Tag Archives: times my genius wasn’t appreciated

What’s up, Wrong-o?

I think it’s fine to use the popcorn button on your microwave. It’s arrogant Big Popcorn that wants you to think you can’t use it. Calm down popcorn, you’re just popcorn.

I think if you’re a grown adult and still doing any version of “I liked that before everyone else knew about it” out loud, you’re probably doing something wrong. There aren’t any points for that. You didn’t win. If you liked it a long time ago, you made a lucky discovery before other people got to it. That doesn’t make other people less, or make you more. It doesn’t make their enjoyment of Thing less true or sincere or valid, or your enjoyment of Thing a superior, more deep enjoyment or fanhood. No, rather, now you are two people who like Thing. Two people who can now like Thing together. And that’s good. Liking a thing together is one of the best things about liking a thing. Gleeful and sincere shared enjoyment of a thing is fantastic and there should always be room for more, really. Enjoyment of a thing can’t be used up. Also, stop it. Grow up. Move over, make space.

I bet you’re thinking, we all know this is going to lead into you talking about how much you like Korean television and wish people would watch along with you, but no one is going to watch with you, so you should just stop talking about it. WELL, I WON’T STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. I WON’T. SO GIVE UP, YOU.

PtheLorax

Penelope was the Lorax for Halloween.

I spend most of my time these days in a recliner under a blanket like a hundred year old person in a recliner under a blanket, for reasons I’ll probably eventually get into if I decide to post for all of November because I don’t have thirty days of ideas but it’s actually more likely that I’ll just abandon the project by Sunday. And my recliner is under a ceiling fan that doesn’t turn off, which is just straight bullshit if you ask me. Which, if you ask me, you did, kind of, by reading this blog. Which you did. It’s still pretty warm here in the afternoons and the evenings, when the sun has been warming the house all day, and we actually still run the air conditioning in the evenings and through the night, because Phil likes to sleep at 74 degrees. Which, fine. 74 is a reasonable indoor temperature, right? And in the mornings, I turn the air conditioning off, because I’m cold. Lately, I’ve been returning to the thermostat several times a day, trying to figure out why I’m still cold when I know I turned it up. It turns out, it’s because it’s kind of not hot outside anymore. So while the air conditioning isn’t running, it’s staying around 74 in the house for most of the day, until the late afternoon, when it warms back up a bit.

Now, EXPERIENCE TELLS ME that this cooling trend is going to continue. Soon, it will stay around 74 for more of the day. And then around 73. Or lower. And no air conditioning at all will be necessary to keep it cool in the house. And as the winter season goes on, even in Arizona, the nights will be cooler. Cooler, even, than 74 degrees. We won’t need to use the air conditioning to get the house to Phil’s preferred 74 degrees, which is actually quite chilly with the blowers going at night, especially because we use a fan to keep the air moving and the dog stink from settling on us. Our room in particular can get quite still and heavy with the two of us and the two of them.

So I asked Phil this. I says to him, you like it 74 at night, right? And he confirmed. And I said, soon it will even be cooler than that at night. And he said, that will be nice. And I said, but 74 is a reasonable temperature for the house to be. Well, yes, he said. So, I said to him, we could, in theory, on those cooler nights, employ the HEAT to bring the temperature UP to that reasonable temperature of 74. Maybe 73. 70, even, could be fine. But we could use the HEAT to bring the temperature UP to the place where we are currently using air conditioning to bring it DOWN. Right? Because we agree, it’s a reasonable temperature. And he said to me, no. No, it’s different. Because it’s HEATING versus COOLING.

BUT SEVENTY INDOOR DEGREES IS REASONABLE REGARDLESS, RIGHT? How is it DIFFERENT?

(I know, in some people’s houses you prefer to never run the heat. Or you actually prefer to sleep in the very, very cold. Or you prefer another specific temperature calculated exactly for maximum efficiency and money savings. I know. Everyone is different.)

If 74 degrees is a reasonable house temperature now, achieved with air conditioning, how is it NOT a reasonable temperature (even when I give a few degrees, down to 70) when achieved with heat? HM, PHILLIP? PHILLIP THE UNREASONABLE? PHILLIP THE UNREASONABLE OF UNSOUND ARGUMENTLANDIA?

Speaking of the King of LALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOUR LOGICSHIRE, our three year anniversary was last week.

thankspal

Despite all capslocks to the contrary, we’re quite well matched.

“Oh,” you’re thinking. “Purple flowers and a card of a suitable nature! An anniversary well done!” WELL, GUESS WHAT, WRONG-O. Your new name is WRONG-O.

Do you see there, over to the left side of the picture? It’s Phil, leaning into the fridge, doing the traditional and ceremonial burial at trashcan of all of the leftovers we didn’t get around to eating before I went grocery shopping again. Except the day ended up all crunched and weird, and I actually ended up taking Phil shopping with me. I had a LIST that followed a carefully laid out MEAL PLAN which adhered to our budget, so this on its own was a dangerous endeavor. A Phil in a grocery store is a magnet for cheese products and crackers and cheese product crackers that I never seem to notice until I’m unpacking the groceries. They go into some hidden nook in the cart that only he knows about and I swear he slips the cashier a ten to slide them through while my back is turned and I’m left wondering how I spend six thousand dollars on two packs of chicken breasts and some applesauce pouches. OH, WE BOUGHT EIGHTEEN FLAVORS OF CAPTAIN CRUNCH AND ONE OF EVERY CHEESE THANKS PHIL.

So I lectured him before we went in. I told him, if I come pick you up from work and take you with us (otherwise he’d sit at work an extra hour or so while we shopped, that’s life with one car), you will stay near the cart! Hands where I can see them! AT ALL TIMES! He agreed. And he really behaved himself through several aisles, so I gave him some leeway. I normally don’t buy snack food by a list, but kind of just pick whatever based on what’s on sale, what looks good, and what Phil and Penny like. In the interest of speeding things along, I sent him into the cookie/cracker aisle to “grab JUST A COUPLE THINGS and bring them back.” And to his credit, he did come back with just a couple things and dumped them in the cart. We got everything we needed, we stayed within the budget, it was a successful trip.

SO WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM, right? Is that what you’re thinking right now, Wrong-o? (That’s you. You’re Wrong-o.)

A few days later, I was looking for a snack to give Penelope. Well, it turns out, on our ANNIVERSARY, of all days, the snack foods I had TRUSTED him to acquire? He bought WHOLE GRAIN Fig Newtons. But it was fine, because he’d gotten two packages. BUT NO. The second package was ALSO WHOLE GRAIN.

As soon as he got home from work, I confronted him with my disbelief, my deep sense of betrayal, and absolute bewilderment that he’d buy TWO packages of whole grain Newtons. And do you know what he says to me, Wrong-o? He says, “THEY TASTE EXACTLY THE SAME.”

Are you feeling it now, Wrong-o? Are you feeling your deep, essential wrongness?

“THEY TASTE EXACTLY THE SAME.”

And then he took it further.

“I bet you $20 that in a blind taste test, you could not tell the difference between regular and whole grain Fig Newtons.”

Well. There’s only one response to that.

I DEMAND HIGHER STAKES.

Life intervened for a little while. A short while.

NEWTON DAY

YESTERDAY WAS THE DAY.
NEWTON DAY.

Phillip, Grand Poobah of Inappropriate Snackfood Choices and Head of the Parliamentary Board of Indiscriminate Tastebuds, administered the test. It was to be a FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE – if it was just two Newtons, according to him, I’d have a 50/50 chance and there was no possible way success on my part could be credited to an ACTUAL difference between delicious Newtons and sand-wrapped crap Newton-impostors.

I turned my back to the table, and he handed me a Newton. I bit it. “GROSS NEWTON.” I set it down. He claimed I had to eat the whole thing. “I MOST CERTAINLY DO NOT HAVE TO EAT THAT. IT IS GROSS.” He didn’t tell me if I was right or wrong. He handed me another Newton to my other hand – apparently The High Muckety Muck of Newton Testing Standards and Enforcement has his ways – and I took a bite. “REAL NEWTON.” Still, he didn’t tell me. This went on for two more Newtons, for a FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE.

At the end, I turned around. He looks at me, and he says, “You got them all wrong.”

I MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT.

“Okay,” he says, “You got them all right.”

KNEW IT.

NEWTONCHALLENGE

Ass of Newton Challenge: Kicked

“BUT,” he says. “It doesn’t count.”

HOW CAN IT NOT COUNT. FOUR NEWTONS. FOUR CORRECT IDENTIFICATIONS. CRAP, GOOD, GOOD, CRAP.

“I can’t tell the difference. They taste exactly the same. So it doesn’t count.”

Okay. Okay. So, bringing it all back around. There’s a DIFFERENCE between 70 degrees achieved with air conditioning and 70 degrees achieved with the heating, even though they’re both 70 degrees, and there’s a difference because he can tell there’s a difference. He can tell, therefore, a difference exists.

I successfully complete a FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE, executed under his own standards and procedures, because I can ABSOLUTELY TELL THE DIFFERENCE between an excellent Newton and a crappy grainy Newton of sadness and woe, but my accomplishments in the field of snacks count for nothing, because he can’t tell, thus no difference actually exists.

Put that in your shopping cart and sneak it past the flowers, WRONG-O.

Nag Lorax

EXCUSE ME, you’re going to recycle that bottle, correct? And compost that apple core?

Super Great

I just don’t know if I’ve ever met someone so great.

 

 

I remembered one of my complaints.

I remembered one of my complaints.

I like Louis CK. I like him a lot. I think he’s a funny guy, and his humor hits me just right. I loved the series he had on HBO, with the little kid, and the ballet routine she did to the hilariously inappropriate song about the vagina and the buttcrack, but not before asking fifteen times, “Are you READY for the SHOW?” I like what he’s doing with his new specials, offering them for download on his site at a low price and just asking people not to pirate them, because, hey, here they are for you. I think he’s a smart guy in basically all the ways he needs to be smart as a guy and as an entertainer and as someone I want to entertain me, specifically.

Anyway, he’s a smart, funny guy, which is what I like in a guy. I mean, it’s most of what I like in a guy. I also like an essential Phil-ness in men. Luckily, I found one that was pretty stuffed up on that quality. I don’t know what I feel the need to quickly clarify that I like smart, funny guys that are also my husband. I can just like smart, funny guys and still remain married to my husband. Smart, funny guys can exist independent of the smart, funny (let’s not get into types of funny because you just can’t drill down to specifically into your list of wants or you’ll be alone forever and sometimes you have to settle for the guy who thinks puns are just THE BEST and decide that okay, you’re going to go ahead and CALL that funny because at least, while he does think puns are hilarious, he also recognizes that YOU’RE funny, and that counts for something – a lot of something) guy that I married. OKAY. I LIKE LOUIS CK. GUY’S GOT SOME SMART, FUNNY THINGS TO SAY. AGREE? AGREE.

So recently, I guess on a talk show, Louis CK talked a bit about why he thought cellphones and spending time with faces buried in a screen is bad for kids. It’s an opinion he’s got, the host asked him about it, he talked about it a bit. That’s what these shows are for. You ask celebrities to talk about stuff. Louis CK is a guy who can speak eloquently (or entertainingly, depending on what you consider eloquent, I guess) on a pretty wide array of topics. He’s got kids, he’s talked about them before. He’s also talked about technology before. So for a couple minutes, he talked about both. Okay, fine.

BUT THEN. The next day. All those parenting sites, you know, the stupid ones we never read because they’re totally without editorial supervision (okay, not totally without, but this one time, a column was nearly completely plagiarized and when called on it, the person supposedly in charge said that they have a lot of writers and she can’t possibly be expected to watch over them all, I am not kidding, that is a thing that happened in real life) and full of slideshows about shit no one actually cares 15 clicks worth about? And some other sites. Tons of headlines like (and I’m saying “like” because I don’t recall exactly what and I don’t care to go look because temerity-jane.com just has tons of authors and I can’t be expected to keep track of all of them and hold them to any kind of standards like accuracy and non-assholioacy) “LOUIS CK THINKS OUR CHILDREN SHOULDN’T USE CELL PHONES!” and “FIND OUT WHY LOUIS CK THINKS SMART PHONES ARE BAD FOR KIDS!”

As I said above in a big chunk of about a hundred to a hundred and fifty words like I say everything else, I like the guy, and I think he’s smart and he’s funny. But unless what Louis CK has to say about kids and cell phones or screen time or whatever the hell we’re calling it when we put the little “be quiet for a while” machine in front of our kids is punctuated with the word “fuck” or “fucking” or “motherfucker” or some variation on “shit” or “shitty” or basically any kind of profanity because I think it’s funny when he’s profane, it’s like a cow’s opinion to me, in that I don’t give a fat fistful of gross chewed up and regurgitated wet grass about it.

And it’s not even that I begrudge the guy for having an opinion about kids and cell phones, it’s an issue. He has kids. And I don’t begrudge him for talking about it. He talks about things. That’s what he does. It’s his job. He’s ragged on cell phone addiction before, and it was funny, and I know I’m not the only person in the world to have obnoxiously told someone else to “give it a MINUTE.” So yeah, it’s something he’d talk about. No, no, what’s kind of ridiculous to me is the reprinting and rehashing of it on sites like the aforementioned content pile, on Slate, on Mashable, on the Wall Street Journal’s site! As if I am to sit and ponder the SERIOUS IMPLICATIONS OF LOUIS CK’S OPINION ON CHILDREN AND SMART PHONES and how I might best apply that to my own parenting.

There is already enough pressure and implied shame about limiting screen time from actual sources. We don’t need a literal MADE UP SOURCE brought into it as well. AND I’M NOT SAYING the guy isn’t entitled to his opinions. HE IS. And I am INTERESTED in hearing them. On the television. And then going to bed. And then not discussing them over coffee and a notepad because holy shit. We can silently self-shame just fine without bringing Louis CK into it.

I really, really don’t want to discuss with anyone, now or ever, if your kid has a cell phone or if they’re allowed to use yours, or use an iPad, or for how long each day, or how much television they’re allowed to watch. I don’t want to have that conversation today, where someone says they agree with me that the self-shaming is enough, “and, actually, my kid watches a lot of screen stuff,” and then lists what she thinks is a lot, but someone else feels bad because that doesn’t seem like a lot to her, and someone else thinks that’s WAY too much and lists HER schedule of much, much less, and someone else actually just built a yurt in the woods with her kids, so fuck all the rest of us anyway.

THE POINT OF IT ALL IS, it’s really hard not to raise a shitty kid. It’s especially hard not to raise a shitty kid when other parents are letting their kid be shitty right to your kid’s face. Or, worse, when the ADULT is being shitty right in front of your kid, doing the very things you’re trying to teach your kid not to do in an effort not to raise a shitty kid. On top of it, everyone you know and everything you read carries an opinion on what it is to be shitty or not shitty – both for your kid, and for your efforts and methods in creating your not shitty kid. You spend your whole life picking and sorting through your own ideas, goals, hopes, and gut feelings to cobble together a parenting method that you hope is going to result in the happiest, least shitty, HAPPIEST kid possible. At night, when I settle down after maybe crying in the shower or maybe staring blankly in the steam for half an hour or maybe just rhythmically thudding my head off the wall for a while, and I settle down to be entertained for a bit, I’m not going to sift through all that stuff, too. Because it’s moo.

******

I have seen just enough 30 Rock to think it’s hilarious to say, “You’re not a paht of this, Lemon,” to a dog encroaching on my fish stick and Stovetop preparation space.

*******

Remember how I said registration for PJs at TJ’s was opening on 10/10, and I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, so for the best and most up to date information, you should join the Facebook group? I hope you took me at my word if you wanted to go and weren’t waiting for more updates here, because it sold out in 30 minutes, which was surprising and awesome. That was a thing that happened that I did not think was going to happen.

******

Something, something, here’s Penelope.

Penelope waiting for ham.

Traditional Sunday Waiting for the Ham.

I should explain that caption. See, on Sundays, after church, we go out for lunch, and Penny orders a ham sandwich. Then I take a picture of her, waiting for her ham. I did not need to explain that caption.

******

Here is a thing I am suggesting to you.

wnwcapp

It’s Wet n Wild. I’m real n serious.

So, apparently, while I wasn’t looking, Wet n Wild has been stepping up the quality a lot over the last few years. Tons of beauty bloggers who are actual beauty bloggers have covered that, so I’m not going to, but definitely look up some reviews and swatches of a bunch of the eye shadow trios they have out, for example. They’re still priced very low and they put out a lot of seasonal and limited lines in fun colors, so they can be an inexpensive way to add some out there shades to your collection without spending $10 or $12 on singles from the high end brands.

Now, some stuff is still hit or miss, like you’d expect with a cosmetics line at this price point. When I picked up this powder, I also got a Color Icon Shadow Trio in Spoiled Brat that was just a mess when I tried it. The lid shade had fallout all over my face, the crease shade wouldn’t blend, and the browbone shade… actually, I don’t think that one was so bad, but I just tossed the case aside. More talented makeup people could probably make it work with no issues, but I am not an expert. I’m like Louis CK when he talks about kids. He has some. I have some makeup. Doesn’t mean you should look at me like I know what I’m doing, sitting on top of my hoard and chortling like Scrooge McDuckface. Whatever, it was $2.50 at Wal-Mart and I’ll pass it to someone else at PJs.

THE POWDER, THOUGH. If you’re very fair and have a hard time finding a powder foundation to match your skin, Wet n Wild Coverall pressed powder in 821B just might be your match, and I picked it up at Wal-Mart the other night for $2.43. You can use it with a big, fluffy brush to set all of your makeup in place. You can use it as a powder foundation if that’s the style you prefer. For me, I’ve been using a BB cream instead of foundation lately. I use this powder to set my under eye concealer and brighten that area up just a little bit, and then, since BB cream doesn’t offer full coverage, I use a sponge and press this powder with a kind of rolling motion over my chin and next to my nose where I have some redness. I haven’t been able to use a powder like this before, because until now, I’ve been using (and loving) Rimmel’s Stay Matte powder in translucent. Translucent powder is awesome for the super fair/pale, but a powder that actually matches skin tone has way more utility.

Give it a try. You may have to hunt around a little for the shade, but try Wal-Mart or Walgreens. You can always order online, but that takes a little away from how great the price is.

******

Last thing! Just a reminder that I will keep reminding you about just a little bit because Phil and I are a team: he’s participating in the Extra Life marathon for Children’s Miracle Network and it’s coming up. His fundraising page is here, and we’d appreciate anything you can do to help. There are social media buttons on the left hand side of the page, so if you’d share the page to your friends and family and guilt them with our adorable child, that would be swell. This is my part of the team effort, because I’m having no part of the whole “24 hours” thing. Nope.

Bunshole uses of “Well, that’s what you get.”

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have recently clued in to the fact that I have what I have started calling a “maximum two year old.” You can interpret that however you want, I guess, because I haven’t found a way yet to go into detail in a way that won’t end with me being really irritated. She is a top end child. She is up there. My belief in my own absolute averageness is only strengthened by her existence, because it is top of the range people like Penelope, combined with bottom of the range other babies belonging to parents who should just go right to hell with their smug, unbruised faces, that combine to create the average, middle babies, that an average number of people are walking around with. My maximum two year old is what allows for your “kind of in there, somewhere” two year old to just be in there, somewhere.

I don’t even want to talk about it, because I know that someone had somehow had a worse kid even though I haven’t even detailed mine, or that I should JUST WAIT until she’s a teenager, because THAT’S a fine thing to say to someone trying to LAUNCH THEIR CHILD into a fan (I HAVE VAULTED CEILINGS), and I know everyone has a bunch of solutions, which leads to rounds upon rounds of “you can do it my way!,” leaving me as the huge, impossible asshole who isn’t even TRYING.

Look, I will tell you what happens, and I will use Swistle as an example, because she can’t stop me. Yesterday, she tweeted that she was looking for a watch with the following specific qualities: multiple alarms, not huge and terrible, not manly. So I looked for one, and I found a Casio watch that wasn’t very expensive, came in a couple blue colors, kept dual times, and was a noted ladies’ watch. I presented it to Swistle, TAA DAAA. I have solved your problem.

Except no! I hadn’t! Because the watch kept dual time, but didn’t actually have multiple alarms. I pointed that out to Swistle when she was lamenting the loss of a good huff, because I, too, enjoy a good huff and sulk. But! That’s not how it always goes. This is how it could have gone, where I am me, and Swistle is Swistle, except I’m being the type of person who makes things difficult sometimes, and Swistle is playing the me role, except it didn’t actually go this way, so I’m really playing both roles right now, and Swistle is just a placeholder, and you should understand that from this point on, none of this actually happened, so this is really a pretend Swistle, not at all actual Swistle.

Pretend Swistle: Oh, this only has one alarm, and I need three. Oh, well, thanks anyway!
Me, being the problem: Well, you can use the one alarm, then reset it, and then use it again, and then reset it!
Pretend Swistle: I guess I could, but that seems like a lot of trouble when I already have a current three alarm system. I can just keep looking for a multiple alarm watch. Thanks!
Me, being the problem: You could get this watch that I found for you, use the one alarm, and then use two of the current alarms that you are already using!
Pretend Swistle: Well, I’m really looking for a watch with multiple alarms, so that watch with one alarm really won’t work.
Me, being the problem: I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT.
Pretend Swistle: … the end to your genetic line.

Look, I’m off track. Let me offer some advice. If your proposed solution to someone’s problem is not sticking, if the person is politely peeling it off each time you stick your tail onto their donkey butt, quit coming back around for a different angle at their rear, no matter how ample it seems and how your tail really seems to perfectly suit it. “Oh, what a lovely tail! I bet that would look really nice on some other donkey! Here, let me gently remove it from my butt and hand it back to you!” That’s a sign that you shouldn’t approach my ass again with the same tail.

Shit! Why does it always go like this? Look, Swistle isn’t a donkey. No one is a donkey. No one has an ass, ample or otherwise. Don’t approach. I mean, if you have the perfect tail, go ahead — NO. NO ONE NEEDS A TAIL. NO ONE NEEDS ASS DECORATION. That was a bad metaphor. You know what I meant. And anyway, of course it was specific people, none of whom are you.

This whole post is bad.

I have a maximum two year old, and I need you to stay away from my ass with anything you might want to pin on it for today. I may turn my ass toward you at another time. For now, I find myself saying, “well, that’s what you get” a lot. As one might expect. Oh, you fell off that teetering pile of foam play form thingers? Well, that’s what you get when you climb on top of a teetering pile of anything. You threw everything you were playing with over the gate and now you’re bewildered that you can’t have it back? Well, that’s what you get when you throw things, all the while bellowing the “NO THROWING!” house rule.

I’m saying, there are a lot of legitimate applications of the phrase, “Well, that’s what you get.” Penelope is probably my main and most valid application. And probably the most apt one for me, as well. “Oh, you had unprotected sex some years ago with the intent of getting pregnant and now you’re struggling with the resulting two year old? Well, that’s what you get.” We wouldn’t be friends anymore after you said such a thing, but it would be a fair, if dicknosey thing to say.

Other legitimate uses:

– Oh, you bought a Groupon for Lasik from a company no one has ever heard of and now you’re blind? Well, that’s kind of what you get.
Oh, you texted your wedding guest to tell her what a shitty gift she gave you and you ended up being a viral news story? Well, that’s what you get.
– I don’t know, I didn’t think this through. That’s what I get.

But! There are two specific uses of “that’s what you get” that I think are unfair, annoying, and kind of smug and superior: the favor situation and the expectation of service situation.

In the favor situation, basically, you ask someone to do you a favor, and because it’s a favor, and you’re imposing, you basically have no real right to expect it to be done the way you’ve asked it to be done, or the way you need it to be done. If it comes out wrong, well, that’s what you get. You CAN’T expect something to be done right, because it’s a FAVOR. I think this is pretty well illustrated in the comments of one of my own settle this posts here. Since the person needing to be woken up has asked a favor of the other person, they basically HAVE to take what they get in terms of their request being followed to the letter. That’s the tone of many of the comments, anyway.

I don’t agree, though. I think an adult can ask another adult for a favor and have a reasonable expectation that their favor needs will be met, if the fav… ee… favee! agrees. Of course, there are exceptions. If you ask a chronically late person (don’t get me started) to take you to the airport and you miss your flight, well, that’s what you get. If you ask a terrible cook to make all the side dishes for Thanksgiving and everyone spends the next day rotating between the two toilets in the house, well, that’s what you get.

But if one reasonable favor asker asks a reasonable favee to perform a task, and the favee indicates that they can indeed perform said task in the way described and then does NOT perform it in the way described, I don’t think the asker is in ANY way deserving of a “well, that’s what you get.” Just because the favee decided to go all rogue and free form doesn’t mean it should be in any way expected just because it was a favor. In fact, as an adult, agreeing to be a favee does kind of obligate you to perform the task as agreed. Not just willy nilly it because, hey, it’s a favor. No big. I’m doing you a favor.

Of course, as the asker, you cut slack and don’t ask too much, and give thanks as appropriate and, you know, follow all the asker/favee rules of behavior. I’m just saying, the mere fact that something is a favor doesn’t mean that the asker has no right to expect it to be performed the way it was requested. In a favor/favee situation, the use of, “well, that’s what you get,” should not be automatic and is often a BUNSHOLE use of “well, that’s what you get.” Eh? Yes? No? Are you automatically obligated to accept whatever you get from a favee, even if you have taken the time to outline your needs and they were understood and accepted upon the time of asking for the favor? Is a “well, that’s what you get” deserved in ALL cases of favor/favee relations?


Uh, no.

SECOND. Expectation of service. There are certain places that, because they have fallen out of public favor – well, they haven’t, not really, just certain segments of public and their favor – it is best just not to mention it if you don’t receive stellar service when you go there because, well, THAT’S WHAT YOU GET.

For the sake of this post, let’s use Wal-Mart and McDonald’s, because those are the two I’m specifically thinking of at the moment, but I’m sure you could add one or two more two the list. Setting aside all “how could you shop/eat there?” comments for whatever reasons people have for making them, I don’t know what any of those reasons have to do with the idea that someone should be expecting or even, judging by tone, expecting poor service if they choose to go to these places.

Because McDonald’s serves unhealthy food that some people don’t eat and could never possibly wrap their minds around why you would eat it, if you do choose to go there and get poor service in exchange for your money, well, that’s what you get. Because Wal-Mart employs business practices that some people don’t agree with, causing them to make the choice not to shop there, if you have a completely-unrelated-to-business-practices poor experience at Wal-Mart, well, that’s what you get.

I don’t know if this one is especially clear, but it was one that I always came across in the comments on The Consumerist, before it became a completely useless website without comments. An article would be posted about, say, Best Buy. A good article, highlighting some consumer-related issue of general interest to the readers of the website. And without fail, there would be some cocksock in the comments saying, “well, that’s what you get for shopping at Best Buy.” As if the simple act of entering a retail store that someone else doesn’t like and expecting goods and services in exchange for the money you earned makes you some kind of backwoods, dumbass, someone needs to hold your hand before you lose it up your own ass schmuck. No!

No, I refuse to accept that. I want to take my money into any place I want, and I don’t care if other people like the place or don’t like the place, I don’t believe it’s an exercise in predetermined insanity to expect it to just… go smoothly. For a place of BUSINESS to conduct their BUSINESS. It should be a SURPRISE when it doesn’t happen properly, not just… WHAT I GET. What I get, because other people don’t like the place because of some totally unrelated whatevers.

Of course there are exceptions, like the one Carl’s Jr. where all the soda from the fountain tastes like cleaner, or everyone has the one coffee place in their town that never gets it right and everyone KNOWS that, or whatever. But in general, you know, if I get on Twitter and I say, “Holy shit, I was checking out at Wal-Mart and the clerk picked up my box of cake mix and DUMPED IT INTO MY BRA,” and someone is like, “Well, you know. Wal-Mart. That’s what you get.” NO. BUNSHOLE. BUNS. HOLE.

YOU DON’T JUST GET CAKE IN THE PANTS!

I welcome your thoughts and opinions on other appropriate and/or bunshole uses of “well, that’s what you get,” even if they contradict my own, because I might contradict you back, and, well, that’s what you get.

So. Clearly I’ve been stewing on this for a while. Feels good, man. Feels good.

Unrelated Penelope.

 

 

No Buy, No No Blog.

Something completely and totally unique about me – if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’re aware that I find myself to be a unique and varying snowflake, different from everyone ever, a special case, an exception to all of the rules, don’t try to compare yourself, you’ll only annoy me, please, don’t embarass yourself looking for common ground between us – is that I am irritated by paying for things and not using them. You know, like when the fridge is crammed full of food, and you need to put new food in, so you start rearranging, and realize that a lot of the food is overflow from your husband’s CHEESE DRAWER and it’s got mold on it and why do we need an entire drawer of cheese if it’s not even possible for you to eat cheese in an amount measured by DRAWER before it goes bad? I don’t like purchasing cheese by the drawer if you cannot hold a drawer-sized amount of cheese before it’s a drawer-sized amount of mold. I don’t want to pay for mold. I want to pay for a reasonable amount of cheese. An edible amount of cheese. I want to pay for the exact amount of cheese that is going to be eaten in the exact pre-mold cheese window. And I am telling you from experience and experimenting – FAILED experimenting – it’s not a drawer-sized amount.

And the problem with a giant cheese drawer is that you’re never entirely sure what you have. I usually have two half full bags of shredded colby jack at any given time, because CHEESE DRAWER. Something’s always lost in the back of the drawer, causing me to repurchase the same things over and over again. And then you have two bags of moldy cheese.

I have a point. I have two points, actually, the first being that a family of three does not need a cheese drawer. Okay, special exception on your way to the comments, your family needs a cheese drawer. I concede. My family does not need the mold colony that is our cheese drawer. Read above. I’m a special case. My other point is that for a guy who likes cheese so much, Phil is really not pulling his cheese weight in this house. That wasn’t really my other point, but more of an organic cheese-based epiphany I just had. PHIL, ARE YOU READING THIS? I’M NOT SUPPORTING THIS CHEESE-FARCE ANY LONGER.

I like makeup. I think I’ve discussed that enough. I like wearing it, I like reading about it, I like knowing about new things that are coming out, I like having new things that have come out. I like buying it. But having a makeup drawer is a lot like having a cheese drawer. If you just keep buying things, a lot of it ends up in the back, and soon you’ve got two bags of the same cheese. Or, to separate the threads as I intended to do when I inserted a paragraph break with the purpose of leaving cheese behind, you find yourself buying the same color of lipstick over and over and over.

I’ve been on a bit of a buying streak lately. Not in any kind of obsessive or worrying way. I haven’t been running up the credit cards or selling plasma to fund my makeup problem. Hell, I haven’t even been selling my cloth diapers to fund it, and Penny has been out of them for a while now. When I mentioned to Phil that I was considering doing a “no buy” for a while, he was surprised, because like I said, there’s no specific financial issue. We both have our hobbies and we both spend on them responsibly. But then, how responsible is it, really, when I’m buying more than I’ve had the time, lately, to really put to much use? If I’m buying things and they’re just sitting there, it’s like CHEESE. In our CHEESE drawer. Just sitting there with no purpose. Is it even CHEESE if it’s not being eaten? Er, MAKEUP, if it’s not being WORN? It’s just piles of money. It’s owning it just to own it. I’ll start forgetting what I have, buying duplicates of things I already own, things will start going bad. I’m not spending irresponsibly right now, but if things start going to waste completely, then it doesn’t matter how much or how little I actually spent. A waste is a waste. And that just really chaps my ass.

So that’s what brought me to my no buy. Laura is doing one, too, and just posted her rules the other day. I’ve spent some time thinking about my rules, and they’re a little bit different. First, I’m only limiting myself to cosmetic products, because that’s really what I’ve been “collecting” kind of mindlessly. Second, I don’t have a specific time limit on mine, like for a month or two months. Here is the other issue. Another thing that I pay for and don’t use is this site. It really gives me the red ass to pay my hosting bill and then let the site sit here. Like some of Phil’s cheese. I am not concerned about lost audience, or lost revenue opportunities, or the – okay, stop me right here before I go off on a tangent about the false cries about blogging being dead and your inability to look outside your own dying circle does not translate to the actual medium being dead and holy shit, you do not own nor did you create the Internet and a whole new generation is coming behind you so just MOVE OVER if you can’t handle the new developments and STOP WHIN — it just irritates me to PAY for it and not DO anything with it, you know? And like last year, since PJs, I’ve been kind of loafing.

So I got this bucket, and I went over to the former snack door, now makeup door:

SPACE SAVER!

And I grabbed just about everything that I’ve purchased since PJs. I think. Pretty much everything. That covers the last few months.

Now, I am not a beauty blogger and I never intend to be. I don’t have any makeup application skills, I don’t take good pictures, and I honestly have zero interest in doing any videos. But I can tell you what I think. Some of this stuff I bought specifically intending to at least provide swatches of the colors – those little baggies on the left side of the picture are all samples from indie cosmetic companies, and I know a lot of people are interested in hearing about them. And some things in the picture, I mentioned buying them on Twitter and when asked, said, “Oh, I am totally going to do a post about that.” And then didn’t. Some of these things I’ve been using for a little bit now, and like them. Some of these things I’ve tried and am not sure about. Some of these things are unopened, waiting for me to get a chance to sit down and swatch the colors and take some pictures like I really did intend to. Some I just haven’t gotten around to at all.

And, okay, I admit that this isn’t everything. There’s another ten eye shadows coming from another indie company, along with some blush samples (lilac!), plus a Tarte brow mousse I ordered from HauteLook before I started my no buy, and my Allure beauty box should be arriving today – you can see Laura’s unboxing here for what-all is in it.

So my OWN No Buy, No No Blog rules – my personal no buy applies to all cosmetic products (excluding body wash and face wash, because when I run out of what I have, I’m buying more). On top of that, I also have to get around to writing about the indie companies that I intended to write about when I bought the samples. On top of that, any products that I also considered writing about when I bought them (one of those makeup brushes is actually a paint brush, for example). Also, any product that anyone comments on today’s post that they are interested in hearing about. Lastly, everything else in the picture has to be dealt with in one of three ways – mentioned here, used until it’s gone, or given/thrown away if it’s not for me. After all of those things are satisfied, I can buy stuff again.

ONE BIG NOTE: I don’t actually have any intention of turning this into a beauty blog, though. This isn’t a post saying, okay, until I get through all of this, all my posts are going to be makeup posts. Because I don’t actually have that much to say about makeup, contrary to these 1500 words, because let’s be fair, a lot of them were about cheese. The No Buy, No No Blog is only intended to spur me into opening the new post screen, and to hopefully tack on a couple of words about eyeliner as well.

Okay. Who else is doing a No Buy? Or a No No Blog? Or wants to know about something in the picture? I should have made the picture blurrier, in retrospect.

Several Different Kinds of Worst Kinds. BONUS POEM.

Worst Kind of Friendly Cashier: The friendly craft store cashier. “You know what you can make with this?” Yep. I do. That’s why I’m buying it. I’ve got a plan. I’m buying it, and I’m going to take it home, and I’m going to execute my plan. When she says, “You know what you can make with this?,” she makes me pretend to consider her idea, like it’s good, and I might do it. But there’s no chance I’m going to do it, because I came in with a plan, which I am going home to execute. And then I am awkward, like, “oh, yeah, uh huh,” OR WORSE? I might feel like I have to tell her what I’m actually going to do, and then she’s judging my idea against hers, and maybe she’s not thinking my idea is very good, and I’m thinking about what she’s thinking, and I’m probably making serious bitch face, and then I am a bitch, and she’s thinking I’m a bitch, even though she is the one who made me be a bitch, by forcing me to pretend like I’m weighing her idea against mine. “CONSIDER MY IDEA. DID YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT IT? WHY NOT? MY IDEA IS GOOD, TOO. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO THAT’S SO GREAT? IS IT AS GOOD AS MY IDEA? JUSTIFY YOUR PLAN. TELL ME YOUR PLAN.”

Worst Kind of Person on Twitter: The person who puts all of their replies to other people in front of the original tweet. You know what I mean? You’re already limited to 140 characters, but this person crunches their responses even further. Instead of just replying directly to the person, like so,

@Person Thing I think is really brilliant and I am really impressed with myself!

they do something like this,

I’m rly self-impresssed, does every1 see this?!!? @Person Orignal tweet abbreviated down to nonsense.

He can just respond without putting the other person’s tweet in there. If I’m following the other person, too, I’ll see his response, and I’ll have already seen the original tweet. If I’m not following the other person, I won’t have seen the original tweet, and I won’t see theresponse. There’s a reason for that. Twitter is designed that way. It’s so that I don’t have to see the conversations of people I’m not following, or the half-conversations people I am following are having with people I’m not following. If I wanted to be following someone, I would be. By doing what the WORST KIND OF PERSON ON TWITTER is doing, he is deciding for me what I see. I’ve already decided, either by actively choosing not to follow who he is talking to, or by simply not getting to it yet, or not knowing who that person is, or WHATEVER. Whatever the reason, I have chosen either deliberately or by lack of action. I’ve chosen. And now he is overriding my choice, simply to make sure I see whatever he’s saying. He’s decided that whatever he has to say is more important than my choice, than the experience I’ve designed and decided on for myself. Similar to the douche period, it is equally douchey and equally employed by douches.

It’s the equivalent of autoplay music and videos and browser windows that resize themselves. IT IS. Don’t manipulate the Internet experience of other people. It’s RUDE. You don’t have a good reason for it. If you want to bring other people’s attention to a conversation that you’re involved in because you think it’s an important/funny/interesting conversation, find an important/interesting/funny point and retweet it like a normal person, and people can decide to join if they want. Damn. WORST KIND OF PERSON ON TWITTER.

The Worst Kind of Food Police: The “oh, that’s not a REAL ________!” people. Let’s take cheese steaks as an example. I love cheese steaks. And as we all know, Philadelphia has a reputation for cheese steaks. Sometimes, when a person eats a cheese steak, a person – henceforth known as a fartwaft – feels the need to inform the eater that what they are eating is not a REAL cheese steak. Because it’s not from Philadelphia. And also, it has the wrong kind of cheese. And also, did you put ketchup on it? Wait, is that mayonnaise? You don’t need all those vegetables on — look, just give it to me. That’s not even food. That’s not a REAL cheese steak. Let me just throw that in the garbage. IT’S NOT A REAL CHEESE STEAK. YOU’RE NOT EVEN FROM PENNSYLVANIA, ARE YOU? DO YOU HAVE A PERMIT FOR THAT SANDWICH? WHO EVEN SAID IT WAS OKAY FOR YOU TO ORDER A CHEESE STEAK? AM I GOING TO HAVE TO CALL SOMEONE DOWN HERE? DRAW THE LIBERTY BELL FROM MEMORY. I WANT TO SEE AN ACCURATE CRACK, TO SCALE.

Holy shit, shut the fuck up, fartwaft. Cheese + steak = cheese steak. End.

This also happens all the time with the “correct” preparation of ethnic foods, usually phrased as, “My grandmother would DIE TO DEATH if she saw you eating X food in Y way! SHE’D DIE FROM IT. Do you want my DEAD GRANDMOTHER to DIE SOME MORE?”

Yeah, you people – you guys – you’re the fucking worst. Just the worst. What the hell kind of response are you expecting when you do that? Someone’s going to spit the hunk of kielbasa right out of her mouth and back away with her hands in the air, sobbingly confessing to being Canadian all along? NO ONE IS TRYING TO REKILL ANYONE’S DEAD ANCESTORS. THERE’S NO LAW. There’s also no prize. Unless it’s for biggest fartwaft. Stinky.

*****

If I keep going, I am either going to get TOO MAD, or offend someone (OH: WORST KIND OF ENTITLED PERSON – “I’m offended by the fact that you don’t like something I do.” EXPECTANT LOOK. Where I am supposed to respond to the expectant look by assuring the person that they’re the special exception.), so I will just stop. But I suppose it would be okay if you maybe knew a worst kind of person or two. Like the kind of person who doesn’t update for weeks and then expects you to provide the content YOU CAN’T USE THAT ONE I JUST CALLED DIBS.

*****

This is Penelope.
She’s almost two.
I didn’t crop out the mess.
Try to make me give a poo.

A lot of thoughts about a lot of things that are mostly my kid and makeup and the HOA. You’ll need a juice break.

Hi. Before you commit to this post, I should warn you, it’s a double. Not a double blog post, but a double me blog post. So maybe scan for some words you like, or skim, or whatever. Or get some snacks, maybe a stool or ottoman for your feet. Stretch out. Settle in. I’ve been lonely. Let’s not be apart again.

We’ve been in our new place for about two weeks now. Or a year. It feels like forever, because a forever amount of things have gone on. On maybe our first or second night staying here, our neighbors started pounding on the door. It seems that in our attempt to figure out why we had next to NO water pressure in the house (delightful), we had turned a valve on OUR house that THEY had previously turned off, reactivating OUR sprinkler system that apparently had a GIGANTIC leak, flooding out their yard where they had just laid down a whole bunch of weed killer. They let us know that they had let several people who had been in and out of the house know (maintenance, property management employees, former resident) about the problem, and obviously, no one had passed the message to us. After heavily hinting they’d like us to pay for their expensive weed killer that had been washed away while at the same time assuring us that they understood it couldn’t possibly be our fault, we went inside, where I did not sleep AT ALL all night, knowing I had to call the property management company in the morning, totally prepared to have to argue about who was going to pay for it, and when we could get someone out there, and fretting about the water bill and tons of water leaking into the ground, and just prepared to do BATTLE, after what hell our LAST property management company was.

Yeah. 45 second phone call, someone was at our house within hours. He fixed the sprinkler system, then ALSO fixed a shower inside the house that – okay, you don’t need the details, but it was stupid. And broken. And THEN he relit the pilot light of the water heater which had – okay, you don’t need the details, but again. Stupid. And all of this was exciting because the water pressure appeared! And we had hot water! Because until THAT point, we’d been going back to our old place to shower, because we had the electric and water switched to our name, but since the place didn’t have a gas stove, we neglected to get gas turned on… not realizing there was a gas water heater. Oh, and gas heat. We were cold. And dirty. But just for a couple of days. And it’s warm in Arizona now. So now we’re just warm and dirty. And it’s just Pen and I who are dirty. And it’s by choice.

EXCEPT NO, IT’S NOT TOTALLY BY CHOICE. BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED THE NEXT WEEKEND? Both the toilets got blocked. One even in that way where it’s all clear water and you give it a cautious flush and then the water comes up and you have to RESCUE YOUR CHILD DRAMATICALLY from the oncoming flood [of a quarter inch of water] rushing toward her. I shut the bathroom door and left the house, because it seemed like a problem for future Phil. When he came home from work, both toilets were working fine, except making bubbly sounds? And then we noticed some… sediment. In the shower and tubs. And then by morning, both toilets were overflowing, and all the showers and tubs had water backing up into them. And this was a Saturday. Phil put in a call to the landlord, who put in a call to the property management handyman, who works a regular M-F schedule, so rightfully told us he could come on Monday. Because he doesn’t get paid to come from an hour away on the weekends. Phil called the property management woman back, and she was QUITE reluctant to send anyone else. Because it would cost money. It took more persuasion that was understandable to get across that no showers and no toilets from Saturday until Monday was not okay. Not. Okay. But, uh, anticlimactic ending, he did. At around 8 or 9am, she promised us a plumber between 3 and 4pm. At about 6:30pm, one arrived. Auuuggghhh.

So in the midst of all this, we’re unpacking at this house, and overlapping at the other place – finishing packing there and cleaning it, etc. Before we moved in, as part of the lease/promises of the property management company, they were to send gardeners over to restore the backyard and overall landscaping to a manageable point, and from there, it would be our responsibility. It wasn’t maintained before we moved in, and while maintaining it is part of the lease, and also part of the HOA covenant we signed, it was at a point that professionals are kind of needed – we can’t really handle the dead tree in the back or the palm tree maintenance on our own at this point. Well, though our landlord keeps checking in, the gardeners haven’t shown up, and we got a letter in our mailbox from the HOA saying it was the second notice and we need to weed/edge the front yard.

Since we just moved in, it was the first notice we received, but still. We signed the HOA covenant. We’re fine with the HOA. We know we need to take care of the yard. We feel like dicks that it isn’t done. I hate special snowflake situations. I know that I’m kind of claiming one for myself here. I’m asking you, Internet, to look at the totality of the circumstances here. We’ve been here for two weeks, we’ve had disaster after disaster, and our promised gardeners haven’t shown up. We are very aware we are not keeping up with the HOA rules that we agreed to when we moved into the community, and we know that we need to at least weed the front yard if the gardeners are not going to show up as promised, especially considering we got yet another notice from the HOA. Which is weird. Because… you’ll see.

Yesterday, Phil was outside trying to take down some of the weeds the best he could, just trying to be a good neighbor, because WE KNOW IT’S THE RULES. We’ve just had some PRESSING SITUATIONS. I know how I sound. You don’t have to tell me. I’m aware. I’m trying to get that across. Is it coming across? That I fully understand that we’re in breach of the HOA rules, and that I don’t really excuse us, but that it got away from us, and reasons, okay? There. Phil is outside taking down some of the weeds, and the “I kind of expect you to pay for this” neighbor wife sidles up to him and starts hinting around about how SHE would have expected the gardener would have come by now and how it’s just INSANE that the property management has let it go on SO LONG and SHE would be withholding rent by now.

We know now who finds the weeds to be such a pressing issue.

Here’s what’s strange. There’s not a whole ton of bylaws in the HOA covenant. Keep the lawns nice. Don’t leave the trash cans out. Don’t be loud and disturbing. No visible basketball hoops – yet, they’re all over the place. Okay. And no vehicle mechanics to be performed in driveways at all, absolutely none – but there are plenty of weekend mechanics doing their thing outside. And on street parking is prohibited. Well, people park all up and down the streets – including said neighbor, who use the cul de sac as their personal parking spot for their second pick up truck.

I’m fine with it if we live in a community where the HOA is lax. I’m totally fine with it. I’m even fine with it if we live in a community where the only bylaw they care about is the lawn. I just want to know, you know? I don’t want to be the only schmuck making my guests carpool because my driveway only fits one car, even though the people next door aren’t even using their driveway. So. Which plan do you like better?

  1. An apology to the HOA people, explaining that we just moved in, but also asking for clarification – you know, “we’ll get right on the lawn maintenance, but just for future reference, which of these rules we agreed to actually matter? Just so I’m clear.”
  2. Waiting until the next time neighbor lady strikes up a conversation, mentioning – a little embarrassed, of course – how we got tagged by the HOA for our lawn and how it got away from us with all of the plumbing emergencies we kept having during our move in, but how weird it is. “It’s so strange, though – they’re right on top of us about our lawn, but we read the rules really carefully when we moved in, and they don’t seem to care about the basketball hoops all over the place – which is great, obviously, because where else can you put them that isn’t visible? – and of course they don’t seem to mind the all the on street parking. MEANINGFUL GLANCE AT THEIR TRUCK.”

Seriously. I will follow HOA rules. I will. They’re there for a reason. And the neighbor lady can report me up one side of her frustrated life and down the other when I’m out of line. BUT TO DO IT WHEN SHE HERSELF is breaking the same bylaws just REALLY GIVES ME THE RED ASS. I just need to know. Which laws can I ignore?

Pep puts her butt on the dogs.
I don’t know.

Pep is having some kind of sleep regression. I don’t know why. I’m not going to give you the details because even with the details, you can’t fix it. No one can fix it, not at this age. It’s not a matter of teaching her how to sleep. She knows how to sleep. In fact, she’s an excellent sleeper. Except for the fact that she’s never been one of those twelve hour a night sleepers I was promised in the brochure, she’s the kind of sleeper one might envy. She puts herself to sleep for naps at the same time every day in seconds. She goes to bed at bedtime, again in moments, without complaint. Usually. Sometimes, lately. She generally sleeps right through the night, occasionally requiring a parental visit to retuck a blanket or locate a pacifier, something I’ve suspected for a while we should just stop doing, because she’s perfectly capable of doing both of those things herself. But we’ve done them, because it’s hardly anything, especially in the previous house, where our bedroom doors were so close, they were practically touching. I almost didn’t have to open my eyes to dip into her room for a second, I was practically still asleep when I got back into my own bed.

But now, the house has a split floor plan, and the trek over to her room is not as easy. And now, starting a couple of days ago with a cold that disrupted her sleep with sad cries of “Nosey! Nooosey!,” we’re ending up over there a lot. A lot. For long periods of time. In the hours that should REMAIN UNSEEN BY DECENT LADIES SUCH AS MYSELF. Is she scared? I don’t know. I don’t think so. I think she doesn’t actually know how to put herself to sleep, because she usually just falls asleep. I think that side of the house is too quiet. I think she’s aware of how far away we are in this house. I think she might be scared of the sound monitor we added to her room. She calls it the “hello,” because we can talk to her through it, and we say, “Hello, Penelope, it’s Mama/Daddy.” I don’t think she knows it’s us on the other side. I think she’s a manipulator and knows if she just cries LONG ENOUGH, we’ll show up. She sleeps straight through the night some nights. She falls asleep despite her distress if she’s exhausted other nights. She won’t calm down without parental presence and repeatedly walks to her bedroom door to beg for Phil to come over no matter how many times she’s replaced in her bed on the bad nights.

It’s a phase, obviously, and it’s either attached to the cold we’re still just coming out of, or attached to moving to the new house, or it’s attached to some magic combination of circumstances that we haven’t quite put together yet, because some nights are absolutely perfect, not a peep heard the whole night through. It’s a stupid phase, and I hate it, because I already don’t get as much sleep as I require (one million hours) during the week. It’s frustrating because of course it tries our patience and we’re not our best selves with her when she’s dragging us from bed at two in the morning, but she’s crying, “Please, Daddy! Please, Daddy! Please, Daddy!” And who doesn’t feel like a buns hole stomping angrily away from that? Answer? Me. I don’t. I don’t, until the next morning. Because I’m tired.

I guess I did give you the details. But seriously, don’t try to fix it. Come on. It’s a phase. I know the whole “lead her back to bed without saying a word” thing. There’s not anything else. You can’t force someone to sleep. I can’t teach her to sleep, she knows how to sleep. We’ve introduced her to all the stuff in her new room, and the thing is, she needs to suck it up and deal, because we live here. So. Life’s tough. Get a helmet. AND GO TO SLEEP. AH’M TAHRED.

ANOTHER thing about my kid and my house? We have those handle door… handles. Like not knobs, but handles? Yeah, Pen can open those. It’s not good. She’s always bringing me shit from the pantry, which is kind of her, but my need for a box of lasagna noodles in the middle of the afternoon is low, and my need to have my window washed with a combination of her hands and the innards of a can of Coke Zero that she somehow busted open by slamming it repeatedly against the glass is slightly slimmer. Enter this thing Phil found – the Door Monkey. THE EMMER EFFING DOOR MONKEY. All hail that ridiculous piece of plastic. I love you, Door Monkey.

When Phil ordered it from Amazon and handed it to me, I did not understand what I was looking at. It makes no sense in the package, unless you’re the type who can, uh… look at things. And make sense of them. But he put it on the door in about a second and a half and my life was instantly unruined (it was ruined when I moved into a house with stupid handles for door workies, keep up).  It’s out of Pen’s reach, she can’t open the door, neither can the dogs. It can stay on the doors all the time, and you can work it from either side, so it’s not like adults are locked in if it’s on. So I can go lay in our bedroom to read with it on the door, and Phil can come in or I can go out, without removing it or having to ask to be let it/out.

It does leave the door open a crack, and the site says it’s a benefit “to allow for air circulation,” but whatever. It leaves the door open a crack. That’s either something you like, because fingers can’t get pinched, or something you deal with, like if you’re using it on bathroom doors. It comes off the door and goes back on in a hot second, so it’s not a huge deal to take it off if you are using it on a bathroom door and then put it back on when you’re done, if you don’t want someone peeping at you through the crack, but aren’t YOU fancy, using the toilet without an audience standing two inches from your knees.

DOOR MONKEY. SERIOUSLY. DOOR. MONKEY.

MONKEY ALL THE DOORS.

Benefit Cosmetics recently came out with a new concealer called Fake Up. I checked it out at Ulta, but was waiting for a couple of real reviews to come out on sites like Makeup Alley or Makeup Addiction on Reddit, or reliable beauty blogs, because all I had seen up to that point were glowing write ups from people who had attended a release party and gotten some swag bags, so not especially helpful in my eyes. Finally, though, a review came out from a blog I really like (it’s linked up in the blog crouton as well, I suggest you read the whole thing, I did), and I was especially impressed by the before and after pictures. I have an appointment this week for a free brow wax with a $50 purchase from Benefit, so I added this product to my list to buy. Maybe. But, then, I thought, I don’t really have a problem with under eye circles, so maybe not. I mean, it seemed to work well, but if I don’t have the problem it’s designed to fix, why spend the money, right?

But that thought coincided with one of the very rare days I was on the non-clicking side of the camera.

And Fake Up slinks quietly back on to the list.

Oh, are we talking about makeup? Neat! If you’re following me on Twitter, I almost always am these days, and I want to clear something up. I’ve heard quite a few people say, in response to a picture of something I bought, or me talking about some kind of makeup or tool I use or want, that due to not having/using/understanding what I’m talking about, they’re not “good at being a girl” or they “fail at girl” or something like that. I get that the sentiment is a joke, but I want to be clear that one, I don’t hold those kinds of feelings at all – I don’t think of makeup as essential to girliness/womanhood in general, or even essential to my girliness/womanhood. At all. Period. And two, I don’t know what to say when people say that to me. It makes me uncomfortable. I feel like I’m either on the defensive, or that I need to comfort. Either I’m too girly and that’s “uncool,” or I need to say, “Oh, you’re plenty good at having a vagina! Let me see it! I’m sure it’s there!”

I like having makeup. I like owning it, and collecting it, and doing things with it. I spend my extra money on it, and I disappear into the bathroom to play with it when I have free time. I’m not going to get into the whole “why women wear makeup” thing, because OH MY LANDS, not today, but for me, it’s a hobby. Lots of people have hobbies. Lots of people have things they spend their money on, and things they spend their free time doing. This is mine. Sometimes I wear lots, sometimes I wear none. Sometimes I look really nice, sometimes I look really terrible. I just… this is what I like to do with my time. I also like to play video games and watch television, I like to read books, and I hate to cook and I’m bad at art, and I cannot decorate a house to save my life, and I have zero hostessing skills. So. Let’s not get into a who has the tiniest most shriveled up vagina battle over it, okay?

In the new house, I have gotten all of my makeup into one smallish drawer, so it’s really not that bad. Well, one smallish drawer, plus a couple of things in purses here and there. One smallish drawer, the purses here and there, and then the tall bottles on the counter. The drawer, the purses, the bottles on the counter, and then like some samples and stuff I don’t use very much in an overflow drawer. Well, the drawer, the purses, the counter, the other drawer, and then the stuff that isn’t unpacked but that’s not a lot. And that doesn’t include hair stuff, lotions, or perfumes, but that stuff isn’t make up. And of course, brushes are separate in a different bag. So, really, it’s not a lot at all when you think about how I’ve been able to consolidate it together.

I’ve claimed the second bathroom as my own.

I wasn’t planning on this post taking two hours to write or being 4000 words long, so let me just tell you some quick opinions about some of the stuff I’ve picked up recently.

  • Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Palette – this isn’t pictured because it had to go back. Only a couple of the shades were really workable for me. There was a ton of fallout from a couple of them, a couple of the others were really muddy when they blended, and at first I thought that with patience, I could make it work, but… see above about this being a hobby I like to do. I realized that this palette would just NOT be any fun to play around with. Chalky shadows, muddy colors, fallout all over my face – nope. First time I EVER took advantage of the Ulta return policy allowing me to take back something that just didn’t work for me. Nope. Nope.
  • Sugarbomb – This is one of the Benefit powder boxes. As you can see, I have a bunch there lined up on the left. LOVE IT. Coralista was my first, Hervana is my every day, Bella Bamba is one I’ve stayed away from and am just inching in to using, but I loved Sugarbomb from the second I used it. It’s perfect for the summer. It’s a little bronze-y-er than Hervana, and not as soft. You can see swatches here. (That’s a good beauty blog, too.)
  • Mascaras – Clump Crusher by Cover Girl and Big Fatty by Urban Decay. I love them both. A lot. One is significantly less expensive than the other, neither makes my eyes water when I inevitably forget I’m wearing mascara and rub them. Huge bonus.
  • Naked Skin Liquid Makeup by Urban Decay – I bought this after trying the Benefit Oxygen Wow stuff that turned out to be a bad color match. I recognize that I am pale, but I always turn out to be more pale than I think I am when I’m shopping for makeup, and I turned out to be the 0.5 shade in this stuff. I liked how it went on in the store, but I’m still struggling with it at home. It’s buildable, and I like to wear it a bit more sheer, but at home, I haven’t been able to find the balance between my skin being so dry that it goes on and I get flakes between my eyes/next to my nose, and so moisturized that the makeup slides right off my nose. So I end up with a heavier layer than I’d like (it still looks fine, I’d just like to wear a more sheer layer), set with Hello, Flawless from Benefit, which defeats the whole purpose, for me, of wearing the liquid stuff, if I’m just layering on the powder stuff ANYWAY. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just only going to get the results I like from powder/kabuki instead of liquid/sponge or brush. It could be. BUT. The formulation is great – it’s super light, it feels like nothing. The range of colors is awesome, with warm and cool versions for every shade. The price is okay.
  • Brushes – My two favorites at the moment are the eyeshadow “C” brush from ELF and the Expert Face Brush from Real Techniques. If you need brushes, and you don’t want to spend a zillion dollars, these are two good places to go. On eyeslipsface.com, stick to the Studio line of brushes. They’re about $3 each, and they’re not the best thing in the world, but I like the ones I have – especially that “C” brush, the powder brush, and the small stippling brush. They won’t last you forever, but they’re better than expected for their price. The essentials line, the white handled ones, they’re not so good. The brushes are super scratchy. The foundation and concealer ones are okay because you don’t rub/blend with them as much, but that’s about it. The Real Techniques brushes are just great. If you have an Ulta near you, they often go on sale for buy one, get one 50% off, but even not on sale, they’re a great price for the quality that they are. There’s two sets that are a good deal, but I think my next purchase is going to be the travel essentials.
  • I… could say a lot more things here. I should not. You didn’t ask for this. Nobody asked for this.

I really need to stop saying things.

That deer is a sweater eater. He is on WOOL. -M.H.

Let’s do something completely nuts, and I’ll just tell you what’s been going on.

1. Penny. I’ve covered the whole 20 months old is hard and frustrating thing, right? Okay, forget all that. She’s also hilarious and delightful. She learns at least a new word a day, most days it’s two or three. And she learns them. I hand her a carrot, and I say, “This is a carrot.” And she’s like, okay, carrot. And she’ll hold it up several times and show it to me, and be like, “Yo, here’s a carrot,” to show off to me that she now knows that the hard orange thing that she has FUCK ALL intentions of actually eating is a carrot. And she smiles proudly. And now she knows – that’s a carrot. She knows it forever.

Words learned in the past two or so days: bird, pretty, thank you (on top of the previous “thanks!), carrot, apple (to actually refer to clementines, which we just bought for the first time EVER – how about THOSE THINGS, AM I RIGHT? PEELING RIGHT OPEN!), taco, pop (for ice pop), and, I don’t know, world peace.

She’s also started calling her collection of blankets “naps.” It’s wrong, but it’s adorable.

I want to tell you all of the words she says, but I’m not going to, mostly because I didn’t write them down, but also because there’s got to be over a hundred at this point. She said her first sentence I don’t know how many months ago, and has been asking questions and holding simple conversations for a while now, too. Sometimes I forget that I’m the only one who hears her so perfectly clearly, but a good percentage of her words are easy for just about anyone to decipher.

HAIR.
 

Oh, and she also made up this song, which is no big thing, kids do that, but the same little tune and nonsense words were repeated so often over the next few days that we actually all sing it now.

(there’s a video here)

Try not to be intimidated by my perfectly staged, perfectly lovely, perfectly perfect mommyblogger home and life.

Zap-oh-dee, zap-oh-dee, hey, Penny, do you want to sing zap-oh-dee? Zap-oh-dee in the shower, zap-oh-dee while I’m cooking dinner, zap-oh-dee while we were doing annoyingly cliche adorable family walking through the little local wildlife zoo together over the weekend.

Phil & Penelope
 

The membership to the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium was Penny’s “big” Christmas gift from Phil and I. Since she is young enough to still fall under “free,” the membership technically only covers me. It came with a one time free adult admission, which we used for the family visit pictured above to get Phil in, so we only need to go once more before it’s nearly paid for itself. It’s close to the base – only 5 miles – and parking is free, so it’s hardly a huge loss if we head over and she loses her baby mind and I have to haul her back home. Or, to go over and just visit her current favorite things. The zoo has a petting zoo and playground, carousel, kangaroo walkabout, four aquarium buildings which she liked quite a bit (and which I imagine we’ll visit quite a bit in the Arizona armpit months), a baby animal nursery, a train, and, I don’t know, animals.

When we were in the petting zoo, I was taking pictures of Penny while Phil let her feed some of the pushy goats and deer some pellets, and an older couple was talking to each other, saying, “Look at that deer, eating that lady’s sweater! Look! That deer is just eating the lady’s sweater!”

Eventually, I heard them and was able to rescue the pocket of my FAVORITE FRUMPY OLD MAN CARDIGAN from the mouth of the world’s pushiest deer EVER, but geeze, people, THE LADY was standing right there and clearly distracted by her adorable child’s first face to face encounter with stinky tame wildlife. A little “Excuse me, ma’am, I don’t mean to be rude, but I wasn’t sure if you were aware that there’s an animal eating your clothing” wouldn’t have been amiss.

Honestly, I’m not as mad about the deer backwash all over the pocket of my sweater as I am about the opening left for my husband to say later, “They didn’t have to fawn over you, but a little head’s up would have been bucking nice.”

Don’t worry, I killed him, and it was painful.

Petting zoo

2. My head. I saw my neurologist yesterday. I like the guy. I saw him for about two seconds yesterday, seriously. He’s very quick, he’s very brusque, but I’ve never felt rushed or like he wasn’t giving me full attention, or like I wasn’t getting quality care. I saw him for the first time when I was hospitalized with my first vestibular migraine, and this past time when I saw him, yesterday, we decided I don’t have to go back for six months.

Things are good. It’s not perfect. I told him, my words exactly, “I am not completely miserable,” and he knew exactly what I meant, and he is familiar with me, and familiar with my situation – both mine and the general condition – enough to know that we’re at a good spot. I’m very pleased, compared to where I was last April, or last summer, or even last fall. If I thought everything could be perfect, I probably wouldn’t have accepted an appointment 6 months out to just check in, but then, I don’t get the feeling he would have offered that, either.

I feel like this is probably vague, like a weird update on a chapter I haven’t actually written, but whatever. Aren’t you kind of glad I haven’t made my head thing into my thing? You know what I mean. It’s been a thing in my life, and in Phil’s life, but ugh, aren’t we all glad I haven’t made it my thing.

Anyway, so this chapter I haven’t actually bothered to write is mostly closed, except that to get to this point that is good but not perfect, I take some medication at a higher level than I used to, and I liked the old level because it didn’t work too well, but didn’t have any side effects and I thought that was a good balance. But now I take the higher level that works quite well, but does have some side effects that I don’t really care for, one of the main ones being that while I have a lot to say, there’s a lot more wild hand gesturing and frustrated face pinching-upping to get my point across, and things like calling the oven “the onion” and saying what I almost mean, which works pretty fine when you’re talking to someone near you, or to your husband who isn’t particularly big on nuance anyway, but not particularly great for blogging.

So, like I said. It’s good, but not perfect. There’s not really a way around that.

And to be clear, I’m not offering that as an excuse for not blogging as much. I’m not saying, “Oh, I haven’t been blogging as much because I take a medication that makes it harder for me to blog.” I do take a medication that does make it harder, but I’m not making excuses because I don’t feel I owe anyone any. It’s a small distinction, but it is one, because I hate when people apologize for not blogging, because, come on. Do it or don’t, it’s okay. It is. You can stop for as long as you want to or need to, and then you can start again, and it’s always okay, okay? You don’t need to apologize to anyone, ever for letting one or two or twelve or a hundred days go by without writing a blog post. You can have reasons, you can say where you were, but you never have to apologize.  I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT PART IS CLEAR.

3. PJs! Oh, gosh, you guys, PJs is coming. I’m equal parts excited and exhausted already. I’ve got plans in place already this year to make it easier on me and less stressful than it was last year, and I’ve already got my eyes toward next year with tiny tweaks to prevent things that are tiny wrinkles in my plans this year. Last year, I thought I was doing a one time thing until right afterward. This year, I’m already thinking about next year before anyone even gets here.

The thing about PJs that makes it fun for me is that it’s my party. Whenever I find myself getting stressed out and a little freaked out about what if people hate this or what if people don’t like that or how will I possibly please everyone, I just remind myself that it’s my party. I’m not putting on a blog conference or facilitating a bloggy get together, I’m throwing PJs at TJ’s, which is my party, and I can be a good hostess and make sure my guests are comfortable and fed and reasonably accommodated, but when it comes down to it, I’m having friends over to come to my party. When it’s reframed like that, it suddenly shifts back to being fun to plan and I get all refreshed and enthusiastic again. I recommend everyone throw their own parties.

4. We’re MOVING. We’ve outgrown our house. I guess I don’t really have anything more to say than that. We’re not leaving Arizona, we can’t do that, we’re going to be at Luke until the end of time, probably. I don’t mind. This isn’t a bad place to live at all, and when Phil is out of the military and we eventually head back to the east coast, it will be with no small amount of bitter on my part.

We hope to be out of here as soon as March. I want to throw away everything we own and move with nothing. Not really, but I want to shed a lot of crap. Things we don’t use, things we have just because we think we’re supposed to have it, things we mean to use “someday,” things with misplaced sentimental value, BABY THINGS. I want it all to go. Anywhere. Not here. Not with us.

5. ONE LAST PENNY THING. She’s learning to dress herself. She goes into her bedroom and chooses a shirt and puts it on, but she doesn’t know how to put it on, not really. So she comes back out of her room “wearing” the shirt she’s chosen on top of whatever else she’s already wearing. She pulls the shirt over her head until her face comes through the neckhole, like a hood, or a scarf around her face, like CORNHOLIO, you know? And the sleeves just dangling down uselessly. And then she just GOES ABOUT HER BUSINESS with her toys and stuff. Completely seriously. I have no pictures, because if I get the camera, it tips her off that something isn’t right. You have to imagine it. IMAGINE IT.

 

Please don't act as though you don't have pellets, lady.