Archive | May, 2009

Dear Hanes

30 May

Dear Hanes:

Look, the “inspector number 27” tags in the underwear were kind of endearing. But now, I see they are accompanied by a second sticker that says “Team 4.”

Really? REALLY? It takes a whole team of inspectors to see if my underwear are up to your rigorous quality control standards?

What, are they too big for one inspector? Is that a fat joke? I am working on it, jerks. We can’t all be built like Michael Jordan.

Oh and does that mean a whole team of people have had their possibly germy, grubby hands all over my undergarments? I feel violated. It takes a village to raise a child, Hanes. It does not take a team to inspect underpants. Now your slogan about “Wait ’til we get our Hanes on you” is creeping me the hell out.

And who are these inspectors? Do you screen them for possible fetishes? Check them against the National Underwear Molester database? This “Team 4” sticker has opened up a whole new panty panic paranoia for me.

Where’s the bleach?

Lights, Camera, Morons

27 May

I need an attorney reader to check this out for me. I know there’s justifiable homicide, but what about justifiable slapicide, or justifiable duct-tapeacide?

We spent part of the holiday weekend at the movies, taking in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. Bonus review: the little soldiers are in it again and not as funny. Ben Stiller is not as charming now that he’s ho-hum about the museum exhibits coming to life. Amy Adams got on my nerves a little. However, because I am unpredictable, I still got a little misty when the Tuskegee Airmen saluted Amelia Earhart. I don’t KNOW why, OK?

But the real show was the people behind us. Family of five including one two-year-old who did not need to be in the 7:40 p.m. showing.

I started to get concerned during the previews,  when suddenly a little face appeared right over my shoulder, like a disembodied shrunken head, and started screeching “UP! UP!” about Disney’s upcoming release.


He remained at my shoulder for a while with his insightful screeching commentary about every previewed movie. Until the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen clip reel started running. The cheerful screeching became a caterwauling scream.


At this point, his mother intervened.

“Shhh, our movie’s about to start,” she said between popcorn crunching.


The sobs became more insistent. The gentle maternal comfort continued.

“You need to sit in your frickin’ seat and be quiet.” Chew chew chew.

“NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!! I DON’T WANT TO WATCH THE MOVIE. I WANT TO GO!!!!” His displeasure became more insistent, and was now punctuated with kicking the back of my seat.

I contemplated several things. Perhaps I could turn around with a smile and suggest gently that he might enjoy the movie more from the deserted section of the theater up front, where he could move around more. Perhaps I could offer to take him to the lobby if they wanted to pay the $30 I had spent on tickets. Perhaps I could just slap his parents upside the head.


Then, his mother said this, “OK, you don’t want to watch the movie?”

“Yes!” I thought. “Parental responsibility kicks in! She realizes he’s out of control, a disruption to others, that this is developmentally inappropriate. Score one for mom!”

“Fine,” she continued. “You just go ahead and go, we’ll be right here. Go on. Go. Just leave.”

Oh hell, no.

Really, you stupid cow? Over a movie tantrum, you’re telling your two-year-old, who shouldn’t be here in the first place, that he should just head out to the lobby? Screw you, sweetie, mommy and daddy want to watch a movie.

I turned around. Looked at her, raised an eyebrow, started to say something. I don’t know what.

But the distraught toddler amped up his scream to a sonic boom level and started sobbing, and before I could say anything, she glared at me, scooped him up, and said “Fine, we’re going outside.”

People all around us started muttering “It’s about time.”

He came back about halfway through the movie. Quiet, settled, exhausted from his earlier tantrum. He stood to watch the movie, once again leaning his little face over the seat and next to mine. He continued his commentary, now in hushed tones.




His little hand patted my shoulder. I patted back, and resisted the urge to just grab him and run out. I also resisted the urge to chase down his parents after the movie, and tell them I understand being frustrated, but their kids are only little once, movies are on DVD forever.

And also, warn them that next time, I *am* going to bitch-slap someone.

Fabulous Friday aka I Don’t Have a Topic

22 May

First, congratulations to Ann H., commenter #22, who will be getting lip plumper in the mail shortly.

Instead of my children drawing from a hat, Ann was selected using a random number generator suggested by my friend Jessi. Who probably planned to program it so SHE would get the lip gloss, but her evil plan failed.

This scientific awesomeness brought to you by
This scientific awesomeness brought to you by

See, there is the proof of Ann’s winning ways.  Go Ann. Please be sure to sign the waiver before putting on the lip plumper. Also, since the mommy blogosphere is all atwitter about paid posts, paid reviews, product placement, etc., let me clarify that Ulta neither gave me this lip gloss *nor* paid me to write that it made me scream like a waterboarded wallaby.

In fact, no one pays me for the awesomeness that is this blog. Clearly that is wrong, all wrong. Please use the information on the contact page if you would like to help right this awful injustice.

In other news, while my posting has been sparse here this week, I have weighed in at the San Antonio Express-News website at  my blog there. I have been discussing Michael Vick’s return to football and the practice of a local realtor of putting flags up in all the yards in the neighborhood.

One of those situations truly annoys me, and one of those situations is just fine with me. Do I weigh in on the side of the brutal dog-fighting NFL player, or the patriotic home seller? The answer may amaze and infuriate you. Please rush over to tell me of my amazing stupidity at your earliest convenience.
Why? Because everyone else is being so darn polite about it, and I need some psycho commenters so I have something to write about on slow days.
Oh wait, you would like a link to this foolishness?  Here you go.
And now, because I want to share even though it’s not National Carrot Day, I present the wonderful singing carrots. No reason.
You’re welcome.

Recession Lip Plumpers

18 May

First, I’m not bi-polar, I’m just complicated. Expect the blog to reflect as such while I deal with the whole beloved dog + incurable cancer = basket case equation. Your kind comments really blow me away, and I thank you. The forecast is for a stiff upper lip with periodic bouts of silliness.

Speaking of lips, I have a complex about mine

I blame two three people for this. First, the “makeup artist” at the Dillard’s Estee Lauder counter in Abilene, Texas who told me “your lips are so unusual. The top one is a little bigger than the bottom one.”

First of all, lady, you were a working at the Dillard’s in Abilene. I’m really not sure why I gave you this mantle of cosmetic authority, being that the Abilene Dillard’s is not, in retrospect, the mecca for budding makeup artists. No offense to Abilene, a lovely city where I was in fact, in the Junior League.

I know, y’all. Let that sink in.

However, makeup lady, because of your amazed pronouncement about my freakishly malformed lips, I have spent decades lining my lower lip just outside the lip line and putting a dab of shiny gloss right in the middle to trick the eye. Thank you very much.

Also in college, a classmate who is now an esteemed and respected professor at my Alma Mater, but who then went by the alias “Vick Velvet,” asked my fiance “what’s it like kissing those little chicken lips?” Ever since, I have been searching for the perfect lip-plumping lip gloss because I was scarred for life. The pain has outlasted the student loans, even.

By the way,  Mr. Velvet. My Dyson doesn’t have Angelina Jolie lips either. But it works just fine.

Now, I said three people were responsible for my lip paranoia. Person three would be my husband, who was then the fiance who was clueless enough to tell me about the chicken lips comment. But guess what? He is not reading this paragraph. Because he died when he read the vacuum sentence.

His last words were “I can’t believe you went there on the interne…”

Now that you understand the deep psychological scarring, you’ll understand why I eagerly try each and every brand of lip plumper I can get my hands on. Sure, I could go the collagen route. But needles in the mouth? No. Thank. You.

This weekend, I found myself in Ulta, admiring their two-for-one sale that included the Ultimate Pout Lip Plumper.  And of course, admiring = buying.

And because I like to share, I will utilize my sparkly new camera/fancy tripod/wrinkly pillowcase product showcase set up and show the pretty lip glosses to you.

Ulta Lip Plumper

See? So pretty. I tried the paler one called “Glisten.” Which is appropriate, because that is what my eyes started doing about 15 seconds in as the “plumping action” started working. Then I tried to rub it off my mouth and got some in a paper cut on my index finger, and then someone called 9-1-1 thinking a wallaby was being waterboarded in our bathroom.

However, I lived, and would like to report that the gloss sure does plump.

I know it’s a recession, though, and the Ultimate Pout Lip Plumper is $12.50. So I am now going to offer you 5 cheaper ways to get the same searing effect and sexy pout.

1) Go to the zoo and french kiss an anteater.

2)  Sit on the third base line and get hit in the mouth by a foul ball.

3) Stick your mouth into a nest of angry bees.

4) Suck off a habanero pepper.

5) Leave a comment and a valid email, and maybe you will win the other unopened lip gloss, a pretty coral shade called “Bella.” Because I know times are tough, and I care.  Also, I am not putting that stuff on my mouth again.

I would send you the “Glisten,” tube too, but it has wallaby spit on it and there are interstate regulations about that.


For real, I will send the unopened lip gloss to a commenter chosen at random by putting the comment numbers in a hat or something and making my kids draw. If you want it, be sure to leave a real email so I can get your address. Also, get some therapy — because seriously, that stuff HURTS. I’ll draw on Friday.

Waiting at the Door

15 May

He has never been a dog  to rush at the open door, hoping for a break at freedom. He waits with the leash on, sits as the other two whine and wiggle as if they had never been on a walk before.  In this, as in all things, a very good dog.

But something has shifted this week. Now, he stands at the door, determined to come along on each trip to school. He rides shotgun as I drop the children off each morning, pick them up each afternoon.


He spends more time at my side, too, tucking in beside me on the bed or couch. I type on the laptop with one hand,  pet him with the other. And I try, as I scratch his ruff, not to feel the hostile alien lumps  just below the surface.

But there’s no avoiding them, or the reality. Acute lymphoma, not curable. Maybe a month or two if the steroids stave off the angry, intruding cells.

I took him in Tuesday, because he  was coughing, and his throat felt swollen.

 “He must have something stuck in there,” I said. “I don’t know what it could be, he’s not a chewer.”

The vet was quiet. Feeling his throat, then his other lymph nodes, her tender eyes belying her hopeful words.

They took samples from the swollen places, flew them to a lab. Maybe, she said, it was a reaction to a tick’s bite on one of his hikes through the woods, maybe some fungal allergy. But probably, she said, aggressive and fast-moving cancer. She was so very sorry, and hoped she was wrong.

She wasn’t wrong, of course. She is as intuitive and skilled as she is compassionate, and honest enough to tell me if he was hers, she would do exactly as we are doing. Skip the hard drugs that won’t change the final outcome. Keep him comfortable. We’ll know when it’s time, she says. 

What I fear I don’t know is what I’ll do without him. In a year the big screen has celebrated the incorrigible hound, he is the anti-Marley. In all things, a very good dog.

puppy quince

We bought him from a sheep farm, his corgi parents named Elvis and Priscilla. In a litter of fat adorable short-legged puppies, he  stood out, the markings on the back of his neck looking like a #1.  Our daughter wanted one of his roly-poly siblings she dubed “Chubby,” but it was my call, my dog. I named him Quince, Spanish for 15 because he was a fifteenth anniversary present.

We went to the farm once to pick him out, a second time to pick him up, and my husband made two additional trips in the dead of night because our daughter kept leaving her beloved blanket in the barn. I suspect she hoped Chubby would find his way into our car.

At obedience school, the assistant called him lowrider and speed bump. He stole the show with his perfect proud walk and the way he tore across the room when I called.

Running Quince

We somehow ended up with another corgi, one found wandering the freeway that we were just going to rescue “for awhile” until we found his home. They had fights that looked like midget wrestling, raced around the room until our border collie grew weary and tripped them, and became the darlings of the dog park.

two corgis

Then, a little over a year ago, we welcomed another addition to our family, an 8-year-old boy who had spent his first years anchorless, tossed in a sea of drug-addiction and abuse and bounced from children’s shelter to foster home to relative to foster home again. The first night, as we tucked in a child that was afraid to hug or trust, Quince climbed up and settled in at the at the foot of the bed. The puppy from a sheep farm was ready to stand sentinel. He has been there every night since, only sneaking back to our room once our son is fast asleep.  In all things, a very good dog.

couch corgi

Five years is hardly long enough for a dog like this. He was supposed to grow old, see that once-scared boy off to college someday. I know there are greater tragedies than this in the world, I have faced many of them. But that perspective is no pain-killer for the ache in my heart.

I’m grateful for a few more days, as long as they are. Days to feed him cheeseburgers from Sonic, to let his make his rounds on the path at the dog park,  to find him standing at the door and waiting to head to the car.

Days to tell him a few more times that in all things, he has been a very good dog.

Craziest Thing Ever

13 May

So, as if you needed more evidence that newspapers are in trouble, guess what, y’all? The San Antonio Express-News has asked me to blog on their web site,

Well, it actually happened like this, Roy Bragg, columnist extraordinaire, sent out a note onTwitter looking for bloggers in San Antonio.

And as my dogs are my witness, I responded, “Umm. This is embarrassing. But I’m kind of awesome.”

Roy was polite enough to say “Oh, I was totally already thinking of you,” which is probably a lie, but a smooth move. Then he even followed that up with “direct message me your email and I’ll send you a pitch letter.”

Which then? AWKWARD. Because Roy was not actually following me on Twitter, so I couldn’t send him a direct message because that is how Twitter protects people from stalkers. And also apparently how they protect Roy from self-promoting bloggers.

So I asked a mutual friend for his email address, but I think she actually hates me because she gave me an email he doesn’t check. (I am ONTO you, Donna.)

And then Roy sent me another message that was all “I’m listening” and had an embedded sound file of him tapping his fingers impatiently, I swear. And finally I had to say “Hello, you are not listening and that is why I can’t DM you, Aggie!” That is how you impress people when you want to blog for a big deal newspaper.

Surprisingly, Roy still wanted me to write a blog, which is how I am going to become rich and famous. Although not actually rich because newspapers are broke, in case you haven’t noticed. So they came up with this “community blogging initiative” which means “get a lot of desperate people to write for us for free.”

As far as I can tell, everyone else seems pretty normal, so I may be the only one Roy sent a detailed list of swear words I could and could not use on the newspaper website. Which hello? I was not going to use anyway because I have to use my real name.  Yes. I know. No, I am not going to publish the list on here. See “have to use my real name” above.

Anyway, go look at my big-time blogging opportunity. Right now I think all that’s there is my 200-word bio. But big things are coming.

Go On. Click Here Right Now.

Oh wait. Now there is also a post there. A post wherein I suggest myself as a Supreme Court nominee and reveal which justices currently go commando under their robes.  Now really, go there and leave a comment or make a campaign contribution.

69 in the ’70s (or the Post That Makes My Mother Faint)

5 May

Mr. Parks was perhaps the coolest elementary teacher on the planet. Well over 6-feet-tall with that late 70s Ken-doll hair, he suspended a Superman mannequin from the ceiling of his room, had a pet tarantula who was allowed to leave the cage, and dressed like the Tooth Fairy on Halloween.

I of course, got the other sixth-grade teacher. I recall little about her, although my report card that year does note “Dawn is a smart student with real leadership potential who spends too much time socializing.”

This has been on every report card of my life, by the way. Also every employee review.

But it is not his pink tutu or tarantula that forever seared Mr. Parks into my mind.

No, that is reserved for the sixth grade sex-education discussion. Because our teacher, bespectacled and far more librarian than libertine, was *way* too timid to deal with such things, the  job fell to Mr. Parks. Both classes packed into his classroom to watch “the movie.”

Afterward, he told us we could write our questions anonymously, and send them to the front of the class, and he would answer them.

Now, I do not recall whether it was by pre-arranged plot, or we had reached some hormonal tipping point en masse. But I do know that every child in the portable who had a pencil turned in the same question.

I still remember Mr. Parks’ face as he opened question after question. First, raising his eyebrows. Then,  then looking resigned as the pile of papers stacked up.

Finally, he sighed.

“I see you all have the same question.”

He walked to the board, and drew this.

Illustration #1

Illustration #1

And explained calmly. “When two people are in love, of course they kiss like this.”

Then, he turned back to the board and drew again.

Illustration #69

Illustration #69

He turned back to us — still speaking calmly, but turning crimson.

“And sometimes, when people get married, they kiss like this. You can see it looks like a 6 and a 9. That’s why it’s called ’69’.”

The class was big-eyed and silent as that sank in. Mr. Parks continued.

He turned and erased the board, then faced us again.

“I know that’s not a very detailed explanation. But if you have any further questions, I will be happy to send a note home to your parents, and I will let them know you are all very curious.”

And with that, our sixth-grade sex education came to an end.

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