Friday, December 21, 2012

I heart easy gifts a latte

I love this time of year.


I am a total stressed out humbug this time of year, but generally when you tell people that they look at you like you just said you drink kitty blood.  While I don't think it is quite on par with that, I do get that for some people the Santa cutesy aspect of this time of year is something they spend a lot of time and energy on looking forward to.  Myself, I don't completely get it, but I am trying.

I do, however, like letting people know you love, cherish, appreciate them.  Don't want to seem overly tacky by ignoring them.  Or, you know, whatever.

Whilst we cannot call them "Christmas" gifts, we can call them Before-You-Go-On-Winter-Break-and-Happy-New-Year-gifts, I do like to make sure we give something to the teachers in our lives around now.  It is a nice gesture, and I do like being nice.  Mostly.  Sometimes.

Okay I will stop assassination my own character long enough to just share!

I already showed you how to glue your hair and rip the skin off your hand, AKA: make homemade hand scrub in cutesy little jars.  Meatball's teachers got one of those, but I wanted to give them something else.  After all, they follow me on Pintercrack so there is a good possibility they will realize this "gift made with love" is nothing but sugar and dish soap. 

So I put this together:

Not the best picture, and yes they are sitting on  a dog kennel, but seriously they are cute once you get past all that!

I made the tags on the computer, cut them out so that if could fold like a card:

Then I made a little slot across the top of one side of the card so that the gift card I had picked up from Starbucks would slide in.

I always say that Starbucks gift cards a a good call even when you aren't sure your teacher is a coffee drinker.  Three reasons:

1.) Odds are if you teach, you consume caffeine in some form.
2.) Starbucks does have things other than coffee, one of my former colleagues saved hers throughout the year and spoiled herself all wither with hot chocolates.
3.) Like sending cigarettes to people in prison, Starbucks gift cards are a valuable trade commodity   Its like currency, and the re-gift potential is high and always appreciated 

Back to the point now ...

Starbucks card in there, now glue everywhere the card doesn't sit so it seals and makes a nice little pocket for the card to rest in.

Ta da!  Now tie it on the the bag with the homemade pomegranate scrub and boom!  You have yourself a cute gift!

The picture quality is quite terrible, for that I do apologize.  Just trust me, they were really cute!  Since it says nothing about winter, or Christmas I can totally re-print these bad boys and use 'em again with no problem!  If I knew how to share the file, I would.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mel Gibson and diabetes

While I like to remain anonymous-ish here I have to reveal that my Scottish ancestors were watching the events that unfolded on a recent grocery shopping trip with a mixed amount of interest and pride.

First a lesson in Scots culture, most specifically Boulder Tossing in the Highland Games.  Basic idea, you get one big, heavy, muthah of a rock and throw it.  Here is a video clip (with terrible sound) to illustrate the idea.

It is hard, at least I assume so.  I have never tried boulder or caber tossing, but either way I might be raising a perfect athlete for it in the Beans.

It all started out like any other Wednesday grocery shopping trip.  I had my detailed list in hand, my coupons, and the desperate plan to get in and out before the Beans lost his cool.  And like every other Wednesday, none of it went according to plan.

Some highlights before we get to his potentially bright future with a boulder or a caber ...

  • Daddy, AKA Paul Bunyan, let him ride in one of those evil car-carts at a store as a special treat.  So now when he sees one he knows that all of Mommy's lies about "its broken" are just that -- lies.  Thanks Daddy.  So cue the screaming hysterics when I put him in a normal car that actually turns and isn't possessed.
  • His legs are the exact length that my arms rest at while pushing the cart.  This means unless I have my arms locked out straight he can kick me.  Soooo if I am thinking and slightly distracted, wham!  My uterus takes one for the team.  Poor uterus.
  • My kid is Stretch Armstrong.  Seriously I have no idea how in the hell he can reach either side of the aisle when I walk down the middle, but he can!  
  • Grocery stores that insist on putting fifty little in-aisle displays on every damn aisle deserve to clean up the resulting mess when I run into half of them.  

When I got home I sent Paul Bunyan a text that read "that was without a doubt the Bean's worst scene in the grocery store yet."  And it was.  Need evidence?

This poor Chex box got in his way.  Then he realized that all that cinnamony goodness was inside and had I not given him some he would have pretty much sonic-boom-bat-shrieked the ceiling down on us.  Yes, bad mom, I gave him some.  But I made him ask first.

Me: Do you want some Chex?

Beans: MIIIIIIIIIIINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me: If you want Chex you need to ask me. *silent prayer he just says please*

Beans: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!! *covers hands over face and makes a pathetic weeping noise, then throws head back and screams* MMMMIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNEEEEE CHICK!!!! (Which is how "Chex" sounds when he says it)

Me: Can you say please? *glancing around at all the people staring at us*

Beans: AAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!

Me: Pleeeeaaaase, can you please say please?! (Yes, I know I am begging, but don't pretend you wouldn't be!)


Me: Oh yay, good boy!

And I promptly kept his mouth as busy as possible while I rushed through the last of my shopping.  But at the meat counter, we had out Scots moment.  I was agonizing over how one picks a pork shoulder -- seriously do not send the vegetarian to do this stuff man! -- and went to put it in the cart.  I didn't have room so I set the vacuum sealed boulder of meat it in the kid seat next to Beans so I could move stuff to put it in the back when he starts picking up a ten pound shoulder to throw it out of the cart.

No shit, I think the only thing missing was a kilt and Mel Gibson screaming "Freedom!"

By the time we got to the check out counter and he threw the box of open cereal at the guy bagging I figured no one would possibly judge me for drinking at 10:30 in the morning when I got home.  When the box exploded and cinnamon Chex few everywhere, attracting the attention of the few who had not yet been staring at us, I wondered why the hell I hadn't started drinking before I left the house (insert responsible statement here about how I would never drive after drinking).

The clerk asked if I wanted another box, and since that was on the other side of the store and the supreme nuclear meltdown of epic proportions was in full swing I politely declined and got the hell out of there.

Of course, for as exhausting as it all was for me, no one was more tired or victimized by this ordeal than the Beans himself.  So like 14 seconds into the drive home when the screaming suddenly stopped I pulled over in a panic, sure that I was about to need to do emergency procedures of some sort on my child.  But no, I run leap into the backseat to find this.

He was actually snoring.

Note the cinnamon and sugar?

Yes, and that is how grocery shopping with my little Scotsman will likely lead to my arrest and his development of diabetes.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

mod podge, hair "gel," and cheapo x-mas gifts

Sometimes even I can be amazed at my own ability to be overly confident.  For Christmas this year I decided that somehow I was capable of not only being crafty, but sewing.  I don't know what the hell I was thinking with the sewing part, but that is a separate post that I will probably drink my way through writing ... and sewing, I think it may improve my odds.

This post?  Well I thought this would be easy, after all I have done this stuff before.

Remember my easy yet cheap gift for my mother?  This one?

Yeah, all of two ingredients, Dawn dish soap and sugar, and you have a pretty scrub.  I foolishly signed on to make about a million of them for a baby shower  which was adorable by the way.  Here is a picture of the blue version since the mama-to-be was baking a baby boy in her oven:

So by the time December rolls around I am like a scrub-making-bad-ass.  Done it a few times, can't possibly screw it up.  Right? HA!

I made the scrub without a problem, because honestly it is that easy.  But then I looked at that jar and I thought to myself "Self, I don't have any more cute spoons.  I need a pretty label!"  So I sat down and I made these.

So far so good, ultimately.  I am not a thousand percent pleased with the label but I needed to glue those babies on and get my jars drying because some of my presents were getting mailed and I needed to get on that.  So out comes the Mod Podge and in comes all those opportunities to screw stuff up.

How to Eff Up EASY Christmas Gifts in Twelve Simple Steps:

Step One: Gather your supplies.  This should be easy, make your scrub following the directions found here, and pour into the jars of your choice.

Then grab Mod Podge, and something to paint it on with.  Side note: If you are going to use a really cheap brush you happen to have and intend to just throw away when you are done please note the odd pricking sense of foreboding you have because the brush is about to be your downfall.

Step Two: Nearly rip all the skin on your hands off trying to open the murther fracking Mod Podge that has sealed itself within the bottle.

Step Three: Put some Mod Podge on the top of the jar.

Step Four: Put one of your labels on top of the Mod Podge.

Step Five: Start putting Mod Podge on top of the label.  This is when shit starts going wrong.

Step Six: Realize that the ink from your printer is smearing and you need to use fewer brush strokes.

Step Seven: Realize that your cheap assed brush is shedding hairs into your pretty Mod Podged labels.  Try to pick it out and swear at it without smearing additional ink around.

Step Eight: Run your hands through your hair in frustration and realize you just Mod Podged your hair into a pony tail.  There is no picture accompanying this damn step.

Step Nine: Realize that you might have just Mod Podged the goshdamn lids and/or rings on to the jars and remove/wipe as necessary.

Step Ten: Add another layer of Mod Podge while still picking out hairs from the brush and feeling your own hair solidify.

Step Eleven: DO NOT TOUCH THEM.  Just leave them alone, you have done enough damage, let them dry.

Step Twelve: Remember to put a hat on before answering the door for the FedEx guy because you haven't had time to take a shower so you still look suspiciously like a scene from Something About Mary.

So with all this success rolling around the house I decided today is not the day to attempt sewing, something I cannot do well at on a good day.  I figure when I need to chisel my hair we can safely assume this is not a "good day."

There is the finished, not wrapped product.  Not quite as cute as I pictured, but at least no one knows what I was aiming for.  Without that mental image to compare it too I think they work just fine.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

he found me!

Oh the fun is over. It was good while it lasted, the fleeting taste of glorious freedom. Passing though it was, it has gone.

My husband, the Paul Bunyan, discovered twitter.

"Hey, sweetie, do you have a Twitter account " I hear him ask, and I realize what this means.  He's never ask just because he was like curious.  I sigh, and say yes, yes I do.

And he followed me.

I actually maintain anonymity among my family and friends regarding this blog.  I have never been terribly good with self promotion and the only times anyone has ever said "OMG you are funny and should have a blog" has been when they are drunk.  Not exactly a strong selling point to be all up in people's faces about what I do here, ya know?  Not to mention, the whole premise of this place is to discuss my suckiness and I do like to maintain facades in real life.  Sometimes.  But at any rate, the husband, who has never actually read anything here but knows about it, asked for my Twitter handle ... and I gave it to him.  Note the one person up there who "favorited" my tweet.  It was him.  Then he had some smart assy reply about how I can't behave long. Pssh, whatevs.

It's only a matter if time before he stumbles here and I get in trouble for the shit I talk.  Le sigh.  Well let us go out with one hoorah, shall we?

A study in the difference between men and women, Mars and Venus, me and my husband.  I am the blue talky bubbles and he is the white ones:

Eh, nothing around here is going to change, I remain the snarky sarcastic, wordy, irreverent loon I have always been.  Its just that Paul Bunyan is reading it here now too.  He gets double whammied, cuz I am just as adorable in person.

Hi honey! I loves you!

P.S. If you don't follow me on Twitter but wanna I am @domrocsurg :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

when words fail you

There is a time for making fun and laughing, a time for arguing and politicizing to make a point, and a time for none of the above.

Now is a time for the latter and none of the formers.

As a mother my heart is breaking for those who's arms must feel so unspeakably empty.  As a teacher my heart is breaking for those who's security has been destroyed and who's sense of loss must be unimaginable.  As a human being, words fail me.

In the face of such a horrible event, we seek meaning and understanding.  Truth is, there will never be enough of a reason to make sense of it.  Never.  You could never make sense of something so awful, so incomprehensible.  We want to rise from the ashes, and make something better of this -- and it is my sincere hope we will.

As I sent my oldest child off to school today and I kissed him goodbye my heart ached with the weight of what others are feeling, and my own silent and never spoken aloud fear.  I will leave you with a facebook status a teacher-friend of mine posted that I asked to share.  It embodies my feelings as a teacher, and my knowledge and hope that my children's teachers share these sentiments.

We practice our lock down procedure at school at least once a year and have had to use it several times over the years. What Vicky Soto did on Friday wasn't because it was "her job," but rather instinct. The moment those children enter your classroom on the first day of school, they become "your" kids. You love and nurture them like they were your own flesh and blood. (Which also explains why we have high expectations) Why? Because they become your family for more than just the 180 school days each year.

My sincerest prayers to all of those affected by the events of Friday, and to all of us as we move forward.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

how to boil an egg

How to Boil an Egg* in Ten "Easy" Steps -- Domestic Rocket Surgeon Style

Step One: Remember to buy eggs at the damn store.  Once you have your eggs put the desired number in the pan.

Step Two: Fill the pan -- or is it a pot?  I guess this is a pot and not a pan. -- fill the pot with water so that it just covers the eggs.  Some may float, this is because nothing is simple and life wants to mess with you at any given opportunity.

Step Three: Try to not drop the pot of water while you put it on the stove, that would suck.  Stick that burner on high.  Oh you can add some salt if you want ... and some lime and a shot of tequila because your in the goshdamn kitchen and it seems appropriate.

Step Four: When the water finally hits a boiling point (watched pots eventually boil, it just takes 27 years) you want to set a timer for 5 minutes.  Leave the eggs there in their purgatory.
that looks like three minutes ... right?

Step Five: Come running into the kitchen chanting "oh shit" because you totally forgot to watch the pot and have no real idea how long those damn eggs have been at a rolling boil.  Assume it has only been like a minute or two and set the timer accordingly.

Step Six: Be grateful that your husband is either not home or hasn't noticed Step Five because he always has some speech about responsibility and you being an awful lot like your mother prepared for moments like that.

Step Seven: When the timer goes off, just shut the heat off and leave the eggs on the burner.  Unless you totally blew it on Step Five and you think they were boiling for a while already.  Then take them off the burner but leave them in the water.

Step Eight: Once the boiled egg water is at a temperature that won't melt your skin right the eff off (I recommend just waiting like two hours, its easier and takes less time than a burn heals) drain the water.  That sounds so easy, but unless you only boiled one egg you are going to feel like a drunk monkey trying to hold an octopus in a pot while trying to do it.  Either way, get the warmish water out and fill with cold water and some ice cubes.  Exceptionally lazy domestic divas let the water get cold on their own and just add ice.  This will probably promote the growth of botulism or swine flu or something horrible, so it is probably not a good idea.

Step Nine: Once the eggs are cold they supposedly peal easier.  Frankly I think this is like a "your eyes will stick that way if you cross them" lie.  Mostly I just like having a reason to ignore them a little longer.

Step Ten: Cut the shit out of your fingers on egg shells.  The injuries you sustain will be similar in agony to a paper cut, but yield a lot less emotional support from your peers.  Except me, I feel bad for you.  Try not to bleed all over your stupid eggs while you wonder for the millionth time why you went to all this trouble to make a food that smells like 16-day-old-rancid-ass.

And there you have it, the ten "easy" steps to boiling an egg.

* For those following the Saga of the Bubble Boy Beans, yes, eggs are one of the could-kill-him-items.  Obviously not a frequent food here any longer, this was an idea from a while ago that I thought was worthy of sharing.  Perhaps some of you really don't know how to boil an egg properly? Ah, well now you do!  You're welcome.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"cougar" is a homonym

Some times I can pretend I'm not married to a redneck.

Most of the times, I try.

But when I dust off his commemorative Number Three shot glasses it's harder to be successful about the whole thing.  I figure it isn't like I am some high class prize myself, though I do not understand the value of cars driving around in circles even if it is really fast.

When it comes to parenting, Paul Bunyan and I are of a similar mind.  Sometimes this is a good thing, but sometimes I wonder if things would be a bit better off if one of us was more mature -- just generally speaking.

Case in point, the other night was Family Game Night.  A very serious affair here in a house of deeply competitive individuals.  We eat appetizery foods, have special fancy glasses for our beverages, and pick a board game of some sort to play.  Since Meatball got Catch Phrase for his birthday and we hadn't got to use it yet that was the one we chose.

So it is me, Meatball and Paul Bunyan sitting around a table.  Bunyan had devised a complex schemed with which he would constantly be switching teams so as to be "fair" though Meatball and I noticed a few rounds in that this meant he was like never guessing.  Cheater.

So Paul Bunyan is prattling off clues and Meatball and I are bouncing back and forth but here are a couple of moments that make the devil on one shoulder laugh and the angel on the other faceplam.

Paul Bunyan: Sex on Fire!

Meatball: KINGS OF LEON! (he only has one volume when playing this game and it is "sonic boom")

Paul Bunyan: Uh, the lead singer peed her pants on stage once!

Me: Black Eyed Peas!

Paul Bunyan: A large cat ...

Meatball: LION

Paul Bunyan: No ... um ... another breed, big cat ...

Meatball: TIGER!

Paul Bunayn: No, no, keep guessing ...

Meatball:  JAGUAR?! LYNX?!

Paul Bunyan: Keep going ... its one that is agile ... oh that doesn't help ...

Meatball: OCELOT?! LEOPARD?!?! PUMA?! CHEETAH?!?! LIGER?!?!?!?!?!

Paul Bunyan: No ... Its an older woman who is interested in young guys!

Meatball: OH, A COUGAR!!!!  IT IS A HOMONYM!!!

And that is total parenting winning right there folks!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

holiday confession

Okay here it is straight up: I really do not like this time of year.

Maybe its the stress.

Maybe its the family you never have to put up with all year suddenly being all up in your business about how important spending time together is.

Maybe its the fiscal insanity.

Maybe its the BS about the "holiday spirit" or "the reason for the season" and the lack of actual realism and meaning the majority of people put behind those words.

Maybe it is that stores are nucking futs to be in until like mid-January.

Maybe it is a lot of other things, but I am not one of those bloggers who is going to be all "ohmigorsh I heart this time of year so so so so so so so much!"  Nope, not here, wrong place.

This said, I know my piss poor attitude stems from a lot of things that are me-centric.  For brevity's sake lets leave it at this: I have issues, I know I do.

I also do not want to pass my "issues" on to my children.  They shouldn't hate this time of year, it seems to bring a lot of joy to some people.  It would be nice if it would do that for them.

So I am sucking it up.  Trying to really.  How you ask ... ?  Well, with one of these ...

Ah yes, I got a creepy Elf.  his name is El Gringo, and he is all mine this year because I have one kid old enough to get the humor and one too young to get that mommy is a little sick in the head.

So brace yourself, I will be sharing the 25 days of creepy plastic psycho El Gringo with you in an effort to up the holiday spirit.  (Okay fine I am also doing another, much less funny and more meaningful thing too.  I'll get around to sharing that eventually.)