The fakers


“Hey, Mom, I think that’s another faker.”

My youngest son and I were in the car doing our daily morning commuting and traffic coming out of our neighborhood gets a tad bottlenecked. Some drivers have resorted to cutting through the elementary school parking lot in hopes of getting ahead of the long line trying to hit the main street. My son is used to me spouting some special names for these special line cutters, who I’m just positive their time is more important than mine. They’re not fooling anyone with their two second brake light pause at the school’s front door either. We sooo know you’re not dropping off your kid, asshole! Your poor child would still be rolling to the door. My son and I have started calling these particular morning drivers “fakers.”

Now, my oldest son and his friends will claim a person is “fake” for pretty much any offense of the moment, big or small. I have a hard time keeping up with the latest junior high speak, but say for example Person A attempts to steal Person B’s girlfriend/boyfriend, then well, isn’t it obvious? Person A is “fake.” And if Person B sneaks a french fry off Person A’s plate? Well then Person B is “so fake!”

My definition of “fake” is probably more traditional (the kids would say “old”). I would have to say a fake is simply someone pretending to be something they’re not. I usually give a person the benefit of the doubt but after so many times and so much proof of fakery, well, then I have to admit the person is most likely a true “fake.” But then as a (mature? hmm…) adult, I would have to say that some of these poor souls aren’t sure who they are at this point. I mean, if you’ve gone your whole life trying to be something else, don’t you lose touch with what/who you really are? Kind of sad, actually.

Maybe I should feel compassion towards the early morning line cutters. Nah.


P.S. When I was telling Gerald about my upcoming post subject, he admitted to being an occasional line cutter. He did say there’s no faking about his cutting though, he just drives right through the parking lot without doing the pathetic pause by the door, to, you know, let his imaginary kid out. I guess my Gerald is just an asshole line cutter, not a faker asshole line cutter.  (whew?)

Just one toke?

Toke definition

Driving to work on Friday morning, I heard an interesting song I’m positive I had never heard before. I had forgotten the particular station/channel I was on, but I started hearing something about sweet Jesus and the melody sounded gospel like and I was pretty sure I didn’t have it on Christian radio. I looked at the radio display and saw the title of the song was “One Toke Over the Line” by Brewer & Shipley. Ohh… I was tuned to the 70’s Sirius satellite channel. Okay, that explains that, I suppose. But I just had to learn more about this song and confirm the lyrics and their meaning. And off to Google I went!

Apparently, the song was released in 1971, with some stations refusing to play it because of its controversial lyrics. This could easily explain why I had never heard, or heard about, this song before. I was just barely born and it didn’t get much airtime. And until Friday, I had never even heard of Brewer & Shipley. Unless maybe they have special ties to beer brewing and/or donuts. But I doubt it. On second thought, maybe these guys have pretty close ties to alcohol and donuts. Donuts would probably make a pretty good stoner food, no? I know, it’s a stretch.

What really puts the cherry on top of this toking hot song is I also uncovered that a squeaky clean image duo sang “One Toke Over the Line” on the Lawrence Welk Show. Mr. Welk called it a “modern spiritual.” I suppose you could look at it this way, whether the LWS stars really understood the true meaning of the lyrics or not. And Tom Shipley, you know the one half of Brewer & Shipley, confirmed Lawrence’s sentiment when he said this about the song’s lyrics: “When we wrote ‘One Toke Over the Line,’ I think we were one toke over the line. I considered marijuana a sort of a sacrament…”

Straight from the stoner’s pot inhaling mouth comes the admission that marijuana is essentially a divine grace. Hmmm… I for one think the dudes should’ve just stuck to the part that they truly were one toke over the line.

Below are some YouTube videos I found. See if you can guess which one is from the Lawrence Welk Show.


The muffin chronicles

no gluten

Anyone who knows me, and you don’t have to know me well to know this, knows I have multiple food intolerances. I don’t try to hide it, I can actually be quite vocal about it (gluten is evil, people!), and it’s not unusual for others to approach me with questions. After all, I have spent A LOT of time and energy to get where I am, or actually where my stomach is, now and I ain’t never going back.

My discovered intolerances include gluten, lactose, and fructose. Oh and I discovered an intolerance to sugar alcohols at a later date. Maltitol, anyone? Trust me, just say no. It was fairly recent when I read that my particular intolerance issues are most likely due to a particular carbohydrate string (that just so happens to be in gluten, lactose, and fructose). So see?? I’m not crazy, Dr. GI Specialist Wanker.

But I’m getting WAY off topic. I started my food “journey” with a few found muffin recipes (from several purchased GF cookbooks and online). I mean, who doesn’t like muffins?? I tried blueberry and banana and graduated to a little more interesting pumpkin nut and banana chocolate chip. And I’ve recently added some flourless chocolate cake like muffins and little doughnut muffins.

While doing all this muffin making, other non gluten free individuals (I won’t point fingers. cough. Family. cough. Coworkers) started taking note of my really tasty muffins. Is this starting to sound dirty? Or maybe I just have a dirty mind? But anyway, if you’ve ever made gluten free baked goods, you know it can be expensive (some of the gluten free flours are pricey and come in teeny tiny packages) and time consuming (you have to build your flour using several different types and thoroughly sift it all together). So I can’t help but be a little stingy when it comes to my gluten free baked items.

I started to notice my youngest having a little trouble with gluten as well. Sorry, kid, just your luck, it looks like you may have inherited your mom’s tummy genes. Since my son appears to be doomed to such a food limiting fate, I have had mercy on him and have been baking GF muffins to keep the two of us supplied with some sort of breakfast source. Admittedly, usually not the healthiest breakfast choice, but hey, don’t judge.

With this new little muffin share we got going, we’ve had a couple mishaps. On the way out the door in the morning, we both grab our lunch, and we each grab a muffin. One morning, my kiddo forgot to get his muffin and we were already halfway to our destination. Ha, well I remembered mine. At first, I was all like hey, guess you won’t forget next time. But then I felt bad and was all like fine, you can have mine (but just this once!). Oh the sacrifices I make for my children!

The second mishap was more like an almost mishap. My son had made it out of the house with his muffin, but nearly sat on it in the car. It was in a little baggie but it still would’ve been smooshed beyond recognition.

Muffin incidents aside, it’s been a pretty interesting experience for both my son and me. And I believe it’s actually brought us closer. We discuss what will go in his lunch for the week and what sort of treats, sweets, yeah… mostly muffins, I’ll be making next. And I get what he’s going through more than anyone else in the family because hey, I’ve been there.


The red pile

With all the recent hubbub about 50 Shades of Grey, I thought I’d write about how Christian Grey’s red room is not unlike my red pile. If you haven’t read the 50 Shades books or seen the 50 Shades movie, the red room, sometimes referred to as the red room of pain, is well… it’s where… umm… it’s where all the S&M stuff occurs between Christian and Anastasia. There, I said it with a simple acronym so I didn’t really have to come out and say it. Now if you don’t know what S&M stands for, let me just say, Google with caution (i.e., For Pete’s sake, don’t Google S&M at work).

While the 50 Shades’ Anastasia character is all enthralled with Christian’s red room of pain, I get to experience the shrill thrill of the red pile of pain. What is the red pile you ask? That would be one of my (many) laundry piles separated by color, material stamina, and label instructions. Yep, the secret is out, I have a red pile. The red pile is made up of clothes with red, pink, orange, fuchsia, magenta, etc. shades (50 shades of red, anyone??).

Does anyone else have a red pile?
Does anyone else have a red pile?

So how do I figure the red room and red pile have anything in common? Let’s explore, shall we?

Both are associated to pain. I’ll refrain from including anything about pain and the red room, but if you’re the one in your household who is tasked with doing the laundry, yes, it’s a pain! I’d say pain in the ass, but then we’re getting way too close to the red room discussion. Oh, whoops, did I just say it anyway?

Both are associated to pleasure. I know, I’m pushing it, but I’m figuring you can get pleasure out of ensuring your family’s clothes are clean. <–Did I just write this??

You just want to get it over with. I’m making the assumption of course that you’d just want to get it over with in the red room. Right? Right? Someone tell me if I’m right.

I’m sure there’s 50 shades of somthin’ somthin’ going on in the red room, while there are definitely 50 shades of red going on in the red pile. See? I don’t need no stinking 50 shades of grey.

They’re both dirty. After messing with either one of them, you really want to get out the hand sanitizer.

Their presence just looms, no matter how hard you try to forget about it, or if you attempt to lock it up tight or hide it.

If an item were to escape from either, embarrassing moments are likely. Red room: Mom, what is this whip thing? Red pile: Mom! My white shirt is now pink!!

Maybe you think you’re done with it, but you have to keep going back for more. Anastasia keeps going back for more. And somehow, someway, the red laundry pile always comes back.

See? I’m not even missing out on the movie experience. I have my own form of “red” pain right here at home.


Experiment fail or Me vs. face

I’m in my umm… early mid fortyish forties, and I got to thinking that I should be able to stop using all these products geared toward pimply teenage faces, right? I mean, I should be working on wrinkle prevention, not zit prevention. My skin had has been looking pretty good there for a while, and I thought I should give a different face cleansing routine a go. I figured I should start treating the face a little kinder, ya know?

Well, forget that! Apparently, I have to continue being a hard-ass to my face. I’d say I went about a week where I stopped using the harsh chemical laden acne treatment cleansers and lotions, and replaced them with cleansing oils and mild soaps and moisture rich lotions (you know, all the stuff women my age are supposed to be using!).

Results? My face resembles a pepperoni pizza. And these suckers HURT too. The blemishes are large and plump, sitting right under my skin just ready to erupt to the surface at the most inopportune moment, I’m just sure of it. Talk about not feeling comfortable in my own skin. Right now, I just want to crawl right out of my face.

If I could speak to my face, and if it could give me a crystal clear response (and a crystal clear face would be nice as well, but apparently that would be pushing it), I would ask it, why?? Why can’t I have clear skin? Why must the only products that work for my pimple prevention be the same products that dry the hell out of my skin??

I think my face, if it could respond other than it’s jackass way of either breaking out or totally drying out, or both, would say

<… …>  <–That’s supposed to be chirping crickets

I have worked sooo hard to get my face to a (mostly) “clear” state, and this is the thanks I get?? Only one week of change and I believe my face has been set back to puberty levels. I’m not sure how long it will take me to recover from this little experiment, but it’d better be quick. Or… oh yeah, I’m gonna send in the big guns. That’s right, face! Forget about a few strategically placed dots of Benzoyl Peroxide, I’m talking about thick layers of the gunk, sleep in it all night long. Drying lotions are back on the agenda, as well as special face masks and scrubs. And don’t make me use the BRUSH! (although that would probably make things much worse, but I won’t admit that to my face)

my arsenal
my arsenal

So here’s to getting my face back to “normal” — uneven, oily/dry combo, but with minimal breakout. And who would have thought I’d be looking forward to menopause? Maybe THEN the breakouts will cease? Of course then it will be battle of the wrinkles.


When there’s no place like home


Last summer I experienced one of the most hellish car trips of my life. But before I begin the story of this particular journey from hell, let me provide a little background to set the scene.

A scheduled trip to the river. A scheduled birthday party with non-refundable expensive cake ordered. A fever. A Tylenol suppressed fever. Birthday party. Strep throat diagnosis. Antibiotics started. Doctor’s office cleared scheduled trip to river.

Made it to the river without incident. Made it through the afternoon and the first full day without incident (swimming hole and tubing), but by the evening of the first full day, something was lurking. Something evil… Complaints about an achy stomach. Maybe it could have been antibiotic side effects, not sure. By the next day after that, achy stomach turned into full-blown sick stomach. There were six of us in that tiny little cabin, and it’s just not a good thing when one person pretty much stakes their claim in the only bathroom.

And that there was the prequel for the ride home.

It was late afternoon, and I really wanted to get my son home. I got the car packed up and then had my son get in, and I threw in a bunch of plastic grocery bags to boot. I had barely started the car, and the first spew began. I cleaned him and the car up the best I could, and handed him more bags. Let’s just get home, let’s just get home. Little did I know I should have put a bunch of plastic bags under my son as well. I’m getting to that.

It was about an hour into the trip home. Son was sleeping. Smelled something. Prayed that something wasn’t the something I thought it was. About 15 minutes later, son woke up to tell me he thought he’d… Yes! I already know! Okay, now this is where I had to have a long, serious talk with myself. I had to pull it together. I didn’t have any option but to get through this mess. It was just my youngest and me. I finally had cell phone reception, but what was anyone able to do for us so far from home? I couldn’t freak out or break down (like I really wanted to), and I couldn’t get angry at my son, he didn’t choose to be sick. I decided we would get through this, and even be able to look back and laugh (and blog about it!) some day.

Unfamiliar with the area, I chose a gas station / convenience store / fast food combo type place that didn’t look too menacing. Grabbed a change of clothes. Got son into restroom. He tried to object to it being the women’s restroom. Don’t start kid.

Things coming out of both ends. Getting (totally unrelated) texts from friends. Not a good time, sorry, can’t talk now! Gave son forbidden Pepto tablets. Didn’t have to feel guilty for long when son promptly threw up Pepto tablets. Things were looking pretty grim, I didn’t think we’d ever get out of that bathroom. I told son to suck it up the best he could (figuratively and literally). Got son into clean clothes. Threw away dirty unmentionables. And once again headed towards home. A few more hurls, but at least these were strictly from the top end, and thankfully, most of it landed in a grocery bag.

We hung in there and We. Made. It. Home. We actually did live to talk about it (and after about what, nine months or so, we lived to laugh about it too)!

And that’s pretty much The End. Gerald got to work right away cleaning up the car’s interior, and my ill child took to the couch and was feeling better. I knew if we just made it home, it would be alright.


Crankoutloud gets on a cranky box

Cranky Box

I’m stepping up on my cranky box today, the main target being the area schools. Now, I don’t know who makes up the rules, and where the rules are drafted, like if it’s the state legislature (dont’cha just want to run and hide when they meet?), or if it’s some bullshit rule made up by the feds, but some of this stuff is just a big, “Oh, come ON!” As in, common sense has done left the building!

I’m gonna bypass my rants about Title I, a federal grant program designed to give educational assistance to students living in areas of high poverty. I started writing something about it, but quickly realized it was turning into more of a chapter book — Chapter 1, Your School on Food Stamps. Chapter 2, Under the Federal Government’s Thumb. Etc. See? There’s the whole “time” issue (and how I don’t have enough of it to write all my whines against Title I), and then there’s the whole idea that I don’t want to stir up a hornet’s nest of political debate, which I suck at by the way.

So yeah, I’m sticking to “safer” topics. What? Am I punking out? Maybe. At least a little.

I recently attended a Donuts with Mom event at my youngest’s school. It used to be called Muffins with Mom, but they changed it since muffins weren’t really on the menu. But I digress. The breakfast was wrapping up, and the PTO mom in charge of the affair was making announcements and calling out door prize winners. She let all the moms and students know that only 5 minutes remained to serve food, as allowed by the State. Say wha? Did she just say they had to stop serving breakfast in 5 minutes because of some State rule? Yep, that’s it, one minute longer, and you know the elementary school would be fined (and their Title I funding dropped, but I said I wasn’t going to go there…) if they didn’t stop serving food in exactly 5 minutes. I’m sure glad I have the State looking out for the local schools. I mean, if it were up to the local school leaders, we would’ve been hanging out at the school all day like sloths. The kids wouldn’t have gone to class, nobody would have learned anything. Thank you, State of Texas, for keeping us honest.

Next rant — Apparently, the last time the State Legislature met (God help us all), it was decided that children of even the youngest ages should already have their whole lives planned out. Oh, it’s never too early to start thinking about a career, the great politician people, who undoubtedly know what’s best for my children than I do, will tell you. I introduce to you House Bill 5. With the passing of this Bill (I wish I could say that “passing” here means it died), the Legislature is pushing for the junior high kids to map out their whole high school schedule (as in All. Four. Years.) and to do some serious thinking as to what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Umm… yeah, okay. I tell my kids all the time that I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. They just look at me strangely. Wow, Mom really doesn’t know anything. But my point is, are you kidding me? And the kids can’t just say doctor, lawyer. They have to be specific. Well, what kind of doctor? Orthopedic surgeon or maybe neurosurgeon? I’m thinking proctologist so maybe my son can help all the wacked out politicians remove their heads from their asses. Needless to say, my oldest has not completed his career planning, but the closing date is fast approaching. Gerald and I are encouraging our son to just go the science (STEM) route and call it a day. I really think I’m going to push for that proctologist idea though.

I think I’ll wrap things up by saying here’s a big one finger salute to you, oh government. I don’t know where we would be without all your great wisdom, your wonderful guidance.

Okay, I’m  stepping off my cranky box now.


And her name was Alice

Whenever I see or hear anything having to do with The Price is Right game show, I have an immediate image in my head. And I mean, every time. Lying on a comfortable old couch, drinking the original flavored Gatorade, and watching The Price is Right with Bob and his beauties.

I was in 3rd grade and attending the city’s private Lutheran elementary school. The school day had just begun with the daily Bible lesson. Since the 3rd grade teacher, Mr. Frese, was well learned in piano, we would also sing a few hymns. We were just about halfway through the second verse of the second hymn (I no longer recall the exact hymn now, gettin’ too old!), and that’s when it happened. I tried, oh how I tried to keep that strawberry pop-tart down. I knew how inappropriate it would be, not to mention how mortified I would be, if I let it go, but there was no stopping my stomach from up-chucking my entire pink breakfast from my stomach, all onto the hymnal I held in my hands. Oh, and it didn’t stop there, oh no, I made a mad dash for the girls’ restroom out of the room and down the hall. I still feel bad that the school’s janitor, Mr. Jenkins, had to clean up my puke in the hallway.

It just so happened that my parents were out of town at some sort of conference or something that day. The closest family, or any close family friends for that matter, were a good eight hours away. We were still fairly new in the city and I’m certain my parents hadn’t given much thought on whom to put down for an emergency contact in case they were not available. I’m not even sure if they provided notice to the individuals entered on the forms.

Somehow, someway, the school got hold of Alice Hegwer. She was an older woman, well, older to me and my eight year old self. She was employed at the church as the Education Director, I believe. Her kids were already grown and moved out of the house. Her husband, I suppose not yet retired, must have been at work that day. Mrs. Hegwer came to the school and brought me back to her home. She set me up on the couch with Gatorade and a few crackers, and tuned the TV to The Price is Right.

Even though I was sick as a dog–I remember how my stomach cramped all day–it still turned out to be a pretty good day. I mean, how can you beat having all you can drink, all you can sleep, and all the TV you could ever want? That woman couldn’t have been a bigger saint that day. I bet she had no idea the fond memories I had of that day with her. Yeah, I still saw her at church and all, but she was totally cool about it, she didn’t bring it up or make mention of it at all. I bet she saw it as simply doing a kind deed, a nice thing. She didn’t have to help out, she didn’t have to risk me blowing chunks in her car or in her home. But she did. And I didn’t blow chunks in her car or home by the way. Bonus.

I suppose what I can garner from this whole experience is that I hope I can exhibit the same selflessness, the same concern and care, when someone happens to call on me for a similar emergency someday. You know, for someone who isn’t my own flesh and blood. I’ll just be sure to cross my fingers that there will be no chunk blowing.