Saturday, February 21, 2009

Global Attack Launched on Attractive Hairstyles by the Intermountain Hair Monster

I grew up in Idaho, land of rodeo queens and white trash deluxe, where the gals' hair was always jacked up higher than the most ostentatious cowboy's truck. That said, I have routinely deemed the infamous western-states-supported hair "bump" an atrocity. I mean, a little volume is good (just ask David Spade and Adam Sandler and their Gap Girls alter-egos), but even if I am inviting the cast of SNL to the party, can we please leave the Coneheads off the list? Honestly, how can anyone find this bump remotely attractive (for the record, I did NOT resize this photo. It remains in its original aspect ratio)?

"Oh my heck...I like, love Bumpits! My hair is getting
higher and my face is looking flatter!"

I rest my case.

Imagine my horror when, tonight, I saw an infomercial for Bumpits. That's right, folks. There is now a patented product designed to eliminate the hours of teasing, ratting, spraying, stuffing (don't laugh, my friends did it with toilet paper and pantyhose filled with batting), pulling, and pinching it takes to achieve this hideous hair phenomenon. I nearly wet my pants!

Since I think I may be one of five women within a 1,000 mile radius who doesn't support or sport the bump, please do not consider this post a personal attack on your style. Were I a bumper, I'd probably jump online and snatch up as many Bumpits as I could to spare my arm muscles the indefinite fatigue caused by the now outdated, aforementioned bumping method.

Happy bumping, everybody!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hello Again, Awkward Moment

I'm going to take credit for naming "The Awkward Shopping Run-In Phenomenon" even though I know everyone has this happen to them each time they go grocery shopping. Last night, I took Amber and Karli to Smith's and I tried out my new membership to (it seems promising...I'll keep you posted). A married guy saw my list and asked me how I do the "whole coupon thing" so I told him I had just signed up and didn't really know what I was doing. I gave him the web address, wished him luck, and he thanked me as I walked on.

On the next aisle, there he was, standing right where I needed to go. I pushed my cart to the cake supplies and he overheard me ask Amber what kind of candles she liked for her birthday cake (yes, it's in a month, but I'm such a cake nerd that I like to plan waaaay in advance). He said, "Is someone having a birthday soon? Happy birthday!" We thanked him and moved on.

Then, when I turned the corner to get eggs, there he was again. Lest he seem like a stalker, I must explain that we obviously had the same grocery needs, because he wasn't following us, rather, it appeared that we were following him. I quickly walked past to grab some milk and then proceeded toward the butter. You guessed it: nice married man at twelve o'clock. To avoid another forced and, by this point, completely awkward conversation, I decided I'd go to Costco to buy butter.

So why is it that the laws of the universe dictate that two or more shoppers will inevitably have identical grocery missions at precisely the same time? Why is it so awkward to strike up a new conversation after the initial contact was well-rounded and provided adequate closure given the circumstances? I'll never know, so please share your ideas.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Why Don't Things Just Work Out?

Today has been a day where everything that could go wrong has, with the wonderful exception of our excursion to Chuck E. Cheese's to meet my dear friend Elaine and her three handsome sons (Amber and Miles are betrothed, remember?). Upon waking, I immediately fired up this not-so-trusty, old Clark desktop to print some coupons for the aforementioned outing. Adam turned off the computer last night (despite the continuous use of electricity, I'm willing to pay the price for convenient access to the Web), so I pushed the power button and went to the kitchen to fetch some breakfast. Of course, we were out of milk, because I couldn't go to the grocery store last night because my wonderful, thoughtful, helpful, and conscientious employer informed me three days after I was supposed to receive my February paycheck that they had "permanently switched" our pay day from the 15th to the 20th of each month. Yes, I love the company for which I work (can you sense the sarcasm?).

Fast forward thirty minutes, when I walk back into the office, and the computer still is not ready to go. Three programs that open at start-up are not responding (this is the joy of using someone else's computer...I can't delete the programs or change the settings) and it takes me another twelve minutes to get online. Once I make it to the Chuck E. Cheese website, the computer freezes. All the while, Amber has sharted in her panties and removed them, Rex has produced a major diaper explosion that is leaking onto my pajamas, and Karli managed to smear jam all over herself. Did I mention we all had to be clean and out the door in thirty minutes?

To make matters worse, I absolutely had to send a fax this morning. The fax machine was naturally not working, so I tried to fix the problem. After diagnosing that there was no dial tone, the fax machine instructed me to check the wall jack, which I would have happily done, were it not cloistered behind two massive wall units filled with files, books, kitsch, and office supplies that brought the total weight to at least half a ton. Finally I unplugged the phone, plugged in the fax machine, and was thrilled to have at least one task accomplished.

After the kids bathed and Amber cried for ten minutes because I wouldn't retrieve her clean Belle panties from an undisclosed location downstairs, I jumped in the shower, dressed, and had everyone ready to go at 9:00 a.m., right on schedule. I opened the door and was met with the screeching wail of the alarm which Adam set last night and told me about while I was semi-lucid (of course, I don't recall him saying anything about the alarm). I quickly ran upstairs to find the remote, turned off the alarm, tried to comfort three terrified and screaming children, and herded them all out to the car. I buckled them in and ran inside just to catch the phone call from the security company.

Since I was now late for work, I told them I was Leslie Clark to avoid any further delay. I said I was on my way to work, forgot the alarm was on, and opened the door. The technician said, "Great, I'm glad you're alright. What is your password, please?" Hmmm. I had no clue, so I said I couldn't remember it and that I didn't have time to go find it. I said, "I think it's Granada Hills" to which the technician said, "Okay, thank you." I hopped in the car and answered a call from Leslie, telling me the police were on the way to the house because I gave the security company the wrong password. Thank heavens I have such a great mother-in-law, because she ironed out all the problems and I was finally on my way to work.

Now that I'm all worn out from reliving my morning, I'll refrain from detailing the rest of the day's mishaps, but I will mention that Amber has yet again lost her blankie "for good" (famous last words...this time I'm serious and I'm not making any more!), she's still not asleep, and her room is a disaster because she "was just too busy in" her "room to take a nap". AAARRRGGH!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

PSE Idiot

I am finally joining this century and have abandoned my old digital scrapbooking software. My wonderful, tech savvy husband bought me Photoshop Elements for Christmas and I've spent the last two months trying to figure it out. Generally, I can learn software without too much anguish thanks to online tutorials. Since my PC does not have wireless networking capabilities (time for a new one?), and since the home PC that is connected to the Internet is waaaay too incapable of running PSE, I found myself in quite a dilemma everytime I needed to acces PSE Help or find instructions on scrapbooking techniques. Slowly, though, I'm learning and I really love using Photoshop Elements. It's not as hard to learn as Photoshop and I can do many, more-amazing things than I could with my old software. Now all I have to do is catch up...I'm only behind by four months. I see a marathon scrapbooking session in my future; anyone want to babysit?

Mega-Massive Monster Meldown

Well, it happened. I should be glad that it took this long to occur, but I'm not. I'm talking about the ultra-fits that everyone else's kids throw right in the middle of a crowded store, and the darn parents don't take their screaming, slobbering child to the car immediately to spare humanity the gross annoyance of said fit. I AM THAT PARENT! I'm so ashamed!

Amber, Karli, Rex and I ventured to Kid 2 Kid (after my lucrative drawer de-clutter, I had lots of cute things to sell) which was swamped to the gills with parents and children. Since it is such a chore to even get all four of us out the door, I waged the war and decided to stick out our shopping trip despite the crowd. After convincing the workers to look at my stuff (I didn't know appointments are necessary), I hunkered down with a massive laundry basket to accommodate my ridiculous shopping habit of taking everything remotely interesting off the rack and carrying it around with me until the moment of truth arrives and I sort through all of the possibilities.

I found a bunch of darling things for all three kids, all new, and dirt cheap. Amber and Karli ran right over to the book section and removed every single tome from the shelves, spread them all over the floor, and made a gigantic mess of the entire west wall. Amber had it in her mind that she would procure a Belle dress on this trip despite several reminders from me and Adam that she would not be getting one (her birthday is in three weeks, after all). Upon realizing the Belle dresses remained unperused and that I was nearing the end of my procurement phase of shopping (meaning a graceful exit from the store was immanent), she whined, "Mom, can I pleeeeaaase get a Belle dress?" I said, "Before I even consider looking at them, you and Karli need to pick up the books."

She immediately started crying and screaming "I can't do it! You have to help me...right now!" complete with the foot stomps, attitude...the whole routine. I calmly said, "Honey, you can do it. Start with the biggest book and pick it up and put it on the shelf." Then it really got bad. Amber has a completely resonant, high-pitched, glass-shattering wail which she loosed at that very moment and I could actually see every person's arm hair stand straight on end. I carefully put my hands on her shoulders and explained to her that her behavior was unacceptable, she'd have to go to the car if she kept it up, and that there was absolutely no way she'd get anything if she didn't stop right then. Alas, my rational attempts were futile and I knew that a trip to the car was necessary. I was, however, guilt ridden because of the humongous pile of clothes I garnered without being able to re-rack and I was selfishly attached to my one moment of "free" shopping, so I quickly began returning items to their places and futilely shushing Amber all the while.

I stashed the items I planned to buy under a rack of clothes and gingerly marched the kids to the car (I'm almost certain I heard applause coming from the store...). I buckled them in, locked the doors, and returned to the store to complete my transaction (don't call Protective Services, the car was parked right in front of the store and I had full view of the kids the whole time). My face was flaming red, my body temperature was now at least ten degrees above normal, and my neck hurt from all the tension. I thought my problems were over, but I was soooo wrong!

Amber unbuckled her seat belt and proceeded to remove all of her clothing. She was still screaming and wailing, so everyone in the store could hear/see her. I already felt terrible for leaving my kids in the car unattended, but darn it, I was going to buy those clothes! Then, she climbed into the front seat and pressed the horn repeatedly. Keep in mind that the car was at most twenty feet from the cash register, and every single person in that store was staring at me and Amber. I asked the worker if they bought naughty kids to sell to other people and she said, "Well, I can't have kids, so sometimes I think I'd even take the naughty ones." She wasn't trying to be mean, but I felt even worse! The very moment the exchange was complete, I raced to the car, buckled an undie-clad Amber in her seat, threw her baby wolf in the trunk (ahhh...leverage), and raced out of the parking lot.

Poor Karli and Rex; they were so quiet and angelic during the whole episode. I had to blast the stereo during the whole ride home to drown out Amber's hellish wails and I think the others may have lost their hearing due to hyper-decibel-ism. I couldn't even function for the rest of the day because I was so exhausted. I've learned my lesson, though: no article of clothing is worth suffering through something like that. At the very hint of a future fit, I'm heading straight to the car and finding sanctuary.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Shameful Admission

I can't believe I'm even saying this, for so many reasons, but tonight I got an adrenaline high from cleaning the house. I guess it's a sign that my life really is lacking excitement, but after doing dishes, sweeping (for the fourth time today) and mopping the kitchen, helping the girls clean their room, scrubbing the tub, folding a mountain of laundry, and removing ill-fitting clothing from my kids' drawers, I felt a huge surge of endorphins and thought, "Wow...I feel really great, and look at everything I've accomplished with kids around!" Then, I immediately blushed and thought, "I'm such a housewife...I need to work out/get out more if cleaning makes me feel this way." Oh well. I actually do like being a Mormon housewife, so I'll take a high any way I can get it!