Why I love Audible…

By jen

Two years ago I discovered Audible for iPhone… LOVE!

One of the first books I downloaded was the Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.  It is the first book in the Thursday Next series.  It is one of the rare books that is actually even more amazing in audio format.  The narrator is amazing and perfect.  The book makes the literature geek girl in me giggle maniacally.  Alternate history written by a man with an obvious love for the literature he is often poking fun at and a great series of villains.  What more could you ask for?   I will tell you… a scene in Well of Lost Plots (book 3) so full of awesome it makes me smile like an idiot and while listening to the narrator I nearly wrecked the car.   I wish I could find it in a mp3 or something, just this passage…



“Good. Item seven. The had had and that that problem. Lady Cavendish, weren’t you working on this?’

Lady Cavendish stood up and gathered her thoughts. “Indeed. The uses of had had and that that have to be strictly controlled; they can interrupt the imagino-transference quite dramatically, causing readers to go back over the sentence in confusion, something we try to avoid.”

“Go on.”

“It’s mostly an unlicensed-usage problem. At the last count David Copperfield alone had had had had sixty three times, all but ten unapproved. Pilgrim’s Progress may also be a problem due to its had had/that that ratio.”

‘So what’s the problem in Progress?’

‘That that had that that ten times but had had had had only thrice. Increased had had usage had had to be overlooked, but not if the number exceeds that that that usage.’

“Hmm,” said the Bellman, “I thought had had had had TGC’s approval for use in Dickens? What’s the problem?”

“Take the first had had and that that in the book by way of example,” said Lady Cavendish. “You would have thought that that first had had had had good occasion to be seen as had, had you not? Had had had approval but had had had not; equally it is true to say that that that that had had approval but that that other that that had not.”

“So the problem with that other that that was that…?”

“That that other-other that that had had approval.”

“Okay” said the Bellman, whose head was in danger of falling apart like a chocolate orange, “let me get this straight: David Copperfield, unlike Pilgrim’s Progress, had had had, had had had hadHad had had had TGC’s approval?’

There was a very long pause. “Right,” said the Bellman with a sigh, “that’s it for the moment. I’ll be giving out assignments in ten minutes. Session’s over – and let’s be careful out there.”

Jasper FfordeThe Well of Lost Plots



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Work and Taxes…Yeah, It Blows

By jen

I have decided to take a break this evening from my TV addiction and post a quick thought or two.  Baby steps.

First, let’s talk about work.   I fall into that category of humanity who really doesn’t love what they do, but happens to be very good at it.  Lucky me!  I say to myself 100 times a day, “You are blessed, Jennifer.  Your kids are healthy, happy, and safe.  You have a good job that pays well.  You have a beautiful home and a great family life.”  It is my mantra as I am dealing with bureaucracy at a level that I didn’t think was possible.  What do I do for a living that puts me in the thick of red tape hell?  Wait for it… IT.   Yeah, not exactly what you would think would be fraught with copious amounts of bureaucracy.

This is how it should go:  ”So, Jennifer… we need you and your amazingly efficient team to consolidate 3 instances of the same systems into a single upgraded and modernized system.  You guys are The Shit so here is what you need, now go make it happen.”

This is how it would go in most places:  ”Uhm, Jennifer.  We need your team to consolidate some systems so we can work better.  You have like 1/2 of what you need, two people instead of the five, and yeah uhmm that 3 months you need… you get 6 weeks and that includes testing and migration.  You can do that right? Great!  Go do it.”

This is how it works in my world:  ”Jennifer!  We love you and your team so much and we just know you are going to make this happen for us.  Here is a huge data center of your dreams, here is all the upgraded software and super spiffy amazing Business Intelligence stuff you have been pushing us to invest in for three years. Here are two more people to enhance your team.  As a matter of fact, what you are doing for us is so freakin’ life changing we are going to make sure everyone in this entire directorate knows that your effort is our NUMBER ONE priority and they need to get to hoppin’ and skippin’ when you ask for something. We know you can do it!  Yea verily, go with our blessing and full support on this adventure!   Cheering and rose petals  OH!  Wait!  Yeah… we need you to get this through full C&A with our super special flavor of a very simple process that has been so over complicated that it will make you want to hammer spikes into your head in just a matter of days!”

sigh  and Meh…  Let’s just say that I have discovered levels of stupid the likes of which even God has never seen!  (Yeah that was totally a play on a Dune quote… I could use a few Mentats)

I am blessed.  My kids are happy, healthy, and safe…

Taxes.  Ugh.  I have to pay and it pisses me off.  What exactly are my tax dollars paying for these days?  Well, not what it should be paying for.  Just off the top of my head I am contributing to the bill for:

  • Obama’s next vacay

  • Homeland Securities bullet buy/passive gun control (Just in case we cannot sweep in and take your guns with legislation… now we have all the bullets!)

  • The warm fuzzy feeling of safety I get when I hear the phrase, “Secretary of State John Kerry”

  • The fun of paying to prop up foreign governments while closing down my own

  • Obamacare aka there goes all your great doctors to foreign lands to work medical tourism gigs while you get the leftovers unless you can afford to go to Costa Rica for that heart transplant!

  • The unmitigated joy of funding the demise of a once great nation!

I fucking hate April…

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It’s been a while..

By jen

Hello to anyone who still has me in an RSS feed!  Yeah, I live.  Life is chaos as usual.  Work is demanding.  Daughter No. 1 is married as of 2 Feb 2013, and the other three girls are full of piss and vinegar!   I am good, as good as anyone can be in the current political bullshit we live in.

I would go back to my Obama predictions list from when the asshat was elected the first time, but that is like shooting fish in a barrel.  Sad, so very very sad.  Not that he lived up to every nightmare I had for him, but because this country is full of people so monumentally stupid they would re-elect him.  Yeah, humanity is pathetic.

I will tell you that I do take a perverse joy in the following scenarios:

1.  Pumping gas we are playing 250% too much money per gallon to use:  I stand cursing Prince Fuknut without regard to who is listening.  I look around at all the other people filling up and cringing.  I see at least four of five Obama Stickers and start asking, “How is this working out for you, honey?  I would like to personally thank you for extending this joy for me.  I fucking LOVE spending almost $4 per gallon for gas.”   I have yet to hear a response beyond, “It’s the republicans!”    Granted, the GOP is as fucked up as the rest of them, but seriously?  I always ask, “It’s the republican’s what?”  This i always greeted with silence.

Still a good question that deserves an answer!   Exactly what are the Republicans doing to your precious Obama?  Nothing!  They are impotent morons who wouldn’t know what a set of balls felt like if they were slapping them on the forehead!”

2.  Watching the panic and anger in the Government Workforce at the sequester:  Oh make no mistake, I get the anger.  These guys are no different than anyone else for the most part, bills to pay, responsibilities, etc… I would be pissed too.  That said, there are 10 Obama stickers for ever Romney sticker in the parking lot.  So I always want to ask why they are angry?  This is their agent of change and goodness.  He loves them.  He cares for them.  He is going to change the world!  I say nothing, again, it is too easy and they see this is not Obama’s doing.  Wild… I mean he is one lucky guy.  When something good happens, it is rare, but sure it happens on occasion… it is all about how Obama made it happen.  How powerful and strong he is.  When something fucks up?  IT IS THE REPUBLICANS!!!!  He has it made.  Hell, I wish I could do whatever I want without regard to consequence.  He is living the fantasy life of every 12 year old on the planet.  Free for all!

Ok, I need to control my excessive punctuation, I am annoying myself.

So, on to other things…

My faith in humanity is pretty much at an all time low.  Not just because of Obama and all those fuck ups who keep getting reelected on both sides, but just everyday people.  Yeah I know it is a circular thing; what came first?  The stupid person or the stupid politicians?  I try to stay away from that question because it will make me stupid to ponder it and frankly it is like asking why the sky is blue?  Why are the Kardashian’s celebrities making million by just being retarded on tv?  Why is there a Honey Boo Boo on tv and who thought it was Ok?  Idiocracy… it is coming to pass.

Hmmm Oh oh!  The Great Gun Grab of 2013… yeah good luck with that.  I am sure the ammo makers and gun manufacturers are thrilled to have the bump in sales.  Way to go, asshats!  Exactly how far up your ass does a head have to be for this to sound like a good idea?  It is like a gag reflex on the part of the left… they cannot help it.  They see a horrible tragedy happen involving a gun and they simply have to drag out the gun control.  I use to think these guys didn’t see how stupid the idea was, how they could think that laws would stop this, but it is not their goal, duh.

It is not about stopping crime, it is about controlling citizens.  They disarm the law abiding and then make them dependent on government for protection (which they cannot provide) against the thugs and criminals (which they fund either directly or indirectly).  Dependency… it is all about control.  It has zero to do with those babies that died… that is the saddest part.  It is never about avenging the dead it is about using the tragedy to gain control.

Disgusting… just disgusting.

Laziness and willful ignorance is a blight on this country.  If I had a dollar for every time in the last month I have heard the phrase “That is not my job” at work, my entire family would be enjoying the waves and sun in Bora Bora.   I have never seen so many people so unwilling to work.  Hell, they spend more time and effort avoiding work than it would take to just DO the work.  Alas, it is not just limited to workplaces… it is everywhere.  There is no escaping the stupid.  Feeling like the smartest person in the room gets old.  Knowing you are the only person in the room who wants to work, well that is just fucking sad.

America is being held hostage by stupid.  So much stupid.  People either walking around thinking the world owes them something or people walking around like everything will be fine because “it always turns out ok”.  Yeah, let me know how that goes…

It is so hard to raise kids right now.  Not the cost, though that is absurd, but the constant battle against the world influencing them.  The pushing back on a school system that wants to turn them into dependent pussies.  Against the TV which we all love and I will not hide from them but find myself way too often going, “Why are you watching this shit?  You know that is fucked up, right?”  Explaining the first thought a successful married woman has upon learning she is pregnant is NOT supposed to be “should I keep it?” it should be “OMG Babies are amazing!”  I worry about boys being pussified in America but the danger to girls is just as bad.  It is like society wants to breed little narcissist princesses who just want to be worshiped by the stupid emasculated men around them.  Who will be in charge?  The fucking cat?

Ugh… ok… I feel better

Anyone know what it would take to found my own country?

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Sign #3341235 That I am a Masochist: American Airlines Edition

By jen

This morning blows already.  It is hot as fuck outside, might as well be in a sauna.  I spent half an hour standing outside for the skycap to take my bag for him to say “We cannot accept them anymore if you have already checked in online.”  WHAT?!!  Could you freakin’ put a sign out that says that.  Needless to say I announced to the crowd “If you, like me, are not psychic… If you have already checked in online you cannot check your bags here!”  Half the line left with me.

Spend another hour in the “Bag check-in” line which is amazing really.  I am convinced the requirement to work in the bag check in line is “Moves very fucking slow”

Guy standing behind me smelled like sardines and I was getting nauseated.  Honestly, I needed a cocktail at 845am.  I might be totally ok with morning boozing, but even I do not usually crave a tequila shot before 10am.

Got to security after dropping off my obnoxious hot pink and purple trimmed suitcase, yeah… laugh it up guys.  I can find that bad boy as soon as it hits the conveyor belt at baggage claim.  You all can stand there with your smug trendy selves waiting for your super fab black samsonite bag.  I am OUT!

So, apparently you cannot take your coke with you through security.  I think this is a racket for the airport in cahoots with the gift shop just inside the check points.  I dumped a new coke and then had to go buy another one!

I got scanned and I am not sure how I feel about that.  Wanted to ask the guy if he liked my new bra, but felt he might not have my sense of humor.  Apparently I was good to go and headed straight for the giftshop for another coke.  They don’t sell tequila.

Sitting here now at the gate waiting for my flight that is… wait for it… delayed!  How can it be delayed already?!  oy.  So I try to get on the wifi here, yeah that blows.  It is a tease actually.  Says you are on but you really are not!.  Thanks be to GOD for my verizon air card!  They just think they can keep me off the internets!

So, i am sitting here watching this older man with a beautiful baby boy who I am sure belongs to his 16 year old or so daughter who is sitting by her fresh out of boot camp hubby.  So young.  I am looking around at people sleeping and snoring.  Kids running amok, and have come to a couple of conclusions.

1.  American Airlines blows… obviously

2.  Women really need to sit with their legs closed.  Just cuz you are in shorts doesn’t mean you need to spread ‘em like Britney Spears or Paris Hilton.  OMG  way too much thigh spread and just ew…

3.  The American Airlines people are always so well dressed and yet to amazingly unapologetic about fucking up your day with delays.  at least they could give e a freakin’ drink ticket!!!

4.  I am watching people bustle for position in line to board the early flight.  I am not sure why they are doing this.  You have an assigned seat folks!!!

5.  OMG sardines guy is on my flight.  If he is sitting by me I might end up barfing.

I need food…  actually I need a cigarette but of course there is no lounge here in the air port.  They had a nice one in Tampa.  Ok, I am going find something to munch on.  More from Dallas where i am sure i will be delayed until Thursday!

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Boobs and Rambling

By jen

The boobs are good, nothing that isn’t suppose to be there, just the little titanium clip they left in last year when I had all the biopsy drama.  Go me!  Hooray for boobs!

Speaking of boobs, is it just me or does Obama make everyone throw up a little in their mouth when he talks?  Speaking of Prince Fabulous… I am going to Chicago next week, never been there, I cannot wait to soak in the city that gave us the super duper agent of change. I think I should schedule lunch with Rahm.  Thoughts?

I have recently discovered Shellac nail stuff.  It takes half the time of tips and fills and they are spiffy!  I have red nails and i am constantly distracted by them… sparkles!  Actually i am distracted because i have been doing the french manicure for so long anything else makes me feel all silly.  I mitigate this with my dark blue sparkle toes.

Speaking of toes and Chicago.. the folks at the hotel where my conference is say they are sold but i can go down to another hotel “just down the road” walking distance.  Uh huh… I googled it, it is like a mile.  I said walking distance?!  I am from Texas, honey… we drive to the neighbor’s house.  Walk shmalk… a mile in stilettos?  Really?

I have discovered Audible and am now incapable of driving without listening to a book.  Hell I don’t even really mind the drive home anymore.  I listened to Game of Thrones first off, it was great didn’t think i could find much better for narration etc.  That said, i am halfway through Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson and it is even better. I have been wanting to read this trilogy but haven’t been able to get in the mood.  Highly recommend it. I know now why he was selected to finish the Wheel of Time series, great world building in this book.  Next up I might get some sort of vampire porn or something, only concern is that I will wreck the car laughing the first time I hear a narrator talking about a throbbing shaft or moist cavern or some such shit.

I wonder if i will get scanned at the air port?  I should choose a bra with little metal blings or something that makes smiley faces and matching panties.  Since this is for work I am flying whatever carrier they stick me with and of course they stuck me with American Airlines which means I am flying through Dallas which means I will probably be blogging belligerence about delays and other shit.  Meh.

Is it just me or has House become really depressing?

I think Sarah and I have a new record number of games going at once on the iPhone.  I think we are playing three Words with Friends and two Scrabbles.  I think there was a Wordsworth game going on as well.  Love my phone…

More soon!

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Boobs and Wifi

By jen

Gone are the days of waiting bored and watching paint dry in waiting rooms at doctor’s offices.  The only thing you have to do now is stake your claim early to the plug!!  I am sitting at MD Anderson Cancer Prevention Center today for my annual mammogram and exam.  Yeah, I drive 200 miles to get it done.  The idiots in SA didnt’ seem to install confidence and were ready to biopsy me without good films.  Not to mention they couldn’t find my right breast when i went to pick up my images to head to Houston.  How can you lose a boob? Especially one of mine!

Anyway, I am sitting here in a lovely waiting room in a corner with a comfy chair and good a/c trying desperately not to think about the fact they are going to be squashing my boob like a ball of masa in a tortilla press in about an hour or so.  My boobs are legend in some zip codes so I am not just exaggerating here.  It is totally possible to smash a boob no matter how big to basically a 1/4 in thick pancake between two plastic plates.  AGONY!  They hurt already and I haven’t been touched.

Hopefully this year we do not have any crazy micro calcifications that cause me to have to stay over for another biopsy and a full week of “losing my shit” until i get results.  Last year I was ready to just have them removed I was so stressed out.  I had convinced myself that having them removed was at that point less stressful than waiting for lab results.  It was a joy for all that week, I think Sarah is still suffering from PTSD due to my insanity.

This is a nice place though and a world renown clinic so if you have to get smashed somewhere it might as well be here.  The only thing that would make it better is if they had a wine bar I could just get sloshed at while I waited.

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So, WTAF is Going On?

By jen

You may notice my new favorite acronym in the title.  This is something special because as a general rule I do not easily adopt acronyms.  Everytime I see “LOL” or “ROFL” I want to set something on fire and watch it burn like a Towering Inferno.  WTAF = What the ACTUAL Fuck!  Love it!.  So the answer…

What the actual fuck is going on with me?  A shitload of work, that’s what.  A shitload of work, kids who as they get older have these things called “school activities and responsibilities”.  Totally cuts into my blogging, reading, writing, and shoe shopping time.  So I will just unload on some of the shit in the world that is working my last fucking nerve.

1. Let’s take a quick review of my predictions about Obama from October of 2008

We will have more poor people even after throwing more money at the existing programs and creating a whole shitload of new ones.

Do I even need to get into that one?  What phase of fuck America and fuck all you plebs are we in now?  If  I start on a tirade about tax return last week I will never stop and my blood pressure will spike.

Cuba will become a top US vacation destination and not just for terrorists.  Isn’t it time we forgive Fidel anyway?  We can follow this with National Che Day.

Oh so close… so very very close.

The cost of absolutely everything will go up.  Gas, food, homes, utilities, education, health care.

There is absolutely no fucking reason on the planet why I should be paying what I am paying for gas.  My grocery bills are higher.  My health insurance was changed and my company had to pull a rabbit out of their ass to keep our benefits at the same level with minimal increase to cost.  My co-pay went up on office visits, prescriptions, and deductible is higher.  Thank God I work for a company large enough and successful enough to negotiate plans that keep my family covered.   Policy changes due to the “changes in US healthcare mandated by congress” blah blah blah.  Fuck you Congress and leave me at least some of the damn money I work so hard to make.

Race relations in this country will be set back to circa 1975.

Yeah, that one doesn’t even need to be addressed.  I have seen more of this than I have ever seen in my life and it is just fucking ridiculous.

I got a few wrong, but he still has time to jack the rest of it up.

2. Why oh why is the world so freakin’ obsessed with wedge shoes.  They are ugly, clompy, and have no freakin’ place at work.  DSW has four freakin’ aisles of this shit.  STOP THE INSANITY.

3.  I have been obsessively reading Urban Fantasy.  Some recommendations for you…

Deadtown series by Nancy Holzner
October Daye series by Seanan McGuire (I was slow to warm to this first book but i love it now)
Horngate Witches by Diana Pharaoh Francis (not your normal witch series.  nothing cutesy about it.)
The Edge series by Ilona Andrews (anything by this writing duo is top notch)
The Black Sun’s Daughter series M.L.N. Hanover (This series really grew on me and male authors in this genre are new for me)
Rogue Mage series by Faith Hunter

I love my Kindle and my Kindle App!

4.  Do you know how difficult it is to try and blog while I am watching Adam Levine on TV?

5.  I am still trying to process this whole Japan nightmare.  I still cannot wrap my brain around it.

6.  I have been thinking alot about blogging but have been just totally unwilling to focus as I am sure is reflected in this attempt at it.

So, I will not say I will be back tomorrow or this weekend but I will say I am still here, still bitchy, and still totally not understanding why the world is full of so many stupid freakin’ people!  Thanks for all the emails asking where I am and shit.  They are appreciated!  My girls are all doing great, thanks be to GOD.  Me, I am still working the demure gig and pissing people off.  We all have to do what we are good at.


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I live!!!!

By jen

First, to get us back on the right path… Hip Thingie of unfathomable quality.

Ladies… Adam Levine.  The eyes, the voice, the tattoos… THE HIP THINGIE!

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The Epic Blog Post… Part 1

By jen

I have abandoned you, my loyal five readers, for the last three months.  I have no excuse other than work has been insane and I have been just too freakin’ tired to do anything at all.  That said, it is part of my New Year’s Resolution once again to amuse you with the insanity, absurdity, and genius of my neurotic ramblings on a bit more regular basis.  It isn’t that I do not have anything to say, this is the Demure One talking.  I always have something to say.  I need to figure out the damn wordpress app on my iphone, it is shitting the bed.  I got a new iphone 4 (will have to tell you that tale later) and it seems to be the only thing I cannot figure out.

The title of this post is “epic” so let’s define it so there is no confusion or accusation of misusing this fine word:


1. noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style: Homer’s Iliad is an epic poem

2. resembling or suggesting such poetry: an epic novel on the founding of the country.

3. heroic; majestic; impressively great: the epic events of the war.

4. of unusually great size or extent: a crime wave of epic proportions.

Well, this entry will be long, poetic (because poetry is subjective and I say so!) and written in my usually “elevated style”.  I will speak of great deeds and achievements, heroic adventure, and impressively great shit.  It will be so epically significant that I have to break it into multiple posts to give you a break from the fantasticness of it.  So there…on to “Part I:  Pre Holiday Insanity”

I took off every Friday between Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as the entire time the kids were out of school.  The after Thanksgiving Fridays were obviously a misguided attempt to get my shopping done before the girls were out of school.  Yes, go ahead and laugh.  The first attempt was consumed by the need to find a dress and shoes for my Christmas Party.  What I thought would be a quick purchase and then I would knock off a chunk of my girls lists turned into a day full of retail frustration followed by a pedicure, cocktails, then nails and NO ACTUAL PRESENTS BOUGHT.  The second Friday off involved a mall.  An indoor mall… I hate malls.  I hate anywhere that serves as a place for stupid people to congregate.

For those of you who know me, you have no doubt how I feel about shopping.  I hate it.  If shopping involves a mall, my hand to God, I would rather give birth.  Malls represent everything I hate about society.  I am not talking about some political “the world is full of greed” bullshit, I love capitalism… I am talking about “I fucking hate people, especially in large numbers”.

Ten things that happened while shopping this year:
1.  I couldn’t find fancy shoes I liked.  Strike 1

2.  I had to stand in line.  I do not do lines. I do not have time for lines.  Jen Rule #124325 if there is more than two people in line ahead of you, put the shit down you do not need it that badly.

3. First run in with retail sales people happened early.

Hollister, while the shop of choice for my girls, is obviously where the misguided-overly thin-totally vapid youth of America works today.

Two weeks before Christmas, store is busy, ten people working, and wait for it… one hobbit working the register.  In her defense, she was doing it all as fast as she could.  However, that was not fast enough for me.

I watch three other famine ridden sales clerks standing around behind the counter talking about the latest way to purge carbs or maybe they were talking about how to best accent their skeletal frames, but whatever it was, they could have done it while fucking running a cash register.

I was obviously pissed; i do not do pissed off in a subtle way.  Bimbette number 1, the one in charge says, “Ma’am is everything alright?”  I smiled demurely, “Uhm, not really, precious.  There are twenty people in line and you need some more help on the register.”

She smiled while probably thinking, omg, not another crazy bitch. She said, “I am sorry about that but we are understaffed today.”

I smiled back thinking, I could snap you like a twig, honey. “I can count seven people from right here not counting your cashier.”

She had a moment where I could actually hear the squeaking of the underused gears of her brain working, “Yeah, well they are not trained on the cash register.”  Yes, she actually said that.

“Are you the manager, honey?”  She smiled, knowing the answer to that one, “Yes ma’am!”  I mean she was proud of that, obviously the morning team meeting over some sort of organic soy wheat germ smoothy had made her really excited about being a manager.  It was short lived, call me Killjoy…

“So as the manager of this fine establishment, are you telling me you are not trained on how to run a register?”  Yeah, that freaked her out.

She was sweating.  Tim Roth on Lie To Me would have had a whole bunch of shit to say about her body language.  ”Yes, I can use the register.”

Oh for the love of all that’s holy, “And the reason you are not currently doing so, precious?”  She was trying to figure out a managerial answer… she failed.

In fact she didn’t even answer, she just opened the other register and said, not making eye contact, “I’ll take the next person in line over here!”


4.  I had an amazing salad at Kona Grill!

5.  I needed liquor by 11:30 am

6.  Justice is an unbelievably annoying store.  It is bad enough that the prices are the equivalent of  retail sodomy, but add to that the non-stop “best of radio disney stars” going at full blast and I am ready to totally lose my shit.  They had Pillow Pets and Pillow Pets were on my list!  Best part?  There was a fucking line!

7.  I found that mixing wine with my meds ROCKS!

8.  It occurred to me at some point I was not only subjecting myself to torture, but I was paying to suffer.  My Visa card was smoking within an hour.

9.  Sarah is absolutely great at stopping me from getting in my car and fleeing.  This sounds like a simple enough task.  Maybe, but the urge to bolt hits me roughly every twenty minutes and anytime I see someone failing to control their barbarian children.

10.  I have no idea who Perry the Platypus is, but apparently everyone else on the planet knows him.

The week before Christmas, the week the kids were home and my family came into town with my oldest in tow was a good week, thank you Sister Creek Winery and Xanax. Love the family, I am an only child, I actually enjoy my parents mostly so I was looking forward to watching competent people bake and working jigsaw puzzles!  Of course the family was not in the door ten minutes when Mom said, “Raven and I need to finish shopping.  Let’s all go to La Cantera!”  For those of you who are not familiar with this retail shopping “city” it is in a pretty swanky area and they set it up with streets and stuff so you do not think you are in a mall, it is open air so you get to really enjoy the freaking unseasonal heat and humidity of San Antonio mid December.  I affectionately refer to La Cantera as “Locked in Terror” and the name is fitting.

While shopping with Sarah was traumatic, it at least went quickly.  Shopping with the family (that would be 7 of us because my husband was working, the coward! jk)  is always stressful.  My father wanders off, my mother is convinced he is buying something he doesn’t need to buy, he usually is, and then before you know it they all need to be fed.  In my mom’s defense, she is like me… give me a coffee or a diet coke and I will just push through lunch and get the shopping done.  My kids, even the 21 year old, and my father are like little birds with their mouths open waiting to be fed.

We go to Kona Grill!  I love Kona.  Everyone is totally on board.  Daughter no. 4 is happy they have pizza!  Daughter no. 2 is happy she gets a burger!  Daughter no. 1 aka the queen of a la carte is happy!  Dad insists on reading the entire menu when he just needs to get a burger.  Mom is easy.  I just want a freakin’ salad.  Then there is daughter no. 3 aka I like to keep things interesting by being impossible to please.  She wants cheese nachos.  Kona doesn’t have cheese nachos!  After 20 minutes of offering everything and my saying at least twice, “Dont eat!”  I was getting the look from my parents like I was Cruella deVille and starving my poor child.  So what do I do?  I order then walk to the food court where I proceed to get cheese nachos, a cheese quesadilla, and a gratis chile con queso for waiting.  Why do I get anything beyond the nachos she requested, you ask?  Because it is Daughter No. 3 and she will not want them when I give them to her!  I was covering my bases.  I return to Kona and said 10 year old decides she is not only in love with the nachos but wants to eat it all.  Dear God, she is like a locust, all 70 pounds of her.  Crisis averted, my blood pressure returns to somewhere in the “avoid an infarction zone”.

By the time we got home I felt like I had been beaten to within an inch of my life.  I was happy though, I was done shopping… I thought. Oh no!  Mom says, “We need to go to Costco in the morning!”  I cried myself to sleep that night.

The next morning I got up, had my parents version of coffee (think strong tea), medicated and resolved to survive Costco.  Just when I thought all was lost, Dad says he is staying home with the girls!  Daughter No. 4 bats her big eyelashes and manages to tag along, but she is easy to deal with and just happy to be around.  Costco turned into HEB and I wanted to cry.  I survived though.

We finally got around to baking two days before Christmas and I got to stay in my PJs all day!  Finally!  I had been off for nearly a week and hadn’t had a PJ day.  UNACCEPTABLE!  Christmas Eve was easy, did some cooking and went to Mass.  Came home, had tamales and then could no longer avoid the dreaded wrapping.  I do not wrap.  I do not have time for wrapping and that is why I have my mother and other people who care.  For the first time in years we were actually finished wrapping before midnight!  This is what resulted!

Here are a few pics from Christmas Eve when everyone was cleaned up and dressed for church.  I have posted more on my facebook page so you can go see the rest there if you want.

I gave up trying to get everyone smiling.  Those of you with children know what I mean.  I was just glad everyone was looking in the vicinity of the camera.

12 year olds are so “enthused” by photos

You think she is mine?

Some photos are just cooler in black and white!  Daughter no. 3 “the gillybean”

Another one with my chin! Baby girl is The Shit…

Me and Dave aka the man with way too many headstrong Latin women in his life.

Next up:  Part II:  The Aftermath, Part III:  The New Year…

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Oh Hell Yes

By jen

He was so not this hot when I was HOT for him back in the day.  Bangin’ hot with all that ink…

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