Wednesday, May 29, 2013

That Seems Like a Lot of Work and Will I Have to Make a Sign?

The other day this conversation happened:

Charming: What's the deal with the Westboro Baptist Church?

Me: What do you mean "what's the deal" with them?

Charming: Like who are they?

Me: Are you serious? You haven't heard of them? I actually know something that's been in the news* that you don't?

Charming: Well. I read CNN. (He says this as if he's supremely smarter than I could ever hope to be.)

Me: I'm sure it has been on CNN at some point, but whatever. It's on Facebook a lot. In a nutshell they are a bunch of assholes that parade around protesting funerals and stuff. They have put themselves in charge of judging everything and everyone and are basically against the Golden Rule and all of the 10 Commandments I think.

Then the conversation ended because I told him to look it up himself but he was playing 'Words With Friends' and didn't feel like it right then. 

*I do not read or watch the news. It is chocked full of horrifying information and I would rather watch people fall off the back of treadmills or funny videos of animals on YouTube. I figure if something really important happens, I'll find out about it somehow. Case in point: The way I found out about Hurricane Katrina is that I have a friend that lives right outside of New Orleans and she called me the day it was going to hit to tell me she was on her way to Mississippi (or somewhere - I don't exactly remember), and that she was going to lose all contact because the state of Louisiana was about to be washed out to sea. I was all, "Oh snap! I did not know that." And she was all, "It's been on the news for like 3 days." And I was all, "Well, that explains it."*

I could never be a member of the Westboro Baptist Church. I mean, despite the fact that they are an embarrassment to the human race and practice the exact opposite of the Christian agenda, their "work" seems positively exhausting. Forever traipsing around the country protesting funerals and whatnot. I'm not even sure exactly what they are protesting, so I went to their website (which I am NOT linking to), but I closed the tab real quick-like because after reading a few lines I got scared that my computer was going to spontaneously burst into flames.

In any case, what they do looks like a lot of work. Keeping up with the all the people that need to be judged is probably a full-time job or something. I would be terrible at it. They'd come to me and say, "We're going to protest again. Pack your bags. Make some signs." And I'd be like, "Fuuuuu...can't I just stay back this time and troll around Facebook or something? I hate making signs."

There are people in this world who have all kinds of boundless energy to put to use marching around from morning 'til night with homemade signs and spewing hatred all over the streets. I am not one of those people. Aside from the copious amounts of walking and my general aversion to hatred spewing, I DESPISE making signs. I saw this picture on Facebook once of a person holding a sign that said, "I'm So Pissed Off I Made This Sign." While hilarious, I do not foresee me being that pissed off about anything. Because making signs sucks. First, you have to go to the store to buy poster board and markers, unless you keep those things on hand, which I obviously don't because why would I if I hate making signs so much? What else does someone do with poster board and markers? Then you've got to come up with something clever to say on your sign, which I think I might could do if I hated something enough. Which I don't. Except for making signs. So, on second thought, maybe the aforementioned sign would work for me after all.

I do not know what has happened here. I had no intention of this post being about my hatred of sign making. While I really don't like to make signs, I do not believe it to be a blog-worthy topic. I actually do have a point, believe it or not.

Being judgey and the effort it takes. That's it. 

The day after Charming and I had the conversation about Westboro Baptist Church, I was listening to the radio in my car. There is a local station that regularly surveys community members to ask their opinions on different subjects. They are usually hot-button social issues and I imagine they do this segment to see if they can get anyone to say something especially asshole-ish so they can put it on the air in order to spice up their otherwise boring commentary. This particular day, they asked people's opinion on having children out of wedlock. Of course, there were the "holier than thou's" that preached of its wrongness, there were the people that got mad because they, themselves, had children out of wedlock and why do people have to be so judgmental, and then there was the girl that said...

"Just like with anything else, as long as they are good people and good parents, I don't really think it's any of my business." 

 I just about wrecked my car. Because holy shit someone please make this girl President of the world.


 Clicking on this sign does not in any way spew hatred. It's actually the exact opposite. So you should do it. Click on it, I mean.



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I Don't Always Bake...

A couple of weeks ago, I decided Wednesdays would be my day to get stuff done. I would drop the kids off at school, go home, do some laundry, straighten up the house, and run all of my errands. 

So today, I dropped the kids off at school, re-started the same load in the washing machine for the 3rd time this week, stacked the breakfast dishes neatly in the sink, THE INTERNET, and went to spend my Kohl's cash before I could forget about it and let it expire. Because how can anyone not feel good about shopping at Kohl's? Buy 4 items and the average savings is around $300,000. It's as if they are paying me to shop there.

Oh, and I also put a bag of clothes in the car that needed to go the cleaners, but forgot to drop them off even though they were SITTING IN THE FRONT SEAT NEXT TO ME. It's still there.

All in all, a successful day.

I wasn't going to write today, given how I've totally outdone myself on the productivity meter, but I said to myself, "Self, I know you're exhausted, but you really need to gut this out. Don't be selfish."

So, here I am. Working my fingers to the bone. For you.

Anyway. 

I'm going to do something different and share a recipe. I don't usually share recipes because I don't cook interesting things. My family won't eat anything remotely adventurous, so I refuse to spend hours in the kitchen preparing elaborate meals just to sit at a dinner table watching them push the food around their plates with looks on their faces that suggest I served them a pile of baboon intestines. That makes me feel stabby and I don't want to go to prison, y'all.

But, this is something that all of them will eat, along with (I'm guessing) a large percentage of you people. Because why? Because cookies.

I'm not usually a fan of making homemade cookies because it's a lot of trouble, it's messy, and we always end up eating half of them immediately and then throwing the other half of them away because we have amazing amounts of self control and will power. I prefer the store bought break and bake option because you can bake just a few at a time. But they don't last long in our house and those suckers get expensive. Not only am I lazy when it comes to baking, but I'm also cheap.

Tink loves to bake. So I let her do it while I supervise. From the living room. With a glass of wine. Don't judge. She's almost in junior high and no knives are required for cookie baking. She found an AWESOME recipe for homemade chocolate chip cookies (we made a few adjustments) and guess what - they freeze beautifully, and (in my opinion) they are even better when baked from frozen! So, we (she) makes up the dough and then we (she) freezes it for later.




I give you...

TINK'S BIG FAT CHEWY FREEZABLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (That's not a typo. We use a whole tablespoon.)
1 egg
1 egg yolk (Here's where she needs my help. See? I'm totally an okay-ish mom.)
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Put it aside.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Mix in the sifted ingredients until well blended (a stand mixer makes this part infinitely easier). Last, stir in the chocolate chips. If you're not afraid of salmonella, eat some of the dough.* It's delicious.

If you want to cook the cookies right away, you should have preheated the oven to 325 degrees. Be prepared next time. Bake them for 13-15 minutes (or until they reach the doneness you prefer. Apparently "doneness" isn't a word according to my spellchecker. Whatever I'm not changing it.)

To freeze the cookies for later, scoop spoon-sized amounts of dough onto a cookie sheet. We use one of those cookie scooper thingies and usually end up with about 2 1/2 to 3 dozen. Put the cookie sheet in the freezer and leave overnight. Store frozen dough in a gallon-sized freezer bag.

When you're ready for cookies, pull out a few and bake according to the directions above (325 for 13-15 minutes in case you're too lazy to move your eyes up 2 paragraphs).

That's it!

Peace out.

*I am hereby released from any liability if someone trying this recipe contracts salmonella. Everyone knows you're not supposed to eat raw eggs. Sheesh. 


 What do I have to do to get you people to click on this?!?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Right now, I Wish.

Right now, I am feeling helpless.

Because right now, I am reminded that life can change on dime.

And right now, I wish I was more than I am.

I am helpful. But, I wish I was helpful enough to really make a difference.

I am generous. But, I wish I was generous enough to give all that I have.

I am thankful. But, I wish I was thankful enough to never want for more.

I am content. But, I wish I was content enough to never wish days away. Even the hard ones.

Right now, I'm not wondering how I'm going to rebuild my life because I've lost everything.

Right now, I'm not grieving a child lost in a pile of bricks and stone.

For those things I am thankful.

But, right now, my heart is breaking for those who are.

Right now, I am thinking of you, Oklahoma. 






Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I'm So Irritated I Can't Even Think of A Proper Title

Skinny.

When did this word become a compliment? Do you know what the actual definition of it is? According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of 'skinny' is as follows:

1: resembling skin : membranous
2 a : lacking sufficient flesh : very thin : emaciated
   b : lacking usual or desirable bulk, quantity, qualities, or significance 

And what do people say when someone tells them, "You look so skinny!"? 

"Thank you!"

W.T.F.

Go back and read the definition. It should be considered an insult. But society's idea of health and beauty is (I'm sorry but I need to use this word in order to express how emphatically I feel about the subject)...fucked up...and we have turned that word into a compliment. A compliment. Why? Would it be complimentary for someone to say, "You're looking so emaciated these days!" or "You really lack desirable bulk and significance!" No. Something's gotta change, people. 

I'm a little late to the party on the whole Mike Jeffries/Abercrombie & Fitch ordeal, but I do not have the self-restraint to let this topic go unaddressed nor will I be able to make it through this entire post without saying that I think he is a shithead who has obviously had all the mirrors in his home removed so I might as well just get it out of the way right now. (If you haven't seen a picture of him, just Google it.)

Surely you've heard the story by now, but if not there's a lot of talk going on about him saying that the reason his store doesn't carry anything over a size 12 is because (direct quote from him) “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong."

So, if you're bigger than a size 12 you can't be cool or popular? You can't have a great attitude and a lot of friends? You can't "belong"? Nice message, asshole. 

His mentality is the reason there is an epidemic of eating disorders and mental health issues related to body image in this country. 

I'm pissed. I'm pissed that he's sending this message to our kids and I'm pissed that I thought the clothes were cute and I bought some things for my kids at the beginning of the school year that were on clearance because like hell I'm going to pay twenty-nine bucks for a t-shirt and then they got gift cards at Christmas and now I feel like I have to go through their closets and get rid of all that shit. Thanks for the waste of time and money, Mike. Next time how 'bout you just keep your pie hole shut. Like, plead the fifth or something when asked about...well, anything. Jerk.

I have a daughter. I don't want her growing up to believe that she's only attractive if she's ultra thin. I don't want her yo-yo dieting or starving herself to achieve some idealistic image that compromises her health and destroys her self-confidence. I don't want her to be skinny. Healthy? Of course. Strong? Yes. Confident? Absolutely. I want so many things for her, but "skinny" is not one of them.

And you know what? I don't want my son to think that's what makes a girl or woman beautiful, either. Because one day he's probably going to bring a girl home that he wants to marry and I sure as hell hope he bases his decision more on character than what size jeans she wears. Because I'm gonna have to live with that decision, too. Lord help me.

I came across a quote about a year ago that is so incredibly accurate on how I feel about this subject. I only have one daughter, but this is exactly how I feel. 

"I've got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don't want them to be empty headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I'd rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny - a thousand things before 'thin'. And frankly, I'd rather they didn't give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons."
 -J.K. Rowling 

Right on, J.K. Right on. 





Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Answering With "I Don't Know" is Better Than Screwing Up Your Kid in Under 20 Seconds

You've heard of Louis C.K., right? He's raunchy, but quite insightful (not to mention hilarious) if you  pay attention and ignore the excessive f-bombs. Actually, he's not all that excessive about it, but he does use them so if you find that offensive he may not be your cup of tea. I'm getting off-topic. 

Anyway, I was listening to a comedy station on Pandora and he came on and did a bit about how easily you can screw up your kid without even trying. This subject caught my attention because HELLOOOO I'm one-thousand percent positive that our "Kids' Future Therapy Fund" jar is not anywhere close to full enough (plus it's mostly pennies, which in 10 years are going to be about as useful as a screen door on a submarine). We tend to subscribe to the more non-traditional style of parenting called "We have no idea what the hell we are doing and we don't really feel like reading any of those parenting books because they're hella boring so we're gonna wing it and just hope they put us in one of the 'good' nursing homes".


But regardless of how nonchalant I pretend to be about this little gig of raising responsible, contributing members of society, I do worry that I might accidentally say something that I perhaps should have thought twice about, but instead I've gone and opened my big mouth so now they are scarred for life (or at least a week) and that's a real bummer. And from listening to Louis, he confirmed that it is, in fact, an easy thing to do.

He replayed a conversation he once had with his 7-year-old daughter.

Daughter: Does the earth revolve around the sun?

Dad: Yes.

Daughter: Will it revolve around the sun forever?

Dad: Well, no.

Daugher: Why not?

Dad: Because the sun is a star and stars die. So one day the sun will die and everything on earth will die.

Daughter: ....(Horrified, crying.)

Dad: Oh, don't worry! It won't happen for a long time...you know, after you and everyone you know is already dead.

Daugter:...(Further horrified and louder crying. Obviously.)

He failed to consider that she didn't know any of those things before that 12 second conversation. She didn't yet know that the sun would die, as would everyone on earth, including everyone she knew. Nice one, Louis. 

This right here is a perfect example of why I generally stick to "I don't know," as the answer to all my kids' questions. It's not laziness or lack of knowledge, people. It's smart. And cheaper than therapy. Feel free to hop on board.



 I can't think of anything clever to say to 
convince you to click on this banner. Just do it, okay?