September 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to Us!

Happy birthday to me! I'm 29—AGAIN!

And happy birthday to my sister! You know her as Udder Hysteria. And if you don't know her, go check her out! She's way sweeter than me, but she can't help it. It's that birth order thing. I am number one of the Brady Bunch and she is number four. Yes, I'm Marsha Marsha Marsha and she's Jan. We miss number six, our little Cindy, who is sadly, sadly no longer with us.

Though we were born on the same day, my middle sister popped out four years later, and there were two brothers in between us. Yeah, if you do the math, mom was busier than a stripper at a frat party. Guess she was practicing to be Catholic. How she managed to pull off a second birth on this most sacred of days is a testament to how well she had honed her baby-birthin' skillz. That, or Dad only practiced his religion on a certain day of the year.

So my sister and I are both 29 again, though obviously I've been 29 four years more than she has. This is why she comes to me for my expert advice, because my four hard-knocked years ahead of her really mean something of incomprehensible value and teach her all the things NOT to do. You're welcome, sis.

Circa 1970:  Marsha and Jan
Speaking of hard-knocked, I had my four daughters within five years, and I wasn't even practicing to be Catholic. See, Mom, I did learn stuff from you. I'd have had a fifth kid, but I got tired of not being able to see my feet. Plus, it was either divorce or kill the sperm donor. So there's that.

Though we're not twins, my sister and I have so many moments of unspoken twin-like communication, it's scary. Our gut responses to the same stimuli (you know how I like to get all scientific) are incredibly similar if not identical. The notable difference is, she thinks things through before she reacts and then makes a plan for action. I, on the other hand, do not. Obviously, this is because I'm too busy leading the way, being the windshield that deflects the bugs. For her. Obviously.

The important thing is that nobody knows my bullshit better than she does. Nobody supports me more staunchly; nobody reads me more accurately; and nobody could make me prouder as a sister—though she's way too far away!

Happy birthday, Jan!

September 26, 2010

Kung Fu Fighting

Y'all, everybody's Kung Fu Fighting. Including Destructo.

Talk amongst yourselves.

September 23, 2010

Dating Debacle #1,242

I marched into the SW baggage office because my suitcase hadn't appeared on the conveyor. I'd just quit the guy I'd gone on a trip with, and he'd just delivered a last litany of stupid, compounding my outrage to the point of tears. Big titty baby, I know. I needed to vent like a live grenade, but the pin was stuck.

To the woman behind the lost baggage counter, I sniveled, "My bag . . . didn't . . . come through." Whimper, whimper. "I'm sorry. [gasp, blubber] I hate a man right now."

She gave me the solidarity grimace. You know, the one that says, Oh girl, I hear ya. Want me to kick his ass? This is what I love about women when you're feeling vulnerable; they get the entire picture in six words. If her coworker hadn't been there (a guy), we'd have pow-wowed with chocolate, a bottle of wine, and a cheese block we could carve into a voodoo doll. Helpful hint: Frilly foil toothpicks make the occasion more festive.

What, you've never done that?

Dating, you take your chances with complete strangers and, at minimum, hope for chemistry and enough things in common to keep things lively. Let's amp that up with the hope that your date's not that guy with the core belief that all women are sneaky and out to get him, cuz that's the guy who'll plant you in a no-win scenario where he can prove that his core belief is true. That's the guy who'll negate everything fabulous and wonderful and fun he did for you because of a single lame-ass assumption about your character.

And just so you don't feel too in the dark, here's a visual for you about how the weekend went:

Click to enlarge.
Here's what I came away with: a renewed appreciation for waterproof mascara and a deep crevice between my eyebrows. Like I need another reason for that.

And now I choose NEXT!, a nice Malbec, and Bridget Jones. Why BJ? Because when it comes to men, I am Bridget, looking for someone to like me just the way I am and holding out for something extraordinary. Someone extraordinary. Dude, where are you?

I leave you with my fave song from the movie, a sexy number you'll want to listen to while you're doing . . . stuff.

Now where are those toothpicks?

P.S. Yes, y'all. I found my luggage. It got to the office before I did. So weird.


September 14, 2010

How I Ended My Summer Vacation

The summer of 2010 will go down in Fragrant Liar history as one of the greats. I set out on a new adventure and accomplished some things I'd been working on for a long time. Saw most of my kids on my June road trip and since then my Atlanta girl, TG and her family.

Fragrant Liar and Lisa from That's Why
Atlanta jaunts will always be fun. One of the coolest things that happened this last trip is meeting this fabulous blogger, Lisa at That's Why. She and her hubs, the infamous MathMan, drove 45 minutes to visit me. If you're not yet a fan of Lisa's, head on over there and revel in her coolness.

We have much in common, Lisa and I, most notably our love of writing. She's a talented and fun blogger and an interesting and smart woman. Plus, she's about as tall as me, so she is naturally a super-awesome individual that glows from the inside out. Heh.

I hope to see Lisa on return trips to Atlanta where we can talk about things that always get up people's ire:  sex, politics, and novels in progress.

I am the Corona Extra (emphasis on the crown, yo).
Y'all, the kids were determined we play games. I do love games, but I confess, I never once played Candyland with my daughters when they were young. I know. That's equivalent to depriving them of jelly. So I had some making up to do with Destructo and Miss America. Unfortunately, all their game pawns were either jammed beneath a sofa cushion, ground up in the disposal, or sucked down a toilet chute. So I improvised. Can you guess which bottle-cap-turned-game-pawn led me to victory?

Hey, just cuz they're kids doesn't mean I have to roll over. Winning is everything, people. I know you know that.

Mmmmm, chunky salsa!
I made this scrumptious salsa. Rachel Ray, eat your heart out. Of course, making salsa means you have to eat the carby tortilla chips. Ours were shaped like footballs. Getting drunk on salsa is not easy, but I totally did it, as evidenced by the not-so-pleasing hangover around my waistband. There was a Corona involved as well. Obviously. Go Saints!

Udder Hysteria, this one's for you too!
So I went to Atlanta this time for my daughter TG's birthday. This plaque was the coolest gift she got (besides moi) from her sister, Coco. High-sterical and so appropriate for their relationship.

But, Coco, who actually showed up for the partay? Yeah, that's right. Mama rules.

Miss America and Destructo giving me a tour.

Miss America and Destructo showed me around their neighborhood, which is hilly and lush with trees. What a gorgeous area. During the trek, Miss America was indulging in her usual chattery (where does she get it?), and I was paying close attention for her special brand of wee wisdom. (See, I work for you people nonstop.) So it was particularly noticeable when Miss America stopped, covered her mouth and made the gag face, and pointed to this (look down):

The sad remains of an inattentive squirrel.
Y'all, that's what remains of an inattentive squirrel. Estimated time of death: last spring.

Note the blue chalk line, which is an arrow pointing toward the street. Forensically speaking, this marker probably misled the little guy into thinking all the nuts were on the other side of the road. This once happened to a chicken.

TG, you'll be happy to know that the kids don't need anymore education, because I personally schooled them in the basics of road kill, decomposition, and where that nasty smell comes from (my creative juices really flowed for that one), and I think maggots. Yeah, there was some talk of bugs that live inside you and only come out when there's no more oxygen or something like that. Whatever. They believed it.

You're welcome.

No story of Atlanta would be complete without the requisite bragging over Shaboobka, who at nine months is on the verge of walking.

Foxy, check out that hat! Y'all this is a hat my good Hoo-Ha buddy Foxy made. She's all Etsy over there, and definitely worth a look.

People, I can't wait to take Shaboobka around the 'hood with the other kids. Think of all the wisdom I can impart.

September 8, 2010

Flight Lessons Everyone Should Know (Especially You, 32A)

People, I think it's important you learn from my mistakes.

On my way to Atlanta, I plunk into Delta seat 32B—because who doesn't love being wedged between two total strangers? 32C, on the aisle, immediately hides under her hoodie and eases into a classic leave-me-alone slump, which I totally expect since girls just getting over teenitis are really still full of "Ew, old people!" attitude. When 32A shows up, he makes me get up so he can squeeze his skinny ass into his coveted window seat—the seat I should have if I hadn't screwed up my online seat selection. Why the airline didn't immediately call me afterward and say, Dude, you SURE you want to sit between total strangers? is frankly beyond my comprehension. Why does no one question my sanity? No wonder the airlines are losing money.

So 32A buckles in and spreads open his newspaper like he's home at his breakfast table. He is infringing on my space and his right arm occupies the armrest between us. Dude! At LEAST give me the armrest! I'm sure that is a rule!

Lesson One:  "B" seaters get the armrests!

Lesson Two:  Don't touch strangers sitting next to you, cuz they flinch like you just lit them up with a case of ebola via transmission of your personal cooties.

I'm too fragile for that kind of rejection, as you know, so stuck between 32A and 32C I read my "More" magazine, elbows glued to my sides. For all of about two minutes. Since 32A is blatantly violating Lesson One etiquette, I fan out my left elbow and ease it onto a sliver of the real estate between us, deliberately violating Lesson Two. People, he is asking for it!

You see where I'm going? Oh yes, I'm commandeering the island. Pretty soon my arm is flush with 32A's. If I had a flag, I'd knock him off and jam it into the armrest. This land is mine! But he's not giving ground either, so we total strangers share the armrest. Let me repeat:  we are sharing. The guy's not even worried about cooties, and I'm like, Cooties be damned!

He looks at me, inches away from my face. "Think we're above 10,000 feet?"

Like I'm an altimeter. "I don't know," I say, as he looks through his brown-rimmed glasses into my eyes.

Whoa. Hold up! Re-eval. 32A is muy caliente. Man, I'm so off my game. How did I not notice this earlier? He mutters something about giving it a shot and turns on his iPhone. I think, Cute or not, if your phone causes us to crash, I will kill you dead.

I continue reading "More," my arm warmed by 32A's; but it's hard to concentrate on 150 Best Fall Looks Under $250 and Why the Recession is Good for Women when my brain is vacillating between images of death by sudden impact and the boggling perks of life as a B-seater.

Pretty soon 32A is talking to me again. He makes me smile, and I end up laughing, kind of like a hyena—you know that kind of nervous flirty laugh? Yeah, that's mine. I can't help it. That's what I do with strangers who are cute and interesting and coveting my real estate. Okay, maybe I'm the one who's coveting, but I am totally welcoming his cooties, y'all. Pretty soon, 32A scrawls his mobile on the back of his biz card and my number on a napkin that he tucks into . . . somewhere, I don't know. Perhaps his billetera. When the pilot says something about Atlanta, I realize I completely missed the landing. WTF?

Lesson Three:  Screw Go for the B seat, just in case.
Pop Quiz:  Can you find the Tom Cruise quote above and name the movie it's from?
Answer:  "This land is mine!" from Far and Away.