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Gee, Your House Smells… Damaged…

I need some opinions. I have difficulties thinking for myself so I’m reaching out to my readers (Mom, I’m talking about you).

So, like many others, I love air fresheners. I like the plug-in kind and the wax melting kind. I like candles and diffusers and oil burners, oh my! I will use them all in tandem to have a scent orgy going on in my house. I want you to walk in my front door and feel like you’ve been punched in the face with a cookie/apple-pie/lemon-mint/cucumber-melon fist. I’m promiscuous with my scents… there’s no smell I won’t try and if there’s a new way to disperse it throughout my home, sign me up.

I’ve tried lots but I have my favorites. I’m not going to name names, but I do have a brand that I use as my go-to guys for smelly stuff. I have a small-ish stockpile of their products in my basement. I buy new plug-in warmers pretty frequently since they come out with new, cuter ones each season that get me all wiggly with excitement. Anyway, I’m a little bit brand loyal.

Here’s the problem- I’ve had my suspicions about this brand’s plug-in oil warming products for a while now. There is a questionable/concerning oil-drippy spot on one of my kitchen outlets that seems like it was about three minutes away from an electrical fire…

I swear i have tried to clean this....

I swear i have tried to clean this….

But to be honest, I can’t remember what the offending brand was that did the damage to the wall/electrical plate. It could have been one of many; however, I’m starting to think that all of the damage is coming from one, singular brand.

But this is besides the point. This damage is water/oil under the bridge. The current issue began with a plug in warmer being unplugged and set into my son’s Bumbo seat and, unbeknownst to me, began decomposing the seat. I couldn’t tell you how long the plug in was in there, but I’d guess maybe a few hours? When I went to use the seat, I noticed the plug had sunk into the bottom of the chair and was melting the foam/plastic of the Bumbo–

Chemical reaction frownie face.

Chemical reaction frownie face.

The plug in left a distinctive, owl shaped spot in the seat which is now squishy and weird-feeling.

Confused and stupid, I set the offending plug on the table while trying to figure out what the fuck just happened. While I sleuthed, the plug ate a hole through the finish on the table top.

Owl faces blurred to protect the potentially innocent.

Owl faces blurred to protect the potentially innocent.

Here’s my issue– is this my fault?

I feel kind of like it is. I should have taken the utmost care with the plug-in. I should have known better than to just set it on an uneven surface and I should have shown an understanding that the damn thing would vomit corrosive oil all over my home, ruining everything it touched.

I should have known better.

However, I obviously didn’t. So I kind of feel like it’s NOT my fault.

So, that’s question number one- Is this my fault? Like, are there little warnings that I missed that say oil plug ins are never to be set down on things or can potentially leak, ruining your nice shit?

Question number two– If it’s NOT my fault, should I write a letter to the company?

My husband says, yes, definitely write them a letter, but for him to tell me not to would be saying this is my fault. He’s too afraid of me to say that to my face.

If I did write them a letter, I should have a resolution in mind. (At least that’s what my professional writing class told me.) What’s the resolution? Buy me a new table and a new baby seat because your stupid oil ruined my stupid shit? PLUS I have a ton of these plug ins in my basement. Should I return it all? How would I even go about returning it? I’m sure to lose money on that deal since some of the stuff has been clearanced since I bought it… I don’t know. I guess if I keep it and use it it might ruin other expensive things I own so maybe just returning it would be smarter? Plus I have to buy a new plug-in warmer now so I’d be spending more money and right now giving this company more money sounds like a shitty idea. And what should my tone be in the letter? Angry Bitcherella? Sweet, stupid bumpkin who don’t know better than to set stuff on other stuff? I feel like both of these things right now… Sometimes it’s just easier to shut the fuck up and forget about it.

Except there’s a weird spot on my good table.

And a weird, squishy hole in my kid’s chair.

And this company makes enough money on these products (hell, on ME) that they can afford to appease me as a customer. Plus, wouldn’t this be considered a design flaw? I’m not exactly nonobjective in writing this. I don’t want to admit this is entirely my fault… but I can’t think for myself and need someone else to tell me what to do.

Someone who’s not afraid of me.

Someone not my husband.

<sigh>

So give me advice.

And while you’re at it, tell my dog she’s pretty because she got a hair cut and she feels insecure about it.

Can I haz compleement?

Can I haz compleement?

We eagerly await your thoughts…

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Costco Wins My Heart

Costco, man. I have such a hard on for Costco. I mean, a place that provides a living wage, benefits and closes its doors on Thanksgiving so its employees don’t have to deal with the likes of me on holidays? AND they sell delicious products in HUGE sizes? BoooOOOooiiiIIIiiiiinnnnggggGGGG! Hard-on city.

My husband takes me on dates to Costco. It’s the place that makes me love him again. I caught him throwing a massive bag of Brookside chocolates into the cart even though I told him we absolutely, positively MUST NOT BUY THEM because I am addicted to them and will devour them non-stop until they are all gone. They’re my equivalent to what a coke whore would do if someone dropped a pillowcase of A-1 Bolivian Marching Powder in their lap and told them to have at it.*

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3

Minecraft and Hot Tamales

What, you may ask, gets me through the long days without any interaction with living humans that can respond to me?

Minecraft and Hot Tamales.

Now you may ask why I needed to qualify humans with “living” and for that I must admit I occasionally speak to both God and dead people, begging them to tell me what I should make for dinner. I have also asked Jesus to watch the baby while I take a bathroom break. He sucks as a babysitter, by the way. Gabe screamed the whole time.

Why did I need to specify “humans”? Because I also sometimes talk to the dogs but those conversations usually occur after I trip over one of them, so its more me yelling obscenities at them rather than a conversation. I also just said, “Fuck you, Car!” because… well, the Mazda is a dick and loves to not unlock when I tell it to so I run out in the rain to get something from my car, thinking it unlocked, only to find that it didn’t truly unlock when I told it to. So I have to run back to the house– in the rain– to get the key… and then run back out to get the intended item… You get it. You’d say fuck you to your car, too, even though the neighbors are standing on their porch, watching you like you are crazy. Well, maybe if they came over to talk once in a while, I wouldn’t have to talk to my fucking car, now would I? Ha ha! Just kidding! I love you, Bob and Janet! (I have no fucking clue what their names actually are.)

And why “that can respond to me”? Because, for the majority of the day, a torrent of baby-appeasing, sing-song-y bullshit pours out of me in an attempt to keep Baby Ass-en-heimer content. Usually, his response is to puke on me and then he cries. I don’t count that.

Since I spend so much time NOT talking to anyone, you can see how easy it is for me to spend three paragraphs describing one sentence.

Pathetic.

But honestly, the real topic at hand (Minecraft and Hot Tamales, remember?) isn’t much more interesting than an in-depth investigation on why I said something. It basically boils down to, “Yeah, I like to play Minecraft on my iPad and stuff my face with Hot Tamales while doing so.”

The end.

But not really, because I need to tell you that you should NOT eat so many Hot Tamales. I’m pretty sure I’m never going to poop again. I can actually feel a gelatinous, cinnamon flavored gummy baby in my stomach. If I ever poop again, I will probably post a picture because it will probably look like a four pound Hot Tamale in the toilet. Does the body even digest these things? I mean, is it like the candy equivalent of corn?

Anyway, gross, right? So, I think I’ve established how much I love Hot Tamales. If you don’t know what they are… I really can’t even fathom someone not knowing what these are… but if you aren’t familiar, I will describe them thricely.

1- They are like cinnamon flavored Mike and Ikes.

2- They are like hot gummy bears but slightly crunchy? LIke, really stale, cinnamon-hot gummy bears?

3- Think Big Red gum except more gummy… and you are supposed to swallow it.

Sounds delicious, right? I should be a food critic or something. My descriptive abilities, when it comes to food, are unparalleled.

Now these candies in conjunction with a fully sedentary day of Minecraft playing create my ideal rainy afternoon. And since it has rained non-stop since Noah started building the ark (in early March, I’d say?) I have eaten an estimated seven tons of Hot Tamales. Their stock price is booming. Can a stock price boom? Well, if so, it is.

And as for Minecraft, if you haven’t hearD of it, you must not have a seven year old boy. Or a twelve year old girl. If you do have one of those two things and haven’t heard of Minecraft… consider yourself blessed. Regardless of how awful it is to listen to someone talk about a video game, I’m making the sensible decision to talk about a video game! 

My son and daughter turned me on to the game. I spent the whopping eight dollars (EIGHT DOLLARS!? AM I FREAKING INSANE TO SPEND EIGHT BUCKS ON A FREAKING IPAD APP??!!……. yes.) and have been playing ever since. I have gotten my money’s worth.

So, if you haven’t heard of the game, I will describe it thricely–

1- In Minecraft, you are splunked down into this world that resembles an uninhabited Earth. There are animals that you kill to eat and monsters that try to eat you/blow you up. You have to try to survive by finding items to create other items. For example, you must mine coal and chop wood to make torches. The point is to not die by falling off of a cliff or bitten to death by a giant spider/pig-zombie-man. 2- The game is entirely composed of bricks. Just squares that you can dig up or build up or whatever. You can play in creative mode and build anything you can think of (with squares only) and the monsters go away so you can’t die. So I guess you couldn’t build, like, a circle…I basically just build houses. And paths to my many houses. 3- It is a game created for computer people who like to write code. Somehow if you play on the computer or something you can type stuff or something and the game will be different in ways that are cooler than the original. Like, according to my son, you can make boats. And different swords or something.

Again, I am so awesome at really painting a picture for the reader, no?

Anyway, when in the middle of marathon breast-feeding days, I find myself rather consumed by things like this. I compulsively eat candy and dig digital holes in this game until my eyes go all wonky. Then the kids come home from school and join me on their iPads and we all play together.

I’m contributing to their brain rot, I know, after the first time my son looked at me and said, “Mommy, we had a really fun adventure today, didn’t we?” I knew I was hooked.

I mean, an adventure on a rainy day with my kid? Awesome!

And an adventure on a rainy day when I’m by myself and I don’t have to leave the house? Awesome! Mostly pathetic, but still kinda awesome!

And just so you know how deep I’m in here, it took me two days to write this… not because I was busy cleaning my house for the realtors (of course, I was doing that) but during my down time (read: nursing time) I was Minecraft-ing.

Don’t judge. It’s super fun… and I’ve already mentally checked out of this blog since I’m really just itching to play… and there’s a box of Hot Tamales calling my name….

I need help.

I’m available for an intervention any time you are. Just form your support circle around me on the couch.

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Success in Advertising

Yesterday I was long winded. Today I will be brief because I have shit to do.

Well, brief-er.

More brief.

Already it’s not looking good for brevity.

Anyway, I skipped WTF Wednesday because I simply forgot. So I guess this is sort of a WTF Friday? I didn’t make it to the thrift store this week. The images from previous trips just aren’t speaking to me yet, so I’m going to talk about some images that I used to use as teaching tools about successfully conveying a message in advertising. I guess I could have just used the word rhetoric but this brevity thing…. I’m not so good at it.

I used to teach a class on rhetoric and composition and I’d use these images, not so much because they are excellent examples of successful advertising. It’s basically because I thought they were funny and I wanted to share them with friends. Since I had no friends, I would squeeze them into lesson plans so I could laugh with a group of people and feel like I was part of the 18 year old cool kids. I was their leader. I was the head cool kid just for a moment.

Come be a cool kid with me and look at this shit I brought….

I'm sure they're much better at sewing. I mean, how could they NOT be?

I’m sure they’re much better at sewing. I mean, how could they NOT be?

So I’m not going to speculate on who this person is. Okay, maybe a little speculating…. So I would like to believe these are English-as-second-language people. I refuse to believe that any native speaker would mutilate words like this. It’s possible though. Notice that only the Es are in cursive? And, yes, that is the way I’m pluralizing the letter E. Maybe it’d be easier to just make a list?

– Scribbled hastily on side of van in Pig’s Blood Red lipstick

– The letters A, R and T are capitalized with no apparent reason behind it.

– E and i are not capitalized. (Is there a Da Vinci Code type message here? Do they know where Jesus’s hemmed dress slacks are hidden?)

– Why, oh why, did they break up the word alteration? Why didn’t they just start writing 3 inches over? Why didn’t they wipe the lipstick off and try it again? If they wrote it in permanent marker… why in the fuck did they write it in permanent marker? On the side of their vehicle?? I’m seriously leaning Da Vinci on this. Are the Alterati an even more secret sect of the Illuminati? More secret because they’re not rich and they drive poorly tired mini vans? And because they sew stuff instead of do mean things to Taylor Swift at award ceremonies?

– And for the love of God why is there a comma after the phone number?? Every time I look at this I think that the phone number is someplace in Ontario. Why, yes! I DO live in 592-4783, Ontario! (Yeah, that one didn’t bring any laughs in the classroom either…)

And, just for your information, my students and I called the number once. It was out of service. The Alterati again have disappeared into the dark, hidden sweatshops of the world….

God, now I feel guilty! What if this was a cry for help? What if they are trapped somewhere, being forced to sew red carpet dresses for Hollywood’s elite Illuminati?

Or maybe they just got arrested. I took the photo in front of a flea market that the cops shut down because they were selling millions of dollars of knockoff designer purses.

I will always wonder, though— who ARE the Alterati?

So I’ve already broken my promise about brevity. I’m just going to say a few words on this next one because I don’t want to give anyone the impression I actually am trying to speak politically on the topic being advertised here…

Abortion

I took this photo on my way home from work one day.

Read the sign. Just the words.

I know it is an anti-abortion ad.

I also know it’s unsuccessful but still successful. Either way you read it, it’s correct.

Abortion does stop a beating heart.

Abortion also, technically, could stop a beating.

It’s all in the perspective, I guess.

Happy Friday, everyone! 🙂

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The Tale of Spring Break in Ohio

woman in shoe

Once upon a time there was a mother who lived in a little house with her husband and her children. They had plenty to eat and lived a nice, modest little life. Then one day, an event occurred. It was something that came around every year and mothers all over the land would shudder in fear of it. It was called “Spring Break” because of, certainly, all the spirits of mothers that were broken during that fateful week.

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Post-Easter Run Down and Apology to Jesus

It was that time of year again, Friends. The celebration of Jesus’s resurrection! The day that Jesus rose from the dead and went house to house to hide eggs throughout the homes of all that supported him in the year 30 Savior Elections. While only 11 people voted, he still won because, well.. you know, zombies…

Honestly, guys, I didn’t think of Jesus all day and I feel like a total dick. For reals.

How did I get through an entire Christian holiday without thinking of Christ even ONCE? Even when I’m bowling I think of Baby Jesus (I promise, Baby Jesus, if you let me pickup the spare, I’ll go to church on Sunday). I mean, I think of Jesus even when I’m drunk out of my mind! But yesterday, on probably the most important Jesus holiday, I didn’t think of him even once.

I can’t believe that I am a person who is that detached from her religion. I didn’t bring up the reason for the day at all with my kids. Bad Catholic. Bad.

It started off with not going to church, which is normal; however, I didn’t experience that typical Catholic guilt for not going. It’s pretty much tradition to NOT go but with not going comes a comforting guilt that reminds me that I’m a sinner and any love I get from God is certainly undeserved. I had no guilt. Fatigue, yes, since my kids were up at 7am because some lunatic rabbit had hidden chicken eggs all over my house. Not sure what that bunny’s beef is with chickens but I make it a point to stay on any rabbit’s good side. You’d think after the first few years, the chicken would be like, “Ok, Mr. Bunny, you got me again! Very funny! Now help me find my damn kids…” But after having her babies hidden year after year for so long, that chicken’s gotta be like, “Oh, EFF you, Rabbit. The joke’s old already…I’m not bothering finding those kids… I’ll just go to bed and make more. Screw you! Dick!”

That’s a funny sentence. “Bunny’s beef with chicken. Hah!

Anyway, my kids went through the surprises in their Easter baskets (no Jesus in there). Then they found all of the eggs hidden around the house (no Jesus there either). Then we all got dressed and piled into the truck and… still not thinking of Jesus… we drove three hours to go to an Easter party to celebrate Jesus’s resurrection. We weren’t there to celebrate the nice weather (it was the most beautiful Easter day on record, I kid you not) or the piles of grilled meat we all enjoyed. We were there to celebrate Jesus but I am certain that if there was a simulacrum of a sad looking Jesus on one of the grilled chicken legs, no one saw it and his face was eaten off without a second though about it.

I mean, we prayed before the meal now that I think about it… I was there, I was holding hands with my kids as we prayed… but I didn’t really pray. I was thinking about whether I could eat quickly before whoever was holding the baby would want me to take him back. I wasn’t paying attention to the prayer.

There were 1,000 plastic eggs littering the yard for the kids to find. 1,000. That’s a lot of effort, filling and placing all of those eggs. I didn’t hear anyone mention why they went through all that trouble. It was for the kids, for their enjoyment, of course. It was wonderful and the kids had so much fun gathering up all those eggs. But I missed an opportunity to remind my kids about gratitude. To show my kids why it’s important to thank both people and God.

It was a lovely day with lovely people. I enjoyed myself immensely.

But I didn’t think of Jesus once and that makes me sad.

We even stopped by my hometown to see my dad and sister. We drove by the beautiful, double-steepled church where my husband and I were married. The place my daughter used to call “Baby Jesus’s castle.”

Why didn’t I think of Jesus then? Why didn’t I bring up my Lord and Savior to my kids and talk about the resurrection and the meaning of Easter? Maybe it was because I was swooning from the celebrating. I was itchy from confetti from the hundreds of cascarones that were smashed over our heads, glitter and tiny papers migrating down our clothes, into our underwear and permeating our skin so we will find flecks of Easter confetti for months or even years.

Cascarones: empty eggshells filled with confetti, glitter, flour, etc and smashed over loved ones heads in celebration of... being Mexican? I don't know, it's a Hispanic thing, I think. Image: nystarcards.blogspot.com

Cascarones: empty eggshells filled with confetti, glitter, flour, etc and smashed over loved ones heads in celebration of… being Mexican? I don’t know, it’s a Hispanic thing, I think. Image: nystarcards.blogspot.com

I’m going to digress here a bit to say something about these cascarones. It is a yearly Easter tradition where empty eggshells are collected throughout the year, colored and then filled with confetti, glitter and, sometimes, flour. Everyone hates the flour ones.

Run before good luck gets ground into your head!

Run before good luck gets ground into your head!

The first time I experienced this, it was sort of bizarre and magical. There is tiny flecks of paper floating in the wind and people chasing after each other, crushing eggs in hair and down shirts. Its awesome and awful at the same time. You dread it but it’s still fun.

So. Much. Luck.

So. Much. Luck.

The tradition has nothing to do with Jesus. Having them smashed over your head is supposed to bring you good luck but it’s not, like, religious luck. It’s more like, “Good luck on keeping those scalp lacerations from getting infected!” (It can sometimes get a little frenzied, the egg smashing, and usually my head skin/hair hurts for a few days.)

After all that, still no Jesus.

Even on the ride home, when the baby is screaming his fool head off and I keep saying, “Good Lord!” I still do not actually think of the Lord. Even when I’m sitting in the huge mess my kids left in the back seat of the truck because the baby, even though he isn’t hungry, won’t calm down so I have to be back there to soothe him with my pinky. It’s the only thing he will use as a pacifier, my upside-down finger. Or my breast, but since my boob won’t reach him while he’s buckled in the car seat, he gets the pinky. I have one hand stretched out, nursing the baby with a finger, the other hand is stroking my 7 year old’s hair, who is sleeping with his head in my lap. I’m content. Actually, even though my feet are buried in about a foot of kid-garbage, I’m really stinking happy back there. I have both my boys, sleeping and happy. We got to enjoy the day with my daughter who usually is spending the holiday with her birth father and she, too, is sleeping peacefully in the front seat. My husband was kind enough to drive the entire way, almost six hours, even though he was suffering with a nasty head cold. I felt in love with my life and my family. I felt needed and loved back.

But I never thought of Jesus. I never thanked him for all that I have and all he sacrificed for me.

So I am doing that today. Thank you, Jesus, for giving me a life I’m not worthy of. I should have tried harder to remind my kids of the blessings you provide in our lives. Seriously, you rock.

Sorry I missed you yesterday, Lord. I promise to do better next year. I’ll even write your name on an egg with white crayon.

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You Are Gross, Me

Someday you will wake up and realize you are disgusting. You will open your eyes and the realization will hit you like a 40 ton diaper pail- you, bitch, are fucking gross.

Why? Because you used your shirt as a burp cloth some time in the wee hours of the morning. You were laying on your back, baby on your chest, and you were trying to burp your child after nursing. You knew it was going to happen, because it always does, but you were exhausted… so you burped him lying down. As always, he inevitably threw up on you. The puke rolled like a tide– down your boobs and up to your throat. Only then did you have the energy to bolt up in bed so you didn’t drown in your baby’s sick. You used your clothes to clean up the amazing amount of puke. You felt good that you obviously produce enough milk. Cling to this information. It’s all you have to keep you going.

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