CLICK HERE FOR BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND MYSPACE LAYOUTS »

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

help them you can

We are closing in on the long-awaited day upon which we will be blessed by a new Star Wars movie, one that has the potential to actually be good, so naturally there are people writing their "I've never seen Star Wars" think pieces, which is cool and fine, but they're all like . . . weirdly proud and defiant about it?  Like they purposely use incorrect names and terminology for things in order, I suppose, to more fully portray themselves as people who care so little about the Star Wars universe that they don't even know what stuff is called, even though the terms were long ago absorbed into the larger culture.  Remember that joke about how you can tell if someone doesn't own a TV--don't worry, they'll tell you?  That's what I'm talking about.  If you care more about telling me that you haven't seen Star Wars than I care about you not seeing it, you are the weirdo.  You are me in college taking a tremendous amount of pride in telling people that I hadn't seen Titanic.  Guess what, younger me?  NOBODY CARES.  Nobody thinks you're cooler than them because you didn't watch a popular movie.  Same to you, Star Wars non-believers.  You're not cool or edgy, you just didn't see some movies.  And spending any time being proud of yourself because of it is way embarrassing.



Monday, December 14, 2015

but he never got cross if the game went wrong, and he always told the truth

Well, I don't know what to say.  For the past two months I have been too busy feeling apathetic and disappointed and unmoored to write any blog posts, save for one I started and then thought, "Nah, better not."  My already-hard heart has acquired a new layer of calcification and I am currently on a swell roller coaster ride in which I regularly wonder if anything I thought I knew is even true.  I am aware that I live a tremendously coddled existence, so I can't complain, but for me it has been unpleasant.

Plus blogs . . . who needs 'em?  So long, so self-adulating, adding so little to public discourse, meh to it all.  IT'S OLDTHINK!  But I am glad I have this little space to navel-gaze in, and as soon as I find an interesting topic that won't cause repercussions to my personal life I'll come straight here to hammer it out.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

and I wish that I could travel his way



Last night John was whistling a song that was not, but reminded me of "We Are Siamese" from Lady and the Tramp, and it gave me cause for reflection.  It's been a while since I saw that movie, so my memory of the details is fuzzy, but I do remember the cats being cast as villains, and I guess they were jerks to Lady, and they are too skinny to be really awesome cats, but EVEN SO:  give me a bossy, manipulative cat over a doormat Cocker spaniel and a commitment-phobic mutt any day.  Plus Tramp has, like, a terrier's head?  What is that all about?  Imagine him in real life--he would be hideous.  He's a hideous cartoon!  Get out of here with that.  I hate Lady, I hate Tramp, I hate Jim Dear and Darling and Aunt Sarah and that stupid spaghetti dinner and it feels so good to say that!  

I had no idea my feelings about that movie were so strong.  

I just watched the first episode of iZOMBiE, which I have never heard of because I am an old person who is out of the loop, and it's quite a cute little show.  I'm starting to get just a little bit tired of the zombie craze--it's nearing bacon levels in overexposure--but I liked this show.  

We are thinking about getting another cat, and I know I said we could not be a three-cat family, I am choosing to pretend that three cats does not cross the line into animal hoarding.  It's a little female tuxedo cat who purrs the second you pick her up and as Grant puts it, "We NEED that cat."  John and Emmett do not want the cat, because John doesn't want any cats ever, and Emmett is strange.  John feels like we don't need another potential generator of poop and pee and barf in the house (Groceries has done his species some terrible harm, P.R.-wise, with this) and Emmett won't give a real reason for why he doesn't want the cat.  He loves Groceries and Rex, so I'm not sure what's going on, other than he is my only child who understands moderate portions, and maybe he understands that three cats is an excessive portion.  But that's only one cat for every two people in our house, so really I'm rightsizing our cat levels.  

Friday, October 2, 2015

what happened to us, kodos?

Okay, do you remember back at the end of last year when I told you I was trying a new experiment and I would let you know if it worked out?  Well, it's working out, and this is it:


I first heard about roller derby from John--he watched it in the seventies when it was basically professional wrestling on skates.  It's much different now--not scripted, and it's a real, no-foolin' sport.  You should see the things these ladies can do on skates!  One of them can jump a folding chair.  Probably more than one!  I am very impressed by them.  Anyway, I'm having a great time and it has brought balance to my life and helped me chafe less in my traces.  I'm still in fresh meat because I am a slow learner.  It's scary and wonderful and I love it.  You guys, roller skates are fun.  If you live in or near the Ogden, UT area and want to be part of something unique and challenging and rewarding, I highly recommend it.  And if you don't live around here, chances are there's a league in your area that would love to have you.  I just googled "roller derby in Utah," and here we are.  

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

foolish earthling, totally unprepared for the effects of time travel

So as you may know, Utah is full of crazy preppers.  The Venn diagram of Mormons and preppers has a huge overlap, I'm sure.  And most Mormons don't really believe that the world is ending anytime soon, but we do like to have some things on hand, just in case.  Plus it's helpful in case of natural disasters or unemployment.  So the shelf-stable food industry is very robust here, which makes it easy to put together a supply of emergency rations.  My friends bought a book called "Meals in a Jar" that they are using for recipe inspiration, and changing out the ingredients where necessary because the lady who wrote it does not share our feelings about certain additives.

We've done taco soup and zuppa toscana so far, and they are really decent, the kind of meal you'd make on a normal day when you're a little short on time.  It's all dry ingredients so all you have to do is add water.  One quart jar will feed my family of six, not to the point of being stuffed, but full enough that you're okay, and no leftovers to worry about since probably refrigeration will not be as easily done during the End Times.

Here's what they look like:

You just scoop the stuff into the jar, put a small copy of the prep instructions on top, then seal it with a vacuum sealer, and it supposedly keeps for years and years.

Monday, September 21, 2015

it's all phone calls and telegrams, eh Angelica?

You'll be glad to know that I made some chocolate granola this morning and it is TURRIBLE, not at all like the stuff I bought from Costco.  Harrumph.  

It is still a blessed time to be alive, though, because it is BOOT WEATHER!  

Image result for kiss boots

Not this week, this week is going to be in the 80s, gross.  But last week was a dream and I clomped around in my boots like nobody's business, and yesterday for dinner we ate turkey and mashed potatoes and stuffing and squash and it was a great day.  

I have been canning meals in a jar with my friend Wendy, and now I almost have enough meals for our family to eat once a week during the rapture, provided we still have clean water and a way to heat it up.  Cool.  Speaking of the rapture, I guess there is some lady who had a dream about the world ending, and it's supposed to happen in the next week or so?  It is so hard to keep track of all the doomsday prophecies, and really what I want is just a quick out whenever it does go down for realsies.  I mean, we have our 72-hour kits and go bags, but past that point I really don't want to be around, tasty, nutritious jar meals be damned.  I have no need to watch civilization dissolve into warring tribes of rapist cannibals.  But that's just me--I'm a day person! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

the other day I saw a bear, a great big bear away up there


Image result for eating birthday cake gif

Did I tell you about the used Kirby vacuum we bought off the classifieds?  I think I did.  Anyway, it's the greatest vacuum ever and I love it so much.  Last week I thought, hmm, it's been a while, maybe I ought to see if the bag is getting full.  IT WAS FULL!  It was so full it was like a heavy human child.  I cradled it in my arms and rocked it back and forth for humorous purposes, but John and the kids just made faces and said I was gross.

John requested a confetti cake for his birthday, so we did a taste test of a Pillsbury Funfetti mix and a homemade white cake with sprinkles baked into it (which is all the Funfetti cake mix has).  The mix was better, and we all preferred it.  The homemade cake was delicious too, but the mix cake had such a nice, even crumb and did a better job of hitting the bliss point.  Maybe nostalgia was also a factor, I don't know, and I wouldn't extrapolate the results to apply to other homemade vs. mix cake situations, but in this specific instance, Pillsbury wins.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

she told me don't worry no more

A couple of years ago I started growing my hair out.  My friend and magic neighbor Wendy grows her hair out and donates it, and I thought that was a nice idea, so I decided to try it for myself.  Plus I was sick of my shoulder-length bob and thought it would be fun to be able to have ponytails and Willie Nelson braids for a while.  BIG MISTAKE.  It's taking forever and I hate it because it's always in the way and it's hot and messy and it gets everywhere and makes me look like a polygamist.  

So my friends and family have been making fun of me for a long time because I believe in the inevitability of Terminators, but as more and more devices have AI and start communicating with each other and making more and more of our decisions for us, I'm starting to look not so much crazy as prescient, and I want all of you to remember that when the singularity happens.  Feel free to join me in my pessimism corner:  
http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-1.html
http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/01/artificial-intelligence-revolution-2.html

Now will you listen to me about zombies?  Or do you insist on your benighted scoffing?  Foolish mortal:  
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141031-zombies-parasites-animals-science-halloween/

Did I tell you about how I ate a tomato sandwich, with a tomato from my own garden, on July 3rd this year?  It was delicious and I was incredibly smug about it.  Karma has repaid my smugness in the form of a mystery animal attacking and eating almost all of my tomatoes since then--I can never get to them before the varmint does, and I have had to cut off the bitten section of so many of them.  The bites are too big for a worm and too small for a skunk.  Maybe it's an escaped fighting rooster from across the street, or a guinea fowl.  I'm very cross about it.

Why do zucchini plants stink?  I picked my only zucchini to have survived so far for lunch the other day, and my hands smelled bad for the rest of the afternoon, even after multiple washes.  This is a design flaw.

Last week as part of our reunion with John's family we went to Lagoon, a local amusement park.  Because of heat, noise, crowds, and general theme park suckiness, Lagoon can sometimes feel like one of the worst places on earth you can choose to be.  Somehow we've begun a tradition of going there as part of this reunion.  I don't know how it started, but every year John and I and some of the other parents try to shut it down with ever less tact, and we are just making no progress.  It's a mystery.  But many of the kids are old enough that they can roam the park in packs of their own, and the parents don't have to be with them every waking moment while they ride endlessly on Bulgy the Whale.  So it gets better every year, and our kids do like running around with their cousins.  So I guess Lagoon is an okay place sometimes, with occasional highs and lows.  The high was that some kind soul turned in our car keys which had fallen out of a giant hole in John's pocket.  The low was when I was on the skyride and suddenly there was a splash of some kind of yellow-brown diarrhea on my shin, I can only assume/hope from a bird.

This has been a pretty negative post, full of complaints about hair and bad smells and bugs and humanity's doom, so I will leave you with a positive image:

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

his tail lashing, he'll be smashing every shop in town

Hello, I've been busy, but not with anything terribly interesting.  I do have a newly-formed opinion I'd like to share with you.  It may be a bit divisive, and I would just ask that you respect my beliefs.  


Here we go:  you know those cheap little washcloths you can get in gift shops or the dollar store, and they have like pictures of dinosaurs or cartoon characters or whatnot on them?  Lots of times they're smooshed into an egg- or disc-shaped package?  I love those things, and let me tell you why:  their substandard terry cloth looping makes them very nubbly, and they are great for exfoliating.  I have found that the nicer/more expensive a washcloth is, the thicker the pile is, and the worse job it does at actually washing my face.  There, disagree with me if you want, but I'm the voice of reason and truth.  

A couple of weeks ago Emmett had an orthodontist appointment, and he spent some time in the waiting room reading the magazines.  We were driving home and suddenly he burst out, "Sports Illustrated is sexist!"  I said, "True, but why are you saying this?"  "The USA women's team just won the world cup, Carli Lloyd had a hat trick in the first sixteen minutes of the game--she herself scored more goals than Japan had allowed in all the other games, and they gave them like five pages!  And Serena Williams just won Wimbledon for the sixth time, and they barely mentioned it, and the rest of the magazine was about football's off season!  Nobody cares!"  He was so exercised about it, and brothers and sisters, can you imagine how my heart swelled with parental pride?  It was a beautiful moment.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

you will never stray for every day your Christmas dreams come true

Argh, Groceries is killing me, man!  He is the most expensive free cat I've ever had.  I took him to the vet last week because he was peeing blood--I know this because he has taken to peeing in the sink.  IN THE SINK.  On one hand, that is super gross, but on the other, the sink is not upholstery and is easily cleaned.  So it turned out he had a UTI and I paid the extra fifteen dollars to have them give him a shot rather than do the oral antibiotics, which brought the total to $106.  Money well spent, because it is worth fifteen dollars to me to not have to wrestle medicine into a cat.  But the problem is not solved, because as of this morning he is still peeing blood, and also he has tapeworms, as John discovered the other night, when he found a white, wriggling worm segment on Groceries's butt.  I am so thoroughly disgusted by this whole thing.  So back to the vet we went, where he cost us another $79, and this time I get to smash worm medicine into his food as well as give him an oral antibiotic.  He won't eat the food if there is medicine in it, by the way.  Plus he always rage-pees in the carrier when I take him to the vet, so now my clothes smell like cat pee.  Why do I have animals?

Friday, May 29, 2015

where the fun doesn't stop at only eighty bucks a pop in beautiful happy world land

Image result for magners bee beard


I am deep in the throes of prepping for Travis Sorenson Day, which is a holiday John and I have created, and which maybe I've mentioned before, I don't remember.  In short, we've declared a holiday in honor of one of John's childhood friends, because Travis has always remembered John's birthday ever since John moved to Utah, and John felt bad that he never reciprocated, so we decided that we would start celebrating Travis's birthday.  That was long ago, in the halcyon days of 2008.  We were so young then!  Also we didn't have air conditioning, which was hard on our guests, since there was no way to escape from the oppressive heat of late May in Utah.  How times have changed.  For this year's festivities we're having pork tacos, which is what I'm busy with right now.  We cleaned the patio off last weekend, and Grant spent six hours, literally, mowing the lawn.  It's been so rainy that we haven't been able to mow and it was like the pampas of Argentina out there.

I still haven't dared to open my beehive and get the honey.  All the other bee people are nagging me and prophesying dire events if I don't, but nuts to them.

I think maybe Sally and Minerva aren't actually pregnant?  Surely they would have kidded by now.  They aren't getting any fatter, and there are only two weeks left in the window of time to correspond with the buck being here.  Strange.  Maybe he was shooting blanks.  Or maybe they saw what happened to Hazel and were like NOPE, REABSORBING NOW.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I was just doing what any hero would do

Image result for parks and recreation ron gif

Right off the bat I want to say that I like Jim Gaffigan's comedy.  Beyond the Pale is delightful and some of it was so funny it made me cry.  Mr. Universe, same.  So you know that when I say I expected better of his new show it comes from a place of love.  And I should watch it before I judge too harshly, but I saw a promo photo for it yesterday, and it looks like the main cast is four dudes and one lady?  Like, even his wife's best friend is a man?  And then he tweeted a picture of a cast list, and it was, like, the biggest sausagefest.  Five women and twenty-eight men--many of the men are cameos, so I don't know if that's one episode or multiple episodes or what, but still.  C'mon, Jim.  Let's get some women in there, unless that is in fact representative of your real life, in which case what a disappointing world this still is.

And since I spent yesterday avoiding work by watching Parks and Recreation, I am reminded that I love that show.  I love all the characters, I love how they've grown and blossomed over the years, and I want to hug them all, except Councilman Jamm, whom I hate so much.  

Okay!  I'm lying, I didn't really avoid work the whole day.  I was trying to write something and it was so, so terrible.  I keep getting about two pages into a story and then it's so bad I have to close it down and start a new one, which is just as bad, repeat to infinity.  

I will not miss David Letterman.  He's gross and creepy.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

no you cain't get a man with a gun

Someone told me the other night that they couldn't imagine me getting angry or yelling at my kids, which I guess means that I'm successfully passing as a nice person.  Good job, me!

I mean, I am generally nice, in that I don't believe in being rude for no reason, and I almost always accept food assignments for funerals and such, and yeah, I try to help children improve their literacy even though they act like jerks, but my gooey center is not a sweet one.  I think my gooey center probably tastes like tobacco spittle.

While slogging my way through the twitters I realized that when I scroll using the touchpad my computer makes a barely-audible clicking sound, sort of like ruffling pages in a book, and I am so annoyed by this now that if I were a baby I would be fussing SO MUCH, and my parents would probably have to buy a white noise machine to drown out the sound of the clicks so I could sleep.  Except, here's the part I've never figured out:  how can anyone sleep with the sound of white noise?  "Hey, you know that noise you hear when your radio station isn't coming in very clear?  That sound that's so irritating that you'd rather not listen to the radio at all?  Let's make a machine that makes that noise all the time, and it will sell like hotcakes!"  Babies are crazy is what I'm saying.

I don't think I ever missed the bus when I was in junior high or high school, but I drive Grant and/or Emmett to school at least once a week.  This is how you know I'm not doing a very good job on them.  At least they're not on drugs, that we know about, but if they could add "can catch the school bus" and "is considerate of others" to their resumes it would be really neat.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

you remind me of the babe

The neighbors I'm goatsitting for live over by a huge swampy area called the Black Slough, so every spring they have terrible problems with gnats, tiny little no-see-um gnats that bite you everywhere.  So since I have been playing midwife I have gnat bites all over in my hair and around my ears, and if I lived in a place with no-see-ums?  Would move.  This is no way to live.  And yet half of the people in our ward deal with the gnats every year.  You can't even go outside!  Poop on that is what I say.  A few years ago my uncle Kenny, whose house is also near the Black Slough, was talking about how much he hates going to the doctor--he was going through chemo at the time--and he said, "I would rather thin beets with a short-handled hoe in the gnats than go to the doctor."  For people who understand sugar beets and hoes and gnats, that is a powerfully vivid image.

A girl I know is getting a roller skate tattoo for her birthday, and it caused me to wonder--what is a relationship with a tattoo artist like?  Do you always use the same person, or do you bebop around?  It seems like going to a new artist would be even more awkward than changing hairdressers, but maybe tattoo artists aren't actually very territorial.  Maybe they understand that certain artists are right for certain designs, and they have no problem with you using the best artist for the job.  It's a tricky world to navigate, man.  So many feelings to consider.  

I wish it were always fall, so I could wear boots and cook ham and it would rain instead of snow.  Which is the autumnest of states?  Vermont, maybe, or New Hampshire?  I should move there I guess, except for I'm pretty sure those places get snow, yuck.  Washington seems pretty autumnal, and maybe Montana, but I refuse to move to Montana unless forced by global climate change.  And I'm sure they get snow.  Snow is horrid.  Why is there not a machine to create a portable climate, so everyone could be where they're the happiest?  This is probably not even the fakest thing that we could invent.  This is just money waiting to be made, guys.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

new new york's hottest club is whimsy

Well, friends and neighbors, I have good news and bad today.  Bad news first, so we get it over with.  I went out to check on the goats this morning and discovered that Hazel had died kidding last night.  No babies survived, because it looks like she died pushing the first kid--there were just some hooves poking out and that's it.  This is really sad for me, because Hazel was my good little buddy.  She loved me from the get-go and followed me around like a dog.  She was the calming influence on Sally and Minerva, and if they are manageable at all it is thanks to her good example.  She was a great mother, the best of all our goats.  Little Hazelnut, you will be missed.

The good news is that I'm watching our neighbors' goats for them while they are on vacation, and Sage, who is Hazel's sister, kidded triplets last night, two girls and a boy.  They were all dry and happy when I found them, so I moved them into a separate pen where they'll be away from the trampling of the other goats, and doctored their navels.  They're pretty cute.

That browny-bluey roan in the foreground is a female, which is super cool, because she'll add some great color to the goat consortium's herd.  And Sage has a great udder with nice big teats, so those are good genes to perpetuate.

I bought a Purple Prince crabapple to replace our Shogetsu flowering cherry that died like the weak sauce it is.  Fellow Northern Utahns:  do not be tempted by the flowering cherry.  They are so gorgeous, but they are not built for our climate.
This is a cute little fellow, and I love that bronzy foliage.

I'm cooking some dinner for a friend who has stage 2 non-alcoholic cirrhosis, and I'm a little freaked out that I might accidentally kill him?  I'm going to try French toast with yogurt and fruit and hope for the best.

Friday, April 24, 2015

I've got a better idea--how about we don't?

Last night I was bringing Grant home from his basketball games at a high school that was basically like a palace or maybe an understated casino, and we stopped at Nielsen's Frozen Custard so that he could build some nice garbage muscles.  We talked about how you can't outrun a bad diet, and that someday he will pay for the way he eats, as I am paying now, but honestly he doesn't eat garbage that often, so burgers ahoy I guess.  Anyway, we ordered a quart of lemon custard (can't outrun a bad diet what?) to take home, which is about an hour away, and without even being asked those lovely people packed it all in ice in a plastic container so it would stay as hard as possible.  We usually look to Nielsen's for aloof, sluggish service which we put up with for the custard, but they were really great last night.

We heard pieces of that horrid "Dear Future Husband" song a few times on the radio and I ranted to Grant a little bit about how gross and retrograde it is.  When "All About That Bass" first came out everybody was like yay, here is a feminist, body-positive message for the young girls of today, and it took people a minute to even HEAR the misogynist "tell those skinny bitches that" lyric, or how the whole song was STILL about pleasing the male gaze, and now as more of Meghan Trainor's catalog is released we start to get a clearer picture of her platform, which seems to be that she just wants fat girls to be treated like sexy, infantile pets in the same way that skinny girls are.  A giant leap for mankind.

Image result for portlandia women and women first gif

I am making over a gallon of yogurt today, because I forgot to cancel our milk order this week.  So yes, I have our menu for next week planned, thank you for asking.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

hey mister, you're drinking a candle

It is so windy outside right now, and I'm just getting angrier and angrier as I sit here listening to it.  So I guess you got my attention, wind, good for you.  I guess negative attention is still attention, right?  Jerk.  


I planted four tomato plants on Saturday, right up next to my house, and I'm predicting BUCKETLOADS of tomatoes this summer, as long as there isn't so little water that all the plants die and we have to hermetically seal our doors and windows to prevent the dry desert air from mummifying us in our sleep.  I think I'll buy two or three more plants and then I will regret it because too many tomatoes.  Maybe.  

Last week was spring break and we sat around and watched lots of Chopped and Iron Chef, and we visited some friends and the kids played laser tag, and we watched Night at the Museum Whatever the Third One is Called, and then on Saturday we had a sandwich-making competition and I successfully argued that my creation was, in fact, a sandwich.  It was an open-faced sandwich of French toast, sliced bananas, vanilla pudding, and whipped cream, and it was delicious.  

I found a hardcover copy of The Poisonwood Bible for $2 yesterday at the D.I., yay for me.  I find the best books at the D.I.  There was a copy of The Deathly Hallows there, but I thought I'd already bought a second copy of that, and now I see that I haven't, so I'll have to go back and snag it before some other nerd beats me to it.  

Our chickens are finally all laying eggs, so there are some days when we get six eggs at once.  It's been a long time, brothers and sisters.  I used to be so excited about my chickens, and so excited about my goats, and now they just make me tired.  I'm not cut out to be a pretend farmer.  Maybe in the End Times, when there's nothing more interesting to do and we can't drive anymore because the oil is all gone, maybe then I'll be a good homesteader.  

Thursday, April 2, 2015

every which way buttercups sway

Yesterday I was at the dentist's office, which thankfully no longer plays country music in the waiting room, because I complained and told them that it delegitimized their business.  I have been friends with the dentist since grade school, so it's okay if I tell him that his music is okay at the feed store or county fair, but not in his office, because it's true.  Country music, are you kidding me?  I don't care if it's Utah, this is not appropriate.


Anyway, we were listening to some lovely jazzy tunes in the waiting room and reading our lame magazines (that's the next thing I'm going to complain about) and one of the other people waiting started watching a video on her phone, it sounded like one of those "evolution of ____" things, and it was really loud!  Is that not rude public behavior?  One doesn't watch videos without earphones in a confined public space, am I right?  I think that what I'm trying to say is that when in a confined public space, it is our duty to behave in such a way that the other people in the space might be able to forget that we are there.  

Now I'm off to my guitar lesson and I haven't practiced very much, as usual, because the practicing makes me so sad.  If I were a child I would deserve to be yelled at by my parents for wasting their money.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

old man, look at my life; I'm a lot like you were

Today I read that awesome Fran Lebovitz interview while I was out to lunch, and while I was waiting for the check I started laughing so hard I cried and I had to stop reading in order to avoid causing a public scene.  I like Lebovitz's spunk and brazen lack of tact, and would like to become an opinionated old lady myself, but also she's kind of a jerk, right?  How do you find that place on the spectrum that puts you at endearing curmudgeon and not toxic butthole?  An illustration:

Has Fran Lebowitz struck this balance?  I feel like she has, but it seems that there are members of the commentariat who disagree with me.  Some of them feel like she should shut up, which, maybe about some things, but think how much duller the world would be!  Maybe we should all speak our minds in such an uninhibited, kooky and prickly way.

So how do we do that?  I feel like I used to be more balls-out with my opinions, but as I have aged, dare I say matured, I have become much more vanilla.  Maybe because I'm more conscious of how my words affect others, maybe because I'm learning that I really don't know very much about anyone or anything, but maybe because I'm scared people will hate me.  But also I sort of want people to hate me?  Or at least fear me.  I worry that I might be a Death Eater at heart.  I have these two warring factions inside me; my desire to unabashedly own and voice my opinions, and my desire to mature and become more kind and accepting.  Which is stronger, my desire to be kind, or my desire to be cruel?  Hard to say.  I think I'm getting nicer, which I guess is progress.

A story to demonstrate:  There was a guy at Lee's Mongolian last night who was wearing baggy jeans with a mish-mash of a jacket that was denim in the same color wash as the jeans (thumbs down), leather sleeves, and a fleece hood.  I can't think of a time when I've seen that patchwork technique deployed effectively, and last night was no different.  The pants should have been tighter, because he was telegraphing rock n' roll with the top half (poorly executed) and normcore with the bottom half (nailed it).  His hair was all slicked back, and then I got a look at his face, and it was like the face of a very old, sunburned man took the hair and body and clothes of a much younger man out to dinner.  I wrinkled my nose in distaste and said to Grant, "Disapprove."  Grant said "I can tell you one thing--he looks like you don't want to piss him off," and I was like, "Pfft, he looks like he's all hat and no cattle."  But then I watched the guy talk to the server, and he was really nice, and then I saw him interact with his wife and children, and he seemed like a pretty decent guy.  I don't know what has brought him to the place where he wants to wear such dumb clothes, but there are worse things.  I felt bad for the mean things I had thought and said.  I don't know his life!  I don't know his story!  Shut it up, me!

I can do these exercises in relativism with almost anything and it has really taken the fun out of being judgmental.

Monday, March 23, 2015

come on let's crawl, gotta crawl, gotta crawl, to the ugly bug ball

The last couple of books I've read to the kids have been Agatha Christie mysteries--Willa whines about how she doesn't understand them, which probably means she'll develop such an aversion to them that she'll refuse to read them when she gets older, but the joke will be on her, because she'll just be robbing herself of a delightful genre of books.  Agatha Christie is a beast and I love her.  We just got done with Cat Among the Pigeons, and the previous one was A Murder is Announced.  Great stories, both of them.  After the first one Grant said, "We should just read Agatha Christies from now on," and I was like, this is what I've been trying to say!  I've tried for years to get them to read Agatha Christie, but they were all into Ranger's Apprentice and Percy Jackson and whatnot, so finally I just took matters into my own hands.  I can't decide which one to do next.  I also might read them some of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books, because they are great.

I read Look at the Birdie a couple of weeks ago and loved it so much I tracked it down and bought it.  It was like Kurt Vonnegut channeled Ray Bradbury, or vice versa.  I loved it, even though it made me sad all over again that Ray Bradbury is dead.

I am in such despair about my stupid guitar life.  I am terrible at the guitar, and now my teacher is wanting me to play a song all in barre chords and I can't make it sound decent for the life of me, and it's just really hard to be agile-minded about it all.

Monday, March 16, 2015

put him in the brig until he's sober

We celebrated Pi Day on Saturday, how about you?  On Pi Day we are all mathletes.  I had raspberry cream when I took Grant out for breakfast after his honor band dress rehearsal, and it was a darn good slice for restaurant pie.  Then we got together with my family and we had Dutch apple (me), coconut cream (Aleece), banana cream (Justine) and lemon meringue (my mom).  They were all delicious, although my mom was upset about the lemon meringue because she used real lemons and so it wasn't as firm as when she uses a Jell-O mix.

My mom and I have many differences of opinion when it comes to food, but it takes all kinds to make the world go 'round, right?  And it's a good thing for me to be reminded that a lot of the stuff I get all worked up about is not really that big of a deal.

Meow, I don't like tutoring anymore!  The kids I have now are naughty/bratty and they don't like reading and it's like, would you rather be doing a worksheet than coming in here and having a totally chill time with a cool mom and getting treats if you're the first kid into the room?  Pfft, screw you, rude kids!  Good luck with your sub-literacy, I guess.  Why did they take away my nice kids?

I just love gifs, because they add visual interest without the hassle of me having to upload the pictures onto my computer.

I think I might have to buy a slow-cooker cookbook and that scares me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

get ready for the funcooker

Fitness question:  Will I burn more calories/build more muscle by sublimating my rage at my children's laziness and ingratitude, or by letting it burst forth in a froth of spittle-flecked invective?  Just because I want to take every opportunity to raise my heart rate/strengthen my core, don't you know.

This is where I should ask the question "How do you give your kids opportunities to explore their interests without turning them into me monsters?", but I'm not going to because it is a question that has no universally applicable answer.  All I can say is, well done, you parents out there who have struck that perfect balance that has brought you kind, thoughtful, well-rounded, inquisitive children.  It must be nice for you.

I guess it's negative of me to talk like that.  My kids are good, I'm just at an ebb in career satisfaction right now because I didn't want Grant to go to basketball in the first place because he has this stupid cough that won't go away, and his Spanish teacher told him not to come back to school until he's better, and then John didn't think it was a big deal for Grant to go to basketball, and Grant begged and I gave in like a good parent never does, and here it is almost 10:00 at night and guess who's still up even though he agreed to be in bed by 9:15 because he's sick and needs his rest?  Grant, that's who.  And Willa came home from school and snuck out to play with the neighbor girl without doing her homework or piano practice, even though she called me from school and complained about having a sick stomach, and I couldn't get her since the car was in the shop having a well car checkup for eight freaking hours, and I don't think Emmett has practiced his piano for more than an hour total in the last month, and I know for sure he does a crappy job of feeding and watering the goats every day, like it's so hard to turn on the hose, and Ike jammed his finger at recess yesterday and will talk about nothing else but how much his finger hurts, and how the Tylenol at the doctor's office tasted (sick), and how the Ibuprofen at our house tasted (fine) and if the finger can bend more or less than yesterday, and how often does he need to change the gauze, and is the purple bruise on it bigger or smaller than yesterday, and if it is puffier or less puffy than yesterday, and what was his level of pain at various points throughout the day and finger finger finger finger until I shoot myself just to have some peace and quiet with nobody asking me for anything, not even gum at the checkout stand.

I never knew just what it was and I guess I never will

Yesterday I bought what was called on the tag a "soft pant."  These are some of those gathered-ankle pants that are like slightly less slobby-looking sweats.  I have tried to buy such a thing in the past, but everything I tried was pretty much the most unflattering thing I've ever had on--that I recognized at the time.  For sure the denim button-ups and pleated mom jeans I wore in high school were bad in retrospect, but these were bad right out of the gate.  But I had faith that I could find some that worked, and yet again Costco, source of all things good, has come through for me.  Sure I look a little bit crazy, and every day I get closer to fully succumbing to the "athleisure" dressing trend, but at least I'm comfortable, which is important to me.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

is that a frampton reference in MY STORE

Image result for smart gif

I have read pieces in multiple places recently that are praising Carly Rae Jeppsen's new song "I Really Like You," and they're all just having babies about it, and guys, the song is not that great.  It's not that catchy, the repetition is excessive even for a pop song, and the bottom line is, "Call Me Maybe" it ain't.  And speaking of excessive repetition, "Shake It Off" was hard for me because of the hate hate hate, play play play, shake shake shake stuff going on in it ("Blank Space" is a far superior song), but THEN?  Then we come to the spoken work/"rap" section of it and I almost collapse into myself like a dying star because of projected embarrassment.  I can't listen to it.  I can't.

I mean, I'm no music critic, and I can't offer a nuanced rebuttal to the people who think those songs are so so great, but I know what I like and the rest of America is just being dumb.