The People Who Choose To Love Me

The People Who Choose To Love Me
This is my family. Watermark and all.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Don't Bother Reading This

Wow, it's been awhile... Where do I start?  I have zero time to sleep or eat or breathe right now between life and school and work and all the funny in my entire body has been drained via my soul being sucked out of my sleep deprived body. The End.



Just kidding. Although, I don't have much to write about right now. So, just kidding about just kidding. I'll have to come back to this another day.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Death Of A Talesman- Guest Blogger Danny Minnesota


…Not that I’ve ever finished a single book I’ve started, or a poem I’ve started or a script I’ve started. But I’ve started. And the point is, I'm an idiot...

And this is a story about that.

I’m sitting in my home office at 3 o’clock in the afternoon on a Tuesday. My four year old is in the other room asking her mother for yet another plate of cheese and I’m dreading the inevitable constipation coming her way. My seven year old will be trotting off the bus from school shortly and then the house will become chaos.

So I have about twenty minutes to make progress on my story. I’ve been working on it for about two years now. The characters are all robust, complex beings with history and depth and a true sense of self. The main character, Dillion is a smarter, wittier and more handsome version of the man I wish I had become. 'Sadly I’m just me,' I think, as I stare at the screen. The words jump out at me. “This is good stuff” I think to myself.

“Momma!” I hear from the other room. “MORE CHEESE!” “Momma?!?”

“Honey?” I yell. No answer. She must be upstairs. I go get the kid some cheese and settle back down at my desk. The chair squeaks. I rub my eyes. Okay. What happens next? I reference my notes. Ah yes. The first attempt! I’ve been waiting to write this chapter for a very long time. I start writing.

“Dillion finds himself alone at last. The vast expanse of black marble reflects his angst as he steps slowly onto the platform. He rests one hand on the time machine he built and…

“Babe?” I jolt in terror as the wife appears out of the ether and rests her hand on my shoulder. “Tacos tonight? Or do you wanna grill?”

I shake my head and nod at the screen. “I’m in the middle of something. Ask me later.”

“I just wanna know if you want tacos or…”

“Tacos.” I say curtly. She leaves in a huff. I focus. I re-read my last sentence. Right. The Time Machine. I reference my notes. Back to the screen. I rub my eyes. A sip of coffee. Here we go.

“He enters cautiously. His thoughts take him back to that terror-filled day. When everything he had was taken from him. He reaches out his hand and…”

“Daddy?”

Oh dear GOD! I turn and there is the four year old. “Mommy says I can’t have any more cheese.”

“Well,” I say. “Then you can’t have any more cheese. Sweetheart, I’m working. I need a half hour. Can you give me that? Even just twenty minutes okay, Love-bug?”

Back to the screen and another half-sentence later and my seven year old trots into the office and sits down next to me. “Hey, Dad!”

I take off my glasses and turn to give her a big hug. “Hey, Kiddo. How was school?”

She shrugs me off and points and the screen. “Is that your job?”

“I’m working on a book, Hon. Remember? My book?” I’ve told her about it a hundred times.

“What’s it about?” she asks while picking fingernail polish off her thumb.

“It’s a grown-up story,” I tell her. “I need like ten minutes okay? I’ll be out in ten minutes.”

“Tellll meeeeeeeeeee what it’s aboouuuuuuutttt,” she whines.

I look at the clock and relent. If it will get me five minutes alone I’ll just tell her the story.

I swivel my chair toward her and lean on my knees. “It’s a story about a very sad man.”

“What’s his name?!?”

“I’ll tell you. Just listen. His name is Dillon. And Dillion fell in love with a very beautiful girl named Rhonda.”

“What color is her hair?”

“Brown. Now shhhhhh. Dillion and Rhonda like doing out-doorsy-type stuff and one day they are rafting out on the water. And there is an accident. And her raft tips over and Rhonda drowns.”

“Oh my gosh!”

“Right?!? So anyway, this makes Dillion, very sad, sweetheart. And he never quite gets over her. And nothing in the world can make him smile or laugh. Jokes aren’t even funny at all! So he decides that if he can travel back in time he can take jokes from NOW and tell those jokes way back THEN, and that would cause people all over the world to get funnier and funnier and funnier and by the time he returns back to NOW things will be very comical and can make him smile finally. Because all he really wants is to be happy.”

She looks to the ceiling and says “I don’t get it.”

I reply “I told you. It’s a grown-up story.”

“No,” she says leaning onto her knees. “I mean I don’t get it. Why is he time traveling to make things funnier?”

“Well because he’s so sad all the time,” I tell her. “He wants things to make him smile again.”

“But Dad. Why doesn’t he just go back in time and not have his girlfriend die?” She looks at me like I am a science experiment.

And in that moment I lean back into my chair realizing that I am quite possibly the single stupidest person ever to live. My story makes zero sense. None. And I’ve been working on it for two years. I have three time periods fleshed out for Dillion to try to “make funnier.” There are three love stories, bombs exploding, milestones in American and world history. Nazis even!

All because I wasn’t using my brain. He would just go back and save the girl! I am such an idiot.

I take my notes in my hand and toss them into the garbage. I kiss my seven year old on the top of the head and get up from my chair.

And with that she trots after me toward the kitchen as I ask, “Want some cheese?”















 Danny is the father of two delightful and insane Frozen princesses. He spends his time in Minnesota working in e-commerce, shoveling snow, and constantly cleaning up all things pink. He has four wives, one fish  one wife, four fish, and a job. He dressed as Marty McFly for Halloween. His real passion is writing and dreaming of some day performing his music in front of screaming female fans.



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I S illed Coffee On My Keyboard And Now The Stu id "_" Key Won't Work

Every day I s ill coffee on something. Do you know how many words ha  en to have a  in them??? A lot! So, now in tribute to Ste hen King, I will have to write all of my blog  osts with missing letters. I will rename my blog: The Unintentional Li ogram, which sucks because one of the letters is missing from the title.

Here is a list of words and  hrases I can no longer ty e.


1. Hi  o otomus
2.  hallic
3.  eter  an
4.  issed off
5. Vladimir  utin
6.  udding
7.  aranormal
8.  hotojournalist
9. a  etite
10.  e  er jack cheese
11. ine titude
12.  enchant
13. ractical
14. ort-a- otty
15. Mississi  i
15.  essimist
16.  roctologist
17. otato chi s
18. Donald Trum will never be MY  resident
19. oo oo
20.  ee  ee
21. enis
22. hobia
23.  hlegm
24.  lacid
25. i  i Longstockings
26. artical
27. itter  atter
28. ing  ong
29.  ajamas
30. linko
31. u  y
32. o  y cock


I think you get the  icture. This is going to drive me bat shit crazy...



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Murder, Soup Stock, And Cream Cheese Penguins

Last year, around this time, I was murdering turkeys. It wasn't a very pleasant task and the smell still haunts me. It's different killing something yourself and trying to eat it, than it is to go to the store and pick out an already dead thing to put in your mouth. The smell of blood and rapidly dying meat is sickeningly sweet and extremely pungent.

Anyway, our daughter wanted to try her hand at 4-H. We bought little turkey chicks (don't know the correct term for them and this is probably why we all failed at 4-H) and we raised them under heat lamps in a gigantic box until they were too big to house in our home. We took them to the 4-H farm and had to go water and feed them every day. Now, if you've never seen a real, live turkey before, don't waste your damn time. They are possibly the dumbest creatures on the face of the planet. Some days I would sit and watch them after feeding them and just wonder, "WHAT IS THE POINT OF YOU????" And, the answer is, none. No point except delicious meat.

Now, we couldn't afford to dump any more money into those stupid, fat, delicious birds, so we had to murder them ourselves. And, when I say my daughter wanted to try 4-H, I mean she wanted to see four little baby turkeys and then ignore the crap out of them for the following three months. So, my husband and I raised turkeys and had the pleasure of killing them one by one. We didn't have a garage to do this in, and obviously killing them in the house wouldn't have been pretty, so we dug a fire pit out in the front yard (on a street where kids walk and play), boiled hot water in a huge pot over the pit, and set up a noose in our mulberry tree. We hung them by their feet, slit their dumb little throats, and then dunked them into the boiling hot water to loosen the feathers. Our neighbors weren't impressed. But, they did stop talking to us.

Then came the fun part. And, by fun, I mean completely disgusting and life altering. I was in charge of defeathering and gutting. If you've never tried this, you just must. And, by must, I mean just go buy a turkey from the damn store. They're like $60 to raise and $17 at Safeway on sale.


So, I gutted four turkeys and then prepped them for eating. We sold one, gave one away, one was sliced into lunch meat, and the last one we saved for a Thanksgiving meal. Not worth it. But, after all of the slaughtering was done, I had the bright idea to utilize every part of the birds and make soup stock. Do you know how soup stock is made? Like this...








 You boil the feet and legs to get the gelatin stuff out of them. The feet area is apparently where all the flavor is.  I made gallons of soup stock, pulled out the old canner, and canned about thirty jars of soup stock. 


Cut to a few months later when I actually needed soup stock.


I opened the lid of one of the jars of soup stock, popped off the seal, and the stench of death and rot was overwhelming. I am not a professional canner of soup stock. So, the entire venture was a bust. But, I did learn that if I want to get fancy and make things bird-related I can just skip past the feet boiling and make these little guys out of black olives and cream cheese.


 The best kind of bird to eat is one you don't have to hang by a tree, murder, and disembowel.






Monday, November 23, 2015

It's So Quiet I Can Hear My Coffee Burning My Thigh

Every morning I stumble out of bed, walk blindly to the coffee pot, and pour a ridiculous amount of coffee that I try to drink out of my mug like it's a shot of Fireball. And, every morning, I spill coffee all over my shirt, the floors, and if I'm sitting, my legs. It's a painful reminder that mornings are the anti-Christ and I should just go back to bed.


All four of my kids are gone for one whole week. We let one grandma kidnap the boy and the girls went to visit their dad and grandma. My house is so quiet. I can't even concentrate because I don't have four tiny people screaming at me while I try to concentrate. I've gotten accustomed to the incessant interruptions and now I have to figure out how people without kids operate and do things without having to stop to wipe up poop or make cereal every fifteen seconds. I can't concentrate on anything except the lack of interruptions and listening to every small sound that would otherwise be drowned out by kids fighting or whining. I will accept that my personal brand of writing includes list writing and write a list of every audible sound around me.


SOUNDS I WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO HEAR IF MY KIDS WERE HOME

1. SHIT!!! The arrival of the trash truck. I think I missed it.


2. The ice maker having a seizure.


3. A robin in the front yard.


4. The neighbor's yappy dog CoCo running in a circle like it's missing it's left hind leg in my front yard. I find it funny they named this dog CoCo because I always feel like grinding him up into a fine, brown powder.


5. Dust falling into place on the bookshelf.


6. My own thoughts. Is that my voice???


Anyway, you get the picture, It's really super quiet... I guess I can finally read all of those books that I have set aside to read but never have the time to actually get through a chapter. I'm going to start in on Jaxon M. King's novel Into Jackson: Everything In Between today. It's gotten really good reviews and if I can focus on anything other than the sound of my hair growing later, I hope to find another amazing read. If you want to check it out before I get a chance to review it here on the blog, here's the link to buy it on Amazon.




My husband works with the author and says he's a really great guy and I probably should have waited to meet him in person before linking up on Twitter with him because now he probably thinks I'm even more crazy than I really am. I swear I don't talk about harming animals or sexual perversions as much as my Twitter account would have you think otherwise. Well, I did threaten to turn CoCo into cocoa this morning, BUT HE IS SCARY AND HE BITES MY ANKLES REALLY HARD (in my defense)!! Anyway, I'm sure Jaxon would appreciate any feedback on his new book if you'd like to give it. He is a freelance author, just starting out, and I think I'd like to pick his brain sometime about his process of publication so I know what I'm in for once all of the dust settles and my hair stops growing, or maybe just when my kids get back home so I can write in my normal dysfunctional setting.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

In A Blog Far, Far Away...

I totally forgot about this blog I started a billion years ago. I just read the entire thing (it's only about ten posts) and I have to say, I feel like I've grown as a person. I recommend starting at the beginning.









I'm thankful for running across this today because it has shown me that I have in fact "grown up" a little, even though most days I feel like throwing a tantrum equal to that of my three year old, and now I don't have to think of something to write about  and all of you get ten posts for the price of one. I expect compensation by means of barter. I will accept pies and/or food covered in either gravy or cheese. Thank you.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Writer's Block

Here are what the last few pages that I've worked on for the "book" look like:


So...









That was page 1.


The...









That was page 2.



One time...







Page 3.


It goes on, but I won't. How do any of you writers get out of a funk? How do you bring yourself to write under pressure? Even if the pressure is self induced? I don't understand my brain. I can sit and write for hours on my blog, but when it comes to something that I think might have a chance at publication, I freeze. It's just out there forever, bound, on shelves, and for sale. Is my writing worth $11.99? I picture myself as an actress while I'm asking myself these rhetorical questions. What is my motivation?

Is it money? For sure. Is it a shot at being known as something else than a mom? Of course. But, really, why is it that writers want to write? I don't think fame is necessarily a huge motivator because I saw how many people showed up for the Furiously Happy tour and, quite frankly, I don't think I could do it. Reading my words out loud to crowds of people who are happy you are a person and can recite your own words back to you is a little overwhelming. So, why do we do it? Therapy?


Monday, November 16, 2015

Empathy For Humans

I guess I used to sort of pride myself with being apathetic toward life. I didn't care much about anything, except for myself and my problems, for a very long time. I've hurt a lot of people. I've disappointed a lot of others. I have hurt and disappointed myself.

But then, there is a turning point, when "I" isn't as important as "WE," or "THEM," or "US," anymore. There are still struggles, daily, with trying to get away from "I." Our lives transform over the years into something bigger than we can control, and sometimes bigger than what we can handle, or accept, but suddenly, one day, we realize that "I" am not the center of it all, and empathy starts to overcome apathy.

My kids have helped in this transformation of completely selfish to a little more selfless. Empathy is easier when you care about something bigger, and better, and brighter than "I." My husband has taught me more about love and life in the last five years than I thought my heart was capable of feeling. And, over time, my apathy has diminished and has morphed into more than "I," and what affects "ME." The choice to put others in front of our own wants and needs is not easy, but over the course of the years I have found that caring for and about others is more satisfying than satisfying my own selfish desires. Still, sometimes, the "I" in "ME," gets the better of "ME," and I slip up and do something stupid that could have easily been avoided if I just focused and mindfully thought for a moment about how "MY" actions affect "OTHERS."

A lot of this is just stepping up and taking personal responsibility for our words, actions, even our thoughts. A lot of it is just common decency. I have seen a lot of people making very disparaging comments about other religions, other points of view, other feelings and thoughts, in the aftermath of yet another senseless act in Paris this week.  Is it worth it to alienate even an acquaintance in order to be heard on an issue that we were not physically present for, or even have the capability of comprehending at the moment?  The things that motivate one person may devalue another, strip another of their dignity, of their basic human rights. How do we deal with this? How do we react? Do we cry out in outrage? Do we retaliate? Can we put ourselves in another person's shoes, even if that person has been motivated by hate, to try and understand why something that seems so senseless to some seems imperative to others? I feel that asking certain people to try and look beyond their view point is frowned upon and offense is taken almost immediately because to do so would conflict with their personal beliefs or values. And, it is hard to see what could make another person feel so much hatred, with so much intensity, that they would not only take the lives of complete strangers, but also their own. It's hard to put yourself in the place of a mother that just lost a child, or a child who just lost a father, or a friend who is now without someone they knew since childhood. It's hard because it hurts to think of losing that in our own lives, and sometimes it's easier to ignore that this exists and is real for someone else because our focus is solely on "I."

I'm not trying to get all Breakfast Club on everyone here. I am not a bleeding heart, I'm not a conservative, I'm not a liberal, I'm not a Christian, I'm not a Muslim. I'm not a Jew. I'm a human being. And, as a human, my heart hurts for humanity. It hurts for all of the senseless deaths that can not be understood right now. In Paris, and in my current personal day to day life. MY heart hurts for all of US as HUMANS. This post is not a cry for sympathy on anyone's behalf except for all of us as a whole. People are so eager to separate themselves from others, defining themselves by class, race, religion, or ideals, when we could all be making a bigger effort to connect on a human level, even in some small way. Paris is a drop in the bucket, and as so many people have pointed out in the last few days, there are so many deaths that we have not heard a single reported peep about because some people feel that those deaths are justified, or necessary retaliation to prove a point or stand our ground. I can't say for sure what the right or appropriate actions or answers are in this, or any one of the thousands of situations that have occurred over the course of recorded history, but it hurts to know people want to hurt others, for any reason. And, over the years, I've realized that not only is apathy a sickness, a highly contagious collective disease, but it is easily cured if our focus can remain trained on a wider focus than "I."

Friday, November 13, 2015

Aziz Ansari And I Are Basically The Same Person

 Maybe the title of this post is taking things a bit too far. Aziz Ansari and I are not long lost twins, I am not his clone, my skin is as white as the driven snow, I don't possess a penis, and I can only be funny on paper (for the most part), but still, I get him. He is hilarious in everything I have seen him in and I feel like he asks the same questions on his new show that I ask myself internally every single day.

I don't know how many of you have had the opportunity to watch Aziz Ansari's new show Master Of None, but I know how many of you should rush to your Netflix watching devices and immediately binge watch every episode. Every. Single. One. Of. You.


This is Dev. He is my hero.




I was super excited to see that he titled his show Master Of None and told my husband, "Look! His show name and my blog name are similar!!" And, my husband had to point out that they were actually the exact opposite because technically he would be a jack of all trades, and I do not have a single trade to claim.


WHATEVER, WE COULD BE BEST FRIENDS IN REAL LIFE, OK???! 


Anyway, this isn't going to be some long, poignant post about my life skills (or lack thereof), or passionate opinions, or hilarious life observations. I'm just giving a shout out to Aziz for being himself and making a living at it. And, seriously, if you haven't seen the show, do it NOW.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

It's Either The Flu Or The Oversized Quesadilla I Ate For Dunch

Brunch is an amazing concept. I have also heard of "linner," but I like all of my midday meals to rhyme so I'm going with "dunch." Also, when you say all of the names of mealtimes in a row it sounds like a children's song. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dunch, dinner, midnight snack... See? There's a definite ring to it and I can almost sing it in tune with The Sound Of Music soundtrack.

Anyway, it's flu season. Two nights ago one of my children exploded. This is not an exaggeration. There was puke literally on every surface within a ten foot radius of this child. I used this bout with the flu as a learning experience. I learned that I am not nurturing. In fact, I'm pretty sure using every expletive humanly imaginable while bleaching every surface in your home is the exact opposite of nurturing. My poor kid is puking her guts out and I'm in the hallway shrieking, "Oh, fuck... It got on my arm!!! Babe!!! Where is the Emergen-C?? I'm going to die!! How in the hell does puke get on the ceiling??? This place is a vomitorium!!!" It took me a minute to realize that I was being a brat so I went and apologized to my ashen face sickie and made her as comfortable as I could by handing her things to comfort her with a ten foot long pole.


Yesterday, the smell of bleach still thick in the air, she started to feel better and I realized I hadn't eaten breakfast, brunch, or lunch, but it wasn't quite dinner time. So, I made a quesadilla for dunch. It was delicious. It was also super cheesy. Mmmmm... quesadillas... And, I ate in two seconds.


Flash forward to work six hours later, and that over sized quesadilla was making the rounds in my lower intestines. I started panicking. I felt flush and I was positive I caught the flu. I was the only person who had contact with the flu juices that spewed from my child's once adorable face. She is now, in the famous words of comedian/actor Nick Kroll, forever unclean.




My skin made direct contact with her undigested after school snack. I started obsessively feeling my forehead and excused myself to the bathroom. Surely, that quesadilla was going to make a second appearance. I sat in the bathroom stall for a few minutes, and nothin'. I didn't want to leave the other waitress to do all of the work around the place so I pulled myself together, washed my hands, and started filling salt shakers and sweeping. Then, the other waitress asked me if I was ok. Big mistake, other waitress.

"I don't know. I feel sick. Do I look sick? Am I pale? Feel my forehead! Don't get near me! I need to leave!!"

She was so sweet about it and told me to just go home. Well, she was either super sweet or just wanted me to get the hell away from her. Probably the latter. But then, in an instant, my guts started feeling normal and I stopped sweating and I realized it wasn't the flu and just an ungodly amount of cheese that was making me feel icky. And then, for whatever reason, I thought this would be a good blog idea. I am realizing now that no one probably needs to read about my intestines grumbling at work and the internal paranoia I face each and every time one of my kids has yakked all over my life. But, you're welcome anyway.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Scarred For Life: The Saga Of My Tattoo Apprenticeship

So, this week, I signed up for nail tech school. Yet another thing to add to a long list of careers I have tried, and failed at. Hopefully, this time I will not fail. I actually really can't fail because I will be up to my ears in student loans and I have to not only pay those back, but survive and feed my gaggle of small humans.


When I announced on Facebook that I would be starting this school I also mentioned that hopefully I will not cry when I screw up someone's nails like I cried when I screwed up someone's tattoos when I was apprenticing. I mean, I was learning and all, and I fully warned every willing body that donated their flesh to a (at the time) good cause, but it was still taxing and horrible when I made a mistake. I will start this blog out on a positive note, though. Below is the picture of the last tattoo I completed on my husband's leg. It is a nautilus.


The only tattoo that I only cried about ten times over and didn't turn out to look like complete dog shit.
Is dog shit one word or two? Spell check says two.


Anyway, the beginning  of my tattoo apprenticeship was rough. That's kinda putting it nicely. I started out on pigskin, which, first of all, was really weird. Pigskin is as close to human skin as it gets for practicing and every time I would go into the butcher's shop they would ask if I was making chicharrones, because that, apparently is a thing.


Chicharrones is fried pig skin fat. Otherwise known as Pork Rinds.


I was not making pork rinds, though. I was going to mutilate the dead skin of a pig for artistic purposes. Here is just the initial set up.


Not very pleasing to the eye, huh? Believe me, it was less appealing to the nose...


So, after months of practicing on pigskin and on my poor husband, I started taking willing participants a.k.a. lifelong victims. Some tattoos turned out great, some... not so much...


My husband, for instance, is scarred for life. And, not in a good way. I am showing you what no man, woman, or child will probably ever see in person ever again... My husband's poor thighs.

 This was my first tattoo on human skin!! I cried for thirty minutes.



 Bigfoot, because you know, conspiracies.



 Some weird bird that I picked out of a children's' book and thought was the perfect thing to try and permanently mark my husband's leg with. Your guess is as good as mine.



 A picture off of the cover of a Kurt Vonnegut book. In theory, this would have been a kick ass tattoo.


And, of course, who can live their life properly without a narwhal tattoo?? I know I sure can't and maybe that's why things have gone so wrong. I'm making my appointment today.



So, I guess the whole point of this thing is that maybe nail tech school is safer than apprenticing to do tattoos. I mean, if I screw up a nail, I can remove it with acetone. If you screw up a tattoo, that shit lasts forever. And, believe me, acetone does not remove a tattoo... Even if you think really positive thoughts about it.


Monday, November 2, 2015

I Am A Pacifist But I'm Going To Beat The S*%t Out Of My Hot Water Heater

The hot water heater should be named something else. Like, "The Bane Of My Existence," or, "The Icy Tundra From Which No Hot Water Will Ever Be Known To Any Showering Man, Woman, Or Child," or, "I Am He Who Enjoys Torturing And Taunting A Household Full Of People Who Have Places To Fucking Be!!!!!"

Every morning for a month I have had a cold shower. I'm not sure if I should punch the hot water heater itself, or the pilot light in the face, but something is getting punched today. Hard. I do not condone violence. I have succumbed to violence in the past and it is no good. It will ruin your life unless you change your ways, but just this one last time, let's all band together and murder my hot water heater real quick. And then, we can all hold hands, sing Kumbaya, and eat juniper berries under the light of a full moon.


REDRUM.


Also, my poor husband, who is normally the pilot light lighter, is at work and has to deal with my incessant phone calls, needing him to walk me through every damn step of how to relight this stupid thing, and I'm sure the poor guy needs a break. Murder the hot water heater for my poor husband. Really, when you think about it, it's for charity. My husband doesn't like when I get frustrated about things like hot water heaters, modems, or cables that go to god knows where. It's just not fair to him. I am not a very mechanically/technically/technologically/life skills inclined person, and he has to suffer from the wrath that follows the pilot light deciding to blow itself out every day. 
 
Also, the shower is the only place to escape the fighting children in the morning. I DON'T CARE WHO EATS THE LAST OF THE LUCKY CHARMS. GO. TO. SCHOOL. ALREADY. So, on top of the constant fighting and bickering, I get a cold shower. It's like fighting with four deaf-mutes (because what incentive do the kids have to listen to me other than constant candy bribes and everything else their little hearts desire???) WHILE taking a butt-ass cold shower. 

So, unless you are a sadist, you will hammer this piece of crap to the ground with me. Who's on board??? 


Sunday, November 1, 2015

MmmmMmMM BbbBbrrRaAaaiiiNnnsSss... And Other Pinteresty Things

I love Pinterest. I also hate Pinterest. I mostly hate Pinterest.

Every time I decide to take a peek at things on this wondrous and seemingly endless website, full to the brim with bright ideas and picturesque baked goods, I think, "I could make that noooo problem!!!" Wrong. I will equate my cake baking abilities to someone who looks at an all you can eat buffet and thinks, "I can eat all of this!!" Wrong. You'll eat nine pieces of bacon, fourteen stuffed mushrooms, a two cup serving of mac and cheese, and you'll be full. My eyes are bigger than my stomach when it comes to Pinterest.

Awhile back I decided I was going to make a candy forest cake. I'm not sure where I even got the idea from, but it was probably that seductive little bitch Pinterest who put the idea in my head. The cake I had envisioned was supposed to be like a beautiful candy forest, full of fun twisty paths and intrigue. The cakes below are not exactly what I had in my head, but they are still better than what the end result was.


 Super cute!! Totally doable!!

Wow!! Love it!! This is what my cake will look like EXACTLY!!


Damn it.


Yup. That last one was mine. Behold it's jumbled glory!! I would post pictures of my other Pinterest fails, but I can't now because once you throw a cake at a wall out of sheer unadulterated white hot hate and defeat, snapping a pic for all of posterity is the last thing on your mind. The first thing on your mind should be anger management counseling. 

Now, this year for Halloween I decided to throw a party. A real party with balloons, and cake and dancing and a ton of kids. And, of course, all of my friends on Facebook are super awesome crafty people who post pictures of their amazing wares, and I thought to myself, "Psssh... I can totally make a Halloween cake!!!" Someone shared a Pinterest picture of the Brain Cake and I knew it had to be mine. Oh yes, it would be mine. 


This was the picture I saw. 


This was my final product. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself, considering the last cake looked like someone vomited lollipops all over a dead cat.


My husband only had to calm me down twice throughout the process and stop me from crying on the red velvet interior so everyone could actually enjoy eating it and not have to worry about my usual, personal secret saline and simple syrup recipe when things don't turn out the way I think they might. 

So, yay for me!! But, I have to share one friend's masterpiece baking adventures really quick before I go because I think they are more share worthy than a fondant brain. Amber Morgenstein from California made these with her bare hands!!! They are beautiful and as soon as I win the lottery I will force her to be my baking slave so I can eat cake in the shape of whatever I'm feeling like for the day. I still want that armadillo from Steel Magnolious some day...


 Cupcakes made with broken (candy) glass!!! 


 Broken glass cupcake tower!!


 I can't stop marveling at her broken glass candy... I might have a problem. And diabetes.



And, finally, this simple and beautiful Halloween cake!!! She is amazing and if any of you millionaires out there try to steal her as your own personal baker, this...means... WAR.


Hope everyone out there had an amazing Halloween and got to steal tons of their kids' candy!!! I know I jacked about seven Reeses Peanut Butter Pumpkins last night. 

OoooOoOooOohhHhhhhH... Scaaary...




Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Bloggess Is My Hero And I Want To Be Her When I Grow Up

The Bloggess has yet another hilarious book out, and it's flying off the shelves. I absolutely love The Bloggess, aka Jenny Lawson. She is, for lack of a better word, amazeballs. I know that if you are friends with me on Facebook you have seen my posts and links to her blog, but here on No Trade Jack, I have been reluctant to talk her up for fear that she will think I am using her fame to catapult myself to success. If I really wanted to do that though I could advertise on her hilarious site for a fair price to most, but to a lowly waitress, it breaks the bank.

I have been reading her blog since before she was super famous because of a recommendation from my hilarious friend Molly, WHO NEEDS TO UPDATE HER BLOG Erroneous On All Counts! SOMETIME BEFORE I DIE. Also, I'm like really hip (or rad, if you prefer more of an 80's tone to the adjectives you use to describe someone who is awesome) and so I read and see a lot of things way before anyone else and then I resent everyone who loves whatever it is I have already loved for a decade because *pssshaw* you should have been hip (or rad) before being hip (or rad) was cool. But, because I still love everyone regardless of their radness ranking, I will share the wonderful world of The Bloggess with you and a quote that I have been seeing everywhere this week.  I'm not even exaggerating. It was even stapled to a flier my kids brought home from school. Ok, I'm lying about that part, but it totally should have been stapled to something that was handed to my kids this week because it seriously applies. My kids have been terrible this week. Not sure if it's the full moon, or the upcoming holiday, or what.

I love this lady.


I know it's sort of creepy and weird to write about your hero like this, or maybe it's endearing, I'm not sure. But, I'm going to do it anyway. Jenny Lawson is so real. She's honest about her feelings even when they're not happy or what everyone expects or wants to see, she has an amazing fan base because of her ability to reach out and connect with people, and she is willing to give to people without expecting something in return (check out her posts on ninja book signings... again, rad) and answer any questions that people email to her about how to reach the level of success that she has pushed herself to with hard work and dedication. I am completely in awe of her and hope that one day (if I don't lose interest or my typing fingers) that I can push myself as hard as she has over the years to accomplish my main life goal of being a writer and making a real livable living at the same time.


If you love reading and laughing, her new book is called Furiously Happy and can be purchased on her website here in the left hand side bar. It's the one with Rory The Raccoon who is freaking adorable and is a renowned world traveler.


This is the actual taxidermy muse that was used for the cover of her book. And, here is the post about  
 I am really genuinely happy for Jenny, and there are very few people that I haven't met in real life that I feel true happiness for when things work out in their favor. I mean, sure, I like reading about deserving people having a particularly awesome bout of good karma come their way, but I normally click on something like that, smirk out of amusement, and move on with my day. With The Bloggess, I am inspired by her success, and truly grateful for the chance to read about her life and tales of oddities, motherhood, traveling, emotional triumphs and upheavals alike, and her pets who are either real or stuffed and placed in various positions in her home. 


This is Totes MaGoats.


How can you not be furiously happy for someone with a stuffed goat and a book titled Furiously Happy?! I only hope one day to inspire someone as much as I have been inspired by Jenny and be able to make people laugh as consistently as she has over the years.


Friday, October 23, 2015

BUSTED!

Awhile back I shared with all of my readers my deep, dark secret of stealing my father-in-law's to-do lists. If you didn't catch the post, here it is:  People Who Don't Use The Internet Are Free Game. 

I just realized that should probably read Fair Game, not Free Game. Oh well.

So, the other night when we were over at the FIL's house to watch a ball game, I was in a particularly mischievous mood and when he pulled out the old atlas to look something up, I snapped a picture.


My father-in-law is the one in front sitting in the orthopedic lawn chair and my dad is the one in the back waiting for the search results for whatever city we were looking for to come to an end. My dad is with the times. He has a smart phone.


Anyway, my husband nudged me and looked at me funny, so I was like, "WHAT?" And he said, "You shouldn't be doing that. It's exploiting the elderly. You can't use him on your blog if he doesn't know about it." And I said, "He doesn't have internet, he'll never know." I should have knocked on wood, or bitten my tongue at this point. If you've never heard the expression, "Knock on wood, or bite your tongue," I am guessing it means don't jinx yourself like an idiot by saying what you don't want to happen out loud.

I didn't bite my tongue, and I didn't knock on wood so, my bad. A little later on I decided to rip out one of my father-in-law's to-do lists again when he got up to pour himself a drink, and I guess I wasn't very sneaky because the folded up list fell out of my hoodie pocket onto the floor and he picked it up and asked us all, "What the hell?? Who's ripping out my to-do list??!" Oopsie...


I guess it was more of a shopping list than a to-do list, but whatever. Still hilarious.
And, MMMMM... sloppy joes!!


So, my husband nudged me again, and I fessed up. I told my FIL that sometimes he is a jerk and I don't want to punch him so I steal his lists. I saw the light bulb go off in his head and his eyes widened as he said, "SO THAT'S WHERE ALL MY FUCKING LISTS HAVE GONE TO!!"

Yes, I am the evil daughter-in-law who has been driving this man mad for four months by stealing his thoughts. That's the power I had before I was busted. I stole someone's thoughts. I felt invincible before he busted me. It was a feeling of possessing a black magic of sorts, the ability to stop chores from being done in their tracks, and when I'd steal his shopping lists he would have to resort to eating out!! MUUUWWWAAAHAHAHAHA... SHOWED HIM!!!

 Ok, so it wasn't all that dramatic, and he took it all in good humor and he even gave me permission to write about him. At least, when he said, "I don't give a shit what you write about on your computer," that's how I took it. So, here's proof that permission was granted to exploit the elderly. Now, I just have to work on convincing my dad to write about stuff he does as he steadily rises to the age of senility. I have to get it in writing before he loses it totally though, or it will be a Harper Lee situation all over again.


BOYCOTT GO SET A WATCHMAN!!


 So, from here on out, I won't feel as guilty about blogging about an unsuspecting victim of my sarcasm and menial revenge tactics, and hopefully everyone will enjoy a chuckle out of our unspoken rivalry of sorts. And, it might be awhile before I can steal anything from the FIL because the last visit I paid him he told me to put my hands against the wall so he could frisk me to uncover any stolen to-do lists (or to cop a feel.... not sure). I didn't oblige him, but I did reassure him the only time he needs to worry about it is when I've had four or more beers so he let me leave without the pat down.


Make sure to follow the blog over here somewhere-----> 
Or, you can follow me on Faceboook, HERE.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tonight At Work I Cried Like A Big F@%*ing Sissy

It was a bad night. Everyone has had one, I'm sure. I'm not a super over emotional person unless dealing with an unbearable amount of chaos or an unbelievable amount of delicious food placed before me to consume. I still tear up a little when I have the opportunity to cook two full packages of bacon and I look at all of those crispy, golden strips stacked up in a pyramid of crunchy, heart clogging goodness just before the masses (my children) devour them like feral wolves.

I am super down on myself right now. What am I fucking doing with my life?? Making babies... And...?? Why did I tell myself, "I'll just take a year off after high school and travel...," like an idiot??? I made a measly twenty-seven bucks in tips in four hours tonight and I lost my cool and cried in front of my manager like a big old baby. What the hell, Shawna?? You're tough as nails, remember??? Keep. It. Together. Woman.

I got home, tears still in my stupid waitress eyes, and of course the kids pick up on my sadness straight away. They all came up to ambush me with hugs because they're so cute it makes it me puke, and asked me the only question that can make a woman bawl harder when they're already upset, "Are you ok?"

I held my sobbing in long enough to blurt out, "YES!! GO TO COLLEGE SO YOU DON'T END UP A GODDAMNED WAITRESS!!!" And then I swiftly retreated to any place away from my kids to cry and drink a tall can in solace.

Every time I think about how my life has brought me to this point as a waitress in my mid-thirties, I think of the famous line spoken by Judy Davis in the movie The Ref with Kevin Spacey and Dennis Leary.



The quote above isn't the one I think of, but it's still pretty fucking funny, so I added it as a bonus quote. The real quote I think of every time I reflect on being a waitress is, "Well, I can't live like this. I don't care if I wind up a truck stop waitress with platinum hair and pineapple earrings!! At least I'd be alive! Better than living with a corpse."


And, I start to realize that maybe I don't have it so bad because my husband is amazing and my life is pretty cool outside of handing ranch to people who won't fucking tip me for the extra trip to the kitchen and sweeping up after jerks who throw a bunch of shit all over the floor like animals because they think waitresses are slaves and the earth is their trash can. 

I think I need to just go to bed because every time I start feeling better about things, I get all worked up again and my kids are fighting over god damned Minecraft in the background right now and I want to rip every individual fucking hair out of my head while whistling Tiny Tim's Tiptoe Through The Tulips.

Good. Night.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Leslie Stoner Can Come Clean My House Anytime.



Let’s play, “How gross is my house?”

There is both horror and satisfaction that goes along with cleaning my house. On the one hand, I’m appalled by the dirt, dust, and general funk that accumulates in every nook and cranny; on the other, I get as excited as a child on Christmas morning to see how much grossness I can collect.
Clean rug… or is it?



Some of the greatest satisfaction comes from vacuuming. Suddenly I turn into an infomercial, displaying the empty contents of my vacuum for the world to see before it miraculously changes my life by leaving my floors completely free of the hidden dangers known as dirt, dust, and dander. Behold, the vacuum canister now contains a tangled mass of gross. How did I live before this vacuum? How could I allow my small, fragile, defenseless child play on this seemingly clean rug. Truly, I had no idea what horrors lay buried in its tightly woven threads and I am somberly appalled. The shame, oh the shame. All I can do is stutter in defense, “but, but I didn’t know,” as tears well up in my eyes. And scene.




Round two, fight!
Like any good infomercial, I go for round two on vacuuming and low and behold, there are more treasures to be found hiding in my rug’s fibrous depths.



What a glorious vacuum! Amazing! Stupendous! Life changing! Blah, blah, blah. Ok, the novelty has worn off, there will be no round three but if there were, I’m sure it would yield similar results. Whatever is left in the rug has earned its right to stay. Next order of business…
The Swiffer. Oh the glorious Swiffer, savior of the lazy housekeeper.




How many Swiffer wet pads does it take to get to the center of a clean house? Five. FIVE??!! Holy hell, is my floor really that disgusting? Um, yes. In my defense, I have an asshole of a dog that gets his kicks out of playing in the mud and then running through the house. This isn’t an everyday occurrence but when it happens, it takes place approximately 30 minutes after I clean the floors, which, as you can see, doesn’t occur very often. Did you know my dog is really an angry, vindictive man trapped in a dog’s body? Don’t let the innocent looking face fool you. No joke, this fucker has thumbs. I once came home to an empty Slim Jim wrapper on the kitchen floor in which there were no bite marks and no evidence of Jim. I digress. Anyway, though appalled, I am now beaming with satisfaction over the filth I have uncovered and conquered.





Dust: The Grossest Gross Of Them All




Now the thing about dust is, if left undisturbed, you almost can’t tell it’s there. I struggle internally: do I leave it and hope no one disturbs it, accidentally creating clean spot, or do I give in to cleaning, lest my secret shame be discovered? Really what spurs me to dust is remembering that dust is mostly comprised of dead skin cells. Dead skin cells, people! My cells, your cells, the dog’s cells, stranger’s cells that blew in through the screen door, etc. Fucking sick, even by my standards.

Moral of the story, if you have to clean, do yourself a kindness and at least try to make it entertaining. Embrace the gross.
Side note: You may have noticed that I did not include the bathroom. Don’t despair, you only missed out on pictures of pee stains and stray pubes. You. Are. Welcome.

Written by Leslie Stoner, Guest Blogger 




Leslie Stoner and her husband Scott just welcomed a beautiful little boy into the world. I can say that I relate to Leslie's struggle of trying to maintain a balance between family, work, and housework, but I have given up on the housework. Long ago. Isn't she hilarious and super cute?? Dusting... *sigh* I will refrain from taking a picture of any of the surfaces in my home or any of the corners that currently serve as final resting places for several dust bunnies because eventually, I'd like to have Leslie and Scott visit us. If you'd like to see more of what comes out of Leslie's brain, she just started a new blog and will hopefully be keeping up with it for our medicinal (laughter) purposes. -No Trade Jack

Please check her stuff out at Bullshit Baby Bunk !!!  

Friday, October 16, 2015

Carb Fueled Artist

The term, "Starving Artist," doesn't really apply to me (you know this if you have seen my previous posts such as If Obesity Is An Epidemic Then May Cold Hot Dogs For Breakfast Strike Me Dead). I prefer to think of myself as a "Carb Fueled Artist."

For those of you who don't know me in real life or via Facebook, I am posting this link to my art's Facebook page as a total and complete time waster for you and as filler for my blog for me. Although, I am really excited that I sold a painting this morning (and possibly a second if the gods decide to smile on me instead of smiting me today) and I like sharing things that come out of my brain with people. Possibly too much.

Here are a bunch of pictures of my paintings and a link to check out some other paintings, doodles, and sketches because it's Friday and no one wants to work on Friday, so why not kill a couple hours perusing interesting pictures? Ammirite?? And, have a great weekend, everyone!!


 I call this one, "Catch Of The Day." Litter bothers me. Greatly.



 I can't remember what I originally named this one, but believe me, it was witty. I think I'll go with, "Styrofoam, It's What's For Dinner."

My friend Chris at Freethinkers Anonymous
thinks it should be titled, "Going Vegan Is Hard," and I am kind of leaning toward his suggestion now.



 I got a little deep when naming this one.
"Head Painting."


And, this one is, "Who's There?" 
This one won a bunch of prizes at a tri-county fair so, um, yeah, I'm kind of a big deal.