Swisher SWEETS?!?!?!?

Remember Swisher Sweets? Those disgusting, skinny, cheap little pseudo-cigars you can buy at Walgreens?

I was at a friend’s house yesterday; her husband’s sister had come to town for a few days and there was a large group of adults and kids in the back yard. She was playing a game of beanbag toss with some of the kids, and I glanced up at one point to realize that SHE WAS SMOKING A SWISHER SWEET!!! Where do I even start with how annoyed that made me… 1. smoking in the midst of a group of non-smokers; 2. smoking while playing with children; 3. and frankly, smoking a Swisher Sweet?!?!?! Isn’t that made expressly for 16yo high school boys who want to look cool??

No, I didn’t say anything to her, by the way. She was outside so I doubt it seriously damaged my kids’ lungs, and it’s easier to just let that stuff go when you can. But I’m still just flabbergasted at her choice of tobacco product.

    What's Your Worst Moviegoing Experience?

    I was reading my friend Whitney Gaskell’s blog (it’s so funny. If you haven’t read it, you must do so immediately) about how she always winds up next to some jerk at the movies. I was mentally agreeing with her when I remembered that I have, in my opinion, one of the worst movie experiences EVER. See what you think and feel free to share your own:

    Four or five years ago, I was at a movie in a theatre with stadium seating. Directly behind me was a kid, maybe 9 or 10, with his brother and his parents, loudly smacking popcorn. At one point he started coughing and hacking, and I felt my hair suddenly move violently. The kid and his brother dissolved into giggles and I heard the words “popcorn” and “hair.” Oh my God, I was livid. I, a total germophobe anyway, had just had FOOD COUGHED INTO MY HAIR?!?!?! I whipped around and said to the kids, “WHAT did you just do to my hair?!?!?” They froze and looked at me fearfully, while his father leaned over and said, “What? What?” (Like he wasn’t right there when it happened, but whatever.) I answered that his son had just coughed popcorn into my hair and was now laughing about it. “No, no,” he assured me. “Nothing landed in your hair. He was just coughing. Sorry about that.”

    And as I turned around, the mother leaned over and belatedly asked her husband,. “What’s going on?” Then, as though I had been magically transported to a soundproof booth and couldn’t hear him, the father replied, “Oh, he just spit some popcorn into that girl’s hair.”

      Adjunct Faculty Dinner, or How to Best Annoy Others and Drag Out the Dinner.

      I had a work dinner last night. Here is a list of the Top Ten Annoying Things that are said and done at these events, where approximately 45 minutes of information are dragged out into a 4-hour evening. I will remind you that my freelance self works for several different entities, and I am not about to tell you which one it is.

      10. When at the buffet dinner: come back for seconds. Cut in front of the small woman who has arrived late. Scrape up the last of the salad, take the last chicken breast (leaving wings for the small woman behind you, who doesn’t eat wings). Also take the last piece of vegetarian lasagna, then blow past the carrots and green beans to grab the last piece of cake. Turn around, look at the plate of the small woman behind you which holds only carrots and green beans, and say, “Not hungry?”

      9. Use any of these phrases: “Back to the grind,” “The summer went by so fast” or “One year closer to retirement.”

      8. During the seminar segment of the evening, ask a question by way of a long and rambling monologue. Repeat yourself at least twice. Get in some political views if you can.

      7. Fall asleep during the speaker’s presentation. (Actually, I kind of sympathized with this guy.)

      6. At your department meeting, ask a whole bunch of questions that don’t affect anyone else and have nothing to do with the agenda, such as, “I can’t figure out how to change the projector to Video mode.”

      5. Interrupt the meeting leader to debate the answers he is giving to questions posed by others. Tell everyone tersely that you have been working here for 23 years, and you have never heard of such a thing as a XXXXX Form, nor do you intend to use it.

      4. When you are reminding everyone of who you are and what you do, try to make it seem like you are only working here because God gave you the year off.

      3. Have very long hair. Sit in front of the starving small woman who has had nothing to eat but carrots and green beans, wearing that hair twisted up in a weird and view-blocking style style that requires 3 Goody barrettes and a big hair clip at the very top of your head. (It goes without saying that this woman will introduce herself as an ARTIST.)

      2. As the secretary, refuse to accept any documents electronically. Rather than admit that you don’t know how to print attachments, accuse others of “Not including enough information” in these attachments. Then admonish them that the department spends way too much money on copy paper and ask them to cut down if they possibly can.

      1. End the evening by announcing, with great fanfare, that everyone will receive a raise this year…… of basically $50 per week.

        People I Wish I Didn't Know

        I wish that, when I heard the following names, I was able to stare blankly at the person speaking. I resent that I have any personal knowledge of them at all. I wish that I had no idea whatsoever of the exploits and tribulations of the following people:

        ~Kevin Federline
        ~Lindsay Lohan
        ~Paris Hilton
        ~Paris Hilton’s dog
        ~Tara Reid (not to be confused with Paris Hilton’s dog)
        ~Ryan Seacrest and his Frozen Face
        ~Bill O’Reilly
        ~Lil’ Kim
        ~and Jessica Simpson plus her creepy, creepy father

        That is all for now. You may now go back to your regular activities.

          My college girlfriends

          There is nothing like the friends you make in college. I am fortunate in that most of my college girlfriends live in this area, and after all this time they remain my closest and dearest friends. 5 or 6 years ago, we all lived close to one another in the city. A few of us were married, but most were not. We mixed and matched roommates among ourselves, and when we went out it was often together. We saw each other all the time, we would drop by in our jammies for coffee on a Saturday, we had spats and we had fun and we spent lots and lots of time together.

          And now– all but one of us is married (and she is engaged). Three of us have children. Emergency relationship issues that rally us together used to be, “I don’t think he’s going to call me again,” and now they are, “I am afraid I married the wrong person.” My emails to Ali are filled with recipes for homemade baby food, and when we throw parties they are for 1st and 2nd birthdays, instead of for the sole purpose of hooking up Ann and John. We have mortgages and careers and, when we got together last Wednesday night for Jane’s 30th birthday, most of us came straight from work (and left early, too– staying out until 3AM on a school night is for amateurs. BTDT.). Oh my God– we are functioning adults– when did that happen?!?!

            Random Thoughts, mostly kid-related

            Thursdays are like a big tease. You’re almost close enough to call it the weekend, yet you still have to get through Friday.

            I have a friend with a 15-month-old daughter. I like her and her husband a lot. But for some reason, their little girl just doesn’t appeal to me. When I pick her up, talk to her, play with her etc., I’m totally just doing it to be polite. I feel really bad about this.

            What is it about some kids that makes them appealing, and others that makes them totally not?

            My friend just had her second child and named her something that I don’t really care for. I said, “Oh, that’s so pretty!” and now I wonder: of all the people who tell me what a gorgeous name Gabrielle is, what percentage is being truthful?

            My coworker got a tattoo at about the same time as I got my last tattoo. Hers is so stupid and mine is so cool.

            (Hers is Pegasus the winged horse, mane romantically windblown, rearing up on its hind legs in apparent battle mode, in full color. See– I told you.)

            I am constantly congratulating myself over how beautiful my children are, but I would never admit that out loud.

            Dave reformatted my desktop, which I really appreciate. He also changed a bunch of my settings, like automatic powering down and reversion to screen saver. Which really annoys the crap out of me.

            I love Cup O’ Noodles. Like, passionately love it. I have one for lunch at least 90% of the time when I’m in the office.

            When the kids wake up at night, Dave gets up with them 9 times out of 10. I not only take it for granted, but if he doesn’t wake up and I have to get the kids at night, I’m unreasonably irritated with him. I know this is terrible.

              My New Tattoo, and my suspicious friend

              A few evenings ago I took the kids to McDonald’s (at their request) for a sundae. When I tried to pay, I discovered that the man in front of us (who had already left) paid for our sundaes! It made my day– how nice of him, right? Anyway, the next morning we had some friends over for waffles, and I told them about the Good Samaritan at McD’s. And my friend’s husband immediately looked suspicious and annoyed. According to him, no one ever does something like that unless they think they’ll get somewhere, and the guy had some kind of ulterior motive. Nothing I said dissuaded him– “But he left!” “Nothing’s stopping him from coming back again at the same time, to see if you return too.” “He didn’t even talk to me!” “Just adds to the mystique. You’re still talking about him, right?” “I had the kids with me!” “He must like moms.” “I was wearing my wedding ring!” “Do you think that stops people?” etc. Then he eventually said, “Women with lower-back tattoos are sending out a message, like it or not.”

              …..so I guess we got to the bottom of that little controversy, didn’t we?

                My siblings have the bodily function obsession, too.

                My brother and his wife are looking for houses in new construction neighborhoods, and he just called to ask about a neighborhood near me. While we were talking, I asked him how they had liked a neighborhood they looked at on Sunday. Well, it turns out they have totally crossed that neighborhood off the list. Why? Because, in the very first model, they were looking at the basement and in my brother’s words, “The salesman blew a huge cloud of ass right in the stairway, and we had to walk through it to get back out!!!” Evidently my pregnant sil was so grossed out at having to walk through it, that they left and don’t ever want to return to that neighborhood, much less live in one of the tainted houses.

                I was laughing so hard that my abs hurt. How awful to be 7 months pregnant, and have to walk through a cloud of stink, generated by someone who probably has fast food for lunch at his desk every day. But how freaking hilarious that, now, they don’t even want to LIVE there.

                God, that’s still funny to me.

                  WTF. Honestly now, WTF.

                  My husband is in a phase where he feels that I do most of the housework, and he wants to do more of it. This is actually not true– Dave and I share the housework pretty equally most of the time. But for whatever reason this comes up every once in awhile, mainly when the dog is shedding tufts of fur all over the house and I spend every waking moment vaccuuming. Like now. So naturally, Dave has decided to do more housecleaning. Only, he cleans in the most nonhelpful way when in this phase. He’ll spend 3 hours cleaning out the kitchen closet. He’ll take up most of his day, madly yanking everyone’s sheets, blankets, and mattress pads off their beds and arranging everything into his miniscule laundry loads (example from real life: one pair of my panties and Gabby’s crib sheet). He spends hours tearing things apart, only to realize it’s 4:00 and he has only 30 minutes to do any actual cleaning, if that makes sense. So, I was out of town at a baby shower on Saturday, and while I was gone Dave “cleaned” the bathrooms. But over the past few days, I have gradually discovered what he did and did not get done:

                  He did not:
                  ~Mop any floors.
                  ~Scrub any toilets. (HELLO!!!!! Isn’t that the most important part of cleaning the bathroom!?!?!?)
                  ~Clean any mirrors.
                  ~Empty the trash cans.

                  He did:
                  ~Clean out all bathroom cabinets, including my tampon cabinet (why?!?).
                  ~Throw away my pantiliners by mistake.
                  ~ Soak everyone’s toothbrush in toothbrush cleaner.
                  ~ Scrupulously clean all chrome fixtures with chrome cleaner.
                  ~ Write me a naughty message in tub crayon in the kids’ bathroom.

                  If, God forbid, anything were ever to happen to me, Dave and the kids would live in a weird amalgam of half-sterilized, half-filthy rooms. I love him like crazy, but his cleaning philosophy will forever elude me.

                    I just wonder.

                    Let me set some facts before you all, and get your opinion on whether it’s just some bad coincidences, or whether something sounds off in this family. It’s something that came to my attention yesterday, and I can’t get it out of my head:

                    There is a boy and a girl in this family, ages 4 and 5. Their mother is home full-time and their father works 2 jobs to support them. One night last week, the kids snuck out of the house and had to be brought home by the police– it was about 8pm, the mom had gone out and the dad was asleep. Both parents say that the kids love to sneak out of the house. Also, the father said that, when he comes home from his night job at 7:30am, he often finds the 2 kids up by themselves, having gone into the cabinets and gotten some food (he gave as an example, that they made themselves sandwiches last week out of butter, strawberries, Little Debbies and bread, so not exactly grabbing some fruit snacks out of the pantry). Both parents said that the kids tend to wake up at night, too, to sneak around and get food out of the cabinets. Also, no car seats were evident in the back seat of their car, however they do live quite close by so maybe it was just more convenient not to bring them (although I guess, why weren’t the seats physically in the car to begin with? Don’t know).

                    Okay, so any one of these things could be explained away, I suppose. But taken all together, it just bothers me, especially in light of their ages. Am I being judgmental? Or does this feel wrong to you, too?

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