Rockin’ the Budget

When living with a spreadsheeter, a term lovingly yet liberally applied to my amazing husband, one must fine-tune the art of financial decision-making.  We have a budget.  The budget is on a spreadsheet in the computer, and this magical spreadsheet holds all the knowledge in the universe regarding what we should and should NOT spend because we have previously agreed upon these parameters.
Until…
Jason: You weren’t going to use the debit card, remember?
Me: Right, I remember. (Nodding enthusiastically.)
Jason:  You were going to get cash.
Me: I did get cash, but then I ran out.
Jason:  Well, that means you went OVER budget. (I’m starting to become concerned by the way he’s slamming his head into the countertop.  I feel he’s trying to communicate a certain level of frustration with me, but I’m not sure.)
Me:  Nope, it just means I didn’t get enough cash the first time.
Jason:  But didn’t we agree that you were going to use a certain amount this week so that you would have enough next week?  (Why is he throwing himself in front of moving vehicles?  It seems a little dangerous…)
Me:  Yes, but we all wanted Chipotle for dinner, and that would have used up all of my cash.  So I used the card.  Should I have just gotten more cash?
Jason:  No!  You were supposed to budget your money and wait until next week for Chipotle if you ran out of money.  (Now crying tears of coffee.  He drinks WAY too much coffee.)
Me:  But we might not want Chipotle next week.  Ok, we probably WILL, but we also wanted Chipotle this week.  I guess I could have written a check…but I don’t think they EVEN take checks at Chipotle.
Jason:  For the love of FUCK!  Don’t write any checks.  By the way, have you written any checks?
Me:  A few.  But only because you took my cash away.  Do you want the stubs?
Jason:  (No answer.  Throws self from nearest cliff.)

And that’s about how our financial planning goes.  Hopefully Jason is hiding money in coffee cans buried in the back yard, you know, to protect me from myself and to help us through our retirement.

Pharmacological Distress

I am of the belief that there should be separate lines at the pharmacy—not like at McDonald’s, where you just get in the shortest line and hope that your line moves at a rate faster than that of a sloth trudging through quicksand.  Nay, nay.  Not that kind of separation.  Instead, I propose this.
There should be THREE separate lines at the pharmacy, and they should follow these guidelines:
Line 1—The Do-You-Even-HAVE-A-Prescription?? Line
(This is also known as the What-the-Fuck-Is-Wrong-With-You???Line)
This line is reserved for people who will undoubtedly stand at the window looking at the pharmacist like they just woke up from a 5-year coma and quite possibly don’t know what the hell year it is, let alone whether or not they even have a prescription waiting for them behind the counter.  These people will ask the pharmacist at least five questions that are completely unnecessary, argue about insurance coverage, and/or feel the need to discuss the average mating age of the giant panda…all while 20 people are waiting in line behind them.
(Clearly, these people are the ones with NOWHERE to go and NOTHING to do with their lives.  Also, they will be shat upon by incontinent unicorns, because I deem it so.)
(Yes, I have just had an unpleasant waiting experience at the pharmacy.)

(Also, if you are over the age of 75, it should be MANDATORY that your prescriptions are delivered to you.  You MAY NOT harass the pharmacy for your meds.  End of story.)
Line 2—The Line for the Only Moderately Retarded
(Otherwise Known as the I-Think-I-Have-Insurance-But-Maybe-I-Shit-My-Pants Line)
These people feel certain they are in the CORRECT line, however, they either cannot find their insurance card, are unsure of the status of their insurance, or have possibly forgotten to SEE the doctor altogether—and now, here they stand, in front of 50 other people, attempting to straighten out their shit when they should have straightened out their shit WAY sooner.  (I probably should not hate these people as much as the people in Line 1, but for some reason, I do.)
These are the people that look longingly at the pharmacist like he or she is the Great Oz and can conjure up a prescription (or insurance) simply by running behind the curtain and waving some sort of Ritalin wand.  WTF, people?  Get your shit together or get out of the line.
Line 3—The Line for the People Who Have Shit to Do
This is the line for the people who have a prescription, have insurance OR cash, want to get their shit and get out.  Give me my drugs, I’ll give you the money, thank you…have a nice day.  This line keeps moving, because these people want to go home.  THIS is the line you want to be in, but if you get in this line when you don’t belong here, I’ma gonna cut you.
And those, my friends, are the new pharmacy rules.  Screw going postal.  I’m going pharmacological.

The Satanic Neighbor Kid

I seem to remember a time when my mom banned me from playing with the neighbor kid—namely the one with the cool mom who gave us wine coolers to drink in the garage.  I thought she was totes cool, but apparently my mom thought that it was unacceptable for her to ply 12-year-olds with wine coolers instead of sugar-laden 25-cent cans of Shasta.  So my mom was an ogre because she banned me from hanging out in the garage with the kids that just so happened to have the coolest mom in the history of EVER.  Instead, I had to play with my cousin and my little brother.  Swell.
Fast forward to today.  My kids want to play with some demon spawn who insists on coming into our garage or our house and destroying anything he can possibly get his sticky, grubby little hands on.  Ok, it’s not like his mom is trying to serve my kids booze or anything, but when is it ok to say enough is enough and ban little Beelzebub from our house?
It’s gotten bad enough that I find myself secretly hoping that he’ll hit a rock with his skateboard as he ever-so-slickly goes zooming by.  I envision his California-blonde-blow-in-the-wind locks whipping around his face as he flies through the air, and just before he lands on his scrawny ass, I will say, “A-ha!  Take that!”
But hear me out, I have good reason.  Just the other day, he was in our garage, whacking the living shit out of a Styrofoam cooler until it looked like the Jolly Green Giant had a raging case of dandruff.  Then he proceeded to puncture the pool rafts before he sped away on his zippy little skateboard.  And this was only a couple of days after he called my youngest kid a “loser face” inside our house.  I have sent this kid packing numerous times, and I’m thinking it’s time to draw the line.  (Yes, I know it was ONLY a Styrofoam cooler, but dammit, it was MY Styrofoam cooler!)
So just in case your child happens to be Satan incarnate and also just in case you happen to be freakishly unaware of this problem, I’ve come up with a handy-dandy list to help you out.
How to tell if your child might be the devil:
  • Neighbors start to provide you with airfare for your child, most of which is one-way.
  • When your child rings the neighbors’ doorbells, all the curtains instantly get pulled shut and the lights go out.
  • If your child is playing in the yard, cars actually make u-turns in the street and go in the opposite direction.
  • Brochures for military “camp” start mysteriously showing up in your mailbox.
  • You start to receive calls regarding your recent application to appear on Super Nanny.
  • All of the houses on your street, except for yours, have For Sale signs in the yard.
  • Your child’s trick or treat bucket is filled with Ritalin flyersinstead of candy.

It’s not that I don’t want my kids to have friends.  But what the hell with the possessed kid?  If you are sending your kids to someone else’s house, please perform an exorcism first.  Please and thank you.  We will do the same.

The Very Worst Day

I could be wrong, but I am going to propose a theory that 7-year-olds are masters of hyperbole. Either that, or my kid’s life really and truly sucks.
Yesterday started off quite nicely.  I packed them all off to school.  They had mini chocolate doughnuts in their breakfast bags, so how could things go wrong?  Or so I thought.
And school was ok.  No homework.  So-so lunches.  But it was after school that really rocked their little worlds.  Because Daddy-Who-Walks-On-Water had told them all about FREE FAMILY FUN NIGHT AT PARADISE PARK!!  Could life actually ever get any better?
(P.S. Mommy wanted to kill Daddy.)
Paradise Park is actually a nice, fun family park place with mini-golf and bumper cars and climbing walls and all sorts of fun mayhem for kids and parents alike…all conveniently located for your recreational pleasure.  And it would have been great—if EVERY. SINGLE. KID. IN. THE. DISTRICT. hadn’t decided to go on that particular night.
And of course they were all there because it was free night.  I would rather pay.  I would have paid thrice the price for half the people.  It would have been worth it.
But, nay.  Daddy-the-Magnificent had mentioned the event, and so we had to go.  And so we went.
And it was sticky.  And hot.  And very, very loud.  (Dear parents of screamers, do you not notice your child screaming like a banshee?  If you are, indeed, oblivious to this, it is possible you are taking entirely too much medication.)
But it was fun.  Because my kids had fun.  We played mini-golf, and the boys only nearly-decapitated me twice, so I felt fairly safe.  Marissa’s glasses were nearly smashed by a wayward swing of Jordan’s club, but after that, she stood a little farther back, so it was all good.  There was laughter and sweat and stickiness.
(What IS that sticky stuff that gets all over my kids’ hands?  Where does it come from?  Is it like sweat?  Does it actually come from the pores of small children?  Do they secrete sugar?  Or Skittle juice?)
And then we went upstairs to the hot dog room.  Where they promptly informed us they had run out of hot dogs.  How the hell do you run out of hot dogs at the hot dog/free night/play event?  We were even PAYING for the hot dogs, so someone was losing out on some hot dog profit.  Dammit.  I thought dinner was covered, but as it turned out, I was going to have to stop on the way home.
So we left—after cashing in our 450 tickets.  (As it turned out, I paid $25 for game tokens, wherein the kids earned 450 tickets, with which they purchased 2 cans of Sierra Mist, a handful of Skittles and Tootsie Rolls and a pair of plastic sunglasses.  So essentially, I got mugged by the Dollar Store at this event.)
And after we left, Jordan got to pick McDonald’s for dinner.  And that’s when Jadon informed me, “THIS IS THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE!!”
He wanted Taco Bell.  But he picked Taco Bell last time, so it was Jordan’s turn.
“I guess I’ll just starve to death.”
So I agreed.  “Yep, you should probably do that.”  Because I’m mean.
But by the time we got to McDonald’s, he decided that he would rather have a Happy Meal than starve to death, so he went for the pain and suffering of the boxed meal of happiness.

And we all lived happily ever after.  And then we went home and washed the stickiness and trauma of the event off.  Next time it’s free night, I’m sending Super-Daddy.

Schooled

I’ve been schooled.  Or enlightened.  Or whatever you want to call it.  The fact is, I just got TOLD.
This morning, while dropping the boys off at school, I did my usually huggy-kissy-mom-thing, and Jadon asked, “Mom, when’s Dad coming back?”
I answered, “Well, he’s out of town until Thursday.  Why?”
And he said, “You aren’t supposed to be hugging me and kissing me and telling me you are gonna miss me RIGHT HERE IN THE CAFETERIA IN FRONT OF EVERYONE.”
Oh.  Well then.
All he was missing was the eye roll, and he could have totally passed for a disgruntled teenager.  Except he’s SEVEN, and I am supposed to do all the huggy-kissy-mom-stuffstill.
I shared my plight with my husband, who quickly informed me, “You’re doing it wrong.”
Apparently.
He continued explaining, “I give one quick hug in the gym—BEFORE we are in front of other people.  Geez, why are you embarrassing the kid?

And now I shall pack up my mom-slobbers and try to see through my tears to find my way to a hollowed-out tree deep in the woods where I can live a lonely existence, storing up all my embarrassing mom things and bestowing them only on stray squirrels who happen to pass by.  Sniff.

Joining the Mob

This past weekend, while watching “The Family” with my husband, I made the decision that we should join the mob.  Is there an application process that goes along with that, do you suppose?  I’m wondering what the qualifications are.  Would the entire family need to join, or would it just be, say, the adults?  Would Jason need to agree to this plan?
As you can see, I am riddled with questions, but after watching the movie, I feel like I may have a better grasp on what I’m meant to be doing.  Trust me (I know, your tendency might be to NOT trust someone who has just announced that they would like to join the mob), I can explain my motivation, which might also provide a scary insight into my personality.
Reason #1 for Joining the Mob
Violence is not only accepted, it is applauded.  Not that I am a violent person by nature, but there are instances when a good ass-whooping would probably fix a lot of things.  In the movie, a French grocery store owner is berating the mob wife/American shopper in French—which she understands.  As she leaves the store (AND after paying for her purchases, I might add), the store explodes—possibly due to the gasoline and fire combination the she herself created.  Now, I’m not saying I want to blow anything up.  (Back off, Homeland Security.)  I’m just saying that sometimes you are just so wronged and so damned pissed off that the only good recourse seems to be, well, an explosion.  (A girl can dream, right?)
Reason #2 for Joining the Mob
They all seem to like wine.  All of the mobsters in all of the movies of all time seem to have an affinity for fine drink—wine or whatevs.  Point is, they are discriminating when it comes to their booze.  I could totally do that if I had mob money.
Reason #3 for Joining the Mob
All mobsters are good at hiding bodies.  I’m not necessarily saying I want to hide a body, but if the circumstance should arrive, I think I would have the talent for it.  (That might stem from the same side of my brain that thinks people who have wronged me should be ‘sploded in a giant firestorm.  I dunno.)
Reason #4 for Joining the Mob
The cover story.  All mobsters need a good cover, and in the movie I just watched, the husband’s cover was that of a writer.  This would work out fabulously for me because not only would I spend a portion of the day writing, I feel as if I could also fulfill the roll of mobster quite well.  It’s multi-tasking!
Reason #5 for Joining the Mob
All the women ever portrayed in mobster-ish movies can eat boatloads of pasta, yet they still have rockin’ bods.  Now.  Here’s what happens when I am anywhere NEAR pasta.  The ooey-gooey carbohydrates that make up every little noodle decide to get together, form an army, and plow their calorie-laden tanks of starch straight toward my ass.  My ass = pasta poundage magnet.  Pasta will (nearly) literally jump out of the pan and PASTE itself onto my ass.  This is where I would like to be one of those hot mobster wives who can shovel in pasta and cigarettes, yet STILL miraculously find a way to out run whatever gangster-du-jour is chasing her.  (P.S. Unless I am being chased by a knife-wielding serial killer, there will be no running.  Also, unless there are hot, fresh doughnuts at Krispy Kreme, there will be no running.)
Reason #6 for Joining the Mob
Whatever illegal shit you need to do, being a mobster makes it look cool.

That’s enough.  Where do I apply for the illustrious position of Mob-Member/Writer/Mom to 5 (semi) well-adjusted kids?

Nope

The school says my kids will be running for fun.  (The Fun Run, they call it.)
The school does not know my children.  Not at all.
I have not raised a family of runners.
We run when things are chasing us.  Like bears.  Or tigers.  Or things that can eat bears and tigers…because whatever that would be would be scary as hell.
We do not run for fun.
I ran yesterday.  For about a block, and it was because my dog made me.  And there was fire from the friction that was produced between my thighs.
My dog is a large bully that thinks he needs to run alongside my child on his bike.  My dog’s thighs do not rub together.  He does NOT understand.
I might also run for doughnuts.  Or cake.  Or pie.  Or a pie SALE.  Could you even imagine it??  A pie sale?!  For that, I could work up a little joggity-jog.
Back to the school.  Where is this run?  They say my boys will run 30 laps?  AROUND WHAT?  The water fountain?
They say it will be approximately 2 miles.  They LIE.
My boys don’t even run downstairs when it’s dinnertime.
My boys wouldn’t run if I said, “Hey, look, it’s a giant chocolate fountain sitting on top of a mound of brand-new Pokemon cards!”
They might run if the school said, “Hey boys, look, it’s a brand-new X-Box, complete with all the games you’ve ever wanted in your entire little lives!!”
Then there would be running.
Otherwise, they should probably just collect money for a good cause.  And maybe be happy if the boys want to play outside instead of with something electronic.

Also, running makes my legs cry.

Things I Have Learned From My Pitbull

  • I do not actually own a sofa.  Oh, I may THINK I own a sofa, but that is NOT—in fact—my sofa at all.  It is Dudley’s sofa, and I would do well to remember it.
  • No, ma’am, a 70-lb dog is NOT too big to sit on your lap.  Not ever.  Or your feet.  Or your laptop.  Or your head.  Or well, pretty much just wherever the hell he wants, because he is a big goddamn baby, and he’ll sit where he’ll sit, thank you very much.
  • Sad does not mean you can’t go for a walk.  Depression means nothing to a pitbull.  “Get your ass up off that couch, get my leash, and let’s go for a walk.  And by God, you’ll be happy about it before I’m done with you, lady!”  And I usually am.
  • My bacon is also not my bacon.  Nor is my apple my apple.  Etc., etc., you get the point.  They are big yours-is-mine dogs.  And that’s ok, because they are also great cuddlers.
  • If you don’t share your bacon, you will get slobbered on.  Profusely.
  • If Dudley flops right in the middle of the bed—which he is wont to do—one of my ass cheeks will likely be cold, because yeah, um try telling a 70-lb. pittie you would like your blankie back.  Once that dude is settled, he’s settled.  It’s sort of like moving a Mack truck.
  • Things are gonna get weird.  And by that, I mean, “Dammit, Mom, if I wanna lick your feet, I’m gonna lick your feet…ain’t nothin’ gonna stop me.”  Slurp, slurp, drooooool.
  • Play time is ANY time.  Yep, ANY ol’ time at all.  “Hear that grasshopper outside?  Let’s go GET IT NOW!!  Where’s the ball?  Get the ball!  Get the ball!  Now!  Look, I can jump.  Yeah, I know it’s a great episode of Criminal Minds, but do you see me LEAPING THROUGH THE AIR LIKE A BEAUTIFUL BALLERINA???!!”
  • No space is sacred.  Don’t think you are going to go in the bathroom and leave the door just almost-closed ever again.  They will use that giant wrecking-ball head of theirs to push their way into whatever room you may be hanging out in.  “Oh yeah, hey, Dudley…c’mon in…Momma was just taking care of a little business in here.”
  • Beware the tail.  I don’t know what they put in this thing, but it’s a furry sword of destruction, and NOTHING hurts it.  They can whack that thing up against anything, and it’s indestructible.  One minute you are playing, and the next minute you are getting a hook for a hand because your leftie has been lobbed off in a friendly game of fetch.
  • Yeah, and watch the head, too.  That thing is like a giant boulder coming at you, and it seems to pick up momentum.  Picture yourself playing with a giant toddler that’s thrown off balance by the disproportionate size of his huge noggin-to-body ratio.  Um yeah, that. 
  • And the biggest warning yet—you will have a best friend for life.  He might even be borderline stalker-ish, but in the warm, cuddly, can’t live without him way.  The way that makes you smile every day when you get home from work.  The way that makes even the crappy days seem pretty damn good.  Everybody should have a pittie.  But only if you are good to them…because if you aren’t, I might have to kick your ass.

Do You Believe In Weirdness?

Not like in me.  I know I’m weird.  And I’m riiight here.  Yep, not going anywhere.
Let me rephrase.
Sometimes things happen.  And, well, there is just really no way of explaining them.  And not like that time when I accidentally bought the same outfit twice because I apparently really, really liked it and forgot I bought it the first time, so I bought it again.  Not like that.
And before I begin, some of my people will say there are ways to explain things, and I will nod pensively—and then I will probably cry AT you.  Not just cry, but cry in your general direction because you are the person making me cry at the moment.  Mean-bully-pants, you.  And if you try to tell me there is an explanation, I will attempt to understand that, yes, logically there is probably an explanation.
Also, some of my tribe will say that I am crazy, mostly because they know me and I am crazy.  So there’s that.  But also because I’ve been questioning a LOT of things lately, so I pretty much spiritually don’t know my ass from a set of ben-wa balls.  But that’s beside the point.
Thing is, what had happened was…(there’s a certain way you HAVE to say that part, and if you know me, you know how to say it.)
I was clearing my phone off the other day, because Jason told me the reason it won’t work is because I’m technology-deficient and I never clean anything off and things only have so much memory and if I have messages on there from 1952 it will eventually fritz out and refuse to work.  Which it did.  So I was clearing stuff off of it when I ran across a message.  An old message.  A message I had deleted.
It was the oldest message on my phone.  And one I had told my phone to DELETE.  Yet it was there.
And right there in my ear was the voice of my now-dearly-departed dad saying, “Uh yeah hi, it’s your old man.  I was wondering if you could help me pick out some Christmas presents for Mom.  Love you, Dumplin’. Uh, yeah…”
And it trailed off, because it was my dad, and well he would rather have been having a Milwaukee’s Best in the barn rather than talking on any piece of electronic gadgetry.  Frankly, I’m surprised he even figured out how to get his cell phone to function.
But there it was.  His voice.  And dammit if I didn’t start blubbering like a baby right there at the soccer field waiting for my boys to start playing.  The hell, Dad?  Really?  And seriously…I’m 42 and still being called Dumplin’?  I never thought I would EVER hear that again coming from his voice.  And I would give just about anything to hear it again a few more times.
I totally lost my shit, you guys.  And EVERYONE who knows me knows I’ve held my shit in for 3 months.  In fact, friends have told me, you are eventually gonna lose it, and I kept saying, “Nah, I’m good.”  And I was–if good meant that I was going to hold it in and eventually burst like Mt. St. Helen’s when I couldn’t hold it anymore.  Yeah, I was doing great.
I’ve been MAD.  Grrrrr.  Argh.  That kind of mad where you just want to eat tree bark and spit out pencils, but I haven’t really said it.  And then I just sort of got the feeling that maybe Dad didn’t want me to be mad at Mom…when he asked me to help get her Christmas presents.

So does weird crap like that happen?  Or is it just weird crap?  Is it meant to happen?  Because if my dad’s hanging around somewhere, I could really use a beer right now.  Although I always told him I thought he could upgrade from Milwaukee’s Best any time.
And for those of you who may be wondering, even though it may sound like it in this post, noooo, I have not already had a beer.

Dear Eyeball Doctor,

My eyeballs are fubar.  Can you fix this?  Specifically, my left eyeball.  It sucks donkey balls.  In fact, I’m pretty sure donkey balls have better vision than my left eyeball right now, and that is wrong.
There are many reasons why that is wrong.  Allow me to list them below:
  • I read and write a lot.  I feel as if I should be able to see in order to do those things.
  • My children will go to school wearing their underwear on the outside of their pants without the aid of my excellent fashion sense…and VISION.  (Oh, they have done that before my eye was bad?  Well, it will be WORSE now.)
  • I am better able bake a delicious Totino’s dinner when I can see.
  • Cars driving beside me on the road feel much safer when my vision is clear.  Currently, I careen from side to side like a drunken teenager attempting to make it home from a downtown rave.  It ain’t lookin’ so pretty.
  • And when I get pulled over for my sobriety test, I’m not going to be able to get my finger to touch my nose either, because I can’t SEE shit.  Also, pretty sure I won’t be able to walk a straight line, what with that whole only-seeing-out-of-one-eye thing.
  • Can we talk about the oozing goop now?  I feel that donkey balls are also more attractive than my eyeball, and that is unacceptable.
  • My glasses make me grumpy sometimes (ok, a lot), especially when they slide down my face like I have greased my nose with a stick of margarine.  Usually this occurs when I sweat—like if I clean the house or do laundry or if someone expects me to walk to the television to change the volume rather that use the remote.  Anyway, when my glasses slide down my face, evil demons take over my body—and also my Tourette’s becomes unmanageable.

So there it is.  It’s not pretty.  And it needs to be fixed.  Is there some sort of cream?  Or tablet?  Or suppository I can take for this?  Because this is really becoming quite insufferable.  I feel like, with all the advances in technology (I mean, for the love of cheesecake, we can make spaceships fly to the moon!!), that I could get something to make my eyeball better.  (Dear science friends, I KNOW we don’t really call them spaceships.)  I will pay money.  I will give you a kidney.  Moonshine.  
Whatever you need.  Just. Give. Me. The. Medicine.
It needses the medicines.  My precious.
Also, before I forget, I believe I have mentioned that the eye drops I am currently using feel like a combination of lemon juice and vinegar.  I was a little off.  Add Tabasco to that.  Yep, that’s more accurate.  Lemon juice, vinegar, and Tabasco.  Very pleasant.  Yet my eye is still fuzzy.
If this is a practical joke, very funny.  Very funny indeed.
Thank you for your attention to this urgent medical matter,
Me