Month: June 2012

50 Shades of Shame

I just bought a bathing suit.

This might not seem like a big deal, but it is for me. My current suit– the faded, shapeless, stringy, ragged, dust cloth–has seen better days.

My suit. Incidentally the Shamwow™ spokesman has also seen better days.

In fact its best day was in the year 2000, when I first purchased it. Prior to that purchase, I wore my mother’s bathing suit from the 1980s. I’ve always considered myself somewhat a fashion icon.

I was hoping it would see me through another decade, but alas, that is not possible. My toddler son takes a weekly swimming class, and we are one swim class away from him completely dismantling the top of my swim garment. He is very fond of the clutch-grip-at-the-chest-and-the-yanking-down-to-expose-mom swim stroke. So my new suit is one of armor.

It could be. I wouldn’t know because I didn’t try it on and just purchased blindly from a Land’s End catalog. It should be arriving any day now. If it fits, it will be a miracle.

This incredibly fascinating anecdote is to showcase how much I procrastinate. I feel that once I do something, e.g., go through the humiliation of trying on a bathing suit and suppress the thoughts of others who tried it on before me, then that task has been completed for the remainder of my lifetime, and I can move on to the next horrendous venture.

I weeded that dirt patch I call a garden last year…why, for the love of mulch, must I do it again? I gave birth to the one kid…why, for the love of inappropriate conversations with total strangers, must I go through it again?

I have been keeping 50 Shades of Grey at bay for some time now.

It held as much appeal as a Spam® sundae.

This is also 50 shades of f***ed up.

I don’t want to read it. I really don’t.

But then I click on Renee of Life in the Boomer Lane. She has written about the book in a way that makes me want to read the book, which I think is the exact opposite of her intent.

But today I was like “Oh wow!” and my inner goddess did the salsa with the succubus that took over my soul. If you have read the books, this sentence would make sense. I have not read the books so I am very confused by what I just wrote.

Her first 50 Cents of Rap post appeared in March. I thought “Hmm, sounds awful. No way can I put myself through that. It took days to erase Twilight from my sparkly marbled brain.”

Co-workers and friends began reading it. I would overhear snippets of conversation about  it–”anal fisting. tee-hee!”–but I would tune it out for more important endeavors like fastening another bobby pin to my bathing suit strap.

Just recently Renee compared E.L. James’ prose with the Bible using lines like “My subconscious nods sagely.” And I’m like “Oh wow? What the fuck does that even mean?!?” and then my subconscious nodded sagely, and I was like “Okay! Beat me with a string of anal beads or whatever Christian does so erotically in the book. I need to buy this lump of crap!”

And so it happened.

And my 30 minutes is already up. It took me that long to make my delicious Spam® sundae.

They Can’t All Be Winners

I’m all about deciphering meaning from the random, which is why I need the subtitles for The Jersey Shore.

Today, I viewed my site stats and saw this:

Let’s ignore the 9 views of “today” because that is a little sad, and instead focus on the 22222.

This is clearly a sign.

Of what, I don’t know. The pragmatists among you would say “look dope, it just means there have been 22,222 page views of your crappy blog. Probably generated mostly by you. Don’t try to bring any extra meaning to it, you jerk.” Wow, you pragmatists are really, really hostile.

I am by no means an expert in sussing out the meaning behind numbers, e.g., 22,222 page views x $0 = poverty + despair? It feels like it does anyway.

I decided to type numberology into a Google, and it said: it’s numerology, you fargin’ idiot. So then I typed numerology and learned so, so much. I learned I needed my “personal sun number” to calculate my “personal month cycles” to predict my life, or as it is known in numberology psn² x pms³³ = ½ :(.

When I went to find my personal sun number, I received this foreboding message:

This is the equivalent of your sun number being a big fat 0.

I had to seek out a different site so I retyped numberology (Are you fargin’ serious?!? I hate you right now - much hatred, Google)

I came upon a site about devising spiritual meaning from repetitive numbers.

It suggested to try “automatic writing” to get my answers. Automatic writing is when you write with no human control so basically what I do every day, but instead of nothing appearing, my spirit guide will write something for me.

It’s suggested to get in a quiet space and clear your mind of clutter. At this moment I have  Elmo singing “Do the hustle” in the background. This will have to do because the alternative is unpleasant, e.g., 2-year-old – elmo = screams².

So I’m suppose to write a question and then write down what exactly pops up in my brain.

Okay, here goes…

Spirit guides, what does 22,222 mean?

Doo-doh-doo-dee. Do the hustle. Free your mind and the rest will follow. Be colorblind don’t be so I need to pee no time why did I drink that liter of seltzer water?? Stupid. I’m tired and my feet are a little cold. I wish I had a dark Milkyway bar. I need to do laundry jesus didn’t I just do laundry, yes we do laundry everyday because that is our life now I should pee.

Hmm. The spirit guide sounds an awful like my interior monologue that can only be quieted with gallons of paint thinner.

Let’s try this again. *ahem* Spirit guides, what are my site views trying to tell me?

Jumping, jumping, jumping, jumping, it’s the jumping song, site stats site schmats beef it’s what’s for dinner site stats sounds like site shats my site took shats stop autocorrecting me wordpress if I want to write shats I’ll write shats stop changing it to stats stats doesn’t seem like a real word now how can it be real?!? is anything real besides the continual pressure on my bladder? The answer to your question is: nothing.

In all that time I spent “mediating” (be on the look out for new my DVD “Meditating to Elmo”), this happened:

Of course, 22229 is the universal number for “we are doomed.”

(Un)Musical Chairs

Ann Curry is currying no favor at the Today show. The NBC folks are like “Yeah, let’s order from the Indian restaurant, but for god sakes no curry because it sucks and everyone hates it. Go heavy on the lauer. Yes, I know that’s not a spice. It’s the blandest thing in the universe and I want more of it.”

Oh my god, guys, did you see what I just did there?

I don’t. So if you did, please let me know.

Ann Curry might be curried out of the co-anchor chair any second now. I mean, carried out. Ratings have dropped because Ann Curry does not show the proper level of excitement when learning what’s hot at the beach disco. (Answer: parchment paper medallions)

I’ll admit it. I’m also one of those non watchers.

You’re shocked, yes? One of my categories is the mfing Today show, but I haven’t watched it in months–not because of Ann Curry.

I haven’t watched because…pfffttt.

Or–my son has turned into a little Tasmanian Devil making it difficult to enjoy a “news” segment on serving the perfect watermelon slice because my son is trying to emulate Elmo’s World by yanking the window shade around (P.S. – Screw you, Mr. Noodle and the noodle you rode in on).

Ann Curry is NBC’s $10 Million Mistake blasts TMZ. TMZ follows up with a hard-hitting expose on whether Kris Jenner gave her daughter Kim Kardashian sex tape tips, and my reading that is my $10 mistake.

Ann worries: “Am I not good enough? Am I not what people need? Am I asking the right questions?’ When people say negative things or speculate, you can’t help but feel hurt.”

Ann, I’m sorry, but when you interviewed that dog who barked “I rove you” all Scooby Doo-like, you should have asked “Wait…am I fucking interviewing a dog right now?!?”

So who should take her place?

Many people with an enormous amount of time on their hands say it should be one of those two female anchors who look identical.

Savannah Guthrie

Or Natale Morales

Whoever it is needs to do a much better job transitioning between the fluffier news stories, e.g., the best bronzers for babies, and the hard-hitting stuff, e.g. trying to fry an egg on the sidewalk to show how hot it actually is.

Ann Curry looks too dead-eyed when she does this as if she’s thinking Holy barking dog! I used to cover wars for cripes sake. Okay plaster on the smile as I say this: “Next up on Today, is your grilled cheese sandwich too cheesy or too grilly?” 

Before we all lose our minds in our frenzied speculating, I offer a few more choices for consideration:

1. Staring Dog

This dog was featured on the Today show because he looks at people with an intense gaze and then drops that gaze only to lick his balls. I think this dog would send Matt Lauer over the edge.

2. Speaker7

This is the obvious choice. I know about stuff like the War of 1812 and Kris Jenner’s sex tape tips. This makes me a erudite or eruidope anchor.

3. Walter Conkrite

Wait a second…Mr. Speaker7 just informed me that Walter Conkrite is dead. So who is this? Holy disguise! It’s Hugo, the man of a thousand faces! Well played, Hugo, you creepy, creepy weirdo puppet, you. He would be fantastic. I’m saying this because he has threatened to visit me in my dreams otherwise.

So who do you think should be the next anchor? Remember the state of your watermelon slices depends on it.

The New War of 1812

Today is the 200th birthday of the War of 1812. I wasn’t quite sure what to buy it, I mean, what do you get for something that’s 200 years old? A sweatshirt that reads “200 Years Young!” (never)

I’m not sure if this is the official day the United States decided to kick some British fanny. Why are British readers laughing? We kicked some fanny all day long and then we discovered Utah.

Maybe.

Let me be upfront about something: I don’t know fanny about the War of 1812, and in this case I’m using the British meaning for fanny. Many of us US of Aers are in this know-nothing boat. We get all apple-piey over the Revolutionary War, and some of us even dress up as Union and Confederate soldiers and reenact significant battles of the U.S. Civil War and then go home and watch our flatscreen TVs just like Ulysses S. Grant.


But the War of 1812? Borrriinnggggggggg.

Why is it so boring?

I don’t know because I don’t know anything about it. And it’s almost as if my brain steadfastly refuses to retain information about it because it spends too much time trying to track down car keys.

NPR devoted a whole hour to it. Some Canadian guy called and was saying how important it was for Canada, and for the life me, I cannot tell you why. It’s like when he started to talk, my brain heard “Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”. The war also did … something important and launched somebody big to the White House, and people were like “damn” or “tally-ho” which is more representative of the American-speak of that time. Dolly Madison made her first snack cakes and saved a portrait of George Washington because she was totally into him, and that pissed off James Madison like you wouldn’t believe. The British stole some American sailors, and we liked France so much that Congress passed a resolution naming the fried potatoes in the Capitol cafeteria “French Fries.”

Some of this may not have happened.

I think the main problem is the lack of a hook. You know how the Revolutionary War had all that bedazzle? People were throwing tea into the river and people were yelling really cool stuff like “Give me liberty, yo” and it was all about Freedomy™ freedom.

The War of 1812 had to do with something about trade restrictions, according to the first few sentences of Wikipedia, and then I just tuned out the rest. No hook to rest my brain cap:

But isn’t America all about reinventing itself, and its people about picking and choosing events from history to support their worldview?

Hellz yesz, says all those people who believe the founding fathers wanted the Bible to be our constitution.

So can’t we twinge the War of 1812 and make it a little more spectacular? Like instead of *yawn* trade restrictions, can’t it be something like British Admiral Fitzsimmons Jackhole kidnapped Uncle Sam right before he was about to marry Betsy Ross. And then James Madison got together a super-fighting squad of former rebels and they flew on bald eagles over to Europe and just annihilated the feces outta of em, incidentally with eagle feces. And then Lee Greenwood’s great-great-great-great-great grandfather wrote “Proud to be an eagle-flying American”. Or something

And then on the anniversary, we can unite as Americans by getting drunk as #$!%$ and wearing synthetic eagle feathers made in China.

That is a hook.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic?

Well, maybe not for everyone.

Hey Everybody! I’m on Twitter!

Everybody stop tweeting, status-updating and instagramming right now.

I have an important announcement.

Matt Lauer, Today show anchor and sand-dune skier, is on Twitter.

This is big news…almost as big as that video of a hockey mom scolding a referee. Did you see that? Yeah, I didn’t either, but I understand that it is news because it was on the Today show.

I have avoided Twitter much of my adult life. I’ve missed out when Ashton Kutcher tweeted “Cock rhymes with sock” and when Kim Kardashian tweeted “Butt” and when Justin Bieber tweeted “I will be irrelevant in five years” and when a cat tweeted “j;aft;aug”. And I’ll admit, my life has not been as fulfilling as the guy who lets the world know he just pooped out a ham sandwich without the mayo. #greatpoopstories

Justin Bieber, the performer who tweeted “I will be irrelevant in five years”, helped Matt write his first tweet.

Matt asked for Justin’s help because “I want to find out the power of Bieber,” and then wished it wasn’t live television so he could have said something less creepy.

This is what Matt wanted: “Hanging with Justin at the Today show, Concert coming up. Tweet the name of the first song you’re going to do.” And Justin tweeted “Buy Justin’s new record.”

History has been made.

If Matt gets 750,000 followers by Tuesday, one of his underlings will streak or fight a lion in the Roman Colosseum.

Now I’m all about naked lion-fighting, but I’m more about reading Matt’s mindless ramblings so I have also joined Twitter–something I vowed never to do out of principle that I waste enough of my life as it is.

My first tweet was also about buying Jason Bliber’s new album. No, wait it was this:

I then engaged in my usual daily routine, but then I found I could make it more meaningful by letting the world know about it.

Example:

That felt better. Well, after I puked up the sandwich I felt better. #bestvomitinducers

I then struggled with one of my usual dilemmas that normally would go unnoticed. But now through the miracle of 140 characters, I could let the whole world in my little world, kind of like how the sun enters the moon when it becomes night. #topscientifictheories

World peace realized.

Of course, I have no followers so I did all this decision-making and world-peace-realizing by my lonesome. But maybe you guys can follow me, and if I get 12 followers by Tuesday, some lucky follower will be sent a free cat.

How do you follow me on Twitter?

I have no idea.

I think this is my address?

Help me Matt Lauer.

I’m Sexy and I Know It

So a weird thing happened to me today:

I think I was hit on. I can’t say for sure because I haven’t been hit on in a really long time. I believe the last person who hit on me was my husband, and we’ve been together over 10 years.

I was driving to a Zumba class and stopped at a red light. A truck pulled up beside me in the left hand lane, and the guy in the passenger seat knocked on his door to get my attention. I looked over, and he smiled and wiggled his fingers at me. At first, I thought oh that’s so and so…wait, who is that?  Did I know him? Nope. My brain’s facial recognition scan came up short so I asked him, all puzzled-like, “Do I know you?” And he shook his head no and I said “Oh, okay” and the light turned green, and I took off to him shouting “I was being polite.”

Weird right? I am by no means a head turner. I never was, and now that I’m nearing middle age, my interaction with the opposite sex has been mainly of the “here you go, ma’am” kind. I can’t show you what I really look like since I’m all about shielding my true identity on this blog, but I somewhat resemble her:

This is the crazy cat lady from The Simpsons

Well, I was wearing my workout clothes so this best represents what I looked like at the time of the alleged pick up:

Replace the unitard with a ratty T-shirt and sweatpants and you’re golden.

Now, I’m not saying I’m blahsville to elicit any “What are you talking about?!? You’re so pretty, You go grrlll!” kind of responses in the comment area (but please post them if you feel an unbelievable urge, and make sure the grrlll has the adequate number of r’s and l’s), I’m painting a realistic picture so you can help me decipher this gonzo interaction. I have a toddler who woke me up at 4:45 this morning, and I look like that happens on a daily basis. I’m also just generally unapproachable because I cover myself in barbed wire to protect against unexpected hugs or spontaneous displays of jocularity.

I’ve never been really good at reacting to pick up lines. In my 20′s I was the girl scowling in the corner, waiting for the cab she called to come pick her up and take her away from the nightmare known as “the club scene.” If a gentleman happened to try his magic line on me, I normally responded with a guffaw and then ran and hid in the ladies room.

So I’m not quite sure what pick-up truck man intended. Was he just being polite? Do people still wave and smile at total strangers just to let them know that we’re all in this soon-to-be zombie apocalypse together? Or was he trying to car jack me?

It is a mystery.

But what I do know is tomorrow I will be doubling up on the barbed wire.

Teacher Depreciation Week

For a few short, fun months, I teetered tottered with the notion that I could lose my job. I went through low points where I toyed with the idea of auditioning for  The Real Housewives of Hooverville, and high points where I lost consciousness and dreamt that I was gainfully employed as Donald Trump’s hairpiece.

The local board of education decided that my job had some value to elementary students and added it back into the school budget, and the public voted in favor of it so I will soldier on as an elementary librarian–at least another year until I am laid off again and the cycle repeats like a Head-On commercial until I actually need Head-On.

It is a good time to be a public employee especially a teacher. Society seems to really revere teachers. Wait, is revere the right word? Oh right. . . the word I’m thinking of is revile.

This guy knows what I’m talking about:

et tu, Grandpa?

Teachers are the worst, especially that one who taught me how to read and that jerk who taught me how to write and that ass who taught me arithmetic does not actually begin with an “r”. I hate all of you.

Test scores are low, schools are failing and the tator tots taste like pencil shavings–and it’s all the teachers’ fault.

My school was placed on the needs improvement list this past year, along with a bunch of other schools in New York State, when the state decided to arbitrarily raise the threshold for passing the state tests. This happened after the students took the test, and 80 percent passed. Now 50 percent did. In your face teachers!

Here’s the thing with state tests. They’re awesome. They are created by corporations that get million dollar contracts from states, which then have less money to give schools. And it’s a one-size-fits-all assessment tool. It works really well because all students are the same.

Here’s the thing with actual schools. As teachers, we are told to tailor our instruction so if you teach 4th grade and have a student who reads at a 1st grade level, you give the student material at his reading level. Then comes state test time, and that student takes a test at a 4th grade reading level, and for some reason he bombs it. Why? The teacher sucks.

Student performance on these tests will be a huge chunk of the new teacher evaluation system. This seems like a good idea in the same way my performance on this blog is reflective of WordPress, and my somewhat high cholesterol speaks volumes about my doctor’s abilities.

As of yet there is no state test to assess a student’s library ability, but give Pearson Education time and I’m sure it will come up with one for the the low, low cost of $50 million. And if my students cannot successfully place Archery for Fun in the right Dewey Decimal range (it’s 799.3, stupid) or spell the word Caldecott then I guess I’m a terrible librarian.

Oh well, I should look on the bright side. I’ll likely be laid off next year.

Home is Where the Hugo Is

Someone’s trash is another person’s excuse to add to the giant hoarding heap.

Lordy rat’s nest, do I have a load of crap in my house.

When you are trying to sell your house, it is considered wise to unclutter it, to make the path through the living room 6-inches wide instead of the current 3. It is prudent to not have the mold-covered boxes reach the ceiling when shoulder-level is more appropriate, and the collection of pigeon droppings in the corners is a big no-no.

I am not a hoarder. I am a thrower. I like to throw items away, and contribute to the eventual demise of our species when we are all swallowed up by the giant ocean garbage patches.

My husband is less of a thrower. He walks a thin line between saver and hoarder.

When my parents moved two years ago, my mother bestowed upon me all my childhood things she had been storing for all these years.

I received a garbage bag filled with Barbie doll heads; the hair shorn, the heads painted with nail polish. Ooh! I was looking for these! What a find. I immediately set them up on my mantlepiece and was promptly arrested for being a serial killer.

Or maybe I said “Why in the world did you save these?”

I am trying to avoid a similar situation of handing my son a bag of broken crayons and used pacifiers upon his departure from the nest so I have been throwing many thing away under the guise of “Oh, these are for the garage sale.”

There will never be a garage sale.

And my saver husband has been going along with it rather well.

There’s only been one slight glitch.

This apparently is moving into our new house with us:

Yes. His eyes are following you. You are not imagining it.

His name is Hugo. He is the man of a thousand faces, and was a puppet who haunted my waking hours as a child. My husband saved him from the stash of childhood things.

You used to be able to put mustaches and wigs on him or you used to be able to cower in his presence and beg your older brother to remove the mini-lifelike man from your sight. Fun for the whole family.

He currently lives in the basement because if he were anywhere in our living space, I would feel his eyes boring into the back of my head. He has not been placed in the garage sale box, but in the keep-in-the-storage-space box.

Look, he has hands:

The better to strangle you with while you sleep.

I guess I should be content with the idea of him moving into the storage space. At least he will be out of the house and stop whispering to me when no one else is around.

I have tried to move him to garage sale boxes, but he always manages to escape.

Evidence:

Hugo the man with a foot fetish.

I’m thinking he will make a fantastic college graduation present for my son. Fun for the whole family.

Gardening 101

We are in the process of putting our house on the market.

It’s been awesome.

Wait, is awesome the right word?

No…I was thinking of something else, like arrggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!?!

Yes that sums it up nicely.

So apparently when you want to sell your house, you have to really get it in good shape. You have to return to those home projects you long abandoned in favor of watching Bachelor Pad: The Night of the Living Herpes. For instance, you have to finish building the stairs so they connect directly to the second floor. You can no longer use your couch as a napkin. And you should dismantle the 50 Shades of Grey torture shack in the living room.

We have lived in our house for eight years. We began our home ownership with gusto. We painted the exterior ourselves and made a solemn blood vow to never do that again. We painted most of the interior, leaving the hallway and ceiling above the stairs unfinished because of the whole not-being-14-feet tall and the not-wanting-to-use-a-ladder-on-the-stairs-are-you-out-of-your-mind thought pattern.

Then our cable got connected and I tuned out the house projects and tuned into reality television. And the hallway remained beautifully unpainted. The landscape left to fester. And the dust bunnies met more dust bunnies, and you know how bunnies are.

But now we’re back in gusto mode.

Our realtor tells us we need to view our house through the eyes of the perspective buyer.

This is what worries me. Especially when I look at our non landscaping.

I don’t know how to garden. I have never had a green thumb, which I’m thankful for because that would likely be a sign of gangrene.

I don’t know. Be honest, does this scream “Buy me!”

See we have a carport, and a part or a port of the carport blew off, and we kind of threw that port or part right behind the house and piled some lawn chairs we never use on top of it. That’s a design of sorts, right? I believe it’s known as “clusterfuck”.

On the side of the house, we have trees that have commingled with our house à la Swiss Family Robinson style. But back-to-nature, no-birth-control-for-anyone-but-viagra-for-everyone, the Poltergeist-tree-is-real is all the rage now, yes?

Let’s hope so because this is my home:

It’s pretty in a my-house-is-being-made-love-to-by-trees kind of way. If I were the realtor, I would advertise it as a house with lots of oxygen potential. And most people are in favor of oxygen.

We also have a giant pile of leaves our neighbor lovingly raked into our shared bushes that is now home to a stray cat that enjoys spaying and mewing loudly. I would have taken a picture, but I was afraid my neighbor would see me. That should not deter you from buying the house. It’s not my neighbor, it’s me. I have gelotophobia, the fear of being laughed at.

There is much to do. And here I sit writing this blog.

But I’m hopeful it will get done because I learned today that this is not a flower so I can get to pulling.