October Fly on the Wall: The Too Many Pictures Edition

Fly on the WallSo you think you wanna be a fly on my wall?  You want to know what goes on in my house?  Read on… then be sure to click on some of the blogs at the bottom of the post.  They need love too!  That’s because we all compiled these nice little snippets of our lives into posts and are sharing them simultaneously to give you the ultimate fly experience. It will be like traveling all over the world except different.  And less expensive.  Certainly less expensive.

So one or two of you might recall my epic screw-up last month when I discovered that it was Fly on the Wall week too close to fake it.  Damn it.  Normally I’d stay up all night and finish it but that wasn’t happening this time.

And so thrilled about getting his picture taken.

As you can see my husband so thrilled about getting his picture taken.

You see, the Friday of last Fly on the Wall my husband and I were about to embark upon the celebration of our 15th wedding anniversary.  We got to stay overnight without children and got to eat really good food.  It was a good night!  So I apologize for the lack of fun (for you) as I got to have all the fun to myself (for me).

I also discovered a possible career that night.  Think Blogger Vs Fried Ice Cream?

I have decided to make it my life's work to travel to different Mexican restaurants around the world, trying to see which one has the best fried ice cream.  This one was pretty good.

I have decided to make it my life’s work to travel to different Mexican restaurants around the world, trying to see which one has the best fried ice cream. This one was pretty good.

We’ve also had a lot of other things going on this last couple of months…

New school year, new teachers…

Both kids are obviously back in school.

What a great idea, and extra ammunition for this little ham. Naturally the Professor demanded to know where his picture was. Sigh…

They are doing pretty well thus far.


Yep. She can read.

We’ve also had sports, as in the Professor started flag football and Evil Genius was his coach… Because I’m terrified of being sued for using the only good picture of The Professor in football which happened to be the one taken by the professional, here is a picture of The Princess at the football game instead…

The Princess at The Professor's football game: Wow it's chilly out here." Reaches into her bag. "It's a good thing I brought slippers to keep my hands warm!" Weirdo

The Princess at The Professor’s football game: Wow it’s chilly out here.” Reaches into her bag. “It’s a good thing I brought slippers to keep my hands warm!” Weirdo

The Princess started Girl Scouts this month. You know what that means, right?  Her father is actually quite addicted to Thin Mints.  Think I’m kidding?  I’m not.  It’s going to be like having a live in crack dealer come Spring.

Thank goodness she doesn’t sell this stuff… this would get me in trouble.

I got addicted to something new.

I got addicted to something new.  Mmmmmm.

The Princess spends a lot of time arguing with Daddy these days:

The Princess: “When I grow up, I’m going to be a princess!”
Evil Genius (jokingly):  “You’ll never be a princess. And if you are, I’ll burn your kingdom to the ground.”
The Princess (Not joking): “You’ll be dead by then!”

We a little tailgating recently:

Betcha can't tell what team we're rooting for.

Betcha can’t tell what team we’re rooting for.

I’ve spent a lot of time up late planning things.  Then I start thinking (I really need to stop doing that):

What I think of at 11:30 at night-How do stormtroopers go to the bathroom? I would think that wouldn’t be a good career choice for yours truly seeing as being able to pee quickly is very important to me.

Speaking of stormtroopers…

My children for Star Wars Reads Day.  1)  Princess Leia's braids are a family traditon-every photo of her mother at that age has braids just like hers, half in and half out! 2)  Yoda refused to let me finish the ears because he wanted to wear them so badly...

My children at Star Wars Reads Day.  Important things to note- 1) Princess Leia’s braids are a family tradition-every photo of her mother at that age has braids just like hers, half in and half out! 2) Yoda refused to let me finish the ears because he wanted to wear them so badly…

There’s been LOTS of work stuff, which is why I’m insane and have mashed potato brains:

I find it fascinating how much the Professor recalls for someone who barely seems to be paying attention most of the time!  Every program we have at the library he is quite the font of wisdom.  For example, he knew all about jousting when many other kids had no clue.  Guess I’m doing something right?

I'd like to say he was being knighted, but this gentleman was trying to prove a point of how armor protects your head!

I’d like to say he was being knighted, but this gentleman was trying to prove a point of how armor protects your head using The Professor as an example!

And we’ve generally been having fun…

When it's "Girls Night", that means that you watch girl movies, and you get to hold the baby unicorn and mommy gets to hold the mommy unicorn.  True story.

When it’s “Girls Night”, that means that you watch girl movies, and you get to hold the baby unicorn and mommy gets to hold the mommy unicorn. True story.

Well more often than not.  This was my Facebook status earlier this month:
Windows 8 should come with chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. *sob*
There’s also that whole writing thing, which reminds me…  I’m in a book.  Me and a bunch of other lovely bloggers.  Really!  I wouldn’t lie to you about this…

Believe it or not, someone let me be in a book. They’ll learn… Go to Amazon to find out all the juicy details of how to get your mitts on this book!

Now don’t run away just yet.  Click on these blogs for more shenanigans…

http://www.BakingInATornado.com                          Baking In A Tornado

http://www.therowdybaker.com                                  The Rowdy Baker

http://www.justalittlenutty.com/                                Just A Little Nutty

http://themomisodes.com                                          The Momisodes

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                          Spatulas on Parade

http://followmehome.shellybean.com                          Follow me home

http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/                 Stacy Sews and Schools

http://www.menopausalmom.com/                          Menopausal Mother

http://batteredhope.blogspot.com                             Battered Hope

http://dinoheromommy.com/                         Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                 Someone Else’s Genius

http://www.crumpetsandbollocks.com               Crumpets and Bollocks

Racecar is a Palindrome And Other Racing Stuff: My Family’s Experience With NASCAR


Why yes, there aren’t any rules prohibiting you from rooting for multiple teams at once as you can see by my attire. My Kevin Harvick shirt is there, underneath all the layers (it was COLD!)

I might have shared once or twice that my family is huge into NASCAR.  Recently I was asked to share my family’s experience with the sport with
Fanatics, and I figured it would be good inspiration to perhaps get me to do some more writing.  Naturally the more part didn’t happen, but I did have a lot of fun writing this post!

I myself didn’t always follow the sport, my husband being the fanatic (not just of NASCAR, he is into sports, period). I simply watched from afar, poking a good bit of fun at him.

The first race I ever really watched was Daytona in 2001.  Ironically, that was the day that Dale Earnhardt died, and I just happened to be watching.  How sad is that introduction to the sport?  Not too long after that a show was created that showed NASCAR drivers in their natural habitats.  It was called NASCAR 360 and it followed around several drivers as they went about their day.  I developed quite the affinity for one Mr. Kevin Harvick and his wife Delana, and have been a big fan ever since.  I also root for Matt Kenseth, and also have been known to cheer for Mark Martin, Kent Schrader, and Jeff Burton when they were racing full-time.


I love the fact that you can look right in the pit box and see Delana Harvick sitting there!  Now Kevin has moved on to a different team since then, but he will always be the driver of the 29 to me!

My husband has been a race fan all his life.  He’s from Oskaloosa, Iowa, where there is a racetrack right uptown.  He grew up rooting for Awesome Bill from Dawsonville, the amazing Bill Elliot.

By the time he came around, my son was born into a family that loved racing.  At the tender age of two he stole my thick NASCAR preview magazine and memorized all the names of the drivers, their numbers, their owners, and so forth.  He was TWO.

This two year old also decided that Jeff Gordon was his favorite driver.  In my household at that time, it was almost blasphemy.  Eventually as Jeff became less whiney, we learned to tolerate this decision.  It could have been worse, he could have chosen Tony Stewart.  This child was so into Jeff Gordon that he was Jeff Gordon for Halloween three years in a row, and still has a Jeff Gordon themed bedroom!

He decided he was a Jeff Gordon fan at the tender age of two.  I swear his first words were "Dupont Chevrolet".

He decided he was a Jeff Gordon fan at the age of two. I swear his first words were “Dupont Chevrolet”.

My daughter has been dragging her feet about NASCAR.  She likes it but not like we do.  Greg Biffle is her man.  She also roots for Kyle Busch because she likes M&Ms.  Once or twice she has uttered the words “Go Danica Patrick.”  Them’s fightin words in this house…

I would like the record to note that I have done quite well in two different NASCAR fantasy leagues.  I kicked butt.  I was awesome.  I’m only throwing that in because it will probably be the only time I will be able to say I did well at anything involving sports.

In April of 2012 we got the opportunity to attend our first race as a family at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas.  I being the anxious one naturally balked at the cost of attending such an event, but in the end it came out okay.  It was definitely a unique experience, and here are a few things we took away from it:

Squeeeeee!  We were so close to the cars!!!!

Squeeeeee! We were so close to the cars!!!!

1)  No matter what they say the weather is going to be, prepare for the opposite.  It was supposed to be 75 and beautiful.  It was in the 40s and freezing.

2)  Kettlecorn is a wonderful way to satiate two starving young children.

3)  Choose your seats wisely. The ones we got weren’t overly expensive, and we got to see the drivers pretty close when they had driver introductions.

4)  Bring a good camera.  My camera was so awesome that I got a picture of Delana Harvick sitting in the pit booth, and I was pretty far away.  So.Awesome.

5)  Earplugs.  You’ll need them.  Trust me.

6)  It’s nothing, absolutely nothing like watching it on tv.  You can see and hear everything.  And experience things like when they say that a car doesn’t sound right, you know it when you’re there in person.

7)  Races are kind of boring when no one wrecks.  There was one caution for Bobby Labonte blowing up.  That was it.  Booo.

8)  Get a souvenir t-shirt.  Get two.  Hell get seven of every driver and wear them all over the top of one another.

9)  Preschoolers will sleep where they lie, even at a noisy racetrack.



NASCAR is a family thing in our household.  It’s probably the only thing we can agree on.  Forget football, soccer, tennis, curling, etc-we all enjoy this sport.  We may not like the same drivers, but it is fun watching it together!


One year, Daytona fell on Valentine’s Day. They did that just for us, right? 🙂


Wordless Wednesday: Life In Iowa


I love this picture.  It is so representative of rural life in Iowa.  Wide open spaces, railroad tracks, a wind turbine in the distance.  Home.

The January is Over Week in Review!

Bring on the commercials!

Bring on the commercials!

In just a few hours, we’ll be watching commercials with some football in between…

Meanwhile, as I’m waiting to get started on the snacks and get ready for my first day of work tomorrow, I’ll sum up the week:

Monday  I Broke Into A Building With Milo Ventimiglia  Some dreams are just plain weird.  This one was certainly in that category.

Tuesday The Periodic Table:  It Has Nothing to do With Your Period  My wildly unpopular post with everyone but my family.

Wednesday  Sort of Wordless Wednesday  Bliss in a 32 ounce mug.

Thursday  Theme Thursday:  Blogging  The “Themers” all sound off on blogging.

Friday Pajamas and Somewhat Unrelated News  We had a pajama day, which included an unexpected surprise.

Saturday  Liebster Love  I got the Liebster award again.  🙂


Just because I was thinking of cat traps.

My favorite posts this week:

Mom Shaming-Failed Resolutions Edition Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva  This made me seriously LMBO!  This features several of my favorite bloggers, including a can’t miss video of Ninja Mom and her thin mint addiction.

The February Secret Subject Swap Take 1  Baking in a Tornado  My post goes up in the second round next Friday!  There are some fabulous ones in the first round that was this week!  All of the blogs that participated are linked here.

And a last minute entry-Will You Help Me Spread Some Joy It’s A Dome Life  Why have I never thought about doing this before?  Lillian over at It’s A Dome Life made nice awards to give to people, just because she enjoys their work.  This was so thoughtful, and I definitely want to spread the love here coming up.  I received the Authentic Voice award-I’ll be displaying it proudly on my blog!



Best Search Engine Terms This Week:

Girl poops while playing cello-I didn’t realize that playing string instruments doubled as a laxative.

Chris Hemsworth chocolate-Thor chocolate?  Does it come in Iron Man?

Pee&Poo Beer-I don’t understand.  Is that what is in it or is that what it makes you do?

The things google thinks you're looking for...

The things google thinks you’re looking for…

And these little comments that I had to save from my spam folder:

Thank you for another magnificent post. Where else may just anyone get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m at the search for such information.

Your posts are always so explicative, and i like it because i have a problem in understanding such things.

Maybe I need to teach a class in how to write spam?

Coming Up next week:  I start my subbing job on Monday, but the posts will still be plentiful (because they are mostly finished).  Stuff that will be discussed, shared, etc:  How I went to jail, my body on stress, Wordless Wednesday, Valentines Day,  my very first post on the Epistolarians, AND the February Secret Subject Swap.  Have a great Superbowl Sunday and a super start to your week!

(Oh yeah, and don’t forget to vote… Funny Mom contest link HERE.)

cat superbowl

Observations of a Band Geek, Take Two

This is all I found after searching for funny marching band stuff for hours. Wow. Apparently marching band is very serious.

Somehow the planets aligned themselves for a second time this weekend and my husband and I were able to go out.  We got to attend yet another college football game.  Alone.  No kids.  How fortunate are we?  I’d say we pretty much rock.  What’s not to like?  Tailgating with free fried food and free beverages, free entry to the game, great seats, all compliments of my husband’s employer.  I’d say that kinda sorta makes up for the fact that he drives almost two hours a day.  That and having insurance, and the fact that they pay him to be there.

The previous game we attended we were able to take the whole family.  That was an experience.   I think the kids enjoyed themselves, but I am quite convinced that The Professor doesn’t really care what’s going on, as long as there is a big screen to watch.  At one point Evil Genius leaned over and said to him, “You know, there’s also a game going on down there, on that field.”

The last time just the two of us went, I believe I made some random observations when I wrote Observations of a Band Geek.  You see quite a bit of stuff when you’re not really watching the game.  It sure started out as a miserable cold and rainy day, but ended up being pretty nice.  We started out in lots of layers and ended up in short sleeves.  We only got rained on a little bit, when the pregame stuff was going on.  Thank goodness.  We may have melted.

This is what happens when you take an ADD band geek to a football game:

  • You know your husband loves you when he uses his own butt to dry off your bleacher seat.  I must remember to turn that sentiment into a greeting card someday.
  • As the rain started to fall, most people’s thoughts don’t turn to the band.  Unless you’re me.  I let out a gasp and cried, “Oh no, that’s not good for those band instruments!”  Well, it’s not.
  • I found myself explaining to my husband just how many notes the flute part had in some of the songs.  I don’t think he cared.
  • The line for the men’s room was waaaaaay longer than the line for the women’s room.  That never happens!

Maybe this is why.

  • I felt like throwing a bit of a tantrum.  It was the 80s and 90s when I was in band and we didn’t get to play any of that cool 80s stuff.
  • I wondered aloud at one point, “Do you really think Maroon 5 planned on “Moves Like Jagger” being used for so many things?  Do you think they have heard their song played by a marching band?”  I did not receive a response.
  • The piccolo section had their own fan club.  Really!  As we were getting ready to go in to the stadium the band came by.  I actually heard someone say, “Here come the piccolos!”  And then scream and yell enthusiastically.  I am not making this up.  I have a witness.
  • I experienced jealousy at half-time.  When I was in college and in the band, we didn’t really get uniforms.  We had sweaters.  We didn’t get to march either.  No wonder I wanted to transfer.
  • I was very happy due to the fact that the dance team had their midriffs covered this time.  The yoga pants didn’t look quite as weird.
  • Who decided that the cheerleaders had to wear really ugly bows on their heads?  And why?  Did they lose a bet?
  • There was also a bunch of guys throwing a ball around on the field.  I think it may have been football.  I heard they lost.  I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention.  I guess I paid a little attention, because I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who had the ball.
  • When the basketball coach gets up and leaves, so does everyone else.  I’m thinking he may have an inside scoop on something.
  • Apparently the guy who has the Captain America garb attends more games than the stormtrooper guy.  I was a little sad not to see him.  This particular game was seriously lacking in any kind of Star Wars references.
  • You may not wear a shirt, and paint letters on your chest, but if you’re not head to toe sparkly then you’re just not cool.  I saw this on a game on tv recently.  We questioned the effect this massive amount of glitter on one’s body may have on the person’s health.  If you’re willing to risk your health for your school, then you are truly a fan.

You wish you were this cool.

Don’t worry about being subjected to my random observations of college football again for quite awhile.  I think we’re done going to games this year.  We’ve already subjected our very nice friend to more of our children than most people can stand.  We owe her dinner, maybe even a movie at this point.  I’ve really enjoyed spending time with my husband though, even if football was involved.  I must admit it is a little more interesting in person than on the tv.  Don’t get your hopes up, this anti-football band geek isn’t changing her tune.

Ready for Fall

I’m ready for fall.  I’m ready for leaves changing color, weather cool enough to wear sweatshirts, and being able to put away the tank tops and shorts for a while.  But what I’m really getting antsy for is Fall TV.  Does that mean I need to get a life?

This has nothing to do with fall TV, but when I think of TV I think of this…

We don’t watch a lot of “new” TV in our house that isn’t sports or PBS.  My husband and I have a few shows that we regularly watch.  In his current mostly unconscious state, my husband doesn’t view a lot of TV shows anyway.

Let me state right now that we shun almost all things that are even remotely reality TV. If you want to quit reading my blog forever right this moment, I understand.  A couple of exceptions have occurred to this rule.  We watched “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” when it was first on, mainly because it reminded me of college (hey I was a music major, you figure it out.)  I watched one season of “America’s Got Talent”, simply for the fact that one of my good friends from school made the finals.  Then I lost interest in it after that.  We also viewed quite a bit of “Iron Chef America” when it was on at dinnertime, but it’s never been something we make it a point to watch regularly.  We have several episodes of “Restaurant Impossible” on our DVR.  Not sure if we’re ever going to watch them, at least not together.

I like comedies.  I really don’t watch anything else, except for a few older few sci-fi shows.  Maybe I’m just too ADD for dramas.  I like to laugh.  And by golly I’m ready for some new episodes of my favorites.  I’ve checked out a couple of the new shows that have already premiered.  I don’t know what to think.  They’re ok, I guess.  I know you can’t really judge a show by its pilot episode, but so far I’m not really sure if I’ll keep watching or not.

My husband’s and my favorite show on TV right now is “The Big Bang Theory”, in case you haven’t figured that out from reading this blog.  We understand a lot of stuff they reference on the show because we’re geeks.  It really adds to it when my husband will pause the show to read the formula written on some board, and he is able to explain it to me (he took Quantum Physics for fun you know).   My other favorite is “Modern Family”, but last season I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had.  I guess it really depended on the episode.  I adore Cam-I had some friends who are just like him.  We both really enjoy “The Middle”, because it’s very much like our family.  My husband is a geek version of Mike Heck, and our son is very much like Brick.  We are middle class people barely making it, much like the people on the show.  It’s mean sometimes but oh it’s FUNNY!

Some shows just have to ruin it for their fans.  We used to love “Bones”.  It is funny and witty and well written.  The characters are great, we are big fans of Hodgins- who else do you know who gets excited about fecal matter?  However, when Emily Deschanel became pregnant in real life they decided to write it into the show, but they went about it all wrong.  They had her get together with her partner.  Nooooo!  There goes all the will they or won’t they fun!  That very rarely works on a show.  We still watch, but it’s just not as enjoyable.

The only show that started last season that we really liked was “Whitney”.  She is one of Evil Genius’s favorite comedians.  The show is like a really warped version of “Friends”.  It’s very different from other shows-I know a lot of people DON’T like it, but I am very happy it’s coming back.  We tried to like “The New Girl”, because we love Zooey.  Some of it is very funny-the Thanksgiving episode was hilarious and we still refer to it.  But we finally came to the conclusion that somebody just decided to turn Zooey loose and let her get as crazy as she wanted.  As much as we wanted to like it, we quit watching it.

“Family Guy” is truly unique.  It really takes a certain type of humor to like that show.  My husband loves it.  I really like it, but there are some things that just plain go too far-which is exactly Seth McFarlane’s intent.  There are some episodes that I love to pieces, and some that are more disturbing than they should be.  We don’t watch it like we watch the other shows, but we do catch it when it’s on.  On that note, I must admit to laughing hysterically at “Robot Chicken”, but that show is so disturbing… yet some of it is sooooo funny.

The one show that I keep forgetting about that is really funny is “Raising Hope”.  I forget it’s on.  I even have the DVR set up to tape it, and I forget to watch it.  Then I’ll have a night with nothing to do and will watch every episode and laugh my butt off.

I have mentioned quite often that we are both geeks, as referenced in Embracing Geekdom.  We both love Sci-Fi, and are big fans of Star Trek.  There isn’t really a show on that is that genre that we watch at the moment.  We have watched “Being Human” (the American version).  Our interest in that show comes and goes.  We really like the characters, we just don’t always like where it’s going.  I’m not a huge fan of the really dark gloom and doom shows that tend to be on.  I watched the new “V” series for quite a while, then it just got depressing.  I wasn’t really surprised they cancelled it.  “Heroes” was good enough to keep my interest for quite awhile, but when Evil Genius got bored of it, I just quit watching.  It was just too dark and depressing.  I like to laugh!  Maybe those dark and gloomy shows tap into my anxieties a bit too much.  I like to look forward to what is going to happen.

I secretly view “Parenthood” each week on nights my husband is gone or in bed.  I get a little irritated at some of the stuff on it, like why does Lauren Graham play the same character in every show she’s in? But I genuinely like it.  The reason I view this alone is this:  if Evil Genius sees I’m going to watch it, he’ll watch it too.  And then he’ll make fun of it, because there might be some warm and human stuff going on.  We can’t have that in our house.  Or he’ll ask 5,000 questions about who is who, what has happened, why that happened, and THEN make fun of it.  No, I don’t go there any more.  I’ll save it for when I can watch it sans mockery.  It’s as close as I get to a soap opera, and I hate soap operas.

Our favorite shows in the whole wide world besides the ones I’ve mentioned are “Friends” and “MASH”.  If there is an episode on, chances are we’ve seen it.  Most episodes of Friends we can recite.  Is that sad?  I don’t think a day has gone by in our house that we don’t quote an episode of that show, unless we are sick.  We own seasons 1-7 of it.  Someday I hope to own them all.

Do you watch much TV?  Good for you if you don’t, you’re more strict than I am.  What shows are you looking forward to this fall?

Observations of a Band Geek

Sadly, there was no grill like this… but it was still good tailgating.

I attended my very first college football game this weekend.  The very first one that I wasn’t in the BAND, that is.  This is very sad considering we live near a college town, lived in the area for 13 years, and my husband attended this very school up until the end of last year.  I went to a basketball game there once years ago, but the only thing I really remember is the fact that they had great ice cream.

I not only got to go to the game, I got to tailgate.  I got to do it all without children.  All of this because my brother in law couldn’t get a ride from my husband’s hometown in time (about two hours from here).  That’s ok-I don’t mind being the back up choice.  Once he found out his brother couldn’t make it, Evil Genius walked down the street with the kids while I was walking the dog and made the arrangements.  He went down to see a  friend of ours from church who lives down the street.  She was more than happy to watch the kids.  That was awesome-not only do they like going to see her, she likes to have them come.  By the time I had returned from my walk, the kids had their bags packed and were ready to go, though we weren’t actually leaving for three hours.

This whole thing was through his work.  They have tickets for every game that people can sign up for.  If more people sign up than tickets, it’s a lottery thing.  They not only have the tickets, but they have a very fancy tailgate vehicle complete with a deep fryer and beverages galore plus two big tvs.  It was a good time-I like getting to put names with the faces of all of these people that he works with.

So you’re thinking, “Wait a minute, she hates football.  Why did she agree to go when it goes against her principles of being against the sport?” Let me clarify, when I get to go somewhere with my husband with no children, I’ll agree to most anything.  We don’t get out together much.  And it was a good time.  I’d do it again if he asked me.  I’d even go with the children.  I still don’t like football, but it is more interesting when it is live instead of on tv.

That being said, since I was there without distraction, here are some random observations I made as a non football fan, band geek, and anxious ADD person:

  • They may think the cannon is cool.  I didn’t.  I have a thing about loud noises.  Every time there was a touchdown, I about hit the deck.  We left early because it was a blowout-the last field goal we witnessed they decided to shoot the cannon.  I thought I had been shot!  Does anyone else feel this way about large weapons at football games or is it just me?
  • Speaking of the cannon-how does one get the job of shooting the cannon?  I would like to see the application for that.
  • Do what everyone else does in your section.  I had no idea what was going on most of the time, I just tried to figure out who had the ball.  I stood when everyone else stood.  I clapped when everyone else clapped.  They kept yelling some first down thing.  I never did figure out what that really was.
  • If your entire dance squad is going to wear yoga pants, wear a top that covers your stomach.  Not flattering at all.  Wish I had been part of that meeting.  That is NOT how you wear yoga pants.  You’re supposed to have a frumpy shirt to go over it.  At least that’s what Moms do.
  • The down markers are not big upside down exclamation marks, or lowercase “i”s.  I asked Evil Genius what they were, and he explained it to me.  I remember they were called down markers.  The rest went over my head.
  • If you wear a stormtrooper helmet and a cape, you get on the big TV.  A  LOT.
  • I got reminded why I don’t drink to excess.  I saw a lot of REALLY REALLY drunk people.  And you can’t even drink inside the stadium there.  I even was flirted with by a really drunk creepy guy when I got up the one time I went to pee.  I’ll stick with my little bit of wine, thank you.
  • People get really irritated with you if you have to pee.  Thank goodness I only had to go once.  I think I was the only one who went to the bathroom so I wouldn’t miss the band perform at halftime.
  • The best hat I saw was a coonskin cap.  A REAL coonskin cap.
  • Silver tubas have to be one of the coolest things I have ever seen.  Even if they were in the opposing team’s band.
  • It’s best to put your memory card in your camera.  Hard to take pictures without it.  I forgot mine.  I took a couple of pictures with my phone, but I couldn’t get it to take a picture of Evil Genius and me together.  No proof we were there together.  How sad.
  • Band music has evolved quite a bit from “Land of a Thousand Dances” and “Hang on Sloopy”-the standards that I had to play back in the day.  This band played Metallica!  I would have given about anything to play Metallica in marching band!
  • Another fashion police comment:  Who decided that off the shoulder on one side shirts were back in style?  That’s not symmetrical.  If you see me wearing one of those, it’s because someone has ripped off that part of my shirt.  And that shorts that are so short that they show your buttcheeks are tasteful?  Nobody wants to see that.  I know I didn’t.
  • Park far far away.  And walk.  It’s worth it.  Not only do you get an hour’s worth of exercise in, you can get away much faster than if you parked close.  We parked clear on the other side of campus and hoofed it.  It was great-I made up the extra calories I burned with the cinnamon ice cream I still had in my freezer.

I had a good time.  I had some really good mozzarella sticks.  It was perfect weather and I got to see the band perform.  I even found a shiny penny.  Maybe it’s a sign.  And the best part was that my kids were good for our friend for that long of a time.  She even said she’d like to watch them again.  This is good news.  The last time we left them with someone else who wasn’t my parents was Evil Genius’s family.  (They said never again, something about them peeing too much.)  It’s always good to know that your children are wanted.  They had a good time, but were happy to see us when it was over.  I’d like to say that maybe Evil Genius and I will get to go out together again very soon, but I won’t hold my breath!

NASCAR: Metaphors for Life, Not Necessarily On Four Wheels

They bring them to the races, they just don’t put them in the racecars…

I guess you could say I’m a NASCAR geek.  WAIT!  Hear me out here.  If you don’t like the sport, just read this post. If you still think that all fans are drunk people without shirts, keep in mind that I keep my shirt on during all races.  I’m writing this because I wanted to let people know that while I am not a big football fan, there are other sports I find more tolerable (and understandable) than that sport.  There are a couple of sports I even really enjoy.  NASCAR happens to be one of them.

I love NASCAR.  I didn’t when I met my husband.  As a matter of fact I didn’t even after being married to him for awhile.  I guess I thought it was just like the races that I went with him to sometimes at our local track, just waaaaaaay longer.  I had been to some different kinds of car races but had never been exposed to the big leagues.  That all changed when NASCAR 360 premiered on TV. It followed three different drivers each week.  It showed NASCAR drivers in their natural habitat (not just the racetrack).  It was funny-it turns out that there are a lot of interesting characters in the sport.  I saw them as people instead of crash test dummies in race cars.  As I watched this show I also started to watch the races instead of them just being background noise. Not only did I start watching and liking the sport, I even participated in the NASCAR fantasy league at my husband’s work, and did pretty well.

A few things to note:  not all women who like NASCAR like Danica Patrick.  I don’t.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for women in racing.  I also don’t tend to like the drivers that everyone else seems to like.  I also don’t like beer.  I even wear clothes that cover my body.

In April I went to my very first live NASCAR race at the Kansas Speedway.  I wasn’t sure if I’d like it.  Come on, I’m ADD-I can’t sit still that long.  At least at home there are other things going on and I can come and go as I please, check my computer, go do stuff during cautions and red flags and rain delays.  AND I don’t like loud stuff.  But it was AWESOME!  There are not words to describe seeing it in person.  We sat just a few rows from the track itself.  Other than two small children having to constantly go to the bathroom, I got to see almost all of the race.  It was deafeningly loud-I had to go buy earplugs.  There is so much stuff you can’t hear on the TV.  You can actually tell when someone’s engine isn’t running right by the way it sounds.  You can hear someone blow up.  I’m sure you can hear someone crash too, but unfortunately there were really no wrecks that day.  I don’t watch it for the wrecks, but I kind of wanted to hear what it sounded like.  I did get to see a car go up in smoke, though.  I’d like to go again someday,  but to a different track so I can see how it’s different from what I saw.

Thinking about going to a race for the first time?  Here’s what I learned.  I call these The Four W’s.

1) WEATHER-Bring every type of clothing imaginable along.  The weather will not be whatever they forecast that day.  It was supposed to be warm and sunny.  It was cold, cloudy, and windy.

2)  WALKING-Train for a 5K.  You’ll have to walk at least that far to get from where you park to the track.

3)  WEALTH-Don’t pay for the really expensive seats if you can.  We ordered the cheapest ones that seemed to have a good view.  The seats were awesome!

4)  WON’T LOSE YOUR HEARING-Buy earplugs.  It’s louder than anything you’ll experience, unless you hang out at the airport.  We brought hearing protection for the kids, but ended up having to buy those foam earplugs they sell there.

Thankfully it wasn’t THAT cold. There were no snow angels made. That actually DID happen at a race once…

Incidentally, Princess Difficult fell asleep during the NASCAR race.  How she did that I’ll never know… she never sleeps any other time!  The Professor was able to concentrate for the entire event, of course we bought him a program when we arrived.  He always does better when there’s reading material.  And there was popcorn.  Lots and lots of popcorn.  As long as there is popcorn, he’s happy.

What I really like about NASCAR-it’s a very family centric sport.  You always see the drivers with their families.  Many of them travel right with their families by their side.  It’s very rare to hear about the types of scandals you hear involving athletes in other sports.  But then again, when would they have time?  Read up on a NASCAR driver and what their schedule is like-it’s nuts.

I wanted to write a post about NASCAR to not only show that I like and know something about a sport, but also because I’ve been thinking that in a way it can be used as a metaphor for life.  I put these in bold for no particular reason…

1) There are times that due to no fault of your own, things go wrong-Engines blow, people crash.   In the everyday world you can do everything right, and things may still go very wrong.

2)  You can’t make everybody happy all the time-You can win that race or do well, but somebody’s going to be upset about something.  It’s like having kids…

3)  Sometimes you just run out of gas-I’ve been there.  Often.  And I don’t mean the gas in my car…

4)  You can be the most popular person, but it doesn’t mean you’re the winner-Can you say Dale Earnhardt Jr?  Everybody may seem to like you, but it has no guarantees in life.

5)  Sometimes nice guys just finish last-Or not first, anyway.  It’s often true.  I’ve been real nice for a long time.  But…

What drivers do we follow at our house?  My son, the former Jeff Gordon fan who hates to lose, will cheer on whoever is winning.  My daughter likes the #16, Greg Biffle.  Not necessarily because of any particular reason, but at the racetrack he had the pink kids hats for sale.  And she got that because noone was in line there.  He was the points leader at the time!  Greg Biffle, the Rodney Dangerfield of NASCAR.  My husband roots for the Busch brothers.  We all sort of root for Kyle Busch, because we really like M&Ms. If you ask Evil Genius if he likes Jimmie Johnson, no, but he’s a huge fan of his crew chief (Chad Knaus).  Someone who can pull off so many spectacular comebacks in races has to be an evil genius too.

And me?  As I said, I have never been one to like the real popular drivers.  I am a Kevin Harvick fan, and I don’t even like Budweiser (or any beer for that matter).  I also like Matt Kenseth – consistent and levelheaded.  He’s also won a whole championship without winning any races.  If you don’t like the Chase format, blame him.

You just have to like a sport that has a sense of humor.  That’s probably why I’m drawn to it.  A few years ago there was a good chance I wouldn’t have liked it.  But now, well, you have to like any sport that puts a guy in a pink firesuit.  (For the record, I hate the color pink.)

Best advertising campaign ever “Who doesn’t like puppies, kittens, and little baby seals?”

A Man and Football: A Love Story

A friend of mine used to have a shirt that said “Love me, hug me, pretend I’m a football.”  I’m feeling a bit like that right now.  Or maybe pretend I’m a machine that makes agricultural sprayers.  But that’s not what this particular post is all about.

Men love football.  Some women like football too.  I am not one of them.  I tolerate it.  I don’t try to understand it anymore.  It’s just too complicated for my ADD brain.  Believe me, for a while I really really tried!

Every year about this time I become known as a “Football Widow”.  Evil Genius practically salivates when football season approaches.  He gets giddy.  He gets so wrapped up in everything football that I might as well pack up and head for the hills.  He might realize I’m gone eventually.  May I add that he doesn’t do it on purpose.  There is just so MUCH football going on right now.  High school football games every Friday night-I found out last night why I should never ever let him NOT go to a game on a Friday night.  He is no fun.  There is college football on Saturdays.  And Professional Football is on, what,  EVERY night of the week?  And in between all of this there’s ESPN.  This is the time of year I spend a lot of time not in the living room.  Mostly I’m running out of the house, or hiding in my room.  Thank goodness we have DVR, or I may never watch anything else.

He watches football during the off season too.  You can always find and watch the same game about 1000 times on the satellite.  This makes no sense to me, I mean, come on-you know how it ends!

He has a couple of different football video games that he likes to play.  He gets very very angry at them.  Sometimes because the computer cheats.  More often because the opposing team scored.  More than once I have walked in on him playing, and he is angry because he’s “only” winning 101 to 7.  Sports games aren’t his friend, I often refer to them as the games that make him yell.  I’m sure the kids have learned all kinds of cuss words from him playing… (though in his defense the first one my son got in trouble for he learned from me).

In addition to all of this, there’s also fantasy football.  He has several teams.  There is the one for work that he pays money to participate in.  There was an actual draft for this where they all got together and did their picks.  He wasn’t going to go because we had other plans, but in the end football dominated and he ended up going.  I guess it was worth it, he got surprisingly good picks.  That’s what happens when you draft with people who don’t really get how to draft.  Like having a room full of me present for the draft-“I’ll take Dennis Rodman for $800.  How about Coco Crisp?  John McEnroe?”  WHAT?  It’s not like a game show?

This is what you get when google “Fantasy Football”.

No I know a LITTLE more about it than that.  He also does some fantasy teams online too, as does my son.  He actually was trying to get me to have my own fantasy team there for a while.  Actually if I turned him right now and told him I wanted to sign up he’d probably pull the website up in a jiffy.  That is if he was here (he is actually AT a college football game right now). When he brought this up, I thought he was mental.  My reaction:  “I know sooooo much about football, what criteria would I use for a team?  There would have to be a theme.  Best uniforms?  Players from teams that wear purple?  Longest names?  Same initials?”  His reply:  “I just wanted to see what you’d come up with.”  I added “You realize my knowledge of players is about three,they are all quarterbacks, and two of them have the last name Manning.”

That very next day that I posted about it on Facebook.  A friend of mine posted the same day that he needed people for an amateur league.  I posted on his wall to refer to my status update.  He offered to hook me up, even tweaking it so I could have both Mannings. I asked him there was a fantasy pep band that went along with it.  I would so be in, THAT would be cool.

If my daughter had a fantasy team…

My fantasy is really that football would just go away.  Nah not really, maybe that there wasn’t so much of it.  The guys need something to do.

Evil Genius’s passion isn’t just watching the game.  He coached high school football for several years.  He was very good at it, though I’m not sure he was as appreciated as he should have been.   I really do hope that eventually he’ll be able to do it again, if we ever move closer to his work or if he can tweak his schedule to be able to do it someday.  I may not be a huge fan of the game, but I tried to go support him, as much one can who doesn’t know anything about the game and has two little kids to try to keep in line.

Football is pretty big where we live, because we live in the Midwest where high school football is a big deal.  We also live very close to a university town.  I don’t dare venture into town on game days unless I have to, because I may not be able to leave because of the traffic.  I understand though that football is small potatoes here compared to Texas.  I just saw something on the news last night about the world’s most expensive high school stadium being built there.  Everything is bigger in Texas.  Don’t mess with Texas.

Being the wife of a football worshipper, I have seen pretty much every football movie ever made.  There are some really good ones.  I’ve seen “The Replacements” about 57 times, and “The Blind Side” quite a few times too.  Both good movies.  I bet if you asked me about every football movie ever made, chances are most of them are in our video library.

There is an upside to football appreciation.  I do like the commercials they come out with this time of year.  Next February I’ll watch the Superbowl, but only for the commercials.  The fashion aspect is also quite fun.  With today’s college football game we are all decked out in our university apparel.  As a matter of fact, earlier I was lamenting the fact that we didn’t have anything for the dog to wear.  We’ve seen bandanas with our team logo on it.  He must have one!  Next week my daughter wants me to paint her toenails in team colors.  I guess we’ll have to go get some nail polish.  She gets it.  She’s wearing her little pink jersey, with toenails and fingernails to match.  Today’s entertainment for the girls while the boys are at the game?  We’re making bracelets and necklaces with the team name and colors.  Her idea, of course.

So if you are like me, you know what I go through.  If you are one of those women who does love football, more power to you.  I’ll be hiding in my room, wearing my really cute team shirt.

The ADD Mom goes out…ALONE

Yesterday a historic event occurred in our household.  I got out alone.  For more than 10 minutes.  I even took my car.  I overcame Mommy guilt and left the house and went to town.  It looked kind of like this picture:


When I mean going to town let me clarify-we live in the Midwest.  We don’t live in the middle of nowhere, but the nearest decent sized town is about 15 minutes away, 20 if you actually want to go anywhere there besides Wal-Mart.

We had gone to the fair the day before, so of course noone else was even interested in leaving the house.  As a matter of fact, I’m not sure that anyone even noticed that I left the house.  I decided to go walk around the lake in our nearby big town.  I wanted to take a loooooong walk, and I had enough time I could explore some of those trails I keep seeing and find out where they go.  I put on my running shoes, grabbed my purse and water bottle, IPOD, phone, and left.

First I stopped and got the mail.  I don’t get out much, and they don’t deliver mail to peons like us.  And now that we have the dog, I rarely get out without him.  So our mail piles up for about a week before I make it over there.  Last week when I finally made it there I had the big yellow note in there:  “Your mail is too large to fit in your box”.  And there wasn’t even a package in there.  Not like I could retrieve my mail, though.  Our post office is open for approximately ten minutes a day if you’re lucky.  Unfortunately for me, I had already passed that small window of time.  So I had to go back to the post office the next day, which is a HUGE thing to do two days in a row.

Next I stopped and got a water and the Sunday paper.  Since I have become an unemployed bum, I had to forgo certain luxuries like a daily newspaper and getting something from the gas station.  Except on Sunday.  That newspaper is like gold to me. I read it cover to cover, er, front to back.  And I needed the water because it was hot and I had forgotten to fill my water bottle.


I stop and get the Sunday paper every week just so I can read articles like this one…

As I drove out of town I drove and searched through my purse at the same time for the Crystal Light stuff I put in my water.  I can’t drink just plain water unless I am parched, and my body would probably go into shock if I did.  Now I know I grabbed the little packet, but now I can’t find it.  And I have now emptied the entire contents of my purse onto the passenger side seat while driving.  It’s not there.  Drat.  And I’m thirsty.

I reformulate my plan.  Surely I can’t walk without lemon flavored water.  Splenda sweetened water.  My sensitive system can’t handle regular Crystal Light-I get heartburn so bad it’s like having a heart attack.  And of course only one place sells that Splenda Crystal Light stuff.  Yup, Target.

And I need labels.  Not just any labels.  CLEAR labels.  Because they look nice.  And the white ones leave crappy residue when you peel them off.  And I change my mind a lot, so I peel them off a lot.  So where can you buy clear labels?  Staples.  And Staples is right down the street from Target.  So I’ll take the long way around and get the labels.  Then I’ll go to Target and get my lemonade stuff.  And maybe some pop, because Target also is the only place that carries my lemon flavored Diet Sunkist.  Lemon again.

So I go to Staples, which is clear on the other side of town from the lake.  I love Staples.  I could spend hours in there looking for stuff.  But the Mommy alone time has a time limit because my family may need to eat, so I just need to go in and get out.  Staples clear labels are very expensive, and I need two sizes.  Hey wait a minute, don’t they sell clear labels at Target too?  I wander around for a few minutes, then select the size of labels I know I haven’t seen sold anywhere else, and fork over the money for them.

I have never bought staples or a stapler at Staples...

I have never bought staples or a stapler at Staples…

Next I go to Target.  I whizz in, grab the lemon Crystal Light stuff, grab the pop, and then go up to the checkouts.  It’s a college town and the day before classes start, so everyone and their roommate is there getting supplies.  I am ecstatic that I get right up to a register with no waiting!  Wait… I forgot the labels.  Back to the office supplies.  They don’t have them.

Where the heck did I see those clear labels?  Must have been Wal-Mart.  Back to the checkouts, buy stuff.  Out to the car and drive across the way to Wal-Mart, which is even busier than Target.  I find the labels.  And guess what, they have the other ones I paid way more for at Staples.  No.  NO.  Just get the ones you don’t have and go.  But the lady who cuts my hair remarked I needed a detangler comb.  Mine is missing.  Probably in my daughter’s room somewhere.  They sell those at Wal-Mart!  I run over to the hair section and grab TWO-one for me and one for my daughter.  Hers is pink. That way she won’t steal mine.

I walk out of Wal-Mart having now taken an extra hour to do all of this stuff.  By the time I get to the lake, I will have less than an hour to do my walk, because people have to eat, and my husband won’t think to start supper.  I have to wait for a train.  Then by the time I get there I have to pee.  It’s a good thing there is a bathroom right there.  Then I do my walk.  I settle for the shortened version, since I had less than an hour.  No exploring trails for me.  I do it and head home, very satisfied with having gotten some exercise.

I get home a whole 20 minutes late.  And guess what? He was starting supper.

You can read about the next adventure in The ADD Mom Goes Out… With Children