Can you believe September is almost over? Us neither. But the best news is that there were five Fridays this month. That alone could have been one of our favorite things. Here are the other fascinating things that held our attention for at least ten minutes.
- Fabulous names. One of the Sister’s kids has a friend in their class with a very unusual name. We’d be kidding ourselves and you, Dear Reader, if we didn’t confess that we are a little preoccupied with it. In the tradition of disguising names on this site we’ll tell you that Debby Dracula isn’t the name but it’s in that same vein (instead think green – green, female ogres and giant, green monsters with bolts in their necks). This little girl is a charming little sprite of a thing who bounces when she walks and wears adorable pigtail braids. Unfortunately, our offspring refuses to cooperate when the Sisters ask for a little spying. “What do her parents look like,” we want to know. Who names their child this? We wonder if the school administration would get upset if we staked out the parking lot?
- Arch West’s funeral. Arch Clark West was the creator of Doritos. Even the Sisters sometimes stray from their devotion of bleached white flour and butter crème frosting and will indulge in a salty snack and Doritos are in the top five options. Mr. West died at 97 years old so we don’t want to hear anymore nonsense about junk food lowering your life expectancy. Mr. West is a fine testimonial. His family sprinkled crumbled Doritos on his grave during the service. That makes the Sisters think of lots of stuff we’d like sprinkled over our graves. Can crème brulee be sprinkled?
- Antique Road Show. This show is always such fun to watch. People drag in some of the wackiest stuff and are either blindsided with the value or are totally crushed. It’s very exciting. It makes you wonder what some of the crap you hauled over from your grandmother’s is worth. The other day, a lady brought in some of her father’s Chinese jade antiques. It was the highest appraisal in the history of the show coming in at somewhere between $700,000 and 1.07 Million. The reality netted her $494,615 after commissions. Still, not too shabby, eh? We’re telling you – there’s nothing in our houses we’d hold on to if it netted that sort of change. That’s a lot of Doritos, people.
- Disney World. Walt Disney’s Florida location is turning 40 next month. This is a controversial topic for the Sisters. While one Sister couldn’t possible care less, and another Sister holds the Florida location near and dear to her heart, the third Sister knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Anaheim location is the REAL happiest place on Earth. Not that all the Sisters don’t wish Mickey’s other house a wonderful, happy birthday. If anyone from Disney reads this blog and would like us to write a glowing review for all the internet to see, feel free to contact us. The Sisters are ready to
be swayed on the glories of Orlando. We need eleven tickets and we’re willing to fly coach.
- Garage Sale. The Federal Government is considering having a 22 billion dollar yard sale. See – Congress is beginning to think just like the rest of us lowly Americans trying to make ends meet. A yard sale! Next they’ll be looking under the couch cushions in the congressional lounge to balance the budget. Or a bake sale. What if the members of Congress had to sell wrapping paper like our schools? Enough sermonizing. The Sisters are interested in the Lincoln Memorial and perhaps we’ll take a look at some of that past presidential china.
So MY AGENT has book number two. The working title is Miss Goldsleigh’s Secret. Along that same vein, and in trying to sell them as a series which they most definitely are, the first book’s title was changed to Lady Francesca’s Secret. MY AGENT told me to start writing book three so last night I wrote the first several paragraphs of what will be titled The Duke of Morewether’s Secret.
Do you see the theme? If you know anyone at Avon or any of the other “Big 6″ you should tell them that this blog is hysterically funny and certainly my books will be equally so, and they would be exercising incredible foresight in offering a three book deal now before the bidding war starts.
I’m just saying.
Last week the Sisters three met over sandwiches and cheese cake and we built my W plot for this third book. The W is a fiction writing technique to get the goal, motivation, and conflict all lined up so that you don’t end up with an 85,000 word book with absolutely no conflict. I know someone who did that on their first draft of their first book (ahem) and that’s why it took her two years and three drafts to get it finished.
I absolutely love it when the three of us get together and do this sort of thing with one of our projects. Since the three of us share the same brain, it’s great when we all get together and it can function as one unit. I really wish one of these days we’d videotape these sessions because so much gets lost as we talk over each other and the ideas are tumbling out so fast no one can write them down fast enough.
If there’s one thing the Sisters can do, it’s come up with an outstanding story. Too bad we don’t have all the time in the world to sit in coffee shops and write to our hearts content.
Now, it’s up to me to write the Duke’s secret. You wanna know how I do it? I think this person (I don’t know who it is or I’d happily give them all the credit because it’s genius) has totally nailed it with this graph.
Television was slim pickins tonight. Dancing with the C List Reality TV Stars was on. Unfortunately, Sassy enjoys watching it. Frankly, it makes me shiver, but apparently Sassy is not alone in her appreciation. Yes, we were watching it while eating dinner. Go ahead and judge. If you think that is the worst thing you’re going to read in this blog tonight, then Zeus bless you.
Chaz Bono’s dance came on. My Honey rolled his eyes – let’s face it, not all of us can be the ideal, tolerant parent at all times. He explained why Chaz Bono is a “star” these days and Sassy didn’t get it.
“He used to be a girl,” My Honey explained.
“I don’t get it,” she told him.
“He was born a girl, but he wanted to be a man, so he had surgery,” I tried to explain. I was making a pointed effort to get all the pronouns correct.
“I don’t get it.” She shook her head and poked her rice with her fork. She never actually eats her dinner, she just repeatedly stabs at it with various utensils. “Why would anyone want to do that?”
“Some people are very different than us,” I told her and motioned for her to eat something. “Lots of people are different than us. It makes the world interesting.”
“What kind of surgery?” she asked and moved her fork towards the beans and gave them a good, stern poke.
And here we go. Excellent dining table conversation. I endeavor to remain unembarrassed. This shouldn’t be an embarrassing topic, and I really want to be able to answer all sex related questions from my kids with a calm, non-judgemental tone.
“Well.” I poked at my own beans. “They changed the things that were girl parts and made them boy parts.”
She stared at me with unabashed curiosity. “What do you mean?”
“They took away the girl parts and made her boy parts in exchange.” I’m beginning to think this might end up being a take away conversation.
‘Oh my God!” I see the realization dawning. “They gave her an Adam’s apple!”
Yes. Yes, indeed. That’s exactly what they did.
I saw this and I laughed and laughed.
Are you ready?
There are these two cows standing out in a field.
One cow says to the other cow, “Man, what do you think of that Mad Cow’s Disease?”
The other cow says, “What do I care? I’m a helicoptor.”
If you don’t get that joke, then I don’t know if we can be friends.
I would rather have been scrubbing the toilets. In fact, I offered to do just that, plus mop the floors, do the laundry, and any other wretched disgusting thing that could be thought up. But no.
He made me participate in yard work. With a hoe and a rake. Outside.
This is the series text messages between me and Ava.
Amylynn: M is making me do yard work. I want a divorce.
Ava: Yard work? I’m not familiar with that. What is it?
Amylynn: I’ll tell you what it is. It’s horrible.
Amylynn: If I get sunburned out here, there will be hell to pay.
Amylynn: I’d rather go hiking in Iran.
Ava: If it’s horrible and it’s not Bank of No Forks then it’s clearly someone else’s job. Tell him that. Tell him to go get those workers. And JC you could get really sunburned out there.
Amylynn: Come get me.
Ava: Did you tell him that your writing is “polished”? People with polished writing skills can not do yard work.
Amylynn: I won’t be able to write today. My hands will be too blistered.
Ava: Based on your current predicament and a conversation I just had with Ed, I’m certain we married badly.
Amylynn: Wanna switch for a week.
Amylynn: You hoe and rake and I’ll argue with Ed.
Ava: Hoe? Rake? What the hell is that????
Amylynn: I already told you. It’s horrible.
Amylynn: I just ripped open my thumb.
Amylynn: This counts as exercise right?
Ava: I never thought I’d say this, you need a divorce right now! This is just too, too much.
Ava: Not only does it count as exercise, you get ice cream afterwards.
Amylynn: Oooooo! I have a coupon for that.
Ava: New plan. I send Ed to your house to argue and hoe and we go for ice cream.
Amylynn: You, madam, are a genius.
Yard work really, really blows. I actually did rip my thumb open. It stings, but no one seems to care.
After a bit of sunstroke, My Honey and I were seated on the front porch in the shade sipping ice water. It’s still 100 degrees here. On September 25. Sigh.
We were discussing what we needed to do to make our front yard less “Section 8 housing” like. I said a tree. I’ve been wanting a tree in our front yard forever, but alas, My Honey pointed out the sewer line running smack down the middle of the yard made that darn near impossible. We both agreed a fence would be nice. My Honey upped the ante with an eight foot wall.
I think we’re going to settle on a moat.
We’re certain that over the course of this week you’ve contemplated, pondered, perhaps even meditated over what five things intrigued us this week. Well, wait no more. We will not leave you in wonderment any further. TA DA!
1. Wee wee dogs. You may know that Amylynn is totally obsessed with getting another puppy. Yes, we do know the definition of
obsess, and we are not hyperbolizing the word. Puppies do “haunt and excessively preoccupy her mind”. With that concept in the fore, it shouldn’t surprise any of you that she checks out the puppy listings in the newspapers. That’s when we found this little gem. We don’t think we even need to comment. The ad speaks for itself.
2. Ben & Jerry. Two of the patron saints of The Quill Sisters have introduced a new flavor – Schweddy Balls. That causes no end of the snickering and mirth. As big fans of Saturday Night Live and any episode that has Alec Baldwin as the host, we immediately got the joke. Of course, the crazy, humorless right-wingers take offense calling it vulgar and repulsive. We ask you – what exactly is repulsive about vanilla ice cream with fudge covered rum and malt balls? Not a damn thing. And you can giggle while you eat it. Some people just need to relax.
3. Circus Smircus. Normally, we don’t even bother with Family Circus. Normally it’s not amusing. But this one caught our eye and all we can say is, “Us, too, PJ.”
4. Orbiting Garbage. There is all kinds of news of this satellite falling to Earth and subsequently the media has planted irrational fears about the possibility of getting hit by the thing. We pooh-poohed the idea as absurd until we read a statistic that the odds of getting hit were 1 in 3,200. Those statistics look pretty good to us. Now if NASA could just give us a better idea where it’s crashing down, we’d be happy to go stand in a field and wait patiently.
5. Clinique. You know the Sisters went shopping this week at the makeup counter. The experience wasn’t lovely – in fact, they were treated rather shabbily. Clearly they didn’t know the power of the blog (ha!). Regardless, the Sisters handed over their money and came home with Lid Smoothie Antioxident 8-Hour Eye Color. It’s just lovely. It lasts forever and the colors are ever so subtle. Go to the Dillards now – they’re giving away their fall samples and get yourself some. Maybe your clerk won’t be a total bitch. You never know.
Sassy and I were supposed to be in her bed reading good-night books. Point of fact, it did start out that way. The book she chose was about Uno, the first and possibly only, beagle whowon Best in Show at The Westminster Dog Show. I was reading my own book on my iPad, William Shakespeare the World as Stage, by one of my all time favorite authors, Bill Bryson, when she asked me to Google something about Uno. One search led to another and before you know it we were watching puppy videos on YouTube.
That was a really bad idea. A person with a clinical case of puppitis has no business watching puppy videos on YouTube. In fact, I wish they wouldn’t even let me on that stupid site. If YouTube read my blog they’d know it was a bad idea just as you all do.
Nevertheless, we watched a few beagles run around and growl adorably. Then a couple of rottweilers babies and a whole passel of bulldogs. I dimly recall there being super fuzzy golden retrievers, too. And then things really went to hell.
I typed in “Newfoundland Puppies”. Sigh. God, I was so stupid. My Sweet Sophie was a Newfoundland. She’s been gone about three years now and, boy, do we miss her. I honestly don’t know if I’d be able to control myself if a Newfoundland puppy should just happen to appear in the newspaper. Or, God forbid, if I should happen to see one wandering alone in the street. I’d consider selling a kidney to buy one from a breeder if one should happen to be close by.
I’m certain that no one has ever died from puppyitis. No one’s heart has ever broken from pining away for a bouncy, yippy, chewing machine. No one has met the true death because there was no sweet smelling, gently snoring, warm fuzzy ball of fur to snuggle with at night.
But there’s always a first time.
Bandit and the Idiot Dog were playing. Everyone in the neighborhood knew they were playing by the boy’s screams of delight and the dog’s excited baying. The noise was epic.
I hid myself in the laundry room. I had a major project going on in there. Once again, I was using a toothbrush and a cocktail of smelly chemicals to get red, blue and green crayon out of the kid’s school clothes. I swear to Zeus, crayons are my mortal enemy. Even more so than insane Tea Party politicians and the crossing guard lady at my kid’s school.
The Bandit came in and climbed on top of the wine fridge, hopped onto the chest freezer, and liberated a dog treat.
“We’re playing hide and seek,” Bandit told me. “I’m gonna see if Roscoe can find this.”
“Good luck,” I told him, my voice laden with skepticism. I’m not convinced Roscoe’s nose is hard-wired to his brain.
I continued my battle with the evil manufacturers of wax based coloring instruments. It wasn’t long before the boy and dog were back. The dog’s breath smelled remarkably like dog treat.
“Roscoe found the dog jerky,” Bandit informed me. The dog panted, pleased.
I raised my eyebrow. “He found it?”
“No,” Bandit admitted. “I finally just gave it to him.”
Just as I suspected.
“What else can I hide from the dog?”
This was an easy question. “Why don’t you hide yourself and see if he can find you.”
“Mooooooo-oooooom.” The boy turned my name into a five syllable word. “Great. You said it right in front of him!”
“The dog doesn’tunderstand, honey.” I wiped the sweat from my brow and stretched my arm out, rotating my elbow to ease the cramp forming there. Holy wars are tiring work.
“He does, too, understand.” Bandit was indignant. Apparently I had offended the dog. Roscoe, however, didn’t look too put out with his tongue lolling from the side of his mouth and his butt comfortably perched on the vacuum cleaner.
The Bandit put his hands over Roscoe’s long, silky ears. “Don’t listen to her, boy. She’s crazy.”
Crazy? Of course I’m crazy. You read this blog. It’s not like I don’t have plenty of reasons to be totally crazy.
“How about this,” I suggested, “why don’t you take Roscoe around and see if you and his nose can find every single crayon in this house.”
And my mind. Now there’s a real challenge for you.
Just imagine a long day at work and when you come, you open the secret panel and slip into your hidden room walled with books. Maybe in the corner is a comfy chair and a matching ottoman. There’s a side table just waiting for your teacup, and a floor lamp behind the chair with a soft, white bulb. A silky throw blanket hangs over the arm of the chair just waiting to toss over your legs.
It’s very quiet in your hidden room. All the sounds of traffic and your family are muffled by the insulation of the shelves and books. You can’t hear the phone ring or the sound of the television or the door bell. You can’t hear dogs barking or children fighting.
I used to have a fantasy about being marooned on a deserted island with just a hammock and a truck of books, but this room, this fantasy, just might surpass that.
Every year, when this day rolls around, I am surprised by it and I’m not prepared with an appropriate outfit or anything. I haven’t even had time to rent a parrot. Or a monkey. Oooooh, a monkey would be fun. Ava doesn’t think she likes monkeys, but I’ll bet if I brought a cute one into the office she’d be totally into it. Aside from the biting and poop flinging, what’s not to like?
At lunch today, Ava and I went to the mall because the Clinique counter is having their free gift giveaway. The clerk that helped us was NOT helpful. In fact, I’d go so far as to say she was snotty and rude. She certainly thought that Ava and I showing up and demanding things like assistance was too much for her to bear. She actually looked down her nose at us, which wasn’t easy considering how much makeup the woman had on. That’s a problem with working at the makeup counters at the mall. Those chicks have on so much makeup it looks like they put it on with a trowel and take it off with a belt sander. This girl had absolutely no facial expression what-so-ever. Maybe, during her lunch break, she shot up with Thorazine and thus her personality was severely limited by a drug reaction.
Anyway, Ava and I have been dwelling on how shabbily we were treated by that little chippy and then it occurred to me the whole thing was our own fault.
Maybe all that time she was waiting for us to break out our Pirate-ese and dazzle her with an Arrrrrrr!
Ahoy, there ye land lubber. Get me some eye shadow and mascaraaaaaaaaarrra.
Maybe I’ll go back after work and try that out. I’ll report back later on how nice the security office is at Dillards.