Archive | May, 2009

Another one bites the dust

28 May

So, I’m sitting here in my underwear (I was just starting to get dressed after taking a shower when I thought of something I wanted to tell Chuck, so I decided to send him a quick e-mail before I forgot and then I got distracted by Facebook IM because one of my favorite people was on), and BigHugs walks in and says, “Ew, Mom, that’s gross.  You need to get some clothes on.”  And I thought, “She’s right, I really do need to get some clothes on”, but I was still chatting.  And then BigHugs asks if she can have some chocolate teddy grahams and I thought, “Sure, why not?  It’s 9:45 am and you haven’t had breakfast yet—go for it.”  So I told her yes and she went downstairs to get the teddy grahams and a bowl for me to pour them into.  Then, of course, the teddy grahams were just sitting here on the desk, so I help myself because, hey, I haven’t had breakfast yet either, and before I know it, they are all gone and I’m shaking out the bottom of the box into my hand so I can finish off every last dismembered teddy graham appendage.  And now my underwear is littered with the carnage of my teddy graham massacre.

teddy graham

Hey, I’m gonna eat you two!  Another one bites the dust-ah!


Happy Thursday to ye!

Speaking of…

26 May

Chuck left on another business trip this morning.  It’s a short one—he’ll be back Saturday.  When I got in the car to take the girls to school this morning, I found a new custom made CD: The Killers concert.  Chuck burned me a CD of all the songs from The Killers concert in the order that they played them.  It’s awesome.  I love it.

Speaking of Chuck and awesomeness, he’s taking me to Hawaii next month.  We’re spending four days on Maui and four on Oahu.  This is my first time to the islands, so I’m seeking a little advice.  If any of you have suggestions for can’t miss beaches, sights, activities and/or local restaurants, please share.  Dare I brave the ziplines?  Do I have to go snorkeling if I’m not exactly a strong swimmer and the thought of possible close encounters with marine wildlife gives me the free willies?  Can you see me surfing?  Is the Polynesian Cultural Center overrated or totally worth shelling out the duckets?  My inquiring mind wants to know.  And you want to tell me.

Speaking of Hawaii, I have spent the last few weeks in search of a new bathing suit.  Last week I picked up a new bathing suit for DynaGirl to try on at home.  She came up to me half-dressed with the suit somewhere around her thighs and said, “This isn’t working.”  That is my new go-to phrase for use in dressing rooms across our tri-county area.  You know, the bathing suit shopping is even more painful than the friend shopping because at least with the friend shopping you don’t have to look at your dimples in inappropriate places and your stretchmarks in inappropriate and appropriate places and all the other wrongness that is your body.

Speaking of inappropriate and wrongness, Chuck pointed out this article to me last week.  Apparently, she greets people and he DJs.  Nice.  And by nice, I mean holy hell what is the matter with this woman?!  I was originally going to devote an entire post to a discussion of this topic, but decided it wasn’t worth the effort.  Plus, it just kind of makes me want to vomit.

Speaking of wanting to vomit, we got together with my sister and her family for Memorial Day (no, this isn’t the vomit part) for a BBQ which featured foot-long polish sausages.  Yes, foot long.  And I ate one.  Or, at least, 11 1/2 inches of one (yeah, this is totally the vomit part).  I chased that down with some brocolli salad and seven layer dip and chips and strawberry/rhubarb cobbler and ice cream.  And yet I still hold out hope that somewhere there is a bathing suit out there just for me.  Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.  Do you think Snuggie makes swimwear?

snuggie surfing

Idol conversation

21 May

Queen Latifah and Lil Rounds

DynaGirl:  Either Lil got really big or that other lady is really tiny.

Me:  That other lady is Lil.  Queen Latifah is workin’ that spandex.


Jason Mraz and the runners-up

Chuck:  Wow, just think they get to share the stage with Jason Mraz.

Me:  Yeah, and he has to sing with a bunch of losers.

Chuck:  Nice.


Kris and Keith Urban

Me:  Is that Nicole Kidman’s husband?

Chuck:  I think so.

Me:  I think Kris might have a better voice than Keith Urban.

Chuck:  You think so?  He’s rockin’ that guitar, though.

Me:  When does this song end?


Fergie and the girls and the Black Eyed Peas

Me:  Oooh, I love Fergie. 

Chuck:  Fergie’s got looong legs.

DynaGirl:  Those body suits are freaking me out.


Cyndi Lauper and Alison

Chuck, to DynaGirl and Goose:  It’s your song!

Me:  Cyndi Lauper’s looking good.  Man, she’s got skinny legs.


Danny and Lionel Richie

Danny’s singing Hello.

Chuck:  Is Lionel Richie going to be on?

Me:  We can only dream.

Chuck:  How old is Lionel Richie?  Like 80?

Me:  laughing.

Mr. Richie takes the stage.

Me:  Yessssss!

Chuck:  He looks good for 80.

All Night Long music starts.

Me:  Are you kidding me?!

Singing along.  Must rewind when Lionel does the “play on” echoes.

DynaGirl:  I like this song.



Adam and Kiss

Me:  What is he wearing?  Who’s he singing?

Chuck:  Kiss.

Kiss takes the stage.  Much laughter.

Me and Chuck:  So awesome!

DynaGirl, starting to cry (for real):  I’m scared.


Steve Martin and Megan and the oil-rigger (Michael?)

Me and Chuck:  Steve Martin?

Music starts.

Chuck:  Over the Rainbow?  The Rainbow Connection?

Me:  It’s not The Rainbow Connection.

Chuck:  He sings The Rainbow Connection.

Me:  No, he doesn’t.

Megan’s humming.

Chuck:  Wait, did Megan forget the words?  It’s good they have her sitting down so she can’t do the wiggle thing.


Rod Stewart

Me:  I hope he makes it down those stairs OK.

Chuck:  He’s still got some moves.

Me:  Yeah, but I kind of want to slap a life alert bracelet on him.



Chuck: Wow, they’ve got lots of big name folks.

Me, chuckling: Folks?

Chuck: Rockstars?


Sometime during the show.

I get up.

DynaGirl:  Where are you going?

Me:  To make my notes.

Chuck:  No more notes.  Can’t we just sit down and watch American Idol like a normal family?

WST match ’em up results

19 May

Out of the seven of you who played along, there was a three-way tie for first with a total of 4 correct.  I think it’s interesting that 4 seemed to be the threshhold that could not be crossed.  But don’t feel badly—just take comfort in the fact that you all are not as big of freaks as the average googler.  Or maybe you all are even bigger freaks than the average googler.  Feel free to choose whichever option brings you the most happiness.

So our top three (with their correct answers) are:

G25 – chuck norris and cake decorating
I10 – used food paper towel
K18 – his and hers face butt towel
W11 – rabbit morphs into rocket

A6 – can you help i’ve got this strange sexual
H2 – golden toilet
K18 – his and hers face butt towel
R16 – round chewy sweet balls japan

H2 – golden toilet
K18 – his and hers face butt towel
P4 – pimp my chuck norris
W11 – rabbit morphs into rocket

Congratulations top 3! Look for some small token of my affection and appreciation of your wacky awesomeness coming to you soon.

I would also like to acknowledge our first runner up:

A6 – can you help I’ve got this strange sexual
E20 – dark blue callous heel fungus
K18 – his and hers face butt towel

And second runners up:

A6 – can you help I’ve got this strange sexual
P21 – pimp my chuck norris

F17 – cheees grater jeans
R16 – round chewy sweet balls japan

And third runner up:

S22 – ped egg warnings

Thank you all for playing! Here is the entire list of correct answers for those of you who feel compelled to see where you went wrong.

A6 – can you help i’ve got this strange sexual – I keep hearing Marvin Gaye, “Can you help…I’ve got this strange sexual feeeeeling.”
B13 – drag queen sock monkey – The sock monkey kingdom discriminates against no man. Or woman. Or man/woman.
C19 – cheese grate ball ouch – Ouch!
D23 – phobias about shoes being worn – You know, when I buy a new pair of shoes, I always check the soles. If the soles show the slightest indication of wear, even maybe just a piece of lint that might indicate a trip or two down the shoe aisle while being tried on, I look for another pair. The ones with the plastic/paper/cardboard still shoved in the toe are most reassuring.
E20 – dark blue callous heel fungus – Ew. Like, ew.
F17 – cheees grater jeans – But where does the cheees go? Into a receptacle built into the pants? Does it just smoosh into your legs? I think the folks in R&D have some more work to do on this one.
G25 – chuck norris and cake decorating – I can see Mr. Norris cake decorating. I bet he kicks those frosting roses’ butts!
H2 – golden toilet – “I’ve got a golden toilet! I’ve got a golden chance to take my _____.  And with a golden toilet it’s a golden day!”
I10 – used food paper towel – I personally don’t recycle my paper towels. That’s why I buy the paper towel. I take comfort in the single-use concept. Like toilet paper. Single use.
J14 – mobile phone self portrait blonde mirror – ???
K18 – his and hers face butt towel – Just one towel? To share? For faces and butts?  Let’s revisit this single use idea.
L5 – ginger underpants – Colored? Scented? Flavored? Is there some kind of medicinal quality here?
M9 – chicken thigh weird part – I HATE it when I bite into the chicken thigh weird part. Shudder.
N24 – hoa hong i love you – I love Susan more. And Alison Wonderland.
O15/26 – nude birthday cake – Frostingless?
P4/21 – pimp my chuck norris – As if you could make him any more awesome than he already is.
Q1 – susan pancake head – Ha-Ha! (Think Nelson.)
R16 – round chewy sweet balls japan – I can’t help thinking of this.  Sorry.
S22 – ped egg warnings – Yeah, that’s kind of boring.
T15/26 – embarrassing birthday cake – Was it nude?
U4/21 – sexy chuck norris – Word.
V8 – washing machine nude – My washing machine is currently nude. My dryer, on the other hand, is fully clothed.
W11 – rabbit morphs into rocket – This is one of those, “And this brought you here?”
X3 – spot a fake ped egg – Bor-ing.
Y7 – tommy lee measurements – Are there really still people this interested in Tommy Lee?
Z12 – alison wonderland look-alike – a million a dollars!

Housewife. Madhousewife.

17 May

Some of my fondest childhood memories are sitting at the piano with Madhousewife playing and singing from our book of James Bond movie themes.  Sometimes Mad would play and I would sing, sometimes she would play the right hand and I the left while we sang together.  I was not the best player or the best singer, but Mad didn’t care.

The catalog of James Bond movie themes is full of all kinds of awesomeness, but I believe our favorite, and correct me if I’m wrong here Mad, was Thunderball.  No matter how many times we sang it, I would always come in prematurely with my thunderballs.  But Mad was patient and encouraging, never revoking my license to kill a song.  I will be forever grateful for that, and for those cherished memories.

Thank you, Madhousewife.  And happy birthday!  You are double-O awesome and I love you!

If only I had a recording to share with you all.  I suppose Mr. Jones will have to do.


15 May

Ambiguphobia—the fear of being misunderstood.  (No, I did not just make that up.  It’s a real thing, people.)  I’ve always known I have it, but I don’t think I realized the depth of my ambiguphobia until yesterday when I discovered how many people had no idea what I meant by the title of my blog and my online handle.  It was…distressing.  I think particularly because I had spent so much time congratulating myself on the clever conception of the name when I started this whole blogging endeavor. 

“Look, lbs like pounds and also like me!  I’m lbs!  And when I write something it’s like By lbs!  And when you buy things, you can buy them by the lb!  (Only there’s an “s” in my initials, so it would be by the lbs, which is even better because that makes the play on words even more obvious!)  Buy things like nuts!  I’m nutty!  Nutty goodness!  By the lbs: nutty goodness in bulk or by the pound!  That’s it!  That’s the name!  The perfect name!”

I’m not sure why it never occurred to me before that this line of reasoning wouldn’t be completely obvious to everyone else, especially given how you all wouldn’t automatically know what my initials even are.  I must have assumed that the bythelbs would be sufficiently odd (I mean, who says “Oh yeah, I buy these by the pounds.”  You don’t buy by the pounds, you buy by the pound.) that one would naturally deduce that “lbs” must also represent something else like, say,  initials.  “Oh, this blog must be written by someone with the initials lbs.  By the lbs.  By the pounds.  Snort.  I get it.  Clever girl.”  I am an idiot.

Now that I think about it, it’s really very unlike me to take this kind of thing for granted.  I am like the queen of over-explaining myself.  Well, at least in my mind I am.  I say something to a friend or type something in a comment on a blog, maybe something I think is witty or clever and then I sit there and wonder if anyone will get it, but when you have to explain a joke it’s not really funny, right?  Particularly with the blogs (because you can’t add all those subtle nuances of voice inflection and delivery that are sometimes vital clues to how a joke is best interpreted or received), I’ll sit there staring at a comment I’ve just written, debating back and forth whether I’ve been sufficiently clear.  Am I clear?  AM  I  CLEAR?!  Dare I submit?  DARE I?!  Sometimes in my lack of confidence I just erase my comment and click away.  Better to say nothing than to have people mistakenly think I’m a dork.

And it’s not just about the joke.  I worry about offending people with a misunderstanding.  When I was walking my girls home from school yesterday, Goose and BigHugs had run out a few yards ahead of me.  They are pretty good about stopping at each corner and waiting for me before crossing the street, but they were approaching this one crosswalk at kind of a jog and I noticed a big truck getting ready to turn through it so I yelled, “Stop!”  And when the girls didn’t immediately stop, I yelled, “Stop!  Stop!  STOP!!!”  And then the truck driver looked at me as he drove past with us all standing on the corner, and I was suddenly worried that perhaps he thought I was yelling at him to stop, so I immediately said in a voice I hoped was loud enough to carry the 20 feet down the street he had already gone, “GIRLS, YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE TO STOP AT THE CORNER AND WAIT FOR ME.  THAT NICE TRUCK WAS TRYING TO TURN.”  But in retrospect, he was most likely giving me the evil eye for letting my young children run wild on the sidewalks.

I’m not one for acknowledging strangers I pass on the street.  As I’m walking, I usually just keep my head down and pretend I’m preoccupied with something.  If I’m with BigHugs I might start talking to her  just as I’m approaching someone so that they can think I am too engrossed in my conversation with my three year old to notice them rather than think that I’m unfriendly.  I would be happy to be friendly.  A “hi” or a head nod or even just a smile is not beyond my capacity for interaction with my fellow human beings, but I’m afraid of the possibility of that being misinterpreted as well.  When I walk to pick up my girls after school, there’s this nice young Asian man sitting at the bus stop on the way.  One day I just happened to look in his direction just as he was looking up from his book and I felt trapped, so I smiled.  He smiled back.  A perfectly lovely random encounter.  Then the next time I walked to school, I made a special point of smiling at him because I figured we had already established this smiling relationship and it would just be rude to go back to ignoring him.  He smiled again.  Then the next time I did this kind of combo smile/quick head nod/staccatoed “Hi” thing and he just kind of looked away.  No smile.  Did he see me?  Did I breech some kind of code of social etiquette progression by moving up to the “Hi” so soon after the smile relationship was established?  Was he beginning to worry that this wacko old lady mom was trying to hit on him?  Did he take my head nod/Hi as a mockery of his Asian culture?  It was a nod, not a bow!  A “hi”, not a “hai!”  (No pick!  No pick!!)  Then last Monday I was driving the kids to piano in the opposite direction that I walk to the school, and I saw my young Asian man friend sitting at a different bus stop on the opposite side of the street.  Did he change bus routes just to avoid me?  Did I make him that uncomfortable?  But then yesterday he was standing up at his regular bus stop, and as I approached him he shot me a big, beaming grin.  So either I had nothing to worry about to begin with, my paranoid delusions getting the best of me yet again,  or my young Asian man friend has thought about it, weighed the pros and cons, and decided to accept my unintentional advances.  I suppose either way, I’m golden.

And now I don’t remember where I thought I was going with this whole thing, but I’m afraid any further attempts to explain myself will only serve to muddy the waters into muddied waters oblvion, so I’ll just say, “Hi.  My name is Bythelbs.  I mean LBS.  I mean my actual initials are L.B.S.  But I go by Bythelbs.  Like by the pounds, as in by the pound, and also by the lbs, as in my actual initials.  And I’m an ambiguphobic.”

Are you?


Classic crazy.

Fifteen going on forever

14 May

Today is my 15th wedding anniversary. Fifteen years ago today, I made Chuck the happiest man on earth. I won’t say that I love him even more today than I did 15 years ago. I don’t even know what that means. But I will say I’ve never stopped.

Here are 15 things I love about Chuck.

1.   Early on in our marriage he volunteered to be the designated fridge-cleaner-outer, and he’s still doing it.

2.  I can always count on him to make a corny joke.  And he loves it when I roll my eyes.

3.  He often can’t remember things I’ve told him 5 minutes before, but he recalls our courtship in vivid details even I had forgotten.

4.  He takes care of all the maintenance on my car and sometimes even makes a special trip to make sure the tank is full, not because he thinks I’m incapable or that it’s his manly/husbandly duty, but just so I won’t have to bother with it.

5.  I always know when I’ve “caught” him doing something because he has a guilty smile/chuckle that gives him away every time.  He knows that I know, and he still smiles.

6.  He always compliments me and tells me I’m beautiful, even when I feel (and, let’s be honest,  look) worked over.

7.  He’s very loyal.  When I’m upset, he always takes my side—sometimes even when I’m upset with him.

8.  He still writes me love notes and makes me mix CDs, often pointing out the lyrics of special significance.

9.  He is careful with money (our finances are great), but he is not a tightwad, and if he’s ever been worried about my spending habits, he’s never let on to me.  We have never had an argument over money.

10.  Whenever he needs to go out of town, our kids are very upset and make a BIG deal over his homecoming.  That says a lot about him as a father.

11.  He always asks my tree

12.  He sends me links and things that he thinks will make good blogging material.

13.  He would rather spend time with me than hang out with the guys, but doesn’t mind giving me a girl’s night out.  (Or at least he’s very good at pretending.)

14.  He is quick to reassure me when I doubt myself, quick to recognize my accomplishments (even if it’s just that I’ve managed to get the dishes done that day), and always without my feeling patronized or doubting his sincerity.

15.  He has a special appreciation for my particular flavor of crazy.  He must, after all, he’s still here!

Happy anniversary, Chuck!  I still love you!