A Side of Rice

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


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In 2019, I Resolve to Have More Resolve

As a new year approaches, I reflect on everything I’ve accomplished in 2018. So far, the list includes:

  • Baked over 500 cookies during the Christmas holiday season
  • Began writing entries on my blog again
  • Found no redeeming qualities of — or contributions to mankind from — any member of the Kardashian family
  • Binge watched all the episodes of The Great British Baking Show
  • Didn’t get arrested
  • Watched my oldest son play his last baseball game after 10 years participating in the sport, without becoming too much of a blubbering, unhinged mess
  • Watched my youngest son catch the same pay-it-forward bug as I have, through his high school lacrosse team’s community service efforts, without bragging too much about it
  • Participated in the Terrible Thanks for Asking podcast #TerribleWritingClub Challenge
  • Not losing my shit when I was told how much adding a 16 year old boy driver to our car insurance policy would cost
  • Bought a new car, then suffered severe buyer’s remorse as I realized the monthly payment means we have to curtail our habit of dining out at least 3…well, maybe 4…ok, so more like at least 5 times a week

So what are my resolutions for 2019? Well, the list is simple:

  • Bake cookies and goodies as much as I can
  • Write in my blog as much as I can
  • Ignore the Kardashians as much as I can
  • Binge watch shows I like as much as I can
  • Avoid behaviors that could lead to an arrest as much as I can
  • Get to my oldest son’s new Spring sport — high school Track & Field competitions — as much as I can
  • Support my youngest son’s community service efforts with his lacrosse team as much as I can
  • Listen to more Podcasts and participate in more listener activities as much as I can
  • Not freaking out about our insurance premiums — especially when I add the second teen boy driver to the policy in late 2019 — as much as I can
  • Not suffer buyer’s remorse and make dinner at home as much as I can

Finally, I will not beat myself up for not making dinner at home as much as I can. Because I know how much resolve I have when it comes to that.

Happy-New-Year-GIF.gif

 


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How Are You – Really?

Because of my long work commute — and when my teenagers haven’t eaten up all our fucking data 6 days before the end of the billing cycle Verizon— I listen to podcasts. I subscribe to How I Built This, Criminal, Terrible Thanks for Asking, and The Mortified Podcast among others.

The Terrible, Thanks for Asking podcast issued a writing challenge, and I texted my interest as requested. The first writing request came through on November 15 – so here goes…

“How Are You — Really?” – November 15, 2018

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Quick answer? Of course I’m totally up to my ass in alligators, so this post is two days late.  But here are a couple of the things I was thinking about on November 15, 2018…

  • I feel grateful to be teleworking. Normally on a Thursday, I would be making the trek to work, but because of 1-3″ of snow predicted, I am working from home. Schools are closed, so that means 2 teenage sons, 2 dogs and 1 work-from-home husband are also in the house with me. And that 1-3 annoying inches turned out to be 8.1″.IMG_2182.jpgI am also grateful I figured out the thermostat had reset to 60 degrees and that’s why the house was freezing and not because the stupid HVAC system had gone out again.
  • I really feel annoyed because Mother Nature is a spiteful bitch — yet another high school game has to be rescheduled today. As the manager of social media (Facebook and Twitter accounts) for my son’s high school Boosters program, I have had to update schedules because of rain outs/thunderstorms throughout the entire Fall season. Today, it is the State Championship for our girls soccer team – the first time they have ever been to the State Championship. However, due to the weather, it is now rescheduled to Friday. So I am spending time updating event posts, images created, and responding to parent inquiries about decisions made … because, yes, the governing body of Maryland State high school sports consults me specifically about what is convenient — or not — for all of you before it reschedules anything.Longroll
  • I’m a bit pensive as I ruminate about my job description. My boss shared a proposed update with me and asked for feedback, as we work together to build a strong team with talents focused in the correct areas. I think it is a good start, but I plan to discuss some nuances that would make it a better use of my strengths. Because, I need to own my path and stand for what I’m passionate about and what resonates with me. I am feeling confident about my ability to have that conversation.

So that’s where my head is at today, Thursday, November 15, 2018: grateful, annoyed, pensive and confident. At least I’m not terrible. Thanks for asking.

#TerribleWritingClub


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Where the @#*% Have I Been?

It’s been a year since I published a blog post. I have no good reason for my absence from the space.  Well, at least nothing good like…

  • I hit the lotto and screw writing a blog; I’m too busy to write because I’m spending all the cash on traveling the world and sampling tequilas in as many countries as possible
  • I’m too drunk to write because I won the lotto, and I’m on my own personal world tequila tasting tour
  • I’m in rehab for being too drunk all the time, because after I won the lotto, I went on my own personal world tequila tasting tour
  • I’m stuck on step 6, after going to rehab for being too drunk all the time, because after I won the lotto, I went on my own personal world tequila tasting tour

Actually, the truth is

  • I never hit the lotto. Because I never remember to buy a ticket.
  • I’m sober way more than I’m drunk.
  • The only rehab I’ve done in the past year is for my Achilles, which was shredded by a sizable and nasty bone spur, so it required surgical repair/rebuilding on May 31, 2017.
  • Step 6 of rehab requires being ready to have all the defects of our character removed. I love my defects, so fuck it. They also make for great material for this blog.

But more of the truth is, this past year, I

  • have been overwhelmingly busy with work, because I have to earn money,  since I keep forgetting to buy a lottery ticket.
  • have not been drunk enough times to have great stories to share.
  • have been rather compliant with my rehab, so – yawn – who cares about someone who is doing what they are told? History
  • have had moments of extreme defectual brilliance. But what I haven’t had is nearly enough time between work, mom duties, volunteer work, kids sports — you all know the drill — to focus on my blog.

So, let’s face it:

  • Work will not slow down. In fact, I’ve been given even more to take on. Bring it.
  • Getting drunk = extra carbs. I’ve dropped 10 pounds since January, so I’m working hard to keep carbs at bay. But I’m still up for a girls night out anytime, and I have my designated driver at the ready. Just give me enough notice so I can plan accordingly and save all my carbs for drinking that day.
  • My Achilles is better, though not completely healed. I have all sorts of free time now that I can walk without a lurching limp.
  • My defects are there and aren’t going anywhere. Nor do I want them to.  They are a shining beacon of light that reminds me “don’t take all this shit so seriously, sister. Enjoy the ride. And share with others how what is out-of-control can be beautiful, scary, exhilarating, amazing, humbling, frustrating…to name a few.” And it’s normal. Defects are normal.

A recent episode (more heart than humor) in my life prompted me to write again. So, I’m back, bitches. And I’m glad to be back, defects and all.

Tequila scale


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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.


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All You Need Is Love

One of my former co-workers has two blogs she updates regularly. I’m such a slacker, with only two blogs that I update when something crazy happens in my life, or if I bake a treat.

June 1st, she issued a 30-day writing challenge. Being the non-procrastinating type that I am, I jumped right on the challenge. On July 1.  But at that point, Rita was only on challenge number 26 herself — seems we both have a little procrastinator in us.

The theme for July 1 is LOVE. So here’s what the theme inspired me to write about…

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE

I only thought about the past week using the words ‘baseball’, ‘vacation’, and ‘work’. But I was decidedly wrong about that. My week was about love.

First it was the love of baseball. My oldest son Alex’s baseball team has been fundraising and preparing for the ultimate experience with a week-long tournament in Myrtle Beach at The Ripken Experience. The majority of this team has been together for 2 years — most have been playing together for more than 4 years. To hear the boys tell it, they were “getting to go on vacation with all of their best friends”.

The boys did well in the tournament, with a record of 3-2 in pool play. They made it to the championship bracket, but lost in an early game to a taller, stronger, and year-round playing team from Georgia.  Disappointed at being out of the championship round early didn’t deter them from life’s joy. They spent the rest of the day at a water park, enjoying a different kind of pool play with one another.  And three of the nights we were there, the team and their families gathered for group meals. We even had a surprise birthday celebration for of one of the team moms.

How could you not help but love these kids and families who are a great bunch of people?

Thank goodness it's not my kid with the sad face.

The 2014 12U GVAA Walkersville Lions.

I ended up leaving Myrtle Beach before the championship round because I had a work conference I needed to attend in San Francisco. The Friday we were in San Francisco, our colleagues back home were participating in a community volunteer day.  A co-worker and I decided that we would participate on the west coast by volunteering to feed the homeless and hungry. The organization is Glide — a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization. They feed 700 people for the afternoon meal. Volunteers help serve meals, take tickets, and clean tables.

Because Glide must have heard about my lack of prowess in the cooking department, I was in charge of handing out napkins and silverware:

I think I'll use this as my entry in Playboy's next "hottest moms" contest.

Hairnet, apron, and gloves. I think I’ll use this as my entry in Playboy’s next “hottest moms” contest.

What I found humbling was that the individuals were so diverse. Some “looked” homeless. Some didn’t look homeless at all. Some talked to an imaginary friend as they went through the line. Some came through the  line multiple times, hanging their head in shame. Some brought their dogs and shared the meatloaf and rice with their best friend. One lady started a fight because she wanted to eat at a table by herself. The staff had to calm her down, and then they tried to make the volunteers feel better by saying it was no big deal. “You’re right,” I commented. “The Rice boys behave far worse than any of these folks.”

But almost every one of the people who walked through the door said “Thank you.”  Or “God bless.”  One guy even said “Hello, gorgeous.”  Hmmm…maybe I should send him my picture and enter his “hottest mom” contest.

What I felt after an exhausting and fast-paced two hours was a great deal of appreciation from both those served and the staff at Glide. It took no more than a smile, a hello, and handing someone a napkin with a fork or spoon to make them feel good.  How could I not love the feeling of warmth that my small kindness gave these people who have so little?

That weekend we were in San Francisco was also when the Gay Pride parade was going to take place. As I walked back from Macy’s on Sunday (having just had my own little love fest with the Michael Kors purse department), I walked past a guy with a t-shirt that very simply said Love is Love. And I saw these flags hanging outside the Hotel Nikko:

#PRIDE

#PRIDE

How awesome that a corporation uses the pride flag to let a group of individuals who have struggled for acceptance know that they are indeed loved?

So in the end, my week was not nearly as much about a vacation, a baseball tournament, or a work trip. It was about the love in my life, and why I should be more aware of it around me every day.


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Look, Let’s Get Real

Last week, we had no baseball practices, tournaments, warm ups or the like.  Little league baseball season ended for my 11 year old in the semi-final game of the 11U State Tournament, and for my 10 year old in the quarter-final game of the 9U State Tournament the previous week.

But that didn’t mean we had no sports going on last week. Because it was the start of football conditioning camp.

You might think in frustration I would have plucked out all the grey hairs on my head about having no down time between sports. But, 1) it would take me longer than a week to pull out all the grey hairs even after a Root Touch-Up, and 2) I didn’t have to be at football practice.   That’s because this year 1)  I’m employed, and 2) my husband is going to be a coach.

And that, dear readers, means from now until when school starts, I have Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night to myself from 6:00pm – 8:30pm (ish) as football conditioning camp and practices get underway.  Sweet Jesus, what’s a gal to do with all the down time?

My husband and boys have some definite ideas about what they think I should be doing with all my “free” time.

Husband & boys’ fantasy:  Think I should make a gourmet meal each night, and have it on the way to the table the second they get in the door.

Freakin’ reality: Look, ‘peel back foil to expose tater tots’ is as fancy as it gets around here for dinner.  And I hope by ‘table’ you mean the tray table in front of the ginormous TV in the family room so you can ignore me and watch ESPN ad-nauseum.

Husband & boys’ fantasy:   Think I should fold laundry.

Freakin’ reality:  Look, we’re lucky that the loads of laundry I wash over and over because I forget about them, actually smell less moldy after the third wash. And if I do remember to move it from washer to dryer, it’s a Festivus miracle. So fold your own damn underwear.

Husband & boys’ fantasy: Think I should take the dog for a walk.

Freakin’ reality: Look, the damn dog can walk out onto the deck, down the steps and into the yard without my help. And if you want your tater tots on the tray table as your sweaty asses walk through the door, there will be no dog walking.

Husband & boys’ fantasy: Think I should find personal fulfillment and motherhood nirvana by cleaning the bathroom

Freakin’ reality: Look, try to aim better you bunch of firing range rejects.  And for the love of Charmin, put the effin’ seat down when you are done.

Look, here’s the reality of what I do while they are sweatin’ it out on the gridiron:

  • Shout “hells yeah, you sorry bitches”, confirming — to no one other than our dog — my agreement with Judge Judy’s rulings
  • Cuss and swear at Level 65 on Candy Crush
  • Clip coupons for Root Touch Up
  • Think of indictments to add to the list for the Giudices
  • Rewatch seasons 1 – 10 of Project Runaway.  Rerank best Michael Kors disses.
  • Think about working on the next great American novel “Confessions of a Concession Stand Captive” (based on a semi-true story of a mom and the soul-sucking volunteerism of little league)
  • Ignore the cease and desist orders from a variety of brands that don’t appreciate the non-marketing approach I take to name-checking their products in my blog posts
  • Ignore the messages from “Super Duper Luber”, as I am not interested in promoting their product that (supposedly) allows any sexy encounter to “go down a little slower and/or easier” (perhaps Whitesnake ought to look into Super Duper Luber’s marketing copy and file a complaint)
  • Think very hard about things I can blog about, and fear I will end up with brain sprain
  • Ice my head due to intense migraine. Or perhaps it’s brain strain.  Will Super Duper Luber help with that?


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I’m Jumping on the Blogwagon

About a week ago, a bunch of funny blogging gals I follow conducted a blog hop. They all wrote about the same thing—what their blogs would have been about if they’d written them in their 20′s. They then linked to one another’s submissions. I will say that after reading the blogs, I may never think of leg warmers, Wham! or Doogie Howser, MD in the same way.

I was surprised I wasn’t asked to join in. But then I realized they probably wanted bloggers with a large following. Followers who aren’t inmates. Or relatives. And especially if that list isn’t mutually exclusive.

I was inspired (even if I wasn’t asked) to put together a synopsis of what my blog would have been about if I’d written it in my 20s. You’ll find links to read their really funny blogs at the end of my (lame ass) list.

So here’s what I would have been pontificating about in my 20s:

  1. The skills and talents required to swipe a song list from the stage at the end of the concert. Without invoking the ire of bouncers/security. After you’ve had a drink to boost your courage. Or maybe enough alcohol for a righteous buzz. OK, let’s face it…I was completely drunk and I’m surprised I wasn’t given the list in exchange for my panties, which I (repeatedly) offered the band.
  2. Why dating a guy in a local band [who nobody is interesting in stealing the song list from] is not smart. But it will help you establish a killer line of credit as you underwrite Mr. underachiever’s dream of being Bono. However, Bono can underwrite his own equipment, thank you very much. And wouldn’t building credit be really great if I were actually building it with something that ended up being MINE when the final payment was made?

    I dated the one who thought he looked like Bono. But he so didn't (second from right, cuz I know you still can't tell).

    I dated the one who thought he looked like Bono. But he SOOOOO didn’t. He’s second from the right, cuz I know you still can’t tell.

  3. Why perms are bad. And the photographic evidence to prove it.
  4. How to get flattering pictures of yourself with your tongue hanging out. Also known as Zima-infused shenanigans.
  5. Proper etiquette at wine festivals.
  6. Obviously, the first rule is making sure your hot pink shirt matches your hot pink sunglasses and hot pink earrings.

    Obviously, the first rule is making sure your hot pink shirt matches your hot pink sunglasses and hot pink earrings.

  7. What to do with the 16 bridesmaids dresses you will end up with after being assured by friends who are getting married, “It’s not prom-y at all, I swear. It will be perfect to wear for future dressy occasions.”. Sure … dressy occasions that require taffeta, satin, unflatteringly placed oversized bows (baby got some serious back!) and dyed-to-match cheap pumps. At least I could afford all the dresses and accessories with my amazing line of credit.
  8. My sisters Susan and Nancy in raspberry taffeta bridesmaid dresses with matching garters. The picture taker (me) had the same outfit on. None of us should have EVER worn white shoes (wink, wink). On the alter, no less.

    My sisters Susan and Nancy in raspberry taffeta bridesmaid dresses with matching garters. The picture taker (me) had the same outfit on. None of us should have EVER worn white shoes (wink, wink). On the alter, no less.

  9. White water rafting – leave your fears onshore and paddle like hell!
  10. No perm, eyebrows waxed and ready for some rapids.

    No perm, eyebrows waxed and ready for some rapids.

Hmmm. If cool content was important, maybe not being asked had nothing to do with my family’s RAP sheet after all.

Go ahead and jump on the blog jump:

Wendi Aarons

Midlife Mixtape

The Flying Chalupa

I’m Gonna Kill Him

Smacksy

Earth Mother Just Means I’m Dusty

Motherhood in NYC

The Mama Bird Diaries

Baby on Bored

Peace, Love & Guacamole

Wait in the Van

Tales of (Married) Mikkimoto

Ann’s Rants


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A Year in the Life of a Blog

© 2009 Rosscott, Inc

One year ago today, I began my blog*. In that time, I have written 23,187 words in 55 blog posts (not counting this one). My longest post had 1,264 words describing a “day off” around the holidays, and my most succinct post had only 14 words in a surprising show of krispness and klarity.

My blog started off Times New Roman, but switched over to the less uptight and more she-isn’t-a-very-good-housekeeper-either stylings of verdana.

I’ve had 28 likes for my posts, and 124 comments on various posts on my blog. I’ve responded to comments with 51 comments of my own. If you count spam, the comments soar to a mind-numbing 425,486. Good thing I don’t pad my bra or my comment numbers, huh?

The subjects of my blog posts have varied, but usually fall into some fairly common areas:

So here’s to looking forward to another year of snarky commentary, general life observations and misadventures of the Rice family. Cheers!

* – my husband is deeply indebted to WordPress for giving me this outlet. Via this blog, fewer of my seemingly endless streams of commentary about e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, my natterings on about celebrities who do nothing more than use up valuable oxygen, and my incoherent babblings about the misadventures of our kids have to fall upon his ears.