Monday, August 29, 2011

Crazy Bitch: A Bloggy Doggy Giveaway

(post copyright 2011, Dawn Weber)
Be sure to comment below to win one of two copies of "I'm Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship: Hilarious, Heartwarming Tales About Man's Best Friend From America's Favorite Humorists," edited by Wade Rouse

Every day, I deal with a little bitch.

She's short. She's black. She's dangerous.

She is Suzie Q. Weber, Dog of Doom. Dark Streak of Holy Terror. Furry Weapon of Mass Destruction.

You remember Suzie - sure you do - from posts such as this and this. As you may recall, her hobbies include sexually assaulting stuffed animals, scratching visitors' legs to bloody ribbons and chewing pavement.
Yep. I know a thing or two about bitches being one myself, so you can imagine my glee when I received the request to review "I'm Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship: Hilarious, Heartwarming Tales About Man's Best Friend From America's Favorite Humorists," edited by acclaimed memoirist Wade Rouse.

It sounded like a book about bad dogs. Clearly, I am just the person for the job.

Except I guess we shouldn't call them "bad dogs" these days, lest we hurt their "feelings." We should call them "dogs with behavior issues."

Don't you think so, Suzie?

Contributors include five of my current favorite authors: Rouse, W. Bruce Cameron, Laurie Notaro, Jen Lancaster and - perhaps most notably - Chunk. You know, Chelsea Handler's dog.

Chunk himself writes the book's introduction. It's shocking that Handler even owns a dog - she's merrily mocked both dogs and dog owners in past books. But somehow, she decided to rescue Chunk from an L.A. shelter on his last day of doggie death row. And, just like the rest of us dummies dog owners, he has wrapped Handler around his paw.

He pulls her around on the leash. He "takes big dumps" for Handler to pick up. He sniffs everyone's ass and usually their crotch.

Huh. Sound familiar, Suzie?

In "A Dog Day Afternoon," Cameron tells the story of his late dog Carly, who enjoyed rousting him from bed so she could go back to sleep. She begged for bacon. She barked uncontrollably at the neighbor. She took off down the street and delayed Cameron's column writing.

Suzie? What say you? Suzie?!!

Rouse writes of Marge in "My Best Paw Forward." Marge, who willfully ignored her  dog trainer's screamed commands and responded only to the high, lilting language spoken by Rouse and his partner, Gary. She much preferred commands such as "Itty-bitty-boo" (sit), "Dum-diddle-dum-dum" (come) and "Get-um-good-ums" (eat your food). Thanks to her language barrier, Rouse's beloved mutt Marge? Was soon a puppy school dropout.

Suzie and Marge are soul sisters. Obviously. Because recently, our girl also repeatedly ignored the obedience class trainer. She yanked me, pulled me and lunged on every living creature in class, making me a sweaty, angry bitch myself wild woman.

After four weeks of this torture obedience class, my arms and sanity gave out. And Suzie also became a puppy school dropout.

There goes eighty bucks I'll never see again. Thanks a lot, ya little bitch.

But my dog's and Marge's similarities got me thinking which is usually dangerous : Maybe Suzie just doesn't understand anything regular commands. Maybe she speaks Rouse-ese.

It was worth a shot:

Me (high, Rouse-y voice): "Suzie! Itty-bitty-boo!"
Suzie: *Blink*
Me (Still with the voice): "Dum-diddle-dum-dum!"
Suzie: *Stare* *Head-tilt*
Me (More voice. Kill me now.): "Get-um-good-ums!"
Suzie: *Yawn.* *Blink.*

Bah. It's no use. Suzie is a bad dog  has "behavior issues." She's certainly not alone: a good 85 percent of the dogs in this anthology are rotten have "behavior issues."

But 100% of the dogs in this book are loved. Anyway.

Oh, and Rouse? I'm writing all of Suzie's shenanigans down. So that we're, you know, ready for her chapter in your next "Bitch" book. Call me!

Because here at the Weber house, bitches be crazy.

Ain't that right, Suzie?
Rouse is donating 10 percent of his royalties from the book to The Humane Society of the United States. So grab your copy today. And comment below for your chance to win one of two copies! I will make my boy-child break from the Wii long enough to draw the winners from a Tupperware bowl, and I'll post these Tuesday, 9-6.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Life Story. In a Buckeye Nutshell

(Post and badass picture, copyright 2011, Dawn Weber)

Do ya'all like my Official Badass Author Headshot up there? Yeah, you read that right. Your funny little friend has had an essay accepted for a Valentine's Day humor anthology book. A BOOK! With, like, PAGES! Not bad for a girl from the cornfields. It's all rainbows and unicorns and corn up in here. Again.

I'm kind of not a big deal.

I'll share the approved cover with you at the end of the post, and don't worry, you won't miss the book because I'll endlessly pimp the thing when it's published. Hopefully, all five of  my readers will buy it. Meantime, though, I thought I'd share with you guys what I had to write for the anthology - my "Bio," a.k.a. my life story, a.k.a. some B.S. I had to come up with so that people would read my shit.

Dawn Weber is a wife of one (she thinks) a mother of two (that she knows of) and the author of, well, not much so far. She blogs at writes the "Lighten Up!" newspaper column in the Buckeye Lake Beacon, for which she won the 2011 National Society of Newspaper Columnists third place, humor award. No one is sure how this happened.

She was born a poor white child in Cincinnati. Despite her best efforts, she is still poor, still white and definitely still in Ohio dammit!

Raised by a single mother in New Springfield, Ohio, do you see a theme here? Dawn spent her childhood riding a bike "no hands!" back from the little store. With a pizza in one arm and a jug of milk in the other.

As you can see, she was brilliant and questionably parented.

Dawn graduated from Springfield Local High School in 1987, and her classmates didn't vote her "best" or "most" or "prettiest" anything. But that's O.K. She'll get over it. Someday. Maybe. *Crazy eyes.* She then received a bachelor's degree from Kent State University, where she majored in flammable, piece-of-shit cars and cheap beer.

Many towns around the Buckeye State dammit! have served as her home, but currently she resides in Brownsville (Motto: Indoor Plumbing Optional) with the husband, kids and an ever-changing series of dirty, ill-mannered pets.

She's spent the last 20 years being grossly underpaid and unappreciated in a wide variety of communications positions at newspapers, corporations and state government. Her goals include thinner thighs, a nap, maybe a solo trip to Walmart.

She works. She mothers. She still drinks cheap beer. She wonders why she's writing in the third person right now.

She thinks she'll go take a nap.
Apparently I am one of "America's Most Hilarious Writers." This is news to me! And everyone else!

Friday, August 12, 2011

My 25-Damn-Year-Class-Reunion. Must Be Mistake - I'm Only 29

(Photo by Dan Drotleff, Post by Dawn Weber, copyright 2011)

Well, Google thinks I'm old. So it must be true.

Yes, it's a well-known fact that Google collects ages and other user demographics. And now every web page I visit with "Google Ads" has great news for me:

"How to Build Muscle When You're Older!"
"Lose Middle-Age Belly Fat the Easy Way!"
"In your 50s? Try this one weird trick to fall asleep at night!"

My 50s?! WTF?

Google is an asshole.

As if the all-knowing search engines weren't enough to make me feel ancient, I am helping to plan my 25-damn-year class reunion.

Wait, what?

You heard that right. Let me say it again so that maybe I'll start to believe it:

Twenty-Five-Damn-Year-Class-Reunion. Yes, that's its official name - according to me.

Time is also an asshole.

I am not sure where the years went. I am not sure how this happened, where I was, what I was doing.

Wait. I take that back. I know where I was - at work.

Yes, it's been a fast 25 years, a fulfilling life, full of riveting activities and achievements. Such as sitting in cubicles! Driving amongst dummies in traffic! Loading dishwashers and changing several hundred thousand diapers!

And soon enough, somebody will be changing my diapers.

Happy Thoughts: You're still at the wrong blog.

But this Twenty-Five-Damn-Year-Reunion got me thinking about things. Pondering Deep, Meaningful Bullshit about life, aging and the way things used to be, long time ago when we was fab.

My school, the old Springfield Local High School, was built in the 1920s. A crumbling building even when I was there in the 80s, full of dust and asbestos, it sits on State Route 170 near cornfields and the Petersburg, Ohio post office. We called it "The Shoe Factory." Because it looks like a shoe factory.

Here are my Top Ten Ways to Know You're From Old School Springfield Local, a.k.a. The Shoe Factory:

10. You knew that the first day of deer season? All boys (and several girls) would be absent.
9. The school parking lot contained four pickup trucks for every one car.
8. To this day, you know when corn in any given field is ready for the John Deere combine.
7. You can clearly remember the "Asbestos Removal" men in the building. Working in head-to-toe Haz-Mat suits. As you ambled past in jeans and a t-shirt.
6. You don't understand how any school year can start before the Canfield Fair ends. Obviously, 4-H is more important. Obviously.
5. You purchased your first piece-of-shit vehicle - at least in part - yourself. And again, odds are 4 to 1 it had a tailgate. (See number 9).
4. Proper locations for parties include fields, abandoned strip mines (!) and backyards of unsuspecting, vacationing parents.
3. You could tell that first lunch break had begun by the smell wafting up from the questionable, archaic maybe non-existent septic tank.
2. You know that spray paint is not for huffing. No. It's for painting your name on road signs and turnpike underpasses.

And the number one way to Know You're From Old School Springfield Local, a.k.a. The Shoe Factory?

1. A six-pack and a bonfire were - and still are - all you need for a good time.

Thank you Dawn David Letterman.

Blah. Enough reminiscing. I blinked, and it's 25 years later. Google says I'm old, I've got a 25-Damn-Year-Class-Reunion to help plan and a cubicle in which to sit.

The former Springfield Local High School - a.k.a. The Shoe Factory - still stands. Barely. Whoever owns it now, I hear, has filled it with vehicles and junk.

They built the "new," current Springfield Local High School (our old middle school) - I think - in the 70s. Fancy! I hear the kids who go to that carcinogen-free building now have air conditioning, a functioning septic system and safe drinking water.


Asbestos that doesn't kill you? Only makes you stronger.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Exactly When the Hell Does School Start?

(Post, copyright 2011, Dawn Weber)

Ah, summertime. When a kid can be a kid. And bathing?

Is just a concept.

Me: "Son. When was the last time you took a bath?"
Son: *Crickets*
Son (lifting head from Nintendo DS): "Well, I went swimming Tuesday."
Me: "It's Friday. And I'm not asking about swimming. I'm talking SOAP. I'm talking SHAMPOO. I'm talking WASHCLOTH in your BUTT-CRACK."
Son: *Crickets*
Son: *Stripping streak*

This is not totally his fault. He and his sister have been very busy, you see.

It begins each morning, after 11 hours of sleep. They log onto the computer for their daily dose of online shopping: Toys Backwards R Us, Amazon, Foot Locker online, Game Stop online... Decisions are made. Items are listed. Virtual shopping carts are filled.

And every evening, after my ten-hour workday and two-hour commute, the 19-page lists and shopping carts - printed with Epson ink costing $67 per milliliter - are shoved in my hand before I can put my purse away. Then I know what I can buy for them that particular day. Isn't that thoughtful? And all accomplished with such diligence, such attention to detail!

You know, I'm really glad they're taking the initiative here and working on solutions. Because they have a dreadful, serious problem.

They're bored.

The poor darlings! I feel awful for them. 159 video games on three different systems. A puppy. A trampoline. Two computers. A four-wheeler. Three mp3 players. 213 dvds. Five bikes.

An in-ground damn swimming pool.

Tragic, no? You can see here why the little lambs find their world so very dull.

Yes, it's truly a difficult life they lead. Every summer day is a struggle.

I can tell, because obviously some kind of terrible tussle takes place at our house before I get home at night. Popcorn bags scattered, candy wrappers dangling from the dog's mouth, cereal milk souring on the kitchen table, eleventy billion effin' drinking cups on every effin' surface...

My brave children. Must get so tired of fighting off the thirsty, popcorn-scarfing marauders invading our house that they can't clean up the resulting mess. So exhausted indeed that they cannot STAND to go outside.

No - the unbearable heat has turned out to be too much for my fragile flowers, who will surely wilt in the sun.

Teen Daughter: *Complain* *Grumble* *Whine*
Me: "Go outside and play!"
Teen Daughter: "But Mom - it's too haau-uutt outsiiiiddde-duh!"
Me: "Then go swimming!"
Teen Daughter: "But I just washed my hair-er!"
Teen Daughter: *Complains, *grumbles*, *whines* out door.

*Returns 9 minutes later.*

Teen Daughter: "But Mom - it's too hauu-utt out there-uh!"

Kill me now.

You know whose fault this is besides mine? Air Conditioning that bitch.

Believe it. Back in the Groovy Day? When I was a kid in the summer? You wouldn't find me in any stuffy, damn, 80-degree house. No sir. You could find my little ass one place only.


I biked! I nerd alert roller discoed! I skateboarded! I played catch and weirdo alert Peoples with Marshall the Neighbor Boy!

I did not know this word you call 'Bored.' And I did not return to the house until the streetlights came on.

Because my mother locked me out all day. Then retired to the only air-conditioned room in the house: her bedroom. And that was that.

But that's O.K. It was the 70s, man.  Everybody locked out! Everybody weirdos roller discoed! Everybody dehydrated sweaty!

Air Conditioning? Nintendo DS? Water? Basic shelter? Ha ha-flippin'-HA!

You kids these days. I laugh at your cool air, your video games, your health and safety practices.

Bunch of amateurs.