Monday, November 29, 2010

Good Cop, Asshole Cop.

My husband and I subscribe to and employ some parenting techniques that differ greatly.  Namely, I play the bad cop (aka. the role of the structure implementing parent) and my dear darling husband plays the good cop (aka. the role of the by-golly-we-are-having-a-great-time! grandparent).  To make matters worse, when I speak with him about this (on multiple occasions) he nods and pretends to listen to me while having absofuckinglutely no intention of making any changes.  For an example, and as the topic of today's post, every time my husband takes Thing 1 to the store he comes home with a new trinket.  I insist that this is a bad idea for many reasons. To name a few:
a) My grocery budget is so tight that it does not include a trinket every time I buy bread and milk. Sometimes it barely covers the bread and milk.
b) This purchasing of said trinket is likely to disillusion the child into thinking he gets something every time we  enter a store, thus causing spoiled rotten child syndrome or what is commonly known as a dreaded public meltdown.
c) It is not fair that child gets a trinket from Dad, but not mean old boring Mom. 
d) Purchasing trinkets is clearly a job for the grandparents, who are expected to buy a child's love.  These are the people who also sugar them up and then hand them back to mean old boring mom. 

The other night we bundled up as a family unit, stuffed ourselves into my too-small-for-carseats vehicle and drove a mile down the road to Super Wal-Mart.  (I know what I said. Shut it.  The formula is $4 cheaper there.)  We picked up some white Christmas lights for the tree (classy-see?) and a few grocery items.  To get from the Christmas decorations to the groceries, we had to walk past the toy aisle, of course.  If I would have been there alone with the children I would have used every distraction technique in my arsenal to keep Thing 1's attention on anything but the toys.  Pointing and shouting, tickling, the card aisle, or a life threatening seizure. Since my husband was with us, not only did he not distract the child, but he actually pointed Thing 1 in the direction of the plastic shelves filled with battery operated fun (we were in Wal-Mart, get your mind out of the gutter) and made the aisles of toys seem like a magical parade of Santa's workshop. He pointed out 576 things that our child will not be receiving from Santa this year and lingered in the aisles like a drug dealer. He hyped up Thing 1 so much that his mouth was in a perma-Ooooooo from the awe of the selection. Then he (my husband, not the toddler) broke a Buzz Lightyear toy and I finally put on my bad cop badge and said sternly "Just take the child and walk away."

Later, while perusing the Wal-Mart meat section, I noticed that Thing 1 was missing his beloved pony flashlight, which he insisted upon bringing with him.  (MacGyver is his father, what do you expect?)  From there, we split up in search of his precious toy.  I began to have doubts about pairing off in a store the size of Super Wal-Mart and started fearing that I might have to spend an unacceptable amount of time looking for my family.  Not only did we need to get home and feed our offspring, but the flickering overhead fluorescent lighting makes me look like a tired, haggard stay at home mom (shhh!) and it gives me a migraine. My fears were quickly squelched when I heard my child having a hysterical meltdown at the far end of the store... near the toy aisle, naturally.

I walked around the corner to the scene of Thing 1 lying in a dejected heap in the center of the main aisle, wailing at the top of his lungs.  My husband was scurrying towards him with the pony flashlight in his hand, trying to soothe his sobs.  Aha! I felt like this was my moment to teach my husband about the winning ways of the bad cop!  I asked casually what the problem might possibly be while looking rather smug with one eyebrow raised.  My husband dodged my scathing sarcasm and proceeded to earnestly explain in great detail what happened when he re-entered the toy area with Thing 1.  He truly acted shocked at our child's behavior. I knew that I had obviously not been enough of an asshole yet, and I vowed to try harder.  My husband successfully gathered up the remains of our toddler and we headed to the cashier. While in the checkout lane, I watched Thing 1 attempt to touch every item within his reach while whining about his critical need for each and every ridiculous thing.

When he reached for a Martha Stewart Living magazine and demanded that he must have it,  I looked up at my groom and said, "Really? You don't see a problem with buying him something whenever you go out together?"

He remained obtuse and replied, "The last one was a $2 car!" (he has the intensely irritating habit of constantly defending his non-approved actions).

I responded, "It doesn't matter, it is the principle!" and then I had to pick at the scab, because that is what makes me special and gives me the emotional maturity of a 12 year old, and I said, "This has been a wonderful shopping experience.  Thank you."

We crammed ourselves back into my truck, drove the mile home and emptied the contents of our haul onto the kitchen counter.  While my husband put away the Wal-Mart meat, Thing 1 then "helped" me string the white lights onto our tree, Thing 2 shrieked with glee and drooled on himself and we all enjoyed an evening of Christmas Music and family fun.  The end.


Ahahaha! That really is the end to the story.  I still don't think my husband learned anything and I fully expect to have a repeat of this scenario about 200 more times before I die.  That is my life.  I get to be the disgruntled asshole while my husband gears up in his candy coated armour and flies his fucking unicorn over the city.

A "Cerebral" List to Make You a Better Addition to Society.

Have I ever mentioned how cold, windy winter days make me feel as wonderful as curdled milk that has just started to sprout fuzzy mold?  Well, that is yet another charming quality that makes me remarkably charismatic and the center of joy for so many.  In light of the fact that it is cold, grey and windy out, I think I will present you with something that I was working on a while back.  I saved it to make it better, but now I just don't care. 

This is all I am capable of doing today. Good thing the arrow is there or I might not find my way to the laundry closet.
On the day I wrote my list, this was my MSN horoscope....
Pisces
February 19 - March 20
This is a good time to put things in writing, Pisces. Your gift with words is apt to shine today as you write a proposal, e-mail, or love poem. You're able to communicate very well when you put your sensitive emotions aside and concentrate on what you think instead of what you feel. Expand your influence by focusing on those things that require a more cerebral approach.

What could be more cerebral than a list of Really Bad Ideas?  I can't think of anything!  So strap on your learnin' caps and read on. *These are things that may or may not have happened to me directly or in my presence.

A Cerebral List of Really Bad Ideas

1.  Mom Jeans.
2.  Eating cabbage before yoga class.
3.  Vomiting on your acquaintance's new and highly coveted chair.
4.  Making fun of someone when their mother is in earshot, or what I like to call "My high school years".
5.  Running to catch an elevator when you have the muscle control of a Jellyfish. 
6.  Believing that you have parenting down to an art.
7.  Venturing into public when you have severe PMS or are decaffeinated, or even worse: both.
8.  Thinking you are still "Cool".
9.  Using old underwear or unshaven legs before a date with a hot man as willpower.
10. Dating a man that won't let you touch his hair?  I know.
11. Making those horrible fish lips for the camera.  Please. Stop.
12. Using the MacGyver approach (duct tape and a wire hanger) to home repair.
13. Thinking you can keep up with people half your age. This fails every time.
14. Saying "But I was GOING to buy you a ring!" after she dumps you.
15. Drinking tequila in front of your mother.
16. Telling a pregnant woman that she looks like Santa Claus in her new red sweater.
17. Talking about how tired you are after your wife just gave birth. 
18. Explaining to your college professor exactly what you think of them before they hand out your grade.
19. The mullet.
20. The mullet combined with a mustache, or a MooStache, as I like to call it.
21. Starting a bar fight with someone twice your weight.
22. Drinking enough whiskey to start said bar fight.
23. Going to DSW without money.  This is a recipe for depression.
24. Giving a grown woman a Teddy bear.  Seriously guys, don't do it.
25. Pretending that Karma doesn't exist.
26. Paul Walker's "acting" career.  Really, just close your mouth and let us look at you.
27. Making brownies for "sharing".
28. Thinking you can spend less than $200 at Sam's Club.
29. Trying to exit the vehicle while still wearing the seat belt. You know who you are.
30. Line dancing.
and finally....
31. Following a vertically challenged redheaded man around and demanding "Give me that pot of gold, you stingy little bastard!".

 

Go forth with this new found knowledge and be that bright light that you were born to be...... Shine On!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks, prayers and turkey butts.

Look what I made!
I am sooooo thankful for my two little carpet monkeys!
...does Thing 2 appear cannibalistic to anyone else?
As much as I love my little crumb grabbers, I am grateful that I got to go on a walk ALONE (ahhhhhhh!) in the ridiculously nice Colorado weather (50's and sunny).  One of the few things that I do love about winter is the hibernation of the fucking snakes. Therefore I do not walk with my arse cheeks clenched while constantly on the lookout for slimy freaks with no legs.  The other great part of this holiday is that I get to eat two Thanksgiving feasts while preparing zero of them!  I clearly have the most wonderful friends on the planet.

Thing 1 taught me a prayer that he learned at Preschool. I think it is appropriate for today.  Feel free to use it at your Turkey dinner. 

Thank you God for food to share.  For friends that play and love and care.  Amen.

I couldn't have said it better myself.  It is so simple that you can probably even remember it after 3 glasses of wine.

I will leave you on this Thanksgiving Day with some photos from the archives. I was 19 and pimply.  I now have the distinct pleasure of possessing the man grabbing combination of acne and wrinkles.  Hold onto your husbands.  Meow.
These photos should prove to all of you that my "asshole" status hasn't been freshly acquired.



Whaaaaat?  Turkey Butt!

I truly feel like I missed my calling as a Vegas Showgirl.
 
 Happy Thanksgiving!
Love, Johi

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Best Way to Eat Leftover Turkey

Unless you are having an entire football team for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, you will have leftover turkey.  I am now going to share a recipe with you that will cause intense adoration and possible worshipping of me.  I accept.  I'll go ahead and say this now~You're welcome.  The best part is that you can totally take the credit for this invention when your family rants and raves about the ridiculous deliciousness of this dish.  Rock on!

Johi's Turkey Salad Sandwiches
~3 cups shredded turkey
1 t dill weed
1/2 crushed rosemary leaves or rosemary powder
dash of sea salt
dash of celery seed
dash of garlic salt
dash of pepper
1 t dried parsley
dash of oregano
1 green onion- minced
1 stalk of celery-minced (I use the leafy parts too)
~1/3 c mayonnaise
~1/3 c of craisins (or dried cherries)

Serve on toasted bread with leaf lettuce
Great with sweet potato fries.

Okay- honestly I don't measure any of this stuff.  Just throw it together in a bowl until you get your desired consistency.  Go easy on the salt- you can always add more.

Enjoy!

P.S.  This is actually my recipe for chicken salad, which is delicious, but when I tried it with turkey it also got rave reviews.



It should look a little something like this!



So I over toasted the bread and was too lazy to make sweet potato fries, still my husband loved it!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanks,Tape,Turkeys and raised middle fingers.

I would like to give thanks for three of my best friends~ red wine, coffee and chocolate.  Mommy likes her antioxidants.  Bogel Merlot, Chock Full O' Nuts coffee, and Dove Dark Chocolate are my specific preferences.  I would now like to share a little treasure that I wrote about a year ago that was inspired by my fixation with Dove Dark Chocolate.  To all my facebook friends who have already read this, I apologize for repeating myself.  Repeating myself is a horrible habit that I picked up after birthing children. Repeating myself is a horrible habit that I picked up after birthing children.

Side note: I was pregnant (thus in a rancid mood) when I composed this little gem.
**************************************************************************
FU Dove "Inspirational" Messages

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

So there I am, standing in my kitchen contributing to my family's' sugar intake by mixing up banana bread. I open the pantry to get my BIG mixing bowl (I am making a double batch- duh) and find an errant Dove Dark Chocolate with Almonds laying in the bowl. It is clearly lost and needed a home so I quickly unwrapped in and popped it into my mouth. As I was revelling in the creamy, chocolaty, nutty goodness I read the inspirational message inside the wrapper. "Live like you are wearing your skinny jeans". WTF? Are the Dove marketing people SERIOUS? If I was wearing my skinny jeans I wouldn't be eating a fucking chocolate! The only people that live like they are wearing their skinny jeans are the people ACTUALLY wearing their skinny jeans. Let us take a quick look at who it is that eats Dove chocolate; PMSing women (most likely NOT wearing anything skinny), Someone cheating on a diet (just reminding them of skinny britches is likely to piss them off), Pregnant women (at least a year away from fitting into anything described as skinny), and someone not exercising at the moment (let's face it, sweaty people don't want chocolate). All of the reasons above make this little statement way beyond a bad idea. I can see why this chocolate was all alone. All the other chocolates thought it was socially retarded and kicked it's ass out of the bag.

What is a girl to do at this point? I mean, I have just been degraded by a chocolate. Clearly I have only one option. So as I am unwrapping the second chocolate , I am willing the message to be truly inspirational. "Never let others' opinions change the way you feel about yourself". Seriously- why don't you just say "People think you are gross but you should try and look past that". Something has to change here. I propose truly inspirational messages such as: "You are an undiscovered supermodel", "The only reason that bitch hates you is because her boyfriend was checking out your ass- which is FINE", "Your ex that cheated on you got herpes from that slut", "You are a fucking genius ", "The company that fired you went bankrupt", and "You are a sexual dynamo and the subject of many fantasies". Seriously- that wasn't even hard.

I hope that no one else falls prey to Dove's passive aggressive messages, but if you do, just remember "fear no one but the bitch who doesn't eat chocolate, because she is probably in a really foul mood". Cheers!

**************************************************************************

As I promised yesterday, I will also mention turkey today. I never break my promises.  Well, except to that first husband in my "starter marriage".  He was as useful as a screen door on a submarine and committed his life to being an asshat though, so I don't count that as, well, anything.  

I want to preface this with I WAS NOT AN ELEMENTARY EDUCATION MAJOR IN COLLEGE.  Whew!  I'm glad I cleared up the confusion. 

Thing 1 and I had "craft time" (Thing 2's nap time) at our house, where we made a Turkey. See how reliable I am???? I promised you turkey and viola!  I also promise that I never end sentences in a preposition.  Look what I am made of!  Anyway, we had an unbelievable time.  Isn't that what you say when you are trying to be nice? Or is it incredible?

These are the items that we used....
Thing 1 painted on the paper and cut on the lines that I drew for him. Kind of.... 

I am pleased to announce that all of our digits are still intact!  Success!

Check out his stellar cutting form!
 We then tried glue, which didn't hold.  Next we tried the stapler, which didn't open up properly.  From there we attempted to use scotch tape, which failed.  So we ended up using masking tape.  Apparently, we are a heavy duty tape family.  Like the other day, when I discovered that I was actually married to MacGyver.  I strolled over to Thing 1's tricycle and found the following incriminating evidence....





This clearly made me suspicious so I plodded over to my "husband", aka MacGyver, where he was cleaning our living room rug in the yard.  What I discovered next removed any doubt that may have been lingering in my mind.


Yes, this is how we "wash" our living room rug.  Why do you ask?  We clearly are the upper crust of Ft. Collins.



Let me enlarge the proof.

Yep. I married MacGyver.
Sorry about the distraction.  Back to the turkey.  As I taped, Thing 1 sprinted around me, covered in paint, whining about his scissors, which I had removed from his careless little hand for fear of him cutting more than paper.  I threatened Time Out while he proceeded to produce fake crying and touched every surface in the house (still with paint on his hands).  After three near-meltdown situations (I pulled it together each time) we finished our Thanksgiving Turkey.


Tah Daah!!!! 

I don't think that now is a good time to tell you that I majored in Art.  It is indeed a mystery why I worked for 10 years in retail.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sad Black Dog

Poor, poor Black Dog.  All alone in the "dog room".  She looks so forlorn.



Before you accuse me of playing favorites~  Red Dog jumps the gate and Smelly Cat goes wherever he pleases.  Poor smelly, shedding black dog.

Smelly Cat is taunting her with his whole house access pass.

He even creates his own doors. 
Bastard. 
My husband spends all summer repairing screens. 
He is really good at it. :)

What is he isn't very good at is putting away his stuff.

I think Red Dog feels guilty.

Maybe not...


I am Thankful for....TURKEY!

In honor of Thanksgiving, I intend on mentioning two things in each post this week. 
1) Something for which I am thankful
2) Turkey
Are we all properly excited?  Great!  Let's do this positivity thing!

Today I am thankful for my beautiful family.  I know that I haven't been showing you pictures of them, but let me assure you, they rival any Gerber baby or child on the cover of Parenting Magazine.  I would like to give a big shout out to Thing 1 today for waking up in DRY big boy underpants!  WOOHOO!!!!  Also, I would like to give great thanks for the fact that Thing 2 only has his bottom teeth.  We have a little Edward Cullen in the house, except Thing 2 doesn't practice any restraint and bites me almost daily when nursing.  The best part is that right after he does this, he will find someone else in the room to make eye contact with and smile at them.  This is no accident people, he knows exactly what he is doing.  I will wrap this love fest up with my thankfulness that God produced my husband for me to marry.  It is obvious that he is far nicer than me, and that fact is crucial to our relationship.  So THANKS BE TO GOD for my boys.  Kiss! Kiss!

What???  Turkey butt!
I have a brilliant idea for all of you to try.  Because we all know of the sleep inducing effects of tryptophan in turkey, I propose that you all start consuming massive amounts of turkey starting NOW, so to build up an internal resistance to tryptophan.  Remember the scene from The Princess Bride where they battled wits with the tainted wine?  "No one to be trifled with"  consumed small amounts of the deadly poison so that he could then drink the poison and live to brag about it.  Yeah, like that!  Then, on Thanksgiving day, when your entire family is passed out in the living room with the football game on the TV, you will have the insane stamina required to clean the kitchen that you just spent six hours destroying.

Start with this Turkey Meatloaf that I created yesterday.


Turkey Meatloaf with sweet potato, green beans and pumpkin cornbread - aka My Lunch.  :)

Turkey Meatloaf
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
2 slices of bacon (cooked and chopped)
2 green onions (finely chopped)
1 stalk celery (finely chopped)
1/4 cup of red pepper (finely chopped)
1 egg beaten
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup milk
2 T plain yogurt
dash of sea salt
dash of pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Pack into a greased bread pan.  Bake at 350 to 375 for 1 hour.  Serve with gravy (I made beef based and it was great).  Build up that immunity!  Sleep is for the weak.

*I had cooked bacon leftover and used it.  You could probably use raw, but I can't guarantee the results.  :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mary Poppins may be promoting my drinking.

I always think that I love the movie Mary Poppins.  I own it and watched it with Thing 1 today, but afterwards I felt like I always do- disenchanted and slightly depressed. Before you throw your VHS Disney Collection at my head, let me explain.

I understand that the point of the movie is for parents to realize that all their children want from them is time and attention.  Mrs. Banks is a bubble headed Suffragette and Mr. Banks is a stuffy banker- both so caught up in their own lives that they don't have time for their children.

In floats a magical, honey-toned, perfectly coiffed Mary Poppins!  She has special talents, like sliding up the banister and producing decorating items from her empty carpet bag!  She uses her bewitching trickery to get the children, Jane and Michael, to clean the nursery!  She introduces them to Bert the chimney sweep/one-man band/artist and they jump into one of his sidewalk chalk creations!  There they meet cartoons penguins, rescue a cartoon fox and race on carousel horses!  After she sings them to sleep that night with her golden voice, they spend the following day talking to cute dogs and laughing so hard that they float in the air.! Mary Poppins is magical, mystical FUN FUN FUN!

Mary Poppins then appeals to the adult audience by showcasing brilliant manipulation skills, resulting in the children spending a day with dear old dad at work.  Boring. Jane and Michael end up being chased by the police. Bert brings them home to their mother who is once again too busy for them.  Then Mary Poppins arrives and they float up the chimney like Santa Claus where they prance over rooftops.  There they are granted a private concert by a dance crew of chimney sweeps!

Eventually, mum and pop come to their senses and they decide that they do love their children.  They prove this by going on a family outing- to fly a kite. Whaaaaat?  Really, we waited the entire movie for them to take some paper and string 100 feet away to the park? Talk about anticlimactic. As Debbie Downer would say, Wah wah...

Then, to make matters worse- Mary Poppins LEAVES. 

See?  It really is a horrible movie that promotes drinking wine while curled in the fetal position.  Oh, wait, maybe the cause of that is the potty training.....  Hmmmm? 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Well hell.

In case you were concerned, I got my $6 back from Target.  I know, now you can sleep tonight.

Thing 1 failed to toilet train himself as I had secretly hoped.  I fantasized about him tapping me on the shoulder and saying (with a British accent) "Excuse me mummy.  I feel the urgent desire to use the powder room."

Damn it.

I wish I could say that we worked for an hour and he grasped the concept right away.

Nope.

Instead, he had three successes today.  I'll take it.

I have felt strangely like I could pass out all day, but I reached deep down to my farm girl roots and pulled it together.  Now I will take tonight's shift in his room.  How much awesomeness can I possibly take in one 24 hour period?

Enough about potty training. Hey, remember when I told you how much I like interior design?  Let's look at something pretty, shall we?  Here is our almost completed Master Bedroom project.  It only took 6 years!  I know.  Our ability to focus on a task is staggering. We are for hire, by the way.


Here is a little something that my hub and I put together.  He made the headboard and taught me how to rewire the lamps- a task that I have always wanted to know how to perform (don't ask me why).  The best part of this is the fact that we spent next to nothing on the entire room.  I am a Habitat for Humanity shopper (lamps & nightstands), the sheepskin rug was practically free, the bedspread was from a discount online site, the headboard (an old door) was being stored in our barn and the bench is from Hobby Lobby.  I love this space. Maybe because it reminds me that I do get to sleep on occasion.  Or maybe I love it because it is the only room in the house not infested with toys! I am considering a pattern on the headboard wall (think wallpaper pattern made with paint).  Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Seriously- how great are these lamps?  Hand carved teak wood.  What is it about my house and stray hairs?
Okay, I feel better. 

Now I need to plan my evening sneak into Thing 1's room were I will make a bed on the floor. (Who made these potty training rules anyway?  And why the hell am I listening to their advice???)  I guess I get to sleep under the train table on a pile of blankets.  Maybe the black dog will let me borrow her nasty ass dog bed. Maybe I will get all Renaissance on my husband and feign a fainting episode.  Lord knows I have had plenty of real life practice.  However it goes down tonight, I am understandably pretty excited. Wait! What's that?  Hold the phone!!! The husband just informed me that he was taking the night shift!  *heavenly angels singing* Looks like I did choose the right man to marry after all!  Daily tip: It really does pay to walk around all day looking pasty white and unstable.  

Day 1 of Potty Training

Thing 1 is almost 3 1/2 years old and he is still not potty trained.  I have made all sorts of excuses ranging from "He just isn't interested" to "I know grown men that, if it were socially acceptable, would like it if you changed their diaper for them" to "I don't even have the same parts so my husband should really train him".  The reality is this~ I am lazy.  I also decided that it is bullshit that I do the training alone so I enlisted my husband to help this weekend.  He has already given me about 25 reasons to believe that having him help me was a bad idea, like telling me 25 times that he needs to leave the house today.  Guess what?  Mommy needs to leave the house too, for fear of my head exploding as a result of being here for the past five days alone with two children.....   Call me an asshole, but I am just not feeling overly sympathetic to his needs.

I friend told me about a 3 day method.  The basic concept is that you first have your child throw away the diapers and pull-ups.  Then you become glue and shadow your beloved offspring for three whole days (and nights- you are instructed to sleep on the floor by their bed) and consistently tell them, "Let Mommy/Daddy know when you have to go potty!".  Give them lots of rewards and praise.  I personally think that this sounds like a lot of laundry, no sleep and a migraine.  But, weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Here we go! Wish us luck.


On a completely different note, I decided to try a new shampoo.  I was feeling thrifty and thought that I would spend only $2.99 per bottle of shampoo and conditioner.  I stood at Super Target in front of the various brands and looked them over thoroughly.  After contemplating (ie. smelling) many different options I selected Herbal Essences, Tousle Me Softly.  It smelled okay, like pomegranates and wild violets, and I thought it might help pump up my hair, which Thing 1 told me was "skinny" the other day. 

After using it once I discovered why the folks at Herbal Essences claim that your hair will achieve a "tousled" look.  I spent the entire day itching my scalp, which is now the shade of a pomegranate, and my hair certainly did look tousled by last night.  Apparently they forgot to mention that they infused it with rash producing "essences" and quite possibly some sort of skin mite. Also, their version of pomegranates and wild violet started to smell like cheap air freshener used to cover the beguiling scents of a public restroom after about an hour. Daily tip:  Spend the money and stick with Redkin.  It has never given me a tousled look, but it has never given me a rash either, and it smells nice.

I now plan on convincing my husband that I do indeed need to leave the house. I need take the crap that they are schlepping as shampoo back to Super Target.  I think I will first grab one of their display bikes and proceed to ride through the aisles yelling "I want my six dollars!".  Okay, I won't really do that, but the thought of it is enough to entertain me for the next two minutes.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Subliminal Messages from Wal-Mart.

We take our floor time seriously around here.

The Red Dog likes her nappies.

We don't disturb her.


Thing 2 also likes floor time, but he is more of the kick and flail kind of dude.


Red dog doesn't seem to mind.

I feel the need to set the record straight.  Even though it does not show in these photos, I am passionate about interior design.  I've had that blanket since college. It does not fall into the category of "good decorating", but it is soft and thick, which is handy for protecting Thing 2's head.  Actually, no baby accoutrement in my house falls into the category of "pleasing to my eye" (except the actual baby, of course), so I thought that I might as well commit 100% to burning my retinas and combine the garish Wal-Mart floor mat with the hideous Wal-Mart blanket. I honestly rarely shop at Wal-Mart and how two items from there ended up in the center of my living room, I am unsure.  I don't sleep much and have been feeling, well... lazy, lately.  


To escape from the Wal-Mart invasion inside my home, I took the boys outside on an adventure!

I let Thing 1 determine the course of the conversation.  We spent the next hour discussing rocks and horse poop.

I didn't want to overdo it today so I allowed Thing 1 to push Thing 2 in the stroller.  It is important to teach your children about work ethic at an early age. 





We viewed some beautiful crunchy foliage....
Although I have no idea what this is, I am strangely drawn to it.  They look like tiny Oriental fans.... or something I would have to pick out of Red Dog's coat while she bites at my hand and wails into my ear.



I seriously am inspired by this color combination.  I want to run out to Lowe's (or Wal-Mart?) and get some paint for my living room so that I can look at these grey blue and goldenrod hues every day.  It makes me go ahhhhh.


We saw some lovely Colorado scenery....


The mountains always take my breath away.



And then I looked the other direction and saw Wal-Mart. 

I think that I am being stalked.




I am now going to get my Pottery Barn catalog and recharge my feeble mind with soothing colors and quality design.  Then I am going to make my family a classic American dinner of frozen pizza and ignore my house chores (once again) until I can muster up enough energy to pull myself out of my white trash life coma funk.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New jeans, same crappy attitude.

I love the way my husband can always justify himself.  He can take any negative and turn it into a positive.  I hate that shit.  Just let me wallow in my pessimism and take your sunshine sales to someone else's door.  It is one of his many maddening skills that will ensure my future with ill-applied lipstick on my face, rollers in my hair, crazy eyes and a ceramic cat collection.

As most women who have recently given birth tend to do- I have been losing weight lately.  Yay.  I should be super excited about this fact.  Although I am happy to be wearing my "normal" clothes, I don't really look all that fantastic in them anymore.  Also my "normal" clothes are all fairly out of style, considering that I haven't shopped for anything new in over a year. The sad reality is that I look like some sort of misshapen tube of toothpaste. One that the user haphazardly squeezed the contents from and discarded on a dirty sink (complete with many strands of my lost hair).

I may have pathetic clothing, but I am a Pisces, and I do take my shoes very seriously.  Especially boots.  I loves me some boots.  I have subscribed to one trend and have been seen wearing  "skinny" jeans with my tall boots.  The problem is that I wore the skinny jeans during my pregnancy, so on my new deflated figure, the jeans hang like they do on your local plumber.  Looking like you are carrying a loaf of bread in the ass of your pants is not attractive. I gifted the jeans to a curvier friend and scraped together $20 for a new pair of "skinny" jeans.  Just last Thursday, I agonized over them in the store.  I thought that they looked okay and even had the salesgirl rate them.  She liked them, so they came home with me.

I wore my jeans today for the first time.  Dark denim with my tall black buckle boots.  No red sweater this time.  I walked around all day feeling ...just okay.  Definitely not as great as I should have felt in a brand spanking new pair of jeans.  Tonight I had this conversation with my husband about my "situation".

Me, "Do these jeans look big?"

Husband (actually looks) replies flatly, "Yes."
Then he is surprised, "Oh!  Are those your new ones?"

Me, distressed "Yes!  I thought that they felt big when I put them on this morning!"

Husband, matter of fact, "You are losing weight."

Me, matter of fact, "Yeah, I lost 3 pounds."

Husband, suddenly hideously gleeful, "See!  Stress IS a great weight loss program!"



So here is my question, am I now supposed to thank him for the stress?  Or do I demand another $20 and buy a carton of ice cream and 4 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies?  You tell me.

Yoga (and Chili) for "creative" types.

I have always been a serious athlete. Oh wait, that was my sister. 

I participated in the shadow of my sister, who was one grade above me, throughout our school years. I barely held my own with a delicate combination of techniques including aggression, speed, unnecessary roughness and team spirit.  I went to a small school , it is literally in the middle of a cornfield, where you don't do superfluous things, like try out for sports.  In fact, they praised you for joining the team by awarding you a starting position!  Yay! Wait... I am not sure this was quite the compliment on my athletic ability that I would like to believe.


See the athleticism displayed by number 12 in the white, shooting the ball? 
That is my sister.  I am number 20, the one running around to the left. The one who is is no position to get the rebound.

In high school, I played every sport available. I even joined forces with a few other girls and proposed that the school board allow more activities for the females, therefore enabling me to be a total overzealous spaz!  Cross country.  Check!  Cheerleading.  Check! Basketball.  Check!  Track.  Check!  And that was just my activity list of sports.  There was also an assortment of other groups of which I was a member. I would name them all but it would seem like bragging.  Okay, the real truth is that I don't even remember all the clubs. As I have mentioned before, having children has melted my brain. Daily tip: Joining every club and playing every sport is how to "peak" in high school. By the time I got to college I was tired.  I then learned how to drink beer, do shots of whiskey with the boys and eat too much salty crap.  Some call me glamorous.  Feel free to be one of those people.



Here is a Cross Country gem from the early 90's.  I'm the one waving.  Clearly I was a fierce competitor who intimidated the other runners. Aside from the fact that I look like a total fool, my real favorite part of this picture is the GIANT satellite dish in the background.

Back to the exercise.  I have participated in a variety of cardiovascular endeavors through the years.  Taebo, Pilates, jogging (gag),  biking, the elliptical, walking and yoga, to name a few. I have always enjoyed walking and it accomplishes the near impossible.  It never bores me. Hence, I am a walker.  I also (re)discovered yoga 2 years ago after a visit to my chiropractor.  My hips had been aching for awhile (since the birth of Thing 1) and I finally made him take a look at them.  He informed me that my bursa joints were swollen. I nodded like I knew what he was talking about, then rushed home and Googled Bursa Joint.  I found all kinds of information about bursitis, including the fact that it happens to women in their 70's and 80's.  I was 33 at the time. After I almost passed out I decided to take action. So I signed up for some yoga classes. They made me feel great, nothing like when I tried them in college (at 7am!  Stupid time!). I ended up with a migraine after each class after those college classes.  The problem could have been the liquor consumed the night before...I guess that one will remain a mystery.  Anyway, this time, the breathing, the focus, the strengthening and stretching all made me feel centered and my brittle old lady hips stopped hurting. I can not afford the classes now (damn Smelly cat) so I just try to fit in a little movement every day a home.  Okay, not EVERY day, but 4 times a week.... if the planets are aligned properly and I have all my chores done.  I had not done any yoga in awhile and I was starting to feel (and look) like the hunchback of Notre Dame, so today I took action at the Things' nap time.

It went like this....

I started out on my mat in my clothes that I had put on this morning, complete with socks.  After my second downward facing dog I noticed that my socks looked like elf feet.  I then couldn't stop thinking about the movie Elf with Will Farrell.  "We elves try and stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup."

Why yogis don't wear socks.

I removed my socks and noticed my toenails were looking a little gnarly.  I started thinking about the last pedicure I had given myself and wondered about the decade of that event?  Hmm.  Maybe I should stop exercising and paint my toenails.  No!  Focus, damn it!

Scary.  But look at my cute beauty mark on my left foot.  I call that toe Cindy Crawford.  It might be Cancer but Cindy is a happier name, don't you think?


Then I couldn't concentrate because all I could think about was how my non-yoga pants were riding down and my ass crack was probably exposed.  I realize that I was alone in the living room and it shouldn't matter but I hate the feeling of cold air on my ass.  I turned over and put my ass down to stop the draft. I then did a bridge pose to try and stretch my chest out a bit. I am not loving the forward C my body seems to be fond of cramming itself into lately. While in the position, I noticed my feet were cold and I was thirsty so I stopped doing yoga and wondered off to find my Emu boots and a glass of wine water.


You feared a picture of my crack, didn't you? Sick bastard. These are my precious Emu boots.  They are comfy and warm and they make Cindy and her friends happy. I don't care if you think that they are ugly.  I love them.

So here is my conclusion;
I participated in enough fitness in my youth to trick my body into thinking that it is still fit, therefore I no longer need to work out.  No?  Okay, let's try another.  I need to be in a structured class to focus properly on what I am doing because if no one is giving me instruction I am likely to wander off and start baking cookies or cleaning a closet in the middle of exercise.  That is more like it.

This is only one of the many "benefits" of being creative (or what my husband and I have lovingly named our A.D.D.).



Hey!  Do you like chili?  Me too!
I cannot exercise without thinking about food. Here is a yummy version that I made in the crock pot.



Crock Pot Chili

1 pound of ground beef/buffalo,venison or ground turkey
1 small onion (chopped)
2 stalks celery (chopped)
1/2 red pepper (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
3 carrots (peeled and chopped)
1 medium zucchini (chopped into 1/2 inch squares)
1 cup frozen corn
1 28 oz (big ass) can of diced tomatoes
1 or 2 can(s) of beans, any combination of pinto, red kidney, white kidney, black or great northern
1 T beef bouillon (I used paste)
1/2 t sea salt
1 t black pepper
1/2 t oregano
1 T sugar
dash of celery salt
as much chili powder as you like

You need to know something about my cooking.  I really don't do silly things like "measure".  I also use whatever is in my refrigerator or pantry.  I don't usually put carrots in my chili but I was attracted to the color orange today (and I chose to wear it again, this time without a gourd comparison from Thing 1).  I will typically used diced tomatoes but I have also been know to use crushed or whole (I chop them). Fire roasted add an extra kick. I like 2 different kinds of beans but this time I just added one because I am nursing and Thing 2 is not fond of the gassy foods. In my humble opinion, cooking is not an exact science, so don't stress!  Just throw everything together when your children are wearing their halos (ie. occupied by a DVD) around 10 or 11 am.  Set that baby on low heat and you will have something edible, colorful and nutritious to feed your family at 5:30, right about the same time that your precious children turn into Satan's spawn. Serve with peanut butter and honey sandwiches (don't doubt it, just do it). Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Little things that make you laugh...or cry.

If you ever have a hearty (or catty) laugh around a friend of mine, he warns, "Remember!  What makes you laugh, makes you cry!"

Oh, I wish that statement wasn't so true.

Let me give you a few examples:

Yesterday I received an email from my sister regarding my post about  Smelly Cat where I was exaggerating about the ludicrous cost of his food.  This was her email:

It cost $376 per bag for cat food?  What the???

I love you sissy. 

She knows that my husband and I are on a tight budget which does not allow spending $376 on a bag of dry food for our free (from Craig's List) "barn cat".  I appreciate the concern but I was using that figure because it oddly makes me feel happy. Let me just tell you that this is not the first time that I have exaggerated for comedy.  There are the 376 times that I have said that I feel like I am 176 years old.  I am not actually 176 years old, I was born in 1975 so you do the math.  My husband and I did, however, care for some "antique" ponies that belong to my family.  Peanut and Little Joe were their names, or as Thing 1 called them "Meamut and Joe".  Although their actual ages were unknown, we figured that they were each around 40 years old.  In people years that equals approximately 176 years old.  Funny right?  Well, don't get too carried away with glee.  Joe passed away and left his best friend Peanut all alone.  Do you feel like crying now?  I do.  Even though he was a grumpy little fucker who hated men and was hard to catch, I loved him.  Maybe for those reasons alone.  Rest in Peace little buddy.




Little Joe after my sis and I had to shave him to remove his winter coat.  He looked like a yak before we did it- I assure you this is better.  Peanut is chillin' in the background.


Best Friends Forever
  I'm sorry.  I am seriously done with that sappy stuff.  The next one only made me cry.  I am pretty sure you will laugh.

Monday I pulled on my cute fitted orange tee-shirt.  I like the color and it covers the once trim area that was formerly known as my waist.  Considering the fact that I was wearing no makeup, sweatpants and my Emu boots, I was feeling pretty decent because the tee actually fit properly and I had consumed my daily dose of caffeine.  Apparently Thing 1 liked the shirt too because he "complimented" me like so... "Mommy, you look like a pumpkin!"  Just what every woman who gave birth 6 months ago wants to hear.  Thanks little buddy.


Oh, and I look like a pumpkin?  Look at that ridiculous fucking gourd that you are bouncing on, my dear darling child! I have never seen a pony that orange OR with an ass that misshapen!  Ha Ha!  That will teach you to mess with mommy.



 Honestly, pretty much everything about parenthood has the potential to make you laugh and cry simultaneously.  Sometimes I wonder if someone is going to put me in a straight jacket and drag me off to a padded cell.  That actually doesn't sound all that horrible to me... Oh, I got distracted. Anyway, Thing 1 pushes my buttons on a daily basis lately.  It is like he keeps a little checklist.
  • Demand juice when mommy is nursing my brother.
  • Watch Dora until Mommy realizes that I have been speaking in Spanish to her for the past 15 minutes.
  • Run outside when she is changing my brother's diaper.
  • When mommy asks "Do you understand?" ALWAYS answer "Huh?" (just like Daddy)
  • Eat 6 apples off the tree in the yard right before dinner, then refuse the food mommy spent an hour preparing.
  • Talk about poop and butts incessantly, but never ever use the potty.
  • When mommy says "Do not touch!" make sure she sees me slowly and deliberately put pointer finger  on whatever it is I am not supposed to touch.
  • Tell mommy, "You are not a mean mommy."
  • Tell mommy "I love you!" and give her a big hug and kiss.
  • Wake up at 5:15 am and repeat.
I wish that I was making this shit up, people.

I also know that both of my offspring possess the ability to go from hysterical laughter to blood curdling screaming in a split second.  That is normal, right?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Silence.... whaaaaat? Whhhyyyyyyy?

You know how you can be completely zoning out and then something snaps you back to reality? For me it usually involves the feeling of something wet.  Like when a baby pukes down your shirt or you drool on yourself.

Yesterday, as I was gazing out of the kitchen window, challenging that "myth" of snow blindness, I realized that there was something unnatural happening in my home.  It was completely silent.  I am not exaggerating.   There was NO freaking noise.  No Thing 2 screaming, no Red Dog making monkey sounds, no Thing 1 demanding juice and yelling Shhh! at me, no Black Dog barking, no TV, no radio, and no Smelly Cat yowling.  It was so weird that I briefly thought I had been transported to an episode of The Twilight Zone.  Either that or I had suddenly and inexplicably lost my hearing because BOTH children were AWAKE. Whhhhhhyyyyy was this happening?  I didn't trust it so I investigated the situation.

What I am about to share with you may make me an actual undiscovered genius.  I think I unveiled the magic formula....
x=silence, a=Thing 1, b=Thing 2, c=Mommy
a+dvd(with headphones)+b+plug+c+hiding in the closet=x!

Okay, so I wasn't hiding in the closet, but the Things couldn't see me.  I could see them... but they didn't know where mommy was, therefore, they were not making demands on me.  Viola!  Magic. NO NOISE!  If angel wings made a sound, what I heard was what they would sound like....  absofuckinglutely nothing!!!!

The crap part of this whole twinkling moment in time was that I didn't even realize why I was so relaxed as to be gazing outside at the snow, pondering the theory of snow blindness.  I pray constantly to feel peace but when I finally do, I almost completely ignore it. You see, when I get rare snippets of heaven I make sure to completely miss the well intended moment by allowing my eyes to float comfortably together in a crossed fashion while breathing through my mouth.  Once again, God throws up his hands at me and wonders, "Why bother? This one is drooling on herself again."


Stare at this picture for 5 minutes and you will develop snow blindness.
 Just kidding.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Smelly Cat Has A Problem.

 Although Smelly Cat has a very odd upper lip that protrudes and causes him to drool when he sleeps (on the couch), his coat is usually luxurious and the cause of envy from the neighborhood cats.  Of course he is usually covered in debris because he shares the black dog's affinity for rolling in junk, but the hair underneath the garbage is fabulous!  The seasons aren't the only things that have changed and as of late, he has been having some grooming issues.... 

Do you notice anything strange here?

 
I don't think this look is going to start a new trend with kittahs.
Like any respectable pet owner, I have tried everything from having a frank discussion with him about the important of hygiene to shaming him by laughing and pointing.  None of my tactics were working so I dewormed him and put him back on the limited ingredient green pea and duck food that cost $376 for a ten pound bag.  He refuses to eat this food and has now taken to following me around all day so that he can yowl at me.  When I blatantly refuse to submit to his demands, he then eats the dog's food.  He is still mowing his hair off of his tail.  What to do? What to do?  After giving it a great deal of thought, I have decided to Nair him.  I will then carry him everywhere and hold my pinkie finger up to the corner of my mouth.  If you pass me in Target please nod to Smelly Cat and greet me as Dr. Evil.

*Daily tip- Spell check wanted me to replace "dewormed" with "wormed".  I feel there is a gross misuse of this word.  Among my many many many pet peeves is people stating that they are going to "worm" their horses/dogs/cats.  You are removing the worms, therefore you are not worming them- you are deworming them.  Suck it spell check!  Spread the word. Go forth and deworm.

* I know how to spell kitten.  I would just rather say kittah, kittone, baby kiss kiss, kitter or keykey.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I Warned Him Not to Wear It.

Aside from the fact that both Thing 2 and I picked up Thing 1's cold, my day started off quite nicely with a drive that produced the following pictures:



Serenity
 



Stillness
 



Quiet
 
Then we returned home where Thing 1 said to me, "I want a new bigger house because this one is dirty." and my husband walked around the corner wearing his favorite sweatshirt.  While the sweatshirt may make him feel warm and snugly, it has the opposite effect on me.  I think that most of us have an item of clothing that simultaneously embraces and rejects you, like crawling into a warm bubble bath with your radio while it is playing your favorite song. It also usually provokes the question, "Is that person living in a cardboard box?".
Even though our house is indisputably too small and too dirty (just ask our 3 year old), we are not homeless.

Protect and preserve Grizzly, my ass.  How about protect and preserve my eyes?
 
Seriously, did a rat gnaw on this thing?
Because he knows I loathe this shirt and he chooses to keep it and wear it on a Sunday, one of the few times that I spend the entire day with him, I choose to share this little story with you.  Enjoy. 

Meet the Parents

*This is a ridiculously long story.  If you are already bored or short on time please skip to the end- where I will give you the Cliff Notes version.

I started dating my husband on January 1st 2004. It truly was a great start to a bi-polar year that contained getting fired from my job of 9 years, finding out one of my best friends had cancer (again), finally getting to keep my horse in my backyard, moving twice and having a meltdown both times, buying our first house together, a haircut that made me cry and a really sweet engagement. I had introduced my man casually a few times to my folks, who live 800 miles away in Iowa. Things had gone well on those occasions. He was certainly not only a step up from my ex-husband, but he actually resided on the surface of dry land as opposed to the bottom of the stanky ass pond, so the rents where giving me a thumbs up. This is the benefit to making really horrible decisions in your past. If you even remotely get your shit together people start singing you praises. Daily tip: Keep people's expectations of you low and they will always be pleasantly surprised if you achieve anything that even slightly resembles success.  *I am not referring to my husband with this statement, just my life in general. 

It was soon August and time for our yearly Black Hills horse camping expedition. This was my husband's first time participating in a horse camping trip and he was very excited. I had already introduced him to many friends and he was getting the idea of how big my "circle" is. It is a daunting task meeting so many new people, but he was handling it all gracefully. This trip, however, is like a manic game of name association as there are usually 25 to 40 people present with our camping group.



A portion of our Black Hills Group.
  It all started to go wrong with the "group games". There are really only two types of people on the planet; Those who like games and those who do not. I am not only in the first category, but I am highly competitive. I have, in fact, made people cry while playing. Some call it the hand of Satan, I call it a gift. My husband, on the other hand, is not so fond of the games. He processes thoughts in a different way than I do and doesn't shine at games where you have to do unheard of things like pay attention. Games like Taboo. Our Chosen Horse Camping Game. Taboo not only sets the groundwork for important matters like dividing the true winners from the losers, but also is valuable in determining who is the drunkest in the group. We start the game with choosing teams. Surprisingly, it is divided between the sexes. (I now feign shock.) The stage is set. The campfire is blazing in the background, the "teams" have separated themselves, the Coleman lantern or "interrogation lamp" is burning, someone is whistling the theme song from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in the background, the timer is poised and ready. The girls start playing, we are flying through the cards! We are kicking butt and taking names! The time runs out. 5 words!! We are awesome! The boys start, they have a competent player in the driver's seat. Super creative... they get 5. Game is on. Back to us. We rock out to another 6! Woohooo! Suck it! The boys are back on- they get 6. Bastards. The game goes on like this, neck and neck. Then it is my hub's turn to give clues. The timer is turned- GO! The word is Zebra. You can't say Black, White, Stripes, Horse, Africa. He pauses dramatically (time! time!), he says "uuuhhhhhmmmmm, uuuhhh.......This is ...uh, like a, um, horse from Africa!" BUZZZZZ! Foul! Next word Sugar. You can't say Sweet, White, Brown, Coffee, Candy. "uuuuuhhhh, uuummmm..... This tastes...uhh...sweet.... " BUZZZZZZ! And the torture went on. Very amusing for the winners, *ehem* ,the girls.

The next night we were sitting around after dinner, much more laid back from the previous Taboo night, and someones starts another little game. "I am going camping and I am taking a ..." then they name something that starts with the letter of their first name. This goes around a circle of 15 or 20 of us a few times and most people are catching on. My dad, who is the master of games like Monopoly and anything involving a deck of cards, is sitting out of the circle, refusing to play. I think this is because he wasn't figuring out the game, therefore he was being a sourpuss. My husband, clearly the underdog here because he just met these people and doesn't even know the majority of their names, is at least participating, but is puzzled. The games keeps going and I can see he is getting frustrated, clearly intent upon reviving his social status from last nights debauchery. It goes around the circle a few more times. It comes down to my guy and a ten year old girl. She catches on. The interrogation lamp is on the final contestant, my guy. He is really concentrating, you can see the veins popping out in his forehead. It is coming around, back to him when the ten year old leans over and whispers to him the "secret" to the game. He was so embarrassed that he actually yells at her a little "I almost had it figured out!". Sure.

The next day was riding as usual, then a quick "Wildlife Loop". This is where we pile approximately 4 to 5 people in the front of a pickup and 10 to 12 in the bed. I am sure this is highly illegal, just as I am sure that none of us give a crap. When you are on vacation the law doesn't apply to you...right? Usually a couple of people sit on hay or a toolbox behind the cab (the prime seat), a couple on the wheel wells and a few across the back on coolers or in lawn chairs. We then proceed to drive a road that is a designated "wildlife loop" and the huntsmen of the group try and spot animals. Of course the animals hear the truck load of drunk people yelling far before any of us see them, and the elusive ones remain elusive. We usually do see the tatanka (buffalo)because they no longer fear white man, and then there is much rejoicing. Well, on this particular trip, my hub and I decided that we had been drinking enough beer to drown a buffalo herd and needed to lay off the ale.  We then made gin and tonics (with a twist!) for the road. We are riding in the truck on the toolbox, sipping our cocktails  and having a much better time viewing the herd o' bikers than the buffalo herd, as we are always there when Sturgis is in full swing. My husband was finally feeling comfortable with the group.  He was talking and laughing, telling jokes and building camaraderie with the group.He then took a big swig of his gin and tonic and sucks the lime into his mouth, which he promptly spits out. What he failed to take into consideration was the wind, from being in a moving vehicle. There are 8 people between us and the tailgate, one naturally being my mother. It is painfully obvious what happens next. The spit covered, gin soaked lime that was hawked from my man's mouth lands right in my mother's face. Of course it does. Where on earth else would it go?

And that is the tale of my husband's first vacation with my family. No spit.

* (Campbell's Soup Version) The first real time that my husband spent with my family was on a vacation in South Dakota.  He made good use of this time to make a stellar impression on them by proving that he was potentially the worst person on the planet at games and by drinking far too much alcohol(but we all did, so maybe no one noticed).  Oh yeah, and he accidentally spit a gin soaked lime into my mother's face.  I still chose to marry him and bear his children. The end.