Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

Due to technical difficulties, I am unable to bring you the blog I started writing last night. I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but the computer curse struck again! This time, it’s the cord. (Nothing is safe.) If you’re wondering if a three-prong plug will still work if one of the prongs breaks off inside the socket, the answer is–yes, actually, but a bit sporadically. Last night the amputated plug was just not able to pump out enough juice. (If you’re also wondering–yes, I’m pretty sure this is a fire just waiting to happen.) This is seriously about the 17th cord I’ve gone through; I think it’s a conspiracy designed to keep Steve Jobs in designer underwear.

ANYHOO, today, instead, I leave you with these photos to ponder, courtesy of my middle sister (momof2dancers), who happens to live right behind me. She sent me these photos while I was at work one day, sending a chill immediately down my spine. Yes, this is my house, with a huge, black, foreboding bird perched on top.

I’m pretty sure Edgar Allan Poe is buried under the foundation.

Would anyone else take this as a bad omen?

KREATIV Licensing Gone Wrong…So, So Wrong…

Husband needed a haircut. BAD. He usually goes to a place in the mall, but of course, I had to open my mouth and suggest he go to someplace cheap in town this weekend. How hard can it be to cut a guy’s hair? I thought. Yeah. I was looking forward to seeing him walk in the door because I was really getting tired of the fuzz growing down his neck in the back–plus he usually looks super-cute with a fresh, short cut! USUALLY, being the operative word. No offense to Husband because I love him very much and think he is perpetually sexy, but DAMN, he got screwed. I’m pretty sure the haircut involved placing a bowl on top of his head. Picture this guy, but minus the mullet in the back.
(To the poor guy whose picture I just stole off Google images to exploit for my own (and your) entertainment, I apologize! My only hope is that this was you back in ’88 and that you are now a super hot underwear model and are able to look back on this photo and laugh.)

I asked Husband why he didn’t ask his stylist to take off more in the front. He said, “I did. You should’ve seen it before.” *shudder* Husband said he thinks he got a Cost Cutters trainee, although she must’ve been in her second or third career because she was at least 65. He also said he knew it wasn’t going to be pretty when she kept dropping the scissors and dug the comb so hard into his scalp that it left marks. “Well,” I said, looking for the silver lining in this badly coifed cloud, “at least it didn’t cost too much.” Then Husband revealed that he’d had to pay $16 for his new Amish boy look! What? When did Crap Cutters suddenly get so high-falootin’? Who do they think they are–Fantastic Sam’s?

All this got me to thinking about a topic that’s been kind of a hobby of mine–collecting bad hair salon names. Why the interest? Who knows. I’m sure it started with a bottle of wine and a copy of the Yellow Pages, but at some point I began to notice just how bad the names of the majority of “beauty parlors” (for my readers over the age of 60) are. I’m talking horrible, horrible puns. Puns that should be illegal, or at least should carry a heavy fine. And then there are the misspellings. I’m assuming they’re on purpose, the salon owners taking pride in their creative licensing with the English language, but it’s hard to tell. I’ve compiled a short list of my favorites, categorized for your reading convenience. This list is by no means exhaustive. I anticipate that it will take me the duration of my life to explore all of the gems that exist across the nation. But enjoy this taste of What-Not-to-Name-Your-Salon 101…

Category 1: Puns using the word “cut,” “hair,” “shear,” or “head”
A Cut A-Head
A Hair Bit Better
A Shear Inspiration
Hair A Fair
Hair A-Peal
Hair Daze (Where you get a contact high while getting a trim…)
Hair it IZ (Wow–A clever take on the words “hair” and “here” AND a creative spelling of “is” AND all caps…I don’t know how they do it…)
Hair Port (I get it! It’s like the “airport” only a “hair port”…but no one’s flying or anything…)

Category 2: Spelling “cut” with a “k” or “cuts” with a “z” (Why?? Why??)
Cilla’s Sassy Kuts (I personally like my cut a little sassy!)
Craig’s Kurl-N-Post
Creative CUTZ (I especially like the ALL CAPS)
Crystal Kut-Away
Hair Kraze (Because “Hair Craze” would just be krazy!)
Kasual Kut Barber & Style
Kathy’s Kut & Kurl (Klever!)
KLIP Joint (Sounds like either something you smoke or part of an assault rifle)

Category 3: Never name your salon while drinking
Alley Cut
Angi’s Scissor Shack
2 Pretty Beauty Salon
4 Brothaz & A Sista Barba Salon (No, I did not make this up.)
A Great Cut (Say “Welcome to A Great Cut” in a monotone)
Aqua-Net Beauty Salon (Hmm…naming your salon after our favorite ’80s hair cement…I’m pretty sure I’d come out of there with my teased bangs reaching for the ceiling.)
Carla’s Chop Shop (Free side of pork with every cut.)
Connie’s Beauty Box (Seriously, doesn’t it seem like every hairstylist is named Connie?)
Cow World Hair Salon (Need I say more?)
Hair Arrangement by Norman (What exactly is “hair arrangement”?)
Hair Clinic (Is this the trauma clinic for bad haircuts?)
Hair Corral (Seriously, why the rampant use of “corral” when referring to salons???)
Hair Hut (Ditto for “hut”)
Hair Shack (Ditto for “shack”. You can’t have much pride in your place of business when you refer to it as a “shack,” can you???)
Hair Explosion (Wow. That’s gotta hurt.)
Hair Pen (As in a pigpen or a writing instrument?? So many layers!)

Category 4: Names that are trying waaaay too hard
Alpha & Omega of the Haircut (I’m not sure I think a haircut is worthy of being compared to our Divine Creator…)
Anointed Hands Beauty and Barber (Unless Jesus is giving haircuts, I’d rethink the name)
Annointed Hair (Okay–now I need to add a category: Names dripping in blasphemy!)
Cortex Layer (Sounds like something you’d learn about in anatomy class. “The cortex layer surrounds the brain…” Seriously, maybe it IS really a part of the body…I’ll have to google that.)

I guess part of my fascination stems from my curiosity of…why salons? Why don’t other establishments practice this name-slaughtering ritual? Why not banks? Who wouldn’t want to trust their life savings to The Money Hut or DOLLARZ R Us?

Until next time, dear readerz, stay KOOL…

Multi-Tasking Ain’t for Sissies!

In case you’re wondering, it’s REALLY easy to try to be clever and creative with my 3-year-old in the room. So seriously, abandon all high expectations for this post now. I think it will be best for everyone that way.

Let me just pull you into my world for a few minutes…

[Picture me sitting in my living room with my laptop and monitor I like to refer to as the “conjoined twins.” I’m reading emails and checking out a few other blogs for inspiration as I try to get the creative juices flowing. Boy #3 is playing castle in the room, which really just means he puts a knight, ogre, or even a penguin–no matter–on top of the castle and then knocks it off. Again. And again. All while making “grr” and “roooarrrppphhh” noises.]

Boy #3: Mom, what comes after tres?
Me: Cuatro.
Boy #3: Mom, what comes after cuatro?
Me: Cinco.
Boy #3: Mom, what comes after cinco?
Me: Seis.
Boy #3: Mom, what comes after seis?

I’m sure you can guess the rest…This continued for awhile, with me attempting to read, type, and speak bilingually simultaneously.

Boy #3: What’s “ret”?
Me: What?
Boy #3: What’s ret?
Me: Wet?
Boy #3: No. RET!
Me: Red?
Boy #3: No–ret!
Me: Honey, I don’t know what you’re saying.
Boy #3: Ret!
Me: Ret?
Boy #3: Yes–ret!
Me: Nothing.
Boy #3: Oh.

Seriously, what was that about? I swear he does this on purpose. I mean, he can speak two languages, for crying out loud–you can’t tell me he doesn’t know that “ret” isn’t a word! And of course I get no contextual explanation for this two-minute exchange.

Me: *sigh* Okay, Mommy’s going to get a couple things done, okay?
Boy #3: Okay.

[3-second pause]

Boy #3: MOOOMMMMY, GET ME SOME CHOCOLATE MILK, I SAID! NOW!
Me: Excuse me, you don’t talk to Mommy like that. I’ll get you some milk in a minute.
Boy #3: NO, NOW!!! I SAID I WANT IT NOW!!!

Now this is where a GOOD mom would tell you that she calmly waited out the crying, whining, and screaming to teach him that he was not the boss and didn’t get to make demands to Mommy…You can go ahead and guess what my response was…So after enjoying the 30 seconds of silence that occurred while he drank his chocolate milk, (well, if you don’t count that sound of Barney and his troupe of annoying, overexaggerated kids singing on the TV), I was startled from my creative trance by the sound of cereal spilling and rolling all over the floor.

Boy #3: Mommy, I spilled a “wittle bit of Weeseth Puffth on the fwoor!”

At that moment, I had a flashback of yesterday, when I came home from work to find Boy #3 standing in a manmade mountain of Special K Fruit & Yogurt (MY cereal, of course).

Me: Okay. I’ll clean it up in a minute.

Boy #3: (Having returned to his castle) Mom, this monkey doesn’t have a tail! MONKEYS ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE TAILS!
Me: (Type. Type. Type.)

Boy #3: Mom, are you having a baby?

This I could not ignore.

Me: No, I’m not.
Boy #3: Then why did you get fat?
Me: I don’t know, honey. I guess I thought it would be fun.
Boy #3: Oh.

(pause)

Boy #3: I wuv you, Mom.

Me: I love you too.

I don’t know why they call it Hamburger Helper. It tastes just fine by itself!


Good crack-ass-of-dawn morning to you! Yes, it’s Sunday morning, and I’ve been up since 4:54. I’d like to say that it was because I wanted to get in a 5-mile run before dawn or meditate and write in my gratitude journal, but no, it’s because my dog is trying to kill me. Really. The barking–the incessant barking!–it’s all a plot to push an already mentally fragile woman over the edge once and for all. Somehow Teddy has discovered a frequency that only a woman can hear! That’s got to be it, because every night it’s the same thing.

Teddy: Bark! Bark! Bark bark bark bark bark! barrooooARK! Bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark!

Me: (putting the pillow over my head) Okay, I just let him out an hour ago. Maybe he’ll stop barking if I just ignore him.

Teddy: Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark!

Me: (elbowing Husband in the back) Someone else has GOT to hear this. There is no way I’m the only one who’s hearing this. Maybe if I just lay still, someone else will get up and let him out…

Teddy: AaarooooooOOOOOO! Bark! Bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark!

It’s got to be a hormone thing. Testosterone must somehow filter the noise. That’s the only way to explain how the same four males can sleep through that racket every…single…night.

So I’m up! Might as well take advantage of it and surf the net without three kids hovering over me asking me when they can play World of Warcraft. Yes, my three-year-old even has a character on WOW. I’m pretty sure he’s the youngest geek on the Internet. I’m not proud.)

In an effort to bring you enlightening and entertaining content, I’ve been stumbling upon other people’s blogs to see what they’re writing about (or to plagiarize from them, either one). Okay, so I just hit this button to randomly find a blog, and seriously, every other one has to do with FOOD! I had no idea that so many people were completely obsessed with food. And not just eating it and writing about it, but taking pictures of it! They must live a completely different life than I, because I can’t imagine ANYONE wanting to read about my culinary experiences! Here are just a few to check out if you’d like to feel really inadequate:

Cupcakes take the cake—This one is all about, you guessed it, cupcakes! All cupcakes, all the time. Who knew there was so much to discuss about cupcakes? The only thing I can think of to debate is whether the multi-colored paper liners or the silver foil liners are best…

Cupcake bake shop by chockylit—What?! Another blog about cupcakes? I must’ve been living under a rock, but I had no idea cupcakes were so hip and complex! Reading the latest post, I don’t think this chick and I could be friends. The recipe is for “chocolate cupcakes stuffed with strawberry chocolate ganache and frosted with chocolate glaze and buttercream” and the entry says, “This one was for a 2 year old’s birthday party.” Excuse me? This is what you serve at your 2 year old’s party? I thought everybody just went to Wal-Mart like I do and bought Blue’s Clues cupcakes with frosting that stains the kids’ teeth. Isn’t that a rite of passage?

Although I do love my cheese, I don’t think I’d really have THAT much to say about it, but apparently someone does—hence Serious Cheese. I wonder what they think about Velveeta…Okay, I just saw a label called “homemade cheese” and had to check it out. Yeah, we soooo do not live in the same world. Here’s what they say: “But one thing this cheese does have going for it is simplicity. Heat milk to temperature, add culture and rennet, mix well, and leave it until tomorrow. Can’t really get much easier.” Can’t it?? Oh, I beg to differ. I’m pretty sure that throwing a package of Kraft cheese slices into your cart is MUCH easier. I mean, seriously. Where does one even find “culture” and “rennet”? I’m fairly certain I’ve never run across them at my local Fareway store …

Let’s get wokking! is a blog written by a stay-at-home mom who cooks all this food for her family. Wow, do I feel like a loser after reading this one. I don’t stay home, but even if I did, I don’t think I’d ever whip this up for my boys:

Were I to have a food blog, this is pretty much what it would look like every day. All you foodies out there–enjoy!

Aah, another recipe for my fellow gourmet cuisine lovers. This one was not only a treat for the palate, but it also cooperated with our fine dining budget…It was inspired by a leisurely trip to the local market. Armed with my environmentally friendly canvas bag (because it’s very convenient to bring 37 of these bags with me to the store each week), I began scouting out the perfect ingredients for a memorable meal. I was starting to perspire, thinking that maybe I had lost my culinary touch, when I spotted it. Aisle 3. Right between the macaroni & cheese and rice–the answer to my prayers. Hamburger Helper. On sale for 10/$10 (or 1 for $1 for those you who don’t want to do the math). But which to choose? There were so many varieties–all colors, flavors, and sodium quantities. I scanned, squeezed, and smelled. I held them up to the light. I tapped on the boxes to see which were freshest. I even opened a few boxes and sampled a bit when no one was looking. And then I made my choice. Cheesy Hashbrowns (Naturally Flavored). Each serving providing 21% of your daily sodium and 30% of your daily fat. What could be better? I think I may send this recipe to Rachel Ray…

Oh, the buzzing—the infernal buzzing!

First of all, I have to apologize to my loyal readers who noticed that an April 30 post was mysteriously missing. The truth is, coming up with blog ideas for TWO WHOLE DAYS IN A ROW just wore me out and I was in bed by 9:30. I did get up early this morning, however, to add a post because I knew your whole day would’ve been thrown into a funk if you didn’t get to start your morning with my little morsels of bloggy goodness. 🙂

At the moment I’m trying hard to channel some creative energy, but I’m finding it difficult because of this annoying techno-buzz coming from my 1-month-old 19″ flat-screen acer monitor. I was sitting here enjoying the quiet that only happens when all of the planets align and my children are all sleeping (in their own beds), my cockatiel is not staring at a bone-dry water cup, and my dog has finally passed out from the exhaustion of endless barking, when—no surprise here—something in my house has to break that undeserved silence. This time it was the monitor. I’m pretty sure the poltergeists are trying to talk to me through the screen.

You might wonder why a monitor that I’ve had for only one month is torturing me with the buzz of despair. Ah, yes, let’s explore that question. It seems that I have some sort of computer curse. Shall we take a stroll down memory lane?

It all started with Laptop #1. A smart and sexy MacBook Pro with a 15-inch screen and a finger pad to die for. Sadly, he met his demise when Husband “accidentally” dropped him all the way down the stairs. Onto the hardwood floor. I suspect he was becoming jealous of the way I stroked his keys and let him sit on my lap.

Laptop #2 isn’t nearly as glamorous as #1, but I couldn’t resist a cheap thrill. Although I believe this Lenovo has taught me, if anything, that you get what you pay for. Despite the fact that he’s terribly awkward with horrible social skills, he still didn’t deserve to be disfigured as he was. First came a near-drowning when Husband spilled a glass of beer all over him, rendering his keys useless. Fortunately, however, the Lenovo customer service rep either didn’t understand or just didn’t care and sent me a new keyboard free of charge. (I’m pretty sure that “bathing in beer” is not covered by the limited warranty!) This bliss was short-lived, though: Boy #3 had discovered the joy of torture. He started picking off the keys, sometimes dragging out the torture, and other times ripping off 3 or 4 letters or punctuation marks as quickly as you’d rip off a Band-Aid. Now all that’s left are F2–F12, 2, 3, 4, 6, and U. Doesn’t leave much left to work with. I can write “2 4 U” (“two for you”) or “U2” (“you too” or Bono), but that’s about the extent of my literary capacity. Fortunately, though, we did splurge for a prosthetic device for #2. Although he can’t really get around like he used to since the external keyboard ties him down, at least we can communicate again.

Enter Laptop #3—a newer version of #1, but this time with a shiny, glossy screen and some upgraded features. She turned a year old in February (yes, this one’s a “she”), and she’s been everything I’ve ever wanted in a laptop. We spent many hours together at the local coffee shop writing show-stopping life insurance copy and dreaming about the future. Then came the horrible accident. Another fall, but this time at the hands of Boy #2. I can still hear the heartbreaking sound of metal on wood followed by the word no mom wants to hear uttered: “Whoops!” I rushed her to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store. Diagnosis? Broken screen. Cost? $1100. Response? Buy separate monitor instead for $150 and join the two like Siamese twins. Is this convenient? No. Doesn’t this union create a dangerous intertwining of cords and connectors? Yes. But up until last weekend this was bearable. That was when, as curse would have it, Dog decided that no computer or computer accessory under this roof should go unpunished, and he proceeded to jump on the table while he was trying to kill my mother-in-law because she wouldn’t let him gorge himself on garbage (which is a whole separate story that I’m too emotionally exhausted to go into) and KNOCK THE MONITOR–you guessed it!–onto the hardwood floor. Long story short (or short story long): I’m pretty sure that’s why my monitor is now buzzing.

Sorry, but I can’t listen to this anymore or I’m going to go “tell-tale-heart-Poe” on everyone. I’m going to bed.

Happy @&?%#ing May Day!


Oh, crap. It’s May Day. Does anyone else think that this holiday was created just to make us frazzled moms feel even guiltier? It happens every year. It’s not that I don’t realize that May 1st comes after April 30; I just always seem to have other things on my mind and it’s not until I come home and find our porch filled with beautifully bedazzled May baskets overflowing with popcorn, candy, and flowers that I give May Day any thought. Then it’s straight to my cupboard to see what I can scrounge up to appease the guilt gods. Let’s see…If you find a sytrofoam cup (YES, I care about the environment, but they’re cheap!) filled with the following items, you’ll know it’s from us:
dried beans
chili powder
stale Peeps left over from Easter
taco seasoning
Canine Carryouts (Beef flavored!)
a slightly bruised apple

Ding-Dong! “Oh, kids, we got a May Basket…I think…”

More than you ever wanted to know about the recorder

Wow–Day 2 as an “official blogger.” I never thought I’d make it this far! No, seriously, I didn’t really think past Day 1, which is why I have been frantically searching the Interweb for something to write about. I can’t bear the thought of letting down my 5 readers! I’ve come across blogs, some interesting, some inane, which I will save for another day. (I’ve really got you hooked now, huh?) Tonight, however, I will subject you to some disorganized thoughts sparked by everyone’s favorite $3 instrument.

This evening I had the pleasure of attending a music concert. What concert, you might ask? Billy Joel? Bon Jovi? Better. I had 4th row seats to watch my son and his fourth grade colleagues rock the house via …the plastic recorder. It was actually a really good concert, and I have to think that God created very special people to be elementary music teachers. The thought of being shut up in a classroom with 27 ten-year-olds armed with recorders makes me want to jump out of a window! Anyway, the concert got me to thinking, is there a future in recorder-playing? I mean, kids spend a year of their lives with these instruments and then just toss them aside the following year when the “real” instruments come into the picture. It’s like, “Hey, Recorder, thanks for breaking Joey in. I couldn’t take all that squeaking and squawking like you can, man. But now that he’s gotten it out of his system, I’ll take it from here.” And Joey lets his three-year-old brother slobber all over the poor selfless recorder as he gets lured away by a trampy trombone with a guilty smile. Where was I going with this?? Oh, right. So anyway, I got to thinking about the recorder and if anyone actually plays this instrument past the age of 10, and I have to say that I was blown away! (Pun intended.) Apparently there are organizations (such as the American Recorder Society) all over the WORLD devoted to people who enjoy playing the recorder for fun! And there are actually professional “recorderists” who, I guess, get paid to play the recorder?! Who knew? Apparently Pete Rose did, as this must have been his back-up career after getting kicked out of baseball. Obviously, parents aren’t buying this $106 recorder so their kids can run around the house with it playing “Hot Cross Buns” either. I just wonder, though, what makes people rediscover the recorder after it’s been lost in the bottom of the toybox for all those years…No matter. After discovering 61 regional organizations on Google Directory dedicated to the recorder and only 7 dedicated to the trombone, I’d say that the recorder has the last laugh.