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Friday, December 31, 2004

Many Mini Posts

Happy New Year Y'all!

Happy new year to all of you folks! I'd like to state for the record, I will not be giving anything up. All of my bad habits are now aged to perfection and I am not ready to just give them up all willy nilly. I am happy with me and all of my vices.

For all of you giving up the things you love, I wish you luck!
While You Celebrate, Try Not To Kill Anyone

I could post something very sentimental but I'll spare ya! Here's the short version of the story, don't drink and drive. I don't have enough readers yet, I'd hate to lose any of you, so don't die or end up in the pokey. :P
Hostess With The Mostess, Take Two

Actually I was torn for a title, choice, number two, "Tonight We're Gonna Party Like It's 1874"

No, it doesn't sing as well as 1999, but it's all in the company you keep. I might as well go drink beer in the cemetery tonight. Did I ever mention my mother in-law is a bible banger?

My house will be full of people in a few short hours. Shit, make that one hour! It's the same group I had over for Christmas Eve, so, if you read "Not A Mushy Holiday Tale", you'll know how much fun I will have bringing in 2005!

Food alone has cost me a small fortune since the in-laws arrived. Mr. Lane thought me cheesy when I said, it's a BYOB party. Sorry folks, although I like to think of myself as a rich bitch, I'm not. I am not a big drinker either so why shouldn't they bring their own booze?

I was a bit smarter this time making sure to tell everyone an hour before we were eating so Mr. Lane doesn't have an aneurysm. I'm nice like that.

Is it too late to become a raging alcoholic?

See you all next year!
Lois Lane

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Packaging Punishment

Silly me! I thought I would be finished with the madness that is known as Christmas as soon as December 26th hit. Wrong! Five days later I am still opening toys.

How did these kids get so much shit? I know I didn't buy it all. And I certainly know they weren't on the top of the nice list. My side and Mr. Lane's side of the family over bought. Plus some of their little friends gave them stuff. It's really out of control. A very commercialized Christmas here at the Lane Estate, indeed.

The way the toy manufacturers package these things, I swear they don't even want the kids to play with this crap. Either that or they are trying to test the strength and patience of all parents everywhere. Why in God's name is Barbie's stupid fucking hair sewn to the cardboard in the box? What purpose does this serve?

Save your logic about Barbie's hair being sewn in so it remains perfect through shipping, because you know what? I'll tell ya, by the time I was done ripping that bitch and her bleached blonde hair out of the box, she was as nappy as afro Barbie. I swear to God, I thought I was going to have to get the jaws of fucking life to pull that bitch out of the box!

Every accessory that came with the her was super glued into the box too and then wrapped with plastic. And twist ties, don't get me started on those! Did you know that some Barbie's come with as many as 17 twist ties? Why? Save some for the bread for Christ's sakes!

I especially hate the hard plastic coverings that some toys are packaged in. I even cut myself trying to open one yesterday. Scissors are no match for this hermetically sealed plastic. You need a knife. A big knife. No, it wasn't the knife that cut me, it was the plastic. Once that shit was cracked open, the plastic became a weapon of mass destruction. I even bled!

Electronics suck more now than ever. Every toy that requires batteries, not only doesn't come with batteries, but also must be opened with a screwdriver. It isn't even a normal sized screw. You have to have one of those tiny little screwdrivers like you would use to fix glasses. Well guess what? I don't wear glasses and neither does anyone in this house.

So there I sat, on the living room floor at 8 o'clock this morning with the tip of a pocket knife trying to open the battery compartment on the stupid handheld "Juice Box" toy that my daughter just had to play with.

I don't care how many kids ingested battery acid! That shit builds character. There is no need to lock up the batteries. Maybe if they didn't do that, we would be able to weed out the idiots early. Yes, fine I'm only kidding. But shit people, what happened to parental guidance? What happened to common sense? What happened to taking responsibility for your own stupid actions. If I am dumb enough to ingest battery acid from something that doesn't have these safety devices installed, my family can sue the company for lots of money because I am a fucking idiot!

For all of the years my kids have been around, I've said, "Don't use your teeth to open that! Don't hold the scissors that way! Don't use a knife, you'll hurt yourself!" And in the last five days, I've broken all of those rules.

Every year before Christmas, all of the media outlets put together their Dangerous Toys list. Never do any of these lists include the danger of just opening the fucking toys. Next year maybe I will come up with my own list of toys that are the most unsafe for parents. I'll include ear cancer causing items, including, but not limited to, karaoke machines, drums, guitars, keyboards and Barbie Shopping Carts.

Now, if you will all excuse me, I have to go rescue another Barbie from the clutches of her packaging. I hate that needy bitch!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Oh Brother

"Got me some mud flaps with naked ladies on them,"... identity theft, you've seen the commercials. Shocked and appalled, I found this very thing was going on in my house. The unsuspecting victim set her credit card down under the assumption, this was a safe haven.

When you're 10-years-old and have a 12-year-old brother there is no peace to be had. There is nothing sacred. No place is safe. You can run but you can't hide. You can try to play with your Barbie shopping cart, but it's only a matter of time before someone steals your credit card when you're not looking.

That little shit, Lane 1, snagged that play credit card, which just so happens to be the coolest part of the whole toy and slid it into his pocket undetected by Lane 2 or me. After searching high and low for the card she asked me if I had seen it anywhere.

I told her to check all of the places she might have been, the bathroom, kitchen, ect. Before long the two of us were searching everywhere together. Right about the time I said, "It'll turn up, sweetie,. Don't worry, we'll find it later." Lane 1 comes out of his room and says, "Got me some mud flaps with naked ladies on them," he was holding the credit card in his hand, over her head, as he giggled and ran into his room, he slammed the door, locked it and giggled some more.

I took a butter knife and popped his lock, stole the credit card back, accidentally crunching his knuckles, and told him to leave his sister and her toys alone.

I was amazed how before this theft occurred, she was able to play so quietly with such an obnoxiously loud toy. Have you seen this toy? It is basically a shopping cart that has all of the grocery shopping needs one could possibly want, including a credit card, saver's card, a sales paper and way overpriced play food. Each item has something scanable. Every time you scan something it beeps and talks. If it wasn't so loud even on it's lowest setting, it would be a very cool toy.

Soon Lane 2 was back to shopping and having a great time. With the boy around, I knew it wouldn't last. At first sight of him coming back out of his room, I knew, quiet time was over.

He walked by, looked at me, looked at her and because he didn't see me watching out of the corner of my eye and knew she wasn't looking, he started shoplifting in her makeshift store. Lane 1 had his arms filled with fake food items that once lined the bookshelf, turned grocery isles, in her bedroom.

Just about the time I turned toward him, he started stuffing the stolen goods down his shirt, and said, "Security in this place stinks!" Off he ran back to his room, giggling insanely.

She rolled her eyes and said, "Mom, why didn't I get a sister instead of a stupid brother?"

It was time she knew the truth, for this next week off of school, she would be experiencing more and more of this bothersome brother and all of his antics.

"It's your dad's fault."

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Holiday Hangover

I think my kids have a built in radar that tells them when Mom has reached complete comfort. Santa came and went. And the little darlings were wide awake two and a half short hours later. There was no time for sugarplums to dance in my head or drool to form on my pillow.

"Who's going to make Mommy some Christmas coffee?"
"1-2-3 not it," they said in unison.
I rolled my ass over in bed, pulled the covers over my head and told them, "No coffee, no Christmas."

I love when they whine, it's so cute. It's kind of like the sound of a novice musician discovering the violin for the first time. They scurried off to the kitchen. "No peeking under the tree!" They fought over who would measure the grounds, who would pour the water, who would get the cup.

Mr. Lane had troubles getting out of bed, even though he was sound asleep by midnight. We all jumped on the bed shouting, "SANTA CAME!!! WAKE UP DAD!"

Christmas sucks mostly but there is nothing like the look of an excited child on the morning of. Both sleepy-eyed, smiling from ear-to-ear, "ooohing" and "aaahing" they made it worth the many hassles I encountered to get to that point.

Santa has been dropping acid again. Either that or he is trying to get back at me for calling him a fat bastard. Lane 1 got a set of electronic drums. Lane 2, a karaoke machine.

"What? Santa didn't bring headphones for you guys? Great!" "What the fuck was I thinking? Was I thinking at all? Maybe I dropped acid. How could I forget the fucking headphones? Can you kill me now?" (I only thought it.)

I knew the day and the next few months were going to be fun.

Mr. Lane became Mr. Slick. We sipped our coffee, snapped some pictures of the kids opening their gifts and he said, "You ready for your present?"

Knowing about the pink flowery knickknack, See Shoe Snacking post below, I giggled and said, "Oooh, I can hardly wait." He handed me the wrapped box. I could tell from the writing that our daughter wrapped it for him. "What a slacker! Can't even wrap one gift!" (I only thought it.)

Armed to the teeth with obnoxiousness ready to spew from my lips, I unwrapped the biggest zoom lens available for my camera.

I thought, "But, where's the gay flowery thing? This box was the same size as that box! He tricked me! And I made fun of him. And now I'm feeling a bit sheepish. "

"Alright you baaad boy! How did you? I mean, why did you? Oh my God! Do you know how long I've wanted this?"
He had that smile on his face. You know the smile I'm talking about. The, "How's that crow sandwich tasting bitch?" smile.
"We weren't getting each other anything. Remember?"
"Well I broke the rule. Spank me."
"You wish!"
"Thank you so much!"

Still smiling like a giant dork he handed me another gift. Same size, same shape as the first. And there it was. In all of its knickknacky gayness glory, a lighted, pink flowered, crystal, color changing doodad.
"Oh, honey. You shouldn't have! Really! I mean you really shouldn't have."
"Hey, it's the least I could do for an old soul like yourself. And just so you know, as long as I'm alive, you will never have to live at Happy Acers Nursing Center."
"You are so damn sweet! Thank you so much!"
"But, if you start shitting your drawers, I'm going to have to hire someone to wipe your ass."

Times like these, I think, how can you hate and love someone so much?!

"Your turn Mr. Slick." I handed him a gift that I, incidentally, wrapped myself.
Tripping over his words, "What about no gifts? What about Christmas is for kids? What about... hey, this isn't a matching blue, flowery, gay knickknack is it?"
"Just open the damn thing!"

As he quickly unwrapped his portable DVD player, I could see the same excitement on his face the kids had opening their gifts. He looked adorable. Until he spoke.

"Did you buy this after you knew I got that stupid knickknack? Were you trying to outdo me again?"
"Actually no. It was the first thing I bought. I did consider buying a dancing Jesus doll for your dashboard but I guess they are in high-demand this time of year because I wasn't able to find one."
"This is so cool! I'm glad we both broke the rules this year!"
"Yeah me too! Look at the pretty flowers... droooool!"

Monday, December 27, 2004

Not A Mushy Holiday Tale

(Christmas Eve: Long Story, Savor It)

Let's Talk Turkey
It's 5:45 a.m., do you know where your turkey is? Friday at that time, mine was in my kitchen sink. I like to provide my bird with a ceremonial bath before I stuff it's ass with bread and roast it.

I was impressed by this fresh-from-the-farm turkey. At 24 pounds, it filled the left side of the sink. I took out all of the ickiness inside and began the bath.

The night before I broke the bread and sautéed the onions and celery needed for the stuffing. Once the bird was clean, I got a big bowl, the onions, celery, bread and all of the other ingredients and began trying to stir this monstrosity of stuffing. My forearms were killing me. Maybe it was a result of all the baking done the day before, stir, whip, beat. It was like crazy sex.

My arms limp as two noodles, I did what needed doing, I put my bare hands in the bowl to mix it up. I was totally grossed out. It had such a slimy (from the egg) icky feeling. Normally I have a pretty tough stomach but it was so early and I'd only had half of a cup of go-go juice.

The feeling of the bowl's contents actually made me gag. At the same time Mr. Lane. had strolled back into the kitchen for his second cup of coffee.

"Why are you gagging?"
"I can't touch this stuff. It's so... (gag) ewww."
"Are you kidding me? You just fist fucked a turkey but you're gagging over bread?"
"When you put it that way, it does seem pretty silly."

I could tell we were going to have a wonderful day!


The Eve Of The Eve
(Phone call with sister in-law) "We'll be up early you can come whenever you want. We're eating at 2:30 p.m."
"Do you want me to bring anything?"
"No, it's under control, but thanks."
"Well, I can pick up some stuff for horse d'overs."
"If you really want to, sure. We'll have plenty of food and we are eating early, so don't go all out."
"It's fine, I'll get some shrimp and make cocktail sauce, and a meat and cheese tray. Can you think of anything else?"
"No, that would be plenty. You really don't even need to bring that. I have a ton of food really."
"No, it's okay, I want to do something."
"Then get your ass here early and help clean the cooking mess." (I only thought it.)
"Okay, see you tomorrow."
"Thanks, bye."
So much for having everything under control. I don't think these people trust me. I've been a part of their family for 16 years, why the fuck don't they know when I say I have it under control. I, in fact, have it under control.


The Arrival Of The Guests
It's 1:45 p.m., do you know where your guests are? Mine were following each other out in a great convoy, since I live in the "boonies", so I'd imagine they were all somewhere between here and there.

Mr. Lane was pacing like a puppy waiting to be let out to take a crap. He looked out the window 47 times in 10 minutes. He wasn't being very helpful. In fact, he was making me nervous.

"If you think they got lost, call."
"You don't think they're still at home do you?"
"I doubt it. Everyone has a cell phone. Just call."
We had a back-and-forth conversation with the same words mixed up in various ways for 15 minutes. He still didn't call.

I finished the preparations and his panic was out of control.
"You should wait before you carve the turkey."
"I said we are eating at 2:30, and guess what, we are. If they make it in time, great, if not, there's nothing I can do about it. I timed everything based on 2:30 and it's almost ready."
He finally called his sister's cell. They were less than 15 minutes away.

They came in armed with presents and horse d'overs.

"Dinner will be ready in 10 minutes guys hurry up. Son, take their coats. Mr. Lane, get drinks for everyone. Kids, go wash your hands."

It was whispered in my ear that I was being a bit demanding and rushing people. Fire shot out of my eyeballs at that man. That's right folks, Mr. Lane has the balls of an elephant.

Sister A was upset that I promptly set her horse d'overs in the refrigerator rather than on the table. She didn't say anything but she had a sad whooped dog look about her. I gave her a kiss on her forehead. "Sorry folks but horse d'overs are served before dinner, right?! Nice frozen shrimp by the way." (I only thought it.)

Everyone ate, no one died, no one choked, everything was good. Moving this party, and now this post along, I set out dessert and the stupid horse d'overs. Ass backward, I know but I didn't want anyone thinking I didn't appreciate their contribution to this holiday feast. "Even if some people are too goddamned stupid to defrost their crappy ass shrimp and copout with store bought cocktail sauce as well." (I only thought it.)

There were more kids than grownups, and the words, "Can we open presents now?" came every three minutes. There was no cleaning up time in between, it was dinner, dessert, presents.

The boys ran off to Lane 1's room with their haul and the girls headed to Lane 2's room. They played while the grownups talked and laughed. We played a couple of rounds of "Scene It" which was a fun game. It was bought by Sister B for Lane 1 but it doesn't seem like a kid game.

I kept looking at the clock because my friends also were having a party and asked us to stop by. I yawned, stretched and got up. "This is my subtle hint for you people to go away now." (I only thought it.) I headed back into the kitchen and started to clean. Mr. Lane followed.

"Why are you cleaning now? It can wait."
"I know but by the time I get back from Sara and Jim's, I'll be too tired to finish."
"Oh, shit! I forgot about them."
"You can hang here and I'll take the kids."
"No, I gotta see Jim's face when he opens my gift."
"It's 6 p.m. already. I told Sara we would be there by 7."

With minimal tact, Mr. Lane makes his announcement that we have somewhere we need to be soon. "Yes we are important people. We have places to go and people to see, and we have seen enough of you folks to hold us over until next year." (Again, I only thought it.)

I jumped in, "You guys can hang here. It's just down the street and we are only exchanging gifts and we'll be back. Isn't he nice for trying to kick you out? 'Thanks for driving an hour and a half to see us, and thanks for the gifts. Now get the hell out.' " We all laughed at his expense. And best of all, no one knew that I had the same thing going on in my own mind.

They decided it was getting late and they did have a long ride ahead.

"Okay, thank you for coming. Drive safely. Buh-bye, buh-bye now."


Friends Are More Fun Than Family
Sara and Jim's family members were clearing out and there were just a few friend stragglers hanging around. Mr. Lane and Jim acted like they hadn't seen each other in years. Hugs, back pats, holiday pleasantries and then Jim took Mr. Lane to the garage to show off his gifts. Our kids ran off with their kids.

Sara said Jim was pacing before we got there.
"I said we would be here at 7, and it's 6:50."
"I know that, and you know that but Jim is retarded."
"Oh, just like Mr. Lane."
"I'm too full."
"Dinner go well?"
"It went."
"That bad huh?"
"It was okay. House is a wreck again."
"I made my guests clean. What's the matter with you? Did you lose your edge?"
"No, I was just happy to get dinner on the table in time. They offered to help clean but I was trying to push the party along."
"You sure you don't want any eggnog?"
"Is it virgin?"
"Are you kidding me?"
"I'll take a double."

I decided I could be an alcoholic but eggnog is nothing I can drink too much of. I switched to soda with a splash of rum. Before long I was feeling relaxed.

To the tune of the Little Drummer Boy, I sang. "rum-rum-rum-rum... I love to drink this shit, feels good in my tum."

Jim shouted, "PRESENTS!"
Kids came flying out of every direction but no one was as excited as Jim and Mr. Lane. I thought both of them would cry as they unwrapped their gifts.

Mr. Lane was given the official Fox Racing motocross uniform. "Yee-fucking-haw!" (I only thought it.)
"Dude! Oh, man, this is great. It matches my helmet! This is awesome!"
Jim looked like he would cry as he unwrapped his CB and antenna. "Yee-fucking-haw part two!" (Yeah, you guessed, I only thought it.)
"Oh, dude. Bro! You know how long I've wanted one of these? (hillbilly accent took over as he held the mic to his mouth) Breaker one-nine, this here's The Boss, this here's The Big Man, this here's the... I need a handle."

Sara and I mocked them as we opened our identical gifts. I knew she wanted a cordless phone and she knew I wanted one too. It was even the same brand and color. I almost felt bad about buying her 4-year-old daughter play makeup since they have champagne colored carpet. Almost.


Home On The Range
It was 10 p.m., the kids were two hours late for bed.
"Brush your teeth and get your jammies on. Santa's going to be here soon."
No fights, no arguing, they were as spent as I was.

It took until 3 a.m. to get the house clean and to help Santa get his shit together. I was brushing my teeth when Lane 2 came into the bathroom. Bubbled mouth I told her she would have to go back to bed because it was still the middle of the night.

I half slept, hearing her toss and turn.


It's 5:21 a.m., do you know where your children are? Mine were standing over me. I opened one eye. I asked what time it was. I almost cried. No. I didn't almost cry. I cried. Like a big ol' baby. I even started to suck my thumb and rock side-to-side.

Stay tuned: Tomorrow, a very merry Christmas. And then we can finally be done with all of this holiday bullshit!

I'll Tell You Where I've Been

Slacker I am not. Today began quite normal. I planned my blog post of the day over coffee. I would have had one for you to read on Christmas day had I not been up to my earlobes in holiday hoopla. So armed with whit beyond words and a cup of brainjuice, I opened a new document. I typed and typed, and let me tell ya, it was really good stuff, brilliance if I don't say so myself. I got a bit carried away sharing my tales and before long, I was on page two.

My screen became dark quickly and I knew it was only a matter of time before I had to plug my laptop back in. I repositioned myself and my laptop near a plug. Then something went terribly wrong. A message on my screen said, "Switch to AC power or change battery." Hey! I just plugged it in! What the hell?

I unplugged and replugged. I relocated again, plugged in again. Same message. I disconnected both of the wires from the AC adaptor, then reconnected them. Same message. Can I get a what the fuck from the congregation?!

My plug was fried and my battery didn't even have enough juice left to shut down. Monday morning on hold with tech support, now that's a good time had by all, not. I finally get a real person on the phone and I know I pressed 1 for English but this dude did not speak it.

Because of the obvious language barrier we had from "Hello." I spoke slower and louder. I don't know why I thought that would help. "Pl-u-g NO w-o-r-k no m-o-r-e! B-R-O-K-E."

I was able to give him the serial number and find out it was still under warranty. I had two choices, a) mail the old one and wait for a new one to arrive (4-6 weeks) b) drive to an authorized service center.

"W-h-e-r-e a-r-e t-h-e s-e-r-v-i-c-e c-e-n-t-e-r-s?"
"No centa for 100 mile you address maybe more."
"Dude! That's the wrong state. I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S!"

After he gave me the phone number and address to the service center I called. I asked a nice lady in Iowa if she could tell me if there were other locations, perhaps one in the same fucking state I was calling from. She told me of two but both were farther away than Iowa. I asked for directions.

One and a half hours later I got there. The kids were completely entertained with Drop Dead Fred, which they were able to watch on their dad's portable DVD player.

We stopped for lunch and headed back for another hour and a half ride. It was nice getting an extra day off of work but three hours in the car is not my idea of fun.

Because I lost the original post for today, I'll come up with cliff notes and post them here in a little while.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Shoe Snacking

I've really gone and messed things up this time! By the way, this has nothing to do with my Christmas Eve feast, which I will write about tomorrow.

Mr. Lane, one of the sweetest people in the world, was showing me all of the things he bought for his loved ones. Typical guy doing all of his shopping last minute. Trust me, I gave him plenty of shit for that but it was nice to know he was running even more behind than I was.

I was trying to get our feast prepared as he began pulling stuff out of bags. He handed out a few jokes about my cooking skills, or lack there of. I think he was returning the shit I started to dish out. I threatened to poison his portion if he didn't shut up.

I have to admit, he looked so cute with his red Santa hat on. Plus, his cheeks were rosy from the blustery wind. He was smiling ear-to-ear, I couldn't help but be happy for him.

First he pulled out two gift cards. "My sisters have everything. I figure I might as well give them something they can give me back for my birthday."

"Good thinking."

"Check this out. I got this for my step mom." He was still smiling. "You think she's going to like it?"

It was a 6 inch high, knick-knack, with a crystal cube top and a wooden base. It had a light in the base illuminating pink flowers that were laser embedded into the crystal.

I know his step mom, and she is a class act. She collects some of the world's finest doodads and knickknacks. And here he held a Wal-Mart special and was still smiling. Because he was so happy, I tried to smile at that thing, but... it was ugly.

"What? You hate it, don't you?"

"Well, no I don't hate it. It just kinda looks like it's made for a really old lady... in a nursing home." I smiled. He didn't.

"You don't think she is going to like it?"

Because of our ongoing shit-slinging relationship, I said, "Sure she'll like it, when she is 94 and living in Happy Acres Nursing Center, drooling, shitting her pants and talking to herself." I don't think my way of cheering him up was working.

His eyes shifted from the gift to me, repeatedly.

I tried to unpanic him with another joke. "Really it'll be great. Just imagine, at 94, she'll have nothing left to live for, she's waiting to die and then she thinks to herself, 'Oooh, look at the pretty pink flowers (drooooool).' It can't help but bring hours of happiness."

"Oh, no you didn't biatch!" (He really isn't an inner-city 20something woman, he just plays one when you insult him.)

I played along, "Oh, yes I did." (accompanied by a neck roll)

"You really don't think she'll like it?"

"Honestly? No."


I could see he was upset and I started to feel bad. "Maybe I think she won't like it because she's a classy lady. But it's from you, she'll love it no matter what."

"But it's ugly right?"

"Not so much ugly as, well, Happy Acres."

"Guess what I got for you." He held up an identical pink flowered crystal knickknack.

After I picked my jaw up from the floor, I immediately realized how deeply I'd inserted my foot into my mouth.

I tried to fix things by saying, "Well, for me, I mean, it's great. It's cute. I think it's okay."

He wasn't buying it. "You said it looks like it's for an old lady!"

"Well, I have an old soul." I was backpedaling as fast as humanly possible but my foot was sliding further down my throat. "I mean, I feel old... a lot, and well, I'm into old lady things like antiques, Bingo and Canasta and stuff."

I tried to turn the tables on him. We'd agreed that we weren't buying each other anything. So I did have a bit of ammo to take the heat off of me. "Hey, what happened to us not exchanging gifts? What happened to Christmas sucks? What happened to we spend too much money on all this crap?"

"I couldn't just get you nothing. But that's okay because I know you'll like the other thing I got for you."

"Another gift? You weren't supposed to get me anything! Now I really feel bad." This was true, somewhat. But tomorrow morning when he sees that "Santa" brought him a portable DVD player, I'm sure he will have all but forgotten about the ugly ass not so Happy Acres Nursing Center pink flowery doodad.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Meanest Mom In The Whole Wide World

My poor abused son. Bored out of his mind, never gets to do anything, never gets to go anywhere and he has the meanest mom in the hole wide world. Is it too late to return all of his gifts and buy him a tiny violin?

"Hold on buddy boy! Meanest mom?" I got your meanest mom! Kids today have no friggn' clue about mean moms. I mean, hell, the law doesn't even allow us to beat them!

"When I was your age..." Oh, he had that look again. You know that look punk ass kids get, and you just want to for one quick second, smack those rolling eyes right out of their pretty little heads? Well, that's the look.

"Number one, do not roll your eyes at me. Number 2, my mom, was by far, the meanest mom in the whole wide world. I may be a close runner up, but I can't hold a candle to Grandma. Number 3, if you think I am being mean because
a) I won't entertain you when you have a room full of toys
b) I won't go pick up a small handful of 12 and 13 year old boys so they can lounge at our house
c) I won't let you go hangout at the movie theater without adult supervision
than, yeah, I am mean. So deal with it."

He pouted. He's so cute when he pouts. It's kind of like the booboo face from Laverne and Shirley.

"Son, let me tell you about mean." (He slouched his shoulders and hung his head. He hates lectures as much as I hate giving them.) "When I was a kid and had Christmas break, Grandma made me her personal slave. I washed dishes, vacuumed and scrubbed the bathroom. I was younger than your sister and had to do all of that crap. My mom never let my friends come over and she didn't drive so asking her to take me somewhere or pick up a friend, was completely out of the question. Besides the fact that grandma could and did beat me every time I rolled my eyes. Hell, she even smacked me a couple of times when I just thought about rolling my eyes. Schools back in the day never told the kids, 'If your parents hit you, call 1-800-LUV-HRTZ.' No one gave a crap if your parents beat you. They brought you into the world, and if they wanted to, they could take you out, that's one thing grandma always reminded me about."

"I'm just bored. How come Sis gets to do stuff?"

"She is playing her guitar in her room, minding her own business, staying out of my hair and is completely content doing so. What is it that she gets to do that you can't?"

"I don't know. But you never get mad at her. You never give her lectures. She gets to do whatever she wants. She gets away with everything."

"Okay, let me get this straight. You are now no longer mad at me. You are mad at your sister because she doesn't get in trouble?"

"I'm not mad!"

"I can tell by your crinkled up eyebrows how not mad you are. What is wrong with you?"

The excitement of Christmas was getting the best of him. I can remember feeling the same way when I was his age. But another lecture wasn't something either of us was interested in, so I told him to go entertain himself for an hour.

"We have some holiday baking that needs to get done. And you're just the guy to help me do it. Go play for a while and I'll get the stuff ready."

He smiled and walked away.

I can only imagine, once we are done baking all of this crap, he will probably be whining about his belly ache from licking the bowl and beaters and that too will be my fault, for I am the Meanest Mom In The Whole Wide World.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

What’s A Nice Girl Like Me Doing In A Dump Like This?

I realized today my house is just too small. Having the kids home and the weather not cooperating enough for them to play outside was a true test of love and patience.

On weekends, we are so busy going and doing, I've never really noticed a crammed feeling before.

Since I work from home and had a bunch of things to finish today, so I could begin my long holiday weekend, we were basically stuck in the house.

It seemed like every time one of us walked into the kitchen, we were walking right into someone coming out. The bathroom was no different. And I believe we used up all of our 2,000 flushes.

The odds were stacked up against me. I mean, there's more of them than there are of me. My darlings awoke at the butt crack of dawn and promptly began bickering.

“You guys, better knock it off. I don’t want to hear this crap first thing in the morning.”

I ordered Lane 2 to make me a pot of coffee. “But Mom, you quit drinking coffee.”

“I started again.”

“Why did you start drinking coffee again? Isn’t it bad for you.”

“Yes but so is murder.”

“I don’t get it.”

Lane 1 chimes in, a little older, not quite wiser and said, “If Mom doesn’t get her fix of coffee, she is going to murder you.”

“She is not. Shut up!”

“Don’t say that to your brother. Please go make me some coffee.”

“Are you really going to murder someone?”

The day was shaping up pretty poorly. After breakfast we made an attempt to go outside to fix my son's bike. He just had a flat tire and needed a new inner tube. Piece of cake, I thought. The three of us lasted six minutes before I declared, "It's freezing!" they agreed and we went back in the house.

I broke the news as gently as I could, "Today is clean your room day." They were not pleased by that statement. Their mouths began to form the word “but” as if they thought for one second their protest would even matter. But my finger was already pointing toward their bedrooms.

I got my work done in record time and was actually waiting for an argument to breakout. I was pleasantly surprised as I checked on them. Their rooms were looking good. Their TVs were off and they were really cleaning.

I sat at the kitchen table listening to the sound of silence. It was a beautiful sound.

And then the panic set in. How in the hell am I going to fit 18 people in this little house Friday? This thought should have occurred to me sooner, like the day I had to go buy more dinner plates because I only own five of my original eight, which are 16 years old. Or maybe it would have dawned on me when I had to buy one of the biggest turkeys at the farm. I could have gotten a hint when I came back from shopping for the dinner stuff and unloaded my car. My entire table was covered in grocery bags, as was my whole kitchen floor. Perhaps it would have come to my attention when I tried cramming all of the ingredients for the turkey, lasagna and all of the side dishes into my little refrigerator and cabinets.

If nothing else, it'll be interesting. I'm not one who entertains often (understatement) and didn't realize the expense, time and energy involved in one meal, not to mention the amount of space needed. Then a new panic set in. Where are they going to sit? I only have four kitchen chairs. Crap!

I tried working this all out in my head but thankfully the kids were done cleaning and helped to get my mind off of things. Maybe having them home isn't the worst thing in the world after all.

(Did I just jinx myself for tomorrow or what?!)

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Mourning Season

People, you can send your condolences to me at or below in the handy dandy comments section.

You may be thinking, "Lois, what's wrong? Did your pet hamster stinky kick the bucket? I knew something was wrong with you when you didn't post this morning."

In a word, no. Stinky, my fictitious pet from my childhood, is much more alive than I am today. In my warped little mind anyhow.

Does anyone know what today is? Since I hear no guesses, not even from the voices in my head, I'll tell you. Today marks the first day of a two-weeklong vacation for my children from school. Sappy, sappy, crappy, love my kids and all the blah, blah, blah but shit people, two weeks?! It seems a bit excessive no?

When you take a child out of their routine, school, for example, they get all spazzy and act up. If you add the excitement of presents and a fat, toy toting bastard from the North Pole, it is only intensified.

The schools plan this out precisely. They know how out of control children get when the holidays are coming, which is why they get rid of them early. There's still a few days left people! How dare they do this to me and my peaceful afternoons? There is absolutely no reason to pawn my own children off on me during their worst behavior time of the year! I could roll myself into fetal position right now and rock feverishly back and forth crying, in a very Nancy Kerrigan way, "Why? Why? Why me?"

Don't give me any crap about these children being mine, or tell me I should enjoy every minute of this break and do special things with my wonderful children. Because that's a load of crap. Fact is they don't even act like themselves during this time of year. Have you ever seen Rosemary's Baby? Yeah, well, that's more like it.

Christmas break is the reason animals eat their young. And boy, oh boy, am I famished!

P.S. I will continue my attempt of posting everyday. I may be quick enough to beat them out of bed in the morning but if not, look for me when Sponge Bob is on. (Sponge Bob, a post for another day!)

Monday, December 20, 2004

Winter Weather Weenie

The weather here was so cold this weekend I just didn't want to go anywhere. I could've lounged and blogged day and night - until spring. Maybe I should have been a bear. I would love to sleep through this crap we call winter.

Instead of enjoying the warmth of my humble abode, I braved the cold, and spent a good chunk of my weekend shopping for a laundry list of people. I got a lot of stuff done and feel less panicked about the upcoming festivities.

Getting there is half the fun, or so they say. I went outside to start my car and warm it up a little. The doors were frozen shut. The windows were layered with thick frost and my damn ice scraper was on the inside of the car.

It was so cold outside, I could feel my nipples just snap off and roll down my shirt. My nose began to do that drippy faucet trick, you know the kind of tricky snot that gives no warning before it just drips out like a fucking Mr. Coffee Machine. The kid in me immediately went to wipe with her sleeve. The grownup in me stopped her. I went back in the house. I tried blowing but it wasn't blowable. I tried sniffing it back but it wasn't sniffable. I tried sucking it through the back of my throat to spit it out but it wasn't suckable. I did what had to be done. That's right, I stuffed each nostril full of tissue and went back outside. I'm sure I looked sexy as hell too.

I tried opening the car door again, still frozen. I bounced my ass against the car, hoping to loosen the ice so I could open it. Anyone driving by must have gotten an eyeful as I dirty danced with my car, doing the infamous black girl, rap video, booty bounce.

Why is it that I am going through all of this shit when I have a perfectly good garage I could be using? Oh, that's right! I have children. And my garage is currently filled with so much of their shit, I can't fit a goddamned pencil in there let alone a fucking car.

My ass became numb. I think it was frozen. I reached for the car door handle. It finally opened. I started the car and reached for my scraper. I was glad I had the hindsight to buy one last week. I cranked the heat all the way up, put the defrosters on, got out and shut the door. I began scraping the windows with my handy new scrapper and my ungloved hands.

What the fuck? This brand new scraper blows! I turned it every which way, none of the sides worked for shit! It was as efficient as taking three finger nails and rubbing them against the window. Three little fucking lines. Great now my windshield looked like Vanilla Ice and his stupid fucking eyebrows! I flung the scraper into the bushes and went back in my house. Almost 40 minutes had gone by, no wonder why I had frostbite on all of my 2,000 parts.

After the defrosters did their job, I plucked the snot rags out of my nose and I was off and running. Look out holiday shoppers, here I come!

I had a list of everyone and everything I planned on buying. I popped in and out of the mall, virtually unscathed. I headed toward the biggest department store around here, Kay's Merchandise. They have everything from tools to toys, from furniture to flutes, needless to say, I was in there for a long ass time. But hey, I got a lot of stuff and didn't spend an exuberant amount of money. I almost smiled at that thought. Almost.

My arms lined with bags, I walked to my car. It was a long walk in a very big, cold, windy parking lot. I tried to open my trunk but it was frozen shut. I wiggled it but nothing. I unlocked the car and reached for the back door, frozen. My mind raced as I envisioned doing the Shaniqua booty call in the fucking mall parking lot. No fucking way! I will cry helpless female and find some sucker to help me before I get caught ass dancing in public. I mean, it's one thing to do it for your neighbors...

My concerns quickly subsided when the driver door opened. I flung the bags into the backseat and reached for my ice scraper. Fuck!

I sat in my car while it warmed. Every inch of me was freezing. The windows were layered in frost. With my defrosters working overtime, at least seven minutes later, I scrunched down in my seat to peek out of the tiny hole that had defrosted. I contemplated driving while scrunched but it was such a tiny hole. I couldn't see out of the side or back windows. Taking my chances on getting all of the stuff I just bought stolen, not to mention someone taking my car, I ran back in the store.

I asked the first worker I saw, "Ice scrapers?"
"Sold out."

I ran back to my car. The car, the frosted windows and the contents remained in tact. It was at this point my nose ran out of dripping juice and just fell off of my face, kind of like Michael Jackson's. With nothing to lose, I pulled out my driver's license. I got out of my car and scraped my windows with it and it worked a helluva lot better than that goddamned piece of shit ice scrapper I bought. After 30 minutes, with no nipples or nose, and each of my fingers cracking and bleeding at every knuckle, I could finally see well enough to drive away.

When I finally got back home, I wrapped myself in a fresh-out-of-the-dryer blanket and curled up with a hot cup of coffee. Chilled to the bone, I began to realize. It doesn't matter that I have lived in Illinois nearly all of my life. I will always be a winter weather weenie!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

'Tis The Season To Be Tortured

Maybe I really am a Scrooge. I've searched high and low for this Christmas spirit of mine and I'm tellin' ya, it's still MIA. I want to be excited. I want to find the perfect gifts and whatnots for my loved ones and those other people on my list but so far, it just ain't happenin'. The stores are overflowing with obnoxious people and minimal cool gifts. Although I have plenty of shopping left to do, I know my Christmas spirit will not be found at the mall. And thankfully, I have accepted that.

I thought getting the perfect Christmas tree would work. It didn't.

I thought seeing the holiday production at the school would help. It didn't.

Hearing sleigh bells outside my door, I felt a glimmer of hope. Carolers come every year through my little neighborhood. I opened my door and sure enough, dressed all warm with Santa hats, I saw two carolers. I almost smiled. Almost. They might have helped get my spirit in gear, if only they weren't tone def.

I listened and cringed as they slaughtered sang "Silent Night". I gave them each two dollars. Not so they would perform more, so they would go away. Much to my chagrin, they misinterpreted the money as a request for an encore.

In a feeble attempt to get the tone def twins to buzz off, I put my thumb in my ear and my pinky near my mouth, doing the telephone motion, and then I pointed into my house. Which to me meant, "I got a phone call. I need to get it. Buh-bye!"

They thought it meant, come on in where's it's nice and warm and hang loose. As off key as they were they didn't miss a beat and followed me into the house. The phone wasn't ringing and I shrugged my shoulders in an upward motion as I held the silent phone in my hand. Still singing, I tried to shoo them out, like you would a fly.

These girls were at least 14-years-old. What the hell were they doing going into a strangers house? I could have been a kidnapper, a murderer or worse yet, someone who actually liked the crap they sang. If I knew who their parents were, I would have called and told them what their girls were up to. I also would have told them the money they gave the girls for singing lessons apparently was spent on crack because neither could carry a tune in a bucket.

I frantically reached for my purse as they began singing the "12 Days of Christmas", which to me is like the song "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall", and I was not having it. I pulled out two more dollars. I held the bills over each of their heads. I walked toward the door waving the dollars, and in a very carrot in front of a rabbit way, they followed.

At this rate, it'll take a fruitcake upside my head before my Christmas spirit kicks in.

Friday, December 17, 2004

What Comes Around Goes Around

After I read all of the wonderful comments the great folks left for me yesterday, I felt a little bit of happiness come over me. First I thought, is it possible that I am related to these people in some way? Was my mom really separated at birth and these folks are the other side of the family? How else could so many strangers have mothers who are so much like mine?

It was a mystery, like one of those cool Unsolved Mysteries on TV, where people find family members they didn't know they had after 30 plus years. The coolness of that thought made me smile.

I took my happiness out and finally got some Christmas shopping started. (Yes, I am aware of the date, thank you very much.) My happiness was short lived. I found out not only were these cool people not related, I solved the mystery.

This "technology challenged" (See yesterday's post) role they play is nothing more than payback. Every store I visited, I saw the same thing over and over again. My answers were found in the checkout line.

Every mom who was accompanied by a child was dealing with the same thing.

"Mom. Mommy. Mom? Mommy? MOM!"
"Can I get a candy?"
"Because why?"
"Because I said so."
Seconds pass.
"Mom? Mommy?"
"But Mom. Pleeease?"
"No." (This is the part where the child's body became all flouncy and their faces grew pouty. Some were even able to well up some tears. It's also the part where I thought this would be a good birth control commercial.)

"Can I get a toy?"
Can I get gum?"
"I said no. Now knock it off!"
"I'm thirsty! Mom. Mom! Mom? Mommy?"
"Oh, look Mountain Dew, Mommy! Can I get a drink?"

Some of the kids at this point were standing in the cart stretching for the goods, hoping like hell their moms wouldn't see. Some of them were quick enough to toss their item in the cart unnoticed. (I gave those kids a thumbs up.)

Others, well... "You sit down right now before you crack your head open! Santa isn't going to bring you anything if you keep being so bad!"

One of the moms burst out in song. "He knows if you've been BAD or good..." (Oh that poor kid is going to grow up a little paranoid! But that didn't stop me from looking right at him, widening my eyes and nodding, while mouthing "He sees you." while his mom's back was turned.)

By now, many of the kids were reduced to tears or screaming. For a few lucky ones, the moms gave in buying what their little monsters asked for.

As I watched this brood of rotten, snot face kids, it hit me, like a ton of bricks on top of my head. I did that too! I bet we all did. I was a brat and now my mother is paying me back for all of the shit I put her through in the checkout line!

I doubt this payback is intentional. I think as children we wore down all of our moms good thinking abilities. My poor mom, I almost feel bad. Almost. Maybe she should have just caved into my checkout line demands, and today she could possibly figure out how to open a simple friggin' e-mail attachment.

My mother was infamous for saying, "What comes around goes around." I guess she wasn't kidding!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Mama Mayhem

I need to step away from Christmas for a day. No, I, unfortunately, have not run out of holiday hoopla to share but I thought maybe today I should introduce you to my mother.

Well, she isn't here right now. I mean, she's not dead or anything. But she isn't aware of my blogging, mostly because of what I am about to tell you, and because she is virtually new to this thing we call the Internet. She calls it "the CNN thingy inside the little blue 'e' on the screen", because I set CNN as her homepage on Explorer.

I bought her a laptop for her 60th birthday this past June. She's never been on a computer but really wanted one and more than anything, she really wanted to learn how to use it. For the first two weeks her laptop was a $2,000 electronic solitaire game. Once she began to familiarize herself with that, she "found" pinball.

"Yes, mother! Oh, sure. I bet you are! You're right. No one plays pinball better than you, for you are the one, the only, Pinball Wizard!"

Please note here, I have sat down at the computer (for many painful hours) showing this woman step-by-step how to do various things. I also have handwritten and typed (saved on her desktop incase she loses the paper version) instructions for each said task.

She has been doing this for six months. During this time, I decided, she is either...
A) trying to kill me slowly and painfully
B) fucking with me to find the breaking point she couldn't find when I was a child
C) really a friggin' airhead in need of a refill
D) wasted too many good chromosomes having so many children
E) hitting the sauce again
or F) all of the above

Guess the answer and you'll win a prize. If you said "F - all of the above", I say, ding-ding-ding, we have a winner folks. Step right up and claim your prize. It's a lovely prize really. It's the sanity I no longer have. Here you go boys and girls!

When I was little, I thought this was not only the prettiest lady in the universe but the smartest. I must have been a crack baby to think such rubbish!

Don't even start your hogwash about, "Lois, shame on you, that's your mom!" or "Lois that's not nice!"

I'll tell ya what's not nice. Last night I was at home, minding my very own business. My phone rang. It was my mother. We exchanged the regular pleasantries and before long, she was going in for the kill. I e-mailed her some photos I'd taken of my dad and she was having "a devil of a time" retrieving them. I decided to send her the photos again, but this time through instant messenger. She said she had to have these pictures right away. I wondered if Dad was trying out for some modeling gig I didn't know about.

"Okay Mom, first open your MSN IM."
"My what?"
"The little blue guy with the butterfly thingy."
"I don't see that."
"It should be on your far right, at the bottom of your screen."
"There's nothing down there."
"Mom, do you remember where I told you to find the volume to listen to Barry Manilow?"
"Oh, down there! I see."
"Okay, click on the little blue guy."
"The little blue guy?"
"Yes. Your MSN instant messenger."
"Honey, I don't want to chit chat. I want to get those pictures of Dad."
"Trust me Mom, I don't want to chit chat either! This is how I plan to send the pictures to you. Could you please click on the blue guy two times, very fast?"
"With my left clicker or my right clicker?"
"Always your left Mom. Unless I say, 'right click', it's always your left."
"I don't know why I can't remember that. You say it all the time."
"I know."
"Oh, there it is!" She said this with such surprise, it was almost hard to be mad at her. Almost.
"Great! Now you need to sign in. Did you keep the password saved?"
"The password?"
"Never mind that. Is there a place for you to hit 'Sign in'?"
"Yes, right on the little rectangle box."
"Good! Hit that."
"Sign in?"
"Okay. Well now it's doing this weird thing and the little blue guy is spinning around and around."
"That's okay. It's signing in."
"Remember when you were little and would spin for hours and hours. You were such a cute kid."
"Yes, I remember." (It was what I did when you were making me lose my fucking marbles mother, of course I remember.)
"Oh, Lois Lane is online."
"Yes I am. I am waiting for you."
"Well, here I am," she giggled.

This went on for quite some time but she finally made it to MSN IM. I was proud, for a second.

"What you need to do now is hit 'Accept'."
"I don't see that."
"It's in the little blue flashing box at the bottom of your screen. The one that says, 'Lois Lane conversation'. Do you see that?"
"Oh, that's you."
"Yep, still me."

Then she did the unheard of. She was watching TV. I could tell I didn't have 100% of her attention, more so than normal.

"What are you doing Mom?"
"Oh my god! The president's legs just went out from under him. Oh my god!"

Freaked out, I hop on CNN dot com. I checkout US, Homepage, World news and nothing.

"Was this during a press conference Mom? Where is the president?"
"On NBC."

I run to the television, only to find out my mother was watching fucking West Wing!

"Mom, I gotta go."
"What about my pictures?"

Fuck your pictures and fuck West Wing and while you're at it, fuck me for being so goddamned stupid buying you something you are too insane to operate!

"When I come over Saturday, I'll retrieve them from your e-mail, okay?"
"Oh, that's a great idea! I just wish I could look at them right now. But it's okay. I can wait."
"Thanks for being so patient with me Mom. I have to go (STAB MYSELF IN THE FUCKING HEAD WITH A BUTTER KNIFE) take a shower. I love you."
"I love you too sweetie. Thanks for your help."
"No problem Mom. Goodnight."

And that my friends, is my mother.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I Know I've Already Posted Once Today But...

My friend Bitter Betty

is having troubles with her Blog.

If you have never read her, trust me, you're missing out, big time! And now so am I! WTF? WTF, I say!

So what's the deal with Blogger? If you are thinking, it's a free service, you get what you pay for. I say, "Bite me!" I look forward to reading this blog everyday and today I can't! Anyone else having troubles?

As soon as she is up and running again, I'll note her link in my sidebar as "UPDATED" and then, I want you to go read her and don't leave out the comments. All bloggers love comments. Okay, rant is over. G'night!
Lois Lane

Mr. Cool Strikes Again

Sunday late afternoon, 300 plus people piled into a school in Nowhereville Illinois. The annual Christmas pageant was underway. The music teacher sat at the piano playing Christmas songs. Everyone in the audience was armed with camcorders/cameras. All of the parents waited proudly and patiently for the show to begin. The staff worked feverishly to set the stage, dim the lights, organize the props (including a Betsy Wetsy/Baby Jesus doll) and in they walked. The older kids were dressed in their Sunday best, while all of the little kids wore halos, wings and white gowns.

I began to think, "This will get me in the Christmas spirit. There's nothing like seeing a live holiday performance."

My little angel, Lane 2, waved and smiled at me as she walked by. Her halo shined almost as bright as her smile. She looked so cute.

The big kids were not far behind. Mr. Cool pretended not to see me as his class walked by. He did that head turn thing, accompanied by a fake "Something's in my eye." rub. You know the thing you do when you want to pretend you didn't see your mother waving frantically, blowing kisses while whisper yelling, "Pssst... son, over here!"

Fortunately, he looks just like me, so everyone knows I'm his mom. I told him that later. He wasn't pleased.

The way they set the kids up really sucked. Pretty and proud and in the very back row of the risers was Lane 2, who had to stand tiptoed to make sure she was seen. Front and center, there he was with that look on his face. If you have children 12 or older, you know what look I am talking about. For the rest of you, this look is partial disgust and embarrassment, topped off with a heaping scoop of cool.

I have a vision of everyone's pictures and video from that night with scowl face messing up the shot. Damn this preteen crap to hell, I say! I miss the way he used to be, all smiley, happy go lucky and especially not embarrassed of his mom.

Here are a handful of memories I'd like to share of Lane1, AKA, Mr. Cool's pre-cool days ...

1) My son, 4-years-old: You know the Skittles commercial, "Skittles, taste the rainbow"? Easter morning the child sat on the kitchen floor. He bit off one of his hollow bunny's ears, then chomped off the tail. He opened a snack pack size bag of Skittles. He poured the Skittles into the ear hole and as they fell out of the former tail region he said, "Skittles, poop the rainbow."

2) My son 6-years-old: I just got new bunk beds for the kids, who at the time were sharing a room. Lane 2 was scared. Her brother hung over the edge of the top bunk and asked, "What's wrong, Sis?"

"I'm afraid."

He climbed off of the top bunk, got their toy radio with microphone attached. He put the radio part on the top bunk by his pillow and hung the microphone along the backside of the beds down to the bottom bunk.

He said, "When you get scared, push the button and tell me what's scaring you."

Two nights later, kid intercom still intact, I hear my daughter call to my boy, "Get down here quick. I think I just saw a ghost."

He hopped down and stayed with her until she was asleep.

3) My son 8-years-old: My dear elderly friend Juanita passed away. Her family lived out of state so I took it upon myself to have her ashes taken care of. I sent half to Virginia, where her family was. The other half stayed in Illinois as she requested. The ashes first came to our house, awaiting her memorial service.

Lane 1 came in the house from school, saw the black box containing her ashes on a table.

He picked it up, shook it near his ear, and said, "Hey Mom, what's in the box?"

In a very melancholy voice I said, "Juanita."

"Hope I didn't make ya dizzy. Sorry Juanita," he said as he placed the box back down and patted the top, as if it were her head.

"Can we look in the box?" he asked seconds later.

"No, I don't think that would be very respectful."

"So I guess play ring-around-the-rosy with her is outta the question too, huh?" he joked. "Get it Mom? Ashes, ashes, we all fall down."

I hope you can see why this cool thing isn't really working for me. I could write for hours telling you about cute stuff he has said or done in the past. But that would be gay!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Obligatory Gift Giving

Who the hell are all of these people on my list, and why do I have to buy presents for them? I made my list and checked it twice, and I found out I only like three people on my "To Buy For" list. Why is it that every year I feel I have to get something for everyone?

Over the weekend while visiting friends, I heard those dreaded words, "You guys are going to love what we got you for Christmas!" Not only are they done shopping, these alleged friends had broken the unwritten rule of friendship. Maybe I'm the only one who lives by this rule, but for me and my real friends it works. I buy for the have tos, you know like family. And because my family is Irish Catholic, there are way too many of us. Doesn't anyone play cards anymore? No. For our family, it's all about procreation, which as it seems, most of us can't even do that right. We basically have a gang of 25 nieces and nephews who are all as rotten as the day is long.

The majority of my list, is an exact replica of Santa's naughty list! These little brats don't deserve presents, they deserve Ritalin. I wonder if that comes in holiday colors?

Listen, panic is setting in, big time! I have ten days to shop for 35 people. I haven't bought nary a gift. Yeah, I know I said I would get in the spirit once I found the most perfect Christmas tree but nothing is happening on the inside. I feel nothing.

I put on my thinking cap this morning to search my mind for what is wrong with my Christmas spirit. I went as far back as the birth of Jesus. Hold your holy horses for a second. These "wisemen" gave a baby what? Okay people, I now have proof that baby Jesus was the first regifter.

What the hell is a baby going to do with Frankincense and Myrrh? He's gonna regift it, that's what. The gold? Well, he probably kept that. I mean what newborn king doesn't need a little bling bling in his life?

If the wisemen were women, they would have shown up with a rattle, a diaper and a bottle that says "I Heart Jesus Me!" It would have been a little more like the first baby shower, rather than the first Christmas.

So with my thinking cap firmly attached to my head, I thought what would Jesus do? (Hey, I've heard that somewhere before.) Anyhow, I went into my kids' bedrooms, dusted off some barely used toys and planned out my regifting. Whadya mean it's not regifting if I steal from my children? I bought most of that crap, so in a sense, it's mine to take. Maybe this cap is on too tight.

Okay, so I have no plan of shopping attack. But, I have found out where my Christmas spirit is hiding. The whole damn thing is too commercialized. There are too many gifts to buy for people I would rather not, and the hamster who runs the wheel in my head knows it and as a result has gone on strike. Great, now I'm really screwed!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Christmas Came Early

Yesterday I was given an early Christmas gift. It was the best gift I could have ever asked for. I'd thought several times how badly I wanted this but never spoke the words aloud. My gift was given by a mysterious force. Someone, somewhere was looking out for me.

I looked out of my living room window early Sunday morning and there it was, a moving van. I've never been so happy to see a neighbor move away! Before you begin with preconceived notions that I'm evil for wishing away a neighbor during the holiday season, I'll share some background.

She moved in five very long months ago. She was the neediest neighbor I've ever come in contact with. My first encounter with her should have been a neon sign, warning me of what I was in for. She saw me on my deck barbequing. After saying hello, she complimented the aroma coming from my grill. She hinted at being hungry after a long day of moving. As the food came off of the grill, she had visible drool hanging from her mouth.

"That looks as good as it smells," she said, standing tiptoed, stretching her neck to see while licking her lips.

Even though she was a good 400 plus pounds and could have lived off the fat of the land, I considered offering her something. But before I could open my mouth to speak, she had the balls to ask if I had any extras. I handed over two pork chops and some pasta salad and this broad had the audacity to ask if I had any soda. I went in the house, reluctantly grabbed a can of Diet Pepsi (hint, hint Orka) and a glass of ice.

I never saw my plate, fork or my glass again. It was a small price to pay to get rid of her for good. This lady isn't your average neighbor, she is psycho.

As time went on things became weirder and weirder. One of those times I was outside minding my own business watching and following Lane 1 and Lane 2, as they took turns cutting our grass on the riding lawnmower. She had just backed out of her driveway. Two minutes later, the County Sheriff pulls into my driveway, lights on. She called the police on me!

All of us stop what we are doing and approach the squad. First he asked a lot of questions. "Have you seen anything unusual in the neighborhood? Has anyone been at your neighbor's house? Have you seen any unfamiliar cars? What times of day and night are you home?" Then he asked the kids to go play so "the grown ups could talk".

My mind raced along with my heart, damn my parents for raising me with Catholic guilt! He said, "Your neighbor (I call her Lulu since she looks a lot like Boss Hog's girlfriend, only bigger) called us and said that you have been sneaking into her house when she isn't home and stealing from her."


The officer said, "Well, she said you took all of her frozen food out of her kitchen freezer."

"Her... frozen food?"

"Ma'am, you understand I have to respond to all calls." I think I saw a tiny smirk on his face.

"Yes, but sir. I mean, well, I just..." I couldn't contain myself any longer and busted out laughing. I tried to apologize but was laughing too hard. Before long, Officer Friendly was laughing with me. He said she has a history of calling in crazy reports. He also said he was disappointed to find out her latest move was on his beat.

I was glad the officer didn't really think I'd stolen her frozen food by tunneling through the side of her garage as she reported. After he assessed her house and took his report from me the officer turned back to his squad. I waved goodbye and reminded him to put an APB out on that bag of Pizza Rolls.

As Lulu and her moving van pulled out of her driveway, I couldn't contain my smile. I thought briefly of It's A Wonderful Life. Clarence said, "One man's life touches so many others, when he's not there it leaves an awfully big hole." And then I thought, hole schmole! Merry Christmas to me!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Too Cool For Christmas

I knew it would happen one day, I mean, it was only a matter of time. Why was I so surprised? I remember going through this myself at some point. What the hell am I talking about? My son, Mr. Cool.

Yesterday was chop-down-a-tree-in-the-forest-day at the Lane household. If you read my post "Christmas Tree Tradition" you have an idea of how this tradition has gone in years past. It is the one part of Christmas that all of the Lanes thoroughly enjoyed, until now.

The twinkle in his eyes was just not there as I gently shoved him in Santa's direction. "Son, Santa won't know what you want if you don't tell him." I smiled.

With a roll of his eyes he whispered, "Come on Mom, this is gay."

Gay is no longer a sexually derogatory word. It doesn't mean happy either. Gay now means foolish, or if you're 12 years old, it means stooopid. Retarded also falls under the same definition nowadays. Mr. Cool has been keeping my hip to the jive.

"Santa's sexual preferences are none of our business," I whispered back. "Now go so they can take your picture."

Shoulders hunched, arms swinging angrily at his sides, he went. "Hi Santa," he said while approaching.

"Ho-ho-ho! Have a seat young man, and tell Santa what you would like for Christmas."

There was this look in Mr. Cool's eyes that screamed, "This is so gay! I can't believe I am sitting on this guy's lap!" But out of respect for me and the poor guy in the suit, he humored us.

"Santa, I would like a couple of model cars for my room."

The photographer, armed with a fancy Polaroid shouted, "Smile for the camera big boy!"

You could see him cringe, as the photographer's words echoed through the makeshift North Pole. In fact the cringe came out crystal clear in the picture.

Lane 2, my sweet little girl, was happy to hop up onto Santa's lap and rattle off her must have list. She told him her report card revealed all "A"s and said she would "Really appreciate it if my gifts could reflect my grades." Demanding little smarty pants, huh?

What happened to the sweet little boy who used to run up to Santa and say all of those cute things?

He wasn't just too cool for Santa, he walked to the sleigh ride with a strut only a proud peacock could appreciate. Clydesdales towed us through the forest, taking a dump every few feet. Mr. Cool pulled his coat over his face missing out on the scenic part of our tree tradition.

Armed with a saw, wagon and measuring stick, we then walked about seven miles, where we spotted it, the most perfect Christmas tree in the forest.

With a shrug of his shoulders, Mr. Cool said, "It's okay, I guess."

"Okay? It's the best darn tree in the whole wide world, and it's ours!" I proclaimed.

Lane 2 chimed in, "Yeah!"

It's Mr. Cool's job to cut down the tree and this was the only part of the tradition that he wasn't too cool for. Saw in hand, down on the ground, a quick back-and-forth motion and he was finished. Too big to struggle like he has in the past or maybe, he was too cool for a struggle.

I "accidentally" let the tree fall on him as the final cut sliced through the remaining trunk. Lane 2 and I quietly giggled and lifted the tree off of him. Hey, he was smiling! A real twinkely-eyed smile. Mr. Cool was having fun!

Our seven mile trek back was exhausting but we had the best tree in the forest. And Lane 2 and I were accompanied by the coolest 12 year old on the planet! Who could ask for anything more?

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Santa's Screw Up

I hope Santa is a little more on the ball now than he was in Christmases past. By "Christmases past" I really mean the one in the year 1970-something. Or, as I like to call it, the year of Santa's screw-up.

Santa, who obviously was having a bad year or drank too much spiked eggnog, did not get me the one thing I wanted more than anything in the world. I was a little girl with big hopes of a Raggedy Ann or Andy doll under my Christmas tree.

I didn't get either of them. They both were under my tree, however. Tragically (to me at the time) the "To" and "From" tag did not reveal my name. Instead, written in that oh-so-familiar writing was, "To: Angie, From: Santa." I was devastated.

I remember it like it was yesterday. My heart sank, tears welled up, my belly was hot inside and I tried to act like everything was right with the world. My world, as I knew it, hit a downward spiral but I tried not to let it show as I unwrapped the Twister game I didn't ask for.

What was so mystifying to me was that my sister Angie, who is about two years older than me, didn't even like Raggedy Ann or Andy. Why Santa got them for her, I couldn't figure out for the life of me. I was hurt, crushed, heartbroken and all kinds of mad.

In addition to not being nearly as good as me that year, Angie told everyone she was getting too old to play with dolls. Being the youngest in a family with eight kids, I always was getting overlooked. Santa, whom I'd always held to a higher standard, was not supposed to be like my Mom and call me by the wrong name. I thought he certainly couldn't forget me, the smiley, freckled-faced kid who didn't cry or wet her pants when she sat on his lap at the mall.

Boy, was I wrong! That fat prick not only forgot me but gave the best present in the whole wide world to the meanest, nastiest bitch on the planet, Angie. Damn Angie! Damn that fat SOB and his stupid reindeer! I vowed if I ever saw Santa again, I would stuff my giant candy cane in his giant ass.

There sat Angie, the dolls flung to the side as she scrambled to see what else she got.

"What an ungrateful greedy brat!" I thought. "How could she just toss them aside like that?"

I hated her! I hated that she had what I wanted, and I was stuck with a game that not even my imaginary friend would play with me.

Had Santa completely lost his fucking mind? He gave this wonderful gift to the same kid who should have been at the top of the naughty list. This was the same girl who used to sit on my chest, pin my arms with her knees and dangle spit in my face. Sure she sucked it back before it actually landed on me, most of the time. I had nightmares about bungee cord luggies attacking me and she got my fucking doll!

I slid closer to her, hoping to not be noticed. As I inched my way over and almost got my hand on one of those dolls, she turned her head, (like Linda Blair in the Exorcist) and said, "Aren't they cute?"

"Of course they are cute, you twit" I thought. "But I knew they were cute WAY before you did."

I asked her if she really, really, really liked them or if she was up for a trade. I looked to my bartering items and all I had to work with was a can of slime, a Slinky, a bag of marbles, bubble bath foam, an Easy-Bake Oven without the light bulb and a stupid game I didn't ask for.

I was denied immediately. She claimed to love those dolls, as they lay facedown tossed aside like yesterday's trash. Of course, she also claimed to love me. I'm sure you can understand why I had doubts.

Later that day, I hoped the thrill would wear off. As I awaited her loss of interest, I saw her. She was stripping them. (Every kid strips the dolls they like the most, it's an unwritten rule in the Guide To Playing With Dolls.) There it was, underneath the little jumper outfits, a heart, on each doll's chest, inscribed with the words "I Love You" and that was it, she was in love, for real. She didn't just think they were cute, now she really loved them.

I was kind of hoping the novelty would wear off. It didn't. After 20 years in therapy, I think I might be over it. OK, I am. I really am over it. I was able to overcome such a horrific time in my childhood because Angie ended up loving those dolls more than I was capable of. Although, I am still pissed off at Santa, I'm learning to deal with that as well.

Angie no longer pins me down to dangle luggies at me but she still loves Raggedy Ann, Andy and their dog Raggedy Arthur. They have a fucking dog? I didn't know that! Of course if I had, that fat bastard at the North Pole probably would have made sure my sister got him too.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Christmas Tree Tradition

A dear friend quietly, through e-mail, brought it to my attention that I came across a bit selfish, self-centered and sounded down right greedy in my last post (The Ghost Of Christmas Shopping Seasons Past). Lucky for her she is a good friend! Anyhow, that was just one of many thoughts and posts I have at my fingertips about Christmas. So, dear friend, shut your pie hole and buy me something nice!

I haven't started my Christmas shopping. I've made a couple of lists of whos and whats, and my kids have given me their lists, which is a start. If I'm lucky, I'll get at least half of my shopping done before the eve of the Eve.

It's not so much that I am a Scrooge or a procrastinator, but the feeling of Christmas for me only sinks in after I get a tree, which hasn't happened yet either.

This Saturday the Lane family will take a sleigh ride into a tree farm forest, and chop down our very own Christmas tree. Next, grown people, dressed as elves, will stick the tree into a shaker machine, you know, to make sure it doesn't turn into a Mickey Mouse, Chip N Dale cartoon at the Lane estate.

From there, Santa will have a little talk with the eldest Lane child about his grades. And hopefully Santa will discuss with him how the naughty list works and how tormenting his sister, resulting in her screaming, to the point of making his mother's eardrums bleed, is the fastest way to get on said list. Santa also will speak with my lovely young daughter about screaming, and tell her how kids who scream get reindeer poop in their stockings. Smile for the camera kids! An overpriced Polaroid of my kids and Santa is just another tradition to getting our tree.

As the photo develops we will mosey on over to the gift shop, where I will look at all of the crafts and holiday doodads and say, "I could make that!" Next stop, hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows, which we will sip while sitting near the wood burning stove, while listening to Christmas music playing over the loud speakers.

With our tongues scalded and our hot chocolate gone, we will head over to the main gate. Another grown up, typically a grumpy elf, will measure our tree and give us our grand total. With tree, tree care instructions, receipt and twine in hand, we will strap it to our vehicle and head back home. And the feeling of Christmas will begin to sink in. And chances are a smile will cross my face as I think, "I wonder how many presents I'm gonna get!"

Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Ghost Of Christmas Shopping Seasons Past

As the Christmas season sneaks up on me, I am reminded of many Christmases past. The first I recall was the year of the job. I think you all have been through this one. It was the year I had my first good paying job and fell into shopoholic mode. I didn’t realize what was happening until my money was spent. But how wonderful the faces looked as they unveiled what I worked so hard to purchase for them. My loved ones "ooohhhed" and "aaahhhed" at the sight of the expensive gifts that were hidden behind the perfectly wrapped boxes. It wasn’t until much later the following day that I realized not only had I overspent, but I was the only one who had. I’m not saying it isn’t the thought that counts. A comparable gift would've, however, been nice. So I sat broke with my crappy gifts considering taking them back to the store for what I really wanted. I then realized that most of my family members either shopped at trade shows, auctions or had removed every last tag leaving me wondering where in the world they shopped.

Another year, much like the “Hard Candy Christmas” Dolly Parton sang of, also comes to mind. It was the year my heart was overflowing with the spirit of giving but there was one tiny problem. I was totally broke. It was the year I would have felt proud to bring a jar of hard candy to those I cared most about. Instead I baked. The alternative was wrapping things others had given me that I hadn’t used from the year before. In the back of my mind I knew those things would certainly be better birthday gifts if my financial situation didn’t clear up in time for my mom’s birthday. So I worked feverishly to bake my best Christmas cookies. The thrill of that year came when my grandmother said, "There is nothing sweeter than a gift made by your own two hands." I then knew, she too, had experienced a Hard Candy Christmas or two in her time.

A few years later came the year of the grab bag. That was the year I only bought one gift. It was a gift for someone whose name I pulled out of a hat on Thanksgiving Day. Sure it was great for me financially but when I finally realized I also would receive only one gift, I had doubts about how great it was.

The year of plastic is one that seems to rear it’s ugly little head every few years or so. It is usually followed by a Hard Candy Christmas. A week before Thanksgiving, every credit card company is offering the lowest rates. They told me that I was a valued client. They made me sign on the dotted line. They reeled me in and at the moment I thought the card couldn’t have come at a better time. So every gift I purchased, I was buying now and paying later. I walked out of the mall with bags up each arm, barely able to open the car door but my wallet was as full as when I first got there. Minus the cost of the yummy Mint Chocolate Dippin' Dots I ate while shopping. I thought the year of plastic was a wonderful concept, until mid-January that is.

When each family member had children of their own, the year of the kid came into play. It was the beginning of an era. Everyone only bought for the kids. Every kid got everything they ever imagined. Spoiled little bastids! Us adults, however, had to rely solely on our significant other if we were to get any gifts. Does the song, “I’m Gettin’ Nothin’ For Christmas” ring a bell to anyone?

Secret's Out

So I finally spilled the beans about my blog, well sort of. For one unsuspecting fellow blogger, he learned of my lurking on his site and the existence of this site after I linked him. In my own defense, The Princess (his lovely lady friend) told me I could. (Insert na-na-na-boo-boo here.)

If you link me to yours, thanks in advance. Please shoot me an e-mail to let me know, which is now my policy for linking others to mine. It's nice to know where I've been.

For me, telling people about this blog is like coming out of the closet, only I'm not gay. At first I was all sorts of nervous thinking it sucked. Then a friend told me, it doesn't matter if it sucks! Thanks, pal!

I've always been a writer and haven't always been paid to do so. Getting paid to write basically meant, selling my soul to the devil and not getting weekends off. Otherwise, it's been quite painless. I'm doing this blogging thing for fun. To get the lead out. To spill the beans about stuff editors won't let me share and to give a lighthearted prospective on things that effect my life.

Anyhow, this sounds like a new about me section. I'll write something that sucks less, later.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

A Rude Awakening ~ A Day Of Infamy

Yesterday marked a very important day, a day of infamy. While I was wrapped up in the thoughts of sinking my teeth into a warm, sweet doughnut, the back of my mind kept saying, "Mention Tom!" There is no way to fuse the attack on Pearl Harbor with Krispy Kremes, so today, I'll mention Tom. I always seem to be, a day late and a dollar short. Why should this time be any different?

I interviewed Tom for a newspaper story honoring the anniversary. Editors have certain rules they have to enforce to be politically correct and because of that, some of the best things Tom talked about were cut out of the story. So here is what they didn't want you to read.

December 7, 1941 at 7:55 a.m., Tom Prindiville was caught with his pants down. He was a 20 year old Third Class Gunner's Mate in the US Navy. Sound asleep on the Battleship Maryland, docked at Pearl Harbor, Tom might have been dreaming, maybe the ship wasn't rocking and the smell of smoke was all in his twilight imagination.

"I woke up wearing nothing but my skivvies. We were tied to the Oklahoma and the Japs were attacking. Torpedoes hit the Oklahoma. The bombs and ships blowing up got everybody awake. It was a mess. They already got us before I knew what was going on. It had been such nice warm weather, which is how I got by in just my underpants. There was no time to put clothes on so I jumped out of my bunk and got into position. Hell, it wasn't until the next day before I had time to put some clothes on."

The blue Hawaiian sky filled with black smoke. As the Battleship Okalahoma was repeatedly bombed, Tom thought about the lives that were certain to be lost. Men he trained with, friends he'd made and his own mortality all flashed before him.

"You kept a stiff upper lip and did what needed doing. It's still fresh in my mind. I saw the planes diving in and things blowing up all around me. I'll never forget his beady little eyes looking so hateful at me as that pilot flew right by. It was one of the few times I had real eye contact with one of the Japs. We took him down."

He said the news at the time never mentioned talks of a potential attack from the Japanese weeks beforehand. "Oh, we knew alright. We just didn't know when it was going to happen."

Tom, like so many, had just finished training at the time of the attack. He said so many of his comrades were not ready for what they endured. During those times of war, there were no psychologists on hand and even some of the medical doctors were also fresh out of training.

Tom was one of the lucky ones. "The worst thing that happened to me was the burns I got from the hot cases flying out of my gun. I had burns on my arms, hands and legs. Wasn't so bad. At least I got to put my pants on the next day."

At the age of 83, Tom closes his eyes, thinks back to that day and said, "It's been so long ago, you just don't let it bother you anymore. War hit you like a ton in the first place, but you made yourself get used to it because it's all you could do." A smile crossed his face, "Heck, I went through many battles after Pearl Harbor and I made damn sure to keep my pants right by the bed, as to not get caught in my skivvies again."

During the interview Tom shared his scrapbook with me, which is another thing the editor didn't care about. For me, it was a look back to a different time and place. I saw a picture of Tom, who happened to be a damn good looking guy back then, holding a bare-breasted Hula girl in one hand and a Mai Tai in the other, with a smile on his face that he said meant, "If this is war, let me pull out my gun sweetie."

Thanks Tom for sharing your whole story!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Glazed And Confused

The latest diet craze has all but killed the doughnut giant Krispy Kreme. Their financials are not looking so hot and some stores may close soon. It took Illinois way too long to get on the Krispy Kreme Kaboose and they better not take it away!

I'd heard such wonderful things about these plain, glazed doughnuts for so long from my friends down south. I was thrilled when they finally came to the big city of Chicago!

I remember my first visit like it was yesterday...

...When I arrived, following a 40 minute drive (yes I drove that far for a doughnut.) there was a line of cars that wrapped around the building like an oversized belt. The building had this wafting deliciousness seeping out of it and I knew I was going to be in love. I could have stood in the parking lot taking in that aroma for hours but I didn't. I needed to know if this was like popcorn or bacon, does it taste as good as it smells while it's cooking? I had to know.

I walked in to see a weaved line of patrons in rows much like at an airport terminal. There were scores of wide-eyed, smiling children lined up watching the doughnuts come off of the conveyer belt. Their little faces were pressed against the glass and their hot breath was steaming up the window. Some of them were wearing paper Krispy Kreme hats as if their future as a doughnut baker was only a wish away.

I was astounded how quickly the line moved. I was mesmerized how many dozen each person bought. Before long it was my turn. My good intentions were there but when I heard the people before me ordering dozen upon dozen, I thought, "Hey, save some water for the fishes!" No wait, that's what I said to the kid at the drinking fountain.

Anyhow, in my mind I thought, "Finally it's my turn, and there are still plenty of fresh doughnuts on the conveyor."

"One glazed please." I said, ever so politely.
"Dozen glazed!" the lady shouted.
"No ma'am, one doughnut, please. Not a dozen."
Loud enough for all to hear, she said, "You just want ONE doughnut suga?"

Immediately, the man behind me laughed. He said, "You ain't been here before have ya? Trust me on this, get a couple dozen."

"But, I, well, what if I? Sorry ma'am. I'd like one dozen please and this Milk Chug."

I was pressured into buying more than my "In moderation" intention, but it was worth it, they were everything I hoped they could be. Until...

...I got in my car to head back home. Facing another 40 minute drive with the divine aroma wafting so strongly through my car, not even my Christmas Tree shaped pine air freshener hanging from my rearview mirror could stop me from trying one.

I convinced myself it was okay to eat and drive. I thought, "If I wait until I get home, they'll be cold and my milk will be warm." With that, I opened the box. I took one out, closed the box, cracked the seal on my milk and took my first bite. In a very What About Bob sort of way, I complimented its tastiness aloud. I took another bite. It just melted in my mouth. I took a swig of my milk and another bite, swig-bite, bite-swig and it was gone. But it happened so quickly! "Oh heck", I thought with a shrug of my shoulders, "What's one more?"

I repeated this process four times. And it really seemed like a good idea at the time.

I was two blocks away from my house before I realized, it wasn't a good idea. The warm dough began rising inside of me and my gut started to swell. I felt like Violet from Willy Wonka, only I wasn't turning violet. I think I was turning green. I unbuttoned my jeans just incase. I thought if they popped on their own the button could break my windshield. Better safe than sorry.

Oh, but I was sorry. Sorry I had been peer pressured into buying more than the one single doughnut I wanted. Sorry I had driven all that way. Sorry I drank all of that Milk Chug. Sorry I had eaten so many doughnuts. Sorry because I knew better!

I don't have any statistical information to back me on this, but I'm willing to bet I am not the only person who has overindulged in Krispy Kremes. I learned my lesson. And now, like everything else, I eat those in moderation.

During my first experience with Krispy Kreme, I did not heed my own warning and for this I paid, oh yes I paid. Does that mean I intend to sue the sweet-warm-melt-in-your-mouth-delicious-giant because of a tummy ache and a potentially doughnut shaped figure I could have achieved as a result of not being able to control myself when faced with their yummy goodness? No.

I wish Krispy Kreme luck with their financial status during the holidays when more and more people vow on New Year's Eve that carbs are the enemy. I would hate to see them close up shop here in Illinois.

So remember it's not carbs people, it's willpower and like a warm-fresh-off-the-conveyor-doughnut, the willpower is in you.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

The Passing Of The Spatula

As the Christmas holiday approaches, I can't help but think how I am not looking forward to this year's feast. Every year, for all of my life, I've been treated to my mother's culinary gifts. Mom is the world's greatest cook. Okay, so maybe we all think that about our mothers.

Anyhow, Mom also has always prepared Thanksgiving dinner. This year, things were a little different, which is what has me not so thrilled about Christmas dinner.

My sister, the oldest of the girls in my eight-sibling family, is slowly being introduced to the kitchen and its workings. My mother, for whatever reason, thought it would be a good idea to direct our Thanksgiving dinner as my sister prepared it.

Some people should not step foot into a kitchen. My sister is one of those people. Thanksgiving wasn't a complete train wreck, however, it did provide a few bumps and bruises even without a visit from Uncle Drunken Fool. While attempting to mash potatoes, my sister managed to wedge her hand in the hand mixer. Apparently she took the words, "hand mixer" literally.

She tried to explain how it happened. To be honest, I didn't listen to her complete description of the events, I was laughing too hard. It had something to do with trying to get the beaters out and rather than hitting the eject button, she hit the turbo-high speed button.

The whole thing struck me really funny. Besides the fact that she got stuck in the hand mixer, she kept calling it a blender. For all of you novice cooks, those are two entirely different kitchen appliances.

Following the story of the "Attack of the Killer Blender," my Chef Boyardee sister explained why she did not make the holiday Jell-O. She said something about the killer blender and how it already attacked her once and she'd be damned if it were going to happened to her again. I was going to tell my sister that a hand mixer (or blender, as she likes to call it) is not a required tool when making Jell-O, but I didn't want to confuse her anymore than she obviously already was. So like Jell-O, I let it slide.

I hope anyone reading this can understand why I am less than thrilled about this next holiday meal.

I should have known better, I should have said I was dieting, I should have said I'm allergic, I should have... ordered takeout.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

This Shelia Is No Fan Of The Crocodile Hunter

Steve Erwin, better known as the Crocodile Hunter, is my idea of television for men. I'm thinking maybe they might want to use that as the slogan. Much like cable TV has "Television For Women" on Lifetime, you know all of those sappy movies that make chicks cry, cable also has the Crocodile Hunter.

After seeing his show only a couple of times, I am certain it is a chest-thumping guy's guy show all the way.

Does anyone remember Jane Goodall? She was the lovely lady who dedicated her life to the study of chimpanzees. She would sit just observing the animals while taking notes. Occasionally she would interact with them but not until they first interacted with her. And her idea of interaction was smiling and not reaching out to them.

Steve Erwin is in a league of his own. He goes out and torments nature. He serves no good purpose to the animals that fall victim to his insanity.

Like a typical man, he can't just leave well enough alone.

Here is one of the scenarios I've witnessed from seeing the show. (Slight exaggeration may occur based on the amount of energy I have to exploit.)

Erwin, dressed in his khaki shorts and partly buttoned-up shirt takes a ride into the wild in some type of SUV. He parks it in an area where an animal mom is preparing to give birth. He gets out of his, we'll call it a Hummer, and walks up to a mother dingo.

While only a short distance away from the mom dingo's pushing and panting, he says, "Would ya look at the size of that momma. She's big as a grizzly. Dane-ja, dane-ja, dane-ja... she's enormous."

Fact is, she was the size of an average dingo, or in America, a medium sized dog.

He continued, "Get a load of those sharp choppas. Oh, wouldn't she like to get a bite of someone messin' 'round with one of those pups? Let's move in a bit closa, shall we?"

OK, here is how Erwin relates more to men when it comes to giving birth in the real world. Erwin, staring at the camera with a cringing look on his face says, "Crikey, that's gotta hurt."

Now, squatting less than a foot away from the mother dingo, hanging his head upside-down to look beneath her tail, he said, "Crikey...," he gasps for a breath of air, "That pup is wantin' out in a bad way. Ain't it amazin'? The little critta just popped out. Crikey, this is really something."

Thanks Crocodile Hunter. You have given us all a wonderful play-by-play and now I hope the mother dingo eats you!

Maybe one day I'll actually sit down and watch some of that "Television For Women". It can't get any worse than what I've already witnessed. But if it does, you have a pretty good chance of reading all about it right here!