Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Most Fascinating People of 2009

Barbara Walters is at it again. With the year coming to a close she’s rolling out her list and interviews with what she calls the 10 Most Fascinating People of the year. The thing with me is that I don’t use the word “fascinating” frivolously. Maybe I’m just hard to impress, but if you’re telling me something is fascinating then it had better be good. Like the one time I was watching Planet Earth on blu ray and they were showing the mating call of a particular bird – the male got all gussied up in front of another female bird, and in an effort to gain her affection spread his feathers and showed all his pretty colors and made his best squawking sound and then the female bird was all, *talk to the hand* and walked away. THAT was fascinating because I DID NOT KNOW that birds went to 7th grade. I almost felt bad for every boy I had ever turned down in high school until I remembered, “Oh yeah, I never did that because nobody ever tried to date me.” BUT! THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME, this is about Barbara Walters and her cockamamie list of Most Fascinating People of 2009.

The problem with this list of people is that it’s not really about being fascinating, it’s basically about high school. Featuring the prettiest, the most controversial, the victim, and even the all star quarterback, Walters’ Most Fascinating People is almost like watching “The Breakfast Club” for the stars. It’s mostly a popularity contest, because if Barbara was truly in search of the most fascinating people she would have interviewed the old guy at my Wal Mart who stands in the front holding a red lunch pail. Nobody really knows what he’s doing there, but I bet if Barbara could take him aside she might find out some pretty cool stuff. But no, her list is about, for better or for worse, who made the front page.

For example, a woman named Jenny Sanford made the list. The first lady of South Carolina, her husband had an affair with a woman from Argentina and everything hit the fan. Sad? Sure. Devastating? Of course. Fascinating? Not since Bravo TV debuted. Next up, Brett Favre. He quit, he came back. He quit, he came back. Come on Brett, show me something Pamela Anderson CAN’T do.

Another on the list, Sarah Palin. I’m annoyed with how much attention gets paid to her physical beauty. What??! You’re smart AND pretty? AND you have KIDS? HOW ON EARTH DO YOU DO IT ALL? Hey Barbara, let me introduce you to like, all of my friends.

And then came Adam Lambert. He’s gay and he can sing. Fascinating? I don’t think so. Have you never heard of George Michael? I guess it just goes to show what a little more range and a lot more eyeliner can do.

Kate Gosselin. Please. Don’t get me started.

Tyler Perry. Not the first guy to survive an abusive father and make something of himself. While I congratulate him, I’d be just as interested in an interview with the longest reigning mall Santa.

Glenn Beck. He speaks his mind and cries a lot. Put me on the TV/radio and I’ll show you much of the same, with less historical knowledge and cuter hair.

Lady Gaga. She wears bubble dresses and wings on stage and some speculate that she is a transvestite. Not someone I really want to hang out with, but fascinating? We might be getting closer.

Michelle Obama. Sorry, but I don’t see what the big deal is. She’s raising two kids, just like me, except her mom lives with her and they have a much nicer house. Plus, her husband travels a lot. (They really ARE just like us!) So, she doesn’t wear frumpy First Lady suits. I can see why Clint and Stacy would be impressed, but it’s not like I don’t know how to shop at Dress Barn too.

Finally, Barbara pulls a fast one on us and does a three for the price of one trick, kind of like a Bath & Body Works sale, as she names ALL THREE of Michael Jackson’s children. *sigh* Really Barbara? Here’s what I think happened. I think that ABC wanted to feature Michael Jackson on this list, but somewhere in a boardroom one day a few Dilberts came up with a list of official rules for the Top 10 Most Fascinating People and one rule was that a person featured must currently be alive. But Michael Jackson was JUST! SO! IMPORTANT! that they wanted to feature him anyway, but in order to stick to the rules and not have to deal with the management over the issue they would just pick his kids instead. Because let’s face it, none of us even saw his kids until the funeral, and we’ve never heard them say anything, and if that’s grounds for “fascinating” then there are mutes everywhere right now who should be offended that they didn’t also get a call.

I hope Barbara doesn’t take any of this personally. Just because she talks funny and has a talk show that I loathe (Hi The View! You women drive me crazy! Except you Elisabeth, I loved you in “Survivor”), doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to have dinner with her. As long as she’s paying.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

My sister called about a week ago and without a lot of time to chit chat, she asked, "Okay, I just have to know - did you really send this card out to everyone on your Christmas card list?"
"Yes," I answered with confidence and a chuckle. "Yes, I did."
"Wow," she said. "I can't believe you had the guts to actually do it."
Weird, I thought she knew me better than that. I have discovered that the only problem with having two blogs is that come Christmas time, I really have nothing left to say. Last year I managed to squeak out a few highlights and jokes that weren't otherwise shared, but this year...this year I was tired and out of ideas. Not to mention, Christmas and I have a rocky relationship and I have been trying VERY HARD, almost as hard as Tiger Woods has tried to keep his pants on I have tried to keep a healthy perspective this year. I am happy to report that I have been surprisingly successful, assisted in part by experiences such as this. I let Drew decorate part of the mantle, I allowed Samantha to take over the baking of sugar cookies, and I even let Cory hang the most ridiculous strand of blue icicle lights off of our back patio without saying anything. Well, at least I waited a few days. DO YOU SEE HOW ALL GROWN UP I AM?

But in the midst of all this growth I could not for the life of me find the heart to sit down and eke out a Christmas letter worth reading. SO. Instead I came up with the most genius three lines I could think of, slapped our family photo (courtesy of my talented niece Brianne) on a card and called it a day. This is our picture:

Here was the message we scripted on the back:

I've gained weight
Cory's going bald
Our kids are average

Merry Christmas!

I know, right? GENIUS, if I do say so myself. And I do.

Hope your Christmas is everything you hoped it would be and more.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Twilight Meets Singles Ward

If you have not been following Twilight (hi mom) you will not think this is funny. If you are not a Mormon, you will probably not get this. On the other hand, if you're a Mormon who knows enough about Twilight to know the difference between a "Quileute" and a "Quaalude" then you will appreciate this. If you are a Mormon Twilight fanatic, you just hit the jackpot. This is made from 100% pure organic awesome. (Thanks Carly!)

Twilight Years from Tom on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's My Birthday

Engine engine number 9
Today I’m thirty freakin’ nine
I think my brain has jumped the track
Control of my bladder is all out of whack
My last year in my 30’s, there’s a lot here at stake,
While I deem what to do, I think I’ll eat cake.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Funny

(thanks Kettie!)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Legend Of Jiffy Bobby

Cory’s car needed new tires, so we traded vehicles for the day and I spent the morning calling around to comparison shop. I started with my favorite, Discount Tire.
“Thanks for calling Discount Tire, this is Bobby.” I asked several questions, he gave me all the answers, and I called store number two.
“Thanks for calling Big-O Tires, this is Bob.” I chuckled to myself that I had two “Bob’s” in a row, but suppressed my thoughts to ask all the relevant questions. After hanging up I wondered, “What are the odds that I would get TWO ‘Bobby’s’ in a ROW?” And then I took it a step further and thought, “I wonder how many other tire stores I would have to call before I found another one?” And just like that, I made a game for me to play. My strategy: I would call more stores to see how they answered, and as soon as I heard their name I would say, “Oops! Sorry, I got the wrong number.” It would be my very scientific way to gather data. I started with a store called Colorado Tire.
*ring*ring* “Thanks for calling Colorado Tire, this is TOM.”
“Sorry, I must have dialed the wrong number,” I said.
“No problem,” Tom replied. Good job Tom.
*ring*ring* “Hello, it’s a great day to get two for one tires at Tires Plus, this is JEFF.”
I opted for a different location of Discount Tire and dialed the number.
“Thanks for calling Discount Tire, this is AARON.”
Isn’t this riveting? I’m telling you, ever since I quit working as a professional after having kids I have ONLY GOTTEN SMARTER. (Gotten?) And more interesting. And more…well, trust me I could go ON AND ON.
I moved on to my second location for Big O.
*ring*ring* “Welcome to Big O Tires, THIS IS BOBBY.” (!!!)
JACKPOT!!! I chimed in with my rehearsed, “Sorry, wrong number” routine then hung up and laughed to myself while I sat on the couch with HGTV on “Pause”.
BUT WAIT! The game is not over! I was on a high. Imagine how it felt to know that I, VERN, was the first to discover (after all of that scientific evidence) that if your name is Bobby you have a 50% chance of working in a tire store at some point in your life. But I knew there was more, because everyone knows that more than one person works at a tire store, but only one person can answer the phone at a time. So the only way, scientifically I mean, to prove my theory was to call back those other stores and ASK for Bobby, to make sure I didn’t miss one. I started with the 2nd store on my list, Tires Plus….
*ring*ring* “Thanks for calling Tires Plus, this is Pat can I help you?”
“Hi, is Bobby there?”
“Yup, hold on a sec,” he said.
I hung up before bursting out laughing. Not only was I cracking myself up, but I was becoming acutely aware of how much I needed to get a life. The next two places turned out to be duds, but all in all my scientific evidence had proven a 67% chance of working in a tire store if your name is Bobby. I wonder if they’re hiring any “Vern’s”.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Corn Maze

This little gem comes from my friend Deb, who sends me all sorts of hilarious stuff - not all of which is suitable for sharing. Mostly I just wanted to put something up that didn't have the word "hysterectomy" in it. Oops. Maybe next time.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

I Think I'll Sell My Tampons On Craigslist

I’m not gonna lie, I slept through  General Conference. But if I told you the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me Elder Packer, I should also explain that I slept through General Conference ON A GURNEY. So I’m kinda thinking I get a free pass.

My Thursday morning that week started out normally. Kids off to school? Check. Update my Facebook Scrabble game? Check. Look in the mirror and weigh the pros and cons of plastic surgery? Check. Run 5 miles? Don’t be silly. Then, somewhere between a double word score and self loathing I felt my abdomen begin to cramp. Soon after, what started out as mild discomfort led to, “Holy crap, I think my abdomen was a client of Bernie Madoff’s because it’s @#!*% .” Not knowing what to do I got on the phone and called my friend Ganelle – through sobs I tried to explain what was happening which resulted in her mandate, “Stay put. I’ll be right there.”

Thirty minutes later we stood in the ER entrance and I began peeing in cups and describing my pain on a scale of 1 to 10. (say 8!  say 8!)  Hmm…. “With ONE being that I never got the good stuff in my school lunches, and TEN being the Holocaust, I’m somewhere between never going to Homecoming and Columbine.” A little later, before the CT scan but after the incident where Ganelle pulled my gown over my legs in opposition to our “friendship knows no boundaries” clause, (turns out there ARE boundaries, and they stop short of the upper thigh being exposed through the light blue tent that one is given to wear when vacationing in the ER) Ganelle was also found holding my hair while I threw up into a pink, plastic bin. It was glorious, I tell you.

When my doctor finally showed up and took my information, he announced that we would be conducting a CT scan and whisked me off to see Jack, the CT Scan guy. “Hi Jack,” I gestured. “Don’t say that on an airplane!” he laughed. Something told me Jack only knew one joke. But he was nice, especially when he said, “We’ll be injecting your body with dye – you’ll feel warm and fuzzy inside, and then you will most likely feel like you’re wetting your pants.” I was all, “Dude, I just threw up on my best friend, what’s a little bed wetting incident with a guy who can’t do airports?” It was quick and painless, and even though I DID feel like I was wetting myself, I wasn’t. Not to worry, I would soon be cozying up with a catheter anyway.

The results were in. I had a mass on my ovary. Was it cancerous? We didn’t know. It was about the size of an orange (always with the fruit comparisons), had damaged the only ovary I had left beyond repair, and needed to come out immediately. I was admitted that night, had surgery the next morning, and came home from the hospital a few days later. At the end of the day, I did NOT have cancer (phew) but they ended up taking out all my lady parts, and closed me up with eighteen staples in my stomach and mailed me an invitation to menopause.

In the ensuing weeks I was flooded with good deeds from friends, neighbors and family. My parents flew to my rescue, did my laundry, and made me fresh guacamole. Another friend, conveniently an owner of a Cold Stone Creamery, dropped by and left me a couple of gallons of coping skills with names like "Cake Batter" and "Brownies".  After my parents left another woman showed up on my doorstep to vacuum and mop, and countless others gave my kids rides, dropped off treats, called to check on me and scoured my kitchen sinks. The amount of help I received during those long and painful weeks was humbling. I don’t think I could have felt more supported if I had been standing in a warehouse of jock straps.

I guess the only thing left to do is figure out what to do with my year supply of tampons.  The going rate on Craigslist hardly seems worth meeting at a shady Wal Mart.  I've heard they're good for bullet wounds, but I'm not super interested in putting that to the test.  Perhaps I could hang on to them in the hopes of bartering one day during the Zombie Apocolypse.  If there's anything worse than a Zombie Apocolypse I imagine it would be an Apocolypse where the Zombies are ON THEIR PERIODS.  Maybe they would spare my life for a few Playtex Glides? 


I'm ok now.  Guacamole and ice cream have that effect on me.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This Is NOT A Newsflash

Sometime over the summer when I was busy not blogging on this blog I saw a headline on my Comcast homepage that said, “Michael Phelps Not Injured In Car Accident”. Ummm, kay? Hello Comcast homepage people, I have some very important information that you should carefully tuck away for others like me. Specifically, when you tell me about something that didn’t happen, I don’t really care, and I am not likely to click on your little link to hear the “Rest Of The Story….”

Can you imagine if I ran my blog this way? So lazy. In fact, let’s try it out. Here’s a little Top Ten List of things that did NOT happen to me in the last two months.

1. I did not get syphilis, which is fairly common when you’re not a tramp.
2. I did not lose the thirty pounds that I set out to drop by October. Hell, I didn’t even lose ONE of those thirty pounds. And I did not just say “hell”. (hi mom!)
3. I did not begin a love affair with soy nuts and barley, which is why number 2 didn’t work out. P.S. I didn’t work out much either, so I suppose soy and barley are only partially to blame.
4. I did not watch any episodes of “The Suite Life” with my kids.
5. Except that one time, but I was bored and we only have one television so SHUT IT. And Samantha did not say, “Um, Mom? You just laughed at Zach and Cody. That’s kinda sad.” (See what I mean Comcast? This is not riveting material.)
6. I did not rent “17 Again” and think that Zac Efron was hot. However, I may have rented “17 Again” and thought, “Dude, I am the same age as the actor who plays Zac Efron’s dad.”
7. I did not cry when Michael Jackson died.
8. I did not get my own reality show, but I do wish that TLC would stop calling me already.
9. I did not run into Hugh Jackman at the mall, have lunch with him at Paradise Bakery, or hold his hand at the movies. Come to think of it, Hugh and I didn’t do anything together all summer. WHAT is his PROBLEM?
10. I did not go to Hawaii, but my friend Kettie did and she went to my favorite Shave Ice place and ordered my favorite flavor and sent me a picture of it, so it’s almost like I was there. But I wasn’t.

Tune in next week when I’ll share my lists on “All The Guys I Never Dated” and “All The Vegetables I’ve Never Tried.”

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cletus Take The Reel

Gathered with a group of moms this morning as we dropped off our daughters for Girl's Camp, my friend Bethany mentioned this following video on YouTube - I came home to check it out, and it must be shared! Check it...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thanks For The Mammaries

"For my sister’s 50th birthday, I sent her a singing mammogram."
~ Steven Wright

A year ago my doctor encouraged me to get my first mammogram. I politely took a card for a clinic he recommended, then came home and discarded it into my pile of “Things To Do After Napping Gets Old” where it got lost among my petitions for school volunteering opportunities, bills and Michael’s coupons. At my recent visit, he was more insistent. “Did you get a mammogram yet? You need to get a mammogram. Here’s a place where you can get a mammogram. Will you go get a mammogram? YOU ARE OLD NOW, PROMISE ME YOU’LL MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A MAMMOGRAM.” Not since my honeymoon had I encountered anyone so consumed with an activity concerning my breasts. He was so adamant about it that I began to feel as if ignoring him would be a serious mistake resulting in chemotherapy, so I came home and promptly made an appointment. I went on Friday.

I would like to start by saying that I was told a mammogram is not painful. I can’t remember who told me this, but I suspect whoever it was had shot up with heroin before their appointment, because nobody in their right freakin’ mind would say that a mammogram doesn’t hurt unless they have lightly coated their veins with an illegal substance first. “Take a deep breath and hold it,” the Nazi boob mutilator friendly lab technician instructed. This coaching proved to be unnecessary because, as it turns out, holding your breath comes naturally when someone is trying to extract your spleen out of your nipple in the name of early detection. The good news? I now know for a fact that I would look awesome with a neck lift.

Still, I can’t help but think that the Tower of London really missed out on this technology. And to THINK what Jack Bauer could do with this machine – the possibilities are endless. His female nemesis would be all, “I TOLD you Jack, I haven’t lactated in over a DECADE!” He’d crank it tighter, “TELL ME THE TRUTH!!!”

I don’t know, this all sounded funnier in my head.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Drew's Moral Dilemma

We are driving in the car and Drew says to me, "Mom? I'm trying to decide...if Anthony and Samantha were both hanging off the side of a cliff and I could only save one of them, who would I choose?"

I stare at him blankly. "I'm sorta hoping you're leaning towards your flesh and blood instead of the kid you met less than a year ago."

"Still," he defends. "It's a tough choice!"

He remains conflicted, which is why I'm steering Samantha away from ALL cliffs.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Greasing The Rusty Wheels

I don't get my camera out very often anymore, but I tend to get an itch when my friends have babies. Get a load of this beauty! Congratulations Kira, Clay, Tre, Max and Drew's sword-wielding equal, Raphael.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

For Jessica, Because I'm Feeling Nice Today.

I was minding my own business...actually, scratch that. I was taking care of everybody else's business on Sunday when I was caught in the halls by a really supportive and loving friend who said, "Hey, time to post something new. I'm getting a little tired of the NyQuil picture." I said something warm and loving back like, "Aren't you the one who only has ONE blog?" But now that I feel the pressure, the disease to please has kicked in and I want to meet her request. You are in for a treat ladies and gentlemen, as I give you...drumroll please... a Blast From Kristy's Past.

Here I am at Elvis' Grave in Graceland. I felt very close to him that day, and even though he couldn't hear me, I know he knew I was there. I learned that day that there are loyal psycho fans who exist that have standing orders with florists to make regular deliveries to his headstone. I want to see where those people live, because I can't help but imagine that they have pink flamingoes on their lawns and velvet paintings of the Virgin Mary.

Here I am (on the right) at my college roommate's wedding. Remember when floral prints were all the rage? You don't? Then you probably don't remember when peach and green were the primo choice for bride's maids dresses either. I'm sorry you missed it, but I'll submit a request to the Fashionland to see if they can at least make a plea to bring back burgundy and forest green. I don't want you to miss out on everything.

This glamour shot comes to you from my days as a Congressional intern when I went to witness the Presidential Lift-Off from the White House lawn. I only put this up because my legs were smokin' back then.

Oops! This is Garth Brooks. I hated country music up until I saw the video for "Friends In Low Places" and then I felt like we had a lot in common. This was before he cheated on his wife with another country music star so I still respected him. I guess he could have missed the pain, but he'd have missed the dance.

"I'm too sexy for these waders, too sexy for these waders...." What can I say? I had a crush on a fisherman and I was trying to get his attention.

LaVern & Shirley, Halloween 1992 with my friend Amy. "Shlameel, shlamazel...."

"Why I oughta...." I desperately want to have a good explanation for this picture. This was taken last year, and apparently this is what I look like when I get a hotel with friends and they take a picture of me in the dark without my make up on. I was provoked and I had just eaten a lot of pasta. 'Nuff said.

UPDATE: Samantha looked at this post last night and said, "Whoa. Those are some pretty big bangs you had in college." I guess it could have been worse, she could have pointed to the White House picture and said, "Wait a second, is that...*squinting to peer closer*is that like a space between your legs?!"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Would You Rather...

There has been a little party going on in my body this last week. I sent out invitations to germs, cramps, and even managed a special little invite to the concrete from my knee. "Come on over!" it said. "Bring a side dish effect." And wouldn't you know it, they ALL rsvp'd and showed up at the same time. Which got me thinking.

If I was stuck on a desert island and only got to choose ONE type of medicine to take with me, how on earth would I choose between this:

and THIS?

NyQuil is kind of like a one night stand - irresistible in the throws of desperation, but you wake up kind of wondering what you were thinking. Advil is like the steady girlfriend - consistent, predictable, and she never lets you down. I'm just not sure which one would be more critical on a desert island, and for some reason I feel like I need to know. Care to weigh in?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Good News

I've never heard anybody say it better than this. Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Birthday Boy

(I'm double posting today. Because I can.)

Dear Drew:

Today you are 9 years old. Old enough to play James Bond on the Game Cube and wriggle away from any affection I may attempt, but young enough to hop on my bed this morning with a grin, waiting for me to wish you a Happy Birthday. Old enough to wipe your own bum, but young enough to wipe with the efficiency of Kleenex on an oil spill. Old enough to dress yourself, but too young to decipher the difference between your bedroom floor and the dirty clothes hamper. Old enough to brush your own teeth, but too young to be interested. I don’t mind, unless you eat a big piece of blue candy that reveals just how poorly I have been supervising your hygiene, then I step in. At any rate, it’s a big day.

Yesterday, on your birthday eve and your last night as a Wolf in your scout troop, we had to hurry up and finish the last of your requirements so that you could earn your badge. That was a lot of fun.
“Drew! Time to come home from the neighbors! Scouts starts in an hour, and you still need to learn the Star Spangled Banner. Hurry!”
“Aww, Maaan! But I want to play with Anthony!”
“Yeah, well, I want peace in our time. You can’t have everything.”
He slumped his shoulders and came reluctantly up the steps.
“Okay,” I began. “From the picture here in the book, it looks like we’re supposed to sit at the kitchen table and meaningfully discuss three ways that people are protecting our world. See that? The Dad is looking introspective and wise, and the boy is smiling from ear to ear. That’s what happens when discussing propaganda.”
“Nevermind. Now hurry up so we can bond over this.”
[Heavy sigh] “FINE.”
“By the way, can you count to ten in Spanish? You’re only three small tasks away from extra arrow points, and we want people to think we care enough about Scouts to do more than just the minimum requirements.”
After finishing up you asked, “So, does this mean after tonight I won’t be a Wolf anymore?”
“That’s right,” I answered.
Then you faked a few tears, dramatically dabbed away at the corners of your eyes and said, “It’s just so touching,” in an exaggeratedly emotional voice. You, my son, are a trip.

It was just a few years ago that you, Samantha and I went to the park for Family Home Evening one night when your dad was out of town. It was the middle of July so the evening was warm and the grass was still supple and green. After rolling down the steep, grassy slope and watching the sunset, you turned to me and said, “This is the best day I ever invented.” When it was time to go home you and Samantha decided to walk the several blocks, so I followed slowly behind you in the car. I remember driving, and watching the two of you from behind and wishing I knew what you were talking about. Suddenly, you turned around and ran back to me in the car. I thought something might be wrong, so I lowered the window and you ran up and excitedly reported, “MOM! There’s a BUNNY!” Then you lowered your voice to a husky whisper so as not to scare the bunny, cupped your hand to the side of your mouth said, “See? It really is the bestest day.”

It’s a far cry from the interaction we just shared two seconds ago where you complained that your birthday was already boring. Nevermind that I have let you stay home from school so we can go to a movie, the fact that we don’t have plans to fly jets or stage an intervention with Storm Troopers for the three hours before that relegates it to a boring day. As if. I guess the weird thing about you growing up is that I’m expected to grow up with you. I have to face the fact that you think parks are for babies and bathing is for…other people. Your ideal world would use burping and farting in Morse code to communicate and count video games as cardiovascular exercise. I’d like you to work on creating that ideal world, because you would make a fortune and then I could finally get that purse I’ve been wanting.

Then again, I love that you are old enough to hop in the car and head over to the church to play basketball with Dad. I love that you didn’t want to vote for Obama because he had a “wart”, and that you think ketchup is a vegetable. I know that you are no longer enchanted with bunnies, but at the end of the day when you are in bed and drifting off to sleep, I still come in and kiss your forehead and tell you that I love you. And most of the time, you say it back. You don’t have to love me as much as I love you, but my wish for you on this, your 9th birthday, is that someday you will understand just how much that is. Let me just say that if you put Cosmic Brownies, Obi Wan Kenobi, all the MacGyver DVD's and a remote control fart machine in the same room, I love you more than you love that room.

And THAT, my boy, is saying something. Happy Birthday buddy.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Check out what I'm doing over here today - you won't want to miss it.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Do you think the Duggars ever watched "Eight Is Enough?"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Down And Derby

Drew's very first Pinewood Derby is tonight. He and his dad our friend with all the power tools have had a lot of fun making it. These events have a tendency to bring out the worst in people, and Cory overheard a conversation at church where someone said, "I just really don't want what happened last year to happen this year." (???) We weren't there, so I don't know what he's talking about. So, we're just hoping Drew has fun and learns good sportsmanship. (Translation: We're hoping he takes 1st.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kiss The Irish!

It takes a really special video for me to post it on both of my blogs on the same day, but today it's non-negotiable. Two reasons: 1) I don't know how many of you keep up with my other one, and 2) I can't bear for you to miss this. I've watched it about eight times and I laugh harder every time. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

On Dr. Phil, Prison, and Michael Jackson

There was a time when I was highly entertained by Dr. Phil. There's just not a lot of people who can say stuff like, "Happier than a dog with two peters" and then walk out the door with a check for a million dollars for that week's work. I have to respect that, seeing as that's MY plan for getting rich. But I got tired, and his guests got weird, and I'm SOSICKANDTIRED of him and his wife using themselves as examples of how to do things right.
"Robin, how on earth did you lose that last five pounds?"
"I stopped eating Hot Tamales."
"Dr. Phil, how on earth did you raise such nice boys?"
"Don't ask me, I'm a workaholic."
"WELL, we don't allow burping at the dinner table."
"So what you're saying is, your sons are no fun at a party?"
"That's right."
"How did your lame book sell so many copies?"
"Funny story. I married a bald man who got his own TV show."

ANYway. After years without Dr. Phil echoing throughout my living room, I got caught up in an episode yesterday. It was about two teenage boys with very bad habits so they decided to do an intervention by sending the boys to the San Quentin Penitentiary as a wake up call to say, "Dudes, this is where you're headed if you don't cut it out." Field Trip! Remember to pack a sack lunch! P.S. No forks or spoons. So at one point the boys were getting a tour of the cells, and as they came out they were confronted by a cell mate exiting from an adjacent room. He was a black guy, and the kid was white. The black guy got in his face and said, "You're lucky there's cameras and police around here, because if this was just you and me, I'd have you for lunch. Black people and white people don't get along in prison."

He laughed when the kid said he had black friends at home, and went on to educate him about life in prison, and how it "ain't the same", and laughed at him some more when the white kid called him "Dude". They pointed out different sections of the outside areas - one for hispanics, one for whites, and one for blacks. Which got me thinking, if Michael Jackson ever goes to prison, who will decide what section he sits in? I could see that black guy getting in Michael's face and being all, "Skin condition my %@#!" and threatening to eat him for dessert after having the other guy for lunch. And then I bet Michael would try to get out of it by starting to dance and sing, "Because I'm BAD, I'm BAD, really really BAD..." but then I bet that guy would educate Michael about how dancing and singing might be popular out "there", but "it ain't the same in prison." And then I'm really hoping Michael would leave out his signature pelvic thrust because come on, his life would be soooooo over after that.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Say Hey

The thing about dancing, other than the part where I am bad at it, is that I love it. My favorite kind of dancing is the kind that people can't see me doing, and most often takes place in between my kitchen and our office. Lots of room. Clothing optional. Kidding!! Sorta. Don't get any ideas, I always close my blinds. I am not afraid to pump up the volume in my car to the right song, and my kids LOVE IT. Okay, not always. One time when I was driving down a street near my house I was PUMPED, and I was showing it, and I didn't care about any other drivers judging me because what do I care? I'm not going to see them again. Unless you are my neighbor, who was riding next to me in her Explorer. She honked, I looked over - BUSTED! I waved, and she commented later to me at the bus stop about my moves. I think she was a little bit jealous, and I can't blame her. With one hand on the wheel baby, I can BUST IT!

Anyway, I have made a resolution of sorts that I am going to dance to one song every day. Better than anti-depressants, I say. Always on the lookout for more variety, I heard a song on the radio this morning that had my head bobbing and had I not been in the car, I would have launched into the Running Man. Serious. I wrote down enough of the lyrics so that I could look up the song when I got home, and not only did I find it on iTunes but they have the video on YouTube. And because I'm a giver, and I think you should dance more too, I've downloaded it for you here. It's like Ziggy Marley meets MC Hammer, and it's rad. Don't feel bad if you find yourself doing the Running Man in your living room while you listen, it happens to the best of us. Feel free to follow up all your comments about how you LOVE THIS SONG with other dance music suggestions. Now that I'm doing this every day, I need to expand my repertoire!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Get A Load of THIS!

While rummaging through some photo albums earlier I found this picture of me as a baby.

I have seen it a hundred times, but only recently with the element of foreshadowing that has been missing all these years. I mean, look at me. Me! With a RABBIT! It’s like I’ve known all my life that a rabbit would become a pivotal element of symbolism in my life. Do you think that little girl knows that she’s going to be so famous one day that seven people who aren’t even related will one day read her blog? Do you think she knows that she’s going to need therapy someday? Or that she looks horrible in green? And that she would despise eggs up until adulthood? Or that she would eventually eat mushrooms without throwing up? I wonder if she knows how hard it is to get a date. Probably, do you see how hard I’m clutching that rabbit’s ears, as if it represents all the future basketball stars who would reject me? (Andy Toolson, you know who you are.) I’d like to think I was dissing the photographer, like she’s back there making all these squealing noises, trying to get me to laugh or smile and I’m all, “Man, that chick is riDICulous.” Still. Me, the rabbit, it’s like it was meant to be.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Look Ma! Both Hands!

I haven't used my sewing machine since the Clinton years. I broke my streak this week as I ventured out to clothe my family room windows, in a feeble attempt to prove that I'm not completely domestically dead inside. Looks like the machine still works!





Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Although Shaniqua DOES Have A Nice Ring To It

OK. So I've narrowed my alter ego choices down to three. I think I might keep all of them, simply because I think there might come a time when all of them could come in handy. And it's my blog, so I can do whatever I want. Having said that, here are my final three contestants:

"Veronica Remington" – I could wear long flowy dresses, show lots of cleavage, and pose with Fabio for the cover of Harlequin romance novels.
PRO: Long flowy dress
CON: Fabio. Plus, I don't think I could hold that pose for very long.

"Tee Shizzle K-Dawg" – This could afford me to use my talents as a poor singer to relay my tales of discontent over a difficult home life and the fact that all of my friends would have been popped off by our gang rival, but I could wear jeans, a bandana, and hoops virtually all the time.
PRO: I would never have to do my hair
CON: I didn’t actually have a difficult home life, so I would probably end up singing poorly in front of large crowds for no reason

"Karma von Dharma" – I wouldn’t ever have to shower or wear make up, and I could wear big, colorful prints. Not to mention the Birkenstocks alone would make shoe selection so much easier on a daily basis. With socks or without? That’s all I would have to decide.
PRO: It would give me an opportunity to bring braids back.
CON: I fear I might have to take up tofu

Thanks for playing! You guys are the best.

Friday, January 23, 2009

What Would You Do For A Klondike?

Did you know that Boy Scouts go camping in the snow? True story. It's called a "Klondike", and doesn't have anything to do with ice cream but plenty to do with the butt freezing cold. Since my husband works with the youth at our church who are participating in such festivities, he has to gets to go. Are you with me here people? CAMPING. IN THE SNOW. With 14-year-old boys. Not even Michael Jackson could get excited about that. Speaking of which, Michael, if Billie Jean isn't your lover then who is? I've been meaning to ask you that for a while now.

Anyway, after dropping off Cory at the meeting place, I went to the store and picked up some of these:

I told him that later the kids and I would have a moment of silence for him and take a bite into one of these bad boys while NOT standing by the fireplace. What can I say? I'm a giver. It's about the only thing I'm willing to do for a Klondike.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Am...

I was not a rebellious teenager, but I was very moody. I swear, some days it was like having Courtney Love on one shoulder and Billy Graham on the other.
“Be happy!”
“Drive a pencil through your eye.”
“Be grateful!”
“I hate you.”
“Life is so marvelous!”
“You are a suck up. Shut it.”

I’m totally over that now. (Lies.) Okay, but I’m not as bad as I used to be. To illustrate, if I still lived at home I don’t think my parents would fantasize as much about little green men coming to steal away with me in the middle of the night. They might finally confront me about snitching all the ice cream, but I don’t think they’d have to ask at the end of every day which one of me might come out tomorrow to play. I bet that’s a relief.

However, I still have moods. Not moods of the Sally Field playing Sybil kind, but more like “I feel like wearing a scarf around my head with big hoops while eating hummus to simulate the Mediterranean” kind. You know how certain people can pull off any kind of a look they want? If they want to dress bohemian one day, they can do it and look legit. The very next day they can put on a dress suit and nobody does a double-take. They can wear hats to the horse races, boots to the rodeo, flowers on their lapels to church, and they can manage an up-do for a wedding or a ponytail for a daily workout. Regardless, they totally pull it off. Unfortunately, not everyone can do this and so you end up with two different groups of people: those who can pull off any look, and those who can’t. Make that three categories. The third being that you think you can pull off any look, which you can’t, but you try anyway. Care to take a stab at where I fit? Bingo! Category 3 it is. It’s such a drag. I think this is why I spend so much time in my pajamas.

But GUESS WHAT? (enter: Billy Graham) I have good news! I’ve figured out my problem. All this time I thought my category 3 predicament was hopeless, like I was just born this way and need to accept myself for who I am - kind of like being in a beauty pageant and winning Miss Congeniality because you’re just not “Queen” quality. Not that I could ever be in a pageant or hope to even win Miss Congeniality (Miss “How Did You Get In Here??” maybe, but not Miss Congeniality) but that is not the point! The point is, a couple of months ago I saw an interview with Beyonce who was promoting her new CD titled “I Am…Sasha Fierce”. In the interview she explained that Sasha Fierce is her ALTER EGO. Here’s what she says:

“Sasha Fierce is the fun, more sensual, more aggressive, more outspoken side and more glamorous side that comes out when I’m working and when I’m on the stage.”

As it turns out, alter egos are apparently all the rage. Eminem, you know, that rapper with no talent who makes more money than me for wearing bad clothes, too much bling and swearing on stage? Yeah, him. Apparently he created an alter ego he named “Slim Shady”, something he was inspired to do while sitting on the crapper. No lie. And that’s when it hit me. (Not the urge to go to the bathroom - duh!) but the realization that it’s not more scarves that I need, it’s an ALTER EGO. That way when someone looks at me and goes, “Um, you look ridiculous – nice try though,” I could be like, “Word up, I’M not ridiculous, that’s my alter ego, Shaniqua. Take THAT.”

Then I remembered this Seinfeld episode where George decides he wants to go by “T-Bone”. Things go awry, and before he can make his new identity known to the world he gets labeled as “Koko The Monkey”. I don’t want this to happen to me, mostly because “Koko” doesn’t suit me and I don’t even like bananas. So here’s the other good news!! (please - hold the applause) I want YOU to come up with a name for my alter ego. I mean it, you can do this. I have total faith in you. But just in case, I’m going to go brainstorm a little myself. You have through the weekend, and by Monday I’ll decide my alter ego name.

Maybe I need to take a potty break and see what comes to me.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Something Cleverish"

A couple of months ago a fellow blogger extraordinaire, a.k.a. Sue, came up with a great idea. She invited bloggers everywhere to submit a funny post for a book she would compile and use all proceeds to help Nie Nie and her family to tackle their rapidly accumulating medical bills. The internet has been a remarkable tool as I’ve watched the events with Nie Nie unfold, and I can’t believe all the ways that people have been so resourceful in trying to help. This was definitely something that excited me, so when Sue came-a-calling, I couldn’t resist and I submitted an entry. And would you believe…? I got in. I am so psyched for this book! As part of the process, Sue had the grueling duty of narrowing down hundreds of entries into what has been condensed into featuring 43 bloggers’ posts, all worth your time and suitable for putting on your coffee table. Did I mention I am one of them? ‘Cuz I am. And this makes me feel important, which is really all that matters at the end of the day. That and the fact that I can watch “Remington Steele” on DVD anytime I want now.


Go here, and order your copy. Please? Pretty please? You can order a hard copy or download it instead. Tell all your friends! You won’t be sorry.

Do I Have To Grow A Beard Now?

I'm a great aunt. Like, officially. As in, my niece had a baby and I might show up on their pedigree chart someday. Isn't he adorable? I need to go shopping.

I'm not totally sure how I feel about this Great Aunt thing. On the one hand, I am so happy and excited for my niece and her husband. They are a really great couple, and they are going to be really fun parents, but they also freely admit that they are not perfect, well, Rachel admits it anyway, and since they keep a blog I will get to read all about it. Bonus!

But I also feel like it's important for little Liam to know that his Great Aunt Vern should be his favorite person. Like, ever. And I'm not sure he'll ever come to this knowledge. To prove my point, have you ever had a Great Aunt that you were close to? That didn't have a beard and live next door to her parents? Who didn't own seventeen cats? Let's be honest. Nobody really knows or cares about their Great Aunts unless they send money regularly. And even then it's like, "Sweet, my crazy great aunt must have won at the slots again. I love it when she's manic and sends me cash."

I think it's time to change the stereotype of the Great Aunt. Liam, listen up. I know you've only been here for twenty-four hours, but time is of the essence. Your great aunt Vern, aside from loving you already would like you to have a concise understanding of the role of a Great Aunt. Ummmm....

((enter: crickets))

Okay, hypothetically let's say we're at a family reunion. It's dinner time, and there are 40 people trying to tell each other what to do, and there are small children in line with empty plates demanding lots of jello and requesting no vegetables. You're in a corner on your dad's lap and he's trying to forget that he married into this craziness, and I'm watching the chaos ensue wondering where I can escape. This is where you come in. Your job is to remember that I'm your favorite and ask for me by name - a simple "Wa-ble-hmmm" will do. I answer to just about anything, but especially to "Wa-ble-hmmm". I'll come get you, and we'll hop down to the beach (well, I'll do the hopping, you just buckle up and stay attached to the hip, alrighty?) and I'll tell you all about how the current Nursery Rhymes are cleaned up versions of their original tragic tales written by manic depressives before the days of Zoloft. You'll laugh and say, "Oh Aunt Vern, you are so funny," and I'll say, "The secret, my child, is knowing where the Zoloft is kept."

And we'll live happily ever after.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Proud Parenting

I'm on such a parenting roll lately, it just seems like I should share my insight. First, we taught our son to fight more while playing basketball. Then last week, I noticed that along with a very cute outfit that my daughter had put together to wear to church, she was wearing a shirt under the sweater that was showing through.
"How does this look?" she asked.
"Cute," I said. "Except that shirt underneath looks a little funny."
"But if I don't wear it, it's too cold."
"Honey, don't you know that looks are more important than comfort?"
Her mouth dropped open, I laughed, said I was kidding and she lost the shirt. It was a tender moment.

Just now we were in the kitchen and Samantha asked how I liked her new sweatshirt.
"It's cute," I said.
"You think everything is cute."
"No I don't, I hate that shirt you're wearing underneath it."
Then she hit me. And I laughed really hard, because I thought I was hilarious and so I came in here to write about it. She followed me, so I asked her to leave. She said no and asked if I was coming in to write about her. I said no. I lied. I'm telling you, there should be a gold plaque somewhere with my name on it.

Monday, January 5, 2009

In A Nutshell

Only one more day until both of my kids are back at school. Not that I’m counting. I’m really not. But seriously, don’t you think that 42 days off track is a BIT MUCH? I’m just saying. The last two weeks have been fun though. For Christmas Drew got an honest to goodness 100% certifiable REAL Indiana Jones whip. As in when my mother-in-law left the store at Disneyworld where she purchased said whip they warned her not to open it before leaving the park, as “it is a weapon”. When he opened it up on Christmas morning and shouted for joy, Samantha noted the contents and said, “Please don’t hurt me,” to which he replied, “We’ll see.” Then, the same daughter who bought herself a new pair of fuzzy socks and gave me her old ones for my present wrote in her homemade Christmas card that I was the best gift she could ever have, and she wasn’t even kidding! I’m going to frame it and put it in her room when she’s 16 so she can remember how she used to feel.

At some point in the day Cory was toying around with iTunes and he blasted a little snippet of David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” before asking Drew if he knew what song it was. “Ice Ice Baby”, Drew stated confidently. Cory tried to bet him a Dr. Pepper that he was wrong, AND HE CONSIDERED IT despite my vehement shakes of the head in the background. Ultimately Drew chose wisely, then Cory played the rest of the song, slammed Vanilla Ice, and a discussion of plagiarism ensued. Later I made Cory take Kacy’s quiz during which he confided that he would indeed accept a makeover from ZZ Top, particularly from the “Legs” girls. And I quote, “I’d love to know what those ‘Legs’ girls are doing now.” He’s really deep.

We went to Utah for a few days after Christmas where we caught up with family. Snowmobiling, sledding, and excessive consumption of Martinelli’s were all checked off of our To Do List. Oh! And cheese fries from Training Table. Awesome. Hope you had a nice holiday too!