The End is Near

Today is the second to last day of A Clown On Fire’s blogroll contest.  I don’t normally post on the weekends because my brain needs that 2 day break.  However, I couldn’t forfeit my clown noses for today, so here I am!

Today’s challenge was brought to us by Lame Adventures and was actually quite difficult!  Remember, you too can play even though you are not a contender and have your noses sent my way.  Visit today’s challenge to join in the fun!

I have to say however, I will not be held responsible for anything you don’t get done today because of the hours you will spend reading through all of the brilliant comments from our fellow bloggers.  I truly am in great company and even if I don’t get a spot, I am thankful for all the new friends I have met and the new blogs I now will be following because of it.

The bonus game today, devised by Le Clown himself challenged us to post a picture pertaining to the contest.  This is my entry:

Why is A Clown on Fire like Vodka? Because they both make me happy and could eventually lead to a dangerous and destructive addiction….notice how empty that bottle is….

I’m Not Like You

I was going to just leave up one post today but I felt the need to vent about middle school parent night yesterday evening.  Let me start by saying, I live in an uber-suburbian area of North Texas.  Think big, blonde hair, bedazzled flip flops and jeans, botox, extraneous amounts of jewelry, Expeditions and fat wallets.  If you know what I mean…

I’m not knocking the neighborhood….we chose to live here.  It’s safe, decent and the middle school is excellent.  The kids aren’t so bad either.  It’s just the parents that drive me nuts.

As I’m sitting there last night trying to somewhat pay attention to a ruthlessly long PTA meeting, I can’t hear a word the lady is saying over the LOUD speaker because of two chatty Cathy dingbat twins sitting directly behind me. I put up with it for a while but finally couldn’t take it anymore and waited out in the hall before visiting my son’s first class. Before I left I took a look around and wondered how I ended up in an episode of the Real Housewives of Dallas.

Before you think I’m being hateful, keep in mind that these opinions and observations are coming from someone who prefers the elusive and long distance web-based relationships within the blogosphere rather than real life, tangible ones.  That is just me. You could call me anti-social, I just call myself careful and selective. At least I’m not fake.  I still have my real boobs, my lips aren’t any bigger than the ones I was born with, I prefer Jason Mraz to Justin Beiber, I don’t own any clothing with sparkles or sequins, I have a few extra pounds on me, I don’t wear much jewelry or makeup and I still shop at Walmart.  Yep, even for….gasp!  Clothing sometimes.

I guess I’m the odd man out.  I don’t dress to impress and I could pretty much care less of what others opinions are of me or my family.  We are good people and we are REAL.  I believe that friends or quality are more important than friends of quantity and that is why I have two best friends (who I call “lifers”) and their families who I hold dear to my heart.  No need to be fake to gain shallow popularity.  Unfortunately as I’m observing many of these parents and overhearing conversations, that’s what seems to be what was going on in that school last night.

In almost every classroom I moved from and to something struck me as funny and pretty much typical of the school’s demographic.  From the father trying to impress his new fellow football parent “friends” by thoroughly describing his entire middle school experience from centuries ago to the mom who somewhat yelled at the Video Tech teacher when he admitted that he was a bit behind in updating his school site.  I wanted to tell the father to shut the hell up, nobody cares and tell the mom to give the teacher a frickin break…it’s only the first week of school for crying out loud!

I just don’t get it.  Maybe I’m not supposed to, and that’s ok.  For now it is humoring me and giving me some great material to use on my blog.  So buckle up and get ready for a bumpy ride as the school year gets rolling…this is gonna be good.  We have football games, choir concerts and band concerts approaching.  I’m sure that I will be dumbfounded and flabbergasted more than once and will want to share it with all of my loyal followers and friends out in Bloggerland who seem to understand all too well!

And just because no blog can be without a picture:

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Wanna Play?

Happy Friday everyone — are you as excited as I am about the fact that we have a THREE day weekend?  Anyone got any big plans?

I’m having a ton of fun with Le Clown’s blogroll contest and thanks to Madam Weeble’s Mad Libs challenge yesterday, I’m moving up in the ranks.  However, I’m still getting beaten by a long shot.  It’s ok tho because I’ve met so many interesting bloggers and this experience is helping me open my mind and find my creative voice that has been in hiding somewhere since high school English class!  (which was ages ago).

That doesn’t mean that I’m not still fighting….and if you like, you can help me!  Today’s challenge is posted HERE.  Brought to us by Rollergiraffe, it is a very flattering picture of Mr. Le Clown himself enjoying what seems to be some sort of Panini sandwich.  He is deep in thought.  Can you tell us what he’s thinking??

If you decide to play along, leave a comment on the challenge thread and the “noses” you earn will be credited to me.  It’s all in good fun and it’s really interesting to see what everyone comes up with.  There are so many talented minds out there!  I even vote for my competitors.  It’s so hard not to!

So, put your thinking caps on and join the fun.  Have a great weekend!

Life Before YouTube

My husband is going for a 2 day birthday trip with my father to Las Vegas next week.  Prior to every Vegas trip we have a ritual and that is to watch slot machine videos on YouTube to get the luck vibes flowing.  So last night we were doing just that and somehow we went from videos of the Sex in the City slot machine to videos of some creepy Korean boy band…which my husband found fascinating but I found utterly annoying.

While he proceeded to watch several videos of these guys singing in a foreign language while dancing like Michael Jackson groupies, I was Facebook chatting with my best friend R on my iPhone.  I was grumbling to her about what my husband had just discovered and that led us to start talking about another video on YouTube called the “Skype Laughter Chain” which my son had played for me the day before.  Now, this one IS hilarious…check it out.

You’re probably wondering what I’m getting at here.  Well, I commented to R “How did we ever live without YouTube as kids?” It seems as if YouTube is becoming more popular than cable TV.  I mean, I find that my kids watch YouTube more than the teenie bopper shows on Disney or Nickelodeon these days.  Rockstars and video bloggers are getting discovered and making millions of dollars….and, you can learn how to do ANYTHING on YouTube nowadays.  Want to learn how to play the guitar?  Go to YouTube.  Need to knit a scarf?  Go to YouTube.  Looking for a good Yoga practice? Go to YouTube.  It’s insanity!

But — I’m off track here….I digress…  The response to my question that I asked R, was her saying “Well, we DID make our own commercials…remember??” Then it came back to me.  We too, at the age of around 12, did act a fool in front of a camera and think it was cool.  In my room, with walls of pink, we set up the huge-honker VHS style camera that looked something like this:

and acted out our own “commercials” for household products we found around the house.  I remember one was for Soft&Dry deodorant.  It went something like this…

Cue Camera — I come into frame and say:

“Wow!  That was a workout! (looking distressed and tired…proceed to sniff my armpit..)
“I need some deodorant!’ (out of nowhere a Soft and Dry deodorant stick comes flying into the shot, as I catch it and proceed to apply under my arms)
“AAAAAHHHHH, that’s much better” I say.
The music in my head begins to play and I start to sing some weird jingle that I had just made up about Soft&Dry deodorant while doing some sort of disturbing Bob Fosse style jazz-hands dance.
CUT!

Or how about this one for Sea Breeze facial skin toner (yeah, you remember that stuff….)

Cue Camera — R comes into frame and says:

“I have a date tonight and OH NO! A Zit!” (R looks into an invisible mirror, completely surprised and troubled — makes Home Alone face)
“What am I going to do??  Oh, wait…maybe if I put on some of this…” (R picks up Sea Breeze and pretends to put on zit)
R Looks back in invisible mirror….”Wow!  All gone!  Thank you Sea Breeze….”
R holds bottle close to face in pure Vanna White fashion and says “Sea Breeze….it breezes you /pause/ while you’re on /pause/ the /pause/ sea.”
R then sidesteps out of camera range and waves goodbye with one Miss USA-like hand the way Jacob Marley did in that old Christmas Carol movie.
CUT!

Yup — we did.  We had our own YouTube videos back then.  Rather we should’ve called them You”Tard” videos but it was all in good fun.  Our ridiculousness was not played out on the internet for all to see, however we did hold a “viewing” for our parents.  I still can’t figure out if that was a look of horror or humor on my moms face but R and I thought we were the shit.

Would we have put this craziness on the internet if we could’ve back then?  I dunno, we probably would’ve been a little more reserved.   I have to give it to all of the kiddos out there now who bare everything to the world on YouTube.  They certainly are brave souls — the world has some very cruel people in it.  Have you read some of those comments people write?  It’s scary.

For now, I’m fine with my little YouTube channel. It hosts a variety of videos on it but you will not see me on there singing, juggling, tap dancing or anything like that.  I’ll leave that to today’s youth, they do a fine job.  YOLO!

Yup, That’s What She Said.

Ah yes, the infamous “That’s What She Said”.  My love for this phrase is so strong that I have been named the TWSS Queen in the past by friends and coworkers.  I never miss an opportunity to mutter the words…even in inappropriate situations.  No one is safe around me when I feel the need to say it – not your kids, your mother, the pope…nobody.

I thought I would share some of my favorite TWSS moments with you:

  • A coworker of mine was tracking down a guest who needed to sign something.  When she finally found him she told him “I saw you on the escalator but I was going down as you were coming up…”  — that’s what she said.
  • I was trying to type in someone’s name into my email “to” field and couldn’t quite get the spelling correct so that it would pre-populate for me.  I called the person and said “It wouldn’t pop up for me so I couldn’t put it in” – that’s what she said.
  • I had done something at work to resolve a situation and my boss had responded via email with just these two words “Clam happy” yup I did, I had to respond with — that’s what she said.
  • A coworker and I were working on a situation and had to approach one of the “big wigs” with something.  She said to me “I hate to poke the dragon, but…” – that’s what she said.
  • My mom was helping a friend move her seat up in the car.  The seat was one of those manual ones with the lever instead of a switch.  Mom to her friend “See that thing there between your legs?  Grab it and pull!” – that’s what she said.
  • Just yesterday I overhead my coworker on the phone with someone and she said “It was really hard and I wasn’t sure how to hold it” – that’s what she said.
  • At the dinner table about a year ago, my husband had a funny TWSS moment.  I leaned over and whispered into his ear “That’s what she said”.  My nosy son, thinking he was missing a secret turned around and asked “WHO?? WHO IS SHE??”

courtesy of getglue.com

Breaking up with my Wednesday Theme

I must’ve been in a vodka-induced stupor when I decided to theme my Wednesday posts as “Where in the World Wednesdays”.  A few months later, here I am trying to rack my brain and scan through thousands of pictures to find something.  I’m not doing it anymore.  Where in the World Wednesday, I hereby break up with you — It’s not me, it’s you — I think you are stupid and I simply don’t like you anymore.

courtesy of zazzle.com

Now I need to find something else to write about………

F**k It! It’s Friday

Can I call today “F**k It! It’s Friday” Friday? Because that’s the way I really feel after the week I’ve had.

The weeks leading up to school starting again are exhausting.  In the last few days I have battled the crowds of school supply hungry mothers at Walmart, decided on and ordered new “grown up” furniture for my son’s room and spent all day yesterday with my two arguing children while attending middle school orientation day.  The fact that on most days this summer they have rarely opened their eyes before the afternoon hours and stay awake until witching hour…did not help.

This was me last night (well, I’m not that hairy)

If this is a sign of the months to come, I’m not sure that I will make it to Christmas!  It’s funny how moms of very young children think that the toddler years are hectic and exhausting.  I am officially telling them that IT GETS WORSE.  I wouldn’t mind having little ones again.  The most I’d have to worry about is changing diapers and what kiddie show to watch on TV.

Having children of the ages almost 12 and 14 brings a whole other set of problems.  I won’t even go on that rant but I can tell you that as kids get older, they change.  They change in ways you can’t even imagine.  Hormones are terrible, terrible things and they can make you wake up one day and wonder whose children are living in your house.  I never know what to expect one day to the next.  I also am a firm believer that girls are SO much harder than boys.

Look Familiar?

My son went through a mouthy and somewhat dramatically angry phase when he was around 10-11 years old.  He was a pretty difficult baby/toddler too who always demanded lots of attention.  He still gets the first place drama queen award however he now is easily satisfied (food, video games etc)  and for the most part, very consistent with his attitude.  Once I get past the dirty gym sock smell of his mostly always messy boy room, he’s tolerable.

My daughter on the other hand is like this:

Tick…Tick…Tick..

Or maybe even a little like this:

Who is it today?

Some days I’ve found out that it is best to just keep my mouth shut.  It seems to tame the monster and keep the transformation at bay.  Overall, dealing with a pre-teen girl is like taming a wild horse. I honestly don’t remember being this way when I was young — although my mother might disagree.  I definitely feel more sympathy for my parents now (especially mom) than ever before.

As we enter the last week of summer before all hell breaks loose I will try to visualize my children as they were back in their “cute” stages of calling me mommy and spontaneous kisses before I act on my frustrations brought on by hormone-riddled tantrums (theirs, not mine). Thankfully these days will not last forever…… however this is bittersweet because once they are over, so are their childhoods.

I think I might go home tonight, pour a glass of wine, sit down in front of the TV, poop in my DVD of Elmo-Palooza and have a good cry.

No Where in the World Wednesday

I have to pass on Where in the World Wednesday today….boy has it been a busy day in the office!  I’m going to try to crank out this post before the sweet relief of 5pm comes along in T-minus 14 minutes and counting.

I had to take my daughter to the orthodontist this morning and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that her braces are not going to cost as much as I thought.  She will have to wear an expander for 10 months and then braces for 12 months after that.

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She gets the expander (above) put on in November right after her birthday.  Happy Birthday Amber… Oddly, she is a bit excited about the whole thing.

I’ve warned everyone not to ask for Christmas presents this year.  Because even tho it is costing me less than anticipated, by then I will look like this:

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Who am I kidding?  I’d love to look like this in jeans…broke or not!

Aloha Oe!

Today I’m looking back on our last day in Hawaii.  Our flight was an overnight one, scheduled to leave Honolulu at around 8pm.  that morning everyone awoke with sad faces, knowing that we were facing our last few hours in paradise.  As our last hurrah, we went down and had a big breakfast at Denny’s which was really, really good.  Much better than any Denny’s here at home.  Could it just be that ANY food on vacation tastes THAT much better?

After breakfast it was beach again.  We found the perfect spot with hardly any rocks and hundreds of fish swimming about near the shore.  We’d been there for 5 days and this was the first time we had found such a good area without rocks.

We were all permanently scarred for life when we saw an older man, probably in his late 50’s wearing a speedo and sunbathing with his wife who could’ve as well been wearing a band-aid and a cork because her swimsuit was so small.  Their beach umbrella kept falling over so he was constantly forced to contort his body into all kinds of disturbing positions in order to get it stable.  It was like a train wreck…we couldn’t stop staring and our eyes were burning. I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe.  I think maybe one of us was able to snap a picture of them but I wouldn’t wish that sight on my worst enemy so I’m not posting it here.

After the beach we grabbed lunch again at the snack shack and then began to re-pack and finish the last bits of laundry.  It seemed like the day flew by.  There were still beers in the fridge so I thought I would finish one off before heading to the airport.

Arrival to the airport was uneventful and we grabbed food (cost a fortune!) prior to boarding the flight.  Nobody puked on us and everyone was quite solemn on the way home.  After arriving back to Texas it took me a whole day for my body to recuperate!  I couldn’t get off the couch all day Saturday and actually felt kind of sick.  We were all really glad to see our animals tho, they really missed us.

The kids have already told me that they want to go back to Hawaii next year, so we’ll see.  Maybe to explore another island but only if we can stay longer than 5 days.  It definitely didn’t seem long enough!

Aloha `oe, aloha `oe
E ke onaona noho i ka lipo
One fond embrace,
A ho`i a`e au
Until we meet again