Thursday, September 30, 2010

Two Things

The first thing has to do with chips.

Have you tried these Cheeseburger flavored Doritos?

If not, you must! If only to marvel at how someone could so perfectly capture the essence of a cheeseburger in a chip, including the pickle. It's similar to eating a jelly bean and tasting buttered popcorn. You may not be tempted to indulge in a whole bag of cheeseburger chips, per se, but after you've tried a few, you might be sitting at your computer or walking to your mailbox or petting your cat, and you'll be suddenly compelled to taste another one of those cheeseburger chips.

"I had to have been mistaken earlier," you'll think on your way to the pantry, "because a chip couldn't possibly taste that much like a cheeseburger." But then you'll bite into one of those crisp Doritos, and your senses will be filled up with charbroiled beef, cheese, ketchup and finally... the pickle.
The whole thing is unnerving, really.

Second thing has to do with roller skates.

When Homer gets home from Kindergarten in the afternoon, the first thing he does is strip down to his undies and put on his roller skates. (Roller skating is sweaty business. Thus, the nudity.) He wears roller skates more than shoes these days, and all that nude skating has paid off. He doesn't clunk around on those skates like he did in the beginning, but glides smoothly, his weight lightly shifting from foot to foot.

I'm proud, if you can't tell.

Anyway, Homer went with me to pick up Gus from Drama yesterday. He jumped in the car (fully dressed) with his roller skates on, which was no biggie since we weren't going inside. When we got to the school, I parked at the end of a long line of cars. And that's when I came up with a fun idea: let Homer skate up the sidewalk to get Gus.

He was game, giddy in fact. I did feel a quick stab of embarrassment on his behalf, since he'd look like a total nerd, but he's only five, so who cares.

Homer schlepped out of the car, and maneuvered carefully out of the gutter and up onto the sidewalk. As I watched him slowly trudge up the sidewalk on his skates, it occurred to me that the sidewalk was on a rather steep hill, and eventually he'd have to skate down that steep hill.

Well, "eventually" came. I spotted Homer picking up speed as he got closer and closer to the car. There was definitely panic in his expression, and I was feeling it too. I knew there was no way I could jump out of the car, run around to the sidewalk, and catch him in time. I would be chasing him down that hill for sure. But before I could make a move, his direction changed. His focus had shifted to a big bush off to the side, about as tall as he was with his skates on. Full-speed, his arms outstretched as wide as he could get 'em, he charged that bush and dive-bombed right into it, bear-hug style. Hil-air-ious!!! He definitely heard my laugher from inside the car, and after he sprang back from the bush and steadied himself, he gave me a triumphant grin that said, "See how skillfully I got out of that one?"

Yeah, he's pretty good on those skates.

Right-Side note: It feels like "roller skates" should be one word, yeah?

Monday, September 27, 2010


Last week was the dreaded middle school open house night. Two hours long. It started in Cord's first period class, where we had to watch a video that was streamed school-wide into all the first period classrooms. We came in late. Cord found a seat at one of the desks in the middle of the room, while Tony and I sat in chairs set up along the wall.

Now, this seating arrangement put us in a worrisome position, as we weren't within grabbing distance of Cord's raised hand. His hand wasn't up yet. We had only just settled in, and the video was still playing. But eventually, his hand would be up and he'd have something to say. Tony recognized this immediately and leaned over to whisper, "I hope Cord doesn't say anything embarrassing."

Tony and I are not public commenters. We don't answer questions, we don't add to the discussion, and we don't have any questions at the end. We say nothing. We are those people. Cord, on the other hand, always has an answer, a comment, or a question. Solicited or not. He is one of those people.

The weird thing with Cord is, sometimes he'll look so fidgety in his chair, like he's not paying attention at all, but then the speaker/teacher will ask a question and his hand will shoot up without hesitation, and he'll actually give a relevant, smart answer, as if he had been paying attention all along. But other times he'll raise his hand just to volunteer random information or shout out something super embarrassing. You just never know.

So, we came to a place in the video where they were going through the after-school programs. As the screen flashed through pictures of all the clubs and sports programs, Tony leans in and whispers, "When they get to 'Drama Club,' he's gonna cheer or hollah back or say something embarrassing."

I braced myself for that moment to come, but when the video got to Drama Club, all he did was this silent double-fist pump in the air. Not too bad. Not everyone noticed, and at least he didn't make any noise.

At the close of the video, we watched clips of various teachers, standing in or by their classrooms, repeating phrases such as, "Welcome to Open House night, we hope you enjoy it." After they played the 15th, 16th, 17th teacher's "welcome message," it occurred to me that we were about to watch all 65 (roughly) teachers at this middle school give their individual "welcome to open house" message.

Idea: gather all 65 teachers into one room, and on the count of three have them all say, "Welcome to open house!" at the same time.

But no. They each delivered the message separately and it took about 20 minutes.

Towards the end of this 20 minutes, I was spacing off on the TV screen, watching Cord fidget out of the corner of my eye, wondering if he was getting ready to raise his hand and say whatever was on his mind, when the video suddenly cuts to the very room we are sitting in. Cord's first period teacher (on the video) is standing at the front of the classroom, and in the shot, we can see the backs of her students' heads. I immediately pick out the back of Cord's blond head in the crowd of kids. His teacher looks into the camera and says, "welcome to open house night, and remember," she adds for what ever reason, "chewing gum is not allowed on school campus." At which point, Cord's blond head turns around (on the video), he points directly into the camera and adds, "That goes for you too, mom."

Pretty mild on the embarrassing scale, yes, but my point is, there we were, worrying about not being within arm's reach of Cord to stop him from making public comments, and he does it through the video we're watching. And that, my friends, is like 10,000 spoons when all you need is knife.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

For Music People

A while ago, in the midst of a heated email exchange, in an effort to distract me from my current hissy fit, Landee Landerson sent me a link to this sweet Internet radio site called Grooveshark. I followed the link, and immediately went calm. I was a toddler throwing a tantrum, and Landee had just slipped me a binki, and that binki's name was... Grooveshark.

It's like Pandora, only better because you can make playlists within your Internet radio, and replay or skip songs as many times as you'd like. And no commercials. Only downside is it's not ready for iPhone yet.

Using Grooveshark, I looked up Brandon Flowers' new solo album, Flamingo, which was leaked onto the Internet early (but I think it's officially out today). As I'm sure you've heard, his first single, "Crossfire," is an utter masterpiece, so I expected greatness. I listened to endured all 14 tracks, and found the good ones one for you, so now you don't have to feel that sickening disappointment as you realize, song by song, that almost the whole thing is crap.

After "Crossfire," the next best song is called "Only the Young." Click HERE to hear it. You have to listen to it three times before you fall in love with it. "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" and "Jilted Lover" are decent after you give them a few listens. They at least sound Killers-esque. The rest is crap. Click HERE to hear a sampling of what I mean. It's truly baffling/tragic. The only person who should sound like Johnny Cash is Johnny Cash. And Joaquin Phoenix.

Still, much love for B.Flowers. I hope he doesn't take my review too hard.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Shocks? Pegs? Lucky!

We went to Mc-Ds with our friends tonight to get some cones, and the
Ronald himself was there, and Cord won this awesome bike that was
probably meant for someone who's not 12. Being short has its advantages.

He's gonna take it off some sweet jumps tomorrow. Heck yeah.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Volunteering Information Nobody Asked For

If you want to Google Stephenie Meyer, you only have to type "Ste" and her name pops up.

If you type in "Step", she moves to the top.

Her name shows up before fellow author, Stephen King.

Stephenie Meyer and Stephen King were linked together after King said in an interview with USA WEEKEND, "Stephenie Meyer can't write worth a darn... She's not very good." He then went into specifics about the Twilight series, indicating he has indeed read it. Strange, isn't it? Picturing Stephen King reading Twilight?

Both Stephenie Meyer and Stephen King agree on one thing:

"[The Hunger Games] is a violent, jarring, speed-rap of a novel that generates nearly constant suspense...I couldn't stop reading."
--Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly Review

"I was so obsessed with this book I had to take it with me out to dinner and hide it under the edge of the table so I wouldn't have to stop reading. The story kept me up for several nights in a row, because even after I was finished, I just lay in bed wide awake thinking about it...The Hunger Games is amazing."
--Stephenie Meyer,

I agree with both of them. After all, Suzanne Collins is my favorite writer.

If you type jenny in Google, these common searches pop up:

If you type in jenny esp, my name shows up toward the bottom of the list.

Add the L, and all those Latina jennys go away.

Hit search, and this comes up:

When spelling the word "search", my first impulse is to type "serch" even though something looks wrong about it.

In news unrelated to Google, Smeyer, Sking, Scollins, or my poor spelling habits...

I ordered the Magic Jack and canceled my home phone. Have any of you tried it? Does it work well? I hope I don't live to regret that decision.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Someone should create a candle that smells like a burning match. Then I would host Burning Match Candle parties at my house and sell them for you. We split 60/40. Plus I get 50% off the ones I buy. Great for the bathroom. 4th of July. Etc!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Whoa, you gotta try this...

Arcade Fire has this new online music video that asks you to type in your childhood address, and then uses it to personalize a music video for you. It's sorta awesome. You gotta try it. My Camarillo address didn't work as well, but my old Boise one was good. It took a minute, cuz things change and stuff, but then all the sudden I was like... "oh yeeeaaaah, I remember that tree! And that's the elementary school behind my house! They paved paradise and put up a parking lot? What?!"

Super nostalgic and such.

And when it tells you to write a letter to your childhood-self, just do it even tho it's cornball. Cuz then all these birds fly in and... oh well, you just gotta try it for yourself.

It works best on Chrome browser. If you don't have it, you can download it real quick HERE.

Then, copy/paste this into your new Chrome browser:

My song is here, if you wanna see where I spent my teenangst years:,+Boise,+ID+83704,+USA

At the very least, you get to hear Arcade Fire sing.

K, I'm gonna go watch it again...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Hugh Grant DVDs

Tony and I were awoken from our sleep early this morning with a loud banging on our front door. Tony, dragging himself out of bed, says,"I know who it is. It's the gangsters, but don't worry, I got this."

I'm, of course, worried, as I'm more suited to handle gangsters than him. I grab the X-Acto knife from my nightstand, the one I'd been using to make Duct Tape wallets the night before. Tony grabs a stack of Hugh Grant DVDs. (See?)

I follow him out of our room as far as the landing, which overlooks the entry to our house. At this point, the gangsters have broken through the door, despite the mattress that Tony had propped up in front of it to slow them down. I don't see their faces, because once the door cracks open, Tony slides his hand through and gives them the stack of Hugh Grant DVDs. They leave without a word.

"Is that all they wanted?" I say.

"Yes," he says.

We climb back in bed, but I'm still worried because we have a few more Hugh Grant DVDs that Tony forgot to give them.

"Like what?" he says.

"Sense and Sensibility and Nanny McPhee," I say.

He says I'm right about Sense and Sensibility, but Hugh Grant isn't in Nanny McPhee. We get into a brief arguement. I toss and turn and can't fall back asleep.

On an unrelated note...

Don't you hate it when your kids hop in your bed in the morning, snuggle up next to you, and then proceed to tell you all about the dream they had the night before? I'm not interested in hearing about anyone's dream (except for Smeyer), but kids are the worst, because they tell you the long version. They don't know how to edit out the confusing, unnecessary parts. But I have to listen and act as if I'm interested in the nonsense, otherwise I'm a "bad mom".

Which brings me back to this morning...

I fell back asleep after I took the kids to school (Yes, I promised myself I would never waste my time on a nap, but I was up 'til 3am the night before with a bad case of insomnia and there was no getting around it), and during my nap I had the weirdest dream. I know you don't wanna hear about it. Listening to someone ramble on about their dream is the worst.

Which brings me to the first part of this post that didn't make much sense...

I just tricked you into reading about my dream.

Nicely done, eh? Basically, I wrote the whole thing backwards.