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Monday, October 31, 2005

This Is No Trick!

An agent e-mailed me over the weekend. Before we all get excited, and begin reserving a copy of the book, I need to send a proposal to the agency. I won't get an official "yes" until I've sold them with this proposal. The skeleton of what I intend to send is ready to rock and roll. I just need to add a little meaty goodness to the draft.

Part of the proposal request is reader testimonials. Since you guys are my readers, here is where I ask for your help. Only agree if you want to. You are in no way obligated, whatsoever. I'm thrilled to just have you here.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a letter saying what it is about my writing you like. Do I remind you of anyone? How do you relate to my stories? Is there a certain memory triggered by reading something I've written? Will you still love me in the morning? (trick question to make sure you are paying attention)

You can be short and quick like a comment or longer and more descriptive. I could use "nameless testimonials," pulled from my comments but I think it looks better to have "real people" attached to them. Please send testimonials to .

If you missed it, Friday's post was pretty damn funny. But, the comments were funnier. Thanks to all of you for cracking me up all weekend long.

Want to read a truly spooky story? Go here and read all about my twin who was murdered.

Tomorrow's tale, Mr. Lane is a big scardy cat who screams like a girl. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2005

I'm On Top Of The World, Looking Down On Creation...

You were singing that headline weren't you? Haha! Me too!

Thanks to those of you who voted fairly for Home Fires at the Whozontop site. I'm going with my gut, removing the voting poll. It seems that someone in the UK, Japan, Canada, Italy, Slovenia, France and the Philippines want their sites to be on top. They have been coming over to Home Fires, voting the site down and voting themselves up. I don't have time for games. This blog is for fun not fighting. If you are one of those people, I'm sorry you didn't want to play fair. My repeat readers and my other stats show me, I'm on top, enough. So there you go, you win. You are officially on top.

Now, for today's real post:

Dragged to the mall, against my will, last weekend by my daughter, I did a little people watching. My little girl is growing like a weed. I've taken her to all of the non-mall stores you can think of, and have yet to find anything that fits her beanpole body shape.

Mall stores carry weird heroine model sized clothing. Not that my daughter is one of them, but, at the age of 10, her height 5'6" and her waist not quite 20", she sure could be one.

As she dragged me store-to-store, I was amazed how crowded the mall was. It's not even the day after Thanksgiving. Most of the people there are the kind I would avoid, like the PTA president for instance.

Just as I was about to give up hope of seeing anyone interesting, in my people watching venture, I spotted him from a distance. A handsome young face. Nearly zit free. A little young for me. "16 will get ya 20 Lo," said the voices in my head. Just kidding that would be fucking sick. The real reason this young man caught my eye was because he was wearing a scrolling belt buckle. Bright red text was zooming across his waistband. I really wanted to know what it said. But I also had no intentions of looking that closely to a young man's netheregion.

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My imagination went wild, thinking of what a young man might put on a scrolling belt buckle.

"Eat @ Moe's"

"Only Hungry People Look"

"Beef, It's What's For Dinner"

"Kiss Me I'm Irish Horny"

"Take A Seat And We'll Talk About The First Thing To Pop Up"

"Here's A Popup Ad You Won't Mind"

"Dick! The Other White Meat."

"Tastes Great. Less Filling."

I heard brakes squeal in my head as if a head-on collision was about to take place. "Lois, get your head out of the gutter, ya pig! This is a young boy. He wouldn't have such disgusting statements running across his waistline. Shame on you."

Still, not wanting to look that closely to the boys lower half, I approached him. I casually wrapped my arm around him and said, "An old lady like me looking at your crotch to see what your belt says would be very wrong. So, would you mind telling me what it says?"

His friends were laughing, he was blushing. "It has my name on there."

"Why? Do you forget who you are sometimes?"

"Haha. Um... no. I just couldn't think of something funny to program it to say."

I shared a couple of my ideas with him as his friends scrambled for a pen. It took me about 20 minutes to realize I had just set a really bad example for a 16-year-old boy and his three buddies, who incidentally ran to borrow a pen and paper to write down some of those gems.

I would like to publicly apologize to the parents of the boy, right here and now for being a bad influence. This can be added to the laundry list of reasons, why Lois should not be in the mall.

It's your turn. If you had a scrolling belt buckle, what would yours say?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Always On My Mind

I spent a lot of time wracking my brain about what to send Todd, the big winner in last week's "pulled it out of my ass" contest. First I checked out basic gifts, coffee mugs, tee-shirts, tote bags, whips and chains, personalized with the Home Fires Logo, of course. Then I remembered, I don't have a logo.

In an attempt to create one, I was distracted by a design program, but that project somehow turned into considering a Café Press online store, where I could display all of my creations. If I ever got to creating anything, that is.

As most of you know, my mind is a little wasteland. After staring blankly at all of the items I could adhere my logo (which was still not created) to, my mind considered other things that could be added to the items. Little blog related catch phrases came to mind. Before long, I was not thinking about Todd. (sorry Todd)

"The best part of waking up, is Lois in your cup"

"Let's give 'em something to Blog about"

"Bloggers do it write"

"You've got questions. We've got Blog"

"Once you go Blog, you never go back... Unless you need a little break, or your stooopid job consumes all of your time"

"Keep talking out of your ass. I need more Blog material"

"Got Blog?"

"Blog, the fresh maker"

"There's no wrong way to eat read a Blog"

"I'm Cuckoo for Blogging"

"Built Blog tough"

"I am so Blogging about this"

"I'd rather be Blogging"

"Blogging makes the world go 'round"

"Blogs don't kill people. People kill Blogs"

"Friends don't let friends Blog while drunk"

It was then I thought about Todd. He isn't a blogger, but he does use the computer.

How about, "All of my real friends live in my computer"

Or maybe, "I gave up my crack habit for the internet"

Everything I considered, seemed to be an insult. How could I possibly insult Todd? I couldn't. So I decided to wait until the Sox won the World Series, and then I'd get him a baseball hat.

Or a poster-sized version of this little gem?

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You got slogans? Bring 'em. You think Home Fires needs an online store? And if the cap for Todd is a bad idea, someone hurry and give me a better idea.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Father Knows Best?

I'm short on time today so I will leave you with... Redneck Marshmallow Roasting

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Here is Lane 1 roasting mini-marshmallows on a toothpick with a cigarette lighter. His father taught him that little trick. What neat tricks did your parents teach you? And what neat tricks are you teaching your kids?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Won't You Tell Me Why

Jamie Dawn asked, "You don't want to be Clifford the Big Red Dog? WHY NOT???"

Excellent question JD. The truth is, I've already done that. Once. Knowing now what I didn't then, I won't be dressing in that suit. Ever. Again.

Clifford the Big Red Dog has been around long enough that everyone recognizes him. He is a childhood icon. My initial thoughts of being Clifford for a few hours were certainly pride-filled. People, from a distance, were great. Once they spotted Clifford a smile lit up their faces.

I arrived at the PTA meeting place early so none of the kids would see me. I put the suit on right over my clothes. The smell inside of the Clifford head, left much to be desired. As teachers and staff arrived, I was there to greet them. I simply stood in the costume outside waving at them and every passerby. Seeing a grumpy teacher exit her car, and suddenly smile, after I waved, made me feel like the day was going to be great. Even the smell of the suit seemed less bothersome.

Early on, the people smiling at me brought a smile to my face, but since my face was hiding inside a steamy dog head, there weren't many reasons to smile as the morning progressed.

My brain grew foggy from the steam of my own breath, I could see what appeared to be a small child running quickly toward me. Imagine a sweet 5-year-old, curly haired blonde, smiling ear-to-ear, arms outstretched, with the power of a linebacker. I saw her coming through the mesh Clifford eyes. There was nowhere to run. There was nowhere to hide. She flung her body at me with such force, if I had balls, they would have been in my stomach. Forever.

The Clifford suit should really come with extra crotch padding because that beautiful little girl broke my cooter bone. Luckily for me, Clifford's face doesn't change when you're in excruciating pain in your groin area. I couldn't even grab hold of my painful area because, yeah, Pervy the Cooter Clutching Big Red Dog, maybe wouldn't be such a good idea.

You never forget your first, however, many other small children followed her head butting ways as they ran up to Clifford for a hug. Some taller children were able to bash their little heads right into my gut, taking my breath away, when they zoomed in for hugs.

Kids, fourth grade and up, have no business being entertained by Clifford. They have outgrown him, and see him as merely a fun thing to torment. The older boys kept shaking my paw with kung-foo grip. The older girls were trying to get me to let them all pile on my lap for a photo op. Some pointed and laughed. There was also a fascination with the Clifford nose. Countless little hands reached up to give it a pinch. Many intentionally stepped on my doggy feet, which, incidentally, had no shoes on underneath. A small handful of parents tried peeking through the mesh to see the sucker behind the red suit.

The highlight of that day was two kindergarteners. They were having a tug-o-war over my tail. I spun around in circles trying to stop them. Instead I just looked like some big dopey ass, giant, red dog chasing my tail.

The PTA president, who roped me into the Clifford gig, assigned another parent helper to guide me through the day. She showed up late and spent most of the time kibitzing with teachers. She finally spotted the boys trying to rip my tail off.

She placed her hand on my rear end, took the tail away from the boys and said, "Boys! You are going to hurt Clifford." She wagged my tail at them. "Now, tell Clifford you are sorry and give him a big hug."

As they fought over who was going to apologize and hug me first, I reached for both of them. I gave a nice big hug as I clunked their bratty little heads together. I placed my doggy paw to my mouth as if to say, "ooops." Underneath that steaming head I was laughing and making a mental note to myself. "Dear Lois, if you ever dress up as Clifford again, you will find yourself in a padded room. Just say no, Lo. Just say no!"

And that, Jamie Dawn, is why I hightailed my ass out of that school Friday.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Off The Hook

What began as the PTA president's way of torturing me, ended better than I could have imagined. Friday morning, I arrived for book sale duty at 8 a.m. I was prepared to screw up the mission assigned, so I wouldn't be called upon again by the evil one. Books lined shelves in the hallway and kids walked around waiting to buy their favorites.

No other adults seemed to be around, not even the PTA lady. I assumed I was supposed to do what I did last year, sell books. The only problem, there was no cashbox.

My first two potential customers were told, "Unless you want me to keep the change, you're going to have to wait." They walked away and I smiled.

The bell rang and soon everyone was in their respective classrooms. The secretary came to make sure someone was there manning the book sale. She went to fetch the cashbox for me. Before she returned, the kindergarteners were coming my way. As they were walking up one end of the hallway, a handful of senior citizens were walking toward me from the other end. What I didn't know was, Friday also was Grandparent Appreciation Day at St. Peter, Paul and Mary School.

A little boy approached me. He had a joke book, two pencils, a Sponge Bob poster and a handful of balled up dollar bills. I added up what he owed me as he counted his money.

Realizing he was short, he said, "I'm just going to wait for my Grandpa, 'cuz then I can get this and the bug vacuum." I laughed at the thought of that boy playing his grandpa like a fiddle.

Before long, kids and grandparents were filling the gym. The program began at 9 a.m. and was finished at 10:30, which coincidentally, was when I was off duty.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the PTA president run into the building. Out of breath she said, "Our other helper, who was supposed to relieve you, is sick. I am going to have to stand in. How has the morning gone?"

"It's been pretty quiet. Everyone is in the gym for Grandparent's Day."

"Oh, gosh! I forgot about that! I suppose I'll be bombarded once the performances are over."

"You might be. Well, good luck." I said as I began hightailing toward the exit.

"We should have had one of you helpers dress as Clifford the Big Red Dog to welcome the grandparents," she continued.

Without looking back, I said, "Oh, that would have been a great idea. Have a good day." And I was out of there before my mouth offered me to dress up in that ridiculous costume. Again.

P.S. Comments seem to be broken today. E-mail me at if you would like me to post your thoughts later.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Harder Than a Coffin Nail

Mr. Lane finally came home this morning. He's been gone for weeks. The kids and I were giddy to see him. We did our morning rush around, while trying to catch up on lost time. After shoving breakfast down their throats, we were off to start the day. Leaving him standing at the door, after seeing him walk in moments before, was tough, but we will have all weekend. I reassured the kids their pop would be home after school, and we left.

Cruising down the road, late, trying not to speed, trying to drink my coffee, and win a fight for my radio station with Lane 1, I heard from my backseat, "Mommy, Daddy gave me the coolest show-and-tell thing ever!"

As I went to sip my coffee, I said, "That's nice honey. What did he give you?" I took a drink.

"His toenail."

Coffee flew out of my mouth and nose and onto my steering wheel and dashboard. I was choking and my children were laughing. They are so lucky I love the shit out of them.

"You're kidding me right?" I mustered, while wiping my nose on my sweater sleeve.

"Nope. And haha, it is a big nasty one!"

"Jesus Christ, why? Just why?"

"Why what Mommy?"

"Why in the name of all that is holy would you want your father's toenail? Why on earth would you bring it to school? Good gravy child, what is wrong with you and your father?"

She was giggling too much to answer my questions. I dialed Mr. Lane on my cell phone. "Are you freakin' nuts?"

"Hi to you to babe. What? What'd I do?"

"You gave our daughter a nasty toenail to take to show-and-tell!"

"So! You let her take her bloody tooth!"

"Oh, my God! Her teacher is going to kill us. She is not taking your disgusting toenail to show-and-tell. Not now, not ever. You nasty man!"

"Oh sure! I see how it is. You can send her with nasty things but I can't. That's real nice Lois. Taking away my parental rights is just wrong."

"No parent in their right mind sends a child to school with a toenail. Ever."

"She saw me picking it off and was excited about how big it was. I just laughed and offered it to her. I didn't know she was going to turn it into a show-and-tell thing. Really. I swear."

"Well now I have to be the bad guy again and tell her no. I hate when you do stupid crap like this and it lands on me."

"Give her the phone and I'll be the bad guy."

Chipper as one toenail toting 10-year-old can be, she answered, "Hello Daddy. But... well... but... Daddy. Fine Dad. Whatever! You and Mom aren't any fun. At. All."

Hopefully we didn't ruin her day too badly. Awe, who cares? We aren't any fun anyway. Right?

Tales from the book sale coming soon to a blog near you. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Trick Or Treat

The great Halloween debate was underway here at the Lane Estate. Lane 1 informed me that he is too old to go trick-or-treating with his mom.

"Dude! I'm 13!"

"I know. I was there."

"Please, just let me go with my friends."

"Sorry bud."


"Because I know what 13-year-olds are capable of on Halloween. It brings out the bad and destructive side."

"What do you think I'm going to do?"

"I think, if you could go, you would TP some houses, have shaving cream wars and throw eggs at people." That boy looked at me in amazement. "Son, I know you hate to think of this, but I was 13 once. Shocking, huh?"

He was working on his next plan in his head while I was thinking back to those years of messy, wonderful fun. Is depriving him from those memories the worst thing I can do as a parent? Then a beautiful idea popped into my head.

"Since you think you are too old to go trick-or-treating with your mom and little sister, you can stay home and pass candy out to all of the kids who come to our house."

"Awww man! Dude, that's so gay."

"Gay? As in it has sex with someone of the same?"

"Come on Ma! You know what I mean. This stinks!"

"Think about it son. You dressed up like the scary guy we put outside every year. You're slouched in the seat, bowl in front of you, some kid reaches for a treat and, POW! You scare the crap out of 'em."

"Dude! That would be sweet!"

"So, is it a deal then?"

"Yeah! That'll be so cool!"

Every year for as long as we've lived out here in the middle of nowhere, I have used a pair of old jeans, some old work boots, a flannel shirt, an ugly monster mask, all stuffed with newspapers, sitting in an antique school desk. I prop it up on the front lawn. I put fake blood dripping off of a yard stick and off of the neck, chest and arm. I set a huge bowl of candy outside on the desk. I have a rubber hand that holds a sign, which says in fake blood, "ONLY TAKE ONE OR YOU'LL END UP LIKE ME!"

The formerly angry child was now lit up like a jack o'lantern with excitement.

"I can't wait until Brett and Tyler come by. I am going to scare the crap out of them!"

Lane 2 was feeling left out and said, "Mom. We need to come up with a costume for me. I was thinking about being a lot lizard."

There was no way I heard what I thought I heard from my sweet little girl. It was bad enough that she knew the term and its meaning. "Haha. I'm sorry. I thought you said 'lot lizard' classic."

Straight faced, she said, "I did."

I grabbed the telephone to call her father. It was his fault the child knew what a lot lizard was. Without a 'hello' or anything, I said, "You need to talk to your daughter." I handed her the phone.

"Hi Daddy. I just freaked Mom out. You should have seen her face!"

For all of the tricking I've put these kids through, this is now my treat. Paybacks are a bitch!

(Edited to add, "Lot Lizard" is a roadside hooker who "entertains" truck drivers in parking lots.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Crazy Train

All Aboard!

Insanity is a genetic defect. I got mine from my mom. (I know as she read those words, she began yelling at her computer screen, "I' am not insane!" There's all the proof I need.)

A few years ago, Mom and I started working on our relationship. We had grown apart because I was a rebellious, snotty bitch, and she was... well, a bitch. (right now she is yelling at her screen again. "Oh no she didn't!" neck roll "I am not a bitch! Can you believe she called me a bitch?" Sorry no one is there with you to answer that question right now, Mom.)

One day, we decided to be less bitchy to each other and really try to build upon the love we had hidden. Since then, she has become my best friend. We talk on the phone every day, sometimes two or three times a day. We see each other about once a week. We laugh a lot. We shop. We cook. Some of we cause kitchen fires. Mostly, we enjoy each other in all of our insanity.

It's so nice to have a relationship with my mom again. I forgot how much I missed having her really involved in my life. When my dad was diagnosed with cancer, our relationship only became more intensified. Without ever uttering the words, we knew time in life was too short. We knew we couldn't get the time we had wasted back. We bonded again. (This right here is the part where my other family members reading call me a suck up and a brown noser.)

We are good therapy for each other. When we talk there is this level of understanding without judgement. Like two real live friends.

Speaking of therapy, one day, early on in the phase of working on our relationship, I convinced my mother that I was seeing a therapist. This news really surprised her. She also wanted to know why I felt I needed one.

I told her, "I had such a terrible childhood and needed to learn how to be normal."

My mother was appropriately mortified and fell for my lie, hook line and sinker. I rattled off a laundry list of things she would never want a stranger to know about her and her childrearing. Of course I exaggerated every single word.

I let her in on the joke right after I told her my therapist says she owes me an apology for the time she left a welted heart on my ass.

That actually happened. You see, Mom wore these slippers. The brand name was Love Mates and their logo was on the bottom of each slipper. Did you ever see Eddie Murphy Delirious, where he talks about his mom being like Clint Eastwood with a shoe? Well, that's how my mom was with her slippers, only rather than a 48, hers was more like an oozie. One time, and I'm sure I deserved it, she gave me one good whack with her slipper. The heart-shaped logo left a welt on my butt cheek.

When I finished crying in my room, I came out to show her what she did. I lifted my Strawberry Shortcake nightgown revealing the welted heart. I said something smart assed like, "I hope you are happy with yourself."

Why she didn't give me a matching welt on the other side of my ass is beyond me. I guess it was just more of that insanity we share.

I'm proud to say, I love that woman like crazy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What's Love Got To Do With It

Melissa Etheridge used medicinal marijuana while undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Can I ask, why is this a headline? If I wrote the story, my headline would have said, "Etheridge Cancer-free." That's the real news. Some reporters/editors really piss me off.

The fact that she smoked some pot to combat the side effects of chemotherapy, isn't news people. A lot of cancer patients are being treated by their doctors the same way.

My mother in-law, Amanda also smoked pot prescribed by her doctor in her final weeks of life. And you know what? When she was laying on her deathbed, too weak to smoke it, I smoked it for her. Now there's some news you can use. I'm going to pull a Clinton and say "But I didn't inhale." Not all of the time anyhow.

You see, she was just too weak. She could barely inhale. Her symptoms were completely out of control. During our late nights, I would light up, take a hit and blow it right into her mouth. She would inhale and within minutes, she would feel better.

I'm not going to go all happy on pot and say it should be legalized or go into the war on drugs here. I do want to say, I saw with my own eyes how marijuana calmed Amanda, lessened her panic attacks, increased her appetite, keeping her from wasting away and eased a lot of her pain.

So I say, Viva la blunt and viva la Etheridge!

"Mom? Can you come in here a minute?"

Walking toward my 13-year-old son, in the bathroom, I said, "Why? What do you need?"

"I want you to help me with this."

Now in the bathroom, I see my son. His face is inches away from the mirror.

"See that?" He asks.

"Your eyebrows?"

"Yeah. Will you wax them for me?"

"You're kidding right?"

"No Ma. I'm not. Look at them."

"You mean look at it?"

"Very funny. That's what I mean. My eyebrows have become one."

"They call that a unibrow, son."

"Yeah, I know. So can you wax it for me?"

"You're too young for all of that crap. Just leave your eyebrows alone."

"You don't understand. They have already joined forces. Next they'll be taking over the world. And it'll be all your fault. How will you live with yourself Mother?"

Just think, my son could have been the star of the next big Fox special, "When Eyebrows Attack."

One puts the wax on the kid. One laughs when ripping wax off the kid. One saves the world from the attack of the killer unibrow.

Last night I caught Lane 1 watching TV when he was supposed to be sleeping.

"Mom come on! I promise I'll get up with no trouble in the morning. Please?" I turned the TV off despite his protest, and he said, "How am I going to learn how to be a great detective and become rich enough to pay for your nursing home?"

Monday, October 17, 2005

Time Love & Tenderness

My cousin Joey has got to be the nicest and sweetest, 30something (way closer to 40something) guy I know. Of course, he had great teachers. His mom and dad are by far two of the most genuinely kind and loving people in the history of ever.

Joey's compassionate side kicked in full throttle last week. When Aunty Shorty came home from a radiation appointment, she walked into her house to see her son had shaven his head.

Earlier in the week, she became upset because her hair was falling out. Joey, being the little sweetheart that he is, didn't want her to feel sad and shaved himself to the skin.

They sat, side-by-side, bald heads leaning against one another and laughed. They thought aloud about what a great picture that would make for their Christmas cards. And then they secretly plotted shaving Uncle Giant's head while he slept.

Good God! She caught me again! If you have been hanging around Home Fires for a while, you are fully aware of my fear of the PTA president. This morning, at 8 a.m. I was blindsided by the evil one. Again. While dropping the kids off in the loading zone at school, I kissed Lane 2, patted Lane 1. (I'm no longer allowed to kiss him in public. Blog post for another day.) As my daughter closed the car door, I looked over my left shoulder to pull away.

There she was. Her face was practically pressed against my window. "Ms. Lane," her muffled voice called, while her stupid arms waved.

"Oh fuck." I said under my breath, in my very best ventriloquist impersonation. I tried really hard to smile at that lady. I cocked my head to the side as if to beg her for mercy. I gave her the "Please God help me" look. She didn't catch on.

Before I had my window opened she began her rambling. "Ms. Lane, I am so glad I found you this morning!"

This bitch is much too chipper for her own good. She was smiling ear-to-ear. I firmly believe, in her head, catching me off guard, is like a game of Capture the Flag.

Still smiling, she said, "Ms. Lane, we are having a few fundraisers and could really use your help."

I wanted to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars I already pay the school in tuition. I wanted to close her stupid smiling head in my window. I wanted to toss my lukewarm coffee, that was clutched between my thighs, right in her perfectly made up face. I wanted to turn sharply and leave skid marks on her dry-clean only pants suit.

Instead, I said, "Sure."

Sure? Did I really say that? Why did I say that? I really didn't mean to say that. What have I done?

"Oh, I just knew you would help Ms. Lane. Can I get in so we can discuss this further?"

Mom always said, "Don't pick up hitchhikers and don't talk to strangers."

Why didn't Mom warn me about crazy PTA ladies?

I don't know how or why, but my mouth said, "Sure" again!

She cheerfully hopped into my passenger seat. I wished I had an eject button for that seat. I wished I had the balls to accidentally put the car in drive before she closed the door. I wished I had a tranquilizer gun to shoot her in the neck.

She rattled off four different fundraisers that the PTA needed help with. She got me where I live. "Ms. Lane, I know you are an author and it would be quite an honor if you would assist us with our book drive."

She only used the term "quite an honor" to butter my biscuit. I was on to her and that phony tactic. My mouth said, "Sure" again!

As I sat befuddled, she continued her rambling. In my mind, I conversed with my mouth. I told it not to say the word sure anymore. Ever. As I sat deep in thought, I heard her say "Friday sound good Ms. Lane?"

"Sure," said my mouth, as she happily bounced out of my car.

I have no idea what it is my mouth agreed I would do Friday. I just hope I can get an appointment to have my lips sewn shut before then.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Have A Groovy Weekend Folks!

Poor Todd wins the 30,000th hit and hardly any one comes up with prize ideas. That could have been you. What if you are next to win some random, unplanned contest here at Home Fires? What would you want me to send to you? (within reason people, no new cars will be distributed)

Todd has been silently hanging around for a couple of months. Home Fires has a lot of visitors who like to remain hidden in the shadows. Yesterday there were 165 hits and 30 comments, which is something that happens often here. So Todd, you aren't alone in the shadows. (Lois waves crazy like to all of the folks in the shadows.)

A couple of issues have come up in my little world in the last few days. First of all, my sister Anita had a scare of breasticle proportions. Coincidentally, while National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was taking shape, a lump was also taking shape.

"You know what?" I said to her lump. "We've fucking had enough cancer shit to last a mother fucking lifetime. So take a fucking hike."

She went to the doctor, went through tests and stuff. Thankfully, she checked out a-okay and her lump was some kind of somethingoranother, probably a result of boy cooties. I'm just happy my Sista is tit-tasic.

My mother, on the other hand is a freakin' whack job. I know she is everyone's favorite character here, so know I say that with love in my heart.

We were on the phone, celebrating Anita's booby prize, when my mother told me about them stopping for lunch on the way back from the hospital. She said while they stood waiting to order, she had to pee. It was one of those can't wait until we get home pees. She had to use the public restroom, something Mom hates to do.

"Lo, you wouldn't believe this bathroom. It was so clean and the water in the toilet was so, so... blue."

I interrupted her, "Wow, blue water! That's amazing! I bet after you peed it turned green huh?"

"Well, it was a pretty blue smart ass and yes, I turned it green."

"Did the Tidy Bowl man wave at you from inside the poo pot too?"

"Shut up. I've just never seen a public bathroom so well-kept. All of the fixtures looked brand new. All of the chrome was shiny."

"That's great Mom. You know, I am going to have to blog about this."


"Mom, you are excited about blue poo pot water! You really need to get out more often."

Anyone want to guess what my mom is going to get as a Christmas gift from me?

Chip the wonder cat is on my last stinking nerve. He is going through some feline form of the terrible twos. He is constantly jumping onto a table, a counter or the refrigerator. The last time I caught him way up there, he was trying to reach the moving ceiling fan. I should have waited to see what he would have done if he managed to grab hold. Instead, I clapped my hands and down he jumped.

In the last two days, he has turned the bathroom sink on, running water for who knows how long. Guess I'll know when the bill comes. He has knocked over two plants, causing dirt to spill onto my carpet. He has knocked over countless glasses of water much too close to my laptop. He has decided taking a nap on the bird cage is the most comfy spot of all. The whole time he is up there the birds are squawking as if they are about to become Meow Mix.

This morning, the little fucker decided he likes coffee. He was sitting on the kitchen table, dipping his paw in my cup and licking it off when I walked in.

Every time he sees the kids writing something, he feels the need to attack the moving pencil.

His new favorite thing to do is to use both litter boxes. He also waits until I am cleaning them. As I am pouring fresh litter in, he is hopping in to take a crap. But he doesn't let it all out at once, hell no. He waits for the other box to get a refill before finally pinching off the rest. He does the same thing when he pees, half in one box, half in the other. Since the other cat, Patches, the bitch, does her business outside behind the bushes, I am considering removing the second box. I can't believe I am writing about cat shit and you are still reading. What is wrong with us?

More about cats, less about shit. I've noticed this ridiculous thing that I keep doing. When the cat climbs in bed with me, I do everything in my power to not disturb him. Why? He is a fucking cat.

I caught myself the other night, laying in the most awkward and uncomfortable position because he was taking up a lot of room. So there I was, pressed against the cold wall, to keep the cat comfortable.

In my head, I know, if that were Mr. Lane, laying beside me, I'd frikkin' move his ass out of my way. I also know, in my head, he is a fucking cat and can sleep comfortably on a picket fence.

Picture the cat laying on the outside of the bed. I have to pee. Rather than climbing over him, shoving him off of the bed or even picking him up and moving him to the other side of the bed, I slither my stupid ass to the foot of the bed like a retarded inch worm, just so I do not disturb the fucking cat.

So now I wonder, if I know all of this, why in the name of blog, do I continue this routine each and every night?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Step Right Up Folks, We Have A Winna!

Hit number 30,000 goes to Todd. Yay Todd! Welcome to Home Fires. You come here often? I would link Todd, only, I don't know if Todd has a site. Todd?

Coming in one teeny tiny itty bit too soon, was long time reader, Miss Pickle who undoubtedly deserves an honorable mention. One second before her was my Mommy and my oldest nephew. Hi Mom! Hi Yoda! I love yous guys!

Sneaking by, soon after that was Drafter, who lied like a dog saying he was number 30,000. Nice try amigo but no burrito for you.

Lois waves crazy like to Truly Scrumptious! Blows a kiss to her and her brand new baby boy!

Providing Todd will e-mail his address, I will send him a grand prize, which has yet to be determined. Feel free to leave gift suggestions in the comment section.

It's crazy how this little ol' blog has grown. It began as a creative exercise and grew into this addictive little monster. Anyone want to venture a guess how long I stared at the stats on my site meter this morning?

(Lois stands and faces group) "Hi. My name is Lois Lane and I am a narcissistic blogger and a true blogging addict." (Lois feels her cheeks flush, looks at shoes, twiddles thumbs, sits back down and thinks of when she can blog again.)

You feel my pain, don't you? I knew you guys would understand. Now if only I could be sure that many people will buy my book, maybe I could come across more confident when I write a query letter to an agent. I totally suck at letter writing.

Here is a sample of my sucky ass letter: Dear sir/and/or/ma'am secret agent person, I wrote a book and stuff. And it would be cool if you would, like, ya know, read it and stuff. I don't expect to make it to Oprah, but once you read about my whacked out family, you may consider sending me to Dr. Phil or Jerry Springer. Anyhow, it's a decent book. I say fuck. A lot. People like the word fuck. Some people, even like to fuck. Some more interesting things about my book include, my ability to show off my multiple personality disorder. Wait a minute. I don't have that! Oh, yeah, I do. No, no, I don't. It's my mother who has that. Or was it me? Hmmm... at any rate, I think you will find my book a lovely addition to your home library. So, that's about it, pick me and my book. But, don't pick your nose. Okay? Boogers really make book pages sticky. Sincerely, Lois Lane

So, as you can see, I get rejected more than a pimple faced geek at a school dance.

Thankfully, there are some good and exciting mini gigs underway. I finished a sketch comedy routine the other day for a new potential client. If it takes off, I may divulge my secret identity and tell you what it is exactly because it is a biggie. I haven't shown off any of my work here because I have children and need to be cautious. Plus, none of my work is that friggin' interesting, yet.

Now back to the subject at hand, mixing food items. I had no idea how many other Frosty and fry junkies were around. I almost feel less freakish for those of you who came forward. Thanks.

My sister Angie alluded to one of my favorites in the comments yesterday. Peanut butter and bacon on rye toast. It was one of our dad's creations. I have no idea how he came up with that little artery-clogging number, but it is good stuff Maynard.

Peanut butter seemed to be a staple of our diet growing up. We had peanut butter and lettuce sandwiches, peanut butter and Frito sandwiches, peanut butter and celery, peanut butter and butter on waffles and on English muffins. Peanut butter gumbo. That's a lie. I couldn't resist.

We had sugar sandwiches with a little butter to hold the sugar on the bread. We had Marshmallow Fluff sandwiches, sometimes even with peanut butter.

I think our mom wanted to allow us to let our culinary creativity go crazy. Who knows, maybe she thought she was growing the next Julia Childs. In a way, I guess she was. Angie loves her some wine. (That rib jab was thrown in to make sure that witch is still reading. She has the attention span of a gnat.)

Congratulations to Todd!

Scroll to the bottom of the page!

Were you my 30,000th hit?

Real post coming around 10 a.m. CST.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Mix Master

William over at Poop and Boogies strikes again. Yesterday he wrote about lunch money and how he scammed his folks into giving him cold hard cash, which he ultimately bought comic books with. The only food items the guy ate in junior high, were milk and Jell-O, which by the way, he combined and drank through a straw. Before y'all go crazy on poor William, let me just say, I thought I was the only freak to mix the two. Don't knock it 'til ya try it.

Concoctions were part of growing up in our household. One time, I made a dessert with green Cool-Whip. Yes, it was fuzzy, but I went under the fuzz for the ultimate whipping cream flavor. When Mom found out that I used the Cool-Whip, which was hidden in the bottom drawer of the fridge and had been there since Thanksgiving, she became concerned. It was almost Valentine's Day.

She wouldn't let me finish eating my Cocoa powder, green Cool-Whip and stale Oreo Cookie creation. She started talking about taking me to the hospital. I freaked out when she said I'd need my stomach pumped. I envisioned a bike tire getting pumped with air, until it popped. My mommy was trying to make me explode all of that yummy goodness out of my tummy! That revelation made me hide under my bed.

Thankfully, she never took me to the hospital and I didn't even die.

While William was just learning about milk and Jell-O, I had already moved on to bigger and better concoctions. We lived near a fast food joint called Cock Robin. The name of that place still makes me giggle. Every once in a while, they would have chocolate shakes on sale. Those were really good days. I was able to buy a chocolate shake and a small order of French fries.

By the age of 13, who could possibly need more to fill up? I swear I could have lived on those two items. One day, the Cock, was out of ketchup, which is what caused me to try dipping my fries into my shake. Holy mother of all that is yummy! Chocolate shakes replaced ketchup in my little world from that moment on. You wondering if I still do that? Yes, and, I even passed the gene onto my children. Mr. Lane gags when he sees us eating the two.

There's plenty more concoctions of my childhood, but I'll leave you with these. What's your favorite, yet considered gross, concoction?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Learning To Fly

Yesterday, while celebrating the lovely holiday, Lane 2 and I were hitting the volleyball back and forth in our yard. She whacked it out of my reach and I went running for it. I heard a little "peep" that stopped me dead in my tracks.

"Keep moving Lois," I told myself.

Of course I didn't listen and had to find the sound. As I got closer to the sound, it became more frantic. By then, Lane 2 wanted to know what was going on.

"Don't you hear that?"

"Yeah. It's a bird."

"Good ear honey. But where is it?"

We looked around, quietly following the sound. Lane 2 spotted a little bird trapped in one of our bird feeders. I gave her a boost so she could get it off of the tree. I opened the feeder but rather than flying out, it burrowed itself deeper. The fear of the damn thing suffocating before my daughter's eyes, dawned on me. I began to dump the seeds out of the feeder, hoping the bird would follow the flow of the seeds. It didn't.

I set the feeder on the ground on its side, hoping the stupid bird would come out. After a half hour, it began chirping up a storm again. Eventually, I flipped the feeder upside-down and tapped the sides to coax it out. A little shaken up, it came out and flew away.

As I addressed my complaint letter to the bird feeder manufacturer, located on Dixie Drive, I began to think about my sister Angie. The keyword to trigger my memory was Dixie. I took that as a sign that it was time to tell you guys about the time she carried a baby bird around in a Dixie Cup.

Her partners in crime were a neighbor boy, Jerry and our cousin, Natalie. They found a bird on the ground by a tree. Natalie ran into her house to get a Dixie Cup for them to carry that tiny, featherless baby around in.

The three kids began fighting over who was going to hold the bird. Our mom, our aunt and Jerry's mom were yelling at them.

"Angela! Get in this house this instant!"


"Jerry behave!"

They were in big trouble. I smiled about that. Our neighbor boy was the only one of the Three Musketeers still outside with the bird. He let me have a little peek while the girls were washing their hands and getting yelled at.

"Ummm, that bird doesn't have any feathers, and it ain't moving."

"No duh, shrimp!"

"You guys are fighting over a dead bird?"

That boy never answered me, and he didn't give me another peek. When Natalie and Angie emerged, both went running straight for Jerry.

"Give me that bird!" Angie demanded.

"It's my bird!" Jerry claimed.

"That's my cup. And that means what's in there is mine too! Give it!" Natalie protested.

Angie bulldogged them into giving the dead bird back. She buried it, eventually. She made a tombstone out of the little Dixie Cup and made a cross with two sticks. Natalie was quickly behind her with a tablespoon from her kitchen, digging up the dead bird.

Natalie conducted her own private ceremony and reburied the bird. She copied Angie's grave design adding two sticks for a cross. Angie spotted Natalie putting the final touches on the new grave.

"What do you think you are doing? That bird is mine. Fucker!" Angie's eyes nearly popped out of her head. She couldn't believe she just said what she said. As deeply engrossed as she was, she knew she said the mother of all bad words. And our mom, like always, was right within earshot.

I don't remember what happened to the dead baby bird. I think I was in shock over Angie's use of choice words. I don't even remember if she got the beating of a lifetime. What is still very fresh in my mind is the vision of three little kids running after each other, fighting over a dead bird, as it bounced about in that dirty little Dixie Cup. And of course, the look on Angie's face when she blurted "Fucker!" Classic.

Monday, October 10, 2005

A Whole New World

My report about how America was discovered:

By Lois Lane

A stupid guy gets lost. He doesn't stop for directions. He "finds" a place. People already live there. He sticks a flag into the ground. Declares his "discovery" of a "new" land.

And, poof, the kids get another day off of school.

Hey Columbus, FUCK YOU!

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue
In 2005 Lois lost her fucking mind

The end

Friday, October 07, 2005

Always Somthing There To Remind Me

To the 26 brave and wonderful people who shared their most embarrassing moments yesterday, thank you. My thanks are not just from me, but from my mom, and the 150 visitors Home Fires had yesterday. Mom is feeling better. She had a flu bug but seems to be over it now.

Yesterday my buddy William gave me a case of the grade school lunchroom flashbacks. There I was, in my Way-Back Machine while reading his post. He wrote about carrying his homemade lunch to school in the Wonder Bread bag, while classmates had cool superhero lunchboxes and normal brown paper bags.

Like my mom, William's included a little note everyday. That was always my favorite part about lunch. On the note, my mom would draw a little cross-eyed smiley with one curlicue for hair, sometimes adding Mr. Spock ears. She would write, "Lois, Have a nice day! I love you! Love, Mom" That was almost verbatim of what William's mom wrote.

The one point William didn't mention, but triggered my memory, and always made me envious, were takeout lunches. You know what it was like eating your purple bread from your squished peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You would watch from the corner of your eye as some other kid's mom brought them Mc Donalds. The lunchroom erupted in cheers and finger pointing for the lucky kid as if he couldn't see for himself.

"Look Mikey, there's your mom! She has a Happy Meal for you!" Everyone ooohed and aaahed at the prize.

For me, the toy was no biggie. But, oh, the smell of the fries would send me into sensory overload. My mouth would salivate and my eyes would stare. We weren't a fast food family. The smile on the kid's face, the envy on all faces around, is fresh in my mind as if it were happening this very minute. It never failed, that kid was the king of the lunchroom. Everyone wanted to sit near him, if only to bum a fry.

I didn't even get a taste of a fast food burger until I was in sixth grade. My best friend Cheryl used to get $5 every week for allowance. I got a quarter. One day after school Cheryl told me something magical. "Lois, McDonalds is having a sale on cheeseburgers! They are only 29 cents! Do you know how many cheeseburgers we can get with $5.25?"

See, she was my best friend. How many other kids would say "we" when one of "we" couldn't even buy one, 29-cent burger?

We walked a mile from our school to McDonalds. I was so happy. When we arrived, we saw a kid from our school. He and his parents and his little sister were sitting in there eating. I was amazed at that sight. I wished my family would go there to have dinner one day. I envisioned our monstrous family sitting, taking up at least two booths. I, the only lefty in the bunch, would finally get an end seat and not bump elbows with all of the righties sitting near me. I smiled at the thought.

We stood at the register, counting on our fingers how many burgers we could get. It didn't matter that our tummies could only hold a small amount. A balled up five dollar bill and one quarter tossed onto the counter, Cheryl said, "We want this many burgers. The ones on sale."

I smiled at her way of getting out of that math problem.

The lady gave us 16 cheeseburgers. It was the Leaning Tower of Burger on that tray. We giggled. Once we sat down, Cheryl divvied them up. Even-Steven we each had eight even though my measly quarter went unused. Cheryl didn't want an odd amount of burgers. Best friend ever. We were three burgers in when we realized how thirsty we were. We didn't have enough money for a drink. I went up to the counter and asked for two waters.

The lady said, "20 cents please."

"20 cents? It's just water!"

"We have to charge you for the cups."

I raced over to Cheryl, told her the bad news. She reassured me that we still had enough money. She dug into her pocket pulling out my shiny-hard-earned quarter. She handed it to me and I went back to the counter.

With less than a dime left over, we were stuffed to the gizzards and didn't even die of thirst. Good times.

What William did was inspired my brain. Each and everyone of you bloggers do that to me. You trigger something in my mind that reminds me of a great time in my life. Here on these Internets, we share our lives more so than we do with the real live fleshy people we come in contact with every single day. For that, I thank you.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Sunday Afternoon In the Park

I received a somewhat frantic phone call from my mother yesterday. She was on the verge of tears but almost laughing in a "Please lock me up and throw away the keys" kind of a way. I listened as she rambled on.

"Lois, oh man. I did something so embarrassing. I feel so stupid."

"Are you crying or laughing?"

"Oh, I don't know."

"What's wrong Mom?"

"I was outside, taking the dog for a walk. You know how I have been feeling sick to my stomach the last few days, right?"

"Yeah. You didn't get hurt did you?"

"No, honey, I'm fine. Embarrassed is all."


"Because I was puking my brains out. It came out of nowhere. I couldn't even get back home. I was standing there, holding the dog's leash and puking up a storm."

"Why the hell would you be so embarrassed about that?"

"Because! Can you imagine what my neighbors must have been thinking? 'Oh, there's the crazy, drunk puking lady with her dog.' Man, I am embarrassed."

"Were ya drunk?"

"Damn it Lois! You know I wasn't."

"So who gives a shit what your neighbors think? You are sick. You barfed. No biggie. Fuck what people think."

"I can't. Man, I feel so stupid. That's was the most embarrassing moment of my entire life."

"No Mom. That was, by far, not the most embarrassing moment of your life. I remember when I was in first grade. I accidentally called my teacher 'Mommy.' Do you remember that?"


"Do you remember what you told me that day?"

"No. What?"

"You told me that calling my teacher 'Mommy' was not the worst thing in the world. You said my teacher probably was called 'Mommy' by a lot of kids over the years. The most important thing you said to fix my fragile ego was that the kids in my class would all but forget by the next day, and you were right. They did. I swore I was never going to school again. I was sure the whole school would point and laugh and make fun of my mistake. You reassured me by telling me something that you called, your most embarrassing moment. And I would say that old story tops P.I.P."


"Puking in public."

"I don't remember. What story did I tell you?"

"You told me that you and one of your girlfriends were hanging out in the soda shop after school."

"Oh my God! Now I remember. I can't believe you remember that."

"How could I forget? It was by far the most embarrassing moment I had ever heard of at the ripe old age of 6-years-old."

That day in the soda shop, my mom was sipping her drink through a straw and looking out the window. She spotted a very cute boy. And he must have really been cute because I still remember the twinkle in her eyes as she shared the story so many years ago.

She smiled. He smiled. She looked at her girlfriend. They giggled. She looked back out at the boy. He was still looking at her. She lifted her drink, not taking her eyes off of him, and her straw went right up her nose.

Mom giggled as I reminded her of that story. I don't think she really felt better though. What other way could I make my mom feel a little better about P.I.P. and a straw up the nose, than posting it on the internet?

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to tell Mom a story about yourself in an embarrassing situation. You can remain anonymous, should you choose to do so. If you are one of those perfect people, who never fucks up, tell on someone else.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Lay It On The Line

This place is like my online confessional. I mean, who the hell really needs a priest when they can just get a blog? I've shared with you stories about my cheating, more than once, lying, stealing, child abuse, murder, and arson.

Today won't be different, as I seek yet another sacrament of penance. Forgive me readers for I have sinned.


It's been one day since my last confession. This time, I lied.


I swear to blog, I didn't plan it out and there was no malice behind the lie. Many of you readers here at Home Fires are also parents. Those of you who have resorted to creative tactics will quickly forgive and understand what I am about to tell you. Some may think I simply crossed the line and should burn in the fiery pits of hell. However you choose to judge me, please be gentle.

A couple of days ago, I was picking the kids up at St. Peter, Paul and Mary School. I was parked in the back of the lot, watching the entrance, waiting for my kids to emerge among the sea of children. I spotted Lane 2 and I drove trough the loading zone, unlocked the door, and she hopped in as I looked for her brother.

He wasn't out of the building yet. As I drove back to my spot, at the back of the lot to wait for him, Lane 2 started telling me about her day. All seemed normal at that point, until she began telling me what one of her friends told her.

"Mom, Ellie said she saw Lane hugging a girl in the hallway at school today. Some times she lies and I didn't see for myself but I knew you would want to know."

"Hmmm... you're right. I would want to know something like that. Thanks honey. I'll ask him about that."

"Don't tell him I told you Mom. He will be so mad at me."

"Okay baby, I won't."

I saw the boy emerge. He was walking with four girls. I wondered if one of them was The Hugger. Lane 2 spoke up, "There's Lane! Oooh, and there is Hailey with him."

"Is Hailey the girl he was hugging?"


I swung around to the loading zone, unlocked the door, he hopped in. He was so smiley.

"Good day son?"

"Yeah. It wasn't too bad."

"Got homework?"

"Only one page of math."

"Cool. Hey, I got an e-mail from your principal today." I paused to give him a chance to wonder why.

"About the fund raiser?"


"About me?"

"Yeah. He didn't seem mad or anything."

"What'd I do?"

"I guess you hugged some girl in the hallway."

"He told on me?"

"Well it wasn't like he was telling."

"Man! That dude stinks."

"He just wanted me to let you know that public displays of affection are inappropriate at school. He really wasn't mad. And neither am I. So don't be upset."

"He's just jealous!"

"Jealous of a 13-year-old kid?"

"Yeah." He shook his head in disgust. Lane 2 peeked out from behind her book. I winked at her in the mirror. She winked back and lipped "Thank you."

"Son, don't be mad at him okay? He is just trying to make sure everyone in the school abides by the rules. He didn't come across angry at all. So anyhow, who's the girl?"

"Dude, you are nosey."

"It's my job. Dude. So?"


"Oh, she's a cute one. You two danced a lot at the school party Friday night, didn't you?"

"Yeah," he said smiling, looking out of the car window. "I asked her to dance the first one with me. And when it was 'lady's choice' she asked me."

I raised my eyebrows at that boy and said, "I'm going to have to start volunteering to chaperone those parties."

"No way! Really. You don't need to do that Ma. Besides, Hailey's mom was there and never took her eyes off of me."

"Another me?"

"Worse. When she tried to give me a hug and say goodbye, her mom was yelling for her to hurry up. And that's why she hugged me at school today."

"Well, thank for being honest son. And please don't be mad at Mr. Skinner for e-mailing me. But no more hugging at school. Ya dig?"

"Yeah, I dig. And Ma? Please don't be trippin'."

So there it is, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me blog.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Games People Play

When Lane 1 and Lane 2 were little, we used to play Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, Memory, Cooties and any other little kid board game ever made. We would play game-after-game, hour-after-hour.

I used to cheat. Yeah, I know. It sounds terrible, but do you have any idea how long those games can last? Just about the time you think, "Here is my ladder to the winner's circle," you land on a chute and it's back to the bottom for you. This would happen all too often, making a friendly game, a long painful journey.

Most of the time, I cheated in their favor. Just to let them win and get it over with. First the girl would get a big win, then the boy. Sometimes, after a little too much gloating from the winning child, I would cheat in my own favor. You know, to knock 'em down a peg. I can't have sore losers or bad winners. And thankfully, they never caught on to all of the cheating that was going on.

They loved playing those games. To this day, both remain big fans of board games. With all of the electronic toys, video and computer games, one might think they would be bored with those old fashioned games by now. They aren't.

The games they like now take even longer, and they are too smart for me to be able to cheat. Whenever Mr. Lane is in town, if our daughter even looks at the Monopoly game, I always say "Tag! You're it." And even though we are grownups, he always falls for that line.

Mr. Lane sat on the floor, playing Monopoly with our daughter a couple of days ago. She is 10. He is 36, however, acted 5.

After landing on Free Parking, he took the wad of cash he just won, fanned it out in his hand, began waving it at his face and proclaimed, "Oh my. It is sooo hot in here."

Lane 2 shook her head at her father and said, "You know Dad, this is a no gloat zone. Mom is going to yell at you if you keep acting like that."

I pretended not to be listening as the game went on. Once I could hear that she was almost out of money, I suddenly started paying attention. Mr. Lane landed in jail. With three rolls and a $50 fine, he could have been out. By rolling doubles, he also could have been out. I watched him roll time after time. I'm pretty sure the rules say you only lose a maximum of three turns once you pay the fine.

While he rotted away in jail, Lane 2 landed on one of his hotel covered properties. He giggled an evil laugh in her general direction, and told her what she owed him. I chimed in at that point, making up rules to help my girl.

"You know, jail bird, I'm pretty sure you are not allowed to collect on rent if you are in jail."

"No way!"

"Yes way!" Knowing he wouldn't, I said, "Read the rules."

"Well, crap. Fine kid. Hang out on my property for free. See if I care. I'll be out of jail soon, and I'll get plenty of money from you."

When he finally made it out of the pokey, he landed right on one of her properties that had a hotel. She and I giggled. She said, "Pay up Pops."

Rather than playing like a real live grownup and paying the child her rent, he took his lighter to the tiny hotel, charring the corner of the roof. Then he told her that her hotel was a burned up crack house that he wasn't paying to stay in.

"Mommy! Daddy is cheating! And he set my hotel on fire!"

Mr. Lane is a certified goofball and it makes me happy that he is a way bigger cheater than me.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Random Bits Of Laughter

Having kids two years apart was something very important to me. I wanted my babies to grow up together and always have a buddy nearby. I, of course, didn't know I would have a boy then a girl. Thinking far into the future to the age of crushes and dating, never entered my mind back then. Lately, however, it's hit me like a giant chunk of the sky falling smack-dab on my head.

Lane 2 always has friends in the house. She and her girlfriends aren't allowed in the boy's room but last week, while Lane 1 was in his room doing homework, I caught one of Lane 2's friends peeking in the crack of his door.

Just as I was about to tell Ashley to leave him alone, he came out of his room for a snack. She followed him. Her little eyes twinkled and she was smiling ear-to-ear.

He looked over his shoulder and she was right behind him. "Ash, why are you always following me around?"


"Because why?"

"Just because."

"Well, you're starting to creep me out."

Lane 2 chimed in with a sing songy, "She likes you Lane."

"Ewww!" He said, as he walked faster to get away.

Ashley's little feelings were hurt. You could see it on her face. But her persistence was cute as hell. She pouted with her little hands on her hips.

He smiled and shook his head at her and said, "Why don't you go play with my sister and leave me out of all this mushy crush stuff?"

As soon as she walked away in a huff, Lane 1 looked at me very seriously and said, "Is that one of those things I'm going to regret in about ten years?"

I laughed and said, "You'll regret that one in five years, son."

The Saturday before last, Lane 2 skipped into the kitchen with her hand cupped over the mouth piece of the telephone and asked, "Hey Mommy? Can Kaitlyn spend the night?"

Before I could give an answer, Lane 1 chimed in. "No way! I can't stand her. She is that stupid girl from school who bugs me all the time Mom."

Lane 2 said, "Shut up Dingle Berry Fin! I was talking to Mom. Besides, who died and made you boss? "

This is how nicknames get started in my family. The boy has been "Dingle Berry Fin" ever since.

Yesterday was my cousin Joey's birthday. I called to wish him a happy one and to see how his folks (Auntie Shorty and Uncle Giant) were doing. He said they were at the store picking a few things up. I asked what he had planned for the day. He said he had plans with one of his buddies from work.

It dawned on me, I have no idea where he works now. So, I simply asked. You would swear Joey had a gig going with the FBI.

Tightlipped, he said, "Oh no. I'm not saying anything. You never know what'll turn up in that blog of yours."

"Haha! Come on Joe. I won't say anything." I crossed my fingers.

He told me all about his gig as a male stripper. I guess that time our families vacationed together, the Village People impersonators really made an impact on him.

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It's too bad we never got a photo of Joey (19 on shirt) with the Indian dude. I think he was his favorite, and of course, his inspiration. Here are my cousins Tony, Joey and in the back are my sister Angie and I during that wonderful vacation.

Happy birthday Joey!

What you have read about my cousin Joey is a big fat lie. He has a normal boring job.