Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dear Allie Brosh, I'm going to steal your readers...

Ever since I wrote this entry inquiring as to the whereabouts of my very most favoritest writer/cartoonist, I've gotten a lot (Alot) of traffic on that post.  People are searching it multiple times a day and landing on that page.   They're not looking for me, Allie.  They're looking for you and FINDING me.

It may seem cheap, but you know what?  I'll take it! 

I just wanted to let you know, that I'm planning to borrow those readers for a while.  Only until you come back.  You can have them back...provided that you can identify them.
Sure, I don't draw clever little cartoons and I don't have a dog that makes a whine like a jet engine, but I'll try my best to keep those folks entertained in your absence.  Maybe I'll post pictures of things that "almost" look like vulvae and call it "Suddenly Bajingo".   Maybe I'll just talk about how much the Intarwebs misses you. 

Maybe I'll use hypnosis and duct tape.

Anyway, I'll take good care of them, Allie.  I swear.

So, hello!  If you were led to this blog through a search for Allie Brosh, please stick around for a while and we can chat about how fabulous Ms. Brosh is and how very much we miss her unique brand of humor.

But first, look into this golden're getting very sleepy...

No, no, keep looking at it...wait.  Where are you going?

Friday, June 29, 2012

I ALMOST DIED TODAY! Don't drive angry...

My name is Erika and I am addicted to the Mocha FrappĂ©s at McDonald's.  It's not a healthy addiction by any means (I'm pretty sure there's crack in those suckers) but this morning that unhealthy addiction nearly got me killed. 

You see, the power of suggestion is great.  It is far greater than the power of my will.  So when Sugar Daddy said  "Hey, you should take my car and go get us a couple of those Mochy Frappy things from Mickey D's", I said, "Ye-OKAY" and guffawed like Goofy as I grabbed his keys and headed out the door. 

WHEE!  Mocha bliss was on its way!

Few things have the power to upset me when I've been promised chocolatey, blended happiness, but you can imagine my chagrin when I looked in the rear-view mirror and spied a burgundy Bonneville barreling down Locust Street toward my bumper.

It became apparent that I could be rudely introduced to my maker if the driver didn't press her dainty piggies down hard on the brake pedal, and pronto. 

The scene that played out in the front seat of that Bonneville was a short one, as I was viewing it entirely in fast forward, but I'll relay the gist of it:  Crazy Girlfriend is angry at Wrong and Stupid Boyfriend.  Crazy wants Wrong and Stupid to see just how crazy-angry she is at his incredible wrongness and unfathomable stupidity by threatening to take both of their lives in a fiery high-speed crash, ejecting her crazy-angry self and his wrong and stupid self into the back of my car at speeds that could launch a rocket into space.

Thankfully, Crazy veered off to the left, passing my car and moving on to threaten Wrong and Stupid's life on the car in the next lane.  And she didn't stop there.  As soon as there was one car-length between us, she changed lanes again.  Crazy continued the lane change, accelerate, hard brake, lane change pattern speeding down the road like KITT from Knight Rider (with all the lunacy, but only half the badass) until she was out of sight.

And that's how I almost became the victim of vehicular homicide this morning.  Yup.  I didn't die though.  I'm here!  I lived to make a vague implication about my brush with death on Facebook and now I'm here to blog about it for you people.  Aren't you glad?

What do you mean that's not a brush with death?
When that woman charged at me like an angry bull in a four-door sedan, I saw my life flash before my eyes (primarily the un-caffeinated, boring parts) as I faced the unhappy prospect of being denied a blended coffee drink.   Are you telling me that doesn't count?

*sips mocha frappé*

Shut up.

(If this made you smile, please share it with a friend.)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

How We Roll - Re:Shopping Carts and Kids

I posted this picture on Random Ninja's facebook page yesterday and it reminded me that I promised to share with you another of my secrets to surviving the grocery store with kids in tow.

Re:  Shopping Carts 
If you are under the age of 6, you must have your hand on the cart at all times.  If your hand leaves the side of the cart, you get put IN the cart.  This means that if one of your sisters is already in the seat, you will be put in the basket of the cart where the groceries will soon pile up around and on you.  You will pray I have marshmallows, cereal, and bread-related items on my list as numerous canned goods slowly press the life out of you.

Important note:  If you choose to ride in the cart and you wish to sit in the basket, which is only an option if the seat is occupied by another person or if you are too big to sit in the seat, your gluteus maximus MUST have waffle marks on it when we leave.  This means you actually have to SIT in the back of the cart.  Standing is never an option and will result in painful beatings about the face and neck.  I'm kidding.  It will, however, result in the cart coming to a full stop and waiting until you cop a squat on the metal mesh once more, with the promise that if you do not comply, you will have no media access for the next two days.  That's pretty much the same as forbidding them air, without the legal ramifications.

Seriously though, standing is NOT an option.  We learned this the hard way when a year-and-a-half old Lily went head over teakettle in the children's clothing department at Target one day and landed smack on her head, scaring the life out of me and causing great pain to her poor little melon.  I'm happy to report that she was unharmed and today is a thriving 11 year old soopergenius, but I still can't pass a child standing in the basket without cringing and saying a little prayer.

I know some people will protest "Oh, but I watch them very carefully". To this, I will channel Dwight Schrute and say:

"Fact: It is impossible to reach a child tipping out of the front of the cart when you are at the back of it unless your arms are disproportionate to your body."  

So if you're part sloth, go crazy.

As for me and mine, this is how we roll:
Please note: the children in this photo are not all mine, but I left with the same number I arrived with, so it's all good.

To review:  The rule is that if you're under the age of 6 you either have one hand on the cart at all times or you get into it.  
Sam's 7 now, so the rules really no longer apply to her, but as soon as we get out of the car, that hand instinctively attaches itself to the cart. My mother loves this. So do I.

How do you roll?  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Marvelous Thrift Store Finds and Leg Amputation.

On Saturday, I visited Goodwill.  I told myself I was only going in to look.  Just for a second.  (That's all it takes, isn't it?) I don't need a cart.  If I get a cart, that'll make me put stuff in it and then I'll buy that stuff and then we'll have too much stuff again and need to get rid of that stuff.  The circle is vicious.
Nope, I'm just going to look.


Now, I have to tell you that I've planned to buy new stools for my kitchen for a while now and hadn't yet found a set I absolutely had to have...until Saturday.  Because Saturday I found these.

Ignore the peeling vinyl, I'm going to re-cover them.
The best part?
$3.38!  Each!!

At that price, you'd better believe I trotted up to the front of the store, grabbed myself a cart and shoved those suckers in it faster than a ...faster than...faster than something already fast performing a difficult task IMPRESSIVELY fast.
Those stools were MINE.  I staked my claim. After giving me a bit of trouble, I finally convinced the bar stools that they needed to come home with me and they fit into the cart obligingly.   This is important.  If you put something in your cart, that's like writing your name all over your school supplies or licking the last piece of pizza.  It says "Mine".  And no one else will get their grabby Saturday-thrift store mitts on them.  Unless they want to tangle.  *threatening face*

I was pretty stoked about this stool purchase.  Until.  Until I found something even better!  An air hockey table for only forty bucks!  FORTY!  I whipped out my cell phone and sent Sugar Daddy a text telling him of our incredible good fortune.

"Rejoice!  I have found the air hockey table of our dreams!"

I imagined our days filled with the soft hum of the table and the clickiety-clackity-smack of the puck as we battle for a tiny plastic replica of the Stanley Cup.  

"Basement or garage, which do you think it'll fit in?"

He sent back, ""

WHAT?!   Are you kidding me?  This is the end-all-be-all of family entertainment devices!  We NEED THIS.

"Aw, why not?  It's only $40.  C'mon, man.  I WANT IT!"

As Miss Madison will recognize, he sent back the same message we send to our oldest daughter when she tries to push the envelope: "The answer is no.  This will be the last text about this.  Further texts will result in consequences."

Now, it's true that we really don't have much room for an air hockey table anyway, and his idle threat had me giggling in the middle of the store, but I couldn't very well respond to Sugar Daddy with anything supporting his logic, so I instead sent:

"*pfft*  Dude. That's whack."


I got the stools.

And these are GREAT bar stools! 

Sadly, once I got them home I remembered that there is a difference between "bar stool" and "counter stool".  That difference is about 4 inches.  My counter is simply too short for their awesomeness. 

But wait!  I have a dad.  My dad has major power tools.  I'm very hopeful that the combination of my dad and the major power tools will be just the ticket to taking them down a notch...or four. 


Edited to add:  I sent my father a text asking if he'd be willing to cut four inches off 8 legs...belonging to no one he knew, and if so, when would be a good time. 
"Now."  He sent back.

Seriously?  Sweet!

I hurried over to my folks' house where we performed partial amputations on the bar stools with a table saw...and laughed while we did it with sickening glee.   Hobbled, they now look like this:

And they fit perfectly under the counter. 

I took the severed legs home with me.  If the stools give me any more grief I can always flaunt them with a menacing look that says, "There's more where this came from."

Now that I think of it, I might use them in my next giveaway.


If this made you laugh, will you share it with a friend?

Giveaway Winner Announced!

If you didn't enter the giveaway for the sparkly stuff I made, go HERE and seeth with jealousy over Jennifer's new baubles.

Unless you hate them.  Then you can piss off.  ;)

Congratulations, Jennifer!

Friday, June 22, 2012

How Lily either helped someone drive to Texas or buy drugs on an otherwise normal Friday morning.

I forgot to tell you guys what happened with Lily and me last week.  She and I were out picking up stuff for her birthday party that day this was...Friday...and as we were leaving, we passed a young couple, maybe in their early twenties, holding a sign that said: "Out of gas.  Need to get back to Texas.  Anything helps." 

Still driving, we chatted just a little bit about how far away from home they were but the discussion ended there.  Listening to the radio, Lily's mind was still working on the couple. 

Soon she said, "Mom?  ...Could we give them something?" 
I said, "Would you like to?"
She nodded.
"See what I've got in my wallet." 
She said, "You've got five bucks." 
"Do you want to give it to 'em?" 
"Well, can we?" 
"Sure!  Let's go around the block." 

And so we did. 

She leaned out the window and handed the young man a five dollar bill.  His face lit up and he thanked Lily, thanked me and his female counterpart chimed in with a happy "God bless you."  I could tell their appreciation was genuine.

Now, I don't know what they were driving through Iowa for, but I saw their car nearby in the lot (they had actually been standing near it when we pulled in) and it did have Texas plates on it, so there was no second thought of Gee, I hope we're not helping them support their crazy glue addiction.  But you know what?  Despite that little nagging voice of skepticism, it still feels better to give SOMETHING, doesn't it? 

They were grateful, she felt wonderful and I was extremely proud of my kid.

What about you?  Would you encourage your child to give to a panhandler? 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hey, you like free stuff? I'm hosting a giveaway!!

Do you know what I do when I'm not wordsmithing, killing plants, taking a thousand silly pictures of my dinner, being accosted by mall personnel or peeking into my neighbor's windows?  

I make jewelry.   

I bet you didn't know I was so talented, did you?

Because this giveaway thing is supposed to be really super easy to do, I'm jumping in with both feet and donating two of my newest creations.   Some lucky person will be the winner of a bracelet and earring set from Random Ninja Designs. 

Ooh, shiny!

Awesome, right?  I mean, is there anyone who doesn't like free sparkly stuff?  I am a freebie whore, people.  If it's free, I want it!  I become positively giddy when I see a package waiting for me on the porch and will knock down any small person in my path to get to it.  

But enough about my deplorable behavior, there's stuff to be won.

Go enter mah giveaway, peoples!  

Ooh, look!  A Rafflecopter thing!  That sure makes things easier, doesn't it?   Good luck!

(It's come to my attention that the Rafflecopter is not letting many of you comment for whatever reason.   That's okay. It still registers your entry for the giveaway.  Comment when you can.  I won't be upset, I promise.  Besides, you can always make it up to me by subscribing via email. It's over there on the left.  Go there now. Shoo. Skedaddle.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Rafflecopter has spoken!  Jennifer Serafini Myers is our winner!

Please keep reading RandomNinja.  I'm definitely going to be doing this again.  So much fun!!

Thanks all for the terrific response!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Nyan death ray destroys house, Children rejoice.

An invisible Nyan cat shot this rainbow ray at my neighbor's house.  It exploded in a cloud of glitter ten seconds later.

I'm only kidding.   It was part of this double rainbow.

Did I say "double rainbow"?  Whoa. That reminds me of this guy:

In the middle of my rainbow coverage these teenagers mugged for the camera.  I think they'll be pleased to know that I put them on the blog, don't you?  Maybe it'll go viral like the Rainbow Dude.  I mean how often to you see that?  Teens!  Mugging for a camera! 

That's rarer than a double rainbow.  Crazy.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Keeping it clean.

John's Uncle Jim asked the girls if they'd like to walk with him in a small town parade wearing his campaign t-shirts.  "Us?!  In a ...PARADE?!"  Of course they were more than happy to oblige.  They've already been helping out by putting together more than 600 yard signs for him.  Good kids, they are.  They probably would have done it even if he hadn't paid them.  But this...was a PARADE.  That's like Super-neatoriffic!  Hells, yes they'll do it!

Their job was simple:  Look adorable.

As their mother, my job was also simple:  Keep them clean until Jim got here to take them off my hands. 

Keep them clean until Jim gets here...  Keep them clean until Jim gets here...
How can we kill ten minutes and still keep them clean?
Hey, I know!  Let's take a few dozen pictures of them in the yard.  Where the dirt lives!  That's a recipe for success!

Line up, girls! 

What's got six thumbs and just made it into an embarrassingly picture-heavy blog entry?

These guys.

Me: What other picture should we take?   Want to make a pyramid?
Lily:  Mom, that will get our shirts dirty.
Me:  Ooh, good call, Lily.  You're right.  Let's do something else.

Madison:  No, wait.  Let's do it this way.  Here, Sam.  Give me your foot...Lily, take the other one!  Now stand up, Sam...

"I can't stand up, you're gonna drop me!"

"I changed my mind. I wanna get down."

And then there was some discussion about Madison's belly button...
"It's an innie AND an outie, see?"

So the other two had to check theirs out as well. 

But Lily was distracted...

Uh...Lily?   Did you find something shiny?

She's busy.  We'll come back later.

What were we doing?  Oh, right.  Keeping the kids clean until Jim gets here.

Wait a second.  Where did Madison go?   She's in the Strawberry patch!  Why is she there?  Because nothing makes you hungry for red berries quite like a nice white shirt.   IT'S BERRY-PICKIN' TIME! WOOT!

After addressing Jesus by his full name, I asked if it was too much trouble for the girls to at least TRY to avoid All Things That Could Stain for the remaining eight and a half minutes until Jim arrived.

"I'm being careful, Mom.  Sheesh."
"I hope so, Maddie."
"Don't call me Maddie."
"Shut up and eat your berries, Kitten."
"Ha." *eyeroll*

"Madison!  Don't wipe strawberry juice on your pants!"
"What!  It's not on my shirt!"
"True enough.  Carry on."

They picked this one for me.  Um...thanks?

"Like my earrings?  They're real."

I'm gonna eat you!!

Get in mah belleh!

Then Madison got a hold of the camera...

...while Sam did a little pool maintenance.  The Starlings thought our pool was a giant birdbath last week.  Oh, and did you know that mulberries are in season?  Even if you suck at math, you'll know that equals, "Sam! Watch out for the bird poop!"

Against all odds, they managed to stay clean until Uncle Jim arrived.  I have no idea how.  Really.  None.

 It's up to you now, Jim.  Good luck, man.

How would you have made sure they stayed clean in those sparkling white shirts?  Tell me.  I can take it.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pumpkin Custard SUCCESS!

Still not a food blog, but...

I made something else tasty and kind of pretty and took pictures of it and now it's a blog entry.  Voila.

I made pumpkin custard.  It's just like pumpkin pie without the crust.  I found the recipe HERE and made it without totally screwing it up.  Go me!  :)

It's really delicious, actually.  And the recipe is pretty low on the glycemic index, if you're trying to cut out simpler carbs.  I'm just saying.

Behold the nommiful pumpkin custard:

Some Other Stuff I Wrote