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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Runaway Bunny

Another reminder that my son is still just a silly boy came loudly from behind the closed bathroom door.

"God, I'm like a rabbit. I'm poopin' poop balls like crazy!"

I yelled back, "That's way more than I need to know, son."

"Yeah, but it's like Alka-Seltzer, plop, plop, but without the fizz, fizz."

"Son, if your crap was fizz, fizzing, we'd have troubles. Do what you have to do and get out of there. And for the love of God, please save the toilet play-by-play. I really don't need to know that stuff."

A little while later, I went into the bathroom and saw what looked to be a poop ball on the floor. Still sitting on the toilet, I leaned in for a closer look. I convinced myself there was no way my 13-year-old son would poop on the floor.

My mind is a messed up little place. The logical part of it told me he could have bent over to admire his mound of poop balls in the toilet, one of which could have been stuck to his ass, falling off and landing on the floor two feet from it's target.

"Naw! He certainly would have noticed that. Plus, does he really admire his poop... still?" I'd almost convinced myself. But I still couldn't bring myself to pick it up even with a wad of toilet paper in my hand. I did my business and called for my son.

"I think we have a problem. Come in here." He joined me in the bathroom and I asked, "Is this a poop ball?"

Wide-eyed and practically pissing himself, he claimed there was no way. I suggested what I thought may have taken place while he admired his poop, quickly adding, "You don't still look in the pot at your poop, do ya?"

I turned toward the toilet. Demonstrating, I bent over as if looking at poop, swiping my butt with my hand and said, "And plop! Like On Top of Old Smokey, the little sucker just got away from ya."

He was laughing so hard he had tears pouring out of his eyes. "Instead of the Runaway Bunny, it's a Runaway Dingleberry!"

"That is a full grown poop ball, not a dingleberry, son!"

Grabbing a wad of toilet paper, he picked it up and tossed it into the toilet. After cleaning the floor and washing his hands, we made eye contact again, we were dying. Holding each other up while we cackled about the runaway poop ball was nearly impossible. Then, out of nowhere, without taking a breath, he became very serious, and said, "You aren't blogging about this, right?"

Laughing even harder, I said, "Oh honey, would I embarrass you like that?"

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Friends Forever

Dear Vince, Please bite your tongue... off. Thankyouverymuch. Did anyone read Mr. Smartieass's comment for the last post? Vince suggested I may be a crybaby lately because I am knocked up. Since Mr. Lane was "fixed" in 1995, if I were knocked up, which I am not, I'd be in big freakin' trouble, ifyaknowwhatI'msayin'!

I've been having really weird dreams lately, which happens to be out of character for me too. The other night, I dreamt that Sharon Stone ran Lane 2 over as we were walking through a parking lot. (I don't know if it was MAD TV or SNL but one of them had a skit with good ol' Sharon, which has got to be why she made it into my dreams.) I pulled that woman out of her driver's side window, by her hair and broke her in two over my knee. How fucked up is that? Ain't no one, not even a mega-star gonna get away with hurting one of my babies!

It was one of those weird and vivid dreams. Snapped the bitch in two. And even though I was covered in her blood, I dropped the pieces on the ground, helped my daughter get up, asked if she was okay, and then we headed into the mall like all was right with the world. Weird.

It's almost as weird as having a son who is going off to high school. Fuck. How'd he get so old?

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Here is Mr. Lane and Lane 1, Sunday after graduation. All of the pictures I took with my digital have his friends in them too. And while I can exploit my own child and husband on the internet, it would be wrong to post other people's kids without permission. Maybe when I get my film developed, I can share more. I've already forgotten what and who I took pictures of.

As I look at him towering over his dad, I am blown away with how quickly he has grown up. Then I look at those hideous sunglasses that he thinks are so cool, and I realize, he's still just a silly boy.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Another example of his silliness. Lane 1 and I were in the garden center of our local, rhymes with Ballmart, store, and he said, "pssst... Ma? Is it cool if I pick up a hoe here?" When I turned and saw the image above, I dug fast and furiously for my camera, and said, "Awwww! My baby boy and his very first hoe. This is a Kodak moment if I've ever seen one." (Giggle fits make for blurry photos.)

All of the mental images of his silliness kept me from bawling through the graduation ceremony. Plus, Mr. Lane was getting antsy. He is worse than a child.

"I didn't know they were going to trick us into going to church today."

"Honey, this is a parochial school. What do you expect?"

"Yeah, but the program said graduation begins at 9. When does it really begin?"

"If you listen to Pastor, you'll notice that his sermon is all about coming of age and moving on to the next chapter of life. This is the graduation."


Lane 2 looked at her father, shook her little head and said, "Daddy, we aren't allowed to say that in church."

Once Pastor finished with all of the "crap" the kids were called one-by-one to receive their diplomas. Lane 1 strutted like a peacock onto that stage, gave the peace sign to his buddies in the front row, and winked at the girls. God help me. He offered up a quick smile to us and headed back to his seat. That was it, he was officially going onto the next chapter of his life.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Where'd You Go

Fort Minor puts my thoughts into song so effortlessly with their latest hit. Where'd You Go, almost always makes me cry. Planting season is over and Mr. Lane is gone a lot, and for longer stretches of time. Lane 1 really likes Fort Minor but when he played that song and caught me crying, his little world was rocked. A sympathy crier by nature, the tears welled up in his dark brown eyes even though he had no idea why "we" were sad. The lyrics slowly hit his brain. He ran back to his room and turned the song off. He came back to apologize.

"I know you miss Chip, Mom. I'm sorry I played that song."

Cracking a smile through my tears, I told him the song makes me think of his dad and how much I miss him. The little seed he planted, caused me to think of Chip the next time I heard the song, which didn't subside the tears any. I really hate being so sensitive. Crying over a cat. Crying over a husband who is out making a living for our family. Just plain stupid.

I needed to take some time to put my energies to use. There is no reason to waste them with superfluous tears. I followed the quoted rules by Stephen King, which were set by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. I murdered one of my darlings. If you have read On Writing, you know what I am talking about. If you haven't, you are likely concerned about Lane 1 and Lane 2. They are fine. Murdering one of your darlings is a metaphor for using the delete key on your manuscript.

I've been working on a rewrite of sorts, but hardly murdering my darling as recommended. Being attached to your own words serves no purpose. I deleted like the wind. I had my darling's ink on my hands and it felt fucking invigorating.

When I was done, I went back and gave her a heart and lung transplant. She breathes once again. I feel genuinely proud of her new life.

I've also been using a lot of energy lately to locate Chip, my runaway cat. I've passed my number out like a bimbo at a bar on a Saturday night. It paid off in the end. Instead of finding his way back home, Chip went back to his second home. Claire and Derek (the people he lived with the last time he ran away) called me and said they thought they saw him in their yard. I rushed over. He wouldn't go to either of them so they weren't sure it was him. When I got there, I called his name once and the little shit came running.

I'm so happy to have him back but wonder if this is even where he wants to be. After all, he didn't come back to our house. Maybe he is so used to being an inside cat that he really doesn't know what the outside of our house smells like. Whatever the case, I intend to keep him prisoner as long as possible. Stupid cat.

And for anyone wondering, yes, Mr. Lane finally fixed the screen where he made his great escape.

The weekend, so far, has been pretty excellent. Tomorrow I'll tell you all about the class of '06. Enjoy the holiday!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Oh No 70!

Happy birthday Peter!

Go over and wish my buddy Peter a very happy 70th birthday. I'm sure he'd love to hear from you.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I'm A Goin' Huntin'

Still no sign of the fucking cat. Looked for hours yesterday and early this morning, between thunder storms and tornado watches. Heartbreaking, yet stupid. I hate that I've turned into a cat person. I hate that the little shit ran away. I hate that I genuinely love that cat. Wonder what he could possibly be running from. Seems just crazy to spend so many hours sad about a stupid cat when the world, and life itself is loaded with real troubles. Fucking cat.

Last day of school was today. They were dismissed for the summer at 10 a.m. Those partial school days drive me nuts most of the time. This time I stayed for the final chapel service, award ceremony and the ice cream social.

Some 200 kids versus 5 moms armed only with ice cream, scoopers, styrofoam bowls, plastic spoons, napkins and sundae toppings. I think it was a dead heat. It was nice being part of the group who loaded the kids up with sugar at 9:30 a.m. just to send them home to drive their parents nuts.

Perverted thought of the day (minus the kids of course) I was the whipped cream mom. Is it just me or does this time of year make you feel like a horndog too?

Lane 2 received awards for the spelling bee, honor roll and volleyball. Lane 1, even though he was sent home with fake pink eye last week, got himself a perfect attendance award. I told the principal it should have been me to get the award since I drive him to school everyday, and fight with him on the days he doesn't want to go. The principal said he would consider that for next year. But next year, Lane 1 won't be at that school. He is headed to high school.

His graduation is Sunday. Unfortunately, we are too far away for any of the family to make it to see this milestone. I'll take pictures and probably have a birthday/graduation party for him soon.

Guess I better get back to huntin'. Here's one of my favorite old jokes that this hunt reminds me of:

An old man is sitting on his porch and sees a kid go by with a roll of duct tape. He hollers out, "Boy, where you goin' with that duct tape?"

The kid replies, "I'm a goin' huntin' to git me some ducks."

The old man shouts back, "You cain't get any ducks with duct tape, boy."

"I recon we'll see."

An hour later, the old man sees the kid walking by with ducks in his hand.

The next day, the old man sees the boy passing by with chicken wire.

He shouts out, "Hey boy, where you goin' with that chicken wire?"

The boy said, "I'm a goin' huntin' to git some chickens."

The old man says, "But you cain't git chickens with chicken wire, boy!"

The boy continues on by and says, "I recon we'll see."

Hours later the boy passes by the old man's house. To his amazement, he sees the boy has chickens in his hands.

The next day, the old man sees the boy passing by and shouts, "Hey boy, what you got there in your hands?"

The boy answers, "Pussy willows."

The old man replies, "Just a minute, boy. I think I'd like to go huntin' too!"

Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


My cat ran away (again). Details about the last time, can be found here in a three-part series. (Scroll to the bottom and begin at The Stranger, July 6 post.)

A couple of months ago when my in-laws were staying at our house, their dog ripped a hole in the screen door. She is used to having a doggy door, so she made one. Mr. Lane has been promising to fix it since they left. He got sidetracked with planting season.

I haven't been able to leave the door open for fear of the cat sneaking out through the hole. Last night, Mr. Lane, who never noticed I don't use that door anymore, decided it was too hot in the house to keep the door shut. Chip saw opportunity.

Does our house suck so bad that the cat doesn't want to live here? Or is it just the stupid baby talk I throw his way all of the time? I hope it doesn't take another year to find him.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Home Sweet Home (for the mentally deranged)

I came. I saw, and I wang chunged like no one's business. Saturday night after the track meet, Lane 1 and I stopped for Chinese food. Holy mother of all that is yummy! Let me back up to the phone call I made to my mom in the parking lot.

"Hey Yoda, I'm over at New Star. Do you want anything?"

"No, Aunt Lo. I'm good. But Grandma is sitting here with a list and has been waiting for your call."

Laughing I said, "Okay, put her on and I'll see you soon."

"Do you have a pen and paper?"

"Hi Mom. Yes I do."

"Oh, hi. Okay, I want beef chop suey, butterflied shrimp, two orders and egg rolls. Yoda likes those too so you better get me two of those too. Oh and egg foo young. Did I say beef fried rice? Because I hate white rice. Soy sauce, don't forget the soy sauce and ask for extra because they never give you enough. That and sweet and sour sauce. Extra, okay Lois?"

"Got it. Hey Mom, how are you going to be able to eat all of this?"

"What? That's nothing..."

She went on to talk to me for 20 minutes about how when Dad was alive they would order that plus, which spun her mind off onto memory lane and then caused her to talk about how much I hated Chinese food when I was little. I finally cut her off saying they would be closing soon, to which she said, "Oh, okay. Hurry, Lo."

Gotta love that crazy broad.

Mom is about as big as a beanpole. I knew there was no way on earth she could eat all of that food. I could have gotten away with not ordering anything for Lane 1 and myself because she did have a ton left over.

We completely engorged ourselves and it was as wonderful as I remember. It's been years since I've had good Chinese food, and I was in wang chung heaven.

There was an athlete appreciation dance at the university at 8 p.m. Lane 1 is not one to miss out on an opportunity to dance, especially with "hot chicks from the other schools" because he is pretty sure he is a stud muffin.

Mom didn't know about the dance and when I told her that we would be back around 11:30, she suggested I wasn't dressed well enough for the dance. People, I will be 34 on June 19th and my mother, that horrible woman, still thinks she can dress me.

I wasn't actually going to the dance. Lane 1 would have been mortified had I suggested such a thing. I was simply hanging out with all of the other parents for two hours of coffee, trivia and cards, which was setup down stairs from the actual dance.

"Lois Lane, you have been in those clothes all day long, in the sun while sitting on the ground. And for the love of God, look at your hair," my mother lectured.

"I washed my face, brushed my teeth and hair, and I put some B.O. control on. I'm good Mom."

"No you aren't. Come with me."

My mother dragged me by my arm into her room. As most of you know, Mom loves to shop. She has a closet full of clothes that still have tags hanging off of them.

After she wrestled me to the ground, making me try on a very ugly shirt, I begged for mercy. "Don't you have just a plain old t-shirt?"

"You don't wear plain old t-shirts for this kind of stuff, Lois. I raised you better than that."

I was in big trouble because for her next trick, she pulled out the blouses. Anyone who knows me well, knows I am not a blouse person. I fought, she fought harder, and put this stupid looking orange and peach striped number on me. Picture if you will, two crazy bitches wrestling and yelling on the floor of her bedroom. One of us in a bra with a shirt wrapped a little too tightly around her neck.

She eventually threw me on her bed, literally forcing my arms through the sleeves as if I were a noncompliant two-year-old. Never underestimate the power of a crazy old broad! Thankfully she agreed that stripes did not look right on me. We eventually made a compromise with a white shirt that wasn't a blouse. By then, my hair was really a mess, which she was quick to make note of.

Then out of nowhere, it dawned on her that I said we would be back at 11:30. "Hey, you're coming back here?"

"Yeah. I thought we should have another sleepover since you seemed to like the last one so much."

"Me? No, it was you who liked it!"

"No way!"

"Well it wasn't me!"

"Then why did you fix the couch for me so nicely? And serve me every single cup of coffee? And smile at me first thing in the morning? You love these drive-by visits. Admit it."

She handed me her house keys and told me to have a good time. She kissed Lane 1 and told him to have fun too.

"You haven't been a great-grandma yet, have you?"

Wide-eyed we both looked at that son of mine, but before we could speak, he laughed and said, "You guys make it so easy."

I guess trickery is genetic too.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Who Says You Can't Go Home

The funny thing about my mom is she is one of the easiest and funniest people in the whole world to trick. Friday night I called her from the parking lot at her house, asking if Lane 1 and I could come over to spend the night. "Lois, it's 10. You guys won't get here until one in the morning."

"It won't take that long to get there. Besides, there is no traffic this time of night and we have to be at the university by 8. It'll be easier to leave your house at 7:30 than mine at 5:45 tomorrow."

"Well, of course you can come spend the night... but I might not be up... and it's going to be so late... you're really going to have to be careful."

"I'm always careful. I'll be there soon. Love you bye."

We walked into her house one minute later. "Oh my gosh! How did you? I mean, why did you? What..."

"We called from the parking lot, Mom."

"Oh, well, good. I didn't want you driving so late anyhow. Sit down. You want coffee? Soda? Lane, what do you want honey?"

"Thanks Mom, we're fine."

After talking about how we tricked her for at least ten minutes, she said, "Oh shit! You guys made me miss the end of my show."

She'd watched two hours of whatever show's season finale, only to miss the last ten minutes because of us. If that would have happened when I was Lane 1's age, she'd have killed me, no doubt. When Knott's Landing or Dallas was on, no one was allowed to even speak. Old girl is slipping with age.

She still didn't know we planned to spend Saturday night with her. That was another surprise for later.

It was so nice waking up to her face early Saturday, and the smell of home, plus she had a cup of coffee ready for me. Now that's love right there.

Since it was expected to be a very long day, we didn't drag my mom to the meet. Just me and my boy in Chicago, hanging out, spending quality time together, with me cheering him 'til my throat hurt, was the plan for the day. (Lane 2 was with Mr. Lane looking at houses, which I was thankful to miss.)

As we drove toward and through Chicago, we went through many of the old neighborhoods we grew up in, which caused me to give the boy the guided tour treatment. I was amazed at how much he remembered about living in the city. We left when he was 7-years-old but you wouldn't know that by the way he pointed things out. I took him by his old school, the candy store he loved, the park he played at and the house we lived in. It was all slightly out of the way but so worth it looking at his face as I watched him reflect.

After our detour, we got to the university amazingly before 8 a.m. What are the chances that a kid will outgrow their track spikes within a couple of days? Lane 1 somehow managed. Since he had a lot of time before his events began, I took off in search of a new pair. I waited until 10 and went to the mall I worked at back in the day and two strip malls along the way. In all, nine stores, none of which had spikes that would fit him.

When I got back empty handed, he said not to worry because his buddy would let him use his, since they were in different events. I can't tell you how thankful I am that he had a plan B. So much for spending all of that quality time with him. It was about lunchtime when I did make it back and of course he was hungry. I headed back out to grab hotdogs from my all time favorite grease pit.

I got everything on my hotdog, which I haven't done since I lived in Chicago. Knowing I was about to eat and make a huge mess, I decided to go sit in my car. I looked back at the boy as he happily took a bite of that familiar flavor of Vienna Beef.

In my car, covered in a napkin blanket, I chowed-down. The sun was beating down through the sun roof, the weather was perfect. I turned the radio on with my foot because my hands were covered in mustard and onions and relishy goodness, it was just in time to hear The Loop FM playing Sweet Home Chicago. The feeling of home was overwhelming.

In all there were 700 athletes competing. Lane 1 ran his little ass off, coming in third, fourth and the relay team he is part of also came in fourth. One of their runners hurt his back in another event and they had to replace him at the last minute. The boy really wanted to take first in something, so he was slightly bummed. It took a lot of convincing and reminding him that he made it to state and that in itself is plenty to be proud of. The girl's team took first in several events, which I think is what made it more difficult to convince him he was great.

Since this is already obnoxiously long, tomorrow I'll tell you about surprising Mom again, and maybe I'll even tell you about how and why she wrestled my ass to the ground. She told me to thank you guys for all of the jokes and links.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Everybody Wang Chung Tonight!

Hey guys, how 'bout we go wang chunging tonight? I don't even know what that means. But it was the first thought to pop into my head when I found out where the state track meet is being held this weekend. Back in my old stomping grounds, where my favorite Chinese food restaurant is located. I will not only Wang Chung, I shall also Chop Suey. Isn't it sad to be excited about food, nearly as much as my son's participation in the state meet?

Anyhow, please keep your fingers crossed for my boy and wish me a happy egg roll.

Mom gave me hell on the phone this morning. "No blog yet? What the hell, Lo?! It's Friday, you have to blog!"

She claimed she would have nothing to read ALL WEEKEND, if I didn't blog today. What a crock of crap. I guess she doesn't know how big these internets are. She also doesn't know that me and the boy are going to be staying at her house Saturday night. Surprise! Oh, I bet she will be thrilled. From her house, the meet is just under 30 miles away. From our house it is nearly 100. Since it's a two day event, I'd be looking at 400 miles of driving if I didn't infringe upon my mother.

I am busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest, so I am asking you guys to post something funny for Mom to read over the weekend. Put your favorite link in the comments, or link to your all time funniest post.

Another turn down letter found its way into my mailbox. Syndicating Home Fires the "easy way" isn't working out so well. I've sent it to every major syndicate I know of, some more than once. All of which took months upon months to say, "Thanks but no thanks."

I decided to go with the self-syndication route. In order to do that, I have to obtain a major list of newspapers, find out who the managing editors are, write letters to each, compile some sample columns, mail them and keep my fingers crossed while I wait.

For the next few weeks, before I run off to clown college, I am going to be researching newspapers across the country and getting those submissions out. My goal is to get one paper in every state to run Home Fires. I figure if I charge less than a syndicate would, editors will be more apt to run my column. If you want to recommend your local paper to me, send me an e-mail at I will approach all requests first.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

As soon as I hit "publish" on yesterday's post, my phone rang. No, it wasn't Mom admitting to her shopping addiction, it was Lane 1. He said I had to come pick him up because his teacher said he looked like he had pink eye. Keep in mind, I just dropped the kid off one hour before. He did have red itchy eyes but he has allergies. They go hand-in-hand. Plus, he was up at 4:30 in the morning and was likely tired too.

I tried explaining to the principal it was only allergies causing his eyes to turn red. He wouldn't hear it and said it is school policy to get a note from a doctor for such contagious diseases. And because saying, "Are you fucking kidding me?!" in a school environment is not exactly appropriate, I refrained.

We went straight to urgent care, where the doctor determined... he has allergies. She wrote a note for him to take to school and prescribed some stronger allergy medication. She told me to get some over-the-counter eye drops specifically for allergies to use twice a day if his eyes continue to bother him.

So, we headed to the pharmacy and waited, and waited, and waited. In the end it cost me $95 and almost four hours to know what I already knew.

As we walked out of the pharmacy, I called the school and let them know what the doctor said. I intended to bring Lane 1 back to school to finish the day since he was not contagious and had a note from a professional (not just the stupid mom) proving it was allergies. The principal told me to just let him stay home for the rest of the day, "JUST IN CASE."

Too keep from popping a vein in my head and not cuss the principal out, I said, "Okay, thank you." What the fuck was I thanking him for? Miss Manners needs to get hit by a truck or something. Thanks a bunch Mom for instilling these stupid manners so deep within my head that I thank assholes for ruining my day and for costing me a fortune.

The day wasn't shaping up very well. When Lane 1 and I finally made it back home, our street was blocked with construction. I had to drive three blocks in a big circle to get into my driveway. Not really a big deal but it was par for the course of what the day entailed.

Through it all Lane 1 was as happy as a little puppy sniffing a pile of poop. "You better start acting sick boy."

Before all of that madness ensued, I drove the old man to work at the butt crack of dawn, 30 miles away, then another 30 back home to get the kids ready for school, then drove them to school. I'd just started gathering my notes for a phone interview when the phone rang with claims of infectious disease on the other end. Is it ironic that the story I was supposed to be working on at that very moment was about the bird flu and other infectious disease?

Crazy as it is, my son a 13-year-old boy, realized how completely screwed up my day was turning out. He offered to get out of my hair by sitting outside watching the construction unfold. I suggested he watch from the window so the dust didn't cause him any more allergy troubles. He put the neck of his shirt over his nose and mouth and said slightly muffled, "How 'bout if I do this Ma?"

"You're nuts. Go ahead."

He sat there on the front steps watching. A worker approached our house and asked if he could get some water from the hose. Sidewalk supervisor that my son is, shouts to the guy, "Sure. Just turn it to the left to turn it on, and turn it toward the right to turn it off.

The burly construction worker graciously smiled and thanked him. He was too cute to burst his bubble by letting him know the guy probably knows how spigots work.

Although I'm still trying to decide if that spur of the moment booty call from the old man was worth the 120 miles of driving back and forth, getting up at 4 a.m., likely making the day suck more than it would have otherwise, it was fun spending time with my teenager.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Mental Ooze

This is a sneak peek into my inbox:

"Hey Lois, where have you been? I hope you and the little Lanes are all doing good. I read your sister's comment about Lane 1 being sick. I hope it's nothing serious. Tell Lane 1 and Anita I hope they get better soon. Call me."

"Hi Lo! Are you mad at me?"

"I haven't seen you around the blog lately am I really that boring?"

"Lois!!! You aren't going to believe this! I got the job!!! Go read my blog for all of the info. I'm so excited!!!! MUAH!"

"Lois, want a bigger penis?" Hey, how'd that get in there?

So to answer some questions, yes we are all fine and dandy. Lane 1 has been having major allergy issues but this is how we celebrate spring. Snotting, sneezing, itchy watery eyes, stuffy ears and throat but other than that he is perfect. We are hoping he is feeling up to competing at state for track and field this weekend.

Anita has an infection in her throat, which coincidentally, hit her the day after she kissed my snot-nosed brat on the lips, as he claimed to be passing her a cold.

I went to the pharmacy to buy some allergy medication for him the other day. The shelves were empty and because we are in a somewhat remote area, I was pissed. Instead of taking a half hour drive to another town, I asked the pharmacist if they had any in their stockroom. The pharmacist asked for my license. Thinking that was odd because it is over-the-counter stuff, I asked why. She said because meth heads have been turning cold meds and allergy pills into dope, everyone has to be watched and their information has to be put into a computer system and the pills have to be stored behind the counter. How crazy is this world today?

What I really don't understand is how gas stations and truck stops are able to sell Yellow Jacket without being monitored. It's a shot of energy juice (also offered in pill form) that can also be used to make meth. It's known in schools as herbal speed. The kids can buy it no matter how old they are, and it has been blamed on many deaths. Is that just crazy or am I getting old?

When I was in high school the cool kids, which I wasn't, used to take a couple of No Doze and a Jolt Cola for a quick buzz or to make it through finals. I thought that was crazy too.

That brings me to the saying, "That's crazy." I say that way too much. Not too long ago, I was at a coffee shop in DeKalb, which is a university town. I was eavesdropping on some 20-somethings, and I heard a guy say, "That's crazy. Not crazy like self combustion, but crazy nonetheless." So just about the time I think I'm young, cool and hip to the jive, I'm outdone by a little whippersnapper. I really need to break myself of that habit.

I'm way behind on blog reading because life is busy again. Or would that be still? Crappy paying freelance gigs are flowing like melted butter off a heap of taters. I'm also in the midst of a rewrite for my book. No agent directed me to do so, but I walked away from it for a full month. Looking at it with fresh eyes, I see where some changes would be helpful.

I've also signed myself up for a couple of comedy writing classes this summer, which no doubt my father is looking down upon me with pride and saying, "I always knew you were cut out for clown college, baby." Swelling with pride indeed.

Thank you all for providing honest answers in the questionnaire yesterday. The general consensus is, Mom needs help. Funny but, I haven't heard from her yet.

What's on your mind today?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Survey Says:

Mom called and gave me hell for yesterday's post. She seems to think paying $33 for a candle is reasonable. Because none of the comments mentioned overpricing, she believes you agree.

In my heart of hearts, I know there is no way in hell I would pay that much for a candle. Mom thinks it wasn't too much. In fact, she didn't buy two like she told us. She bought four, and the stingy bitch didn't share!

I suggested maybe you guys didn't mention the price because you know Mom reads the blog and you were simply trying to be nice. I told her that I would poll you readers today. She said, "So, I ain't skeered."

No bullshit people, answer honestly.

1. What is the most you have paid for a candle?
2. What is the most you would pay for a candle?
3. Would you spend $33 on one candle that did not provide orgasm?
4. Should Mom be allowed to watch QVC?
5. Should Mom be entered into HSA (Home Shopping Anonymous)?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Wax On, Wax Off

We sure know how to screw things up. In an effort to beat the crowd and split time between family and in-law families, mother's day brunch was scheduled for Saturday at a restaurant near my mom's house. Being a lazy slug like I am, I decided last minute, I didn't want to leave my house at 8 a.m. just for food that I would have to drive two hours to get.

I called my mom and told her I wasn't coming. I said I would meet her and the rest of the family back at her house later. Before she could say anything, I said, "Or we can come see you tomorrow instead."

"Yeah, why don't you do that. I don't think anyone else is coming back here after we eat. Plus, you know how tired we'll all be with full bellies. I'll probably come right home and take a nap."

Saturday was shaping up better and better for me. I spent days looking for the perfect gift for my mother, which I never found. Not having to go Saturday meant, I still had time to shop. The Lane gang spent the whole day shopping and still didn't find anything special for her. In fact, Mr. Lane let me know I was hard to shop for too.

"You didn't get me anything yet?" I asked in a scolding tone.

"Well, no, but, you were supposed to see your mom today and you're still shopping too."

I had no comeback. He was right, but I didn't tell him. He suggested we get some candles for her, and although she loves candles, I think it's a cheesy gift, especially after seeing the candle aisle filled with last minute guy shoppers. Reluctantly, I smelled every single one. My nose hairs were tingling and both Lane 2 and I went off on sneezing fits as we exited the aisle empty handed.

We browsed through so many stores and still came up empty. Defeated, we came home. Mr. Lane and the kids made dinner.

Sunday morning I called my mom to wish her a happy mother's day and find out what time she wanted us to come over. "Well the girls came back to my house yesterday and lingered like bad cheese. But they want to see you too, so they are coming over again, but I don't know what time." I pulled 12:30, 1 out of my ass and said I'd see them later.

We stopped at a garden center on our way there. I picked out some stupid flowers for her patio. I convinced myself it was better than bringing some stupid candles.

So much for sharing our time with the in-laws. Everyone landed at Mom's Sunday.

Mr. Lane motioned toward the candles that Mom had lit everywhere and whispered, "See, I told you." I gave him the stifle it look and walked away.

Mom couldn't wait to show me what she bought for herself on QVC. (See why she is hard to shop for? She sees something she wants, hits speed dial and it's all hers.) After climbing and digging through her treasure closet, she came out with a box. Inside the box was a $33 candle.

"Smell it Lo. It's yummy." I saw my husband's grin out of the corner of my eye.

I gave a fake sniff and said, "Mmm... yummy. Thirty three bucks huh? Did you get kissed?"

"No I didn't smart ass. Oh, and look, it comes with a little hat."

"Ooooh, a hat? For 33 friggin' dollars it should provide orgasm. Dicks with wicks, hey, I could make some money with that idea."

Mary, my freak pervert sister said, "They already invented that Lo."

I didn't have the stomach to ask how she knew.

Mom had two $33 candles. One was mulberry, the other pineapple. Mary wanted the mulberry one and Angie wanted the pineapple one. Normally, when we visit each other's houses, we take whatever we want. Anita has left my house with a floor vase. I've left Mom's with pictures I took right off of her walls. Mom has left my house with my entire birdhouse collection. I in turn took her clock collection. The list goes on and on. Basically, if Angie and Mary wanted those candles, by the law of the land, they should have been able to take them. Instead, Mom was putting up one hell of a fight. She really loved those damn things.

She just took them out of their boxes, passed them around so everyone could smell them, and then she put them back in the boxes and into the closet. I tried to catch Mom off guard and steal them but she kept turning around as if she knew I was up to no good.

When she caught me in her closet with one candle box in hand, she yelled, "What are you doing?"

Wide-eyed, I said, "Playing Robinhood," I offered an innocent grin. "I'm stealing from the bitch to give to the whores."

To take the heat off of my attempted thievery, I asked, "Why are the good candles in the closet in a box? Why are you burning these shitty dollar store ones? Aren't we good enough to smell your $33 candles?"

Although I was unable to convince her to give the girls the candles they wanted, and I was unable to steal them, she finally caved and lit one. It didn't smell any better than her dollar store ones.

I bet if I would have bought her a bunch of stupid candles instead of stupid flowers, Mary and Angie might have walked away with door prizes. This will be the first and last time I admit, I should have listened to my husband.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Mom in 1968. What a hottie. Happy mother's day!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Won't You Be My Neighbor

How can one neighborhood gather so many freaks? It's not like we live in a high-density area, so all I can guess is, it must be in the water.

Meet King of the Road. He has so many vehicles on his property that he has become the punch line to all "you might be a redneck" jokes. The funny thing about this guy is he is damn proud of his rusted and dented collection. He also seems to think he is the best salesman in the history of our 150-year-old town.

During the spring and summer, while many other neighbors are having garage sales, he is out trying to sell cars, trucks, boats, tractors and anything else one can drive. He doesn't run advertisements in newspapers. He uses his neighbors' garage sale clientele. It's not like he walks up to the shoppers and lures them away. He is much more subtle.

King of the Road drives up on his tractor while towing a boat, car or truck with a giant hand-written for sale sign taped to the window. He circles the block repeatedly, driving extra slow as he passes the garage sales. I don't think he has ever sold a vehicle that way but it doesn't seem to stop him from trying year after year and sale after sale.

DUI Guy is just another oddball in da hood. His name was in the police reports so many times for driving under the influence that everyone calls him DUI Guy. He seems to think it's just a playful nickname.

Last year a judge finally took away his license for good. His old lady got sick of his drinking and left, taking the car. We really thought his troubles would straighten DUI Guy out. We couldn't have been more wrong.

There's a country song that says, "She might have took my car keys but she forgot about my old John Deere." I think it's a Vince Gill song. Anyhow, this guy is totally that song! Because he can no longer drive his car, he takes his tractor everywhere. But don't go thinking he has stopped drinking. Now he drinks and drives a tractor down our streets.

Picture if you will, a John Deere rusted out tractor, towing a wagon filled with hay. Now picture the driver, a greasy haired blonde with a dirty ballcap and Blue Blockers. In his hand he holds a NASCAR koozie, which holds his Old Style beer. Sitting atop the hay inside of the wagon is his new girlfriend, dressed in her Sunday best, with her 8-year-old daughter sitting next to her, also well dressed.

If that picture wasn't bad enough, imagine what we witnessed next. They were heading toward the main road, which is actually a state highway where cars travel about 60 miles per hour. He didn't make it into town. A state trooper caught him, pulled him over and he was arrested for DUI and for driving without a license.

Apparently, he was taking the girls to church. The officer who added that information to his report that was in our local rag of a newspaper also added, "Officer Stephens drove the ladies to the First Baptist Church and then took the perpetrator to jail."

God I love this little hick town.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

They're Creepy & They're Kooky

Just a quick thought about the American Idol results show last night, and then I'll move on to more insane stories from the hood. Really, you haven't heard it all just yet.

Chris Daughtry, who should have been in the final two, received the lowest amount of votes and was sent home. Although he is one of mine and the kids' favorites, we anticipate great things for him. For instance, Creed broke up in June of 2004, do I smell a reunion with a new lead singer?

I'm more inclined to think he will sign with Fuel. After all, they did just hold auditions in LA, looking for a new lead singer. Plus, they are another favorite band of the Lane gang and we would love to hear them on the radio again.

As an Idol contestant, Chris couldn't sign with any band. He was bound to Idol and their plans for him. So if he did audition and it went well, he could have likely encouraged his close friends and family to not vote for him. Regardless of how or why it went down, he is now a free agent. So the Lane prediction for the day is that within the next week, after all of the shock wears off, there will be an announcement that he has signed with Fuel.

In my last post I may have implied that I was the only sane person on my block. However, any of you, who have been reading this blog for more than a day, knows the truth. I'm as nutty as a fruitcake.

There have been a lot of memories in this neighborhood. To get back to Lulu, she was the oddest of all. In her defense, I believe she really had something wrong with her. I tried really hard to be nice to her but she was much too paranoid for friendship.

Sure she accepted food all of the time, every time we barbequed actually. She never returned dishes or glasses and never sat with us to eat. She would run back to her house with a full plate. She never thought twice about asking Mr. Lane or Lane 1 to help her with her trash, lawn or any other maintenance things that came up. Being good guys, they always said yes.

Her paranoia caused her to circle the block for nearly an hour before pulling into her driveway. It was an odd ritual but it must have made sense to her because she did that every time she came home from anywhere.

With all of that, she remained less than friendly. When she called the police and claimed we broke into her house and stole her frozen food, that was like opening a can of worms. One day I had a magic mental flash. She pulled into her driveway and when she finally got out, that flash hit me and I found a way to pay her back. I hit the panic alarm on my car keys.


She jumped clear out of her skin. It was comedy I tell ya. Mean as all hell but one of the funniest things I have seen. After she caught her breath, I ran out of my house, alarm still blaring and said, "What did you do to my car?"

Wide-eyed with her hand raised as if swearing on a stack of bibles, she said, "I didn't touch it. I didn't so anything. Really!"

I turned the alarm off and gave her the hairy eyeball as if to say, "I'm watching you." I walked back into my house containing my laughter. Mr. Lane was rolling on the floor. I knew it was a really mean thing to do but it did keep her from ever bugging us again. In fact, she moved out a couple of months later.

Just so you don't get the wrong impression, I'm not 100% meanie. As a matter of fact, this is the neighborhood kids' safe house. It's a place they feel safe and come when they need a Band-Aid, or are hungry, or thirsty. I can't begin to tell you about all of the booboos I've bandaged, Popsicles I've dispersed, Kool-Aid I've poured, the list goes on and on. When I barbeque with Mr. Lane out of town, I always cook extra hotdogs and burgers for the straggler neighbor kids.

In return the kids are great. In the spring and summer I have weed pulling contests. I pay five dollars to the child who brings me the most root-intact weeds from my front and back yards. You would be amazed at how many suckers, I mean... kids, who come out for a chance to win five big ones.

I don't enforce a lot of rules when the kids are hanging around, which I think also makes this a fun place to be. There is this one family that has eight kids. They are all about a year apart in age, which means all eight of them are friends with my kids and the other neighbor kids. The only rule I have when they are around is, "If you act like siblings, you have to go home and bug your own mom." For the most part, they don't need to be reminded of that rule anymore.

This one little guy who looks up to Lane 1 like he is his own big brother, spends a lot of the summer at his grandparent's house. They live a few houses down from us. Even though he is only five or six, he always comes over. One Saturday morning at 5, he came over bawling his eyes out. He pounded on the door like he was the law, which woke all of us up. He was sobbing so hard I could barely understand what was wrong with him. I got a wash cloth and cleaned his face, gave him a glass of water, calmed him down, and asked him to tell me again.

"My grandpa is lost! And I was alone and scared."

As I looked his grandparent's phone number up, I asked him if his grandpa's truck was in the garage. He said it was but his grandmother's car was gone. He wasn't worried about her because he knew she had an craft show that day.

I asked, "Did you come straight here or did you look around the house for Grandpa?"

"Well, I..." sobbing, he continued, "I looked in all of his favorite places. In the garage and in the bathroom."

Trying not to laugh was nearly impossible. Thankfully, I found their phone number and called. A very nervous and frantic sounding grandpa was on the other end, "Hi. Is this Bill, little Andrew's grandpa?"

"Oh my gosh, yes, yes I am!"

"He is fine. He is over here at the Lane house. He was scared because he couldn't find you."

He rushed over to pick him up. The kids couldn't tell him fast enough about the little dude looking in all of his favorite places. It was much too funny. As it turns out, he was also looking for Andrew but neither were calling out, so they were going in circles in the house looking for each other.

Tomorrow, I'll share more neighbor stories from da hood, including DUI Guy and King of the Road, and I don't mean Mr. Lane.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Girl Next Door

When you live next door to a whack job, your life sometimes feels like a sitcom. Looking outside of yourself, you wonder, "Is this real? Where'd these freaks come from?" All too often I find myself shaking my head in disbelief. We've had some doozies over the years, yet leaving this neighborhood to go even farther out into the middle of nowhere, still doesn't appeal to me much.

One lady, Lulu, who thankfully, has since moved away, called the police on us. She told them that we had tunneled through her garage wall and stole her frozen food.

Police have to investigate all reports of break-ins, regardless of how outlandish they sound. When the sheriff came to us and told us why he was there, we had trouble not laughing in his face. He had some history with her and knew she was nuttier than a shithouse rat.

As he backed out of our driveway, I reminded him to put an APB out on the bag of broccoli and Pizza Rolls.

About a year and a half ago, we got Denis, who again, thankfully, moved away. He is another whacko. A harmless whacko, but a whacko nonetheless. He was the type you we would see outside religiously on Sundays at 7 a.m. drinking an Old Style over an open fire. I guess you can't drink all day if you don't start bright and early. He burned all of his trash, lawn debris, and as a volunteer at the VFW, retired flags also by burning. He kind of reminded me of Beavis and Butthead, "Fire, fire!"

It's a little nerve-wracking when someone who drinks beer first thing in the morning, always has a fire raging in their yard.

Exit stage left, Denis. Enter stage right, Mike. He likes the drink too. He can often be found trying to fix his car with a tool in one hand and a Miller Genuine Draft in the other.

One day, not too long ago, we pulled into our driveway to find Mike mowing our lawn. He was on a ride-on mower, one hand on the steering wheel, the other wrapped around a beer. I guess the dude doesn't read the bible, because it clearly states, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's lawn."

I swear to Blog, that guy was mowing at top-speed. Whipping around the trees in our yard like it was the lawnmower races and he was shooting for first place in the obstacle course. Mr. Lane and I looked at each other before getting out of the car. As I quickly hopped out of the car and ran toward the front door, I said to my husband, "Tag! You're it."

I went straight to the kitchen to hide. When I looked out at the backyard, I could clearly see, Mike had been there. He might as well have just mowed his fucking name into the grass. All the mow lines were wobbly and there were two empty Miller Genuine Draft cans on the ground. Folks, our yard isn't that big to be able to down those two plus the one he was working on when we drove up, especially at the rate of speed he was going.

When Mr. Lane finished talking to Mike, he came in the house and said, "Mike was trying to do you a favor so you would cut his hair."

"Cut his hair?! How does he know I can cut hair?"

"Oh, I guess I might have told him."

"Damn you!"

It wasn't long before Mike was sitting in front of me with his nappy ass head. He was so smelly, B.O. and beer, plus his hair was matted and dirty and he had grass clippings stuck all over him. I feared he had small woodland creatures living in that mop of his that would jump out at me. I made a mental note to kick Mr. Lane's ass. Practically gagging all the way, I managed to wash his hair and cut it and have him out of our house in 15 minutes. His smell, however, stuck around much longer.

When I finally got a chance to really checkout his crooked lawn cutting skills and pick up his beer cans, I noticed he mowed over our entire garden. I wish I knew that before I did his nappy hair. I would have returned the uneven favor.

Mike stopped me in the driveway this morning, asking if I would cut his friend's hair. I quickly lied saying, "My scissors are too dull. I need new ones before I can do anyone's hair." I don't know why saying no is so difficult. I hate that about me. I wish I had the balls to say what I was really thinking, "No fucking way, pal. If he is your friend, he is likely a smelly, nappy-headed, nasty just like you, so, fuck that."

His friend arrived shortly after I went into my house. He was driving a ride-on mower down the street. I swear to Blog, on everything holy, if this guy touches my lawn, I will totally pull an Edward Scissorhands on him.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Little House on the Prairie

You know you've made a mistake when your number one fan heckles you. Poor Mr. Lane, even sweet little Lane 2 gave her pops a run for his money this weekend. For two days, the Lanes did nothing but look at houses, all of which were where the Lord lost his sandals. And I would not be surprised if some of the houses were built B.C.

We looked at one, circa 1865. Actually, we just did a drive-by because it was so rickety-looking, we worried it would fall on us if we were to shake the ground in the slightest, as we approached.

"If we move here, can I git me a pony? Please, Pa?" Lane 2 could have easily played Laura Ingalls.

Seriously Little House on the Prairie stuff. I felt like Nelly Olsen as my head filled with complaints. I didn't say much to my old man, mostly because the nothing nice to say thing came into play.

Lane 1 was like Willy, complaining about the lack of "hot chicks" and wondered aloud what kids there do, but when he found out that it is legal for people to ride dirt bikes and four-wheelers through town, he lit up.

"Dude, Ma! If we move here, can I ride my dirt bike to school?"

I couldn't dignify that with an answer. Someone give me a "Yee-haw!"

Thank God for friends. Our agent, is also a friend. She took us from one end of town, to the edge of town, to just outside of town and then back through town again. Amazingly enough, she agreed to show us more in two weeks, and claimed to not hate us.

Weird thing about old houses out in the middle of nowhere, those that have a second story have the lowest ceilings. I felt like a circus freak in a couple of them. Good thing I don't wear big 80's hair anymore, I would have brushed it on those cobwebbed ceilings. In one of the houses, the windows on the second floor were crotch level to me. How anyone thought it was a good idea to put windows that low boggles my mind. Is this generation really that much taller than those from way back when? Am I really the Amazon woman my husband said I was?

Amazingly enough, we really had a good weekend. Being together should be all that matters. What can I say, I'm a slow learner.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Home Fires & Life's Mini Explosions

That's the title of my book, which is based on my self-syndicated humor column, which is much like this here blog. This morning, another explosion took place, only, it wasn't so humorous. I spent two hours on the phone with Mr. Lane. He suddenly got a bug up his ass and wants to move. This. Summer.

He wants no part of going to any of the places I have built-in job offers. In fact, he wants to stay in Illinois. I really don't want to leave my family, most of whom are here, but none are closer than 80 miles away. Another state wouldn't make a whole hill of beans, in my opinion. My mom begs to differ. She and I haven't talked about it for a while but the last time it was mentioned, she made her voice heard.

She'll be surprised and happy to know her son in-law wants to at least stay in the same state. I can only assume the thought of our son entering high school next fall made him realize we aren't getting any younger. For me, however, our son entering high school is one of the many reasons why I don't want to move right now. I can only imagine how upsetting it would be for the kids to change schools, again.

The place we are in now is tiny, affordable and outside of town. He wants to go west where houses are bigger and cheaper. The problem I have with that is there is no work in my field and there isn't much as far as entertainment for the kids, not that there is much of those things here, either. So now my head spins trying to find the calm inner peace to come to a compromise.

I thought if we were moving any time soon, it would be to a different state, seeking improvement in the education of our children, more work in my field and cheaper and bigger housing. If we are only seeking the latter, I don't see how improvements can be made. The kids will likely be bored in the places he has mentioned, and he will likely be on the road. How does this help?

I'd really like to leave you with something funny for the weekend, but I was blindsided this morning and felt like spewing. So I'll leave you a fun place to checkout. Have a great weekend everybody!

Jackie Beat cracks me up every time. (A quote from a recent post by the drag queen extraordinaire,) "Do you have any idea how long it takes for a fat, middle-aged white man to turn into a curvy woman of indeterminate ethnicity? A LONG TIME, PEOPLE!" Go read Jackie here.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

You Gotta Fight, For Your Right...

Do you remember when Bud dragged me into Frappr, and Aimee dragged me into Flickr? Already being a blogger on limited time, I haven't paid much attention to either accounts. I reject new "friends" all of the time on Frappr because of nude photos they post. I'd like to keep things work friendly on my pages. And I am often late to the gate when new comments arrive on my Flickr.

I've been reading Ross Mathews' blog for a while now and he ends every post with, "Add me as a friend to your MySpace." I finally caved to the MySpace pressure after getting an e-mail from my sister Angie asking me to join her as a friend. I signed up and within hours, I had 11 new friends. None of which were either Angie or Ross. Maybe Angie read yesterday's post and decided she didn't want to be my friend. But that's okay because through the magic of genetics, she is stuck with me, forever.

I can't promise I'll keep track of things there either, but here's my link if you would like to add me. If you think I should form a "friend group" for bloggers only, I can do that.

Getting back to the trip down memory lane, cereal was a major staple in our house. Saturday mornings we would sit and watch the best cartoons with a bowl of sugary goodness right in front of us. That was when Angie and I got along the best, sitting Indian style on the floor, bent over as far as possible with milk splashing our legs as we ate. There were no remote controls to fight over, and since we were not sitting at the table, there was no reason to fight over reading the cereal box.

Angie and I battled for reading rights at the table. I always lost. Lane 1 and Lane 2 do the same. Mark's idea in the comments of yesterday's post is brilliant! Could you imagine a Lois Lane original, like the Brownie Bladder Blizzard story on the back of your box of Special K? It could come with a coupon for a free Blizzard.

Every once in a while, our school would send home a free copy of Highlights Magazine. God, I loved those! I always bugged my parents to get me a subscription, which they never did because it was too expensive. When I had a free copy, I didn't share. That pissed Angie off. What bothered her most was that I didn't need to read the cereal box because I had Hidden Pictures and she didn't!

Years rolled on and the Sunday comics became required reading in our house, and something else to fight over. The one thing we all loved, including our parents, was Hocus Focus. There were two pictures that were close to the same and you had to find six things that were different.

"I found one! Ooop, there's two! Blue hat, blue hat, white fence, white fence, red shirt, orange shirt, THREE, I found three!"

"I get it next! No recalls!"

"No! I get it next! I had to go outside to get the paper and got my socks wet, so it's mine next!"

"No it isn't! I called it first!"



Those were the days. It's funny to think about all of those small things that likely caused us to all become avid readers. Even though a couple of decades have gone by, kids are the same. Mine fight over cereal box reading rights and the Highlights Magazine that comes once a month in the mail. I couldn't not subscribe. And you know what? I still love those dang Hidden Pictures. Amazing how much times have changed but that magazine and those cereal boxes remain part of growing up Lane.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Cereal Killer

It's been a long time since I've been a cereal eater. I probably had my share of it growing up. Everyday after school I ran home for a bowl of whatever sugary goodness awaited me. Seeing my kids do the same, flashed me back to the good old days.

One of my favorites was Crazy Cow. I liked the chocolate one the best. The strawberry flavored variety reminded me of how my milk tasted when I bit the ends off of a Twizzler and drank my milk through it like a straw. Only it wasn't as much fun.

Another one I liked was Cap'n Crunch, the peanut butter kind. Anyone know what the Cap'n did to the elephant that used to be on the box?

I vaguely remember a cereal called Quisp. I think it was like Rice Krispies. I looked Quisp up online to make sure I wasn't hallucinating again and as it turns out, Quisp is trying to make a comeback. It's only available in select areas and one of those areas is 70 miles from here. Is it worth the drive? Probably not. Besides, over the years, I've noticed my taste buds have outgrown a lot of the yummy goodness of days gone by.

There was a rule in our house about cereal. "No digging for the prize." If it fell out as you poured your bowl, it was yours, if not, it was never meant to be, or something like that. I was a secret digger. When no one was looking, my hand would burrow down. I'd set the toy in my bowl and pour cereal over the top of it and yell, "Look! Hey guys! Look!"

In the early days of my secret digging, I was unaware of what some call, evidence. This was a term and a lesson I had to learn quickly.

"Ma! Lois has cereal and sugar crumbs stuck to her arm all the way up to her elbow! She was digging again! You shouldn't let her keep it because it didn't fall out fair and square!"

Angie acted like it was an Atari game that I got and she didn't. It was nothing more than a plastic "Crunchbot" which was a robot that fought off the Soggies. That day, when our mom took her side, I learned about evidence. From that day forward, I would be very careful about cereal crumbs.

I always wanted to try Cookie Crisp but Dad said it was never on sale, "...and I'll be damned if I'm paying a dollar for a box of cereal!" But their commercials were so cool. I just knew that if Dad would cave, I would certainly find the Cookie Crook or maybe even the little cop dude Officer Crumb, inside the box.

I was sure of it! Just as sure as I was that Mr. Rogers really could see me. I'd never even think about picking my nose while watching that guy because he was always looking right at me. Same with Romper Room. When Miss Mary Ann said, "And I see Lois..." I was certain they were babysitting me while my mom talked on the phone. Sure of it. I remember running out of the room to fart and rushing back to excuse myself, aloud, to the TV. Tell me I didn't need a little couch session or 20.

After continually bugging my father to find Cookie Crisp on sale, he eventually brought home a box. Inside was a prize that I had my eye on! I HAD to have it, NOW! But as that guy handed me the box, he said those nasty words I hated, "Lois, no digging."

I batted my eyelashes at that silly man and promised I wouldn't dig. Hidden in my socks and Tracks gym shoes, my toes were crossed. Once he finally left me alone with that box, I looked left, then right and carefully began to burrow my arm into the box. Immediately after digging out the prize, I wiped my arm off really good, on my shirt. I set the toy in my bowl and gave my infamous call, "Look! Hey guys! Look!"

Instead of looking at the awesome prize inside my bowl, my stupid sister Angie looked at my arm and then looked at the box. She really should have been a detective. "Dad! Lois was digging again! Look at the box! It's all puffy and cereal boxes only get puffy when SOMEONE sticks their stupid arm in them!"

I looked quizzically at that jerk sister of mine. I tried my best smile out on my dad's frowning face.

"Lois, give me the toy. You will eat every single piece of cereal in that box. I don't care if it takes you a year, you aren't getting this until it is gone and you aren't getting any other kind of cereal either."

It was the very first time my dad punished me. I was devastated. I wanted to make that frown of his go away, so I ate a bowl, and then another, and another but two bites into my fourth bowl, I felt really sick.

I don't know how long it took for me to finish that box, all I am sure of is, I hated Cookie Crisp from then on. That punishment was the ultimate cereal killer. Plus, the toy was so unexciting, I don't even remember what it was. "If you like cookies, you'll love Cookie Crisp" my ass.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I'm Gonna Say It Again...

I'm no good, I'm no good, I'm no good. Baby I'm no good! Man I suck! Temptation is obviously too great for the likes of me.

As mentioned last week, I hated my son in-law, killed my grandson and then my daughter. Stupid video games. After completely ruining my daughter's game of Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life, twice, I thought it would only be right for me to "help" her recreate. Third time's the charm, right?

This time we picked the "better" husband option. Figuring if we chose a fellow farmer we would likely have a happier ending. Everything was going smoothly. We wooed him and then married him. And even though he was less of a dick than the first husband, he still was a useless piece of crap.

Fast forward to when my little girl was fast asleep... I turned to my friend the internet and found a walk-through that included this little tidbit of information, the character you play always dies at the end! WTF?! Oh, but there's more. Apparently there is life after death and you can continue playing from heaven in what is a never ending chapter or level of the game.

What kind of stupid bastards came up with this game anyhow? It's called Another Wonderful Life, ain't nothing wonderful about croaking when you're in the prime of your life. Why not name it Real Life: Work Yourself to Death and Haunt Those Who Proved Useless to You in Life. It's a catchy name, huh?

Now, the burning question, do I tell Lane 2 that no matter how hard she tries to make the best farm ever she is still going to kick the virtual bucket?

News You Can't Really Use

This morning I finally had time to catch up on what is going on in the world, and this is what I learned...

TGI Friday's gave one of their customers the finger. Literally. While one worker was whisked away to the emergency room after chopping off part of their finger, another worker was serving up a burger that was kinda like those Crackerjack snacks, it had a surprise inside. I'd take hunk of flesh with my burger if it meant TGI Fridays would be paying me a butt load of money later. You know that is going to happen in 3...2...1...

The items that seems to be flooding the news stations are the big protests from yesterday. Does anyone else think it is a little weird that people who are blatantly breaking the law here in the US are fighting to have the laws changed? Maybe it's just me. I think I'll go live in the Canary Islands and protest against the Bird Flu.

One year ago the country was stunned by the dumb bitch who ran away to avoid marriage. She worried people across the nation because she was an indecisive moron. She remains single. Maybe the guy who she ran away from finally got a clue.

One of the slut teachers who is accused of "tempting" a 14-year-old boy is in hot water again. She allegedly sent as many as 20 cell phone videos of herself dancing seductively after being court-ordered to not have contact with the boy. The former teacher said, "But Your Honor, it was an innocent booty call." (okay, maybe I adlibbed the last line)

And finally, Keith Richards is out of the hospital. He suffered a concussion in a jet ski accident. The poor bastard just tumbled off like a rolling stone.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Grinch Who Stole...

I know Mondays are busy for all of us, so today I'll keep it short. I intended to tell you all about how mine and my daughter's new Harvest Moon is going, but something came up last minute, so I'll tell you about that tomorrow. If you missed the first round with the game, go here to catch up.

Mr. Lane called this morning from Indiana. Some dirty rotten son-of-a-bitch stole 80 gallons of fuel (almost $300 worth) out of his truck while he slept.

People, if you can't afford fuel, don't steal from the working folk. Write a fucking letter to everyone in congress, your senators, your governor, hell write to the oil companies.

Write to Mr. President, but use small words i.e. "To Junior, the go-go juice in my neck of the woods costs as much as a bucket of chicken and isn't as tasty. I cain't git my work done (by the way I'm 'merican too) 'cuz I ain't got enough greenbacks to fill the tank. (no, sir, not wetbacks, greenbacks, ya know, moolah.) If you kin git yer friends over at Exxon (no, sir, I don't know why there's two Xs in their name either) to maybe shrinky dink their prices, I'd be much obliged to ya. Signed, your number one fan, Bubba"

It's okay if you aren't a fan of his. It's also okay if your name isn't Bubba. Just go ahead and copy and paste that sucker like it is. He'll think he knows you because what redneck doesn't know a Bubba? But, if you have to steal fuel while you wait for the post office to get your letters where they are going, go directly to Exxon, do not pass Go...