Tuesday, December 21, 2010

'Twas a Night Full of Witch-mas...

(Copyright 2010, Dawn Weber)

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone. Some assembly required.
Yes, gather your unassembled toys and your tools, folks. Soon will come that special night when reindeer fly, children dream, and parents assemble gifts. All. Night. Long. For such a wondrous, joyous, never-flippin’-ending occasion - and since I’ll be very busy that evening - I have written a poem. No, no, don’t thank me. Just send help. Please?

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the joint,
My blood pressure had reached its full boiling point
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
Visions of working toys danced in their heads.

And me with directions, and him with his tool,
Got me thinking "For this? I deserve some new jewels."
Down by the tree there was nothing but work,
Me yelling "Not that screw, you big, clumsy jerk!"

Then right beside me there was such a clatter,
I said "For $%* sake what the *#@$ is the matter?"
He tossed the pliers down and said "Ouch!",
Then threw himself over, kerplunk, on the couch.

The moonlight on top of his sorry sad head,
Made me feel bad for nasty mean words that I'd said.
"C'mon honey," I told him, "let's just hit the hay.
Tomorrow we'll do this. There’s hooch on the way!"

He shook his head no. “We must get this done.
If their toys aren't together, they won't have much fun!"
More rapid than arrows, my cusses then came.
I whispered them loudly and spoke names in vain.

But as parents will do, we wanted to please,
And met with directions writ all in Chinese,
We went on ahead through the night with our mission,
Me trying, but failing, to stop all my bitching.

And then, in a twinkling, we fell fast asleep.
The parts strewn around us, a crazy-quilt heap.
As I slept, I dreamt of the big man in red,
Perched at the foot of my childhood bed.

His eyes, they still twinkled, his dimples, still merry,
And I felt just like I was back in the 70s.
But as I looked down at myself in my dream,
I saw belly and hooters and wrinkles extreme.

I said "Hey Santa, it’s work, now that I'm older,
It’s crazy, I’m tired, please, rub my shoulders?
These toys, they're messed up, missing parts, bad directions...
Got the sprockets and whats-its all in the wrong sections!"

He spoke a few words, before getting his start,
“You have to stop buying these toys from Walmart!
Cheap junk made in China, we all hate it too…
Those elves end up fighting like they’re from the zoo.”

And laying his old hands on top of my head,
Right there in my dream on my little-girl bed,
He told me “I know that - at your age - it’s work,
But you gotta stop calling your old man a jerk.”

He sprang to his feet, disappeared from my sight,
And I drifted and dreamed on through the cold night,
Then came the small footsteps, and I thought “Oh crap!
Their presents, they are not finished - or wrapped!”

I nudged the old man, by my side on the floor,
As the kids’ little footsteps drew close to the door,
And what to our wondering eyes should appear,
But assembled, wrapped toys - and a six-pack of beer!

What a jolly old elf, that Santa still is!
Christmas is for all, not just for the kids.
What else did I learn, my valuable lessons?
Less Walmart, less witching - cut back on the cussin’.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time...For a Beer

(post copyright 2010, Dawn Weber)

It’s the Most Wonderful Time For a Beer!
My paycheck has gone
Straight to Amazon Com
And the husband’s in tears!
It’s the Most Wonderful Time
For a Beer!

It’s the Hap, Happiest Season
Of All!
Unless you're a woman
In which case you're gonna
Be frantic as hell!
It's the Hap, Happiest Season
Of All!

There'll be lights that aren't lighting
Causing Weber fighting
While hanging the crap on the tree
There'll be traffic to crawl through
To get to the mall through
Please - give some Xanax to me.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time
For a Beer!
The tree’s leaning left
Why is it leaning left?
Sh*t - give me more beer!
It’s the Most Wonderful Time for a Beer!

It's the most Wonderful Time for a Beer!
With visiting relatives
Making me wish I had
Non-working ears!
It's the Most Wonderful Time for a Beer!

There’ll be candy for eating
And fudge to be sneaking
And egg nog filling my glass
There’ll be cookies for scarfing
And pies to be snarfing
Just slap it all right on my ass!

It's the Most Wonderful Time for a Beer!
The money's all spent
I know right where it went
These two kids right here!
It's the Most Wonderful Time...
It's the Most Nerve-Wracking Time...
It's the Most Wonderful Time for a Beer!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Santa Has a Secret

(post copyright 2010, Dawn Weber)

Santa? Yeah...he is a she.

Has to be. Take a look around - there's no other way to explain it. All around the U.S., women are frantically planning for the holiday season.

And men...aren't.

I hate to sound sexist. So I'll just perpetuate a male/female stereotype. This time of year, women cook. We clean. We decorate. We bake cookies for entire school districts. We plan gourmet menus for people we hate.

We deck the freaking halls.

Females stalk sales, surf the web, shop the shops and max out the credit cards. We Blacken Friday.

That's because we have to buy for kids, husbands, moms and dads. We have to buy for aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, friends, friends' kids, dogs, cats, garbage men, the homeless and homeless garbage men.

There is one - and only one - logical reason for this: We are suckas...Sucka Clauses.

Guys? They don't worry about this stuff. They don't have to. They have us.

Hold the angry comments - because I know there are exceptions not many. But for the most part, women regard December 1 as the beginning of a frantic, stressful emergency.

Men regard December first as...December first.

In fact, the whole season takes my husband by surprise.

On December 10: "What? You bought 80 Christmas cards!? Do we KNOW 80 people?"

On December 15: "What? You want to get a Christmas tree? Already?"

On December 20: "What? You want to put up lights? Already?"

And my personal favorite, on December 24: "What do you want for Christmas, dear? It's time for me to start shopping..."

Of course, my holiday shopping began in December, too. December of last year.

Purchasing presents ranks as the only holiday activity I enjoy. That's because it's the one time of year that I can spend many thousands of dollars! Virtually guilt-free! Because it's for others! Mostly. Except for those boots...and that Ipod...and...

So as not to cause the husband's first heart attack yet, I usually try to space out gift-buying over several paychecks. I don't always succeed, though, judging by our recent conversation:

"Holy s%#t!" he said, looking at the checkbook register.

"I know," I said. "But I had to start shopping so the stuff gets shipped on time."

"But four hundred forty- eight DOLLARS?!!" he said. "What did you buy?!"

"Stuff for the kids...the grandmas... And I'm not even close to done yet, so stop complaining," I said.

"But...four hundred forty-eight dol..." he said.

"You think this stuff just magically appears under the tree, don't you?" I said.

"Don't Santa and the elves bring it?" he said.

"You're lookin' at Santa. And the elves. And her checkbook," I said. "Now, hand us a beer, would ya? We're beat, and these new boots are killing us."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Walk Like a Man. Talk Like a Man. Pee Like...a Man?

(post copyright 2010, Dawn Weber)

Well spank my ass and call me 'Don.'

Yep. Dawn - is gone. Because now I really can do anything a man can do. Like pee while standing up, with a Female Urination Device (F.U.D.) such as the GoGirl.

Ladies! Lucky, lucky us. What's next? Equal pay for equal work?

No more of that tiresome knee-bending, that sitting down to urinate. Such exertion!

When nature calls, with an F.U.D., a woman can simply stand and place the funnel over her, um, naughty bits and, um, urinate, aiming the, um, stream wherever.

She can make some yellow snow. See a man about a horse. Drain the main vein. Piss up a rope. Drown the ants. Siphon the python. Water George's bush.

I know, girls, I know. It's very exciting, and it was all news to me. But F.U.D.-type devices have been around a long time, and the GoGirl ranks as one of several, er, female funnels. There's the also the pStyle, the Urifemme and the P-Mate, to name a few.

They say it keeps our fragile female flesh from the festering toilet seat. Now we can stand, whip out the GoGirl and shake the snake all over the stall. Just like a man! Hygienic - for us. For everyone else? Not so much.

As heavenly as all this sounds, I have to say that ways to wee-wee have never ranked highly on my list of concerns. I am from the School of the Squat. The House of Hover. My arse hasn't touched a nasty public toilet seat in 30 years, and it won't. Ever.

We country girls learn this skill early. Accomplished masterfully, ye olde Drop and Squat Tactic lets us avoid pesky indoor restroom breaks during important events... such as fishing, camping and keg parties.

It's a useful trick that I recommend. Anyway - from what I've seen - the Average American Ass could use several hundred a few squats.

Now don't get me wrong - there are enviable things about men. They can lift heavy furniture. They age well the bastards. They've elevated farting to an art form.

However - long restroom lines aside - I've never been jealous of a man's ability to, er, wave the wand.

Still, F.U.D.-pushers insist upright peeing is fun! Freeing! Downright empowering! Why, female world domination is just a piss away!

And, according to the GoGirl website:

"The World Is Your Toilet!"

That? Right there? Is Klassy with a K, people. Where's my credit card?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Secrets of My Lack of Success!

(post copyright 2010, Dawn Weber)
People never, ever  sometimes ask me about my writing process.

"Lighten Up! Lady," they don't say, ever. "How do you do it? How do you, week after week, come up with such mediocre brilliant blog posts?"

Well folks, I am not here for you. Far be it from me to withhold worthless valuable literary advice. You have the power, people! Right at your fingertips.

You too can earn zero dollars from your writing! That's right. Publications have eliminated thousands of positions across the U.S. and/or closed their doors forever!

This makes editors ever-so- unhappy to hear from writers. You'll call and e-mail, annoy and pester...they'll ignore, lie and avoid you. When you finally do make contact with them, they'll cantankerously reject your work because they are rude, ignorant assholes. Good times!

And! Have fun competing with all the award-winning, out-of-work journalists for sparse space in the Sunday Times. Hell - for that matter, have fun competing with the laid-off sports reporter, who can't spell, for space in the neighborhood shopper that rag. Good luck!

I know all of this great news has really got you itching to shoot yourself get going. But wait! I have so much more advice. Turn off the computer and run away NOW.

To hinder help you along, I've decided to give a weekly rundown of my writing process:

Monday - Thursday - Wake at 5:30 a.m. Scratch self, Grab laptop and coffee. Realize you only have one hour of writing time.

Open computer, stare at blinking cursor. Nothing.

Check Facebook. Way to stay focused! Begin "liking" and commenting on friends' statuses. Everyone's hates entitled to your valuable opinion!

Sixty minutes - and sixty Facebook comments - later, get ready for work. No sweat - there's still not much time to post!

Friday - Commence crapping pants. No ideas, nothing written, and the obsessive/compulsive in you likes to post once a week you weirdo.

Open laptop, stare at blinking cursor. Nothing.

But it's O.K. There's always the weekend, and Saturdays and Sundays are not ever known as productive work days...

Weekends -  Grab laptop and creep into kitchen, trying not wake anyone so you can have valuable solo writing time. This immediately triggers apparent sonic bat hearing of 8-year-old, who thump-thump-thumps down stairs. You really should have slipped him that Benadryl last night.

Sigh, and close laptop. Pour cereal for the Thumper. Pretend to Listen to his in-depth review of latest Pokemon/Mario Bros. video game.

Kindly suggest to Thumper that he play new Pokemon/Mario Bros. game. Plant him in front of television, and try to write again.

Open laptop, stare at blinking cursor. Nothing.

Glance over at dirty clothes pile - huge. Sigh. Close laptop, dive into effin' laundry duties. Whee! Kill me now, please.

Well, I hope I have been of no help whatsoever to your writing career. You can see for yourself here why I am so wildly un successful. Just don't follow my example, and you too will not make anywhere close to millions from your musings!

No, don't thank me, really. It was a huge pain in the ass no bother. I'm a giver.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Rock 'n Roll Therapy

(post copyright 2010, Dawn Weber)

I am not above buying a little love.

Don't be pervy. I'm referring to my recent epiphany: Peace, love and harmony can be purchased. For $7.99.

Bet you didn't know that. But at the Lighten Up Center for Useless Information, we're here for you! And we have determined that "AC\DC Rock Band Track Pack" video game will unite parents, children - and possibly the Middle East.

I figured this out recently when, on a whim, I decided to pick up a used copy off the rack. Under eight bucks? Songs I actually knew? Paint me "Back in Black." I'm in.

The game is better living through Bon Scott, and includes wholesome, family-oriented numbers. Like "Hells Bells," "Shoot to Thrill" and "Shook Me All Night Long."

I figured the kids might like it. Our son, my 9 or so regular readers may recall, fancies himself quite the Rock Expert.

And our daughter, the Teen Expert, has some of my impeccable musical taste. Nickelback, Kid Rock, some Skynyrd.

Yeah, we're a classy bunch.

Still, I didn't expect much when I fired up the ol' PS2, and asked her to play. She picked the drums, I took lead guitar.

But I'll tell you - we started shredding. Jammin'. Or whatever you kids say nowadays.

And that's when it happened. Right during the drum solo of "T.N.T."

Clouds parted. Angels sang. Lions and lambs laid down together. Democrats and Republicans shook hands.

Because she smiled. At me. Her mother. Oh yes she did!

I have not seen a smile like that since the Disney World trip. I have not seen a smile like that since the Jonas Brothers concert. I have not seen a smile like that since Christmas Day - 2004.

That smile used to be a constant. As continual as the Barney VHS tapes playing...then rewinding...then playing again. And again.

That smile was the first thing I saw every night at daycare pickup. Back when she knocked over everyone in her path, shouting "mommy-mommy-mommy!" before launching into my arms.

That smile was the one on the little face, bent over me, as I laid in the grass. Waving her "fairy wands" of dandelion seeds. You know...making magic and wishes and sneezes.

Ah, the fairy game. Good times. And yes, she has two arms...

Now? Not so much.

She is a teenager. I am her mother. We - surprise! - don't agree ever sometimes. We disagree about household chores. We disagree about clothing choices.

We disagree about the color of the sky.


People say not to worry - it happens to most mothers and daughters. She'll be back. She'll like me again. The happy girl I knew will return. Someday.

But maybe they meant Sunday. Because - although it was fleeting - I saw her then, banging away on cheap toy drums.

So watch out, people. We be jammin'...on the "Highway to Hell" and whatnot.

Yep. Heavy Metal: official bonding music of the American family.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Born to Be...Behave? Blah!

(post copyright 2010, Dawn Weber)

Sometimes? Bad is so good.

Yep. If it feels good, tastes great or is regularly enjoyed by Kid Rock, you can guaran-damn-tee it's bad for your health.

You know it's true. Are you eating gobs of great food? Drinking bottles of fine wine and beer? Riding fast, the wind in your hair?

Better call an insurance agent. You're probably in the process of killing yourself.

Take pizza, for instance. No, don't take it - give it all to me. Now. Don't mess with me. I am from Youngstown, after all. I know - and love - the pizza-pie.

Thick crust, gooey cheese, spicy sauce...it's late - but I don't care. The later the hour, the better it tastes.

"I will make you happy, melt your cares away," whispers the pizza. "Eat me."

Of course, it contains eleventy billion calories and grams of fat. Consumed in excess, pizza can cause clogged arteries, giant asses, or, worst of all, Kirstie Alley.

But that's no fun. Let's not think about that now.

Instead, let's think about motorcycles. Helmet? We don't need no stinkin' helmet. How can you feel the wind, the air, the freedom with a big fiberglass egg on the head?

"You've been cooped up in the office all week - let's go," purrs the Harley. "Ride me."

And it's all badass,  "Born to be Wild," and bandannas.

Until the bike wrecks and the noggin slams the pavement. Wind? No wind in the hospital. Freedom? No freedom in a casket.

But that's no fun. Let's not think about that now.

Let's think about beer. *Homer Simpson voice* Mmm...beer.

"You've had a rough day, a tough life," says the beer. "Drink me."

Bubbles tickling the throat, worries disappearing - nothing like a bottle or six at the end of a long day week.

Again, too much beer can cause situations. Like hangovers. Babies. Or - horrors! - Dancing White Folks.


Why is this? Who came up with this plan? Amazing, heady experiences that trip the trigger and surge serotonin can kill you faster than you can say 'dopamine.'

I guess that, for humans, it comes down to survival. We have to behave - somewhat. Because left to our own hedonistic devices, we'd collapse in a writhing, obese, strung-out heap.

At least, I would.

Still, it's too bad that we can't run around, always eating pizza, drinking beer and doing risky things.

They call that college. Most of us are lucky to have lived through it.

So I'll plop myself on the couch, with one maybe two glasses of wine and some bagged lettuce. Again.

Such excitement. I can hardly stand it.

They call that adulthood.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Got Your 'Women's Work' Right 'Chere!

(post copyright 2010, Dawn Weber)

Ah, 1950: A man could be a man and a woman could be a domestic servant.

Thank goodness it's 2010. Or at least I thought it was. Judging by the crappy economy, these kids yelling ‘Mom!’ and the spiderwebs of lines on my face, we're at least ten years into the new millennium. Plus, the Internet says it’s 2010 - it must be true.

Or is it?

If so, then why do I still sometimes hear:

“But…that’s…WOMEN'S WORK!”

Yes, folks, believe it or not, I occasionally hear this sentence from the mouths of men.

(And then I kick them in the junk.)

They say they’re joking, they’re teasing. They say it with a gleam in their eye, then laugh, hug us and wink at their buddies across the room.

But, you know what?

Sometimes they mean it.

Sometimes they mean it when the windows need cleaned.

Sometimes they mean it when the laundry needs done.

Sometimes they mean it when a football game's on.

Now, now - I don’t mean to throw ALL dudes under the proverbial sexist bus. Guys have come a long, LONG way in the last 60 years.

And my spouse, especially, has proven that real men take on what were - not so long ago - female tasks. He's changed many a diaper. He's fed many a bottle. He's laundered many dark pants with many light shirts.

Still, my guy - and some other male friends - have 'jokingly' uttered the dreaded BTWW phrase. Laughing, eyes twinkling.

(Until I kick them in the junk.)

Gents, save your junk! Don't say it - don't even joke about it. Especially around me, the junk-kicker.

Everyone knows there’s a little bit of truth in a jest, and when a guy says "BTWW," here's the general thought pattern:

“What!? She asked me to wash windows!? That’s something my Mom did while my Dad watched football. Football…there’s a GAME on…”

So he says:

“But…that’s…WOMEN‘S WORK!”

Please note that, despite his junk-pain, our windows DID get cleaned recently. And not by me. Bonus? We are still married.

While my husband washed windows outside, I loaded the dishwasher and thought: If domestic chores are still women's work, then, indeed, we have gone back in time.

And if that's the case, then...I had great news! I took it to my man:

"Hey. Since you said that's 'Women's Work,' we must have stepped back in time, to 1950 or so....," I said.
"Oh jeesh, here we go - you'll probably write a blog about this..." he said. "I told you I was kidding..."
"And if that's the case, then I can totally quit my job!" I said
"What are you talking about?" he said.
"Because working outside the home is 'Man's Work,' in 1950!" I said.
"Yeah...right," he said. "Nice try, honey. We need your paycheck, too."

And suddenly, it is 2010 once again. Convenient!

You see how that works?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Send Sprite...and Candy (An Interview From Afghanistan)

(copyright 2010, Dawn Weber. Photos courtesy of Wyatt Carlisle)

Great news from my favorite Marine in the Middle East: Afghanistan is dull!

“This place is pretty boring. Who would have thought…” said Lance Corporal Wyatt Carlisle’s recent Facebook update.

That’s great, buddy. Keep it that way.

In fact, the only thing that’s blown up around Wyatt? A Sprite can.
“Really quite unfortunate,” he said of the wayward pop.
The thing exploded when his buddy tossed it to him, just sprayed all over his pants. It didn’t faze him too much. As we can see, our boy is ready for action…or more rogue soda.

Yes sir, like so many troops (and the cast of M*A*S*H) in all the wars before him, he’s finding that - besides long, hot hours of military work - there’s not much to do in his spare time over there. So he’s amusing himself in new and interesting ways. For instance, Trigger the cat.

“The cat is fat,” he said.
“I feed it my food because I don’t really get that hungry," said Wyatt.  "And it’s lazy - it sleeps all the time and steals my chair. It also likes to chase lasers and climb up the cami netting.”

It’s not only felines begging for food in Afghanistan. Each day, local children offer to fight each other, clean - or even just go away if Wyatt will hand over water or candy.

So, he gives it to them.

“The kids just pop out of nowhere," he said. “They clean me out every day.”
That’s my boy. And, as mentioned in my last Wyatt post, I haven’t seen him much since his toddler years. So I was super curious: In times like these, what makes a man enlist in the service?

In between taking care of work, begging kids and Trigger the cat, he answered my questions:

Why did you want to become a Marine right now, when you knew there would be a good chance you’d end up at war?

I’ve always thought we were here for the right reasons and thought that I should do my part to help, so really the thought of actually being here [Afghanistan] encouraged me to join.

Have you always wanted to be a Marine?

I’ve always wanted to do this, ever since I was a little kid part of me always wanted to be in the military.

I’m sure you’re aware that many Americans feel that our troops shouldn’t be in Afghanistan. How do you feel about that?

I feel that we should be here; if people were terrorizing us we would want someone to help us. Also by dealing with the threat over here the chances of them causing terror on U.S. soil must be going down. The people here can’t carry out normal lives because of the Taliban; we just want them to be able to live in peace.

What do you miss the most?

This is a hard one seeing as how I miss a lot of things over here. Being deployed really makes you appreciate the little things you have and can do at home. If I had to chose one thing I would have to say my family and girlfriend, its different not being able to talk to them all the time, as I could when I was home.

What is the first thing you want to do when you get home?

The first thing I want to do when I get home is go to my house take a nice shower, eat some food with the family and just relax, not even unpack my stuff. Just relax and appreciate some of the little things that I miss.

What is the hardest part of being over there?

The hardest part of being here isn’t actually being here. I think the hardest part is that you miss out on so much at home while you’re gone because the world doesn’t just stop when you’re gone it carries on as normal.

What are the people like? How do they treat you?

The Afghan people are normal people. Yes, some Americans would find them odd, but they have many of the same principles as we do. They have a sense of honor and hospitality; they work hard and pray five times a day. The people I have encountered have been friendly and thankful; if you give them something they always try to give you something in return.

That much is true, Wyatt. The kids and the cat are at least giving you some amusement for your trouble.

By the way? Your care package is on its way, bud. I’ll send along some candy for those kids. And some Sprite for you. (In a Wyatt-safe plastic bottle...)

If I could mail anything else to you and all the other troops over there, it would be utter and complete boredom.

Seriously. I hope you are bored to tears…all the way home.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our House Is Haunted...By a Trucker

(copyright 2010, Dawn Weber)

I cuss at dead people.

Not all of them, mind you - one in particular. A guy called Buck. That's not his real name. I changed it to protect the asshat guilty.

A former owner of our house, Buck was the type of guy who liked to "do it himself." This has been most unfortunate for us.

He was not a carpenter, a plumber, an electrician or a contractor. He thought he was.

In reality, he was a truck driver. We can tell.

I spend a lot of time yelling:

"Buck? You suck!"
"Buck - WTF?"

For 17 years, he's haunted our house with cluster-Bucks: jacked-up plumbing, makeshift carpentry, fire-hazard wiring. Nails where there should be screws, screws where there should be nails, and nothing where there should be something. His actions have caved in ceilings, caused small electrical fires and  flooded our hardwood floors. Twice.

He's left our Allstate agent in tears.

Luckily, I'm a tough cookie. And I watch a lot of HGTV. So of course, I know everything about home repair and remodeling. (Just ask me.)

Lately I've been using my mad television skillz to remodel the downstairs bathroom, and I was especially excited to get rid of the heinous, late 80s, Garth Brooks-era medicine cabinet and light fixture. Both are epic in their fugliness. I blame Buck.

Simple things, replacing a medicine cabinet and light fixture, right?


You hear that? That's him, beyond the grave, laughing his ass off.

Because when I unscrewed the two screws holding the medicine cabinet onto the wall and gave it a tug, I got exactly...nothin'.

No movement. Not even close. Stubborn and stock-still, the Garth Brooks cabinet didn't move. I examined it all the way around, thinking I'd missed a screw, a stupid nail. Nope. I tugged again. Nothin'. The box remained, a monument to blue wooden geese and bad country music.

This reeked of Buck. Buck plus construction adhesive.

Instead of just screwing the cabinet into the wall's studs like a sane person, the village idiot our boy had chosen to slop industrial strength glue on the wall and permanently affix the Garth Brooks medicine cabinet in place for all time. Just to be evil.

Buck - WTF?!

I immediately knew two things:

1. If I ever did get it down, the drywall beneath the cabinet was probably jacked-up beyond repair.
2. It was time to drink my lunch.

I pondered my situation on break, and decided to save cabinet Cluster Buck for later and move on to the revolting light fixture.

Breaker off, I began unscrewing it, wondering what would happen next. Didn't have to wait long.

The lazy redneck had drilled a huge, jagged electrical hole on the SIDE of the fixture instead of the middle. Didn't matter to him: In 1989, his fugly light wouldn't show the hole.

Well, guess what dead dude? It's 2010, and my new, awesome light will totally show this gash. Now I have a huge hole to patch, and wiring to drag to a new location. My TV skillz will be taxed.

Who DOES this? Who puts huge electrical wiring holes on the SIDE of a fixture?


Ladies and Gents, here he is again: the Jack of No Trades, Mr. Mediocrity, the King of Half-Assery.

Buck? You suck.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

From Munchkin to Marine...I Missed the In-Between

To me, he is a little boy.

Not a man. Definitely not Marine.

Someone please tell me where the last 20 years have gone, because I’d like to know exactly where that kid went.

I have a general idea. Wyatt Carlisle, now 20, is in Afghanistan. The son of dear old friends, he's from my Ohio hometown. He just deployed as a Lance Corporal with the 4th Marine Division, a Reserve unit from Akron. We aren't aware of his specific location, of course, for security reasons. He just tells us it's hot - 115 degrees with few trees.

"At my new home for the rest of my time here," he said in his last Facebook update. "It's a shame there's no grass or shade, lol."

That’s my boy. My funny, easy-going Wyatt. He broke my heart by growing up in the blink of an eye - the way kids will. These days, it’d be pretty difficult to do all the things that I used to...tickle him...hold him...hug him. I think he, his gun - and probably his girlfriend - would have something to say about that.

He was a toddler when I met him. I was young myself, in my early 20s - close to the age he is now. His big brown eyes grabbed me from the get-go.

I liked the way he cuddled with his mom, wrestled with his dad, the way he jumped right in to play with me - a stranger, at first. He made me want a boy of my own.

He felt like my nephew. Not linked by blood. Just love.

Soon after I met him, I got married. Then, quickly, my wishes were fulfilled with my own daughter and son. I didn’t get to see Wyatt as much. He lives three hours from here, and work and family always seemed to get in the way.

And, he was very busy too, growing up, living life, becoming type of man it takes to make a Marine. But I never forgot my brown-eyed little guy.

So all these years later, the news that he was heading over there hit my chest like a Humvee. It brought the war right home - probably a fraction as much as it did for his parents, Jodie and Dan.

Wyatt's story isn't unique. It happens all over the U.S. Every week, families nationwide are still waving goodbye to their loved ones heading overseas. Even as the war in Iraq nears an end, President Obama has dispatched thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan.

This conflict in the Middle East is easy to forget. Its media coverage has dwindled. And, according to a recent Associated Press-GfK poll, six in 10 Americans don’t support it.

These United States sure aren't the gung-ho, patriotic, flag-waving ones that my Grandfather fought for in World War II. In a way, I think it’s even braver now, going off to a war like this: You're aware the entire country isn't behind you. Even though you're fighting for all of them.

I support careful, finite U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. I know it's very complicated, and I respect those with dissenting opinions.

But I think September 11 showed us that extremists need to be kept in check. Obviously, some are a threat to our safety and our way of life. And I think we should finish the job we started in Afghanistan.

I admire the men and women willing to stand for something they believe in, who risk their lives for us - whether or not we're in favor of their missions.

Disagree with me? That’s cool. It's called freedom of speech. Some very brave men and women fought for it.

I just hope that, no matter their opinion of the situation in the Middle East, folks remember the troops still over there.

For sure - they're thinking of us.

Wyatt and I, circa 1993. Godspeed, Buddy. Can’t wait to see you again. We're due for a new picture!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mean Mommy Strikes Again

(copyright 2010, Dawn Weber)

Recently, I baffled my boy - with baked goods.

He's a genius. We're so proud.

"What are those things on that plate?" he said.
"Those are cookies, bud," I said.
"Where's the box?" he said.
"There is no box," I said. "I made them, then I put them on a plate."
"Wow! You never made cookies before!" he said.
"Yes I most certainly have!" I said.
"Not since I've been born," he said.

The kid is right. Martha Stewart I ain't.

But when I do, occasionally, make cookies, we keep them in a special place, a magical place, to the right of the stove and the left of the sink. A place where salt is King and sugar, his Queen.

My son named this hallowed spot many years ago, after yet another unsuccessful attempt at feeding those two a healthy lunch, at which they picked, I nagged and nothing nutritious was consumed. I had gone into the bedroom when I heard:


Uh-oh. Sounded like trouble. Kid-sized trouble. I listened:


Curious, I peaked into the kitchen to find a chair pushed to the cupboards. Halfway-on, halfway-off the counter, legs akimbo, was my son's diapered rear-end.

"What are you doing?" I said.

He froze, mid-sneak, and craned his wee head around.

"Going there," he said, pointing to the built-in bread-box.
"Where?" I said.
"Um, the Counter of the Junk Food?"he said.

Scooping up his 2.5-year-old Pampered behind, I took him to the other corner of the kitchen and introduced him to the refrigerator.

"This is where the 'real food' is," I told him.

I showed him the apples, the strawberries, the blueberries. I presented to him the cheese, the yogurt, the carrots and the celery.

Yeah, I know - it's hilarious. I'm naive optimistic like that.

He made faces, wriggled free and toddled away. He was having none of it.

The Counter of the Junk Food also ranks as the only approved meal location for my daughter. At work, I get phone calls like this:

"Mom! We have no food!" she says, panicked.
"What do you mean we have no food?" I tell her. "I just went to the store! There are cheese sticks, bananas, grapes..."
"Blech! That is not real food,"she says.
"I think God would disagree," I say. "What food are you talking about?"
"We need Oreos, salt n' vinegar chips, Doritos, Slim Jims..." she says.
"Okay, THAT is not 'real food,'" I say. "Anyway, keep looking - I'm sure there is some junk somewhere you'd like."
"There is not!" she says. "I've looked all through here! There's nothing to eat!"

Poor children. It's a dang travesty - it's a downright shame!

Contact the authorities. As you can see, I'm starving my kids. With produce.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Naked Parade

I made my children very sick the other day. Didn’t mean to.

There were tantrums, sweat and tears, fits, shouts and fevers. Hands covered mouths, bodies fell to the floor and cookies were tossed.

Whatever did I do to make the little darlings so violently ill?

I accidentally let them see me in a state of, well, “underwear.”

Yes, evidently I closely resemble Jabba the Hutt. I was not aware of this! I’m so glad they pointed it out - wonderful children. This 5’2’’ vessel of flesh that lovingly carried and nurtured them, this body that writhed through torturous hours of agonizing labor to bring them into this world…the slight site of it now sends them into fits of revulsion.

For many years, I’ve tried to hide my apparent hideousness from those two. I use a complicated bathing/dressing ritual designed to keep them from seeing my, er, “assets” : First, head into bathroom. Lock door, shower, dry off, dress as much as possible. Open bathroom door, peek to make they’re not looking, and sprint to bedroom for rest of clothes.

On this particular day, though, my mission was a big “fail.” I partially dressed, opened the door, did the peek-n-run. But is was no use - they spotted me in the Hinterland of the Hallway.

“Ewww! Mom! GROSS!” said my son, 7.

“That is just….UNATTRACTIVE!” said my daughter, 12.

Can’t you just feel the love?

It’s not their fault, really. They possess the smooth, flawless, muscle-packed skin that only the young can claim - and take for granted. Gravity and time have not pummeled their perfect bodies yet. The little boogers.

So when they see this 41-year-old pillar of, um, “experienced” flesh, with its faults and foibles, they tend to go into shock.

Luckily, I came up with a way that my children will never, ever again have to gaze upon my hideousness: A major Master Bathroom/Walk-In Closet renovation!

Indeed, a $39,000, granite-countered, garden-Jacuzzi-tubbed, en-suite bathroom - connected, of course, to a large walk-in closet - will solve this whole dilemma! No more hallway peek-n-run! If we knocked out the downstairs bathroom wall, connecting it to the bedroom, there‘d be no more hallway, and…

Thank goodness for all my HGTV-viewing, or I would not be aware of such solutions.

Ah, HGTV. You complete me.

I took my genius remodeling plans to my husband.

“You want to do WHAT? You want to knock out WHAT WALL?!” he said.

I explained the situation: How my near-nakedness is sickening the kids. How the peek-n-run from the bathroom to the bedroom has become more difficult in these, my Golden Years. And how garden Jacuzzi tubs are necessary for the aged body.

Surprisingly, he was not enthusiastic.

Turns out he's a fan of the Naked Hallway. He's also a fan of my peek-n-run parade.

Most of all, he says he's a fan of keeping money in his pocket - and not putting cash into a new garden Jacuzzi tub.

Looks like the kids will have to deal with the occasional, accidental “mom’s underwear” sighting. Tough tooters.

After all, if it wasn’t for this Birthday Suit - and their father’s appreciation of it - their little Birthday Suits wouldn’t even exist.

Can I get an Amen?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

There's No Place Like Florida

(copyright 2010, Dawn Weber)

Life is too short to live in Ohio.

Oh yes, I did - I went there, I said it. That's my quote, and I'm stickin' to it. You can use it, if you feel the same way. Just please send me some coin each time you do, so that I can save up and eventually move my frozen, landlocked, saggy-senior-citizen-ass out of here.

I love my fellow Buckeyes. Sorry for the cussing. I'm just a little crabby, you see, because God has thrown me down in the wrong state. Also, the other man in my life went and did it again: My husband made me come back from Florida. He always does. I try to run, to hide, to get away - but it's no use. That guy always finds me.

This last time, he spotted me on the rented condo's screened porch under a patio table, crouched amongst the little lizards.

"I don't want to go home...I don't want to go home...you can't make me!" I chanted, rocking myself.

To get me out of there, he used words like "unemployed," "destitute" and "childless." The big meaner. He's just concerned because he knows he's fighting a losing battle with me and my other love, Florida.

"Honey," he says, "I don't worry about losing you to another man. I worry about losing you to another state."

He better worry. Have you seen this place?
The sound of the waves. The smell of flowers. The touch of soft sand. Each evening, while body-surfing, heart-stopping sunsets. Dolphins cresting in the distance. Most nights, a rainbow opposite the setting sun.

It was a freakin' Disney movie. I am pretty sure we found Nemo.

Now. Let's contrast these Pixar visuals with Ohio's scenery, which can be seen any given day on an I-71 drive from Columbus to Cincinnati.

A barn...some cows...a field. And look! Over there! A field...a barn...some cows. Repeat. Ad infinitum.
(You know, statistics rank Ohio as the ninth most populated state. I have no idea why. They must be  counting the cows.)

But wait! There's much more to us than barns and bovines. For at least six months, we also have either clouds, or snow, or both! Accompanying those, we have ice! Slush! Sleet! Freezing rain, hail, bone-chilling winds and blizzards!

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Miami!

Okay, I know. I'm not fooling anyone. You can see what this all boils down to - I am done with Ohio's winters. Done. After 41 years here, I'm absolutely finished with snow.

I've also had it with snow scrapers, snow shovels, snow days, snowballs, snow squalls, snow tires, snow plows, snow drifts, snow emergencies...

For all I care, even the snowmen can melt in hell.

Yes, I can imagine what all my dear, much-loved, soon-to-be freezing fellow Buckeyes are probably thinking right about now:

"If you don't like it, Weber, then get the EFF outta here!"

I am working on it. There's a few things stopping me. Like pension plans. The kids' school. Affordable healthcare. Also reality, in conjunction with that meddling husband.

Someday, though, our youngest child will graduate, and we'll both retire. Pack up our Buick and head to the Sunshine State like the rest of the Blue Hairs.

Because after all, blue hair? Not so bad. Much better than blue lips.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Best Silver Anniversary EVER!

copyright 2010, Dawn Weber
Twenty-five years of the Dairy Queen Blizzard, 25 extra pounds on my gut.

Coincidence? I think not.

Yes sir, the fine folks at your local Dairy Queen introduced the Blizzard back in 1985, swirling in things like chocolate bars, cookies, candies and - apparently - crack. Because I promptly began snarfing them down and packing on pounds.

Before that, in the 70s and early 80s, Midwestern kids like me had a handful of ice cream flavors from which to choose: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and neopolitan. Blah, blah, blah and triple-blah.

"You'll get vanilla, or you'll get nothin', kid!"

I'll take nothin'. I could care less about those lame-o choices. A vanilla cone? A dish of chocolate ice cream? Ha! I laugh at your feeble dairy offerings. Buy me a Milky Way bar and call it good.

And then...THEN...came the Blizzard.

Vanilla soft serve ice cream, yes, but blended with candy, candy, CANDY! A kid's dream! The ice cream's mellow melt offsetting the crunchy sweetness of my favorites, Heath or Butterfinger bars. Yum!

Have I mentioned the candy?

If that wasn't awesome enough, Baskin-Robbins, Ben and Jerry's, Haagen-Dazs and other store-brand ice creams jumped on the treat train. Moose tracks, peanut butter cup, fudge, cookies n' cream...

Sigh. Excuse me - I need a minute alone.

Oh, yes. Like a man or two I've known, candy-packed ice cream gives me at least sixty seconds of untamed happiness.

But too much of a good thing can make you pregnant fat.

With that in mind, as an adult I've made a point of always living at least 20 minutes from the nearest Dairy Queen and major grocery stores. That way, I am far from temptation.

Acquiring treats becomes a serious mission. One that requires planning, buying gasoline and changing out of PJs - tasks I strenuously avoid.

So you can imagine my joy-tinged angst when I saw this:
Well spank my ass and call me fatty.

Apparently DQ is celebrating their frozen treat's big 2-5 with the DQ Blizzard Maker? Now I won't even have to get off my Blizzard-bloated butt to partake. This gizmo is designed so that a child can make them, and serve me on the couch, as a child should.

I am sure I will plunk down the $29.99 for it, then rush to the store for ice cream supplies and Heath bars to crush.

Because I give up. I admit it.

My shape was just dandy till ice cream had candy.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Tooth Fairy's Tighty-Whiteys


copyright 2010, Dawn Weber

Tooth Fairy?

Not at our place. More like the Fail Fairy.

My poor kid. Witness our conversation first thing this a.m.:

"Uh, Mommy? Something weird happened," he yelled from his room.

I braced myself. 'Weird' can make me kids cry. 'Weird' usually needs cleaned up.
'Weird' is never good, generally involves an animal and makes me late for work.

But, in all my years of parenthood, 'weird' has always waited until after breakfast.

"Okay...what's that?" I said, ever the resigned-to-my-fate brave one.
"The Tooth Fairy left me a dollar, but she didn't take my tooth!" he said, surprised and angry.
"Um...well...uh...maybe she couldn't find it," I said.
"Yeah. Or maybe she has enough teeth right now...I guess...," said my son, trying to hide the disappointment in his wee voice.

I made a mental note to kick some Tooth Fairy ass.

Didn't have to wait long. He/she called me.

"I hear the Tooth Fairy forgot to take Levi's tooth this morning?" I said.
"Yeah. I went in across his floor, it was all 'CREAK! CREAK! CREAK!'" said the Fairy. "His pillow was half off his bed, half on. I'm feeling around under it, couldn't find his tooth anywhere."
"So what'd you do?" I said.
"I put the dollar right by his face, and tried to walk out, but the floor was all 'CREAK! CREAK! CREAK!' again, and he woke up and looked right at me," he/she said.
"Well, you're lucky, you big goober," I said. "He didn't remember that, because he didn't say anything."
"I'm surprised, considering what I was wearing," he/she said.

Yes folks, apparently when my boy spotted him/her,the Fairy was in his/her men's Hanes white undershirt and tighty-whiteys of questionable cleanliness.

Niiiicccce. The kid probably blocked it out of his memory.

Guess the Easter Bunny/Santa Claus, who weighs less and won't cause as much CREAK, will have to take over tooth duty, too.

Because - on the grounds of slacking, cross-dressing and dubious underwear -  the Fail Fairy is fired.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Yo Quiero Taco Bell

Copyright 2010, Dawn Weber

You touch my taco? You die.

Nor may you munch my nachos or snatch my burrito. They are mine and mine alone, got it? I've got $3, I've got dinner. You don't? Move along.

I refer (what did you think I was talking about, perv?) to the wonderful culinary offerings of Taco Bell, that fine restaurant chain established in 1962 (bless you, Wikipedia) by one Glenn Bell, God rest his cheesy soul.

That's right. Here at the Lighten Up Center for Useless Information, we have determined that the honorable Mr. Bell passed away last January at the age of 86.

Also at LUCUI, we (and Wikipedia) have verified that the beloved "Yo Quiero Taco Bell" chihuahua, Gidget, also recently died, July 21, 2009, at age 15 after a stroke and resulting euthanization.

Both ripe old ages, no? This proves Lighten Up's theory that consuming Taco Bell's four main mouthwatering food groups, beef, cheese, lard and...um, different cheese, are indeed nutritious and should be included as a regular part of the U.S. Food Pyramid.

Lighten Up further theorizes that the Taco Bell menu stimulates serotonin, and may cause addiction. Translation: It makes people happy. And may contain crack. Or both.

For instance:

This is the brain.

This is the brain on Taco Bell.

Need further proof of the Bell's Power? The Lighten Up Center for Useless Information went to the experts - Facebook friends. Take a look at these recent posts:

"Mexi-Melt! Yumm!" said Mari Darr Welch of Florida, who's been known to eat several in one sitting with me.

"Who said Taco Bell? OH MY GOD!" said Wisconsin's Heidi Frazier, always resorting to CAPITAL LETTERS when the BELL is mentioned usually, by me.

"I am craving Taco Bell and getting the shakes several times a day," said Stacey Hatton of Kansas. "Just say no to the Bell! I have to drive by it to get to my dance class. Ugly temptress to the weak-hearted. Five days clean from Ma T. Bell!"

Yes, like these women, I have a problem.

A problem made worse by late-night beverages shenanigans. That's right - I am, and for many decades have been - a proud partaker of the Fourth Meal.

Certain Saturday nights, out on the town with the husband, I start digging for change. And just before 2 a.m., I start elbowing and reminding him of an important task. This is never the overnight fun - and resulting sleep - he wishes for, but rather a quick run for the Border.

"Let's go. I want some Taco Bell," I say.

He sighs, grabs the keys and we hit the road. He knows his place, he knows the drill: My Drive-Thru Driver, my Menu-Board Man, my Staticky-Speaker-Stud.

"How can I help you?" says Teen-Taco-Bell-Boy.

"Yeah. She'll take two chicken soft tacos, a Nachos Supreme and a large diet," he says.

"Anything else?" says TTBB.

"Yeah. I want a Burrito Supreme, a regular soft taco and a medium diet," says the husband.

Damn straight, mister - get your own.

There's no touching my taco.

(Taco Bell also inspires mass amounts of creative talent. Check out Heidi Koch Frazer at heidiinwisconsin.blogspot.com, Stacey Hatton at http://nursemommylaughs.com/ and Mari Darr Welch at http://weddingphotographerdestinblog.com/)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

He Has A Mean Right Hook For An Old Dude

copyright 2010, Dawn Weber

Somebody's beating me up in the middle of the night.

And I think it's Father Time.

Eyes all baggy, forehead all furrowed, cheek all sleep-wrinkled - I wake each morning to a face that looks like it's gone 19 rounds with George Foreman. And his grill.

Beauty sleep? My booty!

Coffee in hand, I head to the mirror to assess injuries.

AHHHHH! My daughter’s gone and flipped the makeup mirror around to the “magnified” side again! This is not nice to do to a young lady of, um, 25, like myself…

Eyelashes pasted to puffy, crinkly eyes. Wrinkles have sprouted in new and unique areas, seemingly overnight. Dark circles that would do the grim reaper proud. And - wouldn’t you know it - a nice zit thrown in. Just for grins n’ giggles.

Ah, middle age. Wrinkles AND acne. A double delight!

You know, that Father Time is one mean S.O.B. - Stealer o' Beauty - and I hope Mother Nature and the Tooth Fairy gang up and kick his ass someday. (Just sayin'...)

Damages assessed, I reach for my weapons against Mr. Time. In fact, I've an entire heaping Longaberger basket filled with lotions, serums, gels, and potions - just to keep him away.

There's your standard lotions, SPF lotions, day lotions and night lotions, your alpha hydroxies, your retinols, your self tanners and your soothing gels. Your pore reducers, your exfoliators, your tone enhancers and your anti-oxidants…

And don't get me started on the eye creams. They have their own basket.

I was discussing the Father Time fight with my good friend Marj the other day, telling her how it's taking more and more of these "chemical weapons" to fight him off. She had this to say:

"It'll only get worse."

I don't know why I expected her to say anything else. This is her standard answer for everything. Marj, a few (EIGHT!) years older than me, is the Eeyore of Aging:

Me: "Now, what was it I was going to tell you? I can't remember what I was going to say..."
Marj: "It'll only get worse."
Me: (Different day) "Can you turn the music up? I can't quite hear it..."
Marj: “It'll only get worse."

Sometimes, she doesn't even listen before spreading her Message of Doom.

Me: "Hey Marj - do you want some potato chips?"
Marj: "It'll only get worse."

Whatever would I do without Wise Marj?

Seeking more Marj-ness, recently I told her that Father Time isn’t just pummeling my face each night. Judging by painful, tender muscles in strange, new places, he’s also pounding my shoulders, legs, back and hips. Each day, I wake to aching muscles in different bodily areas, wondering what I did to deserve the misery.

Of course, Marj also has a theory on Father Time’s nightly below-the-neck smack down:

Wise Marj: “Yep, that’s your Body Bingo.”
Me: “Huh?”
Wise Marj: “You know. It's when you wake up each morning, feeling what’s sore, trying to remember what you did the day before to hurt yourself in that particular spot. That's the Body Bingo.”

I asked Wise Marj what I could do to fight Father Time's nasty board game.

Really. Why do I bother asking? I knew her answer just as soon as she shrugged and uttered the words from her wise old mouth:

“It’ll only get worse.”

Saturday, July 17, 2010

It's Only Rock n' Roll But He Knows It...Better Than You!

(Post copyright 2010, Dawn Weber)

This just in!

Bon Jovi screws up their lyrics, the Beastie Boys are dead and AC/DC has a hit they know nothing about!

Thank you, Guitar Hero. You've created a Musical Monster Genius!

Yes, this popular video game has made my son, 7, a veritable rock n' roll expert. According to him.

The dude beats everyone on that game, even though he's so small that he has to hold the instrument across his lap, steel guitar-style. And this plastic-guitar virtuosity has got him thinking that he's an all-around modern-music master. I am so annoyed grateful!

He proved his brilliance the other day when we heard "Rock & Roll" by Led Zeppelin.

"Oh yeah! It's AC/DC!" he said, banging his little head.

"No, Levi, that's Led Zeppelin," I said.

"It is not! It's AC/DC!" he said.

"Sorry, bud. This song came out when I was two. I have the album. I had the cassette. I probably had the 8-track," I said to a boy who knows none of those terms. "I have it on my Ipod now - I'll show you. It's Led Zeppelin."

"Mom," he said, barely concealing his disdain for my stupidity. "I can tell - this is AC/DC."

"Ok, Levi, it's AC\DC," I said.

See there? You thought "Rock &Roll" was by Led Zeppelin, too. Obviously, you were wrong. Dummy.

Also, someone needs to call Jon Bon Jovi, stat. My boy informed me that the lyrics to "You Give Love a Bad Name" are all wrong. It's not:

"Shot through the heart/And you're to blame/Darlin' you give love/A bad name."

Oh, no. According to my kid, that particular line goes:

"Shock up your heart/And you're too late/You give love/A bad grade."

But wait, there's more! He's not only gifted in classic rock - he's also quite the rap music expert. Again, according to him. My daughter left her music blaring the other day, allowing he and I the following brilliant conversation:

"Hey Mom! It's your favorite rapper...M & M's!" he said.

"Well...Eminem is O.K.," I said, "but my favorite rapper is Kid Rock."

"Kid Rock isn't a rapper!" he said.

"Well, he used to rap, before he went country.Or rock. Or country..." I said.

"He isn't a rapper!" said the 7-year-old rap expert.

"O.K....then my favorite rapper is...the Beastie Boys," I said.

"The Beastie Boys?! They're dead!" he said.

"No, son, they're about my age. They're not dead. Yet," I said.

"Nah...they're dead," he said.

"OK, Levi. They're dead," I said.

And that? Is what happens when lame white people discuss rap music. No one wins. Least of all the poor Beastie Boys.

Somebody should call them, too - I'm sure they would like to contest their demise - but they'd quickly learn their lesson.

There's really no use arguing with the Guitar Hero.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Less Than a Mouthful's a Shame

copyright 2010, Dawn Weber

Tapas restaurants: itty bitty plates, teeny tiny portions and one small question. Where's the flippin’ beef?

These fancy-pants eateries are the latest trend and based on the concept of appetizers as dining. The "tapas" (Spanish word meaning 'ridiculously tiny mouse meal‘) are passed around and shared amongst the table.
F.Y.I? Anyone attempting to split my grub will draw back a bloody hand, featuring a protruding fork. I am an American girl of German lineage, raised in Youngstown around a bunch of Italians. I need some portions, yo. Meat, potatoes - and probably pasta.

Somehow, several joints like this have popped up around Columbus, Ohio. Great idea! Give one of fattest cities in one of the fattest nations, well, no food. Yeah. That'll work. No wonder the restaurants’ valets spend their evenings texting.

Not knowing what I, er, wasn’t getting myself into, I went to one of these joints recently. I'm a sucker for a beautiful place, with the fancy lighting and whatnot.

Trouble was, no one had told me of the Mouse Meals.

When my food arrived, I thought the server had made a mistake: three miniscule corn tortillas artfully arranged with a few tablespoons of salsa substance. What my husband likes to call “them-there European Portions.”

“Miss? I’m sorry. I didn’t order an appetizer. I ordered the fish tacos?” I said to the waitress.

“Oh Ma’am,” she said, losing tip percentage for old-lady-ma’am-word usage, “That is your meal. We serve tapas here..."

I examined my plate. I rubbed my eyes, and looked again. Enough food for, say, a kitten.

“Ma’am, usually people share each other’s tapas…” said the soon-to-be-tip-less server.

So I looked at my friend’s plate. She had a similar lack of grub. Between the two of us, we could have fed a small…..child.

I decided to really let that server have it! Give them the old what-for! Just let that joint’s management know exactly how I felt!

“Okay - great! Thanks!” I said,.

Sigh. My friend and I exchanged glances. I knew what she was thinking: Just who's the Einstein who came up with this concept, in this economy? Folks are poor!

She and I had decided to eat out as a special treat. Two working moms, full of your typical Mommy-Guilt. We don’t get out much. This lunch was our big hurrah for the month. And here we were. Stuck with the European Portions and a beautiful young waitress who was “ma’am”-ing us into an early grave.

So we made the best of it. Dug in, so to speak. And let me tell you, there was no sharing going on: those few bites of food weren’t going anywhere but down - into our guts.

Three minutes - and $30 each - later, we were done. Our normally way-too-brief 45-minute-lunch was more than enough. The good news? We still had time to hit the vending machines before clocking in.

I know, I know. This is the way French women eat, and the reason they’re all so thin and gorgeous. Blah, blah, blah - whatever.

But I’m from the U.S.A. Give me my large plate, my giant portions and my big belly. It’s the American Way.

Friday, July 2, 2010

They Are Not Hooker Shoes! (Fine. Just Take Me Dancing. Please?)

Photos and Post, Copyright 2010, Dawn Weber

He calls them the 'Dead Hooker Shoes.'

I prefer the term 'Dancing Shoes.'

My husband's only saying that because they light up... and strobe...with clear heels...and red lights.

O.K. So The Shoes aren't, how you say, 'subtle.' But believe me - I'm a 41-year-old mother of two. I've had enough 'subtle'.

And I'm not selling or giving away anything, especially, er, THAT. The only thing I put out around this place is peanut butter sandwiches.

You hungry?

Anyway, look at These Shoes!

In These Shoes, I am the Dancing Queen. Young and sweet. Only 17! (And I am so NOT a dead hooker...)

No one in These Shoes fixes peanut butter sandwiches. No one in These Shoes listens to whining. No one in These Shoes wipes a counter, a face, or a baby bottom.

Women (hell - even certain men) wearing These Shoes have fun! There is dancing! There is craziness! There is debauchery!

If you're not careful, there is jail time!

And? There most definitely is NO peanut butter anywhere near These Shoes.

Need a night out? Slip 'em on. Need a party? These Shoes will bring it. Need a dance floor? These Shoes strobe like the one below John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.

I don't get to wear them much. Because,dancing, at my age, does not happen often.

When I do, people love them. The women (and again - even certain men) want to know where I got them.

If I am busy dancing, this is what my-husband-the-cop tells them:

"I got them off a dead hooker, at work in the city. Yeah, she didn't need them anymore..."

Nice. He's lying, of course. He's such a hater of These Shoes. I don't listen to him. Ever. He is just jealous because his police boots don't have strobes.

Mr. Cop was nowhere around the night I was threatened for my dancing kicks. That's right - one of my girlfriends saw a woman looking at my feet, then telling her friend:

"I just want to knock her down and take her shoes."

Oh no she did-n't! Listen here, lady...you do not know who you are dealing with. Anyone trying to steal my Party-Pumps will get a quick, Lucite, battery-powered heel planted squarely in their behind.These Shoes will go nowhere but my feet, understand?

Because, I'll tell you what, I've never had a bad time in them. When the little lights burn out, I'll scour the web and find replacements.

And when my lights burn out, and I'm done dancing for good, they'll go to my daughter.

After all, she loves them, too. I've taught her one of life's important lessons: Only the best shoes have batteries.