What doesn’t kill you makes you sleepy

Note to self: do not have a grande chai at 5pm unless you want to be lying awake, thrashing around at 1AM with the song “What Doesn’t Kill You” running through your head.

Damn you, Kelly Clarkson.

Also, when you hear a bloodcurdling scream from your toddler at 2AM, do not run to bring her into your bed, unless you want to spend an hour with your throat in her death grip and two more hours with her feet in your ribcage, before she wakes up and starts yelling, “Boys!” in an attempt to wake up her brother and get him to come play with her.

I take it back. Kill me now.

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100 Cheerios from hell

So yesterday Tibs came home with another delightful assignment from The World’s Greatest Teacher, otherwise known as She Who Shall Not Be Named. Thursday is the 100th day of school, and GOD FORBID we let that significant milestone pass us by without proper recognition. SWSNBN (I’m abbreviating here, people–go with it) sent home a small Ziploc bag and the directions to find 100 things, sort them into groups, and put them in the bag and BY NO MEANS SHOULD THEY BE BIGGER THAN THE BAG UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH.

We chose Cheerios, mostly because we had a ton of them kicking around and I was far too lazy to think of anything else. Tibs counted them up, and then sorted those bad boys into 20s. We had five piles sitting there, and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure how to get them into the tiny Ziploc in their five groups. So I called Bucket, mostly to rant about SWSNBN. “Put them on string and make them into bracelets,” he said in that annoyingly calm, practical engineer voice. YES! Bucket is a genius!

He was a genius until it came time to string those bastards on. The string we had was too fat to fit into the Cheerios without unraveling, so I had to find a needle and thread each one myself, because Tibs kept poking himself with the needle. I got increasingly stressed and twitchy and ranty, to the point that Tibs was patting me on the back and saying, “It’s okay, Mama. You’re almost done,” like I was running a marathon or having chemo or something.

Today, he came back from school with the CHEERIOS STILL IN HIS BAG. I restrained myself from ranting about the incompetence of SWSNBN, and put his bag by the door where it lives. Cut to a few hours later, when he and I were playing the traditional family game when each of us stands in opposing corners of the living room and we try to nail each other with soft objects. He dove to avoid my projectile stuffed mouse, and tripped on his backpack.

There were many words that ran through my head just then, but I’ll just say: shit. Of course, about half of the Cheerios had broken off the strings, but no one string was entirely decimated, meaning that we had to add some to almost all of them, and start a couple over from scratch.

Just kill me now.

I want to have Mindy Kaling’s baby

In case I haven’t tried to make you read Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns yet, here’s one last attempt. I read this book last week and am still cracking up. I promise, it’s funnier than Bossypants, and I heart Tina Fey. But the best thing about this book is that it accurately summed up my life philosophy. I can’t even think about this part without laughing (wickedly, of course). I have been quoting it to Bucket almost daily:

…you should know that I disagree with a lot of traditional advice. For instance, they say the best revenge is living well. I say it’s acid in the face–who will love them now? Another old saying is that revenge is a dish best served cold. But it feels best served piping hot, straight out of the oven of outrage. My opinion? Take care of revenge right away. Push, shove, scratch that person while they’re still within arm’s reach. Don’t let them get away! Who knows when you’ll get this opportunity again?

It’s like I wrote it myself. Mindy Kaling, I love you.

But where was Tim Riggins?

I was going to do a meaningful, heartfelt post about Tibs’ arrival in America and adoption and all that jazz, but the Super Bowl was last night, and you know, priorities.

It should not surprise you that I am not a football fan. Despite having spent every fall weekend of my youth at our local college, playing under the bleachers at football games, I absorbed nothing, because, in case you weren’t paying attention, I was playing under the bleachers. Then, I was a teenage girl and I went to a public school with a hideous football team and a private school that didn’t have a football team at all.  And then, I was in college at a very artsy school with no football team, and then I was in England and various other international places and my husband was English and not particularly invested in the whole football scene, so…

I know some things about football, however. Tom Brady is good. He is also worshiped and adored by everyone in New England. To my brother, there’s Tom, then God, then Jesus, then everybody else. Maybe not even God and Jesus. Maybe Tom is God and Jesus. Also, there are two Mannings and people hate that guy who keeps retiring and then coming back. Tim Tebow loves Jesus. And a touchdown is worth 6 points, or seven if you get the kick afterward.

So you can imagine what it’s like watching football with me. It went a little something like this: “Who is that guy? What’s up with his hair? It’s not attractive.” “Yikes! Look at that guy! Deliverance!” “That is a big dude.” “What’s happening?” “Is this good?”  “Oh good! They’re right at the end of the field, so they can score now! What? They have to run all the way to the other end?” “Football is stupid.” “I’m booooooooooored.” “Football is stooooooooopid.” My friend Seamus wants to start a sports network with various commentators, like one expert and one gay man and one woman who doesn’t know about the sport and so on, and I think I am perfect for the dumbass woman.

Finally, Bucket turned to me, totally exasperated, and said, “How can you know nothing about football?” Apparently, he doesn’t know that it’s kind of a point of pride for me to have made it to 35 without knowing anything about it. And don’t feel badly for him: I learned the rules of CRICKET for him, and that shit lasts for five days.

But I digress. I wanted the Patriots to win, if only because I like my dad and brother and various other men in my life and wanted them to keep breathing. I started to get a bad feeling in the early part of the fourth quarter, and when a football ignoramus like me gets a bad feeling, it ain’t good. I kept hoping they were going to pull it off, and started getting really stressed out when they didn’t. Apparently, Perfect Perfect Tom (who looks disturbingly like the love child of my brother and cousin Matt, which is creepy on many levels) screwed up the passes, or it’s Welker’s fault for dropping the pass (our next door neighbor in the summer named his dog Welker. I wonder if that dog has a new name today). In any event, something bad happened and the Patriots lost and I had to email my brother to see if he was still breathing this morning. He and my father blame Gisele. Or Bridget Moynahan. But not Perfect Perfect Tom/brother-cousin love child.

As for Madonna, I have only seen one other halftime show, and that was the Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson fiasco (when I told Bucket and my sister I saw a boob and they told me I was nuts. WHO’S NUTS NOW, SUCKERS?). Full disclosure: I loathe Madonna as a person (fake British accent when married to an Englishman, repeated illegal adoptions), but loved her music when I was a little girl. I thought she did remarkably well, considering she’s 400 years old, but my friend Leah spent the whole time worried about her ankles. But really? What with the pelvic squat thrusts? And a song called LUV Madonna? And did everyone really need to have Ms on their clothes? And what the hell does Like a Prayer have to do with world peace?

I watched it again with Tibs and Noodle this afternoon, and in retrospect, her dancing sucked and I’m 100% sure she was lip synching. She just pissed me off with that showoff move during “I’m Sexy and I Know It” when she was doing pushups. The backup dancers were amazing, and so was that weirdo on the tightrope (how is that not unbearably painful for a dude?). The kids liked the LMFAO, but I think Tibs was disturbed with the “LUV Madonna” bit, which makes me love him even more. I give the set designers and the guys who put it all together an A+.

With all that said, I will say that I love Friday Night Lights, a football show that has only the tiniest bit to do with football, which is why I could watch. I also watched because the guy who played Tim Riggins is beautiful (and the best part of the Super Bowl were the previews for two movies with him in them). From now on, I think I am going to stick with Tim Riggins football and nothing else, for the sake of humanity.

Oh, and the Giants suck (for beating the Patriots, because obviously they don’t suck as a team. Duh).

Leave it to the Brit

We’re sitting at dinner, talking about Tibs’ spelling words for the week. Most of them end with -ank. So I’m there at the table with Tibs, yelling them out:

“Thank!” “Sank!” “Rank!” “Bank!” “Tank!”

And under his breath, my charming husband mutters, “Wank.”

Queen Elizabeth would be so proud.