Monthly Archives: June, 2013

Alice and Merbear talk some shit

After yesterday’s seriousness, today you can read about poop. Merbear and I talk some shit over on her blog about a retro add on constipation. Head on over and if you haven’t already, follow this gal. She’s my wonder twin!

Guns Kill People, not Statistics


This is not my usual happy-go-lucky fare.  But in reading another blogger’s post, I felt moved to do this.  Not to push a political agenda, but to tell a story.  One that should never happen.  Please go see Kylie’s blog post “The Right to Bear Harms”, and watch her video.  I cannot imagine her loss.  But I did have one of my own.

When I was nine years old, they told me that my grandfather had been murdered.  He owned a store that sold guns in a small Texas town.  He was shot by one of his own guns.  This was the first time in my life I had ever seen my father cry.  My mother only told me he was shot because she knew people would be talking about it.  It had been on the news in his home town, and they didn’t get much news there.

I wasn’t really close to my grandfather.  I heard later he wasn’t the best father.  But he was the only father my father had.  Mostly I remember going to his store and sitting on the pool table and listening to the jute box while I ate chick-o-sticks.  But no matter what kind of person he was, he didn’t deserve to die on the floor of his shop.  And my father didn’t deserve to have to live with the grisly death of his father.

People came to his funeral – people who didn’t know anything about him, because it was a scandal.  They were curious.  They thought it was exciting.  They didn’t think of his family when they crowded in that funeral home.  I was too young to understand this at the time.  I was told later.  I was also told later, by an aunt, just how he was shot, and how many times.  Now I have that imagery in my mind.

None of us should have had to see the special they had on TV about the executions in Texas, when they spoke about the execution of his killer, and put up pictures of my grandfather, a person, on TV.  Yet much of his family still support guns.  They watched the killer get executed.  Let me repeat this.  They watched another person murdered in front of them.  Have we really come that far from the Middle Ages?

I remember when hearing about a school shooting was a rarity.  Now it seems to happen once a month.  Remember how the media played up Sandy Hook?  How many people still even remember Sandy Hook?  Those parents do.  They will never forget that day for the rest of their lives.  Some of these people are working, tirelessly, reviving the memory of their children, over and over again in an attempt to get better gun legislation.  Too few are listening.

My father is a pacifist.  He went to Vietnam as he was told to do.  They had the soldiers raise their guns and shout “Kill!”  My father raised his gun.  But they couldn’t make him shout kill.  By sheer luck, he was able to be a medic during the war, and he was eternally grateful that he got to help people, not hurt them.  Soldiers even now return, having had to kill, and are forced back into everyday society where suddenly it is a crime to do so.  Many have nightmares for the rest of their lives.  Some have taken their lives.  Others have taken the lives of their family.  And for what?  Do we even know what we are fighting for anymore?  Do not misunderstand me.  I support the troops, every single man and woman and child, because, I’m sorry, 18 is a child.  I support them by wanting to keep them alive.

After Sandy Hook, many people wanted to put the blame on mental illness.  The man was mentally ill – that’s the real problem, not the gun.  We should help mentally ill people.  That’s true.  But here’s the kicker.  If he hadn’t had all those weapons – clips with so many rounds, he wouldn’t have been able to shoot so many children so fast.  Sure he could have used a knife – but chances are far greater he could have been stopped before killing an entire classroom.  Instead, he walked in, and blew them away in seconds.  Seconds.  In seconds all those lives were snuffed.  All those names of those babies were read on the news.  And what did people say?  Clearly, we need more guns.  We need to arm teachers.  We need armed guards outside the schools.  We need, apparently, to function like those war torn countries we send our soldiers to.  We need to do this to protect our rights.  Our rights to own guns.  Our right not to have to have a three day waiting period, a license, training in using the weapons, or child safety locks.  The NRA fights against any legislation having to do with gun ownership.  Any.

Recently, I wrote a post about the insane day we had at our college when a man robbed a nearby convenience store.  In wake of all these tragedies, the entire university was shut down for two hours while police officers tirelessly combed the area, making sure that an armed robber had not made his way on campus.  As it turned out, the robbery was all staged, and there was nothing to be worried about.  But because of the tragedies, we must react this way, because we don’t know when it will be real.  And that same afternoon I put up that post, there was another shooting at another university.  The same day.  Yet even with all this insanity, the university is considering letting people bring guns on campus – for defense.  Guess what?  When you’re acting like Rambo, the cops don’t know who the bad guy is.  You aren’t helping anybody, just making the jobs of the police officers harder.  At best, they’ll shoot you because, as part of their jobs, they don’t have time to check and see if you’re “good” or “bad”.  They see someone with a weapon, they shoot.  So please quit fooling yourself.

Do you think you need one for  home protection?  How likely do you think it is that you’ll be able to wake up from a sound sleep, grab your gun, and shoot the intruder, all while your body is reacting to stress?  And if you keep that gun in your bedside table drawer, loaded and unlocked, how likely is it that a child or someone else could get hold of it?  Many gun deaths happen because someone shot their own family members while defending their homes.  Many gun deaths happen because children shoot each other.

My husband is a gun owner – I’m sure that surprises you.  They were passed down in his family.  He shoots targets.  He would never harm anyone.  And he has been trained in operating his weapons.  But not everyone is like him.  As a compromise, the guns are kept unloaded in a locked gun cabinet.  I still don’t like them, but I deal with it.  So I’m not completely ignorant.  I know guns aren’t always used to kill.  But I also know that the only real purpose of a gun is to kill something, whether animal or human.  Unlike cars, and knives, that is their only purpose.

I could link you to the many, many news stories talking about gun deaths and statistics.  And I’m sure those on the other side could do the same.  But I’m not talking about numbers right now.  I’m talking about our parents, our spouses, our children, our friends.  Kylie’s father is not a statistic.  My grandfather is not a statistic.  Those children at Sandy Hook elementary school are not statistics.  They were people.  And now they are all dead.

We live in fear of the next shooting now, just as our elders feared the atomic bomb.  Why?

Go U.S.A.

Go U.S.A.

Merbear and Alice get Stimulated!

Hey, readers, I’ve got something special today.  Merbear from Knocked Over By a Feather and I teamed up to discuss this fascinating ad from the 40s that’s about . . . a brush?  Click on the picture to enlarge it (if you are old like me) and you decide.  And head on over to her blog to see more of these hilarious ads deconstructed!

Alice: it’s a stimulator – and the brand is named prophylactic?

Merbear: my favorite line…makes 100 strokes a pleasure.    that is fucked up yo.

Alice:    what the fuck is she doing with that brush???

Merbear:  hmm…i think the rigid package tells us exactly what, indeed

I thought it was a vibrator at first

Alice:  It might just be one. I know I don’t get that happy from a brush

Merbear:  no…not usually..not enough to sing a song about it

Alice:    penetrates hair . . . oh lord

Merbear:    it writes itself, really..all the good ones do!

Alice: I wonder which end you use – I mean the bristles massage but that might get uncomfy

Merbear:    I think it is one of those multi use brushes    one end brushes the other side penetrates

Alice:  I do need to recondition my va-jay-jay

Merbear:  It is also good for getting snarls out of your pubes

Alice:    yes, they are wonderful for scalp massage . . . (dramatic pause) er, uh, so gentle.  Yeah, yeah scalp, gentle on the scalp.

Merbear:    scalp, of course… brings out all the luster

Alice:    it’s a beautifully molded package, hahaha

Merbear:  rigid, don’t forget..that is very important

Alice:    I’m gonna wash that man right outta my hair, and then I’ll use this brush!

Merbear    Who needs a man when you have a stimulator?    I personally love a hollow handle

Alice:    there ain’t nothin like a brushhhh, nothin’ in the worlllld!

Merbear:    sing it girlfriend!!

Alice:   I still can’t believe the company name, oh my god

Merbear: i wonder of they made condoms too? wtf is Mary Martin?

Alice:   lol, she was in South Pacific – it says above the ad. I think she also played Peter Pan?

Merbear:    oh, I thought she looked familiar..I didn’t recognize her without the green tights

Alice:  When cross dressing, always bring your brush.

Merbear:    hey, the bitch doesn’t even have hair!

Alice:    Yeah, so how does she know how good that brush is . . . ohhhh

Merbear:    Um, perhaps they should have gotten Marilyn Monroe to model this thing  or someone from that generation.  You know, someone who has hair would be helpful.

Alice:    Brushes are a girl’s best friend

Merbear:  You said it, sister!

Alice:    Yeah, I don’t think she’s using it on her head.

Merbear:    I feel bad now, that lady is probably dead.

Alice:    yeah but she was all famous and shit so it’s cool.

Merbear.    Yeah, I am sure she wouldn’t mind.  She had her day in the sun.

Alice:    Was it a brush related death? Going to hell now, I am.

Merbear:    I bet she got it stuck.

Alice:    THAT would be an embarrassing ER trip

Merbear:    Had a mind of it’s own one day and bzzzzzzz….

Alice:    I sat on it doc I SWEAR

Merbear:    Nurse, quick, get the forceps…

On Facebook, Blogging, Privacy, and Imaginary Animals

Here’s my second (and last) Facebook update with Sad Pony and Squirrel.  For the other two click here and here.  Thus far Squirrel has twelve friends.  All of his friends are my blogging buddies.  Some people would call them “enablers”, but I call them freaking awesome.  He has sent out friend requests to Jethro from NCIS and Sarah Palin.  No response from Jethro, but Sarah froze my Facebook page demanding personal information from me and I had to shut it down to get rid of her scary face.  You know, I’m thinking maybe that wasn’t really Sarah Palin.

Squirrel has gone around manically “liking” everything from Zingers and Energy drinks to every TV show with the word “Bachelor” in it.  So we get lots of posts from these companies.  And people not only like them, they actually comment on them.  It says something when you are a squirrel on Facebook, but you don’t come close to keeping up with the weird.  For instance, Fisher Nuts asks you to fill in the blank.  Their latest: “This weekend I plan to ____ with ____.  They really shouldn’t have left themselves so open there.  (Click to enlarge.)

I like my answer best.

I like my answer best, though the guy mowing the lawn with his nuts is also amusing.

I was most curious about what sort of advertisements the two would get.  Here are some of Squirrel’s.  I’m not sure why. (Click to enlarge)

My favorite is the one about luxury travel.  High on every squirrel's list.

My favorite is the one about luxury travel. High on every squirrel’s list.

The “friending” stuff has been amusing in other ways.  One of my IRL (in real life) pals is also a blogging buddy.  Here’s what happened when one of my pals came up as a “suggested friend” on her facebook page. (Click to enlarge)

So many animal friends on Facebook, so little time.

So many animal friends on Facebook, so little time.

 But what about Sad Pony?  Oh, he’s been active as well.  Well, as active as he gets, which is using a mouse with his teeth.  He has tried to friend several My Little Ponies but gotten no response.  Rude.  I guess maybe it would help if he were pink and glittery.

Sad Pony has not “liked” as well as Squirrel because he doesn’t like many things.  Mostly he posts gloomy Facebook updates, because everybody loves that one friend who ONLY posts gloom and doom.  On the other hand, excessively happy people can get annoying too.  Observe: (click to enlarge)

Those two do have fun.

Those two do have fun.

Sad Pony also got some strange advertisers, including a group that was concerned he was on Meth.  I think they should have targeted that to Squirrel, personally.  But what does Facebook know?

Not much.  Neither do I.  Though this has been interesting and at times amusing, I think it’s time to draw this experiment to a close.  For one thing, it is very easy to cross the line of stupidity and offend people.  Yes even I realized that.  And if I’m going to friend fellow bloggers, I’d rather do so as Alice.  Or the girl behind the curtain, ie the writer behind Alice.

Pay no attention to the writer behind the curtain.

Pay no attention to the writer behind the curtain.

But it’s a tricky thing.  Part of me wants to share with all of you more of me, but the other part gets a little freaked out.  When you blog, it is easier to express stuff, even stuff you wouldn’t normally express, when you are anonymous.  On the other hand, it frees you to express this stuff without accountability.  Should we be held accountable?

Yeah, I’m getting all serious here, and maybe too serious.  Does it matter what we reveal on Facebook, especially if we are careful to keep everything private (by constantly checking to make sure Zuckerberg hasn’t changed the settings AGAIN)?  I’m well aware that most people could get that information about me in other ways, if they really wanted to do so.

I’d love to interact more with blogger friends, because you can get to know people better through other social media such as Facebook.  On the other hand, some things make me uncomfortable. Why does Facebook feel the need to keep suggesting the friends of my friends?  Maybe they don’t want to be suggested as friends, but they don’t have a choice.

Then there is the time issue – do I have time to waste on Facebook what with all my time already being wasted on blogging and silly computer games?  And it’s so easy to lose track of time on a site like that, when really I should be paying attention to my Things and that husband guy occasionally.

So as Sad Pony and Squirrel disappear from Facebook, I ask you some questions.  How close are you with blogger friends?  Do you have many on Facebook or other social media?  Have you ever thought of tossing your Facebook account?  Do you worry about privacy?  I know many people have family on there, but thank goodness, I do not.  So there’s not that tie for me.  If you didn’t have a tie like that, would you still Facebook?

Let me know in the comments below.  And thanks to everybody for playing along.  You guyz are great.

Beware Fairies Bearing Gifts

Of all the Disney princesses, I think I can most identify with Sleeping Beauty.  I happen to be a champion sleeper as well – at least during the day.  Night is another thing altogether.  I’m also fairly certain that were I to touch a spindle and try to make wool, I’d definitely prick myself and possibly fall over dead (or pretend to) because I’m not much into spinning.  It sounds like way too much work.

Looks like a lot of fun, doesn't it?

Looks like a lot of fun, doesn’t it?

I think there’s a little more to this story than the spindle and narcolepsy, though.  I’ve come to see it as a reflection of depression in creative people.  Yeah, okay, bear with me and I’ll explain.  You remember when Aurora (that’s Sleeping Beauty’s name btw) is a baby and those fairies came to bestow gifts upon her?  There was the bossy one with the stick up her hiney, the flighty stupid one, and the chubby feisty one.  And then there was the one who wasn’t invited to the party.

You know, you’d think when the king and queen were making out invitations, they’d have considered that.  Like, hmm, I’ll invite Lord Frances and Maid Mildred and uh oh hmm what about the psycho fairy with all that evil power and the bad temper?  Nooo, I don’t want her around.  Maybe she won’t notice if we leave her off the guest list.  She’s always been so REASONABLE before.

Totally reasonable

Totally reasonable

People in fairy tales are stupid.  But nevermind that.  Back to the gift giving ceremony.  See these fairies come to give gifts to the princess, stuff like beauty and singing ability, so that if the princess thing doesn’t work out, she can still make a killing on American Idol.  I’m not sure if without these gifts the princess would be ugly and tone deaf, or if they just perform enhancements, like extreme princess makeovers.

Anyway, I believe most of us are given gifts at birth.  Maybe they’re not readily apparent gifts, but everyone has something they’re good at.  Even evil people are pretty good at being evil.  You have to give those dictators props on that one.

I know I was given gifts at birth.  And I can imagine it going something like this.

Oh, wow, this one's gonna need some work.

Oh, wow, this one’s gonna need some work.

First fairy comes up and swings her wand and says “I give Alice the gift of artsy fartsy!  She will be able to draw well and impress everyone but art judges!”  Then the second fairy steps up and whaps me with the wand and says “I give Alice the gift of writing which she can use to get two useless degrees and a blog!”  And then the third fairy steps up, all prepared to give me something like the gift of total hotness, and that’s when the evil fairy my parents didn’t invite shows up.  Way to go, Mom and Dad.

Evil fairy appears in a ball of fire (she likes to make an entrance) and cackles “I curse Alice with depression, so that no matter how good she is at art and writing, she will only be able to do it about half the time and she will mostly just want to sit around and whine!”  It goes without saying that I really, really hate this fairy, and I do wish she’d quit visiting so many people.

But lo, there was one fairy left, right, the one who was going to give me something useful like being a total hottie, and she says “Well, you’ll still have depression, but I’ll give you these drugs that will sort of work part of the time.  And I’ll give you a counselor.  And I’ll give you family and friends.  And I’ll even give you – a blog!  Ta-da!”

So, then, I don't get the hottie look?  Crap.

So, that’s why I don’t look like this.  Crap.

Yeah, thanks a freaking lot, good fairy.  I mean, yes, I guess it’s something.  The fairy offered hope, and without that, none of the other gifts matter one bit.  But still – I wonder why do people get this stuff?  I know there is a genetic component but – why?  Only pure evil would bestow such a gift on any child.  For you can get through anything, even the worst diseases, the greatest tragedies, with hope.  But depression seeks to rob you of that hope, for the evil fairy is more powerful than that good fairy.  Which is why you must rely on those gifts, however weak they may seem.

We all have gifts, be it art, or music, or writing, or even just meaning something to somebody else.  And we have to try to use those gifts, even when that evil fairy is staring down at us in dragon form, prepared to blow us away.  The most important gift of all comes from the third fairy – the chubby, snarky fairy who did her best to counteract the curse.  Use that fairy’s gifts – use your friends, drugs, counseling, whatever the heck works for you in order to stay awake.  Do not be like Sleeping Beauty.  Do not let the evil put you to sleep.  There is no prince in this story.

Alice and Too Much Birthday Cake!

Do you remember the Berenstain Bears books?  It’s this series of children’s books written by – wait for it – a couple named Berenstain.  Yeah, they named their creations after themselves.  Not the humblest bears, are they?

Show your happy family faces DANGIT!

How YOU doin’ Mama?

There are roughly eleventy billion books in this series.  I think after the 90th book or so, the Berenstains just started calling them in.  Recycling old books into new ones.  Getting ghost bear writers, etc.  After a while, you gotta run out of didactic topics to write about.  You see, most of the Berenstain Bears books are designed to teach lessons to children, yet they don’t answer some of the most basic questions themselves.  For instance:

What were Mama and Papa’s names before they became parents?  Girl Bear and Boy Bear?  Likewise, before Sister Bear (creative, am I right?) was born, Brother Bear was called Small Bear.  Which means he had to change his name because of a sibling. That’s just asking for sibling rivalry right there.  I mean, giving up your freaking crib is bad enough, but your name?  Jeez, people.

I will make you pay . . . .

I will make you pay . . . .

But then, having exhausted every other idea, they decided to have the Bears have a third cub. Well, there’s a problem there.  I mean, there’s only two official sexes, at least when it comes to bears.  So what to call the third bear?  Other sister bear?  Other brother bear?  Number Two?  It’s not like they could just start calling the bears Thing One and Thing Two or something I mean who would do that to their children?

Mama Bear is a freaking killjoy.

At least I’m not a killjoy like Mama Bear.

The third one was named Honey.  Unfair.  This kid gets a name.  And that’s not all. Brother and Sister have friends with actual names but they are stuck with Brother and Sister, at least until they get married and then I guess they become Mama and Papa, though hopefully not with each other.  Also notice their last name is Bear.  That’s like saying my name is Alice Human.  Hi, Mrs Human, how are you?  Just fine, come meet my children: Brother, Sister, and Other.

The Berenstain Bears Scrape the Bottom of the Barrel.

The Berenstain Bears Scrape the Bottom of the Barrel.

But what does this have to do with cake?  I’m getting to it.  See, I remember one of the Very Important Lessons they taught to children was one about eating too much junk food.  In fact, the book was called The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food.  There’s also one called The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Birthday, which could also fit, but I’m going to concentrate on the junk food one because that one just ticks me off.

I swear Mama Bear is ticked on almost every cover.

I swear Mama Bear is ticked on almost every cover.

See, in the story, Mama notices that Papa and the cubs are getting too fat.  I think that’s a bit presumptuous of her.  She ain’t exactly Kate Moss herself.  And wtf with always wearing her nightgown?  Like, get dressed already.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

She gets a bee in her bonnet, so she goes all Michelle Obama on the family and takes them all to the doctor to hear about healthy food.  Because doctors totally do that.  My question is like, why wasn’t she just serving it in the first place if she’s so healthy?  Oh, wait, I bet Papa bought the food, and as you know, dads are almost always buffoons in cartoons and TV shows.  So Mama buys them healthy food like carrots and the kids actually eat it.

Back the truck up.  I want to know how she got them to do that.  There is no mention of ketchup in the books, so what caused the sudden change?

I have a feeling there was some corporal punishment involved.

I have a feeling there was some violent persuasion involved.

At the end of the book, they all run in the Bear Marathon.  Whoop-te-poop.

You know what I say?  I say the Berenstains need to quit being so judgmental.  How many of these books can you take?  The Berenstain Bears and The Truth (I can’t handle that book), The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV, The Berenstain Bears Beat a Dead Horse.  I mean, enough already.  I don’t want any more lessons.  I want cake.

Too . . . many . . .birthdays . . .

Too . . . many . . .birthdays . . .

I might have had a little too much cake, though, because wow I just totally powered through this whole post in no time flat!  So toooo much birthday for Alice!  Tooo much cake!  But how to stop?  I read all these Berenstain self-help books and they have not cured my sugar addiction.  For realz, I mean, I cannot stop eating cake.  I actually stood at the table and ate cake with a spoon.  I forced Thing One to help me, which didn’t take much forcing, so that I didn’t eat another two pieces myself.  I have a cake problem.

I’ve heard it said that sugar can give you the serotonin rush you need, thus turning you from a Sad Pony into a Squirrel.  It totally does.  But this isn’t such a good thing, because my stomach hurts and I just injested like 5,000 calories and I’m afraid that typing and vibrating in place doesn’t burn nearly enough of these calories off.  So what now?  How do I solve this problem?

One more birthday to go this month – mine.  More caaaaaaaake!

The Facebook Experiment

In case you didn’t know, Sad Pony and Squirrel are now on Facebook.  I thought I would let you know what’s going on with them, Facebook wise.  So here’s some shots I took of the page.  I have deleted any real names to protect the guilty.  Here we go – Sad Pony’s profile page.  Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Yes, he really does have a facebook page.  What?  I can't keep an eye on them all the time.

Yes, he really does have a facebook page. What? I can’t keep an eye on them all the time.

Next up is Squirrel.  I think he’s going to be the one hardest to keep in line here.  Get ready for the parental controls.

Sure he LOOKS innocent.

Sure he LOOKS innocent.

A few of you  have played along and friended the two.  They are especially excited about finally finding Miss Four Eyes.  Check out some of Squirrel’s recent posts.

Shouldn't have let him have that Latte . . .

Shouldn’t have let him have that Latte . . .

Squirrel has also been taking pictures of himself and uploading them to the site.  I’d better watch out or pretty soon he’ll be on Instagram, posting pics of his nuts.

I don't think the Tai Chi is working out . . .

I don’t think the Tai Chi is working out . . .

No longer desperately seeking Miss Four Eyes

No longer desperately seeking Miss Four Eyes

Of course the two interact together as well, which can get complicated since they have to share the one computer.  Sad Pony has that awkward hoof problem and Squirrel – well, I think you know his issues.  Anyway, here’s a little correspondence between the two.  Note that Sad Pony is a fan of Snoop Dogg and that there really is a band called Tired Pony. (Click to enlarge)

I predict flame wars in the future . . .

I predict flame wars in the future . . .

Deep down Sad Pony loves Squirrel.  Deeeeep down.

Deep down Sad Pony loves Squirrel. Deeeeep down.

Oh and HEY what’s this?  I’m going to have to watch what these two are posting up there.  Not nice, Sad Pony.  I am not evil.  Well, not always.

I get no respect.

I get no respect.

How long will this experiment last?  How long is my attention span?  I have a feeling they’re going to be retiring soon.  I’m feeling some of the same creepiness I felt before.  Like all the friend recommendations.  Yes, even a squirrel and a pony get friend recommendations.  One was for Jethro Gibbs of NCIS – the fictional character, not the actor who plays him on TV.  How ironically perfect.  The others are people I have never heard of, and I kind of doubt they’d want a depressed pony friending them.   I’ve considered randomly trying to friend as many people as possible just to see who would take the bait.  But I don’t know.  Right now Sad Pony is giving me trouble about it.  He’s SUCH a killjoy.

I’ve considered getting another Alice Facebook page.  I had one, ages ago, lost interest and deleted the account in one of those rare acts of “I am not addicted to the Internetz!”  I probably won’t, but I’d be more likely to have one for Alice than another personal one.  I’m not comfortable with that much real info about me out there. I like to pretend there is still privacy.

So what do you guys think?  Do you have a real Facebook page or a page for your blog or both?  What do you think of privacy?  What do you think of animals on the Internet?  I think there are more out there than we realize.  Should Sad Pony and Squirrel keep their accounts even though they aren’t technically old enough – at least in human years?  Anyway, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Thing One is . . . Thirteen?

13 Luft Balloons!

13 Luft Balloons!

Today is Thing One’s birthday.  Thirteen.  I feel old.  I told her I wasn’t ready for her to be a teenager.  She said she wasn’t ready to be one either.  Who is?

If you’ve been keeping up, yes, my children have birthdays 7 days apart.  It’s like having twins, only different ages and stages and not exactly the same day so you still lose your sanity, just with a very short break in between.  Before, we’ve done a joint party with kids.  We’ve also had a lot of family parties consisting of my parents and cake because my tolerance for any sort of party, especially one with lots of small shrieking people, is very, very short.

But this one was special for Thing One, so I wanted to do something more grown up.  This took some thinking on my part.  Thing One is very hard to shop for these days.  Not on purpose – she knows what she likes, she just can’t seem to convey this very well until she looks at something, and it’s all over her face that no, this was not a good choice.

No really you . . . shouldn't have.

No really you . . . shouldn’t have.

It didn’t use to be this way.  I used to dress her however I wanted, which was “small Laura Ashley clone” Later she had an accessory sister.  I dressed them in matching or coordinating clothes and they were gorgeous.  Great pictures.  Back then, Thing One loved wearing dresses with matching hair bows and lacy socks and shiny shoes.  Her baby sister didn’t care because she was too busy eating her shoes or tossing them out of shopping carts.  Still, they made a perfect set.  Their grandmother loved buying them clothes, so even though I was poor, my kids were freakin’ stylin’.

But then Thing One got older, and decided she didn’t really want to match little sister.  She likes jeans and T-shirts now, not dresses.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since I rarely wear dresses either, but losing my little “doll” was tough.  For a little while.  Until I realized I was getting a real, live girl in return.  Thing One started out with a verbal delay.  She didn’t talk well until after four, but the entire time she was listening and processing.  And one day the results all started spilling out.

This girl has opinions – based on facts.  Like her sister she is smart, beautiful, creative, and so funny.  Unlike her sister, she spends more time thinking on things, turning them around in her head before speaking her mind.  She has friends, but she doesn’t seem to need them around like Thing Two.  She is content to entertain herself in a world of her own, or play the same weird computer game for hours. A game where you’re an animal that bounces around “chatting” with other animals or playing stupid games.  Come to think of it, it’s just Facebook for the younger set, only more honest.

Facebook Training

Facebook Training

She and her sister also love to hang with me, and follow me around, even though I’m not nearly as cool as they are.  I know there will come a day when Thing One won’t need me as much, but right now she’s at such a tough stage.  Not a little girl, not an adult, not quite a moody teenager really.  She’s right on the cusp, and I remember how confusing and frustrating that can be.

Yet she’s much more self-determined than I was at that age, or even now.  When her friend made fun of a strange, awkward girl, she stood up for the kid.  She said to her friend, “Hey, wait, you got baptized.  Aren’t we all supposed to be brothers and sisters and be kind to each other?”  Oooh, snap!  Yes, the kid reads and understands and puts good lessons to use!  I’d have been a big fat weenie and not said a word, though I knew it was wrong.  I was worried about fitting in.  Thing One is more worried about doing what’s right.  Thing One is awesome.

So I decided that since Dad had planned a rocking party for little sister, I would plan a day out with her.  I got her a purse (that she picked out so I knew she’d like it) and a wallet with money in it.  Money she could spend on a shopping trip with me, once we were done having manicures for the very first time together.

It was a great day.  We got our nails done (I’m jealous, Thing One’s look better than mine.) while Thing One gave a commentary on the People Magazine.  “Oh, wow, they actually reported on the Boston Marathon bombing instead of just Kim Kardashian?” Once again, love this kid.

Even 13 year olds aren't impressed, Kim.

Even 13 year olds aren’t impressed, Kim.

We went to the city and ate at an Italian fast foodish restaurant with free breadsticks.  Not sure how many that kid ate.  I miss having that metabolism.  We headed to the mall next where she spent money on a bracelet and asked why she was being charged the Canadian amount.  She’s still getting used to that whole ‘tax” thing.  Bummer, that.

Fortunately, Thing One wears out as fast as I do.  She is not my “shopping” kid.  So after eating some double stuffed cookies (no calories there!) we headed home.  The teenage years may be tough, but maybe they are off to a good start, at least.

Happy Birthday, my Thing One.

Alice’s Father’s Day Special

Google is at it again.  I hate you Google.

Google’s Father’s Day Heading.  For the fathers who are also kidnappers.

It just occurred to me that it’s Father’s Day and I didn’t do a special post on it.  I’ve been busy, what with practicing my devil yoga and managing facebook accounts for two animals and celebrating the second birthday of the month (one more to goooooo!)  So Father’s Day is really in a bad place here.  Three birthdays is really enough.  To top it off, my parents also have their anniversary this month.  I remember it because there are flags everywhere commemorating the union that led to yours truly.  Some say it’s Flag Day, but heck with them.

So now we have Father’s Day.  I have no idea what the history behind Father’s Day is but I’m guessing the greeting card industry had something to do with it.  Probably also the people who manufacture men’s cologne and ties.  Even fathers don’t always care about Father’s Day because they already have 20 bottles of cheap cologne and a dozen Garfield ties.  They’re pretty much set.

He already has plenty of these.

He already has plenty of these.

Also I posted more this week than usual.  My apologies.  I blame the ADHD or the OCD or some other letter combination.  But I was talking about fathers here, and what they mean to me.  They are much more than that little bit they offer to make a child.  Sometimes they are much better.  Other times they are much worse.  And some are dead.  People with deceased parents just LOVE Mother’s and Father’s Day because they like constant reminders of loss.  It’s not like they can send cards to the underworld.  That would cost a fortune.

Another annoying thing about Father’s Day – the ads.  For once, they’re filled with guy stuff.  Guy clothes, golf clubs, barbecue grills, tools and snooooooorrrre.  I’m not saying all men like these things.  That’s just what Sears and Target think they should like, so it’s everywhere even though, generally speaking, it’s women that like to shop.  But we don’t like to shop for guys.  Well, I don’t.  And most Father’s Day stuff is crap.  So my husband is buying his own Father’s Day present because he knows what he wants and it’s something for his garage that I can’t remember the name of or lift for that matter, so I’m perfectly happy letting him choose it himself.

Hmm, well Dad sure could use some deodorant, whew . . .

Hmm, well Dad sure could use some deodorant, whew . . .

We bought my father a book on cars.  I might throw in cologne. He’s one of the few men I know that actually likes getting cologne.  But really, I hate these made up days.  Isn’t it bad enough that we have to remember people’s birthdays and whatever winter holiday it is they celebrate?  I think we should all boycott stupid holidays.  I bet I could get people behind that one because it’s pointless and doesn’t actually help say feed anyone or something.  So boycott Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, Siblings Day, Basset Hound day (I actually only made the last one up – probably).  You’ll be glad you did.  Unless your Dad is into revenge.

So tell me – do you like Father’s Day?  Did you remember to buy a gift?  Was it a tie?  Why did you do that?

Now we're just adding insult to injury, huh?

Now we’re just adding insult to injury, huh?

Sad Pony and Squirrel now on Facebook!

You probably recall an earlier post where I discussed my decision to leave Facebook.  Well, when I wasn’t looking, Sad Pony created a page.  He said something about hoping PETA would take notice.  Then Squirrel heard he was on, so he got on too.  You can find them there now, only they had to misspell their names in order to get accounts.  Seems like Facebook is very judgy about what is a name and what isn’t.  So Sad Pony is Sadd Poneh and Squirrel is Squirrelle Nutkin.  I believe those are the French versions of their names.  If you would like to friend them, I’m sure they’d accept.  Already they have one friend.  They are especially eager to find Miss Four Eyes.  If you read their profiles, they are both in a relationship.  Hmmm.

I have two friends and one is Squirrel.  SIGH.

I have two friends and one is Squirrel. SIGH.

Friend me friend me friend meeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!

Friend me friend me friend meeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!

Call it a psychological experiment, but I’m curious to see what happens.   Also I’m very bored and have too much free time.  But mostly I’m curious.  What ads will Facebook try to market to them?  What sort of friends will they get?  Will their actions affect future employment opportunities?  Will Blunt Life Coach get a facebook page or does he too much of a life?  Only time will tell, dear reader.

Be sure and Friend them soon if you love puppies and rainbows.  But beware – I hear Squirrel really likes Farmville.