If I Link To Them Enough Times, Do You Think They'll Notice?

This Christmas, my boys received a very cool gift from their very cool Auntie.

This, friends, is a RipStick. A Ripstick is a two-wheeled skateboard, on casters. You can zoom down hills, take radically sharp turns, and once you've watched the instructional DVD, you can actually ride it uphill, from a dead stop.

PS: Chris, if you're reading this, go away, because this is what you're getting for your 30th birthday next month. Go on, scoot.

At Christmas time, these were only available through the website and Sharper Image. Auntie sent us one all the way from the US of A, and 2of3, well, he's got his daddy's perfect skin and his momma's coordination. For those of you who have never seen me try to take more than 3 steps, that would be none. In fact, I have fallen over while propped up against something, dead sober and standing perfectly still. Someday, if you're very nice, I'll tell you that story.

So, the Ripstick, by default and the laws of gravity, came to be solely 1of3's possession. Every sunny day, or, I should say, both sunny days since Christmas, he has been outside trying to ride this thing. I'll give the kid credit; he learned fast. He kind of had to, since his old skateboard literally disintigrated in the rain and his bike is, well, um, it's in his godfather's garage still. In DENVER. Because I am the shittest mother alive, that's why.

Needless to say, come summer-time, he was dazzling all the ladiez in the 'hood and scaring all the mommas out of their socks. Last week, he went outside with his Ripstick, and one of the neighborhood kids was all, "OOOOoooh!, Whaaat's thaaaat?" and he was all, "Yeah, whatever, it's my Ripstick. It's pretty much my favorite skateboard." The next day, that kid owned one.

The next day, that kids sister did, too.

The next day, every kid on my block (and there are a fuckload of kids on my block) had a shiny new Ripstick. You're welcome. Every kid, that is, except my little 2of3. But that didn't stop him, oh no. He begged, borrowed and stole and now he too is tearing it up down my street whenever the older kids see fit to share with him (usually right about the time I see fit to bake brownies, coincidentally enough.) Seriously, when they're all whizzing down our road at the same time, it sounds exactly like Armageddon out front on my cobblestone streets. Like a bunch of ziity, short, smelly goth horsemen skating in.

Much to my shock, my boys haven't taken too many diggers on this thing. It's so low to the ground and so swervy that you just just step right off it when you're about to biff it. Unless you don't. 2of3 fell, and fell hard. He came running in the house, SCREAMING, blood shooting out of his elbow.

"MAAAAWM! I-I-I-I-I-I FELL!!!!! *squirt squirt* I start cleaning him up.
" *sniffle sniffle* Mom, Austin totally crashed into me ON PURPOSE and made me fall!" No, no he didn't. He's your friend. "No, it was TOTALLY ON PURPOSE! He doesn't like me because I'm only EIGHT. *sniffle snort* " 2of3, I seriously doubt that. Tell me everything that happened, from the beginning. " *deep breath in* Well, we were on the Ripsticks playing Collision and tha...." *giggle* Um, you were playing Collision? "Y-eh-eh-eh-es. *whimper* " As in, to-crash-into-something Collision? "Uh huh" Dude, um, what did you expect to...oh, nevermind.

He totally tore his elbow wide open. The next day, he fell and caught himself with the same elbow. Brilliant, that one. And then 1of3 took a good fall and scraped up his arm. And then lost it and sprained his wrist.

(No chance Ripstick is going to google this and send me a free one for my kid now, is there? Crap.)

I told you all of that to tell you this:

...to be continued. Yes, I suck, thankyouverymuch.

(Just kidding. Well, I changed my mind, at least. This is why I publish at one in the morning.)

Today, my kids went to Crash Crawly's with the neighbors. Which is, apparently, aptly named:

Impressive, no? Holy Fight Club, Batman. That should be fully swollen by morning, if I'm guessing right. So, to recap, my kids in the past month have sustained:

  • One black eye

  • Two open elbows

  • Several minor scrapes and cuts

  • A broken foot

  • A sprained ankle

The fact that I still maintain full custody of these children is proof alone of the existence of God, and not just that Flying Spaghetti Monster one. Over dinner, once the tears subsided and the stories began, I got the recap:
So, mom, this girl was totally climbing UP the slide even though there is a great big sign that said 'Please Do Not Climb Up the Slides', and it was the really fastest slide, and I was coming down and her elbow was right in the way of my face! Oh, no, did you duck? I tried to, Mawm, but she was right in my way! And then, and then, she tried to LIE her way out of trouble, but she got in trouble anyway. And I got a blue raspberry slushie and a ticket for VALID FREE ADMISSION next time. Fitting. Huh? Well, you got a blue raspberry slushie for a blue and raspberry black eye. *gigglegiggle* You're right! *touches swollen face* Yeah, I really like the design, but it's just so gross!

He really likes the DESIGN of his golf-ball BLACK EYE. He also reads encyclopedias. For fun. He's spent all day estimating rates of swelling vs. ice applied, calculating blood flow at differing pillow elevations, and eating bubble gum.

And we, well, we may never actually leave the house again without full body armour. Unless, of course, we had a new Ripstick to soften the blow.

I Really Think I May Have Actually Left My Heart In San Francisco

(I wrote and re-wrote this a million times, and we're just going to leave it the way it is, okay? We're just going to pretend you all were there in the room, if that works for you? Because I have to just say this to those people in that room, and all of you that read here WERE in that room, at least to me. Thanks.)

A few weeks ago, I received an email that, quite possibly, changed the course of my life.

I had submitted a few posts to that Community Keynote thingy the girls at BlogHer were pulling together, and I would have bet you *this* toe they weren't going to choose one.

They chose one.

Was I nervous? Not really. Honestly, once I saw the list of bloggers who were speaking with me, I figured I would be drowned out under a sea of amazing, powerful voices. I mean, really; Schmutzie? She's incredible. I'm just some chick who no one's ever heard of with a terrible attitude and a complete lack of ability to swallow a birth control pill on schedule.

I arrived in San Francisco, along with a large part of the women who's blogs I stalk religiously, and my first night in town was spent drowning in a sea of voices I'd spent the past half a decade trying to discern from a screen with Ariel font. I drank those ladies in, and also managed to drink the left half of the bar we were saddled up to, leaving me almost no time to worry about silly little things like, oh, standing on a stage and talking to you all 20 hours later.

If you don't think we're all not totally smashed out of our skulls, you've got another thing coming. That would be VDog, Christine, Kimmylyn, Maria, Don Mills Diva, Aimee Greeblemonkey and my drunk ass.

20 hours later I stood on a stage and started talking to you all.

They'd asked me to read a post I'd written 5 months ago when I started taking anti-depressants. Anyone who's ever dug through my archives (read: no one) knows that I've got some, well, gut-wrenching stuff tucked away for safe keeping in there. I live-blogged a divorce, if that gives you any idea. I really didn't even give more than a few test-run reading's worth of thought to what I was about to say until I started saying it.

And then I got to the part where I had to tell 1,000 people that I slit my wrists when I was 8. And then I realized just what it was I was saying up there, and that I couldn't back out now, and that I was stuck. And then I had 0.0008/10 of a second to muster up a bunch of courage that I don't actually possess and continue.

I stood on an empty stage and told 1,000 people things that I haven't ever even told my father. I knew that the room had gotten veryvery quiet, and with every word I panicked just a little more. These are not topics for public consumption; mental illness, child abuse, suicide. And yet, I kept talking. The more I grew afraid of what you all were going to think of me, the harder I wanted to say Every Single Word out loud for the whole world to hear. Half way through that reading, I just started crying. I cried because I was afraid, I cried because I was standing there, reliving awful things in my head, and I cried because for the first time in my 33 years of life, I was owning it.

When it was over, I turned and ran off that stage as fast as I could. I couldn't see anyone in the crowd through my own tears, I couldn't breath, and I more or less could not stand up anymore. I fell right dead smack into the arms of Fussy, and I think that's when I realized she was crying a little, too. And then I looked up and those other 21 people backstage with me? THEY were all crying. And then someone turned me around and shoved me back out onto that stage again, and you know what? YOU were all crying, too.

See, I really REALLY though every single person in that room was going to scoot away from me on the Group W bench* when the whole thing was said and done. That the exact OPPOSITE reaction happened means more to me than I will ever find the words to tell you all. The tears and the hugs and the winks and the handshakes and the nods and the emails that have followed since that day have been overwhelming in the most amazing sort of way.

I've been writing my blog since 2005, and I've always considered it a hobby. I've always giggled about it, and downplayed it, and I don't tell anyone in my real-life life about it because perhaps I'm the slightest bit ashamed of it. Or, I was. What happened to me, personally, last weekend in San Francisco is that I realized that this silly little hobby of mine in less than 5 minutes changed someone else's life. Me, sitting at my kitchen table typing out some post that I was so afraid to publish I had to email it to three people first, helped someone, anyone. It gave someone the courage to talk about their own problems, or maybe it gave them the courage to email me, or maybe it gave them the strength to talk about their issues with their spouse or their doctor. Or maybe it just helped them find the courage to walk up to me and say Thank You at a bar later that night, and maybe that was their first step in getting help. I talked to so many people in the days following, so many people who openly shared a bit of their stories with me, many whom said outright that they'd never talked about these things before, that I cannot help but be changed a little by it.

I love my silly little humour blog. I love making someone laugh throughout their day. I love, most of all, making myself laugh at the insanity that runs around so rampant in my head, I'm thinking about getting a head-cat to catch and eat some of it for me. But you know what? Under all that glibness (is glibness a word? It is now) is something important and real and relevant and I am not afraid of that anymore. I am not afraid to say that I hurt and I bleed and my demons seriously fucking outnumber my angels and that sometimes I cannot laugh, no matter how hard I try. I am not afraid to say that I love my kids, but raising them is really the hardest thing I've ever done. Because maybe you'll read that, and maybe you'll need to read it, and maybe you'll know that you're not all alone, just like I did at 5pm Pacific on July 18th, 2008. Just like I think all 22 of us did.

Photo by Greeblemonkey. Hey, did you know we used to be neighbors?

Hi, my name is Shannon, and this is my blog. It's no longer just my hobby, just my humour blog, or just my mommy blog, it's just Shannon's blog. And Shannon, well, she just realized that she's a writer. Maybe they're not all gems, but I am a damn good writer, and I'm not hiding from that anymore. I'm not running from that anymore. I am a writer, god dammit. Who really likes to laugh, and came from a terrible gene pool, and had a really shitty childhood, and isn't totally recovered from it yet. But I'm trying, and I'm not alone. Welcome to my blog, where you are SO not alone.

To the three of you who have any clue what the Group W Bench is? *smooch*

Rate the Hate the So Awesome We Need Equipment Edition

Wow. It's been a really long time since I've done a recipe. Like, over a month long, and I wouldn't exactly say that last one counted or anything. Before I get started, though, Jeremy at Discovering Dads threw down the gauntlet, saying that I could actually stand to lose the contest that I wasn't intentionally winning in the first place. So yeah, maybe you want to click that link and show him what we're all made of? Because it's not like I don't know the crazy kids at Lijit personally, or like I didn't already get a t-shirt from them for simply being trampy enough to flash them my boobies, but I really can't stand down a dare.

Moving on...

Teriyaki skewers. Um, yum and stuff? My kids will eat anything so long as it's on a stick. Me, too, actually. Food on a stick is awesome; I don't care who says what. These little beauties are just chicken cut into chucks, soaked in a teriyaki marinade. They're threaded on a skewer (that's been soaking in water for an hour so it won't burn, because I am too cheap forgetful to ever actually buy metal skewers) with cherry tomatoes, pineapple chunks and mushrooms for the big kids. Ideally there'd be some red onion, too, but y'all know what color my hair is. Onions were on the list, scratched off the list when I came home, but not actually in the basket. Ugh.


Simmer down, yo. I know, I know. Then I poured a bunch of pineapple juice over them. We love us some pineapple juice around here, and not just because of this. They got sprinkled with salt and pepper and were left to sit for just a little, until they got closer to room temp. And then, after a light olive oil brushing....


Feel free to tell me you want to have my babies, I can handle it. They grilled over medium high heat until they looked done. I have no clue how long that took, sorry. I whipped up a little couscous and then our judges had their say.

Brain Bucket

Apparently, 1of3 thought they were so good he had to wear his brain bucket to the table to keep his head from exploding.


And apparently, 2of3 hasn't worn his brain bucket enough. Don't listen to him; they were da bomb, baby. And done, start to finish, in under 30 minutes.

(Not pictured: 3of3. Who had Spaghettios and a temper tantrum. Whatever, hoser.)

Your Cheatin' Heart Will Tell On You

Since I've been home, The Donor and I have really only had a few hours together, and those were spent mostly recouping from the most impressive, thorough hangover the world has ever known, or ever will know. One for the books, that was. He shuffled off to work the day after I came home, and though we've slammed a mug of coffee together here and there, we haven't really been able to catch up. I mean, he's been reduced to subscribing to my blog, and, like, almost no one does that.

Tuesday night, he didn't come home from work until half past way too late to be working and last night he went out with his buddy to "keep him from gambling too much at the casino", which you know and I know and he knows means oogling dancing girls WAY out of his league, but I digress. We'll let him have his little story.

Except that this post is going to his inbox as soon as I hit publish. Fuck me.

Tonight, however, he was getting off work early (read: quarter til eleven) and I thought I'd give him a little sumpin' sumpin' to come home to. You know, since I sorta owe him and shit. And so, I made a little cheese and cracker plate (on the good app plates, which normally hold fingerpaints) (and I actually sliced them, I didn't just buy the bag of the pre-sliced ones that always have that stuff in them that looks like cocaine but does not in any way work like cocaine) (not that I'd know, just an observation)


And since we had all this fine, savory, smokey cheese with the Good Crackers and all, I figured we'd ought to have a little sweet to go with it, and everyone knows that chocolate is an excellent aphrodisiac.


I am so classy, what can I say? And then I lit the one and only remaining candle we own and slipped into something a little more comfortable.


But by then I had become so overcome by my own mad ambiance-making skilz that I had to get started without him.


Sorry baby. Next time, I'll wait for you.