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How To Mask Your Social Awkwardness

 photo socialawkwardness_zpsf22417d7.jpg

Ever feel awkward in your interactions with the other humans? Are your social exchanges even more awkward than the word "awkward" itself, the most awkward word in the whole English language, a word that only increases in awkwardness the more you use it, much like my social skills?

I have an idea for how to help those who, like myself, suffer from social awkwardness, but of course it's going to take me a second to get to my point because I like to ramble and/or provide you with Entertaining Back Story.

It all started with BlogHer '12.

I hate to say it but, unfortunately, I won't be attending this year.

Don't everyone rush to get your tickets refunded! I'm sure you'll figure out a way to have the best time of your lives without me.

If anyone out there doesn't know, BlogHer '12 is a blogging conference where people come from the far reaches of the universe to finally squeeze and hug the meaty flesh versions of all the bloggy internet friends they've made, and connect with old friends and meet new friends, and dance in cute shoes and drink to excess and ride fancy unicorns and weave rainbows into calorie-free chocolate and reverse the aging process and go to the bathroom without someone asking them for more crackers. Oh, and if there's time, maybe learn something about blogging.

Or so I've heard.

On long, cold nights when drinking wine directly from the spigot on the box doesn't alleviate the soul-crushing pain of not being able to attend the conference, I sooth myself by fantasizing about what I would pack in my imaginary BlogHer '12 suitcase.

However, I got stumped when I mentally reviewed my wardrobe and tried to figure out which tank tops have the fewest stains and which yoga pants have enough life in them to be revived by a light bedazzling. This led me to visualize what it would be like to actually be at BlogHer, which led me to realize something important.

I don't translate well to the real world.

I'm shy and insecure and (as I mentioned) socially awkward and not very funny in real life. I'd either hide in my room or (on the off chance Housekeeping forced me to leave the room) I'd totally alienate the first person I recognized from the blogosphere by following them everywhere and laughing too loudly at their jokes, maybe even sitting in their lap at dinner.

My main problem is I'm just not all that great with verbal communication. Things get mixed up in my head, like worrying that I'm misremembering someone's name, or that I'm talking too much, or not talking enough, or that I've already told this story, or whatever. So generally I just freeze up, normally with a dumb look on my face.

What I need, I thought at some late, slightly inebriated hour, are emoticons for verbal conversations. That way, people would know just what I meant, like on the interwebs, without me having to figure out the complexities of their basic human interactions and pesky facial expressions.

Thus I determined that the most important thing I could pack for BlogHer, or a job interview, or even just a walk around the block during which I might run into a neighbor, are these Emoticon Flashcards* that I could hold up at the end of my sentences to clarify my meaning.
*patent pending
I've included a few photos here, to show you what a difference they'd make in those social situations when I'm forced to converse while sporting the Frozen Face of Social Terror. Like, for example, at BlogHer '12. If I were going. Which I'm not. In case you were wondering.

Response after emoticon:
Oh, I see now - you really are happy!  Ummm...maybe too happy.
Call security.

Response after emoticon:
I get it, she really is genuinely excited about learning!
What a nerd.

Response after emoticon:
Hahaha, I can see now that she's kidding.  Or possibly flirting with me.
What's taking security so long to get here?

Response after emoticon:
She may be involved in a reckless homicide, but at least she's sorry about it.
Where's my taser?

These are available for purchase in the lobby if you're interested, or can be shipped directly to your BlogHer '12 hotel room if you've locked yourself in, speaking to no one and only eating food that's flat enough to be slid under the door.

I'm here to help. :D

No wait, that was too much.

I'm here to help. :)

Please click my Top Mommy Blogs button before you leave for BlogHer '12, or if you aren't going this year, or if you're so sick of hearing about BlogHer '12 that your eyes are starting to bleed a little from the number of times I've mentioned it! ;D
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It's Olympics time!

Yay!  Or perhaps, Who cares!   Depending on your opinion.

Whether you devour the Olympic coverage like a bottle of wine after a day spent shopping with the kids, or if you despise it for its two-week interruption of your So You Think You Can Dance  addiction, there's one thing upon which I believe we can all agree.

There's nothing like an Olympian to make me feel like a fat, lazy, underachieving slob.
I could totally do that.  If I felt like getting up.

I, for one, am looking forward to two full weeks of nonstop reminders that there are lithe, muscular 16-year-olds from countries I can't pronounce who've already set and surpassed personal goals that never so much as occurred to me as possibilities  until I was already too old and arthritic to muster the energy to even Google the rules of their sport.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Olympics. The only down side is that it's swarming with Olympians and their rock-hard abs and calves chiseled from diamonds, which to me seems just a little like showing off in some cases (archery, I'm looking at you) since I'm thinking you could probably shoot a bow and arrow even if you had a protruding beer gut and a roll of fat hanging over your kneecaps, but then again I don't really follow archery.
Archery fans, please don't send me hate mail. It's a humor blog. I'm joking. Mostly.
Also, I wrote this before the U.S. won silver in archery, which of course automatically made archery seem 100% more awesome, even though I only heard about it because my husband posted it on facebook. So, um, go team! Sorry. Not sorry enough to rewrite that paragraph, but pretty sorry.
These go-getters have been shooting pointy things at targety things and lifting heavy stuff and skillfully not drowning since the age of two, carefully honing their talent into some sort of freakish super-human ability, whereas at age two I was busy picking my nose and felt pretty good about myself if I avoided falling down the stairs for a whole day.

But you know what? Enough of that attitude. We average-ish non-Olympians are every bit as prepared for competitive sports as these athletes, and if anyone tries to say you aren't, you can tell them to shut their filthy lying faces. And I'll tell you why.

You may not have realized it, but ever since we became parents we've been training for our own Olympic-style events. You heard me - qualifying has now begun for our own Olympics.  I shortened it to Momolympics because Parentalolympics had too many syllables, though qualified dads are welcome to try out for the team. We're going to need you guys for the pair skating, anyway.

Here are some of the events we've been unconsciously fine-tuning our parent-bods for over the years.

10-Yard Slo-Mo Dash
In this event, time seems to slow to a near halt as you race across the room to prevent your curious toddler from touching the cat's butt or licking an electrical outlet. Points are deducted for tripping, not arriving in time to prevent the dangerous and/or gross event, or for shrugging and ignoring it altogether.

Unsynchronized Swimming
Dip thigh-deep into the kiddie pool and try to keep up as your child barrels ahead of you, splashing chlorine in the eyes of strangers, announcing she Really Has To Pee Oh Nevermind I'm Fine Now. Flailing your arms in an arrhythmic fashion in an attempt to stay upright and flashing apologetic smiles at the parents who look on judgmentally is optional, but encouraged.

Backyard Fencing
Starting from a kneeling position, armed with nothing but a handful of weeds and a pair of gardening clogs, defend yourself against the sudden onslaught of lashes dealt by an opponent who thinks he's a 3-foot-6-inch Ninja Jedi because he happened to find a long stick in the yard, which every 6-year-old knows is Nature's Lightsaber.

Freestyle Baby Wrestling
Harder than it sounds - if you can get your inexplicably unwilling, writhing baby into a size 3 diaper while she's trying to launch herself from the changing table directly onto the neighbor's lawn, you're well on you way to gold.

Kitchen Floor Speed Skating
Glide gracefully across the kitchen floor at top speed as you run to answer the phone and your foot hits the puddle of orange juice that no one told you they spilled or bothered to wipe up themselves. Extra points available for cartwheeling your arms, and for the dismount when you run out of smooth surface and your feet abruptly meet with carpet.

Parenting Triathlon
It's a game of concentration, stamina, and inner strength as you fruitlessly engage in a battle of wills against inanimate objects. First, hurdle yourself over random obstacles (Fisher Price ride-on toys, Barbie Dream Homes, etc) that have been littered across the floor as you rush to assess the damage caused by a loud crash followed by eerie silence; find child unharmed but surrounded by a sea of broken glass. Second, use your acrobatic gymnastic skills to tiptoe and leap along the 2-inch strip of floor with the least amount of glass, and extract your child from the situation using the over-the-head "clean and jerk" method. In the third phase, hold your toddler at bay with one foot while using full body extension to vacuum up the glass from a distance, simultaneously administering Lecture #567 concerning the fact that Mommy's Wedding China Is Not A Toy. Finish with wine. Repeat daily until all the china is broken.

I feel so much better now, knowing that instead of a wine-guzzling, nacho-eating, child-neglecting slob, I'm in fact a top-level athlete waiting to take my place on the world stage of competitive Momfailing. Won't you join me? Opening ceremonies conveniently coincide with the cocktail hour.

Please click the Vote For Me banner to Vote For Me, then get back to work training for your chosen event - please send videos of your training directly to me so I can laugh my face off assess your progress.
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I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing!

Ermahgerd, it's payback!

Okay, I KNOW I promised never to speak of this meme again - this is truly the last time.   Pinkie swear.

But Wednesday's post about the Ermahgerd meme started up some of the funniest Twitter conversations I've ERVER had, with at least three noteworthy results.  First, thanks to The Bearded Iris, I'll be changing the name of my blog, effective immediately.

P.S. If you hustle over to her blog (after  reading this post, of course) you can laugh AND possibly get $250 richer!  Who doesn't like laughing and  money?
Second, I'd like to announce that the incredibly hilarious and sweet (two things I was NOT when I was 34 weeks pregnant) Paige Kellerman has agreed to go steady with me.

And thirdly of all, the seriously funny and crazy/brave Wub Boo Mummy came up with an awesome idea - because the only thing funnier than an interwebs meme is an interwebs meme combined with embarrassing pictures from your cripplingly nerdy past.

Well, she called my bluff and created the Ermahgerdify Yourself Movement, and as the inaugural entry she published this side-splitting post that you really must check out.  Seriously.  I don't want to give anything away, but let's just say you haven't lived until you read "moccasins" in Derp Speak.

Anyway, true to my word but against my better judgement, here is my contribution to the Ermahgerdify Yourself Movement.

Yes, that is a yellow leather belt that I've used
to cinch in the waist of my henley tee. Thanks for asking.

Anybody remember the Just Say No campaign?
Honorable mention in the essay contest, right here y'all.
I did not, however, receive an award for the mullet.

This is what happens when you're tall and you have to wear
an unwashed, 10-year-old madrigal costume owned by the high school.

1988 anyone?
This is just how we dress at my mom's house.
When we're having an impromptu talent contest.
Doesn't everyone do that????

I'm not even going to add anything, I think the picture's enough.

Well, now, wasn't that fun?  Who's going to join us?  Dig through those boxes of pictures you thought you burned years ago, and Ermahgerdify Yourselves!  Or, if you're like me, you can just call your mom and ask her if she has any photos of you looking awkward and dorky, and within minutes your inbox will crash with all the blackmail material she's been saving since you were a kid.  Thanks, Marma.

Please click the banner to vote for me while I go get a fresh perm.
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Oh, snap - curtains!

Mama’s Losin’ ItI'm linked up today with Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, responding to the prompt, "When was the last time you made something with your hands and what was it?"

I know you're thinking it was those popsicles I made with a bag of cherries and two scoops of failure, but it wasn't.  The last thing I made was curtains.

It started when 17-year-old Kennedy came trudging upstairs on his hind legs to greet the morning, which (in case you forgot) is postponed until smack in the middle of the afternoon for teenagers.  As he appeared bleary-eyed in the kitchen, he mentioned that he'd made a blanket fort in his room.

Of course Gerry and I switched immediately from teasing him about sleeping until 2 PM to teasing him about being eight years old. Because we're mature and supportive like that.

But it turned out he'd made a fort because the sunlight in his room was keeping him awake.

Because he doesn't have curtains.

Because I suck at step-momming and  decorating.

So I dropped what I was doing (nothing) and set about making some curtains for him out of whatever spare fabric I could find.

The funniest part is that I marked this pic with my website
name, as if someone is going to Google "crappy curtain"
and steal my precious photo.
This is one of them.  The ribbon is actually at the top, but I took the picture upside-down thinking I could just flip it over and it would look fine, which just goes to show I know nothing about perspective.  It also goes to show I'm too lazy to take another picture.

I didn't bother to hem the bottom (it's the selvage edge, and thus is self-hemmed where I come from), or the sides (okay, that's just laziness again), yet in hindsight it still seemed like a lot of trouble to go to just to make a plain piece of fabric look exactly like a pillowcase.

The rod pocket.
Now all we need are some curtain rods.
Believe it or not, this is finished.  Let's pretend like I purposefully made it "rustic" because he's a guy and all.

The only part that might conceivably be considered clever is that I hid a snap under the ribbon, with another strip of snaps hanging down sewn onto the back.  That way, in case Kennedy ever decides he does want to see the light of day, he can gather the curtain up, wrap the strip of snaps around to the front, connect it to the snap under the ribbon, and hopefully that'll hold the curtain up.

It would probably have been a lot more clever if I hadn't broken two sewing machine needles trying to sew the snaps.

Or if I could adequately describe the relative cleverness of the snap-based curtain hoisting system with my clumsy word-based talking system.

I bet it would be really easy to see what I meant if I included a picture of the curtains in action, but our curtain rods are hopelessly trapped under a pile of boxes in the storage room.  So naturally we put the curtains up with thumb tacks (classy!), and I can't take a picture of that because you know I'd rather die than reveal to you how lazy and disorganized I am.  Ahem.

I'll take pictures soon, though, because I'm sure the tacks are just a temporary solution.  In the same way that I temporarily hung an obnoxious decorative horn on a nail in our living room as a joke.  Three years ago.

Please click below to vote for me if you enjoyed my sewing tutorial, including such helpful tips as:
Don't bother to iron your fabric, because who cares?
Be sure to curse profusely throughout the process.
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Ermahgerd, it's a meme!

This should come as no big surprise to you, but I'm the complete polar opposite of cutting edge.  So by the time I hear about an innerwebz meme, I have to assume it's been going around since the dawn of the electronic age and I'm just the last person to hear about it.

Unfortunately, the fact that it's old news for everyone else doesn't make it any less funny for me.  So I end up being that lady who catches The Sixth Sense  on HBO over the weekend and shows up on Monday wanting to discuss it with her coworkers, who already saw it - twelve years ago.

I'm telling you this in the event that, unbeknownst to me, everyone else on the planet is already sick of this ERMAHGERD business, because I have been laughing my ass off for several straight days, and if this is old news to you then you probably aren't going to be a big fan of this post.

Also, to anyone who may or may not be up in arms about making fun of this poor girl, please allow me to direct you to pretty much anywhere on the web, where you will likely find an unflattering photo of me.  Half the time I'm the one who put it there.  Like this little collage I put on Facebook:

My hair through the ages.
P.S. My mom made this collage (sans hair comments).
Note to Marma - I'm making fun of myself here, not the collage.
I love the collage, I wouldn't make fun of it.
I know you don't want me to make fun of me, either.
We can talk about it later - all these people are waiting for me
to get to the point, and I'm not sure I have one.

I choose to believe this girl has a sense of humor about becoming an interweb sensation against her will.  But then again, I'm obviously a person who doesn't take herself very seriously, so maybe I have a skewed view.  My point is, I mean no offense.  All due respect.

You can thank The Bearded Iris, super hilarious lady extraordinaire, for getting me started on this when she posted about the Mommy Wars with the following graphic, my introduction to the meme:

Source: Meme Generator

At that point I turned to my BFF, Google, and asked her to show me more.  Like this:

hurr durr derp face - ERMAHGERD- GERNIER
see more Derp

And this:

hurr durr derp face - Ermahgerd Erscerm Terco!
see more Derp

And the classic (as far as I know):

hurr durr derp face - Ermahgerd Sermer Term!
see more Derp

As you can imagine, I immediately became impossible to live with, prefacing practically everything I said with an enthusiastic, "Ermahgerd."

I could tell by his smirk that Gerry thought it was funny, yet he stubbornly refused to join in, opting instead for shooting me the Weary Side Eyes.

This, naturally, caused me to redouble my efforts.

Setting the scene:  Gerry tried to use my elliptical machine but we couldn't get it to work, probably because it had been under a pile of junk for three years and I couldn't remember how to operate it.  Finding myself alone in the house (!) several days later, I decided I would give the whole fitness thing a try, too.  I sent him a text to tell him what I was doing, since I knew that if he came home and couldn't find me it could be years before anyone would think to look for my sweat-drenched corpse near a piece of exercise equipment.

You see how difficult I can be to tolerate.  But by the next day, he finally gave in and texted me (from the dining room).

His participation in my stupidity made me incredibly happy.  Soon, he was as addicted as I was.  We started texting each other while we were side by side on the couch.

Unfortunately, it's been short lived.  We already cut back on saying it, partly because even the things we find funniest lose their comedic appeal eventually.  But mainly because if we ever accidentally say it in front of the kids, we will never - ever - stop hearing it.  A trilliondy billion times per minute.  And it will not  be funny years from now when they still. won't. stop.

Ermahgerd, ah terterly serk ert Phertersherp.

Ermahgerd, yer harve ter vuurt fer meh - preese!  Jurst crick beerow!
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Okay, I promise that's the last one.  Thank you for letting me get that terterly out of my system.

I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing!

Popsicles and The Posh Mom

I was doing some research for this blog (Googling something stupid and juvenile, no doubt) when I saw this:

I immediately pinned it to one of my Pinterest boards, the one that I've so aptly titled "Food I'll Never Make," and spent the next few hours mopping up my saliva.

But do you know what?

I did  make them.

Now, of course I didn't make them how you're supposed to make them.  This is still me  we're talking about.

I didn't get blueberries or raspberries, because apparently right now they're only being farmed on the moon and transported to my local grocer via diamond-encrusted courier pigeons for the bargain price of eleventy hundred billion gold doubloons per ounce.  So I got cherries instead, which is close enough in my book.  Or rather, Gerry got cherries, because he does all our grocery shopping while I sit at home eating popsicles and blogging about it.

I also didn't measure any of the ingredients, because measuring takes too long and that's  how impatient I am, and also, the laziness.

I also didn't follow the instructions on the popsicle molds (another thing Gerry went out to get for me, probably to stem the tide of saliva that was starting to damage our furniture).  I yanked the stick right out of the frozen treat when it stubbornly refused to come unsheathed, and thus the early popsicle prototypes were eaten directly out of the popsicle mold with an infant spoon instead of as a more presentable popsicle-shaped popsicle.  It wasn't my most elegant moment, but whatever - it was worth it.


Later, I got the hang of Frozen Popsicle Extraction and presented them to some eager children.  Did they like them?  Um, I think yes.

This brief, shining moment of culinary and parenting success brought to you by... Posh Mom.

Yes, the perfect mom from my kids' school, the one married to Posh Dad creating a Sophisticated Supercouple that no one can live up to in overall coolness.  The one with magazine hair, the one who wears ballet flats and skinny jeans to pick up the kids in the afternoon and probably only wears yoga pants to do actual yoga, the one whose kids never misbehave, the one whose very existence causes me to suffer a debilitating inferiority complex.

How did she inspire my great popsicle achievement?  I'll tell you.

She was at WalMart.

Granted, it was the "good" WalMart, the slightly less trashy one on the nicer side of town, but nevertheless she was shopping at WalMart when I assumed she only showed her face at Lands End and Pottery Barn.  Not only that, but (wait for it...) her baby was in the cart having a screaming, obnoxious, Stage-9 Meltdown hissy fit in the checkout lane.  And what's more, her Brad Pitt look-a-like 7 year old son had paper cups from a grocery section food sample hanging from his ears.

She, of course, was dressed to the nines, even just for WalMart, but I like to imagine that her stony-faced, composed exterior was not the sign of a woman filled with a sense of superiority and contempt for her surroundings, but instead belied a kindred spirit behind those dead eyes, a fellow mother crushed by the necessity of shopping at WalMart with unruly children.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want her to be unhappy - I was just surprised to see her being... normal.

So I thought, "Maybe Posh Mom doesn't, in fact, live in a remote castle with a team of personal shoppers and hair pixies and professional stylists, where she gets Botox injections every morning while the nanny prepares breakfast for the children.

"And if it's possible that someone like Posh Mom is just some regular old mom who shops at WalMart with the rest of us, maybe I'm  the kind of mom who can whip up an actual food item she found on Pinterest!"

I don't know about Posh Mom, but I think there might be hope for me yet.

Nothing makes me feel Posh-Mommisher than a vote from you, so please click the banner!
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First Impressions

Well, I've figured out my plan for retirement.
Yes - finally.
It happened while I was reviewing a few photos (out of the 1,224 I took in June) (I'm not even kidding) (hi, my name is Robyn and I'm a photoholic) (I also overuse parentheses) and I noticed that Maddie makes a lot of faces.

Okay, it would've been impossible not to have noticed that already, but I did notice for the first time that some of her expressions resemble famous people.

Naturally, I can only assume that she's doing this on purpose in preparation for her career as a world-renowned (and wealthy - let's not forget wealthy!) impressionist.

Please don't trouble me with details, like the fact that none of us can think of a single Celebrity Impersonator who's rich enough to support her mom in the lavish, decadent retirement lifestyle to which I hope to become accustomed.  I just opened my 401k statement and I need to dream.

So here are some examples - you tell me if I'm crazy, or if I need to start (lovingly) forcing her to practice 23 hours per day in a rabid, overbearing, Toddlers & Tiaras-Mom kind of way.

Robert DeNiro

I know what you're thinking.
What crying baby  doesn't look like DeNiro?
Fair enough, but when I teach her how to say, "Are you talkin' to me?" that junk's gonna be entertainment GOLD.

Katie Holmes

Here, Maddie totally nails Katie's trademark smirk.  Let's hope she doesn't also copy Katie's marriage to a alien-worshiping weirdo or her unrelenting attempts to give her kid stiletto-induced hammer toes by age 8.

P.S. Katie, totally joking!  You go girl, and whatnot!

But that smirk does drive me crazy.

Marlon Brando

She's gonna give you an offer you can't refuse, all right, and that's an offer to change her diaper before she falls asleep in a stinky heap on your lap.

Walter Matthau

This impression is almost certain to inspire a Hollywood remake of some kind, maybe a hybrid of Grumpy Old Men  and Look Who's Talking.   They can call it anything except for Look Who's Grumpy,  which I've already copyrighted for the title of my memoir.

Renee Zellweger

A guy behind the counter at a Greek restaurant once told me I look exactly like Renee Zellweger.  When my friend asked him if he was extremely nearsighted or possibly high on crack, he specified that he meant we only looked alike in the eyes,  which caused me to laugh so hard I sprained a muscle in my back.

That has nothing to do with this photo, I just wanted to let that guy know, in case he's reading this blog (which, by my calculations, is about as likely as Renee calling me up to ask for beauty tips), that he's still suspected of being a nearsighted crack addict in certain circles.

Jack Nicholson

Holy crow, did you realize Jack Nicholson is 75 years old?  Yikes.

That's all I got.  I can't come up with anything funny to say about Jack Nicholson, due to the fact that he's scared the crap out of me ever since I saw The Shining.   I'm not even 100% comfortable with Maddie's picture being so close to his, because you can't be sure he won't bust through the border between them and go all crazy-faced "Here's Johnny" at any moment.  I mean, sane  people could probably be sure, but I can't.

Sean Connery

I know she doesn't look a lot like Sean Connery, or at least she won't until her beard fills in, but I had to include him just because I so often hear his parodied voice in my head saying, "I'll take Months That Start With Feb, Trebek," or "I've got to ask you about the Penis Mightier," or "I'll take 'Swords' for $400," and it makes me laugh, although I'm aware there's a possibility that you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about because only four people have watched Saturday Night Live in the past 20 years, which is okay because that's what the links are for.  I am also aware that the person who says those lines on SNL isn't even Sean Connery, but I never said my life was based in reality (see above).

Al Einstein

A lot of parents think their kids are pretty smart, but it couldn't hurt to also look the part.  When Maddie shows up for her first day of kindergarten looking just like Einstein, it's sure to set her off on the path to educational excellence - I'm talking about the kind of educational excellence that might lead to a decent back-up career if (IF!) this impressionist thing doesn't work out.  But I'm pretty sure it will.

Please feel free to impersonate someone who wants me to scoot up in the Top Mommy Blog rankings by clicking the banner!
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Proof That Smartassery Is Genetic

My mom didn't know she was going to guest post today, but whatever - since when did I start asking permission to publish things I didn't write?

Wait a sec... Hang on... (mumble mumble) Okay, so my attorneys tell me that copying what someone else wrote without their consent is something called "plagiarism," and apparently it's frowned upon in the writing world. Who knew? Writers sure are a touchy sort. So I guess I'll ask my mom before I post this. If I remember. Or I'll just let her press charges and see how she holds up in court against my team of imaginary lawyers.
Already working on my insanity plea.
Anyway, a few months ago my mom's heart started bumpity-bumping in a wild pattern and her blood pressure went through the roof, so she went to the ER. She turned out to be okay, but to make sure, the doctors gave her all kinds of tests and procedures and medical-grade pokes in the eye.

One of the things she had to do was wear a heart monitor for 24 hours, which is basically a piece of robotics you strap onto your chest to become a temporary Terminator (without the evil red glowing eyeballs). It measures your heart rate and blood alcohol volume and the number of potato chips you eat per hour, divides it by pi, and calculates how much longer until your copay is due.

The lady who hooked my mom up with the machine gave her a blank chart to track any irregularities in her schedule. That way, if they were reading the Terminator Box results later and saw a gigantic spike in her heart rate, they'd be able to check the chart and see if it coincided with an attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, or a wasp flying into her mouth, or some other adrenaline-inducing activity.

However, the nurse made it p-e-r-f-e-c-t-l-y  clear that my mom was only to use the chart very, very sparingly. Apparently, the nurses have to type everything from the chart manually into their computer, which is a majorly boring time suck, and probably a real drag to do when you're also getting paged eleventy times a minute because some invalid wants more ice chips.

So what did my mom do?  She kept a real chart, which ended up remaining blank because Mount Kilimanjaro was closed that day. But she also made a phony one to turn in at her follow-up appointment, so the nurses could have a few heart attacks of their own. Imagine their horror when they saw a completely full activity chart that they were going to have to type out - and then their relief when they read it and realized my mom's just a smartass.

sitting at computer
ate a cracker
chewing noises
changed socks
bending & opening drawer
watched the news
excessive complaining
got up from chair & sat down again
looked at TV Guide
heavy disappointment
400 push-ups
April Fool!
online shopping
huge dip in finances
looked out the window
very sunny - lots of blinking
opened the mail
I may already be a winner!
phone call to a friend
no answer
thought about dinner
brain getting in gear
still thinking
grinding noises
looked in fridge
nothing there - not surprised
bungee jumping
neck pain
motorcycle stunt racing
only wrecked twice
watched the news
rise in BP
ran 30 laps (backwards)
racquetball tournament
came in 2nd
hula hoop competition
bronze medal
built popsicle stick birdhouse
joint pain
made homemade water
laid out Barbie pj’s
tuned in to Leno show
not funny
changed channel to Dave
REM sleep
eye fluttering
I can fly!
woke up and looked at clock
too early...
rise and shine
bounced out of bed
healthy breakfast
6 donuts and a martini
morning news
Can you believe gas prices?
morning workout
don't forget to take steroids
stunt woman training
threw my back out
cheerleader try-outs
didn't make the squad :(
cosmetic surgery
used the "home version"   (epic fail)
American Idol audition
hoarse and off-key
24 hours is up
heart still beating!
turn in heart monitor

So now you know where I get it. If I ever offend you with my smartassery, you can blame my mom. Or genetics. Or whatever - just leave me out of it. I'm busy organizing all the Intellectual Property Infringement law suits against me into one convenient class action suit.*

*I stole part of that line from the Simpsons.  Please click to vote for me anyway!
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