A Side of Rice

Hopefully Humorous (and sometimes R-rated) Musings About Life

2015


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Welcome to the ‘Hood

Today, my oldest son turns 13. It’s not like we haven’t seen the signs of adolescence approaching…

  • “Look mom — pit hair!”
  • Moodiness (would Midol help with that?)
  • Growing faster than shoes and clothes and my paycheck can keep up with
  • An insatiable desire to stuff food in his mouth
  • The need for Clearasil
  • “Look mom — more hair. And not in my pit!”

Mom needs a margarita. STAT!

Even more delightful? The fact that his almost 12 year old younger brother is already embracing the sassiness that comes with teenagerhood, as evidenced by this exchange yesterday:

Nick: “Mom, can I have a brownie”

Me: “Didn’t you already have one this afternoon?”

Nick: (sheepishly) “Oh yeah…I must have forgot.”

Me: “Well, then, no. No more brownies.”

Nick: (after a slight pause) “So, you really aren’t interested in being Mom of the Year, huh?”

Me:

Me, after realizing this kid is just like me.

After admitting to myself my youngest is just like me.

So, as we get ready to head into the abyss of the years that comprise teenagerhood to the second power, I will keep these memories in mind:

And know that this is the fate for my husband and myself:

Oh yeah. We're in trouble.

Oh yeah. We’re in trouble.

Here’s to hoping the ‘hood doesn’t kick our ass.

You can't fix stupid.


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A Little Respect, Please

By now, most of us know the rant Kanye Kardashian burst out with after this year’s Grammy’s, with (no) respect to Beck for winning Album of the Year:

“I don’t even know what [Beck] said. I just know that, the Grammys, if they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We aren’t going to play with them no more. ‘Flawless.’ Beyoncé’s video. And Beck needs to respect artistry, he should have given his award to Beyoncé. At this point, we tired of it. What happens is, when you keep on diminishing art, and not respecting the craft, and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music, you’re disrespectful to inspiration. We, as musicians, have to inspire people who go to work every day, and they listen to that Beyoncé album, and they feel like it takes them to a different place. And then they do this promotional event, and they’ll run the music over somebody’s speech, the artist, because they want commercial advertising. We aren’t playing with them anymore. And by the way, I got my wife, my daughter, and I got my clothing line, so I’m not going to do nothing that would put my daughter at risk, but I am here to fight for creativity. That’s why I didn’t say anything tonight, but you all knew what it meant when ‘Ye stepped on that stage.”  -From The Daily Beast

You can't fix stupid.

You can’t fix stupid.

By golly, Mr. Kardashian really let people know he was outraged. And Beyonce is amazing. Given everything going on in the world today, I am glad Kanye is focusing his ire and vitrol and things that really matter.

So I thought … at the Parent of the Year Awards, I wonder what it would feel like if I was a nominee and someone else won. And I realized I would be outraged also, because:

  • What do you mean most nominees make dinner more than 2 nights a week? And how come making the trip to pick up carry out doesn’t count?
  • Is it really “irresponsible parenting” if your 13 and 12 year old sons have seen the uncut versions of Wedding Crashers, The Hangover, Role Models, 22 Jump Street, and Old School? Because I would so be the winner of that category.
  • How is it possible that scrapbooking every milestone for your child is a measure of anything other than too much free time on your hands?
  • Teaching your kids sign language does too involve “the finger”.
  • Do your kids know all the words to Uptown Funk? Do you beam with pride when your boys croon like Usher ‘We want a lady on the street, but a freak in the bed…’?  Are your boys as internationally savvy as my munchkins, who can belt out lyrics like ‘In Brazil they’re freaky with big ol’ boobs’, better than Pitbull?
  • More importantly, do your boys cringe and complain when a Katy Perry song comes on the radio? (If you can’t answer yes to that one, you shouldn’t even be nominated).

So, I guess I do understand why Mr. Kardashian is so miffed. Of course, he’s trying real hard to be a decent human being about all that anger and frustration. I mean, we all believe this:

 “these voices were in my head” and “When I said that thing about respect artistry, I think it came off the wrong way, and that was a mis-wording on my part….

Hey Kanye. Respect this:

Word.

Word.

At least he cuddles Mocha in addition to humping her


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Ode to Our New Dog Jake

                                                                                      Ode to Our New Dog Jake                                                                                         (in the style of the nursery rhyme, “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe”)

One, two…he ate the other shoe

Jake thinks the shoes could use more salt

Jake thinks the shoes could use more salt

 Three, four….he’s destroyed the screen door

"Honey, we need to go to Lowe's"

“Honey, we need to go to Lowe’s”

Five, six…can’t you just chew on sticks?

Furniture: Expensive Sticks: Free

Furniture: Expensive
Sticks: Free

Seven, eight…let me get this straight

Image: Shutterstock

The fuck?

Nine, ten…he’ll get over this when?

Not. Soon. Enough.

Not. Soon. Enough.

Eleven, twelve…the clean laundry basket is not the place to delve

Socks must taste like chicken

Socks must taste like chicken

Thirteen, fourteen…humping Mocha is not a-courting

At least he cuddles Mocha in addition to humping her

At least he cuddles Mocha in addition to humping her

Fifteen, sixteen…stop counter surfing in the kitchen

Jake! Would you please let Alex eat his cereal in peace.

Jake! Would you please let Alex eat his cereal in peace.

Seventeen, eighteen… for you to drop something, I’m a-waiting

Jake! Stop trying to look so innocent...I know it was you who ate that stick of butter I had put on the counter.

Jake! Stop trying to look so innocent…I know it was you who ate that stick of butter I had put on the counter.

Nineteen, twenty…I know your food bowl is empty

Original version: source Wikipedia

One, two, Buckle my shoe;

Three, four, Open the door;

Five, six, Pick up sticks;

Seven, eight, Lay them straight:

Nine, ten, A big, fat hen;

Eleven, twelve, Dig and delve;

Thirteen, fourteen, Maids a-courting;

Fifteen, sixteen, Maids in the kitchen;

Seventeen, eighteen, Maids a-waiting

Nineteen, twenty, My plate’s empty.


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But I Did It First

Last week, the shy, retiring, conservative hot mess Miley Cyrus posted a photo of herself to Instagram. It sparked big controversy. Here’s my overall comment:

Yawn

Yawn

You see, much of what Miley thinks is bad ass, cool, controversial, and TMZ-worthy? Well, I did it first. But it was all before the age of social media, over-sharing, and post-Disney star implosions we have come to expect.

Need proof that I was first? Well, here you go haters.

Want to expand your sexy quotient by using hand gestures and tongue action?

The did-you-need-proof-that-I-have-a-tongue? photos:

Let’s show everyone how much we love our pets:

Then, there’s showing the world your tatas:

There’s the racy outfits:

How about sharing your signing talent?

So let’s get back to that controversial photo Miley recently shared with her 15+ million Instagram followers. Supposedly, it was a glimpse of her girly bits an upcoming photo essay in V magazine. Quick question – based on Miley’s photo, does V stand for Vagina?

When I did all this, there was no Disney to fall disgraced from. No Instagram to provide a permanent visual record of my transgressions. No TMZ to hound me mercilessly and report my slip ups to a celebrity-obsessed public.

Sometimes there are benefits to being first. Especially when you don’t get credit for it.

Mom, Dad, and the girls


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Fifty Shades of Family

The thing about family is that they make you laugh, they drive you crazy, you love them, they surprise you, they frustrate the hell out of you, and we argue with them. And sometimes that’s all in one visit.

This Christmas, we were able to get the whole family together. That’s not an easy task, given that one of my sisters is a flight attendant who lives in Chicago. Another sister lives with her family in Toronto.

One of the reasons we were all together is because this couple…

…was celebrating 50 years of marriage. Five-Oh, people. My parents were having a big party on the actual date of their wedding anniversary over the holiday, and all of their kids and grandkids were going to be part of it.

But in the week leading up to the celebration, Christmas turned out to be a little less than merry. On Christmas day — for some reason — the topic if Ferguson came up as we were sitting around waiting to eat dinner. My dad started to make some bigoted commentary, with my 12 year old son in earshot.

My dad once walked out of a restaurant in DC in the 1960’s when management refused to serve his party because they had a black person with them. My dad — when I was about 10 or so — yelled at me (so that my teammates and coach could hear)  “you get your ass off of that glove and share it with one of those girls”. This was just after my softball coach had told us to sit on our gloves instead of sharing them with the girls from the very under-equipped (and all black) team we were playing against.

So how did he get from that to where he was headed now?

Once his rant started down the cringe-inducing path, I cut him right off. I wish I could tell you my ensuing tirade was alcohol-laced eggnog fueled, or that I had eaten so many rum balls, I was in no shape to drive home. But I was stone cold sober.

I jumped up out of my chair, snarled at my dad about the fact that I was sick of this bigoted crap. The barking spewed forth from me for what seemed like an eternity, but was probably no more than 15 or 30 seconds.

And this was pretty much the look I got from my three sisters, mother, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, and son:

Damn! Bitch be trippin'.

Damn! Bitch be trippin’.

I hurried out of the room in tears after I was done. And now EVERYONE was super uncomfortable, especially my mom. So after I calmed down, I went to the kitchen. I did not apologize to my mom for feeling the way I did and expressing it. I did apologize for the way in which I expressed it, for losing my cool, and for making everyone uncomfortable.

Because when did it change?  When did things go from shades of grey to black vs. white for my dad?

On the way home in the car I asked my son “So, did I pretty much lose my shit tonight?”

“Oh yeah, mom,” he responded. “You totally lost your shit.”

Which made me feel like I could have contributed multiple chapters to this book:

Yep.

Yep.

A week later, we were all gathered for my parents’ 50th anniversary party. It was a lovely evening, surrounded by family and many of their friends:

Dad got up to give a brief speech. He thanked everyone for joining the celebration. He asked the couples in the room who had recently reached the 50 year anniversary milestone to stand up. There were a number of couples who did so.

My dad went on: “50?  Well that’s nothing, folks.” And then he totally got choked up and had to pause a moment and gather himself. Which never happens to him. Once he collected himself, he was able to share with everyone in attendance, “I’d like to introduce you to our good friends from church, the Hollys. They have been married 75 years.”  He even went on to share some stories about funny conversations he and Mr. Holly have had. Everyone cheered and clapped for the Hollys.

The amazing Joseph and Elizabeth Holly

The amazing Joseph and Elizabeth Holly, who got quite the ovation from the party-goers.

For a moment, I was reminded that my dad could stop seeing things as black vs. white.

And I’m grateful that all those years ago, he taught his kids to see beyond the black vs. white.

Jake joins the Rice family


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Jake!

One of my favorite movies is Sixteen Candles. And while not everyone agrees with me, the movie does make me laugh out loud. Plus, my sisters think this girl from the dance scene in the movie is my doppleganger:

Me?

Me?

Here’s my high school senior pic – what do you think?

High School Photo

Perhaps we have the same mullet?

During one scene in the movie, a panicked “Nerd” yells out to the party host to help him out of a tricky situation:

The Nerd ended up drinking martinis and talking girls underpants with Jake. In my life, it’s not nearly enough martinis and playing chase-me-and-try-to-get-your-underpants-that-I’ve-swiped-out-of-the-laundry-basket with Jake.

Jake is the newest addition to the Rice family. My husband had decided our dog Mocha had no one to play with and needed a pal. So we loaded up our alpha female dog and headed out to an adoption event at our local PetSmart. We had gotten Mocha at an event two years earlier, and she was excited about the possibility of a new dog to boss around.

On the way to the adoption event to find a new chew toy...er...furry friend

On the way to the adoption event to find a new chew toy…er…furry friend

We had checked Jake out online before the event and we were looking forward to meeting him. Since Mocha is an alpha female, we needed to be sure the dogs would get along. They did. And we were the first people to adopt a dog that day.

And since we brought him home, it’s like we are living that scene in Sixteen Candles. But we’ve added some dialog to the script:

Jake! Did you really need to chew up the $35 crate pillow we bought? The first day you used it?

Jake! Did you really need to chew up the $35 crate pillow we bought? The first day you used it?

Jake! Do you really need to put your ass in Nick's face?

Jake! Do you really need to put your ass in Nick’s face?

Jake! Would you please let Alex eat his cereal in peace.

Jake! Would you please let Alex eat his cereal in peace.

Jake! Stop trying to look so innocent...I know it was you who ate that stick of butter I had put on the counter.

Jake! Stop trying to look so innocent with all the tail wagging…I know it was you who ate that stick of butter I had put on the counter.

Jake! The blanket my aunt crocheted as a wedding present is NOT your pillow!

Jake! The blanket my aunt crocheted as a wedding present is NOT your pillow!

Jake! You already snuck a loaf off of the counter -- do you really need to eat the recipe too?

Jake! You already snuck a loaf off of the counter — do you really need to eat the recipe too?

Jake! Of course you're going to be banished from the kitchen after you eat a stick of butter AND a loaf of Orange Dreamsicle bread!

Jake! Of course you’re going to be banished from the kitchen after you eat a stick of butter AND a loaf of Orange Dreamsicle bread!

But, truly, most of the time our dialog is: “Jake! Thanks for joining our family”:

We encourage anyone looking for a new furry friend to check out rescue sites or shelters first. We adopted Mocha and Jake from Lab Rescue LRCP.


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Photo Bombs

Every year, it’s the same thing. I get a shitload of grief about the holiday pictures I like to take and include in the gazillion Christmas Cards I send out.

When the boys were younger, we headed to JC Penney for a massive migraine-inducing photo session, exacerbated by 1) the behavior of very young boys who wouldn’t sit still for photos, 2) the snarking of the husband about how long it took me to pick photos, and 3) the cashier telling me how much I owed for the photos.

A year ago, I decided to take my own photos and pay Walmart to make the prints for a fraction of the cost, at a fraction of the wait time, at a fraction of the migraine.  That turned out pretty well, except for the fact that photo pick up is the same place as ship-to-store pick up. And Walmart only puts one cashier at that checkout.

The other downside is my husband barks about having to put the tree up so early, so I can use that as the background in my photos. Just drag the damn tree up from the basement already, Grinch-o.

This year Nick was up first, but he’s a difficult picture taker when it’s posed. And here’s the proof of that:

But then I got the money shot:

IMG_9012A

Of course, I had to crop his hands out, which were stuck in his pockets:

IMG_9012

Alex is a great picture taker, so it only took three attempts to get his:

IMG_9010

Good

IMG_9009

Better

IMG_9011

Best

A picture of the two of them is always such a delight to pull together. Because with two pre-teen boys there’s absolutely no fooling around, or forgetting to smile, of course:

It only took 2 ibuprofen to get two good shots, although you see what I mean by Nick and his posed expressions. But I love the impish look in the second picture and I couldn’t resist ordering it:

IMG_9014AIMG_9016A

For the record, the best picture taker of the day was Mocha and I don’t even get prints made of her:

IMG_9023

One and done, bitches

One final insult…when I placed my order, I messed up. I ordered double the number of wallets of each pose that I needed, because I obviously suck a basic math. So, everyone gets two Rice poses in their card this year.

But at least I only use a fraction of the ibuprofen I used to.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

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