Here's my Thursday Thirteen brainstorm:
  1. I wanted to list 13 dates I've been on, but I haven't been on anywhere near 13 dates. That's sad.
  2. I wanted to list 13 things that make me homesick, but there is really only a handful. A heavy handful. (Who are you that comes here every night from Phili, anyway? You're killing me, dude)
  3. I thought it would be fun to tell you about 13 awesome, death-defying feats I have performed, but really? I can't even get on a roller coaster.
  4. Maybe I could talk about 13 radical places I've been, but I have never even been to Detroit.
  5. What about my favorite 13 childhood memories? Please.
  6. My 13 favorite people? I'd have to do that list 6 times. I know awesomely awesome people.
  7. Perhaps I could narrow it down a bit to 13 favorite neighbors. I counted. I have, like, 7. So much for that.
  8. 13 reasons why potty training is my new BFF? Sure, I could do that, but if you look at NO MORE DIAPERS 13 times in a row, they don't look like real words anymore.
  9. I'd do something about my relatives, but I don't know the full, legal names of anyone beyond my parents.
  10. What about old ex's? Oh yeah, that's right. I have ONE.
  11. There are, maybe, if I really stretched, 13 places I'd like to see before I die. I honestly only have to see one, though.
  12. I could write an ode to the 13 random body hairs that I hate with a fire that burns with the heat of a thousand suns. But who wants to read that? That's gross, even for me.
  13. I know! I could totally do a list of the 13 reasons that Mr Lady is much cooler than her real life alter-ego. Oh, wait. I just did that.

How I get out of washing dishes

Last week, I tried really hard to sift through the Thursday Thirteen roll and read all of the other entries. The problem is, there were, like, 250 of them. if I ever get 250 comments on this blog, accept my apologies now. I can't read 250 anythings.

Anyway, I did stumble across one in particular that I liked (can't remember where now) where the writer listed their 13 favorite song remakes.

The best things come to those who steal.

I'm so going to give this a whirl.
  1. Mrs. Robinson: Originally done by Simon and Garfunkel. Rocked the hell out by the Lemonheads. Normally, I'd decapitate you with my eyes if I caught you daring to touch a S&G song, but this one is totally sweet.

  2. Losing My Religion: I own every single stinking REM album. It's not that I love them so very very much, but sheesh the husband does. After having them shoved straight down my throat for 12 years, I have grown to appreciate their genius. They have this lead singer with a specific sort of voice, and they write their music specifically for him, at least as I see it. I would never have approved of someone covering them until Higher Learning came out in 1995. Tori Amos covers REM's (arguably) biggest hit and takes it from its tongue-and-cheek poppy blasphemous nature and makes it fragile and tender. I think that song was written for her to sing. Of course, Tori Amos could sing Hot Crossed Buns and make you cry. (You can't get it on iTunes, so that's the Amazon link)

  3. South Central Rain: Again, I have serious issues with those who try to redo REM songs, only because Michael Stipes has one of those voices that makes the songs he write work. But see, there's this band, and their name is Hem, and they are quite possibly the greatest band alive today and they covered South Central Rain. It is is a thing of beauty.

  4. I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love With You: (Also not available on iTunes. Grrr.) God may strike me down for saying this, but Tom Waits has got nothin' on Darius Rucker's version of this song with Hootie and the Blowfish. Listen to it before you start throwing rocks at me. It's brilliant.

  5. Tangled up in Blue: I am not old enough to really really love Dylan the way some people do. I think I missed the cutoff by 3 years tops. I like him, but I'm open on the subject. And so, naturally, when I first heard the Indigo Girls crank out this song in their rocky, harmonic, bluesy way that they so do, I about died. I have bought many albums for one song, but I have never bought a $40 double cd for one song before. It was worth it. The whole album is phenomenal, but this song takes the cake.

  6. Hallelujah: In 1984, Leonard Cohen first recorded Hallelujah. (It's my favorite word in the English language, btw.) Since then, oh, everyone has covered it. It's in 8,000 tv show and movie soundtracks. Your kids know it from Shrek. No one, however, not one single person, has ever or will ever sing it like Jeff Buckley. I first heard Jeff Buckley soon after he died, and my world has never been the same. He had the most beautiful voice I have ever heard, and he sings Hallelujah like his cat just died and the IRS took the house. It never doesn't make me cry.

  7. Maybe I'm Amazed: I am totally old enough to love the Beatles like some people do. And thank GOD for that. Once upon a time, some horrible little teeney-bop show called the OC went kind of mental with sound-tracking their episodes, and to their credit, they did a good job. A band called Jem decided to take on the gargantuan task of doing-up Sir Paul with a cover of Maybe I'm Amazed, and I would bet you $5 that Sir Paul has it on HIS iPod.

  8. Little Wing: Since Jimi Hendrix first sang this in 1967, people far and wide have tried to cover it. Stevie Ray Vaughn may have the most famous cover of it. Sting also covered it on his album Nothing Like the Sun. It is the only Sting album I have ever liked (*ducks*) and Little Wing is definitely one of the main highlights of the album. I think it does justice to and pays respect to the great great greatness that is Jimi Hendrix. Sting didn't try to change the song, or improve it, he just sang it from his heart. Jimi would be proud.

  9. When Doves Cry: I am head over heels in L.O.V.E. with Baz Luhrmann. You know, the insane man who did Moulin Rouge? I love his movies for the cinematography, the casting, the raw grittiness of what he does. Mostly, though, I am gaga for his soundtracks. That man is a freaking genius with the music. When he did Romeo and Juliet in 1997, he found Quindon Tarver and had him cover When Doves Cry. I think that's what Prince meant that song to be when he wrote it. Even if you hate Prince, you can't help but love listening to this 10 year old belt out his song.

  10. Thank You: I really like Led Zeppelin, and this song in particular. When Encomium was released, Duran Duran covered Thank You and it was super good. But when Tori Amos did it, when she sang the song originally sung by the man who inspired her to be what she is today, she meant it. She felt it. She sang it for Robert Plant. It almost hurts to listen to it.

  11. A Friend of the Devil: (Seriously, iTunes. You're killing me here.) I am by no means a Dead-Head, but I get it. I get how they spoke to people like Elvis did. I never was blown over by them myself, but the husband likes them a lot and so every now and then we wear the tie-dye and don't shower and listen to a cd of theirs. All I have to say is Thank Jebus for Lyle Lovett. Lyle Lovett could come to my house and sing me Belinda Carlisle songs all day long and I would swoon. He nailed A Friend of the Devil.

  12. Try a Little Tenderness: (You know what, iTunes? I hate YOUR taste in music, too.) Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know. No one should touch this song. But one day in 199-something, this local group in Denver called The 17th Avenue All-Stars came to my high school and did a show. They sang this song. We all died. They are an incredible a cappella group and I cannot believe that they don't own you yet. I love this cover because A) it's good and B) you remember my ex that I posted about the other day? The one who hates my guts now? Yeah, he can sing that song just as well as those guys do, maybe better. And he totally used to sing it to me all the time. Go listen, and be 19 year old Mr Lady in love for 5 minutes.

  13. Whiskey in the Jar: I am of Irish decent, and being of Irish decent with a rock and roll lineage, I am contractually obligated to like Thin Lizzy. I do, I really do. Now, if you were ever to meet me, you'd be all, "Oh, look at the mild-mannered milf. how cute! I bet she likes classical music and air fresheners." Dudes, please. I need Metallica like Kathy needs Regis. And man, seriously, oh man. They do to Whiskey in the Jar what I can only hope and pray Johny Depp does to me someday.

Honorable mention, only because it's not fair to include her 3 times on one list? Tori Amos, Smells Like Teen Spirit. Wowzas. Who knew?

We'll see if I actually pull any of this off

Thirteen things I am going to do this year, damn it.
  1. Quit smoking. For reals. I will cheat for a long, long time. I like smoking. But seriously, I use really good, expensive shampoo that smells like heaven on chocolate cake, and I'd like to reap the benefits of that.
  2. Buy something on credit. Anything. Really expensive shampoo, it doesn't matter what. Josh and I are restaurant people, which means that, though he has a lovely check that comes twice a month, we still have an influx of cash daily. The checks cover the bills and the cash covers the incidentals. And Josh has taken care of the finances for 10 years. Sounds great, doesn't it? It's NOT. Do you know what it feels like to have NO credit score, to not exist in the world of credit? It's almost harder than having bad credit. 15 year olds can get a cell phone; I cannot. I am going to find some way to begin to re-establish my currency in the real world, and I am going to start with a Target card or something.
  3. Meet my niece. We have been waiting for 3 freaking years for someone to give my sisterish and brotherish a baby, and it is so close now we can taste it. She is not imaginary anymore; we know her name and her shoe size. Everything crossable is crossed in hopes of a March homecoming. For those of you curious, you can track her story right here.
  4. Go on a real vacation. I am Captain Roadtrip. The emblem emblazoned on my cape would be a can of spray cheese and a box of saltines. I once drove from Denver to Phili and back for a cheesesteak. 2 years ago, we packed the kids in the car and drove for a week, and as lovely as that was, it wasn't the real family vacation, with the plane tickets and the hotel room and the portable crib. This year, Josh's sister and I are taking these people, perhaps against their will, and using the family timeshare that got dumped on us, and we are going to Mexico. Remote Mexico. Margaritas and seashells and questionable food Mexico. Cheap and beautiful Mexico. I cannot wait.
  5. Lose the baby weight already. And by baby weight I mean the Tim Hortons weight. The cooking with butter weight. The 30 extra pounds I have sat on a whined about for 10 years weight. I honestly only need to lose 20, but I want to lose 30 and so I will. If you met me, you'd be all, "Pshaw, you don't have 30 pounds to spare", but see, I do. Before I had kids I worked 2 jobs, 6 days a week, spent every stinking lunch break at the gym, and I was freakishly smoking hot. And then I had 1of3 and gained one hundred and five goddamn pounds. It took a year to lose half of that weight, and the 2of3 came and brought me 80 more pounds to lose. I am not having one more kid and I have no reason at all to not lose this weight. I have nothing but time, and a fancy new pair of gym shoes, and I am going to burn this inner-tube off. Period. I am 32 years old and it is time to MILF it up.
  6. Not starve myself in order to lose that weight. I am a non-practicing anorexic. If I just go 2 days without eating, I totally remember how to do it again and then, voila!, I am all skinny again. I am also sallow and groggy and spastic and my head hurts all the time. I am trying to make better choices in my life, and eating breakfast should be one of them.
  7. Keep my house really clean for one whole week straight. That would involve me finding a really good happy place, because when momma's happy, so are the toilets. I have 51 weeks to screw this up, but with Jebus as my witness, we will have one solid week of squeak.
  8. Go on two dates with my husband. We have our time, and things we like to do together, but getting my ass kicked at Wii and watching SuperNanny only go so far. We are going to get away from the short people twice this year and eat grownup food and drink coffee and watch a stupid movie or something. We used to go out once a month and every time it was the same drill; dinner at the same place, then the same Barnes and Noble, the same Starbucks, window shopping in the same shops in The Pavillions downtown, and home. It was boringly predictable, and we knew that, but we never did anything else because it was ours. I would like to have an ours here.
  9. Sew something fabulous. I finally have a sewing machine. I have absolutely no clue how to use the thing, but I am smart and I am crafty and I can figure it out. I know what I want to make, so now I just have to get on it. I am great at measurements and straight lines and anything, really, that involves precision or detail work. Sewing may just be my new addiction.
  10. Plant a garden. Not a flower garden; I already have that. I am going to plant a big ol' vegetable garden. I am going to teach my kids how sow seeds, how to cultivate them, how to harvest them. I am going to teach them how the moon cycles can help them dictate when things are ready to go. I am going to show them the difference between that candy bar and the tomato they worked on all summer, watering and fertilizing and tending. We are going to grow beans and strawberries and tomatoes and herbs. And then, when the time is right, we are going to have to best dinner ever.
  11. Update our family photo albums. I haven't touched them since 2003. The digital camera is the single greatest invention in the history of mankind, but it's not doing my albums any favours. Looking at images on a screen is one thing; flipping through pages of pictures is another thing entirely. I am going to get all scrapbooky on their ass and I am going to love every minute of it. I am almost not totally ashamed to admit that I Heart Scrapbooking. I could blow a large chunk of our income at Archivers. I made some wedding invites for a friend a few years ago, and the two weeks I had to spend in that store were paradise. And besides, someday soon I am going to have to get a job and I want this done while I still have the time.
  12. Go vegetarian. I love meat. I love meat more than I love Johny Depp. I am starting to realize, though, that my digestive system doesn't share my passion. I have almost cut out red meat entirely. (Date night last week was steak. Ouch.) I am easing off the dairy, which I don't eat a ton of anyway, and I am hoping that my little science experiment works and that I start feeling better. I am not going crazy radical vegetarian; you would have to threaten me with something very grand indeed to get me off yogurt or cheese. I am just trying to stop eating meat in general, as much as possible. Except, if course, on Butter Chicken night. Seriously? Best. Food. Ever.
  13. Enroll in school. I am going to fucking college in 2008, and I don't care who tries to stop me. School for what, you ask? Great question. I don't know. I will figure that out later. I will never work in a bar again. I will do something awesome with my life, and I am going to start that by giving my brain the education it deserves. If I don't do this, you have full permission to slap me around a bit at the end of the year.

Sucker for the pretty girls

It is (was) exactly 1:57 in the A.M. and I am sitting here with a two year old that could not, for anything in the whole world, go one more minute without her high heeled shoes and Dora's World Adventure.


Here's hoping the big ol' slab of peanut butter bread knocks her the hell out the way it would me. Or at least glues her tongue to her mouth so I don't have to listen to her screams. Either way, really.

So, while I sit here missing some hot Donnie Darko action going on in my bedroom (we're WILD like that), I thought I'd do this little Hoopla that a ridiculously hot chick who likes to call herself Judith tagged me for. I thought I'd also make this my Thursday Thirteen. Lazy much? Before I do that, though, I have to do this. There's this new blog that I read by a guy named Dan, and Dan has a meme rule that he will do any meme you send his way as long as you first link to a blog that you think is better than yours. I agree with that rule, and I am going to propagate it. Dan, consider yourself linked.

'Da Rules:
1. List 12 13 random things about yourself that have to do with Christmas
2. Please refer to it as a ‘hoopla’ and not the dreaded ‘m’-word
3. You have to specifically tag people when you’re done. None of this “if you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged” stuff is allowed…then nobody ends up actually doing it. The number of people who you tag is really up to you — but the more, the merrier to get this ‘hoopla’ circulating through the Blog-o-sphere.
4. Please try and do it as quickly as possible. The Christmas season will be over before we know it.

Ok, I'm going to try this. I don't think I have 12 things, let alone 13, but we'll see.

  1. This was supposed to be The Preface, but I have 11 more to go, and I need the ammo. I didn't celebrate Christmas as a kid. Yes, most of you know that I was lucky enough to be raised in one of the more awesome pseudo-Judaeo-Christian cults, the one where we didn't celebrate Christmas. It's no biggie, really; I mean, who needs silly old Christmas when you have birthdays the Easter Bunny Halloween your wedding anniversary Sex! that isn't missionary. Well, that turned depressing...

  2. Not celebrating Christmas, I never believed in Santa. AND I always knew that Christ wasn't born in December. AND I knew that Christmas was flat out stolen from the Pagans. But I was told to never, ever tell this to people, which really counters everything my "Fun Happy Group of Friends" was all about. I guess, even though Christmas was pure evil, even those guys understood the magic of Christmas. For other people. NEVER for us. Cheap bastards. And I never did spill the beans, by the way, even though I thought it was mind-numbingly stupid.

  3. Not celebrating Christmas, I also had no reason to know what day it fell on. I knew that we got out of school towards the end of December and came back in January to a bunch of classmates with cool ass shit to rub in our poor, nasty, weird faces, and so I assumed it happened sometime in-between. I was 23, and had celebrated my second Christmas, before I could remember the date.

  4. I cut myself off from my congregation when I was 17, but didn't celebrate Christmas until I was 22 and pregnant. I just didn't get it. And I didn't care to.

  5. I was one of those people who never replied to a kind "Merry Christmas!" from someone; I totally was all, "Thank you but I don't celebrate you evil Devil worship holiday." Well, maybe not that last bit, but I was a party pooper. And now, my big fat hypocritical ass freaking hates it when people don't say Merry Christmas back. Like the girl at the mall today, who replied with, "And a very happy holiday season to you, too!" Self-righteous bitch.

  6. I get the Holiday Mascots mixed up sometimes. Like, this one time, I was trying to explain Easter to my boys and it went something like this; "So, guys, you go to bed and while you sleep, the Easter Bunny comes. He hides eggs full of toys and candy all over the house, and when you wake up, you get to find them and open them! Because he loves you and you have been so GOOD!" My husband stood back while I told this story, came up to us after, put a sad, condescending hand on my shoulder and said, "Um, that's Christmas, you dork."

  7. I still, to this very day, have no idea what the story is behind the Easter Bunny.

  8. And I don't care to.

  9. I really, really like Christmas now. I like hiding the presents from the kids. I like the surprise in the morning. I have never once shaken a box or undone wrapping paper with razor blades to peek inside gifts. I like to wait for it.

  10. I also really like all the pomp that goes into Christmas. I like(d) going and picking a tree. I liked forgetting to water it and sitting on a fire hazard for a month straight. I like hanging the freaking son-of-a-nutcracker lights. I like the candy canes and the special Hershey Kisses and wearing a Santa hat everywhere I go, no matter how inappropriate.

  11. I never sang Christmas songs, even though I was in the choir my whole life, so I never learned the words. I did, however, learn all the super awful naughty words to all the crazy evil raunchy spoof songs. My kids have gotten quite an education just listening to me try and sing along to my Starbucks Christmas CD.

  12. I am deathly, horridly afraid that my kids are going to stop believing in Santa. I have given myself panic attacks about it. They are 9 and 7, and one of those kids is well past his belief window, and yet they sit with hearts and minds wide open, and it is one of the few parts of them that is still small and quiet and little. They are wide eyed wondrous children come December. Thank god I'm so flipping cheap, or I think this gig would have been up a few years ago. Last Christmas, 2of3 came home and said that someone in his class told him that there was no Santa. I threw up in my mouth a little and then asked him what he thought about that. He said, and I quote, "Mom, he thinks the parents are Santa. PLEASE! You never would have spent that much money on me!"

  13. I need a thirteen, for Thursday Thirteen. My favorite presents to give my kids are the stocking presents. I think I like them because they have nothing to do with the Million Dollar list. I like trying to find treasure to put in there; little charms, crystals and rocks, cool candy, all the little crap I usually yell at them for leaving all over the floor for the baby to eat. I still, however, suck a large amount of ass at the whole "Grown Up Stocking" bit. It's almost sad, really.

Is that thirteen? IT IS! I did it! And now I have to do the thing I hate most in the whole world, and that is tagging people. Hmmm, who hasn't done this? Ok, I'm totally representin' Vancouver here by tagging Huckdoll and LatteMommy and I'm tagging Kelly, too, provided she's all settled into her new old digs. I will also tag my BFF's Molly and Sarah because I bet they have awesome stories. But, you know what? Christmas is OVER, so let's kill this thing already. Mr Lady says Don't Tag Anyone Else!

Close, but not quite

Potty Training in 13 easy steps:
  1. Wait until they are ready. They'll let you know.
  2. Get a potty chair for every room the kid spends time in. Yes, that means you should probably buy stock in potty chairs. So. Worth. It.
  3. Get used to naked babies. Take their pants off. If you leave their pants on, they will pee in them. Even if you buy really cute Dora panties. It doesn't work to tell them not to pee on Dora when the potty they are to pee in also has Dora's face plastered all over it. It DOESN'T work. Trust Mr. Lady on this one.
  4. If you must put pants on your kid, put pants on that are way too big. Make sure the crotch of those pants comes no higher than their knees. They won't feel the pants on their bottom, and won't pee in them. Make sure they can get them off easily, though.
  5. If you put pants that are too big on them, get used to bruised babies. They're going to trip. A lot.
  6. Pump'm full of liquid. Break your no juice rule...let them go crazy on the juice, the water, the popsicles, whatever. Make them have to go.
  7. Go with them. Let'm watch YOU pee. Let'm watch you poo. Which is seriously gross and really uncomfortable, but it works, yo.
  8. Don't worry about overnight. Staying dry overnight takes much longer. Keep a diaper stash on hand for outings (naked babies at the mall in December are frowned upon.)
  9. Ask them every ten minutes to go potty. Set a timer if you have to. You will get so good at this that you will find yourself rolling over in the middle of the night, rubbing your husband's head, and asking him in your sweet voice if he needs to go potty. He will not be amused.
  10. Create a reward system. Lollipops work, stickers work, but 3 kids in, I have found that 'You DID it!'s and high-fives kinda work best.
  11. Keep potty fun. If they manage to stand in front of the potty and pee all over the floor, that still counts. High fives are in order. (They WILL stand in front of the potty and pee on the floor, by the way.)
  12. Make sure you keep the potty chair accessible. Do not, under any circumstances, allow your older children to come home and throw their backpacks and coats on top of the potty chair. Do not let the potty chair get shoved into the corner when no one's looking. Keep it in the middle of the room. Especially when you're cooking dinner and are all distracted.
  13. In the event that the potty chair does get buried in a pile of clutter, be sure that you do not have another Dora item in the living room, like, say, a Dora push car
    who's seat has a lid and a hole in it, one small enough that a toddler can sit on it easily, all by her big girl self, while you're slaving away in the kitchen. You know, one that seems, to a toddler, to be a perfectly acceptable substitute. Horrors will ensue.