It IS Tricky

This weekend is big in my house: Groundhog Day on Saturday, followed by Superbowl Sunday. My kids are very excited for Groundhog Day, in part because I told them that groundhogs can also be called whistle-pigs or land beavers, which made us laugh hysterically for what I hope were very different reasons. Here is a romantic land beaver that is OK to look at while you are at work:

Romantic Whistle Pig

Last year we watched the video of Punxatawney Phil coming out of his hole over and over, and let me tell you, it never got any less weird. First of all, the groundhog comes out of a place called Gobbler’s Knob, which no matter how you say it sounds dirty. Second, the grown men dressed in period costumes who pull the named rodent out of his man made den…I am done with that sentence – there is nothing else to add to fully convey how weird it all is. Here is a picture of some of the, oh, 75 or so old men who participate in the offering up of the whistle-pig to Al Roker, King of the Meteorologists, for their annual sacrifice.

Punxatawney 2
Shortly after this picture, Phil was beheaded and made into nuggets.

Once my kids recover from their whistle-pig hangover, it will be time for the Superbowl. For all of you sports fans, it looks like two teams will be playing against each other in between the commercials, and one of them will win.

In case you have not been following The BeyHive or any other important news for the past six months, let me be the first to tell you that Beyonce is doing the halftime show. It should be a good show because (1) she is almost certainly not going to lip sync, and (2) she is trying to make us all believe that Destiny’s Child is not to have a reunion on the halftime stage but OH THEY ARE. I know this because I have extremely well-placed sources Michelle Williams is a terrible liar.

While Beyonce gets a national stage (again) this weekend, I think it’s about time her little sister got some attention, too. Solange is so stylish that she looks like all the best clothes in Anthropologie (not this stuff) combined with all the non-annoying parts of hipsters (not these guys, who might all be lovely people but this is the first image that came up when I Googled “hipsters are annoying”). I could listen to Solange’s song “Losing You” for hours, which I confirmed just today. I dare you to only listen once.

If I attempted to wear any of the outfits Solange is wearing in this video, people would reasonably assume that I was some sort of hobo clown. And yet she looks amazing. Could Beyonce do that? Yes, and probably better than her little sister, but whatever. Interesting fact: that “wahhh!” noise you hear over and over in the song, the one that sounds like someone kicking a bird, or the noise Edith Bunker might make when surprised? That is actually me.

And here is just one more younger sibling who deserves some attention (although I have a feeling he probably demands plenty of attention on an hourly basis). This kid has some sweet moves, which are only enhanced by his mom and older sister’s total embarrassment:

Water that lawn, little brother.

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The Cat’s Meow

Every day my son brings home a new book from his school’s “media center” (that is a “library” for everyone over 30). In the fall he worked his way through the school’s nature books, bringing home those classics that all mothers love, such as “Worms Up Close,” “Tarantula Scientist,” and “Parasites Picture Book.” Then, thanks to some street smart little third grader, he discovered the Captain Underpants books and learned dozens of offensive names for old people and body functions.

Now it looks like he has discovered the “pets in uniforms” books, and I am extremely excited. This is what he brought home today:
Police Cat

That is a cat in a police uniform.

I could hardly control my laughter when we read the story before bed. I don’t know if it was the visual of the dressed up cat, or that the cat’s name is Noodles, or that my kids seemed to believe every word of the book – it was just too much for me. Did I mention that Noodles can open doors?

Police Cat Door

The only time I have ever seen a cat make that expression is right before realizing that it had a piece of Christmas tinsel hanging out of its butt. Not that that ever happened in my house.

Of course, Police Cat is about a wily cat that hangs out at the police station, chasing rats and napping, and who somehow saves a family from a fire and then stands around meowing arrogantly while a bastard German shepherd takes all the credit. Then the cat steals the dog’s breath and kills him in his sleep. NO, no, Noodles ends up getting the credit he deserves, and is rewarded with a “Hero-of-the-City Award” and an ill fitting uniform, complete with a tiny cat-sized hat that seems to have holes for his little cat ears.

After we finished reading the book, my daughter reminded me of a story I told her once that can’t possibly be true. I told her about the time that I dressed up my fat, mangy cat Duchess in doll clothes and a bonnet, and put her in my frilly old-fashioned doll carriage – and then pranced down the street with her to take her to my kindergarten class for show and tell. There is no way that happened, right? I mean, I did actually have parents. But I have extremely vivid memories of this. I also remember a mass of kids following along behind me and feeling a little bit like a movie star with my fancy carriage-riding cat. I may have just pinpointed where my obsession with celebrities started.

Anyhow, at the end of Police Cat, Noodles’ new police hat goes flying out the window while he is chasing bad guys in a police car. And Noodles decided he didn’t care because, I don’t know, he’s a big deal now or something. Well, I lost a little respect for Noodles right then. All I could think about is how mad I would be if I had spent hours crafting a tiny police hat for a cat (you can’t just buy those at a store), and then the ungrateful a-hole just loses it like an hour after he put it on his little cat head. Which is why I do not make clothes for cats.

I can’t wait to see what is in my son’s backpack tomorrow afternoon. Sloth Firefighter, perhaps, or Dolphin Mail Carrier? Or maybe Hamster Hooker? I know, hookers don’t really wear uniforms, so that’s probably not even a book. But maybe Police Cat busts a Hamster Hooker in a follow-up.

A girl can dream. And frankly, anything is an improvement over that parasite picture book.

Walk the Walk

My son walks to school every day, but this week it has been really cold so we have been driving. And to clarify, I mean it has been really, actually cold. Not like, “OMG, guys, it’s normally 76 year round and now it’s 59 degrees, where is my long underwear?!” Yeah, I’m talking to you, friends in SoCal. Today it was so cold that I had this conversation with my son: “Mom, why do you keep squeezing my cheeks?” “I’m just checking to make sure they are not frostbitten oh no TURN AROUND TURN YOUR FACE AWAY FROM THE WIND!”

Now that we’re driving to school, I miss walking with him and his buddies. It’s so nice to start the day listening to elementary school kids talk about their video games and iPhones and all the things that they love that did not exist when I was little.

In honor of my lovely morning walks, please enjoy. The hook of this song is so catchy that I don’t mind the sad lyrics about bad investments and ripping apart socialists. What? Who cares, take a walk.

Keeping It Realz

Today I am writing at the library because I needed a change of scenery and wanted to get away from my husband blasting Taylor Swift while he works. (Apparently that is who you turn to when you realize that Ke$ha sucks.) Also, writing at a study carrel next to older men wearing sunglasses and cowboy hats while they try to discretely look at porn reminds me of college, when I was particularly creative.

Lest you think that my life is perfect, what with my proximity to porno cowboys and my public library workspace, I’d like to show you my closet.

Closet

I’m not going to surprise you now with an “After” picture where my closet looks like the cover of Real Simple. Those kinds of pictures, with their Instagram filters and perfect lighting, are the WORST. Instead of inspiring me, they make me feel awful and force me to go add a layer of clothes to my closet piles while eating fried food.

I read this article about how Facebook users’ perfect pictures of their vacations and thoughtful spouses and overachieving kids are making us all insanely jealous and filled with envy (did they really need two German universities to reach this conclusion?), so I am really doing a community service by showing you my closet. You are welcome. For an extra feeling of superiority, you may want to pay special attention to the half-torn-off Halloween stickers all over my mirror, the ripped garbage bag full of five year old maternity clothes sitting by the door, or the random sweaters hanging over the lower hangers. Also, please take a good look at the lonely boot sitting atop the mountain of crap and let me know if you’ve seen the other one. I miss it and am afraid it is at the bottom of the pile (i.e., gone forever).

This disaster has been brewing since November. My closet really was reasonably organized for a lovely two week period back then. But every time someone would come over (which was a lot during the holidays), I would throw any loose crap straight in my closet, because who was going to look in there? The house is clean, the kids’ closets are organized, who cares about my closet.

But when I pulled a muscle trying to find a t-shirt the other day it finally dawned on me that, as a semi-functioning adult, maybe I should not live like this. So over the next several weeks and months, I will be obtaining my commercial driver’s license to operate heavy machinery so that I can begin excavating. And I will not show you any pictures of how awesome it looks when I am done.

And this is the boring lawyer in me coming out, but seriously: as willing as I am to show you my embarrassing closet, please remember that there are some things you just should not put in writing.

Pining Away

I would like to introduce you to the newest member of our household, Piney Porky McHedgypants.

Piney

Piney arrived on a cold December evening, shortly after Christmas, wrapped in a massive amount of leftover Hanukkah wrapping paper from our beloved Uncle John (who, interestingly, is neither an uncle nor a John). After a fierce debate about whether it was a boy or girl porcupine or hedgehog, and why the hell didn’t it have any pants on, the kids settled on the name Piney Porky McHedgypants. Obviously.

Don’t let his painfully adorable smile and whimsical little ball nose fool you. Piney is kind of an asshole and has scared the shit out of me twice now: once when I checked on my daughter in the middle of the night and found him sitting in her rocking chair (I swear the chair was moving), and once when I walked by the kids’ bathroom and found HIM SITTING ON THE TOILET. The kids promise they did not put him there, and I totally believe them.

After that second scare, I had a brief, horrible thought of “losing” Piney the way certain noisy or messy toys seem to always get “lost” in my house. Whoops, mommy threw them away by accident, my bad. But LOOK at him. I can’t imagine seeing his sweet huge face staring up at me from the trash can, surrounded by empty juice boxes and banana peels. Or worse, his nubby, soft arms reaching out for a hug from the garbage man right before he chucks him in the back of the truck.

So I’ve asked Piney to start running errands for me. He’s been extremely cooperative.

photo 2 (2)

But the little bastard sucks at laundry. I told him he’s got two weeks to figure out how to use the dryer, or I might accidentally misplace him.