Worst mascot ever?

So, Manchild is in his senior year of high school, and we are getting all the “come study with us” college junk recruiting mail that I suppose is normal to get, at least in the US.

One piece caught my eye today, as it shouted in big, bold angry font that it is crunch time for future Bronchos to apply.

Upon searching the internet, I have come to learn that “broncho” is an alternate spelling for “bronco”. Broncos are poorly behaved horses, so why someone would want to be one of those, I don’t know. Maybe some people see it as wild and free, but I see it as a large, bucking, kicking, angry version of an unhousebroken chihuahua.

image

This horse clearly needs Cesar Milan. Bad bronc(h)o!

Still, that makes much more sense than my first thought when I read “bronchos”. See, “broncho-” is one of the combining forms for things pertaining to the bronchi, like in “bronchoscope”.  A bronchoscope is always a device to look at bronchi, and never a device to look at pissed off horses, unless it’s to look at the bronchi of pissed off horses. The more you know, right?

Anyway, I read that, and started trying to figure out what the bronchomascot should look like. The closest I could come was this, only with legs, and this isn’t a good mascot at all.

image

Now I’m trying to come up with enthusiastic “go team!” type slogans for my version of their mascot. This should take me awhile. I’m learning that very little rhymes with “pulmonary function”.

Speaking of pulmonary function and learning things, I have figured out that Phil Collins wasn’t singing about some drowning when I heard “In the Air Tonight” playing on the radio a few days ago. It took me a few days to decipher the meaning, but now I know the “it” that was in the air that night was actually the flu virus. Oh lord…oh lord.

In other, simpler terms, I have the flu. It’s probably not the swine or avian flu. It’s probably a flu from a jerk horse, because that’s how my life goes. Please feel free to fawn over me in the comments. I’ve been waiting for you to do it all my life…

Oh lord.

Okay, Im done now. I am writing this here to remind myself that writing while feverish probably amuses no one. Im such a son of a b…ronco that way.

Because why wouldnt a kid need to know how to do a tracheotomy?

My Opa passed away when I was about 15 or so. My family lived really far away, and we didn’t see each other often. In fact, I only have a very few memories of him.

Those memories…whew. See, when most people remember a departed grandparent, the memories bring up an emotion. Whether its of PB&J sandwiches with the crusts lovingly cut off or drunken holiday arguments, it all brings up some kind of feeling,

In my case, the feeling is that of complete and utter confusion.

My Opa was an incredibly intelligent man, and was quite skilled in his chosen field of medicine. That isn’t the confusing part, nor is it a strong memory. It is quite simply fact, and to a little kid, all jobs from mailman to neurosurgeon are pretty impressive and grown up.

I get the feeling that he had–probably quite rightly, as that level of education and ability is something to be proud of– a teensy bit of arrogance, or maybe ego, or maybe just enthusiasm about his knowledge. That isn’t confusing either. When people study hard and master something difficult, it is totally understandable. I was going through my own struggles and triumphs with cursive writing at the time, so I totally understood.

The confusing part is that my strongest memories are of him drawing on napkins on our yearly dinners out. Paper, linen, didn’t matter. If it was suitable for wiping one’s fingers, it was also clearly suitable for some learnin’!  He’d get all excited about something, and whoops, out came the ballpoint pen from his shirt pocket, and we were all set to get a lesson, complete with diagrams.

Had I, with recent cursive victories on the dastardly letters “m” and “z”, been allowed to draw on napkins to show everyone, I would’ve done it in a heartbeat. My mom was not having any of that though, and while she couldn’t give my Opa a spanking, she could easy give me one, so I sat there, both attentive and envious.

I remember two of these impromptu lectures.

One was vague, and for some reason, it was about showing my sister and I how to properly draw a bird. It’s a shame that this memory is so vague. Drawing birds comes up surprisingly often in my life, because of course it does.

image

This is a bird. You can tell by the label saying “bird”.

The second lecture is something I will keep with me forever. It was a diagram and instructions on how to perform an emergency tracheotomy with a penknife and Bic pen casing. I don’t know why I would do this, like, ever. I remember it being about if someone has something caught in their throat and the normal methods of using your finger to sweep the mouth or doing the Heimlich Maneuver (Heimlich Remover, to a seven year old) just won’t work. He drew it, then said “like so.”, because apparently, this napkin diagram was pretty much self explanatory.

image

Like so. If you don’t get it, you’re obviously not trying hard enough.

I think he was showing my dad this, but I took it very seriously. You just never know, right? I felt like I was pretty much ready for anything.

image

Relax. I’m almost 12% sure that I know what I’m doing with these.

Our meals came then, and no one ever spoke of it again, but that’s pretty much the one and only thing I remember about him. Kids, the lesson here is twofold:

1)when you have grandchildren, make sure you give them interesting life skills to remember you by.

And 2) if you and I ever go out for dinner, make sure you chew very well. You really, really don’t want to choke around me.

Daily shirt sites, boobs, and bellies…or, can someone please take my money?

This is going to bore 90 % of you. My apologies. Still, if something needs saying, it needs saying.

If you know me in real life, perhaps you know that Johnny Rotten designs tees in his off time. In fact, lots of people I know design, and I love their work. Buzatron, Grrlmarvel, Fishbiscuit Designs, Cubik Designs, Inkone? They’re all excellent, and you really ought to stalk them on Facebook because they have the ninevoltcandy seal of approval stamped on their creative little noggins.

Unfortunately, I can’t do much more than yell congratulations, mazel tov and mabrook at them when they get a print on a daily tee site. As much pride as I would take in wearing something that an awesome friend of mine made, I can’t, because I refuse to wear clothes that make me look really terrible.

It’s not the graphic they’ve made, not at all. The problem is with sizing and flattering cut. To put it as bluntly as possible, I am tall, I am broad shouldered, and I am stacked. As well you know, I am definitely all of these things, but Im not freakishly built. A person wouldnt look at me and automatically think that I am an adult entertainer specializing in big boob fetishes, nor would they see my height and assume that I was once a star player in the NBA. I’m actually fairly average. Like, I could never make it in a sideshow based on my physical characteristics, and would have to rely on skill alone. This makes me kind of sad, because I feel like a dream that I didn’t even know I had was just ripped away from me, but such is life for us average folk.

For you Numberspeople, Im 5’9, 165 lbs, and have a normal BMI. My bust measures 40 inches, my ribcage 33, and my waist 31.

image

See, thats me, drinking beer at a hockey game like a boss, or at least like a typical Canadian. My figure is….yes, it’s there. Nothing to write home about, unless you habitually write home about subjects that are duller than plastic butter knives.

So yeah, anyway, the size and design options from nearly every daily site do not work for me. I need a ladies cut to flatter my bust, as mens/unisex shirts are cut differently, and hang off of my broader points in a way that makes me look 30 lbs heavier.

image

This is me, again. My actual weight and shape between the first picture and this one is the same. So where’d those extra inches and pounds come from? Not cool, shirt.

That unisex shirt obviously won’t work for me, because ewww. Shall I try a ladies shirt then?

image

Oh dear. Thats definitely slimmer fitting, but is unflattering in whole new, trashy, saggy boobed, pot bellied ways. Again, ewww.

The ladies cut is just too tight across my bust with most foundation garments (bras), even in an xl. Sometimes I wear them anyway, but I will assure you that having fabric puckering and gaping lines across my breasts from the shirt makes me quite uncomfortable. Not only is it physically uncomfortable  but the amount of guys blatantly staring at my chest is rather unpleasant.

As a bit of a side note here, there seems to be a school of thought that if women have big breasts, they enjoy showing them off at all opportunities. That school of thought supposes that big breasted women enjoy being valued for two chunks of fatty and glandular tissue, and that their purpose is to decorate the world of complete strangers. That school of thought is bullshit. When I go grocery shopping in a daily site shirt, I am trying to get food, not titillate (ha!) some guy in the toothpaste aisle. More often than not though, thats exactly what happens when I wear a shirt with fabric straining across my bust. If you’re a guy who does this, please please please knock it the hell off. Being eyemolested is not flattering, it’s revolting.

Anyway.

Im sure Im not alone in this. As I said, Im on the bigger side, but Im pretty normal looking. If Im average, there are smaller ladies, and also bigger ones. If I can barely fit into the largest size tee, how many ladies would have no hope of fitting at all? They won’t buy because theres nothing for them *to* buy. Their dollars spend just as well as a smaller persons dollars, so why arent there as many opportunities to spend them?

Alongside that size issue, there is also the issue of flattering necklines. A v neck makes me look my height and well proportioned, particularly if its a bit of a deeper v. It makes me look good, it makes me feel good, and that in turn makes the shirt look good. Having a great looking product that is loved and worn often is quite a decent advertisement, dont you think? Unfortunately, the crewnecks have the opposite effect. They make me look shorter, wider, saggy and because of the straining fabric, trashy. It makes the shirt look poorly constructed and ill fitting, which is (when I wear it, which isnt often) actually going to work against the company. If a friend asks me where I got a shirt that looks crappy on me, and I tell them, its not likely that they will want to shop there. How many women in the history of ever run out to buy clothes that make them look dumpy, lumpy and matronly? The answer is zero, excepting schoolmarms and nuns.

Look at the grey shirt above, then compare to this:

image

My bust looks higher, and its just so much more flattering, right? These are the shirt styles I want. These are the shirt styles that I can’t get. The v doesn’t even need to be that deep. Any v is better than a crewneck.

So, yeah, theres that. And fatter people have similar issues. There are so many roly poly folk out there who actually really like gaming and pop culture. A lot of them would buy if there was something in their size, but there isnt, so they dont. Seriously, no guy that wears a 4x will say “gee, they dont have that, so ill just get an xl and hope for the best.” Again, the dollars of a fat person spend just the same as the dollars of a thinner person, but many daily sites seem to be ignoring those dollars.

Why is this happening? Daily tee sites are not exclusive boutiques and their target demographic is not the Rachel Zoes of the world. Or maybe that is the target demographic….but that would be a very foolish business choice, especially considering that more Americans are overweight or obese than ever before.

Before anyone whines about the vastly increased costs of clothing us bigger folk, I am fully and completely aware that a 4x costs more than a sm. You know, people who wear the 4x are aware of that too…and they are aware that plus sizing is usually managed by adding an additional $2 or so dollars, which is still a very good deal considering the total will be $12 instead of the normal $10.

TL;DR on that one. If a shirt site wants a bigger piece of the pie, they’d do well to include people who like bigger pieces of pie. Mmmmmmm, pie.

So yeah. Im not sure where Im going with this, but Im annoyed.  Johnny Rotten has a print tonight that I love, and but I would look like crap, so, instead of spending 10 or 12, I spend 0 and am sad. There has to be a better way, doesnt there?

Nine volt apple pie

This is a note to myself, so that next time I want to make apple pie, I wont hulksmash through the kitchen trying to remember what I did and how I did it. Maybe you’re not a hulksmash baker, but I am. Not remembering how much sugar I need makes me angry, and you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. Ahem. Back on task.

Nine Volt Apple Pie*

Makes 2 9″ pies.

– 4 pie crusts, ready made, unless you feel like dallying about with making pastry. Making pastry makes me angry and sweary, so I don’t. Judge if you must.

– 10 or so granny smith apples, cored, peeled, and sliced.

– 1/2 cup butter.

– 3 tablespoons allpurpose flour.

– 1 teaspoon (or more, or less, or whatever you feel like) ground cinnamon. Note: paprika and cayenne both kind of look like cinnamon, but really should not be substituted for it 99% of the time. Who knew?

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

– 1 cup demerara sugar

– 1/4 cup water

1. Preheat over to 425F.

2. Put the bottom crusts into the pie tins. Trim off excess.

3. Pile sliced apples into the pie crusts evenly.

4. Slice the other two pie crusts into one inch strips and make a lattice crust. Over, under, over, under….just like that basketweaving class you took in college instead of calculus!

5. Admire your work or vow to learn weaving, as the case may be.

6. Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add the flour. Once all the flour has been incorporated, add the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Stir-stir-stir! Burnt sugar smells terrible. You do not want this. It will make you angry and sweary.

7. Pour the sugarbutterflourwater mix over the pies evenly and slowly, so it doesn’t splosh everywhere, because sploshing is messy and gross. Don’t believe? Google it. Filters off, of course, for full NSFW understanding. You don’t want that nonsense in your kitchen.

8. Put in preheated oven for 15 mins. Lower the heat to 350 and allow to bake for another 40 minutes or so.

9. Let cool, and either slice it up if you’re fancy, or just grab a fork.

image

*– Please note: while this is called nine volt apple pie, it is not actually recommended to put batteries in it. Cranberries would be okay, as would walnuts or raisins. But no batteries. Thank you.

Making a video for the grandparents, and why they’ll have to be satisfied with still images forevermore.

I have wrestled with posting this. I really have. One on hand, I don’t want to humiliate my kid. On the other hand, oh my God, you guys! You’ll never believe what just happened at my house!

As it happens though, my kid is almost completely humiliation proof. If you confront her about something embarrassing, she’ll merely raise an eyebrow and say “So?”, like you are the one who should be embarrassed for even bringing such trivial nonsense up. I’d say this was a new part of her life since she entered tweenhood, but nope. I remember being called to her school because she had mooned someone in first grade, and was completely unrepentant.

Anyway.

I had been talking to my mom about the gloriousness that is Just Dance 4, and being that she lives thousands of miles away, she asked for a video of the kids playing one of the songs.

I was stoked. I miss my parents, and anything to feel closer to them is a good thing. I really want them to be a part of my kids’ lives, and I want my kids to be a bigger part of theirs too. So, I set everything up to make a video. I had the kids choose a good song –The Final Countdown–and got them started.

Everyone was doing great. The gold moves were being hit, the kids were being natural, no one was cursing at the game in creative or mundane ways. It was good.

Three minutes into a four minute video, I was really impressed with everyone. It looked like all we needed was one take, and it would be a cute little video to send to grandma and grandpa.

You know how I have told you all about how my ideas and expectations and how they seem great but they end up failing in rather spectacular ways? Yeah. It shouldn’t come as any big surprise that karma bushwhacked my ass again.

No sooner than I thought about how well it was going, Manchild crashed into his sister, who fell on the floor with a very respectable thud. He kept dancing, or “dancing”. If you saw it, you’d say “dancing” with air quotes and side-eye too.

She just sat on the floor looking at him. He urged her to get up. She said she couldn’t. He danced over her. Literally, over her. He was leaping over her like a gawky teenage Barishnikov as Europe played. She continued to sit on the floor.

“Get up! We have to finish!”, he kept saying. She finally replied, instead of sitting there staring at him. “I need a towel”, she giggled. “You hit me so hard that I just peed myself.”

And that’s when I turned off the camera. Wow, yeah. One take, huh? Grandma is going to be so impressed by this.

Jesus. Christ.

I’m boring, but heres a banana wielding man in a zentai suit for you.

image

So hey, y’all! I hope you’re well and happy. I’m busy trying my very best to figure out this new bit of shiny internet wizardry and baking and hollering at the kids for making turkey noises at the dog, but I have all kinds of stories that I can’t wait to tell you. Please note the above photo has nothing to do with my life–that i know of– but it’s way more interesting than a photo of me pretending that I actually have this tablet figured out. Feel free to discuss and/or write fanfic in the comments!