Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This One Time, At Band Camp...

Except with my kids, it's 4-H camp.
Every story starts with, "One time, at 4-H Camp..."

Yesterday I was driving them to playgroup when a song came on the radio they seemed to like. I did not know the song (I have since been told it was Flo-Rida's "Low"?), but I turned it up for them. Here is the conversation that happened while listening to this song:
"Remember this at 4-H Camp?"

"Yeah, and Miles was dancing to it-"

"And he came out with, like, four pairs of pants on-"

"And underwear on his head!"

"And he was dancing around and the counselors came running over-"

"And said, 'Miles! Put your pants on!"

The whole van then erupted into a laughing fit. Ah... good times.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sid Lives Here

In the movie Toy Story, the neighbor kid, Sid, is seen as the villain. He breaks his toys, does surgery on them, and blows them up. More so than Andy, I always thought Sid was like the boys I knew growing up.
My brother was notorious for taking his toys apart and putting them back together in strange ways, with varying degrees of success.

Ron grew up near a cement plant, with mountains of sand that the neighborhood boys played in with their little army men. Often, they would return the next day to find their entire set-up had been scooped up and turned into someone's driveway or sidewalk. Fortunately, army men breed in dark corners, and there was a never-ending supply, to rebuild the camp.
Harrison will keep a toy no matter how broken, or how many pieces are missing. He will always insist that it is "still good", after he has fished it out of the trash.
In his G.I. Joe world, there is no such thing as a disabled vet; there is always something that can be done to rebuild him, to make him better, faster, stronger than ever before.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Get Out Your Dream Dictionary

I had a dream that we were picking Joey up to go to Walmart, and he came out to the van carrying two forked sticks covered with spiderwebs. Within the webs, were several tarantulas.
"No! No! Those are not coming into my van! No spiders!"

"Relax, these guys feel safe in their webs. In fact, you wouldn't be able to get them out of their webs. It's perfectly okay."
I let him get in the van (the first sign that this was, indeed, a dream!), and we drove to Walmart. We did our shopping, and when we came out of the store, the spiderweb sticks were empty. I stood in the parking lot, bags in hand, shrieking.

"Where are they?! You find them! I told you this was a bad idea! Joey!! Find them!!"

"Obviously, they felt safe in the van, and came out of their webs. You should feel honored."

"How many were there? You find every one!"
And so he found them and we were on our way to the restaurant where we were meeting several people for dinner. One of the condiments everyone was enjoying was a gross mixture of old coffee grounds and hot sauce. Someone offered some to Joey.
"Oh, man. No thanks. My dad uses that shit- it's gross. If I just smell it, I'll barf my head off."
I playfully swiped my finger through the coffee grounds/ hot sauce glop and smeared it on the front of his white button-down shirt.
True to his word, he vomited violently and his head came off and landed in the center of the table, facing away.
His body fell onto the floor, convulsing, as he continued vomiting out of the hole where his head had been. The hole looked like a toothless, old man mouth, all tiny and shriveled.
Everyone else stopped eating and stared, but stayed in their seats. I grabbed a bar rag and ran over to Joey, but instead of cleaning up the vomit, I began dabbing at the stain I had created on his shirt.
Eventually, he stopped vomiting out of his neck, and I helped him stand up. He began reaching for his head, but couldn't see it. Fumbling around, he was knocking people's drinks over. They were grabbing their plates and holding them up and away, while others tossed napkins onto the spills.
"Joey, let me help you."

"No, I got it" his head replied, still facing away.

"Let me help you! I can help you. It's all my fault, anyway. You gave me fair warning that you'd barf your head off, and I put that stuff on you."

"I'm okay. Shit happens. It's okay."

He put his head back on, and sat back down in his seat, picked up his fork, and went on eating his dinner. Conversation resumed, and it was a good time.

Then I woke up.
Now, what on earth does this dream mean??

Monday, February 16, 2009

Broth Has Nothing on Whipped Cream

My friend Jonathan says
"I absolutely refuse to eat broth, because scientists use it to cultivate germs."

I was cleaning out my fridge and came across a bowl with a lid, stuffed way in the back. I peeled off the lid and was stunned by the rainbow of mold growing in the bowl.
I could not even determine what food it had once been, until I began scraping it into the trash.
It was homemade whipped cream, from Paige's birthday party, back in October!

Valentine's Day

I do not celebrate Valentine's Day.
Our first Valentine's Day, Ron took me to the movies.
We saw The Serpent and the Rainbow.

Not exactly a date movie.

Our second Valentine's Day, I bought him a card and small gift and he replied with, "Oh, do we do Valentine's Day?"

So I gave up.
I always told him if he was going to buy me flowers, he'd better do it because he loved me, and not because every commercial on the radio was telling him to do so.

This year, Ron asked me if he should do anything for me for Valentine's Day, and I told him if he dared to get me anything, I would gut punch him.

So on Thursday, two days before Valentine's Day, he brought me these, but explained they were
not Valentine's Day gifts.
And since I didn't get him anything (because we don't do Valentine's Day!), I feel like a real shit.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chocolate and the Cha-cha-cha

The Songbird Learning Center hosted a Chocolate and Movie Party on Saturday, February 14.
Each guest brought a chocolate treat to share...

Chocolate Table

Fondue Station

We watched The Princess Bride, which most everyone had seen dozens of times and could quote at length.

After the movie, the moms began cleaning up, while the kids went into another room and played music that I can safely classify as "Lisa Repellent".
I think the kids referred to it as Screamo.

After some of the guests had departed, we could finally hear our music playing in the kitchen; happy, grown-up stuff that one could understand the lyrics to. As we stood around singing the songs that everyone knew, Santana and Rob Thomas' "Smooth" came over the speakers.
This Latin-rock song is perfect for doing the Cha-cha-cha. I bounced over to my husband and looked up into his eyes, pleading.
"Ron! Dance with me!"
Never in a hundred years expecting that he would, he took my hand and began to dance the cha-cha-cha, right there in front of god and everybody.
He was a firm lead and remembered the steps beautifully.

For four minutes and eleven seconds, I was in heaven.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

No, Joan Jett May Not Be Ladylike, But She Still Kicks Ass

Original Bad Reputation video, released 1981

In 1981, I bought this album. I did not know who Joan Jett was, or what kind of music it was, but the photo held my attention. The woman in that picture looked tough, wore a lot of makeup, and she had a guitar. I took it home and was not disappointed.
Songs like
"Wooly Bully", "Shout", and "You Don't Own Me" were songs I already knew from my parents' oldies collection.
Check out this Punk version of Shout in 1980

Joan Jett's punk spin on these familiar songs made them fun. "Bad Reputation", and my favorite "Do You Wanna Touch Me" just plain rocked.
Admittedly, this album became a touchstone for friendships- m
any of my friends were bothered by the footage they saw, her hair stuck to her face with sweat, eyeliner smudged, and the way she performed with so much enthusiasm.
Even the album's title
Bad Reputation seemed ominous.
My friend Kelly once remarked, "She just doesn't seem very ladylike, to me. I'm almost kind of afraid of her."

At age 50, Joan Jett is still performing, and still kicks ass.

Bad Reputation Stockton, CA 2008

Sunday, February 8, 2009

12 States Consider Ultrasound Abortion Bills

Most of the bills would require an ultrasound be available, and some require that the ultrasound be performed, and "the images displayed in a manner that the pregnant woman may view them". Most women have abortions before 12 weeks, and it's nearly impossible to make heads or tails of ultrasound images that early. People are imagining the ultrasounds from tv and movies where it's like a video camera in the womb, but the reality is that unless you know what to look for, those early ultrasound images could all fall under the category Attack of the Sand Fleas.

I won't go into my own personal views on abortion, or if women should be required to look at ultrasound images of the uterine contents they wish to terminate.
My question is:
"What about blind women who are wanting abortions?"
Are they exempt from these laws? If so, why? Can one make an abortion law that only affects sighted women? Only sighted women are required to feel guilty before terminating a pregnancy?

If not, then how, exactly, do these practitioners uphold the law and "
display the images in a manner that the pregnant woman may view them"?
Would the doctors use DVS?
Would abortion clinics and private practitioners in these states be required to subscribe to some sort of live DVS streaming technology that the ultrasound images would be uploaded onto?
And have you ever heard some of this DVS? The following is the opening credit sequence of the kids tv show Arthur:
Arthur is an 8-year-old aardvark. He wears round glasses with thick frames over his big eyes. He has two round ears on top of his oval-shaped head. He wears red sneakers and blue jeans, with a yellow sweater over a white shirt.

How the heck would a blind kid know what red sneakers, blue jeans, yellow sweaters, and white shirts look like? How would all this useless descriptive narration during a tv show help any blind person know what is going on during the program?

59% of abortions in the US are performed before 8 wks.
Below is a picture of a 7 wk ultrasound.
What kind of descriptive narration would go with this?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bearly Edible Trail Mix

I bought this trail mix at Gabe's several days ago. It was an impulse check-out line purchase. I didn't read it very closely, because I was planning to put it in a care package to a college kid. College kids will eat anything, so I buy according to price.

The next day, I got a phone call from the Sam's store telling me that the Kashi granola bars I had recently purchased were being recalled, and that it was important to not consume them, and to return them to the store for a full refund.
While listening to the message, I went through waves of horror to humor.
You see, I had already mailed the deadly granola bars to the same college kid, in a previous care package, and you better believe they had all been eaten!

(Conscientious mom that I am, I forwarded the warning on to him, anyway.)

But it made me very cautious about sending questionable food to teens! Maybe Gabe's food was a bad idea right now?
I decided to hang on to the trail mix, and maybe bake stuff at home that I know is contaminated with Paige spit, but little else.

Today I got the trail mix out and decided to feed it to my kids.
At that point, I actually looked at the package more closely.
The box reads, "Teddy Grahams Trail Mix... Bears and Cheese"-

That's right, I said "Bears and Cheese".

It contains: Honey Graham-flavored Teddy Grahams, pretzels, raisins, and cheese nips. This is what it looked like out of the box:

Upon closer inspection, we realized that there were a lot of deformed, defective, and just plain gimpy Teddy Grahams in the box. I doubt any of these Teddies would be good in a three-legged sack race!

How did "Bears and Cheese" taste? Fair nasty, if you ask me!
But there wasn't a raisin or gimpy bear left in the box by the time the kids were done, and my seven-year-old even drew me a request to pick up more at the store.

If we live that long, maybe I'll buy an extra box to send in that care package!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009's Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

This blog post is dedicated to my all-time favorite geek, John R. Sheets.

I love shopping at .
I do about 90% of my Giftmas shopping there. Between Think Geek and The Onion, I've got it covered.

But people rarely think about them for Valentine's Day, and they have some awesome gift ideas for Valentine's Day.
Here are just a few of my favorites:

This is an Afterlife Travel Kit. They have them for going up, or down, but I liked going down best.

Why buy her that lame heart-shaped box of chocolates when you can get her a life-size, anatomical gummi heart? Strawberry flavor!

These Bittersweets candy hearts are a much more fun version of the ones we made a few blog posts back. They come in Dejected, Dumped, and Dysfunctional flavors.

A couple years ago, I went camping with friends and wore a t-shirt that read "I'm Blogging This". It definitely got a reaction! People liked it so much, they had me make a couple for them, as well.
I wish I'd thought of writing it on panties, because that would be ten times funnier, and probably would have sold more.

A Mix Tape USB!

Remember Mix Tapes?
My favorite mix tape came from my friend John Sheets, July 30, 1987.
It's called, "You Win a Few... You Win a Few...!"

Side A is Alive, She Cried by The Doors...
Side B is titled
A Few For The Road, and has Kansas, Styx, AC/DC, Bob Seger, Uriah Heep, Ozzy, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and other great artists. After "Memories" are three bonus tracks you cannot see above, including the live version of Come Sail Away.
Within the Mix Tape, either in the songs used, or the order they are put on the tape, there is always a hidden (or not so hidden) message, or maybe a story.

After twenty-two years, Side B still tells a great story.
It's the story of a quiet, brilliant geek who befriends a crazy girl. He loves her dearly, but her default mode seems set on "self destruct". All he can do is be there for her and make her laugh, and not ever judge her. He moved away and since this was before the internet, they were forced to write 10 and 20-pages-long letters back and forth, with her going crazier, and him talking her down off the ledge time and again.
This is where the Side B story ends.
But then the internet got invented, proving that even MN was not far enough to get away from her. ;o)

And, John, this Mix Tape's a little beat-up and starting to squeak.
I think I'm due for another. (Hint, hint!)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day

"I got you, Babe..."

Today is Groundhog Day, which means, according to strict Staubly tradition, we watch the movie by the same title, discuss it at length, and listen to Sonny and Cher's "I Got You, Babe".

We have enjoyed this tradition, without fail, every year since 1994.
Four of my five children have been 'born' into this tradition. Not even the oldest can remember a time that we didn't do it, as she was only two when we started it.
Over the years, we have gone from renting the vhs tape, to purchasing the tape, to buying the dvd.
Sometimes it is a group thing, with a party atmosphere.
Sometimes Ron is out of town.
Sometimes Ron is out of town and his friend stays over and stands in for him.
Sometimes kids have insisted they didn't want to participate, but ended up coming in and saying their favorite lines along with the movie, anyway.
The discussions have gone from just basic surface comedy, to religious and philosophical.
As the children grow, their understanding of the movie and their take on it changes and matures. Each year, they get something they didn't get the year before.

Winter, slumbering in the open air, wears on its smiling face a dream... of spring.
Work Without Hope, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Hazards of Hard-Tack

I decided to make another batch of lollipops, but the recipe I have makes only 15 at a time. I wanted to double that, and pour the other half of the candy mixture onto a greased cookie sheet and make hard-tack.
I even used wooden sticks, this time, instead of plastic. I thought I'd thought of everything.
When it came time to pour the molten candy lava into the molds, I was immediately reminded that wood floats. As I poured, the sticks rose above the liquid, and refused to sink down into the liquid candy. I dipped, I twirled, I even held them into place for a few seconds, but they kept bobbing to the surface.
Each time that happened, a gap was created, and lollipop goo ran out along the groove for the stick. Soon, my fingers were burned and the sticks were covered in the goo, as well.
I would have grabbed my camera, but I was afraid I would have been unable to put it back down again!
I left the lollipops for a moment to pour the other half of the mixture onto the cookie sheet. Now, all the websites tell you to line the cookie sheet with foil, first, and grease that, so I did. As I poured the candy mixture onto the cookie sheet, it looked good. I thought it would all be okay. I waited five minutes to score the sheet of candy, but it was still soupy. I waited another five minutes. By now, it should be completely set up, but it was still goopy.
I began to get nervous, and brushed my hair off my forehead. I now had purple, grape-flavored sticky goo on my face, in my hair, and all over the counter.
What had I done wrong?
I looked back over the ingredients and the recipe. I'd followed the directions exactly!
I put the cookie sheet of grape-flavored goo into the freezer, to speed things along.
The SuperBowl kick-off was in an hour, and I didn't want to still be wrestling with candy goo at that time.
Even after ten minutes in the freezer, my hard-tack was less than hard.
I got online to see if I could salvage it in any way, and learned more than I ever wanted to know about pulling taffy, which was apparently what I'd just made!
I greased my hands, and began 'pulling' it, the way we did when we were kids. It made long, stringy ropes, but as soon as I stopped working with it, it became a liquid again.
So I added powdered sugar, to thicken it up a bit.
My accidental taffy became very stiff, and started sticking to everything, including my hands, my clothes, the cookie sheet, and the greased foil. As I worked with it, it began tear pieces of the foil up with it. I now had a huge glob of taffy-like goo, with small pieces of aluminum foil mixed in.
Introducing Lisa Taffy with real foil pieces in every bite! Feels great on fillings!
I had no choice but to throw it all away, and wash down the counters three times. What ever came of the lollipops in the molds? I stashed them in the freezer, to gnaw on later.

I searched all over the internet for the answer to what went wrong, and on page after page, they say to never make a double batch. They say it will go horribly wrong if you try. Worlds will collide, chaos will ensue.

I'm a believer!

But all is right with the world:
Steelers 27 ... Cardinals 23

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Real-Life Sure-Lock Story

Many of you have already watched the hilarious video Sure-Lock Ad

A friend recently sent me her very own story like this, and agreed I could post it as long as I did not use any names.
For your reading enjoyment:

I stopped up the toilet of a guy whose house I was staying at ("first long weekend" sort of thing) ;) and ended up fishing the 10-pound concrete turd out with my hands and mummifying it in toilet paper.

Cleaning it all up, the whole mess, and all around, with toilet paper and loads of washing and rinsing, used up like 2 rolls of toilet paper, with him out there for 45-50 min "What are you DOING in there?"
By the time I ended up, the wastebasket was CRAMMED FULL of toilet paper, the whole thing FULL.
I didn't know what to do with the thing so I put the "mummy" into the trash basket figuring he'd just dump the whole huge thing into his trash and not see it.
Unfortunately he burns his trash. 8-P
He found it.

He called me a few days later, leads into it with some talk about blah blah estate chardonnay and pasta bolognese, some high-falutin philosophical chat, then paused for a long moment, for effect, ...
then informed me, "You know, you shit like a fullback".

We ended up getting married though. 8-D
And divorced 14 years later but still friendly. ;D

That was (named deleted to protect the guilty).

I will never live it down, ever.

He even told our KIDS.

One of the kids then told me excitedly only a month or so ago that both of them had stopped up my former in-laws' toilets when visiting their grandparents...