I was aiming for ‘bronze goddess’. I failed.

Spring is here, and with it comes the feeling that I am supposed to be a bronzed goddess. All the women’s magazines tell me so, and who can argue with Cosmo? I mean, they have sex tips about how your boyfriend or husband will totally like it if you touch his penis, and since word on the street is that this info is accurate, I feel that theyre probably right about most things. It stands to reason, y’all.

Anyways, where was I before I started talking about penises? Ah yes, summer beauty. Being a bronzed goddess. Right. I need to point out right now that Im really pale. Im not white as in, thats-the-box-I-check-off-on-the-ethnicity-part-of-a-census-form, but im white as in, my-sister-who-is-both-bronzed-and-a-jerkface-has-gleefully-called-me-Powder-for-years-and-now-I-actually-answer-to-it kind of white.

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This is a portrait of me, if I was a bald guy with psychic powers. Its good to know these things.

This year, things were going to be different. I exfoliated the hell out my poor hide, and slathered myself with some self tanner that promised a “dark and luxurious natural looking tan, without the damaging effects of the sun”. How good does that sound?! That is exactly what I want!

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Did you know that with a $5 bottle of goop and 2-4 hours, you can look like this bathing suit lady's twin?

So, I was all slathered, and I sat down to wait for the dark, natural looking, luxurious magic to happen. Apparently, youre not supposed to move around too much, lest the tanning alchemy grease rubs off and you’re left with very ungoddesslike streaks.

Self tanner smells pretty strange. Its not bad exactly, but oddly strong–like flowers, coconut, and perm solution. The dogs got curious, and started snuffling at my ankles. Just sniffing at it would have been fine, but they decided that it must be tasted too. I bent down to shoo them away from my ankles, and got my arms stealth-licked. This shouldnt have surprised me. As I have pointed out on this blog before, they are sneaky jerks.

I follow the philosophy that all sentient life ought to be sentient enough to know to keep their tongues to themselves, so it would gross me out anyway, but now I was definitely at risk of a streaky tan too. I took evasive maneuvers (ie, running around until i could lock myself in a room away from the hellhounds) and tried to even out the luxurious goop, which wasnt feeling luxurious at all after being mixed with dog spit.

And then, I took a nap.

When I woke up 2 hours later, I expected to see a sexy, summery glow. What I actually saw was something that had me questioning if I had somehow been sleepwalking and ended up in an industrial accident at the Tang factory.

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I think I can see a nose print in there...

I am orange.

I am patchy.

I am an oompa loompa with gigantism and vitiligo.

For the next week, im going to have to celebrate the fact that warm weather is here by wearing clothes more suited for a beekeeper who is terrified to have a bee actually touch her skin.

You know what the worst part is? This has happened exactly this way every spring for as long as I can remember. I think I need to put self tanner in the ‘Not for you, EVER’ category with wax, and embrace my pale, hairy self regardless of what women’s mags say. Its simply too dangerous any other way.

Rabbit in wine sauce (the zero calorie, vegan version)

There are millions of recipes for rabbit in wine on the web. While they are undoubtedly tasty if you like that kind of thing, they aren’t a good choice for meat eaters or those who are watching their calorie intake. Think of the poor little bunny! Think of the hawt bikini bod Cosmo insists you need! No….those recipes will not do.

This is a recipe, developed for me a few weeks ago, that takes care of all of those issues. It’s a lot of work, but did you expect less from ‘rabbit in wine sauce’?

1. Buy a 5 gallon wine kit. It’s really up to you, but i would suggest gewurtztraminer, because gewurtztraminer is tasty and you should drink it.

2.Sterilize all your equipment, then start mixing your ingredients in the primary fermenting bucket exactly as the kit demands.

3. Place a clean, lint free tea towel over the bucket.

4. Go take a nap. This part is very, very important. You know how watched pots never boil? Watched rabbits never self marinate. Its the same thing.

5. Wake up. Grab yourself a cup of coffee or whatever it is you grab when you first wake up, and notice that your primary fermenting bucket has been tampered with.

6. Get closer to the primary fermenting bucket, and slip in liquid. Curse a couple of times when you notice that at least a gallon of the grape must and yeast and stuff that you so lovingly and carefully combined has been sloshed all over your floor and wall and is drying to a sticky, doghairphilic paste. Curse again, if you need to. Note: you will need to.

7. Start wondering if you have a teetotaller poltergeist that is responsible. Have another sip of your coffee and realize that youre being an idiot. Strike the idea of a poltergeist from your brain’s record.

8. Start looking for the real culprit. Badger the kids, hunt down the dogs, interrogate the spouse. Someone knows something, Columbo. Its up to you to figure out what happened.

9. When the dogs, the kids and the spouse come up clean, revisit the poltergeist idea for a second. Realize that it’s as bad of an explanation this time as it was last time. Figure that it was probably an earthquake that spilled everything and resign yourself to that fact that your 5 gallon batch will end up being 4 gallons at best.

10. Start wiping everything up. You’ll need to wash it at least three times so your feet no longer stick to the floor. While doing the cleaning,  wonder if you’ve accidentally invented a grape based alternative to superglue. Fantasize about the fame and riches you’ll get once you patent your discovery.

11. Freak out because something furry is touching your feet, as you’re on your hands and knees scrubbing. Draw your knee up quickly, because unexpected furry thing on your feet while cleaning is as scary as a fish touching your feet while swimming. Hit the bucket with your knee and spill more of the baby wine. Realize you now will have 3 ish gallons out of your 5 gallon batch. Repeat step 10.

12. Notice that Batman’s pet rabbit is the UFO (unidentified furry object) and is licking up the grapey sugary liquid faster than you can wipe it. Notice also that she is spikey-furred from the tip of her fuzzy little tail to her neck.

13. At this point, you will have a cascading epiphany.  Curse now, because you realized two things: the rabbit jumped in the wine and you now need to bathe a pissed off bunny with big nasty pointy teeth, and that rabbits poo when they are frightened, so you probably have a bunch of rabbit crap in your bucket of would-have-been wine. Curse again.

14. Bathe the wine marinated, angry, possibly inebriated rabbit. Immediately following this, dress all claw wounds on your arms, then clean up the water she splashed everywhere.

15. Dump the bucket of wine down the sink.

Optional: make a bunny-proof wine making fortress, and try again.

I’d say enjoy, but you won’t.  However, your floor will be sparkly clean, and you’ll be well on your way to toned, fab, Cosmo hot arms from all that scrubbing. Thats….something, isnt it?

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.

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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.

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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.

Everyone but my dog wishes you a happy halloween.

That title? It says it all.

Everyone’s dog has some kind of weirdness. I used to, until tonight, think it was everyone’s but mine. I now stand corrected.
My husband (who isn’t named yet on this blog. Isn’t that weird? Let’s invent a good name for him, folks!) and I took the munchkin out for trick or treating tonight. Nothing weird about that. We came home, she dropped her candy off, then she decided to wrangle her long suffering, overly-patient older brother into taking her out some more. Nothing weird about that either.  Husband (jeez, this lack of nickname is really pissing me off now) and I went to the minimart to pick up a Bud with clam for me. Nothing weird there either, if you are gracious enough to ignore the fact that I quite enjoy my hoppy, malty beverages with a healthy dose of bivalve juice.

We got home. Usually, there’s a dog-stampede to the door whenever anyone opens it, because PEOPLE. This time, however, there was nothing. Not a one of the three came to greet us at all. That…. was weird.

Immediately my mind went to the worst place it possibly could on short notice: clearly, they had been brutally beaten by robbers, while protecting our home, and I needed to find them and pet them and let them know how much I adored them for their selflessness and courage.

I walked into the bedroom, yelling for the beasts who had obviously become incapacitated in Saving. My. Life. Y’all don’t even understand. I was in the house for 15 seconds, and I was already sure that the reason they werent showing up was because they were too busy being heroes.

No. No, they are not heroes.  They all helped themselves to candy and were busy ripping open the packages on the bedroom floor. The lady-dogs were bad enough, having grabbed fun sized packs of Skittles, but BoyDog really took the cake–or the candy– on this one. The munchkin had gotten one of the all coveted king-sized M&M packages while trick or treating. ONE. If you grew up halloweening, you know what I mean when I say that getting the full sized treats is rare, so the King Sized packs? Like finding the holy grail on a purple velvet cushion on the back of a three legged unicorn that’s stomping through a field of honest bipartisan effort, high on ecstasy and life.

That King Sized pack was what the dog was eating. Of ALL the treats he could have chosen, that was the one he had stolen, ripped open and was happily munching on while deluding me into thinking that he saved my life.  I thought he was saving me from bandits, but it appears he was busy being a bandit himself. BoyDog was then called BastardDog. And maybe, just maybe, a few other choice things as I tried to assess whether he was going to kill himself with the amount of chocolate he ate (he isn’t) and whether I’m going to need to get the steam cleaner to remove the chocolate-candy shell-drool ganache from the carpet (I do).

MandMs

Exhibit A: Clearly the dog executed a surgical strike on this bag.

So. I told BastardDog that he was in fact, a BastardDog. And I told him that this kind of behavior was unacceptable. And I told him that he should be very sorry about what he’s done, because MY GOD, that was a king sized bag of M&M’s, acquired while trick or treating, and clearly he did not appreciate the rarity of this situation.

He refused to meet my eyes. He slumped over and it became pretty clear to me that what I had told him had really sunk in. He was truly sorry… until he dashed off to fetch himself a bag of Skittles to munch on while I was talking. Jeez, BastardDog.

Munchkin came home a few minutes after I had endured this horrible treachery. She had a fun time with her brother. She was looking forward to taking her costume off finally. She was….. wait, where was the king sized bag of M&Ms?

I should have known better than to assume that she wouldn’t notice. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. There was nothing I could do but tell her that unless she wanted to share the spit of a creature that licks his own rear end, they were gone. I explained the situation, hoping that she’d be at least concerned for his well being. Im not ashamed to say I pushed the “but chocolate is toxic to dogs!” thing, just as a sympathy ploy.

What’d she do?

I’ll give you a minute. What would a reasonable 11 year old girl do, when confronted with the news that her dog had just eaten her prized trick-or-treatin’ treasure?

.

.

.

Did you guess “she flipped him off?” No? Then you lose, because that is exactly what happened.

Long story short? My dog stole my daughters halloween bounty, because he’s a dick. She decided to flip him off, because obviously, as a dog, he will completely understand that. God, honestly? I think he looked at her and licked her hand.  This is my life, folks. And this is why I both write and drink. Happy Halloween!

Oh, PS? I think Im going to call husband “Johnny Rotten”. So there.

And thats when my daughter learned more than French vocabulary

I am a big fan of shopping at the local thrift stores. Not only is it environmentally friendly and cheap, there are often some really unique finds when you take the time to really look at items. Ahem. Remember I said that last bit, okay?

Take, for example, this set of six mugs, at a whopping 50 cents a piece:

The thrifty mug set.

So cute, right? They are all animal themed and have French vocabulary on them, which makes hot chocolate not only delicious, but educational.

I must admit, I was completely charmed. How could I resist having whales be all happy and whaley? I couldn’t. No one can.

Baleines gonna baleine.

The whole set was like that, and believe it or not, there wasn’t a single chip or crack in the entire set. I rushed my new treasures home, all proud of myself. I got to replace some boring and chipped mugs with awesome new ones,  and the kids would learn a bit of French.  Everyone wins.

My 11 year old daughter was particularly thrilled, being the animal lover that she is.  Her favorite animal in the whole world is a rabbit, so I gave her the ‘le lapin’ mug as a special mug just for her, and settled in to wait for my prize as world’s best, most thoughtful, and most observant mom.

About a week later, I was washing the dishes, and finally took a moment to really look at the mugs. So adorable, so adorable, so adora—oh dear God.  My daughter’s mug was not what it seemed.

A special mug, given to my daughter, but more appropriate for Ron Jeremy, perhaps.

It would seem that in squealing over the fact that there was a huge cute blue bunny in the foreground, and shrieking with joy over the fact that it was not chipped or cracked, I seem to have completely missed seeing that there is a full blown rabbit orgy happening the background.

Ah well, it’s okay. The mug has been educational in more ways than one, and honestly, the hot chocolate from it still tastes delish. I guess everyone still won after all, but that “Best, Most Thoughtful, Most Observant Mom Ever” trophy? I’m pretty sure the space I made for it on the shelf will accumulate nothing but dust for a really long time. C’est la vie, folks.