Life Lessons Learned From A Christmas StoryOne of my favorite things about the Christmas holiday is the 24-hour marathon of  A Christmas Story that plays every year on TBS.  Other favorites include bourbon and vodka, but then again, that’s just a Tuesday night at the Newlin household.

I love the Christmas season because it makes it completely acceptable to drink before noon…in my jammies…while noshing on three different kinds of cookies…and watching A Christmas Story, which brings us full circle.

I’ve been watching A Christmas Story for more than a decade and every time I watch it I learn something new.  For instance, I now know that having your Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant is completely acceptable, so long as you don’t order the duck.

I also know that the Bumpkisses are the worst neighbors ever and they really need to feed their dogs more regularly.

I’ve also learned that the ominious threat of “Not a finger!” makes no sense, yet is somehow terrifying when said in a serious tone.

Because it’s that time of year again and we’re all going to binge on our favorite Christmas movie, while eating turkey of course, I thought I would lay out some of the life lessons we’ve learned from Ralphie and his family.

I did the lessons in Gifs because it’s funnier that way and it means I don’t have to write anything after each point, which is also a bonus.

Enjoy the lessons and enjoy watching A Christmas Story at least 5 times this season.  Anything less is simply unpatriotic.

“Not a finger!”

1.  Soap is poisonous if ingested.  It will cause blindness.

2.  Never give in to peer pressure.

3.  It’s important to get bundled up for the cold.

4.  It’s never too early to start thinking about Easter.

5.  Ovaltine is one big scam.

6.  Santa Claus is not nice to the naughty.

7.  Sometimes you have to do whatever it takes to get your kid to eat.

8.  Super glue actually can’t fix everything.

9.  Icicles can be very dangerous.

10.  A Red Rider BB Gun really will shoot your eye out.

11.  Major Awards are best when they’re Italian.

12. Never back down from a triple dog dare.

13. The f— word is THE word.

CuddlyChristmasHopefully by now you’re decorated for the holidays.  Hopefully for you, your neighbors have limited the amount of inflatable snowmen they’ve put on their front lawn.  I didn’t bode so well despite my pleas that nothing really says the holidays quite like no decorations on the outside and listening to Metallica at a reasonable volume.

Again, I didn’t bode well.

We put up a Christmas tree for the holidays, although I’m not sure why since we have approximately 2 square feet of extra space in our house and shoving a fake tree with lights and a sh*t ton of balls on it doesn’t seem like a good use of space.  But I digress.

Every year we put up our tree and I always wonder what our dogs think of it.  However, I’m pretty in tune with my dogs so I asked them what they saw when they looked at our tree and they gave me a pretty accurate description.

Here it is in a graphic, because you love graphics.  And Bentley, Max and Shady Jack say “Happy holidays” to all of you!

What your dog sees when he looks at the (3)




-Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer-It’s no secret that I’m not the hugest Christmas person in the world, which makes no sense, as Christmas has all the makings of a Lisa Newlin favorite holiday.  Food?  Check.  Presents?  Check?  Oversized sweaters to hide the extra cookies you’re smuggling home from grandma’s house? Check.

Wait, why am I not more crazy about this holiday?

One thing I’m definitely not a fan of is Christmas music.  I know.  Ba hum bug.  I just don’t like hearing the same annoying songs every single year for two months.  Forever.  Until I die.  At least Miley Cyrus has an expiration date of when they’ll stop playing her music on the radio. (Fingers crossed.)

But the chipmunks? Those f*ckers will be singing about a flipping hula hoop well after I’ve left this world.

Granted, some holiday songs are more bearable than others, and then there are some that are just weird.  As you may recall, last year I wrote about how “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” was really just a song by a creepy kid.  In that same vein, this year I decided to take another Christmas carol we all merrily sing around the tree and break it down a bit.

Which song did I choose? A song about murder, alcoholism, pill addiction and hope for the holidays.

Let’s get this bad boy started with the beginning line that’s completely grammatically incorrect.

Grandma got run over by a reindeer,”

Um, please tell me this is what you’re yelling to the 911 operator and not what you’re jotting down as the beginning of a catchy tune.  I sincerely hope you didn’t learn of your me-maw’s demise and immediately think “There’s a jingle in there somewhere, I know it.”  Please tell me CPR was attempted.

Coming home from our house Christmas Eve.”

Seriously?  You let an elderly woman walk home by herself on Christmas Eve?  If that’s how you treat her during the holiday season, I’d hate to see what you do to her when it isn’t such a hospitable month. Give the woman a ride.  Geez.

You can say there’s no such thing as santa,
But as for me and Grandpa, we believe.”

Seriously?!  You followed up a declaration that your sweet old granny was murdered with a sentence of hope and believing in a mythical creature?!  I just hope you believed in modern medicine because I suspect old gran needed to believe in some morphine and a neck brace.

She’d been drinking too much egg nog,”

Okay, now I’m really starting to like this gram, assuming the egg nog was actually bourbon.  Around the holidays, that’s what I call my bourbon just because it sounds more festive than “I’m going to sit by the fire and polish off a pint of bourbon all by myself.”  See?  Egg nog just sounds better.

And we begged her not to go.”

TOP SECRETUm, was me-maw a 300 pound body builder?  Couldn’t you just stop the frail granny from leaving by simply putting your hand across the door jam and taking her walker?  Really?  You had to beg her to stay and when she refused you were all “You’re on your own old hag!”

Nice.  Real.  Fricking.  Nice.

But she’d left her medication,
So she stumbled out the door into the snow.”

ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?!  This woman was drinking and forgot her medication so you let her STUMBLE into the SNOW?!  You guys really are a bunch of a-holes.  Don’t you know that “A Christmas Story” runs on a continuous loop for 24 hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?

Perhaps you should have torn yourself away from that beloved classic for just a few minutes to make sure your arthritic mimi didn’t fall into the snow in her alcohol-induced state.

When they found her Christmas mornin‘”

YOU DIDN’T EVEN KNOW SHE WAS DEAD UNTIL THE MORNING WHEN SOMEONE ELSE FOUND HER?!  You didn’t bother to check to see if your drunk me-maw who needed her pills made it home in the effing dark?

I find this a little hard to believe if I’m also to believe that you “begged her not to go.”  I’m beginning to think you didn’t care as much about granny as you claim to.

At the scene of the attack,
There were hoof prints on her forehead,”

He doesn't even seem sorry for runningI hope at this point you’re feeling at least a little bad about the fact you left her out in the cold to get ravaged by wild animals.  And I swear to God if you tell me this was a vampire attack and that Edward Cullen is responsible…I will….just…I will just….

And when you saw the hoof prints on her forehead, please tell me that at least then you called the authorities.  I’m sure CSI could come in to do their thing although I doubt they have a database for hoof prints and their corresponding offenders.

And incriminatin’ Claus marks on her back.”

What.  The.  Hell?  First of all, what are “Claus marks” and second of all, how are they incriminatin’? And third, do you not know proper English? Not only did you allow for a negligent homicide of your gram-gram, you don’t even know how to formulate words or sentences.  I’m beginning to understand why Gram was such an alcoholic pill popper.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.  Instead of writing a nice eulogy for your Gammy, or perhaps going on the news to warn of the dangers of an “incriminatin’ Claus” and his rag-tag reindeer, you decided to write a holiday jingle about her death and how she was left outside in the snow all night long to die simply because you guys couldn’t be bothered to pull yourselves away from the TV?

But hey, at least you ended the song with an uplifting statement about how some people don’t believe in Santa Claus, but you and Grandpa believe.  I realize you meant to suggest…wait…I have no fricking clue what you meant to suggest.  If you truly believed Santa mowed down your Gams, then of course you believe….because he’s guilty.  You should file a police report.

And why are you writing it like believing in the man who took your sweet Gran away  from this world is a positive thing? Is believing in Charles Manson also something we should sing to our kids about?  I’m thinking you and Grandpa are missing your moral compasses.  Perhaps they’re out in the snow clutched in Gran-Gran’s lifeless hands.

I hope you guys didn’t get anything in the will.

the (1)It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Actually, that’s totally not true.  The most wonderful time of the year is summer, when it’s 100 degrees and I’m sporting a glowing tan (and a margarita).

I’m not sure why people think Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but I’ll go with it.  It’s an excuse to go to a bunch of holiday parties and stuff copious amounts of desserts from the buffet in my purse.

Don’t think I also don’t do that with liquor.  I totally do.  A flask works nicely to accomplish that task and it’s unassuming when shoved inside your coat pocket.

How did I learn this trick?  My parents.  Duh.  You recall what I found in their pantry.  If you don’t, please read about it.  I’m still chuckling.


I know you’ve been fretting about the holidays and what you should buy your favorite blogger.

Me, a-hole.  I’m talking about me.

Because I’m so selfless, I’m going to tell you all the things you should buy me.  I’m  so caring like that.

photo credit: Daniel*1977 via photopin cc

photo credit: Daniel*1977 via photopin cc

Before I give you my list, you’re probably wondering what I’m going to give you in return.

Um, this blog isn’t enough?  A few times a week I write random posts about absolutely nothing.  Isn’t that enough?

It should be.

Without further babbling, here’s a few things I’m demanding requesting for Christmas.  Note:  You don’t have to get just one thing.

Go crazy and get the whole list. The joy it will bring me will be worth it.

A book deal


Okay, so I’m IN this book, but I want a book all to myself! But seriously. You should still buy this one.

Yeah, I’m shocked I don’t have a book deal either.  It isn’t for lack of trying.  I’ve been writing sub-par content for two years now.  You’d think publishers and book agents would be knocking down my door.

If book agents and publishers are pretending to be people putting Chinese take-out menus on my door, then they’re definitely knocking down my door. Otherwise, not so much.

Pajama work pants

Why can’t I dress up yet still be comfortable?  They’ve somehow managed to do this with jeans yet I can’t get a pair of wool blend pants that don’t dig into my belly button?

Someone needs to make that happen.  That someone is you.


This is a no-brainer and I’m sure you’ve already purchased this for me.  Good work.  Now go buy another bottle for me.  You know one won’t be enough.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups eggs

Yeah, it’s Christmas.  I know, but that’s why I want these eggs so badly.

A sweater for Jerry and his Gangsta Gnome Boyz

gangstas in the snowAs you know, I have a gang of gnomes protecting my house and running illegal activities from behind my hydrangia bushes.  It’s the middle of winter now and those thugs are cold.

Jerry, the head gangsta, told me he’d like a hand-knitted sweater for him and his boyz.  Even though they’re dealing hot merchandise, they still get cold at night.

Wow.  I just asked for something that wasn’t even for me.  I’m so thoughtful.  This is yet another reason you should get me everything I want on my list.

What are you waiting for? Get on it.

Until then, I will continue to entertain you with my antics.  Isn’t that the best gift of all?


Bloodshed and Cheddar BallsI know, I know.  I’m behind on blogs.  Pipe down.  Doesn’t absence make the heart grow fonder?  Actually, I don’t think that’s true.  In the case of my roommate, freshman year of college, absence didn’t make the heart grow fonder with her boyfriend, but it did make her grow genital warts.  True story.

I realize that it’s almost February and I’m writing a post about Thanksgiving, but doesn’t everyone love the holidays, no matter what time of year?  And Thanksgiving is the best holiday of all because it celebrates food, and freedom, and comradery, and killing Indians with cholera.

Well, maybe we don’t so much celebrate that last part, but it’s worth noting and shaming ourselves for…which is personally why I drink on that holiday.  I guess that means I’m a good American.

I really do have a lot of stories to tell you from when I was gone from the blog, but there’s only so much I can tell at once.   So bear with me, as some of these stories may not be timely. (Much like my college roommate’s “special visitor” one particular month which led to a pregnancy scare.  Another true story.)

But don’t get mad about it.  I’ve been backed up!  I feel like since I just had my gallbladder removed, I should make a joke about poo, but I won’t.  I’m better than that…and I also can’t think of anything clever to do with that joke.

On to Thanksgiving and the story.  This year we went to my brother’s wife’s parents’ house for Thanksgiving.  Isn’t that where most people go for the holidays?  I would like to think it’s because my brother’s wife’s parents think we are awesome and want to spend the holidays with me and Matt, but somehow I think pity plays a big role in our invitation.  Whatever, they had good wine.

As soon as we arrived, we felt like ass-hats because we didn’t make anything.  Don’t get me wrong, we brought something.  (We aren’t horrible people!)  That something just didn’t happen to be ours.  Rather, we snagged a bag of pies from my parents as they were loading the car.  We didn’t want to look like ass-hats…but we were fine being them.  (Side note:  “Bag of Pies” would make a great band name.)


Since I have an amazing moral compass, I knew I needed to pull my weight, so I immediately began helping in the kitchen.  This may have been partly because I wanted to help, and partly because I wanted to make the cheese balls. I wanted to ensure I would have complete control over how much cheese was used for said balls. (Hee hee…balls…)

The recipe called for finely chopped nuts.  (I know, these balls and nuts jokes are getting to be too easy….much like my college roommate.)  Once I realized the “fine” description in the recipe wasn’t telling me that I needed to do a good job, I looked around for a food processor.  But for the record, had I chopped the nuts myself, I would have done a fine job.  Just FYI.

The processor was packed neatly in a box, instead of thrown in a random cabinet like it is at my house.  I immediately began trying to put the food processor together.  I wanted to earn my keep, and I was also seriously craving cheddar.

My brother’s mother in law, Hallmark (not her real name), and I decided to tackle this project together, because two heads are better than one, but also because she is a fan of the cheddar balls too.  (I’m resisting yet another ball joke.  I’m so mature.)

Unfortunately, Hallmark and I together may actually have been collectively more clueless than we were separately when it came to putting together the food processor.  Fortunately, we are both adorable and amazingly awesome, so it made up for our inability to follow written directions.  Since I was the guest, and wanted to show it wasn’t a complete mistake allowing us to crash Thanksgiving, I took the processor by the blade and took action.  Sadly, the blade retaliated against me by taking a chunk off the tip of my finger.  He was clearly not in the holiday spirit.

Immediately blood began gushing out of my finger, and dripped all over the nuts.  (Seriously, people.  Get your dirty minds out of the gutter.  I’m referring to the peanuts.)  I looked around helplessly and locked eyes with the one person I didn’t want to know about my mishap; my husband.  His reaction was exactly what I expected from him, although I can’t say it was out of line.

He shook his head as said in an exasperated tone, “Two minutes, babe.  You’ve been here two minutes.”

I want to say that he was exaggerating on the time.  I want to say that so badly.  But I can’t, because he was right, and I’m also fairly certain he rounded up.  At that point, the blood was gushing everywhere and judging by the look in his eye, I knew Matt wouldn’t be the first to volunteer blood for my inevitable transfusion.  Fortunately, Hallmark came to my rescue and helped me bandage my wound.  (Didn’t I tell you she was awesome?)

Matt gently sat me down on the couch and said we should “just sit here for a while.” Again, I wanted to be irritated with him, but I figured it would be more efficient to only drip blood on one spot of the carpet instead of all over the house.  I was a considerate house guest.

We waited for dinner to be served, all the while ensuring my finger remained over my head to stop the bleeding.  Finally, the food was ready and we proceeded to the dining room to eat.  I hoped the cheese balls were amazing, and fortunately, they were.  But then again, of course they were.  They had a little piece of me in every bite.

I’m also confident we will not be invited back next year, so Matt and I are now accepting invitations for Thanksgiving!


beach with computerMy husband and I spent Christmas sunning on the beach, stuffing ourselves with any drink that contained liquor, and any food that was put in front of us.  We really don’t have standards while on vacation….or when it comes to TV shows.

Unfortunately, our frolicking on the beach had to come to an end.  And by “frolicking” I mean that we laid around on the beach and napped, getting up only to pee in the ocean…or the pool with the swim up bar…just like everyone else.

sad girlWe left our amazing resort with our heads hung low.  A tear rolled down my face and I vowed to return soon.

The tear may not have been because we were leaving, so much as because we saw our bill from our spa services.

We arrived at the Puerto Vallarta airport after a near death experience in a Mexican cab.

We weren’t sure if the cab driver was blind, or if he just hated us, but we arrived at the airport thankful for our lives, and for Pepto Bismol.

We went through security and somehow managed to get through it in record time.  We were hungry, as our bodies had grown accustomed to eating every hour, so we headed to the first restaurant we saw and grabbed a booth.

As soon as we sat down we heard a somewhat heated argument at the table next to us.  We did what any self respecting Americans would do in that situation…we scooted closer and listened.

At first glance the argument seemed to be between a man in his 60s and a female wax statue.  The male was chastising the statue for being an idiot.  We figured this guy had a few too many Tequilas and thought he had found a friend.

However, upon closer examination we realized the wax statue the man was talking to was actually a woman.  She was thin and her skin looked like she treated it regularly with leather conditioner. Her hair was long and her boobs were younger than mine.

This was NOT them.  They didn't have matching sweaters on, nor were they this patriotic with their color scheme.

This was NOT them. They didn’t have matching sweaters on, nor were they this patriotic with their color scheme.

Matt and I are pros at eavesdropping because the upstairs neighbors at his last apartment were big fighters and we liked to listen and then take sides. It was usually the guy’s fault…but isn’t it always?

From what we could tell from the argument, the wax statue was mad at the old geezer because he was talking down to her about buying a house and escrow and “She isn’t an idiot.”

From what we observed, she actually was an idiot, so we couldn’t blame the guy.

He started berating her for not understanding basic math, or how to conservatively apply make up, and she started yelling back at him about how he shouldn’t treat her like she’s dumb, because she’s not (she is).

We figured the fight wouldn’t last much longer, and we hadn’t even received our drink orders yet.

After spending a full week together without distraction, Matt and I were happy to have the argument of the crazy people to sidetrack us from the realization we would have to hold yet another conversation with each other if their argument ended.

And then a wonderful thing happened…the argument continued..and continued…and continued.

They went from fighting about the real estate deal to fighting about how they were fighting, and then fighting about how they fought about that. I’m not kidding!

argue1It was a series of meta arguments that required an organization chart and a few more margaritas to follow.

She said she didn’t like the way he talked to her in the argument, and when she told him she didn’t like it, he got mad at her, and she didn’t like that either.

By my calculation, that’s a third layer of fighting. This argument had more layers than Inception, and I wondered if Leonardo DiCaprio would come walking through the door, preferably topless.

I felt a little guilty I didn’t pay for admission to watch this show. Part of me wanted to slap them for ruining our lunch and the other part wanted to tip them for their performance.

They argued about how they argued through our drinks, our dinner, and our check. It was quite a while, as the service at the Puerto Vallarta airport was less than stellar. Shocking, right?

We truly couldn’t believe two people could argue about something so senseless for such a long period of time, but then again, The View is still on the air.

After we paid our bill, we got up to leave and so did they. Strangely, they hugged and kissed, said they loved each other and walked away hand in hand…as if they didn’t just fight for 45 minutes about absolutely nothing.

I was a little pissed. With the heat of that argument I expected some serious hair pulling and crotch kicking.  Or at least I hoped for it.

We watched them walk away and realized we have it pretty good, as we rarely disagree; Mostly because I’m always right.

We also hoped they would be on our flight home, as it was a long flight and we wanted some entertainment but didn’t want to pay for the in-flight movie.

fighting on couch

What the woman in the -12 Days ofIt’s the holiday season, and with that comes eating pounds of candy in the name of Christmas and drinking large amounts of alcohol.  I don’t need an excuse this time of year to get loaded, but it’s nice to have one anyway.

Although I decorate my house with a few holiday items (and by “items” I mean store bought sugar cookies and candles that smell like I baked them in my house), I’ve never been a big holiday person.  I especially don’t like Christmas music.

It’s the only type of music I know where people of all ages rock out to the same songs year after year.  Well, Christmas songs and anything by Hanson.

Have you really ever stopped to think about the lyrics to these holiday songs?  Some of them are downright ridiculous.  Take “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

I didn’t even know there were 12 days of Christmas.  Obviously my parents have been screwing me over for years by telling me there’s only one day of Christmas.

And looking back now, that day smelled a lot like bourbon, so maybe it was best for every one’s livers that it was only one day.

Whenever I hear that song, I always think about what that woman was thinking every day she got a gift.  So I’ve decided to be her inner dialogue for each of the 12 days.

1.  A partridge in a pear tree

partridge snowflakeUm, thanks honey.  Just what I wanted…an animal that shits everywhere.  At least a puppy is cute.  This thing is scary and looks mean.

And you thought since I love cleaning up after you, that I would love cleaning up after a bird as well?  And why a partridge?

Is it because it’s a fat bird?  What are you suggesting?  And a pear tree?  Where am I going to put this?

Considering we live in a 3rd floor condo, I’m not sure where a pear tree will go.  Why not just buy a mini school bus for the partridge to live in?

If it was good enough for Danny Bonaduce, it’s good enough for this bird.

nest with eggs2.  Two turtle doves

Oh goody…more birds.  Is it going to be 12 days of birds because that’s how it’s looking.

Don’t get me wrong, I like our avian friends, but I’m not sure I want them flying around in our condo (and I’m pretty sure our landlord doesn’t either.)

I’ll just say goodbye to our security deposit now.

3.  Three French hens

eiffelFrench Hens?  They couldn’t just be regular hens?  You know the French are such snobs.

How do you know they’re French?  Was it their condescending glare or their stench that gave them away?

You know these hens aren’t going to bathe regularly, and they probably won’t shave their pits either.

Thanks for the smelly gift.  If I wanted to deal with a rude, obnoxious European, I would ask my Uncle Frank to come over.

4.  Four calling birds

Seriously with the birds again?  You know that we live inside…in the city?  What am I going to do with all these birds?

Perhaps one of the presents you could get me would be some bird food to feed these animals.  Have you ever heard of “Angry Birds?”

Well that’s what we’ve got on our hands with seven birds in this one bedroom condo and no food.

And while you’re picking up bird food, pick up several scented candles, room deodorizer and some ear plugs.  And some Grey Goose.  Now there’s a bird I could get on board with.

5.  Five golden rings

ring.jpgFinally, some jewelry!  But really with the five rings?  And they don’t have any diamonds on them?

Why not just get me one golden ring but throw a stone on it or something?  And what am I going to do with five of these rings?  I can’t wear them all on one hand; I’ll look like a pimp.

6.  Six geese a laying

We’re back on this birds again? And this time they’re procreating…because nothing says “Merry Christmas” quite like half a dozen geese shitting out eggs in a one bedroom condo in the city.  Fa la la la clean it up.

goggles7.  Seven swans a swimming

Okay, you obviously have a bird fetish.  I’ve suspected it for a while now, what with the strange gift giving and your love of the band Flock of Seagulls.  But enough with the birds.

Although I realize the gesture is nice, if you give me one more bird, I’m going to give you two birds….one on each hand.

8.  Eight maids a milking

milk.jpgThis is quite confusing.  Although I’m happy not to add yet another bird to our overcrowded condo, I’m curious if these maids are milking themselves or others.

If you tell me they’re milking cows, I will kick you out of this condo right now.

But if they are milking themselves, I’m not sure that’s a better option.  And why maids a milking?  You know I’m lactose intolerant.

9. Nine ladies dancing

Are you seriously giving me the gift of strippers?

Why not add a pole and a pound of glitter to this gift, turn on “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and call it a night?

What would I possibly want with nine ladies dancing? (Aside from an STD and trailer full of meth.)

And don’t even think about calling them “ladies”.  Ladies of the night maybe.

10.  Ten lords a leaping

leapingLords of what country exactly?  We live in America and there aren’t any lords that I’m aware of.

The only lord I know is Frodo from Lord of the Rings.

Although he’s creepy, and probably smells like a sewer rat, he’s more welcome in my home than these ten “lords” who are most likely either male strippers, or homeless men looking for a place to stay for the night.

11.  Pipers piping

Pipers?  What year is this?  Why would I want pipers in my home?

Do you realize how loud it is already with all these birds and dancing people running around?

The only piping we need is new plumbing to support all the waste that’s being deposited and flushed in our condo in any given day.

12.  Twelve drummers drumming

drums.jpgAre you trying to start a band?  And do you understand a band takes more than one instrument?

You can’t just add twelve people playing the same instrument and call it a band.

Sure, the Spice Girls made it work, but they had boobs.  You’ve got some man boobs and hairy nipples.  It’s not the same.

Are you finally done with the “gifts?”  Please tell me you got something nice for me that doesn’t involve purchasing human beings or fowl from a farm.

What ever happened to some good old diamond earrings for Christmas?  Or maybe a gift card?  Next year we are definitely doing a spending limit…and a requirement that none of the gifts be breathing.

And I’m totally taking back that sweater I got you from Banana Republic.

Last week I went to a soiree fundraiser.  Yes, a soiree.  I’m a big deal.

I may not know how to pronounce the word soiree, but the way I pronounce it is “open bar” and I like the way that sounds.

This soiree was a fundraiser for a local dog rescue group, so naturally I was interested.

The fact that it included food, drink, and a doggie fashion show was an added bonus. I want to dislike dogs in costumes but I can’t.  They’re adorable.  It’s the same way I feel about Dakota Fanning

Because I’m so important, I obviously needed an entourage for this event, although Turtle was nowhere to be found.  Pajama Jeans and Downtown Christy Brown (not their real names) and I went together and left our husbands at home to miss us.  Hopefully they would fold the laundry).

car on roadThe attire was cocktail, and as I’m a pro at cocktail parties, I knew it would be fine.  You are probably asking yourself “Has she gone to 2 cocktail events in the last 6 weeks?”  Why yes, yes I have.  Didn’t I tell you I was a big deal?

DTCB drove us to the event, and the entire way there her car would lurch forward randomly and make very uncomfortable sounds.  I wondered why she was driving like an 85 year old blind woman when she told me she needed an oil change.

After further investigation on my part, I discovered that what she meant by “oil change” was that she needed actual oil added to her car.

Because I’m a good friend, I wanted to distract her from the upsetting sounds her car was making, so I decided to fill the inside of the vehicle with noxious gas…my own.

I must admit it was quite pungent and did the trick, as soon the focus was on gasping for air and not on the jerky vehicle.  Mission accomplished.  My friends are so lucky that I’m so caring.

We arrived at the event and the valet guy was more than enthusiastic about parking our car, that is of course, until he got inside and the smell burned his nostrils.

guy holding stop signAs he directed DTCB to drive into the valet position he locked eyes with her and used hand gestures to move her closer to him.

When we were fairly certain were centimeters away from crushing his femur, he dramatically pulled his arm down in a strong motion, signalling “stop.”

Clearly this guy was a drama-major working the valet for an extra few bucks.

We headed inside and found our assigned table.  We were happy to discover it was up front, located next to the stage where the fashion show would take place.  Didn’t I tell you I was important?

We were unhappy to discover it was far away from the bar.  I understood it was a charity function and they didn’t want to lose all their money on my vodka addiction, so I didn’t fault them for making me walk a bit to get my fix.

We headed over to the drinks and I gave new meaning to bellying up to the bar.  I wasn’t wearing Spanx  because they are dreadful, so my stomach was hanging out, and I knew the only way to mask it was to douse it in liquor.

Oh wait, that’s the way I help myself forget about it.  Whatever, I didn’t have to look at myself all night, my friends did.  Suckers!

oliveIt’s no secret that I’m a vodka girl.  I love it.  I swear I would bathe in it if it wasn’t so expensive.

I will also admit that I am a bit of a vodka snob.  I like the top shelf stuff and I don’t mind paying extra for it.  The lack of hangover the next day more than justifies my bar tab the night before.

The bartender asked me what I wanted and I asked him what kind of vodka he had.  I expected him to provide me the names of several top shelf brands, but instead, he told me he had Seagrams.

Seriously?!  Was this bartender kidding me?

How could he tend bar if he didn’t know the difference between vodka and whiskey?  They aren’t even the same color!

I told myself he was color blind, as that was the only way I could excuse his behavior.

I reminded him that Seagrams isn’t vodka, and it seemed as if this was a revelation to him….like discovering that Captain Morgan isn’t really a captain, and that Ru Paul isn’t really a girl.

His response solidified my initial belief that this guy was someone’s paroled cousin who just got out of prison for cooking meth in his pick up truck, and this was a job he could report to his parole officer.  (Hey, I watch Oz).

bar stoolsI asked him again what kind of vodka he had, all the while giving him an ocular pat down to ensure he wasn’t sporting a weapon of any kind.  He pointed to various flavored vodkas in a brand I’d never heard of.

He tried to convince me it was a new brand but it was “all the rage.”  Um, did he think I wouldn’t know my vodka brands?  Vodka I know.  There was no such new thing.

It was probably something he cooked up in his basement now that his meth lab was on hold, at least until after his probation period ended.

My head was hurting with all this knowledge I was imparting on the felon, so I told him I would take a cherry flavored vodka with water.

He poured my drink and handed it to me in a cup the size of the Dixie cups at pre-schools everywhere.  Really?

I realized this was a charity event, but the price of the ticket was the approximate cost of 2 tires so I figured I’d at least get some top shelf vodka in something other than a sippy cup.

It was not to be.  Fortunately for me I have no shame (or class), and I promptly ordered another one “for my husband.”

Seriously, can you see the size of my drink?  Tiny

We walked around looking at the auction items and I spotted something I wanted.  I wrote down a bid and decided to watch it the rest of the night to see if anyone else would bid on it.  I mingled and talked to people, all the while keeping my eye on the prize.

Then I ran into a few of my friends who were also headed to the bar. I didn’t tell them it was my third trip, although they suspected it was when the bartender handed me my drink…before I ordered it.

auction bidsOne of my friends is a bit of a local celebrity.  I know….how cool am I?  She was emceeing the event, so she wasn’t drinking.  I decided I would drink her share of liquor.

We began talking and I had two drinks in my hands, as I didn’t want to run low on the precious substance.  Since I’m incapable of talking without my hands, I began flailing my hands about and spilled vodka on the floor.

GASP!  I was devastated.  Not necessarily about the loss of liquor, but that I would have to return to Jailhouse Rock to get another one.

My celebrity friend grabbed some napkins and cleaned up my spill, all the while silently asking herself why she was friends with me in the first place.  I’m sure it’s for the street cred.

The night continued and the food wasn’t that great, although the dessert was amazing, and that’s all that mattered.

After dessert, it was announced that the silent auction would be closing soon.  I stumbled back over to the auction table and made sure my bid was the last bid on the item I wanted.

It wasn’t, and I saw a guy writing in his bid under mine.  Whatever.  There was still time.  I stood back for a few minutes and then swooped in and wrote in a new bid about a minute before the auction ended.

shock.jpgIt was then announced that the silent auction was over, and I looked down to see I had won the item I wanted.  Woo hoo!

As I did my victory dance (being careful not to spill my drink), I looked up to see the guy who outbid me last time writing in a bid.  Oh no he didn’t!!!  The auction was over.

I spoke up and asked why he was writing in a bid when the auction was clearly over and I had won.  He pretended not to hear me, but I could see him holding his head in shame.

How dare he steal that item from me?  I mean, he paid for it, but whatever.  Some people have no class.

Shortly after losing the auction, we left.  I was devastated about losing and our feet hurt from our heels.  We found the drama major and had him pull our car around.  We tipped him with enough money for him to buy some new mascara, and we headed home.

As we rode back to my house, the car jerking forward and backward at random times, we decided that although we had dinner and dessert, we were hungry.

We hit up McDonald’s where we definitely looked a little overdressed.  We tried to convince the employees we were high rollers and just came from a soiree, but the fumes and smell coming from DTCB’s car told a different story.

I’m waiting to see all the pictures from that night and I know some of them will be posted on line.  I will scour the web looking for the identity of the person who broke the rules and outbid me on the auction item, and then I will send him a bottle of flavored Seagrams vodka.

It seems like the perfect gift for that idiot, and I know just the ex con who can make the delivery.

The case of the shrinking clothesI’ve been the victim of a horrible crime.  No, I wasn’t robbed at gunpoint, although the amount I pay for cable each month is pretty close.  They know I need my Gossip Girl.

Somehow, the clothes in my closet are shrinking and I don’t know how it’s happening. Such a travesty!

This morning I went to my jam-packed closet to look for clothes.  I was getting ready to leave for a business trip and I needed clothes for my suitcase.

As I tried on various outfits (a girl has to have choices), I noticed one very obvious consistency; all my clothes were quite snug.

In fact, some of them were busting at the seams…much like my closet was.  This also reminded me I needed to take over my husband’s closet as well.

This is not the kind of news I needed just before a work trip, so I tried to ignore it, much like I continue to ignore the pile of laundry stacking up in my closet, and anything that comes out of Kim Kardashian’s mouth.

I went to the kitchen to grab a snack, and to drown my sorrows in sugar.  As I ate my holiday cookies with chocolate frosting, I wondered what could be going on with my clothes.

cookies.jpgNaturally, I looked for a way to blame the snug fit on my husband.  Maybe he was throwing all my clothes in the dryer and shrinking them.  That was a possibility.

I knew he wouldn’t tell me if he shrunk something of mine, as I’m not sure our marriage could last another laundry debacle.  The wool sweater incident of 2009 is still fresh in our minds.  (R.I.P. cream J.Crew wool sweater.  I miss you and your sassiness).

As much as I wanted to blame this on my husband, I knew it wasn’t logical to do so.

This time…but the next time my Us Weekly goes missing, it will definitely be his fault.

It didn’t make sense that he was shrinking all my clothes, as some of the snug items were dry clean only.  Unless he was in cahoots with our dry cleaner, that wasn’t the answer.

If he was in cahoots with our dry cleaner, then he’s a horrible negotiator, as our dry cleaning bill should be a lot lower.

piggy bankAs I finished off the holiday cookies and made my way to the S’mores cupcakes, I wondered what other logical explanation there could be for my shrinking clothes.

I poured myself another hefty glass of milk and thought about other options.  Were they making lower quality clothes because of the sinking economy?  Maybe that was it.

After one cleaning, all the new clothes shrink because of the poor quality of fabric.  Yeah, that was an option.

I was sure the Occupy Wallstreet people would agree with me there.  It was obviously the manufacturers’ fault.

As I made my way to the bag of chocolate covered pretzels, the realization hit my like a pound of cheddar cheese.  It wasn’t the manufacturers’ fault that my clothes were so snug.  That was illogical.

Nope.  The real reason my clothes were so tight was because criminals were obviously coming into my closet at night and shrinking my clothes.  Yes.  That was the logical explanation.

Sheesh!  How illogical could I be thinking it was the manufacturers’ fault?  Sometimes I swear I live in a dream world.

break inSo every night while I was fighting for leg room with my dogs, a crazed maniac was coming into my home, shrinking my outfits.

Although I should have felt violated knowing I was a victim of a horrible crime, in some ways I felt relieved.  Finally there was a logical answer for why my clothes were tight.

But who would come into my home at night just to play a mean prank on me?  And then I remembered something…I remembered the kid who came to my door a few months ago looking for a “lost cat.”

I knew he was staking out my house but I didn’t know why.  Duh.  How could I be so blind?  He was clearly the criminal playing this cruel joke.  I was totally on to him.

Excited that I figured out the mystery, I treated myself with chocolate lava cake and ice cream.  But then another possibility washed over me.

Was I gaining weight and getting fatter?  Could that be the reason my clothes were shrinking?  Maybe they weren’t shrinking at all, but rather, I was expanding instead.  How could that be?

chocolate chipsI wiped the chocolate sauce from my mouth and considered this possibility.  Perhaps it could be weight gain.  But that couldn’t be it because I had a personal trainer.

Granted, I hadn’t seen him in a few weeks and the people at the gym probably forgot who I was already, but weight gain just didn’t seem like a logical explanation.

Or at least it didn’t seem as logical as the criminal sneaking into my room at night theory.

And how could it be weight gain?  Everyone knows that holiday calories don’t count.  Surely my clothes got that memo as well?

I grabbed a bag of peanuts for a snack and headed back to my room to take another look at my closet.

I figured I needed a way to lock it each night to prevent such crime from continuing to occur.  That was really the only way to stop it.

I was happy I knew the cause of the problem, because as GI Joe would say “Knowing is half the battle.

Although I don’t think that’s the case for the girls in my Econ 101 class in college.  For them, knowing wasn’t half the battle, but rather “big boobs and slutty clothes won the war.”

At least I knew what was causing the discomfort in my clothes.  I could rest easy knowing I got to the bottom of this mystery, and to the bottom of the box of Cheez-Its as well.

I decided to celebrate my discovery with some homemade pasta…and a pair of sweatpants!


Somehow, I manage to stumble upon great things.  Not necessarily because I’m worthy of them (although I’m clearly very important), but mostly just because I think I’m lucky, and most likely people feel sorry for me.

Some people don’t like being pitied, but if my mess of an appearance makes people want to give me something for free, then pity away!

Tonight I went with my friends Downtown Christy Brown and Pajama Jeans (not their real names) to see the Moscow Ballet perform The Nutcracker.  We somehow managed to score amazing tickets to the performance, and although they were high dollar tickets, we got them for free

ballet dancersYou know, cuz we’re awesome and stuff.

Because the three of us can’t seem to do anything the right way, getting to the theater was a bit of a mess.  Here’s a breakdown of our timeline.  Please note that the show started at 7:00 p.m.

4:15-6:28 p.m.:  I teach an orientation class at the rescue shelter where I volunteer.  I had to finish with the class a little early so I could change at the shelter and get to the theater.

I feel a little like Clark Kent changing into Superman, only there isn’t a phone booth and the only super power I have is my ability to clear a room with my pungent gas.  It’s a gift.

I hum the Superman theme song as I change.

I change out of my shelter clothes, which smell of dog poo, dog hair and sweat, and change into my dressy clothes, which only smell of sweat and and dog hair.  It is an improvement.

As I walk through the shelter in my change of clothes, I see looks of surprise from several of the volunteers.  I’m not sure any of them ever saw me in a dress before, and the look is clearly quite shocking to them.

girl playing dress upI also think one of the volunteers was convinced I was a man until he saw me in a dress, as I always have my hair up, no make up on, and I talk to the dogs in a manly voice.

I think it makes me sound authoritative.

6:29 p.m.:  I receive a text from DTCB saying she will be late to meet us.  Duh.  She’s always late.  She doesn’t ever need to announce it, as it is assumed.

It would be like Paris Hilton telling us she is a slut-whore, or Richard Simmons announcing he’s gay.  We just know.

6:32 p.m.:  I arrive at our meeting location the same time Pajama Jeans arrives.  We chat about the upcoming ballet and take bets on what time DTCB will actually arrive.

The over/under is 7 minutes.

6:37 p.m.:  DTCB comes speeding around the corner to pick us up.  We follow her car to a secure parking lot so we can ride together and leave our cars in a safe location.

I’m pretty sure I have enough random water bottles and granola bars in there to feed the homeless, so I know my car would be a prime target for theft.  I also have the entire CD collection of Garth Brooks’ Greatest Hits, which is doubly enticing.

parking lot16: 42 p.m.:  We arrive at the secure parking lot, only DTCB leads us to the wrong one so we have to move.

6:44 p.m.:  We arrive at the proper parking lot, throw our cars into park and get into DTCB’s car.  She is blaring Christmas music and is full of the holiday spirit.

She is also full of Subway, as she stopped there on the way to meet us.  Fortunately, she got us sandwiches and chips, so we are happy.  Yet another reason we are friends.

6:47 p.m.:  Pajama Jeans and I inhale our sandwiches and chips while DTCB drives around downtown looking for the parking garage for which we have a VIP pass.

Let me remind you of DTCB’s driving style.  It’s jerky, and the car literally jerks forward and then backwards.  It’s not so much because she drives badly, but because her car is lacking a key ingredient:  oil.

So as she navigates the streets, jerking to and fro, Pajama Jeans and I inhale our dinner of carbs in approximately 5 bites, trying not to choke as we are thrown about the vehicle.

oil container6:51 p.m.:  We are driving around looking for our VIP parking spot. We are hoping to see signs, perhaps in flashing lights with our names on them.  No such luck.

Instead, we find ourselves driving the same 3 city blocks, passing the same 3 homeless men who clearly think we were drunk, or scoping the place out for a drive by.

6:54 p.m.:  Still driving around looking for our parking spot and beginning to think there’s no such thing as a VIP parking spot.

6: 57 p.m.:  I force DTCB to pull over so I can ask for directions to our super secret parking spot.  I instruct her to pull over in front of the theater so we can ask for directions.

She jerks the car forward and pulls in front of the theater….to the one spot where not a single person is standing.  I look at her in awe and ask her who she wants me to ask for directions.

She takes a minute to realize her error, and then pulls forward to a place where people are located.

6:58 p.m:  The screeching breaks from the car alert the police officer standing outside the theater, and he looks over to discover three women in a car without oil.

I can see the look of pity on his face as I ask him where the super secret VIP parking is located.  He tells us it’s the valet and points us in the proper direction.  I thank him and wait for DTCB to drive away.  No such luck.

valetShe sits and stares at me until I remind her the best way to get to the parking spot is to physically drive there.

6:59 p.m.:  We pull up to the VIP valet where we are greeted by a gentleman who clearly thinks we are lost.  He walks over to DTCB’s car, which is a fine automobile, but not nearly the caliber of vehicles which he is accustomed to parking.

He asks us where we are going and we show him our VIP pass.  He inspects it closely, as it’s clear he believes it to be a fake.  Once he’s satisfied, and confused, he takes the keys and the car.

He notes the discarded Subway wrappers strewn about the car and figures his tip from this car will be less than good.

7:00 p.m.:  We walk up the steps to the theater.  I realize I have crumbs all over my dress from inhaling my sandwich, and I attempt to brush them off, which only seems to grind them into my sweater dress, making their presence permanent.

I figure it’s okay since I forgot a necklace.

old elevator button7:01 p.m.:  We enter the VIP entrance where we are immediately questioned and told we are in the wrong place.

I’m sure my crumb-stained dress and the mayonnaise on my face didn’t necessarily scream VIP status.  We flash our VIP tickets and watch the look of surprise rush over the guards, who let us through.

7:02 p.m.:  A guard ushers the three of us to a private elevator where we are greeted by our own elevator attendant.

We immediately check our phones to ensure we didn’t time warp back to 1952, and then proceed.

Our elevator attendant, Maguy, greets us warmly and presses the button to take us to our seats.

I expected this elevator to be difficult to work since it clearly required an attendant to operate it, but it was a normal elevator, although Maguy pressed that button like a pro.

7:03 p.m.:  We arrive on the proper floor and exit the elevator where we are met by a large woman who immediately suspects we are crashers.

I’m sure my lingering smell of dog shelter and onions didn’t help substantiate our legitimacy.

We show her our tickets and she doesn’t even try to hide her surprise.  I’m pretty sure I hear her mutter under her breath “What is our world coming to?  These people are VIP?”

security pad7:04 p.m.:  She adorns us with VIP wrist bracelets and tells us we have access to the lounge where there is free food and drinks.  WHAT?!  Our VIP status allowed us to have free food and drink before the show?

How could I have missed that?  The bittersweet news washes over us and we agree to go to the restroom before hitting up our seats.

We are directed to a VIP restroom that is empty, as only VIPs are allowed to use it.

I expect to see velvet couches and men wearing loin cloths to be waiting for us in the restroom.  No such luck.

7:06 p.m.:  We head to our seats, passing through a few secure areas.  Every guard we pass looks confused at our presence and even more confused by our VIP status.

Obviously three girls smelling like farts and sub sandwiches aren’t the norm at these events.

7:07 p.m.:  We make it to our seats and discover they are in the VIP section with tables for drinks, and we are doubly mad because this is just a reminder that we could have had all the drinks our hearts desired had we been there earlier.

ballet dancer stretching7:12 p.m.:  DTCB whispers to me and asks to see my program.  Despite the fact she’s had the program a total of five minutes and walked a total of 20 yards, she’s managed to lose her program.

I hand it over and apologize that it’s wet from the Diet Coke bottle that spilled in my purse.

8:17 p.m:  Intermission arrives and we head to the VIP lounge to see what goodness will be there.  We are stopped by three different guards who are all convinced we are crashing the lounge.

We arrive and discover the lounge has cake pops and drinks ready for us.  Amaze-balls.

I grab two and head to a table to stuff my face.  I figure if I can down two before more people trickle in, I can get another two and pretend they are my first two.

And that’s exactly what we all did.  The cake puffs are delicious, although after the fourth one, my stomach feels a little uneasy.

It settles once I got another complimentary drink from the bar.

cocktail with fruit8:32 p.m.:  We return to our seats to watch the rest of the performance, drinks in hand.  Pajama Jeans is rocking a kiddie cocktail, but she looks so fancy doing it.

DTCB comments on the pretty costumes and advises her favorite part of the ballet is the tiara the woman is wearing.  She seems mesmerized by the glitter and goes into a bit of a trance.

It also could have been a food coma…I’m not sure.

9:18 p.m.:  The ballet ends and we push our way to the VIP section once again to see what other free goodies we can find.

We are disappointed to discover there are only drinks available, and no additional food.  I scold one of the guards who told me earlier that they would have desserts after the show.

I call her a liar and tell her I will be reporting her to her superiors.  She offers me a breath mint, which is either an attempt at kindness or a suggestion that I shouldn’t have onions on my sub.

I decline.

9:19 p.m.:  We head to our private VIP elevator and are escorted to the main level by Maguy, who has become even more of a pro operating the elevator.

ballet dancers10:04 p.m.:  I arrive home expecting someone to open the door for me and greet me with a warm washrag.  I’ve adjusted to my VIP status quite nicely.

Instead, I’m greeted by three rambunctious dogs and a husband wearing only lounge shorts and a pair of black socks.

I consider reminding him of my VIP status, but don’t want to make him feel inferior, so I don’t.

Please don’t be jealous of my amazing VIP status.  I realize it’s very intimidating, but I can’t help that I’m super important.

In the future, I would like to be addressed as a VIP and will demand to sit in the VIP section wherever I go.

I’m pretty sure this demand won’t be met, as the Country Kitchen I like to hit up on Friday nights has open seating.