Lisa and Matt birthday 2013As you know, my husband and I went on a romantic trip to Vegas.  (Constantly being propositioned by overweight men to  engage in sexual encounters with others is romantic, right?)

Fortunately for me, I had my husband’s random comments to keep me entertained and keep my focus away from the men in thongs and wedges on the Strip. (I don’t need to be reminded that a 45 year old guy looks better in Spandex than I do.)

Because I know how much you love these nuggets of wisdom from my beloved, I jotted down a few of his musings to share with you.  Enjoy.

Tour Guide

photo credit: otzberg via photopin cc

photo credit: otzberg via photopin cc

Matt:  “That’s the Luxor. You can see the beam it shoots up in the air all the way from space.

Lisa:  “Really? From space?!”

Matt:  “Well, maybe not from space, but it goes pretty high.”


Lisa:  “Is that book good?

Matt: “I haven’t started yet. I was kind of hoping to wrap up this conversation you’ve got going.

Film Critic

Lisa:  “Meredith Baxter Burney was in a million Lifetime movies.

Matt:  “I don’t know who that is.

Lisa: “She’s the mom from Family Ties.”

Matt: “That’s her? She’s always either getting raped or getting the shit beat out of her on Lifetime.

Beauty Scout

photo credit: via photopin cc

photo credit: via photopin cc

Matt: “Look at that chick.”

Lisa:  “What’s wrong with her?”

Matt:  “She looks like she’s seen some shit…like a brick wall.” <Then made hand gesture smashing his hand to his face>


Matt:  “Are you crabby? Did that hurt? Want me to call the wambulance? I’ll call 9-1-wah.”

Travel Agent

photo credit: Whirling Phoenix via photopin cc

photo credit: Whirling Phoenix via photopin cc

Matt:  “People come here from all over. Some come from Boise. Some come from Idaho.”

Lisa:  “Um, Boise is in Idaho.”

Matt:  “What’s the other place in Idaho?”

Lisa:  “There’s lots of other places in Idaho.”

Matt:  “As far as I’m concerned, it’s all Boise.”


photo (75)My husband I just went to Las Vegas for a “vacation.”  I use the term loosely because my idea of vacation is chilling by the pool, reading a book and silently judging the women who think they look good in a thong bikini.  (They don’t.)

Vegas is the opposite of that, with the exception of women in thong bikinis.  There’s lots of those.  There’s also lots of men in thong bikinis too.

Vegas doesn’t discriminate.

I’d never been to Vegas so I didn’t know what to expect.  When I arrived I was overwhelmed and wish someone would have prepared me for the shit show I was stepping into.

Because I’m good to you like that, I’ve made a list of a few things you should know if you are going to Vegas.  I’d like to prevent others from experiencing the horror that was my first time there.

Here it goes…

1.  There’s shopping.  Lots and lots of shopping

photo credit: Marshall Astor - Food Fetishist via photopin cc<

My favorite indulgence!
photo credit: Marshall Astor – Food Fetishist via photopin cc<

I’m a fan of capitalism and free market, but Vegas is ridiculous when it comes to shopping.  Not only are there shops and stores everywhere you go, there are people on the street corners hawking everything from water bottles to free cds of their music.

Right, like the guy in the street with the stinky pits and the nasty teeth is going to be the next big music star.

Wait. Is that how Kid Rock was discovered?

Vegas doesn’t just slap you in the face with commerce, it punches you in the nose and then the stomach, and while you’re keeled over in pain, it gives you an atomic wedgie….and then it charges you for the experience.

Make sure you bring cash; not only for the shopping, but also for the alcohol you will need to numb the pain of the sucker punch to the wallet.

2.  Penny slots aren’t actually penny slots

My winnings!

My winnings!

Don’t be fooled!  Remember #1 above where I talked about how commerce bitch slaps you?  (I hope so, as it was only a few lines ago.  If you’ve forgotten, you should probably see a doctor about that.)

Although the penny slots say they’re a penny, they’re big fat liars with their pants on fire.  While it’s true they take pennies, it takes 40 of them for one spin of the slot, or in this high tech world, a push of a button.

There is no other option other than to bet $0.40 a spin.  Maybe if you’re a high roller you can afford such ridiculousness.  I, however, cannot, partly because of item #3.

3.  Everything costs a million dollars

These nachos, a margarita and a mojito at the pool cost $70.00...BEFORE TIP!

These nachos, a margarita and a mojito at the pool cost $70.00…BEFORE TIP!

Want a small Diet Coke fountain soda?  That will be $5.00 plus tip.

What about a small bottle of water?  That will also be $5.00 plus tip.

Neither comes with a happy ending.  Believe me, I asked.  For that price, I’d expect at least a butt grab, but the waiter was NOT on board with my advances.

Before you come out to Vegas, might I recommend taking out a second mortgage on your house just to pay for dinner and drinks?  And don’t eat too much, as that will force you to go to the restroom.

Although Vegas charges you for every single indulgence, they can’t seem to put anything other than 2-ply toilet paper in the restrooms.

You probably have to pay extra for additional ply.

4.  Bling is everywhere

bling at pool

This is an actual photo of someone at one of the pools in Vegas. BLING!

Make sure you pack your sunglasses because it gets extra bright when the sun reflects off the sequined bikinis at the pool.

I’m not sure if it’s a requirement in Vegas that all women be adorned with glitter, sequins or rhinestones, but I suspect it is.  From teenagers to grandmas, nearly every woman sparkles with the finest rhinestones Hobby Lobby has to offer.

Here’s a tip:  Pack a glue gun with extra glue sticks.

You can make a killing offering to glue fallen sequins back on outfits.  You should probably offer to glue the legs shut of some of these sparkling women, although I wouldn’t recommend going anywhere near their jackpot.

You will NOT come out a winner, I can assure you.

5.  There aren’t free drinks on the casino floor

Contrary to popular belief, you aren’t served free alcohol while you’re gambling.  They make you pay for that too.  (See #3 above.)

Come to think of it, perhaps they give out free drinks, but only to people betting more than $0.40 a spin on the Airplane! slot machine. (The slot machine is just as much fun as the movie, although it doesn’t say “Surely you can’t be serious,” when you bet the minimum. Wouldn’t it be cool if it did?)

That’s all the tips I have for Vegas virgins.  The irony of that sentence is that no one in Vegas is a virgin.  No one.

If you’d like one final overriding tip, might I suggest you go somewhere else for your trip and avoid Vegas all together?

Yes, I might.

Things you should kow before going to Vegas

how to play vegas bingoMatt and I have birthdays that are 3 years and 3 days apart.  Judging by my lack of crow’s feet, you know I’m the younger of the two.

I’m also a liar.

Every year we do something special for our birthdays, which usually involves a vacation.  No matter what we do, an iced cookie cake is always involved.  We take our birthdays far too seriously not to include cookie cake.

This year we went to Vegas to celebrate.  It was my first time there and judging by what I saw, I will most likely never return.  I know they say “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” but much of what happened in Vegas continues to haunt my nightmares.

As I repeatedly reminded Matt, “Vegas is not my jam.”  (Grape jam, however, is totally my jam.)

photo credit: vsmoothe via photopin cc

photo credit: vsmoothe via photopin cc

It takes forever to walk anywhere in Vegas and with 100 degree heat and not a beer in sight, it makes for a long afternoon (for Matt, as he has to hear me complain.)

To make the trip more enjoyable, I decided to make a game out of the freak shows we saw.  I created a Vegas Bingo card, and Matt and I tried to find all of the items on the card.

I’ve included our Vegas Bingo card below, complete with the color key so you can know the degree of difficulty for each item.  For those of you that are color blind, I’m sorry you can’t see the color scheme, but you should easily be able to figure out which sightings are more rare than others.

So here you go:  Vegas Bingo, Lisa Newlin style.

vegas bingo key

Vegas Bingo

Today my post is on In The Powder Room, so you will have to click on the link to read the hilarity.

It’s about why I hate it when people go door-to-door selling things I don’t need.

You will have to cut and paste the link because I’m doing this on my iPad from the airport and the iPad can’t seem to do anything to make my life easy. Sorry for the inconvenience. Blame the iPad.



arrows up

Jerry in his favorite surveillance spot.

Jerry in his favorite surveillance spot.

As many of you know, I have a gansta gnome guarding and protecting my home at all times.  

(This is not to be confused with the crazy Bachelorette contestant Kasey, who guards and protects women’s hearts.  My gnome doesn’t do that. He also doesn’t get crazy tattoos while on the season of a reality show.  He’s smarter than that…and he’s a gnome.)

My gansta gnome is Jerry Yardcia, and he keeps me safe from the dangers and threats of living in the suburbs.  He’s pretty hard core.  If you don’t believe me, look at his medallion.

If that doesn’t say bad ass, I don’t know what does.

Since Jerry took over security for the Newlin household, things have been safe and quiet, save for the occasional unwanted humping.  (Our dog Max likes Jerry…a lot.)

Despite the canine advances, lately Jerry looked lonely and in need of a friend.  After all, he can only talk on his mini cell phone so long before the battery goes dead.

We decided something had to be done, and Jerry needed a friend.  Unfortunately, we didn’t know how to go about getting him one, as we didn’t know what type of friend he would prefer.  A talkative friend?  Funny? Quiet?  Old?  Statue?  Bird bath?

Fortunately, we didn’t have to make that decision.  One day, I came home from work and looked Jerry’s direction, hoping to get a report of the happenings of the neighborhood.  I always throw him our secret gang sign so he knows it’s me, as if there’s another woman in a stained dress with Cheeto-stained fingers who frequents the suburbs.

As I threw our super-secret sign of recognition to Jerry, I noticed he was not alone.  He had a friend.  A friend who looked remarkably like him.  Here’s what I saw.

jerry and jernome

They’re multiplying!

Obviously, Jerry’s friend was shy.  He was also a master of disguise, as I could barely see his gy-gnomous head hiding behind the flower bush.

I came inside and asked Matt where the second a-gnomeonyous gnome came from. (Yes, attempting to change “anonymous” into a word using “gnome” was a bit ambitious, but a girl’s gotta try.)

I don’t know.  He just showed up and has been chilling with Jerry all day.”

Indeed.  They appeared to be besties.

Although I was happy for Jerry and his new friend, I wanted to find out more about this mysterious guy.  I had so many questions:  Who was he?  How did he get there? Was this who Jerry was always talking to on his cell?


Jernome looking….well…simple.

I approached them both, greeted them, and asked to speak to the new gnome alone.

Jerry complied with my request but told me to keep it short.  I reminded him that he is less than a foot tall, so I had no choice but to keep it short.

NOTE:  Jerry is not a fan of short-jokes.  It’s a delicate subject for him. LESSON LEARNED.

When I was a-gnome with the new gnome he told me he was Jerry’s cousin, and his name was Jer(g)nome.  That explained why they looked so much a like.  (That, and they were both manufactured in the same plant in Thailand.)

Jernome is a man of little words, and not just because he’s only a foot tall.  He was noticeably quiet about his story and where he cam from.

In all fairness, his timidness could be because he’s a statue.

In an effort to get him to tell me more, I got out the garden hose and turned on the water.  All of a sudden, Jernome because far more talkative.

Allegations of water-boarding were made, but those are obviously unwarranted and I will deny any and all such charges.

From what I gathered from Jernome’s quiet demeanor (except when it came to water), he is…ahem….a bit slow.

To put it another way; if our dog Max was a gnome, he would be Jernome.  Come to think of it, if Max was a gnome, he’d still have the same IQ but would probably lick his junk less.

Our sweet, sweet, Max

Our sweet, sweet, Max

Although Jernome didn’t come out and say it, I got the feeling Jerry gave him a job because Jernome couldn’t get a job anywhere else.  I considered suggesting he apply at my favorite Greek restaurant, as the waiters there have no personality and can’t seem to understand that I always want extra Tzatziki sauce on my gyro.


So for now, Jernome will stay and be Jerry’s wingman.  I suspect his only job will be standing around looking pathetic.  That’s yet another thing he and Max have in common.

I also suspect Jerry will send him on mindless errands just to keep him busy.  So the next time I see Jerry eating a sub sandwich with onions on it, I won’t remind him that onions make him gassy, which kills my hydrangeas.

Instead, I’ll know that Jernome messed up the order, and although Jerry will cut any bitch who stiffs him on a drug deal, he’ll eat onions and endure farts if it means Jernome feels needed.*

*If enduring farts makes one feel needed, then my husband is the most needed man in America.

single male seeks pregnant womanI was perusing the interwebs at 2:00 .am. the other day, looking for photos of Ryan Gosling in a Speedo intellectual articles, when I happened upon this gem of a story.

There’s a show coming to the WE Network that’s called Pregnant and Dating.

Yes, you read that right.  It’s a show about pregnant women looking for love in all the wrong places.  One of those places is clearly in the pants of someone other than their baby-daddy.

Their wallets.  The place women are looking for love is in men’s wallets, which are usually in the pants.

You’re such a perv.  Can you just focus on the story?

So many things went through my mind when I saw this article, the first of which was to remember to take my birth control pill immediately.  Pregnancy is no laughing matter, except if it’s on WE, apparently.

After that, the questions really began to fly.

First of all, is it really on WE?  Seriously?  Women’s Entertainment Network is sponsoring a show about pregnant women dating?  Shouldn’t that network focus on programming featuring shirtless men?  Wouldn’t that be more up the alley of women’s entertainment?

Come to think of it, Women’s Entertainment Network could really just be a 24 hour loop of men trying to clean toilets, change diapers and bake casseroles.

Now that’s entertainment.

But really, WE?  What about a pregnant woman trying to snag a guy before she pushes a kid out her hoo-ha is entertainment for women?  I would think women would be appalled or offended by this sort of thing; not entertained by it.

Allow me to clarify:  I would think normal women would be appalled or offended by this sort of thing.  I, however, found it hilariously awesome; but I’m certainly not normal.  Regular?  Yes.  Normal?  No.

And what kind of man deliberately looks for a woman knocked up with someone else’s kid?  It’s either a guy with a fetish or a guy with mommy issues.  There are no other logical* explanations.

*In this case, logical = non-creepy.

No need for these!  Just kidding.  STDs are NO laughing matter. photo credit: grafixtek via photopin cc

No need for these! Just kidding. STDs are NO laughing matter.
photo credit: grafixtek via photopin cc

The only reasoning I can come up with for why men deliberately seek out pregnant women is because they know these moms-to-be are easy dates.

Literally, they’re easy.  They put out.

After all, the proof is in the pudding and in this case, the pudding is the uterus.  Isn’t that how the metaphor goes?

Perhaps these men figure all they have to do is buy dinner and iced tea for the pregnant lady and she’ll immediately turn into a sex machine.  What they don’t realize is she will immediately turn into a machine but the product she churns out won’t be sex.

It will be flatulence.  Lots and lots of flatulence.

photo credit: ~C4Chaos via photopin cc

photo credit: ~C4Chaos via photopin cc

It will be an eye-watering surprise I’d like to witness, so in that respect, perhaps WE has the right idea.

I also hope WE has air freshener, as pregnant farts can be quite ripe.

These men also probably suspect pregnant women are cheap dates since they don’t drink alcohol while they’re pregnant…or at least I hope they don’t drink alcohol while they’re pregnant.

What these guys don’t understand is whatever money they save on booze, they will spend on appetizers, meals, desserts, post-dessert meals and midnight servings of ribs.  And it will be a full slab of ribs; none of that half slab business.

This photo is awesome and creepy for the exact same reasons. photo credit: 倪貝兒 via photopin cc

This photo is awesome and creepy for the exact same reasons.
photo credit: 倪貝兒 via photopin cc

Come to think of it, that’s just a description of what it was like to date me, except I took the booze too.

I can’t imagine the caliber of men wanting to date these knocked up chicks is particularly high.

In all actuality, perhaps that’s why they’re trying to snag pregnant women instead of non-pregnant women; because women not growing human life in their uteri find them repulsive.  Perhaps these men assume a pregnant woman has a strong nurturing instinct, so she may take pity date them.

See what I mean?  Mommy issues.

I can’t imagine what kind of shit show this program will be, and I haven’t decided if I’m going to tune in or not.  On the one hand, I want to see who these people are, and what their reasoning is for such ridiculousness.

On the other hand, I’d still like to believe there are some normal people in the world, and I’m confident this program would seal the deal in convincing me that all people are crazy.

Except for me, of course.  I’m not crazy.  I’m totally normal.

I feel like there's a joke here about either doing it or plunging a toilet.  I'll let you decide. photo credit: cjggbella via photopin cc

I feel like there’s a joke here about either doing it or plunging a toilet. I’ll let you decide.
photo credit: cjggbella via photopin cc

Surprised WomanToday I have a guest blogger, Brian at and he’s awesome.  I’m not exactly sure how I stumbled upon him but I’m glad I did, as he has an amazing wit and a sense of humor that cracks me up.  Please give him your undivided attention and read his post about raccoons.

Do it or Jerry will come after you. He’s a mean gansta.

Brian lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with his Fiance, Melanie, their two cats and whatever other wildlife finds its way in. Following his nanny’s advice, Brian decided to “use his words” and start a blog.

Brian’s friends, family and coworkers are ever so pleased that he found an outlet for his smart-assedness You can find it at You can also follow him on Twitter @mooggeek You are on the Twitter aren’t you?

No One Said There Would Be Raccoons…or Elmer

Buy a house,” they said. “You can do whatever you want to it.It’s a great investment.”  My fiance, Melanie and I didn’t notice at the time but “they” were all home-owners.

Since we bought our house we’ve had to have it tented for termites, had a possum die in our crawl space, had an ant infestation in our kitchen, had a water leak under the house that destroyed our hardwood floors in two rooms.  We’ve also had to replace or repair almost every appliance and had no landlord to worry about/pay for all of it.

“They,” said “It’s all part of being a homeowner.”  I guess they just wanted to trauma-bond with us. Misery loves company.

Home For Sale Sign in Front of Beautiful New HomeThis chapter of home ownership begins with me relaxing, minding my own business when I saw through the window, a large cat climbing down the our front porch trellis.

My thought process went something like “Wow, that’s a big cat…I didn’t know they can climb like that…that is a really, really big cat…that cat has a big tail, I’ve never seen one with stripes…that cat looks kinda like a raccoon.”

Being the fear-no-nature bad-ass I am, I grabbed the first random potential weapon I saw on my way to the front door.

I stepped out fearlessly and feebly threw a soft-n-chewy granola bar at it.  By the time I conceived and executed this daring plan, the raccoon was half way down the block.

The chewy chocolate chip menace I posed didn’t even register with her.

Yeah you better run! Next time you wont be so lucky. Butter-Cream Yankee Candle IN YOUR FACE!

I figured it was a one time thing. I saw raccoons around the neighborhood wandering around. The raccoon was probably just using our roof to get wherever it needed to be…probably a raccoon party far away.

credit: Christine Karron from

credit: Christine Karron from

As the days went on, the raccoon made a second, third and fourth appearance. Melanie got to see it for herself and my raccoon party denial faded.

A short time later our cats started acting strangely. They stood next to each other in the kitchen staring up at the wall, stalking and waiting. We knew that was a sign we should start freaking out, as it meant there was something in the wall they wanted to eat.

Once nighttime came we started hearing a noise. It was a chittering coming from the wall, a high pitched squealing that lasted all night.

It was the kind of noise they probably used to break down prisoners at Gitmo.

There are no animal control reviews on Yelp, no UrbanSpoon to find people who deal with wall noises. You have to do a Google search and hope for the best.

We picked a place called Animal Police* because their website created the illusion of competence.

*Names have been changed to protect us from the bat-shit insane 

This is NOT Elmer.

This is NOT Elmer.

The Animal Police arrived.  I forgot his name so let’s call him Elmer.

We found Elmer’s special brand of redneck confidence comforting. He wore a shirt that said “Welcome to Florida” with a drawing of Florida made to look like a gun. He seemed like the kind of guy who would say things like “I work hard and I play harder. I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

He went up into the attic and came back down a few minutes later. He showed us a picture on his phone of a raccoon in the corner of our attic.

You went up there empty handed? What do you if it attacks you?” asked Melanie.

Oh, I’m not empty handed.  I got my gun with me. I’d have to shoot her.” Elmer replied

Great, one funny twitch from this raccoon and hot head would start raining from above. Awesome!

I eyeballed the ceiling and wondered how its structural integrity would stand up to live rounds.  I figured it may be better for us to hide under the bed with the cats while Elmer was in the building.

Apparently the mother made a nest in a corner of the attic, and a bathroom in the other corner. Double awesome!

Elmer tried to listen at the wall but heard nothing so Melanie pointed to where she heard the noise.

Elmer went to his truck and came back with a saw that looked like a cross between a steak knife and a prison shank. He stabbed it through our drywall and sawed away at it. This seemed wrong to me.  I figured there must be a drywall removal procedure for rodent retrieval but I didn’t figure this was it.

I  just thought it would be less like shanking Otis in the chow hall because he stole your honey-bun.

Elmer reached into our wall and pulled out a baby raccoon. You might imagine an adorable little furball, it wasn’t. It looked more like a grey fuzzy salamander or Eraserhead’s baby.

Okay, it looks cuter today than it did a year ago. Time + tragedy = adorable!

Okay, it looks cuter today than it did a year ago. Time + tragedy = adorable!

Melanie had an inspired idea, “Why don’t you use the baby as bait?”

Brilliant! Set a cage trap, set the baby inside, mamma would come to get her baby and WHAM! An easy, simple solution. His eyes lit up and he went to work.

To this day, I don’t understand what happened next. I surrendered to the lack of logic about to unveil itself and had faith that Elmer’s master plan would rid us of our raccoon problem.

He took the baby outside and placed it at the base of a tree, and then hid around the corner to watch.

The baby squealed for about a minute which caused Mamma to appear.  She cautiously approached, clamped her jaws on the back of her baby’s neck and started to walk away. At that moment Elmer leaped into action, stick in hand, and chased them around the back of the house and out of sight.

Elmer returned a minute later and all he could muster was “Wow, did you see that? That was so cool

Where did the mamma go?” asked Melanie

Oh, I don’t know, I guess she ran off. She wont be back” said Elmer

Mother and child reunion.

Mother and child reunion.

His answer was vague and unsure and his stick wielding skills left a lot to be desired. I hoped he’d say something more along the lines of “I guided them into a cage with this stick like a conductor guiding an orchestra,” but come to think of it, no conductor chases his orchestra around the concert hall.  A conductor certainly doesn’t pull out a gun if the orchestra is out of tune.

Elmer clearly misunderstood Melanie’s idea.

He temporarily closed the hole in our kitchen wall, promised to come back to permanently repair things, and left a cage trap “Just in case she comes back. But she’s spooked now so she wont come back.“She came back.

Clearly she was a crazed weirdo who found her way back to our attic, brought her baby with her and promptly dropped her baby back down into the wall.

Meth addicts are less negligent parents than this crazy bitch.

Luckily we had crazy on our side too. We called Elmer (because we already paid him) and told him she returned.  Elmer came out the next day, once again removed the baby, and once again left the baby by a tree. This time mamma didn’t come to the rescue.

After Mamma didn’t return, Elmer said he would take the baby to his large wooded property and release it once it was big enough to make it on its own. I took this as code for “I’m going to take it, snap it’s neck and throw it in the dumpster on my way to my next job.”

To his credit, however, judging by the pictures he put on his website, he actually did take care of it. I shouldn’t have doubted him, as most people in Florida have large property to release wildlife, or they know someone who does.

It’s the circle of life.

MC900437849I should point out that whenever Elmer came out, the baby raccoons shut the hell up, like they knew he had a gun.. He only cut open the walls where he did because we told him where to cut. However, the screeching in the wall came back and the noises were almost constantly throughout the night and intermittently during the day. If you listened close enough you could hear the baby raccoons singing “Hello my baby, hello my darlin’, hello my rag-time gal.

It became clear to us that Mamma had several babies she dropped down our wall, one by one. I was at work so Melanie dealt with Elmer this time. When I got home there were a series of holes in our kitchen wall. Mamma raccoon changed her drop-point and Elmer had a harder time finding it…and getting to it.

This time it involved using a crow-bar to pry the studs in the corner of the wall into a position where he could reach. Melanie held the crowbar while he tried several times to get a grip on the baby and pull it out.As for the studs, the words “load bearing” didn’t come up so I didn’t worry about it.

All in all it's just another hole in our wall.

All in all it’s just another hole in our wall.

Elmer put the second baby in a Styrofoam cup; the kind you would see in some of the better zoos, and placed it in his PETA approved safe transport cup holder.

Once again we heard that terrible sleep-depriving noise and realized another baby raccoon was freaking out somewhere. It sounded fainter and we had a hard time locating it.  I started to think it was nothing and the sound of baby raccoon cries were just burnt into our heads.

It was then that I looked out the window and saw something hanging from under the eaves. I went out to investigate and found the third baby raccoon hanging from a flap of screen Mamma tore up to get inside.

It was hanging there by one paw or claw or talon, whatever it is that raccoons have, and it was freaking out, screeching up a storm. I wasn’t sure what to do as I’m not a professional with either a gun or stick.

I knew I had to get it down and take it somewhere to do something…I dunno…raccoon party?I went inside to get a step ladder. I looked back before I stepped through the door and saw Mamma on the roof, approaching her baby.

Being the bad-ass I am, I slammed the door, locked it and went back to the kitchen window to see how it played out, from a safe distance.Mamma grabbed her baby, climbed down our wall, walked right past Elmer’s trap and out of our lives forever.

Our week-long struggle was over.

Elmer replaced the tissue paper that passed for screening under our eaves with something more like tight cropped chicken wire. My idea of replacing it with electrified razor-wire turned out to be impractical and illegal, even in Florida.

Mother climbs down our wall with baby. Now that you know that raccoons can climb walls, live in terror.

Mother climbs down our wall with baby. Now that you know that raccoons can climb walls, live in terror.

In the aftermath we had our old insulation pulled out, the attic cleaned and disinfected and new insulation installed.  That was all pretty uneventful…except when our handyman’s helper put his foot through our ceiling. No biggie, just another hole in our house.

I guess what we learned is a raccoon cannot be removed by skill and careful trapping, you need to be really annoying and abduct it’s young.

You have to out-pest the pest.

ninja momFrickety Frick, people!  I’m this month’s assassin in the Character Assassination Carousel over at  She’s a big deal and has a hilarious blog and I’m actually still in shock that she enlisted me to be an assassin.  I wonder if I get paid in Skittles.

I wonder if I can get paid in Skittles.

In case you’re not “in the know,” The Character Assassination Carousel is a monthly murder of a children’s book.  Don’t worry, it’s a clean kill, so there’s no messy clean up.

Each month a new assassin takes his/her best shot at a ridiculous children’s book.  This month, I’m mocking “Where’s Waldo?

I know, it’s an easy target, but I’m an easy girl.

Wait…that came out wrong…



Where's Waldo-I don’t have kids, which is probably for the best, but doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy my monthly subscription to Highlights Magazine, or an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.  (He lives in a Pineapple, people!  UNDER THE SEA!)

If only enjoying children’s TV shows could get me into the pre-boarding spot at the airport.  Apparently you actually have to have kids with you for that.  Pfft!

Despite my lack of little ones, I still enjoy the beloved “Where’s Waldo?” books***.  Why wouldn’t I?  Each edition is visually stimulating, and even more maddening than the next.

***NOTE:  If any of you would like to peruse one of these fine pieces of literature, I would recommend purchasing one for yourself.  In my experience, parents frown upon strangers looking over their child’s shoulder pointing out Waldo.  This activity can get you escorted out of the airport and placed on some sort of watch list.  Hypothetically, of course.***

photo credit: rhett maxwell via photopin cc

photo credit: rhett maxwell via photopin cc

However, with my love of tracking down the elusive Waldo comes a series of questions.  I’m demanding answers and hoping to get more than “Because Waldo is awesome.” (Thanks for that enlightening tid-bit, Mom.)

I deserve better than that, and so do the fine kids who are looking for him.

For those of you not on the same heightened literary plane as me, “Where’s Waldo?” is a series of picture books where the reader is summoned to find Waldo in a sea of people, places and things.

It’s harder than it sounds, as Waldo is a master of disguise, which is probably why his books have been so successful; his mortgage payment depends on not being able to locate him easily.

So the first obvious question I have is “Where’s Waldo?”  Although you may be able to locate him on paper, as far as I know, no one has ever met this mysterious fellow.  We’ve only seen his meme.

photo credit: palindrome6996 via photopin cc

photo credit: palindrome6996 via photopin cc

Does he ever go out in public as himself?  He doesn’t do book signings or publicity junkets, which truly speaks volumes to the success of his books.  Most publicists demand such things to drive sales.  Maybe he just doesn’t need it.

Really though, where is he?

Honestly, I hope he’s in prison, because that guy is probably a pedophile and shouldn’t be featured in children’s books anyway.

Something about him hiding in plain sight just creeps me out and makes me wonder if he’s housing a stash of fingers in a hope chest in his basement.

If no one has ever met him, do we know if he’s a real person? Maybe he’s the mythical Keyser Soze of children’s books.**

**Where’s Waldo? books are not only children’s books.  They’re also books for a highly sophisticated writer who writes a fascinating and hilarious blog  I’m just saying.

photo credit: Carolyn Coles via photopin cc

photo credit: Carolyn Coles via photopin cc

Since we don’t know who he is, the next logical question is “Why, Waldo?  Why are you hiding?

The first reason that comes to mind is that he’s on the lamb.  For what?  I’m not sure, but I have a feeling it has to do with loan sharking.  I just have a hunch.

Trust me on this.

Why is he so intent on hiding?  I suspect it’s because he’s wanted by Interpol, which would make sense, as his travels span many continents.  Has anyone ever considered looking at his passport?  Is his name listed as only “Waldo” and nothing more?

How did he get to be so good at hiding?  What do we know about this Waldo guy, anyway?  We allow his likeness to come into our homes and sit on our coffee tables and backs of toilets, yet we know so little about him and his profession.

Is he a spy?  Where did he get his mad hiding skills?  Was it from years of playing hide and seek with his siblings?  Does he have siblings?  Did he assassinate them at a young age?  Is that why he’s on the lamb?

Now, I realize this next question may seem to be off topic, but follow it through.  “Why is he always wearing the same sweater?

It seems to me that if you want to blend in, wearing the same red and white striped sweater isn’t the best way to become a wallflower (unless you’re in a candy cane-themed room.  Then it’s truly the only way to become a wallflower).

photo credit: walknboston via photopin cc

photo credit: walknboston via photopin cc

Either way, I would think frequent costume changes would assist in avoiding detection.  Does he have several of those same sweaters, or is he just wearing the exact same outfit everyday?

I hope for everyone’s sake he has several of the same sweaters and he swaps them out every few days.

Otherwise, he’d be easy to locate based purely on body odor alone.  I suspect all that evading authorities would cause one to perspire, and if that sweater is a polyester blend, it will hold onto a stench until the end of time.

And what about those glasses?  Why not switch those up every now and again too?  I know the hipster look is in style at the moment (arguably), but shouldn’t he consider rocking some different frames to avoid detection?  Maybe he should get some contacts too.  Does he have a condition preventing a change in eyewear?  Those astigmatisms can be a real bitch.

And yet, despite all of my questions, he continues to evade all of us, and in a strange way, I say “Bravo to you, Waldo, if that is your real name.

On second thought, maybe he doesn’t skirt all of us.  Maybe it’s just my prying eyes he manages to avoid.  But then again, my eyes are usually filtered through a hazy film of vodka, so perhaps he isn’t as elusive as he thinks he is.


photo credit: Lynn Friedman via photopin <a href=""

photo credit: Lynn Friedman via photopin


I’m not sure if this is on the up-and-up to disclose other assassins, as I don’t know if assassins have an oath of silence.  I guess we will all find out soon if I mysteriously go missing.  For now, I shall ignore Omerta and tell you who the previous assassin was.  It was my friend Sarah at The Sadder But Wiser Girl.

Sadder but wiser

She’s guest posted on my page before, and she’s awesome and hilarious.  If you go visit her, and you should, tell her I sent you.  Please also tell her our secret code she knows you’re legit. It’s Character Assassin Carousel.

It’s so obvious no one will guess it.  Let’s keep that password our little secret.

Who is the next assassin?

Her name is Bonnie Blackburn.  The name alone suggests her character assassin will be brilliant!

North West's guide to living with a horrible nameAs you know Kim Kardashian and Kayne West’s baby has entered this world via Kim’s money maker, and she’s already one!

I’m calling North “Baby Karwestian” mostly because it sure as hell beats what they named her in real life…

North West.  They named their spawn North West.

Just when I think those two can’t get any dumber, they go and totally surprise me with this ridiculousness.  I guess they’re overachievers in that sense.  I think it’s a fair assumption that they’re both idiots.  In case you need persuading, here’s some evidence.

Exhibit A for Kim:  Every single variation of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kim and Kourtney take Miami, Khloe and Kris take My Brain Cells, etc.

Exhibit A for Kayne:  His incoherent rant during the Red Cross fundraiser for Katrina victims.

As if Baby Karwestian doesn’t already have the Gucci playing cards stacked against her based upon her DNA, she has to go through life saddled with the name North West.

photo credit: Leo Reynolds via photopin cc

photo credit: Leo Reynolds via photopin cc

I can only hope for her sake that she’s similar to the math phenomenon that two negatives make a positive.

Here’s to hoping North West turns those negatives into positives…and that she turns her father into the authorities for being a total douchebag.

That’s a crime, right?  If so, he’s Public Enemy Number One.  Come to think of it, he’d probably conceed that just because he is confident he’s the best at everything in the world;  Just ask him.

I’ve been thinking about poor North West and all the horrible teasing she’s going to get based solely on that horrid name.

What’s worse is she’s destined to have an enormous booty, which will most likely be yet another topic of ridicule.  That’s a blog post for another day.

North West is going to learn how to handle being mocked for her name.  Sure, she could turn to kids who have gone before her, like Rumor Willis and Apple Martin, but I’d like to do my part to help too.

In an effort to prepare North West for the inevitable bullying she will receive, here are a few things I think kids will say to make fun of her ridiculous and directionally challenged name.

I can practically hear the kids yelling these taunts in the school yard.  Or, in her case, in the paparazzi-ridden private school at the oxygen bar where all the kids take their recess.  It’s right after yoga and colonics…between third and fourth period.

(When else would you do a colonic? After lunch?  Pft!)

Here are some nicknames:

  • North by Northwest (it’s a play on South by Southwest.  I feel like I have to spell that one out for you.)
  • South East.  (I find this one hilarious, as it’s the exact opposite of North West.  Get it?  South East?)

Here are a few jokes I can imagine the kids telling;

  • Where’s the best place to get <insert various sexual favors here>? North West.
  • Guess who likes to go ‘down south?’  North West.”
  • “Do you know where the entire football team goes after practice?  Up North West.” (Okay, I realize the majority of these are about her being a hoe-bag, but come on.  If the extremely overpriced shoe fits…hopefully it won’t.)
  • “Northwest Airlines:  We put our junk in the trunk.”

Like them? Please tell me you have better ideas for nicknames and jokes for North West. I know you guys are far more creative than I am.


photo credit: premasagar via photopin cc

photo credit: premasagar via photopin cc

We need to band together and come up with all the possible nicknames and jokes for North West, so we can tell her what they are and prepare her for the inevitable ribbing that will come her way.  And it won’t be the kind of ribbing that’s for her pleasure, I assure you.

Now tell me what you’re thinking!