thwr: we are politically correct.

todd: (singing) WAR....UH...what is it good for?...killingsadamhussein.  i said, WAR...UH...

and that's how we roll.

video vednesday: rick. rick. can i have a sip of your soda for sustenance?


ps- not sure what the ad at the beginning is for - our internet is too slow to load ads (bummer. not.); if it's for trojan condoms or something, close your eyes and cover your ears unless you're married.

all around the mulberry bush

if you know me at all, you will know that i'm not a tree-climbin' kind of gal.  something about heights and not liking to get all scratched up and a fear of dive-bombing birds (they exist - just ask the back of my mom's head) just kind of turns me off.  but i will tell you that i did find myself climbing a tree the other day, all for the love of a great deal.

what the crap, you ask.

i will tell you.  but first i have to back up and tell you a little story about mulberry trees.

your neighbors or your mom will probably tell you something about mulberry trees, but they are wrong.*  they will say they are basically really tall, annoying weeds.  and that they're a nuisance.  and that they spread like... crazy (i was about to insert a very inappropriate tara reid joke).  and that when birds eat mulberries, their crap turns purple and stains stuff and helps spread MORE mulberry trees.  but i say NAY. (actually, the parts about them spreading and the bird poop are true.  but i say purple blotches of bird poop all over my deck is festive.  sort of.)

my neighbors gave me this whole song-and-dance.  and  before i knew the gloriousness that is the mulberry tree, i actually believed them.  and cut one down with my own two hands.  (actually, i oversaw the cutting down of one by my husband with my own two eyes.)  but in my defense, it was growing through our arbor (yes, we have an arbor, how old-person are we?!) and would've taken that spindly-by-comparison thing down in no time.  so i'm okay with it.  but luckily for our sakes, i left two standing, much to the chagrine of my neighbors.  so now we're basically 'those people' in our neighborhood, but whatevs.

what's so awesome (and worthy of neighborhood shunning) about mulberry trees, you ask.

i will tell you.  they are free food.

they don't have to be weeded or sprayed or maintained at. all.  they are sun-ripened, chemical-free, organic free food.  and in comparison to the non-free kind of berries, even the non-organic kind, that's a pretty great deal.  and if you know me at all, you will know that i LOVE a deal, as well as the opportunity to play laura ingalls.

which is how i found myself climbing a tree the other day and shaking what its mama gave it.  i just spread a bunch of old sheets out on the ground around it (watch out - mulberries permanently dye whatever they touch) and went to town shaking that puppy and watching it rain mulberries.  and between two days and two trees, i have so far gathered about 10 pounds - shut up!  i googled the math on it, and that's equivalent to anywhere from 15-30 pints.  FOR FRIZZ-EE.  the only way i could've gotten a better deal is if it was some kind of stripper tree and it rained dollar bills when shaken.

also, here are some bullet points to read:

*my kids like them, which is awesome.

*i can put them in smoothies and pancakes and a whole host of other stuff.

*they are free.

*i will be trying out my new garage-saled dehydrator to see if i can't make some kind of mulberry raisins.  (mulaisins? sounds ethnic.)

*i may also be making some mulberry jam to take to the neighbors as a sort of please-don't-hate-me-for-not-cutting-down-those-trees-because-see?-it's-worth-having-them-around peace offering.

oh yes, believe you me: i will be out there berrying until there are none left... or until i get dive-bombed by a bird; it took my mom a really long time to recover from that incident, and i don't want to put my family through that.

*todd's mom brought up a really good point that has me rethinking just how awesome mulberry trees are - when birds mulberry-crap on your clotheslined laundry, it's they're kind of hindering my laura ingalls-ing now by preventing me from line-drying my clothes.  i have found myself in quite a conundrum.  what should i do?

'member that time?

hey, 'member that time when i was little and my mom told me that the actor who played peewee herman got arrested?  and 'member how i was all shocked but she told me that he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time?  and 'member how i found out later that...well, that he was actually arrested for being kind of a perv?

here's to remembering a simpler time:



so, as of 6:00 pm last night, we officially have internet.

at our house.

it's the dawning of a new era.  one in which we can live, eat, sleep and read design*sponge all in the same place.  on in which i don't have to sit in my car in the mcd's parking lot and mistaken for some kind of pervo watching the drive-thru guy.  one in which my blog reader does not have 1200 unread blogs from the last three months of sitting there, unloved and unread.

it feels good.  atticus is pretty excited about it, too, from what i can gather - he's gone around all evening pretending to 'fix peeter.'  (fix the computer.  i have subsequently named our computer 'peter' as a result.)

i'm not ashamed of the hot dogs, i'm not ashamed of the ones i love.

(if you don't know that song, the title is probably weird.  and also, if you do know that song, the title is still probably weird - and maybe even borderline blasphemous - but at least has some kind of context.)

i have to say, for the last couple of months, since discovering my food sensitivities, food has gotten to be kind of boring.  actually, really boring - the kind of boring that's pronounced 'BO-ring' and said while your eyes get really big and you tip your head back.  that kind of boring.  i mean, there are really only so many rice crackers and rice cakes and rice tortillas and rice breads and rice waffles that a person can eat.  don't get me wrong - i'm actually developing a loyalty to the versatility of the humble grain of rice.  but still - it can get old.

(on a side note, i really think i'm turning into a grain of rice with a face.  maybe rice-wrapped sushi?  preferably a philadelphia roll, those things are gewd.  and as a human-sized roll of sushi, i'll get a job as the mascot for some sushi place and sing that 'turning japanese' song to all the guests and they will cheer and chant my name and i will wave chopsticks around in the air like trophies.  also...huh?)
anyway, i guess i should get back to my main point: eating = boring.  as a result, i don't do it very often.  as a result, i'm dropping poundage like a british person at a 70-million-percent-off sale at 'bloody wanker hat and cap store.'  (sorry, i'm delirious from the no-eating thing, but it is a funny joke if you take a second to think about it.)  which would be fine, except i don't really need to lose weight and also my boobs have gone missing.

so, because i am trying to bribe my boobs to come home, and also because i read somewhere once that if you don't eat you'll die, i decided to eat breakfast AND lunch the other day.  (baby steps, bob.)  and to motivate myself to eat lunch, i did something i would never have done otherwise: i ate a hot dog TWO delicious, albeit over-microwaved-and-therefore-slightly-tough-and-shriveled hot dogs.

now, before you judge me, i must say that because of my limited food options, even your standard weiners don't make the cut for me to eat.  because of this, i have to be kind of a hot dog snob, and so they were all-beef, certified-kosher, twice-as-expensive, god-won't-smite-you-for-eating-this-even-if-you're-jewish-but-cancer-isn't-so-forgiving-even-to-the-jews-so-you're-still-tempting-death-by-eating-this-thing hot dogs.  but hot dogs they were, nonetheless.

and can i please say that they were delicious and i will probably be eating hot dogs every day for lunch from now until eternity next week when i get bored with them?

although, i did wash them down with a leftover shake from hickory park, which must have had corn syrup in it, so i got sick anyway and i should have just made myself a giant pita and a bowl of popcorn and really done it up right.  i mean, a leftover shake isn't really worth feeling like this...but popcorn and a pita are.

maybe, since i'm sick already, i'll go make some popcorn right now.  if i don't blog ever again, you'll know it was death by popcorn-provoked squirrely intestines, so...unpleasant but not entirely unworth it.

*post edit: i ate the popcorn.  and you know that thing where you build something up in your mind as being the awesomest, and then you do whatever drastic thing it takes to get that thing, but then you're all like, eh?  the popcorn was not worth dying over.  at. all.

video vednesday: what are you, one of those buttholes who calls their grandma all kinds of different pet names? huh?

grandma is the man.

thwr: handing almost all of it over to god.

atticus: god attee frinn?

mama: yes, god is atticus' friend!

atticus: thomas attee frinn?

mama: oh...yeah...thomas [the train] is atticus' friend, too, i guess.

atticus: god thomas frinns?

mama: yes, god and thomas are both your friends.

atticus: god have-it thomas?

mama: aww, sweet pea! can god have your thomas?

atticus: NO.

and that's how we roll.  

'member that time?

hey, 'member that time when todd asked me out and i would have really enjoyed the weekend except that i had the flu and had diarrhea the whole time?  and 'member how i didn't want him to know i had massive diarrhea, so i made him stand in the hallway outside my dorm room basically all weekend so he couldn't hear anything? and 'member how he took me to a movie, but i missed like all of it because i was, well, diarrhea-ing?

i'm a lucky, lucky girl to have found a guy who would only assume the best about me (which was that i was merely puking.  not sure to what he chalked up the smell.)  and he's a lucky, lucky guy to have found a girl so open and honest and transparent that she would not only correct him of this mistake, but also post this story on the internet (for clarification, of course).

i really have no shame.

not sure why i'm so proud to post this.

got this short and truly sweet note from my bestie:

'Just had a “might not make it to the bathroom” poo moment. Thought of you.'

anyone else might be embarrassed to post this on the internetz for the whole global population to see, but they're obviously not me.  or her, i hope, considering i didn't run it by her before posting this.

shout out.

i ran into wendy pierce the other day at an estate sale (10-cent flowery plates? yes, please) and she told me that todd should get drunk and climb a really tall ladder.  she said some other stuff too, but that's basically the boiled-down version.  and you know what? that was the best advice she ever gave me.  (mostly because we don't get to talk very frequently so it's probably the only advice she's ever given me, but it made me wish we talked more.)

video vednesday: qualities in a lady? i look for...features...and she has a nice...i mean...very nice attractive lady.

i would seriously transcribe this entire video for the title of this post if i could.  i love this video.  if you never watch another video vednesday, you HAVE to at least watch this one and then you're off the hook.

isn't it ironic? no...not really.

on the radio the other day, they were playing that 'ironic' song by alanis morrisette. (yes, i listen to a station that would play that.  but because i'm quite confident you have a closet obsession with justin timberlake, i don't feel ashamed about listening to kitschy music.)  and i realized that most of the stuff she sings about in that song is not actually ironic, it's just mostly what i would describe as unfortunate.

a traffic jam when you're already late? inevitable.

a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break? it's 2011 in america; who even smokes anymore?

10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife? use the handle of of one spoon to shave down the handle of another spoon into a sort of shiv, macguyver.

and then my personal favorite, 'meeting the man of my dreams and then meeting his beautiful wife.'  unless you're attracted to penniless, unemployed hobos, or ugly alcoholic clowns, or something, chances are the man of your dreams is also the man of someone else's dreams.  so you should have seen it coming.  and may i please point out that the man of your dreams must not have given you a heads-up about the 'i'm married'-thing, which seems a bit shady and not at all dreamy to me.  either that, or you've known the guy for like 10 seconds.  in which case, how do you know he's really the man of your dreams and not just some sexual predator with nice hair or whatever?

and the thing i find TRULY ironic about this song is that the man of alanis morrisette's dreams is uncle joey from full house.

oh, did i say ironic? i meant, unfortunate.

'member that time?

hey, 'member that time we moved into a new house and tried to get internet installed, and when we called they said they'd be there tomorrow between 8:00 and noon?  and 'member how they never showed, but assured us they'd be coming? then 'member how a week later, when no one ever came, todd called them and they were all like, you should find a different internet provider?

so then, 'member how we did find another internet provider but he was all like, i'll either be there tomorrow or in two weeks, and he didn't show up 'tomorrow'?  so then 'member how we had to wait and wait and wait and die a slow death with no internet and have to write blog posts in the parking lot of mcdonalds and never answer emails and basically starve for human interaction because this is what society has become - totally dependent on the internet?

i remember that like it was only yesterday.  or this very second.

(this is my long, socially quirky way of saying, if i owe you an email, please be patient.  if you're really upset about my absence, call the internet place and tell them where to stick it.  please.)

rabies: ack.

hope you guys have had an awesome rabies week.  i sure have.  to sum up what i've learned this week, here is michael scott.

while i would love to say that this will be the only 'animal diseases'-themed week i will ever live through, the track record in our house over the last three weeks has me thinking that probably won't be my lot in life. 
can't get enough bats and rabies and things that go bump in the night? eat your heart out:

the janitor in the nocturnal house.  (the janitor is creepier than the bat, in my opinion.)

kristy's old house and her run-ins with her own bat.

proof that i really do cause trepidation in the hearts of spiders.  and, probably, mothers of all insect species, but that's more conjecture than a proven fact.

and the classic Michael Scott's Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race for the Cure:

support the rabid. 

okay, so about the bat.

on tuesday i started the story about finding a bat basically in bed with us.  here are the deets:

last thursday night, todd woke up in the middle of the night because he thought he heard a sound, and when he looked over he thought he saw something move by our window.  thinking it was a squirrel or a giant moth or something right outside on the glass, he got a little freaked out.  (i should mention here that our bed is placed directly in front of a bay window, so our heads are mere inches from the glass.  also we don't have curtains up yet, so there is nothing between us and the window.)   to clarify:

so he woke me up to see if i had heard anything, but considering i basically enter an eight-hour coma every night, i hadn't.  but i looked over to see if i could make anything out, and i saw this giant thing moving against the glass.  in my coma-stupor, i thought it was a june bug and got totally freaked out.  but then todd flipped on the light to see it better and it was a BAT.  here's a photo:

(see how that bat was all ready to attack me? and also, don't judge my sparse, messy hair.  i am sleeping and this is what it looks like when i'm sleeping.  just love me for me.)

todd and i ran out of the room freaking out, and todd shut the door behind him, but the transom was still open so we were super freaked out that thing was coming for us.  so todd ran downstairs and grabbed the tennis racquet while i stayed in the bathroom with the door closed.

after getting up the guts to go back in the room (and saying, 'i want to cry' and 'i feel sick' a bunch of times), he ran in the room, tennis racquet a-blazin'.  i just sat in the bathroom and laughed uncontrollably.  (which is a result of reaction formation, the knowledge of which is the only proof i have that my private-college psychology degree was worth every penny.)  todd would occasionally yell, and finally i heard a thump and todd came out, tired but victorious.

but then we had to figure out what to do with a dead-or-maybe-just-unconscious bat.  i didn't want todd to just put it outside, because if it was alive it'd probably get back in the house, and if it was dead atticus would probably end up pulling a makenna and turning its carcass into his new best pal.  but todd didn't want to just put it in the trash can in case it was just oppossum-ing us, just to have it fly out and exact vengeance the next time todd went to take the garbage out.  so he pulled on his trusty yardwork-and-picking-up-dead-stuff gloves, wrapped the bat in an old hand towel that i stole from my mom (but is probably older than i am, so i think its time has come anyway and therefore she can't get mad when she reads this) and tied it in a plastic grocery sack.

i really hope it was bashed to death rather than smothered inside that plastic bag.  i mean, i hate rabies as much as the next guy.  but there's no need to be cruel.

(myth: three americans die every year from rabies.  fact: FOUR americans die every year from rabies. thank you, michael scott.)

video vednesday: not crazy good, not crazy bad, just crazy.

no, gilmore girls probably doesn't have anything to do with rabies.  but whatever.  it's my rabies week and i do what i want.

robert blake gushes, 'such a beautiful portrayal of women, for a split second it makes me wish i hadn't shot my wife in the face.'

ignore the spanish subtitles.  or don't...they kind of add a little caliente flavor to the whole thing.

glad i'm the girl.

our house is an old house.  and yes, it has a new kitchen and a finished basement and all things that would make you think it's not an old house, but it's an oooold house.  (we will be throwing it a centennial party in 2013; mark your calendars.  and i'm serious this time - it won't fall through like our 'time, times, and half-a-time' anniversary party.)

so.  anyway.

old houses exude charm.  and also exude creepy crawlies.  luckily, our house contains more charm than creepies, but i'm starting to wonder just how much charm it will take to balance out the number of uninvited residents.

one night, we are sitting in the basement watching tv, and i glimpse something out of the corner of my eye, and i'm not kidding you, this huge, brown, hairy wolf spider is crawling up my leg.  this thing was about the diameter of a quarter.  so of course i scream because i'm about to get eaten to death in one bite by this thing, and todd thinks i'm being all dramatic so he looks over to reprimand me...when he also sees it.  and also screams.  (well, more like gasps.  a really loud gasp.)  what. a. drama. queen.

because he's the man in this relationship (i know it's shocking because my bulging biceps have you fooled, but it's true), i made him kill it.

then, a few days later i was pulling sheets out of the dryer and i turn around and i see THE. BIGGEST. SPIDER. I. HOPE. I. EVER. SEE.  anybody see that one lord of the rings movie with the giant spider that's bigger than all the hobbits?  this thing made me feel like a hobbit.  also, i wasn't wearing makeup, so that kind of made me feel like a hobbit too, so maybe that was more my problem.  either way, this spider was about the size of a gerbil.  and just sitting on my laundry room wall.

so i called The Man downstairs to kill this spider for me as i sat on top of the washing machine and squealed.  so he squashed it dead...or so we thought.  as we were talking about how huge and gross it was, its nervous system pulled a 'headless chicken' on us and his legs started unfurling and moving around.  oh. my. word.  todd had to put on his yardwork gloves just to pick it up and throw it in the trash - it was that gross.  and todd was that creeped out.

i will, from now on, be washing all laundry by hand in my kitchen sink.  and who really needs a t.v.? or a shower? (yes, the only working shower in our house is in the basement; more on that later.)  not me.  i'm never going down in the basement again, and i'll probably stink really bad and have no clean clothes and lose all my friends as a result and i will have THAT SPIDER to blame.

i hate that spider.

SO...later that night (the same night that todd killed the nasty hybrid rodent-spider), todd woke up at 3:30 a.m. and was all, what was that?  and because i'm a peach when i'm woken up unexpectedly, i was all, i didn't hear anything let me keep sleeping.  then todd was all like, i think there's something by our window.  and i was all, is it a june bug because those things are SICK.

and todd flipped on the light and you know what it was? A BAT.  stuck between our headboard and the window.  less than 12 inches from my sleeping head.

the end.

oh, you mean you want to hear how the bat story turned out?  well, considering it is a story in itself and this blog is already about as long as my house is old and creepy, i'll tell you thursday, so stay tuned.

(and no, i'm pretty sure i don't have rabies, so i will be around to tell you.  probably.)

'member that time? *special 'rabies week' edition!

hey, 'member that time my mom took my sister and me on a walk at the local college, and how there was this random tame squirrel just running around over there? and 'member how he was like a dog and wanted to be petted?  and 'member how i was all, 'i don't care if it has rabies i'm petting this squirrel if it's the last thing i do'?

it wasn't.  the last thing i did, i mean.  i've done some stuff since then.  none of it seems as important, though, now that i've pet a squirrel.

our official theme this week here at the minivan voorsts is 'stuff that could have eaten me alive and/or given me rabies.'  otherwise known as 'rabies week.'  it's going to be a thrill ride.

thwr: NOT the end of times.

todd: wouldn't it be funny if one of harold camping's friends tried to make him feel better by saying, 'don't worry harold, everyone makes mistakes; it's not the end of the world'?

and that's how we roll.

i knew you couldn't get enough.

here, have another story about my apartment managers and the compelling soap opera that was my move-out experience.

the day i was at the apartment to check my email, which really turned into the day i was sleuthing around for the vacuum bandit, which really turned into the day when i went home with a broken vacuum and a broken heart and a newfound bitterness toward my apartment managers that will probably have to be therapized out... i made sure to tell them like fourteen or thirty-five times that I WOULD BE BACK ON FRIDAY TO CLEAN THE APARTMENT.  DID YOU HEAR ME?! FRIDAY. TO CLEAN.  ON FRIDAY.  NOT ON SATURDAY.  OR THURSDAY.  OR IN JULY.  NO, I WILL BE THERE ON FRIDAY.  THAT STARTS WITH AN 'F' AND ENDS WITH A 'FRIDAY.'  FRIDAY. 

don't make me go all rebecca black on you.  i will sing you the song if it helps you remember that i will be here on FRIDAY.

so...friday gets here, and i go to clean.  and i walk up to my apartment and not only is the door unlocked and standing open, but there is an ex-jehovah's witness laying new carpet in EVERY. ROOM.  convenient to clean around, by the way, and also i'll get to the jehovah's witness thing later.  so i walk down the hall, kids in tow, and have yet another conversation with the managers.

paige:  hey, what's up with the random guy in my apartment?

mrs. manager: that's toby.  he's laying carpet.  he sometimes brings his kids with him, but he's by himself today.

p: that's hilarious.  also, i TOLD you i would be here cleaning.

mrs. m: oh yeah, he knows you'll be here.

p: well, as long as he knows, then.

funny, toby knew that i would be at my apartment, but i didn't know toby would be there.  does something seem backwards about that?  so penelope napped in the master bathroom and atticus napped in the master closet while i stayed on the linoleum in the kitchen and toby had free-reign of the rest of the place. 

and also? he was there for a total of five hours.

good thing he was an ex-jehovah's witness, or we would have had nothing to talk about.  but lucky him, he got to hear all about how jesus really IS god and that there really IS a hell.  so there was that.

then at 3:15, i get a knock on the door:

mr. manager: so, i should probably tell you that the new people are moving in tomorrow.

paige: wait, not next wednesday like you originally told me?

mr. m: nope.  you think you'll be done cleaning in time?

p: uh, i guess i have to be.  good to know i'm on a time crunch.

so then i tried to call the utilities company to get our utilities cancelled starting the next morning, but because it was memorial day weekend, they couldn't cancel them until the following tuesday.  so we got to pay for the new tenants' lights and water and air conditioning for the whole long weekend because mr. manager didn't think it important to tell me before 3:15 the afternoon before the fact that our apartment was turning over early.

then, about 45 minutes later, mrs. manager just walks in to show the new tenants the new carpet.  no knock or anything. that it's nearly a week removed and i'm still super pissed about it all, i'm realizing i should probably forgive them and move on with my life because in the grand scheme of things it's really no big deal and also, jesus tells me to forgive them and also, it's over and done with and also, what's the point and also, therapy is expensive and also, telling this story without fail leaves me with rebecca black running through my head and it's just not worth it.


and i'm glad to be a homeowner, where at least i know i'm freeeeeeeeee....

this sucks. or doesn't, depending on whether you read the part about the cat hair.

so, it's been a while since i've gotten on this crazy spinning machine called the internetz.  (also, i've turned 80 years old and also weird since then, if you can't tell.)  if you're paying attention, you will notice that i've back-posted in an attempt to look pulled together and on top of things. 

but seriously, i have i have been spending my time banking up stories to tell you all.  so you're welcome.

get this:  last week, i went to our apartment to check my email, and walked in the door to find that somebody had been in our apartment ripping up our carpet, and our vacuum was missing.  (yes, i intentionally left our vacuum in our vacant apartment; i was planning on coming back later to clean and didn't feel like hauling it back and forth.  i didn't realize they were letting random people in, so i figured it would be safe.)  so i ran down the hall and banged on the apartment managers' door.

paige: hey mr. manager, i left my vacuum in my apartment, but now it's gone.  have you seen it?

mr. manager: uh...well, uh...i don't know... maybe....was it purple?

p: yes it was.  (oh and also, it would have been the only one you stole from my apartment.)  ring a bell?

mr. m: oh, well, yeah, i guess i did see that... but then nathan used it to clean another apartment and it got clogged with cat hair, so he took it all apart to clean it and now it's in pieces.

p: that's great, really.  the best story i've heard all day.  you really can spin a yarn.   and also, can i get it back by any chance?

mr. m: probably.  let me talk to nathan.

so 15 minutes later, nathan (mr. manager's son and also next-door-neighbor, by the way) brings it back, all in one piece.  and yes it looks fantastically clean, but according to nathan it's apparantly missing a seal and blows dust everywhere when you vacuum.  which wasn't the case before all of this happened.  awesome.

so let's recap:

1.  they entered my apartment without my permission, even though we were still paying rent.

2.  they stole my vacuum.

3.  they used my vacuum to clean someone else's hairy apartment, probably without their permission.

4.  they broke my vacuum.

5.  they acted like they didn't know what i was talking about when i said i was missing a vacuum.

6.  there was a meth lab down the hall from us, which has nothing to do with the vacuum story but i thought it pertinent.

and you're in for a treat, because this isn't even the weirdest our move-out got. 

maybe no one else cares about this as much as i do, but come on.  who does this? also, if you didn't catch it, my vacuum is purple and therefore irreplaceable.  and also, vacuums cost like $100 bucks and unless i plan on actually selling any mary kay products instead of just using them myself (read: unlikely), i can't afford a new one.

keep on keepin' on.  (that's a weird thing to say, if you didn't realize.)