8 Shades of Madness: The Back to School Edition

(A Not-So-Helpful Guide to School Readiness)

Don’t panic… but when’s the last time you actually looked at your calendar?

It’s still on June!

Do you realize that school starts in less than a week?

You need all kinds of… stuff… and things… for school.

And now the fun really begins.

1) School Supplies

The list gets longer and more demanding each year.

A two dollar generic binder?

Yeah, right.

Like that’s really gonna fly.

This year, you’ll need a $20 Five Star zipper binder that your kid will yank the zipper right off with his teeth by the second day of school.

Oh, and they insist on red and blue folders only.

You bought yellow?

Really?

And neon orange polka dot composition notebooks?

The list specifically says black marble composition notebooks!

And they say that reading is a lost art.

2) Clothing

Your kids have outgrown all of their clothing over the summer.

The boys’ shorts could easily pass for Daisy Dukes, their jeans fit like Capri pants, and every last shirt has mysteriously morphed into a cropped top.

The socks are either orphaned, mismatched pairs or holier than a slice of Swiss cheese.

As for the girls and the two things in their closets that actually do fit?

Sooooo last year.

Their skirts are all bordering on indecent after sudden growth spurts.

(Expect a phone call from concerned school administrators on that one, with a polite “inquiry” about your questionable ability to serve as a role model for your children. What exactly is it that you do for a living, again?)

3) Tax-Free Weekend

Sounds promising, right? Who doesn’t like saving money, after all?

And it truly is a fabulous concept, in theory… if your idea of a good time is reenacting Black Friday, school supply style.

So instead of fighting over the newest PlayStation that’s on sale, you now find yourself in a big box store, shoving your way through endless aisles of school supplies while vying for that last pack of Crayola crayons.

Until common sense kicks in and you realize that knocking someone out with a left hook in front of a selection of Care Bear and Sesame Street backpacks is probably not worth going to jail for.

4) Drained Bank Account Syndrome

You know how people are always saying having kids isn’t cheap?

Well, guess what?

They’re right.

5) Locker Practice

As kids get into the higher grades, they are assigned a black hole with a lock to shove their 80 pounds of books/unwanted homework assignments in.

Of course, it’s the dreaded bottom locker.

By the way, when’s the last time you actually had to open a combination lock?

So now you’re on all fours and panting like a crazed dog in heat, in an unsuccessful attempt to “demonstrate” how to open your child’s sadistic locker.

You finally get it after 28 frustrating minutes and 37 infuriating attempts.

And you are then rewarded for your effort with the equally enjoyable task of trying to cram a shelf evenly into that locker, because you know from experience that a lopsided shelf is as useful as no shelf at all.

6) Schedule Pickup/Teacher Assignment

Ah! The joy of walking with your child through their daily schedule, from class to class, a few days before school officially starts.

One class is undoubtedly outside in the portables, and somehow you take a wrong turn and end up lost in the parking lot, which is greater than or equal to 6 football fields in dimension.

7) Wakie, Wakie!

Having to get up early/go to bed early has been a challenge lately.

Some mornings, you’re all still in bed at 9:00.

And school starts at 7:45?

Ha!

This ought to be good.

Time to invest in a rooster, perhaps?

8) Misery

After grumbling all summer about the incessant insanity and begging for school to start again soon, you’re actually secretly sad that school has started.

The carefree days of eating ice cream for breakfast and hanging out by the pool have come to an end.

Silence is so overrated.

It’s tempting to climb to the top of the staircase and dropkick a lamp on to the tiled floor below or go outside to pick a fight with the neighbor in an attempt to replicate the very chaos you’ve just spent the entire 12 weeks of summer trying to avoid.

~Happy Friday, my friends! I had originally written and posted The 8 Shades of Madness almost exactly a year ago to the date, when Comically Quirky was still brand new and I had, like, 5 followers. Total. So…with back to school right around the corner, I couldn’t resist sharing it again. Hope you enjoyed, and have a great weekend!~

Go ahead. Give it a try. I triple dog dare you.

Go ahead. Give it a try. I triple dog dare you.

The Wisdom of Homer~Part 2

I’ll teach you to laugh at something that’s funny!

Just when I thought there was no more wisdom for Homer to impart, I encountered even more gems of pure genius.

I hadn’t realized it was possible for one character to single-handedly verbalize so many unintentionally humorous off-the-wall thoughts.

But then, his penchant for the offbeat is truly unparalleled.

Turns out Homer’s 27+ years of half-assed parenting/employment/mere existence has generated a plethora of material for me to work with.

So…

A well-justified encore is definitely in order for the not-quite-wiser-than-Yoda patriarch of one of the world’s most dysfunctional cartoon families in history.

Presenting ten more of Homer’s astoundingly witty moments:

homer simpson happy

(It’s safe to assume things start to go downhill for Homer the instant he opens his mouth.)

homer stole a bike forgiveness

(Something about this one just seems very wrong. And yet, he is on the right track, asking for forgiveness… So surely that counts for something?)

homer simpson english

(Which begs the question- what language does this guy speak? Drunkenese, perhaps?)

homer simpson ill teach you

(Laughing at Homer’s expense is obviously a very, very bad idea.)

homer simpson dinosaur

(Good point. That actually levels the playing field, if you think about it.)

homer simpson elected officials

(Ha! I’m more than happy to think for myself, thank you very much.)

homer simpson dinner time

(He could easily moonlight as the official Duff Beer mascot.)

homer simpson shut up brain

(Does he even have a brain? Or would he simply be jabbing around in a vast area of emptiness?)

homer simpson making a scene

(A clear indication that his behavior tends to push the limits of acceptable human conduct.)

homer simpson to kill a mocking

(And the moral of the story? Oh, right. Homer wouldn’t recognize a moral if it came crashing down on his head.)

~Have a great weekend, everybody! Be sure to also check out part one of The Wisdom of Homer! ~

Oh, The Things it Could Be!

Google is to hypochondriacs what meth is to a junkie.

Oh, come on.

You know the deal.

You’re suddenly afflicted with sharp stomach pains from hell, so you turn to Dr. Google to shed some insight.

Inevitably, Google leads you to sites like WebMD and Healthline for totally reliable self-diagnostic help.

After scanning through symptoms and possible causes, you manage to convince yourself it’s not simply constipation or indigestion.

No.

It’s undoubtedly a raging bout of appendicitis that is about to do you in, right there in the middle of the Back to School section at Walmart…

Unless you make a beeline for the nearest hospital right this very minute.

All you know for certain is you’re obviously dying.

I swear, the symptoms for migraines and brain damage are identical.

Ok, well. Maybe not exactly.

But seriously, have you ever noticed how so many different health issues all have the same set of symptoms?

Oh, the things it could be!

Got a headache?

It’s obviously an aneurysm, and that clock is just a tickin’.

Or it could be head trauma.

What’s that?

Don’t remember hitting your head in the first place?

Well, duh.

Wheezing and coughing?

Could be asthma.

Or a sinus infection.

Or congenital heart failure.

Fatigued?

Could be the flu.

Or Lyme disease.

Or just good ol’ PMS.

Hallucinations?

Could be schizophrenia.

Or epilepsy.

Or just poorly-interacting medications.

Irritability?

Could be hypothermia.

Or a sleep disorder.

Or meningitis.

Nauseated?

Could be food poisoning.

Or a heart attack.

Or perhaps you’re pregnant.

(Congratulations!)

Forgetful?

Could be delirium.

Or dementia.

Or head trauma.

(Seriously, quit knocking your head around!)

Oh, the things it could be!

Lucky for me, I have a high pain tolerance.

Which is great, because I’m freakishly allergic to aspirin and Advil.

Hell, I can’t even take Benadryl to counteract an allergic reaction because it knocks me out cold.

But I do take comfort in knowing I can just conk myself over the head with a frying pan to ease the pain and be good to go.

That’s all the so-called healthcare I need.

This cute little bear has the right idea. Just stick a band-aid on and call it a day.

This cute little bear has the right idea. Just stick a band-aid on and call it a day.

Land Ho! Oh, Whoa!

Holy crap, Batman!

My two-year anniversary in No Man’s Land is just days away!

So, in honor of having survived long enough to reach this milestone…

20 Things I Kinda, Sorta Like About No Man’s Land

  1. I get to play a riveting game of Guess the Farm Animal every time I leave the house. (FYI, I still suck at this game. Horses, donkeys…is there really that big a difference?)
  2. Moving to a new place has meant getting out of a rut, trying new things, and perhaps most importantly, has also given me a much-needed push in a new direction toward achieving my goals. (This blog was, after all, inspired and created from all the ensuing mayhem.)
  3. I really like my new house. (As my younger son put it, more room to make more mess!)
  4. Mysteriously intriguing sunrises and sunsets. (I’m starting to appreciate all those cloudy days.)
  5. My boys have gotten to experience real snow (and snow days!) and build snowmen for the first time in their lives. (Yeah. Seriously.)
  6. There’s a terrific selection of restaurants that are NOT steakhouses, so this vegetarian probably won’t die of starvation. (Woo hoo!)
  7. The school system out here is a major improvement, with happy teachers and better funding. (A true win-win.)
  8. Bright, happy sunflowers blooming everywhere. Prior to coming out here, I hadn’t even realized they’re actually wildflowers. (Sad but true.)
  9. Moving here with all the stresses and challenges of not knowing where exactly we would live, where the boys would go to school… In retrospect, that’s insane! (Or maybe insanely brave…)
  10. Spring, summer, fall, winter…There are all four seasons! Granted, sometimes they can all be experienced in the course of a week, but after years of being in a desert, this is exciting. (Leaves changing color! Snow! Flowers blooming!)
  11. In addition to cows, this place has goats. And everyone knows that indiscriminate eaters such as goats can be useful in maintaining a clean house. (Note to self- grab goat from nearby field on drive home today.)
  12. The bipolar weather is far from boring. (Tornadoes, earthquakes, and hail! Oh my!)
  13. Cornfields, hay barrels, and wheat fields. (It’s like being in another world.)
  14. I’ve grown to like these horizontal traffic lights out here. (And now I think all those “normal” vertical ones look weird.)
  15. The roads are awesomely bad. Pothole-laden roads make for an exciting adventure every time. (I’ve lost track of how many times my car has become airborne and almost sailed over a field of cows.)
  16. Meeting awesome new people I wouldn’t have met otherwise if I hadn’t moved here. (Always a good thing.)
  17. Redbud trees. The first sign of spring, with their intense purple flowers. (I want one.)
  18. Bastard Cabbage. (The implications themselves are not actually funny at all, but the name always makes me giggle, as I envision how that…interesting (?) name might’ve come about.)
  19. It’s funny to watch farm machinery hauling ass on highways, passing all the slower-moving sedans and SUVs. (Irony at its finest.)
  20. Change can be a good thing, and what might initially seem like a negative thing may actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise. (Having a sense of humor and making the best out of a situation can really go a long way.)

~Happy Thursday, everyone! It’s true: sometimes change isn’t such a horrible thing. So embrace it, and always look for the silver lining.~

Looks welcoming enough, right? (Ha! Run while you still can!)

Looks welcoming enough, right? (Ha! Run while you still can!)

H2O Woes

Not only is water important for survival…

It’s probably also going to be the very thing that ends up doing me in.

It’s true that water is simply a compound of hydrogen and oxygen.

Seems harmless enough.

But a person can drown in just an inch of water, for goodness sake.

Clearly, not one of water’s most redeeming qualities.

Water is actually pretty fascinating, though.

For instance:

  • Tap water can contain molecules that dinosaurs drank.
  • The human brain is 70%  water.
  • It takes 150 liters of water to make a pint of beer.
  • Human blood is 83% water.
  • People can live a month without food, but just a week without water.
  • Water covers 70% of the Earth’s surface.
  • Roughly 1/3 of household water consumption originates from the toilet.
  • A jellyfish is 95% water.

And did you know 3.4 million people die each year from water-related causes?

Yikes!

Granted, most of that is due to waterborne illnesses.

And dehydration.

Oh, and water intoxication.

That’s right.

Drinking too much water can cause fatal water intoxication.

Aside from the fact that I already drink far too much water, I’m also freakishly concerned about another death-by-water type of scenario:

Sometimes, I choke on water.

Like it’s just too damn hard for small amounts of water to go straight down my throat without taking a virtually lung-collapsing detour.

Hell, sometimes I somehow manage to choke on absolutely nothing.

Well, technically, it’s air that I’m choking on.

But that’s beside the point.

Water is hazardous to your health!

If you’re even remotely at risk for death by water intoxication, you’re probably better off sticking to alcohol for dinner tonight.

Might I recommend a decadent Mudslide, beer battered fries, and soft pretzels with beer cheese?

Oh, right.

That level of alcohol consumption would most definitely lead to dehydration.

Which would lead to the need for consuming water for rehydration.

Which could lead to choking to death on said water.

Although, in all fairness…

I’m probably at far greater risk for doing myself in by eating a smorgasbord of questionable-looking food that’s ever-so-slightly past the sell-by date.

From my own fridge.

So much for trying to be less wasteful.

~Happy Friday! Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!~

Don't be fooled. Water has mastered the art of being both friend and foe.

Don’t be fooled. Water has mastered the art of being both friend and foe.

The Badness of Bart

Don’t have a cow, man!

El Barto.

Bartman.

Bart Simpson.

Homer and Marge’s impressively underachieving firstborn.

Mischievous and rebellious, this kid is definitely not a role-model child by any stretch of the imagination.

But he is one of America’s favorite juvenile delinquents.

Presenting ten inspiring quotes from the infamous Bart:

bart simpson try to try

(That’s a start, I suppose.)

bart simpson can't prove anythi

(Little wonder this kid spends his days in detention.)

bart simpson crazy people

(Poor Bartman. That’s actually kind of sad. )

bart simpson good or bad

(Right. You just keep telling yourself that, kid.)

bart simpson damned if you do

(Truer words have never been spoken. Especially not by a 10 year-old with a penchant for bad behavior.)

bart simpson liar

(Blatant honesty is always so refreshing.)

bart simpson true meaning of ch

(Once again, Bart is slightly misguided as the result of poor parenting. On a side note: leave it to Ho-Ho-Homer to spread cheer through strangulation.)

bart simpson sucks and blows

(No point in sugar-coating the truth, is there?)

bart simpson never give up

(Well, he started off on the right track with this one.)

bart simpson stare at the sun

(Sounds like the kind of advice you’d expect from Homer. Proof that the apple doesn’t fall far.)

Bart may not be an overachiever like his sister Lisa, but he sure has perfected the art of trouble-making.

And he’s a master prankster.

Well, what do you really expect from a character whose name is the anagram for the word “brat”?

Ay carumba!

~Hope you all have a great weekend! Don’t forget to also check out The Wisdom of Homer, The Logic of Lisa, and The Modesty of Marge.~

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Holy guacamole!

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of Comically Quirky!

Let me tell ya, releasing that very first post was both exhilarating and nauseating.

And terrifying.

Yeah, definitely terrifying.

Would anybody actually read it?

Would they like it?

Or worse… Would people really read it?

And judge me? Or hate me?

Oh, the horror!

I’d never been so terrified in my  life.

And yet…

It was a huge step forward.

My bff Muriel deserves a shout out here for her role in all this. With her persistent encouragement and a gentle nudge forward, I proceeded with this venture.

Sure, it took me a while to actually take the leap…But I finally did it!

Muriel urged me to quit complaining about cows and cornfields and do something more productive.

And so I began writing about my humorous experiences as a transplant to No Man’s Land.

No Man’s Land deserves a bit of gratitude for creating a period of unsettling change that brought with it a plethora of insanely offbeat experiences, which clearly continue to inspire this blog.

Huge thanks to my Facebook buddies, who were among the very first to know about this venture and read my blog. They have been and still are the most amazing supporters. (Yeah, you guys know who you are. And just know that I love you all for it!) Thanks for having faith in me and being my support.

Speaking of support…my mom, husband, and even my boys have all been amazing support and encouragement for my writing. I am honored to have such wonderful people in my life.

And…a special shout out to Evil Squirrel, who was one of my very first followers. Well, outside of immediate family and coworkers who had faced the threat of either reading my blog or being disowned.

So yeah, someone who had actually chosen to read my blog with his own free will- that’s huge. Here’s to unicorns, my friend!

Writing has always been my strength and my passion, and I plan to continue to use my naturally warped and twisted tendencies to brighten the day for others through humor.

Please be sure to check out The Journey to No Man’s Land, my very first post that kicked off all this insanity.

~Thanks to all my followers and fellow bloggers, family and friends. You guys rock!~

What better way to celebrate Comically Quirky's anniversary than with Ren and Stimpy's Happy Happy Joy Joy song!

What better way to celebrate Comically Quirky’s anniversary than with Ren and Stimpy’s Happy Happy Joy Joy song!

Hungry, Hungry Kiddos

Chicken nuggets?

Again?!?

Didn’t we already have that?

Well, duh!

When you’re sitting at the kitchen table for 16 hours a day…

Yeah.

There’s bound to be some degree of repetition.

Macaroni and cheese three times in two days?

Now, that is clearly acceptable.

God, I love summertime.

What’s not to love about it?

Oh, right…

Envision a never-ending game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos, if you will.

With a pair of hungry boys instead of hungry hippos.

And with more food falling on the floor than is actually going into anybody’s mouth.

Kit Kat wrappers plague the dryer and trails of chocolate chip cookie crumbs create a path from the kitchen to halfway up the staircase .

String cheese wrappers and empty juice boxes hide alongside long-forgotten Halloween candy under their beds.

You always make us eat chicken!

(I can assure you that’s not the case. I am vegetarian, after all, and I’m not touching that crap any more than I have to.)

I don’t like raisins anymore!

(Halfway through a full box of raisins.)

Can’t I just have some cookies instead?

(The fridge, freezer, and pantry all look dangerously empty.)

Water?

You’re giving us water?!?

You hate us!

Enough, already! Get outside and do something!

But it’s too hot to go outside!

Hey, wait! Is that the ice cream truck?

We’re going outside!

Can we have some money?

You hate us!

Aw, man! We never get to eat!

And on that note…

Looks like it’s about time to feed the animals precious boys again.

Chicken nuggets, anyone?

For those of you with kids, you’ll totally get this. For those of you without kids, enjoy a good laugh at my expense.

For those of you with kids, you’ll totally get this. For those of you without kids, enjoy a good laugh at my expense.

The Half-Baked Eruption

So, I baked a cake the other day…

For the love of God, people!

Surely, the alarms in your head must be going off by now!

I am The Undomestic Goddess, after all.

(If you’re not familiar with the circumstances that earned me this title, my Culinary Mayhem post is a must-read in order to fully appreciate the implication here.)

Anyway, turns out baking a birthday cake first thing on a Monday morning with my eyes half-closed, before even eating breakfast…

Not such a hot idea.

With a potent combination of dazzling creativity mixed with equal part nonexistent domestic ability, my good intentions were bound to go right down the toilet.

Don’t get me wrong. I do bake cakes twice a year, every year for my boys’ birthdays.

And they usually come out decently enough (read: cute and edible).

But this time around was different.

Somehow, the cake had come out oddly misshapen.

It resembled a volcano-shaped monstrosity, actually.

And the icing was a tad bit too thin, spewing off the top and down the sides of the volcano-cake like white lava.

So I made yet another, thicker batch of sugary icing and heaped it on top of the volcanic mess.

Then I lovingly slapped eight adorable little Despicable Me gummy Minions onto the fifty layers of icing in a visually appealing pattern.

But then disaster struck.

The Minions immediately started sinking into the volcanic ashes icing.

Seriously, they were going under faster than an octopus in a straightjacket.

I had to rescue them!

Left with little choice, I quickly grasped and yanked them up and away from impending doom before it was too late.

Sadly, I must’ve accidentally pinched off a few of their smiling faces during my rescue mission.

How fitting.

A tiny little Minion leg had been lost along the way, too.

I frantically glanced around the kitchen for anything- and I mean anything– to help remedy this disaster.

Plastic forks, chewable vitamin c wafers, gum wrappers…

Eventually, I saved their lives by propping them up with mini flotation devices made out of chocolate wafers, broken into Minion-sized bits and pieces.

And just like that, the cake was salvaged.

Well, mostly.

Yeah, okay. So the frosting tasted like the equivalent of six bags of sugar, and the cake was a wee bit lopsided.

Not the end of the world.

Oh, and I also ended up having to draw faces back on a couple of the Minions.

But ultimately, the cake (and the house) did not blow up.

And people willingly ate it.

Hell, some even came back for seconds.

Go figure.

All in all, the funky cake still managed to look (marginally) better than the aftermath of our Minion piñata beat down.

And that certainly has to count for something.

It’s probably hard to tell, but this mangled mess of Minion is the piñata we beat the crap out of, not the disastrous cake I had made.

It’s probably hard to tell, but this mangled mess of Minion is the piñata we beat the crap out of, not the disastrous cake I had made.

Sunny with a Chance of Tsunamis

Would’ve. Should’ve. Could’ve.

Every single human being has regrets in life, and I’m no exception.

My biggest regret?

I missed my true calling.

I should’ve been a meteorologist.

That’s right, one of those weather-predicting people who seem to be wrong more often than right, yet still get paid for constantly screwing up.

Despite the bad rap they get, I read somewhere that meteorologists are actually correct about 80% of the time, overall.

Which is fairly surprising.

The thing is, I live in a place where all kinds of weather-related mayhem is possible in a matter of minutes.

So this could really work to my advantage.

After all, weather forecasting is not an exact science.

It’s more like a multiple choice quiz.

And I know from experience that I can randomly guess and be right more often than not.

I want to get paid to not think. To not make sense. To make off-the-wall predictions that may or may not come true.

And meteorologists do essentially predict the future.

Or at least, they attempt to.

But storms can shift direction, and lessen or increase in force and intensity.

These things happen.

And between aging satellites and drunk meteorologists, things are bound to get more than a little messed up.

The sun is shining! And now it’s… raining?

But it’s still blindingly sunny?!?

Well, the radar did predict a sunny day… so where did that tornado just come from?

When you look outside the window and there are donkeys on tree branches and horses on rooftops…

Yeah.

Somehow, someway, someone was a little off.

One minute, there’s zero chance of rain… and then it’s suddenly raining hard enough to recreate Noah’s Ark.

Which explains that motorcycle floating coasting  down the sidewalk in plain sight of a swarm of cops.

And those bicyclists pedaling for their lives like drenched hamsters on a treadmill against sudden 70 mph gusts of wind.

And the pedestrian who unexpectedly finds herself going for an impromptu swim through six lanes of traffic.

Yet when it’s supposed to rain all day, every day for a week…

There’s not a single cloud in the sky.

But seriously, where the hell did that tornado come from?

Where was that on the radar map?

What gives?

Really and truly, though. I get it. I do.

Nature is unpredictable and has a mind of its own.

But so do I.

And I still think I should’ve been a meteorologist.

Pretty much summarizes my warped vision of the whole weather-predicting process.

Pretty much summarizes my warped vision of the whole weather-predicting process.