I before E, eh?

We've all heard it.  "I before E except after C".  It was drilled into our little grammar school heads over and over as the Cardinal Rule of Spelling.

Well, my friends, I hate to have to be the one to tell you this...  (cue sad instrumental music) that rule is crap. 

I know, I know, you're all:

And that's all well and good.  But may I present you with:

Such rebellious words.  Clearly the E is before the I and no one noticed in all this time?!  Shouldn't it be anceint?  and Soceity?

And finally we have those shifty "ie" and "ei" folks that switch it up when there is NO C INVOLVED:

Yep, I don't get it either.

Tune in to our next attack on spelling, grammar, and pronunciation when we explore "cello" and "cellophane".  Why isn't it pronounced "CHELLO-fane?"

A Mutual Enemy

Though the battle between Team Overhand and Team Underhand is one that may never be resolved we are forced to admit that we share one thing in common:

I Survived Pregnancy For This?

It was last November that I revealed to men the no-no’s of dealing with a pregnant wife in The Man’s Survival Guide to Pregnancy.  Now, one year later, I am back bearing warnings for the ladies. 

There are countless websites, pamphlets, dickhead relatives, and nosy strangers who tell you that “Things are going to change.”  Well, no kidding.  You are adding a family member who can’t take care of himself but who has the mysterious ability to turn any adult into a blundering, baby-babbling mess.  They tell you that you may as well throw out all of your shoes because they won’t fit anymore (this happened to me and I’m still bitter about it) and to “sleep while you can”.  Right.  Like you’ll really be able to say, “I can stay awake and take care of the baby for four days!  I got all of that extra sleep before she was born stored up and I can’t wait to use it!” 
 Sore girly bits, hair in places where hair has no business being, fingernails that require industrial strength toenail clippers to trim: all of this is true, ladies.  If you think your self-esteem took a plummet while you were pregnant get ready for the crash and burn after the baby is born.  

See, before you become pregnant you have time to not only create but adhere to a beauty regimen.  You have manicures and pedicures!  You have clothes that actually make you look cute!

After the baby is born you must face a few harsh truths when it comes to your appearance and your ability to maintain it.

Suddenly life has become less about looking your best and more about playing catch up and things that are user-friendly.  Silk and satin graciously step aside for cotton and polyester and the iron bows out entirely in favor of the “sniff test”.  You purse morphs from a cute little handbag into something that requires three separate measurements at the airport to ensure that it doesn’t break carry-on regulations.

And the one that surprised me the most (okay, maybe not the most.  That extra hair thing is still creeping me out) is that the emotional wuss you became when your hormones went crazy during the first trimester NEVER FULLY GOES AWAY!!  I mean, really, I have a long list of exes (not that long of a list.  I’m not a slut or anything) who, at some point in our relationship, complained that I was cold-hearted and hard to reach emotionally.  At least a third of my dvd collection is horror movies. 

But since having my son?  Oh, no.  The stupidest things get me choked up.  I see a smashed happy meal toy in the street and I’m all “oooohh!  What kind of person could just abandon you!?”  Yeah.  It’s that bad.

Having kids is absolutely worth it.  My son is the big cheese and he knows it.  Every once in awhile I get dressed up and go out for an evening with the girls or a date with my husband but it’s never the same.  For one thing I can’t just turn my phone off when I don’t want to be bothered anymore.  And I can’t just enjoy myself without a million thoughts running through my head.  Things like:

“I’d better leave in an hour.  I know I’ll have to get up at six regardless.”
“I should call home and check in…again.”
“What’s jiggling?”

For a new mom out on the town that last question is one you never want to know the answer to.

Vampire French Fries

So today while I was catching up on the few blogs that I follow as often as I remember to I followed a link and stumbled upon This Is Not That Blog.  I chuckled at the first entry, laughed at the second, and by the time I got to the vampire french fries I was hooked.  I mean, come on!  Vampire french fries!  What's not to love?

What you read is true, folks.  Cool people will, in fact, check out that page.  And...you want to be cool, right?  Did I mention the vampire fries?   
...there are zombie fries too.

Not What's Expected

Can someone explain to me why it is that absolutely soaking a campfire in water to the point of floating coals or wood chips will result in this:

But when trying to light the fire in the first place you are faced with this:

I call shenanigans.

Laziness Pays Off Now...

The early bird may catch the worm...
 ...but the lazy mouse gets the cheese.

Does Not a Parachute Make

Last night my husband and I were sitting around in a circle talking with some friends while our son tore around the living room, basically tormenting each person in turn.  This had gone on for about thirty minutes before my husband looked and me and said, quite forcefully:

“That is your son.”
“No, he’s definitely yours.” I replied.  “You were the hyperactive one as a child.  I’ve heard the horror stories.  I’ve talked to your mom.”
“Yeah, but at least I didn’t jump off of a building,” he countered.
“…shut up.”

So I may have jumped off of a building when I was eight years old.  But you don’t understand…there were circumstances…

My cousin and I lived in a single story home on horse property with our grandmother growing up.  Despite his “I’m such a good boy, I never get into trouble,” exterior, he was a hellraiser when no adults were around.  And I was just the most gullible thing ever.  Like the time he convinced me that (in 1987, mind you) there was a company that created life-sized robot dolls that sold them to the general public for only $1k. 

Despite my crushing discovery that he was just pulling my leg I was totally willing to believe his next fabrication.  He convinced me that we could jump off of the roof and float gently to the ground by shoving our arms through the handles of plastic grocery bags and using them as parachutes.
 We spent the next few hours carefully plotting and planning our daredevil stunt.  We walked the perimeter of the house, searching for the perfect place to climb up and the perfect place to dismount.  Like we had much choice.  We either climbed up the wall or the tree to get to the roof and we jumped off on the west side to avoid the cactus patch.

Next came what I believed to be the most dangerous part of the event.  Sneaking grocery bags out of the kitchen.  Now let’s get real, no one would have even raised an eyebrow if we picked up some plastic bags, we did it all the time.  But this was different.  We had to be stealthy, we had to be sneaky.  Basically, we had to make sure we weren’t questioned since I was the worst liar on Earth.
 We scrambled out the back door, booty in hand, and scrambled up the wall and onto the roof before anyone could spot us.  We crept to the edge of the roof and looked down at the seven-foot expanse of dirt and rocks shimmering in the light of the setting sun.  It was at this point that a small seed of doubt crept in. Why was it that I didn’t realize until now that this entire scheme was dependent on me actually JUMPING OFF THE ROOF?  I looked at my cousin.  He looked back at me, a slight hint of amusement in his eyes. 

“Y-you first,” I stammered.
“No way,” he stated.  “You go first, or else you’ll back out after I go.”

Well, that was probably true.  I took a deep breath and crammed my arms through the handles of the grocery bag.  I took a step toward the edge. 

“Go on,” he urged.

The ground seemed to be moving farther and farther away.
 In what seemed like two minutes but was actually the better part of an hour I gathered my wits, tugged the grocery bag handles to make sure they were in place, and closed my eyes. 

I won’t say that I jumped.  It was more of a slow roll toward the edge that resulted in a sort of pitched-forward motion and I was airborne. 

Yeah, that lasted all of about 1.4 seconds before I hit the ground in a tangled heap.
I learned several lessons that fateful day in 1987.  I learned that grocery bags do not, in fact, make good parachutes.  I learned that it is possible for your back to crack in more than ten places without breaking.  I learned that one should always jump feet first.  I also learned never to go first.  My cousin turned around, came down the ladder, and hit me with the ol' point-n-laugh. 

Unfortunately, I did not learn to stop letting him talk me into doing stupid things like this.