Archive for humor

Zen and the Art of Dinner Party Planning: A Moving Feast

Posted in Mental Stability with tags , , on April 20, 2009 by Ms. Ex

I’ve been learning the skill of mindfulness for the last few months.  This means being completely focused on the moment at hand, and really doing whatever it is you are doing.

So yesterday while driving home from New Jersey, I listened to The Seanachai, rocked out to D.R.I., Violent Femmes,  Bob Dylan and Lou Reed (I’ll address the multiple personality disorder in a future post), and planned my dream dinner party.

See, I spent the whole weekend on vacation from my normal life.  No children, no anyone except my mother, who remained blessedly unobtrusive.  But I did get some blog reading and commenting in, and it was much fun, and included the kind of laughter I haven’t experienced since watching Burn After Reading.  I almost forgot I’m supposed to be depressed!

So anyway, it was a marvelous weekend.  I decided I would prolong the delirious happiness by crafting a guest list of people who would amuse, entertain, and delight me, and most likely each other.  Here it is.

Oh, and don’t be offended if you are my friend and weren’t invited.  It might only mean that you are not goofy cynical or loony twisted enough for this particular gathering.  Not everyone has that special gift.

Tom Magliozzi & Ray Magliozzi from the Car Talk NPR radio show  (They are both geniuses who went to MIT, and now fix cars and talk about it on the radio for a living.)

Pamela Villars (With whom I’ve become familiar through other dinner guests.  Her comments are fabulous, her poetry even better.)

Ram Venkatararam (Currently hiding from authorities, but I’m a damn good cook.  Or is it a damned, good cook?  Perhaps both.  Anyway, I’m sure I can lure him out of hiding for some lentil dal, naan, or gulab jamun (my favorite dessert).

Fundamental Jelly (You know, I had to put a blurb here so he wouldn’t feel left out, but I’m not too clear on what exactly his area of expertise is. But he’s funny.  Oh yeah.  I think he went to clown college or something.)

Alan Truitt (Every dinner party needs a cubicle dweller.  They are known in the wild to be remarkably observant of human behavior.  It’s almost like having a psychic at your party, but for free!)

Emma Thomas (A local friend who happens to be some kind of nuclear genius or something.  She can be my go-to gal when I wish to rehash the days of radiation protection via time, distance, and fear.  Ahhhh, good times.)

Melissa Schuppe (we hate all the same people)

Joe Schuppe (because he needs to laugh more)

Jennifer Bangley (An old friend; bright, talented, and witty with just a hint of dark.  My favorite kind.)

Jon White (Former punk rocker friend turned government lackey.  Well, not quite.  To quote the man himself, he is a “family man, Wiccan priest, ex-literature professor, ex-labor union hack, ex-street activist, now a USPHS Commissioned Corps oncology social worker and disaster responder.  Might make us all look like dolts, but somebody’s gotta do it.)

Chuck Cleland (Because he’s funny and he can talk about math and what could be better than that?  Anyone who becomes a fan of the R Project on Facebook has to be great at a dinner party.)

Jamie Stanek (His Facebook profile picture is his face on Jesus’s body, holding a PBR.  Need I say more?)

Amy and David Sedaris.  If I have to explain them to you, you are definitely not invited.

I’m also open to suggestions, though I’d prefer it if the guests were all alive.  And that does not include being reanimated.

I’ll work out an imaginary menu soon.  Please refrain from sending me your particular food sensitivities and preferences.  This is my party, after all.


99 Bottles of Blog on the Wall

Posted in Homemaking Made Easy, Mental Stability, Motherhood, People Are Idiots, Why you should maybe rethink the whole reproducing thing, Writing with tags , , , , , on March 31, 2009 by Ms. Ex

Interestingly, my biggest motivator and friend, Melissa, is also celebrating her 100th post TODAY!  I guess we both started taking our writing more seriously about the same time, only she was much more disciplined than I was for a while.  Then she started nursing school, and with four kids and a husband to take care of – let’s just say I caught up.  For now.

For my little celebration, I’m doind a round up of my favorite posts.  Mostly funny, I think, but I’ll let you be the judge.

Just keep it to yourself if you disagree, mmkay?

Dear God, Someone Please Stop Her

How to Leave a Party in Three Easy Steps

My Morning Routine

Not So Serious, After All

Top Ten Reasons to Only Go Places With Nice Bathrooms

Cleaning Tips for Real People

The Cow Call

Male Female Relations in a Nutshell

Cool Beans

P.S.  Thanks for all the love!

A Miracle Product

Posted in Motherhood with tags , , , on February 28, 2009 by Ms. Ex

The scene:  Walmart, last night.  The detergent department (yes, it’s a whole department).

From across the crowded aisle, I hear a voice, “Mommy, here.  Here!”

Ethan comes hobbling up to me, lugging an impossibly heavy bottle.

Whether it was the angelic, smiling girl on the bottle, or some other, more subtle message that made him decide what the product was, I’ll never really know.  But he shouted to me:

“Look, Mommy!  This is for you.  It makes your children GOOD!”

It might not make your children good, but it sure was good for a laugh.yo

It might not make your children good, but it sure was good for a laugh.

“In that case, buddy, I’ll take three.”

Better Than Prozac

Posted in Knitting, People Are Idiots with tags , , , , on February 5, 2009 by Ms. Ex

Since there is no day of the week that starts with an ‘a’ so I can have an antidepressant day, I will call today “Therapy Thursday.”

It’s a lazy post, because I am trying to figure out what to talk about for tomorrow’s Fiber Friday.  But it’s chock full of nuts.  Er, I mean laughter.

And also, it’s very late.

First up:

Lost in Translation – Movie Posters gone awry

And we wonder why our kids want to use drugs.  First comes sugar, then spinning, then the dentist.

I don’t know why I find this funny, but gosh darn it, I just do.

And finally, as a warm up to Fiber Friday, here is a site with excellent writing, and some of the sickest knitting I’ve ever seen.

Go pee first, so you don’t suffer laughter leakage.  Then click away.  And while you’re at it, do your Kegels.

Cool Beans

Posted in Homemaking Made Easy, Mental Stability, Motherhood, Why you should maybe rethink the whole reproducing thing, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on January 19, 2009 by Ms. Ex

As I sit to type this, my 18 month old is being entertained by the 4 year old, who is throwing Boggle pieces at the ceiling vajh./,.

Sorry, one just landed on my hand.  Anyway, he is attempting to roll an ‘E’, at which point  he will be ‘the winner’.

It’s fine, really, since the Boggle frame is filled with yogurt from the last time I tried to blog with them awake.  And no one I know wants to play anyway, since they are sore losers too busy.

So I take a look around my house and I think, how in the HELL does anyone with children ever get anything done??

I realize I have different standards of cleanliness than most.  My canned goods can generally be found under the dining table or in the toy boxes.  Hey, they make good stacking toys and I bet they contain way less lead than the FDA limit.  My Sam’s Club-sized supply of paper towels is balled up in a trash bag because number one son unrolled them all down the stairs.   And there is a chip clip attached to a tricycle with a removeable bra strap.  Also?  Half of a  muffin fell on the steps the other day.  It’s still there.

Even though I would actually prefer to live in a spare, open loft with books organized by color and size and no visible clutter,  I accept that I will never be that person.  I am a slacker / hoarder trapped in the body of an obsessive- compulsive neat freak, and trust me – it’s not pretty in here.  So since I can’t have my space be perfect, I let it go completely.

Right now, the toddler has moved on from the Boggle tossing championships, and is happily taking handfuls of dried beans from a container and putting them into a smaller container.  And by ‘putting’, I mean taking his handful of beans and somewhere in the vicinity of ‘over’ the small container – letting them go.  And missing.  Every last one of them.  And this is a-okay with me.

Because first of all, I was never going to have time to soak those beans overnight and boil them so the whatever-that-enzyme-thingy-is-that-you-have-to-boil-out-of-the-beans is gone.  And then cook them for 87 hours.  And second, I get to write.

Beanie Babies

And before you ask about that picture – yes, that is my bread machine on the floor.  If I can’t clean up that muffin, you really think I have time to put flour and stuff in there??

Anyway, now I have to go.  The four year old came in, saw the beans and said, “YAY, YAY!!”  And now?

It’s raining beans.

Overheard at the Crib

Posted in Why you should maybe rethink the whole reproducing thing with tags , , , , , on January 15, 2009 by Ms. Ex

If this stuff doesn’t make it all worth it, I don’t know what will.


Me to 4 year old E:  I love you.

E:  Why does Elise always want to MARRY me??

Me:  Hunh?

E:  She always does it and I don’t know why.  We’re just little kids!

Me (in my head):  I surely don’t know.  Why indeed.

On a less funny, more oh-my-gawd-did-she-really? note:

The 5’7″ child knocks over the 2’3″ child while storming out of the kitchen over me (ridiculously) not giving her a ride to the bf’s house because she didn’t do her chores.  When she is almost around the corner, she turns back to see if I noticed.

Her:  What?  I didn’t do it on purpose.

Me:  (giving “the look”)

Her:  He walked into ME anyway!

Me:  snicker, snicker….snort…guffaw

Post Holiday Damage Control: Organizing and Cleaning Tips for Real People

Posted in Homemaking Made Easy with tags , , , , , , on January 10, 2009 by Ms. Ex

Ladies, this is the most glorious time of year, the time when you are blessed with a multitude of lovely new sets of pajamas and slippers and wonderfully useful household tools (like, say, a pizza cutter that looks like a shark and a brand new mop head), and the air is filled with the scent of your new perfume/bubble bath/shower gel/powder/lotion set in Trashy Pop Star Delight from your dear, sweet children.  You know who you are.

What better time than this to make a fresh start and kick the new year off right with a house-wide cleaning spree.  Here are just the tips you need to carry it off without a hitch, all while feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, recycling, and lessening your carbon footprint.

1.  In the Kitchen

When you open your refrigerator, you want to see a gleaming, white interior, cheerily lit by your compact fluorescent, energy-saving bulb.  If instead, you see half a cheese ball exposed to the air by its barely-hanging-on-to-life aluminum foil, a ziploc bag of cookies you stole from the office party last month, and the half gallon of buttermilk you bought to make those great Martha Stewart biscuits you never got around to, and it is all lit by a yellow, flickering bulb covered with what you think, but can’t swear to, is margarita mix – fear not.

First, gather together a large, heavy duty trash bag, a sponge,  and a bucket of hot soapy water.  Sit in a chair in front of the fridge with your feet soaking in the bucket.  Eat the cookies.  Throw away the light bulb, but not before licking it clean, because for all you know alcohol doesn’t really evaporate.  Reshape the cheese ball into a…well, ball, and wrap it better, because aluminum foil ain’t cheap, gals.  You can bring it to the office tart’s  baby shower that you are invited to next week.  Buttermilk lasts for weeks after its expiration date – you can make biscuits for Valentine’s Day.  Throw away anything you cannot identify within thirty seconds.  If you can name it within fifteen seconds, you can safely feed it to your husband and teenagers.  Within five seconds, it goes to the dog.  After your feet feel soft and you are relaxed, use the sponge to wipe off any visible surfaces in the refrigerator.  Install CFL by screwing bulb into socket (lefty loosey, righty tighty).  There, perfect.

2.  The Living Room

This is the real kicker post-holiday:  the tree, the gifts strewn everywhere, the wrapping paper, not to mention the decorations.  First, you will need a trash bag.  Black, to hide the contents from prying eyes.  If possible, use the same one you used for the refrigerator.  The odor will motivate you to actually put the bag in the trash bin immediately instead of leaving it in the hallway (not that I’m implying I, or anyone else,  would actually do this, of course).

First, dig through the toys, including the ones that are still under the couch from Christmas Day 2007.  Toss them, along with those too large to keep in a box smaller than a milk crate, and anything that requires an engineering degree to assemble.  Randomly choose half of the remaining toys.  Auction them off on ebay, but be sure to divide the loss equally among your children, to avoid unfair distribution of sacrifice.  Tell the kids the toys had lead paint on them, and why can’t they just play with the wooden sticks and hoops you bought from that nice lady at the farmer’s market?

Use the auction money to pay for their therapy.

The tree is the easy part.  Tell the children that you have a giant chocolate bar, and whoever puts away the most ornaments gets to eat it.  You do not necessarily have to be able to “find” the chocolate after the decorations are all safely away.

After two weeks with no water, the tree should be dessicated enough that if it hasn’t already spontaneously burst into flames, you can carry it with minimal effort to the curb. Leave the lights on it.  They are cheap, and you’ll never get them untangled next year anyway.  Sweep up the fallen needles and place in crystal bowls.  Call it potpourri.

The wrapping paper is a vast natural resource that is sadly overlooked.  Here are some wonderful recycling ideas for the acres of virgin forest mashed into pulp and made into garishly colored paper intended to perpetuate the myth that your children do not know that you bought the gifts, and that they do not already know what the gifts are.

1.  Send the paper through the shredder to make packing material for when you ship toys to the winning bidders.

2.  Use the paper to clean the window that your neighbor puked on after a few too many glasses of your best cabernet.  Vinegar is a great solution to use for this, although nothing will ever get that stain off the drapes.

3.  Cut any unwrinkled paper into pieces to use as scraps for notes to school.  Nothing says “perfect family” more than pictures of the Virgin Mary on the back of the note excusing your daughter from gym class because of morning sickness.

4.  Use the paper as mulch in your vegetable garden plot.  The toy auction money will not be enough to cover produce for the coming year, even if you do buy local.

As for the rest of the living room: put a large box behind the sofa and throw everything into it.  Out of sight, out of mind.  And feng shui, and empty room head and all that other stuff.

3.  The Bedrooms

This is the easiest area of the home to tidy up.  Once you’ve made room, throwing everything from the floor into the closet will be a breeze.  The following items should go into a bag or box and be donated to your local thrift store:

*The Christmas pajamas (last year’s; you got new ones, remember?)

*Any jeans that show rear end cleavage.  By which I mean, any jeans bought after 1998.

*T-shirts from bands.  All of them.  (Yes, even the ones from  Summer Dead Tour ’87)

*Shoes you still own from high school, even though you are thirty-eight.

*Anything with a western theme or embroidery of any kind.

*Fakenstocks (if you have them, you know it)

*The rest of your clothing, with the exception of one pair of jeans you bought because Zafu said they would fit (they do).  Because really, you never go anywhere since you can’t afford a sitter, and no one will come to your house because of that whole overblown botulism incident.  It’s easier to breastfeed when you’re topless anyway.

Make sure you don’t forget to donate your cashmere sweaters.  Because I poor people like nice things, too.

P.S.  If you still aren’t happy with your level of organization and want some help that is actually, you know…* helpful*, you could try the great tips from Right@Home, or get some real-world insight from the folk at The Parent Bloggers Network.  Happy New Year and happy cleaning!