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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Proud Mary

This is one of the silliest things my eyeballs have even seen. Ever! My friend Mary is a grandmother. We just call her Grandma Mary now. That must suck being so young and being called that by your peers. Maybe I should be nicer. Well, not really.

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You see that baby? He’s plastic! He is not real, people. Yet my dear friend, the doting grandmother, carries him around carefully, covers him with warm blankets, puts him in a child safety seat, feeds and burps him.

Mary’s daughter is taking a child development class and was given the bionic baby for a weekend. He has a computer in his body that will determine her grade based on the care he is given. He has to be handled with care and always attended by an adult. When Mary’s daughter left for work, Grandma Mary stepped in.

She came to my house to show off the “baby” and have a cup of coffee. But she barely got to take a sip and that little bundle of fakeness was screaming his stupid rubber head off. You would swear to God he was real the way she jumped up and fussed with him. It was the funniest thing ever.

And just like a real baby, every time she sat down, he cried. Mr. Lane scooped up the baby and lifted his shirt.

“He won’t latch on. Oh God! My baby won’t take my milk!” He cried in his very best “Hand that Rocks the Cradle” impersonation.

Mary took the baby away from the pervert and fed him his fake bottle. You could hear him suck and gasp like a hungry baby does while drinking. Then she burped him. When he made a happy baby coo after his belch, she smiled proudly. “Did you hear that?! He’s so happy now.”

Two seconds later, she set him down in his baby carrier, grabbed her coffee cup and “Whhhaaahaaahahahahaa!”

Up she jumped again. “He must need his diaper changed.

That was certainly the highlight of my day. It seems the little bionic one is anatomically correct, and Proud Grandma Mary was beyond thrilled to point that out to us. “See his little pee-pee?”

Much too happy about her grandson’s pee-pee, I had to intervene as she continued to poke his privates.

“Don’t molest the baby, Grandma Mary.”

Mary and I were planning on going out to dinner with our husbands and a couple of friends that night. It occurred to me that her daughter had to work until 10.

“Um, Grandma Mary, what exactly are you going to do with it when we go out?”


“I’m sorry. Him. What are you doing with him when we go out tonight?”

“I’m taking him with.”

“Oh shit,” Mr. Lane and I said in unison.

“What if he cries? What if you have to change him?”

“You aren’t going to show his pee-pee off to everyone at the restaurant are you?”

“Calm down, guys. He’ll be fine… I think.”

Off we went. Six grownups and a bionic baby. She had him in a carrier, covered with a warm blanket when we walked in.

The hostess asked, “Do you have reservations?”

“Um…” we all looked blankly at each other.

“Okay, just a second.”

The hostess returned and said, “We only have one table but it’s in the smoking section. Will that be okay with the baby?”

Mr. Lane chuckled and said, “He loves to smoke.”

With a puzzled look on her face, she seated us. We were put way in the back by a table with a family who had a baby. A real baby. I guess they like to stick all of the potential tantrums in one section.

“Would you like to be seated in the smoking, nonsmoking, tantrum or nontantrum section?”

Thankfully all went well. Bionic baby didn’t fuss until we were getting ready to leave. When he started, Mr. Lane said something obnoxious like, “Shut that kid up.”

Everyone at the other table, where the real baby was, looked right at us with disgust.

Grandma Mary jumped up, took him out of his seat and showed him to the people sitting next to us. She felt like she had to explain why my husband was being a dick to a little baby. She stimmered and stammered her way through the story, which was by far one of the funniest things I have ever witnessed. I would have let them call social services on us.

Monday, January 22, 2007

These Dreams Go On When I Close My Eyes

Jay Leno lied to me. Okay, so maybe he wasn’t speaking directly to me, but he did say he would be airing “the worst” of the correspondent audition tapes on Friday. So Friday night finally came. The Lane Gang sat in front of the TV hoping the audition tape I sent would not be shown. I mean really, who wants to be one of the worst?!

As the segment “Who Wants to Be a Correspondent?” began, Jay mentioned they were showing their “favorites”. Favorites? Hey! After the Lanes prayed, wished, hoped and crossed our fingers white-knuckled, for me to not be on Friday, we had to quick repray, rewish, rehope and, well, I wasn’t on.

Best or worst, my tape didn’t make the cut. That can only mean one thing, it was average, blended in with too many, didn’t stand out, i.e. boring. But the good news is, for a couple of hours, I got the cool mom treatment from the troops again.

Bad news soon followed. Jay said they received thousands of tapes and proceeded to request more audition tapes from the viewing public. To me, that means, the Tonight Show isn’t really looking for another correspondent. I think they are just going to use the audition tapes as their own segment. There could be good news in that my tape may be on. One day. And no, I’m not going to ask you to watch it every night incase that one day does come.

On the Tonight Show website, there is a place to watch and vote for your favorite video. So far, they have only posted videos that have appeared on TV, meaning mine isn’t on their site either, but could be. One day.

I really wasn’t into this initially because as most of you know, I want a writing job. I am a behind the scenes kind of a girl. I agreed to send in a tape in hopes of my foot finding its way into a big fat writing door. But now I am kind of into it. Our family gathered around the TV, like we do when American Idol and Super Nanny are on. We had our junk food, drinks and our opinions ready to flow. If nothing else, we snuck in some extra quality TV time as a family.

What began as a handful of friends egging me on to send in a tape, turned into my whole family anxiously watching and me kind of hoping it would air. When it was over the kids gave me a sympathetic look and said maybe they are holding out the best for last.

I guess that means they think I am pretty cool, in a demented and sad, yet social kind of a way. (See Breakfast Club for that reference.)

So Friday night I was trying to go to sleep, but my brain wouldn’t turn off. All I could think about was that stupid tape, and stupid turkey nuts. “I can’t believe I fucking ate a turkey testicle, on purpose. All for the sake of comedy. I must have a screw loose.”

Finally my pillow invited me into a deep and drooly slumber. But my mind, oh my stupid mind, continued to think like a loud clock ticking and tocking. First I dreamt of normal stuff. You know that dreamy dream where you aren’t really sure you are sleeping? So there in my mind, everyday life was taking place and one of the kids yelled, “Mom hurry! The Tonight Show is on!”

In my sleep, I got out of bed and quickly headed to the TV room. The sound and feel was real and my tired body didn’t know it was only a dream. The kids had their friends over and everyone was watching TV… and spilling popcorn on my new carpet?!?!? But I couldn’t get mad about that because the show was starting, and my mom was there?

Jay Leno gave his monologue and began the “Who Wants to be a Correspondent?” segment and all voices hushed each other. The first audition was mine. The whole room erupted in excitement. My heart sank and I felt like I was going to puke.

Rather than showing the best part of my tape, or showing my tape the way I sent it, they had edited it, terribly. All they showed was the part where I ate the turkey nut and then played with my audio, making me say, “I, I, I, I” like Ozzy in Crazy Train. And then the audio went into a rap where I said, “Ate a nut, ate, ate, ate, ate a n…n…n…nut.”

Oh my god you guys! It was a fucking nightmare. I woke up all sweaty and mad. And what the hell was I doing out of my bed?!?! I really had gone into the TV room to watch. Crazy Train, indeed. All aboard!

Yes. And then I laughed at myself for being a dork, thankyouverymuch.

Friday, January 19, 2007

She’s Still Preoccupied With 1985

It’s true, I am lost in the 80s. Seems it’s been weeks since I’ve listened to any other genre of music. I go through phases, I guess, but this one is driving my kids batty. They have dubbed the title “1985” my theme song. And they couldn’t be more correct. I love that song.

The Bowling for Soup “1985” lyrics are, with tiny bit of my own twist:

Lois just hit the wall

She never had it all

One pot of coffee a day (okay two, shutup)

Husbands a P.I.T.A. (pain in the ass)

Her dreams went out the door

When she turned twenty four

Only been with one man (unless we mention the Italian, ahhh… a-hem)

What happen to her plan?

She was gonna be a writer

She was gonna be a star

She was gonna shake her ass

On the hood of White Snake's car

Her red 300M, is now like a mini-van

Looks at her average life

And nothing, has been, alright

Since Bruce Springstein, Madonna

Way before Nirvana

There was U2, and Blondie

And music still on MTV

Her two kids, in high school

They tell her that she's uncool

But she still preoccupied

With 19, 19, 1985




She's seen all the classics

She knows every line

Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink

Even Saint Elmo's Fire (Angie and I used to recite the entire script of these)

She rocked out to Wham

Not a big Limp Biscuit fan (maybe because I married a limp… never mind)

Thought she'd get a hand

On a member of Duran Duran (actually my sister Angie was hot for the double D guys, it was Lars Ulrich of Metallica who really pumped my nads)

Where's the mini-skirt made of snake skin

And who's the other guy singing in Van Halen

When did reality, become T.V.

What ever happen to sitcoms, game shows

On the radio was


She hates time, make it stop

When did Motley Crue become classic rock? (talk about making me feel older than dirt!)

And when did Ozzy become an actor? (no, seriously, WTF was up with that?)

Please make this stop!



And bring back

(Chorus twice)

So you can see the song fits me well. This is the part about aging that blows. You listen to the music that you grew up with and feel vibrant and young, until some rotten little brat-faced kid comes along and bursts your bubble. Stupid kids.

The obsession isn’t just the 80s this week, it’s Arena Rock! Can you feel the excitement in my typing, people?! Arena Rock is what gave the 80s big hair and ozone killing hairspray! There was Whitesnake, White Lion, Van Halen, Van Morrison, Sammy Hagar, Samantha Fox, Metallica, Megadeath, oh God, someone stop me! I feel like putting on a mini skirt and going to a concert armed with a lighter. Speaking of which, how is it that we didn’t all combust with all the hairspray while lighting our lighters at those concerts?

So yesterday as I was all kinds of rockeriffic and the kids were giving me shit, I said something that almost made me cool. Almost.

“The Tonight Show is going to start airing the correspondent audition tapes tonight.”

“Dude, Ma! Are you going to be on?”

“I don’t know yet.”

“That would be so cool!”

“Can we stay up and watch it?”

Oh, now it was all making sense. My limited offer on being cool was a ploy to stay up late. These kids aren’t stupid after all. They’ve got my number. So I said, no. Suddenly that hint of cool oozed away from my grip.

The first thing they asked when they woke up, “Were you on TV last night?” They both had a hint of excitement in their voices and a twinkle in their eyes. It was almost as if my potential coolness was making a comeback. Dude, the band’s getting back together!

“No I wasn’t on,” I said as I washed down a cup of coffee with some “poison running through my veins” because Alice Cooper was rocking my little music channel. They both gave me that uncool look again and headed off to get ready for school.

I have no idea when or if the tape will air, but I know one thing for sure. I am going to milk moments of coolness from both of them every single day for as long as possible.

The one thing I didn’t tell the kids is that they are airing the worst of the audition tapes tonight. If mine airs, I’m never going to live it down and I shall remain uncool for eternity. Someone get me a can of Aquanet to put on standby.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Love On The Rocks

Dear Norwegian Foreign Exchange Student, I’m very happy that you found my son to be a “Hella sexy muthah fuckah.” However, I am a bit concerned about the fact that you mention his real name and location on your MySpace, along with that picture of the two of you. And no, sweetheart, he doesn’t look like Ashton Kutcher. And I hate to break it to you but, you don’t resemble a “younger, sexier Demi” either.

I understand meeting him, your “dream man” on the slopes was the “best moment of” your “fuckin’ life” however, a long distance relationship will never work. You are already back in Norway and our telephone plan doesn’t cover the cost of calls to you.

Yes, I realize you will be making a “come back that will knock off his socks” only, my son won’t be wearing socks. Ever. Again. Yeah, and stay away from him you foreign exchange slut student. I don’t care how “hot” your accent is, especially when you say his name, and yes, I know he loves that. He has told me about a million times how “hot” your accent is while saying, “Lane or anything else.” And yes, you may actually be the very first girl he has actually listened to.

My son isn’t the brightest crayon in the box. He was blinded by your accent. Besides, he is a big fat liar. You wouldn’t want to fall in love with a liar, would you? He has never been to Europe, not one part. I bet he couldn’t even find it on a map. And when he said he goes skiing all of the time, well, that also was a lie. Yes, he has been to Denver, Vail and other skiing communities, but only long enough to use a restroom at a truck stop.

So, anyhow, do your parents own stock in Norway Bell? Because you call way more often than his local friends. I hope they beat your ass take your phone privileges away when they get the bill.

Signed, Lane’s Mom

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

We’re Not Gonna Take It

I’ve not been much up for blogging lately. Well, I am writing every day, just not posting. Blogger has been acting up ever since they introduced the “new improved” whatever. Hey Blogger people, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Sheesh!

Little of what I have been writing is funny, and rather than bore you with plain old life and work, I don’t post. It’s a win, win. Today I have the best news ever. Aunty Shorty had a CAT Scan that finally came back clean!

Beyond elated is how I feel about that news. Cancer has taken too many in the Lane Gang. So cancer, suck it!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Is Blogger Going To Work Today?

What a pain in the ass Blogger has been lately. Anyhoo, here is what I was fixin’ to post yesterday, or was it the day before??

So there I was, minding my very own business, singing happily (maybe even on key, maybe). “I only think of you on two occasions. That’s day and night.”

“Ummm… yeah, only, Mommy, that’s pretty stalkery. Did your generation cause law enforcement agencies to enact restraining orders?” Lane 2 asked in a condescending way.

“So what if Mommy gets lost in the 80s once in a while? It’s not like I do it often. And what kind of question is that anyhow?”

“Well, Mom, you’re kinda like really into it and stuff and you always say it’s the lyrics that make the song. But those lyrics are, umm…”

“I know. Zip it. I’m trying to enjoy a flashback here.”

“Yeah, Sis, get off Mom’s mojo,” Lane 1 defended.

“He’s only being nice to you because he wants something. She isn’t stupid Dingleberry Fin.”

“No. But you are!”

“Guys! Knock it off! How can I feel the groove with you two yammerin’ like a couple of morons? We are the world. We are the children. We are the ones who make a brighter…”

“Dude, Ma, maybe she is right about your little flashback here.”

In my very best Bob Dylan, “It’s true we’d make a better day just you and me,” I continued.

As I sang loudly, more to annoy than enjoy, I really flashed back. My kids are about the age I was when I participated in Hands Across America. That was so cool! I got all nostalgic and made them listen to the story of how it all went down. As my brain wrapped around what happened that day way back in 1986, I found my skin had goosebumps.

My sister Angie held one of my hands, and some stranger person held my other. We stood on Grand and River Roads, in the same spot where I was also hit by a car. (Weird flashback there, but a blog for another day.) Anyhow, we stood there holding hands as far as the eye could see. It was a weird but good feeling. I don’t know if we made a difference that day, but just being a part of it felt really cool, and to this day, still does.

I remember someone was playing music for the event. When We Are the World came on, all interlocked hands went up in the air, all mouths sang along. An unrehearsed choir that in my mind sounded pretty damn good, rang through the street. Of course, poor Angie at my right probably didn’t think it all sounded so good. She has never been a big fan of my voice. In fact, when she finally got her first car, you know what she said to me? Oh, I’ll tell you because I remember it verbatim.

“Hey Lois. There will be no singing by you in my new car.”

As we drove along, I thought she would become more engrossed in her driving skills and I quietly and sneakily began singing along again, “Sometimes you’re better off dead. There’s a gun in your hand, it's pointing at your head. You think you're mad, too unstable, kicking in chairs and knocking down tables in a restaurant. Call the police, there's a madman around…”

“Call the police to get your horrible voice out of my car!!!”

“Take me home. I hate you, and I’m telling Mom!”

“So take, take me home, ‘cuz I don’t remembah,” she sang.

Angie was singing and mocking me all in one breath. And every time I sang… hell, even today, she still says, “Ummm… Lois, about your voice…”

But that one moment in time, that historic event, that part of the 80s I hope to not forget, Angie let me sing. Sure, she gave me that sisterly look but she shook her head in slight disgust or maybe it was empathy, and let me carry on my off key tune.

Even my precious father would ask, “Lois, what’d you do with the money?”

I’d offer a perplexed look and Mom would help me understand, “The singing lessons money.”

I still didn’t get it.

So back to my flashback and my kids hating my voice, the only thing I have found on digital cable that I really enjoy are the music channels. I can pick whatever genre of music I want and play it as loud as my TV goes, without commercials.

Every once in a while, I gotta get my 80s on. It’s just part of life. So there I was in a jammeriffic state of mind, when the kids came along and burst my happy little bubble. Today while they are busting their little asses away at school, I’ll be tinkering with the 80s and maybe I’ll even broom dance with some 70s.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Angels Among Us

Good people still exist. Who knew? After my car was given the hit and run treatment, I got an attitude. Well, I had one before that, but back to the point at hand. I was really pissed. I was sure society as a whole was headed down the shitter and I was ready to go along willingly. Why be nice? Why volunteer? Fuck it. “P.S. our police force blows donkeys, where can I join in on some illegal activities?” Not really the attitude I typically have, mind you, but I was warming up to the new me.

You guys called it as I tried convincing myself. You knew. I had huge doubts, even though I fucking love you all a whole bunch, I thought you had way more hope for good to come than I did. You said everything would be okay. And, well, you were right.

I got a call from the dent doctor and he said, “Your car is ready.”

“Wow! That was fast! The other guy said it would be ready Saturday.”

“I’ll keep it until then if you want.”

“Oh, no, that’s okay. I’m glad you were able to get it finished sooner. I’ve felt pretty grounded not having my car.”

“Okay, see you later.”

I hung up, headed out, and of course, the stupid temperature dropped and the rain/sleet had begun. Not exactly perfect walking conditions. I whined to my friend Mary on the phone, “Hey, can you drive Miss Daisy to fetch the car?”

“Sure, brush your teeth, comb your hair, put on some clean clothes…”

“You’re treating me like one of the kids.”

“I’ll be there in a couple of minutes.”

Mary has been there through all of my bitching and moaning every single day over coffee. Ironically enough, she keeps coming back for more, and I love that my insanity doesn’t bother her in the least. In fact, I think she kind of likes it.

We pulled up and saw what looked like my car. It was so shiny and looked all newish. In my excitement, I couldn’t get out of her car. I swear she had put on the child safety locks just so I would make an ass of myself. She got out of the driver’s side, opened my door, grabbed my arm and escorted me out of her car. Good friends who literally baby you are very hard to come by.

We said our goodbyes and I headed into the auto mechanic’s. The owner was in and he introduced himself. He began by saying they’d fixed the crack in my windshield too. That news was great to hear. The car had a tiny crack when I got it a few months ago. As soon as the cold weather hit, the tiny crack grew into a giant smiley the length of the windshield.

“That’s great! Thank you so much.”

“You know, it’s a really shitty thing they did to you, taking off like that. My kids have spent a lot of hours at the teen center and I really appreciate all of you volunteers and what you do.”

He made me smile a big goofy grin. Someone finally noticed that while I was trying to do good, bad things happened. I felt proud and that anger I’d been hanging on to quickly slipped away.

“I did all of the work myself so I could save on labor costs.”

“Well, from what I can tell, you did an excellent job, thank you.”

“I just wanted to make sure you didn’t have to eat that $500 deductable of yours.”

This man was paying it forward and I almost got all girly and cried right there. All of the stress and worry and somehow, this wonderful stranger person had my back the whole time. See how right you were?!

I refrained from hugging and kissing the man, but there was no holding back that enormous goofy grin on my face. I thanked him profusely and headed out. It looked so nice, brand new, even. I wanted to take a long drive and inhale the lingering paint fumes, but I had to get back home to call Mr. Lane.

“Oh my God, babe, you are not going to believe this!!! I have the best news ever!!!”

“You found yourself a rich man and are leaving me.”

“Ummm… no. Okay, let me start over. You are not going to believe this! I have some really good news!”

Dryly, he said, “Funny. What’s your news?”

“My car is ready all fixed up and beautiful and it looks new and the owner of the shop did all of the work himself so he didn’t have to pay labor costs and he replaced my windshield too and he didn’t charge me extra for that in fact he didn’t even charge me the $500 or anything because he said I did a good deed and he appreciated me being at the teen center for the kids because his kids go there, and …”

He cut me and my run-on-sentence-of-excitement off at the pass and said, “Did you blow him?”

Dryly, I said, “Funny, ummm, no.”

“Hell, I’d blow him for that!”

“You are a sick little monkey.”

“That’s why you love me. Anyhow, that’s really cool news, babe. So why don’t you take that money and go get some insulation, drywall and some more wood for the kitchen, so we can get back to our project Friday night?”

“Well, yeah, about that… no way am I strapping all of that crap to my shiny new car. We’ll take your truck when you get home.”

“I was just kidding anyhow. But that is really cool because now we can get all of the materials we need to finish the kitchen and then we can get started on those cabinets we are planning on building and you know I really want to get that wall knocked out of the utility room and the one in our bedroom so we can put in a master bathroom because we could put in a standup shower, sink and toilet relatively cheap and easy and after we finish that…”

I had to cut him off, “Ummm, honey? We didn’t win the Lotto.”

Tonight I’ll be at the teen center chaperoning another dance. My edge is gone and so is my anger. But I will be parking in the North-40. Stay tuned for more construction and destruction coming soon to a blog near you. Have a great weekend everybody!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Under Construction

Poor Mr. Lane, he really got his ass in a sling this time. Unsuspecting, he began discussing installing cabinets and counters with me over coffee Saturday morning. Before he knew it, we were tearing down the ceiling in our kitchen. Make that… two ceilings in our kitchen.

All he wanted was to move the stove to the center of the wall, and put countertops and cabinets on either side of it, but he is married to me. Looking at the big picture, I said, “Eventually (key word, folks) I would like to vault the ceiling. Putting cabinets in before doing so would be a bad idea. By raising the height of the room, we would have more space for taller upper cabinets, later (another keyword). Going from a seven and a half foot ceiling, to a thirteen-foot ceiling (at its highest peak) would really make a difference. Putting in smaller cabinets now would later dwarf them once we add five and a half feet.”

That poor guy never saw it coming but his mouth said, “You’re right.”

He started taking things out of the kitchen. He started with the table I was so comfortably sitting at. I couldn’t believe he was considering tearing ceilings down without a plan, money to purchase material or a friggin’ clue. My mouth, the thing that usually never stops moving, said… nothing. Instead, I got my ass up and started helping him move our kitchen things into our living room. Our wheels were cranking so fast, we didn’t speak.

The kitchen had a drop ceiling, which looks like something you’d see in a cheap office. The tiles are Styrofoam-like and are aligned in a checkerboard pattern separated by thin white metal strips. Beneath that was an old plaster ceiling. The man who renovated this house dropped the ceiling because it is a cheap and easy fix when the plaster ceiling is cracked and nasty, like that one was.

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Here you see Mr. Lane mentally saying, “What have I done? Man, I hate my wife.” This shot was taken right after we got the entire drop ceiling removed and he took his hammer to the first piece of plaster. You can see where the house settled and everything is uneven. The first white line is where the drop ceiling used to lay. The line above that is where the drywall stops. The brown uneven line is the beams in the wall foundation. See how the stove is covered in plastic? Well, it was on a naked wall. That did make it hard to cook because counter space is important, which is how this whole thing began. The door in front of him leads to the bathroom. We originally planned on moving the door so it is off of the living room, because we don’t want to shit where we eat. But we found out that our 80-plus year old house once stored ammunition during the 1940s Cold War, and there is a brick bunker where we intended on putting the door. Much too chicken shit to break down a bunker, we decided a bathroom off of a kitchen doesn’t have to be a bad thing. To tie the rooms together better, I wanted to replicate the vaulted ceiling that the bathroom has. And that my friends is how we got to where we are today.

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Lane 1 was a lot of help in the tearing down of plaster. Why is it that boys love destruction?

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Even the big boy seemed to be having a little fun. In this picture, you can see a pile of blown-in insulation laying on top of the plaster. When all was removed, we had two inches of that grey billowy nastiness, covering the entire floor.

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This last picture is what our kitchen looks like now. Mr. Lane bought some material and we began by reframing the old beams, which were weak. The wooden slats up there are “acclimating to the room” but will be what we use to make a wooden ceiling.

The lesson to be learned today folks is, never let Lois Lane’s wheels crank for too long, otherwise, you’ll be ass deep in a project you never intended on doing. This is just one of many projects my mind conjured up, so stay tuned for more, coming soon to a blog near you. Happy New Year!