Mommy’s Little Helper Monday: Thanksgiving Edition

I know it’s been awhile. I even missed my favorite holiday of the year–Halloween. I’ve had some crazy health crap going on that made it pretty much impossible to read or write. If you want the full story, head over and read “Suck it, Iritis!” on my other blog. If not, let’s dive on in…

"Yeah, I got the daughter in the clinic getting cured off the Wild Turkey."

“Yeah, I got the daughter in the clinic getting cured off the Wild Turkey.”

It’s Thanksgiving week. If you were unaware of that little fact, I want whatever drugs you’re taking. This little holiday started when a bunch of white pilgrims (who’d made themselves home on property that didn’t belong to them) realized they couldn’t take care of themselves. The Natives felt sorry for them and carted food over to help them survive the winter. They played nice, but then the pilgrims invited their friends to come bunk with them and they all went on to steal the Natives’ food and land while killing them off with delightful diseases.

gobbler cartoon

If you think about it, the holiday hasn’t changed too much. The family invites everyone over, even the family members you don’t really trust or like. So forty-year-old cousin Greg comes over to eat. He’s been in rehab a couple of times and even though he failed out of sword swallowing school, his band just got a gig at the school craft fair. You feel sorry for him and it really seems like this time he’s learning from his mistakes. He convinces you that he should stay in your basement for awhile. You’re drunk on carbs, so you agree. Two months later all of your food is gone, the cat and several pairs of your panties are missing, and your kids come down with crabs by just walking through the basement. You try to kick him out and that starts a war with his part of the family, even though they didn’t want him in their house.

gobbler 3

See! Dysfunction has remained a part of this holiday since its inception. Crazy=tradition.

I’ve actually been pretty lucky in the Thanksgiving department. It wasn’t until my 20’s that they took a nosedive. I can’t go into the details, but the retelling of the WORST Thanksgiving I’d ever had came in second place in a radio contest looking for the most dysfunctional holiday story. That was an anonymous contest and this blog is not built for concealing my identity, so I’ll just let you imagine the worst.

Now, let’s get on with the important stuff. How do you survive the holiday? Liquor!! My holiday has always been spent in the home of a Southern Baptist minister, so liquor was about as welcome as satan (even if he showed up with a nice pie). But the house has passed on to my grandmother and now to us. We keep the libations hidden, but they’re there. So, sticking with the idea that liquor is more important than some damn green bean casserole…

THE LIBATION:

Wine, beer and even a neat bourbon are just predictable and boring. I couldn’t let a nice merlot be my suggestion for a Thanksgiving themed drink. I had to dig deep into the depths of Pinterest. And I found all types of things on there. Lots of mulled apple crap and hot buttered rum (just the thought of that made me want to baste myself in it). But what to choose? I wanted something that just screams Thanksgiving louder than uncle Dean having a flashback of Vietnam. So I decided to make something up. I concocted a drink that gives you the entire Thanksgiving experience in one big glass. Ladies and gentleman, I give you…

THE GOBBLER (AKA The Alien Chicken)

My youngest son's first turkey art from preschool. He brought it to me and proclaimed it an "Alien Chicken." there's no denying he's my child.

My youngest son’s first turkey art from preschool. He brought it to me and proclaimed it an “Alien Chicken.” there’s no denying he’s my child.

What’s the staple of pretty much every Thanksgiving celebration? The turkey. Those poor birds must have been velociraptors in their past lives and racked up some seriously negative karma. Even Ben Franklin couldn’t save their feathered asses. Their fancy cousin, the eagle, got the glam job and the turkeys endure colonoscopies of stuffing. But regardless, my drink had to represent that bird, and the only way to do it was with some Wild Turkey!

So, grab some of that shit and pour it in a glass. (I even discovered that they now make a honey and a spiced version if you want to really give it a holiday flare.)

Now that the dead bird is taken care of, what else just exudes this holiday? Hmmm….there’s mashed potatoes…yams…dressing….gravy…pie. PIE!!! Holy pilgrim hat, how could I forget pie?!? There’s so many kinds of pie: pumpkin, apple, pecan, chocolate, coconut, lemon…oh, sweet baby Jesus in a “My first Thanksgiving” onsie, I can’t choose. I say you just grab a flavor liquor of your choosing and throw it in the cup along with another helping of the Wild Turkey.

Not good enough? Well, if you need it to look all Martha Stewart, throw in some sliced apples, a cinnamon stick  and some cranberries. Hell, I say you stick a wedge of pie on the rim as garnish. Now that would be a f*ckin’ drink.

Still not up to what you were picturing? Well, I can’t blame you, because I’m not representing the mother of all carbs– the true star of the holiday table–dressing! I mean, that’s what the holiday is all about. But as much as I love the stuff, I’m not dropping a blob of it into a perfectly good Big Gulp cup of Wild Turkey, so I’ll try another approach. We’ll represent that casserole of goodness by “dressing” up our drink. Crafting a festive little  coozie will keep the kids busy, fancy up your drink, and disguise it from others. You can tell the family it’s just a big glass of tea. If they ask for some, tell them it’s laxative tea. If they still want some, just pretend your laxative tea has kicked in and hide in the bathroom the rest of the night.

The Gobbler

The Gobbler

Now, if this isn’t fancy enough for your little holiday party then you must think your special. But it’s the season of thanks and brotherly love, so instead of making fun of your snobbery, I’ll direct you to a nice long list of fancy drinks. But don’t come crying to me when you realize they don’t have handmade turkey coozies. Your loss, pal.

And that’s all I got for this little blog, because my youngest has started puking and has a fever. I have to give it to him for bringing some authenticity to the holiday. The pilgrims gave small pox to the natives and I’m sure he’s going to give fifth’s disease or something to the rest of us. And that brings us to a quick

DUH-I-ALREADY-KNEW-THAT-HELPFUL HINT:

If there’s just not enough whiskey in Kentucky to get you through the holiday with your family, then I suggest you educate yourself on the various communicable diseases. Scan WebMD and learn all the symptoms of various illnesses that you can fake to keep you out of the festivities. There’s nothing like a case of pertussis or the measles to make the family revoke your invitation to sit at the kids table. Have no shame? Offer up syphilis or the clap to give you your “get out of jail free” card. Need something that will give you a permanent exile? Go for Hep C or leprosy (nobody wants a hunk of nose falling off in the cranberry sauce).

And that’s it, folks. Go out there and make some dysfunctional memories that even the best sitcom writers can’t come up with.

Gobble! Gobble! (That's Turkey for "cheers")

Gobble! Gobble! (That’s Turkey for “cheers”)

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Mommy’s Little Helper Monday: Back to School Edition

The first day of school at our house this morning.

The first day of school at our house this morning.

It’s Christmas for mommies!!!! Yes! All over the country moms woke up with a little extra pep in their step. I even dare to say that smiles actually crossed thousands of faces BEFORE they had their coffee. Looking at the three stuffed backpacks and lunches hanging on their hooks in my kitchen this morning  was better than stockings stuffed with diamonds and chocolate. If I could sing without making the dog pee herself from fear, I would be belting out a mash-up of “Get the Party Started” and “Let’s Go Crazy.” I mean, what better way to start a celebration than throwing Pink and Prince together?

Yeah, I parent through embarrassment.

Yeah, I parent through embarrassment.

I decided the only way to truly celebrate is with champagne, so…

The LIbation:

Champagne makes everything better. I believe we should all have adorable leather holsters to wear that are designed specifically to carry a split of bubbly. Louis Vuitton could make a killing producing those (hint hint). Until then we’ll just have to hide them in our purses and bras (if you have big, oddly shaped boobs). I love champagne and even had a pink champagne themed birthday this year. There’s no recipe for it to share, so I thought I’d just post some pics.

Just looking at that makes me feel more girly.

Just looking at that makes me feel more girly.

What every woman should have in her home.

What every woman should have in her home.

What should greet us in the kitchen every morning.

What should greet us in the kitchen every morning.

If looking at these lovely photos don’t make you want to sit back with a glass of nose-tickling bubbles, there is something seriously wrong with you. I’m having trouble concentrating on work now that I’m staring at these. If you want to see more pretty photos and find links to their sources, go to my PInterest board Pink Champagne Party. Look around and enjoy all the sparkly, girly goodness.

Now would be the time for me to pass on some type of useful tip, but I’m all out of time and energy. So I’m going to turn to someone famous to pass on some wisdom that sticks with our bubbly theme.

The Duh-I-Already-Knew-That-Helpful-Tip:

champagne quoteAnd one more quote from one of my literary heroes who obviously knows what he’s talking about.

F. Scott Champagne quote

Mommy’s Little Helper Monday (Royal Birth Edition)

July 2013 141

Pip! Pip! Cheerio! Jolly good! God bless the Queen!

Ok, now that I’ve used all the stereotypical English terms I’ve heard in movies and most likely insulted all of my British friends in the process, let’s get on with it. Congrats to William and Kate on their eight pounds of precious Prince George! I will admit that I was hoping for a little princess but I’m obviously not good at influencing the sex of babies with my wishful thinking as I am the mother of 3 boys.

Anyway, I figured  the fact that dear Kate chose to push out the little royal on a Monday was a bloody good sign that I needed to pull myself out of my current project and post a blog. Needless to say, this will have an English flair to it. The problem with this endeavor is that outside of watching Love Actually about 20 times, reading ALL of the Harry Potter books in two weeks, and being able to name at least 3 of the Spice Girls…I know very little about British culture.

Sure, I’ve been to London, but it was a 24 hour stop on our way to Italy. If it hadn’t been for my husband’s lovely cousin, all we would have seen was our hotel and the Tower Bridge. But with a quick trip on the tube (ooo…be amazed by my London slang) we were whisked away by our generous family for a whirlwind trip that included Abbey Road and the house boat Richard Branson began making his millions from. Now, it wasn’t the Jack the Ripper tour I had my heart set on (have I mentioned I studied forensic psychology?), but it was a blast that I can’t wait to do again.

My resource, Sam, cooking fish and chips for their annual St. George's party.

My resource, Sam, cooking fish and chips for their annual St. George’s party.

So, since my knowledge is limited on all things across the pond (outside of 19th century serial killers and the Bard), I have turned to my amazing, wonderful, genuine, kind, beautiful, hilarious, creative friend–Sam!! You may think that I’m just buttering her up with all those compliments so she’ll help me out, but it’s all true. She’s also ADD like me and often makes me feel better by falling short in the “keeps a perfect house” category. She also loves wine, belly dancing and swimming naked!! She even has an honest to God pub in her house!!!! And the cherry on the top of this awesome friend sundae–she’s British!!!

Now don’t get any ideas and try to come kidnap her. I found her first!!! But tonight I am willing to share her knowledge with you to make this royal edition the best it can be. Pip!! Pip!! And cheerio…again!!

The Libation (the pint):

Sam informed me that when a baby is born in England the father will often head to his “local” (pub) and buy everyone a round of drinks. This is called “getting the baby’s head wet.” Now, I figured the baby came out pretty wet but apparently amniotic fluid doesn’t substitute for a good ale. I’m not quite sure I can picture William doing this but I bet Harry would gladly do it on his behalf.

Our "local"-- The Aidan Arms. It just happens to be in the home of our lovely friends, Bret and Sam. The beer is lovely but it's the friendship that makes it special.

Our “local”– The Aidan Arms. It just happens to be in the home of our lovely friends, Bret and Sam. The beer is nice but it’s the friendship that makes it special.

Now, I think this is a grand (that’s sounds pretty English to me) tradition…for the father. But what about the mum? When does she get her chance to “get the baby’s head wet” outside of pushing him out and giving him a bath? Sam has assured me that Brits aren’t as stodgy when it comes to drinking some wine when you’re pregnant or nursing. Her midwives even prescribed her a large glass of red wine every night to help relax her irritable uterus. Hell, that idea sounds so good I think I’ll go get some wine right now to relax my uterus (nevermind that I don’t have one).

So, where is the libation recipe in this dribble? If you aren’t good with downing a yard of Carlings or a “dirty chicken” with your closest mates at a local pub, or maybe even kicking back some wine with some ladies with grumpy reproductive organs, then maybe these classic English cocktails will do.

pimms-cup

The Pimm’s Cup:

Sam said this is something like a British Sangria in that it’s basically liquor with fruit floating in it. All you need is some ice, Pimm’s, lemonade (the British word for 7up, Sprite, or ginger ale), cut-up fruits and veg, and some mint. Sam says that mint was too posh for the concoction they made at her old pub in London, and I say that cucumbers are just gross. I mean, if I want a salad I’ll order a salad, but it’s up to your taste buds.

So grab your pitcher, dump in some ice, pour in one cup of Pimm’s no. 1 Cup, 3 cups of your “lemonade”, and a whole bunch of chopped-up fruit (apples, oranges, lemons, berries, and cucumber and mint if you must). There you go! Easy! The perfect drink for the old trouble and strife while she’s on the dog and bone (that should make Eliza Doolittle proud).

If you're still holding a grudge over that whole taxation without representation thing and need to "Americanize" this drink--serve it in some mason jars like they did over at Brooklyn Supper.

If you’re still holding a grudge over that whole taxation without representation thing and need to “Americanize” this drink–serve it in some mason jars like they did over at Brooklyn Supper.

(For a more proper recipe go here or over to the above mentioned Brooklyn Supper.)

The Duh-I-Alread-Knew-That Helpful Tip:

Me and Sam at my birthday party. She made it more special than I could have imagined.

Me and Sam at my birthday party. She made it more special than I could have imagined.

Find a good friend. Seriously. Find one amazing friend who absolutely won’t bat an eye if you show up at her house wearing your 8-year-old’s field day t-shirt and your husband’s swim shorts because they are the only 2 items of clothes that aren’t attracting flies. Have a friend who is able to recognize when you are teetering between an overdose on your homemade cocktail of wine, “borrowed” ADHD meds, and chocolate and beating the shit out of people with an umbrella. This is the friend who laughs with you, cries with you, and helps buy the plastic tarp and shovels when you’ve “accidentally” back-over the neighbor who keeps releasing his dog into your yard to crap. And when you find this friend, make sure you reciprocate. LISTEN to them. SUPPORT them. Make sure you extend the same kindnesses they do to you. Don’t just talk to them when they call you–call them. It seems like common sense, but eventually people notice when they’re the one making all the effort. Make conversations equal. Don’t say “hello” and immediately turn the conversation into something about you. Love and connection is what every single human needs and craves so if you’re lucky enough to find someone you click with, cherish them.

The Funny:

Well, I spent a couple of hours making a funny little bit in photoshop only to realize I was using a Getty image for the base. I’m all about paying people for their images but they need to make it more affordable for bloggers who are making approximately Jack shit off their blog. There are also little rules about not manipulating the image once you buy it. Maybe one day I can afford to do the same shit Perez Hilton gets away with on his page (and mine will be funnier). Unfortunately there are too many bloggers I’m hearing about getting lawsuits slapped on them to take the risk. My personal Facebook friends can see my little invention on my personal page but the rest of you will just have to rent Austin Powers. Until then, a photo I cannot be sued over. This is the sign that hangs over Sam’s amazing stove.

Sam's sign

Amen!

Mommy’s Little Helper Monday: 4th of July Edition

Yes, I realize it’s Wednesday Thursday! I’m all confused because my husband is home and my brain has turned to something resembling a disgusting gelatin salad. Why? Because this thing called “summer break” happened. If you’re a teacher or live in a state with year round school (lucky bastards), then you were overjoyed by this occasion. If you are like me and have too many little boys and not enough meds, then you probably felt like you were dropped into the middle of Apocalypse Now. It took some time, but I’ve finally crawled out of the trenches and I’m back at work, spreading my bad advice to the world of frazzled moms.

Crap! I think Charlie the kids are coming.

Crap! I think Charlie the kids are coming.

So, let’s get down to business…The 4th of July. Honestly, I’m not even a big fan of the holiday. I like to refer to it as National Rednecks Blow Shit Up day. You see, I live in Texas. Texans like to use gunpowder to make things go “BOOM”. It doesn’t matter if it’s a string of firecrackers in a metal trashcan or a bullet in a deer. They like loud noises and if there’s some blood or something dies–all the better!! Now you won’t see this down in Highland Park but I don’t live there. I live up in “horse country.” There are plenty of wealthy folks out here, too, but as they say “you can take the redneck out of the trailer park but you can’t take the trailer park out of the redneck.”  Anyway, fireworks are prohibited in our neighborhood, but rednecks who’ve weaseled their way in here don’t give a Roman Candle full of shit about no damn ordinances. “By God, this is America! George Washington and all his folks didn’t blow the shit out of some indians and redcoats AND pour coffee in a lake just so we couldn’t set off some firecrackers in our own damn yard!” And because this is the mindset of a few of my neighbors, they will set those damn bottle rockets and Black Cats off until 2am. It makes me crazy. It makes me want to go out there and strangle them with their wife-beater, but there’s another damn ordinance against that , too.

When Earl Ray accidentally breaks bottle for launching rockets, Jimmy Wayne steps up and offers his ass crack like a true American.

When Earl Ray accidentally breaks the bottle for launching rockets, Jimmy Wayne steps up and offers his ass crack like a true American.

Ok, enough bitching. Let’s focus on the fun things about the holiday. My husband’s family always invites us to come out to their land so my boys can indulge in a redneck-lite version of the holiday. Their older cousins take them to the dock of the pond and help them shoot off lots of fireworks. It satisfies their deep boy craving for explosives, and I get to watch it from a “farm-house” that’s nicer than my real house (these are Highland Park people). The best part about the time is that my husband’s family likes to drink. This year’s theme is “Chili dogs and Champagne.” Now, tell me you aren’t jealous.

Speaking of liquor….

The Libation:

I know that you’re probably expecting some fancy red, white and blue layered drink called an Independence Bomb or Liberty-loda or Screw John Hancock Against a Wall. But all of those require way more effort than I’ve allotted for this little blog. I have to save my energy for breaking up fights, washing off marker tattoos they’ve drawn all over their faces, and requesting that every dinner conversation does not start with trying to slip some reference to balls or nuts in (I know, it’s a bad habit I’m trying to break).

july drinkIf you’re expecting something fancy like above, head on over to RollingOut and get the recipe. If you’re in Apocalypse-Jello-Brain world like me, stick around. The OCD Martha Stewart part of me would love to make those beautiful drinks, but my reality is making the half-ass Martha side of me give you this…

One of the best summer beers I've had!

One of the best summer beers I’ve had!

Shiner’s Ruby Redbird has become one of my favorite summer beers EVER! And it is a perfect drink for my 4th of July libation pick. Why? There’s no fancy glasses required or layering. It has the word “red” in it so it qualifies as patriotic. And when you see your neighbor trying to use his ass crack to shoot off rockets you can take one of these over to him, saving him a trip to the ER and you a trip to the therapist. I’m not going to get into all the details of what makes this beer taste yummy to me. For that I’ll send you over to the folks at Summer Beer Review. Why them? Because when I was looking for photos of the beer their’s had flamingos in it.

Now, if beer isn’t your thing, you need help; but until you get that help, I’ll give you one more idea. Make a simple drink (cranberry and vodka, margarita, champagne, martini, straight ethanol) and sugar the rim with Pop Rocks. Yep, Pop Rocks!! Who wouldn’t have fun with that? In fact, I’m even making Pop Rock truffles today to take to the family shindig.

Snap! Crackle! Pop! your way to sweet oblivion.

Snap! Crackle! Pop! your way to sweet oblivion.

Go to Pizzazzarie to get the good on this mouth-full of fun. You know you want to.

Duh-I-Already-Knew-That-Helpful-HInt:

I have to change the title of this little bit because it’s just a bitch to type out. Anyway, here’s that hint: DON’T LET YOUR KIDS SHOOT OFF FIREWORKS!!!! I know this is a ceremony for entering manhood (turning 6) in many parts of the south, but it’s stupid. I admit I have an extreme phobia of fireworks, but it’s with reason. I actually know people who have been badly injured by fireworks. A good friend of my god-daughter had a massive hole blown in his thigh. I have the picture on my phone and show it to my older boys so they understand these aren’t Nerf fireworks–they don’t bounce off. I may scar them emotionally by doing this, but they can hide those scars for a therapist or horrible girlfriend to dig up later. Finger stumps and melted ears are harder to hide. If you have a tough gut and no gag reflex from years of cleaning up puke and patching up your kids after they shank each other with Legos they’ve melted down, then go Goggle “firework injuries” for a very blunt reminder of what they can do.

The Funny:

I know, I was going down a depressing path there, and I’m trying to remedy that. But what can I post for this 4th themed bit to make you giggle? If rednecks shooting bottle rockets from their asses didn’t do it, I may have to dig deep. Hmmm… I’ve searched and searched and found some pretty disturbing stuff but nothing that really made me laugh. Oh, well. I guess that means we should use this time to reflect on the sacrifices our forefathers made to form this country. Let’s take a minute to be thankful for all of the blood they shed so that we could have the freedom to do this in their honor…

God bless America

God bless America

Confessions of a Crazy Cake Mom (and some other news)

One of the many things that makes my “crazy” show is a birthday. I love planning birthday parties and especially cakes. The fact that my two oldest sons are having birthdays within the next two weeks made me decide to write a quick bit about my sickness surrounding birthday cakes.

My birthday cake made by Leslie's Cakes for my...uhh *cough* 29th birthday. Yeah, 29th. That's the ticket.

My birthday cake made by Leslie’s Cakes for my…uhh *cough* 29th birthday. Yeah, 29th. That’s the ticket.

My mom was great about either making me special cakes or ordering exactly what I wanted. I carried that tradition on with my own kids but am far less likely to hire a professional because, well, because I’m crazy. Now I’m not saying I’m über talented and should open my own little cake business (that would be a nightmare waiting to happen). I just like doing it for my kids.  But I thought I would share with you some of my attempts at birthday cakes and cupcakes over the last few years. You can certainly tell which ones I started on the night before the party and which ones I was icing as the party guests were walking through the door and I was still in a bathrobe. (Now, if you want a great looking/tasting cake by a true pro and live in the North Texas area, you should totally check out Leslie’s Cakes. They are amazing!)

Let’s start with some simple cupcakes I made for my two oldest when they decided to have a beach themed waterpark party (one of the few perks of having summer birthdays).

Beachy fun!

Beachy keen!

The decorations were simple: canned icing with blue coloring topped with little fondant shark fins and starfish. The hardest part of these cupcakes are hidden under the icing. They’re rainbow cakes which meant splitting the batter into several containers, dying them different colors, and spooning them into the cups in layers. It was a little time-consuming but had a nice little “wow” factor when the kids bit into them. (Note: we usually try to avoid dyes because of our ADHD/Autism diet but I throw all that out the window for birthdays. You have to just let kids be kids sometimes.)

Simple decorations on a complicated icing recipe (but so worth the effort).

Simple decorations on a complicated icing recipe (but so worth the effort).

Now these are also very simple cupcakes I made for my youngest son’s first birthday. His nursery was an owl theme and of course that was a year before everyone went owl crazy and you could buy it everywhere. I stuck with the theme for his birthday, using the colors in his room and simple fondant owls I cut out with an x-acto (is that right?) knife. The star of this was the icing. It’s a homemade batch of browned butter frosting that’s recipe I got from Martha Stewart. It is freakin’ awesome!! First birthdays are more about the adults anyway so I used this icing recipe knowing it wouldn’t be a favorite with the little one. He did his obligatory duty as a one-year-old and smeared it in his hair and everywhere else before crying over our singing.

Now, here are some cakes I did that are certainly half-ass. I call them “cheat sheets” because I go buy a plain sheet cake from our local Market Street and then decorate them myself. This method insures that I have a nice smooth surface for the base, allows me to spend my time doing the fun part, and keeps me from shanking folks.

Fondant Angry Birds I made myself ont top of a bought sheet cake.

Fondant Angry Birds I made myself ont top of a bought sheet cake.

A last minute monster cake built on top of a bought sheet cake.

A last minute monster cake built on top of a bought sheet cake.

I made smaller cakes at home using what I call a "boob pan" and just iced the crud out of them.

I made smaller cakes at home using what I call a “boob pan” and just iced the crud out of them.

I made candy clay with Candy Melts and corn syrup (so much easier than fondant) for the belt to celebrate my son's first rank up in karate.

I made candy clay with Candy Melts and corn syrup (so much easier than fondant) for the belt to celebrate my son’s first rank up in karate.

And now for my masterpiece. This is hands-down the best looking cake I’ve ever made and I imagine it has something to do with the fact that I actually made it the night before the party. We hired a local wildlife educator name Critterman to come to our home with lots of creepy crawlies. It was a fantastic party. The kids got to learn about a lot of animals and even touch them. My oldest son LOVED chameleons so I went with it and this is what he got…

Chameleon and spider cake complete with a Zinger branch.

Chameleon and spider cake complete with a Zinger branch.

I’m darn proud of the cake even if it’s technically a “cheat sheet.” I baked a round cake that I cut up to make the body of the chameleon and some more of the “boob” cakes to make the spider and leaves. Zingers made the perfect branch and I had to cheat and use pipe cleaners for the spider legs. Obviously it was mixing all of the different colors and doing thousands of little stars that took up the most time, but it paid off.

Isn't he pretty?!?

Isn’t he pretty?!?

And that was a peek into my craziness when it comes to birthday cakes. I’ve had requests for Minecraft, Legos and Adventure Time for these upcoming parties. I’ll past what I end up doing. Now…ON WITH AN IMPORTANT NEWS BULLETIN!!!!

First, I’ve already bragged and gloated on my primary blog that my parody, Fifty Shades of Puddin’

received an unexpected but amazing review on Villara Noir. It got me pumped, so I posted two excerpts from the prequel The Hunger Camp. Go check them out of you want a laugh. Amazon (Kindle) has decided to mark my book down to a buck for some reason (they reserve the right to change your price at their discretion), so go buy a copy and I’ll take that $0.35 royalty and go on a crazy spending spree!! Anyway, my loss but your gain, right?

Second, I’m taking a break from blogging for about 2 weeks. With two birthdays, travel, the end of school, and looming deadlines on real writing projects, I have to take a step back. I’ll be back the first of June with lots of summer-saving tips drink recipes.

Mommy’s Little Helper Monday: Mother’s Day Edition

Me and my third little boy. I'm smiling so the drugs were still working.

Me and my third little boy. I’m smiling so the drugs were still working.

Did all of you survive Mother’s Day? Was it filled with grocery store flowers and handprint art thrown in your lap as payment for wiping countless asses and noses? My holiday was actually fantastic. Why? Because I spent 75% of it pretending I didn’t have children. Does this make me sound like a horrible mommy? I really don’t give a flying crap if it does or not. I needed it SOOOOO bad, and I think other moms do, too. After eating a breakfast (I never eat breakfast) that my sweet hubby made, I took a shower (I rarely get to do that either), put on makeup and a low-cut dress, and took off for a day of pretending.

The boys all meeting for the first time. The drugs are still working.

The boys all meeting for the first time. The drugs are still working.

I had the top down (the vehicle’s– not mine), the sun on my face, the wind in my hair, and every uncensored Prince, Eminem, Beastie Boys, JayZ, etc… song I have on my phone blaring through the speakers. I set off to use a gift certificate for a pedicure my sweet neighbor had given me for my birthday. I read the address in my usual half-ass/ADD manner and took off to the Shops at Legacy to get my gimpy toe and its equally ugly brothers polished into submission. The Shops of Legacy is a hoity-toity outdoor shopping center in north Plano. The sidewalks were packed with people all waiting for a spot in one of the restaurants, and they all got to hear “99 Problems” in all of its glory as I slowly drove back and forth looking for the nail place. I just smiled and let them all stare with envy at the girl who obviously didn’t have children.

The drugs have obviously stopped working and I've realized that I have 3 freakin' kids!

The drugs have obviously stopped working and I’ve realized that I have 3 freakin’ kids!

And it was all good until I got the bright idea to pull over and read the nail salon address again. It was then that I realized that the shop was on Legacy alright, but it was miles away– much closer to my house. Stupid! So I decided to play it off and went to the mall. I shopped! I shopped for sassy dresses. I’ve gained weight recently so I took dresses a size bigger than what I usually wear into the dressing room with me. They were too big! It was a magical miracle! I’m usually left crying in a fetal position while the flourescent lights highlight every single bump of cellulite I have. I usually run from the dressing room like I’m being attacked by velociraptors. And I keep running all the way to the food court where I stuff a cookie and a Diet Coke down my throat because I’ve decided that’s the way to make me feel less fat. But not this day. This day I actually bought a dress–with gift certificates I found in my wallet. More magic!!!

I then got 2 free pairs of panties at Victoria Secrets. Magical magicness!! Then I found the nail place and had my toes painted Cajun Shrimp while I drank wine. Wine!!! With no kids!!! There was so much magic it was like the entire senior class at Hogwarts had thrown up on me. I felt so good that I decided to go cruise through Target. I got there and discovered Starbucks had their frappacinos half off for Mother’s Day!! Holy coffee beans!! I got a caramel ribbon something–venti!! I sucked that 1000 calories down while I browsed through crap I didn’t need and talked to the BFF on the phone. It was then that I realized I was starting to shake. It was then that I started feeling a little queasy. It was then that I realized wine + massive amounts of sugar and caffeine – food + hypoglycemia = NOT SMART. Not magic.

Screw my blood sugar!! Make it a venti, bitch!

Screw my blood sugar!! Make it a venti, bitch!

I went and sat in my car shivering like a chihuahua. It was ugly there for a bit, but I muscled through. My day of pretending that I didn’t have children couldn’t be over! I drove my ass to the tanning place that I haven’t been to in months. I marched in and used my free Mother’s Day upgrade offer and climbed into this space ship looking bed NAKED! Yep. I decided to tan away those stretch marks so I could really pretend that I didn’t have kids. I was committed to my role. I finished roasting myself with one of those stupid little heart stickers (hey, better than a Playboy bunny) on my hip and drove home. I arrived to a lovingly prepared meal of surf and turf cooked by my sweet, ex-chef hubby, and three little boys lounging in front of the TV in their underwear. I tried to pretend they were just hired help but the undies made that thought a little creepy.

After dinner I lounged in bed, drinking wine and watching Game of Thrones. It was then that I began to slip into a state of deep relaxation…and itch. What the hell? Why am I itching in places that I shouldn’t? I go to the bathroom, drop my jammie bottoms and lift my top…OH, my god!!! I’m sunburned. I’m sunburned in places you NEVER want to be sunburned! And I want to pretend that me having a buzz and being sunburned is just like in my twenties when I’d drink on a boat all day and end up looking like a lobster, but I can’t. I was drunk most of the time in my twenties but I was never stupid enough to tan naked…Wait a minute…STUPID! That’s it! I really did live my day just like before I had kids. I did stupid things. I taunted my hypoglycemia and I burned my crotch. I was in a fairly constant state of stupid before I had kids, so I did it! I did stupid!

The Libation:

I know that you were fearful that after that long-winded story you were going to get duped on the drink, and you are!! Well, sorta. I tried to come up with a Mother’s Day themed drink, but in my opinion anything with a proof label was created for mothers. So, I had to dig deep to come up with something and then it popped in my head. My BFF and I created a drink when we were teenagers and my parents had gone on a vacation. We had to use what we could find and that came down to a packet of Purplesaurus Rex Kool-Aid and vodka. We called them Purple Mother F*ckers! (Do I really have to add some little symbol to these naughty words? It’s not like you don’t say it in your head when you read it. I think that’s the last half-ass attempt at censorship you’ll see from me.) And they weren’t bad. The Kool-aid is a mix of lemonade and grape, and to teenagers it tasted pretty damn good. The sad part is that you can’t buy Purplesaurus Rex anymore. If one of you do find some, let me know.

Purplesaurus

The Duh–I Already-Knew-That-Helpful-Tip:

Take a Thelma and Louise day for yourself...

Take a Thelma and Louise day for yourself…

If you are a mom pick a day to pretend you’re not. After you make sure your kids are safe with a spouse, sitter, relative, or firestation, take a day to just pretend you’re a person without all of the responsibilities you deal with every day. Go be with yourself. If you’re an introvert like me, go by yourself. If you’re an extrovert, gather some friends. Go do stupid shit that won’t land you in jail or maim you (wear bottoms in the tanning bed), and just have fun. Enjoy a taste of freedom. Turn off your cell phone for heaven’s sake. Don’t schedule anything! Make every decision on the fly. We forget what that’s like sometimes when we’re buried under schedules. Hell, we almost have to pencil in our potty breaks. Just go live without worrying about fixing meals or taking kids to violin lessons. Drive down a street you’ve never taken before. Just go! Trust me, you’ll feel so much better when you come home.

...but watch out for canyons.

…but watch out for canyons.

The Funny:

If the thought of me walking around with a burnt crotch doesn’t make you laugh, I don’t know what will. But, if you’re expecting more, go to my other blog Wckedwords. For those of you who don’t know, I wrote a redneck parody of Fifty Shades of Grey called Fifty Shades of Puddin’. It developed quite a little following so I decided to play around with a prequel. Go check out The Hunger Camp for a post Mommy Day laugh.

Mommy’s Little Helper Monday

It’s a beautiful Monday (repeat this 100 times until you believe it or somebody calls the authorities because they think you’re a danger to yourself and others). How was your weekend? Saturday started off well with my middle son scoring a goal from midfield during his soccer game and then enjoying a pizza party with his friends. It went downhill from there. That same wonderful boy managed to flood my bathroom. Have I mentioned that we’ve had two small floods in our home within the last month? The first one took out our two other bathrooms that are still under construction. This minor flood didn’t do enough damage to require walls and floors being torn out, but it was enough to make me clean up toilet water and piss me off.

One of my many hooker heels that willbe very lonely for a couple of months.

One of my many hooker heels that will be very lonely for a couple of months.

Then the dog escaped. The boys didn’t listen and chased her so she decided it was a game. I got the bright idea to use my mad ninja skills and hide around the corner of our fence and snag her when she ran past. It worked but it freaked her out so bad that she started flipping around and managed to step on and twist my little toe…and broke it. So now I have a fat, little blue sausage for a toe, which really isn’t much different from how it usually looks aside from the color.

What really pisses me off is that I won’t be able to get a pedicure or wear any of my hooker heels for weeks!!! Grrr….

Ok. I’ve bitched and moaned about my stupid little problems and am going back to keeping it all in perspective. Maybe we should just get on with some drinks and funny.

Keep reading. You'll understand.

Keep reading. You’ll understand.

The Libation:

I’m on a diet. I want to bitch about this, too, but it’s my own damn fault for gaining the 12 pounds that are keeping me from wearing my normal clothes. I’m one of those people who won’t allow themselves to go buy new clothes that fit because then I might get comfortable. So, I’m wearing my stretch pants, t-shirts, and tennis shoes everyday. Thin lycra/cotton stretched that tight is frightening to look at and probably offensive to those who must be around me, but too bad. I’m going to at least look like I’m working out even if I’m not. Anyway, because I’m trying not to eat pure sugar for every meal, I decided to look up some low-calorie libations.

During a trip to visit the BFF, we discovered this skinny bitch wine (not the real name but you can figure it out pretty quick), and we grabbed a bottle. Not a good idea. You could make this yourself. Just take a real bottle of wine, pour half a glass, and fill it the rest of the way with water. Seriously. Not good. We also tried skinny margaritas. Not good. This left me with rolling up my sleeves and diving in for some Magnum P.I. style investigation (if you have to investigate shit you might as well do it in a Ferrari and a Hawaiian shirt). Here’s what I came up with as the best alternatives when you’re watching your thighs.

Miss Goody-Two-Shoes My-Thighs-Will-Never-Touch-Because-I-Stick-To-My-Diet Options (under 150 calories):

• Skinnygirl margarita (4 oz): 100 (Bleck…insert sounds of gagging)
• Green apple martini (1 oz each vodka, sour apple, apple juice): 148
• Port wine (3 oz):128 (Does anyone really drink this?)
• Bloody Mary (5 oz): 118
• Red wine (5 oz):120
• White wine (5 oz): 120
• Alcohol-free wine (5 oz): 20-30 (Are you serious? Who thought this stupid shit up? Go buy some diabetic grape juice if you want this.)
• Light beer (12 oz): 95-136
• Ultra-light beer (12 oz): 64-95
• Champagne (5oz): 106-120
• Wine spritzer (5 oz): 100
• Mimosa (4 oz): 75
• Rum and Diet Coke (8 oz): 100
• Mike’s Hard Lemonade (11 oz): 98

My personal picks on this list are mimosas (the breakfast of champions), champagne (every girl feels prettier sipping those magic bubbles), Mike’s Hard Lemonade (we like anything with the word hard in it), and my all-time favorite– rum and Diet Coke.

Miss Nobody’s-Looking-And-I-Had-A-Pretty-Shitty-Day Options (150-200 calories):

• Martini (2.5 oz): 160
• Beer (12 oz): 150-198
• Spiced cider with rum ( 8 oz):150
• Mulled wine (5 oz): 200 (Uh…Do you also knit your own underwear while sipping this and watching Martha Stewart reruns?)
• Vodka and tonic (8 oz): 200
• Screwdriver (8 oz): 190 (They said screw…huh..huh…)
• Gin and tonic (7 oz): 200
• Rum and Coke (8 oz): 185

Some good choices here, but for one of these you could have 2 to 3 of the ones on the first list. That’s some important math, people. Think about it.

Miss My-Kids-Suck-My-Life-Sucks-And-You-Can-Kiss-My-Fat-Jiggly-Thighs-You-Skinny-F#ckin’-Bitches options (between 200 and you don’t give a shit calories):

• Long Island iced tea (8 oz): 780 (Holy shit! At least they make that one drink count considering it’s ALL liquor–no mixers.)
• White Russian (2 oz vodka, 1.5 oz coffee liqueur, 1.5 oz cream): 425
• Mai Tai (6 oz) (1.5 oz rum, 1/2 oz cream de along, 1/2 oz triple sec, sour mix, pineapple juice): 350
• Eggnog with rum (8 ounces): 370
• Hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps (8 oz): 380
• Hot buttered rum (8 oz): 292
• Coffee liqueur (3 ounces): 348
• Godiva chocolate liqueur (3 oz): 310
• Pina Colada (6 oz): 378 calories (These calories are automatically voided if you’re lucky enough to be swimming to a bar to order it.)
• Mojito (8 oz): 214 calories
• Chocolate martini: (2 oz each vodka, chocolate liqueur, cream, 1/2 oz creme de cacao, chocolate syrup): 438
• Margarita (8 oz): 280

So there you have it. No matter where you fall in the categories that day, you have options!! You can thank me later.

Magnum kept finding fruity drinks at Rick's bar. Not much help but I let him stick around.

Magnum kept finding fruity drinks at Rick’s bar. Not much help but I let him stick around.

The Duh-I-Already-Knew-That Helpful Tip:

Ok, I just dug up all that info on the internet (thanks, WebMD) without the help of T.C. and his helicopter and you still expect a tip? Geez. Ok. Here it is– chasing a crazed husky down an alley is a bad idea. Don’t do it! You will break your toe. Also, wear your most fierce hooker shoes every chance you get because you never know when you might decide to chase a husky down an alley and break your stupid toe.

The Funny:

I thought you might get a kick out of this snapshot that was taken of me during my day as Magnum. That lazy T.C. was too good to let me use his helicopter but certainly didn’t mind weaseling his way into a picture. That’s ok. I told him that Long Island Ice Teas are great for your waistline. He had two and took off in his chopper. I’m not sure what all that smoke is out there behind those palm trees. Oh, well…here it is.

Wow! I didn't realize how good I looked in a mustache...and look at that package. Why did those short shorts ever go out?

Wow! I didn’t realize how good I looked in a mustache…and look at that package. Why did those short shorts ever go out?

Aloha!!

Mommy’s Little Helper Monday (Earth Day Edition)

Well, crap balls! Or should I say organic biodegradable spheres of manure? I totally forgot it was Earth Day so I am missing out on a well-planned blog based on the theme. I’m going to have to wing-it all ADD style. I’d been planning on an entire post devoted to the beauty of wine and then I get this Earth Day reminder. I ain’t got no time to look for new photos and come up with an entirely new idea, so I’m just going to have to find a way to make this look “green.”

Kermit kept it green by trading in his Harley for hybrid scooter that converts pig poop into fuel.

Kermit kept it green by trading in his Harley for hybrid scooter that converts pig poop into fuel.

The first thing I wanted to share with you were the bad ass, best-thing-ever I found this weekend. I’ve been working really hard to slim down our budget (which is saving us some green- I know, too freaking early for bad puns), and I’ve done great. I haven’t bought anything I didn’t NEED for a few months now. That got blown to shit when I found these.

A mommy sippy cup! I nominate this product for a Nobel prize.

A mommy sippy cup! I nominate this product for a Nobel prize.

They are beautiful and bring a tear to the eye, but they aren’t earth friendly. They’re plastic and plastic is bad in Earth Day land. It’s good for when Mommy gets drunk and trips down the steps because it won’t break, slit open an artery and ruin the floor she just mopped for the first time in 18 months, but bad for the environment. I just watched part of a documentary called “Bag It” about all the nasty things plastic does to the environment. If you want an excuse to drink, go watch that. If you weren’t clinically depressed before, you will be.

And aside from being plastic it was made in China (I know, shocking). So not only were they made with Satan’s version of glass, it was probably made by a lady who got paid half a wonton for 12 hours of work. Holy crap, my ADD went down a depressing path. Turn back! Turn back! Find something shiny!

Fact: Nothing distracts a girl from depression like cute shoes.

Fact: Nothing distracts a girl from depression like cute shoes.

Like those? I got those for my b-day. Now back to Earth Day happiness and how to make my new sippy cup environmentally friendly. I can’t change what it was made from or where it came from but I can make sure to use its powers for good and not evil. I decided that I could use it to multitask when it isn’t full of wine. Here’s the list of possibilities:

It could hold my car keys so I’ll always know where they are.

I could eat an organic salad out of it for lunch.

I could carry it with me to drink out of while I plant a tree or assist in a roadside clean-up (being put on a prison chain gang would be the about the only way you’d catch me doing that second one).

I could take it to the beach to give drinks to sea turtles.

I could take it to drink out of while I pretend to be interested in buying a hybrid car. I could even share with the sales guy because caring for your fellow-man is an Earth Day kind of thing to do and sales guys take a lot of crap.

I can drink organic wine out of it.

When I die I can have my ashes put in it.

See, there are lots of ways to make this little guy show the world that your past doesn’t have to dictate who you become. So, don’t be a hater of the sippy cup. Let it teach us about goodness.

"Green" grapes

“Green” grapes

Now this is where I would put in the libation portion of my post. I had planned on some random stuff about wine I like, but, man, this Earth Day thing has really screwed this all up for me. I guess if you think about it, wine isn’t horrible for the earth. Grapes grow out of it. Grapes are good. The sun helps them grow so we can call grapes solar-powered, right? And grape vines only drink the amount of water they need to live. They don’t take half-hour showers or leave the water running while they’re brushing their teeth. Grapes don’t drive gas hogs or use plastic bags at the grocery store. Grape vines give shelter to little bugs and wine to us, which is like fuel!! Holy merlot!! I didn’t realize how environmentally conscious grapes are. And if I’m drinking wine that should make me the same by proxy. I feel so much better. I’m going to go pour some wine in my plastic cup and celebrate.

Happy Earth Day, folks. Go drink some wine to support it. Turn the bottle into a candle holder and the corks into…well, whatever corks are good at.

photoSee, I helped the earth today. I didn’t waste water by taking a shower or brushing my teeth before I sat down to work. I didn’t waste energy by changing out of my jammies, and I “recycled” by using my middle son’s headphones because my oldest son stole mine. Damn, I’m good.

Confessions (of my inner 12-year-old)

Ok, I’m cheating a little here. I’ve been trying to think of a way to introduce my new followers of my Blonde Undone blog to my original/larger blog Wckedwords. I’ve also been toying with a way to just merge the two since I can barely keep up with both and still remember to bathe my kids. I thought I’d give the Undone folks a glimpse at the nonsense I write on the other blog. The difference is the posts tend to be longer, more heart-felt, and occasionally darker. No pressure, but here’s a post I did to commemorate 12-12-12 last year. And because I still act like a 12-year-old boy I thought I’d share it with you. If you were a child of the ’80’s you’ll get most of this. Enjoy!

This many

I like the number 12. It’s not my “lucky” number 9, but it’s still a number that gives me good vibes. But I guess I could say that I like numbers in general, especially those with some ‘magical’ hint to them.

I wanted so badly to get married or do something else significant on September 9, 1999, but it came and went with no real hoopla. When I found myself pregnant in 2008 and knew I would have to have a c-section in August, I quickly scheduled it for the 8th. My “magic” baby came into the world at 8:28 that morning and that night I drunkenly watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics (the Chinese also think 8 is a magic number). When September 9, 2009 came around I drove to Fate, Texas and mailed out my first round of query letters for my first novel.

Now here it is, 12-12-12. We won’t see that again in our lifetime. I haven’t thought too much about it. Today I had to go to the doctor and have a biopsy. I wouldn’t put that on the top of any lists on how to celebrate a numerically special day. In fact, I spent the rest of the day trying to forget the beginning of it. But now that I’m at home, lying in front of the fireplace, I find myself thinking about the number 12 and why I like it. What I’ve realized pretty quickly is that it’s not because the number conjures thoughts of a dozen cupcakes or the movie Twelve Monkeys, it’s because I immediately think about being twelve years old and that was a kick-ass year.

It was the ’80’s and I was in the sixth grade. Back then that was still considered elementary school so you weren’t thrown into the shark tank of middle school. You had one last year to be a kid and that was cool. We were the top dogs at the school- the BIG kids. We ruled the playground, the bus, and everything else in our minds. I have very vivid memories of that year and they all make me smile. So to honor this once in a lifetime event, I’m going to recount my top twelve memories of being 12 years old.

12. Recess– Hell, yeah!! Since we weren’t saddled with the social worries of middle school we still relished in our post-lunch break. Dodgeball. Oh, yes. We played dodgeball with ferocious enthusiasm and there were no worries about broken noses or lawsuits. We didn’t pick on any certain kid. We were all fair game and if you didn’t get your ass out of the way, you got hit. There was also Red Rover. I can still remember looking at the opposing line and picking out the weakest link. Strategy!! And then there was kiss chase, but because we still thought like kids we truly didn’t want to get kissed or do the kissing. Well, at least I didn’t. In fact, I was a hired gun. For a little white girl I could book it. Only two kids in the class could keep up with me and they both went on to play college sports. The other girls would have me do the catching so they could do the kissing.

11. Home perms. This should probably be put on a “childhood traumas” list but I’m one of those people who has always worked through the bad by finding the funny in it, and what’s not funny about a homemade fro? Being financially challenged, my family was thrifty. My mom had told me many horror stories of her fuzzy-headed perms she’d had to endure as a child but that didn’t stop her from giving me one. I’m not sure if she decided it was a family tradition or a right of passage, but I still remember the hours of her rolling my hair in little plastic rods, rinsing my hair in the kitchen sink until I felt like I was drowning, and the smell of the perm solution that lingered for weeks. The result was a blonde afro that my friends described as something that reminded them of one of their mom’s Bichon dogs. Yes, I was a damn hot 12-year-old.

I tried like hell to find a picture of the fro and couldn't. Here's the super-short boy-cut that freed me of the fuzz.

I tried like hell to find a picture of the fro and couldn’t. Here’s the super-short boy-cut that freed me of the fuzz.

10. The Chicago Bears– My 6th grade year was the year the Chicago Bears were the shit. There has been no other time since then that an entire country knew the names of almost every player on a team. Has any other team cut a song and music video? Hell no. The Super Bowl Shuffle, baby. Walter, Jim, and the Fridge were household names. I loved Jim McMahon and his sunglasses. Hell, when I think about it, maybe that’s when I really started liking the number 9.

9. Magic Pimp Jacket– I got a jacket that was the quintessential bad ass ’80’s jacket. It was black satin with a silver, glitter unicorn on the back. Yes, you read right and I can feel your envy. I remember the moment I saw that sparkling piece of awesomesauce hanging on the wall of Spencer’s gifts. I knew it had to be mine and I begged for it. When I got it, I wore the freakin’ crap out of it. When I was milk monitor (two 6th graders would walk to all the classes first thing in the morning to sell milk for a dime a carton) I made sure I wore my jacket so I could hear all the younger girls ooh and ahh over it. I was the flyest milk pimp on the block.

8. Madonna– Her singing skills were American Idol reject level at best and I’m pretty sure she hired some of my fellow 6th graders to write her lyrics, but she changed the face of music. I happened to see her infamous performance on American Bandstand and her rolling on the ground in her lace skirts and singing about virginity (or her lack of it) shattered the double standards between men and women performers. My mom also HATED her and her skankalicious ways. That hate meant that I HAD to wear 20 black rubber bracelets on my arm just like her and watch Desperately Seeking Susan no matter how horrible it was.

Just her bra strap showing alone made her Satan's whore in my house.

Just her bra strap showing alone made her Satan’s whore in my house.

7. Field Day– While Madonna plucked at the budding teenager hiding in my depths, there were still activities that kept me firmly planted in my childhood. Field Day was the bomb-diggity because in those days kids didn’t get ribbons just for showing up. Hell, no! You had to earn those bad boys with blood, sweat, and tears. You were expected to compete and that effort was rewarded with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbons that were handed out in front of the entire school. Field Day was my Olympics because I was crazy competitive and had inherited my father’s track skills. Nothing felt better than beating boys who were a foot taller than me in the standing broad jump. I’m sure my old elementary school had planned to erect a statue of me on the playground before all of the education cuts.

6. The Movies– There are several movies that I can remember vividly from that year: Back to the Future, The Goonies, Gremlins, Footloose, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Splash, Starman, The Neverending Story, The Karate Kid, Ghostbusters, and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. There were other movies released that year too that I’m sure my mother made me wait to see but they are still some of my favorites: Amadeus, Romancing the Stone (we actually currently own a big, black Bronco with the vanity plate LTL MULE in homage to Pepe), Red Dawn, Beverly Hills Cop, Children of the Corn, Firestarter, Dune, The Terminator, Nightmare of Elm Street (I had to wait a few years to see that one), and one of my top 5 all-time favorites– Sixteen Candles. “Oh, sexy girlfriend… No more yanky my wanky!” Seriously, can you name another 12 month span of time that produced that many classics? Nope.

Pretty sure every girl of the '80's dreamed of living this scene. Any boys who were smart enough to reenact this for their girl probably got an automatic trip to third base.

Pretty sure every girl of the ’80’s dreamed of living this scene. Any boys who were smart enough to reenact this for their girl probably got an automatic trip to third base.

5. G.I. Joe and my Bro.- One of the people responsible for keeping me firmly rooted in my immaturity was my brother. He was 3 years younger than me, hyper, and funny as hell. He had tons of Star Wars, He-Man, and G.I. Joe figures that we’d play with. But don’t think that we played with them like normal children. We’re both overly creative, warped souls so our play mirrored that. We made up new names and personality disorders for all of our action figures. I hated dolls and the two or three I had were given makeovers that included tattoos and mohawks. They were ditzy skanks used as props to enhance the demented scenarios we’d create with our toys. I remember a sailor we renamed Popeye who was a sadist and then there was another guy we named Weiner who had an obsession with hotdogs and a well below average IQ. We probably needed therapy but at least we laughed a lot.

Innocent toys became of prison-worthy gang of nut jobs when left in the hands of Ash and her little bro. Robot Chicken has nothing on us.

Innocent toys became of prison-worthy gang of nut jobs when left in the hands of Ash and her little bro. Robot Chicken has nothing on us.

4. WWF Wrestling– It’s embarrassing to admit, but we watched wrestling. I can say that we were under no delusions that it was real, we just thought it was hilarious. We hated Hulk Hogan and all his “little Hulkster” bullcrap. Our favorites were Rowdy Roddy Piper, Jake “the Snake” Roberts, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, King Kong Bundy, Andre the Giant, and the British Bulldogs. It was all ridiculous and loads of fun.

3. Stephen King– This was the year I was introduced to one of my biggest literary influences. Until 6th grade I’d stayed safely in the realm of Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, A Ring of Endless Light, A Wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Narnia, Bunnicula, Black Beauty, Little House on the Prairie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and other elementary classics. That all changed when a Japanese girl with worldly parents moved to our school. She was wicked smart and her mom let her read adult books. She and another boy in school were reading Stephen King. I borrowed Pet Semetary. My mother was concerned when she found it, but once I told her the 2 smartest kids in school where reading it, I was in the clear and forever hooked.

Proof of my King addiction.

Proof of my King addiction.

 

2. Miami Vice– There had been few celebrity crushes for me but that all changed one fateful night when I spent the night at my grandmother’s. She was busy in the kitchen and letting me watch television unsupervised in her bedroom. That night I just happened to see the pilot episode of Miami Vice. I don’t know if it was the music, the Ferrari Daytona Spider, the pastel clothes, or Phil Collins singing about something being in the air, but I was immediately and completely hooked on Don Johnson and all things Miami and/or Vice. By the 7th grade I had posters and calendars on my wall and secretly wrote episodes of the show (all with my barely pubescent ass as the love interest). I hated Sheena Easton when she was cast as Crocket’s wife. Skank. But in all seriousness, Vice was an amazing show that changed how tv was made. And I still love Don and squealed when I saw he was playing Kenny’s father on Eastbound and Down.

But seriously, how could Don not have wanted some of this puberty-mangled jail bait sexiness? I mean, look at that flannel and those high-waisted jeans.

But seriously, how could Don not have wanted some of this puberty-mangled jail bait sexiness? I mean, look at that flannel and those high-waisted jeans.

1. Illinois Jones– I’m sure you’re scratching your head with that one, but I’ll explain. I had a BFF in 6th grade that was the jelly to my peanut butter. We were thick as thieves and had identical senses of humor. She was a spunky redhead that kept me laughing. We lived only a couple of blocks from each other and spent pretty much all of our time together. We dressed like Punky Brewster together, watched Madonna together, and saw Pee Wee’s Big Adventure together over and over again. Our other favorite thing was to write stories. Our best creation was a comic based on Indiana Jones, but our hero wasn’t the suave archeologist embodied by the beautiful Harrison Ford. Nope. Ours was a bumbling moron who tried his best but was plagued by a love interest named Scarion who would pop up at inopportune times and ruin his chances of glory. We kept ourselves entertained for hours creating these stories and I guess in all honesty, it wasn’t the stories that left such an impression; it was the friendship and the safe harbor we provided for each other. We drifted apart over the next couple of years but I’ll always cherish the laughter and adventures we had.

Why do kids need video games? These two stick fugures provided us with hours of entertainment.

Why do kids need video games? These two stick figures provided us with hours of entertainment.

And there are my memories of being 12. Were you a child of the ’80’s? Were some of these top memories for you too? If not, what is your best memory from that age? Don’t be shy. I’ve outed myself so come join me.

Wicked wishes- Mrs. Sonny Crocket

Confessions (of a Black Thumb)

Kevin Costnar had a voice whisper to him from the cornfield, “Build it and they will come.” If that same voice was to whisper to me there would be a couple of differences. First, it would most likely be the voice of that creepy little Malachi from Children of the Corn, and second, it would say, “Plant it and it will die.” Yep, if I plant anything other than my ass in this chair, it will die a long slow death before going up to the greenhouse in the sky (or the festering compost pit below depending on the moral character of said vegetation). While others have a green thumb, I have a black one. Now, it’s not particularly evil (like it’s cousin Toe J. Simpson–that’s a story for another blog), but it kills shit, nonetheless. It wants to be sweet to the plants: love them and squeeze them and water them and feed them….and accidentally kill them. My thumb is like Lennie from Of Mice and Men.

My thumb = death

My thumb = death

Because of this tendency to commit botany-cide, I pretty much refrain from planting things, but that doesn’t mean I don’t give it a try every once in a while. There was the one year my mother brought over her BIG, BEAUTIFUL house plants to live on my glassed-in patio. In less than a month, they withered from a green canopy fit for howler monkeys down to something wilty you’d pull out of a dish of lo-mein. But I’m not taking full responsibility for this manslaughter. Sure, I didn’t really water them outside of an occassional spilled beer, but I also think it was the withdrawal from the constant stream of Marlboro smoke they received at Mom’s. The proof was that they made a full recovery when she rescued them from their deplorable conditions at my place.

So I stayed away from plants for several years until around 2009 when I decided to plant tomatoes and peppers in pots on the patio. And they did well!! I was constantly shocked when I’d go outside and they were not only still alive, but producing little veggies (or maybe they were tumors). That went great until I woke up one morning and they had been reduced to twigs that Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree would have made fun of. On the twigs were big, fat caterpillars with horns. I deal better with animals than plants, so I decided that at least we’d get to watch them turn into the Hawk Moths they would become. They started making cocoons and then the birds found them. Talk about a massacre. You’d think that would be enough to convince me that God would just prefer if I left his leafy creations alone, but I have a short memory, so I tried again.

I went way out of my norm and tried this crazy thing called “watering.” I did that to the azalea bushes out front and then went really crazy and planted flowers. For the first time ever I had a colorful front yard. That lasted exactly one week before the mother of all hail storms came in and beat the chlorophyl shit out of the garden. The storm was so bad that it made our fence look like somebody had taken a machine gun to it. 40k in damages. 8k on just one of my cars alone. The flowers should have been the least of my worries but I was furious that my one moment of botanical glory was taken away by a freak storm.

Now it’s 2013 and that’s been more than enough time to make me forget about the two plagues already sent to warn me to cease my bad behavior towards plants. This past Saturday my ADD whispered “Let’s plant flowers” in my ear and I drug all 3 boys to Lowe’s and loaded up on petunias for the sunny spots and impatients for the shady. Things have gone alright in my opinion, but I recently found out that not everyone feels the same. One particular flower wants to tell his story by sharing his journal. At first I wanted to shut him up so I could keep up my little charade of gardener going, but I just learned another hail storm in moving in tonight, so this may be the only thing we’ll ever hear from Tommy the petunia, so here we go…

Meet Tommy the petunia and some of his roomies.

Meet Tommy the petunia and some of his roomies.

Day 1:

I’ve been moved with all of my neighbors I’ve gotten to know in the greenhouse. It was a long, bumpy ride, but I’m still stoked about seeing the world. I can’t wait for the freedom to stretch out my roots and really see what this world is all about. Til tomorrow –Tommy

Day 2:

Wow! Finally made it to this country called Lowes. It’s really crowded so I’m guessing it’s a pretty metropolitan kind of place. Not all of the locals are friendly and I don’t understand some of the languages, but its all kosher. Me and my bunk mates have settled in at this little hostel on shelf 2 of aisle 6. I at least got a shower to wash off some of the dust from travel. I can’t wait to see what the next leg of the trip will be. Laters– Tommy

Day 3:

Dude, it was a crazy freakin’ day. There was like a parade of these huge people like the ones I’d see in the greenhouse. They came in and out, taking entire trays of my friends with them. I was getting a little down, thinking about all those lucky bastards getting to head out for their next big tour. But then–THEN, it was my turn. This woman came in with 3 smaller humans. They were really loud and talked about farting a lot, but the smallest one snatched up my bunk along with my 5 roommates, and put us in a cart. There was another bumpy ride and then I was unloaded. The leader of the group they call “Mom” seems really excited, but in  a “needs some meds” kinda way.

Don't look her directly in the eyes.

Don’t look her directly in the eyes.

She at least took me and some of my mates out in the sun. It feels good to be alive and out enjoying God’s green earth . Ahh…Wait. What’s that? It’s big and shiny…

photoOh…I see. I think she’s just making a soft new pad for me to chill in. I’m totes cool with that. Ok, she’s picking me up and…Wait! Wait!! Oh, sweet Jesus, she’s turning me upside down!!! Oh, God!!! Stop the shaking! Please stop the shaking!!…Oh, holy hell!! She’s pinching my ass…I’m falling…Oh, God, I’m falling. Somebody help me. I’m naked and her fingers are in places that they shouldn’t be…Oh, hey…wait. She’s putting me in that hole she dug. Wow. This is nice and warm. I’ve got room to stretch. Not bad. I feel like a total tool for acting like a punk-ass wuss. The boys aren’t going to let me live this down. I just need to chill and… Oh, my God!! What the hell is that?!?!?

photoOh, wait. She’s just making my bed extra soft. Yeah, I know– call me “Mr. Overreaction.” I must have some sort of jet lag or something going on. Maybe somebody slipped me some bad stuff in my food while I was in Lowe’s. Never know about some of those crazy foreigners. I just need to chillax and take some deep breaths. Photosynthesis meditation, baby- Carbon dioxide in…oxygen out…All better…and hey, there. The scenery is improving…

photo…How you doin’? Nice buds. Wait! Where you going? She waits ’til I get all chill and then she leaves me. I guess that’s chicks for you. Oh, well. Time for a slumber. Laters– Tommy

Day 4:

Things are going pretty well. The sun is up and birds are chirping. I’m getting to know my neighbor, Carl. He’s as chill as they come. Nothing shakes his mellow. A fat bumble bee was swarming around him and he was all like, “Hey, brother bee. Come partake in some of my pollen goodness. Use part of me to make your sweet honey.” He’s like a purple Yoda. I think I can learn a lot from this dude. Check ya later– Tommy

Carl

Carl

Day 5:

It’s another awesome day on planet Earth. Things are going pretty good. I guess my only complaint is that I don’t get the regular showers I had in Lowes. I’m feeling a little parched but nothing to complain about. I think I’ll spend the day basking in Carl’s wisdom. Peace and love, brothers– Tommy

Day 6:

I’m feeling a little dry today. The sun here is great and all but it’s getting a little too hot to go without a cool beverage. Carl’s just taking it all in stride. I just need to suck it up like him…Oh, wait. It looks like I have a visitor. Maybe she brought some water.

photo

Oh, God!!! That so wasn’t water. Where am I? Why in the hell did I deserve that? I’m good to people. I mean, there was that one time I didn’t call that hot little begonia the day after our roll in the mulch, but she acted like she’d been in more than one greenhouse, if you get my drift. This sucks!! I have to get some water. Oh, wait!! Yes! It’s one of the two-legged people. He’ll help a dude out.

photoWhy?!?! Sweet god of geraniums, why?!? I thought humans used toilets. Why do the male ones pee on everything? That was so not cool, dude!! Go get a REAL waterhose and wash me off. In the name of Miracle Grow and all that’s holy, please get me some water.

Day 7:

Still no water. My face is feeling crispy. I keep stretching my roots as deep as they can go, but no water. I got bit by a grub today and a bird shit on my head. I’m starting to realize I’m in hell. It’s like a horror movie. Carl isn’t looking so good either. If water doesn’t come soon, I’m not sure what will happen. Pray for me– Tommy

Day 8:

We lost Carl. He’s gone on to a better place. He’s the lucky one.

RIP Carl  February 12, 2013- April 15, 2013.

RIP
Carl
February 12, 2013- April 15, 2013.

Day 9:

My prayers have been answered. There are clouds in the sky. Even these serial killing assholes who have me captured can’t beat nature. Come to papa Tommy, sweet mother’s milk. I’ll drink it in and grow strong again. Then I’ll avenge Carl’s death. Just wait, crazy garden lady. Just wait.

To be continued…