Because The Next Post Will Also Have To Do With Someone's Birth, And I Don't Care How Well One Writes A Birthday Post, An Entire Month Of Them Is Just Too Much. So We'll Talk About Bricks Instead.

Because bricks are quite handy. You can throw them at thy foes, you can trip over them, breaking your big toe and getting to use the crutches that you've always thought everyone looked so cool using, and all you have to suffer through is some armpit chaffing. Also, a broken big toe. You can deliver that crucial memo from the 14th story of your office building to the 3rd story of your office building with lightening-fast efficiency by using nothing more than a $0.002 rubber band and any old brick you find laying around. Or kill your boss. Either way, you'll be in line for a promotion.

I like bricks. More specifically, I liked aesthetically pleasing configurations of bricks. Did you know that I once had an aptitude for and a very promising career rut carved out for me in mechanical engineering? True story. You wouldn't believe what I could do with a ruler. In fact, if I had enough balls to go digging through my storage closet that is most likely, by now, host to 3 out of 5 of Canada's most deadly spiders, also my Christmas decorations, I'd be able to find a stack of old blueprints with, like, 1990 written in the date. And drawn in pencil. *gasp* See, back in the stone ages when I was dipping my pen in the blueprint ink, people still used drafting tables and mechanical pencils and T-squares. Now there are twenty four versions of Autocad out there. I once bought Autocad for Dummies, thinking it might be fun to try my hand at it again, and I couldn't understand the acknowledgments page of the book.

You know, it's kind of messed up that the very same people who can doodle out an entire city, or an aircraft, or a satellite in their spare time can't think of a way to make the lead in mechanical pencils stronger than a dried spaghetti stick.

An then I married an Ivy League architecture major and we've been happily employed in the restaurant industry ever since. At least my wasted education was free.

But we do both find ourselves drawn to the linear. The only pictures we have hanging in our living room are of houses, or parts of them. My bathroom has a big ass schematic of the Brooklyn Bridge hanging in it. All of the furniture is square and all of the frames are level. We're sort of neurotically straight, actually. The clutter all over every square inch of our lives offsets it nicely, though.

I also find myself, on occasion, taking pictures of buildings. I'm normally a portrait sort of girl; I wouldn't take a picture of grass or water drops unless there was someone in it. Every know and then, however, I find some building that strikes my fancy and I can't help myself but shoot it. Like in Mexico, when I found a cathedral with this entrance.

The Irony Gates



I actually love the fact that there's a big, fat thumb smudge right in the middle of that picture, so shut up. There's this building that I stumbled across in Chicago this summer.

Ominous



Pretty freaking cool, isn't it? There's this shot of the Chinese Gardens in downtown Vancouver, and I love it because I can't decide if it's the very essence of serene or if it's the fucking creepiest sort of "crawling out of these trees to get you" picture.

Chinese Gardens



Either way, I'll take it. My neighbor Anjou took this one in Cairo, but it's all rights reserved so if you want to see it, you'll have to click. It's totally worth it.

And this one I love, I love so much, because if there's anything I appreciate more than gorgeous detail, it's religious irony.

Thou Shall Ignore The Commandments Thou Doest Not Agree With



But holy crap is that every gorgeous. Even if it is in abject defiance of the second commandment.

I'm Not Drunk Yet, I Swear

My husband and I have never been on an airplane together. Our version of a honeymoon was leaving the 5 month old human who looked like us with his grandmother and staying the night at The Oxford. And getting into the World's Biggest Fight. And me packing my bags and storming out the door. And him dragging me back into the room, packing his bags and storming out. And then a hangover the likes of which you couldn't imagine if you wanted to, which you don't. It wasn't even make up sex in the shower the next day; it was more Oh My God Get The Toxic Vodka Remants Out Of Every Orafice As Fast As Possible.

TMI. Good morning, folks.

He flew once with a child, 1of3 aged 1 year, without me but with, oh yes you guessed it, his mother. I was pregnant with 2of3, not really super hot on the idea of vacation with, oh yes you guessed it, his mother, and even if I'd wanted to go, I could not be spared from work for even one day because really, the world would collapse in on itself and the polar caps would melt and their would be hurricanes and pestilence and tsunamis of armageddonesque proportions if a bunch of ancient men and drunk doctors didn't get their corned beef hash and eggs by 7:30 am, stat.

I guess I should have just gone, huh?

I have flown internationally multiple times with three children. I have flown domestically with them more times than I can count. Today, I was going to secretly slide the ticketing dude a $50 and a nipple-flash to put me in first class so that The Donor would have to do the whole flight to LA by himself with the kids. The flight tomorrow to Mexico wouldn't work because his sister is coming and she's a Virgo. This whole thing will be orchestrated like the Boston Philharmonic.

And then I had to take a meeting. In LA. With my boss' boss. Like, the dude who writes the paycheck I am about to blow on fast woman and the drink crappy souveniers. So I left the house at 4 this morning to hit the airport and buy my way onto an earlier flight to LA for this meeting. And I wore a seriously low cut shirt. I could use a raise.

That means that my husband's first flight alone with children, ever, will be today. On our way to Mexico. Neener Neener. Of course, I currently have in my possession everyone's luggage, all the presents we have to bring, 18 mini bottles of Axe body spray and Axe shampoo and Axe deodorant and you can judge me all you want, but Axe sells because it is slightly more pleasing in fragrance than a pubescent boy, and it's the only thing strong enough to drown that unholy smell out. Well, except Mexican tequila, but we'll get to that later.

I've also left him with nice neat piles of passports and permits and consent letters and flight schedules, the kids clothes for today laid out, and all of the instructions everyone will need in my absence written out and signed with a heart and a little slice of love. Because I like to overestimate my importance in the household, that's why. I'm like a dominatrix, only in fleece with a Dyson.

The Dyson gets less us than the whip would, for the record. But fuck me, it's dead sexy.

Anyway, this plane is getting ready to take off and I've only had three hours of sleep, like you couldn't have guessed that already, so I leave you with this in case you want to pretend you're my kid or my housesitter today, because I like to overestimate my importance in the internetowebosphere, that's why, and bid you all a fond farewell. I'm going to go drink all the tequila now.

The really, truly despise me.

He'll never look me in the eye again

In The Land Of Milk And Oprah

A cautionary tale of love in the time of methadone



You can make a bomb out of any old thing you’ve got lying around the house, really, so long as you’re bored enough and have the right teachers in school.  Like my ½ of 11th grade chemistry teacher, who was my older brother’s full-year grade 11 chemistry teacher, who actually was such an brilliant fucking genius that he was compelled to teach a depressed, bored, impoverished and abused adolescent how to make exactly such a kitchen-sink bomb, and that adolescent went on, ironically enough, to just about blow the entire damn kitchen up one day with a dollar bill, a splash of rubbing alcohol and some ovaltine.

That very teacher also supplied my brother with an impressive stash of contemporary art magazines, highlighting the wonders of the female form and calling into question everything we know about physics and the elasticity of the human ligaments.  That fact came to light after one over-zealous younger brother dared to traverse the dark abyss that was our attic, distracted only momentarily by the 'Red Hots Candies Trap' cleverly laid out at the entrance to said attic, and by Red Hots candy I, of course, mean 'Huge Fucking Pile Of Sudafed'.  Said little brother came to eventually and ratted his brother out.  Dirty, drugged out snitch.

This information is quite important to keep in the back of your head before you travel. Especially on a budget. Because you just never know when someone is going to give you credit for being a whole lot smarter than you are and totally fuck you in the process.

Like if, say, you're coming home from a long weekend away from the family and you decide to go with your two best friends in blog out sightseeing and to pick up some trinkets for the family.

There Was No Way We Could Have Resisted



And you get so lucky as to find your way into Trader Joe's for the first time in your life, and you see the Mecca of Wine Racks that you've waited five years to see, ever since one night on an apartment stoop with an unforgivably cute boy who first introduced you to Chuck and his $2 glory

And The Clouds Parted....



And so you pick up a bottle for old times sake and then grab a 6 pack of DogFish Head which is brewed in Milton, Delaware, so no one carries it but Trader Joe's does and then you stop at Walgreens to get your kids their snow-globes. Because every time you travel, you get your kids snow globes. It's an important tradition, like forcing unsuspecting men to take numerous photographs with you against their will. Or circumcision.

Oh, Wait, There He Is....



So you gather yea rosebuds and American booze and inexpensive tokens of your everlasting love and devotion and head to your airport of choice to fly home, this time bearing only photocopies of your immigration papers because Canada knew something you didn't and tried to tell you to stay home, but you never listen, even when it sends Donald Sutherland to tell you for it.

In Case There's Any Confusion



And then you get to the airport, late, because, well, nature called.

A Thing Of Beauty



That counts as nature, right? You get there late and the machine won't let you check in at the kiosk so the very tall and disinterested in you entirely airport attendant asks you to see the lady behind the desk, but the lady behind the desk doesn't want to see you, so she doesn't. For a really long time. Like, excessively long. And then she finally takes your $20 and lets you check in, and THEN she tells you your bag is overweight. And you're totally going to miss your flight. So you take out the fastest, heaviest items and she slides your bag through and as you try to re-pack them in your carry on you realize that Two Buck Chuck and DogFish head are both made of liquid and shit, you're hosed. So you give the attendant your booze and wish her a happy day. And then you cry.

But you still have your kids presents, right? Right. Until you go through security and you totally get The Dreaded Bag Inspection and the guy comes up to you and says, "Ma'am, we have a problem." And oh, how the tears begin to flow. Because he called you MA'AM and you're thirtyfuckingfour for Christ's sake, but whatever. He'd totally hit it. And that's when he tells you that
Snow globes cannot, for any reason, come through security, because we have no way of knowing what's in them.

And you think, um, well, Chicago is in those, moron, but you're so over it that you, between poorly suppressed sniffles, say, "Oh, just take them already." And then the security dude, thinking that maybe he has a chance or something, says,
I'll make you a deal. I'll keep the big ones, and you can have the little one.

Which does you a fat lot of good, seeing how you have THREE kids, but whatever, and what, are you saying I can blow something up a little bit? Grrr. So you take your one little non-threatening snow-globe and you go to replace the gifts. With $20. For two kids and a spouse. And you don't have more than $20 because in Canada, you can only withdraw so much currency in one day or they lock your account and you had to pay for a hotel room and a cab ride and lunch and makeup (because you totally thought you'd done so well budgeting and shit, yo) (also, NORDSTROMS) and you couldn't take out any more. At all. Period.

So you go home to your children with the 2 for $20 t-shirts they had at the Hudson News store that are not only hideous, they're the size of Shaq, and nothing more than empty promises of laundry folding and blow jobs for your spouse, when in reality you won't fold laundry for at least another month and as for the other thing, yeah, you're spent.

Getting Crazy With The Cheese Whiz



But the kids love the shirts anyway and your husband loves that you thought enough about his feelings to lie through your damn teeth about sex and housework just to make him feel better and even though you lost your phone and your really good makeup brushes on the airplane so you can't even use the new Trish McEvoy compact you've waited TWO YEARS to buy, you didn't lose your BlogHer swag bag and guess what? Fuck the naysayers; that shit saved my ASS.

Ms. Potato Head



Neener, neener, indeed.