A Side of Rice

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


My 20/20 Vision Sometimes Gets a Little Blurry

Today is Alex’s first day of high school. I was able to obtain the obligatory first day of school picture. Evidently, once you hit high school (or teenager status), smiling is no longer allowed  cool  something you do, just so you can annoy the snot out of your mother.


This is my happy face, mom.

Was it only a few short months ago that the parents of 8th graders were jammed into a school gym with no air conditioning to celebrate the milestone of middle school graduation? Editor’s note: Sorry for the quality of the video – that’s what happens when you are a lame parent and don’t think to film the entire room, so you have to steal  swipe  use some fancy technology to copy as best as possible an uploaded version to Facebook by a parent who does have their shit together  was thinking it would be a good idea.

Was it only a few short months ago that my kid was already practicing his ‘we shant smile for anything when mom asks’ look, so that it took at least three tries to get a semi-usable photo of him next to the school mascot?


This is as happy as my face gets, mom.

Was it only a few short months ago that the video compilation of pictures moms and dads submitted was played at the ceremony?

Was it only a few short months ago that the parents, grandparents, and guardians in attendance realized there was one problem?


You see, our 20/20 vision for these kids’ future was a bit blurry. Because tears of pride will do that to you.

Whole class

Walkersville High School Lions Class of 2020


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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.

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The Poseidon Adventure

School projects have a special place in hell, whether they originate in science, social studies, math, or history class. What the fuck ever class.  ALL. OF. THEM. SUCK.

Because…pretty much…here’s what we always learn when it comes to these damn things:

Truth. Image from Reddit.

Image from Reddit.

My son Alex’s recent social studies project was no different than the science project he did earlier this year.  That one was an epic fail as a science experiment, but highly successful at getting his dad to cuss pretty much through the entire thing. But this time, we didn’t have the same amount of notice as we did for the science fair.

I had seen one of the other baseball team moms post this amazing creation on Facebook on a Saturday, with this comment “Jacob worked very hard this morning on his Ancient Greek House for his school project. He did an awesome job!”:

My son hasn't started making anything like that...

My son hadn’t started making anything like that…

So that afternoon at our baseball double header, I asked his mom what class it was for. She said all the kids in all the social studies classes were doing some sort of project.  I called my son over between innings and asked “is your social studies project done yet?”   His response was “Yes. I wrote my report.”

I prodded further “How ’bout the project part of it?”   “Um…yeah, I’m going to ask dad to help me with it Sunday night. It’s not due until Tuesday morning.”

So you can pretty much understand why I felt like this:

Only madder. And with more cuss words. Image from: http://thesuperzilch.wordpress.com/

Only madder. And with more cuss words.
Image from: http://thesuperzilch.wordpress.com/

So I put on a brave face:

Trying to smile through clenched teeth. Never works. Image © Copyright 2003 - 2014, SheKnows, LLC.

Trying to smile through clenched teeth. Never works.

I reminded him that his dad (who normally is in charge of this school project shit) was leaving on a business trip Sunday afternoon. I also brought to his attention that he had a double header of baseball Sunday afternoon, so just when the fuck did he think this was going to get done?

Oh,” was his immediate reply. Followed closely by “I gotta go, it’s my turn to bat.

So after the game, the family grudgingly made the trip to Joann’s to buy modeling clay. That’s because my son revealed that he had agreed to do sculptures of Poseidon and Zeus — which might have well been the latest DisneyXD show as far as I was concerned. I’ve never been really well-versed in anything Greek, unless pouring copious amounts of Zima down my throat in college counts. Zima – sounds Greek, right?

To help out my son, I went to the internet and found these inspiration pictures of the Greek gods that he could base his models on:

But let’s face it. This is more like what I wanted to see:

Shazam! Image ©2013-2014 Terachrome

Image ©2013-2014 Terachrome

Alex was totally inspired by the photos and got right to work on Saturday evening, making his sculptures. He was thrilled to turn off the Xbox and focus his creative energy on something other than spending Saturday evening in a video game induced haze.

Repeat after mom: "I will not wait until the last minute to do my school project.  I will not wait until the last minute to do my school project. I will not wait until the last minute to do my school project. I will not wait until the last minute to do my school project. Again."

Repeat after mom: “I will not wait until the last minute to do my school project. Again.”

It took him a solid three hours of intense work. But this was the final product:

Two old buff clay dudes. Love the pecs.

Two old buff clay dudes. Love the chiseled pecs and abs.

He ended up getting 50 out of 50 points for the project.

συγχαρητήρια (congratulations in Greek), Alex. Perhaps I should celebrate with a few Zimas.


Mad Scientist

Back in December…or maybe it was November…our oldest son came home and announced that he had a big science project due. He needed to come up with an idea for an experiment, get it approved by the teacher, conduct the experiment, record the results, and present the whole thing on a poster.

I took the news like any quick-thinking parent trying to get out of crap like this and said, “what a the perfect thing for you and your dad — the chemistry major — to work on together. Let me know how it goes.”

My husband found the experiment they were going to conduct on a website, and my son got approval from his teacher to proceed. Since the project was due February 10, there was plenty of time to ruminate about the experiment and how they would present the results.

The premise of my son’s experiment was this: which fruits have the most vitamin C? The experiment would have him determine this by dropping freshly-squeezed fruit juice into an iodine solution, and note how many drops it took to turn the iodine solution clear. The premise was that the quicker that happened, the more vitamin C in the fruit.

Or something like that. I was annoyed that lime juice was going to be wasted on some stupid middle school science experiment, when I could have mixed it with tequila to show how many drinks it takes to make mom begin slurring her words. I love that experiment.

They won't find my DNA on the limes. Maybe the tequila. Image © Dan Piraro

They won’t find my DNA on the limes. Maybe the tequila.
Image © Dan Piraro

So, my husband and Alex started the entire project early. And by early I mean right about noon on Sunday, February 9.

And here’s what we were able to observe during the experiment:

–>The amount of time you have to conduct your experiment is inversely proportional to the number of f-bombs dropped when it doesn’t go as planned.

–>It will take a husband approximately 4 minutes and 17 seconds to tell his son to “just go play the #@$%-ing xBox and let me do this so we can finish it faster.”

–>The more a wife asks “can I help?”, the more her husband barks back “no, I’ve got this, so just stop asking.”

–>Having a chemistry degree won’t stop you from bitching outloud at no one in particular: “this @#$%-ing sucks. Stupid ass iodine solution needs to be diluted more to make this @#$%-ing project work. That @#$%-ing website was totally @#$%-ing wrong. This @#$%-ing blows.”

–>Not having a chemistry degree makes hearing the bitching that much more enjoyable.

Which led me — if no one else — to conclude from this experiment, that:

–>My husband should have started this experiment sooner because these things are never problem-free the first time you try to do them. 

–>It will be at approximately the 4 minute and 17 second mark into the experiment when I will have to begin to resist the temptation to say, “I @#$%-ing told you that you should have started this earlier.”

–>When I stop asking “can I help?”, I immediately feel no remorse about focusing on HGTV and the House Hunters marathon.

–>Not having a chemistry degree won’t stop you from bitching outloud at your husband (in particular): “You know what really sucks? Not being able to hear why this couple is so dead-set against house #2, because of all the @#$%-ing bitching you are doing.”

–>Not having a chemistry degree still makes me smarter about the actual time it will take to conduct a kid’s science experiment, than the person who actually graduated from college with a chemistry degree.

And this whole experience leads me to one very important conclusion. There’s a damn good reason they call them mad scientists.

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Dear Punxsutawney Phil,

I’m going to skip the pleasantries and get right to it. Look…you fat, furry fucker…I am done with winter. D.O.N.E.

Fat. Furry. Fucker. Image (c) Keith Srakocic/AP

Fat. Furry. Fucker.
Image (c) Keith Srakocic/AP

People are going nuts, due to you seeing your shadow and predicting 6 more weeks of Winter. Here’s what your prognosticating has brought upon us:

Former pro players who show up for a boring big football game, dressed like they are the odds-on favorite musher for the next Ididorad.

 Did Joe think it was a good idea to skin his golden retriever? And then wear it? (c) AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Did Joe think it was a good idea to skin his golden retriever? Who’s gonna pull the sled now?
(c) AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Musical geniuses, who raid their girlfriend’s kloset.

This guy, who definitely borrowed his girlfriends coat. And boots.  Source: Bauer-Griffin Online

Is that Kim’s koat? Those are definitely her boots.
Source: Bauer-Griffin Online

Drivers who think they are auditioning for Fast & Furious 12: Sick Semi Spin-outs.

Yikes! AP Photo/Butch Dill

AP Photo/Butch Dill


In reality, it should read tequila, limes, and salt. www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

In reality, it should read tequila, limes, and salt.
Credit: http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

Religious zealots.

I'm converting to Baptist ©2011-2014 Coricle

I’m Team Baptist
©2011-2014 Coricle

Skittish school administrators, who post messages like this a minimum of once a week on our county’s school system website :



Parents, who are starting to read messages on the county’s school system website this way:

Like parents don't know this is really the reason schools are closing

Like parents don’t know this is really the reason schools are closing

People who see ice here:

Instead of here:

Ice in Margarita

More ice in tequila. Less ice in trees.


Lady who is dangerously low on tequila, limes, salt, bread, milk, toilet paper, and patience.  And not necessarily in that order.


What I Learned at Back to School Night

This year, my oldest son began Middle School.

We already know the first day of school photo was an epic fail on my husband’s part. But it seems that Alex is adjusting well to Middle School in spite of such a traumatic start to his tween educational experience.  In his assessment, “I really like Middle School. Classes are shorter so the day goes by faster. It’s like we aren’t in school as long as last year. That’s good because Mrs. Witt’s science classroom is hot as crap.” Then my youngest son Nick chimed in with “Don’t you mean ‘hot as balls’?”.

It’s obvious that the public education system has really honed my boys’ skills on the use of similes. Proudest. Parent. Ever.

The Smith family is not impressed with Nick's simile skill.

Unfortunately, the Smith family is not impressed with Nick’s mad simile skillz.

Back-to-School night was last night. Because my husband, Alex, and Nick had football practice, I was flying solo for the Middle School orientation.  I’m pretty sure we missed the Elementary School Back-to-School night, so Nick is shit out of luck but Nick is going to have a great year in spite of that!

Back-to-School night taught me you’re never to old to learn. And here is some knowledge I gained:

  1. If I decide to wear shoes like this to work, I should definitely change into flip flops or flats before evening activities. My feet have about a 12 hour limit on the amount of torture they can suffer on a given day.

    I need to heal from my heels

    I need to heal from my heels

  2. Showing up 10 minutes early is still 20 minutes too late to get a decent parking spot.
  3. For the orientation presentation, getting there 20 minutes early secures a bunch of lucky bastards parents a seat in the uncomfortable folding chairs set out on the gymnasium floor.
  4. Getting there 10 minutes early secures me a seat on the splinter-prone and more uncomfortable (by infinity-to-the-10th-power) bleachers in the gymnasium.
  5. A gymnasium full of parents on a late August evening is hot.
  6. And not the “Channing Tatum” kind of hot.
  7. More like the “a few people in here could use another swipe of Right Guard” kind of hot.
  8. I need to update my things-to-buy-when-I-hit-PowerBall list to include air conditioning for the Middle School gym. And a big supply of Right Guard.
  9. People who bring their kids to Back-to-School night really should keep their kids with them. Especially the parents of the gaggle of middle school girls sitting behind me, who talked through the entire presentation the Principal gave.
  10. I am able to incite a humongous number of eyerolls when I turn to a gaggle of middle school girls and say: “Could you guys please stop talking? I would like to hear what the Principal is saying.”
  11. I feel completely old, entirely uncool and particularly grumpy when I am the recipient of tween eyerolls.
  12. I liked it better when my son had one teacher in elementary school. Visiting 7 classrooms and meeting 7 different teachers just makes my feet hurt even more.
  13. About mid-way through Back-to-School night, it dawned on me that my husband’s decision to coach youth football was just an elaborate ploy to avoid Back-to-School night.
  14. The parents who were in shorts and t-shirts seemed much more happy to be part of Back-to-School night than parents who were still in their work clothes and heels.
  15. I am never wearing heels again.
  16. Next year, I’m going to coach a football team and my husband can attend Back-to-School night.  In heels.

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No Wonder All the Moms Made It to the Graduation Ceremony

Here’s a picture from my son’s recent 5th grade graduation ceremony.  In the picture is one of my son’s friends, who is also on his All Star baseball team.

If you’re anything like me, you’re not focusing on 11 year old Jacob getting his diploma and moving on to the next phase of his educational career.  Hells no. You are thinking — why the #$%& wasn’t my Assistant Principal in elementary school this easy on the eyes?

Assistant Principal McHotty, Ya'll!

On the left – Assistant Principal McHotty, ya’ll!

Perhaps — for me — the reason is because my Assistant Principal at Father Andrew White S.J., Elementary School was named Sister Francis Miriam, who

  1. Threw an eraser at you from the blackboard if she thought you weren’t paying attention.
  2. Kept a stash of colorful plastic bow-shaped barrettes to place in the hair of boys who she said “needed to get the hair out of their eyes so they could see better until they could make a trip to the barber”. I remember that Keith Bridgewater sported every color of the rainbow during his eighth grade year.
  3. Safety-pinned poor Billy Cusak to her dress and made him follow her everywhere for an entire school day because he was misbehaving.
  4. Upped the ante by tossing — with amazing speed and accuracy — a piece of chalk  at you, if the eraser didn’t work.
  5. Nearly popped a blood vessel when the most common mis-spelling in every students’  “The Holy Trinity and Me” essay was “Holly Sprite”.
  6. Patrolled the lunch room with a greater tenacity, fierceness, disdain for frivolity, and glee at imposing punishment than any correctional officer  featured on MSNBC’s documentary series Lockup.
  7. Consulted  with the 8th grade teacher Mrs. Aud about who should have to go outside in the rain to clap the erasers clean.  (Editor’s note: Mrs. Aud could barely be bothered with that decision anyway, since she was too busy A) trying out OPI’s lastest color (Schoolmarm’s the Charm),  and/or B) plucking her chin and nose (!) hairs during individual/quiet study time,  and/or C)  scolding me for making the dots of my i’s into circles because that’s not WJWD [what Jesus would do] since those demonic little circles meant that I was summoning Lucifer to bring on the apocalypse and was I really ready to shoulder the entire burden for the end of civilization at the tender age of 12?)
  8. Conducted the eighth grade girls’ charm class. That really ‘effing took with me, huh?
  9. Called the 7 students who were math whizzes in 8th grade her “boys in the bullpen” and frequently spent half of the class talking about the Orioles’ Ken Singleton’s amazing walk percentage or how Earl Weaver should have pulled Scotty McGregor an inning earlier because his arm was tired, all while ignoring the rest of the students in the class. Some of us non-math whizzes would have been happy to be part of that conversation, but alas, we were resigned to changing the dots in the division sign to circles in an attempt to bring on the end of math class  civilization even quicker.
  10. Was a total McHotHead about misbehaving demon spawn of unrepentant parents. But was most definitely not a McHottie.