A Side of Rice

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

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Why I Will Never Be in Charge of the Community Sign Board

I drove past the community sign board yesterday and the message on the right piqued my interest:

Phone number removed to protect the privacy of the poor schmuck who can't wait to get rid of this gig.

Phone number removed to protect the privacy of the poor schmuck who can’t wait to get rid of this gig.

Because in between my four hour round trip commute to work each day, my actual job, baking for fun, not making dinner, attending my kids’ sporting events, taking a ton of pictures at my kids’ sporting events, worrying about the lack of indoor plumbing at my kids’ sporting events, complaining about having to work the concession stand at my kids’ sporting events, decorating my dining room table with the equipment from my kids’ sporting events, Happy Hours with the other sports moms, dog walking, and getting mani/pedis and massages, why wouldn’t I take on something else?

Earlier in the year, this encouraging — yet cringe-inducing — message was posted for students in our neighborhood:


It’s the message on the left…the message on the right doesn’t induce much cringing.

It made me think maybe I should volunteer for the gig. I mean, think of editorializing I could do with the message requests for so many individuals and special interest groups…


My version:


My version:

Sponsored by the NRA


My version:

Sponsored by Neighborhood Watch


My version:

For real, kids.


My version:

Sponsored by Mrs. Rice's husband who was her designated driver that one night she did puke in her front yard.


My version:


And of course, there are the general public service announcements…

Sponsored by Team Not-the-Whore

I’m not going to volunteer though. I have a feeling it would just end up like this:

Those sports mom Happy Hours will do it ever time.

Those sports mom Happy Hours will do it every time.

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What If…

What if…six years ago I had really put my foot down and said no when my husband announced that Alex was going to play football?

I mean, was he crazy? I didn’t want my precious 8 year old baby getting knocked around and possibly hurt in such a rough sport. My husband reassured me that at the Mini-Pony level Alex would be playing on, coaches were on the field to help and instruct. It wouldn’t be until the next level that they played “real” football games. So I agreed to one year and we could assess it after that.

What if…after that first year — in spite of my reservations — I was totally hooked?

What if…I loved Saturdays at the football field (minus the concession stand work, of course!), couldn’t wait to sign up our youngest son Nick for next year, couldn’t wait for Alex to play again – the “real” kind of football?

What if…I blinged out spirit wear, took tons of photos, and bought Lion paw earrings in blue and gold?

What if…I captured unforgettable moments on video that Mini-Pony season? Like our team’s touchdown pass to win the SuperBowl in the final 6 seconds of the game:

What if…the emotional post-game coaches’ speeches after that Mini-Pony SuperBowl win were also part of the video memories I made? Including one speech that choked up the head coach, a man who usually doesn’t get too emotional:

What if…many of those boys went on in the next stage of their junior football careers to play another SuperBowl two years later in the Pony division?

What if…we were playing a team we had beaten in the regular season, so spirits were high for a win?

What if…I painted my face with Lion paws, had on my blinged out spirit gear, and made a ton of cupcakes for the boys, coaches and fans in attendance?

All this really shows is that I need to touch up my roots and that a chemical peel might be a good idea.

All this really shows is that I need to touch up my roots and that a chemical peel might be a good idea.

What if…with less than 2 minutes to go in the game, the other team scored a touchdown to pull ahead of us?

What if…we were unable to score in the last minute and a half and lost the game?

What if…the boys had to stand on the field and congratulate the other team as they received the SuperBowl trophy, even though that’s the last place they wanted to be; would they appreciate this life lesson in good sportsmanship?

What if…one of the coaches had to give the post-game talk, and tell the boys through his own tears that he really was sorry because he wanted them to experience the thrill of winning a “real” SuperBowl?

What if…there were lots of 10 years olds in tears that day?

What if…truthfully, there were a lot of parents and grandparents in tears that day, including me with the blue and gold lion paws I had painted on my face running from the tears that betrayed all of hurt I felt as a parent when you see your kid experience disappointment?

What if…two years later, our boys had a good season and had to gut out a few wins toward the end in order to make it to the playoffs at the JV level?

What if…the boys played hard and got through the two rounds of playoffs to make it to another SuperBowl?

What if…we went up against a team we had beaten during the regular season — just like two years earlier?

What if…the score was 0-0 with 24 seconds left in regulation, and we scored a touchdown to take the lead?

What if…on the ensuing kick off, the other team ran it back for a touchdown, tying the game and sending us into overtime?

What if…we were not able to score on our 4 downs, but the opponent kicked a field goal on its fourth down and won the game?

What if…those boys had to again stand on the field and behave as gracious losers, congratulating yet another team as they received the SuperBowl trophy? Would the life lesson from two years ago help ease the pain a bit?

What if…in the post-game huddle, the coaches told the boys how proud of them they were, and told them to look ahead to their final year of junior football before high school, saying we would have an awesome team that could compete with anyone?

What if…the coaches were absolutely right?

What if…as if to bookend where it all started with Mini-Pony (for the Rice family, anyway), the Varsity team had an undefeated season this year?

What if…we headed into the first round of the playoffs facing an opponent we had beaten on their home field during the regular season?

What if…once again, spirits were high for a successful run through the playoffs to the SuperBowl as a #1 seed?

What if…it was not to be?

What if…our boys were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round game, as a drive to tie the game in the last minute fell short?

What if…the most true thing one of the coaches told the boys in the post-game huddle was: “A good team won today, and a good team lost today.”?

What if…that wasn’t the end of the story?

What if...I told you, a group of boys — some of whom I had watched over six years (a number have been playing together even longer) — became fine young men before my eyes that day?

What if…it was not because they had only one season in six years where they didn’t make the playoffs…and not because they had their second undefeated season in all those years…and not because they outscored their opponents 276 to 26 in the regular season of their Varsity year?

What if…they became young men because at the end of the game our team asked if they could pray with the team that had just knocked them out of the playoffs and dashed their hopes for a SuperBowl win?

What if…they became young men because they asked to kneel with ‘the enemy” to show solidarity for one of the opponent’s teammates — 12 year old Colby Reid — who was just diagnosed with stage IV Anaplastic Large Cell (Non-Hodgkins) Lymphoma and is now going through six months of aggressive chemotherapy treatments?

What if…our coaches had both teams gather in the center of the field, and one of our coaches led the players and coaches from both teams in prayer for Colby and his family, and our boys shouted a hearty “Amen” once the prayer was done?

Post-game prayer for Colby Reid

Post-game prayer for Colby Reid, led by Walkersville Lions coach Brett Hess. Photo courtesy of Michelle Ahalt.

What if…I had missed this incredible, amazing, heart-wrenching moment in the lives of these young men and their coaches?

What if…six years ago, I had said no to something that would have brought me so many ups and downs, wonderful memories, and a host of friends I now call my sports family?

What if…I get to keep it all in my heart forever?

My son Alex:

Six amazing years

Six amazing years

The 2015 Varsity Walkersville junior Lions:

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Fingering the Culprit

It would appear that a broken collar bone has no impact on a young boy’s ability to act like a sassy ass. How do I know?

Because last Friday our local high school had its Homecoming game. That included a parade on Friday evening that the junior football teams (students in elementary and middle school) get to participate in. Late on a crisp Fall afternoon, the teams gathered behind the middle school to get ready to join the parade and march through the town’s main street to the high school:

Smalltown, USA (aka: Walkersville, MD)

Smalltown, USA (aka: Walkersville, MD)

I was set up on the parade route to capture pictures as the teams walked by. I was not at the middle school, but one of the other team moms was. She was helping organize the kids (good luck with that) and took some pictures. Of course, my kid can’t take a normal picture to save his class clown ass:

And the next picture explained:

Look close

Look close

Why my kid — in spite of his injury — had that impish grin on his face in the previous picture:

No, really. Focus on my kid.

No, really. Focus on my kid.

And as you zero in on Mr. Bad-Decisions-Mean-I-Will-Never-Get-an-iPhone, you’ll see it:

Collar bone busted, but both digitus medius working fine apparently.

Collar bone busted, but both digitus medius working fine, apparently.

Because OH MY GOD, THIS:

His collar bone is broken, but his digitus medius are working just fine, thank you.


So when it comes to determining who our son takes after —  me or my husband? Let’s just say I’ve fingered the culprit.

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We Don’t Need No Water

My husband is a quiet, unassuming guy. He has a funny bone, but doesn’t employ it nearly as much as his loud, vivacious, annoying, outspoken, untamed, outgoing and sometimes drunk Tequila loving wife does.

But every once and awhile, he still surprises me.

We had discovered a leak in a skylight in our bathroom, and had a repair company come out and take a look. They were scheduled to do an inspection at 8:00am Monday morning. When I didn’t hear anything from him, I texted this:

Like, how much fixing it is going to cost?

If it’s taking this long, it can’t be good news

And because he was probably taking his afternoon nap (really…getting up around 10:00am is so exhausting), he didn’t respond right away. But while I was suffering through another Metro train ride on my way home, this popped up:

on Fire? Um...

on Fire? Um…

Which was quickly followed by this:


Clever, you jackass.

Love that guy.


Listen to Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three rap out The Roof is on Fire and sing along with the lyrics below:

Let’s make some noise! (x 5)

Hey girls, B-boys
Superstar DJs – here we go!

Somebody say ‘Ho’ (Ho)
Say ‘Ho, Ho’ (Ho, Ho)
Now somebody, anybody, everybody scream (Scream)

Now throw your hands in the air
And wave ’em like you just don’t care
And if you’re not a square from Delaware
And you got on clean underwear
And your momma ain’t on welfare
Somebody say ‘Oh, yeah’ (Oh, yeah)
Oh, yeah! (Oh, yeah)

Well DJ’s spinning on the wheels of steel
Like it ain’t no thing, cause he is for real
He’s cuttin’ the jams with a wave of his hand
And it sounds so fresh it’ll make you stand
You hear the highs in your eyes, the bass in your face
This super DJ can rock the place
You hear bass, highs, tremblin’ tones
He can even cut the jams without the headphones

Well Stick Rick is rockin’ to the break of day
Makin’ all the fly girls that wanna give me a play
Now if your DJ rocks to the break of day
Let me hear you say ‘DJ’ (DJ)

We’re gonna rock to the break of day
Say ‘Keep on rockin’ it’ (Keep on rockin’ it)
Keep on rockin’ it (Keep on rockin’ it)
Come on y’all – Keep on rockin’ it (Keep on rockin’ it)


Uhn – Uhn, uhn, uhn

Now clap your hands and stomp your feet
While the DJ scratch to the funky beat
He’s makin’ you move until your body sweat
He’s even givin’ you more than you supposed to get
Now twist and turn and let your body burn
And show everybody what you just learned
Let’s all get together and form a crowd
While the DJ play it, nice and loud
Now everybody in the place to be
Let’s all get together, repeat after me
Say, ‘Rock the house’ (Rock the house)
Say, ‘Rock the house’ (Rock the house)
Everybody say, ‘Turn it out’ (Turn it out)
Come on – Turn it out (Turn it out)
I like it (I like it)
Come on – I love it (I love it)
Let me hear ya – I like it (I like it)
One more time – I love it (I love it)
Come on

Well I’m the master blaster, a man to see
Rockin’ the bass for everybody
If ya DJ rocks to the break of day
Somebody say ‘DJ’ (DJ)
We’re gonna rock it to the break of day
Say ‘Keep on rockin’ it’ (Keep on rockin’ it)
Keep on rockin’ it (Keep on rockin’ it)
Keep on rockin’ it (Keep on rockin’ it)
Keep on rockin’ it (Keep on rockin’ it)

Djs now, I’m coming strong
You better take my advice
Because it lasts this long
Is rocking the house
One job well done
For any DJ in this world to be someone
To make a fella say “Hoo” the girls get loose
The crowd wanted that?????????????
You wanna make some cash
Because it’s all about ?????
… no matter how much you spend

Now everybody in the place to be
Let’s all get together, repeat after me
Say, ‘Ho’ (Ho)
Say, ‘Ho, ho’ (Ho, ho)
Once again – I like it (I like it)
Come on – I love it (I love it)
One more time – I like it (I like it)
Come on – I love it (I love it) Ha!

All the fellas in the house if ya wanna break dance
Say, ‘Break dance’ (Break dance)
Say, ‘Break dance’ (Break dance)
Come on
Say, ‘Break – break, break, break’ (Break – break, break, break)
Cut it up DJ

This DJ cut different ways
So let me hear you cut it, DJ

Let’s make some noise (Ho)
Let’s make some noise – come on
The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire
(We don’t need no water, let the motherfucker burn)
(Burn, motherfucker, burn)
The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire
(We don’t need no water, let the motherfucker burn)
(Burn, motherfucker, burn)

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire
Say ‘Ho’ (Ho)
Say ‘Ho’ (Ho)

Source: Songfacts, LLC

Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind


The Adventures of Collar Crusher and Broken Boy

While it sounds like this is the latest offering from Disney channel, starring a line-up of soon-to-be-hot-messes, it’s not. Well, the hot messes part is on target, but this is the painfully non-Disney like story of my sons Alex and Nick. Who might as well be named ‘Jesus, you outweigh your brother by 70 pounds’, and ‘for fuck’s sake, we told you tackle football was a bad idea’.

Last Sunday, my husband’s brother invited us to watch the opening day of NFL football. Also invited were his other brother, and a few friends they had grown up with. It seemed like a relatively benign way to spend a Sunday. If you define benign as ‘ha ha, life’s about to mess with you’.

During the games, our boys decided to go outside and toss a football around. I do believe my husband’s instructions were something along the lines of “be careful.”  I was more to the point. “I am not interested in spending my Sunday afternoon or evening at the emergency room, so don’t be stupid.”

Turns out ‘careful’ and ‘don’t be stupid’ took a holiday.

At around 6:30pm, my husband jumped off the couch and headed to the patio door that led to the backyard. He grumbled something like “Nick isn’t getting up.”  My husband’s brother said “it looks like he may be hurt”, and went outside to help. I figured they had everything under control.

If you define control as ”oh shit, party’s over.

My husband came back inside about 5 minutes later and growled “get your shit, we’re leaving.” I quickly grabbed the container of cookies I had made, and headed toward the door, thanking my sister-in-law for the hospitality.

When I got to the car, one thing was clear. Karma was letting me know my little snark about not visiting emergency rooms was not going to be tolerated. Nick was completely silent, with his right shoulder very obviously slumped forward and his eyes closed. His brother Alex was sitting next to him — equally as silent — with tears running down his cheeks.

We stopped at an urgent care near our home. My husband dropped Nick and I off, and took Alex home to walk the dogs. And probably to chew on his ass a little more.

They took Nick back to the x-ray room right away. During the initial medical review, Nick heard the words ‘surgery’ and ‘pins’ and turned pale. He said, “I think I may throw up.”  His blood pressure dropped and they laid him down on the exam table. I kept my cool and told him everything was going to be ok.

Once he was stable, they got him ready for the x-ray. By this time, my husband had returned. And my cool had departed. Because this showed up on screen:

I'm no doctor, but that doesn't look right...

I’m no doctor, but…

Which I think made my face do one of these:

*Cue audible gasp of horror*

*Cue audible gasp of horror*

And my mouth made a very loud noise, something like “ooowwwweeewwwwughhhhhhhh!”  My husband shot me a “shut it!” look, because there was no point in freaking Nick out any more than necessary. So I sat there silently, with my hand over my mouth, as tears started to flow.

Turns out Alex had fallen on Nick after tackling him, and the ball was under Nick’s shoulder. Nick’s shoulder gave way to the pressure of being squeezed between the football and his brother. Nick’s collar bone was broken. Broken completely in half.

Because when the Rices do something, they don’t do it half-assed, bitches.

We were given a print out of the x-ray, a referral to an orthopedic surgeon for the next day, and prescription for Tylenol with codeine. Since our normal pharmacy was already closed, we went to the only 24 hour pharmacy in town. Yay – they were out of the prescription and wouldn’t be able to get any before Tuesday. But they told us we could try the next closest 24 hour pharmacy, which was about 45 minutes away.

Being the loving, caring parents we are, we said the hell with that bought liquid ibuprofen and Tylenol, doubling the recommended dose once we got him home.

The next morning, all four of us piled into the car and headed to the doctor’s office. It was pretty busy, but we were grateful they had been able to fit in our emergency appointment. Of course, the waiting is always the hardest part:

Nick looks like he's stoned, doesn't he?

Nick looks like he’s stoned, doesn’t he?

It’s the hardest part until you end up seeing the doctor and he examines you, touching your very injured shoulder in a sneak attack that makes you your son jump and yelp.

And the examination is the hardest part until the tech comes in and has to reset the bone, then put on the brace and sling, causing you, your oldest son, and (most importantly) the injured son to start crying. This episode of The Adventures of Collar Crusher and Broken Boy brought to you by Kleenex.

After all the drama of Sunday and Monday, this popped up on my Facebook feed Tuesday morning:

My ballers

My ballers

This memory reminded me that when times are good, my boys love and support one another. And this experience let me know that when things are tough, they will empathize with and definitely support one another.

When it comes to The Adventures of Collar Crusher and Broken Boy, Disney couldn’t have scripted a better ending to this episode.

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‘Teenage Safety’ Doesn’t Have to Be an Oxymoron

Today, my boys — and countless other kids — headed back to school. While I’m sure the Xbox will miss them terribly, it’s definitely time for them to re-engage their brains with something more taxing than figuring out whose turn it is to “kick some butt” at Madden15.

Yep, definitely time to get back to language arts and improving vocabulary.

But if the photo of them I took getting ready to head to the school bus is any indication, vocabulary is the least of our worries:

Did you wash your hands before you started annoying your brother?

Did you wash your hands before you started annoying your brother?

Our real worry might be that we need to reinforce what it means to behave in such a way that they come home safely each day. And by safely, I mean 1) in one piece, 2) with no notices from teachers of inappropriate behavior, 3) with no “where is your child’s homework?” messages, 3) as germ-free as possible, and 4) having not generated a call to me or their dad from anyone with the word ‘principal’, ‘counselor’, ‘police’, or ‘officer’ as part of a job title.

My young teenage boys tend to block out my voice — especially when the words “clean up”, “pick up”, “stop that”, “knock it off”, and “I better not have to tell you again” are used. But, I decided to review some important safety messages with them for the start of the school year anyway.

When it comes to…

  • Cell phone safety: You do not need your cell phone with you to function effectively as a 7th or 8th grader in middle school.
    • Yes, I know that your friends Jacob, Owen, Jake, Brett A, Brett B, Ben, Nick, Ty, and every other kid in your class gets to bring their cell phone to school because their parents are cool and I suck. But I need you to focus on school work when you are at school — not Snapchatting, Instagramming, Facebooking, and/or Tweeting.
    • Nice try, but you won’t need the calculator on your cell phone, because I forked out $25 for a scientific calculator for you to use in Algebra.
    • And you won’t need your cell phone to reach me in case of emergency. There is a phone in the principal’s office and the school bus drivers all have a cell phone. Besides, if I get a call from the principal’s office, it better be because you’re sick, or you’ve broken your leg, or you’ve just won the Nobel prize. You feelin’ me?
  • Food safety: You need energy, and food is your fuel. At lunch, food is for eating and will provide the fuel you need to be alert and stay focused in the afternoon. And just to be clear, food is not for:
    • throwing: the last thing I need is for you to use your PB&J sandwich as a projectile that accidentally lands on the nut-free table, jeopardizing any classmate with an allergy.
    • smashing: if you make a mess, you will be cleaning it, not the janitor. Same rules apply at home: substitute ‘your mom’ for ‘the janitor’.
    • trading: eat what ya brung (or in my kids’ cases – what ya bought).
    • taking pictures of and posting to social media: see cell phone safety above.
    • experimenting with: gross. Just gross.
    • teasing people with: see cell phone safety above with regard to phone calls from principals and/or counselors.
  • Germ safety: You are no longer a toddler shoving everything not nailed down into your mouth (with the exception of cheeseburgers and fries). This means your (most likely dirty) hands should be not touching everything within your ever-widening wing span. Here are some good rules for keeping germs where they belong, which — to be clear — is Not. On/In. You.
    • Those dispensers of soap in the bathroom: USE THEM.
    • Those dispensers of hand sanitizer located throughout the school: USE THEM.
    • Those boxes of tissues we send in at the request of your teachers: USE THEM.
    • Wet willies and spit balls: No. JUST NO.
    • Crayons, markers, and other writing instruments: OUT OF YOUR MOUTH. You never know who else has been gnawing on them, what’s at the bottom of the bookbag where they have been residing, or — heaven help us! — what they are made of.
    • Handling someone else’s cell phone: No. JUST NO.
    • Sharing drinks at lunch: No. JUST NO.
    • Coughing into the sleeve of your shirt and not into the face of your friend(s): YES! ALWAYS YES!

Have a safe school year boys. This will be great practice, because wait until you see the safety rules I’m working on for your next Summer vacation.

Ready for 7th grade -- and two thumbs up for moms safety rules.

Ready for 7th grade — and two thumbs up for moms safety rules.

Ready for 8th grade, but bummed their is no advanced course in Madden 15.

Ready for 8th grade, but bummed there is no elective for Advanced Madden15.


From Now On, We’ll Use the Proper Slang

This Summer, my parents paid for a vacation for my siblings and our families. While it wasn’t exactly the beachy vacation of our dreams, it was great for all 16 of us to be together.

And 6 days was just enough time to enjoy each other’s company before we began to question parenting skills, spousal choices, and various personality quirks. There are only so many ‘party of 16’ dinners in a row that sane people kin can stand before the whole damn experience is ruined by way too much togetherness.

The kids had a great time on multiple afternoons at the pool. They enjoyed the slide and I was in the pool to capture video with my new iPhone6.

I was trying out the new slo-mo feature for the first time and caught the kids as they came down the tunnel on the slide and into the pool. I was able to do a screen grab for a photo of the fun…


My nephew Jonas comes down the slide and shows us that it’s always ok for fake gun play.


My niece Callie does the ‘hold the nose’ pose as she splashes down


My nephew Will shows nothing buy joy when he hits the water


My son Alex gets no style points for his splashdown

However, it was my son Nick who provided the best slo-mo and screen capture of a slide. Of course, I didn’t see it at full speed. But when I reviewed it in the slo-mo, this is what I saw…(wait for it…wait for it…)

And because my Parent of the Year Award is long overdue, I never miss an opportunity to make fun of myself and my parenting skills, I posted this to Facebook:

Nick on Slide

Facebook likes my many parenting triumphs fails.

One week later, our family gathered for the annual Cousins and Crabs feast. Over a pile of steaming, delicious hard crabs, my cousin Joe from Florida told me that his family had coined a new phrase. “We now call it ‘Nicking someone off’ whenever we see someone giving the finger”.

Which made me want to do this:

Hot damn...Best. Parent. EVER.

Hot damn…Best. Parent. EVER.

So, anyone who disagrees with my parenting style in the future…well I’m just going to Nick them off.


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