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24 Feb

I left this voicemail last night for someone I work with at church (this was the first time I had ever called her):

I was having a thought about our activity and wanted to get your thoughts on my thought, which you don’t know yet because you’re not home, which is why I’m leaving this message.  *nervous laughter* I hate answering machines! *nervous laughter*  Anyway, could you please call me when you get a chance?  OKthanksbye.

Why do I turn into a blathering idiot on the phone?  I suspect I am frequently a blathering idiot in person, but at least that’s not recorded.  Fully justified phone phobia!  Sigh.

Anything turn you into a blathering idiot?  Any justified phobias?


Raise your hand if you’re sure you’re a freak

18 Feb

Are you someone who keeps three sticks of anti-perspirant deoderant in various stages of use in your bathroom drawer?




See, when you start getting to the point where you can no longer twist up, you buy a new stick.  And then not too long after you can no longer twist up, you’re dangerously close to the dipping below the rim and scraping the crud out of your armpit territory.  So just to be safe, you start on the new stick because the scraping is not so nice you see, and even though you’re pretty sure you have a good 5-7 more uses before you get to scrapage you figure why risk it.  But you don’t throw the almost to scrapage stick away because it might possibly have those 5-7 applications left (and maybe the 5-7 is really more of an 8-10—you don’t know for sure because you’ve never actually paid attention to how many passes you make under each arm every morning and you’re totally ignorant of the pass to wear-down ratio) and you’re not about the wasting of a perfectly good 5-7 or maybe 8-10 applications left stick of anti-perspirant deoderant plus also who knows when you might be in need of an emergency reserve stick because knowing yourself, you realize there have been times in your past when you’ve moved onto the new stick and worn it down to the scrapage point and beyond because even though you’ve been to Target 17 times in the past three weeks you manage to forget to buy a new stick every time regardless of whether or not it’s been on your shopping list and you’re about two seconds away from scooping out the dregs and rubbing them under your arms with your bare fingers when you realize that somewhere in the back of your drawer there is the reserve stick with 5-7 or maybe even 8-10 additional applications and then out comes the hallelujah chorus because you really don’t enjoy the scooping out of the dregs and the rubbing of them under the arms with the bare fingers thing.  (And if I had any idea how to properly punctuate the preceding paragraph, I totally might consider some editing in there.)

Emergency preparedness is a good and wise thing, you see?  Only in your bathroom drawer, the sticks look like this:




And you’re constantly forgetting which is which.  Is the brand new stick staying on your skin and not on your clothes?  Is the emergency reserve stick stickerless?  Or does it have 6 ultimate benefits?  Which is the stick you’re currently using again?  What are those 6 ultimate benefits about anyways?



Does anyone buy deoderant that says “like maybe half a day of wetness and odor protection”?  Why hasn’t Dove moved up to 1/2 moisturizers?  They’ve been doing this 1/4 thing for years.  Who doesn’t want more moisturizing?   And wait a minute, beautiful frangrances? 




Um, hello, are they trying to pull some kind of fast one here?   I’m buying the sensitive skin frangrance free for a reason, I think.  It’s all so confusing.

Speaking of confusing, so all of your sticks look basically the same, right?  And sometimes you just grab any old stick, absent-mindedly rip off the lid and get down to business.  Totally no big deal if you grab the currently using stick or even the emergency reserve stick, as long as you haven’t accidentally grabbed the reserve stick more than 5-7 or 8-10 times.  But trust me, you do not want to find yourself on the business end of the brand-new, never before used, sealed for your protection stick.




Not a pleasant surprise, by which I mean “Good frick, that smarts!”  I can hardly believe there’s not blood or some other DNA evidence dripping from the protruding plastic pokers of pain!  Ouch!  And frick!  And also FRICK! 

So let that be a lesson to you, my friends—a little note to self, if you will.  Always, always, always remove the devil’s protection cap of pain from your anti-perspirant deoderant before chucking it into your drawer with your currently using and emergency reserve sticks.  Frick!

(I considered photographing the crime scene, but it’s been over 24 hours since I’ve done any grooming in the pittal area, and I’m just not sure I’m ready to take that step in our relationship.)

They’ve all got Daddy’s nose

25 Nov

Last night I made a startling discovery.  The family was gathered together for a rousing game of spoons when I just casually happened to mention that I never was able to do that whole hang a spoon from your nose trick. Mr. T picked up a spoon, placed it on his nose and said, “You mean this?”—like it was nothing!  Then DynaGirl said, “I wanna try”, picked up a spoon and placed it on her nose.  Not to be outdone, Goose picked up another spoon and followed suit.  And then so did Chuck!

I was surrounded.  As I looked around at these people I hold most dear, all with spoons hanging from their noses as if it was the most natural thing in the world, I felt like a freak in my own family.  Kind of like the Twilight Zone episode where the woman is in the dimly lit hospital with her face all bandaged up and the nurses and doctors are all talking about how they hope the surgery worked this time and then they take off the bandages to reveal the woman’s face and there are audible gasps and screams and they show you the face of the extremely attractive woman and then pull back to reveal the distorted faces with the pig-like snouts of the medical personnel.  And yes, in this story I am the extremely attractive woman, but also the freak.

I attempted to master this skill for several minutes, even trying different spoons of varying sizes, shapes and weights.  I could not do it.  My children were baffled.  They kept trying to give me tips: breathe on it first, don’t breathe on it first, place it at the top of your nose near the bridge and let it drop, just stick it on and let go.  Nothing worked.  And then Mr. T started hopping up and down, whilst keeping the spoon affixed to his nose, and DynaGirl moved her spoon to the side of her nose without touching it, and Goose start swinging her spoon back and forth like a pendulum.  I expressed my astonishment and wonder at how such a thing was possible.  Goose said, “It’s just a talent, Mom.”  Salt in my wound.

dscn05180001BigHugs was not successful either, but she’s still young.  Maybe this is some kind of genetic ability passed down to my children through their father’s superior DNA.  Perhaps we need only wait for BigHugs’ power to manifest itself.  But what if it doesn’t?  Will BigHugs resent me for my average genes and curse the non-specialness of her nose?  Will she feel like a freak in her own family—an ordinary in a family of extraordinaries?

My only consolation is that all of my children can roll their tongues, and they get that from me.  Chuck’s tongue is completely unrollable.  I suppose it’s comforting to know that our children are getting the best of what we both have to offer.

Remember, I’m the freakishly attractive one.

Do you have any special abilities?

Prove me wrong, Universe! and a special comment

19 Nov

Yesterday I made an appointment to have BigHugs’ picture taken.  So you know what that means—some time in the next 24 hours she will either come down with a cold, a raging case of pinkeye or have some other kind of face-maiming accident.  She hasn’t had a professional picture taken in over 2 years.  Can you guess why?  It seems almost irresponsible of me to risk my child’s health and safety this way with an actual scheduled appointment, but for some reason I felt it must be done.  I’m hoping this time the universe will prove me wrong.  Prove me wrong, Universe!  Prove me wrong!

And now, on a more serious note: a Bythelbs special comment. 

Yesterday something else happened that turned my world upside down.  Black is no longer black.  White is no longer white.  Everything is just a big fat puddle of muddled gray.  And just when I was thinking that things might be starting to calm down—that maybe we’re getting ready to move past all of this election drama and settle into our new reality.  But now I’m not so sure we’re ready to move on together.  It seems that we’re as divided as ever. 

I consider myself to be a very open-minded, reasonably non-judgmental person.  I like to think of our little blogging community here at Bythelbsia as a safe place for people of all persuasions, walks of life, values and ideas, but even I’m having difficulty reconciling my affection for dear friends with their individual beliefs and opinions.  No, I am confident I can get past this.  It may not be today or even tomorrow.  But the day will come again when I can see you all as the good, good people that you truly are regardless of your Cheetos-density preference.  It will come.  I must believe it.

Is that burning sensation normal?

18 Nov

Do you ever go to the store in the afternoon without having eaten lunch yet and find that you suddenly need all kinds of crud that you don’t really need but winds up in your cart anyway?  And then when loading your groceries into the trunk, do you pull out a couple of things to tide you over during the 10 minute car ride home until you can eat an actual lunch?  Yeah, me neither.


I certainly did not pretend to be talked into buying Cheetos by my 3 year-old and then randomly pick up a box of ginger snaps because I had a sudden craving for something gingery and molassesy.  And I definitely did not pull those two things out of my bags before closing the trunk and put them in the passenger seat of the car.  And I surely did not, after filling a small bag with Cheetos for BigHugs, proceed to eat through nearly half of the bag myself.  And there is no way that I then, while driving, opened up the box and inner plastic bag of ginger snaps and inhale 3 or 4 of those, too.  And after all that stuff that didn’t happen, I didn’t spend the next several minutes wondering if it was normal to experience a burning sensation in my mouth, tongue and throat after eating a couple servings worth of snaps.  Nor did I wonder since when did ginger snaps become so snappy that I feared breaking my teeth in the effort of eating them.

So, if this is you, let that be a lesson to you.

Oh, and if this is you, do not spend the rest of the day snacking on potato chips, candy corn and almonds in addition to eating a full lunch and dinner.  You’ll regret it.  Trust me.  Not that I would know from personal experience, but it’s just common sense, now, isn’t it?

Wacky Search Term Wednesday Returns!

22 Oct

I’m not completely convinced I’m ready for this. It may be too soon. A part of me is still grieving over the loss of my last beloved list of wacky search terms. But sometimes you just gotta move on, right? As part of the healing process, no? Disasters strike. Trajedies happen. Stuff gets lost. It’s the circle of life.

So just for kicks, I’m going to throw in a fake. Whoever can correctly guess the faux wacky search term wins a prize. I don’t exactly know what yet, but rest assured it will be something awesome. Or at the very least of little or no monetary value, which with me is pretty much the same thing as I live and die by the motto “There is no charge for awesomeness.” Have you ever gotten a bill?

look alikes obama—Funny, I’ve never gotten that one before. Kurt Cobain, Sam the hobbit, Tommy Lee?  Sure. But Obama? For some reason I’m imagining this gentle googler is Italian.

sock monkeyu—“If a-you say I look alikes obama a-one more time-a, I’ll sock monkeyu in the face-a!” Because sometimes cultural stereotyping is just funny. Or not.

“invisible woman” fetish—Is this the science model? Fantastic Four? Are we talking burqas, here? I’m curious. And also disturbed. Anything with “fetish” attached is automatically a candidate for pervert status, as far as I’m concerned. Unless, of course, it’s a cowbell fetish. That is perfectly understandable. And acceptable. As long as you’re using the cowbell for good, not evil. Do not desecrate the cowbell, sir! Do not dare!

washing machine illustrated—What kind of sicko gets their jollies from washer centerfolds? Are some models sexier than others? Does it make a difference what’s in the load?

“top 10” “innocent search terms”—I suspect this person is really looking for obscure or underground not-so-innocent search terms and is covering his buttocks with the “quotes” in case his boss is monitoring his lunch break computer activities. Plausible deniability, you know? “I have no idea how I got on this invisible woman fetish forum, sir. I was looking for something wholesome!” “And how do you explain these washing machines?” “All right, all right! I confess!”

sock monkey writer—That’s me.

monkey spanked—Step away from my blog, sicko! Go back to your washing machines!

how to sock monkey—Latest dance craze. All the kids are doing it.

sock monkey bra—Is this for you or your sock monkey?  I’m not so sure I’m crazy about the idea of anatomically correct sock monkeys.

sock monkeys instructions—For? What exactly are you trying to get your sock monkey to do? I can’t help you unless you can be more specific.

sock+monkey—Equals awesome.

how many lbs socks to make sock monk—Are we talking Gandhi, Friar Tuck or Tony Shaloub? It makes a difference.

sock monkey goes to hollywood—This sounds like a promising movie franchise: Sock Monkey Goes to Hollywood, Sock Monkey Goes to Camp, Sock Monkey Goes to the Monestary.

sock monkey in love—See above.

i am atwittered about going to the farm—Me too! Those turkeys are vicious little bastards.

circus animal crackers pink tastes nasty—Is there really a difference between the pink and white? Really?

bulk mothers circus cookies—Is this so you can pick out all the white ones? Cookie bigot. You’re probably trying to get rid of those rainbow sprinkles too.

meaning of none taken—They’re trying to say you didn’t offend them. But frankly, I’m a little offended by your ignorance and/or stupidity. Idiot. No offense.


So, can you spot the imposter?

It’s gone daddy gone

8 Oct

I had this whole special “Wacky Search Terms Wednesday with a Twist” thing planned, but alas, all plans are thwarted!  My search terms list is missing!  Lost!  Lost, I tell you!  Lost!!!  I keep a little piece of paper by my computer to write down all of my very best ones.  Yes, my stats tracker keeps records of them, but only the top whatever number for any given period of time, and it sorts them by popularity, and of course the very best ones are not oft repeated, so while I managed to find a few, some of my very most favoritest freakiest ones are just gone, and I’ve tried to reconstruct them from memory, but I’m all befuddled by the loss of my actual list and can’t think clearly plus I’m all about truth and accuracy here at By the lbs and cannot in good conscience just throw something together that may or may not have been the actual wording—there is no “gist of it” with Wacky Search Terms Wednesday!!!  No gist!  No fabricating!  Just exactness!  And truth!  Sigh.  Sniffle.  Sniffle.

Don’t worry, I’ve already stopped looking for the list.  It’s hopeless.  After an exhaustive search of the computer desk and floor and trash and paper shredder and under the computer and the keyboard and the printer and on the refrigerator (because sometimes I stick little important papery things on the little clothespinny magnets on there), I have concluded that it’s just gone.  Gone daddy gone. 

Really, I’m OK.  I’m already coming to grips with it.  I’ve even started a new list to convince myself I’ve moved on.  I’m fine.  Totally, utterly and completely OK.  Peachy.  Right as rain.  No residual anxiety or anger or grief.  Just me here.  Typing.  With a smile.  See, I’m smiling.  Totally smiling.  And it’s not even a freakish fake smile with dead, empty eyes.  Just happiness and sunshine and rainbows and pink flying unicorns…with little pieces of paper… with my wacky search terms…impaled. on. their. horns. 

Oh woe!  Woe is me!