Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Thought I'd Care More: The Royal Wedding

Have you set your alarm for 2:55AM, so you have time to don a tiara, slip into your 'It Should Have Been Me!' t shirt and serve tea and scones on your Royal Wedding commemorative china before national coverage begins at 3:00AM sharp?
No? Is that because you're American, or because you have more pressing matters to attend to? I will be setting my DVR to record the wedding coverage, but I hope to be asleep when the celebration begins. I like Will and Kate, and I wish them the best, but I'm ready for this round-the-clock wedding coverage to be over. Because once it's over, journalists, celebrites, and talk show hosts will stop joking that their invitation got lost in the mail, right? I mean, it's a funny, funny joke, but all good things must come to an end, yes?

I don't mean to sound like a Bitter Betty, but the constant Royal Wedding coverage is wearing me out. Ok, for starters, I just realized that I unconsciously capitalized "Royal Wedding" like it's a proper name or a national holiday. That speaks volumes. Secondly, my loyalty as an American makes me question whether there is an appropriate level of curiosity, fascination, and obsession when it comes to the nuptials of another nation's monarch, and whether the American media has surpassed that appropriate level.

Of course I like the Brits and their customs, traditions, and all things British. I think Brits are good chaps. I rather enjoy a pint with my fish and chips. I like those WWII Keep Calm and Carry On posters.
I think the Union Jack is pretty cool.

I'm a fan of Sir Elton John. It doesn't change the fact that I'm not British, and it seems a little strange to be overly obsessed with the royal wedding. Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow are Americans who love Britain so much that they live there and clearly prefer it. And we Americans respond so well to that. It's bollocks is what it is! I don't want to be that girl. I don't mean to slag off on Madge and Gwynnie, but American girls who openly wish they are British are wankers in this humble blogger's opinion. America!

Maybe I would care more if the media wasn't trying so hard to make me care. It's the rebellious teenager in me that wants to rail against convention. They are cramming this wedding business so far down my throat that I'm choking on it as I run away from it. It's taken all the fun out, is what it's done. Yesterday Kathie Lee and Hoda were quizzing people on Royal Wedding trivia. I was listening while unloading the dishwasher, and I knew the answer to every single question. Despite my efforts to avoid this topic, Royal Wedding coverage has been so omnipresent over the past months that I've learned all this crap through osmosis. I shouldn't know how long Princess Diana's train was on her wedding dress. But I do. 25 feet.
I would classify my initial level of interest in this wedding as mild, but sincere. I like Will and Kate. They're a lovely couple. I'm happy for them. I love weddings, and I love wedding fashion. I'm looking forward to seeing Kate's dress, but that doesn't mean I wanted to spend the last five months listening to journalists attempt to analyze and predict every aspect of Kate's wedding day look ad nauseum. What's wrong with being surprised? She's going to look beautiful. Why do we have to pontificate about Kate's wedding day hair? Up or down? Let's imagine the possibilities!

I've also reached my limit on "How to live like royalty" specials. I'm not sure what's worse, endless news segments teaching me how to be as chic and elegant as Kate Middleton, or endless news specials that recount Kate and Will's courtship in painstaking detail. I'm so tired of hearing about how dazzled Will was by the sight of Kate in this dress:
The thing I take away from all of this is: if you wear see-through clothes, guys will notice you. Uhh, duh. How do you think I nabbed Steve?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What Misty Likes

Ahh, Misty. I haven't written about Jarred's favorite co-worker in a while. If you've been wondering what's new in the life of our beloved Methadone Scarecrow, here's the latest installment.

Many of our posts in the blogosphere detail the things we love: cupcakes, Robert Pattinson, yoga pants. Well, this post is about a list of things that Misty loves. The glue that holds the myriad of Misty's favorite things together is that they are universally mocked and/or despised by the general population. For your Tuesday morning enjoyment: Things Misty loves, that most people hate:

Pickle juice: Rotten cucumber liquid
Misty on Pickle Juice: "I could drink it!"

Crotch rockets: Gay noisy motorcycles, primarily driven wrecklessly by dbags.
Misty on Crotch Rockets: "Oh I love them, I cant drive one but I'd love to ride one."

Michael Vick - Involved in an illegal interstate dog fighting ring, reponsible for the death and torture of dozens of dogs.
Misty on Michael Vick: "Oh, Michael Vick. I just love seeing someone come back on top."

Bret Michaels: Hair metal singer/bandana jockey/stripper collector
Misty on Bret Michaels: "Turn that radio up! I wish Bret Michaels would sing to me!" [begins singing "Every Rose has its Thorn]

Citrus Cooler Gatorade - This shit's so bad they only sell it at the dollar store
Misty on Citrus Cooler Gatorade: "Citrus flavor is the bomb, its my all time favorite."

Nickelback: Overly-sexual Canadian rock group
Misty on Nickelback: "Man is that Nickelback? I sat in a parking lot for six hours to see them once."

Jon Gosselin: Paunchy, Ed Hardy-loving lothario and divorced father of eight
Misty on Jon Gosselin: "Poor guy, I dont know how he pays that child support."

Chad Ochocinco - NFL player so arrogant he renamed himself his jersey number
Misty on Chad Ochocinco: "Chad Ochocinco is soo hot"

Monday, April 25, 2011

You see, it would be this mat...and would have CONCLUSIONS written on it that you could JUMP TO

If Tom Smykowski from Office Space ever raises the seed money to manufacture his Jump to Conclusions Mat, and you decide you want to play, you don't want to play against me. I am the master of Jump to Conclusions. Or maybe you would want to play with me. You be the judge:
So, I was driving to the grocery store to buy Hot Pockets and sour cream (and nothing else) when I noticed a spectacle on the street. In front of one neighbor's house were three very LARGE trucks. Like large moving trucks, and plastered all over the trucks, bigger than hell, was their logo and advertisements as a carpet cleaning company that specializes in REMOVING PET ODORS. That selling point was heavily emphasized on all three trucks, which were so cluttered with information that it looked like they had been decorated by a child who loves stickers way too much. Neighbors down the street are standing in their yards scratching their heads, and I bet they're wondering the same thing I'm wondering: What in the hell happened in that house that would necessitate three enormous trucks to clean it up? I guess the obnoxious trucks serve as a great marketing tool for the business, but for the home owners, it's like posting a memo in the neighborhood newsletter that says "Our house is vile. Seriously. Do not go in there."

I mean, I have no idea what transpired in that house leading up to the carpet cleaner's arrival, but I think they should just move. Did somebody hose down the entire house with urine or something? In case you have forgotten, I have three mutts and a baby, and even I have to I ask myself what terrible thing would have to happen inside my home to require such drastic measures. Maybe if we returned from a week-long vacation to discover a rotting carcass in our living room. Then again, I probably would just rip out the carpet in the unlikely event of such stench. Oh no, I hope there wasn't a dead body in there. That would be unfortunate.

As I return home, Hot Pockets and sour cream in tow, I take another close look at the trucks in search of clarity. A subtle banner across the top of the truck reads, "Flood Repair". Oh. Yeah. Flood repair. That makes a lot more sense. And is a lot less sinister and gross. Why do I immediately jump to the worst possible conclusion? Flood damage never crossed my mind, but dead hobos and garden hoses filled with urine did. Does that even exist? What in the hell is wrong with me?

In a related note, the last time I took Robinson for a stroll in a nearby neighborhood, I saw a house that still had its Christmas lights up. I decided that everyone in that house was dead.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Robster is Nine Months Old

Nah, I don't actually call Robinson "The Robster". I'm just trying it out. You know, because "Robster" rhymes with "lobster". And since he has red hair, I could call him "Red Robster". No? That's a terrible idea? Fine. Let's talk about Rob's nine month check-up, shall we?
 Height: 29.5" (95%)
Weight: 20 lbs 3 oz (50%)
Head: 18" (75%)

Laney is so over it. She wishes she was at Arby's, cause there's better food and cooler people.

The doctor recommended I offer Robinson a greater variety of foods to introduce new textures. This is something I've attempted, but Rob has been resistant and so I backed off for fear that I was pushing something he wasn't ready for. Also, Robinson already has toys designed to develop fine motor skills, but apparently these toys have too subtle an agenda and I need to buy toys that are more obvious in their purpose. The doctor explained that some babies, often little boy babies, don't develop their fine motor skills quite as quickly because they're like "cave babies". Does that mean that they like to bang blocks against other blocks while grunting? Yes. Yes it does. He has opposable thumbs, he just doesn't need to use them. Get it?

Since Rob was in good spirits, I took him to Buy Buy Baby and Kroger, where I bought clothes and age-appropriate toys for his Easter basket and baby food, respectively. While settling Rob into the shopping cart at Buy Buy Baby, I noticed a mother with a preschooler and a toddler exiting the store empty-handed, while the mother carries the toddler who is mid-tantrum. I don't know the details, but I gathered from the brief exchange I witnessed that the tot wanted a toy that Mommy wouldn't agree to buy, and the tot was voicing his objection. Big sister, who is all of four, decides to seize this opportunity to steal a random item from the store. Over the tot's screams, Mommy says "Hannah Elizabeth, put that back!" Mommy has eyes in the back of her head. She's kind of my new hero, I'm not gonna lie.

I just remembered that I forgot to buy Lean Pockets at the grocery store. Damn it. What am I going to eat now? I also bought all of the ingredients to make a sour cream cake...except the sour cream. Isn't that just perfect?

...and now there is a crashing sound in the kitchen. Robinson just pulled a large, oval-shaped copper bucket off the bottom of the baker's rack onto the kitchen floor. He's been fascinated with it for some time. I should have moved it already. The allure of the copper bucket proved too much for Robinson. I felt the same way when I bought it.

He's into everything now. He grabs items off the grocery store shelves. He loves the dogs' water bowl, looking at his reflection in the dishwasher door, and pulling up on anything that has wheels or a hard or sharp surface to fall onto. And if you ever looked at those safety outlet covers and wondered "who would ever play with an electrical outlet anyway?", the answer is "my kid."
"I want to go to there."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Curse of the Sambino

Yesterday, we took Robinson to his very first baseball game, Rangers vs. Angels. Steve won four tickets and a parking pass in a silent auction to raise money for Meals on Wheels. We invited Scott and his little boy Holt, who turns three tomorrow. Happy Birthday, Holt!

On the way to the game, I sat in the backseat with the boys. Robinson was fascinated with Holt and couldn't take his eyes off of him. Holt was really sweet with him and would smile at him and show him his book about trucks. Holt is really into transportation right now. As we are driving to the stadium we pass a lot of road construction, and Holt would excitedly point and shout, "Truck!" "Train!" "Tractor!" and "BIGGGG TRAC-TORRR!" It was hilarious seeing how excited he was. It reminded me of Jarred when he was a little boy. He loved pointing out and identifying all the different types of construction equipment we would pass on the road. It's really sweet how even though times change, these little boys stay the same. I also learned that everything that isn't a truck or a train, is a tractor. Bulldozers, cranes, doesn't matter. When you're three, they're all tractors.

Watching a baseball game with little boys is so different than sitting with a bunch of adults. Holt gets so excited seeing the "tractors" on the baseball field, and the mascot riding around in the "tractor". It's fun getting to be silly and excited with him and point out things to Holt, like "Look at the tractor!"

Robinson sat in my lap during the game. He kept fake-coughing loudly and making obnoxious fart noises for so long, the elderly lady seated in front of me turned around to see just who was sitting behind her. She laughed when she realized it was a baby.

Robinson was in pretty good spirits, especially considering how close it was to his bedtime. We did one feeding and one diaper change while we were there, and this was my first adventure in changing diapers in a public restroom. I think it went pretty smoothly. What complicated matters was that I too was in need of a bathroom break, but being loaded down with an infant and a diaper bag made this impossible. So I had to carry Rob all the way back to our seats and give him to Steve so that I could return for a solo trip to the bathroom.

Back in the bathroom by myself, I'm washing my hands at one of the six sinks. As I walk towards the wall of seven paper towel dispensers, I discover what the woman directly in front of me has already found: only one dispenser has paper towels, and for reasons unknown, an old lady is standing directly in front of it, preventing anyone from reaching around to take paper towels for themselves. She doesn't seem to realize that there are other people in the bathroom. Why is she bogarting the paper towels? What in the hell is taking her so long? She's not drying her hands anymore...she's using the paper towels to polish an apple. Who brings an apple to the ball park? Who meticulously polishes apples in the ladies' restroom? Now she's carefully wrapping the apple in a paper towel. Now she's wrapping it in a second paper towel. Now she's wrapping it in a third paper towel. It's not a large apple. The woman and I are forced to just stand there while our hands are dripping with water. I'm about to just give up and dry my hands on my jeans. But I'm curious. Did she bring the apple from home? Why does it need such polishing? Is she about to eat the apple? If so, why does she have to wrap it up in three paper towels? What is she trying to protect the apple from? Is the apple for Snow White? These are the questions that run through my mind. She is sure she has secured the apple in her purse before walking away, still never acknowledging us. I totally bust the woman in front of me making bitchface at the old lady. Shannen Doherty just got a royalty check, thankyouverymuch. I'm amused.

Rob lasted until the bottom of the sixth inning. I consider that a huge success. Of course, in the grand tradition of Samantha attending Dallas sporting events, the Rangers lost. I'm ten for ten at this point. I'm like some kind of victory assassin. So now we refer to this phenomenon as "The Curse of the Sambino"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Building a Mystery: My New Obsession with

I have fallen into the rabbit hole that is What I have uncovered in just a few days has been illuminating. Most ancestry research findings wouldn't interest anybody outside of that family, but I'll share with you some general, interesting discoveries. It has to be more interesting than the post I wrote about baby bibs. I'll need to separate it into a few posts, and this post explains my motivation for doing this in the first place. If the mention of geneology is making you doze off on your keyboard, at least skip ahead and read Reason 3.

I broke down and signed up for three reasons:

1. The damn commercials got to me. You know the ones, they start out looking like eHarmony ads, but instead of meeting a real person who found their soulmate online, we meet people who discovered extraordinary facts about their ancestors. I wonder what my family tree will reveal? Whatever it is, it has to be more interesting than whatever Khloe and Lamar are doing.

2. While you're drinking appletinis at the club on Friday night (or whatever it is you hip, single people do) I'm sitting on my couch watching TV. Who Do You Think You Are?, the show where famous people unlock family secrets, has captivated me. It's amazing what you can learn about family members who have been dead a hundred years. Sometimes I sip on a glass of chardonnay while I watch it. It is the weekend, afterall!

3. My son. When I evolved from daughter to mother, my perception of previous generations also evolved. People I once viewed only as parents or grandparents now appear as more dynamic figures with complex histories. I suspected all along that the people I know as Mom, Dad, Nannie and Bobby had lives and stories that stretched beyond parenthood. I've seen the photos of the leggy blonde in hot pants (Mom). I've read the yearbook inscriptions of a precocious teenager (Nannie). I've seen the tattoos (Bobbie). I guess in my new role as mother, I have a new awareness that I don't know the whole story. 

Becoming a parent in and of itself isn't the only factor driving my curiosity. I named my son Robinson Reid after my maternal grandfather who died when I was ten, who I've always called Bobby. This shared name has caused me to think of my grandfather a lot. That entire limb of my family tree is nothing but ghosts whose names I don't know. I didn't ask many questions as a little girl, but I knew a few facts:

1. Bobby was raised in Ohio, and represents the only segment of my family that isn't southern.
2. Bobby lost his father before he reached adulthood. His mother died from childbirth--his birth. His brother died when my mom was a kid.
3. Bobby lived in military boarding school from the age of seven.

Perhaps understandably, I didn't push the issue. In the absence of information, I drew my own conclusions. Whether accurate or not, I always felt sadness over what must have been a lonely childhood for Bobby. I'm sure a shrink would want to explore the symbolism surrounding my decision to name my son after a motherless child.

My Robinson's birth ushered in a new generation, which forced me to acknowledge my previous generations in a more meaningful way. I know virtually nothing about a major part of my heritage. Realizing that many of the answers are at my fingertips has proven too tempting, so I'm just diving into it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Diagnosis: Freak of Nature

I have been living with chronic and acute back pain, stemming from accidents and injuries that are various, unrelated, and span nearly fifteen years. Wow. I just summarized fifteen years of medical history in one sentence. Yay, Samantha! I would pat myself on the back, but as you'll read on, you'll understand why I need to leave my back alone.

My back is like an accordion straw. It's remarkably flexible, but weak, the product of more than fifteen years of ballet, tumbling, and cheerleading. This, in combination with my accident-prone nature, creates a perfect storm for frequent and sometimes severe injuries. What I'm saying is, I fall down a lot.

I've fallen off a bed, a deck, a horse, a merry-go-round, a flight of stairs, a bike, a mechanical bull, a six-foot ladder, monkey bars...

Aw, forget it. That list is tedious. It would be easier to list the things I haven't fallen off of: a tree, a roof, a moving car, a tight rope. Yeah, I think that's it.

So, my back hurts, but I'm flexible and self-reliant. What is a girl to do? To alleviate my pain, I stretch, twist and manipulate to feel the sweet relief that only comes from popping my back. This goes beyond simply twisting from side to side. Over time, I developed fourteen distinct techniques for popping seemingly every vertebrae from my skull to my sacrum. I would describe them, but I would need a diagram to illustrate, and I'm just not set up for that.

By 1999, I no longer said I was "cracking my back". I called it "adjusting my spine" to "realign my vertebrae". And I wasn't indiscriminately cracking bones. I would sit up straight, Indian style in the floor, and using my hand, I would reach behind my back and feel each individual vertebrae, including the space in between the vertebrae, to pinpoint the primary source of my pain, and I would perform whichever maneuver would adjust that vertebrae. I'm pretty sure that actual chiropractors don't adjust their own spines, and that I am insane. If you're wondering whether I've been treated by a chiropractor, the answer is Yes. Many. I got some of my best ideas from them. They don't know that.

Many people informed me that the sights and sounds of me cracking my vertebrae like walnuts was disturbing, so I began doing my adjustments in private, rarely discussing it. Kinda like how you privately over tweeze your eyebrows and obsessively examine your pores in search of blackheads. Sidenote: If you say you're "performing extractions" due to your "congested pores" instead of saying that you're "picking your face", you will feel instant credibility. Go ahead, next time you're mashing on your nose, tell yourself out loud that you're just in need of some facial extractions. It will free you from the shackles of your zit-popping shame.

If I had to gauge my pain on a scale of 1-10, with a 10 being excruciating pain that severly limits my mobility and is accompanied by nausea, crying, difficulty sleeping and concentrating, I would say that my pain number varies from day to day, and hour to hour, but since the birth of my son, I live between a 4 and an 8. Since 1998, my baseline is a 2. I can't remember a day without pain. Pain feels normal. I just assume that everyone is in pain, all the time, and that each of you reading this has a shoulder or an ankle or a knee that flares up. Otherwise, I'm not normal. I never considered that possibility. Regardless of how "normal" my problems may be, I've decided to finally, after years of pain, to see a doctor and learn once and for all if there is something serioulsy, medically wrong with me and if there is anything that can be done about it. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Why Do I Know This?

I have a slight reputation for being kind of good at pop culture trivia. This semi-talent doesn't win me money or fame, but I have garnered a modest level of notoriety in various social circles and have won a few free pitchers of Natural Light in college. I know. I'm feeling boastful today.

Sometimes a person will ask a question that is pop culture-related, often to nobody in particular, and I find myself blurting out the answer the way my baby burps up formula. It's an involuntary response, and sometimes I even surprise myself with the truly random tidbits of knowledge rolling around in my brain. Here are just a few examples. You may not think they're that remarkable, and you can feel free to tell me so. But remember this: Each example I'm about to list occured within the last seven days. I'm on fire.

1. At dinner last Tuesday to celebrate our friend Bean's promotion, Brad jokingly called Bean "Mr. Bean". Then somebody at the table asked nobody in particular the name of the British actor who portrays the character Mr. Bean.

After racking my brain for a half-second (just as I do when trying to remember my 12-times tables), I blurt out "Rowan Atkinson". Everyone within earshot just stares at me.

Why do I know this?

2. While waiting in the doctor's office on Thursday afternoon, I receive a text message from Steve: "Scarlett Johansson dead...she fell onset at a movie shoot in France 70 feet".

What the what? I only had time to fire off an "Are you sure?" reply before being whisked away for an x-ray. While I'm standing in the x-ray machine, I'm considering this possibility. First of all, I have a healthy level of skepticism whenever my husband is the first person to break a piece of major celebrity news. In 2008, he called me at work, breathless, to announce that Jessica Biel was tragically killed when she fell off a yacht in international waters. I seriously don't know what that man is looking at on the Internet,  but he apparently likes to visit web sites that erroneously report the untimely, accidental death of celebrities with famous figures and questionable acting ability who are travelling abroad. AccidentalDeathOfCelebritiesWithFamousFiguresAndQuestionableActingAbility...I wonder if that domain name is taken? That would be a great website. Anyway, I don't believe Steve. Also, I don't think she's even in France. This is what I said to Steve when I finally got to call him:

"I think you're wrong about ScarJo. She was photographed by paparazzi jogging in Malibu with Owen Wilson and Sean Penn just a couple days ago."

Why do I know this?
These pictures caused a huge stir because people thought Scarlett looked pregnant. Boy, I'm so glad that I'm not famous enough for paparazzi to take my picture while I'm jogging. Those would be some unflattering photos! Oh, who am I kidding? I don't jog.

3. While lounging on the couch and flipping through channels on Sunday, Steve poses this question: "Is it bad that I think Lois Griffin is hot?
Me: No. She is hot. ["Us redheads gotta stick together," I think to myself]
Steve: Yeah. I think so, too.
Me: That's random. What made you think of that?
Steve: [points at TV, showing an episode of That 70's Show.] The mom on this show is the voice of Lois Griffin.
Me: No. She isn't.
Steve: [very firmly] Yes, she is.
Me: That's not right.
Steve: Yes it is!
Me: [sigh] Debra Jo Rupp plays Kitty on That 70's Show. Alex Borstein is the voice of Lois Griffin.
Steve: Oh, yeah right. Like the voice of Lois Griffin is a guy! [Shakes his head and laughs, like I'm so dumb and he's so smart]
Steve: Alex can be a girl's name. Like Alexandra.
Steve: Oh yeah. Well, are you sure she's not the voice of Lois?
Me: Uh, yeah.

Why do I know this?

Sidenote: Mila Kunis, who plays Jackie on That 70's Show is the voice of Lois Griffin's daughter Meg on Family Guy. But you knew that, right? That's an easy one.

4. Later on Sunday night, Steve is flipping back and forth between a baseball game and The Wizard of Oz, which is airing on cable.
Steve: Do you know who Judy Garland's mom is?
Me: Um, no...Judy Garland's real name is Frances Gumm, and her parents were Vaudeville performers. But I don't know her name.
Steve: Oh. I'm sorry, I meant to ask if you know who Judy Garland's daughter is.
Me: Oh. Yeah. Liza Minelli. You know that. Why are you even quizzing me?

Why do I know this? (Not the part about Liza, of course. The whole Frances Gumm-Vaudeville thing).

So, yeah. That's all for today. The moral of this story is: in the absence of Google or any other search engine, there's a possibility that I can answer your obscure pop culture trivia question. I'm adding that skill to my resume as soon I finish typing this.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Beer Dance

I don't post videos often, and perhaps you've seen this one before, but it's astounding. This guy is stumbling into the convenience store for more beer, and he's way too drunk to function. This weeble wobbles and he does fall down. This shining moment was captured on security camera and set to "Puttin on the Ritz" by some clever yet sensitive soul. Be sure to take note of the time stamp on the video.

Here's the link in case the video doesn't work on this post:

for Brad

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Money for Nothing and the Chicks Aren't Free | I'm a Grown-Up Now

I was watching Kathie Lee and Hoda and drinking a cup of coffee when they began talking about a new dating site called What's Your Price. They explained it like this: if you join this dating site, you are either the "attractive" one or the "generous" one. The generous members peruse the site, viewing profiles of the attractive members, and when they see somebody they like, they make a monetary offer for the date. The attractive member, in turn, names her price as well. This monetary offer is in addition to the generous person paying for the actual date. Cash only. 50% at the beginning of the date, 50% at the completion of the date is the recommended protocol according to the site. If this sounds a lot like an escort service, it says that it isn't because there is no mention of hanky panky or even a disclaimer assuring that this site isn't about sexual favors exchanged for money. So there you go.

I'm sad to say I actually know women who already do this sort of thing. They prowl for older men with money. They go to dinner with them, exchange playful text messages, and then later, the women call these men from the hair salon and say in baby talk, "Daddy, I need hair extensions!" and the next thing they know, the man is giving his credit card number to the salon receptionist and paying for $500 hair extensions for this twenty-something girl who may or may not go out with him again. Some women seriously supplement their income this way.

After explaining the premise of the dating site, I continued to listen to Kathie Lee and Hoda discuss the topic as I walked into the kitchen to unload the dishwasher. They were hypothetically discussing what their price would be for a first date. I also considered my own price. The very first thought that popped into my head: do I have to pay taxes on this? Because that would affect my price considerably. I'm a grown-up. I have to think about these things.

And, in case you were wondering, I decided that in an alternate universe, where I'm single, and I think this sort of thing is a good idea, my ballpark price (being the attractive person, of course) would be $500, payable in either cash or Outback Steakhouse gift certificates. What? I like steak.

What's your price?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Further Proof that I'm a Better Mom Than You

If you've never read my blog, you're probably wondering what kind of smug twit would publish a blog post with such an arrogant title. You should know that it's Opposite Day here at Three Mutts and a Baby. When this is over, you're gonna be the smug one, because whatever insecurities you may have about your abilities as a mother, I'm about to make you feel really good about yourself. Even if you're not a mother, you're gonna feel superior to me, because you'll be quite certain that you'd do a better job with your non-existant, hypothetical children than I am doing with my real child (isn't that always the case, though?) Consider this post a shot in the arm to your self confidence. What can I say? I'm a generous soul.

The same week Robinson learned to crawl, I was dogsitting Bella the Beagle from down the street. That means I was taking tons of pictures, and Bella appears in many of them. Bella has never lived with a baby, so I was astounded by how gentle and tolerant she was as Robinson man-handled her.

He invaded her personal space...
 He smooshed her face...
 He grabbed and jingled her dog tags...
 He followed her everywhere she went...
 He gave her lots of love...
 But it was clear to anyone observing the pair that Rob was totally OWNING Bella.
This went on for eight days. I was surprised that Bella continually allowed Robinson to dominate her in this way. I kept a close watch, as I was sure at some point Bella would tire of being smacked around by Robinson's baby mitts and she would retaliate. I didn't have to wait long.

Moments after this photo is taken, I'm sitting in the floor, just feet away from Robinson, scrolling through the images on my camera and deleting the shots I don't like, when all of a sudden I hear a thud and Robinson bursts into tears. I look up to see Robinson, stretched out on his back, screaming in horror as Bella the Beagle vigorously humps Robinson's face without mercy.

I snatch my baby up off the floor in 0.2 seconds and immediately Robinson stops crying and I clean him up. As embarrassing as this is, I'm even more embarrassed to admit what happened next. As soon as I knew he was ok, I cracked up. The kind of laughter where you're trying so hard not to laugh out loud that your whole body shakes and your eyes fill with tears. 

This is the part where you shake your head disapprovingly.

You think I'm horrible, right? What kind of mother laughs hysterically as a frisky beagle simulates sex on her baby's skull? This one [points at self with both thumbs]. But hey, I could have been worse. I could taken the time to photograph the moment, and I didn't. So I'll leave you with this disturbing image:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cinematic Vernacular

Lots of people like to quote movies. There are websites and magazine articles devoted to listing the great memorable quotes in cinema. This is not one of those posts. This post is about my recent realization that there are movie quotes and dialogue that Steve and I have seen together over the years that somehow seeped into our language. If someone overhearing our conversation was unfamiliar with the film we were referencing, they might be confused by what we're saying. Here is a rundown of movie lines that Steve and I commonly use in the context of our conversations. So nobody will have to ask me, "Who's Shelby?" ever again.

Line: "Bring your green hat."
Movie: Old School
Background: A highly intoxicated Frank (Will Ferrell) strips naked during a college party where Snoop Dogg is performing. He commandeers the microphone and invites everyone to join him as he goes streaking through the quad into the gymnasium. As Frank tries to recruit Snoop to join him, Snoop's spiritual advisor Don Magic Juan, wearing a green hat, steps between them. Frank encourages him to come along, saying "It's cool, I'm cool, bring your green hat, let's go".
How we use it in a sentence: It's a way of saying "Come with me right now", or "Just come as you are"
Example: "We're meeting for dinner at a place near work. Come on, bring your green hat."

Line: "I'm an excellent driver"
Movie: Rain Man
Background: Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) is the autistic brother of Charlie (Tom Cruise). They go on a road trip in a vintage car. Raymond repeatedly announces that he is an excellent driver, among other things.
How we use it in a sentence: Whenever Steve and I are getting ready to go somewhere together, we inevitably have a conversation about which car we'll take and who will drive. We say this line in our best "Dustin Hoffman" voice.
Steve: Let's take your car.
Me: I'm an excellent driver.

Line: "Drink your juice, Shelby"
Movie: Steel Magnolias
Background: Diabetic Shelby (Julia Roberts) gets a little too much insulin on her wedding day. While having her hair done at Truvy's (Dolly Parton) Salon, she has a reaction. Everyone rushes to her aid, but her mom (Sally Field) asserts that "juice is better" and she struggles to force juice down an uncooperative Shelby's throat.
How we use it in a sentence: Whenever somebody is babbling nonsense, they are advised to "drink their juice". It's a polite way of saying "you should probably stop talking." This person is often tipsy or hungover, or maybe just groggy and sleep-deprived, and is always holding a beverage when this is said to them.

Line: "I don't know, Margo!"
Movie: Christmas Vacation
Background: Todd and Margo (Nicholas Guest and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss) are the yuppie a-holes who live next door to the Griswolds, and look down on them for not meeting their high-class standards. Throughout the movie, Clark's (Chevy Chase) holiday misadventures make Todd and Margo's life a living hell. Todd and Margo come home late one night to find their stereo destroyed by an unknown object (a block of ice that Clark managed to send flying from his gutters through their window). Confused and aggravated, Margo asks, "And why is the carpet all wet, Todd?", he responds with the utmost yuppie-angst: "I don't know, Margo!"
How we use it in a sentence: Whenever we feel we've been asked a dumb question, or one that we have no reason to know the answer.
Samantha: What time does American Idol come on?
Steve: I don't know, Margo!

Line: "It'd be a lot cooler if you did"
Movie: Dazed and Confused
Background: Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey) is the older guy who has already graduated, but still hangs around with high schoolers. He picks up freshman Mitch and asks, "Say, man, you got a joint?" Trying to play cool, Mitch casually replies, "No, not on me, man," and Wooderson smiles and says, "It'd be a lot cooler if you did."
Me: Did you pick up more formula for Robinson?
Steve: Aw, no...
Me: It'd be a lot cooler if you did.

Line: "Say 'What' again!"
Movie: Pulp Fiction
Background: Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) is a hit man on an assignment. He brandishes a handgun while questioning a young man named Brett. Brett is too terrified of the gun to say anything but "What". This creates a very unproductive conversation, leading Jules to threaten Brett to "Say 'what' again!"
Steve: So the craziest thing happened at work today...
Me: [reading and not paying attention] What?
Steve: Say 'what' again!

Line: "You're killing me, Smalls"
Movie: The Sandlot
Background: Scotty Smalls is camping with his buddies, when Ham offers him a s'more. Scotty doesn't know what a s'more is, prompting Ham to say "You're killing me, Smalls"This phrase is commonly used as a sign of frustration towards a person's cluelessness or ineptitude (per Urban Dictionary)
How we use it in a sentence:
Me: What are you doing? The Bachelor finale is on right now!
Steve: But the Rangers are playing a double-header!
Me: You're killing me, Smalls.

Line: "Bitch! I don't know your life!"
Movie: Baby Mama
Background: Angie (Amy Poehler) is Kate's (Tina Fey) surrogate mother and is staying in her apartment. Kate confronts Angie when she discovers wads of gum under her coffee table. Even though we see her do it, Angie says she doesn't know if she put the gum there, and that maybe Kate put some of the gum there.
Kate: Yeah, actually, you might be right. ‘Cause sometimes, when I work a really long day, I like to come home and chew a huge wad of Bubblicious gum and stick it under my reclaimed barnwood coffee table!
Angie: Bitch, I don’t know your life!
How we use it in a sentence: I might say this in response to a person who has misdirected hostility over me not knowing something that I would have no way of knowing.
Me: Can you come early tomorrow night?
Steve: I can't! I have to meet with some reps at Outback after work.
Me: Bitch, I don't know your life!

Line: "I feel teriboo!"
Movie: Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Background: Rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) is vacationing in a Hawaiian hotel where Matthew (Jonah Hill) is an employee and aspiring musician. He slips a demo CD to Aldous, urging him to listen so that he won't miss the opportunity to discover his talent. To persuade him, Matthew imitates Aldous, which sounds more like an Ozzy Osbourne impression, saying "OH! I saw that guy! He was my waiter and I totally dismissed him like everybody else does... in his life. And I totally was wrong cuz he's a major, major, major influence on me now... and I feel terrible!" But his fake British accent sounds like he says "I feel teriboo!"
How we use it in a sentence: Basically, whenever we make a mistake or forget something important
Me: I totally forgot my mom's birthday!
Steve: I feel teriboo!

So what about you? Are there any movie lines that have taken on their own meaning for you, or that are used as a kind of short-hand between you and your friends or family?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Because I'm Boring-Ass Boring: A Post About Baby Bibs

The other day while I was on the phone with Kristen discussing baby bibs (as you do), my longtime pal, trusted advisor, and experienced mother of three (three under three I might add), notified me that I simply must purchase a wipeable (Google confirms "wipeable" is a word) bib for feeding solid foods to Robinson. 

The next day, I took young Rob to Buy Buy Baby, and among our purchases was a bib. Man, are these bibs ugly! I found a couple I liked though. We know how indecisive I am. So how was I to choose between these two bibs?
 I personally was leaning towards the lion, so I enthusiastically showed Robinson this bib first:
And then he looked at me like this...

Is it just me, or does he not look amused? Not wanting too read to much into the facial expressions of an infant, I showed him this bib next, with the same enthusiasm as with the lion bib:
Now I'm holding a bib in each hand, so he can look at both bibs at the same time. He looks back at the lion bib, then he looks at the dog bib, and while still staring at the dog bib, he makes this face:
So the dog bib is the winner. And he still smiles when he looks at it. I thought this was so sweet, I immediately called my mom to tell her about it. It sounds so insignificant, but this was the very first time Robinson has indicated a preference for something. That's a big deal! By the way, Kristen was right (is she ever wrong?) about the wipeable bib. You must have one.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I Said "Yay!" Out Loud When I Read This

My interest in celebrity gossip was sliced in half after the birth of my son. Kinda like the way my abdomen was sliced in half in order to rip the nearly ten-pound baby from my womb.

I'll give you a moment to allow that image to sink in.

Did I ever tell you that the nurse anesthetist present during the birth of my son somehow managed to swipe my brother's camera and, despite our urging that she not photograph the events that transpired, she painstakingly documented the cesarean delivery in photographs? The camera was later returned to my brother nonchalantly with no hint as to content of the images now stored in his camera's memory card. I got a phone call about a week later from my traumatized brother, "Geez, Samantha. That was graphic. You should have warned me." File that under "Things that can't be unseen."

Anyway, back to the point of this post. I no longer follow celebrity gossip with the same enthusiasm, but I do scan Cele|Bitchy almost daily to stay abreast of current pop culture events. Two stories that broke yesterday actually made me say "Yay!" out loud, so I thought I would share them with you. A Happy Friday, indeed!

Tina Fey is having a baby! Yay!
Tina Fey is expecting her second child with husband of ten years Jeff Richmond. She is currently five months along. Tina and Jeff have a five-year-old daughter named Alice.

Tina made the big announcement while taping a segment with Oprah to promote her new book, Bossypants.
I'm a big admirer of Tina Fey. I think she's wicked smart and funny and am happy to see women like her succeed in Hollywood (and anywhere else for that matter). At 40 years old, I'm happy for her to be nearly halfway through what I hope is a healthy and easy pregnancy.

I'm super excited about her new book, Bossypants. The cover of the book makes me laugh out loud every time I see it. I think I'll pick up a copy from my local book store, and save it to read out loud to my pal Baker when we are in Florida this summer for the annual girls' beach trip. The last time we were all together, I was reading Chelsea Handler's memoir, Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea. Baker and I took turns reading chapters aloud to each other and we were laughing so loudly that our sides began to hurt and the sunbathers nearby asked what we were reading so they could go buy a copy. Here we are basking in the sunshine and the laughter:
Mariska Hargitay adopted a baby girl! Yay!
I think Mariska Hargitay is a classy lady. She has a precious family and seems like a loving and devoted mother. She and her husband Peter Hermann adopted an American baby girl and named her Amaya Josephine. She announced the news to People magazine. I lifted this quote from Cele|Bitchy, via People:
“We were considering both international and domestic adoption and we’re thrilled that this is the way our prayers were answered,” she adds. “We talked a lot about mixed-race adoptions, and we are very excited that we are now a multi-racial family. We’re just so happy she’s here.”

And there’s one family member who’s more excited than anyone: Hargitay’s 4-year-old son, August.

“He is over the moon,” says the actress. “He calls her his baby because he says the whole thing was his idea. He always talks about how he’s going to protect her. He’s going to be a great big brother.”

How sweet is that? Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Did I Paint My Nails for This? | I'm a Grown-Up Now

I can remember a time, in the not-so-distant past, when I thought nothing of spontaneously inviting a pal over to my house to drink wine and watch The Bachelor. Impromptu happy hours at the end of the work day were a regular occurance. I could meet a friend for a Saturday lunch at the drop of a hat. Those days are over.
Now that my days are spent with my little boy, I require a bit more structure in my schedule. Ok, a lot more structure. If I want to see my friends, we have to get out our planners and schedule our get-together weeks, even a month in advance. We arrange for childcare, put on our lipstick, and dust off our favorite high heels. And now that it's an event, and it's a rare event, it has a name: Girls' Night Out.
Amy and I have been longing for a Girls' Night Out. It's been nearly two months since we last spent time together. We've had the date circled on our calendars, we've been counting down the days, and sending text messages to each other: "T-19 days until Girls' Night! Woo Hoo!"
We're getting decked out in our cutest outfits, and leaving our husbands and babies behind--so that we can sit on a patio somewhere and talk about our husbands and babies--while drinking an ice-cold Coors Light.
Because Girls' Night Out is an organized event, there is protocol that should not be ignored. It has come to my attention that some people are unaware of Girls' Night Out protocol, and so I am here to shed some light on this neglected topic. You're welcome.

Now, I use "Girls' Night Out" as a broad, general term. It doesn't have to be at night, and it doesn't have to be out. It could be Sunday Brunch, it could be Bunco night or a book club meeting at your home. Girls' Night Out's only requirement is that it is a gathering of two or more female friends for the purpose of recharging one's batteries and renewing the bonds of female friendship. This is important. It helps us to retain a sense of self and it makes us better wives, mothers, bosses, employees...whatever.
Girls' Night Out is the perfect place to talk about your new boyfriend. It is not the perfect place to bring your new boyfriend. Do you see the distinction here? I have a husband. I like my husband. If I'm going to spend the evening with a man, I would prefer it be him. I don't want to hang out with your dude. Even if you have declared he is "The One."

"Hey, Samantha. Stop being such a bitch."

Fair enough. But if I only get one night out in six weeks, don't I have the right to choose with whom I spend that time? Sure, my friend thinks this guy is "The One", but she thought her last boyfriend was "The One". She called him The One as they waxed each other's eyebrows. She called him The One as they whispered baby-talk in each other's ears while gently caressing each other's face and hair and calling each other "Babe" . She called him The One as they made out at the dinner table in the middle of a crowded restaurant in front of my husband and brother. She called him The One as they disappeared to the bathroom for 25 minutes without explanation and missed dinner entirely. Old Boy was totally The One. He was The One until they were separated by an ocean. And later by a court order.
So, yeah--call me what you will, but going forward, if I'm being invited to a meet-and-greet with this friend and The One, I'm gonna RSVP "No".
So that's our lesson for this week, Grown-Ups and aspiring Grown-Ups: Girls' Night Out is a chicks-only affair. For co-ed mingling, let's plan a cookout, let's drink beer and watch the ballgame somewhere with a big-screen TV. Trivia night at the neighborhood bar is always a good time. Outside of Girls' Night Out, I rather enjoy the company of the fellas, including your new dude.

All images by Anne Taintor