Showing posts with label random ninja. Show all posts
Showing posts with label random ninja. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How to communicate effectively with the deaf and hard of hearing.


Are you talkin' to me??  

Oh, ARE you??  Well, hang on a minute.  There are a few things you should know before you begin.    
I'm deaf.  
No, I mean like, really deaf.
Those who know me well are already aware of the fact that I have a significant hearing loss.  I am what is called a "late deafened adult".  I was diagnosed with a "hereditary hearing loss" when I was 22 years old.  
This very quickly brings me to the second thing you need to know:
Hearing aids don't FIX hearing loss.   
I wear hearing aids in both ears.  And they aid.  That's what they do.  They help. They make it possible for me to hear many sounds that I would otherwise miss. But. 
But they can't work miracles. Many of us (the hard of hearing) struggle with helping others understand this fact. Even those without a diagnosed hearing loss experience moments of confusion when they miss words or sounds. Perception, acoustics, mouth piercings, speech impediments...your uncle's inebriation...all of those things can make the subtle tones of speech sound slurred or mumbled.  Often our hearing impaired brains take their own sweet time assembling the sounds into words (think of Wonkavision).  So I might turn my hearing aids up and still not understand, because all the volume button did was make those confusing noises louder.  They don't untangle the jumbled mess and make them into words. 

You're probably all "Lol, wut?" now, right?  
Listen, I know how frustrating it is to have to repeat yourself.  I am aware of this, and I feel just as bad about it.  Probably worse, actually.  Most people have learned that it's acceptable to give up after repeating the same words twice. Likewise, my fellow hearing impaired comrades and I have learned to nod and smile, and pretend we got it rather than further frustrate each other by asking you to try again.  Neither of these are acceptable.  When we give up on each other we imply that the other person's understanding (or their response) isn't important.  It IS important.  Being heard and validated is part of life and life is not captioned.  We can work around that.
    
I didn't lose my hearing to inconvenience anyone.  I promise I'll try to have patience with you if you'll try to have patience with me.
 

Thus we arrive at item number three on my list:  Please do not SHOUT at the hard of hearing.  
Do not get right up in our faces and talk loudly or whisper-yell things into our ears. That could possibly be one of the most insensitive and ignorant things you can do. 
Typically, people with hearing loss rely on their lipreading skills as much as (if not more than) their hearing aids to fill in missing consonants and vowel sounds.  When you yell, your mouth makes exaggerated movements, which distorts the sound and makes us that much more confused, not to mention what it does to our blood pressure.  
If you've ever seen anyone yell at a deaf person, you know how sad it looks, for both parties.  Yelling makes the deaf person feel ridiculous and it makes the speaker appear cruel.  Don't let your friends continue to shout at deaf people.  It simply doesn't work.  It just pisses us off.

Instead, make sure your mouth is visible to us.  This means keeping a respectable distance!  If we can tell your dinner had something with garlic in it, THAT'S TOO CLOSE!   Still, we can't read your lips if you're not looking at us, so at least give us that much.  


I think that by now, you should have a pretty good idea of how to speak to me (and anyone else you encounter with a hearing loss, but I found a list.  And I do so love a list.
Read it.  Print it off and hang it on the fridge or in the break room at your office.  Share this blog post with all of your co-workers, family members, your weirdo friends on Facebook and any other social media outlets you frequent and spread the word.  
The hearing impaired are everywhere.  I'll bet you encounter more of us in one day than you ever realized.  You just don't know it yet.  And until deafness comes with a free t-shirt and a big orange safety flag, it will remain an invisible handicap.
Remember:  Deaf is not stupid.   It's often misconstrued as disinterest or stupidity. It can create an invisible wall around us because although we may know how to ask for what we need, others may not know how to deliver it and we still end up feeling excluded.
But I digress. 

Without further ado, the list.

Communicating with people with hearing loss
Successful communication requires the efforts of all people involved in a conversation. Even when the person with hearing loss utilizes hearing aids and active listening strategies, it is crucial that others involved in the communication process consistently use good communication strategies, including the following:
  • Face the hearing impaired person directly, on the same level and in good light whenever possible. Position yourself so that the light is shining on the speaker's face, not in the eyes of the listener.
  • Do not talk from another room. Not being able to see each other when talking is a common reason people have difficulty understanding what is said.
  • Speak clearly, slowly, distinctly, but naturally, without shouting or exaggerating mouth movements. Shouting distorts the sound of speech and may make speech reading more difficult.
  • Say the person's name before beginning a conversation. This gives the listener a chance to focus attention and reduces the chance of missing words at the beginning of the conversation.
  • Avoid talking too rapidly or using sentences that are too complex. Slow down a little, pause between sentences or phrases, and wait to make sure you have been understood before going on.
  • Keep your hands away from your face while talking. If you are eating, chewing, smoking, etc. while talking, your speech will be more difficult to understand. Beards and moustaches can also interfere with the ability of the hearing impaired to speech read.
  • If the hearing impaired listener hears better in one ear than the other, try to make a point of remembering which ear is better so that you will know where to position yourself.
  • Be aware of possible distortion of sounds for the hearing impaired person.They may hear your voice, but still may have difficulty understanding some words.
  • Most hearing impaired people have greater difficulty understanding speech when there is background noise. Try to minimize extraneous noise when talking.
  • Some people with hearing loss are very sensitive to loud sounds. This reduced tolerance for loud sounds is not uncommon. Avoid situations where there will be loud sounds when possible.
  • If the hearing impaired person has difficulty understanding a particular phrase or word, try to find a different way of saying the same thing, rather than repeating the original words over and over.
  • Acquaint the listener with the general topic of the conversation. Avoid sudden changes of topic. If the subject is changed, tell the hearing impaired person what you are talking about now. In a group setting, repeat questions or key facts before continuing with the discussion.
  • If you are giving specific information -- such as time, place or phone numbers -- to someone who is hearing impaired, have them repeat the specifics back to you. Many numbers and words sound alike.
  • Whenever possible, provide pertinent information in writing, such as directions, schedules, work assignments, etc.
  • Recognize that everyone, especially the hard-of-hearing, has a harder time hearing and understanding when ill or tired.
  • Pay attention to the listener. A puzzled look may indicate misunderstanding. Tactfully ask the hearing impaired person if they understood you, or ask leading questions so you know your message got across.
  • Take turns speaking and avoid interrupting other speakers.
  • Enroll in aural rehabilitation classes with your hearing impaired spouse or friend.

Now you'll note that it says nothing on this list about learning to sign.  I am not Deaf, I'm deaf.  I don't sign.  I took a few classes in it, and might be able to hold my own in a conversation with a member of the Deaf community, but no one I talk to in an average day signs.  The people you meet will need you to pay attention to the way you address them with your mouth and voice, not your hands. Lord knows there is nothing wrong with honing our interpersonal communication skills.
Take the time to learn how to effectively communicate with someone you know has a hearing disability.  You'll be all the better for it. Besides, right now you could be missing out on getting to know someone super-fantastically, terrifically awesome.   
Like me.  :)



Like the page and pass it on.  Pay it forward for me.  What have you got to lose?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Mine and Yours: Leashed pets make us all better neighbors. (Alternate title "To Boldly Go")

Dear neighbor,

Our city's leash laws are in effect to protect both our dogs and us.

I know that you don't leash your dogs because you trust them to come when you call.  I know you think you have dogs that have been taught not to wander off too far out of your yard.

But do you realize what that exciting foreign land IS that's located "not too far" out of your yard?

MY yard.

Interesting fact about my yard:  It is not yours.  I own it.  There are invisible lines measured by the city that make it legally separate from yours.  The divisions are not visible to the naked eye, but I swear to you that they do exist.  So you see, my yard and your yard are not one and the same.  You rent the property next to mine.  That does not mean any adjacent area becomes an extension of your personal dog park.  If it did, I would be seeing a cut of the money you're paying your landlord.

You would not have a picnic in my yard, build a tree-fort in my yard, or host drunken lawn-dart tournaments in my yard.  You would probably not pull your already low-hanging pants down the rest of the way and take a dump in my yard and you should not be letting your dogs do so either.

That's what YOUR yard is for.  And you don't have to clean that up.  In fact, if you want to leave the dog crap out there until the spring thaw turns your yard into poop soup, that's between you and your landlord, but you do not rent shitting space on my property.  My yard is MY YARD.  It will never be your yard no matter how much your un-neutered little mongrel with the magically refilling bladder pisses on it.  

When my dog is out on his leash and your dogs come over to investigate, I would suggest having them on leashes as well.  If they are on leashes of their own, you might be better able to get them back under your control when they get a little too far up in the old boy's business and Brinkley teaches them the important lesson that, just like my yard, his ASS is also not their playground.

I'm glad Brinkley defended his most personal property.


To recap:  What's mine is mine and what's your'n got PWND.


Readers:  No dog was actually hurt in this incident, thankfully, but it could have gone either way and that's always a little frightening.  Do you have an irresponsible dog owner in your neighborhood?  Share your stories with me.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I didn't see that one coming. Fugly Sweaters and Power Tools.

I have come to the realization that I am not psychic.  I know it's true for a lot of people, but I never expected it to happen to me.   My psychic abilities begin and end with knowing just how full the kitchen garbage can get before it spills over into the cabinet under the sink.  And even then it's hit and miss.

But there was a time when I thought I could predict the future.  At least where the holidays were concerned.  I was clearly in denial.


Our first Christmas together as a married couple, I got John a cordless power drill. I was completely stoked and couldn't wait to give it to him.  You see, we are perfectly matched and because I LOVE power tools, my husband would undoubtedly love power tools too.  I knew this was the perfect Husband-y Man-type Thing for my beloved life partner.


I could see it all in my mind: he would open this fantastically shiny and useful tool and immediately declare that not only was this the best gift he had ever received, but that I was an even better spouse than he suspected I would be when he signed up for this whole crazy marriage thing.  I would smile sweetly, knowing full well the extent of my awesome as he bragged about this sweet drill that didn't even require an extension cord to use and me, his wonderful wife.



"Did you see what Erika got me for Christmas?!   Isn't it great?!  I'll be able to get shit DONE now!  How did she know?!  Man, she is the BEST. WIFE. EVAR!!"


That's not quite what happened.  Because I'm not psychic.


He opened it, looked at me and said, "Is this my real gift?"


Damn those delusions of grandeur!



Of course he didn't do any better.  One year I asked for a pink sweater.


Anyone who was psychic would have known that what I meant was that I would like one of those super-soft baby pink angora-type cardigans with the faux pearl buttons that were on all the mannequins at Braun's.  (Good God, whatever happened to Braun's?)


What I got on Christmas Day was NOT that.  At all.  Like, AT ALL.  It was indeed pink, as I requested, and made of yarn.  However.  It was Pepto Bismol pink with stripes of silver tinsel throughout.  And holy shoulder pads, Batman!  I could have played defense for the Steelers in that thing!


I suspected that somewhere a clown was naked and cold.


Now, I am not a completely ungracious receiver.  Please stop picturing Nellie Oleson.  I pretended to love the pastel holiday nightmare and actually wore it a few times. But it was hard to mask my disappointment that it was not what I thought I had so clearly asked for when I said "pink sweater".


I still futilely clung to the idea that one of us would be blessed with the gift of second sight, or at least a knack for insightful guessing.  I remember telling him that I didn't care what he got me as long as it was from his heart.  I said that he could get me a yo-yo and if it meant something it would always be special to me. Mistake.


That year I got a Duncan Imperial.


The lesson here, my friends, is that you must be specific.  Non-psychic spouses do not thrive on uncertainty.   You can't leave anything to guesswork.  Pictures help greatly.  Cut out photos and tape them to the toilet seat, and make sure you mark the exact color, size and number that you would like.  


Yes, it takes the surprise out of your holiday, but sometimes that's a good thing.   If you vaguely hint about something specific, and you and your gift-giving honey pie are as psychic as my husband and I are, you're probably gonna end up with a clown sweater.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Why I shouldn't be allowed to use Craigslist...

FOUND...basket of crap


Thank you so much to whomever it was that left it by my car. As far as I can see, it's a photograph, a few shirts, knitted baby booties, a headband, anti-nausea medicine, a medicine bottle full of...lotion(?), what appears to be a pop can that was once on fire (hmm...), a necklace and an unopened condom (seems safe enough, good luck).

If this is the result of a bad break up, you've got the wrong house.

If this is the result of a meth-induced cleaning spree, forget the basket and just get some help.

Alley between Gamber's Garage and Taco Bell.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Sirens Who Cried "Tornado!"

That's what the weather warning sirens have always been where I live, really.  To me, at least.  I grew up taking those sirens for granted, because it seemed like nothing ever really happened when they went off.  

In these later years, the intensity of our storms has increased exponentially on the electrical front and we've had some very strong "micro-bursts" (thanks for reminding me of that word, Sonnie), but we still haven't really seen a tornado in this city.  Not one that could be classified as such.  Not for over a hundred years if I recall correctly.  And I hope we never do.

Thinking about the families in Oklahoma yesterday and all of those families in Alabama and Missouri not as recently, I'm thankful for those sirens, no matter what they cry.  


Does your town have warning sirens in the event of severe weather?


Sunday, September 9, 2012

We've got spirit, yes we do...

In honor of the Steelers' season starting tonight, I bring you a video by Lily and Madison...and Madison's iPod.  

Let's go, Steelers.




I freaking love those kids.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lookit! More free stuff!

That last giveaway was too much fun and so easy to do that I decided to host another before I open my Storenvy shop.  


This time it's a pair of glass, beaded earrings in a really lovely plum color.  This is one of my favorite pairs, actually, so I made two.  One for me and one for the giveaway.  They really catch the light, don't they?  

So, if you think they're as totally bitchin' as I do, enter to win!






a Rafflecopter giveaway





Good luck!

ETA:  Congratulations to Laura!   Thank you for entering.  I hope you enjoy your new earrings.  :)
 

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.

Riiiiiiight.

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, "Um...no."

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."

Whatever.

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?






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 ...so 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!



















Saturday, May 19, 2012

Getting to Know...Well, YOU! Happy National Masturbation Month!

Did you know that we're over halfway through National Masturbation Month?

Well, we are.  It's true.  And it's already the 19th. I bet you've got some catching up to do.

Don't believe it?  Read this article and report back to me.  Go on, I'll wait.  I'll even link it again to show you the part I want you lazy wankers to notice.

Are you back?  You didn't read it, did you?  But you should!  It's interesting stuff!  I mean, who knew that masturbation was GOOD for you?  Both men and women reap health benefits from diddling their bits and baubles.  It improves your circulation and releases tension and, hey, you can't get pregnant from it.  Awesome, right?

This month-long celebration has generated some strange contests among the more enthusiastic supporters.  Check out these "current" (2009-10) records:

  • The winner of "Longest Time Spent Masturbating/Male" (and also the World Record Holder in this category) is Mr. Masanobu Sato, who in 2008 masturbated for 9 hours and 33 minutes. In 2009 he extended his record to 9 hours and 58 minutes.  Please note that time records indicate duration (length of time for which a participant masturbated).  Damn.
  • The winner of "Longest Time Spent Masturbating/Female" was set in 2008 by Ms. Kitty Kat, who masturbated for 7 hours and 6 minutes.
  • The winner of "Most Orgasms/Male" was set by Big Rob in 2010—at 83 climaxes, a world record.
  • The winner of "Most Orgasms/Female" is Loooo-C, who orgasmed 83 times in 2010.
Makes you tired just reading about it, doesn't it?

Now some of these names don't look real to me, so I can't attest to the validity of the records.  However, if anyone wants to take their best shot at beating these people at their own game, feel free to take matters into your own hands. Judging by those records, you might want to notify your employers before you begin.



Yes, YES, YES.  May is National Masturbation Month.






What are you going to do about it?





Friday, May 18, 2012

Disturbing Adventures in Slumbertown or "Why I killed Alex P. Keaton"


Last night I was under attack.  Zombies came after me in my sleep!

It seems that I was back in my high school days and there was an assembly in the auditorium, which we all know is probably one of the worst places to be in the event of a zombie attack. Everyone knows that when the zombie uprising occurs, you will want to avoid large social gathering places to increase your chances of survival.  True, I wasn’t trapped in the mall, but this did not bode well.

When I became aware of the looming presence of the brain-eating living dead, I realized I needed a weapon, but where to find such a one that could handle this onslaught?  The Props Closet!   I knew there would be an array of swords and sharp, pointy things left over from a recent production of Camelot, sitting ripe for the picking.  Only a Master Thespian, such as I would have remembered they had perfect zombie protection at their disposal.

I pushed aside a canvas flat and found the box I sought.  I chose my weapon quickly, but carefully, remembering that when it comes to zombies, a machete is very handy, and ended up grabbing what I felt was the closest thing.

Holed up in the props closet, armed with Big Ol’ Dream Knife, I braced myself, channeled my Inner Buffy, opened the door and in my strongest zombie-slaying voice shouted,

Bring it on!!”

Onward they came, these dream zombies made of random bits of my subconscious:
My best friend? *slash* Gone.  
The family dog? *slice* Dead.  
Alex P. Keaton (where the hell did he come from)? *swoosh* Severed.
Some guy with a head wound who may or may not have actually been zombified?  Sorry, dude. I can’t risk it. *zing* Dead.

I’ve got to give props to my weapon of choice.  Big Ol’ Dream Knife required very little upper arm strength from this particular heroine to prove effective against hordes of zombies (I’m not the strongest slayer on the block, you know).  It was amazing, slicing those nasty zombie heads clean off, like…well, like a light saber (to borrow from George’s dream).  Who wouldn’t love a knife like that?  Got a chicken you need quartered?  *slappity choppity*  Done!  Cleaning fish?  *bam* Off with their heads! 

Sadly, I learned that Big Ol’ Dream Knife had one fatal flaw.  It was selective.  Sure, it was able to cut through flesh and bone (ew ew ew ew! *shudder*) but it had noticeable trouble with fabric.  I was able to holster it in my belt loop and it didn’t cut one thread. 
The approaching turtleneck-clad zombies would be my undoing…

Aw, crap.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Did I just type that out loud?

Is there a chapter in How to Win Friends and Influence People for folks who live without a social filter?  Because I'm fairly certain I don't have one.

I mean, when you leave a comment on your husband's Facebook page that says "I watered the grass this morning. ;) "  no one could possibly look at that as innocently stating that you watered the new sod when there's an emoticon winking at the reader.  That simple semi-colon, close parenthesis smiley face, made it dirty.  I knew it and I typed it anyway.  Because I have no filter. 
  
This morning I made the mistake of buying mocha frappes for Madison and me.  I exclaimed upon the first sip "Omigod, these are better than sex" and immediately apologized to her, saying, "Jeez, Madison, I say the most inappropriate things to you, don't I? I'm so sorry, babe."
She replied with, "I don't mind. You can say them in front of my friends, too, you know. They think you're The Cool Mom."  Well of course they do!  They're teenagers!  They think the word "dingleberry" is funny.    *giggle*  Dingleberry.
Why do I say these things to my child?  If she grows up with an unhealthy attachment to coffee products, having been inadvertently corrupted by my frappe comment, I'll have Mommy Guilt.  Because I have no filter.
I'll give you another example of my filter-less existence.  Yesterday we took Madison to the orthodontist for her initial visit.  I sat filling out the forms while John read Sports Illustrated For Kids and Madison played on her iPod.  Halfway through my scribbling, this happened:

"Psst.  Hey, hon.  The question here asks "What is the reason for your visit".  I should put "Those teeth be crooked, yo."

John laughed and said, "Jacked up teeth."  

"Yes! Ha ha!" said I...and wrote it down.  "Jacked.  Up.  Teeth." 
Super proud of having the nerve to put his thought to paper, I felt it was only right that I should share it with him.  He looked at it and said incredulously, "You PUT that?!"  Then he shook his head.
 
Well, duh! Yeah, I put that!  It's funny.

They probably get tired of seeing the same thing every day. I wanted to make a memorable first impression.  I imagined that the doctor would look at it and think Well, I don't think I've ever seen that exact answer before.  And he would be correct. 

I think they're going to like us.


Because I have no filter.  






Do you have one?

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

The WTF Backpack - The Stuff Nightmares Are Made Of



This picture was linked on my Facebook page by a friend of mine (thanks, Bart), so I don't know what terrifically warped person created it, but I'd like to know who would invest their money in such a thing.  Okay, sure.  I'm a little warped too, and if I had the money, I'd probably buy one, but I couldn't justify that as being a school purchase for one of my girls.  

How do you market this as a functional backpack when it looks like it will eat anything you put inside?  I suppose you could direct it toward a group of parents who miss their children terribly when they're at school and want nothing more than to have them attached at the hip forever.  That might work.  I think this bag would stunt their developing independence in the click of a pincers.  

On the off-chance that the makers of this...whatever the hell it is need some help marketing it, I'm willing to help.  Here's my pitch:

Do your kids actually LIKE to go to school?  Are they annoyingly early for the bus, ready and waiting with teeth brushed and hair coiffed?  Do they wake in a chipper mood, chomping at the bit to do a little learning and leave you behind to sort socks and pine for their return?
Your lonely days will be a thing of the past when you get them the WTF Backpack.  Yes, the WTF Backpack will ensure that your precious little babies won't ever want to go to school again.  This nightmare inducing school bag will have your children resisting their education with both heels dug into the ground and their mouths agape in a large O of terror.  
Oh, holy hell!










"I can't do my homework."  

"Why not?" 

"Because it's in...my backpack."










The WTF Backpack.  So realistic, it'll scare the absolute piss out of you.







Would you buy a bag like this?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

To The Obscene Pantomimist In The Car Behind Me

Dear Sir,

I know that you're in a bigger hurry than I am and I can see you in my rear-view mirror as you drum your fingers on the steering wheel and gesture emphatically at me to go ahead and make my turn.  I'd love to heed your request so you could stop waving your hands and making angry faces, but the light is red and I can read.  In case you can't, let me help you out.  That sign across from us says "No Turn On Red".

Stupid ass.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Penis De Milo Lawn Art Update! New Sighting!

I know you've all been wondering what became of the mannequin pieces I wrote about HERE, and then wrote about again HERE and once more HERE.

Well, look who I found!

Found ya, sweetcheeks.

Monday, April 9, 2012

I love Soylent Green because I love people!

Kitchens.  They are the most common room (apart from nurseries) to have some sort of theme.  Some have rooster themes,  some have Italian or French cuisine themes, some have nostalgic 1950's diner themes, some have specific colors that evoke a theme.  The list is endless and spans generations, marking its territory with mushroom-shaped cookie jars and olive or rust-colored appliances along the way.   

Not many people choose cannibalism as a kitchen theme.  

I did.

It wasn't always this way.  When we first moved into this house, "apples" was my theme.  That's it.  Just "apples".    Plain, boring, non-threatening...apples.   But they were everywhere!  I had apples at the end of the ceiling fan pull chains, I had apple clocks and salt shakers and numerous cookie jars (on an apple-lined shelf).  I even painted them on the cabinets. (Side note:  Metal Cabinets are an abomination and should not exist ever, as they are horrifically evil, but that's a post for another day.) 

The kitchen was so ridiculously covered that I eventually developed an aversion to the fruit.  I was sick to death of those frigging apples, but I kept that theme for YEARS.

The apple theme was going full-throttle 
before any of these people inhabited my uterus.


Eventually, I redid the kitchen and something inside me said, "For the love of all that is holy, get rid of the godforsaken apples!  Every kitchen doesn't need a theme!"
However, in my desire to go theme-less, I inadvertently chose one anyway: cannibalism. 

My utensil crock of fabulousness.
It's flecked with Soylent Green paraphernalia.  
My soylent sign.
Mmm...chicken.




Yeah, I guess "Soylent Green" accurately describes my theme.    

But, wait! I have this great spoon-rest, too:

"Would you like more mutton, Clarice?"







So make that "Soylent Green and Friends".    Whatever.  I'm just glad I got rid of those frakking apples.  

I'm really more of a people person anyway.



What did YOU choose? 

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Don't Arm Your Food

Alternate title: NO means "NO" - A Lesson In Self-Control 

Pizza seduces me. It tempts me with its slightly browned cheese and its rich and nommable tomato sauce. It whispers, "Eat me" and without hesitation I do. I can't help myself.
I had a(nother) piece of pizza at dinner tonight, despite the annoying little voice that said,

"No, Erika. Put that back. You don't want another slice."
I ignored that voice and went for the second helping:

"Add more crushed red pepper! Mama-Mia, I like-a the spicy pizza!"

*shake-a shake-a shak-AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!! MYEYESITBURNSMYEYESOWOWOWOWOW!!!*

Yes. In my fevered frenzy of seasoning, the smallest particles of (really) crushed red pepper caught the wind of the ceiling fan and...I peppered myself.

Ow.
_ _ _ _

After about ten minutes of flushing my very sore, very red eyes under the bathroom faucet and cursing the employees of McCormick Spices and their offspring and their offspring's offspring and anyone who knew their offspring's offspring, I spent another ten minutes enduring watery eyes and an uncontrollably runny nose. I now understand what it is that pepper spray will do to an assailant.

I have learned my lesson. If I insist on forcing myself on the pizza, I MUST NOT ARM THE PIZZA. (Clearly, I was asking for it.) Better yet, I should steer clear of that Italian-American tease and never think of it again.


"NO" means "NO". I get that now.

I guess I didn't really want that piece of pizza after all. Now that I think about it, it probably had a parasite in its pepperoni.

(Ah-HA! Did you see what I did there? I rejected the pizza, it didn't reject me. I dumped it first, therefore I win. Humph!)



Slut. 


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Saturday, April 7, 2012

My Review of Hand-Painted Striped Stoneware

Originally submitted at Brylane Home

Hand-Painted Stoneware Brightens Your Table! A Brylane Home Kitchen® exclusive! Sunny striped 16-Pc. Dinnerware Set features salad and dessert plates centered by tangy colors-green, blue, red or yellow - so each place setting is unique! Includes 4 each: 10¼'' dinner plate, 7¼...


BUY THESE DISHES!

By randomninja-writerofwrongs.blogspot.com from Where You Least Expect Me on 4/7/2012

 

5out of 5

Pros: Easy To Clean, Awesome, Unique, Durable, Attractive Design, Nice Weight

Cons: Unfit for zombie warfare

Best Uses: Informal Meals, Decorative

Describe Yourself: Stylish

I bought two sets of these dishes last year and I'm still in love with them. They have not chipped, scratched or broken at all. The colors are fantastic. If I somehow managed to smash half the set, I would buy another in a heartbeat. They're just that cool.

Additionally, in the boxes of the two sets I bought, one mug was missing a handle. It had been broken during shipment, I believe, or perhaps during packaging. I contacted Brylane Home about this and they sent me a replacement mug that very week. (The broken mug made an excellent pencil cup, so I kept it.) I commend the customer service on their resolution of this problem. What an awesome company!

(legalese)

Some Other Stuff I Wrote