Thursday, May 29, 2008

We were made for each other

Jay called me from his cell phone yesterday. He was in the car, having left work for a bit to get some soda. He was in the middle of telling me about something that happened earlier in the day when he interrupted himself and said, "I'm behind a school bus and the kids in the very back seat are giving me the finger."

To which I replied, "Well, give them the finger right back."

Immediately he said, "Oh I just did. Now they're laughing."

You could make the argument that we are both, like, nine mentally. Possibly. But do you have any idea how much fun it is living with a man who doesn't see anything wrong with giving the finger to an elementary school kid?

Oh, and one more reason my husband is awesome. He sent me the following link:

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/index.php?cl=8001684

If you don't want to see Alec Baldwin pumping iron at Muscle Beach, then don't click that link. Yeah, I'm pretty sure no one is clicking that link. Only me. Over and over and over again.

Half Way There

For those interested, I am halfway to my goal of reading fifty books this year. If I continue to read at the same pace, I am on schedule to make my goal. Here is a list of the twenty five books I've read since starting this project, in no particular order.

*Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
*The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
*About Alice by Calvin Trillin
*Sleepwalk and Other Stories by Adrian Tomine
*Good-Bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson
*Maus I: A Survivors Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman
*Maus II: A Survivors Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman
*Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
*Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
*The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel
*She got up off the Couch by Haven Kimmel
*The Squirrel Mother by Megan Kelso
*A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
*The Safety of Objects by A.M. Homes
*The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show by Ariel Gore
*The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
*But Enough About Me: A Jersey Girls Unlikely Adventures Among the Absurdly Famous by Jancee Dunn
*Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
*Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
*The Fruit Cocktail Diaries by Brian Carmody
*Big Baby by Charles Burns
*Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski
*Cruddy by Lynda Barry
*I was a Really Good Mom Before I had Kids by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile
*The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon

Books I started but couldn't finish:

*Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer--I once saw a picture in an entertainment magazine of Lindsay Lohan carrying this book. When I saw it in the library my first thought was, "If that bimbo Lohan can read it, surely I can." I am now convinced Lohan was only pretending she reads books.

*Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky---I wanted so badly to like this book about the Holocaust.

* The World According to Garp by John Irving---I have found that I don't love Irving's books right off the bat. It takes me a while. Having only read a few pages, I know I didn't give this one a fair shot, but I just wasn't in the mood for a 600 page book. I may revisit it when less pressed for time.

*The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen---Boring. Six Hundred pages of boring. Also, no chapter breaks. Just page after page after page after page.............I read three hundred pages before giving up. I feel as if I wasted three weeks of my life and fifteen dollars of my husbands hard earned money.

Included in the list are graphic novels. These usually take only a day or two to read so I tried not to include too many of them. But considering I also read more substantial books, I don't feel guilty about the graphic novels I added.

Not included in the list are books I read to/with the kidlets. I also don't plan on including anymore cook books. I've included Vegan with a Vengeance because I feel it's more of a "lifestyle" book with recipes included. Plus, I pretty much read it cover to cover. I don't feel like it's a cheat.

The next twenty five will probably be more of the same types of books. David Sedaris has a new book coming out next week and he really turns my crank so I know that will be an easy read. Plus, I have a nightstand full of novels that I need to start reading. I would also like to try reading some manga. I've gotten manga books at the library and have attempted to read them, but I keep getting scared off by that crazy Japanese right to left format. What can I say, I'm simple.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Early Morning Bitchin'

All I want first thing in the morning is to sit on the couch with a fresh cup of coffee and watch The Weather Channel. Maybe with a fluffy, purring cat in my lap.

How come I never get this?

How come there is never a fresh pot of coffee waiting for me? How come I have to suck yesterdays cold bitter coffee grounds out of the french press just to have enough energy to make a fresh pot of coffee? How come there is no room in the sink to even clean the french press to make a new pot of coffee? So in order to do so I have to clean the kitchen and wash all the dishes. Why didn't I wash the vodka glasses last night?

How come instead of the soothing voices of The Weather Channel's meteorologists, I have to hear a screaming three year old yelling for pizza flavored Goldfish? Who even wants pizza flavored Goldfish at six in the morning?

How come my son can't make his four Eggo breakfast quietly? Why does he have to clang and bang together every plate and piece of silverware in the house? It feels as if I'm waking up in a Denny's. Order up! Actually, I take that back because at least at Denny's I would have fresh coffee.

If I had all the money in the world I wouldn't waste it on fancy cars or huge mansions. I wouldn't even have an entourage of people following me around and catering to my every whim. My one extravagant expense would be to pay someone to come to my house at six in the morning and make coffee for me and put up with my children until I have the energy to do so myself. This person would only have to work a few hours everyday but I would pay them so well that it would be the only job they needed.

I would just lay in bed with earplugs, a purring cat, and a warm, fresh cup of coffee.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Books and Non-Sexual Fan Girl Crushes

After I had my son, almost ten years ago now, I began to settle into life as a stay at home mom. It was hard---not ditch digging hard, but mentally and emotionally hard. I was young (twenty-one) and as much as I loved my baby and marveled at everything he did, I didn't always enjoy his company. I wanted to work and be with people my own age. I wanted to discuss music and books. I was the first of all of my friends to have a baby and other than my family, I was basically alone.

I watched a lot of TV during that time. Specifically a lot of MTV2. This was back when MTV2 only showed music videos. No shows. No Jackass. No Celebrity Death Match or Crank Yankers. Just music videos all the time. I could play with my son and listen to Travis and Radiohead at the same time. This made my days a bit more bearable.

My favorite vee-jay from that time was Jancee Dunn. Flipping on the TV and seeing her made my day. She was funny and entertaining. Plus, being a writer at Rolling Stone, she had a lot of musical knowledge and actually knew what she was talking about. But she also seemed kinda nerdy. Like she wouldn't see herself as too cool to hang out with me. (Because who wants a friend, be they real or pretend, who is significantly cooler than you are?)

So, how excited do you think I was when I was looking around at Powells.com the other week and I saw that Jancee had written a book? Color me thrilled!!

Late last week I received "But Enough About Me......A Jersey Girl's Unlikely Adventures Among the Absurdly Famous" and I started reading it immediately. It was such a fun and easy read. In between chapters about her family and growing up in New Jersey, she talks about various celebrities and musicians she's interviewed. I was pleased to learn that she never really felt as if she fit in with the New York hipster crowd and she would rather be home reading about Victorian Era diseases than partying. I could totally hang out with Jancee Dunn.

This book came at the right time too, because I had just wasted almost three weeks of my life attempting to read The Corrections. After about three hundred pages, I just couldn't do it anymore. I felt stupid, not only for not being able to finish it, but for having read half the book and not having the foggiest idea as to what it was about exactly. But now I'm back on track.

Right now I'm reading "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime." It's also proving to be a quick read. I started it yesterday and am about half way through. Once it's finished, I will have reached the half way point to my goal of fifty books this year. I plan to have it finished by the end of the week. But first I have to read the latest Bust Magazine, which has Amy Sedaris on the cover---the object of another one of my non sexual fan girl crushes.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Weekly Update

Earlier in the week when I started working on this weeks Update, my plan was to begin it by bitching that I didn't have anything to write about and how I need to get out more. But then I left the house a few times and now I have stuff to write about. I seriously need to make sure that I get out of the house regularly or else I'm going to start filling this blog with cat anecdotes. Remember people, I have five cats---I could devote a whole corner of the internet to cat stories.

On Wednesday Jay went to Best Buy and bullied a bunch of kids and knocked over some old people to be one of the twenty five to get a Wii Fit game. (Really, he didn't knock anyone over----I think.) If you haven't seen Wii Fit, it's a video game that comes with a balance board. Every time you step on the balance board it remembers who you are and knows your weight and BMI. You pick a trainer and do all sorts of exercises like yoga, strength training, and various aerobic workouts. The trainer and workout part is pretty cool. What I don't like is it will tell you from day to day if you've gained weight---by the ounce. Generally, I don't need to be reminded that I've put on weight. I'm well aware that the entire thing of hummus I just sucked up wasn't diet food. Plus, the Wii Fit is somewhat of a smart ass, as it has told Jay at least once this week that he needed to "watch it with the afternoon snacks." All in all though, it is an awesome purchase. I love having my own personal yoga instructor right in my house.

My new glasses arrived late this week and I'm wearing them at this very moment. The words on the screen are so crisp and easy to read. I feel as if I'm looking at a large print book. So this is what I've been missing out on for the last fifteen years. I would love to have a picture to put up of me wearing my new spectacles but my camera broke this week and is now in the capable hands of the Best Buy Geek Squad. (Jay's second trip to Best Buy this week.)

Friday night The String Kings played a show at the "Let's Go Downtown" pavilion here in Gainesville. I took my camera to this event but it failed to perform---my camera that is, not the musicians. It's a shame too, because the band looked really great against the backdrop of the brick pavilion. Plus there was a special guest. Hayden Brasher, the son of vocalist Danny Brasher, played some original songs on the guitar. I am no musical expert. I just know what I like and what sounds good to my ears. And he sounded really, really good. I am extraordinarily jealous of people who seem to have such an organic knack for making music and doing it well. Sadly, I had to leave before the Kings started their second set. It was getting dark and my overly social daughter was continuing to make herself known as a kidnappers dream by hugging complete strangers and running up to anyone with a puppy. I'm seriously thinking of investing in a Kid Leash.

Today we had a garage sale. With all the decluttering I do, it seems like our shed fills up very quickly and we are constantly having garage sales. What's funny is that I think we are getting well known for our good prices and excellent customer service because we seem to have many return customers. Jay, while naturally a salesman, is also motivated by a strong desire to not have to drag all the crap back into the shed---so our stuff gets sold! Personally, my favorite part of garage sale day is when I bring Jay coffee and remind him that "Coffee is for Closers!" (This is a well known line uttered by Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross. I cannot describe the joy it brings me when I'm able to appropriately work in an Alec Baldwin reference in everyday life. I get giddy!)

This evening Jay and I went out on our own. We went for drinks and then to the bookstore and just reconnected a bit. It felt good to go out just the two of us---we haven't been on the "same page" much this week. It's kinda hard to be on the same page when I'm acting like a psychotic bitch and he's being an immature asshole. But we are better now, in case you were concerned. We've done so much with the kids lately and just haven't had a lot of "us" time. It's good to be back on track.

See. I honestly didn't think the Update would be this lengthy. Be thankful---you made it through one more week without a cat anecdote. Which I've just decided, would be called "Catecdotes." (Really, I just thought of that just now.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Politics

Beauty Guru and I were discussing politics today. Poor Beauty Guru. Being the lone liberal living in a very conservative town, she is getting it from all sides lately. Her husband is upset because her vote essentially cancels out his. She's finding herself in politically charged "discussions" at the kids' baseball field. To top it all off, when she sits down at the computer to read her many beauty related e-mails, she finds her inbox flooded with right wing, anti-Obama propaganda. The gem she passed on to me today was an "Alert" about how Obama wants to start a Jihad in the United States. Sigh.

Do people really think that these types of e-mails will change minds? Do people really believe any information that is contained in an e-mail sent from an unknown source? Does the sender think that because they threw in a scripture and mentioned Jesus that the e-mail seems more reputable? (This e-mail didn't come from just anybody---it came from someone who read the book of Luke. It must be true!)

This election year has grown very tiring. I don't want to hear anymore about it. I don't want to dissect everything every candidate says anymore. I'm tired of non issues being turned into scandals. I'm tired of the news in general. I'm tired of Hillary's pantsuits and John McCain's freakish looking wife. I'm tired of hearing the insipid remarks about Barack Obama's middle name being Hussein. Big deal. My middle name is Marcel. This doesn't mean I'm French or that I have a long term goal of being a mime, a la Marcel Marceau. It's a stupid thing to say, so drop it.

I'm tired of Pat Buchanan being on TV all the time. Does this old codger ever sleep? I'm tired of statistics and numbers and exit polls and projections. I'm tired of delegates and super delegates and the crazy math used to figure out who has the most delegates. I'm tired of graphs and chart and John King and his telestrator. I'm just plain tired. It's not even half over yet.

What is simply tiring to me though, is downright stressful for Beauty Guru. She doesn't want to go around voicing her political opinion, but is really left no choice when people start forcing their own opinions on her. Plus, she has to maintain peace in her slightly divided house. That alone would make anyone nuts. Maybe this is why she will be hunkered down this weekend at a cabin in the woods, at an otherwise undisclosed location.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Weekend Warriors

My family and I have had a busy weekend.

Saturday night was the Farm to Family music festival. The music this month was a bit more folk sounding than last month, but enjoyable all the same. My favorite act of the evening was Chelsea Saddler, a twenty-one year old gal from Jacksonville. She played mostly original songs and I wish I had more to say about her, but I spent most of her set corralling children. The farm where the festival is held each month is on acres and acres of land--there are plenty of places for children to run and hide. This is fine for my son, who is old enough to know all the rules of safety. Not so fine for my daughter, who is extremely social and will latch on to any stranger who walks by. She has to be watched constantly.

I love the picture below because, not only does my daughter look absolutely adorable in her new tutu, but the shorts in the background are seriously kickin'. There is always plenty of tie dye for sale at the Farm to Family music festival. I shouldn't joke about the tie dye, because I did find myself eyeing a cute little skirt. I decided against it though and bought some beaded bracelets instead. Three things always in abundance at the festival: beaded jewelry, tie dye, and organic food.


The farm also has a huge field of wildflowers from which I routinely steal bouquets, as evidenced in the three pictures below. I almost didn't add the third picture since my nasty beige bra strap is showing. But then I thought, "Eh, screw it." Life is neither perfect or always pretty---and I have the four year old bras to prove it.



The show didn't end until eleven, but we left a bit after eight since the girl and I have been fighting head colds all weekend. On the way out we saw a family of deer grazing on the side of the road. (Do deer graze? Would that be the correct word to describe what deer do?) They looked so peaceful. That just isn't something we see here in the "city".

Sunday morning I was lounging around in bed when Jay said, "Hey---you want to take the kids to the beach today?" My first thought was, "No way. Especially since I've only had this one weak-ass cup of coffee." Despite having lived in Florida most my life, I don't get much enjoyment out of the beach. My idea of a fun beach time includes lounging in a hammock in the shade, reading a good book, and being served a coconut flavored alcoholic beverage by Alec Baldwin. That's about it. I'm pretty sure this isn't an option at any beach in Saint Augustine. But my kids have been wanting to go to the beach ever since it started warming up, and I have stupidly been promising that we will go. So everyone quickly threw on their swimsuits, slapped on some SPF 50, and we drove to the beach. And I will be the first to admit that I actually had a good time. Although, my enjoyment came mostly from watching my kids have a fun. If I had to entertain myself alone at the beach, I'd probably go nuts.

Since it was such a spur of the moment trip, we forgot most of the usual beach necessities so we weren't able to stay long. But we promised the kids we'd plan a much longer trip sometime in the near future.

Now it is Monday and everyone is back at work and school. The house is a mess. I have tons of laundry to do that was ignored all weekend, and the backseat of the car is filthy with sand and Cheeto dust. But it's worth it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Recent Purchase

Gas is expensive. Duh.
To use less gas, Jay has been riding his bike to work a few days a week. But he is motivated. He wants to do more. So he bought this:

He has attached it to the back of his bike and the plan is to take it on small trips to the grocery store, maybe the liquor store. (Because the rising cost of gas is not going to keep us away from the liquor store dammit!) We have already used it for it's intended purpose, carrying a small child around. Seeing it in use reminds me of the episode of Seinfeld when Kramer and Newman used the homeless for their rickshaw.

We ordered this from a company called Nashbar. It was on sale and shipping was minimal and it came super fast. We tried to buy it here locally but the cheapest we could find it for was $150---way more than we paid.

It holds up to 100 pounds. Which means that if I could quit eating Swedish fish and leftover Barbie Pop Tart remnants that I find in the couch cushions, I might one day be able to go for a ride. Yeah right.

Weekly Update

I've been thinking a lot about the Duggar's lately. In case you don't have the Discovery channel, the Duggars are a family of conservative Baptists that live in Arkansas. The wife, Michelle, is pregnant with the couples eighteenth child. The Duggars endorse the Quiverfull movement which basically states that children are a blessing from God and you should be ready, willing, and eager to have as many gifts as God sees fit. All forms of birth control and family planning are frowned upon. Excuse me if I think this is a crock of shit.

I have two children and I am very happy with my two. My hubs and I are done. To prove that we are done, Jay had a vasectomy after the girl was born. I asked him this morning if he minded if I mentioned this fact and he said, "No way. Why would I mind? I think every man should have one." I guess it's safe to say we will never be welcomed into Jim Bob Duggar's church. I just don't get that warm feeling in the pit of my tummy anymore when I see a baby. If someone I know has a baby, then I'm happy for them---but really, really thankful it isn't me.

I cannot even begin to imagine why one woman would want to mother eighteen children. How do you give each one the individual attention they need and deserve? You don't---unless you give up sleep. I would imagine that after a while the joy is just gone. The Duggars use the buddy system---an older child helps raise a younger child. I think this is incredibly selfish and irresponsible. Raising my children is a job for only myself and my husband---possibly some occasional grandparent input. It certainly isn't the job of a kid that came squirting from my birth canal a few years previous.

Another thing that bothers me about the Duggars is how they are always bragging about how they are debt free. Fanfuckingtastic for you Duggars. If you are debt free due to proper money management and careful spending, then I think that's awesome and you are to be applauded. But if it's because you rely on handouts from members of your church, who through some sort of misguided kindness, feel they need to help you clothe your eighteen children, then it's nothing to brag about. If you get paid to have your life taped by the Discovery channel, then it's nothing to brag about.

I use to watch the Duggar shows with a sort of sick fascination. Now I refuse to. I don't want to support them in any way.

Phew....it was good to vent about that.

In other news:

We are taking the family back out to the Farm to Family Music Festival this Saturday. The show starts at five and there is still time to get tickets for those locally who may be interested.

The boy passed the writing portion of the FCAT. It was good to breathe a sigh of relief about that. I despise the FCAT.

And lastly:

Is that a cucumber in my garden or am I happy to see you?
It's a cucumber---but I am happy to see you. It's only about four inches in length right now but it's no where near ready to pick yet.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Five Random Thoughts

I'm having a hard time properly organizing everything in my head this morning. When that happens, the best thing to do is to make a list. So here is a few random ideas, thoughts, and questions to start the week off.

1. Did you watch 60 Minutes last night? Of course you didn't because you are not 85 years old. I, on the other hand, might possibly be. Well, you missed a good interview with Alec Baldwin by Morley Safer. And I promise this is the last time I will ever mention Morley Safer on these pages. Or probably anyone named Morley for that matter. I will not promise to never mention Alec again though, no matter how much you beg.

2. I saw Persepolis yesterday. It was really good and stayed true to the books. Even Jay liked it.

3. I have an appointment with the eye doctor on Wednesday. I have successfully avoided the eye doctor for fifteen years but it is time to be able to see again. I wonder what vision is like. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

4. A few nights ago, one of my neighbors across the street was using their leaf blower at 10:00 at night. What would possess someone to do this? I certainly don't think I'm bitchy when it comes to neighbors making noise. I put up with the year long fireworks. I understand the need to use loud power tools. I'm aware that sometimes it's impossible to get your dog to shut up when all they want to do is bark for no reason. But a leaf blower at night? Why would someone get dressed, and in the case of this particular neighbor, put on their socks and sandals, move their cars from the driveway, and commence leaf blowing? I don't get it.

5. It still hasn't rained here. I don't know when it last rained or if/when it will ever rain again. It's sad actually.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Weekly Update

It has been one of those weeks. Everyone and everything is pissing me off. And before you ask, no, I'm not having my lady times. The children have been less than angelic. The house has been filthy all week long. No matter how much laundry I do, clothes still continues to seep out of all four hampers. I haven't been exercising as much as normal. Actually I've hardly exercised at all. I can't get the floor clean because as soon as I mop, a dog or a cat or two, or five, comes traipsing through. I'm even mad at the sky for not having dropped a substantial amount of rain in months. It's hot and dry outside and I'm just aggravated and nothing seems to be able to pull me out of my funk.

George Bush tried to help me cheer up by putting a hunk of money into my checking account. (Thank you George, you fiscal fool.) Jay said he was sick of me wearing rags so I went out and bought some much needed new clothes, but even extra money isn't doing the trick. It seems almost selfish to spend money when people are struggling so much right now. I've been told I have too much liberal guilt. Possibly. I did go out this morning and "splurge" on a new hamper and a two pound bag of Swedish Fish though. Oh, that's another thing, I have seriously been eating garbage all week long. I just can't seem to stop.

The boy had a dentist appointment this week, and despite all logic and reason, he has no cavities. Of course I'm happy. I'm also completely flummoxed. This is the child who had a Snickers bar for breakfast the other day. Normally, I would have vetoed this but he has learned that the best time to ask me something is before my first cup of coffee, when the answer is usually a groggy "whatever." His eating habits, combined with his deplorable, yet age appropriate, hygiene, should mean that he has a mouth full of cavities. But no, he is a member of the "No Cavities Club"---and there is a picture of him on the wall of the dentist's office to prove it. Strange but true.

Recently, I have become a book club slacker. I haven't been to old lady book club in months. I don't even think the ladies expect me to come back, since I haven't been receiving any of the e-mails. I think they assume that I dropped out. I am planning to get back on track though and go to the next meeting when we will be discussing The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. I'm about sixty pages in and it seems like a good story but from start to finish it's close to six hundred pages. As you know, I'm trying to read fifty books this year---tomes like this are going to make it difficult. Between reading this book and eating these two pounds of Swedish Fish, my schedule is packed.

Jay and I are going to go see Persepolis tomorrow. I am very excited about this. I have been wanting to see this since I heard it was being made into a movie, but I really didn't think it would ever come to this podunk town. Alas, it has and I got tickets.

Well, I guess that's it for this update. I keep telling myself I'm going to stop putting these Weekly Updates up, but it never fails--every 7-10 days I'm drawn to the computer to tell you all about the trivial things that are going on in my life. Lucky you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Eight Reasons Why I Hate Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Update: If you hate Elisabeth too, come over to a more recent post and tell me why. Thanks.




1. Her bikini clad body is on the cover of my new Fitness magazine, deeming it nearly impossible for me to pick up and read.

2. Also on the cover, a quote where she says, "I lost my baby weight without dieting." I took one for the team here and read the rest of the interview. Some of Elisabeth's meals include egg white omelets with spinach, energy bars, and ground turkey and veggies in a tortilla. Wanna know what I had for dinner yesterday? A piece of peanut butter pie. You wanna know what I'm eating as I type this? A twix bar. I consider Elisabeth's eating plan to be a diet. Screw you Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Screw. You.

3. She routinely dresses her baby in Burberry. I HATE seeing babies and toddlers dressed in Burberry. I cannot think of a showier way to display your wealth other than by dressing your baby in a $115 kilt that everyone knows cost $115 because it's covered in that stupid Burberry plaid. Plus, the first time that kid eats pizza while wearing that kilt, it's going to become a $115 dish rag. Unless, of course, the child is on the same "non-diet" as mom.

4. Throughout the interview she uses the word "strong" way too much. As in, exercising makes her feel "strong." She wants her daughter to think she's "strong." Basically, she exercises to be "strong." Yet, she is on the cover of the magazine in a teeny-tiny bikini---not at all looking "strong." Screw you Elisabeth Hasselbeck, you exercise to look good in a bikini. Again, Screw. You.

5. She was previously on Survivor. I hate Survivor.

6. She is currently on The View. I hate The View.

7. I once read a quote by her in a different magazine where she said something to the effect of, "When packing for a trip with my daughter, I pack individual outfits and hair accessories in baggies--so that when I dress her I can just grab a baggie and everything is there." WOW Elisabeth! You are so clever to think to use baggies for their intended purpose--the neat saving and storage of something for a later use.

8. She has stumbled into fame, despite the fact that she appears to be a functional retard. (Okay, for the record, I have no proof she is a retard and I honestly have nothing against mentally challenged people. But I hate this woman and it's my damn blog and I can write whatever the hell I want.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I have no idea where he learned this behaviour...

A few weeks ago my friend Elizabeth sent us a link to the website passiveaggressivenotes.com. (http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/). We visit the site fairly regularly now for the occasional chuckle, knowing we would never be on the receiving end of such passive aggressive behaviour.

(Cue the slightly uncomfortable, ironic laughter now.)

As you know, I am constantly looking for ways to lower my electric bill. Now that the warm weather is upon us, this is getting harder and harder. We have two air conditioner units and within a month or so, they will both be running non-stop until probably early November. We absolutely cannot live without air conditioning, so to lower the bill we are going to have to cut back on something else.

I thought we would try to lower the temperature on the hot water heater. The water is not as hot as I would like, but still warm enough to shower comfortably and get clean. The first night of the change, after everyone had showered, I conferred with all the adults in the house and we were all in agreement that the water temp was fine. The only one who seems to have a problem with it is the boy. Since the change, he has complained about it every night. We, figuring he was just being disagreeable, have basically been ignoring him.

This morning though, he left me something I couldn't ignore. When I went in the kid's bathroom to clean it, I found this little passive aggressive note written on the wall with a bathtub crayon:

I am somewhat shocked he chose to take the argument this far---I thought he would have given up by now. I did decide to turn the water heater up a few degrees though, as a reward for his creativity.

Monday, May 5, 2008

But will I get value from Ashton Kutcher? Doubt it.

The other night while watching TV, Jay brought something to my attention. The lettering in the commercials for the movie "What Happens in Vegas" looks awfully similar to the lettering in the Taco Bell ads/commercials.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Now every time I see the commercial for what might possibly be the worst movie ever, I suddenly start craving cheesy fiesta potatoes. The similarities in the lettering is much more noticeable in the commercials than in the two meager pictures I posted here, but there appears to be a porno film also named "What Happens in Vegas" and I just couldn't look through anymore images.

There are numerous reasons I wish Jay would have kept this observation to himself.



Thursday, May 1, 2008

You have screwed me for the last time Nero's Pizza!

Ok...before I begin this tirade that I'm about to launch into I want to make something abundantly clear: I am not the type of person who likes to return things. I feel bad returning things. I can count on one hand the number of items I've returned in my lifetime. I am also not the type of person who gives people who work in the service industry a hard time. Even if I get bad service, I have always just given people the benefit of the doubt. I try to take into account that everyone has rough days, maybe they don't feel well, and so on. In restaurants I always tip at least 20%. A server would have to flat out take a dump on my plate for me to give them any less. I am not saying all this to brag about how great I am. In fact, I'm not an overly nice person. But I have worked retail. My husband has had an extensive career in trying to placate customers. Our combined experience has taught us that, generally, John Q. Public is an asshole who likes to make himself feel important by giving people in the service sector a hard time. We go above and beyond to keep ourselves out of that group of people. Having said all that, let the tirade begin.

We've been ordering pizza almost weekly from Nero's here in Gainesville for about a year and a half now. For the first six months every pizza we got was awesome. Plus, every Thursday is buy one get one free night. Add to that the fact that we love to support local businesses, we really thought we had found our pizza place. But within the last nine months or so the service has gotten kind of iffy. At first it was no big deal....simple things like messed up topping orders, or "funny" tasting crust. Then the problem escalated and we got a pizza with raw bacon on it. All this time we never said anything, we didn't complain, we didn't return it asking for our money back. We just hoped they were having an off day and things would be back on track soon. What happened today though was the last straw.

Before leaving work, Jay called in our order and planned on picking it up on his way home. (Nero's is just a few minutes from our house and about twenty minutes from his store.) When he arrived, there was some type of inspector looking at the gas ovens. While our pizzas were in the oven baking, they turned off the gas so the inspector could get a good view of everything. When it was time to turn the gas back on no one could figure out how to do it. So our pizzas were left in an oven that was off for about fifteen minutes. Once the gas situation was fixed and the pizzas were done, they were brought to Jay so he could take his pizzas, pay, and leave. The waitress showed them to Jay and he noticed that one was single pepperoni and it was supposed to be double. He mentions this to the girl and she says, "Oh, I'll go fix that for you." She takes it back to the "chef" who throws some cold pepperoni on it and looks at Jay and says, "There. Don't say I never did anything for you." When Jay asked him to warm it up, the "chef" acted like Jay had asked for a lung.

Now let me interrupt this story for a moment so I can add my two cents. When Jay saw the pizzas he could tell, that since the baking had been interrupted, they weren't going to be good. But he also knew the kids were hungry and wanting dinner, and he didn't feel like waiting around any longer. But wouldn't it have been nice if the folks at Nero's had offered to give us a discount on the sub par pizzas, or make us two fresh pizzas instead? They didn't offer to do either.

When Jay got home we all anxiously dug into the pizzas---and it was bad. I couldn't finish mine so I threw it to the dog, who also turned her nose up at it. Keep in mind, this is the animal that regularly eats poop out of the cat box--she isn't real picky. After the girl just got up and walked away from the table, we decided even the kids weren't going to eat them so we should just return them, get our money back, and go to Dominoes since we had coupons anyway.

When Jay gets to the restaurant, the "manager" looks in the boxes and says, "I can't give you your money back--these pizzas have been half-eaten." To which Jay replies, "Of course they've been eaten. My family was starving so we all took a piece but couldn't finish it because it's awful. I can't believe that you, knowing what happened to these pizzas, are giving me a hard time about this."

Now here is where I present Jay with the award for Best Smart Ass comment of the day. He takes the Dominoes coupon out of his pocket, flashes it at the guy and says, "And to prove to you that my family is still hungry, I'm taking the money you are returning to me and I'm on my way to pick up two Dominoes pizzas---and everyone knows Dominoes is gross!" Needless to say, he got his money back.

Again, I want to reiterate how my family does NOT normally do this sort of thing and I hate that I have to speak so poorly of a local small business. I go out of my way to spend my money locally whenever I can. But really, how much more should we have put up with? It was no longer just an isolated incident here and there. It had become a series of shitty pizzas and appalling service. Well, no more. There are a few other local places we frequent and when all else fails we can always go to Dominoes. Because, even though their pizza is pretty gross, at least I know what to expect.