Category Archives for "Sunday regurgitation"

My weekly “best of” post

Weekend regurgitation: My survival kit, in the event terrorists aren’t in it for the long haul

Today, I am in the mood to clean a closet. I don’t know which closet it will be yet but my money is on the one in Helena’s bedroom. If closets were wombs, I’d call that one Michelle Duggar. The thing is constantly having the same stuff shoved into it and before you know it, a whole slew of different stuff is always popping out of it.

I leave you with a post I wrote a year ago about what came out of my own closet when I cleaned it. And for all you smart asses out there, no. It wasn’t Anderson Cooper.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

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If I’m ever in charge of the survival of humanity, we are in serious trouble

(originally published February, 2010)

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We are bringing home our canine baby in a little over one week and I am in full nesting mode, much like I was before I brought home my two human babies. This means that I am cleaning and organizing everything, including the dust bunnies on either side of my stove which are now organized from smallest to tallest so if the puppy ever wedges himself in those crevices while chasing a wayward piece of kibble, he won’t be immediately freaked out by a hairy monster twice his size.

I suppose I could have gotten rid of the dust bunnies entirely but then who would keep the puppy company as we are running all over the house yelling OLIVER! WHERE ARE YOU? OH MY GOD, DID SOMEONE STEP ON OLIVER? QUICK, CHECK YOUR SHOES.

So as I’m scrounging around our bedroom closet, I spot this blue box that’s been sitting in the corner for about two weeks shy of forever. I’d always ignored it, assuming that it was one of those things that followed me from house to house to house and contained crap I’d never need again but felt compelled to save nevertheless, not unlike the stained, ripped cardboard boxes in our basement filled with my elementary school history, including my fourth grade essay entitled Yellow Brown Trees with Yellow Green Leaves which was an exercise in both iambic pentameter and How to Be a Word Nerd 101.

But my curiosity finally got the better of me, not to mention the fact that the damn thing was taking up some desperately needed floor space so I dragged it out of the closet and down to the kitchen.

Judging by the lid, I can only assume that the dust bunnies by our stove are prolific, fertile little buggars who scamper up to our closet for quickies. I must hop online after I write this and order a brand new nose since I sneezed the current one right off my face. The track lighting we have above our kitchen table is now blinged out with about $2,000 worth of twenty year old rhinoplasty.

I opened the lid and instantly recognized the survival box I had assembled over eight years ago, sometime after September 11, back when I was convinced we were only two or three CNN segments away from full blown Armageddon and I wanted to be prepared in case Nate and I had to do our part to help repopulate the earth.

Two things became immediately apparent to me as I glanced at the contents of the box: (1) I’d have to work my way up to being an idiot; (2) judging from the appalling lack of toiletries such as clean undies, soap, toothpaste and deodorant, the chances of Nate and I having post-Armageddon sex was practically nil.

Wait.

Make that absolutely nil. I neglected to pack a razor.

Granola bars, generic graham crackers and peanut butter.

That’s it. That’s all the sustenance I managed to gather, despite being centrally located to at least three Wegmans within a six mile radius. Our family of four would have lasted … what? A week, maybe? Or 36 hours, depending on whether or not I had my period.

No non-perishables. No MRE’s. No bottled water.

No lighters or matches or propane or charcoal or firewood or anything with which to make a fire.

No utensils of any kind.

No pots or pans or Pyrex or Le Creuset or George Forman grill to be found. You know, in case I wanted to make a granola casserole or something.

Worst yet, no Milky Ways, Dove Chocolate or Toblerone bars. No decent chocolate of any kind which begs the question, would Armageddon even be worth surviving?

Oh! And no canned goods. Anywhere.

Which begs the question, what the hell is the purpose of the can opener?

I mean, other than to mock me for buying a brand new one two weeks ago.

I packed one package of pads. ONE. Generic and ultra thin, no less. If my uterus had a nose, it would be snorting milk out of it as I type. We would have lasted two days tops, right up until I soaked through my one and only pair of undies and then I’d have had no choice but to go around stealing everyone else’s undies and living out the remainder of my life on the run from a resentful humanity forced against its collective will into running around commando.

And look … seven diapers. Seven. Helena was one year old at the time and the human equivalent of a soft serve ice cream machine. She had the habit of waiting no more than twenty minutes before filling up a fresh new diaper with a jumbo sized chocolate to go. With sprinkles.

We would have lasted less than a day before she soaked through that last diaper and asphyxiated all of us with the stench.

One … count it … ONE roll of toilet paper. ONE.

Forget everything I said. We would have lasted twenty minutes before the roll ran out and it would have been anarchy.

Batteries.

Nothing to put them in, mind you. Like, maybe a radio. Or walkie talkies. Or even a flashlight.

Numnuts, party of one? Your table is ready.

As if I could survive Armageddon on one tiny bottle of extra strength Tylenol. For God’s sake, I sprinkle more than that on my cereal when my mother comes to visit.

Where’s the needle and thread in case I need to sew a leg or finger back on? Assuming I learned to sew before the apocalypse?

Better yet, where’s the stapler?

Where’s the alcohol to disinfect the stapler? Rubbing alcohol would have been good but a few bottles of Absolut would have been better.

Don’t ask me why I felt it necessary to pack 4 capsules of Dayquil.

I need a t-shirt that has an arrow pointing upwards and says “I’m with Numnuts.”

I remember totally buying into the theory that sealing up our windows and doors with duct tape would protect us in the event of a biochemical attack. Apparently, I dozed off during the whole bit about plastic sheeting and gas masks.

But at least I was fully prepared in case the girls suddenly needed their pants hemmed.

Did you freak out during that time and assemble a survival kit? Would you have made the Girl Scouts proud or would they have stripped you of all your badges and pelted you with Thin Mints?

At least you would have gotten some chocolate out of the deal.

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Weekend regurgitation: I tried to live out loud once but the world kept hitting the mute button

Just a quick reminder: Today is your last chance to enter my $100 Harry Mason Shopping Spree giveaway. Everyone who enters gets a prize! Click that link and enter by 5pm eastern and give yourself an eargasm for Valentine’s Day!

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Once upon a time, I used to be a paper scrapbooker who transitioned into a digital scrapbooker. I downloaded photos from my digital cameras and used Photoshop to transform them into something amazing and then I designed pages around them and either turned them into hardbound books or printed them out and inserted them into albums. It was my hope that each time my kids would flip through their memories, both paper and digital, they would be reminded that their lives do not, in fact, suck and the most fun they ever had was not, in fact, spent as a fetus.

Then I turned my fun hobby into a business and watched all the joy disappear and the creativity get sucked out of my head, leaving my brain a shriveled up raisin floating in gray matter. And then I stopped scrapbooking altogether.

That was 27,366 digital photos ago. I’ve made a decision to start scrapping them digitally again, even if it takes me fifty years and I wind up at the pearly gates yelling YOU PEOPLE BETTER HAVE AN AWESOME DSL CONNECTION AND MEAL PLAN OR I WANT MY MONEY BACK. AND WHAT’S WITH THE WINGS? THEY’RE ITCHY.

I leave you with a post I wrote last year about a moment that I managed to capture forever. Only 27,365 left to go.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

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I tried to live out loud once but the world kept hitting the mute button

(originally published February, 2010)

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I am in the process of moving 250 gigabytes of my hard drive over to my brand spanking new laptop and when I say “I” I totally mean Nate because that’s how we roll around here. I move Heaven and Earth and Nate moves furniture and data.

I came across these photos I took of Helena as she was rocking it out in our driveway a couple of years ago and it brought to mind so many Once Upon a Times …

Once upon a time, a little girl who turned out to be an extrovert with a capital LOOK AT ME, MOMMY! LOOK! LOOK! ARE YOU LOOKING? was born to a woman who turned out to be an introvert with a capital AACK! DON’T LOOK AT ME! OH MY GOD, STOP IT. FOR GOD’S SAKE, WHY DON’T YOU JUST CLUB ME TO DEATH WITH A MONKEY ALREADY?

Once upon a time, that little extrovert liked to dance in the driveway to music only she could hear.

Once upon a time, her mom did the same exact thing but found out speedy quick that it’s only considered cute when you’re six and wearing Mary Janes with ankle socks. When you’re forty-ish and wearing faded aqua leggings from the eighties because your purple tye-dye sweats are dirty, it’s considered a psychotic break.

Who knew?

Once upon a time, I strived to impart upon this little rocker wannabe all the wisdom I had gained during my own youth, a big chunk of which was spent ogling John “Tony Manero” Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.

THE BEE GEES RULE, MAN.

Once upon a time, she showed me how she shook her badonkadonk.

And I told her in no uncertain terms that she did not have a badonkadonk because, according to the Big Book of Mom, good little girls have bottoms, fannies and/or tushies but they most certainly do not have badonkadonks.

You don’t get a badonkadonk until you go to college and sneak into The Vital and go head to head against a hockey player in a game of beerpong which you ultimately win, immediately after which you and your badonkadonk burn up the dance floor to I Wonder If I Take You Home by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam which turns out to be oddly prophetic.

I didn’t tell her that part.

Once upon a time, I was simultaneously stunned and relieved to discover the extent to which my baby was going to be an enthusiastic participant in life.

And once upon a time, long before I became a blogger, back when I was a digital scrapbooker and had my shit together and not only took photos but also the time to write the stories behind them in an effort to document our family’s life, I managed to capture this particular moment forever.

Have I mentioned lately that you have evolved into an open book? And not just some ordinary black and white paperback cheapie but one of those mondo, flashy, full color extravaganzas bigger than our kitchen table. You’ve got about a million emotions and express each and every one the instant you feel it. Here, for no explicable reason other than you felt like it, you belted out a song so intensely, you might have been channeling Janis Joplin. You were simply IN the moment. I love that you go from five year old normal to American Idol wannabe at the speed of Mach 10. My own inhibited self tends to tiptoe gingerly on the quiet side of restraint so watching you is like sucking in a massive gulp of 100% pure oxygen. That’s the way to live your life, babe. Live it loud and strong, like it’s your first, last and only chance at it.

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Weekend regurgitation: Apparently, I have been a very fertile girl

I survived skiing yesterday and my body is still chilled to the bone and hurts in places that haven’t been discovered yet, either by me or modern science. Story to come later, once my fingers thaw and my fallopian tubes unclench.

In the meantime, yesterday was also my mother’s 80th birthday. So now, instead of senior citizen, I can call her a SENIOR CITIZEN OCTOGENARIAN! Which is probably redundant but my mom is hard of hearing so a little repetition is called for, I think. But just to be sure, I typed it really loud.

I leave you with a post I wrote last year in honor of not only my mom’s birthday but also the birthdays of all the children in the world I conceived when I wasn’t looking.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

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I have grown children I never knew about working at Verizon and Best Buy

(originally published February 5, 2010)

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My mother turns 79 today. Happy Birthday, Mom!

She’s buying herself a digital camera.

Can I just get a collective OH MY GOD, STOP THE WORLD, I WANT TO GET OFF?

This is the same woman who, thanks to my dad who came up with the idea in the first place, now has all of her mail forwarded to their local Verizon store because she’s there more often than she’s not. Apparently, her cell phone keeps dialing my landline when it’s supposed to dial my cell phone and this has been going on for years and IT’S NOT HER FAULT, SHE WAS NOT BORN STUPID. Dad refuses to use the cell phone on principle because he never wanted the damn thing in the first place as he saw no reason to pay $39.99 a month so that Mom can call AAA if she ever has a flat tire in the dead of night. This is because (1) the last time Mom drove anywhere in the dead of night was never; and (2) signalling SOS with headlights is free. Regardless, he filed a forwarding request with their post office and now he can simply mail her a postcard asking WHERE DO YOU KEEP THE PEANUT BUTTER?

According to my mom, the Verizon employees are elated when she walks in eight days a week and affectionately refer to her as Grandma. I can only assume it’s because HOLY SHIT, YOU TAKE HER, NO YOU TAKE HER, NO I HAD HER LAST TIME, DID NOT, DID TOO, FINE LET’S PUNCH EACH OTHER IN THE GUT AND WHOEVER’S STILL BREATHING TAKES HER is too much of a mouthful.

She called me up the other day to ask me my opinion as to which camera she should buy and because I misread my caller ID, I answered the phone.

Mom: Andy?

Me: Dammit.

Mom: I want a digital camera. I do not want nor do I need any bells and whistles. No bells. No whistles. I want a very simple camera. Simple. I only want to press a bit fat button and nothing more. Now, tell me what to buy.

Me: Well, let’s see. I have the Nikon …

Mom: I don’t want that one.

Me: Wait, what? How do you know what I’m going to say?

Mom: I saw your camera at Christmas. It had too many buttons on it. And it was purple.

Me: Well, for one thing, it’s a dark purple, almost black. It’s not like Prince threw up all over it.

Mom: Prince? Who is Prince? Is that a dog? Did you get a dog and not tell me? Why would you get a dog and not tell me?

Me: Oh my God, nevermind. About the buttons … I don’t use half of them.

Mom: Then why do you have them?

Me: Ummm, because they came with the camera?

Mom: I am not paying for anything that I don’t need.

Me: But you might want to use them. And if you do, they’re there! Who knows, you might want to learn something new!

*silence*

Me: Or not.

Mom: Another thing … I need a camera that does not lop off anyone’s head. That’s important.

Me: Well, now, c’mon Mom. I think you need to take a little responsibility here.

Mom: And by that, you mean what exactly?

Me: Mom, the camera doesn’t come equipped with a guillotine. You, on the other hand, are a different story altogether.

Mom: Excuse me?

Me: Did I say that out loud?

Mom: So it’s not the camera’s fault? It’s mine? Is that’s what you’re telling me?

Me: Ummmm … yes?

Mom: Says the girl who thinks my cell phone works perfectly too. Why must you blame me for everything? Why must everything be my fault? Is this the thigh thing all over again? When will you stop blaming me for your thighs? They’re robust, Andy. Nothing to be ashamed about.

Me: Let’s not go there today, OK Mom? I’m not up for it and I’m out of Xanax.

Mom: Fine. I’m off to Best Buy. I’ve been there three times this week already. There are several youngsters there who are so helpful. Such nice young men. They call me Grandma, you know.

Me: Can you tell Dad to call me when he gets back from the post office?

Mom: How did you know he was at the post office?

Me: Lucky guess, Mom.

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Weekend regurgitation: Not shopping at the mall

Today, for the first time in a week, I will not be going to the mall.

I will not drive up and down a congested parking lot.

So that I can exchange something.

Or so that anyone else can exchange something.

Or spend the money or gift cards they received for Christmas.

While I stand there with no money or gift cards.

Staring at the outfit I bought two weeks ago that is now 90% off.

Nor will I utter the words No, I am not buying you a pretzel.

Or I don’t care if Auntie Annes has the best pretzels on the planet.

Nor will I holler after my daughter MAKE SURE YOU GET ME A PRETZEL SIX PACK WITH A SIDE OF CREAM CHEESE.

I leave you with a post I wrote … wow, almost three years ago now … about another Christmas season when Nate decided not to go to the mall either.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

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Wii … the odyssey

(originally published May, 2008)

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We’re all familiar with this little gem, right? I give you the Wii, in all its glory:

Last November, my husband wasn’t a big fan. When I broached the subject of getting a Wii for the kids for Christmas by saying “hey, why don’t we get a Wii for the kids” my husband took that to mean “hey, why don’t we get a PlayStation 3 for the kids” because he’s quirky that way. When I responded that the kids didn’t want a PlayStation 3, they wanted a Wii, he tried to dazzle me with techno jargon about how superior the graphics were on a PlayStation 3 and how awesome they would look on our brand spanking new TV.

TV did you say? You mean that 42″ ultra modern, flat-screen behemoth of high-definition that dwarfs everything around it and currently resides in our living room with all of our normal sized furniture? That “bargain” of a monstrosity that was only going to cost this much but actually wound up costing that much because we couldn’t have a TV like that without having the proper stand on which to put it, the appropriate receiver with which to run it, the best speakers with which to hear it and the top-of-the-line remote with which to control it? The TV I didn’t want? That one?

We had a sit-down with the kids to discuss the Wii vs. PS3 scenario. Nate had our eldest almost convinced that PS3 was the second coming while our youngest was steadfast in her desire for a Wii but willing to negotiate in exchange for a later bedtime. I finally convinced the family that the Wii was the better choice as it retailed for about half of the PS3 and was better suited for family time. It was a struggle and there were tears and temper tantrums and hissy fits but Nate got over himself and finally conceded.

Nate thought he would just walk into Target or Best Buy and pick one up after work. I asked him if something heavy had hit him on the head and then dragged him to the aforementioned behemoth parked in our living room so that he could see the CNN sound bites showing mobs of people lining up for days to get one. It then became Nate’s personal mission in life to get us a Wii, come hell or high water, so help him God.

To his credit, Nate did try the conventional approach once. He woke up at 4:00 am, drove through the bitter cold, sleet and snow to stand in line at Kmart for a shipment of Wii Systems expected that morning (by the way, what exactly is the plural of Wii? WiiWiis?) After about an hour, a blithely unaware Kmart employee came out and announced to the 50+ cold, wet, hungry, caffeine-deprived customers that a newly arrived shipment of twenty-six Wii Systems would be available in minutes. I have no idea if that poor guy ever made it out alive. All I know is Nate came home around 6:00 a.m., empty handed and with a dazed expression, mumbling something about mob mentality, rioting and Darwin’s Law.

I told Nate about an online service that sent notifications of newly arrived Wii Systems at local Wal-Marts and wouldn’t it be a nifty idea if we signed up? No, apparently we did not have time for such nonsense and besides, Nate had a plan.

And that plan went something like this:

On November 21, 2007 Nate purchased a brand new, unopened, factory-sealed, receipt-attached Wii off eBay. He paid nearly double the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. Approximately 9.2 seconds after submitting his PayPal payment, he became ticked that the seller didn’t immediately respond. Through gritted teeth, I suggested that he calm the hell down and give the seller a break since it was the night before Thanksgiving. Then I left the room before I killed him.

On November 22, 2007, after Thanksgiving dinner, Nate purchased a second brand new, unopened, factory-sealed, receipt-attached Wii off eBay for a little over double the MSRP as a backup plan. I should have known something was up as he had been staring at his laptop for hours, during which time I actually touched and held the TV remote, an act that normally causes him to twitch, break out in hives and have a seizure.

Did I mention that the receipts clearly showed that both Wii Systems had been purchased from a Wal-Mart? I didn’t? Well, they did. And it was all I could do to remain vertical as I literally watched sparks fly off my body and fought the urge to dismember him right there on the spot. Then I disassociated from my earthly body and went to the Land of Denial where it’s sunshine all the time and no one bothers me and I look thin and pretty.

A couple of days later, we were the proud owners of two brand new Wii Systems. And then Nate came home from work and what do you suppose he was carrying? Flowers? Chocolate? A prescription for Xanax? No. He was carrying a third brand new, unopened, factory-sealed, receipt-attached Wii.

When he saw that I was nanoseconds from outright spontaneous combustion, he quickly explained that he had purchased this Wii for only $30 over the MSRP, no eBay/PayPal transactions were involved, and he would list the other two Wii Systems on eBay that very night and recoup our money. I questioned him as to where he got this particular Wii. Oh, funny story this one … his co-worker bought it from Wal-Mart that very day. And how did he know to go to Wal-Mart that very day for a Wii? Nate muttered something about a lucky email. Oh yeah, that extra $30? That was just to compensate his co-worker for all of his efforts in procuring a Wii for Nate. I actually don’t remember too much after this. I might have passed out.

But I’m thinking that it just may have been worth it:

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Straight No Chaser

Slap on some glasses and a little more leg hair and this was me yesterday. Diaper and all, thanks to Mother Nature and the present she leaves me every 3½ weeks. When will that woman stop with the same old same old already and come up with an original thought? That beeyotch is a walking argument for re-gifting.

I was feeling grumpy and blah yesterday so while I was hemorrhaging, I went blog hopping and visited my friend Joy who had posted a Straight No Chaser video on her blog. I had never heard of Straight No Chaser and I cannot tell you how refreshing it was to witness real talent instead of the lip synched, Auto Tuned, is-that-hair-for-real-or-did-a-Beatle-and-Donald-Trump-get-drunk-and-have-a-baby-all-over-your-head crap that passes for it nowadays. Yes, I’m talking about you, Justin Bieber. Isn’t it time for your nap? Get a hair cut and go away.

I watched several of the Straight No Chaser videos and they made me so happy that I wound up eating lots of chocolate chip cookies and burping Silent Night.

And now I’m smiling. And not just because I’m gassy.

No weekend regurgitation post today. Instead, I’m leaving you with one of my favorite holiday Straight No Chaser videos. Go have some cookies and get your smile on!

*burp*

Happy Sunday, everyone!

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