Monday, March 12, 2012

Is this IT?

Mills.  At her birthday party.  The first one.  Just lost a tooth.  Can't wait for the other one to fall out.  Love that look.

Today, was my daughter, Mills', 8th birthday.  I spent most of the day running around pulling her favorite meal together, and looking for my 5-year-old, Eva's birth certificate, so I could enroll her in Kindergarten.

I can pretty much sum up my day, just like that.  Mills wanted ribs, of all things, so I found some precooked ones at The Giant Eagle supasto', along with steam in a bag, corn on the cob, a salad bag, some winter watermelon (umm, my favorite), and corn muffins, yes, again, from a package.

This is probably the most nutritious meal my family has had in six months.  I bought some cookies from my favorite local bakery, The Goodie Shop, for her class "treat" and a six pack of assorted cupcakes, to enjoy as the crescendo for her birthday fiesta.

I am not a total louse, this previous weekend, Mills had 5 of her friends for a sleepover birthday party, where I refrained from yelling at any of them, and I took them to my other local goodie shop, The Chocolate Cafe for dinner and chocolate fondue.

Mills and her peeps.  Tooooo cute.  How quickly we forget.

On the morning of Mills' birthday, she was presented with two Justin Beiber toothbrushes I scored off of Groupon (one doesn't work, dammit), and a light pink bunny case for her Ipod Touch (off some obscure website) that was too big because it was meant to be used on an IPhone.  Didn't read the small print.  Probably because it was in Mandarin.  But, whatever.

Hallie gave her, her black bunny one, I am sure now, with the full intention of getting a new one for herself, but at the time, she swore it was true altruism.  We'll see.

Mills had a birthday dinner, yet again, at her grandparents' house Saturday night, and has another one all lined up for this Thursday, when we go to visit my parents in Louisville, over Spring Break.

Soooo, we finish up my scrumptious dinner, which everyone ate for a change, because it was chock full of preservatives, and that is what my family's bodies crave, now, and it was time for the presents.

Oh, and I had already given her, her bright red Tom's shoes that came in the mail, because she and Hallie opened them, before I could stop them.

I, first, offer Mills her "lesser" present, that was incomplete due to another obscure website, promising a Justin Beiber hot pink t-shirt, to go along with the neon yellow GAP jean capris that Hallie and I have become obsessed with (colored jeans, that is) for the Spring season.

Mills reaction was lackluster, at best.  Then, I gave her a card in which I explained the overnight trip I have planned, bought and paid for, at Mormon Valley (see post:  It is a Mother/Daughter weekend, where we are to ride horses, sing camp fire songs and apparently, worship the Lord.

To be honest, Eva and I got on the Marmon Valley website, to revisit the present that I purchased over a month ago, and upon further observation, I realized that short of bringing a flask in, I, nor anyone else will be imbibing at said campfire.  I don't know about you, but I haven't attended a sober campfire, since I was pregnant.  I lasted all of five minutes, with the smoke and the discussions of increased volume. I will also be staying in a "bunkhouse" with many other children, and other Mommies, where "a fun, worshipful time will be had by all".

Mills has no idea what a sacrifice of a Friday night I am making for her.

So, Mills opens the letter and reads it aloud, at Brad's request.  She sets it down and says, "What's next?"

"Nothing's next." I say, looking at Brad, as a smile spreads across his face.  He totally knew this was coming, as he IS Mills.

"What?!?" Mills explains, "Is this IT?  That is ALL I am getting for my birthday?"  She was all hand gestures and welling brown eyes, culminating in  a face in hands while shaking her head dismount.

I look at Brad.  He is laughing now, and trying to hide it. (He's not being noticed, though, because the dining room is candlelit, because our chandelier shorted out a few weeks ago, and I have yet to call an electrician.)  I am dumbfounded.  I don't know whether to laugh or to cry, so of course, I start to laugh.

This incenses Mills as she assumes we are making fun of her, and we ARE.

"Wow.  I guess I thought you would be more excited for our trip.  You are always saying how you want to do more things with just me and you LOVE horseback riding, so I guess I assumed this would be a slam dunk."

Mills is crying now.  I would like to think that it is because she is so embarrassed by her rudeness, but I am pretty sure it is because she is still lamenting over her sparse present situation.  I tell her that I would normally send her to her room, but that it is her birthday, so I feel like I can't, so she can just be excused from the table.

Wow.  Okay.  The bigger issue is HOW DID I RAISE A CHILD TO ACT LIKE THIS? and why am I so impressed by her "rawness"?  I mean, how many times in your life have you wanted to say out loud, "Is this IT?"

I can think of at least ONE MILLION.

My ever-gracious in-laws have provided us with one of their time shares, so that we can go somewhere for Spring Break.  We were behind the eight ball, as usual, so the only thing available in Florida, was Kissimee, or Orlando.  There was absolutely NOTHING on either coast of Florida.

Some family friends of ours, we'll just call them The Lorms, (because that is the alias he was using when he married Jackie) decided to follow us to Kissimee, to our timeshare, and spend Spring Break with us.  They are paying.  We are not.

The Lorms.  Nice shorts, Andy. Do you listen to The Dead in those shorts?  He HATES Disney World.  Hilarious.

"Jackie" (not sure if this is her real name either, as they are both quite shady) begins sending me emails about how excited she is about the trip and the hotel, and that they have all these activities in the Kid's Club and great pools and yada yada yada.  So, I decide to actually look up the hotel to see what all the fuss is about, and I am routed to Trip Advisor, one of my favorite sites in the World.

The first post was entitled, "Ghetto Fabulous".  It was NOT a flattering recommendation.  Under "Travel Tips," which is at the bottom of each post to highlight pointers one traveler might bestow to another traveler, the author put, "Don't stay here.  Go to another hotel."  The post was littered with cynicism and racism, actually, and when I looked to see the origin of the fellow traveler, it said, "Lexington, Kentucky."

GREAT.  Makes a Wildcat proud.

Anyway, I read post after post, where I was able to decipher that if you get in a "renovated" building, with a balcony that overlooks the lake, that actually reflects the fireworks from nearby Disney World (which is the only thing my kids are going to see of Disney this year) then you will be delighted with your stay.  Otherwise, you are up shit creek without a paddle.

I immediately let "Jackie" know this.  I feel responsible, in some way, that her expectations are raised, even though I did nothing to incite this fantasy.

She's all cool with it, of course, because she is the coolest person on the planet.  Unfortunately, her husband is not.  He has oriental rugs in lieu of the regular ones, in his Mercedes, for Christ's sake.  If that doesn't scream high maintenance, I don't know WHAT does.

I have to admit, though, that I have begun fantasizing about all of the lude comments Andrew (oriental rug Mercedes guy) is going to rant, upon discovering all of the bullshit my fellow tenants were bitching about on Trip Advisor.  There is no ride in Disney World, Universal, or Sea World combined, that can compare with the shit show I am about to embark on.  And let me tell you.  I CANNOT WAIT!!  I am just going to lie in the sun and laugh until I have to relieve myself in the pool, 'cause you just know everyone else is, too, Andy!

I guess that is my point, here - to lower your expectations, and then you will be pleasantly surprised.  I should take a dose of my own medicine, here, because what if Andrew's tantrums aren't as funny as I am anticipating, will I then be disappointed like Mills was tonight?

I don't think so.  Andrew is pretty effing hilarious, especially when he is worked up.

Before I go, I need to add a disclaimer about my baby, Mills.  She has the biggest heart of anyone I know.  Every single kid on my street who is younger than her, she treats as if they are her kid brother or sister.

She just has faults, like all of us do, and one was fully on display this evening, during what apparently was one of the biggest nights of her life - only I didn't know it.  Since the outburst, she has been asking tons of questions about our trip and singing into the one Beiber toothbrush that works.  Go figure.

Happy Birthday, Mills.  I love you so much, and to be honest, I admire how raw you are, because it reminds me that you are still growing up, still forming your little personality, that will one day be unleashed on the adult world.

Gawd, I adore her.

I can't help but wonder if she will want Oriental rugs in her first car.  Only time will tell.

Sooo... guidance for today.  I love Tom's shoes for kids (  They give one pair to children who actually appreciate gifting,  for every pair you buy, and I think they are adorable paired with colored light weight jeans from The Gap. (Use your Gap card on Tuesdays to get 10% off, and combine it with whatever discount they are offering, as they are always up to something.  I like the multiple discount option online.) Top it all off with a striped tee, and your chillens will be all the rage this Spring.  I am super queer, so I have the outfit for myself, too.  I am not quite to the point where I am going to make them wear their "special Spring outfit" the day I wear it, but I am damn close, my friends, damn close.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Diehl's House

The Diehls with the Krendl's at Lobster Fest on our block.  LOVE.

So I go over to my neighbor and friend's (we'll just call her Sherri Diehl, for insurance purposes), house today because she was having Invisible Fence come over, and I planned on working my "Real Housewives of Upper Arlington" voodoo on them to get them to turn up my dog, Scarlett's, collar so she will stop effing making a run for it through our invisible fence to say, oh I don't know, visit every person on our block and beyond who owns a pet.

Much to my dismay, I missed the poor sap from Invisible Fence, who I planned to run a game on, to score a free battery and possibly explore the opportunity to shock the shit out of Scarlett for making my life, and the lives around me miserable every day.

I mean, I am NOT kidding you.  I receive on the average four texts a day that go a little somthin' like this, "Your dog is in my back yard enjoying my coy fish pond.  I tried to bring her home but she keeps running away from me with my expensive fish or my pond motor in her mouth.  END QUOTE."

Mostly, my awesome neighbors just catch her and bring her back on one of their leashes, which I forget to return (I literally have a rainbow of various neighborly dog leashes in my garage) but in the mean time, Scarlett reeks havoc on the entire block (and various adjacent blocks) until she runs out of energy and someone is able to lure her with a treat or a bowl of water, so that they may interrupt their day, yet again, to bring her home to an environment in which she is sure to be overlooked and then they can repeat the process over again.

Okay, with that RANT out of the way, which was meant to be a broad "thank you" to my neighbors, I want to talk about the Diehl's House and the amazing kitchen renovation that I had the opportunity to witness today.

But, let's back up.  I cannot talk about the Diehls, without elaborating on how hospitable they are at ALL times, under EVERY extenuating circumstance imaginable. 

It is by far the most INVITING house on our street for many reasons.  Let's start with the tenants - Sherri (of course, you get top billing, Doll), Brett, Charlie, and Connor. Oh, and let's not forget Rosie, their new chocolate lab addition, and part of Scarlett's posse.

I met Sherri many, many years ago right before she married Brett, whom I did not yet know, at a wedding shower being thrown, for my sister-in-law.  Looking back now, I am sure that I was invited by default, because I happened to be "in town" or something, and as expected, Sherri's family is as giving and accommodating as she is.

What I most remember about the incredibly unpretentious, yet exquisite wedding shower at her parents' house are two things: (1)there were all of these round tables with white table cloths set up on their perfectly manicured lawn with "mismatched" place settings of antique china (I need to go into detail here.  The setting, itself, was not mismatched - each table had five distinct place settings.  Ya' dig?  Pinterest worthy.  Fo Sho.) and  (2)meeting Sherri for the first time, while we guzzled mimosas and and laughed easily at a variety of things.

We have talked about this since - how we did not meet again, until much later, when I moved on her street ('cause it's YOUR street, yo'!) and that, that spark, that thing that people have when they get each other, was ignited again, because what you recognized in someone, say, a DECADE or two ago, is still there.  If I were Fraunch, I would call it jen es sais quoi, but I'm from Kentucky so I'll just say that she is "kinfolk."  Sherri, that is a HUGE compliment, even if it feels embarrassing right now.

ANYWAY, Sherri and Brett's house is the GO TO place on our street, whether they want it to be or not.  If they don't, you would NEVER know it.  They plan the most amazing Block parties and get togethers for all of us, where there is inevitably at least ONE, it not TWO signature drinks, and amazing food.
Look at these!  Aren't they so cool?

These are even cooler, especially cold, like this!

The night, whether it be a Bucks game broadcasted on the side of their garage, or the last leg of our infamous progressive Christmas dinner, is always hosted by them, which culminates in a bonfire and acoustic guitar or aperitifs in their kitchen, where everyone has a great time because the host and hostess are unparalleled.

I love Hallie's hip hop stance, here.  We were watching the lobsters race, but they kinda just sat there because Sherri's boys had been playing with them for the last three hours and they were just ready to be boiled at that point.

So, we just decided to dress them up and humiliate them right before they died.  Good times.

It is a special thing, to create a home where everyone who enters it, feels welcome and comfortable, and Sherri and Brett have achieved just that.

I know it seems like I pour my heart out to all of you on this blog, but really I have been talking about everything under the sun, but what is really going on, and recently, Brad and I have been going through a trying time.  (Don't go there.  As far as I know, all of B's chillens is all legitimate.) Well, early on, Sherri sent me an email, that melted my heart and made me sob.  This is not because she was melodramatic or condescending or any of the things that I have experienced at one time or another.  It was because it was revealing and personal and raw and understanding, which are all of the attributes that I have come to associate with the name Diehl.

Soooo, before I start to cry, I need to get out my recommendation for this post, which was the impetus, that became convoluted into a reason to let the Diehls know how much I, and everyone on my block, appreciates them.  That is the beauty, or drawback, as one may view it, really, in my writing, I think.  I start out to accomplish one thing, and then the story completely and totally evolves into something else.  Oh well, it's free, right?

ANYWAY, Sherri and Brett and Charlie and Connor just renovated their kitchen and it was accomplished by another neighbor of mine, Dan.  It is perfection.  Sherri and I own houses that are old and we have chosen to "update" them in stages.  We bond over quick fixes and excuses to do anything to keep from replacing burnt out light bulbs.  Its our policy, that if a light fixture holds more than one light bulb that you do not replace the bulbs until ALL of them have gone out.  We call this the "sunset effect".

I am so happy for her that she has finally gotten the "kitchen that she imagined that is within her budget".  The piece de` resistance is the state of the art, drawer microwave, housed in her island, that is the "heartbeat" of any modern Mom's kitchen.

"Screw the six burner range, I'll downgrade to the four burner, and get myself the best microwave money can buy!" she told me, as she was bringing Scarlett home for the second time that day.

I like the way Sherri thinks.  And I like the way she acts.  But, most of all, I like the way she makes me feel.  ACCEPTED.  No matter what.  That is a true gift, and something that one can only strive to emulate.

The neighbor who did Sherri and Brett's kitchen is Dan Stultz of Principle Construction (614-353-4040).  He is obviously meticulous and creative and enjoys what he does.  That, also, is a rare thing, and a risk, given that he abandoned his previous lucrative career in Sales, to do what he loves.  He has one electrician that he uses, one carpenter, one get the idea - you will not have all these random people coming in and out of your house.  He does all types of renovations, from bathrooms to large additions - which is refreshing.  No job is too big or too small, Y'ALL!!!

I am recommending him to you from the bottom of my heart.  He is not only a professional who does exceptional work, but he is a stand up guy, who is eager to make his dream a reality.  Oh, and he plays a mean acoustic guitar.  Who would want more from a contractor than that?  Not me.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My latest, favorite time sucks

This is what Mere Mere did when I told her that Mills vomited all over her bed not THIRTY seconds after she had finished babysitting.

Okay, on the advice of a "blogger friend" - we'll just call her Wendy Hondroulis, because that is her name and her very successful blog, ( I recently got into Twitter.  I have had the "handle" ggcounselor for a long time, when I first set up my blog over a year ago, but I have yet to tweet anything other than my blog out.  I have 6 followers.

"Wendy" encouraged me to use Twitter to gain more followers for my blog and explained that it was "a lot quicker and more fun" than Facebook.  I immediately agree.  I am not sure I am comfortable with tweeting yet, but I do enjoy following celebrities and comedians.

I have so many tangents I want to go on after that last paragraph, I need to organize them, before I forget them.  Okay, here goes:

1. Patton Oswalt
2. People who put random stuff on twitter to get celebrities to retweet them
3. Texts from last night
4. My Dog's new Facebook account
5. My fear that my children will not develop the lost art of "having good bullshit". 

1.  Patton Oswalt.  If you are not familiar with him, he usually plays the funny, short, fat "sidekick" guy to big stars. On one of my favorite series on Showtime, United States of Tara, he is the best friend to John Corbett (see post: ) and Baby Daddy to Tara's sister, who is equally hilarious.  He is also the "crippled" counterpart of Charlize Theron in Young Adult.  Sorry, side note, again, that movie haunts me to this day.  I will never look at a two liter of Diet Coke the same way, again.  She is a bad ass, though.  Totally deserved the Globe nod.  Oswalt is really good in it, too.  Anyway, he has this Comedy Special I came across on Showtime and it is one of the funniest standup routines I have ever seen.  He makes a lot of random literary references, coupled with just good ol' fashioned raunchy humor.  Now, THAT is something that I can really get behind.  I am following him on Twitter.  He's taking a break right now, but look him up.  He's hilarious and highly intelligent.

2. My Pathetic Twitter Feed. On the subject of Twitter, and I am sure this is OLD NEWS to most of you, but I find it entirely fascinating that people want celebrities to retweet them and notice them.  I just don't get it.  What is the value in that?  On Alec Baldwin's twitter feed (such an obvious follow, I know) this lady said that she would not feed her baby until Alec acknowledged her.  His "acknowledgement" was "Fuck. Chill."  The amount of power these celebrities have is daunting.  Then, someone tweeted that they "would not feed their cat until he retweeted them."  "That is funny."  Alec responded.  There is something very dangerous about Twitter, other than the fact that it keeps me from doing my laundry.  I think the argument that it connects people is a much weaker one than the argument that people are obsessed with being famous and recognized for their insignificance.

Hey, I write a blog.  I know of what I speak.  It is no accident that their is a "Stats" page on Blogger, complete with a breakout of readership per day, per blog in each country around the world.  That USED to be a huge time suck for me as I imagined Brits in the UK, laughing haughtily at my American humor, but now I think it's all bullshit.  Readers in Bangladesh, my ass.  Comment on my blog, "farners," and I'll BELIEVE.

Which leads me to another tangent, Mills made me Follow Justin Beiber on Twitter because supposedly he announced his Tour schedule today, but he didn't.  I guess (yes, I've watched his Never Say Never movie a few times) he is the first artist to really embrace social media, especially Twitter, as a major source of public relations.  I thought Mills had the fever.  Jesus didn't have as many followers as he has.  If his new song "Boyfriend" that drops in 20 days (and, consequently,  has incited a near frenzy on his Twitter feed) were the Old Testament and Beiber were Jesus, there would be World Peace right now. 

There I go digressing again.  Who cares?  Do you, Indonesia?  I didn't think so.

3.Texts From Last Night.  ( is precisely the reason I haven't changed Hallie's sheets since having the Novovirus this weekend.  She didn't vomit on them, but still.  If you haven't gone on this site.  You just HAVE to.  Okay, it is quite possibly one of my favorite things to do when I am having a bad day.  The cynic in me wonders is they are manufactured sometimes, though.  Look up your area code, (Ohh, sorry, you can't Iran?  That's okay.  I'm pretty sure they wouldn't use your texts anyway.  Example:  "Holy Allah! Explosive diarrhea this morn! I don't know if it's the shrapnel in my ass acting up or all those kebaabs!"  See.  Not funny.

Anyway, I am not even going to ruin it by giving you teasers.  Just trust me.  I introduced you beeeaaches to Pinterest, didn't I? ( See blog: ) Oh, and my favorite thing about Texts from last night is the fact that you can order T-shirts.  It gives new meaning to that stupid retort, "Been there.  Done that. Bought the T-Shirt."  Brilliance.  Sheer brilliance.  Footnote:  For some reason, I like that it is anonymous, too.  I assume this is to encourage people to be forthcoming, and eliminate the popularity contest that Twitter seems to foster.

4. Scarlett's Facebook Profile. As I mentioned, all three of my kids had the Novovirus (or exaggerated, elongated stomach flu) this past, fine birthday weekend, and so on Sunday, exhausted from having too much red wine in too short a time period,(My ever devoted, Mere Mere - see post and pic above ( was kind enough to brave the concurrent Underwood stomach flu, to let me escape for a few hours to celebrate my birthday) and then staying up several hours past my regular bedtime to try and salvage some of Mills' bedding that her virus relieved itself on, the kids and I decided to create a Facebook profile for our dog, Scarlett (aka Fuckstick, see post: .)  The reason for this nonsense is because we feel that what Scarlett does, and we imagine would say is relevant.  Friend her.  She's hilarious. 

5. The worry over my childrens' bullshit reservoir.  Finally, because of Twitter and Facebook and all of these other time sucks that I have just endorsed and am active in, I am increasingly worried about my children being unable to hold a normal conversation without checking Facebook on their phone (my kids are a little young for this, but all my friends and my husband do it like crazy) or answering a text or whatever.  The art of conversation is an important part of life.  Bullshitting is the ultimate Southern past time.  It is an actual class you take - along with "Casseroles 101" and "Elongating Vowels 220".

Listen, I am fully aware of what a hypocrite I am being right now.  My kids have an Ipad and they have discovered how to text and call their friends for free.  It is constant interaction.  Hallie and her friends have a web page where they post ideas and stories.  On the face, this all seems innocent, and it IS right now, but it makes me uneasy at times because I feel like it is opening Pandora's box in some ways.  Technology is a great thing.  I embrace it, for the most part, but I so enjoy real life more.  I guess it is like any type of progress.  There are growing pains.  The yin and the yang of progress is such that you lose something and you gain another.  For instance, technology is convenient, but it is making interpersonal interaction a series of typing symbols and autocorrections.

I guess I am just saying that I miss just leaving the house and doing something and then checking my machine when I got home.  It was something to look forward to, really - both parts.  I am definitely guilty of forgetting my phone and checking out from time to time because I need to take a break from being constantly available.  Don't get me wrong, it can be terribly inconvenient when you need to call home or ask someone something on the fly, but I always survive and I regain a little piece of myself in the process.

I guess after all of these recommendations about ways you can fill your time using technology, the advice I want you to follow the most is to check out from time to time.  Don't be the guy on the bike talking on his Bluetooth.  It's just too depressing.  No one is that busy, or that interesting for that matter.

Now, go comment on my blog, while I track you on my Stats!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Seedy Underbelly

 Lately, I have been delving into the seedy underbelly of society.  Now, I am not interested, in the least, in the REAL seedy underbelly (been there, done that, as a social worker),  I am just interested in dramatized versions of the wrong side of the tracks.

For instance, I cannot watch any reality shows related to addiction, like Hoarders or Intervention, or even The Biggest Loser!  I am not exaggerating.  But, give me Carmela from Sopranos, waving her long manicured nails in the air as she makes some beleagered, twisted point, or some crackhead in the wire gettin' his ass beat cause he be "shawt" on his payments - now, that, THAT, I can watch all day long - and I DO.

I also exhibit addictive behavior when acquiring my beloved past seasons of these shows from the library.  My two obsessions at the moment are Shameless and Breaking Bad.  I have been meaning to investigate Breaking Bad for a while, when I noticed a post on Facebook, from a sorority sister of mine, (we'll just call her Elizabeth Stovall because she has been dying to get her name in my blog. Ha!), who introduced me to David Lynch movies.  Apparently, Elizabeth was "jonesing" for the next season and it had been postponed.  I shoulda' known then, how priceless this show is, because everybody knows that if dramatizations centering around addiction cause you to actually develop a physical need for them, then they are exceptional.

Anyway, so I rent the first season of Breaking Bad, after visiting two libraries in the area, and at the Main Library, where I finally was able to locate the package of discs, they had upgraded to this Self-Checkout system, that I was not aware of, because I had just recently paid a bill sent to me from a Collections Bureau (Arlington Libraries don't mess around, y'all) and I had been actively avoiding the Library for many months.

On this occasion, however, I had actually come across one of the books I unwillingly purchased and was turning it in, as I rented Breaking Bad.  The lovely Librarian lady, then asked me if I would like a check in the mail or cash on the spot, and being in my "addict mode" I opted for the cash, natch.

I, then, nearly skipped out of the Library, with crumpled up cash in my left hand, and my Breaking Bad videos in the other.  To complete the mental picture, I am pretty sure that I had not showered all day.  The only thing that was missing was the shakes and bad Meth teeth.

So, the BEST part is that I get the video home and apparently the new "Self Checkout Kiosk", also had a swipe thingy that enables a patron to "open" their locked videos.  In my euphoria, I completely missed this.

MY EFFING BREAKING BAD VIDEO WAS LOCKED AND IT WAS NINE O'CLOCK AT NIGHT AND THE LIBRARY WAS CLOSED AND NOW WHAT WAS I GONNA DO?  I'll tell you what I did, I did what any crack or meth head would do, I got out my pocketknife and tried to jimmy the lock open.  To no avail.

SOOOO, fast forward, I'm at the Library again, yes, the next morning when it opened, and I am looking the same lovely Librarian in the face and telling her that the video case was "that way when I tried to open it."  I had, apparently, disfigured the lock mechanism to such a degree, as to disable it, and now the case wouldn't unlock at all, even as I watched them swipe every lock thingy in the Library.

I was sweating now.  Day two.  No shower.  Forgot to brush my teeth. Five year-old baby on my hip in her pajamas.

"Are you SURE that the case was like this when you got it home?

"Yes."  I did not waiver.  I was speaking to a younger male, now.  They were doing their good cop/bad cop thing.  Amateurs.  Bitch, please.

"You're gonna have to go back to AV."

"EEEEWWWWW," I was wiggling all ten fingers at him, as if casting a spell, "Not AV."

So, I go back to AV (that' Audio Visual, peeps) where I find two exact replicas, sitting side by side, of the lead singer of the Blues Traveler, John Popper - mutton chops, nappy hat,  toothpick sticking out of the sides of their mouths... glorious.  I'd clearly met my match. Or matches, as it may be. This was not going to be easy.

"Hey" I said, as non-chalantly as I could muster.  "They sent me back here because they could not open this."

Popper #1 looks at the effed up lock and passes it to Popper #2.  Popper #2 swipes it through the thingy, and peers up at me over his spectacles.

"So, it was like this when you got it home, huh?"

"Yes," my big baby was starting to whine now.  I broke his gaze and looked down at my bright pink fuzzy slippers.  I love those freaking things, but at that moment they were mocking me.

"Ummm Hmmm,"  Popper #1 was not having it.

He sauntered off into some back room and came back with a new case sans lock.  He was smirking at me as he handed over my new crack rock, I mean, video.

I was skipping again, out into the new morning.  And that is exactly what it felt like... a new morning.

So, Brad and I tear through the first two discs and we have one more episode left in the series.  I gingerly load it into the CD player downstairs in my basement.  I am not even drinking.  Not a drop.  THAT is how serious I am about my addiction.  I do not want to "taint" it with any other drugs.

The effing DVD keeps spitting it out and flashing "eject".  This happened with the machine on my last disc of Shameless and I taught it a lesson and now it was bucking back.

Ok.  Seriously.  I don't have a bra on and look at my hair!

Brad posts this picture of me on Facebook, unbeknownst to me, trying to punish the "VCR" for not playing my Breaking Bad video.  He got a ton of heat for that.  Let that be a lesson, y'all, don't drink and Facebook.  And Brad, if you think that is the final round of the game, "Take pictures of your family members without their knowledge or permission and then publish them to Facebook," then you are sadly mistaken.

I digress.  We finally give up after an hour of messing with the DVD player and watch it upstairs in our bedroom.  Apparently, there are four more seasons.  I truly hesitate to recommend this to you, because of the supply vs. demand issue, but I have already rented the last three seasons so get in line BEEAAATTTCCCHHHESSS.

Malcolm in the Middle.  WHHHAAAATTT?

Let me just say that I worship Brian Cranston as a false deity.  He is amazing and deserves his Golden Globes for his performance in this series.  He just keeps piling on layer after layer to his character, just true genius.  The rest of the actors are full of surprises, as well, and my second favorite character is "Hank", Cranston's DEA agent, brother-in law.  Seriously, enjoy!

He's so awesome.  His laugh, alone. 

I look forward to seeing all you disheveled crackho's at the Library payin' down your fines!