Tag Archive | humor

The Ice Bucket Challenge

As almost anyone who lives in the free world is aware by now, there has been a viral campaign going asking people to either dump ice water on their heads or make a $100 donation to ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).  ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  I’ve watched as friend after friend on Facebook has been nominated, and videotaped themselves making a little speech, and then dumped ice water over themselves.  Honestly, I was starting to feel relieved that nobody had nominated ME for two reasons.  One, I don’t have $100 to donate to anyone, and two, dumping ice water over myself sounds like some version of self-torture.  I hate being cold.  I don’t even like to drink ice water.

But then it happened.  My dear sister-in-law, Julie, nominated me in her video.  That was an instant of sheer dread that I haven’t felt since, well, I don’t when.  I started thinking of excuses as to why I couldn’t do it.  I considered donating money I didn’t have.  Then my heart took over and I realized that the ten seconds it would take for me to pour ice water over my head, was a much shorter time to suffer, than the patients with ALS have to suffer.  I decided that not only would I do the ice bucket challenge, but I would also make a donation within my means to ALS.

Once I made the decision to participate, the next order of business was to plan my wardrobe, makeup, and hair for the big event.  I don’t normally post videos of myself on the internet.  In fact, this would be the first time.  People who are my friends through the internet only, would hear my voice and see me live for the first time.  I went with black pants for the slimming factor, which honestly didn’t matter much.  Bare feet sounded good because I hate walking around on wet flip flops, and I have a tendency to slip ungracefully on them.  I couldn’t have that happen, although I’m sure it would have made my video much more entertaining.  I actually showered, and did my hair and makeup before the dumping.  I know.  That was really vain and stupid.  But whatever.  The ALS was getting their money and some awareness, so if I wanted to look decent, then call me vain.  I don’t care.  It doesn’t matter that the video quality was so poor that I could have done it with bed head and yesterday’s makeup running down my face and nobody would have seen it.

The time came to suck it up, prepare the ice water, and do the challenge.  I practiced in front of the camera first, to make sure the angles were good, ie. a “thinner angle.”  I wanted to practice my speech, so I didn’t sound like a bumbling fool.  It took a few tries because my son was standing next to my cameraman daughter, making faces and pretending to laugh at everything I said.  His support is always a blessing. All he had to do was look at me a certain way and I would start laughing.  He kindly offered to pour the water for me, but I passed on that offer as I knew he would inevitably throw it in my face, rather than allow it to prettily run down my svelte body in a “supermodel standing under a waterfall” way.

After a few practice tries came the real thing.  It’s very easy to hesitate indefinitely before pouring ice water over your head, so I told myself I would just do it without thinking about it.  I made my speech to the camera, nominated my unsuspecting friends and family, and dumped the ice water.  Holy shit, was it cold.  The shock to my system didn’t wear off until hours later.  I think I had frostbite down my neck and back.  My kids laughed…a lot.  It was okay because every good comedy needs its own laugh track.  My kids were happy to oblige.  They’re sweet like that.

So, it was over.  Done.  It really was easy, and kind of fun, all for a great cause.  If you get nominated by one of your loving, considerate friends, please seriously consider doing both the ice bucket challenge AND making a donation.  The ice water is to spread awareness…asking for donations wouldn’t have the same impact if it was just some person standing there asking for it.  It also gives your friends and family the sick pleasure of watching you torture yourself.  In my opinion, simply dumping ice water doesn’t excuse people from making a donation.  I think it’s important to spread the awareness as well as make a donation, even if it’s just a small one.  Every little bit helps.

If you are interested in learning more about ALS or in making a donation, please visit http://www.alsa.org/.  In the meantime, if you are nominated to do the ice bucket challenge, buck up, buttercup, and just do it!

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38 Longs

I’ve always heard that your 40s are the best years of your life.  Supposedly, people are financially stable, have some wisdom, have learned from their mistakes, blah blah blah.  I can’t say from experience that it’s true.  One thing I’ve learned from being in my 40s is that your body turns into a hot mess, and it ain’t pretty.  It’s really a cruel trick of that fickle old bitch, Mother Nature.  I thought we women were supposed to be on the same team and build each other up.  Clearly, Mother Nature didn’t get the memo.  “They” say that 50 is the new 30, which means I should be in my new 20s, but 20 sure didn’t look like this.  There is really no part of my body that hasn’t been affected by the cruel advance of time.

Let me start by saying that once you’re past the age of 18, zits should be a thing of the past.  They slyly disappeared for a couple of decades, lying in wait for their eventual reappearance. Once I hit my forties, they reared their ugly red, white blistered heads once again…and not just on my face.  Nothing says pretty like putting your gray speckled hair up in a clip only to have Mount Vesuvius staring at everyone like a third eye on the back of your neck.  What the hell is up with that?  I know I’m not the only one.  I have friends in their forties who also wonder why they suddenly have a pizza neck, or scalp, for that matter.  Don’t get me wrong, my face is not immune to such hideous eruptions.  It’s not enough that the wrinkles start making an appearance, but then to be flanked by a melon sized, oozing pustule is just beyond reasonable.  Don’t even get me started on groin zits.

Let’s move away from the face because nothing is as much a slap in the face as what happens to breasts at this glorious age.  Really.  They sag enough that they could slap me in the face if I moved at just the right angle.  They used to be so cute and perky, and almost the right size.  In my 20s they were a 34B.  Twenty years and three breast fed kids later, they are 38 longs.  When I bend over to turn on the shower faucet, they look like tube socks with a few inches of sand at the bottom.  They dip in the water at the bottom of the tub.  I could tuck them into my waist band.  They are too big and that makes it hard to find decent shirts that will contain them.  I used to wish for bigger boobs.  My wish was granted but at a time in my life that they are more of an eyesore than an asset.

Sagging in general is the suckiest thing about aging.  Apparently, someone came along one night while I was sleeping and replaced my tight little birthday suit, with one that looks a few sizes too big.  It’s also clear that it hasn’t been ironed in years and someone left it sitting in the drier for way too long.  It’s all out of shape, so apparently nobody let it dry flat either.  It also has a roadmap of veins on its legs that could lead me on a road to deep depression if it wasn’t for those lifesaving capris and long dresses that are popular now.  I have to say that as much as I love summer, I am thrilled when it’s time to get out the fall and winter clothes again.

Needless to say, this decade of my life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Things sag, erupt, crack, groan, get stiff, and make involuntary noises.  It’s not enough that I notice it, but my darling children love to point out body parts of mine that are swaying in the wind or lying flaccid next to me.  They are a charming bunch.  I happily inform them that someday they will go through the same nonsense, and that if there is any justice in the world, their kids will make them feel like crap, too.  I just hope that I will be able to witness the payback from my rocking chair as the drool slides down my cratered, pock marked, droopy face.  The least Mother Nature can do is let me get there.  We moms have to stick together.

Diet Delusions

I recently decided to eliminate wheat from my diet, and seriously restrict other grains as well.  I also decided to “give up” sugar.  By “give up,” I mean reduce the amount I consume on a daily basis from 5 pounds to 2 or 3 pounds.  Don’t laugh.  While I am exaggerating, giving up even a small amount of sugar is really, really hard for me.  That’s because it’s addicting…REALLY addicting.  And I like sugary stuff.  Remember, grains are sugar in disguise, so I’m almost insanely sugar free.  Thankfully, there are some wizards out there who have come up with alternatives to the white stuff, and they are just fabulous if you have no taste buds, whatsoever.

The first would be fake sugar…Equal, Sweet and Low, Natrataste, etc.  These are shitty tasting chemicals that cause cancer,  digestive issues, the bubonic plague, hangnails and other icky things that people tend not to enjoy.  There is also Stevia, the “natural” sugar alternative that people like to use because it’s much better for you.  Let’s be honest though…it gives food a nasty aftertaste that leaves me feeling that it’s nothing even close to sugar.  Stevia is okay in baked goods, but it’s atrocious in a cup of coffee.  I love my coffee, and I’ve tried hard to like sugar alternatives in my coffee, but I just can’t do it.  I still drink my coffee with good, old fashioned, white table sugar.  If that makes me unhealthy, then so be it.  Nobody messes with my coffee.

Another love of mine is ice cream.  There was a time, not so long ago, that I could and would eat a ginormous bowl of ice cream with either hot fudge or chocolate sprinkles piled on top.  It really is my favorite dessert.  I never get tired of it.  I could eat it every single night for the rest of my life and die a happy woman.  However, in my quest to lose weight, feel better, and be all around healthier, I have seriously restricted my ice cream intake to maybe once every few weeks (except for the past 3 nights because I made the mistake of buying mint chocolate chip and I hear it calling my name from the freezer at approximately 10 p.m. every night until it’s gone).  This morning, I stumbled across a suggestion by another wheat and sugar eliminator, to eat yogurt topped with strawberries for dessert because it’s “just like eating ice cream.”  Um, excuse me?  What kind of delusional, crack smoking, half wit has the nads to suggest that THAT would be anywhere close to the same as eating a bowl of ice cream?  The only thing even remotely close to ice cream, is friggin ice cream.  End of story.

There are numerous grain free desserts that call for ground flax meal.  I was so excited to try a chocolate muffin-in-a-mug one night, because I was PMSing and I wanted some damn chocolate.  It was really quick and easy to mix up and pop in the microwave for two minutes.  They suggested topping it with whipped cream, so I did.  It smelled heavenly.  I couldn’t wait to eat it.  I took one bite of that atrocity and nearly gagged.  It was like eating chocolate flavored coffee grounds.  I tried to like it for several bites.  I decided that it wasn’t fit for the dog.  I don’t care how good it is for me, I won’t bake anything with flax meal again.

One food that is allowed and encouraged when you eliminate grains and sugars from your diet is chocolate.  However, it should be 85% cacao.  The antioxidants are really good for you, and it’s low in sugar.  VERY low in sugar.  TOO low in sugar.  In fact, it’s nothing like a Hershey bar, or Dove chocolate, or kisses, or M&Ms, or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  The “anti wheat people” claim that it’s such a wonderful treat.  They eat one whole square of it and are satisfied.  These people are freaks.  They shouldn’t be allowed to breed.  I will eat dark chocolate…the normal dark chocolate, thank you.  And I will eat more than one square.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am really enjoying the wheat free lifestyle, and most of the food is just delicious.  I feel great, have a lot of energy, and have started losing weight.  I don’t miss wheat, or other grains, and I’m okay with not eating most sugary stuff.  Sometimes, I fall off the no-wheat-no-sugar train, and that’s okay.  I’m not doing this to prove to anyone else that I can do it.  I’m doing this for me, and if I choose to drink my coffee with sugar, or eat a bowl of ice cream once in a while, or eat a Hershey bar with almonds one night, then I’m okay with that.  I don’t need to impress the non-wheat people, or the people in my life who point out that I’m not following my “diet,” or who think my way of eating is “just a fad.”  The point is, I’m a lot healthier, but I’m still enjoying a few of my favorite things.

If Adults Acted Like Kids

When hanging out with toddlers or pre-schoolers, people love to talk about how sweet and innocent they are.  They go through their days being spontaneous, not caring what anyone else thinks.  They immerse themselves in their experiences and live for self-pleasure.  I’ve heard numerous adults admire that about young children, and question when we lost that innate spontaneity.  I frequently watch young children and wonder to myself what it would look like if an adult were doing such things.  This is for my own amusement and entertainment.  I have spent a long time “researching” the behavior of little kids and what would happen if adults lived in the same spontaneous way that children do.  This is what that would look like:

 

At a business lunch:  Professionals and executives would be trying to seal the deal over chicken nuggets or spaghetti and meatballs.  At least one person would be blowing bubbles in his chocolate milk, while another stacks suger dispensers, salt and pepper shakers, and silverware in a tower.  Perhaps that would be the architect or builder of the group.  Yet another would be scribbling on his placemat.  Someone would likely have sauce rubbed all over his face and in his hair.  There may even be one well dressed woman crawling under the table, or flinging her legs over the back of the booth seat.  Never mind the potential for launching peas at each other with spoons.

 

At a business meeting:  Rolling chairs.  Think of the fun that can be had in a conference room with rolling chairs.  I’m thinking races around the table, and spinning each other until you can’t walk a straight line.  That sounds way more fun than watching some boring presentation on sales or marketing.

 

At the doctor’s office:  A husband brings his wife to the doctor.  She needs a physical.  She spends an hour in the waiting room, playing with the germ infested toys.  Once in a while, she stops to approach another woman.  She stands in her personal space, stares her down, and then looks her up and down, from head to toe, judging her by the way she looks.  Then, they start to play together…one puts a toy in her mouth, drops it on the floor, and the other picks it up, and puts it in HER mouth.  Finally, they get called into a room.  The man undresses the woman while she fights him the entire time.  Once she is in her underwear, she spins around on the doctor’s stool, climbs on and off the table until the paper is a shredded mess, plays lightning storm with the lights, and touches every last medical tool available.  The visit ends with her screaming bloody murder and fighting the nurse, the doctor, the husband, and six bouncers as they try to give her a shot.

 

At the grocery store:  Picture a mature couple walking into the grocery store.  They select a carriage.  The wife holds it still, while the husband climbs in to the back.  It would be way funnier if he tried to get into the little seat in front, but that would require a full on extrication by the fire department at the end of the trip.  So, let’s stick to the back.  She struggles to push him through the store because, as usual, she picks a carriage that only wants to go left, and of course, he weighs 200 pounds which makes it more of a challenge.  Five minutes into the shopping experience, he starts to whine because he’s bored.  He starts grabbing crap off the shelves.  He keeps standing up, so she has to continually remind him that he needs to sit.  He begs for some garbage food item in every aisle, and pitches a fit every time she says no.  The other shoppers give her dirty looks because clearly she can’t control his behavior.  Everyone thinks she’s a shitty wife.

 

In the car:  They leave the grocery store.  She tries to strap him into his seat belt and he does the whole “arching his back thing” while crying and screaming that he wants to go home.  Once they’re moving, he calms down and entertains himself by making faces at the people in other cars.  He might even suck his thumb.  Eventually he gets sleepy, and dozes off.  By this time, the wife notices a scent that indicates he needs his pull-up changed.

 

There are many scenarios involving children that would be way more entertaining if adults were the key players and not the kids.  Picture an adult stripping off his clothes and running naked through the playground.  Wait, that would just be creepy.  Bad example.  Picture adults playing in the dirt, or tossing stuff in the toilet and swishing it around with their hands.  Picture them running everywhere, and falling on their faces like a two year old.  Picture them riding the dog, climbing on the furniture, having a tug-of-war over a toy, or sticking a metal object in a socket to see what happens.  You can switch the players no matter where you are or what you’re doing.  It really is funny.  Next time you’re stuck in a board meeting or some mind-numbing adult activity, switch the players.  It might be a social faux-pas to act on these ideas, and you would likely appear to be mentally ill or at the very least socially immature for doing any of it.  But nobody can condemn you for simply thinking about it, and honestly, as long as you’re entertaining yourself, that’s all that really matters.

The Excruciating Honesty of Children

Kids are hilarious.  They are hilarious in the most obnoxious, yet innocent way.  They say exactly what comes to mind with no regard for the feelings of the unsuspecting adults in their world.  They can reduce a grown woman to tears of laughter, and can even make the most self-confident of people feel lower than dirty toilet paper stuck to the bottom of someone’s shoe.  I am the mother of 3 kids, and have worked in an elementary school for the past 6 years.  I LOVE to have conversations with kids, just for the sheer entertainment value of what they have to say.  Some of them have ripped me to shreds, but it never bothers me.  I love the innocence of it.

This blog post will be a little different.  Rather than drone on about how funny kids are, I am going to share some of my favorite “kidisms”  from the past several years.  They’ve been posted on facebook before, but I wanted to put them all in one place.  I hope you enjoy them, especially because a large number of them were made at my expense.   Here they are as they appeared on FB, in all their glory:

One of the 4th graders asked me today if I was born when Laura Ingalls Wilder was alive. Apparently, I look 100 years older than I actually am. Can anyone recommend a good anti-wrinkle cream?

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Two kids at school made my day today. I was telling a 4th grader that when I was a kid, we didn’t go to computers because they weren’t invented yet. After asking me if TV was invented when I was kid, she told me I look like I’m about 20.  Then a second grader winked at me in the cafeteria, and told the kid in line next to him that “Mrs. Palumbo is my best friend.” So cute. The wink made me laugh though…I can see him doing that in a bar in 15 years.

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One of the kids I work with a lot asked me a few weeks ago if I was retired. I told him no, but wondered for days if I look THAT old. Today, he asked me what my son’s name is. I told him, and he then asked me if he’s still alive. Apparently, I’m not only old enough to be retired, but old enough to have outlived my own kids. I’m left wondering who is more damaging to my self esteem…my own kids, or the kids at school? Between them all, I’ll be curled up in a fetal position in the corner, sucking my thumb, and crying by the end of the year.

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So, I was playing “Go Fish” with a kindergartner today, and when I told him to clean up and hand me his cards, he said, “Here you go, Sweetie.”

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 I got a “Rico Suave” wink, and eyebrow raises from a 5th grade boy in the lunchroom today. I looked at him like he had lost his mind, and asked him what he was doing. His reply (in a Rico Suave voice) was “it’s all okay,” followed by a thumbs up. You just can’t make this stuff up.

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A 4th grader asked me today if paper was invented yet when I was born. I told him no, and that my mother carved my birth certificate on a rock, in the cave I was born in. Sheesh.

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School isn’t the only place that I hear these charming little nuggets of love. I get it at home from my own spawns, too.  If they aren’t directing their drama at me, they direct it at themselves or each other.

My daughter called me despicable today because I wouldn’t let her stay at her friend’s house for dinner. When I looked at her with shock, she asked me what it meant. I love 8 year olds.

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It’s a sad day in a mother’s life when her almost teenage child says, “Mom, can you please stop singing? It’s embarrassing.”

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You’ve got to love it when you ask your 11 year old son to do something and his response is, “okay, sweet cheeks.”

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“Why did you have to bring the devil into the house?!?”  Hannah, Drama Queen Extraordinaire, when she saw that we are having a roasting chicken for dinner.

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Conversation in the car on the way to get a Christmas tree: 
Lucas: (singing LOUDLY and off key) “Cause you’re amazing, just the way you are.”
Hannah: LUCAS! SHUT. UP.
Lucas: (in a soft voice) I’m sorry madam, did I get your knickers in a tweet?

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So Lucas was playing around and called Arienne “Areola” this afternoon. He had NO IDEA what he said, and I wasn’t about to tell him because that would have only encouraged him to keep saying it. *rolls eyes* I just told him to stop calling her silly names. Yikes.

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Apparently, I put “the devil’s spawn” in tonight’s soup. That would be broccoli…according to Hannah.

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I was traveling with my kids in the car and they were asking me incessant questions about everything under the sun.  I was answering as best I could in a way that they would understand. My preschooler proceeded to ask me how I knew all this stuff.  I replied, “Because Mommy is really smart!”  She responded back with, “Noooo, that’s not it!”

There are more profound comments where these came from.   As I collect funny stories and insulting comments I hear from kids, I will share them as a periodic blog post.  Maybe it’ll become a series.  Maybe it won’t.  Either way, I am just going to continue to enjoy children and find the humor in their words.  Meanwhile, if anyone knows of a good anti-wrinkle cream or face lift surgeon, let me know.