Entries categorized "Freakin' Jerks" Feed

Saturday 9: Beyond The Sea

Link up here if you're playing along today!

Saturday 9: Beyond the Sea (1959)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
1) This song mentions golden sands. When do you think you'll next visit the beach?
We were there on Monday, at the little laguna beach near our home. The kids wanted to swim after we did a photo shoot for our 2015 Christmas cards, but the beach was closed. My kids dubbed the place, Homestead Bayfront Park, "Remora Beach" after our first visit, when a remora (aka "shark sucker") visited me for quite a while. Anyway, I don't know when we'll go again, but probably once or twice before the year ends.

2) Shortly after "Beyond the Sea" hit the charts, Bobby Darin met and married movie sweetheart Sandra Dee. Her squeaky-clean image is spoofed in the song, "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee," from Grease. Can you name another song from Grease?
Ermagerd, you're talking about one of my favorite films! I can name them all! My favorite one is when Olivia Newton-John sings "Hopelessly Devoted to You." I've sung that song after many a heartache!
3) Years earlier, Bobby had an ill-fated romance with singer Connie Francis. According to Ms. Francis, Darin wanted to marry her, but her father forbade it. Have you ever had a relationship that your parents disapproved of?
Pffft. All but the first one and the last one, really! I'm completely colorblind when I date, but my WASP father is most decidedly not. And vocal about it. Ugh. It damn near annoys the crap out of me that he "approves" of my marriage.

4) Bobby was a Renaissance man: Grammy-winning singer, Oscar-nominated actor, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and an excellent chess player. Are you good at chess?
It's on my Bucket List to learn, because I have never done so. I have to soon, though, because my 7-year-old nephew, Harrison, challenged me to a chess game the next time I'm in Missouri to see him!

5) A car buff, he drove a 1960 custom car that was so unique and spectacular, it's now in a Detroit museum. The bright red paint was mixed with ground diamonds to ensure that it sparkled in the sun. Each of the four bucket seats had its own AC/heat control and radio speaker. The steering wheel was slightly squared for easier handling. What features would your dream car have?
I'll take a red Mazda Miata convertible, please. Done.
6) Beyond the Sea is also the name of the 2004 screen biography in which Kevin Spacey played Bobby Darin. Who would you choose to play you in the story of your life?
Right now, I'd pick Jennifer Lawrence, at least for my younger adult years. She's stunningly beautiful (har har, like I am), and she emotes perfectly. I'm very emotive, y'all.

7) When he was just 8 years old, Bobby Darin was stricken with rheumatic fever, and the disease left him with a dangerously weakened heart. Did you spend much time in the hospital when you were a kid?
Not a day after my birth. I probably should have, but I was raised as a Christian Scientist. No doctors. 

8) In 1959, when "Beyond the Sea" was popular, Alaska became our 49th state. What comes to mind when you think of Alaska?
Cold. Beautiful scenery, with the icebergs charging out of crystal waters. Land of the Midnight Sun.
9) In 1959, Conair introduced the first hair dryer developed for home use. Is there a hair dryer in your bathroom right now?
There should be, but Sophia, my ten-year-old daughter who inspired our family phrase for those household occurrences which might otherwise seam inexplicable "Because Sophie," probably never put it back after using it for an art project...
And thus we close. Thanks for the visit!

Sunday Stealing: 2014-2015 Meme, Part The First


Link yourselves right up here if you're feeling it today, folks! I am!

2014/2015 Meme, part one 

Stolen from: German Language Rocks 
1. What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about?


Hubs and I just celebrated our 14th anniversary, so that's on my mind. I'll definitely be telling the grandkiddos about how we met and eloped two months later!

2. If you had to describe your 2014 in 3 words, what would they be?
Brain Tumors Suck... yeah that pretty much sums up 2014!
3. What new things did you discover about yourself?
I've realized that I am stronger than I thought myself capable of being.
4. What single achievement are you most proud of?
I am, historically, a very wussy girl when it comes to standing up for myself to my dad. But when he came down to visit us for Thanksgiving, I did it. I stood up for what I thought was right, and I survived. Yeah!!!
5. What was the best news you received?
I was pretty stoked to hear my great girlfriend, Erin, is with child! Woot!
6. What was your favourite place that you visited in 2014?
In November, Hubs and I visited Playa del Carmen. It was gorgeous. The whole trip, overall, was pretty rockin'.
7. Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?
Perseverance. I have pretty kick-ass stick-to-it-iveness!
8. Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on?
I would like to be able to say that it was Hubs, because it usually is, but when they cut out part of his brain... it defaulted to the answer being the other person in this picture with him. So one or the other of us is my final answer! Take it or leave it. ;)
9. Which new skills did you learn?
This is going to sound silly, but I learned to perfect the way I cook my sunny-side-up eggs and make toast at the same time, so it comes out exactly, perfectly, the way I want it to be. It's the little things sometimes, okay?!
10. What, or who, are you most thankful for?
Oh, come on, now. You know I'm supremely thankful for my darling, beloved husband. Yes, he's different now, but he's still here. And that is everything.
11. If someone wrote a book about your life in 2014, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else?
I am certain it would have to be a comedy of errors. 
12. What was the most important lesson you learnt in 2014?
I learned that I am entitled to my feelings, have always been entitled to my feelings, and will always be entitled to those feelings - haters be damned!
13. Which mental block(s) did you overcome?
I decided I was ready to take the next step, at the end of 2014, in my knitting. I have always been afraid of success, but I am ready to pursue something that I believe I can really, truly great at. Hubs encouraged me to sign up for The Knitting Guild Association's Master course in Hand Knitting, and I did! Literally, just yesterday, I printed out the Level 1 coursework. I can't wait to join the ranks of master knitters. 
14. What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with?
Hubs, of course, and our three babies, naturally. For #5, I'll add my BFF, Dr. Lisa, with whom I visited at our high school reunion over the summer. Good times!
15. What was your biggest breakthrough moment career-wise?
Breakthrough: realizing that I don't have to finish my book by the end of the year, or even within two years. I can take my time to get it just right. Whew! (Because I'm nowhere near finished.)
16. How did your relationship to your family evolve?
A very important event happened within the boundaries of my extended family, and I'm not ready to share about that just yet... but it affected me profoundly. I'm still reeling a bit, trying to recover from it, and preserve those family relationships. It's tough.
17. What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?
I took my 13yo daughter, Chloë, to go see the movie Laggies. It affected us both differently and opened us up for a lot of deeper conversation on the way home. I watched it from the perspective of a mom, of course, and she watched it subjectively from the daughter's viewpoint. It wasn't the most profound story in the world, but it made me see that, even though I f**k up, I am a pretty damned good mom to these kids.
18. What was your favorite compliment that you received this year?
My dad told someone I was brilliant, and that the kids would get a stellar education under my tutelage. I was shocked; he's usually the guy who says the most jacked-up shit. It meant an enormous amount to me for him to say that!
19. What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life?
I love all my children dearly, and I have no favorites, but Sophia, the youngest at 9, is deliciously amusing. She cracks me up on a regular basis with the things she cooks up. Pain in the butt though she is, she's absolutely worth the trouble! ;)
20. What cool things did you create this year?
Most of my 'creations' involved yarn, I guess. Maybe not so cool to you, but I think it's pretty amazing what one can create with just sticks and string!
21. What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)?
Stressed is definitely the winner! And, sad to say, I'm a stress-eater, so I have gained a few pounds. I am going to remove them in the current year, by gosh!
22. Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year?
Hmm... that's a toughie! I've been thinking, and I can't come up with anything cool. Uh, I attempted to ride my kids' scooters (fail), and I pretended I was a planet (win)? Sheesh, I hope 2015 is more exciting when it comes to firsts.
23. What was your favourite moment spent with your friends?
Definitely the high school reunion!! I'm soooo glad we were able to get up there for it!
24. What major goal did you lay the foundations for?
The Master Knitter program, as mentioned above. Wheee!
25. Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?
Yeah,... pretty much all of them! Worry is such a time-suck for me. I gotta stop that nonsense.

Welp, as always, thanks for stopping by!

Sunday Stealing: The New Year Meme

Link up here if you're fabulous, darling!

The New Year's Eve Meme

 From the archives (and I'm going to spare you folks all the funny pictures today. I'm keepin' it real)!

In 2014, I gained:

all-new respect for my brain tumor-fighter of a husband.

I lost:

some excess baggage, in the form of "friends" who really weren't.

I stopped:

wondering when Hubs would recover.

I started:

wondering IF he would. :'(

I was hugely satisfied by:

my 20th high school reunion this past summer. I am so thrilled that I was able to go, and I had a fantastic time.

And frustrated by: 

our Chihuahua puppy Paco's inability to learn to pee and poop outside, rather than in the laundry.

I am so embarrassed that I: 

have such a messy house.

Once again, I:

suffered many migraines and was a frequent flyer at the local ER.

Once again, I did not:

find a suitable psychopharmacologist to help me manage my post-bariatric surgery bipolar medicine issues. :\

The biggest physical difference between me last December and this December is:

I've grown enough hair back to have had it cut several times! 

The biggest psychological difference between me last December and this December is: 

Oh, honey. I should write a book. Oh wait, I am.

I loved spending time:

with the people who loved spending time with me.

Why did I spend even two minutes: 

working on that ill-conceived fundraiser for those unfortunately-conceived, selfish people. Ugh. What a clusterf**k.

I should have spent more time: 

knitting for Stephanie's kiddo, Vinnie.

I regret buying: 

into the idea that if I weigh more, I'm worth less.

I will never regret buying... even though with that money I could have:

the girls each a bicycle with my Christmas gift card from my father-in-law, though I could have bought something for myself. I got what I really wanted, anyway.

I ...way too much.

complained about stupid sh*t

I didn’t... enough.


 ... drove me crazy.

My dad's ultra-Conservative and über-racist views...

The most relaxing place I went was:

into Hubs' arms. Especially when we were in Playa del Carmen, Mexico! Ahhhh...

Why did I go to...

so much trouble for those people, who crapped on me in return?

The best thing I did for someone else was:

for once, keep my mouth shut and simply apologize.

The best thing I did for myself was:

realize that my migraines were generated by nerve cord damage from my last c-section, nearly a decade ago.

The best thing someone did for me was:

think of me, when least I expected anything, at all, from that person.

The one thing I’d like to do again, but do it better, was:

express my sincere condolences for someone else's loss, while not mentioning my own feelings about it whatsoever. Publicly, anyway.

Happy New Year, folks! I hope 2015 is everything you want it to be.



Sunday Stealing: The 90 Meme, Part The First

Link up here if you're playing along today!

Here we go...

1. What was the highlight of your week? 


I've recently been able to get Radio Flyer scooters for the kids, and they've gotten proficient rather quickly on them. I love watching them zip, as a trio, around the neighborhood. I try to stand on one and can't do it, so I'm impressed with how well they've all been able to pick it up. It's wonderful watching them all getting along, too!

2. Whose car were you in last? 

Ours, which is almost always the case. I rarely ride in anyone else's.

3. When is the next time you will kiss someone? 


Sometime before the day is out, I'll have kissed everyone in my beloved family.

4. What color shirt are you wearing? 

Not that one. I'm wearing a Victoria's Secret tanktop underneath an Old Navy t-shirt, because I was too lazy to throw on a brassiere. :P

5. How long is your hair? 


About that long!

6. Are you good looking? 

I don't know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? I hate my teeth and the fact that my eyebrows are a different color than my hair!

7. Last movie you watched? 

This past week, we "forced" the kids to watch Grease one night and Dirty Dancing the next - the first time for them and about the 117th time (each) for me, since those are my favorite flicks. They all agreed they liked the former better than the latter. And they had a million questions about what was wrong with Penny in DD, so of course there was quite some discussion about some rather adult issues after that, but we don't shy away from such open discussion.

8. Who were you with? 


The whole fam-damily watched together.

9. Last thing you ate? 

We had a late-night date at The Cheesecake Factory last night. I opted for the Mac & Cheese balls. They're usually good, but last night all I could taste was excessive saltiness. Oh, and I had one bite of the strawberry cheesecake we brought home to the kids.

10. Last thing you drank? 

In an effort to curb my drinking of Diet Coke, I've found myself drinking Diet Mt. Dew instead, I said with my tongue firmly lodged in my cheek. :/ 


The last alcoholic beverage I had was a glass of dessert wine from Schnebly's, the local winery a few miles down the road from here. I didn't like it, but the avocado wine (in this photo) we bought was definitely one we'll purchase again. So delish!

11. When was the last time you had your heart broken? 

It's been a while. I'm good.

12. Who came over last? 

Now that the public schools are out for summer, and my kids are out on their scooters all the time, it seems they're making a lot more friends. Yay! So they're always bringing someone new over to meet us - and our cats. lolz

13. Are you happy right now? 

I had to post the shark one after yesterday's meme post, right?! Yes, I'm happy. I'm content.

14. What did you say last? 

Hubs isn't feeling too well today, so I asked him how he was feeling now.

15. Where is your phone? 

It's always right next to me, and if it's not, I panic just a li'l bit. Between that and my satchel, everything is in there but the fam!

16. What color are your eyes? 

According to my blond, blue-eyed sister, my eyes are "shit-brown." They have rings of green around the edge, which is getting wider as I age. What will she call them when they're all green? 

17. Are you left-handed? 

I'm pretty evenly ambidextrous, like my grandfather. There are certain things I can only do righty, but certain things I can only do lefty. I'm left-eye and left-foot dominant, in case you were wondering that, too.

18. Spell your name without vowels: 


Sometimes people spell my name, Melanie, and forget the "L," which always amuses me.

19. Do you have any pets? 


We have two cats, including this Maine Coon, Pepper, who is just a love and a mush. We also have Muffin, who is a right pain in the ass. She clawed me on a vein recently, and I'm sporting an enormous, ugly bruise on my leg now. But I have love for her, too...

20. Favorite Vacation? 

It will probably always be the Mediterranean cruise Hubs and I took in 2008. We started in Barcelona, then cruised to Venice. We visited Nice and Eze in France, stopped in Monaco, visited Lucca and Pisa in Italy, and we took a tour of Rome and stopped in Vatican City. We visited three ports in Greece and fell in love with Dubrovnik, Croatia, to my surprise. I wanted to ride a gondola in Venice, but I think we were broke by then! We flew out of Venice to Madrid before heading home, and that was interesting as well. That trip was just unforgettable. I blogged all about it here, if you're interested.

21. What do you dislike currently? 

No personal offense to anyone who smokes, but I do not, and it really irritates me when people go outside to smoke and then stand RIGHT by the entrance/exit of wherever they've left to go do it, forcing the rest of us to walk through that noxious crap in order to get in/out of whatever hospital, or restaurant, or wherever. Really? You can't walk 20 feet further away?! My youngest, Sophia, is extremely vocal to these people. I tell the kids to hold their breath as we're passing through a cloud of The Gross, but she'll wave her hands around and grump about it. I don't stop her... #SorryNotSorry

22. What are you listening to? 

I'm a pop music junkie. Right now MY song is playing, "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley. It's my theme music.

23. If you could have one thing right now what would it be? 

Right now, Hubs and I are in the serious preparation stages for living on a boat by the time I'm 40 in a couple of years. I'd give my left {Insert body part here} to have that life now! Even if it is currently thunderbooming and lightning...

24. What is your favorite scent? 

I'm a fruity-scent girl, especially the citrus ones. Can't stand vanilla or the floral scents, blech, so not me.

25. Who makes you happiest? 


Hubs, the love of my life, forever and always

26. What were you doing at midnight last night? 


Driving home from our date with this in a box for the Littles

27. When is your birthday? 

September 8th, which, with that year, should be easy to remember, right?! (Think about it...)

28. Who has the same phone as you? 

I have an iPhone 5. I hear it's popular?

29. Last time you went swimming in a pool? 


We went the other day. The kids were so mad when we had to leave because a baby puked in the pool. There's a much longer story in there about that, but I don't feel like going into it at the mo'. 

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday 9: I Will Always Love You

Hey, Party People! Link up here if you are, like me, ON TIME for S9 for once! Woohoo...

1) The Bodyguard is the best-selling movie soundtrack ever, and this is the song most often associated with Whitney Houston. Is it on your iPod/mp3 player?

Really, better than the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack? That one kicked ass. But no, I don't have IWALY on my iPod because all my damn music got deleted from iTunes, and I've no clue how to get it back! Anyone? Anyone?? (Yes, this has caused me much consternation.)

 2) In the movie, Rachel (Whitney) sings "I Will Always Love You" after she realizes she can never see Frank (Kevin Costner) again. What song reminds you of a past love?

I used to sing "When I See You Smile," by Bad English, to my high school boyfriend Ben on the phone. It's one of our songs. When I hear it now, it's usually on store muzak, and it always brings a nostalgic smile to my lips.

3) Despite the movie's and the song's overwhelming popularity, Whitney Houston was awarded a Razzie Award as the worst actress of 1992. What's the most recent criticism you received?

My friend Erica called me a lush and said I'm drinking a lot lately. I don't feel like I am - though I am drinking a lot more than usual - and it's really NOT a problem (I know, I know, they always say that), but it's true. I don't have an addictive personality and, hey, I can stop anytime I want! ;) (Please, I'm not making fun of alcoholics, so don't get your panties in a wad.)

4) On the bright side, share the last compliment you received.

My husband tells me I'm beautiful on the regular. It would be nice if I could accept the compliment, but I can't. Oh, and my friend Carlos, with whom I spoke on the phone last night for really the first time, told me I had a nice voice. Maybe it's the first time he paid attention to it?
5) In the 1980s, when Whitney first burst onto the scene, a trendy woman wore big hair, big bows and big shoulder pads. Can you think of anything you wore that was fashionable at the time, but looking back, makes you cringe? (An embarrassing photo to accompany your answer would be nice!)

High hair, with the front bang curling downward over the forehead and the rest of the bangs hairsprayed sky-high behind them, was all the rage in my middle school years. I don't have a picture of me like this, which is complete bullshit because of course I do, but I'm too lazy to get up and find that photo album right now!

6) When this song was popular, cell phones were uncommon and Facebook was unheard of. Which has had a bigger impact on your life -- smart phones or social networking? 

Oh, absolutely, it's my iPhone. I adore it. Of all my material possessions, it's my most important. Between that and my ubiquitous crossbody satchel, my whole life is in there. Please don't steal it!!

7) Whitney's marriage to Bobby Brown left many people shaking their heads. Whitney and Bobby's daughter recently married the young man who was raised as her brother. Have you ever been in a relationship your friends/family didn't approve of?

Pfft. Yeah, more than one. My first fiancé was black, as was my second. (I married the third, to my father's utmost relief.) My dad, on the other hand, thoroughly racist. It wouldn't shock me to find a white hood in his closet, if you're picking up what I'm putting down. When he first found out about my particular predilections in this regard, well, he hit the roof and made a LOT of threats. Guess what? It changed nothing. I'm still color-blind in matters of the heart.

8) Whitney Houston's grave marker reads, "I Will Always Love You," so obviously her family is very proud of the success of this recording. How would you like to be remembered?

If my children can look back over their childhoods and say to themselves, "Yeah, I had a good mom, and my upbringing was a happy one," I'll be ecstatic. If the rest of the world can say I made it a better place for having been in it, that will be icing on the cake.

9) Whitney was born in Newark, the largest city in New Jersey. It's a major air, rail and shipping hub, and it's in the Eastern Time zone. Have you ever been to Newark ... or any town in New Jersey? 

Oh, hells yes. My grandparents lived in Leonia, NJ, and I flew in and out of Newark - usually from Syracuse, where I lived - countless times to visit them. Other than New York and Florida, I probably spent most of my time in the Garden State. My mother and her parents are buried there, so I'll be back. I'll be back...


Double Whammy: Saturday 9 & Sunday Stealing

"Wow, I can't believe Smellyann is late with her memes," said no one ever. :\

Link up here if you're late on Saturday 9, like I am!

1) Sam has affection for this song because, when she was very young, she tap-danced to it for a Christmas recital. Her parents told her she was wonderful. Do you have any memories from a school/church program or pageant -- either as a child onstage or an adult in the audience?
I have lots of them. My first really big show was as the Caterpillar in a 5th grade production of Alice in Wonderland. My stepmother sewed me a kick-ass costume with lots of arms and legs (hey, no one is 100% evil), and I completely stole the show when I came out. I sang, I danced, I won over the crowd. It was awesome. I'll have to find a picture of that some day.

2) Ok, she admits it: After too many cups of holiday cheer, Sam did a few steps of her "Jingle Bell Rock" routine at last year's company Christmas party. Have you ever done anything at a co-worker get-together that you now regret?
I've never been to an office holiday party. However, I have done some things with my boss(es) at various jobs. I was unattached at the time, but... they weren't! :\ I think I will keep the rest of those stories to myself. For now.

3) Since that unfortunate Christmas 2012 incident, Sam can't even look at a cup of egg nog. How about you? Do you like egg nog?
I like egg nog, always have, but I've never had it spiked. I can no longer drink Goldschlager for a similar reason, however, after having to live with the smell of puked-up cinnamon schnapps outside my college dorm window (I didn't quite make it OUT the window and had no way to clean up the mess) for an entire semester! Blergh.

4) For special events, Sam slips on her favorite piece of jewelry: a charm bracelet that once belonged to her grandmother. Do you have a special treasure from a previous generation? 
I have all of my mom's vintage costume jewelry. My dad held onto it for over 25 years after she died and finally gave my sister her "good" jewelry and me the costume pieces. I can remember her wearing some of them, which is wonderful because I have so very few memories of her at all. ♥

5) The only Christmas card Sam has received so far in 2013 is from her insurance agent. How about you? Have any holiday cards arrived yet?
I just have one from Jafra HQ and one from the University of Miami Alumni Association. I sent out our cards early, knowing no one would have our new Miami address yet, but.. it doesn't seem to have mattered. It doesn't matter. I still love sending them to our loved ones!

6) Because of the chill in the air, Sam gave her dog his Christmas gift -- a sweater -- early this year. He's already gotten compliments on it. Are there any pets on your gift list?
Our three male cats need to get neutered, but I'm putting that off until 2014. Getting your nuts whacked off isn't much of a gift, after all. We did get our five cats some catnip treats, which we've already given them, and they went appropriately crazy for them!

7) Do you need snow to get "into the spirit?"
Fortunately, no, because it'll be a sad thing if we get snow down here! I do like the lights, trees, music and all o' that, though. Just no schnae, please. ;)

8) Are you going to get/have you gotten a flu shot this year?
I got one in September. I confess, I totally got it just so I could get a 20% off coupon for my entire shopping trip!

9) December is an important fundraising month for charities. Here's your chance to plug a worthy cause that means a lot to you.
We donated several dozen toys in our son's memory to U. Miami's Holtz Children's Hospital this year. We'll donate more for Robby's birthday in March, too. We also donated oodles of toiletries, along with coffees and sugars, to the local Ronald McDonald House, which I'm glad for because we stayed at the one in Pensacola when our oldest daughter, Chloë, was admitted to the NICU for ten days in 2001. And finally, I donated more toys to the Toys For Tots bin at a local retailer a couple weeks ago. All great charities. Thanks for the chance to plug them!
* * * * * * * *
And now, link up here if you're playing along with Kwizgiver and the gang today!
The Blerp Meme
from Lucy B.'s Surveys

When you get a headache do you take painkillers right away or try to wait it out?  
Generally, I treat as soon as I recognize an oncoming brain pain. If I don't, mine almost always turn into full-blown migraines. They almost never just go away on their own.

 Is there a really funny YouTube video you’d like to recommend to me?  
I'm not much of a YouTuber unless I need directions for a knitting or a baking technique or something. I rarely watch it just for kicks. 

Did you watch Sesame Street when you were little?  
I did, along with my sister and our then-BFF, Ursula. Her mom babysat us, and we watched it every morning!

What’s the last thing you touched, other than your computer?
I just put the plate from the cheese-and-onion omelet Hubs made me into the sink. Delishamus!

When was the last time you talked to your best friend?
We chat on Facebook more than on the phone anymore, except when I have a medical question and she's not online. Which isn't all that infrequent, but I don't think since Summer. I'll have to call her for Christmas and remedy that!

How often do you listen to music?
I always have the I Heart Radio playing on my iPhone while I'm sitting here at my desk, which is daily, and the same station on the car radio whenever I'm driving. Rob and I have a rule - whoever is driving gets to pick the station.

What color is your cell phone?  
It's white, but the Otter Box covering it is pink, because they were out of Orange and Green (go 'CANES!!), boo.

What is the last non-alcoholic beverage you drank?
I made a 7-Eleven run tonight with Chloë. I refilled my Enormous Gulp and my Super-Humongous Gulp with Diet Mt. Dew. It's better than Diet Coke, but not much... I drink the organic stuff when I can, but that shit's 'spensive, and I chug a LOT.

Do you like to wear sweatpants?  
I do, but you know what? Apparently it's not cool to wear them in public. I didn't really know that until the interwebs told me. And to think I wore them with Tevas, t-shirts and a ponytail in my college days, along with all my designer label-wearing co-eds. Heh. (Toldja I wasn't very cool.)

What song are you currently listening to? Who sings it?  
I've got Katy Perry singing "Hot N Cold" in my ear at the mo'.

Have you ever gotten a black eye? 
I have walked into my share of things, but I've never gotten them from a fist, fortunately!

What caused it?  
Oh. See, I never read ahead. I like each question to be a surprise. I did have an ex break my two front teeth, once. Smelly's no stranger to violence, but thank God it isn't something my children experience, let alone on a regular basis. The buck stopped here.

How many times have you checked up on your ex?  
The aforementioned chops-busting ex isn't even on my radar, even though a mutual friend informs me about his life on the regular. I really don't care to know. I did care, however, when I learned he was tracking me! I had to put a stop to that with some Facebook blockage. As for others, I'm still friends with several of them, and the few that aren't in my life aren't worth mentioning.

If you had to get a tattoo what would it be?  
I can't imagine a scenario other than being in a concentration camp where I would be required to get a tat, in which case I wouldn't have much of a choice, so I'll have to plead guilty to not understanding this question. HOWEVER, if I wanted to get a tattoo, it would probably be a sirrusly artistic rendering of my four children's initials.

How many tabs are open right now?  
On Chrome, I have three - this one, the Sunday Stealing one, and the Saturday 9 one. I also have three tabs open on Internet Explorer, which I prefer but which doesn't allow me to do everything blahg-related that Chrome does. I hate Chrome in most cases, though, which is why I refuse to use it most of the time. Don't even speak to me of Firefox!

Are you scared of needles?  
Nope. I have no qualms. Which is good for the Red Cross and the local bloodmobile, since I'm a proud donor of my O-neg blud, as often as I'm allowed. It took me months upon months to find a place to donate here in Homestead, but I'll be back every 56 days, like clockwork, now that I know where to go! (Okay, I admit, even I have to turn my head away while that big, fat needle is going in my arm.)

Do you believe love can last forever?  
Of course I do. Rob and I have been together 13 years now, and I know we're going to grow old together and turn into trees, rooted into the ground, with inseparable branches. Our grands and their grands will have picnics under our shade! ♥

Are good-byes easy or hard for you?
Oh, very hard. I suck at good-byes. Hellos are much more Smelly-friendly. I'm one who says, "So long, see ya later," rather than "Good-bye." :) 

Would you rather sing or dance?
I can do both fairly well, but I'd rather be exceptional at both - and frequently, I daydream that I am!
Here's to another fun week ahead! Tomorrow, I have to pretend I'm the richest of the super-rich, which should be fun, since the most expensive thing I own probably comes from Old Navy. Ha!

Sunday Stealing: I Amuse Myself Meme


So I'm late and it's Monday morning. What else is new?!

Link up here if you're a late bloomer like me. ;)

01. What is something that you have lost recently?: 

When we went out Sunday afternoon, I yelled at the kids, namely Sophia, for not putting my sunglasses back on the front door shelf like I asked them/her to.  I had to eat crow hours later, when I found them in my tote bag, where I had put them. Oops. (Of course, I apologized to them.)

02. Do you own any self-help books?

I try to avoid it. I don't think I do.

03. Do you live near the sea or ocean?

I live in Miami. You could say that!

04. Have you ever spent ages making/writing something on your computer when it suddenly crashed and you lost it all?: 

Of course I have. I remember the time I was writing my final Geology paper in college and didn't save as I went. Almost finished the paper and lost the entire thing when the power went out in my dorm's computer lab. Argh! It was due the next morning at 8 AM, and this was at, like, 9 PM. I had to type furiously just to get it done. I still got an A!

05. Do you enjoy food shopping?

Yeah, for the most part. We've renewed our zeal for eating organic foods, especially meat and dairy, for our growing kids' sakes. Not to get into it right now, let's just say I'm glad the Whole Foods isn't too terribly far from home... but it is fun to go in there, amiright?

06. What are you having for lunch?

I don't know yet. Before I lost weight, I used to think about my entire next day's eating plan. I'd get so excited about eating it, I couldn't sleep! Kinda sad. I don't do that anymore. But coincidental to our GMO heave-ho, I'm on a diet and fitness kick for myself. So maybe an egg-white omelet with organic cheese and sautéed Vidalias?

07. Are you one of those people who can sleep through anything?

I'm the person who struggles like crazy to GET to sleep, and often to STAY asleep, but once I do, mannnnn, I sure hope you don't need me for anything, 'cause I am OUT!

08. Do you like love letters?

I mean, I guess. Who doesn't? I would say I like an unexpected love letter more than anything, though!

09. Have you ever received or written one?

So, yeah, Rob and I used to write them to each other before we got married, and we still have those somewhere, I think. Maybe, or maybe I decided to get rid of them before the kids found them? They were pretty naughty. But one time, ages upon ages ago, I got a letter I didn't expect, from a friend-with-benefits, and he wrote, "You're not the girl OF my dreams, but you're the girl IN my dreams." I loved that line. Obviously. We're still friends (though no more benefits, of course); I sure hope he doesn't read this!

10. How far does your nearest relative live?

I live way down there at the tippy-tip of Florida, and my dad's up in western central South Carolina. It's far, but sometimes it's not quite far enough, you know what I mean?

11. Do you like velvet?

I suppose? Sure. It's fun to rub...? Silliness.

12. What kind of art do you like?

I'm a huge, huge fan of Romero Britto's work. the giclée above hangs on our living room wall. It symbolizes so much about our marriage.

13. If you went to London, where would you go first?

Call me cliché, but I'd have to go see Big Ben! Then I could go off the beaten track a bit more.

14. If you had to pick one friend who is the most interesting, who would you pick?

Maybe my friend Shana. She's an accomplished concert violinist who has played with Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Josh Groban, and goodness knows who else. Her entire family is musical. Her dad fronted (fronts? I don't know) the band Todd Hobin and the Heat, and you may have heard some of the jingles he's written, too. Her mom used to sub in our choir in high school, and they're all just... amazingly talented. 

15. Can you think of the meanest thing you have ever done/said to someone?


Yeah. I think I've shared it here before? Maybe not. Ugh. I hate to even think about it, though it was 20 years ago.

My sister was the skinny and pretty one; I was the intellectual. She went to BOCES (New York-speak for trade school) for Cosmetology training in high school, and she came running up to me at my locker one day with her report card, all excited to tell me that she got all As and had the highest grade in her class. I immediately blurted out, "Try doing that with my classes," or something equally horrid. Her face fell, and she was completely crushed. I felt positively wicked, but there was no taking it back. Maybe she's forgiven me for that, but I don't know if I ever will.

16. What magazines do you read?

I guess sooo many magazines from free subscriptions, it's absurd. I barely have time to glance at most of them, but I do absorb every detail of People. It's my guilty pleasure.

17. What/who has been on your mind today?

For most of Saturday and all of Sunday (and, it seems, into Monday), I've had an agonizing migraine. It's entirely the reason why I didn't post here over the weekend, though I meant to. It was terrible - the puking, crying, everything. The worst one I've had in a very long time.

18. Would you be interested in ghost-hunting?


No, absolutely not. I've zero interest.

On that note...!




Friday Fragments, Version 11.15.13


Link up with Mrs. 4444 if you're fraggin' today! 

If you've been following along here for some time, you know that my husband, Rob, retired in June of this year and subsequently had 5 Cyberknife surgeries on his brain tumor. The Cyberknife worked; the tumor is gone, but it also caused more problems: there is bleeding and swelling in Rob's brain, and he's been in and out of the Neuro-ICU for months to get treatment.

Well, an update:

I took him for yet another MRI on Monday, and brought him to the neurosurgeon's office on Tuesday to go over the test. He confirmed the tumor IS gone, and depending on contrast, it looks like the swelling is going down.

That's all well and good, but Rob has to stay on the problematic steroid meds that have caused a 30-lb weight gain, major joint pain (he's walking with a cane now, at 41), mental confusion, and a host of other issues he'd probably rather I didn't report here. After the next planned MRI in January, we're hoping he can step down off the Decadron, because ugh! It's terrible for him. 

Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers during this time.


No more Odyssey for us. We got our Honda Ody in 2010, at the end of the model year. Three years and change later, we were here, at home, when Jack said there was someone outside. It was late at night. I opened the door, and there was Penelope being towed away, at racehorse speed, unceremoniously. 

We have LoJack, so we knew exactly where it was, and why:

1.  Our registration was expired, because we missed a few payments and Honda wouldn't, therefore, give us the title information so we could go get new, current, Florida tags. So our homeowner's association had us towed, right from our reserved parking space. At 11 PM. NICE.

2. In order to get it back, we needed to show current title and tag information. Honda now said no, we would need to pay the full $18K owed on the vehicle in order to get that from them. REALLY NICE. Guess fewer people care about retired veterans (with brain tumors, no less) than you might think?!

3. Not having 18K, we took some of the money we received as a donation from a veteran's fund to buy this (pictured above) 2004 Chevy Trailblazer in cash, paid in full, and immediately got new tags and stickers so we would not get towed again. This was about 5 or 6 weeks after Penelope got towed. Rob was trying to buy us a car, but his brain was too muddled to complete the process, so I took over and got it done in one day. I got fed up with all the walking everywhere, needless to say!

4. Today, a week after getting "Miguel" (because this Chevy felt masculine to me, and because the seller spoke only Spanish, LOL), we finally went down to the shady-@$$ tow lot to get all of our belongings - including the kids' booster seats - out of Penelope. On our way home, I called up Honda and told them where they could pick up their freakin' van. The guy on the phone was actually very sympathetic; he actually apologized and sounded genuinely sorry when I explained our situation, but of course there was nothing he could do about it.

So. That's that. Miguel is pretty decent, has a few minor problems and fixes are necessary, but we'll get to those in time. My only real complaint is that there is no 3rd row of seating, so the kids are all right next to each other in the back, and Oh. My. God, are they driving us crazy with the squabbling!! They aren't used to that, but guess what? They'll have to get used to it, because this is what we've got right now!


I love globes. I love maps; I love anything that represents traveling the world (or even space)! So when we spied this antique wooden one at the thrift store across the street from the tow place, I had to mosy on over there and take a wee gander. Rob was guessing $150, while I thought more like a hundred bucks, but the guy only wanted $75. Nevertheless, it was about $74 more than I was prepared to spend at the moment, so I had to take a pass. I walked quickly through the terribly-cool shop to see what other wares he had, and I found quite a few interesting things. I bought nothing, but it sure was fun to take a peek!


Since we've been house-bound for a month and a half, or however long we didn't have a vehicle, I've been suffering a bad case of cabin fever. So I got on the computer yesterday morning and, after deciding driving down to Key West and back was not what I wanted, looked around Groupon to see if there were any good deals on something fun (and cheap!) we could do closer to home. (It's about a 7-hour round-trip to Key West from here.) I found it! We headed up to Sawgrass Mills Mall, in Fort Lauderdale, Groupon for the arcade in hand, to have some much-needed respite from all the drama and negativity we've been dealing with for a while. The kids LOVE the fountains there; they are always walking up and around them and making wishes... I hope they come true.


The Groupon was for two hours of unlimited play on the attractions, including tons and tons of awesome games and ticket-giving machines for redeeming prizes. Gameroom is a really fun place for kids, if you're ever in Ft. Laudie... Sophia played this claw game and won a huge ball that she's been driving me crazy ever since, bouncing and tossing around in the house. It's just a matter of time until something gets broken...!

So, we were hoping Rob would get at least a 30% disability determination from the VA. They recently made their decision: 90%! We are no longer destitute, struggling to put food on the table, and all that fun stuff. We can finally pay our bills again, have a running, paid-off vehicle, plenty of food, and can occasionally actually go do something. It's a really good feeling. Honey, I'm sorry that the Navy broke you, but thank you for your service to our country - and our family. ♥

Lowe's Build & Grow

The kids had a Build & Grow Clinic at Lowe's on Saturday morning. Rob usually takes them, but he wasn't up to it, so for the first time I went. Oh, my word. First, there are 3 dozen kids, pounding away, so I was glad not to have one of my ever-present headaches.

Second, I'm not so good with building stuff. It's just not my forte. So when the kids asked me for help, I was all, "uhh, uhh, okayyy, I'll try..." and they looked at me just as uncertainly as I was looking at the directions. 

In the end, my kiddos stayed true to form, and this is how it went:

Jack decided to skip Mommy's help and went off in a corner to build it himself. He did a good job, since he's very perfecting and meticulous about these things, but his pull-back car wouldn't go. He was pretty mad about it and didn't want to take the dang thing home. I insisted.

Chloë, my dainty little flower, needed TONS of help hammering in her nails, and she followed the directions to a 'T.' Her car didn't go when pulled back, either, but she didn't care because she decorated it with pretty little pink flower stickers, and that was good enough for her.

Sophia didn't follow the directions at ALL, needed a bare minimum of help from me - just to finish hammering in a few nails - and her car worked perfectly. That's my Sophie for you! 

That's about it from me this week. We're headed to the Fish Fry and Seafood Festivale here in Homestead tomorrow (another cheap Groupon!), so look for pictures of that on "Sundays in my City" in a coupla days.






Saturday 9: If It Makes You Happy

Link up here if you're a 9'er like I am!
Sheryl Crow is a breast cancer survivor and October is Breast Cancer Awareness MonthPlease spread the word about early detection.

1) What's something that always makes you happy?
Hearing my kiddos laugh heartily
2) In the lyrics, Sheryl refers to a poncho. How do you usually protect yourself from the rain? Poncho? Umbrella? Raincoat? Hat?
I usually use an umbrella. Or nothing. I love walking in the rain... but at Disney and other such places, we'll use ponchos.
3) Early in her career, Sheryl made ends meet by singing commercial jingles, including one for McDonald's. When was the last time you visited The Golden Arches?
I try not to eat there ever, because ew, but I'll admit I have gone there in the past six weeks or so for an egg white McMuffin. They're okay.
4) Sheryl rode a horse into the ring of a Wyoming rodeo and then sang. Have you ever been to a rodeo?
No, and I never will. Because ew.
5) Sheryl lives outside of Nashville, which is known as Music City. What type of music do you listen to most often?
I listen to Top 40 pop music most of the time. Because ew. (Okay okay, I'll stop that now!)

6) Crazy Sam is a massive Sheryl Crow fan and is sure that the only reason why she and Sheryl aren't best friends is that they haven't met. What famous person do you think could be your BFF?
Probably someone goofy like Drew Barrymore
7) Sheryl and cyclist Lance Armstrong were once engaged. Had they tied the knot, she would have become stepmother to his three children. Are you a step-parent, stepsibling or stepchild?
I was a stepdaughter. I may have mentioned my Cinderella story once or twice here on the blahg. ;) I had an evil, horrid, wicked stepmother after Mom died, from when I was seven until I was 17 and graduated high school. Technically, I've had three of them, but only one as a youth.
8) Sheryl has performed carols at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Washington DC. Have you ever visited your nation's capital?
Yes, when we lived in Virginia we went to D.C. at least once or twice a year. Ever American should go, IMNSHO.
9) Do you consider yourself easy going or do you have a fiery temperament?
I have red hair for a reason! ;) "Easy going" are the absolute last words anyone would use to describe me. I wish it weren't so, but alas...

Sunday Stealing: Awkwardly Intriguing Questions

Link up here if you're playing along today!

1. What’s something you hide about your personality?

Online, and especially here in my little chunk of the blahgosphere, I don't really hide anything. What you see is what you get. But IRL, I hide a lot. Literally and figuratively. I don't like attention focused on me, I don't usually speak my mind face-to-face, and I am painfully shy. Most people who read my mind blahg, I mean, not mind! probably wouldn't have guessed that. People who think they know me generally don't.

2. How do you deal with criticism?  

I don't handle it well, to be honest. I have quite a bit of paranoia about it. I generally feel that if you don't like something I'm doing, you must hate me. It goes along with my first answer from yesterday's Saturday 9; when you're told constantly what a piece of shit you are, you tend to believe it. If you're going to criticize me, please be gentle and couch it in love. Otherwise, I tune out. Or cry. Or both.

3. What’s something sweet you’d like someone to do for you?

Every Mother's Day, all I ask for is a clean house. I don't think I've ever gotten it. It's okay.

4. Which fictional character would you most like to have lunch with and why?  

Anne Shirley from the Green Gables series. I think she'd be immensely entertaining, for one thing, and just generally good company.

5. Who would you say is your “anti” role model? Someone who serves as a warning rather than an inspiration?

Oh, that's an easy one: My evil stepmother. She taught me exactly how not to parent my own children. Everything she did, everything she was, is the opposite of how I want to be. I'm breaking the cycle of abuse: the buck stops here.

6. What’s the most infuriating thing your parents (or caregiver) do?

My father is so self-centered, even my then-seven year-old told him that the world doesn't revolve around him but rather the sun. I grew up as the "yes, Daddy, anything you say, Daddy" kid and was therefore his favorite. (Why? Because I needed his protection from his wife.) When I went off to college and got a mind of my own, that stopped completely. We're not that close anymore. I hold him at arm's length now. I'm pretty sure he hates it.

7. Which movie character do you most identify with and why?

Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind really spoke to me. I'm not saying I have that level of genius, but I feel locked inside my own brain much of the time, to the point that it sabotages my relationships. I'm lucky to have such a supportive, understanding husband. 

8. You’re an Action Movie Hero. What’s your weapon of choice and the line you scream when defeating your arch enemy?  

I'd go right for the jugular, like she did. I'd make it slow and painful, like she did. And I wouldn't let her say a word in defense of herself, like I couldn't. I'd get in close and quiet, and calmly ask, "How do you like me now, bitch?" and lock eyes with her, like I never never could before. Ooh, sounds evil... but I'm the good guy in this story.

9. What’s the oddest term of endearment you’ve ever used or that someone’s used for you?

It's either "Willis," which is my term of endearment for everybody, or "Chicken Poop," which I reserve especially for Chloë (my 11yo). I have no idea why I say the latter.

10. What was something you used to enjoy, but was ruined for you? What’s the story behind that?  

I used to love to sing and dance in public, but when I was 15, my stepmother said she wasn't going to continue paying for lessons. She said, and I quote, "I wasn't worth paying for." {{Ugh, I mistyped again. Obviously, she was talking about me and not herself. Der.}} She didn't buy me food or feminine hygiene products or anything after that. Life sucked.

11. Which mythological creature are you most like? Why? And if you could be any mythological creature, which would you want to be? Why?  

I'm like the mythical Phoenix, rising from the ashes. During my childhood, after Mom died and The Bitch From Hell came along, my joy was obliterated and I became a completely different person, angry, hostile, and afraid to live life. But I'm overcoming that and becoming ME again, anew. That suits me fine, I guess.

12. Describe your dream library.  

There would be an endless supply of books, and ladders that I could ride down the length of it on, and I would lend them out to only my reponsible friends. ;) And cushy, comfy chairs to curl up in, and a fireplace - away from the books - and a viewing/listening center for audio-visual materials - and a bathroom, and a snack bar. And a dog for a companion, at all times.

13. If you could design an amusement park ride, what would it be like?  

I'm pretty tame when it comes to the rides I ride, but in reality, I'm a little wild and crazy, a little spontaneous, and I embrace the unexpected. So I can't tell you; you'd have to find out for yourself. And no two rides would ever be the same.

14. Do you have any “rules” about food? 

My number one rule is NO MUSTARD. I not only hate it, but I have a phobia about it. I have no idea why.

No mammals; I don't eat 'em.

I was a marine biologist pre-marriage, so I can't eat anything I've studied. I take that on a case-by-case basis. I'll pretty much never eat Littorina ziczac - but who does?

No raw tomatoes; they make me gag.

No mushrooms; I don't do fungus as a general rule.

No baked beans. Even the smell of them makes me puke.

And for the kids: take what you want, but eat what you take! No wasting. I hate waste.

15. What’s your opinion on age differences in relationships?

I say, unless it's statutory rape, then go for it! Who am I to judge? As long as you're both happy and consenting adults, it's fine.

16. What’s something you want to do that you’d be embarrassed to tell other people about?

The only thing I would be embarrassed to tell are some of my sexual exploits, past, present and future. Those don't get written about here. Everything else is fair game, I think.

17. Describe a time/event in your life that you’re nostalgic for.

Of course, I would give anything to have my mom and son back to have and to hold...

Well, this was kind of a depressing post from me today, huh? Sorry about that, but it's real. It's always real.

Have a good week, y'all.


Friday Fragments: 5.31.13 Edition

Half-Past Kissin' Time
I'm linkin' up with Mrs. 4444 for the first time since before we moved to Miami! Friday didn't sneak up on me for once, so here I am. Link up here if you're fragmenting today. Let's go!
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As if we didn't have enough critters, Sophie brought home a cupful of tadpoles from the park after our picnic Saturday. We don't exactly stock adolescent frog food on a regular basis, so... Rob fed them some canteloupe. Guess what? They ate it. They're still eating it. I haven't run out for tadpole feed since they joined the homestead, so they're stuck with melons. It works.
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This is Chloë's "kitten," Pepper. Those of you with stellar memories may remember that last Fall, after we rescued him, he nearly died and needed several blood transfusions. We didn't know if he'd make it, yet here he is, alive and, as she calls him, "fluffy"! Pepper is one big cat. He's beautiful, though, and is probably my favorite feline of the bunch. I love him, the sweety. ♥ So glad he's here.
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I was at Michael's on Monday, looking around like crazy for buttons, when I came upon this "Craft Supplies" department. Um, hello? It's Michael's, for Pete's sake. Doesn't that describe the whole store??!
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After I made the Presto Chango sweater for Stephanie's son Vinnie, who is allergic to darn near everything under the sun, I needed some instant gratification. I had this ribbon yarn left over from a wreath I made, so I cast on 20 stitches and just knit every row. No pattern needed, and it turned out pretty cool. Sophia watched me make it with keen interest, so after I bound it off the needles, I handed it over to her to keep. She was shocked and delighted! I made her so happy, which thrilled me endlessly. It's the little things. ♥
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So I think I'm going to change the name of my blahg from "Smellyann Strikes Again" to... I'm not sure. Just "Smellyann"? "Smellyann's World?" No, that's lame. I need thoughts and suggestions. Only my nickname appears in the URL, so no harm, no foul
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After I read this post from Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day, I knew we needed to make these Shrinky Dink crafts for Rob and the kids' two grandfathers for the upcoming Father's Day. I hustled over to Michaels for tie tack backings and inkjet Shrinky Dink paper, but I only found the latter. No shocker there. So I subbed earring posts and backs for the tie tacks, and I think that'll work. Sometimes good enough is good enough, right?


Are these not adorable?! Yes, we gave the presents to Rob some three weeks early (we'll still do more for him on his actual day, don't worry), because we needed his help finishing the presents. Yeah, that sucks, I know. But though the tie tacks worked, the keychains didn't. We put holes in the paper pre-shrinking, and they closed up in the oven! D'oh! I gave Rob the task of figuring out the hole-making for those. Hee. Still, all five of us loved this project and are going to do it again in the future. Thanks, Jordan!
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Since the Sophie scarf, I've had bad knitting juju. First there was this gorgeous yarn. I haven't looked at it in natural light in a while, but I'm pretty sure it's tomato red or even orange, not the cherry red it looks like here in artificial lighting. Anyway, whatever. It's fingering weight yarn, which is pretty fine, and it kept tangling up on me. I have a lot of yardage, meaning I can make a good-sized project for Vinnie, but I could not find a good pattern to go with it to save my life. Finally, after a prolonged search, I found one. Whew.

This was the project. It was as complicated as it looks there with all ten stitch markers. I didn't get much farther than that before I ripped it all out. I couldn't make heads nor tails of the pattern after that and was completely irritated afterward. Bah!

Then I pulled out this Madeline Tosh yarn, which is absolutely gorgeous and, let's face it, pretty spendy premium yarn. For what I paid, you'd think it would wind beautifully from the hank into a knittable cake. Not so. It knotted up, wound back on itself, and was a complete mess. I bandied about lots of bad words and had a black cloud hanging over my head. In the end, Rob wound it into a ball for me, but I still couldn't find a decent project for it. Double BAH!

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I did finally pull out another hank of yet another beautiful yarn for a new Vinnie project, and it's going well so far. Still, it's on circular needles, and I hate circular needles, so the going is slow. I'm determined to make this one stick, though!
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Oh, hi again, Pepper! Sorry to bother you while you're doing your business. That wasn't the plan.... we have a bunch of cats, so the litterbox is an ongoing issue, with the cleaning and the changing and the sweeping of tracked litter all over the floor. So I was excited to get a deal from PetSmart.com on these Tidy Cats Breeze litter systems, which uses pellets instead of litter - no tracking! And there are pee sheets to change in a drawer under the main poopy compartment so... am I really telling you this? Let's just say, these three thingamabobs should simplify our lives greatly, and I'm a wee bit excited about that.
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So, I've mentioned before that I play a lot of Words With Friends. I have a new 'friend' onboard with me, and, well, it's obvious that she cheats at the game. It pisses me off! I still think I'll win, but that's not cool. What do you do? Continue the game even though you know your opponent is a cheater? Or call it a day on them and end the game?
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Jack, Sophia and Chloë love their new Kindles. We got them the 7" HD Fire versions, ostensibly for school, but they play games on them all the time, too. They adore them so much, it's become difficult to get them to put them down. So we've had to institute a new rule: chores first, then Kindles. No chores, no Kindles. It works. I do find it amusing to see the five of us sitting around together on our various technological devices. Of course, we get plenty of book time, face time, and outside time, too, but I think this is great!
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And finally, speaking of Stephanie, I've had this vintage lace and rickrack for about 13 or 14 years. I got it from my boss's mom, who was being put into a nursing home, and I've never used it. Stephanie sews, and while I've tried, I'm no good at it. So I'm rehoming the goodness with her. I can't wait to see what you make with it, Steph!
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Have a good weekend, y'all. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday Stealing: The You Don't Know Jack (And Other Cheese) Meme, Partes Uno Y Dos


Jes' like I skipped out on Saturday 9 last weekend, I did the same with Sunday Stealing, so likewise I'm fixin' ta do both week together in this-here post and uh muh guh I've been reading too much Tom Sawyer to the kiddos at night...!

Sunday Stealing: The Who Are You Meme

1. What is your biggest pet peeve?

At the moment, it's Typepad. I had a long answer written out, but it randomly deleted itself. I'm not going to repeat it, because, as I once told my deaf sister and husband, "I don't repeat myself for you." Ha, I'm SUCH a B!TCH!

2. Where and when were you born?

Picture it: Sicily, 1926. Oh, wait, that's The Golden Girls. RIP, Estelle Getty. Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes. I don't mind sharing that my DOB is 9/8/76 which, IMHO, seems like it should be awfully easy to remember. "Should" being the operative word. I was born just outside of The Big Apple.

3. Where did your parents meet?

They met online before there was online: through a dating something-or-other, like a service or something. Yeah, that's it, a dating service. IN The Big Apple, from whence they both came.

4. Do you have any siblings? What are/were they like in four words?

I have a half-sister whom I've never met, a full sister, Stacey, who merits the occasional mention here on Ye Olde Blahg, and formerly two step-sisters with whom I no longer speak. In four words: Stacey wins by default. Hee!

5. Where do you live now, and with whom?

I live in what's known here as "America's First Region," a term which always up-cracks me, formerly known as Tidewater but now known as Hampton Roads. Futurely known as "The Place Smellyann Once Graced." Heh. I live with an almost-retired Navy sailor, aka Rob, aka Hubs, and ¾ of the children we produced together. Oh, and of late, SIX DAMN FELINES, now that I've gone and rescued these two cuties from the middle of the road in the middle of the night at the middle of ... yeah, I'm out of middles. ::Looks down:: Wait, no, I've plenty of middles...


The new babehs' first bath! Awww. (No, they didn't like it, but they both pooed all over themselves, ewww.)

6. What is your occupation?

I'm a stay-at-homeschooling mother of the afore-mentioned kids, one of whom just officially started middle school and has the attitude to match! Oy to the vey.

7. Write a full description of yourself.

I have. It's called this damn blahg. Read more of it and you won't need me to answer this question, dangit.

8. To which social class do you belong?

Go f*ck yourself. That one. Heh. I'm klassy, see? See?

9. Do you have any allergies, diseases, or other physical weaknesses?

I don't know why, but this question made me laugh out loud. Okay, so, you really want to know? All righty, then, let's have at it:

Allergies: I answered that yesterday. Scroll.


10. Are you right- or left-handed?


11. What does your voice sound like?

It's high-pitched, like, shrill and stuff. When I Viggle, erm, nothing, just to rack up points, and I talk through the Viggling process, three times now it's come up with Jersey Shore as the show I'm watching. No, I'm not bragging. Heh.

12. What words and/or phrases do you use very frequently?

They all have four letters.

13. What do you have in your pockets?

Nothing, unless you count my hands, checking, a coupla seconds ago.

14. Do you have any quirks, strange mannerisms, annoying habits, or other defining characteristics?

Quirks: I tried asking my husband to list them, because I know I have a lot, but he's a freaking dumbass who can't wrap his feeble mind around the concept of limiting it to the called-for length of this post. Does that help?

Strange mannerisms: "What's the difference between a Strange Mannerism and a Quirk?" asks Hubs. I have to agree.

Annoying Habits: "You HAVE to be right, at all costs." - Hubs

"That's not true, we're still married. And I am always right." - Me

Other Defining Characteristics: "Cute as hell, smart as shit, and funny as all get-out." - Hubs. Again, I have to agree. (See, I'm funny.)

Sunday Stealing: Who Are you? Part 2–The Growing Up Meme

15. How would you describe your childhood in general?

 It sucked ROYALLY after my mom died when I was seven. Before that, it was pretty blissful. She was an angel. I have her on The Pedestal of Maternal Perfection. After that, I buried myself in school to get away from my craptastic family. 

16. What is your earliest memory?

I'm three years old, happy as can be, running and laughing with my arms up in the air all the way down the hall to my mommy. I don't remember why.

17. How much schooling have you had?

I have a New York Regent's diploma from high school. I have a B.S. with a double major in Marine Science (our honor society, no lie, was Rho Rho Rho, which I absolutely loved!) and Biology (Beta Beta Beta), and a minor in Chemistry, from the University of Miami. Graduated with Honors and in the Golden Key Society.

I did an internship in Fisheries Biology at Mote Marine Lab before working for a year and a half on my Ph.D. in Biology studying the functional and ecological morphology (aka "Ecomorphology" (a wiki link, which is of great humour to me!) of elasmobranch fishes (aka sharks, skates & rays) with the premier scientist in the field, before realizing I wanted a life more than the constant publish-or-perish and writing for grant money stress, so I left, to many peoples' shock and chagrin. Plus, I felt inadequate, so it was then that I joined Mensa to re-establish myself - to myself - as an intellectual, empirically academic individual, and yes, sadly, I needed to pull out that card and look at it almost every day.

I worked on the (sickeningly - to me - less rigorous) Master's in Science Ed. program at the same school for a semester after leaving my prestigious doctoral program, but I lost my scholarship in doing so, so I needed to take some time off to earn money to return. It was during that time that I met Rob. We eloped two months after meeting and got pregnant on our wedding night, so I've never gone back. I plan to go to law school and practice Family Law until I get a judgeship in that field, once the kids are grown.

Whew! Oh, and I'm CPR-certified. Hee.

18. Did you enjoy school?

Did you read the above? Yes, it would be quite untrue to say anything less than that I adored it. I'd be the Perpetual Student if I could afford to be.

19. Stop and count, since you were born until today; how many homes have you
lived in?

Nineteen, not counting moving in and out of the same places multiple times. The number would skyrocket exponentially if I did that.

20. While growing up, did you have any role models?

My three or four best friends' seemingly normal, unconditionally-loving parents, and my grandparents filled that position.

21. While growing up, how did you get along with the other members of your family?

Heh. I may be in therapy forever thanks to my upbringing. It's a wonder I'm "only" bipolar and not schizophrenic, or have Multiple Personality Disorder, or something... although I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop. :/

22. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Forever, I'd wanted to be a marine biologist. And for a while, I can say I was...

23. What were your favorite activities 3 years ago?

Let's see. Probably: Hanging out with my family, wasting time online, and, okay, rapidly losing massive poundage, since I'd just had my surgery!

24. As a child, what kinds of personality traits did you display?

I was and remain painfully shy around those I didn't/don't know well. I'm horrible at small talk; I think it's the dumbest thing ever, sorry. I was and remain freaking hysterical around my kindred spirits. ;) I was probably bipolar from my tween or early teen years on, although it's only been six years since I was finally diagnosed. I was and remain impulsively suicidal when the slightest things go wrong, though a good cocktail of meds now help to control those impulses. As a very young child, until Mom died, I was joyous, sweet, kind, loving, and an all-around great kid. I'm in therapy to return to being that person, whom I believe I was born to be.

25. As a child, were you popular?

The smartest and funniest people in the room gravitated toward me. Especially when I was by myself.

26. When and with whom was your first kiss?

Kenny, when I was 14, at Tri-County Mall in B'ville, NY. It. Was. Awesome.

27. Describe any influences in your past that led you to do the things you do today.

I talk to my therapist about that. You don't have the time. TRUST ME ON THIS! You've already had an eyeful here, anyway. ;)

28. What’s next?

Next, Hubs retires, and we skip town the beginning of March, to wend our way westward to San Diego. He'll begin nursing school, and we'll all begin exploring our newfound surroundings. I simply cannot wait!!!!

Well, that was quite sobering for me. Reflective. Memory-lane tripping. I'm off to get a Diet Coke refill and a hug from Hubs, if I can wake his narcolepic arse...

See y'all next week!


Saturday 9: That's Why God Made The Radio


Link up here if you're playing along today!

Saturday 9: That's Why God Made The Radio

1. The Beach Boys are back together (everyone alive, Dennis and Carl have passed, including Brian) for the first time in 25 years. It's their 50th Anniversary tour. Their new single is called, “That's Why God made the Radio”. Did radio play a huge part of your growing up years?

Absolutely. 93Q out of Syracuse, NY, was my morning radio show while getting ready for school. More Z89, too, but mostly the former. We were always taping songs off the radio on our giant boomboxes!

2. What is something that you are disappointed about right now?
A friend called me out on something, a particular personality flaw of mine, and I disagreed with her... but upon further reflection, I've realized she's right.
3. What are you really anticipating right now?
Payday! (What else is new?)
4. When was the last time you watched your favorite movie? What is it?
It's been a long time since I've seen either Grease or Dirty Dancing, my two favorites, I think... but I did watch the original Karate Kid within the past few months, and that's on the top 10 list.
5. If you could bring one person back from the dead, who would it be?
My son, my baby boy, my living son's identical twin, my angel...
6. Who was the last person you hung up on?
My father. I'll probably never, ever speak to him again. Jerk.
7. Does it bother you when meme makers separate questions that could've been combined?
It's not something I've ever even thought about, so no.
8. What is the first animal you would run to see if you went to the zoo?
Elephants. They're my favorite land animal.
9. What is the food you always buy at the grocery store that you can't live without?
Well, I don't always buy them, but I always look yearningly at the hummus and Wholly Guacamole, if they aren't on my rigidly-stuck-to lists.
See you on the next post, peeps!

Sunday Stealing: The Never-Ending Meme, Parte Dos

Sunday Stealing

Link up here if you're doing Part II of this misnamed meme!

Cheers to all of us thieves!

21. Did you go to your high school prom?

I went to my Freshman Banquet, with my then-BFF Erin. There was no Sophomore dance at our school, but that year I went to my then-boyfriend's Freshman Banquet (he was older than me, but, er, uh, not as academic if you know what I mean). I went with a group of friends to my Junior Prom. I couldn't go to my Senior Ball, because my boyfriend was black, and we weren't "out" as a couple to my family, who would not have approved. So... no?

22. Perfect time to wake up?

23. Perfect time to go to bed?

Ideally, I'd stay up all night and sleep all day. I'm nocturnal; I always have been.  I'd convert my children - who are homeschooled - to the same schedule to make it easier on myself, if it wouldn't pretty much eff up the rest of their lives! :P

24. Do you use your queen right away in chess?

I have never had the privilege of being engaged in a chess match. Learning to play - and beating someone - is on my Bucket List.

25. Ever been in a car accident?

Oh, yeah. A few, but the most memorable was the time my dad and I were driving me back to college in Miami from South Carolina, and about 1/3 of the way there, we got hit by a drunk driver. It was the middle of the night, and the young man sped off, leaving us spinning around until we landed, facing out toward the road, down an embankment. There was an eerie silence except for the music coming from my boombox, which had flown out a broken window and gotten turned on. My dad sat there, paralyzed, not having a clue what to do, while I was basically freaking the freak out of an 18-year-old girl who desperately wanted to get back to school and away from ... him.

Finally, after what seemed like hours but was probably more like 20 minutes, a semi pulled into view. I leaned over in front of my dad and leaned on the horn for all I was worth. The truck driver skidded to a stop as soon as he could, and soon he was on the scene, helping us out of the thick brush and rescuing us. Before long, the place was crawling with police, us, the trucker, and the drunk driver and his dad, who had woken up when his son slammed into the house. He'd taken one look at his son and realized something bad had happened, telling him, "You've got to go back there, son." The police told us that we probably would have been dead if all four tires hadn't blown out on our rental van during the spinning and crashing. Anyway, that's my story. 

26. Closer to mom or dad…or neither?

Well, I told you that story... but my mom died when I was 7. I 'talk' to her all the time, so... I'd say it's a draw.

27. What age is this exciting life over for you?

I expected to drop dead at the age of 33, just like my mom did, all my life, so now that I'm 35, every year I get older is just an amazing, miraculous surprise. I intend to live life right out loud as long as I've got, whether it ends tomorrow or when I'm 103. I don't know. I never expected to get old, but I've married the love of my life, and it would be spectacular to get old together, y'know?

28. What decade during the 20th century would you have chosen to be a teenager?

I loved being a child of the 80s, but I think the Roaring 20s would have been fun, or the 50s, with the sock hops and all that stuff.

29. Favorite shoes you have EVER owned?

Well, I haven't worn them yet, but I got these knee-high black boots that fit perfectly and look great, off Freecycle. I'm taking a break from knitting THE perfect dress to go with them. I can't wait to rock that outfit!

30. Do you have an article of clothing you have had since you were in high school?

I do. Several shirts. Nothing worth mentioning, really.

31. Were you in track and field?

*Snort* No. Running for me is like ... like... a penguin trying to fly. It's almost physically impossible. I'd like to do the pole vault, though.

32. Were you ever in a school talent show?

Well, no. I was the Caterpillar in our 5th grade production of Alice in Wonderland, and I was a big hit. Then I developed stage fright, after my stepmother made some evil cracks about how I wasn't worth the money to spend on my dance lessons, though I was talented... but let's not go there. No. I wasn't ever in a talent show.

33. Have you ever written in a library book?

I don't know. I don't think so. I've probably dog-eared a few, though.

34. Allergic to?

It was the weirdest thing. I was never, ever allergic to anything, until 2008, when I was suddenly allergic to EVERYTHING. Strawberries and apples, Percocet and Anceph, the chlorine at the pool, my pillows... everything. I had reactions constantly. Then we went to Europe in the summer, and the reactions stopped during the trip. I haven't had an allergic reaction since then. Weird, right?

35. Favorite fruit?

Rob. Oh, you meant fo' real, a food? Hmm... I love me some fruit. It's a tie between kiwi and strawberries. I like grapes, too. Oh, and Clementines... and canteloupe. I love me some fruit!

Until next week, my babies...


Saturday 9: I Put A Spell On You


Link here to play along. Just do it. I'm not in the mood to argue with you.

1. If you could put a spell on someone, who would it be and why?

Hmm. I really need to think about this. I mean, you don't just go fantasy-putting spells on people willy-nilly. I think it would have to be TBFH aka "evil ex-stepmother" lady, to get her to say the words, "I'm sorry I was such a shitty person to you." Or something like that. Only the first two words are imperative; she can paraphrase the rest. But knowing her, even with the spell, she'd probably morph that into, "I'm sorry you're such a shitty person," or something like that. Maybe I should pick someone else. Too late. I'm done thinking about this damn question. Next!

2. If you could go back in time and relive one moment, what would it be?

Pick a moment between March 18-21, 2003, when I didn't get up out of my Labor & Delivery ICU hospital bed and say, "Something the fuck is wrong with my babies, now give me a fucking ultrasound right the fuck now!" I would go back and do that, instead of just impatiently waiting, fretting, and repeatedly asking for one. I would get the fuck UP and WALK DOWN THE HALL and demand... ah damn it. It's too late now.

3.If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?

Oh. I thought that's what I was just answering. So read the last answer for this question, and for #2 read this: The time I met my husband-to-be at the bus depot in downtown St. Pete, ran hand-in-hand, laughing and smiling, to the courthouse, arriving breathlessly just before it closed, and got married before a Jay-o-pee. The running part was almost as awesome as the actual "I do" thing.

4. What movie/TV character do you most resemble in personality?

Monica from Friends. In so many ways.

5. If you could push one person off a cliff and get away with it, who would it be?

 See #1. That bitch.

6. Name one habit you want to change in yourself.

Right now I'm thinking I swear more than I need to.

7. Describe yourself in one word.


8. List your top three memes that you like to respond to.

This one. Aloha Friday. And Sunday Stealing.

9. Why do you blog?

To sell Jafra. I mean, to say whatever the hell I want, however the hell I want, whenever the hell I want, without giving a good gosh-darn who reads it. Because sometimes, I really don't. I mean, I care about the ones who DO read it and are nice, but not the mean and nasties. They can go off that cliff, too.



Awful Arthur's... IS.

002 (2)

So the other day, I snagged a free $25 gift certificate to Awful Arthur's Oyster Bar on General Booth Blvd, from one of those daily deals websites. Didn't cost me a thing, so knowing that Rob loves him some oysters, I nabbed that puppy. Did he want to go for Father's Day? He did. So last night, for dinner, we went there for the first time.


Things started out not terrific and got worse from there. Smokers lined the main entrance, which put me in an instant foul mood. I'm sorry, but it's gross, and I hate breathing it in and thinking of my children doing the same. Plus it gives me a horrible headache.  Then there was a live band playing mostly metal covers, which isn't my thing, but so what. They were much, much too loud, though, and the kids kept putting their fingers in their ears. I thought it was amusing, so I didn't make them stop. The band wasn't that great, either, but again, so what, we weren't paying for the show.

The five of us were seated right away at a four-top, so Chloë had to sit at the end of a table. There were six- and eight-tops available, so in my head I wondered why we weren't seated at one of those... until a poker team came in and started setting up at those two tables. Ah. Poker. I see.

We ordered shortly after we were given our menus, which wasn't at first because who knows why, and then we proceeded to wait more than 40 minutes for our food. I ordered a Diet Coke and was given a Diet Pepsi, with no warning that it wasn't what I had ordered. Hello, Diet Pepsi tastes like toothpaste. It is bad. I asked, "Is this Pepsi?"  She affirmed. "Oh, yeah, I can't do that, sorry. I'll just have some water." She smiled and brought me some water with lemon. With lots of seeds in it. Usually, I think, they take out the seeds. At least, they should. I sucked one up in my straw. And swallowed it. Maybe I'll have lemons growing in there.

Let's see, what else... while we waited, we each visited the rest rooms. Nothing sticks out in my head about those, so I guess they were fine, except we had to do the hokey-pokey around the sticking-out poker tables to get there, which wasn't awesome. The kids played with the soft-tip dart machine until Sophia started climbing the board to get the darts out, and I had to put a stop to that action. They were quickly becoming BORED and STARVING and CRANKY. Really, just what you want in three kids at a restaurant. Where was the food?!!

Meanwhile, the whole time, I'm posting on Facebook about the damn smokers going in and out of the main only entrance and parking themselves RIGHT THERE, so that we still had to breathe in their godawful odors the whole time anyway. Seriously, there has to be a law. Oh, wait, I looked it up. There is. Unless there is a separate entrance just for non-smokers, it is illegal in Virginia to smoke standing outside the entrance of a restaurant or other business. I didn't find what the distance was, but I bet I could now that I'm not on my iPhone, with a little due diligence.

Finally, the food came. Well, everyone's did except for mine. They gave Sophia Jack's burger and Jack Sophia's grilled cheese. Whining ensued. I smiled and switched the plates. (Competent servers know who gets what without auctioning off the plates or, like this, just setting them down wherever the feck they feel like it.) She asked me, "Do you need any silverware?" I smiled and said, "I... need my food." She walked off kind of huffily. But hey, it's not like anyone said to me, "Your sandwich will be right out," or any such thing. And I did smile. Nicely, I might add.

After another 7 or so minutes, my broiled crabcake sandwich was put in front of me, with all manner of produce piled on top of it. I unpiled the lettuce, and the onion, and the tomato, and found.. a very burnt crabcake. Was it fried? No, it was broiled. To oblivion. The server came back after another half-century, and I pointed out my extra-crispy crabby patty. I don't know what I said, but it was something like, "I... I'm not happy with this," in my apologetic tone. I can behave, you know. And I still was.

She agreed. I mean, how could she not? Picture a dog turd. It looked like that, only with flecks of green on top.  Very dark, kind of La Mush, and not shaped terribly well.  She asked if I wanted a fresh batch of onion rings or just the sandwich remade. I said I didn't care. I was starting to be a grump.

Meanwhile, it was 35¢ chicken wing night, like every Sunday according to the sign, so we had a half-dozen hot ones for Rob and a half-dozen salt-and-vinegar ones for me. With Ranch dressing for dipping. Now those were good. No complaints there. Actually, they were really good. So they get some things right, apparently. And Rob's oyster po'boy was just right, too. Let me point out the other good things: Yup. Nope. That's all I got. Oh, well, and the prices were great, and the kids' meals were okay. Except none of them would eat theirs. Except for the fries.

I tried the fries. They were... not good. Not one speck of salt, which, to me, is a must in a fry that's Frenchly made, and when I salted them, it wouldn't stick to them, either. WTF. I'm sorry, McDonald's is gross and all, but they make some damn good fries. Other restaurants should emulate their greasy, salty tastiness. That is a good fry. Fries that are all dark and hard and NOT salty are not good fries. And that is the whole truth and nothing but.

So I'm waiting for my crabcake sandwich to come back out, watching the poker players disappear out the front door every 30 seconds for a cig (honestly, why not just move the tables out there, since you're spending most of your time there anyway?) and finishing off the vinegar-y wings of deliciousness. The repeat dish was finally brought out, at which point I just asked for a box. Still nicely. I was just full. Of wings.

Everyone else was just about finished, since they weren't eating much anyway - except Rob, who was plum full of oyster po'boy like he likes to be. I said, "No dessert" and for once got nary a complaint. Apparently I wasn't the only one who wanted outta there.

Finally, my boxed meal and the check were brought out. I politely informed the server that they were in violation of Virginia's anti-smoking laws and that I would be following up with them to make sure they came into compliance. I made no mention of who I was or why that job was up to me, but she got all bitchtastic about it and sputtered some things sarcastically that I couldnt' hear because of the too-loud suckilicious band playing on the other side of the restaurant. I just knew, from her expression and the bit of tone I could catch, that it wasn't so nice.

We got our boxes, and my camera and purse, and I paid the tab. Which wasn't much, thanks to that certificate that had brought us there in the first place. I even left a rather respectable tip. And then we walked to our van.


When I turned around to take a picture of the entrance, the one or two smokers had turned into ten or twelve, lined up and giving me the finger with their eyeballs!

That picture is the only one that turned out clear, because as I snapped away, they all ran and hid, back in the restaurant, which made me cackle in a rather malicious way. I hate inconsiderate smokers. I really do. You rarely run into a considerate one, but I appreciate those that are.

And so we left and went home to have our Family Meeting, which went swell, thanks.

So... how was YOUR day?


P.S. For the sake of this review, as it were, I just went in and tasted a couple bites of the crab cake. It LOOKS much better, but it's so orange with Old Bay seasoning that I didn't have high expectations for taste. I was right. It's got so much seasoning and fillers that I could not even taste the slightest bit of crabbiness. Not one bit. I'll stick to Uncle Chuck, the fishmonger down at the Farmer's Market, thanks.



Every Once In A While...

... something happens that makes me want to shut this blog down.

In this case, a former online-only "friend" contacted me just to be nasty about the fact that I'm homeschooling, because apparently I was nasty to her when she was homeschooling her kids (which I, honestly and truthfully, don't remember but expect it was during my pre-medication days when I wasn't really great to ANYone) and I'm such a huge hypocrite. Well, be that as it may, things change, people change, situations change, and this is where we are now, and I'm embracing our new lifestyle.

I just don't get it, though. Why contact someone just to be a bitch to them, when you're leaving them and their life completely and totally alone?! I don't read HER blog, we have blocked each other off Facebook, and I avoid her at all costs. It's a complete mystery to me why some people go out of their way just to cause misery to someone else, out of the blue, unprovoked like that.

It really affects me. I don't just let shit like that roll off my back. I'm sitting here reeling.  I open my life, I tell you what I do, what I think, what I say... and I get crap for it. I'm real, I'm a real person, with real feelings, and yes, I make real mistakes. Lots of them. I own that. But when a friendship goes bad, and especially when it goes really down south, I let it go and leave it behind. Why people can't do the same is beyond me. 

I know I'm rambling. I guess I just wanted to put it out there. And as for YOU, V, LEAVE ME ALONE.


Something Serious For A Change

I feel like talking. Sharing. I don't know what's gotten into me; this is one topic I told myself I would never post about on this blog. But it's been on my mind since the other day, and anyway, I'm killing time whilst I'm waiting for Rob's pay to post to our bank account so I can pay the damn bills.

I'm going to jump right in. If you're going to leave some kind of nasty, judgmental comment, please delete it before you press "submit," m'kay? I don't want to hear it, and you don't want to start with me.

I was raped, twice.

The first time, it was by the guy who was painting my dad's house, while I was there for my summer break from college. I'll call him K. He lived around the corner with his wife and two adorable kids whom I had been called upon to babysit once or twice.

The last time I babysat, K walked me home and planted a kiss firmly on my mouth. I don't even remember whether I kissed back at first. Admittedly, I'm an outrageous flirt, and it has gotten me into trouble on more than one occasion. And also, he was cute. But he was married, and I was all of 18. So eventually, I pushed him away and told him to go home and finish the drinking he had started there.

A few days later, I was baking cookies. I have baked a lot of cookies in my day, and it continued that summer. My skinny dad probably gained an ounce or two from all the sweets I was making him. The first batch of cookies came out of the oven, and my father had gone out to run errands. I needed a tester, and my own opinion of my cooking and baking is never reliable, I think. So I poured a glass of lemonade, put a couple of cookies on a plate, and brought them outside to K, who was painting in the heat of the day.

I turned to go back inside and started to shut the door, but he pushed it open and followed me inside. He was forceful, and he hurt me. I can't remember now, 16 years later, whether I said, "NO" or just thought it, but I didn't want it. I did not want it.

My long-distance boyfriend called me up later and knew immediately that something was wrong. I told him what had happened. He was black, and I was keeping him a secret from my racist father, so when he told me that either I could tell my father or he would, I believed him. My dad came home. I started crying. I couldn't get the words out at first, but I finally blurted them out. He became visibly enraged and stormed out the door. I know exactly what violence of which my father is capable, and I was actually worried for K.

He came home 20 or 30 minutes later, much softer in mood. He told me that K had said I came onto him, and that I was feeling remorseful about it because he was a married man. My father believed him. I think I was in shock. A part of me still is. I never, ever, ever talk about this incident. Not even with my various therapists.

The next day, I woke up in my dad's guest bedroom where I was staying, and rolled over. Staring through the window at me, as he painted the trim, was K.  I could NOT believe it. My father was still employing him?! I almost threw up.

It confirmed some feelings I had been developing about my father for a while but didn't want to fully admit to myself.

Anyway, the following summer, I didn't go to my dad's. I didn't want to live with him ever again, so I found a house to sublet in South Miami, near the University and thus, my job.

I had an odd friendship with a guy I worked with. He was from Nicaragua and had a heavy accent, so we spoke to each other in Spanish half the time. The other half was because either I was translating for him or couldn't think fast enough in Spanish to express what I wanted to say clearly.

Well, this guy was in love with me, which was readily apparent to him, me, and everyone who knew both of us. I still had that same long-distance relationship going on, so I did not return his feelings. But we hung out together regularly, him showing me his favorite places to go around Greater Miami, and me showing my favorite places around campus. It was fun.

For a while.

Then one day, he professed his love for me, and I was sorry, but I was not in love with him back. He became angry. Very angry. He shouted all kinds of obscenities at me and about my boyfriend, in both English and Spanish. It was ugly.

Other things had happened with this guy in the past, including him sending me a package on the exact day I returned from my dad's for Christmas break, and also breaking into my dorm and shoving his way into my room - while, conveniently, I was on the phone with our mutual boss. So we had a history.

Over time, it was clear that he was following me around, and I had a couple of police reports filed on him. I was scared. He carried a gun or two. I didn't know what he might do. I called him traumatizado. He didn't like that.

That summer, I was chilling with my Trinidadian best friend, KR, in my house in South Miami. My roommates weren't home, so when she mentioned a car was pulling up, I got weird prickles on my skin. I looked up, and it was the Nica, C. I forgot to lock the doors. She knew what was up with him, so we bolted to my bedroom and locked the door, not knowing what else to do.

He banged on the front door, then the side door. We hushed and willed him to go away. To our amazement, he walked into the house, past all the rooms and back to my room. He started banging on my bedroom door. KR and I kept staring at each other, wide-eyed. It was tense. We didn't say anything. We just kept quiet, hoping he would leave, but he kept banging.

Finally, he retreated, and KR watched his feet through the crack under my bedroom door. She mouthed to me that he was in one roomie's bedroom, then the other's, doing heaven-knows-what. Eventually, he went back out to the front living room, and we thought he would leave. Instead, he picked up my phone and started to make a call.


I'd had ENOUGH. I slammed open my bedroom door and told him to give me my phone and GET OUT. He refused. Back and forth we went. I was out of my mind with anger, shock, fear, and all that. Finally, he handed me the phone, gave me a weird-crazy look I'll never forget, and left.

Not long after that, I was home alone at night, making myself a little dinner. I was sitting at the tiny bistro-style table we had set up there, when C pulled up. He walked in the house before I had a chance to stop him. He forced me down the hall to my bed, climbed on top of me, and raped me. The idea of it still makes my blood cold. It was terrifying.

A month or so later, I started getting sick. All the time. The '96 Summer Games were on in Atlanta, and I could do nothing but lie on the couch and feel nauseous. Finally, it dawned on me what was going on. KR - who I never told about what happened that night until years later - took me to the health clinic on campus, where they confirmed a 19-year-old college junior's worst fears: I was pregnant.

I had no idea what to do. Actually, I did. I couldn't tell my father what had happened, because he didn't believe me the first time, so I didn't expect him to believe me this time, either. I had always been pro-choice for the rest of the population, but pro-life for my own, personal self. It just wasn't an option for me. I decided I would have the baby and give it up for adoption.

Eventually, C was asking me if I was pregnant. He seemed to know right away that I was. It was then that I realized - and he had the audacity to confirm it - that he had purposely wanted to get me pregnant so that I would marry him. Maybe that would happen in his culture, but I am certainly not that girl. I hated him. I thought he was the devil incarnate. And that he had put the devil's spawn inside me. I hated that seed growing inside me, and I hated myself for carrying it.

I was so sick. I was missing a lot of work, which I could ill afford to do, because I budgeted every last penny and needed it all to live on. I couldn't keep anything down. I was miserable.

Soon enough, I realized I was going to need medical attention if this child was to be healthy. If I was going to bring a baby into the world, I was going to do the right thing by it, dammit. I didn't know what else to do - and I didn't want everyone to know - so I made C bring me to a clinic for pre-natal care.

When I walked in there, I was the only white person. I was the only clean person. I was the only one who looked like her life was going anywhere, like there was any hope for any kind of a decent future. It hit me like a ton of bricks, and I walked back out of there before I was seen by any doctor. I can't say I'm proud of that moment, because I'm still not entirely sure how to interpret it, other than I was scared and depressed and afraid for my future. I wanted to finish college, I wanted to work in my field, and I wanted to be a major force in the field of science.

C told me that if I didn't have the baby, he was going to tell my father. Once again, this sort of threat held water with me, and I freaked out. I called up my father. I hemmed and hawed for an hour, unable to tell him what the hell I was blubbering about, until he finally guessed that I was pregnant. I did not tell him the circumstances. He told me he would send me the money to "take care of it," no questions asked.

And so, I "took care of it." I terminated the pregnancy.

And you know what? So many times over the years, I have been told - mostly by people who had no idea what I had done or been through myself - that every single person who does that regrets it, wishes they hadn't, and feels terrible about it.

Well, not me, sister. Never once. Never once. It was the right thing for me to do. I'm sorry if you don't agree with that, but it was the right thing for me to do at that time. I don't have one bit of regret or remorse or sadness. The only thing I used to think about, for the first five years or so, was, "I could have an x-year-old child right now..." but those thoughts have long stopped.

When Robby, Jack's identical twin brother, died in my arms seven years later, I had the fleeting thought that I was being punished for what I had done. My therapist did his magic on me, and I was able to stop those thoughts permanently.

That's all. Time to pay the bills.


P.S. I forgot this part: To this day, I still have that "I'm being followed" fear pop up on occasion, and I often imagine that C is going to show up and point a gun at me. I imagine him killing me while I'm diving to protect my children. I should probably discuss all this with my therapist. If I had one. Time to find a new one...

Unexpected Disappointment


Thanks for any prayers and positive thoughts you sent my way regarding the trip north and having to see my ex-stepmother after all these years. In the end, I never saw her, because she canceled her trip due to bad weather in Syracuse.

I had been worrying needlessly, after all.

But a surprising feeling surfaced: disappointment.  Why? I wasn't really excited to see her. Definitely not.

So I think I can attribute that feeling to two distinct things I was actually looking forward to: getting to show off my beautiful, funny, silly, polite, amazing, wonderful children to someone who might not have expected me to have such beautiful, funny, silly, polite, amazing, wonderful children, and also, showing off myself.

For one thing, I'm a physical stunner now. I mean, I am almost a freak of nature, I'm so strikingly beautiful these days. Okay, okay, I jest, but at 34, I do think I look better now (thanks to the hands of Dr. Thomas Clark and his bariatric surgery team, of course) than I did in high school, so there is that.

But also, I had been working up the nerve for days to go in there and NOT CRY, and I was sure I was going to be able to do just that. At least until I went, shaking and inwardly freaking, back to my car and drove away. Then I could fall apart. But in the moment, in front of her? I was bound and determined not to shrink down to a tenth of my size, shrivel into a puny little pile of pathetic, and sob. I was going to DO it. And I wanted to show THAT off. My adult-ness. My I'm-over-you-ness (even if I'm not). My strength.

And yeah, my hot bod, too.


Eyes Wide Open

Well, that was an interesting visit with my dad and wife #5, as always.

As for her, I am not impressed. I don't want to dog the poor woman out on here, but let's just say my shoe has more personality.

As for him, well. There have been a couple of occasions in the past where I was tempted to completely disown him and cut him out of my life, but something keeps holding me back. Is it that I just don't want to be parentless? Maybe. Is it that I still sense that somewhere in there, deep down, is some semblance of a decent human being? Maybe, but as he approaches 70, it's becoming less likely.

He better hope he's married to someone if and when he's too old to take care of himself anymore, because neither my sister nor I are likely to do it. In contrast, I'd cut off my left ear to have my grandfather come live with us!

There are some areas - most, actually - in which I would never model myself after my father:

#1: Relationships. I mean, c'mon, the man is on his fifth marriage, and he's not even rich or famous! (hee) Three of those (so far...) ended in divorce, and no doubt my mother would have left him, too, if she'd lived long enough.

#2: Parenting. After spending half a day with my kids, who were excited to see him and so therefore a little more wound-up than usual, his advice was to smack them around now and then. Really? This is your advice, all these years after your 16-year-old daughter became emancipated when you beat the shit out of her for the umpteenth time?

Sorry Dad, I told him, but spanking is just plain stupid. How do we teach our children not to hit each other if we're hitting them ourselves? Not to mention that it's pretty ineffective. No, hitting children is the realm of the unintelligent and unimaginitive parent.

He replied that yes, this is the current conventional wisdom. No, sir, it's MY own thinking. Yup, I do that now. Imagine that.

#3-through-infinity: everything else. He's just such... a dick!! He really is. He walks into our house, without knocking, like he owns the place, and begins making demands like a child. He expects everyone to drop everything and cater to his and his wife's needs, including sheltering his three possibly flea-ridden dogs for the duration of their visit. Three extremely spoiled and ill-mannered dogs, that is. My husband was floored when one of the dogs was found on top of the kitchen table, eating the leftovers we hadn't put away yet. Hey, dog, I was planning on eating that chicken later, y'know!

I asked him a question about movie stars, and it turned into this vitriolic political diatribe. Ugh!! I absolutely abhor talking about politics with anyone, but especially him, because he is so caustic and nasty about it. (Most of the people who ascribe to his particular beliefs on the subject seem to be, I've noticed, but not nearly so much as him.) He wasn't amused when I pointed out that most people in academia lean much more to the left. *ahem* But I was!

So, I could turn this into a huge, long mega-rant, and it might or might not be a very interesting read, but it's already 0200 and I have had a headache for most of the day. Do I really want to give myself a worse one when I need to go to sleep soon? No, I thought not.


Other than the stuff that drove me continually nuts (at least he knows better than to use the "n" word in my presence, since the last time when I stopped the car and threatened to kick him out), here are the highlights of his visit:

Dinner at Yukon Steakhouse Thursday night, which was abysmal. The company wasn't terrible, actually, but the service, the food, and the prices (!!!) were. I will never, EVER go back to that place, even if they offer us a free meal every month after I write to them.

Friday, the one full day Dad and Wife were here, we started off by driving down near Pungo to look at horse farms. Wife is a huge fan of horses. We were going to drive down to the beach and walk around, but the weather wasn't nice, so we just stopped at their hotel down there and had a potty break. Then Dad needed a kid break, so we went to LH Mall to let the kids run around in the play place while D&W did some window-shopping. (Before they left, and after they returned, he kept stopping at every other store window to ask Wife if she liked this much-too-young outfit or not. It was a little entertaining and a lot sad. I mean, she's got a 21yo grandchild, FPS!)  They took forever and a day to return, so the kids got hungry for lunch. I took them to Subway at the other end of the mall, and we came back to the play area, split the footlong four ways (with some left over), cleaned up, used the restroom, and still no sign of them. I was beginning to get irritated, but they finally showed.

We went home after that, and though it was not even 1600, I started dinner. Wife doesn't eat lunch and therefore requires a very early dinner, and apparently the whole world is supposed to bend to this crazy schedule. Whatever. I'd had the forethought to throw some chicken in the crockpot before we left in the morning, so between that and some quick pasta and sauce, dinner was a piece of cake. I'd baked cookies the afternoon before they arrived, so that was dessert. Everyone seemed satisfied, and no one cared that I hadn't prepared a fabulous gourmet meal, so that was a relief. I'm always nervous about feeding guests, thanks to my stepmother making me batshit crazy about cooking. Heh.

After dinner, we watched a western romance movie starring Katherine Heigl, which was the latest Netflix movie for my dad. They brought it up from home. The kids were bored to tears with it, but I was glued to the screen when I wasn't busy crocheting. (I'm thisclose to finishing that project and meant to do it today, but I couldn't do a thing with this migraine.) Anyway, it was called Love Comes Softly, and it was pretty good. I enjoyed it. Except for a scene near the beginning that proved it was clearly NOT the "kid-friendly movie" my father had proclaimed it to be. Argh, again!!

When the movie ended, they left with Jack for the night. He was terribly excited. I whispered all the "rules" of behavior to him, and he solemnly nodded his head in agreement before taking off, hand-in-hand, with his Grandpa. No way in hell I'd send one of my daughters for the night with him, but he - and they - don't know it yet. I felt Jack was safe enough for one night away with him, when it was only a 20-minute drive down the road. And I knew that on his own, Jack would behave well enough not to risk getting a spanking. Or worse.

And so they left. In Jack's absence, we gave Sophia an early birthday present (she turns five on Tuesday): the DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack of The Princess and The Frog. I'd gotten it for FREE on Amazon.com after cashing in for all those gift cards lately. Great movie; I really loved it both times that we've watched it so far, and I have several songs in my head from the movie. All at once. I can't wait to watch it again! The girls loved it, too.

I was going to finish my crocheting during that movie, but instead I had myself a little sobfest. It was the 26th anniversary of my mom's death, and though that might seem like a ridiculously long time to still be crying, the pain is fresh. I suspect it always will be. My sister cried too, she said, and I know her pain is the same as mine.

So on Saturday morning, we awoke early to the three dogs barking (bah!) and Rob leaving for work. I hate it when he works on the weekend... We were just getting out to take the dogs for a walk around the lake when Dad returned with Wife and Jack. Everyone but Wife went for the walk with the dogs, and then they packed up and left for home. I did not feel one pang of sadness or disappointment at their departure, which is quite the opposite feeling I get when, say, my sister leaves. Or I leave her. I remember crying my eyes out when we visited last August!

Well, I've probably said enough and then some. Hope y'all have a good week, and I'll be back again soon enough with tales of hijinks from my naughty kids in need of spanking. Wink, wink.




I was a trouble-maker at the doctor's office today, but you know what? I don't care.

After I posted last night, I ended up soaking in a tub that Rob says was very hot but felt like lukewarm to me. It did the trick, though, and I was able to stop shivering. And crying.

When I got up to go to the doctor this morning, I put on layer after layer after layer to keep warm. It worked. I looked like the Michelin man, but I was warm, dammit!

So when the nurse or whatever called me back, and took me to the scale, I half-jokingly asked if it was really necessary to be weighed, since I had about ten layers on and was just there last month. She looked at me and said, "Well, you'll need to take them off..."

"Oh, no," I returned. "I'm not taking it off."

"You're not taking it off?!"

"I'm not taking it off."

"Okay, then. Let's go," she muttered, walking me to the exam room. Then, she told me I had to take all my clothes off so she could check my vitals. I took off my coat, but I told her I wasn't taking anything else off.

"You have to take it off!"

"No, I don't. My blood pressure is good, really good, like 110 over 60 the last time I was hear, and I promise it hasn't changed. I'm freezing, and I'm not going to get naked in here."

"Listen, you can't just come in here for a weight loss follow-up and not be weighed, not have your vitals checked..."

"I'm not in here for a weight loss follow-up!"

"Well, that's what your paper says!"

"Then the paper is wrong!"

"Listen, they don't just write down any old thing, they write down what you tell them!"

"I didn't write it down, they can write down whatever they want, but that doesn't make it so!"

And 'round and 'round we went, until she huffed out, muttering under her breath, and into the provider's office next door. Still bitching; I could hear her for several minutes. I didn't care. I was NOT going to take off all my clothes and ruin the good warmth I had goin' on, you hear me??  One layer, and that would have been the end of it. Chills and shivers all over again. No thanks.

The provider (he's not a doctor, but I'm not sure if he's an NP or a PA or just what) came in after a few minutes, shrugging his shoulders and telling me he's sorry it's cold, but it's standard procedure to take the vitals of every patient, for every visit.

I said, look, all I need is to get my referral to my surgeon updated, and maybe some chelated iron if you can prescribe that. You don't even have to look at me.

He agreed, wrote "refused" on my chart for the vitals, and told me that the next time I needed this same referral, to just call him up - I didn't even need to come in! So I could have saved myself the trouble of dealing with the angry nurse.

Who was probably in a fine mood until I came in wearing my ten layers, but whatever.

I stayed warm, people!

I relayed the above to Rob after I got out, and he called me a trouble-maker. Laughingly, of course. So the word "shenaniganizer," I think from Cloudy With... has been in my head all day because of it.


The Girl Scout cookies are coming in this Saturday, so to make room for dozens and dozens of cases in the office, here, I planned to finally get clean it up and clear it out. Well, that didn't happen. I was so tired after I got home from the doc, after being up all hours of the night taking a bath, that I just needed a nap. And so I did, for two hours, until the kids came home.

Chloë didn't come home, though, because she started back to the math tutoring today. Jack and Sophie played and snacked, until it was time to pick her up. I was going to let her come home on the activity bus - last time I picked her up each time - but between Ballet lessons every Tuesday and Brownies every other Thursday (the two days of tutoring), it's just not going to happen too often!

We picked up and intended to rush right over to dance class, but we sat in traffic for ages instead. So she was ten minutes late. Have I mentioned that I hate being late?? Hate it.

While she pranced, the Littles played in the back. I made their dentist appointments and my follow-up with the plastic surgeon (for this morning at 0830, which is why I'm still up instead of trying to get any sleep), and then I read a magazine. Pretty uneventful, which is why I'm telling you. I think you need to know every breath I take, don't you?

The rest of the evening went quickly and calmly. The kids wanted pizza (groan) for dinner, and they ate the entire thing. At least they're not sick of it, and it's somewhat healthy...

Homework was done - but not without Jack getting pizza grease all over his math paper, ugh - and everyone washed up. They took a shower, I worked on laundry, The End.


After they went to bed and the laundry was all folded, I finally got the motivation to do some work. I swept the floor and then got out the CARE Package bins containing donated items for the layettes (the vast majority of which came from Rob's mom).  There was a lot more going on in there than it may look like; my office was covered with knit, crocheted, sewn and quilted goodness!


I'm glad I went through the bins. I found this cowl that I knitted a while back and promptly forgot about. I wore it for over an hour, until I was so hot that I had to strip down a few layers to a single one! And I found the kids' tooth pillows that have been missing for over a year (did I really need to buy three? What's the likelihood of three kids losing a tooth on the same night? Probably nil), along with all those nice dishcloths and towels that I made to sell at the craft shows. But didn't. So, they're ours now, and now I don't have to make more! I never did do that last night...


I worked for hours assembling packages - stopping only to cook yet another pizza for Rob's return from work, and ew, don't eat the buffalo chicken one. Too spicy! - and printing out cards to put in them. Each package gets a sweater or gown or other body covering, a hat, a pair of booties or socks, and a blanket. They also get a card with information about our charity on one side and suggestions for what to do with their baby as they're saying good-bye on the other, our business card, and a "CARE" silicone bracelet.

I've long wanted to include disposable cameras, but of course we don't have the budget for that. I've been meaning to write to the various camera companies (Kodak, Fuji, etc.) and see if they'll donate some, but I haven't yet. Then I got the idea tonight to see if Ziploc would sponsor us, too, since I use a great deal of their bags for the packages!

I do have lots of gift bags from baby showers, but I haven't started using them yet. First, because that would only be a temporary solution as I don't plan to buy more when they're gone and don't get a lot donated, and second, because it doesn't work well with the way I like the packages to work. You can't really see what you're getting through a gift bag, and my stickers labeling size and sex might not be seen as well on the gift bags. So... I don't know. Maybe I'll just give them to the hospital and let them deal with them?


In the end, I was able to assemble exactly 30 complete packages for donation to the children's hospital, without having to lift a needle or hook myself to add something! This is exciting; usually I have to work for ages to make booties or hats to finish half the packages, but I had everything I needed and more. Thank you, to all of you out there who made this possible!

There were a surprising number of items in the packages that I did make, though, just not tonight. Beautiful sweaters out of Rowan yarn, and Malabrigo, and other fancy stuff. I love to squish and squeeze those soft, fine wools. Ohhh, how I do.

The hardest part of the night was assembling two or three toddler packages. I would just sit there with the items on my lap, pouting and frowning and trying hard not to think of the child who would need to receive them. So very sad. Of course, they're all sad... but the longer you have your child with you, I think the harder it is to say good-bye. Just my theory, anyway.


Remember this Baby Suprise jacket that I made? Probably not, it's been a LONG time. I never put buttons on it! Sorry, Steph, I had to take your job tonight, and these are the buttons I ended up with. Not too exciting, but they'll do. They'll do.

And that was the last item for the 30th package. Tomorrow, after I get home from plastics (and hopefully scheduling my abdominoplasty!!), I'll call up my contact at the Children's and see if I can arrange a drop-off. I haven't talked to her in over a year; that's how long it's been since CARE Package has made a substantial donation. We've mailed out packages to parents here and there, but this is the first one in a while, as I took 2009 off to mostly do what I felt like.

I'm ready now, though, to get back into working hard, full-time for our charity. I do have to make some longies - or shorties, now that Luke is almost 4 mos? - that I promised Steph, but otherwise, I am going to pick up hooks and needles for CARE Package again. I'm excited!!


P.S. I keep forgetting to add that I got a letter Monday, saying that Chloë had some artwork chosen to be put on display down at the airport! Her artwork will be exhibited throughout February. I can't wait to go and see it. She asked me not to, though, very modestly saying it was terrible and that she's "not creative." Whatever! She is SO crafty and clever. She thinks it's a clown, of which she doesn't seem to be very proud, but she's not sure. Will keep you posted.


So a "friend" posted this remark on Facebook today, and the whole thing has just left me... sad. Names are changed to protect the innocent myself from retaliation. What do you think? Needless to say, I have since "unfriended" this person... 

E.G.: if 75% of people who ride metro weren't disgustingly obese, it sure would be a LOT more enjoyable to ride!

it would save on emissions too.
and less crowed...
I hate FAT people. Straight up HATE. Sorry.
There better never be some civil rights movement for FAT people. If there is... I'm getting a machine gun.
some reasons why PE class should be mandatory through HS and college...
and if all these fat lazy fast food eating people think they should have free healthcare ever..SCREW THEM.
i dont know M.E., but i like him...
yeah M.E., you get it. 5/10 seats for 2 have one person in them, spilling over the sides. It's disgusting. they should at the very least have to pay for 2 seats!
no those fatties need to fucking stand.
(I am sorry for the vulgarities of my language)
fat spilling over the sides of anything is a very funny picture, erin. Skin pants?
R.A., I'm pretty sure this lady was trying to sit next to me today. http://ecoscraps.com/files/2008/05/obese-woman.jpg
Gross. when i walk by someone like that.... I always want to say... something..
6 hours ago
my uncle took a bus once. in his words, "The scum of the earth ride the bus". Technically since most are using welfare to pay their tolls, shouldn't the proceeds come back to the taxpayers? Just sayin...
P.G.,VERY different when you live in a city like DC. normal people ride the bus...otherwise it'd take you 2 hours to go a few miles at certain times of day.

Anyway. Talk about the "scum of the earth." I'm glad I don't weigh that much anymore. You hate yourself, and knowing everyone else hates you too, just makes it worse. It's terrible.


Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments

I think it has been three weeks since my last confession fragmentin', and lookee-here,Mrs. 4444 has gone and changed her button on me! Isn't it nice? I wish I had a nice button.

So, here we go:


☼ I bought a box of sugar-free candies yesterday, and I decided to share a piece with each of the kids after school today. Over dinner, I was telling Rob (hubs) that all three of them dove head-first into the box and then found their piece disgusting, spit it out, and threw it away. Chloë, 8, piped up, "No, Mom, I didn't throw mine away! I dropped it and picked off the hair, and ate it!"


Well, that's life with three kids and three very sheddy pets!

☼ From the back of the van, driving down the road, Sophia, 4½, declared, "Mom, I always go poop when I drink drinks!"

Really, now?

☼ Chloë was talking about when she and Jack and Sophia were born, and we had this conversation:

C: "Mom, were you born in 2001?"

M:"No, silly, then I'd be the same age as you!"

C: "Oh. Well, when were you born, the 1950s?"

M: "Noooo! I was born in 1976!"

C: "Well, when was your mom born?"

M: "1951"

C: "And when was your dad born?"

M: "1942"

C: "1942?! Wow! And he's not dead yet??"

Ha! Out of the mouths of babes...

☼ Jack, 6½, saw me naked (which isn't unusual) while I was weighing myself the other morning, and he looked puzzled. Finally, he asked me, "Mom, why do your boobs droop down like that?"

Hey, man. We can't all be porn stars.

☼ The kids were asking about Santa Claus after I revealed the truth about his existence, and I was telling them about St. Nicholas. Sophia asked if he was dead. I said, "Well, he was born hundreds of years ago..." and either Jack or Chloë (can't remember) interjected, "Was he born before Daddy?"

No sense of time, these small people!

☼ Chloë was unbuckling Jack from his car seat for me, and she yelled at him, "Jack, come on! Suck in your penis!"


☼ Sophia said, "Mommy, when I'm a grown-up, are you going to die?" And I said, "Well, yeah... eventually, honey." And she said, "No, you won't, Mommy, 'cause I'll take care of you!"

Awwww. ♥

☼ And then she said, "And tell me which way to go to get to the doctor!"

She's always worrying about how she's going to find her way around (to the store, to the movies, everywhere) when she's a grown-up. Like I'm just going to blindfold the poor kid, spin her around, and throw her out into the world!

☼ Hahaha! I always record my cute quotes into my iPhone's voice recorder app, and the kids know it. They're always telling me, "Put that one on your phone!" when I laugh at what they say. So... the other day, I asked Sophie to go get my iPhone for me, and she took forever and a day. I didn't know WHAT the hold-up was... until just now. She was recording herself and Jack talking into my voice recorder for several minutes! And I'm in the background, yelling, "Sophie! Where is my iPhone? What took you so long! Come on!" Teehee, that stinker. She kills me.


1. People who park in handicapped spots, when they're not handicapped. Especially at night, when the business is slow. Like at the bank's ATM or at the post office. There's no time limits on being handicapped! You don't get to use that spot just because it's the middle of the night! A$$holes!

2. Having to wait in line at the Post Office's APC (Automatic Postal Center) late at night, with one little package, behind someone with literally 50 boxes who walked in just ahead of me. Really? You couldn't let me go in ahead of you, and I had to wait for all that? And then, come to find out, I waited all that time and the package drop bin was locked, which you never bothered to tell me! (I didn't know that's why they were taking the packages home.) Grr!

3. Do smokers think they're not littering just because it's something so small that they're throwing out their car windows? HELLO! It's STILL littering, people - and it's on FIRE, no less. Get a clue, and get a conscience. UGH.

4. When meaty girls wear tight jeans that cause their fat to gush up over the top, all painfully obvious under their also-too-tight t-shirts. Do they think that looks GOOD? What is up with that? (And let's not even talk about the serious camel-toe that causes in the front, remaining safely in the back with those major love handles.) Dude. Go up a size or two and thank me later.

Welp, that's all for me, have a great weekend!