Saturday, March 31, 2012

Be careful!

Today on TV Mitch and I saw a paraplegic racing down a hill on a ski like this:


And Mitch said, (to the guy on the ski), "Be careful or you'll paralyze the rest of yourself!"

I can't stop laughing about it.  

Friday, March 30, 2012

I have FEELINGS now! I hate it!

It is so cold and clammy in my house right now I can hardly stand it.  My feet feel like a couple of dead fish and I think the only way to warm them up will be to exercise.  Exercise! Do you have any idea how angry that makes me?  I don't want to exercise!  In fact, I've been in a snit about every tiny thing lately.  I think it might be my new medicine. It's working on the depression but I feel emotions now, as opposed to when I was on the SSRIs and went through life with a blissful Spock-like detachment. Oh how I miss that...

"I couldn't give two shits"
Now I CARE about everything!  Six months ago if I saw a dog turd in my yard I'd think to myself, "Whoa, don't step there," and I'd make a mental note to avoid that spot until someone else picked it up, or it got run over and flung into oblivion by the lawn mower, or the dog re-ate it.  Now I see a dog turd in the yard and I feel an impotent rage that causes me to reluctantly grid my entire yard and go through it square foot by square foot and pick up all the turds with a kiddy shovel and garden claw all while swearing prolifically and gagging.  Sweet Jesus, what is happening to me?

It's not just anger either.  I feel other things that I haven't felt in a long time too. When I see or read something funny I laugh until tears are streaming down my face. When I see something sad I cry actual tears from my eyes.  I cried at the Hunger Games last weekend. CRIED!!  Also, I read the final chapter of Redwall to a class of fourth graders last week and almost started crying because some stupid mouse-priest was on his deathbed and all the little woodland rodents were sad.  I had to stop and pretend I had to cough in order to pull myself together.  Gah! I hate this!  I hate lots of things now that before I just found slightly annoying.  I love things I loved before but now I love them with a newly obsessive intensity. (Kira: "Mom, don't kiss me so HARD!  It hurts!" Me: "I LOVE YOU, SHUT UP!") 

Now it's time for me to get up and put on my stupid sweatpants, put in my goddamn exercise tape and get all sweaty and out of breath.  I used to find that slightly inconvenient, but now I feel like Deb from the Slim in Six tape is out to get me and her goal is to irritate me into good shape. If irritation could burn calories, I would be so fucking skinny right now.  


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Would you rather...

It's time for a new Would You Rather question.  Last week's question, "Would you rather tell your mom what a rusty trombone is, or regurgitate an egg in front of your boss" wasn't even close.  Most of you would much rather tell your mom about a disturbing sexual activity than pop a whole egg out of your mouth.  I thought that popping the egg out would win because it's kind of neat, but clearly you like to shock your mothers more. (me too)  For those of you who didn't already know what a rusty trombone was and looked it up; I feel like I should say I'm sorry, but I'm not really sorry.  I'm still kind of laughing inside. On to this week's question:

Would you rather fly in coach across the Pacific Ocean, in a jam-packed plane with a one-year-old

Baby on a plane.  (Get it?)

OR

Eat a delicious hamburger made from cat meat 

"I'm delicious"

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bloggin': A Lady Reveals Nothing



It's Bloggin' Wednesday again!  This week we hear from Kady from A Lady Reveals Nothing which is one of my top three favorite blogs.  She's hilarious.  Check her out!  Thanks Kady!  


1.  Does your blog fit into a "niche" and how do you choose what to write about?  Have you ever pulled a post after you published it because you regretted it or got some horrible feedback?  I don't think I really have a "niche".  Obviously my focus is travel, embarrassing stories, humiliating my dad, quoting Summer, etc...but nothing is really off limits.  Except seriousness.  I try to avoid seriousness.  I have pulled posts, because they were dumb.  When I first started my blog, it was just for family members only and there were a couple dumb posts that I took off, I don't do it very often and I don't ever get bad feedback.  Fortunately.  (That's not to say I get good feedback either.)


2.  Do you read a lot of other blogs?  How many? Have you had contact with the bloggers, or are you a lurker?  I do read a lot of blogs.  I love reading blogs.  How many?  No idea.  I subscribe to like a hundred but very few of them update often.  Sometimes I lurk and sometimes I contact.  I love my blog friends.


3.  Do you comment on a lot of other blogs?  I try to, but sometimes I can't think of anything especially witty.  I ALWAYS read, but I don't always comment.


4.  How important is it for you to get comments on a scale of 1-10?  10.  I love comments!  I wish I could turn off that dumb word verification thing.  I think it turns some commentors off.


5.  Do you respond to your commentors? Yes.  It's polite.  And my commenters are so funny.  Have you read my comments?  They're sometimes better than the blog post.


6.  How many followers do you have?  How did you get them?  69...I don't know how.  I got a bunch from you, and some are friends and some are random.


7.  How do you promote your blog?  I am trying to branch out now finally.  When I travel, I make cool business cards with my contact information including my blog address and hand them out to people I meet (not in a weird way.  More like, "here's my email...")


8.  Do you write for any other sites?  Only once, but I would love to do more of it.  I have a few blogs in my profile, but A Lady Reveals Nothing is the only one I really update.


9.  What is your most favorite and least favorite thing about blogging?  I love that people read it.  I have actually met random strangers who tell me they love my blog.  When I go to my hometown, I always meet a few people that tell me they are rabid fans and it makes me feel good that people keep up with my writing.  I hate uploading photos.  I hate trying to make them the same width as my blog column...but it makes my blog look nice and profesh so I do it.  Sometimes I have writer's block and feel pressure to post something even though I got nothin'.  That makes me feel anxious, but nobody really cares but me probably.  I just committed to a daily post and I try really hard to follow through.


10. What advice would you give to potential bloggers?  What do you HATE when you see on a blog?  What do you like to see on a blog?  I like comedy.  I like travel advice.  I like cute girls blogging about fashion.  I don't really read anybody who put stuff up that I hate.  Advice?  Post often, be interesting, be funny.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hulky

I was out of town for the weekend, visiting with family and old friends. I got up this morning to work what I thought would be a super easy day. It was a job for a second/third grade split class, which would normally be hard, but I know/(knew) for a fact that there was an excellent student teacher in that class so I thought I could breeze through the day listening to the occasional crazy story and helping individual kids with math or reading.  Well, the student teacher has strep throat so she was gone.  It was all me today.  It was fun, but exhausting.

I've been working so much or been gone, so I have totally ignored anything domestic for over a week.  That fucking laundry really piles up.  I don't know why but lately the sight of piles of dirty laundry makes my blood pressure rise and makes me actually ANGRY.  I feel like David Banner.  I see damp towels, and inside-out pants, and dirty socks all over the laundry room floor and I can practically feel the seams of my purple pants ripping and my skin turning green.

I need some more goddamn Downy AAAAAHHHHHHGGGGGGGGGG!
I never liked doing laundry before but now it actually makes me mad.  Stupid clothes, getting dirty, day in, day out.

Kira's path of destruction also makes me angry lately too.  I shouldn't be able to come home and see everything she has done and every place she has been based on the litter she has left behind, should I?  Is it too much to ask a 12 year old to pick up her own shit?  I found two flute-o-phones in the bathroom today.  TWO!  My latest domestic peeve is the fact that she leaves her dresser drawers hanging open with clothes draped out all over the place.  I've been telling her for months and months to SHUT THOSE DAMN DRAWERS! and still they are left open.  The other night around midnight I was going to take her book off her sleeping face and give her a little kiss, and when I walked in I accidentally ran into the open bottom drawer.  HUUUUULK MAAAAAAAD!

I flicked the overhead light on and said, "GET UP!" I think she probably thought the house was on fire or something.  When I was finally able to wake her up and drag her ass out of bed and tell her to SHUT HER GODDAMN DRAWERS she looked at me like I was a crazy person.  I upped the crazy by telling her that if I see them open like that again I'd take the dresser.  She looked at me like I had finally lost my marbles and carefully asked what she would do with all her clothes if I took her dresser (also implicitly asking where I would put an extra dresser), as if I hadn't already thought that through.  I actually hadn't thought that through.  I hadn't thought any further ahead than causing her some inconvenience and annoyance.  So I guess the consequence of her losing her dresser would be piles of her clothes all over the floor.  The very thing that causes my total hulk-like irrational rage.  Also, I'd have an extra piece of furniture cluttering up my house.  What kind of a corner have I painted myself into?

Let's all hope she keeps her drawers shut.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I didn't get any permission to write this

I saw this picture on a link a friend put up on Facebook.  The link was for a story in The Mudflats called Help! Help! There's an Elephant in my Uterus!  and I laughed and laughed because that's ri-DIC-ulous!  An elephant?  In my UTERUS!?  HA!  It would never fit!  And how would it ever come out!?  Yikes!  Talk about a hibernation plug! (gross, lol!)  So I clicked on the link to read more of the outrageous hilarity.

It was a story about how the state of Alaska is the latest state to consider a mandatory ultrasound law for women who seek abortions.  What's this "mandatory ultrasound," I thought to myself, (still laughing about the elephant in my uterus),  I could hardly get approval from my health insurer for an ultrasound that I wanted to have when I was pregnant and had no intention of getting an abortion.  About this time I was realizing this was not a hilarious humor article about stuffing enormous animals into small spaces.  Oh.

Alaska (along with Idaho, Pennsylvania, Texas (of course),and Virginia) is trying to pass a law so a woman who seeks an abortion must have a medically unnecessary ultrasound whether she wants it or not.  I actually heard about this a few weeks ago on a blog called The Middle Voice.  The title of her post was called Virginia's New Honor Rape Law, and she brilliantly compared the way some countries in the Middle East punish women by raping them (which nobody in this country would disagree is appalling) with this new law.  She said the only ultrasound that would be able to pick up an early first-trimester pregnancy is a transvaginal ultrasound.  Here's a picture:

So a woman who wants to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy must first be subjected to being penetrated against her wishes for no medical reason, whatsoever.  Hey! That sounds an awful lot like rape! What the FUCK?

The Mudflats article also reported on how the aptly named Alaska State Representative, Alan Dick, said at a House Health and Human Services committee meeting that he doesn't believe when a woman is pregnant that it's really her pregnancy.  He thinks that if a woman wants to get an abortion she should have a permission slip from the impregnator.  A fucking permission slip.  He said,
 “If I thought that the man’s signature was required… required, in order for a woman to have an abortion, I’d have a little more peace about it…”   
He'd feel better if a man gave his permission for a woman to decide whether or not she wants to spend the next eight months carrying a baby she never intended to have.  Because lord knows, men know WAY more about what is good for women than women do.

Representative Dick, a man whose terrible judgement allows him to walk around in public with an Amish chin beard, wants anyone with a uterus to have a permission slip if she decides she doesn't want to carry a pregnancy to term, and then face motherhood or the adoption process; because to him every sperm is sacred.  To be fair, after Dick made that appalling statement, he heard from a LOT of women and he apologized for his "artless" comment and said that maybe a not a permission slip, but the woman should definitely be required to inform the impregnator.  I can't say it any better than this: (from The Mudflats)
There was no clarification about what would happen if the impregnator was a woman’s rapist, or father, or abuser, or how paternity would be determined beforehand. No word about how it would be enforced, or what would legally happen to a woman or a doctor if it wasn’t. No word on how a signature would be validated, or what notarization or witnesses might be necessary to prove the signature was real. Nothing about what happens if a man and a woman disagree, or if a man refuses to acknowledge the notification, or if he can’t be contacted. 
Ladies, we have to wake up and take a role in preventing our country and our bodies from being taken over by neoconservative nutjobs who want to simultaneously prevent the poor and middle class from receiving affordable health care (because, let's be honest, if you have enough money, these particular laws can be sidestepped), but also forcing us to go through with pregnancy whether we want to or not.

We have to stop entertaining ourselves with hilarious ideas of cramming gigantic animals into small spaces ("Help! Help!  There's a narwhal in my small intestine! OMG! LOL!), hibernation plugs (gross! LOL!) and chin beards, and start paying attention to what the people who write the laws are trying to do to us.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Would you rather...

Hi everybody!  It is time for a new Would You Rather question!  I seem to be having trouble finding a hard question for you.  I want some collective indecision!  That being said, I can't BELIEVE you guys - who would prefer to poop your drawers than watch a sex video (of your parents) - would almost all rather do naked yoga with the Gold Guys than eat a bug.  I was sure you'd pick eating a bee.  You're so unpredictable!  It's fascinating!  I love this!

When I make up the questions I don't really ask myself what I would rather do until I see what you guys vote for.  When I really think hard about it I would probably rather do the naked yoga because I love seeing people naked, and my curiosity might outweigh my utter mortification of being naked, in compromising positions, in front of others.


Oo, maybe not.

Also, I think I'd have trouble eating a bee because I have enough trouble swallowing my big vitamin D pills and they don't even have a stinger or a will to live.  My vitamin D pills almost never try to crawl back up my throat.  I think when it comes to eating bees, chewing would be unavoidable and that totally grosses me out.  So I guess I'd rather do the naked yoga too.

This time I'm going to tell you what my vote is before you guys vote.  I don't want to skew the results, but hey, this isn't a scientific poll.  The question is:

Would You Rather...

Explain to your mom what a rusty trombone is,

Oh, sorry Mom, not that kind...


OR

Regurgitate a whole unbroken egg in front of your boss

Mouth-eggs anyone?
I guess I would rather tell my mom what a rusty trombone is.  But to tell the truth, I wouldn't really mind doing either one, but I bet the egg would hurt coming up and I like to avoid any kind of discomfort at all times.  I actually think I might enjoy the look on my mom's face if I told her what it was.  

(not my mom)
Yeah, I might enjoy telling my mom what a rusty trombone is.  I'm going to see her this weekend.  Get ready Mom.  


(Side note)  I told Mitch the new question and his eyes widened and he said, "Regurgitating a whole egg would be AWESOME!  It's not a question of 'would you rather..' as much as 'wouldn't you love to..!'"

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hi, Low, Adorable

I've been subbing all week for a bunch of teachers who have student teachers.  Tuesday I was in a science class and the student teacher was fabulous.  It seemed like he had been teaching for years.  He was teaching about genomes and alleles and genetics, and kept saying "Let's say your parents mate and blahblahblah" as an example for how the offspring would turn out with blue eyes or red hair or whatever.  I LOVED how every single kid flinched every time the guy said the words "your parents mate."  I mentioned that after the first class and he was totally aware of it and was doing it on purpose.  Brilliant.  Despite their squeamishness, the kids loved him.  All I had to do all day was sit in the room and play Angry Birds.

*******************

Monday was a tough day because I was in one of my favorite third grade rooms and their student teacher was horrendous.  One example:   She said she wanted to teach math because it is her specialty. (At this point she should be teaching everything all day, but her cooperating teacher won't let her.) It was a lesson on multiplying and dividing 5s.

The first thing they were supposed to do was copy down these words: division, divider, divisor and quotient.  This was written up on the smart board and she told them to copy it.  She didn't tell them where to copy it (on a blank sheet of paper? in their math journals?) but to give her the benefit of the doubt, I'm guessing they copy vocab on a regular basis and knew where to put it.  But they didn't do it.  Nobody copied it because she barreled ahead with the lesson.  They didn't even have time to get out paper to write the stuff down.

She rushed through a few boring word problems, never once using the words division, divisor, divider or quotient; only stopping long enough to occasionally bitch at someone for not paying attention.  She wouldn't listen to them if they had questions, and she said things like, "Don't come ask me how to do this later because I won't tell you."  You won't?!  Nice TEACHER.

The kids were DONE with math after the first lesson.  The scheduled time for math was up and it was clearly time to move on.  She tried to forge ahead with another lesson but the kids simply couldn't do it.  The first lesson was too torturous to even think of starting a new one.  The teacher sat up at the front of the class and pouted and said, "Oh great, now I'M going to get yelled at because we didn't do this lesson.  Thanks a lot, guys."

Who does that?!

************************

The highlight of the day was when the kids were doing a phonics worksheet on homophones.  They were supposed to choose the right word to put in the blank in a sentence.  One girl called me over because she was having trouble with one of the problems.  The homophones were "hare/hair" and the sentence was "Gladys washes her __________ every day."  The little girl said, "I don't know what to put." and I thought she wasn't sure what a hare was so I told her it was a wild bunny.  She said, "I know what a hare is, I don't know which one to put in the space because they both make sense."  I almost collapsed from the cuteness.  I can't express how much I love the image of a little girl bathing a jackrabbit every single day.  I said, "Well, I suppose you could wash a hare every day but I bet you'd have a lot of scratches!"

("What? I always walk like this.")

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bloggin': Simone from Simone Says

This week's Bloggin' answers are from the lovely Simone from Simone Says.  Check out her blog!  Thank you Simone!






1.  Does your blog fit into a "niche" and how do you choose what to write about?  Have you ever pulled a post after you published it because you regretted it or got some horrible feedback?
- Not really - unless you count people who like dark, sarcastic humor with a touch of lightness
- Oh, I just know. Usually something stupid that I do, or someone else, or just a ridiculous observation.
- Yes. Only because it was full of self pity and totally lame (the mean commenter was correct about that)

2.  Do you read a lot of other blogs?  How many? Have you had contact with the bloggers, or are you a lurker?
- Yes. About 10. I keep in communication with my fellow bloggers. 

3.  Do you comment on a lot of other blogs?
- Yes. I comment on posts that resonate with me, or make me laugh.

4.  How important is it for you to get comments on a scale of 1-10?
- TEN. Not gonna lie - comments make my day. 

5.  Do you respond to your commentors?
- Sometimes, but rarely. I look at it like it's their forum and I try to keep my big mouth shut so they can express their thoughts.

6.  How many followers do you have?  How did you get them?  
- 103 that I know of, probably a little more. Begging, borrowing, stealing. Usually when I leave comments on blogs, those people click on my blog and if they like my stuff, they follow me. Also, I promote the shit out of my blog on Facebook and Twitter and emails to friends and family.

7.  How do you promote your blog?
See above.

8.  Do you write for any other sites?
- Yes. I have a beauty column on Society805.com

9.  What is your most favorite and least favorite thing about blogging?
- Favorite: I can say whatever the fuck I want
- Least: Promoting it and building a platform is a pain in the ass. 

10. What advice would you give to potential bloggers?  What do you HATE when you see on a blog?  What do you like to see on a blog?
- Write. Write. Write.
- Nothing has really bugged me thus far
- I like to see links to Twitter or Facebook so I can pick which way I want to follow a blogger

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I Got Ranked

Today I got an email from a site called Blog-Rank.  They rank blogs according to category and they say that my blog is 39.  THIRTY NINE!  That's pretty good.  I don't know all that much about the site or what that ranking really means but whatever, I'll take 39.  (update:  I looked again tonight and I'm down to 136.  awwww... Whatever.  I'll still take it.)  I got interested in this ranking business and I saw that one of the things that Blog Rank takes into account is a site's Alexa rating.  I never heard of it before so I looked up where I rank on Alexa: 9,569,300.  (Google is number one.)  That makes 136 sound pretty good!  (On the "Sarah's Parents Official Blog Ranking" I'm NUMBER ONE, right Mom and Dad?)

Anyway, I told Kira about it and she said, without even cracking a smile, "The only reason your blog is funny is because of me."  I cracked up laughing and I hate to admit she is probably right.  She is one of the funniest people I know, and if I didn't have her to exploit, my blog wouldn't be all that funny.  So thank you, Kira dear, for our moderate success in an arbitrary ranking!



We're Number ONE! hundred and thirty six  



Monday, March 19, 2012

Shorts

Kira made herself a pair of cutoff jean shorts today.  Now she's obsessed with them.  She only stopped talking about them long enough to annoy me.

She has been especially obnoxious today because she was away for the weekend and she apparently has an annoyance quota to meet.  Her brand of obnoxiousness includes sitting as close to me as humanly possible without actually being on top of me, and whispering, "Mom, guess what?  Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom.... guess what?  Mom, MOM, guess what?" and when I relent and wearily say, "....what" she puts her hand up to her mouth conspiratorially and says, "...Home show," in the thickest Minnesota accent you can imagine.  

Then she waits five minutes and does it again, but this time says, "...Boat show."  And then again and says, "...Dog show."  And so on and so on.  I couldn't make her stop.  I finally had to make her go to bed.  She got up to leave, and as she passed the bird's cage she said, "Hey Dad, you should make the bird some shorts," and then she went upstairs without another word.  

Mitch and I stared at each other and simultaneously burst out laughing/crying, and I don't know if we were laughing at the image of our bird wearing little denim cutoffs, or because we were worn so raw by her particular brand of torture.  It's like she is putting us through intense training for her upcoming teen years.  

I Googled "Bird wearing shorts," and I got a bunch of pictures like this:


Which made me say, "huh? I don't get it," and then I realized that this is LARRY Bird and he is wearing shorts.  Oh Google, you make me laugh.  I couldn't find any pictures of birds wearing shorts so I had to make one:

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Would you rather...

Okay, it is clear that I have to come up with a "Would You Rather" question that is a little tougher to decide.  You guys unanimously said you would rather poop your pants than watch a video of your own conception.  It's not like I said you had to be present for your own conception, cheering your dad on and telling your mother to hang in there; and then at the big moment yelling out something like, "..and THAT'S how you make a baby! HOOYAA!" while holding up your hands to high five your parents.  You just had to watch a video of it.  You guys are squeamish.  That's good to know for the future.  This is the new question:

Would you rather do naked yoga with the Gold Guys, 

(Imagine small talk about your old tangled necklaces with these friendly guys:)



(while the three of your are in positions like this:)


OR

Eat a live bee.

(actual size)
"buzz buzz, I'm fuzzy"

Notice that "neither" is not an option. 
Vote at the top of the sidebar.  
(I have a feeling I know which one is going to win.)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Authors

One of the reasons I'm so happy that I discovered the blogging world is because I love to read, and I've discovered some great books; and because sometimes they have blogs, I get to actually talk with the authors!  I'm so starstruck by people who take on something like a book and follow through and get it published.  Before I started blogging, one of my favorite authors was Steven Saylor.  He writes books about Ancient Rome.  I LOVE his books.  I finished a few books in his Gordianus series and wrote him an email.  The Gordianus series is about a man in ancient Rome named, obviously, Gordianus.  He's like the Sherlock Holmes of Rome.  He investigates crimes with the help of his trusty sidekick Tiro, a young servant.  In the email I told Steven Saylor that I love his books and had recently finished one of the installments of the Gordianus series.  I said,
 "...I read Roman Blood which I  loved, but I read it late at night when I was very tired, and you know how you get a picture of the characters in your head and usually they are people you know or actors or something?  Well, unfortunately I had Mr. Peabody and his pet boy Sherman from the Rocky and Bullwinkle show in my head for Gordianus and Tiro for about the first half of the book until I could finally make it stop." 

 Steven Saylor not only got my email and read it, he responded!  He said:

"Sarah, 
Thanks for such an enthusiastic and encouraging message. 
I hope you'll enjoy Empire all the way to the bittersweet end. 
Gordianus and Tiro as Mr. Peabody and Sherman is a new one on me. Now I can't get that image out of my head (lol)! 
Best wishes, 
Steven [Saylor]"
OMG.  I can't tell you how surprised and thrilled I was to get an email from Steven Saylor!  I'm a tiny bit sorry that I might have ruined Gordianus and Tiro for both of us, but mostly I'm happy he gave me an "lol."

Now I know bloggers who have written books and that is so exciting.  I'm a teensy bit jealous, but mostly thrilled for them that they published a book, and thrilled for me that I know someone who published a book.  Meg and Chris from 2birds1blog wrote a book called A Misanthrope's Guide to Life which was hilarious.  I wrote a review of it and I actually chatted with Meg a few times over email.


Another blog I recently discovered is Animals Behaving Badly by Linda Lombardi.  It's an exposé  blog about the horrible things animals do and blatantly get away with because they are adorable and "don't know any better."  I got her book for Christmas and haven't read it yet, but it's on my short list.


Right now I'm reading a book by a blogger named Karen Weir-Jimerson who I met  a long time ago. Her blog is called Cat Crossing Farm.  She is a close friend of my aunt and she and her husband Doug live on a small farm in Iowa.  When the kids and I visit my aunt, Karen is gracious enough to invite us over and let us play with her animals for an afternoon.  Karen recently published a book called So Much Sky about life on her farm.  It is organized by seasons.  I've read the spring portion of the book so far and it is fantastic.  She writes about getting chicks in the mail, bottle-feeding baby lambs, tearing down brand new walls looking for a wayward kitten, and finally fulfilling her childhood dream of getting a horse.  Her writing is smooth and expressive, giving the reader wonderful images of life on the farm.

I told Kira that Karen wrote a book and showed it to her.  She grabbed it out of my hand and said, "I know that horse! I've met that horse! I've walked where that horse is!"

see?

I'm not the only one who is starstruck.

I've been tossing around the idea of writing a book about substitute teaching but I'm having a hard time getting into it.  I get started, and then it seems too daunting.  I'm really more of a write/proofread once/publish kind of gal and blogging is perfect for that.  So that is why I am in awe of all the writers mentioned in this post.  I want to do it to say "I wrote a book" and put author after my name, and also I feel like once I get one book published, it will be easier to write more after that. (Like killing your first hooker, it just gets easier after that, right, Jack the Ripper?)  I feel like I have books in me but much like my thoughts, they are an unorganized mess that will require drive and ambition to put together.  I don't know if my potential books will be able to overcome my lack of drive and ambition.

Have you ever gotten in touch with someone you were starstruck by? Have you ever considered writing a book?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Blog Business

Hey guys, I've got some bloggy business to discuss with you.  I made a fan page on Facebook for this blog.  I debated if I wanted to do it or not because I've got enough irons in the fire online right now, but it was pretty easy.  You can visit it here.   If you haven't noticed (Mitch) I added a little fun feature to the sidebar.  I'm going to have a survey of "would you rather" questions every few days.  Just so you know, "neither" is not an option.  So far people are unanimous about wanting to poop their pants over watching a video of their own conception.  Interesting.

I started another blog called That's Not The Way We Usually Do It! all about my adventures in substitute teaching.  I'm thinking about writing a book about subbing so this is helping me get organized.  I've just been moving subbing posts from here to there lately so there isn't really anything brand new on there yet.   Check it out.

Keep your Bloggin' answers coming!  I have enough now to run the feature for a couple of months.  If you know of some bloggers who might have some interesting answers, send them a link and tell them to play along.

That's about all for now.  Now it's your job to decide your answer for the survey question:  A load in your drawers, or being a part of the most intimate and beautiful moment in your parent's lives....

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cats

I haven't written about subbing lately and I've been subbing a LOT.  Yesterday I took a kindergarten job.  I don't know why I do it.  I guess it's like a challenge, and also the teacher likes me and asked me specifically to do it, so I took the job.  I'm a sucker.  Those kids are SO CUTE, but teaching kindergarten is like simultaneously managing a room full of cats and putting out fires - all day long.  Occasionally I have to take the cats out of the room to the library, or the lunchroom and that is a total fiasco.  Getting the cats to put on all their winter clothes to go home is another fiasco.  Cats don't care if the bus is going to be there in 5 minutes.  Cats don't care about anything but what they want to care about, and you can be sure it's nothing you want them to care about. 

My class
We got through most of the day with no major problems.  We had reading centers and did a pretty intense math activity.  That took the whole morning with me running around helping, solving problems, picking stuff up off the floor, resolving conflicts, tying shoes, buttoning pants, listening to tattles, etc. etc.  I was, for every second, either being talked to or talking.  I didn't have one minute to sit, go to the bathroom, or take a drink of water.  I don't know how kindergarten teachers do it day in and day out.  It is exhausting. 

Finally it was lunch time.  I gave them 15 minutes to get ready with all their winter clothes for recess afterward.  Some kids were ready in one minute, some kids still hadn't even put their snowpants on when it was time to leave.  So I brought the first wave down and then came back to get the second wave.  When I finally got back to the room to eat my own lunch, a parent came in with a kid that wasn't there in the morning.  I told him the kids were down at the cafeteria for lunch, thinking he could bring his kid down there himself.  He stared at me.  The kid stared at me.  I said, "Joseph, put your stuff on for recess and go to lunch."  The dad said, "He has to wear all his stuff just to go to lunch?"  Yes, Mr. Underminer, because if he doesn't put his boots and snowpants on now, he will totally miss recess because of how long it takes a five year old to put their boots and snowpants on, not to mention the fact that if he isn't wearing everything he needs, he will lose half of it on the short walk to the cafeteria.  I didn't say all that.  I just said, "Yes."  Then he stood there while his kid sloooooowwwwwly put on his stuff and griped about why the kids have to go to lunch wearing all their stuff.  He finally left and I had about ten minutes to myself where someone wasn't poking me or crying about something. 

Then I went to get them.  There must have been a bee on the playground because every single kid told me there was a bee on the playground.  Then one kid said he got stung by the bee.  I asked where and he didn't have an answer.  Another kid heard the first kid say he got stung so he said he also got stung.  Then everyone was saying they got stung. They lie.

The afternoon was much less intense than the morning; they had library, which left me with a merciful 25 minutes to pick up the room and get ready for them to come back, and then when they came back it was story time (my favorite), and then free play time.  During free play time a group of them wanted me to read stories to them.  They LIKE me!  They made me sit on the carpet and then they piled around me like a bunch of puppies and listened to me read.  It was pretty sweet, but while I was doing that, there was another group of kids who silently FILLED the water table to the tippy top. They did it by filling and re-filling a four-cup measuring cup.  I bet there was fifty gallons of water in that table, and the kids were soaked and the floor all around was soaked.  I made the water-table people help me clean up the mess they made, which had the exact results as it would if you told a bunch of cats to help you clean up a mess.  It was more work getting them to grab paper towels and soak up the water on the floor than it would have been to just do it myself, but we finally did it.

Then the sub notes said to gather on the carpet and talk about our day.  "Hey cats, I want all of you to sit in the same general area at a specific point in time!"  It eventually happened, but I had to chase and cajole and plead with five or six of them to go to the rug, go to the rug, go to the rug, go to the rug, go to the rug, can't you see everyone else on the rug?  go to the rug, go to the rug, go to the rug.  Let's go to the rug!  Wouldn't going to the rug be fun?  go to the rug, go to the rug, go to the rug, you don't need to check your backpack for your toy shark right now, go to the rug, go to the rug, go to the rug, you can get your water bottle after you go to the rug, go to the rug, go to the rug, don't worry that your shoe is untied for the 800th time right now, just go to the rug, go to the rug, yes, it's very intersting that you have scabs on your leg that vaguely form the letter Y but right now go to the rug, go to the rug, no, I didn't know your teacher usually says "carpet," does it matter? oh, it does? okay, go to the carpet.

go to the rug
Finally, time to go home.  This brilliant teacher has set things up so a bunch of fifth graders come and are assigned to certain kindergarteners, and they help them get ready, gather their things, and then walk them to their bus.  I was so grateful to see those fifth graders that I could have cried.

Today I'm subbing for a woman who teaches AP social studies.  I have not had to tie any shoes or button any pants (so far).  Nobody has tattled and I don't expect to hear any tattles.  If they miss the bus, I won't even know about it, much less be responsible for it.  Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bloggin': Azia from Azia Said What?



It's Bloggin' Wednesday!  Today we have Azia's answers. Thank you so much to Azia for playing along!  Check out Azia's awesome blog.  It's great!   


I love this!  Keep your answers coming!  Email me!


1.  Does your blog fit into a "niche" and how do you choose what to write about?  Have you ever pulled a post after you published it because you regretted it or got some horrible feedback?  


I guess if there was a special place in blog land for 20-something mothers, who are completely neurotic, impassioned and, in midst of a mid-mid-life crisis- I'd fit in there.  I write about things that get stuck in my head, and if they were to stay there would create some large-tumorish growth that would eventually envelop my entire face.  I don't think I've ever pulled a blog post- but I did go back and write a disclaimer on one because it hurt a certain someone's feelings that I thought a celebrity was "sexy as fuck."  Oh! I almost forgot!  One time I was venting about a friends crazy girlfriend and she posted a comment saying the most ridiculous/hilariously mean shit ever- and I felt so awesome that I had comment moderation!  LIKE A BOSS.

2.  Do you read a lot of other blogs?  How many? Have you had contact with the bloggers, or are you a lurker?  


I am subscribed to somewhere around +/- 90 blogs, but I only read 10 or so on a regular basis.  Other's I check weekly or bi-weekly.  I have contact with a few bloggers.  But, I do sometimes creep.

3.  Do you comment on a lot of other blogs?  

I comment on maybe 5 or 10 blogs for the most part.

4.  How important is it for you to get comments on a scale of 1-10? 

1.5 I don't write for comments--- but, it sure does make that ego feel good.  Momma likes.

5.  Do you respond to your commentors?  

I try to respond to every comment, so they know that I read what they said and appreciate them taking time out of their day to read my random shit.  I love you all!  High fives!

6.  How many followers do you have?  How did you get them?  

I have 102 followers and I have no idea how the freak that happened.

7.  How do you promote your blog?  

I don't.  When I write a new post I usually link it on Twitter.  But, I'm pretty sure most of my blog followers don't follow me on Twitter...  Should I be promoting?  Fuck.

8.  Do you write for any other sites?  

Nope.  I did start a second blog called, "Momma's Got A Big Belly"- where I was going to take pictures of my stomach and gross everyone out as I attempted to get a milf body.. but, then I found out I was pregnant again.. So... I guess everyone will have to wait for that present!

9.  What is your most favorite and least favorite thing about blogging?  

My most favorite thing is that I can put VIDEOS in my "journal" - how cool is that?  And that by reading other people's blogs I've been introduced to lots of literature, recipes, shops, etc..  Least favorite- I feel like sometimes since I blog about nothing in particular I'm being extremely narcissistic and saying LOOK AT HOW AWESOME MY MUNDANE LIFE IS WOOOO.

10. What advice would you give to potential bloggers?  What do you HATE when you see on a blog?  What do you like to see on a blog?  

My advice/what I hate- DO NOT WRITE IN A FREAKING CURSIVE FONT or some other type of goofy shit like that.  It's hard to read.  You don't want to be hard to read.  I really like when people write HONESTLY on their blog without fear of hurting somebody's feelings.  I admire the people that put it out there- I love the honesty that some people have.  It makes me feel a part of humanity in a strange sense- when you can read the story of a complete stranger and go- 'Yes!  I know exactly what they mean!"  How cool is that?  Keep it up bloggers, I think you all are awesome.

Monday, March 12, 2012

I'm Fancy

I gave in and  I finally got a professional haircut.  The other day I got a glimpse of myself in a mirror after walking around at work for about 6 hours, seeing just about every person I've ever met in the last ten years;  and it was like I had two completely different haircuts. The back was one and the sides were another.  The sides were frizzed out all on their own like clown hair.  It was ridiculous and it took all the willpower I have in my body to wait one day to get a haircut instead of just hacking it off in my bathroom.  I was flying a little too close to the sun when I cut bangs and it didn't turn out to be a total disaster.  I thought I shouldn't push my luck.

So I went to a real salon, not even a Cost Cutters or a Great Clips.  The kind of place that is so fancy that they have hair washing sinks and they actually use them.  The kind of place where a hair wash and a head massage are standard instead of being unceremoniously squirted with a spray bottle full of cold water.  I got assigned a young woman who looked like she knew what she was doing, she looked like she had some style.  Not that I'd care.  Getting my hair cut by someone who can see the back of my head is luxury enough.

She brought me back for the hair wash/head massage, and while I was lying there enjoying it she said, "Do you want an eyebrow wax today too?"  HINT HINT.  I smiled and tried not to laugh and said no thank you.  Then she sat me down in the chair and asked what I wanted.  I said, "I've been known to hack a chunk off here and there and layers are hard to do when I can't see the back of my head, heh heh," hoping to break the ice and admit what I've done to myself in a funny, self-deprecating way, and have her say something like, "Wow, you did a really good job!" But instead I got no reaction at all.  She started cutting.  She did a great job and when she asked if I liked it, I said I did and asked if the layers had been a total mess.  She said, "I had to take a lot off this side, but hardly any off this side.  It was really uneven, and the sides were ... weird.  Hair cutting isn't as easy as some people [you] might think."  Then she proceeded with the standard blowdry and style.  When she finished she turned my chair around and I looked exactly like this:


It was poofed up so high I looked just like Peggy Hill.  She said, "Do you like it?" and I said, "Poofy."  I paid and then immediately found the nearest bathroom and wet it down as much as I could so I didn't look like a sixty-year-old politician's wife at a formal ball.  Now that it's unpoofed, I really like it.  Maybe I'll stop cutting it myself.  Maybe.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Movie Review: Sharktopus


You know how I love animal hybrids?  I saw this movie and HAD to get it. It finally came on my Netflix and the kids and I watched it.

Eric Roberts plays a military scientist who, along with his sexy sexy scientist daughter, creates a half shark half octopus hybrid for the navy.  He is a killing machine and they only have control of him with a shark-helmet that sends signals to his brain.

Sharks HATE helmets.
On Sharktopus's maiden voyage into open seas he proves he works by saving a woman from a shark attack because the doctor told him to do it through his helmet. I'm still not clear on how the scientist knew a woman was about to be attacked by a shark.  I probably just don't understand the science behind it.


Almost immediately after he proves his worth, Sharktopus pulls off the annoying helmet.  It's easy.  He has arms.  He then goes on a killing spree along the Mexican coast.  He really likes resorts.

rar rar rar


The daughter/scientist takes off after him with a rag tag team of shark/octopus hunters.  She tracks him on his smorgasbord, just missing him every time.  She is going to kill him with some special kind of sciency dart.  BUT, she only has two of these special darts so she has to make them count.  She doesn't understand why Sharktopus is so homicidal.  That's not the Sharktopus she designed.  It's like she doesn't even know him anymore!  But then her father admits that he might have tweaked Sharktopus's brain just a tad to make him more aggressive.  Shit.

Just as they are getting closer to finding and killing Sharktopus, Eric Roberts insists that he must be captured and not hurt in any way because he is still valuable to the Navy.  This is a heartbreaking revelation to the daughter and she insists that Sharktopus is put down. He was a crime against nature.  They went too far.  The dispute is about to come to fisticuffs with the toughs for each side, but unfortunately they had this conversation right next to the water and Sharktopus made a very unwelcome appearance.

Try to unsee that, kids!

Science Dad got killed and in his final moment he admitted to Science Daughter that there is a kill switch that she can access somehow, but he dies before he can tell her the details.

I'm not going to tell you anymore because I bet now you are all dying to see it so I don't want to ruin the ending.  But I will tell you this:  Sharktopus can roar, walk on dry land, and ink.  He's super scary.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Stiffy

I had book club again last night.  I haven't had that much fun in a long time.  Probably since last month's book club meeting. 

One of the ladies told a story about how when she was a girl sitting at dinner with her family, she asked the question, "Why do people alway say, 'Ward, don't be so hard on the Beaver' and why is that so funny?"  Nobody would tell her.  Later when she learned the hilarity of the double entendre she was mortified that she had asked her parents, and incredibly grateful that they didn't tell her.



Another lady said when she was a teenager, again sitting down at dinner with her family, she told a joke that she had recently heard.  Everytime she heard someone tell the joke it got a big laugh, but she didn't really get it.  She told the joke to her parents.  "What is better than roses on your piano?  Tulips on your organ!"  And then she laughed and laughed, pretending to get it.  Her parents gave her a courtesy laugh and quickly changed the subject.  She says when she was older and thought about it, it dawned on her that she told an oral sex joke to her parents and she didn't even get it.  Mortifying. 



This brings me to something Kira did lately, and when she thinks back on it in five or ten years she will be mortified and tell her book club all about it.  She had one of those long balloons like clowns use to make balloon animals.  She blew it up and to be funny said, "I made a balloon animal.  It's a snake."  Then she waved it around a little and said, "It's kind of a stiff snake.  I'll name him Stiffy."  And then she went up to Mitch and poked him relentlessly and kept saying in a deep growly voice, "Hey Mitch, say hi to Stiffy.  Stiffeh.  Stiffeeeeehhhhh!" and then she said something about Stiffy only having one eye and, "Hey Mitch, look into Stiffy's one eye and say hi!"  Mitch tried to stifle his laughter and thought it best to try to ignore her so she would stop poking people in the ribs with her balloon phalus and yelling "MY NAME IS STIFFEEEEHHHHHH!" and eventually she did. 

I hope I am around when it dawns on her how inappropriate it was that she blew up a balloon, named it Stiffy, and ran around the house poking her parents, grandparents, and brother yelling out "Say hi to Stiffy!"  I really really hope I can see her face when that happens. 

Stiffeeeehhhhhh
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I'm still taking submissions for the Bloggin' questions!  Send yours to me please!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Random Non Sequiturs

God, people are so weird sometimes. Lately I'll be sitting in a room with people and someone just pops off with some totally random thought that has nothing to do with anything anyone was talking about. This has been happening so much lately that I started keeping track.

- "Ted Danson is a vegan." - Said by Mitch's mom while drinking coffee.

- "There is a guy at the Y that has an empty bag [scrotum]." - Said by Mitch while eating lunch at Erbert and Gerberts.

- "I hate spines." - Said by my mom during dinner one night.

- "What's a 'pube shirt'?" - said by Kira after watching Thirty Rock.  (I don't think it was so much a non-sequitur as it was a request for clarification.  Stupid Thirty Rock reruns.)



Stay tuned for more.  They're everywhere.
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Thanks to those of you who sent me your responses to my Bloggin' post.  Next Wednesday look for Azia's answers.  Amanda already answered and posted it in her blog.  Check it out.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bloggin': So... what else?

Thank you so much to those of you who have already responded to my Bloggin' questions from yesterday!  I was so happy to read your answers!  What do ya say we make this a Wednesday feature until I run out of blogs to feature?  Okay, sounds good to me.

Nataliedee.com

As promised, I will feature my own answers today:

1. Does your blog fit into a "niche" and how do you choose what to write about? Have you ever pulled a post after you published it because you regretted it?

I guess you could say it is a humor blog because I try to be funny. It started as a mommy blog so I could keep track of crazy things my kids said and did, and I found most of the stuff I was writing was about the funny stuff the kids did and funny stuff that happened. So I guess now you could call it a humor/mommy/everyday life blog. I write about what strikes me funny. I have pulled exactly one post after posting it because it was about my daughter and although it was hilarious, it was a little too personal.

2. Do you read a lot of other blogs? How many? Have you had contact with the bloggers, or are you a lurker?

Yes. I read about 100 blogs. They don't all post every day, and I have about ten or so that I really like and never miss. I put blogs I like in my Google reader and I check it every day in the morning when I eat breakfast. ~Helpful hint: as an avid blog reader I think you should enable your posts to be read in-full in a reader. If you only have it so I can read a few sentences, a lot of the time I won't click the link to your blog to read the whole thing because I have 30 other posts that are right there, easy to read.~ I have communicated with about 30 or so bloggers of the blogs I read. There are many I just lurk on. There is one mommy blog that is just kind of a ho hum family-only blog in Tennessee but I've been lurking on it for YEARS. I don't know why. I feel like I'm a fly on her wall that she doesn't even know is there....

3. Do you comment on a lot of other blogs?

I do not comment a lot. I should comment more. I don't know why I don't. I think part of it is total laziness because from my reader I have to open the page of the post I want to comment on, then I have to comment, then I usually have to do the stupid word verification. So if I comment, it's something I really wanted to say.

4. How important is it for you to get comments on a scale of 1-10? 

I LOVE getting comments. I would say on a scale of 1-10 it is about an 9 because although I love the comments, I would keep writing regardless if I got them or not. Whenever I see a comment in my inbox I get a little thrill. I love to know that someone read the post and liked it enough to comment because I assume everyone is like me and only comments when they really liked what I wrote.

5. Do you respond to your commentors?

Not as much as I should. Isn't that shitty? I'm trying to get better because I know when I comment on other blogs I usually go back and see if the author responded. The other day I commented on the George Washington Wired blog.  They had pictures of newborn baby piglets that were just born at Mount Vernon.  I said that there is nothing in the world as cute as baby piglets, and also there is nothing more delicious in the world than slightly older piglets.  I went back to see if there was any follow up and I got an admonishing response from another reader who told me to have more respect for the animals that give up their lives so I can have delicious bacon.  I felt really bad about that.

6. How many followers do you have? How did you get them?

I have 80 people who have pushed the "follow this blog" button. I have followed a lot of blogs and the other day I checked them all out and many of them are out of business or haven't posted in months. (Lightweights.) I check my stats pretty much every day to see how many hits I've gotten and it hovers around 200 to 300 a day but about 75% of those are from random Google searches and those people generally don't come back because they weren't looking for me, or for a blog to read, they were looking for things like "where does a horse's milk come out" and "ativan shut up juice" and they don't generally return. I would guess that I have about 15 to 20 everyday readers, and another 10 or 20 that check in once in a while. How did I get my followers? I begged people to read my blog. Is there any other way?

7. How do you promote your blog?

Promotion? I don't know much about it. I have looked up how to promote a blog and they say to make it easy for people to subscribe in a reader (check), post consistently (check), comment a lot on other sites (not so much), write guest posts on other blogs (anyone want a guest post?), and advertise (I'm not at the point where I think this blog is worth spending money on.) I also started my store but I can honestly say I don't expect to sell anything. I just enjoy designing stuff on my computer.

8. Do you write for any other sites?

I've guest posted before for The Empress, and I've written posts for Aiming Low, LOL, Mypheme, The Chunkersons, and some other regular blogs that have since quit posting.

9. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about blogging?

My least favorite is that a small part of me can't help see it as some kind of competition. I get discouraged when I see a new blog go up and within three months they have 500 followers and 30 comments per post, and their content is kind of iffy. Does that mean my writing is iffier? Probably.

The best thing is that I have an organized easy way to write consistently and that I've made some great friends. When I started I thought it was just going to be a family focused online diary to tell my sisters and parents what my kids were doing. I had no idea it would be so much fun.


10. What advice would you give to potential bloggers?  What do you HATE to see on a blog?  What do you like?


I would say keep writing all the time.  Make your site nice to look at, not too junky.  Link to stuff.  Have cool pictures.  I hate when I click on a blog and they have music.  I HATE that.  I usually won't go back. Oh!  and one more peeve that's not so much a blogging peeve as it is a writing peeve.  What I hate is when people misuse question marks to show that if they were talking they would say part of it like a question.  Example:  "That dolphin attempting to hump a lady taking part in a swim-with-the-dolphins program? Was the most disgusting thing I ever saw."  It's not grammatically correct.  Don't do that.