Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Just when you thought it was safe to get arrested...

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No matter where  you go, you'll find a small town. Even in the hearts of the biggest cities you will find that neighborhoods separate themselves from the throngs of people around them and become little communities unto themselves. Inside each of these microcosms, exists that resident that knows exactly what's going on in every home in the hood. Ladies and gentleman... I give you the Busy Body.

The duty of the BB is to know exactly how long that car was parked in your driveway when your spouse wasn't home. They are also responsible for knowing who had a nasty fight the other night, when you were late taking out your trash, how many times your toddler stripped off their clothes and stood naked in the picture window, and the ratio of he mows:she mows (if only to tell someone else who is the lazier of the two).

If you're from a traditional small town, the secondary function served by the Busy Body is to listen to the police scanner to find out exactly who is getting ticketed for what, why the cops were called out to 890 3rd Ave. at 11:32 PM, and knowing who you shouldn't associate with (except to start a conversation where further probing can take place). Everyone needs a purpose ya know, but for all the busy bodies out there... life is about to get a little less stressful for you.

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Brian walked into the office on Friday and said, "Ang, come here you have got to see this!" Fresh from a conference in Oklahoma, Brian handed me the most interesting periodical I'd seen in a long time. "OK Jailbirds", Your local source for recently arrested (I shit you not, that's what the top of the paper reads). For $1.50 you can buy a copy of the rag and get to know the "who's who of convicts". I nearly wet myself with excitement. HOW.FREAKING.AWESOME! Well, not for everyone obviously.

I didn't make it past the cover page before I began to notice that a lot of these people are really happy about getting arrested! The women's mugshots were hysterical. In true sexy bitch style, they seem to be using their Mug Shot as a sort of dating profile.

"Heyyyyy, (wink) (duck lips) (blink blink) (smile).My name is Nikole and I like cut off jeans, Old Milwaukee, and giving a good beat down when a ho is all up in my grill. You got a problem with that? Step up b*tch! I mean, hi! Anyway, baby you can find me at the Noble County jail, stop by and see me. Bring smokes.. and bail."  

"My cell mate's name is WHAT? He did WHAT?"
There was one picture, though... this one was so priceless I had to share it with you. I won't say his name. I won't say what he did. I won't even tell you which county he was arrested in. I will however show you the most true representation of what a person is supposed to look like when they are being thrown in the pokey.

So the next time you're in Oklahoma, remember to mind your bidness. The man is out in full force trying to keep you down... or to keep creeps off the streets... whatever. Your business just got a little easier to share, and you now know what you can get your grandma for Christmas (it will save her from having to guess what everyone is up to). 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Wag Vs. Angie: The Job or Your Lifestyle

Well folks it's Monday... again. Let's skip the cliches about how Monday sucks the life out of us and move on to what's really important. You're here. I couldn't argue with Shane this week. When the topic came through in email I couldn't even bring myself to ask what his stand would be. I don't get to read Shane's posts before I respond so there is a good chance that we might be on the same side. Or maybe just a hair's breadth off to the side of the same side? Either way.... welcome back for a very special episode of Blossom... I mean Wag Vs. Angie

"Your spouse earns most of the money for your family, but he/she is forced to work at a job he/she hates and actually has been a cause of several depressive, near-nervous-breakdown moments in the past. Your spouse has often voiced his/her need to leave this job in order to preserve his sanity. If she were to quit this job, however, it would mean a definite financial hit - so much so that you might have to move into a smaller house / apartment. What do you do?"

Let’s start with the short answer... You encourage your spouse to leave the job.

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When the bills are paid you’re supposed to feel a sense of relief. Sometimes, however, the job is mentally taxing that you wake up in the morning with a headache, you go to bed every night filled with anxiety, and while the doctor tells you that ulcers are caused by bacteria, you’re pretty certain that your stress level has caused a giant hole to be chewed through your stomach. I know this feeling all too well. It will break a person. It’s ugly.

Let’s look at the alternative shall we? You can keep your house as it is, roomy and comfortable. You can continue to live the lifestyle you’ve grown accustomed to. Everything can stay exactly how it is. While you are being complacent, you can watch your spouse slowly become someone else. If you’ve never suffered from depression or watched what happens to someone who is in the depths of it, let me give you some insight. Their personality changes. Their lust for life dwindles. The person you fell in love with gets balled up and shoved down inside a shell. They might look the same, but the light is gone. When you try to reach out to them, you’re likely to get your hand pushed away if you get a response at all. It’s going to get lonely and cold. Now imagine how it feels for them.

Get a piece of paper and a pen. Now look around your house. Take stock of where you live, what you own, and what you’re spending. Write it down. Now make another column. In that column make a list of the things you love about your spouse, how much they mean to you, and what you would do if you to keep them from hurting. If you find the things in column A outweigh the things in column B, there might be a problem. Your spouses health and well being should always be more important than the size of house you live in.
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I won’t lie... downsizing is hard. Starting over is hard. Being broke is hard. There are a few things that are worse, though. Losing someone you love is worse. Watching someone sink slowly into a funk you can’t bring them out of is worse. Knowing you could have made a difference is worse. Take your pick. Column A or Column B.

So why is it your job to encourage your spouse to quit? Because their sense of responsibility for your happiness and the financial stability of your family won’t allow them to let you down. That is how they see it. It feels like failure. They won’t leave on their own or until it’s too late. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fame, Fleece, and Ancient Greece (My fame ordained)

Don't get too excited just yet. What I am about to tell you is not as certain as my eventual lottery win, but what I'm about to tell you is pretty awesome all the same. I'm going to be powerful and famous. Obviously.

Monday night I snuggled down into bed, all wrapped up in Mickey Mouse fleece (Wow that's so sexy, Angie. Tell us more!) with my Kleenex box and wool socks (with a fox eating eating lox - not really). I managed to wrap up the last chapter of my book and upon throwing it on the floor, did what I do at bedtime. I documentaried myself until I fell asleep. I have a major <3 on for Netflix, kids.

Anyway, I fell into a semi-medicated sleep. That's when it happened. THE VISION. It began with split screen blogging, me on one screen and some incredibly astute unknown blogger on another. It was as if the other blogger were answering my thoughts. It might have been the Oracle of Siwa. Regardless... I saw flashes of my life as it was, as it is, and how it will be. It was like Scrooge, except I didn't really go anywhere, and I wasn't mean to a bunch of people, and I was high on Nyquil. Maybe not so much Scrooge as um, whatever... you see where I'm going here. Right (Please tell me you know what I'm talking about)?

Bad joke intermission: 
Q. What do you call the oil in a fryer that hasn't been changed in a long time? 
A. Ancient Greece

Okay then, just when I was about to find out my true destiny and how it would all come to be, the mystery blogger/Oracle reached through the screen and pushed me down into a pool of water. No, I don't know where the pool came from. This is a vision. That's how visions work (all cryptic and whatnot). As I gurgled and gasped and the life sputtered out of me I had a sense of peace and a sudden feeling that everything would be amazing. Of course panic set in immediately after and I sat up in bed gurgling, gasping, and sputtering.

Upon further reflection, I've decided that while it's obvious and ordained that I'm going to be wildly famous and stuff, I probably should not read a mystery novel about the Alexander Cipher, followed by a 3 part documentary on Ancient Greece, while taking medication that lies about it's effectiveness in preventing me from drowning in my own sinus drainage.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Wag Vs. Angie: He said no more kids. He meant it.

When you married your spouse you agreed upon x amt of children. Just as you start to see that light at the end of the tunnel (your youngest is about to enter school) your wife goes baby crazy and starts talking about having another. You’ve looked at it in every way possible and you simply do not want to have more kids. Your wife on the other hand simply will not get off your back about it. What do you do? Go on over to WagtheDad to see what Shane has to say about this! 

Tonight as I lay in bed slurping Nyquil from a straw, I heard the sound of child like screeching amplified through the venting of the house. Knowing the sounds of my own children, I felt safe in the knowledge that it wasn’t them (aside from the fact that they know that those sorts of screams better come with blood otherwise it’s unnecessary and unacceptable). Upon further investigation I realized the noise was from the tenant’s apartment. The assault on my ear drums continued, and I realized that I had made the right choice those many years ago when I stopped having children. My husband and I had agreed on two and we stopped at two.

Five years ago, I made the decision to have my tubes tied. My son was almost 11 and my daughter 14. I was done. I informed my then fiancé that I was planning to have the procedure done and that while it was more expensive than him getting a vasectomy, it was still outpatient and I would only be down a day. We had agreed from the onset that neither of us wanted to have more children. We had plans. We had goals. We had 4 kids between us already.

Upon hearing my decision to make it final, he stated that he had always secretly hoped that we might have a child together. I explained that given our children’s ages, and the things we planned to do with our lives, more children wouldn’t be a good idea. I would be the primary care giver, and while he made more money than I did, I would still need to maintain an income. Sorry... not this girl. I scheduled the procedure and went alone, as he refused to take me to the hospital or pick me up. He was angry with my unilateral decision and made no attempt to pretend otherwise.

As much as I believe in a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body, I also believe in a man’s right to choose what happens with his sperm. Realistically children cost money and require a time commitment. It’s not merely the cost of pregnancy or delivery... it’s a life long commitment in some cases. Whether you’re the primary care giver or the primary wage earner, this is not a choice that can be made without agreement of both parties.

First of all, stand your ground. If you truly do not want more children it is your responsibility to shore up any possibility that more children will be created. Make your position very clear. Discuss the various reasons you do not want more children. Maybe you have been looking forward to that time alone with your spouse that you’ve been lacking. Maybe you don’t feel that financially you can support more kids. Perhaps you feel that it could detract from the quality of life of the other children you already have. Whatever the reason, make your feelings known and that you are unwilling to bend.

I’ve read some crazy news articles, heard some horror stories of men being trapped, and even a court case in IL from 2005 where a woman performed oral sex on her boyfriend and used the sperm to impregnate herself. The court at last check had ordered him to pay child support as his ex gf claimed the sperm was a “gift” and he did not ask for it to be returned. While I agree that this is absurd behavior, I can’t help but believe that you shouldn’t go leaving your swimmers in/on/around someone you know wants to use it for such a purpose. So what do you do? Wrap it in something containing spermicide. Wrap it again in something that contains spermicide. Demand that she show proof that the “gift” has been consumed or discarded. Or here’s something... just don’t have sex until an agreement can be reached or surgery can be scheduled.

Your desire to not have more kids isn’t a secret and neither should your surgery be. If you can’t trust your spouse to stay baby free while you wait, you’ve got bigger problems than more babies... there’s a good chance she’s crazy. Just sayin... trickery ain’t cool, yo! 

Friday, January 20, 2012

I might be sorry for what I possibly sent. Perhaps.

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I'm dead sick today. I can barely hear, my throat is on fire, someone poked me in the eyes with red-hot pokers, and my voice has taken a vacation. On a positive note, during brief moments of consciousness there really isn't anything better to do than contemplate the important issues in your life. After all, some of the most profound thoughts come to us when we are less than lucid. Lucidity lends itself to over-thinking, which has never helped me one bit. Nay, it's the detached and foggy mind, overcome by fever, that draws the most rational conclusions.

At least that's what I decided last night when my fever hit 102, my voice turned into breathy squeaks alternating with absolute silence, and I was quite possibly dehydrated and slightly delusional. I recall thinking some pretty horrible things about a guy I'd seen for awhile. My fever addled brain had some pretty detailed ideas of what I would say to him if I ever saw him again. I remember feeling all fired up and my inner bitch clawing her way out. Boy oh boy, would I ever give him a piece of my mind! I even thought about calling him to tell him what I really thought. Very awesome idea. I would say, "You are such a f... " Then I must have drifted off to sleep. 

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My first lucid thought came when I woke to the sound of an incoming text message. My son wanted to let me know that he'd made it to school (holy crap I don't remember him leaving). Quite impressed with how long I'd slept, I thought it might be a good idea to check my other messages to make sure I didn't sleep through anything important... like the weekend, or follow through on my mentally unstable plan to let Bitchy Angie have control of the phone. 

Wouldn't you know it, with the exception of the recent text from my son, my entire text history (which had been close to full) was empty. I have no recollection of deleting anything, let alone months of saved messages. "Oh, shit!" was the only thing I could muster.

I hope I spelled all the big words right; Pompous, obnoxious, douche, bastard...My unconscious texts are horrible! Oh well... I'm going back to bed.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

TSA Complaints, S&M, and Highland Cows (it could be related)

TSA Vampire
I hear people are complaining again about how much the TSA sucks. I'm sure you complainers out there want to let us all know how violated you felt. "It was unnecessary and humiliating!" you shout. So is trying on swimwear, but if you want to go swimming in the public pool you gotta have a suit. If you wanna go flying, there are things you have to do too.

So listen up... no one wants to see your wrinkly old ass, fat rolls, colostomy bag, penile implant, insulin pump, or any other things that you might be embarrassed by. You aren't being pulled aside because the TSA agent can't wait to look at you in a compromising position. The agent isn't sexually attracted to you. You aren't being singled out because you look like a terrorist. You are, however, being singled out because you made the machine go beep. It's not new. It's not uncommon.

No one is taking great joy in seeing your less than awesome body in the big x-ray machine, either. By the way, did you know that the x-ray glasses they used to show in cartoons didn't really exist? That's right! X-rays don't just look through your clothes and see a perfect view of your naked body. What it sees is a fair representation of what you think you're hiding under your sweater. That TSA agent isn't giggling at your saggy boobs, c-section scar, or disproportionately large testicles. She is giggling because her work boyfriend just whispered in her ear what he would like to do to her with the scanning wand. Get over yourself.

Someone needs a spanking... 

I'm sick and tired of the "as long as it's not ME" crap. If you don't like it, take the Amtrak (you can bring your own booze, almost unlimited luggage, the seats are more comfortable, and you can talk on your mother lovin' phone) or a boat.

I don't want you to go away thinking I'm just a cold wench, so I'll share a little picture that brightened my day (aside from the idea of being swatted with the security scanner).
Hi. I'm Tom. I'm a cow. Moo.
(All said with a Scottish accent)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

We're both liars. So, there's THAT.

Confession time. I've never had the balls to use a dating service. I've created dating profiles for others and even for myself, but I've never gone live with my own. Until, that is.... last night! Da da daaaaaaaaaaah! That's right people! I am currently active on a dating website. I hope this works well with my plan to roofie a man this year and get him to marry me. Let's cross our fingers, mmmkay?

This is going to make at least one of my friends mildly irritated, but I don't date locals. Sure, if I dated someone nearby I could have dinner out more often. I could have someone to hold hands with at the movies.

There would be someone who might want to accompany me to family gatherings so my nephew stops looking at me like the crazy aunt that can't find a man. Ahem... 

Maybe you're thinking, "Well, Angie that is silly. Why don't you just date someone nearby?" It's like this, I don't want to stay here any longer than I have to. Men in my age group tend to be settled and I don't feel like becoming attached to someone I am going to want to leave at the first opportunity to catch a plane. So instead I will date men that I can't possibly have a relationship with because they are too far away, but at least they are far away in a place I can one day picture myself living. It's basically my plan to fail. It will also allow me to say that I'm putting myself out there without really risking anything. Who's thinking, right?! If I am master of nothing else, I excel at self sabotage!

And THAT is how I ended up on the Scottish Singles site. One of my best friends is in Scotland. I love the country. I love Gerard Butler. Surely I deserve to wake up in the morning next to a sexy Scottish guy and hear my name whispered with a deep, sweet, Scottish accent, right? I signed right up for that. Put me in queue and find me my very own Highlander! Before a day had even gone by I got my first hit. When I opened the email my heart was aflutter.

What the ****?! Now, for those of you who know me this will be more humorous than for those of you who don't. Of all the internet dating members in all the world.... I get the one Thai guy who signed up for the Scottish Singles website.

YES... I date Asian guys.
YES... my last two long term relationships were with men of Asian descent.
YES... it's starting to look like a fetish.

But really folks, it's not that I choose them. I am an equal opportunity relationship f*cker-upper. They are just the only ones who liked me back!

So eharmony, it is not. It's just a place where single people put up their pictures and say "This is what I want." Then they pick through the profiles and choose what THEY want, with little to no regard for what I want. (sigh) I specifically went in looking for a Gerard Butler look alike, hopefully in a town close to my girlfriend so I would have mega fun times full of awesome stories to share with my friends and family back home (obviously in my dream my new man imported me and made me the happiest woman on the face of the earth). Instead, I got the one Asian guy who has incorrectly assumed that I only date Asian men.

On second thought... we both lied about where we're from. We might be meant for each other.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

You're old and don't have a man: Wisdom from a 3 year old

Grandma- Joel who do you want to come to your birthday party?
Joel- Alex (my daughter) and Zach (her boyfriend). Mostly Zach.

If you're looking for a little brutal honesty there's nothing quite like spending some time with a child. Your real friends will tell you the truth. They will tell you when a dress doesn't look "as good" as the other one. They will even tell you that they understand when you complain about a particular issue in your life and help you see if you're being a bit obtuse about the whole thing.

Children, on the other hand (especially those under the age of 5), will simply point things out or ask questions without any concern to how it comes across. Have you ever had a child tell you that you're fat? What about when they tell you something their parent has said about you? It's merely an observation. It's the sharing of information. It's not cruel... not to them.

True story: Years ago when my younger sister was first married to her now ex-husband, my youngest sister and I used to joke about how given the age difference and his propensity to spoil my sister with expensive gifts, he was more than a Sugar Daddy... he was a Sugar-David. We didn't say it to my sister or her husband because we didn't want to hurt their feelings. It was nothing negative about either of them, but obviously "sugar daddy" doesn't have the most positive connotation. It was funny... well until my kid told her, "My mom calls him your Sugar David." Take hand. Lower face to hand. Shake head. To this day, anytime I am making an observation (good bad or indifferent) in front of my kids (now 15 and 18) I say, "Now don't go repeating that. Got it?"

In order to help my sister feel better about that event, I will share the brutal honesty I received this weekend from my 3 year old nephew.

Joel- Where's your dad?
Me- Grandpa is my dad.
Joel- Oh. Then where is your HUSBAND?
Me- Nice, Joel. Rub it in why don't you?

(later that day)

Joel- I think you should buy a baby?
Me- You think I should buy a baby? Why?
Joel- Because you need one!
Me- I had two babies.
Joel- Who?
Me- Alex and Jacob are my babies.
Joel- Yeah, but that was a realllly long time ago.

That's how it is, folks. Just when you think you've come to terms with your singlehood, when you are pretty sure you aren't going to worry that you'll be dead on the floor eaten by your house cats that are your sole companionship anymore, some kid comes along and points out the obvious. I was a bit crushed to be honest. Even a three year old has noticed that I never have a man. WTF!?

My stress and discomfort was SLIGHTLY alleviated when the following conversation took place:
Me: Joel, what happened to your head?
Joel: My mom beat me against the heater. (as he gave me a nod that said, "You know how that goes.")

(Just to clarify, the cut on his head came from a game of spin the kid on the blanket which unfortunately ended in said kid flying toward the radiant heat like ripped off clothes after the homecoming dance.) 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Wag Vs. Angie: The Case of the Mistreated Spouse

Your friend is treating his/her spouse badly. Confronting him/her openly might ruin your friendship, but doing nothing might ruin the marriage. Do you talk to your friend, or sympathetically lend an ear to the suffering spouse?

Shane thinks you should lend your friend's spouse a friendly ear and a shoulder. You can see what he has to say over here

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Shane, you win. Hands down. I don’t even know why I am arguing this week. You are trying to guarantee that your friend thinks you're a meddling pain in the ass who is trying to start trouble, right? If that is your end goal, by all means reach out to their spouse with a little, "Hey, I see Bob/Susan is being a real jerk. Are you okay? Do you want to talk?" I'm anxious to hear the results of that plan.

I divide couples into primary and secondary friends. This is how you determine who gets who in the divorce. If I am friends with the husband because of my friendship with the wife, should they divorce (unless there is some heinously immoral act involved) I remain the friendship property of the primary friend. Secondary friend has to go back to his/her own group. Eh, it's just how I function.

I am a bit unclear on what you mean by “openly”. If we’re talking about calling them out in the middle of a dinner party, then perhaps we all need to learn a few more manners. If you just mean pulling them aside and saying, “Wow, you are being pretty harsh.” then pffft. Bad behavior is bad behavior. It’s never right to allow someone to be treated poorly. That being said, if you have a friend that would “unfriend” you because you called them on their reprehensible treatment of another person are they even worth maintaining a friendship with?

In my world you have to confront your friend. Going behind their back and supporting the spouse will do nothing to save this friendship you feel is so volatile that you might lose it by confronting the issue. Most situations like this come to a head between the couple eventually. You’re probably not going to be there when the proverbial shit hits the fan. How do you think your friend will feel when their spouse says, “Even Shane thinks you’re being an asshole!”

Let me tell you how that’s going to go... Your buddy is going to be thinking:

1. Why in the hell are you and Shane talking about me?
2. Nice friend he is going behind my back to get in good with my wife by playing me as the bad guy.
3. Funny he never mentioned it to me. What an asshole.

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When people are forced to face who they are or how they’ve been acting it’s not pretty. It’s often not even rational. Over time that moment of anger will fade, but your friendship is a lot more likely to be damaged because you weren’t confident enough to talk to them personally. It is almost an act of betrayal.

If you had confronted your friend directly, then he/she gets the chance to explain to you why he/she is acting this way, and ultimately your friend can decide if you’re worth maintaining a friendship with. If your friend decides you’re a jerk for poking your nose in where it doesn’t belong then by all means... offer the poor spouse an ear and your support. A kind smile to the spouse is enough to let them know that you understand the position is uncomfortable, but I don’t think that secretly offering your support will do anyone any favors. Perhaps instead of an instant confrontation, a subject change or a compliment thrown in the direction of the spouse will be enough to end the onslaught until you get a moment alone with your friend.

There’s an old country western song lyric that comes to mind, “No one knows what goes on behind closed doors.” If your friendship is so important to you, you owe your friend the decency of talking to them before you start batting for the other side. While treating someone badly is never acceptable, perhaps there’s something going on that you know nothing about. 

Talk to your friend first. That’s what friends do. Why not say, “Hey, bud. I don’t know what’s going on, but you’re being a real ass to _____. You can tell me to shut up and you don’t have to be my friend, but this isn’t cool. It’s making us all uncomfortable and you look like a jerk. What’s wrong?” 

What do you think? Have you ever been in this situation? How did you handle it? 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ole, why are you naked?!

Stick with me here... it's coming! 

Imagine my disappointment when I realized half way through the day that today is not, in fact, Thursday. No everyone, today is actually Wednesday all day long. Since we are now officially over the hump and sliding into that wonderful abyss that is the weekend, I beg of you, "Please keep your hands inside the ride at all times. This will be a bumpy ride filled with Thursday and at least half of Friday to fill your waking hours with annoyance before you slip peacefully over the edge of quitting time."

As I sat in my chair at the end of the day looking over pictures of a condo in Florida and checking the map for local amenities. BOJANGLES! There is a Bojangles there! "Yeehaw!" I thought to myself and quickly emailed the property owner in my excitement in order to give props for such a choice location. I mean hell, excellent fried chicken and biscuits PLUS it's located on a lake? Doesn't get a lot better than that does it? The response was somewhat less than anticipated. "A what?" (huge sigh)

This of course served as a perfect reason to make my way around the office asking various co-workers if they had ever eaten at a Bojangles, if they were aware of the menu, did they like biscuits, etc. The conversation turned to the many restaurants we no longer seem to have in our area. Sizzler, Bonanza, Sambo's, and the like made the list. Ah the good old days. 

Before I go any further, I want to share a little piece of local information many of you may not know. Do you know what buffet stands for? Email me if you know the answer to that and I'll share with you the glory of my knowledge. 

Many of you probably remember Sizzler. Steak, Seafood, Salad... Sizzler. It started in 1958 as a family steak house and grew to the belly busting buffet of artery clogging goodness that it is today. There are still some out there. I happened upon a Sizzler in Sacramento, CA last year and had to stop in. You know the feeling of stepping into a place you only remember from childhood and how incredibly small and unimpressive it seems? That. The buffet had less selection and 10x the calories. The steak? Well let's just say that as an Iowa girl... that steak left a lot to be desired.

Of course, if your "city" didn't have a Sizzler it probably had a Da da da da da da da da daa BONANZA! For those of you who remember the TV show, whether in original airing or syndication, you will remember Dan Blocker, or "Hoss". Dan opened the first Bonanza restaurant in 1963. As tends to happen, through the course of growth and change the restaurant chain was bought, sold, franchised, and often split. Many of you may know them as Ponderosa Steak House... but they are all part of the Bonanza family at heart. You have the same fare as many restaurants of it's kind... steak, chicken, poorly prepared shrimp, and that ever popular buffet. 

Which brings me to Sambo's. The connection? Pffft... good luck finding one near you. Okay, me. So Sambo's. Of all of the restaurants I loved as a child, this one was king. My grandma used to take me to Sambo's in Fort Dodge, IA whenever we went to visit my aunt. If it weren't for the restaurant's public mass closings, I never would have known that there was anything racist in play. Oh the evil demon that is racism, right? The offensive restaurant's menu consisted of such racially controversial things as scrambled eggs and chorizo, bagels, cobb salad, nachos, turkey burgers... obviously targeted at um... organic living hispanic white people? SERIOUSLY?? Yet, in the late 70's at the restaurant's peak, they were faced with accusations of racism because the companies owners (Sam Battistone Sr and Newell Bohnett) had used the story of Little Black Sambo, an old children's story, as the theme for their chain. Although the name changed over the years, the theme restaurant fell prey to the times. 

Being mocked for my pasty, white, often freckled skin with hair that turns a funky shade of orange with too much sun has obviously taught me a bit more about acceptance than many others. I moved these memories around in my brain and I came up with an idea. I'm not a cowboy. I'm neither a southerner or an Indian. I've never successfully fried chicken, butchered a steer, made shitty popcorn shrimp, or chased a tiger around a tree until it turned to butter (which we all know is a poorly formed racial slur), but.... I'm part Norwegian. HEY... I could make a controversial restaurant out of this. 

The last time I was home, my dad was kind enough to pass along this little bit of humor. I will share it with you, if only to give premise to the rest of this post. 

Late one Saturday night Ole was stopped by the cops walking into town completely naked. The officer said, "Ole, what are you doing? You've got no clothes on and here you are wandering into town!" Ole replied, "Well, Sven invited Lena and I to an orgy. He got all of us in a room and told us to take our clothes off, so we did. Then he closed the door and said, 'Go to town', so I guess I am the first one here!"

A groaner for sure, but what if.... 

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I proposed it at work, so let me know what you think... What if I opened a restaurant called Ole's and Lena's. They are popular enough in the joke world that it should get a fair amount of recognition to get it off the ground. We could serve traditional Norwegian (or in the US, American Norwegian/Lutheran cook book food), and go nationwide! Eventually it would make big money, I could pocket the profits, and then... when my franchisees were knee deep in the hoopla, someone could shut us down for being insensitive! It would be epic! 

It was quickly pointed out to me that if people wanted bland Norwegian/American food they would make their jello salad at home, and besides... the Norwegians wouldn't be smart enough to complain. Apparently we're just not intelligent enough to be offended, or we just don't feel it's worth the ruckus. I mean there is fish to be dried and pickled and lefsa to be made, doncha know? 

I guess it's all in how you look at it right? 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I'm not flaky. I'm flexible!

Apparently at 38 years old it is no longer acceptable to just tell people that you're going to be "fabulous" when you grow up. As it turns out, by 38 they expect you to already be grown up and well on your way if not already entrenched in your life. I blame the over achievers for this. Thank you very much you movers, shakers, doers, and accomplished jerks. Way to make me look bad. Next time you have a big soiree and you wonder why I am not there (aside from the fact that you probably didn't invite me), just remember that I'm still angry with you for making me look flaky.

Perhaps I do have a bit of le'flake about me, but not in the areas that really do a lot of damage. I chose to be a mom and I didn't give that up! No siree, Bob! I hung in there. As a matter of fact I am so determined to be a mom that I am taking my son back. That's right. If all goes well I'll be driving the boy and his belongings back to SD on Sunday. When I say "taking him back" it sounds like someone bought him from me and was displeased. If that were the case I'd have been all, "Listen there is a limit to the lemon law... he was fine when you took him out of my house. He's yours now! I've already made plans!"

Now that I think about it, the parenting gig is probably what shines a spotlight on my inability to plant my feet on a thought, action, plan, etc. Three weeks ago I had a plan ready to put in motion. I had boxes packed and stacked in my room, filled with items that I don't need at the moment. My spare time was largely occupied by a housing search in another state, and I was ready to fly... or drive... or ship some stuff and take a train. That all seemed to change the moment he said, "Can I come home?".

Please don't misunderstand. I know that my life will eventually get to where I want it to be. I don't regret my decision to put things on hold. I signed up for this job first and no matter where my future lies, regardless of the itch in my bones that is urging me to pull up stakes and run, there's a reason I'm still here. Because he still needs me.

There are some positive aspects to this whole thing (aside from the boy child). 

1. I can travel more because my cost of living is low.

2. I can spend my desperate hours of weeping making improvements to my home.

3. I said travel already?

4. I will have extra time to work on my plan to become fabulous for absolutely no reason .

5. Designated driver= no costly cab ride

So in conclusion, I am not flaky. I'm flexible. I am not indecisive. I'm open to diversity. I am not unknown. I am pre-fabulous. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Is it your job to satisfy your partner's sexual needs?

Work. Ugh. Unless you have the job of your dreams, and most people don’t, you probably wish you didn’t have to go to work. Responsibilities and duties can be a real drag, right? Sometimes you take a job and after a few years you just lose the passion for it that you once had. It happens. You still go to work though... hey they have benefits. It’s pleasant enough. The coffee isn’t too bad either. 

What would happen if you just stopped doing some of your work? We’re not talking Office Space here. I mean what if you showed up every single day, drank the coffee, sat at your desk, stayed on schedule with breaks and lunch, and just simply stopped submitting your daily or weekly reports? How long do you think you could get away with it before your boss pulled you in for a little “Come to Jesus” talk?

Now ask yourself how long you can get away with that same behavior in your relationship. Sure you can say that a relationship isn’t a job, but if you’ve ever been in one you know that relationships take work. What happens when one of the parties is showing up for the coffee and the lunch and the free internet of the relationship, but has just stopped working? It’s not that they CAN’T work... they simply don’t feel like it. 

How long will that last?

What if it’s simpler than that and it’s just sex? 

Is it your job to satisfy your partner's sexual needs? HELL TO THE YES... Go on over to Wag Vs. Angie and read the rest! 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Guess what I'm doing tomorrow. Come on.. guess...

Hey... you know what tomorrow is? Monday. Do you know what Monday means? That's right... it's the return of Wag Vs. Angie! We're back, we're bad, and we're going to kick some relationship issues in the ass.

Drop by tomorrow and check it out! There will probably be some arguing, a little stomping, and I might storm off and tell him he's a jerk. He will probably claim victory right away and I'll have to secretly seethe a little. You will probably end up crying and holding yourself while rocking in a corner saying, "Mommy Daddy please don't fight!" Sounds like fun doesn't it?

See you tomorrow! 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Who's got two thumbs and isn't your mother?

Him- So what are you doing? 
Me- Working. 
Him- I'm going out. 
Me- Cool. What are you going to do? 
Him- What are you, my mom? I said I'm going out. 
Me- Wow. My apologies. Jesus.
Him- What? Anyway. I think I'm getting a zit. 
Me- Sorry, maybe you should tell your Mom. 

Looking back at this conversation, my mind wandered to the many other things that should have fallen into the "not your mother" category.

1. Picking up his socks. 
2. Hearing about his upset stomach.
3. Listening while he talked about how all the other kids (co-workers) were mean (jerks). 
4. Answering when he asked me where I was going or planning to do.
5. Cleaning up his kitchen messes. 

When you're a parent you know that when the answer is vague it's hiding something the person doesn't want you to know. You can bet your ass it's not that beautiful Tiffany's charm bracelet you've had your eye on. It's probably not even a shitty hand-picked bouquet of dandelions. So as a mother to a couple kids of my own, I can tell you that when the above conversation happened I immediately thought, "Well that's interesting in a 'you're a douche bag' kind of way!"

If I had it to do all over again, with my newly adopted "Full Time Bitch" attitude, I would have answered many (if not all) of his requests with, "Who's got two thumbs and isn't your mother? This girl!"

I've thought about it... it really does work for every request. Food, nurturing, support, sex (double points for being extra offensive), etc.

Happy Friday everyone! If I don't see you... have a terrific weekend!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I'm no Dr. Steve Brule - L'Ecole 41 Apogee

Ever seen an idiot do a video review? Lucky you! Tonight is your night! Woot Woot!

Tonight I'll be reviewing L'Ecole 41's Apogee (from The Left Coast Guy... a generous wine benefactor, fellow wine nut, and all around amazing guy also featured over there to the... left!) So, on with the review! (I've never done a wine review on cam and I don't have a fancy studio and you're lucky I didn't get wasted (much) in the process, dammit!)

In the video you will hear a reference to Dr. Steve Brule. For those of you who aren't familiar with this character, or John C. Riley, I'll link you here to the very best wine review I've seen in my ENTIRE life. 

Apogee 2008 Pepper Bridge - (From the L'Ecole 41 website)

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 8% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Franc

Boldly aromatic, this sophisticated and complex wine has aromas of spice and earthy hints of sweet tobacco and leather. Dense dark fruit is wrapped in nuances of smoke, cocoa, and mint with gripping tannins as the finish persists.

Apogee is the point in the orbit of the moon that is the greatest distance from the earth; the farthest point or apex. This name reflects all that we were trying to accomplish with the wine, reaching the ultimate in quality.

Giant thanks again to Dean at The Left Coast Guy in DC for the product to review. LOVED IT!  I know it's late, but is anyone else in the mood for prime rib? Just me? Have the wine and then let's talk! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'm busy winning the lotto. Leave a message.

Tonight I will be busy from around 10 PM to 10:15 winning the lottery. Truth time, folks. I'm vain and sort of selfish deep down inside. Maybe not all that deep down. Shocking, I know, but it's true. If you were looking for some altruistic list of thoughtful, charitable contributions you will have to find another page to browse because I've been waiting for this win for a very long time.

Let's assume that I am responsible and will pay all my debts right off the top. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's take a look at the things I want that Santa forgot to bring me!

1. Zeltiq. I feel sorry for the doctor who has to draw the circles and lines on me for all the areas I want done. No, I don't want to hear how I should just be happy with my body. I am happy with it. It gets me where I need to go. I simply want to be happier with it.

2. ProForm Treadmill. My poor Crosswalk Maxx is on it's last leg. I have tried to adjust the damn belt numerous times and it's still slipping. Once I get my fat frozen off I will need to maintain my new physique.

3. Apartment in Montreal. I'm not fancy and my place doesn't need to be either. If you've not been to Montreal, I highly recommend it. This place is right in the center of the fun, which is AWESOME!

4. Vacation home in Brazil. Because. Just because, okay? I need some tropics in my life.

Obviously, I'll be buying the standard lottery winner items like a car for each of my kids and a brand new wardrobe. I'll have a big party for all of my friends, too! Yes, you're all invited. Bring some snacks, alright? I'll be too busy to go grocery shopping because being spectacular is a full time job!

Before I go off to do my hair and makeup for tonight's event, I want you all to know that I won't forget about you when I am rich. As a matter of fact, let me thank a few people specifically.

- Lady at the Casey's convenience store that held the door to the pastry case for me when I bought a doughnut this morning, without you I would have been a few seconds later to the counter, and the quick pick numbers would have gone to the angry short balding guy behind me.

Yeah, that's about it. None of the rest of you really did much to help me win. I don't mean to be a bag, but come on. Did you do anything? Really? I thought so.

Let's recap:
-I'm winning the lottery
-I'm going to be freaking decked out and dead sexy
-Thank you Casey's shopper
-None of you helped
-Selfish bitch (me)

What is the number one luxury item you would buy if you won big bucks?  

Monday, January 2, 2012

Kids, wandering dogs, same same...

What the firetruck?! I'm sitting here with Bravo on the TV, sipping my unnecessary energy drink, and I'm watching Real Housewives (Beverly Hills). There is actually a job for a man at the hotel to go around the pool and spray Evian water on girls. What the hell did the rest of the male population do wrong to deserve jobs like lawyer, doctor, electrician, or scholar?

Anyhooters, Monday is almost over. I've managed to miss the first day of work of the year (thank God) and spent the day atoning for the sins of the last two weeks. No, I didn't spend the day in a confessional asking for some sort of forgiveness. I paid for the sins with sweat and pain. If my ass could talk today it would be screaming, "Bitch, if you had laid off the bubbly, crab dip, and holiday comfort foods you wouldn't be trotting your ass up a 6% incline and you'd be able to sit tomorrow without crying!"

Like a faithful believer that life is what you make it, I've managed to put aside the uncertainties of yesterday. One of the great things about passive exercise (treadmills and elliptical trainers) is that it gives you plenty of time to focus on what's going on in your head, at least until you step on the non-moving parts or let your foot drop off the end of the belt, in which case there is definitely an 'oh shit' moment where you panic and wake from the reverie and pay attention again. "Holy crap! Dammit... up the incline... 40 minutes to go."

Nevertheless, I was able to sort a few things out in my mind and have decided to move forward with life as I know it. Throwing in the towel and selling all of my belongings and my kids seemed a little drastic at the end of the day. Sure sure... I could have gotten a great price on the kids. Hell the older one makes her own money now, but I've been assured that kids are much like those dogs you see on the Today Show. No matter where I went they would have sniffed me out eventually. Someone would have found them wandering down the side of the road with their lives trailing behind them in poorly packed garbage bags and boxes with shitty tape jobs.

"Where are you two going?" someone would say, and my kids would answer... "We can smell hooker sweat and shame... our mom has to have come this way."

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome to 2012! It's a lot like 2011 with a different end number.

The interstate was smooth and the sun was shining. I'd just dropped my son off with his father and was heading back home after a leisurely lunch in silence. Given that it was the culmination of the holiday season, silence was much needed. My mind ticked through the events of the last two weeks, cataloged all of the things I needed to accomplish for the coming week, and set my mark for the future. When my phone rang it's text message alert I glanced briefly at the sender's name and pulled over. 

Had it been anyone else I would have driven on undeterred, but it was my son. 
Son- Hey, when are you moving? 
Me- Spring I hope. Why? 
Son- Well I was thinking I might move back in with you. I don't think I want to wait until spring. 
Me- What happened? 
Son- Nothing. I have been thinking about it all day. 
Me- I will call you when I get home. 

As I eased my car back on to the road, I felt the sense of peace slipping away. By the time I made it home 45 minutes later I had thought of every possible thing that could have caused him to change his mind. He'd only been home for a week for the holiday and in 1 hour of driving with his dad had reached a decision to scrap his plan of living with him and was ready to give up his new life to return to his old life and embark on a new adventure with me. 

There is a sense of superiority when you think, "My kid likes me best!" It's not mature. It's not the way you're supposed to look at it, but it's there. Still, I needed to hear what was going on in his head before I put on my "I win I win" attitude. With that in mind, I picked up the phone and called my 15 year old son, now three hours away and warm in his other home. 

As much as I wanted to start the conversation by asking him when he could be packed so I could go get him and bring him back where he belonged, I held back and asked instead what had caused his change of heart. I heard him choke up instantly. "She doesn't like me. She doesn't want me here. I don't want to live where I am not wanted. Things she gets mad at me for wouldn't be a big deal if it were one of her kids. She tells me I am lazy and that I shouldn't be tired after school. She tells me I can't have dinner if I don't come down in time. She says that I should do things and when I ask her what she just says "stuff you should be doing". I don't know how to do what she wants if she won't tell me what to do." 

I waited patiently for it to pour out, while he choked back tears and took deep breaths to collect himself. "Have you talked to your dad about this? Have you talked to her about it?" I asked. 

"No. I will just get emotional and he will probably ignore me. I don't want to do it wrong so I don't say anything." He replied. 

"I know it's not fair and I know it's not easy, but you have to talk to your dad about this. It's not fair to him for you to just say you've decided to move out if you won't tell him what's going on. Tell him how you feel and ask him if he can get regular work hours so he can spend time with you and you aren't just stuck there every night with her." I said. 

Truth time. My son's impromptu decision to move home gives me mixed feelings. When this same boy told me 1 year ago today that he was planning to move back to Iowa in the spring...Ugh my heart was broken. I wrestled with all of the feelings a person feels when they've been broken up with. One evening a friend actually said, "You sound like you're talking about a guy leaving you." Honestly folks? That's how it felt. I was supposed to get 18 years. For fifteen years I was the only home he knew. I changed the diapers. I fed him, clothed him, taught him, held him when he cried, cheered him when he succeeded, and encouraged him when he struggled. It literally felt like a break up. What had I done wrong to cause my own son to not want to live with me? 

As it turns out... I just don't value the same things teenage boys do. Grease, motors, dirt, danger, and a good burp. When he left in the spring to live with his father I was resigned to the fact that I am not a father and he needed his. I watched him grow from a distance and learned to smile through the hurt when he told me about the fun things he was finally doing with his dad that he'd missed out on. He seemed happy. 

In turn, I learned to be a regular person again. My options in life opened up a little bit and I embraced the notion of a new experience. I decided I would continue with my plans to move and if my lot in life was to be an empty-nester at the age of 37, then so be it. I started packing boxes in preparation and readied my older child to take on her adult responsibilities. 

With a brief text exchange and a phone call, I was back to January 2011. I think I did the right thing. I told him to stick it out, talk to his dad, find a way to make it work, and let me know if he needed my help. I put my plans on hold to make sure that one way or another he knows he always has me to come home to, but let him know that I wouldn't be a rebound parent that allowed a back and forth move every time things didn't go right. 

Tonight I am torn between hoping he does come home and hoping that he will find the courage to talk to his dad and step mom and find a resolution. One decision means I get my son back and the other means I can continue on the path of my new life. Two very different paths, each with it's own sets of pros and cons... but what would a new year be without a bit of uncertainty and that fly by the seat of your pants feeling? 

My Zimbio
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