Tag Archives: lulz

Room-cleaning day: a comedy in three parts


So The Lovely Rhonda and I give the children an allowance every couple of weeks, allegedly for chores that they do.  There are assigned chores (cleaning the catbox, taking out the recycling, etc) and there are “other duties as assigned,” such as filling the cat food dish or picking stuff up in the living room so I can vacuum.

Also a large part of allowance is cleaning your room, which we are dismal at enforcing and the spawn are equally, if not more, dismal at actually doing.

This morning TLR announced that rooms would need to be cleaned in order to receive the blessed allowances, and thus began our Morning of Travail.

As luck would have it, the eldest spawn cleaned her room yesterday at my behest, so she’s happily playing CADsoftwarewithastorylinecraftTM while the other girls toil away.

A sampling of the day’s activities thus far:

Madeline, the youngest at age 6, approaches clutching a calendar.  (We often refer to her in shorthand as M2 and Molly, age 8, as M1, denoting birth order)

M2: Mama, can we pwease put this up?

TLR: Yes, just put it on your desk for now.

M2: But my homewowk is on my desk and I can’t put this on top of my homewowk because my homewowk has to be on the top

TLR: Okay, so put this underneath your homework, on your desk.

M2: ‘K.  (races off)

Shortly thereafter Molly, the middle child, comes showing something else that must be looked upon immediately.  I can’t remember what because frankly it was so mind-bogglingly trivial that it barely registered in the first place.  TLR, a paragon of patience for reasons that I still cannot fathom, acknowledges the item and gently bids the child return to her room.

Approximately 90 seconds passes, after which Madeline returns announcing that she has cleaned her entire room.

TLR: That seemed kind of quick.  Did you clean the whole thing?

M2:  Yes.

TLR: So, everything is up off the floor?  Like, under your desk, and back by your toybox, and in front of your closet?

M2:  Well, no.  Not in fwont of my cwoset.  Because I never go there.

TLR:  You need to clean in front of the closet.

M2:  WHY?!

TLR (calmly): Because I said so.  Now go clean in front of the closet like I said.

M2 sighs heavily and trudges down the hall.

A moment later Molly appears.

M1: Mama?  I think Madeline is whining about something in her room.

TLR:  Oh?

M1: Yeah.  It sounds like she’s saying, like, “But I didn’t even do it,” or something.

TLR:  Well, why don’t you just not worry about it.

M1: But, it’s really hard to clean my room with her groans distracting me —

Me (at this point I cannot help myself): SO CLOSE YOUR DOOR.

At this point all of the rooms are reasonably clean and the youngest has bathed.  She emerges wearing a pair of jeans and complains to TLR that they are too big.  See?  And the jeans are touching my socks and I don’t like it when my jeans are touching my socks —

There is a beer-and-wine-thing tonight in downtown Bedroom Community, and TLR’s favorite vintner will be represented at a local independent theater we like to go to.  I think it’s safe to say we’ll be going.



2013 in review


It’s interesting — I’m just a casual blogger.  I am aware that there are people who blog for a living, and visit blogs specifically to somehow make money off that, but beyond this vague knowledge I have no real idea how it all works.  I just like to write silly things about my goofy life and post a few pictures for friends and family (and total strangers, if it comes to that).

I do occasionally get messages about some blogger or another who starts to follow my blog or likes a post (or every post), and when I look at those people’s blogs they are usually some kind of “make money blogging” or “buy my stuff” blogs, but occasionally it’s someone who has just stumbled across my blog somehow and for whatever reason finds it amusing.

Evidently my blog had around 2,000 views by people in 28 countries last year — peanuts compared to the big guns, but still: how does someone in Pakistan or Indonesia end up at my silly little blog, reading about how I got married or that time I got pneumonia again?

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Ode to Buttsong


Found on the back porch:


One early morning I heard noise from Debra’s butt.

“Debra, you have a buttsong!”  “What?!” 

“There’s no such thing as a buttsong!”she yelled out loudly.  So,

“Yes there is” I yelled on back, “You just don’t know!”

So we spent the whole day arguing, laughing to and fro.

Now, I think, “Oh how funny was that, oh!”

This little masterwork comes to you, dear reader(s), courtesy of Rhonda’s oldest, the originator of the “buttsong” concept.

Listen to my butt song


So this morning the middle child, hereafter referred to as “the middle child,” woke up all giggly and came into Grone Up Land to roust me and the wife out of bed.  I mean, it was already like SEVEN O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING ON A SATURDAY, get up already!  Guy!

Anyway she clambered up onto the bed and thrashed around singing and cajoling The Lovely Rhonda.  Because she is a long, skinny insubstantial child, I actually mistook her for one or both of the dogs.  Until I heard her say:

“Debra’s butt is making music!”

I am reasonably sure that I would not hear this out of one or both of the dogs, not without powerful mind-altering substances on board.  And we rarely let the dogs engage in that kind of thing.

At any rate, TLR and I both laughed and I was promptly accused of cutting the cheese, which I denied.  And then she said it again: “I hear Debra’s butt music!  It sounds like a guitar!”

As God is my witness, I have no idea what she was talking about.

TLR said, “Debra’s butt isn’t making music!”

“Sure it is,” says I, “Come on over and listen to it!”

But no, the wife is slightly too savvy to fall for that.  Which is probably just as well since I didn’t really have anything at the ready.

So all day the middle child keeps sidling up to me and saying, “Let me hear your butt song!”

I keep protesting: “THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A BUTT SONG!”

The youngest has even taken to pressing her ear to the side of my buttock.

Eventually she may come to regret this.  Just sayin’.

Valentine’s Day


So today is Valentine’s Day, or as we like to call it, “Thursday.”

We actually do a little bit of celebrating of Valentine’s Day, but nothing over the top.  Everybody gripes about it: its origins, the commercialism, etc.  As with most things, I’m rather a moderate on this topic.  Personally I think it’s kind of harmless to take a day to send little love notes around or buy flowers for your sweetie.  And, nobody’s really connecting it to the saint it’s named for, just like we don’t really connect Easter bunnies and eggs to their origins either.  Big deal.  I think it’s a lot of butthurt for something as innocuous as this.

That being said, we also kind of “have” to engage in it a little because we have three school-aged children and they do it at school.  There are rules: every kid gets a card from every other kid, no playing favorites.  I think this makes it fair, and you can get the little boxes of cards at the dollar store if you want.  The kids enjoy it and no harm done.

The Lovely Rhonda and I don’t get all crazy for it either.  We spend enough time appreciating one another as it is that we don’t have to invest any special meaning into this day.  It’s not the only day of romance either of us gets.  Maybe it would be different if it was.

But we still do a little something, because chocolate.  And trinkets.  And the opportunity to gross out the kids by acting like we like each other a little.

Unfortunately, my gift to Rhonda has not arrived yet.  In my defense, I ordered it in what seemed like plenty of time!  Stupid internet.

There’s a lady who does a blog called Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Picturestm.  She posted a picture about Valentine’s Day when dating and when marriedvalentines-day-dating-married

And while this is funny, in my case it’s more like this:

Valentine's day

Yeah.  I’m incompetent.

Hygiene Issues


So recently we purchased some necessary items at MembershipWarehouseCo, where you can buy such things in bulk and also sample things on toothpicks while you load your cart up with lifetime supplies of toilet paper and hemorrhoid cream and the like.

These items we purchased were of a feminine nature.

Okay, they were pads.

They were what we used to call “maxi-pads.”

Back in the old days these were made out of a curiously non-absorbent material and were almost exactly the right size and shape for Barbie to sleep on whilst camping, but nowadays they are practically paper-thin and come all folded up in a swell little plastic wrapper with the cutest little teensy-weensy adhesive tab on it.  This is an improvement in so many ways that I can’t even list them all, but I’ll say for starters that at least if you go to the grocery store to buy them, you can now fit something else in the cart besides the ginormous box of pads.  And the chocolate, the box of wine, and your shame and humiliation.

Don’t we all disguise them with other stuff?  “Oh, I had to come to the store to get these corn flakes that we desperately need at eleven p.m., and also some steel wool, and magazines and gum and oh I guess I can pick up some pads for when people visit us, they are not for me, I am genderless and have no embarrassing bodily functions.”  And then we pray to get the older lady checker with the big hairy mole on her face.

Last night The Lovely Rhonda finally cracked the seal on the box and took one out for inspection.  This was after we’d left them sitting on a bookcase in the living room for all the world to see for at least a couple of weeks.  Because we are (pick any two):  a) nurses, b) adults, c) completely clueless.  (Hint:  it’s c.)

She was behind the closed bathroom door but I could hear the zzzzzzip sound of the outer wrapper being peeled away, after which came the exclamation:  OH MY GOD, shouted TLR through the door, YOU HAVE TO SEE THESE THINGS, THEY ARE HUGE.

There followed an episode whereby I stood in the hall trying not to pee my pants laughing while we yelled things through the door to each other about the hugeness and absorbency of these new pads, i.e. “Does it go from your chin to the nape of your neck?”  and “Don’t leave one open near the toilet, it’ll suck all the water out of the bowl and swell up and smother you!”

This all reminded me of basic training, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, 1986.  Drill Sergeant Pringle sat on a stool, all us winsome young female recruits gathered around at his feet watching with rapt attention as he red-facedly tried to claim that he was “not embarrassed by all this, I’m married and have daughters” while he told us to carry a few such items in our packs, “one for you and one for your buddy.”  As if ONE would be doing anybody any good out in the field.  And also: “And keep it in a ziploc bag, because if it gets wet it’ll SWELL ALL UP and won’t be any good to anybody!”

At this point we died laughing to the point that he had to get up and leave.

The Weddin’, Part IV: MAWWIAGE


So we got married on January 5th, twice, and the second time it was a little fancier than the first.

I’d made this powerpoint of photos of the five of us, arranged chronologically, set to music.  When we met, the younger of The Lovely Rhonda’s two daughters was only a year old, her older one was not quite three, and mine was just turning four.  It’s nearly five years later, so they have changed a bit.

This powerpoint was playing on the gigantic plasma screen in the sanctuary as guests were filing in before the ceremony.  I can’t include the music without paying for some kind of upgrade, so imagine Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World playing as you view it, and if there is time, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds singing You & Me.

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Then when it was time, Sting’s The Secret Marriage.  This is a short song, only about two minutes, and I think it kind of sums up the way it is for people who for whatever reason cannot marry: 

No earthly church has ever blessed our union
No state has ever granted us permission
No family bond has ever made us two
No company has ever earned commission

No debt was paid no dowry to be gained
No treaty over border land or power
No semblance of the world outside remained
To stain the beauty of this nuptial hour

The secret marriage vow is never spoken
The secret marriage never can be broken

No flowers on the alter
No white veil in your hair
No maiden dress to alter
No Bible oath to swear

The secret marriage vow is never spoken
The secret marriage never can be broken

Toward the end, Rhonda’s youngest emerged as the flower girl.  She walked very slowly at first, tossing each hand-selected petal carefully first to one side, then the other.  After a few such occurrences she looked up and realized everyone was staring at her.  At this point she bolted to the front of the church to stand in her appointed spot, mortified and alone.  So I am told, as I was waiting in the entryway of the church like a good bride.  The ring bearers walked out in turn without incident and soon we stood before the altar, our super awesome minister poised above us.

There was a brief pause, and then, a la Peter Cook in The Princess Bride, Pastor Don opened his mouth and intoned:  “MAWWIAGE!  MAWWIAGE IS WHAT BWINGS US TOGEVVAH!  TODAY!”


…Okay, so when we asked him if he would do this for us, he had never seen the movie.  We showed him a clip of that scene on YouTube using Rhonda’s phone and he immediately agreed.  “I’m a bit of a ham!” said he.  We were fairly sure that many of our esteemed guests would be fluent enough in Dorkish to get this, and we were not disappointed.  There was a roar of laughter.  This very neatly set the tone for the rest of the ceremony.

After this there was the usual stuff about what makes a marriage and all that mushy stuff.  There were things we were made to repeat to each other.  Rings were produced.  I helpfully indicated which finger the ring should be placed upon.


At one point the minister asked the assembled guests whether they would support us as a married couple to which, to my great and happy surprise, they responded shoutingly to the affirmative before he could even finish asking the question.

The minister from the church we used to attend was there too, reading poems in between things that we were repeating and so forth.

After the third and last such poem I turned to face the assembly.

“Okay, so, Rhonda doesn’t know about this part,” I said cheerfully, and pulling a folded poem that was tucked into my highpockets (as my Grandmother called it), gave the signal to the computer guy running the show in the back to fire up the secret powerpoint that I had smuggled in earlier.


Here I have inserted the poem into the powerpoint so that both of you can see it:

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I must say that it was deeply satisfying to express all of this in the nerdiest way possible, i.e. using a powerpoint and a piece of paper retrieved from one’s brassiere.

At the end of the ceremony there came that magic moment when you could kiss the bride.  There was kissing, despite the fact that I am not the sort of person inclined to do such things whilst on display in front of my family, friends and co-workers.  It was made clear to me that this was necessary, to the point that bodily harm may come to me should I merely present a cheek for the kiss.

I am told that the flower girl chose that moment to throw, with great enthusiasm, the petals remaining in her wee basket.  This constituted a lot of petals since, as stated earlier, she only cast a few down before stampeding down the aisle in a panic.  Nevertheless, the timing was perfect.First Kiss

We made our retreat accompanied by hooting, catcalls, cheering, applause, and the ringing of a sh!tload of bells, lovingly crafted into beribboned fistfuls by stray members of the behind-the-scenes wedding party (millions of thanks to Bobby and Alison).  The song, not that anyone could hear it, was Lyle Lovett’s She’s No Lady. 

It was, in a word, perfect.

Stay tuned for the gripping conclusion:  The Weddin’, Part V: The Reception

Bachelorette Party


So I got married last Saturday.  The lucky recipient of my affections would be The Lovely Rhonda, in case there was any doubt.

Obviously if there is going to be a wedding, there must be a party, and it follows that if it is my party, it must be timed very poorly.  We were unable to go over the holidays because mumble mumble Christmas mumble mumble New Years mumble mumble kids, money, working, school mumble mumble.

This just in:  the word mumble is hilarious.

Anyway, we went out the night before.  To a drag show.  That starts at 10:30pm.  Also: I am in my forties.

We had originally intended to have a shootin’ party, but that turned out to be more hassle than we could manage with everything else going on.  And then the Sandy Hook thing happened, and, all other arguments aside, it felt disrespectful to plan to go shooting for fun so close to that.  We will go sometime this year but not right now.

Fortunately we had our fall-back plan which was to go see a lot of men dressed up as ladies, because yes.  Booze plus sequins plus makeup plus a bunch of damn lesbians?  Good times!

Naturally TLR insisted we don white satin sashes emblazoned with “BRIDE.”  They were very nearly left behind at the house (um, certainly not by anyone’s nefarious plan but merely accidentally) but a quick u-turn and order was restored, over my vehement objections that we might not have time to get Starbucks if we turned back.  TLR was quite determined so my pleas went unheeded.  Thus a taste of married life was enjoyed a night ahead of schedule.

We got our coffee and skidded into the drag club with mere moments to spare.  Those queens are very particular about seating large parties by a certain time or the deal is off.

A good dozen or so of our best/youngest/most durable friends showed up, and they were not disappointed.  We had been seated up front so that the public humiliation recognition of our impending nuptials could be enjoyed by all.

The show was fun, as always.  There was the requisite Liza performance.


And Celine.

It's All Coming Back To Me Now

Prince, of course.


And several incarnations of Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga


Poison Waters was there to make the straight boys uncomfortable.

Poison Waters

Or not.

Oh baby

The owner of the club and mistress of ceremonies is Darcelle, who is 82 and still rockin’ the sequins like nobody else, although sans the heels these days and who can blame her?


She’s still doing her signature number, a sassy take on “Rhinestone Cowboy” complete with assless chaps.

You heard me.  82.  Assless chaps.  What’s holding you back from YOUR dream?

Elderly Ass Cheeks

Darcelle called us up on stage toward the end and congratulated us and gave a little heartfelt spiel about marriage equality.  I don’t have pictures of that yet but I’m sure someone will send me one soon.

Of course, no drag show is complete without the big finale.

The Big Finale

It was fun and then it was over and then we went home to bed so we could get up and get married, the end.

Life Changing Accessories


So I’m the one who cleans the shower at our house.  It’s an arrangement borne out of a) The Lovely Rhonda’s bleach allergy, b) the excessive mildewy-ness of our particular shower which necessitates the use of bleach, and c) the fact that TLR is willing to take care of the bill-paying.  That last point alone is enough to carry this arrangement pretty far.  Guess who usually also mows the lawn and vacuums?

At any rate, I hate scrubbing the tub out.  It’s a cruddy job that involves a lot of bending over and grunting, and it’s not like anybody’s going to throw you a party for scraping a layer of mildew off the crappy old chipped tub.  But, it’s necessary and so I do it on at least a quarterly basis.  DON’T JUDGE

The worst part of the deal is the plastic shower curtain liner.  We have a fabric shower curtain and then one of those clear plastic liners you hang inside to keep the fabric one from getting gross.  So the inner one gets gross instead, and if I were a better person I would attempt to clean it, but by the time I get around to cleaning the dang shower the liner is pretty far gone.  I spring for the two bucks for a new one and problem solved.

Except wrestling that stupid thing off the rings and wrestling a new onto the rings was enough to throw me into a Hulk rage.  We had these cheap plastic rings that snapped open and closed, poorly.  Ugh.

And I’m elderly, so my vision is starting to get funny.  I’m nearsighted with just enough astigmatism to make life interesting, I have the beginnings of cataracts, and just because that wasn’t quite enough fun, I’m getting that irritating thing that happens to old people where I can’t see anything unless it’s either far away or three inches from my nose.

So I’m wrestling with annoying plastic rings, they are above my head, and they are just far enough away that I can’t see them clearly.


Cut to this past weekend, wherein I made the pilgrimage to my brother’s New Improved Mormon Stronghold.  He and the wife and tater tots just relocated and the new house is a corker, replete with interesting wall treatments, a different color of 80’s shag carpet in every room, and the remnants of a 60’s era intercom system, except here and there where the consoles have been removed in which case there are holes in the walls.  I am told the previous owners, the Winslows, enjoyed concealing the holes with strategically placed artwork.  Thus such acts of creative decorating are now known as “winslows.”

I was wrapping things up and preparing to leave and managed to locate one of the bathrooms for a little pre-departure visit.  In a moment of idleness as I meandered in, I glanced upward toward the top of the shower curtain.

And there they were.

Shower curtain rings, nice ones, with two hooks to hang the shower curtains on.  One hook toward the inside of the tub, one toward the outside.

HOOKS.  To hang the shower curtains, PLURAL, on.  No rings to open and close.  No struggling.  No cursing.  No drama.

Why did I not know these existed before now?

It was like the heavens opened up and a beam of purest white love shot out from the clouds, illuminating the shower curtain hooks while a chorus of angels sang out and unicorns farted glitter all over the bathroom.

Although the glitter might have been from the Winslows.

Naturally I raced to Bed Bath and Beyond All Reason the next morning and bought a set, and this afternoon, barely able to contain my joy, scrubbed the tub out and replaced the shower curtain liner.  The rings slipped onto the rod with ease and it felt as if I could practically toss the liner in the air and have it magically land on the hooks, it was so ridiculously easy to put the darn thing up.

It’s the little things, people.  God bless us, every one.

Compare. Contrast. Weep.


So I have this wonderful, brave friend who is living her dream.  She’s in France, speaking French all the time, eating things that sound French even if they aren’t just because she is in France, and she does these things that you can  apparently do in France much more easily than here.  Here is a FB post I just read:

“You know what? I’m not going to work today. I slept in until 9am, translated a French poem, watched the last sad bit of the reign of Henry VIII, and made a celery root/potato mash with garlic and olive oil and topped it with sauteed lemon chicken breast for lunch. It’s a nice(ish) afternoon, and I think I’m going to spend it walking around the lake before I go to the Haydn motet concert at a local church at 5pm.”

Let us contrast this with my day:

“You know what?  It’s 10am and I’m in plaid flannel pajamas listening to the dog eat kibble.  I overslept so I’m not going to church.  I’m going to make coffee, sit here surfing the web and playing World of Warcraft while doing endless loads of laundry, until I cannot stand my own filth and idleness any longer.  At that point I will shower and do things that are slightly more worthwhile and meaningful.  Chances are good I’ll eat something vile and reprehensible later while starting my online Master’s program.  None of it will involve a Haydn motet although I might listen to Christmas music on the soft rock station since nobody’s home to judge me.”

If the children were here it would involve more shouting about turning the TV down and stop hitting your sister, but they’re off at their other households.

Anyway, three of the seven deadly sins right here.  YAY ME!

(To be fair, she has no children and has worked very hard to be where she is, and I do not begrudge her one iota of her happy French life.)