Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chew On This

I've mentioned before that I'm a good friend.

And it becomes glaringly apparent at certain times.

Like yesterday, when my friend, Amanda, sent this photo from the plane on her way to Chile. It is a picture of the snow-capped Andes:

I replied, "Lovely. Or at least it will be until you crash and have to eat the other passengers to survive."

She volleyed back, "Hey, it's better than airline food."

Speaking of food (awesome segue -- pats own back) please check out this week's humor column at the Oakton Patch, where I discuss why my daughter transitioning to kindergarten has been so difficult for us. (Wow, that does sound humorous.)

Almost as funny as cannibalism.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Said "Klatch"

For the past week, I've been actively involved in my favorite hobby -- denial.

I've avoided my to-do list, my site statistics, and getting organized at work with a vigor I normally reserve for avoiding talking on the telephone.

And now, there is so much on which we need to catch up:

1. This week's column at the Oakton Patch is all about mascots. And once again, I will proclaim my love for Oakton Patch editor, Nicole, for this update e-mail she sent about trying to get the rights to use a photo of a Milwaukee Brewers sausage race from the Milwaukee Brewers organization:
Still no photo. I'm going to take a shower ('cause nope, that still hasn't happened yet ...) and if it doesn't happen by the time I get out ('cause yep, I'm that attached to the idea of running a photo of a sausage race on my home page...) I'll have to just run it without.

2. I have now been dairy-free, processed-food free, and alcohol free for about three weeks. I have also been working out harder than I have in a long time with runs, bike rides and power walks.

In related news, I am also no longer fun.

This is all in preparation for a half marathon on Labor Day weekend. However, after my long run on Saturday morning with my new running group, I sat in my car and cried because I am so far from where I was three years ago when I was really into running and I am completely discouraged. In an effort to snap out of it and lift my spirits (and because my friend Amanda reminded me that "there is no crying in distance running") I went to get evaluated for new running shoes today at a running store. Bonus -- the guy waiting on me was a college student and totally adorable. Non-bonus -- I had to run in front of him on a treadmill to see if I pronated. We then got to watch my backside together on a computer screen so he could show me what my stride looked like. Fortunately, his campus is right down the street, so he can go look at college-aged butts for a while to get that visual out of his head.

3. I was invited to a coffee klatch with the ladies in my neighborhood last night (and by coffee klatch, I mean booze klatch), and one of my neighbors shared a fantastic story. Turns out, she recently read "Still Alice" for a book club - a true story about a woman with early-onset Alzheimer's that is utterly heart-wrenching. She had just finished the book, crying through a lot of it, when she realized she needed to feed her three kids dinner before heading off to the meeting to discuss the book. As she was throwing dinner together, she realized that she needed to provide the kids with some sort of vegetable to balance their dinners. She meant to offer them carrots, but instead asked them, "Do you guys want Good & Plenty with that?" She said they had no idea what to make of her question...either that she was the coolest mom ever, for offering up candy in place of a vegetable, or that she had maybe contracted early-onset Alzheimer's via power of suggestion. She feared the latter. (Ed. - I frankly think feeding a child Good & Plenty is akin to child abuse. That is the worst excuse for a candy ever.)

4. Our daughter recently cut off her bangs and is now sporting a look we like to call "mental patient." She was so proud of herself when she did it, that I managed to stifle my laughter and applaud her efforts. And in true kid form, she managed to do this two weeks before we are scheduled to take a formal family portrait with Canetto's entire family for his parents' 50th wedding anniversary.

My little mental patient totally pulls it off, though, right?
Finally, RIP Ryan Dunn. You made putting a car toy up your ass an art form and the world becomes a place that takes itself a little too seriously without people like you in it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Backhanded Compliments


My Husband

This week's column that explains what all of this means.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Jerry Mathers Likes My Beaver Shot!

Last week,  I received the best reply to a tweet, EVER:

Look at me hobnobbing with the A-listers.

Air kisses,

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Smut Peddlers Redux

When will I learn?

At the end of a long day, when all I want to do is snuggle in with my kid and read her a few books before bedtime that are appropriate for a five-year-old, I'm occasionally blindsided by the filth that children's book authors sneak into their tales.* (Pun not intentional here, but I'm kind of loving it.)

Like last night's bedtime story, "Nate the Great." I'm not even sure where we got this book, and last night was the first time we read it. While I can appreciate that Nate has an open relationship with his mother and can share everything with her, the Puritan in me thinks that he is simply too young for this:

A few pages later, we learn that Nate the Great is forward...and also apparently, into role-playing:

But perhaps the most disturbing part of this "children's book" is the final page:

Of course you like happy endings Nate the Great. And apparently "group activities" involving people named "Fang".

No wonder "rubbers" is plural,

*For more about sneaking filth into tales, see Major Impact.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Letter To The Editor

You know, since I'm relatively new to writing a weeky column, I was not aware of how much planning, forethought and carefully drafted idea outlines are required to ensure that submissions are made on schedule and provide plenty of time for editing and rewrites.

Below, I provide a little insight into how I usually implement this process for my column:

(Note: My official deadline for the column that runs Wednesday morning is Monday evening by COB).

Sunday: Begin feeling dread that I have no ideas for the column. Ask my family if anything funny happened over the weekend. My five-year-old is now conditioned to recite all our weekend activities and then ask, rhetorically, "but what's funny about that?"

Monday: Ignore the looming deadline by focusing on reading blogs and playing scramble on Facebook work, then run errands and hope that my Patch editor has forgotten that it is Monday and that I have a deadline.

Monday evening: Feeling sheepish, e-mail the editor telling her that I am working on some ideas, but hey...if she has any great ideas, I'm certainly open to them.

Tuesday: Send editor an e-mail like this one:
I began an article about Rep. Weiner -- it is my plan to write about how immature all of the jokes are surrounding his name considering his offense while also weaving in a bunch of words like "junk" and "nuts" and "staff." -- All in a completely innocuous way, but enough so that anyone reading it will catch on. It will be R-rated-ish, but very covertly so.
Do you think that would be okay to run or do you think it is not appropriate for Patch? I'll come up with something else if you think this is too much.
Let me know. Thanks,
P.S. "Weiner" (hee hee)
Tuesday night: Write like a crazy person, submit final draft to editor and before she has a chance to read the draft, re-submit two additional versions that I have edited slightly.

Late Tuesday night: Editor cracks open the Maker's Mark and begins searching job sites for nice, quiet data entry jobs. Stops responding to my follow-up e-mails.

Wednesday morning: Column runs. Check it out: Pre-packaged Jokes (FYI - my editor wrote the subhead for the column title. She is fantastic.)

Confident this is how the professionals do it,

Monday, June 06, 2011

Fantastic Hunt

(Say the title a few times fast - never gets old.)

How funny is it that Leon's shirt was promoting Polygamy and he
was on a team with two women? Also funny that a random guy
asked us if we were from Utah. (One of my sister wives, pictured here, answered him.)

Yesterday marked the third year that Team Velvet Unitard (polygamists pictured above) attacked the Post Hunt. And yesterday is the closest we have ever come to solving the end game.

Two-thirds of my team live together in DC proper (since they are married, they find this arrangement rather convenient), so they took the bus to Freedom Plaza, slightly cloudy-headed from their experience at Savor the night before. I was coming in from the 'burbs so I took the metro. And upon stepping out of Metro Center Station and rounding the corner onto the street, I texted my team to let them know I was close. (Here is where you will receive a public service announcement about texting and walking: Don't. I managed to miss three steps in front of me and took a pretty spectacular tumble and landed in a painful heap.) A woman walking by (and stifling giggles) asked me if I was okay, and I told her, "No...I really hurt my ankle" and she kept walking quickly toward the Post Hunt stage. (I don't blame her. The Hunt is cut throat.)


So, we had a bit of a rough start which convinced us that it was a good omen for our performance in the Hunt. (If I didn't play little games like this with myself, I'd have no reason to get out of bed in the morning.)

While we were getting our instructions at the Main Stage from Gene Weingarten, Dave Barry and Tom Schroeder, Amanda was following the #posthunt on Twitter. One of the especially prescient tweets she came across stated "dorks #posthunt" - a tweet she read while realizing we were surrounded by at least ten people in t-shirts emblazoned with computer coding jokes. (I know what you're thinking -- that probably every last computer-coding t-shirt wearer made it to the Hunt without falling on his face. And to that, I say, "Touche.")


When the Hunt began, it was apparent that Leon ate his Wheaties (registered trademark) that morning. Within moments, he had figured out the computer keyboard puzzle, then he and Amanda quickly figured out the government agency fill-in-the-blank puzzle. Then we went to the vanity puzzle. We knew that the answer had something to do with the missing mirror, but could not get an answer that we knew was right. (The puzzle at the Post Office seems to be the tough one every year.)

At the Navy Memorial, Amanda took about ten seconds to solve the scratcher puzzle. (And at this point, I was wondering how they were going to gently let me down and tell me they "didn't have a need for my services" next year...).

I somewhat redeemed myself at the Newseum puzzle by understanding that the password we were given to text should be turned upside-down (since an acrobat had provided the puzzle). There were several more steps (literally -- we walked more than a mile to the next clue) in this answer that we solved with a great team effort.

With twenty minutes before we needed to be back at the Freedom Plaza stage to get the final clue, we filled in our grid and came up with a picture outhouse. (We love the Post Hunt creators, even though for the third year in a row we got shy about asking to get a photo taken with Dave Barry.)

We were back at Freedom Plaza for the end game and this year, we split up to follow two different potential thoughts we had on the clue. Mine was a dead end, but Amanda and Leon came up with the next answer on their route, before they eventually hit a dead end (and we found out there were already winners, so they came back to meet me at the main stage).

As the Hunt creators went through the puzzles, it was encouraging to review how well we did this year, and it is always funny to see the winners being presented with a big, ceremonial check. Seeing this reminded Amanda that she owes me money from our last dilettante activity, so she told me that she would pay me with a large, ceremonial check.

Which is fine, really, as my account is at a very large bank.

Still icing and elevating my ankle,

UPDATE: Forgot to mention that Safe House was filming near the site of the Post Hunt. Amanda thought it may be a clue. Or that the Post Hunt staff had ordered craft services for the dedicated Hunters. Alas, neither was true.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jerry Mathers!

In tribute -- my Beaver shot:

Taken long enough ago that the plaid vest was in style.
No, it wasn't.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

At Least I Find A Way To Use My Complaining Creatively

For my latest Oakton Patch column, I've gone completely original and written about something no one else has ever written about before. Something no one ever even talks about -- particularly this time of year.

The heat.

Keeping it fresh and new,