A Side of Rice

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


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Yet Another Parenting Win

My organization supports the Take Your Child to Work day that many other companies participate in. The official day in 2015 was April 23. That happens to be a busy time of year for my organization, so we delayed it until school was out. We had the event in June.

My organization invites the two other organizations who lease space in our building to participate. We have a full day of activities and education for elementary, middle, and high school kids, with a focus on health professions.

I was excited about my kids participating. The most valuable thing they learned the last time they did this was damn, mom gets up so early every day so we can have an Xbox and all the cleats we need to play sports.

The day started at 6:00am. I normally leave the house at 6:00am, but I cut the boys some slack since this was the third official day of their Summer vacation. By 6:30am, my two groggy commute mates had stumbled to the car with the promise of me buying them a bagel from Panera on the way to the office. Of course, there was the mandatory bellyaching about who got to sit in the front seat, which was quickly squelched by my brilliant missive “Just get the fuck in the car and save your fighting for when all of my colleagues’ kids can enjoy it!”

The boys like taking the Metro. It’s fun to get a ticket, ride the train, and travel up and down via escalator. Because we got to the Metro station at a busy point in rush hour that morning, the car was packed. Nick had to sit on my lap, and Alex sat in a seat facing ours.

Nick has never suffered the heat well. And this Tuesday morning was going to be no exception. By the 5th stop, it was standing room only with no A/C. And we had about 11 more stops to go – all underground with even less fresh air.

The combination of crammed bodies, sitting on my lap, no A/C in our Metro car, the swaying motion of the train, and the (supposedly non-toxic) brake dust smell did Nick in just 2 stops later.

He blurted out, “I don’t feel good…” as we rolled into the station.  Which resulted in a panicked look from the passenger sitting on the seat next to us. I jumped up and told the boys we were getting off at this stop.

As we stood at the door waiting for the train to come to a stop, Nick began heaving a little bit. Passengers parted like the Red Sea. I threw my hand over his mouth and whispered “just don’t puke until we get off the train.”

To give Nick some credit, he did wait to fully puke until the doors opened. However, he started spitting up water as we stood on the train waiting for the doors to open. He spit up all over my hand that was over his mouth…and quite close (if not on) the poor woman who had not gotten out of our way fast enough. I sheepishly mumbled “sorry” as I shoved Nick off the train, making sure his brother followed us.

As Nick fell forward to the platform on all fours (quite the drama monkey, that one), he tossed the open bottle of water he had been carrying toward me. Well, technically, he tossed it all over me. I looked like I was the last place contestant in a Hooters wet t-shirt contest, who had also wet her pants.

Hot damn, Take Your Kid to Work Day is awesome so far.

17_times_rolling_your_eyes_was_totally_acceptable__16_It didn’t take long for Nick to feel better. We hopped another train that was less crowded and did have A/C. We made it to work with no further puking incidents. I dropped them off in the conference center, and went about my day. At lunch, I joined them in our large conference room, along with the other kids and their parents.

Made of moneyThey complained because the only lunch option was turkey sandwiches. I told them after the lunch presentation, I would take them out and get them some food. Because why eat a free lunch when you can spend your mom’s hard-earned Benjamin’s, am I right?

During the lunch session, we had a medical student, physician assistant, and a dentist talk to the kids a bit about careers in each of those respective fields. The PA asked the kids “what do you think I do all day?”

Nick shouted out: “Work!”

Then the medical student asked “any of you want to share why you want to be a doctor?”

Alex blurted out: “The money!”

Even though you might think that would officially put Take Your Kid to Work Day in the win column for me, that was not the crowing achievement.

That didn’t come until the staff photographer told me about the pictures taken during the event. After looking through the album, it was then — and only then — that I knew the day was a total win for the Rice boys and their mother.

Kids to work-5

Mom, we can’t ‘stomach’ another day of learning during Summer vacation. It hurts our ‘brains’!


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On Guns, Flags, and Hatred

One of my favorite bloggers, Wendi Aarons, recently challenged all of us via Facebook to write about the horrific events in Charleston, SC.

WendiAarons

To raise awareness. To get conversations started. To make people think outside of their comfortable confines about what race, race relations, and hatred truly mean in ‘Merica today. And what we can do to start making some changes.

There are two things about this situation that disturb me. The first is guns. The second is the confederate flag. And I have (very) opinionated friends and family on both sides of the debate.

GUNS: As the hideous traffic I endure on my commute to work luck would have it that day, I was stuck in a no-go situation on my commute. I was behind this patriot, and his window sticker caught my attention.

Comeandtakeit

License plate obscured by me so you won’t be able to look him up. Privacy AND gun rights protected. Yeehaw.

In case you can’t read his window sticker, here’s a zoomed in look:

I love a challenge

For real, dude?

Frankly, you can keep your semi-automatic assault weapon. Or your rifle. Or your handgun. I don’t want to take it from you. I have no intention of modifying the Second Amendment in any way.

And for the record, here’s what the amendment says:.

As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, then-Secretary of State:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

So good luck with your militia. Or hunting down wildlife. Or target shooting. Or protecting yourself. Or whatever it is you would like to do with your weapon.

But please stop blaming the victims. For the love of all that is holy, stop blaming the victims:

NRA Board Member's comments about Charleston. SMDH.

NRA Board Member’s comments about Charleston. SMDH.

All I’m asking — all any of us are asking — is rethink the current regulations surrounding gun ownership and sales practices.

CONFEDERATE FLAG: My feelings on the flag are this: its legacy of hate trumps any BS about heritage. I think John Stewart said it best. So, all I have to say is “ditto”:

In the end, I’d like to think that my opinionated family and friends can come together and agree on this:
When individuals are being repeatedly slaughtered in the name of hate or because it’s easy to bring violence to innocents, we need to act.


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Nick and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

When you’re 12, life is pretty simple. All you have to do is a little homework, a few chores, and spend the rest of your waking life 1) annoying the snot out of your older brother, 2) pretending you don’t hear your parents when they call your name, 4) watching vines of guys getting hit in/on/around their balls, or 3) complaining about the fact you have no clean socks.

But a few weeks ago, my son Nick’s life turned from simple to simply terrible. Simply horrible. Simply no good. Simply very bad.

It started with one of the other moms telling me at a lacrosse game on May 16 about a book report each kid in the class was working on, due on May 29. Funny, Nick hadn’t mentioned anything to me. So on the way home, I asked him about it.

“Oh yeah,” he responded. “I have to draw a comic strip representation of the story. It should be easy.”

“Have you started reading the book yet?” I questioned.

“Um…no. It’s only 200 pages, so I figured I could do that the night before and just draw the comic strip, too.”

Read a 200+ page book and draw a comic strip representative of the characters, storyline, plot, conflict, and resolution in one night when you’ve had a whole month to work on it? Terrible, Nick. Just terrible.

On May 19, I got a call from the assistant principal at Nick’s school. It seems that during recess (his favorite part of school) he and classmates had been playing kickball. A kid who (allegedly) constantly interrupts the game, goofs off, and doesn’t play fair started doing just that. And Nick — in his words — just snapped. “He does it every recess and it ruins the game and then we don’t get to spend our time playing because of it!” The Assistant Principal let me know that Nick had started chasing the kid when he purposely kicked the ball over the fence, effectively ending the game. At some point the kid turned around and hit Nick in the face.

Both boys were called into the principal’s office separately. Nick had given his side, the other kid told his side, and both sets of parents received a call.

So, tell the assistant principal you ‘just snapped’, and chased a kid because he ruined your kickball game at recess? Horrible, Nick. Just horrible.

On May 20, we got an email from one of Nick’s teachers. He was missing some homework and she asked us to check his binder when he brought it home. I’m not sure how most teachers define ‘some’, but I certainly don’t define it as more than 8 homework assignments not done/not turned in since early April. The teacher had provided a list of all the missing items and highlighted them. My husband spent most of the evening barking at Nick because he’d been telling us he either did it in school or had no homework.

Later that evening when the barking subsided, Nick sat with me at the kitchen table and cleaned out his binder, put papers in the sections where they belonged, and completed EVERY LAST FUCKING PAPER LABELED HOMEWORK that I could find.

At one point he wailed, “but mom, we did ratios way back in January. This one doesn’t matter.”

To which I hissed back “It. Matters. To. Me.”

Which made Nick’s face do something like this:

Yikes.

Yikes.

Not doing your homework, not turning it in when you do complete it, and lying to us about having and/or doing your homework? No good, Nick. Just no good.

On the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, I was working from home. I heard a strange noise coming from our deck where the dogs were. Going to investigate, I found Jake with what appeared to be a grin on his face as he chewed. I attempted to reason with him … “what is that?”…”give me that”…”this is not a game you dumb furbag”. Reasoning with him didn’t work. When I was finally able to snatch the object from him, it was the remnants of Nick’s retainer case. And no remnants of a retainer.

This was his third retainer because 1) our other dog Mocha sampled and destroyed the first one, and 2) because Nick thought his pocket was a great place to store the second retainer until he sat on it and broke it in half.

For the record, retainers cost 12 pedicures (@ $25 per pedicure), people. TWELVE!

My husband and I had no idea if the retainer had been in the case, since Nick is notorious for forgetting to put it back in after meals, after brushing teeth, or after his parents have harassed him repeatedly with comments like “perhaps a little Gorilla glue will help you remember to keep the damn thing in your mouth!”.

So when Nick danced in the door that afternoon and shouted out “Three day weekend, baby!”, he had no idea his celebration would prove premature. My husband called him into the office where he was working. I heard him ask Nick “do you have your retainer in your mouth?”.  Nick mumbled something back. And the next thing I heard may have rhymed with “Well why the duck not?”

Leaving your retainer case where counter-surfer Jake can get it, so that your parents have to buy a third replacement retainer for $300 in less than a year? Very bad, Nick. Very bad. (You too, Jake)

Let’s just hope his brother Alexander doesn’t have a similar kind of experience…

alexander-and-the-terrible-horrible-no-good-9781481414128_lg

37-mean-girls-gif


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iCaved

I’m guessing that the average age that kids start pestering their parents for a phone is about 12. Or maybe it is better defined by the point at which they enter middle school and have the potential to eat up copious amounts of minutes and data by texting and sharing pictures (more on that later).

For us, the trigger point was my son attending a birthday sleepover with one of his friends who turned 13 earlier this year. Evidently, every kid at the party had their cell phone with them. When the birthday boy’s mom asked Alex, “did you forget your phone Alex?”, his response was “I’m not allowed to have one.”

Way to throw your mean old parents under the bus, kid. Well, actually, his mean old mom. His dad thinks he should have a phone.But I refused to give in because my philosophy has always been:

I still have to drive your ass to everything, so you aren’t going to have any roadside emergencies for awhile. And as long as the school principal’s office has a phone, you don’t need one. Besides…if I do get a call from the principal’s office, you have bigger problems than being the only kid without his own cell phone.

We had this same argument when it came to zombie/blood/guts/guns/war games for the Xbox. I was the last mom on the planet (according to my sons) to let them have Call of Duty. But I was the first mom to let them watch movies like Wedding Crashers, Dodgeball, Role Models, and The Hangover. I should earn some cool mom credit for that, right?

Bitchplease

The case for a phone was not getting any stronger after I spent a night out with the moms of two eighth graders and another seventh grader. They told me about the big scandal at school during the basketball season. Eighth grade boys were allegedly taking pictures of themselves, texting/snapchatting them to girls, and asking the girls to send pictures of their boobs back. And the girls were agreeing to it.

Well, somebody get me to the cell phone store so I can get my son a phone – STAT!

37-mean-girls-gif

The next day I asked Alex if he had heard of any kids getting called to the principal’s office about inappropriate texting and picture sharing. He responded, “not that I know of.”  His father then said “Alex, were people sending naked pictures around?”  Alex quickly responded, “oh yeah, that. Mom you didn’t ask if it was naked pictures.”

The fuck?

The fuck?

But this past week, I had to take my son Nick to lacrosse practice on Wednesday while my husband was out of town. Alex’s friend Ty came over just before we were going to leave and asked if Alex could come play. I said yes, and before I had a chance to ask where he was going and give him a time to be home, he was out the door and gone.

Nick and I jumped in the car to head to practice. We drove thru the neighborhood to see if we could find Alex to tell him what time to be home. But we didn’t see him, so I left in order to get Nick to practice on time.

On the way to practice, Nick said “you know mom, if Alex had a phone, you could just call or text him what time to get home.” Which made me feel like this:

Shut it, kid.

Shut it, kid.

While I was at the lacrosse field, I got this text from Alex’s iPad at 7:00pm:

He checked in, and I hadn't even asked him to

He checked in, and I hadn’t even asked him to

So after sitting down with my husband and coming up with a list of what Alex isn’t allowed to do with this phone, we visited the Verizon store on Sunday, and purchased him one. While we were there, my husband and I upgraded the iPhone 4’s we have had since 2010 to iPhone 6’s.

And the whole thing probably cost us less than all the replacement retainers his brother Nick has lost in less than a year — three of them at $300 a pop! Nick will probably not be eligible to join the family phone plan until the iPhone 13 becomes available, given his track record with retainers. However, his orthodontists are making enough bank from the Rices to upgrade their phones every month or so.

So, we can now send Alex and his brother to the pool by themselves during the Summer, and still be able to reach them. We can have them go play with friends and have a way to check in with them periodically.

And middle school girls…in case you think I’m a pushover because I caved on getting my son a phone, here’s some advice. You want no part of a momma who might find your booby selfie on her son’s phone.

Wonder Mom says

Wonder Mom says “oh HELL no!”


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Missing Inaction

Yes, I know dear readers (both of you!). It has been awhile since I last posted. In my defense, the universe recently conspired to make my life crazier than normal, with the trifecta of:

  • spilling my FULL cup of coffee all over my brand new laptop, resulting in me having to send it away to be fixed by the Geek Squad. Luckily, I had purchased the I’m such a dumbass, so I need the extra ‘in-case-I-do-anything-stupid’ insurance, and the complete repair was free. During the time I was laptopless, I had to share the other laptop with my boys, which meant eyerolls, huffs, sighs, and mutterings when I needed to use the laptop. Because this meant my boys’ viewing time of Vines showing farting, falling, bones breaking, sports silliness, bad lip synching, Elaine Benis-style dancing, and other nonsense aimed at those with a mental maturity no greater than Beavis and Butthead was limited by my need to look up what bat shit crazy advice “every woman” Gwenyth Paltrow was sharing with us common folk.
  • at work, we had a big — I mean BIG — launch to contend with in April. So many moving parts and pieces, endless meetings, longer-than-usual workdays, work on weekends, communication plans, backup plans, backup backup plans, war rooms, conference calls – you name it, we were doing it. And it turned out to be a success. Yay team.
  • the Spring sports season has started for my kids. We have one that plays baseball (both travel and rec teams) and one that plays lacrosse. That means for the past month and a half, there have been practices Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, possibly Friday if any of those previously mentioned days get rained out, and Saturdays. Recently, we’ve moved into actual games, so that means there are lacrosse practices Monday and Wednesday, with games on Saturday (occasionally double headers). There are also rec baseball games during the week (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday this week alone for rec), and games on Saturday (sometimes double headers), and travel baseball game double headers on Sunday. Does your head hurt as much as mine yet?

So it’s not any mystery that:

  • our dinner options tend to come with the “would you like fries with that?” inquiry.
  • the recurring complaint is “I don’t have any clean socks and underwear — does anyone ever do the laundry around here?”
  • which leads to the recurring rebuttal “if you don’t like the frequency with which we do the laundry around here, tough shit feel free to grab a basket of your smelly, teen-funkified clothing and start the washer yourself.”
  • at least once a week, someone forgets to bring at least one of the following to a game: a folding chair, snacks, cleats, Fireball, water, Gatorade, a blanket, sunblock, chapstick, batting gloves, Patrón, the camera, sunglasses, or a helmet.

So, thanks for your patience readers. And know that if I go missing, it certainly isn’t from inaction.

This one's a winner


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This Is Still a Winning Bracket

I’m resurrecting this blog post from 2014. It’s awesome because:

  • it isn’t dependent year-after-year on who the hell was selected,
  • nobody gives a crap about anybody’s Cinderella story,
  • so what if the best team just got their asses handed to them by the underdog, and
  • I do not have to suffer through Dick Vitale calling the game

This bracket is winner. Every. Damn. Year.

Originally posted March 17, 2014

With all the hoopla surrounding March Madness, I decided to create a bracket that I could really get jazzed about. And it’s a total winner. Bitches.

This one's a winner

Who’s in?

It's hard to see in this picture, but here my husband is giving our son the "people's eyebrow".


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Mark My Words

So, Marshawn Lynch decided he was going to trademark the phrase “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.” I had decided that in response to this, I was going to trademark the phrase “That athlete’s an egotistical ass.”

My first thought was, I’m going be so rich! And now, nothing was going to stand in the way of my champagne Patrón wishes and caviar spinach dip dreams.

I decided to do some research, to make sure my potentially trademarked phrase would still be available. I took a look at some of the phrases that (airquote) famous (end airquote) people have trademarked.

Here’s a small sampling of what’s trademarked, and I think my checking account is pretty safe. For the most part.

That’s Hot® : owned by Paris Hilton, however it only applies to descriptions of alcohol and clothing. I’ve never used that phrase to describe alcohol or clothing. However, I may have said it repeatedly while 1) watching Magic Mike, 2) watching my husband fold laundry , and/or 3) yelling at my kids when they were younger about why they shouldn’t touch the stove.

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble®: owned by Vince McMahon of WWE fame. As of 2009, he had made $400 million off this trademark. In 2015, he’s worth $1.2 billion. I don’t recall ever saying that, because I was never a Jet or a Shark.

Tebowing®: owned by Tim Tebow. Since I don’t get down on one knee to pray/clean/look for shit under the couches/pick up dirty laundry/scrub the baseboards/look for my other earring that fell behind the nightstand, I should be ok on this one also.

Jeah®: owned by Ryan Lotche (rhymes with douche?). Here he attempts to explain Jeah®:

The fuck? Lay off the weed, dude. I’m not giving this douche any money…even if I do accidentally slur the word after too many Patrón margaritas.

Three-peat®: owned by Pat Riley when in 1993 he thought he was going to — but failed to — win a third world championship with the LA Lakers. I wonder if this phrase could ever be used in my house, e.g., “If mom made dinner three nights in a row, we’d all die from the surprise of a Three-peat®.” I may end up owing some a bit a shit ton of money to Mr. Riley.

I die®: owned by Rachel Zoe. See above; would apply if child and/or husband spoke in the singular person. This one may also end up with me writing royalty checks to Rachel, who obviously won’t use the money for something as amazing as spinach dip.

Bam®: owned by Emeril Lagasse, American chef. I think you need to cook dinner in order to say this. Definitely will owe no money for this (see Rachel Zoe and Pat Riley above).

They are who we thought they were® : owned Dennis Green, former head coach of Arizona Cardinals. Said during a 2006 press conference following a game vs the Bears. Pretty sure no one in the Witness Protection Program lives in my neighborhood. Should be ok.

Fear the brow® and Raise the brow®: owned by Anthony Davis who said “I don’t want anyone to try to grow a unibrow because of me and then try to make money off of it.” No worries Mr. Davis. I’ve spent most of my adult life waxing the shit out of my unibrow because there is just no money in it. Trust me. My husband is able to raise one eyebrow, but — and I hate to break it to you — we have seen no financial windfall from this talent ability freakish abnormality.

It's hard to see in this picture, but here my husband is giving our son the "people's eyebrow".

It’s hard to see in this picture, but my husband is giving our son one raised eyebrow.

50 cent® : owned by rapper Curtis Jackson, who is also known as 50 cent. Err..50 cent®. If Curtis is smart, he’ll change his son’s name to $700K. And trademark it.

Blue Ivy Carter® : owned by Beyonce/BKG entertainment. No worries here. Rather than speaking the actual name, I will just say “So, another celebrity has named their child something unusual. That’s why my kids will never amount to anything star-worthy. Their names are too ‘plain white Rice'”.

Hmmm…Plain White Rice. As unusual names go, That’s Hot!

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