Thursday, February 28, 2013

Getting the Last Word

I have a brilliant idea.

But let me set the stage first...

Picture your zany uncle, you know, the one that taught you the 'pull my finger' trick when you were six.  The one that you look forward to seeing because every time, without fail, he brings you the forbidden things.  ...I should put that in bold... the forbidden things.  Like Big League Chew, pop guns, or horror movies.  The one that introduced you to Stephen King stories before The Wizard of Oz.

Then he went to the doctor because he had a headache.

Ten long and painful months later, the family comes together to pay their last respects to the man that once put plastic wrap coated with vaseline across Grandma Pearl's kitchen doorway.

Because he knew that his death was coming, he planned out his entire service.  Having always wanted to travel to Hawaii, he planned the service there, with the request that his ashes be spread at the base of a volcano.  'Pick a nice quiet place to lay me to rest' was his final request.

So there the family gathers, all standing in a tight circle with tears in their eyes.  Someone says some meaningful words, and his brother steps into the middle.  Everything is quiet.  He gently unscrews the lid, and as he tenderly turns the urn to send the ashes back to the earth...

From the depths of the urn, the voice of your Uncle maniacally laughs!  

Voila!  My brilliant idea!  Record a message that will be heard only when the urn is opened and upended!

Think of the possibilities!  'Ow! You just dropped my on my head!' or 'AAAAAhhhhCHOO!'

I think I'm going to talk to a marketing company.  Maybe one that specializes in zombie paraphernalia.  After all, with the obsession recently of everything zombie, who wouldn't want the last word after their death?!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fishing Pole Bongs

It is disconcerting to realize just what has to happen in my life to make a big enough impact for me to change the way I do things.

What is even more disconcerting is the level of gross that is necessary to make this change.

Take for instance my unnatural love of shag carpet.  Most people that have any relations that were alive at all during the 70's will make fun of the shag.  But I have a love of ugly things, so I support the makers of this fine rug, and try to convince my husband how wonderful it would be to shag the house wall to wall.

Now lets pull a little gross into the picture.

Shag carpet might be easy to vacuum, but a deep clean is frustrating.  Every fiber will get coated in whatever gross happened to happen.

And now, let's bring in the elderly dog.  My poor girl is reverting to some puppy behavior.  She has started ripping up things that have been left out, paper, ribbon, trash... and no, we don't usually have trash being left around the house, this was just the door to the trash that had been left open.  She pulled the bag apart and scattered some of the refuse about the living room.  Not too bad to clean up.

But today she left me a bigger, smellier present.

This is the 2nd time this has happened, and I'm beginning to realize that as she gets older, it will happen more often.

So I'm done with the shag.  That level of gross gets all the way down to the roots.

At least I could locate that smell.  My car is another story.

I learned the hard way not to tailgate.  I'm not a habitual tailgater, but every now and again I creep up to close to the car ahead.  I actually got pulled over in Arizona for tailgating.  The cop walked up to my Madzaratti and asked if I thought I had been a bit too close to the truck in front.

I think he just wanted to bother the two girls in the out of state, sticker decorated, dirty hippie car.

He leaned in, and saw a lizard on my dash.  'That thing real?'  'Nope', I said as I thumped it on the steering wheel.  The cop then started looking through the car, and thought he found hippie arrest excuse gold.  'That a bong back there?'

At this point in the story, you have to know that I may have looked the part, but I was too naive to be a druggie.

I pulled out what he was talking about....  'You mean, this fishing pole?' It was the container for a collapsible pole.  He let me go then, without a ticket.

I really don't think that experience would have taught anyone a lesson.  Least of all, me.

You know what teaches lessons?  Running over dead things.

I was a bit too close to the car in front of me, who swerved slightly.  Being too close to see what he swerved to avoid, I had no choice but to re-run over a dead animal.

Picture a water balloon.  One that is not filled to the max.  One that can be squeezed a lot before it breaks.  Remember, as kids, stepping on the hairy edge of the balloon, then putting the heal of your other foot just in front of the first, and slowly rolling your entire foot over the balloon as the water is forces into a tiny bulging pocket at the end?  Then, like the freaky clown in a jack-in-the-box, popping when you least expect it!

That is how I picture this carcass.  Only the water was guts, and instead of getting my pants a bit wet, guts splattered the undercarriage of my car.  I am certain that a bit of meat is lodged in some cranny.

Having the stanch of death follow you around.  That's what teaches you not to tailgate.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Tylenol Wants to Kill Babies ***

I'm going to jump up on one of my soap boxes for a sec.

It has to do with medicine and kids.  I think medicine has its place in the world of a child.  When needed, it gives the perfect amount of relief that a tiny person might need.

My problem is the serving amount that Tylenol Meltaways have for older kids.  I say serving, because it is a huge amount, at least when you are thinking about the amount of tasty medicine I should get my kid used to having.  I mean, they make them taste like candy, what kid wouldn't want them.  The serving size that I am comfortable giving my child is 'one.'  One spoonful, one tablet, one whatever.  Even when I give them a spoon of honey, I usually give them one.  The serving size that Tylenol suggests for my 7 year old daughter is 4.  We're not talking about cookies, here!  FOUR?  They want my child to get used to eating FOUR of their sugar laced medicine?!  Let's just go ahead and teach kids that when they feel cruddy, they should just pop four or five pills.  What the hell, Tylenol?!

Here's a suggestion, how about make the pill potency more concentrated.  Then put a score mark in the pill, jeez even two lines, and say the serving size is 1/2 or even a 1/4 of one pill.  That way, when my child grows up enough to think, 'gosh, my ankle hurts, lets go get some medicine to make all of my hurts go away', maybe they will only chomp one pill and know that it will work.

What happens now?  If I were to give my kids the full serving of FOUR pills, they might think to themselves in a year or two that they should take that many.  And what if they chew up FOUR of the regular strength pills???

I'm only pegging Tylenol, because I have the bottle right in front of me.  Maybe all the sugar coated kid drugs are the same.

It just doesn't make sense to me.

***It is only my opinion that Tylenol wants to kill babies.  But my opinion just might change the world one day.  ...Tylenol, please don't sue my just because you are stupid.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


After looking at my last post, I realize I have talked about the South a teensy bit too much.  I have to admit here, that I am a transplant.  They call my kind 'half backs' around here.  'Half backs', because in the 80's, many New Yorkers (where I was born) moved to Florida.  Now, we have moved 'half' way back.

'Half back' was almost my trail name, but most stinky hikers would just think 'football lesbian'.  So my trail name is Bird.  ...not to get off track or anything...

I was only 4 when my family was relocated to Florida.  So I grew up there, but not with southerners.  Everyone I knew in Florida was in the same situation, we were all from NY.

I went to college in NC, then returned to Fl.  When I finally grew up, I came back to NC.  It's a nice place.  I have since embraced the beauty of being a southerner and all the eccentricities that go along with it.  I have learned to love grits, and to make chicken and dumplings the right way.  ..if you find a recipe that plops big spoonfuls of dough on top of bubbling chicken and gravy, it is very wrong.  Well, not wrong, just not southern.  That's chicken and biscuits.  Dumplings are rolled flat then cut into egg noodle like flecks.  And they taste like heaven.

I only write this, because I am going to cook shrimp and grits for dinner.  The recipe I'm going to follow, or at least the one I'm going to reference a time or two for suggestions, calls for 'red eye gravy.'  Which is just gravy made from this morning's cold, leftover coffee.  Makes perfect sense, right?

Descriptors here are earthy and colorful, intelligent and witty.   My son is 'as tough as a pine knot'.  Her breath smells so bad that it would knock a buzzard off a shit wagon.  ...and those are just the beginning.

So I think I'm going to stay. Hopefully, everyone here will continue to overlook my northern roots, because no one is perfect.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Elementary Showdown

There are some places that it is just not prudent to honk your horn at someone.

Here in the South, the only times it is acceptable is when you are either saying 'hi' to a friend, or trying to get another driver's attention before they run over a sleeping dog.

Of course, there are times when it is safer to honk, because it is either that, or turn the freeway at rush hour into a demolition derby.

But there are some places that are sacred grounds, and should never be sullied with the obnoxious sound of mechanized anger.

It is a short list, but in order to maintain peace and harmony in our lives, this list must not be disregarded.

Hereby and henceforth, do NOT honk, in anger or frustration, at another driver...
1. At your place of employment.
2. In your neighborhood.
3. In the school car rider line.

In each of these places, you will undoubtedly later see the target of your anger.  And they, at that terribly uncomfortable moment, will hold your future in their hands.  That's when you will see a glint in their eye as they feed your hopes and dreams through the shredder.

So be aware, middle aged man in the green Subaru, that I have your number.  You are not safe as long as my children are car riders.  One day, I will hold your future in my hands.  Just be thankful that I am a reasonable woman, and will accept any form of apology, be it cash or credit.  Gift cards and baked goods will also appease my injured soul. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Peace, Love, and Doilies

Have you ever been grateful that you weren't born at another time?   I have often thought about how great it would have been to grow up in the 60's.  Hippies, love, drugs... I would have been in the thick of it, protesting and smokin and lovin with the best of em.  Maybe even hitching to San Francisco and hanging on Haight Ashbury and being that Black Panther white girl groupie.

At least that's what I imagine myself doing.

The scary part is, I wonder if I would have been one of the cool kids.  I kind of think my present/future self would be disappointed in my present/past self.

Because I don't want to disappoint my present/future self, I am slightly relieved that I was not born in the 40's.  This is what I fear I would have been...

This could have been me.

So I'm going to be happy with being a child of the 80's and 90's.  There are still fights to be won.  Women are still not equal in the eyes of many.   Families go hungry.  Children are still made to work instead of play.   And the booties they make for my little naked dog are never tight enough.  Those damn things fall off all the time!  You would think that since kids are making them, their little hands could get the cuffs small enough.

Time for the revolution!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Important Lessons

Me: I'm boiling bunnies.

5yo: Boiling Bunnies?! Let me see! Are you really boiling bunnies? Why are you boiling bunnies?

Me: I'm not boiling REAL bunnies. It's the mac and cheese.  The mac is shaped like bunnies.

5yo: oh. he walks away.

This, from the boy that wanted a bb gun for Christmas.  Now he wants a crickett.  No more innocence here.  Thankfully, Santa told him that he doesn't give guns to kids before they are 12yo.  You can't argue with Santa.

My husband took him (my son, not Santa) to a gun show.  I had severe reservations about this.  Timing could not have been worse.  A month after Connecticut, and a day after the President said something to the effect of "let's be smart about owning guns." ...which in the gun world is translated into "I'm going to sneak into your homes at night and steal all your guns, you loons."

Not the best time, I thought, to bring a child into the fire.  I was worried that he would hear a bunch of ranting against our government.  Not that I'm holding a fund raising dinner, but respect is important.

My husband heard my concerns.  He is actually a gun owner that has an open mind, so I trusted him to protect our boy's ears and innocence.

I had nothing to worry about.  It was just a few oldsters hanging out, not one of those big shows that all the gun lobbyists go to.

It is at this gun show where my boy saw the .22 rifle made for kids.  Now he wants to go squirrel hunting.

Ya'll have to know one of my rules.  This rule is one of my more important rules to live by, especially since I am married to a hunter.  Here's the rule...

If you kill it,
You have to eat it.

This counts for everything.  Hunting or stomping bugs.

My only exception is when it is in our house.  I think that if a bug invades my territory, I am entitled to protect myself.  I think bugs have the same rule though.  Whenever I am in their house, they try their darndest to suck my last blood cell.  They attack me outside, I attack them inside.  It's fair.  I checked with the Geneva Convention.

But squirrels are different.  1. they are cute.  2. they are cute rats.

I will not eat a rat.  Thus, I don't kill rats.  Or squirrels.

But if my son, or husband does, I will cook it for them.  Then throw away the pan.

Pasta bunnies are fair game.  Especially when you add cheese.  I bet a squirrel would even taste acceptable if you added cheese...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I am a Stubborn, Balding, White Lady

I'm listening to mariachi music.

I really think I should have been born in Mexico.

Or at least (at most?) Cuba.

My daughter and I could successfully eat Mexican or Cuban food forever, with never the longing for a ball park dog.  You do know what they put in those, right?

I grew up in Florida, and for as much of a freak show state as it is, the food was unbelievable.

North Carolina is getting there.  We have a growing population of Latinos, which is really improving the way we eat.  There are a number of places that you can get fresh tamales, one of which is from a lady's trunk after Catholic church on Sundays.

I've tried to make tamales.  Pupusas, empanadas....I've tried them all.  I think I am missing one key ingredient that always results in dry, tasteless treats.  Lard.  I've not been able to buy it.  Not because I can't find it, but because I am not truly southern.  I may have grown up in Florida, which is south of the Mason Dixon, but Florida is definitely not the South.  And so, I have no idea how to bake with lard.  But lard is that ingredient that brings the mouth watering description to any good recipe.

Another reason my pastries are never right... I'm paranoid about losing my wedding ring.

About the only time I take it off is when I am kneading dough.  Too many times I have been told of how a ring was lost because it was taken off and put somewhere that ended in hopelessly scrounging through the garbage on the street.  So I don't knead dough very often, and when I do, I'm more concerned about the ring on the counter than how many minutes I've kneaded.

My ring isn't worth that much.  At least to a jeweler.  The diamond is probably 1/8k, and it has a big scratch right in the middle.  The value is where it came from.  It was my husband's great-great grandmother's.  The band, we bought. I had the simple band shaped around the engagement ring then welded to it so there wouldn't be any wear.  Then my mom gave me my grandmother's wedding band.  I had that shaped around the top of the engagement ring and also welded together.  So my ring is priceless.

I don't even take it off in the shower.

Because it is welded at one point, the ring has gained a strange and painful characteristic.  It has emerged from the goldsmith as both a ring, and an exfoliator.  I could market it. more will you have unwanted hair on your head! (read this like the sham wow guy) Just put this simple ring on and lather and rinse as usual.... in just a few short weeks, your head will shine like the baby's butt that your mother-in-law says it looks like.  Yours, for three easy payments of $39.99!

I will never understand how I'm not bald.  As I wash my hair, the part of the ring where the bands come together traps and yanks out chunks of hair from the root.  I imagine my head looking like a hyena with mange.

I think it is my grandmother's fault.   She was Irish Catholic, and never got over how I just sat in front of the Bishop, daydreaming and cracking my knuckles during my (her) confirmation.  I think she put a spell on the ring.  When I'm bald, she will finally be at rest.

...but I'll have the last laugh! ...I'm going to grow dreads!

but for all those white people out there.... you actually do wash dreads.  You just have to use a non residue shampoo.  So I guess my grandmother won this one.  Well played, Gram.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Apple Killed My Frog

It is possible, in case you were losing sleep over this question, to simultaneously assimilate into the machine that you are also raging against.  All in the space of about 3 hours.

Here's the skinny...

I bought an ipod.  I have bedded down with the devil itself.  No more can I shout at the top of my lungs 'FREE YOURSELVES!'

 It is over.  They won.

...but staying relatively true to form, it's used.  Apple didn't get one red cent of mine.  Maybe by proxy they did, but I need to hold strong that the last bit of anti-materialist in me will not perish.

I can't wait to get it.  I might name it.  It's a touch, so any suggestions?  They sell clothes for ipods, right?  Probably right next to the little dog sweaters.

In what was a hazy fog that had enveloped my brain after pressing 'payment', I then turned my back on the 'machine.'

I have dropped my contract cell service.

Not being anti-materialist enough, I bought into one of the no-contract companies.  It makes me sad to have to say goodbye to my frog phone.  It's green, and the ring tone is a spring peeper.  No amount of begging I did would let me keep the phone with a different company.

My new phone is a refurbished one, so at least I was able to buy a used cell.  I just hope I can download spring peepers as the new ring tone.