Roses Are Red; Violets Are Blue; You Will Die A Terrible, Terrible Death

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If you have been around this blog’s block for a while, then you know I watch The Simpsons daily. I’m talking about reruns – we have roughly half the seasons on DVD and I watch them every night before bed, and also when I inevitably wake up at 3:13(ish) to ponder all of life’s problems. I think what The Simpsons does that no other show has pegged quite so perfectly is make very serious social commentary in a way that even the most unaware person can grasp.

This habit of mine has been going on for years, just the same shows over and over. And over again.

I know what you’re all thinking: my poor husband.

One of my favorite episodes of the show (in truth, they are all my favorite) is when they go to some kind of a fair and Lisa visits a psychic. The psychic starts by telling Lisa “you will die a terrible, terrible death” – but that’s a mistake, then she (the psychic who specializes only in predicting failed relationships) goes on to tell the story of Lisa’s almost-marriage to Hugh, a British snob who won’t wear Homer’s pigs-in-tuxedos cufflinks on the big day.

Fucking genius, eh?

Since the very first time I saw that episode, I have wanted to visit a psychic. I always thought it would be fun, also I have always wondered if it ever ends as dramatically as in Ghost when Whoopi Goldberg hears Patrick Swayze and embarks on the big endeavor to help Demi figure out who killed him. You guys have to admit that kind of shit happening to me would be pretty rad. Right?

I’ve asked and asked, to no avail. I keep saying I want to do it for my birthday – well that’s a stretch, because I don’t even get cake baked by someone other than me on my birthday. I’ve said I want it for Mother’s Day, which is a total waste of my breath. (I’m not even going to go into the type of reception I get for the one day I actually should be celebrated…)

Finally, a few months ago, I all but gave up on my quest to visit a psychic. No one would give it to me for my birthday; I wasn’t going to ever spend the money to do it myself if everyone else thought it was uncool … my future would just have to remain untold.

1505276_725035416603_1099103144_nThen this evening, we were exchanging Valentine’s Day gifts. We already started over the weekend – my husband of course works tomorrow, and he works in the city (about 50 miles away) so typically on Valentine’s Day he gets home late as a result of holiday traffic. A few years ago, he got home so late we couldn’t even go out for the dinner we planned on going to; last year he didn’t get home until about 9 – my daughter yelling “she is so mad, her boobs are sweating” as he came storming in the door. Before this evening, he had already gotten his I -heart- Dad mug, and all the kiddie things had been dispersed.

But what still remained was my gift to him, and his gift to me.

Having all but given up on gifts and my husband years ago, I basically just went out and bought him some baked goods. A piece of bread pudding. A piece of New York cheese cake. Some chocolate-covered strawberries. Then I put them all in a nice, heart-shaped box and felt kind of shitty today, so got take out for dinner which meant I made him no lunch for tomorrow. So when gift exchange came, I gave him the box and called it his Valentine’s Day gift-slash-Friday lunch.

If you’re thinking at this point that I’m winning at this game of being a housewife and Stay At Home Mom, you would be correct (not really). I do everything just about as half-assed as this whole Valentine’s Day thing.

Anyway, I opened his card, and to my amazement something so wonderful and amazing was contained within it. I was – almost – speechless.

He got me a gift card to visit the Psychic of the Stars.

This is the kind of gift that vindicates him for all of his peeing on the side and back of the toilet; the crumbs on the counter and beard hairs in the bathroom sink; for being a jerk when he should be loving and working way more hours than anyone with a family ever should.

Vindicates him for a short time, that is.

So what will my psychic reading say? Or should I do tarot cards? (Apparently I can use the gift card for either.) Will she say I will die a terrible, terrible death? Or will Whoopi Goldberg hear a ghost following me around, then we’ll embark on an epic adventure along the lines of Ghost (only I’m not kissing Whoopi like Demi did)?

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My Christmas Wish List This Year

I wonder if I just became as obnoxious as Home Depot putting out their fucking Christmas decorations in July; or Target playing Christmas music in October. You know that Black Friday actually begins for many stores at 7 pm on Thanksgiving DAY, now, too. Retailers are literally ramming Christmas up our asses.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should go ahead and admit that I do all of my Christmas shopping in the months of August and September. That means that as of this day – October 10th – I have actually been done with Christmas shopping. For 10 days. That’s everyone in our families, for the Pookies, my husband… everyone. It’s just so much more tolerable than standing in long lines, and fighting with people over bargains.

This means that while I was shopping, I officially scoped out all of the things I really really want for Christmas.

Before going into my wish list, though, let me tell you a little story about the Sodastream. A few years ago, my husband got me that for Christmas. It was well-intentioned, sure. I drink Diet Coke by the bucket-load, which means obviously getting me a machine that would let me make my own bucket-loads of my aspartame and caffeine-filled beverage of sheer delight would be a win, right?

Wrong. I can totally taste the difference. What I like about Diet Coke is actually the exact ingredients and exact composition and exact carbonation of the Coca-Cola brand Diet Coke. Maybe it’s all mental (it’s probably all mental); nonetheless, I never use the Sodastream.

Quickly after I opened the gift that year, though, it became vaguely reminiscent of that episode of The Simpsons when Homer buys Marge a bowling ball (with his name engraved on it), in spite of the fact that Marge had no idea how to get the ball down the lane. Within a day, my husband was experimenting with flavors on the Sodastream. He even drank directly out of the bottles. He still does.

Since that year, I have made it a point to make an explicit wish list for Christmas. Last year I really wanted a deer head for our bedroom. I made it explicitly clear; I got a deer head. This year, though, I’m going for quantity… I want to feel the excitement of opening lots of gifts on Christmas morning, like I did when I was a kid again.

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1. A Day of the Dead wine bottle opener/corkscrew from Paper Source. We were shopping a few weeks ago and saw them, and I fell in love. (Note to my husband: Day of the Dead is like two days into November. So…time is of the essence….)

2. Removable plastic sheets for my iPad!!!!! This is an infuriating request for me, because it’s super cheap and available online as well as at Sur La Table as well as at Bed Bath Beyond, and fuck it’s even around $10 for 100 at Target…and I asked for these for Mother’s Day – it’s all I wanted, I didn’t even mind cooking on Mother’s Day, as long as I could have those stupid plastic sheets so that I stop getting food all over my iPad when I cook. It was a REQUEST DENIED, though, so I’d really like some for Christmas.

3. Lots of good smelling stuff from Bath and Body Works, especially the winter scents (like Winter Candy Apple). I have an addiction to purchasing Bath and Body Works products, but lately haven’t gotten that many to try and pare down my stockpile. Around Christmas I will be totally out, though, so it would be totally awesome if someone in my family would replenish my stock – especially since I love the winter line all year long. I really love all their scents, though. Except that Japanese Blossom one, because that stuff smells like a cow’s ass.

4. A “People Mom Would Have An Affair With” personalized 2014 calendar. I would like the months to be as follows:

January: Wolf Blitzer. Duh, I have a huge s(he)hard-on for him.

February: Jay Cutler from the Chicago Bears, but he needs to be in the middle of one of those weird neck/shoulder twitch things he does before a play or during an interview.

March: Jim Cantore doing push ups while reporting from a hurricane.

April: Vladimir Putin. It would be totally rad if he were wearing some kind of a fur headpiece too…

May: Albert Camus. Yes, he is dead. Yes, I would totally cheat on my husband and jump his dead, old bones. Gross, but not sorry.

June: Hulk Hogan. Preferably in tight spandex, in the middle of administering a pile drive (the wrestling kind).

July: Bill Clinton. I would be in a binder of women delivered to his desk any day.

August: Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox (hopefully at this time in the year he will still be with and playing regularly for the White Sox… and hopefully the White Sox won’t have blown it at this point like they had in 2013… and every other year…………)

September: Any random guy with long hair pulled back in a pony tale, a nerdy “I play MAGIC the Gathering every Sunday” kind of look to him; but with no acne and definitely well-presented enough for it to be clear he doesn’t live in his mother’s basement… in the middle of a LARP. Don’t ask me why, but sometimes that Lord of the Rings shit gets me going.

October: As many members of the NBA that will fit onto one page. (Don’t ask.)

November: No photo, just my mantra in large lettering: “No car, no job, no service.”

December: Fuck it: Gandolf.

The way I see it, this is sort of like the people that do those sexy photos for their spouses, only instead of looking at photographs of my husband on a pillowy bed with feather boas all around him and shit, I’ll be looking at the meaty men that I salivate over regularly, in a totally creepy and mental-infidelity kind of way.

5.A gift card to The Cheesecake Factory. You guys may be thinking that I just threw this one in there because I had nothing else for a #5, but I’m totally serious. I never eat there unless I have a gift card. It isn’t the cost, it’s just the place never comes to mind when thinking of where to go. And if there is one thing I need more of in my life, it’s motherfuckin’ cheesecake.

I still think it’s awful that Christmas season starts earlier and earlier every year; mainly because it gets old after a predetermined period of time, and it would be really awesome if that time weren’t before… oh, I don’t know… Christmas. Nonetheless, it was important to share my Christmas wish list early. You know, to give my husband enough time to make up some excuses why he got me another Sodastream instead.

All I Want For Christmas Is An Animal Carcass

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Is that weird? I think it might be.

I keep seeing all these commercials about what men should get their wives for Christmas. Get her diamonds, they say. Get her a kitchen appliance, they condescend. Get her gift cards to the mall, they suggest (as if I wouldn’t spend all my husband’s money at the mall anyway).

I want none of those, though. I want an animal carcass.

For a few years now I’ve been on this organic, nature-y decorating kick. Two years ago on our anniversary I got my husband to buy me a set of moose antlers, which are now covered in leaves and sitting on my bookcase. I made a ‘birds on a wire’ decal to put around our kitchen window. I even got a breakfast table that had iron branches and birds for table legs.

Don’t mistake this for me being into the outdoors, though. I fucking hate the outdoors. I’m allergic to pretty much everything. In fact, I can’t even walk to the laundry room without sneezing. I’m also easily terrified by things in the wild – birds, possibly poisoning plants, bugs. I’ll never forget that one time at Girl Scout camp when we had to use a rope to climb up a relatively small hill and I was so horrified by everything we climbed through that I vowed to never enter the woods again.

And besides those few times in high school (which compromised my Proud to be a Dare Graduate t-shirt, as well as my virginity), I’ve stayed out of them since.

So it isn’t about loving nature. It’s also not about loving animals. I think animals are so gross. First and foremost, they piss and shit. Sure, all living beings do but not typically on my carpet or bed or hand. The majority of them are out to murder people and each other and shit too. Survival of the fittest and all that, right?

Not to mention that if I actually loved animals, it wouldn’t be shown by hanging their large carcasses and various body parts in and around my home. I’m also not really an animal murderer, per se, either; for Christ’s sakes, I was a vegetarian for six years.

You faithful blog followers are probably asking yourself now just why? Why the animals? Why the nature? Why the carcass?

I have three, very specific reasons why I am really into decorating my apartment with animals and nature shit now, and why I want to complete our home with a large animal head or carcass, mounted on my bedroom wall.

#1 Animal and nature decor provides topic for conversation

It should be no surprise for me to describe myself as a little misanthropic. That’s actually putting it really, really nicely. I fucking hate people. I hate having to put on a smile and fake pleasantries with people that I know are not always pleasant. And I hate having to figure out small talk topics with people that either (a) have no brain to speak of, or (b) think they are better than me, for whatever reason they think that.

Having a piece of an animal hanging around provides ample conversation topics. So does bizarre, nature-themed decoration.

#2 Body parts of deceased animals implies I own guns

I don’t own guns. I wouldn’t ever allow them in our home. But I still would love to scare the shit out of people that might be interested in stealing and/or attacking me.

Say robbers walk into my house. They see body parts everywhere. Taxidermy on the wall. Antlers on the bookcase. They trip over my snake-skinned ottoman. This implies that were they to get caught, they’d also get shot and wind up with the same fate as the many animals that adorn my home. It also totally deters them from attempting to kidnap or rape any of us, because who knows? I may be sleeping with the guns I probably killed all those animals with. Or what if I murdered those animals with my bare hands and a knife, that I happen to keep strapped to my leg at all times?

There are so many implications that come with a house full of dead animals.

#3 Possibility for permanent chastity

What could be a bigger turn-off to Poor Nick than having a large animal staring down at him? Judging him for those awkward thirty seconds. Questioning him. Implying that he is less virile than the dead animal on the wall.

Having kids changes your sex life, but not permanently. And my razor-lined chastity belt always comes with the risk to my own hoo-ha.

But the head or entire carcass of an animal – any animal – would serve as two wins for this lady. It would complete the organic, nature-y feel I’ve been going for in our apartment, for years now. And it would provide permanent chastity.

So who’s going to call Poor Nick and tell him to get this lady the carcass of an animal? Or maybe just a head. I’ll take any animal, really. Zebra. Lion. Bear. Deer. I’d even take a minx.

Christmas in September

So a few years ago I had the worst Christmas shopping season of my life. I couldn’t find anything I wanted to get. I ended up spending thousands of dollars because I felt desperate and panicked to just get anything. And the day before Christmas Eve, I found out we would be expected to buy gifts for everyone at a 30-person family party the next night, so I spent the Christmas Eve-Eve scrambling around to put something together for every single one of the people that would be there. It was hellish.

That year I vowed to not allow myself to be put in such a situation again. The next year I went to the extreme and decided I would be doing everything for Christmas shopping in September. This required a little planning, a nicely crafted story about Santa Claus needing wish lists early due to high demand of some toys, and a committed plan from my husband on just what family parties we will be going to and what family parties we’d be avoiding. Since then, I’ve done this year-in and year-out – it was just that successful.

Although there are a few rules I follow, or it doesn’t work:

Rule #1

I don’t give a fuck what family outside of my house wants

For the majority of our family that could be considered “not immediate,” I just stopped giving a fuck what any of them wants. My mom always gives me a laundry list of stuff she wants, and stuff I’ve given her in the past that she didn’t like too. As a result, I get her the same gift I get everyone else, and a little diddy from Bath and Body Works (pay back for the bitching she did to me about the B&BW stuff I got her a few years ago). I just don’t give a fuck. Everyone outside of my own home has just about everything they could need anyway, and there are some things I just think are too personal to buy for others anyway (shirts, books, etc.), so I make a gift basket for all of them.

This year I did homemade goods inside a nice gift basket. I canned pickles, sun-dried tomatoes, and bark candy. I put together a do-it-yourself “grow herbs for your tea” kit. Then I wrapped them all in nice gift baskets decorated inside with rafia straw and artificial moss.

Anyone this gift basket stuff won’t work for (ahem, my father) gets a gift card. Those people all prefer to pick out their own stuff anyway.

Rule #2

At home I don’t tolerate that minds changing bull shit

We don’t usually have a problem with minds changing, probably because we don’t watch that much television so have limited exposure to the pre-Christmas commercials. And my husband gets what I give him irrespective of anything he wants. Regardless, there are some times when wishes are added to the list after the list has been “sent” (and September has passed), but I do not tolerate that bull shit.

I don’t mean to be a grinchy, heartless bastard. I just don’t believe in falling prey to the typical commercial ploy to get parents/spouses to spend-spend-spend around the holidays.

My strategy for dealing with last-minute mind changes or additions (they are really just additions) is actually a little convenient for me on account of all of our family birthdays falling between the end of December and the beginning of April. Typically the Christmas unwrap crazy-fest doesn’t bring up questions about requests not received, but when it does I usually mention that Santa may not have gotten it because it was a birthday present coming down the pipeline.

Rule #3

I plan like a boss

On September 1st I plan like a boss. I take out my hot pink, glitter notebook and gel pen of choice, and plan that shit out to the “t.” I first make a list of what the holidays will bring this year (family parties, plans, etc.). Then I make a list of who we have to buy gifts for, accordingly. Then I mark out who is getting a gift basket and figure out everything I need (and need to do) for it. Finally I make a list of where I need to go (online and in person) for everything and I get to it.

I don’t over-think a goddamned thing. When I start feeling bad for how unpersonalized my gifts are to extended family and friends, I remember that year my grandparents didn’t get the Pookies anything, and the heartbreak that followed; or the bitchfest my mom went on that time she didn’t like the scent of the fucking B&BW shower gel I got her. And when all else fails, I scan through the preparations involved in the gift baskets and remind myself that the work for those is probably way more than digging through the clearance bins for an ugly sweater that will probably get returned anyway.

So I am now done with Christmas shopping. It isn’t even the end of September yet, but I finished shopping today and got all the canning done as well this weekend. Now all that’s left is just a little bit of wrapping and packing it all into the closet until December. I even got the stocking stuffers done this year (thanks to the dollar sections at Target and Michaels), and I have to say they are pretty bad ass. I promise you faithful blog followers that if you follow my three rules, Christmas in September is a total win.