A Side of Rice

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


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Getting Older Is a Pain in My Ass

This year, I will hit the big 5-0. It’s not until August, but my primary care doc wants me to get prepared for it and sent me to a GI doc to begin the process of prepping for a colonoscopy.

Now all those people who say I’m full of shit will have their proof. Or not.

The process includes some initial blood tests to get a baseline of my numbers and then scheduling an anesthesia-filled day at the clinic with a scope up my butt. I have to go through a cleansing ritual prior to the procedure. I quickly skimmed the informational brochure I was handed, with my eyes zeroing in on the words enema, Dulcolax, and Miralax.

Colonoscopy instructions

It was all starting to make me feel so:

Grumpy cat

Don’t we all look forward to celebrating big milestone birthdays in our life this way? Or maybe we should fete important milestones the ways celebrities do. Right Kanye?

Amber Tweet at Kanye

Hard to believe a celebrity twitter beef was happening (yeah, right) about assholes (because there are so few celebrity assholes, right?) on the day a doctor was talking to me about mine. Again:

Grumpy cat

But the biggest pain in my ass on the day that I was preparing to hear about an even bigger — and literal — pain in my ass? Actually getting to the GI doctors office.

You see, Storm Jonas had hit our area the week before and dumped 35″ on us. My husband, 2 boys, and I had spent 3 days after the storm digging out our driveway and sidewalk, bemoaning the fact we didn’t own a snow blower. And also bemoaning the fact that every neighbor we have does own a snow blower.

We had cleared all the snow and ice. But on the way out my door to the doctor’s office that morning, there was a surprise snow/sleet squall. My trek took me across what should have been the clear driveway, but turned out to be our slippery driveway. And I proceeded to:

  • lose my footing on the fucking sleet that now covered my once clear driveway,
  • start to fall down,
  • knock the underside of my chin on the bumper of my car as I went down,
  • hit my knee hard as I landed, cutting it in two places,
  • land on my right hip/lower back — the same side I had back surgery on in 2007, and
  • bump my right elbow as I landed

I laid there, having rolled into a pile of snow in front of the car, thinking:

Grumpy cat

I arrived at the doctor’s office and the wonderful nurse who did the initial workup was kind enough to clean and bandage my wounds. I was mortified that I hadn’t shaved my legs more recently, but who the hell expects to have your knee/leg looked at when you visit the GI doc? Certainly not this klutz girl.

Leg and knee

Thank you Nurse Diana for ignoring my hairy knee and leg

After the appointment, I went home and started a regime of popping ibuprofen like they were Tic Tacs, and sat on a heating pad all afternoon and evening for my aching lower back. I sat on that damn pad so long you would think I was expecting to hatch something.

However, the only thing I appeared to hatch was a realization that getting older — and being a klutz — is a literal and figurative pain in the ass.

Getting older grumpy cat

 


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What All Those Snow Prediction Numbers Really Mean

Unless you live in the southern or eastern hemisphere of Earth, you know that winter storm Jonas is pummeling the east coast of the United States. More importantly, the bulls-eye happens to be the area I live in.

Snowfall Predictions

There are lots of numbers and measurements being thrown around. Those are important, but I’m here to share the truth behind the numbers.

Numbers in inches: The snow started Friday afternoon, and as of Saturday morning at 9:00am we already have 15″ of snow. And it is falling at a rate of 2″ per hour until late into tonight. I’m no math wizard, but that sounds like a final snowfall total best described as 30+”, or:

  • ‘Ain’t-nobody-going-to-work-on-Monday’ inches, or
  • ‘How-the-fuck-do-we-walk-dogs-in-this-crap?’ inches, or
  • ‘Stop-arguing-over-the-damn-Xbox’ inches, or
  • ‘Watch-how-much-milk-you-drink-but-I’m-fine-because-I-bought-the-big-bottle-of-Fireball’ inches

Numbers in MPH: Another important prediction was the winds accompanying the storm. Some gusts are up to 50MPH, and these sustained winds, limited visibility, and large amounts of snow are what lead to blizzard conditions.

You know what else goes 50MPH? A freakin’ lab with cabin fever who gets to go outside after you clear a path from your deck through the yard to the area under where your giant cedar trees are.

And you know what doesn’t go 50MPH? Our other — and much more lazy — lab who, at 10:15am, is still sleeping upstairs. Along with my lazy sons and my husband.

Numbers in hours: This weather event started for us mid-afternoon Friday and is predicted to go until late Saturday — maybe even into early Sunday. That’s a potential for up to and possibly more than 35 hours of non-stop snow.

You know what else goes non-stop during a weather event like this?

  • The bitching and moaning about whose turn it is to play on the Xbox.
  • The bitching and moaning about the fact that with 40 gajillion channels on cable “there’s nothing to watch”.
  • The washing machine and dryer, because we finally have no conflicting sporting events for the kids.
  • A dog’s need to go outside — because in the canine brain, snow is infinitely more inviting than sunshine and refreshing summer breezes.

    IMG_0840

    “You humans are a bunch of candy-asses when it comes to this light dusting of snow.” – Lab who is actually equal parts lab, polar bear, and leaping kangaroo

  • A dog’s need to sit on you instead of next to you during a movie, when you finally do find something on cable to watch

    IMG_0849

    “After Age of Ultron, we get to watch Animal Planet, right?” – Lazy ass lab to oldest son, both of whom finally woke up

  • My need for Fireball because of the Xbox, cable, washer and dryer, dogs, kids, and husband.

And finally, here’s one number that I just can’t get out of my head today…only 57 days until Spring. I’m sure the Fireball will not last that long.

IMG_0850

It’s important to stock up on the essentials during a blizzard.


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My 2016 Resolutions

Here’s my list of resolutions for the coming year. There are 16 in honor of the year 2016. And I’m going to own all these bitches.

  1. I resolve to find out why our HOA thinks building a basketball court in our neighborhood will attract the ‘wrong element’. Because — quite frankly — every time I pass the penis spray-painted on the sidewalk outside my home when I walk the dogs, I’m reminded that some of the ‘elements’ already in this neighborhood are wrong. Perhaps if the little fuckers had a basketball court, they’d have more time for slam dunking and less time for vandalism.
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    Maybe it’s just me, but a basketball court would leave neighborhood kids with less time to craft their pornographic spray-painting skills

  2. I resolve to only drink margaritas made with Patrón. Even if my husband barks about the cost (“$50 for one fucking bottle? That’s got to be a damn misprint.”). Because for whatever reason, many  a $15 margaritas made with the good stuff (almost) never gives me a headache the next day.                          .
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    I’ve done lots of research on this – hangovers are almost non-existent when you drink the top shelf shit.

  3. I resolve to not watch Bridget Jones’ Diary every time it comes on a movie channel. Even though it does clear the family room of boys who only want to watch NFL and NCAA football, MLB baseball, NCAA softball, NBA and NCAA basketball, NHL hockey, and SportsCenter. The following movies also clear the room: Hope Floats, Mean Girls, Magic Mike, and The Devil Wears Prada because they are all chick flicks. And even the dude comedies: Dodgeball: An Underdog Story, Role Models, Old School, 21 and 22 Jump Street, and (embarrassingly enough) Get Him to the Greek elicit a “how many damn times can you watch this movie?” inquiry, followed by a quick exodus. Another go-to for room-clearing is any of the Dateline, 20/20, 48 Hours Mystery re-runs on Investigation Discovery. If I resolve to do this, I don’t know how the hell any of the clean clothes will get folded.
  4. I resolve to fold and put away my clothes the minute they are out of the dryer. Which is in complete conflict with resolution #3, because if I’m doing mindless chores, I need some mindless entertainment. Regardless of available mindless entertainment, I really should be motivated — because grabbing a pair of fresh, folded underwear out of a drawer is much easier than digging it out of a basket of clean clothes I can’t see because it is so damn dark at 5:30am.
  5. I resolve to pay less money to the owners of Proctor and Gamble for cotton and cardboard. Though — truthfully — at age 49, Mother Nature may be taking care of that for me.
  6. I resolve to take and post on Facebook fewer covert photos (with snotty commentary) of the freaks I encounter on my Metro rides to and from work.  I mean, if you can’t say something nice, post it on Snapchat, so it doesn’t live forever and there is less of a chance you’ll be sued. Am I right?
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    Barefoot on the Metro. #SmellsLikeTeenFeet

  7. I resolve to try and figure out why Keeping Up With the Kardashians is so popular and makes Ryan Seacrest ass-loads of money. And why Keeping Up With the Rices wouldn’t even generate a sponsorship from Febreze (though — trust me when I tell you — Febreze would be interested if they had to ride in the car that hauls around the Rice boys’ football gear every Summer and Fall).
    Football gear in the van

    Smells like teen spirit funk

  8. I resolve to spend less time at urgent care for possible teenage broken bones. I hope my boys will comply. Because if not, I may have to kick their asses.
  9. I resolve to not schedule doctor’s appointments when my kids have games. Otherwise I might miss a melee when a parent from the other team goes after a parent from our team in the stands that results in a holiday tournament game being cancelled in the middle of the 3rd quarter. True fucking story that I had to hear about second hand (damn it) when it happened to my oldest son’s middle school basketball team. M.I.D.D.L.E. school, people.
    parent rules

    If you can’t do either, just stay the fuck home.

  10. I resolve to have more alone time with my husband. Don’t we all resolve to do this each year, attempting to find couple time amidst going to work, kids’ sports, community obligations, chores, events, yard work, volunteer activities, etc? If someone can share the secret to doing this, I’m all ears. And my husband sends his thanks in advance.
  11. I resolve to let our dogs know: a) they don’t rule this house, b) the humans are in control, and c) that we won’t succumb to their every demand. I’ll let you know how that works out for us.

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  12. I resolve to try and explain again to my son Nick why he should not raise his middle finger every time he gets the urge. And I’ll try not to find it funny or post the evidence of him doing it on Facebook and Instagram, further cementing another year without a win in the Parent of the Year competition for me.

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  13. I resolve to try not to raise my middle finger every time I get the urge. However, it might be easier for me to abolish the word ‘fuck’ from my vocabulary. On second thought, fuck that.
  14. I resolve to spend more time making dinner and less time baking desserts. Well, let’s not kid ourselves. My family would be eating Chef Boyardee and cereal for dinner if it was up to me to nuke  order  actually make it.
  15. I resolve to not to fall for any more of those click-bait links. Except the quizzes…because I must know what type of unicorn fart I smell like, what Downton Abbey character I am most likely to marry, and what vegetable best personifies my sexual prowess. And I don’t want to miss the important stories about the 17 horribly aged celebrities, the top 10 creepiest family photos, the 30 awkward child stars who are now incredibly hot, the 16 awesome celebrity prom pictures, those 19 incredible movie mistakes, 12 celebrities I didn’t know went to Ivy League schools, the 36 incredible photos that will make my stomach drop, 13 kids with enough money to retire at age 18, and the rare photos that reveal the lives of men ruined by the Kardashians. (All real click-bait headlines!)
  16. I resolve to let you know next New Year’s Eve which of these resolutions I was able to keep. You should resolve not to hold your breath waiting for me to succeed at any of them.

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The Annual Christmas Card Photo-taking Fiasco

For many years, I was the bane of the staff at the JC Penney photo studio’s existence. I would drag my young sons and their equally enthused father to the store on a Saturday in early November, dressed in their finest Sunday best shit with the least amount of stains to get the Holy Grail of photos – the Christmas card insert.

While my kids were easily bribed with milkshakes at Red Robin if they behaved during the shoot, my husband was not as easily snookered. He would Grinch his way through the entire event, from waiting our turn, to getting the kids to sit still long enough for a nice shot (“is it really necessary to have more than one fucking pose?”), to the — in his words — “excruciatingly painful length of time it takes your mother to pick out a photo people are going to toss in the trash.” Ho fucking ho.

The past few years, I’ve taken the pictures myself at home in front of our Christmas tree and had them developed at a local discount store that may or may not rhyme with Halmart. The picture taking process consumes less than 10 minutes and my husband doesn’t have to be involved at all. Well, with the exception of having to haul the Christmas tree up from the basement so I can decorate it on Thanksgiving weekend and take pictures, have them printed, and ready early enough to get the cards out on time. Which leads to even more ho fucking ho.

Even though the process doesn’t take as long as it used to, the posing portion is definitely what takes the most time. There are a number of rejects before we get that perfect shot.

Don’t believe me? Well, here’s the proof. First we tried to get the two dogs in the picture. And you see how that worked out:

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We did finally get the money shot:

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But not before I got a bunch of crap:

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The worst part was actually the individual pictures. Nick was being especially uncooperative and at one point he started crying because he didn’t know what I meant by normal smile:

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Teary-eyed and tired of mom being such a diva photography director

After he calmed down, we took a few more pictures. I told him he could chose the one he wanted to use. And of course he selected the one with the tear drop stains still visible on his sweater.

IMG_6831

Don’t see them…look closer…

Tears up close

Mom-induced tear stains. Lovely.

I have been doing this since 2005, with the exception of 2012 when I was laid off and didn’t send 140+ Christmas cards. Perhaps I should give up my quest for a perfect Christmas photo each year?

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Yeah…no way.

Hope your family had a very Merry Christmas — or whatever year-end holiday you celebrate!


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I Have Some Serious Kobe Numbers…Maybe I Should Retire Also

Basketball has never been my favorite sport. Not when I’m watching it on TV (college or NBA), or sitting in a smelly gym on sub-standard bleachers getting splinters in my ass while middle school teen boys make their best effort to score points and impress the middle school girls who have come to watch.

But I am impressed with Kobe Bryant’s incredible run with one team (his inability to stay faithful to one wife; not so impressive).  And his stats are amazing for what will be a 20-year career when he finally walks away from it all.

This week, he announced that he’s made the decision at the ripe old age of 37 and with a net worth of $360 million (give or take), to retire at the end of this season. At the ripe old age of 49, I believe I’ve got a net worth of $360 worth of glitter glue I will never use on projects I wish I had the time for.

With a solid decade on Kobe in terms of age, I decided to compare his career in basketball to my career in being a parent to kids who play sports. What I’ve found is that I have definitely put in some serious time, banked some serious numbers, and frankly, I should technically be ready for some serious retirement.

How ’bout we let the numbers speak for themselves:

Well, there you have it. Kobe’s 20 year career as a basketball pro vs my 13 year career as a mom. Look at the numbers I’ve amassed — and 7 years faster than Kobe. What a sparkling, shining, and shimmering example of pro motherhood.

Seems all that glitters is not just crafting glue.


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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:

DearboughtSign

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…

Message request: REMINDER:  FOLLOWING HOA RULES KEEP OUR NEIGHBORHOOD VALUES HIGH!

My version:

Message request: NRA CHAPTER RECRUITMENT SOCIAL SATURDAY AT 2:00PM

My version:

Sponsored by the NRA

Message request: LOST BOY’S BLUE BIKE. IF FOUND PLS RETURN TO COMMUNITY CENTER

My version:

Sponsored by Neighborhood Watch

Message request: OUR GHOULS AND GOBLINS WILL BE TRICK OR TREATING FROM 5-8PM

My version:

For real, kids.

Message request: WEED AND WATER: IT KEEPS A LAWN AND OUR NEIGHBORHOOD BEAUTIFUL!

My version:

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

Message request: JOIN US FOR A PTA FUNDRAISING MEETING ON MONDAY EVENING at 6:30PM

My version:

DearboughtSignPTA

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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