Autumn is awesome. You shut up.

104HAmong the latest Internet hate-fest rampages is the subject of autumn. I don’t get it. People seem to have lost sight of the fact that pumpkin spice lattes signal the end of the asphalt-melting, sweating-out-your-eyeballs, my-lawn-is-crispy-but-I-no-longer-care season.

But I haven’t.

True, summer around here has yet to come to an abrupt end. It’s still that time of year where the jacket I wear in the morning is something I come regret like that 9th grade mash-session with the kid from band club by about noon. At least the nip in the morning air heralds a season where I look forward to no longer worrying about whether I’m overdue for a pedicure. See ya, sandals.

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Don’t make me shop with these people


Do you want to know what I enjoy more than clothes shopping for myself?

… That is to say, more than hauling my carcass to some monolithic mecca of commercialism smack in the center of an asphalt plane crowded with cars? More than wandering through crowds of gabby, smelly shoppers and their sticky progeny meandering four abreast at a rate one might compare to plate tectonics? More than perusing aisles crammed with textiles which, regardless of how they look on a mannequin, will transform me into something lumpy and wan in the warped dressing room mirror under fluorescent lighting not fit for a morgue?

Want to know what I enjoy than that?

I enjoy taking my younger son shopping for clothing. That, my friends is a real treat.

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The shoe thing is complicated

DC89 - [ Infliction ] - Damnation Pumps - Black
No, these aren’t mine. I can’t even look at these without winching a little.
Yesterday was the kind of day that called for my butt-kicking black pumps. I needed to deliver bad news at one meeting, cope with unrealistic expectations at another, then pep talk someone out of a little funk. My shoes gave me extra swagger, showing people I wasn’t messing around.

And then, like always, the things turned on me. Bitches.

Generally speaking, if I’m wearing my black pumps it’s to make an impression. And I’m going to pay for it. Just like Cinderella, if I’m not making a hasty adieu after a certain period of time in heels, there’s change a’coming. I can go from fabulous to frump in seconds. From the moment I slip those suckers on and I’m suddenly a female Samuel L. Jackson, a clock is ticking down to a time when I’ll be limping around on what feels like bloody nubs, whining like a lost puppy.

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The Things Dads Say

dad_daughterI was at a friend’s party some time ago when someone noticed a rather meaty-looking cobweb hanging from a light fixture, and said something about not wanting to run into the spider that had spun it.

“It’s just a cobweb,” I said, authoritatively, “they’re made from dust, not spiders.”

I don’t remember if I punctuated that statement with a highly creative and mature-sounding duuuh, but I probably did.

I do remember conversation coming to a standstill and everyone looking at me like I was drunk.

Most likely, my misconception about cobwebs and their connection to actual arachnids was not my fault. It probably came from a day when someone wanted me to practice piano like I was supposed to, and not whine about how scary and cobwebby our unfinished family room-slash-piano-storage-space was.

The most likely origin of this weird belief is the person in my life whose factoids usually went without question. My Dad.

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Orthodontorture actually IS a word

World of Wonders, See Them Now

When I picked the boys up from the dentist the other day the news was good and then … not so good.

“No cavities,” the hygienist said. Then, pointing at Colin: “I wonder if it’s time for him to see an orthodontist.”

I can answer that, just based on my own powers of observation, and since the kid is still able to (a) chew his own food and (b) doesn’t have any obvious snaggle-tooth issues going on yet.

No, it’s not. Nope-ity. Nope. Nope.

I am not speaking, of course, as a professional. I am quite sure that people go to school for a helluva long time in order to tell me whether it’s time to fit my kid with dental ironworks.

My perspective is that of a survivor.

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Get your own scribbled-in copy

Why yes, I did take this all by myself. Why do you ask?
Why yes, I did take this all by myself. Why?

I said I never do giveaways, but I lied a little bit. I do that.

A few of my friends (okay, maybe one friend) have asked if I’m going to do a book signing for Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness: Funny Stories by Sleepy Moms, and, while I get a little excited about the thought of people one day mowing each other down to see me, and maybe bringing me beer, I’m not all that organized, and putting together an actual THING so I can scribble in a book sounds exhausting.

But, for those of you who would like a scribbled-in book sent directly to you, here’s the deal: I’m going to do a random drawing of all subscribers on October 31, and an autographed copy to some lucky reader.

Wanna play? It’s easy. Subscribe by entering your email in that little box to the left, then click “subscribe.” You’ll get ManicMumbling right in your inbox once a couple times a week, and never miss a post.

Already subscribed? I’m not leaving you out. You’re already entered in the drawing.

Do it now, before you forget…

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No offense to cowboys

breweries copyThere’s a new reality TV show that’s going to be based in my home state of Idaho.

As you can imagine, it’s all about hipsters comparing cruiser bicycle accessories, whining about vinyl becoming too mainstream while sipping cups of free trade pour-over coffee.

Hang on, no. This is Idaho, and the series, focusing on three rival outfitting and guide families, is probably going to have a lot more to do with how to open a beer bottle with a chain saw and lighting farts on fire.

Mike and I have come up with a different idea for a reality TV show, one based upon our reality.

It happened when Mike came in the kitchen the other night and found me rinsing a mountain of plastic containers.

“Hey, thanks for cleaning out the fridge,” he said.

I’m kind of in denial about food waste and am usually overconfident that we will one day eat that leftover chili mac before it morphs into something else. In fact, I’m kind of anti throwing ANYTHING away, so, you know, cleaning the fridge out can be painful.

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I’m just fine with ‘lazy’

lazy“Son flojitos,” the woman said to no one in particular. About us. They’re lazy.

She used the diminutive, so I guess it wasn’t an insult. Just like when women here call each other “gorditas.” Little fatties. A term of endearment.

I was sitting in my lounge chair, enjoying a glass of wine and a cool evening, and pretty much inclined to agree with our hostess’ assessment. Lazy. Yup. Got’cher lazy right heya.

We had been recounting our afternoon, which started with a huge lunch (I’d inadvertently ordered a muffaletta the size of the Millennium Falcon, and someone served up a big bowl of the restaurant’s signature dulce de leche ice cream). Then we were ushered into a sunlit conference room.

The room was ours for a two hour presentation on electrometallurgical something-or-other. The presentation may have been scintillating, or it may have been boring as toast. I don’t know.

It was in Spanish.

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