Monday, December 27, 2010

Oh, so pretty!

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to be a regular blogger person. I not only treated my blog like Cinderella left to scrub the floors (you missed a spot by the Christmas tree, dear), I actually thought my blog was ... ugly! I pondered renaming it Frankensteinarella's Fodder but that didn't fit in the header as well. So, I ignored my poor ugly creation until I finally decided that today would be the day for Fodder to go in for a makeover. It took all of five minutes to make "her" pretty! Now I will lovingly post all my fodderings and meanderings for the world to see. It's much less scarier than peering into my underwear drawer, trust me.

My family has laid down some ground rules in the meantime that I must abide by or I might have to scrub the floors (on my hands and knees, no less; no Swiffer for me):
1. My child (his name has been deleted per his request) insists that his identity be known as Leo. Please note that in the blog when I refer to Leo, I am actually referring to my one and only son, (name deleted). I could refer to him as "Leo" but it's not as much fun if you can't make the air quotes with your fingers.
2. The husband will remain B.O.B., the butt of Bloginess. His call, not mine. Whatever.

Now that their names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent, I feel that gives me unprecedented blogging rights to tell any stories I want because I won't be using their "real" names.

The animals - 3 dogs, 3 cats and 1 iguana - haven't voiced any opinions on the name issue so their identities will not be changed. And since today marks the 9th anniversary of our cat, Two-Seven, breaking and entering into our hearts and home (he actually pulled the door knob down and would have opened the French door had it not been locked), I would like to wish him a Happy Cat-iversary! B.O.B. named him Two-Seven since December 27 was the date the cat burglar tried to pull off a B&E. B.O.B. said Twenty-Seven would "just sound silly." Now you know why B.O.B. wants his identity concealed.

The blog is pretty. The names are concealed. I'm ahead on my resolutions and it's not even 2011 yet.
Until next time,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Word for the day: lackadaisical

Well, my my. I birthed myself a blog and then failed to nurture said blog. According to my delightful and witty (he takes after his mother) teenager, I am a lackadaisical mom. Now my argument against this point is that I can't be that bad -- he can use the word "lackadaisical" in a sentence, and properly, I might add. (He can also probably count the times I've made homemade chocolate chip cookies on one hand, but the trips to the library and bookstore -- countless).

Oh, sure, there was the Christmas that almost wasn't. It's not that I let December 25 creep up on me and I was left buying jerky and car fresheners at a convenience store. No, I was completely prepared. The Christmas shopping was done in November. Mid-November, as a matter of fact. I had scored the kid a Wii well before the holiday shopping onslaught. I had all the games he wanted. Everything. Wrapped and ready before the Thanksgiving turkey went into the oven (and, no, it wasn't placed in the oven by me -- I like to give our local firefighters one day off a year). Could B.O.B.* and I tell him we were through shopping? No, because then he would be tearing the house apart even though the presents were being held at a secured location. Instead, we had ourselves 25 days of torturing, I mean telling Leo we were actually cutting back on shopping. We told him family was much more important/the economy was bad/etc. etc. etc. and had some very good laughs at his expense.

On Christmas Eve the presents were moved from the secured location and hidden away because B.O.B. insists that no present shall be opened before its time. Ever. So, the tradition is that we put the presents under the tree Christmas morning. This involves one of us getting up in the middle of the night and transforming our living room into Gift Central. But this particular year, I was in my kerchief and B.O.B. was in his cap dreaming of sugar plums ... when there was a knock on the bedroom door and it opened to Macaulay Culkin's famous expression from "Home Alone." Except it wasn't Macaulay. It was Leo. AND. WE. HAD. SLEPT. THROUGH. CHRISTMAS. MORNING. There were no gifts under the tree. Just one horrified teen (who normally has the sleeping habits of a vampire except, I guess, when it comes to Christmas) thinking we actually had cut back. Really cut back. Oh, it was a joyous occasion in the end and we can't wait for him to tell his children about his deadbeat parents who couldn't even get up to put his presents under the tree. Unless, of course, we scarred him to the point where he will be telling a therapist about the Christmas that almost wasn't.

And there was that one time when Leo started complaining about his throat being sore. I told him it was because the furnace was on and his throat was probably dry. "Drink some water. It will be all better." How was I supposed to know it was strep? It's not like they give moms at-home strep throat kits. He didn't appear to be sick. Gone were the flaming red cheeks that are a give-a-way to a fever. Nothing. Just the complaints, I mean, his reporting to me as to the symptoms he was experiencing.

But I will say where my baby blog is concerned, I have left it languishing in the incubator. Unlike my own child, it won't come up with big words properly used in sentence form to describe my lack of nurturing skills ... or cooking skills ... or organizational skills. So I'm not Martha Stewart or Dr. Oz or June Cleaver. I am a mom who can string together words and make people laugh. And that's what I hope to accomplish with my little blog. You will just need to bring your own chocolate chip cookies.

*When I said I was going to start writing a blog, my husband said, "Oh, great. I'm sure I'm going to be the 'butt of Bloginess.'" Hence, he will be referred to as B.O.B. He hasn't learned yet that he needs to be careful about what he says because he will end up in my blog!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Having a hiss-y over reading

I love to read. Maybe love isn't quite the right word. Obsessed might be more like it. Let's just put it this way: they know me by name at the local library ... and other branches of said local library. One branch is OK; more than that makes me feel like a book stalker.

I would be remiss if I let March (National Reading Month) pass without mention. My literary tastes are eclectic. Anything that makes me laugh out loud or leaves me awed by an author's ability to craft words into a magical experience (not a reference to J.K. Rowling, by the way) will find a place on my bookshelf. Christopher Moore. Gillian Flynn. Laura Lippman. Michael Shaara. Michael Connelly. Nelson Demille. Tomi Ungerer. Tomi Ungerer? Never saw the name on the New York Times Best Seller List? I wouldn't doubt it as Tomi Ungerer wrote my favorite, favorite book from childhood (which was a very long time ago and the book was published even before that), Crictor.

Crictor is the "charming tale" of an elderly school teacher and her pet boa constrictor. A. Pet. Boa. Constrictor. The snake was a gift from her son. And if my son ever had a notion to send his mother a snake, I would disown him faster than a real boa could swallow down a cute little furry bunny. You see, I have a fear of snakes. Strike that. Fear isn't the right word. I don't think a word exists yet to describe my feelings towards snakes. Abject horror comes close but that's two words. Let's just put it this way: at the beginning of a zoology class in college, my lab instructor informed us that we would ALL hold a snake before the end of a semester. He would personally see to it that if any of us had a fear of snakes, we would overcome it during his lab. The same guy had 8mm films of snake (cue the music: boom chicka bough-bough) porn; no, I am not making that up -- we had to watch a movie of copper head snakes mating and I still have nightmares. Needless to say, I went to great lengths to prove to him I should never, ever hold a snake, dead or alive. Fortunately for me one of the biology department's snakes met an untimely demise and the powers that taught us felt it was a good learning experience if they dissected it and we could see the innards (tying it in with the snake porn). The lab instructor decided that I would be the one to learn the parts and then share my knowledge with the rest of the lab. It went well until I dropped my dissection probe into the pan with the dead snake. I proceeded to faint almost dead away. After regaining my senses, the instructor told me not to worry about ever holding a snake and he mumbled something about the fact I might want to seek serious professional help.

So how does someone with a phobia about snakes come to adore a book about an old woman and her pet boa? I don't know. I think my childish mind full of mush (that closely resembles my adult mind full of mush) had its first spark of sarcasm, laying the foundation for my personality. Seriously, here's this sweet little school teacher in France. One day she receives this circular package in the mail from her son who was off studying reptiles in the wilds of Africa. Inside the box is not a lovely floral arrangement but a snake. A snake with no identification. The poor woman had to go to the zoo to identify it as a boa. Hello! Son! Could you not have attached a tag that said, "Don't worry if it bites you. Just worry if it starts to coil itself around your neck, MOM!" The old woman takes a shining to her new pet and takes Crictor everywhere with her. Everywhere. That included her schoolroom. I wonder if the children ever noticed what happened to the class hamster. Crictor could form letters. Crictor could be the slide or seesaw during recess. Crictor was such a wonderful addition to the woman's life that she knitted him sweaters (snakes are cold-blooded, after all); had a long bed constructed for his long snake-y body and a pillow for his little snake head; took him for walks; it was love at first hiss. Not once did Crictor size the old woman up and decide that she would be as tasty, if not more, than a rat. Then there was the fateful night the world's original dumbest criminal crept into her apartment (maybe her son should have sent her money for a security system and not a snake!!!!). Crictor coiled around the thief until the police arrived. Sure he did. A stay of execution is something that is not found in the animal kingdom. I bet he squeezed the life right out of that burglar. Crictor was rewarded for his saving the woman's family jewels (which I would not have left to the son if I was her) by having a park named in his honor. The end.

And that was my favorite book from childhood, Crictor. The next favorite book from my wonder years? Stuart Little. But I would never put the two books together on the shelf. That, my friends, would not be pretty. I'm not sure Stuart could drive his little car fast enough before becoming Crictor's catch of the day.