So I learned a couple things about myself when I went to the grocery store:
1. I'm resistant change.
2. I'm a hypocrite.
I discovered the first thing when I challenged myself to wear my purse on my left shoulder instead of my normal right. (Yes, I'm always doing things like that to keep me on my toes and, yes, I know it's weird.) Anyway, it didn't work. After ten minutes my untamed left shoulder stopped cooperating. My purse kept "accidentally" falling off though it was no real accident. It just felt too weird so my lazy shoulder just said "no."
As to being a hypocrite, though, no purses or shoulders were involved. It had to do with those sound toothbrushes. You know, the ones that play a song while you brush. I've always thought those things were stupid. And I've said so. A lot. Not that I don't like sound-making devices, In fact, I have one in my corner of love.
When pressed, it emits bloodcurdling yet gleeful screams of people riding a roller coaster. I find the strange mix of joy and horror oddly appealing which, I know, could be due to some sort of sick sensibility on my part. As an American, though, I'd rather blame it on someone or something else -- like gratuitous media violence. It's desensitized me. Now I thirst for carnage.
But back to sound toothbrushes. As I casually rolled my shopping cart down the aisle, I saw a bunch of those ridiculous things. Justin Bieber had one (Ugh!), as well as Psy (He's still relevant?) and LFMAO (LFMAO!). Even Lady Gaga had one. I groaned, though she was great on Saturday Night Live, wasn't she? .
Then I saw it. The one. It literally jumped into my cart. I tried to put it back but couldn't.
Originally, the toothbrush was next to a box of Cocoa Puffs and some Cosmic Brownies in my cart. Before I took the picture, I realized it would make me look like one of those moms who just feeds her kids crap, so I placed it next to tomatoes and leafy greens. Don't judge.
And now my magical, rock it 'til you drop it toothbrush has a place of prominence on my bathroom counter.
What can say? Queen gets me every time, plus how can I think badly about devices that promote good dental hygiene? So when it comes to sound toothbrushes, I laugh no more. Unfortunately, my husband still does. Is watching a 46 year-old woman rock out in the bathroom as she brushes her teeth really that funny?
Don't answer that.
Last night I went to the Establishment Theater in Rock Island, Illinois to watch their Comedy Sportz
show. What a blast. In it, two improv teams competed for points and laughs by playing a series of silly games. One competition I immediately loved.
Called "The Garth Game," it's based on a character from a recurring Saturday Night Live
sketch about a public-access cable TV show called Wayne's World
. Hosted by metal heads Wayne Campbell (Mike Meyers) and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey), the "show" was absolutely hilarious. So in 1992 they made a movie, also called Wayne's World. If you'd like a taste of its awesomeness just click on the video below.
Anyway, in the movie Garth describes a girl by saying, "If she were a president, she'd be Babe-raham Lincoln" (instead of Abraham Lincoln. Get it?) The two Comedy Sportz teams ran with the joke, choosing a famous person and seeing which team could make up the most silly/rhymy references.
It was so much fun to watch I thought I'd try out the game, myself. My subject: None other than June Cleaver, the iconic wear-pearls-while washing-the-dishes mother played by Barbara Billingsley on the old TV show, Leave it to Beaver. Here's what I came up with. (And yes, I know I just dangled a preposition but I don't care, as evidenced by my starting this sentence with the word "and." Plus "rhymy" isn't a real word but I thought it sounded cool so I used it anyway. I'm such a rebel.)
The Garth Game: June Cleaver"And here's Dad and I back in our biker days..."
If she were a housewife who took bubble baths all day, she'd be Prune Cleaver.
If she was a 300 pound body guard for a mafia crime boss, she'd be Goon Cleaver.
If she lived on a harsh desert planet thousands of years in the future, she'd be Dune Cleaver.
If she had a red butt and lived in the Ape House at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo, she'd be Baboon Cleaver.
If she was an animated character who hung out with Bugs Bunny, she'd be Cartoon Cleaver.
If she were a retired marshal who dealt with a convict returning to town to kill him, she'd be High Noon Cleaver.
If her white blood cells mistakenly attack and destroy healthy body tissue, she'd be Autoimmune Cleaver.
If she was an elementary school piano recital groupie, she'd be Au Clair De La Lune Cleaver.
If she was an astronaut preparing for a mission to outer space while listening to Pink Floyd, she'd be Going to the Dark Side of the Moon Cleaver.
If she sat at the computer creating imaginary theme parks all day, she'd be Roller Coaster Tycoon Cleaver.
If she tried to sign up for government health insurance over the last couple weeks, she'd be I Just Wasted an Afternoon Cleaver.
If she was a fourteen year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert, she'd be Oh Lord She is Starting to Swoon Cleaver.
If she shot a video of herself naked on a wrecking ball, she'd be Let's Just Be Done With It and Send Her To Cancun Cleaver.
So how about you? Care to play? I've used up a lot of "June" rhymes but there are still a few of them out there. You can also use her last name (heaver, fever, weaver.) Or just use a different famous mom -- fictional or real. Carol Brady? Marge Simpson? Michelle Obama? Give me what you've got. If that's too much trouble just tell me one of your favorite games -- word, board, card, whatever. I want to hear from you!
Leave it to Beaver Photo credit:
Man, I love Halloween. It might even be my favorite holiday of the year. Candy and costumes -- what an awesome combo. Sure, as a mom, I'm not particularly fond of the heavy sugar intake but if my kids only puke once a year I figure I'm ahead of the game.
I still remember my first Halloween in Germany when we lived on a U.S. military post. Little German kids would come dressed in costume, walk up to our door, and speak tentatively to us in stilted English. "Halloween?" They would ask -- that is, they'd ask the first time. Once we put candy in their little bags they'd go to the next place and smile, "Halloween! Halloween!" I could only imagine what they were thinking. Probably something like, " My folks weren't lying about this crazy American holiday. This is so cool!" Only a few knew to say, "Trick or treat." We didn't care. The joy on their faces transcended the language barrier.
In celebration of the day, I've compiled a few fun Halloween facts. But first, another anecdote from earlier this week...
One of my son's teachers asked the class: "What do you get when you cross a teacher with a vampire?" Spoiler alert: The teacher's answer was "a teacher who gives blood tests." My son came up with a different answer. He yelled, "A teacher who sucks!"
His teacher was not amused.
As a fake punishment for his cleverness, I was going to share a silly Halloween photo of him when he was a baby. I stopped myself but, as penance for this almost betrayal, I'm posting an old Halloween photo my friend, Lisa, took of me:
The costume was kinda sorta Kiss inspired, my one (failed) junior high attempt at being a rebel.
Okay, now for fun Halloween facts. Hope you enjoy them. If you're also interested in Halloween keyboard characters, click the bat.
Otherwise, just read on. I hope you enjoy them and have a Happy Halloween! FUN HALLOWEEN FACTS:
- $330 million dollars a year is spent on costumes -- pet
costumes. All costumes combined? Over $2.5 billion. We spend about that much in candy, too. The estimated projection for Halloween candy sales in 2013: $2.25 billion.
- In Alabama, it's illegal to dress up as a priest.
- In Hollywood, California, there is a $1,000 fine if you use Silly String on Halloween.
- Jack-o-lanterns were first carved by the Irish. (The Halloween tradition began with the Celts.) They used turnips, rutabagas, and potatoes
. - As for records,
Boston, Massachusetts holds it for the most pumpkin jack-o-lanterns lit at once. The number: 30,128. The largest pumpkin in 2013 was grown by Tim and Susan Mathison from California. The weight: 2032 pounds!
- In the United Kingdom, white cats are considered to bring bad luck instead of black ones, like in the United States. - Michal
Jackson's song "Thriller" is the most played Halloween song on U.S. radio stations. - The highest grossing scary movies: 1. Jaws ($260MM), 2. World War Z ($202MM),
3. What Lies Beneath
($155MM) -- for the rest of them click here for the IMDb list. - The movies that scared the poop out of me when I was a teenager: Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street.
What scared me as an adult: The Ring
. (shudder) That's it. Be safe and try not to get too many cavities tonight! photo credit for pumpkin photo:
So I've been sitting here staring at this stupid graphic I've created, wondering how I could incorporate it into a post:
My first thought was to take other movie titles and replace one of the words with another grammar term. But you know what? That's kind of hard and I'm kind of lazy so I'm showing you some of my pictures, instead.
Like this backpack I saw at Great America. I thought it was cute. My kids agreed until they realized I actually thought about buying one. Then words like "immaturity," "acting your age," and "embarrassed to be related to you" were said, making me feel bad. I should never have never spoken to them that way.
Here's one I snapped in Seaside, Oregon. If you ever need photographic evidence on why folks in these United States constantly struggle with obesity, I give you permission to use this:
And for evidence on how far back the fascination with breast enhancement goes, I submit this old ad for your perusal:
Okay, that's it for now. I promise I'll write something more substantial next time -- not because I want to but because I'm running out of photos. Until then, have a great week!
Original Rebel Without a Cause photo credit:
Here's the thing: I really need to get crackalackin' on the sequel to Extraordinary: Light vs. Dark
, so I'm only allowing myself fifteen minutes to write this post. Therefore, it will just be a series of tidbits which will, most likely, have typos. Are you ready? Buckle up. Let's go! First off, I want to thank Facebook for cropping the photo for my latest post about female empowerment. Here's what it looked like:
Um, yeah. Way to zero in on the goods. Oh, the humanity! Girl power, indeed.
Next topic: This morning my youngest offspring called me a terrible mom for stealing a marshmallow from his bowl of Lucky Charms. How'd I respond? By saying I'm awesome because I gave him a bowl of Lucky Charms instead of Bran Bricks. Complain again and crap cereal will be taken off the breakfast menu.
Moving on... To inspire me on the whole Extraordinary sequel, I bought a pair of glow-in-the-dark LED earrings. I debuted them at the high school's homecoming game, turning them on at half-time, and instantly felt like a moron. Nothing like a 15 year-old giving you the stink eye. I turned them off less than a minute later but did wear them the next night at the riverfront pops concert. It featured the music of Michael Jackson and the earrings blended right in since half of my friends wore silly light up fedoras. I have a photo of them but I'm not going to post it -- not because I 'm a good friend but because the photo came out blurry. Their egos were saved not by my sweet sensibilities but, rather, my ineptitude. By the way, in the dark I looked like an alien.
Take me to your leader...or the King of Pop.
But, you know, sometimes I've just gotta be me. In fact the message on the flask below, which I chanced upon while shopping, crystallizes my thoughts perfectly. Of course, I didn't buy the flask. I might have if I'd needed it. But my life is perfect, with beautiful children who not only fill my life with constant joy but also never complain at the breakfast table.
Anyway, my fifteen minutes are up. I'll end with with some business: Click here if you want to read an interview I gave at TheWriteChris. (Thanks, Chris!)
Click here to see an awesome review I got on Book End Babes.
(Thanks, Babes!) Okay, those links took me two extra minutes. Gotta go.
Ciao for now!
This week I was set to write more tales of insanity until one of my readers contacted me. She had a story. It wasn't unusual. In fact, I'd heard ones very similar before. This time, however, it had a very different kind of ending. Anyway, I asked her if I could share her story and she was awesome enough to oblige. I've changed the names but otherwise it's straight from the horses' mouth -- only she's not a horse. In fact, I'm sure she is lovely with no equine features at all. But I digress. Here's the story:
"My daughter Anna is a really sweet kid. She is 16 and is still a bit shy and insecure but really seems to be coming into her own. And she is really blossoming in terms of her appearance and the boys are starting to take notice. She is on the cheerleading squad and a few weeks ago a boy named Jack who is a star football player approached her after cheerleading practice. After chatting for a bit, he asked her out on a date. She was thrilled beyond belief! This would be her first date and she couldn't believe he even knew who she was. But then after a phone conversation or two, she didn't hear from him, and the days went by and he never followed up on the date that he had set. She was crushed, though not totally shocked, since her friends had warned her that he was a bit of a jerk. Then, to add insult to injury she discovered he just started dating another girl named Brianne who is very pretty, popular and well, rather buxom too. Needless to say, fair or not, she was quite resentful toward Brianne and bitter over the whole situation, I did have to chuckle when she said that she hated all girls with big boobs, lol!
Well anyway, school started this week and one day during lunch at the cafeteria, Brianne stopped by Anna's table to talk to her. She asked if it was true if Jack stood her up, which of course Anna confirmed. Then Brianne told her that she wanted her to watch something. Brianne then walked over to Jack's table and told him off right in front of all his football buddies. She then came back to talk to Anna and said she did that because he stood up another girl. Then she told him she no longer wanted to date him. WOW Just an amazing turn of events. Anna was blown away by all of this and learned some very important lessons from this experience. Just wanted to share this with you :)"
How do you like them apples? I've got a say I kinda sorta liked it. ;) First off, I love that the verbal smack down came from a girl you might not expect. She turned stereotyping on its ear, didn't she? And, yes, her actions were a little dramatic but I think Brianne wanted to make a statement. She did.
I like what her statement was about. Too often we hear about girls selling each other out in the name of guys. Sometimes it's just to get a guy's attention. What a sad state of affairs. Should dating be a girl vs. girl competition where the guy always wins? Chalk me down as a "no." .What we need in the world is more girls standing up for each other the way Brianne did. I'm not saying this just for the girls' sakes but for the guys' sakes, as well. If bad boys are allowed to be bad boys they'll never learn. They'll be jerks all their lives. We've got enough of those.
So thank you, Brianne, for setting that guy straight. I hope your message sunk in with him. If not, it sure made an impact on Anna and a lot of other girls. And me
Original photo credit (I added the "Girl Power" biz):
Baby/crazy mom photo above © Nomad_Soul - Fotolia.com
Alas, summer vacation is over. I must admit I am not thrilled. I had a lot of fun goofing off these past few months and I hate to see it end. I feel akin to this squirrel I saw a while back while visiting Iowa State University. He looked so blissed out as a group of us walked by him. (Confession: I had to doctor his eyes for this photo. You'll know why in a second.)
Honest, I did my best to be quiet as I crept closer in order to take a photo of him. I failed. Though the squirrel couldn't speak, his eyes clearly conveyed, "What the chiz, man? I'm chillaxin'!" Don't ask me why, but from the vibe I got I from him I figured he used the Urban Dictionary.
What are you looking at?
Anyway, it's time for me to get back to business. That means writing more and relaxing less. I'll have to curb my addiction to watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, too. I admit that will be hard, due to my mad crush on Spike. Vampires with souls really rock. It will also be hard because, admittedly, my present attitude sucks. If I were in The Matrix right now, I might choose the blue pill instead of the red. That alternate reality sure looked better than the real world, plus I don't want to know what I'd look like if I were bald and eyebrow-less. (Side note: If you didn't get that last reference because you've never seen The Matrix do it now. Seriously. Do not pass "GO" and collect $200. Drop everything and see it ASAP.)
Anyway, I'm sure my attitude will improve as I get off my butt and get back into the swing of things. Cross your fingers for me. I'm going to need all of the help I can get this time.
P.S. Thanks to my friend, jayme, for showing me how to NOT get into the swing of things. For a link to the above gif, click here.
Okay, my mind was just blown by something my critique partner and fellow Doctor Who
enthusiast, Susan Carroll
, revealed to me today. Seriously. It freaked me out so much it compelled me to write this post. I still can't believe it.
But before I share this mind-blowing thing with you, I must freak you out visually. Here are some photos of dolls I saw I recently saw at a thrift store. You think my
doll face is creepy? Well, look at these and weep. Seriously. Some are scary enough to make you cry.
Pleasant dreams? I think not!
proof that some dolls do meth
I'm too scared to ask what this one is looking at...
I don't know what to say. Just speechless...
Okay, now I am done. It's time to freak out your mind. If you're not into Doctor Who, just stop now. If you are though, read on.
Peter Capaldi, who was recently tapped as the next Doctor Who, is in the zombie film World War Z which is playing in theaters now. He plays a doctor for the World Health Organization. You heard me. The World Health Organization. WHO. He plays a doctor for WHO.
And the film was shot long before the decision was made to cast him. Oh. My. God. That blows my mind.
Freaky, huh? I don't know what to say from here so I'll justend with something I made for The Thick of It fans. Sorry to be such a potty mouth but...well, you know. ;)
Original photo courtesy of Hilary Perkins from London, UK (Ooh. Cheeky.)
I love bacon, so much so I even wrote a post on the Bacon Game, Mom Style
. But I think this whole bacon craze may have gotten a little out of hand -- something I never thought I'd say. You see, this weekend we ate at a restaurant with a cute little shop at the front ... and horrors within -- bacon horrors. Okay, so some of it was cute, but using the word "horrors" kind of heightens the drama and I want you to read on. Below you'll find a sample of bacon-themed items available for purchase.
Remember, I'm just the messenger. I don't endorse these things, I'm just reporting them. We'll start with food items first... Sizzlin' bacon flavored sunflower seeds, anyone? Don't worry about me. I'll pass.
Or how about some bacon-flavored popcorn? It's a great thing to munch on while watching the movie, Babe.
If you've got a sweet tooth there's gummy bacon -- strawberry-flavored, thank goodness.
If you get a boo boo bacon bandages will save the day. (Strangely, this one seems to make sense to me.
And if you're hankerin' for something fun to do with friends there's the game Makin' Bacon. It's fun for the whole artery-clogged family!
What could be more appetizing than wrapping your can of pop in bacon? Thank you, bacon cozy!
Wrapping bacon around your finger is awfully nice, too, though this ring looks kind of sad.
Of course, no Christmas tree is complete without a hand-blown glass bacon ornament. Classy.
And finally, something I never dreamed I'd see: a bacon-scented Yankee Candle. Really? I smelled it, of course. It made me wretch but -- to be fair -- everyone else around me thought it smelled delicious.
Thus ends my bacon pictorial. I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm going to laugh...and fry up some bacon. For some reason I'm hungry right now. I wonder what that's about...
I don't know what's been going on, but this last week I've been having nightmares about the strangest things. Take the fireworks we saw up in Merrimac, Wisconsin. We sat so close we could "feel the vibrations in our butts." I won't name the source of that comment but will say it was a very accurate description. Anyway, what should appear half-way through the show but a demonic firework spider. I was able to capture it on film. Take a look. Freaky, don't you think?
I guess I'd be upset if a firework went off under my chin, too. Can't say I blame him.
Now, a normal person would take a look, shrug their shoulders then just continue on with the show. But I'm not normal. That spider haunted my very being. I could not shake it. What to do? Work a little Microsoft Paint magic! (Sorry, Photoshop is beyond my skill set.) So here it is again, this time with a jaunty hat -- a fez, no less! Call me silly, but it made me feel better. I was haunted no more.
Ahhh. Much better.
That is, until I went on a field trip to the Red Cross with my son's robotics team. The kids did great. As for me? During the entire presentation, all I could focus on were the CPR dummies in the corner of the room:
Seriously, they were really freaking me out. Here's a close up of one of them:
That night I had another nightmare. These guys were after me with the wicked desire to suck out my soul. I had to do something. Paint to the rescue, once again! Insert Angelina Jolie lips and -- presto! -- all was well with me again.
Smile for the camera!
She looks so blissed out, doesn't she?
I'll stop now. I don't want folks to think I'm too demented, or perhaps I'm already too late for that. I'm curious, though. What's the freakiest thing you've ever seen? How did you cope with it?