Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thank you, Wolf Shirt!

Since none of you sad sacks listed what makes you happy, save three (thanks Anita and Tricia and Danon), I will move on to more important things. But what none of you knew is that by listing the things that make you happy, ALL OF YOUR WILDEST DREAMS WOULD COME TRUE!! ONE DAY ONLY! But it's too late now...

I knew I was going to make the "Good List" this Christmas for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to: switching the kids from Count Chocula to the healthier Fruit Loops (fruit is present on food pyramid), making daily stalker e-mails to The Edge shorter, and only parking in handicapped spots three times in 2009. However, I didn't realize how good I had really been until I pulled this baby out of my stocking:

Oh, yes. You can believe your eyes. I am now the proud owner of a wolf shirt.

You may be saying, "I know it's gorgeous, but why is it such a big deal?" If you are not familiar with the power and sex appeal of the wolf shirt, you need to check out the original wolf shirt on Really. There are over 1300 reviews of the wolf shirt and the amazing things that happen to people who own them. Today's blog is a testament to what those 1300+ people have described in their testimonials. Mine is not the original Three Wolf Shirt listed on Amazon. My shirt is from the same company, Mountain Man, but mine is the Estrogen version, a stormy gray/tie dye looking one with three wolves (the second two are shrouded in mist). I am here to tell you they are all true.

Mountain Man Three Wolf Shirt

The kids woke up early on Christmas morn, and ran into our room, breathless.

"MOM! MOM! Hurry! Your Christmas stocking is glowing, and the song Freebird is playing!"

Freebird? That alone was enough to get me out of bed. I grabbed my lighter and half bottle of Bud Light from my nightstand and ran into the living room. Sure enough, my stocking was aglow. Suddenly, everything went into slow motion. My hand reached out toward the stocking and started to pull on a magical, stormy piece of fabric. Stardust and rainbows and ponies started shooting out of my stocking as I released the shirt from its polyester prison, and the room was quiet but for the lone howling of a wolf.

I wept. The children wept. Jesus wept. I pulled the shirt on over my "I'm With Stupid" shirt I wore to bed, and that's it happened. There are few things in a woman's life that can change her permanently: The first labor with an epidural. The Von Maur sale shoe room. The Twilight series. And now, a wolf shirt.

Everywhere the shirt touched my body was tingling in a not-unpleasant way. My husband looked at me as though I were a roast beef sandwich and a keg of beer with the remote on top. The children stood in front of me in a line and said, "What would you like us to clean, Wolf Mother?" Santa stuck his head back down from the chimney and begged me to return to the North Pole with him. "No, Santa," I said. "The voice of Wolfman Jack is whispering in my head, telling me I'm needed at the shore of the Mississippi River just blocks from my home."

I ran (gracefully, like Alice Cullen might) down the street to the riverbank, and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a sinking riverboat with children, puppies, and Taylor Swift on board, playing a new song on her guitar called, "God Help Us We're All Gonna Die."

I will admit that I panicked a bit, but then I let the calming powers of the wolf shirt take over. I moved on instinct alone when I placed my imitation Croc foot on the waters of the mighty Mississippi, and then placed my other foot in front of that. It wasn't so much that I was walking on water, as placing my feet on the backs of my submerged wolf brethren. I stood on the deck of that riverboat, pointing Northward, and yelled, "I'M THE KING OF THE WORLD!" and then pulled all of the passengers on my back and returned to shore.

Upon my return home, the Publishers Clearing House people, the Iowa Powerball committee, and David Hasselhof were all at my door, proclaiming me a "winner"! All of this, when just being the proud owner of this fine piece of apparel is reward enough. The only downside is that Stacy London and Clinton Kelly called and they no longer want me on What Not To Wear, because clearly I have my wardrobe together.

Thank you Wolf Shirt!

And Whoreticulture Friday will probably be a p.m. post, because it is New Year's Day after all, and coffee and Aleve can only do so much. In the words of Bono, "all is quiet on New Year's Day." Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Playing Tag

Okay, quick diversion. My crazy Canadian friend at The Insatiable Host (Chick Norris) was blog-tagged by her Aussie friend at Whoa Mumma, and she tagged me, and I am It. As this is now International Tag, I must participate, or Interpol may get involved. So here goes:

10 Things that make Me Happy

1. Laughing

2. My funny kids

3. Writing and reading books

4. Secret dates to movies and dinner with CH

5. Downtown Iowa City

6. Traveling, which I do almost none of

7. Coffee Houses (i.e. Fuel, Java House, Starbucks, Dewey's)

8. My amazingly cool crazy chicas. I have a small posse in the towns we've lived in (a Ho in every port), some college friends, my book club and QC gals, and my whackadoodle spectacular high school girls (Rally!), whom I miss all the time.

9. Being creative. I love trying out new things and seeing if I can do it. Sometimes my projects turn out cool (vintage china mosaic, upholstery), and sometimes I am a spectacular failure (knit poncho)!

10. Music. I have it playing all the time, and I love Yo Yo Ma to Beatles to Jay-Z and everything in between. Love it when that perfect song comes on.

I'm supposed to tag other sites to pass it on, but I want to know what makes YOU happy. Post your top 10 (or 5 if you don't have much time) things that make you glad all over. Of course you are welcome to be lewd, sarcastic, or bipolar, if that is what makes you happy.

Happy New Year! I'll be back for Whoreticulture Friday!

UPDATE: Over 50 people have looked at this blog today, and not ONE of you people has posted things that make you happy. All you do is hit the "Comments" button. Your lack of posting makes you either:
A) Incredibly unhappy
B) Painfully shy
C) Unable to follow directions

Do I ever ask anything of you, gentle reader? No. So post what makes you happy, or so help me I will come over there and give you something to be sad about. And take away your iPod and cell phone for a week. Don't eff with me, missy/mister!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

F U Dora and the Box you Came In

Merry Christmas, Happy 'Holidays I Don't Celebrate But Am Curious About', and Happy New Year soon. Christmas in our house was excellent, good flannel-pj-wearing-no-showering-wine-food-and some churchin' fun. Until it was time to open Dora Links, which is a new Dora game.

Youngest Daughter, who learned Spanish by watching Dora the Explorer on Nick, got the Dora Links doll for Christmas. Dora has grown into a teenager, because all good things must be ruined by puberty. You take your Dora doll and plug her into your computer, and you can change her hair, her room, etc. and while this is happening, the actual Dora doll glows intensely in the cheeks, eyes, and jewelry as though she were the spawn of Satan.

Before Dora could glow like the undead, she had to get set up on the computer. No one can tell a good story like Dora, so she'll tell you about our adventure. Vamanos! Let's go!

Hola! I'm Dora. Dora Links is coming to Julie's house to take up lots and lots of space on her computer. Can you say hasta la vista, hard drive? Great!

Wait! I hear a noise! It's the sound of a struggle, and some mild swearing. Do you know who is making that noise? It's Youngest Daughter's mother, Julie, trying to break Dora Links out of the plastic box she is seemingly soldered into. Mother in Spanish is Madre or Mama. Can you say Mom has a knife? Mamá tiene un cuchillo. I'm scared, Boots!

Julie has finally got me out of the box, and now she is downloading my software onto her already overburdened hard drive. Don't do it, Mom! Do you know how to say that in Spanish? No lo hagas Madre! After a few hours of trying to figure out why Dora's software won't download on Mom's sad computer, we are ready to play! But wait! We need the all-important code off of the front of my box! We can't go any further on the Dora Links website without the code! But where is it? What's that Boots? Boots says it WAS on the front of the plastic box, but now it is probably somewhere in the four bags of garbage Mom took out a couple of hours ago. Let's go on an adventure!

First, we have to go through the Snowy Snow! Mom gets her boots and gloves on and says something like "Why the hell do I have to do this! It's like getting punished for cleaning!" Mom hears what sounds like crickets, and everyone in the family has mysteriously disappeared, so she heads out into the Snowy Snow. It is cold outside!

Next, we get to the Smelly Garbage Can. What is that sound? RIP! That's the sound of plastic garbage bags tearing as Mom goes through her own garbage cans! Mom picks through the bloody butcher wrapper from the roast beef...down into the coffee grounds...and over the old juice boxes! What's that Mom? Hey, I can't print that here! This is a family site!

I hear a loud banging sound. What could be making that noise? It is Mommy, kicking the garbage can because she can't find the code! Boots and I are laughing. What's that Madre? Te mato, punta! I think Mommy just looked at me and said, "I will kill you, bitch!" Mommy stumbles through the Snowy Snow and tries to grab me, but I am a very fast runner. Wait! Is that the code from the Dora box? But I hear a sound. Is that Swiper? Quick! We have to yell "Swiper no swiping" or Julie will lose the code forever! Say it with me! "Swiper no swiping! Swiper no swiping! Swiper no...UMPH!" Mommy has just tackled me in the snow. She smells like garbage and her good gloves are damp on the fingertips. She has a crazy look in her eyes. Can you say Mommy is crazy? Mama esta loca! And now Swiper has the code and it is gone forever!

"You'll never get it now! Ha ha ha!" Swiper gloats and rips the code up into a million pieces!

"Swipe THIS, Fox!" Julie says as she shoots Swiper with her rifle. Can you say that in Spanish? "Golpe este zorro!" The children are looking out of the window and crying as Swiper bleeds out into the snow. Relajarse, Madre! You need to relax before the policia get involved!

We've been through the Snowy Snow and the Smelly Garbage, and now Swiper is dead. What's that Boots? Current Husband is in his comfy warm flannel pants inside, on the phone with Fisher Price! He already got the code on the phone! CH es nuestro héroe! CH is our hero! But Julie is wondering why CH didn't tell her he was calling Fisher Price, and let her go through four bags of semi-decomposed matter and torn wrapping paper while he got the code? What's that Boots? We should take the rifle away from Julie? Yes, let's do that Boots! Hurry! Prisa! We did it! Yay!

Julie is taking a shower, and Youngest Daughter is playing Dora Links. CH is pouring Julie a glass of wine, because he is afraid. Can you say 'afraid' in Spanish? Miedo! Great! Good night, Boots! Buenas Noches! And next year, let's remind Madre not to buy any toys that require a download on her computer! Adios!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

No, CH, There Is No Santa Claus

Current Husband was out at the brewery with some of his buddies, listening to their tales of wives finishing their Christmas shopping. They spoke of how their houses were decorated, the gifts were wrapped, the Christmas cards out, and the meal to be prepared. CH knew the other things were done in our home, but he was not up-to-date on what was being served at the Christmas Eve meal, or what was to be in my stocking. He came to me for guidance. Here was my response:

"CH - there is no frigging Santa Claus. I AM SANTA CLAUS! I'm the one who put the lights up outside after Thanksgiving while the Cowboys were playing. I'm the one who started shopping for your children this summer. It was I who bought the tree and (with the help of a strapping young man) crammed said tree into the minivan. There are no elves. I untangled the lights to drape around the tree, and lugged the tubs of decorations out from storage. These things do not get done by mystical creatures.

The gifts for your family, all me. Tell me, quick, what did we get your mom this year?! HA! That's what I thought. The 80+ Christmas cards, which have to have photos taken, a letter written, addresses procured and handwritten on the envelopes, and then licked shut and stamped? No Santa there!

Have you really believed that the noise on Christmas Eve is reindeer?! Hell, no! It was ME, swearing as I tried to carry gifts for three children up from the basement while you watched "A Christmas Story" for the third time and ate the sugar cookies - that I made! For the fake SANTA!

The fat man in red is a FAIRY TALE! I create all of the magic, as surely as George Lucas put Carrie Fisher in cinnamon bun braids, chains, and a gold bikini to create magical sexy Princess Leia. How dreary the world would be without the women who put this holiday together! And if we did not actually believe, during our darkest hour of trying to figure out what to give the mail carrier and how much will fit in the stockings, that everything would indeed come together somehow as if by magic, we would be lying to our children as well. But we have to believe in something other than red wine and methamphetamine, because the whole Christmas job can get overwhelming.

Believe in Santa Claus! You might as well believe Tiger Woods will never cheat again if Elin sticks around! The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see, but does that mean it has to be something as complicated as a big man in a bad suit? Can't it just be something as simple as a mother's love and the power of coffee? Have you ever seen a reindeer with a glowing red nose? Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? If so, you need to put down the Maker's Mark and we need to have a talk.

And that Christmas sex you have every year? NOT Mrs. Claus, despite any costumes to the contrary. That's right, CH. I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let you forget you're a man. Is it all real? The decor, the tree, the cards, the cookies, the gifts, the sex? CH, in all this world there is nothing else more real and abiding. But if you think someone named Santa magically makes these things appear while I am running around unshowered and in the same outfit two days running muttering to myself under my breath, you are delusional.

And if we have frozen pizza for dinner on Christmas Eve, you will smile a loving smile into my eyes and tell me it is delicious. And if you need help with my stocking, stop in Target for 15 minutes and get me a Starbucks gift card, a bag of Reese's miniatures, the new "It Might Get Loud" movie starring The Edge, another Jen Lancaster book, or a new laptop. I've got more where that came from. I'm easy like a Sunday morning.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! Because he would just be another person for whom I would cook and clean and purchase a gift card. I already make him cookies, the ungrateful bastard. So in answer to your question, CH, No. No there isn't a Santa Claus. But the magic of Christmas is alive, because I love you and your children, and you all love me back, and that makes it all worthwhile."

Merry Christmas to all. And thank you to CH, who lovingly allows me to slander him in my blog on a regular basis. He's actually a pretty good guy.

NOTE: There will be no Whoreticulture Friday this week because it falls on the day that the Virgin Mother gave birth to our Savior, and it just seems wrong. Happy Birthday Jesus!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Believe in Oscar the Grouch

Today is my little sister's birthday. She was born on Dec. 22, 1972, and she was a planned C-Section so my mom could bring the baby home for Christmas. However, the best laid plans (Ha! No pun intended, Mom!) went awry, and instead Mom and the baby were in the hospital for Christmas Day, too.

And that's the first time I felt I got screwed by having a sibling.

I wasn't that impressed with the baby. Yeah, yeah, curly brown hair, chocolate brown eyes, little pink chubby cheeks and rosebud mouth, I get it that she's cute, but hello! She has no teeth! I knew from my grandparent's farm that even baby pigs have teeth. This baby was defunct and should be returned. But no one would listen, so she stayed with us.

She was always funny, with her little outfits and dolls and her obsession with Ace bandages (she always had some fake injury wrapped - it's a miracle my parents didn't get any visits from the DHS), and she would sneak out of bed with me in the middle of the night to make a fort in the house to sleep in. We would build sand castles together on our beach and swim, and we often only had each other to play with because there weren't many kids on the lake where we lived. Until I was in Junior High and turned into The Most Evil Older Sister on the Planet, she was my best friend. But the best thing about my sister as a kid was that instead of believing in Santa, she believed in Oscar the Grouch. We actually had the song playing now on a 45 and listened to it as one of our Christmas songs for the holidays.

It's not that she didn't believe in Santa; she did. But to her, no mystical creature came alive like Oscar the Grouch. He was real, right down to his smelly garbage can and pet worm. Some parents try to get people to dress up as Santa and come over to freak the kids out. I think I've mentioned before that my parents were drinkers, so on Christmas Eve, they staged a visit from Oscar the Grouch.

I think it started with a bottle (or box) of Rossi wine and some classy beer, like Red, White and Blue or Old Milwaukee's Best Light, and next thing you know, a bunch of giggling adults are on our patio. Soon, my mom comes in and calls for my sister. She runs downstairs in her flannel two piece pajamas, looks out the door, and screams. Oscar the Grouch is on our patio.

Apparently the tipsy adults crammed our Italian neighbor into a metal garbage can, put a green wig or tablecloth or fur over his head, and covered the trash can with Christmas lights. He barely opened the top of the garbage can, and talked to my sister.

OG: "Hey! Is that Natalie!?!"
OG: "I hate Christmas!!"
OG: "I hope Santa brings me some trash!"
OG: "Why aren't you in bed, little girl!?"
N: "You smell bad, Oscar."
OG: (laugh/choking) "What do you want, I live in a garbage can!"
(Suspicious amount of smoke coming out of garbage can, and the pop of a beer can.)
MOM: "Okay, Natalie, it's time to come in..."
N: "Mom, what's wrong with Oscar?"
MOM: "Come in or Santa won't be able to come."
N: "Goodbye Oscar!"
OG: "Goodbye Little Girl! I hate Christmas!"

(Laughing adults leave drunk Oscar stuck in garbage can. Loud clanging noise on patio later. Parents tell us it was Santa. Did Santa also throw up in the yard?)

And thus, another normal family memory is created. Because we did put the Fun in Dysfunctional. I have a picture of this event, but I don't know if I can find it. If I do, I will post.

Happy Birthday Natalie! I hope you got gifts and they weren't wrapped in Christmas paper! Because this lovely birthday memory has Christmas all over it. It's enough to turn you into Oscar the Grouch, no?


Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Shopping Survivor: Borders. Outwit, Outplay, Outlast

Monday, December 21, 2:37 p.m.
Quad Cities
Borders Bookstore on 53rd Street

I am a forty-year-old mother of three, and I have Christmas shopping to do. I walk into the Borders on 53rd Street, and I see the checkout line with, no kidding, at least 50 people that snakes three deep in front of the registers, around to the back corner of the store, and around the bend toward the children's section. Jeff Probst takes away my shopping list and my skinny vanilla latte and informs me that I am on a new secret reality show...Christmas Shopping Survivor, Borders.

PROBST: "Julie, you are now one of over fifty strangers competing to walk through the exit doors of Borders alive and with your Christmas shopping list item. You have five minutes to find your item and get in line. You are part of the Cooking Section Tribe. Good luck."

ME: "But Jeff, I have to get to Target and buy crickets for the frog and mail my Christmas cards and..."

PROBST: "Your time"

I am terrified. I'm not a very good shopper in the first place, and I can see already that I will be lucky to get out of Borders by Christmas. I only need one thing. My Oldest Daughter has inexplicably developed a love of the German language, and asked for a good German-English dictionary. Why she loves German, Ich hab keine Ahnung. I know exactly where the dictionary is located, and I have a Borders rewards coupon for 30% off. I walk past the people in line to the back of the store to the Reference section and grab the Barron's Dictionary. I take my place in line with my tribe near the Cooking Section. I meet Trina, from Lindenwood Ave, John from 18th St, Elizabeth from Eldridge, and Steve from the hood in Davenport. We confer as to how we can get checked out sooner. We whisper our strategy.

TRINA: "I think I should announce there is half off of all New Moon merchandise."
JOHN: "No, New Moon is over. I think we should say they are giving away free copies of Blind Side."
STEVE: "Man, no one will believe they are giving that damn book away."
ELIZABETH: "Steve, why don't you pretend to have a seizure."
STEVE: "Oh, I have the seizure because I'm from downtown Davenport? You're a racist!"
JULIE: "Steve, you're not even black. Let's all be rational about this. The Non-Fiction tribe is making everyone angry by being pushy. Let's kill them all with kindness and it will psych them out."

John sidles up to me and offers to remove Steve if I let him use my 30% off coupon. I refuse, and instead I form an alliance with Steve, because he is from Downtown Davenport, so he's tough. Steve tells John that there was a news post that Blu-Ray has been discontinued. John, flustered, leaves Cooking Tribe to get a different DVD, and Steve and I bump knuckles.

I strike up a conversation with Trina, and I tell her that Elizabeth told me she saw Trina stick a Happy Bunny bookmark in her purse. I ask her for tips on shoplifting without being caught. Trina turns to to Elizabeth, furious, and they get into a brawl near the David Sedaris display. Borders security walks over and escorts the women out of the building. Cooking Tribe is down to two players, Non-Fiction Tribe has one and Young Adult Tribe has two.

Probst gives the three tribes a challenge - whoever can use the Borders computers to find a House of Night book located in-store AND get a Seattle's Best Coffee AND a Dilbert 2010 calendar and get back to the Sarah Palin books first will get moved to the front of the line. The others will have to go before the Literary Council to decide who gets to purchase their items. Time is running out. I still have to get my dog from the vet and buy the ingredients for turkey lasagne, neither of which can be found in Borders. Losing is not an option.

The Young Adults beat me to the House of Night books, but nobody can outwit me to a cup of coffee. That's like jumping in front of a crack addict as the rock is being handed out. You just don't do it. The calendars are a challenge because no one is into Dilbert anymore, so they are at the bottom of the stack. It's down to me and Steve. We race through the store, looking for Sarah Palin. Steve goes to the auto-biography and memoirs section, but I know Sarah has most likely gone rogue, and I book it to the skin mags. Do I win the next register checkout? You betcha. Sorry, Steve.

After three minutes from the door to my item, and then 28 minutes in line at Borders, I have my dictionary. I look at all of the sad sacks still in line, looking dejected, and yell, "Auf Weidersehen, suckers!"

Jeff Probst waves goodbye from the Borders doors and yells, "Well played, Julie. Well played."

So if you need anything from Borders, go online. It will get there faster than standing in line, trust me. I hope your Christmas shopping is complete, your packages taped and your sparkling holiday cheer in hand. As they say in Berlin, Frohliche Wiehnachten!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's Whoreticulture Friday! Issue 9

Whoreticulture: The industry and science of whores and whore-related topics. Whoreticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of OB-GYNery, Brazilian waxers and shavers, adultery, personal hygiene mavens and easy women. The word is composite, from two words, whore, from Greek meaning "harlot" or "dear", and the word culture. Like NPR's Science Friday, Whoreticulture Friday exists to educate and spark discussion on the science of Whorology. Whoreticulture Friday is not for children. Or squeamish people. Or Mother-In-Laws.

Today's topic: Tiger Woods' "Transgressions"

Tiger's Twelve Days of Christmas

At the first report on Tiger, Elin hit him with a Three (Wood)
He hit a hydrant and then a tree

On the second day of Tiger, ESPN told me
He had two secret loves and would still step up to the tee

On the third day of Tiger, Le Monde newspaper told me
He did three French maids, two secret loves but please respect his privacy

On the fourth day of Tiger, Hugh Hefner told me
He had four call(ing) girls, three French maids, two secret loves and hung out with Playboy bunnies

On the fifth day of Tiger, his doctor told me
He gave out Five NuvaRings (look it up)
Four call(ing) girls, three French maids, two secret loves and no condoms on Mini-Me

On the sixth day of Tiger, Us Weekly told me
He goosed six chicks he's a-laying
Five NuvaRings
Four call(ing) girls, three French maids, two secret loves and rooms at Hyatt Regency

On the seventh day of Tiger, the Enquirer told me
His boys were all swimming, goosed chicks he's a-laying
Five NuvaRings
Four call(ing) girls, three French maids, two secret loves and a potential STD

On the eighth day of Tiger, People mag told me
About eight maids he's a-milking, his boys were all swimming,
goosed chicks he's a-laying
Five NuvaRings
Four call(ing) girls, three French maids, two secret loves during surgery on his knee

On the ninth day of Tiger, TMZ showed me
Photos of nine ladies lap dancing, maids he's a-milking, boys were all swimming, goosed chicks he's a-laying
Five NuvaRings
Four call(ing) girls, three French maids, two secret loves and things in Florida weren't so sunny

On the tenth day of Tiger, Porn magazine told me
He had Traci Lords a-leaping, ladies lap dancing, maids he's a-milking, boys were all swimming, goosed chicks he's a-laying
Five NuvaRings
Four call(ing) girls, three French maids, two secret loves and he'd leave golfing indefinitely

On the eleventh day of Tiger, his lawyer told me
He'd have to pay the piper piping, Traci Lords a-leaping, ladies lap dancing, maids he's a-milking, boys were all swimming, goosed chicks he's a-laying
Five NuvaRings
Four call(ing) girls, three French maids, two secret loves
and a hefty attorney's fee.

On the twelfth day of Tiger, court documents showed me
He'd have twelve weeks for packing, pay the piper piping, Traci Lords a-leaping, ladies lap dancing, maids he's a-milking, boys were all swimming, goosed chicks he's a-laying
Five NuvaRings
Four call(ing) girls, three French maids, two secret loves
and Elin gets all of his money.

(Applause. The Wife bows.)

And she deserves every cent.
Merry Christmas, Elin.
Or as you'll say in your new country estate in Sweden, "God Jul!"

And Tiger? You suck. And you shouldn't have blown off The John Deere Classic after you used it as part of your coming-out party, you disloyal jackass. That tournament is too classy for you. Coal! Lots and lots of coal for you!

Happy Whoreticulture Friday! Have a great weekend!

Deadline on Good Has Passed

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness' sake!

My kids were always afraid of Santa. They refused to sit on his lap, much less look at him, in a mall, and really? Isn't this what we taught them from birth? Strangers, lunatics in costume, people with candy, Hos, men who want you to sit on their laps, adults who try to make you keep secrets - ALL on the verboten list. But for one day a year, forget about all of that, kids, the danger is gone! Same deal with the Easter Bunny or other costumed characters. They just knew something wasn't right about that creature, and I never pushed them to form a relationship with these LSD-inspired maniacs. When you look at song lyrics like the above, you know why kids might fear St. Nick. Santa, according to Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town, is a bona fide stalker. I'm thinking this is where Sting got the inspiration for Every Breath You's the same concept, just a little more detailed.

Did I say ALL of my kids are afraid of Santa? Because our precious sweet baby, Youngest Daughter, is not. To her, this is a business negotiation. She met the minimum requirement for good this year, and it is payoff time. She will approach Santa with her list of demands, and a little bit of "You're going to make good on your end, capiche?"

The other day, YD is sitting at the table eating her after school snack when she started in with her daily "Can I have a friend over?" and I started in with my daily "Not tonight" and she did her usual "Why?" and I did my normal "Because I have things to do" and she said "All of my friends have people over" and I started yelling "You don't get to have friends over every night!" At this point, she got a little belligerent about it, and I threw down with my seasonal, "You shouldn't argue with me, Santa is watching." Because it's important to frighten the children with the idea that a magical creature is watching them at all times. That's just good parenting.

But YD had other ideas. She took another bite of her bar, nonplussed, and engaged me.

YD: "No Mom, Santa already knows I've been good, I'm okay."
ME: "What do you mean? Christmas is still over a week away."
YD: "Santa is done. Our teacher said we had to have our lists in last Friday, and he's already sent back a note saying I've been a good girl."
ME: "That doesn't mean he can't change his mind. You still have to be good."
YD: "What's he gonna do, Mom? "X" me off of his list? Santa doesn't have time. I'm already on the good list."

And she finished her snack.

My power was over. As far as she was concerned, this was a done deal, and to hell with that "being good" business, her work here was done. No coal for her.

Being good for goodness' sake? Fuggeddaboutit.

Santa Claus is comin' to town. And to YD, he's already halfway here.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chick Norris: Kicking Ass and Taking You To School

Note: Sorry about the F-bombs in the song, but it was so perfect I couldn't help it. For future reference, you can pause the Playlist. Got it, Mom?

I'm supposed to be working. On things that pay me. And yet, here I am, procrastinating and giggling in BloggyLand. Something funny happened yesterday, and then it sort of grew out of control, like a Chia Pet on steroids.

I am a fan of the often hilarious blog of this crazy Canadian, Danon of The Insatiable Host. She is wacky and fun and unpredictable and swears to make a sailor blush (and that MEANS something coming from me), she started something called the Panty Pyramid which is downright clever, and she is doing the Jillian Michaels shred. So I get my cup of coffee and sit down at the computer, and this is what I read on her blog:

I woke up early this morning and rather than curling up on my big purple micro sued couch with a cup of coffee with Bailey's I turned the bitch on and flipped her off for 20 mins. I was tell you all that while I was doing the cardio portions of the work-out I would focus on the wall or the ceiling or whatever- and today, I totally visualized myself kicking the shit out of Jillian Michaels. I say my skinny little ass in my work out gear (complete with new kicks) and I totally round housed her in the jaw. My visualization was complete with cinematic slow-play for effect. You could actually see her mouth jobble around and jaw wrench around to he shoulder. Hmmm. I wounder if she felt that all the way in the back on her a nice stretch?

How can you not read that and just see this woman (Girl, actually, as she is not yet 30) kicking the crap out of Jillian Michaels. I would sit on the couch and eat my Cocoa Puffs and watch THAT. So then I could picture her as The New Sheriff in Workout Land, and I told her that she was like Chuck Norris with a uterus. I was now christening her "Chick Norris".

So Chick Norris has taken a shine to her new moniker and did a post about it. And then I read it, and some great Chick Norris phrases came into my head, along with some modified pre-existing Chuck Norris phrases, because I am already a fan of Chuck Norris lore, and of course, I had to put them on the blog for you three long-suffering people who read this in hopes I will actually post something funny someday. You know who you are (Mom and her two non-English speaking co-workers). Sorry. Your wait has not ended.

This is my opus to all women who've got it goin' on. You make the breakfast, you keep the whites white, you work hard for the money, you keep the hot side hot and cool side cool. You are all Chick Norris (but Danon, you ARE the ORIGINAL, no doubt about it):

Chick Norris has such a strong uterus, it makes babies all by itself up in there.

Chick Norris doesn't just shred, she shreds Jillian Michaels and eats her for breakfast.

The last thing that goes through her opponent's mind before dying is Chick Norris' beautifully manicured toes.

There is no Evolution - just a list of people Chick Norris allows to live.

Chick Norris does not sleep. She waits.

Chick Norris doesn't have a period, she has three dots and then an exclamation point.

Chick Norris doesn't watch Oprah; Oprah watches her.

Chick Norris brings home the bacon, fries it up in the pan, and then eats it in front of the pig.

If it looks like fish and smells like fish but Chick Norris says it is chicken, then it is chicken. So eat it before you make Chick Norris angry.

Martha Stewart weeps when she eats Chick Norris' cookies.

Chick Norris' baby changes its own diaper, because Chick Norris will not take shit from anyone.

Barbie only uses pink because Chick Norris said she wanted purple.

The best part of waking up is not Folgers in your cup, it is knowing Chick Norris didn't kill you in your sleep.

Chick Norris' minivan gets 600 mpg because it is afraid to stop.

Chick Norris will school you, and then take you to school. Which I will have to get up to do in about 7 hours, and I still have to get my work done. And I apologize if the pluralization of Norris is wrong, but it is late, and I am tired. So I will end with the last one in The Insatiable Host's honor:

Jillian was nimble, Jillian was quick, but Jillian still couldn't dodge Chick Norris' roundhouse kick!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

SNL, I'm Available!

I've watched Saturday Night Live since it was one year old in 1976. Seriously.

I was seven years old, but my parents were in their 30's and it was the 1970's, and Saturday Night was alright, alright, alright, according to Elton John. We lived on a lake, so most Saturday nights were party time. We'd ride around in the boat until dark, have a bonfire on the beach, grill out, and then the kids would be put in bed around 10 p.m. when they started dozing off. However, I was born to be a thorn in my parent's side, and from birth I would stay awake most nights until midnight. My parents got to the point where if they knew I was watching TV inside, even SNL was better for me than watching the drinking grown-ups outside. And so I fell in love with John Belushi, Dan Akroyd, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, Bill Murray, Laraine Newman, and Garret Morris.

I've been a loyal follower ever since, and even when people say SNL sucks, there are still enough diamonds in the rough to make it worth watching.

However, last Saturday night, with Taylor Lautner as the host, was a dud. And I can fix it!

The opening was okay, but they had Taylor overdo it a bit with his martial arts exhibition. Yes, yes, you can do a back flip. We get it. And the football sketch afterward went on way too long. There was a New Moon reference or two, but they could have gone crazy and it would have been hilarious. Here are my ideas:

1. In the skit where Kristin Wiig plays the woman who can't keep a secret, it was about Taylor and a woman who are married and going to announce she is pregnant. BO-Ring! We've seen the "Can't Keep a Secret" woman before. So why didn't they have Edward and Jacob hanging out with Bella at home, and Charlie is coming home from fishing, and the Can't Keep a Secret woman is there, dying because she wants to tell Charlie about the vampire and werewolf in the house? It was there, ripe for the pickin'! And Andy Samberg has already done Edward, so the costume is even ready.

2. They could have a funny skit with High School Musical vs. Twilight...the "we're all in this together!" kids versus the goth kids who are into vampires. SNL does great musical sketches, it could have been hilarious.

3. They could have Are You Smarter Than a Werewolf game show, with a Michael J. Fox as Teen Wolf v. Jacob v. Jack Nicholson from Wolf, and thrown in Chewbacca for fun.
HOST: "What is the square root of Pi?"
Jacob: "Dang it, even the bloodsucker knew this one!"
MJF: (squeaky voice) "Well I don't know it as Teen Wolf, but Alex Keaton would have known it for sure!"
JACK: "Are you friggin' kidding me? Why am I here?"
Chewie: "ARRRRGGGG!"

4. Bella could be leaving for the Christmas holiday to visit her mother in Jacksonville, and she is trying to check Jacob into the vet to have him kenneled while she is gone. He is resisting and making arguments for why he shouldn't be kenneled, but then he gets mad, morphs into a werewolf, and they shoot him with tranquilizer guns and take him back to kennel him anyway.

5. Taylor Lautner was Sharkboy in one of the worst kid's films, Shark Boy and Lava girl. They should have done a skit with him reprising his role as Shark Boy - maybe as LANDSHARK-Boy!!!

6. And of course, you KNOW Taylor Swift was there. But if she wasn't, someone could have played her, and they could do a skit where the Taylors were recording an album of duets about love. So Taylor Swift starts singing in the microphone, and Taylor Lautner howls.

And P.S. - BON friggin' JOVI as the musical guest? Do you have to advertise that you are old? Thanks be to J that Muse is your musical guest next time, or I would have been uptight.

Whew. I feel so much better to get that off of my chest. I just take it a little personally when SNL lets me down. You're better than that, guys. I'm available.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's Whoreticulture Friday! Issue 8

Whoreticulture: The industry and science of whores and whore-related topics. Whoreticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of OB-GYNery, Brazilian waxers and shavers, adultery, personal hygiene mavens and easy women. The word is composite, from two words, whore, from Greek meaning "harlot" or "dear", and the word culture. Like NPR's Science Friday, Whoreticulture Friday exists to educate and spark discussion on the science of Whorology. Whoreticulture Friday is not for children. Or squeamish people. Or Mother-In-Laws.

Today's topic: Songs with Sexual Innuendo

It's 6 a.m., hey what do you hear?
My man on the radio is crystal clear
White stuff soakin' up the atmosphere
My head is clear, I let out a cheer
Let my dreams come true
I'm ready, Momma Nature's gotta come through

My head's on fire and I'm startin' to shake
To do me right you gotta give me a break
I'll give you every guarantee I can make
I'm wide awake, make no mistake

I'm dreamin', take me away
hey hey what do you say
C'mon baby hurry, I need a flaky flurry
I'm down on my knees to pray

I don't need much but a punctual gift
I wanna stay in bed for a second shift
A lotta white stuff gonna give me a lift
So make it swift and let her drift
I want it more than anything (I want it)

Let me preface this by saying that I KNOW I am getting a lump of coal in my stocking (As a matter of fact, it's at the top of my wish list, nudge nudge, wink wink). But since this blog IS called Whoreticulture Friday, I know that you understand I am going to be naughty, not nice. As with all Whoreticulture Friday posts, if you take the responsibility of reading the post, you are agreeing to not let your children read them; you are going to forget everything you read when you are done; and you will still respect me in the morning. My lawyer will be contacting you for signatures.

SO. When you read the song lyrics above, what do you think is the most appropriate match? Is it:

A. On the soundtrack to the porn classic, "Jack Off Frost"?
B. Used as the score for an informational video about STDs?
C. The third song sung by 7th graders at the concert tonight?

Oh yes. You KNOW the answer. (But I will tell you that I made up "Jack Off Frost" - it's not a real film...yet) It is, of course, C. And those are the REAL lyrics.

Tonight I attended Oldest Daughter's winter chorus concert. And before I address the song, I have to talk a bit about the actual event.

I dropped OD off at the Middle School at 6:40, which gave me 20 blissful minutes in which I sat in my car, slammed a vanilla latte, listened to music, and contemplated the beauty of Iowa covered in snow and ice at night while not driving on it. At 7 p.m., I walked into the Middle School and looked at the packed bleachers for a place to squeeze in. I saw a spot and crawled over people who wouldn't move over to get into what must have been the last space in the bleachers. There was a reason it was the last spot. Let's make a checklist of what would make this the worst concert experience possible:
  • screaming toddler to my left
  • mother of screaming toddler shushing him by yelling "USE YER INDOOR VOICE!"
  • woman in front of me exhibiting full-on coin slot, and I'm talking silver dollar size
  • man behind to the left taking cell phone calls during most of concert
  • woman to the right texting during most of concert
  • someone whose dinner of sausage gumbo didn't agree with them
  • AND THE WINNERS - the couple who were shoving, not brushing, their knees into my spine over and over and over during the entire concert, even though I was sitting side saddle with only 3 inches of my butt actually on the bleacher so as to avoid their knees

Oh yes, parents. You've been to this concert. Elementary programs have individual seating in folding chairs, but you've been spoiled, my friend. From Middle School on, you are in the bleachers and inevitably sitting on stranger's laps and extracting their DNA to take home with you as a parting gift. Mmmm.

And really. At what point do you get that you turn off your cell phone, or at least silence it, when you walk into a concert or a movie or a wedding or a funeral? (Did I text during the U2 concert? Yes. But it was at Soldier Field and I was DRUNK, which is strongly discouraged during Middle School concerts. But apparently not prohibited. And for the record, of nearly 40 texts I sent during those two hours, 36 of them were sent with only two or three characters, so they don't count.)

Back to the song. It's called "Snow Day", but could just as easily be called "Ode to Puberty" or "My First Nocturnal Emission". I am sure the chorus teacher innocently picked this song, thinking, "Hey, the young kids might like singing something that isn't a traditional song...this has a jazzy beat, and it goes well with Scotch" because anyone who would willingly take on teaching Middle School kids to sing with their voices changing and all of the hormones deserves to drink on the job. Really. You Middle School chorus teachers? Get a pass.

So on the trip over to the concert, OD has a "talk" with me, because sadly, she probably knows how my mind works.
OD: "So, Mom, on our last song, you'll probably see a lot of kids laughing."
ME: "Why?"
OD: (blushing) "Um, well, there are some lyrics that are...funny...especially to the boys."
ME: "Like what? I need some examples."
OD: "Can't you just know that it will be funny, and DON'T LOOK AT ME DURING THE SONG!"
ME: "What is it, it can't be THAT bad."
OD: "Um, 'I wanna stay in bed for a second shift, a lotta white stuff gonna give me a lift'."
ME: "Oh."
OD: "Do not laugh. And do NOT look at me, okay?"
ME: (Laughing and looking at her.) "Okay!"

So of course, I'm chuckling during the song as the boys, who previously could barely be heard, start belting out the lyrics, their breaking voices shooting over the crowd like an unexpected jolt of...joyous song, of course. Don't be nasty.

And of course, I am eagle-eying OD, and she is eagle-eying me back, and we are both laughing, along with every Middle School kid on those risers, and I realize that she told me so I would be in on the joke, which makes me want to cry with happiness at my bonding moment with her except that it is a moment of sexual innuendo over a chorus concert song at Middle School and then I am feeling a little like this could get me on the sex offender list, so I start frowning. But it was still funny. Damn that my daughter knows I have the maturity level of a seventh grader! But I will leave the adult behavior to CH, because I can't get that Snow Day song out of my head.

No pun intended.

What have we learned today? Nothing. Except maybe that Middle School never changes. Happy Whoreticulture Friday! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Witch is Dead

This is a postscript to Playdate Stalker, so you will see what I am really dealing with here...

I love, love, love sleeping in.

There is nothing better than a raging storm outside and finding yourself snuggled in your warm covers, so warm in fact that you have to stick a foot or two out to cool down a little. This morning was a dream come true...on a day when I normally would have been out the door by 7 a.m. at the latest to drive a child to orchestra, school was called off for a storm. Yippee! Sleeping in time!

The house stayed quiet until about 7:30, when Youngest Daughter woke up and looked out her window to see lots and lots of snow. She was so excited, she started yelling at everyone, from her bed, by name, one by one, at the top of her lungs to come and look. Finally, I yelled from my bed, "Hey YD! Everyone is asleep, so stop yelling!!!"

It was silent in the house for a moment. Then, I could hear a noise. It was YD, singing quietly in her bed.

"Ding, dong, the witch is dead, da da da da, the witch is dead. Ding, dong, the wicked witch is dead...."

My bed began to vibrate. Was YD casting some kind of voodoo magic into my room to make me suffer for stomping on her snow filled/school canceled morning? Au contraire, my friends. It was CH, trying really hard not to laugh out loud at YD's apparently accurate assessment of my morning moods. So I stuck my ice cold hand down the back of his pants and said, "Keep laughing, asshole, you'll never taste the Clorox in your coffee."

And thus began another day in our storybook existence.

The end.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Playdate Stalker

Growing up, I lived in a house on a lake nine miles out of town. Oh sure, it sounds great to live on a lake. I get that. But before I turned 16, I spent a lot of time reading books in my lovely lake home while my friends all rode bikes to each others houses and did fun things that I heard about later, thus giving me mental problems from which I am still clearly recovering.

But I'm not bitter, and that's what's important.

My children, on the other hand, live "in town" (as I used to call it to myself as I sat rocking in the corner in a fetal position in my lake home). They have friends whose houses are actually within walking distance. This alone makes me a fantastic mother. So I feed you Cheetos for breakfast, and only clip your toenails in even-numbered months and don't let you use wire hangers - NO WIRE HANGERS!! can WALK to your friend's houses, can't you? So quit yer complainin'!

Youngest Daughter, who is six but incredibly diabolical, has been working on her play date skills lately. She wants someone here Every. Single. Night. It makes me wonder about her motives. Does she feel the need for a witness in the house? Does she strive to control other people? Is she starting a cult? I'm never sure, because when the play date victim arrives, they are shut in YD's room.

I picked the kids up from school on Thursday last week, and YD asked if she could have a friend over, but this time, she tried to work me.

YD: "Can I have someone over to play?"
ME: "No, if we are decorating the tree I have some work to do first."
(Translation: Facebook ain't gonna check itself!)
YD: "Please?"
ME: "No. Next week."

Fast forward a half hour. YD is eating a graham cracker contemplatively.
YD: "Mommy, do you know WHY I asked to have a friend over?"
ME: "No, why?"
YD: "Because I want you to be able to work without me disturbing you. If I have a friend over, I will play and not ask you for things. Plus, Katie eats a lot at home, so we wouldn't bother you for snacks either."
ME: "Well played, YD, but the answer is still no."

This morning, after she left for school, I was cleaning her room. (Translation: Looking for drawings of her hurting Mommy, or leftover chocolate from Halloween.) In her big plastic box of 2000 Crayolas, I found 24 letters. They were written to each of her classmates. They were folded awkwardly and stuffed in envelopes. They had been addressed, properly mind you, and STAMPED. I opened them, like so many future teenage private diaries, and they all said something along these lines:

"Dear Friend, How was your Christmas? What was your favorite toy? Would you like to come over to my house to play? I will have my mom call your mom. Love, YD"

It felt a bit like the part in The Shining when Shelley Duvall stands at Jack Nicholson's desk and sees the hundreds of pages that say "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". I grabbed the other children, ran outside and drove our snowcat into the hedges.

But I also realized that my first grader had completed her first direct mail campaign. If she gets the standard response percentage, I will have one first grade visitor here after Christmas. Or I will have to schedule twenty-four separate play dates in January. I hope they eat a lot at home.

In the meantime, I'm going to start pricing lake homes.

Monday, December 7, 2009

An Open Letter to the Woman in the Town & Country Minivan

This is an open letter to the woman driving the ice blue Chrysler Town & Country who drove people to the Middle School today.

Hello, Ms. Ice Blue Chrysler Town & Country Minivan with the LG Phone Glued to Your Head:

I woke to find a lovely, powdered sugar snow on the ground. It was a glorious morning, in that I remembered to set the timer on the coffee pot last night, Oldest Daughter got out of bed without hurting me, and Current Husband got up to shovel. I watched with delight as CH shoveled, scraped my windshield, and started the van, thus securing for himself another year of marriage. As Elliott said to Drew Barrymore about ET, "I'm keeping him."

I skipped to the van with OD, singing songs about snow, bluebirds trailing behind me with ribbons and holly in their beaks. The van was warm and toasty. Gavin Rossdale was belting out "Love Remains the Same" from the backseat. Oldest Daughter was smiling. All was well in the world. (Except for the wars, economic collapse and flu outbreak. But Gavin was not singing about that, so I stuck with the mood.)

We picked up our other Middle School Passenger, Oldest Daughter's Friend. We took our usual route to the Middle School, with OD and ODF making fun of Gavin (and Shakira, because we always poke a little fun at Shakira on Mondays). Suddenly, YOU, woman in ice blue Chrysler Town & Country (T&C), decided to back out of your driveway right in front of me. AAAHH! Hold on girls, we might have a minivan smackdown! And I've been told the brakes on my van are holding at about 25% of the brake pad left! Oh, but T&C looked up from her cell phone at the last moment and stopped, thus avoiding some Monday morning ugliness. Whew. All is forgiven, T&C. It could happen to anyone. Now hang up your phone.

We proceeded to the stoplight and turned right to get to the Middle School. I turned into the right lane, because that's what I learned in driving school. As I turned on my signal (I am a HUGE fan of turn signals, T&C, I recommend them to every driver) to get into the left lane so I could turn left into the school, I see in my side mirror that you are gunning the engine on your van so you can pass me in the left lane. You must have told the person on the phone, "Ooops! I an getting ready to hit this van again! I am such an ass!" and you seemed to slow down when you realized you were going to cut me off, AGAIN. I got into the left lane and turned into the school. All was orderly and law-abiding, again. No worries, my friend. Mr. Bluebird back on my shoulder.

There are two lanes in our Middle School 'Gauntlet of T-Pain' dropoff. Most people drive through them in an orderly fashion, realizing that everyone in line is in a hurry. We all have places to go. But not you, T&C. You must have been saying on your cell phone, "I am having chest pains and need to drive myself to the ER, but I must drop off my Middle Schooler first, and then I will actually PASS people in a two lane roundabout dropoff!!! I hope to live!!!" I watched you actually try to cut me off for a THIRD time, in a two lane drop-off where they have actually hired a police officer to make sure people don't pass other cars for the safety of the children. Even Gavin Rossdale, from the back of my van, said, "What a bitch!" The bluebirds were squawking, and I don't think it was about happiness. Fortunately, a small, vulnerable 12-year-old lugging a tri-fold display on animal cells stepped in front of your van just as you said in your cell phone, "I am going to beat everyone else out of here because I have just decided to donate my kidney to someone whose life is on the line!" Alas, T&C, you were foiled again.

I pulled out of the Middle School and got back into my happy place with Gavin. He suggested we stop at Starbucks and get a coffee. We pulled up and I walked in to get our order. I was standing back, allowing the people ahead of me to order without invading their personal space, when wouldn't you know it, YOU WALK IN AND CUT IN LINE!!! STILL ON YOUR CELL PHONE!!! This is when I lost. my. shit.

All morning I had been jockeying for position with you. I woke up with bluebirds on my shoulder and Mr. Gwen Stefani warbling love songs and a happy middle schooler, and then you revved up the T&C and plowed through my happy place like a tornado in a trailer park. I could take no more. I suppose you thought you were going to get that last Vanilla Bean Scone? Not today, my friend, not today. The rage bubbled up inside of me, and I let you have it.

ME: "Um, excuse me? I'm in line."
T&C: (Hold on Monica, some bitch is talking to me) "Huh?"
ME: "I'm in line."
T&C: "Oh." And you stepped back. Still talking on your phone.

That's right, beyotch. Don't mess with Texas! Stay down! Eat sand! Feel the fury!

I got back in the van, handed a soy chai latte to Gavin, and he said, "Way to stand your ground, Passive Aggressive Mom. Now let's go home, before she walks out of there with her coffee."

Well said, Gavin. Well said. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah this, T&C.

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's Whoreticulture Friday! Issue 7

Whoreticulture: The industry and science of whores and whore-related topics. Whoreticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of OB-GYNery, Brazilian waxers and shavers, adultery, personal hygiene mavens and easy women. The word is composite, from two words, whore, from Greek meaning "harlot" or "dear", and the word culture. Like NPR's Science Friday, Whoreticulture Friday exists to educate and spark discussion on the science of Whorology. Whoreticulture Friday is not for children. Or squeamish people. Or Mother-In-Laws.

Today's topic: Nipples

If you go to Wikipedia and look up "nipple", this is what comes up:
In its most general form, a nipple is a structure from which a fluid emanates. More specifically, it is the projection on the breasts of a mammal by which breast milk is delivered to a mother's young.

(And by the way, Guys Who Like Online Porn But Don't Want To Get Caught, Wikipedia and the Urban Dictionary are excellent sources of material for you. Go to Nipple on Wikipedia and you will find a very large photo of a breast and nipple. You're welcome.)

Ish. Even that simple, scientific definition is a little out of my comfort zone. For some reason, nipples gross me out. I can trace this to four specific areas of repulsion:

1. The name is creepy.
Just say it. Nipple. Nipple. Nipple. It makes me think about chewing on a piece of gristle. (Some psychologist is having a Freudian orgasm over that statement right now.) The other words latched on to nipple aren't that attractive either: Areola. Lactiferous ducts. Tara Reid.

2. They're not particularly pretty.
Maybe this is just my experience. I guess I haven't seen too many nipples in person, but most of them look like naked mole rat babies stuck to the front of an otherwise okay breast. The exception to this would be my friend who had implants and showed me her work. They were spectacular. You know who you are. I give you Five Nips Up on that job.

So far I seem to be the only person who noticed that in New Moon (Oh my GOD will she quit talking about New Moon? No. No she will not.), when Rob Pattinson took his shirt off, one of his nipples had some whackadoodle hair job or something around it. It's like one nipple got the JFK hair and the other one got the Jackie. It was distracting for me. Urban Dictionary calls this a Nipple Brow or a Nipple Beard. I've started calling him Spot, much to Oldest Daughter's chagrin.

Maybe my nipple repulsion comes from not loving my nipples like I should. Once, when I was at a legally acceptable age to be showing them off to anyone, a boyfriend told me I had large nipples (Sorry CH. You know it wasn't you. Because I know you are a huge fan.) Now that I am 40, I finally feel comfortable enough to say to that guy, "Only in relation to your dick." Wow. That felt good. Whoreticulture Friday can be very therapeutic.

3. Nipples tend to protrude.
I am not a fan of the "Turkey's Done" look. In high school and college, I would go to great lengths to make sure I was not giving out any Pointers in public. Then I started having babies, and nipples became The Magic Crying Stopper, so I didn't care where or when I whipped them out. Your baby's baptism? Yes. In the mall bathroom? Okay. In my store, while ringing up a customer? Tricky, but can do. Now that I am 40 and gravity is working against me, my nipples seem to be appropriately shamed and look more toward the ground than they used to.

Urban Dictionary is a treasure trove of information. Not only did I learn the following terms on Urban Dictionary, I found that for a low price, I could have them printed on coffee mugs. (I smell a Christmas present for the In-Laws!)

Nipplapolis: When someone's (usually an older lady, sometimes older men) nipples are very noticeably erect through their shirt.

Nipple Botton (sp?) Dress: A dress with a botton (it seems like they mean button) sewed on under the fabric on each breast so they will stick out and look like nipples under her dress.

Nipple Bonk: When a person has an erect nipple caused by cold weather or excitement.

Please note that every Urban Dictionary phrase on here today comes only from the "B" section in Nipple definitions. That's right. There is a whole section with every letter in the alphabet. I told you it's a resource.

4. Nipples are just plain weird.
Admit it. You know someone with a weird nipple story. Maybe it is your mirror. I have a friend, (whom I know is reading this right now - hi you!) whose husband has one nipple that is always erect, while the other one isn't. Just one. I told her he has passive aggressive nipples. She told me she has a third nipple, which is actually pretty common (just ask Marky-Mark!) We were at a party, and she was telling the group about how after she started having kids, she had this mole by her breast. She asked her doctor about it, and voila! Third nipple.

Since I always try to bring the subject back to me, I went to my OB the next week (let's pause for a moment to pity not only my OB, but my OB friend who always get asked awkward questions) and said, "Hey, is there any chance this weird mole by my breast is a third nipple?" and he looked at it and said, "Yes, I think it is" and I said "YES!" and pumped my fist in the air. He looked at me, perplexed, and then went on with invading my personal space.

So, what have we learned today? Nipples sound, look and act funny, and Robert Pattinson needs a new personal groomer.

Back off bitches, my resume is already in the mail.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jesus in the Hizzle, Fo Shizzle

1. I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before Me.

2. You shall not worship false idols.

3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

5. Honor your father and your mother.

6. You shall not murder.

7. You shall not commit adultery.

8. You shall not steal.

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor's mortgage rate, unless it is below 5%, and then you should look into a low-cost refinance. Certain restrictions apply. See your financial officer for details.

This morning I shuffled to my computer with my first steaming, beige cup of coffee and got online to check e-mails and such, and I couldn't help but notice the vibrant pop-up ad next to the news of wars, financial disasters, and Tiger Woods updates. Where normally there would be a dancing college girl with the message "Obama wants moms to go back to college" or the Mastercard Gift Finder, guaranteed to find the right gift for your loved one at 14.99% interest, was an ad promising "Help for Homebuyers".

But this morning's ad was different.

It was your typical "New Homebuyers Can Get Great Rates" ad, but instead of a picture of a young couple with their adorable baby, the picture was one of a very happy Jesus. He had long, flowing dark hair and a full beard, dressed in white and crimson robes, looking beatific, and yet he had a huge grin on his face. In reality, it was probably a 28-year-old third year senior in philosophy at Berkeley with robes on, but still. It was Jesus.

I tried to click on the ad to copy the picture to post it here, but it was all locked up, and I didn't want to click through to the ad, which would open me up to all kinds of spam about Home Rates, Obama Wanting Single Moms to attend UC Berkeley, and End Times. Jesus stayed on my homepage. However, I found a picture of his bank officer and the loan documents:

Is this what we've come to? The economy is so bad that Jesus can't secure a home loan?

BANK: "So...Mr. Christ, is it? What is your employment history?"
JC: "I'm a carpenter, and I have a second job as the Savior of civilization."
BANK: "Do you have income tax returns or W-2's from the last three years?"
JC: "No, I haven't had a permanent address lately, and when I'm in town I just chill in my mom's basement with my friends."
BANK: "Do you have a downpayment? Savings?"
JC: "No. It is actually easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
BANK: "But it is easier for the rich man to buy a house, Mr. Christ..."
JC: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
BANK: "But you are looking to buy in the Golan Heights, that's a pricier neighborhood...can you get a co-signor?"
JC: "My dad will co-sign."

I'm also concerned about the rationale behind using Jesus to sell loans. Is there some implication of holiness about their loans? Is it peer pressure, like "Will you follow Jesus?" or "Do you accept Jesus as your personal loan officer?" It is an end-times message? And if Jesus is having trouble securing a home, what hope do I have of getting that 2010 Volvo X90?

I'm going to refill my coffee, see how Single Moms have discovered the secret to a flat belly, and pray on this. And maybe I'll throw in a prayer for the ad execs that came up with the idea of using Jesus to drum up business. Because they? Are going to hell in a handcart, fo shizzle.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New Moon in review

My head was getting clearer. My eyes flickered to his face, and then away - unwillingly - to the dark, open window.

"It's just after one in the morning," Edward said.

"CH?" I asked.

Edward frowned. "Sleeping. You should probably know that I'm breaking the rules right now. Well, not technically, since he said I was never to walk through his door again, and I came in the window...But, still, the intent was clear."

"CH banned you from the house?" I asked, disbelief melting into fury.

His eyes were sad. "Did you expect anything else?"

I gazed upon his marblesque sunshiny Starbucks-and-tiramisu perfection, and said, "Well as a matter of fact, I did. You fixed the shower head, the outside faucet leak, cleaned up the leaves, took out the recycling and cleaned the gutters. You may be 'hot' in the traditional sense, but even CH would have to find you irresistible after all of that work. Maybe if he would do some of that stuff, he could get lucky too."

"I can't really blame him. I should have resisted your Cougar power." Edward looked sad.

"Don't worry, honey, when it's time to hang all of the Christmas decorations and shovel the walk outside he will let you back in the front door. Now be a good sparkly vampire and get Mommy a Diet Coke."

So I saw New Moon with two pre-teens and eleven other women a few nights ago, and despite reviews to the contrary, I thought it was pretty good. Of course, it could have been the company. After we all finally threw away our popcorn and said our goodbyes, a woman came out of the restroom and said, "Well, you certainly have a fun book club!" and I thought to myself, "Yes I do. But how in the hell did you know that was my book club?"

For those non-Twilight obsessed people who think the whole thing is a travesty of parenting and teen behavior, I can love it because I see it as "Entertainment", not a game plan for my daughter to use when dating or an example of good teen behavior. I'll save the Twilight philosophy for the philosophers. But...

I very nearly missed New Moon.

CH and I noticed the outside garden spigot on the house was leaking about eight weeks ago. We stood in the yard, drinking our sangria in 80 degree weather and talked about how we needed to fix it before winter. Then we watched the leaves fall around it while we ate donuts and said, "Hmmm, that thing should really get fixed before it freezes." And then we got ready to leave for Texas for Thanksgiving, and CH said, "I guess I'm going to shut the water off in the house so that faucet doesn't freeze, burst, and send a flood of water into the basement while we are gone since it is supposed to freeze."

I had planned to see New Moon with a group of moms and Oldest Daughter and her friend for three weeks. CH was aware of this plan. It was 5:15 p.m. on New Moon day. We were scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. show.

CH: "I'm going to the hardware store."

ME: "Why?"

CH: "Because it is dark out and I know you have plans and I want to fix that outdoor faucet now and piss you off. I have to shut off the water. Maybe you should miss your movie and stay home to watch the younger kids while I fix this."

ME: "Okay. You hate sex, right?"

CH: "Yes. I know you coordinated the whole movie outing, but no one would miss you. Would you be opposed to me cutting a large hole in the basement we just remodeled?"

ME: "Only if you promise to cut an extra big hole in the wall where I had to apply six coats of yellow paint I mixed and can't reproduce so it looked less like John Wayne Gacy Clown Yellow and more like Sunshine Happy Days Yellow."

CH: "How about if I leave all of the chunks and sawdust from my work on the floor so you can discover it later?"

ME: "Please do that because the vacuum cleaner is also broken from when Middle Son sucked that entire Blow Pop into the engine, so your mess will be impossible to clean."

CH: "Even though I left work early to do this and save our basement and managed to get it done without calling a plumber, will you promise to be irrationally mad at me?"

ME: "Absolutely."

CH: "Okay then! Don't enjoy your movie!"

ME: "Screw you!"

CH: "Screw you too!"

And then we air kissed on both cheeks and I walked out the door to the movie to mentally cheat on him with Edward.

OFFICIAL MOVIE REVIEW: It was very similar to the book. There. I give it a "thumbs-up" and a "recommend". Now you know I liked it without any spoilers.

During the movie, my friend leaned over and said, "I bet he could fix your plumbing" and I said, "Hmm, maybe not, but at least he could hire someone to do it." and she said, "Uh, Julie, I was making a sexual reference." Oh. I must be really focused on leaky pipes if I don't catch a sex reference.

So I got home with Oldest Daughter, still in my Edward bliss, and found a big hole in the basement wall with a step stool underneath it, and chunks of wall and ceiling laying around said step stool with the broken vacuum cleaner looking on. However, the outside faucet was fixed, the broken shower head was fixed, all of the burned out light bulbs in the house had been replaced, and the other kids were tucked into bed.

Was I upset about the mess? Nope. Because I still got to go to New Moon as planned. And nothing is sexier than a guy who handles the items on the Honey Do List. CH? May not be Edward, but with all of those extra light bulbs going, he looked a little sparkly to me.