Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Fear List of Boys

So, as I mentioned I just found out that I'm having a boy.  If I'm honest I have some fears of having a boy.  I'm going to list them and you, I mean Mom and maybe one other reader, who might have forgiven me for past entries, can tell me if I'm being crazy:

  1. He'll pee all over me.  I mean, all the time.  What can I say?  I'm slightly afraid of the boy hose.  I feel like that thing has a mind of its own.
  2. I will spend the next 12 years stepping on razor sharp legos in the middle of the night.
  3. Everything from a stick, to a roll of wrapping paper will become a sword that he will wield like a Nordic Viking.  I sort of did this as a kid and now I'm regretting all those times I attacked my mom while she was making dinner.  Karma.
  4. He will spend the rest of his life trying to marry a woman like me and fail miserably.  Oh wait, that's not my fear.  I fear he'll bring home some floozy (do people still use that word?) and say, "Mom she reminded me so much of you," and I'll be utterly offended.
  5. He will grow up to be that guy who takes his shirt off any chance he gets.  I went to school with this guy named Louis Cohen who, as soon as the bell rang, would walk out to the parking lot (snow, rain, hail, wind...didn't matter) and would proceed to take his shirt off.  Did he have a good body?  Does that even matter?
  6. I'll have to buy video games for him.  I hate video games.  Can't I just show him videos of real wars and save some money?
  7. He'll come to me to talk about "changes" taking place in him...and I'll try to not giggle like a little girl.
  8. He'll go to UNC,, University of Maryland or Virginia...and love it.  Ew.
  9. He'll look like his father.  Just kidding.  Or am I?  My husband doesn't read this, so I can say whatever I want.  He can and will have his father's legs...and then my Scandinavian genes must take over.
  10. Again, back to the girlfriends.  Please son, date someone I won't hate.   


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

There's the Spine, you are having a boy, there's the heart...

So, a few hours ago I went in for our 20 week ultrasound to find out what we are having.  Two seconds into the ultrasound the nurse nonchalantly says, "Okayyy....there's the spine, you are having a boy, there's a healthy heart..."  Um, wait, did you just say "boy?"  And did you just mutter that under your breath?  Do I care if my child has a spine?  Of course.  Am I curious to see if it has a workable heart?  Absolutely.  But, seriously, let's be a little more excited and maybe try enunciating the most important information we are seeking.

I mean seriously, nurse, if I may passive aggressively speak to you in this slightly anonymous blog, I think we need to work a little on your job performance.  First of all, no one in their right mind can follow the ultrasound.  Seriously, as soon as it starts, I have to restrain myself from screaming out, "Call NASA! An Alien has invaded my body!"  And when I see the "leg" you are pointing out, and I say, "Oh look at that," I really mean, "What the beep?  That's not a leg, but a creepy claw of some prehistoric frog."  So, please, stop acting like we are jumping ahead of your grand pageantry of fetal anatomy.  We have no freaking idea what's going on, so let's not just throw out the, "Um, yes, and it's a boy," like we had already figured that out.  We didn't.  And still when you pointed out the "obvious" gender indicator, and we said, "Oh look at that," we really meant, "Okay witch doctor.  Good prediction, let's see if your reading of the tea leaves comes true."

And lastly, let's work on delivering the big news.  Let's try a question like, "Are you guys ready to find out what you are having?"  Or, "Do you guys have any guesses?"  And lastly, why not try, "Guess what, I figured out what you are having...oh my gosh, I can't wait to tell you, please, can I tell you?  Please, please, please."  Now that would be better.  With a little preemptive question I could gather myself and say, "OKAY we are READY!!!"  And then we all scream and laugh when we hear the good news...instead of, "Did you just mutter the gender of our baby?"

Honestly, how do you deliver the bad news?  "Yes, I see a heart, no sorry 2 hearts, one hand, two tails, yes, that's an alien, 1 giant lung sac that looks like it's eating your placenta..."

Did you just say, "Alien?"

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sorry for the Sample

A few weeks ago I went shopping at a local outlet mall, and while shopping, I had to use the bathroom.  So, in I went to the public restroom, closed the door, started to pull down the coolest invention ever (Maternity Shorts...Oh, why do we insist on going back to real waist bands, zipper and buttons...these clothes not only make life in general easy, but there's something so liberating about just pulling a large elastic material over your protruding stomach and saying to yourself, "Big meal?  Bring it.  Extra layer of warmth?  Sure.")

Anyway, back to the image I'm trying to create of me going number one in a public restroom....I closed the door and looked up to see a sign on the door that read: "Stool Samples?"  What?  Then I read on and found out some lab/school/gross ex-bus driver wants to pay people to donate their stool samples for research.  What?  Then below their contact information it said "up to $500 for your sample."  As always I don't even know where to begin.

One, should I be mocking this or applauding this for being a marketing masterpiece?  I mean think about it.  Contact people who are blowing money, they come in to the bathroom to talk themselves into entering Forever 21 one more time to purchase another lace/see through/knock-off of the 80's skirt, and just when they are considering their credit card debt, you hit them with a chance to make some cash.  Brilliant.  Why not sell some poo to buy some sh#t at Forever 21?  It actually seems like a fair trade.  

Two, what does "up to $500" mean?  Was I never told this, but do some people have more expensive and unique poo than me?  If I donated would I only be paid $250, where as Juan, after Chipolte, gets paid $500?  It doesn't seem fair or totally clear on the parameters.  

Three, does anyone want me to stop this post...because I sort of do.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I Paid For Waterboarding

Three weeks ago the husband and I placed our child into swim lessons.  Seemed like a great idea since we are constantly around pools, the ocean and live next to a lake.  It also seemed like a smashing idea because our kid seemed to like water.  Bath time is a favorite, the beach is one of her favorite places and the pool was her playground.

So, off I went to embark on a lifetime of happiness in the water for my daughter...and then I placed her in the arms of her teacher and the crying began.  I'm sorry not crying but actual words of, "All done," "Want to get out," "No swimming," pointing to the exit and then just going with the tried and true of, "Momma."

For three weeks this continued and we had swim lessons everyday.  Eventually I stopped calling it swim lessons and started calling it what it was: waterboarding.  I felt like I should have been over the water, as she kicked and swam to the stairs, yelling, "Why didn't you eat all your dinner last night?!  Why?  Tell me what Heaven looks like.  I know you remember.  Tell me.  Did you see Grandma?  Tell me!!!"  (To her credit she never gave up any information.)

And then, after three weeks of trying to emulate the Korean parents I saw at other lessons, who only say, "Stop crying," followed by something scary in Korean, my kid stopped crying.  All of the sudden swimming became fun and I stopped feeling like I should call CPS on myself.  So, it was a win all around.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Does This Award Make Me Look Amazing?

A few weeks ago I flew out to Utah to run my annual lacrosse camp.  I've been doing this camp for almost ten years and I have to say, with all honesty, this was probably the worst group of kids I've ever coached at a camp.  Sure, they were some kids, who could play (my niece - not biased AT ALL) but on the whole it was pretty mind numbing.  So, after the first day, myself and the coaches dropped expectations and tried to do our best with what we had.

By the last day, I started seeing some improvement and was glad I had done the camp....blah, blah, blah.   (To protect myself from any defamation charges.)  Anyway, at the end of the camp we had an awards ceremony.  Each coach was allowed to pick one camper from each level who they deemed "Most Improved," "Or Greatest Hustler" etc.  (Basically, the best overall camper.)  I chose a small girl, probably only 5"1, because she hustled a ton and seemed to take instruction well.  So, I made a little speech about her, clapped my hands, and I think, gave her a pair of shorts.  (Big, big, big time prize.)

Anyway, as we were cleaning up and preparing to leave the camp, my "Best Overall Camper" came up to me to tell me thanks for the award.  I followed up with more encouragement and a nice pat on the back, to reinforce my belief in her and my desire for her to go home so I could do the same, when all of the sudden she asked, "Now you went to Duke right?"  Yes, I said.  And then she said, "Cool.  I really want to go to Duke.  Do you think you could contact the coach?"

Wait a second.  What?  You just got a pair of shorts for being, let's be honest, "The Not As Bad As These Other Kids, But Really, It Was A Very Close Call."  After I composed myself, and hopefully wiped off the, "What the..." look off my face, I said, "Yeah, Duke...awesome.  Totally.  Um, tell me your email address.  I'm really good at remembering stuff."  To which she rattled off something that went like this: a_______@gmail.com.  Totally got it locked down.

As she walked away triumphantly, I started to laugh.  I have never seen an award go faster to someone's head than this time.  I don't think even Heisman Winners take the trophy and then scream out, "What NFL Team wants me now??!!!"

How do I start my email to my coach....Dear Kerstin, A few weeks ago I coached a semi-athletic girl, with giant ovaries of confidence...her email address is...oh crap...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Nominate This To End

Before you ask, I'll answer your question, which is - why am I coming out of blog retirement?  What pressing issue or story has caused me to actually open up this old website, dust off the keyboard, reach into my depths of sarcasm and write?  Well, folks, it's the recent Ice Bucket Challenge going on around the world in order to support ALS.  (For posterity sake: The Ice Bucket Challenge consists of people dumping cold buckets of water of their heads to bring awareness to ALS, and to escape the punishment of donating money to ALS research - or some money bags/kind people, do the challenge and then donate.  Once the bucket is emptied people then get the opportunity to nominate other people to participate.  I just looked up the origin of this fun game and found that it all started on some golf channel and then went viral.  Go Golf!)

Now before you get all excited about seeing a wet t-shirt contest gone bad with an 18 week old pregnant woman, let me just say, it's not going to happen.  Call me cold hearted, call me a poor sport - honestly, call me whatever you want.  (Just not the "B" word...I hate being called big.)  I'm not doing this.  Why?  For the same reason I never made a "Call Me Maybe" parody, never danced gangnam style on a crowded subway or filmed myself putting mentos in a diet coke bottle just to see it explode.  Sure, this has raised all sorts of money and yes, I now still have no idea what ALS stands for, but can we finally raise the white flag on this?

Honestly, each morning I open up Facebook and Instagram (What?  You eat breakfast?) and scroll through countless videos of friends and acquaintances (sorry, I mean "friends" - wink, wink, wink Facebook) dumping ice water over their heads.  And then, I hold my breath waiting to see if I have again dodged a bullet and not been called out to participate in this strange pop culture/mob challenge.  Friends, I can't take this any longer.  Sure, I didn't mind when my neighbor I grew up with did it.  (Haven't talked to them in 20 years - totally safe.)  And then, it was fun to see some college friends.  (I mean to see them in person, talking and not in a photo.)  But, again, I was safe.  I wasn't on their radar.

And then, people I talk to each day started getting challenged.  People. I. Talk. To. Every day.  Crap, I thought, now I'm going to have to fill a warm bucket of water and pretend I'm all freezing when it comes over my head.  Do I still have the acting skills?  What if everyone I know has already been nominated?  What then?  Do I just look like a loser, who has no friends?  Will someone from the ALS organization call me to verify the temperature of my bucket?  Would I get fined?  Would people forgive me if I filmed myself singing "Let it Go" with my daughter?  Or filmed myself scaring my roommate?  Would that make the viral Gods forgive me?

Seriously people, it's been fun.  But let's call it a day.  I mean, the water being wasted is just disgusting...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Short Excuse

Where have I been you ask?  Well, you see a few years ago I was in the throes of infertility with no idea what was wrong with me.  Doctors tried drugs, we tried drugs (not recreational, of course), prayers and sacrifices were offered and nothing.  And then finally, I found out I had a tumor.  Yep, I got a tumor in my brain.  (Not a lot of people can claim that one...or want to claim that one.)

So, once they found the tumor, I was given a little magic pill, my body stopped being a baby hating robot and produced a beautiful girl.  Does that answer your question? Not at all?!  Fine, let me continue.  So, a few months back we had the crazy idea of trying to procreate again.  (No, I won't go into the details, but if you want to see them I have this great site called "Youtube.")  Anyway, we thought because it had taken us 3 1/2 years to get pregnant the first time, surely it would take a few months.  Nope.  Not even a month.  So, I got pregnant.  Was I expecting this?  Well, let's just say I rode 111 miles one day, and the next I was like, "Hmmm...I feel strangely tired."  Oh, I was 6 weeks pregnant.  Silly Kate.  Yep, you read that right, I rode in a century in San Diego, which was pretty much the hardest thing I've ever done in a physical sense...and not because I was making a baby while I was pumping away.  This century was ridiculous.  Sure, I should have read a little more detail about the course, but why spoil the surprise of turning every corner to find another forsaken hill?  Again, silly Kate.

And to make matters worse, I sort of suck at reading maps.  Well, that's not entirely true, I suck at caring about maps. I think there's a severe difference in the two.  For example, some people always carry maps.  They plot out courses, double check to see they are on the right road and look at them as if they are Christopher Columbus and are about to set sail to conquer the world.  (My husband)  I'm on the other side of the spectrum.  Sure, maps are handy - I'll give you that, but what a waste of time.  Why carry one, when you can just rely on your inner sense of direction...or follow a pack of cyclists, who appear they know where they are going?

So, anyway I ended up following some cyclists, who actually had no idea where they were going and ended up adding 11 miles to my ride and about 1,000 feet in climbing.  You know how annoying it is when you think all you've got is twenty miles of downhill, only to find yourself insanely off course and traveling up another hill?  No? Well, let me see if I can state it clearly - it sucks.

Anyway, completed the race, came home, felt weird, went to Disneyland and my friend, who will remain nameless in order to protect her lack of social media presence, handed me a pregnancy test and told me to find out.  Unfortunately, my college did not prepare me to correctly read a complicated pregnancy test, so me and another college graduate read it incorrectly.  Fortunately, the next day I studied up on how to read, and determined that, not only was a raging idiot, but I was in fact prego.

So, folks that's the "short answer." I haven't written because I'm pregnant.  Not with a baby, but with an alien, who makes me gag when I brush my teeth, throw up if I haven't eaten exactly when it wants to, and who wakes me up three to four times a night just to release 6-7 gallons of liquid.

At least the good news is I get to blog about being pregnant again!  Yes.  Readership is going to be awesome.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bad Driver On Board

Can someone explain to me the reasoning, benefits and background of the "Baby on Board" signs people decide to place in the back of their cars?  Anyone.  I'll even take answers from people driving hybrids, driving insanely slow in the carpool lane, who ordered these signs off Amazon, and with great pride, leaned into the back seat and placed the sign on the window minutes before their child entered the world.  Seriously, anyone?

Because here's my thoughts on the signs:

1. These signs don't deter me from tailgating your bumper, while my own child sings "Let it Go" for the 1,000th time in the back.  No, if anything these signs infuriate me.  You had a child.  Congratulations!  But you know what, that sign was not issued by the DMV, nor was it given you to as you left the hospital with your newborn.  In reality, the sign means nothing.  Yes, you should be safe while driving with a little human, but don't put that sign up to mask your lack of driving skills. If you are slowing down for a yellow and driving twenty five through a neighborhood I'm going to call you a name and possibly give you the finger.  Own your bad driving. Don't blame the kid.  

2. If people are going to continue with these signs can they at least become mandatory for everyone else?  For example I would love to see, "Illegals On Board."  (No more hiding.  At least with this sign I'll understand why you don't want to be pulled over for going over the speed limit.)  "Phone on Board."  Ah, so the swerving is not you but the phone being texted on.  Got it.  "Asian On Board."  Do you know how many swear words this sign alone would save me?  "Insecure About Manhood on Board."  Ah, the big truck and speeding.  Now it makes sense.  

3. Now, now, now people I can sort of deal with the "Baby on Board" sign, but let's not get all crazy and graduate to the "Child on Board."  Are you really going to keep updating your sign until it reads, "Lonely/Overprotective Mother on Board"?  Again, there's no power or meaning to these signs.  All they really mean is: You like to watch your toddler sleep...for hours.  And sometimes you like to chew their food for them.  You consider beating kids up who aren't nice to your kid at the park, and think any parent, who doesn't hold their child for at least 45 minutes everyday is being negligent.  You are a crazy parent and that sign only confirms it.  So listen, stop the crazy train and take down the sign.  You will survive and your kid will become potty trained at a normal age. I promise.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Damn Space

The other day I had the marvelous opportunity to watch one of the greatest movies ever made.  I'll give you a second to guess.  If anyone thinks of a Wes Anderson movie I'm going to have to politely ask you to exit my blog.  Seriously, hipsters - no one understands those movies.  Even you don't.

Okay, some of you probably thought of this already so I'll just say it - Dirty Dancing.  Why Dirty Dancing? (If you are questioning that I, again, might have to ask you to come back another day.)  Alright, why is Dirty Dancing a masterpiece? Um, besides the dancing and music, let's try the story of triumph of two worlds finding each other and falling in love?!  Accomplishing a goal?  Hard lessons on falling for the wrong guy?  The journey of becoming a woman?!  People, I can't teach a Cinema 101 class here.

Alright, needless to say I love this movie. I loved it when I was forbidden to see at the age of 8 and I still love it today.  However, I must admit that I didn't fully grasp a lot of the movie when I first saw it.  Never caught the "dirty dancing" aspect - just thought people danced close and never really understood what got Penny so in trouble - just thought she had a bad stomach ache.  And lastly, I never caught one of the memorable lines of the movie.  (No not the" ...baby in a corner" one.)  Instead, there's a moment when Patrick Swayze is teaching Jennifer Grey how to dance and he grasps her arms, and while making motion between them says, "This is my dance space, and that is your dance space."  At age 8, I thought he said, "This is my damn space and that is your damn space."  (What can I say, I lived in a home with a lot of profanity.) Consequently, for the next 20 years or so I managed to say that line to numerous people in numerous situations.  For example, I remember jumping on a trampoline with some friends when I screamed out, as one got too close to me, "Listen, this is my damn space and that is your damn space."  It now makes sense why they seemed a little offended.  Then there was another time when I finally convinced my boyfriend to come out dancing with me, when after a few minutes of awkward swaying back and forth, I grabbed his shoulders, and did my best Patrick Swayze impression as I yelled to him about his "damn space."  After a few seconds he walked away from me.  At the time, I just thought we were just having another passive aggressive fight, not a gross misunderstanding of a movie line.  Oh, had I known.

So listen kids, I think we all know the lesson here: if you are going to watch movies that are forbidden at least learn the right lines.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


The other night I got to go to Disneyland with my friend and no children.  Yeah, no children.  I'm not even sure why Disneyland allows children because I got to say it's a lot more magical without 3 feet little people attempting to run away from you as you wait in line for a thirty second ride.  (Oh, sorry, I should clarify, I meant children, not actual little people. I'm all for little people at Disneyland, and I'm all for them making candy in factories and coming out of cars with 20 of their friends.  Did that clear any offense?  Perfect.)

As we left the park, we started talking to a twenty-something hipster named Dylan.  Dylan, after some hard interrogation on our part one question about the different parking lots, revealed to us that he was indeed an employee of Disneyland.  AND not just any employee, but a freaking skipper on the Jungle Cruise.  (For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of attending Disneyland - the Jungle Cruise is a ten minute ride on a boat through a series of animatronics of monkeys, tribes people, piranhas, and hippos.  While you travel through this jungle wonder, a skipper pretends to drive the boat while telling jokes about the fake animals.  It's as magical as it sounds.)

Once we recovered from our initial shock of seeing an employee out of costume, I mean, once we figured we were going to be on the same bus with Dylan, we started to ask him about what's it's like to work at Disneyland.  And the following was revealed:

1. Dylan, with a college degree, decided to leave Washington, move down here, live out of his car for 2 months, all so he could work at Disneyland, because, and I quote, "That was always my dream."

My question: Your dream?  To say the same thing every day to a bunch of Asians and tired parents, who can only mildly hear you or understand your corny jokes?  Son, I think we need to redefine what it means to "dream."

2. Dylan told us that skippers of the Jungle Cruise are pretty much the "coolest people" at the park and their ride or attraction - I still haven't mastered the difference, is like the head fraternity of the park because of the "craziness" that takes place.

My thought:  The skippers are the coolest?  So, what's the general hierarchy of Disney?  Green soldiers total weirdos, Princesses, obviously, are the sluts, guides at Tower of Terror are just misunderstood and tour guides on Storybook Land Canals are fun, but at the end of the day won't do something crazy like make a joke about a monkey animatronic?  Go it.

Oh, and we asked about the "craziness" that goes on...wow, wow, wow, my ears heard things I wish I could unhear.  Um, sometimes, they put up to 45 people on one boat.  That's freaking 2 more people than they are supposed to.  One time, Dylan was getting heckled so bad he lied and said that if they keep it up he could sink the ship...and they stopped.  Oh, that's just wild.

3. Lastly, after quizzing us on pointless fun facts about the park (which we didn't know the answer to - stupid season holders) Dylan dropped one more bomb on us.  I asked him if there were just a bunch of jokes he had to memorize and then he got to pick which ones he used, or were they allowed to improvise.  By the look of his face you would have thought I just asked a Scientologist what is an E-Meter.  (Look it up kids.)  After a few seconds he replied, "I can't answer that question because I think that would ruin the magic of the park."

My thought:  I wonder how many meetings employees have to attend that are titled, "How to protect, promote, believe, die by, the idea that Disneyland is not a money grabbing racket, but a place of magic"?

Thanks Dylan for the insight.  I hope in thirty years I can come back with my grandkids and still see you rocking that hilarious skipper uniform.  I mean, that's the goal right?  Don't ever dream again Dylan!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Be Prepared to Be Shocked

So, it turns out, according to my trusty news magazine, that scientists, yes scientists people, have discovered that peeing in pools can actually cause damage to the people inside the pool.  Apparently, and this sort of makes me question everything I thought I knew about the world, chlorine does not have the magical power to sift pee out of water and turn it into clean water, or air, or fairy dust.  (Great....sorry Africa, I thought I had the perfect method to clean your water...and your national debt.  Thanks a lot chlorine.)

No apparently, if there's excessive pee in the pool, and according to the study, that is currently in my trash so I'm going to have to go off memory, there's a lot of pee generally in pools, it mix with chlorine and can turn into a very dangerous chemical that can mess you up.  Again, I wish I had the specifics on this to drive this home.

I'll admit that after reading this I caught myself being surprised by the findings, but then I thought, "Why am I surprised that peeing in a pool, WITH OTHER PEOPLE, isn't a great idea?!"  I mean, do I think showering in fecal matter would be a good idea?  Or do I think hot tubbing in raw chicken sounds fun?  No. No, it doesn't.   Would I allow someone to pee directly on me?  (Regardless of the dare or jellyfish sting)  Answer is still no. And yet, I was surprised and little disappointed by these findings.

And then I started thinking who even started this trend?  I don't remember my mom teaching me to pee in the bath, or in a bucket I was bobbing for apples in, or in a pot of soup.  (Yes, those would cover all the liquid scenarios I could think of.)  No, actually I remember my mom saying, "You pee in the toilet."  Yes, just the toilet.  And yet, somehow, and some way we all do it.

Honestly, did someone, many years ago, get caught peeing in the pool, and in order to cover up their massive faux pas exclaim, "It's okay!  I put a chemical in the pool that destroys my urine.  Seriously, everyone, please pee away.  It's okay.  Look I'm taking water into my mouth and spitting it out!"  And then it began - our pools became giant toilets because someone lied about a magical chemical? Is chlorine even a real chemical?  Did my hair in the summer time really turn green because of the excessive pee it was floating in, or did chlorine actually damage it?  Is drinking and breathing pee the reason Ryan Lochte is such an idiot?
People, the summer is upon us, I need answers.

Monday, March 24, 2014

She's Just Not That Into You

The other day I had an appointment with my doctor, who not only delivered Avery, but was the one who endured all the ups and downs of my past infertility.  So, as you can imagine, I was pretty excited to see her and show off my now 18 month old baby.  However, as I was waiting to see her, and trying to decide between a full out hug or a kiss on the cheek for all her doctor greatness, she came into the waiting room to give something to a patient.  Immediately, we made eye contact, and just as I was about to say, "Doctor, how are you?! Look at our miracle!  Our little miracle baby is now 18 months...but of course, you know that - because I'm the most important patient you've ever had..."  She mumbled, "Hi there..."  Hi there?  That's it?  "Hi, There."  Um, Doctor, we shared some moments.  You've seen me naked, um, a baby came out of me, we all laughed about how quick my contractions were...and all I get is a "Hi, there?!"

As she walked back into her office I tried to figure out what I had done wrong.  Was she mad at my moving?  Should I have friended her on Facebook?  So many questions - and then my name was called to get some blood work completed in another room.  As I walked into the room, I sat down and faced a wall covered with holiday cards and birth announcements.  Like usual, I started to scan the pictures to find the ugliest kids, and then started to review the numerous names, to either steal for the future, or to currently mock.  And then this thought struck me...all these people, all these stupid people were just like me.  Each one of them sent this card because, they too, thought they were special.  They too thought, that unlike the other cards and parents, the doctors were actually going to be excited over finally receiving their completely unique Costco masterpiece celebrating their historic birth, when in actuality all these cards were received by some nurse who said, "The Nelsons?  Which of you doctors delivered these people?"  To which the doctors said, "Um, let me check their files."  "Let me check their files..."  People on the board, people in the waiting room, me...you aren't special.  Sure, you had some good times, but while you went home raving about your memorable time, they went home, took a shower and went to bed.  Let's face it, these doctors just aren't as into us as we are into them.  How do I know this?  Because once I got into the room, undressed and my doctor, who I still hoped loved me, had a moment to look at my file, came in and said, "Kate! Avery!  How is Dan?  Are you still living in Irvine and have the cell phone of 801..."  Straight from the damn file...

Doctor, how did we get to this?

Friday, March 21, 2014

GO Find the Plane You Super Detectives!

After finishing another mindless crime novel I was struck by a few things:

1. Why aren't these geniuses, who seem to solve major crimes in three days, while never stopping to go to the bathroom, eat, or sleep, not out finding this vanishing plane from Malaysia?  Seriously, I just finished a book where two characters, IN THREE DAYS, figured out who assassinated a president eight years ago, kidnapped a current presidential candidate, killed some other people, and determined THEIR MOTIVE for the whole elaborate plan, which, to be honest, seemed a little mailed in.  Sorry, but for love?  All for love?  What is this a Meatloaf song acted out? 

2. In real life, main characters, or people who seem to figuring out mysteries, get killed. Bang, gone.  In these stupid books, the big-bad guy is always the one in the next freaking seat!  And who has been driving around town with these super heroes for three days until finally he's outed, and then FINALLY, decides to kill these people.  Why didn't you just do it while they were getting gas?  Talking on the phone?  Standing in an elevator with you?  Come on mastermind - let's work this out.
3. Honestly, I just want a few minutes with some real criminals, who did some majorly bad stuff, so I could ask them one question: Right before you blew up the building with 200 people inside, or drowned your victims in a pool full of sharks, did you, and be honest, did you take a moment to explain yourself and your entire plan?  Did you lay it all out so everyone in the room was completely clear as to why you are a murderous psychopath?  Oh, you didn't?  Great, that's what I thought.  WHY MUST EVERY BAD GUY in EVERY FREAKING CRIME BOOK OR MOVIE parade around for fifteen minutes expounding his diabolical plot to destroy the world.  Just do it.  Shut up and do it.  You had me at, "I'm going to kill you."  Done.  There's no need to explain yourself.

Don't get me started on the "brushes with death."  Some characters in books are insanely invincible.  Shot in the head? Nope, just grazed.  Twenty minute hand to hand fist fight? Just cracked a rib.  Seriously, why do I do it to myself?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Call Me When It's Bastille Day

So, I just checked with my Mom and Dad and it turns out none of my ancestors were ever from Ireland.  Never stepped foot in the country. Never fought for potatoes, never wrestled little leprechauns for pots of gold and never drank a pint of Guinness.  Not one.  Actually it turns out my ancestors were Scandinavian Mormons and French people, who actually lived in Italy, who later became Mormons.  So, here's the deal, I didn't wear green yesterday. My child didn't wear green yesterday. And you know why?  Because we ain't Irish.  Did you hear that Ralph's check out dude at aisle 8?  I don't care that you woke up and decided, that even though you are a grown man, you were going to wear a large green, bedazzled bow tie, green top hat and a plethora of green shamrocks all over your "work t-shirt" because it was St. Patrick's Day.  I don't care. What I do care about is, one, your disapproving face, as you announce on the loud speaker, that I've failed to celebrate an Irish holiday, and two, and probably more important, your serious threat to pinch my child.  

So, may I ask, in this bizarre blog, that you will never read, you over-zealous-observer of holidays, why are you so appalled at my blatant disregard for a holiday that really should only be celebrated by elementary students?  Is there just something about holidays, that ask so little of people, that you just love?  After St. Patrick's Day is June 27, or Helen Keller Day, your second favorite holiday?  Do you love celebrating it by not talking, listening or hearing anyone?  Or does Earth Day just make you sing?  Earth Day - what do you do for this day?  Wear a globe?  Remind your customers to use paper instead of plastic, not flush your toilet until the next day in order to save water or take a long breath of air?  Seriously, these aren't real holidays.  Sure, they are nice to remind us that stuff is going on, but honestly, no one wakes up and says, "Is it already the last Friday of April? Crap, I got to go get a tree and plant it."  They don't.  Holidays are about real actions.  Christmas = presents.  New Years = resolutions, staying up too late, and hating yourself for making this a real holiday.  Thanksgiving = gluttony.  Birthday = narcissism.  Mother's Day = Gratitude / Guilt for making her cook.  You see those are real holidays, not St. Patrick's Day, which, by the way, I had to use wikipedia.com to learn about.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Captain Hook Tattoo Is NOT Cool

I'll probably get in trouble with this post, but hey, I haven't written in weeks, so chances are I'll most likely be offending my mom and a friend, who by accident clicks on my blog to see if it had finally been shut down.

So, here's the deal.  I've been to Disneyland a lot lately.  And you know what I see at Disneyland?  (Well, besides the crazy Disney people, who wait in line for Little Mermaid, EVEN THOUGH, they don't have children with them.  Seriously, adults, why are you going through a ride that features creepy animatronics and the story of voiceless mermaid, who has a serious kleptomania problem.  "...look at my stuff, isn't it neat...I stole it from people..."  I sometimes want to turn to them and ask, "So, do you also seek counseling for creeping around playgrounds?")

Okay, okay I got off topic there, but crazy Disney people is something I've wanted to touch on, but I know it will offend, so we'll move on.  No, in my Disney trips, I've been seeing a mass of people, and with these masses of people, I've been noticing massive amounts of terrible, just terrible tattoos.  People let's talk this out...granted I don't actually have any tattoos, but I do have good judgment, and that's what I want to talk about today.

Okay, first of all, I get it, you love Disney.  Since you were a kid it was a magical escape from your parents' broken marriage and all the moving around from one foster home to the next, but come on, do you really need to tattoo Disney crap on your body?  On your forty plus year old body?  No.  No, there's no need for the Tinker Bell, the Mickey Mouse ears or Captain Hook's hook - which by the way, doesn't fall under the "okay category" because Captain Hook is supposed to be "bad."  He's still a cartoon character, and let's be honest, if he is still afraid of a crocodile and a flying boy with a dagger, then he's not really "bad" either.

My second issue, and I would really like to take this poll right after the other Disney poll of, "Why are you here on March 1?  Do you not work?  Have you stolen these children?  Why have you all decided to come here on a Tuesday, when us moms, who don't work and who live down the street, have decided to come here?"  Sorry...oh yes, my first poll.  What was the original idea for this tattoo?  Were you talked into putting it across your chest and falling into your sagging breast area?  Is this tattoo for safety reasons?  I mean, was your idea to put the most ridiculous tattoo on your body so that if your body is ever found on the side of the road or at sea, your family members, though begrudgingly and slightly embarrassed, will have no choice but to immediately recognize and identify you?  Do you hate yourself?  Did you hate yourself when you received this?  Did you pay for this?  Was this a dare?  Great....thanks for your time.  (Me, giving the poll.)

My last issue is for the kids.  I feel for the kids who have to walk around with Dad and his coyote-howling-moon-barb-wired tattoo.  I bet her friends call him "coyote man" and not because they think he's cool.  Or, I wonder how much food could have been on the table had Mom not gotten those floating dolphins she's always wanted on her entire back.  Poor kids.

Listen, if tattoos are done right - I'm a fan.  But, from what I seen, those individuals don't frequent Disneyland.  (Does that disclaimer protect me from offending someone?)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Misled Through A Roller Coaster

The other day I road a roller coaster at Disneyland and it got me thinking.  Why do we do this - this roller coaster thing?  I mean seriously.  The name alone is a complete lie.  First, I hear "roller" and think, oh I know, like rolling hills.  Those are delightful to see from afar, or drive along at a calm pace in a car, or frolic through as I sing some epic ballad.  Ahhh....rolling....so nice and gentle.  And then there's the terribly chosen word of "coaster."  Coaster.  Or coasting.  I might be wrong here but I don't think anyone has ever described an out of control car by saying, "Yes, I saw it.  It came coasting through the intersection and hit a horse and carriage, then hit a building and finally six people, who were all killed on impact, and then continued down the road.  Yes, it was just coasting out of control."  Coasting.  Such a stupid word.  You know what coasts?  Boats in the water.  Strollers down sidewalks.  Not metal trains traveling at the speed of light.

And lastly, who decided to design these things?  Did someone survive a car crash and think, "You know, that abrupt speed change and rolling around was pretty fun.  I wonder if I could construct something to simulate that feeling of chancing death over and over again?"  And how did they get someone to go on it first?  Upside down?  "George, it's just going to coast through some nice rolling hills, ever so slightly drop down and then fight to get back up, and then coast around that circle there and back you'll be.  Easy Peezy!"  Liars.  All of them.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Just Give It to Me Albertsons

Lately, while I've been going to the grocery store I've been noticing that all the music that is being played, while I aimlessly walk around the place looking for mustard, has been music I know, and well, sort of grew up loving in high school and college.  At first, I sort of enjoyed singing along as I attempted to figure out what roll of paper towel was actually the most cost effective.  (Honestly, I feel like I need a math degree every time I enter the freaking store.  If one roll of paper is going for $6.99, but is only 68 yards long, should you buy the other roll for $7.65 that contains 80 yards?  And when train A leaves the station traveling at 64 miles per hour what time will it arrive...oh wait.)

Anyway, this constant stroll through my 2004 iPod was going great until the other day when I heard an artist, who I had just seen two years ago, and who I thought, was pretty cool and upcoming, blaring through the frozen section.  Immediately, I stopped and realized, it's happened.  My music isn't cool anymore.  I'm not cutting edge.  I'm not hip, in the know or whatever slang word kids are saying these days.  Crap, I just said, "kids these days."  And then, right there, while holding a cold bag of frozen carrots, I had it - the quasi-midlife-oh sh#t-when did I stop being cool moment.  Quickly, I started to think, and realized the fact that I was excited the frozen carrots were on sale AND were the round shape ones, was probably a good indicator that I was probably on the not cool road for longer than I had first thought.  And then I remembered watching the Grammy's for two seconds and heard myself say, "That Miley should really put some clothes on..." and "...who are all these people?"  How did I not see the signs?  Do I tweet?  No.  Did I vote for Obama?  No again!  Ah.  Do I have savings in my bank account? I do.  No cool, young, hip person has savings?  Who makes a joke about a savings account?  Not cool people - I say.  Who tries to sound like a town squire at the end of a joke?  Do I stay up late?  No, and not because I'm tired, but because I read that people who sleep 7-8 hours a night are less likely to get Alzheimer Disease.  Who cares about being senile and forgetful?  MEEE!  Can I name all the members of One Direction, do I wear heels out to dinner, have I seen a movie in a movie theater in the last year, do I joke about flossing - NO, NO, NO, NO.

That's it.  I give up.  Albertson's - you got me.  Go ahead play my tunes and don't laugh when I sing along.  This is my coolness going away party.

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Hotbed of Awkward Situations

Now that my kid is walking we've been frequenting parks - lots and lots of parks.  Why?  Because as soon as my child wakes up in the morning, my sole mission of the day is to put her back to sleep.  So, I feed her, play with her and then make her climb up ladders, crawl through jungle gyms, trudge through sand, shovel sand and chase balls - all in the name of tiring her out so I can have two hours during the day to do meaningful work blog.  That's life as a mom.  They don't show you that on Pampers and Johnson Baby Shampoo commercials, but that's our entire mission.

Anyway, while I've been living the park life, I've began noticing these, seemingly fun filled parks, are actually hotbeds for awkward situations.  For example, you have the awkward situation of packs of children, who come from a cornucopia (always wanted to use that word in my blog) of cultures, who are all incapable of sharing the nasty sand toys scattered around the park.  I hate these moments because in one second your child will be innocently shoveling sand into a bucket, and then in the next second, some crazed, unattended kid, will come running over, yank the shovel out of her hands and run off.  As soon as this happens, I always find myself doing the following: 1. I, immediately, think of a racial slur about the particular nationality of child who just broke my daughter's heart. (I'm not proud of this, but parks bring out the worse in mothers.)  2. I scan the park for the mother, who sired such a disappointment,and when I find her, I communicate through my searing eye contact, "I want you to know, that I know, that you know, that your child sucks."  3. I then steal another shovel from a kid, who's mom is most likely working a 9-6 job, Monday through Friday, and who's nanny is currently talking and laughing with the other over worked nannies.  I figure this child is already dealing with development and abandonment issues, so really, what's another thing taken from him really going to do?

The next awkward situation is what do you do about kids, who are annoying the crap out of your kid?  For example, the other day a particular little girl was semi-terrorizing my child. First, she pushed her off her swing, then pushed her through a tunnel, that she wanted to go through, and then screamed at her for not going down a slide fast enough.  While this was going on her mother just sat underneath a pavilion talking to her friends.  Initially, I tried to be nice by saying, "Hold on a second, Avery (my child) is just about through, and then you can go."  But, then after the third incident I found myself fighting the urge to say, "Listen kid, you come within three feet of my child, I'll follow you home, hide in a closet, and then surprise attack you while you are watching Mickey Mouse Playhouse.  I will.  I'll do it."  Fortunately, I didn't go down that path, but I did "gently" grab her arm and say, "Hey!  Quit it."  Am I proud of the fact that she stayed away from me and my child for the rest of the day and even seemed a little scared?  Um, yes.

The last awkward situation comes from the fellow parents at the park.  I don't know what vibe I'm giving off but parents have said some really strange things to me.  The other day I was just watching my daughter climb up some stairs when a mother walked over to me and said, "My daughter wouldn't let me potty train her until she was four.  Can you imagine that?  Four years old and still in diapers?"  At first, I thought she was talking to someone else, until I realized I was the only one there.  And then before I could respond, she said, "But she is smart, just stubborn.  For example, she tells me I need to lose weight."  Now, I think I'm being punked.  What?  I just looked at her and said, "Kids."  That's always my go to answer with the crazy parents.  (And, sometimes I throw a shake of the head for added emphasis.)  Some parent says, "Sorry my kid always tries to bite other kids at the park."  Me: "Kids."  Another crazy: "Is this your only kid?  I have five.  Four live with their father."  Me: "Kids."

Oh, parks - how I love your child exercise equipment, and how I hate your community.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Someone Needs A Hug

I recently read of a woman in Kentucky who purchased a car for the sole purpose of ramming it into a Kroger supermarket.  Apparently, June Ann Blocker, who was a former employee of the supermarket, purchased a 2006 Lincoln and ran it into the front of the store.  Fortunately, only two people were injured, but the kicker of the story, is the fact that in 1999, she did the same freaking thing to another Kroger store in a neighboring town.

Alright points of discussion:

1. I'm way too cheap to seek this kind of revenge!  I mean, seriously, you buy a car just to destroy it?  And you've done this twice?  Man, June Ann, you are a better woman than I.  Seriously, in the past I've had a hard time buying toilet paper and eggs just to destroy someone's house.  I salute your commitment to not only making a statement, but financial ruin.

2. What in the freaking world did Kroger do to this woman?  Guys.  Seriously, did management not move her from produce after she was asked too many times, "Can I see your melons?"  Was the test of memorizing the aisles too much?  (Am I the only one who finds it amazing that grocery workers know where all the random crap is?  "Oh, you are looking for gluten free salt for cupcakes?  Aisle four, half way down." Amazing.)

3. I'm just guessing here but, after the first crash in 1999, things probably didn't go so well for sweet June Ann.  There were probably some fines, maybe a little jail time, a license revoked, town shame,and possibly some family members' disapproval.  So, what caused her to do this again?  Or I guess the more important question: What went so right the first time that she had to go down this same path again?  Was the impact perfect?  Did it just sum up all the disgruntled feelings you were keeping pent up?  Did someone from Kroger issue a statement that said, "Dear Ms. Blocker.  You got us.  You did it.  We admit it.  We suck.  Had you not rammed a car into our store we wouldn't have said this, but since you did...you win."

Listen June Ann, next time, just drive by and give the store the finger.  It might not cause as much damage or threaten the lives of enough people, but it might be a less abrasive way to go.  Just saying.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Swimming With Piranhas

In a few weeks, the husband and I are traveling to Peru for a little adventure without the little one.  Yep, 8 days of the old Inca ruins, Machu Picchu, hopefully not an intestine breakdown and a trip up the Amazon.  I'm really excited for this trip, but I'll be honest, I'm also slightly nervous.  I mean one, it's South America - so obviously, there's the threat of being kidnapped, forced to be a drug mule or sold to a drug cartel.  (I think that covers all my Tom Clancy Guidebooks of South America.)  Two, I took Spanish from seventh grade to my senior year.  Will the natives understand the love I so desperately want to express to them?  Will they be accepting of my gentle and well intentioned corrections of their grammar?  Will towns be ready to adopt my dialect?  I just don't know how to balance showing off verses speaking their language.*

And lastly, I'm scared to death slightly worried about our trip up the Amazon.  For some reason all I can picture is us floating up the river, when all of the sudden, our guide is hit by a dart gun by some crazy native, an anaconda starts to attack our boat and then piranhas eat us alive.  I know what you are thinking: Why am I doing this trip?  No, but seriously, I'm a little worried.  According to our itinerary one day on the Amazon we are going piranha fishing.  Yes, you read that right.  We are going to voluntarily attempt to catch, reel in and...who knows what...a fish that, according to wikipedia, are known for their sharp teeth and a voracious appetite for meat.  Voracious appetite for meat.   And as if that wasn't bad enough, the following day we are going SWIMMING in the Amazon with pink dolphins.  I don't know if anyone has pointed this out, but how can you one day go fishing for the devil's fish, and the next day take a nice dip with friendly Flipper?  No seriously, is their some Amazon schedule that doesn't allow piranhas to kill people on Thursdays?  If we get attacked, while swimming with the dolphins, is our guide just going to shrug his shoulders and say, "Whoops, I guess we weren't far enough away from the piranhas.  Sorry you crazy gringos!"  What's next drinking out of a cup that was recently storing a cold glass of sarin?  (Yep, just Googled: "Most Lethal Poisons."  Guess I can't kill my husband that way - thanks, internet history!)

* Please refer to this to see my skills.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Disneyland at 34

When I was five years old my parents piled my three siblings into a station wagon and drove us from Pennsylvania to California.  Though I was young, I still vividly remember this trip.  I remember sharing one walkman with my sister and brother, and listening to Genesis over and over again.  I remember the Midwest, and how it looked from sitting backwards in a station wagon. I remember Vegas and its oppressive heat, but fantastic lights, the Grand Canyon, Alcatraz, and of course, our final destination - Disneyland.  I'll never forget pulling up to the parking lot, walking through the gates and riding the teacups.  To a five year old this was the ultimate destination.

However, after this magical trip, the rest of my childhood and early adult life was spent on the east coast, and I was unable to return to the "happiest place on earth."  And then, I had a daughter, moved to Orange County, fought peer pressure for a year, and finally acquiesced, and bought an annual pass to Disney. I was returning.  Almost 30 years later, and I was returning.

So, off I went, ready to regain my adolescent sense of wonder and excitement and experience the joys of Disney with my daughter.  Unfortunately, no one told me that Disneyland is a lot different when you are now 34 years old.  First of all, why did my parents drive across the United States for this?  Back in the freaking 80's there was only Disneyland, and not a very large Disneyland, AND no California Adventure!  What in the world did we do all day?  Do I remember the teacups so well because that's all we did for the afternoon?  Did we never return because my parents cleverly showed us that Disneyland was all hype and show, and convinced us that we weren't missing anything?  Did I somehow forget this presentation and agreement?  Man, thank goodness for more rides and crazier people to watch, because there's no way I could have got an annual pass in the 80's.

Second of all, at five, all the rides were ridiculously fast and and exciting.  Now, at 34, I have to question my sanity for waiting in line for 50 minutes so we can ride along a track and watch a freaky animatronic bang on some drums and sing a well known Disney song.  Seriously, after waiting fifty minutes, I want someone to place me in a flying car, feed me space ice cream and transport me back in time.  But, then I look down at my kid, and she's loving it.  She thinks all the crocodiles, that need some serious 21st century makeovers, are completely real, is convinced the slightly creepy person, who chooses to hug kids all day, is truly Mickey Mouse and has no idea that waiting 24 minutes for a 64 second ride makes no sense in any world.  She just loves it.  And, then in 30 years, she'll return and wonder, "What in the world was my mom thinking?"

Oh, the cycle of Disney.

Monday, February 17, 2014

My Letter of Beef

Well, I suppose before I continue I should clear up some misunderstandings - I love the Olympics.  I'm not a communist.  I support all and every person, who decides to devote themselves to mastering the art of holding onto a tiny sled, while they fly down a tunnel of ice at 70 mph.  I support watching the Olympics, and even pretending to be shocked when I see an event at night, that I already know the outcome to because of the gosh darn internets.  I support it all.

Alright, with that off my chest...can we discuss how come the Russians are killing us on the ice?  Kidding.

No, actually I got to thinking, after a friend of mine passionately responded to my Olympic rant, about what things would get a passionate response out of me.  The following is what I came up:

1. I think I'm going to write a letter to the hit TV show The Bachelor or The Bachelorette informing them that the following has got to stop:  Contestants have got to stop saying, after three minutes of talking, "I really see myself falling for this person and having a future with them."  No, you don't.  You see the chance of holding on for a few more eliminations to either, see more of the world, or to possibly become the next idiot, who after three episodes into the new season, I'm going to hate.  And please stop letting these morons claim they planned the elaborate dates.  A producer rented the helicopter, found the location, hired the locals to dance and made the food.  Not Juan Pablo.  Just be honest.

2. My next letter would be to all people who take credit when they shouldn't.  Case and point: I'm out riding the other day in my Duke biking outfit when some guy pulls up next to me and says, "Ah, a Dukie.  Too bad, I'm from Florida State."  (I'm supposed to care because our schools, to which we haven't attended in almost 15 years, are in the same conference.)  So, I say, "Yep. A Dukie.  That's great you are from Florida State.  We beat you in basketball and you beat us in football - it's a wash."  Put the earphones back in and get ready to move, and then the idiot says, "We don't just win in football, but we are National Champs!"  We?  Really?  Listen, retired college football player Asian man, YOU didn't get recruited.  YOU didn't practice one second.  YOU didn't play or even attend the game.  YOU won nothing.  YOU paid for their scholarships.  YOU attended class so Florida State has a graduation rate that the team can tell future recruits about.  YOU wrote fifteen scathing critiques of games on a Florida State Message Board.  YOU were outside the stadium getting drunk at a tailgate.  That's what YOU did.  

3. Wow, that last one got me a little heated.  Moving on.  My last letter (I've got to end at three because nap time is coming to a close and I can't be a hot mess when the daughter wakes up) would be to the "one uppers."  You know who you are.  And if you don't, let's see if this describes you:  You are the one in a group, who almost wets themselves while you excitedly wait for the speaker to take a breath so you can come crashing in with a story, that totally DESTROYS the other person's story.  You are the one that hears about someone's aunt dying of a skin disease, that ate away their face and then limbs, and then says, "I once broke every bone in my body and was in a coma for ten years while a skin disease healed my bones, restored my energy and then rebuilt my face."  Slow clap one upper - you win.

Ahh...I feel much better now.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Unpredictability of V Day

I got to admit, Valentine's Day is way more boring now that I'm married.  Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have someone, to love someone and have someone to go out with, but blah, it's boring.  Back in the day Valentine's Day was a complete wild card.  Some years it was down right depressing.  I remember one year I got a boutique of flowers, I mean a huge boutique of flowers, from a guy, who I was planning on breaking up with, but because I sucked back then, I hadn't gotten around to talking to him about it.  So, there I sat, staring at this virtual garden of flowers, and all I could think was, "Crap, now I got to kiss the guy and probably date him for another week."  In retrospect, I really wish he had just given me a check for the flowers.  That way I could have at least bought him a going away gift.

And then other Valentine's Days were down right weird. I remember a week later getting a chocolate rose in my mailbox from some anonymous admirer.  Um, thanks for the re-gift?  The "on sale" item?  The federal offense for reaching inside my parent's mailbox?  And a week later huh?  Are we now celebrating our future love, or February - Black History Month?

And then sometimes Valentine's Day was great.  I mean, remember Valentine's Day in elementary school?  All those little cards filled with terrible candy and such heartfelt notes?  Those were the days.  Or the times you had to hide notes and flowers from your parents because they would find out that the "friend" you have been "hanging out with" downstairs, by yourselves, with the lights usually off, is actually someone you've been making out with?  Again, good times.

Happy Valentine's Everyone!  Hope it's filled with a little spice!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Winter Olympics Is A Scam

So, we are a few days into the Olympics and I got to be honest, the Winter Olympics are the worst.  Honestly, it's a total scam.  Tell me any other time during the year, or during the next three years, when you would voluntarily sit down and watch the qualifying round of the ski jump, EVEN THE FINAL round of the biathlon or even ten minutes of the luge?  You wouldn't!  Shut up, you wouldn't.  And yet, because some country decides to spend twenty years worth of its GDP, we feel obligated, ONCE EVERY 4 YEARS, to sit down and ask, as if we really care, "Now, the bobsled is judged just on time, or is there some other type of scoring?"  Rip off the blinders people - you don't care about the ice skating.  You might think you care if he'll land that quad axel, but really in two weeks you won't remember the guy's name, the ridiculous athletic uniform costume he wore or even the music he chose to perform his routine.  You won't.  And if you want to fight me on this, I'll send you two tickets to Disney On Ice.  Still love ice skating?  Didn't think so.

And don't tell me about the snowboarding...listen, you Shaun White bandwagoning-good-for-nothing-lovers, name ONE more snowboarder.  Just one.  From any other country.  Male or female.  Tell me one trick.  Tell me how they are judged.  Tell me what the events are. Exactly. Get off the bandwagon.  Now.

And lastly, if you insist on religiously watching the Olympics please keep these few thoughts in mind:

Human Skeleton: This event would only be interesting if they randomly grabbed people from the crowd and threw them down the track...because let's be honest - what's the athletic skill involved here?  Holding on for dear life?  Closing your eyes and not crying out like a little girl?  Can you imagine if the announcer was like from the Price is Right, "Come on down Boris! You've been chosen to break the world's record!"

Cross Country Skiing: I would watch this event if the theme of James Bond was always playing, and masked assassins chased after the skiers.  Take away either two of these requests and I will not watch this.  Okay, if you have a boy on a bike screaming, "I want my two dollars," then yes, I would watch it. (John Cusack movie.  Look it up.)

Curling: I would only watch this if each team got sloppy drunk.  Can you imagine how excited they would get if they hit the thingy (no research on curling was involved in this post) in the bulls-eye?  Or how many falls there would be as they tried to sweep furiously behind?  It would be awesome.

Bobsled: I would follow this event if there was a weigh requirement to the participants.  250 pounds and up.  It would be fun to hear the commentators say, "Now this will be interesting.  The team from China is weighing a total of 1,303 pounds and there is still a concern about the last man even fitting into the sled...let's now go to this human interest story about how Germany trains with a diet of cheese, chocolate and beer."

Stop the scam Putin.  Stop it.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Can Anything For Our Kids Be Trusted?

I've commented in the past about idiotic children books and their pointless stories, but it's now time to discuss children videos.  (Spoiler Alert: I'm a terrible mom, who let's her 17 month old baby watch videos!  I know, I know, I'm already planning on autism, ADD and developmental issues.)  Anyway, the other day, while we were driving around judging the prices of homes listed for sale, we put on some forsaken Elmo video to occupy our child.  I don't exactly understand the attraction to Elmo, but holy moth to a flame.  As soon as the video goes on our child will go from a babbling, happy child to zombie, drugged baby.  (Oh, wait is this why they don't want you to show videos to your child?)  Anyway, on the video is some character named Mr. Noodle.  I, fortunately, have never seen what this character looks like, but I've heard from the front seat that this guy is a complete moron.  Everyone, from Elmo to the kids, who will be denying its them in an Elmo show in a few years, hate on Mr. Noodle during the entire video.  Seriously, Elmo will be like, "Hey let's read a book," and then a few minutes later you'll hear, "No, Mr. Noodle, you don't eat a book.  No, Mr. Noodle, don't sit on the book."  After listening to the video for a little while I started wondering why Sesame Street, a company that prides themselves on educating kids, would create a character that seems to be only a notch above a severely mentally damaged person, and then place him in situations, where kids and other puppets yell at him for his stupidity?  Are they trying to teach kids the very important skill of bullying?  Because if so, bravo Sesame Street - after listening to this video twice, I was ready to do some pretty terrible things to Mr. Noodle.

And now let's discuss the show Doc McStuffins.  Oh, Doc McStuffins.  Listen, I'll be honest, this one isn't that bad.  I mean, sure one day Doc will have to be admitted to some pysch ward because her parents will finally realize she's been suffering from acute hallucinations involving talking stuffed animals, but hey, isn't it cute right now?  No, my problem with this show is the character Lambie, who's whole mission in life is to offer creepy cuddles to anything that moves.  Honestly, give her a trench coat and an apartment overlooking a children's playground and she will be registered within the week.  Seriously, it's just weird.  And the timing of her cuddles are so weird.  Some toy will receive a pretty bad diagnosis from Doc, with no solution in sight, and then Lambie will saunter over and ask, "Do you need a cuddle?"  No, Lambie.  Geez, give the toy some space.  It would be like hearing you have cancer, and then some creepy male nurse coming in saying, "Hey guy, heard you got the cancer, how about a hug?"  Um, no.

So, I'm at a lost.  Books are full of ridiculous characters.  Videos are full of morons.  Are we supposed to be talking to our kids or something?

Friday, January 31, 2014

Vindication 13 Years Later

I recently read that the military is dropping its pull-up requirements for women because the majority of recruits were unable to perform the minimum requirement of three.  Listen, I'm all about strong women and equal opportunities, blah, blah, but I got to be honest, I was pretty excited to read this piece of news.  Actually, I felt deeply vindicated.  Why?  Well, to be honest, I have had a very successful athletic career, but something has always weighed heavily on me as an athlete.  Each year I was in middle school we had to participate in the President's Challenge, which was a fitness test administered during gym class.  In order to win the award, one had to score at or above the 85th percentile on flexibility, running and strength.  Each year I would find myself in the running for the award and then the test of strength would kill me.  Was I a weak child?  Um, no, I was the size of a grown woman by 12.  No, my problem was that the strength portion of the test consisted of how many pull-ups you could do in a minute.  Freaking pull-ups.

I can still remember the demoralizing walk into the back wrestling room, where the lone bar hung on the wall.  Each year my gym teacher would give me the thumbs up and then say, "Okay, Kate, your time starts now."  And then the humiliation would begin.  With a little help I would be placed on the bar and then for 60 seconds I would just hang there.  For the first few seconds I would grunt and wiggle around, hoping momentum would somehow swing me up. Then, I would go into cursing my genetic pool of weak armed ancestors, who might have had the fortitude to walk across the United States for a better home, but in my book were really just a bunch of people with weak and useless appendages.  From there I would go into denial.  Sure my deltoid muscles were about to tear, and my arms were losing blood by the second, but I just knew this year was going to be different.  It had to be different.  And then, my gym teacher would say quietly, "Time.  Sorry Kate.  At least you'll get a 'Participating Award.'"  A "participating award?"  That was the worst because you know who else got the "Participating Award?"  Yep, the fat kids, the handicap kids...and me.

So, listen up gym teacher, who's name I can't remember right now, but I'm sure you were slightly creepy, and THE PRESIDENT, pull ups are stupid.  Even women, who most likely could kill me with their bare arms, even THEY can't do pull-ups!  So, here's what we are going to do. I'm going to need three certificates awarding me the Presidential Challenge. I'm going to need a written apology and I would like the bar in the wrestling room ripped off the wall and burned.  Maybe then, we can call it even.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Today, while I was riding my bike through the back bay of Newport, I came across a very large group of people, who were standing near the waters edge, with binocular and cameras, just staring at some birds floating in the water.  As I passed the group, I heard someone say, right before their giant camera fired off 14 consecutive shots of the swimming birds, "This is incredible."  Really?  Incredible?  I think we all need to stop a moment and clarify what definition we are using for "incredible" because I'm not sure we are all on the same page.  Incredible is: surviving a plane crash.  Incredible are: heart transplants, the amount of poo at 16 month old baby can generate, or the fact that Justin Bieber hasn't been shot.  Now, those things are incredible.  A plain looking bird floating in a feces filled bay, I got to say, is not exactly incredible.

So, I got to ask, and not the obvious question of, "Why are birds remotely interesting?" but, "How does one become an avid bird watcher?  Or what does it take to become a bird watcher?"  Seriously, I want to know.  Must you hate exciting things?  For example, if I enjoy speeding down a hill on my bike, would I be a bad candidate for bird watching?  Would it be better if I found enjoyment in sitting at the post office and watching customers buy stamps?  Am I getting in the bird running?

Secondly, is there a weekly newsletter, website or Facebook page of where one can post the thousands of pictures taken of the bird sitting in its nest?  Maybe I'm reaching here, but if I'm going to walk twenty yards into a forest, hold my breath, so as to not disturb my adoring subject, and manage (fingers crossed) to take 135 pictures of him, where and how can I share this gift with the world?  If nowhere, then bird friends, I'm not sure this gig is for me.

And lastly, to become a bird watcher, must you focus all energies just on birds?  For example, is it taboo to the hobby to become a fish watcher or a lover of different tree branches?  What if you explain that while falling in love with the birds, the branches just seemed to, unexpectedly, sneak up on you?  And you can't explain it, but there's just something you and the branches understand about one another that the birds just don't seem to get, or to be frank, try to get?

I know, I know, a lot of questions.  Maybe one day I'll get the courage to stop and interrupt the incredible magic going on in the back bay.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Elusive Color Yellow

Last night the husband and I went exotic and ordered Chinese food.  Hmmm...MSG.  After the meal, we both cracked open our future cookies only to find we both had received the same fortune.  Pray tell, what are the chances you crazy Chinese fortune tellers?

Anyway, the fortune read: "Focus in on the color yellow tomorrow for good luck!"  Focus on the color "yellow."  Huh? So, today is tomorrow and I have to admit, no good luck yet.  For example, last night, due to the copious amounts of salt that was undoubtedly placed in our food for flavor, I drank a lot of water.  What does that mean?  Well, my urine was not so yellow.  Heck, it was basically water.  So, great little China man, no good luck there.  Then I encountered some yellow snot coming out of my baby's nose...followed by a million dollars?  Nope, just more snot.  0 for 2.

Were my dying yellow lemon trees outside, that need probably all the water I drank last night, sprouting cures to cancer, free babysitters, secrets to how to remove my back love handles?  Nope.  Do I own any yellow clothes?  No!  Is the sun even out today? No it's cloudy!  Damn you color yellow and all the good luck you promise!

Dear wise and prophetic future tellers, who work in the fortune cookie factories in San Francisco, you have got to be more specific!  We, I mean, humankind, depend on these small strips of paper for guidance and direction.  You've got to give us more...and you've got to think a little harder than offering the same fortune.  My husband has a job.  A real job.  Do you know how much legal yellow paper he's surrounded by?  He's an absolute mess today.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Battle Cry of No

Holy sweet Moses it's been a while since I even opened this blog. I would like to state that my absence was not due to the overwhelming hate mail I received due to my last entry in regards to Michael Buble.  Sure, you haters are going to hate, but it was the Christmas season and I heard music from an angel.  'Twas the season you haters of soulful jazz and butter voices.  So, yes, I took a break...and I liked it.  But, you know what a large break means for me?  A lot of freaking sarcasm and judgmental feelings that must be expressed.  So, bring on the new year...the new day...because I'm feeling...gooood.  (I'll stop with the Michael Buble.)

So, where do we begin?  Well, let's begin in my new little world.  Lately, my child has decided to start doing some strange things.  One, she has no idea what "no" really means, and yet, that seems to be the answer for everything.  And it's not just one time saying "no," but actually hundreds of times, while vigorously shaking her head.  The husband and I, naturally, have resorted to mocking her by shaking our heads up and down like Metallica, while saying, "yes" over and over again, and my personal favorite of asking her questions like, "Does global warming really exist?"  "Did the world start with a big bang?"  "Do people really watch the show The Big Bang Theory?"  "Should I get bangs?"  "Will Obamacare ever work?"  And...out of the mouth of babes...

The other strange occurrence, and probably the MOST annoying thing in this new world of mine, is my child has decided to start waking up in the middle of the night by standing and then violently screaming.  This usually happens about twice a night and then ends with us relenting, like some beaten prisoners, at around 5:30 in the morning.  The other morning when this happened, I laid on down on the couch with my now consoled daughter, and started to reflect on the absurdity of this new practice.  First, how does one go from a soft slumber to a siren of panic? Can you imagine doing that now as an adult?  One minute you are spooning your partner and the next you are standing on your mattress screaming like you've been stabbed.  The first time it happened, I honestly expected her to be in the act of falling from her crib or being abducted.  (Got to stop watching 48 Hour Mysteries.)  And when I found her standing there, trying to hand me some forsaken stuffed animal, I got to admit, I was a little disappointed.

So, this is my new world.  Mr. Buble sing me out.