15 Things That Keep Away The Crazy

I think we all know that I’m a little off. By off, I of course mean batty; and by batty I’m trying to beat around the bush of insanity. And while I haven’t been dragged off in the ol’ straight jacket just yet, I probably should be. Being a Stay At Home Mom that homeschools can be tough sometimes. A little nerve-wracking, to say the least.

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There is an episode of The Simpsons early on in the series where Ned Flanders goes ape shit and drives himself to the mental hospital, driving straight through the wrought iron gates to get in. When he goes to check in, they ask if he’d like to go willingly to his padded room, or would he opt for the kicking and screaming option. He asks for kicking and screaming. I like to think that were Ned Flanders to have my fifteen things that keep me sane – or at least sane enough to avoid the mental hospital – he may have avoided his own mental breakdown.

(Yes, I am aware of the fact that I am talking about a cartoon character as though he is a human being. Need more proof I’m close to the nuthouse?)

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#1 S&Ms

You people are perverts. I know what you all are thinking when you see #1 as S&Ms: you think I’m talking about some kinky shit with my husband. Poor Nick bringing home cans of champagne and edible panties, and shit.

Not the case. When I say S&Ms I mean that what keeps me sane are my starlight mints. You know those old people candies that they sell either with or without sugar, the little mints you also get after a particularly garlic-y meal out? After my brief stint with smoking cigarettes in high school, my S&Ms replaced the nasty cancer sticks. They keep me sane in a big way.

#2 Lipgloss

Between this and my S&Ms, it’s very possible that I have an oral fixation problem. I apply chapstick and lipgloss so much. I’m addicted and develop a facial twitch if I go too long without glossy lips.

#3 Diet Coke

So yeah. I have an oral fixation. Clearly. My top three things that keep me from losing my everliving mind are relative to my mouth. What’s #4 going to be – blow jobs? Not the case. Nonetheless, I am heavily addicted to Diet Coke. The people at McDonald’s know me by name for no reason other than my morning trek to obtain a $1 Large soda.

#4 Books

This is really serious. As long as I have a book nearby when I feel the crazy coming on, all I have to do is open the book and lose myself in the story. This is why I love being a writer; and it’s why I am terribly obsessed with reading as much as possible.

#5 The Bathroom Lock

I hear moms complaining all the time about wanting to take a dump without being interrupted, and I think to myself: where’s the fucking lock? Your kids will be fine left to their own devices for a couple minutes. And as long as you have a key or another fail-safe to get the door open, should a kid lock themselves in – this is a surefire way to escape the insanity of parenthood.

#6 A Sense of Humor

I joke about a lot. And when I’m not making jokes, I’m finding something that’s naturally hilarious and laughing until I pee. A lot of times people don’t get my jokes, though. On my wedding invitations, I had a picture of a bride and groom with a joke about bringing your flame retardant clothing to prevent the lightning injuries that were sure to come from my husband and I marrying in the Catholic church. No one got it.

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#7 Weird Personal Fitness Challenges

I’m not one of those uber-douchey people that’s obsessed with fitness. You know them. They are constantly posting about their gym workouts and judging others for what they do and eat. Let’s be clear here: if you work out and like to talk about it, that’s totally cool. It’s when it moves on to judging others (…posting pictures of people’s cellulite on Facebook, and making fun of people that don’t eat healthy all the time…) that it becomes a problem.

OK, all that being said, weird personal fitness challenges help keep me sane. It isn’t even that I want to be fit, or lose weight. It’s that I find it funny to do weird workout and eating stuff, and it’s interesting to see the things I will do to keep it up. Right now I’m doing a three parter. Part One is 10 more seconds of wall sits each day. I started with 10 seconds on the 1st of April, and am up to almost 2 minutes. Part Two is eating only fruit for one or more meals a day. (It’s harder than you’d think, fruit is not very filling). Part Three is doing the Sweatin’ To the Oldies workout tapes. That’s right, I’m rockin’ it with Richard Simmons. Randomly about a month ago, I found one of my mom’s, so I went out and bought one and the Pookies went wild for it. (A video blog will follow here shortly…)

#8 Nonstop Weather Updates

I know. It’s weird. Growing up in the Midwest really made me fear the weather and all its wrath, though. Nonstop weather updates on my iPhone, iPad, and Macbook help me feel like I have control of the situation.

#9 Tetris

Hello! Mindlessly fitting blocks into impossible spaces. A metaphor for life.

#10 Reading Satire Websites

Like The Onion and Cracked.com. I enjoy John Stewart on YouTube sometimes too. Are you getting the theme here, though? I enjoy laughing at the absurdity of life. Better to laugh than lose it, right?

#11 Comparing My Life To My Mother’s

Whenever I start to think that life’s getting me down, I compare my misery to my mother’s. No one is in as bad of a situation as she is – with a hillbilly husband that lies like drinking a glass of water, living in a trailer halfway across the country, and cracking jokes about wanting to get her back to his trailer so that they can work the bed sheets (if you know what I mean).

#12 Fantasizing About Wolf Blitzer

Have you people forgotten about my terrible crush on Wolf Blitzer? Whenever I start to feel a little like I’m going to lose my mind, I let it get lost in thoughts of Wolf. And Ryan Reynold, Vladimir Putin, Hulk Hogan, and most members of the NBA.

#13 Writing On My Blog

People sometimes call their blogs “an outlet,” or a “place to vent their frustrations.” I think of my own blog as that, as well as a place to share my stories of every dip shit, asshole, douche-tart I come across so that you all may benefit from my wisdom in the ways of dealing with trailer trash jerk offs. And about parenting and being a shitty housewife. And stuff.

#14 Shitty Romantic Comedies and Episodes of Maury Povich

Good movies? Good movies that win awards? Good movies that are critically acclaimed? I typically hate those. But whenever I feel a bout of the crazies coming on, all I need to do is hunker down in my pajamas for a day with a romantic comedy marathon, coupled with Maury Povich paternity test episodes on YouTube, and I feel better.

#15 Making Fun Of My Husband

This goes along with my sense of humor. In my family growing up, we made fun of each other. Constantly. We still do. I maintain that this is – by far – the greatest gift my dearly departed grandparents gave to us, for we developed a thick skin to the world early on, and we learned that the best way to live life is to have fun. You know we love you if we make fun you, and as a result I rip on my husband nonstop.

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What keeps away your crazy, faithful blog followers? Are your things as mundane as mine? Or are they more meaningful or legitimate, like a prescription for antipsychotics?

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My Complete List of (Planned) 2013 Failures

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Do you like setting yourself up for failure? I sure know I do. I used to think that if I never tried at anything, then I would never fail. Then I realized that never trying was in a sense failing too, so I started trying but realized that if I were to succeed then I would never know what to do with myself. So I try but set myself up to fail so that I don’t run the risk of not knowing just what in the hell I do once I do succeed. And then I still never have to fail because by setting myself up to fail, I in a way actually do succeed at something, but not something so terribly successful that I am lost once it’s all over. Technically.

Follow my logic? I know, it’s hard being inside my brain sometimes.

So 2012 may or may not have been a major year of failures for me. It depends on how you look at it. I published a book, that was pretty rad. But it wasn’t the book I wanted it to be – it was a memoir, geared towards the readers of this blog; rather than the Great American Novel (or whatever you want to call it). I really wanted it to be that big novel deal. I planned on reading 50 books, since I had completed my goal of 40 in 2011. That was a big whopper, because I fell into a funk around the spring and read a total of 5 for the year. I tried knitting scarves for all of my family as well. I knitted two.

I know. I’m a total loser.

Moving along to the New Year coming up. I’m not too into New Year’s resolutions – the concept is just so stupid to me. I think that is because the majority of people who make these life-changing “resolutions” are resolving to do things they (a) know they will never do; and (b) should be doing anyway. And the concept reeks of always thinking there is something inherently wrong with ourselves. “I’m going to lose weight.” “I’m going to drink less.” “I’m going to be nicer to my husband.” All those resolutions are nice, sure – but we are who we are, and even if there is something about ourselves that we’d like to change, to call it a “resolution” is like saying we are lesser people because of whatever the circumstance is that we want to change. I really think that we should be comfortable with the life we’ve chosen. Even if we want to change it, we should first make the resolution to accept where we have come from.

As I said: I know, it’s hard being inside my brain sometimes.

Now just because I am not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, per se (or at least calling them New Year’s resolutions); and even though I do like setting myself up for failure, I still know that it’s important to make a plan for the year to come as the old ball begins to drop towards midnight on December 31st. Without plans and objectives and things to look forward to, what do we have other than a vacuous day-to-day existence?

Thus, I give you: My Complete List of (Planned) 2013 Failures.

1.  Read 40 books. I think I can do this. Maybe. I may cheat and finish the 20 or so books I started and failed to finish in 2012 to get the ball rolling.

2.  Move to Chicago. I’m sure that I will fail miserably on this one, even though everyone seems to be on board with our plan to finally make this happen. After 12 years of trying and failing, I just remain a little skeptical.

282887_649925093293_198650517_n3.  Knit blankets for my cousins Linsay and Clayton to go along with both of their wedding gifts (they are both getting married in the summer); as well as a baby blanket for each of the 11 friends having babies this next year.

4.  Have a baby. Yeah right, like that’s going to happen. Motherhood has already driven me to the nuthouse enough as it is; and that would require my husband and I to come within 5 feet of each other. Still, though, the thought crosses my mind more frequently as my clock ticks, and more friends show up pregnant.

5.  Cook and clean like a slave less.

6.  Take an art class. There was a time when I was an art major; and despite all the times I’ve committed to get back into it over the years, I have still not picked up a drawing pencil or paint brush in over a decade.

7.  Use the Internet less. In fact, Sundays are now going to be Internet-free in our house (let’s see how long that lasts).

8.  Talk on the phone more.

9.  Watch even more of The Simpsons. This is kind of weird. I have a pretty serious obsession with The Simpsons. I have the seasons on DVD and watch them every night before I go to bed. Sometimes I have day-long marathons of the show too – I just think it is one of the wittiest and realistic betrayals of American life. And I always get it when they take jabs at our contemporary American culture.

10.  Let myself go. I don’t mean gain 200 pounds, or let my hair get all gross and stringy. I mean be more comfortable. Wear jeans and sweatshirts more. Take more makeup-free days.

11.  Publish my compilation of short stories. It’s no Great American Novel, but it’ll do for now.

12.  Get a new dog.

13.  Learn to play the ukelele.

14.  Correct the current Pookies idea that babies get into a mother’s stomach by virtue of “the mom eating the baby, where it stays in her colon until the doctor cuts it out.”

15.  Take a mental health trip to a spa or a plateau or somewhere alone. An insane asylum for electroshock therapy will do.

If I don’t get a chance to say it between now and then, I suppose a happy new year to all of you faithful blog followers is in order. To peace. To prosperity. To failing miserably in all our life’s ventures in the year to come.

STFU Fridays: Did you know I’m 25 again?

Hah! I fucking wish! If I were 25 I’d be young, spry, and free of my four gray hairs. I would slap the shit out of myself for being so naive and idealistic about the world and politics and how great society is too. (And I’d probably save myself the trouble that turned out to be all for naught, and leave grad school before incurring all that extra debt…)

So what I should be in the realm of “25,” though, is in the Top 25 Mom Blogger Authors on Circle of Moms. And yet I am not (yet). Why you ask? Probably because rather than log on and vote for me daily, my husband has spent his time scrolling through apps on his smartphone, and looking for new pornography downloads. And you faithful blog followers haven’t S’d the F up and voted for me. Again, yet.

Thus, in an effort to garner more votes and excitement and “fuck yeah, you are one of the top 25 mom blogger authors out there”s, I decided that I’d let you all know you should vote. And in exchange for your vote, I will share a few of my own current Shut the Fuck Up facts.

Because you faithful blog followers haven’t heard enough of my vulgarities, have you?

Here’s the link (just click the picture, scroll until you see the B(itch)log and hit the ol’ “vote” button)…

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… and here goes my STFU Facts:

1. Vaginas horrify me. I know, I know: shut the fuck up, Heather. Right? Since I have a vagina I should probably think the thing is better than Barbara Streisand in “Hello, Dolly!”

Not the case. The thought of vaginal birth makes me feel faint. I know I should be all “power to women” and “the vag is a beautiful flower that blossoms to puke out a baby” or whatever, but I just can’t take that shit. Maybe it was my dysfunctional childhood. Maybe it’s the fact that every time I think of one I remember the time I saw my mom dry humping the back porch and was worried she’d get slivers on her hoo-ha. Then I wondered what it would be like to have slivers on my own hoo-ha, and well … let’s just leave it there. The female underworld bugs me a bit.

2. I think about the New Kids on the Block at least once a day. Sometimes twice. I dance to The Right Stuff in the shower. Every time I talk about NKOTB, someone in my family tells me to shut the fuck up already.

3. I hate California Italians. I hate California Italian food. I know, most of you are like “shut the fuck up, B(itch)!” For one, I’ve talked about it before – way to recycle material. But I actually mentioned that I hate all Italians. Now I’ve realized that it’s really California Italians.

For one, California Italians can’t cook to save their goddamned lives. For two, they’re arrogant, pompous assholes. I was at a party a few weeks ago and this dillhole told me that Chicagoans can’t cook pizza, or really any Italian-style dish, worth shit. STFU doucenoodle.

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4. On the note of food, I get tired of eating. It’s boring to me. After about five bites, I start to get really bored with my food. It isn’t that there’s no flavor or that it’s gross or anything; it’s really just the chewing. Chewing is perhaps my least favorite activity.

I know. I for real need to shut the fuck up. Whine much about stupid shit?

5. One last comment on food (it’s on my mind because I just got bored out of my fucking mind eating tortellinis that I – a Chicagoan – made): slimy things gross me out. This kind of goes beyond food, though, because it’s really anything slimy is nasty to me. So I don’t like mushrooms or brocolli, because they both have high slime potential. I don’t like slugs. When the dishwasher broke the other day, I puked in my mouth over the bits of slime that came out of the thing.

There is one slimy thing I’m totally OK with, though; probably because it is ever-present as a result of my horrible allergy and sinus problems: snot. So I don’t like mushrooms but I’m totally cool with boogers.

Should I give myself a shut the fuck up punch in the boob now, or later?

6. I’m a total hypocrite. Every time I bitch and complain about kid’s Christmas movies, you are all given pre-approval to tell me to shut my lilly-livered ass the fuck up.

Why you ask? Oh, because I’ve encouraged the viewing of these hackneyed, poorly done Christmas kid’s movies for about three weeks now. I added maybe 180 of them to the Netflix que and it keeps it quiet in here (because kids are suckers for bad acting and puppies).

So those are a few of my current shut the fuck up facts. Now please – PLEASE – shut yourselves the fuck up and vote for me on Circle of Moms. You literally have only a few hours left to get your vote in.

Here’s the link again, just in case you forgot with all my talk about vaginas and slimy things. Good thing I didn’t talk about slimy vaginas though, eh?

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Fall Makes Me Homesick

Therefore, it needs to end now.

I got really into fall at first. I do every year. I got the pumpkins. And the goards and shit. Halloween was a big fucking fiasco of costumes and events and more events and hayrides. I’ve baked tons of pumpkin-flavored things, and will bake more. We’re even hosting a Thanksgiving-themed open house the weekend before Thanksgiving.

But it makes me super homesick too.

I miss the falling leaves that give the time of year the title “fall.” We have some in California, but those aren’t brown and golden and red. They’re green and caused by 90 degree Santa Ana winds, and I’m allergic to them.

I miss the change of the weather. People say “oh … we have a change of weather here.” You don’t say? Because next week it’s projected to be in the mid-80s again and I’ll be sitting inside in the air conditioning as Thanksgiving closes in. Change of seasons?

I miss having my family close by. I have my dad here and my husband’s family, and of course my mom’s trailer trash family; but it isn’t my family. Most of them don’t want much to do with me either. And it isn’t my aunt and uncle that helped my dad raise me after my mom left. It’s not my cousins. It isn’t my vast group of friends that I have always considered to be closer than some of my closest blood relatives. There isn’t that same sense of community I had growing up.

So fall makes me homesick. But who am I kidding? Just about every time of year, and every thing I see, makes me homesick. It goes without saying I’m ready for this experiment of living on the West Coast to come to an end.

Until it does, and as fall continues on and I continue to feel homesick around every turn of every bend, I hold fast to the things that I have here that I call home.

Pizza, Deli Sandwiches, and Pumpkin Pie

Pizza is my most staple food item when I get homesick. I don’t want to hear anybody’s crap about how bad that is for me either. A pizza with nothing but cheese (which is how I like it), or even pizza dough with other ingredients (like in the picture above), has less saturated fat and cholesterol on it than some salads. Deli-style sandwiches with nothing but a slice of cheese and loads of lettuce come in at a close second.

Pumpkin pie is also a big homesickness-reliever, which is good because as compared to apple pie, cherry pie, cheesecake, cake, candy, and other desserts, pumpkin pie without the crust is fat free. I can eat bucketfuls of that shit (and believe you me, I do) without all the guilt.

Cheesy 80s and 90s Movies

How many cheesy 80s movies are not set in the Midwest, and particularly in Chicago? From Girls Just Wanna’ Have Fun to Ferris Buehler’s Day Off; into the 90s with High Fidelity. I even watch Father of the Bride, parts I and II. The scenery, the weather, the culture I grew up with all makes me feel just a little bit better when I’m feeling homesick.

Chicago Team Gear

I have enough Chicago team gear to get me through any bout of homesickness. I have a sweatshirt from my high school, two hoodies from the Chicago Bulls, a third hoodie that just says ‘City of Chicago,’ two White Sox t-shirts, two Bears shirts, a Bulls shirt that doesn’t fit, I have a Bulls bumper sticker on my car, two Bulls lanyards I have yet to use, and my computer even has a sticker of Michael Jordan on the back of it.

And I have a story to go with all of it, which I’m sure the people in my immediate life are sick of hearing. But if they’re so sick of hearing it, or sick of hearing about how homesick I am, they can maybe stop being so stubborn and give the Midwest a shot (ahem …..).

My Fun Fall Swap

Lastly, I participated in this thing called a Fun Fall Swap. Some bloggers that were into the fall stuff (as I was initially) decided to get together, have one person send out “secret swapper” info, and then we all had one month to send out a fall-themed gift.

I got mine a week ago, and while I cannot figure out for the life of me who sent it (I’m betting it’s either “My Brain On Kids” or “Diapers Or Wine“…), it is nonetheless the best of the swap gifts I have seen so far.

UPDATE: It was Quirky Chrissy … I love her more than I love french toast. If you know me, you know that’s a big deal.

Knowing how in love I am with all-things-Midwest, my secret swapper sent me this awesome reprint of a World’s Fair Chicago poster. I know what you are saying: “how in the hell is that fall?” Well, duh … it says November. That’s more fucking fall than all the hay bail, pumpkin, and brown-colored shit out there.

My fun fall swap could not have come at a better time: when I’m homesick. Sitting on the couch in yoga pants and my Bulls sweatshirt that is beginning to smell a little bit like feet since I won’t stop wearing it; with half-eaten slices of pizza around me and pumpkin pie smeared on my face. As I continue to shovel more pumpkin pie and stare longingly at Michael Jordan on the back of my computer, with 80s movies on Netflix playing on repeat in the background. And every time Sarah Jessica Parker says in the opening scene of ‘Girls Just Wanna’ Have Fun’: “My daydream was always the same – that some day I was gonna’ get to Chicago, because that’s where they make Dance TV,” I mouth the words, bits of deli sandwich falling out of my mouth to mix with my homesick tears.

My fun fall swap arrived just in time to save me from this destitute.

Okay, it didn’t save me from shit. Framed, it now sits next to me on the couch and joins the ranks of things I stare longingly at. But it’s still a good thing. Big, big thanks to whomever my fall swapper was … your pick was perfect.

Now I would love for fall to be over. So then we’ll get through the holidays and holiday time depression can be over, then it will be a new year and who knows what the new year will bring?

My Complete List of Guilty Pleasures

Well, faithful blog followers, this afternoon I saw the commercial for Paranormal Activity 4 and I was again reminded that I have a whole entire list of guilty pleasures, the Paranormal Activity movies being one of them.

Although, while the majority of people’s guilty pleasures typically involve some sort of hedonistic pleasure – people getting erotic on the beach; old ladies getting their toes licked by cats whilst they savor every moist, titilating bite of a spoonful of Duncan Hines vanilla bean frosting – mine are typically just pleasurable in the sense that they all further my cynicism and misanthropy.

Here they are, in complete form.

#1 Eating in old, rundown places full of old people

I love going to old, rundown places full of old people to eat. There are a few locally that I cannot get enough of. The food is usually crap and the service is generally awkward, but it’s so much fun to sit there and watch all the weirdos that frequent those types of places. They aren’t always old, and they aren’t always weirdos, but they make for stories nonetheless.

There is a place near my dad’s house that we go to all the time and it is constantly rife with oddities. Old women are always walking around the place, rubbing their own asses as they ramble about wanting to sit in the one semi-attractive waiter’s section (I don’t think he’s attractive in the least bit, actually). It’s near the government center, so there are often a nice mix of whacko attorneys and recently released parolees as well. The best part is that they serve alcohol, and those senior citizens sure do like to drink. I watched two ladies (both of whom stood there while they waited to be seated in “Jose’s section,” rubbing their asses excessively, which is something I see old ladies do all the time and just don’t get); watched them suck back three bottles of champagne over the course of an hour and a half lunch once, and they both ordered hot dogs with apple sauce. Weird, huh?

#2 Buying shoes

I just purged my closet of clothing I never wear and shoes I haven’t touched in years. It was painful, to say the least; and the only thing that got me through was the fact that I knew I was doing it to justify shopping.

I love buying shoes, even when I know I’m not going to wear them often. Foot fetish? No. Shopping addiction? Not really. No, I love buying shoes because while doing so I  fantasize about all the people whose toes I can “accidentally” step on in them.

#3 Seeing the Paranormal Activity movies in the theater

Not just any theater, though – it has to be a theater chockfull of people that are screaming and yelling, and “oh no guuuuurl”ing the entire time. This requires a number of different factors to be in place, and a lot of research. When the first Paranormal Activity movie came out, we saw it in Culver City. Culver City is home to some of the most ghetto people on the planet; I heard “talk to the hand” and “get out of there dot com” at least four times, each, through the course of the film.

We saw the second and third in similar theaters, although the fourth is going to be a little more difficult because we’re living in a little more upscale of an area now. As I see it, I have 9 days to find the trashiest and at the same time most popular theater and get our tickets. Halloween-season will be incomplete if I cannot spend two hours watching complete and utter fucking morons scream.

#4 Reruns of The Simpsons

I watch The Simpsons every, single day. I mean that we own the seasons on DVD and every evening I turn it on when I go to bed. I go in chronological order and then when I’m done I just start at the beginning again. Every night, for years, I’ve done this. When I go out of town, I even bring the DVDs along with. I just can’t stop.

What I love the most about it is that I have a Simpsons analogy for just about anything. And I think I enjoy these fictional characters better than any real characters I happen to come across in my daily life.

#5 Listening to my Trailer Trash Mom’s stories

I know, I know … she’s a nightmare and I should stop letting her into my house because all she does is gobble up all our food and steal my stuff, just to return to her family where she spreads lies and rumors and talks mad amounts of shit about me.

But my mom’s train wreck stories are just so good sometimes.

Today she came over and I asked how things were going with her husband in New Mexico, because she hadn’t brought him up even in conversation for quite some time. The last time I heard was about a month ago, she said he had a cold. Well, apparently the cold has lasted for this whole month and now he has gone to the doctor and has some undiagnosable disease. His symptoms? Low grade fever, body aches, fatigue, and an inexplicable desire to do nothing but “lay in bed and fondle himself.”

It was difficult for me to keep a straight face long enough to get out of her eyesight on that one.

What are your guilty pleasures, faithful blog followers? Making sweet, sweet love on the beach while the waves roll over your supple yet flabby body? Bathing with your hamsters? Licking the oil off your plate after a nice meal of eggs and grits? Come on … dish it.

9 Things I’d Rather Do Than Eat Something Made Out of Whole Wheat Flour

This morning I went to the kitchen to make breakfast. I haven’t been grocery shopping in quite a few days, though, so the options were sparse. There were no eggs left, after I baked a double batch of cupcakes for an old professor’s surprise party last night. There was no cereal left I took interest in either. So I opened the pantry to throw together some sort of biscuits, only to find I had used all the white flour the last time I made pizza.

I was left with no option other than to use the wheat flour in the back of the pantry:  the whole wheat flour that I haven’t touched since I humiliated myself by trying to make my homemade pizza dough with it for a few friends that were over for dinner a few months ago. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I even bought the stuff. I’ll eat wheat bread, but the grains in it gross me out. Whole wheat pizza dough is absolutely vile.

Now I’m not referring to partial wheat, where it isn’t as grainy although still better for you. I’m also not talking about honey wheat. I’m talking about that whole wheat crap that tastes something like eating a chunky piece of sandpaper.

The result of my whole wheat breakfast biscuit was quite obvious. It tasted like shit. Crunchy, grainy, chunky shit. I realized then that there are quite a few things I’d rather do than eat something made out of whole wheat flour again.

#1 Lick the moldy grout in my bathtub

I need to clean the bathtub, and I imagine that were I to lick the bits of grout that are beginning to show signs of a little shower mildew, I would enjoy it much more than eating something made out of whole wheat flour. The consistency (I can only assume) would be much more appealing than the grainy crunch of just about everything made out of whole wheat flour.

#2 Eat my tropical fish – Achilles and Menelaus –

straight out of the fish tank

I know that’s pretty messed up. They are a part of the household, and it almost would seem like I’m eating family. That said, I would much rather pull them out of the tank and eat them alive than eat something made out of whole wheat flour again.

The problem with whole wheat flour is that it always screws with the directions or baking time of whatever it’s being used for. I don’t know why. I don’t fucking care why. All I know is that everything I’ve ever made out of whole wheat flour has to either be adjusted considerably just because of the flour, or come out burned on the outside and gooey on the inside. If I ate my two tropical fish raw from the fish tank, they’d be more well-prepared than anything with whole wheat.

#3 Get a high colonic in a random van in Venice, CA

I imagine that my stomach would feel a lot better after an enema, administered to me by a hippy in a random van in Venice than it does after I eat something made out of whole wheat flour. It can’t be the fiber, because I eat a diet high in fibers – fruits, vegetables, and healthy grains. I also do not have celiac disease, so don’t stop there and tell me all about how it’s time for me to go gluten free. I imagine it has to do with the horrible timing and preparation of foods made out of whole wheat flour. Whatever the case may be, after a healthy does of the crunch grain crap, my stomach feels horrible.

#4 Cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner to my entire family

#5 Cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner to my entire family in nothing but a Wonderwoman mask and crotchless panties

#6 Cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner to my entire family in nothing but a Wonderwoman mask and crotchless panties, and do my rendition of “New York, New York” during dessert

#7 Cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner to my entire family in nothing but a Wonderwoman mask and crotchless panties, and do my rendition of “New York, New York” during dessert, and pay all the settlements for eye and ear damage that follow

#8 Go on Wife Swap

Have you ever watched that show? I think there is nothing more painful than being taken from your own perfectly crafted lifestyle and being forced to live by someone else’s rules. There are plenty of times I watch that show and think to myself that I would never make it. What if I got put on a farm? What if I had to live for two weeks doing extreme couponing? What if I got matched with a family of hillbillies?

The only thing more painful than Wife Swap to me would be eating something made out of whole wheat flour again. The taste of grain and pasty shit rubbing along the interior of my mouth. Choking to swallow the dried up crap as it slowly churns down to reek havoc on my stomach. The flavor of whatever was cooked with it completely devoured by the distinct taste of horse manure that seems to always waft from a container of whole wheat flour.

Yes. I’d rather go on Wife Swap.

#9 Make out with my husband

after he hasn’t brushed his teeth for six weeks

Don’t get me wrong, my husband never goes more than half a day without brushing his teeth. Every morning. Every evening.

But let’s say for a moment that he suddenly stopped brushing his teeth and went for as many as six weeks without brushing once. By then, his teeth would be brown. They would have grain all over them. They’d smell like rancid wheat. And they would be covered in paste.

I would rather make out with that than eat something made out of whole wheat again. At least I wouldn’t have to swallow any of it.

I’m real fucking happy for you if you think whole wheat flour is the greatest thing next to stick butter. I – on the other hand – just can’t stomach it.

Four Parenting Lessons I Learned From My Mom

People sometimes tell me I look at the negative side of everything. I always think it’s funny when they say that, though, because it is only through being honest with yourself about a situation that you can make it better. Haven’t you ever gone to a wedding and thought to yourself “jeez, I’d never do that at my wedding?” Or had a shitty job and accepted the shittiness of it to push yourself to find something better? People with that gloriously naive-“must always look at the bright side of things”-approach to life generally (in my experience) stay in bad situations longer than they should because they can’t be honest about the uglier stuff that needs to change.

I refuse to waste my life accepting a pile of crap as a bed of roses just to sound pleasant to others. It’s just my opinion and approach to life, though. You don’t have to adopt it.

So last night I made my husband watch Mermaids with me. I’m on an 80s and 90s movies kick right now. It started with watching all the films Esquire suggested “all women” should watch, which included some 80s gems. Then as I perused through the Netflix Que, I noticed there were a ton I haven’t seen in ages. Some I had never seen at all.

It’s been so long since I last watched Mermaids that I had forgotten the crux of the story. It’s all about this teenage girl learning lessons in life from the negative bad-mom aspects of her “town tramp” of a mom. Reminds me a lot of my mom. For those of you faithful blog followers that are relatively new, I won’t beat around the bush: I call my mom Trailer Trash Mom for a reason. In the years since she divorced my dad, she has become a trashy, hillbilly, user and abuser; who has stolen, lied, and cheated more from me than anyone would tolerate. That whole “debt for life” thing has been repaid to her ten-fold at this point; although, I just can’t cut the ties because I want a relationship with my grandparents, which can only be facilitated if she is around (they think she’s the greatest thing next to stick butter, likely a consequence of old age and a very hefty piece of wool she’s pulled over their eyes).

In any event, watching Mermaids reminded me of the parenting lessons I’ve learned from the more negative aspects of my own mother.

Lesson 1:

Never make a promise to a child unless you plan on keeping it

Fortunately, when my mom breaks promises to me now, I only cry for about a day. When I was little, though, I’d cry for days – once a whole week.

I’m not talking about stupid promises. “Oh yes, you can ride the automatic-disease-ridden-pony in front of Toys ‘R’ Us next time, I promise.” I’m full of shit every time I say that, because that promise is to get the kid to stop bitching; although, will still not be happening. The thing has been covered with an unidentified slime for as long as I can remember.

I’m talking about big promises. “Dad promised he’d be at my Little League game and he didn’t show up or call!” is devastating, especially if it happens frequently.

Lesson 2:

Don’t turn your kid(s) into the parent

There’s a scene in Mermaids when Winona Ryder’s narration acknowledges that her character feels like the parent sometimes. And she is. Her mom is too much of a two-bit town whore (although she tones it down at the end) to even prepare a regular meal. This is something my mom used to constantly do.

When my mom first left my dad and moved across the country to Seattle, I’d visit twice a year. In the beginning she was the “other woman” to a married guy in the military, who was a night guard in the prison. Naturally, when her only daughter came to visit, she couldn’t run the risk of losing her status as the “other woman,” though, so she’d leave me sitting downstairs to fend for myself the entire trip, while she’d entertain him upstairs all day while his wife was at work. I even had to cook my own meals, which was difficult since I was only 10 at the time. I once threw Cheetos into a bowl of white rice I found in the refrigerator. Fucking disgusting.

Nothing sucks more than having to grow up too soon because your parent has the maturity of an infant.

Lesson 3:

Don’t ever introduce male suitors as “uncle”

I have had so many uncles in my life, it’s a good thing they weren’t real or family reunions would need a bigger venue.

My mother had so many men coming in and out of her life until only recently, when she married this guy that lives in a trailer out in New Mexico, I have lost count. I do know there were at least eight Mikes, three Rons, two black guys (the first was Marvin Gaye’s drummer), six with gambling problems, and one nice guy out of the bunch (who, of course, my mom dumped for no reason). Each of them was referred to as uncle, which just traumatized the shit out of me.

In recent years, she’s started introducing her boyfriends as “grandpa such and such” to the Pookies, which is when I realized the importance of this Lesson 3. I immediately put my foot down. No to “Grandpa Bugsy”. No to “Grandpa Yogi.” No to “Grandpa Mike.” And no … the hillbilly husband will be no “Grandpa Dennis.”

Lesson 4:

Never settle for less in life, or expect your kids to either

When I worked in pharmacy during college, I worked with a girl that would not allow her daughter to have any conveniences that she was not given as a child. She wouldn’t let the poor girl even go to birthday parties of other kids because she had not been allowed to as a child. It made me so sad every time I saw it happen, which was a lot in the six years I worked there. My mother has always been like this.

After divorcing my dad, my mom did nothing but settle for less. She’d debase herself to settle for men she found in bars. She’d settle for less with jobs and cars and housing and friends over and over and over again. She still does. Her most recent stunt of settling for less is starting to bite her in the ass – marrying this hillbilly in New Mexico. He’s a total jerk to her and she has the nerve to say that since she’s settling for jerkish behavior that I should too.

I don’t think so.

These four lessons that I learned from my mom are pretty important ones, and I wouldn’t have learned them had I not looked at the negative side of my mother’s behavior over the years. I almost feel grateful for my “negative” approach, because had I not taken it I may have just accepted these behaviors as acceptable and continued the cycle I see so many other women in my community continuing with their own kids. When you look at old movies, like Mermaids, you can see that a lot of people used to hold this perspective. Look at the world for what it really is and overcome it. Not just settle for happy positivisms all the time just to make everything seem great to others.

See how much happier I am in my “negativity”? I mean, can you even still call it “negativity” when so much good is coming out of it?