So the 11-year-old found six snails that she has now made a full-on ecosystem for. The dogs growl at them in their enclosed environment and frankly, I think the dogs are just jealous the snails get to sleep in dirt all day.

There are also several lizards in our house. These lizards abound in here in South Florida and keep the bugs at bay, but they are everywhere and often times hangout on our ceiling, which is usually fine, until the one lame lizard loses his footing and falls on you while you're sleeping.

Anyway, the 9-year-old has decided to give the lizards superhero names. I suggested naming two of them Zan and Jayna of Wonder Twin fame. The idea was quickly shot done: "Just let me take care of it, Mom. Those names are pretty boring," FINE.

A new group of baby ducks were just born behind our house about three weeks ago. They like to squawk by our sliding door and hope we'll give them some food. Either that or they're trying to tell me the meaning to life and in that case, I'm never gonna get it. The dogs don't seem to understand that there is glass that is separating them and have, on many occasions, run into the sliding door.

I feel like I'm Noah in his mighty ark, except I fucked-up on the math and now have a disproportionate amount of animals surrounding me.

The Hangover

It was a typical Friday night.

I was already in my pajamas before seven. I may or may not have been in my pajamas all day. No wait - I did have to go out earlier in the day. . . so I did have to change out of my pajamas at least once. Yes, I just patted myself on the back for that major feat of strength.

Anyway, we  just had dinner and yet somehow, I was still famished. I even ate off of Carl's plate. Thoughts of pizza swirled in my brain.

There was crap on TV and no one wanted to watch Russell Crow as Noah with me. 

"Isn't this a biblical story?" asked the 11-year-old.

"Yeah, so?" At this point, I didn't care. It was better than watching Dateline NBC. How many times can I watch a story about murder where the spouse did the murdering?


"Fine. You guys get ready for bed then."

That's how parenting is done. Just like that.

At midnight, Carl and I started watching True Blood.

"You want something to drink," he asked.

I made a face. "Okay, but not too strong and just one because I have a shit ton of stuff to do tomorrow.

As I sipped my vodka tonic, I carefully examined Anna Paquin's teeth. She has a similar space in between her top middle teeth like me. 

"What are you doing with that tape measure?" Carl asked.

"I want you to measure my tooth gap," I said as if my life depended on it.

"No fucking way. You still have spinach in your teeth from dinner."

Two and a half drinks later and I started asking Carl stupid questions. I mean, the shit just did not stop coming from my mouth:

"What do you want for your birthday? Tell me!"

"Do you think we'll have to buy the kids a car to drive when they're sixteen or will they drive my minivan?"

"What kind of name is Sookie?"

"You wanna order some pizza"

"Where do babies come from?"

At some point in the night the TV got blurry and I think I tripped over one of the dogs. Also, I may have drooled on myself.

Something poked me in the head. In the distance, I heard Elmo and a familiar giggle. My eyes peeled open, stunned by the extreme sunlight that streamed into the room. I recoiled and shut my eyes, afraid something had happened with my sight.

"Oh hi, Mom." The toddler's foot rested on my head as she watched Sesame Street on the iPad. 

My eyes opened, I took in my surroundings. Carl still snored next to me. My body ached, like I had fallen down a flight of stairs. I tried to inhale, but all I could smell was vodka and I immediately wanted to throw up. 

Slowly, the memories from the evening before came to me in strange drips, like my broken coffee maker from my freshman year of college.   

Carl's mouth moved, the sound coming from it too loud for me to stand and I slapped my hands against my ears.

"Oh my god - why are you talking so loud?" I yelled.

He stared at me, rolled his eyes and got up.

"Are you getting up already?" I asked, not believing that he had the energy to get anything done.

"Well, I can't sleep all day."

"Why not? I feel like shit." I looked at myself in the mirror. Had Carl run me over with his car?

Hours of sleeping later, music drifted up to our bedroom from downstairs. 

"Turn down the music. It sounds like Cancun 1996 up here," I yelled down to Carl.

"I don't even know what that means, but the volume is barely on."

I looked at the time. Six. I'd spent all day in bed. Fuck. I was never going to drink again. Never. At forty, my body could no longer handle a night of drinking. 

"Uh, it wasn't a night of drinking, yolo. You only had three drinks," Carl said.

"Stop calling me that. Well, you were the goddamn bartender. Were you putting triple shots in each glass?"

A day later, Carl asked "Do you want something to drink?"

To which I replied, "Okay, but not too strong and just one because I have a shit ton of stuff to do tomorrow."


Keep your mouth shut

Hello. I have foot in mouth disease: I say the wrong things at the wrongs times ALL THE FUCKING TIME. 

It stems from a myriad of things, but mainly my social anxiety kicks in, my brain fumbles and my mouth has no idea what to do with the information except to blurt it all out. 

I am a joy to be around at parties. Maybe this is why Carl and I stay at home so much or why we're not invited to social gatherings. 

Yesterday, a repair guy showed up to fix the dishwasher so I could finally stop washing dishes by hand and telling the 9-year-old to use his teeth to cut his chicken

I was in the middle of cooking dinner and immediately started making excuses and apologizing for the mess, mainly the pile of laundry that sits atop the pool table. Weeks and weeks of laundry just sitting there waiting for a place to hide from the dirty dishes that were growing in the kitchen. 

I silently admonished myself. Why do I do that? Why do apologize for everything? Who cares about the laundry? Who the fuck cares if my bras and underwear are just sitting out there for everyone to see?

Just shut up.

I shook my head as I showed the guy the dishwasher, but instead of shutting up, I kept right on talking. I told him about how wrinkled my hands were getting. I told him about my nail polish. My goddamn nail polish! I told him about the new dishwasher detergent I just bought and how it didn't smell like oranges, but more like rotting flesh. 

I was met with a blank stare. Maybe there was a little fear mixed in there as well. This is a look that I'm familiar with; I've seen it too many times before. 

He kept looking behind him and I knew he was waiting for me to leave, but I just stood there, tearing lettuce for a salad no one was going to enjoy eating.

I told the repair guy how he looks exactly like Drake. 

"I don't even know who that is," he said as he turned his back to me.

"What? Really? You're a young guy and you don't know who that is? That's surprising. He's a rapper."

"Are you saying this because I'm black?" he said, standing with a hammer in hand.

"What? Seriously? No way. You just look exactly like the guy." I fumbled for my phone, trying to find a picture of Drake before this guy bashed my head in with his hammer and then dragged my lifeless body into the back of his truck. "See? See? See?" I said nervously.

"Hmmmm. I don't know. I don't really see it." He shrugged his shoulders and went back to work.

He was quiet the rest of the time while I blabbed on about Canada, Anne Murray, eyebrows, Jan Hammer, Scotland, quiche and slippers.

The repair guy was at our house for a total of twenty-five minutes and I think I managed to insult him about twenty-six times.

All in a day's work for me. 



Back to the Dark Ages

Our stupid dishwasher broke three days ago and I've been washing dishes like it's the beginning of the 20th century. 

It's amazing what a family of six goes through in terms of dishes and stuff. I've become the plate police over the past few days, questioning everyone: do you really need a plate for that piece of chicken? Do you really need to use utensils for that spaghetti? Can't you use your hands to drink water out of?

Dirty dishes and clean dishes are now co-mingling on the countertop. A stench of failure wafts through the kitchen, but at this point, I don't give a shit. I just want the repair person to get here and tell me how much it's going to cost to get this washing wonder fixed. And I'm bracing myself. What if it can't get fixed and we have to buy a new dishwasher? Or worse, what if I have to wash dishes forever?

My hands can't take it. 

Carl: What do you mean your hands can't take it?

Me: Look at them! They're dry and my nail polish is chipped.

Carl: Oh your poor nail polish. Don't you just mean that washing dishes takes you away from wasting time on the computer or sitting in front of the TV?

Me: No. It takes away from the precious time I could be spending with our children.

Carl: Well, in that case, do you want to give the toddler a bath and put her to sleep tonight?

Me: Fuck no. There's something on TV I want to watch.


Me: I love this song.

Carl: Van Halen's Hot for Teacher?

Me: Yeah. You know, I always thought this would make a great song to strip to.

Carl: What?

Me: You heard me.

Carl: You don't know anything. The beat is too fast. There's no way to really groove to it. You need something more sensual, something you can really move your hips to. Like this. . . 

Me: You scare the living bejeezus outta me sometimes.

I'd take credit for legible signs if I could

I was at a restaurant this weekend and walked into the bathroom. The men's bathroom. Honestly, the sign looked like a woman.

Also, my eyes - they burn. It does not smell nice in the men's bathroom. Not nice at all! It's a rude, off-putting combination of decay, parmesan and feet.

Last week, I learned that I don't know what the fuck signs mean at all and:

The interwebs is an infinite and mysterious place:

I'm stealing these tweets and forming them into a new bathroom sign for the visually stunted:

I'm cutting you off

Carl: Here you go.

Me: What's this?

Carl: A vodka and cranberry.

Me: Are we celebrating?

Carl: Yeah, it's Thursday.

Me: You know, tomorrow is Friday. We should probably celebrate that as well. 

Carl: On it. What are you watching?

Me: The Bridge.

Forty-five minutes and a second vodka cranberry later. . .

Me: This show is really frustrating.

Carl: You love this show.

Me: It makes no sense. Don't they know I only took eight years of Spanish and remember nothing?

Carl: That's why you read the English subtitles at the bottom there.

Me: The fuck? Run Lola Run just said "touch my tits."

Carl: Oooooookay. No more for you. The toddler can now read better than you. That's not what the subtitles say.

Me: Was it 'touch my pits?" It was wasn't it?

Transform and roll out

I've been putting off taking the 9-year-old to see Transformers: Age of Extinction everyday since it came out. The excuses ran rampant: it's raining outside, I'm too hungry to take you, I'm still in my pajamas, the sun's out, the moon's out, I think I broke my leg, my brain's bleeding.

Don't get me wrong - I don't have anything against the Transformers. In fact, I love them more than cake and I fucking love cake.

I am a child of the eighties. I grew up with Members Only jackets, stretch stirrup pants (shut up - I know you had a bunch of them!), jellies, oversized Esprit sweaters and watching Transformers on the telly in the afternoons. It was a ritual. Come home, throw my backpack on the floor, grab some junk food, turn the TV on to see what Optimus Prime and his Autobots were up to. The day Prime died on the show, I cried. I stopped eating, walked into my bathroom, crawled into an empty bathtub and curled up and cried. 

What was this world coming to if they killed off Optimus Prime?

And then Michael Bay came along and my beloved Transformers were coming to life. But as I watched that first Transformers movie and struggled through two more, I realized that they weren't really movies, but just long-winded, over-filtered commercials. My Transformers deserved more dignity than that.

Anyway, the 9-year-old's been cool about not having seen the movie, letting me spew ridiculous excuses and just nodding his head. I couldn't put it off any longer. So we went...


Me: Are you ready to go?

9-year-old: Won't we be there early?

Me: Yeah, but if we don't leave now, I'll come up with another excuse.

9-year-old: I'll wait for you in the car.


Me: You don't have salad here, do you?

Kid at concession stand: Uh, no. We have popcorn and Icees, but no salad.

Me: Well, that's not helpful.

Kid: Do you want anything?

Me: I guess I'll just take a bottle of water.

Kid: All of our munch boxes come with french fries.

Me: Wha...? You have fries?

Kid: Yes, we...

Me: Give me the jalapeno poppers. You said that comes with fries, right?

Kid: Did you still want the water or do you want soda?

Me: No soda - that shit's bad for you.


Me: [whispers] Can you stop texting? Your screen's really distracting.

Teen with attitude sitting in front of me: Ugh. Okay, MOM.

9-year-old: Why did that girl just call you Mom? Is there something you're not telling me?




9-year-old has perma-smile on his face.


Family in front of us is arguing because they spilled all their popcorn. They think they're whispering, but it sounds more like yelling and I'm waiting for them to start singing some Monty Python song.


Am I supposed to believe Marky Mark is from Texas because his Texan accent is non-existent which reminds me of Kevin Costner's performance in Robin Hood with his non-existent British accent and now I can't stop laughing.


Naptime number two. Did I lock the car?


The 9-year-old and I high-five one another after some scene. I'm not even sure why we're high-fiving. I missed most of the scene because my 3-D glasses fell on the ground and I refused to touch it because there are death germs on that floor.


This is like the movie Seven Years in Tibet and I can't ever get this time back again and I giggle to myself at some joke I make up right then and there and want to text it to Carl, but forget about it ten seconds later. 


Optimus Prime rides Grimlock - no, you fools - not in that porny sort of way - and people are clapping and pumping their fists in the air. Some guy's on the phone with his girlfriend telling her about it. Who are these people?


The 9-year-old nudges me and smiles.


Things are better with kids. Much better.

This is how you don't get to second base

One of the first dates I ever had in college or ever was with a a guy named Dave. I was a freshman and he was junior or maybe he was a senior. Anyway, he could buy beer, but maybe he had a fake ID, so I don't know. Whatever. He was older than me.

And he was Asian. I was never into Asian guys because I thought they were controlling and it would be like dating one of my cousins. My parents thought it was weird that I never really dated Asian guys. "Who are you gonna marry when you get older, some white guy?" my dad used to ask. Well. . .

Anyway, Dave was cute and had a car. Or maybe he was cute because he had a car. Or maybe it was because he was taller than me. 

He called me one night and asked me if I wanted to grab something to eat which was perfect timing because I was starving since my last meal was like an hour ago. Dave picked me up at my dorm room. He was smiling when I opened the door, but then he gave me the once-over and the smile slowly turned into a disapproving smirk. I can't remember what I was wearing, but it was 1992, so I'm sure it was pretty horrible. Don't even ask me about my hair. It was a frizzy, long bob.

We went to Denny's or something like it. I think he was intending to take me some place more impressive, but then he saw what I was wearing and thought Denny's was more appropriate. We talked or rather, he talked and I laughed awkwardly at things that were not funny. I even giggled when nothing was said. I went to take a sip of water and almost drank half and half.

The rest of the night was horrifyingly bad. I tried to tell a joke and forgot the punchline; I somehow offended his mom; I devoured whatever I ordered and ate most of what he ordered; I think he forgot my name at one point.

When I came home, my roommate met me at the door and wanted to know all about it. I changed into my pajamas, turned off the lights and went to sleep. I think that answered her question. 

Dave never called me back. A week later, I broke down and called him because I was naive and I still thought there was somehow saving this train wreck. His roommate answered and made all these excuses for Dave each time I called: he's in the shower, he's studying, he's eating dinner; he's traveling with the circus. The final time I called, the roommate told me that Dave was a jerk and I was too nice for him because apparently, Dave liked his girls bitchy and slutty. Or at least, that was my interpretation. 

A few weeks later, a bunch of our friends were at a party and they asked both Dave and me how are date went. Before I could say anything, Dave said we never went out - he had just taken me to get something to east since I missed dinner. That's all. 

Translated stories are never good.