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Holy T-shirts, Batman!

>> Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sometimes autism bites. To be a bit more precise, it tears. Or rips. Or shreds. Take your pick.

Monkey Boy has gone through more t-shirts than the health care bill has pages. I’m beginning to think keeping him clothed is going to cost about as much! I’ve lost count of how many garments have fallen prey to the unbridled fury of Monkey Boy’s meltdowns.

Exhibit A:
The Phineas and Ferb t-shirt, brand new for this school year. He wore it once before it bit the dust. It’s probably the best-looking rag on the block now.
Exhibit B: The famed Animal t-shirt? No more. It came home from school yesterday with this big ol’ gash. So did the extra shirt packed in his backpack. (Ironically enough, that shirt said “I do all my own stunts.”  Don’t say we didn’t give you warning.) He got off the bus wearing whatever shirt the school had on hand. It had a hole in it, too.
You’ve seen enough. No use going through the rest of the gruesome evidence.
There has to be an upside to all this, right? They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Well, when Monkey Boy gives you torn up tees, you can:
  • Use the material to make drapes to match the comforter he gnawed a hole in.
  • Add a little rubber cement, a warped vinyl LP, and a busted badminton racquet and display your work as modern art. (It will distract your visitors from the other work of art your little Picasso left on the kitchen wall.)
  • Tear them into little shreds and line your hamster cage.
  • Market them on cable TV as the world’s first shirts with built-in air conditioning.
  • Start a fashion trend. The I-just-wrestled-with-a-lawnmower look could be all the rage this season.
  • Get out a needle and thread and try to repair the damage. (Has it come to that?!)
Of course, I could always go the practical route. Shopping, anyone?


Double, Double Toil and Trouble

>> Saturday, September 25, 2010

Yesterday I decided to do a little baking. Everyone in the house has a sweet tooth, and no sweets = cranky dudes. (OK, and an even crankier Mom. There, I admitted it. Are you happy?) So, I dutifully put on my apron and got my Suzy Homemaker on.

I wanted to make some peanut butter cookies. DSguy had requested them recently. After spying some just-about-to-go-bad bananas, I thought better of it. Wouldn’t be prudent.

Out came the Betty Crocker cookbook, and I was whipping up banana nut bread in no time. You’ve just got to love the Betty Crocker cookbook. It’s practically impossible to screw up one of those recipes. They could have titled it “Idiot-Proof Cooking.”

Speaking of Betty Crocker, I love seeing the progression of clothing styles and hairdos she’s had over the years. My copy of the cookbook was my great-grandmother’s, and it was printed in the 70’s. On the back cover is Betty, wearing a bubble flip hairdo and high-necked collar with a red blazer. Her expression is somewhat warped, perhaps alluding to the pain of having lived through the dark decade following JFK’s assassination and the U.S. involvement in Vietnam…no, wait. That’s just the melted imprint from that time I set the book on a hot burner.

You can take a peek at Betty’s style evolution here: http://www.cookbkjj.com/college/betty_crocker.htm. Thank goodness it only shows her picture up through 1986! I’m afraid to see what the 2010 version looks like. So help me, if Betty shows up looking like Lady Gaga, I’ll wear a meat dress! But, I digress.

After I set the banana nut bread out to cool, I remembered the two large, beautiful, home-grown zucchinis sitting in my fridge. No, I didn’t grow them myself. I’d be hard pressed to grow a cactus. They came from the garden of a lovely lady in our church.

Prudence won out over peanut butter cookies once again, as the thought of rotting green squash in the crisper drawer was not particularly appealing. Use ‘em or lose ‘em! I had just the recipe for zucchini—“yummy muffins” they were called. Having already tasted them at a Bible study, I knew they would go over well with the dudes.

I had quite a bit of zucchini, so I’d better double the recipe, I reasoned. I grabbed the largest bowl in the house and hefted it on to the kitchen counter. I read down the ingredient list…and found spotty bananas were required. Doesn’t that just figure? I just used all the bananas in banana nut bread! Classic. All that shredded zucchini still had to be used, so I traipsed down to the grocery and bought more bananas.

Alright! I finally had everything I needed to actually make the muffins. I started adding items from the list in double portions. I began to worry when I was two-thirds of the way down the ingredient list and the bowl was full to capacity. Somehow I managed to pile all that stuff into the bowl, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to stir it without dumping batter all over the place.

Think. What do I own that is larger than this monster bowl? There was only one solution. I had to transfer the mix to my stock pot.

It all fit, but the effect was reminiscent of Macbeth’s witches stirring their brew in a cauldron. “Double, double toil and trouble!” How ironic. I did double the recipe—and boy, did it bring toil and trouble.

I think I’m set for muffins until next June.


Meet the Family

>> Thursday, September 23, 2010

Much of my humor inspiration comes from the cast of characters in my home. Since I'll likely be referring to them often, I thought you might like to know a little more about them.

The Man - He's my other half, both in life and in slapstick. On our honeymoon, The Man picked me up to carry me over the threshold, and my head hit the doorjamb. I kid you not.

DSguy - Our oldest progeny, so named for his affinity for all things video game. DSguy will happily accompany me anywhere so long as he can play Nintendo DS all the way there. A particularly precocious young scholar, he will often surprise us with little gems of wisdom. When The Man mistakenly took something DSguy said literally, DSguy responded with, "Dad, I was using hyperbole--an obvious exaggeration."

Monkey Boy - Lest you think we are insulting our youngest son, I offer photographic proof that Monkey Boy can climb anything. It doesn't matter if he has a boost or not. If it stands still long enough, he can shimmy up it. Behold:

Yes, that's Animal from the Muppets on his shirt. We picked that out especially for him.

There they are, then. My fellas. My family. My story fodder.


Made You Look!

>> Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Admit it. You’re curious. Why that blog name? I mean, most people instinctively know that they shouldn’t press their lips to something known for burning bread, right? Anyone with common sense could figure that out.

Yeah. And in the annals of “things I shoulda known”—the toaster incident. I must have been around ten or eleven at the time. Blame it on prepubescent hormones, momentary insanity, whatever. There I was, staring at myself in the shiny silver appliance. It was uncannily like looking into a fun house mirror—kind of fun, actually! I twisted my expression into a bunch of different contortions and configurations, pulling my face closer and closer to the polished surface.

You know those warning tags they put on appliance cords? They really mean it.

In one spectacular “duh” moment, my lips made contact with the hot toaster.

Remember those Disney cartoons with Goofy skiing and flying off a cliff? Yeah. That was me. “YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHOOHOOHOOOOOOOEEEEY!”

You’ve just got to laugh at yourself. If you don’t, someone else will beat you to the punch! Humor can be found in many things in life, from the mundane to the milestones, if we look at them with fresh eyes. I’m glad you’re here. Let’s laugh it up! Oh—and never kiss a toaster. Your lips will thank you.


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