One Funny Boy

28 11 2009

My son has issues with growing up. For a long time he wanted to stay a baby. In fact there was a period of time when he called himself “Baby” instead of his name. He has recently outgrown that, but now insists he wants to be a kid forever. He tells me, “Being a kid is awesome for me.” It’s progress, anyway.

Recently, I asked him what he wanted to be when he grows up. At first he gave the usual reply- “I don’t want to grow up!” But when I pressed the issue by asking a second time, without missing a beat at all, he announced, “A builder!”

He’s also come up with a fantastic plan for solving problems. He simply erases them. When I tell him it’s bedtime, he wipes his hand through the air at me and informs me, “I erase bedtime!”

Some things, however, deserve a stronger reaction and he’s got a system for this, as well. He applies a large, invisible “X” to the problem (the problem’s name usually begins with an “M”) and shouts, “I put a X on you!”

And then there are the situations he approves of. These get a check mark. Usually they follow directly whatever had been X’ed, such as: “I put a X on bedtime and a check mark on TV!”

As for you, dear readers? I put a check mark on you.



18 11 2009


I love this band. I have loved this band since I was 15 and saw them on Tiny Toons (and before that, too, although I did not know it at the time). I saw them in concert once 11 years ago and missed them another time because I wasn’t 21 yet. I haven’t been to a concert at all since June of 2001 (it was Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, BTW) and since I missed The Killers recently, I decided that, dammit, I was going to see TMBG this time around.

that's john and next to him is john

So we left our kids to be put to bed by their grandma (first time EVER with a nighttime sitter) and we headed out. As it turned out, a friend of mine was also going so we sat together, along with another couple. I felt so strangely grownup to be out, at night, seeing a show. Funny how acting like I did 15 years ago makes me feel grownup.

confetti bombs are the best bombs

The show was awesome. I had intended to get up after the opening band and enjoy the show from the floor, but it turned out differently and even though we were at the side of the stage, we had a great view. Plus, Flansburgh gave us lots of attention over there which was very nice.

Before I left, my son was perusing the back of the Here Come the ABC’s DVD and wondering, “Do you think they will play E Eats Everything or LMNO?” I told him I thought they would focus on grownup songs (which is kind of a silly thing to think when it comes to TMBG – after all I first learned of them on a kids’ cartoon, years before they ever did a kids’ album) and, true to form, I was wrong. They played Clap Your Hands and Alphabet of Nations.

But the best part was when they broke out the puppets.

All in all, they played for nearly two hours, complete with two encores. I don’t even remember if that is usual for a concert, it’s been so long.

I took all these photos despite the warning not to. I tried – TRIED – not to. But it’s become uncontrollable for me now, and by the end of the show, I was snapping them off shamelessly. It’s a horrible addiction, photography. But I am not ready for an intervention yet.


Ana Ng, Subliminal, James K Polk, Don’t Let’s Start, Cowtown, Birdhouse… It was fabulous. I can’t wait to see them again. Cause I’m a grownup again and can go to concerts.

What’s Funnier Than a LOLcat?

15 11 2009

An ORLYowl!










Week o’ Stupid People!

13 11 2009


Saturday morning I went to the dentist. During the HOUR AND A HALF I waited for my appointment (forced to watch Hocus Pocus of all shitty things), a woman came out to inform me I was up for my six-month checkup (I find this strange since it’s been 14 months since my last one, but as we will see shortly, this particular dental office has no math skillz) and if I’d like to come back, she’d take my x-rays. Now, I do not tolerate dental x-rays well. Aside from the one time I was conscious while the pulled a tooth, x-rays are hands-down the worst dental torture for me. Since I had not mentally prepped myself for them I told her I would LOVE for a dentist to look at my teeth, but no radiation today, thankyouverymuch. She told me the dentist needed x-rays to see my teeth. I found this strange because I have not even gone to dental school, and I can see my teeth just fine without x-rays. She was utterly perplexed as to why someone would decline such a thing. She promised me she’d go ask the dentist about it and I never saw her again.

In the meantime, I got my teeth cleaned. Since I was without insurance for six years, I’ve been playing a fun game of Dental Catch-Up wherein I go in for cleanings every three or four months instead of every six (or, you know, fourteen), and they charge me $77 a pop instead of $CoveredByInsurance. Funny thing is that they didn’t bother to tell me this the first time I went in for this sort of cleaning so I got a fun surprise. In the three times I’ve been since, they also charged me $77. But THIS time, they decided a new rule for this game would be to double the price and try to charge me $141. I say “try” because I threw a fit and would not pay it. They informed me that the tiny cup of rinse I’d been given was actually a $60 cup of rinse (they charge per quarter of the mouth, so if I’d just kept the swishing to the upper right quadrant, I’d have only been charged $15). They also informed me this happened every single time before (it hadn’t) but they have been charging me consistently wrong or something. In other words they were undercharging me for things they never even did to me. You would think this would make it an overcharge instead of an undercharge, but, according to my dental office, you would be sorely wrong. They laugh in the face of logic.

Fast-forward to Thursday (ah, yes, I should have seen that coming) afternoon when suddenly about six different stupid things happened to me in the space of about 2 hours.

It was the last day of my son’s soccer class. He takes these preschool soccer classes through the Parks and Rec Department around the corner from my house. We’ve been going there for, well, about 30 years now. But more recently for about 5 years now. The manager of the place used to know us well (when we were in there more often) and even greeted my kids by name one Christmas celebration when he was dressed as Santa. I’ve always liked him and so I am trying to give him the benefit of the doubt in this.

At the end of class, E’s teacher, R, handed out certificates to all the kids, but didn’t have one for E. He was really upset, but was trying to hold himself together as we promised him she’d go print him one. She went to ask the manager about it since he is the one who usually does that and the next thing I know the other teacher, J (who has always rubbed me the wrong way), informed me that my son wasn’t on the roster so I could bring them a receipt showing I’d paid for the class and THEN they would print him out a certificate.

WHAT? In other words – now that the eight-week class was completed and they never bothered to check to see if he was actually enrolled in the class – NOW they were going to take issue with it. Now that they had spent eight weeks teaching him and playing with him and giving him their time and letting him use their resources – NOW they were going to deny him one piece of paper because THEY had never bothered to make sure all was accounted for.

I informed J that if she told him no, she’d break his heart. We DID pay for the class, and it’s not my damn fault you didn’t keep track of what was going on. She went back to the manager after I showed off my mama bear.

Meanwhile, R, the other teacher, was apologizing and very sympathetic to all of us.

So Manager comes over and looks us up in the computer and informed us that we paid for Summer session, but not Fall. And I informed him that, actually, I had paid for both. He decided to go check on the backup system because, apparently, very very rarely something will fail to transfer correctly. Lo and behold there it was – our registration! All paid and proper and everything! Fancy that. So in the end my son got his certificate (spelled incorrectly) and as we left – swear to God – HE apologized to THEM for not having had his certificate. My sweet boy.

Why is it that I keep encountering these situations? It’s not just me, right? I am trying to be forgiving of the Rec Center because they are, after all, under severe budget problems and could literally be closed at any given quarter. But, really, if that’s the problem – should they not check at, say, the FIRST week of class to make sure everyone is enrolled properly? And then if there IS a mistake, can they really not afford the small cost of one printout for one little boy?


And there was, believe it or not, more stupid stuff. But I won’t go into it. Because I will begin to sound unbelievable.


9 11 2009

The thing about internet is that when it’s not working, you cant tweet your complaints about it.
4:07 PM Oct 1st from mobile web

zebrabelly is stalking firemen. Because that is the kind of friend I am.
11:38 AM Oct 3rd from mobile web

I have this belief that if I turn on my blinker the slow person in front of me will take that as a cue to turn and therefore torture me.
9:47 AM Oct 4th from mobile web

zebrabelly’s uterus is taking revenge.
8:11 AM Oct 5th from web

zebrabelly is only making plans for Nigel.
1:11 PM Oct 7th from mobile web

zebrabelly is totally against banning books. Except that it might actually be funny and entirely appropriate to ban Sarah Palin’s.
7:55 AM Oct 8th from web

Overheard: “So, like, my sisters are going to some boring country, or something…”
2:55 PM Oct 11th from mobile web

zebrabelly is BAFFLED that people are still teaching the Flat Earth inaccuracy in conjunction with Columbus.
9:42 PM Oct 11th from web

Elliott has a sore throat. Margie is personally offended.
7:34 AM Oct 12th from mobile web

Turns out I bought lemon-scented sponges. What. The. Fuck??? Gross.
10:05 AM Oct 12th from web

Elliott, watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: “Mary Poppins changed her hair color – she has white hair now!”
9:40 AM Oct 13th from web

Blasphemy? You decide.
11:13 AM Oct 13th from web

zebrabelly is wondering why they would ship my ebook via USPS?
8:28 AM Oct 14th from web

Elliott, playing hide and seek: “You hide here and I will come find you!”
10:12 AM Oct 14th from web

zebrabelly is going to a pumpkin patch today at Nate’s Butt Farm. Er. I mean Bate’s Nut Farm.
8:23 AM Oct 15th from web

zebrabelly has graduated from astragalus to echinecea.
10:52 AM Oct 17th from mobile web

sleazy license plate of the day: black BMW with “THAIGRR”.
11:41 AM Oct 17th from web

zebrabelly cannot tolerate people who use the word “cute” inappropriately.
3:54 PM Oct 18th from mobile web

We took school photos today. I get a parent-teacher ID card. Why do they always insist on showcasing my double chin?
11:19 AM Oct 19th from web

Margie’s future band names: The Sweetheart Ghostery and The Evil Hat Heads
4:08 PM Oct 19th from mobile web

So it turns out kids don’t like to watch short films in which babies burst into flames. Not even magic babies. Who knew?
9:15 PM Oct 19th from web

I am pretty sure that Today is out to get me.
10:46 AM Oct 21st from web

KUSI News just promised me breaking news tonight at 10. Do they know something I don’t? Don’t do it, KUSI!!!
8:42 AM Oct 22nd from web

Just for the record- aliens freak me the fuck out.
9:47 AM Oct 23rd from web

According to Elliott baseball caps on the right way are merely “baseball hats” but when worn backwards? Dance hats!
10:49 AM Oct 24th from web

Elliott thinks Spam (the food) is called Uncle Sam.
5:12 PM Oct 27th from mobile web

This is at LEAST as funny as Weird Al. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.
5:48 PM Oct 27th from web

Lost, I Have Been – Catching Up and Randomness

8 11 2009

As I am driving or falling asleep, I often think of posts I want to share. And then in the rare moment I have to sit down and actually type, I have no energy in which to dig deep into myself for a post of any worth. This is frustrating to me because I want to keep a record of how I come to these things, of my emotional growth – and I have passed several steps here and there without writing it down. My memory isn’t well these days and I count on this blog to act as my pensieve for me, holding my memories for me so my brain can relax a bit. In fact, I have a bit of a headache at the moment which is blocking me from those deep thoughts.

But that’s OK, because I have something different, lighter, planned for you today. A simple sharing of recent events, links, and other things which have filled my mind and life in recent days.

Last weekend, we celebrated Samhain. You can read more on the homeschool blog, but I will post a few of my favorite photos here.

autumn sky


stalking you

Next week is Sesame Street’s 40th birthday. And if you know anything about me, you’ll know that I am a big fan of Jim Henson. The man was a genius. He made things real for kids – not too sugar-sweet – and he dealt with big issues in a way that met the maturity level of the kids without sacrificing respect for their intelligence. Sesame street has been celebrated all over the media this week. Fresh Air did a one-hour piece compiled of old interviews with important Muppet-related people such as Frank Oz. Cake Wrecks has featured both wrecks and sweets. I even found this cool spot from the Emmys three years ago on Carroll Spinney. I hear Sesame Street is changing their format again – I really find this sad, but at least I have the Old School DVDs which come complete with the most fantastically-trippy bits like this one and my favorite ever, “Plants Need Water, Man.”

On a sort-of Muppet-related note, this is my new favorite video that’s been circling the internet. I love it when someone gets YouTube-Famous for actually having put effort and talent into something. Totally kid-safe, IMO.

Lastly, I’ll add that I just bought tickets to my very first concert since having children. In June of 2001 Alex and I went to the Warped Tour to see Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and in a little over a week, we’re going to see They Might Be Giants. I’ve been a TMBG fan since I was 14 or 15 and saw them once, 11 years ago. I can’t wait to see them again! It’s funny to me because the venue e-mailed me the tickets to print out myself. The last time I went to a concert, it was illegal to print your own tickets. Who knew?

Be back soon with Tweets for you, if nothing else.