September 30, 2008

8 Reasons Lists Are For Sissies

For the past two days, Anna has been totally pimping out her plan for world domination, which is, simply put, list-making. She says it makes you look more legitimate and God knows I am in dire need of that.
So, I have decided to jump on her awesome bandwagon and make my own list. So, pay attention, kiddies. Here goes.

Shonda's 8 Reasons She Thinks Lists Are For Sissies
1. I want to remember the wildly important shit I need to do solely on the superb power of my brain. I mean, sure, I'm gonna totally drop the ball at times. For example, I've been twisting my mind in knots for weeks to muster up the memory to renew my license so I don't have to take the whole freakin' test again. I thought about putting it on a list, but lists are for pussies, right. So, I wandered down to the tag office today after weeks of the information pinging around in my skull to complete the quest.
They were like, "Dude, this expired a month ago."
And I was all, "Ummm....a month minus one day."
Then she was all cleaver and said, "We don't have a grace period."
And I was like, "Shit, do I have to take the test? I barely passed it the first time and even then it was just by the grace of being a skinny, flirty 16-year-old and striking the good fortune of getting a slightly pervy driving instructor who was slap dab in the middle of his midlife crisis. I mean, I don't think a fatass housewife in gray t-shirt will have the same postive effect twisting her gum and batting her eyelids."
And then the super cool lady eased my concerns by saying, "You don't have to take the test. You just have to have your birth certificate."
So then I blurted, "Well, hell, that's even worse. I live 30 miles from here and tracking that bitch down will be harder than finding an American bank with money left to lend."
And that's when it hit birth certificate was in my car, where it has been since we went on our cruise in May. Like once a freakin' week I've seen the damn thing and thought as I stuffed it in the crevice beside my seat how taking it in the house and putting it with all the other "properly-filed" important paper work inside the house was the responsible thing to do. But, I would leave it, you know, 'cause I like living on the edge.
I ran out of the tag office and went straight to the birth certificate in my car. So, my inefficiency and supreme unorganization totally paid off, bitches!
Oh, I forgot to mention, though, that the license making machine broke on the girl right before me, so I spent 30 minutes sitting at the kiddie bench staring at a list of the presidents for nothing. Well, not exactly nothing, I do think I have all their middle names memorized now, which should come in handy when I chant them in question form at Alex Trebek while my two sons stare at me as though my hair is on fire.

2. If I started making lists, the polar ice caps would most certainly melt into a rushing universe of water. Now, I know you are probably thinking, "Geez, Shonda, I think your wacky liberal mind is finally eating itself. One list won't rise the temperature of the earth by 20 degrees."
Well, perhaps, ONE list wouldn't. But, in order for the purpose of list-making to be realized, you must actually arrive at the desired location with the aforementioned list. Since I would have to make a list about the list and, in order for it to work, I would have to repeat that process so many times my fingers would bleed from all the rapid writing, at least 8 trees would have to meet their chainsawed end for the mission to met success.

3. I am not Go Go Gadget. Shocking, I know, but I am not. So, for a list to exist (rhyme time, bitches), I would have to figure up a way to transform my finger into a pen. Although my house is a virtual ocean of pens, they all have a use.....the same use. And, what is this vital purpose, you ask? hold my stringy hair out of my face. I have a few mere drops of sanity left and they all depend on my hair staying out of my hair and off my neck. If, for some reason, Operation Keep My Shitty Hair Away From My Skin fails, I fear I will storm into some random barber shop and violently perform the Britney Buzz upon myself. Sadly, I don't possess Brit's class and charm, so I just don't think I could pull the 'do off like she did.
Before all my damn hair ties mysteriously evaporated into the great nothing, our household pens were allowed to be used for other purposes, you know, like writing. Or as medieval weapons in the Great Battles of the Little Brothers. But, for several months now, each and every hair tie I own has vanished. Wait, I take that back. I have one that is broken in the middle so I have to twist it around my hair like 14 times for it to hold up a pony tail and then the wrap is so tight it makes my temples throb, but still, my hair isn't touching my damn neck.
I have intended for a long time to splurge the $3 for the package of 30 hair bands, but I just never remember when I am at the store. If I made lists, I would totally put that shit on it.

4. Shopping without lists turns the boring, drab experience of household duty into a sport. Seriously, I think Las Vegas bookies should make odds on it.
"Hey Moe, Susie Homemaker's got a big birthday party this weekend, plus her diabetic father-in-law is spending the weekend. She has 22 items to buy at the grocery store, 17 to buy at Wal-Mart, plus she needs to have the propane filled in the guest house. I will lay you 4 to 1 odds that she forgets at least 9 things."

"Well, Lucky, let's make it a parlay. I'll say she does remember the propane, but that she forgets to buy the anti-allergic soap her mother-in-law needs at the health food store. Plus, my money says she remembers the kid's cake, but forgets the candle and that she forgets at least 11 items at the grocery store."

"You're on, bitch."

5. For chronic underachievers such as myself, the rare shopping success is an absolute self-esteem boost. When you realize that your outting was victorious, you can relate to Alexander the Great when he conquered the world. Well, the part of the world that they knew existed at the time. Alex can't be docked for the regions he didn't know about just like I can't be punished for not being aware that Rowdy ate his last pickled jalapeno. I don't eat them, I don't like when my bottom burns like a peeing sailor with the clap. Therefore, I cannot be held responsible for replacing them unless Rowdy directly tells me that ass-burning pickled jalapenos are gone.

6. 'Cause I like to party. I realize that has absolutely no relevance to this particular discussion, but I giggle like a school girl every time I get to that part in The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. My sister always busts that out at random times. I find it humorous each time she does, but I bite my lip to strangle the laughter. I mean, seriously, she can't be the pretty sister AND the funny sister. That funny shit is mine. I only let her be the pretty one because I think beauty is for vain people. Well, that and I'm too cheap for plastic surgery.

7. Because I can't find one of those chalkboard necklace contramptions to wear around my neck. Now, if I could hunt down one of those awesome jems, I would make lists for the sole purpose of making my poor husband shake his head and continue to wonder out loud just how many different types of Mexican date rape drugs I slipped him on a daily basis until I lured him down the aisle. Seriously, I should write a book titled, "How To Get Any Man To Marry You Before They Realize What A Thorough, Batshit Crazy Wackjob You Really Are."

8. Well, I'm only to number 8 and I'm out of aimless ramblings to add to this list. I think that only furthers my argument that I am a bad list maker and should just never, ever have to do it. Plus, lists are for sissies.

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September 29, 2008

Our Country Boy Convert

Here we are on day 4 of the Webling invasion on the ranch. In case you don't know what I mean, my friend Mollie's boy has been bunked up with us while she and her man have been partying down in Vegas.
As my husband would phrase it, Carson is a town boy. Now, for my non-Okie readers, I'm sure you are giggling at the notion of a young man who lives in a community of 10,000 that goes by the name of Elk City being a "town" boy. But, to Rowdy, any area that is inhabited by more than, I don't know, 500 people spread out over 20 square miles might as well be South Central Los Angeles.
Just a few hours away from home, Carson the "town" boy, he's already picked up some of my "country" boys' ways. On morning one and morning two, he found his way to the bathroom to tinkle in the potty. But, by yesterday, he was outside with my boys, masking in the freedom of whizzing off the porch.
Rowdy, as you know, is totally down with the exploitation of child labor. The day he found out I was pregnant with Ridge Rowdy daydreamed about the day he could bark, "Jump down in that grainery, boy, and clean that shit out," or "Run down there and grab that gate and let's sort of those sick calves." I could go on forever. And, as Rowdy continues to inquire about just when I will be caving in and bearing one more future employee, I know his motivation. Dude, we are getting old and we need some teenagers about the time we are 50.
Anyways, after the boys finished their lunches, we went outside to to play and sweep underneath the carport. When Ridge got his new boots for school, we started calling his beloved old pair that he's worn every single day for a year his "work" boots. He just couldn't take the pain of totally retiring them, plus it keeps the new ones looking shiny a little longer.
So, as we went outside, Carson shucked his checkered shoes and pulled upon a spare set of ours while declaring, "These are MY work boots!?
Yup, he's becoming a country convert. Rowdy is basking in his victory. He has one more night with us, so perhaps I'll send him back in a pearl snap with a lunch pale full of calf fries.

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September 28, 2008

The Clothes Hangers are Melting My Brain

To The Person Sneaking Into My House to Steal My Clothes Hangers,
Fucking stop. No seriously, stop. I'm hip to you, I know what's going down. I mean, what other explanation is there for 20 hangers disappearing each and every week. Are the children gobbling them up for a mid-morning snack?
Every time I do laundry, and I mean every damn time, I have two or three items left in the basket without a hanger to call its own. This is leading me spiraling toward an inevitable meltdown, friends.
So, listen up close hanger thief, I'm through with being nicey nice Shonda. It's time for the claws to come out, bitches.

PS--If you would like to donate clothes hangers toward the cause of me not going completely apeshit crazy, by all means, do. They only have a life-expectancy of 1 month max at our house, but perhaps that will save me from an inevitable freak out.

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September 27, 2008

The Death of an Immortal

As I logged onto myspace this morning, I saw my friend Susan had posted a bulletin titled, "Paul Newman has died." Reading it, I felt like I was a bit out of breath.
You see, I have been a long admirer of Paul Newman's, and not just because he was one superfly 83-year-old that I dreamed of five minutes alone with in a coat closet.
At a time when our country was sending our sons to die in an unpopular war, Paul Newman made the hard choice of making his opposition public, a decision that could've cost him his career. And, because of the actions he took, he found himself on the original Nixon's enemy list.
Now, as you know, I reference Nixon's enemy list often because, really, it is some of the craziest shit ever to come out the Oval Office. The top of the list detailed the goals of existence, which was, "This memorandum addresses the matter of how we can maximize the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our Administration; stated a bit more bluntly—how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies."
We all know the guys in charge now have thrown their power around to burn anyone in their powerful paths (do the names Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame ring a bell?), but even these assholes weren't nutty enough to whip out a pen and paper and make a fucking list to carry around in their lapel pockets. Nixon, as it is, was a special kind of crazy. When reporter David Schorr read the list on live air, he didn't even realize he, too, was on it until he got to his name.
Beside each person's name was an explanation as to how and why they were unlucky enough to have Tricky Dick deploy the IRS upon them. Paul's said, "Paul Newman, California: Radic-lib causes. Heavy McCarthy involvement ’68. Used effectively in nationwide T.V. commercials. ’72 involvement certain."
Nixon had hoped that he could disentegrate Paul's character and the American people would instantly distrust the actor. The mission failed and Newman said on many occasions that he considered being on the list was the greatest accomplishment of his life. One of my favorite authors, Hunter S. Thompson of Fear and Loathing fame, said that not making the list was the biggest disappointment in his.
Paul was a celebrated actor and director, as well as a businessman. He said of his wife, the woman he wed in 1958, "I have steak at home, why go out for hamburger?" Of all the marriages we see melt into a bitter nothingness, Paul and his beloved Joanne Woodward gave us a shining example of lifelong fidelity.
Paul spent his life fighting for the underdog, a true romantic until the end. As someone who shuned the Hollywood lifestyle, he died in the Connecticut farmhouse he raised his children in.
As those who fought the imperialism of Nixon continue to leave this life, I tip my hat today to the great Paul Newman. You will be missed, not for your acting, but for your patriotism.

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September 26, 2008

Thousands of Cattle Still Missing

Yesterday, the New York Times published an article detailing the ongoing efforts to find and rescue the 25,000 cows that are estimated to have gone missing as a result of Hurricane Ike two weeks ago. 10,000 of the cows have been found alive, but the others are still missing or already dead. The efforts of the groups and volunteers working to rescue these animals (and the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers throughout the region) are truly heroic.

Rare articles like these remind us that after the initial media circus surrounding natural disasters dies down, the terrible effects for local residents linger for months and years. At Farm Aid, we try and bring attention to these issues and help farmers in the areas through our Family Farm Disaster Fund. Last week, we gave $30,000 in initial grants to four groups working to help farm and ranch groups in the region. Please donate today to allow us continue to respond to this and other disasters in a timely manner.

In addition to the article, be sure to check out the amazing photos of cattle and the rescuers in the area.

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September 25, 2008

Lessons From the Past

Our country is in danger, not just from foreign enemies, but above all, from our own misguided policies. This war must be ended and, in my judgement, can be ended. It doesn't involve giving up, but it does involve not continuing to follow the same bankrupt policies that we are following at the present time.
Bobby Kennedy, 1968

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September 24, 2008

The "Don't Be A Douchey Joke Thief" Campaign

In case you've somehow missed it, the heavens came together this week to make the universe just a little more harmonious than it was before that. No, I am not referring to the fact that the government is finally keeping it real rather than trying to mislead you into believing that you live in a capitalist country. That's not it at all.
Dane Cook, douche bag supreme that he is, is finally being recognized as such by the rest of the world. Apparently his little puppy has been shitting all over his Los Angeles neighborhood and, in keeping with being a total dick, Dane has refused to pick up the doo. I mean, he is a semi-star, right. You wouldn't ask Brad Pitt to pick up shit. Except that Brad Pitt isn't a dick, so he would.
The neighbors complained, the poop continued. His landlord gave three formal notices to pick up the mess, the poop continued. The landlord finally filed a lawsuit to evict Dane and, after the judge ordered his ass out, Dane suddenly takes this shit (pun very much intended) seriously. While appealing the ruling, Dane has explained that leaving the apartment would deal him an emotional hardship. You see, Steve Martin and John Belusi once lived in the same building and Dane claims that he draws inspiration from that for his work.
Here's my question: Are you fucking kidding me, Dane? Inspiration for what? Writing? Pah-lease! For comedy fans like myself who are constantly looking for a good act to follow, we know that many of your jokes have been stolen, straight up stolen, from other comics. Listen up, Readers. Do you know how to tell if a Dane Cook joke was written by someone else? If you laugh, that's how.
For my dime, few things are most lowdown than a joke thief. It goes beyond stealing money, it steals the craft the writer uses to make money.
In case you don't take me at my word on this, just watch these two videos below of jokes Dane Cook has stolen. Then you can join me in my quest for the extermination of Dane Cook, or at least his presence on my television.

When I rented Dan in Real Life, I was excited to watch this movie with my man Steve in it. But, I couldn't get into it. I spent the whole movie wondering how that asshole Dane Cook got in the damn thing. Where all the actors dead? Couldn't they find some vagabond on rubbing alcohol to play the part?
I'm far from alone on these sentiments, just google it. As yeeeah, said, "In what might possibly be the first concrete evidence that God exists and does not hate us, Dane Cook was evicted from his apartment because he is a selfish, oblivious asshole who refuses to use a pooper scooper."
Now, I've believed in God my entire life, so I don't see this has the first evidence of his existence like yeeeah does. I just think of it more as Him giving me this little gift to make up for the last 8 years of the Homer Simpson presidency, kinda like when your man sends you flowers after he feels up the babysitter.
So, heed my warnings, Readers. Dane Cook is a dick and, even worse, a dirty joke thief. Don't watch his movies, no matter how much you love Jason Biggs and/or Kate Hudson. I've always enjoyed both their movies, but I won't be watching this new movie My Best Friend's Girl. Why, you ask. Because Dane Cook is in it and, unless the video is of him being a joke thief or getting evicted or enduring some other act of misery, I will watch no footage that includes him.
I think I am going to have some of those bracelets made to raise public awareness. We will call it the "Don't be a Douchey Joke Thief" campaign.
Or, as yeeeah also said, "I mean, you can’t expect a sack of shit to go around cleaning up piles of shit. That’s like asking someone to shoot their own brother in the face."

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September 23, 2008

The Cloud on the Rainbow

I've always had the uncanny gift of being unable to predict some upcoming calamity. Just like I knew the sitcom Joey would suck and that a George Bush presidency would equate into war, I felt even further confident that Ridge would find himself in hot water periodically at school. In fact, I'm totally dumbfounded that it took a month for him to file into the car rambling about the unfortunate trouble he seemed to find himself in.
The wait is over, my friends. Today was apparently the day. When I picked him up from Mollie's this afternoon, he quickly told me that he made his teacher sad today because he was being a bad boy. I quizzed him further, but the distress from disappointing a respectable adult left his mind spinning in circles, repeating the same sentence over and over. Clearly tarnishing the opinion of Mrs. Fryman is much more heartbreaking to Ridge than say, I don't know, pissing off the woman who incubated him in her body for 75% of a year, gaining 200 pounds and a flame-throwing heartburn in the freakin' process. His lawless rebellions have left me all but blubbering in the corner and he didn't bat an eye. Disappointing Mrs. Fryman, however, made him so distraught that he couldn't even bring himself to tell me the story.
After a few moments of unsuccessful questioning, I decided I should go straight to the source. Mrs. Fryman, who is clearly a saint, told me of the bad day Ridge had. As his mother, the before mentioned incubator for my hellcat spawn, I know that she absolutely watered down the story. He wasn't hurting other children or talking back. He just flat out wasn't minding. During show-and-tell, Ridge tickled another little boy. When Mrs. Fryman asked him to move, he ignored the request and continued his ornery behavior. As she told me of other similar incidents, I thought of the awful mood Ridge woke up in. I knew as he moaned about all the songs he absolutely did NOT want to hear on the way to school that the day would be challenging for me. I just hoped this would all be aimed at me, that he would shuck the stubbornness in the presence of his teachers. Like I said, Mrs. Fryman is a total Earth angel, so she even took the opportunity to say how proud she was of Ridge for telling me that he had gotten in trouble. He had to miss snack time because of his behavior. Because I don't buy candy for the house, I know that stuck out in his mind.
Honestly, I wish the relatively psychic ability allowed me to forecast upcoming positive events, like tomorrow night's lottery numbers or the winner of Monday's football game, but that's just now how my mind rolls. Don't get me wrong, Ridge is a good boy with a compassionate heart. No matter what his brother does, Ridge hates it when he gets in trouble. He loves babies and he worries when he sees someone cry. He is good far more than he is bad. However, when he is bad, he is really bad. He will definitely show you what he's made of, if you know what I mean. I've known since Ridge started school that at some point or another he would test the limits. Today, it turns out, was that day.

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September 22, 2008

Breakfast Chubbie at the Quick Lube

One of the best things about living in the rural part of the country is the businesses, not just because the merchants lather you down with friendly service, but also because necessity often breeds multi-faceted stores. For example, in my little town, you can buy a hand-crafted blue suede couch at the same place you can tag your car and renew your license.
Just down the street from my auntie's restaurant is another of my favorites. On one end of a new tin building, you can have your oil changed and tires rotated. On the other end, you can sip on some top shelf chai tea.
As you, my brilliant readers, are well aware, I have the sense of humor of a 14-year-old boy. If I can construe any sentence into carrying a sexual undertone, I will giggle to myself at the sheer genius of my witty word play. Everyone else normally just scrunches their eye brows at me while they yammer on about how I'm almost 30 and, even worse, responsible for turning my darling sons into upstanding young men.
Anyways, as I left the restaurant this afternoon, I noticed that the local quick lube (which in itself is grand, right) was advertising its newest product on the outdoor marque. In big black letters, it said, "Now serving Breakfast Chubbies."
Seriously, I laughed until I shot sweet tea out my nose as I thought, "Breakfast Chubbie, huh? That's exactly what Rowdy served me every morning until the first kid was born. Hell, I think that's how we got the first kid."
Speaking of getting screwed, crude oil had its biggest jump in history on the October futures board as investors searched for a way to hedge against the falling dollar. I mean, clearly when the government just starts printing freakin' money to bail out banks and insurance companies is going to make the value of the American dollar plummet. In other words, that buck in your pocket is worth much less today than it was a week ago now that you and I, the American tax payer, have so kindly picked up the tab for these huge corporations practicing poor business. Oh, and filling up your car is going to be more expensive. So, bigger price tag with less valuable currency.
But, even with the economy melting into a Freddie Kruger-like nightmare, I still love that I can get a breakfast chubbie at the quick lube. Ahhh.....Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind....Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine

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September 21, 2008

A Smokin' Good Time at the Zoo

Up until a few months ago, I could tell Ridge we were going to do something and then later change my mind without him noticing. But, like all good things, that has come to an end. Once the well-intended promise leaves my lips, it might as well be mafia blood debt. In other words, I better come through or my head's gonna end up in a meat grinder, or at least that's how it is going to feel as I am listening to hours of my hardass son line his mother out.
And so, that's how I ended up driving the city with my mom to take him to the zoo today. Yesterday Mom accompanied my sister's family to the State Fair, so she wanted to do something fun with my kids today. Ridge was within an earshot as she and I discussed a trip to the zoo, so he immediately questioned just what we were discussing. I asked if he wanted to visit the zoo and he answered with an emphatic yes.
However, when I was yanked from my peaceful slumber this morning by my youngest boy Rolan bouncing upon my belly as he belted, "Yeeeee Haaawwww," I quickly remembered the unwise pledge I made the day before to Ridge. I didn't want to drive a few hours to drag and chase two boys over a 100 zoo. I wanted to keep my fat ass on the coach while periodically snagging 15 minute naps. Rolan's wake-up call stirred Ridge and, before he could fully open his eyes, he said, "It's morning, Momma. Let's go to the zoo."
Before I realized it, I almost mustered some excuse. But, I knew I wanted the wishful seeds of adventure in his young mind, so I pulled myself from my comfortable bed and started my day. Mom called requesting a later departure time, admitting that she considered canceling. She heard her grandson's excited ramblings in the background and, like me, she knew we had to follow through with our plans.
After our last zoo outing, I learned that we are tram people. If you go, listen to me, get the tram tickets. It beats the hell out of chasing two boys sprinting in different directions.
As we started into the ape exhibit, I looked over at my mother to see her putting out a cigarette.
"Mom, you can't smoke in here," I said, shocked that she was sneaking a few drags.
"I know," she replied, "That's why I am putting it out."
"No, I don't mean you can't smoke in the exhibit. I mean you can't smoke in the zoo at all."
"Are you sure?"
"Ummmm....yes, there's a big sign at the front. Have you seen anyone else smoking?"
She, of course, was mortified. While I was a little scared that the men in the white golf carts were going to boot us out on our smoking asses, I had to giggle a little bit at my mom. I know she's a child of the 60s and 70s when the country was lighting up like a big chimney, but I would think you would have had to have been in a coma for the past 5 years to think smoking at a zoo was still okay.
After several rounds around the zoo, we took my delighted children across the street to the OmniPlex, Oklahoma's Science Museum. Miracously, we made it through that without either boy destroying a single thing. Ridge did wildly desire to scale the dinosaur bones, but we somehow managed to contain him.
The day was long, but well worth it. Through I didn't think so this morning, I am glad I made the promise to Ridge yesterday.

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September 19, 2008

When My Thoughts Just Ceased To Exist

My biggest fan just called, you know who I'm talkin' 'bout, and she's all, "Why the hell haven't you blogged in like a week?"
And I was like, "What the hell are you talkin' 'bout, yo. I just blogged the day before last."
Then she said, "That's like a week in bloggy years."
That's when it hit me -- my brain has finally been completely rotted by all the smut I continously lavish upon it. My mother has been telling me this would happen for years, but like all motherly superstitions, I just shrugged this off. But, here we are, at the start of my 28th year....or my 29th year. I turned 28 in August, so I'm not 100% for sure which it would be. I mean, when I was born, I started my first year, not my zeroith year. Right? Screw it, you know what I mean.
As it is, I think my mind has melted. All these pointless years of Desperate Housewives and filthy mouthed comics have rotted it. I might as well start smoking pot in the middle of the afternoon and kicking a hackie sack in a circle. My productivity is at exactly that lowly level, only I'm accomplishing all this nothingness without a buzz.
This week we hired a tree trimmer to come out and, well, trim the trees. Holy shit, wasn't this old dude an overachiever. I mean, he trimmed the fucking trees. So, somehow in the divine comedy of life, the task of picking up these 3 million stray tree limbs as fallen on the head of yours truly, underachiever extraordinaire. So, that's when it hit me, my biggest fan is right. I need to blog. At least that serves as some sort of productivity for my workaholic husband. And because I know AIG will pay back that enormous gift courtesy of the American workforce before my husband reads my blog, he will never know that this is rambling pile of bologna.
So, enjoy this, Readers, the blank pages of my fleeting mind. I had this great story lined up for you and I still plan to get to it, but when I sat in front of the screen, I couldn't even begin to know where to start. I think the phrase "Doesn't Know Head From Ass" has never been so appropiate.
Well, I'm off to continue my campaign against the errant twig and branch. Any volunteers just holler. I need someone to take my post as the low man on the totum pole.

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September 17, 2008

If Life Were A Beer Commercial and My Kid was the Star

I don't really recall what year it was, but I know the Budweiser "Whhhaaaazzzzz Up" commercials made their debut many moons ago now. Whenever I figure up years gone by, I start by deciding if this event took place before Rowdy and I met. In this case, I know it was. So, my guesstimation would be that they aired 7-8 years ago, maybe 9.
Anyways, like all good beer ads, they were rolled out during the Super Bowl and, almost instantly, every young male I knew was borrowing this ridicules phrase from the Budweiser guys, not only using it to answer questions, but also randomly whipping it out into the peaceful silence. Two words are coming to mind right now: "Brandon" and "Schreck." He was still in high school at the time. We worked together and, I swear to God, if I had a penny for every time he said that in a three month period, we could sell all these fucking cattle and retire on a tropical beach somewhere.
However, like all pop culture fads, this faded into the abyss, stuffed back in the recesses of my mind. I hoped it would stay there, that I would never have to think about this again. But, alas, I was wrong. Such is the comedy of life.
In the last couple of weeks, my youngest boy Rolan has developed a comedy routine of his own. It goes something like this here:
He wiggles up close to one of us. He's a real cute kid and I'm not saying that just because I'm his mom. Trust me, I think about how much money I could fetch for him on the black market and it's tempting not to take the fat cash and head of to before mentioned beach. (Just kidding, simmer down.)
Anyways, once he is next to us, he lets out a ripping fart that would pride any large, hairy, flannel-clad trucker and then, with his eyes as wide as half dollars, he says, "Whhhhaaazzzz that?"
Now, I know it's not quite the same phrase as the Budweisers guys, but the fashion in which he belts it out sounds just like them. He summons the words from deep in his chest and, as they leave his precious lips, his voice is as raspy as a 30 year smoker. He then rolls on the ground, triumphant in his gassy victory while I look at my husband, who is of course beaming with pride that his boy discovered the humor in farts all by himself, and wonder if perhaps I should've selected offspring from a different gene pool. (Calm down, I'm just kidding. You know Rowdy's my guy.)
As soon as Rolan started doing this, it felt eerily familiar, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Then last night he whipped out the comedic routine once again and it was like some twisted, pop culture de ja vu. And it hit me, it's the freakin' Budweiser guys, that commercial that I lamented for months. I wanted to throw a keg party when Budweiser switched to the frogs. (Wait, did the frogs come first? Either way, they were better.)
So, there you go, Readers. I think this is a fine example of the great comedy of life. Everyone else loved those commercials, all but danced in the streets when they come across the television screen. Not me, I hated them. Yet, somehow in a cosmic mystery, my darling son has channeled this absurd ads that aired before he was freakin' conceived to use in his two-year-old stand-up routine. Rowdy is soooo proud, so proud.
In case you've forgotten those commercials, take a moment to walk down that memory lane.

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September 16, 2008

Touch My Train and I Will Kill You

When Ridge was in the ballpark of being 2 years old, he discovered Thomas the Train. It was instant love, pure and unfettered love. He would bawl at the television, mounting a protest until Thomas was played for him
Somewhere along the way, he started collecting a nice team of the trains in the Thomas series. For hours, he would push them, always with gentile care. He's quite protective of his toys. His brother, however, is not. Many a battle has erupted at our hours of the trains.
A few months ago, we lost the star of the show, Thomas. We still have many of the other trains, but Thomas got misplaced in life's daily hustle. For the most part, he has forgotten about it, but the subject does come up occasionally.
Mollie picked him up from Rainbow Lane today as she does every Wednesday. I knew immediately it wasn't going to be rosy day for Ridge when he called me at the Hog Trough, insisting I come get him that instant. Of course, Mollie is kind of a baby whisper, so she handled. (See, Mollie, I do too write nice things about you.)
In spite of the early fit, Ridge was having a fantastic time, that is, until he discovered Carson's Thomas, the same exact model as the one we lost. Now, to fully understand all this, you need to know that Ridge and Carson are almost the exact same age.
Now, everything I am about to write is hearsay, based solely on the second hand account I received from Mollie. It goes something like this here:
Ridge spots the train. "It's MY Thomas! It's MY Thomas! I am taking my Thomas and the tracks home."
Carson hears the excitement. "No, that's not your Thomas, that's MY Thomas."
The crisis apparently got heated enough that the two boys had to take to Mollie. She said she looked down the two of them, both crying, and listened to their cases.
Carson explained that Ridge was going to take his Thomas home. Ridge then confirmed that was indeed his intentions. Mollie tried to explain to Ridge that they had bought Carson the same exact toy as his old Thomas, which is why they are identical. Ridge tells everyone to stuff it, by God, that's his Thomas.
Needless to say, I made him leave the Thomas with his rightful owner and, needless to say, Ridge had a meltdown, a snotty, red-faced, tear-streaked meltdown. As we pulled down the road, Ridge still screaming like someone being tortured in one of those Eastern Bloc torture chambers, when I remembered that my mom has the exact same Thomas at her house. She lives in the close vacanity, so we just swung in and got one.
With his Thomas clinched tightly in his fists, all was right for Ridge again.

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More Good Times From Polly Ester Kotton

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September 13, 2008

When Kids Invade the Bedroom

Pull up a chair, Readers, it's lessons from Shonda time again.
For some reason, I've been blogging about getting it on and, moreover, the subsequent reproduction that it causes lately. It all started with Bristol Palin and the big no-no she and her hot piece of Alaskan tail Levi Johnston got into. Well, it didn't really start there. You know I've been a weaselly perv for many a years now, that just sparked all the writing. Then I talked to all you teenagers out there about the perks of having a baby at a young age. Mollie did it and now she has a mini nanny. I waited until I was 24 to start having kids, which is like 40 here in Oklahoma. Seriously, my aunt Janet began calling me an old maid when I was 20. To be fair, she and her bunch are more fertile than prime Ohio farm ground. Anyways, my responsibility (or luck, whatev) really paid off. While I'm slaving over six freakin' loads of laundry, Mollie's watching tv as her daughter Hannah loads the dryer and pours milk for the smaller children. It's bullshit.
Well, I figured I might as well keep the raunchy theme going, right. Today I want to talk to you about birth control in its most effective means.
Now, in order for you to take this sure fire route, you must have either already reproduced or have access to a kid you can borrow. I repeat, there must be small children.
I can tell you, Brilliant Readers, that nothing slows down the procreation like a toddler's head peeking over the side of the bed just as you start rubbing on your partner's nether regions.
"Momma, there's a monster under my bed," he whispers as he shimmies into bed and rests between the two of you.
But, you don't give up there. After all, the two of you used to be quite the rock stars in this regard and you are motivated to kick off the reunion tour. You lay like motionless rocks until the little angel is sleeping soundly, then you sneak off to his home. It, after all, is free.
Just as you slip into the Thomas the Train sheets (this is totally hypothetical), you hear a soft cry in the room of the baby. The soft cry quickly turns into a shrill scream. You sigh, leave your handsome spouse in the big kid's room and go to soothe the little kid.
Of course, for some odd reason, it takes twice as long to comfort him as it normally does. You rock and sing, whisper and hug, but the child reminds you there is no rest for the weary and no love for the randy.
By the time you perform the small miracle of hypnotising the kiddo, you creep back into the toddler's room to find a snoring husband.
So, there you, Readers. If you don't want to get pregnant, just have kids.

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September 12, 2008

So My Phones Glued To My Ear, What of It?

I woke up at 5:30 again this morning, a pesky little inconvenience in my book. I laid in bed for another hour before I decided to hell with the hopes of falling back in a peaceful slumber and got my dragging ass out of bed.
When Rowdy started stirring an hour later, he poured a cup of coffee and turned on Good Morning America. They, of course, were all chipper as though someone had dropped a couple of tabs of Ecstasy in their morning joe. (Does that come in tabs? I don't know so stop laughing at me if I doesn't. I'm hip.)
After a few segments, they started yammering on about some new study asserting that too much interaction with other females can actually be bad for a woman's life. I looked over and saw Rowdy's ears perk up. He glanced over at me all slyly.
The television shrink explained that female friends can be certainly beneficial if they are kept at an arm's length. She then explained that talking out every breath of your day can be drama bait or some such shit.
Rowdy's glances became less sly and then they morphed into all out stares.
"Do you think Mollie is watching this?" he quizzed.
"I doubt it, why?"
"Well, I think it might be something both of you needed to watch."
"Just what do you mean by that?" I snapped.
"Ummm.... you talk on the phone while you are cooking breakfast. You talk on the phone while you cooking supper. You talk on the phone while you drive to her house, only hanging up when she answers the front door."
"Suck it, Rowdy."

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September 11, 2008

Nothing Says "I Love America" like Day Drinking

I woke up this morning all groggy from 6 hours of semi-sleep, the result of a 3-year-old jabbing me in the ribs with his knee all night. Oh motherhood! As soon as I sprung from bed, blurted out my day's first "shit" as a toy tractor pierced through the skin of my left foot, I remembered that this is a holiday. Well, it's not an official holiday yet, Mayor Rudy didn't win the GOP nod.
I dropped my darling boy Ridge off at Rainbow Lane and then went straight to the Hog Trough for a day of barbecuing. My man Dan stopped by and I had to scare him with all my liberal ramblings. He is currently running on the GOP ticket for the Oklahoma legislature, so you know I'm a tall order for him to swallow. But he takes all my hethen jargan like a real trooper. My husband probably told him that disagreeing with me only makes me talk longer. He's a pretty good guy, as far as Republicans go. They win my heart every now and again. I married one, remember!
Just as I was finishing up all my greasy work, a table of true patriots came in. Foul-mouthed day drinkers. For my dime, there is nothing more American than eating meat by the saucy pound and downing it with cold beer in the middle of the afternoon. When they ordered their second round of brew, I was like, "Man, these dudes freakin' love America."
Now, I'm not being a wise ass. If everybody didn't get all Judgey McHolier-than-Thou, I would crack open a Bud Light and blast "God Bless the USA" as Ridge and I drove home. I think that is the most appropriate way to commemorate those lost. Way back in 2001 when the planes flew into the buildings, the entire world, myself included, watched awe-struck and sorrowful as we knew thousands of good people lost loved ones. After several hours of spellbound television watching, I decided to answer the call of patriotism. I went down the street to the Geritol Bar (also known as The New Oasis), frequented by the local senior citizens, and drank beer with a handful of lit-up World War II veterans. Of course, Bud Light is now made by some Belgium company, so it's only half as patriotic now as it was then. Either way, we shook our heads together, knowing the world was forever changed and that more blood would be shed. We prayed for those who died and those who had lost loved ones.
There are two ways I deal with tragedy: inappropriate humor and day drinking. Since I started having kids left and freakin' right, I can't booze it up at noon. And I can't do it at night because I will stay up too late. You know I turn into a bitchy pumpkin at 10. Screw that midnight bullshit. So, I need a volunteer to take my duty. After all, I am all about this Country First stuff. I know this is asking a lot, but I basically need one of you to enlist to the call of liberty and drink my share of beer. Several of the ornery gentleman I hung out with on 9/11 have also passed away, so you'll need to pick up at least part of their share, too. I know this is asking a lot, I do, but Momma Little and Uncle Sam WANT YOU!

On a serious note, I want to send my condolences to those who lost loved ones on that fateful day. Regardless of our differing politics in this great country, I think we can agree that we all felt a little more American on that day. I would also like to thank those who have been sent to war as a result of the events of 9/11. Just like our mourning for those lost, our various political beliefs still come together for our pride in our military members. You have a tough job and I commend you for it.

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September 10, 2008

The Perks to Teenage Reproducing

When I was junior in high school, I packed into the back of my mother's mini van with a handful of friends and we headed south to Dallas for the Fleetwood Mac Reunion Tour. We gutted the seats and sat in a circle. We smoke cigarettes. Some of us smoked other things as well. We held the flame to lighters until our thumbs grew blisters. It was one of those trips that defines youth, living free, taking adventures, being carefree. We drank expensive beers and we all marveled by my ability to not being carded, which I thought was a definite sign of my ultra coolness. Yes, we all had drinks, many drinks, all of us but Mollie.
Not long after the trip, Mollie shocked us all with the revelation that she was, like, almost 8 months pregnant. Underneath flannel shirts and vintage jeans, she had hidden Hannah from us all, her mother included. And when she told me of the pregnancy, I just felt tremendous guilt for the 200 cigarettes I sucked down 2 feet in front of her in a airtight van. My awareness of responsibility at the time pretty much would've ended there, but holy shit, I would've at least cracked a window.
Now, for you to fully understand the impact of this bombshell, you need to know that Mollie is a genius. I don't say that lightly. She scored, like, a 34 on her ACT when we were freshmen. We would marvel wide-eyed as she would take on teachers and out debate them. If there was ever a case of someone being too smart for their own good, this would be it. So, as the prune-faced adult figures in our lives found out about the pregnancy, they thought she had royally screwed up. Hell, I kinda agreed.
Fast-forward a decade. A few years after Hannah was born, Mollie stumbled upon her man Ronnie and they got to reproducing Old World Catholic Style. They had Adie and 15 months later had Wyatt and then 15 months later had Carson. And with each little child, Hannah grows more into Super Nanny.
Mollie brought her crew out to visit one Autumn afternoon. Ridge was nearly a 3-year-old and Rolan had just turned 2. To give an age comparison of our kids, her baby Carson is almost the exact same age as my oldest Ridge.
As one child would toddle up the road and another would roll down the hill, I would spring up to chase them. Mollie would all nonchalantly tell me to sit back down, then she would send Hannah a-fetchin.'
One kid was licking snot from his top lip, Hannah would swoop in with a Kleenex. Another would whine over hunger, Hannah would peel a banana. As I watched this child wonder, a super nanny if I've ever freakin' seen one, I offered Mollie money to buy her. I know, I know. That's illegal. Mollie won't freakin' give her up, dammit, so I'm thinking about kidnapping her. Don't judge me, you have the same scandalous plots if you'd seen her in action.
And then, over my like 12th monetary bid for Hannah, Mollie made a quite profound statement, "Back when we were 17 and I had Hannah, you guys all thought I was fucking up. Well, who's laughing now? It turned out to be meticulous planning."
And, she's totally right.

This last weekend my friend Miranda's girls spent Friday night and Saturday afternoon with us. Her baby Aaralyn is also Ridge's age and her oldest, Madilyn, will be 7 this February. She's a bit younger than Hannah, so there are some things she can't quite do yet. But, I could see as she mothered her little sister and my two boys that she'll make a great child slave. Plus, like Hannah, her eagerness to please will make her totally oblivious to the fact that I am exploiting her maternal instincts and boundless energy. Her momma wasn't a teenager when she was born, though.
So, listen up, folks: I am in the market for a Hannah or a Madilyn. Apparently their mothers want to keep them, which I think is utter bullshit. Can't they see that I'm working to death out here? Don't you think they should, in the very least, share the wealth?
Now, for all you teenage girls out there, I'm gonna give you the truth. When all those uptight parentals are preaching the dangers of teenage pregnancy, plant your fingers in your ears and stick your tongue out. This isn't bad, this is good. The government will fork over the cash for your medical bills and food and you will get a bright-eyed little slave to care for all your future children.

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September 09, 2008

Ode To My Allergies

Ode to my allergies,
my snotty, mucus-packed misery,
my achy head,
my eyes are red,
this Sudafed fueled catastrophe.

I'm going to sleep!

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September 08, 2008

The Brother Battle Wages On

Sweet B'Jesus, Mother of God, I don't know how much more I can take. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my children. I love them to the moon and back. I love them so much I am thinking of puncturing my own ear drums to keep from freakin' killing them.
Rolan, the baby, turned 2 in July and it was as though some magic ass kicking switch turned on when he did. Don't get me wrong, Rolan has been taking up for himself for a while. But, ever since that birthday, he is now on the shit starting end as well.
Most mornings the boys play well until at least 10. At that point, one of them starts playing with a useless cardboard box that the other must have and then they lock both arms at the elbows and scream at one another in a pitch shrill enough to deafen a dog. I discipline them, but they don't care. The fight is on and each boy would rather lay limp and bleeding on the carpet than concede whatever toy they are bickering over. Never mind that we have, like, $1000 worth of mind numbing horseshit from them to tinker with. Toys are only desirable when they are in brother's hands.
The battle cries started particularly early this morning at 9 am. By 10, I was thinking of drinking a half a bottle of vanilla extract to take the parental edge off, but then I remembered that I had to be the role model. Frankly, that's probably what's wrong with this situation to start with. What the hell was God thinking? I'm sure He's scratching His head right now, muling over the desperation he must've faced when he put me of all people in charge of the future. (Yes, children are the future. I know because Whitney Houston sung about it. Also, crack is whack, just another pearl of wisdom from Whit.
As I stare totally dumbfounded at my UFC fighter sons, I remember all the bullshit arguments Katie and I threw down in front of Mom. I remember her pleading for us to knock this nonsense off. I just wanted her to recognize that Katie was a pain in the ass little sister who needed to be stopped at all cost. Those were, after all, my toys she was putting her greasy little hands on. Now I just wish I could buy a time machine, travel back to the early 90s, pimp my MC Hammer pants and give my little sister a hug.

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Oops, She Did It Again

As you already know, I didn't watch the VMAs last night. All my attention was honed toward Vinny and the boys on the season premiere of Entourage. However, I knew Britney Spears was scheduled to, I don't know, do something and I hoped to myself that she did well. I still don't think she's role model material, or at least not for teenage girls, but like just about everyone, my fingers are crossed that this train wreck comes to a halt. I talked to a friend after it was over and she Britney had looked all put together. And, I pushed it to the back of my brain with the Lloyd Benson quotes and hammer pants.
So then this morning, just a few minutes ago really, the ladies on The View were debating the Jonahs Brothers promise rings exchange when Sherri Shepherd mentioned that Brit's momma, Mother of the Year herself Lynn Spears, said in her upcoming tell-all book that her diva daughter was getting it on at 14. I think we all remember the marketing of Britney Spears, virgin extraordinaire.
Now, first let me say this, I never cared whether or not Britney was doing it. I watched a documentary on her that included her older high school boyfriend and, like most the folks on the show, it seemed plausible to me that these two were getting at it. But, really, I didn't care either. Her music isn't really my style and that's all that matters.
I'm not blogging about this because I am all shocked by the dishonesty of a teenage Britney. I seriously doubt she was the one who cooked up the whole "ramble on about your committed stance on abstinence until marriage" plan in the first damn place. In that documentary I watched, her old flame said that he went to one of Brit's first concerts and Lynn ushered him away, knowing that her albums would rack in a little more dough if she were unattached.
No, the reason I am blogging this is because I am shocked, freaking shocked, that after everything Britney has been through and now that she finally seems to be pulling her head from those murky waters that her mother, the woman who is suppose to protect her, is writing a book that says Britney started drinking at 14, having sex at 14 and doing drugs at 15. First, I cannot imagine selling my children to alter of fame like she did. Britney was too young and too immature to handle Hollywood when she broke out. But, doing this now is just disgusting to me.
Tell me what you think.

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September 07, 2008

As If I Don't Cuss Enough Already

Good Morning, Readers. How are you upon this sunshiny Sunday? All is well here and I'm sure you will be glad to know that my political ramblings are over, well, at least for the time being. Today I am getting back on track, back the reasons you come here in the first place, back to to the ridicules antics of my family and semi-tasteless sex jokes.
Now, as far as good, raunchy fun goes, today might as well be a freakin' holiday. No, this isn't some bullshit orchastrated by the Congress and recognized by the federal government, although it should be. This isn't going to get you out of work. Labor Day, a day set aside for day drinking and barbecues, which is right up my drunken alley, is over.
So, what is so special about today, September 7, 2008? Tune your televisions to HBO, bitches. It's time for the season premiere of Entourage.
I discovered this super cursing, super sexed gem last year during a bout with the flu. Dish Network was running one of those free HBO weekends. Now, when these little promos have come along in the past, we would just go through the tv schedule, record each and every show that we might even somehow possibly think about watching and then tell the satellite company, "Screw you, assholes. We are good for the whole year."
But, on this fateful weekend, HBO also happened to be running an Entourage marathon. Lyndi had tried to get us started on the show before, she even brought one of those full seasons on DVD out, but we resisted, knowing full well that we didn't need another show to hold us captive.
I was weak and sick. My immune system couldn't fight off a sneeze, much less the awesomeness of Vince, Eric, Turtle, Drama and Ari.
I know this is based on a life I typically shun, the affluent, superficial influence of Hollywood. I can't help it, they say the "F" word in all the right places. And, before you email me, I know Jeremy Piven is suppose to be a prick in real life. It's not Jeremy Piven I love, it's Ari Gold. He may be a prick, but he's a funny prick.
So, if you want to talk to me this evening, call before 9. Otherwise, you might get the Entourage Shonda, the one who says stuff like, "Are you motherfuckin' kidding me? I told you not to interrupt me even if George Clooney was here to slap my ass."
I doubt I would say that.

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September 06, 2008

Confessions of a RNC Guard

Avi Steinberg

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Gathered in the basement of an office building in a tough section of St. Paul, less than two weeks before the gavel drops downtown at the Republican National Convention, roughly 30 recruits hired by a private security company sit through 12 hours of lectures. I am one of these officers-in-training.

The group is a mix of moonlighting prison guards and cops, infantrymen and Marines between tours of duty in Iraq, immigrants, assorted freelance goons and young career seekers. There is also a crisp-looking airman and an outspoken right-wing ideologue, who never fails to demonstrate his remarkable talent for transforming any conversation, even one about the weather, into a discussion about the Mossad.

The RNC, I am told, is a training ground for these recruits. Those who perform well during the grueling 12-hour shifts before, during and after the convention will be considered for permanent jobs at the security firm.

The instructor is Charles T. Thibodeau, or Chuck, a rotund and self-effacing 65-year-old security consultant bedecked in gold jewelry. Thibodeau leans back, cracks open a can of Rockstar Energy Drink and extols the virtues of non-heroism. He has taken painkillers all week to cope with a recent operation to remove varicose veins and is in something of a confessional mood; having been raised by a town drunk (one of his confessions) he isn't much of a romantic to begin with.

"I'll be the first to admit it," he says, crossing his arms. "I don't fight fair. I fight to win. If you got to take someone out -- sorry, I mean, 'reposition them to the ground' -- you go in with help. Under no circumstances do you go toe-to-toe. You gotta get some beefcake in there. I myself prefer to go in with four to five people. Last thing I want is a level playing field."

"What if you're alone and the guy is coming for you?" asks one of the recruits.

Thibodeau doesn't miss a beat.

"You run."

"I know what some of you tough guys are thinking," says Thibodeau, draining his Rockstar. "But trust me, unless you've got no escape route and are being seriously threatened, and can prove that in court by crying on the stand, you had better retreat. You either run or you cry. Your choice."

A recruit sitting in the back of the room begins to fidget and sink into his chair. He wears a T-shirt in the ubiquitous purple and yellow of Minnesota Vikings football. The shirt reads "What Would Leif Erikson Do?"

Soon enough the recruit answers his own question: Leif Erikson, it turns out, would stand up, wipe his hands on his jeans, mutter "Fuck this" under his breath, slip out the back and not return.

I, however, stay until the bitter end and await my assignment. The following is a log of a night in my life as an RNC security officer. The night shift is 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

6:20 p.m.
I am assigned to guard the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Minneapolis, the official headquarters of the 2008 Republican National Convention. My uniform is cop classic: a jet black flying-cross patrolman's shirt with epaulets; black slacks (along with black belt and shoes that I had to provide myself); and a shiny golden badge that features a bald eagle, the Liberty Bell and the words "security enforcement officer" on it. I'm also sporting two shoulder patches: an American flag on the left and, on the right, the Doric-columned logo of my employers, surrounded by the words "courage, fortitude, protection."

Enthralled by this dizzyingly patriotic get-up I have neglected to try on the cop slacks ahead of time. This turns out to be a tragic mistake. The pants are tight -- obscenely tight -- at the waist. But duty calls. I squeeze into the pants, wince and look at myself in the mirror. My fears are confirmed: I look like the cop from the Village People. I walk gingerly toward the RNC headquarters downtown, trying, like everyone at the convention, to stick to the script.

6:30 p.m.
I walk downtown on Hennepin Avenue and notice a small crowd taking shape. As a "security enforcement officer," naturally I stop to investigate. The crowd is chanting "Ru-dy! Ru-dy! Ru-dy!" and there, indeed, is Mr. Giuliani, waving and baring his teeth to the delight of all assembled. I ask one among the crowd if he's as big a Giuliani booster as his enthusiastic chanting would seem to indicate.

"Naw, can't stand the guy. Way too liberal."

He returns to chanting. I'm running late, but I have to ask.

"So why are you chanting his name?"

"Have you ever chanted his name?"

I confess that I have not.

"Try it, buddy, it's fun. You'll like it."

So I do, to myself, as I trot toward the RNC headquarters. The guy is right; it does put me in a good mood.

6:40 p.m.
A group of college hipsters are loitering on Nicollett Avenue, near the Hyatt. They are clad typically -- scruff, tight jeans, chucks, ironic T-shirts and bandannas. One of them calls out, "Fuckin' fascist!" I look around for this fascist bastard and realize that he's talking to me. I'm partly relieved -- at least he didn't say, "Hey, look! It's the guy from the Village People."

It's been a tense week in the Twin Cities. A series of rough pre-convention raids on the homes of anti-RNC protesters has left even mild-mannered Minnesotans feeling sour.

At the moment, however, I'm in too much of a rush to point out that my pants are just as tight as any hipster's and my shirt possibly even more ironic. I have time only for some quick role-playing and so I shout back, "Get a job, you brat."

7 p.m.
The RNC headquarters at the Hyatt is a gilded fortress -- this week it's service with a smile and a concealed weapon. I am part of a team of 12 security officers (unarmed) who will patrol every entrance and exit to the hotel, front, back and side, for 24 hours a day during the RNC. Guards are also placed in the emergency stairways. We are told not to let anyone up past the sixth floor. Why? Because that's the order. There is no further discussion.

In addition to my team of black-clad officers, there are hotel security personnel, Minneapolis police, an odd guardsman, state trooper or sheriff's officer, another squad of hired officers (from a different private firm), and members of the FBI, Capitol Police (in suits) and Secret Service (in nicer suits). If you include the Evangelicals, nearly every person at the RNC headquarters has a voice whispering in his ear.

8 p.m.
The voice whispering in my ear belongs to my operations supervisor, Charlie, a good-humored young private detective, who looks like the approachable guy in a boy band, walks like a determined penguin and has a tendency to giggle. He posts me to the front of the building, where I soon witness a heartbreaking exchange. A stocky man in a Hawaiian shirt walks up to a strapping young TV news producer who's milling around with his camera crew. The stocky man says, "Hi, I'm a delegate from Kentucky. Which station you guys from?"

"We're from New York," replies the producer, turning his back on the man.

10 p.m.
The Capitol policemen order pizza; the Secret Service, on the other hand, splurges. A Secret Service agent -- a linebacker with glasses -- walks past me with two big bags of takeout, en route to his undisclosed location upstairs. As he passes, he winks at me and says, "A little sushi action for the fellas."

My partner, who just finished police academy, says, "Man, those guys got style, don't they?"

11 p.m.
I ask an older gentleman -- a delegate from Idaho who seems to go by the name "Doc" -- to open his bag for a security search.

"If you want to be a real cop," he says, "you got to be more forceful. Try again."

I've been standing for four hours in pants that are two sizes too small; I'm developing welts in strange places and rapidly losing patience for what seems to be an endless train of preppy wiseguys.

"Sir, open your bag for me," I say. "Please."

"Good," he says. "Much better."

The first wave of delegates, staffers, lobbyists and hangers-on are returning from their parties. I'm still guarding the front door. My first drunk: a guy whose dress shirt is recklessly untucked, his "McCain for America" pin dangling precariously from his lapel. Looking for his credentials, he fumbles around for almost five full minutes.

A car stops in front of the entrance. A man and a woman emerge and exchange a long meaningful hug. They whisper for a bit. Then the woman goes into the hotel and the man steps back into the car and drives away.

"Cheaters," says my new partner, Scott Mendes. "They both got wedding rings."

1:12 a.m.
Two discussions about the war in Iraq suddenly take place.

The first discussion is among a group of young Republicans standing in front of the Hyatt smoking cigars -- party favors from the Giuliani party. The men are all similarly clad in J. Press; some in houndstooth, some in navy blue blazers. The girlfriends, however, wear designer cocktail dresses.

"I'm sick of this chickenshit," says one guy, a sturdy Stanford 2L. "I hear too much apologizing for the war. We should all get behind McCain and stand up proudly and use the 'W' word. We have to tell the voters, 'No, we're not just making gains, we are winning this war.'"

The second conversation takes place between me and Scott, a baby-faced Marine who has served two tours in Iraq (and is expecting to be called up again any day). We're standing 2 feet away from the Republicans. As Scott tells it, his platoon spent almost two years roving around western Iraq doing the bidding of various local tribal bosses, fighting fierce and undefined battles against enemies who had been allies a week earlier.

His take on the war?

"It's bullshit," he says with a shrug. "We got no business there. We get played by all the locals. Guys are dying for nothing. Everyone's losing their minds. It's a disaster."

A new group of Republicans approaches.

"Here come some happy drunks," Scott says to me, smiling.

Three girls in the new group pose for a photo, beaming for the camera. Instead of saying, "Cheese," they surprise us and say, "Facebook!" The image is captured.

Scott opens the door for them, smiles and says, "Good evening," as they stumble in.

2:50 a.m.
At the RNC, the truth-telling starts somewhere around 3 a.m. Delegates who were on-message when they left for their parties at 10 p.m., return too hammered to walk a straight party line.

"How you doing, dude?" one of the drunk delegates says to me as he pulls out a cigarette, almost emptying an entire pocket in the process.

"To tell you the truth," I reply, "my pants are way too tight on the waist. They're killing me."

He gives my pants a glance.

"There's a lot of hot chicks here," he tells me in a failed attempt at a whisper. He reeks of chardonnay. "You cannot spring a woody here, dude. Your pants got no give, know what I mean? It'd be totally obvious. Gov. Palin is staying here -- you gotta be careful. You get what I'm saying? You can't get wood on the job."

"Thanks. I got it," I say.

One of his pals chimes in.

"Gov. Palin is hot, dude," he says, collapsing onto a bench in front of the hotel entrance.

Even in their lusty, alcohol-fueled swoons, these young politicos still call Palin "governor." In a way, this reverential horniness is sort of endearing. But mostly it's just creepy. Sitting on the bench, the young man leans his head back and squeezes his eyes shut, trying, and failing, to stave off vertigo. "Total MILF."

"All right, gentlemen," I say, wielding the word "gentlemen" like a prison guard. "Get out of here. Time to go to sleep."

The right-wing youth resurgence is taking shape here before my eyes and it has a strong erotic undercurrent. For the first time in American politics there is a strong alpha woman with whom mothers identify, and after whom sons lust. The GOP is playing the Oedipal card. And it could mean bloody war, fought house to house.

4:15 a.m.
I'm developing a purely anecdotal theory about Republican drunkenness: that it's related to ideology. The less ideological arrive back at the headquarters earlier in the evening, between midnight and 1 a.m. These are, in chronological order, the Romney and the Giuliani supporters. Both are East Coast, urban college grad, corporate types. They like to drink and reminisce about the Harvard-Yale game, but they also like to wake up early, shave and not smell like booze at committee meetings. The Giuliani people are secular and more openly lecherous. So they tend to drink a bit harder and stay out closer to 1 a.m. The Ron Paul people party past 1 a.m., but not much. And they shave but they don't showboat.

The ones who stay out the latest and come back the drunkest, I notice, are the Huckabee folks, the party's rural conservatives. They believe in Jesus, in the hard-bitten way of the true alcoholic. If they ever sober up, it'll be by the grace of the Lord; and if they intend to stay on the sauce and continue living, then they'll really need His loving kindness. If you intend to be drinking heavily until closing time -- 4 a.m. in the Twin Cities during the RNC -- you had better walk home with Jesus.

I can't place true McCainites on the alcohol-ideology matrix. I think they were all asleep by 9:30 p.m.

5 a.m.
The only people around the RNC headquarters now are security personnel. Cops of all stripes circulate around the hotel, nodding to one another as they pass, keeping watch mostly on their fellow watchmen. Every once in a while, Charlie's voice crackles over the radio, "Wake up!" and my fellow officers oblige by telling lewd jokes over the line to stay awake. The agony of my ill-fitting cop slacks has given way to a mellow numbness.

I am now posted behind the RNC headquarters, at the back exit, which is an outdoor ledge overlooking a park. It's a lonely perch and the night has turned chilly. Fall is definitely in the air. A man in his mid-60s -- who, to my exhausted eyes, looks a bit like John McCain -- suddenly materializes nearby. Given that I'm dead bored and my eyes have begun playing tricks on me, and that I'm manning a post in the dead of night, I can't help thinking of the ghost of King Hamlet, disturbing the night watch just like this gentleman, with "a countenance more in sorrow than in anger."

All the hotels in the area are dark. Thousands of Republicans stir in their beds, dreaming thousands of dreams about Sarah Palin. But Charles Hunter, an environmentalist delegate from New Hampshire and a veteran of Republican conventions going back to the 1980 coronation of Ronald Reagan at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, can't sleep at all.

"This is my last convention," he tells me, lighting a cigarette.


"I'm a real McCain guy. I served. But I liked the old McCain -- when he was a true hero, before he signed on with the yahoos. I actually believe in 'country first.'"

"Not a fan of Palin?"

"If I were McCain I'd probably bring her onto my ticket, too. That's exactly the problem. I guess I tricked myself into thinking that McCain, even after he watered himself down for the election, could somehow restore sanity. The Democrats tried to paint him as a twin of Bush. Not true. But Palin ... she does remind me of Bush. McCain has made a devil's pact and sealed this party's fate."

Even though he's older, he smokes his cigarette like a young man, with earnest haste, before he flicks it off into the dark.

"That's it," he said, "we're through. Even if we win, we've lost."

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For Those Who Missed It: The Sponge Bob Conspiracy

I posted this the first time several months ago. Since this, I have made a few new friends, one of whom has been bitching about her own children's addiction to this absurd cartoon. You know how seriously I take my patriotic duty, so I am re-posting this to spread the word.
I'm not for sure where my kids got turned onto this little gem, but I have my ideas. SPONGE BOB SQUARE PANTS! One day they came home, chanting and pleading for me to turn it on the tv. Seemed harmless enough. And since its on Nickelodeon non-freakin'-stop, I just flipped it over and there it was. Because they seemed so pleased and entranced, I went ahead a recorded it for good measure.
Over the next following weeks, Ridge asked for it more and more while Rolan danced gleefully in the background at the prospects at watching this underwater sponge living a pineapple.
Well, one day I decided I should maybe watch this with them. I mean, I know that no tv is really that good for kids, but Thomas the Train, the undisputed champion of Ridge's heart, periodically talks about colors and letters. Plus Ridge has learned to talk like a cheeky little Englishmen, abandoning the word "mad" for "cross," i.e., "Mom, Rolan is playing with my train. I am so cross."
Anyways, let's get back on track. So, I sit down with my guys one afternoon to see what all the fuss is about. With my mouth dropped open, I was shocked at how many times this one tiny sponge could burp and fart, as though my boys need any encouragement in this department. The sponge bumbled around foolishly as some grumpy squid or whatever schemed on selling kids for profit or something, just one more thing my boys probably won't need any further encouragement with.
Immediately I banned Sponge Bob and all his ridicules friends from our house. Just put it on the shelf next to the Nascar and the Grizzly Man log-sawing contest or whatever the hell that is that Rowdy soooo loves to watch.
As soon as I erased this nonsense, my living room looked like Tienanmen Square, China, circa 1989. Ridge and Rolan were in a fully brazen protest and you know I was gonna mow that shit down like all those tanks over those freedom-starved students. (I know, I know it's probably immoral to joke about such a thing, especially coming from a self-described liberal such as myself, but I bet you laughed.)
After the Great Sponge Bob Famine of 2008 began, I spent a lot of time thinking about such a show and how it ever came to be. And before you start sending me some hate mail because you love Sponge Bob, look down at your one-hitter and your hacky sack. Yup, that's why I don't want my kids watching this bullshit.
Now, if you happen to be one of those neocons, follow closely. You are gonna love this. After all, that nutty windbag Jerry Falwell decried that the purple Teletubbie was making our kids homosexuals and you all went banannas. Here goes: I think Sponge Bob was created by the Taliban to dumb down our kids, thus setting the stage for an out-and-out jihadist invasion in about 15-20 years. I mean, if I wanted to conquer their shit hole countries, this is exactly what I'd do. I make a show that was so silly and ridicules that all kids would love it, but have the underlying message be, well, burping and farting. Osama bin Laden is behind this, I just know it.
And since I'm a sworn enemy of Osama, I'm waging war on this Sponge Bob Conspiracy and I think you should, too. I mean, do you want the insurgents to win? To quote my man Dub, you're either with us or against us. Osama is against us and so is Sponge Bob. And the enemy of my enemy is my friend. I bet Osama loves Sponge Bob.
I don't give a shit what former or current comic geek is credited with the creation of this little cartoon nightmare. Osama was behind it. Haven't you ever seen Super Troopers? Johnny Chimpo, need I say more.
So, there you go. I've done my patriotic duty. George Bush told me if you see something, say something. I've passed along the information. Go well, my friends.

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September 05, 2008

Even Dooce is Getting Poltical, so I Guess I Should, Too

Every little subculture has their god, their holy being for which the entire group revolves. You know, like the way all the chest-beating UFC fans (love ya, Dad) swoon over that bald-haired beauty Chuch Lidell. Or, the way aspiring Susie Homemakers get all tingly in their panties when Martha Stewart rolls out her full assault strategy for the perfect Mexican Fiesta Birthday Celebration, approaching the party as though they are mounting a military a coup. The glass will be tinted purple and full 3/4 to the brim with cactus-shaped ice cubes, the sombrero pinata will be stuffed with chocolate grown in the Yucatan and then air-expressed via Air Mexico (love you, Mollie.)
In the ever-expanding world of female bloggers, snidely coined "mommy bloggers" by the geniuses at The New York Times (you know, the same assholes who ran daily prewar stories about Iraq's hand in 9/11, which turned out to be, I don't know, false), we worship at the alter of Dooce. She can write witty ass jokes and lay out cleaver bribes she pulls on her kid and we suck it all up like adoring lap dogs. Even those of us who aren't totally hypnotised by her brilliance are intrigued by her unchallenged reign of Blogger Extraordinaire. From jotting down the silly bullshit her husband and daughter do, which is freakin' child's play in comparison to my man and his two hellcat spawns, Dooce's blog supports her family. I am awestruck and jealous all at the same time.
I have to admit, I check her blog daily, often many times. Normally I giggle a little and then think to myself how much I want to be Dooce.
Dear Jesus, why didn't you make me Dooce? I don't want to be me, I want to be the awesome, rockin' Dooce.
But, like Chuck Lidell isn't the only badass who can defeat a wiry opponent by forcing their face to his crotch or like Martha Stewart isn't the lone domestic goddess to over-coordinate a 2-year-old's birthday party, Dooce isn't the only female blogger to make me giddily squeel, "Oh no she di'nt." They all bring something different to the table. From Anna, I get all knowed-up on the necessity of high-end eyebrow waxers, quite beneficial to a lady like me who buzzes hers off with her man's shaver and calls that bitch good. Cathy inspires me to cook outside the box, to turn my shabby kitchen into a gourmet masterpiece. She's a little Martha herself, I suppose. While Suzanne and I share many political views, I really love her site because, like me, she believes there are some places no razor belongs. Listen fellas, I just don't care what Jenna Jameson did.
But, as a political junkie, I normally get the best fix at PunditMom. Through the last week, I've been there multiple times a day, my head all drunk with the notion of a mayor running the vice presidency.
There are about 25 other blogs I visit on a daily basis and they all have a unique flair they bring to my otherwise bland life, but I would never get to the meat of this bloggy sandwich if I didn't get to it. So, here goes. Step aside, rambling, my readers want a point, any point. Focus.
When I went through my daily stalking, I mean reading, of Dooce yesterday, I giggled a little when she wrote about the universe humping her face. That shit happens to me all the time. Then I read the rest of the post, the part about her anger over McCain's choice of the unqualified Sarah Palin. Dooce doesn't normally write about politics, so it kinda took me back for a second. Then, of course, my infatuation grew into unfettered love and I wondered to myself if she would leave her man to be my first lesbian lover.
At the risk of firing up my conservative friends and family, I agree with Dooce. Now, I know I have already disclosed that I worship her Holy Blogginess at least three times a day, you know, like Muslim people turning to the East in prayer, so you probably think that my opinion is comprised. During Sarah Palin's speech on Wednesday evening, I cussed and spit, shouting at Rowdy how distorted I thought many of her statements were. He just agreed, not because he really agreed (He's a nutty Republican. Can you believe I married one?), but because he knows with even a smigen of encouragement, I will ramble on 'til his ears bleed. For a calmer, fact-founded, non F word flinging article from the Associate Press over the misrepresentations of Palin, click here. This was also in Dooce's post. Seriously, read it.
As far as Republicans go, I have always loved John McCain. Just ask my husband. I haven't always agreed with him and I certainly won't vote for him, but he hasn't come close to making my head spin around like that little girl in Poltergeist. Now, George Bush, that's a whole other story. But, no matter who John would've picked, short of Chuck Hagel, I am an Obama Momma.
That said, like Dooce, I am fired up about his selection of Sarah Palin. Not because she is a mother to all those kids or because her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant (abstinence-only education, bay-bay). Just like I don't give a shit about who Bill Clinton or John Edwards are screwing, I don't care that Bristol Palin is getting down with that hot hockey player or that Sarah Palin is reproducing like Catholics on a Mardi Gras binge. I take that back, I do care about that hockey hottie. Bristol, my email address is Be a good girl and email a desperate, old housewife some steamy details about that hot piece of Alaskan ass. I totally love you, Levi Johnston.
Anyways, I've got to stop daydreaming about Palin's superfly future son-in-law or I won't get a thing done. I don't want Sarah Palin as my vice president because I've already lived through 8 years of Cheney. I don't want a vice president who has made statements that the War in Iraq is a mission from God. Hitler told the Germans that invading Poland was exactly that, a mission from God, but that didn't make it so. I don't want a vice president who asks her church to pray for completion of pipelines. I don't want a vice president who doesn't believe in global warming, or at least that it is being caused by man. I don't want a vice president whose spouse belonged to the Alaskan Independence Party, a group dedicated to leaving the USA and starting their own country. Country First, what? And, I don't want a vice president who has run a town smaller than Elk City and been a governor for 20 months. I know Alaska is the largest in size, but it is the smallest in population.
As John McCain gave his acceptance speech last night, my entire family cuddled in our bed, Rowdy and I absorbed each word while Ridge and Rolan bounced over one another. As my darling boys played hide-and-seek under the covers, I touched my husband's hand. Even though this wasn't my party's convention, it was a very "American Dream" moment. We felt very much like our dreams were coming true as a young couple with our two small and healthy children and I know it will be one of those Wonder Years memories that stays with me always. Plus, I discovered that John McCain used to keep company with strippers and I fell a little in love with him. You know I love a dirty dog.
John McCain made some pledges in his speech I hope he keeps, like the one where he vows to re-educate workers whose jobs have been shipped overseas in the last eight years or the resources he promised to our educational systems. He vowed to make college more available for upcoming Americans and I sincerely pray he follows through. Like John McCain, I am a Christian and, like John McCain has said on many occasions, I believe religion doesn't have a place in government. When our country bombs another, and there will be times we do, I don't want a president that tells me God told him to do this. I want a president that tells me he weighed all the options and this was all he had left. I've always felt that when a leader puts that decision on God, they also give him the deaths of the innocent people who perish because of it. Although I knew I probably wouldn't vote for John, I have found comfort that, when faced with that kind of violent and tragic decision, that he knew all the subsequent fall-out from that sort of warfare would be held at the hands who made it. I think it makes a leader think a little more about the choice they are making if they don't convince themselves that they aren't responsible for the innocent casualties. I've respected John's persistence, especially when he has gone up against his own party, like when he voted against the Constitutional amendment to define marriage between a man and a woman. With his pick from the religious right, I hope his belief wields his potential administration's policy on that, not the other way around.
Of America's 43 presidents, nine of them have to office by the death of resignation of their predecessor. Some crazy religious zealots are praying through their blogs that McCain be elected and them smited by God (I guess that's nut talk for killed) so, I don't know, the country can be one big church. As I type that, I am seriously shrugging because the thought of praying for one man to be elected and then off'd is something I cannot wrap my mind around. Can you?
As a war protester held up a sign that said, "You Cannot Win an Occupation," and chanted something I could not make out, John McCain said that American wants us to stop yelling at each other.
Well, in between that and your former love of strippers, you almost have my vote, John. (To me, promiscuity is a sign of real leadership skills. Stop laughing, I am being serious. You know I love Bill Clinton). I think you've been a great servant to the nation, John, I do. If those fruit loops weren't putting some voodoo hex on you as I type this, maybe I could. If their vengeful prayers are answered, you'll be swallowed by the Earth or turned to stone or some other Biblical nightmare and I just can't get behind your girl.
Okay, now I have to go. I bet Dooce has posted something new and I'm having separation anxiety.

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Finish This Page, but click on the older posts, too.

The knee-slappin,' cursin,' GOOD TIMES don't start or end on the front page, so read the older posts! Maybe you missed something. Maybe you forgot. I try to post daily, so read the older posts!
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