Monday, December 31, 2007

Resolutions, Shmesolutions

Every year around this time, I feel compelled to resolve to change something about myself. I like to call this phenomenon "New Year's Resolutions", since, if you mark your calendar, you will notice that tomorrow is the first day of a new year.

(We really should start celebrating these things. Maybe drop a huge ball in Times Square or something. Let's make a note for next year.)

And every year, around January 12th or so, I take stock of my progress and note that I have failed in my resolves catastrophically.

Every year. Without fail.

Hey, at least I'm consistent, right?

Well, knowing that I unerringly fail got the rusty cogs in my brain whirring. If resolutions don't work, I thought, why not make anti-resolutions?

And call them Shmesolutions! (Patent pending.)

Now are you pickin' up what I'm layin' down?

Here's how Shmesolutions work...

Let's say, in the past, I had resolved to lose weight. Then, about two weeks later, I stepped on the scale and was dismayed to find that I hadn't lost a pound, and took sweet, delicious solace in a pint of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia.

Mmmm... Ice cream...

Not only did I not lose any weight, I probably gained roughly 225 pounds before the year was through.

Okay, that's a tad exaggerated. It only took about 11 months.

The point is, I set myself up for failure by resolving to make the changes I wanted to make. What if I had resolved to gain weight instead? The pounds would have flown off!

Brilliant!

This year, in addition to gaining weight, my list of Shmesolutions includes things like:

  • Sabotage Ron's career so we can finally make less money.

  • Encourage Ethan to watch more television and subsist on Crisco and Gatorade.

  • Write less.

  • Park in handicap spaces more.

  • Develop an addiction to crack cocaine.

I'm feeling really good about this. I think I have a shot at being spectacularly unsuccessful at this, thus ensuring a great 2008.

So, what are your Shmesolutions this year?

***

Have a safe and happy New Year everyone!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year, New Look

What do you think?

Yeah. I'm pretty bad ass.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Avery's Reviews, No. 1

I couldn't think of anything wittier to call this post. I could have called it "Avery's Cinema Fest and Wii Video Game Review Spectacular, No. 1," but that's just a bit pretentious, don't you think? Like I assume you have nothing better to do than to waste your day reading long-ass titles of mediocre blog posts.

Now, if I were Dooce, I'd totally make you suffer through it. But Dooce I ain't, so you get the sucky short title.

Hey, you don't pay me enough to be witty anyhow, so you'll take what meager scraps I give you and you'll like 'em!

Moving on.

First, the movie reviews...

Ron and I got a chance before Christmas to take in a movie child-free. This may have skewed our opinions just a tad. Anything we can do child-free these days makes the thing we're doing seem exponentially more enjoyable. Take for instance:

  • Grocery shopping
    Like a hand-in-hand stroll down a fluorescent-lit garden path lined with Kraft Mac and Cheese trees and Palmolive bushes.

  • Oil change
    A veritable cornucopia of treasures in the form of outdated magazines, tepid waiting room coffee, and exchanges of sparkling repartee with total strangers equally mechanically-disinclined.

  • Root canal
    A carnival for your mouth!

Understanding this, you'll just have to take my word for it that "Walk Hard" was one fantastic movie!

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I have admired John C. Reilly since I saw him in "Boogie Nights", but my admiration turned to true puffy heartedness with "Talladega Nights." While Will Ferrell may be the pinnacle ass clown of stupid-funny movies, "Walk Hard" is Reilly's chance to prove he's got the chops to rival the master. And prove it he does.

The movie, a spoof on "Walk the Line" (and "Ray" tangentially), stars Reilly as Dewey Cox, a Johnny Cash-esque music legend, following him from his tragic childhood through his rise to fame, and his eventual downfall, followed, of course, by his triumphant return to the stage. Guest stars abound, to hilarious effect, as only marginally disguised figures of rock n' roll history. (The bit with the Beatles has to be my favorite.)

The only thing I didn't like about the movie was that it ended too soon! (Well, that, and there was a little matter of Reilly's distracting cro-magnon ridge, which made him resemble one of the Cavemen during his hippie phase. But otherwise, it was all good!)

Why, even Ron gave it a glowing "It wasn't bad" review. And for him, that's saying something.

The next movie I saw was "Alvin and the Chipmunks" with Ethan.

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As a kid movie, this one rated highly. Well, with my boy anyhow. You know, the one who licks windows in public places and kicks squirrels.

So, if you have one of those, then this movie may be right up your alley. Or if your child likes adorable talking CGI rodents, you may find it an okay way to waste some time. Just don't go into it expecting much for yourself. It's not Shrek.

There were adult-friendly elements to the movie that mostly fell flat. Though David Cross did a decent job of trying to liven up a wooden script, his normal Tobias Funke delivery was missing. And Jason Lee as Dave? Lint has more personality.

So, go for the kids. But if they're not pestering you, skip it.

And finally, Dapoppins and I took in a showing of "Sweeney Todd" yesterday afternoon.

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And I promised her I wouldn't remark on her lateness, or her microscopically small bladder, so don't even think about asking! I'm not saying a word.

But I will tell you that the movie was great. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter did admirably well as Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett, and with Tim Burton at the helm, this particular adaptation was visually stunning, as to be expected.

Detractors of the movie have remarked on the amount of blood and gore. Well, duh, people. He's the Demon Barber of Fleet Street! He butchers people and makes them into meat pies. If you know nothing else about Sweeney Todd, at least wrap your mind around that.

And the blood didn't even resemble the real stuff. It was much brighter in color, and was the consistency of water. And it squirted a lot more than real blood does. Why, when I hack up my victims--

Oh, wait.

Nevermind.

Moving on.

To the Wiiiiiiii!!!!!

For those of you lucky enough to own such a fine video gaming system, you already know the inherent joy that comes from said ownership--the hours of enjoyment for you and your whole family as you kick the crap out of each other in boxing, baseball, golf, tennis, and bowling. Yes, Wii Sports is a fine game.

Another fine game, in my humble and completely unbiased opinion, is Super Mario Galaxy.

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That should come as no surprise. It was Yahoo's Game of the Year, and Action Adventure Game of the Year. And it's a rollicking good time!

Ethan especially likes the "multi-player function", but don't be duped into thinking that means you can play with two people at once. Only one person can play, but another person can point a second Wiimote at the screen and aid in capturing star bits. Which just happens to be perfect for us, since the game is way beyond Ethan's abilities just yet.

And Ron's, too, apparently, though he would like you all to know that he owned me at bowling.

And I maintain that my 187 was a respectable score, and he can bite me. Hard.

Anywho, I'm also enjoying my Zelda: Twilight Princess, as I knew I would. Any other Zeldaphiles in the house besides this guy?

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Nice ears, dude.

Bet those get you all the chicks!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007

That's Nice, Honey

#1,629,547 in the series "Things I've Come to Know About Myself":

  • I'm not as funny a blogger when my husband is around.

Seriously. He's wrecking my mojo. My sweet, delicious mojo.

But what's a girl to do? He's on vacation for another week!

You might wonder why the heck that should be a problem. Am I a clandestine blogger, slinking around in the shadows behind my husband's back? Is he unaware of my cyber activities?

No. He's well aware of my blog. Almost too aware. His most commonly used phrase this quarter: "You're not going to blog that, are you?"

The problem is, my response is usually something like this: "Well, of course, I am! It's comic gold, baby!"

This answer does not sit well with the highly private person that is my husband. He doesn't like our dirty laundry aired for all the world to see. And, to be fair, I didn't really know I was a dirty laundry airer until I started this blog a few months ago. I'm generally not much for idle gossip. But some stuff is just too good to pass up.

As I've written in my writers' group blog, I can't write when someone is reading over my shoulder. Just can't. Writing is a process. Even something as trivial as a daily blog post goes through a few edits and rewrites before it's unleashed on the unsuspecting public.

And my husband? Over-the-shoulder reader. Big time.

Can you say pressure? You can't say snarky things about someone when they're reading them over your shoulder!

And snark? Well, that's sort of my bread and butter. Don't know if you could tell.

Now, why would it make a difference, you wonder, if he reads it while I'm writing it, or if he reads it after I've posted? Since this post is sadly lacking in analogies, I'll use one here: do you like people coming to your home WHILE you are cleaning, or after you're done?

Yeah, it's like that.

Hubby just doesn't get it.

This may be because he has been taken off guard a couple of times by the subject of my posts. I don't think I've ever shared anything that would make him die of embarrassment, but he certainly isn't fond of my repeated references to his vasectomy, or the time I called him a constipated Squidward.

Hey, what am I supposed to say? He's a ball of sunshine? Everyday with him is like riding a unicorn over a sugar-coated rainbow?

Not even I would read my blog then.

Don't get me wrong. I love my husband. I really do. But sometimes...

Sometimes I just wish he were illiterate.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Hallelujah!

Christmas is over!

Thank the Lord!

But there's only 365 days until the next one (thank you, February 29, 2008, for providing an additional 24 hours in which to prepare.) Think you'll be ready in time?

Of course not. No one ever is. Besides, everyone knows that 90% of Christmas preparations are done on December 24th. At least that's how it is in our house.

We wrapped all of our presents after Ethan went to bed on Christmas Eve. Good thing we've gotten pretty good at marathon wrapping. It only took us an hour and a half. If it were up to me, it would have been done in fifteen minutes. God created gift bags for a reason, after all.

Ron abhors gift bags. Not only because they cost more than wrapping paper, which conflicts with his penchant toward miserliness, but you don't rip gift bags. And something, he contends, should be ripped on Christmas.

How about me? I'll volunteer.

A little nog never hurt anybody. Am I right, or am I right?

Well, no nog for us this year. We drove to Seattle to spend a pleasant Christmas with my hubby's family at his sister's house. Ethan had a great time playing with his cousins, and Ron got a Red Ryder BB gun.

No joke. His parents buy him something related to "A Christmas Story" every year. Two years ago, it was the damn leg lamp, which goes in prominent display in our front window now. (Thank goodness it's just the table lamp, and no one can see it from the street.) Last year was Christmas Story Monopoly. And this year, the gun.

Next year, bunny suit? One can only hope.

I got to drive us home through a blizzard. Good 15 miles an hour times!

But we arrived home safe and sound a mere three hours later, thankful for having spent quality time with our loved ones, and even more thankful that we won't have to do so for another year.

I kid. I kid.

Hope everyone had a great holiday season!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Soldier Sunday

Thanks to Dizzi Lizzi for providing the inspiration. Here are some pictures of my brother-in-law, Jeff, who is providing armored military escort to civilians on the roads to and from Baghdad.

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We're all praying that he, and my brother Jason, come home safe and sound next year once their tours are over.

If you have a picture you'd like to share of a loved one serving in the military, join us in honoring our troops. Lizzi does Soldier Sunday every week.

And have a Merry Christmas, everyone!

I'll Get Around to a Title Eventually

Day one million and twelve of the sickies.

Okay, not really, but--GAH--does it ever feel like it! I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Not that I have a choice. I can't very well rest up and let my body recover. No, of course not, because it's almost Christmas. And I've left everything for the last minute.

Buying gifts, wrapping gifts, making plans for where we will spend Christmas Day. (Seattle, in case you were wondering.) And now that it's down to the wire, I'm still putting the final touches on the

Holiday Photoshop Extravaganza 2007!!!


(I really hope you guys have a sense of humor! You'll need it for HPE 2007!!!)

Yes, I am the Queen of Procrastination, and it is biting me in the tookus. But if you cross your fingers, and your toes, and say a little prayer, and ring a bell, I'll just bet I can have the Holiday Photoshop Extravagnaza 2007!!! ready by tomorrow.

And an angel will get its wings. Sweet deal.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Tale of the Tasing Lepre-Khan

As in...

Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan

As in little Ms. Avery Gray has shown proficiency in writing lyrics that would make the incomparable Ms. Chaka Khan proud.

Well, maybe not "proud", per se. How about "not cringe"?

Yes, that's it. My lyrics would make her not cringe. Er, my lyrics would not make her cringe. There we go.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

It all started last night, when Ron and I, miserable in our respective ailments (I have a cold, Ron has a fake cold that he always gets whenever I utter the words "my throat's a little sore"), were laying on the couch. Ron was sleeping, which he is known to do from time to time. I was reading a book and hacking up lungs. Ethan was watching "The Grinch" on TV.

Just your ordinary night in the Gray household.

(I know. We're rock stars.)

When all of the sudden, Ron jerks up off the couch and says, "Why did you let him do that?"

I'm looking around wondering what the hell my husband is talking about, and who the "him" in question was.

Ethan? He was sitting scant millimeters from the television and had been since the movie started. And he was looking at his dad like the guy had lost his marbles, too, so I knew it wasn't something he'd done.

"What are you talking about?" I asked.

Ron's looking around like he's not quite sure what planet he's on. He points at Ethan.

"Did he shock me?"

"Shock you? From over there?"

"No. Did he come over here and use one of his toys to shock me?"

Now, on any other day, I probably would have let that slide with a "What do you think, jackass?" But not last night. No, last night I was feeling the creative juices flowing.

Some people call it snot. Eh, tomato, tomatto.

So I said, "No. What happened? Did someone shock you?"

Ron, drifting slowly back to reality, shook his head. "It seemed so real. I dreamt that Ethan came over here and used one of his toys to shock me."

"Oh, you mean his My Little Taser? Are you sure it was him and not a leprechaun? They're about the same height, you know. And I do like to dress him up in lederhosen."

Ron's sitting up now, shaking his head and repeating, "It seemed so real."

Well, of course, I can't let it go now. It's not everyday that my super-smart, Spockesque husband accuses my son of tasing him in his sleep. "Seems like that would bruise your meat. Is your meat bruised?"

Ron: "No."

Me: "Tricky leprechauns!"

Ron: "It wasn't a leprechaun. It was a dream."

Me: "That's where they getcha! In your dreams!"

Ron: "Right."

Me: "Haven't you heard the song?"

Ron: "I'm sure I'm going to."

Me: "Don't sound so disappointed! I've been tuning up the old pipes. Just give me a second to remember how it goes."

Of course, I had to do some quick thinking. My experience in bawdy drinking songs is limited at best, but it seemed the most appropriate musical style for such a song. Here's the best I could come up with on such short notice:

Aft' a pint of Guiness
You're always after me Lucky Charms
But sit on a screw and spin-nis
'Cause I'm the Tasing Leprechaun.
Da da da da
Da da da da
Da da da da
Da da da da
Da da da da
Da da da da
Yes, I'm the Tasing Leprechaun.


Even more impressive were the moves I busted. I called it a "jig", but it was more like a cross between Riverdance and the Elaine dance from Seinfeld.



It all went over like a lead balloon.

Man, I just can't get no love.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Season of Avoidance

My mom called me five times in the past two days, and until tonight I hadn't spoken a word to her.

Ah, the joys of screening!

The sixth time she called, I picked up the phone. I'm aware this makes me sound like a horrible daughter, but trust me, nothing of note ever passes between us via phone lines. Or rarely ever. Talking to my mother is aggravating at the best of times, and mind-numbingly dull all the rest. Take tonight's conversation for instance:


Mom: "Boy, it sure has been raining hard."

Me: "Yep."

Mom: "So, it's raining there, too?"

Me: "I only live an hour away from you."

Mom: "So, you've been getting rain, too?"

Me: "Yes."

Mom: "Lots of it?"

Me: "I imagine it is roughly the same amount you're getting."

Mom: "Are you getting the big raindrops, too? We've been getting the big raindrops."

Me: *deep sigh*

Mom: "Are the roads wet?"


Are the roads wet?

You think I'm kidding, right? Sadly, no. Every time it rains, which it does a significant amount of time in the Pacific Northwest, the woman asks me if the roads are wet.

One day, God, with His rockin' omniscience and penchant for rib-tickling practical jokes (I'm lookin' at you, platypus!) is going to mess with my mom's head and make the rain fall everywhere but on the roads. And then, won't she be at a loss for words?


Mom: "Are the roads wet?"

Me: "Nope. Roads are bone-dry."

Mom: "They are?"

Me: "Yep."

Mom: "But it's-- You said--"

Me: "What? You callin' me a liar, punk?!"


Alright, I wouldn't call my mother a punk. Especially not after I found out the real reason for the call--she'd sent a check in with their card for Ethan's Christmas gift, and she wanted to know if it arrived. But for the love of all that's holy, does she have to make the idle chit chat to determine that?

Here's how I envision the perfect call from my mom:


Me: "Hello?"

Mom: "Hi, I sent a check in with your Christmas card."

Me: "Got it. Thanks."

Mom: "You're welcome. Love you. Goodbye."

Me: "You, too. Bye."


Do you see the difference? That's called word economy, my friends.

And it's all I want for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Long Post Wherein I Interview Lovey

Me: Hello, Lovey.

LH: Hello, Avery.

Me: How are you this fine day?

LH: Tired.

Me: Tell me about it.

LH: Working late will do that to you.

Me: That's a great story. You should tell it at parties.

LH: Shut up.

Me: Alright. Lovey...

LH: As I stuff my face full of breadsticks.

Me: They're delicious. Anyhow, you're a hardworking--

LH: (laughs)

Me: --wife.

LH: Am I supposed to be laughing at hardworking or wife?

Me: Both. Wife, mother, president of something or other...

LH: The House Corporation of Willamette University Pi Beta Phi?

Me: Yeah, that.

LH: Yeah, that. Oregon Gamma!

Me: Woo! Go...

LH: Come on! You went there. You should know what the mascot is.

Me: It's a Bearcat.

LH: Very good.

Me: Yeah, it's pretty awesome.

LH: Word.

Me: You know, I drew a picture one time. It was one of our first assignments. Just to get off the subject.

LH: Because we always do.

Me: I gave it the ears of a bear, and the tail of a cat.

LH: Awesome.

Me: I don't know what a bearcat is.

LH: Hey, if you're gonna call it a bearcat, it might as well look like a bearcat.

Me: I still have no idea what it is. Okay. Anyhow. Lovey?

LH: Mm-hmm.

Me: You're a hardworking wife, mother, and president of the blah, blah, blah...

LH: Blah, blah, blah. Alright. So, the girls will be from... 'Where's blah, blah, blah?'

Me: But what people really want to know is, how often do you read my blog?

LH: Every three or four days.

Me: Every three or four days?!

LH: Yeah.

Me: Not every day?

LH: Not every day.

Me: Alright.

LH: 'Cause I don't have time to read it every day.

Me: Whatever.

LH: (to a chorus of screaming children) Can you tell why?

Me: No. So anyhow...you know how witty and droll I am?

LH: Of course.

Me: Some people even say sarcastic.

LH: No!

Me: What are your thoughts on that?

LH: I say those people should be poked in the eye with a rusty screwdriver.

Me: That is violent.

LH: Little bit, yeah.

Me: Yeah, so when you say you're a feminist...

LH: Mm-hmm.

Me: Doesn't that really mean that you just let too many guys get to second base?

LH: Third if they were really cute. No, it means that I had people accuse me of being a lesbian, and a manhater, and a Nazi, and in one very...memorable instance, I had somebody appalled that I was actually married.

Me: Really? Why?

LH: Well, because 'feminists are gay.'

Me: Of course, they are.

LH: I'm like, alrighty then. I'll go tell my husband that. He'll be interested to know.

Me: And they have mullets, too.

LH: Apparently. Although if you ever watch Survivor, you know that's no longer the case.

Me: Oh, really? What's going on on Survivor?

LH: You'll have to read the Denise thingy.

Me: Okay.

LH: Denise was married with a mullet. Because she was a lunch lady, so she had to keep her hair short, but she still wanted to feel feminine for her husband, so she kept it long in the back.

Me: Business and party?

LH: Yeah.

Me: That's funny. You know what's not funny?

LH: Syphilis?

Me: I was going to say genocide, but syphilis works, too.

LH: Yeah.

Me: Speaking of kids, yours are adorable.

LH: Yes, they are.

Me: Are either of them yours?

LH: Um, with Bran, that's kind of a toss-up because I don't remember much about his birth and delivery.

Me: Uh-huh.

LH: Paige, I'm pretty sure she's mine.

Me: Cool. Okay, you're very detail-oriented.

LH: Yes, I am.

Me: As a matter of fact, you have OCD.

LH: Mm-hmm.

Me: Which makes you do crazy things.

LH: Occasionally, yes.

Me: Like organize the bejeezus out of your canned goods...

LH: No, 'cause I don't have very many of them.

Me: Spices?

LH: Nope. But everything has its own Tupperware container.

Me: Your pantry is very well-organized.

LH: Mm-hmm.

Me: It's very bare. Well, compared to mine.

LH: So, by bare, do you mean you open the door and don't have fifteen things falling out at you?

Me: Shut up. You dress your husband up like a doll.

LH: Yeah, but he really doesn't wear the lipstick very well anymore.

Me: But my question to you is, why don't I find him more attractive?

LH: He's not tall enough.

Me: Is that it? Okay.

LH: He's got all the other characteristics, but he's not tall enough.

Me: Like what other characteristics? What do I find attractive in a man?

LH: Judging on your husband?

Me: Uh...

LH: A nerd.

Me: Yes.

LH: Have you met my husband?

Me: He's certainly a nerd.

LH: And you like 'em with hair, and mine doesn't have that either, so it might be the hair and the height thing.

Me: Really?

LH: Mm-hmm.

Me: Well, my husband is losing his hair. Oh, but the money helps.

LH: Yeah, that helps.

Me: Yeah. Totally. Anyhow, you're writing a novel, tentatively titled "Retail Hell."

LH: Yeah, kinda.

Me: Okay. Isn't it an odd title for an atheist such as yourself who doesn't believe in Heaven or Hell?

LH: You would think. I believe there's levels of Purgatory, and the retail jobs I worked...

Me: Yeah. And Walmart, too.

LH: That's the seventh circle.

Me: True enough.

LH: I like Dante's Allegory a lot, which is why I tend to think in circles of Hell, because I think, honestly, the reason I don't believe in Heaven or Hell is because I've seen them both, and they're on this planet, sometimes right next door to each other.

Me: That's true. Yeah.

LH: Like a massage place next to Walmart. Heaven and Hell.

Me: Speaking of Heaven, how are my girls lookin' today?

LH: Fan-freaking-tastic.

Me: Would you say spectacular, maybe?

LH: I might. Yeah, I might.

Me: Okay, time for rapid-fire questions.

LH: Ah, man! That means I have to stop eating. Okay.

Me: Okay, there's no right or wrong answers here.

LH: Unless you say they're wrong.

Me: I might say they're wrong.

LH: Alright.

Me: Of course, I can always edit this. No one would know. There's no record.

LH: That's true. You really wanna be Stephen Colbert, don't you?

Me: Ooo, that's one of my questions! Stephen Colbert or Jon Stewart?

LH: On doability or watchability?

Me: Um, yes.

LH: Jon Stewart for doability; they're both pretty watchable.

Me: Okay. Good answer. Christmas trees--real or fake?

LH: Real.

Me: That's the wrong answer.

LH: I told you.

Me: Boxers or briefs?

LH: Boxer briefs.

Me: Oh, you're getting all tricky. God or eternal damnation?

LH: I'm gonna have to go with eternal damnation for 400, Pat.

Me: You say that now. Well, that was really all of them that I had.

LH: Okay.

Me: Is there any, like, closing statement you'd like to make?

LH: Your breasts are spectacular?

Me: Thank you! I know! Well, yours aren't half bad.

LH: Blah, blah, blah, BOOBS!!

Me: Thank you, Mike. Are there any questions that I should have asked you that I didn't?

LH: I don't know. Depending on how narcissistic you want to get...

Me: Yes?

LH: How many more questions did you want to ask me about you?

Me: Ooo, ask away!

LH: So, uh, is this precious little cherub that's standing in here right now (Ethan) the entire reason that you made Ron listen to "The Final Countdown" on the way to his vasectomy appointment?

Me: Yes.

LH: Okay! You know I cannot listen to that song anymore without thinking of Ron!

Me: It was hilarious!

LH: I'm sure it was.

Me: God was smiling down upon me that day.

LH: Mm-hmm.

Me: What else would you like to ask me?

LH: Hmm. I'm thinking. I did not have the forethought to write them down.

Me: Yeah, me neither.

LH: Do I strike you as the typical sorority girl, or am I just far too bitchy for that?

Me: Well, sorority girls strike me as bitchy, so...

LH: Well, there you go.

Me: I'd have to say yeah, you do.

LH: I'm not a size 4, though. Think that could be a problem in some circles?

Me: Only a dog wants a bone. Can I get a what-what?

LH: What-what. Mmm. Quepapas!

Me: Curvy girls rock!

LH: Because we have boobs. Boobs!

Me: Blah, blah, blah, BOOBS!!

LH: Blah, blah, blah, boobs.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Move Along...No Leggings Here

So I've been using Google Analytics for the past couple of weeks to track how people are finding my site, and...wow! There are some sick freaks out there.

(Of course, if you're one of the people who found me by using any of the following keywords or phrases, know that I mean that in the nicest possible way.)

In no particular order, here are some of the doozies:

Avery Gray--WTF, right? You're searching for me on Google using my name?! How disgusting!

Avery Grey--Oh, now you're just bustin' my balls! Taking the spelling and Britting it up. Think you're so clever, Ms. I'm So Clever? 'Cause I got news for you--you're not. Ooooo!!

Okay, seriously though...

Chunky highlights--I'm assuming this is due solely to my post by that name, and not a commentary on how I would look in...

Leggings to heel, legging with heel straps, legging with strap heels--Ooookkaaaayyy. When did I become the authority on fashion crimes of decades past? Apparently I'm a veritable bastion of bad taste. Case in point...

Gold lame scrunchies--Not just scrunchies. No! Shiny gold ones. Even better. Why, I like to wear them to the discotech with my sparkly fuschia leg warmers and an assortment of plastic Swatch watches (with the face guard, of course. You can never be too careful where your Swatch is concerned.)

Baby craps a lot--Um, yeah, that sounds serious. Maybe a visit to the pediatrician would be in order? Or just stop giving the kid Lemon Pledge. Trust me, it doesn't make their poop smell any better.

Nice set of knockers--Wow! Thanks for noticing.

Urinal emoticon--Yeeaaahh. Pretty sure it had something to do with this.

Squirrel hit tire--Thank you!! Finally someone who sees it from my point of view! Damn squirrel getting my tire all dirty with his sloppy entrails. Rude!

Schoolgirl punishments--Keep movin', One Hand McGraw. This ain't that kinda site.

Japan "high school" diapers--Uh...

*crickets chirping*

Well, I don't know anything about Japan "high school" diapers, whatever those may be, but there is one kind of diaper that I am apparently quite well-versed in.

That's right, baby! I am the #1 Google authori-tay on....Ham Diapers!



And also, though slightly less significant, David Soul's pleasure den.



Yep, I've hit the big time now!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tell Me When It's Over

Today was Ethan's school Christmas program.

That's right. Christmas. Not Holiday. Not Winter Solstice. Christmas.

Put that in your non-denominational pipe and smoke it!

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His school is owned by a couple from South Africa, and they could give a rat's patootie about being politically correct. They're cantankerous old people, and I love them for it!

Now, the show itself was just a bunch of generic Christmas carols sung by adorable little children...

And my son.

Don't get me wrong. My son was the cutest one there. (That may be a biased statement.) But he was also regrettably unfocused on the task at hand.

As soon as his class filed onstage, the spectacle that is Ethan began.

While the rest of his class stood quietly awaiting their cue, Ethan was waving at the crowd and saying, repeatedly, "Hi!"

Then, "Hi, my name's Spaghetti!"

Somewhere in the middle of the song, Ethan stepped to the front of the stage and proudly announced, "I like Krabby Patties!"

This, of course, garnered plenty of laughs from the audience. Almost as much as his request for a microphone. And his subsequent dancing.

My husband was mortified.

Not me. He's my little ham! I've come to expect these things from him.

Regardless, my husband has requested that I "work with him on this." And like a good wife, I promised that I would.

I won't, but what a good wife I am for putting his mind at ease, huh?


In other news...

A commenter on my Buzz page said: "I imagine your voice sounds like the lady's voice on NPR's Splendid Table...very classy and elegant."

Well, Scott, I thank you for the compliment. I'm not sure what she sounds like, but I don't think my voice is very remarkable in any way. I admit, I've never really thought all that much about who I sound like, and if I could figure out a way to hook our video camera to our computer, I'd just film myself and post it here to assuage your curiosity.

I asked my husband about it, and he said I sort of sound like someone on NPR. Then he asked me what NPR is, so he obviously doesn't know what he's talking about.

I guess the bottom line is, regardless of what my voice sounds like, "classy and elegant" I ain't.



Mmmm... Schweatty balls...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Now 10% More Feminine!

So yesterday was my second annual foray into the strange and exciting world of Bakeapalooza--LoveyH style. Contrary to how it sounds, no herbs were involved. We were baking. Not baked.

(And for the love of the sweet eight pound, six ounce newborn baby Jesus, I still can't figure out why not.)

There were ten of us altogether--four women and six children.

Conditions were right for makin' blog.

And not just because all four of us are bloggers (Lovey, Bribee, Emma, and myself), but because I, for one, am not a natural-born baker. I suck at it. My motto? "They sell cookies down at Safeway, you know."

Apparently, this makes me an outcast among women. There's an unwritten code that I understand to mean 'feeding your child store-bought baked goods is as good as serving up Magnetix with a side of iron shavings, you horrible, horrible toad.' Or something to that effect.

Even my mom used to tell me that I'd never find a man to love me if I didn't learn the art of culinary seduction. While every daughter, I'm sure, appreciates her mother's attempts at utilizing archaic forms of male subjugation on the female persuasion by relegating them to the archetypically dependent and perpetually knocked up hausfrau, I was decidedly less enamored with the idea. I was going to find a man who loved me for my mind, damn it! And if all else failed... Well, I have a nice rack.

And I ain't talkin' the kind you cool cookies on.

High five, up top!

But as much as I despised my mom's old skool way of thinking, even I had to admit she was sorta right. The old adage about the way to a man's heart being through his stomach isn't exactly hogwash. My rack sparkling personality may have attracted my husband to me initially, but it wasn't until he'd tasted my prime rib that I got the sense he wanted me to have his babies. (Which makes for an awkward second date, let me tell you.)

There's a difference, however, between cooking and baking. Cooking I can do. Marinating, basting, grilling, seasoning--that's not a problem.

Baking? That's a problem.

I don't know. Maybe it's because meat and potatoes are more forgiving than delicate, flaky pastries. Baking seems like such a feminine thing, which makes me feel in some small way as though I'm less of a woman for not excelling at it. Especially given that my husband loves, loves, loves baked goods. (He now wants the Gingerbread Girl to have his babies. I'm crushed.)

Regardless, I do feel a little better since yesterday. I only managed to burn one pot holder (sorry, Lovey!), and one batch of oatmeal butterscotch cookies. Plus, my peanut butter honey brownies didn't turn out half bad. So, I guess the moral of the story is...

Next year, me and my rack are staying home.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

In Praise of Clarity

Results of Ethan's evaluation

"Ethan is experiencing sound differently than other kids. It may affect his ability to concentrate and be regulated. He might make poor choices such as putting his face over and over into another child's face, not because he is trying to be mean, but because he needs different sensory input, or is over-stimulated and having trouble controlling himself.

"I observed Ethan covering his ears and being visibly more active when the room was loud, and more calm when it was quieter. At times of high volume, he flapped his arms up and down, kicked the leg of the table, and appeared more energetic than his peers.

"But in times of quiet, Ethan listen attentively and was engaged in his surroundings and his peers.

"To give an example of this, I witnessed the sweetest thing I have seen in some time from Ethan. He was standing by a child that was crying. He quietly took the child's hand and patted it. The child stopped crying. A few minutes later, he noticed again that the child still had a tear rolling down his face though he was no longer crying. Ethan reached over very tenderly and wiped his tear, telling him, "There now." At circle time, he was asked to come over and sit by the same child who was still having trouble adjusting. He was very tender with him, matter of fact, and offered him wonderful suggestions and ways to be engaged with the activities the rest of the class was enjoying. The child made great gains in the comfort of his friend Ethan.

"What an amazingly kind young boy."

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Sweet vindication.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bad Egg

My neighborhood is inhabited by lame hoodlums. Look what I found when I went out to my car yesterday.

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An egg. One egg.

Oooo!

How ever will I clean up THAT mess?

You want to know the worst part about it? They didn't hit anything. Not my car, my house, my decorative lawn ornamentation. Nothing.

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I'm so disappointed in them.

I mean, come on! I'm a girl...

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and I can hit something! Observe.

We start with this...
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Set the scene of the crime...
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FYI: I noted the absence of my husband's car just to prove that it was I, a girl...

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who accomplished this...
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For shame, young punks. For shame!

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Alternate title for this post: What I Won't Do For My Blog.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Moment You've All Been Waiting For...

Is the anticipation killing you? Or did you completely forget that you'd entered a contest, and that the results would be announced today?

It's okay. I won't take it personally if it's the last one.

Really. *sniff* I won't.

Because, as it turns out, only two of you knew me well enough (or at least were lucky enough guessers) to select the right answer.

Which was?

Well, before I tell you that, let me tell you what it was not.


The truths...

1) I was born in a hospital waiting room...by Cesarean.
TRUE: The hospital where I was born, in the spring of 1977, was undergoing extensive remodeling for the first time in 50 years. Because of this, the number of labor and delivery rooms was drastically diminished until the renovations were complete. If the hospital admitted more laboring moms than they had rooms for, certain other rooms were utilized as overflow rooms--the waiting room where I was born being one of them. To prove the expression truth is stranger than fiction, my mom was not the only woman delivering in the room at the time. The other woman gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Katherine. She would later become my best friend in fourth grade (though at the time we had no idea of our connection. We just thought it was cool that our birthdays were on the same day.)

2) I have never used an electric toothbrush for anything other than its intended purpose.
TRUE: Though I'm surprised that 17 of you thought I had. I do not want to know where your minds are, people.

3) My timed score on Bejeweled is better than my untimed score.
TRUE: And here I thought that made me some sort of Bejeweled master. Turns out I'm not. My high score on untimed Bejeweled (which, for those of you who have never played, is a highly addictive, pleasantly mind-numbing puzzle game) is 25,680 points. Timed is 28,430. Still nowhere near the high scores of some avid losers players out there who score in the millions, but pretty respectable nonetheless.

5) I was a high school Mathlete, but I was the weakest link on the team.
TRUE: Though only two of you guessed this, and that was only because it was one of the least guessed responses, it is true. I don't know how to feel that more of you didn't choose this. Good, because you think I'm intelligent enough to snag a spot on the prestigious Mathletes team, or not so good, because it comes as no surprise to you that I was the weakest link. Well, I'll have you know, the team was made up of five people--two of the four valedictorians, the salutatorian, an Asian kid, and me. How could I not be the weakest link?

6) I almost died of hypothermia once in college when I was locked in a parking garage overnight and the temperature dropped below freezing.
TRUE: The parking garage where I normally parked was closed, but I was told by the parking attendant that there was another parking garage closer to my dorm that I could park in. So I did. I had plans to meet my boyfriend for dinner downtown the next night, so I made my way to the parking garage, and up to the top level where my car was parked. Unfortunately, that particular parking garage was privately owned, and the gates were pulled down and the doors locked at six. If this makes any sense, you could get IN the structure through the doors in the stairwell, but you couldn't get OUT without a code. Since this was before the age of widespread cell phone use, I didn't have one, so I spent the worst night of my life huddled in the backseat of my car. I was woken up at four the next morning by a security guard banging on my window. He took me to the hospital where I was hooked up to IV's and put under a warming blanket. The kicker? The parking garage where I normally parked WAS the hospital parking garage. The one I was in was only two blocks away from the hospital. To this day, parking garages make me nervous.

7) I have never killed a man just to watch him die, but sometimes I'd like to.
TRUE: I'd like to kill whoever designed that damn parking garage. And child abusers mostly. But sometimes, God help me, I would love to bring my own brand of sweet, sweet justice down on the jackasses who wait until the last second to merge in traffic, then cut me off. Road rage? Not quite. Because I'd never act on it. But that doesn't mean I can't fantasize about it, right? Oh, and magazine salespeople who want you to high five them? They're on my list, too. I'm not the only one who feels this way, am I? Come on, people. Who's on your list?


So, that only leaves...


The lie.

4) I am a Republican, born into a family of damn dirty Democrats.
FALSE: Two of you saw through this load of malarkey--Sheila and Lazy Iguana. What threw some of you was probably the inclusion of the "I am a Republican". That part, as some of you know, is true in that I vote mostly Republican (read more than 50%). But I come from a family of STAUNCH Republicans (read 100%). So, to them, I am the liberal. Hey, whatever. I vote my conscience, not my party line.

And, yes, I think Bush is a doof.


So, now's the time to announce which of these two intuitive individuals won the drawing. I'd like to commend you both for your efforts, but as you know, there can only be one grand prize winner. And that person is.....








The Lazy Iguana!!



Congratulations, Ig! Send me an e-mail (avery.gray at yahoo.com) with the prize you'd like to select from the list and mailing info, and your holidays will soon be merry and bright!

And thanks to all who entered! Hope you had fun!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Yes, Ethan, There is a Santa Claus

Lucky socks strike again.

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Behold.

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Would you call that a plethora of Transformers? Because I would.

Oh, baby, would I!

Another Sunday up before six, but it's all good. Because the only thing Ethan wants this Christmas--and I mean the ONLY thing--is "a really big Transformer." He sat on Santa's lap, eyes shining bright with hope (or perhaps rheumatic fever), and begged the guy for Optimus Prime.

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No problem, I thought from the confines of my smug little bubble. I'll just pop on into Toys R Us and rustle up a Prime. No biggie.

Biggie.

Huge biggie.

No one had them. Not Optimus Prime, not Bumblebee. Oh, sure, they had plenty of Megatrons, but who wants a Megatron? Prime is money, baby. Megatron, not money. Not for the young'uns. Not unless they're milk money stealing bullies. Those are the only kids who want Megatron.

So, why do I have a Megatron? I panicked! There were no Autobots to be found at the first 3 stores I went to. Just the leader of the Decepticons and his ilk. And I couldn't very well walk away empty handed. If worse came to worse, there had to be a Transformer under the tree. There. Had. To. Be.

So, I rolled to Toys R Us with a little accompaniment from The Raconteurs.



Yeah, I was feeling pretty badass.

When I got there, of course, there was a crowd of about 20 people hoping for a chance to buy a Wii. They didn't have any.

Suckers!

(That wasn't nice. I apologize. Allow me to put down my nunchuk controller and give you a sympathy hug.)

When the Wii crowd dispersed, there were only five of us left standing. No one really wanting to reveal what we were there for. After all, we might be vying for the same prize.

Turns out, four of us were. The odd guy out was looking for a Hannah Montana guitar for his "granddaughter."

Suuure! His granddaughter.

Two of the other guys were there to buy Transformers for their sons. The last one was there to buy them to resell on eBay.

Douche.

Oh, it's not that I mind that people do that, but come on! Three people just told you they're looking everywhere for these things so their children won't have their hopes dashed on Christmas morning when the Transformer they begged Santa for doesn't show up, and you can't be bothered to invent a child of your own?

"Oh, yeah, little Johnny's just dying to get his hands on as many of these babies as he can this Christmas."

At least then I would just think you're an over-indulgent parent caught up in the magic of the season. *cough*

Well, it worked out fine in the end. EBay was thwarted for the big ones, but he was happy with the little guys, and the rest of us got one big Optimus Prime and one Bumblebee each.

Praise the Lord!

(Not that He is affiliated with or endorses or otherwise approves of the Transformers, or that He had a hand in my procuring said items. I'm just sayin'...)

Our Christmas is saved, and everyone is happy.

So, what's on your wishlist this year?

***


[Just a reminder, today is the last day to get your entries in for the contest. The winner will be announced tomorrow!]

Friday, December 7, 2007

Uh-oh! Hot Dog!

I don't know about you, but I am having a fantastic time reading all your entries for the contest. And it's pretty obvious to me that even the people who think they know me the best don't know diddly squat. (Let that be a hint!)

There are obvious front runners--numbers 1 and 2 are virtually neck and neck with 14 and 15 votes respectively. But it ain't over yet. You have until Sunday to get your votes in, so lurkers delurk and try your hand. You could win a fabulous prize! Not to mention the coveted award that goes along with playing. What have you got to lose? (Well, besides your anonymity, of course.)

On to things not so fabulous, yesterday was a hellish day. I had a migraine brought on by neck pain from sleeping in a weird position. I couldn't help it. My hubby is a cuddly sleeper, and I am not. I don't like to be touched when I'm sleeping, and this is exactly the reason why. I like to sleep on my stomach, not my side, and not curled up next to a blast furnace.

Some women think it's endearing for a man to like to cuddle in his sleep. So did I...for the first week. Now it's only endearing during waking hours, like when we're snuggled up watching 30 Rock on the couch, which we did last night. That was nice.

(Psst...I think he's got a thing for Tina Fey. Don't tell him I told you that.)

Yesterday would have been the perfect time to send Ethan to school. Unfortunately, he doesn't have school on Thursdays, so the game of the day was "Let's Not Give Mommy A Moment's Peace."

Fun game. Ever played it? They have a version out for dads as well.

Hiding my head under a blanket didn't fool him in the least. He crowed like a rooster and told me to get up and fix me his damn waffles.

Okay, he didn't say that. He said, "Fix me my damn waffles PLEASE."

Alright, I'm lying again. It was pancakes.

Anyhow, at some point in the never-ending torture day, he pulled out his rhyming puzzles, and went to town.

"Top rhymes with mop."

"Bear rhymes with pear."

"Shoe rhymes with glue."


I thought I'd be clever and ask him one he didn't have the answer already memorized. "Ethan, what rhymes with snake?"

To be fair, he had a picture of a rake and a lake there, so it's not like he couldn't have deduced it. Instead he said, "I don't know. Larry?"

Larry?

Larry rhymes with snake?!!


"No. But who is Larry?"

He looked at me like I was the biggest embarrassment to humankind to ever walk the face of the earth. And that includes David Hasselhoff.

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He shook his head pityingly and said, "He's the birthday hot dog."

Oh. Duh.

The birthday hot dog.

Oh, right. Larry! Of course. Where was my head?

(Is it wrong that my son reminds me a little of Bae Sung?)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

It's Contest Time, Sweet Cheeks!

Wouldn't you know that when I declared MemeHiatus 2007!!!, I'd end up being tagged more frequently than before? It's not that I don't enjoy the occasional meme. No! It's just that I was getting tagged so often, I couldn't keep up.

And I've only been blogging a short time, but even I know a meme is really only interesting to the person doing it. For the most part, it bores the readers to tears, drives them away by the handfuls. And what are we doing this blogging thing for if not the readers? Plus, it says in the Bible a blogger's stats cannot subsist on memes alone. Don't quite recall which book, but I'm pretty sure I'm remembering it right.

Yet, here I am, in full MemeHiatus mode, and conflicted. Deeply conflicted.

I want to keep my promise to you and abstain from any form of meme until the start of 2008. For what am I without integrity?

But I also want to get the damn monkeys off my back. They have fleas and they fling their poo. And what is integrity with a poo-flinging, flea-ridden monkey on your back?

What to do? What to do?

I know! I'll have a contest! Based on the 7 Random Things Meme I've been tagged with (by six, count 'em, six lovely individuals).

Here's what we'll do:

I am going to list SIX random facts about myself and ONE falsehood. Your job is to determine what is true and what is not.

Whoever guesses correctly will have their names put in a drawing, and a winner will be chosen at random.

Want to know what you're playing for? Alright. The winner will receive their choice of $25 gift card to iTunes, Best Buy, Pier 1, Starbucks, or Target, OR may choose one of the following books from Amazon: Stephen Colbert's "I Am America (And So Can You!)" or Jon Stewart's "America (The Book) Teacher's Edition", depending on which side your bread is buttered.

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How sweet are those prizes, huh?

Well, it doesn't end there! I am hereby bestowing, on everyone who enters, the coveted "I guess your blog's not THAT bad" award. (Follow the link for instructions.)



Can this day get any better?!

No. No, it can't.

So, without further ado, I give you 6 Truths and A Lie about Avery Gray:


1) I was born in a hospital waiting room...by Cesarean.

2) I have never used an electric toothbrush for anything other than its intended purpose.

3) My timed score on Bejeweled is better than my untimed score.

4) I am a Republican, born into a family of damn dirty Democrats. (Sorry Mom and Dad. I calls 'em as I sees 'em.)

5) I was a high school Mathlete, but I was the weakest link on the team.

6) I almost died of hypothermia once in college when I was locked in a parking garage overnight and the temperature dropped below freezing.

7) I have never killed a man just to watch him die, but sometimes I'd like to.


So, there you have it! Which one's a lie? It's up to you to figure it out!

Contest runs thru Sunday, so get your entries in now!

Good luck!!