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The tell-tale t-shirt

24 Jul

So last week I went to girls camp with DynaGirl.  It was all great, fine, whatever.  The details are not important because the only thing I can think about right now is the t-shirt that got left behind.

Quite possibly the most awesome t-shirt that ever was or ever will be.

I realized Friday evening as I was sorting my laundry that my sweats and favorite tee did not make it home.  I must have left them in the bathroom that last morning.  I tracked down the lady who came home with the lost and found box and recovered my sweats, but my t-shirt was nowhere to be found.  I’m assuming since the sweats and tee were last seen together, someone must have “accidentally” decided to take my favorite t-shirt home.

In an effort to cope with this great loss, I have decided that whoever made off with my shirt of awesomeness must have been in desperate need of constant self-affirmation.  So every day he or she will put on my t-shirt and look in the mirror and be able to go on living.  I have decided my t-shirt is saving a life.  Hopefully any guilt this person may feel over having acquired the life-saving t-shirt ill-gottenly will not weigh too heavily on their conscience, slowly driving them into the depths of insanity and despair.  That would be an unfortunate turn of events.  Most unfortunate indeed.

And now I’m going to take a valium and lie down for an indefinite period of time.

*Treasured friend and giver of the tee, please know that I cherished the time I had with this token of your affection and I will miss it forever.  And ever.

I think I’ll make a snappy new day

14 Oct

I’ve spent the morning talking like a cross between Baljeet from Phineas and Ferb and Gloria from Modern Family.  It is great fun.  You should try it.

I just dropped off my youngest girls at school, and now I have 20 minutes until it’s time to get Mr. T.  It’s a furlough Friday, some crazy new addition to this year’s school calendar to help compensate for the paycut they gave to teachers.  The kids are in school about two hours, but with the way the start and stop times are staggered at the three schools, I’m basically getting kids up and ready for school and picking them up for like 5 hours. Can I hear a good frick?

Another crazy new addition to this year’s school calendar is “Professional Growth Wednesday” where the kids all get out of school 1 1/2 hours early.  Three out of four Wednesdays are “Professional Growth Wednesday”.  For some reason this name really ooks me out.  I’m thinking it’s the word “growth”.  Growth.  Growth.  Growth.  Eech!

You would think with as much time as I’ve spent away from the blog, I would have all kinds of glorious accomplishments to report, but we’re talking about me here.  I have been in full avoidance mode, still trying waiting to recover from operation make my house less crappy with the new paint and carpet, which thus far has not been the resounding success I was led by myself to believe.  It’s pretty much gone from Bythelbs’s House of Crap to Bythelbs’s House of Crap, now with new carpet and paint!  Perhaps we’ll talk more about this next week.

Well, hopefully I’ll be back when the week is new and I’ll have more ideas for you.  And you’ll have things you’ll want to talk about.  I will too.

Remember, people can like you exactly as you are.

How to host a telephone service guy

11 Mar

In 12 easy steps.

1.  Spend the morning tidying potential repair site areas.  There’s no phone outlet in the master closet or bath, so go ahead and cram all that folded/unfolded, clean/dirty laundry in there.  Don’t forget to do a quick dust job behind the television where the colony of dust bunnies large enough to cast a made for television production of Watership Down stands watch over the jack that was causing all the trouble the last time the service guy was out.

2.  If you’re set on showering before your service appointment, better leave yourself more than a 20 minute window in case they call an hour and a half before your appointment to tell you they’ll be there in 30 minutes and you’re in the middle of making school lunches and minutes away from heading out the door to run the kids to school (too few minutes for even a quickie rinse off and too many minutes to leave you enough time on the backside of that carpool run).

3.  Should you find yourself in the predicament described in step 2, don’t worry about not showering.  A few passes with the deoderant, a bra, and a little mascara will make you semi-presentable.

4.  When the service guy arrives, be sure to give him a detailed account of the last service call, pointing out the source of the trouble and explaining that the last service guy said it was possible his repair job might end up being a temporary fix.

5.  When the service guy tells you thirty minutes later that he thinks he’s found the source of the problem in that jack/wires/faceplate that’s hanging out of the wall in the upstairs family room, don’t argue with him.  When he’s done fixing the jack/wires/faceplate and figures out that wasn’t the problem, you’re still ahead one fixed jack/wires/faceplate.

6.  Avoid saying “I told you so” when he decides fifteen minutes later that the jack/outlet you told him about in the first place turns out to be the source of the trouble.

7.  During this time, you should establish some kind of contact with a third party off the premises that you trust.  Sample text conversation:

You: I have a service guy in my house & I never know what to do with myself.  Plus it’s always wise to have contact with someone on the outside in case he turns out to be a murdering rapist or something.

Trustworthy off the premises third party: You should text me a detailed description of the guy, just in case.

You: He’s an attractive young Asian man.  Maybe early 20s.  Tall–6’1″ or 6’2″.  His name is Phil, or so he says.  He has bright blue plastic booties over work boots.

TOTPTP: Wow, that’s tall for an Asian guy.

You: I know, right?  Perhaps he’s of mixed decent.  Would it be rude to ask?

TOTPTP: Hey, when a guy is in your house wearing bright blue plastic booties he has already checked his pride at the door.

You: Well, at least it gives me a distinguishing characteristic to report to the police.  Oh, he’s also driving a white Comcast van, or so it says…

TOTPTP: Or so it says…u crack me up 🙂

You: You won’t be laughing when I’m dead. … He’s in my backyard now.  Do you think he’s casing the joint for possible re-entry routes???

TOTPTP: Better lock up your windows tonight…just in case…

8. When he informs you he needs access to the crawl space, keep a smile on your face as you unload the contents of your 3×4 hall closet into your entryway.  At least you’re not the one who has to go into the crawl space.

9. After you’ve unloaded the contents of your hall closet and you remember that the crawl space access has been covered by your snap together/non-glued-down laminate flooring, pull up the flooring yourself.  Don’t leave the service guy to his own devices, and don’t under any circumstances give him a pry bar unless you want two pry-bar shaped holes in your wall.

10. If you ignore the warnings in step 9 and leave the guy grunting in your hall closet for 15 minutes and then check on him only to discover no progress other than the two holes in the back of your closet, go ahead and offer to take care of the flooring yourself and then get his card to reschedule the appointment for the next day.

11. When you’ve popped the flooring up yourself without the aid of pry bar and/or grunting two minutes after he pulls out of your driveway, wait a few minutes before calling him to see if he has time to come back later that day.  You don’t want to completely emasculate and/or offend him, you still need him to get down in that crawl space and fix your friggin’ phone line.

12.  When all is said and done, don’t be too disgusted with yourself for apologizing for all the trouble and pretending not to notice the holes in your closet wall.  Your phone is fixed, all the crap you pulled out of your closet will cover up the holes when you get around to putting it back in, and you haven’t antagonized the “service guy”/murdering rapist.

Hours later…

TOTPTP: R u still alive? The tall Asian really was just a cable guy?

Hours later…

TOTPTP: Bythelbs? You?

You: Yes, I’m alive.  Phone is fixed. Tall Asian guy has disappeared…for now…

TOTPTP: Or so he says…

Yo, those kicks are streets ahead, Fresh Step

18 Feb

The other day as I was sitting in the hall of BigHugs’ dance studio (the dance studio where BigHugs takes dance, not her personally owned and operated by dance studio), one of the other moms complimented me on my shoes.  Actually, she said something like, “Every time I see you, you have the cutest shoes”, which I dismissed as an obvious hyperbole because I do not, in fact, have an abundance of fabulous footwear.  Perhaps every time she’s seen me I’m wearing that particular pair of shoes, which seems more likely since I am frequently complimented when wearing that particular pair of shoes.

It’s amusing to me that these shoes garner such a steady stream of compliments, considering that they’re actually a cheapy $10 pair of tennies I picked up a couple of summers ago at the Walmart on Maui.  When I was packing up for my long-awaited Hawaii trip, I became quite distressed that I didn’t have any footwear suitable for walking/hiking/exploring the island.  I had cute flips and multiple pairs of wedge sandals, but no stylish-yet-built-for-comfort walking type foot attire.  I searched high and low in the weeks preceding my trip, but came up empty.  It was really quite distressing to me.  So when we arrived on Maui and made a stop at the local Walmart for water and snacks and such (by the way, in case you were wondering, unfortunately a Walmart on Maui is no more fabulous than a mainland Walmart), I decided to take a quick browse through the shoe section just in case.  And I found them.  It was a Maui miracle!

Looking back at my trip pictures, I find it pretty hilarious that I was so concerned with having just the right footwear for my tropical island paradise adventures.

Obviously, this look would have been completely thrown off by the wrong pair of shoes.

Here I am on another day where you get a glimpse of the shoes:

Really, though, when it comes down to it, I’ll take whatever shoe-related compliments I can get because it has always been my dream to be the woman with the cute shoes—an as of yet unfulfilled dream except when wearing my $10 cheap tennies, but still.

You know what else I dream about?  I watch a lot of cop shows, and I’ve always wanted to have a cool street name.  You know, like Wishbone or Ice Bang or Funk Sister.  Well, the other night while I was tucking in Mr. T, I glanced up at his walls adorned with various incarnations of this ad, and it hit me.  Hello—it perfectly combines my dreams of wanting to be known for my fabulous footwear and having a super cool street name!  I can totally see it—I’m strolling through the hood and everywhere I go they’re checking out the shoes and giving me the nods of approval and admiration and some spunky/adorable kid who idolizes me calls out, “Yo, those kicks are streets ahead, Fresh Step!” and I’ll just flash him a smile and/or a double digit “pehce” or some other equally cool and appropriate acknowledgment of mad props.  Sigh.  Perfect.

Is it just me?  Have you ever wanted a cool street name?  What would it be?  Actually, I’m feeling a contest coming on.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had one, so whoever comes up with the coolest street name wins a prize.  Bonus points may be awarded for an explanation of origin or for devising a scenario in which my street name is used as well.  I’d like to see if it sounds as cool when somebody else says it or if it’s all in my head.

Day 1

16 Feb

I’ve made dental appointments.  It’s been over a year.  I know, I know.  I honestly don’t know how these things happen.  That’s a lie.  I do know.  Last year we went on a Saturday because that’s the only day they could get all  my kids in at once without me having to pull them all out of school.  I like to schedule them all at once because the dentist is a good 25-30 minutes away and in traffic it’s even worse and who wants to make five special trips to the dentist?  Not me.  So we went on a Saturday, and on Saturdays there is no reception staff.  No reception staff means no scheduling of the next appointment immediately after the just finished appointment.  And no scheduling of the next appointment immediately after the just finished appointment means no scheduled appointment at all until you notice that one of your children’s teeth are literally turning brown and if you wait much longer people will start to accuse you of neglect and not caring about your children’s oral wellness.  (Anyone else just not like the word “oral”?)

So I scheduled the appointments, and I’m first.  March 17.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day to me!  And I decided, as I do, that I would spend the next month flossing the living crap out of my teeth so as to keep up appearances.  Or put on appearances.  Or something.  Did you know that when you don’t regularly floss, that the first time out you’re likely to need a boxer’s bloody spit bucket?  Good frick.  I mean I brush regularly and I floss O-ccasionally, but man.  Oh, and to add insult to injury, as I was flossing I noticed the upper arm jiggle.  Now you might think I must have been flossing with undue vigor to have produced such a scene of unholy arm motion, but let me assure you, my friends, I can count on my big toes the number of activities I perform vigorously, and flossing is not one of them.  So if the most delicate of movements results in the violent to and fro tossing of my once upon a time tight and tidy upper arms, I can only conclude that next flossing session must be done under cover of bulky sweater or some such.  I bet you thought I was going to say that I can only conclude that I must cease and desist the flossing altogether, but I am committed this time.  Committed!  One day down, 29 to go.

Must there always be a title?

25 Jan

*My phone line is acting up again, which is making me a little nervous.

*There’s nothing like a freshly laundered pair of jeans to put that five holiday pounds into perspective.  Last week I spent a good five minutes wrestling myself into said pair, resulting in one of the most spectacular displays of muffin-toppery I have ever had the displeasure of participating in.

*Also yesterday, I ate an entire loaf of sourdough bread.  I’m not fudging on the details here, people—an entire loaf, which I’m sure has nothing whatsoever to do with that other thing I was just talking about.

*During the course of a recent conversation, I asked Mr. T if he could think of anyone he’d rather have as his mom.
Mr. T: Ellen.
Me: Ellen?
Mr. T: Degeneres. Ellen Degeneres and Will Smith. Those are my dream parents.

*I got my hair done yesterday, which is always a treat.  As I was making out the check, I realized that the amount I spend annually on my hair maintenance could rescue several helpless animals from cruelty and neglect.  I’m using that as my justification for not bumping up my quarterly hair appointments to the bi-monthly appointments I really should be scheduling for proper color maintenance.  The extra expense on such luxuries would be like a slap in some poor puppy’s face.  Even my heartlessness knows limits.

*There was something else, but it has escaped me.  Happy Tuesday.

Christmas miracles

17 Jan

Yes, I know it’s already MLK Jr. Day, but I have a few things I was planning to report, and if I don’t report the things I was planning to, who knows the next time I’ll have anything report-worthy to report, planned or not.

1.  I received in my Christmas stocking a receipt for a photography class—one of those one-night workshoppy things through the parks & rec, but still.  Pretty awesome.

2.  Chuck cleaned the bathroom.  On Christmas Day, people.  Counters, sinks, toilet, shower, floors—everything.  I should make more wishes on the blog.

3.  I only had one pre-Christmas meltdown/tantrum.  Just one.  I’ve conveniently forgotten what it was about.

4.  We did not exceed the limits of our trash/recycle bins with our Christmas-induced consumerism/frivolity.  I believe that is a first.  At least in many years.

5.  I only gained 5 lbs with my Christmas induced gluttony.  Now that’s a miracle.


Some less than miraculous events to keep it real on Christmas.

1.  My attempts to preserve our Christmas memories resulted in this:


and this:


and this:

and this:


(a strong candidate for next year’s Christmas cards)

2.  In my excitement over yuletide bathing in complete cleanliness, I managed to twist the hose of our detachable shower head thingy to such a degree that when I placed in back in its holder it immediately spun 135 degrees, dousing the newly cleaned mirror, counter and floor and blowing out three vanity bulbs.  Woops.

3.  It was a pretty impressive pre-Christmas meltdown/tantrum.  Still don’t remember what it was about, but I’m sure it was completely, ahem,  justified.

4.  Although our trashcans did not overfloweth, we still have gifts that remained untouched.  I’m hoping someday I’ll find just the right balance.

5.  Three weeks later, I still have that 5 lbs, so I’m thinking this is less of the gain 5 lbs in a day-lose in one or two days variety, and more of the gain 5 lbs in a day-keep for weeks, months or forever variety.  Ah well. 

Do you have anything report-worthy to report on Christmas and/or MLK Jr. Day?