A Side of Rice

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


1 Comment

Naked and Afraid … We’ll Never Have A/C Again

Seven years ago, my parents gifted us with a portion of some found money from an inheritance. We took our unexpected windfall and bought this:

Our island

That’s right – a poster of a tropical island. We hung it above the master bathroom tub and began dreaming about what it would be like to enjoy amazing alcoholic drinks on the beach in the picture.

Which, in my mind, would be something classy like this:

Classy drinking gif

But would actually turn out like this:

Cinderella gif

With the money left over after the poster purchase, we decided to buy something that would really up our street cred as cool parents. Our kids thought that meant a family vacation to Atlantis.

What we actually invested in was a new furnace and A/C unit. So, as you can image, the kids were totally on board:

Wait-say-what-GIF

Fast forward to Thursday of this past week — which also happened to be the hottest/most humid day of the year so far. I got this text from my husband:

Text Message

You would totally understand my WTF, if you knew our history with this particular unit (Carrier sucks). It’s gone up on us three times (Carrier sucks) in the 6 years we’ve had it (Carrier sucks). Twice it happened right after the technician came for the semi-annual check (Carrier sucks).

Per the beleaguered technician who showed up, the upgraded unit we had been convinced to purchase has “known issues”, but not well known enough for Carrier (sucks) to replace it. Upon his inspection, our “options” were:

  1. Stretch your hammies, because you are about to bend over and grab your ankles. Hard.
  2. Have the compressor replaced, but pay for the labor and cross your fingers nothing else goes wrong before the warranty totally expires. And if something else does go wrong, you’ll still have to pay for the labor. Even though Carrier (sucks) knows there is a problem with this unit.
  3. Buy a new unit, that will come with a new warranty. Don’t forget to be grateful that the new unit is being offered to you at a greatly reduced price, as a favor from Carrier (sucks) because they are aware of the problems with this unit.

"Rock, Hard Place" Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

We opted for the new unit at the cost of a family vacation we won’t be taking this Summer for a consumer-screwing “generously reduced” price. To add insult to injury we had to wait until the following Tuesday — six miserably hot days — for the new unit to be installed.

But the experience wasn’t a total downer. Actually, we learned quite a bit. And I’m happy to share my new-found knowledge with you:

  1. Get naked! Or as close to naked as you are comfortable with. Because temperatures outside when there is no breeze will mean the main floor of your house will be about 89 degrees in the evening after a day in the mid-90s with high humidity.
  2. Sleep naked! Your upstairs bedroom is probably 10 degrees hotter than downstairs, and the beast that sleeps in between you and your partner is 75 pounds and wears a fur coat all year. Or, you could sleep naked and downstairs, where it is 10 degrees cooler. Unfortunately, there’s really only enough room for your kids on the couch.IMG_1557
  3. Save electricity! Turn off every light in the house to reduce heat production. Besides, you’ll need to save some money for the new “greatly reduced” A/C unit you are purchasing, and for the unexpected expenses of #9 you will now be incurring.
  4. No cooking! There’s no reason to add even more heat to the house by turning on the oven to make dinner. Or breakfast. Or lunch. Which is pretty much my motto, even when the A/C is working.
  5. Don’t obsess! It’s hot. It’s fucking hot. Checking the thermostat every 1/2 hour won’t change that. And it will just make you more angry every time you see that “system malfunction” message. System Malfunction
  6. Go swimming! If you are fortunate enough to have a pool in your backyard, your community, or one close by with pretty lax security so there’s little chance you’ll be arrested if you break in, go get wet. No pool access or don’t need another blemish on your rap sheet? Take a cold shower.
  7. Have empathy! Take special pity on the members of your family who can’t get any more naked than they are. We fed the dogs ice constantly.  And we tried not to complain too much when they were hogging the fans.
  8. Get creative! Remember that ice bucket your parents gave you as a Christmas gift last year? Fill it with a large bag of ice and place a fan behind it to blow cool air across the room. Stand in front of it and bitch about how it’s barely cooling the room off, let alone your naked body. Then notice the light of your neighbor’s fire pit and fantasize about how it’s probably cooler by their fire pit than it is standing naked in your family room in front of a big tub of ice. IMG_1553
  9. Spend Money! The first night of being A/C-less, we ran out and bought two big fans that cost us $60. IMG_1552We spent money on ice (see #7 and #8) twice a day. We ate dinner out. And for some reason (probably because we were delusional from the heat), we went to an air-conditioned sports mega-store and bought our youngest son a bike, along with a bike rack to haul around all four of our family bikes.
  10. Avoid sex! Because hot, grumpy, and miserable is the least sexy thing you can imagine. Which — in an ironic twist — is a waste of the whole naked thing, I’m afraid.

 

Advertisements


1 Comment

Some Ground Rules for Summer Vacation

The beginning of the kids’ summer vacation happens to coincide with the week of my husband’s annual golfing vacation with his dad and brothers. How convenient is that for everyone…other than me?

So in order to give myself a little more convenience, I have decided to institute the following rules after only one day into the decidedly too-short break from someone else  watching my kids school.

Rule #1: When you are asked to clean the lint out of the dryer before the next load goes in, the lint goes one place. And that place is not on top of the dryer you were just asked to clean it out of.  By not putting lint in the trashcan, you have just moved the potential fire hazard from inside the dryer to on top of the dryer. Gross. And no.IMG_1425

Rule #2: When you are asked to help with the laundry (and once you have the whole lint thing figured out), “taking care of it” does not mean shoving the clean clothes into baskets and dropping them in the middle of the family room floor as you race back to the to play on your iPad. While I’m thrilled you can kick ass at whatever game you are playing or that you can delight in watching inappropriate videos/Vines, I would much rather have you take pride in kicking ass at folding laundry and putting it away. IMG_1427

Rule #3: We don’t need to pull out every cooler we own to figure out which one to use when we go to the pool. And once we do decide which cooler to use, we need to put away all the others before mom cracks her toe on one of them because she couldn’t see it, from carrying the last basket of clean clothes you ‘forgot about’ and left in the laundry room.IMG_1424

Rule #4: We don’t leave our size 12 canoes slides near the dogs’ dishes. Unless, of course, you like chasing Mocha and Jake in the backyard when they grab one and decide a game of keep away from the owner is the funnest damn thing ever. Which IT IS NOT.IMG_1426

Rule #5: This is a double whammy because backpacks taste like rawhide to dogs AND they cause quite the stumbling hazard for moms with that laundry basket you ‘forgot about’. Pick yours up from the middle of the floor and put it out-of-sight. Make sure it’s somewhere you won’t remember, so we can freak out the night before school starts in the fall, yelling at each other in a total panic about whose fault it is no one can remember where the #$%&-ing backpack was put for safe keeping just 9 weeks earlier.IMG_1428

Rule #6: All that shit that was in your backpack? It does not belong in the foyer. Or the floor of the foyer. Or my dining room table, the kitchen table, shoved in your closet, behind a dresser, or any other location you deem appropriate. It belongs in the trash. Because I don’t scrapbook, so just get rid of it.

IMG_1432

Rule #7: While I’m always excited about the prospect for new decorating ideas on the mantle in the family room, empty chocolate milk glasses ARE NOT DECORATION. They leave marks. They smell bad. They are tough to get clean once the milk and chocolate mixture has time to set. We can avoid all this by you putting it in the dishwasher the millisecond you are done drinking it. Or I can just stop buying chocolate syrup for milk altogether. Your choice.IMG_1431

Rule #8: iPads can be stored in a number of places. The recliner that the dog likes to jump on and sit in is not one of them.  You are tempting fate.

IMG_1430

Rule #8.5: If rule #8 is not adhered to and the dog does decide to jump in the recliner, breaking/ruining/scratching or otherwise rendering your iPad useless, it will not be replaced. And no, I will not download all those apps to my phone so you can use that instead.

I’m probably too busy cleaning lint off the top of the dryer to download apps, anyway.


3 Comments

Why I’m Not the Team Mom

There are sports moms who are way more organized than I am. Because let’s face it, there’s a reason we have had to purchase about 7 different cups in this house. And we only two kids who wear them.

As we are getting ready to head to a Memorial Day Weekend Tournament at The Ripken Experience in Aberdeen, MD, I started thinking about what I was going to need to pack. And I knew … I just knew … some über-organized bitch mom had created the ultimate packing list for a weekend baseball tournament.

So I searched and found this little gem on the internet. Which pretty much seems perfect for that annoying broad woman who agrees to be the team mom, with a whole season to tell us slack asses what to do help the rest of us stay tuned in to all the amazing team activities throughout the season.

Concession duty. Oh hell, no. Copyright © 2014 Sports Mom Survival Guide

Concession duty? Oh hell, no.
Copyright © 2014 Sports Mom Survival Guide

The only thing this list tells me is that no way in hell would I ever volunteer to be the team mom.

So, for the moms like me who believe fun is not spelled o-r-g-a-n-i-z-e-d (or s-o-b-e-r), I’ve created a check list for the ultimate baseball tournament weekend.

Did I miss anything? Vodka? Gin? Rum?

Did I miss anything? Vodka? Gin? Rum?

Let the games begin.


3 Comments

Getting Carded

Each Summer, my husband and his two brothers’ families get together so we can celebrate our kids’ birthdays.  Even though the kids’ birthdays are spread throughout the year, we gather in the Summer when their grandad and granny Lori make the 5 hour trip from Charleston, WV for one of their two visits each year.

We head to the community pool my brother-in-law and his family belong to, have a cookout, eat crabs, and celebrate with ice cream cake. My husband and his brothers serve as flotation devices for all the kids.

To prep our family, I’m usually always in charge of getting some food, our drinks, desserts, swim gear, after swim gear, and towels together for our trek to the pool. I am also in charge of birthday cards, gift purchasing, and gift wrapping.

My husband is in charge of complaining about how much “crap we are dragging to the pool”, and barking his displeasure about the fact that we aren’t “just ordering some damn pizza” for the party.  It’s a wonder his party planning business never took off, right?

This year, I asked my husband if he had talked to his brother to find out what the nieces would like.  My husband informed me, “I called Paul and he said to just get them gift cards so they could shop for themselves.”  I was delighted, since I wouldn’t have to wrap anything this year. And I was euphoric because my husband added, “don’t worry, I’ll take care of getting the gift cards.”

So on the Saturday morning of the party, I had made layered peanut butter bars, picked up baked potato salad and pasta salad from the store, and yelled at the boys because they had left their wet swim suits from camp in a bag on the hardwood floors. Since Thursday.

We packed up the car and started our journey.  At an intersection before we were going to hit the highway, my husband got in the left turn lane.  I said “where are we going?”.  He said, “I need to stop at Walmart real quick.”

It took me all of a millisecond to realize that when my husband said “don’t worry, I’ll take care of getting the gift cards”, it meant “I’m going to totally forget that I said I would do that, so we’ll have to stop at Walmart on our way to the party, which will make us very late.”

I didn’t say anything, but was sure I was going to melt through the seat, given how totally steamed I was.  He quickly parked the car, and went inside. The boys and I stayed in the car, watching the People of Walmart come and go. It gave me time to search for a pen so that I could write a note in the birthday cards my husband was busy purchasing.

When my husband returned to the car, he tossed me the bag of birthday cards and gift cards.  I pulled out the birthday cards and began to write a note in each. And then I pulled out the gift cards.

I turned to my husband and asked “Did you look at the gift cards as you were sprinting through the check out?  Because what you got your 12 and 10 year old nieces are gift cards that have wedding bands on them.”

Yep, nothing is gonna stand in your way, birthday tween. Even this totally inappropriate gift card.

Yep, nothing is gonna stand in your way, birthday tween. Even this totally inappropriate gift card.

Captain Last Minute said “well, it was either that or — believe it or not — Christmas-themed cards.”

“Um, perhaps they would have had birthday-themed gift cards if you had purchased them…I don’t know…say…more than 10 minutes prior to the start of the party. Like any time during the past week, since you’ve known about it that long,” I may have snarked at him.

My husband turned to Nick and Alex in the back of the car and said “hey, would you guys care what picture was on a gift card, as long as it had money on it?”.

“No way,” Alex affirmed for him.  “Why would we worry about that?” Nick joined in.

“See,” my husband crowed, “it doesn’t matter what the gift card looks like, as long as it has money on it.”

At that point, I just gave up because:

Yes. This.

Yes. This.


Leave a comment

Dunk. Dunk. Goof!

My older son’s baseball team is planning a sports trip of a lifetime to Cooperstown Dreams Park in 2014. I have a few friends who have done it with their kids and they tell me it is an amazing experience for the players and the families.  They

  • play a week’s worth of games (along with a playoff and championship round)
  • get home and away uniforms
  • compete in skills competitions
  • stay onsite with their coaches and meet kids from the 104 teams from across the country and around the world who come to play that week

It’s $1,600 (per player). To earn the money to go, we are having a number of fundraisers for the boys.  First we did a Hit-a-Thon where the boys could be paid a flat amount, or per foot (220 feet maximum) for the farthest of 10 balls they hit.  I pledged $1 per foot and ended up stroking a check for $220.

That $220 worth of swing, right there

That $220 worth of swing, right there.

We have other fundraisers planned. “Fundraiser” seems to be a fancy ass name for “nice little event, but it doesn’t matter because mom and dad are going to be putting out for the majority of this anyway”.

During our town’s annual Summer carnival, the team was given the opportunity to staff the dunk tank one evening and share the proceeds with the local Fire Department. It was $1 for three balls, $3 for 10 balls and $5 for 20 balls. If you were able to dunk the person three times during your turn, you won a 2-liter of soda. So get some exercise and then load up on sugar. Great plan.

Each of our boys took a turn in the dunk tank. There was a microphone so you could heckle the ball throwers. Heckling seems to improve everyone’s aim because each boy ended up getting dunked.

Even the coaches got in on the action. Nothing makes your aim more accurate than the chance to dunk the coach who’s been riding your ass all season long about your fielding/throwing/hitting skills.

When it was my oldest’s turn, he encouraged the little kids who tried to dunk him. Until his younger brother Nick took a turn.  Then Alex began heckling Nick — which may have been a mistake.  Because that seemed to improve his accuracy.

Nick takes aim at his brother Alex

Nick takes aim at his brother Alex

Nick did so well with the 20 balls that he won this:

Fabulous. Let's give this crazy kid some liquid sugar.

Fabulous. Just what this kid needs —  liquid sugar.

Even though it wasn’t Nick’s team, he wore his swim trunks so that he could take a turn in the tank.  Nick’s turn came later in the evening, close to 10:00pm. By that time the little kids were gone, but older kids/young men who were trying to impress their girlfriend or posse were stepping up to show off their accuracy.

Nick was bit more excited about access to a microphone than the dunk tank. He began his heckling immediately. I had to refrain from shouting at him “Keep your distance from the microphone”. You see, much like his mother, Nick’s say-only-smart-things filter is actually set to say-only-smart-ass-things.

At the end of Nick’s turn, a big high schooler stepped up to try his luck with 20 balls. He wasn’t doing that well and when he got to the final ball, he threw it real hard. And missed.

Nick immediately grabbed the microphone and yelled “Sayonara Sucker!”  The team moms turned and looked at me like this:

The eyebrow and scowl of disapproval From website: http://inflexionadvisors.com/

The eyebrow and scowl of disapproval
From website: http://inflexionadvisors.com/

and one of them commented, “Nick is such a mini-Becky”.

Yep, he’s a total goof.


1 Comment

How Do You Like Your Rice?

This past week, my husband went on his annual golf vacation with his dad, brothers, an uncle and a bunch of his dad’s friends. Each year, my mom comes to help me with the boys so I don’t have to use a week of vacation time sitting around the house, pouting that my vacation days are not spent on the golf course in Myrtle Beach.  (Editor’s note: Actually, I don’t care where my vacation days are spent, as long as there might be a Channing Tatum sighting and lots of Patrón. Just sayin’.)

In our house, it’s a running joke that we are plain white rice.  No Kardashian-inspired khaos, klothing lines or kakamaymie reality show krap.  Which really sucks, actually, since making money for being klassless, krass and just a bit kookoo seems so easy.  Based on those three kriteria alone, the Rices would totally make bank, people.

Never has our plain white Riceness been more evident than it was when my mom took the boys to the pool last Wednesday while I was at work.  They convinced her that they didn’t need to wear swim shirts, even though I had left instructions for them to do so. Mom also let them apply the sun screen on each other.  See how great that worked out?

Nick's back - I think he missed a spot

Nick’s back – I think his brother missed a few spots

For our youngest son Nick, I’m not as concerned about him getting a bit of sunburn. He tans right away.

But our oldest son, Alex? Yeah, he puts the white in white. On Friday evening, he came to me and said “I think I have a bubble on my back.”  After  putting together a string of profanities that would make Li’l Wayne blush, I took a look at his shoulder. Sure enough, the sunburn had blistered. He had two 1 inch in diameter bubbles on his back that were about 3/4″ high. I muffled my gag reflex, quickly ibuprofened him up, gently slathered on aloe vera after sun lotion and got a gauze pad with some first aid tape to cover the ginormous blisters in case they ruptured while he slept.

How nice that they are equally incapable of getting sun block on correctly

How nice that my boys are equally incapable of putting on sun block correctly

So much for plain white Rice; I actually had two fried Rices.

Oh, but we weren’t done there. The next morning when I went to change the bandage — oh, the horror. The skin had blistered even further and moved to the part that I had put the tape on.  When I tried to remove the tape, it was pulling off the skin. Geez.

This was his skin two days later - the blisters had popped but the tape was sticking to new blistered skin. Don't send those Mother of the Year nominations just yet.

This was his skin two days later – the blisters had popped but the tape was sticking to new blistered skin. Guess my shot at Mother of the Year is…um…shot.

My husband — who was now back from his golf vacation — said to me, “Next time, you should give a little more thought to the first aid procedures you employ.”  In addition to two fried Rices, I was now steamed Rice.

I replied with “Well thanks, Florence Nightingale. If you don’t like the way I handle things while you’re gone, perhaps you should stick your vacation up your ass?”.

Fried, Steamed or Sticky Rice.  Care to place your order?


Leave a comment

The Rice Experience at The Ripken Experience

This Memorial Day weekend, my oldest son’s Travel/All Star baseball team played in a Tournament at The Ripken Experience in Aberdeen, MD.  Holy crap, what an amazing place for the kids to play baseball.

Copyright 2012, Ripken Baseball, Inc.

Copyright 2012, Ripken Baseball, Inc.

You should know that the Ripken experience is not only about skills and abilities on the ball field. In addition, they have a very serious code of conduct for coaches, players and parents/fans:

Love it.

Love it.

Damn right!

Damn right!

Wait...no #$%&ing cussing? I'll be out before I get in.

Wait…no #$%&ing obscene language? I’ll be out before I get in.

And you don’t ever want to get your name on this ejection list, posted next to Cal Ripken Sr., Field:

Way worse than being on Santa's naughty list

Way worse than being on Santa’s naughty list

I’m pleased to report I stayed off the ejection list. Suck on that, Santa.

On Friday night, they played at Little Fenway Park.  To make the experience even more real, Mother Nature gave us a a taste of Boston – in the freakin’ Winter. It was barely 40 degrees, with a nasty wind and (cherry on top!) a spitting/misty rain toward the end of the game.  I believe team mom Connie was the best prepared for this start-of-Summer event:

Nothing says hello Summer like a baseball tournament with your parka, blanket, scarf and ear warmers.

Nothing says “Hello Summer!” like a baseball tournament with your parka, blanket, scarf and ear warmers. Where are your mittens, woman?

Even though the parents were “wicked frozen”, the kids loved it.  We got a picture of them in front of the Green Monster:

The 11U Walkersville Lions in front of the Green Monster

The 11U Walkersville Lions in front of the Green Monster

And one of them around the Ripken experience logo on the hill overlooking many of the fields and a practice area:

Say baseball!

Say baseball!

Of course, we had some editorializing from the kids:

Yep. There's always one.

Yep. There’s always one. At least it wasn’t my kid.

Our boys had a blast.  They started with a come from behind win in the first game:

A big win in the first game

A big win in the first game

Which, of course, means absolute silliness

Which, of course, means absolute silliness

They won on Saturday:

A win against a NY team on Citizens Bank field

A win against a NY team on Citizens Bank field

Got to have the silly shot

Got to have the silly shot

And they took the third game in pool play as well:

Another win, another goofy picture

Another win, another goofy picture

After the pool play, we were ranked #1 in our division:

Walkersville Lions - #1 in our division

Walkersville Lions – #1 in our division

And going into the championship round, we were the #4 seed in the tournament:

#4 overall going into to championship rounds

#4 overall going into to championship rounds

This is how a few of the moms and I celebrated:

A Salted Caramel Mocha (middle) and Cafe Latte-tinis. No, they're not all mine. But  I did have two Latte-tinis. Long day at the park, people.

A Salted Caramel Mocha (middle) and Cafe Latte-tinis. No, they’re not all mine. But I did have two Latte-tinis. It was a long day at the park, people.

The drink also helped me sleep that night because I was sharing the double bed at the hotel with my son Nick. When I woke up in the morning my arm was numb; Nick was sleeping on it.  Because this is how close he was to me:

I'm hanging onto the edge of the bed for dear life because Nick is this close to me.

I’m hanging onto the edge of the bed for dear life

We ended up losing to a team in the first round of championship play – the Sacred Heart Angels.  Nothing like pulling the “God” card to help your team out, huh?

Overall, the boys had a great weekend at The Ripken Experience. I would have to say the Rices did as well.