps, and illegally rode with the tow-truck-guy to the tire store.  

It was exactly like this.

An hour-and-a-half later, we were back on the road, but we were running late.  We originally planned on checking in at the hotel, and changing there into our wedding clothes.  Now we had to drive straight to the wedding and find a secluded spot to at least put on clean shirts before reaching the ceremony site.

The area the wedding was in is absolutely gorgeous.  There are these beautiful forested bluffs and valleys, with the Mississippi river winding through them like a satiny blue ribbon. But this wedding wasn’t in any sort of state or county park on the outskirts of the bluffs.  It was smack in the middle of the forest.  We should’ve just left a trail of bread crumbs between us and civilization, ala Hansel and Gretel.  Instead, we decided to rely on our Garmin.  I like to multi-task, by getting lost and going insane at the same time. It’s on my resume!  

On we traveled, into the heavily forested bluffs. After a while we were directed onto a two-lane dirt road.  Then we were directed over a one-lane bridge.  Then we were directed onto a one-lane dirt road.  We spent half-an-hour on these dirt roads.  Then we were directed onto a mercifully-paved state highway.  Then we were directed back onto a dirt road. 


We finally reached our destination, having been warned that there would be a fifteen minute walk from where we parked to the actual ceremony site. But we didn’t park in a lot, and then stroll down a paved, or even well-mowed path.  We parked on the side of the aforementioned dirt road, and then stared down a gloomy-looking expanse of hiking trail.

In case we were still actually planning on attending, fate turned her hand and it started to rain. And rain.  And rain. We sat in our van parked on the side of an increasingly-muddy dirt road, when it finally dawned on us: There was no reasonable way we could get ourselves to this wedding.  Preschooler couldn’t walk, she’d get stuck in the mud.  We wouldn’t be able to push a stroller through a muddy unpaved hiking trail.  We’d have to carry both kids the whole way, and this doesn’t include the child-wrangling we’d endure during the wedding itself.

We turned around and headed back to the hotel.

Then we took the kids bowling.

It was the logical thing to do.

*     *     *

P.S. For what it’s worth, it would’ve been such a awesome wedding, had Husband and I gone without the kids.  The mud would’ve made for a light-hearted story, in the way of, “OMG, we went to this wedding and it was in a field and there was MUD but it was such a beautiful ceremony tra-la-la-la!”  Husband and I were sad we ended up as no-shows.  But sometimes what’s best for the kids is what’s best for us too.  Now we know, and according to the folklore of the ‘70‘s and ‘80‘s, knowing is half the battle.  The other half of the battle is probably guessing.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Unfair Fortune

My family recently frequented our favorite Chinese restaurant, and as usual the meal ended with fortune cookies.  Disappointing, disappointing fortune cookies.  Observe:

Fortune 1:  A friend will bring you a surprise soon.

Is it a big bag of money?  With a dollar sign on the bag?  *scans the room hopefully* 


Fortune 2: No one can walk backward into the future.

WRONG.  My kids walk around backwards all the time, but time marches on.  You can't explain that.

Fortune 3: Not just live and let live, but live and HELP live.


Fortune 4: Now go for it!  It’s ready to be pick. 

Well now you’re not even trying.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Candid Camera Ain't Got Nothing On Me

I remember my very first camera.  It was a turquoise-blue kodak pizzazz.  It was about the size of a very large remove control, or a sadly diminutive box of chocolates.  Despite the fact that there were only two functioning buttons, I still couldn’t operate it.  In a remarkable display of cutting-edge technology, it required a roll of film that I was never able to wind properly. 

Then the dinosaurs went extinct.

When I finally did load the film, I ventured forth and took twenty-four pictures; twenty-five if it was a really good roll of film.  My portfolio contained such gems as the sky, the inside of my purse, half a finger tip, and bits and pieces of the subjects I was trying to photograph in the first place.

Despite these earnest, early attempts, I’ve never taken good photographs. Nor am I particularly willing to be subjected to being photographed.

I’m notoriously unphotogenic.  It’s genetic, through my father’s side.  My father, his mother (my grandmother), myself, and possibly Preschooler, all experience the same bizarre anomaly in front of a camera.  Our eyelids all go sort of heavy, and we basically look like we just took some sort of really fun drugs, even when we’ve taken NO DRUGS AT ALL.
We look like this in every photo, ever.

Even more significant, I can’t smile on cue. Every time some one says “smile!” or “say cheese!” I go full-jungle-ape, baring as many teeth as humanly possible. I was probably sixteen before I learned to smile properly for a camera, and even now it’s a fine line between nothing and JAZZ HANDS!


With this history, it should come as no surprise that I’m rather bad about taking photographs of major life events.  I’m not artistic, I don’t like being in pictures, and my otherwise beautiful children are either smiling weird or either running towards or away from the camera.  Because of this, I usually just end up with some pictures of off-center birthday cakes and whirling dervishes in my photo albums

More importantly, I'd just rather live in the moment rather than try to get a good picture.  I just enjoy my time, and then mooch a few good pictures off of someone else who actually bothered to pick up a camera during the event. 

This didn't bother me until we celebrated Toddler's second birthday.  All of a sudden I realized I took no pictures - not one - of her birthday party.  And even though I’ve received a handful of beautiful photos from my mother and my mother-in-law, I still felt sad.

I'm sad to see my baby growing up. 

Can't she stay a baby just a little bit longer?  Because law degree aside, I have yet to perfect and patent my time machine, what with filling out those arduous forms at all. 

Just don’t let her turn 16 yet, ok?