Thursday, April 12, 2012

Two more books down.........

I've only gotten two other books read since I last posted.  A dear friend passed away unexpectedly on March 18th and so I got a week behind in my reading.  And I apologize that I have nothing to say other than about books - but I'll get back into the "REAL" swing of this blog very soon - I promise!!  Thanks for hanging in there with me.

So... books I've read since we last chatted:

1.  Fool - by Christopher Moore.  This one was tricky to get in to.  Written in Old English dialect, it's a filthy satire of King Lear.  When I imagined the voices in my head to sound like The Holy Grail - then it flowed a little more smoothly.  I have been told that not all of Moore's books are written in this dialect, so I am going to pursue some more of his writings as he is truly humorous and I did enjoy the book!

2.  Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.  Awesome book!  A lovely, very detailed, story about a young man's life with the circus, related as a dream the man is having while in a nursing home at the age of 93.  He drifts in and out of consciousness throughout the day and the story unfolds in quite vivid detail.  A definite must read for all!

That's it for now - I promise to right some good juicy shit soon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Good grief - cannot believe it's mid-March and I haven't written since December.  Likely you all have stopped checking in here to see if I have anything witty or amazingly funny to share with you.  My apologies if you do happen to still be checking in - but I had to check out for a bit.  No.  I wasn't at the nut farm.  I was just living life.  And reading.  

I fell sick for about a month after the holidays which resulted in me watching entirely too much TV.  I swore I'd seen every episode of every show on every channel.  I decided to start reading.  I used to love to read and did so frequently, but over the years with raising kids and working, I'd let my favorite past time slip through my fingers.  As with all things I do in life, I took to reading again in January and have.not.stopped.  My goal was 52 books in a year.  See - I can't have a hobby - I must set goals for myself and turn it into a challenge.  That's the problem with me.  But I figure reading is fairly harmless, so off I set.  Below is a list of the books I've read since I picked up the first one in January and very small snippet of my thoughts on each.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett - A rhythmic story that takes you back just a few short years in time to the days of segregation and the onset of the civil rights movement.  Quick and easy to read, filled with excitement and drama.

The Chatham School Affair by Thomas H. Cook - after drudging through 150 or so pages of this book, I finally declared it a L.O.S.E.R. and stopped reading it.  The story hops around between the past and present about every other page making it near impossible to follow and 150 pages into it, you still have no clue what the point is nor has the author led up to anything that causes you to want to continue to read.

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins - A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  I read these three books back to back in just a few days and could not put them down!  Being classified in the adolescent category, they are also a quick and easy read - full of twists and turns and action packed!  

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and Reg Keeland - H.OR.R.I.B.L.E.  Why anyone would actually write a novel about this kind of fucked up sexual abuse and misuse of power is beyond me.  The first 200+ pages were so painfully boring that I actually napped about 8 times in that 2 day period it took me to get through them.  As I progressed into the book, I was horribly disturbed and by the end, sorry I'd ever read it.  I will not be reading the other two in the trilogy.  And if you do read this book - just tear out the first 200 or so pages - they're irrelevant to the overall story.

Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster - a light and sarcastic tale of an uppity bitch who finds herself unemployed.  Jen Lancaster is a blogger turned published author and this story was a hoot.  I wouldn't say it's literature at its finest - but it was funny and a great relief after reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

The Mitford Series by Jan Karon - there are 9 books in the series - I read the first 5.  I have the other 4 but needed to take a break from them so stopped at the end of 5 for now.  I think this is in the Christian category and while it's not adventurous or mysterious and doesn't necessarily leave you hanging onto the edge of your seat like The Hunger Games - it is a sweet little tale of a darling little town and the local Episcopalian priest and the other residents.  I found myself so caught up in the characters that I just kept reading one book after another.  I'll definitely return to the last 4 in the series!

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden - likely the most eloquent book I've read thus far.  Absolutely beautiful tale of a Geisha's life.  I thought the book was a true story and even told several people it was - but turns out it's not.  Regardless - it reads as if it is.  Highly recommend this one!

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls - a devastatingly wonderful true story about the author's childhood growing up with her insane mother and alcoholic father - never really having a home and always living "on the skeedaddle."  Your heart will ache for Jeannette and her siblings - and also for her mother and father who just could never get their shit together.  

Half-Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls - while this is Jeannette's second book, this one is about her grandmother's life and honestly, helps you to rather make sense of her mother as you got to know her in The Glass Castle.  While certainly not near as good as The Glass Castle, Jeannette does a great job of "painting the picture" so you get a real feel for her grandmother's life and how she lived.  

So that's it.  14 books in 12 weeks.  I'm ahead of schedule!  Now, what to read next.......

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What's in a Nugget?

So a few months back, I posted a status on FB something to the effect of, "In reviewing the school lunches and their nutritional content for the month, it's no wonder obesity amongst children in the US is an epidemic."  That's not verbatim - but close enough.  Anyway, I'd forgotten that I am "friends" with a high school classmate who runs the food service for another school district in our city.  So she posted in, "OUCH".  I immediately explained my comment and that I didn't think it was her fault or the fault of the food service, but instead, the fault of something larger that makes crappy food more affordable to these school districts vs. healthy, fresh food.  She never replied.  So I blocked her from my news feed so I didn't have to see her daily religious quotes any longer.  There.  I fixed her. 

But what I really wanted to say to her is, "Seriously?  Look at yourself in the damned mirror."  Now.  I know that's mean.  And if you're already offended, stop reading - but I'm going to say it anyway.  This girl was the picture of health and fitness in high school.  Star athlete - not an ounce of fat on her.  Homecoming candidate.  Volleyball star, basketball star, track star.  She did it all.  And now?  I wouldn't recognize her in a crowd due to the amount blubber she has amassed over the years.  So I find it ironic that she runs a food service for a school district - serving up parts of chicken which have been formed into various shapes and given a variety of fun names and deep fried and honestly thinks that she is doing the children of this country justice.  I know the school districts are limited in funding and options when it comes to lunches.  I get all of that.  I really do.  But instead of replying with "ouch" - I would have rather seen a reply riddled with passion and desire to want to do better and have different choices to offer but not having the monetary capacity to do so.  Instead?  It seems the once fit and healthy one finds some level of comfort and pleasure in shoveling out shit to the children in her district. 

The whole thing irritated me.  As does her perpetual religious commenting.  So I found especially great joy when a recent news article came out that her district was written up by officials for the most code violations in the city.  And there she was, featured in the local paper, defending her shoddily run food program again.  Making excuses for the violations.  Stating she was unaware of them and they all occurred in the warehouse - where she never goes, but will in the future to ensure violations don't occur again.  I had to giggle to myself as I read the article.  Because to me it just screamed apathy.  Apathy over what she chooses to feed those kids and apathy for how the food is stored and handled.  Lazy.  That's what it is. 

And then I felt sad for her.  How does someone get to that point?  The point they don't care about themselves, their health, the results they produce in their career, lack of self-accountability?  Think how amazing this world would be if everyone gave a shit and tackled their job with the desire to make a difference - an impact - a dent in their tiny section of the universe.  Wouldn't the world be a better place?  Wouldn't people be happier?  More fulfilled?  More joyful to be around? 

In the meantime, the blonde refuses to eat the school lunches and so daily I'm forced to pack a cold lunch for her and on the days that I'm irritated by that fact, I remind myself that I'm proud of her for taking a stand against eating that shit they call food.  Hopeful that I'm teaching her to NOT be apathetic and optimistic she'll do amazing things in her life by daring to be different at the ripe old age of 9.  ROCK ON BLONDE! 


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I don't know how else to say this.............

You fucking stink.

That seems so harsh.  Rude.  Maybe even insensitive.  But isn't brutal honesty sometimes the ONLY way to address an issue?  I don't know.  I'm lost.  I need help on this one faithful readers.  (all 2 of you)

The Prodigal Son is home and he has a friend that insists our basement is a hostel perfectly situated between his place of employment and his home - so the ease of just pulling in here at night after work and crashing is so luring that he cannot help himself.  And since he arrives late, is quiet, doesn't eat any food and leaves early in the morning without a disturbance to anyone in the house, I normally wouldn't give a shit.  Mi casa es su casa, right?  But... he fucking.stinks. 

The first time we encountered the smell of death which resonates from his earthly transport, we mistook the odor for a rotting carcass in the kitchen trash can.  It was only after we'd emptied the trash, scrubbed the can and sink with bleach, threw away everything in the refrigerator and sprayed 32 oz of Lysol around the kitchen, did we realize the smell was not emanating from the kitchen, but instead from the adjacent family room where he was peacefully dozing.  My eyes began to water and the contents of my empty stomach began clawing their way up my esophagus, begging to be released.  Acting swiftly, I shoved two paper towels up each nostril, poured myself a cup of coffee and retreated to the garage where I proceeded to dry heave until we departed the stink infested house for a soccer game.  Upon returning home, I retreated to my bedroom where I remained, with toilet paper shoved up my nose, until he awakened and left for work.  We quickly threw open every window in the house and shampooed the carpets, threw the blankets and sleeping bags on the deck and talked shit on him the remainder of the day. 

We told his father that we got a "whiff" of him and that he did not smell good and suggested he see a doctor immediately as the smell was not of athlete's foot, but instead, something far more serious - perhaps jungle rot?  We told the kid that he needed new shoes and that he couldn't leave his in our house and as a matter of fact, he needed to throw his shoes in the trash and get new ones.  We even told his father to please, for the love of God and little baby Jesus, buy his son new shoes. 

He did get new shoes.  And his socks looked pearly white the next time I saw him.  I was hopeful.  I was pleased.  But 2 minutes after he passed through the kitchen en route to the bathroom and returning to the basement (as we told him he could no longer sleep in the family room on the main level) - the smell wafted through the house again.  This time not so much like sour milk, but more like a locker room after 100 young men returned from and 8 hour practice in 112 degree heat.  And again, I was forced to retreat to my bedroom where I remained until he departed for the day.  And as I carefully made my way to the basement, a can of air freshener in hand and spraying it in front of me to lead the way, yet the odor became stronger and stronger and my eyes began to water and I began to dry heave again. 

I had plans today.  Plans to walk on the treadmill (in the basement).  Plans to put away all the Christmas tubs (in the basement).  Plans to bask in the glory and wonder of this crisp day.  But the plans have been crushed by the sight of his shoes by the back door.  Empty shoes at the back door mean his stinky ass will eventually appear on the main level to use the bathroom and the stench from the basement will spew forth into the kitchen and the remainder of my day will be spent scrubbing with bleach, spraying with air freshener and cussing the young man I once loved and welcomed into my home as my own. 

And the husband, the PS and I will stand in the kitchen looking like deer in the headlights and proclaiming, "SOMEONE.HAS.GOT.TO.SAY.SOMETHING.TO.HIM."  And I, being the rational one in the family, will begin crying, "I can't take it.  I can't live like this.  This is my home and this cannot happen again." 

So please, faithful friends, I need your advice.  How do you address such a delicate situation? 

While you ponder this question and draft your response, I will be out buying candles and lighting 1,200 of them in the house.  Oh... and more air freshener, as I've honestly used 8 cans from Pier One in a month.  I'm going broke over here - H.E.L.P.!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Blip 2011 #1

I survived the great road trip of 2011!  Made it back home with fingernails intact and no idiot drivers from Iowa were killed at my doing! 

Sunday, I decided to let the girls decorate one of the Christmas trees.  Alone.  Without my guidance and direction.  They put on some Christmas music and after the husband and I spent an hour looking for the faulty bulb in the string of lights, the girls woke up from their boredom induced coma and set out to adorn the tree with all the fun decorations each of the kids has collected over the years.  I sat in the kitchen working on a 500 piece puzzle, which had now turned into a mission not to be abandoned before I turned in that night so I could eavesdrop on their conversation and laughter.  Sisters.  One 16 and one 9.  One brunette and one blonde.  Both with blue eyes and both the beats of my heart.  I was giddy with excitement at my ability to stand back and allow them this special time together without my constant bossing and nagging.  Oh the joy I would experience!!!  And so it began......

Brunette:  What are you doing?  Don't put that ornament there - you just put one there - you need to space them out.

Blonde:  That's MY ornament sissy - why are you hanging up all of my ornaments?

Brunette:  What the frick difference does it make?  Jesus Blonde - you're such a brat.

Blonde:  No.  I'm not a brat.  Mommy - why do sissy and brudder have more ornaments than me?  I hardly have any?

Me (calmly from kitchen):  Because they are older and have amassed them at the rate of 3 or more per year - so when you get to be their age you will have just as many sweetie - no worries.

Brunette:  I doubt it, because no one loves you Blonde.  They just pretend they do.  STOP HANGING THEM RIGHT NEXT TO OTHER.  JESUS.  I FRICKIN TOLD YOU THAT 10 TIMES ALREADY!!!

Blonde:  Sissy - it doesn't matter.  Is this yours or brudders?

Brunette:  MINE!  All of these are MINE. Stop hanging MINE.

And so it went for nearly an hour.  With the brunette's text alert sounding every 15 seconds in between the sound of ornaments crashing to the wood floor shattering into a million pieces.  The blonde frowning and on the verge of tears and the brunette rushing through the project so she could get back to her texting and tweeting.  And I remained calm.  At peace with my puzzle that was now threatening to drive me to insanity.  And thinking the entire time........  They let people who are only 16 raise children?  How?  How can it be so?  What a horrible.fucking.idea. 

And so I made a mental note to put that child on birth control at the first given chance - - -  just in case. 
And I asked the blonde if she had a good time decorating the tree without mommy.  "No." 

Great.  Another childhood memory I've managed to totally fuck up for this child.  I can't win.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Oh Why are there No Moose here?

Yesterday morning I woke up and immediately remembered a dream I'd had overnight.  My mom was driving and texting while I was in the car.  And we were on a narrow and curvy road and I kept asking her to stop and she refused and kept saying, "I've got this - I drive a Volvo - it's fine."  It was totally fucked up and irresponsible and I was still mad at her and stayed mad at her all day yesterday.  I should probably send her an email and let her know just how fucked up and irresponsible she is.

Then I drove to Rochester, MN.  And along the way I learned several things that I'd like to share:

  1. I am capable of leaving the house and driving, alone, for distances farther than 10 miles.
  2. People in Wyandotte County drive like shit and that is evidenced by the fact that all of their cars are beat to shit.
  3. 635 is not the same as 670 and take you to different places.
  4. People in Missouri drive like shit.
  5. I am addicted to my phone and had that was evidenced by the serious withdrawals I was having by not being able to look at it continuously for 7 hours.
  6. People in Iowa drive even worse than people in Missouri.
  7. Talk to Tweet would be a super cool app because I kept thinking of really funny shit I wanted to Tweet along the way, but could not because I was driving - I wonder if someone has already thought of that?  I should look into that. 
  8. Wendy's new and improved burgers are not really that improved.  As a matter of fact, I think they're even shittier than before.
  9. Road trips are more fun with alcohol - but that seems irresponsible so I didn't bring any alcohol.
  10. I drink too much - of anything.  I swilled water after water, one right after the other.  This explains my perpetual over-serving myself of alcohol.  I should likely just stick to water.
  11. I-35 north is a boring fucking drive and evidently also the home of the great deer massacre of 2011. 
  12. It's peculiarly peaceful being alone for 7 hours in a car.
  13. I sing exactly like George Michael, Melissa Ethridge, Rihanna, Janet Jackson and Natasha Bedingfeld.  I had no idea my vocal range was so broad.
  14. If you take an anti-anxiety pill, 1/2 a Xanax and drink two beers - you CAN sleep through the night.
  15. It's cold as fuck in Minnesota.
  16. Evidently there are no moose in this part of Minnesota so I'm pretty upset and disappointed. 
  17. The mattress in the hotel room will not fit in my suitcase - no matter how I try to fold it or cram it in, so I'll need to come up with Plan B on getting that into my car to take home.
  18. Having 8 pillows in your room to choose from is not better - it only became a chore to try them all and make a decision.
  19. Munchkins must assemble showers in hotels because the shower heads are always very very low and while it works great for me, I can't help but think they're a pain in the ass for the general population.
  20. Hair that comes in an aerosol can and is sprayed on your head doesn't really disguise the fact that you're bald.  As a matter of fact it just makes you look like an even bigger douche bag.
I'm sure I'll learn more things on this journey and I'm looking forward to this educational experience with great anticipation!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Stop It. Stop It RIGHT NOW.

Watching TV with the family is becoming increasingly painful and difficult.  Not because we cannot agree on a show to watch.  Not because we cannot locate a show sans sex or sexual innuendos or profanity.  And not because we can't find the time.  It's all because of the freakin' commercials.

Last night as the blond and I attempted to watch Vietnam in HD on the History Channel, a commercial for Cialis would come on EVERY.FUCKING.BREAK.  So I would quickly switch over to TVLand to Everybody Loves Raymond.  Only to be met with a Viagra commercial.  So back to the History Channel I would go.  And what was on?  Another Viagra commercial.  WHAT.THE.FUCK.  This was between the hours of 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.  Isn't that considered prime time for family viewing?  And it doesn't just happen on the upper cable channels.  I've also fallen victim to this bullshit on the major TV networks. 

Is erectile dysfunction really that big (no pun intended) of a problem?  Is this really something the entire universe of TV viewers needs to be subjected to?  Don't I read in the paper and hear on the news DAILY about sex scandals?  Coaches.  School officials.  Politicians.  Church leaders.  Corporate execs.  It's everywhere.  Everyday.  Some dip shit stuck his dick where it didn't belong.  It's enough to make a person physically ill.  Has no one read the first book of the Bible?  Did no one learn from that?  Go back and read it again.  You think with your dick and so begins the saga of bad shit. 

I suppose to further piss me off and make me sick, this shit is covered by insurance.  I'd have to guess that it is because (it seems to me) the pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies are all in cahoots with each other.  And just exactly how large is their marketing budget?  C'mon TV stations - get your shit together and quit selling yourselves out for the almighty dollar.  We're trying to watch a documentary.  On the Vietnam War.  With our kids.  Do you really think we want to explain erectile dysfunction to a nine year old right then and there? 

Scruples.  Get some.  Please.