31 May 2012

Update: Jay's Music Preferences Cleared Up by None Other

Jay was very quick to clear up any question there was regarding his supposed affinity to boy band music.  Here is his response, probably written the minute he read my previous post (I did a little clean-up editing of all iPhone typos.  I call it wifely artistic license):

"Sorry to disappoint everyone but I was not listening to One Direction, (oh sure they're cute, but the music, yuk! ). What I was listening to was "Game of Thrones" Book 3, which may not be much better. "I hate that Jeffrey!". When the phone disconnects it reverts to the previous auxiliary, which is the stuff our daughter forces us to suffer through. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it."

So that's that.  I don't get the Jeffrey thing...must be an inside joke for all you Game of Thrones addicts/geeks out there.  And if you're a One Direction fan, please forgive our callous lack of consideration.  And maybe find some new music!

Oh, the Things Your CD Player Says About You

Jay and I switched cars today.  He had to fly out to California, so when he has to leave a car in the dicey Logan parking lot, he uses my piece of crapola and I get to use his. 

So, the time for school rolled around this morning and the kids and I loaded ourselves into his car.  I turned the key in the ignition and  what should come blaring out of the speakers, but "Up All Night" by One Direction, much to the squealing joy of our daughter.  Yup, it was her CD, in Jay's CD player, and apparently having been played the last time the car was used, which was last night.  By Jay.  While he was alone, driving home from work. 


He is currently on a plane and I know this is kind of low of me to be posting this blog without him being able to defend himself, but there will be plenty of time for that later.  Now I'm wondering:  he claims to love bands like The Decemberists, the Shins, Dave Matthews, etc.; but is there a secret cache of Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and One Direction somewhere that I don't know about?  And is it our daughter or is it Jay who is responsible for all of that bubblegum-pop crap on our iTunes account?  This is just too good to ignore.   And now the question remains: 
This was bought for our daughter.  Should it get handed down to Jay?

Meanwhile, our ska-loving son was in a total state of disgust upon realizing that his father was playing such atrocious sounds of his own will.  Such a role-model let-down!

On the plus side, Jay has lots of time to think of a good excuse. 

30 May 2012

In the End, I Blame It on the Pork Roast

Pippet, Pippet, Pippet.  What will we do with you?  And who should be going to obedience school?  You?  Me?  Both of us?

Last night I had to leave the house to pick up our daughter from a party while Jay and our son were eating dinner.  No big deal.  Seems once the warmer weather arrives, family dinners eaten together in our house can be scarce.  I keep telling myself it'll all come together and we'll gel as a family unit once again over the summer.  Heh, heh.  Dream on, honey.
Anyway, it seems that once I left the house, all hell broke loose.  I left a big hunk of pork tenderloin on the kitchen counter, and that must have been too damned tempting for Pippet to contain herself.  Apparently she got the thing off the counter and was running around the house with it in her mouth, not able to stop and eat it because it was too big to fit down her gullet in one swallow.  Jay, who had just gotten home from work and was probably "not quite yet"  relaxed from his commute,  had to chase the canine and her porky spoils down.  Half of me wishes I was here to see all of the hullabaloo, but the other half knows I would have been the one doing the chasing if I was here, so it wouldn't have been nearly as fun as just imagining it in the aftermath.

When we walked in the door, the first thing Jay proclaimed in his best curmudgeonly voice was, "Pippet got the roast and was running all over the place with it."  My first reaction was to smile and look at Pippet (who was standing in front of me, submitting the freaking cutest face a dog could muster) and to say in my sappiest, wubba-wubba voice, "Ooooh noooo, zhou stowe za woast!?"  To which I got chastised by Jay, being told that I should not be letting her think what she did was OK.  Personally, I don't think the whole stealing-of-pork was remembered by the Pipster at that point.  She was probably thinking more about what she could get a good sniff of the next time somebody opened the fridge.

Later, when I was loading the dishwasher, Pippet was back to her old antics.  She loves to find all that good bounty in the dishwasher.  As you can see, this stems way back to her puppy days (excuse the heinously messy kitchen you're about to feast your eyes upon):

Puppy habits die hard.  Especially when you're a bottomless pit.

And with Pippet up to her old antics last night, so was I, as her "Photographer and Thus Abettor and Enabler of Bad Behavior."  I'm more than sure that if Jay had seen me taking pictures of these goings-on rather than removing the delinquent beastie from the scene of the crime (see evidence below),

I would have gotten Jay's Lecture #36785, sec. B:  The Importance of Training Your Dog, as well as have had this handed to me (or chucked in my general direction):
 Which, I'll admit it, might--just might--be some good reading for me.

23 May 2012

Trust a Mirror, not a Smiling Man

Oh CRAP!  I am vowing from this moment on to always look in the mirror before I go into public.  Ready?  How's this for making your face turn red:

After dropping the kids off at school, I decided to make a quick run to that all-time favorite New England shopping destination, Ocean State Job Lot.  If you aren't familiar with this store, it's one of those places that specializes in close-outs and carries just about everything, from jars of imported pickles and olive oil to seconds from retail clothing stores. 

This is not a shopping trip you break out the Prada for.  My quest today was for dog toys.  No boutique needed for this mission, and I was in dire need of new entertainment for Pippet because she has once again turned her teeth on the tufting of my living room rug.

I was one of the first customers in the store this morning, along with a few retiree men.  And all of them were smiling at me and making their charming grandfatherly chit-chat.  How cute.  I got what I needed, and after more idle chatting, I headed home. 

After giving Pippet her reward for removing a good half dozen more tufts from the rug (yeah, I know, I'm not the Dog Whisperer), I happened to glance down as I was taking off my shoes.  The zipper on my jean skirt was all the way down.  And apparently had been since I ran out of the house with the kids first thing this morning.  So, was this the reason for all of those cute, elderly smiles and one-liners?  I cringe to think.

And this isn't the first time with the whole zipper thing.  There are many instances, one of the most embarrassing being when I was told "XYZ" by a woman whose group I was cooking a dinner for.  I had no idea what she was talking about and then remembered that was how we'd say "Your zipper is down" back in what, the third grade?  The fact that a grown woman couldn't say, "Hey--check your zipper," lessened the humiliation of the whole dopey situation. 

And there are the other recent public displays of embarrassment I have succumbed to, such as the bindi-like white paint spot on my forehead while in a bath and kitchen store, or the chewed-up hunk of rawhide that stayed attached to the front of my sweater through an entire visit to the "fancy mall" (it would have been totally appropriate for Job Lot).

All situations leading to the simple solution that I'm sure everyone else already knows and actually executes as normal practice:  Check your look before you head out, Dummy.  Or suffer the consequences and smiles from those crazy octogenarian men.

21 May 2012

My Kingdom for a Pen

I grabbed a pen to make a quick list of stuff I needed to do this morning, in between all the other stuff I needed to do this morning.  I was in a rush.  Not in the mood for all of the little annoying glitches that can cause my eyes to do that squirrel-y thing that usually only happens on cartoon characters.  And simply "grabbing a pen" doesn't happen in this house.  Here is my jar of pens:
Everything but one good, old-fashioned, well-working pen.

Roughly 95% of the pens in this jar do not work.  It's a veritable crap shoot whether I can hone in on a pen that works when pursuing one.  I could just use a pencil, but that would be way too easy.  Plus the pencil sharpener we have does this mysterious thing where the lead in the pencil breaks when you're sharpening it, but you don't know it's broken until you bear down to write.  That can make me blow a gasket. 

Unfortunately, I am famously guilty of the crime of putting defunct pens back into the jar rather than straight into the trash.  Probably the main reason for my pen-jar-grievances.  Maybe once I find a pen that works, I'll add "Weed Out Bad Pens from All Pen Jars in House" to my list of stuff I need to do.  And if I can't find one, I can always resort to the barely visible pink highlighter that never dries out, never disappears, but is too light to read and I inevitably end up using.  Every family has one, am I right?  Oh, and I should also probably stop buying pens from the budget bin at the dollar store.  You know, the ones that never work from the very start?  That I have a million of?  And are a large factor for this post?

18 May 2012

Brainlessness and Little Pink Pills

My brain has been in creative gridlock for the past week.  I sit down to write and nothing comes to mind but the quasi-word "meh."  And it's not just when I want to write.  I picked up a pen to do some drawing and nothing showed up on the paper but lots of crosshatching (kind of looked like this:  ########).  And FORGET doing a crossword.  The last crossword I did a couple of days ago was totally illegible by the end from constantly rewriting new answers over old ones in the grid.  The pen wore through the paper in spots.
It's like a big mind-sucking vacuum removed the entire right lobe of my brain while I was sleeping.  Maybe it's the fumes from painting in the small, unvented areas when I redid the bathrooms.  Who the hell knows.  I just know that I need to get out of this funk.  Pronto.

All of this yammering brings me to a story about my son.  I have been pre-approved to tell this story to the general public.  And that's no small feat:

With the trees, grass and flowers in their full, glorified bloom, the boy's allergies have hit their maximum red-eyed, sniffling, wheezing, ah-choo-ing capacity.  He is so his father's son.  The other day he came home from school, by-passing track practice because his eyes were so swollen he probably would have tripped in a pothole while running and lost all of his front teeth.  Good call on that one, son.  Seeing his misery, I dosed him up on Benadryl and he disappeared into his room, saying he could get his homework done before those little pink pills kicked in.  By 6 PM he was down for the count.  He woke up a couple of hours later, came downstairs and sat speechlessly on the couch for a minute and then went back to bed, apparently no communication with other life forms needed, per his foggy little brain. 

The next morning he woke up, bright-eyed (well, about as bright-eyed as he could get after the preceding day's conjunctivitis-ish appearance) and ready to go.  Amazing what 12+ hours of sleep can do for the teen male of the species.  And that evening he told me all about the funky dreams he had while in his Benadryl-induced haze.  Seems like one dream was the stand-out.  In it, he had started a new political party, and it was backed by the fast food industry.  Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders were his advisers.  The quilt on his bed was representative of the opposition and he was wrestling it (literally).    I wish I had been awake and able to film him wrestling with his quilt in his sleep.  Good blackmail fodder.  He evidently defeated the opposition by flipping the quilt upside-down, or something.  I started to lose track (or, I'll admit it--interest) at this point during his recollection.  Anyway, pretty vivid and wild dream.  And from a kid who hates fast food because his mother scared the bejeezus out of him when he was 8-years-old by convincing him to read the book, "Chew on This."  Hasn't looked at a chicken McNugget since.

So, after all of this talk about the kaleidoscopic dreaming going on in his brain, I'm thinking:  Maybe that's what I need to spur my creativity.  Benadryl.  Go figure.  If I'm suddenly revitalized in my writing production, my crosswords are completed with no corrections and I am productively painting and drawing, you'll know I've been to the pharmacy, just a couple of rows over from the Warts & Lice (I think they've earned capitalization status) aisle.

09 May 2012

Bathroom Talk, Brought on by the...Bathroom

Sweet Lincoln's Mullet, I am done painting my bathroom!  Jay has happily pointed out all of the drip marks and reiterated that I should have used a roller rather than a brush, but I don't care.  I AM DONE! 

Which brought about today's activities:  Installing bathroom fixtures, i.e. towel bars, t.p. holders, etc.  I think I might hate that job more than I despise the painting itself.  And it makes me talk like a truck driver.  I think I even offended the dogs.  I swear I saw a look of  disgust on Pippet's face when I glanced over at her after venting to myself and the universe, upon discovering that I had incorrectly measured one side of the towel bar 1/2" off from the other side.  Only after drilling the holes.  And installing the damned bar.  I think I need some Orbit gum.  It would be kind of funny to see Pippet hand me some with her fuzzy black paws and then give me a slap in the face.  Heh.

But I digress.  The thing that ticks me off  the most, and thus the nearly constant stream of obscenities, is how many tools it takes for something that looks so simple. 
This many tools...

for this.
Glad I got that off my chest.  I'm about to go install a shade on the window.  Block your ears.

07 May 2012

Music and Menial Tasks: A Recipe for Sore Ears and Teeth Grinding

My family is back to their weekly grind.  And I AM HAPPY.  I'll explain.

For the past three days most of my time has been occupied with a project I decided to take on in kind of a last minute decision:  the painting of bathrooms.  Jay carefully asked what made me choose to do the bathrooms (he knows he has to tread lightly when I suddenly jump into unexpected projects) and I haughtily answered that I had been wanting to do this for a long time.  That's half-way the truth.  Fact is, I'm just putting off the task of painting our bedroom, which I know is going to be a nightmare the minute I begin.  Moving heavy furniture, repairing cracks in walls, painting a peaked ceiling.  Yeah...bathrooms were the way to begin, as a means of putting off what is looming ahead, just waiting for me, ready to attack.  And now this whole damned bathroom deal is taking longer than I expected because I am covering navy blue walls with pale aqua.  I just finished my third coat of paint minutes ago.  And it's still not done.  Jeezum Crow, to quote a certain friend.

So all of this painting can be tedious and down-right mind numbing.  Thankfully there are iPods.  Music makes everything better.  Now here's the rub:  I can't help but sing when moved by awesome music.  That wouldn't be a problem, if I wasn't as tone deaf as a rock (don't know if that's a real simile, but it works). 

I always thought I had a semi-decent voice.  I was in my middle school chorus and even made it into a special singing group one year (some people reading this will remember Swing Sixteen).  Now I'm beginning to think the chorus director just felt sorry for me and couldn't say no.  That, or there weren't enough people joining, so she couldn't be choosy.  A few years back, I did come across a cassette tape made of me singing "Mack the Knife" one night during karaoke at a bar, sometime when I was in college.  I played it back, but there was only some high-pitched whining that sounded like somebody had put a mosquito up to the microphone.  That couldn't possibly have been my voice.  Not to be disheartened by what I was hearing, I chalked it up to collegiate over-imbibing.

Fortunately my family likes to tell it like it is.  Jay and our kids have no problem telling me what an awful singer I am.  I accept their reviews of my performances graciously (maybe) and try to be as mute as possible, even when moved by certain songs while listening to my iPod.  Sometimes I can't help myself, though.  I have been known to mindlessly bleat out some inhuman sounds at the gym, only to get startled looks from those around me.  I just pretend it wasn't me. 

But today was different.  Everybody was gone, either to school or work.  Paint and brushes out once again, I set to work painting and had my sound up full-blast.  And at the top of my lungs I belted out every single song I listened to, because I could.  Nobody to complain, nobody to give me withering looks of pity, except for the dogs.  The windows are open, so I feel bad for the neighbors within listening distance, and I'm sure Charlie-the-Jiggy-Eyed-Dog got back some of his.
Weapons of phonic destruction:  paint brush and iPod.
And now I feel so good, just letting go of it all, that I'm beginning to think, who cares if anyone is around to hear my caterwauling?  There could be worse things to have to deal with.  Like a cranky wife/mother.  Do you suffer from the same vocal shortcomings as I?  Sing anyway.  You can call it performance art.  Try it.  You'll like it.

02 May 2012

Is It What's on the Inside, on the Outside, or Both?

There's always talk about who keeps what inside their refrigerators.  From celebrities to famous chefs, there's apparently a need by the masses to know these things.  Well, how about what they keep on the outside of their fridges?  Are they spotless with nary a magnet?  Or is the color/material of their fridge uncertain due to the junk stockpiled on every magnetic square inch?  If you looked at the fridge that is mere feet away from me as I type this, you'd know I'd be classified as a stockpiler.  No matter how neat and orderly I get our house, the fridge pretty much always looks like this:
It gets this way because this is the central nervous system of our house.  If you're looking for something important, chances are it is either on, atop, or in the vicinity of the fridge.  Concert tickets?  Stick 'em on the fridge.  School field trip info?  Stick it on the fridge.  Information from the driver whose school bus you attacked with your front fender?  Stick it on the fridge.  Hey--it's a pretty good instance of a multi-tasking appliance, second only to the dishwasher that doubles as a salmon steamer (which unnervingly is something that has always intrigued me--watch out if I invite you to dinner).

The one thing I don't have on there that I need are those little magnetic poetry kits you use to construct jocular witticisms.  All those clever and savvy types have them.  I'm thinking my family's witticisms would not be on a clever and savvy level, never mind jocular.  I wonder if there is a version with potty mouth words.  That would be more fitting.  I'll put it on my list along with vacuum bags.

So you're either:   1) Looking at at this picture, nodding in solidarity; 2) Writhing on the floor in an epileptic fit from such chaos; 3) Thinking this is a pointless blog.  It's all good, except for the writhing fit--I hope it's not that bad for you.  I like our messy fridge.  It reminds me of how crazy and colorful life can be.