Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Lost Art of Paying Attention to Details

I am a composition instructor for a private college.  You might not be able to guess it from this blog, but I am a stickler for details.  Grammar, punctuation, layout:  There are rules, and they should be followed.  

My students freak out when I walk past them and say things like, "Oops, you have an extra space between those two words" or "It looks like your margins are 1.2 inches; make sure you set them to 1 inch."  They are like HOW DO YOU DO THAT, YOU CRAZY WITCH WITH LASER EYES??!?! and I just remind them that I see HUNDREDS of papers every few weeks.

I obviously don't tell them that surface features are more important than content and development and originality and whatnot, but I tell them that once they have that content, they should pay attention to the surface and make it as pleasing to the readers' eyes as possible, because that is what makes documents professional.

I really try to model professional writing with my students at all times.  It's too bad my husband tries to sabotage that.

Back when we were dating, I was in my first year of teaching at Central Michigan University.  We spent a lot of our free time at my apartment because I usually had tons of crap to do and was always reading drafts and answering student e-mails.  Also, I liked my apartment better, but that is neither here nor there.

Anywho, one night, I was at Jeremy's apartment and I jumped on his computer to get some work done while he was watching a baseball game.  I had an e-mail from a student who was really struggling to put her paper together.  She had sent me a draft and asked for comments.  I spent a long time giving her ideas and pointers and comments.  At this time, I was using the comment feature on Word that adds little bubbles along the margins and saves it as a whole new document.  I finished, double-checked all my comments to make sure they made sense and had no spelling errors, attached the document to the e-mail, and sent it off.

After sending the e-mail, I decided to create a document to distribute in class the next day, and opened Word again.  As it was loading up, I just happened to notice the registration information on my lovely boyfriend's version of Word -- Author: Jeremy, Registered to: MY ASS.

PANIC.  I opened the e-mail I had just sent to my student and rolled over each of the comments.  Every time my mouse rolled over a comment, a little bubble appeared, announcing the same information -- Comment author: Jeremy, Registered to: MY ASS.

I screamed at Jeremy to come look at what had just happened, and what does he do?  LAUGH AT ME.  Ha ha, that's so funny that you sent that to your student.  Really?  REALLY?!?!  Get ready to be my sugar daddy when I get FIRED!!

Jeremy was quick to point out that had I noticed that BEFORE sending out the e-mail, I might have avoided the situation.  You know, by paying attention to details, like I ask my students to.

Eff that noise.  I didn't take into account that my loving boyfriend might SABOTAGE my career.  But now I do.  Oh yes, I always assume sabotage. My best advice: CONSTANT VIGILANCE, my friends.  You never know when someone might trick you into making an ass of yourself.  You can take that advice to the bank, people.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Parenting Test

Have you seen that commercial that urges parents not to serve alcohol to their minor children?  Yes, it would have been much better if I had the video right here for you to watch, but I couldn't find it on youtube, so here we are.

Anyway, it is a little girl asking her daddy for things as she gets older and older, the dad giving in every time, and then when she is a teenager she asks for alcohol for her party.  Uh oh!!

We have seen this commercial a lot lately, and when it came on the other night, somehow Jeremy and I had the same idea.

2-year-old girl:  [squeezing a puppy] Daddy, can we take this puppy home? *begging eyes*

[I look at Jeremy and he knows it's go time]

Jeremy:  Fuck no!  We already have enough bodies in this house!

11-year-old girl:  [holding up two dresses in a store] Can I have both of the dresses, Daddy? *fluttering eyelashes*

Jeremy:  Fuck no!  You already have dresses!

16-year-old girl:  [sidling up to her dad in the kitchen] Daddy, can you buy me some alcohol for my party tonight? *sweet smile*

Jeremy:  Sure sweetie.  What do you want me to pick up at the store? *look of adoration and pride*

Yep, he passed with flying colors.  We are all set for this little bundle of joy to join our household.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Let's Ban All Awards Since They Make Me Sad

Okay, so I totally watch Toddlers and Tiaras.  If you aren't watching it, you really should be.  it is like horror on a stick and it totally freaks the shit out of my husband because he thinks it is creeping into my subconscious and I will take our precious young daughter and put her into pageants.  No worries, my love.  I'm sure I will force her to do a lot of things, like dance classes and piano lessons and whatnot, but you are safe from the world of pageants.

It hit me the other night that one of the things I hate most about these pageants is at the end, before they crown the overall winners, they give out awards like "prettiest eyes" and "prettiest hair" and "prettiest smile" and "prettiest face" and ... my god, the looks on the other little girls' faces when THEY don't have the prettiest of something.  Or the prettiest anything.  They start this at age "newborn."  To see those 4, 5, and even 8-year-olds realizing that they are not pretty enough.  It is heartbreaking.

Yeah, I know the same thing ultimately happens in the end when they crown the overall winners, but breaking apart the features like that?  It really gets to me.

I told Jeremy that it was the most disgusting part of the pageant, and he said, "Isn't it a lot like the mock elections in junior high and high school?" Thanks a lot, smart ass.  You got me there.

I was not a popular kid in school, and I was certain when I transferred schools in 6th grade that I would never attain popularity, and therefore never win a "title" in mock elections once we go to junior high.  Imagine my surprise when I won "prettiest hair" in 7th grade!!  I was freakin' ecstatic! But, come one, how could you NOT give this hair an award in 1994?

When our senior class mock elections came around, I knew I was not in contention for prettiest anything.  At this point, I was the yearbook editor, an aide in the front office, in honors classes, did not play sports for the school (but took dance lessons three days a week and played for a non-school soccer league), did not get invited to any of the parties people threw, and often brought boys from other schools to dances (because no one at my school would ask me).  So, nerdalicious.  Whatever.  I took life a little too seriously at the time.  

Imagine my surprise when I won a title!!  I was on top of the world.  People liked me!  They really really liked me!  They must have liked me all along! Maybe we could start being friends now, and I would be popular and loved and invited to all the parties that summer!!

What did I win, you ask?  

Most Responsible.  So, like, the lamest of the lame.  I basically won "Little Miss Goody-Two-Shoes of the Graduating Class of 2000."  A slight bummer. Plus, no one wanted to be my friend or invite me to parties.  So, a total wash.

Then, on graduation day, I got another unexpected award: Outstanding Senior.  I was shocked and proud and happy, even though it is an award that all the faculty vote on, meaning it was a "teacher's favorite" award. Whatever.  It was a trophy, and the only other one of those I had was from earning second place in kindergarten little league, and I had DEFINITELY not contributed to our team winning any games.  I was usually picking dandelions in the outfield.  But I got a lot of fresh air.

I was still happy ... until I went to the all-night party after graduation.  One of my kind and lovely classmates came up to me and said, "Wow, so you won Outstanding Senior, huh?" to which I humbly (and honestly) answered, "I know, I was really shocked."  This lovely lady returned with, "Yeah, the whole class is shocked too.  We thought someone who deserved it would get it, not you," and left me there to have a stern talk with my eyeballs, telling them to KEEP THE DAMN TEARS INSIDE because I didn't want to earn the title of "Class Crybaby" while I was there.

So, here we are.  Full circle.  Awards suck.  Even the line dancing trophy I won five years ago during a trip to Texas.  Maybe it was a joke and they were making fun of me and I was actually the WORST line dancer and they were all laughing at me after I won.

As you can see, awards damage psyches.  And possibly lead to massive psychosis.  And are probably the reason I am chunky.  And maybe they are the root of my constant back pain.  CLEARLY, I would be totally perfect if awards did not exist.  Case closed.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Don't Get Too Jealous When You Read About My Perfect Relationship

Reason #978 that my husband and I are perfect for each other:

Jeremy is goading me about something and getting me all fired up on purpose.  Like, he's standing there smiling while I'm fuming.  He's so dang proud of himself that I let loose on him.

"You know, you can be a real dickwad sometimes!"  I shout as I storm upstairs.  

Jeremy runs to the bottom of the stairs and screams, "Did you just call me a DICKWAD?"  

"Sure did, dickwad."

And then Jeremy went ahead and made me fall in love with him all over again by laughing so hard he nearly collapses.  Then I start laughing hysterically and have to grab the handrail so I don't fall backwards down the stairs.  I truly married my soulmate when I married someone who appreciates the use of the word "dickwad," even when it is in reference to him.

And seriously, if that is how I die -- falling backwards down the stairs because I am laughing so hard with my husband -- I think we have a pretty damn good marriage on our hands.

It's all rainbows and doves and sparkly hearts over here people.  Just as it should be.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Something Had to Give

Some of you already know this about me, some of you may have guessed it from the boxes on my page, and some of you may have pieced this together because of all the pictures of my pets in my posts:  I am an animal LOVER.  

People supposedly have "passions" in life.  I never knew what mine was. There was no perfect career for me because I didn't have that one thing I loved enough to make it my "thing."  Like, you know how some people have that one bumper sticker on their car?  I imagine it was easy for them to choose what to display because it is their passion in life (I know this is not heavy philosophical stuff and pretty obvious, but play along here).  The person with a band bumper sticker is a music fanatic, the person with a bumper sticker bashing Bush is passionate about politics, and the person with the "This car could be a Porsche if I didn't own a horse!" bumper sticker -- yeah, passionate about horses.  The thing is, I could never commit to ONE bumper sticker.  I didn't have a ONE THING.

But then I finally realized -- it's animals.  I definitely like animals more than people.  I love my animals so much they make me cry sometimes (much to my husband's chagrin and horror).  When we watch movies, not only do we HAVE to stay in the theater until the "No animals were harmed in the making of this film" statement, but I cry when animals are hurt in the films.  

If we are watching a battle scene where people are getting brutally slaughtered left and right and then ONE horse gets hurt ... I FUH-REAK. Jeremy is like, "what about all the people who are getting fake hurt?"  Oh please.  Those people chose to be there.  The animals were forced.  And animals don't want to participate in war!!!  They are innocent and beautiful and wonderful and they don't deserve to be treated like machinery!!!!  

So, anyway, I am an animal freak.  And I swear this post has a point.

While I love animals, I have not always been such a fan of bugs.  However, I have trained myself to not be a hypocrite and tolerate bugs.  They are living things and just trying to live their lives and do their jobs.  So I really try not to kill bugs.  Now, most creepy crawlies don't bother me, but arachnids and centipedes still make me lose my shit.  I have found a loophole there: I make my husband kill them and I close my eyes.  If I don't see it, it may never have happened, right?

This morning, however, I had a little set back.  I have been kind to ants for quite a few years now.  I cannot remember the last time I killed one.  Maybe it is because we don't have excessive ants in our house, but it is not really an issue.  This morning, however, I was putting away dishes from the draining rack and saw an ant WALKING ON ONE OF MY PLATES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At first I tried to reason with the ant.  I was like, "Hey, ant.  How about going outside?  I don't want  you spreading germs in my house, okay?"  No response.  In fact, it moved on to a glass and started crawling around.  This took me from zero to one hundred in a second.  I picked up a tub of margarine and shouted at the ant through clenched teeth, "Do you realize I now have to wash EVERY DISH IN THIS HOUSE because I am PSYCHOTIC and it is ALL BECAUSE OF YOU??"  When the ant ignored me -- SMASH! Still alive.  SMASH!  Writhing around in pain.  I felt bad for a second, but ... SMASH!  Better to put it out of its misery, right?

So, now I am officially a killer of living things.  Where will it go from here? Should I just go ahead and start operating a factory farm?  Is this who I have become?  Maybe instead of starting the factory farm I'll just start shouting for Jeremy every time I see an ant.    

Okay, I just told him my new plan to call for him every time I see an ant, and he said, "Good lord.  I don't think so."  Thanks a lot HUSBAND.  I am pretty sure you are breaking one of our vows.  Look it up.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


It's that time, ladies and germs:  Time to announce the winner of my VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY!!!

Remember when I reviewed the book I Am Hutterite and said one of you could get it in the mail for FREE from yours truly?  Well, I did, and if you didn't enter, then shame on you.

The giveaway rules were simply to leave a comment and tell me why you would be a great cult leader.  I got some good responses, but my favorite was from Smart Ass Sara:

So congrats to Smart Ass Sara, and to the rest of you ... I still love you, even though I am not sending you a book in the mail.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Day of My Husband's Birth

Today is my adorable husband's birthday.  While he thinks I make fun of him on this blog, I am certain that the things I share about him make you all love and adore him.  But you CAN'T HAVE HIM, SO BACK OFF! 

Anyway, loving my husband.

He is the kindest, nicest, sweetest guy on the planet.  Like, people who know him say the same things, and it's not just me, who's head-over-heels in love, who thinks that.  I have never met someone who disliked him, and I have a feeling that it will never happen.  He's just a nice guy.

He is adorable.  I mean, look at this face:

He is HILARIOUS. He is one of the funniest people I know.  He makes my family laugh, he makes our friends laugh, he makes strangers laugh.  He can always make me laugh, and some days after work we just sit and talk and laugh for hours and I actually get an ab workout.  Really, there is rarely a dull moment when Jeremy is around.  He is the life of the party and the guy you want to have around.

He loves his family.  He is very close to his entire family, and he would be there for them in a heartbeat.  He is best friends with his brothers, has more respect for his parents than anyone I have ever met, adores his sister, and is close to all of extended family as well. 

I love seeing the love they have for each other, and it also makes me realize that he will be that loving and loyal to me and the family we create.  He is going to be an amazing father, and I can't wait to see him with our daughter.  I know she will love him just as much as I do.

Not only does he love his family, but he loves mine.  And they are CRAZY about him!!  My brother and sisters love him, my parents always tell me "You found a good one!" and my nieces and nephews adore him.  Because my family adores him so completely, it makes my heart melt to know that he loves them right back.  He is just as loyal to my parents and siblings as he would be to his own.

He is a great friend.  He is obviously my best friend, but he also has a great group of guys he keeps around.  He makes time for his boys, and when I get to see it, it is always enjoyable!  When I don't get to see it ... well, I am certain they have a good time without me!

He doesn't take life for granted.  He appreciates all the little things in life, and he doesn't expect things to be handed to him.  Not only is he brilliant, but he is a hard worker and a devoted person.  When he does something, he does it right. 

Life will not pass him by; he will live every moment of it and appreciate what he has and what he has made for himself and his family.

He tells me every day that I am beautiful and amazing, and he makes me believe it about myself.  He also tells me all the time that I smell good, and I totally appreciate that.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, he puts up with me and my antics.  He lets me be crazy and unruly, he lets me over-react to things, he soothes me when I am being overdramatic, and he is generally a good sport about the over-sharing that takes place on this blog.

I love you.  Happy birthday.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

As Promised: Boobies

In my angry post about people not liking penises, I said my next post would be about boobs.  I was pretty much joking for a good closer to the post, but then people started telling me they were looking forward to my boobies post.  So here we are.

Gentlemen, I tried REALLY HARD to find a funny clip from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia  and that was going to be your little gift, but I couldn't find it.  And I am not going to just put gratuitous pictures of boobs up here.  So ... whatever.

Okay, ladies -- there are so many things we could talk about when it comes to boobies.  Fake boobs, finding a good bra, secrets to great cleavage, or the fact that I have had constant back pain since I was twelve and my chiropractor was like, "Yeah, um, you have big boobs.  If you want your back to feel all better you have to chop most of your boobs off." (or something like that)

However, what I really want to talk about is the "grass is always greener" syndrome women seem to have when it comes to "the ladies" (my preferred moniker).

Okay, let's get hypothetical here.  Let's say I have breasts that are on the larger size.  Let's also say that someone close to me has not-as-large breasts.  Let's also say this person could never really understand the daily struggles *I* faced with big boobs because *she* was so angry about her daily struggle with not-as-humongous boobs.  Maybe she used to say things to me like, "Well, why don't you donate some of those to me?" when it was my greatest wish in the whole world to donate as much of them as possible.  If my back hurt from the stress of holding up Double-Ds all day, she might say something like, "at least you have something to put in a bra!" and if I was trying on shirts and there was not enough room in the boobage area, she might say, "OH, I feel SO sorry for you that you actually have boobs to fill out a shirt with."  At the same time, I never came out and said that I could sympathize with her struggles to find a bra that fit and shirts that looked appropriate.  I had the same problems, just in a very different way.

While this is all hypothetical, I feel like every woman has seen this scenario play out dozens of times.  Women with A-cups attack women with DDs for not "appreciating" what they have.  Women with big boobs attack women with little boobs for not understanding the constant struggle massive titties are and not appreciating that THEY can never go without a bra like those free-wheeling little ladies.

COME ON.  Seriously?  Fake, natural, huge, tiny, medium, perky, saggy, uneven -- I do not know many women who are happy with their breasts.  And most women are comparing their breasts to other people's breasts.  And most of the time they are comparing their breasts to celebrity breasts, breasts that have an abundance of magical bras and strong tape and their own make-up artists.  Why can't women not only learn to like their breasts the way they are but ALSO stop getting mad at people who have larger/smaller breasts than them?  We all have problems, so appreciate that while someone who is a very different size than you certainly does not struggle in the exact same way you do, they have their own struggles and those feel just as horrible as yours.

Sigh.  That came off a little more ranty than I expected.  But seriously ladies.  If you hate your ladies, just know that there are people who would DIE to have them, whether they be big, small, or anywhere in between.No, wait, I changed my mind.  I think what all of this REALLY means is that all the large- and small-boobied ladies should band together and HATE THE MIDDLE-SIZED BOOBS!!!  

Just kidding.  I love you B- and C-cups.  Congratulations on your nice size and almost guaranteed perkiness.

Peace, Love, and Boobies!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Apparently People Hate Dicks

Okay, I am fully aware that my last post was vulgar and whatnot.  My husband said, "Well, that's graphic," after he read it.  But come on, people. I LOST A FOLLOWER for talking about dicks?  Now I have the super-sads. Thanks.

Was it you, mom?

Anyway, in defense of dicks -- like 49% of the population has them.  They cannot be ignored.  Remember that book Everybody Poops and how it was great because it de-mystified poop?  And remember that episode of Seinfeld where Elaine accidentally sends out a Christmas card with a "nip-slip" and Jerry and Kramer helped her feel better by lifting up their shirts and saying "everyone has nipples!!"?  

Well, I do.  And guess what?  Dicks exist and sometimes people talk about them.  Why can't we all just get along?

Next post: BOOBS.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wherein I Unleash the Crudeness that is My Siblings

This weekend we went on our annual family fancy-pants vacation to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.  Pure freaking decadence. 

The place is fancier than the White House:

And people dress like this:

Normally, someone like me would not be allowed on the premises.  Not only do I lack the monetary requirements, but I lack the "nice clothes" and "manners" and "class" and "patience."  However, my dad is a state officer in the Knights of Columbus and their annual state convention is there every year.  So, basically, because the K of C is throwing lots of money at them, they are allowed to bring their familes -- even if they lack elegance and the ability to filter crude language out of their daily speech.

Case in point.  Somehow, my family was able to give this luxourious trip the most innappropriate theme ever:  penises.  Yup.  (Okay, not my mom and dad though.  They were not involved.  Hi, mom!)

I think it all started when my husband, my little sister, her boyfriend and I all got on the ferry for the island.  Mackinaw City apparently has this major problem with a little pest called the May Fly.  Sometimes the clouds are so thick you can barely see through them.  They are quick and gross and end up in your mouth and ears and cleavage before you can think of a proper way to shield yourself.

So, the May Flies are swarming and groping us, when from under her hoodie pulled over her face, my little sister shouts, "I THINK TWO FLIES ARE DOING IT ON ME!!!!!"

After giggling and imagining May Flies doing it for 20 minutes, we got to the hotel and checked into our rooms.  As we were leaving to get lunch, we heard one lady shout to another, "Oooooh!  That is the hospitality suite that always has BABY WEINERS!!" her face lit up like Christmas morning.  So, obvi, we lost our shit and giggled all the way down to the dining room about how much that lady liked her baby weiners.  Classy as all shit, I tell ya.  UPDATE:  My little sister claims she said "Oooooh!  It smells like baby weiners!!"  Take your pick.  Both hilarious.

Fast forward, and my brother-in-law is teasing my little sister about having to go to mass for the third times in as many days when he was planning to sleep in (My mother made the grave error of telling us that she would APPRECIATE if we came to mass, but it was our PERSONAL LIFE CHOICE as to whether we would worship or sleep in.  Since I was having some pregnancy-related troubles and am not Catholic, I opted to sleep two extra hours.  My husband chose to join me.  Then my older sister and her husband and kids figured they could jump on the bandwagon without fear of reprisal.)  Anyway, he should have known better than to mess with my little sister.  She has an attitude and SUCH a mouth on her. 

So how did she respond to his goading?  By curtsying and excusing herself to the drawing room?  Nope.  She told him to go ahead and "EAT A BAG OF DICKS."

He was so stunned that his exact reply was: "*mouth open* !!!!!!!!! .... ???? ... !!!!!!!! *blink*"

She's creative in her expletives, I have to give her credit.  So, the rest of the night basically revolved around people telling each other to eat bags of dicks.  At a fancy party.  At the Grand Hotel.  Where men can't even go in the lobby without a suit coat and tie and ladies have to wear dresses after 5 PM.  Yeah.

The next morning my brother-in-law let my little sister know that he dreamt of eating bags of dicks all night, and that started things all over again.  My husband, the cleverest son of a gun I know, thought it would be good to just shorten it to "E. a B. of D."  Go ahead, say it out loud.  It has quite a ring to it.  

A few hours later, while we were still talking about eating b's of d's, someone suggested throwing an extra "b" in there -- E. a B. of B. D. -- you know, "eat a bag of baby dicks."  It took a horrible turn at this point when somehow my sister suggested they could be clippings, like from the "brisk."  Of course then we teased her for not knowing what a bris or a moyle was, but then we got back to being crude.

As my little sister, her boyfriend, my husband and I walked down to catch the ferry back home, we realized that there were so many possibilities that we were neglecting ...

Little sister's boyfriend:  "Eat a bucket of dicks!"
Husband:  "Eat a barrel of dicks!"
*Pause to take a photo for another group of tourists*
Little sister:  "Eat a box of dicks!"
Me: "Eat a bushel of dicks!"

Once we got to the docks, we had calmed down again, only to have my little brother's girlfriend talk about the huge disgusting dragonflies they have in Florida and said they were about the size of baby dicks -- then she held up her hands to indicate something a half-inch wide and 3-inches long.

This prompted a long discussion on the ride home as to what TYPE of baby dick we had been referring to.  I was slightly concerned that brother's girlfriend thought babies were born with 3-inch penises, but little sister chimed in that perhaps brother's girlfriend had just been imagining a tiny man's penis all along, like "Oh, look at that tiny little dick!  Why does that man have such a baby dick?"  It put a whole new spin on the situation.

Anyway, I am pretty sure none of this is actually our fault.  THIS does exist on the island:

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