October 27, 2010

No, DON'T Take Off the Mask!

The other day my husband was watching a show that went behind-the-scenes of the movie "Halloween". As an avid horror movie fan, I was appalled. Not only should they never have made such a thing, but I'm pretty disappointed that my husband would even turn it on in my presence.

"Halloween" is probably one of my all-time favorite horror movies. It's a classic. I mean, who knew that a bright white William Shatner and a few notes on a synthesizer could be so terrifying? But it's all over the second you go behind-the-scenes and see the guy behind the mask. He looks like someone's goofy uncle who wears his shorts too tight and loves to tell knock-knock jokes. I'd be more afraid of him cornering me and giving me a noogie than stabbing me in the guts with a kitchen knife. And can you believe that this "real" Michael Myers was afraid to pull the phone cord too tight because he didn't want to hurt the actress? She kept complaining that the cord was too loose around her neck, and to pull tighter, but he refused. Talk about sending the horror factor right down the crapper...

And if THAT weren't bad enough, the couple from Paranormal Activity made an appearance on some awards show the other night. Wait, weren't you two possessed? Did the Demon release your souls long enough for you to accept an award on his behalf? Disappointing. What's next? The puppet from SAW making a cameo on Sesame Street? Jason on Larry King Live?

It's true that it's getting harder and harder to shock audiences these days. Between the violent video games and the political ads on TV it seems like blood and gore is mainstream. So you would think that the people in charge of creating these horror movie masterpieces would be a little bit more careful in divulging their dirty little secrets. While it's interesting to note when the director's cigarette smoke drifts into the frame, it sort of takes away from the edge-of-your-seat, white knuckle terror to know that someone is standing there having a casual smoke as this poor girl is being attacked. John Carpenter, take note.

I've been informed that my husband has also DVR'd "The Making of Nightmare on Elm Street". I suppose next they'll tell me that Freddie Kruger loves puppies and tuna salad sandwiches. Is nothing sacred?

October 25, 2010

Johnny's New Skateboard

Johnny is rockin' and rollin' on his new skatebo.....OH NO! Johnny! Watch out for that giant mutant donut!

October 20, 2010

My Ghost Story

Since it is getting to be that time of year, I decided I ought to share a ghost story. Get your Depends on and gather around the campfire kids, because unlike Paranormal Activity, these are actually REAL experiences had by yours truly. And I mean freaky-real. And I'm not lying. Are you on the edge of your seat yet?

One night when my daughter was about 6 months old (which would have been about two years ago, give or take) I was home alone with her and we were in the bathroom. It was late in the evening, just before bedtime, and I was giving her a bath before we called it a night. Suddenly, without warning, a rubber duck hit me in the face - ok, that wasn't a ghost, that was just Lainey. But immediately following the duck assault I was overcome by the smell of men's cologne. I don't mean a whiff, I mean it surrounded me in a cloud similar to one you'd find in a bar on college night. *Important Story Note: My husband does not wear cologne. He has scented deoderant but that's where his affiliation with Old Spice ends.*

Naturally, I was terrified by the sudden odorous onslaught and I immediately slammed the bathroom door shut and locked it, positive that there was a strange man in my house. I sat on the floor shaking, trying to determine what my strategy should be. Of course this particular bathtime found me without my cell phone (which was charging away happily downstairs), and the only other exit was out the 2nd story window. I could go MacGyver and fashion a zipline out of a wet towel and the electrical line that connected to our house. Wait, wet towel and electricity? Not to mention that this would require my daughter to cling to my back koala-bear style. Ok, scratch Plan A.

I could recreate the scene from Panic Room where she opens the door and runs for her phone before they get to her, but I did not have the benefit of 360 degree security cameras to aid me so unless I had a 2x4 and came out swingin' I wouldn't stand much of a chance. So much for Plan B.

I probably sat on the floor of that bathroom for at least an hour, deliberating on what to do. I did finally remove Lainey from the bathtub before she shriveled away into a tiny pink raisin, and with her sitting on my lap I decided to go through every drawer and cabinet in the bathroom just to make sure that the cologne wasn't something my husband had stashed away. This took up another half hour and turned up unsuccessful.

By this point my daughter was so beyond tired that her exhaustion-induced tantrum could have easily taken the place of a fancy security alarm. And I couldn't stay locked in there forever....so with Lainey in one hand and some spray can of cleaning foam in the other (to douse the intruders eyes with) I boldly left the bathroom and found....

.....absolutely nothing. My cats were snoozing comfortably on the sofa, my doors and windows were all intact, not a thing was out of place.

To this very day, I have no idea what exactly happened that night. But the smell of that cologne was so vivid that I would have no problem picking it out of a lineup even now.

I had sort of let that experience fall back into the recesses of my brain - until about two weeks ago, that is. Around 5am I was literally awoken from my sleep by yet another overwhelming smell - but this time, it was of a woman's perfume. *Important Story Note: I do not wear perfume. Not only do I find that most of them give me allergic headaches, but even if I did enjoy them I don't believe that wearing some to bed is proper protocol*. A quick (and slightly disoriented) scan of the room revealed no one. The bedroom door was not even so much as cracked. I could have checked the closet, but considering the obnoxious squeak of the closet door coupled with the fact that opening it would have sent a mountain of baby clothes down on the intruder, I determined it to be a non-issue. Both my husband and my children continued to snooze away happily, oblivious to the strange happenings. I sat in bed and watched the room, in the dark, for a long while before I eventually fell back asleep.

Two eerily different and yet freakishly similar experiences, with no explanation for either of them. I am nearly certain, after replaying both in my head eleventeen thousand times, that they must be spirit-related. Is it someone who used to live here? Is it my grandparents stopping by for a visit? If so, why did they choose a scent to make their presence known? Perhaps I may never know...but at least I can be thankful that they didn't take on demonic voices and throw me across the room.

*Unimportant Yet Spooky Story Note: As I sit here writing this, there is an owl hooting somewhere very close to my bedroom window.*

October 15, 2010

A Tale of Irony

It's me again, with another all-true bumper sticker tale.

I had just gotten off work and was heading across town to pick up some dinner when up ahead I saw the distinct red and blue flashing lights that signaled that my particular route to the pizza place was about to become a parking lot.

Sure enough, I began to idle when I noticed a small red car in the opposite lane trying to merge in front of the car behind me. The driver looked very aggitated, perhaps due to the terrible hair cut she had no doubt just received, and she must have assumed that no one could see her yellow blinker because she started to flail her arm in the air towards our lane in some type of crude caveman-style sign language. She may have even been grunting. I think she had been waiting to merge for almost one whole minute at this point, so I can understand her impatience. Unfortunately for her, the car behind me did not understand her signals and once our lane did start crawling again, his car remained permanently attached to my bumper. This made the lady in the red car furious, and in my rearview mirror I saw her face contort in what surely wasn't a verse of "Twinkle Twinkle" and then display another piece of sign language that nearly everybody understands...

Once we passed the sirens and were free to use two seperate lanes again, who should I see flying past me but the woman in the red car. As she disappears ahead of me, I notice a big sticker plastered on her foreign plastic bumper:
Probably not that, if I had to guess.

October 13, 2010

Johnny Meets Shrek

Johnny was so overwhelmed meeting both Shrek AND a real dinosaur in the same day that he fainted. Given the look on Shrek's face, I sure hope they don't eat him while he's unconscious....

October 12, 2010

Off to the Pumpkin...Graveyard?

It was a disturbingly beautiful day outside today, and since Halloween comes pretty close to surpassing Christmas as my favorite holiday of the year I naturally got all giddy at the thought of hitting the pumpkin patch.

Honestly, I'm not sure why I hold pumpkin picking in such high regard. Not only am I constantly disappointed in the selection, but my standard for the "perfect pumpkin" is set higher than that creepy Halloween fanatic who has a 30 foot black cat on top of their roof. Silly, really, considering that I have little to no actual pumpkin carving talent so having a flawless pumpkin is pretty much irrelevant. Not to mention that our grocery store's pumpkins are just as round, not to mention significantly cheaper, as any I'd find out in a field. Nonetheless, I take on my annual pumpkin quest with all the enthusiasm of a dog who has found a new fire hydrant.

We loaded the kids up and made our trip to Country Corner (even the name of the place made me gush like a keg of warm apple cider). When we arrived, I excitedly pulled out my camera and made a mental checklist as we headed towards the patch. Beautiful sunny day? Check. Adorable little red wagon? Check. Two happy and equally enthusiastic kids? Check. Perfect pumpkin? Er....Houston, we have a problem.

The second we walked into the patch, henceforth known as the pumpkin graveyard, I knew my perfect pumpkin picking was doomed. Everywhere lay casualties of rodents, sun, and in one corner full of oozing green pumpkins - an apparent nuclear holocaust. We weaved through the vines, desperately (ok, I was probably the only desperate one...) trying to find a pumpkin whose guts were still attached and on the inside. Halfway through my husband calls out "You know, we're probably going to have to just get some off of the shelves out front."

"NO!" my inner child screamed, "I don't want a 'grab a pumpkin from the shelf' memory, I want my warm and fuzzy pumpkin picking memory and I am NOT LEAVING HERE WITHOUT IT!" I tried not to let the cloud of panic and disappointment show as my daughter and I went from rotten pumpkin to rotten pumpkin. Apparently, she too already holds a high standard, as each one we came upon she declared "Not this one, this one is dirty!" Honestly, I would settle for dirt so long as it didn't have a giant gaping sinkhole...

And then I saw it. A tiny little thing, perhaps only 6 or 7 inches tall, sitting all alone. I immediately dispatched my daughter to retrieve it, and when I saw her pick it up I breathed a sigh of relief (because in order for her to pick it up it needs to be almost completely free of dirt particles). It was perfect. Small, but perfect. I breathed a sigh of relief.

We headed out of the graveyard, my daughter carrying her tiny pumpkin triumphantly. And yes, we did stop at the pumpkin shelves in order to get an equally perfect large pumpkin for me to mutilate with a knife - but that was ok, because in the end, I got what I wanted. I got my pumpkin picking memory.

(Ironically, my daughter dropped her pumpkin on the ride home - it may have a concussion and some mild bruising, but that won't stop us from covering it in fingerpaint tomorrow.)

October 10, 2010

Things I'm Too Old to Laugh At (But Do Anyway)

** The doctor who introduced himself as Dr. Gooey. Ok, I'm sure it isn't spelled just like that, but it SOUNDED just like that, which caused me to chuckle internally and miss the first minute or two of what he was saying.

** The signs that say "Slow Children at Play". Would it really cost that much to add a comma in there, folks?

** My daughter using a curse word. I know I should discourage it but darnit, nothing is cuter than the word "hell" coming out of a two-year-old mouth. At least I don't ask her to keep repeating herself like my husband does...

** The anesthesiologist who let out a not-so-dainty fart while trying to lower the bed rail on Owen's crib. She had the decency to say excuse me instead of trying to pretend like one of the machines collapsed, although that almost made it harder not to laugh.

** The 92-year-old woman I saw at Walmart wearing a Hannah Montana shirt. I was a little worried that the sparkles might interfere with her pacemaker somehow.

** The anectdote I heard recently about a woman who was sending off a business email to a bunch of clients. She signed off on the email "Regards", however, lamented the fact that the letter "G" and the letter "T" are a little too close on the keyboard. Honest - I laugh every single time I think of that story.

** The word masticate.

** And this:

October 8, 2010

Thanks a Lot, Paula Abdul

I turned on my XM station this morning as I was getting myself and the kids ready for the day when a song came on. It was an old Paula Abdul song, "Straight Up" late 80's awesomeness. I listened for a moment and realized that honestly, the girl never really could sing. She can dance, I'll give her that - and I'd be willing to bet that she can down a 40 in under two minutes flat. But sing? Notsomuch. And yet I distinctly remember being such a huge fan back in my grade school days, thinking that maybe if I teased my hair up into a gigantic wave and choreographed a dance near my hall locker, Keanu Reeves would be all mine.

I mentally scolded myself for ever enjoying such generic, talent-free music. I snickered, even, at the thought of the American Idol execs scanning through a list of musicians, finding Paula, and saying "That's IT! We want her!" What, was Bobo the Singing Groundhog busy that day?

After the referee rang the bell on my mental Abdul-bashing, I went about my day. It wasn't too long though before, seemingly out of nowhere, a song became lodged in my head. A song so horrible, so painful, that it makes Paula shine like a gold-encrusted turd.

Mambo Number 5.

I haven't heard this song in years, and let me tell you - those years were pure bliss. Clearly, this is a case of bad musical karma. Three hours later, it's still stuck in my head and I want to get down on my knees and apologize to the powers that be so that my soul might be released from the torture that is Lou Bega.

Paula, if you're reading - I'm sorry. You are still my homegirl. You may be zonked out on prescription medicines but you rock those sequins like nobody's business and besides, we share a birthday...that has to count for something, right? Could you please call off your musical revenge before I have nightmares about Angela, Pamela, Sandra, and Rita?

October 7, 2010

Dear Time Goblin...

Dear Time Goblin;

I've had a trying week. I know that you delight in the mischevious thieving of my minutes and hours, but I need them back. I woke up at 7 am, and right now it is just past midnight - yet I can assure you that my day did NOT have 17 hours in it. There is just. no. way. Perhaps you sprinkled blackout dust on me sometime midday when you thought I wouldn't notice, or maybe it was you who lured me into taking that "short" trip to Walmart that turned into a time warp. I'm still not done with the laundry I put in two hours ago - or was it three hours? 5? Really, it's starting to freak me out.

I need to vacuum before one of my children ends up on the show "Your Kid Ate What?". I need to go to the grocery store before we are forced to eat Ramen noodles and ketchup. I need to sleep. If you could find it in your cold, shriveling heart to spare me - even for just one day - I would appreciate it.

An Exasperated Common Goddess