reNOVAtion

The kid was talking the other day about how she can’t wait to get her license.  She’s wondering what car she will get to drive.  I have terrible news for her.  It will most likely be nothing short of falling into the category of a soccer-mom vehicle.

I base part of that decision on my own teen experience.  It was a circa 1970’s Nova and it had an 8-cylinder 350 engine.  No seventeen year old should be driving a car of that magnitude.  Especially not me.  Let’s just say, I went through a period where I thought I wanted to be a race car driver.  Not a good combination.  Like the elastic neckline, I think my mom was trying to kill me.

But this car was the bomb.  It didn’t have reverse, the seats weren’t bolted down to the floor board and the windshield was loose.  Every time I went over a bump when it was raining, I would get splashed in the face and my seat would lift up in the air like a ride at Disney.  It didn’t have a paint job, but it did have a Budweiser gear shifter.  I was the shit.

This Nova is similar to mine.  This one is on E-bay if you're interested.
This Nova is similar to mine. This one is on E-bay if you’re interested.

The only time I could get it to go into reverse was when the engine was cold.  And I mean ice cold.  Like the middle of February cold.  Any other time of the year, if I didn’t park where I could just pull straight out, I was pretty much screwed.  Unless there was a strong male walking by, I was stranded there until the following Winter.

I was really good at pulling donuts and burning rubber.  The engine was so loud, my friends could hear me coming a mile away.  I adored that car.  One night a friend of mine who was going to BOCES for auto mechanics told me he could fix my transmission.  Just like that.  I was all too eager to hand him the keys.  Without consulting my parents.

My good friend wrapped her around a tree that night.  He was ok, the tree was not.  And neither was my Nova.  As for me, I was grounded for a month.  And my baby spent the rest of her life in a junk yard being raped of her good lady parts.  Sniff-sniff.

And that is precisely why the kid will be driving a mom-mobile.  That’s a good enough reason for me.  What memories does your favorite car stir up?

Scrub a Dub Dub

images

Yes, I use a washcloth.  In fact, I’m a washcloth scrubber.  (Be careful where you scrub though, apparently you can scrub natural bacteria right off your vajayjay and cause an infection.  I read that somewhere.  I know it’s tempting but refrain.)  Anyway, doesn’t everyone scrub with a washcloth?   Apparently…not.

I recently had a conversation with some friends about washing with a washcloth (yes, I know…very compelling) and I was completely shocked to find that, according to them, it’s rare to wash with one.  Well, in my circle anyway.  Dirty, dirty circle.

Just a bar of soap and their hands work fine for them.  Huh.  What about all those crevices?  Those certain unmentionables that I don’t think I want my hands touching on a good day?

Well, “that’s what the soap is for,” they tell me.  Ok, so I gave it a try.  The only problem is, I got the overwhelming need to wash my soap…with a washcloth.  Don’t get me wrong, I think I’m a pretty clean person.  I mean, it’s not like I go out and sling mud or anything.  It’s just that, well, we have….crevices.  I mean, they call them wash cloths for a reason, right?  It’s a cloth to WASH with, correct?  Maybe I’m missing something.

I have to admit that I like my washcloth.  I have a bit of a love affair with my washcloth (get your head out of the gutter).  My washcloth as seen more…oh.  Never mind.  How about those Mets?

Smile, You’re On Candid Camera

DH has this fixation with wildlife. He gets overly excited whenever he sees anything, including deer, walk through our yard.

For Christmas, my parents gave him a camera to capture this wildlife. He has it hung out in the back woods on a tree.  It’s motion detected so whenever something walks by, it snaps a picture. He is hoping to capture photos of coyote, red fox and even better…a big bad wolf.

Every few days he puts on his boots and coat and runs out there like a little boy on Christmas morning to pluck out the memory card.  He anxiously awaits while the pictures upload to his laptop.

It’s been about 6 weeks, and so far this is pretty much all he’s gotten.

SUNP0012

Poor guy. I mean the deer.  His curiosity must have momentarily blinded him and totally freaked him out.

As for DH, keep on trekkin’.  I’m sure you’ll hit pay dirt sooner or later.

In the meantime, I probably should buy stock in Duracell.

McDeaf

images

“Welcome to McDonalds.  Can I take your order?”  Said the guy behind the speaker.

“Yes, I’ll take a #2 meal with a sprite.  A 5-piece chicken strip meal with a water and a crispy chicken honey mustard wrap with a coke.  That’s it.  Thank you.”  Said me.

“Would you like fries with the crispy chicken wrap?”

“No thanks.”

“So, you would like a #3 meal…”

“Um, no.  Not a #3.  A #2.”

“Oh.  So you want a chicken wrap meal…”

“No, not a meal.  Just the wrap and a coke, no fries.”

“Oh, sorry.  So you want a 5-piece chicken strip meal with a water and a crispy chicken meal with a coke.  Will that be all?”

“No, I also would like the #2 meal.  With a sprite.”

(Am I being Punk’d?  I looked around for Ashton Kutcher.)

“Oh ok.  Your order comes to $15.74.  Please drive up to window #1.”

Seriously, considering the ordering process didn’t go so well, we were only missing a coke.  Like my New Year’s eve experience with bad ice, I should have known and just drove out of the parking lot.  Why do I do this to myself?  The signs were once again as strong as Popeye on 50 pounds of spinach.

I’m supposed to be on a diet anyway, right?  It looks like that just got bumped back to March.  Darn.

The Lost Art of Communication

images

I’m not sure if you’re aware of it or not, but we, as a country are completely screwed.  When you say to your child, “I need to speak to you,” and she says, “just text me,” you know we have a problem.

I grew up with the rotary phone.  You know the kind.  It had a curly cord attached to it and a circular “key pad.”  We had one phone on the kitchen wall.  For privacy, it was literally a stretch across the hall and into the bathroom.

Sure, in retrospect, it was a pain in the ass.  But at least we SPOKE to one another.  We opened our mouths and actual words came out.  We put the effort into dialing a phone that took 2.5 minutes so that we could talk to our best friend or boyfriend.  We also learned about time management because otherwise we would never get the opportunity to make that phone call before mom or dad needed to use it.

If the kid needs to ask someone a question that needs immediate attention, she texts instead of calls.  When I suggest she actually pick up the phone and call them, you should see the look on her face.  It’s as if I just suggested we go skinny dipping in the Atlantic in February. Like it was the stupidest idea since the Snuggie.

Every job description I come across during my job search says that good verbal communication skills are necessary.  I’m afraid this is what a job description of the future will look like:

“Must be proficient in texting at least 95 words per minute without error.  No need to speak to anyone.  No need to pay attention to anyone.  Ability to use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter an added bonus.”  To top it off, they will probably be required to have a Master’s Degree.  So, we all get to pay out our asses in education for our children so they can get a job that doesn’t require them to speak.

This should be interesting.  I’m not sure I want to be around for that.  If I am, please call and let me know.  Although the phone may be obsolete by then.  Um, text me?

Broken Promises

sorry-statistically-speaking-wont-new-years-ecard-someecards

Happy New Year!  Or should I say Happy First Month of the New Year!  Like many, I wrote a list of new year’s resolutions for myself.  It looks like this:

  1. Start a blog
  2. Get a real job
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables
  4. Eat less
  5. Exercise more
  6. Lose weight

Honestly, I don’t think that’s too much to ask of myself.  So, it has been exactly one month and this is what I have accomplished:

  1. Start a Blog – Well, yes. I did.  Yay for me.
  2. Get a real job – Um, I’ve sent in my resume to 2 places and tried to teach myself PowerPoint.  Does that count?
  3. Eat more fruits and veggies – If you count wine as a fruit, then resolution partially achieved.  If not, then….no.
  4. Eat less – Actually I’ve stopped grazing like a damn cow all day.  Ok, maybe I haven’t stopped exactly.  Let’s just say I’ve decreased the grazing a bit.  That is less, right?
  5. Exercise more – I should rephrase that to say “exercise.”  I went for a walk on January 30th.  Unless I continue to do so, that would be a big fat N-O.
  6. Lose weight – Since I basically failed at 3, 4 and 5, I guess it’s obvious what the answer is to #6.

About 3 years ago, I stopped making new year’s resolutions.  Because this is what inevitably happens.  I barely make it past day #1.  I guess because my list looks about the same every year and let’s face it, this girl likes her food.  And more than 1/2 of my resolutions pretty much involve food or the act of reducing food.

But this year was going to be different.  I was so sick of walking by those damn store mirrors and catching a glimpse of myself and being startled because that woman looks like me but couldn’t possibly be.  What I really should have as a resolution is to stop looking at myself in store mirrors.  Stupid store mirrors.  Those suckers ought to make us look like we lost 10 pounds, not gained 10 pounds.

So, instead of tossing the entire list out the window, I am going to start again today.  I’ll let you know how I’m doing in a month.  Do Bloody Mary’s count as a veggie?

No Grocery Left Behind

donkey
My alter ego

Damn! My chicken and ground beef never made it into my cart. The nice boy at the store who bagged my groceries didn’t put it in.  I didn’t notice until I got home.  Ugh.  Now I have to go back.  Unfortunately, the store I shopped at is down the street from the kid’s dance studio which is over 20 minutes away from my home.  I guess it doesn’t have to be a major problem.  The next time she has dance, I figured I would stop by and pick it up, which was Tuesday — the night before I wanted to make the meal with the beef.  Perfect.

On the way to dance Tuesday night, I drove right by that ever-lovin’ store, not once but twice.  It never occurred to me to stop in to collect my meats.   What a shocker.

Wednesday morning, as I was getting prepared to get my crockpot meal together, I opened the freezer to extract my pound of ground beef.  I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t laying right on top.  It should be since I only went grocery shopping 3 days ago.  So, I proceed to search deeper.  It took me about 30 seconds before I remembered where it was. Crap!  Poop!  SHIT!!!!  I really didn’t have time for this.  It was going to be a crazy afternoon.

I stood up from the freezer with a dazed look on my face.  I felt like I was hit with a stun gun.  Wait.  What happened?  I thought I was going to be passing that store on Tuesday.  Then I remembered that I DID pass that store on Tuesday because Tuesday was yesterday.  Awesome.  I’m an ass.

I know I already have one foot in the looney bin.  But can’t I blame this whole thing on the store bagger guy?  Yes, I think I will.  I don’t think I’ll add this to the list of reasons why I should be committed.  Oh and I hope my family doesn’t mind Chinese again.

Ewe

images-3

Why do designers make clothes with wool?  Yes, it’s toasty.  But that crap itches like a bitch. Sheep look so warm and cozy in their wooly fur.  But perhaps it should stay where it belongs — on the sheep.

A very good friend of mine gave me a gorgeous sweater for Christmas a couple of years back.  I love it.  It’s my favorite color, great shape, perfect fit.  It has it all, including wool.  The first time I wore it, I nearly scratched every body part north of my waist right off.  When I removed the sweater that night, it looked like I had a fight with a feral cat and lost.

I thought I would rectify the situation by going to the store and buying a long sleeved shirt to wear under it.  It worked well enough.  Until I did spring cleaning and threw that shirt away.  Don’t ask me why I threw it away.  I’m a pack rat.  I hate throwing things away as much as I hate throwing food away.  So, now I can’t wear the sweater because I don’t want to itch myself to death and I haven’t made it to the store to purchase another long sleeved shirt.  Even though right now is the perfect time to wear it because it’s so friggin’ cold out.

But I’m off topic.  My question is if wool itches so much, why do manufacturers/ designers use it in clothing?  And why does it itch so damn much?  Does it make everyone itch or is it just me?  Oops, that was three questions.  Itchy Wool — one of the great mysteries of the universe.  Well, my universe anyway.  I think I’ll stick to cotton.

The American Girl Bait and Tackle

This is the biatch that started it all
Scam Artist

May I tell a story about how American Girl sunk her manufactured teeth into our middle income wallets?  I’m sure many of you can relate.

It all started in December 2003.  My mother-in-law, the kid and I are in a taxi cab going to see the Christmas Show.  When, what to my MIL’s wondering eyes should appear but….The American Girl Place.  Why oh why did you have to look, mom.  She’s got enough Barbie’s to choke a small horse.  She certainly doesn’t need any other doll, that’s for sure.  I wanted to tell the driver to step on it.  But it was too late.

MIL:  (Gasp) Look what they opened!!!

The kid:  (gasp, gasp, and more gasping)

ME:  Oh help me Lord.

I’m not quite sure how it happened, but we somehow wound up at “The Place”, along with 90% of the city’s spoiled little rich girls and their mothers.  After we get trampled on by over-priced doll loving brats and make our way up the escalator, we see this store has a cafe.  Of course it does.  Lucky for us, there is an opening.  Joy.  They seat us.  But they do not seat us alone.  No.  We have a guest.  Her name is “Samantha” and she is seated down to the kid’s left.  She even gets her very own teacup and saucer.  How nice.

We have a marvelous time.  It’s truly magical.  Memories to last a lifetime.  The only problem is, Samantha doesn’t get to come home with us. No, if we want our very own “Samantha” it’s gonna cost.  And big.  All I can say is, thank God this joint serves wine.

ME:  Ok, honey, say goodbye to Samantha.  She has to go back to see her friends now.

The Kid:  Oh, but mommy, I am so attached to her.  I just love her so…

She has mustered up the cutest little tear in the corner of her right eye.  Yup, I fell for it.  Hook, line and sinker.

On the train ride home, there is one happy kid and one dumbstruck mother whose bank account has been depleted of $100+ in a matter of seconds.  DH is gonna love this one.

It turns out, Samantha makes for a great conversation piece:

The kid:  Oh mommy thank you so much.  She is my best friend!  I LOVE her! (blah, blah)

MIL:  You are such a wonderful mother. (blah, blah, blah)

And so that’s how it continued for 73 minutes.  Hearing about how wonderful the doll and I are.  So happy to be placed in a category with Miss Samantha.  It warms my heart.

That little jaunt was the start of a very expensive addiction.  9 years and 12 dolls, clothes and accessories later and guess where they are?  In the attic with the mice, bats and cobwebs waiting to sink their teeth into a new generation.

Let this be a warning to all mothers of doll loving little girls…do not eat in the cafe.  They are running quite the operation.  I am living proof that this is true.

Parental Discretion Is Advised

Parenting comes with its trials and tribulations. You want to be able to give your teen some freedom. You want them to be able to figure some stuff out. But we have to keep them on a leash of some sort and guide them. How do we know what we should and should not allow them to do? I think it just comes down to good old fashioned common sense.

A few months ago, my 14 year old daughter came home from school asking about a party she wanted to go to.  The conversation went something like this:

Her: Mom, there is this party this weekend. Can I go? The thing is, the parents aren’t going to be home. Like, I think you should let me go though. So-and-so’s mom is letting her go.

Me: Thank you for your honesty. I appreciate that. But, no. You will not be going to someone’s house party without adult supervision. And you are not so-and-so (ugh that was a major “I have turned into my mother” moment).

Her: Mom, I think you need to trust me. I mean, I’m not going to drink or take any drugs, if they have any of that stuff there.

Me: (holy shit…drugs? alcohol? Lord, help me survive the next 4 years) It’s not a matter of trust.  Of course I trust that you will make the right decision, but putting a bunch of 14 year olds in that kind of situation can only lead to trouble.

Her: Gawd mom, I don’t understand what the big deal is!!!

Me: Ok, fine. Then I’m going to call Penelope’s (name changed to protect the innocent) mom and thank her for allowing a party to be going on at her house while she is away. That is super nice of her, don’t you think?

Her: OMG! No mom! You cannot do that. OMG, please don’t do that, I will die!

Me: Well, if I can’t call the mother, then you definitely cannot go.

Her: Never mind.

My kid is smart. So, why do I have to explain this stuff in triplicate? Then I recall when I announced to my mother at this exact age that when I had kids, they would be allowed to do whatever they want.

I wanted to see what she would do in this situation. She is definitely much smarter than I was. Unlike me, she’s a straight A student and has more sense in her head than I ever had in my left pinky toe. Surely, she realizes how stupid her request is.

So, I asked her this: “Honey, put yourself in my shoes. If you were a mom and your teenage daughter approached you with this same question, what do you think you would do?” REALLY dumb question, by the way. Her reply? “Of course she could go, I don’t see what the big deal is.” Duh.

So, it is completely true what all those child psychologists and books say. Teenagers are stupid. Plain and simple. I don’t care if you gave birth to Albert Einstein. I bet his mother thought he was an idiot at 14 too.

As for that little party, it didn’t happen. It turns out I’m not the only parent that is totally uncool. What can I say? We certainly know how to kill a good party. We uncool moms have that effect.