Back to School Blues

It’s that time again.

Back to school time.

Yippee.

More like back to gaaah!

Can you feel the enthusiasm?

Yeah.

Me, neither.

Nobody wants to get out of bed bright and early for school.

Including me.

Especially me.

The novelty has already worn off.

And it hasn’t even been a full week.

Sure, my boys have been complaining of acute boredom for the last ten weeks.

But rarely is a child so bored that they eagerly anticipate returning to school.

My younger son seems especially over it already.

By day two, his alarm clock lay on the floor in pieces, its batteries scattered haphazardly.

It’s no fun for me, either.

There’s the stressful challenge of packing lunches they’ll actually eat.

And having to make sure they’re sanitary enough to be seen in public.

And worst of all…

Homework.

That’s no fun.

For anyone.

Not only that…

Yesterday, we had to do a second round of school supply shopping.

Because once obviously was neither fun enough nor expensive enough.

Or sanity-endangering enough.

Hooray for Walmart and their disorderly heaps of leftover back to school crap!

I mean, supplies.

And so it’s back to battling the clock.

And traffic.

And Walmart.

Yikes.

But now that the kids are back in school, it’s a great time for me to work on catching up on all the things I’d fallen behind on this summer.

Like cleaning.

And writing.

And reading.

And more cleaning.

Oh, who am I kidding?

I’ve somehow managed to fall behind in life as a whole.

I’d probably settle for catching up on sleep, at this point.

But there’s no rest for the weary.

Or the worried.

It’s hard to sleep while my mind gallops off like a crack-addicted race horse.

By the same token…

It’s also hard to accomplish anything that way.

So much to do.

So little motivation to do any of it.

But, hey.

At least my kids are being more productive at the moment.

They’re probably learning something  at school.

Maybe.

Hopefully.

So long, lazy days of summer.

Hello, back to school madness.

If nothing else, it’s back to devising ways of embarrassing my kids at school functions.

I suppose that counts as being productive.

Right?

~Happy weekend, friends! And Happy Birthday to my favorite mascot boy! Woo hoo!~

Augh! Not this again! Didn't summer just start?!

Augh! Not this again! Didn’t summer just start?!

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Dog Days of Summer Break, Part 2

Get off the horse!!!

I mean, the dog!

The dog is not a horse!

I don’t care if you’re not actually sitting on him.

Does he look like he’s enjoying himself?!?

Well.

Looks like we’re ending the summer the same way we started it.

By tormenting the poor dog.

Since The Bigly Bestest Doggie hasn’t yet mastered eating at a table while seated in a chair, my boys have evidently moved on to bigger, better things.

Like transforming him into a horse.

Ah, well.

School starts next week.

So while the boys’ summer break is coming to a close…

The doggie’s break is finally about to start.

And just in time.

Who knows?

In another week, they might’ve turned him into a trash-eating goat.

Yikes!

~Happy Friday, friends! Can you believe it’s almost time for school again?! Where does the time go?~

Do I look like a horse? It's back to school for you, boy!

Do I look like a horse? It’s back to school for you, boy!

Artless, Clay-Brained Barnacles

Folly, fool-born fustilarian!

Yeasty, ill-bred horn-beast!

Puny, milk-livered lout!

Who on earth might make such puzzling and disparaging remarks?

Why, William Shakespeare, of course!

The man was a master of snarky insults.

It’s probably safe to say he wasn’t much of a people person.

You know, what with all the harsh sentiments and all.

One thing’s for certain:

Nobody could’ve ever accused him of mincing words.

Not with that aptitude for verbally destroying anyone with the audacity to be anywhere in his vicinity.

Now that is talent!

And what better way to mark my 200th post than with insults, threats, and snarky remarks galore!

(Whew! Is it hot in here, or is it just me?)

(Everyone knows that elbows are best used for bending. And elbowing others. Which can be lethal, if done properly. Which I suspect the sharp-tongued Shakespeare must’ve been well aware of.)

(Not sure what a knotty-pated fool is, but it doesn’t sound very flattering. And yet, it sounds almost like a sweet compliment compared to the subsequent line. Yikes!)

(Now this is a dubious claim. If he wanted to beat somebody badly enough, age wouldn’t likely have been the biggest factor, given the intensity behind his words. Just sayin’…)

(I don’t know what it is, but some people just seem to have that effect on others.)

(Ass-whoopings and contempt for lack of intelligence seem to be a common theme here. Shakespeare probably could’ve benefited from a punching bag to release his multitude of frustrations.)

(Aw, come on. Surely everyone has at least one redeemable quality. Unless they’d landed themselves on Shakespeare’s shit list, that is.)

(Ha! It’s lights out for you, Scallywag!)

(Commendable use of heaven and hell, all in one hellishly fine simile!)

(I’ve never seen a stewed prune, so it’s hard to say how much faith I’d be comfortable placing in it. But I suppose the prune could theoretically warrant more faith than the average sheep-biting harpy. Whatever the heck that is.)

(If eyes are the windows to one’s soul, then it’d be wise to protect both eyes and soul from infectious stupidity.)

(It’s been said familiarity breeds contempt…)

(Oh, crap! It’s too late!!!)

While these were all so…delightful, I’d never personally say anything like this to another human being.

Not only because of the somewhat obsolete terminology…

But because, well, it’s kind of rude.

But still humorous, nonetheless.

~Happy Saturday, friends! Feeling inspired by Shakespeare? Great! Just don’t use that inspiration to turn all your friends into enemies. Yeesh!~

Dinner and No Motorcycle

Actually, no.

Let’s amend that to no motorcycle yet.

Building off of last week’s anniversary blog

Consider this a sequel of sorts.

Sadist that I am, I simply can’t have a good time without conducting myself like a glutton for punishment.

On the morning of my anniversary, I started off the day by going to work.

I got off early enough for us to still get out and do things, I reasoned, so I didn’t really need to take the day off.

So I went to work.

And I sliced a gash in my leg on the corner of a cardboard box.

I probably should’ve stayed home.

But at least I arrived home to a nice surprise.

My husband had gotten me a portable Shiatsu massager.

I put that sucker to work as soon as I yanked it out of the box.

And used it nonstop throughout that afternoon and evening.

Which led to bruising myself from prolonged use as I attempted to work out the billion tension knots in my neck.

Which hasn’t stopped me from using it every single day for the last week.

With my younger son’s help and insistence, my son…uh, I mean, husband, received a lovely video game for our anniversary.

Need for Speed Payback.

Because nothing says Happy Anniversary like a racing game.

In my defense, my child and I wandered each and every aisle at Target ten times over while hauling an overflowing hand basket.

Which was equal to the weight of a baby elephant.

Because it was loaded down with a dozen bottles of açaí  Vitamin Water that my child had tossed in.

And so we kept switching off basket-carrying duties as we continued to look for the perfect anniversary gift for the good part of an hour.

Somehow, we eventually settled on a PlayStation game as the perfect present.

At least my son…I mean, husband, has been thoroughly enjoying his new game.

Anyway, we didn’t actually make it out to dinner on our anniversary.

Because we decided to stay home and watch The Martian on Netflix.

So the following evening, we ventured into a nice little Italian restaurant we’d been talking about trying for the past couple of years.

And get this:

There were actual people in this restaurant!

And our waiter was not intoxicated!

Perhaps we should have asked the guy to quickly guzzle a few beers in an attempt to replicate our horrid seven-years-prior Greek restaurant anniversary experience?

Right.

We enjoyed some fried ravioli.

And lasagna.

And homemade bread.

No greasy, slimy, rock-hard monstrosities whatsoever.

The bartender even made a little chocolate syrup heart in my chocolate martini.

It was undoubtedly one of our better anniversary dining experiences.

So that was nice, for a change.

Now, as for our first-ever motorcycle we’d been contemplating buying back?

Turns out the dealership’s asking price was much too high.

Almost as much as we had sold it for two years ago.

And so we put in a more reasonable offer.

They declined.

Typical used vehicle over-inflation nonsense.

I guess there’s only one thing left to do:

Operation Steal Back Our Bike!

We do still have one spare key.

We could easily go in and get it back.

Just pop the key in and take off like bats out of hell.

Or not.

Because then I’d have to change this post title to Dinner and Jail.

~Happy Saturday, friends! Have a great weekend!~

Well, hello again, green Ninja!

Well, hello again, green Ninja!

Dinner and a Motorcycle

Whew!

It’s been hotter than Hades lately.

But then, it seems the intense summer heat is inspiring for new beginnings.

At least, for me.

My blog anniversary was just a few days ago.

And now, it’s my anniversary anniversary.

And much like my magnetism for memorable birthdays…

There was one highly memorable anniversary that tells quite the tale.

The year was 2011.

My husband DJ and I decided to celebrate by going out for dinner.

But first…

We stopped at a motorcycle shop.

Which inevitably led to the purchase of a motorcycle.

After long day of work.

When judgment is always at its peak.

Because everybody knows that’s the best time to make big decisions.

It’s also common knowledge that just looking at something translates roughly to:

Let’s buy this thing!

Like, right now!

Because, really, when was the last time we’d gotten anything nice for ourselves?

And did I mention it was our ten year anniversary?

A big anniversary like that warranted something big.

Like a motorcycle.

Tradition dictates that year ten should be gifted with tin or aluminum.

While I’m usually not one to care overly much about traditions in the sense of gifts…

Aren’t bikes made of steel and aluminum?

Ha!

Anyway…

It was an electric green Kawasaki Ninja 650R in great shape.

I liked it.

DJ liked it.

So we signed a contract and we were on our merry way.

The funny part?

Spontaneously buying a motorcycle turned out to be the most normal part of our evening.

Celebrating in memorable ways seems to a talent for us.

(Horses, anyone?)

After buying the bike, we figured we’d enjoy a nice meal out.

And so we drove to a Greek restaurant I’d been to only once before, several years earlier.

It was way on the other side of town, so we didn’t get out that way too often.

But I remembered loving that restaurant.

It was a Saturday night.

And the parking lot was desolate.

That right there should’ve been an omen.

But that didn’t stop us from going in.

We were greeted by a host who looked like he’d had a few drinks himself.

Which was entirely probable, given the impressive bar in full view behind him.

And…

As luck would have it, our drunken host turned out to also be our drunken waiter.

There was no other sign of life whatsoever within those four walls.

No other diners.

No other waitstaff.

Nada.

Had this tipsy waiter just killed the rest of the restaurant staff? 

Which would have been rather unfortunate, given the fact they prided themselves on being a family owned and operated business.

But I remembered truly enjoying a scrumptious assortment of authentic Mediterranean food in my previous trip.

So we stuck around like the sadists we apparently were.

Our waiter ambled around momentarily before producing two sad-looking menus, held together by uneven patches of tape.

Despite an authentic-looking Greece interior, nothing about this looked overly promising.

But we were hungry.

And remained cautiously optimistic.

Spoiler alert:

When the food came, it did not get any better.

With spanakopita slimier than worms, pita bread that could crack a pig’s head open, and hummus that tasted more like mud than mashed chickpeas, it bared no resemblance to my previous dining experience.

Did we save room for dessert, the stumbling drunk inquired?

Right.

It didn’t matter if it was our anniversary.

We’d already had all the fun we could handle, without gambling on dessert.

It was beyond comprehension how this restaurant had been a six-time Best Greek Restaurant winner, awarded by a local newspaper.

Incidentally, 2011 was the last year they’d won the prestigious award.

Which was the second and final time I set foot in that place.

I must’ve been really, really hungry that first time.

Or maybe things just really, really went down the toilet in the few years since I’d first gone.

I scoped out some Yelp reviews to see if we were crazy, or if it had just been an off night.

But no.

“I thought that I was part of an elaborate prop set for what would be a great tragedy. The place is certainly capable visually of transporting you to Ellada (Greek word for Greece). The place was also as barren as an off-season tourist trap near Plakka. The only two other people there seemed to be regulars.”

And this one:

“I am certain from the many posted accolades all over the walls of the place that this restaurant was indeed great. But its day has come and gone and its legendary service and cuisine is all but a page of mythology.”

But then there were a few reviews like this one:

Amazing food. Authentic and unique. The wait staff is incredibly friendly and helpful.

Unique, yes.

Incredible?

In a way, yes.

But not in any positive sense of the word.

Love the entire experience!

Seriously?!?

I mean, our experience was plenty memorable.

But definitely not in the way of loving it.

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m all for irony.

But, wow.

So on one hand, its stellar past was not a figment of my imagination.

On the other hand…

Had those few satisfied diners had their hummus spiked?

It’s uncanny.

That whole dining experience had been way, way off the mark.

Suffice it to say, the heat wasn’t the only hellish factor on that day seven years ago.

But, hey.

A cool motorcycle and a freakish dining experience.

Which, evidently, meet all my criteria for a memorable evening.

We ended up selling that motorcycle two years ago, when my husband decided to upgrade.

Yet, in an interesting twist of fate…

It’s now for sale again.

And it’s our anniversary again.

Is this a sign we ought to buy it back, for the sake of nostalgia?

Is it fate?

I guess we shall see…

~Happy Saturday! Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!~

Nothing like an anniversary motorcycle! Now let's see if it's meant to be... a second time.

Nothing like an anniversary motorcycle! Now let’s see if it’s meant to be… a second time.

Three’s a Charm

Hooray!

Woo hoo!

Yippee!

Comically Quirky just turned three!

This particularly blogiversary is especially special.

It’s the first anniversary since The Bigly Bestest Doggie came along!

And made Comically Quirky bigger!

And better!

And even more exciting!

Thank you all for enthusiastically welcoming Jett and his doggone fun weekly feature, Tails ‘n’ Tweets.

I don’t know what I ever did without that incredible doggie.

He undoubtedly adds a certain je ne sais quoi to this blog.

Thank you for three fun-filled years of goofiness.

And laughter.

And chaos, too.

Thank you for joining us on yet another year of adventures!

We’re so very happy to know you!

~Happy weekend, friends! If you’d like to read my very first post that kicked off the insanity, please click here! Thanks again for being so awesome, and have an amazing weekend!~

Thanks for joining us!

Thanks for joining us! ~ Jett

Perilous Parallels

Turn the wheel!

Keep turning the wheel!

More!!!

And the driving instruction fun continues.

Raise your hand if you remember how to parallel park!

Aww, come on.

It’s just like riding a bike!

Really!

I mean, sort of…

As of three days ago, I still had a vague idea of how to parallel park a car.

More or less.

I hadn’t made any legitimate attempts at parallel parking since my own driving test at the age of 16.

And even then, I’d been instructed to park between two snow banks rather than actual cars.

Which is good, because I likely wouldn’t have passed if I had to wedge myself in between two real cars.

Don’t get me wrong.

I do park in parallel spaces.

But only when I can easily drive right in to them.

(Shhh!)

On particularly rough days, I struggle to park my car straight in between the lines of a parking space…

Yet, I have impressive success backing our large pickup truck into parking spaces with amazing precision.

Go figure.

At any rate, it was time to teach my teenage son the basics of parallel parking.

Because how could that be a bad idea?

And so we drove to a nearby school parking lot.

Here, let me show you how it’s done.

Uh…

Show him what, exactly?

Yikes.

Going purely on instinct rather than any delusion of certainty, I tried.

I missed.

I tried again.

This time, the car was in between the lines.

A flawless execution it was not.

But at least complete and utter mortification was avoided.

For how can one teach what they themselves cannot do?

I must not have done too horrible a job of demonstrating, as my child managed several successful attempts of his own afterward.

My boy has been taking pleasure in using every opportunity to get behind the wheel.

On the bright side, he’s been commenting on my driving with far less frequency.

The tables have turned.

Anyway…

After the sobering knowledge that some of my driving skills might be rusty, I’m tempted to try a few more rounds of parallel parking again.

Totally off topic, but…

Did you know I used to speak French fluently during my teen years?

It’s true!

But then I ceased to continue making the effort to utilize my conversational skills.

So now I sound like I’m speaking Klingon rather than French.

Because skills you don’t use are skills you lose.

So use it or lose it.

~Happy Saturday, friends! Hope you all have a great weekend!~

Parallel parking. Yay.

Parallel parking. Yay.

Summertime Procrastination

Good things come to those who wait.

Well.

If that’s true, why did I just get eaten alive by a tribe of vicious fire ants?

Let me backtrack a moment.

Four years ago, we started a new tradition after moving to No Man’s Land.

My boys wanted to do something epic to celebrate surviving their first chaotic school year here.

With a crazy housing market at the time, we made a major move without being sure where we’d be living, where the kids would go to school, or if I would be homeschooling them…

And this was a mere three weeks before school was set to start.

Yeesh.

But all the pieces eventually fell into place.

And we survived.

So we celebrated.

My older son had enjoyed watching his New England Patriots get doused in massive buckets filled with freakishly neon Gatorade to celebrate their Super Bowl victory earlier that year.

My boys wanted to celebrate their victory of surviving the school year.

And so a new tradition was born.

Every year for the last three years, we did our Gatorade Victory Shower on the last day of school.

Except this year.

It rained heavily and the wind howled like a banshee.

So we decided our celebration could, and probably should, wait a day or two.

Or, you know, five weeks.

Yeah.

First, we inadvertently “floated” my birthday back in April when my husband was out of town for work, with the intention of celebrating that weekend.

And celebrate we did.

Almost a month later.

When I’d practically forgotten about it myself.

Life has a way of keeping us busy, overwhelmed, and overloaded.

But at least we finally got out and enjoyed dinner and drinks.

And an impromptu trip to Toys R Us.

(For the record, I will ALWAYS be a Toys R Us kid. Today is a sad, sad day.)

But anyway, back to our floated Gatorade Shower.

Days passed.

Then weeks.

And then I had a thought.

Maybe we would do the shower for my son’s 13th birthday!

But no.

We’d missed out on that, too.

Maybe we should’ve just started a new tradition with a Back to School Gatorade shower!

But I wanted to do it this summer.

We weren’t moving very fast, though.

We’d keep drinking from our stash of Gatorade.

We’d keep replacing them.

The cycle continued.

Just in case we ever got around to doing the shower.

Which we finally did.

Today!

This morning, I gathered all the Gatorade bottles.

And the Nerf Super Soaker water guns.

Which are great…

Unless your child is gleefully spraying you in the face.

I even splurged on those self-sealing balloons so I wouldn’t spend 30 minutes trying to make and tie a whopping 10 water balloons.

3 easy steps Bunch o Balloons!

None of the steps of which involve me actually reading the directions, it would seem.

The first batch of balloons didn’t go over all that well.

I hadn’t realized they needed to be in water.

Like a fish.

Otherwise, you pretty much get the same end result.

We’d been so ready for this shower for five weeks.

Except not really ready.

Until today.

I can’t be certain, but we might’ve just unintentionally celebrated my older son’s last day of Drivers Ed.

Oh well.

At least we finally had our celebration.

And aside from a few WWE-like moments with flying Gatorade bottles, a good time was had by all.

Until those evil fire ants came along…

~Happy Friday, friends! Have a great weekend!~

Our exciting arsenal of melee makers...

Our exciting arsenal of melee makers…

Terribly Terrific Teenagers

Teenagers.

They’re awesome.

Really, really awesome.

Sooo…

Yesterday was my youngest son’s birthday.

He turned 13.

Now I have two teenagers.

With one kid learning to drive and the other playing his new electric guitar around the clock, things are now twice as fun around here!

And that’s not even factoring all the hormonal mayhem and other joys of those delightful teenage years!

(And kids are always complaining they don’t have anything in common with their parents!)

(Well, overwhelmed by something, at any rate…)

(Make that plural. Teenagers. Not one, but two. Twice the woo hoo!)

(Yeah, that. And speaking of wine…)

(Did you know some wine glasses can actually hold an entire bottle of wine? Probably the genius invention of a frazzled, disgruntled mom..)

(It takes my kids a whopping two hours to even realize I’m home from work. Meanwhile, The Bigly Bestest Doggie always eagerly awaits my return. Yeah. Dogs clearly care more.)

(Google takes a backseat to my expert kids and the plethora of factual knowledge they evidentally think they possess.)

(If you’re a fan of unpredictable extremes, then teenagers are totally your people!)

(If you’ve already punished your child by confiscating their electronics, there’s only one thing left to do. Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures.)

(Judging by the size of the average teenager, it’s probably far too late to even consider attempting this.)

(Kids don’t realize all that arguing and back-talking is equally exhausting for their parents. And tired and cranky parents are not happy and reasonable parents.)

(Seriously. Don’t mess with me. Mostly because I’m already at the end of my rope…)

Truly, for all that people complain about teenagers, they’re really not so bad.

Except when they’re arguing with you.

Or being irrational.

Or finding ways to endanger both your life and your sanity.

But other than that, they’re the best!

~Happy Friday, friends! Who here has teenagers, or has survived the teen years and lived to tell the tale? I hear there is hope, so I’m fairly optimistic… Have a great weekend!~

Driving Mr. Mascot

Who knows?

I might be a better driver than you!

And I won’t get any tickets!

Unlike you…

And if YOU keep talking, you’re going to be riding in the trunk.

Eyes on the road!

The light is green!

Let’s move it!

My oldest son, the high school mascot boy, started Driver’s Ed this week.

I’ve never seen that child take such dedicated interest in learning anything.

Ever.

Granted, the monster was a natural on his dirt bike all those years ago.

And I always pictured him to be a decent driver.

When the time came.

Which, evidently, is right now.

After just one day of class, he was already an expert.

Monitoring my speed.

Correcting my hand position on the steering wheel.

Pointing out all the road signs that I’ll obviously fail to pay attention to.

Suddenly, I have new appreciation for the meaning of driving someone crazy.

Not only won’t I be getting tickets like you, I also have way better sense of direction!

Hey! You’re going over the speed limit again!

OMG! GET OUT!

Of course, I didn’t actually throw him out of the car.

But his future as a pedestrian was looking increasingly appealing.

We coasted along to the ultimate soundtrack to insanity:

Crazy Train.

Gangnam Style.

Hakuna Matata.

The thumping music rattled my brain and bones as the rearview mirror reverberated in concurrence.

Then flashing train lights derailed my thoughts.

Oh, shit!

Not again!

Those trains sometimes take forever to pass.

Or worse yet, they’ll come to a complete stop out of the blue, stranding lines of cars for hours.

So yeah, I was less than pleased.

And so was my son.

But not because of the train.

Apparently, that was the second inappropriate word I’d used in just a matter of minutes.

Figuring I was on a roll, he helpfully downloaded a Bleep app on my phone to censor my  inappropriate moments.

Fortunately, the train passed in a timely manner.

And we were on our way again.

I’m probably already a better driver than you’ll ever be!

I’m tempted to take both hands off the wheel and drive with my mouth.

Just clamp my teeth on the wheel, and see how well that works.

That’ll show him…

Show him what, I don’t exactly know.

At least render him speechless for a moment, perhaps?

But I really can’t afford to drive erratically like that.

Sure, it would set a rather poor example for my child.

And also, I’ve somehow already managed to get pulled over twice in three years in No Man’s Land.

Which amounts to more than I had ever been pulled over in all my years of driving.

Collectively.

There’s a line in my son’s driving handbook that cracked me up when I first read it:

Avoid turning your car into a deadly weapon!

Well, my boy nearly broke protocol the first time ever behind the wheel.

Yesterday, he officially got his Learner’s Permit after acing the written test.

And so on the way to Driver’s Ed this afternoon, my favorite mascot thought he’d surprise me by starting the car before I made my way out the door.

Oh, but that wasn’t all.

He proceeded to throw the car into reverse…

And then panicked as he realized he didn’t actually know how to stop the car.

He barreled out of the garage and down the driveway at Nascar speeds, as I ran after him like a crazed woman being chased by the devil himself.

STOP THE CAR!!!

STOP THE #@&%*# CAR!!!

The car jerked to an abrupt halt straight across the street, halfway up the neighbor’s driveway.

Thank God the neighbor wasn’t home.

That guy never misses a thing.

GET OUT!

YOU ARE DONE!!!

The brake is NOT just a decorative item!

Use it!

Before I drop dead of a heart attack in the middle of this road!

And to think, this is only the beginning.

Did I mention I’m two days into a 14 day detox?

So I can’t even calm my frazzled nerves with a drink.

Oh #@&%!!!

~Happy Friday, friends! Aren’t teenagers the best? Never a dull moment. Have a terrific weekend!~

At this rate, I'm gonna need to wear this thing around my neck like a cowbell.

At this rate, I’m gonna need to wear this thing around my neck like a cowbell.