Sunday, January 31, 2010

Even My Fourth Grader Thinks John Edwards is a D-Bag

WHEN:  Yesterday afternoon.
WHERE:  My living room.
WHO:  Oldest Daughter, Middle Son, Me.
WHAT:  Reading, playing iTouch, hanging out.
WHY:  Because this is how I learn things.

It's Saturday afternoon, and OD and I are sitting on the couch like we do, with her legs propped on the coffee table and my legs stretched over her lap.  She's reading the latest book in the House of Night series by P.C. and Kristen Cast, Tempted

Let me take a brief moment to address the House of Night series.  If you are unfamiliar, it is another vampire series, which was written at the same time as Stephenie Meyer was working on the Twilight series.  HON makes Twilight look like Bambi.  I read these books to see what my daughter is reading and talk with her about anything questionable.  I'm not really a book-banner, especially if it is a YA Novel, which these are, but HON pushes my boundaries as a mom.  Within the first couple of chapters there is blood drinking for sexual pleasure, light cutting, and a blow job is offered up.  Not by the heroine, but still, so we've had a lot of interesting mother-daughter convos.  I had a friend ask why I would let her read them, and my response is that OD already KNOWS what all of this stuff is - they had "the film" in 5th grade, and everyone in middle school knows what a BJ is, don't kid yourself.  What, really, can we shield them from anymore, unless you throw your TV out the window?  Have you watched prime-time network TV lately?  I give you Two and A Half Men...but I digress.

Here is the subject of my parenting lesson for the day:
HINT:  We ended up talking about douchebags.

So MS is playing some app, and I am reading People magazine, which is coming on Saturday instead of Friday all the time now, driving me nuts.  The cover this week says "Elizabeth's Breaking Point - After facing John's lies, and even bringing Christmas gifts to his love child - a determined Elizabeth Edwards finally sends her husband packing."  OD looks up from her blood-sucking BJ book and the following conversation ensues:

OD:  "What are you reading, Mom?"
ME:  "A book called 'The Help'."
OD:  "No, Mom, what are you reading right this minute."
ME:  "Oh, People." (Because I don't really think of People as "reading" so much as "stalking from the comfort of my couch".)
OD:  (rolls eyes) "Ya think?  I mean what is the cover story about - what did her husband do?"
ME:  "Well, her husband is John Edwards - do you know who he is?"
OD:  "Isn't he like a politician or something?"
ME:  "Yes, he ran for President.  But he had an affair, and another woman had his baby, and his wife Elizabeth is dying of cancer.  Oh, and he has three kids with his wife."
OD:  "Wow.  That's terrible!  And he wanted to be President?"
ME:  "Yes, which is really selfish because if he would've been President, all of this would've come out and it would've stopped him from being able to get anything done.  He probably would've had to resign.  And he wanted to be Vice President or Attorney General.  We are very lucky he didn't get any kind of important job in the government."
OD:  "He sounds really slimy."
ME:  "Yes, he is sleazy."
MS:  (looks up from his iTouch) "What a douchebag."
(OD suddenly smug, realizes MS is going to get in trouble.  She puts down her book to enjoy.)
ME:  "MS!  Where did you learn that word?"
MS:  (suddenly VERY nervous) "From a movie."
ME:  "Do you know what it means?"
MS:  "Uh, no."  (Which I believe, because if he did he wouldn't have said it in front of me.  He freaks out if anyone says the word "tampon" or "bra" in front of him.)
ME:  "Well it is a word that is bad enough to get you sent home for a two-day suspension from school.  And it is verboten for you, okay?"
MS:  (very red by now) "Okay."
(OD is very disappointed there was no violence in this reprimand.)

But John Edwards is a douchebag, and even my fourth grader knows it.

Here is an excerpt from the official John Edwards website:
"John dedicated his life to representing families and children just like the families he grew up with in Robbins, who were being victimized by powerful interests."
 I'm going to finish this paragraph for the Edwards webmaster, for free:
"Until John decided to victimize his own family  and children with his seemingly endless stream of narcissistic behavior and lying.  Time to get 'American Beauty' on Netflix, because karma is a bitch, pretty boy!"
And people are worried about middle schoolers reading YA novels.  At least the kids understand THOSE are works of fiction, where what they see on the news and in Time magazine (or People) are how people really behave.  Ish.

I can't imagine it's been rainbows and ponies to be Elizabeth Edwards lately, and it's probably no fun to kick out your husband of 33 years, with whom you've had four children, while you are in Stage Three of incurable cancer, but I'm glad you told him to drop off the key, Lee, and set yourself free.

  1. Valentine's Day is just two weeks away.
  2. Don't screw around, you will get caught, and we will cut you.
  3. Replace the toilet paper roll when empty.
You're welcome.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's Whoreticulture Friday! Issue 13

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:  Female Fossil Fuels

Here is my morning routine:
  • Press snooze button three times
  • Swear
  • Brush teeth
  • Pour coffee (thus negating positive effects of tooth brushing)
  • Wake up mini-teen
  • Swear
  • Surf Internet 
  • Make lunches
  • Put on jeans, shoes, and drive various offspring to various schools
  • Remember I didn't put on a bra.  Wish I had.  Particularly when it's 11 degrees out.
  • Eat breakfast bar, drink more coffee, surf more Net.
  • Get to work.
These are my usual Internet stops, in no particular order - Jen Lancaster, The Bloggess, my fave blogs on Blogger, The Onion, The Daily Show, and US magazine.  (And Stephenie Meyer's website, in hopes she'll announce that she finished Midnight Sun.  It is my stalker vigil.)

But Julie, don't you have a subscription to People magazine?  Why would you go to US?

Yes I do have a subscription to People.  It's classy celebrity gossip.  US Weekly is a trashy gossip rag, and their information is totally unreliable.  That is why I only look at it online, without paying them anything.  I like to lower myself to their level, as cheap freeloading trash.  It's starting to sound like one of Tiger Woods' fetish festivals with his call girls.

So today I am sitting at my computer, coffee cup in hand, when I pull up this headline on US:

Exclusive: Oops! Jessica Simpson Farts During Business Meeting

Thursday – January 28, 2010 – 10:05am
Let's end this meeting on a high note!
A source tells Us Weekly that Jessica Simpson had a, ahem, windy moment during a business meeting for her denim line in late January. "While one of the executives was speaking in a room full of five people, Jessica let out a very loud fart," says the insider.

"Her mother [Tina Simpson] was there, and it prompted her to turn around and yell, 'Jessica!' The tension was extreme. No one knew what to say."

It wasn't Simpson's first brush with public flatulence: She famously cut loose on an episode of Newlyweds, telling then-husband Nick Lachey, "You love my stinky ass," and professed her fondness for between-the-sheets poots (a.k.a. Dutch ovens) to a radio station in 2008.

And to this I say:  What.  The.  Hell.
I hate you, US Weekly, for making me feel SORRY for Jessica Simpson.  Yesterday I read a story somewhere that Jess was donating a bunch of shoes to Haiti, and all I could picture was a bunch of poor earthquake victims toddling around in four-inch-heeled patent red leather cougar shoes, and I thought "You dumb cow, send money, not your reject shoes."  And then today, you make me feel sorry for her.  Because isn't it totally obvious that her mom farted and then blamed it on Jessica?  I have an announcement to make:

I fart.

Sometimes publicly.  And I miss the days when I could blame it on my kids.  "Whoa, YD, someone has a smelly diaper!" and people look at the cute baby and smile sympathetically and say, "Oh, I remember those days!", unaware that I had the #5 on the Taco Bell Value Menu only a few hours earlier.  Suckas!

Current Husband knows this about me, and he is appreciative of it because it lets him off the hook.  The children are suspicious, but I can still get away with blaming it on CH or George the Superpet, because he is 106 pounds and is truly the burpiest, most flatulent dog I have ever met.

Before CH and I were married, I worked at a high-end retail store in Ames while CH finished school.  Many nights we would order daVinci's cheesesteak hoagies (you Ames and Lincoln people know what I am talking about - they are absolutely divine.  If there was a daVinci's here, it would create a whole new food pyramid.) and drink a couple of beers.  This didn't always bode well during my morning shift at the high end retail store.

Once, I had to let one fly.  Being generally respectful of other people's space, I moved to the front of the store by the door, but unfortunately, another clerk followed me up there.  It was too late.  Desperate, I looked around for someone or something to blame.  Just then, a street work crew caught my attention, and we had a Bingo.

"Wow, they are really going overboard with the sulfur on that street work!"  I said.
"They sure are!" exclaimed Beulah, the sweet older woman who worked with me, and wouldn't have believed that a nice girl like me would pass gas publicly.  But I am the daughter of a bricklayer, and some things come easier to me than to other women.

An open apology to the world:  "Excuse me.  I am sorry."

I can start today with a clean slate.

RESOLUTION #13:  Stand next to Jessica Simpson the next time I have gas, and then yell, "JESSICA!!!"  Or maybe don't stand next to Jessica Simpson, but yell her name anyway.

Happy Whoreticulture Friday!  Have a great weekend, and please fart responsibly.  Remember, Todd "Hot Nuts" Epstein's Taxidermied Advice Squirrel site starts Monday.  Send your life questions to him at

The Sixth Food Pyramid Part 3, Resolution #12

Today in the Midwest it's 19 degrees outside and breezy.  I'm hiding in the basement with George, the Superpet, because there is a large, fiery ball in the sky and I'm afraid.  It's making everything bright outside and looking deceptively warm.  George the Superpet has taken up a defensive position in case of alien attack:

"Say hello to my little friend...."

So back to the Sixth Food Pyramid.  I'm sure you're just as sick of it as I am, but sometimes when you take up a theme, you have to finish it.  I may not have packed the "best" lunches today, or dressed the kids in "matching" and "clean" clothes, or had everyone at school "on time", but God as my witness, I will finish a theme on this blog.  And dress up and photograph my dog.  Because I have priorities.

As a refresher, this is the Sixth Food Pyramid: 

There is the small, happy triangle at the top, composed of latte after latte.  The middle section is made up of salts and fats, derived from Taco Bell, Papa John's pizza, and beer, with a healthy dose of sleeping in.  But everything needs a base, and this pyramid has the Holy Grail of bad eating:  Orgasmically delicious desserts, baked and DELIVERED by someone else.  Oh yes.  I know people who bake.  With pure dairy butter.

The Base of the Pyramid is Built of Desserts from Friends


And I say that with love.  I noticed last year that every photo of me had this middle-aged woman in them with a double chin and Michelin Man middle.  I don't know who she was, but she kept blocking me out of every shot.  Then Youngest Daughter made a comment about how Mommy's belly was softer than hers, and "are we having another baby", and "why don't you put the muffin down, lardass?"  (Okay, YD didn't say that, but I know she thought it.  She is equal parts sweetness and Howard Stern.)

Mommy went on Medifast.  The first week or two were a little difficult, much like a client in Dr. Drew's Celebrity rehab.  Mommy would eat her soy bar and look at the children's meals much like Wiley Coyote would look at the Roadrunner.  But once Mommy kicked the sugar, she lost 30 pounds and all was well in the world.  Hey, that was EASY!

Until desserts started coming, that is.  We have a school festival every year, and a friend of mine bought a year of desserts from another friend of ours who is a supreme, other-worldly good baker, to which words cannot do justice.  Friend #1 decided to split her desserts and send half of them to my house, so every other month, a little slice of heaven appears at my door.  For example, she makes a Cherry Chip Cookie that is a sugar cookie the size of a small plate, filled with butter and delicious cherry chips and covered in sugar.  Oh.  My.  Lord.  Here is what that cookie looks like:

I ate it.  But you get the idea.

Then she makes these amazing desserts.  Cakes, bars, pastries.  She covers her eyes when she walks down the boxed cake aisle at the grocery store (this has been witnessed) because she can't live in a world where cakes are not made from scratch.  (I've been a long-time resident of Boxed-Cake Planet.)  She does not understand the concept of margarine, and therefore, she is the one who really CANNOT believe it's not butter.  There is a Raspberry Bar that is literally to die for.  I won't eat them, because every who has is dead.  But happy.  Here is a From Scratch Chocolate Cake with, you guessed it, Homemade Ice Cream:
  Yeah.  I ate that too.

Last week, I felt like I was finally getting back on track with my diet after the Food Binge other people refer to as "Christmas".  My phone rang.  It was The Baker, and it was time for my desserts.  DAMN!  She offered to bring Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.  I started salivating profusely and said, "Okay".  She said she would bring them over the next day.  Fresh.  

I tried to put those cupcakes out of my head, but images of sugary, velvety deliciousness kept creeping in.  Would I eat the first one with a coffee or with milk?  Would I use a fork or just shove it in or mainline it into my arm?  The next morning, I started watching the clock.  Three hours until cupcakes.  Two.  One.  She was late.  Where was she?  Wasn't she supposed to be here by now?  WHERE THE HELL ARE MY CUPCAKES!!!  The very cupcakes I told myself I didn't want yesterday morning.  And now my mouth was dry and cracked and dusty.  My body was twitching.  I couldn't focus on anything.  Finally, her van pulled up.  The entire family gathered round.

I waited for her to carry them to the door (it's COLD out there!) grabbed the tray, said thanks, and slammed the door in her face.  I put the tray on the floor and shoved one whole cupcake in my mouth.  Ohmigod.  Ohmigod they were so good.  Cream cheesy red velvety sugary warm cakey love.  Every member of my family sat on the floor, in various stages of shoving cupcakes in their mouths.  Here it is:

Gone.  All of them, gone.

I meant to take a picture of the actual cupcakes, but really and truly, my family devoured them.  There were TWO DOZEN cupcakes.  There are five members of my family.  We ate 24 cupcakes in less than 48 hours.  It was the weekend, so let's factor in 20 hours of sleep (honesty IS the best policy).  That leaves 28 hours, 24 cupcakes, and five people.

MATH MOMENT:  24 cupcakes/five people = 4.8 per person
Spread over 28 hours, that means each member of my family had a cupcake about every 6 hours while awake over two days.  Cupcakes eaten while sleeping or in dreams are not factored in.

RESOLUTION #12:  Stop dieting.

Let's be honest, this is a losing battle.  I love food.  And people keep showing up with the stuff at my house.  I know too many people who can cook really, really well and are very generous with their talents.  (Don't even get me started on the pork tenderloin mini sandwiches with warm red and green pepper and onion relish served at Book Club a few months ago - I still dream about them).  

Rachel Zoe?  Come on over, I can help.  Victoria Beckham?  I can put a smile on your face.  Everything tastes better than being skinny feels, Kate Moss.  Kirstie Alley?  Get the F out of my house, those cupcakes are MINE.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Sixth Food Pyramid Part 2, Resolution #11

Again with the eating.  And we had a mini-blizzard yesterday, which forced me to make chicken tortilla soup and eat half a bag of sour cherry balls.  That's right.  I said balls.  

So back to Type 6 Diabetes.  Type 6 Diabetes, a lesser-known form of the disease, happens when you leave the traditional five food groups and exist solely on the Sixth Food Group Pyramid, which looks like this: 

I revert to the pyramid when I am cold and uncomfortable, having a bad day, or am celebrating something.  So kind of all the time.  Let me explain how the pyramid works.  Today is Part Two in a three part series.

 The Middle of the Pyramid is about Weekend Eating

The other day, Mocha Grande asked about fats and salts.  This is the roux, or the base, of weekend eating.  When Current Husband and I were living in sin, we would come home from work on Friday, pull a futon mattress on the floor in front of the TV, and eat chips and dip, pizza rolls, Chinese food, Taco Bell, and drink beer.  And play Sega.  We'd stay up until 2 or 3 a.m., and catch an episode of Star Trek:  Next Generation, because we are cool like that (You must assimilate with the Borg!  Number Two, you have the bridge!  What is this  I am unfamiliar with this term.). 

On Saturday, we'd wake up at about 10 or 11 a.m. and start watching college football/basketball, and then run out to get more Chinese/Mexican/Italian food and rent some movies.  We'd watch Saturday Night Live, and then get another movie in, and go to sleep around 2 a.m.  Sunday morning felt like a good time for some doughnuts from the grocery store a block away, and then we'd eat leftovers from the previous 36-hour gorge and prepare ourselves for the work week.  Oh my Sweet Lord, how I miss those days.  Back when we had minuscule amounts of debt, responsibility or spawn, and ginormous metabolisms.  We never stopped eating like that on the weekend, but CH and I have both experienced a noticeable difference in our metabolism levels since we were in our 20's.  Now we have debt, obligations, offspring and fat.

Here is who I blame:

That's right.  The Girl Scouts of America. 

Why, Julie, why?  The Girl Scouts are wholesome.  They're helpful.  They wear jauntily perched chapeaus.  They sell delicious cookies!"

Let me tell you why.  Because those bitches wouldn't let me in.  That's right.  I, Julie The Wife, am a bona fide Girl Scout Reject.

There are obvious reasons they wouldn't have me.  I'll give you a moment to compile a short mental list.  (OKAY, that's enough!  Stop!  I get it!)   The reason they gave my mother is that we lived too far out of town, and therefore did not fall into their region of 'City Girl Troop 345'.  (Of course, the reason 4H wouldn't have me is that I lived too CLOSE to town, and could not raise livestock.  But hello!  I was NAMED after a COW!  I should be a 4H legacy!)  I lived on a lake in no-man's land, nine miles from town and five miles from a farm, where I could not earn a badge that would train me in the invaluable skills of feeding a family healthy food.  This is the badge that keeps me from my dreams of Domestic Servitude today:

The unattainable, therapy-inducing Family Living Skills badge.

And, as one can easily discern from the badge, this is also why I am not good with housekeeping, laundry, or money.  The badge I HAVE earned:

And this is tattooed on my back fat.

So not only do the girls in green reject me and refuse to teach me how to plan and cook a proper healthy meal for my family, they then undercut any real effort I make to BE healthy by coming around every year in the dead of winter to push their crack-laced cookies.  Which I eat on the weekends.  After my soup, chips, and Taco Bell.

RESOLUTION #11:  Punch the next Girl Scout I see.

Sour cherry balls!  Sour cherry balls to every last one of you and your jaunty berets!

Next:  Part Three in the Sixth Food Pyramid series, on Desserts From Friends.

UPDATE - 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.  Just ordered 10 boxes of Girl Scout cookies from my darling niece.  Punched her mother, who is a Troop Leader.  All is forgiven.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Sweet Little Treat for Moi.

Danon, my favoritest, craziest slice of Canadian Bacon Blogger over at Insatiable Host, hit the sauce again and nominated me for a Beautiful Blogger award.  Just kidding about the sauce (although she might have been), you are sweet as pie.  Thank you very much.  The deal is that I have to share 7 things that you don't already know and I get to award 7 other fantastically wonderful amazing bloggers out there, who are supposed to do the 7&7 as well (the award game, not the drink).  I have two challenges here - share 7 things you don't already know - um, when a blog is as narcissistic as mine, what don't you know?  "Oh, I have a third nipple...wait, you already know that..." And share with 7 bloggers - I see (dead people) things like this on so many of your blogs already, and so many of the blogs I follow don't really have a way to do this, so I'm going to nominate a few people for fun.

FIRST - Seven things you don't know
  1. I was baptized a Mennonite.  Confirmed a Methodist.  And married a Catholic.
  2. My mother named me after her pet cow's calf.  No sh*t.  It's name was Christine, my middle name. She would ride her cow to do her paper route.  Or steal her dad's tractor.  That explains a lot.
  3. I was a finalist in State Speech in high school four years in a row.  Can I get a whoop-whoop for Speech Geeks!
  4. I won a Master Columnist Award from the Iowa Newspaper Association about 8 years ago - and couldn't go because my kids were sick.  I found out the next morning in the Des Moines Register that I won. I'm still bitter.
  5. I get completely OCD about certain topics.  Beatles, Jane Austen, Kennedys, British Royalty, First Ladies, U2, Twilight, Late Sixties/Early Seventies Cultish Murder things (i.e. Jim Jones, Charles Manson, Patty Hearst, various serial killers) etc.  Ask me a question.  Go ahead.  Make my day.
  6. I grew up in Nebraska and would CUT YOU if you insulted the Cornhusker Football Team.  But I've gotten better about that with age.
  7. I make really, really good soup.  Wisconsin Cheese, Chicken Tortilla, Chili, White Chili, Homemade Chicken Noodle, Beef Stew, Potato Bacon, Cauliflower Veggie Cheese, Ham and Bean.  With homemade bread.  Yum.  (See "Weekend Food" in tomorrow's blog.)
Now, who are some Beautiful Bloggers who aren't already inundated with awards this week?  Hmmm.  In alphabetical order:
  1.  Anissa at Anissa Off the Record.  Who is a great writer even when she has writer's block.  You're money, baby, and you don't even know it.
  2. Anita at Homestory.  Love all of the work you've put into that house, and the fun stories you put with it. You are a brave, brave woman.
  3. Christy at Maintaining Mediocre, for calling Martha Stewart a frigid bitch without provocation.
  4. Polly at PollyAnn's, because you are lovely as pink paint with polka dots.
  5. Barb at Simply Iowa for being a display goddess and vintage queen.
  6. Suzie at Susan Hargus, not because I think she will even see this list or do it, but because I think y'all should see her amazing paintings on her blog.  She is really staggeringly talented.  This woman did The Girl With The Pearl Earring.  In chalk.  On a City Street.  Around 6 feet long.  And it looked like it was on canvas.  Whoa.
  7. Lani, at Trio of Trouble, her dog blog.  Because she has cute dogs, a Brit for a hubby and The Child is adorable and knows a LOT about worms and recycling and PBS and Wii.  And she was the first one to send a question to Todd "Hot Nuts" Epstein for his Taxidermied Squirrel Advice Blog, starting Feb. 1.
Thanks for indulging me yet again.  Part Two of the Sixth Food Pyramid comes tomorrow.

RESOLUTION #10b:  Stop boring readers with even more trivia about me.

The Sixth Food Pyramid, Part 1. Resolution #10

The Midwest had best warm up soon, or I will be forced to eat myself into Type 6 Diabetes.  Type 6 Diabetes, a lesser-known form of the disease, happens when you leave the traditional five food groups and exist solely on the Sixth Food Group Pyramid, which looks like this: 

I revert to the pyramid when I am cold and uncomfortable, having a bad day, or am celebrating something.  So kind of all the time.  Let me explain how the pyramid works.  Today is Part One in a three part series.

At the top of the pyramid is Starbucks.  

I didn't drink coffee until I birthed Oldest Daughter.  While the other fully Cliniqued and accessorized moms gazed lovingly at their clean, Gymboreed children at the park, I would walk around in a sleep-deprived haze in mismatched, nasty outfits and call my daughter by the wrong name.

"My baby slept through the night at 8 weeks!" they would chime.

My baby was two before she would sleep for more than four hours at a time.  This made me verrrry sleeeepy.  Incoherent, really.  And it was hard to get myself put together for public consumption.  I could barely get it together to make it to my full-time job, so on evenings or weekends, fuggetaboudit.  For me, one sleep-deprived Saturday morning stands out in excruciating detail.

I was at the park with a few other moms who dressed down a bit and wore baseball caps to make me feel good, and from across the park someone yelled "Julie!?! Is that YOU?" 

I looked up from my group to see this gorgeous woman walking across the park with her baby.  She had chin-length highlighted hair, parted on the side, with a youthful barette holding some of it back.  She had on light, daytime makeup, but not so much to cover up the adorable sprinkling of freckles across her perky nose.  She wore cute boyfriend jeans and a t-shirt with matching cardigan.  She looked rested and fresh.  "Susan?" Oh no.  I'd responded to my name.  I missed the opportunity to get up and run like hell across the park, leaving the moms I was with to care for Oldest Daughter.  Because Susan, whom I knew from college, was the epitome of lovely, inside and out, and I was Hagartha, Queen of the Haggard Sleep Deprived Breeders.

We talked for a few minutes, both of us holding our babies, me in my stained t-shirt and I-just-had-a-baby-give-me-a-friggin-break tight khakis, and I was having a little trouble completing sentences when my baby had an explosive eruption and baby poo shot out all over my already icky outfit.  (Hand to God, this is true.)  I took a deep breath, smiled through my dark-ringed eyes, said, "It was great to see you Susan!" and marched to my car.  I strapped the squishy baby in her soon-to-be-bleached carseat, drove home, and sat in my driveway and bawled for about 20 minutes.

That night, I broke out the coffeemaker and supplies we kept on hand for when our parents would visit, I set it up for a 7 a.m. brew, and I never looked back.  I made a conscious decision to become addicted to coffee.  It was crack or shame, and at the time, I chose crack.  Did it end up making me more fashionable, get my hair highlighted or put on makeup?  No.  But I was definitely more alert and aware of the fact that I looked like crap.  I owned it, honey.

Like the leap from Nyquil to meth, the day I walked into my first coffee house, Java House in downtown Iowa City, the clouds parted and the angels wept. you mean I can have the coffee with chocolate?  And some kind of whipped cream on top with chocolate syrup?  The essentials of espresso with the benefits of a short but powerful sugar high?
Sign.  Me.  Up. 

Starbucks then brought my favorite sugary coffees to the masses.  Starbucks in Target, Starbucks in Hy-Vee grocery stores, Starbucks in Barnes & Noble, Starbucks in prison, Starbucks Drive-Thrus...I'm waiting for someone to punch a hole in my bedroom wall and tell me they are building a Starbucks in my yard with bedside delivery.

Herein lies the rub - my favorite beverage at the time was the White Chocolate Mocha, with whip.  Venti, of course.  Just listen to the description...

"A delicious variation of the classic mocha. Rich, full-bodied Starbucks® espresso is complemented with our proprietary, creamy white chocolate syrup and topped with whipped cream."

I mean, what's not to love, right?  Oh, except that this particular beverage has 580 calories in that snappy paper cup.  Now that I thought I was burning it up with my caffeine intake, I couldn't believe I was actually getting fatter.  And then when I found out I was DRINKING over a fourth of my daily recommended caloric intake, that flabby stomach was no longer a mystery.  I had developed a Mocha Top.  With Whip.

I still love Starbucks (although I prefer my friend Tommie's coffee shop, Fuel, in Mount Vernon, and her mom's homemade scones.  Dang.  I am salivating.), but now I either get the brewed coffee or a grande skinny vanilla latte.  But when the temperatures get down below 32 for protracted periods of time, I am only complete with a hot, sugary coffee in my hand.

RESOLULTION #10:  Replace coffee addiction with methamphetemine.

This would actually burn away the Mocha Top with Whip, and I could LOSE weight.  And hair.  And teeth.  And maybe my house would be clean and I would get everything on my list done for a change.  

Damn you, Starbucks.  Damn you for making me love you.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's Whoreticulture Friday! Issue 12, Resolution #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: Natural Harvest Cooking

Alright, today's topic is especially cringe-worthy, even for me, but it is totally real.  And I am so incredibly immature that I can't stop laughing about it, even though I found this site about 6 months ago.  So eat your lunch/breakfast first, take a deep breath, and carry on.  Are you ready?  Let's do this.

Yes, Grandma, you are reading that correctly.

This amazing recipe collection is compiled by the esteemed Semen Chef Fotie Photenhauer, who states,
"Semen is not only nutritious, but it also has a wonderful texture and amazing cooking properties. Like fine wine and cheeses, the taste of semen is complex and dynamic. Semen is inexpensive to produce and is commonly available in many, if not most, homes and restaurants. Despite all of these positive qualities, semen remains neglected as a food.

This book hopes to change that."

And to this, I say, "WTF FOTIE!  Do you mean to tell me ejaculatory fluids are COMMONLY available in my favorite restaurants?  What restaurants are you patronizing?  Here are my guesses:
  • Jack In The Box
  • Fuddruckers
  • Spank 'n Shake
  • The Crusty Crab
  • Orange Jizzius
  • Choking the Chick-Fil-A
  • Happy Joe's
  • The Sans Pants Eatery
 I have four main issues with Fotie's blowhard assertions.

  1. Really, Fotie?  Food made from semen...that has wonderful TEXTURE?  Fotie, I get the impression that you have never actually tasted semen.  I haven't myself, but all of my slutty friends say it sucks.
  2. And readily available and inexpensive?  I mean, yes, semen is all over the place in my house.  Get a black light in here and it's like, 'DAMN, someone cap Mount St. Helens!'  But semen harvesting seems difficult at best, and if you don't think there is any cost involved, you are sadly mistaken.  I would guess that 4 ounces of semen around these parts costs about the same as a six-pack of Bud Light and a half hour shoulder massage, with the occasional monthly Netflix charge thrown in.
  3. Commonly available in most restaurants?  Are you telling me someone is jacking off in my food without my knowledge or permission?  I need to read the menus more thoroughly.  And not order ANYTHING with any type of cream sauce and make sure I never dated the chef.  
  4. I am grateful for semen, truly I am.  I have three lovely children because of this wonder fluid.  But in my house, at least, it will remain neglected as a food.  Just ask CH.  As I always tell him, we're married now, that's a dating ritual.
What, you might ask,can one find in this 61-page tome of spunk eating?  I am SO glad you asked:

High Protein Smoothie
Unlike other high protein drinks, this one does not use animal proteins such as eggs or whey for nutrition. 
(No. This smoothie uses semen. So preferable to eggs, really.)
1 cup diced kiwi
1 ripe banana
1 cup of soy milk
1-3 tablespoons of fresh semen
Ice cubes (not to be confused with the rapper, Ice Cube, who would likely bust a cap in your ass if he were to drink one of your smoothies.)

Throw everything into a blender and liquify.   
(Don't you mean "toss off into the blender, Fotie?)

Chef's Note:  This is a great drink to experiment with.  Try substituting peaches or strawberries for the kiwi.
(Um, Fotie, don't you think we've experimented enough here?  How about substituting some yogurt for the semen?)

If you doubt the existence of this book or recipe, here you are: High Protein Smoothie, Natural Harvest.  You're welcome.

More than the recipes in this book, I love the reviews.  People are really funny.  It gives me faith that we can come together unite as a nation.  Here are my faves:

We raised 400$ for a church during the bake sale becuase people could not get enough of the cream cheese cookies we made. Thanks Semen cookbook!"

"Finger Lickin' Good"
Highly recommended!! I made the Ribs w/ Tangy BBQ sauce for a party last weekend. Wow. They were finger lickin' good. My girlfriend couldn't get enough of them. We washed them down with Donkey Punch, another crowd pleaser."

By Viscous Semenian
"****Dinner Parties****"
I won't be asking people to come to dinner anymore...I will be asking them to come AT dinner !!

By Jenna Shannigan
"Any used copies?"
Does anyone know where I can find a used copy of this book? It would be the best Christmas present for my boyfriend (he's a chef), but I probably can't get the copy in time for Christmas without paying quite a bit extra for fast shipping."

Which generated this response:
"I have a used copy, but the pages are all stuck together... Honey, I don't think you WANT a used copy of THIS book!"
But Fotie is well-intentioned, and he truly wants us all to discover and delight in the culinary gift that is semen.  He gives this warning on the third page of the book, right after he thanks his unnamed friends for contributing to and tasting his gastronomical delights:

"NOTE:  This cookbook is written for consenting diners of semen.  Please do not add semen to your guest's food without informing them beforehand."

RESOLUTION #9:  Quit serving my guests the Spunk martinis.

Happy Whoreticulture Friday!  Have a great weekend!  And don't forget to send your questions to Todd "Hot Nuts" Epstein at  The First-Ever Taxidermied Advice Squirrel blog is being built at

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cold Lunch Busted. Resolution #8

Meals used to be easy.  I was Queen, and what I made was eaten.  The end.  I would make a lovely roast or meatloaf or lasagna and we would eat to our heart's content.  But things change.  Children grow and get smarter and aren't as easily manipulated.  I liked it when I would pick something for the kids to eat, dig a spoon in it, actually put it in their mouths, and they would smile.  Or grimace.  But they still opened up for that spoon.  My twelve-year-old has become a big problem in the meal department.  And I'm all, "What, you don't like pureed roast?" and she's all, "Mgbsb Msjfdo Merhsoid!" and I took the spoon out and she said, "Mom, I'm in Middle School, I can feed myself!" and I was like, "Oh, so now you're going to get an attitude with me?"

These are our current food issues.

  • Current Husband and I have been on MediFast since August (see part about roasts, meatloaf, and lasagna), so in theory our meals are bars and shakes and then a "lean and green" meal for dinner.  In theory.  Because I can't make it without chocolate and wine.  Or pasta.  Or Thai food.
Here is what we're supposed to eat:

 Here is what I will eat:  Anything.  Accompanied by these:

  • Oldest Daughter declared herself a vegetarian about 8 months ago, but she doesn't actually like vegetables.  So she restricts herself to the food categories of Cheese, Bread, Pasta, and Fruit. 
Here is what I buy for OD to eat:

Here is what OD eats:

  • Middle Son didn't used to be picky, but now he's 10, so on Monday he will say "I don't like that anymore" and on Wednesday he will say "I love that!" to the same dish.  And he is eating everything.  I don't think that's him speaking.  He is ruled by his stomach, which he actually has told us from the age of 5 is a cow stomach with four compartments.  I used to laugh.  We are getting him checked for tapeworm.  (And if he has one, I've asked the doctor to save it for me, because those suckers really work.)
MS preparing his third between-lunch-and-dinner-third-stomach snack:

Parasite MS probably has, which I will be eating, a la Maria Callas:


  • Youngest Daughter.  Sigh.  
Can you make a salad out of Laffy Taffy?

Breakfast is pretty easy (Hello Toaster Strudel and Jack Daniels!), dinner is horrible, and lunch is a challenge.  OD will only eat middle school hot lunch if they are having cheese pizza, which surprisingly is actually NOT nutritious!  (I know!  I was shocked too.)  Since the elementary hot lunches consist of a rotation of Ballpark Hot Dog, Cheeseburger, Fried Cheese, Crisco Soup, and the infamous Jimmy Dean sausage link wrapped with a blueberry pancake, my kids normally opt for cold lunch. I try to keep the lunches interesting.  This is where I went horribly wrong this week:

Or, as they are now known in my house:  
"How Mom Shows She Loves You More".

ME:  "How was everyone's day?"
KIDS:  "Great!"
(Note:  This isn't the real response, but it's much easier than "Matilda told Hayley that she couldn't be the dog in our game, and then Hayley said she wouldn't be friends with her anymore, and then Cassie and I had to decide how to make them BOTH the lead dogs...")
YD:  "Thanks for the Ho-ho's Mom, they were awesome!"
MS:  "Yeah, thanks!"
OD:  "What Ho-ho's?"
SILENCE.  My eyes are darting around the room, looking for something to yell at them about.
OD:  "Mom?  What.  Ho. Ho's."  Because OD takes her pre-packaged dessert foods seriously.
ME:  "Well, uh, you know how we were almost out of gas this morning on the way to school?  And how we didn't have milk?  And then I dropped you off and we made it so it wouldn't be embarrassing for you to have the van run out of gas in front of the Middle School and the school cop would have to help me push the van out of the lane with me in my pajama bottoms?  Aren't you glad that didn't happen?"  I laugh nervously.
OD:  "Yes.  Yes I am.  When did the Ho-ho's happen in that story?"
ME:  "Oh!  So anyway, I drove to the gas station and had to buy a gallon of milk for $8 and needed a $10 minimum for my debit card, so I threw some Ho-ho's in there to put in lunches."  I watch OD start to get angry.  Very angry.  And she is very hormonal and almost as tall as me.  I panic.  "And besides, you know I love you more because I gave you that $100 the other day!  Ha, ha, ha!"
YD, MS:  "What!  You gave her money?!"
ME:  "Yes, to make up for not putting Ho-ho's in her lunch!"  Still nervously laughing.
OD:  Eyes glinting wickedly.  "She did.  Do you want to see it?"
Oh crap.  I DID give OD a $100 bill the other day, because she gets paid for A's on her report card, and I cashed a babysitting check for her.  Now OD has the proof that I gave her $100, and the younger children think it's real.  Like the Tooth Fairy.  Lies!  My entire relationship with them is based on lies!
ME:  "Um, actually, that money was for grades and babysitting.  I don't love her more.  Actually, we fight a lot."
ME: "There!  There is a chocolate for you!  Now everyone had chocolate today!  Anyone who follows me has to fold laundry!"
I back into my bedroom.  Predictably, the kids shuffle away, muttering, and go back to their texting and plotting.

RESOLUTION #8:  Stop sharing pre-packaged desserts with the children.

Because that is one Ho that done me wrong.  And after the traumatic episode with the kids?  I was out of chocolate.  Foiled again.

    Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    If Charles in Charge was a Girl. And a Dictator. Resolution #7

    Youngest Daughter is going to take over a small country one day. She is working on her dictator skills and has already formed a junta. We fear her. But she does it in such a harmless-Scott Baio way that you don't even realize you've been overthrown until it's over. And then she is living in the basement and running your house and looks suspiciously like Chachi.

    Take this weekend for example. We spent the night at an old friend's house, where a group of adults and children congregated for some reminiscing. (It was really lovely, by the by. What could be better than old friends sitting around a table, drinking wine and eating pasta and laughing together? Nothing. Except when you all get together again around the same table 8 hours later for some pancakes and coffee. They are all terrific people who haven't tired of my Junior High humor...yet. Suckas!)

    Youngest Daughter walked in and exhibited her cuteness to the adults in power. YD then promptly hit each adult up, separately, for 'just one piece of candy'.

    Eight adults x one piece of candy = eight pieces of candy in 20 minutes. 

    This gave her the sugar she needed to power the teenage girls upstairs into giving her a makeover. One hour later, YD reappeared with fuschia eyeshadow from lash to brow, hot pink lipstick, carved out blazing cheekbones, and mascara. Very tasteful, if you are scheduled for your pole dancing shift in a half hour. But was anyone upstairs going to deny Imelda Marcos another layer of cosmetics? Not if they valued their texting privileges and didn't want to end up being investigated by her secret police.

    There were twelve kids in the house, and only one was younger than YD, and yet, all of the kids ended up doing what YD wanted done. Chase the dog? Done. Put on makeup? Check. Give her your priceless childhood toys? Okay. Play her favorite songs? Definitely. Even the kids playing Wii were told the games they played were being played for her. Like if Vladimir Lenin required a command performance, but in Wii instead of a flutist or military demonstration. As long as someone was doing something, it was to be done in her honor. And yet, somehow, she still managed to charm people. We left still friends with everyone, and YD had a pocketful of candy and a new toy someone gave her.

    We arrived home on Saturday afternoon, and the kids wanted to have Family Night. CH and I suggested we play Euchre and have sandwiches. A few moments later, YD walked into the room carrying the game "Clue".

    ME: "What are you doing, YD?"
    YD: "We are going to play Clue."
    ME: "We are?"
    YD: "Yes. Because everyone should be in-CLUE-ded." (Her emphasis.)
    ME: "Okay, I guess we can play Clue."
    YD: "And we are having pizza. I don't want sandwiches."
    ME: "Um, I guess we can have pizza. What do you two think?"
    (I look at the other children, who are cowering in the corner and nodding.)
    YD: "And I will be Miss Scarlett. And OD will be Mrs. Peacock. And you will be Mrs. White."
    ME: "Why do I have to be Mrs. White? Maybe I want to be Miss Scarlett."
    YD: (Looks exasperated.) "Mom, I am Miss Scarlett because she is young and in the pretty dress. You are Mrs. White because she is the housekeeper."

    Oh. No. She. Didn't.

    Just when I was going to give her a lecture about seeing me as her housekeeper, she turned up her sweet face and whispered, "Mom, Mrs. White knows the house better than anyone. She would be the one who knows who did it the fastest, so you can beat Dad."

    DOH! She got me. How do the kids know my purpose in life is to emasculate their father? I guess I do want Charles in Charge of me. But there are pitfalls to following Little Miss Caligula's lead.

    RESOLUTION #7: Do not become YD's Willie Aames/Buddy.

    Because after Charles in Charge, Buddy became a junkie, a minister, appeared on Celebrity Fit Club, went broke, had a yard sale to keep his house from foreclosure, separated from his wife, and became a financial adviser. So once my Charles in Charge leaves the house? I could be screwed. And in syndication.

    Friday, January 15, 2010

    It's Whoreticulture Friday! Issue 11, Resolution 6

    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: Fauxginas (FOHW-gynas..trademark pending)
    I had a whole different topic for today, but something else snatched my attention at lunch yesterday, and I can't stop thinking about it. (And by the way? You don't know how many really bad words I could've put in that first sentence.)

    So on Wednesday I got to take Todd "Hot Nuts" Epstein out for lunch to meet his public. Three otherwise harmless looking attorneys, whom I had not previously met, contacted me because they read the blog and love Todd. Or were at least morbidly curious about him. So we met for lunch, and it was very funny, and I'll write more about that next week. But as we were talking about my previous blogs (Okay, I was talking about that and would interrupt whenever they tried to take the topic somewhere else. Hello! Talk about other stuff on YOUR time, we are here to discuss ME!) and one of them mentioned that she knows an OB-GYN in Vegas who was doing an unusual exam. Here is how I have re-created it:

    DR: "So, put your feet up here in the stirrups, Miss Cox."
    COX: "Like this, Doctor?"
    DR: "Yes, capital! So...(gets into the business)...anything irregular happen in the last six months? Do you have any concerns?"
    COX: "No Doctor, it's all just been so perfect!"
    DR: "Is this...what is..."
    COX: "Is everything okay, Doctor?"
    DR: "There is something off this a vagina? What is this?"
    COX: "Yes, it's my new vagina. I did have sex reassignment surgery recently."

    People kept talking in the restaurant. Food was prepared and served, drinks poured, tips left. But I heard none of that. I couldn't stop thinking about the fauxgina. Todd the squirrel looked at me with his one good glass eye and whispered, "That is f*cked up."

    It's not the actual transgender part that troubles me. I am in Iowa, and we are all over being progressive. As Doris Day sang, "Que Sera Sera, what will be will be". You want to be a woman? Excellent. I highly recommend it. But perhaps one should tell one's doctor before he goes spelunking at the exam that it is a fauxgina, and is made of scrotal skin. You don't have to tell everyone, I suppose, but a doctor would be a good place to start.

    And then, while everyone else enjoyed their chicken marsala, I thought about that fauxgina. How was it made? I never knew a man could have one if he so desired. All I could picture was some Valium and a melon baller. "You might feel a pinch, Mr. Cox." What did it look like? Did that fauxgina have real woman issues? Are there levels of fauxginas, as in you can get a Ford Escort, the economy fauxgina which is just a manhole, or a midsize Cli-Taurus, which comes with heated leather interior and side airbags, or go straight for the Hummer? Oh wait. No more hummers. Maybe a Furrari instead. The top-of-the-line hybrid fauxgina with On-Star, keyless entry and the rear backup warning signal. And a five year or 50 partner front to back warranty.

    To be fair, here is what really happens, according to Urban Dictionary, my go-to resource on all whoreticultural things:
    Transwomen may undergo a bilateral orchiectomy (surgical removal of the testicles) to facilitate hormone treatment (removal of the testicles reduces testosterone production) according to LGBT Health Channel. A further operation, vaginoplasty, may be performed to create a functioning vagina from the tissues of the penis (and sometimes other skin grafts). A vaginal cavity, labia, and clitoris and clitoral hood are formed from the skin and tissues of the penis, and nerves from the glans are used to promote sensitivity. The urethra is maintained (LGBT Health Channel).

    And to this I say, Get the Funk Out! Really!?! Is anyone else blown away by the fact that there is no cure for cancer and MRSA is a mystery, but science has developed pills that can give otherwise unenthusiastic penises up to four hours of attentiveness and make a somewhat functional vagina out of a ballsack? Bravo, men, bravo!

    So ladies with the ballsack fauxgina? Own it. You really did put your junk in your trunk. And now you get the best of both worlds - no pesky penis in your pants, no balls to itch, and no periods for you (because anyone who invents a faux-period should be shot). But as for me? I'll be...

    RESOLUTION #6: Keepin' it real.

    Happy Whoreticulture Friday! Coming in February...Todd "Hot Nuts" Epstein is getting his own blog, as the go-to Taxidermied Advice Squirrel. Click on the picture of Todd on the right and send in your questions.

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    WTF Kate Gosselin!? Resolution #5

    Okay, that's IT!!!

    I've had it with the Gosselins. I never watched the show, but my kids did. (By the way, we allowed the kids free reign with the TV before our 'let's not have cable anymore' moment last fall, and instead of trying to find The Simpsons or MTV or porn, my kids would stay up until the wee hours on weekend nights watching The Food Network and Jon and Kate plus 8. Weird, huh?)

    I get People magazine. There, I said it. I have a subscription so I don't have to stick it under the other groceries in the check out lane. Instead, I have it delivered to my home in a brown paper wrapping. But at least I don't get US or InTouch, because I have standards when it comes to my celebrity gossip. So every Friday, I let George the Superpet/dog/horse lay inside the front door so he can go completely batshit crazy when the mail carrier comes to the door, thus announcing that my People magazine has arrived and making the mail carrier wet herself. Sometimes the worst thing that happens in my week is that People doesn't arrive until Saturday, which means it is a particularly good issue and someone at the post office decided to read it before sending it out.

    ANYWHO, my People magazine arrived on Friday, and Kate Friggin' Gosselin is on the cover, AGAIN!!! What was the breaking news story with Kate and her batch of adorable spawn and her lowlife-mid-life-crisis-American-Beauty husband? She got HAIR EXTENSIONS.

    Yes, you read that right. Hair. Extensions.

    And not just any hair extensions. Let me share the wealth of information about said extensions, because at $100+ per year for a subscription to this magazine, you're damn skippy I'm going to read every word. Kate Gosselin had celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson (known for tending to the tresses of Angelina Jolie and Anne Hathaway!) work her 'do, and he said that after they finished giggling for 15 minutes about whether or not to cut her bangs, he did her color and extensions at what would normally come to a $7000 bill in his salon.

    Not a typo. Seven Thousand Dollars. For extensions. Which I am sure Kate got gratis, because that's how she rolls, and Ted got about $20K in free publicity. Jon Gosselin has yet to weigh in on Kate's new look, but his on again/off again psycho love, Hailey Glassman, said she just adores Kate's new 'do, saying "she's like fine wine, better over time." To which she I believe she added, "And I'm like a fresh can of Bud with the date on the can, which is what her ex-husband is into drinking right now. Not old. Young and fresh, like me! With real long hair and actually 22 instead of trying to look like it!" Hailey's dad, by the way, is the plastic surgeon who gave Kate her free tummy tuck, so they met long before Hailey started bedding her husband. But Hailey apparently hit her expiration date because Jon has now dumped her and moved on to a much older, more mature 25-year-old who is also assuredly into Ed Hardy.

    It's enough to make you beg for cold decaf coffee, lunch with the Pussycat Dolls, a full-on Brazilian, a subscription to Cat Fancy, ANYTHING, just to make it stop. Which I am actually considering doing to my People magazine subscription. It's sad when People makes you feel like maybe you are above that kind of "news". Because I am really not that far above it. I just want grainy pics of The Edge and Gavin Rossdale (which thank God there were some) and to look at dresses and houses I cannot afford, and see reviews on books I will never write. Is that so wrong?

    It also makes me think about people who have eight children. There are the McCaughey's in Iowa, who had the McCaughey Septuplets plus one girl who became an insta-nanny to her siblings twelve years ago. The Gosselins, who were able to turn their six children plus two into a media empire. And who can forget Octo-Mom, who clearly has an Angelina Jolie fixation and eight babies plus six previous babies? Did none of these people watch Eight is Enough? Because Dick Van Patten would have sat their asses down and said, "Listen, don't do it, or you'll end up married to Betty Buckley and be responsible for the careers of Grant Goodeve and the Karate Kid and Buddy on Charles in Charge. They'll have delusions of grandeur. Stick with two kids and business degrees."

    Don't get me wrong. I know people with very large, loving families (One of them has ten kids!) who can actually care for those children. I know people who are actively trying to have a baby who have struggled with infertility. I have friends who have darling babies solely because of in vitro. I'm not in any way against in vitro, or other methods of having children, and I know I have been incredibly blessed with my three awesome ninja kids. But the people I know who rely on science are responsible about it, and have doctors who are responsible about it with them.

    It has to be tempting to have eight kids and have someone buy a house and a large van and nannies and tummy tucks and extensions and all the free Ed Hardy clothing and accessories one can grab. It can perhaps make one forget about all of the food and diapers and bathing and personal attention all of those babies will need. Who needs hugs when you have a production crew to get your fruit snacks? All one needs is a doctor willing to load you up with fertilized eggs and a production deal with a cable network and bam! Just add water and you have a Chia-Celebrity!

    But as tempting as it would be, I'm not going to calve eight babies. That is SO First Decade.

    RESOLUTION #5: Give birth to nine children.

    My three children are now old enough to care for babies while I flit around the country doing interviews and getting my hair done. I would explain to them that we HAVE to do this to take care of our family, and that it will be good experience for them, with the added bonus of getting to be on the TV and in the tabloids and having no private time, ever. Maybe they can grow up to get their own reality show! We can call my show "The Wife Without a Life: A Dozen in the House Until I'm Nearly Sixty," subtitled, "Now, Where's My Free Shit?"

    And then Kate Gosselin? You can get YOUR People magazine in the mail and see my face on the cover with my new free $5000 lip wax, and say "Not The Wife again! That's IT! I'm canceling my subscription!" Because that is the REAL reason I'm birthin' those babies. Vengeance will be mine, along with an upper lip as smooth as nine babies' bottoms.