Wednesday, September 29, 2010

how do dinosaurs extend their product line?

Oh, man! Have you ever seen a praying mantis in defense/attack mode? It is crazy! Just now Rex had one cornered on the front porch, and it swelled its behind and made it all curvy like a scorpion, and it had these ear-looking things all flapped out and bright orange--they are super scary!

Funny story about a former coworker of John's: a number of years ago one of his sons, who was about twelve at the time, said, "Hey, Dad, how many letters are in the alphabet?" And Brad said, "Twenty-six." Whereupon the son exclaimed, "No, twenty-five! Wasted! You don't count the and! Duh!"

Ha ha ha ha ha! Kids are so stupid and bratty.

I don't mind being just a little bit sick with gastrointestinal upset, because it makes me feel so skinny until I get better and start eating again.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

product may stay: jelly belly french vanilla gourmet soda

You guys might not believe me, but one of the best cream sodas I've tasted is Jelly Belly French Vanilla. I bought it at Ross or TJ Maxx last week for John, because he loves cream soda more than any other drink in the whole wide world, except maybe cold milk at the end of Fast Sunday.

In my opinion, cream soda should taste like vanilla, and strongly so. I hate, hate, hate a sour or tangy cream soda. So the Jelly Belly soda is perfect by my standards. Creamy and sweet, but not cavity-sweet. It makes a delightful pour-on for Breyers All Natural French Vanilla ice cream. That, my friends, is what an ice cream soda is meant to be.

If you're going to be drinking empty calories, shouldn't they at least be delicious?

Monday, September 27, 2010

are you sure?

Okay, death is not an option. Would you rather be stranded on an island with Giada de Laurentiis or Rachael Ray?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

keep all your money in a big brown bag

Tomorrow morning Rex and Groceries are going to the vet to, as John put it, get the junk out of their trunks. That means get their testicles (pronounced tes'-tih-clay) cut off so they won't make babies, of course you understand. They can't have breakfast--DANGER!--and I think this will happen: they will claw their way through the screen in the boys' room and eat their faces. They are feral cats, after all. I heard recently that of all domesticated animals, cats are the ones that most readily return to their wild state. I'm going to say sure, makes sense to me.

I got bangs. I'm still on the fence about it.

I've been trying to feed Traci some kelp to help with her goiter, but no luck so far. We may have to use conventional medicine. Translation: Captain America and I will go out there with his Old Timer pocket knife, which looks like this: Then I will tell him about how the goiter needs to go, and he will earn his Veterinary Surgery merit badge. It's going to be great.

Friday, September 24, 2010

the antioxidants will help with that

John and I belong to a group of like-minded people who buy hippie food in bulk. We like to pretend that it's part of our food storage. Which is why I make sure to buy lots of Endangered Species and Green & Black's and Chocolove and Newman's Own chocolate bars. Because if our family ever gets to a point where we're living on our food storage, we're going to want something to take our minds off the crushing despair of destitution and make us think instead about cavities and flabby bottoms.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


So they're breeding eel salmon; so what? When are they going to start making gryphons and regenerating pigs and flying monkeys? I mean, flying monkeys were conceptualized ages ago! Why is the scientific community sitting around goldbricking?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

well at that point really I'm going on adrenaline

My favorite hotel to stay in with my family is Comfort Suites. Here's why:
1. down comforters
2. Belgian waffles
3. not so nice that we're going to feel stupid staying there with kids

Would you like to hear about my new project? 'Course you would. It's fun. I am the squeaky wheel who wondered why the big field of grass up by the cemetery is a puncture weed habitat instead of a park. So now I get to do sketches and drawings and a written proposal for my vision for the park in order to get moneys given to us at the City Council's planning meeting. And something I've already learned is that playgrounds are a racket. Any playground that costs less than twenty thousand dollars is totally lame. So I'm going to try to get the playground peoples in a bidding war with each other and see if we can get some sweet molded-plastic-and-powder-coated-steel action going on up there.

I think I'm going to make a necklace of all the teeth my kids lose/have lost. Plus my own wisdom teeth, because they'll add a little heft. I'm not sure how to do it, though. Should I drill a hole through the center and string them like pearls? That sounds the best, but I worry that some of the teeth are so small that they might crack if we try to drill them. Maybe this sounds a little morbid to you. Maybe you're boring.

Monday, September 20, 2010

if he eats any more heartily he will turn into a pie shop

I have decided not to teach piano lessons anymore. I do not feel conflicted. I will miss the money, but since it was only twenty-eight dollars a week I think I'll be able to get past it.

Sometimes I think that flossing only makes it easier for stuff to get caught in my teeth. I wish the ADA would address this important topic. My dentist told me to lay off the Oral-B Sonic Complete toothbrush for a while because I'm brushing away my gums again. He gave me another one of those soft toothbrushes, and I hate it! I hate furry teeth so much. Somebody should invent scrubby gum and it would solve all my problems.

While I was losing weight (Weight Watchers worked for me, modified somewhat to exclude the non-foods they endorse) I learned that I eat until the point of physical pain. That's what full is to me: when I cannot fit any more food into my stomach without causing organ damage. Maybe it has something to do with my having been abandoned as an infant and raised by a friendly grizzly bear. I must have acquired similar binge-eating habits. That would also explain my fondness for sleep. It's all starting to make sense now!

Pretty much our family is on the brink of financial ruin right now, because we (John) still haven't done our taxes, but we knew we were getting a whopping return (we use the government for a savings plan, because they are wiser and more careful stewards of our money than we are; yes, this is embarrassing) and we went ahead and did all the projects we were planning on anyway. Trees, driveway, my trip to NY, family vacation to Florida (still to come), etc., and now there's a teensy problem called "we are out of money until Thursday." I would nag John more, but I figure if we've made it this far without using the tax return, and we're still technically financially solvent as long as I don't spend over one hundred dollars before Thursday, then maybe we can just use the time he would spend doing taxes watching TV and eating popcorn instead. Also nagging doesn't work on John. It's like water off a duck's back, only the water, as it drips off the duck, turns into acid and burns stuff. Who needs that?

Friday, September 17, 2010

better not be present tense

I used to look at kids on leashes and think snotty thoughts about their parents. I used to listen to the stories John told me about the many times he ran away as a preschool child, with random strangers and police officers bringing him home, and the neighbors saying to the policeman, "That woman NEVER watches her kids--they're always running all over the neighborhood," and think, "Not me." I used to think that any child could be taught to behave properly, given boundaries and discipline.

Let's say it together, shall we? "Shut up, Layne!"

Because it seems increasingly likely that Pinga has been sent here for the sole purpose of humiliating, enraging and defeating me. And though I still think leashes look crazy, I can understand why people use them. I quite literally can't ever take my eyes off of Pinga, or she's in the road, or locked in the car, or eating gum off the top of the fridge, or sneaking over to the neighbors' house to paint her clothes and body with fingernail polish, or tearing the end off her toe, or being brought back to me by a stranger who found her wandering around (these have all happened at least once since last Wednesday). And yeah, there are probably a few things (many things) I'm doing wrong that make her so mischievous and wandery. But I'll be darned if I know what they are.

So I'm sorry, everyone, for judging you.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

life, I love you . . . all is groovy

I was feeling pretty mutinous yesterday when I was planting the first of the oak trees. I had to dig three melon farming holes before it was in the right place because I was being stupid, and it kept tipping over--what is the deal with these POTS?--and busted some branches and now a bunch of the leaves are all crispy and the tree will probably die, also there were rocks and rocks and rocks in the dirt, some-nay, many-of them potato-sized. MUTINOUS, I tell you.

But then John came home and planted the last tree in about half an hour, and he made it all fancy with a trough to hold water. Showoff! I was very thankful.

Man, when we moved up here to "chuck it," as it were, I never imagined myself being this busy. With all the things I rail against, no less! We never get the kids to bed on time because the second they walk in the door it's chores, homework, reading, soccer practices/games, milking goats (this is new and temporary), dinner, baths, stories and bed, with no break. That may not seem like a lot, but once you intersperse each task with yelling (me), fighting (them), compromise of core values (me), and not being able to find the cleats and shin guards they had on yesterday (them again), it takes up a lot of time. I guess I'm probably the most overworked and underappreciated mother in the world, except for all of you who are moms, and all the other moms who have it worse than me, and probably any of the wives of those cheating miners. They seem like they've got a pretty hard row.

We have a book called ABC Animals: A Bedtime Story. It sucks so bad you can't imagine. The rhymes are the absolute worst and so contrived. I hate this book. The illustrations, which are fantastic, do not make up for the putrid text. Death to this book.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

yellow matter custard

It's not that I mind being pear-shaped. It's as good a shape as any other, I suppose, and any scientician will tell you that it means I won't get heart disease or something. Pity the apple-shaped ladies whose legs we all envy, for they have purchased those legs with an increased risk of heart disease! Sometimes I wish I were noodle-shaped, but I suppose the noodle shape comes with problems of its own.

I had a lecture all ready for you guys about government and politicians and opportunistic curtailment of civil liberties and megalomania and duplicity and oppression, but it makes me too sad. Deleted! Plus, whenever I'm reading somebody's blog and they're trying to be all serious and earnest about some Great Cause, I think to myself, "Self, that person needs to shut up. This is off-putting." We're all idiots, and if we spent more time with our kids, trying to turn them into decent human beings, then the world might not need quite so much saving. That's what I think to myself every time I sit down to write some lame blog post, is, "Self, you need to spend more time with your kids. They are going to turn out creepy."

Canadian Harmony is the best peach, but it's pretty much gone now. Cresthaven is the next best--a thicker and slightly hairier skin than Canadian Harmony, but extremely sweet. Almost like a honeydew melon. Buy some and freeze them.

Yesterday in desperation I planted the elm all by myself with no help from John, just to keep it from tipping over. Now I've got to go out and do the same thing with the oaks. It's a darn nuisance, is what it is. John promised that if he didn't have to help pick them out he'd plant them. To make up for it he'd better get me that shirt from woot that I want.

Monday, September 13, 2010

you'll bring honor to us all

Remember Hazel, the goat we're buying this fall? Her family is out of town this week at a show, and Hazel and her herdmate Sage are staying home. So Mrs. Magic Neighbor (who is buying Sage) and I are taking care of milking them. We tried out my new Henry Milker, which is pretty much like a breast pump with a dial to show you how much pressure you've got. And it's got a different-shaped adapter on the end, since goats aren't shaped like humans, in case you didn't know. It works fairly well--either Hazel or Sage (we can't tell them apart) has teats that are just a tiny bit too small for the syringe, so I'll need to get a smaller one. I won't talk about it in front of her though, so I don't hurt her feelings. It's not her fault!

Okay, now to business. I was reading Lucky the other day, and their featured fashion luminary this month is Ellen Pompeo, whom I will begin to dismiss right . . . now. She says her eyes are her best feature, which is not true, because they are actually small and piggy. Not her fault, either, and I think it's great that she's so confident. But she's also wrong. She also makes a prim, righteous statement about how she's trying to stop buying leather (next to a picture of some $495 Stella McCartney synthetic leather shoes), which is, in my opinion, uninformed and reactionary. Replacing leather or fur with plastic is not your friend. Buying $500 plastic shoes is wasteful, extravagant, self-indulgent, and by its very nature environmentally unfriendly. Pfft. She is full of baloney.

We watched some of the 9/11 footage on the History Channel Saturday night, and it's just as horrible as ever. All those doomed people waving their shirts and coats out the windows, the jumpers, the firemen resolutely walking to their deaths, the sheer volume of destruction, the depth and breadth of evil. It's overwhelming.

Have a great day!

Friday, September 10, 2010

if you pop that gum one more time . . .

Okay, I've got a bur under my saddle about something. "Bur under my saddle" means "angry."

It's my bedtime now, and I'll probably forget what I wanted to yell about, but when I get back here at a more opportune time remind me about vegan leather and parabens and conspicuous consumption.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

so papa's free to read the holy book

It's raining and cool today, and even though the house is finally at the temperature where we have been trying to get it to stay all summer (66*), I feel like the fire in the parlor should be going. But it won't! The pilot light says it's on, but maybe the thermostat is broken, like every other thing in this entire house!

For lunch we're going to be eating spaetzle. Superman loves it and eats it by the gross. I first ate it probably ten years ago when my friend Jenny made it for a ward activity. She has German ancestry and a very cool story about her grandmother bartering a manicure set in exchange for permission to cross the border into West Germany. Which reminds me: boy, those Nazis. They were a giant pain!

For a long time I didn't make spaetzle, because I didn't have the proper tool, and couldn't justify buying one for what I thought would be only an occasional dish. But the other day I realized that I could just use my large-holed grater, and it works like a charm. I feel bad about all the years I missed out on homemade spaetzle. If I had them now . . . like gold in my hand.

My mom grew kohlrabi this year and it tastes like turnips. What should I be doing with it? Do you think my new Indian cookbook will tell me?

The neighbor boy was over here the other day, and when I gave the kids some cauliflower for lunch he said, "This tastes a lot like farting." He likes eating Doritos and Twinkies and other stuff like that. He has a closet of them at home.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

we're not going to open all the bubbles right now

Today we went to Tri-City Nursery, which is part-owned by a couple in our ward. In my mom's words, it is as big as the whole world. I don't know how they could possibly keep track of everything, but somehow they do. Brother Lawson (that's his name in Mormonese) drove us all around in the mule and we picked out two Bur Oaks and an Accolade Elm. We may turn our ankles on the acorns.

A few weeks ago John and I walked around Utah State's campus to share the memories we never made with each other, since we didn't date until he started MBA school at BYU and I moved to Provo to work for Waterford. We got some Aggie ice cream, renewed our True Aggiehood, discussed the many potential complications and embarrassments that could have occurred the night my roommates and I rode the bull in our bras and panties, and had an altogether lovely evening until we started walking down the huge big sidewalk that goes in front of the Ag Science building and discovered that all of the gorgeous, stately Horse-chestnut trees have been chopped down and replaced with I think (it was dark) ash trees. Ash trees! I ask you! Those pukes. I am so mad at them.

I wish that cats pooped iron, because then maybe our Autumn Blaze maple wouldn't be getting chlorosis already.

Do you think that people are going to start getting sick of fondant pretty soon? I hope so.

That is all.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

gonna use oil-based paint, 'cause the wood is pine

We have a couple of bare patches in our lawn where we pulled out our giant hideous juniper bushes at the beginning of the summer. In a few weeks there will be trees there, but right now they're just scabby dirt holes. When we pulled the bushes out we discovered that every stray cat since the beginning of time has been pooping under them. Now Skiver and Groceries and Rex want a piece of that sweet action and have ceased even the pretense of using the litter box.

We let the chickens out to eat grasshoppers, which they don't do. Instead they go scrape around in the shrub holes, and every time it's like, "What's this? Is it treasure? Is it a bug? Oh, it's poop. What's this? Is it treasure? Is it a bug? Oh, it's poop." This goes on for hours, and you can see the crescendo-diminuendo of anticipation and disappointment played out over and over again right before your eyes. It's like a Police concert writ small.

Should I buy a Henry Milker? I'm thinking probably so. I love hand milking, but there's no denying that it takes longer; the catching, washing, kicking, milking, finishing the grain, kicking, dipping, straining, cooling . . . it adds up. And when I've already got a busy morning trying to get (human) kids ready for school (waking, waking, waking, nagging, hiding, wearing dirty clothes, camping out in the bathroom doing hair, losing shoes, eating, hating breakfast, bus coming, refusing to run), it means that I usually (read: always) decide that buying raw cow's milk is the way to go, even though cow's milk is probably single-handedly responsible for everything evil that has ever happened. Ask the hippies! They'll tell you. And of course I don't like underwriting evil, so if there is an easier and faster way to milk my goat, that sounds good to me.

Speaking of the goats, we finally got in touch with Sir Yellsalot's proper owners and he's going to go away, away, away! He is going to make gorgeous babies, but I hope they aren't as loud as he is. He gets to live with some Jersey calves, and I bet having company will fix his wagon.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

out there on your own

I don't want to ruffle any feathers, but I'm pretty sure that this song:

borrowed its introduction from this song:

And possibly some of the subject matter.

That is all.