Zoom Zoom

Friday, February 20, 2009 Posted In , Edit This 14 Comments »
I have been extremely busy these last few days, scouring the internet and car yards for "The Perfect Vehicle" for Moi. I'm not fussy about what type of vehicle I buy as long as I am able to get from A to B in complete and utter luxury and style.

This means I will be unbearable unavailable for a few days until I have found a car befitting a woman of my high social and professional status.

Oh, and thanks to all those who "pointed out" that Twirling Girl is very "pert". I would like to offer an explanation for this occurence. It is the middle of WINTER and she is NEKKID. Or, she is uber impressed by Obama's Stimulus plan and is showing her... appreciation. Actually, I am getting tired of all the turning and turning... enough already, I'm getting dizzy. Someone throw a Snuggie over her.

So, I'm outta here... see you soon when I am the proud new owner of a BMW/Lamborghini/Mercedes Benz/Rolls Royce/Bentley/Ferrari/insert other fantasy car here. Or, I could just buy a corolla and take the letters off the back and replace them with L-E-X-U-S letters swiped off some poor blokes car. Don't laugh, we saw that the other day. For reals.

As long as the newbie proves to be a monstrous cash sucking, monoxide belching beast. Otherwise, it would hardly be worth having, would it?

Sanity Saver

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 Posted In , , , , Edit This 14 Comments »
I've been reading all sorts of great advice from various Mom Blogs... "How To Be A Better Wife and Mother Without Leaving The Sofa", "How to Elicit Appreciation From Your Husband Regarding All The Housework You Do From The Sofa", "How To Get Your Children To Cook Dinner" and other really great stuff that is pertinent for a twenty-first century, young(ish), busy, vital, multi-tasking mother (one hand updating status on Facebook, the other fast-forwarding through Paula Abdul).

I just love the information on the internet! It rivals the parenting advice I used to get from half an hour of "The Cosby Show"!! (almost)

Anyway, during the past couple of days I have discovered (quite by accident and without the help of the internet!) a parenting method that defies tradition yet has surprisingly good results. I introduce to you (drumroll) the "Ultimate Parenting Advice by Moi."

Seriously, this is the last piece of information you'll need for those situations when the kids start to bicker and quarrel and fight amongst each other and with you. When you are ready to auction your children off... this information will be a life saver for them you...

Items you will need:
- Sound System with brain bleeding volume capacity.
- Any head banging 80's music. Billy Idol's "White Wedding" works great. And yes, you HAVE TO use 80's music. It won't work if you choose any other era. Trust me.

Method: When the children's bickering is pounding on your last nerve... grab your music, turn up the volume to "Space Shuttle take-off" levels. Blast it! You can even sing along. (Dancing optional.) This is when the 80s era music comes into it's own. Because kids just don't like it. It will make them halt in bewilderment then flee to their room (your work is done) or halt in bewilderment, watch you, laugh, point and stare (your work is done).

Results: All the arguing magically disappears. The whining is gone. And the best part is, you can see their mouths moving but you can't hear what they're saying! Once peace is restored, all you need to do is glance in their direction every now and then to make sure they are not stabbing eachother, and all is SWEET.

Side benefits: You got off the sofa... or not.

Snuggies in the White House?

Monday, February 16, 2009 Posted In , Edit This 20 Comments »
Dedicated to Snuggie owners around the world and those who admire them... Kristina, this one is for you!

Twirling Girl Illusion

Sunday, February 15, 2009 Posted In , Edit This 10 Comments »
Do you see the girl spinning left, or right?
Can you make her spin one way, then change direction?
Take your time... you can do it!

Spinning girl

Apparently, the predominant direction you see her going is a reflection of which side of your brain is dominant which is probably absolute rubbish, since this is not real science, just an optical illusion.

I got to the stage where I can make her change direction by focusing on the foot closest to the ground.

Just a bit of fun...

I'm Innocent!

Saturday, February 14, 2009 Posted In , , , Edit This 19 Comments »
I just came from shopping heck. There were about fifty people jammed into the Valentines aisle in Wal-Mart. By the time I got through the insanity, there was nothing of worth left on the shelves. There was plenty to choose from on the floor, however. I'm sure MM wouldn't mind the cute heart-shaped card I saw. It only had one footprint... I could get away with it, really I could... "It's not a dirty footprint! It's 'heel art' honey!"

But I didn't buy it. I went to Albertsons instead. It was blissfully clear of shoppers except for one lady with a BIG BEHIND. I won't tell you about the encounter with this rude lady who refused to move her shopping cart and her BIG BEHIND. I won't tell you about the way I used my shopping cart as a battering ram against her cart, to get into the Valentines aisle because she completely ignored my heartfelt "Excuse me, please!"

I won't tell you how she then tried to block my exit once I had found a pretty (but masculine) foot-art free card. I won't tell you that I kindly requested she move her BIG BEHIND AGAIN. My polite entreaty fallen on deaf ears, she wouldn't even LOOK at me! So I had to resort to using my shopping cart to bash my way OUT. Crash! Bang! Take THAT!

I hoped the security guys weren't watching and that they wouldn't confiscate my groceries and distribute my photo to all staff with the order... "DO NOT GIVE A SHOPPING CART TO THIS WOMAN!" I just know they would not prosecute the BIG BEHIND lady because she probably appeared on camera to be the innocent victim and I the guilty cart bashing perpetrator!

I practically ran through the checkout.

It was once I got home and breathlessly told MM about how RUDE some people can be and how they act like they're DEAF, that MM said to me, "How do you know she wasn't deaf?"

"Because she.... because I.... because..... AHHH CRAP!"

Valentines Bah Humbug

Friday, February 13, 2009 Posted In , , Edit This 13 Comments »
Valentines Day is today for my 4th grader. His teacher gave him a list of all the kids in the class that he has to give cards to. Which is, everyone. I'm confused. Aren't they supposed to write Valentines cards to the kids they like? And, why does he have to give Valentine cards to BOYS? Isn't that pushing him over to the OTHER side?

If it were up to M, nobody would be getting cards from him. These are just some of his comments to me...

"DO NOT write a girl's name on the hearts cards! Don't even use the hearts cards, mum!"

"Be mine...no pressure... ?? I can't give this to a boy!!"

"What does this one say?... "You'll fill the space in my heart?" Bleuccchhh! Take that card out too."

"Oh no, I have to give one to HER? She likes me! Groan..."

"DO NOT put happy faces on them! I am NOT giving smiley face cards to girls!"

"Yuck! Why do they have to talk about love?"

So, I ask M if he would like to give me a heart card. "Can I be your Valentine, son?" His response... "Yeah... whatever..."

He loves me!

Buy Now, Or Else!

Thursday, February 12, 2009 Posted In , , , Edit This 10 Comments »
The housing market sucks. I live on a small street with thirteen houses. Three of them went into foreclosure within months of eachother. Then, people moved into an empty house across the road. Loud parties and night-time brawls became the norm for our formerly quiet little street until the Police raided the house late one night and smashed down the garage door with a battering ram. I heard one almighty racket and ran outside to see what the heck was going on.

MM and the kids were hot on my heels. We counted thirteen police cruisers, numerous cops, guns and dogs. They cuffed two guys that they said were drug dealers. Whoa! I went to sleep in Normal and woke up in Watts!

That was some months back and there is now only one empty house on our street and it's owned by a bank. They sent some guys to spray paint the grass. They think this makes the front yard look more appealing. The lawn used to look like dried up brown straw. Now it looks like dried up freakishly green straw.

But despite the slump in the market, there are still new houses being built two streets over from us! The owners are desperately trying to offload these white elephants. I saw balloons and dancing sign-holder guys and crazy incentives being offered. But then, this week, I saw a sign that said, "Homes Must Sell This Week. Act Fast. LAST CHANCE!" Which naturally, made me wonder... last chance... or what? They'll stay empty? Oh no! Anything but that!

Or, if they don't sell by Sunday, is the Salvation Army going to cart them away? Or, are they turning them into dog kennels for the Friends of the Valley Animal Shelter? Are they going to burn them all down?...take that, all you non-house-buying people! You'll rue the day that you didn't buy a house from me!

I might go over and ask them tomorrow.

What Yanks Your Chain?

Sunday, February 08, 2009 Posted In , , , , , Edit This 20 Comments »
You are very astute to notice I am home early from church. I couldn't handle the sinus headache anymore so I came home to pop some advil and achieve some druggy bliss. Coincidentally, I find that today is Feb 8 which just happens to be... you guessed it... PEEVES DAY! Yay! This is the day allocated to freely mock and criticize whatever I feel eminently mockable and... criticize-able.

1) Of course anything on "As Seen On TV" qualifies but this item takes top billing in my opinion. It's the shiny, sparkly "Lord's Prayer Cross."

But... this is not just any cheap crystal cross. This cheap crystal cross is special because it has the Lord's prayer engraved into the back of it. Hold it up to the light and it will be revealed! What? What do you mean you can't read it? It's right there!

2) Coming a close second is the "Baby on Board" sign. Once upon a time these signs were a good idea because they indicated to emergency crews at roadside accidents, that there was a baby they needed to account for. Bet you didn't know that. Nowadays, they are some kind of badge of pride or something.
So you're fertile! Great! Happy for ya.
Do these people put the sign in their vehicles because they assume we value their life less than that of their offspring? "Oh thank goodness they put the sign up! I was about to run right over that car! Whew!"

3) Being subjected to loud cell phone conversations at the checkout. It's not like I can walk away because I am stuck at the checkout! And seriously, I do NOT want to know what your test results are, what lengths you will go to to get your ex back (excuse me while I puke) or how your dog reacted to the thermometer. How can you say this stuff in front of strangers anyway? Here's a tip... GO AWAY! Wait til you are out of the store to call your peeps!

4) These online ads... Who said they could put a picture of my flabby gut ON THE INTERNET??!! I certainly don't remember giving my permission! Who do I sue?

5) Last but by no means the least... restaurant drive-thru speaker thingies. I hate them and will avoid speaking into them if I can.
Imagine you are me. Kiwi accent.
"Can I get two chicken sandwiches?"
"Two. Chicken. Sandwiches."
"Seven beef tacos?"
"Yes, I am!"
"What did you want?"

Slashing and Slamming

Saturday, February 07, 2009 Posted In , , , , Edit This 13 Comments »
There have been a lot of people knocking on our door. Selling cleaning products, magazines, newspapers, bug spraying services and landscaping. As the economy worsens, we even have little kids running up to us on the street with bags of tamales to sell.

We had been slashing dead palm fronds off the twenty or so palm trees that some palm obsessed idiot planted on our property before we owned it. Well, to be honest, MM did the ladder climbing and cutting and I watched and offered excellent 'slashing advice'.

So... after a strenuous afternoon... we had a thigh-high pile of dead palm fronds on the driveway. I knew the kids could have endless fun with the mess but the HOA would rear it's Medusa heads at us before long, so we arranged to have it removed in a few days.

The next day there was a knock at the door. A man asked me if I wanted the 'mess' removed. He promised to get it done quickly. I asked him how much.

He said, "Three."
Moi: "Three? Three what? Three drachmas? Three yen?"
Him: "Ah... three hundred."
Moi: "DOLLARS??!"
Him: "Yes."

I was so incredulous I just started laughing. I thought he was joking. Then mid-laugh I realised he wasn't joking because he was standing there with a puzzled look on his face, so it turned from a "Ha, ha great joke!" laugh to a "You've GOT TO BE KIDDING me!" laugh, to a "GET OFF MY PROPERTY!" laugh. If there is such a thing.

Then I shut the door. Still laughing. Probably hysterically by now. M was looking at me strangely.

Then later, I came upon M telling his father about it saying, "Then she laughed and SHUT THE DOOR IN HIS FACE dad!"

He was trying to rob me! I'm all for people taking the initiative but he wasn't offering to do anything more than take a handful of dead leaves away! Lucky I wasn't a little old widow with no options and a purse full of life savings!


Thursday, February 05, 2009 Posted In , , Edit This 17 Comments »
Like an idiot, I went to the new car sales yard first. I don't want to pay new car dollars but am thinking it wouldn't hurt to just take a peek, would it? As the sales guy swaggered toward us I told MM, "We won't test drive anything and we won't commit to anything. I am prepared to unleash if this guy does the hard sales pitch on us. I will use extreme rudeness, if necessary." MM had the good sense to look a little worried.

We all know the car industry is teetering toward the Pit of Despair but you wouldn't know it to look at the Ford sales guy. He was the picture of professionalism. Oozing charm and non-confrontation-ism. He even smelled like he'd showered that very morning. He casually asked what we were looking for then steered us straight toward this... A Ford Flex.

Yeah, I know. Boxy. Low. Small engine. May not have the grunt I need. I know I want a bus but I don't actually want a... bus.

So, sales dude smoothly asks, "What colour? You like red? You like the 20" rims? How about the nineteen air bags and the multi-panel vista roof? The dvd player and the leather interior? Let's take it for a drive shall we?"
Nod. "OK." (What am I doing?)
"Why don't you drive, young lady?" Nod. (Arrrgh!)
"Here are the keys. Don't break any speed records!" Chuckle.
"OK." (Arrrgh!)
After a blissful ride around the block and a brief burn down the freeway, I reluctantly handed the keys back.
"How much is it?" (Great, I had to ask!)
"With all the options... because that's the one you just drove... only $32,000. On special this month."


P.S. The Ford Flex is a new 2009 "crossover" car model. Used ones not available yet. $32,000 just a TAD over budget.

A Driving Force

Sunday, February 01, 2009 Posted In , , Edit This 11 Comments »
The pressure got to me. It got to MM too. We should have been honest with ourselves months ago. Admitting we have a problem was the first step. We realised that we can no longer go on like everything is normal. Because it's not normal. It just isn't. We know that now. So, we have decided to improve our lives and... buy a SECOND CAR!

Once we discussed our chronic car deprivation with a qualified Vehicle Procurement Counselor, I began to understand why people need three or more cars per family.

You need a bus that will fit the whole tribe and will handle sticky fingerprints, spilt soda, dried up french fries and snot. Then you need a pretty car to show off in, ("Look at me all you poor people who can't afford a Lexus/BMW/Benz/Corvette!") and one piece of junk for hubby to take to work.

I know that now. It just took a while for me to let go of my antiquated, "Saving the planet whilst saving money", mentality.

I know I can do it. With determination and complete disregard for the hydrocarbon emissions I will be contributing to our breathable air... I too can be blasting down the freeway in an overpriced gas guzzler that will devalue 160% before I drive it off the lot.

We've taken the first step. I know it will get increasingly harder until we get that shiny metal leech in our garage.

Please be supportive as we go through this difficult transition from a one car family to a two car environmental disaster. As the immortal Boyz II Men sang, "It's so hard... to say goodbye... to yesterday..."